8th June 2002


Trudy Dunn, spokesperson for the Fair Go for David group, says it's well and truly time for the Howard government to make a move to repatriate David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib to Australia. The Fair Go for David group has been set up to publicise what Ms Dunn says is the "true story" about David Hicks and is also fundraising to assist in paying David's legal fees.

Ms Dunn said, "Mr Howard is off to Washington to meet Geroge W. Bush in the next few days and he needs to request the repatriation of both men. This situation where the Australian government has done little to secure the rights of either man is intolerable. Despite the fact that both the Attorney General, Daryl Williams and the Foreign Affairs minister, Alexander Downer, have visited Cuba in the last few weeks, David and Mamdouh are left there at the mercy of their American military jailers and the government's indecision."

Terry Hicks, father of David, said he thinks that his son is now in "solitary confinement." He said, "This new Camp Delta - it's just another name for an illegal prison where my son and those he's imprisoned with have no rights and, are now stuck inside four walls for most of the day, every day, it's not right! They can't see anything or anyone connected with their families and only have contact with their jailers. Where's the justice in that?"

He continued, "It is John Howard's third trip to America since September 11 and he's done nothing to ensure that David or Mr Habib are treated according to the law as it stands in Australia or the world (Geneva Convention)." Mr Hicks reiterated that David "had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks and is innocent of any involvement in terrorism." When asked what he wanted most from Mr Howard's visit to the US he stated, "My son's return to Australia and the right to see him and speak to him in person."

Fair Go for David is calling on Mr Howard to raise the issue of the imprisoned Australians with George W. Bush and to request their return to their home cities and families. Ms Dunn said, "John Howard could take a paramount role in seeing that justice is done. He will be in the right place and with the right man to do this. He needs to make the most of the opportunity to bring up this issue because more and more Australians are contacting us and stating how concerned they are about what's happened."

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