While Serco fails spectacularly to run safe prisons in New Zealand, Kiwis are being held illegally at the notorious Serco run Christmas Island Detention centre in the Indian Ocean, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“Serco’s operations at Christmas Island have been slammed by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
“A report last year voiced ‘grave concerns’ about treatment of detainees on Christmas Island including high levels self-harm, depression and suicides.
“The imprisonment of a mounting number of Kiwis in sub-standard detention centres likely constitutes arbitrary detention without trial, which is illegal under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Australia signed up to.
“It also means people who have served their prison time but are now being locked up in a Serco run camp 5,000 km from where they live, are being separated from their families and legal representation.
“With deportation, Australian families will grow up without a father or a mother. How is this good for a family?
“In the same way New Zealand has spoken out against human rights abuses in our smaller Pacific neighbours, we should be drawing world attention to those being committed by Australia.
“John Key says it’s Australia’s business how they treat people from other nations but New Zealanders shouldn’t be treated this way.
“We expect better from the Aussies. We fought alongside them and are supposed to have a special relationship.
“But no one should suffer this extraordinarily bad treatment by Australia. It contravenes accepted norms of international law for New Zealanders – or anyone. What they are doing is unacceptable, “ says David Shearer.