Australia breaches UN on torture: expert

Melbourne [AAP]

Photo from Refugee Action Collection Queensland Facebook page.

Photo from Refugee Action Collection Queensland Facebook page.

Aspects of Australia’s asylum-seeker policies have breached the United Nations Convention against Torture, an independent expert has found.

A report addressing concerns about Manus Island, as well as recent amendments to maritime laws, is due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

It was prepared by Juan Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture.

Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy Daniel Webb says the report finds detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island, and conditions at the centre, violate the convention.

‘The torture convention prohibits subjecting people to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,’ he said in a statement.

‘The report confirms that by leaving people locked up indefinitely in appalling conditions on a remote island, Australia is failing to meet this basic standard.’

New laws broadening maritime powers, introduced last year, also came under scrutiny.

Australia is found to have violated the convention with ‘arbitrary detention and refugee determination at sea, without access to lawyers’.

The report is also critical of the government’s incomplete responses to some allegations.

Mr Mendez, a lawyer and human rights activist, was tasked with investigating alleged violations of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment around the world.


3 responses to “Australia breaches UN on torture: expert”

  1. Jon says:

    We should quit the UNHCR immediately. They operate to their own agenda, often within very limited definitions of what constitutes ‘torture’. Most people pay no attention to anything the UNHCR says.

  2. Ken says:

    How stupid !
    Australia and ‘Australians ‘ have been happily torturing citizens…… (not only international interlopers )
    for decades,nay over a century !
    This country is built on public floggings and genocide, get with the agenda.
    If these economic tourists in New Guinea are complaining so loudly, take their free mobile phones of them and start treating them like the rest of the population. They will soon be hiring another boat back to their cushy government jobs in Iraq, Afghanistan or Ceylon, where they can practise their dubious religions without justification or criticism.

  3. m gardner says:

    perhaps these comments are the results of another hacking into the Echo web site?

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