An independent review of New Zealand’s detention regime for asylum seekers has found arbitrary and abusive practices in Aotearoa’s immigration law, policy, and practice.
“It is heart-breaking to know that people escaping war, torture, and persecution are likely to have their rights further abused once they seek asylum in Aotearoa,” says Green Party refugee spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.
“The Casey report finds that asylum seekers are held by immigration authorities in criminal prisons, in terrifying and abusive conditions without charge or trial, for the entirety of their refugee claim process.
“The abuses found by the report are clearly emblematic of a prejudice-based system of immigration and refugee determination.
“This is a breach of New Zealand’s human rights obligations. As the report notes, asylum seekers are not here unlawfully, but have a fundamental right to escape the same horrors as other refugees. They deserve fair and equal treatment.
“There is clearly a lot for us to do if we’re going to live up to the Government’s promise of ‘this is not us’. Like most people, the Greens want to see these values underpin everything our Government does, particularly when it comes to the way we treat asylum seekers. This means giving new arrivals, including those seeking safety in Aotearoa, a fair and dignified welcome.
“The Green Party has long fought to prevent arbitrary detention of asylum seekers. We call on the Government to fulfill the recommendations of the Casey report in both law, policy, and culture change at Immigration New Zealand.”