Subject: LL:Imprisonment in Australia

Background: Lorenzo Ervin tries to rewrite history ina feeble attempt to score brownie points... of course Left Link are there to give his supercilious viewpoints a hearing.

Interesting that Left LInk openly promote Sinn Fein's web site - an organisation to which Ervin refers below.

From: Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 16:40:33 -0400 (EDT)
Mailing List:

[A letter from Lorenzo Ervin - a courtesy copy was sent to Leftlink.]

Brother Muata:
Thanks for advising me of this letter from Mr. Ruddock, Australian Immigration Minister, in response to your and others protest letters over my imprisonment last month in Brisbane.

According to Mr. Ruddock's letter, it now seems that they are trying to go back to the old tactic of character assassination, due to the airplane hijacking case of 1969. They also allude to "criminal association", cleverly implying that the Black Panther Party is such, while they adopt a new line that this is not a "free speech" issue.

Well, the majority of their own public fully understands otherwise, and that is what they are trying to deny. The media and the government itself compared my case to that of Gerry Adams, the Northern Irish MP and leader of the Sein Fein movement, so this is clearly political banning, in violation of international law. It's interesting that just this week the United States government gave Mr. Adams a visa to vist the USA, but he can't get into Austrailia. In addition, when Bobby Rush comes to the country as a member of the United States Olympic Committee, I would like to see them tell him that the Panthers were a "criminal terrorist organization" and he is not welcome in the country.

But there is new information I have discovered from the American press which has a direct bearing on this matter. According to the Thursday, August 14, 1997 issue of USA Today newspaper, Billy Hayes, now a director, writer and actor in Hollywood, travelled to Australia in June 1997 to attend the Sydney Film Festival. According to the newspaper - "...The trip was one of the first foregin trips he has made since Turkey slapped a worldwide Interpol arrest warrant on him in 1978..." Now if you don't remember Mr. Hayes' case, in 1970 he was arrested in Ankara International airport for smuggling two kilograms of drugs into the country, sentenced to life in prison, and then escaped to Greece and later came back to America. His case was sensationalized in a Hollywood movie, Midnight Express, released in 1978.

Now there are many questions about this Hayes case? Why was he allowed into Australia even though he had an open criminal case as an escaped prisoner? Why wasn't he arrested and deported to Turkey on the Interpol warrant? Why is Mr. Ruddock's Immigration Department covering this case up and making such a big deal of my own? Why can people like Mr. Hayes come to Australia with a criminal record but I am being permanently banned from entry? Clearly we are talking aout some double standards here, and if I were white and did not have radical political ideals, I would be welcome, criminal record or no.

There is no longer any question that this entire matter is a free speech issue, and that Mr. Ruddock is an out and out liar. He and Howard's government are applying the immigration laws inconsistently and based on a conservative political criteria and racism. This is the same type of racism that Australia has always been known for, going back to the White Austrailia racial exclusion immigration policy, which was part of the 1958 immigration standards that he so proudly alludes to, until just recently. Australia has had racist policies all along, and my 30-year old criminal record was never the issue. The Hayes case proves that, if there was ever any doubt.

I still have attorneys there, and we do intend to proceed in the Australian courts with a lawsuit against my false imprisonment by Mr. Ruddock's immigration department, this type of slander by government officials, the restrictions on my free speech and other charges related to this. We are also going to challenge on the international level my political banning by the government, and that of other political figures by the Australian government.

Finally, we still do intend to launch a boycott against Australian trade and tourism, and as soon as the Web site is completed, will advise you of it. Again, thanks for letting me [know] what they are sending everyone. I would suggest that people write them back and let them know that you are not falling for these lies by Ruddock. Demand that they drop the banning order against me, allow me to finish my nationwide speaking tour, and stop circulating these official lies.

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin


At 12:39 AM 8/14/97 EDT, [Muata] wrote:

Brother Komboa,

I'm glad to see that your home safely. This is bro. Muata from the BPL. I, like the rest of the list, sent many faxes and letters demanding your release. I know that you are aware of this, but I wanted to forward a response that I received from Phillip Ruddock [... ] Check it out for yourself. I'm sure that other members received the same e-mail today, so I'll ask Sis. to post it. Also, when you get a chance I'd like to know more about BAI. Take care strong brother.

N struggle,


Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your message to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs concerning Mr Lorenzo Edward Ervin.

Australia's immigration program is universal and non-discriminatory. All non-citizens applying for visas to enter Australia are considered against the legal requirements of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) and Migration Regulations. The Act contains a broad and comprehensive power to refuse to grant, or to cancel a visa on the basis that a person is not of good character on the grounds of their past criminal conduct, general conduct or association with an organisation which, it is reasonably believed, is or has been involved in criminal conduct. A visa may also be refused, or cancelled, on the grounds that a person would vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of the community. All applications to enter or remain in Australia are considered on their merits against the requirements of the Act and regulations, and in the light of all available and relevant information.

Mr Ervin's visa was cancelled because of his past criminal conduct. Mr Ervin is a convicted kidnapper and hijacker for which he received two terms of life imprisonment. Some years later Mr Ervin was convicted to a term of ten years in prison for an assault on a Corrections' Officer. Despite his claims to the contrary, the United States Federal Parole Office has advised that he has never received executive clemency from the United States Government.

The Government has a responsibility to the Australian community to ensure that people who are not of good character are not allowed to enter or remain in the country. My decision to cancel Mr Ervin's visa was based solely on the requirements of the Act and regulations and had nothing to do with the issue of free speech, a principle to which the Government is very committed . Mr Ervin's views on various issues are freely available in Australia, including via the Internet. Please find enclosed a copy of my Media Release of 25 July 1997 relating to the matter, which may be of interest to you. [not included with this letter.]

The Government is very serious about maintaining the integrity of its borders. I am concerned that a visa was granted to Mr Ervin in spite of his inclusion in alert systems operated by my Department. The matter has highlighted a shortcoming in those systems. Remedial action is being taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the kind that occurred on this occasion. I have enclosed a copy of my Media Release of 27 July 1997 outlining proposals to upgrade the alert systems currently employed by my Department. [not included with this letter]

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

Yours sincerely
Philip Ruddock

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