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  • “Rethink a War We Can’t Win”

    was the Greens message to the Government following the publication of Amnesty Internationals Annual Report for 2002 which criticised New Zealand’s treatment of asylum seekers and said “the war on terror, far from making the world a safer place, has made it more dangerous by curtailing human rights, undermining the rule of international law and shielding governments from scrutiny. It has deepened divisions among people of different faiths and origins, sowing the seeds for more conflict.” Read

    Keith’s release

    . See also

    ‘No Short Cut to Genuine Security: Suffering Beyond the Spotlight’

    in the Analysis section, below.

  • New Zealand Must Stand up to the Bullies

    were Keith Locke’s words in supporting Phil Goff’s and Jim Anderton’s actions in standing up to the Israeli and US governments, respectively. “If we wish to remain an independent state with a respected voice in world affairs, New Zealand must base its foreign policy on respect for international law, multilateralism and non-alignment,” Keith said. Read

    Keith’s release


Hot Action

  • Work for the Greens.

    Part-time administrative support is needed in the Auckland Green MPs’ office for reception, accounting and general office duties as required for a minimum of 12 hours/week (2 days), starting mid-late June. The applicant must be pro-active with a good phone manner and people skills. Proficiency in Word and Excel is necessary. Political or activist experience preferred.

    Write – attention Kim Mazur – to either receive a job description or with cover letter and CV to

    P.O. Box 1553,


    ORNfax 09-361-5926





    greens [dot] org [dot] nz

    Due to the volume of potential applicants, please no phone calls.

    Applications close Friday 6th June.

Hot Analysis

  • Human Rights and Terrorism.

    Saudi Arabia is almost unique in the world in not only abusing human rights, but also in not even recogising them. Saudi Arabia is one of the last repressive feudal monarchies in the world. It has no constitution, no parliament and no political parties, women have fewer rights and freedoms than even in other repressive Islamic states, and execution by beheading is a legal punishment.

    In ‘

    Time to question the US role in Saudi Arabia

    ‘ , Middle Eastern expert Stephen Zunes says “Human rights activists for years have been raising doubts about the close strategic relationship both Democratic and Republican parties have had with the Saudi regime, particularly the massive arms transfers and military training, including its repressive internal security apparatus. Such critics have railed against the regime’s misogyny, theocratic fascism, and links to terrorism, but to no avail. Despite the close ties between Washington and Riyadh, there have never been any congressional hearings – under either Republican or Democratic leaderships – regarding human rights abuses by the Saudi government.”

    The full article is available on the

    Foreign Policy in Focus website


  • On the Roads of Ruin

    “Tony Blair vowed that the West would not walk away from Afghanistan. But in a remarkable journey, meeting militia leaders and the heavily guarded President, Peter Oborne found a nation left to fend for itself – and Taliban thugs undeterred.”

    “Once again, statistics highlight the staggering scale of the Western betrayal. In Bosnia there was one peacekeeper for every 113 people, in East Timor every 66, in Kosovo every 48. There is one Isaf soldier for every 5,380 Afghans. Without an international security presence the Afghan countryside has fallen back into the hands of the warlords and their militias, conservatively estimated at some 200,000 strong. The international presence is feebly trying to counter-balance the power of the warlords by building up the central government security framework. So far those attempts have been at worst disastrous and at best meaningless.”

    The full article, published 25 May, is available from the

    Observer website


  • No Short Cut to Genuine Security: Suffering Beyond the Spotlight

    (Amnesty International Press Release announcing the release of the Amnesty International Report 2003 – covering the calendar year 2002)

    People around the world are more insecure today than at any time since the end of the Cold War, Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International said today at the launch of the organization’s annual report.

    “The war on Iraq dominated the international agenda for the past year, but away from the eyes of the world a myriad of “forgotten” conflicts have taken a heavy toll on human rights and human lives, in places as diverse as Cōte d’Ivoire, Colombia, Burundi, Chechnya and Nepal.”

    “Iraq and Israel and the Occupied Territories are in the news, Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not, despite the imminent threat of genocide,” said Irene Khan. “Drawing attention to “hidden” crises, protecting the rights of the “forgotten victims” is the biggest challenge we face today.”

    Governments around the world have spent billions in an effort to beef up national security and the “war on terror”, but for millions of people the real sources of insecurity were corrupt and inept systems of policing and justice; brutal repression of political dissent; severe discrimination and social inequities; extreme poverty and the spread of preventable diseases.

    “A war was fought in Iraq because of the suspected presence of weapons of mass destruction. But nothing was done to stop the well-documented flow of arms that fuel conflicts and cause massive human rights abuse in many parts of the world.”

    More than eighteen months after the war in Afghanistan ended, millions of Afghans, including returning refugees, face an uncertain and insecure future.

    “There is a very real risk that Iraq will go the way of Afghanistan if no genuine effort is made to heed the call of the Iraqi people for law and order and full respect of human rights.”

    At a time of heightened insecurity governments chose to ignore and undermine the collective system of security which the rule of international law represents. While claiming to bring justice to victims in Iraq, the United States has actively sought to undermine the International Criminal Court, the mechanism for universal justice.

    The “war on terror”, far from making the world a safer place, has made it more dangerous by curtailing human rights, undermining the rule of international law and shielding governments from scrutiny. It has deepened divisions among people of different faiths and origins, sowing the seeds for more conflict. The overwhelming impact of all this is genuine fear — among the affluent as well as the poor.

    “It is vital that we resist the manipulation of fear and challenge the narrow focus of the security agenda. The definition of security must be broadened to encompass the security of people, as well as states. That means a commitment to human rights. That means recognising that insecurity and violence are best tackled by effective, accountable states which uphold, not violate human rights,” Ms Khan concluded.

    Campaigns that ran throughout 2002 resulted in a number of successes. The organization succeeded in the release of individuals like former Russian prisoner of conscience Grigory Pasko, in obtaining justice for Sierra Leoneans with the establishment of a Special Court for that country and for global accountability with the entry into force of the International Criminal Court.

    Beyond the Spotlight: “Hidden Crises”

    Away from the glare of publicity, conflict, insecurity and violence continue to affect millions of people in Africa.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the human rights situation remains bleak, with continuing fighting and attacks on civilians, particularly in the east. In the Great Lakes region too, those perpetuating human rights abuses continue to enjoy impunity.

    In Burundi, government forces carried out extrajudicial killings, “disappearances”, torture and other serious violations, while armed groups unlawfully killed, maimed, abducted and tortured civilians in pursuit of their political aims. Armed belligerents in Burundi continued to recruit, at times forcefully, child combatants.

    Although the human rights crisis in Israel and the Occupied Territories is among the issues most discussed — it is the least acted upon by the international community.

    In Colombia, the security measures enacted by the new government exacerbated the spiralling cycle of political violence . The breakdown of peace talks in February between the government and the main armed opposition group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), deepened the human rights crisis.

    The full report is available on the

    Amnesty International website


    JustPeace was produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP

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