Assange lawyer detained at London airport on 'inhibited fly list'

Posted Apr 19, 2012 by Anne Sewell
An Australian-born WikiLeaks lawyer and human rights activist has been stopped at a London airport and advised that she is on an “inhibited fly list.”
Jennifer Robinson  Lawyer for WikiLeaks
Jennifer Robinson, Lawyer for WikiLeaks
The Drum / screengrab
Jennifer Robinson was today stopped and prevented from flying out of London Heathrow Airport on the basis that she is on an “inhibited fly list.”
When she arrived at London Heathrow airport to catch a plane back to Australia, Robinson sent a tweet to colleagues in Australia: "just delayed from checking in because I'm apparently "inhibited" – requiring approval from Australia House @dfat to travel.” This refers to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Before she could board the plane, she had to get clearance from the Australian High Commission. Robinson says that security personnel at the airport told her that she must have done something "controversial", as they had to call the Australian High Commission in the U.K.
However, the Australian High Commission apparently responded that they were unaware of any restrictions that would prevent Robinson from traveling.
A spokesman told the Australian Associated Press that: "As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage."
The spokesman added that while U.K. border authorities may be able to elaborate on why she is barred from checking in, British Immigration authorities have denied that any Australian agency maintained "an inhibited list" at the airport.
Greg Barns, who is President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance said that the existence of such a list was "extraordinary" and insisted that the Australian government should be held accountable for their actions.
Barns said: "Right through this issue it has obfuscated, refused to provide assistance to Mr. Assange, and now the Australian government, working with the U.K., has put his lawyer on an inhibited persons list."
He further stated: “The ALA is extremely concerned that simply because a lawyer is representing a client that the government does not like, the lawyer is then subjected to security scrutiny.”
“The U.K and Australian governments must come clean as to why Ms Robinson was subjected to this treatment. at Heathrow airport today and why she is on any sort of security list.”
“Lawyers must be able to act for their clients without fearing that they will be harassed by government agencies, either in their own country or overseas."
Robinson works at the Bertha Foundation in London as a director of legal advocacy and has acted as an advisor to Julian Assange, who is also an Australian national, in connection with the extradition proceedings in the U.K.
She also represented Bradley Manning, the whistleblower, at his recent trial in the U.S., on behalf of WikiLeaks and there is speculation that this involvement might have some bearing on the recent incident at the airport.
There is also conjecture that this may be related to the airing of Julian Assange's new talk show on RT this Tuesday when he interviewed the Hezbollah leader. The pilot of the series has caused a media frenzy and has attracted much criticism, even labelling Julian Assange as a "puppet of the Kremlin".
Video: Recent interview with Jennifer Robinson: