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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Stephenson hash

UPDATE 10/03/2014: Still no item of this on RNZ news.  So, to broadcasting bullshit, also add embarrassed silence.  When is RNZ going to report on their own story now it has been contradicted?

Last Friday I posted on this blog that I had a hunch: RNZ's Afghanistan correspondent must be smoking some pretty potent hash because he was going in to advocate for an Afghan interpreter who claimed he had escaped the Taliban after three days of torture with only superficial injuries to show.  It sounded like the secret life of Hamid Mitty.  Falling into the hands of the softest Al Qaeda cell in the world - the Bamiyan Retired and Widowed Ladies Weaving Group branch of Al Qaeda - that then takes days of ironic and elaborate torture that leaves no trace.  All of this story being part of an immigration application appeal proceeded with in the usual NZ way - via the media.  Stevenson swallowed it whole.
TUMEKE 28/02/2014:
John Ste[ph]enson over in Afghanistan for RNZ must be smoking some good shit.  He's relaying a story told by one of the interpreters who wants NZ entry that he was tortured by the Taliban.  The Taliban set him free after that?  I don't know I'm buying this.  And he's described as a 'loyal' NZer!?  The guy is a collaborator with the foreign enemy, no wonder he's a marked man, he has after all betrayed his own country that is why he is 'loyal' - to the foreign power.  These refugees the NZ forces have generated is one of the reasons NZ should never have got involved in the occupation.[...]

Stephenson got in too deep and personal with this case and checked his objectivity at the door.  RNZ audio:

The RNZ story on their news site:
Members of the Defence Force are disgusted with how the Government is treating Afghan interpreters, a journalist who reports on Afghanistan says.
An interpreter in Kabul who worked with New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan says Taliban insurgents tortured him by hanging him from a ceiling and beating him repeatedly for three days before he escaped in December last year.
The man, known as Hamid, said he and his family continue to receive death threats. He wants his application to move to New Zealand to be processed more quickly by immigration officials.
Radio New Zealand's correspondent Jon Stephenson told Checkpoint on Wednesday that past and present members of the Defence Force have echoed that call.
"I think it's fair to say that they are concerned, if not disgusted, by the way in which some of these interpreters are treated. They feel that they have served New Zealand loyally and that that loyalty is not being reciprocated by the Government."
Mr Stephenson claims that the 27-year-old escaped certain execution in December, shortly after applying to come to New Zealand. He says that given the known risk to such people, immigration officials should work urgently on their applications.

No, Mr Stephenson needs to work urgently on his journalism.  

Now it turns out - not that I am surprised - it is a crock:
The 27-year-old, known only as Hamid, was reported to be fearing for his life after being abducted in December by insurgents and beaten and waterboarded for three days.
Reports of his treatment prompted Labour and Greens to urge the Government to fast-track his asylum request.
But his application has been declined after officials found that he had not worked as an interpreter for the New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan but as a part-time contractor providing goods such as bed mattresses. Members of the military also questioned his character.


At 11/3/14 5:34 pm, Blogger paul scott said...

Tim, I have to get through to you, nobody cares, wake up. I am your friend. You must wake up, If I can you can.


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