Ahmed Zaoui has been accepted as a refugee in New Zealand and – finally – given clearance as not a security risk.
Letters to the Editor seem to be very divided about this. On one hand (the Left) there are those who see this as a victory over paranoia, and for human rights. On the other we have the paranoid murmurings that NZ is opening the doors to terrorists. They claim this precident means Osama bin Laden would have to be protected by our soft border security which they describe as a “soft touch”.
More like a deadly fly trap, if you ever manage to catch one of those Australian or New Zealand border control fly on the wall documentary reality shows. Our customs service is quite ferocious and will put you on a plane back to where you came from if your documents are not in order. Ahmed Zaoui traveled on a false passport and destroyed it and declared refugee status on his arrival in 2002. He was placed into solitary confinement for 1 – 2 years. Until lawyer Deborah Manning started to help prove that the charges against Zaoui were at best generalised and possibly concocted which is hardly surprising as he was escaping the brutal military dictatorship that ousted the government he was a part of … Ahmed Zaoui is Algerian. He has no history of terrorism, but being a politician had many contacts at various levels of the ousted opposition. He claims to be a man of peace, and his behaviour in this affair befits such a label.
I am fairly sure if Osama bin Laden were to arrive seeking shelter – the left wing liberal bleeding heart conspiracy would also hold him in jail, just as anyone would, and happily hand him over to the USA for his crimes and collect some healthy foreign exchange.
There is such a difference between a politician/professor/refugee of a brutal military coup and a billionaire/pendant/mass murderer. For some, it’s like if they have beard or something. We have no right to jail people without reason. The War on Terror will only be won if we respect the human rights and democracy we pledge to defend.