On August 18, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib was fined $400 in the Ryde Local Court for offensive language and behaviour towards police. The ruling will be appealed in the Parramatta District Court on September 11.
During the incident in question in May 2007, Habib alleges he was speaking with some young people in Bankstown when police mistakenly assumed his comments were directed at them.
Raul Bassi from the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group, which is campaigning against the ongoing harassment of Habib, told Green Left Weekly that "the police offensive against him has won the first round. The harassment continues."
The group is planning a rally in Bankstown in early October calling for an end to the harassment of Habib and in defence of the youth in south-west Sydney who are also under attack. In addition, the rally will demand justice for the Goulburn 9, who have been imprisoned under the "anti-terror" laws for almost three years.
Bassi said the rally will be part of the launch of Habib's new book, which will be released in November and will cover his arrest, torture, rendition and detention in Guantanamo Bay before he was released without charge in 2005. The book will also outline Habib's account of the Australian government's role in this process.
[For more information, phone Raul on 0403 037 376.]