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AFP should release documents provided to Lebanese authorities: we are not in police state

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Jamal Daoud was and still is the strongest voice against radical and extreme elements in our society. In the last decade he has been on the receiving end of countless death threats, verbal abuse and physical assaults perpetrated by extremist. He was even attacked in front of Channel 7 cameras during an episode of Today Tonight.  The police arrested the attacker only to see him released by the courts. The crime went unpunished.

For years security agencies have ignored the family pleas and surprisingly not one person who threatened, attacked or assaulted him has been brought to justice.

Recently, upon his arrival in Lebanon, he was stopped at the airport. He was told that he was banned from entering Lebanon for good. No reasons were provided. 

He contacted the PM’s office, the Minister for Foreign Affairs office and his local MP for Blaxland seeking help to find out the reason behind such ban. He received no response and no help.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, he applied to the AFP to have the documents relating to his ban released.  His application was refused.

Without revealing the details, AFP admitted that it did provide the Lebanese authorities sensitive information which subsequently lead to the ban.

Instead of sending a strong and clear message against radical extremist, our authorities are targeting a respected community leader, a human rights activist and most importantly a strong voice against extremist. Conspiring with the Lebanese authorities to ban Jamal Daoud from entering Lebanon , sends the message that our authorities are in fact supporting extremist organisations.

We, the undersigned, request the Australian Federal Police release the information that lead to this ban. Not only this information will help Jamal regain confidence in the authorities but it will help him clear his name and lift the current ban in Lebanon.

Releasing such information is a moral duty and it will at the same time send out the message that the authorities are on the side of community leaders who are fighting extremism in our society.

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