New Minister can right past wrongs

The Green Party is calling for the incoming Immigration Minister to take a fresh look at the country’s two most contentious refugee cases.

“The Immigration Service was not noted for its compassion during Lianne Dalziel’s tenure as Minister,” Green Party Human Rights spokesperson, Keith Locke said today. “Had it been applied a little more often then a 16-year-old girl wouldn’t have had to go through the torment of being dragged onto an airplane and sedated, Ahmed Zaoui wouldn’t have spent more than a year behind bars without a trial and Lianne Dalziel might have kept her job.

“We are calling on the new minister to learn from their predecessor’s mistakes.

“The ongoing plight of the 16-year-old Sri Lankan girl seems to have been forgotten in the midst of the political points-scoring over Dalziel’s sacking. The new minister should act immediately to review the disgraceful deportation order against her and to offer her and her grandmother a safe, secure haven in this country.

“The former minister’s inaction over the plight of Ahmed Zaoui has been no less shameful. We are calling on her replacement to immediately review the Security Risk Certificate and in the interim to move Mr Zaoui from Auckland Central Remand Prison to the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre

“Another prompt for a review of the Zaoui case is the farcical nature of the SIS accusations against Mr Zaoui, released on Friday. They show a level of paranoid incompetence and subservience to foreign spy agencies unbecoming of our intelligence services.

“New Zealanders have quite rightly been outraged at the lack of sympathy, understanding and common justice exhibited in the treatment of the Sri Lankan girl and Ahmed Zaoui,” Keith Locke said. “It is up to the new minister to move quickly to correct past injustices and prove to the New Zealand public and the world that compassion is not incompatible with good government.”