Source : - ABC News Online
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200701/s1829092.htm

January 18, 2007

The Federal Opposition says the Foreign Affairs Minister should reveal who made an assessment of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks's mental state.

Alexander Downer says he has received a report that Mr Hicks is healthy and showing no signs of mental illness.

Mr Downer says Mr Hicks was visited a few days ago by a person who reported that he appears well.

But Mr Downer has declined to say who made the assessment.

"No doubt he doesn't like being in Guantanamo Bay, but that wouldn't ... be a definition of mental illness," he said.

"There was no report of him suffering mental illness in the conversation he had with this person - who is from another country, who was visiting Guantanamo Bay at that time.

"He seemed quite healthy."

The ALP's Kelvin Thomson says Mr Downer should reveal who made the assessment.

"We believe that there needs to be an independent mental health assessment undertaken of David Hicks," he said.

"We are concerned that the independent mental health expert, Professor Paul Mullen, was recently refused access to Guantanamo Bay to meet with David Hicks."

Mr Hicks's father, Terry, says an independent psychiatrist who assessed his son in 2004 was recently refused a secondary assessment.

"The Americans weren't happy about the report that he put out - that David wouldn't be capable of even facing up to any court situation the way his mental state is, or was at that time," he said.

"They took offence to that and said 'you're not allowed back'."


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