For the purpose of clarification and at the request of some of my readers, I thought it opportune to discuss the methodology I used in collecting my statements. To ensure the integrity of the process, I have endeavored to collect statements from Indigenous Australians living in urban, rural and remote areas of Australia and from as broad a spectrum of eligible people as possible.
Between 2005 and 2010 I have collected almost 5,000 statements from Aboriginal people who have been victims of human rights violations at the hands of various Australian Police Services and other Government Officials. All human rights violations recorded fall into the criteria set out in Article II (a) to (e) of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.
The primary victim statements are supported by approximately 11,000 witness statements. The witnesses include doctors and other medical professionals, social workers, lawyers, Justices of the Peace and members of the clergy.
The methodology I used when taking statements from victims was to limit the people I take statements from to those who are victims of human rights violations between 2000 and the present. I further filtered these statements by excluding those people who had charges proved against them on more than one separate occasion.
After taking the victim’s statement, I looked for independent and verifiable evidence to support each allegation. As a further filter I only included statements where the alleged incidents could be independently substantiated by third parties. As discussed above, the verification process involved identifying potential witnesses and other extrinsic material and cross referencing the extrinsic material and witness statements to the alleged violations.
To put the issue into some perspective, the 5,000 victim statements represents about 1% of all those who identify as being Aboriginal Australians. Many more people came forward but were been excluded from the current process either because they had been convicted of a criminal offence on more than one separate occasion, or because time and resource constraints prevent me from researching and substantiating the claims.