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Ms Alexandra (Pippi) Bean – Libya – the facts

October 5, 2012

Media coverage today has included commentary that suggests Ms Bean felt ‘abandoned’ by the Australian Government during the period in which she was being questioned by Libyan authorities in Tripoli.

The following is an extract from an ABC 7.30 interview with Minister Carr which was recorded on the morning of 27 September 2012.

“She’s [Ms Bean] had contact with our consul in Cairo and he’s reported that all the representations he’s made – the conversation he’s had with her indicates that she’s in good spirits and doesn’t require further assistance, but we stand ready of course to provide any level of consular assistance that she needs.”

Minister Carr’s comments were correct at the time of the recording.

In fact, Ms Bean received considerable consular assistance.

Details are as follows:

24 September 2012 – Ms Bean made contact with the Consul at the Australian Embassy in Cairo.

25 September 2012 – Ms Bean advised the Consul of a forthcoming interview with Libyan authorities.

26 September 2012 – Ms Bean advised the Consul that she was unable to depart the airport in Tripoli and that her passport had been taken from her.

27 September 2012 – The Consul telephoned Ms Bean to check on her welfare, and sent a formal communication to the Libyan Government seeking advice on Ms Bean’s legal status.

27 September 2012 – The Australian Embassy in Rome contacted the UK Embassy in Tripoli. DFAT contacted the Libyan Ambassador in Canberra to seek assistance.

28 September 2012 – UK Embassy in Tripoli offered to accompany Ms Bean to her next meeting with Libyan authorities.

28 September 2012 – Consul arrived in Tripoli.

29 September 2012 – Consul met Ms Bean and UK embassy officials prior to a meeting with Libyan officials.

30 September 2012 – Consular officials escorted Ms Bean to the airport for her departure from Libya.

  1. Peter Harley permalink
    October 5, 2012 6:11 pm

    I heard Pippa Bean’s brother on radio being extremely critical of both the Government response to her dilemma and that of her employer. He had all the sublety of a kerbside recycling truck and in my view was stridently counterproductive. Now I read a similar take from Pippa Bean upon her release. Both ought to be grateful for the response by both the Government and the employer, and by other Embassies. But I doubt the Minister and the Australian Embassy will ever receive a word of thanks.

    • Bob Carr permalink*
      October 5, 2012 9:25 pm

      You might say that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  2. Ralf Kluin permalink
    October 6, 2012 9:08 am

    Hi Bob,

    I read the SMH (Doubly betrayed: aid worker’s hell) Indonesia Correspondent Michael Bachelard lead article twice and his written words quote, “The aid worker Pipi Bean endured a seven-day nightmare last week at the hands of Libya’s shadowy security forces – but it was Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, who delivered the “lowest point” of her ordeal,” was impossible to reconcile with the other words written in his reported article. For example, Ms Bean, an employee with the International Organisation for Migration “was employed in Libya” and admitted by the Libyan Country subject to (agreement) passport requirements and so on. Nowhere in his article does he write that he has contacted directly your office in order to obtain your side of the story. I’m of the opinion that Mr Michael Bachelard erred in his duty of care in reporting this matter.

    • Bob Carr permalink*
      October 7, 2012 4:48 pm

      I agree and said so in my interview on Australian Agenda this morning. She received every assistance. It was a stupid beat-up.

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