Saturday, March 25, 2006

Genocide Studies Media File
March 19-25, 2006

A compendium of news stories, features, and human rights reports pertaining to genocide and crimes against humanity. Compiled by Adam Jones. Please send links and feedback to To receive the Genocide Studies Media File as a weekly digest, simply send an email to


"On Coup's Anniversary, Argentines Vow 'Never Again'"
By Larry Rohter
The New York Times, 25 March 2006 [Registration Required]
"Overcoming some resistance in Congress, President Néstor Kirchner succeeded earlier this month in making the date a permanent holiday, to be called the National Day of Memory for Truth and Justice. In response, many Argentines marched or held commemorative vigils across the country in recent days, while a few gathered outside the homes of former officials of the military dictatorship to hurl insults, eggs, rocks, sticks and containers of paint. At a ceremony at the military academy Friday afternoon, with human rights leaders sitting in the front row, just a few feet away from the military high command, Mr. Kirchner unveiled a plaque that promised 'Never again coups and state terrorism.' In the speech that followed, he castigated the armed forces for their 'criminal project' and 'plan for extermination' during their rule from 1976 through 1983, but added that other groups were also to blame. 'Sectors of society, the press, the church, the political class, also had their role,' as did 'powerful economic interests,' he said. 'Not all of them have acknowledged their responsibility for those facts.' [...]"

"Argentina: Coming to Terms with the Past"
By Daniel Schweimler
BBC Online, 24 March 2006
"No-one seems quite sure why this anniversary is different. But somehow the days leading up to 24 March 2006 -- 30 years since the military came to power in Argentina -- have captured the public attention like no other. Books have been written, plays performed and debates conducted. There are art exhibitions all over the country, plaques are being unveiled to commemorate the victims. Thousands will run in ten and three kilometre races on Sunday in memory of Miguel Sanchez, himself a runner and just one of the 30,000 killed during military rule between 1976 and 1983. ... As well as the continuing search for justice, this has also been a time to remember the dead. A plaque has been unveiled in the Plaza San Martin, in the centre of Buenos Aires, naming the victims from Argentina's religious communities. Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims joined together to sing the national anthem and then heard the names of the victims read out. The Argentine military are firmly back in their barracks and some, humbled by the shame of the repression, have apologised for their actions in those dark years. After a debate in Congress last week, 24 March was declared a national holiday. It will not be a celebration but a day of reflection. In his prologue to the report Nunca Mas, the Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato said: 'It is only democracy which can save a people from horror on this scale.' [...]"

"Argentines Remember a Mother Who Joined the 'Disappeared'"
By Patrick J. McDonnell
The Los Angeles Times, 24 March 2006 [Registration Required]
"Azucena Villaflor was not a woman who sought fame or notoriety. The ex-telephone operator and shopkeeper with a grade-school educann an orderly home, put meals on the table and fretted about her four children. For most of her 53 years, Villaflor's only major political sentiment was an enduring devotion to Eva Peron, the iconic former first lady revered by the Argentine working cla... But as somber Argentines today mark the 30th anniversary of the military coup that ushered in the so-called dirty war, Villaflor is being remembered as an unlikely hero and patriot. Villaflor is credited with founding the era's landmark and much-emulated human rights group, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, whose haunting protests outside the rose-hued government center downtown helped discredit a dictatorship that touted itself as an ally of freedom and liberty. The mothers' white head scarves became a worldwide symbol of democratic resistance to an immoral regime bent on killing off its enemies -- a long list that began with leftists and trade unionists. In an era of roaming kidnapping squads and official impunity, Villaflor and other mothers posed a simple question: Dónde están? Where are they, our sons and daughters? Where, in her case, was her son, Nestor De Vicenti? She never lived to get an answer. Villaflor ultimately joined her son on the list of up to 30,000 people who 'disappeared' between 1976 and 1983. [...]"

"Argentina to Open Secret Archives"
BBC Online, 23 March 2006
"Argentina has decided to make public all secret archives of the armed forces to help uncover human rights violations committed under military rule. The decision was announced by Defence Minister Nilda Garre. It comes on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the coup, by which the military seized power in 1976. Human rights groups say up to 30,000 political opponents of the regime were kidnapped, detained and later executed during seven years of military rule. The government issued a decree to guarantee unrestricted access to information on what it said were grave acts committed during the so-called Dirty War. It ordered all the branches of the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence to provide access their secret files when required. Recovered documents will be kept at the National Memory Archive, an institution created by President Nestor Kirchner three years ago. Correspondents say the secret files could play a key role in trials against former military officers accused of human rights abuses, after the Argentine Congress voted to scrap laws protecting them from prosecution in 2003. [...]"

"Thirty Years On Argentina Still Tries to Come to Terms with Its 'Dirty War'"
By Ian Black
The Guardian, 22 March 2006
"[...] Friday's holiday is the initiative of Argentina's centre-left president, Nestor Kirchner, in 1976 a Peronist -- a follower of the charismatic former president Juan Peron and his wife Evita -- who lost many friends in the repression. Mr Kirchner is widely praised for his efforts to inscribe these atrocities 'in fire,' though some argue he should focus on the economy and crime, not the past. In the run-up to the anniversary, exhibitions and events are being held to catalogue this dark time. In the capital, near the Recoleto cemetery where the faithful still flock to see Evita's tomb, crowds peer at yellowing newspaper cuttings reporting missing children, men taken away at gunpoint and bodies washed up on Uruguyan beaches. But there is still much controversy. Part of the problem is that many welcomed the coup, at least at first, as the way to end the violence of leftwing guerrillas and rightwing death squads, and to curb strikes and catastrophic inflation. Those who have struggled for truth and justice dislike the term 'dirty war' and the moral equivalence it implies. 'This wasn't a war between "two demons,"' insists Ms Casareto. 'It was dictatorship and state terror.' [...]"


"Row Over US Ambassador's Armenia Genocide Remark"
By Rupert Cornwell
The Independent, 23 March 2006
"Protests are growing over the possible recall of the US ambassador in Armenia after he described the 1915 massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as genocide. If he is recalled, it would be seen as giving in to Turkish pressure. Officially, John Marshall Evans remains -- for the time being at least -- Washington's man in Erevan. 'Ambassador Evans is our ambassador, and he continues ... to exercise that honour and privilege,' a State Department official said last week. But that assurance has satisfied neither the ethnic Armenian community in the US, nor members of Congress from southern California where the community is centred. Their suspicion is that a successor for Mr. Evans has already been lined up, and he will be ordered home. ... Mr. Evans caused a diplomatic sensation in February 2005 when he flatly called the massacres a genocide, during an appearance at the University of California at Berkeley. It was 'unbecoming of us as Americans to play word games here,' he declared. 'I will today call it the Armenian genocide.' By doing so, he became the first US official to use the loaded word in an Armenian context. Like the Clinton administration before it, the Bush administration has always referred to the slaughter as a massacre or a tragedy, but not as a genocide. The circumspection is widely seen as an effort not to upset Turkey, an important US ally in the Middle East that shares borders with Iraq and Iran. [...]"


"'Black Night' of Mar 25 Today"
The Daily Star (Dhaka) on News from Bangladesh, 25 March 2006
"The 'black night' of March 25 returns again evoking painful memories of a night of murder and mayhem, the beginning of genocide of millions of unarmed Bangalees by the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971. On this night in 1971, the Pakistani military rulers launched 'Operation Search Light' killing some 7,000 people in a single night. Dhaka University was attacked and students were exterminated in the hundreds. It was to be only the beginning. On March 26, the nation waged an armed struggle against the Pakistani occupation forces following the declaration of independence by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Pakistani forces arrested Bangabandhu as he, through a wireless message, called upon the people to resist the occupation forces. Later, Awami League leader MA Hannan and Major Ziaur Rahman (later president of Bangladesh) read out the proclamation of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu, which was broadcast from Kalurghat radio station in Chittagong. The nine-month long liberation war that was sparked by the brutal invasion on this very night culminated in surrender of the 93,000-strong occupation force on December 16, 1971. Different socio-cultural and educational organisations have taken up elaborate programmes for tonight to observe the dark night of March 25. Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (The Committee to Uproot Killers and Collaborators of 1971) will bring out a candle-lit procession from Central Shaheed Minar in the capital at 8:00pm today. The nation will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its independence tomorrow. [...]"


"Thousands Flee from CAR Violence"
BBC Online, 25 March 2006
"Thousands of people have fled their homes to escape violence in the north of the Central African Republic (CAR). Aid agencies estimate that more than 7,000 refugees have crossed the border into Chad in the past few weeks. A BBC reporter who visited the area says refugees claim government troops are systematically killing men and boys they suspect of backing rebel groups. Central African Republic President Francois Bozize has blamed rebel groups for the unrest. The BBC's David Bamford says about 50,000 more refugees are thought to be hiding in the forest after being forced to flee their villages. Our correspondent says international aid agencies have known for some time that a new human tragedy is unfolding in the north of the CAR. But while the agencies can just about function in regions such as Darfur and eastern Congo, the level of insecurity in the northern CAR is so bad they cannot operate there at all, our correspondent says. Those refugees able to reach the relative safety of Chad are telling graphic stories of how soldiers in their tell-tale green berets are allegedly shooting local men and boys who they suspect may back rebel groups opposed to Mr Bozize. Mr. Bozize has in turn blamed rebels and bandits for the killings. Mr. Bozize seized power three years ago, and since he stood successfully in a presidential election last year, a rebel movement has emerged in the north."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch. As in Darfur, a gendercidal pattern against "fighting-age" men and adolescent boys is evident.]


"Spreading Genocide to Chad"
The New York Times (Editorial), 20 March 2006
"After the Holocaust, the world vowed it wouldn't stand back and allow genocide to happen again. Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda showed how empty that promise was. Darfur was yet another reminder that when it comes to standing up to stop the slaughter of entire peoples, the nations of the world remain pitifully inadequate. And now, as if the hundreds of thousands of Africans killed in Sudan weren't enough, the Arab militias financed by the government of Sudan to 'cleanse' Darfur of blacks are moving across the border into neighboring Chad. Our colleague Nicholas Kristof reports that the janjaweed -- the name given to the Arab militias -- have unleashed their fury on villages in Chad, riding in and killing and raping, accompanied by their standard shouting of racial epithets like 'black slaves.' ... Is this really what we have come to? The United Nations has described the carnage in Darfur as the world's biggest humanitarian crisis but continues to prove itself completely useless at doing anything to stop it. In the Security Council, China protects Sudan. Europe, for its part, has been inert. [...]"


"Ethiopia Drops Treason, Genocide Charges Against VOA Journalists, 13 Others"
Voice of America, 22 March 2006
"An Ethiopian court has dropped charges of treason and genocide against 18 people, including five journalists for the Voice of America. Ethiopia's Federal High Court ordered the charges dropped Wednesday at a hearing in the capital, Addis Ababa. VOA Director David Jackson welcomed the move. He said the VOA has always maintained the charges were without merit and said VOA employees will continue to bring accurate and objective news to Ethiopia. The five VOA journalists,(Negussie Mengesha, Addisu Abebe, Tizita Belachew, Adanech Fessehaye and Solomon Kifle, work in Washington and were never in Ethiopian custody. The Ethiopian government continues to prosecute 111 opposition members and others charged following two outbreaks of deadly violence last year. More than 80 people died when security forces clashed with demonstrators protesting election results that the opposition says were rigged. Several others whose charges were dropped today were also being tried in absentia. The next hearing against the opposition members is scheduled for May 2."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch.]


"Death Squads on the Prowl in a Nation Paralysed By Fear"
By Patrick Cockburn
The Independent, 20 March 2006
"Iraq is a country paralysed by fear. It is at its worst in Baghdad. Sectarian killings are commonplace. In the three days after the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra on 22 February, some 1,300 people, mostly Sunni, were picked up on the street or dragged from their cars and murdered. The dead bodies of four suspected suicide bombers were left dangling from a pylon in the Sadr City slum. The scale of the violence is such that most of it is unreported. Iyad Allawi, the former prime minister, said yesterday that scores were dying every day. 'It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more,' he said. 'If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.' Unseen by the outside world, silent populations are on the move, frightened people fleeing neighbourhoods where their community is in a minority for safer districts. There is also a growing reliance on militias because of fears that police patrols or checkpoints are in reality death squads hunting for victims. Districts where Sunni and Shia lived together for decades if not centuries are being torn apart in a few days. ... All Iraq is suffering, but Baghdad and the central provinces are turning into a slaughter house. [...]"

"Why Iraq's Police Are a Deadly Problem"
By Christopher Allbritton, 20 March 2006
"[...] The U.S. State Department, in a report released two weeks ago, documented numerous incidents in 2005, dating back to early May when Jabr was first appointed Interior Minister, where Sunni men were killed execution-style by Interior Ministry police or Shi'ite militias. In each case, Jabr ordered an investigation, and in each case the investigation had yet to report any findings. Thanks in part to the Interior Minister's 'nonfeasance,' said Burke ['Jerry Burke, a former civilian senior police advisor to the Interior Ministry'], the former Interior Ministry adviser, Jabr was at least indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of military-age Sunni men whose bodies have turned up at the sewage plant in southeast Baghdad since late December. Men in police uniforms and vehicles routinely travel through the city in daylight hours with bodies in the back of trucks for disposal at the sewage plant, he said. Prisoners often disappear, Burke said, because they're picked up at night and no one has an accurate account of who is arrested and where they are taken. 'The Special Police Commandos,' he said, using their old name, 'are most definitely out of control.' [...]"


"41% of Israel's Jews Favour Segregation"
By Chris McGreal
The Guardian, 24 March 2006
"A poll of attitudes among Israel's Jews towards their country's Arab citizens has exposed widespread racism, with large numbers favouring segregation and policies to encourage Arabs to leave the country. The poll found that more than two-thirds of Jews would refuse to live in the same building as an Arab. Nearly half would not allow an Arab in their home and 41% want segregation of entertainment facilities. The survey also found 40% of Israel's Jews believe 'the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens,' a policy advocated by some far-right parties in the run-up to next week's general election. The poll was conducted by a respected Israeli organisation, Geocartographia, for the Centre for the Struggle Against Racism, founded by Arab-Israeli academics. 'Racism is becoming mainstream,' said the centre's director, Bachar Ouda. 'When people talk about transfer [removal] or about Arabs as a demographic timebomb no one raises their voice against such statements. This is a worrisome phenomenon. The time has arrived for the Jewish population, who experienced what racism is on its flesh, to wake up and change its way.' Among the poll's other findings was that 63% of Jewish Israelis consider their country's Arab citizens a 'security and demographic threat to the state.' Some 18% said they felt hatred when they heard someone speaking Arabic, and 34% agreed with the statement that 'Arab culture is inferior to Israeli culture.' [...]"

"Starve the Palestinians"
By William A. Cook, 21 March 2006
"On the third anniversary of America's invasion of Iraq broadcast in full shock and awe to the world via green TV screens that all might see the night devastation of the city, another invasion was underway in Gaza, a silent invasion of human rights that, in its barbarity, casts its own shock and awe, the starvation of the people of Gaza by closure of that prison's gates by Israeli IDF. David Shearer of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA) stated, 'What we were warning before was that stocks (of wheat) were getting low. Today we are saying stocks are gone, and the end point has been reached.' Israel has closed Gaza's commercial lifeline, the Al-Minter Crossing, these past 50 days in peak harvest time, preventing the export of goods and stopping the import of bread supplies. 3,594 MT of wheat flour contracted to local mills did not enter. Now there is no bread and the 70% of Palestinians living below the poverty line have no food. This barbarity one does not expect from the people who cried for protection from fascist forces when they were under siege. Perhaps as we watch the Israelis enter their voting booths on the 28th, we might hope that the branding of Israel as a genocidal nation might cause a twinge of moral outrage and put into office a government that would seek reconciliation with the Palestinians rather than devastation of them. Perhaps the world communities might get a chance to see behind the veil of silence that shrouds what takes place in Palestine and keeps the horror from the eyes of Americans and Europeans. [...]"


"Lithuanian 'WWII Nazi' on Trial"
BBC Online, 20 March 2006
"An 85-year-old man accused of collaborating with the Nazis and persecuting Jews during World War II has gone on trial in Lithuania. Algimantas Dailide pleaded not guilty to crimes against 14 civilians -- two Poles and 12 Jews -- while a member of the Nazi-backed security police. He was deported from the US to Germany in 2004, having fled after the war. It is only the third trial of a suspected Nazi war criminal in any of the Baltic states since independence. Mr. Dailide still holds Lithuanian citizenship but has been living in Germany with his family since his deportation. He is said to have taken part in the wartime arrest of Jewish men, women and children who were attempting to escape from forced confinement in the Vilnius Jewish ghetto between 1941 and 1944. Two Poles were also said to have been arrested for political reasons. Many of the Jews arrested by the Saugumas, as the security police were known, were shot at execution pits at Paneriai, a wooded area outside Vilnius where some 50,000 Jews were killed during the war. More than 200,000 Jews were killed in Lithuania during the war -- many by their neighbours working with the occupying Nazi forces. [...]"


"Johnson-Sirleaf Urges Speedy Taylor Extradition"
Sapa-AFP dispatch in The Mail & Guardian (South Africa), 22 March 2006
"Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on a red-carpet visit to the United States, called on Tuesday for exiled former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor to be extradited home swiftly. 'I wish we had the luxury of time on this issue. But it has become an impediment to our being able to move forward to be able to pursue our development agenda,' she said after talks with United States President George Bush. Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa, received a hero's welcome from the US president, who praised her as a 'pioneer' after talks in the Oval Office and held a luncheon in her honour. Johnson-Sirleaf told reporters that Bush had pledged to consult with African leaders 'so that a fair decision is taken' on Taylor's fate that would ensure 'the stability of Liberia,' which Taylor fled in 2003 for Nigeria. Johnson-Sirleaf said that her government had held talks on the matter with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has come under increasing international pressure to allow Taylor to be tried for alleged crimes against humanity. Obasanjo invited Taylor to Nigeria in order to bring an end to a 14-year-civil war which pitched the guerrilla chief turned elected ruler against two powerful rebel groups. The UN-backed Special Court in Sierra Leone has indicted Taylor on charges of sponsoring rebels who waged a gruesome war in that country's 1990s civil conflict. [...]"

"After the Warlords"
Interview with Jon Lee Anderson by Amy Davidson
The New Yorker, 20 March 2006
"[...] Q. What you are describing -- how common, how ordinary the atrocities and horrors in Liberia are -- how do Liberians deal with that on a day-to-day level? How do they get along with each other after that, as neighbors or co-workers or people sitting next to each other on the bus? Do they talk about it, or is there a silence? A. Most people wear it under the surface, like they do in other countries where these holocausts have occurred -- in Cambodia and so many other places that we could mention. But it's there. Most people have been brutalized and traumatized to the extent that they have nothing left, so their struggle is about daily existence. That's something very difficult for us affluent Westerners to comprehend. Liberians have always been very religious, both tribally -- animist, that is -- and as Christians, which are the majority. They cling to their faith. There's been a flowering of churches in the country. There were always a lot of them, but now they're everywhere. And this is a great solace to many -- for instance, Christian ideas of redemption and reconciliation. Religion and spirituality are very important in Liberia today, I would say even more so than politics. But there's this silence. There's a real problem in Liberia today of rape, a very big problem. And also of mob violence. People are beaten or burned to death if they're caught thieving. I was going to the market one day and I saw a young man being chased by a mob, and he was lucky that a policeman happened to be nearby and saved him. What struck me was that the adolescents who were following the thief, who was not much older than they were, were laughing and singing as they chased him. It was like a sport. But there was obviously a great hatred under the surface, a need to exorcise all those unreconciled demons on something physical. So these are the kinds of terrible things that are haunting the landscape, which is what [President] Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is really going to have to tackle if she's ever going to make Liberia healthy again. [...]"


"Drug Barons Take a Shine to Rebels"
By Jeremy McDermott
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 March 2006 (from The Telegraph)
"The brutal rebel movement, the Shining Path, long thought to be all but extinct, is on the warpath again, boosted by an alliance with drug traffickers. Its Maoist guerillas almost vanished after the capture of their founder and leader, Abimael Guzman, in 1993, with only a few hundred left sheltering in remote highlands. But those mountains are now the setting for a dramatic resurgence in the coca industry, and veteran fighters are now serving new masters, the drug barons. Peru threatens to reclaim its title as the world's foremost coca producer, snatched from it by Colombia in the 1990s. 'All the conditions are ready for a rapid expansion of the Shining Path, as happened with Colombian rebels in the 1980s,' said Colonel Benedicto Jimenez, the policeman who caught Guzman. Most coca production in Peru is said to be controlled by Jose Flores, known as Artemio, the most senior Shining Path commander still at large. Eight policemen were killed in an ambush at Aucayacu in December after police refused to come to an 'arrangement' with the drug lords. 'The Shining Path have become contract killers for drug traffickers,' said a former interior minister, Fernando Rospigliosi. [...]"


"From Neighbors to Killers: Book Explores Personal Horror of Rwanda's Genocide", 21 March 2006
"Scott Straus became a foreign correspondent stationed in central Africa in 1995, one year after one of the most unspeakable crimes in modern history: A swift genocide campaign in Rwanda that killed a half-million people. Straus says what he saw as a journalist left him with many questions about how and why genocide happens. Straus later returned to Rwanda in 2002 as a graduate student and conducted scores of interviews exploring how such a mass crime became possible. The first of what will be two books based on those efforts -- 'Intimate Enemy: Images and Voices of the Rwandan Genocide' -- was published this month by Zone Books; the second book will be available in fall 2006. In 2002, Straus interviewed 230 perpetrators who were serving out sentences for genocide crimes. 'Intimate Enemy' combines transcripts of some of the most revealing interviews Straus conducted with a series of personal photo portraits by photojournalist Robert Lyons. The book deals head-on with one of the most disturbing aspects of the genocide -- that it was carried out, in essence, by everyday people, who quickly transformed from neighbors to killers. 'One of the things that's very disarming about studying perpetrators is you go in expecting to find a monster, people who are not like us,' says Straus, now a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What he found was quite the opposite. The perpetrators looked like a composite sketch of Rwanda's adult population -- farmers, school teachers, fishermen and carpenters. Straus teaches a comparative course on genocide at UW-Madison, and he says the mainstream, 'intimate' nature of Rwanda's violence was more pronounced than other historical cases. ... In the end it became 'a true extermination campaign,' which killed 75 percent of the Tutsi population. The war also created millions of refugees and overwhelmed the nation's justice system, which by 1996 had more than 100,000 detainees held on genocide-related charges. 'The violence was also very public,' he says. 'Unlike the gas chambers during the later stages of the Holocaust, this was right out in the streets. People would flee to churches and schools for safety, and those places would become massacre sites.' [...]"

"Rwanda: Country Working On Waiving Death Penalty for UN Court Suspects, Says Official"
Hirondelle News Agency dispatch on, 20 March 2006
"The Rwandan government is working on details of a law to waive capital punishment for any genocide suspects that might be transferred to its courts from the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwanda's permanent envoy to the court said on Sunday. 'Our position on the issue of the death penalty was made clear by the president, we are ready to remove the death penalty for suspects from the ICTR. All that is left now are the details we are working on,' said Aloys Mutabingwa. Mutabingwa was responding to a question on a talk show broadcast by Kigali's Radio Contact. The death penalty has been a major issue of contention in the negotiations to hand over genocide suspects in ICTR custody to Rwandan courts. Officials in Rwanda have on occasions given conflicting positions on the matter with some denying that Rwanda would accede to the ICTR's demands of guaranteeing that none of the suspects would be subject to capital punishment. The ICTR is scheduled to close all trials at first instance in 2008. The court has been looking for countries ready to take on some trials such that it can meet the deadline. [...]"

"Anger at BBC Genocide Film"
By Alice O'Keeffe
The Observer, 19 March 2006
"A BBC-funded film about the Rwandan genocide billed as an 'authentic re-creation' of a real-life story, is facing criticism for exacerbating the trauma experienced by genocide survivors. Backed by the Rwandan government, shot on location in the country and to be premiered there this week, Shooting Dogs was intended to raise awareness of the conflict. Aid organisations are now saying that it was a shot with a lack of sensitivity so soon after the events. The film, which stars Hugh Dancy and John Hurt, tells the story of a massacre at a school, L'Ecole Technique Officielle, during the genocide in 1994. It includes scenes in which machete-wielding Interahamwe militia close in on the building, hacking women and children to death. It was filmed where the atrocity took place, using many local people, including genocide survivors, as extras and members of the crew. Aid workers have expressed concern that some local people were traumatised by witnessing the reconstruction. On one occasion, students from a nearby school had to be taken to hospital and sedated when they suffered flashbacks after overhearing the chants and whistles of the angry mob. One member of the crew suffered a breakdown when he was taken back to the street where he had been forced to hide down a manhole for three months to escape the killers. 'In Rwanda, if you see a machete being wielded it doesn't matter if it's for a film -- it seems real,' said Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, director of the UK-based Rwandan charity Survivors' Fund. 'When the shoot was over, we had to step up trauma counselling. It took some people six months to overcome the anxiety, fear and paranoia.' [...]"

"History? This Film is Fiction"
By Linda Melvern
The Observer, 19 March 2006
"[...] The film is billed as an 'authentic recreation', shot on location with Rwandan extras playing the roles of the Interahamwe militia. The film is said to be based on the 'true story' and 'real events' that took place in the first days of the killing. The story centres on a massacre at a school, the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO), where Belgian peacekeepers abandoned thousands of people, ordered by the Belgian government to help, instead, with the frenzied evacuation of all expatriates. A BBC journalist is present at the school and challenges the peacekeepers as they leave, using the word genocide to describe what is happening. But this is fiction. There was no BBC film crew at ETO. There were no BBC film crews in Rwanda in those crucial early weeks. Nor did BBC news broadcasts tell the world a genocide was underway. In April 1994, as the massacre took place, the BBC was reporting the evacuation of expats and the renewed civil war between 'tribal factions'. Shooting Dogs shows a shocking disregard for the historical record. It was not until 29 April that the word genocide was used by the BBC. The press was no better. Later, the first international inquiry into the genocide was to conclude that the Western media's failure to describe the genocide underway in Rwanda had contributed to the crime itself. It was left to NGOs, notably Oxfam and Amnesty International, to draw attention to the terrible events. And while the school scene portrays the BBC journalist as heroic and the peacekeepers as brutish and uncaring, the film omits any reference at all to the later bravery of volunteer peacekeepers who did save lives in Rwanda. [...]"


"UN Speeds Up Darfur Peace Mission"
BBC Online, 25 March 2006
"The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to speed up preparations for UN peacekeepers to be deployed to Darfur in western Sudan. The council is calling on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to come up with a range of options within one month. The African Union had been planning to keep its peacekeepers in Darfur until September and then hand the operation over to the UN. But Sudan's government objects to the proposed handover. The Security Council is asking Mr Annan to liaise with the African Union, Khartoum and the rebels to come up with a plan. 'It's a real step forward in building peace across the entire country,' Britain's UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said in a statement. The resolution also extended the mandate of a separate UN peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan, which was due to expire on Friday. ... The head of UN peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno said: 'There is a sense of urgency, I think from everybody, that there are people who are dying, that there is still violence in Darfur. That needs to be stopped.'"

"Genocide's Neighbors"
The Washington Post (Editorial), 24 March 2006 [Registration Required]
"A month ago President Bush called for doubling the peacekeeping force in the Sudanese region of Darfur and expanding the role of NATO countries in bolstering it. Since then, the case for intervention has only grown stronger: There have been fresh reports of death-squad attacks on civilians in Darfur and of violence spilling into neighboring Chad. But the odds of deploying a serious peace force have receded, despite the president's words. The reason is that Sudan's government, the chief sponsor of Sudan's genocide, has threatened violent resistance to a muscular deployment. And Sudan's bluster carries more weight than Mr. Bush's statements. ... Even if a U.N. deployment is off the table until this fall, the United States and its allies have other options. They can press for the enlargement of the existing African Union force and support it with better equipment and logistics. They can enforce a no-fly zone in Darfur, preventing Sudanese government helicopters from supporting ground attacks by the Janjaweed death squads. And they can demand that neighboring countries such as Libya and Egypt support these actions. Don't these Muslim countries care about the genocidal slaughter of Muslims?"
[n.b. Thanks to Yadira Martinez Pantoja for forwarding this link.]

"Darfur Attacks Overwhelm Peace Force, U.N. Reports"
By Warren Hoge
The New York Times, 22 March 2006 [Registration Required]
"The United Nations special envoy to Sudan said Tuesday that violence was rising in Darfur and that lack of progress in the south was jeopardizing a peace agreement that ended a separate conflict there. The official, Jan Pronk, told the Security Council that killings, rapes and armed attacks on Darfur villagers were committed by armed gangs secure in the knowledge that no one would stop or punish them. 'In South Darfur, militia continue to cleanse village after village,' he said. 'The government has not disarmed them. On the contrary, African Union commanders on the ground openly speak about continued support to militia by forces allied to the government.' In what the United Nations calls the greatest humanitarian crisis and the Bush administration has labeled genocide, more than 200,000 people in Darfur have been killed and up to 2 million black villagers driven from their homes by Arab militias. Mr. Pronk called on the international community to augment and assist the 7,000 African Union troops now in Sudan and not wait until the force is reorganized later this year as a United Nations force. The African Union agreed this month to turn its peacekeeping mission in Darfur over to the United Nations in the fall. John R. Bolton, the American ambassador, told reporters that the United States would soon be circulating a Security Council resolution to help provide a smooth transition and broaden the mission. Sudan has said it will not accept United Nations troops until a Darfur peace agreement is struck in talks now going on in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. [...]"

"The World's Shame for Doing Too Little in Darfur"
By Gene Sperling, 22 March 2006
"[...] Last month, President George W. Bush momentarily provoked hope by making an emotional call for doubling the current peacekeeping presence and providing 'NATO stewardship.' But the White House immediately seemed to downplay Bush's comments. It is still unclear if the African Union will fulfill a commitment to hand over control of its peacekeeping operation to a stronger U.N. force. As a result, tireless Darfur advocate John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, has called the intervening weeks since Bush's statement a 'death blow for meaningful action.' Khartoum has blunted calls for NATO action with threats to make Sudan a 'graveyard' for foreign fighters. In addition, the U.S. now seems to be making its call for more multilateral troops contingent on completion of a regional peace agreement. These two developments sadly signify that Sudan's government is being allowed to call the shots. It can block additional peacekeepers by either stymieing an accord or upping its threats. What is missing is any credible signal from the international community that the outlaw leaders in the government will face consequences for facilitating mass murder and stalling solutions to stop it. ... Sudanese leaders should be denied visas, have their assets frozen, and be made to feel like they will be forever scarred with the 'genocide letter.' Even if the U.S. will not join the International Criminal Court, it should help the body by sharing any information it has about possible war criminals. But nothing can be satisfactory unless there is an immediate plan to halt the mass killings, rapes and terrorizing of civilians. [...]"

"The Janjaweeds Are So Beautiful This Time of Year"
By Lloyd Grove, 22 March 2006
"Human-rights activists are scorching The New York Times for taking almost a million dollars in advertising from the blood-soaked country of Sudan, whose leaders ... promote slavery and genocide on a grand scale. 'I practically fell off my seat on the subway this morning. I could not believe it,' Human Rights Watch program director Iain Levine told me about the eight-page advertising supplement, for which The Times charged the Sudanese an estimated $929,000 for yesterday's New York-area editions. The ad copy -- by international image consultants Summit Communications -- touts Sudan's 'peaceful, prosperous and democratic future' and complains about international media coverage 'focused almost exclusively on the fighting between rebels and Arab militias' in Darfur ... Times spokeswoman Catherine J. Mathis said: 'We accepted this special advertising section ... in our strong belief that all pages of the paper -- news, editorial and advertising -- must remain open to the free flow of ideas. In accepting it, we do not endorse the politics, trade practices or actions of the country or the character of its leaders.'"


"Iraqi Police Report Details Civilians' Deaths at Hands of U.S. Troops"
By Matthew Schofield
KnightRidder dispatch on, 20 March 2006
"Iraqi police have accused American troops of executing 11 people, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old infant, in the aftermath of a raid last Wednesday on a house about 60 miles north of Baghdad. The villagers were killed after American troops herded them into a single room of the house, according to a police document obtained by Knight Ridder Newspapers. The soldiers also burned three vehicles, killed the villagers' animals and blew up the house, the document said. A U.S. military spokesman, Major Tim Keefe, said that the U.S. military has no information to support the allegations and that he had not heard of them before a reporter brought them to his attention Sunday. ... The report of the killings in the Abu Sifa area of Ishaqi, eight miles north of the city of Balad, is unusual because it originated with Iraqi police and because Iraqi police were willing to attach their names to it. ... The report filed by the Joint Coordination Center, which was based on a report filed by local police, said U.S. forces entered the house while it was still standing. 'The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men,' the report said. 'Then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals.' The report identified the dead by name, giving their ages. The two men killed were 22 and 28. Of the women, two were 22 years old, one was 30 and one was 75. Two of the children were 5 years old, two were 3, and the fifth was 6 months old, the document said. [...]"

"One Morning in Haditha"
By Tim McGirk, 19 March 2006
"[...] The details of what happened that morning in Haditha are more disturbing, disputed and horrific than the military initially reported. According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children. Human-rights activists say that if the accusations are true, the incident ranks as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. service members since the war began. In January, after Time presented military officials in Baghdad with the Iraqis' accounts of the Marines' actions, the U.S. opened its own investigation, interviewing 28 people, including the Marines, the families of the victims and local doctors. According to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military's initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents. ... Because the incident is officially under investigation, members of the Marine unit that was in Haditha on Nov. 19 are not allowed to speak with reporters. But the military's own reconstruction of events and the accounts of town residents interviewed by Time -- including six whose family members were killed that day -- paint a picture of a devastatingly violent response by a group of U.S. troops who had lost one of their own to a deadly insurgent attack and believed they were under fire. Time obtained a videotape that purports to show the aftermath of the Marines' assault and provides graphic documentation of its human toll. What happened in Haditha is a reminder of the horrors faced by civilians caught in the middle of war -- and what war can do to the people who fight it. [...]"

"In Secret Unit's 'Black Room,' A Grim Portrait of U.S. Abuse"
By Eric Schmitt and Carolyn Marshall
The New York Times, 19 March 2006
"[...] The Black Room was part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away. Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, 'NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.' The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: 'If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it.' According to Pentagon specialists who worked with the unit, prisoners at Camp Nama often disappeared into a detention black hole, barred from access to lawyers or relatives, and confined for weeks without charges. 'The reality is, there were no rules there,' another Pentagon official said. The story of detainee abuse in Iraq is a familiar one. But the following account of Task Force 6-26, based on documents and interviews with more than a dozen people, offers the first detailed description of how the military's most highly trained counterterrorism unit committed serious abuses. It adds to the picture of harsh interrogation practices at American military prisons in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as at secret Central Intelligence Agency detention centers around the world. The new account reveals the extent to which the unit members mistreated prisoners months before and after the photographs of abuse from Abu Ghraib were made public in April 2004, and it helps belie the original Pentagon assertions that abuse was confined to a small number of rogue reservists at Abu Ghraib. [...]"


"Uzbek Defendants Detail 'Torture'"
By Ian MacWilliam
BBC Online, 20 March 2006
"Eight young men in Uzbekistan have given details in court of methods of torture they say investigators used to try to force them to confess. The accounts were unusually detailed, a representative of Human Rights Watch attending the trial in Tashkent, said. Human rights groups, including the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, have accused Uzbekistan repeatedly of the use of torture. The government has in the past denied using illegal methods of interrogation. The eight men in their early 20s, most with young families, are small market traders from the provincial town of Yangiyul. All were detained on minor charges unrelated to religion, but were subsequently accused of being Muslim extremists. All deny the charges. The only evidence of extremism so far presented in court is that they sometimes prayed together in the market. Five of the men, who have been held in detention for the past three months, said that investigators told them to remove their clothes and then beat them severely on the head, neck and back with truncheons. One man was made to lie on the floor and was jumped on, he said. Another said his interrogators threatened to sodomise him with a truncheon. One defendant was so severely beaten he could not walk. Others were made to watch or listen while their companions were beaten, the court heard. The last defendant collapsed in court while giving his statement. [...]"


"Agent Orange Victims Fight Back"
By Ngoc Nguyen and Aaron Glantz
Asia Times, 21 March 2006
"Vietnam, which is bidding for World Trade Organization membership and is already signatory to a trade deal with its former nemesis in Washington, is still grappling with the huge social and economic consequences of its military conflict with the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. The legacy of the United States' use of Agent Orange tops that list. From 1962 to 1971, the US military dumped an estimated 83 million liters of highly toxic herbicides, including Agent Orange, mostly over Vietnam but also Laos and Cambodia, in an attempt to flush out jungle-covered guerrilla fighters. Agent Orange contained trace amounts of dioxin, a toxic substance known to cause cancer in humans at high doses. A group of alleged Vietnamese victims are the first to seek legal redress and compensation from the US companies, namely Dow Chemical and Monsanto Corp, that then manufactured the chemical. In their complaint filed in New York, they claimed the defoliant had caused widespread birth defects, miscarriages, diabetes and cancer, and should be considered a war crime against millions of Vietnamese. The chemical companies, for their part, have maintained that no such scientific link has ever been proved, and that the US government, not the companies, should be held responsible for how the chemical was deployed. A US judge this month threw out the case against the companies, ruling that there was no legal basis for the alleged victims' claims. The court had come under heavy lobbying from the US Justice Department to rule against the plaintiffs, because of Washington's fears of the legal precedent it would set in other countries ravaged by US military interventions. The Vietnamese veterans' association has appealed the ruling, and hearings in that appeal are to commence next month. [...]"


"Humans Spur Worst Extinctions Since Dinosaurs"
By Alister Doyle
Reuters dispatch in The Scotsman, 20 March 2006
"Humans are responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010, a U.N. report said on Monday. Habitats ranging from coral reefs to tropical rainforests face mounting threats, the Secretariat of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity said in the report, issued at the start of a March 20-31 U.N. meeting in Curitiba, Brazil. 'In effect, we are currently responsible for the sixth major extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago,' said the 92-page Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 report. Apart from the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the other 'Big Five' extinctions were about 205, 250, 375 and 440 million years ago. Scientists suspect that asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions or sudden climate shifts may explain the five. A rising human population of 6.5 billion was undermining the environment for animals and plants via pollution, expanding cities, deforestation, introduction of 'alien species' and global warming, it said. It estimated the current pace of extinctions was 1,000 times faster than historical rates, jeopardizing a global goal set at a 2002 U.N. summit in Johannesburg 'to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss.' [...]"


"Rights Defenders Targeted Worldwide, Report Says", 21 March 2006
"More than 1,100 human rights defenders in 90 countries like Colombia, China and Russia were targeted for their activism last year and many were murdered, tortured or jailed, a report released on Wednesday showed. Repression of activists was particularly high in Asia, led by China, Iran and Nepal, according to the joint report by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture (OMCT). Belarus and Russia were among those who made it harder to register non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo used smear campaigns to discredit rights groups, according to the 'Steadfast in Protest' report, released in Geneva. 'This year again, the list is long of the women and men who risked everything in order to promote and defend human rights,' the report said. It cited a wide variety of repression tactics including assassinations, torture, ill-treatment, death threats, arbitrary arrests and detentions, judicial proceedings and adoption of restrictive legislation. In all, 1,172 cases of repression were reported. This included some 117 murders or attempted assassinations, 92 cases of ill-treatment or torture, 56 physical attacks and 315 arbitrary detentions. [...]"


"Brown Skin, Yellow Star"
By Juan Santos, 22 March 2006
"As I write, the US Senate is debating legislation that would make migrant peoples a felonized, legally scapegoated racial and cultural under-caste, a move with deeply dangerous implications for us all. Maybe it wasn't such a lie, what the German people said after Hitler -- 'we didn't know.' ... We won't need a yellow star. The color of our skin will mark us as suspects, as felons, as threats to 'the homeland.' Any cop will be free to stop us at any time, under any pretext, to check -- not for dope -- but for our 'papers.' At first it won't seem like much. Quietly, at first, a few of us will begin to disappear, just like some 60 thousand immigrants of Muslim and Arabic descent have disappeared since the onset of the Patriot Act; without a word. Like them, we will become targets of the so-called 'war on terror.' First it will be dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands. Mothers will disappear walking to the corner store. Fathers will never come home from work. Children will be left behind, sobbing in apartments empty of food, warmth, money and life. The neighbors will be afraid. The tens of thousands could readily become millions. The picture painted above is nothing but hard headed realism. Legislation now before the US Senate would make every undocumented person in the US a felon and authorize every police department in the country to arrest people on immigration charges. The size of the Border Patrol would, in effect, increase by 60 times, from the current 11,000 Migra agents to 663,546 enforcers. If each authorized officer in the US arrested one undocumented migrant once every three months, within five years over 11 million migrants would be gone -- an ethnic cleansing without parallel in US history. [...]"


"A Step Forward for International Justice"
By Peter Grier
The Christian Science Monitor, 22 March 2006
"As court appearances go, it was short -- particularly considering the gravity of the defendant's alleged crimes. On Monday, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga stood before the International Criminal Court for 30 minutes. He wore a dark suit and yellow tie, and gave his occupation as 'politician.' Still, for the cause of international justice, this exchange may have been a big step. Mr. Lubanga is the first suspect to stand trial before The Hague-based permanent war crimes tribunal. Four years after its creation, the ICC is finally in business. The ICC is controversial in the US, and some other big war crimes trials have struggled of late. But overall, the advent of the ICC may be emblematic of the world's increasing efforts to try and bring the worst tyrants to the dock. 'There's no reversing the momentum at this point in time,' says Louis Aucoin, a professor at the Institute for Human Security at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. According to the ICC, Lubanga was the founder and leader of one of the most dangerous militias in Congo's lawless northeastern district of Ituri. Militia violence in that region has caused tens of thousands of casualties in recent years. He will be charged with recruiting children under the age of 15 for service as soldiers, and perhaps with other crimes, said ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. The ICC has issued warrants for the arrest of alleged war criminals from Uganda, but Lubanga is the first suspect to be captured and transferred to ICC custody. That's a major step for the tribunal, said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo this week. [...]"

"Congo Warlord Handed to International Court"
By Marlese Simons
The New York Times, 19 March 2006 [Registration Required]
"A Congolese militia leader accused of abducting children and turning them into soldiers and sex slaves has become the first suspect to be delivered to the new International Criminal Court, the chief prosecutor announced Saturday. The former warlord, Thomas Lubanga, arrived at the court's detention center in The Hague late Friday after being flown here on a French military plane, the prosecutor said. Mr. Lubanga had been imprisoned since last year in Congo, whose authorities handed him over to the court for trial. 'He has been accused of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 into armed groups and using them in hostilities,' the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said at a news conference. The crimes involved were 'extremely serious,' he said. 'Throughout the world, children are being trained to become machines of war.' Mr. Lubanga is scheduled to appear at a court hearing on Monday, the start of a new phase in the history of the I.C.C. The court, the first permanent international war crimes court, was founded in The Hague in 2002 over the objections of the United States. Mr. Lubanga, 45, was the founder and leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots, one of the most dangerous militias in the Congo's northeastern Ituri district. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said that investigators had worked for months in the region almost surreptitiously because armed groups were still active in the area 'and they could kill our witnesses.' He said that further charges against the militia leader were still being prepared, but much evidence was already available, including photographs from camps where children as young as 7 were being trained to become soldiers. [...]"

"Milosevic's Death Boosts Serb ICJ Defence"
By Merdijana Sadovic
Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 17 March 2006
"When the team of lawyers representing Belgrade in Bosnia’s genocide case against Serbia and Montenegro packed their briefcases last Friday and left the imposing baroque Justice Hall of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, little did they know that just a day later their case would get an unexpected boost -- Slobodan Milosevic, who was inextricably linked to this lawsuit, and probably the main reason Serbia has a case to answer to, died an innocent man. The former Yugoslav president died of a heart attack on March 11, just months before the Hague’s war crimes tribunal, ICTY, was expected to complete the case, and render a judgment on the charges against him, which included allegations of genocide in Bosnia. A conviction, say all observers, could have had a great impact on Bosnia's case against Serbia at the ICJ. 'If Milosevic had been convicted of genocide [in Bosnia], it would definitely have had a negative effect on our case,' member of the Serbian team Tibor Varadi told Belgrade news agency Beta, a few days after Milosevic was found dead. 'That means ICJ will now have to make a decision without having the foundation of a Hague tribunal decision to follow.' In a landmark suit, which was launched 13 years ago and is the first of its kind, Sarajevo hopes to prove that Serbia -- under Milosevic’s rule at that time -- was responsible for genocide against Bosnia's non-Serb population during the 1992-95 war. Varadi's claim that Bosnia’s case has been 'seriously weakened' by Milosevic's death was rejected out of hand by the Sarajevo team as 'completely unfounded.' ... Milosevic's Belgrade lawyer Toma Fila triumphantly told news agencies shortly after his client's death that evidence presented during Milosevic's four-year trial will now be useless to anyone, especially to the team representing Bosnia in its genocide case against Serbia. [...]"


"UN Accused of Ignoring 500,000 Chernobyl Deaths"
By John Vidal
The Guardian, 25 March 2006
"United Nations nuclear and health watchdogs have ignored evidence of deaths, cancers, mutations and other conditions after the Chernobyl accident, leading scientists and doctors have claimed in the run-up to the nuclear disaster's 20th anniversary next month. In a series of reports about to be published, they will suggest that at least 30,000 people are expected to die of cancers linked directly to severe radiation exposure in 1986 and up to 500,000 people may have already died as a result of the world's worst environmental catastrophe. ... The new estimates have been collated by researchers commissioned by European parliamentary groups, Greenpeace International and medical foundations in Britain, Germany, Ukraine, Scandinavia and elsewhere. They take into account more than 50 published scientific studies. 'At least 500,000 people -- perhaps more -- have already died out of the 2 million people who were officially classed as victims of Chernobyl in Ukraine,' said Nikolai Omelyanets, deputy head of the National Commission for Radiation Protection in Ukraine. '[Studies show] that 34,499 people who took part in the clean-up of Chernobyl have died in the years since the catastrophe. The deaths of these people from cancers was nearly three times as high as in the rest of the population. 'We have found that infant mortality increased 20% to 30% because of chronic exposure to radiation after the accident. All this information has been ignored by the IAEA and WHO. We sent it to them in March last year and again in June. They've not said why they haven't accepted it.' [...]"

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