Elena has been kind enough to give us all an update on the condition of Robert Langdon, and it doesn’t sound good. Bill Shaw made a comment on how horrible the prisons are in Afghanistan, and I certainly do not doubt that Robert is suffering there. And with the great news about Bill Shaw’s release, and the dismal report he gave about the prisons there, Robert Langdon (and Phil Young for that matter) should be the next focus.
So what needs to be done? Well for one, it takes pressure on the Australian government and their folks in Afghanistan, for them to influence the Afghans with the hopes of getting Rob back to Australia. You can sign the petition below and you can get the word out. You can also join the Robert Langdon FB page and pass this stuff on to any media types and your friends. The more publicity for this case, the better. Also, you can write your consulate in Afghanistan, and hopefully they can apply some pressure on the Australians to do more. –Matt
Facebook for Robert Langdon here.
Edit: July 11, 2010- Here is an update from Elena. Check it out:
Hi again Matt,
Would you please add the following to your latest post on Rob( and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter)?
First of all want to thank those people who have signed the petition and have spread the word.
However, there are still only 324 signatures on the petition and I am disappointed at the very few people who actually contacted me offering their help. I truly appreciate those who did so, but I was surprised that those who did respond I can count on the fingers of one hand – what I did get was an overflow of Nigerian scammers offering to make me their heiress if only I supplied them with my bank account details. Not quite what I was hoping for.
Rob’s Legal Position at a Critical Stage.
Rob is currently awaiting the final stage of the appeal process which will decide whether he is to hang or not.
Karim’s family have agreed on the amount of the ibra (compensation) payment to be paid and Rob’s family have raised the money. There will be a civil hearing
where this matter will be recorded. This will clear the way for Rob’s final appeal against his death sentence to the Afghan criminal division of the Supreme Court. This hearing will decide his fate; his sentence of death by hanging will either be upheld or commuted to a term of imprisonment.
If his death sentence is upheld there is no further avenue of appeal except a plea of clemency to President Hamid Karzai by the Australian government. There is every indication that the Australian government have decided Rob is expendable. Indeed they are doing their utmost to keep Rob’s case out of sight and deter those who want to save Rob and bring him home I speak from personal experience of this.The Appeal hearing is slated to take place within the next 2-3 months. Now is the time to let the Australian government know what you think . After the hearing, it may be too late; if it suits the current political agenda Rob could be executed shortly after sentencing.
So please everybody get writing. See above for details of the Australian Embassy in Kabul. But also it is so important to write to the Australian PM Julia Gillard, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia 2600. With a copy to the Leader of the Opposition: Tony Abbott, address as above. It will only take a few minutes but it could help save Rob’s life.
Bad faith of the Australian government The Australian government is renowned for it’s uselessness in helping it’s citizens in trouble abroad. There is an old joke here that if you’re in trouble overseas, throw away your Aussie passport and say you’re a US citizen. A few recent examples of the general policy of inaction of the Australian government.
Nigel Brennan was an Australian aid worker kidnapped in Somalia along with a Canadian woman. The Brennan family were told by the Dept of Foreign Affairs and
Trade to do nothing on their own behalf to help their son. Seven months later DFAT coolly informed them there was nothing they could do; case closed. The Brennans then hired a Canadian hostage expert who had to start from scratch as the Australian authorities refused to fill him in. Finally, after eight more months of negotiations, Nigel Brennan was released and came home to his family.
There are currently 3 young Australian drug mules on death row in Bali (part of the Bali 9). Now I hold no brief for drug-smugglers but the news report that our
former PM Kevin Rudd had asked his Indonesian counterpart if he would kindly delay their executions in an election year took my breath away for it’s sheer cynicism.
Britt Lapthorne was a young Aussie backpacker on holiday in Croatia in 2008 when she disappeared, to be found later in the sea reduced to a headless, limbless torso. The Australian govt put it about she had probably committed suicide and forbade her family to do anything off their own bat ( sound familiar?) but to leave it all up to them as they didn’t want to damage trade relations with Croatia. Witnesses came forward ….. and were ignored and by the time the Lapthorne family decided to take matters into their own hands, it was too late, a cover-up had taken place. To this day nobody has been tried for Britt Lapthorne’s murder.
So what chance Robert Langdon?
As the organiser of the campaign to Save Rob Langdon I urge you to contact me if you want to help, know rRob, have any news of him or have any suggestions what to do.
I am on Facebook and you can email me: fon_elenaisabel.com.au
Again a big thank you to those who have shown their support so far. I need lots more of you.
Where’s the support for Rob Langdon that he so badly needs ?
By Elena Fon
The great news is that Bill Shaw has been released from his ordeal at Pol e Charki and his innocence vindicated.
His release was due in no small part to the huge efforts of Lisa and Liz, his daughter and wife, in their very active and public campaign for his release. Thousands of people signed the on-line petition and wrote to their MP and the British PM David Cameron to protest at the blatant miscarriage of justice Bill was subjected to. No clearer proof exists of people- power. The British government could not afford to ignore the collective opinion so forcefully expressed. Without the efforts of Liz, Lisa and everyone who joined them Bill Shaw might still be in an Afghan prison
So why aren’t people flocking to help Rob Langdon in his time of need? If it’s left up to the Australian government he will likely be executed according to the wrongful sentence handed down by the corrupt Afghan courts. Rob needs more than good wishes, he needs help right now. Help from his mates, from strangers, from anybody who doesn’t want to see a man wrongfully hanged.
I have very recently received a report that Rob ” is in a very bad way” and that for some unknowable reason he refuses to join the other European prisoners in the relative safety of the high security wing in Pol e Charki prison in Kabul. And that he recently refused an invitation sent by the other European prisoners, including South African psc Philip Young),see feraljundi 19 June2010, to join them, the only people who can offer Rob some support and solidarity. Instead Rob apparently prefers to remain in a cramped crowded cell with 22 other men, Afghans and drug-smugglers, with no English conversation at all.
In fact I’m wondering if Rob does receive any visits, food, mail? Is he even aware that people wish him well and want to help him? Does anybody have any hard facts here?
Rob, needs your help and sooner rather than later.
For full details of Rob’s case I refer you to my article in the June issue of the Overwatch Report here.
There is also a petition you can sign here.
But come on, guys, you can do more than just a signature. Help me to organise a Bill Shaw type campaign, and bring Rob home to Australia to serve his sentence.
Contact Elena: email@example.com
Australian Embassy in Afghanistan here.