Taxi Driver Killed

Late on Saturday night, a taxi driver was stabbed to death in Christchurch. The driver was originally from Afghanistan and arrived in New Zealand as a refugee.

In August 2001, he was on a boat from Malaysia, along with other Afghani people, hoping to land in Australia. This was a 20m fishing boat with 438 people on board. The boat was over-crowded and in danger of sinking. Many of the people on board were sick. They had a large SOS and a Help sign on the deck of the boat which could be seen from the air. Fortunately for the people on the boat, a large cargo ship from Norway, named the Tampa, was nearby and rescued everybody. Australia then refused to allow these boat people to come to their country. The Australian government felt that if they allowed them into their country, this would encourage more boat people to try come to Australia. Eventually, New Zealand helped to find a solution. Our government offered to take 150 people and the rest went to Nauru Island in the Pacific where Australia provided money for their care. Some time later, all these Afghani people were accepted into New Zealand or Australia as refugees. They are often called the Tampa refugees.

While any murder is a tragedy, it is even more tragic that this man fled from his country to safety in New Zealand. He was only 39 years old with a wife and five children. Two teenaged males, a 16 year old and a 19 year old, have been arrested and charged with his murder.

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