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Fitzsimons, Donald and Locke to visit Zaoui today

17 October, 2003

Media Advisory
Fitzsimons, Donald and Locke to visit Zaoui today

Green Co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke will visit Ahmed Zaoui in Auckland Central Remand Prison in Mt Eden, at 2.30pm this afternoon.

They expect the visit to be around 30 minutes long. After the visit the Green MPs will be available to discuss the Zaoui case outside the Remand Prison.

Mr Locke, who has visited Mr Zaoui numerous times since his imprisonment last December, said they wished to check on the conditions of his imprisonment in this new location. Mr Zaoui was transferred from Paremoremo Prison yesterday.

"I am thunderstruck that Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel has today blamed Zaoui's lawyers for his lengthy detention," said Mr Locke.

"The minister has the power, at any time, to withdraw the Security Risk Certificate that is keeping him behind bars. She should do this in light of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority's decision that he is a legitimate refugee.

"It is outrageous for the minister to criticise Mr Zaoui's lawyers for using every legal avenue to get justice for their client. His lawyers have had to initiate proceedings in the High Court because the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security is denying Mr Zaoui's right to know the charges against him.

"Lianne Dalziel seems more concerned at the political embarrassment the Zaoui case is causing her than the fate of a genuine asylum seeker fleeing from persecution and torture in Algeria," said Mr Locke.

Green MPs visit Ahmed Zaoui Auckland Central Remand Prison Lauder Rd, Mt Eden 2.30pm, Friday 17 October Available for media at 3pm


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