What Australians are saying about Dr Haneef

The publication of the transcript of Dr Mohammed Haneef‘s interrogation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has led to readers of The Australian debating the pros and cons of the actions of their government.

This is what some of them are saying on the John Howard regime’s move to nullify the bail granted to Dr Haneef by a court, revoke his working visa and that of his wife, and to place him in a detention centre, and threaten to deport him back to India.

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Frizz of Sydney: Under John Howard this country is turning into a regime worse that the ones it purports to be saving us from.

Enviroangel of Sydney: How is Dr Mohammed Haneef guilty of anything if the other parties involved (in the UK) haven’t been charged with anything? How can you take away his visa, send him to a detention centre and then when this is all said and done, deport him? What the hell is going on? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” John Howard, you are not proving anything by the actions that are being carried out with Dr Haneef. The only thing you are doing is making a fool of yourself and your government and everything that the Australian people stand for. It’s a disgrace!

Earl Grey of Perth: He gave a SIM card to someone 12 months prior to a crime being committed by that person in another country. The SIM card was not used to commit the crime. Essentially, he has done nothing, our judicial system has said he has done nothing and yet the government is locking him up. Is this possibly Australia’s first (and hopefully last) political prisoner?? No, there is David Hicks and all of the boat people. Give it another year or two and anyone that blogs against the govt may also get locked up. People laughed when Paul Keating referred to similarities between John Howard and Adolf Hitler. Some of those people may be now be reconsidering their views.

Disconcerted of Melbourne: What ever happened to separation of powers? The legislative is there to make laws, not to independently decide who gets locked up, undermining the decisions of the judiciary. How can a man who is ruled by the judicial arm to be of sufficiently good character to release into the public while awaiting trial, be detained by an immigration minister based on “character grounds” only moments after?

Sensible of Quensland: Australian government is taking this thing personally. Why to cancel wife’s visa when you are questioning Haneef and moreover when there is NO proof that he has done anything. Reading the leaked transcript (shame on you Howard government), it is so clear that Haneef is an innocent person. He just happened to be at wrong place at wrong time. They are capturing a wrong person to prove “something” to the world. This is extremly ridiculous.

Kerry of Adelaide: What has happened to the separation of powers? Where is the presumption of innocence unless or until proven guilty? The interference of the Immigration Minister in this situation is probably unprecedented, vindictive and unprincipled. If this case goes to trial, how can Dr Haneef hope for a fair trial, given that the Minister has publically besmirched his character? Furthermore, Labour’s fawning acceptance of every aspect of this case has decided my vote—Labour, you don’t deserve it, you have proven yet again you offer no real alternative to Liberal.

Christine of Mackay: Andrews and Rud are both just scoring political points. There is nowhere near enough evidence to take away his visa, or to detain him. On top of that, he is here on a skilled immigrant visa. When he lost his job, he would automatically also loose his visa. Shame on the both of you!

Sandesh of Queensland: I am just going through the pdf file of transcript.. How would you know that detectives didn’t hold gun on his temple to say “Yes” to all the questions?

David of Doncaster: If an attack such as the attempted recent UK failures succeded say in Brisbane and killed friends and relatives of the previous correspondents, I would bet my life that their attitudes to this case would be totally different. (The hypocrites!)

cYNNIC of Geelong: Too fearful to comment in case my citizenship is revoked and I am sent back to where I came from. All I say is its children overboard again….and to you Johnie, the smart cookie Rudd is he didnot fall for it this time!!!

Give them nothing of Targetsville: Goran, it is just axegrinders coming to the wheel. The vast majority agree with the governments position on this, don’t kid yourselves.

David of South Australia: Putting Haneef into Immigration Detention is a mean trick from a mean and tricky government… Why is everybody so surprised? It’s been one underarm bowl after another since 1996 with this lot.

Anthony of Sydney: Great wedge Mr Howard. He has forced Rudd into abandoning any principles of a fair go by joining the Government in condoning justice by Ministerial Degree. It takes Howard’s cynical manipulation of terror and immigration off the table leaving us to vote on interest rates. Will the British Government re-arrest his cousin now they know he has had reckless contact with the terrorist suspect Dr Haneef, continuing the circular argument. PS: I recklessly lost my phone and SIM a while ago, should I be afraid?

abc of Melbourne: After reading all the comments and news articles, I am glad there are some people look beyond the religion, race and colour. It makes me feel good people are standing up against all this crazy affair. According to the situation and government, parents could be liable if their kids did something wrong just because they fed them and brought them up. All brothers and mates need to be careful too. you can’t give anything to anybody, even Salvation Army too.

Dan de Leau of Sydney: The most depressing thing about this entire episode is that nothing the government has done surprises me. The arbitrary misuse of executive power to subvert the judicial process and keep someone in custody is exactly what you’d expect from a government that demonises desperate refugees in boats, incarcerates children in concentration camps in the desert and habitally tells whatever bald faced lies it needs to maintain its grip on power.

Dan de Leau of Sydney: To “David of Doncaster” – I take it from your comments that you have some evidence that Haneef had planned a bomb attack in Brisbane. I think you should tell the AFP what you know—the very best they could come up with after all that time in custody, all the material collected in Britain and during the various searches conducted on Haneef’s home, workplace etc, and the extended interviewing over some days, was a charge of recklessly lending a SIM card to a relative a year ago.

Carla of Melbourne: I’m not surprised at all with this. Poor Dr Haneef. Soon the world will become so insular, we won’t speak to each other in fear of a terrorist association being made a year later, or maybe 20 years later. I’m ashamed of the John Howard government. This is a shambles.

Your Remital of Melbourne: I have two impressions from reading the interview: 1) The Australian Federal Police were grasping at straws and 2) The AFP officers do not have a solid understanding of Islam.

Gerry P of Queensland: This Haneef affair has really bought the “Left Wing, Do Gooders & Bleeding Hearts out of the woodwork, if they had been at the pointy end of terrorist activities maybe their views would be different. I believe that if anyone has been associated with terroist activity, no matter how small, get rid of him/Her.