Senate debates

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014; In Committee

12:23 pm

Photo of Penny WrightPenny Wright (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I suppose the premise of that is that 'torture' equates to 'violence' and that is where there is concern that that actually is not the case. That has been raised as a concern. Clearly some aspects of torture that would be within common understanding—electrocution, beatings, things like that—would clearly be violence, but to suggest that 'violence' equates to 'torture' I think is the challenge here, because examples of what have been and what would be considered to constitute 'torture' under the convention against torture—things like hooding, death threats, stress positions or deprivation of food or water—may not be so unambiguously considered to be violence against the person in that way, because it is not defined. I guess I would ask you, at the risk of asking you a hypothetical question—and I know you really do not like those very much at all—but I think for the sake of clarity I am going to ask you: if someone was hooded, held naked and forced to, over a period of time, hear things about their family or their religion, would that equate to violence?


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