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Take back torture comments, Senate urges Prime Minister

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be asked to justify his remarks excusing torture in Sri Lanka following the success of an Australian Greens motion today.

The motion by Senator Penny Wright and Senator Lee Rhiannon called on Mr Abbott to retract his comments that 'we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen' and was passed with the support of the opposition.

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Motion calling on the Prime Minister to retract his comments on torture

We move that the Senate

1.       notes that

a.       10 December is Human Rights Day, proclaimed by the United Nations' General Assembly in 1950;

b.      on 15 November 2013 the Prime Minister said, regarding reports of torture by Sri Lankan security forces, that 'we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen'; and

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Australian Senate calls on PM Abbott to raise Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses at CHOGM

Lee Rhiannon 14 Nov 2013

The Australian Senate has rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s stance on human rights abuses in Sri Lankan, and called on the Prime Minister to raise an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law with the President of Sri Lanka at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo. 

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Tony Abbott’s public comments that human rights abuses in Sri Lanka comes second to his inhumane domestic policies about so called ‘boat people’ are disgraceful. 

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Joint Statement: Sri Lanka should not host CHOGM

Lee Rhiannon 10 Nov 2013

Australian Greens Senator Rhiannon and New Zealand Green MP Jan Logie will be holding a Press Conference today in Sri Lanka.

Time: 10.30am (local time)

Location:         Tamil National Alliance office, 32A, Retreat Road Colombo 4

Contact:   Lee Rhiannon:   +61 487 350 880 and Jan Logie: +64 21038 6101 

MEDIA STATEMENT 

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Media Alert: Greens Senator Rhiannon is in Sri Lanka to discuss human rights in the country on eve of CHOGM

Lee Rhiannon 8 Nov 2013

Greens Senator Rhiannon is in Sri Lanka to discuss human rights in the country on eve of CHOGM

WHAT:                 As the Heads of the Commonwealth, including Prime Minister Abbott, prepare to travel to Sri Lanka for CHOGM, Senator Rhiannon and New Zealand Greens MP Jan Logie are in the country to discuss human rights, media freedom, war crimes and the push factors that cause Tamils to seek asylum in Australia.

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