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Posted Monday, August 2, 2004

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Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, August 2, 2004

Holocaust denier is likely to test immigration ruling


HOLOCAUST denier David Irving appears set to test an Immigration Service ruling barring him entry after announcing he intends to proceed with a visit to speak in New Zealand.

But his prospects could be bleak, after Prime Minister Helen Clark (right) indicated that any political decision about his right to enter would be influenced by the actions of other "like-minded" countries. "If he's been deported from other like-minded countries or denied entry to other like-minded countries that could carry a heavy weight with any New Zealand Government thinking."

Irving is calling the refusal to let him enter the work of the "traditional enemies of free speech" and says on his website that moves by the Jewish community to gag him have caused "outrage in New Zealand".

Immigration officials confirmed on Friday that Irving was not eligible to enter New Zealand because he had been deported from other countries.

Irving was scheduled to speak to the National Press Club in Wellington next month and also intends using his visit for research on a book about Winston Churchill. He said at the weekend that he intended to honour the invitation to speak in New Zealand.

"I know exactly what the legal position is and I will be in New Zealand on the time and date that I've specified," he told National Radio.

The Jewish community has welcomed Immigration's decision, saying Irving is "well known for his anti-Jewish writings and activities . . . and an active Holocaust denier".

But free-speech advocates say Irving should be allowed to express an opinion. His books are widely available here and his internet site is easily accessible.

The National Press Club has said that people should be able to make up their own minds about Irving's views.

The Immigration Service has said that Irving's only chance of entry would be to seek a "special direction". In most cases, that is dealt with by the Immigration Service but in some instances it can be referred to the immigration minister.

©Copyright 2004


Dossier: attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David Irving's 2004 visit
 FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about Mr Irving's visit to New Zealand
Steven Sedley writes a letter on Mr Irving and free speech | The name rings a bell

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