Double standards on show in Hu case

Editor, West Australian: Sir, I sympathise with all concerned with the incarceration in China of Stern Hu of Rio Tinto, suspected of industrial sabotage. However, in relation to the fact that he is now under consideration of being charged, we in Australia are in no position to point the finger at China regarding violations of human rights.

It wasn’t so long ago in Western Australia that three American service men were suspected of serious sexual offences and they remained in custody in WA for some nine months before they were tried by judge and jury, in our District Court, found not guilty and acquitted. No apology, no compensation, yet in their case they were allies in the armed services. Because they were trapped in our judicial criminal law system, they had to suffer incarceration for nine months. I hope in Mr Hu’s case, he doesn’t suffer such a long delay.

In their case, the President of USA didn’t protest to the Australian Government or the West Australian Government, to speed up the process so that the sailors could have their day in court earlier. I would be surprised if our Prime Minister can be successful in speeding up M. Hu’s case, so that the truth of the matter in regard to the alleged industrial sabotage can be clarified.

The point is that Australia cannot honestly point the finger at China for violating human rights, when we in Australia do the same…if not worse.

Brian G Tennant, Perth, WA
Civil Liberties Australia

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