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New Zealand Government’s silence on Nauru ‘deafening’

1 November 2016

New Zealand Government’s silence on Nauru ‘deafening’

In response to Prime Minister Key's statements about the unlikelihood of a deal with Australia to resettle 150 refugees detained on Nauru and Manus because New Zealand has no intention of setting up separate classes of citizens, and Australia has no appetite for taking up New Zealand's offer, the Executive Director of Amnesty International New Zealand, Grant Bayldon, said:

"Amnesty International released new research two weeks ago showing that 79% of New Zealanders want the Prime Minister and Government to take a stronger stance in speaking out against the evidence of abuses in Australian offshore detention centres. What's more, a full 86% said the PM and Government have a responsibility to speak out on evidence of human rights violations being committed by other countries.

"To date, John Key has flatly refused to publicly acknowledge or condemn Australia's actions, despite clear evidence of human rights abuses against refugees and asylum seekers at the offshore detention centre.

"This latest move by the Australian Government to permanently ban refugees from attempting to get to Australia by boat is a plain breach of the country's obligations under international law. Article 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which Australia is a party, clearly states that countries are prohibited from imposing penalties based on people’s mode of arrival.

"The silence is deafening. The New Zealand public wants John Key to speak out against these abuses. Now is the time for him to do so."


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