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Locke moves motion for release of Palestinian MPs

28 August 2006

Locke moves a motion for release of Palestinian MPs

It's time for the New Zealand Government to return the favour it was granted by Palestinian politicians who helped in the release of captured cameraman Olaf Wiig, the Green Party says.

Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke is putting onto the Parliamentary Order Paper a motion for the New Zealand Government to call for the release of over 20 members of the Palestinian Parliament detained by Israel.

"Our government has been praising the critical role Palestinian politicians played in Olaf Wiig's release. We should be returning the favour and calling for our fellow Palestinian parliamentarians to be freed.

"Tomorrow I will be putting on Parliament's Order Paper a Notice of Motion calling on the Israeli authorities to release the Palestinian Speaker, Abdelaiziz El-Dweik, Deputy Prime Minister, Naser al-Shaer, and the other Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament detained by Israel on or since June 29.

"The motion will also note that the Inter-parliamentary Union and the European Parliament have also protested the arrests.

"It is quite unacceptable for elected parliamentarians to be imprisoned, essentially as political hostages in the Israel - Palestine dispute," Mr Locke says.

ENDS

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