Concern grows about Jock Palfreeman

March 22, 2013

Several prominent people have signed a letter to the Australian government calling for Jock Palfreeman, a young Australian in prison in Bulgaria, to be brought back to Australia.

Supporters of the call to bring Palfreeman home include author and documentary filmmaker John Pilger, Julian Burnside QC, former NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale, author Antony Loewenstein, Moreland City Councillor Sue Bolton, Vivienne Porzsolt from Jews against the Occupation, Green Left Weekly editors Mel Barnes and Stuart Munckton and Professor Wendy Bacon.

Palfreeman is a person of conscience: he has been unjustly sentenced to jail in Bulgaria for 20 years for a crime he did not commit. The newly released book Every Parent's Nightmare documents in considerable detail just how flawed the legal process for him has been.

The letter says: “In 2007, Jock went to the aid of two Roma men who were being attacked by a gang of racists. The Roma minority suffer severe racial discrimination and vilification in Bulgaria.

“In the ensuing fight, in which Jock was also beaten and concussed, one of the attackers died from a knife wound. Jock has repeatedly stated his innocence, and said that critical witnesses and evidence have not been presented in court.

“He has exhausted the appeal process in the Bulgarian legal system.

“The Australian government has not done enough to help this young man with a conscience. Jock wants to complete his prison term in Australia. This will allow him to be closer to his family and friends, and undertake his study.”

Palfreeman wants to return to serve out his prison sentence in Australia. Many of his supporters believe the Australian government should be doing more to bring him home. Supporters will be rallying on May 30 at 12.30-2pm at Town Hall Square to highlight Palfreeman’s case.

To sign the letter email

Current signatories:

John Pilger, author and documentary filmmaker
Stuart Rees, Professor Emeritus and Director, Sydney Peace Foundation, University of Sydney
Jake Lynch, Associate Professor, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
Julian Burnside AO QC
Father Dave Smith, Holy Trinity Church, Dulwich Hill.
Professor Wendy Bacon
Sylvia Hale, former NSW Greens MP
Mel Barnes & Stuart Munckton, Green Left Weekly editors
Antony Loewenstein, author
Peter Boyle & Susan Price, Socialist Alliance national co-conveners
Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain, Parliament of NSW
Patrick Harrison & Liam Flenady, Resistance national co-conveners
Pastor Karl Hand, CRAVE Metropolitan Community Church
Pip Hinman & Rachel Evans, Sydney Socialist Alliance
Sam Wainwright, Fremantle (WA) City Councillor
Sue Bolton, Moreland (Vic) City Councillor
Cathy Eatock, Aboriginal activist
Vivienne Porzsolt, Jews Against the Occupation, Sydney.

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