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Alliance welcomes rejection of terror laws

Thursday 8 November 2007

Alliance welcomes rejection of terror laws

The Alliance Party has welcomed news that the Solicitor-General has decided he is unable to charge 12 people under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Alliance Party co-leader Victor Billot says comments by Solicitor General David Collins QC this afternoon that the Terrorism Suppression Act was unnecessarily complex and incoherent were a devastating indictment of a bad law.

"These laws are not required in New Zealand, they seem to be a rehash of George W. Bush style politics, they are divisive, over the top and have the potential to be misused."

Mr Billot says the news that a large amount of evidence would not become public is a major concern.

"This brings us to the core issue: who watches the watchers?"

He says the buildup of state power and restrictive laws was a slippery slope, and if unchallenged, would gradually widen its definition of terrorist activity to industrial action and civil disobedience.

Mr Billot says state secrecy and unaccountability was just as much of a threat to New Zealand freedom as any "terror" threat.

He says all allegations against the accused are covered under existing New Zealand law.

Mr Billot says the issue while important was also distracting New Zealanders away from the main threats faced by humanity. These were international poverty and the global environmental crisis brought about by an out of control capitalist system.

ENDS

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