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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release  Thursday, 29 October 2015

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: cec@cecaust.com.au
Website: http://www.cecaust.com.au
 

ASIO whistleblower Mamdouh Habib detained at Istanbul airport: where’s the Australian government?

In the early hours of this morning Australian time, former Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee and vindicated ASIO whistleblower Mamdouh Habib was suddenly detained at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and blocked from entering Turkey.

Mamdouh Habib’s wife Maha was also detained.

The Habibs report that Turkish officials cited the Australian government in connection with refusing them entry into Turkey, even though they have entered Turkey numerous times in recent years.

They report that they received poor Australian consular assistance which amounted to “do as you are told”. However, when they then tried to follow that Australian consular advice and return to Lebanon, from where they had flown in, the Turkish officials refused to return their passports. They allege they were then roughly bundled into a car and driven to the location in which they were detained, without water or being allowed to use the toilet.

Some hours later the Habibs were placed on a plane and flown back to Beirut, where they have just landed at 3.30am local time.

Mamdouh and Maha Habib are currently in the region because they have been in Egypt to pursue a legal case which is an extreme embarrassment to the Australian government and ASIO.

In media releases throughout this year, the CEC has reported extensively on Mamdouh Habib’s case and his allegations: that ASIO has waged a long-running campaign of harassment against him, which included his 2001 rendering to Egypt for torture; and that ASIO was involved in the December 2014 Sydney siege.

The treatment of the Habibs in Istanbul today raises two questions:

  1. Was the Australian government involved?
  2. What is the Australian government doing at this time to assist the Habibs, who are Australian citizens?

Past media releases
25 August 2015: Is Sydney Siege inquest covering for ASIO?
5 June 2015: Australian government persecutes ASIO whistleblower Mamdouh Habib
30 January 2015: Sydney siege inquest: What role did ASIO play?

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