Sunday 21st of July 2024

australia as a police state ...

australia as a police state ...

SA Senator Nick Xenophon’s bid for justice for an Australian citizen – who simply wants his passport back – has been rejected by the Senate.

“This really is a very significant scandal in the fact that a citizen of this country has been denied the ability to travel overseas” Senator Xenophon said.

In virtual jail in Australia for the past four years, the person who wants to travel is Witness K, a former public servant.

The Australian government alleged he was planning to testify in the international court in The Hague that ASIS – the Australian Security Intelligence Service, the nation’s overseas spooks – secretly planted a bug on Cabinet Ministers of Timor Leste in 2004 during negotiations between Australia and the fledging country over the Sunrise gas field in the Timor Sea.

In 2013 ASIO – the nation’s domestic spooks – and federal police raided the Canberra office of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer representing TL. They also confiscated Witness K’s passport at the same time to stop him travelling to the Hague.

Senator Xenophon told the Senate last month:

“…the reason for the denial (of passport) related to a dispute between Australia and Timor-Leste which now appears, if not on the verge of resolving, to have an alternative path to dispute resolution. I have asked questions in the estimates process in respect of this. I cannot get satisfactory answers, because ASIS is the responsible body.”

In other words, it was ASIS who decided to seize the passport: and now it is ASIS who refuses to release the passport. As a “competent authority” under the relevant law, simply on ASIS’s say-so Witness K can’t have his passport back, and is “imprisoned” within his own country.

He has no right of appeal against the unilateral decision of ASIS.

ASIO, the actually raiding spooks who took the passport in the first place, apparently have no problem if Witness K (who has never been named publicly) gets it back.

Senator Xenophon moved a motion last month for the Senate to order ASIS to appear before the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee at Senate Estimates next month (October) to explain itself.

But the Senate whimped it and refused to call ASIS to account.

(From Civil Liberties Australia)