by Kay Danes

Former Political Prisoner, held by Laos

Will David Hicks get a fair hearing in a US Military court? Look at the history books. 'Breaker Morant' tried by the British Military court and found guilty, though overwhelming evidence proved his innocence.

They still took him out the back and shot him. Or when the Japanese Imperial forces tried Australian soldiers [combatants] under a Japanese military court, they too got executed.

As a former political prisoner of a Stalinist regime (Laos), it is not my place to judge the innocence or guilt of David Hicks but what I do fear, is that his RIGHTS may be violated.

His lawyer seems to feel that way and all indicators point towards a clear violation of those rights under the Geneva convention, UN Declaration of Human Rights, International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

It is the right of every person to have proper due process and the right to a fair trial. What does the US prosecution fear in having an open, fair trial under a democratic process
rather than a military process whereby David Hicks will most likely become the pawn in a political power play between two governments.

My husband and I know this feeling.

In Laos, when we were held hostage by the Stalinist regime, we were denied our rights just as David Hicks. Most Australians thought us guilty of a crime we didn't commit. We were given a Laos lawyer to represent us in a foreign court (Laos) but he merely acted as 'translator' for the judges who had pre-determined our guilt and who warned our lawyer to shut his mouth, when we made futile attempts through him, in our defense. Our Australian lawyer could only sit by the sidelines and watch the show just as I presume David Hicks' lawyer will be doing.

There was nothing at all fair about our trial in Laos. It was merely a means to an end as I
can only assume the trial of David Hicks will be.

The Australian and Laos Government got what they wanted at our expense just as the US and Australian government will. Lucky for us though, we got to go home with a criminal conviction which in itself is devastating for us and our families. My heart goes out to the families of the accused.

The families are not guilty of any crimes but will nonetheless, suffer the humiliation as a result.

I see so many double standards in western democracy. David Hicks accused of being a terrorist and to be harshly dealt with. Laos government, a rogue state, torturing us and holding us hostage as 'unofficially' agreed by the Australian Government, and yet nothing happens to the terrorists.

As they say 'it's all arse about face'. At the end of the day, the politicians will decide regardless of the truth, regardless of any presumption of innocence or the rights of humans to defend themselves without prejudice. And when the politicians are done, all will return
to normal... for them. The tragedy of the violation of a human's rights, will be a fleeting memory.

Kay Danes
QLD

For more information go to:   www.political.foreignprisoners.com


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