Human rights lawyers welcome investigation into the murder of Scott Johnson
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a $1 million reward for information leading to the conviction of any person connected to the murder of Scott Johnson, who was killed in what is believed to have been a gay hate murder in Sydney’s North Head in December 1988.
ALHR’s LGBTI Subcommittee Co-Chair, Nicholas Stewart, says, “We commend the decision to bring about a fresh investigation and incentivise witnesses with a larger reward in the case of Scott Johnson. Many years have passed since Johnson’s death and his family deserves justice.”
ALHR will be providing evidence to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Gay and Transgender Hate Crimes and is concerned about the number of unsolved murders of gay and transgender people across Australia.
“It is well documented that the LGBTI community was, and remains, vulnerable to violence. The hate inflicted on the community between 1970 and 2010 was particularly bad as LGBTI Australians became more prominent through activism, decriminalisation and the advent of the AIDS epidemic. It is alleged that many killings were not properly investigated, or were not investigated at all. ALHR welcomes the approach of the NSW Police Force to the Scott Johnson case and look forward to working with the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry to ensure that Australia lives up to its international legal obligations to LGBTI individuals and that this dark chapter in the history of NSW is not forgotten.”
“ALHR calls on other state and territory parliaments to follow NSW’s lead and commission inquiries into institutional responses to LGBTI hate crimes between 1970 and 2010. The spate of gay and transgender killings during this period is unlikely to have been unique to the state of NSW, and there are many families awaiting justice.”
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