Let’s take a look at Peter Greste for a second. He must have known that he was breaking the Egyptian law. Or at the very least, by working in a country which cooperated with the USA in the rendition of terror suspects and publishing things which the government didn’t like, he must have known that he was running the risk of a lengthy jail sentence.
Similarly, anyone who participates in a protest is running the risk of being jailed.
“Premier Denis Napthine said increased sentences would apply to anyone who attacks police, paramedics, firefighters, protective services officers, State Emergency Services staff and lifesavers who are on duty.”
People who break the law must know that – if convicted – they are in danger of being jailed for their crimes. Ok, we may not agree with the particular law, but when people break a law – even an unjust law – they are running a big risk of punishment. Whether we think that it’s fair or not, we must accept that they’ve brought it on themselves.
But yesterday, I heard a suggestion that Rebekah Brooks may be sent to Australia by Rupert Murdoch.
I find this appalling for a number of reasons:
- Sending people to Australia for punishment stopped with the last penal colony in the 19th Century.
- Rebekah Brooks was found not guilty so why is she being punished?
- She has red hair and Australians have a recent history of persecuting red headed women in the past twenty years.
- It’s presumed that she can get a visa when we decide the people who come to Australia and the circumstances in which they come.
Which I’m sure will lead some to attempt to link Brooks to illegal immigrants.
Let me explain the differences.
- Rebekah Brooks was found not guilty in a court of law, so she should be allowed to get on with her laugh. Whereas illegal immigrants have never been charged with their crime and therefore have never been found not guilty.
- Even though people should be presumed innocent until convicted, this doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants because they’ll never be charged with anything unless they go back to where they came from. After that, we may find that they were, in fact, not the sort of people we want here, because they’ll be immediately arrested or executed.
- People who haven’t been actually charged with any crime can be put into situations which we’d find appalling if anyone who’d actually been convicted was subjected to. The reason for this is that because they’ve entered the country illegally by boat, they’re basically prisoners of war because they’ve invaded us. And Prisoners of War have NO RIGHTS because – under the War on Terror – the Geneva convention does not exist for people who may be terrorists. And can anyone say for sure that somebody who is foreign is not a potential terrorist?
Ok, I know some of you are probably saying that, if these people have broken the law by coming to Australian, should we charge them and jail them in Australia. There is one simple answer to that. WHY SHOULD WE ALLOW THESE PEOPLE ACCESS TO OUR COURTS WHEN THEY HAVEN’T – LIKE REBEKAH BROOKS – BEEN FOUND NOT GUILTY?
I trust that this clears things up.
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