Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023


Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee; Report

4:32 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I'd like to make some brief remarks about the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee report on the human rights implications of recent violence in Iran, which was tabled in the chamber on 1 February this year. As a member of the committee I want to thank the chair, the deputy chair and fellow members of the committee, as well as the secretariat, for delivering this comprehensive report. The committee received over a thousand submissions in this inquiry, with a significant number received as 'name withheld'. I thank those organisations and individuals who took the time to make those submissions.

Since the death of Mahsa Amini in September last year, Australians have been appalled by Iran's violence against its citizens, particularly women and girls. I acknowledge the women and girls in Iran who continue to remain steadfast in the face of violence and intimidation. I also extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the protesters who have been tragically executed since the start of this very dark chapter.

Finally, I want to speak directly to the Iranian diaspora here in Australia. We see your distress. We are worried about your friends and family in Iran and your grief for those you have lost. We understand the urgency with which you are striving for action.

From the beginning of this new wave of crackdowns Australia has worked strategically to build pressure internationally on Iran. We have taken stronger action against Iran on human rights than any other previous Australian government. Australia was at the forefront of efforts to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women. Australia co-sponsored and advocated for the successful Human Rights Council resolution establishing the independent investigation into human rights violations in Iran. And, last year, the Albanese government imposed Magnitsky-style human rights sanctions on six individuals and two entities, including Iran's morality police, over their involvement in the Iranian regime's abhorrent human rights violations. In February, the Albanese government announced additional style sanctions on 16 Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity. We've also joined international partners to impose targeted sanctions on multiple Iranian individuals and entities involved in the production and supply of drones to Russia that have been used in an illegal and immoral invasion in Ukraine.

I have more to say in regard to this matter, but I want to finish on these notes. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that we've seen some who are using new-found interest in these matters for their own political purposes. We know that the current government is working determinedly and successfully to get Iran removed from the Commission on the Status of Women. This is clearly an opposition that specialises in calling for action it failed to take, and our government will continue to join the choruses of international partners calling for an end to the Iranian regime's violence.


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