Maximum security for preacher “unfair and unjust"

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The lawyer for self-styled Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne says Australian society should be worried that her client – who has been jailed for a non-violent crime – has been moved to Goulburn’s Super Max prison.

Junaid Thorne, a self-styled preacher who has been supportive of IS, was jailed last week by a NSW court of appeal for flying under a false ID and buying tickets with a false ID.

He told the court of appeal that he had been trying to avoid the media and authorities by using the false ID.

His total sentence was reduced from nine months to eight, but Judge Andrew Scotting said it was still a serious offence that warranted jailing.

But after a few days in Sydney’s Silverwater jail his lawyer Lydia Shelly said her client was moved to Australia’s highest security correctional facility, Goulburn Correctional Centre.

Ms Shelly said her client had committed a non-violent crime and it was his first offence, but he had been classified as a maximum security prisoner and put in segregation.

“This should concern the whole Australian community,” she said.

“It shows that something is wrong with this system.

“They should be outraged over this treatment."

Ms Shelly said her client was an Indigenous man who should not be housed with some of the nation’s worst offenders including prisoners who were the “worst of the worst”.

It’s believed that Thorne has been classified as an AA prisoner, which according to the Department of Corrective Services “represent a risk to national security (for example, because of a perceived risk that they may engage in, or incite other persons to engage in, terrorist activities)”.

“There’s no indication there was any disturbance (at Silverwater) that I know of,” Ms Shelly said.

President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties Stephen Blanks said Thorne had not been convicted of any terrorism offences and should not be placed in maximum security.

“The whole community should alarmed because this could happen to anyone,” he said.

The NSW Department of Corrective Services has been approached for comment.

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Corrective Services said the classification of inmates as AA is made for reasons of national security.

"This follows a risk assessment based on a wider range of factors than simply the offence for which the inmate was convicted or the length of their sentence,” a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said prisoners can request a change to their classification.

Source SBS

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