A letter sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Details of sender withheld by request.

The Hon Alexander Downer
Minister of Foreign Affairs

October 31, 2003.

Dear Minister,

RE: Mr Mamdouh Habib

I would appreciate your assistance in confirming the circumstances surrounding the seizure & ongoing detention by US armed forces of our fellow Australian citizen, Mr Mamdouh Habib.

1. Is it correct that Mr Habib:

a. is an Australian citizen who legally undertook travel from Australia to Pakistan, where he was subsequently taken into custody by Pakistani government authorities on October 5, 2001?

b. was detained by Pakistani government authorities in Pakistan prior to the commencement of hostilities by US armed forces against Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 & prior to members of the US armed forces being deployed in that country?

c. was not charged with any offence or breach of the laws of Pakistan or any other country, by Pakistani government authorities, prior to his being transported, under forced detention, to Egypt & handed over to Egyptian government authorities in late October, 2001?

d. was illegally transported from Pakistan to Egypt?

e. was not charged with any offence or breach of the laws of Egypt or any other country, by Egyptian government authorities, prior to his being handed over to US military forces & subsequently transported, under forced detention, to Afghanistan?

f. was illegally transported from Egypt to Afghanistan?

g. was not charged with any offence or breach of the laws of Afghanistan or any other country, by Afghan government authorities or US government authorities, prior to his being transported by US armed forces, under forced detention, to the US military base in Guatanamo Bay?

h. was a civilian, detained variously & continuously by Pakistani, Egyptian & US authorities prior to the commencement of hostilities by US military forces in Afghanistan?

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i. was transported to Afghanistan in detention by US military forces & not taken into custody in any theatre of war, including Afghanistan?

j. was, to the best knowledge of the Australian government, never a member, official, employee, servant or representative of the Taliban government of Afghanistan?

k. was, to the best knowledge of the Australian government, never a member, official, employee, servant or representative of al-Qaeda or other terrorist organization?

l. has, to the best knowledge of the Australian government, never caused nor attempted to cause any harm to American personnel or property?

m. has, to the best knowledge of the Australian government, never caused nor attempted to cause any harm to Australian, Egyptian or Afghan personnel or property, or the personnel or property of any other country?

n. since being detained by Pakistani government authorities more than 2 years ago, has never been brought before a civilian or military tribunal, accused of or charged with any offence under any law of any country?

o. since being detained by Pakistani government authorities more than 2 years ago, has never been afforded access to legal advice and / or representation, nor offered diplomatic or consular aid or assistance by any government, including the Australian government, as would normally be afforded to an Australian citizen?

p. since being detained by Pakistani government authorities more than 2 years ago, has never been informed of his rights under the Geneva Convention, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United States Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights or the Regulations of the United States Armed Forces?

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q. is being held by the US armed forces at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba under the authority of a Military Order issued directly by the President of the United States on November 13, 2001, but after Mr Habib was detained by Pakistani government authorities?

r. is being subjected to continuous physical & mental torture, by being:

i. held in a confined, caged space?

ii. exposed to the elements?

iii. shackled & manackled?

iv. subjected to sleep deprivation?

v. subjected to interrogation, without having been apprised of his rights & denied legal advice?

vi. denied access to due process?

vii. held as an 'unlawful combatant', but denied individual determination of his status as required under the terms of the Geneva Convention?

viii. denied his human rights as specified under Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 28, 29 & 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

ix. denied knowledge of his fate?

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2. Is it correct that Australia has formal diplomatic ties with Pakistan, Egypt & the United States of America?

3. Does Australia maintain a diplomatic presence in Pakistan, Egypt & the United States of America & were Australian diplomatic representatives present in those countries on & after October 5, 2001?

4.  
a) Was the Australian government or any of its representatives advised by Pakistani or US government authorities

i. that Mr Habib had been detained?

ii. on what basis Mr Habib was being detained?

iii. of Mr Habib's detention, prior to his being illegally transported to Egypt?

iv. that the Pakistani government authorities did not intend to bring Mr Habib before a Pakistani court, as is required by Pakistani law?

v. that the Pakistani government authorities intended to illegally transport Mr Habib to Egypt & hand him over to Egyptian government authorities?

b) If the Australian government or any of its representatives were aware of Mr Habib's detention by Pakistani government authorities, prior to his being illegally transported to Egypt & handed over to Egyptian government authorities, what actions did they take to secure & protect Mr Habib's rights as an Australian citizen under Australian, Pakistani & International law?

c) If the Australian government was not aware of Mr Habib's detention prior to his being illegally transported to Egypt & handed over the Egyptian government authorities, did the Australian government subsequently

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i. lodge any form of diplomatic protest with the Pakistani government authorities regarding Mr Habib's treatment? If not, why not?

ii. seek his immediate release by the Egyptian government authorities? If not, why not?

5. a) Was the Australian government or any of its representatives advised by Egyptian government authorities

i. that Mr Habib had been detained in Egypt?

ii. on what basis Mr Habib was being detained?

iii. of Mr Habib's detention, prior to his being illegally handed over to US military forces?

iv. that the Egyptian government authorities did not intend to bring Mr Habib before an Egyptian court, as is required by Egyptian law?

v. that the Egyptian government authorities intended to illegally hand Mr Habib over to US military forces?

b) If the Australian government or any of its representatives were aware of Mr Habib's detention by Egyptian government authorities, prior to his being illegally handed over to US military forces, what actions did they take to secure & protect Mr Habib's rights as an Australian citizen under Australian, Egyptian & International law?

c) If the Australian government was not aware of Mr Habib's detention prior to his being illegally handed over to US miliary forces, did the Australian government subsequently

i. lodge any form of diplomatic protest with the Egyptian government authorities regarding Mr Habib's treatment? If not, why not?

ii. seek his immediate release by the US military forces? If not, why not?

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6.
a) Was the Australian government or any of its representatives advised by US government authorities

i. that Mr Habib had been handed over to US military forces in Egypt by Egyptian government authorities?

ii. on what basis Mr Habib was being detained by US military forces?

iii. of Mr Habib's detention, prior to his being illegally transported to Afghanistan?

iv. that the US government authorities intended to illegally transport Mr Habib to Afghanistan & such further destinations as deemed fit by US government authorities, in contravention of International law?

b) If the Australian government or any of its representatives were aware of Mr Habib's detention by US military forces, prior to his being illegally transported to Afghanistan & subsequently Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, what actions did they take to secure & protect Mr Habib's rights as an Australian citizen under Australian, US & International law?

c) If the Australian government was not aware of Mr Habib's detention by US military forces, prior to his being illegally transported to Afghanistan, did the Australian government subsequently

i. lodge any form of diplomatic protest with the US government authorities regarding Mr Habib's treatment? If not, why not?

ii. seek his immediate release by the US military forces? If not, why not?

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7. Does the Australian government condone the behaviour of the Pakistani, Egyptian & US governments towards Mr Habib, in particular the fact that all three governments engaged in an illegal conspiracy to

a) detain him against his wishes for more than 2 years?
b) deny him access to legal representation & access to due process?
c) deny him his human rights?

8. If the Australian government condones the behaviour of the Pakistani, Egyptian & US governments towards Mr Habib, does the Australian government hold that

a) the rule of law, including International law should & can be subverted, put aside, ignored or suspended at the personal fiat of the President of the United States of America?

b) the rights of Australian citizens, including their human rights & rights under International law, should & can be subverted, put aside, ignored or
suspended at the personal fiat of the President of the United States of America?

9. If the Australian government does not believe that the rule of law, including International law, & the rights of Australian citizens, including their human rights & rights under International law, should & can be subverted, put aside, ignored or suspended at the personal fiat of the President of the United States of
America, when will our government take action

a) to challenge & condemn the behaviour of the Pakistani, Egyptian & US governments towards Mr Habib?

b) to secure & protect the rights of Mr Habib?

10. Finally, based on Mr Habib's experiences & current circumstances, what guarantees & assurances is the Australian government willing & able to offer to its
citizens that the rule of law, including International law, & their rights, including their human rights & rights under International law will not be subverted, put aside, ignored or suspended in the future?

I look forward to receiving your detailed response to my questions.

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