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


Christian Pacifists Challenge Pine Gap In Court

Christian Pacifists Challenge Pine Gap In Supreme Court

October 4, 2006

The trial of four Christian pacifists in the Northern Territory Supreme Court yesterday challenged the Governments attempts to silence public criticism of US military bases in Australia.

In a legal first, the four defendents, Jim Dowling, Bryan Law, Adele Goldie and Donna Mulhearn are charged under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952 which carries a maximum of seven years in prison for trespass.

The group conducted a "Citizen's Inspection" of Pine Gap military base last year, managing to breach the security of the top-secret facility, scale a building, unfurl banners and take photographs.

The defence Barrister, Rowena Orr, told the court she believed the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act limits the fundamental right of freedom of movement of its citizens and therefore must be very stringent in its application.

Ms Orr said the act requires the government to prove that Pine Gap defends Australia's interests against external aggression and if it cannot do so, the defendents should be acquitted.

The Judge reserved her decision and set a further date for mention on Thursday 12th October. The defendants return to court this Thursday, October 5 to fight a secret suppression order placed on them, as well as a discovery order to gain information from the Crown that they are not providing.

Donna Mulhearn, one of the accused, said the charges are clearly political and reflect the Government's persecution of citizens who challenge their agenda of war.

"This case shows that the level of control they are seeking is excessive, and we must curb the actions of Governments in attempting to control," she said.

"We put an alternative view to the Australian people- super secret American spy bases do NOT hold the key to Australia's security.

"Our security lies in building better relationships."

Supporters of the group from around the country are gathering in Alice Springs this week for a national peace convergence aimed at drawing attention to Pine Gap and its role in the war in Iraq. A forum will be held on Friday night with international activist, Ciaron O'Reilly, recently acquitted for causing over $2million damage to a US military plane at Shannon airport in Ireland.

There is also protest action planned at the Pine Gap facility on Saturday at 2pm.

For further information and interviews contact: Donna Mulhearn on 0422 749319, Jessica Morrison 0422202880

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


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>>


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>>



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>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news