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The number of Aboriginal deaths in custody has been raised to 437

As per a report from The Guardian, the number of Aboriginal deaths in custody known to have occurred since the royal commission delivered its final report in 1991 has now been raised from 432 to 437.

The new figures are the result of research conducted by the Guardian’s two-year-long Deaths Inside project, which sought to investigate changes since the royal commission produced its landmark report.

Protests

New findings reveal that the number of Aboriginal deaths in custody since 1991 has rised from the previous number of 432 to 437.

The findings have further spotlighted the need for justice, and are timely after tens of thousands of people gathered in cities across Australia last weekend to protest Indigenous deaths in custody.

Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pleas for people to avoid the protests amidst concerns about the spread of COVID- 19, around 30,000 walked through the streets of Melbourne and at least 20,000 took to the streets of Sydney.

Though many signs at both rallies displayed the number 432, this figure was updated on Saturday morning to 434 via the Guardian’s Deaths Inside database.

However, this was just before Western Australia’s department of corrective services confirmed the death of a 40-year-old Aboriginal man being detained at Acacia prison in Wooroloo. News of the inmate’s passing, in addition to further accounts from Indigenous families and other coronial reports being found since Saturday, has confirmed that the number of Indigenous deaths in custody is now at least 437. Of course, this new figure still remains subject to change as the investigation continues.

For more details on the process behind the data, have a look at the Guardian’s Deaths Inside database.

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June 9, 2020