August will mark one year since Palm Island Aboriginal leader Lex Wotton was released on parole.
Unlike the police officer charged with the 2004 murder of Palm Island resident Mulrunji Doomadgee, Wotton was jailed for taking part in the protests against Doomadgee’s death. No one was jailed for Doomadgee’s death in police custody.
Despite his release, Wotton is muzzled by parole conditions aimed to silence him. He is subject to a four-year political gag, which bans him from speaking to the media or attending meetings.
Wotton has launched a High Court challenge against the gag order.
An action was organised in front of the Bank of Queensland on July 20, calling for the lifting of the political gag on Wotton.
Civil liberties lawyer Rob Stary told the protesters: “In my 30 years as a lawyer, I never remember a gag order being a condition of parole. This is completely unprecedented.
“This couldn’t happen in Victoria because we have a charter of human rights here, which recognises freedom of assembly.”
A petition with 1000 signatures calling for the gag to be lifted has been sent to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. It can be signed at: http://bit.ly/kUXAbt