Tuesday, December 09, 2003

More playing at journalist

I went to a public meeting in support of Ahmed Zaoui tonight, organised by Amnesty International. Two-hundred people packed into a room (coincidently the same room used by Winston Peters to demand direct democracy last time I played journalist) to hear assorted speakers. These included:

  • Tom Scott (cartoonist) - whose chief theme was "we are a better country than this". Our treatment of Zaoui shames us all, and undermines our reputation as a supporter of universal human rights.
  • Gregory Fortuin (ex Race Relations Conciliator) - who was reminded of his time in South Africa, twenty years ago, and felt that he had to stand up and be counted in the same way that New Zealanders had stood up for South Africans.
  • John Shaw (from Amnesty International) - who laid out the reasons why our treatment of Zaoui violated both New Zealand and international law.

Matt Robson was also there, and took the opportunity to slag off his Labour colleagues for "keeping their heads down". In response to an earlier question about the most effective way to protest, he said that people should target those 52 Labour MPs and get them to place internal pressure on the government. Robson has been a sterling defender of human rights over this, and I'm becoming tempted to switch my vote to the Progressives simply in an effort to keep him in Parliament.

Finally, there was an answer to the question posed in my earlier post: "Of course [the police] had an obligation to disclose. That didn't happen". Hopefully someone will be asking the police some nasty, pointy questions about withholding relevant evidence over the next few days.

Update: Amnesty is also holding meetings in Auckland tomorrow, and Christchurch on thursday. Please go along and show your support.