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Bradford Escapes Custody

In 1997 75 students, while protesting about government education policy, were arrested and forced through the court system for taking one step forward. Many of these students were kept in the cells for long periods of time. At the end of the ordeal the judicial system agreed that there were no charges to be answered.

In 1999 a Minister of the crown violated the personal space of a student who was exercising his democratic right to protest. This was seen on TV around the country. Yet far from being arrested Mr. Bradford received a police escort from the premises - without the traditional jewelry.

Mr. Bradford was not arrested. Mr. Bradford did not see the inside of a cell. Mr. Bradford did not get photographed and fingerprinted. Mr. Bradford was not forced to defend himself in court. Mr. Bradford was not given the chance to prove his innocence in front of his peers.

"My question to the country is very simple," said APSU Student Union President John Barkess today. "Why do 75 lawfully gathered students have to defend themselves in court for a perceived wrong when a Minister can avoid charges all together?"

"We do not know, even now, whether Mr. Bradford committed an assault or not. The people we have charged with determining guilt or innocence have been denied the opportunity to judge the incident."

"We are disappointed at the outcome of this investigation," said Mr. Barkess, "and we are sure Mr. Bradford will not sleep easy not knowing whether he was guilty or not."

"While we do not question the integrity of the police we do wonder whether any pressure was bought to bear by the proximity of the election. Another of life's riddles!"

For further comment contact John Barkess 025 756 526.

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