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Green MP Jan Logie detained in Sri Lanka

Mon 11 Nov 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Jan Logie is on her way back to New Zealand after being detained by Sri Lankan authorities and questioned about her visa. The openly-lesbian Green Party MP was on a fact-finding mission with Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, looking into human rights abuses in the nation ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo. The women were detained for more than two hours and prevented from holding their scheduled press conference that would have highlighted the human rights abuses that they have found on their trip to Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). They have since been released, their passports have been returned and they are travelling back to Australia and New Zealand. “Our fact-finding trip to Sri Lanka has found that the human rights abuses that we have been hearing about are well-founded,” Logie says. “This country should never have been given the chance to chair the CHOGM meeting while those in power at the time of gross human rights violations have been able to avoid justice, and that is more apparent to me than ever. “The ongoing abuses of human and legal rights are so serious that there is no way that the Commonwealth meeting should go ahead in Sri Lanka. “During the time we were detained I felt the huge injustice of being protected because I am a foreigner and it only highlighted the experience and danger of local people trying to fight human rights abuses every day. Logie has checked into her return flight this morning, but had another run-in with officials who went through all her papers and tried to take her passport while they did it. “Thanks for all the support everyone. I am fine,” she has assured friends and followers on Facebook. “It was a real insight into the fear people are living with every day here. I knew we would be fine, we were MPs, we had consular support and media present. Local people don't have those things. It really is shocking,” she says. “We must speak out on behalf of the people who are unable to do it themselves! Sri Lanka is not a free country and cannot be head of the Commonwealth.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 11th November 2013 - 8:09am

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