Human Rights

Western Australia’s New Sentencing Laws May Increase Indigenous Incarceration Rates

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Changes in Western Australia’s “three strikes and you’re out” sentencing laws have drawn concern that they’ll further increase the number of Aboriginal youths incarcerated in the state. The bill expands mandatory jail sentences for those convicted of home burglary for a third time by making it easier for prior records to count as “strikes”. It also doubles the penalty to ... Read More »

A rare look inside a Saudi prison that showers terrorists with perks

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Except for the machine guns and guard towers, the al-Hair high-security prison looks remarkably like a hotel — especially the conjugal-visit wing. The Washington Post - By Kevin Sullivan Beyond a heavy iron gate, its bars painted a cheerful lavender, a red carpet stretches the length of a long hallway, where each of the 38 private cells has a queen-size ... Read More »

Legal challenge for offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru

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The Abbott government’s offshore refugee policy is facing a new legal challenge that seeks to hold the Commonwealth legally responsible for conditions in its overseas detention camps because the decisions to open and operate them were made in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald – Chris Vedelago The Sunday Age understands the claim is an attempt to refute the government’s long-standing position ... Read More »

Bali Nine: Tony Abbott says he believes Joko Widodo is ‘considering position’ on executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes his Indonesian counterpart is “carefully considering” his position over the execution of two Australian men. ABC – By Melissa Clarke and Helen Brown Mr Abbott telephoned Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo last night to appeal for clemency for convicted Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. He said he would not reveal the details ... Read More »

Assange appeals to Sweden’s Supreme Court

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WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has appealed to the Swedish Supreme Court to lift an arrest warrant and end a long-standing legal impasse that has left him seeking refuge in an embassy in London. AAP – Herald Sun SWEDISH prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for the Australian in 2010 after two women accused him of sexual assault. In November, a Swedish ... Read More »

The attack on Triggs is an Abbott stitch-up

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Australia is witnessing a political stitch-up of extraordinary proportions. Not by Professor Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission, as the Prime Minister might wail and cry. No, it is clear what is going on. The Abbott government is cynically moving to de-legitimise certain institutions that perform vital roles in the democratic life of this nation. The Age – Editorial Its ... Read More »

Amnesty International condemns Australia’s asylum seeker policies, labels counter-terrorism measures ‘regressive’ and says global response to terrorist groups ‘shameful’

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ABC/AFP – Amnesty International has delivered a scathing report on Australia’s approach to human rights, labelling the offshore processing of asylum seekers and the detention of children as inhumane and degrading. In its annual report, Amnesty also condemned the high number of Indigenous people in Australian prisons and described legislation introduced in the name of counter-terrorism and security as “regressive”. Amnesty’s ... Read More »

Attacks on our Human Rights Commission are part of a broader disturbing trend

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The federal government is actively undermining a range of vital checks and balances and stifling criticism of its actions. This is corrosive for democracy and human rights. The Age – Hugh de Kretser The extraordinary revelations in Senate estimates on Tuesday reveal the depths of the government’s attacks on the Australian Human Rights Commission. In early February, Attorney-General George Brandis asked the ... Read More »

The Cultural Boycott of Israel Isn’t Solidarity, It’s Condescension

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Whose side am I on? That’s the question I find myself asking after reading the statement drawn up by Artists for Palestine, and signed by over 700 British artists and self-styled “cultural workers,” announcing their cultural boycott of Israel last week (see Jeremy Deller, Ed Atkins, and Hundreds of UK Artists Support Cultural Boycott of Israel). Declaring their solidarity with ... Read More »