Sunday, April 01, 2007

David Hicks gagged and made to swear he was not tortured

Fair Go For David Hicks
"A human rights lawyer has condemned the plea bargain that David Hicks signed as part of his military commission trial.

"As part of Hicks's plea bargain, he retracted claims of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, but he still cannot speak to the media for a year.

"Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC says it is not fair ..."
ABC News

In a move that would be forbidden under the USA's constitutional freedom of speech requirements (which Australia, to its shame, does not share) Hicks is forbidden to speak publicly until after Prime Minister John Howard's federal election:

"GREENS leader Bob Brown says he's convinced the Federal Government requested confessed terrorist David Hicks be silenced until after the federal election.

"Under the terms of the plea bargain, Hicks will be returned to Australia by the end of May to serve the balance of the nine-month jail term he was given by the US military commission at Guantanamo Bay.

"Under the deal, most of Hicks' recommended seven-year sentence was suspended.

"The convicted terrorist also has agreed not to speak to the media for one year or to allege he was mistreated while in detention at the US military prison on Cuba.

"Speaking at a peace rally in Melbourne today, Senator Brown was adamant the media gag had been specifically sought by the Federal Government.

"'Of course it's a fix,' Senator Brown said.

"'The message has gone very clearly from Canberra to Washington to Guantanamo Bay: Don't allow Hicks to be released until after the elections and certainly don't allow him to speak ...'"

The 'war on terror' at home -- Hicks is not the only Australian victim of Bush & Howard

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