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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Our own political prisoner

Photo: AFP

theage.com.au reports the latest in this shameful saga:

"US peace activist Scott Parkin wants to leave Australia but remains in solitary confinement because the immigration department refuses to deport him, his lawyer said today.

"Julian Burnside, QC, told theage.com.au that Mr Parkin had been told by immigration officers that his deportation would be brought forward if he dropped his appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal to find out why his visa was revoked.

"Mr Burnside described this as "factually false and legally improper".

"What they're doing, in effect, is saying 'Alright, we'll hold you here in solitary confinement until you dump your action', and that's outrageous," he said."

Anybody care to suggest how Parkin might be a "threat to national security"?

Brian Walters, SC, president of Liberty Victoria, writes an impassioned article on what this all says about Australia in 2005:

"It is our tolerance of a wide range of views that gives our nation so much of its strength. Our ability to hear and open our minds to even radical views makes us stronger - not weaker."

It is a lesson that should be heeded by all.

11 Comments:

Blogger Shabadoo said...

If tolerance of opposing views is such a good thing, why aren't you protesting about the potential jailing of those clerics in Victoria?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:58:00 am  
Blogger Mike Hunt said...

Surely we should be keeping American imperialists out of Australia. Having Americans here only invites a terrorist attack.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:50:00 pm  
Blogger The Big Bad said...

Deport more Americans, I say!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:13:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

I didn't like some of the earlier rationalisations about "harming relationships", and suspected there was more to it than that. The government wouldn't deport someone just because he dislikes Halliburton. They're not stupid enough to think they'd be able to get away with it.

Kim Beazley is not opposed to the deportation. Either the rationale is very serious, or Kim's a big mug. Or both.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:18:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

The government can get away with anything, as the legislation doesn't compel them to tell Scott or anyone why he's a supposed threat.
That should profoundly disturb people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:29:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

Your status as profoundly disturbed is duly noted, Ant.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:58:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

andjam, Beazley's lack of opposition means nothing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:43:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

andjam, Beazley's lack of opposition means nothing.

What do you mean by this?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:14:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

We all know Beazley's love of the US govt...and his fear of being seen to be 'soft' on 'terrorism'...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:27:00 pm  
Blogger CB said...

We all know that you are prone to exaggeration of your own influence too.

What the hell does 'Our' political prisoner mean? He's a tourist. We can kick anyone we like fair the hell out fo the country for pretty much spitting on the street. Get over it. It's not changing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:48:00 pm  
Blogger Iain Murray said...

Deported peace activist blameless

November 1, 2005

AN AMERICAN peace activist deported from Australia on the grounds he was a threat to national security was not involved in any dangerous or violent protests in Australia, ASIO revealed yesterday.

Scott Parkin, 36, from Houston, Texas, returned to the US in September after his visitor's visa was cancelled on the grounds he posed a national security risk. He was kept in solitary confinement by Australian Federal Police in Melbourne following an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

ASIO chief Paul O'Sullivan denied his agency was pressured by the US into making the adverse assessment. Asked if Mr Parkin had been violent in Australia, Mr O'Sullivan said he had not.

AAP

www.theage.com.au

Thursday, November 03, 2005 2:56:00 pm  

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