Treatment by Authorities to Have Lasting Effects

THE recent screening of the film Suffragette showing the abuse of British women in 1912 by their government in their fight for the right to vote is highly relevant today.

In December 2014 a group of men and women clergy refused to leave the Perth office of a Federal Government Minister. There were eight people; a Uniting Church Minister, a young mother, two church workers and an Anglican Priest all women; and three men, one also a UC Minister, one a Pastor, one a lay church worker.

These people were peacefully campaigning against the detention and abuse of children in the Australian Government’s remote offshore centres.

Having refused to “move on”, the group was arrested and taken to the Perth lockup in accordance with the law.

However, what was not expected at the lockup was that they were strip searched like any drug mule or terrorist. The humiliation and degradation they suffered is still affecting them today.

Let it be clear, these are good and decent people. What they experienced at the hands of the authorities is reprehensible.

With the approach of both Federal and State elections, we need to know just who in the chain of command ordered the strip search. Our fragile democracy deserves better than people like this at its helm.

JAN WHEARE, Maylands.