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Government's detention of Dr Haneef a move to "silence the innocent"

BRISBANE:"Revoking Dr Haneef's visa and throwing him into Immigration Detention means the the Federal Government is stooping lower even than their own draconian terror laws," said Paul Benedek, organiser of a protest in support of civil rights at this mornings bail hearing for Dr Haneef.

"Undermining what is left of Haneef's democratic rights by slamming him into immigration detention is a Government attempt to silence Haneef from revealing just how unjust these laws are," Benedek, a spokesperson for the Socialist Alliance, continued. "They are further demonising an innocent man who spent almost two weeks in detention without charge, has been suspended from his work, had his home trashed, and had his reputation smeared beyond recognition."

"This Prime Minister has said this case shows 'that terrorism is a global threat'," Benedek said. "In reality, it is showing that unsubstantiated claims of "terrorism" can be used to trample basic rights, and that the State is willing to ignore its own courts to perpetuate its terrorism hysteria."

"This case becomes more Monty Pythonesque by the hour. After suffering the longest detention without charge since World War II, and having more than 200 police go through his life, Haneef was charged with something he told police right from the start - that he gave his SIM card to his cousin - for which he faces up to 15 years jail for 'supporting terrorism'! Upon gaining bail since the charge is so flimsy, the Government ignores the courts and throws Haneef into detention."

"If this happened to an Australian citizen in any other country, there would rightly be howls of outrage. More frighteningly, this is happening in Australia 2007. Who or what is next under this new Police State?"

"The proceedings today show that not only should the ridiculous charges against Haneef be dropped - a SIM card is not a crime - but also that the 'anti-terror' laws which trample the rights of innocent people must be scrapped."

Benedek promised further, larger protests against the treatment of Dr Haneef, and in support of democratic rights.

For interviews or information, phone Paul Benedek 0410 629 088.

3 Com:

Dave Riley | July 17, 2007


Anonymous | July 17, 2007

Can we start a send a sim card to Mrs Haneef campaign?
Would we all be arrested and locked up for recklessly doing this?

thoughtjourney | July 17, 2007

I think it is abhorrent that the Government should cancel Haneef's visa. This is clearly a very politically motivated act and is an affront to our democracy. I am enraged and saddened that a Minister of the Australian Government should act in this way, and am ashamed of our nation.

The charges against Haneef are clearly ludicrous. Just ask:

1. Where are the limits drawn on what is considered “assisting a terrorist organisation”? Haneef gave his cousin his mobile phone; will police wish to investigate the man who recklessly gave one of the bombers a cigarette, for example, or directions to the toilet, or lent one of them $5 to buy lunch? You are surely aware that people who are in a foreign land are naturally inclined to stick together and help each other out. I worked with groups of Indians in a fast food chain during my student days, and know this type of thing to be common behaviour.

2. In what other situation is providing assistance in any form to a person who will (in the future and without prior disclosure) commit a crime be considered an offence? Why is “terrorism” a special case? For example, would the cousin of a soon-to-be murderer or thief be indicted for recklessly providing the future offender with a mobile phone? Probably not.

3. How can the provision of a SIM card/phone be reckless? Would the SIM card materially have aided the bomber-doctors’ plans? Would the bomber-doctors’ plans have been materially hindered had the SIM card/phone not been provided? It seems a ridiculously long bow to draw when they could surely have procured another phone or SIM with relative ease.

Let's hope the Australian people recognise the Government's trampling of our rights under the judicial system. No one wants terrorism, but there is no call to throw justice "out the back door" either. Stand up. Australia!


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