The latest comments by the Australian Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, with regard to the actions of Dr Mohamed Haneef, leave me with grave concerns for the future of personal freedom in Australia.
For those that are not aware of the proceedings, Dr Haneef is an Indian doctor working in Australia, who was arrested as a suspected terrorist following the recent bomb attacks in the UK. Dr Haneef is the cousin of one of the men involved in the UK bombings, and this seems to be the only plausible reason for his arrest. Other 'evidence' of his involvement has been proven to be circumstantial, unsubstantiated, or just plain wrong. That didn't stop the Australian authorities from holding him for over three weeks without charge under new Australian Anti-Terrorism Laws.
Dr Haneef has finally been released, with all charges against him dropped, yet Mr Andrews has canceled his work visa, stating "undisclosed information" as the reason.
Dr Haneef made short time in arranging flights back to India to visit with his wife and new born daughter, and to no doubt escape the mass media attention and probable further persecution by the authorities. And this is where I got really pissed off, with Mr Andrews' comment that the speed with which Dr Haneef flew out of Australia only "raised his suspicions"
Shame on you, Kevin Andrews. You have become a puppet of the very threats you are 'trying' to defend us against. You have removed liberty from an innocent man, and continue to besmirch his name. You have abused your position of authority and should, for the sake of Australians faith in our government, step down immediately.
Hiding behind the threat of terrorism as justification for illegal acts is as cowardly as the acts of terrorism themselves.