ACT MP, David Garrett is again reacting to criticism of his three strikes bill (when it might be a better course of action to just ignore detractors).
This morning we learned that Foreign Affairs has advised that the three strikes law could breach UN mandated obligations regarding civil rights. Leave it for the select committee. That's what Simon Power said. I didn't think the issue was worth blogging about. However.....
Garrett has now issued a release saying the claims are 'completely laughable'.
"This is especially so when you consider that a leading member of the UN Human Rights Council is Saudi Arabia - a country notorious for severe oppression of political and religious minorities, homosexuals, and women," Mr Garrett said.
"In Saudi Arabia court-sanctioned amputations and brutal lashings are a common form of punishment for petty crimes; public execution by beheading can be expected for those convicted of armed robbery or homosexuality.
"Meanwhile, homosexuals in nearby Qatar - another Council member - get off quite lightly by receiving only a five-year prison sentence for homosexual sex between consenting adults. Not surprisingly, capital punishment is still common - with the death penalty being handed down to those convicted of abandoning and renouncing Islam.
"On the flipside, New Zealand is a liberal and progressive nation by any measure. Why then, should we be expected to pay any attention whatsoever to covenants set down by barbaric regimes like those of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Council members?" Mr Garrett said.
He would know about where the death penalty is still common having researched and written an entire book arguing that New Zealand should re-instate the death penalty.
New Zealand, of course, wouldn't be a 'barbaric regime' for imposing the death penalty because it would only apply to murderers, by Mr Garrett's prescription. We would still be a liberal and progressive nation.
Come to think of it, Mr Garrett is normally heard denigrating 'liberal' and 'progressive' thinking. Perhaps he has had some sort of conversion. I hope so.
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