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Sino - Australia Free Trade Agreement must protect human rights.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Michael Organ MP Greens Member for Cunningham

18 August 2004

SINO-AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT MUST PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS

Greens Federal Member for Cunningham Michael Organ expects any touted Australian free trade agreement with China to also provide for the protection of human rights and the environment.

“I understand that a population roughly the size of Wollongong is serving sentences in "re-education-through-labor" camps in China and that these people are incarcerated without trial or any form of judicial review.”

“Lets not forget that this is a country that outlaws ‘Google’, illegally occupies Tibet and persecutes followers of the Dalai Lama.”

“I was alarmed today when I read the latest USA State Department report on China. That report indicates that Chinese: “Abuses included instances of extrajudicial killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy incommunicado detention, and denial of due process,” Michael Organ said.

“Australian Government documents about the proposed Australian Free Trade agreement with China don’t even mention human rights or the environment and that’s simply not good enough.”

“Suggestions by the Government that the best way to increase human rights compliance is through increased trade, are false.”

“The continued incarceration of Hicks and Habib is proof that Howard forgot human rights with the US free trade agreement - He can’t be allowed to do that again.”

“Free trade or not, Governments should govern for the people, not for corporate profits.” Michael Organ said.

More from: Michael Organ MP 02 4228 3666, 0439 442 550 Kristian Bolwell (Adviser) 0411638320 Kristian Bolwell Adviser to Michael Organ MP Greens Federal Member for Cunningham