Write a letter to your federal member of parliament.
These are some of the points you can bring to their attention:
- David Hicks. an Australian citizen has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than four years. He has been denied his human and legal rights under the Geneva Conventions. the Torture Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Neither the Australian government nor the US government has alleged that David is a member al Qaeda yet he has been denied his most fundamental right - the presumption of innocence.
- The military commission set up to try David falls far short of accepted standards for any judicial proceedings including those under the US justice system, US court martials and the Australian justice system.
- David has not engaged in any attack or conspired to engage in any attack against US forces or installations, as he was held prisoner by members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan prior to the US invasion of that country in 2002. The contention that David is an "unlawful combatant' is a contrived legal nonsense, all the more that he has never engaged in hostilities against US forces.
- The Australian government has taken no material steps to protect the legal and human rights of one of its own citizens and seems content to wait for the US government to determine his fate: this notwithstanding the strong actions taken by governments of other countries, including Great Britain, to secure the release and return of their nationals previously held under identical circumstances.
- The Australian government has ignored calls from eminent jurists around the world, calling for the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay and condemning their treatment at the hands of the US administration, in contravention of international law.
- Recently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution condemning the US administration for the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and calling on all member states not to cooperate in the interrogation of US detainees or in the rendition of suspects to US custody.
- In addition. the resolution called on the US administration to cease its practice of 'secret detentions' and to initiate an independent investigation of the hundreds of allegations of torture and 'cruel. inhuman and degrading' treatment being meted out against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
A copy of this text is available ( click here ) as a word document.
Request that your MP help persuade the Government to bring David back to Australia, and if he is charged with any crime, that he have a fair civil trial here.
You can call your local talkback radio station to discuss this matter and/or also write to your federal Member of Parliament about this. Ask your federal MP to send a copy of your letter to Phillip Ruddock, Attorney General, Alexander Downer, Foreign Affairs and John Howard, Prime Minister.Send letters to Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT, 2600.