The Null Device

Australian Hospitality

Arabic-surnamed German KDE developer comes to Australia for the Linux conference, is interrogated and beaten by customs officials and/or ASIO types. Welcome to the South Africa of the 21st Century.
After a while he gave me the device and I used it to help myself. He dragged me up again by my shirt and this time he hit me. When I woke up I was no longer with them and my companions were with me also a Deutsch representitive was with them. My face hurt and I had blood on my shirt. They put me in a car and took me to the hospital where I had a broken nose and fractured rib, I did not know what they had done while I was passed away.
I left Australia as soon as I could I would never return to that place again.

It's things like this (and the detention centre thing, and Howard's neo-Bjelkean cowboy politics) that make me ashamed to be Australian. It's almost enough to make one want to emigrate and start petitioning for economic sanctions against that redneck hellhole in the southern hemisphere. (via The Fix)

There are 9 comments on "Australian Hospitality":

Posted by: mitch http:// Wed Feb 5 00:04:45 2003

I'll believe this when, say, the guy's friends speak up. Beaten to the point of unconsciousness?

Posted by: Ritchie http:// Wed Feb 5 00:20:28 2003

Hollywood 'reality' notwithstanding, you actually can be knocked out with one blow to the head. In fact, even a hard punch to the nose sometimes has the effect of making people faint from the pain alone.

Posted by: Peter Wed Feb 5 01:10:03 2003

Must say, I'm not wholly convinced. Having read the Slashdot article and the comments, it sounds like it could be either way - _maybe_ a confused German with a Muslim name, getting various facts wrong, or maybe a troll of some kind... for some spurious reason mind you. The way it's meant to have been done is very suspicious, as is the way it doesn't seem to have been followed up. Anyway, we shall see!

Posted by: acb Wed Feb 5 03:09:57 2003

Hmmm.. are there many German muslims on the KDE contributors' list? Surely from that evidence tracking the anonymous poster shouldn't be too hard.

Though, given Australia's culture of police/uniformed officials being "above the law" and thinking nothing of extrajudicially roughing up people (as long as they're "scum" who can't complain), planting evidence, &c., I'd say that it's not out of character.

Posted by: acb Wed Feb 5 03:10:57 2003

(Mitch: hailing from Bjelke-Petersen's Queensland, surely you'd know about how pervasive cultures of police corruption can become.)

Posted by: mitch http:// Wed Feb 5 04:33:17 2003

I know that after Joh we set up a whole investigative body (Criminal Justice Commission) just to deal with corruption, but that happened when I was a teen and wasn't paying much attention... I feel like, I don't know, the guy from Arizona who's never seen the Grand Canyon and gets asked to describe it. "Well, it's there, and it's deep... or so I hear..."

Posted by: mitch http:// Mon Feb 17 05:53:12 2003

Judging by the most recent comments at Slashdot, this was indeed a hoax.

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 17 06:12:37 2003

URL please?

Posted by: mitch http:// Mon Feb 17 08:29:30 2003 or just scroll down the original page.

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