Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson
Following criticism from the United Nations and Amnesty International for the appalling treatment of children in detention, Tasmania’s human rights record is again the subject of global condemnation – this time due to the Liberals’ anti-protest laws.
International organisation Human Rights Watch’s World Report for 2023* highlights how Tasmania’s recently passed laws “invoke severe penalties for non-violent protest”.
Non-violent protest is an essential democratic and human right. It’s part of the basic toolkit needed for protecting free and fair societies. In the face of genuine threats to democracy in Australia and elsewhere from corporate state capture and authoritarian rule, our right to protest should be strongly defended by our government – not undermined.
As the current custodians of Tasmania’s democracy, the Liberals in government should do everything possible to protect and strengthen the basic rights of all people. Instead, they’ve done the opposite and passed draconian and unnecessary anti-protest laws with the intent of chilling free speech.
Being exposed for their shockingly anti-democratic laws by a globally respected organisation should be a source of shame and embarrassment for the Liberals. They should recognise it as the measure of failed leadership and social divisiveness that it is. Given their obvious contempt for human rights, unfortunately the Liberals probably won’t even bat an eyelid.