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AUSA offers $5000 for citizen's arrest of Rice

24 July 2008

AUSA offers $5000 for citizen's arrest of Rice

Auckland students seek the arrest of a high-level United States official visiting Auckland this weekend. New Zealand's largest students' association has offered any Auckland University student a $5000 reward if they are able to make a successful citizen's arrest of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Auckland over the weekend, for her role in overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.

"It is hard enough living as a student in Auckland these days without having a war criminal coming to town, so we thought we'd give our students a chance to make a dent in their student loans and work for global justice at the same time", says AUSA President David Do.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was overseen by Condoleeza Rice and other US officials in her role as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State (equivalent to Minister of Foreign Affairs).

“Generally when US officials visit overseas they are heavily shielded from the general public, and unfortunately its not hard to see why,” adds David Do.

"Rice is the public spokesperson for an illegal and immoral occupation that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the continued oppression of the people of Iraq. We believe Rice should be arrested and detained in accordance with the law and tried fairly at the International Criminal Court for her role in these war crimes," said AUSA International Affairs Officer Omar Hamed, who moved the motion for the reward at Monday’s AUSA Executive meeting.

Citizen’s arrests of high ranking government officials have been attempted recently:

-John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped an attempted citizen's arrest by author and activist George Monbiot at the British Hay Arts Festival in late May 2008.

-Peace activist Peter McGregor attempted a citizen’s arrest of Australia’s then Attorney-General Philip Ruddock as a war criminal at the University of New South Wales in July 2007

-Campaigner Peter Tatchell has twice attempted to make a citizen's arrest on Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.


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