Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Release Zaoui: Open Letter To Helen Clark

6 October 2003

3/91 Austin Street Wellington 6001

The Right Hon. Helen Clark Prime Minister Parliament Wellington

Dear Ms Clark,

I am writing to express horror at New Zealand’s treatment of Ahmed Zaoui, which seems to represent our version of Guantanamo Bay. It is apparent that his pursuers are or are connected with the murderous military regime in Algeria where Mr Zaoui had won a seat in Algeria’s first democratic election for thirty years.

Charges against him have been examined by the Refugee Status Appeal authority and dismissed. The Security Intelligence Service claims that he is a security risk and has issued a security risk certificate against him. As the reasons of the SIS or the Government’s reasons for this are secret we cannot know why this has been done or at whose behest he has been treated in an appallingly inhumane way. Interring Mr Zaoui in solitary confinement, especially for so long, on the basis of unsubstantiated charges from dubious sources is consistent with a rule of terror rather than a rule of law. It is a breach both of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the New Zealand Bill of Rights, according to Amnesty International which organisation points to this case as a clear departure from New Zealand’s international obligations.

Now that Tony Taylor, trauma consultant, has examined Mr Zaoui over three days of interviews and seen him as unfit as a result of his treatment to present his case it would be unconscionable to fail to follow Professor Taylor’s recommendation to “lift the environmental restrictions swiftly” and provide “appropriate mental, physical and social management and care in a supportive milieu accustomed to dealing with refugees that have been interrogated and tortured”.

I cannot see any reason to fail to act on refugee status for Mr Zaoui and his family. That he has suffered so much following being granted refugee status here reflects very gravely on this country. I would like to know where the pressure has come from for your Government to act in this way.

I wrote to the Hon. L Dalziel on this matter. In effect she denied all responsibility so please do not refer the matter to her again. It can only be dealt with at the highest level.

The New Zealand Government should also be calling for the release of Mordechai Vanunu, the conscientious whistle blower on Israel’s secret nuclear production facility, and should affirm our non-nuclear status , so central to our national self –image.

Once again the New Zealand Government is countenancing Indonesia’s maltreatment, including the killing of many people, of a region under its rule, Aceh, as it did in the case of East Timor . Again, a policy which must be reversed to accord with any claim to be acting according to human rights principles.

Yours sincerely,

Jocelyn Brooks

cc Hon L Dalziel Hon P Goff Hon P Swain

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding “No.” Political debates have little effect on voter behaviour, let alone on election outcomes. Crucially, the limited effect they do have does not involve a change in voters’ policy preferences... More>>


National Agriculture Policy: Will Restore Farmer Confidence And Pride

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future. Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today. “Agriculture ... More>>


Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>


Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>


PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels