INDEPENDENT NEWS

SIS can't be trusted to get it right, says Locke

Published: Wed 17 Mar 2004 05:35 PM
SIS can't be trusted to get it right, says Locke
Green MP Keith Locke says the SIS is discriminating against the democratic rights of refugees who have settled here, by denying them citizenship.
"Presumably the three people referred to by the SIS Director yesterday as a 'security risk' are well-settled and law-abiding residents, otherwise their permits would have been revoked," said Mr Locke, the Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
"The SIS would be violating our human rights legislation if it stopped refugees getting passports to travel abroad to campaign for democracy in their homeland.
"We can't allow the SIS to act as political police, taking away the normal democratic rights of some of our residents in case they embarrass a foreign government New Zealand might have good relations with.
"In the case of Ahmed Zaoui, the SIS has shown an over-sensitivity to what other governments might think if Mr Zaoui settled here, and of course, if he continued to campaign against the repressive regime in Algeria.
"After the Zaoui case, we can't trust the SIS to get it right. They tend to act on intelligence from overseas agencies which are biased against anti-government groups campaigning for social justice or national rights.
"The Greens don't want the government to succumb to anti-terrorist scaremongering from National, ACT and New Zealand First and cancel the residency of these three people," said Mr Locke. "We are heartened that Immigration Minister Paul Swain has said the government doesn't envisage further action against them."
ENDS

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