FTA privilege should be not extend to torturers

The Government should not extend the privilege of a free trade agreement (FTA) to Saudi Arabia given its highest court has reinforced the penalty of torture for exercising free speech, the Green Party said today.

The Government should not extend the privilege of a free trade agreement (FTA) to Saudi Arabia given its highest court has reinforced the penalty of torture for exercising free speech, the Green Party said today.

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has upheld the sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years imprisonment for Rafi Bawadi, a Canadian blogger, for ‘insulting Islam’. Mr Bawadi received 50 lashes in January but the rest were postponed on medical grounds.

“In the absence of a global trade agreement, FTAs signify special relationships and these should be reserved for countries that observe basic human rights,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“The National Government needs to draw a line in the sand, and not form a special relationship with any country which whips people for engaging in political debate.

“New Zealanders would agree that lashings is not a form a judicial punishment, it is torture. The Prime Minister and Murray McCully should not cosy up to a country that tortures people.

“With the sentence of lashings, Saudi Arabia is violating the human rights conventions that it is a party to.

“We do not favour gratuitously insulting any person or belief, but the laws on basic freedoms and on judicial penalties have been carefully crafted. They demand respect throughout the world.

“Human rights organisations and governments around the world have been vocal in condemning Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record, yet our Government has been noticeably silent.

“The Green Party doesn’t believe we should be engaging in free trade at any cost; there needs to be a minimum set of standards and principles,” said Dr Graham.

Action

Jeanette Fitzsimon's Memorial

Since her passing, we have been so moved by your stories of Jeanette. Inspiring, challenging, humorous, poignant — endless stories of a life so ric...
Take Action

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action