Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Foreign Affairs?

Recently on there was an enthusiatic debate about Australia's overseas representation and the expectations placed on these services by naive tourists.

This morning, however, I read about this case:

A West Australian man is in jail in Saudi Arabia charged with terrorism-related offences.
His mother, who does not want to be named, told NITV – the indigenous channel of broadcaster SBS – that her son had been tortured while in jail. ''I want them to clear his name and I want them to send him home,'' she said.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed Mr Thorne was on trial for alleged terrorism-related offences and was detained in a prison outside the Saudi capital Riyadh.
''Consular officials have been providing consular assistance to the man since his arrest in November 2011,'' he said. ''Consular staff in Canberra are in regular contact with the man's family in Australia.''
Mr Thorne's younger brother Junaid is in hiding in Saudi Arabia, in fear for his life, having been stripped of his passport after spending two months in detention there without being charged.

And now here's the zinger:

The brothers have reportedly lived in Saudi Arabia for a decade.
On Thursday, The boys' mother, who doesn't want to be identified, said Australia hadn't done enough to get her sons home.

I find it very hard to work up any sympathy for anyone involved in this.

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