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

 

Prison protest today (Saturday)


28 October 2006

Media Release:

Amnesty International supports freedom for Thomas Yadegary


Prison protest today (Saturday)

Amnesty International has added its voice in support of the release of Thomas Yadegary from Auckland's Mt Eden prison.

Supporters of Thomas Yadegary will gather outside Auckland's Mt Eden prison from 2pm to 3pm to call on the government to release him from 23 months of incarceration without trial or charge.

In a letter to Thomas's lawyer late last week Amnesty has reported in detail on the up-to-date situation in Iran for Christian converts such as Thomas. As a result of this comprehensive review Amnesty has concluded-

"Amnesty International believes it is not now safe for Mr Yadegary to be returned to Iran, and any such return would see New Zealand in breach of its international human rights obligations.

Amnesty International therefore supports My Yadegary's immediate removal from prison and for him to be provided with a "complimentary form of protection" which would allow him to reside and work in New Zealand until such time as it is safe for him to return home."

Amnesty's position will be highlighted at the prison protest today where copies of the detailed Amnesty analysis will be available.

Amnesty International's position directly contradicts that of the Minister of Immigration who has repeatedly claimed it would be safe for Thomas to be returned to Iran.

Background:
Thomas is an Iranian who is being held because he refuses to sign papers which would result in him being forced to return to Iran where his life would be at risk.

Late last month Associate Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove once again washed his hands of Thomas's situation so his detention is due to continue indefinitely.

Thomas came to New Zealand in 1993 and applied for refugee status. For 12 years he worked hard and was a model citizen. Despite the strong support of a wide circle of friends and his Christian community, which includes support from his Catholic bishop, his application was turned down and on 1 November 2004 he was taken into custody at Mt Eden to await deportation. He has been there since.

The government is effectively keeping him hostage in prison - to be released only if he agrees to being deported to Iran! This is the type of human rights tragedy the government has condemned in many countries around the world in a variety of contexts.

It's ironic that as an MP, David Cunliffe wrote a strong letter (3 pages) of support for Thomas and closely argued his case to remain in New Zealand. Cunliffe himself is now the Minister of Immigration and deaf to all appeals on Thomas's behalf.

Thomas's continuing incarceration is a travesty of natural justice and a disgraceful abuse of human rights.

We have our own little Guantánamo Bay right here in the heart of Mount Eden.

Public support for Thomas has been growing quickly. Both the National Party and United Future are backing him to stay as is the Catholic community and Catholic bishop. (Thomas converted to Catholicism 9 years ago)

Thomas is due to appear in court on Friday November 3rd and GPJA will join his supporters in court for his appearance.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Panic In The Pacific Over China


For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...
More>>



 
 



Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>


Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>


Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>


Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>


Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>


National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels