Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Audio: Dr Kumi Naidoo Criticises NZ "Terror" Laws

Scoop Audio + Images: Renowned International Civil Society Activist Criticises NZ's Terror Laws


By Spike Mountjoy


Click for big version

A visiting anti-poverty campaigner and veteran of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement says New Zealand's anti-terrorism laws would never pass in his country because they would breach the constitution.

Speaking in Wellington on Monday, Dr Kumi Naidoo, Chief Executive of CIVICUS, a global umbrella group of 500 civic action groups, says the world-wide reaction to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US has been predictably tragic.

“A few days after 9-11 we issued a statement to the leaders of the world saying ‘don't undermine the rule of law, don't act in anger, and don't act in revenge because if you do that you're going to make it worse’.”

Naidoo says activists all around the world are now feeling the chilling effects of laws introduced in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

He says he explained this to former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, with whom he recently shared a forum discussing the "War on Terror".

“You can't say the war on terrorism is supposed to defend our civilisation and our culture and so on, and then in the process of so-called defending our way of life, start decimating all the things that are dear, not respecting the rule of law, detaining people without trial, religious profiling, invading people's privacy and so on. What exactly are you defending?"

Naidoo says most countries passed counter-terrorism legislation after 9-11, but many of those countries are now reviewing the more contentious elements of their laws.

“You all need to challenge your government to be consistent in the way that they act on these issues, and I think when they overreact they undermine the notion of the rule of law. And the last thing you want is for people - particularly from socially excluded groups and historically oppressed groups - to feel that they can’t trust the law because that is the worst outcome in terms of undermining democracy overall.”

Naidoo is also the chair of Global Call to Action Against Poverty, a group calling for trade justice and debt cancellation for developing countries.

“If you think security is just national security in the way we understand it, military, police, surveillance and so on, you're never going to actually create real security, because if you don't link that to the notion of human security more broadly . . . as a friend of mine in Thailand says, ‘Millions of hungry stomachs are collectively a weapon of mass destruction too’.”


Click for big version

*************

Listen to the audio below of Kumi Naidoo's address in Wellington.


DOWNLOAD MP3



DOWNLOAD MP3


Click for big version


DOWNLOAD MP3

**********

Background on Dr Kumi Naidoo Courtesy of the Council for International Development of Aotearoa/New Zealand


Click for big version

Kumi Naidoo was born in South Africa and was actively involved in the struggle against apartheid from the age of 15. In 1986, Kumi was arrested and charged for violating the state of emergency regulations in South Africa. Upon his release from prison, Kumi was subject to persistent police harassment and went underground for one year before living in exile in England until 1989. During this time, Kumi was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned a doctorate in political sociology.

After Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990, Kumi returned to South Africa and has worked on a wide range of issues including the legalization of the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party and acting as official spokesperson of the Independent Electoral Commission. Kumi also organised the National Men's March Against Violence on Women and Children in 1997.

Kumi was the first civil society leader to be invited to give the World Bank Presidential Fellows Lecture in 2003 and was recently appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the eminent Persons Group on United Nations-Civil Society Relations chaired by former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>


The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>