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HRW urges Australian PM to take stronger stance on human rights in Asia

In a letter addressed to the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, Human Rights Watch urged Abbott to discuss rights issues with Asian leaders, and refrain from giving them a ‘free pass’.

The letter outlined Australia’s opportunity to make a significant progress in the region, with the right mixture of pressure and engagement.

Recalling the on-going human rights concerns in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri lanka, the letter urged,

“Australia should recognise that a secure Asia Pacific region depends on countries working together to address human rights problems.”

The HRW Australia director, Elaine Pearson, Who signed the letter, further argued,

“Prime Minister Abbott shouldn’t give other countries in the region a free pass on human rights, just as he shouldn’t neglect important rights issues at home.”

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