Colin Mitchell

David Hicks’s demonisation, and continued incarceration in Guantanamo Bay, helps the US and Australian governments’ promotion of its endless “war on terror”. The Australian government is keen for the US to prosecute Hicks rather than have him return home because he has done no wrong under Australian law.
It’s been more than five years since the first hooded, shackled men were brought to the US prison at Guantanamo and although not a single prisoner has been tried or convicted of any crime, more than 400 still remain, including David Hicks.
The case of Melbourne man Jack Thomas should be ringing alarm bells over the use of the so-called anti-terror laws in Australia. Thomas’ case demonstrates that these laws can be, and are being, misused for political purposes against someone who is not a terrorist.
Pressure is mounting on the federal Coalition government to bring David Hicks home. On January 2, the Australian Defence Force director of military prosecutions, Brigadier Lyn McDade, described the treatment of Hicks as “abominable”. A week or so later, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and PM John Howard said that they were concerned that Hicks had still not been tried, but that they were certain he would be charged in the next few weeks.
December 9, the fifth anniversary of David Hicks’ capture by the US, will be marked by national protests calling for his immediate return.

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