NZ "terrorism" in perspective   |   Indigenous peoples' rights

UN sends 'please explain' letter over terror raids

17 January 2008

United Nations human rights officials have asked the Government to explain aspects of the police's October anti-terror raids.

Police have been heavily criticised for perceived heavy-handed tactics during the nationwide raids, which focused on the small Bay of Plenty town of Ruatoki.

Police cited the Terrorism Suppression Act in the raids, but the Solicitor-General subsequently decided that there was insufficient evidence to lay charges under the Act.

However sixteen people face weapons charges resulting from the police investigation.

A spokesman for Duty Minister Rick Barker today said the Government had received a letter from three UN officials just before Christmas.

The letter contained a list of questions relating to the raids.

He said the Government took its UN obligations seriously and would respond in due course.

Some members of the Tuhoe tribe, which like Ruatoki is centred in the Urewera's, have laid a complaint with the UN over the raids.

It is understood the letter is dated before the Tuhoe complaint was made.


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