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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . . Page.. 959..


All over the weekend the One Army, One Mission, One Message (Jesus love) was in full view. It was proof that it can be done.

This quote from a lady who visited the marquee says it all:

"I can feel the love behind what you do."

Our prayer was that she realised that it was the love of Jesus she could feel.

The article was written by Major Julie Alley.

To Harry Cooper and all his troops, particularly Jo Paull, who was the organising force behind it, congratulations and well done. Isn't that great—somebody going to the show and actually giving stuff away instead of charging for it?

Syria

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections) (6.06): Madam Deputy Speaker, 15 March is a significant date for the people of Syria. It is the one-year anniversary of the uprising in Syria. This date marks a significant step forward in the move to condemn the civil rights abuses in Syria.

The Canberra community is home to many refugees. We know that Jon Stanhope created a Canberra that is a safe, accepting society for all refugees. We, the multicultural centre of Australia, are proud to support them and give them safe haven.

We also know that many who have sought refuge here have fled their country not because they want to but because they have to. We know that there are an overwhelming number of Syrian civilians who have escaped the human rights violations and unprecedented brutality committed by Syria's armed security forces. We know that Amnesty International has the names of over 6,000 dead Syrians and firsthand accounts, from those who have fled, of the violence, torture and hardship they have witnessed and experienced.

Amnesty International tries to stand between the tortured and their torturers, ever promoting and defending human rights and condemning the serious abuses, attacks, tortures and other ill treatment by armed groups towards Syrian civilians.

I have read of the 31 methods of torture published by Amnesty International based on firsthand accounts of former detainees. I say with absolute conviction that it is not acceptable in a civilised world. The torture is not just physical; these individuals experience verbal and mental abuse, and their religious beliefs are denigrated. Nobody deserves this—nobody.

The actions of the Syrian security forces should be condemned internationally. Amnesty International is calling on the international community, particularly the Russian and Chinese authorities, to use their substantial influence over Syria to stop the assault on civilians.


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