Monday, July 18, 2016

Free Ashley Peacock!

Ashley Peacock is being tortured by Capital Coast District Health Board. A patient in one of their mental health facilities, he has been held in seclusion for five years, kept confined in a 10 m-square room with just a mattress and a urine bottle, locked up for long periods arbitrarily, and not allowed outside. His treatment has been found to constitute cruel and inhuman treatment by the Ombudsman and is illegal under New Zealand law. But despite this, it hasn't stopped.

Peacock's family have now started an online petition calling on the Minister of Health to intervene to end this torture. You can - and should - sign it here. No-one should be treated like this in New Zealand, and it needs to stop now.

Meanwhile, the Herald has OIA'd the last few years of Crimes of Torture Act reports from DHBs, and found that Ashley Peacock is not alone: he is just one of four cases of cruel and inhuman treatment uncovered by the Ombudsman. Which is four cases too many. Again, no-one should be treated like this. And if our mental health system is doing this, it is not fit for purpose. It needs to stop, and those responsible need to be disciplined, fired, and/or prosecuted. There should be no place for torturers in our health system.