World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Parkin charged $11,700 for detention and removal

Parkin charged $11,700 for detention and removal


Los Angeles Friday, 16 September, 2005 : American peace activist Scott Parkin arrived back in the US today, escorted by 2 Australian immigration officials. He is expected to arrive in Houson, Texas on a Continental Airlines flight at around 3pm AEST.

After being detained for 5 days, alone in a Melbourne detention centre for being a suspected "national security risk", Scott was handed a bill for almost $A11,700.

It included $A4,235.03 for his airfare back to LA and $6,675.39 for the return airfares of his two corrective services escorts as well as their accommodation in Los Angeles. The five-day stay at the Melbourne Custody Centre will cost him another $777

The 36-year-old Texan history teacher says he was made to feel like a terrorist and a criminal and remains baffled as to why six police officers "snatched him off the street" as he left a Melbourne cafe last Saturday.

"I'm just completely baffled by all of this," said Parkin, surrounded by Australian TV cameras and media, said soon after his arrival at Los Angeles international airport.

Parkin was in Australia as part of a six-month holiday in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He arrived on June 1.

The activist was also banned from entering Australia for three years and the Australian visa in his passport was stamped with: "NOT FOR FURTHER TRAVEL".

He plans to fight his removal from Australia and is desperate to find out why authorities were concerned about him.

"I'd love to know the assessment in which the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) made of me to lock me up for five days in solitary confinement and then remove me from the country essentially forcibly," Parkin said.

In contrast to Scott’s treatment in Australia, he encountered no problems from US officials on arrival at LA airport - "The US Customs were extremely friendly," he said.

Parkin plans to be vocal in the US about his detainment in Australia and removal.

Asked about how he now felt about the Australian government he replied: "I'm not going to go into that too much, but I don't have very high regard though".

Parkin warned the incident raised great concerns about freedom of speech in Australia and the US.

"I think we are seeing a crisis in freedom of speech and freedom of expression in Australia, the United States and lots of places and people need to be aware," he said.

An activist for 15 years, he said he gave talks while in Australia about the war in Iraq and helped organise one protest against US energy company Halliburton.

"In the talks I gave I wasn't even openly critical of Australia," Parkin said.

"I was being openly critical of the US occupation (of Iraq) and I was being openly critical of Halliburton."
While he was not happy with the treatment he received in Australia, he said his passage through US immigration and customs at LA airport today was a breeze.

It was just after finishing breakfast at a cafe in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick last Saturday when a shocked Parkin saw six police officers.

"I had just finished breakfast when I had just walked out," Parkin said.

"I talked to them for a minute and said 'Hey, I'm a peaceful person. I'm passive. I'm not going to give you any trouble'.

"They said 'OK', so we went to a local police station where an immigration officer interrogated me."

Parkin said authorities never made it clear why he had been arrested.

"They were very vague," he said.

"They said I violated sections of the migration act and they said I was a direct or indirect risk to their national security."

Parkin was housed alone in a jail cell that contained two concrete slabs to sleep on, a TV set and a sink.

"They gave me three couch cushions and three really crummy blankets and fed me three times a day," he said.

Parkin will be met by friends and colleagues when he arrives at Houston airport in Texas later today.

“Scott is committed to nonviolence. In Australia, he was advocating for peace and protesting corporate greed. Why is peaceful protest and corporate accountability a threat to national security? It appears they're using national security as an excuse to silence dissent,” said Maureen Haver, Scott’s roommate in Houston and member of the group Houston Global Awareness.

Parkin’s supporters in the US have been calling and protesting outside the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC with the following demands of the Australian Government:

1) Fully disclose why they have labeled Scott Parkin a threat to Australia's national security.
2) Drop all allegations against Scott and apologize for his detainment.
3) Commit to refrain from similar human rights violations in the future.

Sources: AAP, Global Awareness

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news