“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela.
Today I make a personal appeal on human rights grounds to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take a stand for freedom against the human rights violations committed against millions of people in Victoria by the state government which has imposed the most and possibly harshest Coronavirus pandemic lockdown days in the world.
I am not a pandemic denier. I was a health professional for 32 years.
In 1945 my father faced imperialist Japanese bullets on the beach at Balikpapan in the final battle of World War Two.
When that victory over totalitarianism was achieved, the nations of the world created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) against totalitarian ideology and practices. Australia was among the first nations to sign on to this declaration.
Now in Melbourne, Victoria, Andrews state government imposed lockdowns lead to me suffering the following ten human rights violations which I list by naming and quoting from the relevant articles of UDHR . Millions of others suffer too. I hope that by speaking for myself I can speak for at least some others too.
Article 1 The climate of fear under the Andrews government means too many people cannot “act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (or sisterhood)
Article 3 Victorian lockdowns trash the “right to …. liberty.”
Article 5 prohibits “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” I consider this a perfect description of the imprisonment in my own home which I and millions of my fellow Victorians have suffered.
Atricle 9 prohibits “arbitrary detention”. In Victoria, lockdowns aren’t carefully targeted. They lock up millions of people when only a tiny percentage of people have been exposed to the virus.
Article 13 promises “freedom of movement.” Broad prohibitions on going more than 5 kilometres from home make free movement impossible.
Article 19 promises “the right to freedom of opinion and expression” including the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas”. Now my favourite libraries are closed to me and the streets where I used to communicate freely with many people are off limits to me too.
Article 20’s “right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association” is denied to me because I can no longer legally meet most of the people I used to be able to meet.
Article 23’s “other means of social protection” are now restricted for me because of travel restrictions and the emptying of the Central Business District.
Atricle 27’s right to “participate in the cultural life of the community” and “enjoy the arts” is now severely limited for me because most of the places where I used to do that are now closed or almost deserted.
Article 28’s right to “a social order which protects rights and freedom” does not apply for me in Daniel Andrews’ locked down Victoria.
A lost right that concerns me more than the rights lost by me is other people’s loss of the right to life. Stories I have heard and things I have seen convince me that lockdowns kill. Suicides of teenagers are reported to have doubled.
Prime Minister Morrison, across Australia, how many people do lockdowns kill?
The people have a right to know.
What will you do to protect human rights?
Geoff Fox, Melbourne, Down Under, 21 September, 2021