19 September 2006


There is currently an attempt to push new legislation through the US Congress for trying Guantanamo detainees - including the Australian, David Hicks.

Recently the US Supreme Court struck down the President’s Military Commissions and restored minimum Geneva Conventions protections to people in US custody, but now the President has asked Congress to authorize military commissions proceedings similar to those that were struck down.

In addition, the President has asked Congress to codify the indefinite detention regime and to provide immunity for the CIA, civilian contractors, and Administration officials who may have committed war crimes violations. He is also advocating a re-interpretation of the Geneva Convention that will legitimize the "alternative interrogation methods" that many believe amount to the use of torture, in a move that has attracted criticism even from former members of his Administration such as Colin Powell.

A recent newspoll (published in the Melbourne 'Age' on 15th Sep) indicated that more than nine out of ten (91%) of Australians believe David Hicks should receive a fair trial without delay, while less than one in four (24%) believe he will receive a fair trial in Guantanamo Bay.

Get Up an independent political movement which aims to bring together like-minded people to actively participate in our democracy, is currently campaigning to urge Australians to email President Bush and key US Senators to demand fair treatment for David Hicks.

Several campaigns are also underway simultaneously at Get Up including one to protest at the pressuring of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory into giving up their land for the next century, in exchange for securing basic services (such as housing and schools).

You can participate in these campaigns by visiting the above website and adding your name to the online petitions.

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