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

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news