Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Australia's secret prisoner

A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:

An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last year in a process completely hidden from public scrutiny.

It is understood the prisoner, given a pseudonym of Alan Johns, was a military intelligence officer, but details about his crime and background have been kept secret.

The very existence of his case remained hidden until earlier this month, when a dispute between him and prison authorities about a draft memoir he had written found its way into the ACT supreme court.

He is apparently now free (and tweeting, though he's clear that what he can say is limited by law). But the fact that this even happened is appalling. It violates the fundamental value of open justice, and comes close to being a forced disappearance (a crime in international law).

If this can happen once, it can happen again. Australians should be very, very worried about the direction their country is taking.