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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Australian Muslim activists lose free speech case

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Two Muslim activists accused of sending offensive letters to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan narrowly lost a court appeal Wednesday that cited their constitutional freedom of speech.
HE TOLD them their sons were killers and murderers. But outside court yesterday the self-styled Muslim cleric, Man Haron Monis, claimed letters he sent to the grieving families of Australia’s fallen diggers were his own version of a ”flower basket” or ”condolence card”.
Private Luke Worsley Killed in action on 23 November , 2007
Aged 26
Mr Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron, has been charged with seven counts of using a postal service to menace, harass or cause offence when he sent a series of letters to the families of Private Luke Worsley and Lance Corporal Jason Marks, who were killed in Afghanistan in 2007 and last year.
Lance Corporal Jason Marks Killed in action on 27 April , 2008
Aged 27
Mr Monis, of Campsie, is also charged over a letter he sent in July to the family of the Australian Trade official, Craig Senger, who was killed in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2007.
It is understood Mr Monis sent letters to other families of dead soldiers, for which he has not been charged.
photos of fallen soldiers taken from Memorial Page Military Brotherhood MMC   
During his appearance at the Downing Centre Local Court yesterday, his lawyer, Chris Murphy, said his client was a ”peace activist” whose letters had contained no threats.more: 
Iranian-born Man Horan Monis, a self-styled Sydney cleric also known as Sheik Haron, was charged in 2009 with 12 counts of using as postal service in an offensive way and one count of using a postal service in a harassing way. Amirah Droudis was charged with aiding and abetting the offences.
The six judges of the High Court split on whether the charges were compatible with Australians’ right to free speech.Read more: 

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