Poll: 79% of Kiwis want PM to speak out on abuses in Australian offshore detention

18 October 2016, 11:59 UTC | New Zealand
© Matt Grace

Today Amnesty International has released new research conducted by UMR on the attitudes of New Zealanders towards the human rights abuses happening to people held by the  Australian Government in offshore detention centres. The results show that Kiwis are concerned about what's happening in detention centres on Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island and believe the New Zealand Government should be doing more to stop the human rights violations.

In a nationally representative sample, 79% of all respondents said they wanted the New Zealand Prime Minister and Government to take a stronger stance in speaking out against the evidence of abuses in Australian offshore detention.

Further, when asked whether the New Zealand Prime Minister and Government have a responsibility to speak out on evidence of human rights violations being committed by other countries, 86% of all respondents answered yes.

“An overwhelming number of New Zealanders care about the disregard the Australian Government is showing for people."

Grant Bayldon, the Executive Director of Amnesty International New Zealand

“An overwhelming number of New Zealanders care about the disregard the Australian Government is showing for people,” said Grant Bayldon, the Executive Director of Amnesty International New Zealand. “This provides a clear mandate for our Government to speak out publicly on Australia’s detention system and call on the Australian Government to abide by International law. Kiwis are not happy with flagrant human rights violations happening in our backyard while our Government turns a blind eye.”

Of all respondents to the poll, 62% said Australia should not take detainees or refugees to remote offshore islands for processing, where they risk abuse as they’re a long way from lawyers, medical professionals and human rights experts. This week, Amnesty International released the report Island of Despair exposing the Government of Australia’s system of offshore detentions on Nauru for what it is: a deliberate and systematic regime of neglect and cruelty that amounts to torture.

“The thousands of women, children and men stuck in these camps are human beings, just like you and me. They deserve the very same things we all deserve – an education, a safe place to live and the chance to work – so they can build back their lives. New Zealanders don’t want this travesty to continue, they want our Government to call it what it is – torture,” said Bayldon.

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