INDEPENDENT NEWS

Oppose the new terrorism law - Say No to Control Orders

Published: Thu 7 Nov 2019 09:59 AM
The government is seeking to rush through new terrorism legislation - they have given just FOUR days for the public to make submissions. This rushed process is a serious violation of democratic process, and the law is unnecessary.
Auckland Peace Action are encouraging people to make a brief submission to Parliament opposing the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill for the following reasons:
1. The government is rushing through legislation, curtailing public input into legislation that severely restricts human rights including right to freedom of movement and fair trial rights.
2. The government says control orders are necessary because the existing Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA) may be unable to secure a prosecution. The government was told 11 years ago that the TSA needed significant changes. Thus far, neither a Labour nor National-party led government has sought to address this. Now it is rushing through legislation to fix a hole that they haven’t bothered about for more than a decade, and discarding democratic process along the way.
3. If a “relevant person” is engaged in criminal activity or poses a risk to New Zealanders then existing criminal law (for threats or acts of violence) is sufficient to prosecute them. Imposing preventative punishment on someone (such as a curfew) based on what they might do runs contrary to our justice system.
4. The Terrorism Suppression Act already states that any person who joins a designated terrorist organisation is liable on conviction to imprisonment for up to 14 years. Such a person need not have committed any terrorism offences - membership in and of itself is sufficient.
5. The government is allowing the use of secret evidence, and although it says it will assign a lawyer to look at that evidence, it still means a person may have no way of knowing what the claims against them actually are or who is making them.
6. The basis of terrorism designations is not neutral or objective: designations are political by their very nature. In some cases, New Zealand’s designations are based on politically-biased source material.
7. It isn’t clear how much “risk” a person must pose in order to be subject to a control order.

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