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Locke welcomes Brash criticism of Zaoui detention

29 October 2004

Locke welcomes Brash criticism of Zaoui detention

Green MP Keith Locke has welcomed Don Brash's concern at the length of time Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui has been in prison.

"I agree with the National leader that it is 'pretty unsatisfactory' that Mr Zaoui has been in jail for so long without charge," said Mr Locke, the Green Party's Human Rights Spokesperson.

"I'm keen to work with Dr Brash on the Zaoui case. We both recognise that the Security Risk Certificate legislation is inadequate and needs to be overhauled. The Greens and National working together is therefore likely to hasten a reasonable solution to the Zaoui case.

"In all the time Mr Zaoui has been in prison no one has come up with credible evidence that he is a serious risk to our security. Even Dr Brash, who as Opposition Leader has been secretly briefed on the case by the SIS, admits this.

"Clearly it is inhumane to keep Mr Zaoui behind bars as the guinea pig in a faulty legal process. Mr Zaoui's twenty-three months in jail, separated from his family, is long enough.

"The Labour Government seems deaf to Mr Zaoui's plight, even though he was accepted as a legitimate refugee by the Refugee Status Appeals Authority," said Mr Locke.

ENDS

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