Prime Minister Tony Blair
10 Downing Street,
9 May 2006
FPSS Open Letter to British PM Tony Blair

RE: David Hicks detained in Guantanamo

Dear Mr. Blair,

    I am writing as a humanitarian on behalf of David Hicks who has been detained arbitrarily in Guantanamo Bay Cuba for the last four years and is more recently, been detained in solitary confinement.

    I am appalled that despite the British Court of Appeal unanimously rejecting your government's attempt to stop David Hicks' application to rightfully become a British citizen, that your Government is still unrelenting in its pursuit of furthering the persecution of David Hicks. I understand that your government may seek to apply directly to the House of Lords, the highest appeal tribunal in Britain, to block David's application.

    I wish to state emphatically that I oppose any representations that would further violate the human, civil and legal rights of any citizen, in particular, Mr. David Hicks. It is abundantly obvious that David Hicks has been made a political pawn in an attack against our democratic freedoms and rights.

    The American Government is breaking international law by continuing to detain David Hicks indefinitely and without charge. Former Uganda President Idi Amin did similar when he did not imprison suspects because he knew that in prison the law would apply, so he created his own Guantanamo Camps.

    The sole reason why the US Government has been unable to convict David Hicks of any criminal action over the last four years is simply because there is no evidence whatsoever to support their claims against him.

    We are all accountable for our actions as you have said time and time again. We must all submit to the rule of law and international obligations, particularly, if we are signatories to mandates that provide protections for humankind and protections for rule of law.

    The United Nations has urged the US Government to try all prisoners of Guantanamo or release them without further delay. The UN has called for the immediate closure of Guantanamo, condemning it in its report that found some of the prisoners were subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Holding the prisoners in Cuba outside the normal rules of war, or criminal courts, is in itself a criminal practice that must end.

    Therefore, I respectfully appeal in the following way:

      1. that you urge the US Government to allow the International Red Cross and United Nations to provide humanitarian care to all prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay;

      2. that you allow David Hick's application for citizenship to proceed without hindrance and thus enable him to return to his family to receive the rehabilitative care he now requires, as a result of long term detainment, ill-treatment and torture;

      3. that you encourage the US Government to release David Hicks from arbitrary detainment;

      4. that in the interests of democracy and humanity, you encourage the US Government to close Guantanamo Bay, in accordance with requests made by the United Nations and like-minded organisations;

    As an Australian citizen, I am deeply disappointed that my own Government does not insist upon the fundamental rights of its citizens to be upheld, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, International Human rights mandates and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Therefore, as a citizen of the commonwealth, I appeal to you Mr. Blair, to do everything within your power to maintain and uphold those democratic freedoms that we so vehemently live by, seek to protect, and in some cases, die for. Kind regards,

    Mrs. Kay Kay Danes
    Human Rights Advocate
    Foreign Prisoner Support Services