Thursday, March 09, 2006

Can Ahmed Zaoui go home now?

Is there any reason Algerian political refugee Ahmed Zaoui can't go home now? Reuters reports that:
Algeria will complete the release this week under an amnesty of 2,629 Islamists jailed during civil strife that lasted more than a decade, the justice Minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The amnesty was apparently inspired by the successful South African amnesty process put in place at the end of the white-apartheid era, and has won praise from the president of the European Parliament, Josip Borrell. Speaking to the Algerian parliament, he called the plan "an important step for the North African country to restore social order." Says the BBC:

The amnesty also offers a pardon to militants on the run who surrender, as long as they are not responsible for massacres, rapes or bombings of public places... The amnesty is an attempt to heal Algeria's wounds after years of a brutal and bloody conflict believed to have claimed more than 150,000 lives
Amongst those released and pardoned is hardline nutcase and praiser of Iraqi insurgents Ali Belhadj, the deputy leader of Zaoui's political organisation the Islamic Salvation Front, which raises the question of why Zaoui can't now go home.

So why can't he? If he's no threat here and not in danger there, why can't he get off the taxpayers' tab? He may not want to go home, but perhaps one or two liberals might want to meet some of his bills and perhaps sponsor him to stay.

And, speaking of those sucking off the taxpayers' tit, how about Zaoui's lawyer Deborah Manning -- what does she say? Predictably, legal-aid lawyer Deborah Manning (recipient already of a mllion or so of taxpayers' money on Zaoui's behalf) says he can't go. 'He can't!' she says.
"There has been an amnesty given, but it's only to people who will go back to Algeria and confess to their crimes," Ms Manning said." Amnesty International and other groups in the United Nations have condemned the amnesty because it's giving impunity to the security services and stopping people from talking about the troubles in Algeria."
Condemned the amnesty? Well, Amnesty have "called the law's impunity measures a major setback for human rights in Algeria." But they haven't suggested there's any danger to those being granted an amnesty. And the amnesty applies "only to people who go back to Algeria"? Who's she kidding? According to the BBC story quoted above, the amnesty "offers a pardon to militants on the run who surrender, as long as they are not responsible for massacres, rapes or bombings of public places."

I assume that applies to Zaoui, so what's the problem Deborah?

LINKS: Algeria to free 2,629 Islamists under amnesty - Reuters
Algeria frees Islamic militants - BBC News
Zaoui should return home, says NZ First - NZ Herald
Algeria: New Amnesty Law Will Ensure Atrocities Go Unpunished - Ammesty International

TAGS: Politics-World, Politics-NZ

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

Anonymous tincanman said...

Send him home; no reason for him to stay. Odd counterpoint though to the tale of the South African family who's one mistake was not feeding the government paper machine.

3/09/2006 02:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

I agree PC, let's give that bludger the bum's rush and pull the plug on his parasite lawyer. There's something sinister about that man.

3/09/2006 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Lancashire Lad said...

I find this article of yours quite incredible PC. Or am I missing something? Libertarians: Quote (or pretty damned close) – “Let peaceful people cross borders freely”. Is he not a peaceable person? If not, please explain. Why the hell should he not settle in New Zealand? Are we so bloody precious?

He is accepting handouts. So what? He has been thrown into a situation beyond his control thanks to our antiquated immigration (un)control. I have never perceived him as a threat. I do not believe he ever was or ever will be a threat to Godz Bloody Zone. If it is costing a lot of dollars to keep him here then don’t blame Zaoui – blame Clark and her secret service nincompoops. Blame Deborah Manning and the rest of the greedy parasites who can hear a dollar dropped onto a deep-pile carpet from several kilometers.

He was a desperate man looking for refuge. Can we not afford him that? The way NZ is heading right now you may be seeking a safe haven somewhere else in the (maybe) not too distant future. I hope you don’t appear “sinister”.

From Richard McGrath: “I agree PC, let's give that bludger the bum's rush and pull the plug on his parasite lawyer. There's something sinister about that man.”

What is sinister Richard? His skin colour? His bushy eyebrows? His enigmatic smile? His lack of a full grasp of our language?

Believe me, I am not a soft touch, but PLEASE – educate me, tell me what I am missing. Why is Zaoui so threatening? What the hell have I missed?

3/09/2006 10:14:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

RMG: "I agree PC, let's give that bludger the bum's rush..."

I'm not sure he needs the bum's rush, but it seems the reasons for him being here as a refugee no longer apply. It's appropriate to call his bluff and see the response.

LL: "...am I missing something? Libertarians: Quote (or pretty damned close) – “Let peaceful people cross borders freely”. Is he not a peaceable person? If not, please explain."


Frankly, ~I~ don't know if he is a peaceable person or not. The Islamic Salvation Front was not peaceable. The ISF's deputy is not peaceable - in July last year for example he praised Iraqi insurgents just after they had killed two Algerian envoys to Iraq, saying the envoys were "legitimizing occupation, which is unacceptable under Sharia law."

Is he himself peaceable? I don't know. That's what the law is for, but as we ourselves know teh law at present is not alwas after justice. We do know that he was convicted in Beligium in 1996 of "being a leader and instigator of a criminal association with the intention of attacking persons and property." That doesn't sound very peaceful. He was removed from Switzerland for "polarising and provocative activity [that] may lead to acts of violence, and even attacks, in Switzerland." He left Vietnam after some unusual activities, including seeking out those he claimed to be pursuing him and what seemed to be casing buildings which Westerners frequented.

So he doesn't sound totally and undisputably peaceable, however nice his smile.

So why then should he not settle in NZ, you ask? Perhaps for the reasons above? He was not simply tossed on our shores by the flotsam of fate: he arrived here after either fleeing from arrest, being ejected from each of the places in which he sought refuge, or -- in the case of Vietnam - leaving after what seemed to be casing targets and voluntarily seeking out those he claimed to be pursuing him.

He may have an enigmatic smile, but his behaviour has been no less enigmatic.

However, given the amnesty and his own stated intentions, to me it does seem fair to change his status, which was the point of this rather awkward sentence of mine above: "He may not want to go home, but perhaps one or two liberals might want to meet some of his bills and perhaps sponsor him to stay."

AFAIK, he's always said that he wants to go home, so now's the time to see if he was serious. However, staying, to my mind, would be on the basis of a) his bills being paid by his sponsor(s); b) his sponsor(s) themselves taking some responsibility for some period for any crimes he might be charged with; and c)something akin to a suspended sentence - any hint of resuming or being involved with "polarising and provocative activity [that] may lead to acts of violence" should see any doubt removed, and him on the first plane home.

TCM: "Odd counterpoint though to the tale of the South African family whose one mistake was not feeding the government paper machine."

It certainly is. It certainly is.

3/10/2006 08:31:00 am  
Blogger Lancashire Lad said...

Thanks PC for your prompt response; I don’t know how you manage it. Just getting off track a little – how on earth do you manage to run this blog and set aside enough time to earn a living? Either architects are paid very well for doing not too much or you are on one of Helen and Michael’s benefits. And I thought you were an honest man!!!

Back to Zaoui:

I know all about the ISF and his conviction in Belgium. I know about his run in with the Swiss and also the Vietnamese authorities taking umbridge at his touristy happy-snaps. Not convinced about any of it; I do know the ruling regime in Algeria are not to be trusted. “Including seeking out those he claimed to be pursuing him.” You’ve just written an article on media reporting re: Julian Pistorius being a racist. Her Majesty, Helen of Helengrad, was under tremendous pressure with the detention and possible forced repatriation of Zaoui. How desperate was the Helen controlled media to give her a little credibility? Personally, I believe about 5% of what I read in the media, and that only after very careful thought and consideration.

“However, staying, to my mind, would be on the basis of a) his bills being paid by his sponsor(s); b) his sponsor(s) themselves taking some responsibility for some period for any crimes he might be charged with; and c)something akin to a suspended sentence - any hint of resuming or being involved with "polarising and provocative activity [that] may lead to acts of violence" should see any doubt removed, and him on the first plane home.”

We are now on the same wave-length. Why didn’t you say that in your original article? Could have saved us both a good deal of time and effort. In fact, sponsoring and sponsor responsibility might be the way to go for all new immigrants. I’ll talk to Helen about it over lunch next week

3/10/2006 10:40:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Respond with a polite and intelligent comment. (Both will be applauded.)

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. (Do others the courtesy of being honest.)

Please put a name to your comments. (If you're prepared to give voice, then back it up with a name.)

And don't troll. Please. (Contemplate doing something more productive with your time, and ours.)

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home