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Australia government lifts control order on ex-Guantanamo detainee Hicks

[JURIST] Australian authorities on Sunday removed the final restrictions against former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive]. Hicks, who served more than five years in the military prison without a trial before pleading guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda, had been under control order [JURIST report] since his release last year. The Australian government's surveillance of Hicks included weekly meetings with police, a strict curfew, and restrictions on his ability to travel and communicate. Hicks made a public plea [JURIST report] last month, asking for the restrictions to be lifted so he could move forward with his life. Hicks's father said that Hicks remains committed to his rehabilitation [AP report], and the elimination of the restrictions imposed by the government should help his recovery.

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] in 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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