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

 

GPJA: Thomas Yadegary released after 2 yrs 5m


Thomas Yadegary released after 2 years 5 months detention in Mt Eden prison

GPJA is delighted for Thomas Yadegary that he has been released from Mt Eden prison at lunchtime today after almost two and a half years of detention without trial.

Thomas was released after a High Court decision was made late yesterday which resulted from a judicial review application heard in December. This judicial review was of an earlier District Court decision to keep Thomas incarcerated.

The High Court are refusing release of the decision itself because government lawyers have said they may apply for its suppression.

It would be good for the government to come clean and process Thomas as an immigrant with skills as a chef which are badly needed in the community.

The decision today brings into focus the appalling government policies which kept an innocent man behind bars here for so long.

New Zealand is not a CIA rendering facility, a gulag in Stalinist Russia or Guantanemo Bay. This is New Zealand where we are supposed to give people a fair go.

Background:

Thomas is an Iranian who has been in detention without trial for the past 29 months in Auckland’s Mt Eden prison. He arrived in New Zealand in 1993 as a political asylum seeker. While waiting for his case to be considered he studied English and trained as a chef working in top Auckland hotels. He worked hard, paid taxes, saved money, made lots of friends and became a Catholic. He even had his photo taken with Bill Clinton on one of Clinton’s visits to New Zealand. His application was turned down but he appealed at each opportunity hoping and praying he would be successful. All appeals failed however and on 1 November 2004 he was detained and taken to Mt Eden prison to await deportation.

Before the government could deport him they required him to apply for a passport. Thomas refused because he would be in grave danger should he return there.

Amnesty International examined his case and agreed it was unsafe for Thomas to return. But the government kept pressuring him with a “hostage detention” to try and force him to sign.

He was effectively kept hostage in prison – to be released only if he agreed to be deported to Iran! Every 28 days he came before the District Court where Immigration Ministry lawyers argued vigorously for his ongoing detention, because he was “uncooperative” and the judges duly rubber-stamp his on-going incarceration. This is the type of human rights abuse New Zealand governments of all persuasions have condemned in many countries around the world over many years.

In his various appeals Thomas has had the strong support of a wide circle of friends and his Christian community which includes support from his Catholic bishop. Although I have never met him I have no reason to believe he is anything but the honest, hard-working, fun-loving person most of us would be delighted to have as a next-door neighbour.

Thomas has been supported by most MPs The Green Party, Maori Party, National, United Future as well as groups like GPJA, Amnesty International, the Catholic Bishops etc.

In another irony, MP David Cunliffe wrote a glowing letter of support for Thomas and said he would do all he could to support him. Cunliffe himself is now the Minister of Immigration and deaf to all appeals on Thomas’s behalf. Such is the corrupting influence of expedient politics on moral behaviour.

Just two weeks ago the Associate Minister of Immigration, Clayton Cosgrove, rejected the latest appeal for Thomas’s release.

ENDS

See ALSO:

  • Scoop Report - Scoop News: Thomas Yadegary Released From Prison
  • © Scoop Media

     
     
     
    Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

    Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa


    Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>
     

    Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

    The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

    ALSO:

    Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

    Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

    ALSO:

    Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

    ALSO:

    Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

    Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

    The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>

    ALSO:

    National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

    Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

    Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

    Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

    ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>

    ALSO:

     
     
     
     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

    • PARLIAMENT
    • POLITICS
    • REGIONAL
     


     

    InfoPages News Channels