Monday, June 23, 2008

RAPE in the Armed Forces - During War and Peace Time

LEFT: Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20 and Cpl. Cesar A. Laurean, 21.

RAPE: An Instrument of Armed Conflict by the Military During War and Peace Time.

This Post TRAFFICKING/Sexual Exploitation - The End Users/The Clients Are As Guilty As The Traffickers! is directly connected to this topic.

Rape, in the course of war, dates back to antiquity, ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Bible. The Israelite, Greek, Persian and Roman troops would routinely rape women and boys in the conquered towns.

Rape as Means of Warfare
During war, rape is often used as means of psychological warfare in order to humiliate the enemy and undermine their morale. Rapes in war are often systematic and thorough, and military leaders may actually encourage their soldiers to rape civilians. Systematic rapes are often employed as a form of ethnic cleansing.

Historical Examples
There are numerous cases of rapes conducted on Jewish women and girls by German soldiers during the Invasion of Poland.

Rapes were also committed against Polish women and girls during mass executions made primarily by Selbstschutz, which were accompanied by Wehrmacht soldiers and on territory under administration of the German military, the rapes were made before shooting female captives.

Thousands of Soviet female nurses, doctors and field medicians fell victim to brutal German rapes when captured during the war, and often they were murdered afterwards. Wehrmacht also ran brothels where some of the women were forced to work.

Ruth Seifert in War and Rape: Analytical Approaches writes, "In the Eastern territories the Wehrmacht used to brand the bodies of captured partisan women - and other women as well - with the words 'Whore for Hitler's troops' and to use them accordingly."

Norman Naimark writes in "The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949." The exact number of women and prepubescent girls who were raped by members of the Red Army in the months preceding and years following the capitulation will never be known.

German women who became pregnant after being raped by Soviet soldiers in World War II were invariably denied abortion to further humiliate them as to carry an unwanted child. As a result, according to the book Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor, some 90% of Berlin women in 1945 had venereal diseases as results of consequential rapes and 3.7% of all children born in Germany 1945-1946 had Russian fathers. The history behind this particular rape of the German women by the Soviet troops was considered a taboo topic until 1992. (see Red Army atrocities)

Additionally, in China during World War II, the Nanking Massacre occurred, where rape was used as a tool to humiliate the civilians under Japanese oppression. As many as 80,000 women were raped by the Japanese soldiers during the six weeks of the Nanking Massacre. Comfort women is a euphemism for up to 200,000 women, who were forced into prostitution in Japanese military brothels.

According to a review of "The GI War against Japan: American Soldiers in Asia and the Pacific during World War II", rape is seen as a method for soldiers to bond with each other, and also to enhance their aggressiveness, and it also "reflects a burning need to establish total dominance of the other" [the enemy]. As a consequence U.S. soldiers rape of Japanese women was "general practice". "The estimate of one Okinawan historian for the entire three-month period of the campaign exceeds 10,000. A figure that does not seem unlikely when one realizes that during the first 10 days of the occupation of Japan there were 1,336 reported cases of rape of Japanese women by American soldiers in Kanagawa prefecture alone". (see also Allied war crimes during World War II)

French Moroccan troops known as Goumiers, committed rapes and other war crimes after the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II. (See Marocchinate.)

During the Yugoslavian Civil War, it was reported that Serbian soldiers herded enemy women into camps, who were then raped on a daily basis until pregnancy occurred.

It has been alleged that an estimated 200,000 women were raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War by the Pakistani army, though this has been disputed by many including the Indian academic Sarmila Bose.

Since the humanitarian crisis began in 2003, women in the western Sudanese state of Darfur have been subjected to rape and other forms of gender-based violence perpetrated by the government-backed Janjawid militia, as well as other armed troops. In many cases, women have been publicly raped in front of their husbands, relatives or the wider community. Pregnant women have not been spared and those who have resisted rapes were reportedly beaten, stabbed or killed. Women and girls as young as eight years old have been abducted during attacks and forced into sexual slavery in the Janjawid military camps. The strong cultural, social, and religious taboos against rape in Darfur make women reluctant to speak out and often cause them and their children to be ostracized by their community.

NB Wartime propaganda often alleges mistreatment of the civilian population by enemy forces and allegations of rape figure prominently in this, as a result it is often very difficult both practically and politically to an accurate view of what really happened.

In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) for Rwanda established by the United Nations made landmark decisions (Prosecutor v. Akayesu) stating rape and sexual violence is a crime of genocide under international law. In one judgement Navanethem Pillay said: "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war." An estimated 500,000 women were raped during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

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Rape and Sexual Violence in the Context of International Law
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court includes as rape those situations where the victim is deprived of her(/his) ability to consent to sex, including providing sex to avoid harm or to obtain basic necessities.

The Rome Statute recognizes rape and other forms of sexual violence by combatants in the conduct of armed conflict as war crimes. When rape and sexual violence are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, they are considered crimes against humanity, and in some cases may constitute an element of genocide.

The widest definition of rape in international law was provided by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which stated that rape consists of a physical invasion of a sexual nature, committed on a person under coercive circumstances. Sexual violence, including rape, is not limited to physical invasion of the human body and may include acts that do not involve penetration or even physical contact. Although the ICTR included the crime of rape as a crime against humanity, it omitted rape from other categories of crimes. The Rome Statute, however, recognizes gender crimes (including rape) as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Many acts of sexual violence - including rape, gang rape, abduction and sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forced maternity, and sexual mutilation - constitute torture under customary international law. These acts are considered war crimes and constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.



Wiki - Types of Rape
UN Denounces Rape as Weapon of War - AFP - 19 June 2008
When Rape Becomes Genocide - New York Times - 5 September 1998 - Opinion
Rape As A Tool of War - Amnesty International
Women and Armed Conflict; International Justice - Human Rights Watch
Rape As a Crime in International Humanitarian Law: Where To From Here?
European Journal of International Law - Vol. 13 (2002) No. 3 - Rosalind Dixon
Bosnian Children Born of War Rape Asking Questions - MSNBC - 31 May 2005
More than decade later, some learn painful truth

Bosnia's Rape Babies: Abandoned by Their Families, Forgotten by the State
The Independent (UK) - 13 December 2005

The Times Newspaper (UK) - 19 June 2008


All the following stories originate from the US. Why? The media is more open to reporting Sexual Crimes in the US Armed Forces, compared to other countries.

1995 Okinawan Rape Incident
The 1995 Okinawan rape incident refers to a rape that took place on September 4, 1995, when three U.S. servicemen, U.S. Navy Seaman Marcus Gill and U.S. Marines Rodrico Harp and Kendrick Ledet, all from Camp Hansen on Okinawa, rented a van and kidnapped a 12-year-old 6th-grade Japanese girl.

Does a Rapist Deserve a Military Burial?
Honoring a convicted sex predator who killed himself behind bars sends a chilling message to victims. - LA Times - 23 January 2008 By Anne K. Ream

Rape in the U.S. military - How a fraternal culture and a habit of blaming the victim leave sexual violence unexamined and unpunished. LA Times - 30 January 2008 By Lucinda Marshall

A Wave of Sexual Terrorism In Iraq
Behind the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and her family lies a far larger story of what's happened to women in Iraq since they were 'liberated' by the Bush administration. AlertNet - 14 July 2006 By Ruth Rosen


Army Rape Accuser Speaks Out
Says She Was Treated 'Like A Criminal' By The Army
CBS News 60 Minutes - 20 February 2005

The eight-year veteran of the New Jersey National Guard had been AWOL for two months after refusing to return to Camp Shelby, Miss., where she says she was sexually assaulted by another lieutenant after a night of drinking with friends at the Officers Club.

"He raped you," asks Kroft.
"Yes," says Dyer.
"Is there any way he could have misinterpreted your intentions?" asks Kroft.
"I don't feel it's possible to misinterpret, 'No, don’t do this. Or stop.' Those are the words that I used again and again,” says Dyer.


Sexual Assault in the Shadows The Boston Globe 12 September 2004
Male Victims in Military cite Devastating Impact on Career, Life

Male (and Female) Rape in the Military Florida Today Report By Alan Snel
Male Sex Abuse Revealed in Ranks - Thousands of male veterans report enduring sexual trauma during their military careers. By Alan Snel

Rape Hobbles Bush Administration Policies 26 May 2008 By Ann Wright

Airman Gets 50 Years in Rape Case 1 March 2007
Air Force captain sentenced to 50 years in prison for raping 4 men and attempting to rape two others. Taylor was convicted of two counts of attempted sodomy, four counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of kidnapping and one count of unlawful entry. Four of his victims were in the military and two were civilians. "Taylor's only crime was being gay in the military and violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bans people who are openly gay from serving in the armed forces", his civilian attorney, Martin Regan said.

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RAPE: How Many Victims Do Men Want?
If You Stay Silent and Do Nothing, you are as Guilty as the Rapist.

Discrimination and Persecution of Atheists, Agnostics and Irreligious People


There are still too many stories of different religions persecuting each other. None of these groups have the higher moral ground nor can they invoke their God to prove their God actually exists.

There are also instances (with less publicity) of persecution and discrimination against Atheists, Agnostics and Irreligious People. This is the Focus of this Post.

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Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

ECHR & UKHRA98 - Article 9 - Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
ECHR & HRA98 - Article 10 – Freedom of Expression

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The Meaning of Atheism, Agnosticism and an Irreligious Person.

According to Wikipedia, Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods, or the rejection of theism. It is also defined more broadly as synonymous with any form of nontheism, including the simple absence of belief in deities.

According to, An Atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

According to Wikipedia, Agnosticism (Greek: without + knowledge; after Gnosticism) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently unknowable.

According to An Agnostic is
1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

According to Wikipedia, Irreligion is a lack of religion, indifference to religion, or hostility to religion. Depending on the context, it may be understood as referring to atheism, agnosticism, deism, skepticism, free thought, secular humanism or general secularism.

According to, An Irreligious Person is
1. not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions.
2. showing or characterized by a lack of religion.
3. showing indifference or hostility to religion.

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Discrimination and Persecution in Specific Countries

Discrimination against atheists is a negative categorical bias against atheists or secularism. Such prejudice and discrimination is a type of religious intolerance. In nations where freedom of belief is biased towards established religions, the issue becomes persecution of atheists.

Even though religious freedom is guaranteed in the
Danish constitution some laws exists that are considered discriminatory against non-religious citizens. The state church is partially subsidized by public funds. The state pays for the salaries and pensions of bishops, the pensions of priests and provost, 40% of the salaries of priests and provosts and all expenses concerning the conduction of church services in Ertholmene. The monarch is required to be a member of the state church by the Danish Constitution.

Egypt introduced new identity cards in 2004 which identifies each citizen of Egypt as one of three religions: Muslim, Christian or Jewish. No other entries are possible, nor is it possible to leave the space for religion blank. If atheists are unwilling to lie about their religion, they are denied many basic human rights. Egyptian atheists cannot obtain birth certificates, death certificates, marriage or divorce certificates or passports. Without identity cards they have no access to medical treatment, cannot vote, cannot be employed, cannot do business with banks, not even to withdraw money from their own bank accounts.

This treatment is a requirement of Sharia law, which the Egyptian constitution states goes above normal law, and even above the constitution. This treatment of atheists is not limited to Egypt, but is practiced in almost all muslim-majority nations, with the notable exception of Turkey.

Religious freedom is constitutionally guaranteed, yet the state collects a church tax ("Kirchensteuer") from all registered members of the Evangelical and Catholic Christian faiths. De-registering oneself costs up to €50, depending on the federal state (as of 2000, has increased in the meantime). Payment is not required when switching between the two "taxed" faiths. This fee is required, too, if the person who wants to leave the church doesn't have any own income, in cases of someone who is 14 (the legal age in Germany at which a person can chose his religion without the parent's consent), or in cases of someone who is unemployed.

In Iran, Irreligious people are not recognized as citizens. While Jews, Christians and other minorities have the right to take part in university entrance exams and can become members of parliament or city councils, irreligious people are not granted even their basic rights. Most irreligious people, however, hide their beliefs and pretend to be Muslims. Non-believers—atheists—under Islam do not have "the right to life".
Apostasy in Iran is punishable by death.

In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Norwegian parents who had sued the Norwegian state. The case was about a subject in compulsory school, kristendomskunnskap
med religions- og livssynsorientering (Teachings of Christianity with orientation about religion and philosophy), KRL. The applicants complained that the refusal to grant full exemption from KRL prevented them from ensuring that their children received an education in conformity with their atheist views and philosophical convictions. A few years earlier, in 2004, the UN Committee on Human Rights in Geneva had given its support to the parents.

In Sweden, generally considered one of the most secularized countries in the world, there exist laws that could be considered discriminatory towards atheists: The king of Sweden must according to the law be a Christian. This is seen as an endorsement of Christianity by many atheists. Until 2000, Sweden had an official state church. Even after the law was changed, there is a special law that regulates the church and its affairs. In many public schools, the commencement after each semester is held in a church and a priest delivers a sermon. Sometimes schools go to church to celebrate holidays. When atheists have objected to this "tradition", politicians have defended it.

United States
In the United States, there is widespread disapproval of atheists. For example, according to, 52% of Americans claim they would not vote for a well-qualified atheist for president. More recently a 2007 Gallup poll produced nearly identical results. A 2006 study at the University of Minnesota showed atheists to be the most distrusted minority among Americans. Notwithstanding such attitudes, atheists are legally protected from discrimination in the United States. They have been among the strongest advocates of the legal
separation of church and state. American courts have regularly, if controversially, interpreted the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state as protecting the freedoms of non-believers, as well as prohibiting the establishment of any state religion.

Several private organizations, the most notable being the Boy Scouts of America, do not allow atheist members. However, this policy has come under fire by organizations who assert that the Boy Scouts of America do profit from taxpayer money and thus cannot be called a truly private organization, and thus must admit atheists (along with homosexuals, and others currently barred from membership).

An organization called Scouting for All, founded by Eagle Scout Steven Cozza, is at the forefront of the movement to expose perceived hypocrisy on the part of the Boy Scouts of America. Cozza and others allege that when the BSA wants to discriminate, they act as a private organization; when they want money or the use of publicly-funded buildings, venues, or property, they act as a public organization.

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USA - Atheist Soldier Claims Harassment - 26 April 2008 -CNN

USA - Discrimination Against Atheists - The Facts by Margaret Downey - Free Inquiry Magazine, V. 24, #4

USA - Religion in America: Atheists Claim Discrimination By Caroline Hsu
2 August 2005 - U.S. News & World Report

USA - Army to EO Reps: “Discrimination Against Atheists OK” By Wayne Adkins
29 April 2007 - American Chronicle

USA - Atheist Discrimination in the Army: A Firsthand Account By Elaine Friedman
16 May 2007 -

USA - - A Free Service for Atheists from American Atheists

Portugal - Atheists Create First Portuguese Association 7 June 2008 The Portugal News OnLine

UK - Our Lost Religion - The atheists may cheer the exit from organised religious belief, but there's no virtue in wholesale ignorance. Friday April 13, 2001 The Guardian

Morocco -
The situation of atheists; discrimination or ill-treatment of these people by the state - 28 October 2004 - UNHCR

Poland - The aim of is to consolidate the community of atheists in Poland, to inform about atheism and atheists, to represent their outlook on life and to protect the ideas of pluralism, tolerance, free-thought and democracy.

Italy - Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics

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The following list of famous people have either been specifically identified as an "atheist" by a reliable source, or have expressed a position that is firmly consistent with atheism. Persons who have merely criticized religion are excluded. Names have been taken from

Sir Edward Battersby Bailey FRS (1881–1965): British geologist, director of the British Geological Survey.
Hermann Bondi (1919–2005): Anglo-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist, best known for co-developing the steady-state theory of the universe and important contributions to the theory of general relativity.
Sean M. Carroll (1956–): American cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity.
Francis Crick (1916–2004): English molecular biologist, physicist, and neuroscientist; noted for being one of the co-discoverers of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
Richard Dawkins (1941–): British zoologist, biologist, creator of the concepts of the selfish gene and the meme; outspoken atheist and popularizer of science, author of The God Delusion and founder of theRichard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Albert Einstein (1879–1955): German-born theoretical physicist, best known for his theory of relativity and recipient of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939): Father of psychoanalysis.
E. T. 'Teddy' Hall (1924–2001): English archaeological scientist, famous for exposing the Piltdown Man fraud and dating the Turin Shroud as a medieval fake.
G. H. Hardy (1877–1947): a prominent English mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis.
Stephen Hawking CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (1942–): British theoretical physicist, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes, and his popular works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general, including A Brief History of Time.
Sir Julian Huxley FRS (1887–1975): English evolutionary biologist, a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis, Secretary of the Zoological Society of London (1935-1942), the first Director of UNESCO, and a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund.
Sir Peter Medawar (1915–1987): Nobel Prize-winning British scientist best known for his work on how the immune system rejects or accepts tissue transplants.
Jonathan Miller (1934–): British physician, actor, theatre and opera director, and television presenter. Wrote and presented the 2004 television series, Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief, exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world.
Desmond Morris (1928–): English zoologist and ethologist, famous for describing human behaviour from a zoological perspective in his books The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo.
John Allen Paulos (1945–): Professor of mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia and writer, author of Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up (2007)
Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936): Nobel Prize winning Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician, widely known for first describing the phenomenon of classical conditioning.
Carl Sagan (1934–1996): American astronomer and astrochemist, a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences, and pioneer of exobiology and promoter of the SETI.
Eleazar Sukenik (1889–1953): Israeli archaeologist and professor of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, undertaking excavations in Jerusalem, and recognising the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Israel.
Alan Turing (1912–1954): English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer; often considered to be the father of modern computer science. The Turing Award, often recognized as the "Nobel Prize of computing", is named after him.
Matthew Turner (d. c.1789): chemist, surgeon, teacher and radical theologian, author of the first published work of avowed atheism in Britain (1782).
Steve Wozniak (1950–): co-founder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple I/II.

Mary Adams (1898–1984): English producer and administrator in the BBC, instrumental in setting up the BBC's television service.
Joan Bakewell CBE (1933–): English television presenter and journalist.
Paul Bettany (1971–): English actor, known for his roles in A Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and The Da Vinci Code.
Derren Brown (1971–): English psychological illusionist, mentalist, and skeptic of paranormal phenomena. Professed to being an atheist in his book Tricks of the Mind and described Bertrand Russell's collection of essays Why I Am Not a Christian "an absolute joy."
Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977): English comedy actor, director and musician; he is considered to be one of the finest mimes and clowns caught on film.
Billy Connolly (1942—): Scottish comedian, actor and presenter.
Sir Noël Coward (1899–1973): English actor, playwright and composer of popular music.
David Cronenberg OC, FRSC (1943–): Canadian film director, one of the principal originators of the 'body horror' genre.
Mackenzie Crook (1971–): English actor and comedian, known for playing Gareth Keenan in The Office and Ragetti in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Jodie Foster (1962–): American film actress, director, and producer. Two-time Academy Award-winner.
Stephen Fry (1957–): British humourist, writer, actor and filmmaker.
Ricky Gervais (1961 –): Emmy winning English TV and film star, Gervais is best known for his shows The Office and Extras, both of which he starred in and co wrote along with with fellow atheist Stephen Merchant.
Tony Hancock (1924–1968): British actor and comedian, star of the popular Hancock's Half Hour.
Sir David Hare (1947–): Award-winning English dramatist and theatre and film director.
Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003): American actress who appeared in 53 films from 1932 to 1994; winner of four Academy Awards for Best Actress.
John Huston (1906–1987): American Academy Award-winning film director and actor, especially known for the classic films The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Asphalt Jungle, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Misfits and The Man Who Would Be King.
Skandar Keynes (1991–): English actor (Chronicles of Narnia films).
Hugh Laurie OBE (1959–): English actor, comedian and writer, star of the television show House.
Nigella Lawson (1960–): English journalist, food writer, broadcaster and television presenter.
Kevin Macdonald (1967–): Scottish two-time BAFTA winning director, most famous for his films The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void.
Sir Ian McKellen (1939–): English stage and screen actor.
Stephen Merchant (1974–): British actor and writer, co-creator of The Office.
George Meyer (1956–): American television producer and writer, notably for The Simpsons.
Helen Mirren DBE (1945–): English stage, television and Oscar-winning actress film actress.
Jack Nicholson (1937—): American actor, three time Academy Award-winner. Nicholson told Vanity Fair he doesn't believe in God anymore but envies people with faith.
Julia Phillips (1944–2002): Academy Award-winning film producer and author, the first woman to win an Oscar as a producer.[67]
Griff Rhys Jones (1953–): Welsh comedian, writer, actor and television presenter.
Omar Sharif - Academy Award-nominated Egyptian actor who has starred in many Hollywood films; an Egyptian Melkite Catholic who converted to Islam, but is now an atheist.
Theo van Gogh (1957–2004): Dutch film director, television producer, publicist and actor, murdered following the broadcasting of his film Submission.
Peter White (1947–): English broadcast journalist and DJ; blind since birth, he is closely associated with disability issues.[89]
Gene Wilder (1933–): American actor best known for his role as Willy Wonka.

Douglas Adams (1952–2001): British radio and television writer and novelist, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Tariq Ali (1943–): British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner and commentator.
Sir Kingsley Amis (1922–1995): English novelist, poet, critic and teacher, most famous for his novels Lucky Jim and the Booker Prize-winning The Old Devils.
Eric Ambler OBE (1909–1998): influential English writer of spy novels who introduced a new realism to the genre.
Isaac Asimov (1920–1992): Russian-born American author of science fiction and popular science books.
Aldo Braibanti (1922–): Italian writer and dramatist, famous for having been sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for 'plagiarism'.
João Cabral de Melo Neto, (1920–1999): Brazilian poet, considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008): British scientist and science-fiction author.
Roddy Doyle (1958–): Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter, winner of the Booker Prize in 1993.
George Eliot (1819–1890): Mary Ann Evans, the famous novelist, was also a humanist and propounded her views on theism in an essay called Evangelical Teaching'.
Ken Follett (1949ndash;): British author of thrillers and historical novels.
E. M. Forster OM (1879–1970): English novelist, short story writer, and essayist, best known for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th century British society.
Alex Garland (1970–): British novelist and screenwriter, author of The Beach and the screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine.
Constance Garnett (1861–1946): English translator, whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics which first introduced them widely to the English and American public.
Sir William Golding (1911–1993): British novelist, poet and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies.
Graham Greene OM, CH (1904–1991): English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer and critic.
Germaine Greer (1939–): Australian feminist writer. Greer describes herself as a "Catholic atheist".
David Grossman (1954–): Israeli author of fiction, nonfiction, and youth and children's literature.
R. J. Hollingdale (1930–2001): English biographer and translator of German philosophy and literature, President of The Friedrich Nietzsche Society, and responsible for rehabilitating Nietzsche's reputation in the English-speaking world.
Ludovic Kennedy (1919–): British journalist, author, and campaigner for voluntary euthanasia.
Paul Krassner (1932–): American founder and editor of the freethought magazine The Realist, and a key figure in the 1960s counterculture.
W. Somerset Maugham CH (1874–1965): English playwright, novelist, and short story writer, one of the most popular authors of his era.
Charles Maurras (1868–1952): French author, poet, and critic, a leader and principal thinker of the reactionary Action Française.
Ian McEwan, CBE (1948–): British author and winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Arthur Miller (1915–2005): American playwright and essayist, a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over 61 years, writing a wide variety of plays, including celebrated plays such as The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman, which are widely studied.
Sir John Mortimer CBE QC (1923–): English barrister, dramatist and author, famous as the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey.
Dame Iris Murdoch (1919–1999): Dublin-born writer and philosopher, best known for her novels, which combine rich characterization and compelling plotlines, usually involving ethical or sexual themes.
Aziz Nesin (1915–1995): Turkish humorist and author of more than 100 books.
George Orwell (1903–1950): English writer and journalist, a novelist, critic, and commentator on politics and culture, one of the most admired English-language essayists of the twentieth century, and most famous for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general (Nineteen Eighty-Four), and Stalinism in particular (Animal Farm).
Harold Pinter (1930–): British playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor, director, author, and political activist, best known for his plays The Birthday Party (1957), The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978). Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005.
Terry Pratchett (1948–): English Fantasy author known for his satirical Discworld series.
Salman Rushdie (1947–): Indian-born British essayist and author of fiction.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822): British Romantic poet, contemporary and associate of John Keats and Lord Byron, and author of The Necessity of Atheism.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894): Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer, especially famous for his works Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Allen Tate (1899–1979): American poet, essayist and social commentator, and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress 1943–1944.
Sue Townsend (1946–): British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books.
Naguib Mahfouz - Egyptian novelist who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature and is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature.
Ismail Kadare - World-renowned Albanian writer.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(1969–): Dutch feminist and politician.
Natalie Angier (1958–): Nonfiction writer and science journalist for The New York Times; 1991 winner of Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.
Peter Brearey (1939–1998): British secularist, socialist and journalist, Editor of The Freethinker from 1993 until his death.
William Montgomery Brown (1855–1937): Episcopal bishop and Communist author.
Richard Carrier (1969–): historian, philosopher, and atheist activist.
Chapman Cohen (1868–1954): English freethought writer and lecturer, and an editor of The Freethinker and president of the National Secular Society.
Margaret Downey is an atheist activist who is the current President of Atheist Alliance International.[9]
Joseph Edamaruku (1934–2006): Indian journalist, author, leader in the rationalist movement, and winner of the International Atheist Award in 1979.
Saraswathi Gora (1912–2006): Indian social activist, wife of Gora and leader of the Atheist Centre for many years, campaigning against untouchability and the caste system.
George Holyoake (1817–1906): English secularist. Holyoake was the last person in England to be imprisoned (in 1842) for being an atheist.[21] He coined the term "secularism" in 1846.
Ellen Johnson: President of American Atheists, 1995-2008.
Hemant Mehta (c.1983–): Author of I Sold My Soul on eBay, chair of the Secular Student Alliance and author of the blog
Michael Newdow (1953–): American physician and attorney, who sued a school district on the grounds that its requirement that children recite the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, containing the words "under God", breached the separation-of-church-and-state provision in the establishment clause of the United States Constitution.
Charles Lee Smith (1887–1964): an atheist activist in the United States and an editor of the Truth Seeker until his death. He also founded the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. Smith was arrested twice in 1928 for selling atheist literature and for blasphemy. Since he refused to swear an oath to God on the Bible, he was not allowed to testify in his own defense.
Barbara Smoker (1923–): British humanist activist and freethought advocate. Wrote the book Freethoughts: Atheism, Secularism, Humanism – Selected Egotistically from The Freethinker.

* * *

Monday, June 16, 2008

Slavery, Servitude, Forced or Compulsory Labour - UDHR, ECHR & UKHRA


The following instruments/laws clearly state the actions of Slavery, Servitude and Forced or Compulsory Labour

are violations of

UDHR Article 4, ECHR Article 4 & UKHRA Article 4.

What does the ECHR state about Slavery and Forced Labour?

ECHR Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour, states
1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
3. For the purpose of this article the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
a. any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
b. any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
c. any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
d. any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.


In the SLAVERY CONVENTION OF 1926 - "slavery" is

Article I
For the purpose of the present Convention, the following definitions are agreed upon:
1. Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.
2. The slave trade includes all acts involved in the capture, acquisition or disposal of a person with intent to reduce him to slavery; all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him; all acts of disposal by sale or exchange of a slave acquired with a view to being sold or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport in slaves.

In the
FORCED LABOUR CONVENTION - (No. 29) - Adopted on 28 June 1930 by the General Conference of the INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION, Forced or Compulsory Labour is defined as

Article 2
1. For the purposes of this Convention the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall mean all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.
2. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this Convention the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
a. Any work or service exacted in virtue of compulsory military service laws for work of a purely military character;
b. Any work or service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the citizens of a fully self-governing country;
c. Any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations;
d. Any work or service exacted in cases of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war or of a calamity or threatened calamity, such as fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population;
e. Minor communal services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of the community, provided that the members of the community or their direct representatives shall have the right to be consulted in regard to the need for such services.


In the UK GUIDE TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 - WHAT ARE MY CONVENTION RIGHTS?: Department of Constitutional Affairs. This document states about Article 4:

3.29 You have the absolute right not to be treated like a slave or forced to perform certain kinds of labour.
3.30 This is another fundamental right in the sense that even in times of war or other public emergency, you have the right not to be treated in these ways.

3.31 Article 4 protects you from being held in “slavery” or “servitude”. These are very old fashioned concepts, dating back to Roman times. Being a slave means that someone actually owns you just like a piece of property. Being in servitude is similar, in that you may have to live on the other person’s property, and may be unable to leave, but is different in that the other person does not officially own you.

The UK outlawed all forms of slavery in 1833. Sometimes newspapers (and People) report that a personal servant or other person is held in slavery in the UK. This is against the law and will usually involve a breach of both criminal and civil law.

3.32 Article 4 also protects you from having to perform “forced or compulsory labour”. “Labour” is given a broad meaning, and can cover all kinds of work or service, not just physical work. It is “forced or compulsory” if you are made to do it by the threat of a punishment which you have not voluntarily accepted. The idea could apply to situations where immigrant staff have their passports removed to prevent them leaving work (though, of course, it is not the state who acts in this way).

3.33 The following activities are specifically excluded from being forced or compulsory labour:
• work required to be done in the ordinary course of a prison sentence or a sentence of community punishment
• military service (whether voluntary or compulsory) or substitute civilian service
• community service in a public emergency, or a situation which threatens the life or well being of the community
• normal civic obligations, which have been held to include: – compulsory fire service – maintaining a building if you are a landlord – deducting taxes from your employees’ wages if you are an employer.


In 2001 The ILO's released a report identifying eight different types of Forced Labour, prevalent in the world today and identified the countries where these violations were known.

A "physical abduction" followed by forced labor.
- Congo, Liberia, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Sudan

Farm and Rural Debt Bondage
When workers see all their wages go to paying for transportation, food and shelter because they've been "locked into debt" by unscrupulous job recruiters and landowners and they can't leave because of force, threats or the remote location of the work sites.
- Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Togo.

Bonded Labor
Another form of debt bondage, it often starts with the worker agreeing to provide labor in exchange for a loan, but quickly develops into bondage as the employer adds more and more "debt" to the bargain.
- Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

People Trafficking
When individuals are forced or tricked into going somewhere by someone who will profit from selling them or forcing them to work against their will, most often in sexual trades. Many countries are both "origins" and "destinations" for victims.
- Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Malaysia, Moldova, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Yugoslavia.

Abuse of Domestic Workers
When maids and other domestic servants are sold to their employers or bonded to them by debts.
- Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Haiti, throughout the Middle East.

Prison Labor
The contracting out of prison labor or forcing of prisoners to work for profit-making enterprises.
- Australia, Austria, China, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Germany, New Zealand, Madagascar, Malaysia, United States.

Compulsory Work
When people are required by law to work on public construction projects such as roads and bridges.
- Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Burma (also known as Myanmar), Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Vietnam.

Military Labor
When civilians are forced to do work for government authorities or the military.
- Burma (also known as Myanmar)


The OFFICE OF HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS in Fact Sheet No.14, Contemporary Forms of Slavery states

The word "slavery" today covers a variety of human rights violations. In addition to traditional slavery and the slave trade, these abuses include the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography, the exploitation of child labour, the sexual mutilation of female children, the use of children in armed conflicts, debt bondage, the traffic in persons and in the sale of human organs, the exploitation of prostitution, and certain practices under apartheid and colonial regimes.

* * *


Very few cases have reached the courts. Siliadin v. France served as a reminder that although slavery has been abolished throughout Europe for many years the continent is not entirely free, in so far as “domestic slavery” appears to remain a widespread problem.

Siliadin v. France. 73316/01. Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights. 26 July 2005.

Mohammed Lemine Ould Barar v. Sweden. 42367/98. Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights. 19 January 1999.


In my post
AA-1177 Identifies The Lies, Deception and Double Standards in a Democracy and Elsewhere.... I cited a couple of cases of Slavery/Enslavement in the United States and the Middle East. Very few cases really do get reported in Europe.

Why are so few cases reported and dealt with in Courts of Law? We know there is a problem.....

Here are some of the reasons, which I have based on my own experiences and observations in the United Kingdom, involving my blood relations and their associates who are from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. I can assure you I have no intent of being identified and associated with these people because of their actions.

I have used the terms Master, Servant and Witness to aid understanding.

  • Servants are unable to escape from their situation and they have no one to turn to, to ask for Help. A Servant may plead/beg for assistance but Witnesses ignore these pleas because the financial/rewards from the Master are far greater.
  • The authorities never check the work and living conditions of foreign servants, who are employed by foreigners from the Middle East. The authorities do not enforce the law. Violating Article 4 is evidence of an uncivilized uneducated human being.
  • Certain Masters and Witnesses regard servants as lowly uneducated human beings who deserve no respect and have no rights.
  • Racism and attitudes towards skin colour exists in many countries. Some people use historical cases of slavery, to justify their attitudes and actions today.
  • Attitudes towards poverty/wealth of people including servants/masters are highly relevant.
  • Unfortunately there are people who enjoy wielding power over others and abusing them. They assume they elevate their status/standing/station in society by degrading and undermining other human beings.

This post has touched on what I consider to be a very important topic. Acceptable and Unacceptable Standards of Behaviour in European Countries today. Which side of the Fence are you Standing?

Honour Killings & Violence - Why Do They Happen?

ignorantia iuris neminem excusat - Ignorance Of The Law Excuses No-One

The following Articles in the ECHR are relevant to Honour Violence and Killings.

Article 2 - Right to Life
Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour
Article 5 – Right to Liberty and Security
Article 9 – Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
Article 12 – Right to Marry

Brian Whitaker's article "Rights in Practice - Considering How to Deal with 'Honour' Killings may provide a Model for Human Rights Activism in other situations" presents what I also believe are the main driving forces behind Honour Violence/Killings today.

  • "Honour" killing is a very old practice that pre-dates Islam. It is a hangover from the days when order was maintained by tribes, families and local communities in the absence of an effective state. In some countries these old systems of tribal law still exist to a degree alongside the machinery of state - and sometimes in competition with it.

  • The concept of family honour is also very old. Basically, it's an extreme version of "Whatever will the neighbours think?" and, in theory, it imposes discipline on family members for their collective good but today it can also be oppressive and tyrannical, denying individuals the right to make their own choices about careers, marriage partners, etc.

  • Then there's the gender issue. According to Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University in Palestine, "honour" killing is the product of a patriarchal and patrilineal society: "What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honour killing is not a means to control sexual power or behaviour. What's behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power."
  • I would also like to add family members are essentially financial/material commodities when no welfare state exists. A family member has either the status of being an expense/burden or a source of financial/material profit to the family, clan or tribe. This will influence attitudes and behaviour. A human being who is viewed as an expense/burden for life, is far more likely to be targeted with honour violence/killing.



In my post Honour Killings - Victims in European Countries, I presented 24 examples of Honour Killings in Europe. The people responsible for these crimes came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kurdistan, India and Pakistan. The fact that the people responsible for these deaths had been given British Citizenship astounds me.

Honor Killings have also been reported in the following countries - Albania, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Israel (within the Arab, Druze and Bedouin communities), Italy, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and the United States.

The following reports go into more detail on the subject, in Pakistan and Egypt.

Pakistan: Honour Killings of Women and Girls
This report describes the different facets of the phenomenon of honour killings in Pakistan. It looks at the traditions that form the framework of such killings, particularly the commodification of women and the notion of honour. Honour killings may happen for a variety of reasons, including seeking a divorce, rape or choosing a marriage partner.

Honour Killing In Egypt "Violence against women: Good practices in combating and eliminating violence against women" UN Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with: UN Office on Drugs and Crime - 17 to 20 May 2005 - Vienna, Austria



Brits sought to ban Sati, destroy the Thug Cult and stop Female Infanticide in India but, they do not appear to have done anything to reduce/stop Honour Violence and Killings, during the days of empire.

Today the Western Press is presenting Honour Violence/Killings as a Shocking Recent Phenomena. These brutal acts are being freely imported into every European Country, even the USA today. Many western countries had prior knowledge of countries with histories of honour violence/killings. Why therefore didn't European countries implement sound immigration policies in the first place and enforce specific laws banning honour violence/killings when these immigrants arrived, before awarding residence and citizenship?


Having Somewhere to Turn...

Great Britain Emergency Hotlines
For those needing Protection from Human Rights Violators, here are some emergency contact numbers in Great Britain.

Honour Network Helpline - 7 Days A Week 9:30 - 21:00 / 0800 5999 247
Forced Marriage Unit - 9:00 - 17:00 / 020 7008 0151 / Outside UK (0044) 207 008 0151
In Emergencies Contact Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline - 0808 2000 247
Help and Advice in Farsi, Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic - 0207 4900 303 / 07862 733 511

Friday, June 6, 2008

Emile Zola and the Dreyfus Affair - “J’ACCUSE...!” - SO DO I!

History is Unfortunately Repeating Itself.
Who is Being Persecuted Today?

Universal Declaration of Human Rights : ARTICLE 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

European Convention on Human Rights : ARTICLE 9
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

The French Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (Declaration of Human and Civil Rights) was proclaimed on 26 August 1789, one of the first decrees of the newly formed French National Assembly. Its first article states: “All men are born and remain free and equal in rights”.

* * * * *

The appearance of Zola's article was the greatest day of the Dreyfus Affair, which tormented France for twelve years. The Affair, “one of the great commotions of history,” in the words of historian Barbara W. Tuchman, arose out of the 1894 arrest and conviction for treason of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer in the French army. Dreyfus, who was completely innocent, received an unfair trial at his court martial; the prosecution's case had no substance, and the conviction was based on false, supposedly incriminating documents, not introduced into evidence or disclosed to Dreyfus, which were secretly delivered to the trial judges after they had retired to consider their verdict. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and expelled from the army. He was imprisoned off the coast of South America on Devil's Island from 1895 until 1899.

At the time of the arrest and trial the army officers responsible for the prosecution truly believed Dreyfus was guilty of the crime charged. By 1896, however, they knew they had made a catastrophic mistake. Nevertheless, high-ranking officers on the army's General Staff and officers in military intelligence, fearful that public exposure of the injustice done to Dreyfus, would embarrass the army, engaged in a gigantic coverup which featured perjury, forgery, and obstruction of justice. The conspirators, including at least eight generals, even protected and assisted Commandant Ferdinand Esterhazy, the army infantry officer who, as they knew by 1896, had actually committed the crime for which Dreyfus had been wrongfully convicted.

Zola died in 1902 in his Paris home, asphyxiated by fumes from a fireplace. Many historians believe he was murdered by right-wing extremists who, hating him for defending Dreyfus, stopped up his chimney.
Dreyfus attended Zola's burial services at Paris's Montmartre Cemetery where Anatole France delivered a famous eulogy:

Below: Émile Zola

“Given the obligation which befalls me to recall the struggle waged by Zola on behalf of truth and justice, is it possible for me to remain silent concerning those men so passionately bent on destroying an innocent man? ... How might I remove them from your sight when it is mine to show you Zola rising up, weak and unarmed, before them?" ....

“Let us envy [Zola]: he has honored his country and the world with an immense body of work and a great deed ... [H]is destiny and his courage combined to endow him with the greatest of fates. He was a moment in the conscience of humanity.” ...


“J’ACCUSE ...!” - Emile Zola
(Picture of Alfred Dreyfus)

13 January 1898
Letter to Félix Faure

Mr. President,

Would you allow me, grateful as I am for the kind reception you once extended to me, to show my concern about maintaining your well-deserved prestige and to point out that your star which, until now, has shone so brightly, risks being dimmed by the most shameful and indelible of stains?

Unscathed by vile slander, you have won the hearts of all. You are radiant in the patriotic glory of our country's alliance with Russia, you are about to preside over the solemn triumph of our World Fair, the jewel that crowns this great century of labour, truth, and freedom. But what filth this wretched Dreyfus affair has cast on your name — I was about to write 'reign'. A court-martial, under orders, has just dared to acquit a certain Esterhazy, a supreme insult to all truth and justice. And now the image of France is sullied by this filth, and history shall record that it was under your presidency that this crime against society was committed.

As they have dared, so shall I dare. Dare to tell the truth, for I have pledged to tell the full and complete truth if the normal channels of justice failed to do so. My duty is to speak out; I do not wish to be complicit. My nights would otherwise be haunted by the spectre of the innocent man, far away, suffering the most horrible of tortures for a crime he did not commit.

And it is to you, Sir, that I shall proclaim this truth, with all the force born of the revulsion of an honest man. Knowing your integrity, I am convinced that you are unaware of the truth. But to whom if not to you, the first magistrate of the country, shall I reveal the vile baseness of the real culprits?

First of all, the truth about the Dreyfus trial and conviction:

The ringleader behind it all is one evil man, Lt Colonel du Paty de Clam, who was at that point just a Major. He is the entire Dreyfus case, and will not all come to light until an honest enquiry firmly establishes his actions and responsibilities. He appears to be the shadiest and most complex of figures, spinning outlandish intrigues, indulging in the sort of thing one sees in cheap thriller novels: stolen documents, anonymous letters, meetings in deserted locations, mysterious women scuttling around at night, peddling damning evidence. He was the one who came up with the scheme of dictating the text of the bordereau to Dreyfus; he was the one who dreamt up the idea of studying him in a mirror-lined room. And he was the one that Major Forzinetti tells us had a shuttered lantern that he intended to shine at the accused man while he slept, and thus jolt a confession out of him in the flash of bright light.

I need not say all: seek more and ye shall find. I am simply stating that Major du Paty de Clam, as the officer of justice charged with the preliminary investigation of the Dreyfus case, is — chronologically and in terms of responsibility — the prime culprit in the horrid miscarriage of justice that has been committed.

The bordereau had already been for some time in the hands of Colonel Sandherr, Head of the Intelligence Office, who has since died of a paralytic stroke. Information was 'leaked', papers were disappearing, as they are still doing to this day; and, as the search for the author of the bordereau progressed, little by little, an a priori assumption developed that it could only have come from an officer of the General Staff, and furthermore, an artillery officer. This interpretation, wrong on both counts, shows how superficially the bordereau was analysed, for a logical examination shows that it could only have come from an infantry officer.

So an in-house search was conducted. Handwriting samples were compared, as if this were some family affair, a traitor within the War Office to be caught unawares and then expelled. And, although I have no desire to dwell on a story that is only partly known, Major du Paty de Clam entered on the scene as soon as the slightest suspicion fell upon Dreyfus. From that moment on, he was the one who invented Dreyfus the traitor, and made this affair his own. He boasted that he would confuse him and make him confess all. Yes, there was of course the Minister of War, General Mercier, a man of apparently mediocre brainpower; and there were also the Chief of Staff, General de Boisdeffre, who appears to have yielded to his own religious bigotry, and the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Gonse, whose conscience permitted many accommodations. But, at the end of the day, it all started with Major du Paty de Clam, who led them on, mesmerised them, for, as an adept of spiritualism and the occult, he conversed with spirits. Nobody would ever believe the experiments to which he subjected the unfortunate Dreyfus, the traps he set for him, the wild investigations, the monstrous fantasies, the whole torturous insanity.

Ah, that first trial! What a nightmare it is for all who know it in its true details. Major du Paty de Clam had Dreyfus arrested and placed in solitary confinement. He ran to Mme Dreyfus, terrorised her, telling her that her husband was done for if she talked. Meanwhile, the unfortunate Dreyfus was tearing his hair out and proclaiming his innocence. And this is how the case proceeded, like some fifteenth-century chronicle, shrouded in mystery, with outlandish and intricate expedients, all based on one infantile charge, that stupid bordereau. This was not only a bit of cheap trickery but also the most brazen fraud imaginable, for almost all of these notorious secrets were actually baseless. I dwell on this, because this is the germ of it all, whence the true crime would emerge, this horrible miscarriage of justice that is afflicting France. I would like to point out how this travesty was made possible, how it sprang out of the machinations of Major du Paty de Clam, how Generals Mercier, de Boisdeffre and Gonse became so caught up in this miscarriage that they would later feel compelled to impose it as a holy truth that could not even be discussed. At first they were merely careless and moronic. They seem at worst to have given in to the prejudices and the religious fervour of their milieu. In the end, they allowed idiocy to prevail.

Then we see Dreyfus appearing before the court martial. Behind the closed doors, the utmost secrecy is demanded. Had a traitor opened the border to the enemy and led the Kaiser straight to Notre-Dame the measures of secrecy and silence could not have been tighter. The public was astounded; rumours flew of the most horrible, monstrous, treasonous acts, lies that were an affront to our history. The public, naturally, was taken in. No punishment could be too harsh. The people clamoured for the traitor to be publicly stripped of his rank and demanded to see him eaten up by remorse on his rock of infamy. Could these things be true, these unspeakable acts, these deeds so dangerous that they must be carefully hidden behind closed doors to keep Europe from going up in flames? No! They were nothing but the wild and demented fabrications of Major du Paty de Clam, a cover-up of the silliest pulp-fiction fantasies imaginable. To be convinced of this one need only read carefully the accusation as it was presented before the court martial.

What a flimsy accusation! The fact that someone could have been convicted on this charge is an incredible iniquity. I defy decent men to read it without their hearts leaping in indignation and crying in revulsion, at the thought of the undeserved sentence being served out there on Devil's Island. He knew several languages: a crime! He carried no compromising papers: a crime! He would occasionally visit his country of origin: a crime! He was hard-working, and strove to be well informed: a crime! He did not become flustered: a crime! He became flustered: a crime! And how childish the language is, how vacuous the accusation! We also heard talk of fourteen charges but we only find at the end of the day, the one stemming from the bordereau, and we learn that even there the handwriting experts could not agree. One of them, Mr Gobert, has faced military pressure because he dared to come to a conclusion other than the desired one. We were told also that twenty-three officers had testified against Dreyfus. We still do not know what questions they were asked, but it is certain that not all of them implicated him. It should be noted, furthermore, that all of them came from the War Office. The whole case had been handled as an internal affair, among insiders. And we must not forget this: members of the General Staff had sought this trial to begin with and had passed judgement. And now they were passing judgement once again.

So all that remained of the case was the bordereau, on which the experts had not been able to agree. It is said that within the council chamber the judges were naturally leaning toward acquittal. And so at that point, one can understand the stubborn desperation with which, in order to justify a guilty verdict, they are now claiming there is a secret, damning document — a document that cannot be shown, which makes everything all right, which is invisible and unknowable but we must all religiously believe in. I deny the existence of this document; with all my strength, I deny it! Some trivial note, maybe, about some easy women, wherein a certain D… was becoming too insistent, no doubt some demanding husband who felt he wasn't getting a good enough price for the use of his wife. But a document concerning national defence that could not be produced without provoking a declaration of war tomorrow? No! No! It is a lie, all the more odious and cynical in that its perpetrators are getting off scot-free without even admitting it. They have stirred up all of France, they have hidden behind the understandable commotion they had set off, they sealed their lips while troubling our hearts and perverting our spirit. I know of no greater crime against the nation.

These, Sir, are the facts that explain how this miscarriage of justice came about; The evidence of Dreyfus's character, his affluence, the lack of motive and his continued affirmation of innocence combine to show that he is the victim of the lurid imagination of Major du Paty de Clam, the religious circles surrounding him, and the 'dirty Jew' obsession that is the scourge of our time.

And now we turn to the Esterhazy case. Three years have passed, many consciences are profoundly troubled, become anxious, investigate, and end up convinced that Dreyfus is innocent.

I shall not chronicle these doubts and the subsequent conclusion reached by Mr Scheurer-Kestner. But, while he was conducting his own investigation, major events were occurring at headquarters. Colonel Sandherr had died and Lt Colonel Picquart had succeeded him as Head of the Intelligence Office. It was in this capacity, in the exercise of his office, that Lt Colonel Picquart came into possession of a telegram addressed to Major Esterhazy by an agent of a foreign power. His express duty was to open an enquiry. What is certain is that he never once acted against the will of his superiors. Thus, he submitted his suspicions to his hierarchical senior officers, first General Gonse, then General de Boisdeffre, and finally General Billot, who had succeeded General Mercier as Minister of War. That famous much-discussed Picquart file was none other than the Billot file, by which I mean the file created by a subordinate for his minister, which probably can still be found at the War Office. The investigation lasted from May to September 1896, and what must be said loud and clear is that General Gonse was at that time convinced that Esterhazy was guilty and that Generals de Boisdeffre and Billot had no doubt that the handwriting on the famous bordereau was Esterhazy's. This was the definitive conclusion of Lt Colonel Picquart's investigation. But feelings were running high, for the conviction of Esterhazy would inevitably lead to a retrial of Dreyfus, an eventuality that the General Staff wanted at all cost to avoid.

There must have been at this point a moment of psychological anguish. Note that, so far, General Billot was in no way compromised. Being freshly appointed, he had the opportunity to bring out the truth. He did not dare, no doubt in terror of public opinion, certainly also for fear of implicating the whole General Staff, General de Boisdeffre, and General Gonse, not to mention the subordinates. So he hesitated for a brief moment of struggle between his conscience and what he believed to be the interest of the military. Once that moment passed, it was already too late. He had committed himself and he was compromised. From that point on, his responsibility only grew, he took on the crimes of others, he became as guilty as they, if not more so, for he was in a position to bring about justice and did nothing. Can you understand this: for the last year General Billot, Generals Gonse and de Boisdeffre have known that Dreyfus is innocent, and they have kept this terrible thing to themselves? And these people sleep at night, and have wives and children they love!

Lt Colonel Picquart had carried out his duty as an honest man. He kept insisting to his superiors in the name of justice. He even begged them, telling them how impolitic it was to dally in the face of the terrible storm that was brewing and that would break when the truth became known. This was the language that Mr Scheurer-Kestner later used with General Billot as well, appealing to his patriotism to take charge of the case so that it would not degenerate into a public disaster. But no! The crime had been committed and the General Staff could no longer admit to it. And so Lt Colonel Picquart was sent away on official duty. He got sent further and further away until he found himself in Tunisia, where they tried eventually to reward his courage with an assignment that would certainly have got him massacred, in the very same area where the Marquis de Morès had been killed. He was not in disgrace, indeed: General Gonse even maintained a friendly correspondence with him. It is just that there are certain secrets that are better left alone.

In Paris, the unstoppable truth was marching on, and we know how the long-awaited storm broke. Mr Mathieu Dreyfus denounced Major Esterhazy as the real author of the bordereau just as Mr Scheurer-Kestner was submitting to the Minister of Justice a request for the review of the trial. This is where Major Esterhazy comes in. Witnesses say that he was at first in a panic, ready to kill himself or run away. Then all of a sudden, emboldened, he amazed Paris by the violence of his attitude. Rescue had come, in the form of an anonymous letter warning of enemy actions, and a mysterious woman had even gone to the trouble one night of slipping him a paper, stolen from headquarters, that would save him. Here I cannot help seeing the handiwork of Lt Colonel du Paty de Clam, with the trademark fruits of his fertile imagination. His achievement, Dreyfus's conviction, was in danger, and he surely was determined to protect it. A retrial would mean that this whole extraordinary saga, so extravagant, so tragic, with its denouement on Devil's Island, would fall apart! This he could not allow to happen. From then on, it was a duel between Lt Colonel Picquart and Lt Colonel du Paty de Clam, one with his face visible, the other masked. The next step would take them both to civil court. It came down, once again, to the General Staff protecting itself, not wanting to admit its crime, an abomination that has been growing by the hour.

In disbelief, people wondered who Commander Esterhazy's protectors were. First of all, behind the scenes, Lt Colonel du Paty de Clam was the one who had concocted the whole story, who kept it going, tipping his hand with his crazy methods. Next General de Boisdeffre, then General Gonse, and finally, General Billot himself were all pulled into the effort to get the Major acquitted, for acknowledging Dreyfus's innocence would make the War Office collapse under the weight of public contempt. And the astounding outcome of this great situation was that the one decent man involved, Lt Colonel Picquart who, alone, had done his duty, was to become the victim, the one who got ridiculed and punished. O justice, what horrible despair grips our hearts? It was even claimed that he himself was the forger, that he had fabricated the letter-telegram in order to destroy Esterhazy. But, good God, why? To what end? Find a motive. Was he, too, on the Jews' payroll? The best part of it is that Picquart was himself an anti-Semite. Yes! We have before us the ignoble spectacle of men who are sunken in debts and crimes being hailed as innocent, whereas the honour of a man whose life is spotless is being vilely attacked: A society that sinks to that level has fallen into decay.

The Esterhazy affair, sir, thus comes down to this: a guilty man is being passed off as innocent. For almost two months we have been following this nasty business hour by hour. I am being brief, for this is but the abridged version of a story whose sordid pages will some day be written out in full. And so we have seen General de Pellieux, and then Major Ravary conduct a villanous enquiry from which criminals emerge glorified and honest people sullied. And then a court martial was convened.

How could anyone expect a court-martial to undo what another court-martial had done?

I am not even talking about the way the judges were hand-picked. Doesn't the overriding idea of discipline, which is the lifeblood of these soldiers, itself undermine their capacity for even-handedness? Discipline means obedience. When the Minister of War, the commander in chief, proclaims, in public and to the acclamation of the nation's representatives, the absolute authority of a previous verdict, how can you expect a court-martial to rule against him? That is not possible with the hierarchy as it is. General Billot directed the judges in his preliminary remarks, and they proceeded to judgement as they would to battle, unquestioningly. The preconceived opinion they brought to the bench was obviously the following: 'Dreyfus was found guilty for the crime of treason by a court-martial; he therefore is guilty and we, a court-martial, cannot declare him innocent. On the other hand, we know that acknowledging Esterhazy's guilt would be tantamount to proclaiming Dreyfus innocent.' There was no way for them to escape this line of thought.

So they rendered an iniquitous verdict that will forever weigh upon our courts-martial and will henceforth cast a shadow of suspicion on all their decrees. The first court-martial was perhaps unintelligent; the second one is inescapably criminal. Their excuse, I repeat, is that the supreme chief had spoken, declaring the previous judgement incontrovertible, holy and above mere mortals. How, then, could subordinates contradict it? We are told of the honour of the army; we are supposed to love and respect it. Ah, yes, of course, an army that would rise to the first threat, that would defend French soil, that army is the nation itself, and for that army we have nothing but devotion and respect. But this is not about that army, whose dignity we are seeking, in our cry for justice. What is at stake is the sword, the master that will one day, perhaps, be forced upon us. Obediently kiss the hilt of that sword, that god? No!

As I have shown, the Dreyfus case was a matter internal to the War Office: an officer of the General Staff, denounced by his co-officers of the General Staff, sentenced under pressure from the Chiefs of Staff. Once again, he cannot be found innocent without the whole General Staff being guilty. Thus, by all means imaginable, by press campaigns, by official communications, by influence, the War Office covered up for Esterhazy only to condemn Dreyfus once again. The government of this Republic should give that den of Jesuits — as General Billot himself calls it — a good sweeping out! Where is that truly strong, judiciously patriotic administration that will dare to clean house and start afresh? How many people I know who, faced with the possibility of war, tremble in anguish knowing to what hands we are entrusting our nation's defence! And what a nest of vile intrigues, gossip, and destruction that sacred sanctuary that decides the nation's fate has become! We are horrified by the terrible light the Dreyfus affair has cast upon it all, this human sacrifice of an unfortunate man, a 'dirty Jew'. Ah, what a cesspool of folly and foolishness, what preposterous fantasies, what corrupt police tactics, what inquisitorial, tyrannical practices! What petty whims of a few higher-ups trampling the nation under their boots, ramming back down their throats the people's cries for truth and justice, with the travesty of state security as a pretext!

Indeed, it is a crime to have relied on the most squalid elements of the press, and to have entrusted Esterhazy's defence to the vermin of Paris, who are now gloating over the defeat of justice and plain truth. It is a crime that those people who wish to see a generous France take her place as leader of all the free and just nations are being accused of bringing turmoil to the country, denounced by the very plotters who are conniving so shamelessly to foist this miscarriage of justice on the entire world. It is a crime to lie to the public, to twist public opinion to insane lengths in the service of the vilest death-dealing machinations. It is a crime to poison the minds of the meek and the humble, to stoke the passions of reactionism and intolerance, by appealing to that odious anti-Semitism that, unchecked, will destroy the freedom-loving France of Human Rights1. It is a crime to exploit patriotism in the service of hatred, and it is, finally, a crime to ensconce the sword as the modern god, whereas all science is toiling to achieve the coming era of truth and justice.

1 The Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (Declaration of Human and Civil Rights) was proclaimed on 26 August 1789, one of the first decrees of the newly formed French National Assembly. Its first article states: “All men are born and remain free and equal in rights”. Inspired by the ideals of the Enlightment, it is very similar to the American Declaration of Independence (minus “the pursuit of happiness”). Following “J’accuse,” Senator Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who had been Minister of Justice in the Ribot Cabinet (1895), founded the Ligue francaise pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen, with Director of the Pasteur Institute Edouard Grimaux (1835-1900) and Francis de Pressencé (1853-1914). The United Nations' Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme is a modern version dated 10 December 1948.

Truth and justice, so ardently longed for! How terrible it is to see them trampled, unrecognised and ignored! I can feel Mr Scheurer-Kestner's soul withering and I believe that one day he will even feel sorry for having failed, when questioned by the Senate, to spill all and lay out the whole mess. A man of honour, as he had been all his life, he believed that the truth would speak for itself, especially since it appeared to him plain as day. Why stir up trouble, especially since the sun would soon shine? It is for this serene trust that he is now being so cruelly punished. The same goes for Lt Colonel Picquart, who, guided by the highest sentiment of dignity, did not wish to publish General Gonse's correspondence. These scruples are all the more honourable since he remained mindful of discipline, while his superiors were dragging his name through the mud and casting suspicion on him, in the most astounding and outrageous ways. There are two victims, two decent men, two simple hearts, who left their fates to God, while the devil was taking charge. Regarding Lt Col Picquart, even this despicable deed was perpetrated: a French tribunal allowed the statement of the case to become a public indictment of one of the witnesses, accusing him of all sorts of wrongdoing, It then chose to prosecute the case behind closed doors as soon as that witness was brought in to defend himself. I say this is yet another crime, and this crime will stir consciences everywhere. These military tribunals have, decidedly, a most singular idea of justice.

This is the plain truth, Sir, and it is frightful. It will leave a stain on your presidency. I realise that you have no power over this case, and that you are limited by the Constitution and your entourage. You have, nevertheless, your duty as a man, which you will recognise and fulfill. Do not think that I despair of triumphing in the slightest. I repeat with the most vehement conviction: truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it. Today is only the beginning for this case, since it is only today that the positions have been made clear: on one side, the guilty parties, who do not want the light to shine forth, on the other, those who seek justice and who will give their lives to see that light shine. I have said it elsewhere and I repeat it now: when truth is buried underground, it builds up and acquires an explosive force that is destined to blast everything away with it. We shall see whether we have set ourselves up for the most resounding of disasters, yet to come.

But this letter is long, Sir, and it is time to conclude it.

I accuse Lt Col du Paty de Clam of being the diabolical creator of this miscarriage of justice — unwittingly, I would like to believe — and of defending this sorry deed, over the last three years, by all manner of ludricrous and evil machinations.

I accuse General Mercier of complicity, at least by mental weakness, in one of the greatest inequities of the century.

I accuse General Billot of having held in his hands absolute proof of Dreyfus's innocence and covering it up, and making himself guilty of this crime against mankind and justice, as a political expedient and a way for the compromised General Staff to save face.

I accuse Gen. de Boisdeffre and Gen. Gonse of complicity in the same crime, the former, no doubt, out of religious prejudice, the latter perhaps out of that esprit de corps that has transformed the War Office into an unassailable holy ark.

I accuse Gen. de Pellieux and Major Ravary of conducting a villainous enquiry, by which I mean a monstrously biased one, as attested by the latter in a report that is an imperishable monument to naïve impudence.

I accuse the three handwriting experts, Messrs. Belhomme, Varinard and Couard, of submitting reports that were deceitful and fraudulent, unless a medical examination finds them to be suffering from a condition that impairs their eyesight and judgement.

I accuse the War Office of using the press, particularly L'Éclair and L'Écho de Paris, to conduct an abominable campaign to mislead the general public and cover up their own wrongdoing.

Finally, I accuse the first court-martial of violating the law by convicting the accused on the basis of a document that was kept secret, and I accuse the second court-martial of covering up this illegality, on orders, thus committing the judicial crime of knowingly acquitting a guilty man.

In making these accusations I am aware that I am making myself liable to articles 30 and 31 of the law of 29/7/1881 regarding the press, which makes libel a punishable offence. I expose myself to that risk voluntarily.

As for the people I am accusing, I do not know them, I have never seen them, and I bear them neither ill will nor hatred. To me they are mere entities, agents of harm to society. The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice.

I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight! I am waiting2.

With my deepest respect, Mr President.
Émile Zola, 13th January 1898

2 Epilogue: In February 1898, Emile Zola was sued for “J’accuse” by both the War Office and the handwriting experts. The trial received an enormous amount of publicity in France and abroad. Zola was found guilty of libel. He appealed the judgment but, in July, the verdict was reconfirmed with a one-year jail term and a very stiff financial penalty. Clemenceau advised Zola to leave the country in order to avoid being served notification of the sentence while continuing the fight.

On July 18, 1898, Zola left secretly for England, where he lived incognito until his return on June 3, 1899. In August 1898, however, Maj. Hubert Joseph Henry (1846-1898) was forced to confess to Prime Minister Cavaignac that he was the one who had forged some of the early documents implicating Dreyfus: he was arrested, but committed suicide in his cell.