Wrong photo, right questions

The ODT editorial today Human rights and wrongs looks mainly at the human wrongs of detentions in Australia, with the majority being New Zealanders incarcerated. And it rightly questions the lack of action here about it.

They open with a wider world examples of human rights violations:

ODTAusTrump

But I have no idea why they have included a photo of Donald Trump who is not mentioned in the editorial and appears to have nothing to do with it.

They then go on to discuss the actual target of their attention, detentions in Australia, and in particular detention of New Zealanders..

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore another disturbing perpetrator, though; one much closer to home.

There aren’t many images of Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres and “processing” facilities. The isolated facilities on Christmas Island, Manus Island and Nauru house the world’s unwanted (mostly asylum seekers), and are largely off limits to media. There are plenty of reports, however. Reports from journalists, human rights organisations, detainees and their families. Reports of riots, of physical and sexual abuse, of deaths, of suicides. Reports now, which raise concerns about the fate of Manus Island detainees when the centre closes after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled it illegal and unconstitutional.

There are other reports, and images, regarding the treatment of juveniles in Australian detention centres. A royal commission into the detention of children in the Northern Territory has been announced, although Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has rejected calls to extend that to a national inquiry.

The documentary revealing apparently appalling practices of juvenile detentions in NT are disturbing, but there have also been attempts to justify at least some of the practices.

And it has just been confirmed New Zealanders now hold the unenviable position of being the biggest nationality of people held in Australian detention centres. These are the unlucky Kiwis, many who have lived most of their lives in the “lucky country” but, because they have committed a crime at some stage that involved more than a year of jail time, are now deemed to have failed a “good character” test, eligible to be repunished, have their visas revoked, and to be locked up ahead of being shipped “home” to a country some of them barely know.

What is going on?

Australia seems to be determined to rid itself of some Kiwi pests. Generally the pests being detained have been involved in some sort of serious criminal activity in the past.

It is worth noting that there some more extreme demands here in New Zealand to banish people with certain religious affiliations due to the criminal actions of unrelated people on the other side of the world.

 

Whatever the reasons, Australia seems unaware of (or wilfully blind to) the irony of its actions as it continues to push for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2018-20. Indeed, it has been slammed by the UN and human rights organisations for its record on various issues.

That does seem to be a contradictory goal.

What also continues to be concerning is the remarkable lack of interest or pressure from our Government – about human rights in general and New Zealanders’ human rights in particular.

Is it a case of turning a blind eye? After all, we have been taken to task on human rights, too. Is it a case of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours? (We’ll support your Human Rights Council bid if you support our bid for Helen Clark as secretary-general?) Is it that, in actual fact, we don’t really care about these people either?

The apparent lack of concern for and action about what is happening to New Zealanders in Australia is concerning. Especially if there is some ‘blind eye’ stuff going on, but that appears to be just speculation.

There is no doubt some of the New Zealand detainees have been violent offenders. Many have done the crimes, but they have also done the time. Some have simply found themselves caught up in this bizarre new policy.

It certainly appears neither supposedly fair-minded country is prepared to advocate for these people. But human rights don’t work like that. They work for everyone. If a country is a signatory to international human rights conventions – not to mention hoping to be a world leader when it comes to promoting them – there’s no cherry picking. One size fits all. Leaders on both sides of the Tasman could do with remembering that.

Not just remembering that. They should be acting as if their countries’ commitments on human rights are viewed and taken seriously.

 

Leave a comment

27 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  3rd August 2016

    It is worth noting that there some more extreme demands here in New Zealand to banish people with certain religious affiliations due to the criminal actions of unrelated people on the other side of the world.

    Let’s yack about this one some more when you confirm that you’ve read the Quran, PG.
    http://www.islam101.com/quran/yusufAli/

    Reply
    • Why should I read the Quran? I have no interest in reading books based on selected ancient religious writings.

      Perhaps you can research how many people use the Quran positively compared to how many people use it negatively in New Zealand.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd August 2016

        Why should I read the Quran? I have no interest in reading books based on selected ancient religious writings.

        Because it explains where some followers of this bizarre cult get their inspiration to murder people they consider to be attacking its prophet or abandoning its rules & requirements & beliefs.

        Perhaps you can research how many people use the Quran positively compared to how many people use it negatively in New Zealand.

        Why should I research how many people use the Quran positively compared to how many people use is negatively in New Zealand? I have no interest in researching which people interepret this ancient religious cult’s instructions from Allah via Muhammad the mass-murderer positively.

        I am more interested in your researching and reporting back on which ones use it negatively, or will use it negatively in the future, and are going to kill infidels like you & me because of it.

        Reply
        • I guess we could read the Bible, Quran, Das Kapital, Noddy and listen to all the Beatles records to discover all the corrupting influences that might be out there, but I really don’t see the point.

          How people live and act in New Zealand is far more important and complex than selected historic media.

          Reply
        • “Because it explains where some followers of this bizarre cult get their inspiration to murder people they consider to be attacking its prophet or abandoning its rules & requirements & beliefs.”

          You don’t know what you’re talking about, Gezza.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd August 2016

        Do you think I have found it easy to arrive at the conclusion I have about this god-awful religion PG?

        Me. Who basically thinks anybody should be allowed to think & believe whatever they want, & who wants everybody to love & tolerate and get along with each other for the overall good of humanity, because I’m the sort of idiot who seems to empathise with everybody at so I find it incredibly difficult to arrive at such decisions?

        Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  3rd August 2016

        You make a good point pg. How does someone with a neutral perspective and no religious bent arrive at a an informed view. Like you I have no interest in wading through the Koran or the Old Testament. So I go looking. And an easy read I would recommend is ‘Factual Persuasion’. If you want to understand the Trilogy, The Foundations of Islam explains the three basic texts, the Koran, Sira, and Hadith, that form the Islamic “bible.”

        Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  3rd August 2016

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd August 2016

      Petes playing with our heads,Gezza. We must pace ourselves. Otherwise we will crash and burn like Blazer.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd August 2016

        I need more upticks Corky or we’ll never win the ostriches over. Get on the job mate.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd August 2016

          No can do. The icons don’t apear on my screen. Maybe just as well. To see my posts get 1 uptick and 20 down ticks could break me mentally.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd August 2016

            Righto. Can I count on you for a few upticks if you could do them? I might be able to find someone to post proxy votes for ya.

            You’ll be alright mate. Don’t think ya’ve scored 20 downticks yet. Good on ya for always aimin’ high though. 😎

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd August 2016

            I wonder why you can’t see the up / down vote icons. Actually I wonder now if it’d better if none of us could.

            Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd August 2016

        you mean ‘blazes’ I suspect.

        Reply
  2. Corky

     /  3rd August 2016

    Leaving morality aside, It does show how simple it’ll be for Trump to implement his plans for controlling Muslims and illegals should he face a backlash once he starts to ” toughen up.”

    “But I have no idea why they have included a photo of Donald Trump who is not mentioned in the editorial and appears to have nothing to do with it.”

    My guess: Freudian slip( most journos are lefties) or a deliberate attempt to besmirch Trump by association.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd August 2016

      Probably the latter. El Trumpo has said several times that he favours waterboarding and harsh interrogation treatment – basically anything, for people with info about terrorists – to keep them from killing Americans.

      Shame he doesn’t have the brains or the cahones to say he’d just pull all their Military personnel out of all Muslim countries, where they keep on killing Muslims, though. Bit of a vicious circle they keep turning the wheel for – stupid idiots.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  3rd August 2016

        Its all academic now- Trump has taken on Ben Carson and Sarah Palin. No coming back from that. Hills is the next president of USA. That doesn’t bode well for the scenario in your last paragraph. Hills will want to show voters she can be tough too.

        Reply

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