Australia MPs slam China over jailed Nobel activist
Posted by Author on November 23, 2010
Mark Davis, Sydney Morning Herald, November 23, 2010 –
GOVERNMENT and opposition backbenchers last night slammed the Chinese government as thuggish and authoritarian over its jailing of the human rights activist Liu Xiaobo who was awarded the Nobel peace prize last month.
In a debate which will anger Beijing, four MPs spoke in support of a private member’s motion moved by the Labor backbencher Michael Danby congratulating Mr Liu on the Nobel prize and calling on China to release him from jail.
Mr Danby said Liu was serving an 11-year prison sentence for helping devise the Charter 08 manifesto seeking political freedoms for the people of China. The latest jail term followed earlier spells of imprisonment and house arrest for pursuing human rights reforms.
Liu was one of about 1400 political prisoners being held in an ”archipelago of labour camps scattered across China”.
The Chinese ”gulag” was there for all to see and Australians who wanted to do business and trade with China should not turn a blind eye to Beijing’s human rights abuses, Mr Danby said.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Liberal MP Peter Slipper, described China’s government as ”totalitarian, dictatorial, oppressive” and said it would be seen as ”an international thug of the first order” over its treatment of Liu.
”The Chinese set back their cause 1000 years every time they take the kind of mindless, unacceptable, anti-democratic, authoritarian, disgusting approach that they have taken to Mr Liu,” Mr Slipper said.
A Labor backbencher, Andrew Leigh, and a Liberal backbencher, Alex Hawke, also spoke in support of the motion before the debate was adjourned last night.
Asked about the government’s views on the motion, a spokeswoman for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, said: ”The government believes that formal motions in Parliament are not the best way of dealing with complex international matters. It is important, however, to point out that Mr Danby’s motion is consistent with the Australian government’s position.”
- Click to email (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
This entry was posted on November 23, 2010 at 9:12 am and is filed under Activist, China, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.