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Abbott's cruel cuts will raise indigenous prison rates

More Aboriginal Australians will end up in jail because of the Abbott Government's cuts to indigenous legal aid, say the Australian Greens.

Spokesperson on legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Coalition's decision to cut $9m from legal services showed appalling lack of concern about shameful over-incarceration of Aboriginal people.

"More than one in four prisoners are Aboriginal, despite making up only a fraction of our population. Too many are in jail because of inadequate legal understanding and representation," Senator Wright said.

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Greens on the appointment of Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission

Penny Wright 17 Dec 2013

"Attorney General George Brandis laid his ideological cards on the table with this appointment," Senator Wright said.

"Although this government is using the language of freedom, they cannot be trusted to look out for all Australians.

"The Attorney General has already made it clear he thinks some human rights are more important than others, including that free speech ought to trump anti-discrimination laws.

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Take back torture comments, Senate urges Prime Minister

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be asked to justify his remarks excusing torture in Sri Lanka following the success of an Australian Greens motion today.

The motion by Senator Penny Wright and Senator Lee Rhiannon called on Mr Abbott to retract his comments that 'we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen' and was passed with the support of the opposition.

"There are absolutely no circumstances where torture is justifiable," Australian Greens spokesperson on Human Rights Senator Wright said.

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WA’s Aboriginal youth detention rate requires urgent action

The Australian Greens said today that the alarmingly high rate of Aboriginal youth detention is a disgrace, and called on the WA Government to urgently invest in in Justice Reinvestment.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's ‘Youth detention population in Australia 2013' report has found that in the June quarter of 2013, the ratio of Aboriginal to non-Aboriginal youth aged 10-17 in detention in WA was 60 to 1, compared to the national ratio of around 31 to 1.

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