Australia looks at WikiLeaks travel ‘ban’

Australia’s top law officer, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, says the government is investigating why a WikiLeaks lawyer was stopped by security staff at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Julian Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, has been questioned at London's Heathrow Airport. [Leon Neal: AFP]

Jennifer Robinson was told she was on an “inhibited” list and that the Australian High Commission in London would have to be contacted.

She was eventually allowed to board her flight. This week she had a brief meeting with Ms Roxon at a law conference in Sydney.

Ms Roxon has given assurances that Ms Robinson is not on any Australian watch list but says she is concerned about what happened.


“We take very seriously any movement alert list that exists particularly for criminals or alleged criminals,” the politican said.

“That clearly was not what was at play here and we are certainly using all of our efforts to find out what has happened and whether any representations need to be made to another government that might have inappropriately slowed down her travel.”

Jennifer Robinson says she was checking in when a security guard told her she must have done something “controversial” to be on the prohibited list.

“I’d like to think it was because of my controversial work with West Papua, but unfortunately that doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” she said.

“I suspect if there is indeed a list, and my name is on it, that it’s because of my work with WikiLeaks, as a legal adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks.”

Ms Robinson wants to know why she appeared to be on some sort of restricted travel list.

“You’d like to think that you don’t end up on these sorts of lists,” she said.

“But if a list does indeed exist, I’d like to see, I’d like to know what that list is, why I’ve ended up on it and certainly in what circumstances is it that an Australian citizen requires the approval of Australia House or the airline staff would be required to call Australia House before an Australian citizen can get on a plane and come come home.”

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