Category Archives: Human Rights

Morrison’s selective attitude to human rights

Article 1 of the UN Charter declares objectives to promote and encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. But the Morrison government ignores the abuses of its … Continue reading

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An Australian Muslim view on atrocities committed in Afghanistan

There are widespread calls for investigations into atrocities committed by foreign forces engaged in Afghanistan for almost two decades following Australia’s public release of a shocking report on Thursday 19 November 2020 alleging unlawful killings of civilians by elite Australian … Continue reading

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What it means to be a Palestinian child in Israeli military court

Each year 500–700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are arrested, the majority of the children are tried in military courts that do not meet international fair trial standards.

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Susan Ryan. A formidable and compassionate advocate on human rights.

Susan Ryan, the minister for education in the Hawke Government and the pioneer who brought Australia its Sex Discrimination Act, died very recently. This is a remembrance from a friend.

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Dan Oakes, Witness K and Bernard Collaery

Dear Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, please demonstrate that the decisions whether or not to prosecute, and the decisions to continue the prosecutions of Collaery and K, are not influenced by possible political advantage, disadvantage or embarrassment to the Government.  … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Top 5 | 15 Comments

The strategic aspect of human rights: a tool of hegemony

With America’s fading hegemony, new regional powers with regional hegemonic aspirations are displaying their ideas about human rights; ideas based on their particular historical, cultural, political, and religious experiences.

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Witness K and Bernard Collaery: An Unjust Prosecution Gets Even Worse

The prosecution of former ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery, and his client, Witness K, continues to play itself out before the ACT Supreme Court. This is a legal fiasco of the first order. The prosecution should never have commenced.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 3 Comments

In Defence of Nomadic “Mere” Hunter-Gatherers

We increasingly hear people say that traditional Aboriginal societies were “not mere hunter-gatherers”. Unwittingly, this phrase downgrades the mobile foragers who occupied Australia on the eve of colonial occupation of their territory (and for tens of millennia before). The yearning … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 5 Comments

What happens when we treat aged care residents as “consumers” (Inside Story Sep 14, 2020)

Decades of misguided policy sowed the seeds of a human rights disaster.

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 1 Comment

The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange (CounterPunch Sep 7, 2020)

Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on September 7 as the WikiLeaks Editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.

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Police state governance and the civil liberties of an MP

In disdain for human rights and to display power, governments deploy police forces to harass or arrest citizens, and then justify their actions with claims about the influence of foreign forces.And it’s happening right now in Australia.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 4 Comments

Australia’s fathers day shame

On this coming Father’s Day I want to salute three fathers whose sons, who have not broken Australian law, were and are betrayed by the Australian government: Terry Hicks, John Shipton and Khalil El-Halabi.

Posted in Human Rights, Top 5 | Tagged | 8 Comments

Judicial independence: the Nazi or the Australian way?

In an age when the Parliament nearly always does the bidding of the elected government and in a country which, uniquely amongst democratic nations, has no Bill of Rights, the courts are vitally important as a protection against arbitrary power. 

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Being old and disabled in the time of COVID

The Prime Minister has apologised for the number of deaths in residential aged care during the COVID disaster. But he hasn’t apologised for the large number of people in residential aged care who don’t need to be there.

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‘Rage against the dying of the light’ in the way we treat elderly people

The alienation of elderly people from social life is abundantly evident in the impact of coronavirus on society as it exploits the vulnerable and defenceless.

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Uighur Poets on Repression and Exile (NYRB August 13, 2020)

The shocking dimensions of China’s repression in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region are now beyond dispute.

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Are the ‘big four’ accounting firms above the law?

In 2004, the federal parliament passed the Age Discrimination Act, making age discrimination in employment, education and the provision of goods and services unlawful. But the major accounting firms seem to think it doesn’t apply to them.

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Indian Australians: supporting Black Lives Matter will make us feel we belong

In The American Bazaar on 20-07-20 Revathi Siva Kumar asks: “Have the people from the land of Mahatma Gandhi done enough for the oppressed African Americans? How many of them stood in solidarity with the protesters against police brutality and … Continue reading

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Time for ALL to think about race in Australia

Do Black lives matter in Australia? Race is surely this nation’s primal wound. But the actions of those with most power to lead or inspire this nation are not reassuring.

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Lessons from the Cambodian genocide: 45 years on

Learning the biggest lesson of all from the Cambodian genocide – the need to make Responsibility to Protect (R2P) genuinely effective – means above all mobilizing the political will to make something actually happen when it must.

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The Power of Attorney and abuse of the elderly

Australia has a long way to go and COVID is lifting the scab revealing how neglect and absolute indifference have exposed these communities of older people to an end of life nightmare.

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‘I am exercising my rights as a citizen(of Israel) and they are treating me like the enemy’ (Plus61J Media 23th of July, 2020)

“I also want to build a better society, and that has to include caring, compassion, equality and peace with the Palestinians.”

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The dragon in the room next door

He’s one of China’s most high-ranking and experienced diplomats yet he was caught on TV squirming when confronted by video showing manacled men shunted onto trains. The prisoners were alleged to be Chinese Uyghur, a Muslim ethnic group.

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Prospects for refugees and migrants if the population bomb goes bust

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) says that the UN projections up to 2100 for global population growth are about 2 billion too high, because fertility rates almost everywhere are dropping much faster than expected.

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What is to be done with the Chinese in Oz.

“Men, or rather monsters, on horseback, armed with bludgeons and whips, with a fiend-like fury, securing the unfortunate creatures by taking hold of their tails and pulling their heads so that they came with their backs to the horse and … Continue reading

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Issues with the Chinese diaspora’s political participation

Australia’s public diplomacy agenda does not seem to have translated into concrete policies in regard to the Chinese diaspora, argues this excerpt from a submission to a current Senate inquiry.

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It’s time to stop locking up 10-year olds

Australia still allows children as young as 10 years old to be arrested by Police, sentenced to prison by Courts, and locked in a cell. On 27th July, Governments around Australia will have the opportunity to change that.

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Australia’s national security laws leave us on a similar path to Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s new national security laws are attracting well-deserved condemnation. It’s a pity that there hasn’t been greater recognition that Australia’s own national security laws share some common features with those in Hong Kong.

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Australia’s pro-Israel media fights facts and ends careers

The day after Scott Morrison set the date for the mid-May 2019 federal election, Labor lost one of its star women performers. International lawyer Melissa Parke, the Member for Fremantle, a shrewd “get” by Kevin Rudd back in 2007, announced … Continue reading

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Moslem MP branded a terrorist. Is there a fair go?

Armed police and a media lynch-mob terrorised Labor Upper House MLC Shaoquett Moselmane, his family, neighbours and friends. His parliamentary rights, civil liberties, privacy and reputation have been trashed.

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