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

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news