Wednesday, 5 December 2018
China: Human Rights
Once again we see the hypocrisy of the government in accepting some foreign policy motions—the ones that it likes—and, of course, rejecting the ones that it doesn't like, denying formality again and again. Like many Australians, the Greens are appalled by the reports that are now coming in about the persecution of the Uygur people. There are images of mass internment camps. We're seeing pictures of surveillance devices tracking ordinary citizens' everyday movements. People are banned from going to mosque and praying. Australian citizens and residents are being detained in these so-called re-education camps. We know that the activities of Australian citizens here in Australia are being monitored. And thus far all we've got from the Morrison government is a mealy-mouthed response about how our consular officials are apparently raising concerns behind closed doors. We need a strong statement from this government condemning the human rights abuses going on in China right now. (Time expired)
In line with the government's longstanding view, motions that cannot be debated or amended should not deal with complex foreign policy matters. The government remains concerned about human rights in several countries, including cases of arbitrary detention, and imposed restrictions on freedom of movement, freedom of religious expression and freedom of speech. Australia raised its concerns with China during the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The foreign minister reiterated those concerns to Chinese foreign minister Wang during her visit to Beijing. We continue to urge China and certain other nations to introduce meaningful human rights reforms.