Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Al-Gaddafi Speaks (Hannibal's Father) - UN Security Council and International Criminal Courts and Tribunals

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi/al-Gathafi Speaks....
(Date of Speech/Article Not Known)

As we are dealing with Swiss Law Enforcement on "Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi and His Wife Alin Skaf/Aline Skaff, I thought I would share an interesting speech made by Hannibal's Father, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi/al-Gathafi, about the UN Security Council and the illegality of International Criminal Courts and Tribunals. I have extracted only a few paragraphs from al-Gaddafi's full speech.

To read the complete text, go to


The Illegality of the International Criminal Courts and Tribunals

The international courts and tribunals are a feature of an international system that is based on selectivity and double standards. What these courts have in common is their lack of the legal conditions for the existence of any court.....

.....the international criminal courts that the world has known were established in one of two ways. They were either established by the victors of a certain war, as was the case with the military tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo that were created by the victorious Allies after World War II, or by an “international” authority of dubious legitimacy as was the case with the International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda that were created by the Security Council......

......In establishing the tribunals of Nuremburg and Tokyo in the wake of World War II, the Allies invoked only the legitimacy of the victors who were capable of imposing their terms on the vanquished. They created those tribunals in a manner that guarantees the condemnation of their enemies as criminals while absolving them of their own war crimes.....

....Those tribunals met none of the standards of justice in view of the following facts: They were created by the political leaders and military commanders of the occupation forces. Their judges were not impartial. They were themselves the opponents on the field of battle. In accordance with the recognized standards of justice, they were not qualified to play the role of a judge since they were party to the conflict.....

...The defendants before those tribunals were prisoners of war. Under international law, they could not be brought to trial.....

.....The Tokyo tribunal was created by a special order of General McArthur. That personal order established new, contrived crimes and offences that existed only in McArthur’s imagination. Needless to say, the court under that law victimized many defenseless Japanese........

.......the Tokyo Tribunal condemned a Japanese commander for what it considered the crimes of the soldiers under his command in the Philippines. He was sentenced to death despite the fact that it was not proven that he had given any orders. Indeed, he could not have known what had happened for the simple reason that he had fled the battle field.......

.......Those tribunals were a sham whose only purpose was to provide justification for the conduct of the Allies who exceeded the legitimate right to self defense. A proof of this is that unlike the other Allies, Russia, the country most devastated by the War, did not put any of the German military commanders in the part of Germany it occupied, on trial........

....The international criminal courts are illegal. So are their sentences. Their victims and their relatives are entitled to just restitution and reparations for the injustice visited upon them. They are entitled to demand rehabilitation. The events of World War II must be brought once again before impartial courts that would reconsider the conduct of the victors and the vanquished alike. The earlier tribunals did not prosecute the crimes committed by both parties. They were confined to the prosecution of the vanquished alone. More importantly, the crimes for which they were tried had not been established in a previous law. Therefore, those tribunals violate the legal rule “Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege”. (No persecution for a crime unless pursuant to a previous law establishing that crime)......

......The same applies to the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. They were both established by the Security Council. The legitimacy of the Council is dubious. It was created in the same manner, and under the same circumstances, in which the Nuremburg and Tokyo Tribunals were established. It is yet another one of the products of World War II. The victors created the Security Council as a tool to shape international relations in the manner they saw fit. It was not created by the independent will and free choice of the states of the world. ........

......The character of the council, and the tasks it currently discharges, are dubious because it represents only a minority. The states of the world did not take part in its creation. Therefore, it has no right to put their citizens on trial. Suffice it to recall that the international Court of Justice ruled that the Security Council had no jurisdiction over the Lockerbie question. Nevertheless, the council disregarded that ruling and continued to address the Lockerbie question without any international legal basis. At the same time, the Council did not address the Court’s ruling concerning the “Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua”.........

.....The current international courts and tribunals were created in the fashion of their antecedents.
Their purpose is not to try all those who may have committed a crime, but to try the weaker, vanquished party alone......

The International Criminal Court (ICC)
The establishment of the ICC followed the same lines of the Military and Ad-Hoc International Criminal Tribunals. Although established by a treaty, its Statute was based on the rules governing the above-mentioned international tribunals and on the rules of the Nuremburg Trials. This inherent distortion has stripped it of its character as a court of law in the strict legal sense.

This is evident in the following:
The Statute of the ICC allows the Security Council to request it to halt the proceedings of any case brought before it. Even if the Council abandons it’s well known selectivity and double-standards in dealing with international peace and security, any relationship whatsoever it may have with the Court negates the independence of the ICC and strips it of its character as a court.....

.......the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia...... That tribunal condemned the commanders of the Bosnian Serb Army and the Bosnian Croat Army without any evidence that they had given orders to commit the crimes of murder and torture for which they were condemned. Indeed, it was not proven that either of them was even in the theater of operations at the time of the commission of those crimes......

....a court that is subject to the influence of an international authority of dubious legitimacy such as the Security Council and that of the major powers cannot be a fair court. Even if it were established by the General Assembly of the UN, it would still lack legitimacy and legality. The General Assembly is made up of civil servants who represent their countries before the UN. They are not legislators. They have no right to legislate. The General Assembly of the UN deals with the political and diplomatic questions facing the world. It is not empowered to legislate or enact laws. Legislation is the exclusive right of the world’s parliaments or their representatives....

.....The international criminal courts and tribunals that the world has so far known remain a mere façade. Rather than promoting justice, they distort it.............

......The states of the world have yet to agree on a precise definition of the crime of aggression that would facilitate the determination of aggressors and those who exercise the legitimate right to self-defense. In addition, the concept of aggressive war remains ambiguous......

.....Despite its lack of legitimacy, and despite its nature as an “emergency” council, the Security Council continues to have the upper hand in shaping relations among states. Therefore, the ICC will remain, like its creator, an “emergency” court. It will also remain a façade that hides the ill intentions of the powerful states towards the weak ones. It will enable the powerful states to escape the authority of the court, if it can be said to have any real authority......

.......National courts will continue to be more credible than the international ones. Thanks to their legitimacy and independence, the public will continue to consider the sentences of national courts as fair and impartial. The principle of universal jurisdiction of national courts allows any state to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice before its courts, regardless of where those crimes were committed and regardless of the nationality of their perpetrators.......

.....International law has not matured yet. It is still of a customary nature that does not enjoy the unanimity of the world. However it develops, it will continue to be a law “among” states, not “above” them. National sovereignty of states over their territory and citizens remains the criterion for the interpretation and application of any international instrument......

......As a general rule, people have a natural right not to be subject to a law in whose formulation they did not participate. They must never be forced to follow a law enacted by any authority without their willing participation.......


Update on Negotiations between Libya and Switzerland,
Keep an English Eye on ....

Gaddafi wants 'his pound of flesh' - 29 July 2008 - www.worldradio.ch
As the diplomatic crisis between Libya and Switzerland drags on, the French foreign ministry headed by Bernard Kouchner, has warned Libya against any escalation. But will intervention by other nations help or hinder a resolution in Switzerland’s favour. WRS’s Pete Forster put this question to Dr George Joffe, a Middle East specialist at Cambridge University’s Centre of International Studies. -->

Bern banks on bilateral talks with Tripoli - 29 July 2008 -
Bern says it is going to continue direct diplomatic discussions with Libya, without the help of a third country acting as a mediator. It had been suggested that France or Italy could help sort out the crisis, which was sparked by the arrest of Colonel Gaddafi’s son and daughter-in-law in Geneva earlier this month. Meanwhile Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey says two Swiss citizens detained in Libya are now being held in better conditions. The Swiss consulate in Tripoli has not been allowed to visit them, but their lawyer says they are in good health, physically and mentally. Libya says they are being held for suspected immigration offences.

Libya negotiations to remain bilateral - 28 July 2008 - www.Swissinfo.ch
Switzerland and Libya will continue negotiations to resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two countries without the assistance of a third-party mediator.

Geneva hospital provided Gaddafis with medical escort - 28 July 2008 - http://www.worldradio.ch/ It has emerged that when Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife left Geneva, they took two doctors from the city’s University Hospital with them. The hospital´s director said the medical repatriation was justified, as Hannibal´s wife was nine months’ pregnant. One of the doctors returned from Libya the following day; the other had to wait an extra day for a flight back to Switzerland. The Gaddafis had been staying at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, but left the country immediately after paying CHF500,000 bail.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Switzerland versus Libya - Part 2 of "Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi

Switzerland versus Libya - Part 2 of "Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi with His Wife Alin Skaf/Aline Skaff

Read "Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi - Another Belt and Coat Hanger to discover how this story began.

Aisha Gaddafi/Aisha Al-Qaddafi/Kadhafi daughter of Colonel Gaddafi, promised last week, "An Eye of Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth" following the arrest of her brother Motassim Bilal Gaddafi and his wife, Alin Skaf/Aline Skaff. Today we don't see an Eye for an Eye at all, just a series of extreme acts by the Libyan Dictatorship. Aisha has also declared that her brother's arrest was illegal and described it as an act of hatred and anti-Arab racism.

Why is Aisha ignoring the conduct of her brother and his bodyguards over many years, in different European countries (refer to my other post)? Why as a Lawyer, is she ignoring established Laws in Switzerland as well? Her brother and his body guards have a history of violence, attacking police officers and brandishing weapons in public. The Swiss Police acted correctly given her brother's and his bodyguards' history of actions.

It appears Libyans are incapable of adapting themselves and respecting the laws of other countries and their code of civilized behaviour, outside Libya.

Aisha was one of the (20-30) lawyers involved in Saddam Hussein's defence.


This is not an Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth - The Latest News
Since the release on bail of Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife, Aline last week after two of their staff accused them of assault during an incident at a luxury Geneva hotel, Gaddafi not Libya has embarked on delivering "worrying retaliatory measures", against Swiss citizens.

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi

Libya: Closes Down Swiss Businesses & Arrests Swiss Citizens
The Swiss foreign ministry said two Swiss Citizens have been under arrest in the north African country since Saturday and that Swiss businesses, including the local offices of food group Nestlé and the engineering group ABB, had been ordered to close.

Switzerland: Sends A Delegation
Switzerland sent a delegation to Libya (23 July) to "give explanations" to the Libyan authorities over the arrest and, it said, to "prevent a crisis".

Libya: Sends Gaddafi's Cousins to Protest outside the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli
Dozens of Libyans demonstrated in front of the Swiss embassy in Tripoli calling for an apology. Mostly members of the Revolutionary Committees, which are close to the authorities, they handed a statement to the ambassador reportedly threatening that in the absence of an apology, they would demand that parliament take punitive steps against Switzerland.

Libya: Delivers Threats To Switzerland
These would include the withdrawal of Libyan money from Swiss banks, the barring of Swiss companies from competing for Libyan contracts and a halt in oil sales to the European country.

Switzerland: Oil Dependency on Libya
According to US Department of Energy figures, Switzerland imports more than 20 per cent of its oil from Libya."One cannot completely exclude the risk of having Libyan oil deliveries to Switzerland suspended, but it doesn't look very realistic, because Libya hasn't mentioned this scenario,'' said Jean-Marc Crevoisier, of the Swiss foreign ministry.

The Swiss Oil Association says an embargo on exports would have little impact, even though more than half of Switzerland´s crude oil supplies come from Libya. The association says Switzerland has sufficient reserves, which would allow ample time to arrange supplies from elsewhere.

Switzerland: Swiss Citizens - "Don't Travel to Libya"
The Swiss foreign ministry has told its citizens not to travel to Libya, warning them that they are likely to face arrest at the "slightest irregularities" in their papers.

Libya: Reduce Flights/Air Links between Switzerland and Libya
Libya has also ordered a reduction in air links between the two countries. Swiss International Airlines says it was told it could fly to Libya only once a week, instead of three times.

Libya: Recall Libyan Diplomats from Switzerland
Libya: Stop issuing Visas to Swiss Citizens
Libya has also recalled some of its diplomats in Bern and it has stopped issuing visas to Swiss citizens.

Libya: Interrogate Foreigners working for Swiss Companies in Libya
Robin Tickell, a Nestlé spokesman, said the general manager and sole employee of its representative office in Tripoli, an Egyptian national, was questioned by police on Sunday and released shortly afterwards. But the office was subsequently sealed by the authorities and remains shut.

How is the Swiss Media Reacting to Libyan Extremism?

The newspapers have taken the opportunity to look at the nature of the Libyan regime – and Moammar Gaddafi's system of government is shown in a bad light.

Hannibal's sister, Aisha, warned last week that Libya would respond on the principle of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", as Le Temps of Geneva recalls.

"Gaddafi takes Swiss hostages!" declares the tabloid Blick and goes on to ask: "Does this desert dictator think he can do what he wants with Switzerland?"

"The Gaddafi clan takes revenge," is the headline in Bern's Bund newspaper.

"In Libya the Gaddafis see to it that might prevails," says the Tages-Anzeiger of Zurich. It goes on to describe Libya as "a paradise for shadowy foreign businessmen" who appreciate the fact that there are "no clear laws". In its editorial the paper says that Gaddafi is reacting "as if the law was not the same for everyone in Switzerland".

For the Lausanne-based Le Matin too, the action taken by the Geneva police against Hannibal deserves praise. "It's easier to pick up a few Roma beggars under a bridge and dump them at the border than to arrest the son of a dictator in a five star hotel." "We would have been glad to avoid the retaliatory measures taken by Libya," it says. "But that's the price to pay if we want to remain credible. If we want to make sure our laws are respected by all, including the rich tourists so beloved by our luxury shops and hotels."

Le Matin has its own take on the situation inside Libya. "Even the Gaddafi family knows it is not the Swiss police who have humiliated Libya. It's their little brother who has tarnished the image of their country. His older brother, Seif al-Islam, a good communicator who is working seriously to modernise and open up the country, can't be at all pleased. Let's hope he'll find a way to mend fences with Bern."

The Bund says that despite the fact that Washington has dropped Libya from its list of rogue states, the country remains a dictatorship. "Democracy, division of power and human rights are foreign words there."

Le Temps
describes the conflict as one of "values and cultures". It says that although "Arab oil potentates" seem to get away with many of their "escapades" in western capitals, the violence of which Hannibal Gaddafi has been accused is a different matter. "The tacitly accepted impunity accorded to the rich and powerful no longer applies when it comes to human rights and respect for women," the paper comments. It points out that disregard for women is one of the West's strongest criticisms against Islam.

The papers do not want the Swiss to bow to Libyan pressure.............
"It would be too high a price to deny democratic principles for the sake of a short-term success,"
says the Bund.

The Tages-Anzeiger takes the same line for more pragmatic reasons. It is adamant that even the fact that two Swiss citizens have been "effectively taken hostage" should not make any difference, since this would only expose Switzerland to similar pressure should similar circumstances arise again. "Gaddafi has shown for decades that he is incapable of learning, and he certainly shows no signs of improving," it says. "Switzerland shouldn't make itself dependent on such an unpredictable country."

Is Switzerland dependent on Libyan oil?..................

Blick quotes Rolf Hartl, managing director of the Swiss Oil Association, who says on the one hand that Switzerland has plenty of reserves, and on the other that it would be "absurd" for Libya to turn off the oil tap, since the Libyan state owns two refineries and over 300 filling stations in Switzerland and would be damaging its own interests.

Nevertheless, the Tages-Anzeiger has some advice about the Swiss energy supply. "Gaddafi's act of revenge should encourage us to purchase our oil elsewhere instead of concentrating it so one-sidedly," it comments.


Some News Articles

Gaddafi's revenge riles Swiss press - 24 July 2008

Swiss World Radio - News in Brief -24 July 2008

Gaddafi arrest brings anti-Swiss backlash - Financial Times - 24 July 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi - Another Belt and Coat Hanger

Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi and Aline His Wife -


A Five Star Hotel Expects Five Star Conduct with Five Star Payments, from Their Clients.

Colonel Gadaffi’s son and daughter-in law Freed on Bail
The son of Libya’s President Gaddafi has been released from a Geneva jail. Hannibal Gaddafi, aged 32 and his wife were both arrested on Tuesday 15 July at the Hotel President Wilson, on charges of making threats, coercion and assaulting their domestic staff, a Morrocan Male and a Female Tunisian. Two of Hannibal's bodyguards were also held after they clashed with police making the arrest.

The domestic servants have accused the couple of repeatedly beating them with a belt and a hanger at the President Wilson Hotel, which is next door to the UN's human rights office. The Tunisian woman was hospitalised.

Hannibal Gaddafi was released on CHF200,000 bail. His wife was released on CHF300,000 bail, because the charges against her are more serious. They both deny hitting the Tunisian woman and the Moroccan man who work for them.

Gaddafi’s wife is heavily pregnant and was taken to the court in an ambulance from Geneva’s University Hospital. They arrived in Geneva on 5 July for the birth of their child and were staying at the Hotel President Wilson.

The Swiss government is trying to prevent the matter from becoming a diplomatic incident, not least because Libya is the largest provider of oil to Switzerland.
* * *

Hannibal" Motassim Bilal Gaddafi and Aline -
An Embarrassment to the Arab Establishment, Libya and Many Respectable ***** Hotels in EUROPE.

Paris 2005: The playboy triggered a diplomatic incident in Paris when he was arrested for alleged violence against his companion after incidents in two luxury hotels in the city. He had to be arrested by armed police at the Paris Intercontinental, but was later released on bail. He was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and a 500 euro fine. He was eventually sentenced by the Correctional Tribunal of Paris, May 23, 2005, with a four-month prison sentence for violence and carrying a pistol caliber 9 mm possession without a permit.

Copenhagen 2005: Violent incident at Libyan diplomat's residence in which police were called, but unable to intervene due to the building's diplomatic status.

Paris 2004: Hannibal drove down the Champs Elysees at 140kph in his black Porsche in the middle of the night. Once stopped, his thuggish bodyguards attacked French police & destroyed a police transmitter.

Rome 2003: Involved in brawl that sent 6 photographers to hospital in Rome.

Rome 2001: Escorted to the airport after brawl at Rome Hilton in which he attacked Italian police with a fire extinguisher.

Sardinia 2001: Thrown out of club for screaming at waiters, blocked the entrance to a disco with his Lamborghini, blasted music aboard his 70-ft yacht the Che Guevara(?), broadcast Muslim call to prayer over boat's PA system at dawn after long night of partying.
Source: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/086600.php

* * *

French Articles in Tribune de Geneve / Le Matin Online contain more detailed information.

Muammar Gaddafi's son and wife charged over alleged attack on staff - 18 July 2008

Gaddafi son arrested for assault - 17 July 2008

Kadhafi's son arrested for violence in Geneva hotel - 17 July 2008

* * *


His eldest son, Muhammad Gaddafi, was born to a wife now in disfavour, but runs the Libyan Olympic Committee and owns all the telecommunication companies in Libya.

The second eldest, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, was born in 1972 and is a painter. He runs a charity which has been involved in negotiating freedom for hostages taken by Islamic militants, especially in the Philippines. In 2006, after sharply criticizing his father's regime, Saif Al Islam briefly left Libya, reportedly to take on a position in banking outside of the country. He returned to Libya soon after, launching an environment friendly initiative to teach children how they can help clean up parts of Libya. He has also been on the forefront of resolving the HIV case of the Palestinian doctor and Bulgarian nurses described previously.

The third eldest, Al-Saadi Gaddafi, is married to the daughter of a military commander. Al Saadi runs the Libyan Football Federation, plays for Italian Serie A team U.C. Sampdoria, made billions of dollars in the petrol industry and produces films.

Gaddafi's fourth son, Mutasim-Billah Gaddafi, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan army. He fled to Egypt after allegedly masterminding an Egyptian backed coup attempt against his father. Gaddafi forgave Mutasim-Billah and he returned to Libya where he now holds the post of national security adviser and heads his own unit within the army.

Saif Al Islam and Mutasim-Billah are both seen as possible successors to their father.

The fifth eldest, Hannibal once worked for a public marine transportation company in Libya. He is most notable for being involved in a series of violent incidents throughout Europe, including charges against him for beating up his then pregnant girlfriend, Alin Skaf. (In September 2004, Hannibal was involved in a police chase in Paris.)

Gaddafi has two younger sons, Saif Al Arab and Khamis, a police officer in Libya.

Gaddafi's only daughter is Ayesha Gaddafi, a lawyer who had joined the defense team of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. She married a cousin of her father in 2006. His reportedly adopted daughter, Hanna, was killed in the 1986 USAF bombing raid.

* * *

Forced Human TRAFFICKING/Sexual Exploitation - The End Users/The Clients Are As Guilty As The Traffickers


The End Users/The Clients of Forced Prostitution and Trafficking are equally responsible and as guilty as the Traffickers.

This post focuses on the End Users/The Clients of Trafficked Victims, who have been forced into Prostitution and Sexually Exploited. It is important to recognize that the End Users/The Clients are actually responsible for fuelling the market in human flesh and forced prostitution in the first place and the treatment of victims by traffickers.

End Users/Clients Have No Conscience...............

End Users/The Clients are equally guilty of kidnap, enslavement, imprisonment, psychological abuse, physical torture, intimidation, threats, blackmail, enforced abortions, forced unprotected sex and STD transmission, degradation, deception and lies, violence and rape........even Murder. End Users/The Clients have also helped fund other criminal activities such as the drugs and weapons trade, which the traffickers are also sometimes engaged in.

The End Users/the Clients clearly hold an attitude of Indifference towards Sexually Exploited Victims as well as Other Actions Involving Force and Coercion.

End Users/Clients have No Conscience...............


This post focuses on the Balkans for the sole reason that a major conflict recently took place in the region. This conflict has played a pivotal role in the escalation of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It is also useful to note how local attitudes towards women and children have contributed to the growth in Human Slavery and Forced Prostitution in this region as well.

Drugs, Weapons and Human Beings would not be Trafficked, if there were No End Users/Clients.
Destroy the End Users/The Clients and Trafficking will Stop.
Now We Know why so many Western Governments are So Soft!!!


I have extracted various references to Forced Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans from two reports, in order to provide a picture of the actual experiences of victims as well as some of their testimonies. The following Two Reports were used :

The (CPTT) Changing Patterns and Trends of Trafficking in Persons in the Balkan Region
Assessment carried out in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Province of Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova - July 2004 - by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been used.

Amnesty International's (AI) Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro): "So does it mean that we have the rights?" - Protecting the human rights of women and girls trafficked for forced prostitution in Kosovo.


(CPTT Page 10) .............the victim was trafficked by force, kidnapped or sold by his/her family........

(CPTT Page 55) Victims of forced prostitution are often subjected to psychological and/or physical torture (threats, humiliation and degradation, beatings and rape) by their traffickers.

(AI)Trafficked women are repeatedly subjected to psychological abuse. This can include intimidation and threats, lies and deception, emotional manipulation and blackmail, in particular threatening to tell their family back home about the true nature of their work.

(AI)Women who have been trafficked also suffer from long-term stress, exhaustion and anxiety, as well as damage to their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. An IOM study found that a significant number of trafficked women also developed conditions including acute stress reaction, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. - A General View of the Psychological Support and Services Provided to Victims of Trafficking, IOM Kosovo, September 2003. See also The Health Risks and Consequences of Trafficking in Women and Adolescents. Both studies note that insufficient research has been carried out into the psychological trauma that trafficked women suffer as a result of their experiences.

(AI) the majority of trafficked women were forced to have unprotected sex, with only 40 per cent "occasionally" using condoms. - UNICEF, UNOHCHR, OSCE/ODIHR, Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe, 2002, p. 96.

(AI) Amnesty International is also aware of reports that trafficked women have been subjected to enforced abortions. - See for example, "Si u dhunua Shqipja 22 vjeçare?", Kosovarja, 1-15 May 2003.

(AI) "A friend introduced me to a woman in Chiinu, she offered me a job abroad and said she would prepare a passport for me, for free. I asked if the job was sex related and she promised that it was not." - 24-year-old trafficked woman from Moldova. Lies and Deception

(AI) "I was beaten and I was forced to have sexual intercourse... if we were not willing, they just beat us and raped us." - Woman trafficked into Kosovo.

(AI) "Even in cold weather I had to wear thin dresses ... I was forced by the boss to serve international soldiers and police officers ... I have never had a chance of running away and leaving that miserable life, because I was observed every moment by a woman." - Internally trafficked Albanian girl, aged 12.

(AI) "Eventually I arrived in a bar in Kosovo, [and was] locked inside and forced into prostitution. In the bar I was never paid, I could not go out by myself, the owner became more and more violent as the weeks went by; he was beating me and raping me and the other girls. We were his ‘property’, he said. By buying us, he had bought the right to beat us, rape us, starve us, force us to have sex with clients." - Moldovan woman, single parent, 21 years old.

(AI) "If I refused [to have sex with clients] I was threatened. He was pointing the gun to my head, and he was saying.. ‘If you don’t do this in the next minute, you will be dead’. He has the gun, he was just saying do this or you will be dead." - NGO interview, woman trafficked into Kosovo.

(AI) "Following repeated abuse by her husband, culminating in threats to stab and kill her, a Romanian woman with three children fled her husband, and temporarily took her children to her parents’ house. Her husband’s cousin - who was aware of her situation - told her that he knew someone who was organizing trips to Germany. Hoping that she might be able to find a job in Germany with the help of an aunt living there, she agreed to go. En route, she found that she had been sold, and was trafficked to Kosovo."

(AI) Women are taken, usually in small groups, to "trading houses" in hotels and private apartments around Belgrade, Panèevo and Novi Sad, and also in Montenegro. There they are paraded in front of potential buyers, often being forced to strip before being sold to their new "owner".

(AI) "First they would put us to get undressed, and to be only in underwear, to look at us and see how we are looking. If you are looking OK, and they [like you], they will buy you. We were like a rag, just like a cloth." - A trafficked woman’s account of being "bought".

(AI) "They put us in a line, standing up, and then they sit in an armchair and look at us, choosing one of us."

(AI) "You will not know who bought you. They will just come and tell you that you must get ready because you [have to] leave." - Women trafficked into Kosovo describe being sold.

(AI) A journalist who visited a "trading house" near Belgrade confirmed these reports. He also observed a man bidding for a woman while talking to the purchaser via mobile phone. (65) AI interview, September 2003.

(AI) Deprivation of liberty - "..the majority of women are held against their will in conditions you wouldn’t keep an animal in", former Head of TPIU.

(AI)Trafficked women are seldom allowed any freedom of movement outside the establishments in which they work. They are confined either by threats and coercion, or by being locked in.

(AI) "We worked from 9am to 11pm. After that he said, ‘You do what you like’, but we were locked. When we asked to go out he said, no, that we had to be here. We slept in a room together, me and another girl. All the windows had bars. He didn’t ever beat me; it was just psychological threats. We were coerced in that way; I couldn’t go out." - Romanian woman trafficked into Kosovo.

(AI) At a trial in Gnjilane/Gjilan (Kosovo) in 2002, a trafficked woman testified that she had been kept in a cellar, where she slept at night and serviced clients during the day. Food, drink and a bucket for use as a lavatory were brought down to her. She only left the cellar when she was driven by the defendant to meet clients. - Verdict, N.F., 15 May 2002, Gjilan/Gnjilane District Court.

(AI) Before I was sold to the bar in Prizren, I was held in an apartment in Gjilan for four days and I was raped by the guards several times."(79) Moldovan woman aged 21.

(AI) Trafficked women and girls may be raped in transit and many are then subsequently repeatedly raped by their owners, who use rape as a means of control and coercion.(85)

(AI) A Moldovan woman trafficked to Pejë/Peæ testified in investigative proceedings that when she had refused to work as a prostitute, the defendant beat and raped her, reportedly to teach her what would happen if she did not do what she was told.(86) - See OSCE Department of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Kosovo, A Review Of The Criminal Justice System, 1 September 2000 - 28 February 2001, pp. 58-9; the defendant was subsequently sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment on three counts of rape, and intermediation in prostitution; he was released pending appeal.

(AI) "She had sex 2,700 times in less than one year; she was subjected to group sex; sex at gunpoint;[she] earned 200,000 Deutschmarks [for the traffickers], she was truly victimised." - AI interview with international prosecutor, March 2003.

(AI) It also includes holding them in conditions which Amnesty International considers may amount to inhuman or degrading treatment: "We lived on the second floor, [all the] girls in one room. The bar was situated on the first floor. Our owner fed us with liver sausage, fish and bread. We didn’t get money. They didn’t buy us any clothes. If I refused to work they beat me. When I was ill, I got no help. It was very cold there." (91) Ukrainian woman trafficked to Kosovo.

(AI) Trafficked women in Kosovo reported being held in unhygienic, overcrowded and stressful conditions, with no opportunity for privacy. Many women have to sleep and live in the same room in which they work, often with others. Physically exhausted by the long hours and the number of clients they are forced to have sex with, women also report being deprived of food:

(AI) "We received one hamburger and one yoghurt a day"; "We had to share four hamburgers and a packet of cigarettes between eight girls". - Women trafficked into Kosovo.

(AI) Right to health - "I felt sick, and was coughing a lot. I had a terrible headache and fever. ... I was lying in bed and almost fading, when the owner’s son came into my room and I was beaten badly by him. As a result, I suffered grave bodily injuries. I stayed in bed for three months. Except for other injuries, he broke my hand too. All the time I spent in bed, he repeatedly exploited me." - Internally trafficked Albanian woman, aged 21.

(AI) Other women report paying off one debt, only to be faced with another, in a cycle of debt-bondage from which it is almost impossible to escape. "I learned that I was sold to a pimp for 2200 DM (€955). The money he had spent on me I had to work off. When I worked the sum, the pimp sold me to Kosovo for 1750 DM. I never went to anyone for help because I had no opportunity to move. I worked at night with a [guard] only 15 feet away at all times. I was locked up in a room during the day. If I had had the chance, I would have tried to find the Red Cross for help." - Ukrainian woman trafficked first to Serbia and subsequently to Kosovo.

(AI) "We suffered very much during the war. Our house was burned. We have experienced so much terror in [R.] during the deportation too. Immediately after the war ended, my father married me to my sister's brother-in-law. I didn't love him. After some time there, I left his house, beaten up and mutilated. It was dark. I asked for help in the asphalted street in the village. A driver stopped by, he took me in his car, and he promised to help me and then drove me to the city ... I was sent to a café bar and handed over to the owner of that place. All the time I was there, I was repeatedly exploited and raped. Afterwards, the owner sold me to the place where I was later rescued by the police, seven months after. Every time I asked to be freed, the owner used to tell me that I didn’t work enough, claiming that I could only earn DM300 for my services, while he bought me for the price of DM1,500." - Internally trafficked woman, aged 19.

(AI) "After a while one of the guys [who had kidnapped and raped her] took me by car to Albania. They brought me to another motel and left me there... for another month. They... raped me several times... One night I was taken away to another city. They put me in a speed boat of desperate people and sent me to Italy... They locked me in an apartment. The next day they told me that I had to work for them - on the street. I refused, began shouting... They beat me a lot; they told me that if I refused they’d kill me and my family back in Kosovo .... I was so afraid. I was in Italy illegally. I couldn’t ask for help." - 16-year-old Kosovar Albanian, trafficked at the age of 14 to Italy.

(AI) "Many men and young men raped me, young and old, local and international ... We were about 20 persons in that house. Only two were from Moldavia and all the rest Albanian." - Internally trafficked Albanian girl aged 17.

(AI)" ...... even in cold weather I had to wear thin dresses ... I was forced by the boss to serve international soldiers and police officers ... I have never had a chance of running away and leaving that miserable life, because I was observed every moment by a woman ..." - Internally trafficked Albanian girl aged 12.


UN Kosovo police arrested for sex trafficking
ISN SECURITY WATCH (01/09/05) - Three UN police officers and four foreigners have been arrested for involvement in human trafficking in the UN administered province of Kosovo.

Amnesty International (AI) says the presence of international peacekeepers in Kosovo has been fuelling the sexual exploitation of women and encouraging trafficking. The human rights group claims that UN and NATO troops in the region are using the trafficked women and girls for sex, and that some have been involved in trafficking itself. Girls as young as 11 from Eastern European countries are being sold into sex slavery, according to Amnesty International.

(CPTT Page 32) ALBANIA - The average policeman’s salary is around 200 euros per month. ..... police officers and airport staff were arrested because of their involvement in trafficking in persons, together with personnel of an airline company. The Prosecutor’s Office has recently opened judicial inquiries into criminals involved in trafficking where there are indications of involvement by corrupt police officers. Intelligence also suggests that some police officers either accept money or prostitutes’ sexual services from traffickers, in exchange of protection.

(CPTT Page 45) BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA Trafficking - Most clients are local but, according to information received from some victims and from criminal sources supported by intelligence, in some areas of BiH especially those close to military bases, the most frequent customers of trafficked victims have been foreigners and in particular NATO and Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR) members. For example near the NATO’s Eagle Base, there are a dozen night bars and the most frequent customers are SFOR members.

(CPTT Page 84) MACEDONIA - Organized Crime Groups - One factor contributing to the expansion of trafficking since 1999 is demand resulting from the presence of thousands of NATO troops and other international and non-governmental organizations installed during and after the Kosovo crisis. However, most clients are Macedonians (of all ethnicities) and it should be noted that, even before the arrival of the international community, FYROM provided a sizeable market for the “services” of trafficked victims. Trafficking to FYROM can be traced back to the early 1980s, when numerous groups of “exotic dancers” from Bulgaria, the Ukraine and Russia performed in nightclubs in the Skopje area. These women were in fact victims of the trade at the time, according to information obtained from various sources.

(CPTT Page 84) Trafficking of Albanian Men and Boys for Prostitution A worrying new phenomenon is the trafficking of Albanian men, predominately juveniles, for homosexual exploitation. Recent international investigations carried out in Italy revealed that this is a visibly growing trend in Western Europe, including countries such as Germany, France and Spain. Few months ago, a police operation carried out in Florence, Italy, revealed a significant number of juveniles exploited for homosexual prostitution including Albanian boys. ..................The traffickers use the social taboos associated with homosexual rape as a way to control the victims.

(AI) "The problem is that nobody considers the need of brothels in the German [KFOR] contingent. The Americans and the French and others, who however, have their army brothels. I am not trying to say that the prostitutes have to come over from America or France but the brothel can be rented for a certain period of time and stay under units’ control."- Interview with German KFOR soldier, Inge Bell Archive.

(AI) Evidence of the involvement of KFOR troops in the trafficking of women in Kosovo has been documented from early 2000. Repeated allegations have been made against members of the Russian KFOR contingent, both as users of trafficked women, and in the trafficking of women - either directly or with the assistance of Serb traffickers. As early as 2000 Russian KFOR troops were allegedly involved in bringing Moldovan and Ukrainian women - allegedly disguised in Russian army uniforms - into the Russian base at Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje. A Hungarian NGO working with trafficked women "reported that Russian KFOR was involved in bringing in women for sex work... They [the trafficked women] believed their clients were KFOR soldiers, NGO staff, OSCE staff and quite a few locals. The KFOR would take off their insignia and identifying badges, and the Americans would say they were ‘Russians’." - NGO Salamon Alapitvany, quoted in No Safe Place, p. 77.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION - Some Web Links including Blogs

UN Kosovo police arrested for sex trafficking (1 September 2005) - http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=12681

Trafficking in Women – Website Guide - The aim of this guide is to provide a comprehensive list of websites which deal with the subject of trafficking in women. It is addressed to students, researchers, policy makers, scholars and/or anyone interested in such issues.

Organized Crime in the Western Balkans - Trafficking in Drugs, Weapons and Human Beings - The HUMSEC project. http://www.humsec.eu/cms/fileadmin/user_upload/humsec/Workin_Paper_Series/Working_Paper_Anastasijevic.pdf

The Human Trafficking Project - A blog dedicated to raising awareness of human trafficking and exploring innovative solutions to combat the issue -http://traffickingproject.blogspot.com/

Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation - A Deeper Look at Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation within the US and abroad - http://www.abolishhumantrafficking.com/

The Global Sociology Blog -

How five women from the struggling countries of Eastern Europe were tricked into sexual slavery, beaten by traffickers and pimps, forced to work to turn a profit -(Sent to Turkey and Canada) - and finally escaped. Plus, a convicted Ukrainian sex trafficker talks about the multibillion dollar sex trade business, and why he sold an acquaintance for $1,000. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/slaves/map/indexflash.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UAE: The Sheikh's Belt and the Stilletto Heel of Michelle Palmer

UAE: The Sheikh's Belt and the Stilletto Heel of Michelle Palmer

This post follows on from the Sheikh's Belt Story. What Perfect and Convenient Timing! What Balance we now have, involving the United Arab Emirates.

Why Balance? Firstly we have the guilty judgement of Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, (brother of the UAE President) in Switzerland for inflicting "bodily harm with the use of a dangerous object" on Silvano Orsi, an Italian/American citizen. Secondly, we have the indecent acts in a public place of Michelle Palmer (MP) and Vince Acors (VA) (British Citizens) in Dubai, UAE and a claim that Michelle Palmer shouted at the arresting officer and attempted to attack him with her stiletto heel.

Convenient Fiction or Fact?

According to media reports, both MP and VA were warned by a policeman but were arrested when their behaviour continued. If they genuinely crossed civilized boundaries, they should be duly punished, just like the Sheikh.

Most people in western countries know without even having to visit DUBAI and the Middle East, what sort of laws and boundaries are likely to exist there. Switzerland also has its own established Laws and boundaries to civilized behaviour in public places.

Sources of Information in The Media

Firstly, Brother of UAE president sentenced for attack - Jul 1, 2008 http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hWgnhfj-Vbaf_KqeyinRPx1u5vEA

Secondly, Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors...........

'Sex on beach' row Briton sorry - UK Press Association - 15 July 2008 http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hP1M4NIMF_BZvBW8650oeW8EbJvA
Briton held in Dubai 'has only got herself to blame' says police commander - Daily Mail - 14 July 2008
Woman accused of sex and assault on Dubai beach faces jail - The Guardian - 10 July 2008 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jul/10/middleeast.pressandpublishing

Thursday, July 10, 2008

UNESCO World Press Freedom Day - Prize Journalists - UDHR Freedom of Expression


In 1993 the United Nations designated the 3rd of May, a day for raising international awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments globally of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 3rd May is the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Since 1997, UNESCO has conferred the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when achieved in the face of danger. The prize is awarded based on the recommendation of an independent jury of 14 news professionals.

The Prize is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogotá, on 17 December 1986. Cano's writings had offended Colombia's powerful drug barons.

UNESCO also brings together media professionals, press freedom organisations and UN agencies on this day to assess the state of press freedom worldwide and discuss solutions for addressing challenges. Each conference is centered around a theme related to press freedom, including good governance, media coverage of terrorism, impunity and the role of media in post-conflict countries.

World Press Freedom - The Prize Winners Are:

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, Mexico - UNESCO LINK

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro worked for the newspaper Novedades de Cancún and wrote articles about the prostitution of Cuban and Argentine girls in the city. In 2003, Cacho wrote articles on the sexual abuse of minors for the newspaper Por Esto including a note on a girl abused by a local hotel owner. Cacho then wrote the book Los Demonios del Edén (Demons of Eden) in which she accused Jean Succar Kuri of being involved in a ring of child pornography and prostitution, based on official statements from his alleged victims and even a video of him (filmed with hidden camera). The book mentions important politicians as Emilio Gamboa Patrón and Miguel Ángel Yunes as involved, and mentioned Kamel Nacif Borge, a Puebla businessman, of protecting Succar Kuri.

Nacif Borge sued Cacho for defamation in Puebla, and a group of policemen of the state illegally arrested her and extradited her from one state to another. She said she didn't know the reason for her arrest since she hadn't received a subpoena before. She paid a fine and was freed.

On February 14, 2006, several telephone conversations between Nacif Borge and Mario Marín, governor of the state of Puebla, were revealed by the Mexico City daily La Jornada, creating a media frenzy. In these conversations, before Cacho's arrest, Marín and Nacif Borge discussed putting Cacho in jail as a favour, and having her beaten and abused while in jail to silence her.

On 29 November 2007, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 4 that Marín had no case to answer in Cacho's arrest, jailing and harassment, after which the United Nations Human Rights Council advised her to leave the country and offered her political asylum, legal assistance, and access to international courts.

While being held, Cacho was granted the Premio Francisco Ojeda al Valor Periodístico (Francisco Ojeda Award for Journalistic Courage). By May 2006, Cacho had taken the cause of the unsolved murders in Ciudad Juárez as a call to action against impunity of abuse of women in Mexico. What is an ongoing horror abroad, the chronic discovery of murdered women whose corpses are discovered in repeated patterns of abuse, rape, mutilation and are discarded as offal in pathetic scenes in the desert and urban surroundings of Ciudad Juárez. Young women from factories are said to be helpless in their need for public transportation. This is a common pattern for these women's deaths.


2007: Anna Politkovskaya, Russia (posthumous award) - UNESCO LINK

Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist and human rights activist well-known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and Russian president Putin. Politkovskaya made her name reporting from lawless Chechnya, where many journalists and humanitarian workers have been kidnapped or killed. She was arrested and subjected to a mock execution by Russian military forces there, and she was poisoned on the way to Beslan, but survived and continued her reporting. She authored several books about Chechen wars as well as Putin's Russia and received numerous prestigious international awards for her work. She was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building on October 7, 2006. Politkovskaya was a citizen of both the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy (2004) - Politkovskaya describes an army in which conscripts are tortured and hired out as slaves. She described judges who are removed from their positions or brutally assaulted on the street for not following instructions "from above" to let criminals go. She describes particular areas in Russia dominated and operating under insensitive companies or cold oligarchs that resemble brutal mafia bosses, with ex-military and special services personnel to aid them. She condemns routine kidnappings, murders, rape, and torture of people in Chechnya by Russian military, exemplified by Yuri Budanov. She mentions the decayed state and minimally financed conditions of the Russian Pacific Fleet and nuclear arsenal in Vladivostok. She describes the persistence of the infamous Moscow Serbsky Institute of psychiatry and Dr. Tamara Pechernikova, who was notorious for torturing Soviet dissidents in "psikhushkas" of 1960s and 1970s, often using drugs such as haloperidol. Politkovskaya accuses Vladimir Putin and FSB of stifling all civil liberties and promoting corruption to further the establishment of an authoritarian regime, but tells that "it is we who are responsible for Putin's policies" in the conclusion:

"Society has shown limitless apathy... As the Chekists have become entrenched in power, we have let them see our fear, and thereby have only intensified their urge to treat us like cattle. The KGB respects only the strong. The weak it devours. We of all people ought to know that."

A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia (2007) A Russian Diary was made up of extracts from her notebook and other writing, in which she describes the poisoning on the plane to Rostov-on-Don, on the way to Beslan and the worsening political situation in Russia. She was hit 'while translation was being completed and final editing had to go ahead without her help.


2006: May Chidiac, Lebanon- UNESCO LINK

May Chidiac (born 1964) is a Lebanese Christian Maronite journalist. Chidiac is a television journalist at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, where she was also one of the station's main television anchors until the assassination attempt on her life. She was one of the few critics of Syria's hegemony over Lebanon. Syria kept troops stationed in Lebanon even after the end of the Lebanese Civil War and the Taif accords which stipulated that Syria withdraw from Lebanon. Under heavy American and international pressure, Syrian troops withdrew in April 2005. On the day she was nearly killed, she had hosted a talk show in which she criticized Syria's continuous meddling in Lebanon's affairs and voiced fears over further violence ahead of the UN report on the death of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri.


2005: Cheng Yizhong, China - UNESCO LINK

As editor of Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolis Daily) Mr Cheng, 40, broke new ground in Chinese journalism. His editorial independence and professional know-how helped turn his paper into one of the most successful dailies in the country, publishing articles revealing the SARS epidemic and a case of death in a Canton police station. Imprisoned for five months with two of his Nanfang Dushi Bao colleagues, Yu Huafeng and Li Minying, Mr Cheng was released in August 2004. While no formal charges were laid against him, he has been barred from resuming his professional activities.


2004: Raúl Rivero, Cuba - UNESCO LINK
Raúl Rivero Castañeda is a Cuban poet, journalist, and dissident. In his youth, he was an ardent follower of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. He was among the first generations of journalist to graduate after the triumph of the Revolution. In 1973-1976, he was the chief correspondent of the official Cuban press in Moscow. He also served as chairman of the pro-regime National Union of Writers and Artists. On 2 June 1991, he signed the so-called "letter of the 10 intelletuals", a petition asking for the liberation of political prisoners and holding of democratic elections. Since then, Raúl River has been an outcast in Cuban society. In 1995, he founded Cuba Press, and became active in the movement of independent journalism, publishing his works in newspapers in the US and other countries. In 2003, Rivero was charged with "acting against Cuban independence and attempting to divide Cuban territorial unity", as well as with writing "against the government", organising "subversive meetings" at his home, and collaborating with US diplomat James Cason. Rivero was convicted and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. He spent his first 11 months in a tiny one-man cell with no windows or any contact with the outside world. In November 2004 he was released following international pressure on Cuba and subsequently relocated to Spain.

The arrest of Rivero was defended by Cuban writer and culture minister Abel Prieto in 2006. According to Prieto, Rivero "was not arrested for his views, but for receiving US funding for his collaboration with a country that has besieged our island." Raúl Rivero has asserted, in prison interrogations as well as in public, that all funds received consisted of fees for his articles, paid by the publishing media, not by governments or political organisations.


2003: Amira Hass, Israel - UNESCO LINK
Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. She is especially famous for living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and reporting on events regarding Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Early in her career, she travelled widely and worked in several different jobs. Frustrated by the events of the First Intifada, she began her journalistic career in 1989 as a staff editor for Ha'aretz and started to report from the Palestinian Territories in 1991. As of 2003, she is the only Jewish Israeli journalist who lives full-time among the Palestinians, in Gaza from 1993 and in Ramallah from 1997. Her reporting is often sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view and generally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Her reportage of events, and her voicing of opinions that run counter to both official Israeli and Palestinian positions has exposed Hass to verbal attacks, and opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.


2002: Geoffrey Nyarota, Zimbabwe - UNESCO LINK
Geoffrey Nyarota is an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist and author. He is the managing editor of thezimbabwetimes.com, an online newspaper. His first book, Against the Grain, Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman, was published by Zebra Press of South Africa in 2006. He started his working life as a teacher because, as he has explained, "In colonial Rhodesia the only job open to educated Africans was teaching."
However, when The Herald began hiring black trainees, he seized the opportunity and was contracted.

In 1983, he was appointed editor of the country's second largest newspaper, The Chronicle, based in Bulawayo. It was here that he cemented his reputation as tireless investigator of government corruption, exposing the so-called "Willowgate scandal" in 1988 linking high officials with fraud and corruption at the Willowvale Motor Plant. The Chronicle's coverage of the scandal -- it was the only Zimbabwean paper to carry anything about it -- lead to the resignation of four government ministers and the suicide of a fifth. It also earned Nyarota the disapproval of President Mugabe, who at the time described him as "overzealous," and subsequently cost him his job at The Chronicle (the management told him he was being removed "for his own safety.")

For the following six years he ran journalism courses across southern Africa before launching the Daily News in March 1999, Zimbabwe's first truly independent newspaper. As editor of the Daily News he was arrested six times. He survived an assassination attempt in 2000 but the newspaper's printing press was destroyed in a bombing incident in 2001.

On 30 December 2002 Nyarota was mysteriously fired as editor of the Daily News. A few days later he fled to South Africa and, later, to the United States, where he was awarded a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. The Daily News was shut down by the government in September 2003. http://www.un.org/events/pressday/2006/nyarota.html


2001: U Win Tin, Myanmar - UNESCO LINK
U Win Tin (born March 12, 1929) is being held prisoner in Burma (Myanmar) because of his senior position in the National League for Democracy (NLD) and for his writings. Arrested in July 1989, he has spent the last 19 years in prison. U Win Tin is serving a 20-year sentence on charges including "anti-government propaganda."

One of the reasons for his detention is his attempt to inform the United Nations of ongoing human rights violations in Burmese prisons. At 76 years of age, he is in a poor state of health, exacerbated by his treatment in prison, which has included torture, inadequate access to medical treatment, being held in a cell designed for military dogs, without bedding, and being deprived of food and water for long periods of time.
Since the start of 2006 he has not been able to receive visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

U Win Tin marks 19 years in prison - 7 July 2008


2000: Nizar Nayyouf, Syria - UNESCO LINK
Editor-in-chief of the Sawt al-Democratiyya (The Voice of Democracy), published by the Committee for the Defence of Democratic Freedom in Syria (CDF), and a contributor to the Al-Hurriya weekly, Nayyouf has been in prison since January 10, 1992. He was sentenced to ten years of forced labor for belonging to the banned CDF and for disseminating "false" information.
e was released from prison on 7 May 2001 after nine years in detention. His release, granted by President Bashar-al-Assad, coincided with the Pope’s visit to Syria. The journalist was initially held under house arrest, but following international pressure was allowed to travel to France for medical treatment in July of that year. He was granted political asylum in 2002.

While in prison, Nayouf was severely tortured, leaving him partially paralysed and nearly blind. He also suffered from an array of diseases - lymphatic cancer, liver disease, dermatitis and ulcers. He is still being treated for a cancer developed in prison. His remaining family in Syria continues to be harassed.


1999: Jesús Blancornelas, Mexico - UNESCO LINKJesús Blancornelas (b. 1936, San Luis Potosí – d. 23 November 2006, Tijuana) was a Mexican journalist. In 1960 he moved to Tijuana, Baja California, where, in 1977, he founded the weekly newsmagazine ABC de Tijuana and, in 1980, a successor publication called Zeta which is still published today. The brand of investigative journalism practiced by Blancornelas and his colleagues brought attention to corruption among local politicians, the burgeoning power of drugs gangs, particularly the Tijuana Cartel, and the frequent connections detected between the two. He was the victim of several attempts on his life, including one on 27 November 1997 that left him critically injured and his bodyguard dead. Blancornelas died in Tijuana on 23 November 2006 from complications caused by stomach cancer.


1998: Christina Anyanwu, Nigeria - UNESCO LINK

Christina Anyanwu (b. 1951 in Ahiara in Imo State) is a Nigerian journalist. In May 1995, while working as the editor-in-chief of the Lagos-based The Sunday Magazine, she was arrested following the publication of a story about a failed coup d'état against the government of Sani Abacha on 1 March. She was prosecuted in camera by a military court and sentenced to life imprisonment on 4 July 1995, reduced to 15 years in October of that year. While being held in deplorable conditions in Kaduna prison, she contracted malaria and lost her left eye.

On 3 May 1998 she was awarded UNESCO's Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize; she was released from prison the following June. In the April 2007 general election, she was elected to the Senate, representing the Owerri district for the People's Democratic Party.


1997: Gao Yu, China - UNESCO LINK
Gao Yu began her career in 1979 as a reporter for the China News Service. In 1988 she became deputy editor-in-chief of Economics Weekly, run by dissident intellectuals. She also worked as a freelance journalist for several newspapers in China and Hong Kong. In November 1988, she published an article in Hong Kong's Mirror Monthly which the Mayor of Beijing called the "political programme" of the "turmoil and rebellion." He labelled Gao Yu an "enemy of the people." She was detained in 1989 following the Tiananmen protests and released 14 months later because of health problems. She was arrested again on October 2, 1993 and sentenced in November 1994 to six year imprisonment for "leaking state secrets."