Perpetual Insecurity 12g - No Inquest


No Inquest, No Justice

Khodayar's photo projected during 'Tribunal' play.

[imagecaption] From ‘Tribunal‘, 2017. Photo: Janet Pelly. [/imagecaption]

The play, Tribunal, in which an Indigenous elder presides over a case against the Australian state for its treatment of refugees, calls attention to the illegality of the state’s own system of laws.


In July 2017, more than a year and a half after Khodayar Amini’s death, the Deputy State Coroner of Victoria delivered a finding without inquest. While inquests rarely, if ever, deliver justice to families or communities, it can only be viewed as an insult that the only official public record reduced Khodayar’s life  to a document of barely 4 pages. The only details provided are: Khodayar’s identity, some of his movements prior to his death and the physical condition in which his body was found; little more is stated. The findings make clear that no investigation was undertaken into the systemic issues that contributed to Khodayar’s death; the document makes no attempt to contextualise his death beyond the events immediately preceding his suicide. No recommendations were made with a view to prevent others from dying in similar circumstances. It remains unclear as to whether any internal investigations or reviews were undertaken or any changes made by Red Cross, the police or the Department of Immigration. If any were undertaken, they were not included in the Coronial brief. This is indicative of the shallowness of the investigation and the seeming indifference to preventing other asylum seekers from dying in similar circumstances.

Just over a week after Khodayar’s death, another young man on a bridging visa was found dead in an airport in Brisbane.


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