Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dunne stands up for Sayed Kambaksh

Peter Dunne has done the decent thing, and is demanding that the New Zealand government intervene to help Sayed Kambaksh, the Afghan journalism student sentenced to death for blasphemy for passing around an article about the role of women in Islam. But he goes beyond advocatign merely talking to the ambassador:

“New Zealand has worked in conjunction with many other nations in building a new democracy in Afghanistan. We need to send a clear signal to the Afghanistan Government that freedom of speech and human rights are priorities of our commitment and that the current situation of religious persecution is unacceptable.”

While most people support the work that our troops are doing, New Zealanders were led to believe that the overthrow of the Taleban would lead to greater freedom and liberalisation.”

“It is time for New Zealand to use our leverage and stand up for fundamental human rights. If the Government is unwilling to do so then the question needs to be asked, why are we there,” said Mr Dunne.

Why indeed. We wouldn't support Iran's rabid theocracy with troops; why are we supporting Afghanistan's?