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David Hicks & Guantanamo: the truth will out
By stopwarcoalition.org
Aug 9, 2011 - 3:27:39 PM

 

David Hicks & Guantanamo: the truth will out

Posted in Actions, Habib & Hicks on 02-Aug-11

August 2, 2011

David Hicks has committed no crime, and has not been charged with any crime in Australia, but tomorrow – August 3 – he will appear at the NSW Supreme Court on charges of profiting from crime.

David’s book, Guantanamo – My Journey , which was published last year was a full and honest account of his early life and the events that led to him going to Kosovo, Kashmir and eventually Afghanistan.

From all accounts, around 30,000 copies were sold. Now, however, it can no longer be found in the big book stores. Some 50,000 copies have gone missing. It seems that this is a crude attempt to silence David.

This is wrong. But it’s worse because David still suffers from having endured 6 years in Guantanamo Bay and having been tortured.

Why is the Australian government going to such lengths to silence David?

David has committed no crime in Australia – even former PM John Howard has admitted this.

Under extreme duress and after 6 years’ in prison in Guantanamo Bay, David signed a plea agreement which included a charge of “providing material support to terrorism”.

Most people saw this as David’s legitimate attempt to get out of that hell hole. It’s clear from reading his book that he considered he had two options: sign that plea bargain or commit suicide.

Most people know enough to know that many of those in Guantanamo committed no crime. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The British government moved to get their nationals out pretty smartly.

The Australian government, under John Howard, did not do the same thing for Australian citizens.

In July, the chief prosecutor of military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Colonel Morris Davis, told Tuthout.org that he thought David was prosecuted as a “favour” to Australian government.

The US government has since abandoned the military commissions, conceding that they were not legally constituted courts.

“Reasonable people would look at this case and see that it was a favour for an ally”, Colonel Morris Davis said.

David represents no threat to Australia or Australians. Yet, a Labor Attorney General has seen fit to take him to court for proceeds of crime.

Rather than this attempt to silence David, there needs to be a full inquiry into his and other detainees’ torture and imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay.

As Colonel Morris Davis put it to the July 25 truth-out.com:

“It was a terrible case: to make this case go away it had to get done quickly. If there was an arraignment, then a trial would have likely to have been set for the fall of 2007, about two months before Howard would have faced the voters … David Hicks was just a foot soldier, not a war criminal.”

A “Hands off David” protest will take place outside the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday August 3 at 8.30am, 184 Phillip St, Sydney.

Speakers include: Greens NSW MLC David Shoebridge; Stephen Blanks, Council for Civil Liberties; publisher Ann Cunningham; author and Iraq human shield Donna Mulhearn; and Pip Hinman from Stop the War Coalition.

http://stopwarcoalition.org/david-hicks-guantanamo-the-truth-will-out/

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