Write to the PM
It is important that our leaders know that we care about human rights and the rule of law. If you would like to take action, you can write to Prime Minister Gillard in your own words, or you can use this template.
Dear Prime Minister,
I am an Australian citizen who believes in the universality of human rights and the importance of the rule of law. I am deeply concerned that the Australian government has ignored its obligations under international human rights legislation, and failed to thoroughly investigate allegations of torture made by David Hicks. Mr Hicks was abducted and detained on several US military bases, and tortured in Guantanamo Bay. David Hicks was held for six years, the last seven months with the cooperation of the former Howard Government in an Australian prison.
David Hicks recounted many stories in his book, but there are some in particular that stand out in our minds; him being sodomised with a plastic implement, the brutal beatings, some that lasted 10 hours and broke his bones, the feeling of being spat on by US marines until it webbed on his fingers, and the humiliation of being photographed hooded and naked. The majority of David’s time in Guantanamo was spent in isolation; there was one point where he did not see the sun for around 12 months. He had censored contact with family, he was not allowed to receive letters that conveyed any love or concern.
Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon has on numerous occasions called for an investigation into the allegations of David’s torture. Eight years later, and David’s treatment is still being ignored and justice is still not served. David Hicks has not broken any Australian law- this was even admitted by John Howard himself.
Your government is denying justice to one of its citizens, just as the Howard government denied him help when he most needed it. David still lives with an unlawful conviction, obtained under coercion in a military commission deemed ‘fatally flawed’ by President Obama himself. You now have the opportunity to make this right. If you will not join the Obama administration and formally recognise the 2006 military commissions system as unfair, as your government did in 2003, I ask that you please take all necessary steps to ensure an independent investigation into David’s torture and illegal conviction.
[add your name]
You can email her at, or post it to:
The Hon. Julia Gillard MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
The Hon. Nicola Roxon
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
CANBERRA ACT 2600
You can also send a letter to your local MP.
Click here to sign Greens senate Penny Wrights petition for an independent enquiry for David.
Click here for a petition that you can print off and ask your friends and groups to sign.
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Demand Accountability for Torture in the U.S.
The American Civil Liberties Union website has a letter to the U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder that you can sign to demand accountability for those who have been subjected to torture.