Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection
of Minorities
Forty-seventh session
Agenda item 10

Statement of International Educational Development

Skip to Chiapas - Mexico \ Detention of Sri Bintang Pamungkas - Indonesia \ Albanias in Kosovo.
International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project is pleased to affiliate with the Coordinacion de Organismos no- gubernamentales por la Paz (ConPaz) in Chiapas, Mexico, the Comision Mexicana de Derechos y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos, the Diocesis de San Cristobal de las Cases, Chiapas and with the Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos "Todos los Derechos Para Todos" de Guerrero Mexico.

The Comision Mexicana brings forward the cases 17 peasants assassinated on 28 June 1995 in Aguas Blancas, Guerrero and those of Ismael Mena Martinez and Eugenio Aguirre Bahena, assassinated 15 July 1995 when leaving a meeting of their organization of peasants in Guerrero. Regarding the June massacre, the Government has tried t convince the Mexican public that the Aguas Blancas killings were "accidental." The Comision has asked for an impartial and independent investigation into the events by the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: its president Mariclaire Acosta, in a letter to the president of the Supreme Court, the Honorable Vicento Aguinaco Aleman and in a supplemental letter to Mexican President Zedillo Ponce de Leon, invokes article 97 of the Mexican Constitution and indicates extreme violence on the part of the government towards peasant organizations in Guerrero State. At this same time, the Comision Mexicana also denounced the arrest and supposed keeping as a hostage Maria de Luz Nunez Alvarez, mayor of one of the towns, who had documented evidence of a "guerra sucia" (dirty war) against the political opposition. We now have notice that Jesuit brother David Fernandez received death threats and will present his case to the Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Execution.

The independent review of these incidents by the governmental human rights commission (Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos -- CNDH) concludes that officials of the Guerrero state government participated in the 28 June killings. The National Commission has recommended the suspension of several officials, for negligence, actions outside the law and for impeding investigations into the incidents." The National Commission also recommends penal action against a number of high governmental officials for, inter alia, "direct participation in the killings", perjury, falsification of evidence, flagrant omissions and the like. According to the National Commission's procedures, the Guerrero governor Ruben Figueroa has 15 days to act on the recommendations and to provide any additional evidence. The Mexican human rights groups and IED wish to present these issues to the Sub-Commission because of great fear that Mexican authorities will not comply -- raising the spectre of impunity.

IED has also taken the testimony of Father Loren L.Riebe, one of the three priests deported by the Mexican government on 23 June 1995. Father Riebe and his two colleagues worked in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. We attach his Declaration to this statement. As is apparent from this Declaration, Father Riebe was arrested and not informed of any charges. He was denied his passport. He was not told where he was being taken, in spite of the fact that he was driven for about five hours in the back of a Volkswagen. With his colleague Father Rodolfo, he was taken to Tuxla Gutierrez, Chiapas where he found that Father Jorge Baron, from Argentina, was also under arrest. Father Riebe was taken under armed guard and expelled to the United States.

CONPAZ provides information as of 11 August 1995 from the conflict zones in Chiapas. Negotiations between the EZLN and the Federal Government took place between 24 and 27 July. At this point, entire villages are under detention or constant surveillance. Federal soldiers entered Canada Agua Azul at the end of July 1995. The whole area is a virtual detention camp: La Sultana, Agua Azul, Taniperlas, Patihuitz, La Union, Tacitas, and San Juan Romulo Calzada.

IED/HLP also wishes to bring to the attention of the Sub- Commission information regarding the so-called criminal case in Indonesia against Sri Bintang Pamungkas, a member of the Indonesian Parliament. The events arose from an April visit of the Indonesian President to Germany where he was greeted by demonstration against him in Dresden. Sri Pamungkas had been invited by the Stifung Buntstilf Foundation to give lectures regarding Indonesian economic questions at a number of German universities. In the course of these talks, he indicated that Indonesian economic growth fell short of expectation in several areas. Sri Pamungkas was accused of fomenting anti-Indonesian` opinion at the demonstrations in Germany in violation of Art. 34 of the Criminal Code. On 15 April, he was subject of a police summons (No. Sp/225-J/IV/95//SerseUm) due to a crime against the President's prestige -- already a violation of human rights under all relevant international instruments. But Sri Pamungkas should be immune from prosecution for political offenses because he is a member of Parliament, so the indictment is doubly a violation.

International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project concludes by informing the Sub-Commission that since 1990, 318 judges, district attorneys, public defenders and magistrates, all of Albanian ethnicity, have been summarily discharged in Kosova. Kosova is a country with over 80% of its people ethnic Albanians. At present there is not one Albanian head of any District or Municipal court or as supervising district attorney. Also, Kosova has been under a more or less permanent state of emergency since that time. IED considers that the law of state of emergency in Kosova violates Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights applying the terms of analysis as set out in the Questiaux Report E/CN.4/Sub.2/1982/15.

All aspects of the criminal justice system in Kosova fall far short of minimum standards. For example, political prisoners are not given access to counsel or to allowed to communicate with family or counsel; they are denied bail; they can have statements taken under interrogation with no counsel admitted at trial -- all in violation of Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Conditions of detention violate the Standard Minimum Rules.

IED urges the Sub-Commission to condemn the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for its judicial oppression of ethnic Albanians and for its highly discriminatory and inadequate justice system.