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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 09:45 GMT
Flight ban for anti-Bush T-shirt
US President George W Bush
The T-shirt featuring President Bush could offend, Qantas says
A passenger barred from a Qantas airlines flight for wearing a T-shirt depicting US President George Bush as a terrorist has threatened legal action.

Allen Jasson said he was sticking up for the principle of free speech by challenging the decision by the Australian flag carrier.

Mr Jasson was stopped as he was about to board the flight from Melbourne to London last Friday.

Qantas said the T-shirt had potential to offend other passengers.

The T-shift features an image of President George W Bush, along with the slogan "World's Number One Terrorist".


The 55-year-old computer specialist, who lives in London, had encountered difficulties with the same T-shirt on an earlier Qantas flight in December.

After clearing the international security checks at Melbourne Airport, he reportedly approached the gate manager to congratulate him on the company's new-found open-mindedness.

At that point, Mr Jasson was ordered to remove the T-shirt after being told it was a security threat and an item which might cause offence to other passengers.

He was offered the chance to board the flight wearing different clothing, but refused.

"I am not prepared to go without the t-shirt. I might forfeit the fare, but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech," he told Australian media.

A Qantas spokesman defended the airline's decision, saying: "Whether made verbally or on a T-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated".

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