It’s scandalous that AI would lump Howard’s Australia in with a global basket case like Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, but Howard is not cowed: “My Government makes no apology for taking appropriate, balanced steps to protect the Australian public from the very real threat of terrorism and to protect our borders.”
“PM brushes off ‘fear-monger’ tag,” from AAP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
PRIME Minister John Howard has robustly defended his Government against claims by Amnesty International that it is as divisive as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
The human rights pressure group has accused Mr Howard of portraying asylum-seekers as a threat to national security.
In a report released overnight, it also criticised Australia’s role in the war on terror and its treatment of female victims of violence.
Amnesty secretary-general Irene Khan said the fear generated by leaders such as Mr Howard “thrives on myopic and cowardly leadership”.
Ms Khan lumped Mr Howard in with Mr Mugabe, US President George W Bush and Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir in a paragraph about leaders who used fear to suit their political agenda.
In statement today, Mr Howard rejected the way Australia was characterised in the Amnesty report.
“I believe many Australians will be as offended by this report as I am,” he said.
“My Government makes no apology for taking appropriate, balanced steps to protect the Australian public from the very real threat of terrorism and to protect our borders.”