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Mamdouh Habib Case: Call for independent commission into Australian government complicity in torture

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This week's episode of Four Corners was a sharp reminder about secrets and lies. The extraordinary rendition of Mamdouh Habib from Pakistan to Egypt, his subsequent detention and torture proceeded, according to 4C, with the full knowledge and default consent of the Australian government. But no one is owning up despite the strong evidence and collaboration unearthed by Four Corners. So rather than look upon the brutalizing of an Australian national as a mere casualty in the necessary war on terrorism,perhaps its time this government was called to account for its complicity in all things Bush.
Socialist Alliance calls for independent commission into Australian government complicity in torture

“Last Monday’s Four Corners program “Ghost Prisoners” was a powerful exposure of the reality of the United States’ global torture network and of Australian complicity in it,” Socialist Alliance spokesperson Raul Bassi said today.

“Its another step towards justice for Mamdouh Habib, one of the victims of this criminal system which has tortured some to death, forced others into worthless ‘confessions’ and disappeared hundreds.”

Bassi called for an independent commission to investigate the real role of the Australian government in the Habib case. “Only if we have a commission like Tony Fitzgerald’s investigation of police corruption in the Bjelke-Petersen government of Queensland will we get to the bottom of Australian complicity in the obscene treatment of Habib—and of David Hicks”, he said

Bassi, who was election manager of Mamdouh Habib’s campaign for the seat of Auburn in the March New South Wales election, stressed that the ABC program confirmed what everyone familiar with Habib’s case had known all along—Australian government representatives, from foreign minister Alexander Downer, attorney-general Philip Ruddock and federal police commissioner Mick Keelty down had lied for years about their knowledge of the case.

The Socialist Alliance spokesperson added that Habib’s life had been one continuous nightmare since he was the victim of CIA ‘rendition’ to Egypt in 2001. “Still today Habib and his family are the victim of police and media harrassment.”

Bassi continued: “Mamdouh is asking the Australian government for an apology and an admittance he had done nothing wrong. That is the very least he deserves. The Habib family is owed full compensation for the injustices they have suffered at the hands of the US and Australian authorities. That process can begin straight away with the return of Habib’s passport.”

The Socialist Alliance spokesperson added that the movement in support of justice for the Habib family would be seeking the support for its call for an independent commission from all members of parliament who wanted to see justice done.

Bassi concluded: “We’re also calling on the Coalition government and the Labor opposition to commit to cutting all Australian ties with the US government’s ‘rendition’ program and its associated system of secret and open jails, in particular that at Guantanamo Bay.

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