Former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks has sparked controversy, with his book on his imprisonment nominated for a Queensland Government literary prize while authorities are trying to claim royalties under proceeds of crime laws.
Adelaide-born Hicks, 35, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and sent to the notorious United States military prison in Cuba accused of fighting for al-Qaeda.
Despite the release of other foreign inmates and a campaign for Hicks' release at home, John Howard's former conservative Government refused to intervene on his behalf.
He won his release in 2006 under a deal in which he pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism, and was returned to South Australia where he spent seven months in Adelaide's Yatala Prison.
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Hicks has consistently maintained his innocence and has petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Committee in a bid to force an apology from the Australian Government for their support of an unlawful charge.
He also wants the Government to push the US to overturn his conviction, and seeks an investigation into his claims of torture and cruel and inhumane treatment at Guantanamo.
Guantanamo: My Journey has sold about 30,000 copies, but is now subject to a bid to confiscate his earnings from its publication under proceeds of crime laws. Hicks' lawyers have argued the laws cannot be invoked because his conviction was invalid.
Now the book has been shortlisted for the non-fiction award in Queensland's A$15,000 ($17,986) Premier's Literary Prize.
"Some people would seriously question whether a book by someone convicted of supporting terrorism should have been shortlisted," Opposition arts spokesman Scott Emerson said.
But Premier Anna Bligh said the nomination was an affirmation of Australian democracy.
"The nomination of this book, in my view, is a profound reaffirmation of the values that distinguish us from those who want to terrorise others," she said. "It is the freedom of speech enjoyed in this country that makes us different to terrorists."