Today the Government, who say they are committed to freedom of speech, have gagged the Aboriginal Legal Services and have failed to hear from any Indigenous people about a bill to change the Racial Discrimination Act.
In response Tammy Solonec, Indigenous Rights Manager at Amnesty International said:
“This flies in the face of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise to “do things with Aboriginal people and not to them” and his recent commitment to the Redfern Statement to meaningfully engage with Indigenous communities about decisions affecting their lives.”
“This act of silencing denies Indigenous people freedom of speech, participation in democracy and does not enable free, prior and informed consent. This is disrespectful to the First Peoples of this country.”
Tammy Solonec, Indigenous Rights Manager
“This act of silencing denies Indigenous people freedom of speech, participation in democracy and does not enable free, prior and informed consent. This is disrespectful to the First Peoples of this country.
“Any amendment to the Racial Discrimination Act gives a green light to racism which deeply impacts on our communities – our mental health, our participation in education and employment, and our physical safety. It is imperative that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are part of this conversation.
“It is completely unacceptable to silence Indigenous people especially while the Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples is currently in Australia, and in light of Australia’s upcoming Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) review and bid for a Human Rights Council seat, both scheduled this year.”