Saddam Hussein "was given a proper trial," asserts PM Howard.
David Hicks remains incarcerated without charges.
Hussein, after three years, "has been brought to justice, following a process of fair trial and appeal," proclaims Foreign Affairs Minister Downer.
Hicks begins his sixth year rotting in purgatory, Guantanamo Bay.
Hussein’s barred cell measured 2-by-2.4metres. A single bed, a small table, some books, a Koran, two plastic chairs, a prayer rug, and two wash basins. Hussein fed birds, watered plants, chatted with guards.
Hicks has been in various cages: 1.8-by-2.5metres to 2.3-by-4.5-by-3metres – about the size of a small cage at a boarding kennel. Since March 2006, Hicks is isolated in a cement room, 23-24 hours a day. A bed, sink, floor toilet, and few books. Sometimes, Hicks is offered an hour of exercise in a chain-link-fenced pen.
Hussein was allowed to smoke, socialise, eat with his cell door open.
Hicks’s food is pushed at him through slots, like a caged animal.
Hussein had a senior medical advisor assigned to him, "to keep him alive and healthy, so they could kill him at a later date."
Hicks’s solitary confinement traumatises him, slowly driving him mad.
Would someone please explain why Saddam Hussein, convicted of crimes against humanity, was treated so much better than David Hicks, held without charges? Would Howard, Downer, and Ruddock please tell me, tell ALL Australians, what Hicks has done to deserve such treatment and neglect by our Government?
Judy Bamberger (Canberra Times letter)