Ac­tivists su­per­glue hands in Aussie par­lia­ment protest

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PRO­TES­TORS de­mand­ing the clo­sure of off­shore de­ten­tion camps for boat­peo­ple dis­rupted Aus­tralia’s par­lia­ment yes­ter­day with some su­per­glu­ing their hands to rail­ings in the pub­lic gallery.

Speaker Tony Smith sus­pended ques­tion time in what cabi­net min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne said was the most se­ri­ous in­tru­sion into par­lia­ment in 20 years.

The group of around 30 ac­tivists be­gan chant­ing loudly soon af­ter the ses­sion be­gan, shout­ing “close the camps” and “where is your moral com­pass?”.

Some su­per­glued their hands to the pub­lic view­ing gallery rail­ings as se­cu­rity tried to re­move them, with guards us­ing hand sani­tiser to help peel them free, tele­vi­sion images showed yes­ter­day.

They were even­tu­ally pulled from the cham­ber, some forcibly.

The pro­test­ers, from the Whistle­blow­ers Ac­tivists and Cit­i­zens Al­liance, said off­shore de­ten­tion rep­re­sented a “state of emer­gency”.

The same group stormed the stage and forced Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull to stop speak­ing dur­ing a ma­jor eco­nomic ad­dress in Mel­bourne in Au­gust.

Can­berra sends asy­lum-seek­ers try­ing to reach Aus­tralia by sea to iso­lated out­posts on Nauru and Pa­pua New Guinea’s Manus Is­land, with the de­ten­tion camps’ con­di­tions widely crit­i­cised by refugee ad­vo­cates and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.

UN spe­cial rap­por­teur Fran­cois Cre­peau this month said Aus­tralia’s “puni­tive ap­proach” to boat­peo­ple had tarnished its hu­man rights record fol­low­ing an 18-day mis­sion that took him across the coun­try and to Nauru.

Photo: EPA

Christo­pher Pyne slams the in­tru­sion into par­lia­ment.

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