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Zaoui Decision: Security Based On Human Rights

9 December 2004

Zaoui Decision: Security Based On Human Rights

Amnesty International has welcomed the decision of the NZ Supreme Court this afternoon to grant bail to Algerian refugee, Ahmed Zaoui, and urged the Government to move to restore the credibility of its stated commitment to create and sustain a world-leading human rights environment.

The Crown was clearly unable to justify his continuing imprisonment before the Court, raising once again the interpretation of ˜national security" that enables someone found to be a refugee fleeing persecution to be denied their right to asylum, said AINZ's executive director, Ced Simpson.

He said that the Government must now move speedily to ensure Mr Zaoui has the fair hearing he has so far been denied under the security risk certificate process “ one meeting the standards established by the European Court of Human Rights.

Real security involves adhering to the just rule of law. If the Government is not prepared to have the â threat to national security alleged by the Director of Security tested rigorously in a proper judicial process, with limited procedural restrictions if absolutely necessary, the Minister of Immigration should withdraw his reliance on the certificate immediately and allow Mr Zaoui the asylum he seeks.

ENDS

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