Monday 26 September 2016

Female MPs kicked out of New Zealand's parliament after speaking about their experiences of sexual assault

Published 11/11/2015 | 23:46

The Green Party's Metiria Turei speaking at the Christmas Island debate. Photo: YouTube
The Green Party's Metiria Turei speaking at the Christmas Island debate. Photo: YouTube

Female MPs were kicked out of New Zealand's parliament after speaking about their experiences of sexual assault.

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David Carter, the parliament's speaker, ruled the women were out of order on Wednesday after they announced they had been victims of sexual assault.

Their statements came in response to comments made by Prime Minister John Key over the detention of New Zealanders on Australia's Christmas Island, Stuff New Zealand reports.

Mr Key accused opposition Green and Labour MPs of “backing the rapists” after they raised concerns over the detention of citizens awaiting deportation because the Australian government cancelled visas for those convicted of certain crimes.

“Some of the [detainees] are rapists, some of them are child molesters, and some of them are murders," he said, according to 3 News.

Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Green Party said: "As the victim of a sexual assault, I take personal offence at the prime minister’s comments, and ask that you require him to withdraw and apologise.”

Other female MPs, including Green MPs Catherine Delahunty and Marama Davidson and Labour MPs Nanaia Mahuta, Clare Curran, Poto Williams and Megan Woods, also called on Mr Key to apologise, making reference to their own experiences of sexual assaults.

Mr Carter ordered Ms Delahunty to sit down and told others to stop as they were “flouting the rules”.

Ms Davidson and Ms Willams were thrown out of the House, while at least 12 other MPs chose to leave the chamber - including four male MPs who are also calling on Mr Key to apologise.

Ms Delahunty said: “We’ve walked out because every woman in this country needs to know that women parliamentarians will not put up with this."

Mr Carter said he had not heard Key’s comments properly.

"Had I heard the remark... I would have ruled it to be unparliamentary and required the prime minister to withdraw and apologise for it" he said, according to Stuff New Zealand.

More than 500 Kiwis are being detained on Christmas Island after the Australian government introduced laws that mean overseas citizens convicted of crimes carrying a custodial sentence of over a yearmust be deported.

Independent News Service

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