Petition to free Ridha! 27Jun12 June 27, 2012

Workers Bush Telegraph   -   27 June 2012

To the Honourable the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bob Carr and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Australia

The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House to act urgently to prevent a grave injustice to the family of an Australian Citizen.

Your petitioners therefore request the House to instruct the Foreign Minister in the following manner.

Petition Background (Preamble):

We note the treatment of Weam and Ridha Khalid and their family by Israeli soldiers on 20 May 2012 — Israeli soldiers broke into Weam Khalid’s 2 bedroom unit in the nighttime terrorising her five children, smashing her furniture and taking her husband, Ridha Khalid, away to an undisclosed location for an indeterminate period.

We note that Mr Khalid is employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the occupied territories which is funded (in part) by the Australian government.

Weam and Ridha Khalid and their children have been deprived the right to be a citizen of any country — they have no country.

We are concerned that:

1.     Reports indicate that Ridha is on hunger strike in an Israeli prison
2.     Weam has not been able to see Ridha
3.     Lawyers have not been permitted to represent him
4.     Red Cross have not been able to check on his well-being
5.     Ridha’s in-laws in Australia are concerned for his physical and mental state.
6.     We are concerned about why the soldiers took Ridha — Israeli soldiers killed his son, do they wish to kill the father?
7.     Mr Khalid was tortured in an Israeli prison in 2001.
8.     Ridha spent 18 months in detention prior to release.
9.     Israeli targeting of refugee camps in Nablus for heavy repression

These all amount to human rights abuses that the Australian foreign minister counts as important in Syria. But why not in occupied Palestine?


We, the undersigned, request that the Foreign Minister, the Honourable Bob Carr, provide Weam and Ridha’s Australian family with specific information obtained from Israeli authorities about the physical well-being of Mr Khalid.

a)     Who is ‘personally accountable’ for his abduction the destruction of his wife’s apartment, his treatment in jail?
b)     Which soldiers abducted him and why?
c)      Who holds him now and why?
d)     What is his physical and mental state?
e)     If Israeli authorities won’t provide the information, send the Australian representative in Ramallah out to the prison to find out.

We ask that the Foreign Minister make personal approach to relevant Israeli authorities and make arrangements for an independent medical officer to examine Mr Khalid immediately.

Israeli authorities have refused Mr Khalid legal representation. We ask that the Australian government provide adequate legal counsel to sue for his immediate release.

Should Israeli authorities deny consular access to Mr Khalid we the undersigned request that the Foreign minister send home Israeli diplomats as he did Syrian officials after human rights abuses in Houlia.

We, the undersigned, share a concern about the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the refusal of the right of return of Palestinians to their villages and homeland.

Please place your name and postcode in the comments box of the Workers Bush telegraph website  right at the end of that page CLICK HERE and a link to your ‘signature’ will be sent to DFAT (address below). Only your name and postcode is required but your comments are welcome.[NB – WBT will protect your privacy and will not publish or give out any other info like email address or phone numbers.]

The petition is mailed to the Foreign Minister, Bob Carr @

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Bob Carr
C/- Peter Sawczak, Director, Levant & Iran Section (LIS)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Cres. Barton ACT 0221
Fax: 02 6261 3111

Alternatively you can sign a paper petition – get your friends to do like wise and send the petitions to the above address yourself


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