Anger towards baby killer is justified but he has rights

EDITORIAL: Human rights is a difficult issue.

If someone oversteps the rules, do they still have rights?

What if they commit such a heinous crime that society is repulsed, beyond any capacity for forgiveness? What then?

The anger over a successful compensation claim by a Maryborough prison inmate who bashed to death and butchered his own newborn daughter is understandable.

The tribunal finding - that Raymond Akhtar Ali had been discriminated against in prison by being fed vegetables instead of the meat which his religion demands - was based on the circumstances and events in Maryborough jail, not on his crime.

But the community cannot separate the issues so coldly, as evidenced by the reaction - echoed within the Chronicle office, shared by this editor.

Here is a man who slaughtered and dismembered a baby to hide his extramarital affair.

It is tempting to say he is lucky to be fed at all.

Our anger is justified.

But monster or not, in our nation he too has rights, as painful as that is to accept.

If basic rights have a tipping point at which a crime negates them, who gets to decide the tipping point?



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