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Picking terrorists

PRESS RELEASE

Thu 01 Dec 05

Hone Harawira

Member of Parliament for Tai Tokerau

“Maori have been treated like terrorists for nearly 200 years, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the country reacts to this kind of treatment,” said Hone Harawira, MP for Tai Tokerau, when told of the proposed amendments to terrorism legislation which could see New Zealanders defined as terrorists and have their assets seized, even if the government knew they were not terrorists.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee yesterday reported back on its review of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, and Harawira labelled their comments as “a massive infringement of the human rights of all citizens of Aotearoa.”

"NZ officials are telling us that our Prime Minister can’t challenge the UN labeling anyone a terrorist,” said Harawira. “Although I don’t suppose she’d be too fussed about it if the Maori Party got labeled as a terrorist organization.”

“But all joking aside, it seems that even our own courts won’t have the right to conduct any reviews. Apparently our officials have bought the line that the New Zealand Government has no choice but to kowtow to the United Nations, even when they know the UN to be wrong.

“I can understand the economic pressure to conform to the path of American madness, but I’m a little surprised at how easily our officials have rolled over for them.

"Apparently we already have the legislation to allow for UN designated terrorists to be brought under scrutiny here, but it seems that’s not enough. The UN is telling us that their list is the only list, and that any evidence we might have to the contrary, ain’t worth the paper its written on.

“Basically what this new law means is that if the Springbok Tour were to occur next year, tens of thousands of New Zealanders could have been labeled as terrorists for supporting the African National Congress’ fight against apartheid.

“A scary thought that for a little country like ours that cherishes it’s right to stand up for itself. On that basis I can see how our opposition to nuclear power and nuclear arms might one day be included as being supportive of terrorism as well. And then our opposition to foreign investment, and then …

“I congratulate Keith Locke for bringing this to the nation’s attention. When the freedom of our citizens is at stake, we should not be trying to rush through legislation to suit anyone else.

ENDS

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