Joint media release - Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney-General and the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
The Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Gillian Triggs, urgently needs to explain her comments published in the Australian today.
Her comments on the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are poorly informed and foolish. They will also be offensive to Indonesia by implying, as they do, that Indonesia’s decision to execute two Australians was influenced by international considerations.
Professor Triggs chose to make her remarks with no specific knowledge of the many steps the Australian government took to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and with no professional experience in diplomacy and no specialist knowledge of the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
As a lawyer, she knows better than to assert conclusions in the absence of evidence. Her comments were not in defence of human rights, but a gratuitous intervention in a difficult political issue.
Although she says the ‘Boats have got to stop', she offers no suggestions as to how that might be done. The only policies which have ever been successful in stopping the boats are the polices of the Abbott Government, which she criticises.
Professor Triggs didn’t seem to have a problem when Labor let more than 50,000 people arrive on 821 boats which saw more than 1200 people drown at sea and over a thousand children locked in detention centres.
If Labor’s failed policies – which she conspicuously refrained from criticising – were still in place, hundreds more people would most likely have drowned.