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[casi-analysis] My 15 minutes of fame

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I am I believe the first of the three New Zealanders.

There were no visa issues, for the simple reason that there are no visas (as there is no 
government). A stamp is provided at the border (manned by Coalition troops) for people who enter 
legally - like I did.

I was held simply because the powers that be wish to deport me.  All told I was held for 9 days in 
two seperate detentions.  You dont hold someone for 9 days to try and work out whether an entry 
stamp is valid or not.

The issue of visas was only fleetingly mentioned, and dismissed whenever I produced my passport.

Basically I was only let go when I insisted they provide a written order authorising my 
deportation.  Next they tried to claim I was not being detained rather I was being held at my own 
request for my own protection.

Obviously there are lot more important issues in Iraq at the moment.  But the circumstances about 
what happened were absolutely fascinating and gave me a lot of insight into the at least continuity 
of personnel and methods of the 'new' iraqi police.  And also the lengths that the British army and 
authorities go in attempts to manage the information that comes out of Iraq (hence probably the 
extreme wish to deport me).  And hence give a picture about strong continuation between 'old' iraq 
and 'new' iraq.

It will have to wait until I have more leisure unfortunately.

Tom Young

Kiwi released by British in Basra
Wellington: British authorities in the southern Iraq city of Basra have freed a New Zealander 
detained because of questions about the validity of his entry visa.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade media adviser Jonathan Schwass said it was understood the man 
was fine and had been released yesterday after the visa issues were sorted out.

His understanding was that the man had been detained since early this month.

"We have advised him strongly to leave Iraq," Mr Schwass said.

"I don't know if we've talked to him personally but a message has been got (sic) to him. We have 
spoken to the family here and they are as concerned as we are about his safety."

The man is one of three men in Iraq with New Zealand passports whose wellbeing MFAT has been 
looking into.

Another is New Plymouth man Andreas Schafer, who sent an email that led his family to believe he 
was being detained by the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Mr Schwass said MFAT had no clear idea where he might be, and could not be sure he was in Iraq.

"We have made extensive inquiries of the Americans and the British and they don't have anyone by 
that name."

The third man of concern to MFAT is a New Zealand passport-holder born in Iraq, who is injured and 
being treated in a Baghdad hospital.

"We are in touch with members of his extended family overseas," Mr Schwass said.

MFAT had been aware of his situation since early this month, but would not say what his injuries 
were or how he received them.

"Basically, the way that Foreign Affairs operates, if someone with a New Zealand passport is in 
trouble overseas we try to help them as best we can, and he has a New Zealand passport," Mr Schwass 
said. - NZPA

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