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Urewera two split and spirited out of Auckland

Urewera two split and spirited out of Auckland to avoid prison protest

Late yesterday Tame Iti was spirited “out the back door” of Mt Eden prison without reference to his family or lawyer and transferred to Waikeria Prison. Earlier in the afternoon Rangi Kemara was transferred to Springhill Prison.

Visits were cancelled and families left in the dark. Until late this morning prison authorities were refusing to confirm the destinations of the pair.

It seems a clear strategy on the part of police and prison authorities acting together to avoid a proposed prison protest for this afternoon at Mt Eden Prison.

10 days ago the pair were sentenced to two and a half years in prison on technical breaches of the Arms Act after the judge, unhappy at the jury verdict, put his own spin on the evidence and retried the pair at sentencing.

The verdicts and sentence are being appealed but till the August hearing the prison authorities have separated the pair and sent them to different prisons.

For almost 24 hours the whereabouts of the pair was unknown with prison authorities refusing to provide information to families and supporters.

New Zealand is not a police state yet and supporters are angry at the shabby and disrespectful way prisoners and their families have been treated.

John Minto


Global Peace and Justice Auckland

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