Locke jubilant at release

Green MP Keith Locke is thrilled at the news of Ali Panah’s release on bail in Auckland today.

“It is a huge relief. I am so pleased for Ali, having seen him suffer so much over the past few weeks. It is imperative that this situation is reviewed thoroughly, especially in the wake of recent disturbing reports about the plight of Iranian Christians,” Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

“It is a victory to all those New Zealanders who showed compassion for Ali’s plight, and forced the government’s hand. It is also a tribute to Ali, who sacrificed so much to win his freedom from indefinite detention.

“Now he is out of jail, New Zealanders will be able to see Ali for what he is, a dedicated Christian.

“Ali’s release is only the first step towards true justice for Ali and other Christian converts who would face persecution if sent back to Iran.

“The government now has to take off the rose-coloured spectacles and take a hard look at the real situation for Christian converts in Iran,” Mr Locke says.

“There is no reason why people such as Ali cannot be granted residence in New Zealand.

“We should cherish being good Samaritans on such issues, not the heartless ones.”