opinion

60 Minutes arrest: There are four children who we can't forget.

This morning, we all saw journalist Tara Brown for the first time since she was imprisoned in Lebanon.

A man had his hands buried in her blonde hair and he was pushing her towards an open car door. Tara’s head fell forward as she was forced into the car head-first, her hands restrained behind her back.

But there are four sets of eyes who did not see this shocking scene this morning.

Four children who are being isolated from the truth about where their mum or dad is.

Four children whose mum or dad went to work at the start of the month and never came home.

We’ve watched events unfold on the edge of our seats. Post continues after video…

Video via Channel 9

For these four children, their mother or father is missing. Gone. Not there at bedtime, not there in the morning. Not there to read books. Not there to settle arguments. Not there for band-aids and baths. Not there to hug and kiss and squeeze and tickle and piggyback and cuddle.

For these four children, their parents, Tara Brown and Ben Williamson, are gone. Just gone.

Tara, left and Ben Williamson, second from right, each have two children. (Image: Screenshots via Channel 9/60 Minutes)  

Tara Brown has two sons, aged 7 and 5. Camera operator Ben Williamson has two daughters, aged 8 and 5.

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When the families of the 60 Minutes crew made a statement over the weekend, they revealed that they had not told their young children that their parents were in prison: “Some of us haven’t even told our children what’s happening yet. It’s not an easy conversation to have with a five or seven-year-old who ask as they go to sleep each night when mummy or daddy is coming home."

It's not an easy conversation to have. It's also not an easy conversation to avoid as this case lingers on. How much longer can the families wait to tell the children where their mother or father is, why they're not at home? Two days? Two weeks? What if birthdays are missed? School events? Important milestones?

How do you tell a child that their mother is unsafe? How do you allow them to see a picture of a man with his fingers buried deep in her hair, shoving her, jostling her, while their mother is pale and helpless?

But how do you stop them seeing an image that is everywhere?

The children of Tara and Ben should be on school holidays this week. They should be running around with their friends. They should be having adventures and sleepovers, eating holiday food and visiting their cousins. They should be watching too much TV, going to the movies and tearing through public libraries. They should be losing their hats, chasing the dog and tormenting the cat.

(Image via Facebook/60 Minutes)

But not this week.

This week these little girls and boys are being kept away from the TV and internet. They're being kept apart from other children who might know more than they do about the situation. They're sitting in rooms while adults speak in whispers on their phones. They're watching their family members cry, without knowing why. They're being hugged more often, but those hugs feel desperate and sad.

No matter where you stand, when you think of the Australians in prison in Lebanon, think of the children. Not just Lahala, 6, and Noah, 4.

"When you think of the Australians in prison in Lebanon, think of the children. Not just Lahala, 6, and Noah, 4." (Image via Facebook)

But also Tara and John's two sons.

And Ben and Cara's two daughters.

And think this week of the parents who are at home trying to be everything to their kids, while their hearts and thoughts are locked in a prison in Lebanon.

Featured Images via Daily Telegraph.

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