Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No word on Mark Taylor

Two weeks ago, Mark Taylor, a kiwi, was arrested in Pakistan on suspicion that he had links with Islamic militants. Two weeks later, we hear that the New Zealand government is still being denied access to him. This matters. As I pointed out two weeks ago, Pakistan is a torture-state, which routinely abuses both criminal and terrorist suspects (and even witnesses) by various methods, including

beating, burning with cigarettes, whipping soles of the feet, prolonged isolation, electric shock, denial of food or sleep, hanging upside down, and forced spreading of the legs with bar fetters.
And any of that could be happening to Mark Taylor.

So far, MFAT has left this to an honorary consul - not even a professional diplomat - and have no plans to send more senior diplomats to Pakistan. In other words, they do not consider the possible torture of a New Zealand citizen to be a priority. And that simply isn't good enough.