A fortnightly Green Bulletin of News, Action and Analysis
TIME TO STOP THIS TRAGIC FARCE
— and withdraw the risk security certificate against Ahmed Zaoui — said Green Party Intelligence Services Spokesperson Keith Locke on 11 July.
Given the most recent Security Intelligence Service failures, the Minister of Immigration David Cunliffe should now withdraw the risk security certificate issued over three years ago against Ahmed Zaoui, Keith said. He was speaking after the indefinite postponement of the hearings by the SIS Inspector-General Paul Neazor into the evidence against Mr Zaoui.
“It would be just too cruel to keep Mr Zaoui in limbo for yet another year, separated from his family. The August 7 hearings had been a deadline sought by the SIS and the Inspector-General. The Zaoui defence team were ready to go, and had booked flights for expert witnesses from around the world.
“The SIS had ample time to prepare. The High Court told them in December 2003 to prepare a summary of allegations. The Court of Appeal reminded them in October 2004. Yet now, on the eve of the review, they have failed to provide a coherent and complete summary of their allegations. It now transpires that some 30 of the 55 files of SIS evidence so far, do not even mention Mr Zaoui by name.
“In correspondence earlier this year with Mr Neazor, I was left with grave doubts as to whether key decisions had yet been made on procedures for the review,” Keith said.
“In a letter on 18 May for instance, Mr Neazor seemed to envisage using the SIS Director as a source of expertise in evaluating the evidence, and credibility of witnesses: ‘ The Director I think, ‘Neazor wrote ‘may well be a source of information for me in respect of what people may have said in the hearing.’ This hardly seems the ‘arm’s length relationship’ from the Director urged by the High Court. The question of whether Mr Neazor has any independent source of advice and analysis of the security evidence remains an unknown.
“Essentially, the SIS have failed to front up to the deadline. The Minister should end this tragic farce and allow Mr Zaoui – who has been living quietly in the community for 18 months – to be re-united with his family.”
Furthermore, a report, published by Amnesty International this week, revealed that Algeria’s Security forces continue to use torture, including beatings, electric shocks and the forced ingestion of dirty water, urine and or chemicals, in an environment of systematic impunity.
In a recent press release, Ced Simpson, Director of Amnesty International New Zealand said “This Amnesty International report reinforces the conclusions of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority that Mr Zaoui would be “detained and almost certainly tortured” if returned to Algeria.
The Report’s recommendations include calling on “foreign governments to ensure that Algerian nationals will not be forcibly returned to Algeria if they would be at risk of being arrested or detained by the DRS”, due to “real risk of torture and ill-treatment”.
For a copy of Amnesty International’s report, Unrestrained Powers: Torture by Algeria’s Military Security, please see:
Read more at
MINISTER REFUSES TO FACE TASER DEATHS REALITY.
On 6 July Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke said that Police Minister Annette King’s refusal to meet a delegation from the Campaign Against The Taser was a failure of government accountability.
“Ms King’s approach stands in stark contrast to the approach taken by the Bush administration, which has just launched a federal investigation into the 184 deaths that have occurred following police use of stun weapons. Clearly, the White House is not taking Ms King’s approach. The Bush administration is not treating the taser as simply an internal operational matter for the police.
“It is disturbing to see the Bush administration being more accountable about these weapons than the New Zealand Government,” Keith said.
” People feel concerned about the taser because it is a potentially lethal addition to the armoury of our police. New Zealanders have seen the police difficulty in complying with their own guidelines on the use of pepper spray.
“Annette King really has to front up to her critics, and engage with the genuine concerns people have about how violence is increasingly defining their relationship with their own police force.”
RAYED ALI STILL IN JAIL.
Green MP Keith Locke wrote to the Saudi government on Wednesday, expressing his concern over the ongoing imprisonment of Rayed Ali, six weeks after he was deported from New Zealand on May 30 for formerly being associated with a September 11 terrorist.
Mr Locke yesterday received news from Rayed Ali’s brother that Mr Ali is still incarcerated in Saudi Arabia.
“It made me sad because Mr Ali was living freely in Saudi Arabia before he came to New Zealand in February. He wouldn’t be in jail now, but for the aspersions on his character in New Zealand, and the way in which he was expelled under the most draconian provisions of the Immigration Act” said Keith Locke.
Keith wrote to the Saudi authorities explaining that Prime Minister Helen Clark justified his expulsion on only two grounds, that he had been ‘a roommate of a 9/11 terrorist…[and] is having pilot training”.
“I expressed concern that Mr Ali had been bundled out of the country the day after his arrest on May 29, without time to offer a legal response to the accusations” said Keith.
“If Mr Ali was in any way complicit in the September 11 events he would have been arrested in the United States, or at least deported. Neither happened. In fact Mr Ali volunteered information on what he knew about September 11 terrorist Hani Hanjour.
In his letter to the Saudi authorities, Keith relayed that Immigration Minister David Cunliffe had reassured New Zealanders on June 12 that Mr Ali was not ‘planning anything untoward’ and there was no ‘terrorist risk associated with this gentleman while he was in New Zealand.’
To read more:
TIME TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST TASERS.
Information and the latest news, reports and meetings on tasers can be found on the Campaign Against The Taser website at
An excellent resource for researching your letters to the Police Minister and other MPs, keeping up to date with local and international news and to find out what the action is in your area. Go to the CATT website to sign the petition to stop the introduction of the deadly 50,000 volt taser stun-gun into Aotearoa New Zealand.
Click on the links below to read more on tasers.
USA: Amnesty International’s continuing concerns about taser use
, March 2006
Electrical stun weapons: alternative to lethal force or a compliance tool?
Nick Lewer and Neil Davison, Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project, University of Bradford, January 2006
Stun gun fallacy: how the lack of taser regulation endangers lives
, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, September 2005
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