WA Muslims in fear of further ASIO raids



PERTH — Seventy people, mostly Muslims, attended a meeting at the Australian Islamic College on November 2 to discuss the recent ASIO raids on Muslim families.

The meeting heard accounts of the brutal attacks that some Muslim families had been subjected to over the previous week.

Victims told how their homes were invaded at dawn by around 20 ASIO, Australian Federal Police and Tactical Response Group officers wearing balaclavas and carrying submachine guns. Parents and children were forced at gun-point to lie on their stomachs and were then handcuffed for over an hour before being allowed to sit up. ASIO officers ransacked their homes, computers and address books for up to seven hours.

Participants at the meeting expressed concern about the psychological effects of the ASIO raids on their children. The meeting decided to set up a hotline to report attacks on Muslims and offer counselling for victims of the ASIO raids.

It also called for a protest rally to take place at noon on November 9 outside Parliament House, where a petition opposing the raids on Muslims around the country and the attacks on civil liberties will be presented to Western Australian MPs.

From Green Left Weekly, November 6, 2002.
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