Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Release Zaoui: Open Letter To Helen Clark

6 October 2003

3/91 Austin Street Wellington 6001

The Right Hon. Helen Clark Prime Minister Parliament Wellington

Dear Ms Clark,

I am writing to express horror at New Zealand’s treatment of Ahmed Zaoui, which seems to represent our version of Guantanamo Bay. It is apparent that his pursuers are or are connected with the murderous military regime in Algeria where Mr Zaoui had won a seat in Algeria’s first democratic election for thirty years.

Charges against him have been examined by the Refugee Status Appeal authority and dismissed. The Security Intelligence Service claims that he is a security risk and has issued a security risk certificate against him. As the reasons of the SIS or the Government’s reasons for this are secret we cannot know why this has been done or at whose behest he has been treated in an appallingly inhumane way. Interring Mr Zaoui in solitary confinement, especially for so long, on the basis of unsubstantiated charges from dubious sources is consistent with a rule of terror rather than a rule of law. It is a breach both of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the New Zealand Bill of Rights, according to Amnesty International which organisation points to this case as a clear departure from New Zealand’s international obligations.

Now that Tony Taylor, trauma consultant, has examined Mr Zaoui over three days of interviews and seen him as unfit as a result of his treatment to present his case it would be unconscionable to fail to follow Professor Taylor’s recommendation to “lift the environmental restrictions swiftly” and provide “appropriate mental, physical and social management and care in a supportive milieu accustomed to dealing with refugees that have been interrogated and tortured”.

I cannot see any reason to fail to act on refugee status for Mr Zaoui and his family. That he has suffered so much following being granted refugee status here reflects very gravely on this country. I would like to know where the pressure has come from for your Government to act in this way.

I wrote to the Hon. L Dalziel on this matter. In effect she denied all responsibility so please do not refer the matter to her again. It can only be dealt with at the highest level.

The New Zealand Government should also be calling for the release of Mordechai Vanunu, the conscientious whistle blower on Israel’s secret nuclear production facility, and should affirm our non-nuclear status , so central to our national self –image.

Once again the New Zealand Government is countenancing Indonesia’s maltreatment, including the killing of many people, of a region under its rule, Aceh, as it did in the case of East Timor . Again, a policy which must be reversed to accord with any claim to be acting according to human rights principles.

Yours sincerely,

Jocelyn Brooks

cc Hon L Dalziel Hon P Goff Hon P Swain

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election