Friday, 17 October 2008

Prisoners sue for wrongful imprisonment

Exploited prisoners tortured in solitary confinement at Goulburn Correctional Centre

Two of the state's most strictly guarded inmates allegedly involved in a "Super Max jihadist" prison break-out plot last year will sue the Corrective Services Commissioner for wrongful imprisonment, claiming that their segregation in Goulburn's high risk management unit constituted being held in a prison within a prison.

Lawyers for convicted killers Bassam Hamzy and Emad Sleiman told the Supreme Court today they will file a claim for false imprisonment, which will result in damages if it is proved.

Justice Clifton Hoeben remarked that it was a "very enterprising" claim.

The action, if successful, would effectively bring down the Super Max section of Goulburn's prison complex.

[The Super Max High Risk Management Unit (HRMU) should be brought down because it amounts to solitary confinement, a form of psychological torture. A place to further punish and warehouse prisoners, all under the guise of corrections.]

Hamzy, who was the alleged leader of the "Super Max jihadists", is serving a 21-year jail term for the shooting murder of a teenager outside a Darlinghurst nightclub in 1998.

[Super Max jihadists indeed...But more like prisoners and the systems "A" typical propaganda from 'Ron Woodham' and the 'NSW Parliament' House. The people Ron Woodham works for coming up with allegations from the leader of the 'Corrective Services conspiracy theory squad' to taint the accused prisoners. How low__ can they go? Not only do they have these prisoners but they also seek to exploit them to their advantage. If you don't seek then you won't find....]

The Corrective Services Commissioner, Ron Woodham, alleged last year that Hamzy was the ringleader of a plot that involved converting his fellow inmates to Islam and then paying them via criminal associates outside to participate in a prison-wide escape plan.

After authorities learned of the plan, Hamzy was segregated from other prisoners.

Sleiman, who is serving a 16-year jail term for the murder of waterskiing champion Jason Burton in 1997, is no longer in the high risk management unit. But if the claim for wrongful imprisonment is successful it will allow him to sue for damages for the time he was there.

It is understood the claims might amount to hundreds of dollars a day, but not the thousands to which ordinary citizens would be entitled if they were wrongly detained.

The prisoners' lawyers will file an amended statement of claim next week and the matter will be heard later this year or early next year.

Baddest-of-the-bad convicts now EHRR

A new extra-high-risk category of NSW prisoner has been created by the NSW Government for a small percentage of inmates suspected of subversive or illegal behaviour.

[State Propaganda!]

The category is on top of the existing high security and extreme high security classifications to which a total of 101 prisoners are currently allocated.

Announcing the new prisoner designation category of extreme high risk restricted (EHRR), the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, told a NSW Legislative Council estimates committee today that the introduction of the new designation resulted from concerns from senior prison authorities.

[NSW Prison Authorities? Attorney General head Prison Authority Propaganda Expert!]

He said that about one per cent of the highest security rated inmates "constitute a danger to others or a threat to the good order of the community". But they posed an "extraordinarily high level of risk within the system" due to their capacity to recruit other prisoners and organise illegal activity inside and outside jails.

Those identified from prison intelligence as suspected subversives will be the subject of more security measures including non-contact visits, all visitor conversations and one phone call a week to be conducted in English or another approved language, prior approval for visitors who must also undergo criminal record checks, and the return of money sent to a inmate's prison account.

[Then they can say the prisoners' plotted to do whatever and the prisoners can't defend themselves whilst being tortured.]

The new legislative framework for the category was immediately branded as "appalling" by the NSW Greens Upper House MP, Sylvia Hale,

"This is back to the 19th century," she said before being rebuked for talking over Mr Hatzistergos, who concluded: "These are serious measures to deal with serious threats."

[More like dealing with undermining serious democracy.]

The announcement came as applications closed for the $100,000 position of a fourth full-time media officer for the Department of Corrective Services. Three others and a part-timer already cost the department a total of $394,000, the committee was told.

But the commissioner for Corrective Services, Mr Ron Woodham, said the position was probably a conversion of the existing part-time position advertised before Premier Nathan Rees announced last month that he would be cutting his own media advisory staff numbers.

Questioned by Mr John Ajaka, a Liberal Upper House MP, about hiring another "spin doctor" ahead of the mini-budget dictated by the "stuffed" state of the state's finances, Mr Woodham pointed to a $44 million reduction in costs in his department adding: "I don't have spin doctors. I have good PR people."

The committee was also told that market testing had begun in which the private running of jails at Parklea and Cessnock was compared with current public funding and that a feasibility study was underway into the costs of running Grafton jail privately.


Australia to sign up to anti-torture treaty
Australian complicity in War Crimes in the Middle East, Torture, Rendition. In Australia Draconian Laws, Indefinite Solitary Confinement of prisoners at places like the HRMU at Goulburn Correctional Centre.

UN Torture Committee Blasts Australia
In its report on Australia, the Torture Committee was critical of Australia's prisons, counter-terrorism laws, mandatory immigration detention and of the way Australian officials have ignored torture and mistreatment overseas in places like Abu Ghraib.

Australian prisoners' linked to Bin Laden: Ten News

Hatzistergos: "For example, because of a perceived risk that they may engage in, or incite other persons to engage in, terrorist activities." Terrorist prisoners held in a "box within a box" with no "fresh air or sunlight" at Goulburn HRMU may incite alleged terrorists in Long Bay to blow up Long Bay Prison's Twin Towers?

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