Monday, June 20, 2016

You shouldn't need to go to court to end torture

Its official: the continued "seclusion" of Ashley Peacock - locking him in an isolation cell with no social contact and only a bottle to piss in for six years - constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under the Convention Against Torture. Worse, Capital Coast DHB have known this for four months and done absolutely nothing about it. Instead, they're now making excuses and quibbling details.

The Herald yesterday pointed out that Peacock's parents would seem to have an open and shut BORA case to force CCDHB to stop torturing him (and to compensate him for his torture). If that's what's required, I hope they bring such a case. But in New Zealand, they simply shouldn't have to. Not just because government agencies should obey the Ombudsman and correct these sorts of issues when they emerge, but because they should never happen in the first place.

Finally, there's another alternative to a BORA case, and that is a prosecution for torture. And given the manifest unwillingness of CCDHB and its clinicians to respond to these repeated concerns, that seems to be a necessary step pour encourager les autres.