Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Human Rights, Human Wrongs

I've just finished listening to an extremely interesting and moving interview with Lex Lasry QC, who defended Van Nguyen, executed by the government of Singapore just over a year ago. It's issues such as Nguyen's death that remind us that the fight for social justice and human rights is never be a mere lifestyle decision, as some detractors might suggest. The transcript is not up yet, but when it arrives, it's very much worth reading.

By sheer coincidence, this subject was very much on my mind when I switched on the radio. I was remembering the last Federal election campaign, during which I met one Kevin Rudd during a forum on the war in Iraq. I was impressed by Rudd's ability to combine an intellectual approach with genuine concern for social justice. The forum, including its other speakers, Tanya Plibersek and former human shield Donna Mulhearne, were visibly moved by shocking footage, taken through night goggles, of unarmed Iraqis being shot without provocation. Again, we can talk all we like about what's right and what's wrong, but we must always stay engaged - we must do more than just drop a donation to Amnesty International every now and then.

Nguyen's story is the subject of a documentary to be broadcast tonight, for which I'll make a pre-emptive plug.