Pacific Media Watch

13 November 2015

AUSTRALIA: Rendition hypocrisy over NZers - the real Christmas Island story

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Cartoon: Malcolm Evans/TDB

OPINION: Martyn Bradbury of The Daily Blog:

RNZ reports…

Figures released by Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on people detained at Christmas Island showed of the 199 detainees, 113 had convictions, with 71 of those serious offenders.

Four had convictions for rape or sexual assault and five had convictions for child sex offences. There were also 11 convictions for armed robbery, 27 for assault and two for manslaughter.

…so of the New Zealanders – how many were rapists or murders?


That’s right, there were no NZ rapists or murders, so Prime Minister John Key’s comments aren’t just grossly offensive, they are also wrong.

Turns out that 128 of the 199 are not serious offenders and 86 have no convictions at all.

Let’s remember – all of these prisoners have served their full sentence in Australia. These are people who have done their time but due to new controversial and retrospective terror laws – they are now being renditioned to an island 3 times as far from Australia as the Campbell Islands are from New Zealand!

Beaten, abused
They are being beaten, abused and kept in conditions that breach their human rights and their ability to contact legal representation is made purposely difficult.

Then we have other cases of New Zealanders on the Australian mainland being kept in prison awaiting renditioning to Christmas Island like the Prime Minister’s former military bodyguard in Afghanistan. In that outrageous case the New Zealander hasn’t even committed a crime!

By falsely screaming "rapists, child molesters and murderers", Key is trying to tempt the lesser angels of our nature to take over rather than see his inaction towards human rights abuses for the spinelessness  it really is.

This is politics at its most ugly and malicious and we should not reward it.

Those female MPs who displayed such immense courage by talking openly about their experiences of abuse gives me hope for this country.

Labour showed leadership by sending Kelvin Davis to Christmas Island to investigate, National should do the same.

What’s Mike Sabin doing?

Key should call him up and ask him if he could pop over there and check it out for National.

That all of this is happening as Australia tries to get onto the UN Human Rights Council is the hypocrisy soaked cherry on a bitter cake of political spite.

Volatile situation on Christmas Island

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