fairgofordavid.org

23rd FEB 2002

ADELAIDE GROUP FORMED TO SUPPORT DAVID HICKS

Concerned Australians, from as far away as Canberra, are contacting Fair go for David, a group which has been formed in response to the need to provide fair and unbiased information about David Hicks, alleged Taliban member and terrorist. Many Australians want to know his true story and, after hearing it, they often decide to offer assistance with having him returned to Australia.

"There is a growing disquiet among Australians regarding the continued detention of David Hicks," said Trudy Dunn, spokeswoman for the group. She stated that, "Regardless of the inattention given in political circles, as well as much biased media coverage, more and more Australians are questioning what is seen as the inhumane detention and treatment of David."

The Fair go for David group held its third meeting on February 20 and continues to grow and expand.

David was captured by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in early December 2001 while travelling with Taliban soldiers who were defending their territory from the Northern Alliance. David's father, Terry, said his son seemed unaware of the September 11 attacks and extremely doubtful of their authenticity, when they spoke on a mobile phone a few days after the American bombing campaign had begun. Since David's capture he has been handed over to the Americans who have moved him to Cuba and the infamous Camp X-ray. He remains there uncharged after numerous interrogations. He is detained in a cage which would cause outrage among most Australians, if used for a pet dog, let alone a human being.

Ms Dunn said, " I'm very concerned about the way in which David is being treated and would like to know just what methods of interrogation are being used and how often David is interrogated. I know that prisoners can be made to admit anything if the methods of interrogation are extreme enough and applied over a long period", she said.

The US government has denied that those held in Cuba, including David, are entitled to rights stipulated under the Geneva Convention because the US says that the detainees are terrorists and not prisoners of war. In previous statements representatives of the US government have implied that David could be returned to Australia if the Howard government were willing to imprison him for a lengthy period. However, this is difficult because the government hasn't found any crime with which to charge David. It seems that under Australian law David has done nothing of a criminal nature. Furthermore the US government has yet to charge him or any of the other so-called terrorists with any crime after ten weeks of detention. Stephen Kenny, lawyer for the Hicks family, has instructed a legal team in the US to seek David's release, alleging his detention is unconstitutional. Terry Hicks, David's father, said, "Any help in getting David back to Australia is welcome."

Ms Dunn agreed, saying "We want to see David returned to Australia. Surely our American allies can trust us enough to detain one man and provide him with a fair and democratic trial, if charged with any crime," she said. Anyone wishing to offer support or find out David's actual story can email the group at [email protected] Australians can also write to their federal MP or the Prime Minister.


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