Could we soon see laws in Queensland where it is illegal to associate with Asians, wear clothes with Asian symbols and face extra penalties if an Asian is convicted of any offence?
In their haste to make headlines for the toughest anti-bikie laws in the world, the Queensland Government has not only trampled the rights of citizens, but also opened the door to a world of crime and violence.
It now appears likely that the void left by the outlawed motorcycle clubs will be filled by more violent and well-organised crime syndicates from around Australia and South-East Asia, according to a secret National Criminal Target Report.
It identifies these offshore underground criminal syndicates as an “extreme threat” to Australia.
If the state government’s handling of the bikie situation is anything to go by, we could soon see a raft of Asian-profiling laws rushed into Parliament.
Won’t the Australian Human Rights Commission have apoplexy then!
The Commission has expressed “great concern” about the three anti-bikie Bills passed by Queensland Parliament last week without debate.
Commission president Professor Gillian Triggs says the “internationally agreed freedoms and rights of specific groups of people in Queensland may be breached by the effect of these laws”.
He says there are “serious human rights ramifications” in the fact that the laws were not debated and scrutinised first.
He says they should have been accompanied by a statement of Human Rights compatibility, as they are at the federal level.
The Commission is also concerned that people deemed by the laws to be ‘vicious lawless associates’ will now be automatically subject to mandatory extra punishment above what would apply for the declared offence, including an additional 15 to 25 years imprisonment, and be subject to the potential waiving of bail and parole and a reversal of the onus of proof.
“The provision which we think raises the greatest concern from a human rights point of view is that each person is entitled to be treated equally with others before a court of law,” the professor says.
“Here we have an attempt to specifically identify a class of person – members of a criminal motorcycle gang – and to require that there be mandatory sentences in relation to them.
“As a democratic and fair society, freedom of association, freedom of expression and our right to be treated equally before the law in accordance with the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights should be fundamentals under which we operate.”
Meanwhile, the rash laws could lead to a society where we usher in well-organised crime gangs or where cornered bikies choose to fight it out with police on the streets rather than surrender and face extra time in jail wearing pink jumpsuits.
Australian Crime Commission’s operations executive director Richard Grant is reported as saying that the organised criminal networks would be happy about bikies taking the heat off them.
“You’d have to say if you were a Mr Big and you were worried about law enforcement attention and you’ve just seen these idiots (bikies) carrying on like they are and becoming a lightning rod for government and law enforcement attention, you’d be sitting back pretty happily, thinking that they are copping the heat,” he says.
“They’re not just sitting back waiting for the heat to finish. They’ll be out there exploiting things, we already know that.”
Meanwhile, a bipartisan Crime Summit will be held in Southport this Friday to discuss the new laws and the crime situation on the Gold Coast.
It will be held at the Southport community Centre, 6 Lawson St, from 10am to noon.
If you would like to attend and explain how innocent, law-abiding motorcycle riders are being harassed and discriminated against by these laws, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign the petition against these anti-bikie laws, click here. We have less than 2500 signatures to go before the petition reaches 10,000. When it does, we will take it to Parliament.