• Mr Dungay died in Long Bay prison on December 29, 2015. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
More than 200 people are expected to gather at Sydney’s Long Bay Prison on Saturday to protest David Dungay’s death in custody.
Madeline Hayman-Reber

9 Sep 2016 - 4:59 PM  UPDATED 9 Sep 2016 - 5:04 PM

Mr Dungay passed away in the prison’s hospital on December 29, 2015. The circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear, pending the findings of the Coroner.

At the time, NSW Corrective Services released a statement saying they were “not treating Mr Dungay’s death as suspicious."

The family condemned this statement saying his death was “tragic” and “avoidable”. They are now saying they have organised the rally because the Coroner’s report is taking “too long”.

A Facebook event page has been established, and the rally has been organized by the family with the support of the Indigenous Social Justice Association of Sydney.

Mr Dungay’s mother, Leetona Dungay, told NITV News that almost 9 months on, the family is still going through the trauma of losing David, without knowing why he died.

She recalls family members had spoken to her son on the morning of his death.

“They couldn’t believe it because he was very happy when he was talking on the phone,” she said.

Mr Dungay was due to be released on parole 2 to 3 weeks following the incident. However, rather than celebrating his release, the family spent new years eve in mourning.

“A few of us are going through counseling at the moment. I’m trying to get other two to go because they can’t accept it yet,” she said.

“The youngest daughter is taking it very hard, all three of them are actually.”

Human rights lawyer George Newhouse, in charge of the case, said that he was unable to comment on the circumstances surrounding David’s death, as the Coroner’s report is not yet available.

 “I will be in a better position to explain how David’s human rights were affected once the coroner has made his findings and all the facts are available to us,” Mr Newhouse says.

“It appears to me that his death may well have been avoidable and if that is the case, then losing your life is the worst breach of human rights.”

He did, however, speak in support of what the family was going through.

“They want to understand how their loved one died, and want to hold anyone responsible accountable,” he said.

“[The family] want to make sure David’s death is not in vain and others don’t die in such an awful manner again, ever.”