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FPSS Urgent Appeal for David Hicks

Case Information
We urgently need letters written to Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock to condemn the solitary confinement of Australian Citizen David Hicks.

We are gravely concerned for David's physical and mental well being. We also urge people to write to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and appeal for the release of David Hicks from arbitrary detainment.

This is a violation of international law, the Geneva convention and numerous other United Nations mandates that provide protections to all persons, human and civil rights and most importantly, the rule of law.

Appeal Contact Information
British Prime Minister

Details for writing to the British Prime Minister can be found here
Contact Information
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
10 Downing Street,
London,
SW1A 2AA

Fax: 020 7925 0918.
From outside the UK,
the number is +442079250918

Website Click Here

LETTER
Click Here to Print Appeal Letter
Australian Attorney General

Details for writing to the Australian Attorney can be found here
Contact Information
The Hon Philip Ruddock MP Attorney General.
Liberal Party of Australia
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6277 7300
Fax: (02) 6273 4102
Electorate Office Contact
Hornsby Office: Level 3, 20 George Street Hornsby NSW 2077
Postal Address: PO Box 1866 Hornsby Westfield NSW 1635
Tel: (02) 9482 7111
Fax: (02) 9482 7018
The following letter may be copied and distributed - Click Here to Print

Prime Minister Tony Blair
10 Downing Street,
London,
SW1A 2AA
9 May 2006
FPSS Open Letter to British PM Tony Blair

RE: David Hicks detained in Guantanamo

Dear Mr. Blair,

    I am writing as a humanitarian on behalf of David Hicks who has been detained arbitrarily in Guantanamo Bay Cuba for the last four years and is more recently, been detained in solitary confinement.

    I am appalled that despite the British Court of Appeal unanimously rejecting your government's attempt to stop David Hicks' application to rightfully become a British citizen, that your Government is still unrelenting in its pursuit of furthering the persecution of David Hicks. I understand that your government may seek to apply directly to the House of Lords, the highest appeal tribunal in Britain, to block David's application.

    I wish to state emphatically that I oppose any representations that would further violate the human, civil and legal rights of any citizen, in particular, Mr. David Hicks. It is abundantly obvious that David Hicks has been made a political pawn in an attack against our democratic freedoms and rights.

    The American Government is breaking international law by continuing to detain David Hicks indefinitely and without charge. Former Uganda President Idi Amin did similar when he did not imprison suspects because he knew that in prison the law would apply, so he created his own Guantanamo Camps.

    The sole reason why the US Government has been unable to convict David Hicks of any criminal action over the last four years is simply because there is no evidence whatsoever to support their claims against him.

    We are all accountable for our actions as you have said time and time again. We must all submit to the rule of law and international obligations, particularly, if we are signatories to mandates that provide protections for humankind and protections for rule of law.

    The United Nations has urged the US Government to try all prisoners of Guantanamo or release them without further delay. The UN has called for the immediate closure of Guantanamo, condemning it in its report that found some of the prisoners were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Holding the prisoners in Cuba outside the normal rules of war, or criminal courts, is in itself a criminal practice that must end.

    Therefore, I respectfully appeal in the following way:

      1. that you urge the US Government to allow the International Red Cross and United Nations to provide humanitarian care to all prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay;

      2. that you allow David Hick's application for citizenship to proceed without hindrance and thus enable him to return to his family to receive the rehabilitative care he now requires, as a result of long term detainment, ill-treatment and torture;

      3. that you encourage the US Government to release David Hicks from arbitrary detainment;

      4. that in the interests of democracy and humanity, you encourage the US Government to close Guantanamo Bay, in accordance with requests made by the United Nations and like-minded organisations;

    As an Australian citizen, I am deeply disappointed that my own Government does not insist upon the fundamental rights of its citizens to be upheld, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, International Human rights mandates and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Therefore, as a citizen of the commonwealth, I appeal to you Mr. Blair, to do everything within your power to maintain and uphold those democratic freedoms that we so vehemently live by, seek to protect, and in some cases, die for. Kind regards,

    Mrs. Kay Kay Danes
    Human Rights Advocate
    Foreign Prisoner Support Services
    www.foreignprisoners.com

UK govt may lodge another Hicks appeal

David Hicks's father, Terry, said from the High Court's decision was 'absolutely brilliant'. (AAP)
The British government says it may launch another appeal to prevent Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks from gaining British citizenship as part of his bid to gain release from Guantanamo Bay.

Britain's Home Office said it is considering further action in the case of Hicks, 30, who has been held at the US prison camp in Cuba since 2002.

Hicks, whose mother is British, wants to claim British citizenship in hopes that London will lobby for his release - as it has, and successfully, for other British subjects.

The Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the government's attempt to stop his application, and last week denied the Home Office an opportunity to appeal.

However, the government may seek to apply directly to the House of Lords, the highest appeal tribunal in Britain, the Home Office said.

Hicks's Adelaide-based lawyer, David McLeod, said on Monday the legal team had not been officially notified of the court's decision.

"Although it's not confirmed, we are led to believe the decision has gone against the government," Mr McLeod told ABC radio.

"This means David is entitled to be registered as a citizen.

"The next step is for us to make further overtures to the UK government ministers involved, to go into bat for David in the same way they did fearlessly for the other citizens."
David Hicks

Case Information

Hicks was detained in Afghanistan in December 2001, allegedly fighting with the ousted Taliban regime.

He has been held at the US navy detention camp in Cuba since 2002.

A date for his military trial is yet to be set.

All nine British nationals held at Guantanamo were released in 2004 and 2005 after appeals from the government.

Six British residents who hold other citizenship remain in the camp.

©AAP 2006
Government blasted for Hicks detention

NORTHERN Territory Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Martin has condemned the federal Government's stance on accused terrorist David Hicks, an inmate of Guantanamo Bay for four years, arguing that a "civilised" society should never sanction such incarceration.

In a wide-ranging speech to the Darwin Press Club, Justice Martin yesterday asked whether there were any political leaders prepared to demand "fundamental protections" for individual members of the community.

"Whatever one might think about what David Hicks did or did not do -- and we have no idea because evidence has not yet been presented -- is it not totally foreign to our understanding of how a civilised community treats persons charged with offences to incarcerate the person for over four years in conditions to which David Hicks has been subjected?" Justice Martin said.

"Is it excessive to say that he has been caged and left to the whims of treatment which we in Australia have always regarded as utterly unacceptable?

"Why have our political leaders generally defended this treatment? Is it because David Hicks represents an unpopular cause and political purposes and interests prevail in the minds of our leaders?

"Where is the strength of leadership that demands and provides fundamental protections for individual members of our community?

"I stress that these issues have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of Hicks or any other individual subjected to such treatment. Other issues fundamental to our ordered and relatively comfortable way of life are at stake."

Justice Martin said a "revolution in our thinking" had occurred following the September 11 terrorist attacks that suggested a different attitude was emerging towards people arrested under new terror laws.

He said society was "greatly diminished" when innocent people were convicted of crimes.

"Have we as a community come to accept the risks of innocent persons being convicted as a necessary casualty of the need to protect the community from acts of terrorism?" he said.

Later, Justice Martin raised the issue of media access to court cases on Aboriginal communities, saying the principles of open court and the Northern Territory's permit system were in conflict.
David Hicks

Case Information

"This is an issue that needs to be addressed," he said.

He also took issue with comments last November by John Hartigan, chief executive of News Limited, publisher of The Weekend Australian, who said the Government and judiciary were "increasingly secretive and self-serving in their attempts to gag the media".

"While the media have a legitimate point that some judicial officers are too cautious and grant suppression orders too readily, the courts are not secretive," Justice Martin said.

"Almost everything is done in open court, including the giving of evidence that is suppressed. Rarely is the court closed to the public."

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