National Justice Project
The National Justice Project is a not-for-profit legal service. We apply our expertise to advancing human rights by representing and giving voice to the vulnerable who would otherwise be unable to find legal representation.
Started 4 petitions
#JusticeForBabyCharlie. Our little angel deserved better.
First Nations readers are advised that this petition contains the names and images of people who have died.My name is Kathleen. My beautiful little grand-nephew, Charlie Mullaley, was taken from his mum, Tamica, in the most horrific circumstances after she was arrested by West Australian Police instead of being helped as a domestic violence victim. Police threw my niece into a van and took her away to be charged, leaving baby Charlie at the site of this horrific domestic violence. Hours later, he was murdered. Now, our family must have justice. You may have heard of our family’s story on the documentary series, See What You Made Me Do. It was in 2013 when this tragedy occurred, and to this day the WA Police refuse to launch an investigation into the way they failed Tamica and her Baby Charlie. The day our Baby Charlie was tortured and killed began when Tamica’s partner, Mervyn Bell left her bashed, naked and bleeding on a street in Broome following a brutal act of domestic violence. The WA Police were called by a member of the public to assist my niece, but instead of helping and comforting her they agitated her, a vulnerable victim of abuse, which resulted in Tamica being arrested for assault on them! There is no evidence that police gave any attention at all to the person who had assaulted Tamica – their entire focus was on taking her into custody, while she had been beaten and was highly distressed. Charlie’s grandfather, Ted Mullaley, who arrived to assist his beaten daughter, begged the police to allow him to help calm her down but was instead charged with obstructing the police. Instead of taking care of Baby Charlie the police left him at the scene of the crime, and then when police indicated they were taking Tamica to the police station and not hospital, Ted pleaded with them to take her to hospital. Ted followed the police paddy-wagon in his car to make sure Tamica was treated for injuries which were later described by the hospital as being critical. While both mother and grandfather were at the hospital, Mervyn Bell abducted Baby Charlie. Despite several frantic pleas throughout the night by Ted to Broome police and by phone to 000 stating that Mervyn was going to “kill the baby”, WA police failed to act or initiate a search for Baby Charlie for over 10 hours. In fact, despite his pleas, the Police threaten to arrest Ted if he didn’t stop calling 000. Sadly, during the next 15 hours, Mervyn Bell was spotted by a number of members of the public acting in an erratic and concerning way. Some people even called the police and reported that a man was carrying a limp baby but even then the police didn’t act. These incidents were reported to the Police in other jurisdictions, but with no Alert being filed by the Broome Police, they were never followed up. When Baby Charlie’s body was found, police discovered that he had been beaten, sexually abused and burned. Mervyn Bell was eventually found guilty of murder and sexual assault and was sentenced to life imprisonment. But Baby Charlie didn’t have to die or suffer the unthinkable torture he endured. WA Police showed complete disregard for baby Charlie. Tamica and Ted begged police to help find him, but they refused. Ted and Tamica even had to go home and show the police a birth certificate to prove that Mervyn Bell wasn’t Charlie’s father and that Tamica was his mum. Meanwhile, his little body was already tortured, waiting to be found. Tamica can never get her beautiful boy back, but we can fight for truth and justice. All we want is to make sure that the WA Police never treat an Aboriginal mother and child this way ever again. Our hearts will never heal, but we can do all we can to fix a broken system. Mervyn Bell got an inquest after he died, but the Coroner and the Attorney General refuse to investigate the WA Police role in what happened to Baby Charlie. We cannot do this alone. Please, join our family’s call for: A coronial inquest or parliamentary inquiry into the way that WA police failed Tamica, Ted and Baby Charlie. The WA Attorney-General to finally meet with our family. An investigation into how the Crime and Corruption Commission failed to focus on why WA police did not take steps to ensure that baby Charlie was left in a safe place and was safe from harm. Please, sign and share our petition and help us get #JusticeForBabyCharlie. Watch the Mullaley family’s story on See What You Made Me Do here. Read more about the family’s call for justice from the WA Attorney General here. This petition was started by National Justice Project on behalf of the Mullaley family.
“I CAN’T BREATHE”: CHARGES MUST BE LAID FOR THE DEATH OF DAVID DUNGAY JNR
WE ARE HORRIFIED BY THE EVENTS UNFOLDING IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT IS AUSTRALIA ANY BETTER?We are the family of David Dungay Jr, a proud Dunghutti warrior who tragically died in custody on 29 December 2015. David was 26 years old. He was a diabetic. He needed health care. He was a sportsman and a poet and an uncle. He was meant to be coming home soon. On the day he was overpowered by prison guards, he was alone in his cell, eating rice crackers he had purchased at the prison shop. Some of the nurses were concerned about David’s high blood sugar. Instead of allowing the clinical care he needed unhindered, prison guards took control of David’s situation. They created a security crisis that the Coroner found was totally unnecessary. One guard called the Immediate Action Team (IAT). The IAT is like SWAT for prisoners. Over a packet of biscuits. The images of what happened next to David have been viewed all over the world: our young man was held down by prison guards while being sedated. David cried “I can’t breathe” over a dozen times in the space of his last nine minutes. The guards ignored his cries for help. Sound familiar? THE U.S. IS IN FLAMES BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO GEORGE FLOYD. WE WATCH IN HORROR, YET THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO DAVID DUNGAY. WHERE IS AUSTRALIA’S OUTRAGE? No one has been held accountable for David Jr’s death and he is not the only one.There have been 432 Black deaths in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. This number will continue to rise as the perpetrators evade accountability. We need to act now and hold them to account. We call on the NSW Attorney General to refer the matter to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and SafeWork NSW to investigate criminal charges under the laws of New South Wales. We call for accountability from police, prisons, medical officers and governments for ALL Black deaths in custody in Australia. We call for the implementation of all 339 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.Many of us look abroad in horror but racism is alive and well in our own backyard. Institutions of power - the police, the courts, the media and the government - discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People at every opportunity. We call on Australia to help us dismantle this institutional racism. We call on Australians to act. “They don’t care, well that’s how it seemsAnd they take away our hopes and dreamsAnd until the day we’re out and freeThis is how our life’s to be” -David Dungay Jnr- ‘This petition is administered by the National Justice Project on behalf of the Dungay family, authorised by Leetona Dungay.’
#DialitDownDutton. Don’t take away asylum seekers’ phones!
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Dutton is trying to sneak through legislation that would give Australian Border Force (ABF) officers the power to confiscate the phones of asylum seekers and refugees being held in detention. The National Justice Project stopped Dutton from doing this before. We took him to court for taking phones from asylum seekers and refugees back in 2017 and we won. He tried to introduce this law back then to overcome our Court win and failed, so now, while we’re all distracted by COVID-19, he’s trying again. Mobile phones provide asylum seekers and refugees with a lifeline to the outside world, to loved ones and to advocates – their mental health, the protection of their human rights, and their families depend on their phones. The proposed legislation gives ABF the power to effectively SILENCE and PUNISH innocent men, women and children who have not been convicted of any wrongdoing by cutting off their ability to stay in touch with family, lawyers and advocates. Mobile phones can also hold Dutton accountable – they can record instances of mistreatment and cruelty. On Manus Island, Behrouz Boochani wrote an entire book via WhatsApp, exposing the cruel reality of our offshore detention regime. The family from Biloela, currently on Christmas Island, used their phone to raise the alarm when Peter Dutton forced them onto a plane. It was a mobile phone that captured the shocking footage of little Tharunicaa screaming as her mother was dragged onto the plane by ABF officers. It’s no wonder that Peter Dutton wants to give his ABF officers the power to snatch the phones out of the hands of asylum seekers and refugees. He will do anything to break the spirits of these people and deprive them of their voices. We are up against a Government that will oppose human rights at every turn and prefer silencing their critics rather than taking responsibility for harm done to innocent people. If this law is passed, it can be used to threaten, intimidate and harass asylum seekers and refugees. Please, sign and share this petition and help us keep asylum seekers and refugees connected to the outside world. #DialitDownDutton
Justice for Rakib. Call an inquiry into his death on Nauru.
On May 11, 2016, Rakib Khan died. He was just 24 years old. A Bangladeshi refugee seeking protection due to his sexuality, Rakib had been kept in offshore detention on the tiny island nation of Nauru. His untimely death made headlines, but to this day, the cause of his death remains a mystery. For the last four years, his grieving family have searched for answers as to how this healthy young man died so suddenly. His mother, whose own health is failing, still does not know what killed her son. The Australian government has ignored calls for an inquest into how Rakib died. The Nauru government refuses to investigate, even after a forensic pathologist could not determine the young man’s cause of death. Now, a whistleblower has come forward with vital information about the quality of Rakib’s care in Nauru’s hospital. A nurse who worked there at the time of Khan’s death told BuzzFeed News of their concerns over his treatment by hospital doctors. “They didn’t take him as a serious case...The doctor just took his vitals and gave him Panadol,” said the nurse. Instead of running vital tests, staff sent Rakib back to the offshore detention facility. Rakib returned the next day in an ambulance, but by then it seems it was already too late. Rakib died as doctors prepared to medically evacuate him to Australia from Nauru. Under the heading “cause of death”, the autopsy report simply says: “UNASCERTAINED”. The Australian people deserve an explanation for this death that happened under our government’s watch. Rakib's mother deserves to know how her son died. Please join us to demand that our government call a parliamentary or senate enquiry into Rakib Khan's death.