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Dropping of Urewera charges a victory for common sense

6 September 2011
Media Release:

Dropping of Urewera charges a victory for common sense

GPJA (Global Peace and Justice Auckland) is delighted to see 11 of the remaining 15 Urewera defendants have their arms charges dropped by the police.

Today’s decision is four years too late but is still a victory for the defendants, for civil liberties and for common sense.

The police case which began to crumble the very afternoon of the so-called terror raids on 15 October 2007 is all but over. The police should now close the last door on this sorry saga and drop the charges against the remaining four defendants.

Crown prosecutor Simon Moore today gave some face-saving reasons for dropping the charges but they don’t provide even a fig leaf to cover this most embarrassing of police blunders which amounted to a dedicated assault on civil liberties and the right to dissent.

The saddest thing is that each of these defendants will have this issue chasing them for the rest of their lives because whenever their names are searched on the internet the “terrorist” label will be attached.

It’s time to reviewl the so-called anti-terror laws and the massive resources poured into the police and SIS to detect non-existent terrorism in New Zealand. Police powers need curtailing and the resources to undermine dissent removed.

In the meantime GPJA will continue to campaign for the remaining charges to be dropped.


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