Zaoui “no longer a security risk”

At 3 pm the SIS announced Ahmed Zaoui is no longer considered a security risk, and they have removed the security risk certificate against him.  This means Zaoui is now a resident of as a legal refugee.

I am not completely surprised by this.  It has been apparent for some time that the original certificate was done primarily or totally on the basis of the fact he had terrism related convictions in France and Belgium, and had been deported from Switzerland and excluded from the UK.  That sort of background is entirely appropriate to have the warning bells activated for.

But that is a slightly different issue to actually being a security risk to New Zealand itself, as opposed to merely undesirable (refugees must be accepted whether or not they are undesirable).   With no network for former GIS activists, like there was in Europe, no colonial ties to Algeria, and also the profile from his case, it is not an unreasonable conclusion that he is today not a threat in NZ.

The unfortunate thing is how long this has all taken.  Cases should be decided in months not years.  Hopefully the changes to the Immigration Act will stop there from being a repeat of this very expensive very time consuming process.

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