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The main victims of terrorism are innocents

22 October 2003

Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

The main victims of terrorism are innocents

The Progressive Party supported the counter-terrorism legislation today that strengthens the ability of the community to defeat the threat of fascism in New Zealand because the main victims of terrorism are always innocents, Matt Robson said today.

"A terrorist is a person who uses or favours violent and intimidating methods of coercing a community into adopting political or religious ideas because they have no chance of winning a free and democratic election.

"Terrorism can be committed by individuals or groups - such as in New York in 2001 or Bali in 2002 - or by a state against people under its control as by the Israeli, Syrian and Saudi Arabian governments," the Progressive Party deputy leader said.

"We are a democratic nation and every democratic society has the right and obligation to protect itself from fascism while also taking precious care not to infringe on long-cherished civil liberties," Matt Robson said.

"This legislation strikes a balance between the urgency of protecting New Zealand from the international terrorism while also ensuring that our democratic institutions aren't undermined in the war on fascism," Matt Robson said.

The Select Committee process included much-needed safeguards to protect citizens' rights to legitimate protests and strikes.


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