The Truth About Mamdouh Habib

New Matilda, 2nd March 2012

A week before Christmas last year, the independent authority that acts as a watchdog over Australia’s Intelligence agencies handed the results of a year-long investigation to the Prime Minister. The investigation was into the involvement of Australian government officials in the illegal arrest, detention, and torture overseas of Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib. But, since arriving in the Prime Minister’s office two and a half months ago, the contents of this crucial report remain secret.

The report has not been publicly released, despite the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, who conducted the investigation, also providing the Prime Minister with a version of the report described as “suitable for public release”.

In a letter to Mamdouh Habib, the Inspector-General Vivienne Thom said she had handed her report to the Prime Minister on 19 December 2011, and that “I have also provided the Prime Minister with an abridged version of the report which is suitable for public release. I have suggested that you should be provided with a personal copy of this public report.”

Habib has not seen this report. He says he has written a number of letters to the Prime Minister’s office and received no reply.