Police quiz letter writer

Green Party police spokesperson Keith Locke wants the Minister of Police to explain why police are harassing people who write letters to the editor expressing views contrary to Government policy.

Police visited the Petone home of Tahir Ali on December 27, the day his letter calling for the disbandment of the SAS was carried in Wellington’s Evening Post.

Mr Ali, who was born in Fiji, had suggested New Zealand’s SAS force be disbanded along with the Air Force because it wasted taxpayers’ money.

“The police are there to catch criminals, not intimidate political dissenters,” said Mr Locke.

“If Mr Ali was interviewed only because of his political views then the police action would contravene the Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech.

“If the reason was that he has an Arabic-sounding name the police would be violating the Human Rights Act.

“There has to be a full investigation of this incident to make sure the police are not getting carried away by the ‘war against terrorism’ and starting to infringe on our basic political rights,” said Mr Locke.