Saturday, 31 March 2007

Hicks to Return to Australia

So David Hicks has pleaded guilty to the charge of knowingly assisting a terrorist organisation. One can only imagine the desperation he must have felt to leave a regime which could hold him indefinitely in conditions which I'm sure will become clear in the coming few months.

He has had to sign a document to say that he had not been mistreated. It sounds like a statement made from a third-world prison.

The deal included a statement by Mr. Hicks that he “has never been illegally treated” while a captive, despite claims of beatings he had made in the past. It also included a promise not to pursue suits over the treatment he received while in detention and “not to communicate in any way with the media” for a year.

Critics said those requirements were a continuation of what they say has been a pattern of illegal detention policies. “It is a modern cutting out of his tongue,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal advocacy group, based in New York, that is coordinating the representation of detainees in many suits challenging Guantánamo detention.

I'm surprised that he has not been gagged until January 2009 which is, as the bumber sticker puts it, 'The End Of An Error'.

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