Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Key admits exiling people without trial

Back in February, we learned that John Key had responded to the "threat" of people travelling to Syria to participate in its civil war by cancelling their passports. This was done without any sort of due process or review, let alone trial, and it looked extremely dodgy from a legal standpoint. But it raised a bigger question: was it being done to prevent people from returning to New Zealand? The answer, it seems, is "yes":

Mr Key said New Zealand was aware both of New Zealanders looking to leave this country to fight for groups like Isis, and of some who were already doing so but who may want to return despite having their passports revoked.

So, to put that in plain English, John Key is using feudal powers to revoke passports to exile people without charge or trial. Which seems to be a fairly clear violation of the BORA's affirmation of freedom of movement, as well as of article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its contrary to both New Zealand and international law. But without the ability to return to New Zealand, in practice it cannot be challenged in court.

Shouldn't the media be asking questions about this?