Media attacks politician for enquiring about Captain Dragan

Dear Mr O’Farrell,

On behalf of our organization Serbs For Justice and Democracy we am writing to you to commend your justifiable actions in responding to the concerns of a constituent about the policy implications of the treatment of a person detained in a NSW prison.

Daniel Snedden has now spent nearly 5 years in NSW prisons without any conviction or charges. He is also not on remand.

The Federal Government has constantly maintained that it has the power under the Constitution to hold not only refugees indefinitely (even children) in detention, but even Australian Citizens without any Convictions or Charges – here on the very simplistic basis of a foreign country requesting the removal of the citizen to that country, where that country does not even need to produce any proof of the allegations ( and has never done so) against the Citizen. But this power must be offset by the reciprocal obligation of the Commonwealth to protect the legitimate civil and democratic rights of all Citizens. This moral imperative must not be forgotten.

For your information, the new country of Croatia has proffered to the Federal Attorney General an “indictment” alleging offences under a Croatian Law that had not been enacted at the time and is not retrospective, by a Croatian Magistrate who issued the “Indictment” under a repealed law and who then issued an Arrest Warrant on the basis of that repealed Law. At the Local Court NSW, the Federal Court and the High Court, Croatia has continued to proffer this “indictment” so tainted with illegality. But then legal niceties, while respected in NSW, are often not so respected elsewhere. The Minister for Home Affairs and the Attorney are well aware of these matters, but have failed to intervene to protect the legitimate rights of an Australian Citizen. Instead he is shackled and at times held in solitary confinement in NSW. In these circumstances it can only be right for voices to be raised, in exercise of our democratic rights to advocate for our fellow citizens.

The REAL ISSUE is that he has spent much of these 5 years enduring Trial-by-Media, and in your raising a voice of concern, you also have become a target of that Trial-by-Media by one media group. This Trial-by-Media has arisen due Mr Snedden’s taking legal action in relation to defamatory statements against him in that media group, and the particular media group retaliating accordingly. It was only after he commenced the defamation actions that certain parties in Croatia rose to the challenge and arranged for an “indictment” to issue. The media group has then used this “indictment” at every opportunity to justify its Trial by Media campaign against Mr Snedden. Those defamation actions are still not concluded.

It is disappointing to see the comments of spokesmen the current “Labor” Government joining in the media-frenzy hue-and-cry, and seemingly adopting a policy position of a support for the trend toward the continued restriction of the civil and political rights of NSW Citizens in favour of more Executive Government power.

Further, the use of analogies by the Government spokesmen with Milat and Bayeh ( as per Daily Telegraph) indicate a totally and morally bankrupt approach. Perhaps the NSW Government should be asked whether it supports the long-term detention of Citizens in NSW without any Convictions or Charges, and not on remand.

In many ways, Mr Snedden can be seen as a political prisoner. This situation is an embarrassment to not only the Federal Government, but to the NSW Government by its strict collaboration with the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has passed the responsibility for Mr Snedden’s conditions of detention to NSW and is now washing its hands of this responsibility. The prospect of a change of Government in NSW is , as you are aware, a real possibility. You, as Leader, will need to be prepared to properly address the needs and situation of our fellow Citizen, Mr Daniel Snedden.

If there is any further information that you require, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours faithfully,

Serbs for Justice & Democracy


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