25 January 2007
The comments place further pressure on the Australian government to address the plight of David Hicks in the face of widespread criticism of the recently announced procedures which will be permitted for his 'trial', news that the revised charges he faces will be downgraded significantly and with disquiet increasingly being voiced by members within the government’s own ranks.
The US government has decided that hearsay evidence and evidence obtained under torture will be admissible in any trial of Hicks, a decision that has provoked outrage and dismay in legal circles. The issue has never been about what Hicks may or may not have done, but about just and fair legal processes. Clearly the treatment of David Hicks fails to meet appropriate standards of fairness – something that is almost universally recognized, except by the leaders of the Australian government.
It would appear that, as in the case of its continued justification of the decision to invade Iraq, the government stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it has made an error and is prepared to continue to sacrifice the rights of an individual Australian citizen in order to save political face.
Those who would like to dissociate themselves from the treatment currently afforded to David Hicks can support the Get Up campaign (and receive their free billboard for display) or sign the Amnesty online petition to bring David Hicks home or join the international campaign online flotilla demanding the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay.
From 11 am elected representatives will be invited to address the crowd outside the Parliament and say how they stand. After the Parliament assembles the campaigners will take their demands to the US Embassy.
For more information phone Marlene on 0401 758 871 or Raul on 0403 037 376