Prime Minister John Key must be transparent and correct the record on his misleading statement

11 May 2016, 17:34 UTC | New Zealand

In response to the comments made by the Prime Minister in Parliament Grant Bayldon, Amnesty International’s Executive Director in New Zealand, said:

“Prime Minister Key has a responsibility to be transparent and in this instance he’s fallen short. His comments that charities are ‘’implicated’’ in the Panama Papers is simply incorrect and his mistake needs to be rectified.

“Amnesty International will be applying to the Speaker of the House for a response to be added to the Parliamentary record to clearly state that Amnesty International has not been listed in or implicated in the Panama Papers. There have been cases previously where trusts have been misusing the good reputation of charities without their permission; the charities themselves have been the victims of tax havens and their good reputations are used to deceive.

“We know that tax havens are regularly used by corrupt officials around the world to hide and launder ill-gotten gains. Activities like arms trading and human rights atrocities are often aided by the ability of officials to hide their dealings and funnel their money illegally out of their country. As a human rights organisation these are the issues we are concerned about and we will continue protecting the human rights of people worldwide.

“Amnesty International condemns all forms of tax evasion and avoidance; and we would not accept any donation which we considered designed to evade or avoid tax.”

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