Category Archives: Human Rights

Australia should stop blocking international justice in Israel and Palestine

The International Criminal Court last week handed down a historic ruling confirming that the court’s prosecutor has the power to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine.

Posted in Human Rights | 37 Comments

People in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones

A group of Australian journalists in their never-ending hostility to China keep throwing stones at China for human rights breaches in Xinjiang, but largely ignore Australian and other breaches. Their ignorance of China explains a lot.

Posted in China, Human Rights, Media | 54 Comments

Colonial-type genocide in West Papua: living in constant fear

West Papuans are Indigenous people, easily ignored, their natural resources exploited, their homes and cultures destroyed, hundreds tortured, hundreds of thousands killed.  Our media reports endlessly about genocide in remote Xinjiang but not about genocide in neighbouring West Papua. Why?

Posted in Human Rights | 24 Comments

Sunday essay: The slave societies of the Persian Gulf

The glittering city-states of the Persian Gulf are built on modern slavery. Behind the gleaming skyscrapers, the world-class air-conditioned malls, the luxury tourist attractions and the opulent villas lie racism, misery, sexual abuse, violent exploitation, even death.

Posted in Human Rights, World Affairs | 1 Comment

Australia’s ‘exceptional’ human rights record

Leaders who consider their country exceptional are less likely to acknowledge any shortcomings. In light of recent criticism of Australia’s human rights record, will our leaders feel so ashamed of being labelled exceptional that they will look to implement standards … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | Tagged | 4 Comments

Cruelty as policy in Australia and elsewhere: a short list of 2020s’ victims

Political cultures also foster sadism,  justifying such behaviour by an alleged need to protect national security. And once specific population groups have been dehumanised, they become targets for cruelties.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 12 Comments

Western governments will have blood on their hands unless they stop persecuting Julian Assange

The case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is complex, containing elements of law, freedom of speech and of the media, journalism, politics, international relations and health. In the recent hearing to determine whether Assange should be extradited to the US, … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Top 5 | 25 Comments

Line between sledging and racism continues to blur

An invidious Sydney tradition surfaced again at the third Test match between Australia and India last week, with six spectators ejected from a stand for allegedly racist chants towards a nearby Indian outfielder.

Posted in Arts and Sport, Human Rights | 4 Comments

Children in Prison: shame, Australia, shame

In February 2012 X Riyan and X Hadi were led into the Perth District Courtroom 7.1 by uniformed security guards.

Posted in Human Rights | 4 Comments

We are Israel’s largest human rights group – and we are calling this apartheid ( Jan 12, 2021)

The systematic promotion of the supremacy of one group of people over another is deeply immoral and must end.

Posted in Human Rights | 6 Comments

Partners in crime – disadvantage and our criminal justice system

Australia’s criminal justice systems compound disadvantage. Why should Australians be troubled by this, and what we can do about it. A summary of report by the Centre for Policy Development.

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The essence of war is to kill

A recent spike in the statistics has seen the number of suicides by Australia’s Afghanistan veterans pass 500. This is an appalling toll which raises many deep questions for us all.

Posted in Human Rights | 6 Comments

Return to the Scene of the Crime and the SAS.

As written about on this site, four Aussies were also victims of SAS brutality, in 2014. Last weekend one of them, two friends and a Catholic priest returned to the Swan Island SAS training base where this happened. 

Posted in Human Rights | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 21 Comments

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.

Posted in Human Rights, World Affairs | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Human Rights | 7 Comments

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.

Posted in Human Rights | 4 Comments

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.

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Politics | Leave a comment

‘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.

Posted in China, Human Rights | Leave a comment

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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