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FPSS Urgent Appeal for David Hicks

Please find below a statement from Senator Stott Despoja in relation to David Hicks. Also attached is a motion voted on this week, which received the support of the ALP and the Greens.



Case Information
DEMOCRATS MEDIA FRIDAY 12 MAY 2006
SENATOR Natasha Stott Despoja
AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS ATTORNEY-GENERALS SPOKESPERSON

Repatriating Hicks could speed up trial, Mr Howard

If the Prime Minister is serious about wanting to speed up the trial of David Hicks, he should join other countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain and France who have refused to allow their citizens to be tried before the military tribunal, and repatriate him, according to the Australian Democrats.

"Mr Howard is now out a limb as one of the sole remaining defenders of the military commission process," Democrats' Attorney-Generals Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.

"The military commission system has been condemned by international leaders and legal experts, most recently British Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith, yet our Government continues to defend this process.

"In June, I will move a motion in the Senate noting Lord Goldsmith's condemnation of the United States military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and his call for the facility to be closed, and calling on the Government to provide a detailed legal response as to why it believes the imprisonment and process do not violate any international human rights laws," Senator Stott Despoja said.

Senator Stott Despoja also urged the Government to confirm it would not discourage the repatriation of Mr Hicks to the United Kingdom, after the Government yesterday opposed her motion in the Senate calling for the Government verify this.

"The Australian Government has abandoned Mr Hicks - will it now also interfere if the UK attempts to repatriate Mr Hicks to the United Kingdom?" Senator Stott Despoja asked.

Media contact: Raina Hunter - 0417 085 260

David Hicks Motion Thursday May 11, 2006
Thursday May 11, 2006
Senator STOTT DESPOJA (South Australia) (9.38 a.m.)-I move:
    That the Senate-
      (a) notes:
      (i) the decision by the British Court of Appeal to reject any further appeals by the Home Office to block Mr David Hicks' British citizenship application,
      (ii) the repatriation of nine British citizens, previously detained at the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, by the British Government,
      (iii) that Mr Hicks' primary citizenship is Australian, and
      (iv) that Mr Hicks has now been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than 4 years in contravention of his fundamental human rights; and
      (b) calls on the Government to either repatriate Mr Hicks to Australia or to confirm that it will not discourage the repatriation of Mr Hicks to the United Kingdom if it enters into dialogue on the issue with either the United States of America or the United Kingdom.

    Question negatived.
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