17 December 2004


In a media release to mark World Human Rights Day Bishop Christopher Saunders of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) has renewed a call for justice for David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib who have now been detained for over three years in Guantanamo Bay.

Noting that grave concerns about the treatment of the prisoners have been raised by organizations such as Amnesty and Red Cross and that recent rulings in the US have cast doubt on the lawfulness of their continuing detention and the ability of the military tribunals to ensure a fair hearing, Bishop Saunders called upon the Australian Government to ensure Hicks and Habib have immediate access to the ordinary process of justice in a non-military court.

Bishop Saunders stressed that respect for fundamental human rights underpins the Australian way of life and that it is the Australian way to settle questions of guilt or innocence in a court of law that ensures all the proper protections of the rule of law, including the presumption of innocence.

The full text of the statement can be found at the ACSJC website.

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