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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1996 This report covers the period January to December 1995 Amnesty International is a worldwide voluntary movement...

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1996

This report

covers the period

January to December 1995

Amnesty International is a worldwide voluntary movement that works to prevent some of the gravest violations by governments of people's fundamental human rights. The main focus of its campaigning is to:

- free all prisoners of conscience. These are people detained anywhere for their beliefs or because of their ethnic origin, sex, colour, language, national or social origin, economic status, birth or other status - who have not used or advocated violence; - ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners; - abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment of prisoners; - end extrajudicial executions and "disappearances". Amnesty International also opposes abuses by opposition groups, including hostage­ taking, torture and killings of prisoners and other deliberate and arbitrary killings. International, recognizing that human rights are indivisible and interdependent, works to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards, through human rights education programs and campaigning for ratification of human rights treaties.

Amnesty

is impartial. It is independent of any government , political persuasion or religious creed. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the protection of the human rights involved in each case, regardless of the ideology of the government or opposition forces, or the beliefs of the individual.

Amnesty International

does not grade countries according to their record on human rights; instead of attempting comparisons it concentrates on trying to end the specific violations of human rights in each case. Amnesty International

has more than 1 ,000,000 members and subscribers in 1 92 countries and territories. There are 4,354 local Amnesty International groups registered with the International Secretariat and several thousand school, university, professional and other groups in 92 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. To ensure impartiality, each group works on cases and campaigns in countries other than its own, selected for geographical and political diversity. Research into human rights violations and individual victims is conducted by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International. No section, group or member is expected to provide information on their own country, and no section, group or member has any responsibility for action taken or statements issued by the international organization concerning their own country.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International has formal relations with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cul tural Organization (UNESCO); the Council of Europe; the Organization of A merican States: the Organization of African Unity; and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Amnesty International is financed by subscriptio ns and donati ons from its worldwide membership. No funds are sought or accepted from governments. To safeguard the independence of the organization, all contribu tions are strictly controlled by guidelines laid down by the International Council.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 1996

Amnesty International Publications 1

Easton Street, London

wclx BD]

United Kingdom

First published 1996 by Amnesty International Publications 1 Easton Street. London wc1x 60). United Kingdom © Copyright

Amnesty International Publications 1996 ISBN: 0 66210 260 x AI Index: POL 10/02/96 Original language: English

Typesetting and page make-up by: Accent on type. 30/31 Great Sutton Street. London Ec1v Oox. United Kingdom Printed by: The Alden Press. Osney Mead. Oxford. United Kingdom Cover design: John Finn. Artworkers Cover photograph: © Katz Pictures/John Reardon All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproducod. stored in a retrieval system. or transmitted. in any form or by any means. electronic. mechanical. photocopying. recording and/or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers.

This report documents Amnesty International's work and its concerns throughout the world during 1995. The

absence of an entry in this report on a particular country does not imply that no human rights violations of concern to Amnesty International have taken place there during the year. Nor is the length of a country entry any basis for a comparison of the extent and depth of Amnesty International's concerns in a country. Regional maps have been included in this report to indicate the location of countries and territories cited in the text and for that

purpose only. It is not possible on the small scale used to show precise political boundaries. The maps should not be taken as indicating any view on the status of disputed territory. Amnesty International takes no position on territorial questions. Disputed boundaries and cease-fire lines are shown, whore possible, by broken lines. Areas whose disputed status is a matter of unreso lved concern before the relevant bodies of the United Nations (UN) have been indicated by stripi ng only on the maps of the country whic h has de facto control of the area.

CONTENTS

CONTENTS Introduction/Trading in terror Campaigns/Challenging injustice around the world Membership/Amnesty International members on the move Human Rights PromotionIRaising awareness of human rights RefugeeslRefugee protection under threat Work with International Organizations Seeking justice and accountability Impunity and international justice Accountability of states

(the Islamic State of) (the Republic of) Algeria (the People's Democratic Republic of) Angola (the Republic of) Argentina (the Argentine Republic) Armenia (the Republic of) Afghanistan Albania

Australia

Republic of) (the Azerbaijani Republic)

Austria (the Azerbaijan

(the Commonwealth of the) Bahrain (the State of) Bangladesh (the People's Republic of) Belarus (the Republic of) Bahamas

Belize

(the Kingdom of) (the Republic of) Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Botswana (the Republic of) Brazil (the Federative Republic of) Bulgaria (the Republic of) Bhutan Bolivia

Burkina Faso Burma

(see Myanmar) (the Republic of)

1 19 27 35 43 53 53 54 60 67 69 72 74 77 78 80 82 83 85 86 88 90 91 92 93 95 98 99 1 02 103

Burundi

105

(the Kingdom of) Cameroon (the Republic of) Chad (the Republic of) Chile (the Republic of) China (the People's Republic of) Colombia (the Republic of) Congo (the Republic of the) Costa Rica (the Republic of) Cote d'Ivoire (the Republic of) Croatia (the Republic of) Cuba (the Republic of)

1 08 111 1 14 116 117 121 1 24 125 126 128 131

Cambodia

I





I i ...

i

CONTENTS

(the Republic of) (the)

Cyprus

Czech Republic

1 34 135

(the Kingdom of) (the)

1 36 138

(the Republic of) (the Arab Republic of) El Salvador (the Republic of) Equatorial Guinea (the Republic of)

1 38 140 143 1 44 147 147 1 48

Denmark

Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt

Eritrea

(the Republic of) Ethiopia (the Federal Democratic Republic of) Estonia

France

(the French Republic)

(the Republic of the) (the Republic of) Germany (the Federal Republic of) Greece (the Hellenic Republic) Gambia

Georgia

Grenada

(the Republic of) of) Guyana (the Republic of) Guatemala

Guinea (the Republic

Haiti

(the Republic of) (the Republic of)

Honduras

Hong Kong Hungary

(the Republic of)

151 153 1 56 157 158 1 60 1 60 1 64 165 1 66 1 68 1 70 1 71

(the Republic of) (the Republic of) and East TImor Iran (the Islamic Republic of) Iraq (the Republic of) Israel (the State of) and the Occupied Territories, including areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority Italy (the Italian Republic)

1 72 1 75 1 78 1 81

Jamaica

1 90 1 91 193

India

Indonesia

Japan Jordan

(the Hashemite Kingdom of)

Kazakstan (the Republic

of) of) Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of) Korea (the Republic of) Kuwait (the State of) Kyrgyzstan (the Kyrgyz Republic) Kenya (the Republic

1 84 188

1 95 1 95 1 98 200 202 204

CONTENTS

(the Lao People's Democratic Republic) (the Republic of) Lebanon (the Lebanese Republic) Lesotho (the Kingdom of) Liberia (the Republic of) Libya (the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) Lithuania (the Republic of) Luxembourg (the Grand Duchy of) Laos

Latvia

Malawi (the Republic

of)

205 205 206 209 210 213 215 215

216

Malaysia

217

(the Republic of) of) Mauritania (the Islamic Republic of) Mauritius (the Republic of) Mexico (the United Mexican States) Moldova (the Republic of)

218

Maldives

Mali (the Republic

Mongolia Morocco

(the Kingdom of) and Western Sahara Mozambique (the Republic of) Myarunar (the Union of)

219 221 222 222 226 227 227 229 230

Nepal

233

Netherlands

234

(the Kingdom of) (the Kingdom of the) Nicaragua (the Republic of) Nigeria (the Federal Republic of) Oman

(the Sultanate of)

Pakistan Panama

(the Islamic Republic of) (the Republic of)

Papua New Guinea

235 237

240

241 244 244

Paraguay

246

Peru (the Republic

248

(the Republic of) of) Philippines (the Republic of the) Poland (the Republic of) Portugal (the Portuguese Republic)

251 253 253

Romania

255

Russia

(the Russian Federation) Rwanda (the Rwandese Republic)

257

Sai nt Lucia

263

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

264

Saudi Arabia

(the Kingdom of) (the Republic of) Sierra Leone (the Republic of) Singapore (the Republic of)

264

Senegal

267

260

268 271

i

m '"



� I �



� � ::11

... ...



CONTENTS

Somalia

272

(the Republic of) Spain (the Kingdom of) Sri Lanka (the Democratic Socialist Republic of) Sudan (the Republic of the) Swaziland (the Kingdom of) Switzerland (the Swiss Confederation) Syria (the Syrian Arab Republic)

275

Taiwan

(the Republic of China) (the Republic of) Tanzania (the United Republic of) T hailand (the Kingdom of) Togo (the Togolese Republic) Trinidad and Tobago (the Republic of) Thnisia (the Republic of) Thrkey (the Republic of)

291

Tajikistan

292

301

Thrkmenistan

304

South Africa

Uganda

278 280 282 285 287 288

293 295 296 298 299

(the Republic of)

305

Ukraine

307

(the) United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the) United States of America (the) Uruguay (the Eastern Republic of) Uzbekistan (the Republic of)

308

United Arab Emirates

(the Republic of) (the Socialist Republic of)

I

I �

I

316 317

319

Viet Nam

321

Yemen

...

313

Venezuela

Western Samoa

I

309

(the Independent State of)

324

(the Republic of) (the Federal Republic of)

325

Yugoslavia

328

Zaire

(the Republic of) (the Republic of) Zimbabwe (the Republic of)

330

Zambia

333 334

APPENDICES 339

I

Amnesty International Visits 1995

IT

Statute of Amnesty International: Articles

ill

Amnesty International around the World

343

International Executive Committee

346

IV

1 and 2

341

V

Update on Abolition of the Death Penalty

347

VI

Selected International Human Rights Treaties

348

VII

Selected Regional Human Rights Treaties

357

vm

Selected Statistics

360

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

I

Trading in terror

1

In a busy market-place in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, crowds of people jostled around the stalls one Sunday in November

1995. Suddenly, without warning, bombs rained down from the sky. When the smoke cleared, more than 180 people were found to be dead or wounded. Among them were dozens of children. Less than a week later, in a different residential area, another market square was full of people buying their daily essentials. Once again deadly weapons slammed into the crowd. This time there were some 45 casualties. These attacks were launched by the rebel Islamist

Taleban militia, but the exhausted citizens of

Kabul have endured years of arbitrary killings by various armed factions, all equally indifferent to their suffering. Since April

1992 scores of unarmed Afghan civilians have been killed al­ most every week in artillery attacks, many of which appear to have been deliberately aimed at their homes. The scale of the bloodshed is also an indictment of the inter­ national community. Powerful and neighbouring governments poured weapons into the hands of warring factions for more than a decade after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979. They sought to increase their influence in the region through the internal politics of Afghanistan, regardless of the consequences for Afghan civilians. They were well aware that their allies were committing gross and widespread human rights abuses. They

:a

Refugees from Rwanda making their way in mid-1994 across the border to Goma in Zaire lay down their arms. However, the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide c onti nued to receive deadly weapons, despite international arms embargoes.



i

INTRODucnON

2

helped set the stage for today's catastrophic human rights situ­ ation and so they must take particular responsibility for bringing the abuses to an end. Yet governments which rushed to arm the warring factions during the Cold War years now ignore the legacy of armed conflict and human rights abuses. In November

1995 Amnesty International launched a special appeal to those countries - principally the United States of America (USA) and Russia, some of their allies, and Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and India. It called on them to take responsibility for the use made of arms they had supplied, and to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild institutions to protect human rights. Tragically, this annual report demonstrates that Afghanistan is only one of many countries where atrocities are being commit­ ted on a virtually daily basis. Faced with such disasters, how can a human rights movement like Amnesty International re­ spond? The challenges posed by massive human rights abuses and the disintegration of state authority in many areas have led human rights campaigners to develop new strategies. As well as addressing individual governments, Amnesty International now also focuses attention on relations between different states, and on powerful players on the international stage which are not governments, be they armed groups or commercial companies. Amnesty International has always worked to persuade gov­ ernments to address misconduct by their law enforcement and military personnel. Its worldwide membership has persistently and determinedly pressed states to comply with international human rights standards and the basic principles of humanitarian law. One method of applying pressure is public exposure, and this annual report is a contribution to ensuring that human rights abuses, whether by governments or armed opposition groups, do not remain hidden. Amnesty International also seeks to help governments improve their systems of accountability and training for military and law enforcement personnel. A growing number of military and police officers support this work, and some have joined the movement to help with individual cases and with specialist projects. Two global trends are undermining these efforts. First is the proliferation of human rights abuses associated with armed con­ flict and civil strife in many parts of the world. Torture, arbitrary killings and "disappearances" become mere tactics to be used for military or political advantage. Second is the rapid technological development in the industrialized countries of new security equipment which is now spreading, fast, to all corners of the world. Some of these technologies can easily be misused - they lend themselves to human rights abuses if put into the wrong hands. One response to these dual challenges is to campaign against the supply of arms and equipment used to abuse human rights.

INTRODucnON

Even children have ready access to vast stockpiles of arms which have flooded Afghanistan for more than a decade. This 12-year-old is holding an AK-47 assault rifle in the devastated Old City of Kabul. Amnesty International opposes transfers of military. security or police equipment. technology or training from one country to another where it believes those transfers contribute to human righ ts abuses covered by its mandate. There are many different contexts in which such transfers take place. Amnesty Interna­ tional opposes the use and transfer of equipment whose

sole practical purpose is the violation of human rights. Such equip­

ment includes apparatus for executions and implements of tor­ ture. as well as devices such as leg-irons. shackles and chains which result in cruel treatment of prisoners. Amnesty Interna­ tional also opposes or challenges the transfer of other supplies to countries where such equipment has been misused by the

security forces or armed groups to commit human rights abuses. Amnesty International does not take a position on whether or not military. economic or cultural relationships should be main­

tained with countries where human rights are violated. Neither does it support or oppose punitive measures such as boycotts or sanctions. However. Amnesty International does ask gov­ ernments to take the receiving countrJ.'s human rights record

in to account before allowing the transfer of military. security or police equipment. personnel or training.

INTRODUCTION

4

The spread of conflict Modern conflicts are almost invariably accompanied by massive abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law. While the majority of casualties during the First World War were soldiers, the majority of victims in today's wars are civilians most of them women and children. In some countries, the struc­ tures of the nation state have virtually collapsed, leaving no legal authority to protect the weak from the strong. In others, government troops engaged in counter-insurgency operations at­ tack unarmed civilians, just because they come from the ethnic or religious group identified as "the enemy". In conflicts such as these, human rights - supposedly protected by the whole weight of international law - are virtually never taken into account. Responsibility for human rights abuses does not lie only with those who pull the trigger or apply the electric shock. It also lies with those who plan or order the operation, with those who allow it to go unpunished, and with those who supply the equipment and the training needed to use it. Governments such as those of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom

(UK) and the USA, along with many others, play a major role in training and equipping other security forces around the world. They bear a heavy responsibility when human rights abuses are committed by police, security or military personnel whom they have supplied and assisted. The Turkish armed forces have received military and security equipment from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the USA, the UK and other countries, despite frequent and well-attested reports of human rights violations being committed against Kurdish villagers in the conflict between government forces and separatist guerrillas. Villages throughout the south­ east have been raided with the utmost ferocity by the Turkish se­ curity forces. For example, a relative of one of many villagers who "disappeared" in 1993 said:

"There were thousands of soldiers in our village with tanks and vehicles. We all saw them being taken away. How can the authorities now deny that they have them?" In February 1995 Amnesty International publicly challenged the German, Russian, us and UK governments to account for the use of their armoured personnel carriers and armoured cars by the Turkish army and gendarmes. This equipment has been used to reach remote Kurdish villages and then take away civilians, some of whom "disappeared" or were tortured or murdered. Military helicopters that the Turkish air force had obtained during the 1990s from France, Italy, Russia or the USA were sim ­ ilarly used in the com mission of human rights violations. For ex­ ample, when Turkish security forces burned down 17 villages during a three-week offensive against separatist forces in Octo­ ber 1994, us-made helicopters were reportedly used to launch

INTRODUCTION

Turkish security forces detain a demonstrator in southeast Turkey. The vehicle is a us-built armoured personnel carrier. rocket attacks and to ferry in troops. A subsequent us govern­ ment report published in June 1995 acknowledged there was "highly credible" eye-witness evidence that such military equip­ ment was used during forced village evacuations involving

human rights violations. It stated that it could not confirm " dir­ ect evidence" of us-made equipment being used for torture, "mystery killings" and "disappearances", but acknowledged that Us-made helicopters and military vehicles "would be used to transport any security forces perpetrating such acts". A number of governments then restricted or placed embargoes on arms sales to Turkey on human rights grounds, including Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and South Africa, although in som e cases the measures were short-lived. The Turkish mili tary and police authorities attempted to stem international criticism of their human rights record by announ­ cing new guidelines and human rights training measures for their personnel in 1995. However, these proved totally inad­ equate. Meanwhile, companies from Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Singapore and the USA were reportedly competing for a Contract to co-produce in Turkey 350,000 modern assault rifles for the Turkish infantry and gendarmes. In Australia Amnesty International campaigned against the transfer of assault rifles to the Indonesian armed forces. The In­

donesian Government has violently suppressed political dissent, especially in Aceh and the occupied territory of East Timor. The

6

Members of a Colombian army counter-insurgency unit. Amnesty International members in the USA have campaigned to prevent military aid being supplied to the Colombian armed forces without adequate controls.

campaign stimulated a public debate about the Australian Gov­ ernment's responsibility to help prevent human rights violations through a proper arms control policy. In January 1995 Australian officials announced that the Indonesian Government produced its own assault rifles under licence from Belgium and that the "approval-in-principle" from Canberra related only to the export from Australia of a few samples. In the USA , Amnesty International took action in 1995 to sus­ tain a 1994 cessation of us military aid to the Colombian army. In 1993 the us Government's own accounting office had reported instances of us military assistance being used for grave human rights violations during counter-insurgency operations by Colombian soldiers. However. the us Government has still not been forthcoming with details of its military assistance program, despite repeated requests for this information. In 1995 Amnesty International again called for the dismantling of Colombian para­ military groups which operate in unison with the government's counter-insurgency security forces. Amnesty International has also been pressing the us Government to investigate the conduct of its intelligence agencies, following revelations about their in­ volvement in grave human rights violations in Central America. Finally, Amnesty International has followed with increasing in­ terest us military training courses for foreign personnel, to en­ sure that they promote respect for human rights.

I

I Throughout most of the 1980s foreign governments armed, 'equipped, trained and financed the Chadian security forces at a time when they were killing tens of thousands of Chadian cit­ izens. The USA supplied the security forces with transport, com­ munications and other equipment, while France, Egypt, Iraq and Zaire contributed finance, equipment, training and intelligence information. Other African states cooperated with Chad in intel­ ligence and security operations. Given this close cooperation, foreign governments must have known the scale of the slaughter being committed by the security forces - during the 1980s an es­ timated 40,000 Chadians were killed out of a population of five million. The Chadian Government changed in 1990 and the new government raised hopes of greater respect for human rights. But Soon reports of extrajudicial executions, " disappearances" and mass arbitrary arrests resumed, and they persist to this day. ,

In April 1995 Amnesty International questioned the Chinese, French and us governments, asking them to account for their provision of military and police training and equipment to the army, the Republican Guard and the gendarmerie in Chad. China was reported to have supplied some light weapons and training in maintenance. The us Government continued to allow direct military sales to Chad, and estimated that these would amount to us$3.7 million in 1995. However, the us Government sus­ pended its military training in July 1995. Chad continued to be the main recipient of French Government military assistance in Africa, ostensibly to support a transition to a democratic system of government. The French Government was reluctant to dis­ close specific details of its military aid, and failed to condemn publicly the Chadian armed forces' continued human rights violations. In central Africa, despite worldwide horror at the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the trade in deadly weapons continued. Fur­ ther supplies of light weapons during 1995 undermined steps taken by local officials and outside agencies to protect human rights and re-establish the rule of law in Rwanda and Burundi. The international community was clearly warned of the dangers in central Africa before the mass killings in Rwanda started in April 1994. Politically motivated ethnic killings had already claimed the lives of at least 50,000 people in Burundi since 1993 and the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions had forecast disaster in Rwanda unless steps were taken to prevent it. Yet despite these warnings and various international agreements to prevent arms flowing into the Great Lakes region, Amnesty International received re­ ports of light weapons and ammunition arriving before, during and after the genocide. The main perpetrators of the genocide and other crimes against humanity, namely the former government forces and m ilitia of Rwanda, were reported to have taken their Belgian, Chinese, Egyptian, French and South African arms into Zaire as

INTRODUCTION

7

INTRODUCTION

8

they retreated in mid-1994. The exiled armed forces t hen also se­ cretly obtained further arms and ammunition, reportedly of Russian, Egyptian, us, Yugoslav and Chinese origin. These were

allegedly delivered to Zaire via various countries including

Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Seychelles and South Africa. Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations made strenuous efforts to alert t he international community, which helped prompt further action by the

UN

to try to stop t hese arms

deliveries, including the establishment in late 1995 of a Com­ mission of Inquiry to investigate breaches of the arms embargo imposed in May 1994. Armed incursions into Rwanda by insurgents believed to be members of the exiled former government forces and militia escalated during 1995. During these cross-border raids many unarmed civilians have been killed. For example, Dr Anatole Bucyendore, head of the AIDS prevention program in Rwanda, was shot dead in February 1995. Dr Bucyendore had returned from Goma refugee camp in Zaire to work in Gisenyi hospital, despite warnings that if he returned he would be killed by Zaire­ based militiamen. His two-year-old child was stabbed to death in the same attack. In another incident in April t he mayor of Gishoma was assassinated by insurgents when his house was surrounded with a landmine trap using an Italian-designed TS-50 anli-personnel mine. These anti-personnel mines are manufac­ tur d in Italy, Egypt and Singapore. According to a

UN

confer­

ence in 1995 , anti-personnel mines kill or maim some 20,000 civilians worldwide every year. In neighbouring Burundi,

politically

motivated massacres

commilled by the security forces and their allied Tutsi civilian militias on t he one side and Hutu armed opposition groups on t he other have continued unchecked for years. Most of t he vic­ tims are put to death solely because of their ethnic origin. The authorities have done little or nothing to investigate t he killings or bring those responsible to account. Amnesty International drew the at tention of the international community to the receipt of arms by exiled Burundi armed groups in Zaire and Tanzania, and also expressed public concern about a large shipment of arms from China reportedly destined for the Burundi Govern­ ment's armed forces and t heir allied militias - forces committing widespread human rights violations. These forces had previ­ ously received arms from Belgium, France, Germany and the

USA. Despite the frequency of killings in Burundi, comparatively little international attention was focused on t his trade. It was re­ ported t hat North Korean military advisers were helping the armed forces of Burundi during 1995. In late 1995 Amnesty International asked questions about a range of arms and security equipment transferred to Nigeria. The Nigerian police and the paramilitary " Internal Security Task Force" were known to have committed numerous human righ ts violations. They were responsible for at least 50 political killings

INTRODUCTION



chain-gang marches to work in leg-irons. Chain-gangs have been reintroduced In parts of the USA.

in Ogoniland during 1994 as well as the ill-treatment and incom­ municado detention for at least eight months of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni prisoners. Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were subsequently executed after a grossly unfair trial. Despite

�his, the

UK

supplied a range of "non-lethal" equipment, includ­

mg cs gas, rubber bullets and armoured vehicles, to Nigeria

between 1993 and 1995. France supplied a large number of armoured personnel carriers to Nigeria in 1994. The us Govern­ ment revealed in July 1995 that it had authorized the sale of al­ most us$2.5 million of security equipment to Nigeria between 1991 and 1993.

Implements of ill-treatment, torture and death One of the world's most powerful nations, the USA, reintroduced "chain-gangs" during 1995. Evoking memories of a distant and merciless past, prisoners are chained together at the ankle with leg-irons while being forced to do hard labour. After a gap of 30 years, the states of Alabama, Arizona and Florida brought back chain-gangs, and legislation permitting the use of chain-gangs was passed in Utah. In Alabama, some prisoners who refused to work on a chain-gang were reportedly handcuffed to a " hitching rail", a metal post used for tying up horses, to which prisoners are chained for long periods with their limbs stretched taut. Such cruel practices are forbidden by the international standards drawn up to promote human rights and civilized conduct since the end of the Second World War.

I

INTRODUCTION

10

The use of chains or irons is specifically prohibited by Rule 33 of the

UN

Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Pris­

oners, adopted by the international community in 1955. Doctors have warned for decades that holding prisoners in leg-irons or ankle chains for long periods can lead to welts, sores and dizzi­ ness. Such restraints are also humiliating: for example, prisoners cannot use toilets in private. Amnesty International took action against the use of leg-irons, leg-cuffs, fetters and shackles several times in 1995. It cam­ paigned against their use not only in the USA, but in a number of other countries, including Pakistan and Myanmar. Leg-cuffs and leg-irons are not usually used by law enforce­ ment agencies in Western Europe. In the

UK,

the government

banned their use and export after an Amnesty International cam­ paign in the early 1980s. Despite the ban, however, companies operating in the

USA,

UK

associate

as well as French and us com­

panies, actively promote the use of leg-cuffs. Many

US

police

forces still use them for transporting prisoners. Their wide­ spread use in the

USA

has undoubtedly encouraged those pro­

moting the reintroduction of chain-gangs.

It has also given

credibility to those governments that authorize the use of leg­ cuffs, fetters and shackles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, where many us and West European companies

are vigorously pursuing export markets.

Sometimes, states export equipment explicitly designed for executions or torture. During 1995 Amnesty International con­ tacted two us companies which were reported to be considering the sale of an electric chair and a gas chamber to the Philippines,

where the death penalty was reintroduced in 1993. One com­ pany spokesperson was reported as saying:

"Does it bother me? Not really. I'm not doing the executing. " Many governments which have abolished the death penalty in their own countries still have no law prohibiting the export of equipment for executions. In such countries, it has been left to the general public to prevent the trade in death penalty equip­ ment. For example, when it was discovered that three gallows were being built by a

UK

construction firm for Abu Dhabi, United

Arab Emirates, in 1987, Amnesty International launched a suc­ cessful campaign to stop them. Trade unionists within the con­ struction firm and at the docks from which they were to be exported refused to make or move them. Governments have also failed to ban completely the design, manufacture and trade of torture equipment. The us Government

revealed in 1995 that it had authorized the sale of millions of dollars of security equipment to many governments which systematically practise torture and other grave human rights vi­ olations. The figures, which cover the years 1991 to 1993, cate­ gorized the equipment under two broad headings. One included

-

I

INTRODUCTION

"thumb-cuffs, thumbscrews, leg-irons, shackles, and handcuffs;

specially designed implements of torture [emphasis added]; strait-jackets, plastic handcuffs, police helmets and shields; parts and accessories". The other included "arms, discharge type (for example,

stunguns,

shock batons, electric cattle prods,

immobilization guns and projectiles) except equipment used exclusively to treat or tranquillize animals". When the us Government was asked why it had retained the category of "specially designed instruments of torture" which it had promised to remove from the export lists a decade earlier, the us Commerce Department was only prepared to state that it

was now government policy to "deny applications for instru­ ments of torture". An example of the wilful failure of powerful governments to prevent torture was the export of a torture chamber made by a UK company and installed in the police special branch in Dubai in 1990. A source close to the project said: "It was all about disorientation. They would plan to cycle the prisoner, waking him up and feeding him several times in one day, so that he would have no idea what was going on. If he still didn't talk, then it would be into the House of Fun."

The "House o f Fun" was a specially constructed cell fitted with a terrifyingly loud sound system, a white-noise generator and synchronized strobe lights designed to pulse at a frequency that would cause severe distress. Another man who worked on the project said that the equipment was "a non-physical way of getting people to tell the truth". Current

UK

export controls

allow such equipment to be exported in parts, provided it is not assembled beforehand.

Electric shock weapons

N ew "non-lethal" security technologies are spreading rapidly through international marketing in specialist publications and exhibitions. In the wrong hands, these devices are all too easily

used to commit human rights abuses. For example, prisoners in Greek police stations suffered "severe ill-treatment" by officers using hand-held electric shock devices, according to a November 1994 report of the Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

or P unishment. An electro-shock baton found in the locker of a Greek police officer apparently came from Germany. Amnesty In ternational opposes the supply of electric shock security eqUipment to law enforcement agencies that have a record of comm itting torture or ill-treatment. In January 1994 Amnesty International issued a report on Saudi Arabia which described the torture of Iraqi refugees with "electric rods". One of the cases detailed was that of a former drama teacher who was arrested at the refugee camp where he

11

INTRODUCTION

12

lived and accused of producing a play which was critical of the Saudi Arabian authorities. He said:

"They made me lake off my clothes and then threat­ ened me with rape. They also used other forms of ilJ­ treatment and torture, in cluding falaqa [beatings on the soles of the feet], beatings all over the body, and being jolted by an electrified rod. " Amnesty International discovered that a licence was issued in January 1995 by the us Government to send "police helmets/ handcuffs/shields used for torture" to the Saudi Arabian security

forces. When questioned, the us Commerce Department stated

that in 1994 security equipment licensed for export to Saudi Arabia had included electric shock "taser" guns. These guns shoot darts into a victim over a distance of up to five metres be­ fore a 40-50,000-volt shock is administered through a wire. They have been banned in some us states after being associated

with several deaths, although they are in use in others. One sel of us police guidelines on the use of "taser" guns states:

"under no circumstances should the taser darts be removed from an individual by an officer. Removal of the taser darts must be done by a doctor in a hospital. " The possession of such electric shock weapons is prohibited in the

UK,

Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries and, now,

Greece. But they are allowed for private sale in France, Germany and other European countries, and

UK

companies can buy and

sell them as long as they do not import them. Electric shock batons, shields and other devices using up to 150,000 volts are manufactured and sold by companies in Bel­ gium, Canada, China, France, Israel, Luxembourg, the Nether­ lands, Russia, the

UK

and the

USA.

These states allow the

marketing of electro-shock equipment to security forces in coun­ tries known to use electric shock torture on detainees, such as Mexico and Turkey. Manufacturers claim that these high-voltage devices are med­ ically safe, but independent scientists have reported that a three­ to five-second burst from a modern electric shock weapon is capable of killing someone with a heart problem. Assault with electric shock batons (known in China as dianji gun) is one of the most common methods of torture in China and occurs in virtually all places of detention. Electric shock batons can cause severe pain and affect muscle control, and they are used by many police officers and prison wardens.

Electric

shocks are often applied to sensitive parts of a prisoner's body, such as the armpits, neck, face, soles of the feet, inside the mouth and ears, on the genitals and inside the vagina. Victims experience extreme pain and convulsions, and some may lose consciousness.

INTRODUCTION

This Tibetan monk, who spent decades in prison and labour camps, managed to smuggle out several torture implements. Palden Gyatso said, "This is the worst thing: an electric cattle prod. They use this on your body. If they press that button, your whole body will be in shock. If they do it for too long, you lose consciousness but you do not die. If they press this button, you can die."

A painter from Beijing taken into police custody in 1993 for a minor criminal offence testified:

"When we arrived at the police station, the tall thin one boxed my ears five or six times, then hit me with his electric truncheon I collapsed on the floor and could not struggle. " . . .

One year after the suppression of the pro-democracy move­ ment in China in 1989, in which hundreds of people were killed, a UK company sold electric shock batons to China, so that the authorities could copy and manufacture them. The com­ pany's head said in 1995 that his marketing trip to China had been sponsored by the British Government's Department of Trade and Industry, despite a UK ban on all arms sales to China. F our Chinese firms advertised at recent international trade f airs that they could supply a wide range of anti-riot and secur­

ity products. Among the products on offer were 100,OOO-volt electric shock weapons, tear-gas, shackles, handcuffs, thumb­ cuffs and leg-cuffs.

INTRODUCTION

14

New technologies New types of electric shock equipment are being developed for use by police and prison officers. A us company now markets an electric shock belt. a belt worn by the captive so that incapacitat­ ing shocks can be inflicted from a distance by the officer in con­ trol. Although the company insists that this belt is safe "as long as it is not used for officer gratification or punishment". it also states:

"if you were wearing a contraption around your waist that by the mere push of a button in someone else's hand could make you defecate or urinate yourself, what would that do to you from the psychologicaJ standpoint?" Governments often deal with the effects of misuse of new se­ curity equipment products only after they are generally avail­ able. instead of publishing all available medical research and ensuring in advance that they are safe to use. A new prisoner re­ straint. "rigid handcuffs". which use a rigid bar between the cuffs. was introduced into the UK in 1993. By October 1995 there had been 546 official complaints of injuries including nerve damage. bruising and fractures. Since UK police offer training courses to police in many other countries. their use of such devices is of international significance. Reports persist of deaths and injuries caused by chemical irritants used during internal security operations. Many police forces now use cs gas in canister form. and are supposed to fol­

low strict instructions on its use. However. Amnesty Interna­ tional frequently finds that cs gas is misused. usually by being

fired into confined spaces from which people cannot escape.

At least 135 people were reportedly injured. some seriously. when police fired cs canisters into buildings at the University of Zimbabwe. including the canteen. lecture theatres and halls of residence. following demonstrations by staff and students in June 1995. A closer look at the gas canisters revealed that they had been made by companies in South Africa and the UK. Amnesty International has opposed the use of any form of tear-gas in confined spaces since 1988. when us-made tear-gas was fired into Palestinian schools. clinics. mosques and homes by Israeli soldiers. More than 40 people - mostly children. the sick and the elderly - were reported to have died after tear-gas inhalation between December 1987 and June 1988. Amnesty International expressed public concern over the reported misuse of tear-gas and the Israeli army Chief of Staff subsequently admitted:

"In very isolated incidents it happened that people died of plastic bullets but that happened also. by the way. from rubber bullets and even to those who in­ haled gas. "

INTRODUCTION

A "taser" gun which can deliver a SO,ooo-voIt electric shock through a wire attached to a dart fired at the victim. In Waco, Texas, us federal agents pumped cs gas for hours

into an enclosed compound where many babies and young chil­

dren were known to be confined, at the end of a 5 1-day stand-off between officials and members of an armed religious cult in 1993. Amnesty International expressed concern about the use of

c gas, and called for inquiries into the incident.

In September 1995 Amnesty International protested to the Government of Bahrain that its security police had fired tear-gas into homes and mosques, allegedly leading to the deaths of at least two people. French, German and us-made pepper (oc) sprays are being

offered for export to many countries despite reports of many deaths and injuries associated with misuse of such sprays in the USA . Johnny L. Williams, a prisoner in a jail in New York State :-vith a history of mental illness, died after a struggle with sher­ Iff s deputies in 1994. They sprayed three canisters of pepper Spray in his face before restraining him. Pepper spray can cause painful burning, eye irritation, cough­ . lUg, nausea, vomiting and choking when sprayed in a person's

face. A us government report in August 1994 warned that pepper �pray is not only potentially lethal, but also capable of produc­ lUg future cancers and birth defects, and warned of the risk of �sing it on "a large and varied population" because of the lim­ Ited safety studies. Yet a us company has been attempting to in­

�roduce pepper spray to the police in

India, where torture and

Ill-treatment of detainees are known to be already widespread, res ulting in scores of deaths in police custody every year. A us company's sales advertisement for pepper gas now offers . Its use with a thick foam, which can stick to a person's face:

"This thick, slimy, gooey lather is propelled with such force . . . the aggressor is so frightened by this unknown substance hitting his face, he is virtually shut down, allowing you to take control. " Despite the well-known risks of using incapacitant sprays in confined spaces, a us company advertises a combined cs and pepper spray "to permit the injection of an irritant cloud into a vehicle such as an automobile, motor home or aircraft without resultant property damage".

INTRODUCTION

A Chadian soldier stands outside a military camp in N'Djamena which is frequently used as a detention centre. Foreign governments, including those of China, France and the USA, have armed and trained the security forces of Chad.

New techniques for crowd control include a mechanism that unrolls razor wire sharp enough to slice through human flesh. During 1995 French, South African and UK companies marketed such razor wire: one advertised it as providing "effective crowd control". According to one of these companies, a mobile carrier can dispense 200 metres of razor wire in 15 to 20 seconds, al­ lowing the rapid "capture" of demonstrators. A UK company stated that it had sold this system to Colombia and Zaire - coun­ tries where the police have used excessive force against un­ armed and peaceful demonstrators. The same companies also advertise razor wire with an electro-shock coil inside for crowd control. Products such as these are being developed and mar­ keted even though guidelines to ensure that they are not used in human rights abuses have not yet been developed. Another new product being marketed for internal security purposes by a UK company is a riot control vehicle with electri­ fied side panels to repulse "demonstrators". The countries to which it is sold remain unknown. The scale of foreign trade and investment is leading to the global integration of markets. Joint manufacturing and marketing ventures between different companies are making it more dif­ ficult for governments to exert control over possible misuses of security technology, even when they want to. Paramilitary vehi­ cles made under licence in Turkey, primarily from UK parts, are

INTRODUCTION

now exported to Algeria, where they are highly likely to be used in human rights violations. A Swiss company making light air­ craft widely used for military and internal security surveillance has established a partnership with a UK company which allows it to avoid strict Swiss arms export controls. The Chinese authorities used sophisticated surveillance tech­ nology designed for traffic control in the suppression of the mass pro-democracy protests in 1989. In the days following the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June, the security police cre­ ated instant "wanted posters" from close-up "frozen" images of studen t activists. The images came from a computerized closed­ circuit television system capable of night vision supplied from

the us and

UK

with World Bank assistance. The "posters" were

broadcast on state-run television with a telephone number ask­

ing viewers to report those wanted. Arrests of prisoners of con­ science and unfair trials followed. The authorities also used film footage which was carefully edited to show "counter-revolution­ ary" demonstrators as the instigators of the violence in efforts to justi fy the crack-down. This footage was repeatedly broadcast on television. The surveillance system is still in place in Tianan­

men Square and is supposedly used for traffic control. A similar system has since reportedly been installed by the Chinese authorities in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the central square, a pedestrian area where Tibetan pro­ Independence demonstrations have been held.

�n

International regulation required

The extent of human rights abuses associated with armed con­ flict, as well as the increasingly sophisticated technological en­

Vironment, means that Amnesty International has to intensify its work to address the conduct of security forces and their inter­ national partners. Where transfers of equipment, technology or training can reasonably be assumed to contribute to human rights abuses, Amnesty International campaigns against them. If the evidence suggests that such transfers could facilitate human rights violations, Amnesty International warns governments by asking a series of searching questions. Amnesty International is also stepping up its work to secure the agreement of all govern­ ments to institute proper monitoring and control over all milit­ ary, security and police assistance. Legislation and regulations should be established at national and international level. These should prohibit any transfer of

military, security or police equipment, technology, training or personnel - as well as financial and logistical support for such transfers - unless it can be reasonably demonstrated that such transfers will not contribute to grave human rights violations.

These laws and regulations should ensure that the human rights situation in the receiving country is taken into consideration be­ fore any decision to approve a transfer. The supplier government should take responsibility for the use of transfers through regular

17

I

INTRODUCTION

18

monitoring and legally binding "end-user certificates" citing human rights criteria. All information necessary to allow the country's legislative assembly to exercise proper control over the implementation of the law should be supplied and all transfers should be publicly disclosed in advance. Positive measures were taken in that direction during 1995 by the South African Government, which set up a ministerial arms control committee to supervise the arms trade in the wake of an investigation into illegal arms dealing. The South African Cab­ inet issued new guidelines on the conduct of arms transfers, which included a commitment to take into account the human rights record of the recipient country. Amnesty International welcomed the new guidelines, but urged that the mandate of the arms control committee should be extended to cover transfers of military training and personnel as well. All states should submit regular and comprehensive reports, including transfers of light weapons, to the UN Register of Con­ ventional Arms. They should also strive to implement existing international agreements on arms control, such as those of the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-opera­ tion in Europe, which prohibit arms deliveries that can be used for human rights violations. Furthermore, they should ensure that such controls are broadened to include light weapons, se­ curity technologies and training. Human rights atrocities are committed virtually every day, somewhere in the world. There is a risk that " horror fatigue" will set in and dull the outrage that such atrocities ought to pro­ voke. Unless concerted action is taken to stop the abuses, the massacres, mutilation and rape will continue. Most vulnerable are the poor and disadvantaged, especially women, children, elderly people and refugees. The sale and shipment of dangerous equipment should be prohibited by governments if there is a ser­ ious risk that they will contribute to these abuses. Profits and political advantage must not be allowed to take priority over human rights.

CAMPAIGNS

Challenging injustice around the world "Wherever women suffer in the world, I feel closer to them after my experiences in prison . I felt the support of Amnesty In terna­ tional very strongly during my months in prison. But imprison­ ment has not changed my opinions or my determination to work for human rights and women's freedom. " Eren Keskin, a Turkish lawyer and human rights activist, was imprisoned because she wrote a newspaper article which criti­ cized the Turkish Government. In September 1994 she was found guilty of spreading "separatist propaganda" and sentenced to two years in prison. Eren Keskin told Amnesty International:

"I got cards from a11 over the world . . . People not only sent me messages of support, but also copies of the let­ ters they had written to the government here in Turkey. Unfortunately I was never able to receive the flowers sent by A mn esty International at the time of my arrest. The prison official refused to let them into the prison for fear that I might injure someone with the flower-pot! We experience such comic things here . . . " Eren Keskin was released pending retrial in November 1995. She was one of the women featured in Amnesty International's Campaign on Women and Human Rights, which ran from March

A birthday party at the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing for Ma Thida, a Burmese prisoner of conscience. Drummers and acrobats conveyed the courage and endurance of women like Ma Thida, imprisoned for their political beliefs.

19

CAMPAIGNS

20

until the end of September. Sec­ tions from all over the world took part in the campaign, which cul­ minated at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in September. Here Amnesty Inter­ national human

representatives rights

brought

violations

against

women into the media spotlight while members and groups around the world simultaneously carried out their own demonstrations, ex­ hibitions and vigils. Twelve women from differing backgrounds were chosen as ap­ peal cases for the campaign. All had been victims of human rights violations; they included a doctor imprisoned in Myanmar, a school­ girl in Algeria killed for refusing to wear the Islamic veil and a 73year-old woman held on death row in the USA. Through sections' ac­ tivities these women became fa­ miliar faces. The Brazilian Section women's group, for example, acted out the individual stories of each woman

at

its

official

campaign

launch in Porto Alegre. while in Bermuda an evening's entertain­

Gunay Asian, a Turkish author and journalist, was arrested in October 1993 and convicted under the Turkish Anti-Terror Law of "separatist propaganda". After a worldwide appeal he was released in January 1995, having served his sentence. Soon after his release he rang Amnesty International and said, "Please thank your members

ment was organized with readings,

for all their efforts on my behalf

prison sentence for campaigning

. . .

I strongly felt their support while

1 was in prison . . . it was very good

for my morale. "

music and dedications. At the Non-Governmental Or­ ganizations Fourth

(NGO) Forum of the

World

Conference

on

Women held in Huairou, outside Beijing, Amnesty International del­ egates organized

a big

birthday

party for Ma Thida. a doctor from Myanmar who is serving a 20-year for

Myanmar's

main

opposition

party and distributing information about its activities. The birthday party was a truly international af­ fair,

with a giant birthday cake

with 29 candles, Chinese birthday symbols,

and a

Latin

American

piiiata (birthday game). Drummers and acrobats from the Women 's

CAMPAIGNS Circus in Melbourne, in cooperation with the Australian Sec­ tion, portrayed images of the strength, endurance and courage shown by women such as Ma Thida. For its part in the campaign, the Nepal Section organized a talk program with a number of prominent speakers - an event that was covered by many national newspapers and magazines. It also held a one-day discussion program for lawyers and a women's art exhibition, at which more than 1,000 pieces of art by 50 women were exhibited. The Cote d'Ivoire Section launched its campaign with a women's basketball match, in which some of the country's best women players participated, while in Zambia 100 women from various organizations took part in a 10-kilometre solidarity march. The Amnesty International Women's Coordinator in Zambia was one of the three speakers at the event. In the Netherlands, an Action Week was held during Septem­ ber. Members of the public and women television personalities in various parts of the country were asked to pose for an instant photograph, which was then stuck on a montage next to pho­ tographs of women human rights defenders. The photographs were gathered together on a huge mural for a national public event at the end of the week. In Germany, a demonstration was held in Cologne; members of Amnesty International wore masks with their campaign emblem and distributed information on the campaign. Some imaginative actions took place in the Philippines. At the launch event, a cultural presentation was followed by poetry readings and solidarity messages from women's organizations. A Day of Action was also held, with group discussions, videos, music and readings. It ended with the lighting of 15 big candles to symbolize the 15 steps deemed necessary to protect women's human rights. Various artists were invited to paint on a big can­ vas, which was then taken around schools and universities, to­ gether with exhibits produced by university groups, throughout September. At the launch event in Wellington, New Zealand, a 12-foot­ high electronic candle was "lit" by the mayor. It remained in Wellington's Civic Square for three months and had a sign with the words "Amnesty International - in memory of women tli roughout the world who have suffered as a result of armed conflict". The Austrian Section organized a day of action in May, 100 days before the Beijing Conference. In the cities of Vienna, Graz and Salzburg, stakes were built to symbolize centuries of viol­ ence against women. People then came to take away logs from the stakes as a symbol for ending violence against women. Next to each stake was an exhibit illustrating women's efforts around the world to end abuses of their rights, such as fighting against War and state oppression, rape and abuse in the family, and campaigning for justice and women's rights.

21

22

During August, a square in the centre of the Belgian city of Antwerp was the scene of a beautifully coloured display of red, yellow and white flowers arranged in the shape of the Belgian Section's symbol for the campaign: a stylized picture of a woman's face. Throughout the Campaign on Women and Human Rights, Amnesty

International

worked

in

close

cooperation

with

women's organizations at all levels. The organization was one of many NGOs to give its support to the Petition to the UN on the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Women, and sections and groups took up the task of gathering signatures for this petition with great energy. The Center for Global Women's Leadership, which coordinated the petition, said it was " over­ whelmed and delighted" by the numbers of Amnesty Interna­ tional

sponsored

petitions

which

poured

in.

The

German

Section alone collected around 120,000 signatures. The World Conference on Women provided a good opportun­ ity for Amnesty International to lobby and strengthen its mes­ sage regarding some basic elements of Amnesty International 's mandate, particularly issues such as the protection of women's human rights in the context of armed conflict. While the Platform for Action produced by the Conference had some weaknesses - its reluctance to identify rape and sexual abuse as a violation of human rights, for example - it represented an important step by governments all over the world towards acknowledging the reality of human rights violations against women. A major Amnesty International campaign against human rights abuses in Sudan ran from the end of January to July. It was launched with an international press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and attracted a high level of media coverage around the world, including in the Arabic language press, radio and televi­ sion. Amnesty International Secretary General Pierre Sane and International Secretariat staff took part in campaign launches in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. A meeting with the Ivorian Head of State, President Konan Bedie, was the subject of much media interest. Throughout the campaign, officials of the Sudanese Govern­ ment responded to letters from Amnesty International members. On the day of the launch, it issued a public statement rejecting Amnesty International's information about human rights viola­ tions in Sudan and accusing the organization of being biased in favour of the armed opposition Sudan People's Liberation Army. A month later it presented Amnesty International with a 24-page response to the campaign entitled

The Crocodile Tears: the call by Amnesty Intern ational for the abolition of Islamic Laws is a flagrant violation of the right to Freedom of Religion. The Su­ danese Government continued to respond to the organization in

this tone throughout the campaign, and in March trade unions and other NGOS allied to the government also responded, raising

CAMPAIGNS 23

The Nigerian Section of Amnesty International launches the campaign against human rights abuses in Sudan in January with a procession to the Sudanese Embassy in Lagos. virtually the same issues. In May, the International Secretariat received a letter from a Sudanese government official which said:

"It is continually observed that tens of the organiza­ tion's members ' letters arrive daily to this Office, which constitutes an obstacle in tackling our duties . . . "

The campaign had a high profile throughout Africa, where many groups obtained extensive media coverage; one radio sta­ tion in Mali devoted an hour-long weekly program to the cam­ paig n. This series included interviews with members of the Malian Section and representatives of the International Secre­ tariat who visited Mali in March, and a program devoted to the regional dimension of the campaign, including interviews with representatives of several other African sections. In the Middle East, many groups faced opposition to their act.ivities on Sudan from their own governments, and public events planned by groups in both Morocco and Tunisia were prevented from taking place. The Moroccan groups were eventu­ ally able to participate in a public event organized by another NGO and received some media coverage. During the course of the campaign, the human rights situation in n orthern Sudan saw some subtle changes. Amnesty Interna­ tio nal and other human rights activists in Sudan believe this

m ay be an indication that the Sudanese authorities are sensitive to pressure. It is believed that there was some reduction in tor­ ture and some limited improvements in conditions of detention.

While these gains may appear slight, they have made a real

CAMPAIGNS 24

difference to many people's lives and have improved the morale of those working on human rights issues in Sudan. An action on "disappearances" and missing persons in the former Yugoslavia was launched in October. The aim of the cam­ paign was to ensure that those who were missing or who had "disappeared" were not forgotten, and to attempt to go beyond the sense of fatalism and defeat that can set in when little or no progress is achieved in the search for them. The materials pro­ duced for this action contained powerful statements about the loss and loneliness felt by victims' families, while at the same time the tireless campaigning for truth and justice by the many relatives was highlighted. Cases chosen for this action represented all sides in the con­ flicts. The materials made plain that there were significant dif­ ferences in the scope and scale of the violations perpetrated by parties to the conflicts, but in each case, whether an isolated in­ stance or part of a massive and systematic pattern of abuses, Am­ nesty International emphasized that it was concerned first with the individual victim and the imperative to work for truth and justice on their behalf. The "forgotten" human rights catastrophe in Afghanistan was the focus of Amnesty International's efforts from November on­ wards. For more than a decade the world's powers poured weapons into Afghanistan, using the bitter conflict for their own

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and opposition party leader, was released from house arrest by Myanmar's military authority in July. She had been held at her home since 1989 and for six years was the focus of intensive campaigning efforts by Amnesty International and other organizations.

I p olitical ends. Governments which supported the various war­ ring factions and backed them with weapons should shoulder their share of the responsibility for facilitating a climate of law­ lessness in the country in which human rights are treated with contempt. Amnesty International members appealed directly to the governments of the USA, the European Union and the suc­ cessor states of the Soviet Union to act in a concerted manner to save Afghan civilians from continuing mass killings, torture and rape. Years of campaigning against the death penalty by Amnesty International sections in Spain and Mauritius finally came to fruition when the death penalty was abolished in both countries during the year. The Mauritius Section wrote:

"Our organization's n ame, its findings and arguments and its work in general have been cited by more than 90 per cent of the Members of Parliament who took part in the debate. A mn esty Internation al's pamphlet 'When the State Kills' and other publications were on the desk of each Member of Parliamen t. We can say that A mn esty In ternational permeated the Parliamen t in eveI}' respect ". In April the Spanish Congress of Deputies voted overwhelm­ ingly to approve three bills that would remove the death penalty from the Spanish Military Penal Code and in November the death penalty was totally abolished. This was largely the prod­ uct of two years of hard work by the Spanish Section, which had intensively lobbied the autonomous parliaments of the various Spanish regions and political parties in the Spanish National Parliament.

During the year, Amnesty International stepped up its capa­

city to mobilize in human rights emergencies. Fundamental to this is the organization's ability to decide quickly what contribu­ tion it can make, to mobilize people in the international move­ ment, at the International Secretariat - Amnesty International's headquarters in London - and in the emergency region, and to raise money to fund the necessary additional activities. Such an emergency occurred in early April, when the level

!cillings in Burundi escalated and tensions in and around Rwanda began to mount. The decision was taken to mobilize the of

movement, and additional staff were drafted in to reinforce the research and campaigning preparation in London. Representat­ ives of several of Amnesty International's key national sections and staff from the organization's headquarters met in London to define a strategy for the crisis. Amnesty International sent a field mission to the Rwandese capital, Kigali, and delegates went to Burundi to assess the im­ pact of the activities of the UN and the Organization of African Unity. A news conference was then organized in Nairobi, Kenya, to present the organization's findings. Amnesty International

CAMPAIGNS 25

CAMPAIGNS 26

Moroccan members of Amnesty International on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 1995.

campaigned vigorousl y for an international commission of in­ quiry to investigate the massacres of 1993 in Burundi and the human rights abuses which followed. In August, at the urging of the President of Burundi and the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UN Security Council finally took the decision to set one up. In June Amnesty International published a report on secret shipments of arms to the perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda, and their military training activities, largely based in Zaire. Many branches of the organization, particularly those in countries involved in arms exports, brought the message to their media and governments that the arms could be used to commit further massive human rights abuses. Members staged demon­ strations outside embassies of relevant countries. Although some governments, such as those of South Africa and the United King­ dom, agreed to investigate the reports of arms supplies, govern­ ments of several countries such as Zaire and Bulgaria issued public statements denying their involvement. Through its cam­ paigning, Amnesty International reinforced concerns about arms exports and, along with other human rights organizations, stimu­ lated a debate over these concerns within the UN. The UN Secret­ ary-General referred to Amnesty International's reports among others while expressing his own concerns, and in September the

UN Security Council decided that the reports of military supplies and training being given to former Rwandese government forces should be investigated by an international commission with spe­ cial powers. During Amnesty International's visits to the region, many people, including relatives of victims of human rights ab­ uses, human rights activists and those in government circles working to defend human rights, made it clear how much they valued the organization's support.

MEMBERSHIP

Amnesty International members on the m ove "Thank you! Thank you! For your help - Raleigh and all of us are so grateful! " This message came from the attorney of death row prisoner Raleigh Porter, who was due to be executed in Florida, USA, on 29 March 1995. In a fax sent on 1 April, Amnesty International members were told that he had been granted a last-minute stay of execution by an appeal court. The jury which tried Raleigh Porter had voted unanimously to recommend a sentence of life imprisonment but the presiding judge had overruled them. He sentenced Raleigh Porter to death "while wearing brass knuckles and fondling a pistol", according to witnesses in the court. When the execution was scheduled,

Amnesty International

members around the world sent urgent appeals calling on the Governor of Florida to grant clemency. Several groups of Amnesty International members in the Netherlands take a special interest in Florida, which has the third largest death row population in the USA. They are among 65 groups in 19 countries who are engaged in the difficult task of campaigning against the death penalty in the USA at a time of increasingly harsh sentencing. Group members write letters to politicians and legal officials, explaining their arguments against the death penalty in general, and appealing on behalf of

Ch ildren gather for the launch of an " Amnesty fishing boat". built by Amnesty In ternational's members in Sierra Leone as part of a national fund raising project.

27

MEMBERSHIP 28

prisoners facing imminent death at the hands of the state. They follow developments in legislation and judicial practice. They set up information stands to distribute leaflets, collect signatures on petitions and raise awareness about the death penalty. Some­

times they stage vigils at the us Embassy in their country.

Groups in Ireland working on the death penalty in the state of Virginia enacted an electrocution outside the us Embassy in

Dublin, attracting national media coverage. Groups in Austria made a video explaining why they oppose the death penalty. Parts were shown on a local television station in Arkansas, their target state, and colleges and schools used it. A Belgian group working to have the death penalty abolished in California pre­ pared a book of essays and poems by Belgian writers and artists to carry the message against the death penalty. This kind of determined effort, the effect of which is often not apparent for many years, is at the heart of the work of Amnesty International's mass membership. Amnesty International was born in the 1960s as a movement of people not prepared to remain silent while fellow human be­ ings were imprisoned or persecuted for their beliefs or identity.

Cycling for human rights. This fundraising event organized by Amnesty International's members in Pakistan raised money to build a human rights education institute.

�IP_______ �H RS E� �E� M�B� M �______________________� Amnesty International's army of volunteer activists remains the backbone of its international campaign. Numbering more than a million, they mobilize their communities, put pressure on gov­ ernments, support the victims and their families, lobby for legal reform, and raise public awareness through the news media and human rights education work. In 54 countries, Amnesty International sections coordinate the work of local groups and organize campaigns, national pub­ licity and fundraising. Amnesty International does not seek or receive funding from any governmental or intergovernmental organizations and is en­ tirely dependent on contributions from its members worldwide. As a result, fundraising is an important part of the work of Am­ nesty International sections and groups. They raise funds in a huge variety of ways tailored to suit local situations. Members of parliament in the Faroe Islands put on shirts Sporting the Amnesty International logo and played a game of football in order to raise funds for human rights. In Uruguay too, individual members of parliament were asked to support Am­ nesty International financially. In New Zealand, the country's largest manufacturer of candles agreed to print information about Amnesty International on all its retail packaging. A cyc­ ling marathon in the mountains of Baluchistan in June raised about £2,000 towards the Pakistan section's planned institute of human rights education. In Italy, the Amnesty International sec­ tion raised funds by selling T-shirts linked with the running race "Vivicitta" which covered 40 cities. A poster exhibition and sale in Taiwan raised money for the local Amnesty International group. Members collected posters produced by other Amnesty International sections and framed them to make a huge and dra­ matic display. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, Amnesty Interna­ tional members joined forces to explore ways of raising money in their region. The purpose of all these imaginative fundraising activities is to allow the human rights work of Amnesty International to con­ tinue around the world. That work takes many forms. While

many Amnesty International activists work on long-term cases that may require sustained efforts over a number of years, parti­ c pants in the Urgent Action network respond to the immediate _ r tsk of torture, execution or other serious abuse. More than



80,000 people in more than 80 countries used their telephones, fax machines and telegraph lines to intervene urgently on behalf of hundreds of individuals whose cases were featured in more than 400 Urgent Action appeals issued throughout 1995. Other groups of people participate in Amnesty International's work in special ways. Amnesty International often asks for support from doctors, lawyers, police officers, trade unionists and others. They contact their counterparts in other countries or send appeals on behalf of members of their own profession who have become victims of human rights violations.

29

MEMBERSHIP 30

The network of members and supporters draws people from all parts of the globe together in the common fight for universal human rights. There are now Amnesty International members in more than 140 countries in every region of the world. During 1995 groups were set up for the first time in Azerbaijan and Uganda. In the Americas, there was continued progress towards setting up a Caribbean Regional Office to enhance coordination and collaboration in the region. Amnesty International members themselves decide the pol­ icies and overal l strategies of the organization, through demo­ cratic internal structures. The supreme policy-making body of the movement is the biennial

International Council Meeting

(leM ) , which was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in August 1 995. Months of intensive membership consultation culminated in the Ljubljana Action Plan, which sets out the general directions and objectives of the movement for the next four years and was adopted at the leM. In addition to internal section consultations, inter-section regional meetings were held in every region of the world to ensure that the voice of the membership everywhere was taken into consideration in the finalization of the move­ ment's integrated strategic plan. The resulting Ljubljana Action Plan is therefore not only the product of a process involving the whole membership , but the movement's first truly international action plan. The reM served as a catalyst for an exciting program of initiat­ ives to raise awareness of human rights in Slovenia and neigh­ bouring countries. Existing links between Amnesty International and local non-governmental organizations in the region were strengthened and new links established in the preparation and successful l aunch of the Amnesty International Open University - a series of seminars and round-table discussions on human rights protection and promotion (see Human Rights Promotion). Cooperation with other non-governmental organizations is an increasingly important part of Amnesty International 's work. Only by building strong civil institutions and a powerful human rights constituency within every country can respect for human rights be guaranteed in the long term. Amnesty International benefits from cooperation with other non-governmental organ­ izations through the exchange of information and contacts, ac­ cess to new networks and the wider public, and strengthened campaigning and lobbying activities. The whole non-governmental community is fortified when its various constituent parts collaborate in the pursuit of shared goals. When a campaign against human rights abuses in Sudan was l aunched in January in Kenya, representatives of around 60 local non-governmental organizations met an Amnesty Interna­ tional delegation and discussed cooperation in the areas of human rights promotion, training,

lobbying and networking.

In October in Botswana, an Amnesty International delegation which included members from Zimbabwe , Botswana and South

MEMBERSHIP Africa joined representatives of a local non-governmental organ­ ization in high-level discussions with senior figures in the Southern African Development Community on regional human rights protection and promotion. Amnesty International released a joint statement which was also endorsed by around 20 other Southern African organizations, calling for the establishment of a regional network of non-governmental organizations. In Zim­ babwe, Amnesty International members explored ways of coop­

erating with local human rights organizations in their campaign

against the death penalty. Members in Morocco continued their work with local non-governmental organizations preparing joint

Gendun Rinchen (above), a former prisoner of conscience, visits the Amnesty International headquarters in London. He is holding a copy of the Urgent Action appeal which thousands of Amnesty International members used to call for his release from detention in Tibet in 1 994. Mohamed Kilani (left), a leading member of a banned Tunisian political party, who was arrested in January 1995 and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. He was a prisoner of conscience and Amnesty International members around the world campaigned for his release. He was freed in early November.

31

MEMBERSHIP 32

Members of the UK Section of Amnesty International demonstrate outside the Nigerian Embassy against the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists who protested against damage to the environment by the oil industry.

training programs on human rights education. In Ecuador, where the Amnesty International section has for several years been part of a network of non-governmental bodies, trade unions and other organizations, a workshop on "Communication Techniques" was held, with help

from Amnesty International members from

Germany and the USA. Training is an integral part of Amnesty International 's mem­ bership activity, and a wide range of topics is covered. These in­ clude familiarizing new members with the work of Amnesty International; campaigning techniques;

fundraising methods;

and strategic development. A successful training workshop for the office workers from Amnesty International sections and groups in the Asia-Pacific region was held in February in Hong Kong. In the same month, a training seminar on how to lobby intergovernmental organizations was held in Slovenia with Am­ nesty International members from Eastern and Central Europe. Participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine discussed how to influence the work of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co­ operation in Europe. In April Amnesty International members from South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong participated in a training workshop on fundraising conducted by Amnesty International members from the Norwegian and Australian Sections. In August young Amnesty International members from Poland and guests from Romania, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Switzerland and Austria learned about

I

MEMBERSHIP

basic humqn rights issues and the working methods of Amnesty

33

International in a summer camp in Wiselka on the Baltic Sea. In Peru,

members from Uruguay,

Colombia,

Ecuador, Peru,

Paraguay, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico participated in a training workshop on fundraising. The membership's local priorities depend on their analysis of the human rights situation that they face. In South Africa, Am­ nesty International members have been active in campaigning for legislative reform. They submitted a position paper to gov­ ernment authorities about the South Africa Truth and Recon­ ciliation Bill and distributed copies to other South African non-governmental organizations. A group in Johannesburg high­ lighted the importance of investigating past human rights abuses and underlined the risk of abuses being repeated by perpetrators of human rights violations unless full accountability is estab­ lished. Amnesty International members in Slovakia mobilized

pUblic opinion to counter proposals for the reintroduction of the death penalty, while in the Czech Republic, the membership appealed to the authorities to change the new law on alternat­ ive service which in its present form penalizes conscientious objectors to military service.

Creativity and imagination are the hallmarks of effective me mbership campaigning. For example, an Amnesty Inter­ national advertisement by members in New Zealand, which featured Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, won an award. In Botswana,

Amnesty

International

members

handcuffed

and

blindfolded students to symbolize the plight of prisoners of conscience across the world and held a marathon letter-writing action. Members of a German group who faced difficulties con­ tacting the Georgian authorities asked the coach of the German fo otball team to hand over letters to the Georgian football team at an inte rnational match. A group in the Netherlands made up a photograph album with pictures of themselves and other mem­ bers of the public holding placards calling for the release of a prisoner of conscience in South Korea. They sent it to the prison authorities. Months later they received a letter from the prisoner himself saying:

"I just received your photo album working to release me from prison . It made a deep impression on me. Please tell my thanks to all of your members and also to all of A mn esty International's members. "

A major membership initiative was launched by the Dutch Section during 1995: the Special Program on Africa. This is deSigned to increase Amnesty International's capacity to work

against abuses in Africa and to support the development of the hum an rights movement in the continent. Amnesty International's members come from all walks of life. All are v alued. Coordinators involved in Amnesty International's

work with young people and students held their first meeting in

! �



I� � '!

i

MEMBERSHIP 34

May, which was attended by people from around the world. The coordinators shared their experiences in recruiting youth mem­ bers, and proposed new actions in which young people can par­ ticipate. One of the decisions to come out of the meeting was to hold an international Day of Action to launch the international network of young Amnesty International members on 20 Novem­ ber, International Children's Day. Amnesty International marked International Children's Day for the first time in 1 995 with an action focusing on child victims of human rights violations around the world. In Karachi, Pakistan, an art exhibition was or­ ganized in conjunction with two non-governmental organiza­ tions, and a multi-media program on human rights, including poetry and prose readings, skits, dance, video and slide shows, was presented entirely by school students. In the USA , students were asked to take on the identity of the young people featured for the day, dressing like them, telling their classmates what they were doing, and asking people to sign petitions. In a world riven by conflict and repression, organizations like Amnesty International - organizations of ordinary people deter­ mined to defend human rights - face enormous challenges. Members with deep roots in their own communities, well­ trained and equipped with the information they need, are best placed to meet those challenges. Around the world countless men and women are resisting repression and standing up for human rights. Amnesty International is proud to be part of this growing international movement.

HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION

Raising awareness of h uman rights

A heat ed exchange of ideas during a human rights education workshop run by Amnesty International in April in the Ukraine.

"After four years of war, when we never had time to look beyond the next human rights violation, it is vital that we take the op­ portun ity to educate our staff and the public about all human rights. This isn 't a luxury, it 's essen tial. " These words were spoken by a participant in a human rights workshop in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, which brought together Serbians, Croatians and Bosnians from 50 non-governmental or­ ganizations. The three-day program of activities and discussions was organized by Amnesty International members in Croatia, With help from the International Secretariat and a member from the

USA,

as the start of a broad alliance of human rights groups in

the region developing human rights education work. Participants were keen to take on the innovative methodology demonstrated in the workshop and to apply it to their own coun­ tries. Amnesty International 's Croatian members, in conjunc­ tion with Magna Carta, a local non-governmental organization, planned follow-up work covering issues such as the rights of displaced people and refugees. Recordings made at the work­ shop in Croatia formed the basis of a radio program about hu man rights education. This was just one of the human rights promotion initiatives undert aken by Amnesty International members during 1995.

35

HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION 36

A human rights education summer course run by Amnesty International in Mexico, which brought together 139 participants from non-governmental organizations, indigenous groups and the government's human rights office. Like many others, it brought together the experiences and the expertise of human rights activists from di fferent parts of the world to develop projects to promote awareness of human rights. Armed conflicts and the social dislocation brought about by increasing social inequalities and poverty continue to afflict mil­ lions of people across the world. In such a volatile and danger­ ous environment, Amnesty International believes that human rights education is vital in preventing human rights violations. Amnesty International encourages individuals around the world to take action in defence of human rights by raising awareness of what those rights are and helping to create a climate in which human rights are respected.

Human rights education In August Amnesty International's International Counci l - the movement's supreme policy-making body - approved a strategy for human rights education until the end of the century. The overall goals of the program are to build stronger national, re­ gional and international human rights education networks; to develop imaginative educational methodologies; and to increase human rights education projects aimed at different sections of society. In Mongolia, until recently a closed society, Amnesty Inter­ national members launched a human rights education program in September. The program, which was organized with the help of members from the Philippines and the United Kingdom , began with a seminar in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Participants

HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION discussed Mongolia 's new Education Act - which emphasizes the importance of civic education - and drew up proposals for human rights education in Mongolia. The seminar was followed by a three-day workshop at the National University in which teachers, academics, lawyers and human rights activists exam­ ined different approaches to teaching and learning about human rights. They explored the participatory and democratic teaching techniques that Amnesty International uses for human rights ed­ ucation around the world, which make extensive use of games, songs and role-playing exercises - methods in stark contrast to those previously used in the Mongolian education system. A core area of Amnesty International's work is the introduc­ tion of human rights concepts and values into training curricula. In Morocco, for example, Amnesty International organized a two-day workshop in December aimed at introducing human rights education methodologies and concepts to government rep­ resentatives, human rights activists and academics. Practical ses­ sions and advice on how human rights can be integrated into the teaching of a variety of subjects in the school curriculum were delivered by Lebanese, Palestinian and British members of Amnesty International. In Ecuador the Amnesty International Section, in conjunction with other human rights organizations, continued to work with the Ministry of Education on the introduction of human rights issues into the school curriculum. Human rights education ma­ terials were distributed to teachers and many seminars were or­ ganized for both students and teachers. In the USA, Amnesty International members involved in human rights education con­ tinued to pursue work in the areas of curriculum development

and teacher education. In July a new edition of their Human Rights Education Resource Notebooks was published. These Collections of educational activities and resource lists cover 12 to pic areas including children's rights; conflict resolution and peace; indigenous people's rights; economic rights; and religion, race and ethnicity.

The Italian Section of Amnesty International produced teach­ ing materials and programs for use in schools which focused on t",:o of Amnesty International's major campaigns - human rights Violations in Indonesia and women's human rights. Through its Work with local and regional authorities, the Section gained agreements in some areas for the introduction of human rights

education into schools. For example, in the region of Emilia Ro­ magna, a "Pedagogical Suitcase" was produced for use by the local education authority. This contained materials on human rights concepts and suggestions on how human rights could be ap p roached in a classroom context. The Italian Section also organized events to discuss and gain a dee per understanding of human rights. For example, during the cam paign against human rights violations in Indonesia, several meetings were organized to study the interdependency of

37

RIGHTS PROMOTION 38

all human rights and to look at the particular contribution that human rights education can make to Amnesty International's campaigning work. In September the Italian Section organized a second national meeting on human rights and democracy. Dur­ ing this three-day meeting, different human rights education methodologies and materials were presented to more than 1 00 participants. Amnesty International continued its efforts to pool the expert­ ise of activists in different countries to develop effective and sys­ tematic

approaches

to

human

rights

education.

In

April

Amnesty International sections in Latin America held a meeting in Costa Rica to discuss the development of a regional human rights education strategy. The meeting, which was hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, provided an impor­ tant forum for strengthening links between those involved in human rights education in the various countries. In Central and Eastern Europe two sub-regional training work­ shops took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in February and in Kharkov, Ukraine, in April. These workshops, organized with the help of local non-governmental organizations, were aimed at teachers, educationalists and human rights activists and drew representatives from a number of local human rights organiza­ tions involved in developing human rights education programs in the region. To build on the work of the sub-regional work­ shops, six national workshops were planned in those countries where there was sufficient local expertise - either among Am­ nesty International members or other non-governmental organ­ izations - to enable self-sustaining human rights education programs to be developed. "First Steps", a manual for teaching human rights specifically designed for Central and Eastern Europe, was published at the end of 1995. The manual contains advice on teaching methodol­ ogy, activities for the classroom and suggestions for organizing human rights education programs. Amnesty International continued to expand its work in train­ ing members of the security forces on human rights issues. For example, in Brazil an agreement was reached with the federal authorities for the introduction of a human rights component into the police training syllabus at federal level.

Human rights awareness In Eastern and Central Europe, where the high hopes raised by the wave of democracy that spread across the region have been largely replaced by fears of intolerance and conflict, the Am­ nesty International Open University was launched in 1 995 as a contribution to attempts to prevent the spread of violence. In a series of lectures and seminars, many hosted by local uni­ versities, the Amnesty International Open University emphas­ ized the essential role ordinary women and men can play in building a genuine culture of respect for human rights. Its spring

A Human Rights Festival for children organized by Amnesty International members in Argentina, in impoverished neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires.

session was held at sites in Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Dur­ ing a two-week tour in April, the Open University team - made up of staff members from Amnesty International's International Secretariat as well as members from Belgium, Norway and Poland - conducted a series of seminars and round-table discus­ sions involving local Amnesty International members and non­ governmental organizations in five cities. One member of the team records:

"Although a lot of our presentations were successful, the greatest lecture we had was at the Law Faculty in Osijek. I 'll n ever forget the 200 students asking us for two more hours and 30 of them staying with us for an extra hour. They were interested in setting up a group in the city. The city which was surrounded by Serbian occupying forces. " A second tour of lectures and debates took place in seven cities in Poland at the end of the year. A mnesty International's biennial International Council Meet­ ing took place in August in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It became a

m ajor human rights event and many public meetings were organized to coincide with it. A pack of Amnesty International

39

HU

ffiGHTS PROMOnON human

various

on

materials

40

rights issues was translated into six of the languages of the for­ mer Yugoslavia and distributed to over 150 non-governmental region.

the

in

organizations

Mothers of the " disappeared" in Bosnia spoke of the horrors of war and called for peace and human rights to be restored in their region. There was extens­ ive

region,

the

throughout

these

of

coverage

press

events

sending a message of hope to all those striving for reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia. On

of

side

other

the

the

world, in China, the Fourth UN Conference on Women in Beijing September

in

prompted

the

largest ever gathering of women from

non-governmental

organ­

the

world.

izations

all

over

Human rights issues were on the agenda of the intergovernmental conference for the first time, and Amnesty International members used the opportunity to promote women's human rights and to draw public attention to the ap­ palling level of abuses suffered by women and girls in every

Former Cuban prisoner of conscience Yndamiro Restano Diaz at the French Section of Amnesty International. Sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for "rebellion", Restano Diaz was released in May. He thanked Amnesty International, saying that he wouldn't have been released without its campaigning efforts.

quarter of the globe. Amnesty International organ­ ized

a

of

number

seminars

on human rights questions at the

Non-Governmental

Organ­

izations Forum at the Confer­ ence. They attracted members of non-governmental organizations from

all

prompting

parts

the

of

world, debates

powerful

about the relationship between the

state,

and

the

personal realities

of

behaviour women's

lives. The seminars focused on international standards affecting women's human rights; Amnesty International's

concerns

about

human rights violations against

HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION women and work with the victims; and how work with the news media can be most effectively used by non-governmental organ­ izations to promote the human rights of women. In Africa, Amnesty International continued its long-term pro­ gram of publicizing the African Charter on Human and Peoples ' Rights throughout the region. Amnesty International's Guide to the African Charter - which aims to make the Charter more ac­ cessible to the general public - was translated into more African languages. The translations into Zulu and Xhosa were completed and were widely distributed to non-governmental organizations and the general population in South Africa. Members in Nigeria and Zimbabwe began work on translations of the Guide into Hausa, Shona and Ndebele. Both the Charter and Amnesty Inter­ national's Guide have now been translated, some in cooperation with local non-governmental organizations, into more than 10 languages. Amnesty International took part in the International Book Fair in Zimbabwe - the largest book fair in sub-Saharan Africa and the continent's main meeting place and trading venue for the African book industry - distributing and publicizing its publica­ tions and human rights education materials. A poster was pro­ duced to increase awareness of the obligations of governments of the Southern Africa Development Community under interna­ tional human rights treaties to protect and promote human rights. This poster - in the form of a series of questions and answers - was widely distributed at the book fair and formed the focus of Amnesty International's campaigning action.

A three-day human rights education workshop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the first of its kind to be held in the newly democratized state. The workshop brought together teachers, academics, lawyers and government officials to explore different approaches to teaching and learning about human rights.

41

HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION 42

I

Groups around the world continued to develop their expertise in using the news media to raise awareness of human rights. In Mali, for example, Amnesty International members were given a regular weekly slot on national radio. Programs have featured discussions on subjects such as the human rights situation in Rwanda and the recent Amnesty International campaign against human rights abuses in Sudan. In late 1995 work began on the production of a poster aimed specifically at young people in war-torn Rwanda. The poster fo­ cused on raising awareness about the right to life and included suggestions on how educators can encourage children and ado­ lescents to learn to resolve conflicts peacefully. It is hoped that the poster will be distributed through existing projects in Rwanda supported by the UN and the UN Children's Fund

(UNICEF). Amnesty International is committed to increasing awareness, knowledge and understanding of the concepts enshrined in in­ ternational human rights standards such as the Universal Decla­ ration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It alsQ aims to promote knowledge of other national, regional and international instruments for the protection of human rights. The movement's goal continues to be to encourage ordinary citizens, government leaders, groups and institutions to adopt beliefs, behaviour and policies which will lead to greater respect for human rights throughout the , world.

REFUGEES

Refugee protection u nder threat

43

There was a dramatic increase in 1995 in the number of people forced to flee their homes to escape human rights abuses and armed conflict. At the beginning of the year some 27.4 million people were registered as "persons of concern" by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - an increase of some four million over the previous year. More than half - some 14.5 million people - were formally recognized as refugees, as defined by the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refu­ gees, while four million were people who had returned to their homes but were still in need of the protection or assistance of the UNIICR. The remaining nine million people were either "in_ ternally displaced" or "affected by war". Armed conflicts and massive human rights abuses, such as those in central Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone and Liberia, ensured that hun­ dreds of thousands more had been displaced by the end of the

year.

The sight of people fleeing for their lives is one that has be­ come all too familiar. Unfortunately, so too has the struggle of victims to find effective protection in another country. As the number of people seeking protection has increased, so too has the reluctance of states to provide that protection. Across the world those seeking refugee status faced ever more restrictive policies by states which should offer protection but which

'"

Refugees from Rwanda and Burundi forcibly expelled from Tanzania, April 1 99 5 .



i

REFUGEES

44

Pulatzhon Akhunov and his family in their new home in Sweden. The subject of an Amnesty International worldwide appeal in April 1 994, Pulatzhon Akhunov was released the following November only to find himself and his friends persecuted by the authorities. In desperation he left Uzbekistan, and with Amnesty International's support was granted political asylum in Sweden. instead adopted measures restricting and even preventing the entry of asylum-seekers to their territory. Such measures in­ cluded the outright closure of frontiers; forcible return of refu­ gees; the use of technical procedures designed to restrict the right of asylum, including the return of asylum-seekers to so­ called "safe" third countries; and detention. During 1995 Am­ nesty International was concerned about the increase in such incidents, which were on such a scale that they threatened to undermine the institution of asylum and reduce the protection traditionally granted to those fleeing human rights abuses. The result is a world where, despite an alarming increase in serious human rights abuses causing millions of men, women and children to flee their homes, it is increasingly difficult for the victims to find protection abroad or even, in some cases, to flee their country. This has given rise to a significant increase in the number of people not formally recognized as refugees who are "of concern" to the UNHCR . Amnesty International opposes the forcible return ( re!ou]e­ ment) of anyone to a country where they may be at risk of ser­ ious human rights abuses such as detention as a prisoner of conscience, torture, "disappearance" or execution. It opposes any measures taken by states which fail to provide adequate pro­ tection against forcible return or which prevent those at risk from gaining access to a country to seek asylum. At the end of the year, Amnesty International was seriously concerned about

I

REFUGEES

developments which threatened to undermine the international system set up for the protection of refugees.

Crisis in central Africa In the Great Lakes area of central Africa, about two million people have fled from massacres in Rwanda and Burundi to neighbouring countries. The response of the international com­ munity to this humanitarian crisis has been inadequate, and the governments of Zaire and Tanzania have not lived up to their international obligations. On 19 August 1995 the Zairian Government began to forcibly return refugees to Rwanda and Burundi. Following worldwide condemnation and international pressure, the Zairian authorities halted the expulsions on 24 August. However, some 13,000 refu­ gees had already been forcibly returned to Rwanda and a further 2,000 to Burundi. Zairian soldiers rounded up groups of refugees arbitrarily and at random. Many families were separated and, in some cases, young children separated from their parents and rel­ atives were left to fend for themselves. There were numerous re­ ports that refugees were ill-treated by Zairian soldiers as they were forced on to trucks and buses; gunshots were reported to have been fired and refugees' property was looted or destroyed. As a result, tens of thousands of refugees fled from several camps into the hills, where they remained without food, shelter or water until news reached them that the returns had stopped. In an open letter to the Government of Zaire, Amnesty Inter­ national deplored this flagrant breach of the principle of non­

refoulement and of the provisions of the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1969 Organization of African Unity Convention Governing Specific Aspects of Refu­ gee Problems in Africa. Zaire is a party to both of these Conven­ tions. Amnesty International highlighted the risks to the safety of refugees forcibly returned to Rwanda and Burundi in the light of continuing serious human rights abuses in those countries

(see Rwanda and Burundi entries). Furthermore, the forced

repatriation of large numbers of refugees could provoke a further cycle of violence and lead to widespread human rights abuses. The right of each individual to make a free and informed choice on whether or not to return to their country of origin was not respected either by the Zairian Government or by elements in the refugee camps who tried to dissuade refugees from return­ ing through propaganda and intimidation. After halting the forcible returns in August and while negoti­ ations with the UNHCR were still taking place, the Zairian author­ ities unilaterally declared that more than a million refugees remaining in Zaire would have to be repatriated voluntarily by the end of the year or else they would be forcibly expelled from the country. Amnesty International deplored the issuing of such deadlines in matters concerning the protection of refugees and questioned

the

apparent

willingness

of

the

international

45

REFUGEES

46

community and the UNHCR to comply with the demand. The ulti­ matum was eventually withdrawn by Zaire when it announced in November that it would not carry out any further forcible re­ turns of refugees. Amnesty International noted this develop­ ment, but continued to call upon all concerned to respect international standards regarding repatriation which explicitly require the return of refugees to be voluntary and their safety and dignity to be safeguarded. At the end of March the Tanzanian Government closed its border with Burundi in defiance of international pressure and in breach of its obligations under international and regional treaties. The move followed a new influx into Tanzania of around 50,000 refugees fleeing a wave of killings in Burundi. Most were Rwandese refugees who had been living in Burundi, some were Burundi refugees. There had also been incursions into Tanzania by Burundi government soldiers ostensibly in pur­ suit of armed opposition fighters. Some refugees who managed to cross the border into Tanzania after the end of March were forcibly returned to Burundi by the Tanzanian authorities. There were reports that groups of refugees forced across the border be­ tween April and June were robbed and beaten, and the women raped, by Tanzanian soldiers. The refugees returned by the Tanzanian authorities were clearly at risk of grave human rights abuses on their return. A group of 300 Burundi refugees were forcibly returned in April; several were reportedly killed by Burundi soldiers who were waiting for them on the other side of the border. Between three and six people were reportedly killed within an hour of return­ ing to Burundi; they were attacked by soldiers with knives and machetes. It was feared that many more may have suffered a similar fate. Despite urgent representations, at the end of the year the border between Tanzania and Burundi remained closed and the Tanzanian Government continued to forcibly return asylum-seekers attempting to escape the killings and other grave human rights abuses in Burundi. The actions of the Zairian and Tanzanian governments cannot be viewed in isolation. The presence of such large numbers of refugees in these two countries was a huge burden, and the re­ sponse of the international community to one of the largest refu­ gee crises the world has ever faced was grossly inadequate. Other governments failed to give the necessary material re­ sources to those countries where refugees sought protection. The international community failed to initiate programs to resettle refugees, either on a temporary or long-term basis. More funda­ mentally, the international community signally failed to take the decisive steps necessary to end the cycle of human rights abuses and impunity in Rwanda and Burundi and thereby enable refu­ gees to return to their homes in safety. Amnesty International be­ lieves that the international community must take a greater share of the responsibility for the refugee crisis in central Africa and

REFUGEES

Millions of refugees - the great majority women and children - have been forced to flee the conflicts during the break-up of Yugoslavia. must actively seek both temporary and long-term solutions. Unless the international community takes effective action, the institution of asylum will be further undermined.

Refugees in former Yugoslavia Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes following intensified conflict in former Yugoslavia. There were mass movements of refugees following the fall of the "safe havens" in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the capitulation of areas pre­ viously controlled by Bosnian Serbs and Croatian Serbs. Tens of thousands of people fled or were forcibly expelled from Bosnian Serb-�ontrolled areas. More than 384,000 Serbs from Croatia or western Bosnia-Herzegovina fled to Serbia or to areas under Bosnian Serb control. Civilians trying to escape the fighting were frequently attacked by advancing forces and there were reports of mass killings of civilians in Srebrenica and Zepa (see Bosnia­

Herzegovina and Croatia entries). When thousands of Muslims their homes in Banja Luka in Bosnian Muslim refugees were after the special intervention of

and Croats were expelled from August and September, some only allowed to enter Croatia the UNHCR. Subsequently, many

of the newly arrived refugees - both Muslims and Croats - as well as some earlier refugees, were forcibly returned to Bosnia­ Herzegovina by the Croatian authorities, in breach of Croatia's

REFUGEES

48

obligations under the 1 9 5 1 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Most of the refugees were sent back directly to areas close to the fighting. Amnesty International raised its concerns with the Croatian authorities on a number of occasions. It called on the Croatian Government to fully respect its obligations under international law and to allow all those who might be in need of protection to enter and remain in Croatia, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Amnesty International also urged other Euro­ pean governments to respond positively to appeals by the UNHCR for refugees from the former Yugoslavia to be resettled in their countries and so alleviate the difficulties faced by the Croatian authorities in dealing with the large numbers of refugees on their territory. The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia car­ ried out a policy of rounding up Serb men born in Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina and forcibly returning them to Serb-held areas in those countries so that they could serve in the Serb forces. Many of them were reportedly registered as refugees in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and their return was there­ fore in breach of the government's obligations under the 1 9 5 1 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Forcible repatriation There were many other breaches of international refugee law during 1 995. In July a group of between 1 5 0 and 200 Iraqi na­ tionals was reportedly expelled from Kuwait to an unspecified destination, believed to be Iran. The expulsions were reportedly carried out without any examination of their asylum claims. The Kuwaiti Government did not respond to Amnesty International's

Haitians seeking asylum in the USA being repatriated from the us naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1 994. Repatriations continued during 1 995.

REFUGEES request for information about the incident. In August a group of 418 Somalis was forcibly returned from Yemen to Somalia as part of a process to expel "illegal immigrants". The group report­ edly included a large number of registered refugees. The expul­ sions, which resulted in a number of people being separated from their families, were stopped following intervention by the

UNHCR and the Yemeni authorities were subsequently reported to be permitting those who had been expelled to return to Yemen.

European governments clamp down on refugees Many states, particularly in Europe, used increasingly restrictive asylum procedures, making it more and more difficult for refu­ gees to find the sanctuary they needed. These procedures were applied in such a way as to deprive asylum-seekers of their right to claim asylum and resulted in asylum-seekers being sent back to countries where they could be at risk of serious human rights ab uses. For example, Iranian and Iraqi asylum-seekers were re­ portedly expelled from Turkey on the grounds that their asylum claims had not been submitted to a particular authority within five days of their entering the country. Other refugees recognized by the UNHCR and with valid visas for a country of resettlement were forcibly repatriated by the Turkish authorities on the grounds that their documents were not in order. Amnesty Inter­ national considers that the forcible return of asylum-seekers and refugees on such grounds, without an adequate examination of their claims, is a violation of international standards. In the Baltic states, asylum-seekers were held in detention without any opportunity to find effective and durable protec­ tion. In March a group of over 100 asylum-seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were detained in Latvia. The Latvian authorit­ ies attempted unsuccessfully to deport them to Russia and Lithuania. The numbers detained grew throughout the year and there were reports that many were ill-treated in detention. Their status remained unchanged at the end of the year. Amnesty In­

ternational was also concerned about the deportation of two Russian asylum-seekers from Lithuania in April.

Amnesty International was particularly concerned by the in­ creas!ng use of concepts such as the so-called "safe" third coun­ try rule by European states to evade their responsibility to examine asylum claims. Under this rule asylum-seekers were sent back to another country - usually a country through which they had travelled after leaving their country of origin - which was deemed "safe". In some cases, asylum-seekers were sent to countries irrespective of whether or not those countries were ac­ tually living up to their obligations to provide protection against

refoulement. As a result, there was a serious danger that asylum­ seekers could be passed from one country to another until they eventually arrived in a country that would not hesitate to send them back to their country of origin. For example, European Union (EU) states chose to apply the "safe" third country rule in

49

REFU EES

Asylum-seekers held in Olaine Detention Camp, Latvia, call out to journalists for help. The number of detained asylum-seekers grew throughout the year. respect of Eastern European countries which did not have an adequate asylum determination procedure in place and had been known to refuse to examine asylum claims. Amnesty International considers that, before returning any asylum-seeker to a third country, states must take adequate steps to ensure their protection. This should include obtaining guaran­ tees in each individual case that the country to which asylum­ seekers are sent wil l accept them, will examine their asylum claims and wil l provide them with protection against

refoule­ ment. Amnesty International was concerned that the failure of

states to obtain these fundamental guarantees further threatened the institution of asylum. The organization continued to lobby

EU governments to ensure that asylum-seekers were not sent to countries where they would be at risk of

refoulement. Amnesty

International's United Kingdom (UK) Section issued a report 4ighlighting defects in the UK Government 's practice of returning asylum-seekers to "safe" third countries. Another alarming development during the year was the spread among EU states of the use of a so-called "white list" - a list of countries where the risk of human rights abuses was deemed to be insufficient to justify individuals fleeing to seek protection abroad. Applications by asylum-seekers from these countries are presumed to be " manifestly unfounded" and are dealt with under "fast-track" procedures, placing the applicants at greater risk of

refoulement. Such a list was established by

Denmark in 1 994 , and other EU states, such as the UK, were fol­ lowing suit. In Denmark, legislation was adopted in 1 995 to allow asylum-seekers from countries included in the "white list"

REFUGEES to be detained while their claims are dealt with using a "speedy" procedure. The legislation allowing such detention was opposed by Amnesty International but was passed in June 1 995. Amnesty International deplores the establishment of such lists which do not allow individual cases to be fully examined on their merits and could easily lead to a violation of the right to

non-refoulement. Amnesty International is also concerned by the general trend within the EU to adopt more and more restrict­ ive asylum practices as member states seek to harmonize their asy lum policies to the lowest possible level. An example of this came in November with the adoption by the EU of a common po­ sition on the definition of a " refugee" which failed to ensure that

people persecuted by non-governmental entities such as armed opposition groups would be granted protection. As a result, France was permitted to continue its treatment of Algerian asylum-seekers which had already given rise to con­ cern during 1 995. Algerians seeking asylum in France who have suffered human rights abuses by opposition groups are required to prove that the government authorities in their country of ori­ gin are unwil ling to provide protection. As a result, only one per cent of Algerian asylum-seekers were recognized as refugees in France during 1 995, despite many having suffered serious human rights abuses or threats of such abuses in Algeria. In Germany, Amnesty International paid particular attention to raising the cases of two individual asylum-seekers - Fariz

More than 100,000 people have sought temporary safety at the Sar-sharhi camp inside Afghanistan after fleeing repeated indiscriminate attacks on Kabul.

51

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52



__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Simsek, a Turkish Kurd, and Boualem Rebai, an Algerian na­ tional - who were at risk of being forcibly returned to their countries of origin. Both cases were still pending at the end of the year.

Around the world In New Zealand, Amnesty International contributed to improved training in refugee law and the rights of asylum-seekers for inter­ viewers and interpreters involved in determining the status of refugees. Following that training, the proportion of successful asylum claims increased. The us authorities forcibly returned more than 3 ,000 Haitian

asylum-seekers held at the us naval base in Guantanamo Bay,

Cuba, without following internationally accepted procedures for considering asylum claims. Amnesty International expressed concern about laws in North Korea and Iraq under which the act of seeking asylum is an of­ fence punishable by death. Anyone returned to these countries could face execution. Such laws are a violation of the right to seek asylum, as recognized by Article 14 of the Universal Decla­ ration of Human Rights. The existence of such laws renders it imperative that asylum claims from these states are examined with special care.

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 53

Seeking justice and accountabi l ity States which order or condone human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, "disappearances" and torture are sup­ posed to be accountable under international human rights law to their fellow states and to international human rights bodies and mechanisms. The institutions of state and government are, how­ ever, run by politicians, judges, police and military officers and civil servants. It is individuals, making individual decisions, who are responsible for ordering, carrying out or condoning human rights violations. They are personally culpable under national or international criminal law for their crimes. States have shown they are reluctant to bring individuals to justice for human rights violations. National authorities shirk their primary responsibility to prosecute perpetrators under do­ mestic criminal law. States rarely honour obligations under in­ ternational law to try or extradite anyone found on their territory suspected of committing certain acts such as torture or war crimes in other countries. International criminal law is, by and large, a set of lofty principles still struggling to be enforced. Experience has shown that if individual perpetrators escape justice, they and others will commit these crimes again - secure in the knowledge that they will enjoy impunity. In the same way, if states evade accountability to the international commun­ ity, their leaders will see little reason for the institutions of state and government to respect international human rights law. Others will be emboldened to follow the example of those who violate human rights. In 1 945 "We the peoples of the United Nations" declared in the UN Charter a determination to " ... reaffirm faith in funda­ mental

human

rights ... in

the

equal

rights

of

men

and

Women ... ". The extensive web of human rights law and mech­ anisms developed since then should hold states legally and politic-ally accountable for upholding human rights. It is an in­ dictm ent of leaders and their governments that during the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1 995, states that ignore minimum

hu man rights standards still evaded scrutiny, despite the rhetoric at ceremonial gatherings. Other governments shied away from action because of their own economic, political and security interests. The UN Commission on Human Rights, as the UN ' S main human rights body, continued to bear a heavy responsibility for this blatant failure. This chapter reviews some of the developments in 1995 at the

UN and regional intergovernmental organizations, and Amnesty International 's work in the fight to hold individual perpetrators accountable and the struggle to make states answerable for their

��--------------��----------------, __'1 ON _S __ IZA ONAL_ n_ R_ RGAN� O_ I N__ NA n_ __ _ TE .. � � .:.: WITH ..:. :.K oR W..:.. ..:..: !tL-__

__ __

54

__

__ __

violations of international human rights law. Most heartening has been the growing impetus towards the creation of a perma­ nent international criminal court which would be the living em­ bodiment of principles of international criminal law and human rights. Public outrage at seeing those responsible for atrocities around the world walk free is finally forcing governments to support this initiative. However, the year also saw a disturbing trend for human rights initiatives to be undercut by a reluctance of states to provide the resources necessary for human rights monitoring, protection and enforcement. It is also ironic that in its 50th year, the UN was struck by a devastating financial crisis that had a ser­ ious impact on all its work. Human rights initiatives were under­ mined, including vital work tackling impunity after armed conflict and massive human rights violations in places like Rwanda. Unfortunately, the year also saw intensified efforts by a num­ ber of states to undermine the further development of interna­ tional human rights law and mechanisms. After 10 years of debate, finalization of a draft UN declaration to protect human rights defenders was stalled by the cynical use of procedural rules. The creation of a new mechanism to inspect places of de­ tention as a way of helping to prevent torture was threatened by challenges to its most important principles.

IMPUNITY AND INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE 'The missing link': a permanent international criminal court Half a century ago, member states of the newly founded UN pledged themselves to create a new system of international just­ ice. Moves to make this a reality by establishing a permanent international criminal court (see A mnesty International Report 1 995) gained mo­

.. . . . an international criminal court is urgently required. It is truly the 'missing link' of international law."

mentum during the year,

despite continuing obstruc­

The Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal

tion by some states. Such a

for the Former YugoslaVia, February 1 995

court

would

try

perpe-

trators of gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law when states were unwilling or unable to do so. An

ad hoc committee of government experts, set up by the UN

General Assembly in 1 994 , met in New York in April and Au­ gust to examine the draft statute for the court. A number of states, including two of the permanent members of the UN Secur­ ity Council - France and Russia - believed that the draft statute could be turned into a treaty and the court set up, without delay. However, a small group of influential states, including the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, the United Kingdom and the USA

-

raised a number of major ob­

jections which they argued should be resolved before drafting of

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS a treaty for the court could begin. Several controversial issues were raised which required resolution before a strong statute could emerge. It was generally agreed that the court should step in only when states are unable or unwilling to try suspects. But who should decide whether the court should step in - the court or states themselves? Amnesty International argued that the court should have exclusive power to decide this question. Some states opposed giving the prosecutor the power to initiate investigations and prosecutions without first receiving a com­ plaint from a state or from the UN Security Council. Amnesty In­ ternational considered that the independence of the court would be compromised unless the prosecutor was able to receive in­ formation from any source and to bring cases before the court on

his or her own initiative. In October us President Bill Clinton signalled an apparent

shift in his government 's position. Speaking at a university gath­

ering in Connecticut to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Nuremberg war crimes trials, he spoke of the need to send a signal to "those who would use the cover of war to commit ter­ rible atrocities that they cannot escape the consequences of such actions". He continued:

"An d a signal will come across even more loudly and clearly if nations all around the world who value freedom and tolerance establish a permanent inter­ national court to prosecute, with the support of the United Nations Security Coun cil, serious violations of humanitarian law. " This public endorsement has not so far been matched by a willingness at the UN to work for a strong court to be set up as soon as possible. UN

Based on the recommendation of the ad hoc committee, the General Assembly decided in December that experts should

Continue to meet in 1 996 in a Preparatory Committee to resolve outstanding difficulties and begin drafting a treaty incorporating a statute for the court. Based on the report of this Committee, the UN General Assembly will decide in 1 996 the timing for a diplo­ matic conference of governments, possibly in 1 997, to draft a

treaty. With sufficient political will, enough states could ratify th e treaty to establish the court by 1 998.

Amnesty International members throughout the world stepped up their campaign for the establishment of an inter­ national criminal court, sending petitions to their governments,

organizing public meetings, writing to their members of parlia­ ment, meeting with their ministers for foreign affairs and raising the issue in national newspapers. Amnesty International urged states to complete their discussions in 1 996 so that the crucial inter-governmental conference could take place in 1 997. I n July Amnesty International published The quest for

inter­ n ation al justice: Time for a perman ent international criminal

55

�L--------�--------------�l WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

L.-

56

court. It is time for the idea of a permanent international crim­

inal court to be turned into a reality.

Ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda Despite financial and political obstacles, the International Crim­ inal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (see

A mnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995) continued to investigate cases, issue

indictments and bring closer the day when some of the sus­ pected perpetrators of gross human rights violations would face trial. The international criminal tribunal for Rwanda, which was beset by further delays owing to lack of finances and delays in appointments, issued its first indictments.

By the end of the year, 1 2 indictments against 52 people had been issued by the former Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands. Pre-trial proceedings concerning the one suspect in custody began in April but were adjourned until 1 996 to allow the defence time to interview witnesses living in the former Yu­ goslavia. A challenge to the lawfulness of the tribunal and the power of the UN Security Council to create it was dismissed by both the Trial Chamber and the Appeals Chamber. Despite solemn commitments to coopeTate with the tribunal, by the end of the year authorities in Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yu­ goslavia, the

de facto Bosnian Croat authorities and the Bosnian

Serb authorities had failed to hand over 51 suspects living in their territories who had been indicted by the tribunal. Meanwhile, the Rwanda tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania , finally issued indictments against eight people during 1 995. Fifty investigators and lawyers were continuing t o investigate those suspected of being responsible for the genocide and other gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Rwanda in 1 994. Both

ad hoc tribunals suffered during the year from a lack

of cooperation from many states. As Judge Antonio Cassese, President of the former Yugoslavia tribunal explained to the UN General Assembly in November:

"Our tribunal is like a gian t who has no arms and n o legs. To walk and work, he needs artificial limbs. These artificial limbs are the State authorities; with­ out their help the Tribunal cannot operate. " The UN Security Council repeatedly reiterated throughout the year that states are obliged to cooperate with the former Yu­ goslavia tribunal, created in May 1 99 3 , and the Rwanda tribunal , created in November 1 994 . Despite this, by the end of 1 995 only

1 4 of the 1 8 5 UN member states had passed legislation enabling their police, judicial and other authorities to cooperate with the former Yugoslavia tribunal. Only four states had done so for the Rwanda tribunal; three said no legislation was necessary. Amnesty International continued to call on states to show in their legislation and practice that they supported these two

I

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

tribunals. Some states did start arresting suspects, including Bel­ gium, Zambia and Zaire which held suspects being investigated by the Rwanda tribunal. The UN financial crisis in 1 995 also resulted in a freeze on re­ cruitment, travel and spending from the regular UN budget as well as from the voluntary funds for both tribunals, causing se­ vere disruption. After considerable outcry from non-governmen­ tal organizations and some governments, these restrictions were temporarily lifted. The "undertakings [of the former Yugoslavia

tribunal] are costly, of that there is no doubt", Judge Antonio Cassese conceded before the UN General Assembly. He added, "But i f the United Nations wants to hear the voice of justice

speak loudly and clearly then the Member States must be willing to pay the price". Amnesty International called on states to en­ sure that both tribunals were given long-term financial security and to supplement this with contributions to the tribunals' voluntary funds.

Justice and accountability after armed conflict

Amnesty International has consistently argued that bringing perpetrators to justice is just as important in war as in peace. Amnesty International believes that long-term reconciliation after an armed conflict is not possible unless justice is central in the search for

peace. Sweeping aside the question of responsibility

for atrocities during an armed conflict only leads to

renewed

cycles

of

Violence and impunity. Sometimes reprisals are i mmediate; sometimes the wounds erupt many years

"In many instances the suffering endured by civilians [in armed conflicts] is not an incidental element of political and military strategies but constitutes the major objective . . . Determination must be shown to enforce the rule of law and to hold accountable those who are responsible for heinous crimes." UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, writing about the work of the UN in 1 995

later, after life has appar­ ently returned to normal. The same is true in the search for re­ conciliation after massive violations of human rights, such as the cycle s Df mass killings which have afflicted the people of Rwanda for decades.

Amnesty International worked to build strong human rights gUarantees and enforcement mechanisms into several peace agreements in 1 995. Among them were agreements concluded or i mplemented in Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and

Liberia. A fundamental element must always be ensuring that in­ iv iduals are held personally responsible for gross violations of



International human rights and humanitarian law. However, making j ustice a reality requires political and financial commit­ ment beyond mere rhetoric.

Amnesty International welcomed the human rights commit­ ments set out in the General Framework Agreement negotiated

57

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 58

by the parties to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina in Dayton, Ohio, in the USA. But it was dismayed that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) peace-keeping force (the Implemen­ tation Force or IFOR) was not given an express power and duty to search for and arrest people wanted by the International Crim­ inal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The parties to the con­ flict could not be relied on to deliver suspects, given their record of broken promises, and a force of 60,000 armed troops was there ostensibly to uphold the principles of peace and justice which underlie the peace agreement. These misgivings were confirmed by the continuing refusal of the parties to surrender suspects even after the peace agreement was signed. Since the UN Security Council authorized NATO to use "neces­ sary force" in its supervision of the peace agreement in Bosnia­ Herzegovina, Amnesty International was also disturbed by the silence about standards which should govern IFOR behaviour. A robust military response to breaches of the peace agreement should not mean a response which violates international law. Amnesty International reiterated that IFOR was bound by interna­ tional humanitarian law and also by international human rights law when it carried out policing functions. Tackling impunity in the aftermath of massive human rights violations must include thorough investigations into responsibil­ ity for the violations. The truth must then be revealed for the benefit of victims, their families and society at large. In relation to Burundi, Amnesty International argued strongly that an international commission of inquiry into the October

1 993 coup attempt, the assassination of President Ndadaye and the subsequent massacres was an essential component of inter­ national action to break the cycle of impunity in that country. In August 1995 a commission was set up, more than one and a half years after the Burundi Government itself first asked for such an inquiry. Its mandate included making recommendations with regard to:

"bringing to justice persons respon sible for those acts, to prevent any repetition of deeds similar to those investigated . . . and . . . to eradicate impunity and pro­ mote national reconciliation in Burundi". On 20 December the commission presented an interim report to the UN Secretary-General . The report highlighted the inade­ quacy of the resources the commission had been given to carry out its huge task. It described the difficulties it faced in fact-find­ ing more than two years after the event in a country where the security situation was deteriorating and intensifying ethnic po­ larization made objective testimony scarce. The UN Secretary­ General warned the Security Council on 29 December: "there is a real danger of the situation in Burundi degenerating to the point where it might explode into ethnic violence on a massive scale". However, the international community failed to react.

I

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZAnONS

In some situations the presence on the ground of human rights monitors can have a real impact on the human rights situ­ ation. Their role is often particularly important in countries emerging from armed conflict or massive violations of human rights, or where urgent action is needed to prevent an escalation

of violence. They can address the impunity of perpetrators and the accountability of government authorities and armed opposi­ tion groups. Human rights observers can investigate individual cases of violations and raise them with the authorities and can act as a deterrent against further violations. They can report publicly on the human rights situation and provide a source of advice and guidance for building human rights institutions.

In Rwanda, the UN Human Rights Field Operation for Rwanda (HRFOR), set up by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 1 9 94 (see A mnesty International Report 1 995), faced numer­

ous internal problems. It was beset by lack of support from the rest of the UN and its member states, confusion over priorities,

delays and inadequate training and resources. Yet by the end of the year the operation was playing a vital role in the protection of human rights. In September Amnesty International made a number of recommendations about the UN role in Rwanda and Burundi in its report,

Rwanda and Burundi: A call for action by the international community. Amnesty International stressed the

need to tackle the acute issue of impunity. It called on the HRFOR to pUblish a report on its confidential investigation into the mass killings in 1 994. The people of Rwanda have the right to know the truth about what happened, but by the end of the year the re­ port had still not been published. Despite the stated support of the Security Council for the work of the HRFOR and repeated ap­ peals by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN failed to provide the operation with a firm financial basis. The HRFOR

Continued to flounder in the absence of any evident political will by member states of the UN to address seriously the situation in Rwanda. At the end of the year HRFOR was also threatened by the loss of vital logistical support provided by the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNA MlR) in the face of the Rwandese Gov­ ernment's insistence that it be scaled down, leading to a com­

plete withdrawal in 1 996. In other situations the UN seemed more willing to tackle im­ punity and to include human rights monitoring components in peace-keeping operations. A new peace agreement for Liberia

Was signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in August. The four-and-a-half­ year conflict in Liberia had been characterized by blatant disre­ gard for international humanitarian standards by all parties and the almost total impunity of perpetrators. Amnesty International called on the new Transitional Government to assert its author­ ity and bring perpetrators to justice, and for this effort to be backed up by the Economic Community of West African States' peace-keeping operation in the country. Amnesty International also called on the UN to establish a human rights monitoring

59

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 60

mechanism to investigate human rights abuses, which would issue frequent and public reports. In revising the mandate of the

UN Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) in November, the Secur­ ity Council included a human rights investigation and reporting role. Amnesty International continued to call for an expansion of the human rights work of UNOMIL. The UN Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM Ill) was estab­ lished in February. Amnesty International called for the in­ clusion of an international civilian human rights monitoring component, using media such as the radio to publicize its work and carry out human rights education programs. By the end of the year a small human rights unit had been established and more than 250 civilian police monitors deployed. The work of the human rights unit included investigating human rights ab­ uses and human rights education. Its training program included workshops for government officers and sessions for UNAVEM Ill'S own military and police observers.

ACCOUNTABILITY OF STATES One of the most remarkable developments in human rights since the Second World War has been the recognition that there are universal human rights which all states must uphold, and that the international community has a right and duty to hold all states to account if they fail to respect these rights. It is

"We the peoples of the United Nations determined . . . to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained " ...

Charter of the United Nations, 26 June 1 945

a principle reflected in in­ ternational law

and

human the

rights

practice

of

states working together in bodies such as the UN Com­ mission on Human Rights. It was unambiguously reaf­ firmed by all states when they met in Vienna at the

1 993 UN World Conference on Human Rights. In the intergovernmental bodies

where

delegations

represent their governments, states can be judged by their peers. At the 1 995 session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International urged states to take action to tackle sys­ tematic violations of human rights in Algeria, Colombia, Indone­ sia and East Timor, India (Jarnmu and Kashmir) and Turkey. In calling for action on these countries Amnesty International told the members of the Commission:

"Governments scrutinizing their peers at the Commis­ sion, being open to scrutiny themselves and acting swiftly in the face of violations, can make a difference. But a resounding silence sends an even stronger mes­ sage to govern ments that they can trample on their

r

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZAnONS

people's human rights and the world will only stand by and watch ". The Commission , however. again ignored the situation in In­ donesia. After lengthy negotiations, it did agree a statement from the Chairperson that expressed deep concern about the continu­ ing reports of human rights violations in East Timor. On Colombia, rather than appointing a Special Rapporteur t o address continuing extrajudicial executions and "disappear­ ances" and the cycle of impunity, the Commission merely lis­ tened to a letter sent by Colombia's permanent representative in Geneva. It was read out by the Chairperson and included a re­ quest that the Commission's thematic mechanisms which had visited the country " regularize their visits". Commission members chose silence in an attempt to remain neutral in the polarized atmosphere surrounding India (Jammu and Kashmir), rather than seeking to cut through the acute politicization and to address the human rights situation. The Commission also failed to address the degenerating situations in Algeria and Turkey. Commission members repeatedly put forward reasons of close cultural or economic ties, or the strategic importance of a coun­ try, to justify inaction. Other members hid behind what they call "constructive engagement", which too often is an alibi for not shouldering their responsibilities as members of the principal human rights body of the UN. China narrowly avoided censure at the 1 995 Commission on Human Rights when a resolution critical of its human rights record was defeated by just one vote. China had earlier lost a procedural motion which would have blocked the vote on the critical resolution. China had successfully used the same pro­ cedural ploy for the four previous years to block a vote. Following worldwide public outrage at the execution in Nige­ ria of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists, a number of member states pushed for a strong response by the UN. Am­ nesty International called on the UN General Assembly to ask the

UN Commission on Human Rights to scrutinize the wider pat­

terns of systematic violations of human rights in Nigeria. Despite

vigorous attacks by Nigeria on possible UN action as interference in its internal affairs, the General Assembly passed a resolution in December, calling for urgent action by the Commission on Human Rights and investigations by the Commission's thematic experts. In Africa, Amnesty International was invited for the first time as a guest at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) , held in Addis Ababa in June. Amnesty International continued to urge the OAU to imple­ rnent a six-point program to promote and protect human rights (see

Amnesty In ternational Report 1 995) .

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, an expert body which reports to the OAU Assembly, continued the

61

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'I

62

gradual development of its capacity to deal with situations where governments

are responsible for patterns of serious

human rights violations. In March, only days after the

UN

Com­

mission on Human Rights passed a strong resolution critical of the systematic violation of human rights in Sudan, the African Commission "[called] on the government [of Sudan] to take immediate steps to respect all human rights", to investigate vi­ olations and bring those responsible to justice. For the first time ever, the African Commission held an extraordinary session on a specific country, in December, on Nigeria. It expressed serious concern about the situation in Nigeria and decided to send a mission to the country in 1 996.

Protecting human rights defenders Governments and individuals who violate human rights are sometimes held to account only because of the courageous work of human rights defenders in uncovering the truth and fighting against impunity. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that gov­ ernments have singularly failed to protect them. After 1 0 years of discussion, state representatives in a working group of the UN Commission on Human Rights were unable to reach agreement on the text of a basic declaration on the rights of human rights defenders, called the draft Declaration on the Right and Re­ sponsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Pro­ mote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Most of the rights that make defence of human rights possible are already guaranteed to all people in law: the right to freedom of expression, for example, or to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. But governments are inventive in finding ways to restrict the exercise of such rights. The purpose of the Declaration should be to fortify defenders' rights in the face of frequent and sometimes violent suppression by governments and their agents. The debate over the Declaration has been characterized by the constant tension between those who are trying to protect defend­ ers, and reinforce the rights necessary for human rights work, and governments that would like to impose a set of restrictions, limitations and obligations on human rights defenders that would make their work practically meaningless. The introduc­ tion of restrictive proposals, especial ly by Cuba, China, Syria and Mexico, accelerated in 1 994 and 1 995. Although the pri­ mary role of human rights defenders is to act on behalf of others, Cuba, supported by China, has proposed a wording that might restrict defenders to defending their own rights. This could mean, for instance, that a human rights activist might have the right to lodge a complaint if he or she has been tortured, but not if someone else has been tortured. The protection of human rights defenders is a high priority for Amnesty International. In August the organization published a

WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS rep ort,

Breaching the walls of silence: Issues at stake in the UN draft Declaration on human rights defenders, and called on gov­

ernments to agree on a strong Declaration and to adopt it as a matter of urgency.

Preventing torture and ill-treatment Accountability means more than reacting to serious human rights violations after they occur. More attention should be paid to mechanisms for the protection of human rights which can an­ tiCipate problems and prevent abuses. The draft Optional Pro­ tocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is such an initi­ ative. It aims to create a global inspection system for places of detention as a way of preventing torture and other ill-treatment. A specialist sub-committee of the Committee against Torture would identify practices which facilitate torture, and then initiate a confidential dialogue with governments to discuss practical, remedial measures to prevent such practices. There is no shortage of international standards prohibiting to rture and other ill-treatment. This initiative, which was first introduced at the UN Commission on Human Rights by Costa Rica in 1 980, seeks to implement these standards more effectively. The proposed sub-committee would not act as a quasi-judicial body investigating alleged violations after the fact. Rather, the experts would go and see for themselves the conditions in places of detention and would inform the government about particular practices which facilitate torture and other ill-treatment. A working group of the UN Commission on Human Rights met in 1 995 for the fourth consecutive year to continue drafting the text of this draft Optional Protocol. Unfortunately, a small group of states has tried to undermine some of the fundamental princi­

ples underlying this innovative proposal. These principles in­ clude the right of the sub-committee to visit any state which has ratified the Protocol without having to seek further permission for each individual mission; the power of the sub-committee to make a public statement or release its report if the state refuses to cooperate; and a prohibition on states making reservations to

the Protocol. Amnesty International and a few other non-govern­ ental organizations continued to participate fully in the work­ tng group, making recommendations based on more than 30



years' experience of investigating the causes of torture through­ out the world. Amnesty International is urging many more states from all regions to participate in the second reading of the draft which should begin in 1 996, to resolve the differences and to bUild an effective and universal system of protection.

Human rights are women's right Women's rights are human rights. This was the clear message from the Fourth UN World Conference on Women (the Beijing Conference) held in Beijing, China, from 4 to 1 5 September 1 995.

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WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

64

The need for governments to be accountable i f they breach these rights was a vital part of this message. Amnesty International participated actively in preparations for the Beijing Conference. The early drafts of the Platform for Action, which was to be adopted by the Conference, barely men­ tioned human rights and failed to refer to governments' respons­ ibility to prevent and stop human rights violations suffered by women and girls. In its paper,

Equality by the year 2000?, Am­

nesty International had set out 1 0 recommendations for incorpor­

ating human rights in the Platform for Action, focusing on three main themes: women's human rights, violence against women, and abuses of women in armed conflict. During the last preparatory meeting before the Beijing Confer­ ence, held in New York in March 1 995, most of these recom­ mendations were fully or partly incorporated, although crucial passages could not be agreed and remained to be negotiated dur­ ing the Beijing Conference itself. This preparatory meeting did finally agree on a text on violence against women. The passages referred to state responsibility for violence against women by repeating the language of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. This states that violence against women includes physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the state, wherever it occurs. During the Beijing Conference, Amnesty International contin­ ued to press governments on many parts of the Platform for Ac­ tion which were still the subject of fierce negotiations. Amnesty International fought in Beijing against a weakening of states' commitments to the universality and indivisibility of all human rights, as set out in the 1 993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Surprisingly, this proved to be a controversial issue. Consensus was difficult to achieve and the final paragraph on universality and indivisibility was among the last to be agreed. The final Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action contains most of the recommendations originally made by Amnesty Inter­ national. The question is now whether governments will imple­ ment their commitments. Amnesty International also participated in the Forum of Non­ Governmental Organizations held in Huairou - some 50 kilome­ tres from Beijing - from 30 August to 8 September. The Forum helped to strengthen links among women's organizations and be­ tween these groups and human rights organizations, links which must continue to develop to ensure that the Platform for Action becomes a real program to promote and protect the human rights of women.

COUNTRY ENTRIES

I�

AFGHANISTAN

Thousands of civilians were killed and thousands more wounded in indiscrimin­ ate attacks by the warring factions. Hun­ dreds of civilians were also deliberately targeted. Over 1 ,000 possible prisoners of

Conscience were held in unofficial deten­ tion centres run by the various armed political groups. Scores of prisoners Were killed in detention. T orture and ill­ treatment of prisoners were widespread. Dozens of people were subjected to arbit­ r ary punishments including amputation, stoning and executions.

The civilian government of President B orhanuddin Rabbani remained in place but exerted no effective authority over the country. Three major armed political grou pings fought each other for control of territory. Shura-e Nezar (Supervisory Cou nCil), led by Ahmad Shah Masood and all ied with President Rabbani's govern­ ment and the Jamiat-e [slami (Society of Islam), controlled the central and north­ eastern provinces as well as the capital, Kabu l. Shura-e Hamahangi (Coordinatio n Cou ncil), comprisin g the forces of Gen­ eral Abdul Rashid Dostum, Hezb-e [s­ lami (Party of Islam), led by Gulbuddin Bekmatyar, and the Shi'a party, Hezb-e Wah dat, controlled most of the north and northwestern provinces. The Taleban (religious students) controlled the south and southwestern provinces . Attempts by the head of the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan to bring the warring factions together for a negotiated transfer of power had not succeeded by the end of the year. Armed groups battled fiercely for con­ trol of Kabul. A blockade on the city im­ POsed in January by Hezb-e [slami was

lifted in February when its forces were driven out of their headquarters in Cha­ rasyab. Bombings on Kabul stopped in early March when Taleban forces re­ treated from Karte Seh district in the west of the city and humanitarian organizations were able to set up operations in the city. In June the government and the Tale­ ban agreed a l O-day cease-fire, and hun­ dreds of prisoners were released by both sides. In September President Rabbani 's forces lost control over western Afghan­ istan when the city of Herat fel l to the Taleban and the northwestern province of Badghis fell to General Dostum's forces. In October the Taleban laid siege to Kabul, closing roads into the city and blocking fuel, wood and other relief supplies. According to UN sources, 103,000 refu­ gees from Pakistan and 89,000 from Iran had returned to Afghanistan by August. However, reports received by Amnesty in­ ternational indicated that during the year many of these and hundreds of thousands more Afghans fled again to neighbouring countries because of continued hostil­ ities. In January over 200,000 displaced Afghans were living in central Kabul and over 300,000 had sought safety in camps near Jalalabad. In August the government barred a del­ egation of 12 women from attending the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, saying that issues discussed at the Conference were contrary to basic Is­ lamic principles. In September the Tale­ ban in Herat were reported to have banned women from working in public services and girls from going to school. All warring factions carried out indis­ criminate attacks on civilian areas, killing thousands of people and wounding thou­ sands more. In March about 1,500 Kabul civilians were reportedly killed in and around the city during fighting between Hezb-e Wahdat, the Taleban and Presid­ ent Rabbani's forces. In September the Taleban threatened to bombard Kabul if the forces of President Rabbani did not surrender, warning that members of hu­ manitarian organizations and all foreign nationals should leave the capital or take shelter. Between 11 and 13 November, at least 57 unarmed civilians were killed and over 150 injured when rockets and ar­ tillery barrages fired from Taleban posi­ tions south of Kabul hit civilian areas of the city.

67

AFGHANISTAN

68

Hundreds of civilians were also delib­ erately targeted for their supposed alle­ giance to one or other faction, solely on the basis of where they lived. In March President Rabbani's forces launched a heavy assault using jet fighters against the Shi'a populated areas of Karte Seh in Kabul. This was apparently in retaliation for bomb attacks on Kabul allegedly car­ ried out by the forces of Hezb-e Wahdat and the Ta/eban. Hezb-e Wahdat defences had broken, their positions had been aban­ doned and, according to all reports, there were no signs of military resistance. The soldiers then reportedly rampaged through Karte Seh, looting houses, killing and beating unarmed civilians, and raping women. Reports were received that during a retaliatory attack in Farah province in early May, the forces of Ismael Khan dropped cluster bombs, killing between 220 and 250 unarmed civilians. There had been no military activity in the area for several days. Individuals associated with the previ­ ous government were also targeted. In February government officials found Ha­ jera Zeray, her eight-year-old daughter, Jamila, and her 1 2-year-old son, Arsala, dead in their Kabul flat. All had their throats cut. Hajera Zeray was the wife of Dr Saleh Mohammad Zeray, an Afghan politician who had held senior govern­ ment positions between 1978 and 1 985. An official investigation into the killings was reportedly initiated, but the outcome was not known. All sides claimed that their prisoners were captured members of the opposing warring factions. However, many of those held were non-combatants and appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Over 1 ,000 unarmed men, women and children were detained by the various armed groups on suspicion of being supporters of rival groups. In September hundreds of pris­ oners, the majority non-combatant sup­ porters of the government, were reportedly detained by the Ta/eban after the fall of Herat, and were believed to still be in detention at the end of the year. lttehad-e Is/ami (Islamic Alliance) reportedly held several hundred unarmed civilians in the party's main detention centre in Paghman. Prisoners of conscience were also believed to be among those held in detention cen­ tres run by Shura-e Nezar and Shura-e Hamahangi.

Scores of prisoners were killed. In March Abdul Ali Mazari, leader of Hezb-e Wahdat, was reportedly killed while held by the Ta/eban. In mid-March the bodies of Najmuddin Musleh (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1995) and seven other prisoners were found in a detention centre in Karte Seh in Kabul. Former detainees reported that Najmuddin Musleh and other prisoners had been shot dead on 10 March by armed guards of Hezb-e Wahdat before they abandoned their positions in Karte Seh. Several mass graves were uncovered. In March, 22 bodies were found buried in an irrigation ditch in Charasyab. The victims had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the head. In May the bodies of several people who had report­ edly been arrested and killed by General Dostum's forces were found dumped in different places in Mazar-e Sharif. Many prisoners were tortured. The forces of Shura-e Nezar were holding long-term prisoners in at least five deten­ tion centres in Panjshir, where former de­ tainees testified that torture was prevalent. Around 1 ,500 prisoners, including 150 women, were reportedly released from a Hezb-e Wahdat detention centre in March. A Tajik Afghan woman said she had been repeatedly raped by guards at the deten­ tion centre after she had been detained in late 1994. Several detainees were report­ edly forced to eat their own excrement. In detention centres run by Harekat-e Inqilab (Movement for Revolution), led by Sheikh Asef Mohseni , prisoners were reportedly held in dark rooms with wet floors and were regularly tortured. Ransoms were demanded of their families. Torture, sometimes resulting in death, was reported to be widespread in deten­ tion centres run by Hezb-e Is/ami. Prison­ ers were also reportedly forced to dig trenches and clear mines. In August Paki­ stani police announced that they had dis­ covered an unofficial detention centre run by Hezb-e Isiami in a house in Karachi. Five prisoners, reportedly held in chains, were found in the jail. The police said that Hezb-e Is/ami officials conducted trials and imposed punishment on Afghans ar­ rested for alleged criminal activity. There were reports that torture was also carried out there. The fate of many people who had been abducted by armed groups remained

AFGHANISTAN/ALBANIA

unknown. Information came to light in February concerning Ghulam Farooq Gharazai, a former lecturer at Kabul University who had been abducted by a Mujahideen group in June 1994 on the road from Kabul to Jalalabad. He had reportedly been stopped by the intelli­ gence personnel of Gulbuddin Hekmat­ yar's Hezb-e Islami, told to get out of his car and taken away. His whereabouts re­ mained unknown. The commanders of the warring fac­ tions dispensed summary justice, in some cases by means of Islamic courts. In January, dozens of prisoners received p unishments, including amputation and execution, ordered by Islamic courts in areas controlled by the Taleban. In Febru­ ary an Islamic court set up by the Taleban in Helmand province ordered amputations on three men found guilty of theft. Two medical doctors severed the hands and feet of the men under local anaesthetic. In October, seven men accused of theft were reportedly arrested by the Taleban in Ghazni province and sentenced to ampu­ tation. It was not known if the sentences were carried out. Reports were received of an execution by stoning which had taken place in 1993. Eye-witnesses reported that in May 1993 a woman was stoned to death in Sarobi , south o f Kabul, o n the orders o f her former husband, a Hezb-e Islami commander. The commander's armed guards carried out the order. The actual number of people subjected to this form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment was believed to be higher. At least nine people were executed on the orders of Islamic judges linked to the Taleban. In February, two men accused of murder. were executed in Kandahar on the orders of a four-member Islamic court, and in August seven commanders of govern­ ment forces taken prisoner by the Taleban during battles in western provinces were reportedly brought before an Islamic court an d subsequently executed. Other factions Were also believed to have carried out executions. In a report which was issued in Febru­ ary , Afghanistan: The human rights crisis an d the refugees, Amnesty International urged all governments to ensure that thou­ sands of Afghans seeking asylum through­ out the world were not compelled to return to Afghanistan as long a the

human rights crIsIs in Afghanistan persisted. Another report published in April, Afghanistan: Executions, amputations, and possible deliberate and arbitrary killings, detailed cases of amputations and summary executions ordered by Islamic courts. In a report published in May, Women in Afghanistan: A human rights catastrophe, Amnesty International de­ scribed the killing, abduction, rape and other torture of women in Afghanistan. It urged the transitional government, the warring factions and the international community to ensure that Afghan women were protected against gross human rights abuses. In a report published in November, Afghanistan: International responsibility for human rights disaster, Amnesty International drew attention to the role of outside powers in fuelling the human rights catastrophe in Afghanistan. It urged the governments that had supported and armed the warring factions in Afghanistan to take responsibility for their contribution to the human rights crisis in the country, and to play a constructive role in helping in its resolution. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International included references to its concerns in Afghanistan.

69

ALBANIA

i � ,.,

Two convicted prisoners of conscience were held during the year. Scores of others were detained briefly. There were fre­ quent reports that police had beaten people during arrest or in custody, and complaints that prisoners were ill-treated after protesting against poor conditions.

�I � �

;Cl>

ALBANIA

70

Five death sentences for murder were passed and one man was executed.

A new Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure came into force in June and August respectively. The Crim­ inal Code decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults in private, but increased the number of criminal offences punishable by the death penalty. How­ ever, on 29 June Albania acceded to the Council of Europe and undertook to intro­ duce immediately a moratorium on execu­ tions and to abolish the death penalty in time of peace within three years. In July it signed the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fun­ damental Freedoms. In September Par­ liament adopted a law calling for the investigation of crimes against humanity committed under communist rule from 1945 to 1991. Subsequently, in November and December, criminal investigations were opened against many former high officials and eight were arrested pending investigation in connection with the mass internment of political opponents in that period. In July former President Ramiz Alia was released after his sentence was re­ duced under provisions of the new Crim­ inal Code; three co-defendants whose sentences had not yet expired were sim­ ilarly released (see Amnesty International Report 1995). However, in November, three separate investigations were started against him and against former Prime Minister and Socialist Party (sp) leader Fatos Nano and others, in connection with the shooting of demonstrators and people attempting to flee the country in 1991. In February Theodor Bezhani and three other members of the Greek minority con­ victed in 1994 were released after the Court of Cassation, the country's supreme court, gave them suspended prison sen­ tences (see Amnesty International Report

1995).

Two convicted prisoners of conscience were held during the year. One of them was Fatos Nano, who was convicted in 1994 on charges of "misappropriation of state property" and " falsification of docu­ ments" (see Amnesty International Report 1995). In March his sentence was reduced by two years under an amnesty. In June a court in Tepelene rejected his request for release under provisions of the new Crim­ inal Code. In September Parliament dis-

missed the President of the Court of Cassa­ tion, which was due to review the case. Judge Zef Brozi had expressed the view that Fatos Nano's conviction was un­ sound. In December Fatos Nano's sentence was reduced by eight months by presiden­ tial pardon, leaving him three years still to serve. In April Ilir Hoxha, the son of Enver Hoxha, the former communist leader of Albania, was arrested after a magazine published an interview in which he de­ fended his father's record and criticized that of President Sali Berisha. In June a court in Tirana sentenced him to one year's imprisonment for " inciting hatred against a section of the population" under Article 266 of the (new) Criminal Code. In July this sentence was upheld on appeal. Other prisoners of conscience included three men from Saranda arrested in Sep­ tember after distributing anti-American leaflets described as "anti-constitutional". They remained in detention pending trial. In September Vladimir Qirjaqi and three other people were briefly detained on charges of "anti-constitutional activity": they had published a tourist guide of Gjirokaster which included a photograph of Enver Hoxha, a native of the town. At least 1 0 men were detained between September and December for up to 48 hours on suspicion that they had shouted or written slogans "slandering" President Sali Berisha. Scores of others were briefly arrested in connection with SP meetings which the authorities said had not been properly registered in advance. In Novem­ ber police in Vlora and Durres arrested and briefly detained some 50 people who tried to lay wreaths on the graves of parti­ sans who died in the Second World War. Independent journalists complained of official intimidation and several were prosecuted for "slandering" officials or state security police officers. Others com­ plained that they had been arrested, ques­ tioned or beaten by police in connection with articles they had written. Among them was Ilir Babaramo, who in October was detained for several hours in Gjirokaster after writing an article about official corruption. There continued to be frequent reports that police had beaten or otherwise ill­ treated people during arrest or in custody. Many of the victims were members or sup­ porters of the SP or other opponents of

ALBANIA

the government. For example, in January some 30 young people from Rrogozhina were detained by police in Kavaja on their return from a meeting of socialists in Tirana. Three of them, Afrim Sula and two friends, who were detained until the fol­ lowing morning, were allegedly ill-treated by police officers. They were accused of disturbing the peace and summarily fined. In June, 30 members of the Orphans' Asso­ ciation in Korr;:a (nearly all women), went on hunger-strike in support of their associ­ ation's demands for government economic assistance. Within 24 hours police had evicted them from the premises where they were holding their hunger-strike, re­ portedly beating some of them, including Zef Mirashi, the association's President, with rubber truncheons. In June and July protests over land is­ sues at Bathore and at Boville led to viol­ ent clashes between police and protesters, with injuries on both sides. Protesters who Were arrested alleged that they were sub­ sequently beaten or otherwise ill-treated in police stations. In August police report­ edly used rubber truncheons to break up an SP meeting in Pogradec which called for the release of Fatos Nano. In September, shortly before the Court of Cassation was due to review the case of Fatos Nano, police surrounded the court stating that they had been ordered to pre­ Vent three court officials, who had been dismissed by the Minister of Justice the previo us day on political grounds, from entering court premises. As one of these �fficials attempted to enter the court, po­ Ilce dragged him into a police car and took him to a police station where he was held for about 1 2 hours. Judge Bardha Selenica and another court official were reported to have been physically ill-treated by police On the same occasion. In many other reported incidents of ill­ �eatrnent, there appeared to be no polit­ Ical motive. For example, in June Ardian Pasha and Halit Dede quarrelled with an off- duty police officer in a billiard hall in B urre!. Afterwards they fled to the home of a friend, Ethem Neta. The three were subsequently arrested and severely beaten by police. As a result of his injuries, Ethem Neta was hospitalized for nine days. . There were also complaints that con­ Victed prisoners or prisoners in pre-trial detenti on had been ill-treated. Prisoners

who went on hunger-strike in May in Shkoder police station in protest against poor food and ill-treatment were allegedly punished by being chained hand and foot for 24 hours. In July prisoners in Korr;:a prison who had protested against poor conditions were reportedly severely beaten by police. One of them, Ardian Munushtiri, was said to have been badly injured. In November, five police officers were found guilty of "abuse of authority" in connection with the death of a prisoner in Vlora police station in 1 994. They were sentenced to one year's imprisonment each , but were immediately released after their sentence, which they had partly served in pre-trial house arrest, was sus­ pended. Five death sentences for murder were passed during the year and one man was executed. In June Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Albania: Failure to end po­ lice ill-treatment and deaths in custody. The organization said that reports pointed to a pattern of police ill-treatment which was often tolerated by the authorities. Am­ nesty International called on the authorit­ ies to investigate complaints thoroughly and impartially and to ensure that officers responsible for abuses were brought to justice. In July Amnesty International wrote to President Berisha urging the release of Fatos Nano. The organization stated that after examining the documentation of this case it had concluded that the charges against him were not substantiated by the evidence and were politically motivated. The organization also called for the release of !lir Hoxha, imprisoned for the non­ violent exercise of his right to freedom of expression. In August the Minister of Justice, in a letter to Amnesty International, denied that Fatos Nano and Ilir Hoxha had been imprisoned for their political views. He stated that the independence of the judi­ ciary was inviolable in Albania. In September the organization ex­ pressed concern about reports that police had ill-treated three officials of the Court of Cassation and said that the context of this incident indicated that the principle of independence of the judiciary was under threat.

71

ALGERIA

72

ALGERIA

Thousands of people were killed by the security forces, many of them reportedly extrajudicially executed when unarmed or after having been captured. At least 96 detainees were killed inside a prison, many in circumstances suggesting that they were extrajudicially executed. Hun­ dreds of civilians were deliberately and arbitrarily killed by armed opposition groups. Hundreds of people, including possible prisoners of conscience, were ar­ rested on charges of offences against state security. Trials of individuals accused of "terrorism" continued to violate interna­ tional standards for fair trial. Torture and ill-treatment were reported to be wide­ spread, particularly during incommu­ nicado detention. Hundreds of people arrested by security forces during the year and in previous years remained "disappeared". More than 100 death sen­ tences were imposed during the year, most of them in absentia, and over 600 people sentenced to death in previous years remained on death row.

Presidential elections were held in No­ vember and General Liamine Zeroual, ap­ pointed President of the State at the beginning of 1 994, was elected President. The state of emergency declared in 1 992 (see Amnesty International Report 1 993) remained in force. The emergency "anti-terrorism" decree of 1 992 (see Amnesty International Report 1 993), which the authorities had an­ nounced was going to be repealed, was in­ corporated virtually in its entirety into permanent legislation in February. Thousands of people were killed by the security forces. The authorities claimed that all those killed by security forces died in armed clashes. However, hundreds of people were reported to have been extraju­ dicially executed when they posed no lethal threat. Some were reportedly killed in their homes and in front of their famil­ ies, others after they had been arrested. Such killings appeared to be increasingly

used as an alternative to arrest. According to former police and army officers, the extrajudicial execution of known or sus­ pected members of armed opposition groups after they had been captured or in circumstances where they could have been arrested was widespread. Civilians suspected of having supported or failed to denounce armed groups, either willingly or out of fear, were also reported to have been extrajudicially executed by the secur­ ity forces. Such killings were reported to be particularly widespread in areas where armed opposition groups were active. Gardes (communal communales guards) and "groupes d'auto-defense" (self-defence groups) were reported to have participated with growing frequency in security operations with the army and security forces, during which civilians were killed. Both communal guards and "self-defence groups" participate in sur­ veillance and security operations against armed opposition groups in their local areas. The recruitment and training pro­ cedures, and the line of command and accountability of the communal guards remained unclear. The "self-defence groups" did not appear to be subject to any degree of control by the authorities. In June, four brothers - 'Abdel 'Aziz, 'Abdelkrim, Rabah and Sa'id Bouafia and two other men were reportedly extra­ judicially executed after having been ar­ rested by members of the security forces and communal guards in their orchard in Ouled 'Askar, near Djijel. In February at least 96 detainees and five prison guards were killed in Serkadji Prison. The authorities stated that the de­ tainees were killed when the security forces intervened to quell a mutiny. Other sources alleged that many of the detainees were extrajudicially executed, some of them after they had returned to their cells. Among the victims were Ykhlef Cherrati and 'Abdelhamid Bouchamia. The vast majority of those killed had been accused or convicted of " terrorist activities". Many had been held in pre-trial detention since 1992, including Yassine Simozrag (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1 995), and at least 40 had been sentenced to death or to life imprisonment. Some of these had been moved to the prison shortly before the incident, in breach of the Algerian Prison Code which stipulates that prisoners on death row or serving life

ALGERIA

sentences cannot be held in Serkadji tacks and issued renewed death threats Prison. Among them was Hassan Kaouane. against relatives of members of the secur­ The victims' families were informed of ity forces, officials, civil servants, journal­ their deaths only after they had been ists, foreign nationals and others whom buried. No autopsies were carried out to they accused of supporting the authorities. establish the circumstances and causes of However, the authenticity of such commu­ death, and most of the dead were buried niqu�s could not be verified, and the com­ Without having been identified. position, structure and leadership of such An inquiry by the official human rights armed groups remained unclear. body, the Observatoire national des droits Hundreds of people were arrested on de l'homme (ONDH), National Human charges of "terrorism" and offences Rights Monitoring Body, failed to investig­ against state security. Some were released ate the circumstances in which the de­ without charge while others were de­ tainees were killed. The ONDH claimed that tained awaiting trial. Some were prisoners the victims had been photographed before of conscience and possible prisoners of being buried to allow for post-burial iden­ conscience. Among them were Outoudert tifi cation, but no photographs were shown Abrouss, director of the newspaper to their families and lawyers, or to Am­ Liberte, and Samir Khayaz, a journalist on nesty International and other human the newspaper. They were arrested in De­ rights organizations. The list of detainees cember and given suspended prison sen­ tences after being convicted of publishing killed was not made public. Amnesty In­ ternational delegates visiting Algeria in false information about a senior govern­ March and June were not allowed access ment official. Incommunicado detention to Serkadji Prison. was often illegally prolonged beyond the No investigation was known to have maximum 12 days permitted by Algerian been carried out into a similar incident in law. For example, Mohamed Benmarksi, a Berrouaghia Prison in November 1 994, taxi driver who had appeared in a filmed when scores of prisoners were reported to documentary on political violence in Al­ have been killed. Mourad Malik, detained geria at the end of 1 994, was arrested in without trial since May 1 992, was among April and held incommunicado for over those killed. At the end of 1 995 his five weeks. He was then released without fam ily had still not been informed of his charge. The two leaders of the Front is­ p lace of burial. lamique du salut (FIS), Islamic Salvation Front, who had been released from prison Hundreds of civilians were deliberately and arbitrarily killed in attacks and bomb and placed under house arrest in 1 994 explosions reported to have been carried (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), were again imprisoned at the start of 1995. out by armed opposition groups defining th emselves as " Islamic groups". More than Thousands of people arrested on "ter­ 40 people were killed and over 1 00 in­ rorism" charges since 1 992 continued to jured by a car-bomb explosion in a busy be detained awaiting trial. Among them was Noureddine Lamdjadani, a doctor Algiers street in January. The wife and who was reportedly tortured after arrest in daughter of a member of the Conseil Na­ 1 994 (sec Amnesty International Report tional d..e Transition, Transitional National �ouncil , an appointed body replacing par­ 1995). At least 647 people administra­ � lament, were among seven people killed tively detained since the beginning of lU an explosion in August at a guarded 1 992 without charge or trial in the desert resi dential complex outside Algiers. Other camp of 'Ain M'Guel in southern Algeria Civilians targeted included relatives of (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) members of the security forces. More than were released in November. 20 journalists were killed during the year, The special courts set up under the 1992 "anti-terrorism" decree were dis­ most of them in attacks reported to have solved in February. Trials of individuals been carried out by armed groups. Malika accused of "terrorist" acts resumed in or­ Sabour, a journalist for the Arabic-lan­ dinary courts, but continued to violate in­ guage daily Echourouk, was shot dead in ternational standards for fair trials. Judges her home in front of her family in May. and magistrates consistently failed to in­ Communiqu�s signed by the Groupe is­ lamiqu e arme (CIA), Armed Islamic Group, vestigate allegations that defendants had been tortured and ill-treated and accepted claimed responsibility for many such at-

73

ALGERIA/ANGOLA

74

as evidence confessions allegedly ex­ tracted under torture. No investigation was carried out into the death in custody of Fouad Bouchelaghem , detained in June 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), and into other deaths in custody in previous years. Torture and ill-treatment of detainees were reported to be used routinely in po­ lice and gendarmerie stations, military and other secret detention centres to ex­ tract information and confessions from de­ tainees held in incommunicado detention, often illegally prolonged for weeks or months. The most common methods re­ ported included: the "chiffon", where the detainee is tied to a bench and a cloth is placed in the mouth through which a mix­ ture of dirty water and chemicals is poured; the "chalumeau", burning with a blowtorch; electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body; placing the detainee's penis in a drawer and slamming the drawer shut; tying a rope around the de­ tainee's genitals; suspension in contorted positions; cigarette burns; and beatings. Hundreds of people who had "disap­ peared" after arrest in 1 995 and in previ­ ous years remained unaccounted for. They included Allaoua Ziou from Heliopolis (near Guelmal. who "disappeared" after being arrested by the security forces. His brother, Mohamed Ziou, a doctor, was also arrested in September and was re­ leased after one month in secret detention. Two journalists, Djamaleddine Fahassi and Saghir Bouhadida, arrested in Algiers in May and June respectively, remained "disappeared". Among those arrested by the security forces in previous years whose fate and whereabouts remained un­ known were two representatives of the FIS elected in December 1 9 9 1 ; Mohamcd Rosli, Director of the Institute of Sociology at Blida University, who "disappeared " following his arrest in October 1 993, and Brahim Chcrrada, who "disappeared" with Mohamed Chergui , Yamine 'Ali Ke­ baili and 1 3 others after their arrests in July 1 994 from their homes in Rass El Oued, Bourj-Bouarreridj. More than 1 00 death sentences were passed during the year, most of them in absentia. Lieutenant Lembarek Boum­ a'arif, who was detained in June 1 992 and accused of killing former President Mo­ hamed Boudiaf, was sentenced to death in June. 'Abdelkader Halouane, Mustapha

Rahmouni, Sadok Boukeddache, and Mo­ hamed Berbar were sentenced to death on charges of murder and other "terrorist" acts on behalf of armed opposition groups by a Tizi Ouzou court in July. Their trial fell short of international standards for fair trial. They and more than 600 others re­ mained on death row at the end of the year. Most had been sentenced to death fol lowing unfair trials in previous years (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1 995). No executions were reported during the year, and the moratorium on executions announced in December 1 993 remained in force. In August Amnesty International sent a memorandum detailing its concerns to President Liamine Zeroual, together with lists of hundreds of cases of alleged ex­ trajudicial executions, "disappearances", torture and arbitrary detention by the se­ curity forces, urging that these abuses be thoroughly and impartially investigated. Amnesty International called on armed groups to stop killing civilians. It also called on the FIS to condemn all killings of civilians by armed groups defining them­ selves as "Islamic groups". In a response to Amnesty Interna­ tional's October 1 994 report Algeria; Re­ the pression and violence must end authorities denied that any of the human rights violations described in the report had taken place. However, the response failed to substantiate the denials. The FIS also issued a response to Amnesty Inter­ national's report denying that armed Islamic groups were responsible for kill­ ings and other attacks on civilians. Some FIS representatives condemned killings of civilians, but failed to call on armed groups to stop targeting civilians. In a written statement to the UN Com­ mission on Human Rights in March, Am­ nesty International described its concerns relating to torture, extrajudicial executions and "disappearances" in Algeria. -

-

ANGOLA New arrests of government opponents, in­ cluding possible prisoners of conscience, were reported. T here were allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees and extrajudicial executions by government

troops. The armed opposition Uniiio Na-

ANGOLA

donal para a Independenda Total de Angola (UNITA) , National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, released some prisoners but failed to account for others, raising concern about their safety, and was responsible for deliberate and arbitrary killings.

A formal cease-fire between the govern­ ment of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the armed opposition UNlTA led by J onas Malheiro Savimbi was agreed in February, in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol peace settlement signed in No­ vember 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1995). The UN Security Council t�en establ ished the UN Angola Verifica­ hon Mission III (UNAVEM Ill), to replace the UN AVEM II mission which had monitored the previous peace agreement of 1 99 1 . Warning that its mission could be sus­ pended if the cease-fire should break down, the UN initially installed UNAVEM III for six months but then extended its man­ date for a further six months in August. A human rights unit was established within UN AVEM m. Eight human rights monitors were appointed and, with the assistance of 2 1 5 UN civilian police, mandated to investigate complaints of human rights ab­ uses. The Comissiio Conjunta, Joint Com­ mission, established under the Lusaka Protocol to implement the peace agree­ ment, decided in May to consider human rights at all its regular sessions and re­ quested regular reports on human rights from UNAVEM Ill. There were many violations of the cease-fire and hundreds of people were kil led as a result of continued fighting, es­ peCially in the north and in Lunda Norte and Lunda SuI. Many people were also kil led by landmines and there were re-

ports of new mine laying by both sides. Despite this, the overall level of violence was reduced owing to the peace agree­ ment, humanitarian aid became accessible to more of the population and people dis­ placed by the war began to return to their homes. An agreement between the govern­ ment and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in June provided for the voluntary repatriation of refugees from neighbouring countries. A similar agree­ ment was also reached between UNrrA and the UNHCR for the resettlement of 45,000 people from Jamba, UNTTA'S former head­ quarters, in the southeast. The planned integration of government and UNITA troops to form a single army, with demobilization of other troops on both sides, was severely delayed and the timetable for full implementation of the peace agreement was adjusted in June to take account of this. The first UN peace­ keeping battalions were deployed in June. The Constitution was amended in July in order to create two posts of vice-president, one of which was offered to UNlTA. By the end of the year the Rapid Reaction Police had not been confined to barracks nor were civilians disarmed, as required by the peace agreement. Fighting continued in Cabinda between government forces and armed separatist groups. One of these, the Frente para a Liberta�iio do Enclave de Cabinda-Reno­ vada (FLEC-R), Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave-Renewed, agreed a four-month truce in September while it continued negotiations with the govern­ ment but other Cabindan separatist groups refused to participate. Under the Lusaka Protocol, the govern­ ment and UNrrA agreed to release all pris­ oners held in connection with the conflict but only about 350 such prisoners had been released by the end of the year. The government released over 200 UNITA sup­ porters in May but in June it said it was halting releases until UNITA freed a similar number. However, only 22 were released by UNlTA during the year. It remained un­ clear how many prisoners were being held by each side and there was mounting con­ cern about hundreds of people whose fate and whereabouts were unknown since their detention or abduction in 1 992 and 1 993 by the forces of one side or the other (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993, 1 994 and 1995).

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76

There were reports of new political arrests of suspected UNlTA supporters and other opponents of the government, in­ cluding possible prisoners of conscience. Few details were available and independ­ ent corroboration was rarely forthcoming. Some detainees were released within days or a few weeks. One of those held was Nzuzi Domingos, a leading member of the Partido Democr6tico para 0 Progresso­ Alian9a Nacional Angolana, Democratic Party for Progress-Angolan National Al­ liance. He was arrested in May and charged with defamation after he publicly accused the chief of police of involvement in killings of members of the Bakongo eth­ nic group in January 1 993 (see Amnesty International Report 1994). He was freed on bail after over a month in detention but had not been tried by the end of the year. Some detainees were reportedly tor­ tured or ill-treated. They included two members of the clergy, Reverend Justino Wako and Father Joao Maria Futi, and Joao Baptista Sousa, a journalist. They were detained for several hours with dozens of other people in January when they attended a peaceful political meeting in Cabinda. They were reportedly beaten with batons, kicked and threatened at gun­ point. Other government opponents were killed in suspicious circumstances, raising fears that they may have been victims of extrajudicial executions. Ricardo de Melo, the d irector of an independent newspaper, was shot dead in January after publishing an article which implicated senior govern­ ment officials in corruption. He had re­ ceived death threats on several occasions and had been briefly detained in Novem­ ber 1 994 for criticizing the government (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Police reportedly investigated the killing but the results were not published. In Cabinda, a suspected member of FLEe, Joao Pequeno, was shot dead by soldiers when they arrested him in July. There were also reports of government soldiers carrying out extrajudicial execu­ tions after taking control of towns previ­ ously held by UNrrA, but few details were available and it was impossible to corrob­ orate the reports. Amnesty International received new in­ formation that Manuel Elemina, a lawyer, had not been killed by government forces in Benguela in 1 993 as earlier reported

(see Amnesty International Report 1994). He had been detained for several months from January 1 993 and tortured, resulting in permanent damage to his health. He died in 1 995. UNrrA was responsible for gross human rights abuses, including deliberate and ar­ bitrary killings. In all, UNITA was known to have released only 22 prisoners by the end of the year despite the peace agreement's requirements. UNrrA failed to account for prisoners detained before the peace agree­ ment, as well as two South Africans whom UNrrA had captured and threatened to execute in 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995). It continued to deny any responsibility for the fate of Valdemar Peres da Silva (see Amnesty International Report 1994), saying he had never been detained. UNrrA forces reportedly detained other suspected government supporters in 1 995. In November UNlTA announced that it had captured four South Africans who had subsequently confessed to plotting to kill UNITA ' S leader Jonas Savimbi. Their fate was not known at the end of the year. An unknown number of people were reportedly condemned to death by UNrrA in October for allegedly killing 1 7 women and children near Negage in Uige prov­ ince. In response to an appeal by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Angola, UNITA said that the prisoners would not be executed. UNITA forces deliberately and arbitrarily killed captured soldiers and civilians. In September or October, Joao Lina was re­ portedly beaten to death in public by UNITA forces after two of his relatives fled the area under UNrrA control in Soyo to an area under government control. His body was reportedly left on public display for some days before his fami ly was allowed to bury him. In October, three members of a Cabindan separatist group were said to have been summarily executed by UNITA for stealing arms. Five UNITA soldiers were also said to have been summarily execu­ ted for complicity. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional appealed to both the government and UNrrA to account for the fate of those who had "disappeared" or were missing following abduction since the resumption of hostilities in late 1 992. Amnesty Inter­ national also made inquiries and ex­ pressed concern about reports of killings by the government and UNITA, including

ANGOWARGENTINA

the killing of Ricardo de Melo. In August the organization wrote to the UN Special Representative to Angola to seek informa­ tion and make suggestions to strengthen human rights protection. The Special Rep­ resentative welcomed these suggestions and informed Amnesty International of protective measures he had implemented.

ARGENTINA

Declarations of responsibility for human rights violations by former members of the armed forces failed to advance in­ vestigations into past " disappearances". There were several killings by police in circumstances suggesting possible extra­ judicial executions. Lawyers of victims of human rights violations were subjected to death threats.

President Carlos Menem was re-elected for a second term of office following pres­ idential elections in May. Strikes and de­ monstrations, some violent, were staged throughout the year. In the Federal Capital and several provinces including Buenos Aires, Tierra del Fuego, Tucuman, C6r­ doba and Rio Negro, public and private sector employees demonstrated against widespread unemployment, salary cuts and government economic policies. In April the UN Human Rights Commit­ tee commented on laws limiting the trials of people responsible for past human rights violations, such as the Law of Due Obedience and the law known as the "Full Stop" law. It stated that these were incon­ sis tent with the requirements of the Inter­ national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its recommendations the Com­ mittee urged Argentina to investigate the

whereabouts of "disappeared" persons and recent revelations of crimes commit­ ted by the military during military rule. In October the Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons was approved by Congress. By the end of the year the ratification instrument had not been deposited. In September a police officer was sen­ tenced to eight years' imprisonment by a criminal court in C6rdoba for the killing of 1 5-year-old Miguel Angel Rodrfguez i n July 1 994. In October a police officer was sentenced to life imprisonment for the tor­ ture with electricity and subsequent death of Sergio Gustavo Duran in 1 992 in police custody i n Mor6n, Buenos Aires province (see Amnesty International Report 1 993). For the first time ever, high-ranking of­ ficers admitted the Argentine Armed Forces' responsibility for grave human rights violations during the years of milit­ ary government ( 1 976 to 1 983) and apolo­ gized for them. Former naval officer Adolfo Francisco Scilingo stated in March that approxim­ ately 2 ,000 people held and tortured i n the secret detention centre a t the Escuela de Mecdnica de la Armada, Navy Mechan­ ics School, had been sedated and thrown naked into the Atlantic and the River Plate from military aircraft. He admitted taking part in two of these flights. Further confes­ sions by three other military personnel corroborated these declarations. As a result of this, a number of peti­ tions were filed with the Federal Appeals Court by relatives of the "disappeared" re­ questing information about their fate. In its initial rulings the Federal Appeals Court acted upon the requests, issuing orders to the armed forces and the gov­ ernment for i nformation and recognizing the inalienable right to the truth and to mourn. However, during the second part of the year, the Federal Appeals Court in­ voked the Full Stop and Due Obedience laws and rejected petitions to reopen in­ vestigations into "disappearances" which occurred during military governments. Further investigations were ordered into children born in captivity; these were the only cases excluded by both laws and the subsequent presidential pardons of 1989 and 1 990, which precluded i nvest­ igations into "disappearances". In June a provincial judge ordered the arrest of po­ lice doctor Jorge Berg�s, who was charged

77

78

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ARGENTINA/ARMENIA

with forging identity documents for chil­ dren of " disappeared" couples. His arrest was ordered under the investigation initi­ ated to establish the identity of the son of Julio C�sar D'Elia and Yolanda Casco, a Uruguayan couple who "disappeared" in Argentina in 1977. However, in November the San Martin Federal Court shelved pro­ ceedings against Jorge Berg�s because the time limit on the charges had already expired. At least three people were killed as a result of violent confrontations with po­ lice during demonstrations across the country. For example, Victor Choque was shot dead by police in circumstances which indicated excessive use of force during a workers' demonstration held in Tierra del Fuego in April. Twenty-six people were injured in the clashes. Killings by police in circumstances sug­ gesting possible extrajudicial executions, known as "gatillo facir (trigger-happy) , were recorded in several provinces. For example, in February, a policeman killed Julio Sosa in the locality of Bernardino Rivadavia, Mendoza province. Witnesses stated that the victim had no time to react to the policeman's warning, which came at the same moment that he was shot in the back and killed. The policeman was arrested and charged with manslaughter but the investigation was still open at the end of the year. In July a Chilean national, Javier Rojas P�rez, was killed in the locality of Wilde, Greater Buenos Aires. A policeman alleg­ edly grabbed Javier Rojas P�rez by the hair and then shot him at close range, killing him immediately. The policeman argued that the killing had been accidental. A judge ordered his preventive detention on charges of manslaughter. In August, charred remains believed to be those of Andr�s Nt1iiez, a builder who "disappeared" in 1 990 after being taken to the Police Investigations Brigade of La Plata (see Amnesty International Reports 1991 , 1 992 and 1 993) were recovered. The corpse was found in an abandoned water tank of a rural property in General Bel­ grana, Buenos Aires province. Forensic examinations were ordered by a judge. Eleven policemen were detained and three remained in hiding accused of illegitimate arrest, torture leading to death and con­ cealing the facts. At the end of the year these investigations were still in progress.

In February a judicial investigation into the killing of WaIter Bulacio, a youth who died in police custody in 1 991 , was re­ opened after lawyers provided new evid­ ence on the circumstances of his death. In the course of the year, three judges ex­ cluded themselves from the case. The Fed­ eral Appeals Court ruled that the case should be heard by the 4th Juvenile Court in Buenos Aires. At the end of the year the case was continuing. Lawyers working on the clarification of such cases were subjected to death threats and harassment. Elba Tempera, lawyer of the family of Andr�s Nt1iiez, stated that she had received anonymous telephone death threats. She also reported intimida­ tion and threats by the judge in charge of the case, who subsequently disqualified himself. Maria del Carmen Verdt1 and Daniel Straga, the lawyers representing WaIter Bulacio, also reported that they had received repeated death threats. In May Amnesty International wrote to the authorities calling for an independent investigation into the circumstances of the killing of Victor Choque. The organization called for all allegations of death threats against human rights defenders to be thor­ oughly and impartially investigated and steps taken to guarantee their security. In July Amnesty International published a re­ port, Argentina: The Right to the Full Truth, in which it reiterated the need to clarify the fate and whereabouts of the " disappeared", stressing the right of the relatives of the victims to a full investiga­ tion and to public disclosure of the final findings.

ARMENIA At least 18 political prisoners faced crim­

inal proceedings that appeared to fall short of international standards. There

were numerous allegations of ill-treat­ ment in custody and lawyers, opposition journalists and members of religious mi­ norities were beaten by people alleged to have links with official structures. At least one person was sentenced to death and at least 13 others remained under sentence of death, but there were no exe­ cutions.

In January the Supreme Court upheld a six-month ban imposed on the opposition

ARMENIA

Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) , for not complying with the law on polit­ ical parties. Consequently the ARF was ex­ cluded from the July parliamentary elections, in which a majority of deputies elected were supporters of the policies of President Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

A new Constitution was approved, also in July, by referendum. It included basic rights and freedoms, including the right of access to a defence lawyer from the mo­ ment of arrest, detention, or presentation of charges. However, the death penalty was retained as "an exceptional measure of punishment" for "the most heinous cri mes". In May, to mark the first anniversary of a cease-fire in the disputed Karabakh re­ gion (see Azerbaijan entry), a number of hostages and other prisoners detained dur­ ing the conflict were exchanged. Those handed over by the Armenian side in­ cluded Azerbaijani citizens Bakhtiar Shabiyev and Garay Nagiyev who had been sentenced to death in April 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). The Arm enian authorities stated in May that the President had decreed that all Azerbai­ j ani military and civilian prisoners held in Arm enia would be returned to Azerbaijan. However, unofficial sources alleged that a few Azerbaijani prisoners continued to be held in private hands. Seventeen men who were arrested in co nnection with their alleged membership of a secret armed group named "Dro" within the ARF faced criminal proceedings th at appeared to fall short of international sta ndards for fair trial. They had been charged with various criminal offences from withholding information to premedit­ ate d murder (the latter carrying a possible

death sentence). The trial of 1 1 of them began in July in Yerevan and was still continuing at the end of the year. Several of the defendants reported great difficult­ ies in meeting freely and promptly with a lawyer of their own choice, and several of their lawyers reported problems in gaining full access to relevant case materials dur­ ing the investigation. Similar problems were reported in the case of senior ARF member Vahan Ovanessian who was ar­ rested in late July for allegedly planning an assassination campaign, although the Constitution adopted earlier that month guaranteed prompt access to a defence lawyer. No confessions by the 1 1 men on trial were ruled inadmissible by the court, in spite of defendants' allegations that they were obtained under duress. Arsen Arts­ runi alleged that he was beaten on three occasions to force a confession. Another of the original group arrested, Armen Momi­ jan, was said to have suffered a broken jaw through ill-treatment. Ardavast Manukian, who had been due to stand trial, died in a Yerevan hospital on 16 May, reportedly from an intestinal tumour. It was alleged that he had been denied adequate medical care for several weeks before his death. Other reports of ill-treatment in cus­ tody in criminal cases emerged during the year, although alleged victims appeared reluctant to institute legal proceedings for fear of reprisals. Three lawyers linked with the so-called "Dro" case, several opposition journalists, and members of religious minorities were among those physically assaulted by people they believed had links with offi­ cial structures. The incidents were report­ edly not adequately investigated by the police and by the end of the year no one had been arrested for these attacks. In Apri l , for example, 1 9 Hare Krishna devo­ tees were beaten at their temple in Yere­ van by a group of about 25 men, some i n uniform. Eleven male devotees said they were beaten with iron bars: they needed hospital treatment. One, bleeding from a head wound, went to the local police sta­ tion during the attack but was allegedly told that the police were short-staffed and that he should return later. The same man was also allegedly told by an investigator that the case would not lead to any prose­ cutions as those responsible were linked with the Ministry of Defence.

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80

Further information emerged on the criminal case instituted following the deaths of eight Azerbaijani prisoners in January 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). The Armenian authorities had alleged the men committed suicide after a failed escape bid during which an Armenian guard was killed, although an independent forensic expert reported that the pattern of their injuries suggested "ex­ ecution-type shootings". The investigation focused on the death of the guard and, having determined that the Azerbaijani prisoners were responsible for his murder, the case was suspended in May 1 994. There appeared to have been no compre­ hensive investigation into the circum­ stances of the deaths of the Azerbaijani prisoners. At least 13 men were believed to be under sentence of death at the end of the year, one of whom had been sentenced to death for murder in December. There were no executions, owing to President Ter-Petrosyan's personal opposition to the death penalty, but no death sentences were commuted. Amnesty International called for all detainees to be granted prompt and ful l access t o a lawyer o f their own choice, and for comprehensive and impartial in­ vestigations into reports of beatings and i ll-treatment. In October Amnesty Interna­ tional delegates visited Armenia and met the Prosecutor General, who stated that defence access was guaranteed under the Constitution and that all allegations of ill­ treatment brought to the attention of the Prosecutor's office had been investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. Amnesty International continued to call for all pending death sentences to be commuted.

AUSTRALIA A highly disproportionate rate of Aborigi­ nal deaths in custody heightened concern about the detention and ill-treatment of indigenous people. At least three people were shot dead by police officers in dis­ puted circumstances. Federal legislation on the detention of asylum-seekers who entered the country without immigration documents failed to meet international human rights standards.

The government proposed legislation which, if adopted, would remove any legal obligation for officials to consider human rights commitments under interna­ tional treaties which Australia had ratified but not incorporated into Australian law. In April the High Court decided that the ratification of a human rights treaty by Australia created a " legitimate expecta­ tion" that the government and its officials would take into account the treaty provi­ sions, even if they had not been incorpo­ rated into Australian law. However, in May the government proposed new le­ gislation, the Administrative Decisions (Effect of International Instruments) Bill 1 995, "to eliminate any expectation which might exist that administrative decisions" at any level will conform "with the pro­ visions of ratified but unimplemented treaties . " Under this legislation, people who complained that a decision was not consistent with a treaty ratified by Australia, but not incorporated into do­ mestic law, would not be able to seek ad­ ministrative review of that decision. If passed, the bill would undermine the status of Australia's human rights obliga­ tions under the international treaties it has ratified. ' '''''.

"

Law and order issues increasingly dom­ inated state elections, and some parlia­ mentarians called for a referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty in Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia. The new Human Rights Com­ missioner announced in August that he would make juvenile and Aboriginal just­ ice issues a priority in his work. The newly elected New South Wales (NSW) State Government announced plans in July to review laws that led to dispro­ portionate numbers of arrests, detentions and deaths in custody of indigenous Aus­ tralians within its jurisdiction. By the end

AUSTRALIA

of the year these reviews had not been com pleted. The Federal Government's Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1 994, adopted in December 1 994, enshrined the right to sexual privacy in Australian law. The Human Rights Act, passed after a UN Human Rights Committee decision in 1994, prohibits any arbitrary interference with privacy. However, under Tasma­ nian law homosexual activities between consenting adults in private remained a criminal offence. The Tasmanian Attor­ ney-General reportedly stated in February that the new federal legislation neither made the Tasmanian law invalid nor af­ fected the way in which it would continue to be applied. In November gay activists appealed to the Australian High Court to make a decision on the legality of criminal prosecution for homosexual activities in Tasmania. There had not been a substan­ tive hearing by the court by the end of the year. Despite federal and state government commitments to implement the vast ma­ jority of recommendations made in 1 991 by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RClADlC) (see Amnesty International Report 1993), 21 Aboriginal people were reported to have died in cus­ tody or during police operations - the highest number in any single year since records were first collected in 1 980. Be­ tween the end of the period i nvestigated by the RCIADfC and the end of 1 995, at least 87 indigenous people died in custody. Al­ though indigenous people make up only 1 . 3 per cent of the total adult population over 1 4 years of age, they accounted for at least 24 per cent of all custody-related deaths and more than 14 per cent of the prison papulation. The majority of deaths occurred in prison, with the highest in­ crease reported in South Australia. In December Maurice Roland Fisher, a 1 7-year-old Aboriginal prisoner in Bris­ bane, was found hanging from a bedsheet tied to a cell window during a routine cell check. It reportedly took guards more than 15 minutes to get the master key to the cell door. Although a cell mate who believed Maurice Fisher might still have been alive offered to cut him down, prison guards allegedly refused to hand him a knife. In October the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission started an investiga­ tio n into new evidence concerning the

death of Daniel Yock, an 1 8-year-old Aboriginal who died in a police van in 1 993 (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1 995). The Commission rejected calls to hold hearings in public and banned publication of the evidence. By the end of the year no police officer had been disci­ plined or charged in connection with Daniel Yock's death. In September damages were awarded to the family of Mark Anthony Quayle, a young Aboriginal man who was found hanged in the remote police lock-up of Wilcannia, NSW, in 1 987. This was the first such award granted for a death in custody. Mark Quayle was taken by his family to the Wilcannia hospital in June 1 987. He was accepted as a patient but did not re­ ceive medical care. Subsequently hospital staff arranged with police for Mark Quayle to be kept in the police station overnight for "safe custody" as they believed he was disorientated and might wander off. He was arrested without charge and left alone in a cell. He was found hanged in his cell the following morning. Police then blamed the family for his death. Police reportedly continued to intimidate and harass friends and relatives of victims of deaths in custody who would not accept official explanations and called for further investigations into the deaths. In September the family home of Step hen Wardle, who died in the East Perth police lock-up, Western Australia, within hours of his arrest in 1988, was searched by police officers for the fourth time since 1 993. In the same period, the office of the family's lawyer and the home of an aunt of Stephen Wardle were each searched twice. Some searches were allegedly carried out in the family'S absence and later denied, but the latest search was captured on security video and the recording screened on television. After the screening, a family with a similar surname, whom the police apparently believed were relatives of Stephen Wardle, reported that they had been harassed and intimidated by police officers. After an internal police investigation of the reports, various charges against the fam i ly were dropped. Investigations into 1 0 fatal shootings by police in Victoria in 1 994 were started and partly completed and recommendations were made on ways to reduce the high incidence of these shootings. Five of those killed in 1 994 had a history of mental

81

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i!!; f;:

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a;

AUSTRALIA/AUSTRIA

82

illness (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In its annual report, the Victoria Po­ lice Force claimed to have successfully implemented five-day training courses for 8,657 operational police and to have es­ tablished a more effective working rela­ tionship with the Department of Health and Community Services in dealing with mentally ill people. In November the Vic­ toria State Government rejected calls by non-governmental organizations for a judi­ cial inquiry into the record of fatal shoot­ ings by police officers in that state over the previous seven years. Despite revised operational procedures issued in Septem­ ber 1 994 by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in response to con­ cerns over the high incidence of shootings of people with a history of mental illness, another three people, including a mentally ill man, were shot dead by Victoria police in controversial circumstances. Changes in immigration policy follow­ ing application of the Migration Reform Act, adopted in September 1 994, led to a slightly speedier processing of applica­ tions for refugee status from asylum­ seekers who entered the country without immigration documents. Under the new policy, unauthorized immigrants seeking asylum could be released from detention if they met certain criteria for Bridging Visas - including age, i ll-health and ex­ perience of torture and trauma. The deten­ tion of unauthorized immigrants remained mandatory and was not usually subject to review. Unauthorized immigrants who claimed asylum were initially detained, in many cases for approximately six weeks, while their asylum applications were processed. However, the vast majority of them appealed against the rejection of their applications for refugee status and remained in detention for several months. The authorities stated that in August, 85 of the 726 people in immigrant detention centres had been detained for more than a year. A few people had reportedly been detained for between two and four years. Amnesty International believes that man­ datory detention of unauthorized immi­ grants who claim asylum, as practised in Australia, may be in breach of the coun­ try's obligations under international law. Provisions introduced in 1 994 on "safe third countries" were used to designate China as safe for all Vietnamese seeking asylum in Australia after previously being

resettled in China, even though they ex­ pressed fear of persecution in China. Am­ nesty International raised concerns that the use of these provisions effectively obstructed asylum-seekers from gaining access to full determination procedures and denied them essential safeguards against refoulement. In October Amnesty International called on the South Australian State Gov­ ernment to investigate the marked in­ crease in the number of Aboriginals who died in custody in this state. In a written reply in December, the State Minister for Aboriginal Affairs did not comment on this request or on the increase in Abori­ ginal prison deaths. He listed a number of steps taken in response to the issue and said he believed the South Australian State Government had been "extremely vigilant in undertaking its responsibilities towards implementing the recommenda­ tions of the Royal Commission". In No­ vember Amnesty International welcomed the NSW State Government's proposed re­ view of the state's criminal legislation. The organization also reiterated its con­ cern about fatal police shootings in the state of Victoria.

AUSTRIA

Allegations were received of ill-treatment by police officers.

In June Emad Faltas, an Egyptian national, alleged that he was kicked, punched and verbally abused by four po­ lice officers belonging to the Vienna Drugs Squad during his arrest, and further ill­ treated at the police station. A medical examination later revealed that he had suffered a cut to his eye requiring stitches,

AUSTRIA/AZERBAIJAN

three broken ribs, and bruising; he was hospitalized for a week. Emad Faltas, whom the police officers had reportedly mistaken for a drugs dealer, later received an official apology from the police. A criminal investigation was opened into his allegations of ill-treatment and into police allegations that he had "resisted state authority". Wolfgang Purtscheller, a journalist, al­ leged that he was assaulted by Vienna po­ lice officers in September 1 994 when he intervened during an attempt to arrest a black African asylum-seeker. According to Wolfgang Purtscheller, he lost conscious­ ness after an officer struck him in the face. When he regained consciousness, he found himself lying on his stomach, in his own vomit, with his hands secured be­ hind his back. Two officers then stood on him while a third person took hold of his foot and violently twisted it, causing him to lose consciousness again. He was subsequently taken to a police station where he was reportedly denied access to a lawyer and proper medical assistance. A medical report stated that Wolfgang Purtscheller suffered bruising to the face and damaged knee ligaments. Police offi­ cers involved in his arrest alleged that Wolfgang Purtscheller had assaulted them and resisted their authority. In June a court rejected Naser Palushi's complaint that he had been ill-treated by officers of East Vienna Police Detention Centre in May 1 994. Naser Palushi, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo province, Yugoslavia, had alleged that he was ill­ treated while he was on hunger-strike in protest against his detention following re­ jection of his claim for asylum (see Am­

nesty International Report

national, was kicked and beaten at Schwechat airport in June 1 993 by police officers who were attempting to deport him. The assault was witnessed by two women who had just arrived in Vienna to attend the UN World Conference on Human Rights. The authorities stated in February 1 994 that Salim Y. had not been ill-treated. However, they failed to provide information about the nature of the invest­ igation, despite repeated requests by Am­ nesty International. Amnesty International asked the au­ thorities about the steps taken to investig­ ate the alleged ill-treatment of Wolfgang Purtscheller and Emad Faltas. The organ­ ization was informed that a "prompt and impartial" investigation had been opened into the alleged ill-treatment of Wolfgang Purtscheller and that its concerns regard­ ing the alleged ill-treatment of Emad Fal­ tas had been passed on to the appropriate authority. Amnesty International also expressed concern about the lack of information it had received about the case of Salim Y. and about other cases of alleged ill-treat­ ment it had raised. In September Amnesty International was informed by the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs that it could "only communicate to [the organization] information as received from the com­ petent authorities".

AZERBAIJAN

1995).

In Deeember the European Court of Human Rights held that Ronald Ribitsch's rights under Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms had been violated. The Court ruled that Ronald Ribitsch was subjected to ill-treat­ ment amounting to inhuman and degrad­ ing treatment when he was held in police custody in 1 988 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995). The Court awarded him compensation. There was concern that the investiga­ tion into the alleged ill-treatment of Salim Y. may not have been conducted promptly and impartially. Salim Y. , an Algerian

Five prisoners of conscience were sen­ tenced but subsequently pardoned and re­ leased. At least three people, reportedly detained solely because of their ethnic origin in connection with the Karabakh conflict, were released in negotiated ex­ changes, but reports came to light that others detained before 1995 were still held. Beatings and ill-treatment in deten­

tion continued to be reported, and at least one detainee may have died as a result of

83

AZERBAIJAN

84

his injuries. At least 15 death sentences were passed; the real figure was thought to be higher. At least seven death sen­ tences were commuted. No executions were reported. In March a rebellion by members of a special police unit in the capital. Baku. was put down by government forces. Offi­ cial figures listed 36 dead in the operation. and more than 1 00 people were subse­ quently arrested. A state of emergency. imposed on Baku in 1 994 after a previous mutiny by the special police unit. was lifted in June. Parliamentary elections in November returned a majority for Presid­ ent Heidar Aliyev's New Azerbaijan Party. In May the first anniversary of the cease-fire in the disputed region of Kara­ bakh (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) was marked by an exchange of de­ tainees held by Armenia. Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Five prisoners of conscience were sen­ tenced but subsequently pardoned and re­ leased. Ayaz Ahmedov. Asgar Ahmed. Yadigar Mammedli and Malik Bayramov. journalists with links to opposition polit­ ical parties. and Mirzagusseyn Zeynalov. a press distributor. had been arrested in March in connection with the publication of articles and caricatures about Presid­ ent Aliyev in the satirical newspaper Cheshme and charged with "insulting the honour and dignity of the President". They were convicted by Baku City Court and sentenced in October to between two and five years' imprisonment. All were pardoned by President Heidar Aliyev i n November. a n d released. At least three ethnic Armenians. re­ portedly detained solely because of their ethnic origin in connection with the Karabakh conflict. were released. as nego­ tiated exchanges of prisoners and hostages continued. Greta Kadirova was released in March after five months in detention. She had left Azerbaijan several years previ­ ously after violent attacks took place against Armenians. but in 1 994 returned to Baku to see her two children. Accord­ ing to reports Greta Kadirova had been taken to B inagadi police station by her Azeri relatives. and then held without charge along with several other women from mixed marriages. All were believed to have been released at the same time. Armen Amirbekyan. who had been

detained in 1 994 while in transit through Azerbaijan (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995). was handed over in May. He had been held at a special holding camp in Gobustan. officially for an identity check. although his relatives were report­ edly approached by officials offering to ex­ change him for two Azerbaijani prisoners. Also released from the Gobustan camp around that time was Zara Akopyan; she had been detained in July 1 994 near the Georgian border. Although the Prosecutor General's of­ fice told Amnesty International i n Sep­ tember that there were no longer any Armenian prisoners or hostages on the ter­ ritory of Azerbaijan. reports came to light during the year of individuals detained because of their ethnic origin who were still believed to be held at the end of the year. Sixteen-year-old Zaven Ramazyan was reported to have been held hostage by a private individual with the knowledge of the authorities. who reportedly took no steps to intervene. He had left his home in Armenia in February 1 994 and travelled to a market in neighbouring Georgia. There Zaven Ramazyan was reportedly seized by an Azerbaijani citizen. a former police of­ ficer. who took him to Azerbaijan and de­ manded a named Azerbaijani hostage in return. When the latter could not be lo­ cated. a sum of money was demanded in­ stead. Zaven Ramazyan was believed still to be held at the end of the year. Reports of ill-treatment in pre-trial detention continued. and at least one de­ tainee may have died as a result of his in­ juries. Verification remained difficult as requests for access by local human rights organizations and families were refused by the authorities. Aliakram Hummatov. an opponent of the government. was ar­ rested in December 1 993 and charged with a range of criminal offences. but escaped from custody in September 1 994. His rel­ atives were reported to have been har­ assed in the period following his escape. In July his wife. Sudaba Rasulova. was reportedly detained without charge in Lenkoran to force her husband to give himself up. A liakram Hummatov returned home to Lenkoran in August and was re­ arrested. His wife was released. but went into hiding when the authorities again sought to detain her. Aliakram Hummatov was said to have been beaten following his second arrest. either in Lenkoran or

AZERBAIJAN/BAHAMAS

following his transfer to Balm. Police seek­ ing Sudaba Rasulova are alleged to have beaten the couple's eldest child, 1 4-year­ old Ramal Hummatov, on several occa­ sions, and to have burned him with cigarettes, in an attempt to force him to reveal the location of his mother. Rafiq Ismayilov, a barber from the vil­ lage of Digah, wa detained in December by police officers from Masalli district on suspicion of theft and taken to the Re­ gional Police Department, where he later died. According to the Interior Ministry, Rafiq Ismayilov suffered from heart dis­ ease and died as a result of heart failure. Unofficial sources, however, allege that he died as a result of injuries sustained when he was beaten by police officers. These were said to have included fractures to his neck, arm and ribs, and damage to his kid neys. At least 15 death sentences came to ligh t during the year, although the real fig­ ure was probably higher. According to of­ ficial statistics provided in July, 2 7 people were sentenced to death in 1 992; 22 in 1 99 3 ; and 2 3 in 1 994. No executions were repo rted in 1 995, nor have been since 1 990, but according to unofficial sources some 1 00 men were awaiting execution at the end of the year, held in grossly overcrowded conditions. In December President Aliyev commuted the death sentences passed on seven men to terms of imprisonment. Amnesty International urged the re­ lease of all prisoners of conscience, and so ught further information on several possible prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International also called on all parties to the Karabakh conflict to release anyone held hostage, or held solely because of their ethnic origin. Amnesty International urged that all al­ l egations of ill-treatment by law enforce­ ment officials be investigated promptly and impartially, with the findings made p ublic and any perpetrators identified brought to justice. Throughout the year Amnesty I nter­ national urged the authorities to com­ mute all pending death sentences and to take steps towards abolition of the death penal ty.

85

BAHAMAS



· · ·

.

T hree sentences of corporal punishment

were imposed. More than 30 prisoners remained under sentence of death. No new death sentences were passed and no executions were carried out.

In July, two prisoners were sentenced to be flogged - the first such sentences to be imposed since the reintroduction of corporal punishment in 1991. Both pris­ oners were sentenced to flogging in addi­ tion to long prison terms for rape, armed robbery and assault. One of the prisoners, Leavon WiIliamson, had not been legally represented at his trial and reportedly re­ ceived part of his corporal punishment (six strokes of the rod) before he was able to appeal. In November a third prisoner was sentenced to be flogged for rape. In July the Bahamas Supreme Court commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of Dwight Henfield, imposed for murder in 1 988, ruling that his execution after a seven-year delay would violate the Constitution. The ruling was based on a November 1 993 decision by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ucpc) in London, the final court of appeal for the Bahamas, that execution after a delay of more than five years would be presumed to constitute inhuman or degrading treat­ ment or punishment (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Despite the ruling, Dwight Henfield and 14 other prisoners whose death sentences should also have been commuted under the ruling were still on death row at the end of the year, pending an appeal against the decision by the Bahamas Government. In April the ]CPC dismissed an appeal which had argued that the death penalty in the Bahamas was unconstitutional be­ cause the method of execution was not specified in the Constitution (see Amnesty

BAHAMAS/BAHRAIN

86

1995). This effect­ ively ended a six-year moratorium on exe­ cutions which had been in force pending the decision. Warrants for the execution of two prisoners were issued soon after­ wards, but both received last-minute stays. No new death sentences were imposed. At least 32 prisoners remained on death row at the end of the year. The last execu­ tion in the Bahamas was in 1984. Amnesty International wrote to the Attorney General stating that the use of corporal punishment contravened interna­ tional human rights standards prohibiting cruel. inhuman or degrading punishment. The organization appealed for clemency for the prisoners whose executions were scheduled. It urged the government to abolish the death penalty and to ensure that no further sentences would be im­ posed or carried out. International Report

BAHRAIN

An estimated 4,000 people were arrested during the year following the outbreak of widespread protests calling for the restoration of democratic rights. The vast majority were Shi'a Muslims, among them prisoners of conscience, who were

held without charge or trial. Between 1 50 and 1 60 people arrested in connection

with the protests were sentenced foll ow­ ing unfair trials. At least 1 5 political pris­

oners convicted after unfair trials in previous years continued serving their sentences. Scores of political detainees

were tortured, two of whom died in cus­

tody. At least 1 0 civilians were shot dead

by the security forces and riot police in circumstances suggesting that they

may have been extrajudicially executed. One death sentence was passed. Seven Bahraini nationals were forcibly exiled

and at least 1 1 others were prevented from returning to the country.

Widespread protests calling for the restoration of democratic rights, which broke out in December 1 994, continued during the year in a number of districts in Bahrain, including Jidd Hafs, Sitra and the Northern Region (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1995). The authorities re­ sponded with mass arrests and resorted to the use of force to quell demonstrations. The majority of demonstrations were peaceful although some were marked by violent incidents. Three policemen were killed during or in the aftermath of clashes between December 1 994 and March 1995. In October the Amir, Shaikh ' Issa bin Salman Al Khalifa, announced that the Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council) a government-appointed body with no le­ gislative powers, would be given wider powers. By the end of the year the Coun­ cil's powers had not been widened. As many as 4,000 people, including women and children as young as la, were believed to have been arrested between December 1994 and July 1 995. The vast majority were Shi'a Muslims, among them prisoners of conscience. Many were held for several days for questioning and then released without charge. However, over 2 ,000 detainees were held incommunic­ ado for weeks or months without charge or trial. Most were held in Jaw and al­ Manama prisons, as well as in various po­ lice stations. Makeshift detention centres were also used to hold detainees for short periods, including a disused sports sta­ dium in Madinat ' lssa. The unrest subsided for a few months, but resumed in November with the arrest of more than 1 00 people, including high school students and at least 10 children aged between 12 and 1 5 . Among those arrested during the year were religious scholars and opposition fig­ ures accused of inciting anti-government protests, including Shaikh ' Abd al-Amir al-Jamri and 'Abd al-Wahab Hussain 'Ali, who had sponsored the December 1 994 petition calling on the Amir to reinstate parliament (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1995). Both were believed to be pris­ oners of conscience. They were arrested in March and April respectively and held

BAHRAIN

without charge or trial at undisclosed lo­ cations until their release in September. In April, seven teachers, including Fatima 'Abdullah Abu Idris and Kahtun Ahmad Khalaf, were arrested at Madinat 'Issa Sec­ ondary School for Girls, along with sev­ eral of their students, reportedly after the authorities learned that a demonstration was to be held there. They were detained for several days at al-Khamis police sta­ tion before being released without charge. Other women, whose male relatives were sought by the authorities, were arrested and held as hostages. For example, Malika 'Abdullah Singais, whose brother was wanted by the authorities, was arrested in April and held without charge or trial until her release in mid-June. Scores of children were detained. Among them were 1 5-year-old Mirza Muhammad al­ 'Arab and 1 2-year-old Fadhel ' Abbas 'Abd al-Latif who were arrested in December 1 994 and January 1 995 respectively. Mirza Muhammad al-'Arab was released during the year. Among the prisoners of con­ science was 'Abd al-Nabi al-Turaifi, a bank employee arrested in December 1 994 and held incommunicado until his trial in October 1 995 when he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. During the year the government an­ nou nced the release of groups of detainees held in connection with the pro-demo­ cracy protests. About 750 people were re­ ported to have been released by the end of the year, including 50 freed by the Amir on National Day on 16 December. In most cases it was difficult to establish the iden­ tities of those released or on what charges, if any, they had been held; the govern­ ment failed to publicize the names of those arrested or released. Between 500 and 600 people were still held at the end of the year. In March trials began of defendants Charged in connection with the pro-demo­ cracy protests before the State Security Court, the High Court and the Juveniles Court. By mid-July between 1 5 0 and 160 defendants had been convicted after un­ fair trials on charges including premed­ ita ted murder, destruction of private and p ublic property, violence against the po­ lice, participating in illegal gatherings and, in one case, membership of an unau­ thorized organization. Custodial sentences passed ranged from six months to life i mprisonment and one person was sen-

tenced to death (see below). Throughout their detention, defendants were denied access to defence lawyers until the start of their trials and many were reportedly tor­ tured. At least 80 were convicted by the State Security Court after grossly unfair trials held in camera, reportedly on the basis of uncorroborated "confessions" which they stated had been extracted under torture. All were denied the right of appeal to a higher tribunal. They included Hussain 'Ali al-Tattan and Salman Abdul­ lah al-Nashaba who were sentenced to 1 0 and five years' imprisonment respectively for alleged membership of the banned Is­ lamist group Hizbullah. Several of those acquitted reportedly continued to be held without any legal basis and it was not known whether they had been released by the end of the year. Others convicted after unfair trials included at least 50 juveniles below the age of 15 who were charged with offences such as rioting and inciting hatred of the government. Several juven­ iles received the maximum sentence of 1 0 years' imprisonment, including 14-year­ old Muhammad 'Ali Muhammad al'Ikri who was charged in July with throwing a petrol bomb at po-lice personnel. His con­ viction was overturned on appeal and he was released in September, but he re­ mained under police supervision and was not allowed to travel abroad. At least 15 political prisoners sen­ tenced to long terms of imprisonment after unfair trials in previous years remained i n prison. Some had been convicted of mem­ bership of unauthorized organizations and others of participation in an alleged coup attempt in 1 981 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1994 and 1 995). In Septem­ ber 'Abd al-Jalil Khalil Ibrahim, sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in 1 990 for alleged membership of Hizbullah, was re­ leased (see Amnesty International Report

1991).

There were numerous reports of the routine and systematic torture of de­ tainees. Scores of detainees held in the custody of Idarat Amn al-Dawla, the Se­ curity and Intelligence Service, and Idarat al-Tahqiqat al-Jina 'iyya, the Criminal In­ vestigation Department, were said to have been tortured to extract "confessions" or as punishment. Methods of torture in­ cluded: severe and sustained beatings; suspension by the limbs; enforced stand­ ing or sleep deprivation for prolonged

87

BAHRAIN;BANGLADESH

88

periods; sexual abuse; and threats of exe­ cution. Women and children were also re­ portedly i ll-treated while in custody. Two detainees died in custody appar­ ently as a result of torture. One of the vic­ tims was 1 6-year-old Sa'id 'Abd al-Rasul al-Iskafi who died in July after 10 days' detention at al-Khamis police station. He was reportedly suspected of spraying anti­ government graffiti on walls near his home in al-Sanabes. A forensic examina­ tion found injuries consistent with allega­ tions of torture. No official i nvestigations into his death or into reports of the torture of other detainees were known to have been carried out. At least 10 civilians were shot dead by members of the security forces and riot police in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extrajudicially exe­ cuted. Peaceful demonstrations were broken up violently by the security forces by the repeated use of live ammunition, birdshot pellets and tear-gas. Among the victims was 1 7-year-old 'Abd al-Hamid Qassem, from al-Duraz, who was shot in the head following a demonstration in March and died the next day. Scores of protesters were injured and the authorities prevented some of them from receiving medical treatment at hospitals. Tear-gas was said to have been deliberately used in enclosed p laces such as houses and mosques, allegedly leading to two deaths in January and February. One death sentence was imposed. 'Issa Ahmad Qambar, who was arrested in con­ nection with the pro-democracy protests, was sentenced to death in July after an un­ fair trial before the Bahraini High Criminal Court (see above). He was convicted of the premeditated murder of a police official. In November an appeal court upheld his death sentence and a second appeal was lodged in December with the Court of Cas­ sation. In January, seven Bahraini nationals, all Shi'a Muslims, were forcibly exiled from the country. They included Shaikh 'Ali Salman, Shaikh Hamza al-Dairi, Shaikh Haidar al-Sitri, Shaikh 'Adel al­ Shu'la and Shaikh Muhammad Kojestah. At least 1 1 others were denied entry to Bahrain in January after attempting to re­ turn from abroad. Most were students of theology in Qom, Iran. The Bahraini au­ thorities continued to deny entry to other Bahraini nationals throughout the year.

During the year Amnesty International repeatedly appealed to the government to put an end to widespread human rights vi­ olations by its security forces. It called for independent investigations into incidents involving the killing of demonstrators and the torture of detainees, and for those found responsible to be brought to justice. It requested information on all detainees arrested since December 1 994 and on those released during the year, and repeat­ edly proposed sending a delegation to Bahrain for talks with government offi­ cials and to observe ongoing trials. In May the organization urged that trials before the State Security Court be halted until they complied with international stand­ ards for fair trial. No responses were re­ ceived. In a meeting in June with the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amnesty International reiterated its request for access to Bahrain. In September Amnesty International published a report, Bahrain: A Human Rights Crisis, detailing widespread viola­ tions committed since December 1 994. The report contained recommendations to the government aimed at improving the human rights situation. By the end of the year no substantive response had been re­ ceived. In April Amnesty International submit­ ted information about its concerns in Bahrain for UN review under a procedure established by Economic and Social Coun­ cil Resolutions 728F/1 503 for confidential consideration of communications about human rights violations.

BANGLADESH Dozens of prisoners o f conscience were held without charge or trial under special legislation. T orture was widespread and led to at least seven deaths in custody. At least nine people were extrajudicially ex­ ecuted. The scope of the death penalty was extended. At least three people were sentenced to death but no executions were reported. Unlawful " trials" women by village councils continued.

of

Opposition parties, led by the Awami League, continued to demand the resigna­ tion of the government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and fresh elections under a neutral caretaker government. However,

BANGLADESH

the government made no concessions. The opposition called a series of protest strikes, many of which became violent. Over a dozen political leaders were killed and hundreds of people were injured in clashes between protesters and the secur­ ity forces, and in clashes between different political parties. The seats of 142 opposi­ tion parliamentarians who had resigned in December 1 994 were formally declared va­ cant in July; the Election Commission an­ nounced that elections would take place in February 1 996.

In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, talks be­ tween the government and tribal rep­ resentatives failed to bring a political solution to the long-standing conflict be­ tween non-Bengali tribal inhabitants and the government, but the cease-fire was periodically extended. The repatriation of some 50,000 tribal refugees living in camps i n India was not restarted. The gov­ ern ment rejected demands by the tribal pop ulation that their repatriation should be placed under international supervision. In September Myanmar agreed to the rep atriation of the remaining 57,000 Mus­ lim refugees in Bangladesh. In 1992 some 260,000 Burmese Muslims had entered Bangladesh, but their repatriation, which began in September 1 992, had repeatedly sta l led. Scores of people, dozens of whom were prisoners of conscience, were held under the Special Powers Act (SPA) which per­ mits detention without charge or trial for an indefinite period. As in earlier years, the High Court declared the vast majority of SPA detention orders to have been un­ lawful. For example, Farhad Mazhar, ed­ ito r of the magazine Chin ta, was detained On 30 July for 1 2 0 days because he had

written an article about the suppression of a revolt by the parami litary Ansars in De­ cember 1 994. The Dhaka High Court de­ clared the detention order to be unlawful in August and he was released. Five polit­ ical activists - Mostafa Farook, Abul Hos­ sain, Shafiqul Islam, Moteleb Hossain and Manek - were arrested after a strike in March and detained under the SPA for al­ leged "anti-state activities" and on further grounds not disclosed "in the public inter­ est". Their detention for one month was extended by another three months in April. They were released in May when the authorities failed to prove the lawful­ ness of the orders for their detention. Feminist author Taslima Nasrin, charged with outraging religious senti­ ments, left the country after obtaining bail in August 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995). Efforts to have her case quashed failed but her trial had not started by the end of the year. The trials of four editors of the newspaper Janakantha on similar charges (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995) had not concluded by the end of the year. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, there were continuing reports of ill-treatment, harassment and arbitrary detention of tribal people with the acquiescence or act­ ive participation of the police. In March a demonstration of tribal students in Ban­ darban was stopped by a group of non­ tribal settlers who then looted and burned down the homes of some 300 tribal famil­ ies. Police reportedly stood by without at­ tempting to protect the lives and property of tribal people. During the incident, 1 2 police officers beat and injured a Buddhist monk, Waiyzo Marma, his wife and a vis­ itor when he denied sheltering tribal act­ ivists. Later that day, 22 tribal students, including a 1 5-year-old girl, were arrested and allegedly beaten. Eight were released on bail within three weeks but four were held for five months before obtaining bail. Torture and ill-treatment in police cus­ tody and in jails were widespread. Torture led to at least seven deaths in police and judicial custody. In August, 1 4-year-old Yasmin Akhter died after three police offi­ cers in Dinajpur had reportedly raped and injured her. They had reportedly given her a l i ft in a police van and later dropped her dead body by the roadside. Police claimed she had died when she jumped from the van. Following public protests about the

89

BANGLADESH/8ELARUS

90

attempted cover-up , three police officers were suspended and charged. A judicial inquiry submitted its report to the gov­ ernment in October but it was not made public. Prison regulations permit the imposi­ tion of iron bar fetters on prisoners and detainees in specific circumstances. Al­ though they should not be applied to people held in preventive detention, Bad­ shan Mian, who was arrested in June and held under the SPA in Khulna District Jai l , was reported t o b e held continuously in fetters. Disproportionate use of force by police against demonstrators continued to be re­ ported. In February, three press photogra­ phers were injured by police when they attempted to take photographs of police beating students; photographer Ernran Hussain of the Daily Star reportedly suf­ fered two broken vertebrae when police threw him to the ground and hit him with clubs. No official investigation into this incident was apparently undertaken. At least nine people were reportedly extrajudicially executed. In August, seven people were killed when police fired at peaceful protesters in Dinajpur. A human rights group investigating the incident said that the dead included a 1 0-year-old boy. Few perpetrators of human rights viola­ tions were brought to justice. An inquiry into the possible extrajudicial execution of between 12 and 20 tribal people in Na­ niarchar in November 1 993 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995) was apparently completed, but no report had been published by the end of the year. A constable was suspended and charged with the attempted rape of a housewife in Savar in July; it was not known if the trial had started by the end of the year. In July the death penalty was extended to several offences against women and children, including kidnapping and traf­ ficking. Women's organizations protested against the bill; they argued that the death penalty was abhorrent and itself a viola­ tion of human rights. At least three people were sentenced to death, all of them for murder. In Septem­ ber a woman was sentenced to death in Rangpur; she was found guilty of having murdered her daughter in order to sell her organs. No executions were known to have been carried out during the year.

Women continued to be subjected to unlawful "trials" and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments by village medi­ ation councils or salish. The government failed to put an end to such abuses. Nasima Khatton was "tried" by a salish for unlawful sexual intercourse, four months after the birth of her illegitimate child. She was tied to a tree in the village of Dat­ tanalai and publicly flogged in August. Police raided the village after the incident was reported in the local press, but did not arrest any of the participants in the salish. The appeal by nine participants in a salish, who were sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in Moulvibazar in 1 994 for having unlawfully condemned a couple to death by stoning, was still pend­ ing at the end of the year (see Amnesty In­

ternational Report 1 995).

Amnesty International repeatedly urged the government to release prisoners of conscience immediately and uncondi­ tionally and to drop the charges against Taslima Nasrin and the Janakantha journ­ alists. The organization received no reply. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was reported in the press in July as saying that Amnesty International's 1 994 report on the lack of protection given to women (Bangladesh :

Fundamental rights of women violated with virtual impunity), and similar reports in the news media, were often baseless and that the incidents of women unlaw­ fully sentenced by salish had decreased. She also publicly stated that the SPA was " necessary for the country but not used". Amnesty International delegates wish­ ing to visit Bangladesh in July were de­ nied visas.

BELARUS Four trade union leaders were detained in August and were considered to be possible prisoners of conscience. A num­ ber

of detainees

were

reportedly

ill­

treated. At least two death sentences and one execution were reported, but the true figures were believed to be much higher.

There was continuing tension during the year between President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and parliament over the divi­ sion of constitutional powers. Following industrial unrest, President Lukashenka issued a decree banning the activities of

BELARUS/BELlZE

the independent Belarussian Free Trade Union and stripping elected officials of their immunity from prosecution.

Although the draft new criminal code had still not been approved by the end of the year (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995), the Ministry of Justice con­ firmed that homosexual acts between consenting adult males had been decrimi­ nalized by a separate amendment in March 1 994. In August, four trade union leaders Sergey Antonchyk, a member of parlia­ ment, Genadz Bykov, Mikalay Kanakh and Uladzimir Makarchuk - were detained by police during a peaceful strike on the Minsk metropolitan railway. They were held for several days during which their families were not informed of their where­ abouts. Sergey Antonchyk was reportedly released on 23 August. The other three were reported to have been sentenced to between 1 0 and 1 5 days' administrative arrest for "organizing an unsanctioned meeting". There were several reports of alleged ill- treatment by law enforcement officials. I n April members of OMON, a special po­ lice unit, allegedly ill-treated a group of o pposition parliamentary deputies. who were on hunger-strike, after forcibly evict­ ing them from the parliamentary building. In May at least eight people were briefly detained and allegedly ill-treated for participating in a peaceful anarchist dem onstration in the town of Gome!. Among the victims were Valery Loginov. Who was reported to have been severely beaten, and a 1 7-year-old schoolgirl, who clai med that she was beaten and threat­ ened with rape. All the detainees were fined and released.

In July special police units were repor­ ted to have beaten demonstrators holding a peaceful, unauthorized Independence Day procession. The authorities had re­ fused permission to stage the demonstra­ tion on the grounds that it was "politically inexpedient". Between five and 10 people were detained and at least one person, Vladymir Nester, a member of parliament. claimed that he had been beaten by police while in custody. At least two death sentences were passed and at least one person was execu­ ted during the year; the true figures were believed to be much higher. In January, Igor Yurevich Kopytin was sentenced to death for murder. His appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. His petition for clemency to President Lukashenka was still pending at the end of the year. Igor Mirenkov was sentenced to death for pre­ meditated aggravated murder in August by the Svetlogorsk Regional Court. He was still awaiting the outcome of his appeal at the end of the year. Sergey Kutyavin (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) was executed in January, after President Lukashenka turned down a request for clemency. Sergey Kutyavin's parents were not informed in advance of the execution and were not told where his body had been buried. Amnesty International called on the government to clarify the whereabouts of the four trade union leaders and to invest­ igate allegations of ill-treatment in cus­ tody. Amnesty International called on the President to commute the death sentences passed on Igor Mirenkov and Igor Kopytin and continued to urge total abolition of the death penalty and the publication of full statistics on the death penalty.

BELIZE Two people were sentenced to death and eight others remained on death row. No executions were carried out. Two people were sentenced to death. Adolf Harris was sentenced to death for murder in February. and later had his ap­ peal to the Belize Court of Appeal dis­ missed. Anthony Bowen was sentenced to death for murder in August, despite his claim that he was under the age of 18 at the time of the offence, which took place

91

BELIZE/BHUTAN

92

in December 1 99 3 . An appeal to the Court of Appeal was still pending at the end of the year.

': . . .

Eight other people remained on death row. They included Alfred Codrington, Lindsberth Logan, Ellis Taibo and Sal­ vadorian citizen Nicohis Antonio Guevara (see Amnesty International Report 1995). Early in the year, all four were granted leave to appeal by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ( jcpc) in London, the final court of appeal for Belize. They were still awaiting their full hearings at the end of the year. Marco Tulio Ibaiiez also re­ mained on death row. His appeal to the Court of Appeal had been dismissed in March 1994 but a petition to the JCPC was still pending. Wilfred Lauriano (previously given as Orellano), who was sentenced to death for murder in December 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), had both his appeal to the Court of Appeal and his peti­ tion to the JCPC dismissed. A constitutional motion was then filed and was heard in the Supreme Court in Belize in August. In his judgment the Chief Justice cited a 1 972 proclamation which stated that, in death penalty cases, if appeals to the JCPC were not made within a certain time frame, any order made by the JCPC would not be valid. Lawyers questioned the validity of the proclamation. There was concern that the Belize authorities might interpret the judg­ ment as rendering invalid several existing stays of execution, placing these people in imminent danger of execution. On 22 August death warrants were read to Pasqual Bull and Herman Mejia for their executions to take place on 25 Au­ gust. Both, sentenced to death for murder late in 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), had had their appeals to the Court of Appeal dismissed in February 1 995 but had not yet appealed to the JCPC. The prisoners were reportedly not permit­ ted to contact their families or lawyers be-

fore the scheduled hangings and relatives of the prisoners only heard of the immin­ ent executions by chance. When lawyers in London heard of the authorities' inten­ tion to carry out the executions, the day before they were to take place, they im­ mediately filed a petition to the JCPC and an eleventh-hour stay of execution was granted pending the outcome of these pe­ titions. News of the stay reportedly only reached the prison 30 minutes before the executions were scheduled. At the end of the year both men's petitions to the )CPC were still pending. In August Amnesty International ap­ pealed to the authorities on behalf of Her­ man Mejia and Pasqual B u l l , expressing concern about the attempted resumption of executions and calling for Belize to abolish the death penalty.

BHUTAN

A prisoner of conscience spent his sixth year in prison. A possible prisoner of conscience was arrested and detained. A prisoner was allegedly tortured. A " vil­ lage

volunteer

group"

was

reportedly

responsible for a possible extrajudicial execution.

Talks between the governments of Bhutan and Nepal in March and April to discuss the fate of more than 88,000 Nepali-speaking southern Bhutanese people living in refugee camps in eastern Nepal were inconclusive. A joint verifica­ tion team to categorize the people in the camps had not started its work by the end of the year (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). By the end of August over 340 more people had left southern Bhutan to seek asylum in Nepal.

BHUTAN/BOLlVIA

Many were believed to have been forced to leave Bhutan as a result of government policies which discriminated against Nepali speakers. The government attrib­ uted incidents of armed robbery in south­ ern Bhutan to "anti-nationals" returning to Bhutan from the refugee camps in Nepal. There were also reports that armed mem­ bers of the Bodo tribal community in Assam, India, were responsible for human rights abuses in southern Bhutan. Tek Nath Rizal, a prisoner of con­ science, spent his sixth year in prison, despite having been pardoned by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in late 1 993 (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). Tashi Norbu, a businessman, was reportedly de­ tained for 10 days in Phuntsholing in J une. Police raided his house looking for posters used in a campaign organized in May by the Druk National Congress, a po­ litical party in exile in Nepal. The posters demanded political reforms and greater re­ spect for human rights. As of June, 44 political prisoners were reported to be serving prison sentences and a further 70 were on trial. A prisoner was allegedly tortured. Omey Sanyasi, from Ghumaunay village, Samchi district, was arrested in March on suspicion of links with "anti-nationals" abroad. During three days of interrogation in Thimpu police headquarters he was al­ legedly kicked, beaten with sticks, and subjected to chepuwa, where the victim's legs are crushed between pieces of wood. He was transferred to prison and released after three months on condition that he and his family left the country. A "village volunteer group " , a civil de­ fence force, was reportedly responsible for a possible extrajudicial execution in ·southern - Bhutan in February. Durga Das Tamang, one of five armed men who tried to rob some houses in Homa Village, Ka­ likhola, Chirang district, died after report­ edly being apprehended and beaten by "village volunteers". Amnesty International continued to appeal for the release of Tek Nath Rizal and sought information about the charges against Tashi Norbu. It asked for informa­ tion on the results of any investigation int o the death of Durga Das Tamang. The Chief of Police replied in April that the "village volunteers" had not been charged as they had acted in self-defence. Amnesty International also expressed concern that

a National Assembly proposal in August to issue arms to "village volunteer groups" could, if implemented, lead to an increase in human rights violations. No response on this issue had been received by the end of the year. Amnesty International ap­ pealed to the government not to force southern Bhutanese people to leave the country against their will.

93

BOLIVIA

Hundreds of trade unionists were de­ tained without charge for short periods after a state of siege was imposed across the whole country. The use of torture and ill-treabnent by the police was reported. At least two people were shot dead by po­ lice in circumstances suggesting possible extrajudicial executions.

Conflict between trade unions and the government of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada continued throughout the year. There were widespread protests, some vi­ olent, against government economic pol­ icies. The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) , Bolivian Labour Confederation, called a general strike in March in support of teachers campaig ning against a law to re­ form the educatio n system. A 90-day state of siege was imposed on 18 Apri l , giving the security forces powers of arrest without warrant and imposing a curfew. Hundreds of people were arrested in the days around 1 8 April and held in military bases and police installati ons. The state of siege was extended for a further 90 days in July

and was lifted in October. Hundred s of peasants who subsist by growing coca-leaf, and commun ity leaders, were detained briefly in the area of El Chapare, Cochabamba Deparbnent, after

I �-< m i!l � � �

I; � ;

a;

BOLIVIA

94

the declaration of the state of siege. The arrests were carried out during a govern­ ment drive to eradicate coca-leaf crops, in accordance with agreements made with the USA. In March former President Luis Garcfa Meza was extradited from Brazil to serve a 3D-year prison sentence imposed by the Supreme Court in November 1 993. He was held in the high-security prison of Chon­ chocoro, near the capital, La Paz. Luis Gar­ cfa Meza and 46 of his collaborators had been convicted of various crimes includ­ ing human rights violations committed at the beginning of the 1 980s (see previous

Amnesty International Reports). I n July the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies made public its report on human rights violations com­ mitted between 1 989 and 1 993 against people accused of armed uprising (see Amnesty International Report 1 993). The report documented formal complaints of torture and extrajudicial executions by members of the security forces and cases in which defendants had been denied a fair trial. In its recommendations, the Commission asked for those found re­ sponsible for human rights violations to be brought to justice, and called for a judi­ cial review of cases where the right to de­ fence and due process had been violated. In March over 20 teachers' union lead­ ers were violently arrested. Around 1 00 armed members of the national police and security services, some hooded and dressed in civilian clothes, raided the Casa Social del Maestro, the premises of the Urban Teachers' Union, in La Paz. The trade union leaders were arrested without warrant and were held in the custody of the judicial police. Most were released after short periods, but two - Wilma Plata and Gonzalo Soruco - were charged with several crimes including sedition and con­ spiracy. Wilma Plata publicly stated that she and other detainees had been ill­ treated at the Women's Prison of Obrajes in May by police who entered the prison to forcibly end her hunger-strike. She said she was taken out of her cell in her under­ wear, beaten and dragged down the stairs. Wilma Plata and Gonzalo Soruco were released on 26 May. Subsequently the charges against them were dropped. On 18 April scores of Bolivian trade unionists were arrested without warrant by police in La Paz and Copacabana, La

Paz Department. Also detained were a number of foreign nationals attending a conference of coca-leaf growers from the Andean countries. A few hours later the state of siege was declared. All the foreign nationals were released within 48 hours and expelled from the country. However, some Bolivian trade unionists were held incommunicado for up to seven days and allegedly tortured and i ll-treated shortly after arrest. Many were transferred into in­ ternal exile in isolated and unhealthy lo­ cations around the country. At least four of them were suffering from ill-health. They were all subsequently released with­ out charge. Two leaders of the coca-leaf growers, Cris610go Mendoza and Modesto Condori Cuisa, told the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies that while in detention they had been beaten by hooded individuals who p ierced their testicles and buttocks with pins and subjected them to death threats to force them to give evidence against another leader. There were other allegations of torture and ill-treatment by the security forces. Afda Anez was arrested in Cochabamba in April by members of the Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotr6fico (FELCN), Drug Control Special Unit, together with eight other people, on suspicion of drug offences. According to her testimony, they were beaten, blindfolded and taken to an unidentified location where they were tor­ tured for two days. Afda Anez said she was raped several times and beaten until she lost consciousness. She had a miscar­ riage a few days later. At least two people were shot dead by police in circumstances suggesting poss­ ible extrajudicial executions during pro­ test demonstrations, some of them violent, staged by coca-leaf growers. In August members of the Unidad M6vil de Patrul­ laje Rural ( UMOPAR), Mobile Rural Patrol Unit, shot dead Juan Ortfz Diaz, a member of the Peasants' Union of Ayopaya, Ichoa Central, in Cochabamba Department, dur­ ing an operation to counter drug-traffick­ ing. Also in August, in the locality of San Gabriel, in the Isiboro Secure National Re­ serve Park, one peasant was shot dead and at least five were wounded by UMOPAR. Jose Mejfa Pizo, a 68-year-old coca-leaf grower, was reported to have been deliber­ ately killed by UMOPAR members while lying wounded and defenceless on the

BOLIVII\IBOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

ground. He had been wounded by UMOPAR after firing a shot at them with a rifle. Amnesty International called in June and August for thorough and independent investigations into the reported human rights violations and for the findings to be made public. Replies from the Ministry of Justice in September and October stated that the Ministry was committed to moni­ toring investigations into human rights vi­ olations. Amnesty International remained concerned that the government did not provide any information on the progress of such investigations.

BOSNIA· HERZEGOVINA

Muslims and Croats were forcibly ex­ pelled from the areas in which they lived by Bosnian Serb forces. T here were re­ ports of torture and ill-treatment, includ­

ing rape and sexual abuse, in the course of such expulsions. T housands of people Were abducted by Bosnian Serb forces, many of -whom were believed to have been deliberately and arbitrarily killed. Civilians were deliberately targeted by artillery, mortar or sniper fire, mainly by Bosnian Serb forces. Hundreds of pris­ oners of conscience were held by the various parties to the conflict. Most Were detained solely on account of their national group. Conscientious objectors Were also imprisoned. Many detainees were reportedly tortured, ill-treated or made to perform forced labour in dan­ gerous conditions which amounted to cruel, inhuman or d egrading treatment. Houses were deliberately destroyed as PU nishment.

The war between the Vojska "Repub­ like Srpske " (VRS) , Army of the "Serbian Republic", on one side and the mainly Muslim Armija Bosne i Hercegovine ( ABH) , Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Hrvatsko Vijece Obrane ( HVO) , Croatian Defence Council, on the other, continued until November. Supporting the VRS were rebel Muslim forces, the Serbian forces of the "Republika Srpska Krajina " ( RSK ) , "Re­ public of Serbian Krajina", in Croatia, and paramilitaries from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The ABH and HVO were supported by the Croatian Army. At the start of the year the VRS controlled around two thirds of the territory of the country. Despite attempts to introduce internationally brokered cease-fires, military activity was intense until the introduction of a comprehensive cease-fire in October. The different forces gained and lost control of significant areas of territory in the fighting. In particular, the INO, the Croatian Army and the ABH took large amounts of territory in the west from the VRS. In May limited air-strikes against the VRS by forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) were ordered by the UN after the VRS failed to answer an ultima­ tum to comply with a 1 994 UN Security Council resolution which ordered the VRS to desist from artillery attacks on Sarajevo and to remove heavy weapons from the area. In response, VRS forces detained some 400 UN military personnel, many of them unarmed, in areas under its control and used them as "human shields" to deter NATO from further air-strikes. In July the VRS overran the UN-declared "safe areas" around Srebrenica and Zepa. In July a UN Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) equipped with heavy weapons was de­ ployed in the Sarajevo area. In September sustained NATO air-strikes and RRF artillery bombardments were used after the VRS failed to comply with a further UN ultimatum to desist from attacks on Sarajevo and to remove heavy weapons. In October, by which time the area controlled by the VRS had fallen to approx­ imately 50 per cent of the country, a comprehensive cease-fire agreement was reached. In Novemb r an agreement was signed in Dayton, Ohio, USA, by the Bos­ nian President, Alija Izetbegovic, and the Presidents of Croatia and Serbia. The

95

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

96

agreement provided for a comprehensive peace settlement and new constitutional arrangements. The state was to consist of two "Entities", the (Bosniac- or Muslim­ Croat) Federation of Bosnia and Herzegov­ ina, and the Republika Srpska (Serbian Republic), in a loose federal relationship. The UN peacekeeping force, UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), was to be replaced by a multi-national Implementation Force (IFOR) , which was to be established under NATO supervision to oversee the disengage­ ment of the armed forces and the imple­ mentation of the terms of the agreement. A civilian international human rights monitoring mission, a UN Civilian Police monitoring operation and an internation­ ally supervised national human rights commission were also to be established. The Bosniac-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was established in 1 994 , had made little progress towards full integration although one i mportant human rights institution, the Ombuds­ man, became operational during the year. In March Bosnia-Herzegovina ratified the (First) Optional Protocol to the Inter­ national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All sides accused each other of breaches of international humanitarian law. Monitoring and verification by inter­ national observers of abuses proved diffi­ cult, as access was frequently restricted by all sides and witnesses were often reluc­ tant to speak for fear of reprisals. All sides also placed restrictions on the movement of UN personnel and the delivery of hu­ manitarian aid. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued further in­ dictments during the year, bringing the total number of individuals indicted to 52. Most were Serbs accused of war crimes against Muslims and Croats. The judicial authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina de­ ferred to the Tribunal criminal proceed­ ings against Radovan Karad�ic, leader of the Bosnian Serb de facto authorities, and Ratko Mladic, commander of the VRS. In July the Tribunal issued indictments against them, accusing them of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. A further in­ dictment against them relating to the fall of Srebrenica was also issued in Decem­ ber. Indictments were also issued against seven current or former HVO commanders,

including Dario Kordic and Tihomir Blaskic. They and four others were ac­ cused of crimes related to the killing and forcible expulsion of Muslims from the La§va valley in central Bosnia in 1 993. Pre-trial proceedings against the only per­ son indicted by the Tribunal who was in its custody, Du§an Tadic, a guard in a de­ tention camp controlled by the Bosnian Serb de facto authorities in 1992, opened in April and were adjourned. Abuses against non-Serbs in VRS­ controlled areas took place throughout the year. Individuals were attacked in their homes by soldiers or armed civilians. There were numerous reports of people being raped, beaten, threatened or killed in the course of forcible expulsions to Croatia or to territory controlled by the HVO or ABH. There were also reports of many abuses against Croats and Muslims following the arrival of displaced Serbs or Serbian refugees from Croatia fleeing after offensives by the Croatian Army, HVO and ABH. For example, a Croatian Roman Catholic nun, Cecilja Grgic, and a priest, Father Filip Lukenda, reportedly died in a fire after their church was blown up in May. Many people were forcibly expelled by being taken from their homes and made to board buses. Men of military age were frequently separated from women and children before women and children were made to cross front lines, sometimes hav­ ing to walk through minefields. Money was frequently extorted from victims for " permission" to leave or for the promised release of detainees. In July, as the VRS overran the Sre­ brenica enclave, ABH soldiers, other draft­ age males and some women and children attempted to flee through the forest to­ wards ABH-controlled territory. Those who reached it reported systematic ambushes by the VRS on the groups of soldiers and civilians, and the capture of large .!lumbers of people, including civilians. There was strong circumstantial evidence that many of the 3,000 people who were reported to have fallen into the hands of the VRS and another 5,000 people who were also unac­ counted for had been deliberately and arbitrarily killed by VRS forces or paramili­ taries from Serbia. us intelligence pho­ tographs showed signs of possible mass grave sites in the area and a us journalist reported seeing what resembled a human bone, documents belonging to Muslims

BOSNIA·HERZEGOVINA

from Srebrenica, and spent ammunition at one of the sites. Other civilians from Srebrenica took shelter at an UNPROFOR base at Poto�ari. VRS forces which reached Poto�ari separated men from women and children. Some men were killed in the vicinity. For exam­ ple, witnesses reported having seen near the base the bodies of at least nine men who had been shot in the back. Some women were taken away from Poto�ari and there were allegations that some had been raped. Many other corpses were seen in the area with indications that the vic­ tims had been unlawfully killed. A small number of the missing from Srebrenica were later discovered to be in detention but the vast majority remained unac­ counted for at the end of the year. Although most Serb civilians fled ahead of the advances of the Croatian Army, HVO and ABH in western Bosnia­ Herzegovina in September and October, and access to captured areas was re­ stricted, there was evidence that serious human rights abuses occurred. For ex­ ample, in September the bodies of two women were seen near the village of Vrto�e, an area controlled by the HVO and Croatian Army. Both appeared to have been shot in the head. Two Bosnian Serb journalists, S asa Kolevski and Goran Pejnovi6, were de­ tained by the ABH in September and were reportedly killed in custody. All sides, particularly the VRS, deliber­ ately targeted civilians with artillery, mor­ tar or sniper fire. For example, in May more than 68 people were killed when a shell fired by the VRS hit the centre of Tuzla. The same month HVO or ABH ar­ tillery hit the hospital in Bosnian Serb­ controlled Doboj. There were numerous killings of civilians in Sarajevo in August attributed to VRS fire. The killing of 3 7 people in the centre o f Sarajevo b y a mor­ tar bomb on 29 August was attributed to the VRS by the UN and NATO. Hundreds of detainees, some of them prisoners of conscience, were detained, and all sides held detainees. It appeared that most were held by the VRS. Many were combatants but others were civilians who had not used or advocated violence and had been detained solely on account of their national group or their political or other beliefs. International organizations such as the International Committee of the

Red Cross were frequently denied access to p laces of detention. Detainees were often made to perform forced labour in conditions amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, such as digging trenches close to front lines. Most civilian detainees were held on account of their perceived national group, but some individuals were detained for other reasons. For example, journalists and humanitarian aid workers were de­ tained because of their activities. Nine members of the Merhamet Muslim aid or­ ganization in Banja Luka and Prijedor were arbitrarily detained by the Bosnia Serb de facto authorities from February and charged with "spying". At least some of the detainees and their relatives were beaten by soldiers. Among the journalists detained was Namik Berberovi6, a Bosn­ ian Muslim. Marija Wernle-Mati6 and Simon Gerber, both Swiss citizens, were briefly detained in two different incidents by the VRS early in the year because of printed materials found upon them while passing through VRs-held areas of Sarajevo in UN vehicles. None of the armed forces which mobi­ lized men offered any civilian alternative to armed service. Conscientious objectors were imprisoned by the Bosnian Govern­ ment: most were Serbs, but they also in­ cluded Jehovah's Witnesses and adherents of other pacifist religious groups. Draft resisters and deserters, who may have included conscientious objectors, were prosecuted by the Bosnian Serb de facto authorities. In September and October Ser­ bian parami litaries tortured deserters from the VRS who left front lines in northwest Bosnia. Draft-age refugees from Bosnia­ Herzegovina in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were mobilized by the VRS in collaboration with the Yugoslav authorit­ ies (see Y ugoslavia entry). In November, following the signing of the Dayton Agreement which would hand the town of Mrkonji6-Grad from Croatian to Serbian control, there were reports of the systematic destruction and burning of houses belonging to Bosnian Serb families by HVO troops. There were no confirmed reports of ju­ dicial death sentences having been passed or carried out during the year. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional raised concerns with the Bosnian, Yugoslav and Croatian Governments and

97

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA/BOTSWANA

98

with the de facto authorities in Bosnia­ Herzegovina. From July it appealed to the Bosnian Serb de facto authorities to pro­ tect individuals arbitrarily detained by the VRS during and after the fall of the Sre­ brenica "safe area" and to account for the thousands of missing persons. In Septem­ ber Amnesty International published a re­ port. Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Missing of Srebrenica. From October it renewed calls upon the governments of the Federal Re­ public of Yugoslavia. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia and the de facto authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. to take action to resolve the fate of people who "disap­ peared" or went missing between 1 992 and 1 993. and published a report. Des­

tination Unknown: The "disappeared" in former Yugoslavia.

BOTSWANA

I

...

I

I

i

One man who was charged with having homosexual relations and brietly de­ tained was a prisoner of conscience. Over 200 students, some of whom appeared to be prisoners of conscience, were brietly detained following demonstrations. Many were allegedly ill-treated in police cus­ tody. Five people sentenced 'to death in 1994 were executed.

One man accused of having homosex­ ual relations was detained for three weeks between December 1994 and January 1 995; he was a prisoner of conscience. He and another man had been charged in December 1 994 with "unlawful carnal knowledge" which is punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment. He was tried in March and sentenced to pay a fine after he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. The other man had not been tried by the end of

the year as he was awaiting the outcome of an application to the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of penaliz­ ing homosexual activities. The application argued that i t violated the rights to privacy and freedom of association. and. since sexual relations between women are not penalized. that it constituted sex discrim­ ination. Over 200 students. some of whom ap­ peared to be prisoners of conscience. were arrested in January and February. The ar­ rests took place following demonstrations in Gaborone. the capital. and Mochudi. in protest at the release of four people who had been arrested in connection with the murder of a 1 4-year-old girl in Mochudi in November 1 994. Violence erupted in Gaborone after the police used force to stop a peaceful demonstration which. they claimed. was illegal because the students had not sought official permission. Many demonstrators were severely injured by police wielding batons and required med­ ical treatment. Some of those arrested. in­ cluding schoolchildren. claimed that they had been beaten in detention. All were re­ leased after a few days. including 20 who were charged with rioting or malicious damage to property. They had not been tried by the end of the year. One man was reportedly beaten by po­ lice and then killed; a parami litary police officer was subsequently charged with murder. In February Binto Moroke was shot dead by a member or members of the Special Support Group (SSG). a paramilit­ ary force deployed in Mochudi to quell the unrest. SSG members went to Binto Moroke's house to arrest him in connec­ tion with rioting which had taken place the previous day. A relative said that about six officers started beating Binto Moroke and then shot him when he tried to escape. At the time the authorities claimed that the police had killed Binto Moroke in self-defence. but in June an SSG officer was arrested and charged with murder. The officer was committed for trial by the High Court in July. The trial started in mid-November and had not ended by the end of the year. The death penalty was applied for the first time in eight years. Executions re­ sumed with the hanging of five men in late August. David Keleletswe. David Go­ batsu. Tekoetsile Tsiane. Obusitswe Tsha­ bang and Patrick Ntesang had been

BOTSWANA,lBRAZIL

convicted of murder, which carries a man­ datory death sentence, in 1 994. In Febru­ ary the Appeal Court upheld their death sentences and in July their appeal for a presidential pardon was turned down. In February and August Amnesty Inter­ national appealed to President Ketumile Masire to commute the five death sen­ tences. The organization also wrote to the authorities in June expressing concern about the killing of Binto Moroke.

BRAZIL

Hundreds of people were extrajudicially executed by police and death squads and there were further reports of " disappear­ ances". There were reports of torture and iU-treatment of detainees in police sta­ tions and prisons. Human rights activists and prosecutors in human rights cases re­ ceived death threats. One environmental activist was held as a prisoner of con­ science.

Fernando Heruique Cardoso took office as President on 1 January, as did new gov­ ernors in all 27 states. President Cardoso dedicated his national day speech on 7 Sep tember to human rights. He made sev­ eral commitments to human rights reforms and announced that Brazil would draw up a national action plan on human rights, as recommended by the UN World Confer­ ence on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993. In March the Federal Chamber of Deputies established a permanent Human Rights Co mmission. In December the Inter-American Com­ mission on Human Rights of the Organiza­ ti on of American States visited Brazil for the first time.

Hundreds of extrajudicial executions of criminal suspects were reported in urban areas. Cristiano Mesquita de Melo was shot dead by a military police corporal while being held down on the ground out­ side the Rio-SuI shopping centre in Rio de Janeiro in March. Unusually, this killing was filmed and broadcast on national and international television: most extrajudicial executions are committed in secret. In this case the police corporal who shot the criminal suspect was charged with homi­ cide. In July he received a 24-year prison sentence for killing a taxi driver in 1 992. Everaldo Silva Santos was dragged from a prison by 1 5 hooded men and ex­ ecuted outside the prison in Uruguaiana in Rio Grande do SuI on 1 7 March. He had fatally wounded a police officer five days earlier and escaped to Argentina. Hooded police officers then allegedly shot at and beat neighbours and members of his fam­ ily, set fire to his sister's house and shot dead Francisco Gon<;alves da Silva, whom they mistook for Everaldo Silva Santos. Then, on 16 March, with no judicial war­ rant or extradition order, but with the col­ laboration of Argentine police, Brazilian military police from Uruguaiana collected Everaldo Silva Santos from Argentina. Within hours of his being remanded in custody in Uruguaiana prison, Everaldo Silva Santos was killed. Thirty-eight milit­ ary police were charged with human rights violations connected with his cap­ ture and execution, but a local judge revoked detention orders against them. In May, 1 3 residents of the Nova BrasOia shanty town were killed during a joint drugs raid by civil and military police. There was medical and witness evidence to suggest that some had been extrajudicially executed. Thirteen resid­ ents from the same shanty town had been killed in October 1 994 in similar circum­ stances (see Amnesty International Report 1995). Investigations into both incidents had made no progress by the end of the year. In Sao Paulo, new procedures suspend­ ing police officers involved in fatal shoot­ ings from street patrols for a period of six months curbed a previous rise in such killings. Official figures for fatal shootings fell from 42 in August to 15 in September. However, during the year multiple killings on the periphery of the city increased. Members of a special police department

99

BRAZIL

100

set up to investigate these killings and evidence of police involvement in them received death threats. Killings by death squads and so-called extermination groups continued. Their ac­ tivities were reported in cities such as Sal­ vador, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Manaus. In the state of Rio Grande do Norte, an ex­ termination group within the state civil police, allegedly operating with the sup­ port of a high-ranking official within the Public Security Secretariat, was reportedly responsible for 18 killings, as well as tor­ ture, death threats and other crimes. I n Mato Grosso d o S u I , a death squad operat­ ing on the border with Paraguay was re­ portedly responsible for scores of killings. In Sergipe, a death squad known as "A Missao", "The Mission " , which operated under the previous administration was disbanded, a number of reforms were in­ troduced into police operating procedures, and attempts were made to promote re­ spect for human rights in the state. How­ ever, no one was brought to justice for crimes committed by the death squad, some of whose members remained in active service in the police force. Violence related to land conflicts in rural areas increased. In August nine pos­ seiros (squatter peasants) and two military police were killed when military police violently evicted 500 squatter-peasant fam ilies from the Santa Elina estate in Co­ rumbiara, Rondonia state. Investigations revealed that military police shot indis­ criminately into a crowd of fleeing men, women and children, killing seven-year­ old Vanes sa dos Santos, and that they ex­ trajudicially executed at least six men after they had surrendered. Over 1 70 people were wounded and military police were alleged to have beaten peasants who had gunshot wounds. By the end of the year, seven posseiros remained unac­ counted for. The battered corpse of Sergio Rodriguez Gomes, last seen in police cus­ tody the day after the eviction, was found in the Tanaru river later in August. Indigenous communities involved in disputes over land rights continued to suf­ fer human rights abuses. In January milit­ ary police beat and threatened to kill members of the Macuxi indigenous com­ munity in the state of Roraima who were protesting against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Cotingo river, which they feared would flood their land.

An increase in the number of "disap­ pearances" was noted in Rio de Janeiro and other cities. Alexander San to Cunha and Jose Francisco do Rosario Filho "dis­ appeared " after reportedly being taken into custody by uniformed military police­ men in Belford Roxo, Rio de Janeiro, i n March. In September a witness testified that she had seen Jorge Carelli, who "dis­ appeared" in August 1 993 in Rio de Janeiro (see Amnesty International Report 1994), being tortured inside a city police station. Twenty-two members of Rio de Janeiro's Anti-Kidnapping Police Division had previously been acquitted of his ab­ duction. New proceedings were initiated against eight officers in the case. Lindalva de Souza, the witness, received death threats. After unprecedented national debate, legislation to recognize the deaths of 1 36 people who "disappeared" after being taken into custody by state agents between 1 96 1 and 1 978 was passed in Congress. A commission was established to decide on compensation for fam ilies, to examine rel­ atives' claims in such cases and in relation to other deaths in police or military cus­ tody between 1 964 and 1 985, and to take steps to locate the remains of the "disap­ peared". The legislation did not provide for a full investigation into the circum­ stances of these human rights violations. Torture in police stations and prisons continued. Much evidence of torture was brought to light through a national cam­ paign to make torture an offence in the penal code, coordinated by the Chamber of Deputies' Human Rights Commission. Legislative assemblies in several states held public sessions at which reports of torture during 1 995 were presented, con­ firming allegations that torture continued to be widespread and a common method of extracting information from criminal suspects. In January Edileuza dos Santos, a domestic servant in Salvador, Bahia, suspected of having stolen money from her employer, died after being beaten by a member of the military police. In October Jose Ivanildo Sampaio Souza was found dead in his cell in the Federal Police head­ quarters in Fortaleza, Ceara state, where he was being held in connection with drugs offences. An autopsy revealed that he had eight broken ribs, a broken ster­ num, and severe injuries to his left kidney and liver caused by a blunt instrument. In

BRAZIL

Brasflia. Paulo de Tarso Mendez Dfniz. a forensic doctor. received death threats after providing medical evidence that Ben­ j amin de Jesus. a detainee in the Robbery and Theft Police Station. had been tor­ tured in October. In Porto Alegre. a judge took action against prison guards on several occasions for beating prisoners in state prisons. In Sao Paulo. the state administration adopted a policy of suspending from duty prison guards responsible for beating pris­ oners. As in previous years there were nu­ merous prison riots in Sao Paulo. The new state administration successfully negoti­ ated the end of such riots without resort to unnecessary force. although two prisoners and one guard were killed in a riot in Hor­ tolandia prison in June. Human rights activists and state pro­ secutors in human rights cases continued to receive death threats. Caio Ferraz. ad­ ministrator of the Gasa da Paz (Peace House). a community centre built in a house where eight members of one family were killed during the 1 993 Vig<1rio Geral massacre in Rio de Janeiro (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). received death threats. During the year armed police re­ peatedly raided the Gasa da Paz. and threatened and harassed community mem­ bers. Plots to kill the judge. Maria Lucia Capiberibe. and two prosecutors. Jose Muifios Pifieiro and Mauricio Assayag. in the Vig<1rio Geral massacre case were revealed during court hearings. Threats against Sao Paulo military prosecutors Stella Khulmann. Franco Caneva Jr and Fernando Cesar Nucci intensified after the Minister of Justice urged the Sao Paulo military court to expedite its prosecution of 1 20 military police for the 1 992 mas­ sacre of 1 1 1 prisoners at the Gasa de De­ ten9Go prison in Sao Paulo (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993 and 1995). The prosecutors had also declared their support for transferring jurisdiction over Common crimes by military police from military to civilian courts. Wagner dos Santos. a key witness in the trial of those accused of the massacre of street children near Candel<1ria church in Rio de Janeiro in July 1 993. received further threats while under state protec­ tion in the Firemen's Hospital. where he was recovering from a second attempt on his life in December 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). He was moved

to another hospital and then to the state Witness House. where conditions were ex­ tremely poor. After relinquishing protec­ tion by the state of Rio de Janeiro. which he believed to be inadequate. he was given federal police protection by order of Pres­ ident Cardoso. In November arrest war­ rants were issued against a further four members of the military police in connec­ tion with the massacre. after Wagner dos Santos had identified them from pho­ tographs. Antonio Batista de Macedo. a rubber tapper and environmental campaigner. was sentenced in September to 16 months' imprisonment because of his peaceful labour and environmental activities in the state of Acre. He was a prisoner of con­ science. He continued to appeal against the conviction after being conditionally released into two years' compulsory com­ munity service. The charge of " forming a criminal gang" was used to detain people cam­ paigning for agrarian reform or involved in land occupations. Deolinda de Souza and M<1rcio Barreto. both members of the Landless Rural Workers' Movement. were held in high security prisons in Sao Paulo for two weeks in November. apparently to put pressure on their movement to cease land occupations. Brother Antastacio Ribeiro. a Franciscan priest. was detained in November in connection with a land occupation in the state of Parafba. He was charged with " forming a criminal gang" and " i ll-treatment of children" on the grounds that encouraging land occupa­ tions put children in precarious and unhy­ gienic conditions. An Amnesty International delegation. led by the organization's Secretary Gen­ eral. visited Brazil in March and April and met President Cardoso. the Attorney General and government ministers. The delegation presented a memorandum containing 40 recommendations and urged the government to formulate a na­ tional action plan to improve human rights protection and promotion. The del­ egation also visited the states of Brasflia. Rio de Janeiro. Pernambuco. Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do SuI and met state gov­ ernors. representatives of human rights or­ ganizations and victims of human rights violations and their families. During the year Amnesty International appealed to the authorities at state and federal levels

101

BRAZIl../BULGARIA

102

to investigate cases of human rights viola­ tions, to bring those responsible to justice, and to offer protection to victims, wit­ nesses, human rights activists and mem­ bers of the judiciary. The organization appealed for legislation on the "disap­ peared" to conform to international human rights standards and to include a full investigation into the circumstances of "disappearances" and deaths in custody during the period of military rule.

BULGARIA

T orture and ill-treatment by law enforce­ ment officers continued to be reported, resulting in at least two deaths in custody. Many of the victims were Roma. At least one person was killed by police officers in suspicious circumstances. Fourteen people were under sentence of death, but there were no executions.

In January the National Assembly ap­ proved a new government headed by Prime Minister Zhan Videnov of the Bul­ garian Socialist Party. Some opposition deputies voiced fears that the appoint­ ment of certain ministers represented a continuation of the policies of the former Bulgarian Communist Party. For example, the Education Minister, Ilcho Dimitrov, had held the same post from 1 986 to 1 989 during the forced assimilation campaign against Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish minority (see Amnesty International Reports 1986 to 1991). In April President Zhelyu Zhelev, speaking to Roma in Sliven, acknowl­ edged for the first time international con­ cern about human rights violations com­ mitted against Bulgaria's Roma minority.

In December the National Assembly adopted an armed forces bill which pro­ vides for an alternative civilian service of 36 months - twice the length of ordinary military service. However, a separate bill to regulate alternative service had not been adopted by the end of the year. Two conscientious objectors to military service were tried in March and June on charges of evading military service and received suspended sentences. Ethnic Macedonians, members of Obe­

dinena Makedonska Organizatsiya "Ilin­ den " (OMO "Ilinden "), the United Mace­ donian Organization "ninden" , continued to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and brief detention in police stations (see Amnesty International Report 1995). In March Yanush Sapundzhiev was detained in Pet­ rich for distributing Pirinska Makedonia, an OMO "Ilinden" publication. In July, four people were detained in Blagoevgrad for distributing leaflets calling for a peaceful assembly. There were reports of torture and other ill-treatment by police officers. In Febru­ ary police officers dispersing a crowd of about 1 50 protesters outside Sapareva Banya kicked and beat many of the pro­ testers, most of whom were elderly. At least 1 5 people were injured: two required medical treatment for broken limbs and one man had a heart attack after he was taken into a police car. In March during a police operation against organized crime the police se­ verely ill-treated a number of people in a bar in Sofia, three of whom required emer­ gency hospital treatment. Among the vic­ tims was an elderly passer-by who was reportedly thrown out of his wheelchair and beaten after he asked the officers to stop beating another man. In May, two po­ lice officers investigating an attempted break-in at a kindergarten in Palikeni shot and injured 1 6-year-old Misho Manolov. In June, 1 5-year-old Aleksander Petrov was shot in the pelvis by police offi­ cers while allegedly stealing from a food store. In July police officers in Sofia pur­ suing Simeon Nikolov Galchev after an at­ tempted car theft shot him in the leg. In September, in a children's playground in Sofia, a police officer shot and wounded Iliyan Ezekiev, who had been appre­ hended for allegedly stealing a television set. No investigations were known to have been initiated into any of these incidents.

BULGARIA/BURKINA FASO

Many of the victims of torture and ill­ treatment by the police were Roma. I n February I l iya Dimitrov Gherghinov was found dead. with his arms handcuffed. in a street in Gradets. The previous day a po­ lice officer. who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. had been seen hitting Iliya Gherghinov with a piece of wood. No investigation was known to have been ini­ tiated into the death. In May Iliya Lambov was reportedly kicked and punched by several police officers who came to his house in Brestovitsa to check identifica­ tion documents. His wife. who tried to in­ tervene. was kicked in the stomach. At least two detainees died in custody. apparently as a result of torture. In April Hristo Hristov was taken into custody in Sofia following a confession allegedly made under duress by another detainee. Hours later he was found dead on the floor of his cel l . handcuffed to a radiator. An autopsy reportedly established that he had suffered broken ribs and a ruptured main blood vessel as a result of someone jumping on his chest. In May. 1 7-year-old Konstatin Timchev. who was detained in Blagoevgrad. died as a result of a blow to the head with a hard object. Official investigations were initiated into both deaths. prompting the Minister of the In­ terior. Ljubomir Nachev. to reveal that between March 1 994 and April 1 99 5 . 1 7 people had died i n suspicious circum­ stances in police custody. At least one person was killed in cir­ cu mstances suggesting excessive use of force by police officers. In March. in Nova Zagora. a police officer reportedly beat and kicked 1 8-year-old Atanas Angelov. a Rom. His brother. Angel Angelov. ap­ proached the police officer. pleading with him to stop the beating. The officer then reportedly drew his gun and fired at the two brothers. killing Angel Angelov and injuring Atanas Angelov. An investigation was initiated into the incident; however. no disciplinary measures were taken against the officer who was reportedly promoted to a higher rank. A number of death sentences were im­ posed but by the end of the year only two had been confirmed following appeal. In all. 14 people remained on death row. However. a moratorium on executions im­ posed in 1 990 remained in force. In March Amnesty International urged Pri me Minister Videnov to initiate an in-

vestigation into the killing of Angel Angelov and the ill-treatment of Roma. The newly elected government was urged to ensure that thorough and impartial in­ vestigations took place into all reported cases of torture and ill-treatment of Roma since June 1 992 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Reports 1 993 to 1 995). Amnesty International also called for a full invest­ igation into allegations of ill-treatment during the demonstration at Sapareva Banya and during the raid on the bar in Sofia. In October the organization called for investigations into several incidents of shooting by police officers. No reply from the authorities had been received by the end of the year.

BURKINA FASO

A n opposition political party leader im­ prisoned for criticizing the head of state was a prisoner of conscience. Eight Cameroonian refugees were detained and deported after attending meetings of local non-governmental organizations. A num­ ber

of

villagers were

tortured

or

ill­

treated after they were detained: seven were reported to have been extrajudi­ cially executed. Two school students were killed by the security forces during a demonstration. Reports emerged of extra­ judicial executions of criminal suspects in 1994.

Ernest Nongma Ouedraogo. Secretary General of the Bloc socialiste burkinabe (8S8). Burkinabe Socialist Bloc. an opposi­ tion political party. was arrested on 8 Au­ gust and brought to trial three days later. before he could obtain a defence lawyer or adequately prepare his defence. A former minister in the government of President

103

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Thomas Sankara, who was overthrown and killed in a military coup in 1 987, Ernest Nongma Ouedraogo was convicted of insulting the head of state and sen­ tenced to six months' imprisonment. He appealed against his conviction and sen­ tence but they were upheld in December. He was a prisoner of conscience. The charges arose following the publication in a newspaper of a statement by the BSB executive committee which claimed that President Blaise Compaore had accumu­ lated personal wealth through fraud. Ernest Nongma Ouedraogo appeared to have been singled out because of his op­ position to President Compaore. No legal action was taken against the newspaper or other BSB leaders. Eight Cameroonian students who had been recognized as refugees in Burkina Faso were detained i n late September and accused of disturbing the peace and en­ gaging in political activities incompatible with their refugee status, after they had attended meetings of local student and hu­ man rights organizations and had openly criticized the Cameroonian Government. They were held without charge until mid-October and then expelled to other countries in West Africa. Seven men from the village of Kaya Navio, Nahouri Province, were reported to have been extrajudicially executed after they were detained in February by forces of the Centre national d 'en train em en t commando (CNEC) National Centre for Commando Training, based at PO. They were among more than 1 00 people who were detained after a confrontation be­ tween villagers and gendarmes in which four people, including a gendarme, were killed. Most of those detained were re­ leased a week later. Some had been tor­ tured or i ll-treated: photographs showed severe lesions on their backs. One elderly man was reported to have died in deten­ tion, possibly as a result of torture, but no i nvestigation into his death or the allega­ tions of torture and i ll-treatment was known to have taken place. Some de­ tainees were held incommunicado in PO until April when they were transferred to prison in the capital, Ouagadougou. They were then permitted to receive visits. They were provisionally released in Au­ gust. In October, however, it was reported that seven detainees who had remained held in PO had been extrajudicially execu,

ted in early March, apparently in reprisal for the death of the gendarme, and secretly buried in a mass grave. They included Akou Agoudwo, Kossi Gounabou and Akandoba Kibora. No investigation into their deaths was known to have taken place. Two school students, B laise Sidiane, aged 18, and Emile Zigani, aged 14, were shot dead by security forces in early May at Garango, Boulgou Province, during a demonstration in support of a teachers' pay increase. Initially peaceful, the de­ monstration became violent when stones were thrown, injuring several members of the security forces. In response, they fired into the air to disperse the protesters and then apparently shot at the fleeing stu­ dents, hitting Blaise Sidiane in the back and Emile Zigani in the head. The govern­ ment publicly condemned the killings, suspended the gendarmes involved and established a commission of inquiry, headed by a judge, to i nvestigate what had occurred. Its results had not been made public by the end of the year. Reports were received of extrajudicial executions of criminal suspects by the se­ curity forces during a campaign against crime in several parts of the country, in­ cluding the towns of Ouagadougou, Tenkodogo and Koudougou, during 1 994. Dozens of young people were reported to have been killed by the security forces and their bodies left in the streets. In May Amnesty International called for an independent and impartial inquiry into the killings of two demonstrators by the security forces in Garango and for steps to be taken to establish strict guide­ lines to regulate the use of lethal force by the security forces, in accordance with in­ ternational standards. The government re­ sponded that there would be an official investigation into the deaths. In a report published in October, Burk­

ina Faso: Killings by the security forces in PO, Amnesty International called for an investigation into the seven alleged extra­ judicial executions and for those respons­ ible to be brought to justice. It also called for urgent measures to protect all de­ tainees from torture. Amnesty Interna­ tional also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Ernest Nongma Ouedraogo.

BURUNDI

BURUNDI

Thousands of people were the victims of political killings committed by the se­ curity forces and by armed groups. Most were killed solely because of their ethnic origin or political affiliation. The author­ ities failed to investigate the killings or to bring those responsible to justice. Thou­ sands of people were arrested for polit­ ical reasons and detained without charge or trial. Political detainees were tortured and dozens of people " disappeared".

President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya continued to head a transitional govern­ ment in which the Hutu-dominated Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBUl, Front for Democracy i n Burundi, which won elections in 1 993, shared power with Tutsi-dominated opposition parties. The Minister of Foreign Affairs resigned in June and went into exile, accusing the government of failing to protect its cit­ izens. A National Debate on the country's future, scheduled as part of the power­ sharing agreement, failed to take place during the -year. Tensions continued to escalate between the minority Tutsi ethnic group , which dominated the government until July 1 993 and retained virtual control of the armed forces, and the majority Hutu ethnic group. Political killings by the Tutsi-domi­ nated security forces and by both Tutsi and Hutu armed groups were reported with growing frequency. Some of the viol­ ence was blamed on inflammatory state­ ments made by sections of the press, which published articles including lists of people to be killed, and a clandestine rad io station owned by an armed political group.

In an apparent effort to end the vi­ olence, the Ministry of Justice created "mixed commissions", comprising repres­ entatives of the different police forces and the judiciary, to investigate crimes com­ mitted in the capital, Bujumbura, but these achieved little during the year. When one "mixed commission" ordered the arrest of six Tutsi youths in May, Tutsi militias brought Bujumbura to a standstill for three days. The government failed to control the armed forces or to prevent Hutu and Tutsi extremists from arming themselves and fu­ elling tensions between the two communi­ ties. Responsibility for individual killings was difficult to ascertain. There were nu­ merous claims that members of the secur­ ity forces assisted groups of armed Tutsi and that leading members of FRODEBU sup­ ported armed Hutu , but the government took little or no action to establish the facts or to bring those encouraging polit­ ical violence to justice. The Tutsi-dom­ inated judiciary was largely inactive and viewed by the majority Hutu population as favouring the Tutsi community. The UN Security Council sent a further fact-finding mission in February. It recom­ mended an international commission of inquiry into the October 1 993 coup at­ tempt and the subsequent massacres, in which some 50,000 people were killed (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). Following the UN Secretary-General's visit to Burundi in July, the government in­ formed the UN Security Council in August that it was willing to cooperate with such a commission. A five-person commission of inquiry was appointed in September and began investigations in November. In a preliminary report to the UN Secretary­ General, the commission stated in Decem­ ber that its investigations were being hin­ dered by insecurity and lack of resources. In March the UN Commission on H uman Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on Burundi, who visited the country in June and July. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execu­ tions also visited Burundi in April. He recommended urgent measures to halt widespread politically motivated ethnic killings and bring an end to impunity. In September the UN appointed the head of a human rights monitoring mission in Bu­ rundi, but he resigned when the UN failed to deploy monitors.

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The Organization of African Unity (OAU) monitoring mission was streng­ thened but it did not report publicly on its activities. In June an OAU soldier was killed in an ambush on a convoy in which the OAU Secretary-General's Special En­ voy, the us Ambassador to Burundi and the Burundi Minister of Foreign Affairs were travelling. In September the mission suspended its activities for three days following an ambush on its staff. In De­ cember the OAU extended the mission's mandate for a further three months. No apparent progress was made in local investigations into human rights ab­ uses and other crimes related to the 1 993 coup attempt and subsequent massacres. Eighteen soldiers detained in Burundi on suspicion of complicity in former Presid­ ent Melchior Ndadaye's murder had still not been brought to trial by the end of 1 995. The authorities said that three of them tried to escape and were shot dead in December. Eight soldiers suspected of involvement in the coup attempt and de­ tained in Uganda were released without charge or trial, while one remained in cus­ tody without trial. Three other soldiers ac­ cused of involvement in the coup attempt and held without charge or trial in Zaire since late 1 993 were returned to Burundi in August in unclear circumstances. One of them, Dominique Domero, was shot dead in Mpimba prison in December. Extrajudicial executions by the security forces, sometimes assisted by Tutsi armed groups, continued unabated . More than 70 people, the majority of them women and children, were killed by soldiers, report­ edly assisted by Tutsi from a nearby camp for displaced people, in Kayanza province in January. In late March and early April, at least 1 ,000 people were killed, most be­ cause of their ethnic origin. In the worst single incident, 400 or more Hutu vil­ lagers were shot, slashed and clubbed to death by soldiers and Tutsi civilians in Gasorwe in northeastern Burundi in early April. At the end of May the army sur­ rounded Bujumbura's Kamenge suburb, a Hutu stronghold, ostensibly to disarm Hutu militia, and then forced its civilian population to flee. Observers reported finding the bodies of more than 30 elderly people and young children who had been shot or bayoneted to death. The President admitted on national television on 2 June that he had no details of what the army

had done in Kamenge between 3 1 May and 2 June. Soldiers known as berets verts (green berets) shot and killed several dozen people in July when they opened fire on Mabayi parish church in Cibitoke prov­ ince. The soldiers then pursued people fleeing into the hills. Soldiers also killed people at a nearby trading centre and threw their bodies into the Nyamagana river: at least 21 bodies, including those of 14 Rwandese refugees, were subsequently recovered. Soldiers carried out further mass killings at the end of the year. In No­ vember they killed about 500 civilians in Gasarara, in Rural Bujumbura's Kanyosha district. About 300 more were killed in Bujumbura in December. The segregation of the two communi­ ties into mutually hostile areas continued. In late March the last two ethnically mixed zones of Bujumbura - Bwiza and Buyenzi - were attacked by Tutsi youths, observed by soldiers who did not inter­ vene. At least 1 00 people were reportedly killed and tens of thousands of Hutu fled across the border with Zaire. Assassinations of prominent people, apparently by Tutsi armed groups and members of the security forces, also con­ tinued. Victims included Ernest Kabushe­ meye, a government minister, who was gunned down in broad daylight in March, and Damien Ndabasambije, an official at the Burundi central bank, who was shot dead in August. Other victims included two members of the National Assembly, Innocent and Manirambona Juvenal Ndikumana, who were killed in Decem­ ber. It was unclear whether there were any formal investigations into most of these killings, although there were reports that several suspects had been detained in con­ nection with the assassination of Ernest Kabushemeye. Roman Catholic priests, bishops and other church leaders were targeted, appar­ ently because of their influence within the Hutu community. For example, Father Anastase Bivugire, the parish priest of Cibitoke, and five other people were killed in July by a Tutsi armed group. Father Michel Sinankwa was shot dead in August at a church in Bujumbura. Killings were also carried out by armed Hutu groups. For example, 1 1 displaced Tutsi from Gisenyi camp in Kirundo prov­ ince were killed by an armed Hutu group

BURUNDI

in January. In March a retired Tutsi army colonel, Lucien Sakubu, was kidnapped and killed. Six members of one Tutsi fam­ ily were killed, allegedly by Hutu gun­ men, in Muhanga, Kayanza province, in early April. In August some 58 Tutsi, in­ cluding 25 children, were killed when a camp for the displaced at Kaburantwa in Cibitoke province was attacked, appar­ ently by a Hutu armed group. Only the killing of Lucien Sakubu was known to have been i nvestigated, resulting in the detention of 12 people who were in cus­ tody without trial at the end of the year. Attacks by school and university stu­ dents increased. Tutsi students, using weapons acquired from the security forces or political groups, killed and injured un­ armed Hutu colleagues with impunity. Hutu armed groups committed reprisal killings. Tutsi students killed at least 1 5 unarmed Hutu students at the University of Bujumbura in June, which led to the flight of all Hutu students from the univer­ sity. Nine days later, the Hutu director of research at the university, Stanislas Ruzenza, was killed in his office, report­ edly by a Tutsi assailant. In what ap­ peared to be a reprisal attack, a Hutu armed group , apparently including Hutu students who had fled from the university, attacked the university's Kiriri campus in July, killing four unarmed Tutsi students and two employees. Foreign nationals, including aid work­ ers, accused of supporting either side to the conflict were frequently attacked. For example, three Belgians travelling in a convoy with government soldiers were killed in March by gunmen thought to be Hutu. Three Italians - two priests and an aid worker.- were killed at the end of Sep­ tember by unidentified attackers. Thousands of Hutu detainees arrested before and during 1 995 were held without trial on suspicion of supporting armed groups. Most were detained at the Bujum­ bura headquarters of the gendarmerie's Brigade spt§Ciale de recherche (BSR), Spe· cial Investigation Brigade, before being transferred to Bujumbura's Mpimba cen­ tral prison. Among some 5 ,000 still held Without trial at the end of the year was B althazar Ndimurwanko, a former provin· cial governor, who was arrested in August as he was leaving for Zaire and reportedly charged with involvement in killings in late 1993.

Political detainees were tortured. The most common form of torture was sys­ tematic beatings with indembo (police batons). The Commander of the BSR stated in March that a senior judicial official had authorized the use of " more or less violent means" to investigate high priority polit­ ical cases, such as those of Jean Minani and Tharcisse Nzimpora, who were tor­ tured by the BSR in March. They and 1 0 others arrested in March and accused of involvement in the assassination of Lucien Sakubu were still held without charge or trial at the end of the year. Dozens of people detained by the se­ curity forces " disappeared" and were believed to have been extrajudicially ex­ ecuted. For example, Norbert Sambira and several other people "disappeared" i n April after they were arrested b y the gen­ darmerie's Second Battalion in Ngagara, Bujumbura. Several of those arrested were alleged to have been extrajudicially executed near the Ruzizi river outside Bujumbura. Rwandese refugees in Burundi were also targeted by Burundi armed political groups. The motives for some of the at· tacks, such as the killing of 1 2 Rwandese Hutu refugees in March, allegedly by Hutu gunmen, remained unclear. This and other attacks by armed groups prompted a mass exodus of refugees from camps. Thou­ sands tried to enter Tanzania, but many were promptly forced back. Some refugees forCibly returned to Bu­ rundi by the Tanzanian security forces (see T anzania entry) were allegedly killed by Burundi soldiers immediately after their return. Tanzania closed its border with Burundi at the end of March, follow­ ing an influx of Rwandese refuge s fleeing the killings in Burundi. Representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees were denied access to the area. In April Tanzanian soldiers reportedly rounded up 1 ,500 Burundi refugees in Mugoma and forced approximately 300 of them back into Burundi. At least three were report­ edly killed within an hour by Burundi sol­ diers who attacked them with knives and machetes. The Burundi authorities for­ cibly returned more than 500 Rwandese refugees, including many of those ex­ pelled from Tanzania, to Rwanda. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional repeatedly appealed to the Govern­ ment of Burundi, political leaders and the

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security forces to do everything in their power to stop human rights abuses. Am­ nesty International delegates visited Bu­ rundi three times during the year. In a report published in June, Burundi; Strug­ gJe for survival, Amnesty International called for immediate action to stop kill­ ings by the army and armed groups and to end impunity. Amnesty International pub­ lished two further reports in September

-

Burundi; Targeting students, teachers and clerics in the fight for supremacy, which described the escalating violence in edu­ cational and religious establishments, and

Rwanda and Burundi; A call for action by the internationaJ community, which called for effective and impartial invest­ igations into human rights abuses to end the cycle of impunity in Burundi.

CAMBODIA

Seven prisoners o f conscience were de­ tained

during

the

year.

More

than a

dozen people were arrested on suspicion of links with an armed opposition group. The government prosecuted newspaper editors who published articles critical of the government; some might become pris­ oners of conscience. At least five people were illegally detained and tortured. At least 30 unarmed civilians were injured in political people

violence and at least two

were

extrajudicially

executed.

Little progress was made in bringing per­ petrators of past human rights violations to justice. An armed opposition group committed human rights abuses, includ­ ing deliberate and arbitrary killings.

The civil war between the Royal Cam­ bodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and the Na­ tional Army of Democratic Kampuchea

(NADK or Khmer Rouge) continued during the year, although hundreds of NADK troops defected to the government. The coalition government continued to be led by First Prime Minister Prince Krompreah Norodom Ranariddh, leader of the Na­ tional United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambo­ dia (FUNCINPEC). and Second Prime Minis­ ter Hun Sen, leader of the Cambodian People's Party (cpp). Prominent govern­ ment critic and National Assembly mem­ ber Sam Rainsy was expelled from FUNCINPEC in May, then from the National Assembly in June, on the grounds that he no longer belonged to the party for which he had been elected. He challenged the le­ gality of his expulsion. Both Sam Rainsy and National Assembly members who supported him received death threats dur­ ing the year. In November Sam Rainsy founded the Khmer Nation Party. The gov­ ernment declared the party illegal ; some members were threatened . The smallest party in the government, the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP), split into two factions, led by Son Sann and In­ formation Minister Ieng Mouly. The two Prime Ministers recognized Ieng Mouly's faction as the legitimate BLDP. In their July party congress, this faction expelled prom­ inent Son Sann supporters, including five National Assembly members. They still sat in the National Assembly at the end of the year. A new Press Law was passed by the National Assembly in July which falls short of international human rights stand­ ards. The law, which is broadly phrased, makes it an offence to publish any article which could affect "national security" or "political stability". It allows for the pro­ secution of journalists and editors under the criminal code, providing scope for the detention of prisoners of conscience. The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Human Rights in Cam­ bodia submitted a report to the UN Com­ mission on Human Rights in February condemning abuses committed by both NADK and government forces. In March the Commission adopted a resolution request­ ing that the Special Representative report to the Commission in 1 996 and that the Centre for Human Rights continue its work in Cambodia. In March, the two Prime Ministers asked the UN Secretary­ General to close the Office of the UN

CAMBODIA

Centre for Human Rights in Cambodia and to have its mandate carried out from Geneva. The UN Secretary-General sent a Special Envoy to Cambodia in May to re­ solve the issue, and the two Prime M inis­ ters agreed that the Office of the UN Centre for Human Rights could remain open. The UN Special Representative submitted a re­ port to the UN General Assembly in No­ vember. The General Assembly adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative and the Office of the UN Centre for Human Rights in Cambodia for another year. Six prisoners of conscience were arres­ ted in August. Four balloon sellers were arrested for attaching leaflets critical of the government and of FUNCINPEC to balloons in the capital, Phnom Penh. Son Yin, who hired the four men, was also arrested. The author of the leaflets, Sith Kosaing Sin, went to the police station seeking their re­ lease and was arrested. All six were trans­ ferred to prison, charged with " incitement not leading to the commission of a crime". In mid-September, following widespread criticism of the arrests and an appeal from King Norodom Sihanouk, the six were re­ leased and charges against them were dropped. In October Heng At, a policeman in Kompong Cham province and a former FUNCINPEC member, was arrested at a restaurant by the bodyguards of a senior member of FUNClNPEC, after he allegedly made derogatory remarks about the royal family. Heng At and another man were taken by the bodyguards and Ministry of Interior police to a mili tary police station, where Heng At was beaten, suffering cuts and severe facial bruising. The second man was released, but Heng At was trans­ ferred to the provincial prison. Six weeks later he was moved to the provincial Po­ lice Commissariat, where he remained de­ tained without charge at the end of the year. He was a prisoner of conscience. More than a dozen people were arres­ ted during the year for alleged links with the NADK. Most were charged with mem­ bership of the armed opposition group, and some were sentenced to prison terms under a broadly phrased law banning the organization, which could be applied against any critic of the government (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In November Prince Norodom Sirivudh, half­ brother of the King, FUNCINPEC Secretary-

General, National Assembly member and government critic, was placed under house arrest for allegedly plotting to kill the Second Prime Minister. His parlia­ mentary immunity was lifted and he was then detained in the Ministry of Interior and charged with several serious offences, including one under the anti-NADK legisla­ tion. Following the intervention of the King, Prince Sirivudh was exiled to France in December. Proceedings against him continued in absentia. At the same time, nine people were arrested in Phnom Penh apparently on suspicion of involve­ ment with the NADK. All remained i n detention a t the end o f the year. The government prosecuted newspaper editors who published articles critical of the government. If their final appeals to the Supreme Court fai l , they could be­ come prisoners of conscience. For ex­ ample, in May Hen Vipheak, editor of Serei Pheap Thmey (New Liberty News) , was sentenced t o one year i n prison a n d a large fine for an article he had published. In October a mob attacked the offices of Serei Pheap Thmey, destroying property and injuring a staff member. The Second Prime Minister publicly defended the right of the attackers "to demonstrate" and offered to provide transport if they wished to exercise this right again. Hen Vipheak's sentence was upheld on first appeal. Chan Rotana, editor of Samleng Yuvachen Khmer (Voice of Khmer Youth), also faced a prison term for articles published i n his newspaper. The previous editor of Samleng Yuvachen Khmer, Nuon Chan, was shot dead in November 1994 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995). Those re­ sponsible had not been brought to justice by the end of the year. Four men were arbitrarily detained and tortured by RCAF soldiers in August. The four, including three of Sam Rainsy's bodyguards, were lured to the Ministry of Defence Research Department, arrested and beaten by between 30 and 40 soldiers. They were interrogated for 16 hours, threatened with violence and beaten with rifle butts before being released. The De­ fence Minister acknowledged the arrests had occurred, but denied the men had been tortured. No further action was taken by the government. There was political violence against supporters of Son Sann's BLOP faction, gathered in Phnom Penh for a congress at

109

1 10

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CAMBODIA

his house on 1 October. On 30 September, two people on a motorcycle rolled a grenade which exploded into the crowd gathered at the house. A second grenade exploded at a Buddhist temple where many supporters were staying. At least 30 people were injured, some seriously. The meeting went ahead the next morning but was dispersed by heavily armed military police. In public statements several days earlier, Ieng Mouly and Hun Sen both mentioned the possibility of grenade at­ ta ks on Son Sann's supporters if the meeting was held. No one had been brought to justice for the attacks by the end of the year. In February, two men were extrajudi­ cially executed in Battambang province by members of the armed forces and police who accused them of having links with the NADK. Neth Thong and Mov Ving were playing volleyball at O'Krobou village, Mong Russei district, when about 30 sol­ diers, militia and police surrounded them and arrested them without a warrant. Rel­ atives seeking their release were threat­ ened with death. In the afternoon local people heard shots being fired. The bodies of Neth Thong and Mov Ving were found the next day; both had been shot dead, and appeared to have been severely beaten before they died. During the funeral, relat­ ives were questioned by officials about why they were giving a funeral to Khmer Rouge members. A soldier and a police­ man arrested in connection with the kill­ ings were released without charge. In August, three local militiamen were sen­ tenced in absentia to 1 5 years' imprison­ ment and a large fine for the killings but none of them had been arrested by the end of the year. In April Rueng Than, a young man with a mental handicap and speech im­ pediment, was shot dead by a village mili­ tia man in Battambang province, after taking shelter under his house during a rainstorm. The perpetrator had not been arrested at the end of the year. Little progress was made in bringing perpetrators of past human rights viola­ tions to justice. Approximately 1 2 mem­ bers of the RCAF s-91 unit, responsible for an illegal detention centre at Cheu Kmau, Battambang province (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995), were in custody at the end of the year, but for unrelated of­ fences. No member of the unit had been

charged with offences committed at Cheu Kmau between 1 992 and 1 994 , in spite of overwhelming evidence. A police lieu­ tenant from Kompong Cham province, who was arrested and charged with the murder of journalist Chan Dara (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995), was ac­ quitted and released in May. A warrant was issued for his rearrest weeks later, following the killing of a young man in Kompong Cham town; he had not been ar­ rested by the end of the year. No one was brought to justice for the attacks in 1 994 on ethnic Vietnamese Cambodians (see

Amnesty International Report

1 995).

The situation of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese Cambodians stranded on the border between Viet Nam and Cambodia since March 1 993 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1994) was resolved when the government agreed to let them return home; most had done so by the end of the year. The NADK was responsible for human rights abuses during the year, including deliberate and arbitrary killings of village elders. In a typical night attack in Novem­ ber at Bong Bey village, Battambang prov­ ince, NADK soldiers seized Keh Ong, an elderly former teacher, from his house and shot and killed him. NADK soldiers also captured villagers in Battambang prov­ ince, including young people helping with the rice harvest. Three young people gleaning rice in a remote area were cap­ tured by NADK soldiers in November. Their whereabouts were not known at the end of the year. The NADK was also responsible for kill­ ing foreign nationals. In January it claimed responsibility for killing a tourist from the USA in Siem Reap province. Five former NADK soldiers who had defected to the government were charged with the murder in July. Also in July, another former NADK soldier was convicted of the murder of three westerners in April 1 994. The three victims had been abducted on the road from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Among the reports Amnesty Interna­ tional issued during the year was Kingdom

of Cambodia: Human rights and the new government, published in March. The re­ port detailed human rights violations since the government came to power in 1993 and described cases of human rights abuses by NADK forces. An Amnesty Inter­ national delegation visited the country in

CAMBODIA/CAMEROON

April and met the Head of State, King Norodom Sihanouk. Later in the year, Amnesty Interna­ tional issued appeals for the safety of elected representatives, expressed concern about the Press Law and published a re­ port, Cambodia: Human rights violated government acts to silence critics, after the torture of four men in Phnom Penh. The organization appealed for the release of prisoners of conscience and expressed concern at the grenade attacks on BLDP supporters. In November Amnesty Inter­ national asked the government to uphold Prince Sirivudh's right to a fair trial. There had been no official response to Amnesty International's letters and appeals by the end of the year.

CAMEROON

....

.

Critics and opponents of the government, including journalists, human rights activ­ ists and members of opposition political parties, were arrested and some were convicted and imprisoned. Most were prisoners of conscience. Eight others ar­ rested in 1 994, who remained in deten­ tion throughout the year, were possible prisoners of conscience. T orture and ill­ treatment of detainees remained routine. A man was shot dead after being appre­ hended by the security forces.

Throughout the year journalists were harassed and detained, several inde­ pendent newspapers were suspended and copies were repeatedly confiscated. Journ­ alists criticized a new draft law on the press as reinforcing government restric­ tion of press freedom. Opposition political parties were prevented from holding meet­ ings and demonstrations. Local elections,

repeatedly postponed, were scheduled for early 1 996. Opposition parties called for an independent electoral commission and international observers. In November Pres­ ident Paul Biya presented to parliament draft amendments to the Constitution. Some opposition parties criticized the proposed reforms, which retained extens­ ive presidential powers, and called for ap­ proval by referendum rather than adoption by parliament where the ruling party held a majority of seats. The revised Constitution was adopted the fol lowing month but had not been signed into law by the end of the year. There were intercommunal disturb­ ances in North-West Province. Some 20 people died and many more were injured during clashes between the villages of Ba­ likumbat and Bafanji in early June. Whereas in previous years opponents and critics of the government were usually held for short periods without charge or trial, during 1 995 several were charged with criminal offences, tried and con­ victed. It appeared that legal provisions criminalizing defamation were used to prosecute people solely because of their opposition to the government and for ex­ ercising their right to freedom of expres­ sion. Journalists, many of them arrested on several occasions in the past; continued to be harassed and detained; at least four were convicted and sentenced to prison terms. Most appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Among them was Ndzana Seme, director of the newspaper Le Nou­ vel lndependant, who was arrested in early June and held for more than two months in Nkondengui prison in Yaound� after publishing an article criticizing the government. In August he was convicted of insulting the head of state, non­ compliance with pre-publication censor­ ship requirements and inciting revolt and received a two-month suspended sen­ tence. The Attorney General appealed against this sentence and in October it was increased to one year's imprisonment and a fine. However, Ndzana Seme went into hiding. In July Paddy Mbawa, publisher of the Cameroon Post newspaper, was con­ victed of libel against a company director and sentenced to six months' imprison­ ment and a fine. He was arrested and im­ prisoned in the Central Prison, New Bell. in Douala, in August. Further charges

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112

were subsequently brought against him; in November he received two further sen­ tences of three and six months' imprison­ ment after being convicted of two separate offences of publishing false information and several other similar cases against him were reportedly pending. Pius Njawe and Hirene Atenga, respectively director and journalist of Le Messager, each re­ ceived a two-month suspended sentence in August and a fine after being convicted of libelling and insulting the Secretary of State for National Security. The charges followed an article alleging that police had misappropriated large sums of money. Ac­ cording to reports, the court did not allow the two journalists to present in their de­ fence information in support of their alle­ gations. In late August around 18 news vendors selling the newspaper La Messagere (which appeared after its predecessor, Le Messager, was suspended) in Douala and Yaounde were reported to have been ar­ rested and held for two to three days. Pius Njawe, director of Le Messager, and Severin Tchounkeu, director of the news­ paper La Nouvelle Expression, were de­ tained and questioned for several hours apparently after expressing concern to the authorities about the detention of the news vendors. Mahamat Djibri l , a member of a human rights group, the Mouvement pour la

defense des droits de l'homme et des li­ bertes (MDDHL), Movement for the Defence of Human Rights and Liberties, based in Maroua i n Far-North Province, was de­ tained in June. He was assaulted and arrested in Maga when he went to i nvest­ igate alleged abuses by the police. The po­ lice officer who allegedly assaulted him had previously been criticized by the MDDHL for arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of detainees. Three days later the Public Prosecutor charged Mahamat Djibril with assaulting a police officer and causing a disturbance and he was transferred to prison in Yagoua. His trial was repeatedly postponed and a request for conditional release not granted until November. Mboua Massok, leader of the opposi­ tion Programme social pour la liberte et la democratie, Social Program for Liberty and Democracy, was reportedly detained for three days in February. In July Simon Munzu, a prominent member of the Southern Cameroons

National Council (SCNC), was held for questioning for several hours after the au­ thorities prevented a meeting planned by the SCNC in Kumba, South-West Province. from taking place. The following month, an SCNC delegation including its leader Sam Ekontang Elad , was surrounded for more than 24 hours by heavily armed troops in Okoyong, preventing the delega­ tion visiting Mamfe. Several people were arrested in September and October in con­ nection with the collection of signatures for a referendum organized by the SCNC on independence for the English-speaking provinces. Five were reportedly stil l held without charge at the end of the year. Eight possible prisoners of conscience remained held in the Central Prison in Maroua throughout the year. They were among 28 members of the Union nationale pour la democratie et le progres (UNDP), National Union for Democracy and Pro­ gress, arrested in 1 994 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). They were charged with complicity in crimes including joint acts of looting and assault occasioning death following clashes between rival UNDP groups, during which one person died and several others were injured in Maroua in July 1994. It appeared that there was no evidence that they were per­ sonally responsible for the offences of which they were accused and that they had been imprisoned because of their opposition to the participation of two UNDP members in the government. Twenty detainees were provisionally released between February and April , including Hamadou Adji, president of the local sec­ tion of the UNDP, but eight others remained held. The trial of all 28 defendants, ini­ tially scheduled for July, was repeatedly postponed. The case was finally heard in November and December; a decision was expected in early 1 996. In October, four members of the Mbororo Social and Cultural Association (MBOSCUDA) were arrested without warrant in Bamenda, North-West Province, and detained by the judicial police. They were accused of publishing tracts critical of an influential landowner and businessman, Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, who was also a member of the cehtral committee of the ruling Rassemblement democratique du peuple camerounais, Cameroon People's Democratic Movement. In September members of MBOSCUDA had submitted an

CAMEROON

official complaint to the Governor of North-West Province against Baba Ah­ madou Danpullo, claiming that he was responsible for the harassment and intim­ idation, including arrest and detention, of members of the semi-nomadic pastoral Mbororo community. However, they de­ nied responsibility for the tracts. They were released on bail after 10 days and charged with defamation and abuse. A court hearing in late December was ad­ journed until early 1 996. Traditional rulers, known as lamibe, who have certain administrative powers but no powers of arrest, were responsible for harassment, illegal detention and iIJ­ treatment of opponents. In many areas of northern Cameroon they detained sup­ porters of opposition parties and other critics in unofficial prisons. For example, nine people, some held for two to three years, continued to be held on the orders of the lamido of Rey-Bouba, Northern Province (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 994), either in the lamido's palace or in houses of local dignitaries. Some were held incommunicado. The lamibe ap­ peared to act with the tacit approval of the authorities. Bakari Madi, who had been detained and tortured for more than six months in 1 993 and 1 994 because of his criticism of the lamido of Mindif, Far­ North Province, initiated legal proceed­ ings against the lamido. After repeated delays, the case was scheduled to be heard in February but the lamido and six other defendants failed to appear in court and the case was postponed. According to re­ ports, the Public Prosecutor, under pres­ sure from Ministry of the Interior officials, announced that the case could not pro­ ceed witho.ut authorization from the Min­ ister of Justice; it had not been heard by the end of the year. In the few cases where legal proceedings against lamibe suc­ ceeded, the court's ruling was not always applied. Legislation introduced in December 1 990, which allowed administrative de­ tention without safeguards against arbit­ rary imprisonment, continued to be used to hold detainees indefinitely. Some ap­ peared to be prisoners of conscience. On 9 May, five members of the traditional coun­ cil of the village of Babanki Tungo, North­ West Province, were detained and held under successive administrative detention orders in connection with a dispute over

the boundary between two villages. They were reported to have been arrested after they requested the High Court of Mezam Division to order the Senior Divisional Of­ ficer to respect agreed boundaries. In re­ sponse to a writ of habeas corpus, the Bamenda High Court ordered their release on 22 May. However, the administrative authorities refused to free them. They were finally released uncharged on 3 July. Torture, including severe beatings, of both political detainees and criminal suspects by the police and gendarmerie remained routine. There were several reports of torture and ill-treatment by police in Bamenda. In April a journalist associated with a non-governmental or­ ganization, the Human Rights Defence Group, was reported to have been arrested when he tried to stop police beating an­ other man. Both men were taken to a po­ lice station where they were reported to have been stripped and beaten on the soles of their feet. A woman arrested by police in June sustained severe injur­ ies, including fractured ribs, after being beaten, kicked and punched. She was held for about six days before being released without charge. At the time of his arrest in June, Ma­ hamat Djibril (see above) was reported to have been physically assaulted by a senior police officer and subsequently detained and beaten by three other police officers. Legal action was taken against the three police officers who had beaten Mahamat Djibril and the case was due to be tried in early 1 996. Prison conditions remained harsh. Diet and medical care were seriously deficient in prisons throughout the country. Ac­ cording to reports, many prisons, includ­ ing New Bell prison in Douala, provided no medicines at all. Several of the UNDP members held in Maroua prison (see above) were initially denied the urgent medical treatment they required. Prisoners were reported to have been beaten and locked in cells without day­ light. Detainees in pre-trial detention in police stations and gendarmerie headquar­ ters were held in severely overcrowded conditions. Men, women and children were often held in the same cells. The four members of MBOSCUDA detained in Ba­ menda in October (see above) were repor­ ted to have been held in a small filthy cell with about 30 criminal prisoners, some

113

CAMEROON/CHAD

1 14

handcuffed and others with their legs chained. In mid-December a man was shot dead after being apprehended by the security forces. Ebenezer Tamanfor failed to stop his vehicle and was pursued by two po­ licemen in Mezam Division. According to reports, when he said that he had not real­ ized that it was a police request to stop and had feared armed robbers, he was shot in the head. It was not clear whether an of­ ficial investigation into his death would take place. At least two other people died in incidents where excessive force ap­ peared to have been used by the security forces. In January a seven-year-old girl died when police in Yaounde fired at a taxi which failed to stop. In February Amnesty International published a report, Cameroon: Arrests of

were responsible for human rights abuses including deliberate and arbitrary kill­ ings and hostage-taking.

The government of President Idriss Deby faced continued armed opposition, especially in the south and east, from the

Forces armees pour la republique federale (FARF), Armed Forces for a Federal Repub­ lic, the Front National du Tchad (FNT), Chad National Front, and the Mouvement

pour la democratie et le developpement (MOD), Movement Development.

for

Democracy

and

political opponents and detention without trial, which called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those UNDP members detained solely because of their political opinions and for a fair and prompt trial for any against whom there was evidence of individual responsibility for criminal offences. It also urged that they and other prisoners in Maroua prison receive adequate medical care. The Mini­ ster of Justice responded in September, stating that the lJNDP defendants had been charged with criminal offences under common law and that the case had been referred to the courts. Amnesty Inter­ national urged the release of journalists detained solely for their professional activities. It also called for safeguards to protect all prisoners from torture and i l l­ treatment and for those responsible for such abuses to be brought to justice. Am­ nesty International urged the government to ensure respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the revised Constitution.

CHAD Critics and opponents of the government, including possible prisoners of con­ science, were detained without charge or trial. Many were tortured or ill-treated. At least four people died in custody, ap­ parently as a result of torture. Govern­ ment soldiers committed extrajudicial executions.

Armed

opposition

groups

The referendum over a new constitu­ tion and elections due to be held in 1 995 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) were postponed after disputes over the electoral census. The Commission nationale des droits de l'homme, National Commission on Human Rights, established in 1 994 (see

Amnesty

International

Report

1995),

started its operations in March. Composed of governmental and non-governmental representatives, it urged the government to redefine the role of the Agence na­ tionale de securite (ANS), National Security Agency, which had a record of serious human rights violations. It also appealed to Prime Minister Koibla Djimasta to end impunity and to ensure that those re­ sponsible for human rights violations were prosecuted. In June Chad acceded to the Interna­ tional Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its (First) Optional Protocol; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the Con­ vention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Critics and suspected opponents of the government were detained by the ANS and

CHAD

military authorities. They included civil­ ians in areas of conflict as well as opposi­ tion political leaders, journalists, human rights activists and suspected members of armed opposition groups. In April dozens of people suspected of supporting the FARF were detained in the Logone Oriental re­ gion in the south. They were i ll-treated at the barracks of the Rapid Intervention Force, formerly known as the Presidential Guard, in Moundou before being trans­ ferred to the Camp des Martyrs Prison in the capital, N'Djamena, and held for over two months without charge or trial. They were released in late June when President Deby decreed an amnesty. Also in April members of the ANS tried to abduct Gatou Ley, a leading member of the Federation des Logones et TandjiJe de

la ligue tchadienne des droits de l'homme des Logones, the Federation of the Lo­ gones and Tandjile of the Chadian Human Rights League. However, the ANS failed in its attempt when neighbours, alerted by the noise, intervened. Gatou Ley lodged a formal complaint against a member of the ANS who, in September, received a one­ year suspended sentence and a fine. In June ANS personnel ransacked the of­ fices of the newspaper N'Djamena Hebdo and assaulted members of the newspaper's staff. Yaldet Begoto Oulatar, the publica­ tion's director, and Nassar Baloa, a journ­ alist who had been arrested earlier the same day, were beaten with electric cables and sticks at the office before being taken to the ANS headquarters where they were beaten again. They were threatened by ANS interrogators, who demanded that they disclose their sources. They were later re­ leased uncharged. This incident occurred after Youssouf Mbodou Bami, the Minister of Communications, and the ANS protested about an article, published in May, criti­ cizing the army's behaviour. At the time, N'Djamena Hebdo's editor-in-chief and publication director had been questioned at the ANS headquarters and told that the authorities would not tolerate the publica­ tion of such criticism. At least 19 civilians were arrested in the Logone district in July and accused of collaborating with the FARF. They were held for over two months in harsh condi­ tions at Moundou prison before being transferred to N'Djamena. They were still held without charge or trial at the end of the year.

Saleh Kebzabo, president of the op­ position party Union nationale pour le developpement et le renouveau, National Union for Development and Renewal, was arrested in September and held for five days in N 'Djamena before being provi­ sionally relwsed. He was accused of collaborating with the armed opposition, particularly the MDD. His trial had not started by the end of the year. There were further reports of torture, particularly in N'Djam{ma and the Logone districts, where women were raped by members of the armed forces. In August Guiryena Madjingue, a farmer from Ngon­ dong village, was tortured in the village of Lolo by members of the Rapid Interven­ tion Force. He was tied in the arbatachar position, where the victim's arms are tied behind the back causing extreme pain and leading to open wounds and gangrene in some cases; had chillis put in his nose, eyes and mouth; and was beaten. He sub­ sequently escaped. Antoine Bangui, leader of the Morenat, a political party, and his son were beaten by members of the Rapid Intervention Force while campaigning in the Logone district in April. At least four prisoners were reported to have been tortured to death. They in­ cluded Mbai'tarem Nasson, who had been detained in connection with a criminal of­ fence but who was taken from Moundou prison in August to help in an inquiry about FARF activities. After he was caught trying to escape, he was reportedly forced to drink a large amount of water, tied to a tree and had nails hammered into his head. His body was found near the village of Lolo in the Logone Occidental district. Nguetigal , a suspected FARF supporter, was reportedly taken from Moundou prison in August and later found dead. Ndobi Abel , a fisherman, was reportedly tortured at a secret place of detention before being moved to the Moundou Central Hospital, where he died, in October. His body was said to be covered in wounds. No invest­ igations into these deaths were known to have been carried out. The armed forces were reported to have committed extrajudicial executions, not­ ably in the Logone districts, where the vic­ tims were alleged FARF supporters. They included Claude Djerataroum , an assistant mechanic, who was extrajudicially execu­ ted by soldiers in the village of Ngante­ Ngante in May, and Djirandouba Samuel.

115

CHAD/CHILE

1 16

a fisherman. who was killed in July. three days after being taken from his home in Benoye by soldiers. Both the MDD and the FARF committed human rights abuses including deliberate and arbitrary killings and hostage-taking. Three foreign nationals working for the UN Development Programme were taken host­ age by the MDD in March; they were re­ leased after two weeks. In June. at least two people were deliberately and arbitrarily killed in the Logone district by FARF forces. In April Amnesty International pub­ lished a report. Chad: Empty promises -

Human rights violations continue with im­ punity. which documented human rights abuses since 1 993. The organization urged the authorities to take effective measures to safeguard human rights and to bring to justice those responsible for violating these rights. Amnesty International also urged foreign governments to use all means at their disposal to ensure that transfers of equipment. skills and training of personnel to Chadian military. security or police forces did not facilitate torture. " disappearances" and political killings. In April Amnesty International submit­ ted information about its concerns in Chad for UN review under a procedure established by Economic and Social Coun­ cil Resolutions 728F/ 1 503 for confidential consideration of communications about human rights violations.

CHILE ..

Military and civilian courts continued to close investigations into past human rights violations, but a number of officers, i ncluding the former director of Chile's secret service and his deputy, had their

prison

sentences

confirmed.

A former

student leader was briefly detained and charged with defamation. Cases of torture and ill-treatment by members of the se­ curity forces were reported. Five political prisoners faced possible death sentences.

The year was marked by tensions be­ tween the government and the armed forces over past human rights violations. I n May the Supreme Court confirmed the seven- and six-year prison sentences im­ posed in 1 993 on General Manuel Con­ treras and Brigadier Pedro Espinoza. respectively the former Director and Chief of Operations of the Direcci6n Nacional de Inteligencia (D1NA). National Intelligence Directorate. for the 1 976 car-bomb assas­ sination of former Foreign M inister Or­ lando Letelier and us citizen Ronnie Moffit. in Washington DC . USA . General Contreras evaded imprisonment with mil­ itary assistance for five months and was transferred only in October to the Punta Peuco prison. built especially for military personnel. Several legislative proposals were presented in the Senate to curtail ju­ dicial proceedings against the perpetrators of past human rights violations. and to re­ strict judges' investigations into such cases to locating the remains of the "disap­ peared"; all other relevant information would remain secret. This legislation was stil l under debate at the end of the year. Military and civilian courts closed in­ vestigations into " disappearances" and ex­ trajudicial executions carried out between 1 973 and 1 978 by applying the 1978 Am­ nesty Law (see Amnesty International Re­ ports 1 993 and 1995) at an accelerated pace. During the year 14 cases were closed. involving 1 04 victims . In October the Supreme Court con­ firmed prison sentences against 16 mem­ bers of the D1COMCAR unit of the carabineros ( paramilitary police) found guilty of the 1 985 abduction and killing of three members of the Communist Party (see Amnesty International Reports 1 986 and 1995). The then director of the cara­ bineros. General Rodolfo Stange. who had refused to resign in 1 994 over an alleged cover-up of the crime. retired from office in September. Arturo Barrios Orteiza. a former stu­ dent leader and current President of Ju­ ventud Socialista (Socialist Youth) was briefly detained and charged with defama­ tion of the Commander-in-Chief of the

CHILE/CHINA

Armed Forces, General Augusto Pinochet, under National Security Legislation. He was a prisoner of conscience. He had stated during a Socialist Youth rally in June 1 995 that the General should face criminal charges for human rights viol­ ations in Chile. In August the Supreme Court ruled that proceedings against Ar­ turo Barrios Orteiza should continue, which prevented him from leaving the country. Journalists and lawyers still faced charges of sedition brought against them by military courts in 1 994 (see Amnesty

International Report

1 995).

All those detained during 1 994 un­ der arrest warrants outstanding from the period of military rule were released, in­ cluding Sergio Buschmann (see Amnesty

International Report

1 995).

There were reports of torture and ill­ treatment by members of the security forces. Several trade unionists were de­ tained by police and ill-treated. In April J uan Gutierrez Morales was detained in Santiago by members of the investiga­ ciones (civilian police) and interrogated at various locations about the activities of fellow officers of the Construction Work­ ers' Union. While he was held at the Tran­ queras police station, he was beaten on the hands and feet and threatened by members of the carabineros. In May Juan Enrique Contreras Olivos, another officer of the Construction Workers' Union, was detained in Cun1nilahue in VIII Region. He was taken to the local police station, threatened and told to stop all his trade union activities. There were several reports of torture and ill-treatment by members of the cara­ bineros. Jorge Bustamente Inostroza re­ quired surgery for intestinal injuries after he was detained in February in Santiago, taken to the 1 st Police Station and beaten until he lost consciousness. When he re­ gained consciousness, he was warned not to report what had happened. Miguel Angel Vallejos Palma was detained for drunkenness in February in Santiago. His hands and legs were bound and he was se­ verely beaten. He died later the same day after being admitted to hospital with se­ vere abdominal pain. In March, 1 6-year­ old Hernan Alfonso San Martin Jerez and another minor, Alex Alarc6n, were de­ tained by members of the carabineros in Santiago for "running away". They were

reportedly forced to stand still while being struck in the face and abdomen and beaten on their bare backs with a metal strip . When Maria Jeria Castillo, Hernan San Martin's mother, pleaded with an of­ ficer not to beat her son, she was pushed to the ground and reportedly beaten until she lost consciousness. At least 1 2 0 people were serving prison sentences or were in custody awaiting trial for politically motivated offences committed since the end of the military government. Five political prisoners Jaime Pinto Agloni, Jaime Celis Adasme, Julio Prado Bravo, Patricio Gallardo Tru­ jillo and Guillermo Ossand6n Canas continued to face possible death sentences after the Second Military Court of Santi­ ago accepted the military prosecutor's petition for the death penalty to be consid­ ered in their case. Their trial continued before a military court on charges of wounding a police officer resulting in his death, although the Military Appeals Court had previously suspended proceed­ ings until earlier irregularities were re­ solved. They also faced trial for homicide by a civilian court. In December Amnesty International called upon the authorities not to close court proceedings into "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions that occurred under military rule.

CHINA

Hundreds of political activists and mem­ bers of ethnic and religious groups were arbitrarily arrested during the year and scores were detained without charge or trial or sentenced to prison terms after unfair

trials;

many

were

prisoners of

117

CHINA

1 18

conscience. Thousands of political pris­ oners detained in previous years, many of them prisoners of conscience, continued to be held. Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners were widely reported. At least

3,110 death sentences and 2,190 execu­ tions were recorded.

The transition from the "third" to the "fourth" generation of political leaders and the wide-ranging program of eco­ nomic reforms continued during the year. Several petitions by members of the public were presented to the National People's Congress (NPC) , including some signed by senior intellectuals, calling for the release of political prisoners and the protection of human rights. The NPC took no public action on these. In March China narrowly escaped cen­ sure at the UN Commission on Human Rights when a draft resolution critical of its human rights record was defeated by one vote. For the previous four consec­ utive years, China had succeeded in pre­ venting critical resolutions going to the Commission for debate and vote. Hundreds of people, many of them prisoners of conscience, were arbitrarily arrested during the year. Many were re­ leased without charge, some were sen­ tenced to prison terms after unfair trials, and others were held in various forms of administrative detention. They included human rights and pro-democracy activists; members of religious groups who chose to worship outside the confines of official organizations; and members of ethnic groups, some of which sought greater political autonomy. At least 50 dissidents were detained in the weeks around 4 June, the anniversary of the crack-down on pro-democracy protests in 1 989, when troops killed hun­ dreds of protesters. Many were later re­ leased, but at least nine remained in detention at the end of the year. They in­ cluded Deng Huanwu, a signatory to a pe­ tition calling on the authorities to protect human rights. He was reportedly tried for alleged "bigamy" in September. The out­ come of his trial, which was clearly po­ litically motivated, was not known at the end of the year. Among others arrested in June were Liu Nianchun, a labour activist; Wang Dan, a former student leader; and Liu Xiaobo, a literary critic who had circu­ lated a petition calling for the law to be changed to al low basic freedoms. Chen

Ziming, a prisoner of conscience and vet­ eran pro-democracy activist, was taken back to prison in June to serve the remain­ der of his sentence despite suffering from cancer and needing constant medical care. He had been sentenced to 1 3 years' im­ prisonment in 1 991 for "counter-revolu­ tionary" activities but had been released in May 1 994 on "medical parole" (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 992 and

1995).

Political and human rights activists were also detained or restricted during the Fourth UN World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in September. Among those detained were Ding Zilin and her husband, Jiang Peikun, whose son was killed during the June 1 989 massacre in Beijing. Ding Zilin has since campaigned for an independent investigation into the killings. The authorities had taken no steps to investigate publicly the circum­ stances of -the 1 989 killings or to bring to justice those responsible. Ding Zilin and her husband were arrested in Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, and accused of "eco­ nomic irregularities". They were released in October. "Re-education through labour", a form of administrative detention, continued to be used to arbitrarily detain dissidents, in­ cluding human rights activists and mem­ bers of unauthorized religious groups, without charge or trial for up to three years. Xu Yonghai, a doctor and promin­ ent member of an unofficial Protestant group , was detained in May for signing a petition calling on the government to pro­ tect human rights. He reportedly received a two-year term of "re-education through labour" in October. Hundreds of Roman Catholics and Protestants were detained. Between 30 and 40 Roman Catholics were arrested by police officers from Linchuan city, Jiangxi province, during Easter celebrations in April. Many were beaten during their ar­ rests. About half were released shortly af­ terwards but at least 1 7, most of them women, were detained and five were sen­ tenced to prison terms. Pan Kunming was sentenced in July to five years' imprison­ ment and Rao Yanping was sentenced to four years. Many of the others were fined. Over 80 Protestants were detained in Zhoukou, Henan province, in March and June and at least three of them later re­ ceived three-year terms of "re-education

CHINA

through labour". Arrests of Christians were also reported in Anhui, Zhejiang, Shanxi and other provinces. An appeal from Roman Catholics from two mountain villages in Hebei province alleged that villagers had been arbitrarily detained, tortured and fined by local offi­ cials for breaches of the government's birth control policy. Thousands of political prisoners de­ tained without trial or convicted after un­ fair trials in previous years remained held. Many were prisoners of conscience. In January a Ministry of Justice official stated that 2 ,678 people convicted of "counter­ revolutionary offences" were imprisoned. This figure excluded many more held for political reasons but convicted of other of­ fences, or held under various forms of ad­ ministrative detention without charge or trial, or detained for prolonged periods pending trial. New information came to light during 1 995 about political prisoners jailed since the early 1 980s. They included people imprisoned for alleged membership of banned secret religious sects, and scores of prisoners jailed for their activities during the 1 989 pro-democracy protests, many of whom had been convicted of ordinary criminal offences such as "hooliganism". For example, Liu Wensheng was reported to be serving a seven-year prison term for "disturbing the traffic" during the 1 989 protests in Beijing. Prisoners of conscience still serving long sentences for their part in the 1 989 pro-democracy movement included Tang Yu anjuan, an assistant engineer in a car fact ory who organized a protest march in Changchun city after the Beijing massacre. He was sentenced to 20 years' imprison­ ment in 1 989, which was one of the heavi­ est sentences imposed. He was reported to be in poor health. Many prominent dissidents arrested in 1 994 remained imprisoned throughout the year (see Amnesty International Report 1995). Wei Jingsheng, an outspoken critic of the government and former long-term prisoner of conscience, was charged in November with "activities in an attempt to overt hrow the government" after being held incommunicado and without charge for over 19 months. He was tried in De­ cemb r and sentenced to 14 years' impris­ on ment, plus three years' deprivation of Poli tical rights. Li Guotao, president of the

Shanghai Human Rights Association, con­ tinued to serve a sentence of three years of "re-education through labour" imposed without trial in 1 994. Journalist Gao Yu, a prisoner of conscience serving a six-year term for allegedly "leaking state secrets", was transferred in January to Yanqing Prison, about 80 kilometres from Beijing; she was reported to be in poor health. Widespread human rights violations continued in the Tibet Autonomous Re­ gion (TAR). In the first three months of the year alone, 1 2 3 people were reported to have been detained in connection with peaceful pro-independence activities or following police raids on monasteries or nunneries. Those detained included 50 nuns and 68 monks, most of whom were prisoners of conscience. For example, in January over 1 00 troops raided the Ya­ mure monastery, Medro Gongkar county, where monks were protesting peacefully against official restrictions on the sale and possession of photographs of the Dalai Lama; four people were arrested. Similar protests by monks and nuns in Phenpo Lhundrup county in February led to at least 60 arrests. At least 39 people, includ­ ing 31 nuns, were reportedly detained in Lhasa in February and March for taking part in peaceful pro-independence de­ monstrations. Many people were also detained be­ tween June and August for allegedly pro­ moting Tibetan independence, some in connection with events organized by the authorities on 1 September to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the TAR. Nearly 60 others were detained in connection with a dispute over the recog­ nition of a young boy as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual leader in Tibet. They included Chadrel Rimpoche, abbot of Tashilumpo monastery, who was arrested in May and reportedly accused of colluding with the Dalai Lama in the search for the 1 1 th Panchen Lama. He remained in detention at the end of the year, but was not known to have been charged. At the start of the year over 650 Tibetan political prisoners, the majority prisoners of conscience, were reportedly detained. Of these, 45 had been under the age of 18 when arrested, and some had been as young as 1 2 . Political trials continued to fall far short of international fair trial standards.

119

CHINA

1 20

Extreme limitations on the right to de­ fence continued. Defendants had no right to call witnesses and had insufficient time and facilities to prepare their defence. Ver­ dicts and sentences were routinely de­ cided by the authorities before trial. Torture and ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners held in prisons, detention centres and labour camps were reported. Methods most often cited were beatings, electric shocks, the use of shackles, sleep deprivation and exposure to extremes of cold or heat. Prison conditions were fre­ quently harsh and many prisoners suf­ fered from serious illnesses as a result. Medical care and food were often in­ adequate, and punishments frequently threatened the physical and psychological well-being of prisoners. Tong Vi, assistant to Wei Jingsheng (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995), was reportedly beaten by inmates who were camp "trustees" in the Hewan Labour Camp in Wuhan, Hubei province. According to a letter smuggled out of the camp in January, inmates were forced to work extremely long hours to fulfil unrealistic production quotas. Tong Yi complained to camp officials about the beatings, but they took no action to protect her. The following day, more than 1 0 women prisoners beat her again, leaving her face and body swollen and covered in bruises. Members of her family were warned that they would lose their jobs if they tried to pursue her complaints. A young Tibetan nun was reported to have died shortly after release from deten­ tion. Gyaltsen Kelsang, who died in Feb­ ruary, was alleged to have been beaten in detention and held in harsh conditions without adequate medical care. No invest­ igation was known to have been carried out into the cause of her death. Beatings by police at the time of arrest were frequent. In January, for example, two young monks from the Jokhang temple in Lhasa were severely beaten by police while held in custody for three days. They were released without charge, but warned not to report their ill-treatment. The widespread use of the death pen­ alty continued. At least 3 , 1 1 0 death sen­ tences and 2 , 1 90 executions were recorded by Amnesty International, but the true fig­ ures were believed to be far higher. At least 1 6 people were executed in Beijing in August: officials said the executions were carried out to ensure " public order"

during the UN World Conference on Women. At least 6B criminal offences, many of them non-violent, are punishable by death in China. For example, in March a man was sentenced to death in Zhejiang province for stealing a car. Wang Jianye, a former senior official in Shenzhen, Guang­ dong province, was sentenced to death in July for alleged economic offences. His lawyer was reportedly not allowed to pre­ sent arguments in his defence during the trial and had only had 1 0 days to examine a 1 0-volume file compiled by the prosecu­ tion during an lB-month investigation. The Supreme People's Court approved the sentence and he was executed in late December. Amnesty International urged the Chi­ nese authorities repeatedly to release all prisoners of conscience, ensure fair and prompt trials for other political prisoners, investigate torture allegations and safe­ guard prisoners from ill-treatment. It also urged the authorities to commute all death sentences. The government did not respond. Amnesty International published sev­ eral reports on China including: in Febru­ ary, China: Dissidents detained without charge or trial since 1 994; in May,

People's Republic of China: Persistent human rights violations in Tibet; and in June, China: Six years after Tiananmen Increased political repression and h uman rights violations, and Women in China: Imprisoned and abused for dissent. In August and September, an Amnesty International delegation attended the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing. Representatives of the organiza­ tion sought meetings with the Chinese au­ thorities and publicly raised the cases of prisoners of conscience. However, the au­ thorities refused to meet Amnesty Inter­ national's representatives or to receive written documents from them. In October Amnesty International del­ egates who had been invited by a govern­ ment institution to attend an international conference were denied access to China. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International included reference to its concerns in China.

COLOMBIA

introduced numerous emergency meas­ ures, including house searches without warrant, press censorshi p and authoriza­ tion for military and civilian authorities to forcibly evacuate civilians from areas un­ dergoing counter-insurgency operations . In October talks began between the gov­ ernment and the Jaime Bateman com­ mand, a dissident wing of the former M-1 9 guerril la organization which demobilized in 1 990. Government proposals an­ nounced in 1 994 to open talks with the Ejercito de Liberaci6n Nacional (ELN), Na­ tional Liberation Army, the Fuerzas Ar­

COLOMBIA ..

madas

Many hundreds of civilians were extraju­ dicially executed by the security forces and paramilitary groups and at least 150 people " disappeared". Human rights activists were threatened and attacked.

Hundreds of people. including possible prisoners of conscience. were arrested and tried by special courts whose proced­ ures fell short of international fair trial standards.

A conscientious objector

to

military service was imprisoned. T orture was widespread. Several officers were dismissed rights

from

violations.

the

army

Many

for

human

other

armed

forces personnel continued to evade ac­ countability for thousands of extrajudi­ cial executions and " disappearances" in recent years. Armed opposition groups committed grave human rights abuses. in­ cluding scores of deliberate and arbitrary killings and the taking and holding of hundreds of hostages.

The government of President Ernesto Samper twice declared a state of emer­ gency. ostensibly because of the rising level of political and criminal violence throughout the country. The first. in Au­ gust, coincided with a political scandal triggered by investigations by the Attorney General's Office into alleged financial sup­ p ort from drug-trafficking organizations for President Samper's 1 994 election cam­ paign. In October the Constitutional Court declared the state of internal commotion unconstitutional. A slate of internal com­ motion was again declared in November after the murder in the capital, Bogota, of Alvaro G6mez Hurtado, a leading mem­ ber of the Conservative Party and former presidential candidate. The government

Revolucionarias

de

Colombia

(FARC), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the Ejercito Popular de Lib­ eraci6n (EPL) , Popular Liberation Army, were abandoned in July when the Peace Commissioner resigned. The government refused to authorize initiatives for dia­ logue proposed by regional authorities. Political violence escalated in several areas of the country. In the northwestern region of UraM, Antioquia department, widespread abuses were committed by most parties to the long-running armed conflict between government forces and their paramilitary allies, and the FARC, ELN and EPL armed opposition groups. The armed forces failed to take any action to protect the civilian population from para­ military and guerrilla attacks and evid­ ence emerged of army complicity and collusion with a major paramilitary offens­ ive launched in 1994. The vast majority of attacks were d irected against sectors of the civilian population presumed to support rival armed groups. Several hundred civil­ ians were killed and at least 1 5 ,000 fled their homes. A series of massacres in Au­ gust and September left scores of civilians dead. On 12 August, 18 people, including four women and two minors, were killed by heavily armed men who burst into the El Aracatazzo restaurant in the El Bosque neighbourhood of Chigorod6, UraM. Many of the inhabitants of El Bosque were supporters of the legal left-wing po fitical party Uni6n Patri6tica (up) Patriotic Union. The killings were attributed to the paramilitary Comandos de Alternativa Popular, Popular Alternative Command, which claimed the attack was in reprisal for the killing of three soldiers and three civilians in Apartad6 hours earlier. Thir­ teen people, identified by the authorities as members of a paramilitary organization,

121

COLOMBIA

1 22

were arrested in connection with the mas­ sacre; most were released without charge. In a series of attacks in UraM, apparently in retaliation for the massacre in El Aracatazzo and other paramilitary kill­ ings, the FARC killed dozens of supporters of Esperanza, Paz y Libertad, Peace, Hope and Liberty, a political party created by de­ mobilized EPL guerrillas, whose members were accused by the FARC of supporting paramilitary attacks against the Commun­ ist Party and the UP. On 29 August a group of supporters of Esperanza, Paz y Libertad were forced off a bus in Carepa, UraM., by a group of armed men and women. The armed group selected 16 who were bound, forced to lie face down and then shot dead. Widespread human rights violations were reported from several other areas of the country where paramilitary organiza­ tions continued military offensives to extend their territorial control. In North Santander and Cesar departments the ma­ jority of victims were peasant and com­ munity leaders, political activists and trade unionists. Scores of union members and leaders in the palm oil industry were among the victims. On 1 6 August a heav­ ily armed paramilitary group ransacked and set fire to the homes of several leaders of INDUPALMA, the palm oil workers' union, in San Alberto, Cesar department. Union leader Tomas Cortes was dragged from his home and taken away by the paramilitary group. His whereabouts remained un­ known. On 15 January, 40 gunmen, some in military uniform, seized nine people from the village of Puerto Patino, municipality of Aguachica, Cesar department. One of the nine was later released; the bodies of seven villagers were found nearby and one remained "disappeared". Clear evidence emerged of armed forces' support for para­ military activities in Cesar department. Major Jorge Lazaro Vergel , commander of the Aguasclaras military base, was de­ tained in April accused of actively sup­ porting parami litary groups operating in the area. The major reportedly told a senior police officer that he had a list of "subversive suspects" who were to be killed by the paramilitary forces. Over 20 alleged members of paramilit­ ary organizations were arrested by a spe­ cial unit of the Attorney General's Office in different areas of the country. However,

known paramilitary leaders, sentenced to long prison terms in absentia for multiple political killings and "disappearances", remained at large. Human rights defenders were again the target of threats and attacks. Human rights lawyer Javier Barriga Vergel was shot dead by two gunmen outside his home in Cucuta, North Santander department, in June. Javier Barriga worked with the

Comite de Solidaridad con los Presos Polfticos, Political Prisoners' Solidarity Committee. He and other lawyers in CU­ cuta had received death threats from a paramilitary group, Colombia Sin Guer­ rilla, Colombia without Guerrillas, for de­ fending political prisoners. In February threats against members of the Comite

Cfvico por 10s Derechos Humanos en e1 Meta, Meta Civic Committee for Human Rights, escalated and an anonymous warn­ ing was received of an imminent attack against Sister Nohemy Palencia, a Catholic nun and prominent member of the Com­ mittee. In April the Committee closed its office in the departmental capital Villavi­ cencio and continued its human rights work from Bogota. However, threats against its members continued. In Septem­ ber Committee member Teresa Mosquera, who had remained in Villavicencio, was threatened with being beaten to death i f she d i d not leave the city within 24 hours. The killing of so-called "disposables" by "death squads" continued in many cities and towns. Principal victims in­ cluded petty criminals, drug addicts, pros­ titutes, homosexuals and young people living in poor neighbourhoods and shanty towns. Some of the hundreds of young people killed in the cities of Medellfn, Bo­ gota and Cali were believed to have been victims of rival street gangs. Many others were killed by gunmen, often hired by local traders, working with the support of the security forces. On 3 May, three youths - Rodolfo Cetre Angola, Hugo Aldemar Manrique and Juan Carlos Gir6n Hurtado - were arrested in Cal i , Valle de­ partment, by members of Cali's Metropoli­ tan Police and taken to a police station where they were reportedly tortured. Two days later they were accused of theft and transferred to the Valle de Lili juvenile de­ tention centre where they were last seen alive on 7 May. The following day their partially burned bodies were found in another area of the city.

COLOMBIA

Over 1 50 people "disappeared" after detention by the armed forces, the police or paramilitary groups. In May John Ubate Monroy and Gloria Bogota were abducted in Cali by heavily armed men who forced them into a car and drove away. Witnesses alerted the police who pursued the car, but were ordered by a high-ranking offi­ cial of the Metropolitan Police to abandon the pursuit. The whereabouts of the two victims remained unknown. John Ubate's relatives and friends received repeated death threats and Astrid Liliana Gonzalez, his girlfriend, escaped an apparent at­ tempt to abduct her in September. Parami litary forces operating in rural areas were responsible for numerous "dis­ appearances" of political and community activists. Wilson Caceres Gonzalez, a com­ munity leader and former mayoral can­ didate in Sabana de Torres, Santander department, "disappeared" in April as he was travelling alone on the outskirts of Sabana de Torres. His name had appeared on a death list which had been circu­ lated in the region by the Autodefensas Campesinas de Colombia, Peasant Farmer Self-Defence Group. Hundreds of people, including possible prisoners of conscience, were arrested and tried by special courts whose procedures fel l short of international standards of fair trial. One prisoner of conscience, Luis Gab­ riel Caldas Le6n, was imprisoned from June to November for refusing on grounds of conscience to perform military service. Torture was widespread. Many victims of politically motivated killings were tor­ tured before being killed and their bodies mutilated. Political detainees were also tortured by both the military and police. In September Franklin Bolivar, an eye-wit­ ness to the massacre in El Aracatazzo (see above), was detained and taken to the XV11 Brigade headquarters in Carepa, Uraba, where he was subjected to torture includ­ ing prolonged beating with a machete and being suspended by a rope which tied his arms behind his back. He was released without charge three weeks later. Both he and his family reported receiving repeated threats that they would be killed unless he retracted his allegations of torture. In No­ v ember the UN Committee against Torture exp ressed grave concern about the persist­ ence of a significant number of violent deaths, torture and i ll-treatment, attrib-

uted to members of the army and police on a scale which would appear to indicate a systematic practice in some regions of the country. In an unprecedented move, President Samper in February accepted state re­ sponsibility for the "disappearance" , tor­ ture and murder of 107 people in Trujillo, Valle department, between 1988 and 1 990 and ordered the dismissal of army Lieu­ tenant Colonel Alirio Uruefia Jaramillo for his part i n the massacres. The President's acceptance of state responsibility for the massacres was based on the findings of an investigative commission established under the auspices of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (see

Amnesty

International

Report

1 995).

Members of the security forces and para­ military organizations identified in the commission's report as responsible for the killings had already been exonerated in disciplinary and criminal investigations. Almost total impunity continued to pre­ vail in judicial investigations into extraju­ dicial executions, "disappearances" and torture by armed forces personnel. The military justice system, which generally claimed jurisdiction to pursue investiga­ tions, routinely dropped charges or acquit­ ted those responsible. However, some disciplinary investigations conducted by the Procurator General's Public Ministry resulted in sanctions being imposed. I n September Brigadier General Alvaro Ve­ landia Hurtado, commander of the army's ill Brigade, and an army sergeant were dis­ missed from the army by executive decree after an investigation by the Procurator Delegate for Human Rights established their responsibility in the torture and murder of political activist Nydia Erika Bautista in 1 987. General Velandia was the highest-ranking serving member of the armed forces to be subjected to disciplin­ ary sanctions for human rights violations. The decision was strongly opposed by military commanders and some sectors of Congress who attempted, unsuccessfully, to reinstate General Velandia. Following the Procurator Delegate's initial call for his dismissal, General Velandia was decor­ ated by order of President Samper. Dr Her­ nando Valencia Villa, the Procurator Delegate for Human Rights, resigned and left the country in September after be­ ing subjected to intimidation and death

123

COLOMBIA/CONGO

124

threats. Relatives of Nydia Erika Bautista and witnesses in the investigation also received repeated death threats. In November the Procurator General ordered the immediate dismissal of two soldiers for the killing of Swiss lay mis­ sionary Hildegard Maria Feldmann and three other people in El Sande, Nariiio de­ partment, in 1 990. Hildegard Feldmann was killed when troops opened fire with­ out warning on the house where she was nursing a sick woman. The dismissed of­ ficers had been exonerated by military courts. Armed opposition groups committed numerous grave human rights abuses, in­ cluding scores of deliberate and arbitrary killings. In May, four young women Yaneth Lima Gonzalez, Guadalupe Romero Oviedo, Yamile Lima Gonzalez and Isabel Amaya - were taken from their homes in Saravena, Arauca department, interrogated and shot dead by the ELN ' S Domingo Lain command which accused them of being army i nformants. Civilians living in conflict areas suspected of collab­ orating with the armed forces or paramilit­ ary groups were threatened and killed. In addition to killings attributed to the FARe in Uraba, the EPL group operating in the area also carried out arbitrary and deliber­ ate killings. Jose Elfas Suarez, leader of the Zenu indigenous community in El Volao, Uraba, was killed in March by an EPL com­ mand. He was taken from his home, tied to a nearby tree and hacked to death. Sev­ eral other members of the Zenu commun­ ity in El Volao were kil led by army-backed paramilitary groups. At least 400 hundred people were held hostage, principally by the FARe and the ELN. Some were released after payment of ransom money or the fulfilment of other demands. Others were killed in captivity. In June, two us missionaries, Steve Welsh and Timothy Van Dyke, were shot dead by the FARe when soldiers attacked the base where they were held. They had been held hostage for over 1 7 months. Jose Antonio Patino, who was kidnapped by the ELN in August, was killed in September, alleg­ edly while trying to escape. When his brother, Julio Cesar Patino, went to collect his body, he was himself kidnapped by the same group. He remained held at the end of the year. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional appealed to the government to con-

duct thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all extrajudicial execu­ tions and " disappearances" and called for those responsible to be brought to justice. It called on the government to end im­ punity by excluding human rights viola­ tions from the military justice system and to dismantle paramilitary groups. It ap­ pealed to opposition groups to end delib­ erate and arbitrary killings and to release all hostages. In an oral statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Febru­ ary, Amnesty International included refer­ ence to its concerns in Colombia.

CONGO

A journalist who received a six-month prison term was a possible prisoner of conscience. Prison conditions were harsh, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrad­ ing treatment, and resulted in a number of deaths. Several people, including a member of an armed opposition group, were killed by police in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extra­ judicially executed.

There was a high level of violent crime carried out by members of armed opposi­ tion groups who had failed to disarm in accordance with the cease-fire agreement between President Pascal Lissouba and his opponents in 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995). However, the level of politically motivated violence was much reduced as a result of the 1 994 agreement. A proposed law on the press, providing for prison terms of up to three years for journalists convicted of offences against the Head of State or Prime Minister, such as publishing false information attributed to a third party, was passed in mid-1 995

CONGO/COSTA RICA

by the National Assembly. It was being considered by the Senate at the end of the year. In June the Director of the newspaper Le Choc, Asie Dominique de Marseille, was detained for writing several articles which alleged that the Minister of Finance had embezzled public funds and had writ­ ten a letter proposing that President Lis­ souba should prolong his Presidency. Asie Dominique de Marseille was sentenced in July to one month's imprisonment for spreading false information. In late July, as Asie Dominique de Marseille was ending his prison term, he and his editor-in-chief, Jean-Baptiste Voukumba, were tried in connection with an article published by their newspaper alleging that Prime Min­ ister Joachim Yhombi-Opango had embez­ zled public funds. Both journalists were found guilty of spreading false informa­ tion. Asie Dominique de Marseille was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, while Jean-Baptiste Voukumba received an eight-month suspended sentence. Both were ordered to pay fines. Asie Do­ minique de Marseille appeared to be a prisoner of conscience targeted for exercis­ ing his right to freedom of expression. He was released on 30 November under a presidential pardon. Prison conditions amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Starva­ tion and medical neglect, resulting in an unspecified number of deaths in custody, were reported in Brazzaville Central Prison which, although built for 1 00 in­ mates, was holding more than 600. Sim­ ilar conditions were said to prevail in other prisons throughout the country. Fol­ lowing public criticism of the conditions in Brazzaville Central Prison by local journalists- and human rights activists, prisoners serving short prison terms were reportedly al lowed out during the day to beg food from friends and relatives. How­ ever, those serving long prison terms or held on serious criminal charges contin­ ued to be subjected to long periods with­ out food. Several people killed by police may have been victims of extrajudicial execu­ tio ns. In July, Loumingou Kengue was re­ portedly beaten to death by police who misto ok her for another person whom they sought. The same month, Mbonza Mataba, a leader of the Zoulou armed militia, was shot and fatally injured by police in suspi-

cious circumstances. There was appar­ ently no official investigation into these killings. Nor were there any investigations into extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations reported in pre­ vious years (see Amnesty International

Report 1 995). Amnesty International urged the au­ thorities to take measures to end im­ punity. In particular, the organization called for independent and impartial in­ vestigations to identify members of gov­ ernment forces who had been responsible for human rights violations during and be­ fore 1 995, and to ensure that they were brought to justice. Responses received from the authorities did not address these issues.

COSTA RICA

Police were alleged to have beaten de­ tained demonstrators. An environmental activist and a juvenile detainee died in suspicious circumstances. Four police of­ fi cers were brought to trial for killings and "disappearances" committed in 1994.

There were widespread protests over the privatization and structural adjust­ ment policies of President Josi§ Marfa Figueres Olsen, who took office in 1 994. There was also a sharp rise in allegations of human rights abuses by the police. The victims included peasants involved in land disputes and people suspected of in­ volvement in the drugs trade. In August plainclothes armed police and civilian collaborators allegedly infil­ trated crowds of demonstrators in order to provoke violence. Five people were re­ portedly badly injured and eight, includ­ ing two juveniles, were arrested. Police sources told local human rights activists that they had been instructed to use force when they were detaining demonstrators.

125

COSTA RICNC6TE D'IVOIRE

1 26

Radio journalists who reported sympathet­ ically on the demonstrations were alleg­ edly threatened and censored. After widespread protests, the eight detainees were released and some of the police offi­ cers involved were dismissed after being identified in video and films showing them beating demonstrators. The Centra de InJormaci6n Policial, Police Informa­ tion Centre, which despite having no legal powers of arrest was responsible for the majority of the beatings and arrests, was officially dissol ved. In early August the Asociaci6n Ecolo­

COTE D'IVOIRE

gista Costarricense-Amigos de la Tierra In­ ternacional (AECO) , Costa Rican Ecology Association-Friends of the Earth Interna­ tional, announced that an AECO activist, David Maradiaga, had been found dead, three weeks after going missing. The Or­ ganismo de Investigaci6n Judicial (OIIl, Ju­ dicial Investigation Unit, maintained that his body had been in the morgue custom­ arily used for unidentified bodies. How­ ever, family and friends had checked that morgue twice and had been told his body was not there. The official autopsy report stated that he had died of a heart attack, although he was a young man with no his­ tory of heart problems. A police investiga­ tion into his death was continuing at the end of the year. In September a juvenile offender, who was reportedly arrested as he tried to steal a car in the capital. San Jos�, was killed. Witnesses saw him being taken into cus­ tody and being beaten. The initial police account was that he had died as he at­ tempted to escape from an official vehicle transporting him after his arrest. Later, the police said that they had found his body in a street where he had been run over by a vehicle. Inquiries into the case were closed. Four members of the 01) were tried for the killing of two people during 1 994 and the "disappearance" of three more. One victim, landowner Ciro Monge Mena, was detained in July 1 994 by the m) and found dead four days later; he had reportedly been decapitated and had his hands am­ putated. Ciro Monge Mena had allegedly been involved in drug-trafficking. The out­ come of the trial was not known by the end of the year.

Four journalists and two publishers, all prisoners of conscience, were sentenced to prison terms. Dozens of opposition party supporters and student activists, in­ cluding POllsible prisoners of conscience, were detained, of whom 25 were sen­

tenced to prison terms and others were detained without trial. There were re­ ports of torture and ill-treatment by the

security forces, and an opposition leader was assaulted in the presence of a govern­ ment minister. A new law extended the application of the death penalty and al­ lowed public executions, but no execu­ tions took place in 1995.

There was growing political unrest in the run-up to presidential elections in Oc­ tober, the first since the death of F�lix Houphouet-Boigny, COte d'Ivoire's first President, in December 1 994. The elec­ tion, in which President Henri Konan Bedi� was returned to power, was boy­ cotted by the main opposition parties in protest at the government's refusal to amend the electoral code. Introduced in December 1 994, this required presidential candidates to have lived in the country for the five years preceding the election and to have been born of Ivorian parents. It was widely believed to have been de­ signed to prevent former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara from standing as a pres­ idential candidate. Parliamentary elec­ tions were held in November and led to the victory of the ruling party, the Parti democratique de Cote d'[voire, Ivorian Democratic Party. In September the government banned all demonstrations for the three-month election period after several peaceful

COTE D'IVOIRE

demonstrations became violent when they were broken up by the security forces. Despite the ban, however, there were fur­ ther opposition demonstrations in the weeks leading up to the presidential elec­ tion. At least 1 0 people were killed and many others were shot and wounded by the security forces, and dozens were ar­ rested as several of the protests became vi­ olent, resulting in destruction of property. There was also serious ethnic tension in the west: in October, some 8,000 Baoule villagers belonging to the same ethnic group as the President took refuge in local towns owing to tension with the more nu­ merous Betes, the ethnic group to which Laurent Gbagbo, leader of the opposition Front populaire ivoirien (FPI), Popular Ivorian Front, belongs. In December COte d'Ivoire acceded to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treat­ ment or Punishment. Two publishers and four journalists were prisoners of conscience. Abou Cisse, the publisher of the newspaper La Patrie, and one of its journalists, De Be Kwassi, were convicted of offendi ng the Head of State and sentenced to one-year prison terms in February. They had published two articles questioning President Bedie's Iv orian origins and his links to a financial scandal in the 1 970s. They were provi­ sionally released in July. Dembele Fousseni , editor of an Islamic monthly, Plume libre, and one of its journ­ alists, Kema Brahama, were given 1 0month prison sentences after they were convicted of incitement to tribal hatred, disorder and revolt. They had published an article alleging that Muslims were being purged from government jobs be­ cause they supported the opposition party of former Prime Minister Alassane Ouat­ tara, the Rassemblement des republicains (ROR), Rally of Republicans. They were provisionally released in August. Aboudrahmane Sangare, Deputy Sec­ retary General of the FPI and director of the newspaper La Voie, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in December with La Voie journalist Emmanuel Kore. They were convicted of insulting President Konan Bedie in an article which suggested that the presence of the Head of State brought bad luck to a soccer team during a football match. Previously, in June, Abou­ drahmane Sangare had been assaulted i n

the presence of a government minister. He was summoned to the office of the Minis­ ter of Security in connection with the pub­ lication of a satirical article. There, he was stripped to the waist and flogged by four security officials in the presence of the Minister. Ha was then released. A few days later Aboudrahmane Sangare met President Bedie who condemned the beating. Aboudrahmane Sangare lodged a formal complaint about his ill-treatment but had received no official response by the end of the year. At least 25 opposition party supporters were arrested and sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to one year. Most of them were prosecuted under a law, passed in 1 992 but not previously invoked, under which anyone who calls or leads a gathering is held accountable for any violence that occurs, irrespective of whether they are personally responsible for inciting or perpetrating violence (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993 and 1 994). Those sentenced included possible prisoners of conscience. For example, six FPI supporters were arrested at a protest march on 20 September, hours before the ban on demonstrations was announced. They were each sentenced to one year's imprisonment, although there was appar­ ently no evidence produced that they had been involved in any violence. Kah Anderson and Fatou Coulibaly, two local FPI leaders, were also sentenced to 12 and six months' imprisonment respectively at Daloa in September for organizing a march. Student activists belonging to the

Federation estudiantine et scolaire de Cote d'Ivoire (FESCI) , Ivorian Federation of

Students and School Pupils, also faced continued harassment by the security forces (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Some FESCI leaders went into hiding after they were threatened with arrest and more than 40 FESCI members were de­ tained when a press conference at the Youpougon university campus in Abidjan was forcibly broken up in June by the se­ curity forces. During this incident, Sylvie Anoma was allegedly raped by a member of the security forces, but no official inquiry into her complaint was known to have been held by the end of the year. The detained students were reportedly severely ill-treated before being released uncharged.

127

COTE O'IVOIRE/CROATIA

1 28

Guillaume Soro, Secretary General of

FESCI, was arrested in September and de­ tained incommunicado. Eight other FEscr

members, including Dominique Maya and Marius Bossina, were arrested in October and also held incommunicado. In Novem­ ber they and Guillaume Soro were shown on television: they appeared to be in poor physical condition. During the broadcast, Guillaume Soro made what appeared to be a forced apology and called on FESCI activ­ ists to stop their activities. All nine were possible prisoners of conscience and were released without charge in December. New legislation was passed by the par­ liament in June to extend the scope of the death penalty to cover offences such as robbery with violence, and to allow public executions. This was a seriously retro­ grade step as the death penalty, although retained in law, had never been enforced. However, by the end of the year the law had not been promulgated by the Presid­ ent and no executions had been reported. Amnesty International publicly ex­ pressed concern in November about the incommunicado detention of the nine FEscr members. The organization also pro­ tested against the amendment extending the scope of the death penalty and al­ lowing public executions and called on the government to maintain the effective moratorium on executions. In response, President B�di� said the new law was required to combat a rise in crime.

CROATIA

Hundreds of political prisoners, almost exclusively Serbs, were detained on charges relating to the armed conflict; there were concerns that they would not

receive fair trials. Some detainees were ill-treated by police. Many Serbs who re­ mained in the Krajina region after the area was retaken by Croatian forces in August were tortured or ill-treated and many were in effect forcibly expelled. Scores of people were extrajudicially ex­ ecuted by Croatian armed forces in the Krajina region. Croatian Serb civilians were deliberately targeted by Croatian forces. Refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina were forcibly returned there. T housands of houses belonging to Serbs who had fled from Croatia were destroyed by Croatian forces. T here were reports of arbitrary detention,

torture

and

ill-treatment

in

Serbian-controlled areas. Rebel Serbian forces deliberately targeted civilians in a rocket attack.

In Apri l , fol lowing a threat from the Croatian Government that it would not allow the mandate of the UN peacekeep­ ing force in Croatia, UN Protection Force ( UNPROFOR ) , to be renewed, the UN opera­ tion was renamed the UN Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia ( UNCRO ) . Its mandate was extended until Novem­ ber, but was altered. Final details of the new mandate and its implementation, as well as the status of the UN Protected Areas ( UNPAS ) , were not fully agreed before it expired. In November an agreement was signed by the Croatian and Croatian Serb de facto authorities providing for the re­ turn of eastern Slavonia, the area of Croa­ tia which remained under Serb control, to Croatian administration within a two-year period, under international supervision. The Croatian armed forces undertook major military actions to take control of the areas controlled by rebel Serb forces which largely coincided with the UNPAS - citing lack of progress in negotiations towards their peaceful reintegration. The Croatian Army also engaged in military operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina (see Bosnia-Herzegovina entry). In May Croat­ ian forces took control of western Slavonia (the southern part of the former UNPA, Sec­ tor West). This resulted in the flight of around 1 0 ,000 Serbian civilians and sol­ diers into the Bosnian Serb-controlled area of northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. In August the Krajina region (the former UNPAS, Sectors North and South), the largest Serbian-controlled area, was taken by the Croatian Army. Some 200,000 people, the majority of the population,

CROATIA

compflsmg Croatian Serb refugees and soldiers, fled into Bosnian Serb-controlled areas or into Serbia. In May legislation allowing for the par­ doning of individuals charged or convic­ ted with crimes relating to the war which had been committed before 26 September 1 992 was extended to include crimes com­ mitted up to 10 May 1995. It thus became applicable to some of the Croatian Serb men detained during the action in western Slavonia in May. Following the Croatian Army's recap­ ture of the Krajina region, Pre ident Franjo Tudjman called parliamentary elections which were held in October. The ruling Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica (HDZ) , Croatian Democratic Union, increased its majority, but failed to achieve the two­ thirds majority in parliament which it needed to implement constitutional changes. The elections were criticized by international monitors, particularly be­ cause the large number of Croatian Serbs who had left the country were not allowed to vote, while large numbers of ethnic Croats abroad were. In October Croatia acceded to the (First) Optional Protocol to the Interna­ tional Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Second Optional Protocol, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. In November the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued indictments against three Yugoslav Army officers. It charged them with grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other crimes relating to the beat­ ing and killing of 261 people taken from the Vukovar hospital in 1 99 1 . I n May, 1 ,494 people, mainly male Serbs, were detained by Croatian police after the military action in western Slavo­ nia. Almost all men of military age (and some others) who remained in the area were detained. Most were quickly re­ leased, but some were held for investiga­ tion on charges which included war crimes and participation in armed rebel­ lion. From August onwards, around 900 men and a small number of women, mainly Serbs, were detained after the Kra­ jina region was taken. Some were quickly released. In December the authorities ann ounced that 455 of the detained Serbs had been pardoned, although hundreds re­ mained in detention. Criminal proceed-

ings against those remaining in detention led to concerns about lack of fair trial. For example, defence lawyers complained of restrictions on access to their clients and many individuals were detained for long periods before defence lawyers were appointed. There were reports of ill-treatment in detention. Most of the victims were Ser­ bian men who were beaten by police after being detained during the western Slavo­ nia or Krajina military operations. There were also scores of reports of torture and ill-treatment of the remaining Serbian population by Croatian forces in the Kra­ jina region from August onwards. Most of the victims were elderly people. For ex­ ample, in August in the village of Gruboronice, a 68-year-old man was re­ portedly taken out of his house by soldiers who threatened him with a gun, beat him and stripped him naked while they looted his house. In August Croatian military and civil­ ian police in the town of Sisak stood by for some time while a group of around 1 5 ,000 fleeing Croatian Serbs, who were being escorted to the Serbian border by Croatian police, were attacked in their ve­ hicles by Croatians who threw objects at them or attacked them with sticks. Many of the Serbs were injured and one woman died as a result. The police reportedly only took action after the arrival of UN personnel. There were a number of reports of rape and ill-treatment by soldiers in the course of illegal evictions from apartments for­ merly owned by the Yugoslav National Army. For example, in July a group of Croatian soldiers broke into an apartment in Zagreb and allegedly raped one of the occupants and reportedly beat and at­ tempted to rape another. Military police officers entered the apartment during the incident but apparendy took no action. Criminal investigations were opened, but by the end of the year no one had been charged in connection with the assault or rape. Many Croatian Serbs were unac­ counted for after the military operations in May and August. Although the exact cir­ cumstances in which the majority went missing were unclear, there were indica­ tions that some had "disappeared". For example, Nenad Dujkovic and Dragan Mirkovic, both reportedly civilians, were

1 29

CROATIA

1 30

taken from an apartment in Knin by Croat­ ian soldiers in August. No information about their whereabouts or fate had been released by the authorities by the end of the year. Some bodies of those who went miss­ ing or " disappeared" in 1 991 were identi­ fied after mass graves in areas previously controlled by Serbs were exhumed by the Croatian authorities. Scores of Serbs. many of them elderly. were extrajudicially executed in the Kra­ jina region. For example. at least five people were killed in the village of Gru­ bori in August. apparently by Croatian Special Police. An 80-year-old man was shot in the head at close range in his house. A 65-year-old man had his throat cut and another man and a woman were shot in the head at close range in a field. Buildings were also set on fire and the re­ mains of a 90-year-old woman were found in the ruins of her partially burned house. The Croatian authorities claimed that the victims had been involved in an armed clash or had been killed in cross-fire. al­ though the findings of UN personnel con­ tradicted this. In addition to the testimony of witnesses and other evidence. interna­ tional observers reported at least 182 deaths during and after the operation in the Krajina region. In many of these cases there were strong indications that the vic­ tims had been unlawfully killed. such as gunshot wounds to the head or back. The victims were predominantly elderly people and few were dressed in military uniforms. Many of the human rights abuses per­ petrated by Croatian forces appeared to be aimed at causing the population to flee or to discourage return. For example. during the first two days of the August offensive. Croatian artillery deliberately targeted civilians in residential areas of the town of Knin. Artillery shells killed at least 20 people. possibly many more. including women and children. Thousands of refugees. including some who may not have been citizens of Bosnia­ Herzegovina. were forcibly returned to Bosnia-Herzegovina without any individ­ ual determination of whether they would be at risk of human rights violations there. Although many of the refugees who arrived in Croatia from Bosnian Serb­ controlled areas were accepted into Cro­ atia. restrictions were placed upon the

entry of Muslims in August. From Sep­ tember newly arriving refugees were immediately returned to other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than 1 3 .000 buildings belonging to Croatian Serbs were wholly or partially destroyed in the Krajina region in August and September. many of them by being set on fire. Most of them were believed to have been deliberately destroyed. with the involvement of Croatian forces. in order to discourage the return of Serbs who had previously fled. There were reports of human rights ab­ uses. including arbitrary detention. torture and ill-treatment. perpetrated by rebel Croatian Serb forces in the self-proclaimed "RepubJika Srpska Krajina " (RSK) . "Repub­ lic of Serbian Krajina". For example. in March Mirko Buzuk. an aid worker who was a British citizen of Bosnian-Croat ori­ gin. was arbitrarily detained by RSK sol­ diers near DrnB!. He was subjected to torture. including repeated beatings and electric shocks to the hands. feet and geni­ tals. His interrogators attempted to force him to confess to "spying". In May. in re­ taliation for the Croatian Army offensive. RSK forces launched rockets against the centre of Zagreb which killed six civilians and injured 1 76 others. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yu­ goslavia issued an indictment against the leader of the RSK de facto authorities. Milan Martic. after he publicly admitted ordering the attack. Amnesty International repeatedly ap­ pealed to the Croatian authorities to take action to protect human rights. From Au­ gust. Amnesty International called upon the Croatian authorities to protect the re­ maining Serbs in the Krajina region. to ini­ tiate thorough. independent and impartial investigations into reported human rights violations. and to ensure that suspected perpetrators were brought to justice. Am­ nesty International repeatedly appealed to the authorities to take action to end the forcible return of refugees and potential asylum-seekers to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The organization also called for investiga­ tions into incidents of torture and ill-treat­ ment by soldiers in the course of illegal evictions. It appealed for measures to pre­ vent human rights violations by soldiers in other similar incidents. In September it called for an investigation into the "disap­ pearance " of two Serbs in Knin in August.

CROATIA/CUBA

From October it renewed calls upon the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia to take action to resolve the fate of individuals who had "disappeared" in Croatia between 1 991 and 1 993.

CUBA

�� \ . ':

· · ·

.

Scores of political dissidents and mem­ bers of unofficial organizations were ar­ bitrarily detained for short periods and subjected to frequent harassment. A few were tried and imprisoned. Some 600 prisoners of conscience and several hun­ dred other political prisoners arrested in previous years remained in prison. Trials in political and death penalty cases fell far short of international fair trial stand­ ards. T here were frequent reports of ill-treatment in prisons. At least five un­ armed civilians were shot dead by law enforcement officials in disputed circum­ stances. Two men were executed and at least three death.

others

were

sentenced

to

The government of President Fidel Cas­ tro continued to resist international pres­ sure to implement political reforms. In October the us Congress passed legislation to further tighten the trade embargo on Cuba in place since 1 962. In November the UN General Assembly again over­ whelmingly condemned the us embargo. The Cuban authorities continued to argue that the us Government's hostile stance to­ wards Cuba obliged them to take strong measures against those inside the country Whom they perceived to be supporting us policy. These included independent journalists and human rights monitors Who transmitted unofficial reports to the foreign news media and others outside the Country. Independent human rights mon­ itoring remained severely limited. Mem­ bers of unofficial political, human rights

and lawyers groups, journalists and trade unionists were subjected to frequent short­ term detention and intimidation by the authorities. In October around 95 such groups came together to form the Concilio Cubano, Cuban Council. Following discussions in Paris between President Castro and Danielle Mitterrand, a delegation from four international non­ governmental human rights organizations visited Cuba in April to examine the situ­ ation of prisoners of conscience on a list supplied by Amnesty International. The delegation interviewed 24 of the prisoners on the list and had talks with government officials, including President Castro. Four of the prisoners interviewed were released shortly afterwards. The government continued to deny access to the UN Special Rapporteur on Cuba. In May Cuba ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. A change was detected in the way the authorities dealt with peaceful dissent. Previously, members of unofficial groups were generally detained for months before being brought to trial, usually on a charge of "enemy propaganda". From mid-1994 onwards, they tended to be kept under close surveillance, detained frequently, but for short periods, and threatened with prosecution on charges such as "enemy propaganda" or "dangerousness" (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995) or, in some cases, common crimes, unless they gave up their activities or left the country. In some cases, although charges were brought, the per on con­ cerned was released to await trial but en­ couraged to leave the country. In May, 1 6 members o f the Partido Pro Derechos Hu­ manos en Cuba, Cuban Human Rights Party, were arrested in the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Villa Clara and Havana. All those detained were released within days, but 14 were charged with "enemy propa­ ganda" and one was charged with "illegal association". Four from Villa Clara were later tried and convicted but were sen­ tenced only to pay a fine. Dozens of people were briefly detained for questioning in the week before the first anniversary on 1 3 July of the sinking of a tugboat in which some 40 people died (see below). Among those detained by the au­ thorities, who apparently feared some

131

CUBA

1 32

kind of coordinated protest, was Rafael Solano, a journalist who had set up an in­ dependent press agency called Habana Press in May. He was detained and ac­ cused of writing " damaging articles about the system" for "subversive" radio stations and newspapers abroad. He was released with an official warning that if his activit­ ies continued, he would face a charge of "enemy propaganda". Several other journ­ alists were briefly detained around the same time and given similar warnings. In September and October journalists from Habana Press and another agency, the Bur6 de Periodistas Independientes de Cuba (BPIG) , Bureau of Independent Journ­ alists of Cuba, faced further harassment and threats of imprisonment. Both Rafael Solano and Yndamiro Restano Dfaz (see below), BPIG ' S founder, were questioned in September and their relatives were report­ edly warned that the state would not be responsible for any future violent action taken against them because of their activit­ ies. Over the following two weeks at least four journalists working with BPIG or Ha­ ban a Press were detained and threatened with a charge of " dangerousness". One of them, Olance Nogueras Roce, of BPIG, was arrested three times during October. When he was released for the third time on 31 October, he was forbidden to have contact with other independent journalists and told not to leave Cienfuegos, his home town. In November and December dozens of members of groups belonging to the Con­ cilio Cubano were taken into custody and threatened with imprisonment. They in­ cluded lawyer Leonel Morej6n Almagro, Executive Secretary of the alliance, who said that he had been told by a State Se­ curity official that the authorities would not permit the Concilio Cubano to exist and that, if necessary, they would arrest all its members. Upon his release, he was warned not to communicate with exile groups or the foreign news media or to meet other dissidents. There were also in­ dications of a deliberate campaign on the part of the authorities to discredit promin­ ent members of the Concilio Cubano and divide opposition groups. For example, they claimed to have evidence that Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz, a former prisoner of conscience and President of the Comisi6n Cuban a de Derechos

Humanos

y

de Reconci/iaci6n Naciona/,

Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, was receiving funds for political prisoners from a Miami-based exile group, a claim which he emphatically denied. He subsequently received several visits from people un­ known to him who insisted, sometimes in an intimidating manner, that he owed them money. Prisoner of conscience the Reverend Orson Vila Santoyo, a Pentecostal minister belonging to the Assembly of God Evan­ gelical Pentecostal Church, was arrested in May in Camagiiey and sentenced after a summary trial the same day to 23 months' imprisonment, later reduced on appeal to 18 months, for "disobedience" and hold­ ing " illegal meetings". The charges related to his refusal to close down a casa cuito (house church) which he had been operat­ ing in his home since 1 991 . The authorit­ ies had that month ordered the closure of 85 of the 1 01 house churches in Camagiiey province. While freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Cuban Constitution, as revised in 1 992, religious activities, par­ ticularly those relating to freedom of ex­ pression and assembly and proselytism, are tightly restricted by law. Reports were received in September from Nueva Gerona that Marcelo Rides Bofill and Amado Utria Fermindez had been sentenced to three years' imprison­ ment for "continuous enemy propaganda". They were believed to be prisoners of conscience. Some 600 long-term prisoners of con­ science remained in prison, the majority accused of "enemy propaganda". Several hundred other political prisoners were also serving lengthy jail terms. Although few people were reportedly imprisoned in 1995 solely for trying to leave the country illegally, dozens of prisoners of con­ science were still believed to be serving prison sentences imposed for this offence in previous years. Scores of people, in­ cluding prisoners of conscience, were also serving sentences for "dangerousness". At least eight prisoners of conscience were released early, four of them in March: Amador Blanco Hernandez and Joel Mesa Morales, arrested in December 1992 and sentenced to eight and seven years' imprisonment respectively for "enemy propaganda"; Rodolfo GonzaIez Gonzalez, who finally succumbed to pres­ sure lo leave the country; and Marta Marfa

CUBA

Vega Cabrera, arrested in June 1 994 and charged with "enemy propaganda", who was provisionally released after her trial was postponed for the fourth time for lack of witnesses (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). Yndamiro Restano Dfaz (see Amnesty International Report 1 994), Se­ bastian Arcos Bergnes (see Amnesty Inter­ national Reports 1 993 and 1 994), Peruo Castillo Ferrer and AgusHn Figueredo Figueredo were released in May after the international human rights delegation vis­ ited them in prison. Both Sebastian Arcos Bergnes and AgusHn Figueredo Figueredo were suffering from cancer, for which they had received inadequate treatment while in detention. Detention and trial procedures in polit­ ical cases and cases involving a possible death sentence fel l far short of interna­ tional fair trial standards. Prisoner of con­ science Francisco Chaviano Gonzalez, who was arrested in May 1994 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995), was tried in April on charges of "revealing state se­ curity secrets", "revealing administrative secrets" and "falsifying public docu­ ments". He was sentenced to 1 5 years' imprisonment. The trial took place in a military court because one of the other defendants was a State Security official. Access to defence lawyers was severely limited, defence witnesses were prevented from giving evidence and the defence law­ yers were denied access to important doc­ umentation submitted as evidence by the prosecution. The charges related to so­ called "secret" documents which were handed to Francisco Chaviano minutes be­ fore his arrest by a person unknown to him and to allegations that he had pro­ vided false information to support appli­ cations for us visas. The real motive for his imprisonment was believed to be his peaceful activities in defence of human rights as the President of the unofficial

Consejo Nacional por los Derechos Civiles en Cuba, National Council for Civil Rights

in Cuba. A number of lawyers were subjected to harassment, including close surveillance and threats of imprisonment, apparently in reprisal for defending their clients in p olitical cases. At least two, Rene G6mez Manzano and Leonel Morej6n Almagro, who later became President and Executive Secretary respectively of the Concilio Cubano, were disbarred for spurious

administrative reasons. Both were also prominent members of an independent lawyers group, Corriente Agramontista, Agramontist Current, which had been denied legal recognition despite several requests. A meeting of the group was violently disrupted in April by unknown intruders and members reported being threatened on several occasions. There were reports that prisoners were frequently beaten by guards in several prisons including Combinado del Sur, Matanzas; Kilo 8, Camaguey; and Gua­ najay, Havana province. Political pris­ oner Raul Ayarde Herrera reportedly lost consciousness after being stripped, hand­ cuffed, beaten and dragged along a cor­ ridor for refusing to shout out pro­ government slogans while held in Com­ binado de Guantanamo Prison. At least five apparently unarmed civil­ ians died in circumstances suggesting ex­ cessive use of force by law enforcement officials, including security guards belong­ ing to the Cuerpo de Vigilancia y Protec­ ci6n (cVP), Vigilance and Protection Corps, who were reportedly under orders to shoot to kill anyone who entered state property to steal food. In June, three CVP members opened fire on Ram6n Acosta MarHnez in Havana; one reportedly shot him in the head, killing him instantly. It was not clear whether any action was taken against those responsible for such killings. Despite requests from lawyers and others, no further official investigation took place into the deaths of some 40 people as the result of the ramming of a tugboat in July 1 994 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Survivors alleged that those responsible were acting on orders from government officials. Two men were executed and at least three others were sentenced to death. Ar­ mando Grinan Bell and Mario Magdaleno Pedrozo Cosme were executed in early 1 995 after being convicted of the ritual killing of a young boy. Three men were sentenced to death for murder in Ciego de Avila in September. They included Juven­ cio Padr6n Duefias against whom there was said to be no evidence and whose ar­ rest was alleged to be in reprisal for the political activities of other members of his family. One of the defendants in the case was reportedly beaten in order to force him to make incriminating statements

1 33

CUBA/CYPRUS

1 34

about Juvencio Padr6n Dueiias, which he subsequently retracted. In May Amnesty International re­ quested permission to visit Cuba but received no reply. In August the organiza­ tion received an invitation to attend an in­ ternational conference on the protection of citizens' rights in Havana organized by the Attorney General's office. However, upon requesting visas, delegates were told they could only go as individuals and not as representatives of Amnesty International. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional appealed to the authorities to re­ lease prisoners of conscience and to allow independent groups of various kinds to carry out their legitimate activities with­ out interference. The organization wrote to President Castro in August welcoming Cuba's ratification of the UN Convention against Torture. In September a letter was sent to the Attorney General raising the or­ ganization's concerns regarding allega­ tions of torture and ill-treatment; reports of deaths of unarmed civilians following apparent excessive use of force by law en­ forcement officials; and several death pen­ alty cases. No replies had been received by the end of the year.

CYPRUS

At least

1 7 prisoners of conscience, all

Jehovah's Witnesses, were imprisoned for refusing on religious grounds to perform military service. A Greek Cypriot soldier who was detained by the T urkish Cyp­ riot authorities appeared to

be

a prisoner

of conscience. A fonner prisoner of con­ science in northern Cyprus alleged that he was ill-treated by the Cypriot police

after his release. A T urkish Cypriot man was allegedly abducted from the UN buf­ fer zone and tortured by Cypriot police officers.

The alternative "unarmed military ser­ vice" provided for conscientious objectors remained punitive in length (42 or 36 months as against 26 months of ordinary military service) and is suspended during periods of emergency or general mobiliza­ tions. At least 17 conscientious objectors were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from two to 15 months. Among them was losif Kourides, a Jehovah's Wit­ ness, who was sentenced in May to 1 5 months' imprisonment for refusing t o per­ form military service on religious grounds. This was his second term of imprisonment for the same offence. In November Giorgos Karotsakis, a Greek Cypriot soldier, was detained by the Turkish Cy.priot authorities in northern Cyprus. The exact circumstances of his detention were not known, but it appeared that his detention was probably related to the abduction of Erkan Egmez (see below) and that he was a prisoner of conscience held solely because of his ethnic origin. He was released in December. Salih Askerogul, a Turkish Cypriot con­ scientious objector to military service in northern Cyprus (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 994), was released in May after serving about one and a half years of his three-and-a-quarter-year prison sen­ tence. In August, three police officers bur!!t into his home in Limassol without arrest warrant or court order and told him he was under arrest. When Salih Askerogul refused to follow the officers to the police station before speaking to a law­ yer, they reportedly threw him against fur­ niture, kicked him and beat him on the head with their revolvers. He was released from detention after 24 hours. In October Erkan Egmez, a Turkish Cypriot, was allegedly abducted by Cypriot police officers near the village of AkmcIlar (Louroutzina) in the UN buffer zone. He was held in incommunicado de­ tention for a week during which he was allegedly tortured. He was transferred to hospital where he was examined by a UN doctor who reportedly observed injuries consistent with torture. Two and a half weeks after his arrest Erkan Egmez was seen by his own doctor who reported that

CYPRUS/CZECH REPUBLIC

"a number of healed wounds could be ob­ served on various parts of his body made by sharp instruments and heavy beating". On 20 October Erkan Egmez was taken to court and charged with 1 1 offences. in­ cluding assaulting police officers. How­ ever. all the charges were dropped and he was released in December. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional called on the authorities to release imprisoned conscientious objectors to mil­ itary service and to introduce an alternat­ ive civilian service of non-punitive length. with no restrictions on the right of con­ scientious objectors to apply for such ser­ authorities November the In vice. informed Amnesty International that as a res ult of a change in policy. conscientious objectors would in future serve only one term of imprisonment for their refusal to p erform military service. In September Amnesty International urged the authorities to carry out a thor­ ough and impartial investigation into the alleged ill-treatment of Salih Askerogul. In Octo ber Amnesty International called on the authorities to initiate a thorough and impartial investigation into the alleged torture of Erkan Egmez. The authorities re­ spo nded in November stating that Erkan Egmez had sustained injuries to his face and other parts of his body when he fell while trying to escape arrest. In November Amnesty International expressed concern to the Turkish Cypriot authorities about the detention of Giorgos Karotsakis and asked to be informed of his whereabouts and legal situation. No reply had been re­ ceived by the end of the year.

. CZECH REPUBLIC Two conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned; both were pris­ oners of conscience. One person was con­ victed under a law that could be used to imprison prisoners of conscience. One prisoner died in custody from injuries in­ flicted by prison officers.

In March President Vaclav Havel criti­ cized the general lack of concern for human rights. particularly regarding the Roma minority. and called for an Om­ budsman to monitor the situation. How­ ever. such an institution had not been e tab lished by the end of the year.

In September the Constitutional Court ruled it unconstitutional to convict a per­ son more than once under Article 269 of the Criminal Code for not performing mil­ itary service.

Two conscientious objectors. Martin Novak and Martin Duda. were imprisoned from March to September and June to Oc­ tober respectively for failing to commence military service. Both had conscientious objections to military service on religious grounds. They were refused civilian ser­ vice because they had not submitted their declarations within the prescribed period. They were released following the decision by the Constitutional Court. In March Zdenllk Sp.:HovskY was charged with insulting and defaming the president and sentenced by Kromllffz County Court to four months' imprison­ ment. suspended for one year. for call­ ing the president "a traitor and a false prophet" in a newspaper article. One prisoner. Franti�ek Kabanek. died in April at Hornf Slavkov prison as a res­ ult of injuries inflicted by prison officers in charge of him. Four prison officers were charged later that month with abuse of power and causing bodily harm. However. no one was charged in con­ nection with the death of Martin Cervenak. a Rom who was shot by a police officer while in detention in Hor§ovsky Tyn in June 1 994. In June a report by the Plzeil Public Prosecutor established that a scuffle had broken out during his inter­ rogation. and that an "incidental shot had been fired which hit him in the head point blank". The same report revealed that Ministry of Interior instructions allowed police officers to use guns without the safety catch on and to have a bullet in the

1 35

CZECH REPUBLIC/DENMARK

1 36

chamber while conducting searches of Roma houses. Amnesty International questioned the Ministry of Justice about the investigation into the death of Martin C':ervenak and called for the suspension of the discrim­ inatory instructions authorizing officers to inspect Roma homes with their guns ready to fire. The organization also expressed concern to President Havel about the case of Zden�k Spalovsky and the law on the defamation of the president which ap­ peared to restrict the right to freedom of expression. Amnesty International also urged the government to ensure that the law on civilian service did not restrict the right of conscientious objectors to apply for such service at any time.

DENMARK

There were further significant develop­ ments relating to alleged misconduct by police in previous years.

In June parliament passed a bill creat­ ing a new system for investigating com­ plaints of police misconduct. The bill, effective from 1 996, makes regional state prosecutors responsible for handling com­ plaints against the police; these prosecu­ tors can call on the national police to assist in investigations. Regional Police Complaints Boards will be informed of complaints and receive investigation ma­ terials and findings; they can make recom­ mendations as to how a complaint should be decided and can appeal against pro­ secutors' decisions to the Director of Pub­ lic Prosecutions (DPP). The UN Committee against Torture, which examined Denmark's second peri­ odic report, recommended that Denmark

give high priority to considering incorpo­ ration of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment into domestic law; take strong measures to bring an end to ill-treatment; ensure that allegations of ill-treatment are speedily and properly in­ vestigated; and prosecute alleged perpet­ rators of ill-treatment. There was continued controversy over the proceedings and investigations relat­ ing to the violent demonstration in Narre­ bro, Copenhagen, in May 1 993. During the demonstration several police officers were injured and at least 1 1 people, most of whom were reportedly bystanders, were wounded by shots fired in disputed cir­ cumstances by police in riot gear and plain clothes (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). In February the High Court heard the appeals of 27 civilians charged in connec­ tion with the demonstration and acquitted nine. The sentences of most of those who had been convicted in the lower court were significantly increased on appeal. Nine others, who had been arrested some distance away from the centre of the viol­ ence about an hour after it had been quelled, were convicted of participation in a grave disturbance of public peace and order. Their convictions were apparently based on their presence in the area at the time. These nine, who had been acquitted by the lower court, were sentenced to 20 days' imprisonment by the High Court. In March the conviction of a police officer, who had hit a demonstrator with a trun­ cheon as the demonstrator was being dragged along the street by two other officers, was overturned. In May former DPP Asbjarn Jensen, who had been appointed as a Supreme Court Justice in January, published the report of his supplementary investigation into the events of May 1993. This investigation had been launched after questions had been raised about the possibility that an order to shoot at demonstrators' legs had been given. Asbjarn Jensen concluded that it could not be proved who had shouted "shoot at their legs", but reported he be­ lieved it likely that these shouts came from demonstrators. This conclusion, as well as the investigation methods used, were widely criticized and were taken up by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. In No­ vember the Parliamentary Ombudsman

DENMARK

published preliminary findings about the investigations which included criticisms that the investigations were not independ­ ent or exhaustive, and that the criteria for some judgments made by Asbj0rn Jensen in his two reports were not clear or consis­ tent. The Minister of Justice subsequently announced his intention to initiate a fur­ ther investigation into the events of May 1 993, most likely to be conducted by three independent legal experts; the Ministry of JUstice, however, disagreed with many of the Ombudsman's preliminary findings. In November the Minister of Justice or­ dered charges, which had been brought by the acting DPP against three police officers whose bullets had wounded six people, to be dropped. This decision was announced after the publication of two other reports by the Parliamentary Ombudsman about issues relating to the aftermath of the events of May 1 993. In his third report, the Ombudsman criticized the multiple roles played by the office of the DPP in bringing these charges and the fact that the invest­ igations had focused on the conduct of only some, but not all , relevant police officers. Other initiatives taken in the aftermath of the events of May 1 993 included the re­ vis ion of the police regulation on the use of firearms; new practices for the use of plainclothes police officers; and a decision not to equip police officers with water cannons or rubber bullets. A prosecutor's report concerning in­ court investigations into allegations of po­ lice ill-treatment of a woman detained in connection with a minor non-criminal case in 1993 was published in March. The prosecutor found that no satisfactory ex­ planation had been given for her 14-hour detention- and criticized the police for not giving her any food and for confiscating her glasses. The prosecutor recommended that she be paid compensation but did not criticize the fact that she had been refused access to a doctor, despite repeated re­ quests. The prosecutor also found that it could not be proved that the woman had been punched in the face or thrown into a � ell. Following this investigation, the Min­ Istry of Justice stated that it was revising gUidelines on detainees' rights to medical treatment; to inform their families of their arrest; to be given access to a lawyer; and to be given food and drink and access to to ilets.

In June the Ministry of Justice paid Babading Fatty, a Gambian national who had travelled to Denmark as a tourist, ini­ tial compensation for mental and physical injuries suffered as a result of his deten­ tion and ill-treatment in 1 990 (see previ­ ous Amnesty International Reports). In November the High Court consid­ ered the civil case brought on behalf of Benjamin Schou, who sustained perma­ nent severe brain damage after suffering a heart attack in police custody on 1 January 1 992 (see previous Amnesty International Reports). The court found that Benjamin Schou's injuries could have been avoided or limited if the arresting officers had paid attention to his condition and had called an ambulance, and ordered the Copen­ hagen police to pay compensation. Also in November, another prosecutor's report gave details of in-court investiga­ tions into allegations of ill-treatment of 1 1 people arrested during a 1 5-month police operation in Christiania, Copenhagen (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Eight of these cases had been cited by Amnesty International as illustrative examples of reports of police i l l-treatment during this intensive police operation. The prosecutor found grounds to criticize police conduct in seven of the 1 1 cases in­ vestigated. The prosecutor's report stated that in all 1 1 cases the detainees had been handcuffed and most had complained that the handcuffs were too tight. Seven de­ tainees had been restrained by police in some form of leg-lock. However, the pro­ secutor did not conclude that the alleged police i ll-treatment formed a pattern. Fol­ lowing the publication of the prosecutor's report, the Director of Copenhagen Police stated that she would apologize to the seven people whose treatment had been criticized by the prosecutor; clarify the re­ gulations on the use of handcuffs; and ex­ plore the availability of handcuffs which would cause less discomfort. In May Amnesty International deleg­ ates met the Minister of Justice. They wel­ comed the review of police self-defence methods and investigations into individ­ ual allegations of ill-treatment but ex­ pressed concern that, more than two years after the events in N0rrebro and despite the completion of a series of investiga­ tions, the exact circumstances in which police had fired shots and had wounded people had not been made public.

137

DOMINICAN REPUBLlC;£CUADOR

1 38

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

....

.



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.

One prisoner of conscience continued to

be

held. Several dozen prisoners, includ­

ing some who may have been detained for political reasons, were believed to be still imprisoned despite judicial orders for their release. There were reports of ill-treatment, both of prisoners and of Haitian workers. One person remained " disappeared". Eight people were killed during demonstrations, at least some in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extrajudically executed.

Following allegations of fraud during the 1994 presidential elections, President Joaqufn Balaguer agreed to serve an abbre­ viated two-year term with new elections scheduled for May 1 996. There were sev­ eral protests and strikes about economic issues during the year, some ending in clashes between the security forces and demonstrators. The police continued to refuse to com­ ply with three judicial decisions ordering the release of prisoner of conscience Luis Lizardo Cabrera, who was arrested in 1 989 for alleged involvement in a bombing (see Amnesty International Reports 1 990 to 1 995). The authorities also denied allega­ tions that he was ill-treated in 1 993. In January prisoners rioted in La Victo­ ria National Prison near the capital. Santo Domingo. demanding the release of over 100 prisoners whose freedom had been or­ dered by the courts. Following a visit to the prison. the District Attorney of Santo Domingo. Joaqufn Castillo. ordered the release of 30 prisoners. By the end of the year. it was not clear how many of the others. some of whom it was feared may have been detained for political motives. remained in detention. In April a govern­ ment report into conditions in the same

prison found chronic overcrowding. ill­ treatment of juvenile detainees. frequent beatings and denial of basic facilities. In September some 40 Haitians work­ ing on the state-run Monte Llano sugar­ cane plantation were reportedly rounded up. driven away in a cattle truck and beaten by security guards. Two of them suffered multiple fractures and had to be hospitalized. Those responsible were re­ portedly later arrested but by the end of the year none had been brought to trial. In December a group of alleged illegal immi­ grants from Haiti were reportedly detained for several days and beaten by soldiers in San Cristobal. Subsequently. a bus in which they were being transported back to Haiti crashed and five of them died, re­ portedly after having been abandoned by the authorities. The government continued to deny any involvement in the "disappearance" of Narciso Gonzalez (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995) and again failed to carry out an independent investigation into the case. Eight people were killed during demonstrations, some in circumstances suggesting that they may have been extra­ judicially executed. In June a 1 3-year-old boy was shot dead during a demonstration in Villa Altagracia by the Under-Secretary for Sport. Francisco de la Mota, who was subsequently charged with manslaughter. Four others were shot dead by soldiers in Santo Domingo in March and three in San Luis in September. It was not clear whether any action was taken against those responsible. Amnesty International continued to urge the immediate and unconditional re­ lease of Luis Lizardo Cabrera and to call for a thorough and independent investiga­ tion into the "disappearance" of Narciso Gonzalez.

ECUADOR Scores o f cases o f torture and ill-treat­ ment by members of the security forces were reported. One person allegedly died under torture. Members of the security forces were sentenced for their part in two past cases of human rights violations. The authorities failed to resolve numer­ ous outstanding human rights cases.

ECUADOR

In late January an armed conflict broke out between Ecuador and Peru over a long-standing border dispute (see Peru entry). As a result President Sixto Duran Ballen declared a national emergency and Scores of Peruvian civilians in Ecuador were detained by the security forces. By July the last of these prisoners had been released.



The State Prosecutor General informed Amnesty International that the Judicial Police remained under the overall control of the executive, and not the judiciary as initially conceived in 1 992 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 992 to 1 995). He claimed the government had thereby lost an opportunity to tackle persistent human rights abuses by the police. Proposals for a sweeping reform of the Constitution were debated by the National Congress. The draft Constitution made provisions for the protection of human rights, including the creation of an Om­ budsman. However, in November the re­ forms were rejected in a plebiscite. In separate incidents during November, three students were killed in Quito, the capital, by the police in circumstances which suggested the use of excessive force. Two of the victims died in the con­ text of public protests against rises in the cost of transport and college fees. Dozens of Peruvian civilians were reportedly tor­ tured or ill-treated by members of the Ecuadorian security forces in the context of the border conflict with Peru. For exam­ p le, three Peruvian merchants - Estanislao Farro Suarez, Adriano Rucda Ortfz, and Andres Rafael Sanchez Ortfz - who were arrested by members of the Ecuadorian army in January, alleged that they had had electric shocks applied to their fingertips dur ing interrogation. In February, two Pe-

ruvian journalists, Jose Marino Lanyi and Carlos Mauriola Martfnez, were punched and beaten with sticks by eight men in a street in Quito. Jose Marino Lanyi alleged that two of the assailants were members of the Ecuadorian military. A Peruvian vice­ consul, Jose Eduardo Gonzalez Mantilla, claimed that he was beaten, kicked and threatened with death by an Ecuadorian army patrol which stopped his car on the Pan-American H ighway in March. Criminal suspects continued to be tor­ tured and ill-treated, sometimes with fatal consequences. In February Vicente Muiioz Ruiz, a market stall-holder, was arrested and driven to a Judicial Police precinct in the city of Guayaquil. He was then taken by two policemen to a coastal inlet and submerged in the water with his hands tied behind his back. He died after failing to respond to resuscitation when he was lifted out of the water. Members of the po­ lice were detained pending the outcome of a judicial investigation. In August, four Colombian refugees liv­ ing in Quito - Ram6n Alirio Perez Vargas, Martha Cecilia Sanchez, Chesman Cafi6n Trujillo and Cesar Guillermo Dfaz Garcfa were detained for questioning in connec­ tion with a possible attack on the Presid­ ent of Colombia, Ernesto Samper, during his visit to Ecuador in September. All four, after having been released without charge, said they had been tortured in an Ecuadorian military establishment. In a written testimony Ram6n Perez stated that he was kicked, beaten, given electric shocks and forced to drink a mixture of water and quicklime. He also claimed that he had recognized a Colombian army of­ ficer and a member of a Colombian para­ military group among his Ecuadorian torturers. In June the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the prison sentences imposed on seven police officers implicated in the death in 1 988 of the brothers Carlos and Pedro Restrepo (see Amnesty International Reports 1 992 to 1 995). In December the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the sen­ tences of between two and eight years im­ posed on three marines implicated in the 1 985 "disappearance" and extrajudicial execution of teacher Consuelo Benavides (see previous Amnesty International Re­ ports). Other members of the security forces and government officials implicated in the Benavides case and awaiting trial

1 39

ECUADORjEGYPT

140

were expected to have proceedings against them shelved under a law allowing for cases to be closed 1 0 years after the com­ mission of the crime. The authorities failed to resolve numer­ ous outstanding cases of human rights abuse. For example, the Pichincha state prosecutor investigating 1 1 people ac­ cused of involvement in an armed attack on Ecuadorian forces patrolling the river Putumayo in 1 993 stated that "those re­ sponsible for the torture [of the accused] are members of the Ecuadorian army. " However, the prosecutor took no steps to bring those responsible for the torture to justice. By the end of the year seven of the 1 1 accused still awaited trial (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Other unre­ solved cases of reported human rights vi­ olations included "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions. Amnesty International called on the government to investigate reported cases of torture, including the death of Vicente Muftoz Ruiz. In February the organization asked President Duran Ballen to ensure that the security forces fully respected the human rights of Peruvians detained in the context of the conflict with Peru. The For­ eign Ministry responded that orders had been given for human rights to be re­ spected, but added that "isolated incidents had been carried out against some Peru­ vian citizens". In response, Amnesty Inter­ national requested information on these " isolated incidents" . The Foreign Ministry replied that no conclusive evidence had been found to substantiate allegations that the two Peruvian journalists and the vice­ consul had been attacked by members of the Ecuadorian security forces. The au­ thorities failed to reply to Amnesty Inter­ national's appeals for an investigation into allegations that the three Peruvian mer­ chants had been tortured. Amnesty International wrote in March to the authorities expressing concern that declarations made under torture by 1 1 suspects implicated i n the Putumayo case could be used by the prosecution as evid­ ence against them and asking the courts to adhere to international human rights standards prohibiting the use of such evidence. In July, four of the 1 1 suspects were absolved of all charges; the other seven were sent for trial. In September Amnesty International made public a letter to President Duran

Ballen expressing concern that those im­ plicated in the death of Consuelo Bena­ vides in 1985 could escape punishment should the Supreme Court of Justice close the case. The State Prosecutor General re­ sponded that he had written to the presid­ ent of the Supreme Court of Justice in May telling him that "If [the Benavides case] re­ mains unresolved or the punishment is not implemented . . . it would serve to jus­ tify torture and murder as none other than forms of official terrorism."

EGYPT

Dozens of members of professional associ­ ations, including doctors, were sentenced by the Supreme Military Court to up to five years' imprisonment; they were prisoners of conscience. Thousands of suspected members or sympathizers of banned Islamist groups, including poss­ ible prisoners of conscience, were held under state of emergency legislation. Some were held without charge or trial; others were serving sentences imposed after grossly unfair trials before military courts. T orture and ill -treatment of polit­ ical detainees was systematic; at least 26 detainees died in custody during the year.

At least 14 people were sentenced to

death and at least six people were execu­ ted. Armed opposition groups committed grave human rights abuses, including de­ liberate and arbitrary killings of civilians.

A state of emergency introduced in 1 98 1 (see previous Amnesty International Reports) remained in force. In May the People's Assembly (parliament) issued a draft law to amend the penal code, re­ ducing freedom of expression by greatly increasing the penalties for libel and slan­ der, and allowing journalists to be prose­ cuted for vaguely defined offences such as "publishing rumours" . The law had not been passed by the end of the year. Parlia­ mentary elections were held in November and December. At least 50 people were killed and over 800 injured during and

EGYPT

immediately after the elections. The ruling National Democratic Party won an over­ whelming majority. Opposition parties and local human rights groups claimed that the elections had not been free and fair and called for new elections under the supervision of international observers. Violent clashes continued between armed opposition groups and the security forces, especial ly in Upper Egypt. Bomb and firearm attacks were carried out by banned Islamist groups, particularly a1Gama 'a a1-Is1amiya (Islamic Group) and al-Gihad (Holy Struggle). The majority of victims were police and state security offi­ cers, but over 30 unarmed civilians were also killed. In June gunmen opened fire on Presid­ ent Hosni Mubarak's motorcade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was not injured. The Egyptian Government reportedly blamed the Sudanese Government for the assas­ sination attempt, worsening relations be­ tween the two countries and resulting in border skirmishes between the two armies in the disputed area of Halaib. Ethiopian investigators subsequently said the assail­ ants were all Egyptians and a1-Gama'a a1Islamiya claimed responsibility for the attack. Scores of prominent members of the Muslim Brothers, a formally banned but until recently tolerated Islamist organiza­ tion, were arrested during the year. They included at least 1 1 doctors arrested in a clamp-down on professional associations in which the Muslim Brothers held lead­ ing positions. Many were prisoners of con­ science. They were charged with plotting aga inst the government with a view to set­ ting up an Islamic state. However, the real reason for their arrest appeared to be that they had 'begun to campaign for the No­ vember parliamentary elections. They were tried before the Supreme Military Court in Cairo, following a special decree i Ssued by President Mubarak. Defence lawyers withdrew from the trial because they felt the defendants had not commit­ ted any criminal offence, and because the court refused to allow them to cross­ examine the only prosecution witness. The military court appointed new defence awyers, all of whom were former military Judges or personnel and with whom the efendants refused to cooperate. The orig­ mal lawyers then petitioned the Sup­ reme Constitutional Court over President

� ?

Mubarak's decision to refer civilian cases to military courts under Article 6(2) of the Code of Military Justice. In November, 54 were sentenced to up to five years' impris­ onment with hard labour. Among them were Dr 'Issam al-'Iryan, Deputy Secretary General of the Egyptian Medical Syndi­ cate, Egypt's national medical association; Dr Anwar Shahhata, Treasurer of the Syn­ dicate; Dr Ibrahim al-Za'farani; and Dr 'Abd al-Mun'im Abu al-Futuh, Deputy Secretary General of the Arab Medical Association. During March at least 45 people were arrested at 'Ain Shams University and at the International Trade Fair in Cairo, re­ portedly after a peaceful protest against Israel's participation in the Fair. Those arrested included Ahmad 'Abd al-Hadi, a journalist with the newspaper a1-Ahrar; Sayyid al-Toukhy, a lawyer and leading member of the Arab Democratic Nasserite Party; Mohsin Hashim, a leading member of the Labour Party; and at least nine stu­ dents. All were released without charge within weeks. At least 1 ,000 people were arrested during the parliamentary elections. Most were members or supporters of the Mus­ lim Brothers, but members of other op­ position parties were also arrested by police apparently to prevent them moni­ toring the counting of the votes. Also in November, at least 62 students at Cairo and Alexandria universities were arrested and briefly detained during de­ monstrations against a ban preventing stu­ dent members of the Muslim Brothers from participating in university elections. 'Adel Hussein, a journalist and Sec­ retary General of the Labour Party (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), was released in January without charge. Thousands of suspected members or sympathizers of banned Islamist groups, including possible prisoners of con­ science, were held in administrative de­ tention without charge or trial during the year under emergency regulations. At least 25 lawyers arrested in previous years remained in detention. Some had been acquitted by military and state secur­ ity courts but continued to be detained despite repeated release orders issued by the courts. Others were held without charge or trial. They included Sha'ban 'Ali Ibrahim, who had been administratively detained without charge or trial since his

141

EGYPT

142

arrest in 1 99 1 , despite around 20 release orders from the courts. He was reportedly tortured at the headquarters of the State Security Investigations Department (SSI) in Lazoghly Square, Cairo. He was trans­ ferred in the course of 1 995 to al-Wadi al-Gadid Prison. Scores of people tried and acquitted by military courts in 1 993 and 1 994 were still held under repeated detention orders. Most were held incommunicado in the High Security Prison in Tora and then transferred to ai-Wadi al-Gadid Prison. Among them was 'Abd al-Mun'im Gamal ai-Din 'Abd al-Mun'im, a freelance journ­ alist arrested in February 1 993, who had been acquitted of charges of membership of a banned Islamist group by a military court in October 1 993 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Reports 1 994 and 1 995). He re­ mained held in ai-Wadi al-Gadid Prison at the end of the year. Dozens of civilians charged with mem­ bership of other banned Islamist groups, including al-Gama'a al-Islamiya and al­ Gihad, had their cases referred to military courts by order of President Mubarak. The procedures of these courts fell far short of international fair trial standards. Defend­ ants were denied adequate time to prepare their defence and had no right of appeal to a higher court. Before trial, defendants were routinely held in prolonged incom­ municado detention and many were re­ portedly tortured to extract confessions. Torture of political prisoners continued to be systematic, particularly in police sta­ tions, the SSI headquarters in Cairo and SSI branches elsewhere in the country. Com­ monly cited torture methods included beatings, electric shocks, suspension by the wrists or ankles, burning with ciga­ rettes and psychological torture including death threats. Hundreds of complaints of torture were lodged with the Public Pro­ secutor's Office by lawyers, the Bar Asso­ ciation and human rights groups, but received little or no response. No informa­ tion was made available regarding any in­ vestigations into the allegations. At least 26 detainees, most of whom were suspected members or supporters of banned Islamist groups, died in detention centres. The majority of the victims died in ai-Wadi al-Gadid Prison, which was opened in February in the desert south of Cairo. According to reports, torture and ill-treatment, combined with poor hy-

giene, overcrowded cells and poor diet, contributed to or caused most of the deaths. Almost all those who died had been held in prolonged administrative de­ tention. For example, Mostafa Mohammad Moharnm ad al-'Iraqi, a lawyer who was ar­ rested in late 1 992, had been acquitted by a military court in 1 993. Instead of being released he was issued with a new deten­ tion order and held in the High Security Prison in Tora until his transfer to ai-Wadi al-Gadid Prison in February. He died in June. His family reportedly received no medical or autopsy report. The frequent use of the death penalty continued. At least 14 people were sen­ tenced to death, including one in absentia; four of them were civilians sentenced by military courts after unfair trials and six others were sentenced by state security courts. At least four people were sen­ tenced to death for murder and drug smuggling. At least six people were execu­ ted. In March, two men - Mohammad Nagi Moharnm ad Mostafa and Mohammad Khadhir Abu al-Farag al-Mahallawi - were executed. They had been sentenced to death in January by a military court. They were among 16 alleged members of al­ Gama'a al-Islamiya accused of attempting to kill the prominent writer Naguib Mah­ fouz. In August, two men sentenced to death in May by the Supreme Military Court in Cairo were executed. They were among 42 alleged members of Talai' al­ Fatah (Vanguards of the Conquest), a splinter group of al-Gihad, accused of murder and sabotage. All death sentences passed by military courts are subject only to review by the Military Appeals' Bureau, a body composed of judges which is not a court, and ratification by the President. All death sentences were confirmed by the Bureau and the President. Armed opposition groups committed gross human rights abuses, including de­ liberate and arbitrary killings of civilians. Between January and early September at least 3 1 unarmed civilians were killed in Upper Egypt by gunmen believed to be members of al-Gama'a al-lslamiya. For ex­ ample, on 1 7 August, two farmers - 'Ala' Hassan 'Abdallah and Baha' Moh arnmad ' Abbas - were shot dead in the village of Beni 'Obeid near Abu Qerqas in Minya Governorate. On the same day another farmer was murdered in his farm in Mallawy, also in Minya Governorate. On

EGYPT/EL SALVADOR

29 August 'Abd al-Nour Qatis Abu Sa'ada, a Christian pharmacist, and ' Issam Georgy Shahata, a doctor, were shot dead in Minya Governorate. The armed group al-Gihad issued a death threat against a prominent writer, Dr Nasr Abu-Zeid, in June, after a Cairo court of appeal ruled that he had insulted the Is­ lamic faith through his writings and that he and his wife should divorce because, as a Muslim, she should not remain married to an apostate. Dr Nasr Abu-Zeid's appeal aga inst the ruling was still pending at the end of the year. Amnesty International appealed repeat­ edly to the authorities to release all pris­ oners of conscience and criticized the long-term detention without charge or trial of political detainees. The organiza­ tio n called for an end to trials of civilians before military courts and for all political prisoners to be given fair trials. It called for the immediate implementation of safe­ guards to stop torture and ill-treatment of detainees, and for urgent, thorough and impartial investigations into all allegations of torture and deaths in custody. Amnesty International called for all death sentences to be commuted and for the abolition of the death penalty. In May and July Amnesty International delegates visited Egypt and met represent­ atives of human rights groups and other non-governmental organizations and pro­ feSSional associations. In November Am­ nesty International observers attended sessions of the trial of alleged members of the Muslim Brothers before the Supreme Mili tary Court. In October Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Egypt: Deaths in custody, w hich highlighted the increased number of pol itical detainees who died in custody i n 1995. In response to the report, the authorities questioned the veracity of Am­ nesty International 's information, specifi­ cally the names of detainees cited in the report who had died in al-Wadi al-Gadid Prison. The response gave some informa­ tio n about 14 detainees who died in de­ tention centres but failed to supply detailed information about the circum­ stances of death. There were no details of the medical care available, although the :esponse stated that all Egyptian prisons, Including aI-Wadi al-Gadid Prison, had adequate medical facilities, and that the Prisons Law guaranteed the rights of pris-

oners and detainees. In December Am­ nesty International called on the Egyptian Government to make public the findings of its investigation into the "disappear­ ance" of Mansur Kikhiya, a prominent Libyan human rights activist who was ab­ ducted in Cairo in December 1 993 (see

Amnesty International Report 1 994,

Libya

entry). Amnesty International strongly con­ demned the deliberate and arbitrary kill­ ings of civilians by armed opposition groups and called on them to abide by minimum standards of international hu­ manitarian law and to put an end to such killings. It also called on armed opposi­ tion groups to desist from making death threats.

EL SALVADOR .. ":

· · ·

.

Members of non-governmental organiza­ tions were subjected to death threats and harassment. T here was an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the death penalty.

El Salvador ratified the (First) Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in June. The work of observers from the UN Ob­ server Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL), whose task was to monitor compliance with the 1 992 peace accords, continued but was scaled down during the year. The Mission's mandate expired on 30 April; it was replaced by the Misi6n de las Na­ ciones Unidas para El Salvador (MINUSAL), UN Mission for El Salvador. The mandate of MlNUSAL, which had only a small num­ ber of officials, was due to end on 31 Octo­ ber but was then extended to May 1 996. There was no further progress in im­ plementing the recommendations of the Comisi6n de la Verdad, Truth Commis­ sion, which examined human rights ab­ uses committed during the armed conflict from 1980 to 1992 (see previous Amnesty

143

EL SALVADOR/EQUATORIAL GUINEA

144

International Reports) . Key areas not im­

plemented included further judicial re­ forms, reparation for victims of past human rights violations and accession to a number of human rights instruments. Members of non-governmental organ­ izations were subjected to harassment and threats. The director and staff of the Fun­

daci6n Nacional de Prevenci6n, Edu­ caci6n y Control del Paciente VIH-SlDA

(FUNDASIDA) , National Foundation for HlV­ AIDS Prevention, Education and Control , an AIDS organization in the capital, San Salvador, received a series of death threats. In June, three armed men raided the FUNDASIDA offices, threatened to kill its director, Or Francisco Carillo, and took away equipment and confidential files. The raid was followed by numerous threatening telephone calls. In July members of Entre Amigos, Among Friends, a gay men's group, re­ ceived telephone death threats from an anti-homosexual "death squad" calling it­ self La Sombra Negra, the Black Shadow. In April members of the ruling Alianza RepubJicGna Nacionalista (ARENA). Nation­ alist Republican Alliance, decided to pro­ pose a constitutional reform to reinstate the death penalty for offences including murder, kidnapping and rape. The death penalty was abolished in El Salvador in 1 983 for all but exceptional crimes. Under the 1 983 Constitution it can only be im­ posed for certain offences in the Military Code, such as treason, committed during times of international war. However, the proposal had not been put to the Legislat­ ive Assembly by the end of the year. Amnesty International appealed to the government of President Armando Calder6n Sol to take measures to ensure the safety of members of non-governmen­ tal organizations subjected to intimida­ tion, to make clear its condemnation of such threats and to bring those respons­ ible to justice. Amnesty International also asked the authorities what steps had been taken to implement the recommendations on the eradication of "death squads" is­ sued by the uN-sponsored Grupo Conjunto

para la Investigaci6n de Grupos Armados IJegales con Motivaci6n Polftica, Joint Group for the Investigation of Politically Motivated Illegal Armed Groups (see Am ­

nesty International Report 1 995).

Amnesty International expressed deep concern about the proposed constitutional

reform to reintroduce the death penalty. It pointed out that if it were approved, El Salvador would be infringing its inter­ national commitments as a party to the American Convention on Human Rights which states that "The death penalty shall not be reestablished in states that have abolished it".

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Hundreds of opposition activists were de­ tained for days or weeks, many of whom were prisoners of conscience. T here were two political trials, both manifestly un­ fair, but those convicted were released under a presidential amnesty. Torture of political detainees was widespread. Two people were alleged to have been extra­ judicially executed.

Negotiations between the government and the opposition, which had been bro­ ken off when the government reneged on promises to involve the opposition in a census (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), resumed in January. The govern­ ment agreed to hold municipal elections and to compile an electoral register with the participation of opposition parties. The electoral census was held between March and mid-April, with members of opposition parties acting as observers, al­ though in some areas they faced obstruc­ tion from local officials. In early 1 995 both the Constitution and the electoral law were altered , without the promised consultation with the opposi­ tion. The new laws increased the powers of the President and failed to relax the re­ strictions on opposition parties.

--

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

The UN Special Rapporteur on Equator­ ial Guinea visited the country in late May 1 995. He reported that he had observed slight improvements and had been given commitments by the government that it would improve respect for human rights. However. two weeks later there were re­ newed political arrests. Municipal elections were held in Sep­ tember. In some areas opposition parties were not allowed to hold rallies. while in others their meetings were broken up by government supporters. Opposition part ies contested the results. but the ruling Partido Democr6tico de Guinea Ecuatorial. Equatorial Guinea Demo­ crat ic Party. of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. claimed to have won a majority. Hundreds of opposition activists were arrested during the year. especially in re­ mote areas of the continental region of Rfo Muni. Most were released without charge after a few days or weeks; many of them were prisoners of conscience. Scores of peaceful political activists delegated to ob­ serve the electoral census from March to mid-April 1 995 were arbitrarily arrested. Many were beaten and about 1 2 were de­ tai ned for over a week. Among them were B altasar Nsogo Ntumutu. a member of the O Pposition Convergencia para la Demo­ cracia Social (ePDs). Convergence for So­ cial Democracy. and Pascual Nsomo Mba. Elfas Nso Ondo and Avelino Mocache. members of the opposition Partido del Progreso de Guinea Ecuatorial (PPGE). Equatorial Guinean Progress Party. In May a number of people were arres­ te d in Malabo. the capital on Bioko Island. for possessing or distributing the ePDS �ewspaper La Verdad (The Truth). They Included Rafael Obiang. a leader of the .

Convergencia Social Dem6crata y Popular.

Social Democratic and Popular Conver­ gence; Celestino Bacale and Andres Es o no. both ePDS members; and several stu dents. Rafael Obiang. Celestino Bacale and Andres Esono were held for five days and released only after paying large fines. The April/May issue of La Verdad con­ tained criticisms of the amendments to the Constitution and electoral law governing presidential elections. Juan Nzo. the ePDS Vice-Secretary Gen­ eral. had papers confiscated on his return from Spain in May. When he went to the police station to recover them. he was ar­ rest ed and held for two days. Two weeks

later his wife. Elvira Lawson Otavenga. was arrested when police went to their home to arrest Juan Nzo. The only ap­ parent reason for her arrest was to put pressure on her husband to give himself up to the police. She was forced to leave her 14-month-old baby daughter behind in the house unattended. Elvira Lawson Otavenga was held for two days before being released. In the second half of May about 20 members of the Bubi ethnic group were briefly detained in Riaba. southeast of Malabo. They were among hundreds of people who had marched to Riaba from Bah6 Grande to demand the release of a man who had been arrested the previous day for criticizing the authorities. Weja Chicampo (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995), a leader of the Bubi party. the

Movimiento para la Auto-determinaci6n de la Isla de Bioko (MAIB). Movement for

the Self-determination of Bioko Island. was also detained in May. In June. two other MAIB members. Aurelio Losoa and Enrique Boneke. both over 70 years old. were also detained. The three were re­ leased in late August. There were further arrests immediately after the municipal elections in Septem­ ber. At least 60 people were arrested in Malabo. including Eustaquio Alogo Ed­ jang. who was arrested at his home and accused of holding an unauthorized meet­ ing. and Antonio Marfa Nsue Osa of the

Acci6n Popular de Guinea Ecuatorial.

Equatorial Guinea Popular Action Party. Scores of people were arrested in Rfo Muni at around this time. but few details were available. There were two political trials; both were manifestly unfair. In February sev­ eral leading members of the PPGE and dozens of soldiers were arrested in Rfo Muni and Malabo and accused of plotting to overthrow the government. The defend­ ants included Severo Moto. President of the PPGE; Agapito Ona. Secretary General of the PPGE; Pedro Esono Masie. a former lieutenant colonel; and Leoncio Mika. dir­ ector general of the military academy in Bata and a relative of the Vice-President of the PPGE. Their trial was held in April with very little warning and lasted seven hours. The court used summary procedures which severely restricted the rights of the defence. All those questioned. except Severo Moto. stated in court that they had

145

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

146

been tortured (see below). The only evid­ ence presented by the prosecutor was a letter written in 1 992 by Severo Moto which discussed the possible military reaction to peaceful democratic change. Nowhere did it mention the use of viol­ ence by the opposition. Severo Moto was sentenced to 28 years' imprisonment and Pedro Massa Mba to 30 years. Agapito Ona and Pablo Ndongo were sentenced to 20 years' and five soldiers to between six months' and 12 years' imprisonment. One soldier was acquitted. Severo Moto was already serving a two­ and-a-half-year prison sentence imposed after an unfair trial in March. He had been convicted with Tom�s Elo, Treasurer of the PPGE, of defaming President Obiang Nguema and of corruption. At the trial the defence was denied the right to call certain witnesses and the prosecution failed to present evidence to support the charges. In March Jacinto Nculu, a former army sergeant imprisoned for reading an old army magazine (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) was released. On 3 August, to mark the 1 6th anniver­ sary of his accession to power, Presid­ ent Obiang Nguema released 26 political prisoners in an amnesty. The released prisoners included Severo Moto and his co-defendants and 1 4 people who had been convicted after a grossly unfair trial in July 1 994 (see Amnesty International .

Report 1 995).

Many of those detained during the year were tortured. All those tried in April, ex­ cept Severo Moto, said they had been held naked, some for up to a month, inside a locked cupboard measuring 70 cm by 50 cm. They were deprived of food for prolonged periods and at night they were taken into the forest where they were hung from poles and beaten. They subse­ quently had difficulty walking and some apparently also found it difficult to sit. Agapito Ona could not walk at all. Pedro Massa Mba had both arms broken and Norberto Nculo, a leading PPGE member, also had a broken arm. In April police arrested Norberto "Tito" Mba Nze, the local representative of the CPDS in Akonibe, Rio Muni. He said he was beaten on the soles of his feet and other parts of his body. CPDS members who saw him three days after his arrest in Akonibe police station said that he had

difficulty walking and that his left arm was injured. He told them, in the presence of police officers, that he had been arres­ ted for trying to perform his duties as an electoral census observer. He had previ­ ously been arrested and tortured in 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Indalecio Abuy was arrested in April by four plainclothes security personnel and taken to a military camp some five kilometres from Bata on the airport road where he was held for two days. Two se­ curity personnel held him down while two others beat him on the buttocks and back with high-tension cable; he was made to wear a padded jacket to prevent visible injury. Indalecio Abuy had previ­ ously been arrested in 1 994 while invest­ igating human rights abuses in Niefang district (see Amnesty International Report

1 995).

Two people were reported to have been extrajudicially executed. In April Fran­ cisco Sulecopa Bapa, a law student, was shot dead at close range by a police officer who went to his house in Basapu on Bioko Island to arrest him. Francisco Sulecopa Bapa had apparently been accused of theft by a neighbour. He was not armed. The bullet went through his body and injured a 14-year-old girl, Africa Ebuera, who was in the house at the time. The police officer was tried a week later in connection with the death and acquitted. In September FMix Esono Mba was killed in Miboman, in the northeast of Rio Muni, when the security forces opened fire on villagers who were peacefully cele­ brating what they claimed was a local election victory for the opposition party Uni6n Popular, Popular Union. According to reports, plainclothes security personnel led by a high-ranking government official arrived in the village and, without warn­ ing, fired indiscriminately into the crowd. A number of people were apparently in­ jured in the attack. Amnesty International repeatedly ap­ pealed for the release of prisoners of conscience and for the introduction of safeguards against torture and ill-treat­ ment. In July the organization published a report, Equatorial Guinea: A dismal record of broken promises, which de­ scribed a pattern of repression of political activists and unchecked brutality by the security forces.

ERITREA/ESTONIA

ERITREA

There were reports of detentions without charge or trial of suspected government opponents. Scores of political prisoners arrested in the previous four years, in­ cluding prisoners of conscience, contin­ ued to be held without charge or trial. The whereabouts of at least a dozen people who reportedly " disappeared" in 1991 and 1992 remained unknown.

The government of President Issayas Afewerki, leader of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFD)), the only per­ mitted political party, continued to face armed opposition in western border areas from the Eritrean Islamic Jihad opposi­ tio n organization based in neighbouring SUdan. In October the government revised its 1 994 regulations on national service to make six months' military training, fol­ lowed by 18 months' development service and military reserve liability, compulsory for men and women aged 1 8 to 50 years, with no provision for conscientious objec­ tion. In March the government confirmed its October 1 994 directive that members of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious sect had no rights of citizenship because the sect "refused to recognize the state and its laws" . The government enacted a law in July confirming religious freedoms but banning religious organizations from political activity. A Constitutional Com­ mi ssion continued its consultation and drafting work to prepare a Constitution for 1997. Info rmation about detentions of govern­ ment opponents was difficult to obtain or co � firm. Arrests were reported in western Entrea of people allegedly involved with the opposition Eritrean Islamic Jihad

forces, and in the southeastern Danakil area in July of people who opposed con­ scription. Four prisoners of conscience, Abdu­ salam Mohamed Habib and three other members of the Jaberti ethnic group ar­ rested in 1 �94, were among scores of po­ litical prisoners arrested since 1 991 who continued to be held in detention without charge or trial. In May the authorities announced the release of 90 detainees held without charge or trial since 1 991 for alleged in­ volvement in human rights violations dur­ ing the period of Ethiopian rule. Dozens of soldiers detained without trial in connec­ tion with an army mutiny in May 1 993 were also released, leaving a small num­ ber still held. There were no moves to bring to trial any political detainees, most held since 1 991 . These included former members of the Ethiopian security forces and civilian administration in Eritrea, and members of the Eritrean Liberation Front­ Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) armed force which had fought until 1 991 against both the former Ethiopian Government and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (in power since 1 99 1 ). The government denied responsibility for at least a dozen people who had re­ portedly " disappeared" in 1 991 and 1 992 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Amnesty International appealed to the government for the release of the four Jaberti detainees and any others who were prisoners of conscience, and for all other political detainees to be given fair trials or released. It called on the government to disclose details of all political detainees and to allow them access to their families. It urged the authorities to establish full and impartial investigations into the cases of all detainees who were alleged to have "disappeared".

ESTONIA Four prisoners under sentence of death were held in prolonged isolation.

Following parliamentary elections in March, Tiit Viihi was confirmed as Prime Minister. At least four prisoners were believed to be on death row at the end of the year. All four had been convicted of aggravated

147

ESTONIA;£THIOPIA

1 48

murder in 1 992 and 1 993. Three of the convicted men were still awaiting the out­ come of petitions for clemency they had submitted to President Lennart Meri in 1 993. Prisoners on death row were con­ fined to their cells for 23 hours a day, rais­ ing concern that such prolonged isolation could have serious effects on their phys­ ical and mental health.

ETHIOPIA

Hundreds of critics and opponents of the government were arrested, including pris­ oners of conscience. Some were sentenced to prison terms after apparently unfair trials but most were detained without charge or trial. More than 1 ,500 officials

In February a total of 88 asylum-seekers who had been held in detention or under lesser forms of restriction throughout 1 994 were allowed to enter Finland, where they were granted political asylum (see Am­

nesty International Report 1 995).

Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional appealed for the commutation of all pending death sentences. In August the organization urged the authorities to con­ sider all possible ways of alleviating the effects of prolonged isolation on death row prisoners. In November Amnesty International wrote to the authorities requesting in­ formation about the investigation into the suicide in Harku Prison of 1 7-year-old Riina Vallikivi in August 1 994 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995). Amnesty International asked whether, following her death, any prison officers had been disci­ plined or any changes made to prison pro­ cedures regulating the imprisonment of juveniles, the use of punishment cells, or the medical supervision of prisoners placed in such cells. No reply to this or a previous inquiry about the case had been received by the end of the year.

of the former government continued to be

detained without charge. but 45 others

were brought to trial charged with geno­

cide and crimes against humanity. T here were allegations of torture of government opponents and reports of extrajudicial executions of suspected opponents, par­ ticularly

in

areas

of

armed

conflict.

Courts condemned at least two prisoners to death but no executions were reported.

Elections were held in mid-1 995 for the parliament, federal council, and regional and state assemblies of the renamed Fed­ eral Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in accordance with the Constitution estab­ lished in December 1 994. Opposition parties boycotted these elections. In Au­ gust the Transitional Government, which had ruled Ethiopia since the overthrow of Lieutenant-Colonel Mengistu Haile­ Mariam's government in 1 991 , handed over to the new government headed by Prime Minister (formerly President) Meles Zenawi of the Ethiopian People's Revolu­ tionary Democratic Front. Fighting continued between govern­ ment forces and the armed opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in the Oromo region and there was also some fighting in the Somali and Amhara regions involving other groups, including the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a Somali opposition party which had taken up armed opposition to the government.

ETHIOPIA

At least 40 journalists were arrested in Addis Ababa and held for varying periods. Most were released provisionally, pending possible future trial, but several were con­ victed and either fined or given sus­ pended prison sentences. Eight other journalists were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one year to 18 months on ac­ Cou nt of their articles criticizing the gov­ ern ment or reporting on opposition to the government. They were prisoners of con­ science. They included Terefe Mengesha of Roha magazine, who was sentenced to one year's imprisonment in February; Tamana Getachew, the general manager of Madda Walabu magazine, who was jailed for a year in March; and Getahun Bekelle of Tarik magazine, who received a 30month sentence in November. Also in No­ vember, 10 journalists and the chairman of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, Professor Mesfin Wolde-Mariam, were ?harged with spreading false information In their reporting of a student demonstra­ tion in 1 993. All were released on bail and th e charges were withdrawn the following mo nth. Several hundred people suspected of supporting the OLF were reportedly de­ tai ned without trial in different areas. They included Dandana Gurmu, aged 70, an Oromo elder arrested in February in Ambo, near Addis Ababa; Guteta Kabeta, a� engineer; and Bogalech Tolosa and her �ister Bizunesh Tolosa, arrested in August In Nazareth, 45 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, after a grenade explosion in the tow n. Some appeared to be prisoners of conscience, including five Oromo Relief ASSOCiation staff who were arrested in September in Negelle Borana town in the south, and in Chinka in Wollega district. Two of them were released in October but t he others, including Martha Arera, a st ore keeper, were still held without charge Or tri al at the end of the year. There were widespread arrests in A dis Ababa in February in connection With disturbances in the Anwar mosque and nearby mercato (market) areas on 2 February involving rival Islamic groups, both pro- and anti-government. The dis­ turbances led to nine deaths; some of those killed were reportedly shot by the security forces. Thirty-five people were kep t in custody and charged with incite­ ment to violence but their trial was still at a preliminary stage by the end of the year.

?

Some may have been arrested solely for their non-violent opposition to the govern­ ment, including Haji Mohamed Welle Ahmed, a Muslim leader, and Mohamed Abdu Tuku, an engineering lecturer. Scores of suspected members of the ONLF were also among those detained. They included Ambaro Ahmed Musse, president of the Ogadeni Women's Associ­ ation; Abdullahi Yasin, a religious leader; and Hassan AIi Omar, the mayor of Shi­ labo, all of whom were detained in July. Ambaro Ahmed Musse was released in October but many others were still held without charge or trial at the end of 1 995. Professor Asrat Woldeyes, chairman of the AII-Amhara People's Organization op­ position party and a possible prisoner of conscience (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995), was brought to trial with 31 others charged with incitement to rebel­ lion. The trial was still at a preliminary stage at the end of the year. He was al­ ready serving prison sentences totalling over five years after being convicted on similar charges in three separate trials in 1 994 which appeared not to satisfy inter­ national fair trial standards. Hundreds of suspected government op­ ponents detained in previous years con­ tinued to be held, including 285 members of the OLF forces detained in 1992, whose trial on charges of armed rebellion began in early 1 995 in Ziwai town, 100 kilo­ metres southwest of Addis Ababa. Bayera Mideksa, a businessman, suspected OLF supporter and possible prisoner of con­ science, had his sentence increased to five years' imprisonment after a prosecution appeal. He had been arrested in 1 992, ac­ cused of possession of weapons, and sen­ tenced to 18 months' imprisonment after an apparently unfair trial. Mengesha Do­ goma, a leader of the Gedeo People's Democratic Organization, was another possible prisoner of conscience. He had been arrested in 1 992 and was still de­ tained at the end of 1995 awaiting trial on criminal charges. Several ONLF supporters arrested in 1 994 remained in detention without charge or trial throughout 1 995 and were possible prisoners of conscience, including Haji Abdinur Sheikh Mumin, imam of Degabur mosque (see Amnesty

International Report 1 995).

Hundreds of opposition party activists, most of whom had been detained in 1 993 and 1 994 and held without charge or

149

ETHIOPIA

1 50

trial, were released. They included Yilma Chamola, the vice-chairman of the Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM), who had been held since 1 993, together with about 300 other SLM members detained since 1 994; and Merid Abebe, chairman of the Omo People's Democratic Union, and dozens of supporters of other southern opposition parties held since early 1994. Tefera As­ mare, a prisoner of conscience and editor of Ethiopis magazine, was released in Sep­ tember after serving a two-year prison sen­ tence on account of an article criticizing the government (see Amnesty Interna­

tional Report 1 995).

The trial continued of 45 members of the former ruling Provisional Military Ad­ ministrative Council (known as the Der­ gue), charged with committing genocide and crimes against humanity (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995). The trial was still at a preliminary stage when it was again adjourned in November. More than 1 ,500 officials of the former govern­ ment of President Mengistu Haile-Mariam (in exile in Zimbabwe) remained in indef­ inite detention while charges relating to human rights violations were being pre­ pared against them. They included former military and security officers and civil­ ian administrative officials; Alemayehu Teferra, a former university president; Mammo Wolde, a former Olympic athlete; and Aberra Yemane-Ab, who had returned from exile to attend a peace conference in 1 993. Some new arrests also took place. They included Mekonnen Dori, a former vice-minister in the Transitional Govern­ ment, who may have been arrested on ac­ count of being a prominent member of the opposition Southern Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Coalition. Reports of torture by the security forces were received from areas in which the OLF or the ONLF were engaged in armed opposi­ tion. In one case, the Reverend Bekelle Deressa, an elderly minister in the Ethiopian Evangelical Mekane Yesus Church, was reportedly tortured while de­ tained for six weeks in Wollega district in April. He was said to have been stripped, tied, hung upside-down, and beaten in an attempt to make him confess to involve­ ment in the OLF. The fate of dozens of people who had "disappeared" during the Transitional Government's four-year rule remained un­ known and there were increasing fears for

their safety (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995). They included Mustafa Idris, a

telecommunications worker who "disap­ peared" in 1 993; Hagos Atsbeha, a busi­ nessman held by the Tigray People's Liberation Front since 1 988; Yoseph Ayele Bati, an OLF supporter abducted in 1 992; and several ONLF supporters detained in 1 994, including Deeg Yusuf Kariye, a journalist, and Mohamoud Muhumed Hashi, a former university lecturer. There were numerous reports of extra­ judicial executions by the security forces, particularly in areas of armed opposition by the OLF and ONLF. To Amnesty Interna­ tional's knowledge, there was no official investigation into any of the complaints of killings by soldiers of suspected govern­ ment opponents. Reports claimed that one of the Muslim activists killed in February, Siraj Mussa Obsee, an elderly man who was nearly blind, was deliberately shot dead by -soldiers arresting him. One of many suspected OLF supporters who were killed was Henock Yonatan, a farmer ar­ rested by soldiers in Najo in March and al­ legedly tortured. His body was found near a military camp six weeks later. The bod­ ies of Ali Yusuf Khalif, a poet and Singer, Mohamed Haybe Yusuf, a science gradu­ ate, and Buhul Sheikh Abdirahman - all suspected ONLF supporters arrested by sol­ diers in July near Wardheer - were report­ edly found near Kebre Dahar a few days later. At least two people were sentenced to death by regional courts for murder but no executions were reported. An Amnesty International delegation visited Ethiopia in February and dis­ cussed the organization's concerns with the Minister of Information (who was later elected President), the Minister of Justice and other officials. In April Amnesty In­ ternational published a report, Ethiopia:

Accountability past and present - human rights in transition. This welcomed the

long-delayed start of the trial of former government officials for human rights crimes but criticized the Transitional Gov­ ernment for failing to investigate and pre­ vent human rights violations by its own forces. Amnesty International called for a review of prisoners' cases to ensure the re­ lease of prisoners of conscience and for the fair and prompt trial or release of other political detainees. It also called for in­ dependent and impartial inquiries into

ETHIOPIA/FRANCE

allegations of "disappearances" , torture and extrajudicial executions, and urged the government to abolish the death pen­ alty. Regarding the trials of former govern­ ment officials, Amnesty International urged the authorities to guarantee interna­ tio nal standards of fair trial and to exclude the death penalty. In response to Amnesty International's appeals, the government denied that there were any political pris­ oners and repeated its earlier denials of torture or "disappearances".

FRANCE

�ozens

of imprisoned conscientious ob­

Jectors to national service were consid­ ered prisoners of conscience. T here were reports of shootings, killings and ill­ treat ment by law enforcement officers, sometimes accompanied by racial insults. Judicial investigations into such incidents were subject to long delays, although in some cases law enforcement officers were brought to trial.

PreSidential elections were held in April. Jac ques Chirac of the Rassemble­ ment pour la RepubJique (RPR) , Rally for the Republic Party, was elected President and Alain Juppl§ was appointed Prime Minister. The new government pursued a sev ere policy on immigration and border Co ntrol. Specially chartered planes were used to deport illegal immigrants. . p: wave of bombings started in July, kil lIng eight people and wounding more th an 1 70. The Groupe islamique arme (ClA) , Arm ed Islamic Group, an Algerian armed group, claimed responsibility for son:e of the attacks. A draft bill expanding a�h-terrorism legislation was still under d Is cus sion at the end of the year. It aimed

to broaden the definition of crimes that could be considered as "terrorist" , to in­ crease police powers, and to impose heav­ ier sentences for attacks on the police and related offences. A major security op­ eration, code-named " Vigipirate" , was launched in September to combat attacks by armed groups. By the end of the year, over a million random identity checks had been made and thousands of extra police and military personnel deployed on street patrols. There were dozens of imprisoned con­ scientious objectors during the year; they were prisoners of conscience. There was still no right to claim conscientious ob­ jector status during military service and the alternative civilian service available to recognized objectors remained, at 20 months, twice the length of ordinary milit­ ary service. Conscientious objectors refus­ ing to conform to the national service laws continued to be liable to prison sentences. The majority of conscientious objectors imprisoned during the year were Jeho­ vah's WitrIesses serving sentences im­ posed in 1 994 for their refusal to perform military service. They had not applied for conscientious objector status because they also rejected, on religious grounds, the op­ tion of civilian service. However, none en­ tered prison after a Ministry of Defence directive came into force "on an experi­ mental basis" in February. Under its pro­ visions, Jehovah's WitrIesses liable for conscription into the armed forces who submitted a request in writing before call­ up were referred directly to regional health and social authorities who assigned them to 20 months' civilian work, compa­ rable with that carried out by conscripts with conscientious objector status. Many conscientious objectors to the na­ tional service laws also benefited from a law introduced in August which made an amnesty available to conscripts who had failed to report for or deserted from na­ tional service before 18 May. However, the amnesty did not exempt them from a fu­ ture obligation to perform national service . An amnesty was also extended to con­ scripts accused or convicted of insubordi­ nation, a charge frequently brought against conscripts refusing, on grounds of con­ science, to put on military uniform and perform military service. However, such conscripts had to agree to carry out their national service.

151

FRANCE

1 52

Conscientious objectors imprisoned during the year included Alain Cazaux. from the Basque region. who entered prison in October 1994 to serve a sentence of 10 months' imprisonment for desertion and insubordination. as a result of his refusal to put on military uniform and perform military service. He based his objection to military service on his anti­ militarist and political beliefs. He did not apply for civilian service. because. among other objections. he considered its length to be punitive. He was released in June. There were further shootings and kill­ ings of unarmed people by police during the year. In August a police officer shot and killed Todor Bogdanovic. an eight­ year-old Rom from Serbia. The officer was at a road-block on a remote mountain road in southern France when 43 Roma ap­ proached in a convoy of four cars and two trailers. The officer claimed that the first car did not obey his order to stop and he used a shotgun to fire a rubber bullet. He then reloaded and fired two metal charges at very close range at the second vehicle. The second shot pierced the rear window. killing the child who was asleep in the back. Judicial and administrative inquiries were immediately opened. The adminis­ trative inquiry. conducted by the General Inspectorate of the National Police. found that the shots had been fired prematurely. Numerous reports of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials were received during the year. In August Sid Ahmed Amiri. of dual French and Algerian na­ tionality. was detained in Marseilles. He claimed that he was beaten and threatened by three officers of a transport police unit. the Unite de surveillance des transports en commun (USTC) . who checked his iden­ tity papers. then handcuffed him. placed him in a police car. and hit him several times with a truncheon. The car did not take him to a police station but instead drove to an isolated quarry to the north of the city. He alleged that USTC officers then kicked him and beat him with fists and truncheons and threatened him with a gun. Sid Ahmed Amiri tried to seize the weapon and attempted unsuccessfully to escape. He was then handcuffed again and placed in one of the metal containers in the quarry. He stated that the officers fired three shots at the container before taking his wallet and leaving. An hour later he was picked up by another police patrol

who took him to hospital for treatment to an open fracture of his nose and injuries to his legs and shoulders. The police re­ turned to the quarry where they found one of the USTC officers who had returned to retrieve a truncheon marked with his name which he had apparently left there. Administrative and judicial inquiries were immediately opened and the USTC officers were suspended and provisionally de­ tained. In August they were placed under judicial investigation on charges of illegal detention. premeditated assault and theft. In September. 1 6 trade unionists were detained in Papeete. the Tahitian capital of the French overseas territory of French Polynesia. by troops from the garde mo­ bile (anti-riot police) of the Gendarmerie nation ale (national gendarmerie). Armed officers reportedly burst into the A Tia I Mua union headquarters shortly before a news conference was due to begin. The authorities claimed that the trade union­ ists were detained in connection with a ju­ dicial inquiry into serious rioting. looting and arson which had destroyed the airport terminus and severely damaged the centre of Papeete. These incidents followed the resumption of nuclear testing by France on Mururoa atoll. .� .

Some of the detainees claimed to have been kicked and punched. including Henri Temaititahio. a union representative of the Office des Postes et Telecommuni­ cations. Post Office. who was reportedly knocked unconscious with a truncheon blow to the head. He was subsequently taken to hospital suffering from progres­ sive paralysis of the left side. The de­ tainees were handcuffed and stacked face downwards in a military lorry which took them to the barracks. According to reports. the detainees were forced to kneel in the parking area of the barracks with their hands still handcuffed behind their backs

FRANCE/GAMBIA

and their faces to the ground for approx­ imately 45 minutes after arrival. Adminis­ trative and judicial inquiries were opened into the incidents and the judicial com­ p laints from the trade unionists. Judicial inquiries into many cases of sho otings, killings and ill-treatment from previous years were still unfinished. How­ ever, in a few instances officers were brought to trial. In March, two police officers were given suspended prison sentences of 1 8 months and ordered to pay damages for Using unlawful violence and causing in­ juries to a motor-cyclist. In 1 989 Lucien Djossouvi had been knocked off his motor cycle in Paris by an unmarked police car. Other officers arrived at the scene and he Was handcuffed, subjected to racist in­ SUlts, repeatedly punched, beaten with truncheons and kicked in the testicles. He Was only allowed to go after stating that he would not press charges. He later received emergency hospital treatment for serious injuries to his head, face, stomach and tes­ ticl es (see Amnesty International Reports 1990 to 1 995). In September an officer from the border police, the Direction centra1e du contr61e

de l'immigration et de la 1utte contre l'em­ p10i des cJandestins (D1CCLLEC) formerly known as the Police de l'Air et des Fron­ tieres (PAF) was sentenced in Nice to 24 -

-

months' imprisonment, with 16 months s usp ended, and fined. Moufida Ksouri, a French citizen of Tunisian origin, had been sexually assaulted in 1993 by the officer in a French border post at the Me nton-Ventimiglia crossing. She had �rev iously been raped by two Italian po­ hce officers, who were both sentenced to five years and eight months' imprison­ ment in 1994 (see Amnesty International

Report 1 995).

In October a police officer was sen­ tenced to 24 months' imprisonment, with 16 months suspended, fined and banned from carrying a firearm for five years. He had been accused of involuntary homicide after shooting and fatally wounding Rach id Ardjouni, a 1 7-year-old of Algerian orig in, in Wattrelos in 1993. The officer sh ot him in the back of the head when he Was reportedly face downwards on the grou nd (see Amnesty International Re­ ports 1 994 and 1 995). The court ruled that the officer should not have taken his Weap on out; should not have pursued the

deceased with a weapon in his hand; was personally not in danger; and was also drunk at the time. An appeal against the sentence was lodged by the defence. Amnesty International continued to ex­ press concern that, because of its punitive length, civilian service did not provide an acceptable alternative to military service. The organization was also concerned that there was still no provision for conscien­ tious objection developed after joining the armed forces and reiterated its belief that conscientious objectors to military service should be able to seek conscientious objector status at any time. Amnesty inter­ national called for the release of conscien­ tious objectors whom it considered to be prisoners of conscience. In January the French authorities wrote in answer to some of the issues raised in Amnesty International's 1 994 report,

France: Shootings, killings and alleged ill-treatment by law enforcement officers (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

Subsequently, the authorities agreed to a meeting to discuss Amnesty Interna­ tional's concerns in early 1 996. Amnesty International sought informa­ tion from the authorities about the pro­ gress of investigations into incidents of shootings, killings and ill-treatment. The Ministry of Defence informed Amnesty International in November that the pre­ liminary results of the administrative in­ quiry in Tahiti, French Polynesia, into the complaints by trade unionists of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment showed that they were without foundation. Also in November the Attorney General sup­ plied details of the continuing judicial investigation. Amnesty International delegates at­ tended the trials of police officers accused of the ill-treatment and racist abuse of Lucien Djossouvi and of the involuntary homicide of Rachid Ardjouni.

GAMBIA Prisoners of conscience were detained for short periods. A group of at least 35 people arrested in October, who appeared to be prisoners of conscience, was held until the end of the year. At least seven members of the security forces continued to be held, most without trial. Seven

1 53

GAMBIA

1 54

others were sentenced after secret trials before courts-martial. One former senior official died in custody, allegedly as a res­ ult of torture; another died in suspicious circumstances, giving rise to allegations that he had been extrajudicially executed. The death penalty was reintroduced but not imposed.

with reference to the case of Pa Sallah Jagne, one of the security detainees held since the July 1 994 coup. His lawyer had challenged his detention on several grounds, including the argument that it violated his fundamental human rights. On 25 October extensive powers of arrest and detention were granted to the Minister of the Interior, retrospective to 22 July. They permitted detention for up to 90 days without an appearance in court and specifically removed the right to

habeas corpus.

In February the Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC ) , Captain Yahya Jammeh, declared that the country would return to civilian rule in July 1 996 - not at the end of 1 998 as pre­ viously stated - under a revised constitu­ tion, to be put to a referendum. He also stated that there would be new electoral laws. It was announced that two leading members of the AFPRC had been arrested in January for trying to seize power because they were dissatisfied with the Council's decision to restore civilian power early. It was not clear whether they had in fact used force or had merely criticized gov­ ernment policy. Captain Sadibou Haidara died in custody in June and Captain Sa­ bally was tried by court-martial in Decem­ ber (see below). In June the National Intelligence Agency (NlA ) was given far-reaching pow­ ers, including the authority to arrest and detain anyone suspected of threatening state security and to intercept their com­ munications. In July the N1A searched the offices of the DaiJy Observer newspaper after it published an article referring to the military government's first year in power as a "chequered year". In July a Court of Appeal decision stated that there were no human rights laws in the Gambia. The statement was based on the fact that the human rights guarantees in the Constitu­ tion had been revoked by AFPRC Decree 36 of April 1 995. The decision was delivered

In October journalist Chernor Ojuku Sesay was sent back to Sierra Leone after two days in custody, apparently because of articles he had written criticizing the treatment of Sierra Leonean nationals in Gambia. Chernor Ojuku Sesay had fled from Sierra Leone in April for fear of per­ secution and was held for five days on his return (see Sierra Leone entry). In October Chairman Jammeh, address­ ing a rally of his political movement, criti­ cized people "who disguise themselves in the form of journalists . . . and human rights activists" and urged the crowd to "get rid of them". He also stated that those pressurizing the AFPRC about holding elec­ tions will go "six feet under" and that the AFPRC would not hold elections until they wanted to. In an effort to reduce the outcry which fol lowed, the AFPRC issued a press release saying that reporting of the Chair­ man's speech had been unbalanced. How­ ever, this confirmed that his reference to "so-called journalists" had meant those being defended by outside organizations. Tanya Domi, director of the Banjul office of the us-National Democratic Institute, was expelled from Gambia in November on the grounds that her activities and ut­ terances were "unhelpful", after she stated publicly that government attacks on the media "would undermine public con­ fidence in democratic institutions and processes" . The circumstances in which some mil­ itary personnel died at the time of the November 1 994 coup attempt remained unclarified (see Amnesty InternationaJ Re­ port 1 995). New information suggested that at least 1 3 of those who died may have been extrajudicially executed. At least 10 prisoners of conscience were held for short periods. Pap Saine, publisher of the newspaper The Point, and two of its journalists, Alieu Badara Sowe

GAMBIA

and Brima Ernest, were arrested on 3 1 March and held for three days o n charges of publishing material likely to cause fear and alarm. The charges referred to an art­ icle about prison disturbances. Their trial started in June and lasted until September when they were acquitted. In July Mariatou Faal-Njie was arrested after papers considered "seditious" were fo und in her office. She was held for two weeks before being released on bail. The trial, on charges related to documents crit­ ical of the government, started in Septem­ ber and was continuing at the end of the year. Lamin Waa Juwara, a former opposition member of parliament, was arrested twice or defying the government's ban on polit­ l Cal activities. In June he was arrested with six other people, apparently after he Visited four villages in his former con­ stituency. The seven were held for a month without charge and then released with a warning not to undertake political activity. In October Lamin Waa Juwara �as again arrested on account of his polit­ lcal activities and held for about 10 weeks before being released without charge. At least 35 people were arrested in Oc­ tobe r and held in a hangar at Fajara army barracks near the capital, Banjul, after gov­ ernment critics gathered to deliver a letter to foreign diplomats. They were denied visits from their families and experienced serious difficulties in gaining access to their lawyers. The authorities alleged that the detainees were supporters of the banned People's Progressive Party (ppp) and said that those arrested had been p lanning a demonstration in support of a retu rn to power of former President D�wda Ja ara. Twenty-five were charged � Wlth sedition and others remained held Without charge. The legal basis for their detention was clarified retrospectively by t he 25 October decree. They appeared to be prisoners of conscience. At least seven members of the security forces arrested in July 1994 remained held at the end of the year (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Three had ap­ peared in court on various charges lnclu ding theft and abuse of public office. Their trial was repeatedly adjourned. In June, seven soldiers were each sen­ tenced to nine years' imprisonment on charges of mutiny in connection with the November 1994 coup attempt. Their trial



apparently failed to meet international standards of fairness. They were tried in secret at Fajara army barracks in Bakau and were defended by military counsel. It was not clear whether they had a right to appeal. In September Captain Sanna Sabally, formerly Vice-Chairman of the AFPRC, ap­ peared before a closed court martial at Fa­ jara army barracks. He was charged with "lifting a weapon against a superior of­ ficer", namely the Head of State, in Janu­ ary. The government stated that Captain Sabally and former Interior Minister Cap­ tain Sadibou Haidara had forced their way into the President's office to seize power because they disagreed with the pending announcement of an early return to civil­ ian rule. Other sources suggested they were arrested because of disagreements within the AFPRC. Captain Haidara, who was arrested with Captain Sabally in January, died in custody in June. There were reports that both Captains Sabally and Haidara had been ill-treated while in custody and that Captain Haidara may have died as a result. It was reported that a post-mortem exam­ ination concluded that he died as a result of long-standing high blood pressure which gave rise to kidney and lung prob­ lems. Captain Haidara's family disputed the results but the government rejected demands for an independent inquiry. Finance Minister Ousman Koro Ceesay was found dead in June in the burned-out wreckage of his car. Despite repeated re­ quests and their own declarations, the authorities did not organize any investiga­ tion into the cause of death. Unconfirmed reports suggested that he was killed by people close to the AFPRC before the car was set alight. In August the AFPRC issued a decree re­ instating the death penalty which had been abolished in April 1 993. No death sentences were imposed. Throughout the year, Amnesty Interna­ tional expressed concern to the authorities about the detention of prisoners of con­ science, and the detention without charge and secret trials of other political de­ tainees. It also appealed to the authorities to open an investigation into the deaths of the two former senior officials. Amnesty International urged the authorities to re­ consider the decision to reintroduce the death penalty.

1 55

GEORGIA

1 56

GEORGIA

Seventeen political prisoners were sen­ tenced after proceedings which fell short of international fair trial standards. Alle­ gations of ill-treatment in detention con­ tinued. At least 18 people were sentenced to death, and at least eight executed. In the disputed area under their control, Abkhazian militia forces were reportedly responsible for the murder of at least 13 ethnic Georgians and the torture of dozens more. At least one person was sentenced to death in Abkhazia. Head of State Eduard Shevardnadze survived an assassination attempt on 29 August while travelling to sign the new Constitution, which had been adopted by parliament five days earlier. The powerful paramilitary Rescue Corps (formerly known as Mkhedrioni), ordered to disarm in May, was disbanded in October after many of its members were accused of complicity in the assassination attempt. Eduard Shevardnadze was elected to the recreated post of President in November. The new Constitution included basic rights and freedoms, and created the post of Public Defender to monitor the defence of individual rights and freedoms. How­ ever. the death penalty was retained as an "exceptional measure of punishment" for "especially serious crimes against life". Talks continued on the political future of the disputed region of Abkhazia (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) but the situation remained tense, especially in the southern district of Gali to which small numbers of ethnic Georgians had re­ turned. Both they and the Abkhazian pop­ ulation faced attacks from armed bands, although the security situation made it

extremely difficult to confirm allegations that many such attacks were directed or condoned by officials from both sides. The trial before the Supreme Court of an original 19 political prisoners, which started in October 1 993, concluded in March when 17 men were sentenced to terms ranging from 30 months' imprison­ ment to death . The proceedings fell short of international standards for fair trial (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). For example, no confessions were excluded from evidence despite allegations that they had been extracted under torture. The sentences, including those of death passed on Irakli Dokvadze and Petre Gel­ bakhiani, were without right of appeal. Zaza Tsiklauri, who was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the trial, was among several prisoners to allege that he had been ill-treated in custody. He was reportedly beaten and threatened on his arrival at the corrective labour colony in Rustavi where he had been sent to serve his sentence. At least 18 people were sentenced to death and eight executed between January and October. At least four of the death sentences were passed by the Supreme Court and therefore not subject to appeal. At least one death sentence was com­ muted. Unofficial sources reported that by November, 28 men were imprisoned pending execution. Abkhazian militia forces were allegedly responsible for the deaths of at least 1 3 ethnic Georgians and the torture o f dozens more in the Gali district. In January, three members of one family were reported to have been deliberately and arbitrarily killed by Abkhazian police based in Tagi­ loni in what was said to have been a re­ venge attack after the killing of several police officers by unidentified assailants. Neighbours said they discovered the bod­ ies of Ivan Antilava, his wife Zinaida Taklikishvili and his son-in-law after ob­ serving police enter, then leave, the family home. At least 10 Georgians were reportedly killed and dozens of others tortured or ill­ treated in March when Abkhazian militia swept through the Gali district in what they described as an oporation to register returning Georgians and locate infiltrating " partisans" . A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that UN doctors had seen at least 10 bodies,

GEORGINGERMANY

most of which bore signs of torture includ­ ing pulled finger-nails, burns and wounds. UN doctors also treated at least 35 people Who had suffered simi lar types of torture or who had been severely beaten. At least one person was sentenced to death by a military tribunal in Abkhazia. Ruzgen Gogokhiya, an ethnic Georgian, Who had been charged with terrorist acts against civilians, was believed to be still under sentence of death at the end of the year. Amnesty International urged the Geor­ gian authorities to conduct a judicial re­ view of the case of Irakli Dokvadze and his co-defendants. Amnesty International rep eated its calls for all allegations of ill­ treatment in custody to be investigated promptly, impartially and comprehens­ ively, with the results made public and any perpetrators identified brought to just­ ice. Amnesty International called for steps tOwards the complete abolition of the death penalty, for all pending death sen­ tences to be commuted, and for immediate moves to ensure that all those sentenced to death had the right to appeal to a higher COu rt. Amnesty International urged the de facto Abkhazian authorities to conduct p rompt, comprehensive and impartial in­ vestigations into all allegations of killings, torture and other ill-treatment by militia forces under their control. Amnesty Inter­ national called for the results of such in­ vest igations to be made public and for �yone found responsible to be brought to Justice within the bounds of international law. Responding in April, the Abkhazian Prosecutor General's office reported that ? lth ough an investigation was continuing lllto the �ee deaths in Tagiloni, those re­ sp onsible had not been found. Amnesty International urged the Abk­ hazi an authorities to commute the death sente nce imposed on Ruzgen Gogokhiya, and on any other prisoners awaiting exe­ cuti on. Amnesty International sought fur­ th er information on the application of the death penalty, including assurances that all those sentenced to death had the right of app eal to a higher court.

GERMANY

There were new allegations of ill-treat­ ment of detainees by police officers.

As in previous years the majority of the victims of alleged ill-treatment were for­ eign nationals, including asylum-seekers, or members of ethnic minorities. In April Binyamin Safak, a Turkish national arrested following an argument with police officers over parking, alleged that officers punched and kicked him in the face, chest, head and arms in a Frank­ furt police station. He also alleged that one of the officers threw him head first against the wall of the cell. During the prolonged assault on him, Binyamin Safak's hands were secured behind his back. According to a medical certificate, the detainee's in­ juries included a cut to his lip which later required stitching; a fractured cheekbone; and a cracked rib. In July another Turk, Hidayet Secil, alleged that he was ill­ treated by police officers who were called to his apartment in Goppingen following a complaint by a neighbour about noise. Hidayet Secil alleged that one officer punched him four times in the face and another repeatedly struck him with his baton while he was held by three other of­ ficers. Hidayet Secil's injuries included a suspected broken nose, bruising to the upper lip and upper jaw, and weals on his back. The police authorities brought com­ plaints against both Binyamin Safak and Hidayet Secil for resisting state authority. Reports were received that in 1 994 a number of African asylum-seekers de­ tained in Bremen had been given emetics against their will in order to induce them to vomit up drugs they were alleged to have swallowed. Some detainees reported

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1 58

that when they refused to take the emetics they were threatened or ill-treated; others stated that they were racially abused in police custody. Decisions were reached by prosecuting and judicial authorities on a number of cases of alleged ill-treatment by police in previous years. In April the Hamburg Re­ gional Court rejected Frank Fennel's ap­ peal against a previous court ruling that there was insufficient evidence to try three police officers charged with causing him serious bodily harm (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Frank Fen­ nel had been badly beaten by officers from police station 1 6 , in July 199 1 . A court later awarded him compensation for his injuries. In November, one of the police officers, together with two other col­ leagues, went on trial for ill-treating Lutz Priebe in police station 16 in August 1 989 (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). Although a court had awarded him com­ pensation for his injuries in February 1 993, charges were not brought against the officers until March 1995. The trial was still continuing at the end of the year. In May, two Berlin police officers were charged with ill-treating Vietnamese asy­ lum-seeker Nguyen T. following his arrest in June 1994 (see Amnesty International

Report 1 995).

In July the Berlin prosecuting authorit­ ies concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge two police officers with ill-treating Biilent Demir (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995). Biilent Demir, a German citizen of Turkish origin, had alleged that the officers had assaulted him after his arrest in April 1 994. The offi­ cers denied ill-treating him, stating that the youth had tried to run away from them and had hit his face on the ground when he was caught. In October charges against Biilent Demir for resisting arrest were dropped. In the same month an appeal by Biilent Demir against the prosecuting au­ thorities' decision not to charge the offi­ cers was rejected. In July the Berlin Regional Court up­ held an appeal by three police officers convicted in September 1 994 of ill-treat­ ing Habib J., an Iranian student (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Habib J. had alleged that the offi­ cers had i ll-treated and racially abused him following his arrest in December 1 992. Habib J. appealed against the deci-

sion of the Berlin Regional Court. In October, three Hamburg police of­ ficers were charged with causing bodily harm to journalist Oliver NeB, who had al­ leged that the officers had assaulted him while he was reporting on a demonstra­ tion in central Hamburg in May 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In December a court opened trial proceed­ ings against two of the officers concerned. In November a doctor was charged with failing to render assistance to Nigerian asylum-seeker Kola Bankole in August 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Kola Bankole died after being bound and gagged and injected with a sedative when he physically resisted at­ tempts by the Federal Border Police to de­ port him from Frankfurt am Main airport. Amnesty International expressed its concern to the authorities about allega­ tions of ill-treatment brought to its atten­ tion throughout the year. In the majority of cases, the organization was informed that criminal investigations had been opened into the cases it had raised. In May Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Federal Republic of Ger­

many: Failed by the system - police ill-treatment of foreigners, in which it de­

scribed in detail 20 out of a total of more than 70 allegations it had received be­ tween January 1992 and March 1 995 that police officers had used excessive or un­ warranted force in restraining or arresting people, or had deliberately subjected de­ tainees to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Amnesty Inter­ national made a number of recommenda­ tions relating to the rights of detainees in police custody; the investigation of allega­ tions of police ill-treatment, and the pro­ secution of those responsible; and police training and disciplinary procedures. The need for improvements in these areas was largely rejected by the authorities at both national and regional level.

GREECE About 350 conscientious objectors t o mil­ itary service were imprisoned. All were prisoners of conscience. Legal proceed­ ings continued against eight people pro­ secuted for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. There

GREECE

were further reports of torture and ill­ treatment by police and prison officials. At least two men were shot dead by law enforcement officers in disputed circum­ stances.

About 350 conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned. All Were prisoners of conscience. There is no alternative civilian service for conscien­ tious objectors la military service, al­ though they can halve their sentences by Working in agricultural prisons. About 350 J ehovah's Witnesses were serving prison sentences of up to four years and eight months for their refusal to perform milit­ ary service on religious grounds. In Oc­ tober Nikos Karanikas, a conscientious obj ector on philosophical and political ?rounds, was sentenced to four years' Imprisonment for "insubordination in a period of general mobilization". In Decem­ ber his sentence was reduced on appeal to one year's imprisonment, suspended for three years, and he was released. In June, 76 men who faced a second ?all-up to military service and possible Imprisonment after having been released un der a law aimed at reducing prison Overcrowding (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), were discharged from milit­ ary obligations. Legal proceedings continued against se�en people who had been prosecuted for cr�t icizing government policies on ethnic �morities (see previous Amnesty Intern a­ tlonaJ Reports). In November the trials of M ichail Papadakis and of six members of the Organosi gia tin Anasingrotisi tou Kommounistikou Kommatos Elladas, Or­ gani zation for the Reconstruction of the Com munist Party of Greece, were post­ Poned until 1 996.

In November the trial of Archimandrite Nikodimos Tsarknias on a charge of " im­ personating a priest" was postponed until January 1996. Since his expulsion from the Greek Orthodox Church in April 1992 for claiming to belong to the Macedonian minority in Greece, he had been tried re­ peatedly on similar charges. He attributed this harassment to his support for the recognition of a Macedonian minority in Greece. In September charges against Christos Sideropoulos were dropped on the grounds that they had expired. He had been prosecuted in 1 993 for a statement in which he claimed that his cultural rights as a member of the Macedonian ethnic mi­ nority in Greece were being violated. There were further allegations of tor­ ture and ill-treatment of detainees by po­ lice and prison officials. Nikolaos Gogos, an imprisoned Jehovah's Witness con­ scientious objector, lodged a complaint with the Athens Military Court. He stated that in March he was slapped, pushed violently, beaten with a belt and threat­ ened with cigarette burns by two soldiers. An official inquiry was ordered into the case, but the results were not known by the end of the year. There were numerous reports of beat­ ings in police custody. Athanasios Za­ yiakis was detained in October for possessing a small amount of heroin. When he appeared before the examining magistrate, she ruled that he was unfit to remain in detention and ordered his release. Photographs published subse­ quently in a newspaper showed severe bruising on his face, back and legs. An in­ quiry was ordered into the ill-treatment of Athanasios Zayiakis, but the result was not known at the end of the year. There were allegations of torture and ill-treatment in prisons. In August around 60 prisoners in Kerkyra prison reportedly refused to return to their cells following the third suicide attempt by an Albanian prisoner, Ali Kopliku, who had reportedly been repeatedly beaten by prison guards. There were reports that demonstrators were ill-treated by the anti-riot police, Monades Apokatastasis tis Taxis. In March demonstrating pensioners were at­ tacked with tear-gas and truncheons when they breached a police line. Two were taken to hospital with breathing difficult­ ies. Two police chiefs were reportedly

1 59

GREECE/GRENADA/GUATEMALA

160

suspended from duty for two and three months respectively for ordering the use of tear-gas, but it was not known whether any investigation into other allegations of ill-treatment took place. There were reports of shootings by po­ lice and military forces in circumstances which appeared to indicate unwarranted and excessive use of force. In March Greek border guards opened fire on four Alban­ ian nationals about 1 5 kilometres inside Greece, killing Aristid Troska. Also in March Dimitris Nikolopoulos was shot dead by a prison guard while being re­ turned to Tyrinths Prison from hospital following a suicide attempt. The guard claimed that Dimitris Nikolopoulos re­ sisted being handcuffed and started to run. The guard then fired three warning shots, one of which hit Dimitris Nikolopoulos in the chest. No inquiry was known to have been opened into these killings. Amnesty International called on the au­ thorities to release all imprisoned con­ scientious objectors to military service and to introduce legislation on conscientious objection which fully reflected interna­ tional recommendations. The organization called on the authorities to drop the charges brought against Archimandrite Tsarknias for exercising his right to free­ dom of expression. Amnesty International expressed concern to the authorities about alleged torture and ill-treatment of de­ tainees and prisoners and shootings by law enforcement officials in disputed cir­ cumstances. It urged them to investigate all such allegations impartially and to bring to justice those responsible.

GRENADA Two people were allegedly ill-treated by police officers. One person was killed by police officers in disputed circumstances. Two people were allegedly ill-treated by police in January. Rupert Williams, who was allegedly mentally ill, was taken to the South St George Police Station where he was reportedly kicked on the upper body, hit in the face, and kept locked in a cell for two days. Kingsley Fletcher was allegedly beaten by police of­ ficers from the Victoria Police Station after he intervened when he overheard a police

officer using obscene language to a friend. An official investigation was initiated into the incident, but the outcome was not known by the end of the year.

In April Lawrence Lincoln Adolphose, who was mentally disturbed, was shot dead in disputed circumstances by a po­ lice officer following an altercation with a neighbour. Lawrence Adolphose had al­ legedly been attacked previously by police officers, as a result of which he reportedly lost his eye. Amnesty International wrote to the Prime Minister, the Commissioner of Po­ lice, and to the Ministry of National Secur­ ity, expressing concern at the allegations of ill-treatment, seeking information about the investigation into the alleged ill-treat­ ment of Kingsley Fletcher and calling for a full and independent inquiry into all alle­ gations of ill-treatment, including two other cases of alleged ill-treatment by po­ lice officers in March and April 1 993. It urged that steps be taken to prevent such ill-treatment in future. The organization also expressed concern at the shooting of Lawrence Adolphose and at two other sbootings in March and May 1 994. The Commissioner of Police replied that all such allegations were thoroughly investi­ gated and that appropriate measures were taken wherever the complaint appeared to have merit.

GUATEMALA Over 1 50 extrajudicial executions and scores of "disappearances" were re­ ported. The perpetrators were members of the security forces and government­ backed armed groups including civil patrols and newly-created "self-defence" squads. Victims included indigenous ac­ tivists, former refugees, religious person­ nel, street children and trade unionists.

GUATEMALA

There were continuing reports of torture and ill-treatment by the security forces. People involved in human rights work were subjected to harassment and death threats. Little progress was made in clari­ fying thousands of cases of past human rights violations.

....

.

.. . · · ·

.

The government and the armed opposi­

�. on agreed a cease-fire in August. the first

In 35 years of civil conflict. Presidential and congressional elections were held in November. There was no outright winner and a second round of elections was scheduled for early 1 996. UN-brokered peace negotiations be­ tween the government and the armed OP pos ition. originally scheduled to have b een completed in December 1 994 , con­ tinued throughout 1 995. In March an a�reement on the identity and rights of in­ digenous peoples was signed. However, it appeared that previous agreements were not respected despite the presence of the Misi6n de las Naciones Unidas para la veri!icaci6n de derechos h umanos en Guatemala (MINUGUA), UN Mission for Guatemala (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

Reflecting reports and statements by MINUGUA �d the UN Expert on Guatemala, an August resolution of the UN Sub­ Commission on Prevention of Discrimina­ tion and Protection of Minorities ex?ressed deep concern at the impunity e?Joyed by perpetrators of human rights violations in Guatemala and at the inabil­ ity of the judicial system to bring those responsible to justice. . The Clarification Commission to look lnto human rights violations, agreed in J �e 1 994 as part of the peace negoti­ ahons , was unable to start work in the ab­ sence of a signed peace agreement (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

In March the Guatemalan Congress passed a law extending the death penalty

to those convicted of involvement in kid­ napping or abduction, their accomplices and those attempting to cover up such crimes. However, President Ramiro de Le6n Carpio neither ratified nor vetoed the law within the legally specified period, leaving its status unclear at the end of the year. In June President de Le6n announced the "demobilization" of military commis­ sioners, as required by the March 1994 human rights accord (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Since the 1 930s, military commissioners had acted as local agents of the army, responsible for forced military conscription and passing informa­ tion to the army. They had been implic­ ated in numerous human rights abuses including the extrajudicial execution in July 1 993 of publisher and politician Jorge Carpio Nicolle (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). The government claimed that forced military conscription had ended, but cases continued to be re­ ported. Local human rights groups were concerned that the commissioners would continue to operate as civilians. The government encouraged the forma­ tion of new civilian "self-defence" squads, armed and trained by the military, ostens­ ibly as a response to a rise in urban crime. These squads, civil patrols (civilian militia in which Guatemala's largely indigenous peasants are forced to serve) and a number of new vigilante groups apparently acting with official complicity were reportedly responsible for killing members of juven­ ile gangs and petty criminals as part of a campaign of "social cleansing". These new "death squads" were also implicated in human rights abuses against suspected opponents of the government. In June, six people, including repres­ entatives of MINUGUA and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who were ne­ gotiating the peaceful return of refugees to a site in El Quiche Department, were briefly taken hostage by a civil patrol com­ manded by a military commissioner. Over 1 50 extrajudicial executions and scores of " disappearances" were reported, but the true total was believed to be signi­ ficantly higher. Peasants, many of them indigenous, continued to be subjected to human rights violations, including extra­ judicial executions and "disappearances", many of which took place in the context of land disputes with local landowners.

161

GUATEMALA

1 62

Arnoldo Xi, a member of an indigenous peasant organization, the Coordinadora Nacional Indfgena y Campesina, National Indigenous and Peasant Coordinating Committee, was shot and abducted by heavily armed men in March, near the community of Matucuy, Purula, Baja Vera­ paz Department. Arnoldo Xi's companion escaped and reported that private security guards employed by landowners and act­ ing with the cooperation and acquiescence of the security forces were responsible. Arnoldo Xi's fate and whereabouts were unknown at the end of the year. In October, 1 1 people were killed when soldiers opened fire on former refugees and displaced persons resettled at Xamm, Chisec, Alta Verapaz Department. Among the victims was an eight-year-old boy re­ portedly shot as the soldiers retreated. Some 1 7 other villagers were injured in the attack. Witnesses stated that the army patrol entered the community as villagers were preparing to celebrate the first an­ niversary of their return to Guatemala. After an argument about the right of the army patrol to enter the community in the light of UN-brokered agreements guarantee­ ing the security of returned refugees and displaced persons, soldiers opened fire indiscriminately and exploded several grenades. Three soldiers were wounded by their own fire. Officials initially denied any army involvement, then claimed the patrol had been attacked after entering Xamm at the villagers' invitation. The Minister of Defence, General Mario En­ rfquez, was forced to resign, President de Le6n announced a high-level commission of inquiry, and the entire patrol was re­ portedly arrested and placed under the jurisdiction of a military court. Priests, pastors and religious personnel involved in human rights work were among those who were killed or who "dis­ appeared". Manuel Saquic Vasquez, an evangelical pastor and coordinator of a Kaqchikel Maya Human Rights Committee in Panabajal, Chimaltenango Department, was abducted on 23 June and reportedly tortured before being stabbed to death. His body was recovered from the Chimalte­ nango cemetery on 7 July; his throat had been slit and he had 33 stab wounds. Offi­ cials had reportedly known his burial place for some time, but had failed to in­ form either his family and colleagues or MINUGUA. Church officials reported that his

offices had been under surveillance by a local military commissioner for several weeks before his abduction. Local resi­ dents believed he was killed because of his human rights work and because he was the sole witness to a previous abduc­ tion by the same military commissioner. Four people investigating his killing re­ ceived death threats. In August Daniel Alvarez de Paz, an evangelical pastor, was killed in Jap6n Na­ cional, Suchitepequez Department. Invest­ igations into his killing and into that of Belgian priest Alfonso Stessel in an outly­ ing district of Guatemala City in Decem­ ber 1994 suggested that the killings were extrajudicial executions. The order to kill Father Stessel was reportedly issued to a juvenile gang by a government official whom Father Stessel was investigating in relation to an earlier attack on a trade union official. In June, 1 7-year-old Edwin Americo Orantes Martfnez was shot dead and another youth was wounded by a man identifying himself as a member of the Di­ recci6n de Investigaciones Crimino16gicas,

Criminal Inquiries Division, of the Na­ tional Police. Two nearby uniformed po­ licemen did not pursue the assailant, but instead briefly arrested another youth who had run for help. The case was referred to the Public Ministry for investigation. Trade unionists were also targeted for attack. Jhonny Martinez L6pez, a teacher and member of the Sindicato de Tra­ bajadores de Educaci6n de Guatemala,

Education Workers Trade Union, was ab­ ducted in June. His body was found in an anonymous grave in the general cemetery in Cobm in August. His killing was re­ portedly ordered by plantation owners who allegedly bribed officials not to in­ vestigate his death. Teachers pressing for an investigation into his killing reportedly received death threats. There were continuing reports of tor­ ture and ill-treatment by the security forces. In March civil patrol members beat Juan Sirin Raxjal and dragged him along the ground, breaking his leg, when he was late for patrol duty. They accused him of being a subversive. Human rights activists, trade unionists, journalists and others were subjected to harassment and intimidation. Workers in textile assembly plants and their relatives were harassed and threatened, apparently

GUATEMALA

to prevent unionization at the plants and to keep wages low. In February Debora Guzman Chupen, a trade union leader, was abducted, bound, blindfolded, in­ jected with a drug and threatened with death. She was released the following day but continued to receive death threats. In March Catarina Terraza Chavez, an Ixil Maya and a local leader of the largely indigenous Coordinadora Nacional de Viu das de Guatemala, National Coordinat­ ing Committee of Widows of Guatemala, an organization of women whose hus­ bands have been extrajudicially executed Or made to "disappear" by the army, was assaulted and threatened by an army in­ telligence officer. She had just returned from Guatemala City where she had par­ ticipated in a protest against continuing human rights violations in indigenous areas. She had reportedly been assaulted by the same officer in January 1994 when she was seven months pregnant. Little progress was made in clarifying the fate of tens of thousands of victims of past human rights abuses or in bringing th ose responsible to justice. Independent forensic groups undertook further ex­ �Umations at sites where large-scale extra­ Judicial executions had been reported during the army's counter-insurgency Cam paign of the late 1 970s and early 1 980s. The remains of several hundred people were uncovered, but no investiga­ tions were known to have been under­ taken by official bodies to determine how the victims died or who was responsible. Government officials continued to ob­ stru ct efforts to exhume victims of human rights violations buried in some of the 1 00 or more clandestine cemeteries believed to exist ip Guatemala. In July members of the independent Equipo A rgentin0 de A ntropo1ogia Forense, Argentine Forensic Anthropo logy Team, recovered the re­ mains of at least 1 71 people at Las Dos Erres in El Peten Department, where 350 men, women and children had report­ edly been extrajudicially executed by the Guatemalan army in 1 982. Sixty-seven of those exhumed were children under 1 2 . Some victi ms were bound; others had bul­ �et wounds to their skulls. The local mil­ �tary commissioner reportedly tried to l� pede the exhumation by threatening �ltnesses, relatives, Guatemalan human nghts monitors and members of the for­ ensic team .

Information surfaced concerning the in­ volvement of the us Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with Guatemalan military of­ ficials linked to abuses including the tor­ ture, "disappearance" and extrajudicial execution of us citizens or their relatives. us citizen Jennifer Harbury persisted in her efforts to exhume the remains of her husband, Efrafn Bamaca, an opposition commander who "disappeared" after hav­ ing been wounded in combat with the Guatemalan army in 1 992 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). The Guatemalan military maintained that he died in combat. However, in March us Congressman Robert Torricelli made pub­ lic information confirming that Efrafn Ba­ maca had been taken into custody by the army, tortured, then extrajudicially execu­ ted, and that us officials had known this for some time before informing Jennifer Harbury. Congressman Torricelli's in­ formation also suggested that both the death of Efrafn Bamaca and of us citizen Michael Devine, killed in 1990, had been carried out by troops under the command of a Guatemalan colonel, who was being paid by the CIA at the time of their deaths. us President Bill Clinton ordered an offi­ cial inquiry into these and other cases involving us citizens which led to discip­ linary action against several CIA employ­ ees. In Guatemala, however, those named as implicated in the deaths were not arres­ ted or charged. Jennifer Harbury, a former soldier with information about the case and Dr Eduardo Arango Escobar, the Pub­ lic Ministry prosecutor assigned to invest­ igate the case, received death threats. Dr Arango withdrew from the case after his office was fired upon in June; the soldier left Guatemala. Amnesty International repeatedly called on the Guatemalan authorities to carry out genuine inquiries into both past and new human rights violations. Am­ nesty International delegates who visited the country in March and April collected testimony from victims of and witnesses to human rights violations. The delegates reiterated to government officials the or­ ganization's view that impunity had to be ended as a necessary step towards pre­ venting further violations. In November the organization submit­ ted information on Guatemala to the UN Committee against Torture.

1 63

GUINEA

1 64

GUINEA

Dozens of opposition party supporters, including prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience, were de­ tained for short periods. One political prisoner arrested in 1992 continued to be held without trial. There were new allegations of torture and ill-treatment of detainees. At least 16 prisoners died in custody in unexplained circumstances. Prison conditions were especially harsh. Six people were sentenced to death; there were no executions. Legislative elections, held in June, con­ cluded the transition to democracy initi­ ated in 1 990. They were won by President Lansana Conie's Parti de l'unite et du pro­ gres, Party of Unity and Progress. The run­ up to the June elections was marked by arrests and intimidation of members and supporters of the main opposition parties, the Rassemblement du peuple de Guinee (RPG) , Guinean People's Rally, and the Parti du renouveau et du progres (PRP) , Party of Renewal and Progress. Dozens of opposition party supporters, including prisoners of conscience, were detained during the year. At least 14 PRP activists were detained in January at Gaoual in Moyenne Guinee and taken to Boke, the regional capital. They were re­ leased when the PRP threatened to mount a protest demonstration. In March at least four people were detained in Kankan for wearing T-shirts bearing a picture of Alpha Conde, the RPG leader, and several RPG members were detained in April at Nzerekore in Guinee Foresti�re. They were released uncharged after several days. In June Cheick Mohamed Diallo, one of the RPG' S election candidates, and 30 of

his supporters were briefly detained at Mandiana in Haute Guinee. They had been wearing opposition party T-shirts. Some were ill-treated in custody. Some detainees were held for several weeks. For example, Mamadi Sanoh and Fanta Conde were arrested at Kissidougou in Guinee Foresti�re in March and held for more than three weeks before being re­ leased without charge. There were further arrests of opposition supporters after a strike known as "ville morte" (dead city), launched by the op­ position parties in September. Some were soon released but at the end of the year a few were still detained in Nzerekore prison. Souleymane Diallo, the director of Lynx, a satirical newspaper, was detained for 24 hours in October. He was charged with offending the Head of State after the publication of an article in August deemed -to be critical of the President. Souleymane Diallo was subsequently con­ victed and received a three-month sus­ pended prison sentence and a fine. Six students, arrested in 1 994 and each sentenced to one year's imprisonment and a fine, were released after they were par­ doned by President Conte in February. Amadou IJ Diallo continued to be de­ tained (see previous Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports). He was arrested in October 1 992 for allegedly attempting to assassinate the Head of State. No trial date had been set by the end of the year. There were allegations of torture and ill-treatment of political detainees and criminal suspects by police. Mamadi Sanoh told the press after his release in April that at Kissidougou Camp he had been brutally beaten by soldiers. Other op­ position activists detained before the June elections alleged that they were ill-treated by the security forces. No action was taken by the government to investigate such complaints and to bring to justice those responsible. Sixteen criminal suspects died in unex­ plained circumstances at Conakry prison in the early hours of 1 January. They were reportedly beaten on two occasions before being placed in a cell without adequate ventilation, where most of them died ap­ par'ently as a result of the beatings or suf­ focation. Thirteen of the victims were buried immediately. The Public Prosecu­ tor announced that a judicial inquiry had

GUINWGUYANA

been opened, without disclosing its terms, but no findings had been made public by the end of the year. Hundreds of criminal prisoners were hel d in conditions which amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. At Nzerekore prison, for example, prison­ ers were reportedly held naked in over­ crowded and grossly insanitary cells and den ied adequate food , exercise or medical treatment. One cell, known as "Burkina", Co ntained 35 naked detainees and others shackled by their legs who were lying on bare ground covered in excrement. Pris­ oners were also held in severely over­ crowded conditions and denied adequate food and medical care at Lola prison in GUinee Foresti�re. The non-governmental

ASSociation guineenne des droits de l'homme, Guinean Human Rights Associ­

�tion, visited several prisons in 1994 and �n March 1 995 published a report describ­ IDg the total lack of sanitation and basic faci lities. At least six people were sentenced to death after being convicted of murder and other offences. All six lodged appeals which had not been heard by the end of 1 995. There were no known executions. Amnesty International delegates visited GUinea in March and April and met local human rights and other organizations. Despite explicit assurances from the au­ thorities that the delegation would be able t? pursue its objectives without restric­ tion, police confiscated two documents from Amnesty International's delegates at the airport, although the documents in qu stio n were publicly available in � G U IDea. In November Amnesty International a report, Guinea: Does the polit­ ublished �

lca� will exist to improve human rights?,

whIch documented arbitrary arrests, tor­ ture, deaths in custody, prison conditions and the death penalty. The organization �alled on the authorities to conduct full I�vestigations into human rights viola­ hons, to introduce and implement safe­ guards against such violations and to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice.

165

GUYANA •

At least four people were sentenced to death and 19 people remained under sen· tence of death for murder. No executions were carried out. An inquest was still pending into the case of a man who died in police custody in 1994.

At least four people were sentenced to death for murder and 1 9 people were under sentence of death at the end of the year. No executions were carried out dur­ ing the year. In May the Ministry of Home Affairs re­ sponded to Amnesty International's in­ quiries about Shivnarine Dalchand, who died in police custody in August 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). It stated that an inquest was still pending into his death. In May and September the Ministry of Home Affairs also responded to Amnesty International's inquiries about the alleged ill-treatment of Zabeeda Hussain, who al­ leged that she suffered a miscarriage after police had beaten her in custody, and others who alleged ill-tr atment by police in July 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). The Ministry stated that Zabeeda Hussain had not reported that she had been ill-treated to the relevant au­ thority and that police officers and mem­ bers of the public who had been present at the time of the July 1 994 arrests denied any knowledge of the reported assaults. In its response, the Ministry also claimed that it was not unusual for persons alleg­ ing assault to produce medical certificates whose authenticity had not been verified. Inquests had not yet taken place into the cases of Rickey Samaroo and Joseph Persaud, who were shot dead by police

GUYANA/HAITI

1 66

in September 1 993 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Amnesty International continued to seek more information on the case of Zabeeda Hussain.

HAITI -') 4'. ", '\ ' .

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Reform of the security forces, the prison system and the judiciary contin­ ued. In January President Aristide offi­ cially reduced the army from 7,000 to 1 ,500 men and by the end of the year moves were under way to abolish the army completely. Approximately 3,500 former soldiers had been integrated into an Interim Public Security Force (lPSF). There was widespread concern that insuf­ ficient measures were taken to screen out known perpetrators of human rights viola­ tions from the lPSF. In April a National Po­ lice Academy was inaugurated to train cadets of the newly-established Police na­ tionale d'Hai'ti (PNH) Haitian National Po­ lice. By December some 3 ,000 new police had been deployed. The lPSF was officially disbanded but some officers were incorp­ orated into the PNH. In May the government established the ,

.

A few former military and paramilitary officials were tried and convicted in con­ nection with past human rights abuses, although most were not in custody. In­ vestigations continued into several other massacres and extrajudicial executions from the past. A number of people suspected of having committed human rights violations were released from prison in controversial circumstances. Unconfirmed reports indicated the poss­ ible involvement of a serving government minister in the murder of two people in March. There were reports of beatings by prison guards and inappropriate use of firearms by police. The us-led Multinational Force, which had restored President Jean-Bertrand Aris­ tide to power in October 1 994, was re­ placed in March by the UN Mission in Haiti. The joint Organization of American States (oAs)/UN International Civilian Mis­ sion in Haiti (MICIVrH), which returned to the country in December 1 994 , continued its human rights monitoring work. Both missions were mandated to remain until February 1 996. Following elections held between June and September, parties supporting Presid­ ent Aristide won a substantial majority in the new National Assembly which started sitting in October. In December presiden­ tial elections were held. President Aristide was constitutionally barred from seeking re-election. However, Rene Preval, stand­ ing on behalf of the Lavalas political movement supporting President Aristide, was elected to take office in February 1996.

A dministration

penitentiaire

nationale

National Penitentiary Administra­ tion, a civilian agency located within the Ministry of Justice. There continued to be widespread reports of corruption and inefficiency within the judicial system, which re­ mained so under-resourced that it barely functioned in some rural areas. In July a training college for judicial personnel, the Ecole nationale de la magistrature, Na­ tional Magistrates' College, was opened. In September a presidential decree estab­ lished the post of Protecteur des Citoyens et Citoyennes, Protector of Citizens, an ombudsman to investigate abuses per­ petrated by public officials. In March the Commission nationale de verite et de justice, National Commission for Truth and Justice, established by pres­ idential decree in December 1 994, was of­ ficially inaugurated. Its task was "to establish globally the truth concerning the most serious human rights violations com­ mitted between 29 September 1991 and 1 5 October 1 994 inside and outside the coun­ try and to help towards the reconciliation of all Haitians, without prejudice to judi­ cial remedies that might arise from such violations". The Commission was man­ dated to identify those responsible for such violations and to recommend repara­ tions for the victims, as well as to recom­ mend reforms of state institutions and measures to prevent the resurgence of ille­ gal organizations. It was due to finalize its report in December. (APENA),

HAITI

In some parts of the country, bureaux de doJeances, complaints offices, were set

up, where victims of human rights abuses or their relatives could lodge official com­ plaints. In September a presidential de­ cree established that 20 per cent of the J ustice Ministry's budget would be set aside to assist such people. The govern­ ment contracted a group of lawyers to in­ vestigate a few of the most blatant cases of human rights violations that had taken place under the military government. The government requested the extradi­ tion from the USA of Emmanuel Constant, former leader of the Front pour l'avance­ ment et le progres d'HaW ( FRAPH ) , Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti. He had fled Haiti in December 1 994 after failing to answer a summons issued �gainst him in connection with a judicial lllvestigation into FRAPH'S involvement in human rights abuses. A US court ordered his deportation to Haiti in August, and by the end of the year preparations were un der way to return him to Haiti to stand trial. Emmanuel Constant was also being Sued for damages in a US court for the al­ leged assault by FRAPH in 1 993 on Alerte Belance, an Aristide supporter who subse­ quently obtained asylum in the USA. Law­ yers acting on her behalf subpoenaed us ?Overnment agencies for documents reI at­ lllg to FRAPH which had been seized by us sold iers from the organization's offices in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, in Oc­ tober 1994. As a result of the subpoenas, the existence of some 60,000 pages of documents came to light. At the end of the year, the us authorities were considering a request from the Haitian Government for the return of the documents. In March the Haitian Government sub­ �itted a summary report to the UN Human �Ights Committee in conformity with Art­ Icle 40 of the International Covenant on ivil and Political Rights, the first time it ad done so since Haiti ratified the Coven­ ant in February 1 991. Prison conditions improved markedly, but reports of beatings by prison guards we�e received. In some cases disciplinary �cho n was taken against those respons­ Ible. There was particular concern about reports that 20 youths aged between 12 and 1 7 were beaten i n Fort National prison in Port-au-Prince in November It . Was not clear what action, if any, was taken by the authorities in that case.



Serious problems with the administra­ tion of justice continued. A M1CIVIH invest­ igation into the situation of women and children held in Fort National prison found that several of them had been illeg­ ally detained and that there was no justi­ fication for their continued detention. It urged their immediate release. There were also alleged irregularities in the proced­ ures followed in several cases of govern­ ment opponents detained on suspicion of plotting against the government or illeg­ ally possessing weapons. Only a handful of alleged perpetrators of past human rights abuses were brought to trial and many of those were tried in ab­ sentia. In June former army lieutenant Jean Emery Piram was sentenced in ab­ sentia to 60 years' forced labour in con­ nection with the death under torture of Jean-Claude Museau in 1 992 (see Amnesty International Report 1 993). In August Gerard Gustave, a former attache (civilian auxiliary working with the army), was sentenced to forced labour for life for sev­ eral offences related to the extrajudicial execution of Antoine Izmery in 1 993 (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). In September, 17 others were tried and con­ victed in absentia in connection with the same case. They included former Chief of Police Michel Fran90is, who had fled to the Dominican Republic on President Aristide's return. Investigations into a number of past human rights violations continued. The cases included the massacre of over 200 peasants in Jean-Rabel in 1 987 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 988); the ex­ trajudicial execution of Justice Minister Guy Malary in 1 993 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 994); the extrajudicial exe­ cution of Father Jean-Marie Vincent in 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995); and the massacre of some 50 people in Raboteau, Gonalves, in 1 994 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 995).

Several people alleged to have been re­ sponsible for past human rights violations were released from prison in controversial circumstances. In September a former at­ tache, originally detained for common crimes but also allegedly under investiga­ tion for his suspected participation in the killing of Guy Malary, was released after being acquitted of the common crimes. The Haitian authorities later said that his release was a mistake and that they were

1 67

HAITI;HONDURAS

1 68

seeking his recapture. There were allega­ tions that the us Government had arranged the release of the former attache, who re­ portedly admitted to lawyers investigating the killing of Guy Malary that he had been in the pay of the us Embassy from 1991 onward. A us government spokesman de­ nied that the USA was involved in securing the man's release and said that he had no connection with the USA at the time of the killing of Guy Malary. A former chef de section (rural police chief) was arrested in March in connection with abuses that had occurred in Artibonite department be­ tween 1 992 and 1 994. He was taken to St Marc Prison and was released in May by local court officials, reportedly after he had bribed them. Several court officials were arrested but subsequently released. It was not clear whether any disciplinary measures were taken against them. The former chef de section was rearrested in July and taken to the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince. Twenty-six people ar­ rested by us soldiers in the first few months after President Aristide's return, some of them suspected of having perpet­ rated human rights abuses, were released without charge after being handed over to the Haitian authorities. Several people, including known op­ ponents of President Aristide, were killed during the year but in only one case was any specific allegation made that the Hait­ ian authorities might have been involved. In March Mireille Durocher Bertin, a law­ yer and opponent of President Aristide, and Eugime Baillergeau, one of her clients, were shot dead in the capital. The govern­ ment launched an investigation into the killings and requested assistance from the us Federal Bureau of Investigation. Press reports, quoting us military intelligence sources, alleged that four people arrested by us soldiers in Haiti just before the kill­ ing had informed them that the Haitian In­ terior Minister was involved in a plot to kill Mireille Durocher Bertin. In Septem­ ber the four detainees were provisionally released. There was no further news of the progress of the investigations by the end of the year. Several dozen lynchings, usually of a spontaneous nature, took place when crowds, apparently frustrated by the fail­ ure of the authorities to deal adequately with crime, took the law into their own hands. Members of brigades de vigilance

(vigilance brigades) set up to help police in crime prevention were also occasion­ ally involved in acts of violence. Legal ac­ tion was only rarely taken against those responsible in such cases. Members of both the lPSF and the PNH were accused of using firearms inappro­ priately on several occasions, in a few cases leading to the death of the victim. In a small number of cases, those responsible were suspended or disciplined but none were known to have been prosecuted. In March an Amnesty International delegation visited the country and met government officials including President Aristide. The delegates stressed the need to end impunity by bringing to justice those responsible for past human rights vi­ olations, and the need for the security forces and brigades de vigilance to be properly trained and accountable for their actions. Questioned about the reasons for the release of the 26 prisoners handed over to them by the us military in January, the Minister of Justice said that his gov­ ernment was given insufficient document­ ation by the us military to justify their continued detention. The Amnesty Inter­ national delegates visited Port-au-Prince, Cap-HaItien, Les Cayes, GonaIves and sev­ eral other places. In St Marc, they asked local officials about the legal situation of a former chef de section (see above) who local human rights activists feared would either be released or enabled to escape by court officials. In June the organization wrote to the Minister of Justice to express concern about how his case had been han­ dled. In December Amnesty International called for an investigation into the allega­ tions that youths detained in Fort National prison had been beaten by guards and urged the release of those held without legal justification.

HONDURAS Steps were taken to bring to justice those responsible for some past human rights violations, although there was little or no progress in other cases. Human rights act­ ivists and those seeking to clarify human rights violations were subjected to intim­ idation, including death threats. The government of President Carlos Roberto Reina continued its program of

HONDURAS

human rights reforms. In October Con­ gress granted constitutional status to the office of the Comisionado Nacional para la Protecci6n de los Derechos Humanos, National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights. This gave the Commis­ sioner a supervisory role complementary to the investigative role of the Attorney General.

, '.'

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.

Steps were taken to bring to justice those responsible for some past human rights violations. Ten army and police offi­ cers were charged in July in connection with the temporary "disappearance" of six university students in 1 982. The Special Human Rights Prosecutor in the Attorney General's office charged the 10 with at­ tempted murder and illegal detention. In October the judge in charge of the case, Ray Edmundo Medina, ordered the arrest ?f three of those charged but they went IDto hiding. These would have been the first arrests of security officials charged with human rights violations in Honduras. J udge Medina was reportedly subjected to death threats and shots were fired at his cou rt. At the end of the year judicial pro­ ceedings were continuing. However, other cases appeared to have stal led. Despite the exhumation and iden­ tification in December 1 994 of the remains of laWyer Nelson Mackay Chavarrfa, there Was little progress in bringing those 7esponsible for his "disappearance" to Justice (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) . Investigations by the Attorney General's office and judicial proceedings Continued and relatives, witnesses and �embers of the military were called to glVe evidence. However, no further devel­ O ?ments in establishing responsibility for hIS " disappearance" were reported. The remains of nine people were exh umed in different parts of the country between October and November. The ex­ humations were initiated by the Special Human Rights Prosecutor and two non-

governmental human rights organizations, the Comite de Familiares de Detenidos De­ saparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), Com­ mittee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras, and the Comite para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (CODEH), Cummittee for the Defence of Human Rights in Honduras. Definitive identifications were pending at the end of the year but the organizations and families were fairly certain that in at least five cases the remains belonged to people who "disappeared" in the 1 980s. Relatives of the "disappeared" and other human rights activists were sub­ jected to intimidation. Death threats were sent to members of CODEH and COFADEH as well as to staff in the office of the National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights. A COFADEH staff member, Leonel Casco Gutierrez, was reportedly told of an army plan to kill him and was followed by unidentified armed men on motorcycles. The family of Juan Pablo Rivas Calder6n, a retired army major who was killed in January, was also subjected to death threats and surveillance. Juan Pablo Rivas Calder6n was shot dead by uniden­ tified gunmen in San Pedro Sula. He had earlier told a court and CODEH that he feared for his life since accusing a former head of the armed forces of corruption. Members of his family, including his wife Norma Bessy Jeresano de Rivas, received anonymous threatening telephone calls and in March his son, Juan Pablo Rivas Jeresano, narrowly escaped when a car without number plates tried to run him over. Similar vehicles followed members of the Rivas Jeresano family and stood watch outside the family home. Staff of the Casa Alianza Honduras, Covenant House of Honduras, a non­ governmental organization working with street children in the capital, Tegucigalpa, received a series of bomb threats in July. The organization had been campaigning against children being held together with adults in Honduran prisons. According to reports, up to 28 children had been held in a cell with adults in the Penitenciaria Central, Central Prison, in Tegucigalpa. Some claimed to have been physically ab­ used by adult prisoners and at least one had been raped by an adult prisoner. Amnesty International issued a report in June, Honduras: The beginning of the

1 69

HONDURAS/HONG KONG

1 70

end of impunity?, which described the government's efforts to end impunity for human rights violations, and the obstacles and barriers faced by those investigating "disappearances". The report examined the armed forces' denial of responsibility for the scores of "disappearances" that took place in Honduras in the early 1 980s. Amnesty International called on the gov­ ernment to take concrete measures to overcome the obstacles impeding official investigations into "disappearances" and urged the international community to sup­ port all attempts to end impunity. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities to take measures to guarantee the safety of members of non-governmen­ tal organizations and of the Rivas Jeresano family, to investigate the incidents and to bring those responsible to justice. The or­ ganization also appealed to the authorities to protect juvenile prisoners from the threat of abuses and pointed out that under the Honduran Constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Honduras ratified in 1 990, children should not be imprisoned together with adults.

HONG KONG

There was growing uncertainty a s t o the implementation of human rights safe­ guards after the forthcoming return to Chinese sovereignty. Thou ands of Viet­ namese asylum-seekers remained in de­ tention, mo t facing forcible return to Viet Nam. In September the Democratic Party, which had often been critical of Governor Christopher Patten and of Chinese Gov­ ernment policies towards Hong Kong, won

a clear majority in the elections to the Le­ gislative Council. The Chinese Govern­ ment reaffirmed its intention to disband the Council in July 1 997. In December the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress appointed a 150-member Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), to be set up in July 1 997 when China resumes sover­ eignty over the territory. The Committee was mandated to nominate the 400 mem­ bers of a Selection Committee to draw up a list of candidates from which the Chi­ nese Government would designate the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR during 1 996. In June China and the United Kingdom (UK) agreed in principle that the Court of Final Appeal (CrA) , which would form the highest judicial body in Hong Kong after July 1997, would start operating on 1 July 1997. Earlier suggestions that the CFA start operating before that date to ease the tran­ sition of sovereignty were abandoned. In August a senior Chinese official indicated that the Chief Executive designate would be involved in the choice of CFA judges. Chine e officials also reiterated a state­ ment, first made in December 1 994 , that all judges were to be reappointed by the Hong Kong SAR Government. These state­ ments gave rise to concern that current levels of judicial independence could be undermined after July 1997. In September the Preliminary Working Committee (pwc), an advisory body set up by China in 1 993 to prepare the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, stated that it considered the 1991 Bill of Rights Ordin­ ance to be partly inconsistent with the terms of the 1984 Sino-British Joint De­ claration on the Question of Hong Kong and with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, adopted by China in 1990 and due to come into force in 1 997. The Ordinance translates into Hong Kong law most provi­ sions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The pwc's statement led to renewed fears that the Hong Kong SAR authorities could seek to amend the Bill of Rights after 1 997 to restrict the scope of the human rights safe­ guards it contains. In October the UN Human Rights Com­ mittee, considering the fourth periodic re­ port of the l J K on the implementation of the ICCPR in Hong Kong, criticized the lack

HONG KONG/HUNGARY

of adequate remedies for the victims of human rights violations. It asked the Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their re­ fusal to establish an independent human rights commission. It asked the UK author­ ities to present a supplementary report by May 1 996, outlining new developments in human rights safeguards in Hong Kong and the action taken by the Hong Kong au­ thorities to implement the Committee's re­ cOmmendations. In a statement by its Chai rperson the Committee affirmed that the ICCPR would continue to protect the rights of the people of Hong Kong after its reversion to Chinese sovereignty. The Committee based this view on jurispru­ ence establishing that when territory IS transferred from one state to another, the successor state continues to be bound by the obligations under human rights treaties, such as the ICCPR, entered into by the predecessor state. It added that this view was consistent with the agreement reached in 1 984 by China and the UK that the ICCPR and other international instruments, as applied to Hong Kong, would remain in force beyond 1 997. The COmmittee emphasized that the obligation �o report on how the ICCPR is implemented In Hong Kong would continue to apply after 1 997. In January, two police officers, who had been charged with assaulting dentist Leu ng Shu-keung in April 1 993, were ac­ ��itte d. However, the presiding judge crit­ lClzed the investigation into the case by the Com plaints Against the Police Office ?O d accused it of having been "lethargic, Inefficient and incompetent". Over 20,000 Vietnamese asylum-seek­ ers continued to be held in detention camp s t 4roughout the year. Virtually all of them had been denied refugee status, following a flawed refugee determination procedure (see previous Amnesty Interna­ . honal Reports). Most faced forcible return to V iet Nam. There were reports that asy­ um-seekers were ill-treated by the secur­ Ity forces, particularly during large-scale operations to transfer some of the asylum­ seekers prior to forcible repatriation. ' In October Amnesty International pub­ l shed a r�port, Hong Kong: Safeguards for u . man rights, summarizing the organiza­ ho n's concerns about the insufficient rem edi es for victims of human rights vi­ Olatio ns. In October it submitted its report to the UN Human Rights Committee.

HUNGARY

?





There were reports of ill-treatment of detainees by police officers. resulting in death in one case. In January Budapest Municipal Court sentenced two former members of the militia to five years' imprisonment for fir­ ing on demonstrators in Salgotarjan in 1 956 when 47 people were killed. These were the first convictions for gross human rights violations committed during the suppression of the 1 956 uprising (see

Amnesty International Report 1 995).

There were reports of ill-treatment by police officers. Some of the victims ap­ peared to have been subjected to such treatment because they were foreigners or Roma. In April in Kunszentmikl6s, Farkas Geza, a Rom, was arrested by two police officers after he tried to assist a handi­ capped Rom who was being questioned by the police. Farkas Geza was reportedly punched, kicked and beaten with a rubber truncheon, in the police car as well as in the police station. A doctor was called in to stop heavy bleeding from a cut on his face, an injury resulting from the beating. Farkas Geza made a complaint about iU­ treatment, which was investigated, and he was also charged with assaulting police officers. In June Stefan Vasile Chis, a Romanian citizen, was arrested in Budapest on suspi­ cion of theft and taken to Third District Police Station. He was reportedly made to stand against the wall with legs spread apart and was kicked from behind in the genitals three times. After he fell to the ground he was repeatedly kicked and beaten. The next morning, after his

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release, Stefan Vasile Chis was admitted to a hospital where he underwent a uro­ logical operation. He remained in hospital for 10 days. In July Almc1si Lc1sz16 died as a result of a severe beating by police officers who searched his home in Pc1szt6. One police officer was arrested and three others were suspended from duty pending an invest­ igation. In the same month in Marcali, three police officers allegedly beat 1 8year-old Feher Gc1bor following a traffic accident. After his release from the police station, Feher Gc1bor received hospital treatment for concussion and bruises on his hands, feet and chest. Police officers claimed that Feher Gc1bor's injuries were caused by an accidental fall following their attempt to restrain him and accused him of assaulting them. In September Marius Carniciu, a Ro­ manian citizen, and Gianfranco Palidori, an Italian citizen, were stopped and alleg­ edly ill-treated by police officers in Buda­ pest. Marius Carniciu refused to pay a fine for not using his safety belt and took his passport back from the officer who alleg­ edly then started to punch and kick him. The officer handcuffed Marius Carniciu's hands behind his back and continued to beat him, shouting racial abuse. The other police officer slapped Gianfranco Palidori on the face and punched him in the chest. Marius Carniciu was slapped and kicked again at the police station. Both men were released the following day without being charged. A medical certificate described multiple lesions and bruises on Marius Carniciu's body consistent with beating. Amnesty International wrote to the Hungarian authorities urging them to initi­ ate thorough and impartial investigations into cases of ill-treatment which had been brought to their attention and to bring to justice anyone found responsible for human rights violations.

INDIA Thousands of political prisoners were de­ tained without charge or trial. Torture of detainees was endemic throughout the country. At least 100 people died in police and military custody, many as a result of torture. Dozens of political detainees "disappeared". Hundreds of

people were reportedly extrajudicially ex­ ecuted by members of the security forces. At least three people were judicially ex­ ecuted. Armed opposition groups commit­ ted grave human rights abuses, including deliberate and arbitrary killings of civil­ ians and hostage-taking.

The government continued to face vi­ olent opposition from armed political groups in several states, including Janunu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam and other northeastern states. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, was assassinated in a bomb explosion on 30 August; armed se­ cessionists reportedly claimed responsibil­ ity. Janunu and Kashmir remained under direct rule by the central government. Legislation allowing detention without charge or trial - such as the National Se­ curity Act and, in Janunu and Kashmir, the Public Safety Act - remained in force. However, the Terrorist and Disruptive Ac­ tivities (Prevention) Act (TADA) , which had been used to detain tens of thousands of political detainees without trial, lapsed on 23 May. Those held under the TADA re­ mained in detention. A Criminal Law Amendment Bill containing many of the same provisions as the TADA, many of which violate international human rights standards, was proposed but had not passed into law by the end of 1 995. The National Human Rights Commis­ sion (NHRC) , established in 1 993 (see Amnesty International Report 1 994), con­ tinued initiatives to raise public aware­ ness of human rights and held several state governments accountable for human rights violations. In its annual report, the NHRC made recommendations for the pre­ vention of violations in areas facing armed insurgencies or violent opposition. How­ ever, it continued to have only limited

INDIA

powers to investigate reports of violations by the armed forces in these areas or to recommend criminal prosecutions of armed forces personnel. Thousands of political prisoners were held without charge or trial under special or preventive detention laws which lacked vital legal safeguards. Many detainees Were held under these laws on suspicion of committing ordinary criminal offences but others were held for political reasons. In Jammu and Kashmir alone, thou­ sands of suspected political activists were detained without charge or trial under the Public Safety Act. Most were young men taken into custody by the security forces on suspicion of supporting the campaign for seces sion. A government report to the mIRe stated that 3 ,007 people were in de­ tention in Jammu and Kashmir in No­ vember 1 994. Local civil liberties groups esti mated the figure at 20,000. Sheikh Mo­ hammad Ashraf, a lawyer and President of the Baramulla branch of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, which has documented human rights vi­ olations in the state, was arrested by sol­ diers in mid-June. At first the army denied hOldi ng him, but on 2 July his family was allowed to see him for a few minutes. He Was reportedly released in September. Torture of detainees in police and military custody to extract information and "confessio ns" remained endemic in every state. Most victims were criminal suspects, although some were political detainees. Many torture victims came from underprivileged sections of society, such as the scheduled castes and sched­ uled tribes. The commonest torture meth­ ods were beatings, often with lath is (canes), ?lld , less frequently, suspension by the wrists or ankles, electric shocks and rape. For example, in January a mentally handicapped young man, Uzzal Das, was reportedly tortured by police in Noonmati Police station, Guwahati, Assam. He was severely beaten, resulting in multiple frac­ tures to his legs. No action was known to have been taken against the officers re­ SPonsible. In J arnmu and Kashmir, Nazir Ahmed Sheikh had to have both his feet amputated because they had developed ?angrene , reportedly as a result of torture l� custody in January. The government de­ med the allegations of torture but no inde­ pen?ent investigation was apparently carned out. Rape of women by members

of the security forces was also widely re­ ported. For example, three tribal women, one of whom was pregnant, were report­ edly raped by police and security force personnel in Tripura in April. Three po­ lice officers were reportedly suspended but no cruninal charges were known to have been brought. In J arnmu and Kashmir, people docu­ menting human rights abuses were at­ tacked by the security forces and by armed opposition groups, although in many cases responsibility for the attacks was difficult to determine. Journalists demon­ strating against state violence directed at the civilian population were severely beaten by members of the security forces in March; several had to be hospitalized. In April Mian Abdul Qayoom, President of the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Associ­ ation, and Parvez Imroz, Secretary of the Srinagar branch of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, were shot and injured by unidentified gunmen. In September a photographer was fatally injured when a bomb exploded in his office. An armed opposition group was reportedly implic­ ated in this attack. At least 1 00 people died in police and military custody, many as a result of tor­ ture. The majority of deaths in custody oc­ curred in Jammu and Kashmir, but at least 30 such deaths were also reported from other states including Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. According to re­ ports, 23 people were killed in police cus­ tody in West Bengal in the first nine months of 1 995. Among the victims was Agun Kassem, from Karimpur, who was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was beaten by police officers who then tied him to a jeep and dragged him 150 metres along a rough road. An inquiry was or­ dered after his death in Krishnagar Hos­ pital. In J arnm u and Kashmir, the bodies of Hilal Ahmad Nafti and two other resid­ ents of Hutrnara village, Anantnag, were found cut into pieces. They had been ar­ rested in mid-June. A fourth man arrested at the same time, Farooq Ahmad, report­ edly witnessed the killing of all three vil­ lagers before he escaped from police custody. Although an investigation was ordered, villagers reported that they were not called to testify and had been harassed by soldiers searching for Farooq Ahmad. Convictions of those responsible for deaths in custody were extremely rare.

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Investigations were very slow even when cases were pursued. The NHRC looked into the cases of 10 people who died in police custody in Bihar between 1986 and 1991. Investigations into four cases had been under way for between five and eight years and had yet to be completed. The government stated that 34 army personnel and 245 Border Security Force (BSF) per­ sonnel had been punished for "excesses" and "wrongdoings" in Jammu and Kash­ mir between 1 990 and 1 994, but failed to provide Amnesty International with de­ tails of the incidents to which these pun­ ishments related. In other states, death in custody cases which had been pending for many years were resolved. Courts convic­ ted police officers found responsible and ordered compensation to be paid. In May the Supreme Court sentenced four police personnel to prison terms for the death in custody of a villager in Rampura police station in Madhya Pradesh in 198 1 . The Supreme Court described the previous ac­ quittal of three of the four men in the Ses­ sions Court and High Court as showing a "could not care less attitude". In August a sessions judge in Karnataka sentenced eight police officers to life imprisonment for the murder of two men - Gurumurthy and Rajkumar - in police custody in 1 988. Dozens of political detainees "disap­ peared" during the year. Most were young men suspected of having links with armed opposition groups, many solely because they lived in areas where armed groups were active. Few "disappearances" were clarified. In Jarnmu and Kashmir the army and paramilitary forces were reportedly re­ sponsible for scores of "disappearances". For example, Ghulam Nabi Oar, an em­ ployee of the irrigation department, was reportedly arrested by soldiers in July 1 994 in Kulgam, Anantnag district. The army subsequently denied arresting him. His body was found near a road in May 1 995. Jaswant Singh Khalra, General Secret­ ary of the Human Rights Wing of the Akali Dal Party, "disappeared " after being arres­ ted by police in September. In January he had been instrumental in filing a petition with the High Court alleging that the bod­ ies of several hundred people who "dis­ appeared" in police custody in Punjab be­ tween 199 1 and 1 993 had been cremated by Punjab police in Amritsar district. The

police had claimed that the corpses were "unclaimed bodies". In October the Supreme Court ordered that a Central Bur­ eau of Investigations inquiry be instituted to investigate the allegations. Hundreds of people were reported to have been extrajudicially executed by the security forces. Nine unarmed civil­ ians were killed by soldiers in January in Imphal, Manipur, after a soldier was wounded by unidentified gunmen. Eye­ witnesses reported that soldiers rounded up bystanders and shot them at close range. A judicial inquiry was ordered. In February Punjab police were reported to have extrajudicially executed a man and raped several women in Bihar while on duty there during state elections. Eight people were killed in March when sol­ diers, members of the Rashtriya Rifles, opened fire on a crowd of unarmed civil­ ians in Kohima Town in Nagaland. Ac­ cording to the Nagaland Director General of Police, the soldiers had "resorted to in­ discriminate firing". A joint inquiry by the army and state government was set up and 400 soldiers were detained, but no further action had been taken by the end of 1 995. Extrajudicial executions in Jarnmu and Kashmir continued throughout the year. On 10 February, five shopkeepers were re­ portedly dragged from their shops and shot dead while pleading for their lives. Members of the BSF reportedly raided the area of Gada Kocha, Srinagar, in retali­ ation for an earlier attack on the BSF by an armed opposition group. Local people reported that they were beaten by BSF members when they tried to approach the victims of the shooting: one of the injured died two hours later. A magisterial invest­ igation was ordered. At least three people were judicially executed, two in Tamil Nadu and one in Maharashtra, and many others were sen­ tenced to death. At least two people were in imminent danger of execution after the Supreme Court upheld their death sentences. Armed opposition groups committed grave human rights abuses, including hostage-taking, torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings. The victims included politicians and suspected informers. For example, in Manipur, which held state elections in February, Mutum Deven, a candidate for the Manipur People's Party was abducted and killed and several

INDII\I1NDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

candidates suffered attempts on their lives, attributed to armed opposition groups. In Assam an armed opposition group, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) held hostages for ransom. Two government officials were held until April. One, Hemrarn Keet, a sales tax com­ missioner, had been held for 1 1 months. In May the ULFA released three traders held since October 1 994; a fourth seized at the same time had died in captivity. In J ammu and Kashmir, armed secessionist groups held numerous hostages during the year, including six forestry officials and two journalists abducted in July. A Nor­ wegian student, one of five foreign na­ tionals seized in July by the armed group AI-Faran, was killed in August. Amnesty International called on the government to ensure that all political prisoners were tried promptly and fairly; to investigate all allegations of torture and deaths in custody and to bring to justice those responsible; to implement safe­ guards against torture; and to commute death sentences and abolish the death penalty. Amnesty International appealed to armed opposition groups to stop human rights abuses and publicly urged them to release all hostages held in Jammu and Kashmir. In January Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, India: Torture and deaths in custody in Jammu and Kashmir, which Contained details of over 700 deaths in custody since 1 990. The government's response indicated that it was reluctant to implement eight key recommendations made by Amnesty International and dis­ missed most of the torture allegations. In March AIpnesty International published an analysis of the government's response and in November it published India: Tor­ ture continues in Jammu and Kashmir. An Open Letter to Members of Parliament ex­ preSSing Amnesty International's concerns about the Criminal Law Amendment Bill ( 1 995 ) was published in July. Sixty-eight deaths in custody in states other than J am mu and Kashmir were detailed in I�dia: Deaths in custody in 1 994, pub­ lished in August, to which the govern­ ment responded noting that many of the cases were under investigation. Amnesty International published two reports con­ Cerning human rights violations by the Punjab police: in May India: Punjab police

- beyond the bounds of the law; and in October India: Determining the fate of the "disappeared" in Punjab.

In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International included reference to its concerns in India.

INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

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Over 200 political prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience, were held. At least 20 prisoners of conscience were sentenced during the year. Hundreds of people were arrested and held briefly without charge or trial. Torture of de­ tainees, including juveniles, was com­ mon, in some cases resulting in death. At least five people "disappeared" in East Timor. Dozens of people were extrajudi­ cially executed. Previous cases of "disap­ pearances" and extrajudicial executions remained unresolved. At least 26 people remained on death row and three people were executed. Restrictions on civil liberties and har­ assment of alleged government critics and human rights activists continued. At least 26 seminars and meetings held by groups critical of the government were broken up by the police during the year. In May the performance of a play on labour rights was banned because it would allegedly have created social unrest. In August the gov­ ernment announced that it would lift restrictions on public gatherings but re­ strictions on political meetings remained at the end of the year. In May an Administrative Court ruled that the June 1 994 banning of a popular

1 75

INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

1 76

current affairs magazine had been unlaw­ ful. The government appealed unsucces fully against the decision. The government faced continued armed and peaceful opposition from groups seeking independence for Aceh, East Timor and Irian Jaya. Access by inter­ national and domestic organizations to East Timor and parts of Indonesia contin­ ued to be restricted, preventing effective monitoring of the human rights situation. In March the Chairman of the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights made a statement accepted by the member states of the Com­ mission, which reiterated concern about the human rights situation in East Timor and urged the Indonesian Government to investigate the 1 991 Santa Cruz massacre in DilL In December the UN High Commis­ sioner for Human Rights visited Indonesia and East Timor; his report was expected in early 1 996. The government failed to implement the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudi­ cial, summary or arbitrary executions in his December 1 994 report regarding the need to investigate past extrajudicial exe­ cutions fully and impartially and to pre­ vent further political killings by the security forces. The government-backed Komnas HAM, National Human Rights Commission, said in a three-page press statement in March that it had found evidence of extrajudicial executions in East Timor in January. In September the Commission announced that there had been killings, arbitrary ar­ rests, torture and "disappearances" in Irian Jaya. Following these two inquiries by the Commission, military investiga­ tions and courts-martial were conducted, but the government ignored the Commis­ sion's findings, either partially or com­ pletely, in many cases. Hundreds of thousands of alleged for­ mer members of the Indonesian Commun­ ist Party (PKI) remained subj ct to heavy restrictions on their freedom of movement and other civil rights despite the an­ nouncement by the government in August that it would remove a code from the identity cards of former prisoners. At least 20 peaceful human rights and political activists were sentenced to prison terms after unfair trials during the year, including at least one person trying to disseminate human rights information. Others, including human rights defenders,

were subjected to short-term arbitrary de­ tention. A member of parliament, Sri Bin­ tang Pamungkas, was tried in November. The prosecution alleged that he had insulted the government in a seminar discussion in Germany in April. The out­ come of his trial was not known by the end of the year. In September, two mem­ bers of an independent journalists' organ­ ization and an office worker were found guilty of " insulting the government" and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 20 to 32 months for their role in disseminat­ ing an unlicensed publication. In Novem­ ber the sentences on the two journalists were increased by four months. They were prisoners of conscience. Also in Septem­ ber, Tri Agus Susanto, a human rights act­ ivist, was found guilty of "insulting the President" and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. He was a prisoner of con­ science. In May Muchtar Pakpahan, an inde­ pendent union leader, was released from jail in Medan pending an appeal to the Supreme Court against his conviction for "incitement" (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In October he won his ap­ peal and was acquitted. Other labour act­ ivists remained at risk of imprisonment. Dita Indah Sari, leader of an independent trade union, and six others were facing charges for their role in what appeared to be a non-violent labour demonstration in July. At least 35 East Timorese prisoners of conscience were serving sentences of up to life imprisonment. At least 17 were tried and sentenced during the year, in­ cluding Jose Antonio Neves, who was sentenced to four years' imprisonment in February for allegedly attempting to seek international support for East Timorese in­ dependence and "disseminating feelings of hostility towards the government". Six­ teen youths and students were also sen­ tenced to prison terms after unfair trials because of their role in a peaceful demon­ stration in January. They were prisoners of conscience. Many of this group were not represented by independent lawyers. Sev­ eral defendants were known to have been threatened by the authorities to make them dismiss independent lawyers. In­ formation about trial dates was withheld from defendants and there was concern that statements from the defendants might have been extracted under torture.

INDONESIA AND EAST TIMOR

Hundreds of suspected political activ­ ists from East Timor were subjected to short-term detention and harassment. Up to 200 were believed to have been arrested fOllowing riots throughout East Timor in September and October. Most were re­ leased shortly afterwards but dozens were believed to remain in detention and to be facing trial. Around 150 political prisoners, many of them prisoners of conscience, contin­ ued to serve sentences of up to life im­ prisonment, imposed after unfair trials, for alleged links with armed secessionist movements in East Timor, Irian Jaya and Aceh, and with Islamic activism. In Janu­ ary, five people were tried and sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 20 years for their alleged role in an armed up­ rising in Aceh. At least two of the five Were convicted of subversion. Three prisoners, Omar Ohani, Or Subandrio and Sugeng Sutarto, held since the 1 960s after unfair trials for their al­ leged involvement in a 1 965 coup attempt, were released in August. At least 13 other prisoners, including five on death row, re­ mained in detention for their alleged role in the coup attempt. There were numerous reports of tor­ ture. In January a woman and two men from Jakarta were allegedly tortured in military detention after being detained with seven others while travelling to cent­ ral Jakarta to demonstrate against the de­ mol ition of their homes. One of them stated that they were slapped and kicked and that their skin had been smeared with Ointment to make the pain more intense. They were allegedly subjected to electric shocks resulting in burn marks on their thighs, arms and backs. Lawyers acting for the three detainees complained to the au­ thorities, but the allegations were not known to have been investigated by the end of the year. In East Timor, torture of political de­ tainees continued to be routine. In Sep­ tember a young man named Tito was tortured in both police and military cus­ tody, including in a military hospital, after being arrested for his alleged role in riots. When arrested, Tito was beaten with an iron bar and fists. Soldiers then kicked him in the chest and stood on his throat. As a result, Tito vomited blood and had a swollen hand, lacerations on his face and brUisi ng around both eyes.

Torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects were also commonplace and sometimes resulted in death. Edy Sartono, a 14-year-old boy, was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused, after being detained by police on a rape charge. In October a woman named Yuliani was found dead in a police cell in East Jakarta after being arrested on a criminal charge. Police claimed that she died as a result of in­ juries sustained when she banged her head repeatedly against the wall. An in­ vestigation was launched into her death but the results were not known by the end of the year. In August new information came to light about the "di appearance" of four men arrested in Irian Jaya in October 1 994 for alleged links with an armed secession­ ist movement. The men were last seen by relatives in military custody in November 1994. Their whereabouts remained un­ known, despite inquiries by both the Na­ tional Human Rights Commission and the military. In January, five men "disap­ peared" after being arrested by the milit­ ary in Dili, East Timor. In February East Timor's police chief announced an invest­ igation into their whereabouts, but their fate remained unknown at the end of the year. Extrajudicial executions of political and criminal suspects continued to be re­ ported in both Indonesia and East Timor. In May, 1 1 people, including women and children, were extrajudicially executed by the military in the village of Hoea in Irian Jaya. The security forces were pursuing members of an armed secessionist move­ ment, and had committed other human rights violations since June 1 994 around the PT Freeport Indonesia Mine in Tem­ bagapura, Irian Jaya. Both the National Human Rights Commission and the milit­ ary conducted an inquiry into the incid­ ent, and by the end of the year, four low-ranking soldiers were reported to be in military detention awaiting trial for their alleged role in the killings. In January, six men were extrajudi­ cially executed by the military in Liquiza, East Timor. The army originally claimed that the victims were armed guerrillas killed during fighting, but an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission revealed that they were civilians unlaw­ fully killed by the military because of al­ leged connections with the East Timorese

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resistance movement. Two soldiers were sentenced to prison terms of four and four and a half years for the killings. Several criminal suspects were killed by police in suspicious circumstances. Some victims were shot while allegedly trying to steal police weapons and others were shot as they pointed out hiding places of alleged accomplices. In Septem­ ber police in Banda Aceh shot and killed a man named Ahai, apparently because he and his companion were not wearing motor-cycle helmets. There was no evid­ ence to suggest that Ahai and his compan­ ion presented any threat to the police. In March Edy Pruwanto was shot dead by police after being arrested in connection with the murder of a policeman. Edy Pruwanto's wife withdrew legal action against the police, stating that she had been promised by the police that action would be taken against the officer re­ sponsible. The killing of four peaceful demon­ strators by the military on the island of Madura in September 1 993 remained un­ resolved (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 994). The role of the military in the May 1 993 killing of the labour activist, Marsinah, also remained unresolved (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Eight civilians accused of her mur­ der were acquitted in May by the Supreme Court. By the end of the year, the authorit­ ies had not provided any new information about the fate of the estimated 270 people killed and 200 others thought to have "disappeared" during and after the 1 991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, des­ pite being urged to do so by the UN Com­ mission on Human Rights. No official investigations had been conducted into the extrajudicial executions of at least 2,000 civilians in Aceh between 1 989 and early 1 993. At least 25 people were believed to remain under sentence of death. Three people were executed during the year, in­ cluding 52-year-old Kacong Laranu who had spent over eight years on death row. Others remained at imminent risk of exe­ cution after their appeals for presidential clemency were turned down, including a family of three convicted of murder in 1 989. Amnesty International repeatedly ap­ pealed for the immediate and uncondi­ tional release of all prisoners of con-

science, for the review of the cases of long­ term political prisoners, and for urgent steps to be taken to stop torture, extrajudi­ cial executions and the use of the death penalty. In January it published Indonesia and East Timor: Political prisoners and the "Rule of Law"; in July, East Timor: Twenty years of violations; and in Septem­ ber, Indonesia: [rian Jaya - National Human Rights Commission confirms vi­ olations. In December Amnesty Interna­

tional published a report on human rights violations against women in Indonesia and East Timor. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights Amnesty Interna­ tional included reference to its concerns in both Indonesia and East Timor. In an oral statement to the UN Special Com­ mittee on Decolonization, Amnesty Inter­ national described its concerns about extrajudicial executions, torture and other human rights violations in East Timor.

IRAN

Reports of political arrests, torture, unfair trials and summary executions continued to be received. Thousands of political prisoners were held during the year, in­ cluding prisoners of conscience; some were detained without charge or trial, while others were serving long prison sentences imposed after unfair trials. The judicial punishment of flogging continued to be implemented. Several "disappear­ ances" both inside and outside Iran were reported. At least 47 people, including political prisoners, were executed. The government, headed by President 'Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, continued to face armed opposition from the Iraq-

IRAN

based Peoples' Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), and organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) in Kurdistan and Baluchi groups in Sis­ tan-Baluchistan. In April up to 10 demonstrators were shot dead in Islamshahr by members of the Revolutionary Guards during protests at price rises and inadequate water sup­ plies. Hundreds were arrested; most were later released, but about 50 remained in detention facing unspecified charges. They were not known to have been tried by the end of the year. In April the head of the judiciary an­ nounced the establishment of an Islamic Human Rights Commission. In May legis­ lation, passed in 1 994, reforming the court system came into effect in most courts in the country. Under this legislation, judges became responsible for prosecution in public and revolutionary courts. In March and July, the UN Commission On Human Rights and the UN Sub-Com­ mission on Prevention of Discrimination an d Protection of Minorities adopted res­ olutions condemning human rights viola­ tions in Iran (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). The Commission extended the mandate of the UN Special Represent­ ative on the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further year. The UN Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance visited Iran in De­ cember for the first time. Invitations were also extended to the UN Special Rappor­ teur on freedom of expression and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, but they had not visited the country by the end of the year. Thousands of political prisoners, in­ cluding prisoners of conscience, were held during the year. Javad Rouhani, the SOn of Grand Ayatollah Sadeq Rouhani, Was arrested in July in Qom. Grand Aya­ tollah Rouhani had written an open letter � o President Hashemi Rafsanjani criticiz­ Ing certain government policies and com­ plaining that he had been held under house arrest for more than 10 years. In Au­ gust at least 25 people were arrested when they gathered outside Grand Ayatollah �ouhani's house to protest at the authorit­ Ies' actions. Javad Rouhani was later sen­ tenced to one year's imprisonment by a religious court, possibly on charges of oP position activities and contact with op­ pOSition figures abroad, but was released In December. The fate of the others was

still unknown at the end of the year. All were possible prisoners of conscience. At least 21 followers of Grand Ayatollah Shi­ razi, a senior religious figure, including his son, Morteza, were arrested between September and December. They may have been arrested solely on account of their as­ sociation with Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, who had opposed certain government pol­ icies. Their whereabouts were unknown at the end of the year. Sheikh Makki Akhound was reportedly sentenced to three years' imprisonment in connection with his association with Grand Ayatollah Shirazi. No information was received as to the fate of at least 14 followers of Ayatol­ lah Montazeri arrested in 1 993 and 1 994 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Five members of the Baha'i faith were reportedly held at the end of the year. Two of them, Behnam Mithaqi and Kayvan Khalajabadi, remained under sentence of death (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 994). Arrests of Christians, apparently on account of their religious activities, were also reported. 'Abbas Amir Entezam, a former Deputy Prime Minister arrested in December 1 979 and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of espionage, continued to be held; he was a possible prisoner of conscience. In February 1 995 he was transferred to a heavily guarded, gov­ ernment-owned house in Tehran. He con­ tinued to call publicly for a retrial in accordance with international standards. Other political prisoners arrested dur­ ing the year and held without trial in­ cluded members of opposition groups such as the PMOJ and supporters of Kurd­ ish organizations including the KDPJ. In August and September, 26 Kurds were reportedly arrested in connection with membership of the KDPJ. All but two, Sadigh Majidi and Zaher Ahmadi, had been released by the end of the year. Political prisoners serving long prison terms after unfair trials included sup­ porters of the PMOJ; at least 10 followers of Dr 'Ali Shari'ati; members of left-wing or­ ganizations such as the Tudeh Party; sup­ porters of Kurdish organizations such as the KDPI and Komala; and members of other groups representing ethnic minorit­ ies such as Baluchis and Arabs (see previ­ ous Amnesty International Reports). Retired General Azizollah Amir Rahimi and his son, Mehrdad Amir Rahimi, who

1 79

IRAN

180

were prisoners of conscience arrested in November 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995). were both released in March. Officials said that they had been freed pending trial on charges of "possess­ ing unauthorized weapons and use of il­ licit drugs". They were not known to have been tried by the end of the year. Several amnesties were pronounced during 1 995 but it was not known whether any political prisoners were released as a result. Political trials continued to fall far short of international standards for fair trial. The transfer to judges of authority for prosecution in public and revolutionary courts in particular compromised the in­ dependence of the judiciary. Trial hear­ ings were often held in camera and reports continued to indicate that political detainees were denied access to legal counsel during judicial proceedings, des­ pite official assurances to the contrary. For example, Javad Rouhani (see above) was reportedly denied access to a lawyer throughout his trial. There were continuing reports of tor­ ture or ill-treatment of prisoners and de­ tainees. In March Emin Olcer, a Turkish national who had entered Iran illegally, was reportedly arrested and detained for 39 days in a police station where he was blindfolded and given electric shocks. He was reportedly tortured again after being brought to trial. He was later deported to Turkey. At least three people reportedly died in custody, or shortly after release, possibly as a result of torture or ill-treatment. Mo­ harnmad Ali Norouzi was reportedly ar­ rested in July and held in Naqadeh prison for about 10 days. He died on the day of his release from a heart attack, according to official sources. Sayed Ibrahim Taheri's body was returned to his family in Au­ gust. He had been detained in March 1 994. Both were members of the KDPJ. No independent investigations were known to have been carried out into these deaths. Cruel. inhuman or degrading punish­ ments, including flogging and amputation, remained in force. Floggings were repor­ ted for a wide range of offences, often in conjunction with prison terms. In Septem­ ber a bride and her sister were reportedly sentenced to 85 and 75 lashes respectively for dancing with men at the wedding and 127 guests were sentenced to between 20

and 85 lashes or fines. In October a 1 6year-old girl in Najafabad was reportedly sentenced to life imprisonment and to have both her eyes gouged out for the murder of members of her family. The sentence was not known to have been car­ ried out by the end of the year. " Disappearances" were reported, both inside and outside the country. In January Mollah Abmad Khezri and Majid Sulduzi, Iranian Kurds who had fled to Iraq in 1 992, were reportedly handed over to the Iranian authorities by members of the Kurdish Revolutionary Hizbullah after they were abducted at a check-point on their way to Rawanduz in Iraqi Kurdistan. In March Iranian officials denied having any information as to their whereabouts. . Ali Tavassoli, a former member of the Or­ ganization of the Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority) (OlPF-Majority), went missing while on business in Azerbaijan in Sep­ tember. The authorities denied reports that Iranian agents had been responsible for his abduction. In October, three women were convic­ ted of the murder of Reverend Tatavous Michaelian and Reverend Mehdi Dibaj (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) and sentenced to prison terms of between 20 and 30 years. According to official re­ ports, they had confessed to carrying out the killings on behalf of the PMOI, which denied any involvement. Amnesty Inter­ national sought a copy of the full trial transcript, as well as the methods and de­ tailed findings of the investigation carried out by the Iranian authorities into these two deaths and that of a third Christian leader. In May the authorities said that a police report about the death of Sunni leader Haji Mohammad Zia'ie (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995) had concluded that he had died as a result of a car acci­ dent. However, the report did not include full details of the methods and results of the investigation. The threat of extrajudicial execution extended to many Iranian nationals abroad, as well as to non-Iranians such as the British writer Salman Rushdie whose killing had been called for in a Jatwa (reli­ gious edict) in 1989. At least 47 people were executed, some in public. As in previous years, the true number of executions for political and non-political offences, such as drug-

IRAN;1RAQ

trafficking and murder, was believed to be considerably higher than publicly reported. Among the political prisoners report­ edly sentenced to death in 1 995 was Rah­ man Rajabi who was sentenced to death in October, apparently in connection with Suspected membership of the KDPI. He had been arrested in July and held in Darya prison in Oromieh. Political prisoners executed in 1 995 in­ cluded Assad Akhavan, a member of the OIPF-Majority. His body was returned to his family in Langrud in September after several years' imprisonment. In Novemb r Mehdi Barazandeh was reportedly stoned to death for adultery and sodomy in Hamadan. Sal im Saberniah and Mustafa Ghaderi, two alleged members of Komala (see A m ­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and 1995), remained under sentence of death. I n August officials said that a court in Tabriz was investigating their petition for a new trial. Mahmood Zangari, sentenced to death in 1 993 for a murder he allegedly Committed when he was 17, was reported to be at imminent risk of execution in May, but was not known to have been executed by the end of the year. . Amnesty International sought clarifica­ hon of reports that the PMOI had tortured or ill-treated detainees in its custody in previous years. In response, the PMOI­ dominated National Council of Resist­ a�ce of Iran denied these allegations but faIled to allay the organization's concerns. � nesty International continued to lllvestigate the allegations. Amnesty International continued to press for the release of all prisoners of Conscience_ and for a review of the cases of all pol itical prisoners held without trial or after u nfair trials. It called on the govern­ ment to take effective measures to prevent t?�ture and to ensure fair trials for all po­ � Ihca l prisoners. The organization sought Information about the fate of people repor­ ted to have "disappeared " and appealed for cruel judicial punishments and death sentences to be commuted. The govern­ ment replied to certain inquiries, but r ely provided sufficient information to a lay the organization's concerns. In May Amnesty International pub­ ' hed a IIs report, Iran: Official secrecy hides Continuing repression, highlighting cases of po litical prisoners held without trial or

f

after unfair trial; the death penalty; and possible extrajudicial executions both in­ side and outside Iran. The government re­ sponded to the report, referring to its response to a previous report which ac­ cused the organization of "double stand­ ards" and "selectivity". It said that most of the cases raised had been examined and found to be without any reliable basis, but did not give details of any investigations.

Hundreds of suspected government op­ ponents and their relatives were detained and tens of thousands arrested in previ­ ous years continued to be held. Among them were prisoners of conscience. Tor­ ture remained widespread. The judicial punishments of amputation and branding were widely imposed. The fate of thou­ sands of people who had "disappeared" in previous years remained unknown. Numerous judicial and extrajudicial exe­ cutions were reportedly carried out. Human rights abuses were committed in areas of Iraqi Kurdistan under Kurdish control, including arbitrary arrests, tor­ ture and deliberate and arbitrary killings. Economic sanctions against Iraq, im­ posed by a UN Security Council cease-fire resolution in 1 99 1 , remained in force. Two "air exclusion zones" over northern and southern Iraq continued to be im­ posed. The distribution of humanitarian relief under the terms of a previous UN­ sponsored Memorandum of Understand­ ing continued on a reduced scale. In March Turkish government forces entered northern Iraq, apparently to pur­ sue members and fighters of the opposi­ tion Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). During

181

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military operations, incidents of human rights violations were reported against the local Iraqi population by Turkish armed forces. Also in March, armed clashes took place along the internal front-line in Arbil and Kirkuk provinces between Iraqi gov­ ernment troops and forces of several Kur­ dish opposition groups and the opposition Iraqi National Congress (lNe). In August Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel al-Hassan al-Majid, a former de­ fence minister and senior officer in the Re­ publican Guards, and his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Saddam Kamel, a for­ mer officer in the Special Security Direct­ orate, fled to Jordan where they obtained asylum. Both sons-in-law of President Saddam Hussain, they were accompanied by their families and several officials. In a subsequent public statement, Lieutenant­ General Hussein Kamel announced that he would work for the overthrow of the Iraqi Government. In October a national referendum was held in Iraq to "approve" President Sad­ dam Hussain's assumption of the office of President. According to results announced by the authorities, President Saddam Hus­ sain, who was the only candidate, re­ ceived a 99.96 per cent "endorsement". The Revolutionary Command Council (Ree), Iraq's highest executive body, de­ creed two amnesties in July. The first of these benefited certain prisoners con­ victed of non-political offences as well as defaulters and deserters from military ser­ vice. The amnesty provided for the com­ mutation of sentences of ear amputation imposed on military personnel, and of sentences of limb amputation imposed on other prisoners who had already spent two years in custody. Death sentences rati­ fied before the amnesty were commuted to life imprisonment. The second was a gen­ eral amnesty benefiting people in Iraq or abroad who were wanted for, or had been convicted of, political offences. Both amnesties excluded certain prisoners, in­ cluding those convicted of espionage, pre­ meditated murder, embezzlement of state funds and rape. It was not known how far the provisions of these amnesties were implemented nor how many people had benefited by the end of the year. Kurdish opposition forces retained con­ trol of parts of the northern provinces of Duhok, Arbil, Sulaimaniya and Kirkuk. The economic blockade imposed on the

region by the Iraqi Government in Octo­ ber 1 991 remained in force. Widespread clashes, which broke out in December 1 994 between the forces of the two main political groups in the region, the Kurdis­ tan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patri­ otic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) , continued until February when a cease-fire was agreed. However, further clashes on a smaller scale continued intermittently for several months. In August peace talks were held in Ireland between KDP and PUK representatives under the auspices of the us Government, but by the end of the year no lasting political settlement had been reached. Throughout the year the two par­ ties retained separate administrations of those areas under their control, and the Council of Ministers for the Iraqi Kurdis­ tan Region, which had administered the region, became defunct. In March the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution ex­ pressing concern "at the exceptional grav­ ity of the human rights situation in Iraq", extended the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iraq for a further year, and reiterated its request to the UN Secretary­ General "to provide the Special Rappor­ teur with all the necessary assistance in carrying out his mandate", including the setting up of a human rights monitoring operation for Iraq. A resolution adopted by the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Mi­ norities in August also called for such as­ sistance to be extended to the Special Rapporteur. In December the UN General Assembly passed a resolution asking the UN Secretary-General to "approve the allo­ cation of sufficient human and material resources" for setting up a human rights monitoring operation for Iraq. By the end of the year the monitoring operation had not been set up. Hundreds of suspected government op­ ponents and their relatives were reported to have been arrested throughout the year, but it was generally not possible to obtain further information on the detainees' fate and whereabouts. Some appeared to be prisoners of conscience. In May scores of people. many of them from the al-Dulaim clan. were arrested following demonstra­ tions in al-Ramadi Province protesting at the execution earlier that month of a senior military officer from the region. Lieutenant-General Muhammad Mathlum

IRAQ

al-Dulaimi. It was not known how many remained in detention at the end of the year. The fate and whereabouts of other po­ litical detainees arrested during the year remai ned unknown. Over 40 people were arrested in May following an alleged as­ sassination attempt against President Sad­ dam Hussain near the town of Samarra'. They included several officers and other senior military personnel, among them Yu nis 'Atallah al-Samarra'i and Yassin J assem al-'Abbud. Their fate and where­ abouts remained unknown by the end of �e year. In August, following the defec­ hon of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel to Jordan (see above). an unknown num­ ber of senior military personnel and Ba'th Party officials said to have been closely as­ sociated with him were arrested. They in­ cluded Brigadier-General 'Issam al-Tikriti, formerly a senior security official at Iraq's Mil itary Industrialization Organization. Others were placed under house arrest, in­ cluding Major-General Kamal Mustafa al­ Tikriti, commander of the Republican Guards' First Brigade. Some of those de­ tained were reportedly later executed, but no further information on this or on the fate of the detainees was received. Reports of the torture of detainees and sentenced prisoners continued to be re­ ?eived, including amputation and brand­ IDg , introduced as judicial punishments in 1 994 (see Amnesty international Report 1 995). During the first six months of the year , several hundred army deserters and defau lters were reportedly subjected to the amp utation of the external part of one ear for a first offence, and of both ears for fur­ er offences. Most were also said to have een branded with an "x" symbol on their foreheads. The majority of such operations �ere repo rtedly carried out in public hos­ P Itals in the southern provinces, including the Basra Teaching Hospital. One doctor orking in the city stated in September at scores o military personnel were mu­ . n � ated ID th IS manner in early 1 995 and t �t doctors were routinely threatened lth reprisals if they refused to carry out ese operations. The cases of thousands of detainees h? "di sappeared" in previous years re­ aIDed unresolved. Among them were ve7 1 00,000 Kurds who "disappeared" . unng the 1988 and 1989 "Anfal Opera­ hons"; an estimated 625 Kuwaiti and

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other nationals arrested by Iraqi forces during the occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and 1 991 and believed to be held in Iraq; and several thousand Shi'a Muslims arres­ ted in the southern provinces of Basra, a1Nasirayya and al-'Amara in the aftermath of the March 1991 uprising (see previous Amnesty international Reports).

Numerous executions were reported during the year but it was not possible to determine the total number or whether they were judicial or extrajudicial execu­ tions. Among the victims were over 150 detainees who were allegedly executed in Abu Ghraib Prison near Baghdad over a two-day period in January. They included 'Umar 'Ali al-Dawudi and Jamal Hussein Muhammad al-Jaf. Extrajudicial executions of suspected government opponents also continued to be reported. They included several people poisoned with thallium believed to have been administered by Iraqi government agents operating in Kurdish-controlled ter­ ritory. Among them were Shaikh Faisal al­ Sha'lan and 'Abd al-Amir Shahin who were poisoned in January in the town of Shaqlawa. 'Abd al-Amir Shahin died sev­ eral days later. In March another victim, 'Abdullah al-Shubbar, died from poison­ ing in Shaqlawa. All three were involved in opposition activities within the INC. In August, seven other suspected opponents were poisoned in Sulaimaniya Province, one of whom, Muhammad Sati al-Anbaki, subsequently died. Two of them were members of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq while the rest were armed opposition Pesh Merga fight­ ers. New information was also received about cases of thallium poisoning in southern Iraq at the end of 1 994. Kurdish opposition groups were re­ sponsible for serious human rights abuses during the year, particularly in the context and aftermath of clashes between the forces of the KDP, PUK and the Islamic Movement in Iraqi Kurdistan (lMIK). Scores of fighters were taken prisoner by these groups, and although most were later re­ leased in prisoner exchanges. some were reported to have been killed after capture or surrender. The victims included five PUK fighters allegedly captured and killed by the KDP following clashes in February in the town of Rawanduz, among them Ramadan Mam Nuri and Ghaffur Khadr Hassan. The bodies of two of them were

183

IRAQ/lSRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

1 84

reported to have been subsequently mutil­ ated. Scores of unarmed civilians were ar­ bitrarily detained on the basis of their political affiliation. Some were held in un­ acknowledged places of detention and re­ portedly tortured. Many of those arrested were members or suspected sympathizers of the KDP who were arrested after PUK forces took control of the city of Arbil in January. It was not known how many remained held by the end of the year. It was not known whether any death sentences were imposed by the criminal courts in Iraqi Kurdistan during the year, or whether any executions had been car­ ried out. It was also not possible to con­ firm whether 22 prisoners sentenced to death by the criminal courts of Arbil, Su­ laimaniya and Duhok between March 1992 and August 1 994 had been executed. Four other death sentences were reduced to life imprisonment by the Court of Cas­ sation. However, an unknown number of people were reported to have been exe­ cuted after summary trial by a special court set up by the PUK in Arbil in January. The court was set up ostensibly to deal with large numbers of people suspected of theft, extortion and other criminal of­ fences. Its procedures were said to have been summary in the extreme, with de­ fendants being tried in the absence of de­ fence counsel. Several suspected offenders were allegedly shot dead by PUK personnel upon capture. There were also fears that the victims may have included suspected political opponents executed after being accused of ostensibly criminal offences. In May the KDP reportedly executed Ahmad Saleh 'Uthman, an Iraqi Kurd charged with responsibility for a car bomb explo­ sion in Zakho in February which killed scores of civilians. Ahmad Saleh 'Uthman was apparently tried by a court in Duhok after allegedly stating that he had acted on behalf of the PUK. No information was available on the procedures followed. During the year, Amnesty International appealed to the Iraqi Government to halt human rights violations, including the de­ tention of prisoners of conscience, arbit­ rary arrests of political suspects, unfair trials, "disappearances" and executions. It also continued to call for the abolition of the cruel, inhuman and degrading punish­ ments of amputation and branding and the commutation of all death sentences. No substantive responses were received. In

May Amnesty International received a let­ ter from the government commenting on the Amnesty International Report 1 994. The government rejected as "baseless" most of the allegations contained in the report, including reports of widespread arrests, the continued detention of thousands of political opponents, "disap­ pearances" and extrajudicial executions. Regarding the expansion of the scope of the death penalty to include new criminal offences, the government stated that Am­ nesty International failed to take into ac­ count the necessity to combat rising crime resulting from the situation arising in the aftermath of the Gulf War and from the sanctions imposed on the country. In February Amnesty International published a report, Iraq: Human rights abuses in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1 99 1 , de­ tailing widespread abuses committed by the Kurdish administration and political groups in the region, in particular the KDP, PUK and IMIK. These abuses included the detention of suspected political oppon­ ents, among them possible prisoners of conscience; torture and ill-treatment of political and common law detainees; and executions after summary trials and un­ lawful and deliberate killings. During the year, Arnne ty International repeatedly urged Kurdish political leaders to put an end to human rights abuses and to imple­ ment the recommendations submitted in the organization's report. Representatives of both the PUK and the KDP undertook to respond in detail to the report, but by De­ cember no response had been received. There was also no response from the IMIK leadership or the Council of Ministers for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

( INCLUDING AREAS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY )

Thousands of Palestinians were detained on security grounds; hundreds were tried before military courts. More than 210 Palestinians were held in administrative detention without charge or trial at the end of the year. Approximately 750 Pales­ tinian prisoners, almost all of whom were

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

political prisoners, were released in the Context of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Prisoners of conscience included conscientious objec­ t?rs to military service. Palestinians con­ �ued to be systematically tortured or lll-treated during interrogation. One de­ tainee died in custody as a result of tor­ ture. Israeli forces killed 49 Palestinians, some in circumstances suggesting extra­ judicial executions. The Palestinian Au­ thOrity's security forces detained more than 1 ,000 Palestinians on political grOunds. More than 40 were brought to trial before a newly established State Security Court which did not meet inter­ national fair trial standards. Torture of detainees was reported and five Pales­ ti nians died in custody. One person was sentenced to death. Members of the Pales­ tinian Authority's security forces, or armed groups allied to them, deliberately a nd arbitrarily killed at least four people. Palestinian armed opposition groups �ol1lmitted deliberate and arbitrary kill­ Ings of civilians.

In Sept�mber the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement for a phased withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces and civil administra­ ti on from the West Bank. By the end of the year Israeli forces had withdrawn from all lllajor cities in the Occupied Territories, apart from Hebron and East Jerusalem. �n 4 November Prime Minister Yitzhak ]Rab�n was assassinated by a member of a eW lsh opposition group. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Shimon Peres. I n the Occupied Territories the Israeli a uth orities made extensive use of border closures confining Palestinians to the

Gaza Strip and denying West Bank Pales­ tinians access to Jerusalem. Attacks by armed Israeli settlers and armed Pales­ tinians against Palestinian and Jewish civilians continued. In July a committee set up to incor­ porate the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment into Israeli law proposed an amendment to Article 277 of the Penal Law which, by defining torture as "pain and suffering except for pain or suffering inherent in interrogation proced­ ures or punishment according to the law", would effectively legalize torture. The Knesset (parliament) had not voted on the amendment by the end of the year. Thousands of Palestinians were ar­ rested on security grounds in Israel and the Occupied Territories under direct Israeli administration. Many were released without charge. More than 600 renewable administrat­ ive detention orders of up to six months were imposed on Palestinians. During ap­ peals, which usually took place several weeks after arrest, detainees and their law­ yers were not provided with important information about the reasons for their de­ tention. In February the maximum length of administrative detention orders was in­ creased to one year. Administrative de­ tainees included 'Abd al-Naser Isma'il al-Qaysi, a student, who was arrested in Bethlehem in September and served with a three-month detention order. Ahmad Qatamesh, allegedly a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Pales­ tine (PFLP) , who was arrested in September 1992, remained administratively detained (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993 to 1 995). Two administrative detention or­ ders were served on Jews. Shmuel Cytrin, a resident of Qiryat Arba settlement in He­ bron, was served with a three-month ad­ ministrative detention order in December. Prisoners of conscience included at least three Israeli conscientious objectors to military service. For example, Sergeiy Sandler, a pacifist, was arrested in January and sentenced to 28 days' imprisonment by a military court for refusing to perform military service. More than 70 Lebanese and foreign na­ tionals, some of whom had been abducted in Lebanon between 1985 and 1 994 , con­ tinued to be held in Israeli prisons under administrative detention orders. At least

185

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

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1 7 who had been tried were held after completion of their sentences. Others re­ mained in detention without trial, includ­ ing Mustafa al-Dirani, who was abducted from Lebanon in May 1 994, and Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim 'Ubayd, who was abducted in July 1989. Over 200 detainees were held without charge or trial at the Khiam detention centre in an area of South Lebanon con­ trolled by Israel and the South Lebanon Army (see Lebanon entry). In September the International Committee of the Red Cross gained access to detainees for the first time since the detention centre was opened in 1 985. Hundreds of Palestinian political de­ tainees were tried by Israeli military courts on charges such as incitement to acts of violence or membership of banned organizations. Detainees were frequently denied access to lawyers for up to 30 days and to relatives for up to 140 days. Confes­ sions obtained under duress were often the main source of evidence against de­ tainees. Over 750 detainees were released in the context of the peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. About 4,000 remained in prison for secur­ ity offences at the end of the year, includ­ ing 70 Israeli Palestinians not covered by the agreements. Some women who should have been released according to the agree­ ment remained in detention. Palestinian detainees continued to be systematically tortured or ill-treated dur­ ing interrogation by the General Security Service (ess), often while held incom­ municado. Methods that were routinely used included hooding; prolonged sleep deprivation, usually while standing or sit­ ting shackled in painful positions; beating; shaking; and confinement to cupboard­ sized rooms. Khaled Farraj, a student ar­ rested in March and accused of supporting the PFLP, stated that he was hooded, de­ nied sleep for long periods while tied in painful positions, beaten, kicked, violently shaken, exposed to cold air, and informed, falsely, that his mother had died. He was interrogated by team of interrogators in Ramallah Prison during the week and in the Moscobiyyah Detention Centre in Jemsalem at weekends. He saw his lawyer for the first time after 31 days. He was re­ leased without charge in May after 56 days' interrogation.

One detainee died in custody. 'Abd al­ Samad Harizat, a computer expert arrested in Hebron in April on suspicion of being a leader of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, fell into a coma in the Mosco­ biyyah Detention Centre 20 hours after his arrest and died three days later. The aut­ opsy concluded that he died as a result of violent shaking. An investigation by the Department for Investigations of Police found that he had been shaken 12 times over a period of 12 hours. However, the report, which was not made public, con­ cluded that the interrogators were not criminally responsible for the death. The "exceptional dispensation" to ess interrogators allowing them to use in­ creased physical pressure (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) was renewed for periods of up to three months through­ out 1 995 by the ministerial committee which oversees the ess. In August the same committee allowed the shaking of detainees to continue with the authoriz­ ation of the head of the ess. Mordechai Vanunu remained in solit­ ary confinement for the ninth consecutive year (see Amnesty International Reports 1 988 to 1 995). Amnesty International asked for his release as redress for past vi­ olations of his human rights. In June the Beersheba District Court ordered that his conditions of detention be improved. Avraham Klingberg, a 77-year-old physi­ cian and university professor held since 1983 on spying charges (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995), remained seriously ill. At least 49 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces. Some were shot during armed clashes but others were shot in cir­ cumstances suggesting that they had been extrajudicially executed. In January a 14year-old schoolboy, Muharnmad Muham­ mad Taha, was killed outside his school by an Israeli soldier who reportedly descended from a passing jeep and shot into a group of children. Witnesses stated that no warning was given before the shot was fired. The Defence Ministry stated that it was investig­ ating the incident, but the outcome was not known by the end of the year. In October Fathi Shqaqi, the leader of Islamic Jihad, which had claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bomb attacks, was shot dead by unknown attackers in Malta. The Israeli Government did not accept or deny responsibility for the killing.

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

Those responsible for past human :ights violations continued to enjoy virtual Impunity. An Israeli colonel who shot dead a 14-year-old girl, Ra'eda al-Qarra, in March 1 993 was found guilty by a military court in March 1 995 of causing her death through failure to exercise proper caution. He received a six-month suspended prison sentence. A military appeals court reversed the conviction of Sa'id Badarneh who had been sentenced to death in November 1 994 on charges of plotting a suicide bus­ bombing (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995). The appeal court stated that mi stakes had been made by the lower COurt and ordered a retrial which had not taken place by the end of the year. . The Israeli authorities carried out puni­ hve destruction of houses after suspects believed to be hiding there had been cap­ tured or killed. In June rockets were used against a house in Halhoul where Hamed ;aghmur, suspected of membership of the Izz ai-Din al-Qassam brigades, the milit­ ary wing of Hamas, was in hiding. After Hamed Yaghmur was killed, the house an d two neighbouring houses were des­ troyed by a bulldozer. I n June the Palestinian Authority is­ Sued a Press Law which restricted free­ dom of the press. The Palestinian Authority's security forces arrested more than 1 ,000 people, in­ clUding human rights activists, journalists and Palestinia n members of Islamist or leftist groups opposed to the peace agree­ ment with Israel. Most political detainees Were released without charge after a few h urs or days; some were held without c arge or trial throughout the year. Many e�e prisoners of conscience, including . aJ I Sourani, director of the Gaza Centre fOr Rights and Law, who was arrested and h� ld for 16 hours in February; Iyad Sarraf, director of the Palestinian Independent om mission for Citizens' Rights, who was . etamed for nine hours in December; and Maher al-Alam i, editor of the newspaper al-Quds, who was detained for six days fter he printed an interview with Yasser . rafat, Chairman of the Palestine Libera­ on
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up to 25 years' imprisonment after trials before the State Security Court which were grossly unfair. Trials were held in se­ cret, often in the middle of the night. They were presided over by military judges, prosecutors were military prosecutors, and defence lawyers, who normally worked for the security forces, were ap­ pointed by the court. Relatives were in­ formed of charges and trials only after hearings had taken place. Sayyed Abu Musameh, editor of the newspaper al­ Watan, was tried before the Gaza State Se­ curity Court less than 24 hours after his arrest. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment on charges which included writing seditious newspaper articles and libelling the Palestinian Authority; he was a possible prisoner of conscience. He was released in December by order of Chair­ man Arafat. There were reports of torture carried out by members of the Palestinian Author­ ity's security services in Gaza and Jericho. Four people died in custody in circum­ stances suggesting that torture may have contributed to their deaths. A fifth person was killed when a gun was fired during interrogation. Methods of torture included severe beatings, electric shocks, prolonged standing in painful positions, burning with cigarettes and suspension from the ceiling. Salman Jalaytah, a lifeguard, was arrested in Jericho in January on suspicion of "collaborating with Israel" and partici­ pation in the murder in December 1994 of Ibrahim Yaghi. He was reportedly denied food, beaten repeatedly with cables and given electric shocks. He died three days after his arrest. No investigation into his death was known to have been carried out. Scores of Palestinians from the West Bank outside the jurisdiction of the Pales­ tinian Authority were taken from their homes and tortured and ill-treated by members of the Palestinian security ser­ vices in Jericho. 'Azzam Muslah was re­ portedly arrested by members of the Preventive Security Service (pss) in 'Ain Yabrud in September and taken to the pss offices in Jericho. He was later transferred to the offices of the Palestinian General Security Services. Less than two days after his arrest bis body, bruised and bloody, was banded over to the family. Chairman Arafat ordered an inquiry. Six Palestinian security officers were arrested on cbarges of beating prisoners.

187

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIESjlTALY

1 88

Extrajudicial punishments such as kneecapping were reportedly carried out by members of Palestinian security ser­ vices such as the PSS, and by members of groups allied to the PLO, such as the Fatah Hawks. At least four Palestinians from the West Bank were deliberately and arbitrarily killed, reportedly by members of the Palestinian Authority's security forces or individuals from armed groups allied to the PLO. For example, in October members of the Fatah Hawks reportedly shot dead Muhammad Hawari, who was allegedly working for the Israeli police, in Qalqiliya. Tha'er Muhammad Fares, a Palestinian police officer, was sentenced to death in May by a military court in Gaza after being convicted of shooting a fellow police of­ ficer and stealing his gun. The military court used a penal code drawn up by the PLO in 1 979. No executions had been car­ ried out by the end of the year. Palestinian armed opposition groups committed deliberate and arbitrary kill­ ings. Suicide-bombers killed at least 40 people, including 13 civilians. Homos, Islamic fihad and HizbuJ/ah claimed re­ sponsibility for the attacks. In July and August suicide bombs in buses in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem killed 1 2 people, including the bombers. Amnesty International urged the Israeli Government to release all prisoners of conscience; to try administrative detainees promptly and fairly or to release them; to ban torture and to give free medical exam­ inations to those who had suffered torture or ill-treatment during interrogation; and to take steps to end extrajudicial execu­ tions. The Israeli authorities provided in­ formation on a number of cases and commented on the Amnesty International Report 1 995. They stated that measures in­ stituted were a response to "terrorist" at­ tacks and denied that Israeli interrogation practices constituted torture. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International referred to its concerns in the Israeli-Occupied Territories, includ­ ing South Lebanon. Amnesty International urged the Pales­ tinian Authority to release all prisoners of conscience, and end torture and unfair trials before the State Security Court. The head of the pss replied on an individual

case, stating that no torture had taken place. Amnesty International condemned de­ liberate and arbitrary killings by Palestin­ ian armed groups and called on them to respect the fundamental principles of humanitarian law.

ITALY

There were further allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement offi­ cers. Verdicts were pronounced in trials relating to two deaths in custody in 1993. Numerous prison officers were involved in criminal proceedings relating to the al­ leged torture and ill·treatment of prison inmates in previous years. In February Italy ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Cov­ enant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. A bill reforming the existing legislation governing conscientious objection to com­ pulsory military service (see Amnesty In­ ternational Reports 1 989 to 1 995) was approved by the Senate in March and was under consideration by the Chamber of Deputies at the end of the year. Its pro­ posals included broadening the grounds on which conscientious objector status might be granted but did not recognize the right to claim conscientious objector status during military service. There were further allegations of iII­ treatment by law enforcement officers. Many of the alleged victims were immi­ grants from outside Europe, and Roma. In October Ben Moghrem Abdelwahab, a Tunisian national, lodged a complaint after being stopped by carabinieri officers

ITALY

in Voghera, apparently on SuspIcIOn of carrying drugs. He claimed he was repeat­ edly slapped and racially insulted both during transfer to the carabinieri barracks and on arrival. He said he was handcuffed behind his back, pushed repeatedly until he fell down and then kicked in the head, back and on his left side. He claimed that when he refused to sign a statement be­ cause he was unaware of its contents, a gun was pointed at his head. He then signed, but when he added the words "with reservation" he was slapped again and struck by a metal stapler which was thrown at him. Within hours of his release later that day he was admitted to hospital � here he remained for eight days receiv­ lUg treatment for his injuries. The cara­ binieri reportedly admitted striking Ben Moghrem Abdelwahab but stated that they had acted in self-defence. Judicial investigations into complaints of ill-treatment were often very slow. Over four months elapsed before Salvatore �ossello, a student nurse, was told that an I Uvest igation had been opened into a com­ plai nt he had lodged with the Public Pro­ secu tor's office in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Sicily, in June. He had alleged that, while detained in a local carabinieri bar­ racks in May, an officer had verbally ab­ used him, hit him around the head with such force that he was knocked down and struck him several times on the back. After being released without charge he Was admitted to hospital for emergency �atment . A medical certificate, issued on IS discharge nine days later, recorded a P�rforated left ear-drum and bruising to his left jaw and shoulder. Verd icts were pronounced in the trials of law enforcement officers prosecuted in connection with two deaths in custody in 1 9�3. In January Turin Assize Court ac­ �ultted two police officers of deliberately I UfliCting injuries leading to the death of Antonio Morabito in December 1 993 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Aut­ sy and forensic reports had established a� he had suffered numerous cuts and brUlses and an abdominal injury which use� a fatal intestinal haemorrhage. The orablto fami ly's appeal against the ver­ . dlet was rejected. I� �arch the commandant of the cara­ binlen barracks near Padua where in Sep­ mber 1 993 Tarzan Sulic, an 1 1-year-old om, was shot dead and his 1 3-year-old





� �

cousin, Mira Dj uric , seriously wounded, was sentenced to two months' impris­ onment for abusing his authority and ordered to pay compensation to the chil­ dren's families. The court found that he had illegally ordered the children to be held in a locked cell, provided no food or drink for five hours and failed to inform the juvenile authorities of their detention. The carabiniere officer who shot Tarzan Sulic pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in March to 1 7 months and 10 days' imprisonment, conditionally sus­ pended. Mira Djuric had accused him of ill-treating her and her cousin, holding a gun to the boy's head and threatening to kill him just before it fired. In September the officer was sentenced to three months' suspended imprisonment for infringing re­ gulations by illegal use of a firearm. Several judicial proceedings were still under way during 1 995 into alleged ill­ treatment by prison officers in previous years. In January the Ministry of Justice confirmed that, as a result of investiga­ tions opened in early 1 993 , six prison of­ ficers had been committed for trial for various crimes, including the ill-treatment of some 300 inmates of Secondigliano prison, and stated that criminal proceed­ ings had been opened against a further 65 officers. In November the Public Prosecu­ tor's office stated that the 65 officers had been committed for trial in February 1 996. However, there was no news concerning the outcome of Giacomo De Simone's complaint that he had been ill-treated by Secondigliano prison officers in January 1994, or the complaints of ill-treatment lodged by inmates of Sulmona prison dur­ ing that month, or a judicial investigation opened into the alleged ill-treatment of in­ mates of Pianosa Island prison in 1 992 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993 to 1 995). The government authorized the publi­ cation, in January, of the report of the Eu­ ropean Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treat­ ment or Punishment on its visit to places of detention in Rome, Milan and Naples in March 1992, together with its own re­ sponse. The Committee stated that it had heard a large number of allegations of ill­ treatment inflicted by law enforcement officers and concluded that people held by such officers "and particularly those belonging to certain specific categories

189

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190

(such as foreigners, people arrested in con­ nection with drugs-related offences etc), run a not inconsiderable risk of being ill­ treated". The Committee also expressed concern about prison overcrowding and stated that, in specific instances, when combined with poor sanitary conditions and a very limited range of activities, the conditions of detention amounted to "in­ human or degrading treatment". It made detailed recommendations aimed at in­ creasing existing safeguards against ill­ treatment and improving conditions of detention. In April the UN Committee against Tor­ ture considered the government's periodic report on its compliance with the UN Con­ vention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Pun­ ishment. It expressed alarm over the con­ tinuing high level of prison overcrowding and concern over the persistence of ill­ treatment by prison and law enforcement officers. It noted that the majority of victims of ill-treatment were either from "certain foreign countries" or belonged to "minorities", and emphasized its concern over "a dangerous trend towards some racism". The Committee also stated that the punishment imposed on law enforce­ ment officers in cases of alleged torture and deaths in custody did not appear pro­ portionate to the gravity of the acts com­ mitted. Its recommendations included: creating a specific criminal offence of torture; closely monitoring the imple­ mentation of existing safeguards against ill-treatment during initial detention, es­ pecially access to medical and legal assist­ ance; ensuring the speedy and effective investigation of complaints of torture and ill-treatment; and the adequate and effect­ ive punishment of those responsible. Amnesty International published a re­ port, Italy: Alleged torture and ill-treat­ ment by law enforcement and prison officers, in April and submitted it to the

Committee against Torture. The report highlighted the increase in the number of such allegations during the 1 990s, a high proportion of which concerned immi­ grants from outside Europe and a growing number of Roma. The organization said it was concerned that elements within some law enforcement agencies might be sub­ jecting detainees to ill-treatment on a regular basis and that, although Italy had adopted certain legislative and adminisUN

trative measures designed to combat the use of ill-treatment, in practice these were not being fully implemented. The govern­ ment stated that it would analyse Am­ nesty International's report.

JAMAICA

'.

.

v

'!

. . ,

.

Scores of prisoners on death row were re­ portedly ill-treated. At least two prisoners died in custody. At least one sentence of flogging was imposed. At least five death sentences were imposed and 61 prisoners remained under sentence of death. There were no executions. Scores of death row prisoners in St Catherine's District Prison were reported to have been beaten by warders in March, following disturbances at the prison in February. The beatings reportedly took place after order had been restored and prisoners had returned to their cells . Many prisoners were reported to have sus­ tained broken arms and legs, fractured ribs and other injuries. During a search of the prison a warder reportedly ordered an­ other staff member to beat two prisoners, Vivian Goode and Author Henry, who were accused of killing one of the warder's relatives. The prisoners report­ edly made several complaints to the su­ perintendent of the prison but no action had been taken by the end of the year. At least two prisoners died in custody. One death row prisoner was shot dead by prison warders during the disturbances at St Catherine's District Prison in February. In April Ivan Morgan, a former death row prisoner (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 994) , died in custody. He had been receiving treatment for stomach pains, but had been refused admission to hospital raising concern that he may have been de­ nied adequate medical care. Inquests had still not been held into the cases of four death row prisoners shot

JAMAICIVJAPAN

dead by warders at St Catherine's District Prison in October 1993. Although a police report had been sent to the Director of PUblic Prosecutions in 1 994, no decision ap peared to have been taken on whether to prosecute those responsible (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and

JAPAN

1995).

The mother of a man who died while in Police custody in 1993 received compen­ sation for her son's death after suing the government. Agana Barret was one of three men who died while being held in Constant Spring Police Station (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and

1 995).

. At least one sentence of flogging was Imposed. In February Barrington Keslow Was convicted of rape and sentenced to 1 0 strokes o f the tamarind switch in addition to 10 years' imprisonment. It was unclear Whether the sentence had been carried out by the end of the year. At least five death sentences were im­ pOsed for murder and 61 prisoners re­ mained on death row. Sixty-two prisoners had their sentences commuted under the J udic ial Committee of the Privy Council's 1 993 recommendation that all prisoners under sentence of death for five years or more should have their sentences commu­ ted (see Amnesty International Report 994� . There were no executions. The last angmg was carried out in February 1 988. I n May Amnesty International wrote to the Commissioner of Correctional Services call ing for a full investigation into the sh ooting of the death row prisoner in Feb­ ru ary and into the allegations of ill-treat­ ment of prisoners in March. Amnesty I nternational also called for an investiga­ tion into the death of former death row in­ mate Ivan Morgan in April and expressed concern that his death may have been caused by the denial of adequate medical treatment. In September Amnesty International re­ eived � reply from the Commissioner of orrectlOns stating that the police were carrying out an investigation into the �Ooting of the prisoner and the allega­ ons of ill-treatment. The letter also said t at measures had been taken to ensure the safety of prisoners and "better control" . n St Catherine's District Prison. Amnesty nternational had not been informed of the O tcome of the investigations by the end o the year.





� � �



Six people were executed, including a 70year-old man. Over 90 others, including at least nine people sentenced to death during 1995, remained imprisoned under sentence of death in conditions which amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. They included four men who had been awaiting execution for over 20 years and some who may have been con­ victed unfairly. Detainees continued to be held in conditions which gave inadequate protection against ill-treatment. Asylum­ seekers continued to be at risk of being sent back to countries where they faced human rights violations. The three-party coalition of Prime Min­ ister M urayama Tomiichi entered its sec­ ond year of office, facing a new nine-party opposition coalition, Shinshinto, New Frontier Party, which had been estab­ lished in December 1 994. A resolution adopted by the Diet (parliament) in June expressed "deep re­ morse" to the victims of Japanese aggres­ sion during the Second World War and in August the Prime M inister made a public apology. The victims included up to 200,000 women, known as "comfort women", mostly from Korea and several other countries in East and Southeast Asia, who had been forced into prostitu­ tion by the Japanese armed forces. The government was criticized for its decision to set up a private fund for the "comfort women" instead of paying individual compensation to the victims. Six people were executed in secret, three in June and three in December. They included Tanaka Shigeho, aged 70, who had been under sentence of death for 1 7

191

JAPAN

1 92

years. They had been convicted of murder and appeared to have been selected for ex­ ecution in an arbitrary manner from more than 50 prisoners whose death sentences had been confirmed by the Supreme Court. In line with government policy, the names of those executed were not made public and the prisoners' families and lawyers were not informed of the executions. Over 90 prisoners convicted of murder, including at least nine people sentenced to death during the year by courts of first instance, remained under sentence of death. They included over 50 people whose sentences had been confirmed by the Supreme Court. At least four of these prisoners had been under sentence of death for over 20 years and two were over the age of 70. They included 77-year-old Tomiyama Tsuneyoshi who had been under sentence of death for 28 years. His long-standing application for a retrial, based on his claim that he was convicted unfairly, remained unanswered by the end of the year. In June the Supreme Court ruled that a defendant's mental condition rendered him unfit to waive his right of appeal against the death sentence imposed on him by the Yokohama District Court in 1 988. The Supreme Court ruling stated that Seiha Fujima was suffering from a mental disorder, due to the death sentence imposed on him and the stress of long­ term detention. Some prisoners under sentence of death alleged that they were ill-treated after their arrest and many had not seen a lawyer until after they were charged. They included Oda Nobuo, under sentence of death for 26 years, whose fifth application for a retrial was rejected in March. He had claimed that he was forced to make a con­ fession to charges of murder during police interrogation and that he was tried un­ fairly. The court was reported to have found insufficient evidence to order a new trial. Conditions of detention for prisoners under sentence of death amounted, in some cases, to cruel, inhuman or degrad­ ing treatment. Some prisoners were only permitted to meet close relatives and, in some cases, adopted relatives were denied access to prisoners. Strict rules governing daily life included a stipulation that pris­ oners under sentence of death must sit or

kneel in the same position throughout the day and may not walk, sleep or talk freely. At least 16 members of the religious sect A um Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) were charged with offences carrying the death penalty, including a gas attack on the Tokyo Underground in March in which 1 1 people were killed. Over 200 Aum Shin­ rikyo members were arrested in connec­ tion with the attack, some 1 00 of whom were released without charge. Some al­ leged that they had been ill-treated during police interrogation. Police facilities known as "substitute prisons" (daiyo kangoku) continued to be used instead of detention centres to hold criminal suspects for up to 23 days before indictment in conditions which provided inadequate protection against torture and ill-treatment. Interrogators in "substitute prisons" had unlimited access to suspects for up to 23 days and could deny them ac­ cess to the outside world. In July a police officer was given a sus­ pended prison sentence for beating a suspect in November 1 985 at Sonezaki Police Station, Osaka. In June Osaka Dis­ trict Court ordered the Osaka Prefectural Government to pay compensation to five people who had been ill-treated during police questioning in 1 979, leading to their convictions on charges of rape and murder. All five had been acquitted be­ tween 1 986 and 1 989. In March the Tokyo District Court rejected the appeal by a Chinese pro­ democracy activist, Zhao Nan, against the authorities' refusal to grant him refugee status. His application had been rejected in March 1 991 because he had failed to apply for asylum within 60 days of his ar­ rival in Japan. The authorities had appar­ ently rejected his application without conSidering the substance of his claim, in violation of international standards on the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers. In December Fawaz Housein El Hanafy, a Palestinian, was granted refugee status. His original application had been turned down in 1 992. He was the first person to appeal successfully against a refusal by the authorities to grant refugee status to an asyl um-seeker. In March Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Japan: The death penalty ­ a cruel, inhuman and arbitrary punish­ ment, describing the use of the death pen­

alty and the harsh conditions of detention

JAPAN/JORDAN

for prisoners awaiting executions. The re­ port called on the government to com­ mute all death sentences, to take steps to abolish the death penalty in law and to end the ill-treatment of prisoners under sentence of death. The government did not respond to Amnesty International's re­ commendations. •

JORDAN

Scores of political detainees were held dUri ng the year. They included dozens of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience. Many of those arrested were held in prolonged incom­ municado detention. Most were released Without charge. At least 48 were brought to tria l before the State Security Court, �hich did not appear to satisfy interna­ tion al standards for fair trial. There were S�veral reports of torture. One extrajudi­ Cial execution was reported. At least 1 2 people were executed and 1 0 people remained under sentence of death. A new- government, headed by Sharif Zaid bin Shaker, was formed in January, after the resignation of the previous prime m�nister. A Jordanian parliamentary com­ lllJttee on civil liberties issued a report in September which said that liberties had dimini shed since the peace with Israel in 1 994; the Jordanian Government rejected the report. In April the UN Committee against Tor­ t ure examined Jordan's initial report re­ garding implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Com mittee welcomed positive steps taken by Jordan such as the abolition of martial law in 1992 but expressed concern

on several issues including the number of allegations of torture; the right of officers of the General Intelligence Department (Gm) to act as public prosecutors and de­ tain suspects incommunicado; the con­ tinuing use of the death penalty; and the refoulement of asylum-seekers to coun­ tries where they might be at risk of torture. Scores of people, including prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience, were arrested on political grounds. Those arrested included dozens of suspected members of Islamist and left­ ist opposition groups opposed to the peace treaty with Israel. Prisoners of con­ science included at least two journalists, who were detained for up to two days, and an opposition leader. Leith Shubeilat, an Islamist leader, was arrested in Decem­ ber and detained in Jwaideh Prison on charges that included lese-majesty after a speech the previous month in which he criticized King Hussein bin Tala\. He had not been brought to trial by the end of the year. The public prosecutor's office served scores of writs on newspapers charging them with offences such as harming na­ tional unity under the Law on Press and Publications. Cases lasted several months and ended in fines or acquittals. Those arrested on security grounds were held incommunicado for up to nine months by the Gm. Detainees held by the Gm were frequently not told the charges against them; they were allowed irregular access to relatives but denied access to lawyers. Most detainees were released without charge. More than 40 alleged members of Is­ lamist groups were brought before the State Security Court in at least seven trials. 'Ata' Abu'l-Rushta, an engineer and spokesman for the Hizb al-Tahrir [i'l­ 'Urdun, Liberation Party in Jordan, was ar­ rested in October and brought to trial in November before the State Security Court on charges of insulting the King and mem­ bership of an illegal party, after an inter­ view published in the weekly newspaper aI-Hiwar. He appeared to be a prisoner of conscience. His trial was still continuing at the end of the year. Trials before the State Security Court appeared to fall short of international standards of fair trial. In a trial which started in September before the State Se­ curity Court, Salem Bakhit and Ahmad Khaled were accused of attacking a French

1 93

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194

diplomat in Mujib in March. Their law­ yers stated that the case should be heard by a normal criminal court and alleged that their clients had been tortured by members of the CID and had confessed under duress. In March the Court of Cassation over­ turned the judgment in the "Mu'ta" case, in which five military cadets and five others were accused of plotting to kill King Hussein bin Talal during a cere­ mony in Mu'ta University in June 1 993 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). The Court found that the con­ fessions of the accused were inadmissible because they had been made after torture. The defendants were released immedi­ ately. In the same month, the Court of Cas­ sation refused to uphold the convictions of 25 people accused of conspiracy to carry out "terrorist" actions, known as the "Arab Afghans" case, as some of those in­ volved had returned from fighting with Is­ lamist forces in Afghanistan (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Eleven death sentences had been passed, three in absen­ tia. The Court of Cassation ordered the State Security Court to hear further wit­ nesses. In July new judgments were given after a retrial. Ten death sentences (in­ cluding two in absentia) were maintained. There were a number of reports of tor­ ture in the CID headquarters in the capital, Amman, and in police stations. Thirteen members of an Islamist group known as Bay'a al-Imam, Allegiance to the Imam, were held for up to nine months in incom­ municado detention and tortured in the CID headquarters before being charged with offences including manufacturing explosives. For instance, Muharnmad al­ Wasfi was reportedly held incommunic­ ado in the CID headquarters for more than six months. He was allegedly tortured by being beaten and by being hung by ropes tied above the knees. Marwan Thabet 'Ajuh and 'Usama 'Adel Husni 'Abed were among a number of detainees arrested in October, appar­ ently as a preventive measure before the Amman economic summit. They were held for over a month in incommunicado detention in the CID headquarters before being allowed irregular access to relatives. They were allegedly tortured by being beaten, including on the soles of the feet (falaqa), and were deprived of sleep for up to 22 hours a day while being forced to

scrub floors or stand in their cells. Mar­ wan Thabet 'Ajuh was released without charge at the end of November. 'Usama 'Adel Husni 'Abed remained in incom­ municado detention at the end of the year. He had been allowed to see his wife only once. The CID denied torture allegations and a medical report by a CID doctor stated that no marks of torture were found. How­ ever, no independent doctor's report was provided. One extrajudicial execution was re­ ported. Scores of members of the security forces, including the speCial forces and the royal guard, stormed the flat of Mahmud and Bashar al-Khalifah al-'Awamlah in June, using massive fire-power. Mahmud al-Khalifah was killed and his brother, Bashar al-Khalifah, was severely wounded. After the attack there were over 1 00 bullet holes made by automatic weapons in al­ most every room of the brothers' apart­ ment in Amman. The body of Mahmud al-Khalifah was examined by a forensic pathologist who found abrasions and at least four wounds caused by firearms, three on the left arm and a fourth which damaged the left lung. The victim died from this wound. The government stated that Mahmud al-Khalifah had been killed while resisting arrest with a pistol. How­ ever, no investigation was known to have been set up into the circumstances of the killing nor was any explanation given for the use of scores of armed men and massive fire-power. At least 1 2 people were executed dur­ ing the year for crimes such as murder. Those executed included Mohamed Nimr al-Rawahna and three others who had been convicted of sexually abusing and strangling a child. An Iraqi asylum-seeker who had been active in the Iraqi opposition was forcibly returned to Iraq in March. Many members of his family had been executed by the Iraqi authorities and Amnesty Inter­ national considered him at serious risk of execution. He was expelled before repres­ entatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had the opportunity to examine his case, and without the fair and ad­ equate procedure required under interna­ tional law. Amnesty International expressed con­ cern about incommunicado detention and torture by the CID, lack of access to family, lawyers and independent doctors for

JORDAN/KAlAKSTAN/KENYA

detainees, and the use of GID officers as special prosecutors to renew the detention of offenders without allowing them access to a judge. The organization called for an independent investigation into the cir­ cumstances of the death of Mahmud al-K halifah. Amnesty International also called for the commutation of all death sentences and expres ed concern at the re­ foulement of an Iraqi asylum-seeker at risk of execution in Iraq. Amnesty International delegates ob­ served one session of each of the three trials before the State Security Court and met military judges, the military public prosecutor and defence lawyers. The authorities gave specific informa­ tion on detention statistics but did not respond to letters from Amnesty Interna­ tional raising prolonged incommunicado detention or the refoulement of the Iraqi national.

KAZAKSTAN

A Cossack leader was imprisoned follow­ ing an allegedly politically motivated pro­ secution, and there were allegations that both he and the wife of his lawyer were ill-treated. There were 1 1 0 death sen­ tences pas ed and 101 executions. President Nursultan Nazarbayev dis­ missed parliament in March after the Con­ stitutional Court ruled that parliamentary elections in 1994 had been legally flawed. In April a referendum approved the exten­ sion of the President's term in office until the year 200 1 . In August a referendum overwhelmingly approved a new Constitu­ tion. Elections to a new bicameral parlia­ ment started in December and were to be completed early in 1996. Nikolai Gunkin, a Cossack leader, was arrested in October and sentenced the fol­ lOWing month to a three-month prison torm for "organizing an unsanctioned meeting" in connection with what sup-

porters of Nikolai Gunkin described as a religious procession held in January. There were allegations that the arrest and prosecution were politically motivated. Nikolai Gunkin's supporters claimed that his arrest had been timed to prevent him registering as a candidate in the forthcom­ ing parliamentary elections, and that po­ lice had passed up previous opportunities to arrest him. There were also allegations that Nikolai Gunkin was seriously ill­ treated during arrest and while in pre­ trial detention. Intimidation of Nikolai Gunkin's lawyer Ivan Kravtsov, including a physical assault on his wife Iraida Kravtsova by unidentified people who broke into the family'S apartment, led the lawyer to withdraw from the case before the trial. The authorities used the death penalty extensively. It was officially confirmed that 1 1 0 death sentences were passed and 101 executions were carried out during the year. Statistics on the application of the death penalty in 1 994 were disclosed in statements by officials in March and April. One hundred people had been sen­ tenced to death, of whom seven had had the punishment changed on appeal to imprisonment and one was granted clemency. Other appeals and clemency petitions were still pending. Amnesty International sought further information about the basis for the charge against Nikolai Gunkin, and asked to be informed as to whether investigations were taking place into the alleged iII­ treatment of Nikolai Gunkin and the assault on Iraida Kravtsova. Amnesty In­ ternational continued to call for the com­ mutation of all pending death sentences and for the complete abolition of the death penalty.

KENYA Over 100 critics of the government, in­ cluding human rights activists, journal­ ists, students, Catholic priests and opposition politicians, were detained for short periods. Many were prisoners of conscience. At least 1 1 possible prisoners of conscience remained held on non-bail­ able capital charges. Three prisoners of conscience were sentenced to prison

1 95

KENYA

1 96

terms and caning after an unfair trial. There were further reports of torture and ill-treabnent of prisoners. Prison condi­ tions were harsh and over 800 prisoners died during the year. Over 500 people were under sentence of death at the end of the year, including at least 15 convic­ ted during 1 995. There were no reports of executions. Hundreds of refugees were ar­ bitrarily arrested and detained for short periods.

�.

There were sporadic outbreaks of polit­ ical violence during the year, although inter-ethnic clashes were on a lesser scale than in previous years (see Amnesty Inter­ national Reports 1 993 and 1 994). There were continuing allegations that the viol­ ence was instigated by the government. In January around 1 ,500 internally displaced people, who had been among about 1 2 ,000 people displaced in 1 993 and forcibly re­ located to Central Province in December 1994, were again forcibly relocated within Central Province. In March security regu­ lations restricting access to areas of the Rift Valley were lifted (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 994). In May a private prosecution against the Minister for Local Government, accusing him of inciting eth­ nic violence, was ended when the Attor­ ney General took over the case and dropped the charges. Scores of people were injured in violence which broke out during by-election campaigns during the year. Human rights and other non-govern­ mental organizations (NGOS) and journal­ ists were harassed by the authorities. In the first three months of 1995, Kituo Gha Sheria, a free legal aid centre which shares premises with the non-governmental Kenya Human Rights Commission, was fire-bombed six times. Two other human

rights NGOS were banned; one, the Centre for Law and Research International, had recently produced a report on official corruption. In February the authorities banned Inooro, a Kikuyu-language publi­ cation of the Catholic church, and im­ pounded 500 copies of The Economist, which contained an article on the treat­ ment of internally displaced people, for four days. In March, three foreign corre­ spondents were threatened with deporta­ tion after they had written articles critical of the government's human rights record. Meetings organized by NGOS were dis­ rupted by police, sometimes violently. In April the office of the Mwangaza Trust was raided and five trustees and one em­ ployee were arrested. In August members of the new Safina opposition party, in­ cluding its founder Richard Leakey and treasurer Njeri Kabeberi, and a number of lawyers and journalists, were assaulted in Nakuru. They were attacked by about 50 men armed with whips and clubs whom eye-witnesses identified as plain­ clothes Special Branch police officers and members of the youth wing of the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) party. Over 1 00 people were detained for po­ litical reasons during 1 995. Among them were at least 20 opposition members of parliament. The majority were held for short periods, but several were charged with political offences and detained for up to 1 2 weeks before being released on bail. Members of parliament were most often arrested after attempting to hold public meetings when the authorities denied licences or withdrew them at the last minute. For example, in March, six op­ position members of parliament were de­ tained briefly in Embu police station after a rally they had called in the town had been cancelled. In January, three opposition members of parliament and 10 other people were ar­ rested at a church service in Longonot held in memory of 10 people killed in po­ litical violence. Seven were released after four days and a further five after three weeks, but Njenga Mungai, member of parliament for Molo, was refused bail. He was charged with "uttering words with seditious intent". He was extremely ill and was held in hospital under armed guard, chained to the bed at night. He was eventually released on bail in May.

KENYA

In February opposition member of par­ liam ent Linus Alouch Polo was charged with sedition and detained for five weeks before being released on bail. The us Am­ bassador to Kenya. Aurelia Brazeal. was detained briefly by police in Naivasha. who reportedly believed she was planning to visit Maela camp for displaced persons . With a group of opposition officials. University lecturers and students were also arrested. For example. in June. eight Egerton University lecturers were de­ tained for three days before being charged with illegal assembly and released on bail. In August Professor Kivutha Kibwana. Dean of the Faculty of Law at Nairobi Uni­ versity . and two former student leaders were arrested and questioned for several hours. At least five journalists were arrested during the year. and several others were reportedly beaten by police. In March John Muganda. an East African Standard correspondent. was arrested and ques­ . honed in Bungoma. In May the publisher of Finance magazine. opposition member of parliament Njehu Gatabaki. was arres­ t?d and charged with publishing a sedi­ tious publication and released on bail. Police had earlier prevented production of th� �agazine by confiscating parts of the prllltlllg press. I n June Jacob Wawera and J ac�b Otieno were reportedly beaten by polIce when they took pictures of police officers beating a prisoner. After the banning of the Catholic newsletter Inooro. anti-riot police disrup­ ted � Catholic procession in February and detallled Father Charles Kamori and three se�inarians overnight. They were charged Ith incitement and possession of a anned publication and released on bail. I n March Father Julius Murang'a was arrested. charged with incitement. and eleased on bail. The trials had not started y the end of the year. In October Mbuthi Gathenji. a lawyer. as arrested and detained for four days efore b eing charged with sedition and re­ Ieased on bail. The charges related to wit­ n s statements taken by police from his o ce which implicated senior govern­ llJent officials and others in ethnic viol­ ce i � Narok district in 1993. Mbuthi thenJ l. had been acting in the case against the Minister for Local Government whl' �h was stopped by the Attorney General In May . ·

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At least one other prisoner of con­ science and 10 other possible prisoners of conscience detained on robbery with viol­ ence charges in 1 993 and 1 994 remained in jail during the year. Robbery with viol­ ence charges. under which detainees may not be released on bail. appeared to be used by the authorities to keep their op­ ponents in prison. Those held included Josephine Nyawira Ngengi. a member of the human rights group Release Political Prisoners and a prisoner of conscience. whose case was repeatedly adjourned (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Geof­ frey Kuria Kariuki was released on bail in May when the charge against him was re­ duced to robbery. He was suffering from cranial bleeding after reportedly being tortured in detention (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995).

At least 40 people were arrested during the year and charged with belonging to an illegal organization. including Wang'ondu Kariuki. a former prisoner of conscience (see Amnesty International Report 1 983). who was arrested in September. He was held incommunicado for seven days and tortured. The trial continued of Koigi wa Wamwere. a human rights activist and for­ mer member of parliament. his brother. Charles Kuria Wamwere. his cousin. James Maigwa. and G. G. Njuguna Ngengi. a local councillor. They had been arrested in November 1 993 and charged with at­ tempted robbery with violence. which is punishable by a mandatory death sentence (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). All four were prisoners of con­ science. Defence lawyers. two Norwegian journalists and a trial observer were ar­ rested in May during an examination of the site of the alleged robbery. held over­ night and charged on four counts of taking photographs in prohibited areas and inter­ fering with police work by causing an ob­ struction. The lawyers' confidential notes were seized and not returned. These charges were dropped in November. The trial ended abruptly in mid-July when both the defence counsel and the defendants themselves were denied the right to present their final submissions orally. although the prosecution had presented its case orally over 17 days. Judgment in the trial was given in Oct­ ober. Koigi wa Wamwere. Charles Kuria Wamwere and G. G. Njuguna Ngengi were

197

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198

each sentenced to four years' imprison­ ment and six strokes of the cane on the lesser charge of robbery, and lodged ap­ peals. James Maigwa was acquitted. Ob­ servers from national and international legal and human rights organizations in­ cluding Amnesty International attended the trial. Observers expressed serious con­ cerns about the conduct of the trial, the major inconsistencies in the prosecution's evidence and the partiality of the court. There were a number of other political trials in which defendants were reported to have been tortured. For example, 57 men detained in 1 994 and accused of holding an illegal meeting were convicted in October and each sentenced to two years' imprisonment. At least 1 7 had re­ portedly been tortured. Four others were released uncharged in July; they had been permanently disabled by torture following their arrest and had been held under po­ lice guard in hospital for seven months. The authorities had apparently avoided bringing them to court to prevent evidence of torture coming to light . At least 32 men arrested in Bungoma, Western Province, and detained by police between late 1994 and early February were reportedly tortured. They included Joseph Baraza Wekesa, aged 69, who, in his request for bail pending appeal, stated in court in February that he had been tor­ tured. However, the judge refused to read his medical report. The government ac­ cused the men of belonging to an alleged illegal guerrilla movement based in Uganda - the February Eighteenth Move­ ment. Joseph Baraza Wekesa and three others were given summary trials and sen­ tenced to between five and six years' im­ prisonment. Two defendants were granted bail and immediately rearrested and charged with murder, together with eight others. At least 18 others were released. At least four people died apparently as a result of police torture, including Na­ hashon Chege, a street boy who died at Pangani police station in April. There were no official investigations into any of these reports of torture. Conditions remained harsh in many prisons, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Over 8 1 9 prisoners died in 1 995, mainly from infectious dis­ eases resulting from severe overcrowding and frequent shortages of food, clean water and basic medication. In October

President Daniel arap Moi pardoned 10,898 prisoners, mostly petty offenders, in an effort to reduce overcrowding. A police reservist charged with mur­ dering a street boy was acquitted in March on grounds of insufficient evidence (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), but at the end of the year he was being tried on charges of murdering four other street children in July 1 994. At least 15 people were sentenced to death, mostly for actual or attempted rob­ bery. No executions were reported. Over 530 people were under sentence of death at the end of the year. In November and December hundreds of refugees were arbitrarily arrested. Most were held for short periods but some were believed to be still held at the end of the year. Amnesty International appealed to the government to stop the harassment and ar­ rest of human rights activists, journalists and others. It urged the government to in­ troduce safeguards against torture and to abolish the death penalty. In January Am­ nesty International published Kenya, Tan­ zania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe: Attacks on human rights through the mis­ use of criminal charges, in June Women in Kenya: Repression and resistance, and in December Kenya: Torture, compounded by the denial ofmedical care.

Amnesty International representatives visited Kenya twice, in March and in No­ vember, and met the Attorney General, members of the government, opposition parties, lawyers, doctors, religious and human rights groups to discuss ways of increasing human rights protection.

KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF) Reports suggested that citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) forcibly returned from foreign countries may have become prisoners of conscience. Official reports on the fate of possible prisoners of conscience could not be confirmed, No information was avail­ able on the number of death sentences passed or executions carried out. The posts of President of the DPRK and of General Secretary of the ruling Workers'

KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF)

Party of Korea remained vacant. Kim Jong n, son of former President Kim Il Sung, Was widely expected to succeed his father during 1 995. However, reports in the first half of the year indicated that Kim Jong Il would not assume formal leadership roles until the end of an extended mourning period for his father.

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In August and September floods des­ troyed significant amounts of arable land, crops and infrastructure, rendering an es­ timated 500,000 people homeless and af­ fecti ng millions more. There were reports that substantial sections of the population Were at high risk of famine and epidemic s . Reports that dozens of people had left the DPRI< for northeastern China as a result of the flood could not be confirmed by the end of the year, and the legal status SUch people would have in China also remained unclear. Amen dments to the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law were reported to have �een introduced to bring legislative prOVI. s Ions into line with international human rights standards. The minimum age for im position of the death penalty Was reportedly raised from 1 7 to 1 8 years and articles punishing "crimes against the state .. were reportedly amended to restrict . thelr scope. The fi:st periodic report to the UN H uman Rights Committ ee on the imple­ mentation by the DPRK of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Overdue since 1 987, was reported to be earing com pletion. However, it had not een sUbmi tted to the Committee by the end of the y ear. eports suggested that DPRK nationals � forclb ly retu rned from foreign countries ay have become prisoners of conscience. number of DPRK nationals in the Russian





Federation were apparently forcibly re­ turned to the DPRK, where they were at risk of imprisonment for having attempted to remain in Russia. They included Choi Gyong Ho, who had gone to Russia as a forest worker in 1 990 under a governmen­ tal agreement between the then Soviet Union and the DPRK. In 1 993 he had mar­ ried a Russian citizen and in February 1 995 he had sought permission from the DPRK authorities to remain in Russia. He was arrested in March by Russian author­ ities, and appeared to have been forcibly returned to the DPRK later that month. Since then his wife had been unable to contact him. If detained, Choi Gyong Ho would be considered a prisoner of con­ science, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of movement. Other former logging-site workers, for­ cibly returned to the DPRK in 1 994, were also feared to have been detained for at­ tempting to remain in Russia or other parts of the Commonwealth of Independ­ ent States. They included Choi Yen Dan, who had worked at a logging site in Russia since 1 986. He was arrested by police in Moscow in June 1 994 and was apparently released into the custody of DPRK diplo­ mats shortly afterwards. Lee Sung Nam, also a former logging-site worker, was reportedly forcibly returned to the DPRK after being detained by DPRK officials in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1 994. Official reports on the fate of possible prisoners of conscience could not be con­ firmed. Hwang Sung Kuk, Hwang Sung San and Hwang Sung Chon, three brothers born in the DPRK who had been living in Beijing, China, since 1 993, were report­ edly forcibly returned to the DPRK in June, at the request of the DPRK, and were detained there. They were sent back to Beijing in October. According to DPRK of­ ficials, the brothers were not detained while in the DPRK. Cho Ho Pyong had left Japan for the DPRK with his family in the 1960s and had reportedly been detained, possibly as a prisoner of conscience. According to offi­ cial reports, Cho Ho Pyong had been im­ prisoned for espionage in 1 967 but escaped from detention in October 1 974. The authorities claimed that he had been killed the same month, together with his wife and three children, while trying to leave the DPRK in a boat which he and his family had seized, killing a soldier; that

199

KOREA (DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF)jKOREA (REPUBLIC OF)

200

the boat had been pursued and destroyed; and the bodies of Cho Ho Pyong and his family were never found. Amnesty inter­ national remained concerned that Cho Ho Pyong might have died in suspicious cir­ cumstances. The organization retained similar concerns about Shibata Kozo (see Amnesty International Reporl 1 995).

According to official reports, there had been few executions in recent years, but no information was available on the num­ bers of death sentences passed or exe­ cutions carried out during the year. According to unofficial reports received in December, dozens of people had been executed in various provinces as a result of criminal offences committed after the floods, but this could not be confirmed. In April an Amnesty International del­ egation visited the DPRK to discuss legal re­ forms and prisoner cases, meeting senior government officials, members of the judi­ ciary and legal scholars. In August Amnesty International pub­ lished a report summarizing its continuing concerns about the fate of Cho Ho Pyong and his family. In December it published Human rights violations behind closed doors, summarizing the results of DPRJ(:

the organization's visit to the DPRK and detailing further reports of imprisonment received during the year.

KOREA (REPUBLIC OF)

Several hundred political prisoners. in­ eluding prisoners of conscience. were ar­ rested during the year. Over 1 50 others remained in prison from previous years. Most were held under the National Se­ curity Law which restricts freedom of

expression and association. There were reports of torture and ill-treatment in cus­ tody. There were 1 9 executions and about 50 prisoners remained under sentence of death. In January the Republic of Korea ac­ ceded to the UN Convention against Tor­ ture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In December the government intro­ duced special legislation aimed at bring­ ing to justice those implicated in an alleged military coup and subsequent massacre of civilian protesters at Kwangju in May 1 980 (see previous Amnesty Inter­ national Reporls). Two former presidents, Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan, were arrested and charged under the new legis­ lation. Roh Tae-woo was charged sep­ arately with receiving bribes during his term in office. Trade between the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) increased during the year and a number of South Korean businessmen were au­ thorized to visit North Korea. However, relations between the two governments remained tense. In November the UN Human Rights Committee decided that trade union leader Sohn Jong-kyu had been convicted for exercising his right to freedom of ex­ pression and should be entitled to an ef­ fective remedy, including compensation. He had been sentenced to 18 months' im­ prisonment in August 1 991 under the La­ bour Dispute Mediation Act for "third party" intervention in a labour dispute. Over 200 people were arrested under the National Security Law, including stu­ dents, political activists, writers, publish­ ers and academics. Most were held under Article 7 of the law which provides up to seven years' imprisonment for those who "praise", "encourage" and "side with" the activities of an "anti-state" organization. The law defines the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) as an "anti-state" organiza­ tion. Those arrested under Article 7 of the National Security Law included 60-year­ old prisoner of conscience Ki Seh-moon. He was sentenced to two years' imprison­ ment in May for distributing a pamphlet and organizing the funeral of a former po­ litical prisoner who had fought for North

KOREA (REPUBLIC OF)

�orea during the Korean War; his activi­ hes were deemed to have "benefited" North Korea. Yu Dok-ryol and Kim Chon­ hee of the Han Publishing Company were a:rested in July under Article 7 of the Na­ tional Security Law for publishing books on social sciences and books written by North Koreans, including an autobio­ graphy of former North Korean President Kim Il Sung. They were also prisoners of Conscience. Seven members of Minjongryon, Ko­ rean Political Alliance of the People, were also arrested under Article 7 of the Na­ tional Security Law in July for attempting to re-establish the organization Sano­ ?l aeng, Socialist Workers' League, which IS Considered by the authorities to be an "anti-state" organization . Over 60 mem­ b�rs of Minjongryon had been arrested on SlI�1l. 1ar charges since July 1 993, including pnsoners of conscience. Those arrested under other provisions of the National Security Law included 1 3 people arrested in September for belong­ �g to an "anti-state" group with alleged lllks to the North Korean Workers' Party. The 13 former students denied charges of attem pting to infiltrate factories and busi­ nesses on behalf of North Korea. They Were possible prisoners of conscience. Several people were arrested under the Nati?nal Security Law for making unau­ thoflzed visits to North Korea and were prisoners of conscience. They included 75-year-old Park Yong-gil, who was ar­ rested in July upon her return to South .orea. She suffered from heart disease and labetes and was in very poor health. Park YOng-gil was given a suspended prison sentence and released in Decem ber. Trade l.mion leaders continued to face arrest and imprisonment under Article of the Labour Dispute Mediation Act W lch prohibits a "third party", that is �yone who has no immediate connection � Ith a workplace where a dispute is tak­ ng place, from intervening in the dispute. N �v�mber Kwon Young-gil , President o Mmju Nochong, Korean Confederation f Trade Unions, was arrested for viola­ Ion of the prohibition on "third party" interVentl' on. . . H e was accused of advlsmg orkers about industrial action, express­ �g. sUpport for striking workers and critiC IZlll . . g government pohcy at a senes of . ra11le ' s III May and June 1 994. He was a . Pnsoner of conscience. Minju Nochong,

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inaugurated in November, was declared il­ legal by the authorities. Soh Son-won, an official of Chongihyop, an unauthorized trade union of national railroad workers, was sentenced to one and a half years' imprisonment after an appeal hearing in June. He was a prisoner of conscience (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

Some prisoners of conscience were treated harshly. In April the authorities at Yongdungpo Prison sealed the window of prisoner of conscience Ahn Jae-ku's prison cell so that he was unable to see sunlight except for a brief period of exer­ cise each day. He was later moved to a dif­ ferent cell with a window. Prisoner of conscience Eun Su-mi was returned from hospital to Kangnung prison in May after undergoing major surgery, although doc­ tors had recommended her transfer to a larger hospital. Amnesty International was concerned that she might have been denied adequate medical treatment. In August over 1 ,800 prisoners, includ­ ing 25 political prisoners, were released in an amnesty. They included prisoners of conscience Kim Sun-myung, aged 70, and Ahn Hak-sop, aged 65, who had been held since 1951 and 1 953 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995).

At least 25 long-term political prison­ ers, convicted of espionage under previ­ ous governments and believed to have been tried unfairly, remained in prison. Many had been arrested illegally and held incommunicado for long periods. Many claimed to have been forced to confess under torture. For example, Lee Jang­ hyong, who was serving a life sentence, was reportedly tortured during 67 days' interrogation by the Security Division of the National Police Administration after his arrest in June 1984. Hwang Tae-kwon, serving a 20-year prison term, was held in­ communicado for about 60 days by the Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP) after his arrest in June during which time he claimed to have been tor­ tured and forced to sign a confession. In July Hwang Tae-kwon and eight other long-term political prisoners filed a joint complaint with Seoul District Public Pro­ secutor's Office alleging that they were tortured after their arrests. The complaint and two subsequent appeals were dis­ missed on the grounds that the statute of limitation on public prosecutions had expired.

1985,

201

KOREA (REPUBLIC OFl/KUWAIT

202

There were continued reports of torture and ill-treatment. Almost all political sus­ pects claimed to have been deprived of sleep during interrogation by the National Police Administration and the ANSP. Some also said they had been beaten, threat­ ened, intimidated and subjected to long periods of interrogation in an attempt to make them sign a confession. In February, three men accused of mur­ der were acquitted when a court in Pusan city ruled that their confessions had been extracted under torture. In April Professor Park Chang-hee, aged 63, was interrogated by the ANSP for 19 days after his arrest and claimed to have been deprived of sleep, beaten, threatened and forced to drink al­ cohol. He also said that he was kicked and threatened during later questioning by the prosecution. In August Park Young-saeng, a street vendor in Seoul, was reportedly stripped, tied up, hung between two tables and beaten with sticks after being arrested by the police. Nineteen people, all convicted of mur­ der, were executed on 1 November. They included Kim Chol-oh who said he had been beaten and forced to make a confes­ sion after his arrest in August 1 990. Some 50 others, all convicted of murder, were under sentence of death. They included Mohammad Ajaz and Amir Jamil, both Pakistani citizens who claimed that they had been tortured and forced to sign con­ fessions after their arrest in 1 992. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional called for the amendment of the Na­ tional Security Law, in accordance with international standards on freedom of ex­ pression and association. It called for the release of all prisoners of conscience and a review of the cases of long-term political prisoners convicted in previous decades after unfair trials. It called for an end to torture and ill-treatment and for better safeguards to protect the rights of suspects after their arrest. It urged that all death sentences be commuted and that the death penalty be abolished. The government sent Amnesty International written state­ ments on several individual prisoners whose cases the organization had raised, but these did not allay the organization's concerns about those prisoners. In June Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Republic of Korea (South Korea); Concerns relating to freedom of expression and opinion. In November it

published Republic of Korea (South Korea); International standards, Jaw and practice - the need for human rights re­ form. In November Amnesty International delegates visiting the country discussed the organization's concerns with the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Af­ fairs, Vice Minister of Justice and Deputy Director of the ANSP.

KUWAIT

Over 300 political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, all arrested in 1991 and accused of "collaboration" with Iraqi forces during the occupation of Kuwait, remained held. They included over 1 60 people serving prison terms im­ posed after unfair trials since 1991 and up to 1 50 people who remained in cus­ tody awaiting trial. The fate and where­ abouts of at least 70 detainees who "disappeared" in custody in 1 991 re­ mained unknown. Four people were sen­ tenced to death and three people were executed. Thirteen people remained on death row at the end of the year. A group of 150 Iraqi nationals was summarily deported without having access to any asylum determination procedure. In April the National Assembly passed an amendment to the Law on the Combat of Drugs (No. 74 of 1 983) introducing the death penalty for certain drugs-related of­ fences (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Under the new measure, the death sentence became mandatory for people convicted of using children to trade in narcotics, for officials assigned to fight the use of narcotics convicted of trading in drugs, and for people repeatedly convic­ ted of trading in drugs. Previously, the

KUWAIT

only capital offence under this legislation Was the killing of an official entrusted With enforcement of this law. A bill to aboli h the State Security Court, which had been in existence for 26 years, was approved by the National Assembly in August. The bill was later rati fied by the Amir, al-Shaikh Jaber al­ Ahmad al-Sabah, and came into force in mid-September. All outstanding cases due to be tried before the State Security Court Were transferred to criminal courts. Since 1 992 the State Security Court had tried the cases of all alleged "collaborators" with Iraqi forces during the occupation of Kuwait and also of those accused of an as­ �assination attempt on the former us Pres­ Ident, George Bush, during his visit to Kuwait in 1 993 (see below) . The authorities held a series of meet­ ings with representatives of the Govern­ ment of Iraq concerning the fate of more �an 600 Kuwaitis and third-country na­ tI onals missing and believed to have been held in Iraq since the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1 991 (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). The General Manager of Kuwait's National Comm ittee for Missing and Prisoners of War Affai rs stated in a press interview in October that Iraqi officials had admitted taki ng 1 26 prisoners to Iraq and that they Subsequent ly lost trace of them during the � pris ing in Iraq in March 1991. The bod­ �es of two prisoners who died in custody Ira� were returned to their families in UWaIt and the body of a third prisoner Was expected to be returned after con­ firmat ion of his identity. The Iraqi Gov­ nment continued to deny holding any Uwaiti prisoners (see Iraq entry). Over 1 60 political prisoners, including w men, continued to serve prison er�s �In Kuwait Central Prison following �elr conviction on charges of "collabora­ . ho f n " WIth Iraqi forces during the occupal n of Kuwait. At least 20 were prisoners o Conscience. Fifty-nine had been sen­ tenced by the Martial Law Court in 1991 �nd the others by the State Security Court In 1 992 and 1 993 after trials which did ?t sati sfy international standards for fair lal (see Amnesty International Reports l to 1 995). No information was avail­ a e about up to 150 other political pris­ oners , incl uding possible prisoners of . c n�clenc e, arrested in 1 991 on suspicion o , collaboration" with Iraqi forces, or





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about the precise number of detainees awaiting trial or how many had been brought to trial during the year. Ten prisoners of conscience were re­ ported to have started a hunger-strike on 14 February which was later joined by at least 25 political prisoners. All were said to be protesting against their continued detention after manifestly unfair trials be­ fore the Martial Law Court and the State Security Court. The main hunger-strike lasted about a month, although some pris­ oners continued to take only water and minimum nourishment for several weeks longer. The fate and whereabouts of 70 de­ tainees who "disappeared" in custody in 1991 remained unknown. Information came to light about eight people reported to have "disappeared " after their arrest in 1991. A Palestinian, ' Isam Muhammad Ahmad Saleh Qasem al-'Udwani, was re­ ported to have "disappeared" in custody. He was believed to have been held in a State Security prison after his arrest in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1 99 1 . In November 1 995 unconfirmed reports suggested that he was being held in Kuwait Central Prison. The fate and wher abouts of at least 62 Palestinians, Jordanians, Iraqis and other nationals who "disappeared" in custody between February and June 1 991 re­ mained unknown at the end of the year (see Amnesty International Reports 1 99 1 t o 1 995). Three people were executed during the year. Muhammad Najib, a Filipino na­ tional convicted of the murder of an iran­ ian merchant, was executed in April. Ahmad al-'Azmi was executed in July following his conviction for the murder of the bridegroom at a wedding party. Muhammad Rifa', a Turkish national, was executed in September following his con­ viction for the murder of a woman. At least eight political prisoners sen­ tenced to death in previous years re­ mained on death row. In March the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentences passed on two Iraqi men, Ra'ad 'Abd al­ Amir 'Abbud al-Asadi and Wali 'Abd al-Hadi 'Abd al-Hassan al-Ghazali. They were among six people, five Iraqi na­ tionals and one Kuwaiti, sentenced to death in 1 994 by the State Security Court. They had been convicted on charges of participating in an alleged assassination

203

KUWAIT/KYRGYZSTAN

204

attempt on George Bush following trials which fell short of international fair trial standards (see Amnesty International Re­ port 1 995). Two of the six had their death sentences reduced to life imprisonment and another to 15 years' imprisonment. The sixth, a Kuwaiti national, had his con­ viction for attempted assassination over­ turned by the Court of Cassation. Six men of Iraqi nationality continued to wait for a review of their death sen­ tences by the Court of Cassation. All had been sentenced to death by the State Se­ curity Court in 1 992 and 1 993 after being convicted of "collaboration" with Iraqi forces during the occupation of Kuwait (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). At least five people convicted by criminal courts, three of them in previous years, were believed to be on death row at the end of the year. A group of more than 150 Iraqi na­ tionals was reportedly arrested and sum­ marily deported by the authorities in early July without being given any access to an asylum determination procedure as re­ quired by international standards. They were believed to have been deported to Iran. It was alleged that no examination of asylum applications or screening proced­ ures was carried out, either on a group or individual basis, before the deportations and that representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees were denied access to the group. Following reports of the impending abolition of the State Security Court, Am­ nesty International reiterated its call for a judicial review of the cases of all those who had been convicted by this court and by the Martial Law Court. Amnesty Inter­ national asked the Amir not to ratify any death sentences upheld by the Court of Cassation. Amnesty International wel­ comed the proposals by the government for the future ratification of several UN treaties safeguarding human rights, in­ cluding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Amnesty International expressed its grave concern about the introduction of the death penalty for certain drugs-related offences and about the number of exe­ cutions following convictions for other offences. The organization also raised

its concerns about the protection of re­ fugees and asylum-seekers and urged the authorities to ensure that such persons had access to a full and fair asylum deter­ mination procedure and were not returned to a country where they would be at risk of human rights violations. The Kuwaiti authorities repeatedly sought to justify the verdicts following un­ fair trials in previous years by the Martial Law Court and the State Security Court, but failed to address the substance of any of Amnesty International's continuing concerns.

KYRGYZSTAN

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At least 30 executions were believed to have taken place. Elections to a new bicameral parlia­ ment were held in February. In September parliament rejected a proposal to hold a referendum on extending President Askar Akayev's term in office until the year 200 1 , although he won a second term in offi ce in presidential elections held in De­ cember. Kyrgyzstan acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in January. In May President Akayev refused clem­ ency petitions from 30 prisoners under sentence of death. Although only one exe­ cution was subsequently confirmed, it was believed that all 30 sentences were carried out in the following months. Amnesty International called for the commutation of all death sentences and continued to urge total abolition of the death penalty.

LAOS/LATVIA



LAOS

from detention or restriction of other longterm political prisoners. By the end of the year no response had been received from the authorities.

LATVIA

Three prisoners of conscience continued t? be held throughout the year. Three po­ . al htic prisoners continued to serve sen­ tences of life imprisonment imposed after unfair trials. In March the National Assembly ap­ proved the first Cabinet reshuffle since major administrative changes in 1 993. Censorship of the news media, restrictions o� freedom of expression and lack of offi­ Cial information continued to make it dif­ ficult to obtain information about human rights abuses. Three prisoners of conscience contin­ � ed to be held in "Re-education" Camp 7 In the northern province of Houa Phanh. Thongsouk Saysangkhi, Latsami Kham­ phou i and Feng Sakchittaphong had been sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment in 1 992 after a grossly unfair trial (see Am­ �esty International Report 1 995). Condi­ tIons in Camp 7, which is situated in a remote area, were believed to be harsh and to lack medical facilities. All three men ere believed to be suffering from i I lealth requiri ng medical treatment. T�1ree political prisoners sentenced to I e Impn. sonment after an unfair trial in H 1 992 continued to be held. Pangtong �okbengboun, Bounlu Nammathao and b Ing Ch anthakoummane had previously een detained for 1 7 years without charge Or tr·laI (see Amnesty International Report 995) . They remained at Sop Pan camp in O Ua Phanh province. Amnesty International continued to peal to the government of President ouhak Phoumsavan for the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners of ConSCience, and the fair trial or release

� �





At least four prisoners were believed to be under sentence of death. Over 1 00 asy­ lum-seekers were held in detention, some of whom were allegedly ill-treated. Following elections which were held in September and October, Andris Skele was confirmed as Prime Minister by parliament in December. In February Latvia became a member of the Council of Europe and signed the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Free­ doms. It had not ratified this instrument by the end of the year, but undertook to ratify it and to abolish the death penalty in peacetime within approximately one year, and to sign and ratify the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. At least four prisoners were believed to be under sentence of death at the end of the year. All had been convicted of ag­ gravated murder. Three were known to have submitted petitions for clemency to President Guntis Ulmanis. In July the Latvian authorities con­ firmed that a total of four death sentences had been passed in 1 994 (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995), one of which had been carried out during that year. This information was provided by the Lat­ vian Government to the UN Human Rights Committee which considered Latvia's ini­ tial report on its compliance with the

205

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LAlVlMEBANON

International Covenant on Civil and Polit­ ical Rights. In its comments on Latvia's initial report, the Committee recommen­ ded that "a firm policy be adopted aiming at commuting . . . all death sentences into life imprisonment", pending abolition of the death penalty. In October Amnesty In­ ternational was informed that the prisoner who was executed in 1994 was Michael Abramkin (see Amnesty International Report

LEBANON

1 995).

In March over 1 00 asylum-seekers, the majority of them Kurds, were detained on a train at the border between Latvia and Russia and later moved to a detention camp in Olaine, near the capital, Riga. In September it was alleged that many of the asylum-seekers, whose number had risen to 140, were beaten by police officers after they had barricaded themselves in the camp in protest at their situation. In April Amnesty International urged the authorities to treat all asylum-seekers fully in accordance with the relevant in­ ternational standards for the protection of asylum-seekers, including standards pro­ viding that asylum-seekers should not normally be detained. In October the or­ ganization called upon the authorities to investigate the alleged beatings of asylum­ seekers in Olaine and to bring to justice anyone responsible for human rights violations. In November the authorities in­ formed Amnesty International that none of the "illegal immigrants" detained in Olaine had been ill-treated. An investiga­ tion was, however, in progress into allega­ tions that detainees had assaulted a police officer. In December Amnesty Interna­ tional expressed concern that while an investigation had been launched into the alleged assault on the police officer, no similar investigation appeared to have been initiated into allegations that police officers had ill-treated detainees. Throughout the year Amnesty Interna­ tional appealed to the authorities to com­ mute all pending death sentences and to impose an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition of the death penalty. In June Amnesty International asked the authorities for information about people under sentence of death. No reply was received to this letter or to a similar request for information which Am­ nesty International had made in December 1994.

Scores of people, including possible pris­ oners of conscience, were arrested on security grounds. Some were briefly detained and released without charge; others were charged and tried or were awaiting trial. Several political prisoners were sentenced after trials some aspects of which fell short of international fair trial standards. Allegations of torture and ill-treatment continued to be received. One person died in custody. One person was executed and at least 1 1 others were sentenced to death. Armed political groups continued to commit human rights abuses. The fate of thousands of people abducted by armed groups in previous years remained unknown. In January the Lebanese authorities issued a decree legalizing the use of the Ministry of Defence as a prison and per­ mitting the intelligence services, the Mili­ tary Court, the Court of Justice and the military poli e to open prisons. In October the Lebanese Assembly (parliament) ex­ tended President Elias al-Harawi's term of office for a further three years. There was heightened tension in south Lebanon throughout the year. The South Lebanon Army (SLA) militia and Israeli armed forces retained control of a "secur­ ity zone" along the Lebanese/Israeli bor­ der. Hizbullah, the main armed political group fighting the SLA and Israeli forces in Lebanon, controlled most of the areas north of the "security zone" in south Lebanon. Armed clashes and rocket at­ tacks by both sides were frequent. With the agreement of the Lebanese Govern­ ment, Syrian forces remained deployed throughout most of the country.

LEBANON

Scores of suspected political oppon­ ents, including possible prisoners of con­ science, were arrested by government forces on security grounds. In March, two students from the American University of Beirut, both apparently supporters of Gen­ �ral 'Aoun, a former military leader living IU exi le, were arrested. Tony Faddul was released without charge the following day; Joseph Najim, a reporter for the Nahar al­ Shabab, a weekly supplement of the daily newspaper al-Nahaf, was held for three ?ays. He appeared to have been detained III connection with an article, published on the anniversary of the 1 982 Israeli inva­ . SIOn of Lebanon, in which he called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon. Both were possible prisoners of conscience. In June, three journalists were tried before the Publications Court. Yusuf al-Huwaik, editor of the daily newspaper al-Diyyaf, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for "slandering" a member of parliament. Hassan Sabra and Ghazi al-�aqhour, the publisher and managing edItor of the weekly magazine aI-Shim ' respectively, were each sentenced to one month's imprisonment for allegedly de­ faming the President. All three sentences were later commuted to fines. Two members of the Lebanese Popular C?ngress, Muharnmad Zughbi and Ibra­ hIm Sannu, were arrested in July by the security forces and briefly detained. They appeared to have been arrested for distrib­ �ting leaflets calling for a boycott of elec­ hons for a vacant parliamentary seat. They Were possible prisoners of conscience. In Ju ly about 200 people, including Poss ible prisoners of conscience, were arcested in Beirut, Sidon and Nabatiyah . dUfln g unauthorized demonstrations r g ? ani zed by the General Workers' Union �n. protest against high prices and tax pol­ IC Ies. Many were detained for days or eeks before being released without c arge, but more than 1 00 were tried on arges including possessing weapons. ost were sentenced to one month's im­ risonm�nt, immediately commuted to a ne, whlle others were acquitted. In mid-March up to 30 members of the banned Leba nese Forces (LP) party, a for­ mer Christian militia, were arrested after participating in a demonstration on the niversary of the bombing of a church in arch 1 994 (see Amnesty International

� � K



Report 1 995). Sporadic arrests of LP mem­ bers continued throughout the year; most alleged that they had been tortured while in detention to extract confessions. Most had been released without charge by the end of the year. Several political prisoners were sen­ tenced after trials some aspects of which fell short of international fair trial stand­ ards. In June Samir Gea'gea' , leader of the LP, and nine others were convicted by the Court of Justice, Lebanon's highest court, of killing National Party leader Dany Cham'oun and his family in 1 990 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Trial proceedings were seriously flawed. State­ ments which witnesses alleged had been extracted under torture were accepted as evidence by the Court, which failed to in­ vestigate the allegations. Detainees were denied prompt access to families and law­ yers and were not given the right to a judi­ cial review of conviction and sentence, in contravention of the International Coven­ ant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Lebanon acceded in 1 972. Samir Gea'gea' was sentenced to death, but this was im­ mediately commuted to life imprisonment with hard labour. Camille Hanna Karam was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and eight others, who were tried in absen­ tia, were sentenced to prison terms rang­ ing from life to 10 years' imprisonment with hard labour. Rafiq Sa'deh and two others, who were tried in absentia, were acquitted. In December the Court of Cassa­ tion refused a request for a retrial filed by the lawyers of Samir Gea'gea' and his co­ defendants. There is no right of appeal against sentences imposed by the Court of Justice. The concurrent trial of Samir Gea'gea' and other members of the LP for the 1 994 church bombing (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995) was postponed indef­ initely in May and had not resumed by the end of the year. In February, one of the defendants, Jirjis Khoury, retracted his statements to police, alleging that they had been extracted under torture. Fu'ad Malek, the deputy of Samir Gea'gea' and his main co-defendant, was released on bail. Six people tried in absentia were con­ victed by a military court in June of killing three people, including two members of HizbuIlah, in an explosion in December 1994 which the security forces had

207

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claimed had been masterminded by Israeli intelligence (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Ahmad Hallaq and Tawfiq Nasser were sentenced to death; Hanan Yassin, Ahmad Hallaq's wife, and Wafiq Nasser, a Palestinian, were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment; Ghassan al-Humsi was sentenced in absentia to life impris­ onment with hard labour; and his brother, Suhail al-Humsi, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment. At her trial, Hanan Yassin alleged that she had confessed under torture to her husband's involve­ ment with the Israeli intelligence service. In December a military court tried five people accused of facilitating the ab­ duction of Mustafa al-Dirani by Israeli commandos in May 1 994. Muharnmad Ahmad al-Dirani and Muharnmad Ali Salim al-Dirani were sentenced to death in absentia; the other three defendants were acquitted. Five people charged with state security offences in 1 994 remained on bail await­ ing trial (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). No information was available about the fate of 1 3 members of the illegal pro­ Iraqi wing of the Arab Socialist Ba'th party detained in 1 994 and who may have been taken to Syria (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Three Iraqi nationals, in­ cluding two diplomats, and a Lebanese national detained for the 1 994 assassina­ tion in Beirut of an Iraqi opposition figure (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) were believed to remain in detention. A third Iraqi diplomat detained in connec­ tion with the assassination died in cus­ tody (see below). Allegations of torture of political de­ tainees continued to be reported. Methods of torture reported included falaqa (beat­ ings on the soles of the feet with whips or wires), electric shocks, and "balanco" (hanging by the wrists which are tied behind the back). At least one person died in custody. In June Khaled 'Alwan Khalaf, one of the Iraqi diplomats accused of the 1 994 assas­ sination of an Iraqi opposition figure (see above), died in aI-Hayat Hospital from a brain haemorrhage. No investigation was known to have been carried out into the death. No information was received about any judicial proceedings against members of the security forces arrested in connec­ tion with the death in custody of Tareq al­ Hassaniyah in March 1 994, nor about the

investigation into the death in custody of Mufid Sukkar in July 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

One person was executed and at least 1 1 others were sentenced to death; most had been convicted of murder. In January Husam 'Ali Nassar was executed by firing­ squad in Rumieh Prison. Those sentenced to death included Elias al-Haber, who was sentenced in April; Khalil Radi Abu Huwaili, Jamal Hassan Sa'b and Safi Khalil Sa'b, who were sentenced in absen­ tia in June; and Sultan Ahmad Mazlum, 'Abbas Abd al-Hamid Isma'il and Akram Sulaiman, who were sentenced in July. More than 200 prisoners, most sus­ pected of membership of armed groups opposed to the Israeli presence in Leb­ anon, continued to be held by the SLA out­ side any legal framework in the Khiam detention centre in the "security zone". Some or all may have been held as host­ ages. In January the SLA and the Israeli au­ thorities permitted some of the prisoners in the Khiam detention centre to receive family visits for the first time since 1 987. In October representatives of the Interna­ tional Committee of the Red Cross visited the detention centre, which had been closed to humanitarian agencies since 1 985. About 75 prisoners were released during the year, including Bilal Hassan, Rafiq 'Adil Dabaja, 'Iyad Ibrahim, Muham­ mad 'Afan and Ghazi Ghani Hussain. In January Haitham Dabaja died after being held without charge for 10 years in the Khiam detention centre. The exact cir­ cumstances of his death were unclear but it was reported that ill-treatment or torture may have contributed. No investigation was known to have been initiated. Armed political groups continued to commit human rights abuses, including the apparently deliberate and arbitrary killings of civilians. Dozens of civilians were killed by armed political groups, often in reprisal for killings by opposing forces. Dozens of people were killed, apparently for polit­ ical reasons; some may have been deliber­ ately and arbitrarily killed by armed opposition groups. For example, in Au­ gust, three gunmen shot and killed Shaikh Nizar al-Halabi, a religiOUS leader and head of the Islamist al-Ahbash movement. At least five people, who were believed to be members of a mi litant Islamist organ­ ization, were arrested in December and

LEBANON;LESOTHO

charged with assassinating Sheikh Nizar al-Halabi. They were detained awaiting trial at the end of the year. The fate of thousands of people - in­ � luding Palestinians, and Lebanese, Syr­ Ian and other nationals taken prisoner in Lebanon by armed groups since 1 975 re­ mained unclear. They included Daud Yusuf Lahud, abducted in 1983, and Sm'an Jad'a, abducted in 1 985. New in­ formation came to light in 1 995 suggesting that dozens of people who had been ab­ ducted since the end of civil war in 1990 may have been transferred to Syria. Amnesty International urged the Leb­ anese authorities to commute all death sentences. It expressed concern about the fairness of important aspects of the trial of Samir Gea'gea' and others, including the lack of a judicial review of the conviction :md sentence and the apparent failure to Investigate reports of torture and ill-treat­ ment. No response had been received by the end of the year. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International repeated its call for the re lease of Lebanese and other detainees held in the Khiam detention centre and in Israel, and of any Israeli soldiers and SLA members missing in Lebanon who were being held as hostages. -



LESOTHO

At least 15 people who were detained b�. eOy appeared to be prisoners of con­ SCience and other detainees were held in­ Om municado and without charge or trial Or peri ods of up to several months. There ere allegations of ill-treatment and at east one prisoner died in police custody

� �

in suspicious circumstances. At least 20 people were injured when police opened fire on a peaceful crowd of factory work­ ers. One prisoner was executed. There was continuing political tension between the civilian government and the security forces, over whom the govern­ ment failed to exert control. Government officials and members of their staff as well as members of parliament were among those arbitrarily detained and in some cases ill-treated. There were tensions within the security forces themselves, as evidenced by the unlawful detention by junior officers of the National Security Service (NSS) of their own commanders in March, and by an armed confrontation in­ side Maseru Central police station in Sep­ tember which reportedly left three police officers dead. King Moshoeshoe II was restored to the throne in January in accordance with an internationally brokered agreement signed in September 1994 which had returned the ousted government of Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle to power (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995). A "national dia­ logue" conference intended to reduce political tension, also provided for in the 1 994 agreement, was held in September. The participants, from the government, the security forces and civil society, made recommendations to facilitate more effect­ ive dialogue in the future. At least 15 people who were detained briefly appeared to be prisoners of con­ science. Thabang Khauoe, President of the Law Society, was detained in March and interrogated by the police after he initiated a court action to challenge the constitu­ tionality of the King's reinstatement. He was beaten and threatened with death be­ fore being released the following day. He was later reportedly threatened again by one of his interrogators. Fourteen other possible prisoners of conscience were de­ tained in Maputsoe in April after being involved in a labour dispute and were held overnight in police custody. They too were ill-treated . They were initially charged with defying a court order to va­ cate factory premises but the charges were later dropped. Before detaining the 14, po­ lice fired on a peaceful crowd of factory workers as they were dispersing and in­ jured at least 20 people with birdshot pel­ lets. There was no official inquiry into the incident.

209

LESOTHO;1.. IBERIA

210

At least six officials and members of parliament were detained by the NSS, ap­ parently unlawfully and without govern­ ment authorization. They included the commanding officer and another senior NSS officer, held in March, both of whom were released when the government re­ fused to remove them from office, as well as a local official of the ruling Basotholand Congress Party and a former government minister, Monyane Moleleki, both of whom were held for short periods. In May, two members of parliament were detained, one of whom was reported to have suffered injuries as a result of ill­ treatment. Some 15 other people were reportedly held in incommunicado detention by the NSS at the time of an Amnesty Interna­ tional visit to Lesotho in June. They were said to be held in connection with the discovery of arms caches found in the Maseru and Leribe districts. The legal basis for their imprisonment was unclear and some detainees were reported to have been ill-treated. Amnesty International was allowed access to four of the de­ tainees, but not to four others it had asked to see. Subsequently, several of the 1 5 were released without charge. Others were charged and in some cases convicted of unlawfully possessing firearms. These were reportedly denied access to legal counsel while in detention and on trial. Other cases had not been completed by the end of the year. Criminal suspects were also reportedly ill-treated and at least one detainee died in police custody in suspicious circum­ stances. Thabo Lefosa died in June hours after he was arrested by police at gunpoint for "routine investigations" and taken for interrogation. The findings of an autopsy believed to have been carried out were not known to Amnesty International. There had been no inquest by the end of the year. Those responsible for past abuses, in­ cluding the killing of Deputy Prime Minis­ ter Selometsi Baholo in April 1 994 and shootings of demonstrators in August 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), were not brought to justice. One prisoner convicted of murder in 1 990, Veddie Nkosi, was executed in No­ vember. Only hours before the execution he told a minister of religion that his true identity was Edward Donald Nduba, from

Zambia. A soldier sentenced to death in 1 991 for the murders of two government ministers and their wives (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 99 1 ) had his sentence commuted to a term of imprisonment. There were no reports of new death sen­ tences. Amnesty International was concerned about the short-term detention of possible prisoners of conscience, the holding of de­ tainees incommunicado, allegations of ill­ treatment of detainees, the death penalty and the continuing climate of impunity among the security forces. In June an Amnesty International del­ egation visited Lesotho to investigate human rights abuses and discuss these concerns with the authorities. The del­ egation met the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Law and Constitutional Af­ fairs, and the Minister of Home Affairs, as well as police and other officials, local human rights organizations and victims of human rights abuses and their relatives. In September the organization wrote to these Ministers and to senior police officials summarizing its concerns and making ur­ gent recommendations, and appealed pub­ licly to the government and security forces to cooperate in ensuring full respect for human rights. There had been no response to those letters by the end of the year. In November Amnesty International ap­ pealed unsuccessfully for the commuta­ tion of the death sentence imposed on the prisoner known as Veddie Nkosi.

LIBERIA Deliberate and arbitrary killings of civil­ ians and torture by all parties to the con­ flict in Liberia continued unabated until the signing of a peace agreement in Au­ gust. Reports of human rights abuses con­ tinued to emerge in the months after the peace agreement. Journalists were beaten by members of the police, the regional peace-keeping force and at least one opposition group.

On 19 August 1 995 a new peace agree­ ment was signed in Abuja. Nigeria. Since it began in 1 989, the civil war had cost an estimated 1 50,000 lives and uprooted over 700,000 people from their homes. The agreement provided for a cease-fire. dis­ armament and elections within 12 months.

LIBERIA

�nlike several previous peace agreements,

I� brought the leaders of three warring fac­

bons into the Council of State, a joint presidency. The chairman of the Council Was a civilian, Professor Wilton Sanka­ wolo, and it comprised two other civilian members.

The agreement was signed by leaders of the Anned Forces of Liberia (AFL) - the na­ tional army - which has often acted as an armed group independent of government Control; the Liberia Peace Council (LPC), an armed group operating with AFL support; the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) , whose cross-border attack started the War and which at times has controlled most of Liberia; both factions of the United Liberation Movement for Demo­ cracy in Liberia (ULIMO) - ULIMO-J and ULlMO-K - and two other armed factions. It w,as also signed by a representative of the LIberian National Conference, a body or­ ganized by Liberian citizens to discuss the peace process. A major difference from previous peace agreements was that the AFL's role was limited to its Chief of Staff aSSuming -the role of Minister of Defence. According to the agreement, the AFL would be disarmed, like other armed rou �s. Also, as its members were preom mantly of the Krahn ethnic group, it Was to be reformed by the incorporation of m embers of other ethnic groups. However, public statements made by the Army Chief Staff after the Abuja agreement implied at the AFL would not be required to dis­ arm and would immediately resume re­ Onsibility for national security, although e Council of State proposed that it should be restructured. The agreement was brokered by the EConomic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), whose 10,OOO-strong







peace-keeping force, ECOMOC, had been sta­ tioned in Liberia since 1 990. The Abuja agreement provided for a Status of Forces Agreement between the government of Liberia and ECOWAS to determine the status of ECOMOC, something which had been lacking in previous agreements. Repres­ entatives of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the UN attended the sign­ ing of the agreement. The UN Observer Mission in Liberia, UNOMU., sent to Liberia in 1 993 to monitor an earlier peace agreement, had threat­ ened to withdraw completely by Septem­ ber if no progress had been made towards peace. However, as a result of the August peace agreement, UNOMU.'S presence in Liberia was expanded to 94 personnel and extended until beyond the end of the year. The UN Secretary-General indicated his in­ tention to broaden UNOMU.'S scope and he reported in October that a human rights officer had been appointed with respons­ ibility for investigating and reporting on human rights violations. The peace agreement, like previous ones, did not contain specific human rights safeguards, and provided for an am­ nesty which could include those respons­ ible for human rights abuses. In the months leading up to the peace agreement, control of Liberia continued to be hotly contested. The Transitional Gov­ ernment exercised authority only in areas controlled by ECOMOC forces, which held the capital, Monrovia, and the coastal strip to Buchanan, some 55 miles east of Mon­ rovia. This represented less than 15 per cent of Liberia's territory. In early August two armed factions, the NPFL and the LPC, agreed to allow ECOMOC to extend its pres­ ence into Bong County in central Liberia and Rivercess and Sinoe Counties in the southeast, which meant that normal com­ mercial activities and relief supplies could be resumed. The rest of the country was controlled by various armed factions, with some areas being taken and retaken by rival groups. There were peace negotiations in April between the two ULlMO factions - ULIMO-J, headed by General Roosevelt Johnson and dominated by members of the Krahn eth­ nic group, and ULlMO-K, headed by Alhaji G. V. Kromah and dominated by members of the Mandingo ethnic group. However, fighting broke out again between the two factions in May in Grand Cape Mount and

211

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212

Bomi Counties. There was also fighting between the NPFL and ULlMO-K in Lofa County, between the NPFL and ULlMO-j in Bang and Margibi Counties, and between the NPFL and LPC in Grand Bassa and Mary­ land Counties. After the peace agreement, fighting resumed between the ULlMO fac­ tions, between ULlMO-K and the NPFL, and between the NPFL and the LPC. In June the conflict between the LPC and NPFL spread to Cote d'Ivoire. Dozens of people were killed, including Ivorians, and between 1 6,000 and 35 ,000 refugees fled into Cote d'Ivoire to escape from the fighting. In July Charles Julue, a senior com­ mander under former President Doe, and six other officers were each sentenced to seven years' imprisonment after being found guilty of treason by a court-martial. They had led a coup attempt in Monrovia in September 1 994 which was thwarted by ECOMOG (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Four other military officers were ac­ quitted by the court-martial for lack of evidence, but they continued to be held at the end of the year. Human rights abuses continued on an extensive scale until the peace agreement. Fighters from all the warring factions tor­ tured and deliberately killed unarmed civilians suspected of opposing them, often solely because of their ethnic origin, as they seized control of territory or raided another group's territory. There were fre­ quent skirmishes between the two ULlMO factions and between the NPFL and LPC which resulted in human rights abuses, most notably deliberate and arbitrary kill­ ings, and torture including rape. These in­ cidents led civilians to leave the areas of fighting for fear that they might become victims of such abuses. It was often impossible to confirm re­ ports of abuses, and generally not possible to determine who was responsible. For ex­ ample, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) repres­ entatives reported a massacre on 9 April in Yosi. a village near Buchanan. They stated that at least 62 people, including women and children, had been rounded up and killed - most had been hacked to death. The UNICEF workers could not deter­ mine who was responsible for the mas­ sacre; the area had been controlled by the NPFL but was contested by the LPC. Al­ though UNOMlL observers visited Buchanan on 13 April, they were unable to add any

more information. No investigation was known to have followed these reports. In June UNICEF workers in Buchanan reported that they had registered 652 cases of women who had been raped, mostly by members of the warring factions, within less than six months. LPC fighters, who since 1 993 had oper­ ated with the support of the AFL, sys­ tematically swept through rural areas in southeastern Liberia in early 1 995, rob­ bing, torturing and intimidating people, and forcing them to take refuge in Buchanan or other places under ECOMOG control. Many of those fleeing to Buchanan in February were reported to have been bayoneted, shot or flogged by LPC fighters. At the time, large numbers of people, perhaps as many as 6,000, were reportedly being held by the LPC in the compounds of an agricultural company, where many were raped. In April ULIMO-K fighters were accused of committing abuses as they attacked and set ablaze three coastal towns - Fassama, Zuana 1 and Zuana 2 in Grand Cape Mount County. Some inhabitants were held hostage and about 1 5 were killed; others who escaped spoke of rape, abduc­ tions and widespread looting. In May UNOMlL said it would investigate the mas­ sacre of civilians in the area and asked for representatives of ULlMO-j, ULlMO-K, and the AFL to assist in on-the-spot investigations. There was no further news of the scope or outcome of these investigations. In June clashes between ULfMO factions in Royesville left many civilians dead; sur­ vivors were raped and terrorized. After the peace agreement, it was repor­ ted that NPFL fighters had been responsible for the massacre of at least 75 civilians in the Tappeta area, Nimba County. Al­ though he discounted the figure of those killed, Charles Taylor, leader of the NPFL, stated that some NPFL members had been arrested and would face court-martial for these acts. In November at least four LPC comman­ ders were executed by firing-squad on the orders of a specially constituted court. According to reports, the executions fol­ lowed a two-week investigation into human rights abuses. In December fighting broke out in Tub­ manburg between ULlMO-j and ECOMOG forces when ULlMO-j alleged that ECOMOG had been supporting their rivals, ULlMO-K. -

LIBERIA/LIBYA

UNOMlL observers commenting on the human rights situation confirmed that ULIMO-J had forced civilians out of the hos­ pital where they had sought refuge from the fighting and had used them as "human shields" to protect their positions. . Throughout the year journalists were Ill-treated by government forces, ECOMOG and at least one opposition group. In April Benjamin Wilson, a journalist with The Eye, was beaten by police when he refused to give them photographs he had taken of damage at a refugee compound in Mon­ rovia. In July Bill Jarkloh, a journalist with Th e News, was beaten unconscious by ULIMO-J fighters. He had been interviewing Roosevelt Johnson when fighters stormed the building and he tried to photograph the incident. Three of those involved in the attack were arrested by ECOMOG and then handed over to ULIMO-J high com­ �and. In September James Momoh, a JOUrnalist with The Inquirer, was beaten by ECOMOG soldiers when trying to photo­ graph AFL soldiers at a check-point. An ECOMOG official stated that there would be an investigation , but no results had been reported by the end of the year. In September Amnesty International Published Liberia: A new peace agreement

-. an opportunity to introduce human ghts protection. The report documented



uman rights abuses by all parties to the Conflict as well as the failures of peace­ epers in Liberia to investigate or prevent t e torture and deliberate and arbitrary . . kil lin g of civilians. The report's recom­ endations, addressed to the government, t e warring factions, ECOWAS, the UN and e �nternational community, called for ef­ ectlVe guarantees for human rights to be bu Ht into t peace process. he In November Amnesty International calIed on authorities involved in investig­ at'Ing human rights abuses and other crt· mes not to demand the death penalty, to ensure that investigations were carried Out by independent and impartial bodies �d to ensure that suspects were given fair trIals, in accordance with international standards.



� �

LIBYA Hundreds of political prisoners, including possible prisoners of conscience, who were arrested in previous years contin­ ued to be held without charge or trial. Five prisoners of conscience held since 1973 continued to serve life sentences. Hundreds of people were arrested during the year in connection with their religious or political activities. Over 300 political prisoners were reportedly released in March. Torture and ill-treatment by the security forces continued to be reported. At least six people were executed.

The UN sanctions against Libya (see previous Amnesty International Reports), imposed in 1 992 in connection with the 1 988 bombing of a us passenger airliner, remained in force. In September and October thousands of Palestinians and Egyptian and Sudanese nationals working in Libya were forcibly expelled, allegedly because they were il­ legal immigrants. However, the expulsion of Palestinian workers, which included people working legally, was reportedly in protest at the peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government. In October the Libyan au­ thorities stated that up to one million African workers would also be expelled. Five prisoners of conscience, all sus­ pected members of the prohibited Islamic Liberation Party, continued serving life sentences in Abu-Salim Prison in Tripoli (see Amnesty International Reports 1 991 to 1 995). They included 'Omar Salih al­ Qasbi and Mohammad aI-Sadiq Tarhoun, both imprisoned since April 1 973. Hundreds of political prisoners, includ­ ing possible prisoners of conscience, con­ tinued to be detained without charge or trial. Among them were members or sup­ porters of banned Islamist groups who had been arrested in previous years. They in­ cluded Or 'Abd al-Mun'im Ibhiri aI-'Aw­ jali, Hassan al-Suwayheli and Or 'Omran

213

LIBYA

214

'Omar al-Turbi, who were arrested in 1 984 (see previous Amnesty International Re­ ports). At the end of the year they were still held in Abu-Salim Prison. Scores of military personnel and civil­ ians arrested following the alleged Octo­ ber 1 993 army rebellion in Misrata and Bani Walid (see Amnesty International Re­ ports 1 994 and 1 995) were still held at the end of the year, apparently without charge or trial. Among them were Colonel Miftah Qarrum al-Wirfali, who suffered from leukaemia, and Lt-Colonel Daw al-Salihin al-Jidiq. In August members of the Revolu­ tionary Committees reportedly held a meeting in Bani Walid, eastern Libya, which the population was allegedly forced to attend and during which they were forced to sign a petition calling for the execution of Colonel Miftah Qarrum al­ Wirfali, Lt-Colonel Daw al-Salihin al-Jidiq and seven others, most of whom were from Bani Walid. It was not known whether the executions were carried out. Hundreds of people were arrested in June and September after clashes between the security forces and armed Islamist groups which reportedly took place in Benghazi and several other cities in north­ east Libya. Up to 50 armed Islamists and 20 security officers were allegedly killed, but no further details were available. There were reports that 305 political prisoners were freed on the occasion of the 1 8th anniversary of the proclamation of "People's Power", which also coincided with 'Id aJ-Fitr, a religious holiday, on 1 March. The identities of those who bene­ fited were not known at the end of the year, but at least some of them had report­ edly been arrested in 1 989. As in previous years, torture and ill­ treatment by the security forces continued to be reported. Twenty-four secondary school students arrested in Bani Walid in early September were reportedly tortured before being summarily tried. They were among a large number of school students arrested after demonstrations apparently protesting against being forced to attend a meeting and sign a petition calling for the execution of nine people including Colonel Miftah Qarrum al-Wirfali (see above). The arrested students were report­ edly interrogated under torture, including by being beaten with fists, electric shocks on different parts of the body, faJaqa (beat­ ings on the soles of the feet) and being

threatened with dogs. Some were released, but 24 were reportedly summarily tried, in secret and without access to lawyers, in mid-December. Two. including Moham­ mad Hassan al-Barrani. were sentenced to nine years' imprisonment; 1 3 . including 'Adel Mohammad al-Khazni. were sen­ tenced to eight years' imprisonment; and nine were sentenced to prison terms of between two and a half and five years. Mansur Kikhiya, a prominent Libyan opposition leader and human rights activ­ ist who "disappeared" in Cairo. Egypt. in December 1 993 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1 994 and 1 995). remained missing. At the end of October his wife. Baha Kikhiya. went to Libya and met gov­ ernment officials. including the Minister of Justice. who told her that the Libyan Government was in contact with the Egyptian authorities to find out about the fate of her husband. In July. two Amnesty International delegates met the Head of the Human Rights Unit within the Public Prosecutor's Office in Cairo and raised the case of Mansur Kikhiya with him. They were told that the official investigation was completed and Egypt had nothing to do with his "disappearance", and were given no further details on how the invest­ igation was carried out or the outcome. No new information came to light regarding Jaballah Hamed Matar and ' Izzat Youssef al-Maqrif. both members of the Libyan opposition party. the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. who also "disap­ peared" in Cairo in March 1990. At least six people were executed on 19 March. after having been convicted of murder. The executions were reportedly shown on Libyan television on 22 March. A well-known opposition activist. 'Ali Mohammad Abu-Zeid. was found stabbed to death in his shop in London. United Kingdom. in November. Libyan opposi­ tion groups claimed that the Libyan au­ thorities were responsible for the killing . At the end of the year the murder was stil l being investigated by the British police. Amnesty International continued to ap­ peal for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience and for the fair trial or release of other political prisoners and for the commutation of all death sentences. It also requested informa­ tion about the fate of Mansur Kikhiya. The organization received no response to its inquiries.

LlTHUANIM-UXEMBOURG

=

LITHUANIA

the sentences passed. In December the organization was informed that "within the period of six months of 1 995" a total of eight death sentences had been passed. Three had been reduced to life imprisonment on appeal; the other five were still pending.

LUXEMBOURG

Two people were executed. Four death sentences were commuted and five people remained under sentence of death.

I n June Lithuania ratified the European Co nvention for the Protection of Human �ghts and Fundamental Freedoms, which I� had signed in May 1 993. In September it S Igned the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or De­ gra ding Treatment or Punishmen t. In February the Supreme Court ruled �at the re were no grounds for reviewing e death sentence passed on Boris De­ kani dze, who had been convicted in No­ V ember 1994 of ordering the assassination �f a jou rnalist (see Amnesty International eP?rt 1 995). He was executed in July, fol­ IOWIng rejection of his petition for clem­ �nc� by President Algirdas Brazauskas. arher in the year the Lithuanian Clem­ ency Co mmission, headed by the Presid­ �nt , had for the first time commuted a eath sentence to life imprisonment. !hroughout the year Amnesty Inter­ natI onal appealed to the Lithuanian au­ thorit ies to commute all pending death se nte nces and to abolish the death pen­ alty . In March the organization expressed ��cern to the Lithuanian authorities that eIr fail ure to carry out a full review of the death n sentence passed on Boris b ekanid ze may have amounted to a reach of Article 14(5) of the International C�enant on Civil and Political Rights, to W ch the Republic of Lithuania is a Party . In November Amnesty International :ked the authorities for clarification of e number of prisoners currently under se�tence of death and for information on w et her appeals had been heard against

At least three prisoners were ordered to be kept in prolonged isolation.

At least three prisoners were kept in prolonged isolation in Schrassig prison for disciplinary reasons. In June Carlo Fett was placed in solitary confinement for six months. He had escaped from the prison the previous month and had stabbed the officer who recaptured him. Amnesty In­ ternational believes that prolonged isola­ tion may have serious effects on the physical and mental health of prisoners and may constitute cruel, inhuman or de­ grading treatment or punishment. In September Amnesty International asked the Luxembourg authorities what measures the prison authorities had taken to alleviate the physical and psychological effects of prolonged isolation on Carlo FeU and other prisoners in Schrassig. In particular, the organization asked for in­ formation on the number of instructors recruited during the year to organize stim­ ulating activities for prisoners in isolation, one of the reforms arInounced by the Luxembourg authorities in April 1 994 in response to criticisms made by the Euro­ pean Committee for the Prevention of Tor­ ture, a body of experts set up under the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (see Amnesty

215

LUXEMBOURG/MALAWI

216

International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). In

November the Minister of Justice informed Amnesty International that "the place and the form of the daily exercise period" of prisoners in solitary confinement had been changed. Furthermore. in October a competitive examination had been held to recruit instructors to work with prisoners in solitary confinement. However. no can­ didates had entered the exam. Finally. in the case of one prisoner the period of solitary confinement had been reduced.

MALAWI

The former head of state and five others were brought to trial for the alleged extra­ judicial execution of three government ministers and a member of parliament in 1983. A detainee died in police custody in suspicious circumstances. At least two people were sentenced to death but there were no executions.

Following a constitutional conference held in February. parliament approved a new Constitution in May which came into force immediately. The new Constitution contains a Bill of Rights and provides for the establishment of a national Human Rights Commission and an Ombudsman's Office to investigate alleged human rights abuses. but these had not been instituted by the end of the year. Despite strong calls for its abolition. the new Constitution retained the death penalty. Former Life-President Hastings Ka­ muzu Banda. who lost power as a result of elections in May 1 994 . was brought to trial with five others in connection with the al­ leged extrajudicial execution of three cabi­ net ministers and a member of parliament in May 1983. A commission of inquiry

appointed in 1 994 by President Bakil i Muluzi to investigate the deaths reported in January. It concluded that the four poli­ ticians had been killed for political rea­ sons (see Amnesty International Reports 1 986 and 1 995). Charged with former President Banda were two of his close as­ sociates. Cecilia Kadzamira and John Tembo. a former government minister. and three senior police officers. Their trial. on charges of conspiracy to murder and to pervert the course of justice. began in July. Six other police officers were also charged with conspiracy to murder in con­ nection with the 1983 deaths. but in Au­ gust these charges were withdrawn to facilitate their being called as prosecution witnesses in the trial of former President Banda and his co-accused. In December a charge of conspiracy to murder against Ce­ cilia Kadzamira was dropped by the pro­ secution. Later that month former President Banda and his co-accused were acquitted of all charges. The prosecution announced that it would appeal against the verdict. Four officials of the former ruling Malawi Congress Party (MGP) were also charged in July in connection with death threats made in 1992 against Roman Catholic bishops who had been critical of the MCP ' S human rights record (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 993). Thei r trial had not begun by the end of the year. In April General Menken Chigawa. Commander of the Army. was killed amid rumours that an attempted military coup had been foiled. Thomas Denson Chi­ bonga. a civilian detained in connection with the killing. died in suspicious cir­ cumstances later that month while in po­ lice custody. The police said that he was killed when he threw himself from a p o­ lice vehicle in an escape attempt but other sources alleged that he had died as a result of torture by the police. No autopsy was known to have been carried out and there had been no inquest by the end of the year. At least two people were sentenced to death after being convicted of murder but there were no executions. In an Open Letter published in Febru­ ary. Amnesty International urged the con­ stitutional conference to abolish the death penalty. Subsequently. after the new Con­ stitution was promulgated. Amnesty Inter­ national reiterated its call for abolition and called for the existing moratorium on

MALAWI/MALAYSIA

executions to be maintained until that was ac hieved . In June Amnesty International �alled upon the government to ratify those � nternational human rights treaties which It had not yet ratified. In November the organization wrote to the government �alling for an independent and impartial Investigation into the death in police cus­ to dy of Thomas Denson Chibonga.



MALAYSIA

s� political prisoners were held without tri al under the Internal Security Act (lSA). An Opposition member of parliament was �harged under the Sedition Act for mak­ g political comments concerning the ju. Clary . Eleven police officers were found cri minally responsible for the death in CUStody of a criminal suspect. Caning continued to be inflicted for a range of crimes. It was reported that 46 people �ad died in detention camps for illegal Utunigrants since 1 993. At least 1 1 people were sentenced to death and at least two People wert! executed.





The ruling Barisan Nasional, National

F ont, coalition headed by Prime Minister

ahath ir Mohamad won a decisive vic­ tory in parliamentary elections in April. I n December 1 994 parliament passed the Cri minal Procedure Code (Amend­ Illent) Bill, abolishing trial by jury in death penalty cases. The Bill also introduced Cani ng for economic crimes including Ill bezzlement, tax fraud and bribery. In pril the government was reported to be stu dy mg ' a proposal to introduce a mand atory death sentence for causing the death of children through abuse. In May the government threatened to take act ion under the ISA against members



of the opposition Parti Islam Sa-Malaysia (PAS), Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, found to be creating religious tensions or spread­ ing "deviationist" Islamic teachings. The ISA allows the police to arrest and detain any person suspected of threaten­ ing national &ecurity for up to 60 days of investigation, after which the Minister of Home Affairs can order detention without charge or trial for renewable periods of two years. In August the government re­ jected calls by opposition parties and by the Bar Council to repeal the ISA following a full review. However, the government stated that it was considering shortening periods of detention from two years to be­ tween six months and one year. No such decision had been announced by the end of the year. Six political prisoners were among at least 25 people held without trial under the ISA in the Kamunting detention centre near Taiping, in Perak state, in late 1 994. The six had been detained since 1 989 for allegedly having belonged to the Com­ munist Party of Malaya (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995). They were not reported to have been released by the end of the year. Others reportedly held under the ISA included one person arrested for allegedly selling state secrets and at least 19 others accused of falsifying identity and travel documents. More than 46 others accused of involvement in forging identity documents were arrested in Sabah during the year. Restriction orders imposed under the ISA on seven leaders of the Al Arqam religious group remained in force (see Amnesty International Report

1 995).

In February police arrested Lim Guan Eng, a member of parliament for the op­ position Democratic Action Party. He was charged under the Sedition Act with prompting " disaffection with the adminis­ tration of j ustice". Lim Guan Eng had stated in January that the authorities had applied "double standards" during invest­ igations into a statutory rape case alleg­ edly involving a former Chief Minister of Malacca and a 1 5-year-old girl. In March Lim Guan Eng was also charged under the Printing Presses and Publications Act with publishing false information in relation to the case. Lim Guan Eng's trial was set for January 1 996; if convicted he faced poss­ ible imprisonment and disqualification from parliament.

217

MALAYSIA;MALDIVES

218

In November a judicial inquiry found

11 police officers criminally responsible

for the death in May of a robbery suspect. The inquiry also ruled that the suspect had been illegally detained under the Emergency Ordinance. The Attorney­ General ordered the prosecution of only two of the 1 1 officers. Caning - which constitutes a cruel, in­ human and degrading punishment - was inflicted as a supplement to imprisonment throughout the year. Over 40 crimes, in­ cluding drugs offences, rape, kidnapping, attempted murder and robbery, are pun­ ishable by caning. In one case, teenager Tham Chuan Heng was sentenced in June to a five-and-a-half-year jail term and to 1 2 strokes o f the cane for assaulting another boy and robbing him of his clothes. In September the government ap­ pointed a visitors' panel to study condi­ tions in camps for illegal immigrants after confirming reports that 45 detainees had died between 1 993 and 1 995 in such camps, apparently from malnutrition, beri-beri and other treatable diseases. For­ mer detainees of the camps interviewed by the Malaysian human rights group Tenaganita reported a pattern of ill-treat­ ment, including lack of adequate food and water, denial of medical treatment, as­ saults by guards (which allegedly led to the deaths of at least two migrant workers) and sexual abuse of female detainees. The visitors' panel had not reported by the end of the year. Police questioned Tenaga­ nita's director in connection with possible criminal defamation charges linked to the group's research , and charged her with withholding evidence when she refused to hand over research documents. A Bangladeshi national who had assisted with the research was detained in Novem­ ber, despite disproving charges that his identity papers were false. During the year at least 1 1 people were sentenced to death. They included Saras­ vathi Pavideloo, who was convicted in March with Kurasagam Muthu of traffick­ ing in more than five kilograms of cannabis. At least two people were execu­ ted. One had been convicted of drug-traf­ ficking and the other of armed robbery. However, the real figure for executions was believed to be higher. At least 1 9 commutations o f the death penalty were recorded. The majority were cases in which charges were reduced on appeal

from trafficking in drugs (which carries a mandatory death sentence) to possession of drugs. In a further nine reported cases prisoners previously sentenced to death were released on appeal. In June the Fed­ eral Court was reported to have acquitted and released Ho Yoi Wah, who had been sentenced to death by the High Court in 1 989 for drug-trafficking. In a rare move the King, Tuanku Ja'afar Abdul Rahman , granted clemency in January to Tan Kim Guan, a former taxi driver who had been sentenced to death in 1 991 . Amnesty International asked the Inter­ Parliamentary Union (!pu) to appeal to the Malaysian authorities to drop the charges against Lim Guan Eng. Amnesty Interna­ tional also urged the Ministry of Home Af­ fairs to establish an impartial investigatio n into the deaths of illegal migrants in de­ tention camps and to make its findings public. It also urged that all detainees be given adequate nutrition and medical care. Amnesty International also appealed to the authorities to commute all death sentences and to end the punishment of caning.

MALDIVES

Several possible prisoners of conscience were arrested because of their politic al views or religious practices. Some de­ tainees were reportedly ill-treated.

Ahamed Shafeeq, a 57-year-old former senior civil servant and writer, and Ali Moosa Didi , a writer and politician, were arrested in April at Ahamed Shafeeq's house. The police removed personal diaries and papers written by Ahamed Shafeeq. The two men were transferred to house arrest on 1 July and 27 August

MALDIVES/MALI

respect ively and were held under house arrest, without charge or trial, until the end of December. Ahamed Shafeeq's son, Moharned Shafeeq, was arrested in July, possibly in connection with two letters he wrote to President Maumoon Abdul Gay­ Oom when his father was taken into deten­ ti on. Mohamed Shafeeq was held at Dhooni dhoo detention centre until mid­ August when he was transferred to house arrest . He was released in late August. An­ other man who had been at Ahamed Shafeeq' s house at the time of his arrest Was taken into custody in June. He was al­ lowed to travel to Sri Lanka for medical treatment in mid-July, where he remained at the end of the year. Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi were possible prison­ ers of conscience. They appeared to have bee n arrested in connection with private Comments they had made regarding in Particular the cost of a newly constructed presidential palace. I n August, Mohamed Latheef, a lin­ \!Ui st, aged 74, was arrested. He was held In incommunicado detention at Male' po­ lice hea dquarters for 1 1 days. He was transfe rred to house arrest in mid-October and held without charge until the end of December. His arrest might have been re­ lated to a request submitted in 1 994 to the Ministry of Home Affairs to establish a Politic al party (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), to which he was reportedly one of the signatories. Twelve followers of the Wahabi doc­ tri ne were arrested in July, allegedly for eaching without a permit in violation of uly 1 994 legislation (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Imam Mohamed rahim, arrested in 1 994, continued to be eld withol}.t charge or trial under house arrest. Adam Naseem was sentenced to six months' house arrest in connection with a oem he wrote expressing concern about e moral and political situation in the cou ntry (see Amnesty International Report 1995) . He was released in October. Mo harned Saleem and "Theyo" Lath­ �ef, two members of parliament arrested 1993 (see previous Amnesty Interna­ l n al Reports), were reportedly acquitted er standing trial on charges of corrup10n. However, upon appeal by the govern­ ent, the High Court sentenced them to V e and a half years' banishment in April. The�e were reports of ill-treatment at DhOOU ldh oo detention centre, where pris-

oners were held in solitary confinement for long periods. Amnesty International expressed con­ cern about the arrest of people in contra­ vention of their right to freedom of expression and appealed for their immedi­ ate and unconditional release, if they were not to be charged with recognizably crim­ inal offences. It also called for humane treatment of prisoners. In mid-June the government responded that Ahamed Shafeeq and Ali Moosa Didi " had been taken into custody on charges of having contravened the law" but gave no further details of the reasons for their arrest. In February Amnesty International published a report, Republic of Maldives: Freedom of expression under threat, summarizing its concerns about the arrest and detention of dozens of people in connection with the parliamentary elections of 1 994 and the presidential elections of 1 993.

MALI

r �



��fi � �

At least 28 possible prisoners of con­ science were sentenced to between two and eight months' imprisonment. Scores of people detained following peaceful protests were severely beaten. At least 14 extrajudicial executions were carried out by government forces and by members of a vigilante group, some of whom were members of the armed forces. One person was sentenced to death. A former Presid­ ent of Mali and four other prisoners remained under sentence of death. No executions were reported. Armed op­ position groups were reported to have committed human rights abuses, includ­ ing deliberate and arbitrary killings of civilians.

219

MALI

220

There were continuing negotiations be­ tween President Alpha Konare's govern­ ment and rebel Tuareg groups between January and May which resulted in the reintegration of Tuareg groups into the army. At least 6,000 of the 1 09,000 Tuareg and Arab refugees who had fled to neigh­ bouring countries in previous years re­ turned to Mali voluntarily. Idrissa Traore, the son of former Presid­ ent Moussa Traore, who had been arrested in 1991 on charges of embezzlement and other "economic" offences (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), was released in December after the judge decided there were no grounds for prosecution. How­ ever, his mother, Mariam Traore, and his uncle, Abraham Doua Sisoko, who had been arrested at the same time, remained in detention and were apparently awaiting trial, also on charges of embezzlement. In April the government dissolved the Na­ tional Economic Commission which had been responsible for initiating preliminary enquiries into the alleged embezzlement of state funds by members of Moussa Traore's family and officials of his former government. In August scores of people were arres­ ted after a peaceful demonstration to pro­ test against the destruction of houses which had been built 20 years earlier on government property in Niamakoro, Senou and Faladie. Some 50 people were detained at the headquarters of the Groupement mobile de securite, Mobile Security Group. Most were beaten during their arrest and while in custody; one, Ousmane Sidibe, had his arm broken as a result. Some were released, but at least eight, including Mamadou Faraban Doumbia, Amadou Kone and Mamadou Diarra, were tried on charges of disturbing public order and sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from two to eight months. They appeared to be prisoners of conscience. In September, 20 members of the Asso­

ciation des travailleurs volontaires a la retraite (ATVR) , Association of Voluntar­

ily Retired Workers, including Amadou Diallo, Aamar Cisse and Dramane Sacko, were arrested at the headquarters of the ruling party, the Alliance pour la democ­ ratie au Mali (ADEMA), Alliance for Demo­ cracy in Mali. They had gone to the ADEMA headquarters to inform party officials about the problems facing retired workers

and to complain about the lack of govern­ ment assistance for ATVR projects. They were tried on charges of violence and acts of violence against ADEMA staff and sen­ tenced to terms of imprisonment of one to two months. Witnesses at the trial stated that the ATVR members had not used any violence. All 20 appeared to be prisoners of conscience. Government forces and those assisting them were reported to have extrajudicially executed members of the Tuareg commun­ ity. In May, seven Tuaregs of the Daoussak clan were said to have been extrajudicially executed by an army patrol when they were found camping near an old Tuareg rebel base. The victims' bodies were sub­ sequently burned. Other politically motivated killings were committed by the Mouvement patrio­ tique malien Ghanda Koy (Ghanda Koy), Malian Patriotic Movement - Masters of the Land, a black vigilante group set up by former government soldiers, some of whose members were also members of the armed forces. In April they attacked the Tuareg village of Faguibine in Goundam and deliberately killed five civilians, in­ cluding two women and two children. In October, two refugees from Niger were reportedly killed by the Ghanda Koy. One man, Boubacar Dembele, the for­ mer head of the National Tobacco and Match Company, was sentenced to death in March. He had been convicted on cor­ ruption charges. Former President Moussa Traore and three former government offi­ cials remained under sentence of death (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), and were apparently awaiting trial on fur­ ther embezzlement charges. A fifth man remained under sentence of death for attempted murder. There were no reports of executions. Armed opposition groups committed human rights abuses, including the delib­ erate and arbitrary killing of civilians. In April members of the Armee revolution­ naire de liberation de l'Azawad, Revol­ utionary Army for the Liberation of Azawad, attacked and killed two villagers belonging to the Bella ethnic group near Gossi. In May the Front islamique arabe de l'Azawad (FIAA) , Arab Islamic Front of Azawad, released hostages held since 1994. The FIAA acknowledged that one of the hostages had died while held.

MAURITANIA



MAURITANIA

Eight opposition activists, all prisoners of conscience, were detained for up to two Weeks. Over 50 opposition party sup­ porters were held incommunicado for lIlore than a month, and were possible prisoners of conscience. They were given apparently unfair trials for non-violent political activities; 10 were sentenced to terms of imprisonment. In October. the Minister of the Interior stated publicly that Mauritanian citizens li vi ng in exile in Senegal since 1 989 were free to return to Mauritania. More than 50 ,000 people had been expelled from southern Mauritania in 1 989 and 1 990 and th? usands of others had fled to escape Wi despread human rights violations and other forms of persecution (see Amnesty Intern ational Reports 1 990 to 1 994). How­ ever, the Minister's statement failed to ad­ dress concerns frequently expressed by t hose in exile about the need to restore confiscated identity papers and guarantee t eir safety. and their civil and political fights if they should return to Mauritania. or did he respond to proposals on these IS��es made in a public memorandum by Tld Jane Koila, an opposition senator and ll1.ay or of the southern town of Kaedi, and a rep ort prepared by a Mauritanian parlia­ ll1.entary commission led by Senator Ba oyu sso uf. . In November the Ministry of the Inter­ I?r seized an edition of the weekly opposi­ hon newspaper Le Galame on three Occasions on the grounds that it contra­ vened the press law, which gave the au­ th?�ities the power to seize any articles Cfl hcal of the state or of Islam or which COuld endanger public order.

? �

Two opposition leaders, Ahmed Ould Daddah, Secretary General of the Union des Forces Democratiques (UFO), Union of Democratic Forces, and Hamdi Ould Mouknass, President of the Union pour la Democratie et le Progres (UDP) , Union for Democracy and Progress, and at least six other opposition party activists were de­ tained in January following riots in the capital, Nouakchott, which were sparked off by a steep rise in the price of bread. The government accused the two main op­ position parties of fomenting unrest, but opposition leaders said that the protests were spontaneous and condemned the violence which occurred. There were further protests after the arrests and about 10 other people were briefly detained. Ahmed Ould Daddah and Hamdi Ould Mouknass, and those detained at the same time, were placed under house arrest out­ side the capital and released without charge in early February. They were pris­ oners of conscience. Over 50 people, including both civil­ ians and members of the security forces, were arrested in October and held in­ communicado after the government an­ nounced the discovery of a spy ring and expelled the Iraqi Ambassador. Those de­ tained were believed to include current and former members of the Mauritanian branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party, whose headquarters are in Iraq, and mem­ bers of A ttali'a, a political party formed fol lowing a split within the Ba'th party. Both parties were legal in Mauritania. The detainees, who appeared to be possible prisoners of conscience, were alleged by the government to be members of an in­ telligence network providing information about strategic installations to the Iraqi secret services. During their trial in December, the only evidence produced to support these alle­ gations consisted of testimonies by the ac­ cused which they retracted in court, claiming that they had been made under duress. Defence lawyers withdrew in pro­ test after restrictions were placed on the length and content of their submissions by the court's president. Ten of the accused were sentenced to prison terms of between six months and one year and 1 3 received suspended sentences; 29 others were ac­ quitted. An appeal was lodged by those convicted, but hearings had not started by the end of the year.

221

MAURITANIA/MAURITIUS/MEXICO

222

Amnesty International was concerned about the detention of opposition activists in the context of the bread riots and about the December convictions of possible pris­ oners of conscience following apparently unfair proceedings. It urged the govern­ ment to release any prisoners of con­ science immediately and unconditionally.

MAURITIUS

The death penalty was abolished in law. All death sentences were commuted. There were no executions.

In April the UN Committee against Torture welcomed the efforts made by the government to ensure that the Constitution conformed with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Mauritius acceded in December 1992. However, it recommended that measures be taken to incorporate the Con­ vention into domestic law and to imple­ ment a system of surveillance in police stations to protect suspects from torture. In December, elections were held which resulted in Navin Ramgoolam being elected as Prime Minister. In May a bill was tabled to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1 986 by replacing the death penalty for drug-trafficking with 20 years' imprisonment. In July the Aboli­ tion of the Death Penalty Bill was tabled to amend the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Act by banning the death pen­ alty entirely. In August Parliament passed the two bills, following a debate in which most speakers cited Amnesty International's work against the death penalty in support of their arguments for abolition. The bills

were passed by large majorities. However, President Cassam Uteem refused to sign the bills and sent them back to Parliament later in August. In the case of the Danger­ ous Drugs Bill, he recommended that Par­ liament should consider amending the bill to prescribe 30 years' imprisonment for drug-trafficking, to which Parliament sub­ sequently agreed. He gave no reason for refusing to sign the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill. In November Parliament passed both the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill and the amended Dangerous Drugs Bill for a second time, thus making Presidential assent a formality. The five prisoners who remained on death row at that time had their sentences commuted. There were no executions. Amnesty International wrote to Prime Minister Anaerood Jugnauth welcoming Parliament's vote to suspend the death penalty in law. It continued to campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Mauritius, and welcomed abolition in November.

MEXICO

Dozens of prisoners of conscience were detained. Human rights activists suffered death threats and assaults. Torture by law enforcement officers was widespread. At least two people "disappeared" and the whereabouts of hundreds who "disap­ peared" in previous years remained un­ known. Dozens of people, including peasant activists and members of the op­ position, were extrajudicially executed. Shortly after coming to power in De­ cember 1 994 , President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Le6n announced reforms to the

MEXICO

admin istration of justice, including the ju­ di ciary and the Republic Attorney Gen­ eral' s Office. He declared that the aim of the reforms was to increase the independ­ ence and effectiveness of the system, and to h elp end impunity. Measures included reducing the number of members of the SUpreme Court; empowering the Supreme Co urt to review the constitutionality of laws; and creating a Federal Council of the J� diciary to appoint judges, who were pre­ V Iously appointed by the Supreme Court. So me of the measures announced, such as the creation of a special prosecutor's office to guard against abuse by the state pro­ secuto r's offi ce, had not been imple­ llJ.e nted by the end of the year. In No vember Congress approved a bill for the creati on of a National Public Security Sys­ t�m to coordinate the activities of all pub­ he security forces. The incorporation of th army and the navy into the system � r�sed public concern that the militariza­ hon of activities normally carried out by he poli ce could increase the number of uman rights violations during law en­ forcement operations. Peace talks between the Mexican Gov­ e�nment and the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberaci6n Nacional (EZLN), Zapatista Natio nal Liberation Army, an armed op­ POsi tio n group, were temporarily sus­ ende d in February, after the government aunche d a crack-down on EZLN leaders and military operations to recapture territ­ o con trolled by the rebels in the state of � Ch lap as. During the operations, between 9 :md 1 4 February, the rebels retreated to ISolate d mountainous regions. Serious human rights violations, including torture :md extrajudicial executions by the secur­ Ity forces, were reported during and im­ lll.edi ately after the operations. Police raids on sus pected EZLN members were also car­ . ed o ut in other parts of the country. ozens of people, including prisoners of onscie nce, were arrested and many were Ortu re d. Peace talks resumed in April and were co ntinuing at the end of the year. Dozens of prisoners of conscience were �este d for peaceful political or civil ghts activities. For example, Jorge San­ ago Santi ago, a theologian and coordina­ t. Or o f a non-governmental organization InVo lved in Indian community develop­ ent, Was arrested without warrant at his e in Teopisca, Chiapas, after President Z 1110 ordered the arrest of alleged EZLN



f

� � �

b �;

leaders in February. Despite the lack of any credible evidence, he was held on several charges, including rebellion and terrorism, until his release without charge in mid-April. Others arrested on the same charges included Mar!a Gloria Benav!dez and her husband Javier Elorriaga Ber­ degu�. Maria Gloria Benav!dez was report­ edly tortured in detention before her release in mid-July, and her husband re­ mained in detention at the end of the year. On 8 April Ricardo Barco, a union rights lawyer, was arrested together with five leaders of the Sindicato Unico de Traba­

jadores de A uto-transporte Urbano-Ruta 1 00 (SUTAUR-100), an independent union

of public transport workers. The union had organized peaceful protests and in­ dustrial action against the privatization of public transport in Mexico City. On 1 3 April, six other leaders of the same union were also arrested. All 12 remained in de­ tention at the end of the year, reportedly on unfounded fraud charges. In November Faustino Valente Cort�s, a peasant activist, was arrested by members of the state judi­ cial police in Tepetixtla, Guerrero, for de­ nouncing human rights violations suffered by peasants there. He was reportedly tor­ tured and forced to sign false confessions, and was transferred days later to prison in Acapulco. Manuel Manr!quez San Agustin, an Otom! Indian and human rights activist, was still in prison at the end of 1 995 awaiting a ruling on his 1 994 appeal against a court decision to accept as evid­ ence a confession allegedly extracted under torture (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). He was a prisoner of con­ science. Dozens of human rights defenders, in­ cluding journalists, were threatened with death for criticizing the human rights situ­ ation in the country. These included, among many others: David Fernandez Da­ valos and Jos� Lavanderos Yanez, director and lawyer respectively of the church­ based organization Centro de Derechos

Humanos Miguel Agustfn Pro Juarez,

Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Centre, in Mexico City; Graciela Zavaleta Sanchez, president of the Comisi6n Re­

gional de Derechos Humanos "Mahatma Gandhi", Mahatma Gandhi Regional

Human Rights Commission, in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca state; Lourdes Saenz, a member of Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos

223

MEXICO

224

Humanos, Citizens in Support of Human Rights, in Guadalupe, Nuevo Le6n state; Francisco Goitfa and Javier Nunez, presid­ ent and lawyer respectively of the Comite de

Derechos

Humanos

de

Tabasco,

Human Rights Committee of Tabasco. In November Emilia Gonzalez Sandoval, a journalist and founding member of the

Comisi6n de Solidaridad y" Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Human Rights

Defence and Solidarity Commission, a human rights group in Chihuahua, received anonymous death threats. Some human rights defenders were at­ tacked for their activities. For example, in June Bishop Arturo Lona Reyes, a renowned human rights defender and president of the Comite de Derechos Hu­ manos Tepeyac, Tepeyac Human Rights Committee, in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, sur­ vived an armed attack by unidentified in­ dividuals on the car in which he was travelling. In September Marciana Campos Juarez, a member of the Comite de Dere­

chos Humanos y Orientaci6n Miguel Hi­ dalgo, Miguel Hidalgo Committee for the

Orientation on Human Rights, in Hidalgo, Guanajuato, was raped and beaten by an individual who had threatened her in the past for her activities. Members of grass-roots organizations were also subjected to threats and harass­ ment. For example, sisters Rodo and Norma Mesino Mesino were both forced to leave their community in Guerrero in July, following death threats, after they com­ plained about the killings of 1 7 members of their peasant organization the previous month (see below). Their father, Hilario Mesino Acosta, a peasant leader, survived a number of assassination attempts. Santa Manzanares Vasquez, a peasant activist in Guerrero, was abducted in September by unidentified individuals. She was interro­ gated and threatened with death before being freed the next day. In October Cristina Solfs and Alfonso Ramfrez CuMlar, leaders of El Barz6n, a peaceful grass-roots movement opposing the gov­ ernment's economic policy, were repeat­ edly threatened with death in Mexico City for their activities. None of those respons­ ible for these attacks, or for those reported in previous years, was brought to justice (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Hundreds of men, women and children were tortured and ill-treated by the secur­ ity forces, particularly the state judicial

police. The victims included prisoners of conscience and members of ethnic minor­ ities, particularly indigenous communi­ ties. The purpose was generally to extract confessions, which continued to be ac­ cepted as evidence in most courts. Torture methods included beatings; near-asphyxi­ ation with plastic bags and water; forcing peppered water into the nose; and electric shocks. Proper medical treatment for de­ tainees who had been tortured was un­ available in detention. Dozens of those arrested during polic e and army operations in February against alleged members of the EZLN, were tor­ tured. For example, Alfredo Jimenez San­ tis and Mario Alvarez L6pez, Tojolabal Indians from Ejido, Chiapas, were arreste d by soldiers on 9 February. They said they were beaten, given electric shocks, nearly asphyxiated with plastic bags and in water and subjected to mock executions, before being released without charge on 1 3 Feb­ ruary. Eight shoe-factory workers, includ­ ing a 1 6-year-old youth and four women , were arrested by members of the Attorney General's Office, the state judicial police and the army, on 9 February in Cacalo­ macan, state of Mexico, on suspicion o f belonging to the EZLN. They were allegedly tortured in a secret detention centre to make them sign blank confessions before being transferred to prison two days later on various charges, including terrorism. In November, seven peasant activists, includ­ ing one woman, an 85-year-old man, and a physically disabled man, were arrested i n their homes in Tepetixtla, Guerrero state , by members of the state judicial police . They were taken to a secret detention centre where they were allegedly beaten and threatened with death before being re­ leased without charge the next day. Those responsible were not brought to justice . Also in November a 1 4-year-old girl waS abducted by a municipal police comman­ der in Cuetzalan, Puebla state. She waS forced into a cell in the town hall, where she was allegedly raped, under threat of death , by the commander and two oth er police officers. She was released later the same day, but warned not to complain about the attack. Those responsible had not been taken into custody by the end of the year. Soldiers responsible for the torture an d killings of three peasant leaders from Morelia, Chiapas, in January 1 994, and for

MEXICO

raping and beating three young TzeItal In­ dians in Chiapas in June 1 994 had not been brought to justice by the end of the year (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

Demetrio Ernesto Hernandez Rojas and Falix Armando Fernandez Estrada, who had been abducted in Mexico City, tor­ tured and imprisoned on false charges in October 1 994, were released without charge in April and May respectively. However, those responsible were not b�ought to justice (see Amnesty Interna­ tIonal Report 1 995).

At least two people "disappeared". In May Gilberto Romero Vasquez, a peasant aCtiVist, "disappeared" in Atoyac de Al­ varez, Guerrero, weeks after presenting a �eries of demands on behalf of his organ­ Ization to the state authorities. In October CUahutemoc Ornelas Campos, a journalist and human rights defender in Torre6n, COahui la, "disappeared" after receiving a se:ies of anonymous threats for publicly Cflticizing human rights abuses by local OffiCials. The fate and whereabouts of the two men remained unknown at the end of the year. . � imi larly, little progress was reported I n iUvestigations into hundreds of "disap­ pearances" of political activists in previ­ Ous years . Most "disappeared" during the 1 970s and early 1 980s, but at least 14 Tzeltal Indian peasants " disappeared" after being detained by the army in Chia­ pas in January 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ . tIo nal Report 1 995). The whereabouts of pO� itical activist Jose Ram6n Garcfa, who disappeared" in 1 988, also remained unknown. D ozens of people were extrajudicially executed by members of the security forces throughout the country. On 28 June, 1 7 unarmed peasants were massacred near guas Blancas, Guerrero, by members of e st te judicial police, who stopped the :uck �III which the victims were travelling and shot them at close range. The police ?eration had been ordered by the state's Ighest authorities , some of whom partici­ ted in the attack, reportedly to prevent A. e p easants from reaching the town of toyac de Alvarez, where they planned a dem Onstrati on against the "disappear­ ce" of Gilberto Romero Vasquez (see a Ove) . Ten members of the police were ested following the killings, but several o cers w ho participated in the attack had

t

� �

� �

not been brought to justice by the end of the year. On 1 7 September Artemio Roblero Rob­ lero, a member of the Partido de la Rev01uci6n Democr6tica (PRD) Revolutionary Democratic Party, an opposition party, was murdered outside his home in Angel Albino Corzo, Chiapas, by people believed to be gunmen hired by prominent local figures. He was standing as a candidate for the PRD in municipal elections held in Oc­ tober. The killing of his predecessor, al­ most a year before, remained unpunished (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Soldiers responsible for extrajudicial executions in January 1 994 in Ocosingo, Chiapas, had not been brought to justice by the end of the year (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). Two members of the Seguridad Publica (state police) who reportedly participated in the torture and killing of Rolando Hernandez Hernandez and Atanacio Hernandez Hernandez, in September 1 994 in Veracruz, were brought to justice, but several others remained at large (see Amnesty International Report ,

1 995).

During the year, Amnesty International repeatedly urged the authorities to end the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations, to release prison­ ers of conscience and to bring an end to the practices of torture, "disappearance" and extrajudicial executions. Amnesty International delegates visited Mexico in January and October to invest­ igate reports of human rights violations. In November a delegation visited the country and met government officials, including the Foreign Minister, the Minister of the Interior, the Attorney General of the Re­ public, senior officials in the Ministry of Defence, and the president of the National Human Rights Commission. The delegates called on the new administration to im­ plement recommendations that Amnesty International had submitted to President Zedillo in a memorandum in 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). The memorandum was included in a report, Human rights violations in Mexico - A challenge for the nineties, which was

launched in Mexico during the delega­ tion's visit.

225

MOLDOVA

226

MOLDOVA

of necessary facilities. At least 21 people were believed still to be on death row at the end of the year (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995).

Moldova committed itself to abolishing the death penalty and to introducing a moratorium on executions. At least 21 people were on death row at the end of the year, but no executions were carried out. There were further reports of torture and ill-treatment in custody in the self­ proclaimed Dnestr Moldavian Republic (OMR), in one case resulting in death.

President Mircea Snegur left the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party in July, accus­ ing it of blocking reform, and was elected in August as head of a new political party, the Party of Revival and Harmony. The Moldovan Government declared a formal end to the conflict with the Gagauz minor­ ity in August, after a special government commission finished disarming a Gagauz battalion whose members benefited from an amnesty declared by the Moldovan par­ liament. The peace settlement began in 1 994 when Gagauziya was granted special autonomous status by the Moldovan par­ liament. A political solution to the status of the self-proclaimed DMR had not, how­ ever, been achieved by the end of the year (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In June parliament abolished the death penalty as a possible punishment for 14 military crimes committed in wartime or during combat operations. Moldova joined the Council of Europe in July and under­ took to introduce a moratorium on execu­ tions and to abolish the death penalty within three years. New statistics were re­ leased to the Council of Europe on the ap­ plication of the death penalty from 1 992 to 1 994: six death sentences had been handed down, but no executions were car­ ried out, reportedly because of the lack

In July Moldova signed the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In No­ vember it acceded to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In December parliament voted to abol­ ish the death penalty in the republic's Penal Code. There were further allegations of tor­ ture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officers in the DMR. In January Georgy Ana­ tolyevich Isayev was allegedly beaten by officials of the Special Purpose subsection of the DMR Ministry of Internal Affairs while held at the Rybnitsa District Depart­ ment of Internal Affairs, and at another location to which he was taken while blindfold. Georgy Isayev was reportedly unconscious and in intensive care the fol­ lowing day, suffering from severe injuries including seven fractured ribs. A criminal case was initiated in connection with the alleged beatings. Another resident of Rybnitsa, Alek­ sandr Kalashnikov, died in the custody of officers of the city's Organized Crime Pre­ vention Department (aBap) in March. He was reportedly arrested in March by four men in civilian clothes, who identified themselves as members of aBap, on the grounds that his car had been used in a crime, although Aleksandr Kalashnikov maintained that the vehicle had not been in use since August 1 994. Later that day an acquaintance was said to have seen Aleksandr Kalashnikov's body lying on the floor in an office in the aBap building . His relatives were informed by the Pro­ secutor's Office that the death was caused by severe trauma causing fractures to 15 ribs, damage to the lungs and bleeding . Charges, including premeditated murder, were brought against two officials from the Rybnitsa Department of Internal Affairs. It was reported that Andrei Ivantoc and Ilie Ilascu, two of the six people sentenced in 1 993 for crimes against the DMR (see Amnesty International Report 1 994), were unwell and being ill-treated in prison. Amnesty International welcomed the commitment by Moldova to introduce a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

MOLDOVA/MONGOLlA/MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA

T he organization urged the DMR author­ ities to investigate all allE'gations of torture and ill-treatment in detention, and espe­ cially the death in detention of Aleksandr Kalashnikov. In November Amnesty Inter­ national received a reply from the Procu­ rator of the DMR, in which he admitted that e alleged ill-treatment had taken place I? Rybn itsa. Ho also stated that investiga­ tio ns into the criminal cases brought against law enforcement officials in con­ nection with the beating of Georgy Isayev and the death in custody of Aleksandr Kalashnikov were continuing. Amnesty International called for a re­ view of the case of Ilie Ilascu and his CO- defendants, and asked for those still detaine d to receive appropriate medical treatment.





MONGOLIA

Deaths from starvation of prisoners in corrective labour institutions continued be repor.ted. Unofficial sources repor­ ed that 32 death sentences were passed.

:0

that a total of 189 prisoners had died from various causes, including 58 from starva­ tion, 63 from tuberculosis and 43 from other illnesses. In a statement addressed to the UN Secretary-General in January 1 995, President Puntsalmaagiyn Ochirbat de­ clared that Mongolia would be seeking "fi­ nancial and other assistance" from the UN to improve conditions in remand prisons and penitentiaries. The death penalty remained in force for five offences (see Amnesty International Report 1 994). Unofficial sources reported that 32 death sentences were passed, eight of which were reduced on appeal to terms of imprisonment. It was not known whether any executions were carried out. In April Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Mongolia: Prison inmates starve to death, which pointed out that changed economic conditions had ren­ dered unrealistic the legal requirement that prisoners must work for their food . It urged the authorities to repeal this legisla­ tion and to implement Mongolia's obliga­ tions under international standards to provide all prisoners with adequate food and medical care. Amnesty International also made a series of recommendations to safeguard detainees against ill-treatment by officials, including deliberate starva­ tion in pre-trial detention to force confes­ sions. It continued to urge the abolition of the death penalty.

MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA

Re

continued to be received of in­ ;�tesporints corrective labour institutions ng from starvation or from illnesses � � ich may have been caused or exacerte (see Amnesty Interna­ ��onadl byRepstarvation ort 1 995). Out of at least 191

eat hs of prisoners during the year, at Iea�t 15 were explicitly attributed to starv al lo n and at least 52 to tuberculosis. Poor S it atio n and inadequate health-care pro­ � V sl Ons in the penitentiary system were a so cont ribut ory factors. ' Fig ures for the whole of 1 994 pub­ l Is hed in 1995 by an official commission . IO Vestigating prison condition s showed

;

More than 60 prisoners of conscience were arrested during the year. Some were released without charge or given sus­ pended prison sentences; others were sen­ tenced to prison terms. Over 50 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience continued to serve long sentences im­ posed after unfair trials in previous years. Torture and ill-treabnent continued to be reported. At least five people died in

227

MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA

228

custody. Hundreds of Sahrawis and Mo­ roccans who "disappeared" in previous years remained unaccounted for. Former Sahrawi and Moroccan "disappeared" prisoners who were released in 1991 con­ tinued to be subject to restrictions and some were rearrested. A former prisoner of conscience forcibly exiled in 1991 re­ mained unable to return to Morocco. At least three people were sentenced to death and more than 40 others were re­ ported to remain on death row. No execu­ tions were carried out.

The uN-sponsored referendum on the future of Western Sahara, originally scheduled for 1 992 and postponed several times (see Amnesty International Reports 1 992 to 1 995), was again postponed, to 1 996. Observers from the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MIN­ URSO) remained in place, but freedom of expression, association and movement in Western Sahara continued to be restricted. Thirteen people, including four Alger­ ian nationals, were arrested in September and October on charges of smuggling arms to Algeria. They were detained awaiting trial before the Military Court at the end of the year. More than 60 prisoners of conscience were arrested during the year, often fol­ lowing peaceful demonstrations, labour strikes and sit-ins against unemployment. They included Khadija Ben'ameur, a fact­ ory worker and a representative of the Union maracaine du travail, Moroccan Labour Union. She and 1 1 others were ar­ rested in March in Sidi Slimane and Sidi Kacem and were sentenced to up to one year's imprisonment on charges which in­ cluded participating in a concerted with­ drawal of labour. The sentences were reduced on appeal to up to two months' imprisonment, suspended in some cases. Members of the Association des chomeurs diplOmes, Association of Un­ employed Graduates, were again arrested for peaceful anti-unemployment protests (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Twenty-six of them, including two preg­ nant women, were arrested in August in El Jadida for participating in unauthorized demonstrations and gatherings and were sentenced to six months' imprisonment. The sentences were suspended on appeal in October and they were released. Eight Sahrawi youths - Ahmed el­ Kouri, Nebt Ramdane Bouchraya, 'Arbi

Brahim Baba, Cheykhatou Bouh, M'Rabih Rabou Neysan, 'Abdelhay Lekhal, Mah­ foud Brahim Dahou and Salama Ahmed Lembarki - were arrested in May follow­ ing a peaceful pro-independence demon­ stration in Laayoune, Western Sahara. They were accused of participating in a demonstration in support of the Frente Popular para la Liberaci6n de Saguia el­ Hamra y Rio de Ora, Popular Front for the

Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (known as the Polisario Front), carry­ ing Polisario flags and leaflets, and chant­ ing slogans calling for the independence of Western Sahara. They were sentenced by a military court in June to between 1 5 and 2 0 years' imprisonment o n charges of threatening the external security and ter­ ritorial integrity of Morocco. Their sen­ tences were reduced to one year by royal pardon in July. They were prisoners of conscience. Scores of other prisoners of conscienCe were arrested in Western Sa­ hara, sometimes after peaceful pro-inde­ pendence demonstrations and gatherings. Many were released after weeks or months, but others were reportedly held incommunicado at the end of the year. Prisoners of conscience were also im­ prisoned on charges of insulting the person of the King or the royal fam­ ily. 'Abdelkader Cheddoudi, a teacher, was sentenced to three years' imprison­ ment in July on such charges, which he denied. He remained imprisoned pending appeal at the end of the year. More than 50 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience imprisoned after unfair trials in previous years continued to be held. Among them were prisoners of conscience Ahmed Haou, 'Abdelkader Sfiri, Mustapha Marjaoui and Youssef Cherkaoui-Rbati. They had been arrested in 1 983 with other supporters of the unau­ thorized Islamist group al-Shabiba al-Is­ lamiya (Islamic Youth) accused of putting up anti-monarchist posters, distributing leaflets and participating in demonstra­ tions (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). Prisoner of conscience 'Abdessalem Yassine, the spiritual leader of the banned Islamist association al-'Adl wa 'l-Ihsan ( Justice and Charity), remained under house arrest. He had been held without charge or trial since 1 990 (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995).

Trials of individuals in political cases continued to violate international fair trial

MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA/MOZAMBIQUE

standards. Courts failed to investigate complaints of torture 'lIld ill-treatment during incommunicado detention, some­ times illegally prolonged for weeks, and confessions allegedly extracted under duress were accepted as evidence. Many of those arrested , including dozens of prisoners of conscience, alleged that they were ill-treated or tortured at the time of arrest or during incommunicado detention. The authorities, however, failed �o act on such complaints, and no invest­ Ig;:ti ons were known to have been carried Out into complaints of torture and ill-treat­ ment by members of the security forces during the year or in previous years (see Amnesty International Reports 1 992 to 1995) . Methods of torture included beat­ ings, suspension in contorted positions for prolonged periods and electric shocks. At least five people who died in cus­ tody were reported to have been beaten and ill-treated after arrest. Requests by �am i\ies, lawyers and human rights organ­ Izations for independent investigations and autopsies were disregarded by the au­ thorities. No investigations were known to have been carried out into these and SCores of other deaths in custody which had occurred in previous years (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 992 to 1 995). Hu ndreds of Sahrawis and Moroccans who "disappeared" after arrest in previous y�ars remained unaccounted for (see pre­ VIOus Amnesty International Reports). Among them were 'Abdelhaq Rouissi, a �ade unionist who "disappeared" in 1 964; Abdal lah Cherrouk, a student who "dis­ appeared" in 1 98 1 ; and Mohamed-Salem Bueh-Barca and Tebker Ment Sidi­ Mohamed Quid Khattari who "disap­ peared" in Laayou ne in 1976. b No step s were taken to investigate and nng to justice those responsible for the . " dis ap pearance" of hundreds of Sahrawis d Moroccans who were released in 1991 er up to 18 years in secret detention, d for the deaths of scores of others. Nei­ . er those released in 1 991 nor the famil­ Ies of those who died in secret detention . recelv ed compensation. Some of those reI eased in 1 991 were rearrested during the ear. They included Ahmed Merzak, who ad been held for 18 years in the Taz­ amert secret detention centre, who was etained twice for questioning in Rabat in July and August and was prevented from . Ieavln g the country, and Gleimina Ment

Tayeb Yazidi, who had been released from the secret detention centre in Qal'at M'Gouna in 1991. She was arrested in No­ vember in Laayoune and was reported to be still detained incommunicado at the end of the year. Abraham Serfaty, a former prisoner of conscience who was forcibly expelled to France on his release in 1991, remained unable to return to Morocco. Three people were sentenced to death in Fes in January. They were tried with 14 others in connection with armed attacks, including an attack on a hotel in Mar­ rakech in which two Spanish tourists were killed in August 1 994. More than 40 other people were reported to be on death row, but no executions were carried out. In meetings in May and December with the Conseil consultati/ des droits de l'homme, Consultative Council for Human Rights, and with the Human Rights Minis­ ter, Amnesty International raised its con­ cerns about human rights violations in Morocco and Western Sahara. It called for the release of prisoners of conscience; for the retrial or release of political prisoners sentenced after unfair trials; for clarifica­ tion of the fate of hundreds of Sahrawis and Moroccans who remained "disap­ peared"; and for full and impartial invest­ igations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment, past cases of "disappear­ ance" and deaths in custody.

MOZAMBIQUE

.

� � h �

The human rights situation was much improved over previous years. However, suspected government opponents were detained, often illegally, by police or sol­ diers and some were beaten in detention.

229

MOZAMBIQUE/MYANMAR

230

There was a marked improvement in the human rights situation following the country's first multi-party elections in Oc­ tober 1 994. won by President Joaquim Chissano's Frente para a Liberta9Qo de M09ambique (FRELlMO). Front for the Lib­ eration of Mozambique. However. there were sporadic outbreaks of violence in­ volving mutinous soldiers and the police. The UN Operation in Mozambique (ONU­ MOZ). which had been established fol­ lowing the 1 992 General Peace Accord between the government and the Resis­ tencia Nacional Mo{:ambicana (RENAMO).

Mozambican National Resistance. was withdrawn at the end of March. The gov­ ernment faced opposition from RENAMO as it sought to assert authority over areas controlled by RENAMO during the conflict. In August the new National Assembly began to debate a bill to reintroduce com­ pulsory military service. The bill included provisions for conscientious objectors and the debate had not concluded at the end of the year. There were riots in several prisons throughout the country as inmates protes­ ted against long delays in being brought to court. overcrowding and extremely harsh prison conditions. There were reports of arrests of RENAMO supporters but few details were available. Police and soldiers were reported to have detained people illegally and ill-treated them. For example. in February. two RE­ NAMO members of parliament. Agostinho Murial and Jer6nimo Malaguete. were de­ tained by police in Muturara while they were visiting Tete province as part of a RE­ NAMO delegation. They were beaten before being released without charge after several hours. The local police chief was subse­ quently suspended from duty and charged with illegal detention and beating. but he had not been tried by the end of the year. In another incident also in February. sol­ diers and military police stationed in Tete beat a group of civilians following an ar­ gument in a bar. In April Mario Serra. a teacher in Nacaroa. Nampula province. was detained for 24 hours. allegedly for denouncing irregularities and corruption in the local administration to the provin­ cial governor when he visited the area. Mario Serra was beaten in detention. No action appeared to have been taken to in­ vestigate these incidents and to bring to justice those involved.

One person was shot dead and eight people were injured in October when po­ lice opened fire during a demonstration in Maputo. the capital. in protest at the high cost of living. Police said that the man who was killed had been looting a shop and that they had shot him as he tried to flee. No judicial inquiry was apparently held to establish whether there had been excessive use of lethal force. Despite its election defeat in 1 994. RE­ NAMO continued to exercise effective con­ trol over some areas and to resist efforts to bring them under central government con­ trol. In such areas. government officials and supporters of the ruling FRELIMO party were sometimes subjected to abuses by RENAMO activists. For example. in June regulos (traditional chiefs) who supported RENAMO beat 12 police officers who at­ tempted to open a police station at Dombe. Manica province, and forced them to leave. In October Rui Frank. a leading FRELlMO official in Gorongosa. Sofala prov­ ince. was detained for two days by body­ guards employed by the RENAMO leader. Afonso Dhlakama. whom they accused Rui Frank of defaming. Some sources sug­ gested that Afonso Dhlakama had ordered the detention of Rui Frank, but Amnesty International was unable to confirm this. In December Amnesty International wrote to the authorities to express concern about incidents of illegal detention and ill­ treatment by the police and asked whether there had been inquiries with a view to bringing to justice those responsible for ill-treating detainees.

MYANMAR At least 1 ,000 people involved in opposi­ tion political parties remained impris­ oned, including hundreds of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of con­ science. At least 32 people were arrested for political reasons; 1 7 were still de­ tained at the end of the year. At least 1 63 political prisoners, including six prison­ ers of conscience, were released. Prison­ ers were tortured and held in conditions which amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Members of ethnic minorities continued to be subjected to human rights violations which included torture and ill-treatment and possible

MYANMAR

extrajudicial executions. Thousands of ethnic Burmans, in particular those con­ victed of criminal offences, were also forced to act as porters and labourers. One person was sentenced to death.

The State Law and Order Restoration Co uncil (SLORC), Myanmar's military gov­ ernme nt chaired by General Than Shwe, Co nti nued to rule by decree in the absence of a constitution. Martial law decrees se­ verely restricting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly remained in force throughout the year. The National Convention, originally co nvened by the SLORC in 1 993 to agree prin ciples for a new constitution (see A m ­ nesty International Reports 1 994 and 1995) , adjourned in April after having cal led for the establishment of six self­ adm ini stered geographic areas for ethnic gro ups. Its members, all selected by the S�ORC , reconvened again in November to lSC USS chapters of the constitution relat­ I �g to legi slative, administrative, and judi­ c Iary m atters. The opposition party, the N�honal League for Democracy (NLD) , Withdrew from the Convention and the SLORC then expelled them from further Conv ention meetings. T�IOughout the year, the government �Ontin ued its attempts to gain control of order areas, which have long been held b Y arm ed opposition groups. Gains were m?�e by the government either through mlhtary action, tactical alliances with me groups or through negotiated ceasees. In January the tatmadaw (the govern­ �ent armed forces), in alliance with the emocratic Kayin Buddhist Organization (DI
?



Myanmar. As a result, at least 1 0,000 Karen civilians fled to refugee camps in neighbouring Thailand. In March fighting resumed in Shan State between the Burmese armed forces and the Muang Tai Army. As a result, hundreds of displaced people fled to Thailand to escape human rights violations. Fighting continued inter­ mittently throughout the year. In March the SLORC agreed a cease-fire with the Karenni National Progressive Party, an armed group representing the Karenni eth­ nic minority, although fighting broke out again in June. A cease-fire was agreed in June between the SLORC and the New Mon State Party (NMSP), an armed group repre­ senting the Mon ethnic minority. In January the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar submitted an extensive re­ port on the human rights situation in the country to the UN Commission on Human Rights. In March the Commission adopted by consensus a resolution extending the Special Rapporteur's mandate for another year, and expressing concern at the ex­ tremely serious human rights situation in Myanmar. In December the UN General As­ sembly adopted by consensus a resolution expressing grave concern at continued human rights violations in Myanmar. At least 1 ,000 political prisoners, including hundreds of prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience, remained in detention. Most had been convicted under laws which criminalize peaceful political activity. They included hundreds of political pris­ oners sentenced to long prison terms after unfair trials before military tribunals be­ tween 1989 and 1 992. Many had been ar­ rested following the military's violent crack-down on the 1 988 pro-democracy movement. Although military tribunals were abolished in 1 992, political prisoners continued to be sentenced to long terms of imprisonment by civilian courts which were not independent from the military. At least 32 people were arrested for po­ litical reasons, 17 of whom were still im­ prisoned at the end of the year. Aung Zeya was among a group of nine young political activists who were sentenced in April to seven years' imprisonment after peace­ fully demon trating in February at the funeral of U Nu, Myanmar's first Prime Minister. According to the government, the nine were arrested for holding anti­ government protests and were also

231

MYANMAR

232

charged with attempting to steal U Nu's body, a charge which the authorities failed to substantiate. Tun Shwe, U Thu Wai and U Htwe Myint were arrested and sen­ tenced to seven years' imprisonment in June apparently for meeting regularly with foreign nationals. Ye Htut was arrested in September for "concocting news stories" about Myanmar and sending them to dis­ sident B urmese groups abroad. All were prisoners of conscience. Prisoner of conscience Ma Thida, a member of the NW, writer and medical doctor (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) , contracted tuberculosis during the year, which was subsequently treated. However, she remained in poor health throughout the year. According to government figures, 163 political prisoners were released in 1 995, including six prisoners of conscience. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NW, was released after having been detained for almost six years under house arrest (see previous Amnesty International Re­ ports). She was reappointed NW General Secretary, although the SLORe's Election Commission did not recognize her new position. Dr Aung Khin Sint, Tin Moe and Win Htein, prominent NLD members, were released in February and newly-appointed NW vice-chairmen Tin U and Kyi Maung were released in March (see Amnesty International Reports 1 992 to 1 995). New information emerged in Septem­ ber which indicated that torture and ill­ treatment were widely used in prisons and labour camps throughout the country. Torture was used during pre-trial inter­ rogation in order to extract information from political detainees. It was also com­ monly employed after sentencing in order to punish prisoners who broke arbitrary and harsh prison regulations. Methods of torture used included beatings, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness; being forced to crawl over sharp stones; and pro­ longed exposure to the hot sun. Prison conditions for both political and criminal prisoners were poor, often amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Many prisoners suffered from severe overcrowding and an inadequate diet, and received little or no medical treatment. Political prisoners were often held in prolonged solitary confinement and were forbidden most reading and all writing materials. Some prisoners were

kept in leg-irons for prolonged periods; one political prisoner was kept in iron shackles for two months because he had a piece of paper in his possession. Prisoners convicted of criminal of­ fences were often forced to work on roads and other infrastructure projects in labour camps under harsh conditions. They were made to break rocks for long hours in leg­ irons, beaten and deprived of adequate food or sleep. Over 1 ,300 such prisoners have died as a result of illness and ill­ treatment in nine labour camps through­ out Myanmar. Human rights violations against ethnic minorities, particularly the Karen, Mon and Shan, continued throughout the year. Members of ethnic minority groups sus­ pected of supporting armed insurgents were tortured and sometimes killed. In January Nai Win, a Mon farmer, was seized because of suspected contacts with the NMSP, beaten repeatedly in front of vil­ lagers, and dragged along the beach where he eventually died from his injuries. In April Mi Noy, a 1 7-year-old Mon girl, was shot dead in the back by soldiers as she was walking to a temple in the Mon State where a village meeting which had been convened by the Burmese army was taking place. No official investigation was known to have been carried out into these incid­ ents. Thousands of ethnic Burman civilians and members of ethnic minorities were ar­ bitrarily seized by the military and forced to serve as porters carrying army equip­ ment and supplies, or as unpaid labourers working on construction projects. During the army's offensive against the KNU in January, thousands of porters were forced to carry heavy loads up and down moun­ tain tracks. Convicted criminals were also moved from prisons to work as porters for the army. Many of them were reportedly killed either in battles or when forced to walk into minefields ahead of soldiers. Porters were arbitrarily held in army cus­ tody for periods ranging from a few days to several months. They usually received little food and no medical treatment. Vic­ tims and witnesses reported that those who could not carry their loads were beaten or killed by soldiers. In January Tun Shwe, a Karen farmer, was shot dead while pleading with a soldier not to kil l him, because he could not carry his load . In March U Than Mein, a Mon, was killed

MYANMAR/NEPAL

when a soldier hit him in the chest and back with an axe for the same reason. Porters who fell ill were forced to con­ tinue working, sometimes until they col­ lapsed, and were left behind or killed by troops. One Mon farmer reported that in March, when he was used as a porter by the tatmadaw, he had seen the bodies of OVer 100 porters left by the side of the path. Porters were also beaten by soldiers With rifle butts or bamboo rods if they Were unable to keep up with the others or to carry their loads. Soldiers also routinely seized villagers for forced labour. Thousands of civilians throughout Myanrnar were arbitrarily seized and forced by the tatmadaw to work on infrastructure projects such as roads, quarries and railways on a routine basis in harsh conditions which often amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Prisoners were subjected to beatings and were denied adequate food, sleep or medical treatment. In February the DKBO, acting with the sUpport of the tatmadaw, attacked and destroyed Karen camps in Thailand near the Myanmar border, killing at least 1 0 I
the UN High Commissioner for (UNHCR) , continued throughout

Refugees the year

(see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Some 200,000 refugees had been repatriated by the end of the year. UNHCR representatives in Myanrnar investi­ gated reports of human rights violations against returnees and brought such reports to the attention of local authorities. How­ ever, there was continued concern that returnees and civilians who remained in Myanmar might be at risk of human rights violations once the UNHCR'S man­ date ended. In June Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Myanmar: 'No place to hide' - Killings, abductions and other ab­ uses against ethnic Karen villagers and re­ fugees. In July the organization welcomed

the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, while calling on the government to make more comprehensive improvements in its human rights record. In September Am­ nesty International published a report,

Myanmar: Conditions in prisons and la­ bour camps, which highlighted for the

first time extremely harsh conditions in la­ bour camps, and in October it published Myanmar: Human rights after seven years of military rule. The Myanmar Govern­

ment did not respond to Amnesty Inter­ national's request to meet government officials, nor did the authorities reply to requests for their response to the human rights violations highlighted in the organ­ ization's reports.

NEPAL Eleven prisoners of conscience were held for most of the year. Hundreds of people, including possible prisoners of con· science, were detained for short periods during strikes and demonstrations. There were reports of torture and ill·treatment by the police and forest guards.

In June opposition parties in parlia­ ment called for a vote of no confidence in the minority government of the Com­ munist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist. At the request of Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari, King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev dissolved parliament and called mid-term elections. The main opposition party, the Nepali Congress Party (NCP) and six other parties filed writ

233

NEPAL/NETHERLANDS

234

petitions in the Supreme Court claiming that the dissolution of parliament was unconstitutional. In August the Supreme Court ruled that parliament should be re­ instated. Following the resignation of Man Mohan Adhikari. King Birendra appointed the leader of the parliamentary committee of the NCP. Sher Bahadur Deuba. as Prime Minister. A coalition government was formed comprising the NCP. the Rastriya Prajatrantra Party (National Democratic Party) and the Nepal Sadbhavana Party.

Eleven Christians. including a Nepali national. an Indian national and nine people from Bhutan. were convicted of proselytizing by the Ham District Court in August and sentenced to two years' im­ prisonment. They had been arrested in Danabari. Ham District. in September 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). They were prisoners of conscience. They were released unconditionally after being granted amnesty in early November. Hundreds of people. including possible prisoners of conscience. were detained for short periods during sometimes violent strikes and demonstrations by political parties and their student wings in protest at the dissolution of parliament and the Supreme Court judgment. There were reports of torture in the custody of the police and forest guards. in­ cluding the use of Jalanga (beating on the soles of the feet). Mansangh Magar. a 55-year-old basket weaver from Rajpur village. Dang District. was reportedly tor­ tured by forest guards at the Rangers Of­ fice at Gadawa. He had been arrested in February on suspicion of illegally cutting down trees. He said he was stripped naked and beaten with lathis (canes); a stick was placed behind his knees and he

was forced to jump in a squatting position . No investigation was known to have been carried out into this incident. Hari Bahadur Shrestha. who was arres­ ted in June on suspicion of committing a robbery. was reportedly tortured for seven days at Sindhuli police station. He was re­ portedly subjected to Jalanga and two po­ lice officers stamped on his knees and chest to extract a confession. Two other people arrested in September in connec­ tion with the same case were reportedly kicked. beaten all over their bodies with lathis and subjected to Jalanga at the Mahadevsthan police post in Sindhul i District. A number of people were reportedly tortured or ill-treated in police custody after more than 200 supporters of the United Peoples' Front were arrested in Rolpa District in November. Amnesty International appealed to the government for the immediate and uncon­ ditional release of the 1 1 Christians. It ex­ pressed concern about reports of torture in the custody of the police and forest guards and urged the government to ensure that all reports of torture were promptly. thor­ oughly and independently investigated. The organization also asked to be in­ formed of any action taken against the per­ petrators. No response had been received by the end of the year. The government provided information on the progress of legal proceedings initiated on behalf of Pravakar Subedi and Theelu Ghale (see Amnesty International Reports 1 994 and 1 995). In response to Amnesty Interna­ tional's inquiry in May about the torture of detainees in Khalanga. Pyuthan District (see Amnesty International Report 1 995) . police officials denied that the alleged human rights violations had taken place. In May an Amnesty International delegation visited Nepal and met govern­ ment officials in Kathmandu and in Dang. Pyuthan and Rolpa districts.

NETHERLANDS

s

There were further reports of ill-treat­ ment by police officers in the Netherlan ds Antilles, a Caribbean country forming part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In April the UN Committee against Tor­ ture examined the periodic report of the

NETHERLANDS/NICARAGUA

Kingdom of the Netherlands on its com­ pl iance with the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or De­ grad ing Treatment or Punishment. The Committee expressed concern about "the severeness and the relatively high number of cases of police brutality" in the Nether­ lands Antilles. It was particularly con­ cerned by the apparent failure of the authorities "to fully investigate and deal with such cases". It recommended the Netherlands Antilles to "take strong meas­ ures to bring to an end the ill-treatments which reportedly occur in police stations and to ensure that such allegations are Speedily and properly investigated and that those who may be found guilty of acts of ill-treatment be prosecuted". The Com­ ?tittee also asked for information regard­ Ing the number of investigations that had been opened and about their outcome.

During the year there were dozens of reports of ill-treatment by police officers on the islands of Bonaire and Curar;:ao. The majority referred to 1993 and 1 994. Some individuals claimed they had been apped and- punched. Others alleged they ad been beaten with truncheons, par­ . h� ly asphyxiated, and hit and threatened Ith firearms. Three men alleged that they ad received electric shocks. In January E. Josephia, R. Rodrfguez and one other person were detained by Police in Curar;:ao on suspicion of bur­ glary . They alleged that officers repeatedly artially asphyxiated them with their ands and then punched them in the sto,?ach . Paper bags were placed over their heads, they were slapped and punched in the face and they were hand­ ? ffed so tightly that marks were still vis­ I le 1 2 days later.

In April Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Netherlands Antilles: Comments by Amnesty International on the Second Periodic Report submitted to the United Nations Committee against Torture. It described the alleged ill-treat­

ment of detainees by police and prison of­ ficers between January 1 990 and January 1 994, in some cases resulting in death.

C:> V

'.

- {- ...

· · ·

.

In July Amnesty International wrote to the Attorney General of the Netherlands Antilles requesting information on nearly 50 cases of alleged ill-treatment recorded in Curar;:ao and Bonaire between 1 993 and 1 995 and on a working party established in April to implement the recommenda­ tions of the UN Committee. It also re­ quested information on the outcome of an investigation into complaints of ill­ treatment in Pointe Blanche prison, St Maarten, in 1993 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). No reply had been received by the end of the year.

NICARAGUA



� h

b

At least 13 people were killed in circum­ stances suggesting that they may have been extrajudicially executed. Demonstra­ tors were beaten by police during public protests and four people were killed.

There was a period of conflict between the executive and legislative powers fol­ lowing President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro's rejection of the reforms to the

235

NICARAGUA

236

1 987 Constitution approved by the Na­ tional Assembly in February. The dis­ agreement led to serious problems in the running of the country and the paralysis of the Supreme Court of Justice. This res­ ulted in further deterioration of prison conditions, exacerbated by delays in judi­ cial procedures. In May the Court over­ turned the reforms (a decision ignored by the National Assembly), which left the country with two constitutions. The con­ flict was formally resolved in July follow­ ing talks between the parties sponsored by Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo. In February General Humberto Ortega was replaced by General Joaqufn Cuadra Lacayo as head of the army. In May the Frente Sandinista de Liberaci6n Nacional

(FSLN), Sandinista National Liberation Front, which led the previous govern­ ment, split into two factions with the cre­ ation of the Movimiento de Renovaci6n Sandinista (MRS) , Sandinista Renovation Movement, led by former Vice-President Sergio Ramirez. At least 1 3 people died in circum­ stances suggesting they may have been extrajudicially executed. On 6 January, 1 3 recontras (former members of the Nicaraguan Resistance or "contra" who had fought against the previous Sandinista government), including one woman, were killed in Cuesta La Maraiiosa, Wiwili, department of Jinoteca, in a shooting in­ cident which appeared to have been a massacre perpetrated by the army. Two soldiers were also killed. The 1 3, who re­ portedly belonged to a group called the Meza Band, were apparently being trans­ ported by lorry to a military base for de­ mobilization. The police and the army claimed that soldiers were forced to shoot back when the recontras fired at the driver and accompanying soldiers. The National Assembly's Commission on Human Rights and Peace, which investigated the deaths, found irregularities which suggested that the army was responsible for the deaths. The Jinoteca district criminal judge, Maria Barcena Molina, dismissed the case against 23 soldiers. She concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove criminal conduct by the soldiers. Human rights organizations, however, criticized her decision which they considered had been reached after superficial investiga­ tions which ignored the report of the Na­ tional Assembly'S Commission on Human

Rights and Peace. They also criticized the Attorney General's Office for its role in the judicial process. Many people were arrested and beaten by police in May, during public demon­ strations to protest at the country's deteri­ orating social and economic conditions. On 16 May during a demonstration in Portezuelo, Managua, and nearby neigh­ bourhoods, one man was shot in the leg by police. Thirteen other demonstrators were detained and beaten by the police, but all were released the following day without charge. The following day around 200 people participated in a demonstration in Rubenia District, Managua, near the Transport Cooperative Parrales Vallejos. During the police operation to disperse the demonstration, two members of the transport cooperative, Franklin Benito Borge Velasquez and Enrique Montenegro Estrada, were shot and later died. A police officer was also killed. An investigation undertaken by the non-governmental Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights con­ cluded that the police had not tried to per­ suade demonstrators to disperse but had endangered life and safety, and had tar­ geted trade union leaders to dissuade union members from participating in protests. The investigation also found that the police had arbitrarily detained people not participating in the protest. By con­ trast, a government-formed commission reported in June that the demonstrators had provoked the police and that ex­ changes of gunfire had led to the deaths . The impartiality of this report was ques­ tioned by human rights organizations be­ cause one of the commission's members was the head of the Division for Internal Affairs of the National Police. In December, during student demon­ strations demanding funds for universities from the national budget, one student and one university worker were killed. Ac­ cording to reports, during a clash between students and police, tear-gas grenades an d shots were fired; Ernesto Porfirio Diaz, a university worker, was shot in the head and died. Jer6nimo Urbina, a third-year student, was seriously injured and died a week later. Over 40 people were injured and some 30 students were arrested but later released without charge. In January the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, having looked at all the preliminary objections submitted by the

NICARAGUA/NIGERIA

government in the case of Jean Paul Genie, killed in 1 990 by escorts of General Hum­ berto Ortega (see Amnesty International Reports 1 993, 1 994 and 1 995), resolved that the Court had jurisdiction over the case and rejected most of the preliminary Objections. The Court resolved to continue hearing the case, which was pending at the end of the year. In December Amnesty International wrote to President Chamorro requesting information about any investigation un­ dertaken into the incidents in May in Portezuelo and Rubenia and expressing concern about the reported inadequacies of the investigation into the killings at La Maraiiosa. =

NIGERIA

Nine people, including a t least two pris­ oners of conscience, were executed after an unfair and politically motivated trial. More than 40 people, many of them pris­ oners of conscience, were sentenced to death or to prison terms after a secret and unfair trial; the death sentences were later commuted. Scores of suspected op­ Ponents of the government were detained dUring the year, including human rights activists, pro-democracy activists, journ­ alists and members of the Ogoni ethnic group. Several prisoners of conscience arrested in previous years remained im­ Prisoned. Torture and ill-treatment of political and other detainees were wide­ spread; one died in August, apparently from harsh conditions and medical ne­ glect. At least 95 people were executed, most after trials before special tribunals Which fell short of international fair trial standards.

There was little progress towards restoring democratic, constitutional gov­ ernment. A National Constitutional Con­ ference, set up in 1 994 to draft a new constitution, presented its recommenda­ tions in August. It withdrew a recom­ mendation that the military government cede power to civilians by January 1 996 after a leading opposition delegate was ar­ rested and accused of plotting a coup. In October Head of State General Sani Abacha, Chairman of the military Provi­ sional Ruling Council, announced a three­ year transition to civilian rule which was widely criticized as too protracted. Although the ban on political parties was lifted in June, members of opposition parties still faced harassment and arrest. Banning orders on three newspaper groups were removed but journalists were still detained for criticizing the govern­ ment. The government continued to flout court rulings ordering it to uphold consti­ tutional rights. In November the Commonwealth, rep­ resenting 53 states, suspended Nigeria's membership in protest at nine political executions carried out despite last-minute appeals from Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in New Zealand. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the executions and expressed deep concern about other human rights violations in Nigeria. During December the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights held an extraordinary ses­ sion to consider the human rights situ­ ation in Nigeria. Nine people were executed on 10 No­ vember in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, southeast Nigeria, including at least two prisoners of conscience - Ken Saro-Wiwa, a writer and President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) , and Dr Barinem Kiobel, a former state commissioner (minister). The nine had been convicted on 30 and 31 October following two simultaneous murder trials of 15 defendants before the Civil Disturb­ ances Special Tribunal in connection with the mob killing of four Ogoni leaders in May 1 994 (see Amnesty International Report 1 995).

The trials, which fell short of interna­ tional fair trial standards, were aimed at crushing MOSOP'S campaign against envir­ onmental damage by oil companies and for increased autonomy for the Ogoni ethnic

237

NIGERIA

238

group. The Civil Disturbances Special Tri­ bunal, appointed by the military govern­ ment specifically to try these cases, widened the definition of murder, so that any senior member of MOSOP deemed to have contributed to a civil disturbance could be convicted of murder. This was used to convict Ken Saro-Wiwa and others considered to be supporters of MOSOP, des­ pite the lack of evidence of their involve­ ment in the murders. The burden of proof was reversed so that defendants without alibis were found to have been present. The Tribunal allows no right of appeal. The defence team, headed by Nigeria's leading civil rights lawyers, withdrew in protest at the court's bias. In the first trial, which began in Febru­ ary, Ken Saro-Wiwa and four others ar­ rested in 1 994 were accused of murder, which carries a mandatory death sentence. A further trial of 10 defendants, before the same tribunal and based on the same evid­ ence, started in March. One defendant was discharged in September and five others, including Ledum Mitee, Vice President of MOSOP, were acquitted and released in October. The defendants appeared to have been detained illegally for at least eight months before the first five were charged in Febru­ ary. They were held incommunicado in military custody in harsh and insanitary conditions and denied adequate food, water and medical care. Two defence law­ yers, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Femi Falana, were reportedly assaulted by sol­ diers at the entrance to the court. Ken Saro-Wiwa's relatives were also reported to have been hit by soldiers. A further 19 Ogoni prisoners, who may be prisoners of conscience, were charged with murder on the. basis of the same evi­ dence in September. Sixteen had been detained without charge since mid-1 994; three were arrested in October 1 995. In December, amid fears that they too could be unfairly tried and executed, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered that the trial be postponed until February 1996 so that it could rule on the constitutionality of the Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal. More than 40 civilians and armed forces officers, many of them prisoners of conscience, were convicted after secret and grossly unfair trials between June and August. They were charged with treason and related offences in connection with an

alleged coup plot in March, but the real reason for their arrest appeared to be their pro-democracy activities. The trials were held in camera before a Special Military Tribunal headed by a member of the gov­ ernment sitting with six other armed forces officers appointed by the govern­ ment. The Tribunal denied all crucial de­ fence rights, including the defendants' rights to see details of the charges against them, to be defended by a lawyer of their choice, to be able to prepare their defence properly, to be tried in open court, to ad­ dress the Tribunal in their own defence and to appeal against the Tribunal's deci­ sions. In July the government announced, without further details, that 40 defendants had been convicted by the Tribunal. About 14 had apparently been sentenced to death. There were further arrests and secret trials of journalists and human rights activists for publishing information about the- lack of evidence against the de­ fendants and their unfair trials. Following worldwide appeals, General Abacha an­ nounced in October that the convictions had been confirmed but that the death sentences had been commuted to impris­ onment for life or 15 years. The sentences of other defendants were also reduced. Among those convicted were former Head of State retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, sentenced to 15 years' impris­ onment (commuted from life), and his for­ mer deputy, retired Major-General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, sentenced to life impris­ onment (commuted from death). Both were believed to have been convicted because of their criticism of the military government. They were prisoners of con­ science. Other prisoners of conscience included human rights activists, journalists and friends and family of the military defend­ ants, who had exposed the injustices of the initial trials before the Tribunal. They were convicted of being accessories to treason and were sentenced to 1 5 years' imprisonment (commuted from life). They included Or Beko Ransome-Kuti and Shehu Sani, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), a non-governmental organization. Sheh u Sani was initially sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for "managing an il­ legal organization" but was retried after he smuggled out a letter describing his unfair trial. Or Ransome-Kuti was convicted for

NIGERIA

distributing information about the lack of eVidence against one of the military de­ fendants who had been sentenced to ?eath. Chris Anyanwu. the woman editor­ m-chief of The Sunday Magazine. Kunle Aj ibade. editor of The News. and two other journalists were convicted for pub­ liShing information about the lack of evid­ ence of any coup plot or because they refused to implicate other journalists in the alleged coup plot. Rebecca Onyabi lkpe. the sister-in-law of defendant Col­ onel R. S. B. Bello-Fadile. and his defence lawyer. Navy Commander L. M. O. Fabiyi. �ere convicted for allegedly passing cop­ ies of his defence submission to others. Scores of suspected opponents of the government were detained during the year under the State Security (Detention of Per­ S?ns) Decree. No. 2 of 1 984 . which pro­ Vides for the indefinite incommunicado detention without charge or trial of any­ one suspected of threatening the security Or the economy of the state and which pecifica lly prohibits the courts from chal­ . engmg such detentions. They included hUInan rights and pro-democracy activists. . Journalists and members of the Ogoni ethnic group. Prisoners of conscience arrested during 1 995 and still held without charge or trial at the end of the year included Sylvester di on-Akhaine. the General Secretary of e CD. who was detained in January. and D� Olatunji Abayomi. Chair of Human RIghts Africa. Abdul Oroh. Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Organiza­ ti on. and Chima Ubani. General Secretary f �e Democratic Alternative. who were etam ed in July. . Dozens of journalists were briefly de­ tam ed. most without charge or trial. after Publishing aiticles critical of the govern­ tnent. Political meetings were disrupted Participants and organizers arrested. lef Gani Fawehinmi. a prominent hurnan rights lawyer. was detained for tWo Weeks in June. after declaring that his oPposition National Conscience Party Uld defy restrictions on political activ­ ' and again in September after he addressed a rally. Chief Michael Ajasin. the 87-year-o ld leader of the National Demo­ ratic Coalition (NADECO) . a pro-democracy ou p of former political leaders. and a ou t 50 other people briefly . de­ were t ned afte i J u ne. r a private meeting in his home



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There were further detentions without charge or trial of members of the Ogoni community. Women supporters of MOSOP were arrested. apparently for talking to foreign human rights investigators in July. Lekue Lah-Loolo. Assistant General Sec­ retary of Mosor. and three others were detained for several weeks in August. Among the prisoners of conscience ar­ rested in previous years who were held throughout the year was Chief Moshood K.O. Abiola. Generally acknowledged as the winner of annulled presidential elec­ tions in 1993. he was arrested on treason charges in June 1994 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995). He was denied vis­ its from relatives. and his doctor. Ore Falomo. was briefly detained in April. ap­ parently because he had made public Moshood Abiola's deteriorating health and harsh conditions of detention. Charges of treason against some lead­ ing NADECO members were withdrawn in February and others released on bail on treason charges in 1 994 were not tried. Trade union leaders and other pro­ democracy activists arrested in 1 994 also remained in detention without charge or trial throughout 1 995 (see Amnesty Inter­ national Report 1 995).

Major-General Zamani Lekwot and other members of the Kataf ethnic group sentenced to death for murder in early 1 993 after unfair trials by a Civil Disturb­ ances Special Tribunal (see Amnesty In­ ternational Reports 1 993 and 1 994) were unconditionally released in September. Their death sentences had been commu­ ted in August 1 993. Torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners were widespread and at least one detainee died as a result. Defendants in political trials were held incommunic­ ado. with no safeguards against torture or ill-treatment. The special courts which tried them failed to conduct impartial in­ vestigations into allegations that state­ ments were made under coercion. and admitted such statements as evidence. Clement Tusima. a member of the Ogoni community held without charge since May 1 994. died in August after months of illness and medical neglect in detention; no action was taken to bring those re­ sponsible to justice. Baribor Bera. execu­ ted in November following conviction by the Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal. showed the Tribunal scars from beatings

239

NIGERIA/OMAN

240

received at the Kpor detention centre in Ogoniland. He said he was stripped naked, tied to a pillar, flogged with a horsewhip and forced to swallow teeth knocked out by beatings. Several of the defendants accused of in­ volvement in the alleged March coup plot were reportedly tortured or ill-treated dur­ ing interrogation in order to obtain incrim­ inating statements. A statement reportedly used in evidence against Generals Obasanjo and Yar'Adua was refuted before the Special Military Tribunal on the grounds that it was made under coercion. Torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects were also widespread. In October the High Court in Ondo State sentenced two policemen to death following their conviction on charges of torturing and killing a detainee; their appeals were be­ lieved to be still pending at the end of the year. The widespread use of the death pen­ alty continued. At least 95 executions and 46 death sentences were reported in 1 995. Most had been imposed by Robbery and Firearms Tribunals, special courts outside the normal judicial system which cannot guarantee fair trials and allow no right of appeal. In July, 43 prisoners convicted of armed robbery were publicly executed by firing-squad in Lagos. One of the victims was reportedly shot 10 times before he died. Another, Mohammed Saleh, told reporters before he died that he had been held under sentence of death since 1979. There were further executions in Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Lagos states. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities throughout the year to release prisoners of conscience, to ensure fair trials for all political prisoners, to end torture and ill-treatment and to stop all executions. In September it published a report, Nigeria: The Ogoni trials and de­ tentions, describing the detention, ill­ treatment and unfair political trials of members of the Ogoni community. In Oc­ tober it published Nigeria: A travesty of justice - secret treason trials and other concerns, which detailed the repression of

pro-democracy activists and other critics of the government.

OMAN

Up to 1 39 political prisoners, including possible prisoners of conscience, were re­ leased in an amnesty in November. All were serving lengthy prison sentences im­ posed after unfair trials in 1994. New in­ formation was received suggesting that some of them had been tortured or ill ­ treated following arrest.

In April Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa'id is­ sued a decree regulating conditions of residence in Oman for foreign nationals, which included provisions on the right to political asylum. This appeared to be the first time political asylum had been incor­ porated into Oman's legislation. Up to 1 39 political prisoners, includi ng possible prisoners of conscience, were released in November following an offi­ cial amnesty on the 25th anniversary of Oman's national day. All had been serving long prison sentences in al-Ramis prison in Muscat. They were among around 160 prisoners sentenced after unfair trials i n November 1 994 (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995) accused of having links with an illegal Islamist organization . They included Salim al-Ghazali, a rel i­ gious scholar, and 'Abd al-Qadir ' Al i 'Umar Ba'Umar, a director of education planning in Dhofar, who were each serv­ ing a 20-year sentence. They had report­ edly been convicted on charges which included "sedition", "threats to the un ity of society" and "use of Islam for destruC­ tive ends", after a trial which fell far short of international standards for fair trial . The court was apparently composed mainly of members of the government. Trial hearings were held in camera an d the defendants were not allowed any legal

OMAN/pAKISTAN

assistance. There were reports that the eVidence against them consisted mainly of confessions obtained under duress. None of the defendants were apparently allowed to appeal against their convictions and sentences to a higher tribunal. New information came to light that many of those released had been subjected to torture or ill-treatment following their �est in May and June 1994 and during Interrogation while held in incommuni­ cado pre-trial detention. Some detainees were allegedly forced to stand in the heat of the sun for lengthy periods, while oth­ ers were said to have been stripped naked during their interrogation. Am nesty International received no re­ sponse from the government to its request for information about the arrest and trial of political prisoners in 1 994 (see Am­ ?esty International Report 1 995). Follow­ Ing the release of political prisoners in November, the organization wrote to the government welcoming this positive move and seeking details about the terms of the am nesty. •

PAKISTAN

�ozens of prisoners of conscience were

�ld. Scores of people were detained Without charge or trial after security op­ rations, particularly in Sindh Province. orture, including rape, was widespread, P?�edly leading to at least 70 deaths. Ud iClal punishments of flogging and �putation were imposed and fetters con­ nued to be used. Scores of people who ad allegedly "disappeared" remained unaccou nted for. At least 85 people were extraju dicially executed. At least 48 People were sentenced to death, including

; � �

five in absentia. Five prisoners were ex­ ecuted, two of them in public. Armed op­ position groups committed human rights abuses, including torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings.

Violent conflict between different eth­ nic, religious and political groups contin­ ued, particularly in Karachi, capital of Sindh Province, where at least 1 ,950 people were killed. The Government of Benazir Bhutto encouraged police to use "ruthlessness" in combating what it de­ scribed as "terrorists". Ordinances were promulgated to en­ able provincial governments to use the army and the paramilitary Rangers for law and order operations and to give them po­ lice powers of arrest and interrogation during such operations. An ordinance pro­ mulgated by President Farooq Leghari in April created an exception to the rule against admissibility of confessions made in police custody for those tried under the Terrorist Affected Areas Ordinance. Bar associations and human rights groups pro­ tested as they feared this would encourage police to use ill-treatment or torture to obtain confessions. In April the cabinet approved a bill in­ troducing procedural changes to curb the abuse of the law against blasphemy. In June it approved a bill abolishing the death penalty and the punishment of flog­ ging for anyone below the age of 15. In October it approved a bill banning public flogging for certain offences. None of the three bills had been approved by parlia­ ment at the end of the year. The Qisas and Diyat Ordinance, which permits forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, remained in force. In July the government announced the establishment of a Ministry for Human Rights. The Human Rights Cell in the Ministry of Law reported that it had inves­ tigated 5,000 cases of human rights viola­ tions in 1 994. Its spokesperson said that there were no political prisoners in the country. Several departmental and judi­ cial inquiries into human rights violations were set up during 1 995 but only one con­ viction was reported. Two police officers were sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment in Quetta for causing a death in custody. In August the cabinet approved the rati­ fication of the UN Convention on the Elim­ ination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, with a reservation to

241

PAKISTAN

242

those articles which allegedly conflict with Islamic traditions. Scores of people. many of whom were possible prisoners of conscience. were ar­ rested during cordon and search opera­ tions by police and paramilitary Rangers in Karachi. Relatives of people wanted by the police were often held for days when those sought could not be found. Several journalists were detained for writing articles critical of the government and appeared to be prisoners of con­ science. Journalist Zafaryab Abroad was arrested on 5 June along with several members of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front of Pakistan (BLLF) and charged with sedition after writing about bonded labour and the murder of child activist Iqbal Masih in April. Zafaryab Ahmad was re­ leased on bail in August. His trial had not begun by the end of the year. At least 35 Ahmadis were charged with religious offences including blasphemy. which carries a mandatory death penalty. Bail was difficult to obtain for Ahmadi de­ fendants. leading to prolonged pre-trial detention. At least three Ahmadis were prisoners of conscience. Nasir Abroad from Nankana in Punjab Province was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. The court in Sheikhupura held that he had "posed as a Muslim" by using Islamic terms of blessing on a wedding invitation card and had deliberately outraged the re­ ligious feelings of Muslims. Three prisoners of conscience sen­ tenced to death on charges of blasphemy were acquitted. Arshad Javed. a Muslim man. was arrested in 1 989 after opposing protests against British writer Salman Rushdie and claiming to be Christ. Al­ though he was certified as mentally ill. he was tried and sentenced to death in Febru­ ary 1 993. He spent five years in jail. two of them on death row. before being acquitted in January. Salamat Masih. who was only 12 years old at the time of his alleged of­ fence in May 1 993. and Rehmat Masih. were sentenced to death for blasphemy on 9 February. On 23 February the Lahore High Court acquitted them. They left the country after Islamists protested against the acquittal and demanded their deaths. The case relating to the murder in April 1 994 of Manzoor Masih. their co-accused. proceeded slowly as key witnesses re­ ceived death threats (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Report 1 995).

Scores of people were detained on po­ litical grounds without charge or trial after security operations. particularly in Sindh Province. Most were held for a few days before being released. Torture. including rape. in police. mil­ itary and judicial custody continued to be widespread. leading to at least 70 deaths. Javed Masih. arrested in August on a charge of theft in Hyderabad. Sindh Prov­ ince. was reportedly beaten. kicked. sub­ jected to electric shocks and had kerosene oil forced into his anus. He died three days later. Police reportedly hung his body by the neck to create the impression of suicide. but later asserted that he had died of heart failure. Although a doctor testified that Javed Masih had died of tor­ ture. and his family registered a com­ plaint. none of the accused police officers were reported to have been arrested by the end of the year. Victims of rape in custody found it dif­ ficult to obtain redress. Razia Masih. arres­ ted in August for robbery and held in the police superintendent's house in Shah­ dadpur. was raped by three police officers . Owing to police pressure. a doctor refused to issue a medical certificate to support her allegation. making it impossible for her to register a complaint of rape. Four police officers were charged with unlaw­ fully confining and injuring her and then released on bail. Their trial had not started by the end of the year. Dozens of sentences of flogging were imposed. most often for sexual and drug offences. In July Zameen Khan was given 10 lashes in public in Karachi for possess­ ing drugs. A medical officer monitored the flogging. Prisoners were held in leg-irons. in­ cluding cross-bar fetters. often in violation of prison rules which allow the use of fet­ ters only in specific circumstances. The Sindh government's appeal against the High Court decision of December 1 99 3 prohibiting the use of fetters was sti ll pending in the Supreme Court. In April the Lahore High Court ordered fetters on 28 children awaiting trial in Punjab ProV­ ince to be removed. but no action was taken against prison staff for using them in violation of prison rules. Islamic courts functioning in Malakand Division since December 1 994 sentenced three men in June to have their right hands and left feet amputated for robbery·

PAKISTAN

They were permitted to appeal to the Fed­ eral Shariat Court; the punishments had apparently not been carried out by the end of the year. The Mohajir Qaumi Mahaz (MQM) , Mohajir Qaumi Movement, claimed that hundreds of party members had "disap­ peared" since 1 992. Rais Fatima, an MQM Worker, "disappeared" in June during a train journey to Lahore; her whereabouts remained unknown for four months. Her fellow traveller, MQM parliamentarian Qamar Mansoor, was later found to be in detention in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, held on a charge of sedition. His lawyer failed to gain access to him. At least 85 people were reportedly ex­ traju dicially executed but police often claimed that their deaths occurred in armed "encounters". On 1 0 October, four MQM activists who had been arrested weeks earlier were supposedly taken by pOlice to identify a hiding place in Naz­ Imabad in Karachi. According to police, the four prisoners, who were fettered and handcuffed, were shot dead in an ambush ?y. armed militants, but no police were I�)ured. The non-governmental Human Rights Commission of Pakistan investi­ gated the incident and contradicted the of­ fiCial version. It declared that the killings were "part of what appears to be the law enforcement agencies' on-going practice of elim inating those they consider hardened criminals or terrorists". An official inquiry had not published any findings by the end of the year. Other people were killed when police deliberately failed to protect them. In April, two members of the Ahmadiyya cOffimunity were attacked on court pra­ . Illises in Shab Qadar, North West Frontier Province, where they intended to post bail for an imprisoned Ahmadi. Riaz Ahmad was stoned to death and dragged through the streets by an angry crowd; his uncle was seriously injured. Throughout the attack, police stood by passively. A com­ P�aint was lodged, but police apparently di d not begin investigations. At least 48 people were sentenced to death , mostly for murder, five of them in bsentia. Five prisoners were executed. espite a government decision in Febru­ ary 1994 to end public executions, Mush­ taq Arain and Mohammad Juman were eXecuted in July in Karachi and Hyder­ abad Jails respectively in front of hundreds



of prisoners who were forced to watch. Eid Wali, imprisoned on death row in Muzaffarabad District Jail, Azad Kashmir, since 1 969, had his death sentence com­ muted in March. He had repeatedly been told that his execution was imminent. A judge in Swabi, North West Frontier Province, in May directed that Jahangir, convicted of murder, should be executed by the heirs of the victim as qisas (punish­ ment equal to the offence). The father of the murdered woman teacher was to shoot him dead in the school playground where the crime had been committed. The execu­ tion was stayed pending a decision of the Peshawar High Court on the question of whether or not public executions were compatible with human dignity. Dozens of people were allegedly tor­ tured or deliberately and arbitrarily killed by armed groups on account of their eth­ nic or religious identity. The victims in­ cluded relatives of police officers and people suspected of being police inform­ ers. In addition, dozens of bodies were found in Karachi, often blindfolded, tied up and with torture marks, apparently killed solely to spread fear in the city. In January Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Pakistan: The Pattern persists - Torture, deaths in custody, "dis­ appearances " and extrajudicial execu­ tions under the ppp government, which

said that the government of the Pakistan People's Party (ppp) had not done enough in its first 1 5 months in office to safeguard human rights. Amnesty International also called for the death sentences on prisoners of conscience Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih to be set aside and for them to be released, and for everyone involved in their case to be adequately protected. In March Amnesty International issued a ra­ port, Pakistan: The death penalty for ju­ veniles, urging abolition of the death penalty for children, in accordance with Pakistan's obligations under the UN Con­ vention on the Rights of the Child, which it ratified in 1 990. Following the murder of child activist Iqbal Masih in Muridke in April, Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into his death. In May Amnesty International pub­ lished Pakistan: "Keep your fetters bright and polished": The continued use of bar fetters and cross fetters, urging the author­

ities to review legislation governing the use of fetters and to stop their unlawful

243

PAKISTAN/PANAMA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA

244

use. In the same month it published Pak­ istan: Executions under the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance. expressing concern about particularly inhuman and degrading forms of punishment. Amnesty International in March. May and August called on armed opposition groups to observe minimum humanitarian standards. while noting that the difficult­ ies of dealing with such groups may never serve as an excuse for the government to commit human rights violations. The government denied in several letters to Amnesty International in August and Sep­ tember that law enforcement personnel were responsible for human rights viola­ tions. The government said that several of those killed in alleged "encounters" were criminals responsible for "terrorist acts". In its November report. Pakistan : Ap­ peal to ban public flogging. Amnesty In­ ternational called on all parties to end this punishment and in its December report. Women in Pakistan: Disadvantaged and denied their rights. Amnesty International urged the government to take measures to safeguard the human rights of women.

PANAMA CJ.I � to

..... ':

· · ·

.

There were allegations of ill-treatment of detainees. New legal proceedings were initiated against a former military leader and six of his closest supporters.

There were widespread strikes and protests in August against the policies of the government of President Ernesto Perez Balladares. Some of the protests became violent. and by the end of August. four workers had reportedly been killed, an unknown number injured. and over 300 protesters detained for short periods. In September President Perez an­ nounced a further pardon for people asso­ ciated with General Manuel Noriega's administration (see Amnesty International

Report 1 995). Another 1 30 people were pardoned on the grounds that the time they had spent in prison, or with proceed­ ings pending against them, exceeded the maximum sentence if convicted. Many had been charged with crimes such as cor­ ruption. However, the Attorney General filed a writ claiming the pardons were un­ constitutional. There were allegations of ill-treatment of detainees. Twelve detainees arrested during the August demonstrations were reportedly beaten and denied medical care. Magistrates in the province of Chiriquf reportedly punished Guayamf men. women and children involved i n land claims or accused of petty misde­ meanours or failure to pay fines. by bind­ ing them to stocks for periods of up to five days. Higher authorities in Chiriquf were apparently aware of the practice but did nothing to stop it. In April. nine Guayamfs. including a 1 2-year-old boy and a pregnant woman . were briefly arrested without warrant dur­ ing a demonstration against incursions by mining companies. The detainees com­ plained that legal proceedings against them were not completed within the time limits specified by Panamanian law. that they were held incommunicado. and that habeas corpus petitions were not acted on. Former Panamanian Defense Forces chief General Noriega, already convicted in absentia of murder (see Amnesty Inter­ national Reports 1 990 and 1 995), was charged with responsibility for the extraj u­ dicial executions of 1 2 soldiers who par­ ticipated in a 1 989 coup attempt. A lso charged were six of his closest associates. In response to queries from Amnesty International about irregularities in the case of the Guayamfs arrested in April. the government announced an inquiry into the land dispute.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA



There were continued reports of torture and ill-treatment by members of the se­ curity forces, resulting in the death of at least one person. At least five people were believed to have been extrajudicially ex' ecuted by members of the security fo rces

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

on Bougainville and in other areas of the country, The government failed to clarify previous "disappearances" and extrajudi­ cial executions on Bougainville, A death sentence was passed for the first time since the reintroduction of the death pen­ alty for wilful murder in 1991, but no executions were carried out. An armed secessionist group reportedly committed human rights abuses, including deliberate and arbitrary killings, ,

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In April the government of Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan established a Bougainville Transitional Government fol­ lOWing negotiations to end the seven-year Conflict on the island of Bougainville. By the end of the year, this initiative had not secured the full support of key leaders of the secessionist Bougainville Revolution­ ary Army (BRA), and fighting continued be­ tWeen the BRA and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) and government­ backed paramilitary Resistance Forces. In May the government announced an am­ nesty for all those who had committed ?rimes during the Bougainville conflict, In clu ding members of the government se­ CUrity forces, the Resistance Forces and the BRA. While the scope of the amnesty remained unclear by the end of the year, it was understood that it could offer im­ �unity to those responsible for human fights violations. In March the UN Commission on Hu man Rights adopted a resolution about Bougainville, calling on the Papua New �uinea Government to allow the UN Spe­ Cial Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary Or arbitrary executions and the Special R.ap porteur on torture to visit the island and report on the human rights situation there. In October the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary exe­ cutions went to Papua New Guinea to

meet government officials and to conduct investigations into extrajudicial execu­ tions, but he did not travel to Bougain­ ville, Continuing reports of extrajudicial executions by the security forces and de­ liberate and arbitrary killings by the BRA on Bougainville were difficult to confirm because of continued restrictions on ac­ cess to the island. There were continued reports of torture and i ll-treatment by the police and mem­ bers of the PNGDF. In August a Catholic priest, Father Nawata, was reportedly de­ tained and beaten by members of the PNGDF on Bougainville. He was released in September following intervention by PNGDF headquarters. In October villagers in Banz, Western Highlands, lodged a complaint with the Public Complaints Unit alleging that po­ lice had shot unarmed villagers in the context of a land dispute and had beaten a young man to death in custody. The youth had been arrested on suspicion of stealing a police weapon. The Western Highlands police commissioner announced an in­ quiry into the allegations, but by the end of the year it was not clear what action had been taken. There were further reports of extrajudi­ cial executions of civilians by the police and the PNGDF. In February Pyakalu Iliyato, a shop assistant, was reportedly shot dead by police during a raid on an illegal mar­ ket in the capital, Port Moresby, when he refused to enter a police vehicle. The po­ lice immediately announced an inquiry into the shooting, but its outcome was not known by the end of the year. In August Win Tumu Paguk was shot dead by members of the PNGDF on the University of Papua New Guinea campus in Port Moresby during a protest by students. An inquiry was launched into the incident and a soldier was reportedly arrested as a result. By the end of the year, however, it was not known whether any member of the PNGDF would be tried in relation to the incident. In October, three former mem­ bers of the BRA were allegedly shot while they were sleeping by the Resistance Forces in south Bougainville. In February a PNGDF commander an­ nounced that an inquiry would be launched into the kil lings of Damien Ona, Apiato Bobonung and Robert, and the "disappearance" of Shane Seeto, on Bougainville in December 1 994. However,

245

PAPUA NEW GUINEMARAGUAY

246

no progress appeared to have been made on the inquiry by the end of the year. Despite statements by the government expressing its commitment to investigat­ ing human rights violations, no informa­ tion was made public about investigations into other human rights violations which had occurred since the beginning of the conflict on Bougainville, including extra­ judicial executions and "disappearances". In February Charles Ombusu, convicted of rape and wilful murder, became the first person to be sentenced to death since the death penalty was reintroduced for wilful murder in 1991 . Prime Minister Sir Julius Chan stated his opposition to the death penalty shortly after the sentence was handed down, but specific comment on the case was prohibited as subjudice by the Chief Justice. By the end of the year, an appeal to the Supreme Court against the conviction and the death sentence re­ mained unresolved. The BRA reportedly committed human rights abuses including deliberate and ar­ bitrary killings of unarmed individuals. Individual incidents were difficult or im­ possible to verify because of restrictions on access to the island. In a report published in February, Bougainville: Political killings and "disap­ pearances " continue, Amnesty Interna­ tional expressed continued concern over extrajudicial executions and "disappear­ ances" on Bougainville and urged the gov­ ernment to conduct a full and impartial inquiry into the December 1 994 incident and to allow independent human rights monitors access to the island. An Amnesty International request to investigate the human rights situation on Bougainville, sent to the government in November 1 993 and renewed in February 1 995, remained unanswered.

PARAGUAY A protester was shot dead and several others were injured when police violently broke up a demonstration. Peasant lead­ ers and their lawyers were threatened and intimidated in the context of land disputes. Four conscientious objectors were arbitrarily detained and tortured. There were reports that police had beaten or otherwise ill-treated criminal suspects

during arrest or in custody, and of harsh prison conditions amounting to cruel, in­ human or degrading treatment. Prosecu­ tions for past human rights violations continued although little progress was made in investigating recent abuses.

..

In January Paraguay acceded to the (First) Optional Protocol to the Interna­ tional Covenant on Civil and political Rights. There were renewed reports of serious confrontations between hundreds of land­ less peasant families and specialist police units in several areas of the country. Peas­ ant communities attempting to establish land claims were violently expelled from land they had occupied by police person­ nel, sometimes operating in conjunction with armed civilians reportedly paid by landowners. In many cases forcible expul­ sion was accompanied by mass arrests , sometimes without judicial order, and the ill-treatment of detainees. The majority of detainees were released without charge or trial after weeks or months in custody, Over 50 peasant farmers were arrested without judicial warrant when police viO­ lently expelled 500 families from land they had occupied in Puente Kyha , Canindeyu department, in May. The de­ tainees, many of whom were ill-treated, were released without charge days later. In September Pedro Gimenez, a peasant farmer, was shot dead when agents of the Ecological and Rural police attempted to break up a demonstration of peasant farmers in the locality of Santa Rosa de Aguaray, San Pedro department. Sixteen other demonstrators and three pol ice agents were injured in the incident. Ac­ cording to eye-witnesses, the police first fired tear-gas and then opened fire on the protesters who were blocking a main road .

PARAGUAY

I

Protesters responded by throwing stones and other projectiles at the police. The de­ monstration had been organized to sup­ port over 600 families who had occupied a property in Santa Barbara, district of �ueva Germania, San Pedro department, In August. Alberto Alderete, a lawyer rep­ resenting the peasant farmers in Santa Btirbara, received repeated anonymous death threats after he presented a formal criminal complaint accusing the Minister of the Interior, the Chief of Police and ev­ era! other officials of responsibility for the death of Pedro Gimenez. Reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by the police continued. Al­ though in several cases formal criminal Complaints were lodged and judicial in­ vestigations opened in some cases, those resp onsible were not brought to justice. Although conscientious objection to military service is a constitutional right, fOur conscientious objectors were among those arbitrarily detained and tortured. Cesar Barrios, who was a member of the Movimiento de Objecci6n de Conciencia (Mac), Conscientious Objection Move­ ment, was detained by army personnel on 4 November. At the time of his detention, Cesar Barrios was travelling to the town of Pirapey, Itapua department, to attend a meeting on conscientiolls objection in the home town of Victor Hugo Maciel, a con­ Script who had been killed on 2 October while completing his military service. Cesar Barrios was taken to the III Divisi6n de CabalJerfa, 3rd Cavalry Division, in Ciudad del Este. He was held for 24 hours during which he was beaten and threat­ ened with death while soldiers interro­ gated him about the MOC'S activities and the names of members. Three other con­ scientiolls objet:tors were briefly detained earlier in the year by members of the Na­ tional Police and subjected to ill-treatment including having their heads shaved and forced labour. . Criminal suspects were frequently sub­ Jected to ill-treatment at the time of arrest. Esteban Ferreira was beaten by a local po­ �ice commander and several police agents In February when police agents entered th e bar he owned searching for three es­ caped criminals. According to Esteban Ferreira, he was kicked and beaten before being arbitrarily arrested , handcuffed and dragged 50 metres along the ground. A medical examination found injuries con-

sistent with Esteban Ferreira's claims of ill-treatment. Conditions in some detention centres and prisons were reported to amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. For example, in the juvenile prison "Pan­ chito L6pez" in Asunci6n, minors were held in grossly inadequate conditions with insufficient food in severely over­ crowded, insanitary cells with few wash­ ing facilities, little exercise or fresh air and lack of proper medical care. In March over 180 juveniles, the majority of whom were on remand, were held in "Panchito L6pez", a one-storey building constructed as a residence for a family of eight. Judicial investigations continued into torture and deaths in custody of political prisoners under the government of Gen­ eral Stroessner (see previous Amnesty International Reports). In April Pastor Coronel, the former head of the Police Investigations Department (D1P-C) , and former DIP-C official Lucilo Benftez, were each sentenced to 1 2 years and six months' imprisonment for the attempted murder and torture of political opposition activist Alberto Alegre Portillo in 1 975. Pastor Coronel and Lucilo Benftez were already serving three prison sentences for murder and other serious human rights violations. An Amnesty International delegate vis­ ited Paraguay in March to assess the pro­ gress of human rights related reforms. The delegate held talks with representatives of the government and non-governmental or­ ganizations. In September Amnesty International asked the government to institute a ful l and impartial investigation into the poss­ ible excessive use of force when police broke up the demonstration in Santa Rosa de Aguaray, resulting in the death of Pedro Gimenez and the wounding of 1 6 other people. Amnesty International ex­ pressed concern at the death threats against lawyer Alberto Alderete and asked the government to take measures to guar­ antee his safety and to bring those re­ sponsible to justice. In November Amnesty International appealed to the government to undertake a full and impartial investigation into the arbitrary detention and torture of con­ scientious objectors. No reply had been received by the end of the year.

247

PERU

248

PERU ..

Thousands of unresolved cases of human rights violations perpetrated by members of the security forces and civilian officials over the past 15 years were definitively closed by law. Twenty-six prisoners of conscience and some 500 possible prison­ ers of conscience remained in prison. At least 5,000 political prisoners were serv­ ing prison sentences after unfair trials. Cases of torture continued to be reported. Nine people were reported to have "dis­ appeared". The armed opposition contin­ ued to deliberately and arbitrarily kill civilians.

The armed opposition groups Partido Gom unista del Peru {Sendero Luminosoj (pep), Communist Party of Peru (Shining Path), and Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru, Ttlpac Amaru Revolution­ ary Movement, remained active, but on a reduced scale compared with previous years. However, much of the country re­ mained under a state of emergency. Between late January and March there were armed skirmishes between Peru and Ecuador over a long-standing border dis­ pute (see Ecuador entry). Scores of Ecuadorian civilians were detained in Peru by the security forces. By July the last of these prisoners had been released. In July President Alberto Fujimori began a second five-year term in office after elections in which his political party, Gambio 90-Nueva Mayoria, Change 90New Majority, won an outright majority in Congress. Peru's anti-terrorism laws, despite fur­ ther amendments passed by Congress in April, continued to fall short of interna­ tional fair trial standards (see Amnesty

International Reports 1 993 to 1 995). The amendments included restoring the right of suspects to have prompt access to a lawyer and to have the lawyer and a rep­ resentative of the Public Ministry present when suspects make statements to the police. Legislation remained in force allowing the identities of judges and pro­ secutors to remain secret and for milit­ ary courts to try civilians charged with treason. Congress passed a law on 14 June granting a general amnesty to all members of the security forces and civilian officials "who find themselves the subject of a complaint, investigation, indictment, trial or conviction", or who were serving prison sentences, for human rights viola­ tions committed between May 1980 and 14 June 1 995. As a result of a ruling by a judge that the amnesty law was inapplic­ able to an ongoing investigation into the 1 991 Barrios Altos massacre (see below), a further law was passed on 28 June which prohibited the judiciary from deciding on the legality or applicability of the amnesty law. The government justified both laws as contributing to Peru's pacification and na­ tional reconciliation. However, according to opinion polls the measures were re­ jected by a wide section of the Peruvian population. They were also strongly con­ demned by Peruvian and international human rights organizations, some foreign governments and international govern­ mental organizations. In August the uN Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, sum­ mary or arbitrary executions, on torture , and on the independence of the judiciary, and the Chairman of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Invol untary Disap­ pearances, jointly wrote to the Peruvian Government. The UN experts stated that both laws "favour impunity [and) are con­ trary to the spirit enshrined in human rights instruments, including the Vienna Declaration approved by the World Con­ ference on Human Rights on 25 June 1 993". The experts also concluded that the second law, in prohibiting the judi­ ciary from reviewing the amnesty law, " vi­ olates the basic principles of the rule of law". In August the chairman of the uN Sub-Commission on Prevention of D is­ crimination and Protection of Minorities endorsed the UN experts' statement an d added that the Sub-Commission would

PERU

examine a draft resolution on the amnesty laws in 1 996. In November, 20 members of Congress submitted a bill repealing those �ticles of the amnesty laws which bene­ fited human rights violators and seeking to create a Comisi6n de Verdad, Truth Commission, to investigate violations of human rights and of humanitarian law si nce May 1980. The bill had not been de­ bated by the end of the year. In August Congress approved a law Outlining the basic structure and functions of the De/ensoria del Pueblo, Ombuds­ m:m's Office, a new institution charged With upholding human rights. The law provided for the Ombudsman's Office to i�spect establishments run by the Peru­ Vian National Police but not by the armed forces. By the end of year the Ombuds­ man's Office and the new Tribunal de Garantias Constitucionales, Tribunal for Constitutional Guarantees, another gov­ ernment institution relevant to the protec­ . hon of human rights, had yet to come into operation. Peru retained a law in the 1 993 Consti­ tution which extended the scope of the death penalty. According to an Advisory Opinion by the Inter-American Court of �uman Rights issued in December 1 994, �e promulgation of [such) a law . . . is a Violation of [the American Convention on �uman Rights) " (see Amnesty Interna­ tlOoa/ Report 1 994). . B y the end of 1 995 the government had falle d to establish the commission, first announced in August 1 994 to the UN Sub­ COmmiSSion on Prevention of Discrimina­ tion and Protection of Minorities, to eview cases of prisoners said to have een falsely accused of "terrorism ". The June amnesty laws closed thou­ ands of unresolved human rights cases ocumented between May 1 980 and June 1 995 , inclu ding at least 5 ,000 "disappear­ ces" and extrajudicial executions, and lindreds of cases of torture, ill-treatment, death threats and intimidation (see Am­ nesty Intern ational Reports 1 981 to 1 995 md bel ow). Unresolved cases included al­ gations that police tortured eight trade . � Ion leaders from Cuzco department de­ alned on anti-terrorism charges in April � 1 ; the ki lling of eight journalists and elf gUide by peasants, reportedly ordered to do so by the army, in Uchu­ accay , Ayacucho department, in August 983 ; the "disappearance" of at least 100







; : � � �

inmates from two prisons in Lima, the capital, following an operation by mem­ bers of the security forces to quell an up­ rising by pep militants in June 1 986; the detention and massacre by soldiers of some 30 peasants from the town of Cayara, Ayacucho department, in May 1 988; the massacre of 12 men, three women and one child in the courtyard of a house in Ba­ rrios Altos, Lima, in November 1991; the killing of 31 peasants in three separate in­ cidents during a major army offensive against pcp strongholds in the Alto Hua­ llaga region of HUlinuco in April 1 994; and the possible "disappearance" of uni­ versity student Jose Clemente Cigiienas Linares, following his abduction by four men dressed as civilians, in a street in Lima in January 1 995. The amnesty laws also pardoned those few members of the security forces serving prison sentences for their involvement in human rights vi­ olations. For example, within days of the laws coming into force, members of the army who were widely believed to belong to the "death squad" Grupo Colina, and who had been imprisoned for their part in the murder of nine students and a profes­ sor from La Cantuta University in July 1 992, were freed (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1 993 to 1 995). Amnesty In­ ternational deplored the two amnesty laws and called on the government to have the laws immediately repealed. Following public criticisms of the am­ nesty laws by human rights defenders, several received anonymous death threats. For example, in November, 10 human rights activists received a wreath for their own funeral signed by "the Colina fam­ ily", a reference to the Grupo Colina "death squad". Twenty-six prisoners of conscience and at least 500 possible prisoners of con­ science remained in prison at the end of the year. Among them was Eugenio Bazan Ventura, who had been held for 1 7 months before being sentenced i n March 1994 to 30 years' imprisonment. He had been convicted on the basis of uncorrobo­ rated claims by the police that he had par­ ticipated in the laying of land mines near the village of Araqueda, in the province of Cajabamba, Cajamarca department. Wit­ nesses testified that Eugenio Bazan, who was allegedly tortured and forced to sign a confession by the police, was not present in the village on the day the mines were

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laid. His appeal before the Supreme Court of Justice was still pending at the end of the year. Seven prisoners of conscience were re­ leased during the year. They included Santosa Layme Bejar. released in Febru­ ary. and Maria Elena Foronda and Oscar Diaz Barboza. released in October (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). How­ ever. the Supreme Court of Justice was reported to have overturned High Court verdicts acquitting some 300 former pris­ oners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience charged with "terrorism". because of administrative and procedural errors during High Court hearings. As a result these prisoners faced renewed de­ tention and retrial. For example. prisoners of conscience Juan Alberto Huapaya Palomino and Cesar Augusto Sosa Silupu were redetained in July and November re­ spectively after the Supreme Court of Just­ ice overturned their acquittals by a High Court. Retrials were still pending at the end of the year. Peru's anti-terrorism laws continued to fal l far short of international fair trial standards. According to official figures. since 1 992 more than 5.000 prisoners had been convicted of "terrorism" and sen­ tenced to imprisonment. All were denied the right to have their cases heard in pub­ lic and to cross-examine members of the security forces involved in their detention and interrogation. Hundreds of such pris­ oners were tried before military tribunals. Complaints of torture by detainees sus­ pected of "terrorism" continued to be filed. In August a military patrol report­ edly arrested 32 men and nine women from the village of Chalhuayacu. district of P6lvora. San Martin department. and transferred them to a military base in the town of Tocache. A group of soldiers were said to have beaten and threatened to kill them with their firearms. The following day the men were apparently beaten on their buttocks and backs with a strip of wood and a sand-filled leather tube. Pedro Rodrfguez Miranda survived near-drown­ ing in a water-tank and strangulation with a cord. All the detainees were said to have been forced to sign a document in which they admitted to being "subversives". By the end of September all but four of the 41 detainees had been released. A complaint about their treatment was filed before a provincial prosecutor in Tocache.

Dozens of Ecuadorian civilians de­ tained by members of the security forces in the context of the border conflict with Ecuador were also reported to have been tortured. For example. Ecuadorian journ­ alists Ramiro Cueva and Pablo Reyes were detained near Puerto Pizarro. Tumbes department. on 12 February. They were taken to a nearby naval base where they were undressed. handcuffed. and buried in sand up to their necks. Ramiro Cueva was apparently punched in the stomach and kicked in the testicles and Pablo Reyes had electric shocks applied to his chest. On the same day. both were re­ leased without charge. Nine people were reported to have "disappeared". They included five people detained by members of the Navy in three villages in the rainforest province of Pedro Abad. Ucayali department. between Janu­ ary and April. Dozens of civilians were deliberately and arbitrarily killed by the pep. Many of those killed had been previously tortured. Among the victims were local officials. community leaders and captured members of civil defence patrols. In February mem­ bers of the PCP were reported to have de­ tained and killed seven people during three separate attacks near the towns of Aucayacu and Tingo Maria. Hulilluco de­ partment. Four civilians died and at least 1 6 others were injured when a car bomb. attributed to the PCP. exploded in May in the residential and commercial district of Miraflores. Lima. Amnesty International appealed to the authorities to bring to justice members of the security services responsible for the thousands of unresolved human rights violations perpetrated over the past 1 5 years. The organization also appealed to the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and uncondition­ ally. to bring the anti-terrorism laws into line with international fair trial standards . and to abolish the death penalty. The au­ thorities responded to many appeals for the release of prisoners of conscience. giv­ ing information about the legal situation of the prisoner. In February Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Justice. to the president of Congress and to the president of the Congressional Human Rights and Pacification Commission requesting in­ formation about special measures to

PERU/pHILlPPINES

review cases of prisoners falsely accused of terrorism. The authorities did not reply to the request. . Also in February, Amnesty Interna­ honal urged the authorities to ensure that the security forces fully respected the human rights of Ecuadorians detained in the context of the border conflict with Ecuador and to initiate a prompt and ef­ fective investigation into the alleged tor­ ture of the two Ecuadorian journalists detained in Puerto Pizarro. Amnesty International called on the armed opposition to end human rights ab­ uses and to fully abide by humanitarian standards enshrined in Common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. Amnesty International published two reports, Peru: Reforms of anti-terrorism la ws fail to match international human rights standards and Women in Peru : Rights in jeopardy, in October and in November respectively. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ si on on Human Rights in February, Am­ nesty International included reference to i ts Concerns about unfair trials and torture i n Peru. •

PHILIPPINES

Over 200 political prisoners, including sO �e possible prisoners of conscience, re­ In8Ined in detention. Reports of wide­ pread ill-trea�ent of criminal uspects . e continued. There was a decline y polic . In the number of human rights violations COllUnitted in the context of the insur­ gency , but dozens of people were reported to have been extrajudicially executed and at least four people "disappeared" alleg­ edly while in police or military custody.



At least 68 people were sentenced to death but no executions were carried out. Armed opposition groups committed human rights abuses, including hostage­ taking and deliberate and arbitrary kill­ ings.

Efforts by President Fidel Ramos' gov­ ernment to hold formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF). rep­ resenting the Communist Party of the Philippines (epp) and its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA) , remained stalled. Peace negotiations with the Mus­ lim separatist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) progressed slowly; in Novem­ ber the two sides held a further round of inconclusive talks on the creation of an autonomous region in Muslim-populated areas of the southern island of Mindanao. In October the government reached an agreement granting full amnesty to the right-wing military rebel Rebolusyonary­ ong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM), Revolu­ tionary Nationalist Alliance, responsible for a series of failed coups against the government of former President Corazon Aquino. No compensation for the relatives of over 150 people killed in the coup at­ tempts was agreed . In September the government and rep­ resentatives of 10,000 victims of human rights violations under the government of former President Ferdinand Marcos agreed to accept a compromise us$ 1 00 million damages settlement to be paid out of a us$ 2 billion award made against the Marcos estate by a federal court in Hawaii, USA, in 1994. Serious disputes over the imple­ mentation of the proposed settlement con­ tinued at the end of the year. Over 200 political prisoners were re­ leased but at least 209 remained in de­ tention at the end of the year. The government continued to claim that there were no political prisoners in the Philip­ pines, and that all detainees were held for criminal not political offences, in particu­ lar the i llegal possession of firearms. Some detainees were possible prisoners of con­ science: they had been detained after peaceful political activities and were al­ legedly falsely accused of belonging to an armed group or possession of firearms. Despite periodic government attempts to dismiss officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who committed hu­ man rights violations, there were scores of incidents of ill-treatment of criminal

251

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suspects. The police practice of arresting criminal suspects without warrant re­ mained widespread. Criminal suspects were frequently "invited" for questioning, then held in prolonged administrative de­ tention before the laying of formal charges, by law required within 1 2 to 36 hours, de­ pending on the seriousness of the offence. Such suspects were particularly vulner­ able to police ill-treatment and torture, including near-drowning and electric shocks. In April Manolo Cuntapay, a farmer charged with theft and detained in Cauayan jail, Isabela province, was alleg­ edly beaten with a shovel and burned with cigarettes by three policemen. In March Jerry Butial was arrested in Manila on suspicion of being a member of the communist assassination unit "Alex Bon­ cayao Brigade". He was reportedly beaten and subjected to water torture by police at­ tempting to extract a confession. There was an overall decline in levels of insurgency and in related human rights violations committed by govern­ ment personnel. However, despite the government's stated commitment to the protection of human rights, periodic human rights violations by security force personnel continued. Human rights worker Julius Marquez was abducted by armed men believed to be members of the Military Intelligence Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on 6 Janu­ ary in Ilocos Sur province. He was held incommunicado and allegedly threatened with "disappearance". Julius Marquez claimed that he was intimidated into sign­ ing a document applying for amnesty as an NPA member before being released into the custody of a local politician on 1 3 January. In April community health worker Noel Campilan "disappeared" in Davao del Norte province, amid allegations that he had been targeted by members of the security forces for alleged links to the NPA. No information regarding his whereabouts had emerged by the end of the year. In August, eight civilians - all members of the Manobo indigenous group - were killed during an alleged military exercise in Agusan del Sur province. Military air­ craft reportedly strafed and bombed a Manabo hamlet, although the civilian in­ habitants attempted to wave white cloths. Military officials later claimed the exercise was part of an anti-insurgency operation.

In what appeared to be a clear case of "salvaging" (the term used in the Philip­ pines for extrajudicial executions), 11 sus­ pected members of a bank robbery gang were reportedly shot dead in Manila in May while in police custody. Investiga­ tions by the Senate and the National Bur­ eau of Investigation (NBI) implicated 98 police officers, including four police gen­ erals. Charges of murder were filed by the Ombudsman against 27 of the officers in November. Despite the official cease-fire with the MNLF, AFP operations against suspected renegade MNLF units and members of the Muslim separatist group Abu Sayyaf, es­ pecially on the island of Basilan, led to in­ discriminate bombings of civilian areas, "disappearances" and arbitrary arrests. Security force personnel suspected of human rights violations were rarely brought to justice and public confidence in the judiciary remained at a low ebb. Intimidation of witnesses, at times com­ bined with offers of compensation, fre­ quently led to "amicable" settlements out of court. Trials related to complaints about human rights violations remained subject to long delays, with cases being trans­ ferred to various courts or stalled. In Janu­ ary a regional trial court transferred the case of Gary Dalayhon, a 16-year-old street child who was shot dead in July 1993 after being questioned by members of the PNP, to the Sandiganbayan Court in Manila. This court, set up to deal with cases against government officials, had not con­ sidered the case by the end of the year. In July former militia member Agustin Ag­ pawan, one of those involved in the kill­ ing of human rights activist Chris Batan, who was shot dead in February 1 993, was finally sentenced to life imprisonment (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). How­ ever, five of his co-accused remained at large. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the overwhelming majority of those who "dis­ appeared" under the governments of for­ mer Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino remained unknown. No government personnel believed respons­ ible were brought to trial. Between 1 993, when the death penalty was restored, and the end of 1995, over 90 people were sentenced to death for a range of crimes including murder, rape and drug-trafficking, including at least 68 in 1 995. No executions took place, partly

PHILIPPINES/POLAND/PORTUGAL

because of disagreements over methods of execution. Armed opposition groups were re­ sponsible for human rights abuses. In Mindanao, alleged members of the Abu SayYaf group led an attack on IpiJ town in �P�il killing over 50 people, including CIVil ians. The Abu Sayyaf group and sus­ �ected members of other armed opposi­ hon groups continued to kidnap civilians for ransom. NPA attacks on government tar­ gets and reports of human rights abuses by NPA guerrillas continued to decline. How­ ev�r, in December the "Alex Boncayao Bngade" ambushed three Chinese-Filipino bUSinessmen in Manila, accusing them of labour abuses. Four people were killed in the attacks. Throughout the year Amnesty Inter­ national called for the government to conduct independent and impartial in­ �estigations into cases of alleged extra­ !Udicial executions, "disappearances" and Il l-treatment or torture. The organization cal led for those responsible to be brought . to Jus tice without excessive delay, and for t�e reinforcement of the witness-protec­ hon program. Amnesty International wel­ Comed the conclusion of the case against Chris Batan's murderer, but expressed concern over the fact that his accomplices emained at large. The organization called Or the rapid dismantling of militia groups and asked the Defence Secretary to clarify the deaths of eight Manobo people. No substantive reply had been received by the end of the year. Amnesty International called for all death sentences to be com­ muted .





During the year suspected perpetrators of past human rights abuses were brought to trial. In April General Wojciech Jaruzelski and 1 1 other former senior communist officials were indicted for the killings of 44 protesting workers in Gdansk and Gdynia in 1 970. In May, two former police officers went on trial in Warsaw for the killing of Grzegorz Przemyk, a 1 9-year-old high school student, in 1983 (see Amnesty International Report 1984). Another officer in the same case was charged with withholding evidence.

Three people were sentenced to death for murder. The sentences were passed in April, May and June. Amnesty International called on the au­ thorities to commute the death sentences and welcomed the steps taken towards the abolition of the death penalty.

PORTUGAL

POLAND

Three p eople were sentenced to death.

�he Constitutional Committee of the Nat lOnal Assembly continued to work ougho ut the year on a new constitution. ere was criticism from President Lech Wal�sa of proposals to reduce presidential POWers and from the Catholic Church be­ ause the proposed draft did not refer to ath olic precepts and values. I n July the government approved a ?ntraft law abolishing the death penalty and roduced life imprisonment. In Novem­ er a five-year moratorium on the death Penalty came into force.

��

� �

There were further allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement offi­ cers. Judicial inquiries into such allega­ tions were very slow. Hearings were

253

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opened in the trials of some law enforce­ ment officers charged with ill-treatment but were subject to frequent delays.

In May the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, established under the European Convention for the Preven­ tion of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to examine the treatment of people deprived of their lib­ erty, carried out a second visit to follow up the criticisms and recommendations made after its 1 992 visit (see Amnesty International Report

1 995).

There were further allegations of tor­ ture and ill-treatment. The practices most commonly alleged were kicking, punching and beating with truncheons. Complaints of verbal abuse were also common. Most of the reported incidents resulted from of­ ficers behaving in a violent, arbitrary and undisciplined way when faced with petty incidents and misunderstandings with the public. In June Joaquim Teixeira, a computer specialist from Vila Real, alleged that he and a friend had been ill-treated by offi­ cers of the Polfcia de Seguran9a Publica (psp), Public Security Police. They had been sitting outside a club in the early hours of the morning and Joaquim Tei­ xeira was playing a harmonica. The police told him to stop and ordered both men to show their identity cards. Joaquim Tei­ xeira claimed the officer insulted him and an argument ensued. He said he was threatened with a beating and then hit in the stomach with a truncheon. When he tried to seize this he was hit in the face. He was arrested, handcuffed and taken to a police station, where he claimed that he was beaten with a truncheon, kicked and punched by a group of officers, and that his friend was punched in the face. Joaquim Teixeira was then taken to a hos­ pital, which issued a medical certificate noting that he was a "victim of aggres­ sion", that he was vomiting, required stitches to three head wounds and had in­ juries to his back, chest, sides and face. He was taken back to the police station and charged with assaulting officers and resist­ ing arrest. A judge released him on bail. In July Duarte Teives, a renowned Lis­ bon lawyer, complained that psp officers had assaulted him in front of witnesses. He and his wife had parked their car in front of the city hall , where his wife worked and for which she had a special

parking permit. When the officers chal­ lenged them she went to fetch the permit and Duarte Teives remained with the car. The officers insisted he move it, which he refused to do. When they threatened him with arrest he replied that the order was unlawful. Duarte Teives alleged that an of­ ficer then pushed him violently to the ground, handcuffed him and threw him into the back seat of the patrol car with such force that when he hit the opposite door it opened. He said an officer then kicked him in the testicles and in the leg, fracturing it, and that during transfer to the police station he was repeatedly slapped in the face. He was finally taken to the cells in the building of the Civil Government, escorted, at his request, by senior officials to guarantee his safety. He was later charged with resisting arrest, failing to identify himself, insulting the police and damaging a police car. He was then freed and taken to hospital, where he remained for 24 hours. Inquiries into such allegations were slow, and trials subject to many delays. In May the Military Tribunal in Lisbon sentenced five officers of the paramilit­ ary Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), National Republican Guard, to terms of imprisonment for using unnecessary violence against Francisco Carretas and Arnaldo Brandao in 1 992 (see Amnesty In­ ternational Reports 1994 and 1995). The trial had first opened in November 1994 but was suspended on three separate occa­ sions because of the officers' failure to at­ tend. The senior officer, a corporal, was sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment and four other soldiers were each sen­ tenced to one year's imprisonment. Two soldiers were acquitted for lack of evid­ ence. One of the soldiers found guilty had already received a suspended sentence for assault in another case. The court found that Francisco Carretas and Arnaldo Brandao had been detained by the GNR in Almada in February 1 992 and taken first to the GNR post and later to a neighbouring wood where they were punched, kicked and beaten with truncheons. Francisco Carretas was treated in hospital for a frac­ tured coccyx, and injuries to his neck , right ear, scalp, buttocks, chest, ribs and spine. His friend suffered injuries to his rib-cage and back (see Amnesty Interna­ tional Reports 1994 and 1 995). The offi­ cers were released pending appeals. In

PORTUGAI../ROMANIA

December the Supreme Military Tribunal upheld the convictions. The court hearing in the trial of six GNR officers charged with causing physical �arm to Paulo Portugal by assaulting him III 199 1 (see Amnesty international Report 1993) opened in November. Amnesty International urged the au­ thorities to ensure that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment were promptly and thoroughly investigated and that those responsible were brought to justice. In August Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Justice seeking information about the progress of the inquiry by the Ombudsman, announced in 1 992, into the !'oJicia /udiciaria (PI ) , Judicial Police. The Illquiry was to look into 32 separate com­ p � aints of i ll-treatment by PI officers in the LIsbon and Coimbra area (see Amnesty in ternational Reports 1 994 and 1 995). Amnesty International had received no in­ formation about the results of this inquiry by the end of the year. n

ROMANIA

�t least four prisoners of conscience were

. eld. There were reports of torture and lll·treatment by law enforce ment officers, resulting in at least one death. There were S Ootings by police officers in disputed 1CrC\lIDStances, resulting in at least one death.

?

r In J anuary the decision of the Constitu­ lonal Court concerning Article 200, para­ raph 1 , of the Penal Code (see Amnesty . n tern atlOnal Report 1 995) came into force allowing for the prosecutio n of adults who engaged in consenting homosexual rela­ . h�ns, but only if such acts were com­ mitted in public or resulted in "public

y

scandal ". The ruling, which did not provide guidelines for applying these standards or define " public scandal" , could lead to the imprisonment of adults solely for engaging in consensual homosexual relations in private. The Romanian Parliament continued to work on the revision of the Penal Code throughout the year (see Amnesty in­ ternational Report 1995). It adopted an amendment to Article 200, paragraph 1 , reflecting the Constitutional Court's rul­ ing. Several other amendments approved by the Chamber of Deputies in November imposed excessive restrictions on the right to freedom of expression. However, in No­ vember the Chamber of Deputies rejected the draft law as a whole. In July a resolution of the European Parliament urged the Romanian Govern­ ment to respect its obligations under inter­ national human rights treaties. The resolution also called on the Romanian Government to "abandon tolerance of na­ tionalist violence . . . by ensuring that the police and security forces are no longer immune from prosecution in cases where they failed to take action against outbreaks of nationalist violence". In particular, it emphasized the need for improved human rights education of the police and security forces. In December Council of Europe rappor­ teurs visited Romania to assess imple­ mentation of recommendations made on Romania's admission to the organization. At least four people were imprisoned solely because of their homosexuality. They were prisoners of conscience. Valentin-Walter Stoica had been sen­ tenced under Article 200, paragraph 1 , in April 1993 to 18 months' imprisonment for engaging in a homosexual act with an­ other prisoner with whom he shared a prison cell. He did not serve this sentence concurrently with the penalty imposed for a previous conviction for theft because of an apparent breach of criminal procedure. He was imprisoned again in August 1994 and conditionally released in April 1 995. Adrian Dabija was sentenced by the court in Constanta to two years' imprisonment for engaging in a consensual homo­ sexual act with another man in April 1994. In July Qitl1lin Bucur and $tefan Ciocarlan were arrested in Foc�ani and held in preventive detention pending an investigation under Article 200, paragraph

255

I

i� �

I ill

S ..

I

ROMANIA

256

1 . In October the Ministry of Justice re­ ported that 14 men had been imprisoned under this law during 1993 and 1 994. There were frequent reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, although relatively few official complaints of ill­ treatment were made. Investigations were seldom thorough and impartial and were often unnecessarily obstructed and pro­ longed by inadequate methods of gather­ ing evidence. Prosecutors did not exercise sufficient control over police officials who participated in investigations into alleged abuses committed by their colleagues. Only rarely were cases brought to court. Two army officers were brought to trial in Bucharest in September for the killing of Andrei Frumu�anu and Aurica Cr1!.in­ iceanu in 1 991 (see Amnesty Internatianal Reports 1993 to 1995). Robert Radu was reportedly tortured during interrogation in Constanta in Janu­ ary. He was allegedly beaten with a club on the arms, legs and head by a police officer and suffered a fractured shin. The officer then dictated a statement, which Robert Radu wrote down, before taking him to hospital. The officer reportedly threatened to kill Robert Radu unless he said that he had injured himself fal ling down the stairs. The officer threatened Robert Radu on several subsequent occa­ sions after he had filed a complaint about his torture. In April Viorel Constantin was punched and kicked by police officers and civil guards outside a bar in T1!.nd1!.rei, lalomita county. He had complained to one of the civil guards who several days earlier had kicked his 14-year-old son, Catalin, because he did not have an iden­ tity card. According to a medical certific­ ate, Viorel Constantin suffered multiple bruising and scratches on the chest and the back, a cracked collar-bone and a rup­ tured ear-drum. In July in the village of Gura V1!.ii a po­ lice officer arrested 1 6-year-old Gabriel Mitu on suspicion of theft. Alfred Pan1!., the boy's stepfather, inquired about the reasons for the arrest and was handcuffed and taken to the Suditi police station. Gabriel Mitu was reportedly slapped and punched in the face, beaten on the hands with a rubber truncheon, and coerced into signing a confession. Gabriel Mitu later stated that before he and his stepfather were separated, he had seen his stepfather

being beaten by the police chief and his assistant, who had hit Alfred Pan1!.'s head against the wall. When they were released the following day, Alfred Pan1!.'s head was bruised and his face was smeared with blood. He complained of headaches and abdominal pains and several witnesses confirmed that he also had difficulty walking. Two days later Alfred Pan1!. died. A nurse, accompanied by two police offi­ cers who had been involved in the ill­ treatment of Alfred Pan1!. and Gabriel Mitu , examined the body and concluded that Alfred Pan1!.'s death was caused by "a cardio-respiratory arrest, second degree hypertension and intoxication with ethyl alcohol". The police officers then made Alfred Pan1!.'s sister sign a statement re­ nouncing the family's right to demand an autopsy. Many victims of ill-treatment were Roma. In most instances such treatment appeared to be raCially motivated. Many of the victims were either not aware of their right to file complaints, or believed that to do so would only worsen their situ­ ation. Some were openly threatened by law enforcement officers. This was further compounded by a pattern of impunity for law enforcement officers responsible for ill-treating Roma or for failing to protect Roma adequately from racist violence. In May information came to light that an in­ vestigation into a violent attack by soldiers on Roma in Bucharest in 1 992 (see Am­ nesty International Reports 1 993 and 1995) concluded that "the soldiers acted in legitimate self-defence". In August the Bucharest Military Prosecutor dropped all charges against three officers for lack of evidence. They had been under investiga­ tion for their conduct during racist viol­ ence in H1!.d1!.reni in September 1993 when two Roma were killed and one burned to death (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1 995). Indiscriminate beatings by police offi­ cers allegedly searching Roma neighbour­ hoods for criminal suspects were reported in March in a suburb of Bucharest, in Au­ gust in Boto�ani and Aca�, in Satu Mare county, and in September and October in B1!.lteni, in Dambovita county. Police officers also failed to protect Roma adequately from racist violence. In January, 20 police officers observed a group of villagers incite anti-Roma viol­ ence in B1!.cu. They failed to prevent the

ROMANIA/RUSSIA

group from setting fire to three Roma houses and destroying another house which was under construction. There was no investigation into the conduct of the police officers. The authorities stated that their intervention was "firm and ad­ equate ". There were also reports of possible ex­ cessive use of force by police officers res­ uIting in at least one death. In January . N1colae Sebastian Balint was observed by two police officers in B1iile Herculane while allegedly trying to steal a car. When ordered to leave the vehicle, he reportedly attacked a police officer and started to run �way. The officer pursued Nicolae Sebas­ t� an Balint, ordered him to stop and then fi�ed a warning shot. The next shot hit N1colae Sebastian Balint and he died on the way to Or�ova hospital. In June Marcel Ghinea, a 1 7-year-old Rom, was shot and WOunded by a police officer in Voluntari while allegedly attempting to steal goods from a parked vehicle. In August Marian Constantin Vo�an was shot and wounded by police officers in Arad as he was run­ ing away. He had been observed by po­ Ice officers holding a car wheel and or�ered to give himself up. In September M lhai Ciobanu was shot three times in the thigh and foot by police officers after he �as reportedly caught stealing from a car In B ucharest. Amnesty International urged members of parliament throughout the year to en­ sure that the revised Penal Code was con­ sistent with Romania's legal obligations nder international human rights treaties. n February Amnesty International called on President Ion Iliescu to ensure that the authorities took all necessary measures to P�otect Roma in B1icu from further racist �lol ence and to initiate an investigation nto the conduct of police officers who ad fail ed to protect Roma adequately. The organization also urged the President �o i.nitiate an independent inquiry into all inCi dents in which law enforcement offi­ .ers had failed to adequately protect Roma Iv es and property in Romania since 1 990. nesty International repeatedly called O� the immediate release of prisoners de­ tBlned under Article 200, paragraph 1 . It U ed the authorities to investigate reports torture and ill-treatment and to bring hOSe responsible to justice. In May Am­ nesty International published a report Ro' manlO . : Broken



rights, in which it made extensive recom­

mendations regarding legislative and judi­ cial reforms, the prevention of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees as well as the effective protection of Roma from racist violence. In October Amnesty Inter­ national published a report describing the Romanian authorities' response and the organization's outstanding concerns. The authorities made public informa­ tion on people imprisoned under Article 200, paragraph 1. They also responded giving information about investigations into reports of torture and ill-treatment. Following the publication of Amnesty In­ ternational's report in May, the Chief of the General Police Inspectorate criticized the organization for being systematically misinformed and denied all allegations of ill-treatment or inadequate conduct by po­ lice officers. In October the authorities released reports by the Ministry of the Interior, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Justice. In most cases of alleged torture or ill-treatment by police officers new investigations had been initi­ ated. In one case of excessive use of force, which took place in 1994, a police officer was charged with manslaughter.

RUSSIA





� � �

?

commitments to human

At least two conscientious objectors may have been imprisoned. There were nu­ merous allegations of torture and ill-treat­ ment in detention. Prisoners awaiting trial were held in conditions which amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, resulting in one instance in the death of 1 1 prisoners. Human rights vi­ olations by government forces in the con­ text of the conflict in the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic-Ichkeryia continued to be reported, including detention without trial, torture and ill-treatment, and extra­ judicial executions. At least 28 people were reported to have been judicially

257

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258

executed and a further 34 who had their petitions for clemency turned down faced imminent execution. An estimated 500 to 600 prisoners were believed to be held on death row. There were reports of inad­ equate legal protection for refugees and asylum-seekers. Forces loyal to Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev were re­ ported to have killed at least 40 civilians and taken hundreds hostage.

In March the State Duma voted to re­ move Sergey Kovalyov as Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federa­ tion (see Amnesty International Report 1 995), reportedly because of his criticism of the Russian Government's military act­ ivity in the Chechen Republic. A peace agreement signed by Russian and Chechen negotiators in July included provisions for an immediate cessation of hostilities. However, peace had not been restored to the region by the end of the year. On 1 7 December there was a general election to the State Duma. Of 43 compet­ ing parties and blocs, four - the Commun­ ist Party, Liberal Democratic Party, "Our Home is Russia" and "Yabloko" - received the five per cent vote share necessary to qualify for seats in the Duma. A new Russian Criminal Code had not been adopted by the end of the year. Al­ though drafts of the new Code had pro­ posed limiting the scope of the death penalty, in April and May two articles were added to the existing Criminal Code which extended the scope of the death penalty. In July the UN Human Rights Commit­ tee examined the fourth periodic report of the Russian Federation on implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee made re­ commendations on the treatment of min­ orities, legal reform, the death penalty and treatment of women, and expressed con­ cern about human rights violations in the context of the conflict in Chechnya. Parliament again failed to introduce the necessary enabling legislation or to amend the Criminal Code to reflect the constitu­ tional right of conscientious objectors to a civilian alternative to compulsory military service. Young men continued to risk imprisonment for refusing their call-up papers on grounds of conscience. A num­ ber of serving conscripts deserted to avoid involvement or further participation in

military operations in the Chechen Repub­ lic. In May two conscripts, Aleksandr Vasilkov and Ruslan Kurdyukov, were returned to Russian jurisdiction from Lithuania, where they had sought asylum because they did not wish to take part in military operations "against the Chechen people". It was feared that on their return to Russia they may have been detained on account of their conscientiously held beliefs. There were numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment in detention, both in criminal cases and in the context of the conflict in Chechnya. The presidential Human Rights Commission stated in its second report on human rights practices in Russia, covering 1 994 and 1 995, that, "in 1 994 , more than 20,000 Interior Min­ istry employees were disciplined for breaking the law when conducting invest­ igations and interrogations, and there is reason to believe that this figure seriously underestimates the real scale of viola­ tions". Reports from the autonomous Re­ public of Mordovia indicated that torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects under investigation were routine. At least 20 cases came to light during the year. Members of the Criminal Investigation De­ partment (cm) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were reported to have beaten Niko­ lay Andreyevich Abramov following his arrest in April 1 994 on suspicion of theft. He was reportedly subjected to torture methods called the "envelope" (in which the victim's legs are pulled up to the head), and the "swallow" (in which the victim's back is arched painfully). There were numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment in the so-called "filtration points" used to hold people de­ tained in connection with the Chechen conflict. According to reports, Magomed Maksharipovich Meyriyev, an ethnic In­ gush, was punched, kicked and beaten with rifle butts and truncheons by Russian soldiers at various locations while de­ tained from 3 January to 15 February. Magomed Meyriyev was eventually re­ leased with 14 other people who had also reportedly been beaten. Several allegations of rape were made against Russian forces in the Chechen Re­ public. It was reported that in January four masked Russian soldiers entered the house of Olga Sokulova in the village of Assinovskaya, ransacked it and raped her.

RUSSIA

No investigation was known to have taken place into these allegations. A preliminary investigation by the Main Military Procuracy into the deaths of four nava l cad�ts in January 1 993 (see Am­ nesty International Report 1 994), con­ cluded that the deaths were a result of n�gligence and abuse of power by offi­ CIals. By May 1995, 1 1 naval personnel and a civilian had been tried and convic­ ted in connection with the deaths, al­ though their sentences were not known. One crim inal case against a senior officer Was closed as a result of an amnesty. The conditions in some pre-trial pris­ ons amounted to cruel, inhuman or de­ grading treatment. In July, 1 1 prisoners reportedly died of heat stroke in an over­ crOWded prison in Novokuznetsk, Ke­ merovo region, where up to 25 people were being held in cells meant for 10, and t�e air temperature in the facilities was as hIgh as 48 to 51°C. In October the Chair­ man of the State Duma Security Commit­ tee stated that as many as 2 74,700 people Were held in prisons and remand centres �ough out Russia, although these institu­ hons were designed to hold only 1 73,800. H uman rights violations carried out by government forces in the context of the Conflict in the Chechen Republic included detentio n without trial, torture and ill­ treatment (see above) and extrajudicial executions. . During the Budennovsk hostage crisis In June (see below), two ethnic Chechens - K hamad Kurbanov, President Dudayev's representative in Moscow, and Ramzan �uzayev, secretary of the Chechen-Pr ess Information agency - were detained in M.oscow. They were held for a month lth Out charge, under a 1 994 presidential ecree which contravenes the Russian Constit ution. In April about 250 civilians, including omen and children, were reportedly !led by Russian forces who were at­ tempting to capture the town of Samashki, �ear-the Chechen capital of Grozny. Russ­ Ian troops allegedly burned down houses and threw grenades into basements where reSidents had taken cover, in an operation described by the Interna tional Committee of the Red Cross as "an indiscriminate a ta k against civilians and a flagrant vi­ � atlOn of humanita rian law". The three aughters of Bekist Abdullayeva were re­ Portedly among those killed when Russian

;



� �

soldiers threw a grenade into the base­ ment where the family was sheltering from a bombardment. Soldiers in tanks and armoured vehicles had closed off the street and advanced, destroying and burn­ ing each house as they went. Those hiding in her house screamed out that there were no men in the basement, but soldiers threw in grenades without checking who was inside. Throughout the year hundreds of death sentences were passed, and at least 28 ex­ ecutions were carried out. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 16 execu­ tions were carried out in 1995. However, according to unofficial sources in the Pres­ idential Clemency Commission, the num­ ber of executions in 1 995 was 90. It was also reported that every year the Russian courts pass more than 200 death sen­ tences. Amnesty International learned that since March 1992, when the Clemency Commission was first established, 338 pe­ titions for clemency had been upheld. However in 1 995 there was a decline in the number of successful petitions for clemency. In November, 34 prisoners re­ portedly had their petitions - the last re­ sort against execution - turned down by President Boris Yeltsin, and faced immin­ ent execution. The President reportedly granted clemency to only five prisoners during 1 995. Amnesty International estim­ ated that between 500 and 600 prisoners were held on death row at the end of the year. Reports indicated that legal provisions for refugees and asylum-seekers were in­ adequate. In September Lee Sen Yen, a cit­ izen of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) serving a prison term in Russia, was returned to the DPRK by the Russian authorities, reportedly under an agreement allowing prisoners to be sent to serve their sentences in their home country. He had requested asylum in the former Soviet Union on at least two occa­ sions, and a decision on his most recent request, made in 1 993, was never taken. It was feared that Lee Yen Sen, who alleged that he was subjected to torture in police detention in his home country in the 1970s, could face further human rights vi­ olations. Forces loyal to Chechen President Du­ dayev were reported to have killed at least 40 civilians. On 14 June a group of armed Chechens under field commander Shamil

259

RUSSIA/RWANDA

260

Basayev, who stated that he was acting in­ dependently and without the knowledge or permission of President Dudayev, were reported to have killed at least 40 civilians in the town of Budennovsk and taken hostage some 1,000 civilians at the local hospital. Some hostages were reportedly forced to act as human shields for Chechen fighters during a subsequent as­ sault on the hospital by Russian govern­ ment forces. The head of the Information Service of the Chechen Republic announced that in March a captured Russian serviceman had been killed by Chechen forces. Nikolay Bairov, a pilot , was said to have been sen­ tenced to death by a Chechen court­ martial for staging an air raid on the town of Shali. Amnesty International urged the gov­ ernment to release any conscientious ob­ jectors held as prisoners of conscience, and to introduce a civilian alternative to military service for conscientious objectors. The organization urged the authorities to initiate thorough and impartial invest­ igations into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment in detention, including the 11 deaths in custody in Novokuznetsk, to make the results public, and to bring to justice those responsible. In a report, Armed conflict in the

were returned to countries where they could face human rights violations, and to ensure the effective protection of asylum­ seekers by adhering to fair and satisfactory asylum procedures which meet interna­ tional standards. Amnesty International urged General Dzhokhar Dudayev to condemn publicly human rights abuses by Chechen forces and to take steps to ensure that no forces under his command committed such acts in future. The organization also called on the Chechen authorities to ensure that all detainees were treated humanely.

Chechen Republic: Seeds of human rights violations sown in peacetime, the organ­

Tens of thousands of people accused of having participated in genocide and other crimes against humanity in 1 994 were de­ tained without charge or trial, bringing the total detained since July 1 994 to over 62,000 people. Only seven were brought to court but their trial was adjourned. Many were detained in appalling condi­ tions; over 2,300 died in detention be­ tween July 1994 and the end of 1995. Torture was common in unofficial deten­ tion centres. There were frequent reports of "disappearances". The army extraju­ dicially executed hundreds of civilians . Three soldiers were sentenced to death but no executions were reported. Armed opposition groups committed grave human rights abuses.

ization urged the Russian authorities to hold a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the deliberate killings of civilians during the conflict in the Chechen Republic; to make public the re­ sults of that investigation; to bring those responsible to justice; and to take steps to protect non-combatants in accordance with international law. The organization asked the authorities for information concerning the deten­ tion of Khamad Kurbanov and Ramzan Muzayev and urged that the men be released if they were not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence. Amnesty International continued to urge the Russian President to commute all death sentences. The organization urged the Government of Russia to introduce an immediate moratorium on all executions and to abolish the death penalty. Amnesty International called on the au­ thorities to ensure that no asylum-seekers

RWANDA

Growing divisions over human rights issues emerged within the government of President Pasteur Bizimungu. Officials who criticized the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) were increasingly deprived of influence. In March the chief prosecutor for Kigali fled to Belgium; he had been

RWANDA

repeatedly threatened after denouncing hu man rights violations by the army. Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu and four ministers. including the Minis­ ters of the Interior and of Justice. were forced out of the government in August. The judicial system remained para­ lysed following the 1 994 massacres (see Amnesty International Report 1 995). In Ju �y the Transitional National Assembly reJected the draft legislation which would have allowed foreign judicial experts to work in Rwanda. In October. six judges were appointed to the Supreme Court. re­ �oving one major obstacle to the opera­ hon of the judicial system. There was increased tension in western Rwanda. near the border with Zaire. as the �A reinforced its presence in response to Increased armed attacks by exiled forces of the former Rwandese government army and the interahamwe militia. The UN Human Rights Field Operation for Rwanda reached its full strength of 150 h�man rights monitors in February. but dId not make public either the results of its investigation into the 1 994 genocide or reports on current human rights abuses. The UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) had its mandate. which included training a new police force. extended. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. the UN Special Rapporteur on Rwanda and �e UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudi­ ? Ial. summary or arbitrary executions vis­ Ited Rwanda. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. established by the UN in 1 994. made slow progress as a result of limited funding and the failure of states to enact legislation permitting cooperation . �Ith the tribunal. Investigations to estab­ lIsh crim inal responsibility for the 1994 ma ssacres were initiated and six judges we�e elected in May. The first indictments agaInst eight people were issued in Oe­ . mber. In August the UN Security Council I ed the arms embargo on the Govern­ me nt of Rwanda until 1 September 1996. I� Gct ober the UN established an interna­ honal commission of inquiry to investig­ at e reports of military training and arms ansfers to former Rwandese government orces. based mainly in Zaire. Nearly two million. mostly Hutu. refu­ gees remained in exile in Tanzania. Zaire d B urundi. Members of the former wandese government army and the inter­ ah amwe militia responsible for mass kill-

�� �



ings in 1 994 were reportedly rearming and retraining in exile. They launched numer­ ous cross-border raids from Zaire and Tan­ zania (see below). They also used violence and threats to prevent refugees from re­ turning to Rwanda. Few refugees returned during the year. and the governments of Zaire and Tanzania expressed increasing frustration at the burden of hosting hun­ dreds of thousands of refugees. In late Au­ gust Zairian officials forcibly returned around 13.000 Rwandese refugees. After negotiations with the UN High Commis­ sioner for Refugees. the Zairian Govern­ ment agreed to suspend the forcible repatriations (see Zaire entry). Tens of thousands of people. mostly Hutu. were arrested and accused of in­ volvement in genocide. Many were arbit­ rarily detained on the basis of little or no evidence. or following unsubstantiated al­ legations. By November the total number detained since July 1994 and held without charge or trial had reached more than 62.000. Committees set up to recommend the release of those against whom there was insufficient evidence failed to release more than around 1 00 prisoners. some of whom were rearrested. Among those de­ tained was 1 2-year-old Augustin Minani. who was apparently arrested because sol­ diers believed his brother had participated in massacres. He was arrested with five other boys in September 1 994 and badly beaten. Two nuns. Bernadette Mukarusine and Marie Mukanyangezi. were appar­ ently falsely accused by a family that had recently returned to Rwanda and occupied their convent. They were still held in Ki­ gali prison at the end of the year. Only one trial in connection with the 1994 massacres started during the year. Seven defendants. including a teenage boy. appeared before the High Court in April. but the trial was adjourned the same day after prosecution documents were found to be incomplete. Six of the seven defendants reportedly had no legal counsel. Conditions in prisons and detention centres were extremely overcrowded and insanitary. In the first few months of the year. seven prisoners were reportedly dying every day in Kigali Prison. In March. 22 people died from suffocation after more than 70 detainees were crowded into a single cell designed for 1 0 a t the Muhima Gendarmerie building in

261

RWANDA

262

Kigali. Gitarama Prison, which was built for 600 inmates, held 6,847 when Am­ nesty International delegates visited it in June. Among the inmates were over 1 00 children and 20 babies with their mothers. There were no sanitary facilities and cells were so overcrowded that prisoners could not lie down. An extension to Gitarama Prison finally opened in November. In June, the government identified several new prison buildings to relieve over­ crowding but only three had been opened by the end of the year, with international assistance. By November around 4,500 prisoners had been transferred to a new prison site at Nsinda, in the southeast. Many detainees were tortured after being arrested, usually before being moved to official prisons. The commonest methods were beatings and kandoya (three-piece tying), where the victim's arms are tied behind the back above the elbows. In May a 1 7-year-old boy known as Bendera was tortured by soldiers sev­ eral times a day in a military detention centre in Gisenyi, where he was held for two weeks before being transferred to an­ other detention centre and finally to Gisenyi Central Prison. There were frequent reports of "disap­ pearances". Efforts to trace the "disap­ peared" were hampered by the lack of official or complete registers of detainees. Among those whose fate and whereabouts remained unknown was Manasse Mugabo, a journalist at Radio UNAMIR, who "disap­ peared" in August and was feared dead. It was thought that he may have been tar­ geted because of his work as a journalist broadcasting news about the situation in Rwanda. The army extrajudicially executed hun­ dreds of unarmed civilians. The worst single incident was at Kibeho camp for the internally displaced where on 22 April soldiers opened fire on a crowd which was refusing to move from the camp. Several thousand women, men and children were shot, bayoneted or trampled to death in the ensuing stampede. The number of victims was disputed; the gov­ ernment put the figure at 360, while inde­ pendent estimates ranged from 2,000 to 8,000. An international commission of in­ quiry into the incident published a report in May. The commission, which did not comply with international standards for such investigations, failed to determine

the number of fatalities and concluded that both soldiers and armed extremists within the camp had been responsible for the killings. By the end of the year the government had still not announced the findings of its own inquiry. Troops killed at least 1 1 0 people when they opened fire on villagers in Kanama, in the northwest near the border with Zaire, on 12 September. The majority of the victims were women and children. The killings were apparently in reprisal for the alleged killing of an RPA lieutenant by an armed group. Several people were reportedly arrested in connection with the killings but the government had not pub­ lished the results of its inquiry by the end of the year. Several local government officials and other public figures who spoke out against human rights abuses were killed. Official involvement was not always clear but a pattern of killings committed by, or with the complicity of, members of the army emerged. Pierre-Claver Rwangabo, the re­ gional administrator of Butare prefecture, was killed in March, after protesting pub­ licly against mass arrests by soldiers. No official inquiry was known to have taken place. Judge Bernard Nikuze, acting Pres­ ident of the High Court in Butare, was killed in August; the motives for his assas­ sination were unclear but he was known to have spoken out against human rights violations. At least two soldiers were ar­ rested in connection with his death. Pris­ oners released from detention on grounds of insufficient evidence were also targeted. In July Placide Koloni, a sub-regional ad­ ministrator in Gitarama prefecture, was killed in his home together with his wife, two daughters and a family servant. Sol­ diers were reportedly seen near his house at the time of the murders. Placide Koloni had been dismissed from his post by the previous government, apparently because he had tried to protect people during mas­ sacres, then reinstated by the new govern­ ment. He was arrested in February and accused of participating in the 1994 kill­ ings, but released on the recommendation of a screening committee. He was killed three days later. Two RPA soldiers were sentenced to death by court-martial in May after an un­ fair trial for alleged involvement in an at­ tack on the Tanzanian Embassy in 1994. These were the first death sentences

RWANDA/SAINT LUCIA

passed by a new military tribunal since the government came to power. A third soldier, a sergeant, was sentenced to death for murder in December. The sentences had not been cfU'ried out by the end of the year. Armed opposition groups. made up of members of the former Rwandese govern­ ment army and interahamwe militia. con­ tinued to commit grave human rights abuses. including deliberate and arbitrary killings. These abuses were committed both in refugee camps in Tanzania and Zaire and during frequent armed incur­ sions into Rwanda. For example, Dr Ana­ tale Bucyendore, a regional medical officer and head of the AIDS prevention program in Rwanda, was shot dead and his two-year-old child stabbed to death in Gisenyi in February. While in a refugee camp in Goma. Zaire, Dr Anatole Bucyen­ dare had been warned that he would be killed by the interahamwe if he returned to Rwanda. In September armed groups operating from camps in Tanzania killed a number of civilians in Kibungo in south­ eastern Rwanda. The victims included young children such as Makobwa, a six­ year-old girl. who was hacked to death With a machete. Amnesty International repeatedly ap­ pealed to the government to bring an end to mass arbitrary arrests, detention with­ Out charge or trial. torture, "disappear­ ances " and extrajudicial executions. The organization also condemned human rights abuses by armed opposition groups. An Amnesty International research team Was based in Rwanda from January to July t? investigate past and recent human fights abuses in Rwanda. Burundi and �astern Zaire. Amnesty International vis­ � ted the region again in September to Investigate human rights issues facing refugees. In an oral statement to the UN Commis­ sion on Human Rights in February. Am­ ?esty International included reference to Its concerns in Rwanda. In April, a year after the start of the �ass kill ings in 1 994, Amnesty Interna­ honal published a report, Rwanda: Crying Out for justice, which highlighted the fail­ �e of the Rwandese authorities and the �nternational community to bring to just­ Ic e those responsible for the genocide and oth er human rights violations. Amnesty International expressed disap-

pointment in May at the report of the in­ ternational commission of inquiry into the massacre at Kibeho. In June Amnesty International pub­ lished a report, Rwanda: Arming the perpetrators of the genocide. expressing concern about large supplies of weapons reaching armed opposition groups in east­ ern Zaire, who were committing further human rights abuses, and calling on gov­ ernments to prevent the supply of arms to the former Rwandese government armed forces dnd militia who, as in 1994, were likely to use the weapons to commit fur­ ther human rights abuses. Amnesty International called on for­ eign governments to provide more support for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and to assist in the reconstruction of Rwanda's judicial system. In June the organization publicly appealed to the Or­ ganization of African Unity (oAul to call on its Member States to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Amnesty International condemned the forcible repatriation of Rwandese refugees from Zaire in August and called on the in­ ternational community to help end the hu­ manitarian and human rights crisis in the area. In September Amnesty International published a report, Rwanda and Burundi:

A call for action by the international com­ munity, which examined the role of the

UN and OAU in helping to restore respect for human rights. and addressed recom­ mendations for action to the UN, OAU and governments around the world.

SAINT LUCIA

The first execution since 1 986 was car­ ried out. No new death sentences were imposed. Eight prisoners remained under sentence of death at the end of the year.

263

SAINT LUCIA/SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES/SAUDI ARABIA

2 64

The first execution since April 1986 took place when Joseph Solomon, sen­ tenced to death for murder in 1 994, was hanged on 1 7 October. An earlier death sentence imposed on Joseph Solomon for rape and murder in 1 979 had been com­ muted and he was released from prison in 1993 after serving 14 years of a life sentence. The Attorney General issued a public statement after the execution, ex­ pressing the view that the resumption of hangings would have a deterrent effect on crime. No new death sentences were imposed. Eight prisoners, all convicted of murder, remained under sentence of death. Amnesty International wrote to the Saint Lucia authorities in October express­ ing deep regret at the execution of Joseph Solomon. It urged the government to com­ mute the death sentences of those remain­ ing on death row and to take steps to abolish the death penalty.

SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

The first executions for four years were carried out when three prisoners were ex­ ecuted on the same day. Three prisoners remained under sentence of death.

Three prisoners were hanged for mur­ der on 13 February, the first executions since 1991. The warrants were issued only four days before, allowing little time to appeal. Only when an attorney for one of the prisoners was alerted and lodged an unsuccessful application for a stay of execution did it become known that the prisoners were due to be executed. It was believed that two of the prison­ ers, David Collins and Franklyn Thomas, had not been able to pursue final appeals

to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, the final court of ap­ peal for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, owing to lack of funds. The third prisoner, Douglas Hamlett, had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death solely on the basis of an identification made by a 14-year-old boy who saw him from a dis­ tance in the rain. Local human rights groups condemned the secrecy surrounding the execution process. They called on the government to allow death row prisoners the right to a hearing before the Mercy Committee before a decision was taken to issue execution warrants. No death sentences were passed during the year. Three prisoners remained on death row. Amnesty International wrote to the Prime Minister, James F. Mitchell, con­ demning the executions as a retrograde step and expressing concern at the secrecy and speed with which they were carried out.

SAUDI ARABIA

Scores of political suspects, including possible prisoners of conscience, were de­ tained and up to 200 others arrested the previous year remained held without trial and without access to lawyers. Over 20 political prisoners were convicted after unfair trials; one prisoner was sentenced to death and reportedly executed. There were allegations of torture and ill-treat­ ment, and one person was reported to have died in police custody as a result of torture. The judicial punishments of am­ putation and flogging continued to be im­ posed. There was a sharp increase in the

SAUDI ARABIA

number of executions; at least 192 people Were executed during the year.

The government of King Fahd bin ' Abdul-'Aziz maintained its ban on polit­ ical parties and trade unions. Press censor­ ship continu�d to be strictly enforced. Scores of political suspects were ar­ rested and detained during the year. They included Shi'a Muslims and suspected SUnni Islamist critics of the government. Many were denied visits by relatives for weeks or months after arrest and had no access to lawyers. Others were released after interrogation about their political activities. Among those detained in connection with Shi'a religious activities were at least six people arrested in the Eastern Prov­ ince. Zuhair Hajlis, Shakir Hajlis, Ridha al-Huri and Mahdi Hazam were reportedly arrested in March for taking part in a cere­ mony commemorating the death of the son of the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. In April Sheikh Ja'far 'Ali al-Mubarak, a leading religious scholar from Safwa, was arrested, apparently for refusing to sign an undertaking not to preach. He had been arrested and held without charge or trial on two previous occasions since 1 985 (see Amnesty International Report 1 989). The sixth detainee, 'Abd al-Jabbar Habib ai-Sheikh, was also believed to have been detained in connection with his Sh i'a religious beliefs. . The majority of detainees arrested dur­ In g the year were suspected Sunni Is­ �amist opponents of the government. They Included Or Nasser al-'Umr, a professor of religious studies at the University of Riyadh, who was arrested in March, and Sheikh 'Abdul-Rahman bin Muhammad al-Dakhil, who was arrested in July. Up to 200 other political detainees ar­ rested in 1 993 and 1994 (see Amnesty In­ ternational Report 1 995) continued to be held without charge or trial and without access to any legal assistance. They in­ cluded possible prisoners of conscience such as Sheikh Salman bin Fahd al 'Awda and Sheikh Safr 'Abd al-Rahman al­ Hawali, who were arrested in 1 994 for giving public lectures criticizing the government (see Amnesty International

Report 1995).

The majority of a group of suspected government opponents arrested in 1 993, all said to be followers of the Salafiyya SUnni Muslim doctrine, were reportedly

released (see Amnesty International Re­ ports 1 994 and 1 995). However, the re­

mainder were believed to be still held without trial. Over 20 political prisoners arrested in 1 994, some of whom may have been prisoners of conscience, were tried and convicted on charges relating to alleged attacks against security officers and links with the banned Committee for the De­ fence of Legitimate Rights (CDLR) , based abroad. One of them, 'Abdullah 'Abd al­ Rahman al-Hudhayf, was sentenced to death. The government announced that he was executed on 12 August in Riyadh, but opposition sources. claimed that he had died in custody as a result of torture