Thursday, November 02, 2006

Late night musings on enforced insomnia

I've worked shiftwork, and being forced to stay up overnight for work makes me think afresh about sleep deprivation. Phillip Ruddock, an Australian politician has suggested that sleep deprivation is not a form of torture but rather coercion. Ah, Orwell would smile.

Let's see. The Australian Federal Police don't use it, since they consider it illegal. Our armed forces consider it against the Geneva Convention. Oh well, the Kyoto Protocol was considered a nuisance by this government. The US has consistently rejected having anything imposed on them from without, small arms control, land mines control, and now torture. Call it something different, coercion. So even though the UK wouldn't abandon its own to US military "justice".

Our government lets David Hicks undergo sleep deprivation and solitary confinement over a 5 year period. Let's face it, he's no angel. He is probably guilty of something. Those of us who'd see him come home are not going to welcome him with tea and biscuits. However, he is a man, not an animal (in fact I wouldn't treat an animal this way, but when you think about factory farming ...). He must be tried, and soon. And then incarcerated in a manner that shows some understanding of his humanity and (from a Christian perspective) one in the image of God. For an Evangelical Christian President Bush is not showing much Christian love of neighbour or anything like biblical justice. Just as well I don't work for the ABC, I'd be accused of bias.

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