Aborigines bury custody casualty

An Aboriginal man whose death in police custody on a northern Australian island sparked rioting was buried on Saturday amid protests.

    Riots broke out in response to the man's death

    Cameron Doomadgee, who was 36, died from injuries in a police cell on 19 November after scuffling with officers on Palm Island, off the northern Australian coast.

    A coroner's report said he suffered four broken ribs and a ruptured liver.

    Doomadgee's death is being investigated by the Queensland state government's crime and misconduct commission.

    Rioters burned down the island's police station and court house after Doomadgee's death, and riot police were called in to restore order in the community of more than 2000.

    Nineteen Aboriginal men were charged with offences including arson and assault.

    Burial

    On Saturday, Doomadgee's casket, draped with an Aboriginal flag, was taken to a community church for burial - a day after his body was released to the family by government officials.

    In the state capital, Brisbane, 1300km south of Palm Island, more than a 1000 people marched through the city's streets to protest at his death.

    Both the island burial and Brisbane protest were mostly peaceful, police said.

    Palm Island has a history of high unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

    Australia's 20 million population includes about 400,000 indigenous people.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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