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Dan Duggan - a shameful anniversary

Written by: Nick G. on 21 October 2023


Today marks the first anniversary of the jailing of US-born Australian citizen Dan Duggan.

He was seized by Federal Police officers at the insistence of our US rulers who want to extradite him to face charges in the US. The charges relate to training he undertook of Chinese pilots.

Even assuming the extradition process is legitimate, Duggan could have been kept in home detention, or in a minimum security facility close to home. 
But no, such is the power of the US over Australian politicians and police that he was thrown into the harshest possible environment - a maximum security gaol where he has been held for long periods in solitary confinement. 

Only three hours after he was scooped up by Australian Federal Police on Oct. 21, 2022, a Friday, Dan Duggan was on his way to Bathurst Correctional Centre. He would find himself not just in maximum security, solitary confinement. But in a dry cell.

“A dry cell is one with no toilet or running water. Placement in a dry cell may be suitable for an inmate suspected of concealing contraband within a body cavity or an inmate who has refused to supply a urine sample. No inmate is to be placed in a dry cell for more than 24 hours,” Corrective Services NSW website states. 

Dan should not have been in a dry cell. And he should not have been in a dry cell for two days, nobody should be. These are just two of the first breaches of Dan’s human rights that have been perpetrated on him. Dan remained in Bathurst for about five days until he was transferred to Silverwater. During this time his lawyer Dennis Miralis did not know where he was. His wife and children did not know where he was. Yet Dan had not been charged with any offences in Australia. He has no history of violence. This is what the system can do in Australia. This, apparently, fulfils our extradition treaty with the US.

The state apparatus under capitalism – the judicial system, police, gaols, armed forces – is the coercive, violent expression of capitalist state power. In Australia, that means state power in the service of US imperialism. Its economic, political, diplomatic, cultural and military control of Australia is manifested everyday. Just think of Assange, of AUKUS, of US bases throughout the country, of Murdoch’s media, of war preparations against China, of repetition of US assurances that Israel can do what it likes to the Palestinian people.

Today, Dan Duggan will have been locked up in his own country, in maximum security solitary confinement on the say-so of the United State government for 12 months. This is a horrific breach of Australian sovereignty and a nightmare for an Australian family of eight.

The #DanDuggan Twitter (X) page, supported by his family, pulls no punches:

While Dan has been tortured and has his rights as an Australian citizen stripped away by a government that has bent its knee too far to its US ally, his family has suffered cruel and unusual punishment.

That the Australian government has deliberately chosen to inflict such pain and trauma on an Australian woman Saffrine Duggan and her and Dan’s six children Molly 18, Finn, 17, Rory, 17, Jack 10, Hazel 8 and Ginger 6 is beyond shameful. Labor came to office promising better, kinder government  and almost immediately granted a bridging visa to the Murugappan family including the two young girls born in Australia, releasing them for years of government sponsored torture and trauma. Yet it has turned around six months’ later an incarcerated Dan Duggan, on the back of an unproven and disputed US indictment for events that took place outside the US 12 years ago. Since then not one government agency has been in contact with the family to offer any help. You, the taxpayer, are paying for Dan’s incarceration but the government won’t offer a single one of your cents to helping this family.  Once a week, Dan’s kid’s make the 90 minute drive to Lithgow’s brutal, unwelcoming gaol where they are searched and prodded, sniffed by dogs and moved through up to a dozen security doors. They spend maybe an hour - if they are lucky - in a tiny glass encased room watched constantly by guards. Is this how Australia's politicians, the shadowy bureaucrats who advise them and other decision makers in the security apparatus want their kids to be treated? Is this the Australia that you want to live in?

No, we want to live in a free and independent socialist Australia where Australians determine the direction of the economy, the content of cultures, and exercise the fullest capacity for independent decision-making in matters of foreign policy.

We stand with Dan Duggan and demand his release and protection from the vengeful processes of US extradition.

We stand with Assange on the same basis.

We stand with persecuted whistleblowers David McBride and Richard Boyle.

Unite to protect our rights and liberties!



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