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Forget The Courts - A Media Lynch Mob Will Do

Globalpeace&Justice Auckland

15 November 2007
Media Release:

Forget The Courts - A Media Lynch Mob Will Do The Job

The police are delighted, Ron Mark has wet himself with excitement and the Prime Minister feigns concern.

The excited "shock-horror" publishing of suppressed evidence from the court cases against the 17 arrested in so-called "anti-terror" raids last month has reached a new low for democracy.

A television crew attempting to cross-examine an accused is bizarre enough but more importantly the publishing of alleged conversations between four or five of the arrested people has been done with no context.

The threat to "declare war on New Zealand" and most of the other quotes so breathlessly reported are classic stupidity and coming from the person they do they are more sad than serious.

Likewise anyone in court who heard the context and discussion of the so-called "threat to assassinate" George Bush would not have recognised it as the serious threat it was reported to be in newspapers and on television.

Similarly with the other so-called "threats".

The public has been shamefully treated by this titillating presentation of misleading information.

All the 17 arrested have been maligned firstly as terrorists by the police and now because published rubbish from a few conversations is being used to taint everyone.

More worryingly not a single person from Labour or National has spoken strongly of the rights of those arrested to receive a fair trial. From the Prime Minister (who earlier made her own deeply prejudicial comments) down, there has been only muted support for the court suppression orders and the rights of the accused to receive a fair trial.

Yesterday's publication of material from the police raids and its misuse by the police, some media and politicians underlines the dreadful danger inherent in the new police powers of surveillance. GPJA will campaign to have these powers revoked.

The campaign against the anti-terror laws and the criminalising of dissent in New Zealand will take to the streets for a national day of protest on Saturday 1 December 2007.

Meanwhile GPJA continues to support a full independent inquiry into the police operation. This would reveal all the police evidence in a proper context that can only occur after the evidence is tested in court and the accused have had the opportunity to present their side of the story.


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