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

 

Gaza.Scoop: Another Israeli Attack On A Hospital

Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70. More>>

ALSO:

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>

Papua New Guinea: Indonesian Troops Fire On PNG Soldiers Along Border

Indonesian troops have opened fire on a PNG Defence Force border patrol, increasing further tension at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border. The flare-up at the border compelled the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration to summon the Indonesian ... More>>

World News: Internet Well On Way To 3 Billion Users - UN Telecom Agency

Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users – two-thirds of them from the developing world – with mobile-broadband ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news