“Since his arrest and imprisonment by UK authorities, we have seen the US Government take the draconian action of compiling charges which would result in the imprisonment of Assange for 175 years [1], an assessment by a UN body seeing Assange as the victim of concerted abuse involving 4 democratic nation states over numerous years [2], and a misleading statement being issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) over accusations of its failure to protect a citizen [3]”, said John August, Deputy President of Pirate Party Australia.

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow, speaks to the effect that Julian Assange’s situation has had on his mental health, with his comments that “in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.” He further comments that: “In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.” [2]

Along with two medical specialists, Professor Melzer visited Mr. Assange in Belmarsh high security prison in early May, concluding: “The evidence is overwhelming and clear. Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.” Further, he comments: “I fear if that pressure is not alleviated soon it might escalate in terms of the psychological consequences – and I think that’s what we’re now seeing.” Commenting on Australian assistance for Assange, Mr. Melzer said: “Australia is a glaring absence in this case. They’re just not around, as if Assange was not an Australian citizen. That is not the correct way of dealing with that.” [4]

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Election day. A time to reflect on what business as usual has delivered for Australia over the last 20 years:

  • More than sixty bills attacking civil liberties
  • Rising inequality and stagnant wages
  • Unaffordable housing
  • Record mass extinctions across our continent
  • Water pillage and gross corruption
  • Bungled wars of choice that never end

It doesn’t have to go on like that.

Today we can take a stand for freedom and civil liberties, a bill of rights, a shift of power back to communities, a basic income and better treatment for our poorest, proper environmental stewardship, action on climate change, transparency in government, a freer public domain and culture, decent digital age infrastructure, a national science plan, serious economic reform and a solution to parasitic rentierism, stronger animal welfare protections, an end to the war on drugs, and decent treatment for asylum seekers.

Vote for policies with actual citations. Vote to do things differently.

#votepirate

Our top 6 preference recommendations for all four states we’re contesting today.

The vicious attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch yesterday are wholeheartedly condemned by Pirate Party Australia. We send our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, and to the Muslim communities of Australia and New Zealand. This atrocity will not go unanswered and the Pirate Party will continue to fight to remove far right extremists like Fraser Anning and Pauline Hanson from our Parliament.

The comments made by Fraser Anning shortly after the act of terror, shifting the blame to a fantasy view of an “increasing Muslim presence” and claiming that Islam is a “Violent Ideology” are utterly condemned by the Pirate Party. The racist and insidious comments of politicians like Anning and Hanson must be held to account. We must not elect such people into government in Australia’s future, as they will never represent Australians as a whole and multicultural nation.

Pirate Party Australia includes people from many different beliefs and backgrounds and it is our hope that this is what makes us stronger as a nation and to help support the people we represent. Today, our Muslim New Zealand cousins deserve that same support, love and respect.

It is our job as a nation to call out racism, hatred and bigotry wherever it festers and to bring it into the light so that it does not survive. Our politicians must lead from the front. Hatred trickles down, and yesterday we saw the consequences.

We strongly support the actions of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her immediate call to change gun laws in New Zealand.

With love and respect,

Sara Joyce
Senate Candidate (NSW)
on behalf of Pirate Party Australia

 

 

Pirate Party Australia endorses 4WD Queensland’s push for harmonisation of motor vehicle modification throughout Australia.

The Pirate Party has long had the view that Government and its regulations should enable the community, rather than limit them. We are particularly concerned about the growth of needless and contradictory laws and regulations, something that grows all too readily as both political parties lazily ignore festering problems while aggressively pursuing issues on their respective ideological agendas.

We see the conflict over vehicle modification as a prime example, one which the 4WD Club of Queensland has drawn attention to, harnessing the support of motoring groups all over Australia.

Individuals who are enthusiastic about cars should have the freedom to modify their vehicles so long as they take personal responsibility and do not put others at risk. However, the inconsistent regulations between different states cannot be seen to manage this tension, rather just implement needless layers of contradiction. We therefore endorse the requests of 4WD Queensland:

  • Amend the federal Motor Vehicle Standards Act to allow “Mutual Recognition” of all individual state engineering, approved certifiers and certification schemes, to be recognised and accepted by all state registration authorities;
  • Establish a National Vehicle Modification and Certification Program for in-service registered passenger vehicles as recommended, to be implemented federally and in parallel with ADRs; and
  • Ensure industry and community engagement is a key basis for the Vehicle Modification Framework.

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Australians have witnessed a shocking erosion in their civil liberties over the last 17 years. The Labor and Liberal parties, working together, have imposed additional restrictions on civil liberties every year since 2001. These have included:

  • Internet censorship and web blocking, with the list of websites rapidly expanding.
  • Criminal penalties for investigative journalists who view documents which government agencies wish to conceal.
  • Laws forcing ISPs to collect metadata for warrantless access by authorities. After promising tight controls, the law has created an open slather, with Australians’ internet histories now being trawled more than 1,000 times a day by dozens of agencies not mentioned in the original law[1].
  • New powers to monitor private communications, retrospective warrants, higher penalties for whistleblowing, extra powers to cover up scandals such as the East Timor bugging, and many more besides.

One of the worst of these laws came along at the end of 2018, when the major parties colluded to rush through the new Assistance and Access Bill.

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