27 May 2011
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Additional Estimates 24 February 2011
Question No. 13
A. What kind of issues did the Chinese delegates raise with Australia during the latest human rights dialogue?
B. Would you be able to table, as I think you did last time, the list of individuals whose case you raised in the dialogue?
23 May 2011
Beijing's ban on writer Liao Yiwu's planned visit to Australia deepens fears of a growing crackdown on dissent in China, the Australian Greens said today.
The Greens communications spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said Mr Liao was scheduled to speak at the Sydney Writer's Festival on May 20th and May 21st but was denied permission to leave China prior to the event.
"Mr Liao is a leading social commentator and has written extensively on poverty and homelessness in China. The ban on his visit to Sydney is part of a concerted effort by the Beijing administration to suppress dissent in light of the protests sweeping the Middle East," said Senator Ludlam.
11 May 2011
Australian Greens justice spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam has called on the Senate to amend a "dangerously flawed" cluster munitions law.
Senator Ludlam said the passage of a cluster munitions law "riddled with loopholes" would be a lost opportunity to make a stand against these horrendous weapons.
"As it stands, this law fails to meet the obligations of the international convention outlawing cluster bombs," he said. "It allows Australian forces to store, transport and assist in the use of cluster bombs and does not outlaw direct and indirect investment in companies producing cluster munitions. These are fundamental flaws."
10 May 2011
The Australian Greens today welcomed the news that Australian man Scott Rush has been spared the death penalty in Indonesia.
Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said the Greens opposed the death penalty on principle in all cases, and were particularly troubled by the fact Mr Rush was only 19 years old when arrested as part of the ‘Bali Nine' and 20 years old when sentenced to death.
19 Apr 2011
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam will join with local activists and MPs at a public meeting in support of six imprisoned Zimbabwean human rights activists on Wednesday, April 20th, 7pm.
The six human rights activists on trial in Zimbabwe face charges of treason for organising a meeting to screen a film about the struggle for democracy in Egypt.
Senator Ludlam described the charges as a shocking symbol of the failure of the so-called ‘national unity' government.
"The national unity government was a ploy by Robert Mugabe's regime to neutralise the Movement for Democratic Change's victory in the parliamentary elections," he said. "The President maintained power over the state's security apparatus and has used it to control the country and smash effective opposition to the ruling party, Zanu-PF."
Long-time campaigner for workers and women's rights Tafadzwa Choto, law academic and civil rights activist Munyaradzi Gwisai , former student leader Hopewell Gumbo, education activist Welcome Zimuto, Edson Chakuma and union organiser Tatenda Mombeyara are the six political prisoners; the victims of Zanu-PF's brutal attempts to maintain absolute power over Zimbabwe.
Senator Ludlam will be joined by fellow speakers Paul Kaplan from the Zimbabwe Information Centre, Antoine Bloemen and others at the Fremantle Town Hall Function Room at 7pm.
29 Mar 2011
The Australian Greens have expressed grave concern for the welfare of an Australian writer who has vanished in China.
Novelist and online commentator Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat now based in Sydney, has been not been seen since telephoning a colleague from Guangzhou airport on Sunday with the news that he was being followed by three men.
Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd should raise the issue with the Chinese government as soon as possible.
"Unless Dr Yang turns up safe and sound immediately, the Australian Government must hold the Chinese authorities to account," he said.
25 Mar 2011
Question No. 336
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 December 2010:
With reference to Vietnamese religious prisoners:
(1) Does the department currently have a human rights dialogue with Vietnam.
21 Mar 2011
The Australian Greens welcomed the successful passage of new shield laws for journalists and whistleblowers through the House of Representatives today.
The Greens shadow spokesperson for Communications, Senator Scott Ludlam, successfully secured amendments to the bill in the Senate to afford the protection of the shield laws to citizen-journalists, bloggers and independent media organisations as well as news professionals from the mainstream media. The amended bill was returned to the House and was passed today. Once approved by the Governor General it will become law.
"Effective shield laws for journalists and public service whistle-blowers act as an encouragement to vigilance and integrity," said Senator Ludlam. "If journalists cannot protect their sources, we will not have people coming forward to expose wrong-doing and abuses of power."
04 Mar 2011