HICKS A VICTIM OF A ROTTEN SYSTEM,
By Geoff. Muirden
In a previous article in The
Independent Australian, Issue 5, 2005, I compared the Eureka Stockade of
1854 and showed how the death of many of the miners at the Stockade at least led
in the long run to democratic reforms. I also showed that now, in this year of
2005, the democratic gains of the Stockade, including such rights, which the
Eurekans and their democratic heirs, expected would remain in place, such as
trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty, the duty of the State to prove
guilt, freedom for arbitrary arrest, and the accountability of government to the
citizen, to mention but some of these rights, had now been destroyed. In a mood
of Doublethink politicians still use the word "democratic", but it has become an
empty, hypocritical symbol used to lull the sheeple into capitulation to the
rise of globalism and the extinction of personal freedom. That move towards
personal slavery, of which David Hicks, is only one symbol, is continuing to
mount, and shows little sign of stopping. As a proponent of civil liberty,
naturally I am concerned, as all citizens should be, unless they have been
hypnotized into a mood of apathy.
One writer on the Internet, John Wilson, has been very active in seeking to restore the democratic right of trial by jury and expose the collusion of judges in Australia to suppressing what few freedoms citizens may still possess - email@example.com. He has been subjected to continual act of legal harrasment and insult. John Wilson has maintained that rights and freedoms, including trail by jury, were granted in perpetuity by Magna Charta. In like manner, it could be claimed that the American Founding Fathers established inalienable rights and freedoms when they created the United States, but of course these "inalienable rights" are constantly being "alienated". Wilson is one of the few who have had the persistence and integrity to pursue these measures through courts that make no attempt to protect the citizen by such proclamations as the English Bill of Rights, Magna Charta, or by protections under common law.
On December 3,2004, David Hicks’ father spoke at the 150th Anniversary of the Eureka Stockade, and pointed out that his son had been held without trail by the U.S. Government at Guantanamo Bay and that the Australian government had made no effective attempt to represent one of their citizens and, if he was guilty, repatriate him to Australia for trial. Since then, there has been no improvement in the situation of David Hicks but, as if that were not enough, events have transpired that make him a symbol of the society we are fast becoming: an autocratic society, manipulated by the government call for "anti-terrorist" measures into becoming a Terrorist State, in which the government determines for us what terrorism is and seeks to eliminate the rights of terrorists.
David Hicks now has a website devoted to him http://www.fairgofordavid.org/ which raises many of the issues.At that site, is the report of U.S. V David Matthew Hicks’ "Report of the Independent Legal Observer for the Laqw Council of Australia" by Lex Lasry, Q.C., July, 2005. His conclusions are too long to be detailed here, but item #76 in that judgement point out that David Hicks’ case is worse, owing to long delays caused by extended litigation and the possibility that, if there is a trial, there will be no cross examination of witnesses by Hicks’ lawyer but the prosecution will rely on second hand information and conceal what evidence it may consider necessary. In #77 he mentions that detainees at Guantanamo are excluded from access to US civilian courts with access to any rights under the US Constitution or under international conventions, including the Geneva Convention, of which the US is a signatory. There is the real possibility that prisoners, including Hicks, were tortured at Guantanamo Bay to get a confession, which should morally be excluded as obtained under duress. These considerations also affect other Guantanamo inmates. On the same website, Burton J. Lee III,a former physician to the president to George H.W. Bush and a board member of Physicians for Human Rights, denounces the "stain of torture" at Guantanamo.
As Lasry sums up:
"The following criticisms made by others and by me in my first report remain:
· Lack of independence and apprehension of lack of impartiality, the process being the creation of the Executive of the US government;
· The Commission will function with two members who are legally unqualified and inexperienced but who will be required to make findings not only of fact but of law;
· The "rule" of evidence remains unchanged and totally inadequate for the reasons already given;
· The charges against Hicks remain and arguably represent a misuse of those charges;
· There remains no viable appellate process that can impartially correct errors and remedy a miscarriage of justice.
78. I would, of course, agree that the Law Council should make further representations to the Australian government with a view to attempting to persuade them to request Hicks' repatriation as they ultimately did with Habib. Under the present structure not only is the Military Commission process unfair but it seems to be unworkable with relevant detainees being released from time to time and a total lack of certainty created by the whole process having been thoroughly bogged down in litigation. Rather than attempt to remedy some of the injustices which are obvious in the process as it stands, the US government appears determined to defend and apply it to those nominated for trial. If the issues raised in Hamdan and other similar cases brought by detainees were brought before the US Supreme Court, it is hard to imagine that they would not find the logic of Judges Robertson and Green difficult to resist after their conclusions in Rasul and Hamdi. But even if the Court were to eventually confirm each of those judgments changes would need to be made to the process to accommodate those findings. As was demonstrated with the CSRT, the implementation is still likely to be open to further challenge in the courts which will mean a further lengthening of an already offensive delay. In any event the present US government approach is to expedite the hearing of the military commission, certainly in relation to the case of David Hicks.
79. The Law Council should urge the Australian government to examine
these matters very carefully. This is much less about David Hicks than it is about a grossly unfair process and in many ways Australia's own moral authority is at risk if it continues to condone this process as ‘fair and just’"
David Hicks, the Australian imprisoned
at the US Base of Guantanamo Bay, will be 30 years old on Monday August 7, 2005.
Justice for Hicks and Habib campaigner, Marlene Obeid, said: ‘David has been imprisoned and tortured for 3 years and 9 months now. Another birthday in the hellhole of Guantanamo – nothing to be happy about.’
Mr Hicks’ Australian solicitor, David McLeod, found in a recent visit to the US Base that his client is losing his eyesight, has severe back problems, and his mental condition is rapidly deteriorating.
The British Government successfully negotiated the release of nine Britons held imprisoned at Guantanamo. Five were released in March 2004, while the last four were released in January 2005. None of these were charged in spite of US Military officials alleging that four of them were trained and involved in military activities in Afghanistan.
A US citizen, Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was captured in similar circumstances to David Hicks was freed in September 2004 after two and a half years imprisoned, and agreeing to renounce his US citizenship and renouncing terrorism.
‘It is time for the Australian Government to request David Hicks’ repatriation, before it is too late,’ Mrs Obeid added.
For further information contact Marlene Obeid on 0401 758 871
David Hicks is a symbol of a system that is increasingly leading to an Orwellian Big Brother State. The events of September 11,2001, have fostered an attitude suppressing free speech and basic freedoms that a Western heritage had led us to hope might be sacrosanct: freedom from arbitrary arrest, a right to trial by jury, innocent until proven guilty, cross examination of witnesses and an expectation that the accused had to have his guilt proven "beyond reasonable doubt." The sheeple are being brainwashed into accepting gross violations of human rights, including the shooting of a "suspect" Brazilian in London, now known not to have been a terrorist. Sir Ian Blair, the British Police Commissioner, had falsely announced that the killing of Menezes was "directly linked" to terrorism. Some citizens have become "useful idiots", "justifying" the shooting by saying " they were only doing their job." No doubt, by shooting innocent people to "rescue" us from terrorism!
John Pilger’s article "The rise of the Democratic Police State" , published August 19,2005, by www.antiwar.com , among others, depicts the way selective attention is given to targetting Muslims as "the force behind terrorism" in U.K., while at the same time, condoning US terrorism against those in Iraq and Afghanistan.The same pattern is evident in Australia, as Prime Minister Howard follows the lead of Blair and Bush. Blair wanted police state powers in 2001, when he suspended habeas corpus and installed unlimited house arrest without trial. Lord Hoffman said that Blair’s attacks on human rights were a greater threat to freedom than terrorism. He might have added that by suspending civil rights the State itself becomes a terrorist.
This is the direction in which we are now headed as "democracy" becomes a sham, existing only in the dictionary. Prime Minister Howard has also encouraged the rush to autocracy by calling for a national ID card and targetting Muslims as the main villains behind "terrorism", conveniently ignoring State Terrorism, seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, supported by the "coalition of the willing", those willing to be dupes of those who would smash freedom once and for all. David Hicks is merely a symbol of what our society is turning into: a totalitarian state.
Vanunu nabbed on Palestinian bus - and after 24 hours released on bail http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3171629,00.html
Visit also Vanunu's own website: http://www.serve.com/vanunu/ from where now his campaign is managed, and where you find how to support his ongoing legal struggle
2 Nov 05: from vmjc:
Sep 26 05
I had a hearing, about the renewal of restrictions. They heard my lawyer Feldman.
The hearing then heard in secret the security people for 1.5 hours, without me and my lawyer.
Then they said they will give their verdict in the future.
Feldman lawyer spoke very good,
also they gave me back my three lap tops, that they took since last November.
We are waiting for future decisions,
Denied entry in Israel for humanitarian aid worker
The following is excerpted from a press release received from: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri, 18 Nov 2005
At 3am on the 14th November, Meri Calvelli, representative of the Italian NGO CRIC in the Gaza Strip, where she coordinates a development project co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was stopped at passport control, Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv on her way back to her work in Palestine after a brief stay in Italy. 26 hours later, after several gruelling interrogations, deliberate intimidation, humiliation, insults and threats by Israel security forces, she was put on a flight back to Italy. Both the Italian Consulate in Jerusalem and the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv intervened, sending the Italian Ambassador himself to the airport to try to mediate in the situation. Despite these efforts, the Israel Authorities were unforthcoming in stating the exact motive behind refusing Meri entry into Israel, giving the usual vague pretext - "for security reasons" (...)
We didn't see any information about this in the Israeli media
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