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Former Iraqis Meet Persecutors - Peters

Former Iraqis Meet Persecutors

Rt Hon Winston Peters has urged the government to instruct immigration officials to carry out checks back at least five years to find former officials and soldiers who served Saddam Hussein’s genocidal reign in Iraq.

Mr Peters said the checks should also cover asylum seekers and refugees because a number of people had slipped into the country under the auspices of the United Nations.

“A number of genuine Iraqi people who suffered under Saddam’s infamous regime have contacted my office to point out that they have been meeting some of their former tormentors in the street.

“One man told me today that he now knows how Jews who survived the holocaust must have been affected when they met former Nazi persecutors.”

Mr Peters said that he had been informed that many former Iraqi officials had fled to both New Zealand and Canada and it was important that they be tracked down.

“However, few people can have much faith in the New Zealand Immigration Service, which is not helped by the cavalier attitude of government ministers.

“For years we have been sending cases to them and they disappear into some kind of bureaucratic black hole.

“It is time for a major investigation into all the arrivals from suspect countries,” said Mr Peters, “and this must also include some of the dubious asylum seekers and refugees so beloved by this security unconscious government.”

ENDS

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