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ASIO over zealous to deport on basis of 'tired old accusations' of protester violence.

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Kerry Nettle

Australian Greens Senator for NSW

Website: Phone: 02 9690 2038

Email: Fax: 02 9690 2041

Post: 111-117 Devonshire Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010


ASIO over zealous to deport on basis of 'tired old accusations' of protester violence

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today has accused ASIO of being over zealous in deporting peace activist Scott Parkin on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations that he was involved in discussing protests tactics that were 'likely' to increase violence.

"The report in today's Australian newspaper is worrying because it indicates that ASIO has deported a person on the basis of the same tired old rumours of potentially violent tactics that always surround protest actions," Senator Nettle said.

"I have been involved in many protests in Australia and there are often accusations that protesters are planning to roll marbles under police horses. I am not aware of a single instance when this has occurred.

"There appears to be no evidence that Mr Parkin was planning to advocate the use of violence, no evidence that he has been involved in any violence or was planning to be involved in violence. In fact Mr Parkin has consistently stated his abhorrence of violence and has a history of involvement in non-violent protest.

"If a person is conspiring to commit a violent crime then that is an offence. If Mr Parkin was guilty of an offence he would have been arrested and charged but he was not.

"The Greens are concerned that the details of the adverse security assessment appear to have been selectively leaked to The Australian, to a journalist, Greg Sheridan, who is very supportive of government policy. The Greens have written to the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security to investigate this apparent breach of the law.

"The full details for this assessment should be released because, on the face of it, ASIO appears to have deported Mr Parkin on the basis of unsubstantiated tired old accusations of protester violence. To deport a man based on rumour is over zealous and unprofessional."

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146