CLA Policy – Terrorism

CLA believes so-called terrorism acts are always criminal offences, and should be so treated. All measures to counter terrorism should conform with international human rights standards, conventions and laws and the customary Australian rule of law.

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  1. I’m becoming more alarmed as time goes on. This terrorism business seems to be getting out of hand. Today’s news from Sydney has indicated that two persons have been arrested and detained for various reasons – ‘terrorism, etc’. Since when has it been a criminal offense to have in your house/property/garden shed a machete or hunting knife? Oor a flag? Or revolutionary reading material? It’s a fine line, and I’m concerned that the authorities are/could be a little (or a lot) overzealous in their approach.

    What about the ‘bikie’ business? Qld and NSW are well and truly over the line in my opinion. I have a (push) bike. I don’t hold with a lot of what the government’s doing. I have an Islamic son-in-law. I’m an atheist. I have a biker friend. Am I guilty of some sort of thought crime?
    What are CLA’s opinions on these sort of matters?

    – Russ McKenzie, Sydney

    Civil Liberties Australia acknowledges that police have tough calls to make. We too are alarmed, though, when media reports indicate major raids are conducted on what appears on the surface to be slight evidence, and bombastic young men are locked up for what in the old days was false boyhood bravado.. Sometimes, these raids are conducted in full media glare, then months later a case fizzles when it gets to court. The raid is reported all over the front pages and leads the nightly news, the community fear level is raised another notch or two…but the subsequent case is given little coverage, so that what remains is the fear without the follow-up. It suits police, security services and politicians to consistently raise fear levels, because a fearful community is a docile electorate.

    We need a whole lot more Australians to be Russ McKenzies, cautiously questioning the excesses of surveillance, spooks and police, and holding them and the politicians to rigid account for their fear-mongering and alarm-raising.

    – Bill Rowlings, CEO, CLA

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