The case surrounding Dr Haneef is becoming more of a mess each day. The media is quick to jump to conclusions without checking its facts and the Federal Government simply wants him deported and out of the way. In the meantime the object of this chaos is sitting in a maximum security cell at Wolston. For what? Giving a SIM card to a distant cousin? If the Federal police have any other evidence against him, why hasn’t he been charged with something more substantial? If the only contact Dr Haneef had with Sabile Ahmed for over a year was infrequent chats over instant messaging, how can he be expected to be aware of criminal activities that this guy was involved in? I regularly chat with people I don’t even know. How can I be expected to know what activities these people are involved in? Is this considered association?
Wake up Australia. This is a serious problem. Sure, Dr Haneef is not an Australian Citizen, but what difference does it make? This could happen to any of us. I still have my brother’s SIM card from the UK. I have no idea what he is getting up to on a day to day basis. I’d better call him and check that he isn’t considering blowing anything up.
The Federal Governments position on deportation is simply a way of saving its own face at the expense of an innocent man. Even if this situation is resolved in favour of Dr Haneef, I would be incredibly surprised if Dr Haneef wanted to stay in Australia, considering the treatment he has received. As an immigrant Australian citizen myself, I feel shame that someone could be treated so shabbily by my adopted country. I hope that, once this situation is resolved, that he is able to continue his career and professional development – wherever he choses to pursue it.
I, for one, chose to believe that Dr Haneef is innocent and that he should be treated as such until the law can prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he is guilty of a crime. I suspect that as long as the legal system maintains a modicum of integrity, that this will be a very hard ask.
Mark Edwards, Melbourne Australia