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    Tony Abbott Says Australians Are "Sick Of Being Lectured By The United Nations"

    UN expert hits back at PM's comments after he questions report into torture.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed a report by the UN that finds Australia's treatment of asylum seekers breaches the Torture Convention.

    Eoin Blackwell / AAPIMAGE

    The report, prepared by independent UN expert Juan Mendez, looks into the conditions on Manus Island and Australia's recent amendments to maritime law.

    The report says Australia's indefinite detention of asylum seekers, the harsh conditions and frequent outbreaks of violence inside the Manus Island detention centre violates its obligations under the Convention against Torture.

    Handout / Getty Images

    Daniel Webb from the Human Rights Law Centre says “The Torture Convention prohibits subjecting people to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The report confirms that by leaving people locked up indefinitely in appalling conditions on a remote island, Australia is failing to meet this basic standard.”

    Here's an advance copy of the report.

    UN Human Rights Council/BuzzFeed

    Tony Abbott says "Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations."

    Rebecca Le May / AAP

    "I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea," the PM said at a press conference in Perth.

    Mr Abbott went on to question the credibility of the United Nations investigators:

    ABC News 24

    "I think the UN's representatives would have a lot more credibility if they were to give some credit to the Australian Government for what we've been able to achieve in this area."

    So, what has the government's asylum seeker policy actually achieved?

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    Oh yeah, stopping the boats. Mr Abbott has certainly mentioned that once or twice.

    He described stopping the boats as "the most humanitarian, the most decent, the most compassionate thing you can do."

    But the UN report seems to question that logic, noting that the legislation which gives the Australian government power to detain and return asylum seekers at sea also violates the Torture Convention.

    “Under international law, Australia can’t lock people up incommunicado on a boat somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Nor can we return people to a place where they face the risk of being tortured. Yet these are precisely the powers the Government has sought to give itself through recent amendments to its maritime law,” said Mr Webb.

    In the press conference Monday, Mr Abbott defended the conditions on Manus Island as "reasonable" and said all of the basic needs of the detainees were being met.

    Facebook: Asylum.Seeker.Resource.Centre.ASRC

    This is of course the same Manus Island where one detainee was murdered and another died from an infection from filthy living conditions. A former guard described the detention centre as a "death trap."

    UPDATE: UN investigator Juan Mendez has responded to the criticism, saying Tony Abbott needs to respect his organisation.

    Mr Mendez told Fairfax that Mr Abbott 's response to the report was combative and described the government's reaction to his concerns as "insufficient".

    "I think we in the United Nations also deserve respect and I wish the Prime Minister had taken my views on this more seriously and engaged with my rapporteurship more constructively.

    "That is what I have always tried to do and I am still available for a constructive conversation."

    Stringer / Reuters

    But the UN rapporteur says he is glad that the report has sparked debate about the issue in Australia.

    "At least we are getting a robust debate in Australia, and that's more important to me than the initial reaction of government," he told ABC's AM program.

    "In many other cases we get governments that either brush us off or don't respond at all, so I'd rather get an intemperate response than no response.

    "And in the meantime if we can help stir some debate, because I know that the debate is already going on in Australia with or without my participation, I think that's a way things can correct, and performance of government can get improved."

    The prime minister's rejection of the UN investigation comes after he dismissed an independent report into children in detention by Human Rights Commissioner Professor Triggs, described by Mr Abbott as a "blatantly partisan, politicised exercise."

    @GillianTriggs / BuzzFeed

    The government's reaction to the Triggs report was widely criticised and resulted in attorney-general George Brandis being censured by the Senate.

    Not surprisingly, his latest comments have made a lot of people pretty angry.

    the @UN can lecture me as often as they like.We're failing in one of our biggest responsibilities as a global citizen http://t.co/Nd8FgUBDCF

    PM Tony Abbott "sick of being lectured to by UN" just like Putin, Mugabe, Gaddafi, Hussein etc before him http://t.co/lIKAQLD8PA

    You know what's worse than being lectured to about the torture of asylum seekers? The torture of asylum seekers. Just saying. #auspol

    when you're sick of people lecturing you about torture you've probably been torturing too much.

    So to recap: Australia gets told off by the UN for torturing people and Australia's PM responds by doing the diplomatic equivalent of yelling "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!"

    Stefan Postles / Getty Images

    ...Before slamming his bedroom door, playing really loud music and not letting anyone else in – especially if they come by boat.

    Also, Australia has been keeping its room tidy for ages, been really nice to its little brother and the UN hasn't even said anything not even once, and anyway the UN isn't even our real dad. This man is.

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