Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

amnesty |ˈamnistē|noun ( pl. -ties)an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses : an amnesty for political prisoners | the new law granted amnesty to those who illegally left the country.• an undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offenses or offenders during a fixed period : a month-long weapons amnesty.verb ( -ties, -tied) ( trans. grant an official pardon to : the guerrillas would be amnestied and allowed to return to civilian life.ORIGIN late 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek amnēstia ‘forgetfulness.’")

The negative image of Surinam as a country where ‘rule of law’ is not properly practiced has last night once more been established. With a vote of 28 for and 12 against a new law that grants amnesty to those involved in the political murder of fifteen Surinam citizens in December 1982 (Decembermoorden), has been approved, after three days of fierce debate. The persecution of this crime committed in 1982  has been delayed for three decades now. Those murdered were fifteen citizens playing a public role in Surinam society, from lawyers and trade union leaders  to journalists and military men (*). Their supposed attempt at a contra-coup against the newly established military regime by a group of rebelling sergeants of the Surinam army in February 1980, has never been established.

Only in the last years a slow juridical process by a Military Tribuna, trying the accused, had been started and this was going to come to a conclusion finally this month, April 2012. The  special amnesty law for those involved in the December Murders of 1982 has been proposed very recently only. One of the accused is the actual president of Surinam Desi Bouterse, who has always denied having had direct involvement in the summary execution of the fifteen, though he has admitted (in 2007) that he – as a state leader of that time – carries political responsibility for the murders. On March 23, 2012, another of the suspects in the process who was part of the rebel sergeant group in the early eighties of last century, Ruben Rozendaal, made a new declaration to the court stating that Desi Bouterse had also personally taken part in the execution, killing two of the victims. In such circumstances, after all those years and fights of the relatives of the victims for justice to be done, this amnesty law was proposed and passed the parliament, signalling the negative state of the rule of law in Surinam.

The president of the Republic of Surinam Desi Bouterse has thus evaded to be tried by a Military Tribunal, a tribunal that is supposed to lay down its work directly after the Amnesty Law for the 1982 December Murder comes into force. Amnesty commonly means ‘pardon for people who have been convicted of political offences’. The word ‘amnesty‘ comes form the Greek word ἀμνηστία (amnestia) meaning ‘oblivion’. One thing is certain: a state of forgetfulness about the December Murders 1982 will not occur, on the contrary, with justice not done the December Murders will remain a negative element in Surinam society as long as those involved – in whatever way – are still alive. The argument for having this new amnesty law were a need for ‘reconciliation’ within Surinam society, the opposite has been wrought.

Commemorative plaquette for the 15 victims of the december 1982 Murders in Paramaribo in Amsterdam, at the side of the Mozes en Aaron Church, Waterlooplein: "In remembrance of the victims of the December Murders Paramaribo, 8 and 9 December 1982 (...) Tortured and shot dead by the military regime - They stood for Surinam and for democracy - Only justice will bring us peace"

Monument for the victims of the december1982 murders at the spot where they have been shot in Fort Zeelandia, Paramaribo, revealed in the year 2009 by the previous President of the Surinam Republic. Ronal Venetiaan: "On this spot fifteen prominent sons of Surinam were shot without any form of process by the military regime - they stood for freedom, justice and democracy (...) Their determination left us with the light of hope for justice and truth - This memorial has been unveiled on 8 December 2009 by the President of the Republic of Surinam Drs. R.R. Venetiaan."



Victims of the December murders

John Baboeram, lawyer

Bram Behr, journalist

Cyrill Daal, union leader

Kenneth Gonçalves, lawyer

Eddy Hoost, lawyer

André Kamperveen, journalist

Gerard Leckie, university faculty

Sugrim Oemrawsingh, university faculty

Lesley Rahman, journalist

Surendre Rambocus, military

Harold Riedewald, lawyer

Jiwansingh Sheombar, military

Jozef Slagveer, journalist

Robby Sohansingh, businessman

Frank Wijngaarde, journalist

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The backdrop of the policy for Libya and Syria by European Union and associated NATO countries is always painted with oil. (1) British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Total,  CNPC from China and ONGC of India are main investors in Syrian crude oil and gas. (2)


His Excellency President Al-Assad described his talks with President Sarkozy as ‘very successful”, ‘constructive” ”transparent” and as ”bolstering the confidence built between Syria and France”, ”dealing with many international as well as regional issues, bilateral relations, the Iranian nuclear file, the recent positive developments in Lebanon, particularly following the formation of the Lebanese Government, which we expect to be an important step for the stability in Lebanon.” (…) ”The talks, further, dealt with the situation in Gaza from a human perspective; I asked President Sarkozy to interfere as to stop the daily killing of the Palestinians by the Israel Army,” said H.E. President Al-Assad citing today’s killing of a Palestinian citizen.

 “… discovery of treasure, a huge oil and gas in the basin of the Mediterranean is estimated reserves to 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 107 billion barrels of oil.”

SYRIAN OIL AND GAS NEWS: Announcement for International Offshore Bid Round 2011 Category: Oil Ministry Decisions & Declarations | Posted on: 30-03-2011 The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and General Petroleum Corporation (GPC) invite international petroleum companies for an International Bid Round to explore, develop and produce petroleum from three offshore blocks in some areas of the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of the Syrian Arab Republic in the Mediterranean Sea according to the production sharing contract.The announcment contains three marine areas ( block I, block II, blockIII) with covarage area estemated by 3000 cubic kilometers per one block. the annoncement date starts in 24/3/2011 for six monthes and closed on 5/10/2011.The modern American studies recently confirmed the discovery of treasure, a huge oil and gas in the basin of the Mediterranean is estimated reserves to 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 107 billion barrels of oil. (4)

(1) oilprice.com 14/4/2011: “Oil Production Figures in Areas of Unrest (Middle East & North Africa)”

(2) royaldutrchshellplc.com 3/12/2011: “E.U. sanctions force Shell to leave Syria.”

(3) www.presidentassad.net: Presidents Al-Assad/ Frnace visit statements (13/11/2009)

(4)  Syrian Oil and Gas News; 8/2/2010:International announcement for developing 7 oil field in Arraqah

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How anybody can protect civilians by throwing bombs from the air? When we find the sight of the mutilated body of Gaddafi on show in a freezer of a butcher store appalling, what about the multiplication of the principle – now in Libya – on the backstage of global news? Which accounts are settled in the shadow? Who gets hold of whom for what, in a situation without rule of law? What has been the example given by the Alliance forces dropping explosives from the air, not bringing members of the contested regime to justice, but to punish them on the spot by attempted annihilation?

When it is true that a fleeing or escaping convoy of Gaddafi has been attacked by NATO airplanes with their deadly load just outside of Sirte, why to muddle about the subsequent lynching that seems to have taken place? NATO tried to lynch from the air, long distance and  ‘high tech’, opposition forces finished the job by hand on the ground.

Who will hold out her or his phone camera to document the revenge between civilians triggered by such examples, raging now in Libya?

It is sufficient to have read the recent report of Amnesty International “LIBYA: THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA: KILLINGS, DISAPPEARANCES AND TORTURE” published on September 13. 2011, to know that the perpetration of violence was/is not only a monopoly of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, but has entered the veins and bloodstream of this society.

"Muammar Gaddafi's 'trophy' body on show in Misrata meat store Libyans queue to see dictator's body as wounds appear to confirm he was killed in cold blood" (The Guardian October 22, 2011)

These are the days of the ‘little axes’, in so many hands, falling down on so many heads… How dare heads of state – like Sarkozy – speak through broadcasts to the Libyan people, “Its time now for reconciliation” , whereas those that need to be reconciled have been left behind with a collapsed state and hardly any governmental or citizen’s networks to undertake such a huge task of building a civil society and reconcile?

Many millions have been wasted on advanced technological military exercises. Nobody wanted to invest in diplomatic and civil campaigns to bring about regime change.

The nazi regime lasted a mere twelve years and ‘de-nazification’ several decades. We Europeans have not been able to stop the wild enforced regime change by an outsider high technology military force. NATO has been send in, paid by our tax money. What has been sold to us by Aljazeera and the like as a ‘people’s revolution’ may in the end well have mutated into a ‘coup d’état’ where the top have been toppled, but the echelons just below it remain in control.

Who then will be responsible for the ‘de-gaddafization’ of Libya?

This is certainly not a task for generals and their milieu of the military industrial-complex, it is not something NATO is good at and still we Europeans lay the solving of humanitarian crisis in the hands of the military  allowing the derivation from ‘problem solving’ into  ‘problem making’. It is sad that in times where ‘development aid’ and ‘humanitarian aid’ is discredited by many politicians, and scratched off the budget in many EEC countries, that military investments in missions like the one in Libya are well supported by the same representatives, we all have voted into our parliaments. There are even – recently – several examples of military missions paid for by  budgets earmarked for development aid.

Don’t we need new institutions, or at least a radical reformatting of the tasks of big organisations like NATO to try out other methods of human protection and appeasement?

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