Monthly Archives: August 2020

Bernard Collaery & Witness K, Webinar with Jose Ramos Horta and BC, and more…

Dear Friends in solidarity with the East Timorese and all victims of the TNI

While we are living reasonably secluded lives because of the corona pandemic much is still happening that we need to be aware of.

This update includes further developments in the cases against Witness K and Bernard Collaery, and details about an Australia Institute webinar with Jose Ramos Horta & Bernard Collaery on 2 September, information about Gil Scrine’s film Reluctant Saviour and Indonesia’s Independence Day on 17 August

Stay healthy and safe                                                                                                       In solidarity                                                                                                                          Andy Alcock
Information Officer
Australian East Timor Friendship Association SA
                                                       
Phone:    61 8 83710480;   0457 827 014                                                                       Email:     andyalcock@internode.on.net

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JUSTICE FOR BERNARD COLLAERY & WITNESS K

Our Canberra friends inform us that the next action to support Witness K will be on Thursday 20 August outside the ACT Magistrates’ Court next week where Witness K faces another session.

They also report that Bernard Collaery’s appeal will be held in November and his trial will commence around March next year.  

He is likely to face costs, above and beyond his legal costs, of more than $100,000 to obtain documents from Woodside as well as other costs. 

A fund has been established to assist Bernard with these extra costs to which the AETFA SA Committee recently donated $500. More information about this fund and other ways to support him and Witness K can be found on the following websites: 

https://au.gofundme.com/f/support-bernard-collaery

https://bernardcollaerysupporters.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Dropwhistleblowerprosecutions/?modal=admin_todo_tour

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AN IMPORTANT WEBINAR: EAST TIMOR, OIL & SECRET PROSECUTIONS  – WEDNESAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2020 10.30 ACST

with Jose Ramos Horta & Bernard Collaery

The Australian Institute is organising this event  with former President of Timor-Leste and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, José Ramos-Horta, and barrister and former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery for a discussion of Timor Sea oil scandals, alleged spying and the prosecution of Bernard and Witness K.

To register, go to the following website:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/8115952967171/WN_g5buoLOiRLyf4n-et6oQ8A

SOLIDARITY WITH TIMOR-LESTE, BERNARD COLLAERY & WITNESS K

DROP THE SPURIOUS CHARGES AGAINST BERNARD COLLAERY & WITNESS K

As Kathryn Kelly has said we need a Royal Commission into the treatment of whistleblowers, the legislation meant to protect them, and protections for journalists reporting their stories.  

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FILM:    RELUCTANT SAVIOUR 

Gil Scrine’s coming documentary Reluctant Saviour is based on the excellent book of the same name by Professor Clinton Fernandes, It is in the process of being finalised.  

A 5 minute trailer: is available for viewing on the following website: 

https://documentaryaustralia.com.au/project/reluctant-saviour-australias-secret-war-on-east-timor/

There is also a fund to finance this important film.

Please donate if you can 

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17 AUGUST – INDONESIA’S  INDEPENDENCE DAY – JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF THE TNI

It is understandable that Benny Wenda the leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is calling on West Papuans not to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day on 17 August given the crimes committed against the people by the very brutal and corrupt Indonesian military (TNI).

His message can be found on the following website:

https://www.ulmwp.org/ulmwp-chair-dont-celebrate-indonesian-independence-commemorate-new-york-agreement-and-racist-attacks


However, on 17 August, we should remind the Indonesian authorities that it was many courageous and progressive Indonesians who struggled to obtain their nation’s independence along with many other people world wide who worked in solidarity with them.

For many years, the Campaign for an Independent East Timor SA (CIET SA) – the forerunner of AETFA SA – held pickets outside the Indonesian Consul’s office in Adelaide on this day to give this message to the Indonesian leaders.

During WW2, many Australian soldiers fought alongside Indonesian partisans against Japanese fascism. Many assisted members of the Indonesian independence movement who were preparing the people for independence after the war. Between 1945 – 1949, the Australian union movement put black bans on a Dutch fleet of about 170 vessels that had gathered in Australia to take on soldiers, armaments and provisions intended for Indonesia to smash the  independence movement. This solidarity by Australian workers was crucial in Indonesia attaining its independence.

Many of the Indonesians involved in this struggle were butchered during the TNI/CIA coup of 1965, which led to the deaths of about 3 million mostly progressive Indonesians. and ushered in the 33 year-long fascist  Suharto dictatorship.which led to greater suffering for the peoples of West Papua Indonesia, East Timor and Acheh. This sacrifice must never be forgotten.

The 17 August is a very appropriate day to remind Indonesian leaders of this history and to demand that they give the people of West Papua their freedom too.

17 AUGUST: INDONESIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

– WHAT ABOUT WEST PAPUA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY?

– UNTUK PAPUA BARAT – MERDEKA!

– SOLIDARITY WITH & JUSTICE FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF THE TNI!

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THE TRIALS OF WITNESS K & BERNARD COLLAERY  – AN UPDATE (article for the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Newsletter)

The prosecution  of Bernard Collaery and Witness K – the two Australian men who assisted Timor- Leste to achieve a maritime border and greater access to its resources in the Timor Sea continues.

There was a hearing at the ACT Magistrates Court involving Witness K on Wednesday 22 July during which the case  was adjourned until around 20th August. As with other court hearings, over 40 people gathered outside the court to  protest the prosecutions, the secret way the trials are being conducted, the endless delays. Protesters also demand that the charges be dropped.
 
One of the worst aspects of this vindictive trial by Attorney-General Christian Porter is the federal Labor Party’s almost complete refusal to speak out. This is largely due to Senator penny Wong who is intent on echoing the LNP  fiction that the trial is about national security

However, some ALP members have refused to be complicit. Queensland MP Graham Perrett has spoken out, while NSW state ALP MP Paul Lynch has led that branch’s condemnation of it.

In addition ALP Alicia Payne MHR for Canberra is questioning the need for a closed trial for Bernard Collaery, but is not demanding that the fallacious charges be dropped.


There are some positive developments however. Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick and Rebekha Sharkie MHR, the Greens and independent Tasmanian MHR Andrew Wilkie have been demanding that the charges be dropped from the outset of the trials.

The main stream media is now reporting the trial more thoroughly and hopefully this will cause more ALP politicians to break ranks. Hopefully this will lead to more ALP federal politicians taking a stand.

Recently, Bernard Collaery was presented with Liberty Victoria’s Empty Chair Award on 24 July and he is one of the 10 finalists of the LawyersWeekly Foremost Lawyer of the 21st Century Award. There are several other worthy lawyers who have been champions for human rights amongst the ten do we wish Bernard well

https://libertyvictoria.org.au/home
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/28834-vote-now-for-the-foremost-lawyer-of-the-21st-century

SUPPORT FOR BERNARD COLLAERY

A new website www.bernardcollaerysupporters.org has been established that provides more information about the trial against the 2 men, which also has a link to a petition with over 51,000 signatures. There is also a fund to help defray the costs that bernard is supporting.

We request that people support this and encourage others to do so as well.

Finally, Ian Cunliffe – a former chief executive of the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Constitutional Commission and who as deputy to the secretary of Australia’s first royal commission into intelligence and security in the 1970s – has had an excellent article – Secret trials: our judges need to resist the government’s pressure – published in the Sydney Morning Herald. It can be found on the following website: 
 https://www.smh.com.au/national/secret-trials-our-judges-need-to-resist-the-government-s-pressure-20200717-p55d2p.html#comments

SOLIDARITY WITH TIMOR-LESTE, BERNARD COLLAERY & WITNESS K!

Andy Alcock

Information Officer
Australian East Timor Friendship Association SA