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Australian govt harassing my husband - Firdous Haneef

Exclusive pics by Aakash Polali - Daijiworld Media Network Bangalore

BANGALORE, Jul 16: Wife of Mohammed Haneef, the Indian doctor charged with aiding terror organisations in the failed UK terror plot, on Monday hit out at the Australian Government, accusing it of "harassing" her husband and "somehow trying to detain him".

Reacting to Australian authorities invoking immigration laws to detain Haneef, shortly after a court granted him bail in connection with the failed UK terror plot, Firdous termed the Government's move as "shocking" and "unfair".

"Whatever the Australian Government has done is completely unfair. I think they are harassing my husband by doing this," Firdous said.

Firdous said she does not know why the Australian government did so "because my husband is innocent and everyone knows that...entire world knows that he is innocent".

If the Australian Government had to cancel his visa, why did they not do it when he was charged on Friday, she asked. "Somehow, they want to detain my husband".

She appealed to the External Affairs Ministry to look into the matter and "somehow get my husband back".

According to her, the charge against Haneef is "baseless" and the Centre has to help as an Indian citizen is getting harassed by Australian Government. 


Australia Halts Haneef's Bail Release - Cancel Visa


SYDNEY, Jul 16: The Australian government stopped Dr. Mohamed Haneef on Monday from being released on bail on terrorism charges linked to British car bombings by cancelling his visa and ordering him into an immigration detention centre.   

Haneef, 27, has been in custody since July 2 but was only charged on Saturday, sparking criticism by civil rights groups of his 12-day detention without charge.   

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged Haneef with 'providing support to a terrorist organisation' because he left his mobile phone SIM card with his second cousin, one of those linked to the attacks in London and Glasgow.   

Two car bombs primed to explode in London''s theatre and nightclub district were discovered early on June 29. The following day a jeep crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport and burst into flames.   

Two people in Britain have also been charged in relation to the attacks. All but one of the eight original suspects are medics from the Middle East or India. Australian Prime Minister John Howard has defended anti-terrorism laws which allowed Haneef to be detained for 12 days before being charged, saying the laws are essential to protect Australian citizens.   

An Australian court magistrate on Monday granted Haneef A$10,000 (US$8,700) bail, saying he had no known links to a terrorist organisation and that police were not alleging that his SIM card had been used in relation to the British terror plot.  Haneef''s barrister Stephen Keim argued for his release, saying the case against Haneef was 'extremely weak'.   


But within hours the Australian government stopped Haneef''s bail release by cancelling his visa and ordering him placed in Sydney''s Villawood immigration detention centre.   

"I reasonably suspect that he has or has had an association with persons engaged in criminal activity, criminal conduct, namely terrorism in the UK,"  Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said at a news conference in Canberra.   

Andrews said Haneef, who worked at a hospital on Australia''s tourist Gold Coast city, had failed a character test and he had used his powers under migration law to cancel his visa. Australia's immigration laws give the minister the power to cancel or stop a visa if a person fails a 'character test' or is reasonably suspected of being involved in criminal conduct.   

Andrews said cancelling Haneef's visa was unrelated to whether Haneef would receive a fair trial. "This is unrelated to the question of proceedings in the criminal court in Brisbane," Andrews said. "This is a direct responsibility set out in the migration act, this is not the first person, indeed, whose visa has been cancelled."   

Andrews refused to answer questions on whether his decision was a rebuttal of the magistrate's bail decision. "The magistrate in Brisbane has a set of responsibilities which she has carried out and I'm making no comment whatsoever on the magistrate or any decision made by the magistrate," he said.   

Haneef''s case was adjourned to August 31. Haneef will now be held in immigration detention until his trial. He will then be deported if he is acquitted of any crime, or once he has completed any sentence.

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Comment on this article

  • K.Raghava Mayya, Padil, Mangalore-7

    Tue, Jul 17 2007

    The plight of the family is understandable. But it appears that mediamen are giving undue importance and flock every now and then at that house and obtain this or that statements from them. Since there is a call from India to the world to fight terrorism now at least we should walit a bit and proceed further once the accused is exonerated in that foreign country.

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  • A.D'Cunha, India

    Tue, Jul 17 2007

    Australian authorities drama unfolds. A witch hunt or justice?. A Charge under the pretext of sharing a sim Card? Haneef a pawn to test Autralian newly enacated terror law? I think its time India government stepped up its consular muscle to intervene in this case to protect Indian citizens abroad.

    I dont believe immigration and police are above the courts in a country of civil liberties. Can the authorities put a person's and its family's life in this type of drama? Haneefs family needs India's support in whatever form in this time of need from public and from the government.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Habib, India

    Tue, Jul 17 2007

    When Australian Govt. is harassing Dr. Haneef, why the Indian Government is keeping quiet? It is the time that the Indian Govt. should react and take the necessary steps rapidly as the Australian court has freed Dr. Haneef on bail.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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