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Palm Island and Mulrunji recent news summary - Tuesday 19th December 2006 - rally midday tomorrow Queens Park Brisbane City, midday.

WARNING - stories linked to here may contain pictures or other names of Mulrunji or his other deceased relatives.

BACKGROUND: On November 19 2004, Palm Island resident Mulrunji died in police custody.

Palm Island is about 65km NNW of Townsville, the largest city in North Queensland.

Click on these pictures to see larger copies.

Details of the injuries leading to death - including the fact that the liver had been cloven in two and was only held together by the portal vein - led to a violent uprising on the island in 2004.

In September 2006, Deputy Coroner Christine Clements released a report of her inquest, which blames Queensland Police Service Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, the arresting officer, for the death, concluding that Hurley assaulted Mulrunji.

On Thursday December 14, Queensland public prosecutor Leanne Clare announced that no charges would be laid against S/Sgt Hurley. Activists have called a rally for midday on Wednesday, December 20 2006, at Queens Park in Brisbane City to demand that Ms Clare be dismissed and replaced with someone who will charge Hurley. Click here for details, and to see photos and reports from the December 20th rally.

The ABC reports:

Mulrunji's family seeks legal advice over DPP decision

Brad Foster, a spokesman for Mulrunji's family, says there will be a community meeting to discuss the issue.

"Wednesday's open discussion with the mob over on Palm Island is a peaceful coming together, working out what the solutions are, how do we deal with those solutions," he said.

"We'll let the people know from a brief from our barrister about what position we'll be taking as a community in relation to the response that the DPP has now brought out."

Mr Foster says Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is invited to attend the community meeting.

In the Courier-Mail, Peter Michael and Roseanne Barrett's report suggests that Mr Beattie should not accept the invitation:

PREMIER Peter Beattie has been warned to stay away from Palm Island or risk "stirring up a hornet's nest" ahead of a national day of protest.

Senior police, island councillors and the family of death-in-custody victim Mulrunji yesterday said the Premier's proposed visit, likely to take place tomorrow, was ill-advised.

"He should just stay away," said sister Valmai Aplin, speaking on behalf of Mulrunji's family.

Warren Mundine, Aboriginal man and National President of the Australian Labor Party, is to address a Palm Island rally this week, reports the ABC.

A longer article by The Australian's Patricia Karvelas and Sean Parnell reports Mundine's words:

ALP national president Warren Mundine is to lead protests on Palm Island this week, saying he is "fed up" with the failure of the state Labor Government to deliver justice over the 2004 death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee...

"What an insult to Aboriginal people that this cop is going to continue working," Mr Mundine said yesterday.

"If the law fails people then the law needs to change. The politicians are out of step with the general Australian community on this."

Meanwhile, Col Dillon, "one of Australia's most highly decorated Aboriginal police officers says he is resigning from his Queensland public service role over the State Government's handling of the Palm Island death in custody.", reports the ABC, which also tells us that "The federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has joined the criticism of the decision not to charge a Queensland police officer over a death in custody on Palm Island."

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