(by Karen Parker)
A brief run down on the Geneva session related to Depleted
Uranium and Falluja. We had a "round-table" with
myself and Hans von Sponeck (former UN rep to Iraq for humanitarian
affairs who resigned in protest). Jan Lonn (Sweden) emceed.
Because there were just the two of us as speakers, it made
for a better event, with time to really set things out and
to try to lead people into action. Yes, the Euro Non-Government
Organization's (NGO) are as stunned as US folk by invasion,
election and Falluja etc, and don't know what to do. Hans
and others kept re-iterating the need for legal action,
so the Falluja case got high promo. After the discussion,
a rep from the Int'l Commission of the Red Cross came up
to me and commented on the importance of the case -- and
wondered about "extra-Americans" jurisdiction
-- our only real hurdle. I reminded him of Euro cases that
were similar, and that the Organization of American States
(OAS) instruments do not say anything about the nationality
of the victim. Anyway, he is clearly hoping that the case
Armed Conflict Violations Against Women
(Agenda item 11)
International Educational Development first raised the issue
of Japan's World War II war rape victims (the "comfort
women") at the Commission in 1992, before the mandate
of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women was
established. Other NGOs also took up this issue, and that
year we jointly presented some of the victims, now quite
elderly or deceased, who came forward to tell their stories.
The war rape victims are mainly from the Democratic Peoples'
Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the
Netherlands, the Philippines, and Burma. Indeed, it was
this issue that was a driving force in establishing the
mandate of the rapporteur.
Petition Submitted against U.S.
Bombing of Iraq Hospitals
Petition seeking remedies on behalf of the victims of these
illegal military operations has been submitted to the OAS
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.