Australian lawyer working for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said she was questioned at Heathrow and then told she was on a travel watch list, requiring special approval to return to Australia.
Jennifer Robinson, who is based in London and met with Assange only days ago, said airport authorities in London had informed her she was on an "inhibited travel list," the Australian Broadcasting Authority reported.
The human rights lawyer and former Rhodes scholar tweeted:
Just delayed from checking in at LHR because I'm apparently "inhibited" - requiring approval from Australia House @dfat to travel... — Jen Robinson (@suigenerisjen) April 18, 2012
She followed it with:
Security guard: "you must have done something controversial" because we have to phone the embassy. "Certain government agencies" list. — Jen Robinson (@suigenerisjen) April 18, 2012
However, the Fairfax press cited a spokesperson for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) said it was not aware of any Australian government restrictions on Robinson.
"As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage," a spokesman said.
"The UK border authorities or airline of travel may be able to provide further insight on claims that she was impeded from boarding her flight."
Meantime, Robinson also asked the Australian authorities for an explanation, again via Twitter:
@dfat Please explain: What is the "inhibited" travel list? And why am I now apparently on it? — Jen Robinson (@suigenerisjen) April 18, 2012
The Herald Sun wrote that she may get the opportunity to ask Attorney-General Nicola Roxon about the incident on Friday as both are scheduled to speak at the Commonwealth Regional Law Conference in Sydney.
The incident comes only a day after Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow" premiered on TV network Russia Today with an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah.
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WikiLeaks teeeted its concern about the incident:
It is believed Robinson was eventually able to board the plane, which is flying to Sydney via Hong Kong.
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