Libertas by JasoRobinson

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 4

									Canadian publications mail, Contract No. 40008541                                                                  SUMMER 2001             VOLUME 11          NUMBER 1




The Kidnapping of Colombian Activist
Kimy Pernía Domicó
W
        hen native leader Kimy Pernía Domicó               When the Embera organized and demanded their
        spoke with the Rights & Democracy/                 constitutionally protected rights, the paramili-
        Assembly of First Nations Mission to               tary groups accused them of collaborating with
Colombia of the crisis situation facing the Embera-        the guerrillas of the Armed Revolutionary Forces
Katío people, he had surely not imagined that the          of Colombia (FARC). In turn, the FARC forcibly
horror of his own kidnapping and disappearance             conscripted some natives, and accused the civil-
two days later would spark an international out-           ian community of aiding the paramilitaries. The
cry. Warren Allmand, president of Rights & Democ-          toll on the Embera has been heavy: 11 leaders
racy, Ghislain Picard, regional chief of the               dead since 1994, and now the disappearance of
Assembly of First Nations, Lydia Hwitsum, Chief of         Kimy Pernía Domicó.




                                                                                                                                                                                Photo: Kathy Price, ICCHRLA.
the Cowichan Tribes, and Beth Phinney, Chair of                Floro Tunubalá, Colombia’s only indigenous
the Parliamentary sub-Committee on Human                   elected governor, reported a similar situation
Rights, had met with Pernía in the Colombian city          from the western department of Cauca, where he
of Medellín, at a meeting organized by the Indige-         came to power last October after a landslide win.
nous Organization of Antioquia.                            “I received an anonymous call telling me I had
    At dusk on June 2, Pernía Domicó was                   been brought to power by the armed left, and I
grabbed from the streets of Tierralta, Cordoba, at         was thus a military target,” Tunubalá told the
gunpoint by heavily armed men believed to be               mission when they visited his offices in the
far-right paramilitaries. He had previously                regional capital of Popayán. “The next day,                     For Colombia’s indigenous peoples, any effort
received numerous threats. This tragic case pro-           another anonymous caller said I had been sup-               to promote peace must address root issues of the
vides some illustration of the situation facing            ported by the paramilitaries, and I was thus con-           conflict. And one of those root issues is clearly
Colombia’s 84 indigenous nations, who have been            sidered a military target of the guerrillas.”               the State’s failure to adequately protect aboriginal
reduced to 800,000 natives — a mere 2% of the              Tunubalá spoke of the harmful effects of US aerial          lands, essential to the survival of these peoples.
population. The survival of Kimy Pernía Domicó’s           fumigation of illicit crops and of his own econom-          “Our concerns as indigenous peoples must be
Embera-Katío people had been threatened by the             ic development plan for the department. Yet as              addressed in the peace process — otherwise, there
part Canadian-financed Urrá hydroelectric dam              long as the war continues, it is impossible to              will be no real and lasting solution to the conflict,”
mega-project, a project that dried up their staple         implement this plan as the various armed actors             the joint mission heard. “We ask you, Canadians,
diet of fish, and brought environmental destruc-           vie for territorial control, each extorting money           to be messengers to the Colombian government
tion and malaria to the community of 2,000.                from civilians caught in the midst of the violence.         and to the outside world, of our concerns.”


                                                                             Rights & Democracy is a Canadian organization with an international mandate. It works with civil
                                                                             society and governments in Canada and abroad to promote human rights and democratic devel-
                                                                             opment through dialogue, advocacy, capacity building and public education. It focuses on four
                                                                             themes: democratic development, women’s rights, globalization and human rights, and the rights
                                                                             of indigenous peoples.
1001 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East, Suite 1100, Montreal (Quebec) Canada H2L 4P9 | Tel.: (514) 283-6073 | Fax: (514) 283-3792 | ichrdd@ichrdd.ca | www.ichrdd.ca
Board members
                                                                                                               Afghan
W
         e sadly said good-bye to
         long-time board member
         Iona Campagnolo. A for-
                                                                      Muntarbhorn from Thailand and
                                                                      Michèle Rouleau from Québec. Mr.
                                                                      Muntarbhorn is a professor at the        woman
                                                                                                                wins
mer Cabinet Minister in Canada                                        Faculty of Law of Chulalongkorn
and Chairperson of the Fraser                                         University in Thailand. He also
Basin Council in Vancouver, she                                       works as a consultant with
has just been named British                                           UNICEF and other UN agencies
Columbia’s new lieutenant-                                            on children’s rights issues.
governor. We appreciate her valu-
able contribution and commit-
ment to Rights & Democracy.
                                                                      Ms. Rouleau is former president of
                                                                      Native Women of Quebec and a
                                                                      commissioner at the Québec
                                                                                                             John Humphrey
   We are pleased to welcome two
new board members, Vitit
                                                                      human rights commission.
                                                                                                             Freedom Award

                                                                                                             D
                                                                                                                    r. Sima Samar has been selected as this

New publications                                                                                                    year’s John Humphrey Freedom Award
                                                                                                                    recipient for her efforts to strengthen
                                                                                                             the human rights of women and girls in
                                                                                                             Afghanistan and in refugee camps on the
Investigating Women’s Rights Violations in            A Human Rights Framework for Trade in the              Northern border of Pakistan. The Award, which
Armed Conflicts, a joint Rights & Democracy and       Americas                                               is given each year by Rights & Democracy,
Amnesty International Canada (English Section)        As globalization and its effects are increasingly      includes a $25,000 grant and a speaking tour
publication, was launched in May, the second in a     felt at the furthest reaches of the planet, who        of Canada, and is named in honour of John
series on gender-sensitive documentation metho-       arbitrates when the rules drawn up behind the          Peters Humphrey, the Canadian who prepared
dology.                                               closed doors of international financial summits        the first draft of the Universal Declaration of
Written by Agnès Callamard of Amnesty’s Inter-        contradict the international human rights              Human Rights. It will be presented in Montréal
national Secretariat in London, in collaboration      treaties already ratified by those same govern-        on Monday, December 10, 2001, International
with Ariane Brunet, Rights & Democracy’s              ments? This is essentially the question asked by       Human Rights Day. Following the Award cere-
Women’s Rights Programme Coordinator, the             Rights & Democracy’s paper A Human Rights              monies in Montréal, Dr. Samar will also travel
booklet is part of a series which includes a manu-    Framework for Trade in the Americas, written by        to other cities in Canada to meet with stu-
al, Methodology for Gender-Sensitive Research, and    Globalization and Human Rights Programme Coor-         dents, representatives of human rights groups,
a previously published booklet: Documenting           dinator Diana Bronson and Lucie Lamarche of the        churches, government and the media.
                                     Human Rights     Université du Québec à Montréal. The paper                 In the face of repeated death threats, Dr.
                                     Violations by    examines international human rights law and            Samar defies the ruling Taliban’s edicts that
                                     State Agents:    how its application can be ensured in the current      deny women and girls their basic rights to edu-
                                     Sexual Vio-      context of liberalization of global investment and     cation, employment, mobility and medical
                                     lence. A fur-    finance. It is available in English, French and        care. Since 1989, Dr. Samar has been operating
                                     ther three       Spanish from Rights & Democracy, and at                schools for girls and health clinics in many of
                                     booklets are     www.ichrdd.ca.                                         the provinces of Afghanistan as well as in the
                                     planned to                                                              refugee camps in Quetta, Pakistan. She refuses
                                     address hu-      Is Free Trade a Fair Game?, a popularized leaflet      to accept that women must be kept in purdah
                                     man rights       version of the paper, is also available from Rights    (secluded from the public) and speaks out
                                     violations in    & Democracy in English, French and Spanish. The        against the wearing of the burqa (head-to-foot
                                     the communi-     leaflet opens out into a poster of a striking black-   wrap).
                                     ty by private    and-white photojournalistic interpretation of the          The international jury for the John
                                     actors as well   impact of free trade, by photographer Benoit Aquin.    Humphrey Freedom Award met in June to con-
                                     as the econo-                                                           sider over 80 nominations from around the
                                     mic and social                                                          world. For more details about the Award
                                     causes of hu-                                                           process and Dr. Samar’s cross-Canada tour,
                                     man rights                                                              please contact Augie van Biljouw at
                                     violations.                                                             avbiljou@ichrdd.ca.
                                     Investigating
Women’s Rights Violations in Armed Conflicts is
available in French and English. The price is CDN
$15.00, plus CDN $5.00 for postage outside
Canada. To order: publications@ichrdd.ca.


2             SUMMER 2001 • VOLUME 11 • NUMBER 1
      Ottawa Must Support UN Draft Declaration
                      on the Rights of
        Indigenous Peoples

O
      n the eve of National Aboriginal Day, Rights   states, including
      & Democracy’s President Warren Allmand         Canada, for chan-
      made a symbolic presentation to Canadian       ges in the drafting
indigenous leaders of a letter of support for the    of most of the
UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous     articles. However,
Peoples. The letter, signed by a broad range of      the indigenous
Canadian non-native organizations, calls on the      representatives at




                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Gérald McKenzie.
Canadian government to support the Draft Decla-      the UN defend the
ration at the UN and urge other governments to       draft almost una-
also press the UN to adopt this text.                nimously. They
    The 45-article document was drafted by           say the current
experts of the UN Working Group on Indigenous        text is the result
Peoples. It reaffirms indigenous peoples’ basic      of debate and the
rights, in particular that of being recognized as    fruit of compromise Warren Allmand presents the letter of support signed by over 100 organizations and indivi-
peoples with the right to self-determination. This   on everyone’s part, duals to Romeo Diom Saganash of the Grand Council of Crees, Michèle Audette of the Native
issue has been identified by experts as                       and do not Women of Quebec, and Kenneth Deer of the Eastern Door, Kahnawake at the Native Friendship
the cornerstone of the whole debate                               w a n t Centre in Montréal.
on indigenous peoples, particu-                                       t o
larly as international law                                               see it weakened by changes.               contentsEnglish.html for text). The letter calls on
applies the status of peoples                                              The Draft Declaration was the           Canada to voice strong support for the Draft Decla-
to the non-indigenous. Yet,                                                 subject of a round-table               ration at the UN Conference against Racism in Dur-
despite this fact, and the                                                   discussion organized by               ban, South Africa, in early September this year.
general opinion that the                                                     Rights & Democracy in Mon-                “Failure to recognize indigenous peoples’
draft instrument reflects                                                    tréal on May 24, during               right to self-determination, when this right is
basic minimum standards,                                                     which non-native NGOs,                readily accorded to other, non-indigenous peo-
only two of its articles have                                               c h u r c h , t r a d e union,         ples, is clearly racism,” Warren Allmand said.
been adopted at the UN after                                              women’s and student groups               Rights & Democracy will continue to raise this
six years of discussion.                                               formulated an open letter to the            issue with the Canadian government and will also
    The current impasse can be                                      government of Canada (see                      make known its position in South Africa at the
explained by calls made by some                                 w w w. i c h r d d . c a / 1 1 1 / e n g l i s h / UN Conference.




                                                                                                                  Coming soon
Freedom for                                              Haroun M’Barek — the Tunisian student who
                                                     was denied political asylum in Canada and deport-
                                                     ed to Tunisia in January — was finally freed from
                                                     prison on May 26, 2001.
                                                                                                                  Rights & Democracy is launching an elec-
                                                                                                                  tronic version of its newsletter Libert@s in


 Haroun                                                  Upon his arrival in Tunisia in January, he dis-
                                                     covered that in his absence he had been found
                                                     guilty of being part of a criminal gang and had
                                                     been sentenced to three years in prison and five
                                                                                                                  mid-September in order to increase its con-
                                                                                                                  tacts with partners, friends and supporters
                                                                                                                  around the world. If you wish to receive this


M’Barek                                              years of mandatory supervision.
                                                         Despite his release, Mr. M’Barek must return to
                                                     court in September to appeal his guilty verdict.
                                                     According to several sources, the Canadian gov-
                                                     ernment is now ready to accept Mr. M’Barek if he
                                                                                                                  monthly electronic bulletin, please email
                                                                                                                  publications@ichrdd.ca to ensure that we
                                                                                                                  have your electronic address.
                                                     is able to recover his Tunisian passport.

                                                                                          SUMMER 2001 • VOLUME 11 • NUMBER 1                                        3
I N T E R N A T I O N A L               C E N T R E        F O R      H U M A N         R I G H T S        A N D       D E M O C R A T I C            D E V E L O P M E N T




                BRIE

                             R
            S                    ights & Democracy                  Ms. Brunet spoke on The Rise of Religious               Ms. Desnoyers attended the Latin America
      NEW




                                 and the Vancouver-             Rights and Women’s Rights on May 22 in                      Region Consultation on Human Rights Defend-
                    FS




                                 based International            Sherbrooke (Québec) at the annual meeting of                ers in Mexico City from June 13 to 15, orga-
                          Centre for Criminal Law               ACFEAS (Association canadienne-française                    nized by Amnesty International with financial
                         Reform and Criminal Justice            d’éducation et d’action sociale) and on May 23,             support from Rights & Democracy. It was the
                     Policy (ICCLR) hosted a work-              she spoke on Integrating a Gender Perspective               first time the UN Special Representative on
    shop on the ratification and implementation of              in Peacekeeping Operations to students attend-              Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani met and
    the Rome Statute for an International Criminal              ing a seminar organized by the Pearson Centre               consulted with regional organizations, includ-
    Court, in Kingston, Jamaica during the first                in Montréal.                                                ing the Ad Hoc Comité de Defensores en Colom-
    week of May. The workshop, chaired by Rights &                  On May 22, Mr. Allmand was guest speaker                bia and the Comité de Defensores en Mexico.
    Democracy President Warren Allmand, was                     at the meeting of the Montréal Chapter of the                   On June 20, Mr. Allmand spoke out against
    designed to help Caribbean countries with tech-             World Federalists and on May 26 he spoke out                the death penalty before members of the
    nical information necessary to ratify and                   on economic, social and cultural rights at McGill           Montréal Chapter of Amnesty International. On
    implement the ICC Statute. Several other organi-            University in Montréal.                                     National Aboriginal Day, June 21, Mr. Allmand
    zations participated and supported this initia-                 Following the joint mission with the Assem-             again (see page 3) called on Canada to support
    tive funded by the Canadian government,                     bly of First Nations and Rights & Democracy to              the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of
    including the Institute for Media, Policy and               Colombia (see page 1), Mr. Allmand attended                 Indigenous Peoples at a rally before the Supreme
    Civil Society (IMPACS) of Vancouver, the Canadi-            the annual Organization of American States                  Court of Canada in Ottawa. Mr. Allmand attend-
    an Network for an International Criminal Court              (OAS) General Assembly in Costa Rica from June              ed the conference of the Democracy Foundation
    and ILANUD, the UN regional organization spe-               3 to 6, where he lobbied for the strengthening              from June 23 to 27 in Berlin and spoke on Mak-
    cialized in criminal justice and crime preven-              of the proposed Democratic Charter. Geneviève               ing Democracy Sustainable. From June 22 to
    tion whose mandate includes the Caribbean                   Lesssard, Assistant Coordinator of the Democra-             July 1, Africa Regional Officer Akouété Akakpo-
    countries, and the Judicial Training Institute of           tic Development Programme, Madeleine                        Vidah attended the National Conference on
    the Ministry of the National Security and                   Desnoyers, the Regional Officer for the                     Human Rights organized by the government of
    Justice of Jamaica.                                         Americas, and Sofia Macher, a member of the                 the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa
        From May 3 to 9, Assistant Coordinator                  Board of Directors of Rights & Democracy from               and from July 8 to 16 he was in Lusaka, Zambia,
    Carole Samdup attended a meeting of UN Special              Peru, also attended and met with partners in                for a workshop on African Unity and Democracy
    Rapporteurs in Geneva on Social, Economic and               the region.                                                 organized by Rights & Democracy with partners
    Cultural Rights. On May 6, Ariane Brunet, Coor-                 Diana Bronson, Coordinator of the Globaliza-            to pave the way for a Summit of the Peoples of
    dinator of the Women’s Rights Programme spoke               tion and Human Rights Programme, made a pre-                Africa to be held in 2002, parallel to the first
    at the launch of Investigating Women’s Rights               sentation in Montréal before the Canadian                   Assembly of the African Union.
    Violations in Armed Conflicts at the first Inter-           Democracy and Corporate Accountability Com-
    national Conference on Refugee Women Fleeing                mission on June 6, calling for legal reforms of
    Gender-based Persecution organized by the                   the Canadian Business Corporations Act and the
    Canadian Council of Refugees in Montréal.                   Special Economic Measures Act, to ensure that
        Micheline Lévesque, Regional Officer for                Canadian corporations are accountable and to
    Asia, attended the annual meeting of the                    encourage them to be more responsible.
    National Coalition Government of the Union of                   Mr. Allmand attended a conference orga-
    Burma (NCGUB) in Washington on May 15 and                   nized by the International Centre on Criminal
    the Ottawa May 17 meeting of the Canadian NGO               Law Reform (ICCLR) to celebrate its 10th
    Committee on Burma.                                         anniversary in Vancouver on June 9 and 10.




    Libertas is the quarterly newsletter of Rights & Democracy. It is available free of charge and is accessible electronically at www.ichrdd.ca. Articles may be freely excerpted,
    provided credit is given and a copy of the publication in which the material appears is sent to Rights & Democracy. Legal Deposit, 3rd quarter 2001. ISSN 1027-0884.
    Rights & Democracy’s Documentation Centre is open to the public. Call (514) 283-6073 for an appointment.
      Editor: Augie van Biljouw (avbiljou@ichrdd.ca). Production: Laperrière Communication. Translation: Marie-Claude Hecquet.

    Board of Directors: Kathleen Mahoney (Chairperson), Warren Allmand (President), Harry W. Arthurs, Michel Corbeil, Lydia A. Hwitsum, Suzanne Laporte, Sofia Macher, David
                        Matas, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Willy Munyoki Mutunga, Robert Pace, Michèle Rouleau.


4                 SUMMER 2001 • VOLUME 11 • NUMBER 1

								
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