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Thursday, 5 April 1979

Mr BARRY JONES (LALOR, VICTORIA) -Bhutto's execution is a black mark in history- one more act of mindless violence. If there is one lesson that history should teach us, it is that controversial political and social issues cannot be resolved by violence- that violence begets more violence. Mr Bhutto was certainly no saint, plaster or otherwise, but he deserved a better fate than the one that he met yesterday. Also, it is not just a matter of thinking of Bhutto himself, but of all of the hundreds of other Pakistanis who have also been executed- not all of them well known, their trials not subject to the same kind of scrutiny of world attention that Mr Bhutto's trial and execution has had. We need to be very concerned about the situation in Pakistan, and in many countries of the Middle East and elsewhere in which violent penalties are exacted. The circumstances of his trial and execution, and particularly the humiliations heaped on Mr Bhutto in his last months, suggest that he has been the victim of judicial murder.

I conclude by reminding the House of the words that I quoted last year when the honourable member for McMillan (Mr Simon) and I proposed for discussion a matter of public importance concerning political prisioners, those of John Donne:

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

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