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

 

Labour’s Own Guantánamo Bay – Here in Mt Eden

Labour’s own Guantánamo Bay – here in the heart of Mt Eden

For the past 23 months Thomas Yadegary, an Iranian, has been imprisoned without charge or trial in Auckland’s Mt Eden prison.

Last week Associate Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove once again washed his hands of Thomas’s situation so his detention is due to continue indefinitely.

Thomas came to New Zealand in 1993 and applied for refugee status. For 12 years he worked hard and was a model citizen. Despite the strong support of a wide circle of friends and his Christian community, which includes support from his Catholic bishop, his application was turned down and on 1 November 2004 he was taken into custody at Mt Eden to await deportation. He has been there since.


Photo of Thomas with Bill Clinton: This photo shows Thomas when he met with Bill Clinton while Thomas was working as a chef at the Auckland hotel Clinton was visiting.

Because Iran is not safe for him to return the government has been pressuring him to sign an agreement absolving the Minister from responsibility in the likely case that Thomas is arrested, tortured or killed on his return to Iran. Thomas has refused to endanger his life by doing so and has therefore been placed in an absolutely impossible situation by the government.

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.

Labour’s record on immigration has been unbelievably inhumane. The simple truth is that if Thomas Yadegary were a white Zimbabwean farmer he would not be treated as he is now.

It’s ironic that as an MP, David Cunliffe wrote a glowing letter of support for Thomas and said he would do all he could to support him. Cunliffe himself is now the Minister of Immigration and deaf to all appeals on Thomas’s behalf.

It is quite impossible to believe that had Thomas been a white Zimbabwean farmer he would have been treated in such a shameful, appalling way by a country which professes support for human rights.

Thomas’s continuing incarceration is a travesty of natural justice and a disgraceful abuse of human rights.

We have our own little Guantanemo Bay right here in the heart of Mount Eden.

GPJA will discuss protest action in support of Thomas at a meeting in Auckland this evening.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election