London – Internationally acclaimed academic, Professor Lukman Thalib, has returned to Australia this week for the first time since he was detained without charge or trial and tortured for 5 months in 2020 by Qatari authorities. Professor Thalib attended his son Ahmed Talib’s bail hearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Wednesday 25th January and successfully put down a surety to free his son after 2 years in solitary confinement. Justice Peter Davis noted the prosecution case was seriously lacking, saying “on my assessment the prosecution of him has barely commenced” and that it is estimated it would take at least four years since Ahmed’s arrest for the case to be heard. This was not the first time a judge has criticised the case. Last year Justice David Jackson of the Supreme Court in Brisbane criticised the delays and the conditions in which Ahmed was held in. [1]

Ahmed Talib was arrested by Australian authorities on 25 March 2021, months after his father was released from Qatari custody. The allegations against him are linked to the Syrian revolution and rely upon a ‘supergrass’ whom Justice Davis of Brisbane Supreme court said “over whom there is some cloud”. Now released on bail, Ahmed can return back to being a parent and assisting his wife raise their 8 young children.

Commenting on the release of his son, Professor Lukman Thalib said:

“I am very pleased that my son has come home where he deserves to be, with his family and eight children. Our family will not stop anywhere short of achieving justice for all the defamation and violations against our fundamental rights.

I was pleased to witness Justice Peter Davis make very strong remarks about how unfair the whole process of my son’s arrest and detention has been.

On behalf of my son and family, we would like to thank CAGE immensely for their unwavering support and guidance. May Allah bless their efforts always.”

CAGE Head of Public Advocacy Anas Mustapha said:

“The return of Professor Lukman to Australia and the release of his son on bail, will provide a welcome relief for the family after two traumatic years.”

“The Australian authorities will now be facing tough questions about the extent they had been complicit in the arrest and torture of Professor Thalib. This is more pressing as there are lingering concerns that torture evidence may have contributed to the arrest of his son Ahmed Talib.”

“It is a shocking violation of a person’s right to freedom that nearly two years on from Ahmed Talib’s arrest the prosecution case is still seriously lacking. This will do little to allay the concerns of the Thalib family that they have been targets of a collective punishment.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)