Why is Dr Haneef detained? The answers are plain.

  1. We do not want foreign terrorist suspects residing in this country. Our Government has a duty to keep them out or, if they are here, to detain them under the Immigration Laws;
  2. If released, Dr Haneef could disappear into the community and be unavailable for deportation when his visa expires or is ended;
  3. There is an unacceptable risk that Dr Haneef will continue his alleged terrorist activities whilst in Australia;
  4. Dr Haneef is a security risk and should not be permitted to return to our community.

Dr Haneef has been correctly and lawfully treated by the Australian Government, the Australian Federal Police and the courts. His original detention was monitored by a court and when he was charged with a criminal offence he was granted bail. His guilt or innocence will be decided by a court. I have not heard any argument that any of that conduct was illegal.

Now the Government has revoked Dr Haneef’s visa for what Minister Andrews says are good reasons. This revocation can (and will) be challenged in the Federal Court. If the Minister is wrong then Dr Haneef will be released (because he already has bail).

At every stage of Dr Haneef’s journey the decisions of the authorities have been monitored and reviewed by the courts. All of this shows that our system works. There are very few countries in the world where a non-citizen accused of terrorist activities would be so well protected by the courts.

This morning, The Australian details allegations of more evidence against Dr Haneef: He had pre-existing knowledge of the UK conspiracy yet he did not go to the police; He had “prolific” contact with the UK terrorists; He supplied a SIM card to his cousin knowing that it may be used in an act of terror; The SIM card was found in the Glasgow airport jeep in which his cousin sustained fatal burns.

Obviously the Government has further material and is acting on AFP advice. All of this shows that it is the correct decision to detain Dr Haneef.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey