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Report of UN’s Committee against Torture on NZ

21 May 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Report of UN’s Committee against Torture on New Zealand

The report on New Zealand by the United Nation’s Committee against Torture is cause for concern says Matt Robson, Progressive MP.

“The report criticises the lack of natural justice in the provision of the security risk certificate. Changes to this process need to occur now, not after the Ahmed Zaoui issue is determined.

“It is also necessary to ensure, given the Committee’s findings, that the solitary confinement imposed on Ahmed Zaoui for ten months is subject of an independent review.

“New Zealand’s immigration legislation also comes in for criticism because it does not adequately protect torture victims from being returned to the regime under which they suffered.

“The Committee has clearly indicated that they are of the opinion that the ‘fight against terrorism’ has led to a position where there is a ‘breach of the Convention* and undue hardship placed on asylum seekers.’

“In the light of this report, it is time to consider releasing Ahmed Zaoui. He should no longer be penalised for the fact that New Zealand has not complied with the convention nor afforded him natural justice,” said Matt Robson, Progressive MP.

ENDS

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