Worldlog week 17 – 2013

22 April 2013

Last week in the Netherlands a debate was held on the suicide of the Russian human rights activist Dolmatov. Early this year, Dolmatov committed suicide in his cell in a foreigners’ detention centre because the Netherlands decided that he had to return to Russia. He feared torture and saw no way out. Because he should never have been locked up in a foreigners’ detention centre in the first place, it was decided to examine this course of events. And as a result of the conclusions of this examination by the Safety and Justice Inspectorate a debate was held in the House of Representatives last week. The examination showed that the authorities that Dolmatov had to deal with made mistake after mistake, that this had happened before and that the alarm had been sounded for years, but that no action was taken. Below is a small excerpt of my contribution:

The Healthcare Inspectorate, the Implementation of Sanctions Inspectorate, the Commission for Comprehensive Supervision of Repatriation, and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment and Amnesty International have expressed their concern about the situation of foreigners in Dutch prisons for years. Being ill and having no access to medical care, Speaker, because you are stuck in a foreigners’ detention centre in a far country. Try and imagine! The National Ombudsman called the way in which foreigners are locked up in Dutch detention centres ‘inhumane’. And what was the State Secretary’s response to this harsh but fair judgment? I quote: “Don’t make it so hard on us”.

Speaker, it cannot and should not happen that the State Secretary of Safety and Justice claims to stand for the proper treatment of people who are entrusted in the care of the government, but does not act like it. It cannot be allowed that the State Secretary of Safety and Justice claims to be responsible for calamities in foreigners’ detention centres, but does not take the responsibility for it.

Mistakes do not only need to be recognised, but should also be solved and they cannot be without any consequences.

Some shocking news from the United States last week. People’s lives were destroyed or mutilated in one moment, and suddenly you feel very unsafe. The Big Picture of the Boston Globe shows a harrowing photo reportage.

And see here a witness report of the fertilizer plant disaster in Texas.

This week I am going to ask parliamentary questions about the plan to sacrifice 2,000 dogs and cats ‘as an opening ceremony’ at the Olympic Winter Games in Sotsji (Russia). It is a disgrace that animals will be killed for a sports event! I hope that there will be many protests against it. There already is a German petition to sign.

Unfortunately, the following films show how disgraceful hunters can be. This film shows how hunters use reaping machines as a mechanical driver for fox hunting. And these hunters even set fire to the fox dens!

A beautiful statement by Einstein to finish off with: We should do things in Gandhi’s spirit: no violence in fighting for our cause, but non-participation in anything you believe is evil.

Have a good week! Marianne