From: Peace Action Wellington
Date: Sunday 9 August 2009
‘Indications by the government that they are planning to send the SAS back to Afghanistan must be opposed. Such a deployment is against the interests of working people in Afghanistan and Aotearoa. Peace Action Wellington has issued a STOP THE S.A.S. statement and we are asking for organisations and individuals to sign on to the statement. The National Government’s war mongering activities will not go unchallenged,’ said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.
The statement is reproduced below. You can sign on to it by visiting Peace Action Wellington’s website at http://www.peacewellington.org
Peace Action Wellington is planning a number of anti-war activities in advance of the government’s announcement on the deployment. These events begin with an anti-war picket outside of the Court of Appeal, Molesworth
Street on Tuesday, 11 August 8-9:30. In the spirit of Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W Bush, we are also encouraging people to throw pairs of shoes over power lines as a sign of opposition to the war.
‘The invasion and 8 year long occupation of Afghanistan by the US and its military accomplices has devastated the country. Tens of thousands have been murdered and maimed in aerial bombing campaigns assisted by the SAS, while thousands more have been tortured in modern day gulags like Bagram Air Force Base.’
STATEMENT: Hands off Afghanistan! Say no to SAS return to Afghanistan
The redeployment of Special Air Service (SAS) troops to Afghanistan is shameful. We are opposed to New Zealand’s political and military intervention in Afghanistan. Along with the spybases at Waihopai and Tangimoana, the soldiers in Afghanistan are the New Zealand government’s main contribution to the so-called ‘War on Terror’.
In three previous deployments to Afghanistan, the SAS participated in ‘direct action missions’; this translates to combat involving the death of civilians. Only a few days ago, it was revealed that the SAS handed over 50-70 prisoners to the US military in Afghanistan. The torture of prisoners by US forces in Afghanistan is well documented. In handing over these prisoners, New Zealand may in breach of the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention against Torture which prohibit signatories such as New Zealand from transferring them to countries that torture, humiliate or degrade prisoners.
The occupation of Afghanistan is a stunning disaster for the people. After eight years of war, the country is in ruins, the people of Afghanistan are being murdered on a daily basis, and political stability is as far away as ever.
We demand the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan and support the right to self-determination for the people of Afghanistan and their right to live in peace and a decent standard of living.
Peace Action Wellington (8th August 2009)