Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Australia: A 3-month-old baby girl has been bludgeoned to death in a remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community

Lindsay Murdoch:

Her skull was bashed with a rock during a disturbance at Epenarra, a violence-prone community in desert country north of Alice Springs.

The baby's mother is 16. Her father is 17.

Police at Ali Curung, a nearby community, arrested a 17-year-old man with the help of locals in bush 20 kilometres from Epenarra. "He is currently assisting police with their inquiries," police said in a statement.

The killing happened as police, troops and federal bureaucrats continued to arrive in other communities north of Alice Springs as part of the Howard Government's dramatic crackdown on child abuse.

The baby was taken to a health clinic in Epenarra at 8pm on Monday. The Royal Flying Doctor Service was called but a doctor pronounced the girl dead.

An autopsy was scheduled to be held last night.

A team of detectives and a crime scene examiner yesterday flew from Darwin to Epenarra where local police fear further violence because of traditional payback over the baby's death.

Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough was told of the killing during a cabinet meeting in Canberra. He is scheduled to fly to the territory today to visit several communities, including Mutitjulu, where the first police contingent will start work on Friday.

Pat Anderson, co-author of the Little Children are Sacred report, yesterday criticised the Howard Government over its handling of the intervention, saying it was disappointing, with action taken from the top down. She said a key recommendation of the report was that governments genuinely consult people in Aboriginal communities.

The inquiry leading to the report found child abuse in all 45 communities it visited.

Why Intellectuals Like Genocide

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