It is time for the Australian government to increase efforts to secure a resolution to the case of David Hicks, the Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, Bishop Christopher Saunders, says.

“For nearly five years David Hicks has been held in detention pending trial by a process that the US Supreme Court has ruled to be unconstitutional and contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

“As the affair has dragged on, there are increasing concerns for the physical and mental health of Mr Hicks.
“Reports of statements by Attorney-General Ruddock that the Australian Government will try to have Mr Hicks returned to Australia if no new charges are laid by November provide some encouragement.

“While these are welcome developments, we deplore any further detention of Mr Hicks. If he has a case to answer he should be tried without further delay by a competent and independent tribunal with all of the protections of the rule of law that Australian citizens would expect, compliant with the Geneva Conventions.  Otherwise his continued indefinite detention can no longer be justified,” Bishop Saunders concluded.

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council calls on the Australian Government to act immediately and decisively to end the indefinite detention of this Australian citizen.