Senate debates

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Human Rights Day

3:48 pm

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

I, and also on behalf of Senator Rhiannon, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 10 December is Human Rights Day, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950,

(ii) on 15 November 2013 the Prime Minister (Mr Abbott) said, regarding reports of torture by Sri Lankan security forces, that 'we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen', and

(iii) groups including Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Law Centre, Amnesty International Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, and the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, asked the Prime Minister to retract his comments in November;

(b) rejects the Prime Minister's suggestion that there are circumstances where torture is justifiable; and

(c) calls on the Prime Minister to retract his comment excusing torture, and to affirm the Australian Government's opposition to the use of torture in any circumstances.

Question agreed to.