David Hicks is an Australian who, after five years detention without charge by the United States government, became the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be convicted under the U.S. Military Commissions Act of 2006, having entered into a plea bargain. In March 2007, Hicks pled guilty before a United States military tribunal to a newly invented charge of "providing material support for terrorism" and was returned to Australia to serve the remaining nine months of a partially suspended seven-year sentence. He accepted these terms to "get himself out of the hell" of Guantanamo Bay.
"I had hoped to be able to speak to the media", he said on his release from jail a few days ago, "but I am just not strong enough at the moment - I am sorry for that".
And part of the plea bargain, Hicks had agreed not to speak to the media before March 30, 2008: "It's my intention to honour this agreement as I don't want to do anything that might result in my return [to Cuba]”. I ask that you respect my privacy as I will need time to readjust to society and to obtain medical care for the consequences of five and a half years at Guantanamo Bay. My readjustment will be a slow process and should involve a gentle transition away from the media spotlight.
On the first day of his freedom, Hicks was savaged in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper, The Australian. Its editorial is reprinted below, having been amended by homepageDAILY.com
The above file is a .jpeg, which anyone if free to circulate. On the day of his release in Australia, David Hicks said "Thank you for respecting my privacy and allowing me some breathing space to get on with my life."