GPJA Prison Protest for Thomas Yadegary Today
GPJA Supports Prison Protest for Thomas Yadegary Today
Saturday 9 April 2pm to 3.30pm Mt Eden Remand Prison GPJA is once more supporting a protest called by friends and associates of Thomas Hossein Yadegary who is in Mt Eden Remand Prison awaiting deportation to Iran.
Thomas has been imprisoned since November last year because his application for refugee status has been turned down.
Deportation is planned despite the fact that Thomas has been living in New Zealand for the past 12 years and has contributed to our society over that time as a respected chef as well as in a variety of roles in the wider community. He is supported by his friends, colleagues, associates and members of the Christian community to which he belongs.
The government is effectively keeping him hostage in prison – to be released only if he agrees to being deported to Iran! This is the type of human rights tragedy the government has condemned in many countries around the world in a variety of contexts. It is unconscionable that this should occur in New Zealand.
Even the Howard government in Australia we understand has issued temporary visas to people in Thomas’s situation. Surely the Clark government can do the same here!
We are aware that there are other people in a similar plight in Mt Eden Prison – such as A Mahebbi, also from Iran, whose young children joined the previous protest outside the prison in February to appeal for his release.
Immigration policy is always an ugly mix of prejudice, political expediency and racism. It is impossible to ignore the simple truth that if Thomas Yadegary and others in similar circumstances were white Zimbabweans they would not be treated as they are now.