AHL v. United States, Petition No.
P-1258-04 at OAS on Behalf of Falluja Hospital Victims
On November 19, 2004, the Association of Humanitarian Lawyer
filed an emergency petition at the Organization of American
States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of
“unnamed, unnumbered patients and medical staff, both living
and dead, of the Falluja General Hospital and a trauma clinic.”
We argued that these actions violate a number of provisions
of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man,
and that the United States has no defense under humanitarian
law rules to these violations. This is because the Geneva Conventions
specifically prohibit attacks on medical facilities, personnel,
and patients -- the time-coveted rule of medical neutrality.
AHL has conducted training sessions with the North East Secretariat
for Human Rights (NESOHR) in Sri Lanka as part of our long-time
work on the Tamil question. The training addresses application
of humanitarian law to the long armed conflict in Sri Lanka
and to developing forward-looking strategies to the current
peace process and economic development in the post-Tsunami period.
Participants include several members of the Sri Lanka parliament,
leading clergy and, especially, AHL board member attorney K.
Sivapalan, President of the Bar Association of Trincomalee.
Partnership with the Brussels Tribunal
The Brussels Tribunal, held in May 2004, was a watershed in
getting together key attorneys from AHL, former Attorney General
Ramsey Clark, two former UN officials in Iraq, and the leading
economic and cultural scholars from Iraq, the Arab world and
Europe. The Brussels Tribunal continues as an organization,
and has provided key support for the AHL OAS action in Falluja.
The Brussels Tribunal contiues as an organization, and has provided
key support for the AHL OAS action in Falluja. The most promenent
journalist in Iraq has prepared an assessment of the heath care
situation in Iraq to assist the AHL OAS action. The Brussels
Tribunal is publishing this, along with the compilation, prepared
by AHL's Karen Parker, of the relevant Geneva Convention articles
regarding the situation of medical care in Iraq.
AHL will hold its third Congressional forum on the Kashmir situation
in July 2005,co- hosted by Senator Tim Johnson (Dem.,SD) and Congressman
Joseph Pitts (Rep., PA) with Tom Harkin (Dem., Iowa) and 5 other
members of Congress. These sessions, co-sponsored by the Kashmiri
American Council, are widely viewed as precipitating the current
thaw in the Kashmir situation, due to the participation of key
leaders from all sides: India, Pakistan and Kashmir.
Shibayama v. United States Petition No.
This action was originally filed by AHL in Federal District Court
in San Francisco on behalf of three brothers of Japanese ancestry,
originally citizens of Peru, who were seized in Peru by the United
States Army during World War II, brought to the United States,
and held in a detention camp while awaiting to be sent to Japan
in exchange for United States citizens held by the Imperial Japanese
Weapons Containing Depleted Uranium(DU)
AHL continues to work on the issue of weapons containing depleted
uranium (DU). AHL, in conjunction with groups in the UK, submitted
on June 22, 2005 a letter to members of the EU Parliament, and
will also submit documents on the illegality of DU weapons.
This issue was also mentioned in the Iraq Hospital petitions.
Assistance to UN Officials
AHL continues to provide research and other assistance to UN
Special Rapporteurs, including their work on globalization and
other economic human rights issues, terrorism and human rights,
and other critical concerns. As none of the UN special investigators
are paid, there is no possibility for AHL to be supported for
this essential work except through donations.
Republik Maluku (the Moluccan Islands or the Maluku) lies off
the eastern-most part of present-day Indonesia. The Moluccan
people are part of a Melanesian people called Alifoeroes who
have occupied what was known as the Spice Islands since at least
1000 BC. The problems arise because the Indonesian authorities
broke the 1949 Round Table Conference Agreements between The
Netherlands, the United Nations and what was to become the United
States of Indonesia formally ending The Netherlands’ colonial
rule in The Netherlands East Indies. The Conference Agreements
allowed the component parts of The Netherlands East Indies to
opt out of Indonesia and restore their pre-colonial independence.
The Moluccans did so in 1950, declaring the independent Republic
Maluku Selatan. Shortly thereafter, Indonesia invaded Republic
Maluku and has occupied it ever since.