Statement on Melinda Taylor II
Foreign Minister Bob Carr today said he was very concerned at reports that Melinda Taylor and three International Criminal Court (ICC) colleagues had been moved from house arrest to an unidentified prison.
Senator Carr said in light of this, it was now essential for Libyan authorities to grant immediate consular access to Ms Taylor and her colleagues.
“The Australian Government is working for Ms Taylor’s immediate release.
“There is a need for caution in all public statements on a matter such as this.
“However, the Australian Government is very concerned that Ms Taylor has reportedly been moved, and has so far not been permitted contact with either a representative of the Australian Government, the ICC or her family.
“Australia’s Ambassador to Libya, David Ritchie, is in Tripoli today and is seeking urgent access to Ms Taylor.
“The Ambassador will also be liaising with senior Libyan officials and the team sent by the ICC to provide support to Ms Taylor and her colleagues.”
In the last 24 hours , Senator Carr has spoken with:
– Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz on two occasions
– Britain’s Ambassador to Libya, Dominic Asquith, who was representing Australia’s consular interests pending the arrival of the Australian Ambassador
– President of the ICC, Judge Song; and
– Members of Ms Taylor’s family.
Officers from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have also been in regular contact with Ms Taylor’s family, with ICC headquarters in The Hague, and with Libyan officials and the governments of the other detainees.