Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Open Letter To All Labour MPs Re: Ahmed Zaoui

19 November 2003

Rt Hon Helen Clark MP
PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

Dear Labour colleague

A further open letter to all Labour MPs re Ahmed Zaoui

Ahmed Zaoui should be released from prison and allegations from whatever sources put squarely to him so that he is afforded natural justice.

I have previously written to you about this important issue. I also briefed the Progressive caucus the Tuesday after the Refugee Status Appeals Authority made its decision in August and then began a trail of correspondence with responsible Ministers.

Ahmed Zaoui, a former Algerian MP, is a victim of the oppression of the brutal Algerian regime. He has fought against social, political and economic injustice. In his political philosophy he fits easily with the stated political philosophy of the Labour Party and the Progressive Party.

The case against him from his arrival in New Zealand has been built on the fabrications of the Algerian regime which has sentenced him to death. That regime has no credibility. There is a plethora of material documenting its atrocious human rights record. The party of Ahmed Zaoui, the FIS, has been a particular target for repression. One work that would be helpful to Labour Party members’ understanding is An Inquiry into the Algerian Massacres, edited by Bedjaoui, Aroua and Ait-Larbi, with forewords by Noam Chomsky and Lord Avebury (ISBN 2-9401 30-08-6.) There are a number of reviews of the book on the web.

Customs, Immigration, Police, Corrections, Foreign Affairs and the SIS have mishandled this case. You need only to look at the ludicrous Police ‘Threat Assessment’ and the chain of events that followed as a key example. That flawed document resulted in Mr. Zaoui being held, without charge, in the maximum security wing at Paremoremo.

The weight of evidence shows that Ahmed Zaoui should have been allowed to stay in the community. Attesting to the fact that he is not a terrorist have been leading academic experts and Algerian religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, human rights organisations and many others.

The allegations against him come from a brutal regime and the unreliable security organisations of France and Belgium. The latter are deeply compromised by their close association with the Algerian regime.

Our own refugee tribunal, the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, has found Mr. Zaoui to be a refugee and a man of the highest integrity. This decision was reached after an exhaustive hearing where all evidence, including that of Mr. Zaoui and that put by the SIS, was thoroughly tested.

In the RSAA hearing the improper actions of the agencies involved were clearly demonstrated. The Ministers responsible for the departments must take seriously findings that reflect so badly on their departments. Those findings showed that proper legal processes have been circumvented and that the actions of the departments have led to the frame-up of an innocent man. This is indeed a serious issue.

I find it dismaying that our progressive government has placed itself on the side of the Algerian regime rather than on the side of its victim.

The time has come to put aside the embarrassment that Ministers may suffer through the mishandling of this case.

Ahmed Zaoui must be released and justice observed in his case.

Yours sincerely

Matt Robson

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news