Tuesday February 7 2006 9:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"Agents of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) have approached and interviewed Christian peace and non-violence activist Ciaron O'Reilly upon his return to Australia at Brisbane airport last Friday, in what appears a very similar tactic to the initial ASIO approaches to US Non-violent Peace Activist Scott Parkin," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
Mr O'Reilly was interviewed after his 30-hour flight from Ireland as soon as he disembarked. Mr O'Reilly has reported to Project SafeCom about the interview, and he wrote that he was placed in a secure room in the airport during the interview. When asked if he had previous dealings with ASIO, he replied "Well you're a secret organisation! You tell me if I've had dealings with ASIO agents before?"
Brisbane-born Ciaron is one of the Pit Stop Ploughshares defendants awaiting a third trial in Dublin on July 5th. Defendants have been allowed to leave the country, they are required to return to Ireland a week before the July trial. Ciaron has returned home to Brisbane, Australia to visit family.
Ciaron was questioned about his plans during his 3 month stay in Australia, the civil disobedience that occured during the Shoalwater "Operation Talisman Sabre" joint U.S./OZ military exercises in 2005.
Ciaron was also questioned to whether he planned to accompany his brother Sean to his Alice Springs late February court date arising from his arrest following a peace demonstration at the CIA/NSA outback base Pine Gap.
References were made to the Pit Stop Ploughshares case in Ireland. Ciaron assured the agents, both he and his brother were innocent of all charges awaiting hearing.
After a few jet lagged attempts to tease out the meaning of "security", "violence/nonviolence" "terrorism" and "war" the interview ended.
O'Reilly stated, "We believe security is built on the pursuit of peace and justice through nonviolent action. Security is not secured by shrinking freedoms, crushing civil liberties and harassing peace activists! If ASIO is serious about addressing violence and terrorism it should have investigated the role and arms of the USS Ronald Reagan in Brisbane last week and the ongoing targeting carried out by Pine Gap!"
Ciaron O'Reilly (42) is an Irish Australian. He recently worked at a homeless shelter in Dublin and is long time Catholic Worker and nonviolent resister. He was a member of the "ANZUS Ploughshares" which disarmed a B-52 Bomber in upstate New York during the 1991 Gulf War. He was also a member of the "Jabiluka Ploughshares" that disabled uranium mining equipment in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1998.
For more information:
[phone number posted]
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]