By ALEXIS GRANT
Dave Dobbyn and Nesian Mystik banded together with a handful of other musicians yesterday to raise money for the family of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui.
"He's just a victim and I think that our hearts go out to him," Dobbyn said on stage before breaking into song in front of a "Free Ahmed Zaoui" banner.
About 250 people showed their support at the Kings Arms concert in Auckland. They raised around $3000 for the imprisoned man's family, who are in hiding in Southeast Asia.
Don McGlashan, One Million Dollars, Chris Knox, the Brunettes and the Reduction Agents also participated in the seven-hour fundraiser.
McGlashan said he considered Mr Zaoui a hero, and he expected the concert would help raise people's awareness about the issue. Mr Zaoui has been held in custody as a "threat to national security" since he arrived in New Zealand in December 2002.
"The Government has been quite disposed to stonewall this issue, which has given ordinary people a chance to put their hands up," McGlashan said.
Concert-goer Lindis Capper-Starr, an Auckland resident who said she had met Mr Zaoui, agreed. "Ahmed Zaoui is being kept unjustly and we're responsible as New Zealanders."
Others at the event said they were happy to pay $15 to help the cause.
"[I'm here to] have a good time and know that I'm helping his family," said Aucklander Julia Espinoza.
Mr Zaoui's lawyer, Deborah Manning, said she was impressed with the number of people who attended to show their support.
"[Ahmed] knows everybody is here and it means a lot to him."
Herald Feature: Ahmed Zaoui, parliamentarian in prison
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By ALEXIS GRANT