URGENT Call to Action: next week's Migration Amendment Bill
Breaking News Reports filed by Australian Associated Press late this afternoon confirm that the Migration Amendment Bill 2006, roundly condemned by Senators of all sides in politics in the Report of the Inquiry into the Bill - see click here .. will indeed be tabled again and scheduled for debate in Federal Parliament.

Most of you would know how this time, more MPs in the Liberal/National Coalition had serious concerns with the Bill, and how the media reported a number of about ten "dissenters" in the backbenches of government.

The tens of thousands of people right around Australia who pushed against the wall of abusive treatment of asylum seekers and refugees arriving by boat since TAMPA five years ago, have been one of the most powerful forces in Australian politics since the Vietnam War, and if you receive this email from us, you can be assured that we count you as one of the people participating in this mighty push against that wall.

Below is a list of some Senators selected by ChilOut as those you need to approach before the Bill gets tabled - listed for debate as early as next Tuesday, August 8.

  • Click Here for Full Story list of some Senators selected by ChilOut as those you need to approach

    Aussie woman to leave Indonesia jail
    An Australian woman convicted of using marijuana was sentenced to six months jail by an Indonesian court, but should be free within weeks.

    Barbara Kathleen Higgs has been held in custody on the island of Lombok since February 19.

    Court officials said her sentence had been backdated and she would be due for release next month in time for her 44th birthday.

    She was found guilty of using the drug, but was acquitted of more serious possession and trafficking charges.

    Higgs, originally from Pinjarra, Western Australia, was not in the Lombok court.

    She has been treated in an army hospital for much of this month suffering typhoid, kidney problems and a skin condition - contracted her lawyers said in prison where water quality is poor.

    Higgs was arrested after police, acting on a tipoff, searched the Bulan Baru (New Moon) hotel she owns with her New Zealand husband at the beach resort of Senggigi. They allegedly found 48 grams of marijuana.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • No death penalty for WA expatriate
  • Aussie woman to leave Indonesia jail
  • Drug case mercy plea
  • Australian on drug charges begs for mercy
  • Woman faces year in prison

    Bay prisoner 'is no threat'
    A BAHRAINI detainee at Guantanamo Bay has only been questioned once in the last year, his lawyers said yesterday.

    Representatives of Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi told the GDN the prisoner has not been interrogated in 2006, which they say proves there is little justification for keeping him captive.

    The 24-year-old, who is one of three Bahrainis still being held at the detention facility, is approaching his fifth year without charge or trial.

    Mr Al Blooshi is being held in Guantanamo Bay Camp 4, which is reportedly for prisoners who are "not considered a threat".

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Released Detainees Refute US Guantanamo Suicide Cover Up
  • Statement on the Deaths in Guantánamo Bay By Joint Former British Detainees
  • Tarek Dergoul: Another Guantanamo Whitewash
  • Statement from Former Guantanamo Detainee, Abdullah Alnoaimi on Guantanamo Deaths

    Canadian Guantanamo detainee Khadr fires US lawyers
    Omar Khadr , the nineteen-year-old Canadian citizen who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for more than four years, wrote a letter to his mother last week telling her that he has fired his US lawyers, the Globe and Mail reported Friday. A US military lawyer appointed to represent Khadr, Lieutenant-Colonel Colby Vokey, said the move demonstrates Khadr's fragile state of mind and that Khadr has no reason to trust his American captors, as the government has confiscated Khadr's legal files, denied him access to a telephone, and otherwise attempted to interfere with his case preparations.
  • Click Here for Full Story

  • Cancer scam doctor refused bail

    Hellfried Sartori, the discredited Austrian doctor, after he was arrested in Thailand this week. Photo: AP
    Thai police have refused a bail application by the discredited Austrian doctor arrested last week pending investigations by Australian police into the deaths of at least six of his former "patients".

    Hellfried Sartori, 67, faces two charges in Thailand - one of impersonating a doctor and the other of fraud - and police say he will appear in court in the northern city of Chiang Mai "soon".

    Australian Police say four of the Australian cancer sufferers treated by Sartori died in May and June last year after having caesium chloride treatments at a Mosman Park clinic in Perth, WA.

    Two other cancer sufferers are reported to have had the same treatment in Australia, but it is not known in which state.

    The dead included a US citizen visiting Australia for the treatment, two Perth residents, one from Victoria and one each from NSW and South Australia.

    In an interview with AAP in his jail cell last week Sartori, whose Austrian passport has been confiscated by Thai police, insisted he was still a registered physician in some parts of the world, though not in Thailand where he said he acted only as a "technician" while nurses injected patients with chemicals that police have said were dangerous.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Bail denied to Austrian doctor over fraud
  • Dr Ozone's long history of preying on the terminally ill

    Nightmare end to her dream trip

    ORDEAL: Daisy Angus pictured in 1998.
    IT was meant to be the adventure of a lifetime. Pretty Daisy Angus was just 22 when she embarked on a round-the-world trip.

    But it led to a cell in India where she has just been sentenced to 10 years for smuggling cannabis. It will be another six years before she is freed.

    Daisy had given up her job as a fitness instructor and health referral consultant at Bournemouth's Littledown Centre to travel.

    But it was at Mumbai Airport in November 2002 when Daisy's future was shattered.

    Customs officials stopped her as she put her bags through the x-ray machine.

    Suspicious of what was inside, officers opened her suitcase and discovered 10kg of cannabis hidden in a secret compartment.

    Initially Daisy insisted she was given the suitcase to use after her own bag broke.

    A short time later her father, John Angus, told the Echo that Daisy knew there was something in the suitcase but not what it contained.

    She later retracted the statement and protested her innocence.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Daisy gets 10 years in Indian Jail
  • Briton gets 10 years’ RI after 42-month trial
  • Convicted Brit’s brother gets violent in court
  • Drug charge backpacker in court
  • Campaigners back jailed woman
  • Drug woman took money, says father
  • 'Drugs mule' in illness scare
  • Backpacker faces drugs charge

    Footnote: FPSS would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Daisy and her family for what has been a nightmare experience. They have showed tremendous strength. We hope that the British Embassy are able to move this forward to bring Daisy home [UK] where she can receive proper care and support.
    Daisy gets 10 years in Indian Jail
    BOURNEMOUTH backpacker Daisy Angus has been sentenced to 10 years in an Indian prison after being found guilty of drug smuggling.

    Fitness instructor Daisy, 26, protested her innocence and sobbed loudly as she was handed the lengthy jail term by a judge sitting at the Special NDPS Court in Mumbai.

    She has already spent nearly four years in prison on remand while her slow-moving case was heard and will be freed in six years.

  • Click Here for Full Story

  • I can't take much more, Hicks tells his father

    Case Information
    GUANTANAMO BAY inmate David Hicks told his father yesterday he did not know whether he would survive another year in the US detention centre, saying he was being "pushed all the time" since three suicides there last month.

    Terry Hicks broke the news yesterday to his son about last week's historic decision by the US Supreme Court, which ruled that the military commission set up to hear his case was illegal and a violation of the Geneva Conventions and US military law.

    In their first conversation since Christmas, Mr Hicks was allowed to speak to his son for a little over two hours yesterday, along with other members of the Hicks family and his Australian lawyer, David McLeod.

    High Court Rejects Detainee Tribunals
    The Supreme Court yesterday struck down the military commissions President Bush established to try suspected members of al-Qaeda, emphatically rejecting a signature Bush anti-terrorism measure and the broad assertion of executive power upon which the president had based it. more info

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Govt rejects advice to bring back Hicks
  • Hicks would be jailed here
  • Hicks 'tortured' in jail
  • Senate vote on Hicks, Guantanamo closure
  • UK to consider helping Australian at Guantanamo
  • Judges seek fair trial for Hicks
  • Natasha Stott Despoja: Speak out in the name of democracy
  • Hicks letter welcomed
  • David Hicks stays put in limbo
  • 60 minors at Guantanamo
  • The children of Guantanamo Bay
  • Children face same conditions as adults at Guantanamo: report
  • United Nations to USA: Close Guantanamo Prison
  • Gitmo inmates attack guards stopping a suicide
  • Guantanamo prison has served its time
  • 67 Pakistanis in Guantanamo jail
  • Guantanamo, Target of World Criticism, Seems Set for Long Life
  • Riot at Guantanamo Bay detention camp
  • Fifteen Guantanamo Saudis freed
  • Guantanamo violates international law
  • Urgent Action & Appeal Letter
  • UK govt may lodge another Hicks appeal
  • Government blasted for Hicks detention
  • Hicks Bereft of Hope in Guantanamo, Says Lawyer
    Govt rejects advice to bring back Hicks
    Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has told NSW's top prosecutor to mind his own business after he demanded the government take action to bring terror suspect David Hicks back to Australia.

    The Australian government is disinclined to bring Hicks home after America's highest court found last week that the military commissions set to try the Australian and other "enemy combatants" were unlawful.

    The ruling means that Hicks and the other detainees awaiting military commission may now be tried by a traditional military court martial or through the US civilian courts.

    NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Nicholas Cowdery said there was no excuse for the government not to act to bring Hicks home.

  • Click here to read complete story

  • Australians held for heroin trafficking
    Two Australians were arrested for heroin trafficking as they prepared to board a flight from Vietnam to Australia, police said on Friday.

    The two were identified as Australians of Vietnamese origin, Nguyen Van Huy, 37, and his wife Hoang Le Thuy, 40, and were arrested on Wednesday night at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, police said.

    They were found with 500 grams of heroin hidden in bottles of medication in their checked baggage, an officer at the anti-drug police unit said.

    The couple was travelling with their three daughters, aged 2 to 10, who were released on Thursday to relatives, the police spokeswoman said.

    Officials at the Australian embassy in Ho Chi Minh City were not available for comment.

    A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman in Canberra said Australian consular officials were seeking access to the couple.

    Friday's Liberated Saigon newspaper quoted the two as telling police they were hired by a transnational drug trafficking ring to transport the heroin.

    Vietnam has some of the harshest drug laws in the world. Possessing, trading or trafficking 600 grams of heroin or 20 kilograms of opium is punishable by death.

    About a dozen Australians of Vietnamese have been brought to court in Vietnam for heroin trafficking in recent years.

    However, at least four Australian-Vietnamese have had their death sentences commuted in recent years because of lobbying by the Australian government.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Couple held over heroin

    Repression against Lao-Hmongs Civilians: Enough is Enough !
    A year after the summer 2005 worldwide mobilization for the survival of the Lao-Hmong populations of Xaysomboun, the international media and information received by the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) report that the violent repression campaign led against the Lao-Hmong populations has intensified these last few months in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR).

    Indeed, a series of serious and alarming facts were reported during the past year : arrests, abuse, even “summary executions” of the 173 civilians who surrendered themselves to the authorities in June 2005 near Xiengkhouang, and of the 242 Lao-Hmong who came out of the Bolikamsay jungle in October 2005; disappearance of 26 Lao-Hmong teenagers (21 girls and 5 boys) expelled from Thailand and handed over to the Lao police in December 2005; continuation of the dry season bloody attacks launched by the LPDR troops; death of 26 Lao-Hmong civilians “killed by governmental soldiers” on April 2006; desperate call launched by 46 starving Lao-Hmong women and children upon their exit on July 6th, 2006, of the Phou Bia jungle …

    The LMHR expresses its strongest indignation and its greatest concern to such acts of violence which, in spite of the repeated denials from the LPDR leaders, seem to deliberately and systematically target defenceless populations.

    To the Lao Movement for Human Rights, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”. It is unacceptable that even after more than thirty years such acts can be committed with complete impunity by a dictatorship which represses the freedoms and basic rights of the Lao people, and which only survives thanks to the assistance provided by the international community.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Australian Kid Held Hostage at a Cambodian School
    Six gunmen who had stormed into a school in the Cambodian town of Siem Reap near Angkor Wat, in northwestern Cambodia on Thursday took hostage 70 children

    An Australian 5-year-old boy is held hostage at a private English-language school in the town of Siem Reap, 225 kilometers north-west of the Cambodian capital Pnom Penh.

    Six gunmen who had storm into the International School of New York in Siem Reap, took 70 children hostage and later released 30 of them, according to Associated Press.

    The area around the school was sealed and Police authorities announced they have communicated with the hostage-takers by mobile phone.

    Apparently, the gunmen have demanded almost $ 30.000, a 12-seat van, weapons (two B-40 rocket launchers and 6 shotguns) and safe passage to Poipet on the Thai border to the west, reported Reuters Agency.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Kay Danes story 'Nightmare in Laos' will feature in UK's REAL MAGAZINE - July 7, 2006.
    Exclusive - Synopsis: When Australian businessman Kerry Danes was suddenly arrested by the Communist Laos government, his wife Kay gathered her two youngest children and fled towards Thailand, only to be intercepted by the same ruthless and corrupt police. Forced into a nightmare of epic proportions, Kay was wrenched from her children and told she was going to join her husband, she knew not where. It was then that the real nightmare began.

    Held hostage in a gulag at the mercy of a paranoid Communist regime, Kay saw unspeakable human rights violations acted out each day in a place where the outside world can't hear the cries for help. She tells of the journey that brought her face to face with the torture, the struggle for survival and the spirit of those who endure the horrors of inhuman imprisonment every day.

    REAL MAGAZINE : Published fortnightly by Burda Media and is available for £1 from most bookstores and newsagents in the UK. REAL is unlike any other title in the UK magazine market. It is a magazine that is beautiful to look at yet relevant to women's lives. REAL deals with issues closest to women's hearts and events that could change their lives.

  • Kay Danes Website -

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Indonesia Prisoner Exchange Deal
    Families of Australian prisoners in Indonesia have reacted mostly with joy at news a prisoner exchange deal between the two countries could be signed within months.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer asked Indonesia officials to accelerate talks on the agreement earlier this year after negotiations on a similar deal between Indonesia and France bogged down.

    As well as transferring Australian prisoners from Indonesia, the agreement would pave the way for the transfer of Indonesian prisoners being held in Australia, including dozens of fishermen convicted of poaching in Australian waters.

    The agreement may allow convicted inmates such as drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and some members of the Bali Nine to serve out their sentences in Australia, but there are reports that the deal does not include Australia drug traffickers on death row.


    Click Here for Addresses
    The agreement does not allow for the home country of those who have been convicted to vary the original sentences they received in the other country.

    Indonesia's Minister of Law and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin has told the ABC that those on death row, including the two Bali nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, would not benefit from the deal.
  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Bali Nine mum welcomes plan
  • Bali Nine's Stephens files appeal
  • Inside Stephens bali cell
  • URGENT ACTION Foreigners face firing squad in Indonesia
    Australia, Indonesia discuss prisoner swap - Australian and Indonesian Government ministers are close to signing a prisoner exchange agreement. The deal could apply to high-profile Australian prisoners in Indonesian jails, including Schapelle Corby and some Bali nine members. Alexander Downer agrees with Indonesian Law Minister Hamid Awaluddin that a prisoner exchange agreement between Indonesia and Australia could be completed by September. more info...
  • Five of Bali Nine have jail terms cut
  • Bali 9 ringleaders one step closer to death
  • Songs of the damned
  • Police forcefulness - AFP Responds
  • The illusion of freedom fooled Bali mules
  • No saving Bali kingpins: new envoy
  • Transfer hope for Nine, Corby
  • Bali 9 reconsider appeal
  • Rush decides not to appeal life sentence
  • Rush rules out Bali sentence appeal
  • Downer set for Bali 9 plea
  • Death Penalty Demanded For Bali Nine ‘Leader’

    US Government guilty of Torturing inmates
    The use of solitary confinement has a long tradition in Pennsylvania. British novelist Charles Dickens condemned solitary confinement, stating:
    "I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain is immeasurably worse than any torture of the body."

    Read on.....

    US court upholds nine-year solitary confinement of Philadelphia man
    By Tom Bishop - 3 June 2000

    State prepares to put 5 to death
    Tennessee has scheduled five executions June 28, an event that, if carried out, would signal a remarkable determination to enforce capital punishment in the state. Although legal observers predict that most, if not all, will be stayed because of appeals, the Tennessee Department of Correction is preparing for what could be a busy, stressful night. more info
    A three-judge panel of the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has unanimously ruled that Pennsylvania authorities may continue the nine-year solitary confinement of Russell Shoats, a former member of a militant black activists' organization.

    In the decision, Circuit Judge Richard L. Nygaard of Erie, said Shoats has been in the "hole" since June 1991 "because he is, in the considered judgment of all the prison professionals who have evaluated him, a current threat to ... security, and ... to the safety of other people." ( To read the court's decision click here)

    Shoats is in "administrative custody" at the State Correctional Institution at Greene in Western Pennsylvania. He is kept in his cell 23 hours a day, five days a week, and 24 hours a day for the other two days. He eats meals alone. He has been denied visits with family for eight years. He has no organized activities, no radio, no TV, no telephone calls "except emergency or legal calls," no books other than legal materials "and a personal religious volume." At the appeal hearing, prison officials acknowledged that they generally are concerned about the psychological damage to an inmate after 90 days of such confinement and would generally recommend transfer to the general population after 90 days as a consequence.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Campaigners condemn paedophile's release
    Campaigners fighting the sexual exploitation of children says they are disturbed by the early release of an Australian paedophile from a Thai jail.

    Bradley Pendragon has been granted a royal pardon and will be freed today.

    The 46-year-old was convicted of raping and beating girls between the ages of eight and 12 and producing child pornography.

    Pendragon has been in prison in Thailand since 1995 and was due to be released in 2008.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Royal pardon for child predator
  • Pardoned pedophile waits for ticket out

    Freed prisoners make swift return

    The statistics show 6,840 offenders were released from prison in 2002
    Nearly half of all prisoners released from Scotland's jails are back behind bars within two years, statistics show.

    Figures from the Scottish Prison Service show 6,840 offenders were freed from custody in 2002, with 6,458 men and 382 women liberated.

    The SPS said 48% of those released were back in custody within two years and 58% were behind bars within six months.

    Men were more likely to return to jail, with 49% returning within two years, compared to 39% of women.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Open letter to President Choummaly Sayasone
    Mr Choummaly Sayasone
    People’s Democratic Republic of Laos

    Paris, 23 June 2006

    Dear Mr President,

    Following your appointment as head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (PPRL) and the state of Laos, Reporters Without Borders, an international organisation which defends press freedom, wishes to draw your attention to serious and persistent press freedom problems in Laos.

    We recommend that you undertake some radical reforms which would finally allow the emergence of an independent press and the protection of journalists’ rights.

    We deplore the fact that Laotian journalists are still officials in the information and culture ministry and that, according to our sources, they are forced into self-censorship.

    Media executives and ministry officials meet several times a month to comment on articles which have appeared and to decide on priority subjects. The media put out news reports in their entirety from the official Khaosan Pathet Lao (KPL) news agency on many subjects.

  • Click Here for Full Letter

    Appeal for hill tribe women of Lard yao prison (Bangkok)
    There have been serious concerns raised in letters to FPSS about the health and well being of hill tribe women prisoners in Bangkok's Lard Yao Women's Prison.

    It has been reported that the prison has been overcrowded for some years with no place for quiet retreat. Many hill tribe women sleep on the floor in close proximity to each other. Whilst some may argue that this is a custom to which they are used to in village life, it can also be argued that even in the village, they don't sleep forty to fifty women in one small village hut.

    The conditions are far from 5 star and would not even rate as 1 star accommodation in the Lonely Planet guide. Yet it seems to be acceptable to subject these hill tribe women to such conditions simply because they are prisoners? Some have complained that the sewers overflow in the shower area, the diet of brown rice and soup is served three times a day and causes gastric problems. All other food and drink must be paid for, as too must all clothing and bedding be paid for by prisoners. Cleaning materials must be purchased by prisoners if they wish to maintain some level of safe hygiene standards.

    Sadly, many hill tribe women do not have relatives or friends to visit because often, these lifelines of support live hundreds of miles away in Myanmar, Laos, China. Therefore in order to survive, the hill tribe women must find work inside the prison walls. They work to survive and take on menial tasks for their fellow inmates, the rich foreign prisoners. Their hard work brings a pitifully low income which is often not enough to pay for basic things like soap, prison clothes or a hot meal.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Manila Death penalty scrapped
    PHILIPPINE President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, seeking to shore up support from powerful Roman Catholic bishops, today signed a law abolishing the death penalty before her imminent visit to the Vatican.

    The new law offers a reprieve for more than 1200 convicts on death row who faced lethal injection.

    Some critics said the law was a sop to win Church support for moves to change the constitution and to soften opposition from bishops to a revival of the mining industry.

    "We yield to the high moral imperative dictated by God to walk away from capital punishment," Ms Arroyo, a member of the huge Catholic majority in the Philippines, said in a speech.

    The President was due to leave tomorrow for state visits to Italy and Spain, including an audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican and meetings with thousands of Filipino workers in Milan.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Woman swallowed drug-filled condoms
    CUSTOMS officers in Sydney have intercepted an Australian woman who swallowed 320 condoms full of heroin in an attempt to smuggle the drug into the country.

    The 25-year-old Australian was stopped as she came off a flight from Singapore last Sunday, June 18, on suspicion that she was concealing drugs internally.

    She was taken to hospital for a medical examination, which revealed a large number of items in her stomach, the Australian Federal Police said.

    The woman has been in hospital under medical supervision while the condoms, containing approximately 300 grams of heroin, passed from her system.

    She has been charged with importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug and was due to appear in Parramatta Bail Court today.

    The charge carries a maximum penalty of $825,000 and/or life imprisonment.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Port Arthur gunman also has a TV in cell
    Port Arthur gunman Martin Bryant has a television in his cell but is not given access to Playstation games enjoyed by other inmates, a former employee of Hobart's Risdon Prison says.

    The revelations follow outrage in NSW that backpacker murderer Ivan Milat was given a television and sandwich maker as a reward because he was no longer deemed a suicide or escape risk.

    NSW authorities on Wednesday removed the items after protests from the families of Milat's victims.

    Tasmania Prison Service assistant director of prisons Greg Partridge on Wednesday refused to say what, if any, privileges had been given to Bryant - Australia's worst mass murderer - during his 10-year imprisonment.

    "Access to privileges is determined by a number of factors, such as the inmate's security rating and behaviour," he said.

    Privileges that are given out included additional canteen items, phone calls or visits, he said.

    The former employee worked with Bryant two years ago in the prison hospital, where he is housed for his own protection.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Aussie lawyer jailed in press-leak case
    From correspondents in Hong Kong 16-06-2006 From: Agence France-Presse

    AN Australian lawyer has been jailed in Hong Kong after being convicted of attempting to leak the identity of a witness in a protection program to the media.

    Kevin Egan, 60, one of Hong Kong's most well-known and feisty barristers, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for attempting to disclose the identity of Becky Wong, who was in the custody of an anti-graft body.

    The conviction was based on the testimony of a reporter from Hong Kong's leading English language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, who identified Egan as the source of her story in which Wong was named.

    The journalist, Magdalen Chow, who was granted immunity from prosecution, testified that Egan had not directly revealed the witness's identity to her, but she had inferred it from his words.

    District Court Chief Judge Barnabas Fung said that because Egan had failed to tell the journalist not to report on the case despite knowing there was a gag order, he had intentionally disclosed the identity of the witness.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Australian lawyers fly to Uganda
    FIVE Australian observers and one Canadian are on their way to Uganda to witness the trial of Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, which begins on Monday.

    Mr Kiyingi, 51, who has dual Australian-Ugandan citizenship, is charged with ordering the murder of prominent Ugandan lawyer and anti-corruption advocate Robinah Kiyingi, also known as Robinah Kiyibgi.

    According to an official at the Foreign Ministry, Jane Namusa, at least two lawyers from the Australian Bar Association, two officials from the Australian High Commission in Nairobi, one member of the Australian Medical Association, and one member of the Canadian Medical Association have been given visas to travel to Uganda to attend the proceedings.

    The official did not disclose their names.

    Proceedings began yesterday in the Uganda High Court against Mr Kiyingi and two co-accused and were immediately adjourned until Monday.

    Mr Kiyingi's lead lawyer Dusman Kabega said the delegation had told him it would be in the country before Monday.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Date set for Kiyingi hearing

    Released Detainees Refute US Guantanamo Suicide Cover Up
    London - Former Guantanamo detainees, including the 9 British nationals released from the camp, have poured scorn on allegations that the three deaths at Guantanamo were suicides and claim that they are almost certainly accidental killings caused by excessive force used by US guards there.

    Moazzam Begg, in a statement on behalf of all the freed British detainees elucidates that the camp's regime is designed to dehumanise detainees and to make them bereft of hope and believe they have no rights - framing and encouraging suicide amongst them - and suggesting imaginative ways to do so.

    Tarek Dergoul, who spent significant time with two of the deceased, provides the first in depth insight into their time in Guantanamo. He describes both Manei al-Otaibi and Yasser al-Zahrani as having indefatigable spirits, never once discussing or contemplating suicide, and being the foremost in their lack of cooperation with their captors and long term committed hunger strikers; leading them to be punished by frequent reprisals and beatings by guards. That it was camp policy to systematically beat incompliant prisoners, Tarek says, makes it hardly surprisingly that such vicious attacks could result in death.

    He further elaborates that in Camp One, where he was also held - it would have been physically impossible for them to have committed suicide successfully.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Statement on the Deaths in Guantánamo Bay By Joint Former British Detainees
  • Tarek Dergoul: Another Guantanamo Whitewash
  • Statement from Former Guantanamo Detainee, Abdullah Alnoaimi on Guantanamo Deaths
  • Send words of condolence to family of deceased Guantanamo inmates
  • Strong reaction to Guantanamo deaths
  • US Guantanamo remarks 'inhumane'
  • Criticism of Guantanamo rises; Pentagon IDs 3 who killed selves
  • Saudi suspicion over Guantanamo deaths
  • 60 minors at Guantanamo
  • The children of Guantanamo Bay
  • Children face same conditions as adults at Guantanamo: report
  • United Nations to USA: Close Guantanamo Prison
  • Gitmo inmates attack guards stopping a suicide

    25,000 prisoners to get royal pardons

    His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
    About 25,000 prisoners have been granted royal pardons to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's reign, the Corrections Department said yesterday.

    The first batch of 1,660 inmates is being released at 1.30pm today from Klong Prem Central Prison, director-general Nathee Chitsawang said.

    Most of the pardoned convicts had committed petty crimes with less than a year to serve, or are ill or old.

    Other prisoners have had their sentences commuted. Those on death row would be spared and spend their life behind bars, while lifers would receive a 40-year term.

    Well-behaved inmates would have their penalties shortened by one-half for an "excellent" record, one-third for "very good", one-fourth for "good" and one-fifth for "moderately good".

    Two infamous murderers, former medical student Serm Sakhonrat and former doctor Sorachat "Ham" Sirichote, were among those to receive a one-fourth reduction.

    Those sentenced to over eight years in prison or handed life or death sentences before the 2004 royal decree on royal pardons went into effect did not qualify for clemency.

    Among those not considered for a pardon are gynaecologist Wisut Boonkasemsanti, Major Chalermchai Matchaklam and Lt-General Chalor Kerdthet because their cases were still under appeal.

  • Click Here for Archive of Story
  • Prisoners wait anxiously for King's Pardon

    Bali Nine's Stephens files appeal
    FPSS Advocates continue to support a number of Bali 9 family members during the appeals process. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them and we encourage our members to write letters of support. We urge people in Australia to remember that the families of these young people are suffering and we hope that there will be mercy shown by Indonesian Authorities. Click Here for Bali 9 Case Information
    Convicted Bali Nine drug courier Martin Stephens has filed an appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court, claiming a disparity in the High Court decision that upheld the life sentence given by a lower court.

    In a dossier lodged to Denpasar District Court, Stephens said the role he played in the failed heroin smuggling scheme was similar to the other five Australian drug mules who had their life sentences cut to 20 years in jail.

    His appeal claims the decision showed there was a difference in treatment of similar cases in the Indonesian judicial system.

    The life jail terms of Renae Lawrence, Michael Czugaj, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman were reduced to 20 years on appeal five weeks ago.

    The High Court said the terms were cut because the five mules played only minor roles in the conspiracy to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.

    However, the life sentences of Stephens and Scott Rush were maintained.


    Click Here for Addresses

    Stephens was the only Bali Nine member to have his appeal rejected and his life sentence upheld. Rush did not appeal.

    The five who had their sentences reduced had the same panel of judges, while another panel of judges handled the Stephens and Rush cases.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Inside Stephens bali cell
  • URGENT ACTION Foreigners face firing squad in Indonesia
  • Five of Bali Nine have jail terms cut
  • Bali 9 ringleaders one step closer to death
  • Songs of the damned
  • Police forcefulness - AFP Responds
  • The illusion of freedom fooled Bali mules
  • No saving Bali kingpins: new envoy
  • Transfer hope for Nine, Corby
  • Bali 9 reconsider appeal
    The Bali nine sentences have now been released
    Click Here for details
  • Rush decides not to appeal life sentence
  • Rush rules out Bali sentence appeal
  • Downer set for Bali 9 plea
  • Death Penalty Demanded For Bali Nine ‘Leader’

    A school for serial killers
    "Reigning in Hell", screened on ABC Four Corners on May 22, revealed how the Aryan Brotherhood formed inside America’s San Quentin prison during the racially turbulent 1960s to protect white prisoners inside US prisons.

    Over the next 40 years the prison gang emerged as a sophisticated criminal network, both inside and outside prison, dealing in drugs, extortion, robbery, murder, gambling and prostitution. Australia’s eagerness to follow American trends has also created similar prison gangs here that have been allowed to evolve under the cloak of secrecy that pervades most Australian prisons.

    In Queensland s100 of The Corrective Services Act 2000 is explicit when it forbids media access to the state’s tax-payer-funded prison system.

    Journalists who have been ensnared in the legislative censorship trap include former Courier-Mail journalist Ella Riggert, former Sunday Mail journalist Lou Robson, Channel Nine 9 reporter Margueritte Rossi and Sydney documentary-maker and former ABC Media Watch researcher, Anne Delaney. All were charged under the restrictive censorship legislation enshrined in the Queensland Corrective Services Act and unceremoniously hauled before Queensland courts for doing their job - enforcing the public’s right to know.

    The exclusion of media access and lack of transparency has resulted in sanitised media releases from the Queensland Department of Corrective Services and its minister. Any information that could be regarded as politically sensitive is culled from those releases and the public never hears about it.

  • Click Here for Archive of Story

    Hilltribes in Thai Prisons
    Hilltribe prisoners at Chiang Rai Central Prison whom I've visited say that conditions at the prison have improved, and are better than at other prisons in Thailand. Of the approximate 4,000 inmates, more than 50% are hilltribe people.

    Conditions at Lard Yao women's prison in Bangkok have deteriorated even more this year from the already overcrowded situation and strict regime of previous years. There are serious delays with mail sent to prisoners getting in and out, far worse than at other prisons. Construction is now going on in the visitor's area, making already poor visiting conditions even worse.

    There are now 25 Akha hilltribe women at Bangkok Women's prison, and many Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Yao and other hilltribes, as well as many women from Myanmar. One Akha woman has a baby with her in prison, and not enough milk to feed her baby. One Lahu woman in the prison's sickroom is blind and cannot walk properly.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Suspect says he was hired to assassinate opponents of Lao government
    BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A suspected hit man said he was hired by the government of Laos to assassinate opponents of its communist regime, including a Lao-American couple killed early this year, Thai police said Thursday.

    Police arrested Thai national Athit Klinchan on Wednesday in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, near the border with Laos, in connection with a separate murder on May 11.

    During interrogation, police said they found that he was linked to at least eight other killings, including the deaths of Anouwong and Oulayvanh Sethathirath _ a Lao-American couple who claimed to be descendants of a Laotian royal family.

    "When we arrested the suspect, he was found to be linked to other cases. There are many people involved in his gang who are hunting down" opponents of the Laotian government, said Maj. Gen. Asawin Kwanmuang, deputy commander of the police Central Investigation Division.

    Athit admitted to involvement in the Jan. 18 fatal shooting of Anouwong and Oulayvanh Sethathirath _ known at home in Fairview, North Carolina, as Phillip and Ashley McRowan.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Barbara Higgs - On death row
    THE outfit is a familiar one for an Australian female facing drugs charges in Indonesia.

    But Barbara Kathleen Higgs' scarf was not in aid of a claimed conversion, or return, to Islam, or even an affinity with the religion.

    The 43-year-old used the scarf and sunglasses, and then court papers, in an effort to hide her face as she pleaded with judges on Lombok to have "pity" and think about the effect on her family back in Australia.

    She begged to be allowed to keep up the disguise.

    The judges were not happy with the request to depart from usual court rules but in the end allowed the trembling woman her wish.

    Higgs, from Pinjarra in Western Australia, was arrested in Lombok three months ago and now faces the harshest of Indonesia's drug laws – article 82 which carries the maximum death penalty for dealing in drugs – the same narcotics laws used to convict Australians Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine.

    She also faces two lesser charges and her lawyers say that hitting her with the main charge is an exaggeration of the case against her.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Trembling in terror, another Australian faces tough justice

    I stay strong for Schapelle

    HUGS AND KISSES: Schapelle Corby and her mum Rosleigh Rose celebrate Mother's Day in 1999.
    THIS is not a story of guilt or innocence, of wrongs and rights, or black or white. This is simply the story of one woman's fierce love for her child, a child who – however you view her circumstances – is in terrible trouble, a child who is far from home and who, most nights, wants nothing and no one more than her mother.

    The mother is Rosleigh Rose; the child, her daughter Schapelle Corby; and the first sign of the extraordinary bond between them is in the bunches of yellow ribbons which continue to flutter defiantly on the letterbox outside Rosleigh's suburban home.

    Much has been written about the Corby case, dinner parties have babbled across the country with "did she or didn't she?" debates, rumours have raged and through it all, Rosleigh has remained resolute.

    "Those ribbons," she says firmly, "are not coming down until my daughter comes home."

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Aussie deported after drug term
    A FORMER Adelaide school teacher jailed for heroin possession in Indonesia has been deported from Indonesia after completing a nine-month jail term.

    Graham Clifford Payne, 20, was arrested in the the north Sumatra capital Medan last August after a routine street-search by police uncovered a small amount of crystal methamphetamine hidden in his pocket.

    During a subsequent search of his nearby home, police found syringes and thousands of assorted prescription pills.

    Traces of heroin were found in the syringes, while police alleged Payne also had heroin in his blood.

    In December last year the Medan District Court sentenced the 22-year-old to eight months in jail for drug possession.

    Lawyer Karle Sitanggang said said Payne was freed from jail today and immediately deported.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    In Cuba, journalists jailed for reporting
    Today, the Inter American Press Association is focusing attention on the deplorable plight of 25 independent Cuban journalists imprisoned for committing crimes of conscience. We call upon the government of President Fidel Castro to release all 25 and immediately provide medical treatment to the 18 who are suffering serious health problems.

    The condition of the journalists has deteriorated since they were jailed in March 2003 as part of an official crackdown on a group of 75 dissidents. The decline is due to physical mistreatment and punishment, poor food, lack of medical attention, restrictions on family visits, overcrowded cells and confinement among a dangerous criminal population.

    The journalists, who are serving terms ranging from one to 27 years, are: Ricardo González Alfonso, Víctor Rolando Arroyo, Normando Hernández González, Julio César Gálvez, Adolfo Fernández Sainz, Omar Rodríguez Saludes, Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, Mijaíl Barzaga Lugo, Pedro Argüelles Morán, Pablo Pacheco Avila, Alejandro González Raga, Alfredo Pulido López, Fabio Prieto Llorente, Iván Hernández Carrillo, José Luis García Paneque, Juan Carlos Herrera, Miguel Galván Gutiérrez, José Ubaldo Izquierdo, Omar Ruiz Hernández, José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, Léster Luis González Pentón, Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, José Manuel Caraballo Bravo, Albert Santiago Du Bouchet and Oscar Mario González.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Related Case: Pablo Pacheco Avila

    Convicted Japanese trafficker released in Melbourne
    A Japanese tourist imprisoned for smuggling heroin into Australia in 1992 has been released and returned to Japan.

    The man, 47, is one of five convicted Japanese tourists who were arrested as they were found with 13 kilograms of heroin when they arrived at Melbourne airport in June 1992, flying from Kuala Lumpur.

    Their lawyers said they were wrongly convicted due to incorrect translation during police questioning and court hearings.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Convicted drug smuggler freed in Australia

    Shan Political Prisoner Arrested in 2005 Dies; Third Political Prisoner to Die in 2006
    On May 2, 2006, U Myint Than, 59, who was arrested in February 2005, died after suffering chest pains and a stroke at Thandwe General Hospital. He is the third political prisoner to die in a Burmese prison during 2006, and the tenth to have died since early 2005.

    U Myint Than was a leader of the New Generation-Shan State. He was arrested on 8 February 2005 with other renowned Shan leaders, including Khun Htun Oo and chairman Gen Hso Ten. He was sentenced to 79 years imprisonment for alleged insurrection in November 2005 and held in Insein prison. He was then transferred to Thandwe prison located in western Burma's Arakan State near the Bangladash border. At the time of his arrest, the US State Department expressed concern for his lengthy prison sentence, and the conditions of his imprisonment.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Latest news Michael Connell - sentenced reduced
  • Letter Received by Michaels Father April 28, 2006

    Dear Mr. Connell,

    We are pleased to inform you that yesterday Michael went to the Criminal Court and the judgement of the Appeals Court was read to him. The said court reduced his sentence from life imprisonment to 30 years imprisonment.

    We understand that Michael does not wish to further appeal his case to the Dika Court (Supreme Court) shall have to see him in Bangkwnag Central Prison to have his confirmation.

    Yours faithfully,
    Bangkok Legal Associates Law Office
    Puttri Kuvanonda

  • Click Here for Archive of Letter
  • Click Here for Michael Connell Case Information

    The Royal Lao Govt in exile condemns national elections in Laos as a charade.
    Chairman Sisavatdy calls for a move to an open, democratic system with multiple political parties.

    WASHINGTON, May 1 - After a sudden rescheduling of national elections to a full year ahead of originally planned, the communist country of Laos yesterday staged a one-party election to fill the 115 seat National Assembly.

    Even though an estimated 2.7 million eligible Lao voters cast their ballots nationwide in what the Lao government calls a "free and fair" election, the people had very few real options from which to choose. Of the 175 candidates vying for the 115 National Assembly seats, only two did not belong to the communist party, the only legal political party in Laos.

    Khamphoui Sisavatdy, chairman of the Royal Lao Government in Exile, based in the United States, condemned this election and called for more international pressure on Laos to democratize.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Vietnam court upholds Australian's death sentence
  • An appeals court in Vietnam has upheld the death sentence of an Australian man of Vietnamese origin for trafficking heroin, a court official said today.

    "Trinh Huu was given a death sentence by the appeal court of the Supreme People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday," a court clerk said.

    Huu was aged 53 when he was found guilty last December of trafficking about two kilogrammes (4.4 pounds) of heroin in southern Vietnam after his arrest one year earlier near the Cambodian border.

    His three Vietnamese accomplices were given jail terms from 15 years to life.

    Communist Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws, and Huu could face the firing squad within about one year.

    However, foreigners are rarely executed.

    Last year, 111 people were sentenced to death in Vietnam, according to information compiled from state media, and 48 Vietnamese were executed.

  • Click Here for Archive of Story
  • Vietnam Prison Homepage

    URGENT ACTION Health concern/Torture: Jumah al-Dossari
    Guantánamo detainee Jumah al-Dossari attempted suicide in March. He says he has been tortured in custody, and is believed to have made numerous suicide attempts since he was detained, in January 2001. US officials have refused to give his lawyers any information about his current condition.

    Lawyers visiting other detainees at Guantánamo in late March were told that Jumah al-Dossari had recently attempted suicide, for what may have been the 12th time, by slitting his throat. Official notes from Guantánamo which have recently been declassified also record the suicide attempt. Despite requests for information, his lawyers have been unable to determine his current condition.

    US Navy commander Robert Durand, a spokesperson at Guantánamo, told US journalists earlier this month that there was a suicide attempt at the camp on 11 March and that the unnamed detainee is "clinically stable". He has also noted that a single detainee, believed to be Jumah al-Dossari, accounts for 12 of the 39 reported suicide attempts at Guantánamo.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • USA: The secretive and illegal US programme of 'rendition'
  • Guantanamo Bay Information & Other Prisoners
    Testimony of Jumah al-Dossari
    "When I took up a pen and decided to write about what I have suffered and my tragedy, I was unable to decide where and how I should start. What I have seen is a huge tragedy and a weighty matter, far weightier than I can put to paper. Indeed, the enormous horrors that my eyes have seen have and continue to see renew my anxiety and pain and my very being and feelings are shaken at the mere thought or flash of them in my memory. How can my heart forget them and how can my soul who bore these horrors continue with life?

    As I hold my pen, my hand is shaking. How will I write about these tragedies? Yes tragedies, in all the possible meanings of the word. How will I write about these horrors and must I swallow the bitter lump that forms in my throat when I remember them? The revolting torture and those vile attacks which were a humiliation and will continue to be a vile stain on history, memories that whenever I look back on them, I wonder how my soft heart could bear them, how my body could bear the pain of the torture and how my mind could bear all that stress. How I wish my memories and my thoughts could be forgotten. But for me, in forgetting it and its effects, there are still memories, lifelong evidence of what happened to me in my wounds, my afflictions, my pain and my sadness. From here, in the gloom of prisons and from the depths of the detention camp, I am writing about what I have suffered. I am writing about my pain and my suffering. Click Here for complete testimony

    Sujiatun Death Camp: Putting Conscience On Trial
    Please remember the name: Sujiatun. It will one day be as infamous as Auschwitz and Dachau.

    The National Traditional Chinese Medicine Thrombus Treatment Center in Shenyang City. According to a former nurse who worked there, the Sujiatun death camp is in an underground complex connected to this hospital. The furnace unit on the southwest side of the hospital. There are two doors leading to the underground complex of the Sujiatun death camp. According to the witnesses, the remains of Falun Gong practitioners are incinerated here after their organs are extracted.

    On March 8, 2006, a Chinese journalist on the run from the Chinese communist regime disclosed to Falun Gong practitioners in the United States some appalling news: a secret death camp in Sujiatun, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province in China.

    According to this journalist, over 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been taken to Sujiatun. "I believe that once they are in they 100% cannot come back out," the journalist said. He also disclosed that there are incineration chambers and a large number of doctors there. "Why are there incineration chambers there? Why are there so many doctors inside? Certainly not for the benevolent treatment of prisoners. Something you simply cannot imagine..." "The prisoners, the Communist Party definitely will not let them just waste food there. Why are they there then? .. They will all be murdered, and all their organs will be harvested and distributed to hospitals. The sale of human organs is a vastly profitable trade in China."

    Falun Gong practitioners are not the only victims of such crimes. One week after the journalist's disclosure, a former nurse whose ex-husband had taken part in harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners also stepped forward to testify.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Human Rights Advocates Plea For Change In China
  • More Information on Falun Gong

    Inmates seize part of Risdon prison
    A TENSE stand-off was continuing early this morning inside Hobart's Risdon Prison, where a group of inmates was holed up in an accommodation unit after overpowering a guard.

    Up to 28 prisoners took control of Division 4 accommodation unit at 10am yesterday after several inmates struggled with a female guard and stole her keys.

    Director of Corrective Services Peter Hoult said the guard managed to escape uninjured.

    The rest of the prison was locked down and the group posed no risk to other staff or inmates.

    He said the Tasmania Prison Service Tactical Response group was on stand-by at the prison.

    The latest incident comes less than a year after a siege in which a prison officer at the maximum security jail was taken hostage.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Risdon Prison 'an ongoing headache'
  • Charred, dark, smelly and now locked down

    Fate unknown – ethnic Hmong children at risk in Laos

    Makeshift tents for ethnic Hmong refugees, Phetchabun Province.
    Some 23 ethnic Hmong children risk torture and other ill-treatment while being held in an undisclosed location in Laos.

    Deemed "illegal" immigrants by the Thai authorities, they were arrested in November 2005 whilst visiting a church, and deported on 5 December. They have been in detention since then, for no known reason; separated from their parents and families for more than four months.

    According to sources, the children – 20 of whom are girls – have endured appalling conditions. Aged 12 to 16, they are said to be "in bad condition", and to have suffered ill-treatment. Some of them may have been tortured.

    The children were living among a community of some 6,000 Hmong refugees in the Thai village of Ban Huay Nam Khao. Many of the refugees claim to have sought sanctuary in Thailand after being persecuted for their connection to the armed resistance against the Lao government.

    But the Thai government defines them as illegal immigrants while the Lao authorities do not believe them to be of Lao nationality. The community thus clings precariously to its position, rejected by one country and unrecognized by another.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Click Here to send Urgent Appeals

    SA women locked up in dungeon
    George - Eight South African women have been locked up in the dungeons of a Mauritius prison for the past eight weeks.

    Marius Mey, the fiance of 27-year-old Michelle Roux, one of the women, said: "They have been held in the dungeons for the past eight weeks.

    "They don't have beds or linen, they aren't allowed to shower and they have been wearing the same clothes. They have to use a chamber pot for a toilet.

    "They are released one at a time to buy food at the prison shop - biscuits and chips," he said.

    Die Burger reported recently that the South African women had gone on a hunger strike in protest against the inhumane conditions under which they were being held while the South African government looked on, doing nothing.

    Most of the eight women were being held on drug charges after drugs apparently had been planted on them with or without their knowledge, but without their consent.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • South African women on hunger strike

    Why wasn't the Prime Minister told about the Refugee Convention?
    For the Prime minister to suggest consulting Indonesia over West Papuan asylum seekers demonstrates either appalling ignorance or arrogance on the International Refugee convention to which Australia is signatory. This is a dangerous move that will place lives in jeopardy as it increases Australia's convention breaches. Although in effect such a move will be further formalising what has been done behind the razor wire and electric fences of our camps for years" says Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Melbourne.

    Examples of these breaches of the Refugee Convention protocols are listed below.
    a.. The Iranian embassy staff were given access to Iranian asylum seekers in detention when Minister Ruddock was attempting a deal to forcibly deport asylum seekers. In Villawood the Iranian detainees turned their backs and refused to speak to the delegates.
    b.. The Immigration department refined the process in Baxter by calling detainees to offices on other pretexts where they were then confronted by representatives of the government from which they had fled.
    c.. The same process happened to their great distress, with the Chinese and the Afghani detainees.
    d.. We know that the names and details of asylum seekers were handed over to the Iranian government because Iranians who were deported were shown lists by Iranian security agents during interrogation on their return. These lists contained the names of Iranians held in Baxter.
    e.. When the asylum seekers who arrived in November off the Kimberly coast from Indonesia, disappeared in Immigration custody, it was the daily visits from the Indonesian consulate which enabled them to be traced to a down market motel in Darwin. While the department was denying that these people were seeking asylum, they were facilitating access by Indonesian representatives who endeavoured to persuade them not to seek asylum.
    "All Asylum seekers should have access to legal advice on arrival otherwise there is no independent scrutiny of the process" says Martin Clutterbuck, ASRC Legal team Coordinator. "An example of the failure of the current process occurred when the Kurdish asylum seekers arrived on Australian soil. The department denied that they were seeking asylum and sent them back to Indonesia where they confirmed to the media that they had clearly expressed their desire to seek asylum as refugees."

  • Click Here for Archive of Story

    Another Aussie faces jail
    A 24-YEAR-OLD Melbourne woman is facing more than 10 years in an Indian jail after being charged with drug smuggling.

    Kelly Rae Trueman, from North Ringwood, was arrested at Mumbai's international airport last week with a suitcase containing 5.6kg of cannabis.

    Indian authorities said the cannabis was hidden in a secret compartment. It is believed the drugs could have a street value of up to $50,000.

    Customs officials said that Ms Trueman admitted the possession, carriage, concealment and recovery of the drugs.

    They said she admitted she was trying to smuggle the drugs on an Austrian Airways flight from Chatrapati Shivaji airport to Vienna.

    Ms Trueman is being held in Mumbai women's prison. Legal experts said it could take 18 months to two years for her to face court.

  • Click Here for Complete Story

    Police role criticised after Hong Kong drug sentences

    Jail ... the three young Australians were sentenced for drug trafficking yesterday.. ABC News Online', 'A van carrying one of the Australian defendants arrives at the High Court in Hong Kong
    The sentencing of three young Australians in Hong Kong has raised more questions about the role of Australian police in alerting foreign authorities to drug smuggling plots involving Australians.

    The trio, who were convicted of heroin smuggling in Hong Kong, have each been sentenced to at least a decade in prison and now have 28 days in which to lodge an appeal.

    Two of the traffickers were under the age of 18 when they were arrested in a Hong Kong hotel room in April last year in possession of 700 grams of heroin.

    Criticism has been levelled at the New South Wales and Australian Federal Police (AFP) for alerting local authorities to the heroin plot instead of waiting to arrest the Australians once they returned home.

    Rachel Ann Diaz, a former trainee hairdresser from Sydney, was only 17-years-old when she agreed to smuggle heroin from Hong Kong to Australia.

    In April last year, she was arrested in a Hong Kong hotel room, along with a 15-year-old and 21-year-old Hutchinson Tran, after police found 114 packages of heroin stuffed into condoms and the fingers of rubber gloves.

    Diaz and the 15-year-old were to swallow them before boarding the flight back to Sydney.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Australia and Hong Kong sign prisoner transfer agreement
  • Australia seeks prisoner deal
  • Hong Kong court jails teenagers for drug trafficking
  • Three lives wasted
  • Australian youths jailed over heroin
  • Australians plead guilty to HK drug rap
    Australia and Hong Kong sign prisoner transfer agreement

    MP3 Audio Interview with F.P.S.S Advocate Kay Danes

    Australia and Hong Kong have signed a bilateral treaty for the international transfer of prisoners between both countries, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, said today.

    The International Transfer of Prisoners treaty with Hong Kong underlines Australia’s solid commitment to regional law enforcement cooperation and will allow prisoners to serve out their sentences in their home country, Senator Ellison said.

    “Australia’s International Transfer of Prisoners scheme currently covers 58 jurisdictions, now including Hong Kong,” he said.

    Hong Kong is the second regional jurisdiction with which Australia has concluded a bilateral agreement for the transfer of prisoners. Three prisoners have already been repatriated from Thailand under our bilateral treaty, which came into force in late 2002.

    In total, 19 prisoners have been transferred since the International Transfer of Prisoners scheme began in 2002. Sixteen outward transfers have been concluded with the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand and Israel.

    There are currently three Australians sentenced to imprisonment in Hong Kong, in addition to those Australians awaiting trial.

    Click Here for Full Story - More Info on Rachel Ann Diaz

    Joint Military Co-operation continues between Laos and Vietnam
    In October 2005, the Lao PDR military began another campaign against the veterans of the U.S. Secret Army in the Xaysomboune Special Zone and Borikhamxay Province. Military helicopters re-supplied ammunitions and troops to the military camps surrounding the people in the jungle at both regions. The Lao PDR military strategic plan has been using starvation as a weapon of war to wipe out the U.S. Secret veterans and their families, numbering around 15,000 people, trapped in the remote mountainous jungles of northern Laos.

    On February 7, 2006, Lao Minister of National Defense Lieutenant General Douangchai Phichit made an effort to Vietnam, seeking for military cooperation between the two countries. "The Vietnamese Party, State and people have always worked to create favorable conditions for the armies of Viet Nam and Laos to promote cooperation, contribution to national construction, defense and maintenance of security in the two countries" stated President Tran Duc Luong while receiving the Lao Defense Minister in Ha Noi.

    On February 9, 2006, the U.S. Congress funded radio station, Radio Free Asia, reported Lao Defense Minister Lieutenant General Douangchai Phichit's trip to Vietnam was aimed for the cooperation for Vietnamese soldiers to help the Lao PDR troops to fight against the Hmong in the Xaysomboune Special Zone and Xieng Khouang. At the latter part of February 2006, the combine military campaign had begun.

    Beginning February 21, 2006 to March 26, 2006, reports from numerous groups in the jungles of Laos confirmed the increase of combine military activities against the 15,000+ U.S. Secret veterans and their families trapped in the remote jungles of Laos.

    As of February 21, 2006, Secret Veteran leader in the Borikhamxay Province, near the border of Laos and Vietnam, reported that at 11:30 a.m., a Lao PDR military MI-6 helicopter flew from La Sao and dropped three bombs into Wa Meng Yang's group and fired machine guns at them. Four people were seriously injured, two women and two children. Sixty-five people were affected by the chemical activities where fifteen people were in severe condition. Wa Meng Yang also reported on February 27, 2006 that his people have been surrounded by nine military groups consisting of both Lao PDR military and one group of Vietnamese troops since February 22, 2006. They are starving and pleading for international intervention to condemn both LPDR and SRV military to withdraw and bring humanitarian assistance to them.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Laos President Steps Down at End of Party Congress

    Former Glendairy Prison Officer speaks out against Donaldson Claims
    "Every day it hurts my heart to think of what they did to us. I still smell smoke and get nightmares of inmates threatening to bull me and then kill me. We were not the aggressors" says Robert. [not his real name]

    The following information has been provided to FPSS by a former Prison Officer at Glendairy who has requested his identity remain annonymous. We shall refer to him simply as 'Robert'.

    Robert writes....

    I have noticed that Mr. Donaldson has added to his account suggesting that the Superintendent of Prisons and his Deputy are torturing inmates, both national and non-national. I must suggest that Mr. Donaldson stop this unprovoked attack on the character on the person who, for the first time in the history of the prison system of Barbados, allowed inmates to have computers, radios and walkmans in their cells. This adminstration also permitted visits to be made by children on their parents. What happened on March 29, changed every thing. Mr. Donaldson does not say, conveniently so that inmates were literally going mad. They were threatening us and in fact some of our officers were injured. When fire officers came to put out the fires they were pelted by the very inmates they were trying to save.

    In the following days and weeks, the inmates had control of the prison. We could not even enter the area where they were confined. We had no choice but to find some way of bringing back law and order to the prison. Things came to a head when an inmate threw urine on a police officer. That was the final straw. We HAD to do something.

    I am proud of the actions of the prison and police personel after the fire. There was minimus loss of life. In addition no one escaped. Even though the inmates tried to get an inmate to drive the tractor through the wall. I can only imagine what would have happened if ten or more of them had escaped on that day.

    The fact of the matter was that the inmates declared war on us. We could not have backed down. Our job was to protect the people of this country from those who have no respect for the rights of others.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Prison not bed of roses
  • Press barred from prison inquiry
  • Prison court open to Press
  • Former drug runner reflects on his darkest days
  • Glendairy 'the best'
    Tale of two prisons - Terrence Donaldson
    A BRITON who spent three years imprisoned in Barbados has written a graphic and detailed account of his jail time at Glendairy and Harrison Point prisons, on a website associated with a support service for foreign prisoners.

    A BRITON who spent three years imprisoned in Barbados has written a graphic and detailed account of his jail time at Glendairy and Harrison Point prisons, on a website associated with a support service for foreign prisoners.

    Terrence George Donaldson, who was convicted on August 20, 2002 and sentenced to four years in prison for trafficking and attempting to export cocaine, was recently released from Harrison Point.

    Now back in his homeland, Donaldson reveals all about what he witnessed during his term behind bars in Barbados including drug dealing, homosexuality, the burning of Glendairy and the conditions at the temporary prison at Harrison Point.

    Today the WEEKEND NATION reproduces an edited version of his story.

    The website, which was established in 1995, is a volunteer prison advocacy service for families whose relatives are interned in a foreign country.
    Click Here for Full Story

  • More Info on Terrence Donaldson

  • US Citizen in Klom Prem prison on hunger strike for freedom

    Ly Tong is walking in chain from the court house
    FPSS supporters have raised concerns for US citizen, Mr. Tong Ly.

    He was sentenced by Thai Court and was due to be released on May 17 of 2006.

    However, about 4 weeks ago, Thai's Attorney Generals signed a contract with Communist Vietnam to extradite Mr. Tong Ly, a worldwide freedom fighter, to Vietnam.

    He is now on a hunger strike and has vowed to take his own life upon the due date, if Thai government do not free him according to their verdict under the Thai Court.

    Ly was convicted by a Rayong Court in Thailand's south on October, 2003 and sentenced to seven years on charges relating to hijacking a training airplane from Bo Phai in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Ly Tong flew the plane over Saigon and dropped anti-Hanoi leaflets during a historic visit to the city in November, 2000 by then US president Bill Clinton. He was arrested upon landing in Rayong's Ban Chang district.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Petition to President George W. Bush from Ly Tong"s Brother

    Bolivia Bomb Suspect 'Own Worst Enemy'

    Claudio Lestat d´Orleans
    BUENOS AIRES — As a defiant youngster in rural California, he spat at a judge, spent years in juvenile lockups and psychiatric institutions and was suspected of blowing up a telephone booth.

    As an adult, he decamped to South America, where he posted Internet messages seeking female companionship, became infatuated with a Uruguayan hairdresser 21 years his senior and was jailed for six months for bombing a bank in Argentina.

    He described himself as a pagan high priest, a lawyer, a philosopher. He adopted the name of a literary vampire.

    Finally, he ended up in the rough-and-tumble dynamite trade in Bolivia, distributing a racy promotional calendar that featured his girlfriend posing in the buff amid a cache of explosives.

    But none of Triston Jay Amero's previous misadventures compare to his current predicament: Amero, 24, and his Uruguayan companion are in custody in Bolivia facing murder charges in connection with bombings at Two hotels that killed two people and wounded seven others last week in the capital, La Paz.
  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Bolivia Investigates Terrorist Actions

    Home, sweet hom
    FOR FOUR LONG, AGONISING YEARS, André Howell dreamt of tasting freedom and his grandmother's cooking.

    Last Monday, his dreams came true when a 12-member mixed jury found him not guilty of murder.

    The euphoric atmosphere which erupted in the No. 4 Supreme Court following the verdict translated to his Maynard's Land, Bush Hall, St Michael home where André
    was greeted with hugs, kisses and what else but his grandmother's home-cooking.

    "It feels wonderful (to be home), it feels great," he told the SUNDAY SUN, adding: "I missed my grandmother's food, especially her sweetbread and cakes. All I was saying was I going home to eat grandmummy's food again, boy."

    It was as if Christmas had come early for his parents Sherphine Howell and Charles Carrington, who walked around in emotional prisons of their own for the four years their son was on remand at Glendairy Prisons and then at the temporary prison at Harrison Point.

    André, alias "Element" was on trial for murdering Andre "Wolf" Hurley, formerly of Kensington New Road, on March 12, 2002.

    It took the jury an hour-and-a-half to deliver the not-guilty verdict.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Dying inmate's plea

    A DYING INMATE was among the witnesses yesterday for the first sitting of a special court set to hear charges against 48 prisoners stemming from the burning of Glendairy Prisons.

    The preliminary inquiry into the March 29, 2005 fire and unrest began at the former prison, Station Hill, St Michael. The prison has been relocated to Harrison Point.

    Errol Spooner, with a catheter and urine bag attached to him, pleaded with Magistrate Deborah Holder to assist him in getting an audience with Acting Superintendent of Prisons, Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse. He wants the meeting before he dies of kidney cancer or more of the violence at the Harrison Point facility.

    "I just want to see the superintendent 'cause I fear for my life. I am under a lot of pressure from inmates and prison officers. This is life-threatening; men does get stab up, beat up and brek up down there," said Spooner.

    "They tell me that I have to write a letter to see the superintendent, but the letters like they don't reach. I am not saying that every officer is bad, but some are corrupt," Spooner said, adding he was attacked by a warder while walking along a corridor.

    Raising his shirt to show his physical state, he told Magistrate Holder: "Ma'am, I gine soon dead. I got kidney cancer."

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Probe into Jamaican prison riot underway
  • South American Prisons Page

    Britain complicit in Guantanamo Bay human rights abuses committed by US
    Britain has been complicit in the human rights abuses committed by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay prison camp, according to a report released today.

    Drawing on exhaustive interviews with detainees and evidence from security services, the dossier gives the complete picture of the British government's co- operation with the US over a camp it now says should be closed.

    The report, Fabricating Terrorism - British Complicity in Renditions and Terror, is a scathing indictment of the British government's "systematic violations of international law" over its co-operation with the US authorities in the detention of British citizens and residents at the US-run facility in Cuba. The research, compiled by the human rights group Cage Prisoners, plots British involvement in the cases of 13 current or former Guantanamo detainees - either British citizens or residents.

    All the detainees in the report consistently testified that UK authorities were aware of their plight and unwilling to intervene despite the knowledge that they were either at risk of torture or said they had been tortured.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Statement in response to rule change banning the use of evidence obtained by torture

    MP plans trade freeze over visa 'backstabbing'

    Visa anger: A senior Indonesian MP says Australia cannot be trusted. (File photo)
    A leading figure in Indonesia's Golkar Party says the parliament will be pushing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to freeze diplomatic relations with Australia and to expel the Australian Ambassador.

    Indonesia has already withdrawn its ambassador to Australia, after 42 asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Papua were granted temporary protection visas.

    Golkar deputy secretary general Priyo Budi Santoso says more action is necessary because the dispute over the asylum seekers has shown that Australia cannot be trusted.

    Golkar hold the largest block of seats in the House of Representatives.

    The Indonesian news agency Antara quotes him as saying Australia has stabbed Indonesia in the back by granting 42 Papuans temporary protection visas.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Indonesia to snub Nias memorial service

    Letter to President of Indonesia regarding proposed halt in negotiations to establish a prisoner exchange treat
    Attention: His Excellency Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
    Dear President

    I write to you with great concern regarding the decision that Nationalist MP Djoko Susilo has called for a halt in negotiations to establish a prisoner exchange between Indonesia and Australia because of the Australian Immigration Departments decision to grant temporary protection visas to 42 Papuans this week. Mr Djoko Susilo was quoted as stating, "We are trying not to hurt the Australian people, but this is the lowest level between Indonesia and Australia and we want more action taken by our government against yours, the prisoners will stay in Indonesia - they won't do their prison time in Australia now." He has also called for called for punitive sanctions against Australia and a cut in military ties.

  • Click Here for Full Letter

  • Pope sends envoy to death row Indonesians
    An Indonesia bishop relayed a message of support from Pope Benedict XVI to three prisoners condemned to death after a controversial trial that many observers said was unjust.

    According to Zenit, Bishop Joseph Suwatan, president of the Justice and Peace Commission of Manado Diocese, northern Sulawesi, told the Catholic inmates that the pope sent his blessing to them.

    The pope, through the bishop, invited the convicts to pray the rosary together with him, so that they might bear their burden.

    Bishop Suwatan met Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu in prison on Sunday. The three men have been condemned to death for the massacre of Muslims during interreligious clashes in Poso in 2000.

    The bishop said he had undertaken the visit to the Palu prison in the capacity of "special Vatican envoy."

    He said Benedict XVI wanted to share the men's pain and to express his solidarity for the legal injustice suffered by the three during their trial, according to
  • Click Here for Full Story

    New Guantanamo Bay like US Run Afghanistan Prison very primitive!
    "While an international debate rages over the future of the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the military has quietly expanded another, less-visible prison in Afghanistan, where it now holds some 500 terror suspects in more primitive conditions, indefinitely and without charges."

    That is the opening line of a front-page article in Sunday's New York Times detailing the US-run prison at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul. The Times reports that some of the detainees at Bagram have been held for as long as two or three years. Unlike those at Guantanamo, they have no access to lawyers, no right to hear the allegations against them and only rudimentary reviews of their status as "enemy combatants." One Pentagon official told the Times the current average stay of prisoners at Bagram was 14.5 months.

    The numbers of detainees at the base had risen from about 100 at the start of 2004 to as many as 600 at times last year. The paper says the increase is in part the result of a decision by the U.S. government to shut off the flow of detainees to Guantanamo Bay after the Supreme Court ruled that those prisoners had some basic due-process rights. The question of whether those same rights apply to detainees in Bagram has not been tested in court.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Physicians write Blair regarding the medical attention in GB
    Associated Press sues Defense Department for Guantanamo Prisoner Names
    The Associated Press yesterday sued the Defense Department for the release of records identifying all past and current detainees at the US-run prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The AP's suit was filed after the Pentagon failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the AP in January. Last month, the military was ordered to turn over uncensored copies of transcripts from hearings for detainees held at Guantanamo. The transcripts were released, however they were censored, and names and other key details were blacked out.
  • Click Here for Full Story

  • Nick Baker Back in Solitary Confinement
    Nick is back in solitary confinement, he had already written and told me he may have a little trouble because he had been caught speaking. Yes, I did say speaking, prisoners are only allowed to speak twice a day for a very short period of time, I am told that this solitary comfinement puncihsment can last up to 28 days or longer. Nick has already completed almost 4 years in solitary before he was moved.

    Whilst Nick was being investigate he fainted, so they tell me !!! when he came too he was covered in sweat, he is also suffer from blurred vision and has been for many weeks.

    Fuchu Prison rule book states, if a prisoner become ill he will be punished, it looks like Nick could be in further trouble!!!!

    The British Embassy have requested that Nick be checked medically, they think theres a possibility that he could be epileptic!!!. 4 years ago Nick was a strappy 6 foot man.

    Nick has lost a further 10 kilos in Fuchu, they are feed only limited amounts of poor quality food which is always cold. They are allowed rations of approx 2000 calories per day, but if there is not enough work in the factories for them to complete a full day these rations are cut, there is not enough work to keep prisoners working all day. If your are in Solitary your rations are cut even further. Nick is not able to buy extra food, not even bread and cheese, none is sold in the prison.

    Nick suffered frost bite once again this year this is the 4 time Nick has suffered this.

    I can no longer fight for a fair trial for Nick, all I can do is fight for his human rights. Really difficult in Japan as you can see by Nick treatment so far.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • 5th Letter from Nick Baker
  • Year End Message from Iris
  • Nick Baker's High Court appeal has been lost!
  • Briton has sentence for drug-smuggling reduced to 11 years
  • Click Here for Post Appeal Press Release
  • Nick Baker High Court Appeal Finished
  • Nick Baker Final Hearing
  • Drug Offence Briton Subjected to 'Barbaric' Treatment
  • CReport on the 10th High Court Appeal Hearing.
  • Nick Baker case – key proves key to the defence
  • Report on the 9th High Court Appeal Hearing
  • Click Here for Nick Baker Case File & News Archive

    Corby case drugs destroyed
    Photo opportunity ... Corby's lawyer says the media-staged drug destruction destroys crucial evidence. Picture: Lukman Bintoro
    THE 4.1kg of marijuana that landed Schapelle Corby a 20-year jail term went up in smoke in Bali yesterday.

    Her boogie board and the blue board bag, which had contained the stash of drugs and her flippers, were also set alight with long flaming poles amid much pomp and ceremony.

    The torching of the 28-year-old's property and the marijuana – part of the Bali prosecution's periodic destruction of drug evidence – went ahead despite a last-minute plea from her lawyers to have it stopped. The Corby evidence was destroyed alongside that from 56 other cases, including almost 2kg of heroin, almost 1000 ecstasy pills and 800 bottles of beer.

    Its destruction was ordered by the Supreme Court in Jakarta, which recently rejected her appeal and reinstated her 20-year sentence for drug smuggling. With the Bali prosecution's boss, police chiefs and the local mayor in attendance, the morning's burning took on almost regal and ritualistic tones.

    The marijuana was emptied into a drum, kerosene poured over it before five officials, brandishing fire sticks and wearing surgical masks, lit the marijuana.

    The boogie board, bag and flipper met the same fate, with a great plume of black smoke heralding their destruction.

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Corby's despair as evidence burns
  • Bali police burn Corby's marijuana
  • Urgent Press Release March 17, 2006
  • Corby Urgent Update March 16, 2006
    Sorrow felt by Schapelle Supporters
    The outpouring of concern for the Corby's and for Schapelle has been overwhelming particularly from the supporters of the Spirit of Schapelle Support Forum. Many of these supporters were sparked into action after receiving an urgent request from the Administrator of the Free Schapelle Website - Schapelle Corby's Official Web site. They have written last minute appeals to the Australian Government, telephoned their local members of parliament and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, appealed to the Australian Attorney General and Ambassador of Indonesia to Australia. They sent hundreds of letters of outrage to the Australian media.
  • Click Here for Full Story
  • letter to the Ambassador of the Indonesian Embassy in Australia.
  • Anger over 'sick' Bali prison tours
  • Schapelle Corby Update Friday 10 March 2006
  • A Quiet Vigilance for Schapelle Corby
  • No 'direct link' between trafficking report and Corby
  • Schapelle Corby supporters hit back at ABC 7:30 Report
  • Transcript of the 7:30 Report
  • Corby mother considers legal action
  • Corby family sacks brother's lawyers
  • Hotman chooses Ferrari over Corby
  • The curse of the Corby clan
  • Corby rejected opportunity to bribe: mum
  • Corby's brother 'not linked to her case'
  • Court test for Corby's brother
  • AFP checks Corby twist
  • Corby's lawyer vows to fight on
  • Corby hope
  • Corby's sentence reinstated to 20 years
  • Corby faces full 20 years' jail
  • Double blow for Corby
  • Tragic Tale Hits Home
  • Corby mum denies knowing drug suspect
  • Drug accused clears Corby
  • Schapelle Corby Update by Tony Wilson - 12 March 2006

    Tony Wilson Photo Copyright F.P.S.S
    IT was a real kick in the guts. My wife Elaine and I had been looking forward to seeing Schapelle for the first time since October [2005].

    We arrived in Bali on Wednesday, March 1 [2006], wondering how the Tugun woman had handled the dire news in January [2005] that her sentence had been restored to 20 years.

    Schapelle's sister, Mercedes, greeted us with the news Schapelle had an eye infection. The infection, known as mata-merah or red-eye, is an Indonesian version of conjunctivitis only it is far more severe than its Australian cousin. It makes the eyes swell until they close, run continually and become extremely sore.

    "It is highly contagious and when Schapelle contracted it for the first time in December, my two kids, Dad (Michael) and I all caught it," said Mercedes. "I was in so much pain I didn't leave the house for a week and it took Schapelle, Dad and I two weeks to get rid of it."

  • Click Here for Full Story

  • David Hicks receives support from Australian Democrats [Govt]
    Foreign Prisoner Support Service would like to announce that the Australian Democrats have launched a petition calling for the Guantanamo Bay military facility to be closed and highlighting the injustice faced by South Australian citizen David Hicks.

    "David Hicks has languished in the Guantanamo gulag for four years and still has no real prospect of receiving a fair trial," Democrats' Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.

    "The continuing incarceration of David Hicks is a disgrace for the United States Government and the Australian Government. Guantanamo Bay is saturated with breaches of international law and the facility must be shut down."

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Hicks petition launched by Democrats
    Click Here to Print Petition - Download in Word format
    Guantánamo and beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power
    I used to think that America had respect for human rights when it came to prison.
    Mohammed Nechle, extrajudicially removed from Bosnia and Herzegovina by US agents(1)

    My husband is a tall man with black hair and black eyes…He is now imprisoned in Guantánamo. We don’t know why.
    Wife of Mohammed Nechle, Algerian national, 2004(2)
    1. Summary: The pursuit of unfettered executive power

    It seems rather contrary to an idea of a Constitution with three branches that the executive would be free to do whatever they want, whatever they want without a check.
    US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 20 April 2004(3)

    In late December 2001, a memorandum was sent from the United States Justice Department to the Department of Defense.(4) It advised the Pentagon that no US District Court could "properly entertain" appeals from "enemy aliens" detained at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Because Cuba has "ultimate sovereignty" over Guantánamo, the memorandum asserted, US Supreme Court jurisprudence meant that a foreign national in custody in the naval base should not have access to the US courts. The first "war on terror" detainees were transferred to the base two weeks later. The memorandum remained secret until it was leaked to the media in mid-2004 in the wake of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.
  • Click Here for Full Report
  • Lawyer fears for 'tortured' Australian
  • Australian prisoner's torture claims 'taken seriously'
  • Australian 'tortured' in secret Iraqi prison
  • Consul's risky Iraq mission
  • Real tales from Guantanamo Bay Papers released by U.S. show inmates' defiance and despair
  • Guantanamo Bay: The testimony
  • The case for closing Guantanamo is overwhelming
  • USA: Amnesty welcomes UN call to close Guantánamo Bay – but it is tip of iceberg
  • Guantánamo: Lives torn apart – The impact of indefinite detention on detainees and their families
  • Guantanamo Tube Feedings Humane, Within Medical Care Standards
  • Guantánamo detainees: 4 years without justice
  • New Guantanamo prison not 'sign of permanency'
  • Hicks Speaks to Father & is concerned about UK appeal
  • David Hicks Wins U.K. Citizenship
    Letter of protest to George Bush
    Dear Mr President,
    It is now four years since the first detainees were transferred to the detention facility at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
    Detainees in Guantánamo Bay are held in prolonged indefinite detention, which violates a fundamental legal principle: that anyone detained has the right to be promptly brought before an independent judicial officer to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. You have repeatedly asserted that the USA strives to "defend and extend a vision of human dignity" and "uphold the rule of law". For the detainees at Guantánamo Bay these words ring hollow. Click Here to read complete letter to President Bush

    Accidental Drug Mule - Traffickers hid 10kg of cocaine in tourist's bag
    AN Australian tourist became an unwitting drug mule when 10kg of cocaine was concealed in his luggage without his knowledge.

    The accidental smuggler's role in an global trafficking ring allegedly headed by Sydney men Shayne Desmond Hatfield and Michael Hurley was revealed for the first time in a Sydney court yesterday.

    A Brisbane man, identified in court as Gary Macdonald, checked two bags on to a flight from Argentina on October 8, 2004 -- but, while he arrived home, his bags did not.

    A police informant later revealed baggage handlers were paid to remove the bags in Sydney before Customs could inspect them.

    Hatfield and 10 other men yesterday faced Central Local Court for the start of committal proceedings in their cases, charged with a range of drug supply offences.

    The tourist has not been charged with any offence -- he denies any knowledge of the drugs, the court heard.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Guantanamo by the Numbers
    TONY EASTLEY: As Australian terror suspect David Hicks begins his fifth year in detention at Guantanamo Bay, his Australian lawyer's latest attempt to travel to Cuba has been rejected.

    David McLeod says the Government isn't providing enough legal aid funding to adequately represent Mr Hicks, and the latest refusal for legal aid is just another in a long list of basic rights that Mr Hicks has failed to receive since his capture in 2001.

    Krista Eleftheriou reports.

    KRISTA ELEFTHERIOU: For four years David Hicks has spent 23 hours each day in a prison cell. In that time he's been permitted to see his father Terry Hicks once and speak to him on three other occasions - the last time on Christmas Eve.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    URGENT ACTION REQUIRED - Concerns over force feeding at Guantánamo Bay
    Detainees at Guantánamo participating in the hunger strike are reported to have been placed into isolation, strapped into restraint chairs, been subjected to painful force-feeding methods and deprived of "comfort items" such as blankets and books.

    Kuwaiti national Fawzi al-Odah told his lawyer that on 11 January 2006 he ended his hunger strike after being threatened with force-feeding using a thick tube with a metal edge whilst restrained. He says that the previous day he had heard the screams of a detainee in an adjacent room being force-fed in this manner and that he had also heard a doctor tell this detainee, "I have to do this, I have to cause you pain." The detainee who was force-fed later advised Fawzi al-Odah that he should eat voluntarily so as not to experience the pain.

    Lawyers for other detainees have told Amnesty International that the hunger strikers have been moved into isolation in cold rooms, strapped into restraint chairs and deliberately force-fed too much food, causing them extreme pain and, in some cases, diarrhoea. Many of the hunger strikers were forced to submit to this process several times a day.

  • Click Here for Full Story

    Urgent Human Rights Council Action Required
    Kofi Annan suggested a series of reforms some months ago to overhaul the much maligned United Nations Commission for Human Rights. The Commission, the body originally responsible for drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has been tainted by the frequent election of members with dismal human rights records, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe. Annan requested that members of a new Human Rights Council be selected primarily on their human rights credentials. Pesky diplomatic clauses that hindered the old Commission, like that which required 'equitable geographic distribution' of member states, were to become secondary concerns. This was to be a Council of countries that led by example - one that addressed emerging human rights crises aggressively and ensured catastrophes like the 1994 Rwandan Genocide were prevented. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other leading human rights organisations supported these reforms.

  • Click Here for Full Report
  • Amnesty members petition U.S.A. to support new UN Human Rights Council
  • The UN Commission on Human Rights

    Human rights and the fate of the Lao-Hmong brought up at the French National Assembly
    Press Release - 2nd March 2006 "mouvement lao pour lesdroits de l'homme"

    The situation of human rights in Laos, and more particularly the fate of the Lao-Hmong who are being hunted down in the Xaysomboun forests, was brought up for the first time within the hemicycle of the French National Assembly in the course of a questions to the government session on Tuesday 28 February 2006, upon the initiative of UMP Deputy Chantal BRUNEL.

    The Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) welcomes this initiative of Mrs Brunel, Deputy of the Seine-et-Marne department, who inquired after the fate of these thousands of Lao-Hmong men, women, children who are being "hunted down, assaulted, eliminated little by little in the Lao forests", and whose rights "have been trampled on for more than thirty years by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic". Her questions were addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

  • Click Here for Complete Story

    Transfer hope for Nine, Corby
    FOREIGN Affairs Minister Alexander Downer hopes a prisoner transfer scheme with Indonesia can be arranged "reasonably quickly", but says that during a meeting yesterday with his Indonesian counterpart, he emphasised Australia supported Indonesia's tough stance on drugs.

    Mr Downer, in Jakarta to address a terrorism conference, also had a breakfast meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda, where the subject of the Bali Nine was discussed.

    Mr Downer told his counterpart that once all appeals for the two Bali Nine members on death row were concluded, Australia would make appeals for clemency should the death penalties for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran stand.

    However, he said Australia's clemency appeals would not extend to the seven members who recently received life sentences for their attempt to export 8.2kg of heroin to Bali from Australia.

    All members of the nine have lodged appeals with the Denpasar High Court.

  • Click Here for Complete Story

    Report slams Queensland strip-search drill
    STRIP-searching of women in Queensland jails has been slammed as "unreasonable and unacceptable" in a ground-breaking report.

    The Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland has urged legislative changes to back its 68 recommendations for improving the running of women's prisons.

    These include measures to minimise strip searches and a ban on male guards observing women prisoners held in detention or in jail crisis units.

    Male prison officers should not be allowed to inspect women's cells at night, the ADCQ said.

  • Click Here for Complete Story

    Real tales from Guantanamo Bay Papers released by U.S. show inmates' defiance and despair
    Among the hundreds of men imprisoned by the American military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there are those who brashly assert their determination to wage war against what they see as the infidel empire led by the United States.

    "May God help me fight the unfaithful ones," one Saudi detainee, Ghassan Abdallah Ghazi al-Shirbi, told a military hearing where he was accused of being a lieutenant of Al Qaeda.

    But there are many more, it seems, who sound like Abdur Sayed Rahman, a self-described Pakistani villager who says he was arrested at his modest home in January 2002, flown off to Afghanistan and later accused of being the deputy foreign minister of that country's deposed Taliban regime.

    "I am only a chicken farmer in Pakistan," he protested to American military officers at Guantanamo. "My name is Abdur Sayed Rahman. Abdur Zahid Rahman was the deputy foreign minister of the Taliban."

    Rahman's pleadings are among more than 5,000 pages of documents released by the Defense Department on Friday in response to a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act by The Associated Press.

    After more than four years in which the Pentagon refused to make public even the names of those held at Guantanamo, the documents provide the most detailed information to date about who the detainees say they are and the evidence against them.

    According to their own accounts, the prisoners range from poor Afghan farmers and low-level Arab holy warriors to a Sudanese drug dealer, the son of a former Saudi army general, and a British resident with an Iraqi passport who was arrested in Gambia.

    One 26-year-old Saudi, Muhammed al-Utaybi, said he was studying art when he decided to travel to Pakistan to train with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. He was not much of a militant himself, he suggested, saying the training "was just like summer vacation."

    The documents--hearing transcripts and evidentiary statements from the two types of military panels that evaluate whether the detainees should remain at Guantanamo--are far from a complete portrait of those in custody there.

    They do not include the classified evidence that is generally part of the review panels' deliberations, nor their final verdicts on whether to recommend the detainees' release. Of the about 660 men who have been held at Guantanamo, the documents cover about half.

    But a reading of the voluminous files adds new texture to the accusations that the men face and the way they have tried to respond to them.

  • Click Here for Full Report
  • Guantanamo Bay: The testimony
  • The case for closing Guantanamo is overwhelming
  • USA: Amnesty welcomes UN call to close Guantánamo Bay – but it is tip of iceberg
  • Guantánamo: Lives torn apart – The impact of indefinite detention on detainees and their families
  • Guantanamo Tube Feedings Humane, Within Medical Care Standards
  • Guantánamo detainees: 4 years without justice
  • New Guantanamo prison not 'sign of permanency'
  • Hicks Speaks to Father & is concerned about UK appeal
  • David Hicks Wins U.K. Citizenship

    Man free after decade in jail
    AFTER spending more than a decade behind bars for the murder of a Perth jeweller, Andrew Mallard last night walked from prison a free man.

    The 42-year-old was released from maximum security Casuarina Prison after prosecutors withdrew a murder charge against him yesterday afternoon.

    A calm, smiling and relieved Mr Mallard emerged from prison flanked by family and supporters, eager to head home in a limousine ordered for the occasion.

    "I just want a good night's sleep, free from officers jeering in the port and keys jangling and all that sort of thing," he said.

    "I have been preparing for this for some time - nearly 12 years actually."

    Outraged at an assertion in the West Australian Supreme Court that he remained the prime suspect in the 1994 murder of Pamela Lawrence, Mr Mallard's sister Jackie accused police of conducting an inept investigation, claiming evidence was presented three years ago that should have set her brother free.

    "The police should now do their job properly, as they should have in the first place, and find out who really did this," she said.

    Two appeals failed before Mr Mallard's conviction was quashed by the High Court in November. He was due to face trial later this year, but at a hastily convened sitting of the Supreme Court yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Robert Cock QC withdrew the prosecution.

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • I thought the system was out to get at me
  • Innocent victims hit back
  • Released man vows to solve murder case

    South African women on hunger strike
    Cape Town - Eleven South African women held in a Mauritian jail on drug charges have been on a hunger strike for two weeks, a member of Families of South African Detainees Abroad said on Friday.

    Teressa Phewa said the women, some of whom had been held without trial for more than three years, were demanding that their cases be dealt with by the Mauritian authorities.

    "They can't even plan their future, they don't know what is going on in their lives," she said. "They will carry on the strike until somebody comes and tells them the way forward."

    Pewa said the women were in jail in the town of Beau Bassin, where she herself was held for three and a half years on drug charges before being freed in December last year without being brought to trial.

    She said when the women phoned her this week to tell her they were on hunger strike, they also said they had been involved in a fight with a group of Mauritian women prisoners who beat up a South African girl.

    "I've been there, it's not safe. If you are a foreigner, you are nothing," she said.

  • Click Here for Complete Story

    After four years, courts fail to rule on Thai teen's fate
    THAI teenager Plarm Pongprom, now in her fifth year in Australia, has once again had her case referred back to the Refugee Review Tribunal.

    But her guardians are convinced the 14-year-old, now a Year 9 student at Mareeba State High School, will never be sent back to her home land.

    "She speaks with an Australian accent, she has Australian friends and she has no one at all back in her home country," said step-grandfather Ken Ritchie.

    Last Friday, Mr Ritchie learned the case had been referred back to the RRT.

    Plarm applied for residency with the Department of Immigration in 2002.

    "I'm sure Plarm's much more the sort of person we'd want in Australia."

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • Court again fails to rule on Thai teen's fate
  • Crim's visa a shock for girl

    The Schoolboy - The Gordon Vuong Story
    A Sydney teenager faces years in a Cambodian Jail

    A 16 year-old schoolboy from Sydney caught trying to smuggle drugs out of a foreign country. Sentenced to 13 years in a squalid Asian prison cell swarming with feral animals. Sorry? Haven't heard about him?

    Three months ago when Gordon Vuong was caught trying to smuggle heroin out of Cambodia, the news barley registered on the national radar. The former Christian Brothers Lewisham schoolboy is the youngest of the 118 Australians in prison overseas. But unlike Schapelle Corby, The Bali None and now Michelle Leslie, Gordon Vuong is not a household name!

  • Click Here for Complete Story
  • I'm innocent, says teen jailed in Cambodia
  • Australian jailed for 18 years over opium: report.
  • Australian Federal Government has to get involved.
  • Gordon Vuong Case Page

    Human rights group backs Daisy's case
    A HUMAN rights advocate is campaigning for jailed Bournemouth backpacker Daisy Angus.

    Kay Danes, of Foreign Prisoner Support Services, is calling for those detaining her in India to ensure basic human rights are upheld.

    On the organisation's website it is claimed that Daisy has "suffered from malaria, has very little to eat and faces all manner of physical abuse".

    It cites the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights article five - "No one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

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