Australian Federal Court upholds RAN activist’s right to secret files

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Profiles

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I had another day in court in my ongoing legal battles in Australia.

Many of you may or may not know that in 2005 I traveled through Australia as a peace and environmental activist doing trainings on civil disobedience, corporate campaigning and the war in Iraq. The government in Canberra didn’t like it and canceled my visa, detained me in the Melbourne Custody Centre for five days and then forcibly sent me back to the United States with two police escorts. Furthermore, they told me that I was not allowed to return to Australia ever and gave me an $11,000 bill for my trouble.

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You can get the whole story by watching this short indy film about my deportation.

In 2005, I launched a legal action against Australian intelligence chief Paul O’Sullivan after their secret security assessment triggered my detention and removal from Australia.

Today, an Australian Federal Court upheld my right to access documents showing why Australia’s domestic spy agency regards me as a threat to Australia’s national security. The full court judgment opens the way for my lawyers to apply for access to the secret assessment and other documents relating to to the case, including a secret 1990 “determination” showing the criteria ASIO used to deem him a security threat.

But I can still not receive a fair hearing. Under laws introduced by the Howard Government, the Attorney General Robert McClelland has the power to intervene in court proceedings to stop me finding out what I am accused of. I hope Mr McClelland will respect the right to a fair hearing and allow my case proceed in an open court.

Take action and tell Mr. McClelland to let the decision stand.

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1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. John T Bastiaan says:

    Democracy in Australia is just an elusion VOTE ONE for a bill of rightes and stop this bullish behavier by our authoities who have to much power.You could never convince me that AFP didnt know about AWB from that time I believe that they are all criminals.Shame on Downer and Howard and AFP.Nowonder Howard Gaged them all.Coruption in the west is riff.

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