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Human Rights Foundation calls for Zaoui release

Human Rights Foundation calls for Zaoui release and Greig resignation

The Human Rights Foundation has called for the SIS Inspector-General Laurie Greig to resign in the wake of today’s High Court decision that removes him from conducting the review of Ahmed Zaoui’s National Security Risk Certificate.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Peter Hosking, says that the High Court judgment calls into question the Inspector-General’s ability to fulfil his role. “As the public’s watchdog over the SIS, the Inspector-General must demonstrate complete independence from the SIS, fairness and a lack of bias”, says Peter Hosking.

“The High Court has criticised his independence, his impartiality and his apparent prejudice against refugees. The Inspector-General was found to have viewed the SIS with undue favour, and had sprung to the defence of the SIS in the media. Peter Hosking says that being too close to the SIS completely undermines the Inspector-General’s ability to have the public confidence his role needs and has implications for any other cases he might have to deal with.

The Foundation considers that pending determination of his case, Mr Zaoui should be immediately released. Both the Immigration and the Corrections departments have claimed not to have the power to release him, but this cannot be right, said Peter Hosking. “The Crown has detained him; it must also be able to release him,” he said. The appointment of a new IG to review Mr Zaoui’s national risk certificate will take yet more time, as will the determination of the Crown’s appeal against the ruling that his human rights have to be taken into account. He has now been in custody for nearly 16 months without one shred of proof yet offered that he is any sort of security risk. On the contrary, everything revealed so far reinforces the decision of the RSAA that he is a genuine refugee. “It is time to give him his freedom until his case is resolved”, he says.

Not to be confused with the Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation promoting human rights through research-based education and advocacy.

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