Monday, August 09, 2004


I contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs' office for comment on whether the government's policy towards Iraq would be changing in response to that regime's use of torture, but was told that they have no comment to make as the Minister is out of the country. Instead, I was told to check MFAT's website. And right there at the top of their overview on human rights is this:

New Zealand is strongly committed to the protection and promotion of international human rights, as embodied in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and in the key human rights treaties.

We are living up to that statement over Timor; it's time we lived up to it in Iraq. Our active support and assistance of a regime which uses torture is grossly incompatible with our values and with ordinary human decency. The government should communicate its utter disgust to the Iraqi government, and we should withdraw our troops immediately. Otherwise our country's reputation - and its soul - will be tarnished for good.