Written by U Ne Oo on 2005-02-06

Recent release of Mamdouh Habib, an Australian ``terror-scapegoat'' who had been held in Guantanamo Cuba without charges for last 3 years, must be attributed to the great effort of American Civil Rights campaigners. Hopeful that a resolution for another Australian ``terror-scapegoat'', David Hicks, may be nearer; as of recent, the US Court threw out the Executive appointed military tribunal as unlawful to try Hicks.

Mr Habib appears recovering from three years of isolation and torture. That doesn't stop Australian Attorney-General (former imfamous Immigration Minister) Philip Ruddock threaten Habib not make interviews with media. So too bullying press and media swing along the government line.

For the record, I had protested the Australian newspapers about such slanderous accusations and denigration of individuals and their family. I stick a piece of toilet paper to the offending news article about David Hicks and then sent it back to the editor.

Government and media continuing accusation of Habib as ``terrorist threat'' is disturbing. We might need to send the whole toilet rolls to stuff-up those filthy-lying mouths in government and media altogether.

Sincerely, U Ne Oo.]




Aaron Benedek, Sydney

In a major breakthrough for civil rights campaigners, the federal government announced on January 11 that Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib is to be released.

After being arrested by Pakistani police in October 2001, Habib was sent by the US military to Egypt for six months. He was transferred back to a US military base in Afghanistan and then to a military prison on the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in May 2002. Throughout his detention he has been repeatedly subjected to torture by US military interrogators, with the connivance of the Australian government.

For more than three years his wife, Maha, has had to hold her family together not knowing when, or if, her husband would ever come home. By any decent measure she is a national hero.

Despite extensive efforts by the US government to cover up its abuse and torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, the full extent of its crimes against Habib began to surface last year when his lawyer Stephen Hopper who has never been allowed to speak with his client met with two British citizens who were former Guantanamo detainees. They recounted to Hopper conversations they had had with Habib regarding how he was tortured in Egypt. They also described seeing US guards at Guantanamo Bay physically assaulting Habib.

In the Guantanamo Bay prison, Habib was pepper-sprayed by guards before being kicked and punched and dragged out of his cell with chains attached to his feet, one British former Guantanamo Bay detainee told Hopper.

Hopper was told that Habib had been blindfolded the entire time he was held in Egypt, given forced injections of unknown drugs, repeatedly beaten and was even told by US military interrogators that his wife and children had died.

In recently released documents filed in a US court by his US legal team, Habib alleges that while detained in Egypt he was subjected to electric shock torture while being suspended from hooks on his cell wall.

While attorney-general Philip Ruddock now claims his department consistently urged

Habib is home, we may need more toilet rolls