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NPIP: Corrections not fulfilling their Pride promise

Fri 11 Nov 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

No Pride in Prisons say without the implementation of a plan to protect transgender prisoners -which was agreed upon before Pride 2016 - Corrections should not be marching in the parade next year. Corrections, along with the Police, announced yesterday that they intend to make an application to be included in the 2017 Auckland Pride Parade. Emmy Rākete of protest group No Pride in Prisons, who for the past two years have protested the inclusion of both the Department and the Police, says “No Pride in Prisons categorically oppose the inclusion of Police or Corrections officers in next year's Pride parade. “As Official Information Act data obtained by No Pride in Prisons shows, almost a year after Corrections claimed they would implement an action plan to protect the safety of transgender prisoners, no such plan exists. “No Pride in Prisons are working closely with a suicidal incarcerated trans woman who has been placed in solitary confinement by Corrections "for her own safety" who is being subjected to constant sexual harassment and whose mental state is rapidly declining. Corrections have refused to remove her from 23-hour lockdown, where she has been for 2 weeks, on the grounds that they do not have anywhere safe enough to send her. “The Auckland Pride Board gave in to pressure from Corrections to allow them to march on the grounds that Corrections would implement a plan to protect trans prisoners. Almost a year later, and Corrections are leaving trans prisoners to rot in solitary confinement because they will not and cannot ensure their safety.” Rākete believes the abolishment of the prison system is necessary and that the inclusion of the Police and Corrections breach the human rights policies of the Auckland Pride Board. “New Zealand prisons cause sexual violence, New Zealand prisons cause racist mass incarceration, New Zealand prisons cause suicide, and they are absolutely unfit to participate in a celebration of the enemies our community has worked so hard to overcome. Police and Corrections are the enemy for our community to overcome. We look forward to the Auckland Pride board rejecting these applications on the grounds that they fail to meet the human rights criteria the board have established for parade participants, and we offer any support they might need in interpreting these policies.” No Pride in Prisons is organising a picket at Corrections’ Northern Regional Office on 22 November “to protest their use of solitary confinement to put off admitting their continual failure to provide even basic safety for transgender prisoners. Rākete says “We invite anyone who wants to support this prisoner, or wants to learn more about what No Pride in Prisons propose as an alternative, to join us there.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 11th November 2016 - 9:53am

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