Australia warns citizens against fighting in Syria

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  • 4

    WilliB

    " The spokesman said the government was aware of reports that more than 100 Australians had engaged in the conflict since 2011 "

    These "Australians" are Sunni Muslim immigrants, who are joining the Jihad. It is similar to those British, German, and other Western "nationals" that routinely turn up in Al Quaeda training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    But because of the stupid political correctness prevailing in the media, they are labelleded simply as "Australians" in this case.

  • 1

    taj

    "Under the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978: “A person shall not enter a foreign state with intent to engage in a hostile activity… or engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state."

    I can't imagine that a free country ought to be able to jail it's people for entering a separate country with the "intent" to engage in hostilities. Refuse to offer them consular support if they get arrested there - sure that's reasonable. Arrest, charge, and jail them when they get home? That doesn't seem right.

    What if they have dual nationality. Does it still count as a "foreign state"? Were Americans who fought in the Spanish civil war treated so? Is this a common sort of law or unique to Australia? Was it adopted to deal with Irish immigrants getting involved with the IRA / Orange brigades?

  • 1

    taj

    http://www.law.monash.edu.au/castancentre/publications/anti-terrorism.html

    This site gives some of the constitutional discussion that when on in 1978 when this amendment to the Crimes Act was adopted, and it seems they did consider individual liberty and it's OK to join a foreign countries "national service". This was anti-terrorism in focus.

    A stroll through wikipedia's entries for 1977 and 1978 (thinking the law was conceived and written well before it was passed in 1978), shows that: 1) wow there used to be a lot more plane crashes! 2) there were separatist and political acts of terror happening in Spain (which was just returning to democracy), Germany (Red Army), Turkey (Red Amry connection), and The Netherlands (Malakans). Urguay returned to civilian rule in 77. Pinochet was living large in Chile, in '78 (despite resistance), there was civil war in Angola, a coup in Afganistan, Georgians were fighting Russianization within the USSR. The IRA was battling the British in Northern Ireland. The president of Yemen was assassinated and in France, Bretons were commiting acts of terror at Versailles.

    History is so much more rich than my wee memory. It does make it seem like the world isn't actually so bad these days, to look at what was going on 35 years ago.

  • 0

    gonemad

    taj , thanks for that link. It explains a lot where the article simply left me puzzled.

    Still, for the fineprint, can we conclude that Australians who engage in the regular Syrian army would not fall under this law but only those who engage in any of the other civil war parties? And that this would reverse as soon as Australia joins to recognize the SNC as the formal Syrian government?

  • 1

    Serrano

    Great. Now if only the U.S. government would warn citizens against fighting in Afghanistan...

  • 0

    Noliving

    Penalty (is) imprisonment for 20 years, the spokesman said. Anyone in Australia who recruits someone to fight overseas faces seven years.

    That is like giving the drug user 20 years and giving the drug dealer 7 years. Maybe it is just me but shouldn't the recruiters get just as much time if not more than the people who are recruited to fight?

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