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NZ celebrates incomplete democracy

Press Release – People Against Prisons Aotearoa

Celebrations of New Zealands extension of votes to women are premature, says prisoner advocacy organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA). Data provided to the organisation under the Official Information Act shows that on our last election day, …Celebrations of New Zealand’s extension of votes to women are premature, says prisoner advocacy organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA). Data provided to the organisation under the Official Information Act shows that on our last election day, thousands of people were unconstitutionally prevented from voting.

“New Zealanders are supposed to have the human right to vote for a government that represents them. Today we are celebrating 125 years since women were acknowledged to have this right. However, all people who have been sentenced to prison had their human right to vote stripped from them in 2010.”

“According to information provided to us by the Department of Corrections, on election day last year more than 7,000 New Zealanders were legally prohibited from exercising their democratic rights.”

“Today many of us are celebrating the victory of the Women’s Suffrage movement. The decision to strip prisoners of the vote means that for hundreds of women across the country, today is a reminder that they have had this right taken away from them.”

“People Against Prisons Aotearoa demands that, if New Zealand’s democracy is legitimate, the Government immediately repeal all legislation preventing prisoners from exercising their right to vote.”

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