Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Australian Government Defies International Rules over David Hicks

The following is a press release from the Office of Senator Penny Wright, Greens Senator for South Australia.
August 24, 2011

Government Defies International Rules over Hicks

Greens Attorney-General spokesperson Senator Penny Wright today questioned the Government over its failure to reply to the United Nations Human Rights Committee within a set period after a complaint was made on David Hicks' behalf.

Rule 97(2) of the UN Human Rights Committee's Rules of Procedure stipulates that replies to complaints be submitted within six months.

In a question to the Minister representing the Attorney-General, Senator Wright said the United Nations Human Rights Committee had received a complaint from Sydney barrister, and professor of international law, Ben Saul, in relation to Mr Hicks' incarceration at Guantanamo Bay and the plea agreement that saw his return to Australia.

"The Government was required to respond within six months but indicated they would take a further three months, in order to fully 'address the issues' and 'consult with stakeholders'," Senator Wright said.

"Now nine months after the Committee sought a response, Australia has still not complied with the Committee's procedural rules, which are binding under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This suggests a lack of respect for the Committee's procedural rules.

"Since this complaint was lodged the Government has devoted substantial resources to commencing new legal proceedings against David Hicks to seize profits from his book, yet it has not had time to respond to the complaint about a breach of his human rights, relating to the term of the previous government.

"The Greens are concerned about the Government's priorities. It seems to be placing its concern about Mr Hicks profiting from his book ahead of addressing his complaint about a serious breach of his human rights."

More than nine months have elapsed since the complaint was lodged with the United Nations.
As Australian News reports, "Earlier this month, the NSW Supreme Court froze profits from the book under proceeds of crime laws." But then, the world community was stunned when David's book was nominated for an important literary prize. Unavailable in the U.S., the book is a major achievement, and tells the story of Hicks' life, including shocking details of his torture at Guantanamo.
FORMER Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks says that if he wins a Queensland Premier's Literary Prize, he will donate the money to torture victims.

"If I win this award, every cent will go to victims of torture," Hicks said in a statement on Ten Network tonight.

Hicks would not agree to be interviewed and simply added: "I have never been a supporter of terrorism. I had no choice but to sign a piece of paper to get out of Guantanamo Bay."

His comments come after his book, Guantanamo: My Journey was shortlisted in the non-fiction category earlier this month.

No comments:

Search for Info/News on Torture

Google Custom Search
Add to Google ">View blog reactions

This site can contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.