by Kay Bilney ( fgfd media spokesperson )

On behalf of fairgofordavid I welcome everyone today to mark the 28th birthday of David Hicks, who has been illegally detained by the United States in Guantanamo Bay for 21 months.

We meet to remind John Howard and his government, all Australians and the world, that we have not forgotten David Hicks and Mamdou Habib, nor have we abandoned the rule of law in Australia.

All Australian citizens are entitled to international human rights and conventions and representation by their government, a responsibility which has been denied David Hicks and Mamdou Habib by the Howard government. They have received no consular or legal representation while being caged, shackled and constantly interrogated.

I know I speak not only for fairgofordavid but also the Hicks family when I sincerely thank Adelaide lawyer Steven Kenny who has supported the Hicks family and travelled to New York to assist David.

We also thank the Australian Peace Committee SA branch, Amnesty International, the political parties, the Uniting Church in Australia and every other organisation and individual who defend the right to due process, the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.

In Sydney today the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition have also marked this day with Mrs Habib and Steven Hopper, and are going to Kiribilli House with David's birthday cards because David will not even know it's his birthday or what day it is. Terry Hicks apologises for his absence today due to his return to work after having travelled to Pakistan, Afghanistan and New York to trace his son's steps and appeal for a fairgofordavid.

The member for Bonython Mr. Martin Evans, the Hicks' family Member of Parliament is here to speak to us and to cut the cake which is symbolic of the birthdays and deaths of many prisoners around the world, denied human justice.

Thank you all for being here.


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