Archive for April, 2008

Action Alert : Stop Baltasar Garzons Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

Background

 Judge Baltasar Garzon has recently been feted as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, and rumours are circulating that he has received several nominations from human rights groups. This is allegedly for his services to reconciliation of the Argentinian ‘disappeared’, as well as condemning Guantamo bay.

 However, this proposed nomination is a hypocritical one. He has condemned the lack of due process at Guantanamo Bay, but sees no problem in attempting to try former inmates of the Naval Gulag such as Omar Degayhes and Jamil al-Banna. It was only after immense public pressure that he agreed to drop the extradition request, however this was because of ‘ill health’ rather than acknowledgement from Garzon that there were no real charges to face.

He has also in the past attempted to extradite General Pinochet for human rights abuses committed in Chile. However, he has had no qualms with extraditing people in order that Spain may commit human rights abuses, such as the case of Farid Hilali.

Farid himself said in a letter to his UK Solicitors ( received a month after his detention and illegal extradition ) the following :-

 “I have so many problems here. They took my English money and other property as well. They have taken my legal documents; they say I can not be allowed to have these in the segregation unit. They also try to put me in this segregation unit as a punishment and to limit my access to the solicitor and my family and the outside world. No one explained anything to me and I am not treated well here…”

 “.. I spend 22 hours in the cell, I go for a walk in the yard alone always, there is no one to talk to, I am completely shut off from the outside world. How can I prepare my case and give instructions to my solicitor if I am not even allowed to have my legal documents. This is against my human rights i.e. the right to effectively prepare a defence and to have a fair trial.”

Garzon also aggressively pursued the prosecution and trial of Argentinians responsible for the ‘disappeared’ under the Military Junta of 1981, for crimes against humanity. He frequently spoke out against the crimes committed by the dictatorship during that period.

However, he also committed similar infringements of freedom and rights to association by banning Basque separatist paries including Batasuna, He referred to members of this political party as “human garbage”, presumably for daring to have a dissenting voice against the Spanish Government. During this same period of 2002 onwards, he also banned the right of political parties to campaign against Spains constitution or political structure.

There are so many reasons for Garzon to not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however one of the strongest arguments much surely be for his utter contempt for basic freedoms and rights such as a fair trial. In Farid Hilali’s case, he instructed his deputy, Pedro Rubira, to pursue a case against him even though there was no case to answer. Rubira even submitted an allegedly perjurious witness statement to the British Court. Farid Hilali, an innocent Moroccan asylum seeker seeking protection from torture, was extradited illegally based on the quest for fame and fortune on the part of Garzon and Rubira. Since his extradition, he was denied access to his legal papers, denied access to funds, denied access to his lawyers, and many other measures all designed to frustrate his defence.

 

Judge Garzon is not someone worthy to stand with Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa or Martin Luther King on the Laureates roll of honour. Instead, Garzon should be castigated for his assault on ethnic and religious minorities. He is a man for whom fame must come at any price, even when that price is the erosion of basic rights and liberties. We intend to oppose the nomination of Judge Garzon, and would urge all others to do the same.

How to Help

Please write to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, to ensure that Judge Garzon is not given this award. Please also visit the freefarid.com website to stay up to date with Farid Hilali’s campaign and the assault on his human rights by Pedro Rubira and Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Key Contacts

Geir Lundestad,DirectorThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Ole Danbolt Mjos, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Berge Ragnar Furre, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Sissel Marie Ronbeck, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Kaci Kullman Five, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Sample letter

Dear <NAME>,

 It is with dismay that I have read the Judge Baltasar Garzon may be under consideration for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. I, as someone deeply concerned about human rights and someone who supports the rights of ethnic and religious minorities to live in peace, object to this nomination as an affront to the spirit of the Nobel Prize.

·         He has condemned the lack of due process at Guantanamo Bay, but saw no problem in attempting to try former inmates of the Naval Gulag such as Omar Degayhes and Jamil al-Banna. It was only after immense public pressure that he agreed to drop the extradition request, however this was because of ‘ill health’ rather than acknowledgement from Garzon that there were no real charges to face.

  • From 2002 onwards, he has banned the right of political parties to campaign against Spain’s constitution or political structure.
  • In Farid Hilali’s case, he instructed his deputy, Pedro Rubira, to pursue a case against him even though there was no case to answer

 There are so many reasons for Garzon to not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however one of the strongest arguments much surely be for his utter contempt for basic freedoms and rights such as a fair trial. Farid Hilali was extradited despite no evidence being heard against him to this date. He has since arriving in Spain been kept in extremely harsh conditions, with his legal defence frequently being deliberately frustrated.

I could list far more examples of why Garzon is not a suitable candidate, however I have omitted these for the sake of brevity. I would urge you as committee members to refuse this nomination in order to defend the honour and tradition of not only the Nobel Prize, but that of fairness, honesty and justice. 

Regards,

<NAME>

Source : The FreeFarid.com Campaign

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Almost A Year On….

Date Written: 5 April 2008

A year complete on 24 April this year (08)
A year since the arrests of those 6 sincere
Dawn raids were carried out on the very same day
Their wives and their children stood shocked all the way

Was it hectic, frustrating or unbelievable – you and I don’t know
Only those who have been through it would be able to show
How their children must’ve felt, when the fathers were taken away
How their wives would await their arrival every second, every day

To Paddington Green Police station they were then taken
They were accused of raising funds for purposes of terrorism
Solitary Confinement, they were kept in for hours and days
Strip searched were their rights, CCTV cameras were in their way

But the number did not pause on the sincere 6 brothers
2 more were arrested from their prison cells to join the others
Financial documents were taken from their homes for research
‘Just in case’ they raised funds to bomb a synagogue or a church!

Their names need not mentioning, it won’t be of any benefit
For your duty is towards them no matter where they sit
All you need to know is that they are your brothers who are not free
Open your ears and eyes, so that you may hear them and see

19 days left till the year is complete
Their verdicts will be sooner – possibly next week
Remember them in your du’aas even if you don’t know them for sure
For further information visit captivesupport.org

Written by Anonomous