Responding to the attacks in the media and online of Tarneen Onus-Williams, Amnesty International’s Director of Communications and External Affairs Claire O’Rourke said:
“Amnesty International is concerned that the nature of the abuse levelled at young Yigar Gunditjmara and Bindal woman Tarneen Onus-Williams, regarding a phrase in her speech on 26 January, has been of a racist, sexist and body-shaming nature.
“This type of abuse and bullying too often is particularly levelled at young women of colour who express their views publicly, and can have a silencing effect, leading them not to exercise their freedom of speech.
“It would be concerning if other young women became hesitant to participate in public debate, after they saw the treatment of Ms Onus-Williams.
We call for a systemic, cultural shift in media and online discourse, away from resorting to racist and sexist comments, which can serve to silence already marginalised voices.”