Posts Tagged ‘Nordirland’

Grossbritannien / Nordirland: Scary monsters

Sonntag, Juli 8th, 2012

“Boston College ordered to turn IRA interviews over to UK authorities

School had recorded stories on the condition they not be shared, but court rules criminal investigation overrules academic study

By Matt Williams and agencies, Saturday 7 July 2012 17.08 BST

Boston College has again been ordered to hand over interviews it conducted with a convicted IRA terrorist to UK authorities after an appeal against the release was thrown out.

The ruling on Friday by the 1st US circuit court of appeal confirmed an earlier decision by district court judge William Young in relation to car bomber Dolours Price, who spoke to researchers on condition that the information would not be released in her lifetime.

But following the latest development in a lengthy legal battle, the material will now be handed over to Northern Ireland police by next month.

Recorded between 2001 and 2006, interviews with several former and serving Irish Republican Army (IRA) members formed the backbone of an oral history project at the college.

The conversations were taped under the proviso that they would not be released until the participant had died, with some interviewees citing fears that the stories could lead to reprisals.

But the transcripts are wanted by Northern Ireland police in relation to an investigation into the 1972 abduction and killing of Jean McConville. The Belfast mother of 10 had been accused of being an informant by the IRA and was murdered, some have claimed, on the order of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. Adams has denied any link.

Boston College didn’t appeal Young’s ruling on Price. But The Belfast Project director Ed Moloney and ex-IRA gunman Anthony McIntyre, who conducted the interviews, filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Their attorney argued that McIntyre and others who were part of The Belfast Project would be branded informants and faced “the real risk of physical harm” if the interviews were turned over.

He also said it could have a chilling effect on other academic research projects.

But on Friday, the appeals court ruled that the two men had no right to interfere with the police request, made under a treaty between the United States and United Kingdom that requires both sides to aid each other’s criminal investigations.

It added that criminal investigations take precedence over academic study.

“The choice to investigate criminal activity belongs to the government and is not subject to veto by academic researchers,” the court wrote.

Boston College is still appealing Young’s order regarding another subpoena, in which he said the school must turn over interviews with seven other former IRA members.

Attorney Jon Albano, who filed a brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union in support of Moloney and McIntyre, said the ruling was “not a good sign” for the college’s pending appeal in regards to the other participants in the project.

Albano described the striking down of the Price appeal as disappointing.

“We were not saying that there was some kind of automatic absolute protection for academics, any more than for reporters,” he said. “We were saying that if you look at the facts of this case, this is a case were Moloney and McIntyre actually deserve to be protected.”

A spokesman for Boston College couldn’t be reached Saturday for comment.

Its project was aimed at capturing for prosperity the testimonies of those involved in decades of violent unrest in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles.

Several US politicians – including senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Charles Schumer of New York – have lobbied the state department on behalf of the institution’s desire to have the interviews remained sealed.

Maloney has said he believes the recordings are explosive enough to damage Northern Ireland’s unity government.”


(Quelle: Guardian.)

Europa: Weiterhin Menschenrechtsverletzungen an Sinti und Roma

Freitag, April 8th, 2011


Budapest, 8 April 2011: On the occasion of the 40th International Roma Day and the 5th European Roma Platform, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) recalls the many human rights issues that continue to affect Romani communities in Europe.

Violence against Roma: In cases brought by the ERRC in Croatia (2009), Bulgaria (2010) and Macedonia (2008), the European Court of Human Rights confirmed that the State is obliged to investigate and prosecute persons who commit violence against Roma, whether they are private actors or State officials. Despite this, most perpetrators of violence against Roma in Europe act with impunity. Since 2008, the ERRC has registered at least 48 violent attacks against Roma in Hungary, at least 19 attacks in the Czech Republic and at least 10 attacks in Slovakia resulting in a combined total of at least 11 fatalities and involving Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and guns, police violence, arson attacks, mob violence and demonstrations. In December 2010, skinheads attacked 2 young Romani men exiting public transportation with bats in Bulgaria and in March 2011 a Romani boy was attacked and insulted on the way to school by three men in Serbia. Other incidents of mob violence against Roma were recorded in Italy, Northern Ireland and Turkey in the last three years. ERRC monitoring of the State response to violence against Roma in 44 selected cases in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia found that only 20% of cases have resulted in convictions (only one final judgment), police investigations were suspended without identifying suspects in nearly 1/3 of cases and racial motivation was ruled out or not confirmed during police investigation in 50% of all cases.

Freedom of movement: In July of 2010, France announced plans to evict Travellers and Roma from “illegal settlements” and to expel Roma from other EU states. French authorities expelled roughly 10,000 Roma in 2009 and more than 8,000 as of September 2010: after that time the French Government stopped publishing relevant statistics but ERRC research in March 2011 found ongoing evictions and expulsions. From May 2008 until present, Italian authorities have instituted a State of Emergency to deal with Roma and have aggressively evicted Roma from settlements. Italy publicly supported the French expulsions and piecemeal evidence of expulsions from Italy has come to light. Denmark summarily expelled 23 Roma back to Romania in July 2010 one day after they were detained: ERRC appeals against these deportation orders are pending. Sweden expelled 50 Roma to Romania in 2010. Germany paid more than 100 Roma to return to Romania in June 2009. Finland, amid public outcries about public security, threatened expulsions in 2010. In many cases, police action has been concurrent with statements by public officials that Roma as an ethnic group are predisposed to crime and other antisocial behaviour.

Increasing activity of extremist political parties and politicians: Extremist political parties and politicians have sharpened their anti-Romani rhetoric and actions in many EU countries. In Hungary, the Magyar Garda (banned in 2009), Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület and related organisations engaging in paramilitary activities with an explicit racist agenda continue to operate openly. In Gyöngyöspata the groups patrolled a Romani neighbourhood for 16 days in March 2011, intimidating and harassing Romani residents. Jobbik, an extremist party with an explicit anti-Romani platform, won four seats in European Parliament elections in 2009 and 47 seats (17% of the vote) in national elections in 2010. In Italy, the Government has continued to use anti-Romani rhetoric to harden public opinion against Roma and Sinti and has moved aggressively to evict Roma from their homes and herd them into controlled camps. In Slovakia in 2010, the far-right Ludova Strana Nase Slovensko has been increasingly active with rhetoric specifically referring to “Gypsy criminality.” In the Czech Republic, the far right Workers Party and its successor the Workers Party of Social Justice have organised high profile rallies which have attracted neo-Nazis and sparked violent clashes. The Czech National Party ran advertisements for the European Parliament election in 2009 calling for a “final solution to the Gypsy problem”. In February 2010 the Romanian Foreign Minister made public statements suggesting that Roma are genetically predisposed to criminality and media reported that the President defended the Minister. Romanian MPs also attempted to officially change the name of Roma to “Gypsies” to avoid confusion with “Romanians”. During the media frenzy surrounding the expulsion of Roma from France, the Bulgarian Prime Minister and the Romanian President erroneously referred to the Roma as nomads.

Systemic segregation in education continues: The European Court of Human Rights has affirmed that school segregation of Romani children (in schools for children with disabilities and in separate schools or classes in mainstream schools) constitutes illegal discrimination in judgments against the Czech Republic (2007), Greece (2008) and Croatia (2010). Despite these rulings, educational segregation of Romani children is systemic in many European countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are noteworthy, with credible reports of segregation in Macedonia, Northern Ireland (UK), Portugal and Spain. Romani children complete school at much lower rates than their non-Romani peers. The response of Governments has been wholly inadequate: In the Czech Republic, the Government has recognised the problem but its action plan does not address ethnic discrimination; in Bulgaria, successful integration pilots have not been incorporated into a scaled-up Government programme after more than a decade; and in 2010 in Slovakia the then Prime Minister suggested further segregation of Roma in boarding schools.

Widespread residential segregation and forced evictions: An October 2009 report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, prepared by the ERRC, found that “segregation is still evident in many EU Member States, such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, France, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, sometimes as a result of deliberate government policy.” In Italy, the placement of Roma and Sinti in “nomad camps” constitutes an official policy to segregate Roma and Sinti from the Italian majority. Since 2008, evictions of Roma in violation of international law have continued in Albania, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. Italy has been particularly active: in Milan alone since 2010, authorities report having conducted over 100 evictions affecting more than 3,600 people (a portion of this group are repeatedly evicted persons).

Trafficking in human beings: Low socio-economic status, low educational achievement and high levels of unemployment, compounded with high levels of discrimination and racism, place Roma at an inordinately high risk of human trafficking. A 2010 US State Department report discusses the overrepresentation of Roma as victims of trafficking and their high vulnerability to sexual exploitation, forced labour and child begging in nearly half of the European countries covered. ERRC research in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia during early 2010 indicated that Roma represent 50-80% of victims in Bulgaria, at least 40% in Hungary, 70% in Slovakia and up to 70% in parts of the Czech Republic.

Child protection: In Bulgaria, Romani children account for around 50% of the children in the State-run children’s homes and about 33% of the children in State-run homes for children with intellectual disabilities. In the Czech Republic, around 40% of the children in a sample of 17 children’s homes visited by the ERRC in 5 regions were Romani. During research in 5 counties in Hungary, Romani children were found to represent 65% of the children in State care. The General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection in Romania reported that Romani children constitute up to 80% of the population in children’s homes in some regions. In Slovakia social workers and child protection officials report that Romani children compose at least 70% of the children in institutional care.

Denial of access to health care and social assistance: Discrimination remains a barrier to health care and social assistance for Roma in many European states. In 2009, the European Committee of Social Rights found Bulgaria in violation of the European Social Charter twice by failing to ensure that Roma have adequate access to the health care system and to social assistance, prompting the Government to amend the law on social assistance. In Kosovo, lead contamination of IDP camps housing Roma in Northern Mitrovicë/Mitrovica is considered one of the biggest medical crises in the region. Despite significant international and EU attention, Roma continue to live in one of the camps after more than 10 years, exposed to lead contamination which has reportedly resulted in dozens of deaths.

Coercive sterilisation of Romani women: In Hungary the ERRC has documented sporadic cases, most recently from 2008. Czech cases have also been reported as recently as 2007. In 2009 the Czech Government expressed regret to the victims of this practice and the Hungarian Government compensated one victim, but no Government has adopted a comprehensive plan to compensate all victims or adequately reformed health care law regarding informed consent. Although numerous cases have been documented in Slovakia, there has been no Government response to date.

Factsheet: Roma Rights (PDF)

Contact: Sinan Gokçen, Media and Communications Officer,, +36.30.500.1324

©ERRC 2011. All rights reserved”


(Quelle: European Roma Rights Centre.)

Nordirland: Von Derry über Beirut nach Fallujah

Mittwoch, Juni 16th, 2010

“Robert Fisk: The innocent became the guilty, the guilty innocent

Something new was happening. These were hard men. There was no way of negotiating with them

Soldiers confront civil rights marchers in Derry on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972

We knew the First Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. ‘Tough’ was the word we reporters used if the soldiers were beating up rioters.

Brutal was the word we should have used. But sometime towards the end of 1971, I think we all realised that the Parachute Regiment was being prepared for some pretty nasty confrontations. They were the hard men, the reserve battalion at Palace Barracks, Holywood, a boring seaside town on the south side of Belfast Lough, a unit that spent most of its time waiting for trouble.

Shortly before Bloody Sunday, I’d seen them confronting a crowd of angry Protestants just off the Shankill Road. The ‘Prods’ had blocked the street, set fire to some tyres; they were protesting at the lack of security. So the local British battalion in the Ardoyne called up the reserves and the first thing we saw was an Army ‘Pig’ – a big armored vehicle with a wide-bodied snout over the engine – come roaring round the corner, knocking a youth clean off the road on to the pavement. It drove straight into the burning tyres and the paratroopers jumped out of the back with wooden cudgels and got to work on the street lads.

There were howls of rage and curses from the Brits and eventually the Prods cleared off and the soldiers of 1 Para stood in the street looking bored. Then a door opened and out came a man in his fifties. A Belfast Protestant, hair greying, he sort of hobbled on to the street as if he’d been hurt badly years ago and he walked right up to a group of Paras and plunged his hand into his pocket. He brought out an old Army red beret with a metal badge of parachute wings fixed to it and a tatty old regimental tie.

The soldiers watched him, bemused. Then he began to tear the beret to pieces, right there in front of the soldiers, and ripped up the tie. The man was shouting ‘Bastards, bastards,’ over and over again at them and he dropped the ruined beret and tie at his feet and stomped on them. The soldiers laughed. And the man kept shouting ‘bastards’ and he was crying and then he shouted at the soldiers: ‘I was at Arnhem.’

What had happened to the Parachute Regiment? A week before Bloody Sunday, John Hume, the MP for Foyle, encountered a far more disturbing demonstration of power by the same regiment. There was a nationalist demonstration on the beaches of north Derry and the Paras had turned up and beaten the demonstrators and a Para officer walked up to Hume and – in a very English public school accent – threatened him. ‘I realised something new was happening,’ Hume was to tell me years later. ‘Some decision had been taken by the military. I was very worried about this. These were very hard men. There was no way of negotiating with them.’

Could we have guessed what this meant? Or the libels that British journalism was to commit against the dead of Bloody Sunday in the coming weeks? As usual – and for Derry, read Fallujah or Gaza or any Afghan village where civilians get in the way – the innocent became the guilty and the guilty became the innocent. ‘Bordering on the reckless’ – Widgery’s whining description of the British Army rabble that fatally shot 14 Catholics in the Bogside – was the only real half-truth to emerge from his disgracefully short and lazy report.

They are old now, those soldiers, the same age in 1972 as those they killed in Derry. I was on The Times – the glorious, pre-Murdoch Times – and I was not in Derry on the day. But for years I went there as I go back, still, to the scene of Middle East massacres. In 1997, home from Beirut, I was again prowling around Derry. Was anything left? In the wall of a ground-floor apartment in Glenfada Flats, I found two bullet holes from Bloody Sunday, two gashes in the cheap stucco and cement to remind the Catholics of the Bogside of the power of a self-loading rifle.

‘There’s another hole round the corner in Chamberlain Street,’ a young man told me. ‘Would you like to see it?’ Cruelly, I told him I’d seen enough bullet holes in the Middle East and the Balkans these past 22 years. ‘But do people know about Bloody Sunday in Beirut?’ the man asked. No, I said. Not a soul there knew – or cared – what happened here. So all the man said was: ‘Jesus Christ!’ It is a name much invoked on the Derry memorials.

The most dramatic of these is a simple granite cross erected to the memory of the 14 ‘murdered by British paratroopers on Bloody Sunday 30 January 1972′. Beside it, back in 1979, someone had scribbled a note: ‘All we need is the truth to help heal the wounds.’

Did we get it yesterday? Was it enough? Certainly it is more than the Palestinians will ever get for the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre. Or the people of Qana who were demanding an inquiry in 1996 after Israeli shells slaughtered 101 civilians sheltering in the UN compound. The UN’s official report into the massacre implied that it was deliberate.

Lord Widgery was not so brave. Of 500 eyewitness testimonies given to him, he bothered to read only 15. Was he merely idle? Or was he a weak, morally enfeebled man, more fearful of condemning his country’s armed forces than he was of concealing the truth?

Or did we British journalists have something to answer for in our slavish adherence to the notion of the British Army’s integrity? I don’t think we cared about the Irish – either the Catholic or the Protestant variety. I don’t think we cared about Ireland. I don’t think the British Army cared. At last, I suppose, the Saville report has answered that scribbled note I found outside the Glenfada flats 13 years ago.

But at least the people of Derry care about others who have died unjustly. In 2003, as the Americans occupied Iraq, American paratroopers opened fire on a crowd of protesting Iraqis in the city of Fallujah. They killed 14, claiming they were shot at. Subsequent inquiries suggested this was a lie. A few days later, in Baghdad, I took a call from an old friend in Derry. He wanted to lead a delegation of Bloody Sunday relatives to Fallujah, he said, to show their sorrow for the dead Iraqis. I don’t think the Americans cared about the Iraqis. But the Irish of Bloody Sunday cared.”

(Quelle: The Independent.)


Siehe auch:

Bloody Sunday – The Saville verdict on Britain’s masacre of the innocents in Northern Ireland