Positive human rights culture? Yeah Right!
The Ahmed Zaoui case and the prisoner compensation kerfuffle shows that the Government does not give a stuff about Human Rights.
This from Question Time via NRT
Keith Locke: Is the Labour Government not somewhat ashamed that rather than advancing democratic rights it is taking court cases to stop human rights being taken into account, to keep Mr Zaoui in prison after 22 months, and to stop him having access to the media; and what possible reason is there for the Minister not to free Mr Zaoui now, so that he can live in our society with his family?
Hon PAUL SWAIN: No.
Well, why doesn't Swainey tell the UN that, then? The Government does not care about attacking human rights. Last year the United Nations Committee against Torture told the Government that "over-prolonged solitary confinement of asylum seekers [like Ahmed Zaoui] may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Government, in the Zaoui case, has breached the UNDR, namely Article 5, 9,10,11 and 14 at least and article 7, 9 ,10 and 14 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights
And yet it has the audacity to desire to pass the Civil Union Bill to ensure we have a "positive Human Rights culture". Ha. It will take a lot more than passing a gay marriage bill to ensure we have a positive human rights culture.
Why is the Government so selective on which Human Rights it wants to uphold? We never hear of our Government addressing issues with prisoner beatings or ill-treating Zaoui in the name of "creating a positive human rights culture", do we. Some say Zaoui shouldn't have been allowed in the country in the first place.
The Government is quite happy to provide tens of thousands of dollars to keep each prisoner in prison, breach international human rights conventions through ill-treatment of some, then use more of our money to pay them compensation because of abuse dealt by staff in the Corrections Department - but not so keen on giving the prisoners' initial victims a share.
Now I'm all for giving prisoners compensation, but I do think that some of the compensation must go to victims,particularly when initial reparation is hardly ever ordered (or enforced) by the courts as often the victim does not have the means to pay.
But when they have the means to pay, they should pay, especially as it's our taxes that are paying for it.
State law and restorative justice should not be held hostage by the Government in its hasty adherance to some International laws while ignoring others even when reprimanded by the UN for doing so.