Freedom of information documents acquired by Rebel News have confirmed political bias behind Avi Yemini’s denial of entry to New Zealand in August.
The heavily redacted 74-page document reveals that Yemini, along with independent photojournalist, Rukshan Fernando, were refused entry to the country after being red-flagged for political reasons.
Email correspondence between New Zealand’s border compliance officers confirms that “both men were refused entry and turned around,” based on vague “concerns [Avraham (Avi) Yemini] may misbehave.”
The correspondence claimed Yemini and Fernando were “to join a [freedom] protest, posing as reporters.”
In the same email, the journalists are accused of having the “propensity to incite and agitate people with opposing views.”
After hearing the two were denied access to cover the protest, one excited compliance officer stated, “Thanks Team. Great work from Border control team. I have been advised that YEMINI was refused entry into New Zealand and turned around at the border. Excellent work!”
Fernando was eventually cleared to travel only after challenging the decision.
The FOI correspondence shows that “border alerts” were put in place regarding the two journalists based on the apparent hearsay, and misrepresentation of Yemini’s political beliefs, which was, by and large, misinformation promoted by the NZ Herald.
Citing “commentators,” and presumably also the dubious NZ Herald article, New Zealand’s border control described Yemini as a “far-right extremism commentator, who has proudly called himself the world’s proudest Jewish Nazi.”
Caldron Pool reported in August about how the article failed the due diligence test because its authors did not acknowledge both the clear context and sharp sarcasm behind Yemini’s comments made during a UK protest in 2018.
To anyone not living a leftist echo chamber existence, Yemini’s comments were clearly a tongue-in-cheek pushback against the offensive dissonance of far-left activists who have referred to the Australian Jewish reporter as “far-right,” and a “Nazi.”
The FOI documents also counter claims made by Immigration New Zealand’s Michael Carley to left-wing online news site Crikey, stating the Australian, Jewish Rebel News reporter was refused entry to NZ on “character grounds,” because of a “criminal conviction” regarding an unfortunate domestic violence charge from 2019.
The email correspondence confirms that Yemini’s visa ban was politically motivated.
The news raises questions about New Zealand’s border authorities. At best they appear incompetent, and at worst, politically compromised.
Is this a consequence of New Zealand’s Socialist Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s proclamation, “we will be your single source of truth”?
Either the authorities were too busy (lazy/indifferent?) to rigorously follow up on due process, and impartially fact-check the “commentators,” or the authorities were ruinously complicit in censoring independent media.
What’s clear is that New Zealand authorities denied Rebel News the right to cover a protest based on dodgy information they seemingly refused to question because that information came from a mainstream source.
NZ border police appear to have relied solely on politically biased left-wing commentary spouted by the New Zealand Herald.
This is supported by a different NZ Herald article linked in an email by compliance officers, which refers to New Zealand commentator, Chantelle Baker as a ‘COVID-19 conspiracy influencer’, and an ‘anti-government, anti-vaxxer who is associated’ with Yemini, and Fernando.
Commenting on the correspondence, Yemini added, NZ authorities “had made a pre-determined decision to refuse colleague Rukshan Fernando and I entry before they knew if we were even travelling to New Zealand.”
That, he said, ‘a so-called democracy is secretly plotting to ban journalists from entering a country because they have “opposing views,” should worry everyone.’