Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why are we letting the Saudis disappear people from New Zealand?

Khalid Muidh Alzahrani is a Saudi refugee. He came to New Zealand five years ago to study, converted to Christianity while here, and was granted refugee status on the basis that he would be persecuted if he returned to Saudi Arabia.

In July, after receiving a series of threats, he was kidnapped from his home in Christchurch and flown back to Saudi Arabia.

He's not the only one:

In May last year, a young Saudi Christian who had arrived in Auckland two months earlier and claimed asylum was snatched off the street by three men just three days before his refugee interview and was flown back to Saudi Arabia, where it is believed he spent time in prison and was tortured. His lawyer, Roger Chambers, said the man had managed to secretly make contact with his friends in Auckland.

"He has had a dreadful time in Saudi Arabia," Chambers said. "[He was told] more than once if he did not renounce his Christianity that he could expect to be beheaded."

Two of his kidnappers were travelling on Saudi diplomatic passports.

Supposedly, we have a state agency responsible for protecting us from this sort of thing. The SIS's functions include protecting New Zealand from foreign activities which "are clandestine or deceptive, or threaten the safety of any person". Kidnapping people and rendering them for torture certainly qualifies. So where were they? Probably too busy sniffing for communists and handing out special OIAs to the sewer.

This should not be happening in New Zealand. It should not be happening anywhere. And if the Saudi embassy is being used as a base from which to plan and execute the kidnapping and rendition of people from new Zealand, it should be closed down and its staff ejected. It's that simple.