Bouterse Decembermurders interview in Suriname/Plea for impunity/Reaction on Loop News Service

 

PHOTO REMEMRANCE OF THE DECEMBERMURDERS IN THE
MOZES AND AARON CHURCH IN AMSTERDAM

REMEMBRANCE OF THE DECEMBERMURDERS IN THE M,OZES
AND AARONCHURCH IN AMSTERDAM, IN 2012, 30
YEARS AFTER THE DECEMBERMURDERS
MOIWANA MONUMENT/IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE MASSACRE
IN THE MARROON VILLAGE MOIWANA UNDER THE RESPONSIBILITY
OF EX DICTATOR AND ARMY COMMANDER IN CHIEF, D. BOUTERSE
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE VICTIMS OF
EX DICTATOR AND CHIEF COMMANDER OF THE
ARMY, D. BOUTERSE
KILLED, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
NO IMPUNITY FOR THE KILLERS
 

BY INVOLVING WITH BOUTERSE IN AN INTERVIEW FOR
HIS ´´TESTIMONY´´ REGARDING HIS CRIMES DURING HIS
DICTATORSHIP, HIRA PLUNGES IN SWAMPS AND WHIRLPOOLS
OF SINISTER CONSPIRATIONS, DECEIT AND POLITICAL GANGSTERISM
[Suriname is a country on the north eastern
coast of South America.
It is a former colony of the Netherlands and also called
”Dutch Guyana”
In this comment I will concentrate on the human rights
violations and ¨(war) crimes, committed during the
Surinamese military dictatorship (1980-1987),
the short lived trial of one of the worst crimes, the frustration
of this trial and moreover
On the proposal of historian, writer and journalist
Sandew Hira (real name Dew Baboeram) to the
the present president D Bouterse, ex dictator and
former chief of the army,
head responsible for the military crimes, to make
a ´´testimony´´ on the military crimes.
Without trial.
Just like that.
Because I consider this as a serious travesty of
Justice, I wrote some comments on the Loop
News Service, to be read under the Notes.
But first a review

 

 

At 25th february 1980, a military coup took place
in Suriname, overthrowing the corrupt, but
democratically elected government of prime
minister Arron. ¨(1)
A National Military Council was formed together with
a civil government, but the real power laid
by the military, so more and more Suriname
became a dictatorship. (2)
Since the  coup, the military
has been guilty of intimidation, oppression and serious human rights
violations.
Politicians of the former parties were arrested on vague grounds and
often mistreated.
Colleage soldiers, with who were conflicts, were
arrested and detained in bad detention conditions.
In march 1982, sergeant Hawker, who had planned a contra coup,
was executed without trial, when wounded on his brancard. (3)
And in december 1982 15 opponents of the military regime were
executed without trial, after been tortured, the socalled ”Decembermurders”
(4)
As if this were not worse enough, in 1986 the Surinamese army
caused a massacre in the marroon village Moiwana in the
civil war with Bouterse’s rival, R. Brunswijk. (5)
This massacre took place under responsibility of Bouterse, who
had been the commander in chief of the army since july 1980
and one of the leading military, who committed the coup in 1980. (6)
In 1987 general elections were held after the military regime was weakened
by the suspension of the financial aid from the Netherlands
and general strikes against the military oppression. (7)
However, the military stayed an important and powerful
force in Surinamese society.
Bouterse would stay military commander until 1992.
Meanwhile his political party, the NDP was formed  (8), which
gained in the nineties considerable support, promising
social measures like better wages, better houses, a
higher allowance for old people and the minimumwages.
Honesty demands, that they did what they promised
when coming to power. (9)
A bitter pil however was not only that the crimes from the past
were not brought to Court (because of the still existing
great power of the military), also former dictator
Bouterse became president in 2010. (10)
And by the way, in 1999 he was convicted in the Netherlands
in absentia (by not being present at the Court) on the charge of involvement for drugstrafficking to 11 years
prison. (11)
However, according to Wikileaks, Bouterse continued the
drugstrafficking until 2006…..(12)
Meantime there were many courageous attempts to
bring Bouterse and co suspects to trial for their involvement
in the Decembermurders.
The Decembermurders trials started, but was frustrated
by the passing by the Surinamese parliament of the
amnesty law, which only excluded the massacre in maroon
village Moiwana in 1986. (13)
Bouterse´s party NDP won elections again (due to bribary,
intimidation and creating social programs) (14), Bouterse
was elected as president for the second time and still
Justice was not done.
At the end, because of the amnesty law, creating impunity
for the Decembermurders suspects, the whole trial
stopped.
PROPOSAL OF SANDEW HIRA TO PRESIDENT BOUTERSE
In this sickening atmosphere, president Bouterse got
another way out.
Historian and journalist Sandew Hira (real name/Dew Baboeram)
whose brother, the lawyer John Baboeram, was one of
the victims of the Decembermurders (15) did a proposal
to president Bouterse to make a ´´testimony´´
of the crimes in which he had been involved since
the military coup in 1980. (16)
And that would be all
No trial
No verdict
For me, that is unacceptable.
It doesn´t involve a stolen bycicle.
But warcrimes and crimes against humanity!
Of course Bouterse accepted his way out into impunity (17),
Hira went to Suriname and gave a press conference at 3 august,
defending his proposal, with reference to the successes of
the South African Truth and Reconiliation Commission, which
I reject also because of the impunity for serious crimes. (18)
And it was no such a great succes anyway, since for
example the family of the murdered Steve Biko rejected
the amnesty for his killers, calling the Truth and Reconiliation Commission
´´unconstitutional´´ (19)
Hira also said, that the testimony of Bouterse would provide
”healing” to many people and the country as a whole.
However I sincerely doubt that.
When Bouterse is lying [denying his involvement], people, especially the survivors
of the Decembermurders victims, will be frustrated.
When he speaks the thruth, fury and frustration will take
place, since there are no legal consequences.
It’s clear, that the only real solution is a fair and independent
trial of Bouterse and the other suspects [20], so that justice
can be done.
Not only for the survivors of the victims, but also for
the country as a whole.
Because only by a trial of serious crimes as happened during the
military dictatorship in Suriname, Suriname can develop into
a real society, based on justice and human rights.
Justice and truth shall make us free.
NO TO IMPUNITY
FOR JUSTICE!
Astrid Essed
See under the notes my three comments on the website of
 Loop News Service.
The first involves my comment on Bouterse’s acceptance of
the proposal of Hira.
The second involves my comment on Hira’s press
conference and his defence of his proposal
The third involves my comment on Theo Para’s
challenge to the critics of Hira on him
during the press conference.
Theo Para is a yearlong critic of
Bouterse and the military regime and I respect
him very much for that.
NOTES
(1)
´´ Indeed, Surinamese politics soon degenerated into ethnic polarisation and corruption, with the NPS using Dutch aid money for partisan purposes. Its leaders were accused of fraud in the 1977 elections, in which Arron won a further term, and the discontent was such that a large chunk of the population fled to the Netherlands, joining the already significant Surinamese community there.´´
WIKIPEDIA
DECOLONISATION
 
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA 
SURINAME
 
 
 
(2)
WIKIPEDIA
1980 SURINAMESE COUP D´ETAT
(3)
´´Hawker was injured the next day and was taken to a military hospital. Hawker was arrested in the hospital by Bouterse’s soldiers and taken by stretcher to Fort Zeelandia, where he was summarily tried and condemned to death for treason. Hawker was executed by firing squad before a live Surinamese television broadcast.´´
WIKIPEDIA
WILFRED HAWKER
 
 
(4)
 
WIKIPEDIA
DECEMBERMURDERS
 
 
 
 
NJCM
DUTCH SECTION OF INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION
OF JURISTS
DUTCH ICJ SECTION PARTICIPATES IN MEMORIAL
DECEMBERMURDERS IN 1982 IN SURINAME
(5)
WIKIPEDIA
MOIWANA
 
 
 
(6)
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
DESI BOUTERSE
 
 
 
 
 
(7)
 
 
 
´´The Netherlands condemned the murders strongly and immediately suspended all financial aid to Suriname.´´
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
SURINAME/FAMILIES OF BOUTERSE´S VICTIMS
SEEK JUSTICE 30 YEARS ON
6 DECEMBER 2012
 
 
 
 
(8)
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SURINAME)
 
 
 
 
 
 
(9)
 
 
 
´´. However, Bouterse’s five years in office were also characterised by steady economic growth, increased spending on social programmes, and improvements to the country’s infrastructure courtesy of an increase in investment from China.´´
SURINAME/LIKELY SECOND TERM FOR BOUTERSE PRESAGES
POLICY´S CONTINUITY
 
 
(10)
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
DESI BOUTERSE PRESIDENT OF SURINAME
 
 
 
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
DESI BOUTERSE
 
 
 
 
 
 
NEW YORK TIMES
RETURNED TO POWER, A LEADER CELEBRATES A 
CHECKERED PAST
2 MAY 2011
 
 
 
 
 
(11)
 
 
WIKIPEDIA 
DESI BOUTERSE
DRUGTRAFFICKING
 
 
 
 
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA 
DESI BOUTERSE
 
 
 
 
WIKILEAKS
DESI BOUTERSE ANS SHAHEED ROGER KHAN ACTIVITIES
 
 
 
 
 
(12)
 
 
 
´´According to Wikileaks cables released in 2011, Bouterse was active in the drug trade until 2006.´´
ROGER KHAN WAS IN PHONE CONTACT WITH SUR PRESIDENT
BOUTERSE IN 2005-2006 DEA RECORDS
 
 
 
(13)
 
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
SURINAME AMNESTY LAW THREATENS PRESIDENT´S
TRIAL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
23 MARCH 2012
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
SURINAME-FAMILIES OF BOUTERSE´S VICTIMS
SEEK JUSTICE 30 YEARS ON
6 DECEMBER 2012
(14)
´´. However, Bouterse’s five years in office were also characterised by steady economic growth, increased spending on social programmes, and improvements to the country’s infrastructure courtesy of an increase in investment from China.´´
SURINAME/LIKELY SECOND TERM FOR BOUTERSE PRESAGES
POLICY´S CONTINUITY
 
 
 
(15)
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
VICTIMS OF THE DECEMBERMURDERS
 
 
 
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
DECEMBERMURDERS
 
 
 
 
 
 
[16]
”Hira proposed that Bouterse submit to a comprehensive interview with him regarding all political violence he’s been involved in and the decision-making behind it. Hira would like time to research the topic with a team and prepare questions that he will submit to Bouterse prior to the interview. He would then prepare a report on his research and the entirety of Bouterse’s testimony which would be presented to the DNA president and be made available for public download.”
LOOP NEWS SERVICEBOUTERSE AGREES TO COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW ON DECEMBER MURDERShttp://www.loopsuriname.com/content/bouterse-agrees-comprehensive-interview-december-murders
 
 
 
[17]
 
 
LOOP NEWS SERVICEBOUTERSE AGREES TO COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW ON DECEMBER MURDERShttp://www.loopsuriname.com/content/bouterse-agrees-comprehensive-interview-december-murders
 
 
 
[18]
 
 
Hira says that he is after healing via truth. He believes that legal justice has been pursued for three decades to no result and that there is no indication that this will ever change. For Hira, this interview is an opportunity for a different kind of justice to be realized through truth.
………
………..
Regarding the first critique, Hira points to South Africa and how it managed to achieve healing outside the courtroom with a pursuit of truth.
……
…….
For Hira, it’s worth the chance for the best possible outcome which would provide healing to many people and the country as a whole.”
 
LOOP NEWS SERVICE
HIRA DEFENDS FORGOING LEGAL SYSTEM
FOR TRUTH-SEEKING BOUTERSE INTERVIEW
[19]
”A 1998 study by South Africa’s Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation & the Khulumani Support Group,[11][12] which surveyed several hundred victims of human-rights abuse during the Apartheid era, found that most felt that the TRC had failed to achieve reconciliation between the black and white communities. Most believed that justice was a prerequisite for reconciliation rather than an alternative to it, and that the TRC had been weighted in favour of the perpetrators of abuse.[13][14]
……..
………
”Among the highest-profile of these objections were the criticisms levelled by the family of prominent anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who was killed by the security police, and whose story was featured in the film Cry Freedom.[17] Biko’s family described the TRC as a “vehicle for political expediency”, which “robbed” them of their right to justice.[18] The family opposed amnesty for his killers on these grounds and brought a legal action in South Africa’s highest court, arguing that the TRC was unconstitutional.”
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION SOUTH AFRICA
[20]
WIKIPEDIA
DECEMBERMURDERS
THE SUSPECTS
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
DECEMBERMURDERS
MY COMMENTS ON NEW LOOP SERVICE
COMMENT 1
LOOP NEWS SERVICE
BOUTERSE AGREES TO COMPREHENSIVE INTERVIEW ON DECEMBER MURDERShttp://www.loopsuriname.com/content/bouterse-agrees-comprehensive-interview-december-murdersAstrid Essed •

BOUTERSE/HIRA DECEMBERMURDERS INTERVIEW/A PLEA
FOR IMPUNITY
Of course present president D. Bouterse, ex dictator and former
chief commander of the Surinamesearmy, accept the proposal
of Sandew Hira to make a ´´testimony´´ of the violence in
which he was involved during his dictatorship (1980-1987) after
committing a military coup at 25th februari 1980.
That´s the way out for him to impunity, since it only
implies his ´´testimony´´.
Nothing more.
Now a trial is at the moment impossible anyway, since
under Bouterse´s political influence the amnestylaw passed
Surinamese parliament (except for the massmurder in marroon
village Moiwana)
Put the Bouterse propaganda aside (wanted to create a better
Suriname) and look at the facts
During the period of the dictatorship , serious human rights violations
,warcrimes and
crimes against humanity took place, for which Bouterse c.s. bear
responsibility, Bouterse being chief commander of the
Surinamese army.
To mention some (the list is longer)
The execution
without trial and wounded on his brancard, of alleged
contra coupist sergeant Hawker (march 1982), the December
murders (december 1982) and the massmurder by the Surinamese army
in the marroon
village Moiwana (1986) during the civil war between dictator
and army chief D. Bouterse and R. Brunswijk, chief of the
Jungle Commando.
It is clear, that dealing with those serious crime can
only on one way
In the Courtroom, in a fair and independent trial.
Any other way/´´Truth and Reconciliation Commissions´´,
and ´´testimonies´´ like Hira propose, leads to impunity
and are therefore travesties of Justice.
Not only no Justice is done, when Bouterse c.s. get away like
this, also Suriname as a country can´t develop into
a society of Justice.
JUSTICE and truth will make us free.
NO IMPUNITY TO (WAR) CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST
HUMANITY
Astrid Essed/Amsterdam/The Netherlands
COMMENT 2
LOOP NEWS SERVICE
HIRA DEFENDS FORGOING LEGAL SYSTEM
FOR TRUTH-SEEKING BOUTERSE INTERVIEW
Astrid Essed
BOUTERSE/HIRA DECEMBERMURDERS INTERVIEW/A PLEA
FOR IMPUNITY
With all due respect for mr Hira´s personal tragedy, I strongly
oppose his proposal to the present president D. Bouterse, ex dictator
and former chief commander of the Surinamese army, to make
a ´´testimony´´ about the violence in which he was involved during
his military dictatorship (1980-1987) after committing a military
coup at 25th february 1980.
During this period, serious human rights violations, warcrimes and
crimes against humanity took place, for which Bouterse c.s. bear
responsibility.
To mention some (the list is longer)
The execution
without trial and wounded on his brancard, of alleged
contra coupist sergeant Hawker (march 1982), the December
murders (december 1982) and the massmurder by the Surinamese army
in the marroon
village Moiwana (1986) during the civil war between dictator
and army chief D. Bouterse and R. Brunswijk, chief of the
Jungle Commando.
There was a Decembermurders .
However, it was stopped after
the installation of the amnestylaw, giving Bouterse c.s. amnesty
(except for the mass murder in marroon village Moiwana)
This was a serious travesty of Justice.
So is the proposal of Hira, because such serious crimes demand
a trial.
The argument of Hira, that wounds will be healed by this testimony is not
valid
The very fact that there will be no trial, but only a ´´testimony´´ about
those horrendous crimes, will be experienced as a great injustice.
And with reason, since Bouterse will go his way easily with that.
Hira´s argument about the South African Truth and Reconciliation
Commission is not valid either
Firstly is what Hira proposes-a ´´testimony´´- far lesser than a Truth Commission,
which implies a public hearing and confrontation with victims or
survivors.
Secondly the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa was not that succesfull as it seemed.
For example the family of the murdered anti apartheid activist Steve
Biko rejected the amnesty for his killers and called
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ´´unconstitutional´´
But most important
´´Testimonies´´ and ´´Truth and Reconciliation Commissions´´ are
no Justice, because there is no trial and no verdict.
This is unacceptable when it involves serious crimes as warcrimes
and crimes against humanity.
Why a ´´normal´´ Surinamese thief is faced with a charge and verdict,
when the president gets away with a ´´testimony´´ about warcrimes
and crimes against humanity.
Only a fair and independent trial of serious crimes
like those committed during the Surinamese dictatorship of
D. Bouterse is justice and can make Suriname develop towards
a society of Justice.
Mr Hira says, that the truth shall make us free.
But he has forgotten something.
JUSTICE and thuth will make us free.
NO IMPUNITY
JUSTICE FOR ALL THE VICTIMS DURING THE DICTATORSHIP OF
BOUTERSE C.S.
Astrid Essed/Amsterdam/The Netherlands
COMMENT 3
LOOP NEWS SERVICE
PARA CHALLENGES HIRA ON BOUTERSE INTERVIEW
Astrid Essed •

BOUTERSE DECEMBER MURDERS INTERVIEW/A PLEA
FOR IMPUNITY
I agree with Theo Para about his assumption, that Sandew Hira´s
proposal to president Bouterse to give a ´´testimony´´ about the
Decembermurders and the other violence in which he was involved
from the military coup in 1980, is not a spontaneous act, but stems
from earlier contacts with mr Linscheer, confidant of mr Bouterse and
chief National Security.
Hira himself admitted the earlier contacts with Linscheer in his press
conference at 3th of august.
However, more important is the fact, that the proposal of Hira
that Bouterse should make a testimony about his involvement with
the crimes during his dictatorship (from 1980 untill 1987′) is a travesty of
justice, since it is a plea for impunity.
Because the testimony is all there is
No judicial prosecution, which is impossible anyway since
the installation of the amnesty law in 2012.
During the military dictatorship, under the head responsibility
of former chief of the Surinamese army, ex dictator and present
president D. Bouterse, many human rights violations,
warcrimes and crimes against humanity took place.
I mention among else (the list is longer) the execution
without trial and wounded on his brancard, of alleged
contra coupist sergeant Hawker (march 1982), the December
murders (december 1982) and the massmurder by the Surinamese army
in the marroon
village Moiwana (1986) during the civil war between dictator
and army chief D. Bouterse and R. Brunswijk, chief of the
Jungle Commando.
Either a ´´testimony´´ of those crimes, or a ´´Truth and Reconciliation
Commssion´´ is a solution, because they both imply impunity.
No trial, no verdict.
Not only that is no justice, also a blow to the development
of Suriname towards a society of Justice.
Because there is no logic, why a Surinamese suspect of
theft or murder is going to trial and convicted, but D. Bouterse
c.s., suspects of human rights violations, warcrimes and
crimes against humanity are making some ´´testimonies´´
or doing penance for a ´´Truth and Reconciliation commission´´
and go their way, without any trial or verdict.
A fair trial according to international standards is the only way.
Only then a sinister chapter of the Surinamese history can
be closed and justice is done.
JUSTICE and truth shall make us free.
Astrid Essed/Amsterdam/The Netherlands

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