Friday, August 12, 2016

When will the government condemn Australia's refugee concentration camps?

For the past three years the Australian government has intercepted vessels on the high seas, detained their passengers, and rendered them to concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island, all because those people dare to exercise their legal right to claim asylum in Australia. In those camps, the prisoners are tortured and children are physically and sexually abused. It is a crime against humanity, being committed by our closest neighbour (and supposedly closest friend). So what has our government said about this?


New Zealand is supposed to stand up for human rights. We're supposed to oppose torture and cruelty. And yet, we're silent in the face of ongoing human rights abuse by our closest neighbour.

This isn't good enough. Our government should stand up for our values. Our government should condemn Australia. It should also offer to take all the refugees from Nauru and Manus Island, simply to free them from Australia's gulags. It would be a significant investment of resources, but we can cope, and rescuing these people is the right thing to do.

And remember, don't buy Australian. Decent people don't give money to torturers.