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Concert: Top Musicians Calls For Justice For Zaoui

Auckland Concert: Top Musicians Calls For Justice For Zaoui

Photographs By Scoop Chief Reporter Kevin List

Dave Dobbyn.

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Dave Dobbyn.

Dave Dobbyn, Don McGlashan, Chris Knox, Nesian Mystik were included in a strong line up of top musicians who have called for justice and the release from prison of Ahmed Zaouiat a concert held in Auckland on Sunday.

Ahmed Zaoui was not able to hear the music from his cell in Mt Eden Remand Prison, but that didn’t stop some of Auckland's best-known artists from performing a fundraising concert in his honour, at the Kings Arms, on Sunday.

The artists’ all called for justice for Ahmed Zaoui, an elected Algerian MP who fled his country in 1992 finally arriving in New Zealand and was granted refugee status. The New Zealand SIS issued a security risk certificate against Mr Zaoui which in effect has kept him locked up in prison without charge ever since.

All proceeds from the concert will go to assist Ahmed Zaoui's wife, Leila, and their four children, who are currently in hiding in South East Asia.

The King’s Arms in Auckland had a steady flow of around 400 people throughout the afternoon and evening supporting justice for Ahmed Zaoui.

Ahmed Zaoui’s lawyer Deborah Manning.
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Ahmed Zaoui’s lawyer Deborah Manning.

Don McGlashan.
Click for big version

Don McGlashan.
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Nesian Mystik.
Click for big version

Nesian Mystik.

Nesian Mystik.
Click for big version

The artists have said: "To date Mr Zaoui has been held without trial for over 22 months, ten of them in solitary confinement. No charges have been laid, and it's becoming clear that there is no case to answer," says Don McGlashan. "From what I've read of the case, Ahmed Zaoui comes through as a moderate and a peacemaker, and all the "evidence" to the contrary can be traced back to the military rulers of Algeria, who see even peaceful opposition leaders as a threat."

"New Zealanders pride ourselves on our respect for justice and human rights, but the way we're treating Ahmed Zaoui does not reflect this, it is wrong" says Chris Knox. "Our own Refugee Status Appeals Authority says so, Amnesty International says so, the courts say so, and, increasingly, ordinary Kiwis are saying so."

"Mr. Zaoui's treatment here is shameful," says Dave Dobbyn: "Our government is unjust. Ahmed Zaoui should be released or given a fair trail. Our hearts go out to him and his family. Please come and support them."


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