It was great to join students from Saint Gabriel’s College to listen to their presentations on the current situation in Colombia, where peaceful protesters have faced a brutal crackdown from the state. It’s good to see children in our community raising awareness and showing solidarity around such an important international issue.
Colombian Police have killed more than 30 protesters, over one hundred people have disappeared, and hundreds more have been arbitrarily arrested or subjected to sexual violence. There have also been targeted attacks on civil society organisations and human rights defenders, including police monitoring groups.
I was glad to add my name to Early Day Motion 4 condemning these widely acknowledged human rights abuses and calling on our Government to review its training of the Colombian Police, suspend the sale of riot control materials, review all arms exports to Colombia, and use its leverage as pen holders for the Colombian peace process at the UN Security Council to promote substantive reform of the Colombian security services and full implementation of the Peace Accord.
If there’s an issue you think I should know about, local or international, please get in touch with my office.