Australia’s flawed human rights record

There’s not too much coincidence about the timing of China’s social media campaign, accusing Australia of human rights abuses. The photo-shopped meme which has outraged all sides of the Australian government targets alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Timely, given that next Thursday (the 10th), is International Human Rights Day. China, of course, is campaigning from a blood-stained corner, its long record of human rights abuses and accusations thereof, lurking in the shadows. I mention the…

Continue reading

Martial Law Or Just Do What You’re Told?

This may be Good Friday, but by any definition it’s not all that flash, given varying states of emergency in Australia and attempts to police COVID-19 restrictions (emergent but not quite martial law). Well may you scoff, as hysteria spreads in the US about the very real prospect of the Commander in Chief ordering the armed forces to take over. Outspoken New York governor Andrew Cuomo has dismissed martial law rumours in his state, although…

Continue reading

The return of capital punishment

In February, my attention was caught by a bizarre story about the Sri Lankan government advertising for two public executioners of “strong moral character”. I let it go at the time, as the topic seemed too morbid for FOMM readers. But that was before Donald Trump’s government last month re-introduced capital punishment in the US for Federal offences. People in Trump’s government have been lobbying to reintroduce capital punishment, last used in 2003. The main…

Continue reading

Refugee documentaries – preaching to the converted

As it is Refugee Week, I’ve been reflecting on how my support for refugees and asylum seekers is shamefully passive. I was reminded of this after attending a viewing last Saturday of Julian Burnside’s refugee documentary, Border Politics. Then on Monday I was one of 67 people who devoted the evening to a public viewing in Buderim of the refugee film, Constance on the Edge. ‘Constance on the Edge’ charts the struggles of a mother…

Continue reading