Media silence after 19 yo Aboriginal man drops dead in remote W.A prison

derby prison aboriginal death in custody

A lone Facebook post is the only public announcement after a 19 yo Aboriginal man suddenly died in a W.A prison last week.

The following announcement by the ABC Kimberly Facebook page is currently the only public media announcement after the sudden death of a 19 y.o inside Derby’s all Aboriginal prison in W.A last week.

We feel a strong need to not only highlight this death but to also highlight the lack of media coverage surrounding the death. Suspicious deaths in custody have a long history in Australian prisons. If deaths like this are not acknowledged in Australian news reports it will only help to create an environment where the lives of prisoners in these remote prisons are devalued.

To deny this young man any mention of his passing is to deny his humanity. Even though the ABC Facebook post does not mention the inmates race, we know that the West Kimberly Regional Prison is a controversial “All Aboriginal” prison. The lack of attention towards cases like this can also be seen as a wider attempt to devalue the lives of all Aboriginal people.

We need answers and pressure to know how this death happened. Was violence involved? Was it due to overcrowding, overheating or neglect of prisoner welfare? If these questions are not being asked there is every possibility that it could happen again and again. If you’re just as shocked as we are by the lack of coverage, show your concern by sharing this article and lets show the media that these stories need to be covered and followed up with.

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