Melbourne, Australia – The Sudden closing this summer An investigation found that out of nine public housing towers in Melbourne that left 3,000 people without food, adequate medication and access to clean air during the second wave of coronavirus in the city, they violated human rights laws.
the reportReleased on Thursday, the Ombudsman for the state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, said residents were effectively placed under house arrest for 14 days in July without warning. The report said it deprived them of basic support, as well as access to activities such as outdoor exercise.
Deborah Glass, Victorian Ombudsman, wrote that the lockdown was “inconsistent with the human rights of the population, including their right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty.” The report recommended that the state government publicly apologize to the residents of the tower, as well as improve relationships and procedures in similar high-risk accommodations in the city so that they are more prepared for future disease outbreaks.
Although Australia wins globally eulogy For its success in slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the country, the report was a scathing rebuke of state officials’ decision to implement drastic measures on public housing residents, who said They felt trapped and traumatized Discrimination is suspected. Many described it as a “nightmare”.
“We grew up here; we were born here,” one resident, whose real name was not mentioned in the report, told investigators. He added, “It felt as if we were in a safe place anymore or not?” “We felt we were not worthy.”
The report also served as a reminder that such measures are rarely enforced equitably, and that they have been too costly for those economically disadvantaged. Many residents of the towers are minorities or immigrants. Some residents indicated that police officers overran the towers, making departure difficult.
Speaking of the residents of the towers, the report noted that “some of them suffered from civil wars and dictatorships before settling in Australia, and some even escaped torture at the hands of their former state. For them, the massive police presence was especially painful.”
When the second wave threatened to overturn Australia’s progress in stemming the pandemic, Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews, imposed what would become one of the strictest and longest lockdowns in the world. It lasted 111 days, frustrating and winning an already exhausted and winter-tired Melbourne both Stinging And the the support From the audience.
Mr Andrews said the government has no choice and its actions are based on best public health advice.
“There is no rulebook for this, nobody in Victoria has done this before,” he told a news conference in Melbourne on Thursday. “We have taken steps that the experts said are necessary to save lives.”
Investigators found that although the agency’s chief health official had signed the order to approve the shutdown, they were not aware of the government’s plans to abruptly implement it. The report said that they were given only 15 minutes to review the terms of several documents and their human rights implications before announcing the details of the closure.
The report warned that “during crises, we may tend to view human rights as indispensable in the pursuit of saving human lives.” “This thinking could lead to a dangerous area.”
“It is not surprising that human rights have been violated,” said Ibion Hassan, 32, who lives in a tower in a suburb north of Melbourne and lost her father to the Coronavirus in late July.
She and other residents said they were deeply disappointed by the lack of government services following the closure.
She added, “Everyone is just trying to heal and recover.” “An apology is the least they can do.”
Australian officials had hoped their interaction with the virus would allow B. ‘Covid-normal’ birthday. It was the state of Victoria, which was in late November Effectively eliminate For the second time, 48 days passed without any new locally transmitted cases.
But on Wednesday and Thursday, in a sign of the continuation of the virus, a group of 17 new cases appeared on the northern shores of Sydney, the largest city in Australia, ending the two-week cascade without any new locally transmitted infections. And the effect Close some care homes.
Despite the report’s findings, the Victorian state government asserted that its actions were “complementary” in helping to slow the spread of the disease.
In a statement released on Thursday, Richard Wynn, Minister of Planning and Housing, said the authorities “acted at all times lawfully and within the applicable legislative framework.”
He added, “We do not apologize for saving lives.”
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