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


Greens angered by shameful appeal

Greens angered by shameful appeal

Green MP Keith Locke is angry that the Government is trying to block consideration of Ahmed Zaoui's human rights.

The Government is appealing a High Court decision that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security must take human rights legislation into account in his deliberations on Mr Zaoui's case.

"It is shameful that a Labour government would go to such lengths to deny Mr Zaoui his human rights," said Mr Locke, the party's Security and Intelligence spokesperson.

"Mr Zaoui could well lose his case if his human rights are not taken into account. His continued presence could be defined as a threat to New Zealand's "national security" if it affected our diplomatic relations with the Algerian regime.

"Such an outcome can only be guarded against by accepting Mr Zaoui's right to criticise injustice in his homeland, as guaranteed under our Bill of Rights, and his right not to be returned to persecution or torture in Algeria, as guaranteed under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture.

"Any suggestion that the Minister of Immigration can prevent such an injustice is laughable. The Immigration Act specifically prevents her from giving adequate consideration of such matters. Before she signs a Security Risk Certificate she is only permitted an "oral briefing" from the SIS Director, which "may not be recorded". After the Inspector-General reviews the Certificate she is only allowed three days to accept or reject it.

"She simply doesn't have time to adequately assess the detail of Mr Zaoui's case and what would happen to him if he returned to Algeria. She would inevitably rely on the Inspector-General's determination because he would have spent months on the case and heard and cross-examined Mr Zaoui and many witnesses. However, the Inspector-General's report will be fatally flawed because it will not take into account a critical element: Mr Zaoui's human rights.

"The outcome could be what many people have feared, that Mr Zaoui could be kicked out of New Zealand, not because he has done anything wrong, but because it serves our perceived diplomatic interests.

"This government is showing an appalling disregard for human rights and no compassion for Mr Zaoui. He is already suffering severe mental stress from his 14 months in jail and the Government is causing him even more anguish by taking this appeal," said Mr Locke.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election