Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The "Pacific solution" devolves into torture and murder

Something I missed last month: the Australian Navy has been torturing refugees, beating them and burning their hands on hot engines. This is what happens when politicians systematically dehumanise and demonise a group: the grunts who interact with them start acting on the politicians' message that they are not people, and that you can do whatever you want with them. Naturally, Tony Abbot is refusing any investigation, and prefers to smear the media than uphold core human rights standards. Its hard to see this as anything other than official sanction.

And then there's today's news: over the weekend, there was a riot at Australia's gulag on Manus Island, PNG. And in response, Australia's hired goons from G4S evacuated their staff from the camp, then stood back and watched as a mob of locals (led apparently by local police) stormed the place. Scores of people have been injured in the attack, and at least one is dead. Duty of protection? Australia doesn't recognise that, any more than it recognises the prohibition against torture, or the Refugee Convention itself.

And remember: the Australian government will not let its Human Rights Commissioner investigate its gulags.

Once upon a time Australia was a decent country. Now its one with torture, gulags and death squads. And John Key wants us to adopt their tactics? Again, someone should ask him whether he stands my that comment now...