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Australia police to lift control order on ex-Guantanamo detainee Hicks

[JURIST] The Australian Federal Police (AFP) [official website] announced Thursday that they will lift restrictions [control order, PDF] on former Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive]. The announcement came after Hicks issued a plea by posting a video on the website of Australian advocacy group GetUp! [advocacy website], asking for members' help in lifting the restrictions so that he could "get on with [his] life." Hicks was placed under a control order [JURIST report] in December 2007 that restricted his movements by requiring him to check in with police three times a week,comply with a midnight to 6AM curfew and not leave the country. The control order is set to expire next month, and the AFP has indicated that it will not seek to renew it [AFP report].

Hicks pleaded guilty to a charge of supporting terrorism [JURIST reports] before a US military commission in March 2007 after spending more than five years in US custody following his capture in Afghanistan. He was transferred to Australia in May 2007 to serve the remainder of his nine-month prison sentence at a maximum security prison near his hometown of Adelaide, South Australia, and was released [JURIST reports] last December. The control order was relaxed [JURIST report] last February, permitting Hicks to live anywhere in the country, and requiring him to check in with police only twice a week.

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