14 July, 2004.
Artists Gather To Celebrate Human Rights: The Zaoui Concert, Sunday August 1st, The Opera House, Wellington
A benefit concert for the family of Ahmed Zaoui will be held in Wellington, Sunday 1st August at the Opera House.
Leading musicians and performers have offered their services free to make The Zaoui Concert a reality. Sir Paul Reeves
will address this unique event.
The concert is hosted by Wellington Artists' Charitable Trust (WACT), and supported by Amnesty International, the Human
Rights Foundation and Radio Active.
Leading New Zealand musicians and comedians are contributing to this event. They include Goldenhorse, Rhombus, The
Beatgirls, Jeff Henderson with Richard Nunns and Sally Rodwell, Alphabet Head and the Accelerants. Comedians Taika
Cohen, Jo Randerson and Gentiane Lupi will also perform, and Sir Paul Reeves and Ahmed Zaoui's lawyer, Deborah Manning,
will give brief addresses. The concert will be hosted by well-known actors Jeremy Randerson and Adam Gardiner.
The concert takes place on the one-year anniversary of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision that declared
elected Algerian MP, Ahmed Zaoui, to be a genuine refugee. "The Zaoui family are currently in hiding in Asia," says
event organiser Melanie Hamilton. "That's mainly because Mr Zaoui, the family breadwinner, has been held without charge
in a New Zealand prison for some nineteen months now, with no end in sight to his detention. We wanted to give the
people of Wellington a chance to help the Zaoui family in a tangible way, as a gesture of compensation for the suffering
they have faced due to the actions of the New Zealand government."
"The concert is also one way that people can join together and celebrate human rights while enjoying a wide-range of New
Zealand music. New Zealand artists want to speak up and comment on human rights in New Zealand; this concert is one way
of making that happen, and it is significant that it occurs on the anniversary of the RSAA decision," says Hamilton.
"The Zaoui case has shown us how readily some of our basic human rights can be brushed aside, " says Hamilton, " in the
wake of the 9/11 attacks. In that sense, The Zaoui Concert provides an occasion for us to stand up and support
everyone's right to fair and compassionate treatment before the law."
The Zaoui Concert will be a unique event. It provides an opportunity for people to join together and celebrate human
rights, and the event will showcase some of New Zealand's leading musicians and comedians. Benefit concerts are now an
uncommon event, and it is significant that so many of New Zealand's leading performers are willing to lend their time
for free and take a stand on this issue.
The Zaoui Concert The Opera House, Wellington Sunday August 1st, 7pm. Tickets: $25 / $12.50 from Ticketek, ph 04 384
3840. Supported by Amnesty International, Radio Active and the Human Rights Foundation.