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The Ahmed Zaoui Concert

Thu, 29 Jul 2004

Hello again BATS supporters !

We forgot to mention in this week's BATS email that there's this great concert on this Sunday, August 1st, 7pm at the Opera House, to benefit Ahmed Zaoui. It's an awesome line-up of local talent at an absolute bargain price. Come celebrate human rights - tickets are only $12.50 if you have an Active or Community Services Card, or $25 waged. Book now through Ticketek!


A benefit concert to celebrate human rights in New Zealand and to raise money for the family of Ahmed Zaoui will be held in Wellington, Sunday 1st August at the Opera House. Leading musicians and performers have offered their services free to make The Zaoui Concert a reality. Sir Paul Reeves will address this unique, one-off event.

The concert is hosted by Wellington Artists' Charitable Trust (WACT), and supported by Amnesty International, the Human Rights Foundation and Radio Active.

The concert will provide an eclectic mix of music and comedy, designed to celebrate human rights and showcase the diversity of New Zealand's leading musicians and comedians.

Bands performing include Wellington's favourites, Rhombus; The Beatgirls, before they leave to perform at the Athens Olympics; Jeff Henderson with Richard Nunns (Nelson) and Sally Rodwell, performing a mixture of jazz with traditional Maori instruments, in the vein of their celebrated Urban Taniwha concerts; Alphabet Head (turntables) and soul-rockers, The Accelerants. The evening finishes with Goldenhorse, fresh from their recent season with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Celebrated comedian Taika Cohen will have free reign to interact with the audience between sets, and female comic duo, Jo Randerson and Gentiane Lupi, will perform some new sets. The concert will be hosted by well-known actors Jeremy Randerson and Adam Gardiner. (Jo and Jeremy Randerson are brother and sister, and return to Wellington fresh from winning awards at the 2004 Melbourne International Comedy Festival).

Former Governor General, Sir Paul Reeves, and Ahmed Zaoui's lawyer, Deborah Manning, will both give brief addresses at the concert.

The Zaoui Concert takes place on the one-year anniversary of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision declaring elected Algerian MP, Ahmed Zaoui, to be a genuine refugee. "The Zaoui family are currently in hiding in Asia," says event organiser Melanie Hamilton. "That's mainly because Mr Zaoui, the family breadwinner, has been held without charge in a New Zealand prison for some nineteen months now, with no end in sight to his detention. We wanted to give the people of Wellington a chance to help the Zaoui family in a tangible way, as a gesture of compensation for the suffering they have faced due to the actions of the New Zealand government."

"The concert is also one way that people can join together and celebrate human rights while enjoying a wide-range of New Zealand music and comedy. New Zealand artists want to speak up and comment on human rights in New Zealand; this concert is one way of making that happen, and it is significant that it occurs on the anniversary of the RSAA decision," says Hamilton.

"The Zaoui case has shown us how readily some of our basic human rights can be brushed aside, " says Hamilton, " in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. In that sense, The Zaoui Concert provides an occasion for us to stand up and support everyone's right to fair and compassionate treatment before the law."

The Zaoui Concert will be a unique event. It provides an opportunity for people to join together and celebrate human rights in New Zealand. The evening is designed to appeal to a broad audience, and the event will showcase some of New Zealand's leading musicians and comedians.

Benefit concerts are less common now, so it is very significant that so many of New Zealand's leading performers are willing to lend their time for free and take a stand for human rights in New Zealand and to show compassion for Ahmed Zaoui's wife and 4 children.

The Zaoui Concert The Opera House, Wellington Sunday August 1st, 7pm. Tickets from Ticketek, ph 04 384 3840. Prices: $25 full / $12.50 radio active card holders/students/community service card holders Concert supported by Amnesty International, Radio Active and the Human Rights Foundation.

For further information, interviews and images, please contact Melanie Hamilton.Email:


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