Assange lawyer grounded by authorities?
Jennifer Robinson (Reuters / Joshua Roberts)
Human rights activist and WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson was stopped at a London airport on the basis that she is on an “inhibited fly list.” Her Australian colleagues reacted with uproar, demanding an explanation.
Upon arriving at Heathrow airport to catch a flight back to Australia, Jennifer Robinson tweeted “just delayed from checking in because I’m apparently “inhibited” – requiring approval from Australia House @dfat to travel.” She was referring to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
She had to gain clearance from the Australian High Commissioner before boarding the plane.
Security personnel at the Heathrow Terminal told her that she must have done something “controversial” because they were required to call the Australian high commission in the UK.
The Australian foreign office responded to the claims, saying that they were unaware of any restrictions preventing Jennifer Robinson from traveling.
“As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage,” a spokesman told the Australian Associated Press.
He added that UK border authorities may be able to elaborate on why she was barred from checking in. British immigration authorities denied that any Australian agency maintained “an inhibited list” at the airport.
The news provoked the ire of Ms Robinson’s compatriots in the legal community. President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance Greg Barns called the existence of such a list “extraordinary” and stressed that the Australian government be held accountable for its actions.