NEWS - Archive for December
December 2000 Headlines
Headlines December 22, 2000
Headlines December 19, 2000
Headlines December 15, 2000
Headlines December 12, 2000
Headlines December 08, 2000
Headlines December 05, 2000
Headlines December 1, 2000
YAHOO BANS NAZI SALES(usa)
Nazi memorabilia may no longer be auctioned on Yahoo
Yahoo, the internet portal, says it will ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia from its auction sites,
beginning from next week. A Yahoo spokesman said the company had decided that it did not want to profit from items that promoted or glorified hatred. He denied that the move was in response to a court ruling in France that Yahoo must prevent internet users there from accessing its websites that sell such material. The sale of Nazi memorabilia is illegal in France. Yahoo said it would also ban the sale of items that promoted hate groups, such as the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan. From 10 January, Yahoo will screen items before they are listed for sale in its online auctions. Software programmes will weed out any item that appears to violate the new policy, but users will be able to appeal against bans. Although there would be some grey areas under the new policy, a Yahoo spokesman said that items sold recently, such a watercolour painted by Adolf Hitler and a recruiting poster for the SS, would now be banned. The list of banned items at Yahoo auctions also includes cigarettes, live animals and used underwear. Last year, two French groups sued Yahoo, accusing it of breaking French laws which forbid the display or sale of racist material. In November, a French judge ruled that Yahoo must prevent French users from taking part in auctions of such items, or face fines of $13,000 a day. Yahoo then appealed to a US court against the decision, saying that France did not have jurisdiction in the case. The company said it would continue its legal appeals against the French ruling, despite its latest move. Yahoo said that the ruling would have a "significant chilling effect on the freedom of expression for users of Yahoo and other US-based ISPs". "The case continues because there's an important issue at stake," said Michael Traynor, one of Yahoo's lawyers. "It's one thing to do something voluntarily, but it's another to be ordered to be ordered to do something." He added that Yahoo barred the Nazi sales because "the company shared a general concern about hate speech". "But the company also is concerned about freedom of speech, which is why we will continue to fight the French court's order," said Mr Traynor. Yahoo have also argued that it was technically impossible for it to prevent users from one country accessing material on its site. eBay, another online auction service, bans hate materials only countries where their sale is illegal, such as France, Germany, Austria and Italy. Sellers may not deliver such items there, and buyers from those countries may not bid for them.
© BBC NEWS
MILLENNIUM COMMISSION DENIES RACISM(uk)
The Dome was a high profile Millennium project The Millennium Commission has denied that racism was behind a recent decision to withdraw the offer of a £10m grant to build a multi-cultural centre in London. The Asha Centre in Harrow, north west London, was planned as a celebration of ethnic minorities in Britain and had the backing of leaders from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. The grant was withdrawn following the failure of the organisers of the centre to raise another £10m. In a letter to the Times newspaper, the director of the Millennium Commission, Mike O'Connor, rejected the suggestion that asking ethnic minority groups to provide half the cash for a project was unfair. "Deprived communities, from ethnic minority or majority background, may have more difficulty than others in raising matching funding. "To accuse the commission of racism on this basis stretches the important concept of institutional racism to breaking point," he said. A trustee of the Asha centre, Thomas Chan, said he was disappointed by the commission's change of heart. He said it was harder for ethnic minority groups to raise matching funding but they could have come up with the money if they had been given more time. One of the organisers of another failed bid has voiced his support for Thomas Chan's point of view. Alex Pascall, a former organiser of the Notting Hill carnival, was offered just under £9m by the Millennium Commission to set up a African-Caribbean heritage centre in London. But Mr Pascall says the offer was withdrawn after disagreements on a number of issues. He is unhappy with the way the commission deals with ethnic minority applicants. "It has not given the black community anything for what we have contributed here. "Matching funds is not easy for any black project especially being offered money so late in the day, " he said. He said that compared to the money spent on the Millennium Dome ethnic minority groups had received a pittance. "Out of £2bn we have not even got 1%, that's nonsense," he said. So far the Millennium Commission has given around £17m out of a £1.8bn earmarked for Millennium projects to ethnic minority groups. But a spokeswoman for the Millennium Commission, Morag Wood, said they were actively encouraging ethnic minority applicants and a total of £37m had now been ring-fenced for them. She said that in addition to the grants already awarded a further £600,000 had been given in development grants to ensure ethnic minority groups had the necessary funding to present detailed proposals to the commission.
© BBC NEWS
SECOND ARREST OVER LONDON RACE ATTACK(uk)
A second man is being questioned by police after a serious race attack on a Turkish asylum seeker. Cumali Sinangili, 42, remains in a critical condition after being assaulted in a street in Rotherhithe, south-east London, on Christmas Eve. He is suffering from serious head injuries after being stabbed in the eye and repeatedly punched. Police have not said if he is conscious. His wife Kadinia and their teenage daughter flew from a village 200 miles south of Turkey's capital Ankara to be at his bedside. Police are questioning a 22-year-old Southwark man on Wednesday following his arrest the day before. A 19-year-old man from Bermondsey is on police bail after voluntarily visiting a south London police station on New Year's Day. Police have renewed their appeal for information over the "unprovoked and horrific attack" in a road near the Blue Anchor pub at 11.15 GMT on 24 December. Police found the injured man when they were called to a fight that erupted outside the pub after three white men in their 20s were thrown out for unruly behaviour. A small Swiss army knife was found beneath Mr Sinangili's unconscious body. Detective Inspector Jonathan Tottman said: "It was really a gut-wrenching attack where a man was thrown to the ground and continually punched." Mr Sinangili, who spoke no English and had been in Britain for two years, was described by other members of the Turkish community as a "quiet character and certainly would not have provoked this sort of incident", Mr Tottman said. Police said Mr Sinangili had been visiting a friend and was on his way to another friend's home when he was assaulted.
© BBC NEWS
MICROSOFT SUED FOR DISCRIMINATION(usa)
The burden of legal actions plaguing software giant Microsoft is to increase with the filing of a lawsuit accusing the firm of racial discrimination. Seven current and former Microsoft employees are seeking $5bn in compensation claiming discrimination in evaluations, promotions, wrongful termination and retaliation, their lawyers said. The class action lawsuit, which will be outlined in greater detail at a press conference later on Wednesday, is to be served against both Microsoft and its chairman and figurehead Bill Gates, the attorneys said. A statement from the lawyers said that of 21,429 staff employed by Microsoft in 1999, 2.6% were African-American. Of the firm's 5,155 managers, 1.6% were African-American. Microsoft, while declining to comment in detail on the case, defended its commitment to diversity. While African-Americans make up 2.7% of the workforce, minorities as a whole account for 22.7%, spokesman Dean Katz said. "Microsoft does not tolerate discrimination in any of its employment practices," Mr Katz said. "We are committed to treating all of our employees fairly. We take these kinds of issues very seriously."
The action follows a suit filed against Microsoft in October by a black woman alleging racial and gender bias. The case is still pending. The firm is also fighting a ruling by a federal judge last June that the company had abused a monopoly position in the computer market, and should be broken up. The appeal against the judgement, which has spawned a series of class action suits from consumers, is expected to take years to reach a conclusion. Microsoft last month agreed to pay $97m to thousands of long-term workers who were hired as temporary staff, and denied benefits given to permanent employees. The lawsuit, the so-called 'permatemp' case, was filed in 1992. In the latest lawsuit, the seven plaintiffs are being represented by Florida based law firm Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis,
McManus, Watson and Sperando.
© BBC NEWS
MOBILE SCHOOLS FOR TRAVELLER CHILDREN(France)
Around thirty Antennes scolaires mobiles or mobile schools and about 40 teachers divided into a network covering 14 French "départments" (counties) are today serving more than 3,500 travelling children the children of gypsies who move about and live in caravans. The outpost teachers in these mobile schools belong to the educational teams of their home establishments and are therefore paid by the national education service. On the ground they meet the children regularly in their various halts to give them basic instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic,
which will allow as many of them as possible to be admitted to the educational establishmentnearest to them and most suited to their level of attainment. The mobile schools are financed by public and private funds and the running costs are met, in whole or in part, by the teachers' home establishment and/or by public bodies such as town halls, general councils, county health and social security offices among others. In each county the gypsies who wish their children to benefit from mobile schools have to apply to the education inspectorate. The ASET - Aide à la scolarisation des enfants tsiganes (Gypsy children's Educational Support) which was involved at the beginning of mobile schools is recognised as the National Association of Youth and Popular Education by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
IMMIGRATION PACKAGE EXCLUDES MANY REFUGEES(usa)
Just two months ago, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and other refugees from Central America were ecstatic: President Bill Clinton had threatened to veto a final budget deal unless more than a million immigrants - including them - were allowed a chance at becoming legal residents. But after elections that favored Republicans, and amid fierce Republican opposition, Mr. Clinton agreed to an immigration package that helps just over half as many. Most come from Mexico, India and other populous countries. But those from Central America are largely out of luck, victims of an ideological struggle dating from the Cold War. In the end, about 400,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, plus 50,000 from Haiti and Liberia, find themselves with little chance of becoming legal U.S. residents, let alone citizens. And many are likely to face new threats of deportation after more than a decade of living in the United States. The outcome has enraged immigrant advocates. Some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus accused Mr. Clinton of using them to curry Democratic favor among Latino voters, only to abandon them after Election Day. "Most of these people came here at a time of extraordinary strife in Central America that we had a big hand in," said Angela Kelley, deputy director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigration group. "The Central Americans have the strongest case for relief, and yet they got absolutely nothing. The politics in this just stink." Mr. Clinton proposed a bill last year easing the way to legal residency for more than a million immigrants. But Republican congressional leaders stood firm against bringing Central Americans, Haitians and Liberians into parity with Nicaraguans and Cubans.
©International Herald Tribune
VANDALS ATTACK ROMANIAN JEWISH MUSEUM
Unidentified vandals smashed windows and attacked staff at a Jewish museum in Bucharest, after posing as interested visitors, police said Friday. The two men asked to see the "soap from Auschwitz" at the Museum of Jewish History in the Romanian capital on Thursday, before beating up a caretaker and an elderly woman who helped as a guide, a spokesman said. The attackers, in their 30s, then broke a number of windows and chairs, before fleeing.
New Romanian President Ion Iliescu condemned the attack in a statement, calling it an "act of vandalism which attacks the memory and the identify of Romania's Jews." He urged the courts to "make an example in punishing" those responsible, and pledged his "full support and determination to fight extremist, xenophobic and antisemitic attacks, which are unacceptable in a democratic society." Iliescu took office this month after defeating far-righter Corneliu Vadim Tudor, whose Romania Mare (PRM) party surged to second place in legislative elections last month. More than 30 percent of Romanians voted for Tudor, who is notorious for his xenophobic comments, and runs a publication which routinely lambasts minorities, notably gypsies and Jews. Romania's Jewish community numbers 14,000, compared with 800,000 before World War II.
GERMANYS GREEKS ALARMED OVER NEONAZI ATTACK
A Greek entrepreneur in Germany was assaulted by members of the neo-Nazi organization NPD in Baden Wuerttemberg, suffering massive injuries and requiring hospitalization. The incident, which occurred on November 10, has alarmed Germany's Greek community whose members have expressed their concern over such xenophobic acts and call on the German government to take heightened measures to combat these forms of violence. Attacks against immigrants in Germany have been growing at an alarming rate in recent years.
NAZIS' ART LOOTING IS CALLED A SERVICE(Canada)
The Nazis did the world a service by looting art works in Europe during the Second World War, according to the director of a Canadian gallery, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported Thursday. "The greater good of mankind might have been served inadvertently by the Nazis by virtue of the fact that, possibly, if some of these works had been left in homes in Amsterdam and God knows where, they'd have been bombed and the works might have been destroyed," said Ian Lumsden, director of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Jack Silverstone, executive vice president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called the remarks "an incredibly unacceptable comment by anyone who would think, in any way, that looting, theft and murder would be a route to saving or popularizing art."
©International Herald Tribune
TRADE UNIONS NEED TO DO MORE FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS(Norway)
The Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) has been criticized for doing too little for workers with an immigrant background, because many LO members are critical to the immigrant workforce. This claimed in a study by researcher Jon Rokstad from the Institute for Social Research, financed by the Ministry for Local Government and Regional Development. In his report, Rokstad, says that the immigrant workers present problems for LO, because many are forced to accept below-tarrif pay, and thus undermine LO's work to maintain salary conditions and union benefits. He asks LO to visualize the changes that have take place in the make-up of the work force. LO-Secretary Liv Undheim admits to NRK Radio that LO has not enough for the immigrant workers on the labour market, and promises to do better. At some companies, the immigrant workers are so dissatified with the local LO-representatives that they deal with their problems through their own channels, according to NRK Radio.
FRENCH RAPPER FINED FOR INSULTING FAR-RIGHT LEADER
French rap singer
Stomy Bugsy was Wednesday
fined 1,000 francs (136 dollars) by a court in this
eastern city for calling far-right leader
Jean-Marie Le Pen an ass during a clash on board a
flight from Paris to Strasbourg.
Two fellow musicians were also fined 1,000 francs
each, the rapper's attorney Dominique
The three men were in addition ordered to pay a
total 2,500 francs (342 dollars) in
damages and interest to Le Pen, leader of the National
Le Pen's attorney had sought 50,000 francs (6,849
dollars) in damages.
Tricaud argued before the court that Le Pen's
complaint was unfounded considering his
party's stand toward Jews, black people and immigrants.
"Mr. Le Pen should not be surprised to see one of
his victims hold his head up high when
he meets him," Tricaud said. "There is no insult when
there is provocation."
The three musicians fined were all black.
Le Pen at the time of the clash was travelling to
Strasbourg for a committee hearing on his
being stripped of his European Parliament seat, a
punishment for assaulting a woman
Socialist candidate during the 1997 general election.
At the height of his influence, Le Pen won 15
percent of the vote in the first round of
presidential elections in 1995 despite shocking
mainstream opinion with his anti-immigrant,
Most famously he once dismissed the World War II
Nazi gas chambers as a "detail of
history" and called for four million immigrants to be
expelled from France.
© The Tocqueville Connection
IMMIGRANT HOPEFULS DUMPED OFF ITALY
One man drowned and two other people were missing
Thursday after smugglers
forced would-be immigrants out of a dinghy and into rough waters off
Italy's southern Adriatic coast.
Francesco Cucinelli, a border police official in Otranto, said the missing
man and woman were believed
They were among a group of about 45 Iraqi Kurds who had departed from
Vlora, Albania. The smugglers
forced them overboard about 700 feet off the Italian shore, beating those
who refused to jump, Cucinelli
Such smugglers often force passengers out before reaching land so they can
make a fast getaway.
The other 42 refugees were rescued and taken to shelters to get warm.
Their cases will now be studied by
immigration officials, and those not eligible to stay will be ordered out
© Associated Press
REFUGEE LAW IGNORES BASIC RIGHTS AND SAFEGUARDS (Ireland)
By Nuala Haughey
The "punitive" new refugee law ignores basic
concerns and denies fundamental legal safeguards
seekers, the Irish section of Amnesty
Ms Ursula Fraser, the organisation's refugee
officer, said large
chunks of international human rights law were
ignored" in the Refugee Act, which became law a
Ms Fraser was speaking yesterday at the launch
of a booklet
she wrote on asylum law and policy. She said it
"difficult and unjust obstacle course someone
While Amnesty welcomed the new statutory framework
introduced in the Refugee Act, it had "a lot of
about how it might work in practice, she said.
Asylum-seekers are people who seek State
refugees on the grounds that they are fleeing
another country. If granted refugee status, they
are entitled to
live and work in Ireland. If refused, they face
Ms Fraser was particularly critical of the new
powers in the Act
to detain asylum-seekers in Garda stations,
which was worrying
and "wholly inappropriate". She also highlighted
concerns at accelerated procedures in the Act
asylum claims. Amnesty fears that asylum-seekers
returned to countries where they may be in danger.
The Act "ignores basic human rights concerns and
asylum applicants fundamental legal safeguards,"
The publication, Asylum Law and Policy in
Ireland - A Critical
Guide, states that the Act "endangers people
fleeing torture and
death, discriminates against those needing
asylum, allows for
their detention when they have committed no
crime, and pushes
through applications without proper legal process."
The director of Amnesty International's Irish
section, Ms Mary
Lawlor, said the line has been blurred in
asylum-seekers and economic migrants seeking a
"The only way to determine who is a refugee is
to have a fair
Ms Lawlor highlighted the case of a teenage Somali
asylum-seeker living in Clonakilty, Co Cork, who
parents being tortured and killed.
"You know that he goes down the street and
people think, `Oh, a
black sponger', and no one knows the pain he has
She said the new booklet would be a practical
tool for anyone
interested in asylum-seekers or refugees. It is
Amnesty International's Dublin office for £5.
© The Irish Times
BERTLESMANN AND NAPSTER RESPOND TO PLEA TO CURB NAZI MUSIC
Bertlesmann and Napster have pledged
to work closely with
German authorities to weed out
right-wing extremists from
using the online music-sharing service.
The Constitutional Protection Office,
which enforces German
anti-racism laws, says that the
popularity of the free music
exchange service has made it far
easier for groups to
disseminate music with Nazi lyrics
Bertlesmann - which shocked its
mainstream rivals by forging
an alliance with the beleaguered
file-sharing service just a
matter of weeks ago - has promised
Andreas Schmidt of Bertlesmann's
told Infoworld.com that anyone using
Napster to incite violence
was violating of the company's terms
But he indicated that stemming the
flow of such content would
be highly problematic, owing to the
fact that Napster is merely
the conduit for content stored on the
computers of its 40 million
NAIL BOMB HERO ACCUSED OF RACE CHARGES (UK)
A man who helped to save dozens of
shoppers from a racist
nail bomb attack last year has been
charged with racial
harassment and threatening to kill a
George Jones dragged the bomb planted
by psychopath David
Copeland to a safer place moments
before it exploded in
Brixton's Electric Avenue in London.
Jones, from Brockley, south east
London, will appear before
Woolwich Magistrates, on Friday.
was arrested following an
incident involving a neighbour earlier
He has been charged with racially
threats to kill and two charges of affray.
Jones was among 50 people injured in
the blast in April last
year and lost two toes.
He pulled out one of the nails
embedded in his leg with a pair of
pliers before paramedics arrived.
The Brixton bombing was the first of
three in April last year that
caused a wave of panic in London.
All were carried out by Copeland, a
racist loner, who was
sentenced to six terms of life
imprisonment in June this year.
UNIVERSITY APOLOGISES OVER HOLOCAUST THESIS (New Zealand)
A New Zealand university has
apologised to the Jewish
community after a graduate was granted
a master's degree for
his thesis asking whether the
Holocaust really happened.
Dr Joel Hayward's 1993 MA thesis, The
Fate of the Jews in
Germand Hands, questioned whether
there was an official Nazi
policy to exterminate Jews and whether
gas chambers existed.
It also suggested that far fewer than
six million Jews died at the
hands of the Nazis.
Jewish groups had called on the
university to revoke the degree
awarded to Dr Hayward, who is now a
senior lecturer in
defence and strategic studies at
Massey University on New
Zealand's North Island, the Sydney
Morning Herald reports.
An independent report commissioned by
the University of
Canterbury said Dr Hayward should not
have been given a
first-class degree pass because his
thesis was "seriously
deficient" and suffered from "poor
judgement". Instead, he
should have been told to revise and
resubmit the thesis.
Canterbury University vice-chancellor
Daryl Le Grew said the
university took full responsibility
for accepting the flawed thesis,
and unreservedly apologised to the
Jewish community for the
hurt it had caused.
He said: "The University of Canterbury
does not support
Holocaust revisionism and the
university does not harbour
Since writing the thesis, Dr Hayward
has issued corrections to
his work, which was embargoed for five
years, and withdrawn
his main conclusions but the thesis
appears on a number of
Holocaust denial websites.
GYPSY FAMILY'S RIGHTS CLAIM SETTLED OUT OF COURT (UK)
A legal wrangle over a British gypsy
family's right to maintain
their traditional lifestyle has been
settled out of court.
The family from Featherstone,
Staffordshire, claimed a breach
of human rights because a local
planning authority refused to
let them live a "traditional" gypsy
life on their own land.
But the agreed £60,000 "friendly
settlement" plus £15,000 costs
given at the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg,
means the judges will not now rule on
whether the Government
violated their human rights.
Joseph Vafrey, 60, and his wife Mary,
56, described as
"gypsies by birth", bought land in
Featherstone on which they
intended to live while maintaining
their traditional gypsy lifestyle
They claimed they had no choice
because planning regulations
and the shortage of sites for gypsies
in the UK left them no
When they were told they were breaking
regulations by failing to comply with
requirements, they took their case to
Strasbourg, citing the
European Human Rights Convention which
guarantee the "right
to respect for home, family and
They also claimed there was no
effective access to court in the
UK to challenge the planning
decisions, and that they had been
subject to discrimination - also in
breach of the Convention, to
which Britain is a signatory.
A Human Rights Court spokesman said
that the "friendly
settlement" halted the legal
proceedings but that verdicts in
similar cases involving gypsy families
and rights of residency in
the UK were still due to be delivered
800 NAZIS DEMONSTRATE IN STOCKHOLM SUBURB
Early Thursday morning the 7th of December two 17-year old nazis attacked and brutally assaulted an 41 year old immigrant subway employee after he closed the station Hallonbergen he was working at. He is now in the hospital with serious injuries that will leave him scarred and disfigured for life. The police were shortly thereafter able to arrest the two nazis by following the blood stains left by their combat boots. They were arrested with the man's wallet in their possession and his blood literally on their hands. The two sounded shouts of "sieg heil" all the way to their cells.
Two days later, on the other side of Stockholm, a different 17 year old nazi, Daniel Wretström, was killed in a fight in the small suburb community of Salem, receiving a knife wound that subsequently led to him bleeding to death.
On Friday evening the 15th of December a quickly assembled anti-racist manifestation in Hallonbergen, called for by the Network Against Racism and the subways workers union, gathered 100 anti-racists to the location of the assault. The subway workers demanded safer working conditions from their employer, the French company Connex.
A day later, Saturday the 16th, in Salem, 800 nazis from all across Sweden gathered for a 3 hour-long manifestation, all under the protection of the Stockholm's police force. So many nazis have not been gathered at one time in Sweden since June 1995. At that time Swedish nazis held a Midsummer white-power concert in the city of Gothenburg. Yesterday's nazi demonstration was also able to gather all the warring factions within the Swedish nazi movement to participate in a single event, something that until now, has been all but impossible for this movement to accomplish.
Interesting in this context is the Swedish state's purported "anti-nazi" stance of the last year and the mission of the police to quickly act upon violent nazi crimes. Obviously, the fact that 800 uniformed nazis are allowed to march freely for three hours through a small suburb while the police recommend local inhabitants to stay inside is not regarded as a nazi provocation or act of violence against the community.
HAIDER TAKES AIM AT ITALIAN LEADERS
ROME Joerg Haider, the Austrian far-rightist, ended a visit to Italy
with parting shots at its leaders as "weak" and at immigrants as
heading home after an audience with Pope John Paul II that sparked a
throwing incident near St. Peter's.
"I repeat what I believe: Everyone has a right to a dignified
existence, but in
their own country," Mr. Haider was quoted as saying in a combative
Sunday in the Rome daily La Repubblica, adding, "Ever more people are
thinking as I do."
Italy's center-left government made clear how unwelcome any new Haider
would be. "Haider's presence in our country is not desirable," Luciano
president of the Chamber of Deputies, said Sunday, faulting what he
Haider's "rude, discourteous manner" in verbal clashes with Italy's
Mr. Haider came to Rome as head of a 250-member Austrian delegation that
presented the pope with a Christmas tree on Saturday for St. Peter's
© 2000 The International Herald Tribune
ASYLUM SYSTEM FAILING REFUGEES (UK)
The Immigration and Asylum Bill sparked many
A charity says new research shows Britain's
asylum system is damaging the health of
refugees and failing to deal with the
The report by the King's Fund also says that
some asylum seekers are turning to crime or
working illegally because of the Bill, which
came into force in April.
It says that many asylum seekers arrive in the
UK optimistic about the contribution they can
make but often find themselves consigned
them to the margins of society in substandard
accommodation and the target of racist abuse.
David Woodhead, who
wrote the report, cited
under-funding in health
services specific to
as cause for particular
He said: "Refugees are
often very resilient
people but they also
have high levels of
physical and mental health problems because
of their past experiences.
"Living in poverty, with severely restricted
freedom, makes those problems worse. This is
a very unhealthy public policy."
The system whereby asylum seekers are given
vouchers to buy food was also singled out for
The report says
vouchers often make it
impossible to buy foods
like Halal meat because
they can only be spent
And it says other foods
which asylum seekers
regard as everyday
items are often
regarded as 'exotic
The King's Fund says that there are indications
that as a result some asylum seekers have
been forced into criminal behaviour, such as
shoplifting, or to work illegally, to make ends
The Fund's chief executive, Julia Neuberger, is
calling for a rethink of the entire asylum
She said: "The voucher system should be
abolished at once, and replaced with cash
entitlements for all asylum seekers.
"And the NHS should be given more resources
to improve refugees' health and give them a
better chance of leading an ordinary life if they
are given leave to remain in Britain."
© BBC NEWS
RACIST STABBING OF SCHOOLBOY (UK)
Mother's anger over racist stabbing
The mother of a 13-year-old Sussex schoolboy left fighting for
his life after a suspected racist stabbing, has made an
emotional plea to the public to help catch his attackers.
Amanda Herbert, 32, said: "I would just like to appeal to anyone
who has any information which can help the police solve what
happened to Danny.
"Danny is in hospital fighting for his life. Whoever has done this
needs to be caught. I am just so angry and shocked that
anyone could have done this to a 13-year-old kid."
She says the family had moved from Dundee in Scotland to
Littlehampton, west Sussex, in September this year because
they had suffered racial abuse.
Describing Danny's condition at Guy's Hospital, she said:
"Danny is the same, critical but stable. He's been on a
ventilator. They are doing a number of tests, to see basically
the damage that has been done. He is not conscious."
She added: "We have no idea what happened. I want to know,
all his friends and family want to know what happened. But
before Danny wakes up and tells us we won't know."
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMISSION AT IKEA (France)
by Béatrice Bouillat, Lyon
On 5 December 2000 the anti-discrimination commission presented the result of a study on discrimination in the chain of furniture shops, IKEA-France.
In January 2000, the unions CGT and CFDT made public a racist written piece of advise submitted by a female employee of Ikea's Saint-Priest (Rhône) branch, which she sent by internal e-mail. The guilty employee suggested that no person of colour should be employed to distribute catalogues, the service of which she was in charge. Ikea's management immediately condemned this illegal suggestion and Ikea-France was in turn anxious to know if the suggestion came as a result of an individual initiative or was a sign of segregationist practices usual within the firm.
For this reason, the management of Ikea-France created an anti-discrimination commission comprising representatives of the unions and management. This commission ordered a sociological enquiry. The result of thie enquiry on discrimination in Ikea is in part positive for Ikea because the company's management cannot be criticized for any voluntary discriminative practices.
However, the enquiry revealed discrimination in union elections and for this reason the commission has been made permanent, a first in France. This affair will also have had the effect of ensuring that from now on, all managers will be fully trained in the work of the unions.
Post-script: an anti-discrimination at work law was voted through on 12 October, but has still to pass the Senate. The guilty employee was suspended five days before being reinstated in her post. As for the director of Ikea Saint-Priest, he was posted to another branch.
For further information:
www.humanite.presse.fr/journal/2000/2000-10/2000-10-13/2000-10-13-048.html (the law yet to be passed at the Senate on discrimination at work)
www.humanite.presse.fr/journal/2000/2000-02/2000-02-14/2000-02-14-018.html (Enquiry. Social partners get together against discrimination at work in the region of Rhône-Alpes)
POLEMIC ABOUT MEDITERRANEAN PORT CASUALTIES (Spain)
Samuel Adebowale, Madrid
On the early morning of Monday 4th of December an illegally immigrated Moroccan youth, was found dead on the coast of Tarifa in Andalucía. He was shot by a civil guard at Tarifa port's frontier. Information from the security department indicated that the youth was shot because of his violent resistance against the security man. The civil guard was also found injured and has been summoned before court. Meanwhile, an investigation has been put in place to clear the ambiguity of the incidence.
The Association for Human Rights in Andalucía stated that it was very strange to hear of a migrant's resistance to arrest during his illegal crossing of the frontier. From their experience it was equally strange that a civil guard should have used his gun. The spokesperson from the association said that the civil guards are usually giving far more assistance to the rescue of the migrants than what they are obliged to by the law. Other humanitarian organisations involved in the medical attention after rescues like Red Cross have also expressed their surprise about the incidence.
The opposition party has called for the presence of the Minister for internal affairs, Mayor Oreja, to the parliament in order to give account of the polemic death of the migrant. Meanwhile, Mayor Oreja has responded to the demand by shifting all the responsibility of the incidence to the concerned security department.
There were about 4 other death cases in the same week: three black Africans one of them a pregnant woman, whose corpses were discovered in Ceuta. The fourth person died by inhaling exhausts from the engine of the boat used in the illegal sailing to the Tarifa port. It is not possible to give a definite number of the total death cases along the Spanish coasts. But no doubt the number is high.
There is a rising trend of the illegal crossing of the Mediterranean sea by migrants. In what goes of the year the record states over 15,000 interrupted illegal entrances through the Mediterranean coasts into the Spanish territory. But it is not only the number of people trying to cross the Spanish border by sea which is growing, but also the number of nationalities and the number of possible gateways. As there is an increasing number of migrants coming from the Asian continent, the Atlantic ocean coast becomes more attractive.
Asociación de Derechos Humanos en Andalucía
Tel. +34 .956 228 511
Note: there are two audio files for this story available on the Griot webpage: the Minister for internal affairs remark and a comment by the red cross volunteer.
U.S. COURTS WILL REJECT NAZI VICTIMS' CLASS ACTION
Payments to forced and slave labourers expected to begin in March
By Matthias Arning
Frankfurt - The fund set up by German industry and government to compensate
former forced and slave labour victims of the Nazis believes it will be able to
commence payments in March next year.
According to spokesman Wolfgang Gibowski, the fund fully expects outstanding
class actions brought in the US to be thrown out by the end of January.
Two cases have yet to be decided. In the first, Judge Shirley Kram intends to rule
on 24 January, 2001 on claims brought against German banks. She postponed her
judgement to allow time for an investigation into "fair compensation" for damage to
property. Five days later, another US judge is due to rule on outstanding cases
brought aganist German corporations.
The compensation fund is waiting for these judgements before fixing a date for the
commencement of payments to former victims.
" will show the worth of the agreements we made with the US government,"
Gibowski told the Frankfurter Rundschau on Wednesday.
In negotiations that resulted in the creation of the compensation fund, the US
government agreed to press US courts to reject victims' outstanding class action
Social Democratic member of the German parliament (Bundestag), Bernd Reuter,
said the Bundestag now expects the US cases to be thrown out. German MPs
have yet to decide whether there are sufficient legal barriers in place to protect
German industry against further lawsuits in US courts.
Reuter admitted he has given up hope of putting German corporations under
pressure with a view to forcing more companies to contribute to the scheme.
By contrast, Gibowski announced the fund would be reviving its campaign in an
attempt to "exert moral pressure on companies" to ensure German industry raises
the 1.6 billion marks still missing from its promised contribution to the fund.
German industry agreed to pony up five billion marks (around 2.26 billion dollars)
but has so far raised just 3.4 billion. The German government will likewise
contribute five billion marks.
German business had fallen behind with its payments, said Hans-Jochen Vogel,
former head of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) and a member of the
"Against Forgetting - For Democracy" educational foundation which was set up
under the compensation fund.
Vogel described as shameful the fact that the fund was still missing such a large
proportion of the money promised. In Munich, Against Forgetting published a list of
companies which have refused to contribute to the fund despite having been
founded before 1939.
The car manufacturer Opel, which was named on the list, benefitted from the
exploitation of more than 100 foreign workers in March 1945.
A campaign initiated by authors Carola Stern and Guenther Grass and prominent
pedagogue Hartmut von Hentig raised three million marks for the fund in
contributions from ordinary German citizens ashamed at the prospect that German
industry might not come up with its promised share.
The three organisers are now pushing for payments to begin "at the latest
immediately" after the US court rulings. They donated the collected contributions to
the fund with the proviso that the money "be paid out this year", although that is no
The original date fixed by the German government for the start of payments was
September 1, 1999 - the sixtieth anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland.
© Frankfurter Rundschau
AFTER STASI, SKINHEADS TAKE TO THE TERRACES (Germany)
The slogan of the secret police football team is unnerving. "You'll
never walk alone," proclaims a 6ft-high banner opposite the VIP stand
where the henchmen of the Stasi used to watch over Dynamo Berlin.
The club founded and nurtured by the Stasi's ruthless boss, Erich
Mielke, rarely lost. But when East Germany collapsed and the spooky
fans melted, the 10-times champions slipped into an age of darkness.
Now Dynamo are re-emerging into the sunlight.
The story of Dynamo has mirrored the violent mood swings of eastern
Germany in the past decade. Glory turned instantly to despair,
followed by failure, bankruptcy and shame.
But there is hope. Dynamo have chosen a woman as their president, a
rare feat in the male-dominated football world. A lucrative sponsorship
deal has been struck with a local software company, and the players
have rediscovered their winning ways.
The club, unlucky losersin the 1980 European Cup quarter-finals to the
eventual champions, Nottingham Forest, play in an amateur league
several rungs below the likes of Bayern Munich. But they head the
"We have a record turn-out today," says Karin Seidel-Kalmutzki, the
Social Democrat councillor presiding over Mielke's legacy. At least
1,500 spectators shout themselves hoarse as Dynamo trounce the
youth team of Hertha Berlin. The Hertha fans, all 30 of them, maintain a
guarded silence. The pent-up frustration will be released when
Dynamo go to visit them, and the east Berliners are welcomed with the
familiar chorus of "Stasi swines".
Ms Seidel-Kalmutzki, a social scientist aged 40, is hurt by such taunts.
"Look around you," she says. "Do these people look like Stasi agents?
And the players, Cameroonians, Romanians, a Brazilian - are they
from the Stasi?"
No, almost all the fans seem too young to have been in gainful
employment 10 years ago, and nine out of 10 have shaved heads. The
Stasi did not recruit many skinheads.
After the Wall fell, the original dark-suited followers of Dynamo
decided it was safer not to show their faces on the terraces. The club
even changed name, becoming FC Berlin in 1990, in the hope of
purging the Stasi stigma.
As they tumbled without identity from one nether division to the next,
attendance dropped to near zero, and ex-Dynamo had to move out of
their imposing stadium into the nondescript arena once used by the
reserves. Players sold themselves to the top clubs of the continent.
New fans did eventually come, but they were attracted by the
thoroughly repugnant image. FC was adopted by East Berlin's
burgeoning neo-Nazi youth. In 1998, FC Berlin were renamed Dynamo.
The Stasi connection is a tiny blemish these days. Mielke is dead, his
secret army of cowering old men no longer frighten anyone.
But Dynamo's young supporters do. The club emblem is seen at
demos of the far-right. Neo-Nazi violence on the terraces has been
abating, yet Ms Seidel-Kalmutzki still has a big job on her hands.
"We have a terrible reputation because some people come here only
to articulate extreme political views," she says. The president and the
sponsors have had it with history. They want a new image.
© The Independent
UN PLEA FOR REFUGEES
The retiring United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, has called for
greater understanding of the plight of more
than 22 million refugees around the world.
In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of
the UNHCR, Mrs Ogata said displaced people
came from all walks of life - they deserved
respect for overcoming the odds to survive
and begin their lives anew.
The organisation, which
says it has helped 50
million people in the
past five decades, is
urging countries not to
regard refugees as a
It says that, even
though refugees still face widespread
persecution and prejudice, governments in the
developed world are tightening their borders,
making asylum-seeking more difficult.
Mrs Ogata was speaking at the UN's European
headquarters in Geneva, where the famous 'Jet
d'eau' fountain is due to light up the lakeside
sky in blue later on Thursday.
Thousands of candles will be set adrift along
the River Rhone, which flows through Geneva.
A special UN television
commercial will also be
launched to mark the
In it, famous refugees
such as the
Secretary of State
Peace Prize laureate
Chilean writer Isabel
Allende and sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer
dance to singer Aretha Franklin's "Respect".
The agency, which won the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1954, was established with a three-year
mandate to resettle two million people after
World War II.
But 50 years later, there are more refugees in
the world than ever before.
UNHCR is now one of the largest UN agencies,
with an annual budget of $930m.
'Nothing to celebrate'
But for UNHCR spokesman, Ron Redmond, the
organisation's longevity is not a cause for
"Our feeling is that
UNHCR's five decades
of existence are really
nothing to celebrate
because our continued
need in the world is
really a reflection of
the failure of the
community to deal with
some of the root
causes of conflict," he
refugees is becoming an increasingly dangerous
mission, with some 20 UNHCR workers killed in
"Humanitarian assistance has become, in the
eyes of some people, just another weapon of
war," Mr Redmond said.
"UNHCR works in many places in the world
where even militaries will not go, and one side
or the other accuses us of taking sides."
Mr Redmond says the agency is appealing to
the international community to try to provide
the funds and aid to ensure that humanitarian
workers in such countries are better
The most turbulent period of the agency's
history has undoubtedly been the last decade.
The 1990s were marked by the wars in the
Balkans, which saw 200,000 people killed and
more than four million displaced, as well as the
Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which one million
people were killed and two million Hutus sought
refuge in neighbouring countries.
© BBC NEWS
NAZI SUSPECT ARRESTED IN AUSTRIA
Mr Kalejs has been deported from the UK, USA and
Police in Australia have arrested a man
charged in Latvia with genocide and war
crimes during World War II.
The 87-year-old man, Konrad Kalejs, is alleged
to have been a guard at a Nazi concentration
camp in Latvia where thousands of Jewish,
Romany and Slav prisoners were executed or
died of starvation. He has denied the charges.
His arrest followed a
request on Wednesday
from Latvia, where he
was charged six weeks
Mr Kalejs has been
released on bail and will
now face extradition
could take several months.
He lived in the United Kingdom at the beginning
of this year but left for Australia under threat
of deportation. He has been an Australian
citizen since 1957.
A spokesman for the Australian Justice Ministry
told the Reuters news agency that Mr Kalejs
would appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court
on 25 January.
He is likely to indicate
then whether he will
appeal against the
Prosecutors in Latvia
warned that the
appeals would take
"There will undoubtedly
be a long process of
appeals and the issue
may be decided by
biology," human rights
lawyer Nils Muzieneks said.
Lawyers for Mr Kalejs
argue that he is too
sick to stand trial and
the charges against him
Mr Kalejs has admitted
that he was a member
of the Arajs Kommando,
a Nazi hit squad
believed to be
responsible for 30,000
But he says that he only fought against Russia
on the eastern front or was studying at
university when killings of Jews took place in
Nazi hunters praised the extradition decision as
"long overdue" but urged the Latvian
authorities to ensure there was no delay in the
"The passage of time since Kalejs committed
his crimes in no way diminishes their horror or
his culpability," a statement by the Simon
Latvia vowed to prosecute alleged agents of
Nazi and Soviet crimes after it regained its
independence in 1991.
But while nearly a dozen men have been
indicted or convicted for Stalinist-era crimes,
no alleged Nazis have been tried.
Of the 70,000 Jews living in Latvia at the start
of World War II, 95% were murdered during the
© BBC NEWS
HAGUES TAKES AIM AT LAWRENCE REPORT (UK)
Stephen Lawrence: his murder prompted racism inquiry
Conservative leader William Hague believes the
police are being prevented from doing their job
for fear of being branded racist.
In a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies,
Mr Hague will blame the Macpherson report
into the Stephen Lawrence's murder for
undermining morale in the force.
He says officers are reluctant to stop and
search black suspects and consequently there
has been a significant rise in crime in urban
The report accused the
racism"; a phrase which
Mr Hague says has
been used by the
politically correct to
brand every police
officer as a racist.
He is expected to pledge to "take on and
defeat the attitude of the condescending
liberal elite that has never trusted the police
and now wants us to believe they are all
Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old A-level
student, was stabbed in an unprovoked attack
by a gang of white youths at a bus stop in
Eltham, south east London, in April 1993.
No one has been convicted for the killing but
five men have at various times been either
arrested, charged or acquitted.
The inquiry, chaired by Sir William Macpherson,
condemned the Metropolitan Police
investigation as incompetent.
Following the report,
the force produced its
own guidelines for how
its 25,000 officers
should deal with ethnic
But an internal inquiry
leaked to the Financial
officers still do not
think enough is being
done to tackle the problem of racism.
Shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe told
BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday
that arrests had dropped by a third since the
Macpherson report, but street crime had
increased in the same period.
Asked whether the
Tory leader risked
treading on delicate
territory by criticising
the report, Miss
Widdecombe said: "It's
not delicate territory to
try to get crime down.
It's what people want,
black or white.
"We need enough
police back on the
streets of London and
for them to be able to
do their job.
"Of course you must make sure the police act
courteously and proceed correctly but we
must get crime down," she said.
Imran Khan, lawyer for the Lawrence family,
said stop and search did not necessarily lead
to a cut in crime.
"What Macpherson talked about was getting
rid of discriminatory stop and search, not to
completely do away with it, but to use those
powers in a way that was fair and not based
on the colour of a person's skin."
He dismissed suggestions that Sir William
Macpherson represented the views of the
Anxious to avoid charges of racism against
himself, Mr Hague will stress his condemnation
of Stephen Lawrence's murder and the need to
tackle racist crime.
But Miss Widdecombe
said: "Good also came
out of the Macpherson
report, no one is saying
that it was useless. But
because of that
police are afraid to do
But Labour sources say the extraordinary
attack on the police service is a mark of
William Hague's desperation.
They pointed out that in February last year
the then Conservative spokesman on home
affairs, Sir Norman Fowler, said he entirely
associated himself with the Macpherson report.
And Sir William Macpherson said on Thursday:
"I am simply most surprised that the Tory Party
should change its view, because at the time
the report was written they, in common with
the government, accepted the report.
"I thought William Hague might have had the
courtesy to contact me beforehand."
© BBC NEWS
PRIZE FOR DOCUMENTARY ABOUT MUSLIM GAY
The Dutch director Frank Vellenga has won the Silver Zebra last week. Vellenga received this media award for the best production about the multicultural society for his TV documentary 'Fear of Love' (Angst voor Liefde).
"A heartbreaking result," said the jury about the production 'Fear of Love', about homosexuality and the islam. Director Frank Vellenga received twenty thousand guilders and a silver zebra statue for it. The prize was awarded by secretary of state Rick van der Ploeg in the new 'World Museum' in rotterdam.
In the documentary 'Fear for Love' 20-year old Turkish boy Faith tells about his homosexual orientation. Faith is one of the few muslims who openly come out about being gay. The most special about the documentary however is that Faith father speaks. The thought of a son with a different sexual orientation is unbearable to him. According to Vellenga it is especially the father who makes the documentary so good. "At first he refused to cooperate with the project. I have called him three times, I have also visited him three times. During that last conversation we spoke about his son. At a certain pint he became so emotional that I asked him if he wanted to stop. I wanted to get the cameraman out of the car and film his emotions. He allowed me to do that." The documentary has already been awarded an 'Academy Award'.
The Silver Zebra, formerly known as the ASN-Media Prize, yearly lauds a media production that sheds its light on the multicultural society in the Netherlands in a critical and honest manner. The organisation of the award is done by the National Bureau for the Fight Against Racism (Landelijk Bureau Racismebestrijding)."
from Contrast, 7 december 2000
RESPECT REFUGEES !
Join the largest gathering of refugee musicians ever for a concert called "Refugee Voices" to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR and to highlight the contribution refugees make to their countries of asylum.
Guest stars Geoffrey Oryema, Rasha and In Mixed Company will be joined by refugee children's rights activist Youssou N'Dour and a chorus made up of refugees from Somalia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Balkans, Rwanda, Uganda, Vietnam, China, Chile and Burundi.
Celebrate difference with 90 minutes of pure music from the world's greatest refugee voices. http://www.unhcr-50.org at 20:00 GMT on December 14 for an evening to remember.
This invitation comes from the UNHCR-50 Foundation, which has been set up to
help organise events to mark the 50th anniversary of the UN refugee agency,
UNHCR. The show, 'Refugee Voices', is the highlight of the anniversary programme and is the
largest ever gathering of refugee musicians. The main theme of the evening will be Respect for refugees, with a public awareness campaign to be formally launched that day. This campaign features
prominent former refugees such as politician Madeleine Albright, model Alek Wek
and writer Isabel Allende.
ROMA GROUP SEES EU DISCRIMINATION
At tomorrow's European Union human rights forum in Paris the
Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), will be particularly
concerned with asylum and international protection of Romany refugees,
European countries in which serious incidents of violence
against Roma have occurred in recent years include: Albania, Bosnia,
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. Meanwhile
Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Britain - all EU member states -
have responded to the arrival of Romany refugees from other countries by
imposing visas, effectively hindering access to asylum procedures.
member states of the European Union now apply so-called manifestly
unfounded claims procedures to persons they believe are fraudulently
applying for refugee status; in light of deeply ingrained prejudice in Europe
regarding Roma as chronic liars, there are serious concerns that authorities
dismiss legitimate claims for asylum lodged by Romany individuals," said
ERRC in an October position paper.
Claude Cahn, ERRC research and
publications director, said Austria, Italy and Finland had all adopted or
revised legislation relating to asylum seekers "and applied it in a
discriminatory way against Roma," he said.
© Refugees Daily
GERMAN COURT RULES ON HOLOCAUST DENIAL OVERSEAS
Approval for prosecution of Australian who used Internet
By Ursula Knapp
Karlsruhe, Germany - For the first time, Germany's Federal Supreme Court has
ruled that foreign-based extremists who deny the Holocaust on the Internet can be
prosecuted in Germany for inciting hatred - if the homepage can be viewed by
Internet users in Germany.
Specifically, the high court's verdict addresses the denial of Nazi Germany's
systematic attempt to exterminate European Jews propagated by Gerald Fredrick
Toeben on his website. Toeben, 56, emigrated with his parents in 1956 from
Germany to Australia, where he later obtained citzenship.
Since 1996, Toeben has been the director of the Australian-based "Adelaide
Institute". Writings on the institute's homepage incite people to hatred and deny
that the Holocaust took place.
According to Toeben, there were never any gas chambers in Auschwitz. He writes
that the Germans need not harbour a "guilt complex", although they must continue
to expect to be defamed by "Jewish circles". In addition, Toeben sent an open
letter to Germany, addressed - among others - to the presiding judge in the trial of
Guenter Deckert, the former leader of the extreme right-wing National Democratic
Party of Germany (NPD). Deckert was facing charges of inciting hatred.
Toeben was arrested while visiting Germany and tried by a district court in
Mannheim. In November, 1999, the lower court found him guilty, on the basis of the
open letter, of inciting racial hatred.
But the court said that his other revisionist publications posted on the Internet did
not make him liable to prosecution under the German criminal code since they
were posted in a foreign country by a foreigner and therefore posed no threat to
public peace in Germany.
The Mannheim court sentenced Toeben to 10 months in prison - without any part of
it suspended. The public prosecutor appealed.
Now, the supreme court has ruled that, under German criminal law, people can be
prosecuted for posting text inciting people to racial hatred on a foreign Internet
server - if that the material is accessible to computer users in Germany.
One of the criteria to prove incitement is that the action must be of a type to "lend
itself" to posing a threat to Germany's domestic peace. The high court said this
abstract danger was present whenever relevant websites could be called up from
computers in Germany.
Observers say a new trial is unlikely. Toeben was released after his time in pre-trial
detention was deducted from his 10-month sentence. He has since left Germany.
© Frankfurter Rundschau
ANTI-IMMIGRATION POLICIAN ATTACKS ITALY (Austria)
Austria's far-right strongman Joerg Haider accused Italy yesterday of being
too lax in the face of illegal immigration, and urged his own government to
block moves towards common European Union asylum policies, reports
Haider declared that Italy's "overly generous" immigration policies
resulted in an influx of foreigners into Austria.
Italy and Austria are both
signatories of the Schengen Treaty, which allow free movement between a
number of European Union states.
"Everyone must stick properly to
Schengen - and that means that those countries, including Italy, which have
committed themselves to the Schengen agreement, must start making new
immigration policies," said Haider.
"Otherwise Schengen is not acceptable
to Austria." Haider is due in Italy on Saturday to be received by Pope John
© Refugees Daily
AUDIENCES SHUN RACIST LANGUAGE (UK)
Ali G has come under fire for the use of racist slang
Concern over the use of racist language on TV
and radio is growing among British adults,
according to research.
The survey Delete Expletives?, published on
Monday, suggests racist insults are causing
almost as much offence as certain
The study was carried out jointly by the BBC,
the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC),
the Independent Television Commission (ITC)
and the Advertising Standards Authority
The survey also found
that swearing in general
was frowned upon when
children might be
It also showed that the
BBC was expected to
carry the least
swearwords of all broadcasters.
Patricia Hodgson, chief executive of the ITC,
said: "The research clearly shows that strong
language is still a matter of great concern to
viewers, and we expect broadcasters and
television advertisers to take careful note of
Respondents were asked to grade a list of
expletives in order of severity for the research.
The results were then compared to a similar
survey conducted in 1998.
In both, the swear words considered the most
offensive remained at the top of the list.
However, a number of racist words, such as
"nigger" and "Paki" had moved up the table,
signalling people's growing concern over their
Four-letter words in general continue to cause
the greatest concern among viewers and
However, swearing is
regarded as more
acceptable in adult
after the 2100
watershed - and on
cable and satellite
director of the BSC, said the results of Delete
Expletives? confirmed previous findings.
"Although there is an acceptance that
swearing and offensive language is used in
daily life and may be appropriate if a
programme is aimed at adults, people would
prefer their homes to remain an expletive
deleted zone for children," he stated.
With regard to the findings concerning
attitudes to the BBC, researchers concluded
the audience felt the publicly-funded service
had a duty to be more responsible.
The corporation's director of public policy,
Caroline Thompson, said: "The BBC is
constantly making difficult judgments about
the use of strong language in its output.
"It will ensure that all its programme-makers
are made aware of the report, particularly the
finding that people are increasingly sensitive
The survey's results follow the ITC's latest
bulletin criticising racist language by the cult
comedy character Ali G in a music video.
The ITC upheld complaints that slang used in
the video, featuring Madonna, was offensive to
the African-Caribbean community.
© BBC NEWS
THE TROUBLES BETWEEN EAST GERMANS AND FOREIGNERS (Germany)
Conference investigates the origins of hostility
By Karl-Heinz Baum
Potsdam - It was not really intended that East Germans would marry foreigners
who came to the country. When Baerbel Sanchez went to seek approval for her
marriage in 1987, the head of the authority told her: "If you were my daughter I
would make sure that you would not marry a Cuban. There are enough German
men here." The Stasi secret police investigated to see if the intention was to enter
a proper marriage. When the application was finally approved, she was seven
months pregnant. She was also handed exit papers - although she had no intention
of leaving the country.
Her story emerged at a conference in Potsdam which investigated the phenomenon
of xenophobia in today's eastern Germany and examined the causes.
A Vietnamese, Nguyen Van Huong, said: "As a student in East Germany, isolation
shaped me." He was 18 when the Vietnamese government sent him to study law in
East Germany. After passing his examinations, he went back to Vietnam in 1981
but returned five years later and completed his doctorate.
Then the Berlin Wall fell. He decided to remain in Germany.
Sanchez and Huong were two witnesses at the conference run by the Centre for
Research into Contemporary History.
East Germany had not planned on having foreigners. Foreigners were tolerated and
controlled. They were pithily defined in the laws so: "A foreigner is whoever is not a
citizen of East Germany." They were alien, possible even "class enemies" - as
opponents of they system were described - if they came from Western countries.
One speaker, Joan Hackeling, from Los Angeles, said that not only did they not
belong, "they did not belong here".
This also applied to Russians, the fraternal kin, from whom East Germans were
meant to learn socialism. Both the ruling Socialist Unity Party and the East
German people themselves felt as if they were better than the Russians in spite of
the enforced German subservience. It was hardly different in relation to other
fraternal groups such as Poles and Romanians.
Effie Rennbold, of Hanover University, said: "The socialist East Germany
understood itself not only to be the better Germany but above all to be German."
East Germany gave a high priority to subsidiary virtues such as order, cleanliness,
punctiliousness and a healthy "feeling of being alive", she said.
Huong said fear of strangers, of differences, was natural. But what hurt him was
was the debasement of other people, a feature which he had seen in the united
Germany. He seldom travelled to the former East Germany because he was afraid
The Potsdam specialists said that in those parts of eastern Germany's
Brandenburg state where right-wing incidents had been occuring since unification,
there had been skinhead incidents in the East German days. These had been
recorded in Stasi and Party records but concealed from the public.
Some older people were prepared to accept spectacular acts of violence because
they hoped these would draw attention to the problems of the former East
Germany, the specialists said.
There was general agreement that the way eastern Germans dealt with foreigners
remained a burden which was exacerbated by changes brought about by
© Frankfurter Rundschau
MEIN KAMPF PUBLISHER SENTENCED (Czech Republic)
The publisher of the first unabridged Czech edition of Adolf Hitler's ``Mein Kampf'' received a
three-year suspended sentence Monday for promoting Nazism, Czech media reported.
Michal Zitko was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine, the news agency CTK said. It said he appealed the verdict.
``Mein Kampf'' was published in Czech in 1936 and again in 1993 after the fall of communism. The 1993 edition, which was not
a complete translation, included anti-Nazi commentaries by former Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Hajek.
The edition put out by Zitko in March was the first complete Czech-language edition of ``Mein Kampf'' without commentaries
or disclaimers. The book - 100,000 copies were printed - sold well.
The publication drew immediate protests from the Czech Jewish Community, anti-fascist associations and politicians.
Zitko was charged with promoting Nazism in June and police seized some 300 copies of the book at the distributor's office the
© Associated Press
FRENCH TOWN ORDERED TO HAND BACK KLIMT PAINTING STOLEN FROM JEWISH FAMILY
A French appeals court on Friday ordered the eastern city of Strasbourg to hand
back to an Austrian Jewish family a painting by Gustav Klimt.
The painting, entitled "Die Erfuellung" (The Accomplishment) and worth several million dollars, has been at the
center of a court battle between Strasbourg city officials and the heirs of Karl Gunwald, a Jewish antique dealer from
Grunwald had purchased the painting from Klimt, who was a friend of his.
Grunwald's three children say the painting was sent by their father to Strasbourg in 1938 to avoid it being seized by
After German troops occupied Strasbourg, however, the artwork was sold at auction to a local painter who
subsequently sold it to the city in 1959 for a mere 50,000 francs (about 8,000 dollars), 30 times less than its estimated
value at that time.
The watercolor, which had been hanging in Strasbourg's new museum of modern art, depicts a couple embracing
and a stylized so-called tree of life.
Strasbourg city officials, who had appealed an earlier court decision to hand back the painting, said they would
abide by Friday's ruling.
© The Tocqueville Connection
NEO-NAZI CRIME ENRICHES FAR-RIGHT LAWYERS (Germany)
Germany has stepped up the battle against the rise in neo-Nazi
violence by unveiling a witness-protection scheme for defectors. It
follows some startlingly lenient sentences as courts are increasingly
confronted with vanishing evidence and outfoxed by a circle of
Politicians were shocked last month when several youths convicted
over the death of an Algerian refugee walked free from an east
German courtroom after one of the longest trials in recent history.
Eleven skinheads had been accused of chasing 28-year-old Farid
Guendoul to his death in the town of Guben in February 1999. The
victim ran into a glass door while trying to escape and bled to death.
Twenty-one months later, after many defence motions, challenges
and interruptions, three ringleaders received sentences of up to three
years. Six others of the mob were given suspended sentences. Two
were found not guilty. One defendant had beaten up a foreigner while
awaiting the verdict. Wolfgang Thierse, Speaker of the Bundestag,
declared the trial a "scandal".
Wolfram Nahrath, one of the lawyers involved with the case, is also
dissatisfied with the outcome. His client, Stefan Hintze, 17, was given
an 18-month suspended sentence. Though he has no quibble with the
sentence, Mr Nahrath is appealing. "I resent the fact that he was
convicted for manslaughter," he explained.
Mr Nahrath has been practising law for only four years, but has
already established a reputation in his chosen field, which he
describes as "political crime". "I get calls from all over Germany," he
His dedication to the cause is beyond question. He describes himself
as a "national German". He agreed to an interview, at his favourite
pizzeria, on condition that no questions would be asked about his past
activities. No need: they are well documented.
Now 37, Mr Nahrath was the last Bundesführer of the Wiking Jugend
(Viking Youth), the organisation set up in 1952 to succeed the Hitler
Youth. He was the third-generation Führer, after his grandfather, who
was among the founders, and his father, Wolfgang, a prominent
The Wiking Jugend was outlawed six years ago after being declared
a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation. Several of its functionaries had
already been jailed for attempted murder, extortion, bank robberies
and bomb attacks. Mr Nahrath then joined the National Democratic
Party of Germany (NPD), which the government is trying to ban.
A father of five, he earns his living in the booming business of
far-right crime, his fees paid by the taxpayer. "I have not become rich,
but the state's determination to pursue every petty affair ensures that I
have enough work," he said.
In the Guben trial, fate brought him face to face with a presiding judge
named Joachim Dönitz, whom Mr Nahrath thinks is related to Grand
Admiral Karl Dönitz, who signed Germany's surrender in 1945. But
nostalgic sentiments were not allowed to get in the way of the
common strategy designed to scupper Mr Dönitz's work.
Twenty-two lawyers, two per defendant, plotted to string out the trial
as long as possible. Mr Nahrath's best move was a successful motion
to dismiss one of the judges on the grounds that he was biased.
"I did not contribute to all the delays," he said. Sometimes his client, or
one of the other defendants, would be too ill, hungover or sleepy to
follow proceedings. On such days the court had to be adjourned. The
defendants found it all rather amusing.
The lawyers worked to a set choreography. Every line of possible
defence is catalogued by the German Legal Bureau, a faceless
organisation which co-ordinates the far right's legal response
nationwide. Contactable by e-mail or via PO boxes, it dispenses
advice and puts offenders in touch with suitably qualified lawyers.
It has an impressive website and list of pamphlets to help neo-Nazis. It
includes hints on how to behave in court - anti-Semitic statements will
not help your case - and what one can wear or say in public: a youth
wearing a swastika belt-buckle was recently acquitted because it had
been concealed under his jumper. Germany forbids Nazi symbols in
An attempt by this correspondent to contact the bureau brought a
swift e-mail rebuke: "You are but a Hungarian."
The leading lights of these lawyers are hardly a secret, though. One
of the most prominent is Jürgen Rieger of Hamburg, cleared last month
of a charge of Holocaust denial. In a trial of neo-Nazis in 1996, he
sought to prove that no Jews had been gassed in Auschwitz. While
that would normally be a crime, a federal court ruled this year that
lawyers were entitled to certain liberties in the pursuit of their
Another notable is Ludwig Bock from Mannheim, fined last year for
incitement to racial hatred.
"It's annoying, but what can one do?" asked Anton Braun of the
Federal Chamber of Lawyers, when asked if such persons should be
allowed to practise. Lawyers, he added, could be struck off only for
very serious crimes, such as murder or perjury. If they stick to these
rules, Mr Nahrath and his colleagues can look forward to a long and
© The Independent
A. I. SLAMS GOVERNEMENTS FOR SANCTIONING CHILD TORTURE
Amnesty International Slams Governments for Sanctioning Child
By Marwaan Macan-Markar
A leading human rights organisation has accused governments in over 50 countries of permitting children to
be tortured and subject to ''horrific violence and abuse''.
This ''tragic reality'' occurs among children trapped in war and conflict, those suspected of criminal activity and held in detention and those living on the streets, states
the London-based Amnesty International (AI) in a report released globally Friday.
The 60-page report, which comes on the eve of the international Human Rights Day observances, on Dec. 10, argues that governments where such abuse occurs have
failed to ''condemn, investigate and prosecute torturers a failure that has the consequence of legitimising torture''.
And among the countries identified by the report, 'Hidden Scandal, Secret Shame Torture and Ill-Treatment of Children', are Colombia and Guatemala in Latin
America, Kenya and Uganda in Africa and Bangladesh and India in Asia.
''The torture of children takes many forms, and is an indictment of governments' failure to protect children from such ill- treatment,'' said William Schulz, executive
director of AI's office in the United States (AIUS), in a news release. ''Children suffer horrific violence and abuse, yet governments ignore their testimony and let the
torturers go free.''
The authors of the report add, furthermore, that there is marginal difference between countries when it comes to this form of violence against children.
''Around the world we see the same patterns of abuse,'' they reveal. ''There is little difference between how police treat children in China and how they treat them in
Brazil; there is little difference between conditions of detention in Paraguay and Russia; and violence against children in armed conflict is equally devastating in Sierra
Leone and Afghanistan.''
For Janice Christensen, director of campaigns at AIUS, the governments named in the report have clearly failed to meet their international obligations, including their
commitment to uphold the principles spelled out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
According to the CRC, which has been ratified by all countries with the exception of the United States and Somalia, ''no child shall be subject to torture or other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment''.
Equally disturbing, adds Christensen, is the reluctance of governments to prosecute the violators, many of whom are state officials, because that means ''accepting the
responsibility that such child abuse occurs''.
Among the findings in the report was the ''profound impact'' torture had on the body and mind of a child. ''Children who are tortured repeatedly, or over long periods
of time, are likely to suffer permanent personality changes,'' it reveals.
Furthermore, it points out, serious physical trauma ''may disrupt or distort normal growth patterns,'' causing lasting weakness and disability.
Regards children trapped in armed conflicts, it states that many ''are tortured'' simply because they live in an ''enemy zone'', or because of the politics, religion or ethnic
origin of their family.
By way of an example, it notes how children suffered on an ''unprecedented scale'' during the nine years of civil war in Sierra Leone, where ''thousands have been
killed, mutilated, abducted and forced to fight, or raped and forced into sexual slavery''.
For children taken into police custody, on the other hand, the report confirms that in some countries beatings are considered ''normal'' following an arrest and ''some
police officers rely on torture as a method of interrogation''. This has meant children being struck with fists, sticks, chair-legs, gun-butts, whips, iron pipes and electrical
In addition, detained children have also been sexually abused by some police officers, while others have been victims of electric shocks and cigarette burns. As a result,
the children have suffered ''concussions, internal bleeding, broken bones, lost teeth and ruptured organs''.
The situation in juvenile detention centres is equally violent, the report adds. ''Physical abuse is a fact of life for many young detainees.''
And regards abuse of street children, the report disclosed that torture and ill-treatment is prevalent in many countries.
According to Michel Maza, co-ordinator of international relations at the Mexico City-based Centre for Human Rights, this global problem has been compounded by
the ''culture of impunity the abusers enjoy''.
Christensen agrees, adding that the ''torture of children is a crime that is immediately covered up''.
Yet AI is determined to change such a disturbing pattern. And in its report, it has called on governments to publicly condemn the torture of children whenever it occurs,
investigate all allegations of torture, ensure it is banned in law and that torturers are brought to justice.
It has also called on militant groups to drive home the message to their forces that ''torture is unacceptable''. To do otherwise, it argues, would not only expose the
''failure'' of the CRC, but also ''put at risk our future''. (END/IPS/HD/mmm/da/00)
© World News
UK SHOULD DROP ITS ASYLUM VETO
A new crackdown on illegal immigrants by
P&O Stena line in Calais has caught 43
stowaways in the first 24 hours. Faced
with a steep increase in potential fines,
the ferry company has hired 40 security
guards to check every lorry bound for
Dover. The Sun was unimpressed
It devoted two pages to how
the French released the "bogus refugees",
allowing them to try again to "sneak into
All of which points to a possible
solution, which the Sun might like to
One reason why France is turning a blind
eye to legal and illegal refugees heading
to the UK is the lack of an EU common
immigration and asylum policy. The EU
member states in the Shengen group, do
have a common approach following the
1997 Amsterdam treaty, but UK, Ireland
and Denmark opted out.
The result is that
a pass-the-parcel approach to asylum
seekers continues to apply in Europe.
countries under most pressure are those
guarding the gates in the east (Germany
and Austria) and south (Italy, Spain,
Portugal) from the large number of asylum
seekers from eastern states and north
But last year's figures show that
after Germany, the UK received the
largest number of appli cants in Europe. If
the UK dropped its veto - as it will be
asked to do in Nice - and joined in the
common approach, other European states
would have to pay more attention to
suspicious lorries heading towards UK -
and the UK would have access to the
Shengen data-base, the largest in Europe,
on who has been refused entry by other
There are reasons why more liberal
organs than the Sun, might also agree to
a common approach too.
UK cherrypicks the EU immigration
directives it is ready to back.
In Nice, it is
supporting two directives tightening
regulations (one against traffickers in
illegal immigrants and another creating a
common expulsion and deportation
procedure) but opposing a more liberal
move to allow citizens to bring in foreign
spouses and relatives.
European states vigilantly guard their
borders, German and French ministers
have joined the British in acknowledging
Europe's need to import more skilled
workers to fill its labour gaps. This is a
Unlike the US and Australia,
immigration has always had a negative
connotation in the UK. This new positive
approach, is another reason why it would
make sense for the UK to drop its veto.
IOM RESPONSIBLE FOR FUND TO ROMA
IOM responsible for fund to Roma and other Holocaust victims; Romani Organizations
In a recent decision by Judge Edward Korman in New York, 100,000 US dollars will be placed into a fund for non-Jewish Holocaust victims in
compensation for assets lost during the Holocaust. This sum will be put in the care of the International Organization for Migration, or IOM. The court's
decision, based on the recommendations of Special Master Judah Gribetz was meant to end a long-running conflict and to find a means of providing
many victims of fascism with at least a symbolic repayment of belongings lost to the Nazis or to the confusion inherent in their lives as refugees of
genocide. Instead, in the opinion of major Romani organizations, the decision has only added further insult. At the center of the scandal is the IOM.
The IOM, based in Geneva, cooperates with governments worldwide in the repatriation of refugees to countries of origin. It has been accused by Romani
refugees and by Romani institutions of coercing Roma into returning from Germany to Kosovo. Dr. Ian Hancock, professor of Romani studies at the
university of Texas and an affiliate of the Roma National Congress, describes the IOM in a recent letter as "the enemy of the Romani people" for its
collaboration with European states in sending Romani refugees back to Kosovo, where the security of non-Albanians is still very poor.
According to several refugees who have reported their cases to the RNC in Germany, bureaucrats at relevant government offices tell Kosovar Roma that
they will no doubt be deported in time, and that if the refugees do not agree to participate in IOM's repatriation programme (which pays the cost of travel to
Kosovo) they will inevitably have to pay themselves for their travel home.
Roma choosing to sign papers agreeing to be sent home under IOM's supervision receive money for costs of repatriation but must sign away any right to
return to Germany or make further requests for asylum in the future, regardless of future political instability. The agreement with IOM stipulates that any
refugee who does attempt to return and make a new asylum request will be forced to pay back all money received.
In some cases, refugees are bullied into cooperating with the IOM project.
"One man was told if he didn't sign up, he would be immediately arrested," Knudsen said in an interview, "They started calling the for the police. He
Romani organizations are also concerned with the collection by IOM of ethnicity-based data. The IOM keeps files of all Roma who contact the
organization for assistance. The security of such data is not clear and, according to Marko Knudsen at the Roma National Congress, may violate
German and European agreements on data protection. Roma, in order to participate in the IOM's programme, must also sign an agreement allowing the
IOM to save data on them, including reference to ethnicity. There is a fear that Roma going to the IOM for Holocaust compensation will also be expected
to allow the IOM to keep a file on them. For Roma who remember Nazi files on minorities, this is highly unacceptable.
Both of the world's two largest international Romani organizations, the Roma National Congress and International Romani Union protested Gribetz'
recommendations to entrust the IOM with money for Roma but the court showed no interest in Roma's opinions.
Neither Gribetz nor the judge ever replied to correspondence from the organizations. In the opinion of Dr. Hancock, letters from the attorneys of the RNC
and IRU were not considered by the judge at all; judge Korman who reached a final decision three days after the last letters from the lawyers had been
A representative of the IOM in Germany could not be found for comment. At the Berlin office of the organization, there is no answer to telephone calls.
The organization's annual general meeting was held in late November. Minutes are not yet published on the organization's website.
RIGHTS GROUP WARNS AGAINST SWAMPING UN
By Mark Devenport at the United Nations
The New York-based group Human Rights
Watch has said the international community
must stop treating the UN as a dumping ground
for problems without giving it adequate
resources to tackle them.
In its annual report,
Human Rights Watch
accuses Russia of
suffering of civilians in
The organisation is also
critical of the United
States for its continued refusal to accept a
new international criminal court.
The report, which runs to more than 500 pages
with detailed sections on around 70 different
countries, is published ahead of World Human
Rights Day on Sunday.
Lack of will
It accuses Russian army commanders of being
responsible for massacres and torture in
And it criticises what it
calls the international
community's refusal to
put pressure on
Moscow to bring these
senior officers to
lamented that it had no
over Russia, but
leverage or sanctions in favour of political
expediency" Human Rights Watch said.
Other countries singled out include Colombia,
where Human Rights Watch claims the army
has not severed its links with paramilitaries.
"There was irrefutable evidence that the
country's armed forces continued to be
implicated in human rights violations as well as
in support for the paramilitary groups
responsible for the majority of serious abuses,"
And Israel stands
accused of using
"Human Rights Watch's
investigations in Israel,
the West Bank, and
Gaza Strip in early October revealed a pattern
of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of
lethal force by Israeli security forces in
situations where demonstrators were unarmed
and posed no threat," the report said.
The United States does not escape criticism.
The report points out that 70 people were
executed by the US authorities in the first 10
months of this year.
Human Rights Watch
racial disparities in
executions, even of
juvenile offenders and
It accuses the
candidate, George Bush, of complacency over
the high number of executions in his home
state of Texas.
Human Rights Watch also says it is troubled by
Washington's refusal to co-operate with the
establishment of a new international criminal
Grounds for hope
But the report is not all negative.
It says there have been
regarding human rights
in recent months,
including the fall from
power of the former
"Milosevic's departure from power meant new
hope for the rule of law and human rights
protections in Serbia," the report said.
In an increasingly inter-connected global
economy, the report argues that enforcing
basic human rights standards, on matters such
as child labour, will prove more and more
In order to confront the many challenges
facing them, Human Rights Watch says that
institutions like the United Nations and the
International Labour Organisation need
stronger powers and more adequate resources.
© BBC NEWS
EU WOMEN LOBBY FOR EQUAL RIGHTS IN SEEKING ASYLUM
The European Women's Lobby (EWL) launched a year-long campaign here Wednesday to
highlight forms of persecution unique to women, such as female genital mutilation, and to ensure that they are able
to claim refugee status ''in their own right'' under future European Union (EU) asylum procedures.
The EWL, a coalition of 2,700 member organisations in the EU, believes that the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status
of refugees and the follow-up Protocol of 1967, which together provide the legal basis for granting asylum worldwide, fail to
explicitly address gender-specific acts of persecution, including sexual violence and other forms of human rights violations.
''Our message is a simple one and that is that women are asylum seekers too,'' EWL representative Helen Felter told a news
conference Wednesday, but ''women's experience of persecution differs to that of men''.
The campaign is demanding that the EU mainstream gender into all asylum policies at all levels and recognise the specific forms
of gender persecution as legitimate grounds for granting asylum in all of the EU member states, as it works towards a European
policy on asylum.
A report by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Maj Britt Theorin this October notes that as long ago as 1984 that body
called on EU member states to give refugee status to women based on gender-based persecution, but ''they have failed to do so
In Britain, for example, women seeking asylum on the basis of gender-based persecution, are often rejected on the grounds that
being raped is a side-consequence of war, arbitrarily meted out, and so does not amount to persecution on the grounds of political
''In fact, most European Union states deport victims of rape and sexual assault, even sometimes after they have testified against
their rapists,'' said Theorin's report, citing EWL research.
About 80 percent of the world's refugees are women and children, but despite this reality, initiatives to support refugees often
ignore the basic needs of women, said the report. In detention facilities for asylum seekers in the EU, there are no special
''protection measures for women who are vulnerable to aggression and sexual exploitation on the part of male asylum seekers
and male staff'', it said.
EWL President Denise Fuchs noted in a written statement: ''women are not always recognised as asylum seekers when their
claim is based on guilt by association, where their partners are political prisoners but the women, not being party members, cannot
claim refugee status on the grounds of membership of a political party but are nonetheless persecuted by association.''
Throughout the year-long campaign, the EWL will monitor progress on a draft directive on minimum standards on procedures in
EU member states for granting and withdrawing refugee status, now being considered by the European Parliament.
The coalition wants to ensure that as far as possible the forms of persecution perpetrated against women are recognised and
reflected in the definitions and procedures of refugees under EU law.
As part of the campaign, the EWL, in co-operation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, is distributing tens of thousands of
postcards throughout Europe, highlighting four different areas of concern and asserting, ''persecution is not gender blind''.
The postcard on female genital mutilation, for example, notes it ''is a harmful traditional practice, which affects the health of
woman and girls with devastating and sometimes fatal consequences''. Like the other three in the series, it concludes ''this
practice should constitute a legitimate cause for women seeking asylum in any of the European Union member states''.
Other postcards point out the phenomena of 'rape as a weapon of war', 'forced marriage', and 'guilty by association'.
The postcard campaign is also supported by an electronic campaign and a web page, which can be accessed at the following
campaign. At the end of the campaign, on Dec. 6, 2001, the postcards and electronic petition will be submitted to Belgium, which
will then hold the rotating EU Presidency.
Antonio Vitorino, EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, said in a statement prepared for the press conference
Wednesday that the EU executive Commission ''entirely shares the importance attached by the European Women's Lobby to
addressing the particular circumstances affecting women seeking international protection in the context of preparing a Common
European Asylum System''.
He noted that the Commission has begun to start work on a directive on reception conditions for asylum seekers.
''It is our intention to make provisions for persons with special needs. The particular needs and situations of women clearly come
into this category. The issue of gender persecution will also be studied in depth before the Commission tables proposals on
Community standards for persons to qualify as refugees and to be granted subsidiary forms of protection'', said Vitorino.
Vitorino notes in his statement that in a draft directive of Sep. 20, the Commission proposes that every family member of an
applicant have the right to be interviewed separately when applying for asylum in an EU member state, ''even if the host state
does not consider her as applicant in her own right''.
ELW campaign co-ordinator Mary Collins praised the Commissioner for his willingness to dialogue with civil society and in
particular women's groups on the issue, but when asked by IPS, acknowledged that his statement fell short of the benchmark that
every woman be considered ''as an applicant in her own right'', as referred to women a subcategory of persons with special
''I think this is an issue because ... in the current policies on asylum, they are usually seen as family member or in terms of
reunification with a family member who already has asylum,'' she said.
''We have to make sure that there is an understanding that women's form of persecution is different, that their experience of
persecution is different from men and that therefore they have the right to ask for asylum within their own right,'' said Collins.
''Women are not a homogenous group. Within the group of women, there are women with 'special needs', for example pregnant
women who come to seek asylum,'' she said.
''But I think we must be very careful to ensure that women are not seen only a 'special needs' group and therefore for whom
there will be secondary or subsidiary measures of protection. That is what our campaign is about - bringing the gender dimension
into the heart of policies that are being put into place and not outside that or alongside that''.
TIME'S RUNNING OUT ON PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
US still objects to planned UN tribunal for suspected war criminals
By Pierre Simonitsch
Geneva - As the year winds down, the symbolic deadline for United Nations'
member countries to pledge their support for the International Criminal Court,
proposed in a July, 1998, statute, is running out.
So far, only 24 governments have ratified the agreement for establishing an
International Criminal Court, called the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court - 60 signatories are needed for it to take effect. The court would be the first
permanent body set up to try individuals accused of war crimes, genocide and
crimes against humanity.
The idealistic dream of an international criminal court has been around for decades.
It began in the early 20th century, but two world wars and nearly half-a-century of
cold war between two rival economic systems kept it from maturing. The idea
behind it is to give the international arm of the law a long enough reach to put an
end to the immunity so often enjoyed by war criminals and mass-murderers in
The UN Security Council's War Crimes Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, set up in the
bloody wake of the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the genocide in Rwanda,
breathed new life into the plans for an international criminal court. For the first time,
an international judicial body was set up and charged with trying and sentencing
suspected war criminals by the book according to international law instead of
imposing victors' justice on the vanquished.
Afterwards, most governments agreed that setting up a permanent world criminal
court to deal with serious crimes against humanity rather than having to establish
an ad-hoc court to handle each case as it comes along. For one thing, the very
existence of a permanent court, and the implication that every suspected war
criminal could be hauled up in front of it, would act as a deterrent, the reasoning
The overwhelming majority of the countries that took part in the 1998 diplomatic
conference in Rome for establishing an international criminal court approved the
carefully worked-out statute that the conference finalised and adopted.
Under the statute, the court would have jurisdiction over serious war crimes,
genocide and crimes against humanity. Whether it would also have jurisdiction over
cases of aggression remains unclear. A working group is scheduled to present a
report on that question to a preparatory commission that began a two-week
meeting at the United Nations in New York on Monday. Germany, Portugal and
Greece have presented their suggestions to the committee, but so far no
universally acceptable definition of "aggression" has been established.
The preparatory commission also faces the job of clarifying the relationship
between the proposed court and the UN Security Council.
The Security Council's permanent members want to have the power of veto over
The December deadline is symbolic, set to speed up the process. So far, 115
nations - including all of Europe and the NATO governments, except the United
States - have signed and 22 countries have ratified the treaty. After December 31, a
country will have to ratify before it can join.
Diplomats expect the United States to announce its final position on the planned
court during the two-week meeting of the preparatory committee. Washington has
always had reservations about the court, saying that the large number of American
troops stationed around the world leaves Americans especially vulnerable to being
hauled up before the court. Pentagon objections have forced the United States
government, for instance, to demand a guarantee that no American officer or civilian
official on duty abroad will fall under its jurisdiction.
The United States' refusal to agree to turn its citizens over to an international court
leaves the country on thin ice, considering the pressure it put on for the UN to
establish the war crimes tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. It means that
the US expects citizens of other countries to endure something it wants to protect
its own citizens from. But under current plans, the court would only be empowered
to act if a suspected war criminal's own country took no action against him or her.
Despite those arguments in favour of supporting the new court, conservative US
Senator Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has
vowed that the court will be "dead on arrival" if the administration sends the treaty
for ratification as it now stands. United Nations diplomats assume a Republican
administration in Washington would strengthen that view, and look to the departing
Clinton administration as a last chance for passage.
© Frankfurter Rundschau
CHILD ASYLUM SEEKER CLAMPED IN LEG RESTRAINTS (Australia)
Amnesty International claims a three-year-old boy was
kept in leg restraints and then put in a windowless cell for
13 days in an Australian detention centre.
The human rights group says it has found two other new
cases of alleged child abuse in detention centres and fears
it may be the tip of the iceberg. The cases also involve
children being denied food and medical attention.
The complaints have been made by the parents of Iraqi,
Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers.
They follow allegations that an employee of ACM, the
private company which operates the centres, molested
Chinese women on a deportation flight, and an earlier
claim that a 12-year-old Iranian boy was sold for sex by his
father in a detention centre, reports The Sydney Morning
Amnesty claims other cases have involved a four-year-old
girl being left with a broken wrist for two weeks, and an
11-year-old girl being kept in a confined space with her
father and 23 other men for nine days.
A spokesman for the Immigration Ministry says some of
the claims could have been exaggerated.
He says the incident with the three-year-old boy had been
during a hunger strike when there had been "a fair bit of
violence," and denied the four-year-old girl had been
denied medical help.
He rejected calls for a judicial inquiry.
ROMANIANS WARN DEMOCRACY MAY BE IN DANGER
Romanians warn democracy may
be in danger if Tudor wins
An opinion poll ahead of the runoff presidential elections
puts an ex-communist and former president well ahead of
his rival, an ultranationalist who made his name through
racist and anti-Semitic diatribes.
The poll, by the independent IRSOP institute, gave Ion
Iliescu 69% and Corneliu Vadim Tudor 31%. Some 1,200
people were interviewed from December 3 to December 6
in 130 towns and villages. The poll had a 2.8% margin of
Amid publication of the poll, about 300 Romanians
marched through Bucharest, warning that the country's
fledgling democracy will be in peril if Tudor wins the
"Those who died in the 1989 revolution count on us to
make sure the principles they fought for are not forgotten,"
said Octavian Dicu, an Orthodox priest who had travelled
from the steel making city of Galati for the march, alluding
to the anti-Communist uprising.
Iliescu, and Tudor, a senator known for his racist remarks
and for once saying that Romania could only be run at the
barrel of a machine gun, qualified for the runoff after
finishing first and second in the November 26 first round.
Iliescu had more than 36% in that round to Tudor's 28%.
The second round is necessary because no candidate
managed to get at least 50% of the total electoral vote on
Romania's elite are concerned that if Tudor wins the race,
there will be social unrest and the country will be isolated
from the European mainstream it is seeking to join.
Centrist parties that normally oppose Iliescu have backed
him, fearing a Tudor presidency could lead to instability.
Calling him a fervent enemy of the Jews, the Federation of
Jewish Communities have condemned both Tudor and his
Greater Romania weekly, where much of his anti-Semitic
diatribes have been published.
WEBSITE TO SHOW POSSIBLE NAZI-LOOTED ART
Around 100 works of art which may have been stolen by
the Nazis are to be put on the internet in a bid to trace their
The paintings and sculptures are being displayed on a
website after being uncovered in the National Gallery of
Canada in Ottawa.
All the works have gaps in their histories of ownership from
1933 to 1945, and gallery officials believe this may be
because they were plundered from collections across
Europe by invading Germans or even Soviet troops.
Gallery director Pierre Theberge said: "It doesn't mean that
what we are listing are all subject to having been looted
during the war, but there's a possibility that some of them
might. Let's hope there is some response."
The Canadian Jewish Congress has praised the move.
Spokesman Nathan Leipeiger said: "We are pleased to
see the National Gallery taking positive first steps to deal
with the possible existence of Nazi looted art by examining
works with suspicious gaps in their ownership and
publicizing them on a website.
"But this is just a first step. We need a more transparent
method of examining this issue to erase any doubts and to
deal with still unanswered questions."
At the National Gallery in Ottawa, the suspect art includes
many European paintings, some American ones and
some sculptures, all produced before 1945, the London
Free Press reports.
GREECE CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
(10 DECEMBER) WITH UNPRECEDENTED AND PROVOCATIVE
TRIAL OF ALL MINORITY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) and Minority Rights Group - Greece (MRG-G) denounce that, on 12 December 2000, two days after the celebration of International Human Rights Day (10 December), Greece demonstrates its defiant contempt and wanton repression of religious minorities at the One-Member First Circuit Court of Thessaloniki.
On that day, for the first time in the Greek judicial annals, the representatives of all minority Christian churches are scheduled to face simultaneous trial. Sixteen members of the Catholic, Protestant, and Jehovah's Witnesses Churches are being prosecuted for "unauthorized operation of a house of worship" in violation of article 1 of Law 1672/1939.
They are being tried despite the fact that the briefs contain the permits to operate a house of worship for eleven of the cases in dispute, while the other five are simply offices of the respective churches.
As it turns out, the prosecution began with a document by the State Security of Thessaloniki to the Prosecutor on 14 April 1997.
It is obvious that both the State Security and the Prosecutor are lying, their objective being simply the harassment and humiliation of these religious minorities, who happen to have already been acquitted by the court.
If stringent disciplinary penalties are not leveled against the mendacious state officials, this action will be regarded as having the sanction of the State at its highest levels. Following is the press release of the Panhellenic Evangelical Association, which brought this case to light.
GREEK HELSINKI MONITOR
ONLINE TIPS TO FIGHT NEO-NAZIS (Germany)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Organizers of a Web site launched on Tuesday aimed at
offering tips on how to combat racist and neo-Nazi violence in Germany said
it had attracted hundreds of visitors within hours of going live.
``We've had hundreds of page hits already, and we're expecting thousands
more,'' said Rudiger Hesse, spokesman for the project launched by six German
Under headings such as ``In the Pub,'' ``On Public Transport'' and ``In
Pedestrian Areas'' -- places deemed potentially dangerous for foreign
residents in Germany -- the site advises readers to enlist the help of other
bystanders to stand up to perpetrators of racist crime.
The authors stress that passers-by who witness racial violence should try to
reason with the attackers rather than resort to violence themselves.
A spate of attacks on foreigners this year has raised the pressure on
authorities to act to stamp out racist and neo-Nazi crime. The Internet is
increasingly used by Germany's far-right scene to disseminate information
and recruit new members.
The site, www.verfassungsschutzgegenrechtsextremismus.de, was launched
following huge public demand for information on Germany's far-right problem
and how to combat it, Hesse said.
``We used to get hundreds of calls every week from people asking for advice
on how to deal with far-right violence,'' he said. ``The good thing about
the Web page is that people can access this information from the privacy of
their own homes.''
GERMANS SEIZE 2 IN SYNAGOGUE ATTACK
By ERICH REIMANN
Associated Press Writer
DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) - German police have arrested a Palestinian man and a
Moroccan-born German in the firebombing of a synagogue in October on the eve of
celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of German reunification, prosecutors said
The synagogue attack came just months after a still-unsolved pipe bomb attack in
Duesseldorf injured 10 recent immigrants, six of them Jewish, dampening reunification
festivities and heightening concerns about increasing neo-Nazi attacks.
Police arrested the two men, identified only as Belal T., 19, and Khalid Z., 20, after a
search of their apartments turned up anti-Semitic and extreme-right material, including
swastikas carved into the doorjamb and a picture of Adolf Hitler hand-drawn by one of the
Both have admitted throwing three Molotov cocktails at Duesseldorf's main synagogue on
Oct. 2, federal prosecutor Kay Nehm said. He said there was no evidence so far linking the
two Duesseldorf attacks.
Nehm said it appears the suspects were not motivated by right-wing tendencies, but
acted out of revenge for the deaths of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers.
The fighting between Israelis and Palestinians began Sept. 28, just days before the
``With their act, the accused wanted to react, to make a statement about the violent
clashes between Israelis and Palestinians,'' Nehm told reporters.
Neither had any known contact with right-wing groups, he said.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said the arrests would not affect the government's recent
moves to crack down on far-right groups.
``We have absolutely no reason to change our position toward extreme rightists,'' he told
reporters at a European Union summit in Nice. The arrests didn't excuse other anti-Semitic
crimes such as the desecration of graves with swastikas, he said.
The leader of Germany's Jewish community expressed concern that the incident could
signal a dangerous coupling of two extremist forces. ``My biggest worry is that
extreme-rightists will get together with fanatics from the Middle East and we will be
threatened even more,'' Paul Spiegel said.
Tips from people arrested during a violent Palestinian-led demonstration against the Middle
East violence and attended by both men in nearby Essen five days after the firebomb
attack led to the arrests, Nehm said.
© Associated Press
MASS MARCH FOR ABORIGINES (australia)
The UN has expressed concern over the treatment of
By Red Harrison in Sydney
Thousands of people in Australia have been
marching through the cities of Melbourne and
Perth in a symbolic gesture of support for the
In Melbourne, an estimated 200,000 people
waving banners, balloons and coloured flags
blocked the heart of the city for hours.
Led by an array of
and civic leaders as
well as representatives
of churches, trade
unions, students and
ethnic groups, the
march indicated what
aboriginal leaders say is
for a treaty between
black and white
apologises for the injustices of the past.
In October, international aid organisation
Oxfam criticised Australia for failing to protect
the basic rights of indigenous Australians.
The report said
Australia was the only
country in the world
with a constitution that
In another attack in
July, Australia was
criticised for its
treatment of Aborigines
by a UN Human Rights Committee.
expressed concern at
the marginalisation and
by Aborigines in
chairman of the
says marchers should
remember this day for
the rest of their lives.
"It's something that as a small child you'll
remember - to be able to walk down the street
with your family.
"And one day you'll sit back and reflect as to
why and the reasons behind that and you'll
realise that you're part of history, you're part
of a turning point in this history of this
country, where we're now forged together as a
Among the political leaders from all parties, the
Prime Minister, John Howard, was notably
Mr Howard refuses to apologise to aborigines
for events that happened before he was born.
© BBC NEWS
SETBACK FOR AUSTRIAN RIGHT WING
Haider: Set for a comeback?
By Bethany Bell in Vienna
The two parties in Austria's governing coalition
- the far-right Freedom Party and the
conservative People's Party - have both lost
ground in a provincial election.
The result in the
eastern province of
Burgenland comes at a
bad time for the
Freedom Party, which is
allegations and a
country-wide drop in
The Freedom Party
slipped back by about
two percentage points in the province - a
result which one senior party official described
as a defeat.
Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's People's Party
also slipped slightly in the election, which was
a victory for the Social Democrats and the
Green Party, both in opposition nationally.
When it was under the leadership of Austria's
most controversial politician, Joerg Haider, the
Freedom Party performed consistently well in
provincial and national elections.
But since it joined the national coalition
government just under a year ago - a move
which led Mr Haider to step down - the party
has not fared so well.
Earlier this autumn the party suffered a severe
setback in the province of Styria - its worst
showing since 1986.
The Freedom Party has seen its opinion poll
ratings fall sharply since it entered
government, leading some Austrians to
speculate that Mr Haider, currently provincial
governor in Carinthia, may be planning a return
to national politics.
Mr Haider himself has threatened several times
to end the national coalition with the People's
Party, but political commentators say he is
likely to wait and see the results of key
provincial elections in Vienna early next year.
© BBC NEWS
HIDDEN RACISM UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT (UK)
Racism is a problem in both urban and rural areas
The problem of racism in rural areas of Wales is
to be discussed at a conference in north
The Wales Community Development Foundation
has said there are growing numbers of people
from ethnic minorities living in the Welsh
The latest figures available - from the 1991
census - revealed that 1.5% of the Welsh
population is black or from an ethnic minority.
The conference in Llandudno was told new
approaches are needed to tackle racism
throughout Wales and that rural areas should
not be forgotten.
According to a recent report by the
Commission, called 'Unheard Cries', racism in
rural areas can take many forms.
Unemployment is often twice as high among
the ethnic minority population in the
countryside as it is among whites.
Because there are few people from ethnic
minorities in rural areas - and because they are
often isolated - the problems of rural life can
Iintimidation, abuse and violence can destroy
lives but many incidents go unreported.
The Community Development Foundation, a
public body funded by the Home Office, has a
long track record in Wales.
The Foundation advises the National Assembly
on community development, social inclusion
and economic regeneration.
The conference discussed what approaches
the Assembly can take to tackle rural racism,
with reference to education, social services
The event - organised in conjunction with the
Commission for Racial Equality - also coincided
with the launch of a new organisation, the
North Wales Race Equality Network.
© BBC NEWS
PLANS TO PUT ASYLUM SEEKERS IN HOTEL LAUNCHED (UK)
Plans have been launched to transform a city centre hotel
into a hostel for asylum seekers, it has emerged.
Glasgow City Council has confirmed it has received an
application to convert Kelvin Park Lorne Hotel in
Sauchiehall Street into a hostel for five years.
The Leena Corporation, which is behind the bid, has
supplied accommodation for asylum seekers in England
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council confirmed an
application was received but it would not be considered
until next year.
She said: "A planning application has been received and it
is specifically a change of use application to convert the
Kelvin Park Lorne Hotel into a hostel for asylum seekers
for a period of five years".v
The application was received on Monday November 27,
however due to a backlog in council work caused by the
recent strike action by public services union Unison it will
not be presented to the Protective Services (Development
Applications) sub committee until next year.
The spokeswoman said adverts will be placed in
newspapers next week informing the public of the plan and
giving them the opportunity to comment on the proposal.
Michael Stevens, group property director of Corus and
Regal Hotels, which owns the three-star hotel said: "We
can confirm that we have accepted an unsolicited offer for
a potential purchaser to acquire the Kelvin Park Lorne
Hotel subject to the granting planning permission for a
change of use."
The Leena Corporation, which is based in Wealdstone,
Middlesex, was unavailable for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "The Leena
Corporation has a contract with the National Asylum
Support Services to supply accommodation, however to
date it has only supplied a small number in England and
CONFERENCE TOLD OF ATTACK ON FAMINE REFUGEES (Ireland)
By Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent
A conference on racism recalled at the weekend how Irish
Famine refugees "were set upon and beaten in Britain".
Such was the prejudice against them that even Frederick
Engels, benefactor of Karl Marx, could say of the Irishman:
"His crudity places him little above the savage."
In a keynote address to the Irish School of Ecumenics
conference at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, a Methodist
Minister, Rev Dr Sahr Yambasu, quoted from The Irish in
Britain (1963) by John Archer Jackson.
"Their strange and `foreign' customs represented a threat to the
native population. The Irishman's clothes, his brogue and
general appearance, even when he was not speaking in Gaelic,
singled him out from the rest of the community as an outsider, a
stranger in the midst," it said.
Dr Yambasu, who is from Sierra Leone but ministers in
Wicklow and Arklow, said that today, however, as strangers
came to Ireland "willingly or forced by circumstances", fear of
the stranger had taken ugly forms.
Nor was this recent. He quoted from the experiences a Chilean
refugee in the State since the early 1970s. "Racism and
prejudice had a big effect on the Chilean refugees and caused
many problems for our families . . . We looked and spoke
differently from them and rather than talk with us they began to
fight with us," he said.
Since 1991 more than 100 nationalities had sought refuge in
Ireland, Dr Yambasu said. Scaremongering by some media
and authorities had resulted "in an outpouring of racist physical,
verbal and institutional abuse directed at anyone considered to
be a refugee, especially if they are black". They were "the
really unwelcomed strangers in our midst".
© The Irish Times
HOLOCAUST AMENDS MAY DISAPPOINT (Austria)
VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Austria's compensation offer for property seized from Austrian
Jews by the Nazis will fall short of the expectations of victims' lawyers, the country's
main negotiator said Sunday.
After two days of talks with U.S. deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, Austrian
officials on Friday agreed to make a concrete compensation offer on Dec. 21 at a
meeting in Washington.
At stake are claims over private apartments, businesses, industrial holdings, real estate
and other property seized after Nazi Germany absorbed Austria in 1938 and not
covered by previous Austrian legislation.
``We will come with an offer that will be much lower than that expected from the side
of the victims,'' Austrian negotiator Ernst Sucharipa told the Austria Press Agency.
``That means the offer will then have to be evaluated. In all honesty, I do not believe
that it will be possible to then improve it.''
Sucharipa did not give dollar figures in the interview, but the leader of the Austrian
Jewish community, Ariel Muzicant, on Friday said that Austria made an initial offer of
$156 million. Attorneys for the victims or their heirs were reportedly demanding about
The Austrian negotiator said the two sides should either try to come to a quick
decision before the holiday season or wait for the installation of the new administration
in Washington after Jan. 20.
``If we take the second course we will lose time and we will probably also lose
Eizenstat, who is really a valuable and very constructive facilitator,'' Sucharipa
© Associated Press
EX-SS MAN FACES CHARGES OVER WARTIME DEATH (Germany)
New evidence enabled prosecution to re-open case
By Matthias Arning
Frankfurt - It was with a sense of relief that Peter Finkelgruen received the news
that, after half a century, the public prosecutor is bringing charges of murder over
the death of his grandfather, Martin Finkelgruen, in Nazi captivity during the war.
The charges relate to a Nazi jail known as Kleine Festung Theresienstadt, in
northern Bohemia, in what was then Czechoslovakia.
The prosecutor in Munich is preferring the charges against a former member of
Hitler's SS, Anton Malloth, who has been in custody since May. His trial, certain to
be one of the last of a suspected Nazi war criminal, is scheduled to open in the
first half of next year.
The prosecution would hardly have come this far if it had not been for Finkelgruen's
commitment. He now expresses some satisfaction about the way things have
But chief prosecutor Manfred Wick is not prepared to talk about a turnabout in the
case - which has been running on and off for some years - just yet.
He says the charges are based on new information from wartime Czechoslovakia in
which an eye-witness says he saw Malloth shoot dead a Jewish forced labourer as
he was working in the fields in 1943.
This is a previously missing link in the chain of evidence.
In 1970, the Dortmund public prosecution took up the case of crimes committed at
Kleine Festung Theresienstadt. Malloth was one of a number of ex-SS members
suspected of involvement in war crimes there.
But for a long time investigators were unable to find strong enough evidence and
closed the case on several occasions. This provoked accusations that
investigations had been carried out with less than full commitment.
The case was re-opened two years ago with a new perspective. Up to that point,
investigators had been convinced that Malloth - who was living in an old people's
home near Munich - was a German citizen.
Germans are not extradited to other states, although the Czech Republic was
Prague wanted to bring the case before a court again. In 1948, a Czech court had
sentenced him to death in his absence on charges related to Theresienstadt.
Malloth however escaped punishment and, until he was extradited to Germany,
lived in south Tyrol, in Italy.
A professor of law, Raimund Wimmer, then checked the nationality of Malloth, who
was born in Innsbruck in 1912, and reached the conclusion that he was stateless.
On the basis of this finding, Bavarian authorities withdrew his passport. Ever since,
investigators in both Prague and Munich have been investigating. But the impetus
for Wimmer's legal report came from Peter Finkelgruen.
© Frankfurter Rundschau
ERIKSSON IN PUBLIC ANTI-RACISM PLEA (Italy)
Lazio boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has issued a public
appeal ahead of the Champions League clash with Leeds
for there to be no repeat of the racial abuse directed at
Arsenal during the Gunners' recent tie in Rome.
And Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner's special envoy
will be in the crowd at the Olympic Stadium to report back
on any trouble - with stiff penalties being threatened for any
further transgressions by Lazio fans or players.
The European governing body were forced to act after
Arsenal's 1-1 draw away to Lazio in the first group stage of
Not only were the club fined and warned as to their future
conduct after foul comments from supporters, but
defender Sinisa Mihajlovic was suspended for two games
for racially abusing Patrick Vieira during the match.
Uefa have meanwhile made it clear they are determined to
stamp out racism in Europe.
They gave reassurances to the Football Association last
week after worries were voiced about the treatment of
Arsenal as well as Emile Heskey in Turin last month and in
Barcelona earlier this year with the Under-21 side.
Lazio have therefore been left in little doubt that an
increased fine, if not the potential for even further
punishment such as their ground being shut, could follow if
they do not clean up their act.
Eriksson declared: "I really hope that it will not happen
"Good behaviour on and off the pitch is extremely
important for the game on Tuesday. For Lazio and for
everyone. I really hope it will not happen."
He said with even greater emotion just a couple of days
ago that he found such racial abuse to be "disgusting".
The Swede added: "Some clubs have it worse than others
and, unfortunately, Lazio is one of them. "
Mihajlovic, who publicly apologised after the incident with
Vieira although he has since insisted he is no racist, is a
doubt for Tuesday's game after missing Lazio's 2-0 win
against Reggina through illness.
Eriksson, who is already without Claudio Lopez through
injury, while Roberto Baronio and Dejan Stankovic are
suspended and Dino Baggio is ineligible, will give fitness
tests to both Mihajlovic and keeper Angelo Peruzzi.
Influential midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron is meanwhile
expected to start after three weeks out injured in a huge
boost for Lazio, while Giuseppe Pancaro and Alessandro
Nesta are also set to play despite recent problems.
SOCIAL INJUSTICE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
by Stephan DuVal
The United States of America. For many these words stand as a beacon of freedom and guaranteed rights. It has been said that the United States of America has the best of everything, and the worst of everything. This belief holds true for the USs human rights record. Beneath their widely
admired constitution and many freedoms, lies a terrible aspect of American society: the penal system.
The United States activities in their penal and correction systems continue to raise red flags of concern as they violate various international standards set by the United Nations. These areas of concern include the use of torture, the employment of the death penalty, the frequency of severe police brutality and the treatment of prisoners and refugees held in questionable conditions.
Since the US ended a moratorium, (suspension of) on the death penalty in 1977, 598 prisoners have been executed. Seventeen percent of those were executed in 1999, under the leadership of President William Jefferson Clinton. On this year the US violated the international prohibition on the employment of the death penalty for crimes committed by children under the age of 18, twice. Michael Domingues and Sean Sellers, who were both sixteen when, in unrelated incidents, they committed their crimes, were executed in these cases.
Parallel to the issue of age, many incidences have been reported where racism or other factors were thought to have been a serious factor in a wrongful conviction, but The Supreme Court did not consider their appeals. One such example is that of Brian Baldwin, who was executed despite appeals from 26 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC. They called for a stay of execution in view of the clear pattern of racial discrimination in this case.
Police brutality, including the misuse of pepper spray, police dogs, deaths from dangerous restrains holds and questionable shootings by police continue to be reported. A recent example of the alleged abuse of force by police occurred in Seattle at the WTO protests, where it was claimed that pepper spray was used on non-violent protesters. In several other cases, many unarmed suspects shot by police were members of ethnic minority groups. Some were shot in the back, while fleeing crime scenes of minor offenses or during routing traffic stops. The police tactic of specifically targeting motorists who were members of minority groups for stops and searches is called racial profiling. Though a few states have passed laws outlawing its use, it is far from becoming a national standard in the US.
In the prison system, prisoners have reported reports of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of guards. Mostly related to the physical abuse, the excessive use of electroshock weapons continues. Deaths at the hands of guards beatings have been reported, as well as long-term isolation in small, windowless cells, in conditions of reduced sensory stimulation. Described as conditions of extreme deprivations and repressive conditions of confinement by a Texas federal district judge, they were ruled to be in violation of the US constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling was appealed by the state and is currently pending.
During courtroom appearances where prisoners are expected to appeal their convictions and defend their character, stun belts have been employed to promote civil behaviour.
Women inmates now triple their total in 1989, they have also been victims of abuse in correctional facilities in the United States. Reports of restraints on sick or pregnant prisoners has been pointed out as being inhumane and Amnesty International has called for both the removal of restraints on pregnant women and an improvement in the inadequate medical care they receive. Sexual abuse by male staff has prompted calls for posts in womens prisons, such as guarding housing units and body searches to be conducted by female officers only. The largest problem that arises in these correctional facilities is the inmates fear of further abuses should they report on the current conditions.
For a developed country, the United States harbours many inhumane and brutal practices in its justice and penal system. To be fair The United States has made sundry motions to eliminate many of the inhumane practices that are part of its penal system. However, many of these concerns are not being addressed for a multitude of reasons, including a lack of public knowledge and mass support of change. It is primarily the responsibility of citizens to initiate change. Citizens must place pressure for change on those who have the power to implement it. Pressure may take the form of letters sent to members of congress, governors and party leaders, peaceful protests or forming volunteering at a lobby or special interest group.
SWISS BANNED GYPSY REFUGEES
By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS
Associated Press Writer
GENEVA (AP) - Neutral Switzerland, widely criticized for its treatment of Jews fleeing
Hitler's Nazi regime, banned Gypsy refugees from entering the country altogether,
according to a study released Friday.
There isn't enough information to estimate the total number of Gypsies turned away to
die at the hands of the Nazis, concluded the study, which was done by a panel of
international and Swiss historians.
It said the Swiss failed to grant asylum even after they knew Gypsies were targets of
Hitler's genocide - with a special camp fitted with gas chambers in Auschwitz. An
estimated 100,000 Gypsies were murdered by the Nazis.
While the Swiss lifted the ban on Gypsies only in 1972, they hadn't been fully enforcing
it for some time as it became increasingly unpopular. A 1951 Swiss police document
said the policy remained in effect, saying ``that Gypsies in the true sense of the word
no longer live in Switzerland.''
While the study focused on the treatment of Gypsies under the Nazi era, researchers
found that Switzerland had been putting foreign Gypsies in internment camps since
The government-appointed panel of historians was headed by Swiss historian
Jean-Francois Bergier and the late Sybil Milton, a U.S. expert on the Holocaust and the
Gypsies. She died in October.
The experts last year criticized Switzerland for closing its borders to Jews in 1942,
when it became known that Hitler was implementing his ``final solution'' that was to kill
six million Jews and others.
Switzerland admitted 27,000 Jewish refugees during the Nazi era, but turned back a
similar number, historians have said.
Other European countries discriminated against Gypsies, the study said. Fascist Italy
started driving them out in the 1920s, and the Netherlands and other countries
followed suit with their own expulsion policies in the early 1930s.
In contrast to the extensive information about the plight of the Jews, there is little
documentation about Gypsies. In general, the only organization that kept any records
on them in the first half of this century was the International Criminal Police
Commission - the forerunner of Interpol.
Like other European countries, Switzerland also used forced sterilization against
Gypsies, the study said. It noted similar practices in Scandinavia, aimed at keeping
poor people and those with mental problems from passing on their genes.
Until a recent $1.25 billion settlement in New York, Swiss banks were criticized for
failing to return the assets of Holocaust victims to their heirs - including Gypsies. The
settlement includes a provision to give part to Gypsy victims and their descendants
The report used the Gypsies' preferred names for themselves - Sinti and Roma.
© Associated Press
TRUCK DRIVER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO DEATH OF 58 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (Netherlands)
The Dutch driver of a truck in which 58 Chinese
immigrants suffocated to death has denied
Perry Wacker, 32, appeared in court in Maidstone, in
Kent, near where the bodies of the 54 men and four
women were found by customs officials on June 18.
The migrants died in the back of the airtight
refrigerated truck during a crossing from Belgium.
Wacker, of Rotterdam, has pleaded not guilty to 58
counts of manslaughter and of conspiring to smuggle
the 58 people, along with two survivors, into Britain.
A 29-year-old interpreter, Ying Guo, also denied
conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants.
A trial date will be set on December 22, with
proceedings expected to begin in February.
FA TAKES LEAD AS UEFA RENEW ANTI-RACISM MOVES
The Football Association have raised their concerns
with Uefa over a series of incidents in which
England-based players have been racially abused
The FA were heartened to hear European football's
governing body have pledged to step up their attempts
to eradicate any problems with racism.
Indeed, Uefa will keep a careful eye on next week's
Champions League tie between Lazio and Leeds -
while a worldwide conference and the threat of strong
disciplinary action against any guilty club are also
FA executive director David Davies headed the
English delegation which spent one hour meeting
senior Uefa officials in Geneva to express their
It followed incidents such as the racist abuse hurled at
Emile Heskey by Yugoslavia fans during the England
Under-21 play-off in Barcelona earlier this year and by
Italy supporters during the recent senior friendly in
Then there was also the abuse levelled at Arsenal
midfielder Patrick Vieira by Lazio defender Sinisa
Mihajlovic during the Gunners' Champions League tie
in Rome last month.
With Leeds also visiting the Italian capital to play Lazio
next Tuesday, Uefa are anxious there are no further
Davies declared: "I'm satisfied that the leadership of
Uefa are taking these matters very seriously.
"They are monitoring matches in Europe very closely,
and this meeting is recognition of a need to be much
more pro-active in this area."
Davies detailed the pro-active measures which have
been used to tackle racism in this country, and it is
likely that the FA will be asked to become involved in a
possible worldwide conference to target the problem.
Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner is taking a
personal interest in the issue, and he wants to ensure
that any racism is eradicated, with strong disciplinary
action likely to be threatened against any guilty clubs.
EU MINISTER TO BACK PRINT DATABASE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
A KEY meeting of European Union justice and
home affairs ministers in Brussels today is
expected to give the go-ahead for a massive
fingerprint database to help curb widespread
abuse in asylum applications.
The Eurodac computer will be fed fingerprints
from asylum seekers in all member states to
determine if there have been multiple applications.
Ministers at their meeting today and tomorrow will
take the first formal steps to ensure the computer
is fully operational by the end of next year.
Technical work has been almost completed but a
location for the database in a European city has
yet to be finalised.
In the meantime, Ireland has agreed bilateral deals
with Britain and France for the exchange of
fingerprints in a bid to reduce the level of fraud
These will come into operation early next month
and approaches have also been made to other
European countries for similar agreements.
Since last week new asylum seekers over the age
of fourteen are being fingerprinted here and a total
of 500 applicants have been processed during the
first week of the operation which is being carried
out manually initially involving specially trained
But an electronic system is due to come into
operation next year before Eurodac comes on
According to the head of the Garda national
immigration bureau, Chief Superintendent Martin
Donnellan, the introduction of fingerprinting and
shared intelligence should make a major impact in
helping to regularise the numbers arriving into the
The move has the backing of the United Nations
High Commission on Refugees whose
spokeswoman told the Irish Independent they
were in favour of any move which protected the
integrity of the refugee process, provided it was
EU ministers are increasingly concerned by asylum
applications being lodged in different countries and
without fingerprint exchange the authorities are
seriously hampered in trying to establish the extent
of the abuse of the system.
Eurodac is also expected to assist the operation of
the Dublin Convention which stipulates that an
application for asylum should be processed in the
first EU state entered by the applicant. If any
asylum seeker turns up elsewhere in the EU, he or
she should be returned to the initial state.
Immigration officials believe there will be less
problems in processing applications when the true
figures have been established.
Alongside the 26,000 applications that have been
lodged here since 1995, it is estimated that up to
another 20,000 could have arrived in the country
without becoming involved in the asylum process.
The gardai are devoting much of their resources
towards thwarting the traffickers who are devising
methods to circumvent controls at air and sea
ports but are also using the border to bring in
immigrants from Britain through the North.
Following changes to the deportation procedures
in the wake of a successful court challenge to the
initial legislation, about 130 failed asylum seekers
have been sent out of the country in recent
About 500 deportation orders have been signed
by Justice Minister John O'Donoghue but this is
expected to rise to 1,000 in coming weeks.
New legislation has also given powers to the
gardai to cope with asylum applicants who break
the law by giving false information and destroying,
forging or altering identity documents.
The Irish Independent
A SHAMEFUL MURDER COMES TO LIGHT (Germany)
Germany rocked by right-wing thugs' senseless killing of a little
By Bernhard Honnigfort
Dresden - Germany is under shock these last few days after it has come to light
that a little boy, just six years old, was brutally murdered in a swimming-pool over
three years ago. Over the course of the ensuing three years, dozens - if not
hundreds - of witnesses to his fatal ordeal stayed silent, oblivious to the pain of the
boy's parents and sister and to the danger that his killers may strike again.
Since the story broke, police have arrested three suspected right-wing thugs who
they believe were among the crowd of perhaps 50 skinheads who abused and
drowned little Joseph at an outdoor pool in the town of Sebnitz, population 10,000,
in eastern Germany.
Criminologists have already expressed their belief that the original investigation at
the time of the suspicious death neglected key factors.
The chief prosecutor in Dresden, Claus Bogner, informed this newpaper on
Thursday that one woman and two men between the ages of 20 and 25 had been
arrested earlier in the week in the states of Saxony and Lower Saxony and placed
in custody on suspicion of the murder of Joseph Abdulla. The son of an Iraqi
chemist died on June 13, 1997 in the town's "Dr. Petzold" swimming pool.
At the time, the police assumed it was nothing more than a tragic accident,
although the state prosecutor in nearby Pirna did not officially close investigations
until May, 1998. But research by Joseph's parents, Saad Abdulla and Renate
Kantelberg, showed their son died as a result of an abominable murder. "My son
did not drown.
He was murdered by right-wingers," Kantelberg, a local town councillor, told the
The parents, who have lived in Sebnitz for the last four years and - because of the
father's origins - feel threatened by neo-Nazis, never believed their son had died in
an "accident". Over time, they collected around 30 eyewitness accounts, some of
which attested to an appalling chain of events.
According to some versions, right-wing thugs rounded on Joseph in the swimming
pool as others stood around his sister "like a human wall" to prevent her from
realising what was happening. Joseph was apparently hit and abused before being
dragged off, screaming, to a snack stall.
Here, he was again hit in the stomach and a potion was poured into his mouth. As
discovered later in a second post mortem examination that the family paid for
themselves, the drink contained the sedative ritalin, a substitute form of the party
drug ecstasy common in skinhead circles. Then he was dragged backed to the
swimming pool, barely conscious, and thrown in at the deep end.
How could it be that 250 guests at the pool did nothing? Why didn't the staff step in
to stop the hideous act? And why did the mother have to fork out 10,000 marks
(almost 4,300 dollars) of her own money to pay for a second autopsy to discover
the drugs which forensic scientists had missed ealier? In summer this year, the
Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony called for the case to be
reopened. After examining eyewitness accounts which the parents had passed on
to the institute for evaluation, the experts arrived at the conclusion that previous
evidence was "outdated". The earlier investigation was flawed, they said, consistent
"with disinterest or unprofessionality". The interior minister of Saxony state is now
set to determine whether Pirna's criminal investigators were negligent at the time of
IMMIGRANTS SEEK ILLEGAL PASSAGE TO EUROPE
NICOSIA (Reuters) - Thousands of
poor immigrants are waiting in Middle
Eastern countries for clandestine passage
to Europe, Cyprus said on Friday.
Authorities on the east Mediterranean
island, which is a regular drop-off point
for immigrants sailing either from Syria or
Lebanon on decrepit fishing boats, said
they wanted more cooperation with
neighboring states to deal with the issue. "Based on police
information, tens of thousands of immigrants are expected
either to stay in Cyprus or go through Cyprus on to other
countries," said Interior Minister Christodoulos
Christodoulou in a statement.
He said he planned to have
meetings in Syria and Lebanon over the matter, possibly in
December. Patrols of the Cyprus coastline have tightened
in the past two years, but immigrants still manage to slip
Last week, Cyprus detained some 40 Kurds and
Syrians who had landed on the southeast tip of the island
from a fishing boat. On Friday, it was looking for another
group of immigrants who had apparently arrived unnoticed
on the island earlier in the week.
Many of the immigrants,
who frequently travel in family groups with young children
at their side, pay hundreds of dollars each to travel rough
on poorly maintained fishing boats.
The task of
repatriating immigrants is usually complicated by the fact
that none of them have any travel documents.
ROMANIA'S ILIESCU CONFIDENT OF PRESIDENCY POLL WIN
BUCHAREST, Nov 30 (Reuters) -
Romania"s leftist former President Ion
Iliescu, boosted by support from
centrists, said on Thursday he was
confident he would defeat his far-right
opponent in runoff presidential elections
next month. "I will win. Corneliu Vadim
Tudor will not get more votes than he did
last week," Iliescu told Reuters.
nationalist accused by critics of being anti-Semitic,
anti-Gypsy and anti-Hungarian, came second in last
week"s first-round election with 28 percent of the vote.
Iliescu topped the list with 36 percent. The result sent
shock waves round western Europe and prompted
Romania"s centrists to set aside their differences with
Iliescu"s PDSR -- their traditional foe.
unprecedented move, Liberal, Social Democrat and ethnic
Hungarian leaders pledged "unconditional" support for
Iliescu in the December 10 runoff and urged their
supporters to vote against "extremism, totalitarianism and
chauvinism." "Vote for Iliescu," they said in televised
broadcasts. "Our people are rational. They can"t trust his
(Tudor"s) demagogic promises.
They have neither
substance nor economic support," Iliescu said. Tudor and
his nationalist Greater Romania Party promised to rule
Romania with an iron fist, eradicate corruption and impose
the rule of law at gunpoint.
They also promised job
security and support for the poor. The Greater Romania
Party, which also finished second in Sunday"s
parliamentary polls, offered to form a government with
Iliescu"s PDSR, which came first. But the PDSR ruled out
any alliance with the nationalists.
Iliescu said he was ready
to form a minority government, but was also open to
"dialogue and cooperation with the other parties in the
On Wednesday, the United States said it
wanted strong ties with Romania but sent a clear signal to
the voters that they might regret it if they elected Tudor. A
State Department spokesman hinted that Romania could
suffer a similar fate to Austria, whose EU partners froze
diplomatic contacts with it after far-rightist Joerg Haider"s
Freedom Party joined a coalition government.
spokesman said Romania must remain committed to
common European and Euro-Atlantic standards of
democracy, respect for rule of law and human rights,
including the rights of minorities.
FIRST CONGRESS OF ELECTED GYPSIES (The Czech Republic)
Gypsies are under-represented in national parliaments
By BBC Central Europe reporter Nick
The first ever international meeting of Roma or
gypsy parliamentarians and elected
representatives begins on Thursday in the
Czech capital, Prague.
The gathering has been
organised jointly by the
Czech Foreign Ministry
and the Organisation
for Security and
Co-operation in Europe
It is intended to
improve the chances of
and to share
In the whole of Europe
there are only five deputies of Roma origin in
national parliaments, according to the OSCE's
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
At local level the figures improve slightly:
Twenty mayors and 400 local councillors, all in
East and Central Europe, where most Roma
A recent annual report
by the European
Commission on the
progress of the 12
countries waiting to join
the EU was critical of
what it called the
continued prejudice and
failure to provide equal
opportunities in most of
The Czech Republic,
where the meeting is
taking place, has been
much criticised in the
past, as have Slovakia,
Hungary, Romania and
In Hungary, a system of Roma local councils is
sometimes seen as a model for other countries.
But there are now no Roma representatives at
all in the national parliament.
With the situation differing so widely in each
country, the main purpose of this meeting -
the first of its kind - is to share information.
A set of guidelines may also be drawn up and
recommendations made to national
EXPERTS QUESTION YAHOO AUCTION RULING (France)
Experts have panned efforts to ban access to Nazi
By BBC News Online internet reporter Mark
Two of the three experts whose testimony led
a French court to tell Yahoo to stop French
web surfers seeing auctions of Nazi
memorabilia have criticised the judge's
The opinion of the technical experts is widely
believed to have helped convince the French
court that it was worth telling Yahoo to install
a system to stop a majority of French web
users looking at the offending sites.
Now, two of the three witnesses have
criticised the ruling saying any restrictions can
be "trivially" avoided and that it might tempt
more repressive regimes to make the same
As Yahoo prepares its appeal against the
French ruling, German police are starting to
investigate the site over allegations that it has
been selling copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf which
is banned in the country.
On 20 November, French judge Jean-Jacques
Gomez re-affirmed an earlier ruling that called
on Yahoo to stop French web surfers seeing
the auction of Nazi memorabilia on the portal's
The case against Yahoo was brought by the
Paris-based International League against
Racism and Anti-Semitism, the Union of French
Jewish Students and the Movement against
Before making his decision, the judge sought
testimony from three technical experts on
whether it was possible for Yahoo to comply
with any ruling.
The three experts called on were internet
pioneer Vint Cerf, British Apache web-server
guru Ben Laurie and Francois Wallon who works
for the French government's office of
Now, Mr Cerf and Mr Laurie have expressed
doubts about the ruling and how it might be
made to work.
Mr Cerf, who is also head of net body Icann,
said if the French court enforced its ruling
other governments might ask other web
businesses to introduce similar curbs.
He said the French court had ignored warnings
from the experts about the "limitations and
risks" of trying to stop French people seeing
the auctions of Nazi memorabilia.
"Ignored was the observation that if every
jurisdiction in the world insisted on some form
of filtering for its particular geographic
territory, the world wide web would stop
functioning," he said.
British expert Ben Laurie has joined the
criticism of the French court saying the
decision was "half-assed".
Mr Laurie has posted an apology for the
decision on the web which says that when the
experts made their decision they laid aside
their political views and simply looked at
whether it was technically feasible to block
The panel concluded that it was possible by
looking at the net address of visitors or by
simply asking them if they were French and
then posting a file called a "cookie" on their
computer so Yahoo could spot them next time
In the apology, Mr Laurie says any technical
remedies are "inaccurate, ineffective and
trivially avoided" and calls the French court's
The French courts have given Yahoo three
months to come up with a technical solution or
it will face daily fines.
As Yahoo mulls an appeal, the German
authorities are investigating the site over
allegations that copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf
are for sale on it. The book is banned in
CHANCELLOR ATTACKS OPPOSITION ON ASYLUM (Germany)
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder gave conservative opposition parties
a tongue-lashing yesterday, accusing them of irresponsibly mixing up
immigration law with the right to asylum, reports AFP.
Schroeder said that
giving asylum to refugees was a question of "self-respect" for Germany and
the progress in civilisation it had made since the end of fascism, not just
one of image and formal rights.
He told the Christian Union parties during a
budget debate that a policy of "controlled immigration," which he said the
country needed, was a matter to be considered independently of the right to
The Chancellor lambasted the opposition parties for their recent
exploitation of the notion of a "leading German culture" to which immigrants
should conform and for seeming to claim a monopoly on patriotism.