HRLA Writes Open letter to New Zealand Government regarding NZDF deployment to Iraq

Letter by HRLA executive

Summary by Nirupa George


Yesterday, 16 April 2015, the Aotearoa New Zealand Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) sent an open letter to the New Zealand Government.

The HRLA urges the New Zealand Government to ensure that the NZDF’s military contribution to conflict in Iraq focuses on the protection and promotion of human rights.

The HRLA is calling upon the New Zealand Government to consider withholding NZDF troops’ involvement in training the Iraqi defence forces until it is able to independently verify that human rights abuses are not ongoing.

New Zealand needs to be a human rights leader in this area.

In light of the New Zealand Government’s recent announcement that New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) troops have, or very shortly will be, deployed to Iraq to train Iraqi defence forces, the Aotearoa New Zealand Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) wishes to highlight some concerns. We urge the Government to take these matters into account going forwards.
The HRLA takes no position on the appropriateness or otherwise of an armed intervention in Iraq. Foremost, we hope that any intervention by the NZDF troops will aim to promote human rights and peace and security, both within Iraq and the broader region. Such matters are fundamental.

Read the full letter here

Image used under a Creative Commons license: 'Sandstorm at the Dam' by James McCauley is licensed under CC BY 2.0