9 Aug 2006

Protest Diaries in Sydney - David Hicks Vigil in Sydney Town Hall

David Hicks turned 31 on 7 August., However, he is unable to celebrate it at home with family and friends because the man has been imprisoned at Guantanamo for over four years.

To campaign for his release and promote the cause, a vigil was held at 5pm outside Sydney Town Hall.

Upon arriving with a friend, we light our candles and place it on a placard on the floor which says, “Free David Hicks”.

The organizers had also set up a table with a written petition and anti-war materials on it. Orange balloons with the words, “Bring Hicks Home” were tied around trees and columns along the sidewalks while activists engage passer-bys on the story of the imprisoned Australian.

Detainment without access to legal advice and a free and fair trial is a human rights atrocity and abuse. The detention of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay, along with other undisclosed thousands of US government alleged suspected terrorists in other prison camps around the world has shown how far right the modern world has become.


teck soon said...

Thank goodness that protests and freedom of speech are allowed in Western countries, including the U.S. It forces governments of those countries to be accountable to their people for their actions. The reason that American human rights abuses are known is because of press freedom in that country. I always wonder what secretly happens in Singapore prisons, or in higher echelons of the Singapore government. If arrestees are tortured in Singapore, we would never know. How convenient, because Singaporeans' attention is concentrated on the Evil West and Evil America, they will be less likely to ask questions of their own government. Why surely, Singapore is much better than those places! The Straits Times never reported any abuses in Singapore, therefore there must not be any. But Evil America, they abuse people and then tell everyone what they have done! How stupid is that?

Matilah_Singapura said...

These "do-gooders" seem to forget: Hicks was judged by a military court because he is, technically speaking, a SOLDIER — from the side of the "enemy".

Frankly speaking, I don't want this person in Australia.

I'm sure he'll qualify for Afgani citizenship, so it isn't as if he doesn't have anywhere to go should he be released.

"If you don't like the time, don't do the crime".

Anak Singapura said...

I agree.

1) If someone (presumably he is associated with an 'enemy' of a country, regardless of ideology and proven in a court or military court which is also subject to public scrutiny in an open country) is found guilty, then he should go and stay in the country he had supported.

And he is not welcome in Australia or any other democracy.

Such people had thrived in democracies. (eg Australia)

Do we think similar people who oppose tyranny in countries like Afganistan, China, etc.. would be given the same rights in these countries ?

Remember Tiananmen Square and how the tanks rolled over so many students ? It is disappointing to know that some living Asian leaders even supported this dastardly act !!!!

I would like to see whether any of the Arab countries would take him (Hicks) either.

As Matilah_singapura said, perhaps he should ask for Afghan citizenship.

Certainly, I would not welcome him in Singapore.

(remember the predecessors of the present rulers - the Talebans - and how they killed the political leaders of the previous regime and hung them from the trees and tortured them to death and plucked their eyes out; and cut off their private organs while alive.)

Frankly, those who live by the sword should die by the sword.

And that includes this Hicks (or Hiccups). Does he support the stoning of woman adulterers as someone mentioned elsewhere in this blog ?

And the killings of 'infidels' and killings of authors of books which they disagree, without a chance of a court ?

2) On the issue of freedom, I agree that we will never hear of this if this had happened in Singapore.

Everyone should be given the light of day to appeal like this Hicks.
(however obnocious he is...this is MY opinion).

It is OK to have alternative
views and checks and balances and have the govt answerable to their citizens, before they end up like some many other dictatorial countries.

("Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely."
It is human nature/frailty of corruption. Nothing to deny or be shame about).

If I were the govt, I would ask:

Why be afraid if we are MATURED and OUR OWN PEOPLE ARE CONFIDENT of what is right and rebut criticisms without banning them (remember Mr. Brown), etc;?

(this is more relevant as PM Lee again mentioned of an open society in his National Day speech, though to some it may appear contrite and meaningless from recent experience).

Unfortunately the other Lee (Boon Yang) of MICA (Ministry of the Information and the Arts) is doing the opposite to 'close' our society !!

bh said...

Singabloodypore: "Social and political issues related to Singapore and the South East Asia region."

Today's Singapore's 41st National Day. I think it's a celebratory, society-related event worth mentioning.

Why not take a break from all the criticisms and change the tone of this website to a happier, celebratory place, even for a single day in the year? Isn't it tiring to always be so critical?

I hope everyone had a Happy National Day today, regardless.

Andy said...

Hey, I had a happy national day at Kallang stadium! The happiest moment was when I saw Sylvia Lim marched in to take her seat with the other MPs.

Anak Singapura said...

Yes, you are right !

Someone in this blog yesterday had also wished Singapore,

A Happy Birthday Singapore.


Idris said...

Anak Singapura is right.

We should NOT care a damn to people who are found guilty in a court of law for terrorism.
They had a chance to prove their innocence, unlike some other countries which have kangaroo courts or no trials at all.

Why the UN-deserved sympathies to people like David Hicks ??

We have just heard of reports of the arrests of British born Pakistanis on the verge of hijacking planes and blowing them up in mid-air.

Where will MY sympathies be ?

With the innocent victims - including children, or adults whose children will be made orphans overight;, etc.. \
the cowardly and satanic terrorists.

So, may people like David Hicks and the likes of David Hicks rot in hell !!!

Why DON'T these protesters in Sydney stage protests against the cowardly acts of Osama bin Ladin and his henchmen(or bin Tong Sampah aka dustbin !!!!) ?

I would like to see protests there against these cowards (who kill or attempt to kill innocent people incl children and women) especially with the news of arrests of potential hijackers in UK to show to the world that these acts should not be condoned.