Thursday March 22, 2018   Last updated 21:03PM

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Ponsonby protest for prison vote

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People Against Prisons Aotearoa is picketing Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye's College Hill office this lunchtime to demand a vote for prisoners.

The courts have declared National's 2010 law taking away the vote from prisoners was a breach of human rights, but the law will stand unless parliament changes it.

PAPA spokesperson Emilie Rakete says more than 7000 people in prison will be unable to vote this year, the majority of them Maori.

She says the law should be seen as a racist attempt to disenfranchise some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people, and is a continuation of policies that have undermined Maori participation in the electoral process.

She says denying prisoners the right to vote sends the message the government doesn’t see them as humans who deserve human rights.

It then feels justified in treating them in a degrading and inhumane way, such as the hundreds of thousands of unnecessary strip searches Corrections performs every year, and the way it locks mentally unwell prisoners in solitary confinement.

Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd:

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