Section 268.21 Criminal Code Act | Crimes Against Humanity Enforced Disappearance


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The Legislation

Section 268.21 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Crimes Against Humanity Enforced Disappearance and is extracted below.

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268.21  Crime against humanity—enforced disappearance of persons

(1)  A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:

(a)  the perpetrator arrests, detains or abducts one or more persons; and

(b)  the arrest, detention or abduction is carried out by, or with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of, the government of a country or a political organisation; and

(c)  the perpetrator intends to remove the person or persons from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time; and

(d)  the perpetrator’s conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population; and

(e)  after the arrest, detention or abduction, the government or organisation refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom of, or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of, the person or persons.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 17 years.

(2)  A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:

(a)  one or more persons have been arrested, detained or abducted; and

(b)  the arrest, detention or abduction was carried out by, or with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of, the government of a country or a political organisation; and

(c)  the perpetrator refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom, or to give information on the fate or whereabouts, of the person or persons; and

(d)  the refusal occurs with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the government of the country or the political organisation; and

(e)  the perpetrator knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the refusal was preceded or accompanied by the deprivation of freedom; and

(f)  the perpetrator intends that the person or persons be removed from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time; and

(g)  the arrest, detention or abduction occurred, and the refusal occurs, as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population; and

(h)  the perpetrator knows that the refusal is part of, or intends the refusal to be part of, such an attack.

Penalty:            Imprisonment for 17 years.