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Statement on Melinda Taylor II

June 12, 2012

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.

  1. Ron Mat permalink
    June 12, 2012 10:06 am

    This is not good enough, We need to give Libya a immediate request to release her and let her leave the country, as all the World comunity help Libya get rid of Gadafy, they need to show some respect for Australia otherwise we should apply for sanctions and withdraw all Australian support and help in their future. No if’s, No buts, get her out now.

  2. James Cockayne permalink
    June 13, 2012 4:07 am

    Senator Carr – what is the plan now that Amb. Ritchie has been turned back at a roadblock and refused access to Zintan? I understand that he, and the others in the delegation, including the Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister, may try again today, but if the Zintanis again block access, what will the Australian government then do?

    Can the Minister of Defence, a Zintani, assist?

    And isn’t it time that the UN Security Council, which asked the ICC to go in in the first place (Resolution 1970), stands up for the ICC’s staff’s immunities? Otherwise the ICC won’t be able to work effectively anywhere. What is the Australian government doing to get the UNSC to call for Ms Taylor’s immediate and unconditional release, and to defend the UNSC’s credibility on international criminal justice?

    This would seem like a great opportunity for Australia to demonstrate why it deserves a seat on the Security Council and the kinds of values it will espouse if it gets one.

    • James Cockayne permalink
      June 13, 2012 6:36 am

      I note that Amb. Ritchie and his colleagues are now reported in fact to have successfully made contact with Miss Taylor and her colleagues in Zintan. Well done DFAT! Let’s hope further steps forward emerge soon.

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