Petition to free Ridha!

To the Honourable the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bob Carr and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Australia

The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia I (leave a comment) draws to the attention of the House to act urgently to prevent a grave injustice to the family of an Australian Citizen.

Your petitioners therefore request the House to instruct the Foreign Minister in the following manner.

Petition Background (Preamble):

We note the treatment of Weam and Ridha Khalid and their family by Israeli soldiers on 20 May 2012 — Israeli soldiers broke into Weam Khalid’s 2 bedroom unit in the nighttime terrorising her five children, smashing her furniture and taking her husband, Ridha Khalid, away to an undisclosed location for an indeterminate period.

Weam’s son in apartment after Israeli soldiers had been there

We note that Mr Khalid is employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) in the occupied territories which is funded (in part) by the Australian government.

Weam and Ridha Khalid and their children have been deprived the right to be a citizen of any country — they have no country.

We are concerned that:

1.     Reports indicate that Ridha is on hunger strike in an Israeli prison
2.     Weam has not been able to see Ridha
3.     Lawyers have not been permitted to represent him
4.     Red Cross have not been able to check on his well-being
5.     Ridha’s in-laws in Australia are concerned for his physical and mental state.
6.     We are concerned about why the soldiers took Ridha — Israeli soldiers killed his son, do they wish to kill the father?
7.     Mr Khalid was tortured in an Israeli prison in 2001.
8.     Ridha spent 18 months in detention prior to release.
9.     Israeli targeting of refugee camps in Nablus for heavy repression

These all amount to human rights abuses that the Australian foreign minister counts as important in Syria. But why not in occupied Palestine?


We, the undersigned (leave a comment), request that the Foreign Minister, the Honourable Bob Carr, provide Weam and Ridha’s Australian family with specific information obtained from Israeli authorities about the physical well-being of Mr Khalid.

a)     Who is ‘personally accountable’ for his abduction the destruction of his wife’s apartment, his treatment in jail?
b)     Which soldiers abducted him and why?
c)      Who holds him now and why?
d)     What is his physical and mental state?
e)     If Israeli authorities won’t provide the information, send the Australian representative in Ramallah out to the prison to find out.

We ask that the Foreign Minister make personal approach to relevant Israeli authorities and make arrangements for an independent medical officer to examine Mr Khalid immediately.

Israeli authorities have refused Mr Khalid legal representation. We ask that the Australian government provide adequate legal counsel to sue for his immediate release.

Should Israeli authorities deny consular access to Mr Khalid we the undersigned request that the Foreign minister send home Israeli diplomats as he did Syrian officials after human rights abuses in Houlia.

We, the undersigned, share a concern about the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the refusal of the right of return of Palestinians to their villages and homeland.

Please place your name and postcode in the comments box provided below and a link to your ‘signature’ will be sent to DFAT (address below). Only your name and postcode is required but your comments are welcome. [NB – WBT will protect your privacy and will not publish or give out any other info like email address or phone numbers.]

The petition is mailed to the Foreign Minister, Bob Carr @

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Bob Carr
C/- Peter Sawczak, Director, Levant & Iran Section (LIS)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Cres. Barton ACT 0221
Fax: 02 6261 3111

Alternatively you can sign a paper petition – get your friends to do like wise and send the petitions to the above address yourself

38 thoughts on “Petition to free Ridha!

  1. I support this petition
    Ian Curr, Camp Hill Qld 4152

  2. Fay Waddington says:

    I sign this petition as Fay Waddington 125 Park Rd Wooloowin

  3. Richard Buchhorn says:

    I support this petition

  4. Mervyn Langford says:

    I continue to be appalled, shocked, outraged and angered by the continued, wilful destruction of the (indigenous) people of Palestine by the illegal actions of the Israeli ‘Defence’ Force. When will you – as our government representatives – actually stand up and do something honourable to help defend targeted civilians? Stand up in international forums, in face to face contacts with governments acting contrary to international law and UN resolutions? Stand up for human rights? Stand up so we can be proud to be honest and courageous members of an international community where people actually matter. Bardon, 4065.

  5. Douglas Everingham says:

    Isupport this petition..
    Doug Everingham, Pinjarra Hills Qld 4069


  7. Emad Sinan says:

    I join my voice to this petition.

  8. Ann Aboud says:

    I sign this petition: Ann Aboud 4/15 Bellevue Tce., St Lucia 4067 . I am appalled that soldiers can come to a person’s house and take away the father of 5 children. As a psychologist i am extremely concerned at the incidence of post traumatic stress syndrome that children and women are suffering let alone the men who are abducted. How would we feel if this happened to us?

  9. Samira, Fairfield says:

    I support this petition
    Samira T. Fairfield .

  10. Brian McLure says:

    I willingly sign this petition, and endorse the sentiments expressed by Mervyn Langford

  11. fearlessfreddy says:

    Frederika Steen supports this petition

  12. John Swanston says:

    This is a disgrace. Our government is bound to support this petition both on humanitarian grounds and because we have since its commencement been a committed supporter of the UN. Mr Khalid works for the UN doing what we Australians support.

  13. Elizabeth Phillips says:

    I fully support this petition and would support any action taken by the Australian Government to support Palestinian human rights in international forums.

  14. Yet another travesty of justice that desperately needs action.
    Sonja Karkar, Hawthorn, Vic 3122

  15. David Albuquerque says:

    As an Australian, I am appalled that my country: (1) affords immunity and protection to Israel in the UN each time it commits a war crime, crime against humanity or deplorable acts of oppression such as this (2) condones/overlooks the ongoing occupation-annexation of Palestine, and the siege on Gaza (3) overlooks the cruel apartheid imposed on Palestinians by Israel. David Albuquerque, QLD 4115

  16. I support this petition with the whole of my heart.

  17. I support this petition 100%!

  18. Monique Bond, Highgate Hill, Qld 4101 says:

    I fully support this petition.
    Whilst I support the right of Israel to exist I do not support the right of Israeli people and government to treat Palestinians so appallingly.
    I ask the Australian government to work much more strongly to get the Israelis to stop abusing the human rights of Palestinians.

  19. gillian shenfield says:

    I totally support this petition. I have relatives in Israel who moved there as immigrants 20 years ago. at that time they were liberal minded and had Palestinian friends. Gradually they have become convinced that Israel is only for Jews and that Palestinians are all potential suicide bombers. They echo the statements of their outrageous government.
    gillian shenfield 2795

  20. Vicky Rose says:

    I support the petition

  21. Haysam Radwan says:

    I support this petition

  22. Fran Carr says:

    Im an Aussie, and I support and sign this petition
    Fran Carr NSW Australia

  23. I the undersigned , am deplored by the immunity this apartheid state of Israel enjoys by like minded governments!!

  24. We reap what we sow, we can’t stand by and let atrocities happen day after day. What if one day the tables are turned and we need help…Times are changing, let us as Australians be on the right side, because yes, in this situation, it is black and white. The Palestinians are paying a great price for a situation that was put on them yet instead of working with them, 1948 onwards has been nothing short of apartheid, fascism and aggression and oppression.

  25. ihimmelhoch says:

    As someone who has done under – and graduate Law, I respect the law. Israel is governed by a strange mixture of Ottoman, English and Jewish Law. In Ridha Khalid’s case I feel sure that with respect, what has happened to him will turn out to be unjustified under any of these three legal systems.

    I sign the petition and ask our Foreign Minister, in his clear mandate to promote the upholding and practice of Humanitarian Law in the world, as a basic principle of Australian Foreign Policy, to investigate this matter and do his best to undo what seems to be a terrible injustice.

    I also ask that he regards this as neither an action for or against any particular group in the affected area, but at its core, an exercise in basic human rights.

    Ivan Himmelhoch, 41 Neuparth Road, Croydon North, Victoria, 3136, Australia

  26. Rebecca Barrigos says:

    I support this petition
    Rebecca Barrigos, Alderley QLD, 4051

  27. Tanay Albuquerque says:

    I support this petition.
    Tanay Albuquerque, QLD 4115

  28. Michael Steer says:

    I support this petition.
    Michael Steer, Kelvin Grove, 4059

  29. Daud Batchelor says:

    I sign in support of this petition..
    Daud Batchelor, Runcorn Qld 4113

    1. Mabruk Dajan says:

      I support this petition.
      Mabruk Dajan, Darra 4076.

  30. I support this petition
    Hughesdale Victoria 3166

  31. Anas Abdalla says:

    I support this petition.
    Anas Abdalla, Kuraby QLD 4113

  32. Reply from Bob Carr says:

    13 June 2012

    Dear Mr Curr

    Thank you for your letter dated 24 May 2012 regarding the detention by Israeli authorities of Mr Ridha Khalid. I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob Carr.

    The Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv and Australian Representative Office in Ramallah have sought information about the circumstances of Mr Khalid’s arrest and detention, including from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The Australian Government remains concerned about the practice of administrative detention and has consistently called on all states to honour their international obligations in relation to the treatment of prisoners. During Israel’s last appearance before the UN Universal Periodic Review Working Group, Australia questioned Israel about reported mistreatment of detainees and asked about steps to promote a culture of personal accountability, to ensure that the treatment of detainees was in accordance with international standards, and that those responsible for mistreatment were prosecuted. (My emphasis -Ian Curr)

    Thank you for bringing your views to the attention of the Australian Government.

    Yours sincerely
    Peter Sawczak
    Levant and Iran Section

  33. Pingback: 279 days — Ridha still not free!

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