Updates ~ Archive
Common Rights & Expectations
The status of these treaties changes. Occasionally "Reservations," "Understandings," or "Declarations," are attempted by individual countries at signing or ratification. These and the current status of each treaty are listed with The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Geneva Switzerland
The applicability of The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide may be affected by the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court which is empowered to deal with "the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of agression" (Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court), "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community." The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, treaty, and ratification status in both French and English, are available from the United Nations through: http://www.un.org/law/icc/.
2007December 22, 2007, Peru: the BBC reports that Fujimori, on trial for murder, appears contrite about the work of his government's death squads but refuses responsibility ("Fujimori 'regrets' rights abuses," Dec. 22, 2007, BBC new). He is not granted immunity for acts committed while in office. The previous sentence for violating the privacy of Montesinos (see below) may serve as a warning to remain silent about U.S. guidance for his crimes of power. The National Security Archive website currently carries Freedom of Information Act released documents on the early years of Fujimori's 'pacification plan'. Information derived from cabled reports within U.S. State Department channels, shows that the U.S. embassy was aware of the policies contravening human rights law, and wittingly supported the criminals. With death squad activity documented within the operation, there is evidence that Peru's Army, the U.S. Ambassador and State Department staff whose names are not mentioned, are complicit in death squad activity which targeted and killed International Commission of the Red Cross workers, as well as lawyers representing Sendero Luminosa, one of the movements standing up for the Peruvian people against foreign and corporate occupation. The U.S. State Department was aware that Fujimori's pacification plan of 1990 was both public and covert in order to commit crimes against humanity. American officials involved and all U.S. covert operatives in Peru could be liable to prosecution under Peruvian law initially, for complicity in some of the ugliest crimes known to modern understanding. - ed. ("P 230036Z AUG 90 FM AMEMBASSY LIMA," unclassified,; "PM 301817Z JUN 94, FM AMEMBASSY LIMA," unclassified, "REPORTED SECRET ANNEX TO NATIONAL PACIFICATION / HUMAN RIGHTS PLAN"; "P301817Z JUN 94," FM AMEMBASSY LIMA," unclassified, "SYSTEMATIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS UNDER FUJIMOPRI: EX ARMY OFFICER DESCRIBES HIS ROLE IN ASSASSINATIONS, LETTER BOMBS, RAPE AND TORTURE"; "0 151931Z MAR 94 FM AMEMBASSY LIMA," unclassified, "CLAIMED MEMBER OF 'COLINA' DESCRIBES BARRIOS ALTOS EXECUTIONS"; The National Security Archive; Fujimori on Trial: Secret DIA Intelligence Cable Ties Former President to Summary Executions, ed. Peter Kornbluh & Jeremy Bigwood," Dec. 10, 2007, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 237).
December 15, 2007, Peru: on Dec. 11th, Fujimori is sentenced to 6 years in prison and $135,000, for ordering a search/raid on the premises of his intelligence chief Montesinos' wife; Montesinos was considered Fujimori's CIA 'control'; Fujimori is separately accountable for the deaths of students, prisoners, lawyers etc.. ("Peru court sentences Fujimori to prison for abuse of authority," Mike Rosen-Molina, Dec. 12, 2007, Jurist; "Peru court sentences Fujimori to six years in jail," Dec. 11, 2007, AFP ~ Yahoo! News; "Peru ambivalent as ex-leader faces trial for massacres," Monte Reel & Lucien Chauvin, Dec. 10, 1007, Washington Post; "Peru's Fujimori says innocent of murder charges," Marco Aquino, Dec. 10, 2007, Reuters).
New Jersey: attempting legal parity on this issue with the international standard, New Jersey lawmakers have outlawed state murder by the death penalty; the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights notes that most U.N. member nations have banned the death penalty ~ Rwanda and Gabon, recently ("New Jersey votes to abolish the death penalty," Amy Goodman, Dec. 14, 2007, Democracy now!; "U.N. human rights chief welcomes Rwanda's abolition of the death penalty," Dec. 11, 2007, U.N. News Centre). See the U.N.'s Protocol on Abolition of the Death Penalty.
December 1, 2007, Ottawa: Federal Court in case No. 2007 FC 1262 has decided the Canada - U.S. treaty which returns to the States other-country refugees at land borders, isn't legal. It isn't legal because the U.S. isn't a "safe" country, ie. it sends people to torture, like Maher Arar; and because place of entry shouldn't affect the legitimacy of a refugee claim. For example, poor people are more likely to travel overland. The case was brought by Amnesty International and a Colombian refugee, and others; the decision of November 29, 2007, is available on the Federal Court site at < http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/IMM-7818-05.pdf > ("Canadian Judge Invalidates Country's Refugee Treaty With U.S.," Joe Schneider, Nov. 29, 2007, Bloomberg.com [access: < http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=ac7z3CbBKLlw&refer=canada >], apprec. Lawyers Against the War email of Nov. 30, 2007). One reason for both Canada and the United States to accept refugees from third world countries, is that corporate policies found in both countries have damaged the refugees' home country to the partial destruction of entire peoples. Consider the genocide against the native people of Guatemala. To deny survivors who flee Third World destabilisations a chance to survive suggests an intent to destroy the entire national, racial, religious group.
Cameroun: "unknown" apparently unidentifiable groups of masked men committing atrocities against the native population are depopulating areas of the Central African Republic; people taking refuge in eastern Cameroun are said to be sure of one thing only - that they will not go home (info. source: "Central African Republic: refugees in Cameroon fear returning home," Garoua Boulaè, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, Nov. 29. 2007, allafrica.com); because de-population and ethnic cleansings have served Euro-American corporate attempts to take over natural resources belonging to the people of the land, companies pursuing mining, oil and gas rights in this region should be placed on a watch list; whoever eventually gains control should be marked for action by the world community at international law; there should be at least an ethnic cleansing warning for this region -ed..
Chile: the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to drop the charges of embezzlement against Pinochet's family on the grounds that they couldn't embezzle if they weren't government employees... Previously it affirmed the convictions of a number of military brass for murder of a Communist official (Contreras): 3 years suspended sentence and a day in jail ... ("Chile High Court Affirms Pinochet Family Embezzlement Indictment Dismissal," Leslie Schulman, Nov. 23, 2007, Jurist; "Chile High Court Upholds Convictions of 7 Former Pinochet Officials, Acquits 1," Lisl Brunner, Nov. 14, 2007, Jurist); here is a stanza from Gabriela Mistral's "El corro luminoso":
En vano queréis
ahogar mi canción:
¡un millón de niños
la canta en un corro
debajo del sol!
Peru: the Supreme Court gave 9 suspended sentences and one sentence of ten years, to government officials under former dictator Fujimori who installed a dictatorship on a democracy in the face of a "terrorist threat"; Fujimori's trial is about to begin ("Peru High Court Sentences Former Fujimori Ministers for Aiding 1992 Power Grab," Michael Sung, Nov. 27, 2007, Jurist). Concerning Peru's courts - corporate controls seem firmly in place: American prisoner Lori Berenson is serving twenty years in prison for being in love; Abimael Guzman, remains sentenced to life in prison when the people he fought against betrayed both democracy and the judicial system.
October 27, 2007, Chile: in an appeals court decision which lends insight into the betrayal of democracy by General Pinochet and his supporters, the dead general's wealthy family and a number of supportive officers have been found innocent of taking the peoples' money for their own uses. The Pinochet regime resulted in the murders of thousands on thousands of those who were not his political supporters. 'Chilean Justice' continues to encourage a judicial concept that suggests crimes against humanity are allowable if the criminals are ruling class Chileans ("Court Drops Charges Vs. Pinochet Family," Eduardo Gallardo, October 26, 2007, Associated Press; "Pinochet family charges dropped," Oct. 26, 2007, BBC News).
October 26, 2007, Paris: according to a joint press release of the International Federation for Human Rights, Center for Constitutional Rights, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, the French League for Human Rights, (as forwarded by Lawyers Against the War Oct. 26, 2007), these have brought a complaint against Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. Secretary of Defence, - for torture ("Donald Rumsfeld Charged with Torture During Trip to France: Complaint Filed Against Former Defence Secretary for Torture, Abuse at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib," Press Release, October 26, 2007 [Access: http://www.fidh.org/spip.php?article4831] FIDH). From the press release: “The filing of this French case against Rumsfeld demonstrates that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice. Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide. A torturer is an enemy of all humankind,” said CCR President Michael Ratner. Rumsfeld was visiting France which places him under France's obligations to the Convention against Torture (1984), obligations not yet honoured in the U.S., Germany or Canada. Testimonies by detainees at Guantanamo are included in the Complaint ("Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris," October 25, 2007 [Access: http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/plainteFINALE25oct07.pdf]).
October 14, 2007, Argentina: Christian von Wernich, police chaplain and Roman Catholic Priest, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his participation in police murders, tortures and kidnapping during Argentina's military rule (1976-83) ("Dirty War Case: Argentine Priest Guilty," Mayra Pertossi AP, Oct. 9, 2007, msnbc).
Cuba: President Fidel Castro writes in Granma International of NATO's war against Yugoslavia, naming as "accomplices of that brutal genocide," President Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeleine Albright, among the Americans ( "A Silent Complicity," Fidel Castro, Oct. 11, 2007, Digital Granma Internacional); in 1999, the breakdown of international law which extended to the U.N. World Court's refusal to stop NATO bombing of civilians, the Court set aside its adjudication of genocide by the U.S., not on the merits of the case but on the grounds that the U.S. would not subscribe to the Court's authority.
U.S.A.: the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives approved and passed along to the House, House Resolution 106 recognizing the Turkish slaughters beginning c. 1915 of possibly one and a half million Armenians, as a "genocide." The Turkish government objects ("Turkey slaps US over genocide bill," Oct. 11, 2007, Herald Sun Australia; "House Panel Raises Furor on Armenian Genocide," Steven Lee Myers and Carl Hulse, Oct. 11, 2007, The New York Times; "U.S. Administrations Regrets House Foreign Affairs Committee Vote on H. Res. 106", Oct. 10, 2007, 2007/872 U.S. Department of State); while this raises the profile of U.S. concern for the issue of "genocide," the issue seems controlled by organizations such as Genocide Watch which risk having a 'special interest' (see Bulletins Oct. 14).
October 6, 2007, Chile: Pinochet's wife and five children were among 23 persons indicted in Chile for subverting government funds to their own uses. During his life Pinochet himself was spared judgement at court by a long series of legal manoeuvres; a portion of Pinochet wealth was discovered in 128 secret accounts valued at over a hundred million dollars; as a national leader whose rise to power was accompanied by the massacres of opposition party followers, death squads, and u.s. c.i.a. support if not direction, Pinochet provided South and Central American capitalists and economists with a role model for their own advancement, so this ultimate check on those who benefit so directly is one small but necessary step toward social justice in the Americas. While the BBC reports that Pinochet's wife and children have posted bail it declines to mention how much. According to the Taipei Times former generals "Jorge Ballerino, Guillermo Garin, Juan Romero, Hector Letelier, Sergio Moreno, Ramon Castro" and junior officers are among the indicted ("Chilean judge orders arrest of Pinochet family - Summary," DPA, Oct. 4, 2007, Earthtimes.org nz; "Pinochet family bail is approved," Oct. 6, 2007, BBC news; "Chileans split on arrests of Pinochet family," AP, Oct. 6, 2007, Taipei times; "Pinochet’s Widow, Children Arrested in Chile," Headlines Oct. 5, 2007, Democracy Now!).
September 22, 2007: noting the example of Iraq, Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency has bravely warned Britain and the U.S. and under Mr. Sarkhozy an increasingly complicit France, to avoid the use of force in Iran ("Drift into war with Iran out of control, says UN," Julian Borger, Sept. 18, 2008, Guardian Unlimited; "Prepare for war with Iran: French warning," Alex Spillius, Sept. 18, 2007,Sydney Morning Herald [Access: www.smh.com.au]). My own belief is that any aggression toward the sovereign nation of Iran is a war crime, and that anyone who cooperates with the attack on and destruction of yet another Muslim country knowingly partakes in a genocide... ed.. Genocide warning: see January 31.
Chile: setting aside a skill in delaying punishment for the powerful, Chile's Supreme Court has ruled the former president of Peru must return to Peru to face trial on charges of financial corruption and human rights violations ("Chile's top court rules to extradite Fujimori," Reuters, Sept. 21, 2007, Reuters U.K.; "Fujimori faces jail after losing extradition battle," Jonathan Franklin, Sept. 22, 2007, Guardian Unlimited); the former president may be asked to account for crimes of the Colina death squad - although his concepts of justice were impressed on the entire legal/judicial community (see Abimael Guzman).
August 20, 2007, Europe: 20 million images of Third Reich concentration camp documents are being released by the International Tracing Service; see Bulletins.
August 17, 2007, Alabama: despite testimony of witnessing money exchanged for the assassinations of union leaders, on July 26th a jury in Alabama found local U.S. company Drummond coal, not guilty, not liable for the murders; the government of Colombia assisted in blocking adverse evidence; some witnesses against Drummond don't dare return to Colombia; an appeal is planned - United Steel Workers and International Labor Rights Fund are defending families of the victims ("Drummond Found Not Guilty in Colombia Union Trials," Amy Goodman, Aug. 17, 2007, Democracy Now!; "Jury Finds Drummond Coal Not Liable in Murder of Colombian Unionists," D. Lencho, July 31, 2007, World Socialist Web Site); see July 14th, below.
July 19, 2007, Mexico: Luis Echeverria was cleared of genocide charges in the massacre of left wing students in 1968, when he was Mexico's Minister of the Interior; the massacre itself was ruled a genocide by the Third United Criminal court, because of clear intent to exterminate the student protestors, but Echeverria's responsibility was not established; though Echeverria was accused of many human rights crimes, the special prosecutor's office which dealt with such crimes was closed as President Fox left office and remains closed under President Calderon ("Mexico criminal court clears ex-president of genocide charges," Michael Sung, July 14, 2007, Jurist;"Mexican Court Clears Ex-Leader in '68 Massacre," Manuel Roig-Franzia, July 13, 2007, Washington Post ~ washingtonpost.com).
Phnom Penh: prosecutors have finally presented a list of five suspected senior leaders in the Cambodian genocide of the 1970's, for trial ("Prosecutors in Cambodia submit Khmer Rouge genocide cases," the Associated Press, LawInfo.com); the Cambodian genocide trials are preceded by disagreements over Cambodian sovereignty; foreign involvement has not been entirely welcome; never mentioned in the press or contemporary discussions of the 1.7 million Cambodians who died, is the U.S. role in depriving Cambodia of food resources by extensive bombings of the countryside and whether the resulting destruction of food production and starvation affected the killing of so many people. - ed.
July 14, 2007, Birmingham Alabama: under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act (18thC), Colombians have opened a case against Drummond Coal Company in a Birmingham Alabama court, alleging Drummond hired paramilitary killers to assassinate Union leaders; Drummond's chief of security was claimed to be a director of operations for paramilitaries in Colombia ("U.S. Coal Firm Linked to Colombia Militias," Frank Bajak, July 7, 2007, "Associated Press" / "Common Dreams.org" [Access: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/07/2349/];"Alabama coal company accused of bankrolling Colombia's killer right-wing militias," Frank Bajak, July 7, 2007 [Access: http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/world/content/shared-gen/ap/Latin_America_And_Caribbean/APFN_Colombia_Coal_Murders.html]; "U.S. Coal Company Linked to Union Leaders' Assassinations in Colombia," July 7, 2007, Short News.com; "U.S. Firm On Trial in Colombia Slayings," Juan Forero, July 13, 2007, washingtonpost.com).
June 12, 2007, Germany: this concerns a legal challenge where groups of lawyers concerned with protection of human rights, applied as a near last resort to the German courts to counter regimens of torture used by Bush administration policy at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. German law allows 'universal jurisdiction', prosecution of war criminals wherever the crime occurs. A German Federal Prosecutor found that under Germany's universal jurisdiction laws, concerning the cases of victims of U.S. torture, that the charges had nothing to do with Germany, and so dismissed them. The German argument has in the past relied on the notion that such cases can be handled by U.S. mechanisms of law. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), New York's Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the Republican Attorney's Association (RAV) have made the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers aware of undue pressure by the U.S. on the Prosecution, and with increasing evidence of US inability to deal adequately with crimes of torture a motion for reconsideration of the case was refiled June 11, 2007, by Wolfgang Kaleck acting for numerous groups ("UN: Report concludes German prosecutor failed to act independently when dismissing 2004 torture complaint !" Press Release, Grilhot & Kaleck, June 11, 2007, via Lawyers Against the War).
Belgrade: Milosevic's widow and son, who have found some refuge in Russia, are being charged by a Serbian special prosecutor in what was once Yugoslavia for organizing illegal cigarette smuggling, back then ("Milosevic's Widow, son, to be Charged," Associated Press, June 11, 2007, Newsday.com -AP World News). Milosevic died in custody/prison of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) while in the final stages of his trial; he was charged with genocide in what might objectively be considered a 'victor's court', when in fact as president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia he had brought charges of genocide (April 29, 1999) against NATO countries for bombing a defenceless civilian population and the infra-structure, including monasteries, of his country before Yugoslavia was broken into parts (see "On Crimes of Power, the Bombing of Yugoslavia, 1999"); the International Court of Justice held that case against various NATO countries indefinitely for consideration (as far as I know these charges remain on hold - ed.) while dismissing the charges against the U.S. because the U.S. as a rogue nation did not subscribe to the International Court's Jurisdiction. NATO forces considered the death a heart attack, possibly suicide. The international community will not know the cause of his death until investigation by objective and impartial experts. Milosevic's son declared the death a murder. People consider that a possibility. So charges against the family seem a misuse of international law to silence dissent.
May 31, 2007, Geneva: Martin Sheinin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, on May 25th made public his preliminary findings. At the invitation of the U.S. government he conducted a "legal assessment" of the 'war on terrorism,' within the perspective of international law, and with access to the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Congress, NGO's but not places of detention, not Guantanamo. Respectful of U.S. traditions the Special Rapporteur found the U.S. to be in violation of laws protecting human rights. The "Preliminary Findings on Visit to United States by Special Rapporteur on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism", May 29, 2007, Official press release of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [access:< http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/338107B9FD5A33CDC12572EA005286F8?opendocument >].In summary: under law the U.S. must obey the Geneva Conventions and other Human Rights treaties, and is not. A third category of prisoner, "unlawful enemy combatant", assigned men detained at Guantanamo, is a term of convenience outside the law. U.S. procedural restrictions in assigning this unlawful status, are also in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) , Article 9 (1), Article 9 (3), and Article 14 (3). The closing of Guantanamo is urged. Other shortfalls of U.S. obligations to law are noted. The report points out that the Military Commissions Act has illegally and against the laws of war, given authority to military commissions for civilian offenses. Retroactive application of criminal law is also noted. There is a real (eventually actionable I think) problem with U.S. use of torture and evidence obtained from torture; "enhanced interrogation techniques" are a war crime; any application of the death penalty would suggest a war crime. The CIA remains accused of secret renditions (these are crimes). The report finds the U.S. Patriot Act takes the definition of terrorism beyond 'terrorist' conduct, particularly with regards to provision of "material support to terrorist organizations"(ie. the cases of Dr. Dhafir and Sami Al-Arian, -ed.). The report praises U.S. government "outreach" to immigrant groups. U.S. surveillance measures are suspect. With regard to "freedom of expression", the Special Rapporteur cautions against restrictions on free speech while not mentioning the absences of media responsibility which have allowed criminal policies (source: ibid. [access:< http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/338107B9FD5A33CDC12572EA005286F8?opendocument >]).May 25, 2007, Samara Iraq; I've found no reports of lifting the siege in Samara, -ed.. On May 16th, 2007, Doctors for Iraq put out a call for:
1. The immediate and full lifting of the military siege of Samara as these kind of military actions are an act of collective punishment on the cities inhabitants and cause deeper hardship for people.Samara was attacked and isolated once again since about May 2nd, by U.S. and occupation-cooperative troops. Civilians are denied access to health care and humanitarian assistance. Local NGOs request food supplies which are being kept out of the city. By May 22nd at least 10 people have died from lack of fuel supplies to the main hospital. IPS reporters confirm U.S. and occupation troops responding to attacks by shutting off civilians' power and water supplies, as well as raids, bulldozing, taking prisoners. Inhabitants consider the actions "collective punishment" (Info: DFI: email@example.com , Dr Salam Ismael ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ; "Doctors for Iraq call for immediate end to US/UK military siege of Samara," press release forward may 20, 2007, Lawyers Against the War; "Curfew Begins to Choke Samara," Ali Al-Fadhily, May 22, 2007 Inter Press Service News Agency).
2. Immediate and full access for local NGOs and health workers into the city. For food and humanitarian aid to be allowed into the city so people can be given safe, free and immediate access to food and medicines.
3. The government of Iraq to bring an end to all military activities that breach the Geneva Conventions and discriminate against unarmed civilians.
Florence Italy: the appeals court here has supported the claims of Greek victims of crimes by German Nazis; the "the 4th SS police division" (german-foreign-policy.com) massacred much of the village of Distomo, June 1944. The ruling enforceable, Germany owes reparations of 30 million euros. Although the Greek Supreme Court previously cleared the way to impounding German property in Greece (including the Goethe Institute) for the Distomo families, a political agreement between heads of state in 2002 denied Greece the validity of her judicial system. When the Distomo victims' families attempted justice in Germany's courts, they lost (sources: "Prohibit under all circumstances," May 10, 2007, german-foreign-policy.com with appreciation to Lawyers Against the War ; "Italian Court Rules in Distomo Case," Achilleas Topas, May 4, 2007, Athens News; "Massacre of Distomo" [Access May 26, 2007: http://www.distomo.gr/history/massacre.htm]). The loss prefigured unlikely attempts by NATO country lawyers to call American officials accused of torture to account under German law. Humanity owes the families of Distomo victims and the people of Italy thanks for insisting, for maintaining the value of civilian lives, of the sanctity of villages, the wholeness of self, of the sureness of one's home , against criminal armies of the powerful.
January 31, 2007, Ottawa: After the bombing of Lebanon, the ongoing destruction of Palestine and Gaza, the occupation of Afghanistan, the ruin of Iraq, the stripping of human rights from Muslims in Guantanamo Bay (and under CanadianSecurity Certificates), bombing Iran would suggest a coalition policy of genocide against Islamic peoples. Use of nuclear weapons against Iran or by anyone would be a use of nuclear weapons against the entire earth. Genocide warning.
Here is an autocritique of his people and faith by Las Casas in 1542,after they brought the Inquisition to the New World:
Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus to rise to high estate disproportionate to their merits. It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the greatest ever seen in the world, is the cause of their villainies. And also the lands are so rich and felicitous, the native peoples so meek and patient, so easy to subject, that our Spaniards [in this instance]have no more consideration for them than beasts.... from "The Devastation of the Indies, a brief account: Prologue of the Bishop Don Fray Bartholome de las Casas"...not to keep criminal silence.... ( Documents of Invasion, ed. Peter A. Lenz, Healing Our Heritage, Maine Performing Arts and Humanities Inc. circa 1992).
January 30, 2007 U.K.: In an objection to genocide ("Terror and starvation in Gaza: Pilger on the genocide that is engulfing Palestine as bystanders silently look on," John Pilger, Jan. 22, 2007, New Statesman; "Looking from the side: from Belsen to Gaza, John Pilger, Jan. 17, 2007, Znet commentaries) John Pilger notes the continuing destruction of a people in a crime the Euro- American establishment doesn't mention, when it's not to its advantage. Pilger is possibly the first major western media journalist to specify Gaza as an ongoing genocide. The 2006 archived Bulletins page, on June 30, 2006 noted a genocide warning for Gaza, with subsequent entries, ie. on November 15th a United Nations denunciation of Israel's actions in Gaza. There are several "international" (U.S. and NATO) counter-Genocide organizations well funded but operating with selective focus. Usually Palestine as the victim of intentional supremacist policies, is overlooked while media attention is focussed on tribal wars and civil wars where destabilisation, invasions and the possibility of intervention further corporate interests and often U.S. policy. U.S. commitment to the Convention on Genocide was called into question by its reservations at ratification ("An Essay Against Genocide: or why the convention on genocide hasn't worked" 1995, J.B.Gerald).
January 20, 2007, re-posted, necessary reading: Prof. Francis A. Boyle, "Iraq and the Laws of War" [archive]. Gail Davidson, "Omar Khadr, Illegal Detention and Torture by US Forces in Guantánamo Bay" [archive].
January 19, 2007, U.S.: after condemnation from the ABA and law school deans, "Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Detainee Affairs" Charles Stimson (see below, Jan. 14, 2007) has retracted his shock at lawyers representing detainees, apologizing by letter in the Washington Post according to Democracy Now!. But lawyers still seem threatened. Amy Goodman asked Dean Emily Spieler of Northeastern School of Law who co-authored a letter condemning Stimson 's statement, if Dean Spieler thought Guantanamo should be closed. The dean refused to answer directly saying she supports international law... ("Detainee Affairs Head Sorry for Gitmo Lawyer Boycott Call," Amy Goodman, Jan. 17, 2007; and "Top Pentagon Official Calls for Boycott of Law Firms Representing Guantanamo Prisoners," Amy Goodman & others, Jan. 17, 2007, Democracy Now!). While Guantanamo Bay has violated Geneva Conventions and laws against torture, and two Secretary-Generals of the United Nations have called for its closure, U.S. legal, cultural and academic communities are slow to look beyond their own wellbeing.
Madrid: for the second time Spain seeks the extradition of Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford, Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp, to face charges in the death of Jose Couso, a citizen of Spain and cameraman for Telecinco, who was killed in Baghdad. A cameraman for Reuters, Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, died in the same attack ("Spanish court issues arrest warrant for three US soldiers," dpa German Press Agency, Jan. 16, 2007, therawstory). Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) gives the number of journalists killed on duty in Iraq since March 2003, as 93, and an additional 37 media workers ("Iraq: Journalists in Danger" [Access Jan. 19, 2007: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/Iraq/Iraq_danger.html]. Reporters without Borders has asked additional protection since six were killed in the past week. It lists 146 journalists killed including their assistants ("Journalists Ask for Protection in Iraq After 6 Killed in Week," AP, Jan. 18, 2007, Editor & Publisher). Is there a policy of targeting journalists ? CPJ statistics for WW II list 68 journalists killed.
January 14, 2007: Cambodia: Nuon Chea is to stand trial for genocide before Cambodian courts. Once second in command of the Khmer rouge he will plead innocent; the Jurist notes he has stated to the Phnom Penh Post that Cambodia's Communist "regime had no reason to kill its own people" ("Former Cambodian Khmer Rouge leader denies killing fields' genocide," Natalie Hrubos, Jan. 12, 2007, Jurist, Univ.Pittsburgh School of Law; ref. also "Ex-Khmer Rouge Leader Denies Genocide," AP, Jan. 12, 2007, My way). Much of Cambodia's population was to die from starvation as a result of U.S. covert bombing of Cambodia. Edward Herman has written of this in a little known essay that may still be available on znet : " Pol Pot and Kissinger," Edward S. Herman, Zmagazine, Sept.1997 [Access: http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/hermansept97.htm]).
U.S.: American law firms have come under attack for defending Guantanamo refugees. The Jurist quotes" Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Detainee Affairs Charles 'Cully' Stimson" as saying "it's shocking... The major law firms in this country...are out there representing detainees." The Kansas City Star clarifies this as a call to boycott firms attempting to assure basic mechanisms of human rights through pro bono work for detainees ("Official calls for boycott of law firms representing detainees," Carol Rosenberg ~ McClatchey Newspapers, Jan. 22, 2007, KansasCity.com; "DOD official slams US law firms for defending Guantanamo detainees,"Kate Heneroty, Jan. 12, 2007, Jurist). The attempts to intimidate law firms is Nazi and may give some insight into how DOD training and influence affect the legal systems of for example Peru (See note on Abimael Guzman.- ed.). New York lawyer Lynne Stewart has received direct government action [punishment] related to her defence of a Muslim defendant .
Spain: on January 12th Isabel Peron (Maria Estela Martinez de Peron) was arrested in Villanueva de la Canada, Spain; an Argentine judge wants to question her concerning a specific disappearance in 1976. She became President of Argentina following her husband Juan Peron. Triple A (Argentine Anticommunist Alliance) was operating as a death squad under the adminstrations of both Perons, and allegedly responsible for 1500 assassinations ("Isabel Peron's arrest signals shift in Argentina," Patrick J. McDonnell, Jan. 13, 2007, Los Angles Times; "Spanish police arrest Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron," Reuters, Jan. 13, 2007, New Zealand Herald). See below.
January 13, 2007, Argentina: legal actions continue against alleged triple A members, operating under the rule of Isabel Peron, 1974-6. The death squad killed leftists, among them , journalists and politicians. Its alleged planner was Jose Lopez Rega, Peron's "social welfare minister," (deceased 1989); various associates are charged. Increased interest in Peronistas may reveal links to U.S. and European covert operations ("Argentina probes pre-Dirty War rights crimes," Hilary Burke (addl. Damian Wroclavsky), Jan. 10, 2007, Reuters Alert net). See also The Vanished Gallery ~ English [access:< http://www.yendor.com/vanished/ >] ~ Espagnol [access:< http://www.yendor.com/vanished/s-index.html >].
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Government of Peru must, to quote the NYTimes "apologize for the bloody 1992 raid on the Miguel Castro prison, pay compensation to the families of 41 rebels from the Maoist Shining Path group killed there and put their names on a monument to thousands of victims of hostilities in Peru" ("Ruling on Shining Path Rebels Angers Peru," Reuters, Jan. 11, 2007, New York Times). The Times article makes no mention of Shining Path leader, Abimael Guzman, placed in a public cage, sentenced for life by covert military trials and recently re-tried in September under media blackout, with the same sentence reimposed ( Oct. 19, 2006, on Political Prisoners urgent).
January 9, 2007, Chilé: Pinochet's death without justice leaves Chilé to carry its shame: one in seven DINA.(security police) were trained at the US School of the Americas; the new Presidente, tortured under Pinochet's regime, has allowed the continued training of Chiléan forces at the School of the Americas ("Notorious graduates from Chilé," "SOA/WHINSEC grads in the news," "Former Chilean dictator with ties to the School of the Americas dies" [Access Jan. 8, 2007: http://www.soaw.org], School of the Americas Watch); the School of the Americas [access:< http://www.soaw.org >] website provides a database of its graduates and their crimes against humanity.
convention against genocide