Please support the fundraising event for the Nauru 19. Proceeds will go to support the pro bono work of the legal team: Mark Higgins, Stephen Lawrence, Felicity Graham, Neal Funnell and Christian Hearn.
Guest Speaker: Julian Burnside
Donations and RSVPs by 13 September to: [email protected]
About the #Nauru19
The #Nauru19 are a group of 19 people accused of public order crimes following a protest against the Nauru Government in June 2015. They were protesting the indefinite suspension of the Parliamentary opposition and the unlawful expulsion of the entire judiciary. Over a year before the protest, a total of five elected opposition MPs (of a Parliament of 19) were suspended from Parliament, three intially for criticising the judicial expulsions in the media and a further two for conduct described by the Speaker as "unparliamentary tantrums". The MPs had been prohibited from participating in Parliamentary debate since that time.
On the day of the protest, the #Nauru19 were demanding that their democratically elected MPs be allowed to enter Parliament on budget day. Police disrupted the protest using a law that bans the association of three or more people without a permit from the Commissioner of Police.
Three of the group have also sought leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia from the decision of Acting Chief Justice Shafiullah Khan in the Nauru Supreme Court. Khan ACJ dismissed the appellants' severity appeals against sentence and instead increased their sentences in some cases by over 700% without making a finding that the original sentences were manifestly excessive or tainted by error. Bret Walker SC will be appearing pro bono in the High Court proceedings.
They are being prosecuted by the Nauru Government represented by Ashurt Australia, Peter Davis QC and a team of junior counsel from Brisbane. The group were refused legal representation by the Nauruan Public Defender and there are no other lawyers on the island to defend them. Their former barrister Jay Williams was banned from the country. They are struggling to meet even the travel costs of their pro bono legal team. They need your assistance to fight for justice!