Friday May 27, 2005


The Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group & the Justice for Hicks & Habib Campaign welcome the statement by Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan, condemning the US Administration for condoning torture and the suppression of humans' rights in their 'war on terror.'
Raul Bassi, spokesperson for the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group, said: "The Australian Government's position to support the US Administration on the infamous 'war on terror' has meant the targeting of Australians here and abroad."

As the Australian media focuses on Douglas Wood, the Australian currently held hostage in Iraq, concerned about unfair deprivation of liberty, the plight of three other Australians, David Hicks, Ahmed Aziz Rafiq and Mamdouh Habib, has been largely forgotten.

David Hicks a hostage for more than three years at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Together with more than 500 other inmates, Hicks has had minimal legal representation and his case has not been brought before an impartial court of law.

Ahmed Aziz Rafiq has been imprisoned without charge for over a year by US forces who have refused to detail if or when he will be released.

Mamdouh Habib, released from Guantanamo Bay in January 2005 after being held captive for over three years by the US Administration, continues to be held hostage, this time by the Australian Government.

Mr Bassi added: " Mamdouh has not been charged of any crime under Australian, US or international law, yet his life has been turned into a nightmare.  He is under constant surveillance with his home and car bugged and broken into on a number of occasions.  Mamdouh has been physically threatened and his family denied all access to social security.  Mamdouh's passport has also been withheld for no reason.

"In the case of David Hicks and Ahmed Aziz Rafiq, these two men's lives are still in limbo, with the Australian Government doing nothing to secure their release and repatriation," Mr Bassi emphasised.

The Canterbury Bankstown Peace Group and the Justice for Hicks & Habib Campaign demand an end to the war on human rights, the immediate release of David Hicks and Ahmed Aziz Rafiq, and end to the harassment of Mamdouh Habib and his family.

For more information contact: Raul Bassi on 0403 037 376 or Marlene Obeid on 0401 758 871.

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