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Human Rights Violation Likely If Bill Becomes Law

Human Rights Violation Likely If Bill Becomes Law

The Human Rights Foundation and the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties, appearing before the Government Administration Select Committee, have questioned the need for the latest legislative amendments introduced in the name of improving national security.

“There is a danger with this sort of legislation that it does more damage to democracy than the supposed evil it purports to confront,” said Peter Hosking, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

“New Zealand rightly prides itself on its human rights record”, said Peter Hosking. “Human rights are at the core of our foreign policy and programmes for international development assistance. Both will be undermined by the measures in this Bill that remove or limit fundamental human rights to an extent far greater than any demonstrable need”.

Auckland Council of Civil Liberties Chairperson Tim McBride told the Select Committee that the Bill should not be proceeded with until there has been a review of the security-risk certificate process (already subject to a range of criticism in relation to Ahmed Zaoui, including from the United Nations Committee against Torture) and the use of classified information.

“It may be that security legislation reform and a review of the SIS are needed before New Zealand can justify any more ‘national security’ provisions,” he said.

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