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Qld Goverment accused of gagging activist -

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Qld Goverment accused of gagging activist

Broadcast: 19/07/2010

Reporter: Kim Lyell

Prominent indigenous activist Lex Wotton has been released form jail on parole, but can not speak
publicly.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: In Queensland, civil libertarians say a prominent Indigenous activist
jailed over the Palm Island riots has been gagged by the Queensland Government.

Lex Wotton was released today on parole, but strict conditions prohibit him from speaking publicly.

His supporters say the restrictions breach the basic right to freedom of speech. Kim Lyell reports.

KIM LYELL, REPORTER: Lex Wotton and his wife maintained their silence as he walked free today.

Mr Wotton, how does it feel to be a free man today?

He served two years of a six-year sentence for inciting the 2004 riot on Palm Island after the
death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee.

GRACELYN SMALLWOOD, INDIG. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE: He cannot speak to you today or address the
injustices against his people because his parole conditions are designed to muzzle the truth about
justice against Indigenous peoples in Queensland.

KIM LYELL: Those conditions prevent him from talking to the media or attending public meetings
without prior approval.

TERRY O'GORMAN, COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES: To impose a condition that he can't participate in a
public rally and he can't participate in talking to the media is a thoroughly obnoxious and totally
disproportionate condition to impose on him.

ANNA BLIGH, QLD PREMIER: You will find the conditions for this prisoner very similar to conditions
imposed on many prisoners.

KIM LYELL: While Wotton has served time for the riot, there's still no action against the police
whose handling of the death in custody investigation was criticised by the Crime and Misconduct
Commission.

GRACELYN SMALLWOOD: The only person that's gone to jail for quite a substantial amount of time is
Lex Wotton.

ALF LACEY, PALM ISLAND MAYOR: After being away for two years in prison, I think Lex would want to
now certainly sit down with his family and spend quality time with his family.

KIM LYELL: And the Palm Island community is ready to welcome him home too.

Kim Lyell , Lateline.