Saturday, February 21, 2004

Ahmed Zaoui update: is that it?

Ahmed Zaoui's lawyers have released the SIS's summary of allegations against him - and it confirms all my fears and suspicions about the SIS. The core of it relies on the same old allegations that were comprehensively debunked in the RSAA decision. The only new material is a shockingly bad home video showing (Shock! Horror!) a tall building (the implication should be obvious) - but are we really supposed to deport a man back to torture and death because he'd never have made the cut to be a cameraman on LOTR?

And the key accusation? Zaoui will do the things he's done before - advocate peacefully for a return to democracy in Algeria - to the detriment of New Zealand's "international well-being". Which boils down to "other people might not like it if we let him stay". Fuck that. Peaceful advocacy is not a crime, and it certainly is not terrorism - at least, not in this country. The fact that it is considered as such in Algeria - and seemingly in France, Belgium, and Switzerland as well - is precisely the reason why we should be granting Zaoui sanctuary.

(Zaoui's lawyer's detailed response to the allegations and call for the withdrawl of the Security Risk Certificate is here)