Tagarchief: In English

[Article from Kathryn Warner, Medieval historian]/Sir Robert Holland (d. 1328)



Dear Readers,

Kathryn Warner is a Medieval historian whom I value very much.Hereby I post  oneof her excellent articles she wrote  on her Blogspot, where are to be found hundreds of very, veryvaluable articles about events, issues and personalities about the period of the reign of kingEdward II, 1307-1327Karthyn Warner is a great expert on the reign of king Edward II and wrotealso agreat number of books about that period.
See her Blogspot

This article is about Sir Robert Holland, a close friend and ally ofking Edward II’s cousin, Earl Thomas of Lancaster.Earl Thomas of Lancaster was a very interesting historical person,who, after an initial good relationship with his cousin king Edward II,fell out with him and eventually came into open rebellion againsthim, which ended with his execution in march 1321.Interesting fact:After his death he was venerated as a Saint for more then200 years!If you want to know, how a warlord became a Saint, read my articleabout Earl Thomas of Lancaster!





07 November, 2021

Sir Robert Holland (d. 1328)

I’ve previously written a post about the murder of Sir Robert Holland in October 1328, and another about his daughter Isabelle, mistress of John de Warenne, earl of Surrey (d. 1347). Here’s one about Robert himself, a knight of Lancashire whose grandchildren were the older half-siblings of King Richard II.

Robert’s family came originally from the village of Upholland in Lancashire, and in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the name was spelt Holand, Holande, Holond, Holaund(e), Hoyland, Hoylaund, etc. Robert’s father was also called Sir Robert Holland, and the older Robert was the eldest of the six sons of Thurstan Holland, who was himself the son of yet another Robert Holland. [1] This Robert and his son Thurstan, our Robert’s great-grandfather and grandfather, were imprisoned in 1241 after setting fire to a house belonging to the rector of Wigan. 

Our Robert’s mother, Elizabeth, was the third and youngest daughter, and co-heir, of Sir William Samlesbury, who married Avina Notton and died in c. 1256, leaving their three daughters Margery, Cecily and Elizabeth as his heirs. Elizabeth and Sir Robert Holland Senior were certainly already married by September 1276 and probably a good few years before that. Robert Senior is assumed to have died c. 1304, while Elizabeth was still alive in 1313/14. The date of birth of Robert and Elizabeth’s eldest son and heir, our Robert, is not recorded but was probably sometime near the start of the 1270s; his father settled a tenement on him in Pemberton and Orrell in 1292, suggesting he was at least twenty-one then and may have recently turned twenty-one. In the late 1310s and early 1320s, a ‘Simon de Holand’ (d. 1325) was associated with Robert, who gave him a plot of land in Lancashire, and there was also a ‘Richard de Holand, knight’ who joined the Contrariant rebellion of 1321/22 with Robert. There’s an entry in the Final Concords for Lancashire in October 1321 regarding ‘Richard son of Robert de Holand, plaintiff’. [2] As the sons of our Robert Holland were still children in 1321, this would appear to mean that Richard was a son of Robert Holland Sr (d. c. 1304) and therefore our Robert’s brother. Robert certainly had a younger brother named William, who died in the late 1310s or early 1320s and whose son and heir was named Robert, and there are also references in the chancery rolls in the 1330s and 1340s to another son of William’s called Thurstan. 

J.R. Maddicott has pointed out that Robert Holland’s origins were not quite as humble as some fourteenth-century chroniclers, notably the Brut and Henry Knighton – who wrote that the earl of Lancaster raised Robert ‘from nothing’ – claimed. [3] C. Moor’s Knights of Edward I (vol. 2, p. 233) states that our Robert was active as a knight and a keeper of the peace in Lancashire as early as 1287, but surely that’s his father of the same name. As so often happens when father and son had the same name, it’s difficult, or even impossible, to distingush between them, especially when the son reached an age where he became active as a knight and soldier. It was possibly the younger Robert, rather than his father, who was appointed to ‘choose 2,000 footmen’ in Lancashire in June 1300, and who was appointed as a commissioner also in Lancashire in May 1303. [4] 

As early as September 1300, the younger Robert Holland was already associated with Edward I’s nephew Thomas of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster and Leicester, who was then in his early twenties (my belief is that Thomas was born on or around 29 December 1277). On 18 September 1300, Edward I ordered his escheator beyond Trent ‘not to intermeddle further with the lands that Robert de Holand had of the gift of Thomas, earl of Lancaster, tenant in chief, in Beltesford, which the escheator has taken into the king’s hands because Robert entered them without his licence.’ [5] This is an early indication of Robert’s close relationship with Thomas of Lancaster, which lasted for over twenty years. In March 1316, Thomas founded a chantry in Worcester to pray for the souls of his royal parents Edmund of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster and Leicester (d. 1296) and Blanche of Artois, dowager queen of Navarre (d. 1302), on the anniversaries of their deaths. The monks were also to pray on the anniversaries of two people currently still alive, after their deaths: Thomas himself, and Sir Robert Holland. Thomas didn’t ask for prayers for his wife Alice de Lacy or his younger brother Henry or Henry’s children or anyone else, just Robert Holland, an indication of Robert’s importance in his life. J.R. Maddicott has called Robert Thomas of Lancaster’s ‘companion and friend, estate steward, political agent, and general factotum’, and states that their ‘close friendship…ran at a deeper level than that of a mere business partnership’. [6] There are numerous instances in the chancery rolls of Earl Thomas granting manors to Robert and his wife Maud, and their heirs.

Edward II appointed Robert Holland to the important position of justice of Chester on 28 August 1307, at the beginning of his reign. Robert held the office until late 1311, was replaced, but then re-appointed a few weeks later. [7] At the beginning of the reign, and until c. late 1308 or early 1309, Thomas of Lancaster was closely associated with his cousin the king, and the two men were on excellent terms. Things went badly wrong, however, and for reasons that are unclear, Thomas began to move into opposition to his cousin. The two royal men came to detest and fear each other, especially after Thomas’s involvement in the death of Piers Gaveston in June 1312. A jousting tournament was held in Dunstable, Bedfordshire in the spring of 1309, which a large number of the English earls and barons used as a cover to meet and express their disgruntlement with Edward II’s governance. Thomas, earl of Lancaster, and Sir Robert Holland were among those present. [8] Edward replaced Robert as justice of Chester with Payn Tibetot in late 1311, but in January 1312 spoke of Robert’s ‘good service’ to him and re-appointed him as justice of Chester, being aggrieved with Tibetot, who had ‘treated with contempt the king’s mandate directed to him’. [9]

The king sent a letter to Sir Robert Holland on 20 November 1311, stating that ‘we are very joyous and pleased about the good news we have heard concerning the improvement in our dear cousin and faithful subject Thomas, earl of Lancaster, that he will soon be able to ride in comfort. And we send you word and dearly pray that, as soon as he is comfortable and able to ride without hurt to his body, you should ask him to be so good as to hasten to us at our parliament’. [10] It was as though Robert was the earl’s deputy and spokesman, and sometime between 1319 and early 1322, Robert and Earl Thomas sent virtually identical letters to Edward II regarding the manor of Farnley in Yorkshire (the only real difference I can see between the two letters is that Robert’s opening salutation to Edward was far more deferential). [11] Sometime before 13 May 1306, Robert Holland married Maud la Zouche, co-heir to her father Alan (d. 1314) with her older sister Ellen or Elena. [12] Maud brought Robert a good few manors in several counties in the Midlands and south of England, and it’s surely reasonable to assume that Thomas of Lancaster had something to do with arranging such a favourable marriage for his most trusted adherent and associate. 

During the Contrariant rebellion of 1321/22, however, Robert abandoned Thomas of Lancaster, and on 4 March 1322 was ordered to ‘come to the king with all speed with horses and arms, in order to set out with the king against his contrariants’. On the same day, Edward II granted Robert a safe-conduct for ‘coming to the king by his command and about to go against the contrariants’. Robert Holland’s switching sides was surely connected to the fact that one of his and Maud la Zouche’s daughters, unnamed, had been taken into captivity in the Tower of London on 26 February 1322, along with Aline de Braose and John Mowbray (b. 1310), wife and son of John, Lord Mowbray (b. 1286): ‘…conducting by the king’s command to the Tower of London Aline, the wife of John de Moubray, and the son of the said John, also the daughter of Robert de Holand…’. [13] According to the very pro-Lancastrian author of the Brut chronicle, when Thomas of Lancaster heard about Robert’s defection, he groaned ‘how might Robert Holonde fynde in his hert me to bitraye, sithens that y have lovede him so miche?’ Thomas supposedly went on to say that he had ‘made [Robert] hie fram lowe’, i.e. high from low. [14]

Despite his taking armed men to the king, on 12 March 1322 Edward had all of Robert’s goods and his lands in Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Shropshire and Staffordshire taken into his own hands. Robert also owned ‘houses called the houses of Viene in the city of London’ which were confiscated, and were possibly the same dwellings which in 1325 were called the ‘king’s houses in the parish of St Nicholas in the Shambles of London, sometime of Robert de Holand’. On 23 June 1322, Edward stated that Robert was ‘charged with being an adherent of Thomas, sometime earl of Lancaster’ – Thomas had been executed at his own castle of Pontefract in Yorkshire three months earlier, on 22 March – and had ‘surrendered to the king’s will’. [15] After Robert’s and Thomas of Lancaster’s downfall, one William de Leveseye petitioned the king, stating that the earl and Robert (‘Sire Rob’t de Holande’) had imprisoned him in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire for over a year ‘because he was in the company of Sir…’, then the petition is sadly torn and the name is missing. [16] 

During the Contrariant rebellion, Robert had sacked several Leicestershire towns including Loughborough which belonged to Hugh Despenser the Elder, in the company of, among others, William Trussell, who in October and November 1326 would pronounce the death sentence on both Hugh Despensers. According to a petition, Robert and his associates chased the ‘poor people’ of Loughborough out of their homes and they did not dare to return for three months. On 1 October 1323, Edward II ordered the sheriff of Leicestershire not to outlaw Robert for his failure to appear in court to answer for the sacking of Loughborough, because he was in prison at the king’s order and was therefore unable to attend. [17] Robert was originally imprisoned in Warwick Castle in 1322, and on 23 July 1326 was moved from there to Northampton Castle. A few months later, early in Edward III’s reign, he was pardoned for escaping from prison in Northampton ‘when confined there by the late king’s order’, though his lands were then still officially in the king’s hands, and on 12 June 1327 his manors in Yorkshire were given into the custody of one Thomas Deyvill. While he was imprisoned in Warwick Castle, shortly after 4 November 1325, royal officials questioned Robert regarding the assignment of dower to his brother William’s widow Joan. [18] The date of Robert’s escape from Northampton Castle was not recorded, though the window of opportunity for him to do so was only quite small given that he was moved there after 23 July 1326 and that Queen Isabella and her invasion force, who freed the imprisoned Contrariants, arrived in England on 24 September 1326.Isabella officially pardoned Robert Holland and restored him to his lands and goods on 24 December 1327, a few days after the deposed Edward II’s funeral. The queen ignored the protestations of her uncle Henry of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster and Leicester, Thomas of Lancaster’s brother and heir, supposedly because she loved Robert ‘wonder miche’. [19] Both Henry himself and a number of his adherents were furious at what they saw as Robert’s betrayal of Earl Thomas, the man who had given him so much. As I’ve pointed out in my previous post about Robert’s murder, linked in the first paragraph above, on 15 October 1328 he was waylaid in a wood in Essex by a group of loyal Lancastrian knights, and beheaded. On 20 October, the lands of ‘Robert de Holand, deceased, tenant in chief’ were taken into the king’s hands. [20]

In my post about Robert Holland and Maud la Zouche’s daughter Isabelle, also linked above, I listed their other children; they had at least four sons and five daughters. Their first son and heir was another Robert (d. 1373), who was said to be sixteen on 1 December 1328 and seventeen or ‘seventeen and more’ in early January 1329, placing his date of birth around 1311/12 (sadly, there is no extant proof of age confirming the exact date). [21] Their second son Thomas, whose name probably indicates that Thomas, earl of Lancaster, was his godfather, raised the Holland family high when he married Edward I’s granddaughter Joan of Kent, later countess of Kent and Lady Wake in her own right (though when Thomas married her, her younger brother John, earl of Kent, was still alive). Thomas Holland died in late December 1360, and a few months later his widow married Edward III’s eldest son the prince of Wales and became the mother of Richard II in January 1367. Thomas Holland’s children were, therefore, the older half-siblings of the king of England. Robert Holland’s grandson John Holland (c. 1353-1400) married Edward III’s granddaughter Elizabeth of Lancaster and was later made earl of Huntingdon and duke of Exeter by Richard II, while John’s older brother Thomas Holland (1350/51-1397), earl of Kent, married the earl of Arundel’s daughter Alice and their children included the duchesses of York and Clarence and the countesses of March and Salisbury. In just a couple of generations, the Holland family rose from comparative obscurity in the north to become one of the foremost families in the land.


1) J.R. Maddicott, ‘Thomas of Lancaster and Sir Robert Holland: A Study in Noble Patronage’, English Historical Review, 86 (1971), p. 450.

2) Complete Peerage, vol. 6, pp. 528-31; Maddicott, ‘Thomas of Lancaster and Sir Robert Holland’, pp. 450-51; CCR 1318-23, pp. 210, 571; CFR 1319-27, p. 168; Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous 1308-48, no. 735; Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem 1317-27, nos. 497, 567, 707; A History of the County of Lancaster, vol. 3, pp. 394-5; Final Concords for Lancashire, part 2, 1307-1377, no. 127.

3) Maddicott, ‘Thomas of Lancaster and Sir Robert Holland’, p. 450.

4) CCR 1296-1302, p. 401; CPR 1301-7, p. 191.

5) CCR 1296-1302, p. 365.

6) CPR 1313-17, p. 441; Maddicott, ‘Thomas of Lancaster and Sir Robert Holland’, p. 462.

7) CFR 1307-19, pp. 2, 5, 10; CPR 1307-13, pp. 38, 411, 427.

8) Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, ed. F. Madden, B. Bandinel and J.G. Nichols, vol. 4, p. 67.

9) CPR 1307-13, pp. 411-12, 427; CCR 1307-13, p. 396.

10) Cited in G.O. Sayles, The Functions of the Medieval Parliament of England, vol. 1, p. 302; The National Archives SC 1/45/221.

11) TNA SC 8/234/11687 and 11689.

12) Feet of Fines, Berkshire, CP 25/1/9/38, no. 10, dated 13 May 1306, talks of ‘Robert de Holond and Maud his wife’ when the manor of Denford was given to them with remainder to Maud’s father Alan la Zouche.

13) CCR 1318-23, p. 525; CPR 1321-24, pp. 75, 77.

14) The Brut or the Chronicles of England, ed. F.W.D. Brie, part 1, pp. 216-17.

15) CFR 1319-27, p. 109; CPR 1321-24, pp. 137, 337; CPR 1324-27, p. 158.

16) The National Archives SC 8/58/2872.

17) CPR 1321-24, pp. 167, 309, 387; CCR 1323-27, p. 24.

18) CCR 1323-27, p. 592; CPR 1327-30, p. 17; CFR 1327-27, p. 46; CIPM 1317-27, no. 707.

19) TNA SC 8/57/2806; SC 8/57/2807A and 2807B; Brut, ed. Brie, p. 257.

20) CFR 1327-37, p. 105.

21) CCR 1327-30, pp. 348, 491; CIPM 1327-36, no. 156; CIPM 1347-52, no. 199.


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Wearing of the Green/Long live a United Ireland!/Down with British colonialism!


”The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground…..’


Dear Readers
Here you can hear and read the beautiful Irish Resistance Song againstthe century long  brutal British oppression and colonialism, which not onlyoppressed and humiliated the Irish people, but also tried to destroy theirlanguage and culture!It makes me furious to watch, that till nowadays Northern Ireland, which is the rightful part of Ireland and an invention of British colonialism, is still oneof the last remnants of the British colonial Empire.

And let’s not forget this.When speaking about British colonialism, always the oppressed colonies in Africa and Asia were centres of the attention and with right, but much less Ireland.Never forget that the British colonialism started just there.
DOWN WITH THE PRO COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF NORTHERN IRELAND!NORTHERN IRELAND MUST BE PART OF IRELAND AGAIN!THE IRA [1] WAS RIGHT ABOUT THAT!And for me:I support any progressive Irish movement, which wants to fight for aUnited Ireland!
I hope to see the Day, that Northern Ireland is united with the rest ofIreland againIt’s a question of Justice!






Wearing of the Green.

Wearing of the Green.

The following is the celebrated song which created such intense excitement throughout Great Britain, and for the incorporation of which in his piece, Mr. Bourcicault’ play of “Arrah na Pogue,” had to be withdrawn from the London stage.


Oh, Paddy, dear, an’did you hear the news thats goin round?

The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground.

No more St. Patrick’s day well keep, his color cant be seen,

For there’s a bloody law agin the wearin of the green.

I met with Napper Tandy, and he tuk me by the hand,

And he said, how’s poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?

“She’s the most distressful country that ever you have seen,

They’re hangin men and women there for wearin of the green.”


Then since the color we must wear is England’s cruel red,

Sure Ireland’s sons will neer forget the blood that they have shed.

You may take the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,

It will take root and flourish there, though under foot ‘tis trod.

When the law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,

And when the leaves in summer time their verdure dare not show,

Then I will change the color I wear in my corbeen,

But till that day, plaze God, I’ll stick to wearin of the green.


But if at last our color should be torn from Ireland’s heart,

Her sons with shame and sorrow from the dear ould soil will part.

I’ve heard whisper of a country that lies far beyant the say,

Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom’s day.

Oh, Erin, must we lave you, driven by the tyrant’s hand,

Must we ask a mother—s welcome from a strange but happier land,

Where the cruel cross of England’s thraldom never shall be seen,

And where, thank God, we’ll live and die, still wearin of the green.


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Lightning Time

Lucht, Wolken, Wolkenluchten, Bewolkt

The Silver Grey Sky unfolds me like a burning blanket

And sudden the Cold Light is there

Holding and Protecting me

It’s God in Heaven, holding me in check

And tells me I am not unwritten yet

Astrid Essed

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Voice from the Past!/Letter to the Editor, sent and published by Pravda/”The verdict of the Israeli High Court regarding the Wall”


The Israeli separation barrier divides East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank town of Qalandia. [File: Thomas Coex/AFP]

The Israeli separation barrier divides East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank town of Qalandia. [File: Thomas Coex/AFP]

READERSIsn’t it interesting, when roaming the Internet, to find an old article ofyourself, that you almost forgot!It goes about a Letter to the Editor I wrote in the past [2004] to the webzine”The Pravda” and that they apparently published.Not only is that interesting, but more interesting is the fact, that I wrote about averdict of the Israeli High Court about the building of the Israeli Apartheid Wall [1]You all know, of course, the more known verdict of the International Court ofJustice, declaring the Wall illegal for once and for all [2] but few people[I almost forgot!] will remember, that the Israeli High Court gave also its opinion,in fact supporting the building of the Wall, except for some minor point of criticism [3]And here it is, this voice of the past from Astrid Essed, protesting against theverdict of the Israeli High Court!See directly below
And see for the notes, under my almost forgotten Letter to the Editor!


Astrid Essed: The verdict of Israeli high court regarding the Wall
Читайте больше на https://english.pravda.ru/opinion/6077-israel/


Dear Editor,

The recent verdict of the Israeli High Court, which states that the building of the Israeli Wall at the West Bank must be adjusted with 30 kilometers because of the violations of human rights is not only a partial fullfilling of the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population, but is also in contarily with International Law.

In the first place the motivation for the verdict is being based on the fact that because of the building of the Wall the inhabitants of the Beit Surik community had no entrance to their agricultural grounds and schools, but in the named verdict the Court doesn’t refer to the other Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank [85.000 people], who are likewise excluded from their agricultural grounds.

In the second place the Israeli building of the Wall is as such a violation of International Law, because it cuts deeply in the occupied Palestinian areas which is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242 dd 1967 by which Israel was summoned  to withdraw from the in the june-war occupied Palestinian areas.

Further the building of the Wall is being made possible by hugh Palestinian landownings which is yet apart from the flagrant injustice a violation of International Law [the 4th Geneva Convention] which forbids land and house-ownings of ”protected people” [people who are living under an occupation] It is therefore highly recommendable, that the Israeli High Court adjusts its vedict according to the principles of International Law.

Astrid Essed
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Читайте больше на https://english.pravda.ru/opinion/6077-israel/




”While Israel is heading for de jure annexation, the Wall is an important tool of Israel’s illegal and ongoing de facto annexation. The Wall’s path and its associated regime are planned to de facto annex some 46% of the West Bank, isolating communities into Bantustans, ghettos and “military zones.” 


”In December 2003, Resolution ES-10/14 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in an emergency special session.[111] 90 states voted for, 8 against, 74 abstained.[111] The resolution included a request to the International Court of Justice to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question.[111]

“What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?”[111]

The court concluded that the barrier violated international law”










By resolution ES-10/14, adopted on 8 December 2003 at its Tenth Emergency Special Session, the General Assembly decided to request the Court for an advisory opinion on the following question :

“What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the Report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions ?”

The resolution requested the Court to render its opinion “urgently”. The Court decided that all States entitled to appear before it, as well as Palestine, the United Nations and subsequently, at their request, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, were likely to be able to furnish information on the question in accordance with Article 66, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Statute. Written statements were submitted by 45 States and four international organizations, including the European Union. At the oral proceedings, which were held from 23 to 25 February 2004, 12 States, Palestine and two international organizations made oral submissions. The Court rendered its Advisory Opinion on 9 July 2004.

The Court began by finding that the General Assembly, which had requested the advisory opinion, was authorized to do so under Article 96, paragraph 1, of the Charter. It further found that the question asked of it fell within the competence of the General Assembly pursuant to Articles 10, paragraph 2, and 11 of the Charter. Moreover, in requesting an opinion of the Court, the General Assembly had not exceeded its competence, as qualified by Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Charter, which provides that while the Security Council is exercising its functions in respect of any dispute or situation the Assembly must not make any recommendation with regard thereto unless the Security Council so requests. The Court further observed that the General Assembly had adopted resolution ES-10/14 during its Tenth Emergency Special Session, convened pursuant to resolution 377 A (V), whereby, in the event that the Security Council has failed to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the General Assembly may consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to Member States. Rejecting a number of procedural objections, the Court found that the conditions laid down by that resolution had been met when the Tenth Emergency Special Session was convened, and in particular when the General Assembly decided to request the opinion, as the Security Council had at that time been unable to adopt a resolution concerning the construction of the wall as a result of the negative vote of a permanent member. Lastly, the Court rejected the argument that an opinion could not be given in the present case on the ground that the question posed was not a legal one, or that it was of an abstract or political nature.

Having established its jurisdiction, the Court then considered the propriety of giving the requested opinion. It recalled that lack of consent by a State to its contentious jurisdiction had no bearing on its advisory jurisdiction, and that the giving of an opinion in the present case would not have the effect of circumventing the principle of consent to judicial settlement, since the subject-matter of the request was located in a much broader frame of reference than that of the bilateral dispute between Israel and Palestine, and was of direct concern to the United Nations. Nor did the Court accept the contention that it should decline to give the advisory opinion requested because its opinion could impede a political, negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It further found that it had before it sufficient information and evidence to enable it to give its opinion, and empha- sized that it was for the General Assembly to assess the opinion’s usefulness. The Court accordingly concluded that there was no compelling reason precluding it from giving the requested opinion.

Turning to the question of the legality under international law of the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court first determined the rules and principles of international law relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly. After recalling the customary principles laid down in Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter and in General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV), which prohibit the threat or use of force and emphasize the illegality of any territorial acquisition by such means, the Court further cited the principle of self-determination of peoples, as enshrined in the Charter and reaffirmed by resolution 2625 (XXV). In relation to international humanitarian law, the Court then referred to the provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907, which it found to have become part of customary law, as well as to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, holding that these were applicable in those Palestinian territories which, before the armed conflict of 1967, lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line (or “Green Line”) and were occupied by Israel during that conflict. The Court further established that certain human rights instruments (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) were applicable in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Court then sought to ascertain whether the construction of the wall had violated the above-mentioned rules and principles. Noting that the route of the wall encompassed some 80 per cent of the settlers living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court, citing statements by the Security Council in that regard in relation to the Fourth Geneva Convention, recalled that those settlements had been established in breach of international law. After considering certain fears expressed to it that the route of the wall would prejudge the future frontier between Israel and Palestine, the Court observed that the construction of the wall and its associated régime created a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent, and hence tantamount to a de facto annexation. Noting further that the route chosen for the wall gave expression in loco to the illegal measures taken by Israel with regard to Jerusalem and the settlements and entailed further alterations to the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Court concluded that the construction of the wall, along with measures taken previously, severely impeded the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and was thus a breach of Israel’s obligation to respect that right.

The Court then went on to consider the impact of the construction of the wall on the daily life of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, finding that the construction of the wall and its associated régime were contrary to the relevant provisions of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of the Fourth Geneva Convention and that they impeded the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the territory as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as their exercise of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living as proclaimed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Court further found that, coupled with the establishment of settlements, the construction of the wall and its associated régime were tending to alter the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, thereby contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Court then considered the qualifying clauses or provisions for derogation contained in certain humanitarian law and human rights instruments, which might be invoked inter alia where military exigencies or the needs of national security or public order so required. The Court found that such clauses were not applicable in the present case, stating that it was not convinced that the specific course Israel had chosen for the wall was necessary to attain its security objectives, and that accordingly the construction of the wall constituted a breach by Israel of certain of its obligations under humanitarian and human rights law. Lastly, the Court concluded that Israel could not rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall, and that such construction and its associated régime were accordingly contrary to international law.

The Court went on to consider the consequences of these violations, recalling Israel’s obligation to respect the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and its obligations under humanitarian and human rights law. The Court stated that Israel must put an immediate end to the violation of its international obligations by ceasing the works of construction of the wall and dismantling those parts of that structure situated within Occupied Palestinian Territory and repealing or rendering ineffective all legislative and regulatory acts adopted with a view to construction of the wall and establishment of its associated régime. The Court further made it clear that Israel must make reparation for all damage suffered by all natural or legal persons affected by the wall’s construction. As regards the legal consequences for other States, the Court held that all States were under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction. It further stated that it was for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination be brought to an end. In addition, the Court pointed out that all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention were under an obligation, while respecting the Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention. Finally, in regard to the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Court indicated that they should consider what further action was required to bring to an end the illegal situation in question, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.

The Court concluded by observing that the construction of the wall must be placed in a more general context, noting the obligation on Israel and Palestine to comply with international humanitarian law, as well as the need for implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, and drawing the attention of the General Assembly to the need for efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems on the basis of international law and the establishment of a Palestinian State.[3]

”Of course this is not to say that that the Israeli ruling is a good one. For example, like many Israeli rulings there are political points that are treated as legal ones, such as the false characterization of all Palestinian resistance as “terrorism” [8]. Further the HCJ does justify the Wall in principle though the projected segments reviewed were deemed to be illegal because of the humanitarian impact of the suggested route [9]”

With the recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion regarding the consequences of the Apartheid Wall, the legality of this enterprise has been much discussed in almost all circles related to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. On the Zionist side, aside from the usual canard about the “anti-Semitism” of the United Nations and the like, many commentaries have pointed to the recent Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruling about the wall and declared, in so many words, that this is the only legal ruling that matters. For example, in the recent diatribe against the ICJ by Alan Dershowitz [1] he writes: “The Israeli government has both a legal and a moral obligation to comply with the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision regarding the security fence.”

The interesting thing about this is that if one actually reads the HCJ decision [2], it in fact makes a very strong case against the Wall in general though its ruling only regarded only one small 40 km stretch of the Wall. Unlike the ICJ Opinion which was, as per its mandate, primarily focused on existing international treaties and conventions and Israel’s obligations stemming from them; the HCJ decision was based more on general legal principle.

The Israeli case – Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel, Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank – was a petition against eight separate land confiscation orders for the building of the Wall. The net result was that seven of these eight confiscation orders were deemed illegal and the one that was upheld was only upheld because the petitioners didn’t really argue against it [4].

Key point that resulted in the declaration that these confiscation orders were illegal was the principle of “proportionality” that was very succinctly defined in the ruling itself. [5] The actual factors taken into account were essentially the same that served as the basis of the ICJ Advisory Opinion, specifically the human impact that the Wall had on the resident Palestinian population [6]. The question and standard, treated as the third element of proportionality, deserves to be recalled in full (citations removed):

“The third subtest examines whether the injury caused to the local inhabitants by the construction of the separation fence stands in proper proportion to the security benefit from the the [sic] security fence in its chosen route. This is the proportionate means test (or proportionality “in the narrow sense”). Concerning this topic, Professor Y. Zamir wrote:

“The third element is proportionality itself. According to this element, it is insufficient that the administrative authority chose the proper and most moderate means for achieving the objective; it must also weigh the benefit reaped by the public against the damage that will be caused to the citizen by this means under the circumstances of the case at hand. It must ask itself if, under these circumstances, there is a proper proportion between the benefit to the public and the damage to the citizen. The proportion between the benefit and the damage – and it is also possible to say the proportion between means and objective – must be proportionate.

“This subtest weighs the costs against the benefits. According to this subtest, a decision of an administrative authority must reach a reasonable balance between communal needs and the damage done to the individual. The objective of the examination is to determine whether the severity of the damage to the individual and the reasons brought to justify it stand in proper proportion to each other. This judgment is made against the background of the general normative structure of the legal system, which recognizes human rights and the necessity of ensuring the provision of the needs and welfare of the local inhabitants, and which preserves “family honour and rights” (Regulation 46 of the Hague Regulations). All these are protected in the framework of the humanitarian provisions of the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Convention. The question before us is: does the severity of the injury to local inhabitants, by the construction of the separation fence along the route determine d by the military commander, stand in reasonable (proper) proportion to the security benefit from the construction of the fence along that route?” [7]

It was on this basis that the HCJ ruled seven of the eight confiscation orders under review to be illegal. Were this same principle to be applied to most of the Wall as it exists today, especially in cases like that of the Qalqilya ghetto, it is pretty reasonable to assume that most, if not all, the Wall would be deemed illegal. Better yet, the proportionality argument is generally accepted in all modern legal systems, unlike the more specific treaty/convention law that the ICJ was forced to focus on.

Of course this is not to say that that the Israeli ruling is a good one. For example, like many Israeli rulings there are political points that are treated as legal ones, such as the false characterization of all Palestinian resistance as “terrorism” [8]. Further the HCJ does justify the Wall in principle though the projected segments reviewed were deemed to be illegal because of the humanitarian impact of the suggested route [9].

Further, citing the usual excuse used by the HCJ in regard to IDF decisions, it seeks merely to review military actions for their illegality, not to actually impose its judgment on the IDF [10]. This is, along with the IDF option of utilizing the Emergency Regulations, one of the methods allowed to the IDF to freely disregard the High Court of Justice when so inclined. As was the case in the famous court ruling against torture, that in fact merely amounted to a slight change in the phrasing of the IDF terminology, i.e. “ticking bomb” justification, the court’s ruling can be safely ignored if the government chooses – for whatever reason – not to enforce it. This is one of the luxuries of being a non-constitutional state; the political executive is under no actual obligation to enforce any law or legal ruling. In the ruling itself, the IDF freely concedes that should some portion of the fence that is already constructed be deemed illegal, they will pay compensation, but there is no mention – much less compulsion – to reverse illegal sections or the Wall or to in fact stop committing the construction even if deemed illegal. [11]

Nevertheless, in order to portray itself as being a state that respects the rule of law, High Court of Justice rulings are usually afforded at least some general consideration. Thus the HCJ ruling in Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel, Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank, is in fact a rather grave embarrassment since the projected Wall cannot be constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories at all without inflicting the same disproportionate – and hence illegal – circumstances on other local Palestinians. So how do they intend to reconcile this ruling with the Wall?

The Jerusalem Post provided the answer to this question on July 14: “A petition against the appropriation of land for construction of the security fence near the Kissufim road in the Gaza Strip was turned down Tuesday by the High Court of Justice. The petition was submitted by Palestinian residents of the al-Karara village in the Gaza Strip. According to IBA news, the ruling also cancels a freeze order on construction in the area.” [12] Since the HCJ ruling only related to one small segment of the Wall, and the determination has already been made, the HCJ can now simply refuse to accept further petitions, based on the argument that the IDF should be assumed to be taking the same proportionality concerns into account in other areas. That is, in so many words, it seems unlikely that there will be an option of legal appeal to any other segments of the Wall, based on the assumption that the IDF will act in “good faith” taking the previous ruling into consideration. Thus, yet agai n, we have another High Court of Justice ruling that can be safely ignored.

Make no mistake about it, the Israeli High Court of Justice is no friend to Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nevertheless, when Zionists and others choose to counter the ICJ Advisory Opinion citing the HCJ ruling, one can – in all honesty – point out that if the HCJ ruling was in fact applied to the entire Wall, most of it would be illegal even under Israeli law. Of course this won’t happen, and even if it did the IDF is under no obligation to comply anyway, nevertheless, for the scoundrels out to justify the legality of the Wall, the High Court of Justice ruling is certainly no help.


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The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Interview/A Racist Cuckoo in the Royal Family?


Meghan and Harry, who introduced Archie in May 2019, said there were concerns about how dark their baby's skin would be
Meghan said the Queen was one of the first people she met
Related image

















[Written between 10 March and 7 August 2021!]

Readers!At 10 March anno Domini 2021  I did a promise to you, that I wouldcomment on the Sensational Oprah Winfrey interview with PrinceHarry and his wife Meghan Markle [1], who both had finally decided not to return to their royal roles and duties [2]However,according to my information, Prince Harry is stillin the line for the throne [3],which I applaud, since as you’ll know, I cheered theroyal couple on from the beginning! [4]Why?Because Cheddar Man finally won. [5]HAHAHA/NO, That’s a half joke!I think one of the reasons is, that here I saw a Couple, that chose foreach other, despite the racist backlash Meghan Markle had from the beginning [6]and the courageous and honourable defense from Prince Harry on her behalf [7].Seems like a modern fairy Tale and Why not?People are allowed to dream, to juice the very life!
That was the Fairy Tale side of it.But like a bad dream in ”Alice in Wonderland” [8], it was not a”and they lived happily ever after” Story, not only because ofthe backlash at first [9], but because apparently there was an evil partyspoiler within the Royal Family.I’ll deal with that later.
But meanwhile the disturbing backlash continued [10], even a nasty petition to strip Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle from theirroyal titles ”The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” [11]The petitioner considered the titles as ” ‘morally wrong’ and ‘disrespectful’and considered them as ” ‘entirely non-democratic’ and a ‘symbol of oppression by the wealthy elite’. [12]Be that as it may [indeed, in 21st century monarchs and royal titles are a thing apart], but is this just an outburst of republicanism [13]or…it is more?Because, when it were just them ”holding royal titles”, then why especially directed against Prince Harry and his wife and not against the rest of the royal family, like Prince Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, heir to the throne after their father the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles?[Prince Willam is the Duke of Cambridge] [14]Seems suspicious to me!
Because the whole case felt unfair to me,  I send an email letter to the Council of Brighton, in which I wrote among else:
”Although I am not a British national, yet I take the liberty to write you about your debating the petition of stripping Prince Harry and his wife Ms Meghan Markle from the royal titles ”Duke and Duchess of Sussex”, which were given to them by Queen Elisabeth at the occasion of their wedding. [1]Shortly said:I think this petition is an outrage, a sign of disrespect against the Queen and especially Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle and I urgently request to you NOT to grant this nonsense petition;” [15]
I was pleased to receive the following letter from Mr R. Watson, Customer Feedback Officer | Performance, Improvements and Programmes | Brighton & Hove City Council”
””Dear Astrid Essed,

Many thanks for your email. While we are obliged to debate any petition with more than 1,250 signatures at Full Council, the issue raised is a matter for the Crown rather than local authorities. We do not have the power to remove titles and, therefore, the council voted to simply ‘note’ the petition. No further action is being taken.

Best regards,

Richard Watson | Customer Feedback Officer | Performance, Improvements and Programmes | Brighton & Hove City Council”


The haters did not win! [17]


But like Prince Harry rightly stated in his declaration to defend his then

fiancee Meghan Marke [18], there has been a nasty, racist smear campaign against Meghan Markle from nearly the beginning the press [and others]

knew, that she had a love relation with Prince Harry. [19]

Of course it were not all journalists and the whole press:

Espexially low class ”journalist” Piers Morgan [20] led the smear campaign for resaons he knows best, followed by other journalistic

nobodies [21]

By the way:

This Piers Morgan journalist is so obsessed by his vendetta against

Meghan Markle, that he recently [march 2021] left the ITV Good Morning Britain show program because of his [again] hateful remarks about Meghan Markle, even though she and her husband left the country for a time already [22]

The reason for his nasty remarks led in the Oprah Winfrey interview [23]

and the remarks Meghan Markle made about her mental state of health 

[suicide thoughts] [24]

I refer to that later.

But of course not the whole press was led by either racist or hateful

[or a combination of the two] moties against Meghan Markle:

For example journalist Zoe Williams did a good job with her

article in the Guardian ”Whatever Meghan does, she’s damned. Let’s not

repeat history.”, fighting the nasty villification of Meghan Markle. [25]

Am I saying now, that Meghan Markle is a Saint?

Of course not!

Everybody makes mistakes and she will have made hers:

But here I am fighting the abnormal negative attention, with often

racist undertones Meghan Markle got [26] and I am glad that there were

journalists, who played fair play!


Anyway, partly because of that continuing smear campaign against

Meghan Markle [27], Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, who became happy parents of a son, Lord Archie, on 6 may 2019 [28], decided 

to step back as senior royals, splitting their time between the UK and

North-America. [29]

That was in january 2020. [30]

The MEGXIT, as sensational tabloids called it [31], as if Meghan Markle

made that decision alone…..! 

Cherchez la Femme…../HAHAHAHA

First the Royal Couple went to Canada, later they moved to L.A. [Los Angeles] [32]

According to my information, they now live in Montecito [33], where Meghan Markle expects their second child [34], a daughter, as they revealed

in the Oprah Winfrey interview. [35]

A special Blessing after the miscarriage Meghan suffered last year! [36]

By the way, I forgot to mention, that after leaving England, Prince

Harry and Meghan Markle signed contracts with Netflix and Spotify [37]

A Shrewd Couple!


As I wrote before, in the beginning of this year, Prince Harry and

Meghan made up their mind, not to return to their royal tasks and

duties. [38]

Also we have seen Prince Harry and his son Lord Archie’s right on

succession to the throne remains the same. [39]

 But [and that’s understandable, since they don’t do the

Royal Job anymore] that they lose their royal patronages. [40]

Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, issued a declaration,

stating, confirming this grand step of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan,

stating ”While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family” [41]

The Statement of the Queen also referred to the fact, that

the royal patronages were withdrawn:

”Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.'[42]



So far, so good.

Now the interview with Oprah Winfrey

That D….mnd interview. [43]

Now assuming, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke the truth

with Oprah Winfrey, did it shocked me?

For a part, yes.

For a part, no, since I already learnt [and wrote about] the racist smearcampaign against Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, by the press. [44]

But now the Royal Family was involved, at least one [or more?] members,

uttering racist remarks. [45]

And not the least!

I quote from the interview:

”Meghan: But I can give you an honest answer. In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time . . . so we have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.” [46]



Before going deeper into this, there were twelve higlights in the notorious

[or famous] interview, which BBC clarified for us [47]:

I mention them for you, one by one:

1 Discussions about how dark Meghan’s baby might be

2 Kate ”made Meghan cry”, not the other way around

3 Meghan said she was on the verge of suicide but was refused help

4  Meghan spoke to one of Diana’s friends

5  Harry feels ”let down” by Charles

6  But the couple’s relationship with the Queen is good

7  Harry ”cut out financially”

8  The truth behind a photograph

9   Meghan ”didn’t do any research” on the Royal Family

10  They exchanged vowed three days before their wedding

11   Archie’s favourite phrase is ”drive safe”

12   And….it’s a girl!


Now I don’t comment on all the twelve highlights [the Megan-Katie thing [49] I consider as less important, I can’t judge who is right, I was not there], I only mention those things

which I think are really important.

To begin with:


During the interview with Oprah Winfrey, several times Meghan Markle

refers to an institution within the British Royal Family, ”The Firm” and she is very vague about the person or persons who back[s] this:

I quote from the interview:

”Oprah: So, are you saying you did not feel supported by the powers that be, be that The Firm, the monar-chy, all of them?

Meghan: It’s hard for people to distinguish the two because there’s . . . it’s a family business, right? [50]

Oprah: Mm-hmm.

Meghan: So, there’s the family, and then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things” [51]


” And I . . . and I remember so often people within The Firm would say, ‘Well, you can’t do this because it’ll look like that. You can’t’. So, even, ‘Can I go and have lunch with my friends?’ ‘No, no, no, you’re oversaturated, you’re every-where, it would be best for you to not go out to lunch with your friends’. I go, ‘Well, I haven’t . . . I haven’t left the house in months’.” [52]



”Oprah: So the institution is never a person. Or is it a series of people?

Meghan: No, it’s a person.

Oprah: It’s a person.

Meghan: It’s several people” [53]


I must confess readers, that I don’t get grip on this, no persons

mentioned, no facts to check, no names

”It” or ” those people” can be anyone in the Royal Family, but, assuming that

Meghan Markle speaks the truth about some damaging sides of ”The Firm” [like having trouble with the skin colour of her and Prince Harry’s first child, Archie, a horror story, which was confirmed by Prince Harry, as denying Meghan a form of help, when she was depressed] [54], that Firm must be some important members of the Royal Family.

I puzzled and puzzled, but without more information I can’t make sense

of this.

Only of course, that assuming Meghan Markle and Prince Harry speak the truth, there must be a racist cuckoo in the British Royal Family, which is

no suprise to me, after from 17th centuries creation of the concept of race,

in time of  slavery and colonialism. [55]

Would have been strange if it had not affected the Royal Family.

So ”The Firm” is a vague Institution of a series of people [who, is the big question] in the Royal Family with some power and some of them

have uttered very painful, racist things against Prince Harry about

the possible skin colour of the baby [who turned to be ”Lord Archie] [56]

I’ve puzzled and puzzled, like as I’m sure most people, who

saw or read the interview [I did noth], who that mysterious person or

persons might be, who made those nasty remarks about the skin colour

of Lord Archie, the great grandson of reigning Queen Elizabeth II!

If the whole thing is true-if Meghan Markle and Prince Harry speak the

truth and for now I have no reason to doubt that-it is a nasty business, but, again, not the whole amazing, that racism also exists between the British

Royal Family after from 17th centuries creation of the concept of race,

in time of  slavery and colonialism! [57]


More important is the Statement of the Queen, who spoke out concerns

about those racist remarks after the Oprah Winfrey interview. [58]

Quoting the message of Buckingham Palace:

”The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.” [59]

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE QUEENThat’s clear talk and as Meghan Markle remarked in the famous Oprah Winfreyinterview about the Queen:”So, there’s the family, and then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things. And it’s important to be able to compartmentalise that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her, and I . . . 

Oprah: Was this on the train?

Meghan: Yeah, on the train.”


”Right. Just moments of . . . and it made me think of my grand-mother, where she’s always been warm and inviting and . . . and really welcoming.

Oprah: So, OK, so she made you feel welcomed?

Meghan: Yes.” [60]

Prince Harry also commented:

” I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years.


”My grandmother and I have a really good relationship . . .And an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my Colonel-In-Chief, right? She always will be. ” [61]




As I said before, I don’t comment on all the topics of that famous

Oprah Winfrey Interview

I leave the Meghan/Katie thing [62] for what it is, that Meghan didn’t do research on the Royal Family [63] etcetera.

Also I don’t comment on Prince Harry’s relationship between his father 

and brother [64], because fathers and sons often have their issues, like brothers.

After all, fathers and sons are fathers and sons and brothers will 

be brothers and  in most cases, everything will be allright and they”

ll end as one big, happy fami!y!

And I do believe, that a Royal Life can be a golden harnass [as Prince Harry commented, that his father and brother are ”trapped” [64], but that’s the price you pay for your privilege, isn’t it?

As Prince Harry said himself ”It’s part of the job” [65]

Also Prince Harry’s remarks, that he was ”cut out financially” [66],

didn’t impress me.

When you are the grandson of the Queen, one of the richest women in

the world [67] and you have been raised with all kinds of privileges

and financial advantages, than ”cut out financially” means a totally

different story than when it happens to the common man.

Besides, the first task of any man and father, royalty or not, is

to provide for his family on his own force.

So that’s for the royal privileges

But of course that all changes , when you are twelve [two weeks after his mother’s death, Prince Harry became thirteen years old] and fifteen years old

when you loses your mother far too early by a car crashincident, pushed

by the tabloids and you have to walk behind her coffin for the eyes

of the whole world to see [68]

I felt really sorry for Prince Harry and his brother Prince William at that moment.

Too young, far too young to lose one;s mother [although it is never the right time]

That also changes when you feel that depressed, like Meghan Markle stated in the Oprah  interview,  that you want to take your own life…..[69]


Even about that statement boulevard hater Piers Morgan made a nasty remark, so he had to leave Good Morning Britain after more than 40.000 complaints!  [70]


So therefore I wanted to comment that depression of Meghan Markle,

nearly ruining her life and that of her family.

And if it’s really true, that Meghan knocked on the door of

”the Firm” and they didn’t open it, when she was in need [refused to give 

the necessary help] [71], that that’s more than scandalous.



Since I began to comment the famous Oprah Interview [in March] until now [August], much has happened in the British Royal Family, so including in the lives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died [72]

Prince Harry and his brother Prince William unveil a statue in the honour of their mother,  Princess Diana [73] and of course the happy arrival of

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter, Lady Lilibeth, the eleventh grandchild of Queen Elizabeth and named after her greatgrandmother Queen Elizabeth [Lilibet was the name the Queen’s family called her] and her grandmother Princess Diana  [74]

[They listened to me:

I always said, that when Harry and Meghan became parents of a daughter,

they had to name her after her greatgrandmother the Queen/HAHAHA]

Also Prince Harry revealed some issues he had with his father concerning

the way he was raised [75], but I consider that as personal and I am sure

they will work that out.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have their own life now, far from any

racist smearcampaign [76] and I wish them, with their children, a happy life!


So as I promised at 10 march this anno Domini [77], I would comment on

the famous Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Now I did.

And you readers probably will ask yourself:

Why she is bothering with an interview from march, we living in august?

Normally indeed I would not bother, but now it is important, because racism is there, that greeneyed monster [78] that can ruin lives.

But happily not the life of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who choose the

right way to leave this mess behind them.

But this is racism in the highest circles, the British Royal Family and you

would think, that somebody who is that priviliged as the Duchess of Sussex, should not be subject of it.

Yet it happened, but luckily she has a true husband, Prince Harry, who supports her no matter what, as he has proved. [79]

That made it worth to write about this, although it was months ago, that

the interview was taken.

As I wrote in this article, I could not track down, who is the racist cuckoo

in the British Royal Family, but that matters not.

Fact is, that racism is appartently also the issue in those circles.

And alas, racism is with us for a long time yet, perhaps until

we are attacked by aliens and together we are defending our Mother Earth


But fighting against racism and prejudice, wherever you find it, was worth

to write this article.

And the fact that I completed this article five months after the famous Oprah Winfrey interview [80], adds the worth of fighting for equality.

It was nice to write this!

Astrid Essed




Reacties uitgeschakeld voor The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Interview/A Racist Cuckoo in the Royal Family?

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Peter R de Vries, fearless advocate for the oppressed, fighter for what’s right/Hommage to a great man!


File:Peter R de Vries (2017).jpg
Groep staatlozen krijgt paspoort: 'Is de verdienste van Peter R. de Vries'
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”On bended knee it’s no way to be free”[Slogan of Peter R de Vries] [1]


[At the 15th july 2021 crime reporter Peter R de Vries died, after beenshot in the streets of Amsterdam on 6th july. [2]I honor him, because he was far more than just a crime reporter and an investigator of criminal cold cases, but also a defender of the rights of unheard, like refugees and minorities.Therefore my hommageMay he rest in peace]

Peter R de Vries, the fearless crimefighter and advocate for the rights of the unheard, reminds me of a fictional character of oneof my favourite films ”Legends of the Fall” [3], colonel William Ludlow, whomoves his family to a ranch in Montana out of indignation and dissatisfactionwith the treatment of the American government against the native Americans . [4]In my terms:He fled for aggressive racist white Supremacy”In his terms:,”Losing the madness” [5]By the way:A must see film for you, readers! [6]
Fearless and lovers of justice they both shared, fictional ColonelLudlow and crimefighter Peter R de VriesThe one retreated [as was the best thing he could do inpre WO I White supremacist America] and founded his Paradisein Montana, the other fought [as was the best thing to do innowadays the Netherlands]

So like Colonel Ludlow, Peter R de Vries was fearless and obsessed with justice, investigating cold cases [7] and what says more:Achieving great results! [8]

Fearless he was, his motto was:”On bended knee it’s no way to be free” [9]
He was also tenacious, never gave up. [10]
I don’t have to mention all his successes;Look at his Wikipedia! [11]His last effort was his assistence of the crown witness, Nabil B [12]in the Marengo process, the greatest drug trial in the history of the Netherlands [13]Perhaps that involvement costed him his life, as the Public Prosecuter’s Officethinks is ”more likely” [but nothing is sure, yet, all optionsare still open] [14]
Although I admired Peter R de Vries for his great involvement in solvingcold cases and his support for the families of the victims [15], that’s notthe first reason I write this tribute to him.
My reason is, that he was not only a dedicated crime fighter, but alsoan advocate of the rights of the unheard and victims of stogmatizationand discrimination.

Peter R de Vries was a fervent opponent of fascist PVV leader G Wilders [17]In his diary, he wrote ”Ik vind Geert W. zelf een gevaarlijk man, een demagoog met de potentievan een volksmenner.” [Translated in English: I think Geert W is a dangerous man, a demagogue with the potention of a people’s agitator” [18]

For his contribution to the fight against racism and IslamophobiaI sent Peter R de Vries an appreciation-mail [19]The price he paid for his Wilders criticism was a great number ofhatemails [20]I wonder how many of those people, wholay flowers at the place he was shot [21], were among those haters……

But Peter R de Vries did more:In a time and on a moment, that there was much resistanceagainst the coming of Syrian refugees to the Netherlands, who hadfled the war in Syria [22], Peter R de Vries stood firm for the refugee rights, he wrote this statement:”Respect and admiration for the refugees! [23]I quote from this statement among else:”Sometimes it seems that in public debate about the refugees it is no longer about people, but only about numbers, percentages, quotas and files. Often the refugee issue is discussed in a detached and intolerant tone of voice; like asylum seekers and refugees are profiteers who are here to seek fortune”AND”It has always amazed me how easily and lightly people condemn refugees about leaving their homeland; like it is a tempting challenge to build a new life in another country, with an incomprehensible language, different culture and a harsh climate. Like people just do that for fun…!”AND”And that is why I would like to emphasize that I have the upmost respect and admiration for those who have abandoned their homes in desperation for doom and disaster and are trying, with great difficulty, to build up a new life in a foreign country.
In my opinion they should never have to hide or be ashamed; they can be proud, with their heads held high, because what they have achieved, what they have defied and what they have sacrificed more than most of us would dare or could bear. That is something we should be more aware off…” [24]

True and impressive words and again I sent him a appreciation-mail! [25]
But apart from writing, Peter R de Vries came in action!He helped a group of ”General Pardonners”, who were allowedto remain in the Netherlands, but yet didn’t become a passport,which made them ”stateless”By his effort [and of course from others] [26], State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Asylum Affairs made it possible that ten thousand so-called general pardonners can still get a passport. [27]One of the ten thousand stateless General Pardonners,Yosef Tekeste-Yemane, [who turned to de Vries about this humanitarian question] remarked:[comment after the shooting of Peter R de Vries]:”I hope he will still get what he has achieved.” [28]
He also remarked:””He saw the injustice and got caught up in it, he was determined to help us and hoped the media would warm to this.” [29]
And it worked!

In his own  way, Peter R de Vries made a great contribution inthe fight against injustice..Not only because of the fearless and tenacious way, he fought as a crime reporter [30], but for what he did for refugees.In the fight against racism, prejudices and Islamophobia.
Therefore for me, he is a great man.I will not forget him!
May he rest in peace.
Astrid Essed
Notes 1 t/m 20

Notes 21 t/m 30

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[Human Rights Watch]/Thousands of Foreigners Unlawfully Held in NE Syria


A boy flies a home-made kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021.

A boy flies a homemade kite in the foreigners’ section of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria on March 15, 2021. © 2021 Sam Tarling


Countries should bring Citizens Home; Ensure Due Process for ISIS Suspects


Nearly 43,000 foreign men, women, and children linked to ISIS remain detained in inhuman or degrading conditions by regional authorities in northeast Syria, two years after they were rounded up during the fall of the Islamic State “caliphate,” often with the explicit or implicit consent of their countries of nationality, Human Rights Watch said today.

The foreign detainees have never been brought before a court, making their detention arbitrary as well as indefinite. They include 27,500 children, most in locked camps and at least 300 in squalid prisons for men, and scores of others in a locked rehabilitation center. The detainees suffer from rising levels of violence and falling levels of vital aid including medical care. In just one case, France has refused to allow a woman with advanced colon cancer to come home for treatment. One detained woman told Human Rights Watch that a guard ran over a young child in a vehicle, cracking his skull.

“Men, women, and children from around the world are entering a third year of unlawful detention in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria while their governments look the other way,” said Letta Tayler, associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments should be helping to fairly prosecute detainees suspected of serious crimes and free everyone else, not helping to create another Guantanamo.”

Governments that actively contribute to this abusive confinement may be complicit in the unlawful detention and collective punishment of thousands of people, most of them women and young children, Human Rights Watch said.

In February and March 2021, Human Rights Watch communicated via text, email, or phone with eight foreign women detained in camps for family members of male ISIS suspects in northeast Syria as well as relatives of five camp detainees. Human Rights Watch also spoke or emailed with members of six aid organizations and six civil society groups pressing for the detainees’ repatriations, as well as regional authorities, Western government officials, UN officials, journalists, and academics. In addition, Human Rights Watch reviewed dozens of reports, media articles, and videos about the camps and prisons.  

People interviewed described increasingly desperate mothers and children struggling to maintain dignity amid harsh conditions and fears of contracting Covid-19. Three women in one camp, Roj, said that guards confiscated Qurans, threatened women for wearing niqabs, and raided tents at night. Women caught with cellphones or suspected of withholding information about crimes in the camp were sometimes beaten and jailed for days or even weeks, the women and a relative said. The regional authority, called the Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria, denied any abuse by guards and said that some women had attacked guards with stones and sharp objects. Badran Chia Kurd, Autonomous Administration’s deputy co-chair, told Human Rights Watch that women were in most cases jailed only for “a few days” if they tried to flee.=

One relative of a detainee said that her detained family member was suicidal. A young mother wrote that daily life in the camps made her want to “scream from the top of my lungs”:

It’s mentally exhausting. … never gets better here. Always worse. … majority of the children in the camp are sick. Almost everyday something bad happens. Children trapped in burning tents and dies. … We have water tank that contains worms. The toilets are dirty so people started to build [their] own toilets.

Like all detainees who communicated with Human Rights Watch, the women asked that they not be identified by name or nationality for fear of retaliation by other detainees or camp guards.

Holding the foreigners “is a huge burden” for the cash-strapped Autonomous Administration, Chia Kurd said. “The international community, in particular the countries who have citizens in the camps and prisons, are not assuming their responsibility. This issue, if not solved, will not only affect us, but the entire world.”

Countries with nationals held in northeast Syria should answer repeated appeals by the Autonomous Administration to help them provide detainees with due process, including the right to contest the legality and necessity of their detention before a judge. All detainees held in inhuman or degrading conditions, or who are not promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offense in fair proceedings should be immediately released.

Foreign countries should also comply with the Autonomous Administration’s repeated calls for them to repatriate detainees not charged with a crime, prioritizing the most vulnerable. Repatriated children should be accompanied by their parents in keeping with the child’s right to family unity. Foreigners facing risks at home of death or torture or other ill-treatment should be transferred to a safe third country.

Upon transfer home or abroad, detainees can be provided with rehabilitation and reintegration services and as warranted, investigated and prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said. Children who lived under ISIS and any women trafficked by ISIS should be treated first and foremost as victims, and children should face prosecution and detention only in exceptional circumstances.

In the meantime, foreign governments and donors should immediately increase aid to improve camp and prison conditions in northeast Syria and press the United Nations Security Council to reauthorize vital aid operations across Syria’s northeast and northwest borders to speed the delivery of aid.  

Only 25 countries are known to have repatriated any nationals from northeast Syria and most have brought home or helped return only a token few, primarily orphans or young children, in some cases without their mothers.

The UN and donors, including many home countries of the foreign detainees, are providing humanitarian aid to the detainees and others in northeast Syria. But acute shortages of clean water, food, medicine, and adequate shelter and security persist, say UN experts and others.

The United States military, which leads the US coalition against ISIS, has funded measures to bolster security and ease overcrowding for some of the prisons, according to Chia Kurd, media, and US government reports. However, the measures appear to have done little to bring the prisons in compliance with minimum detention standards. Moreover, neither the US nor other members of the international community, including countries with nationals detained in northeast Syria, have funded any measures to provide the prisoners with due process, Chia Kurd said.

The international coalition against ISIS also reportedly plans to fund construction of additional detention centers for women suspects, as well as a 500-bed “rehabilitation center” for older boys. The United Kingdom, another key coalition member, is reportedly funding a project to double the capacity of one of the prisons, in Hasakah, from 5,000 to 10,000 detainees. UK and US defense officials did not respond to requests for comment in the time provided.   

“Improving horrific prison conditions does not change the fact that indefinite detention without judicial review is unlawful,” Tayler said. “Expanding prisons and locked rehabilitation centers to warehouse hundreds of children who never even chose to live under ISIS is unconscionable.”

The detainees

Backed by a US-led coalition, regional fighters called the Syrian Democratic Forces rounded up tens of thousands of ISIS suspects and family members during the fall of Baghouz, then the last ISIS stand in Syria, during a weeks-long battle that ended March 23, 2019. The Syrian Democratic Forces are still holding nearly 63,400 of the family members, nearly all of them women and children, in two locked, heavily guarded, open-air camps encircled by barbed wire. Roughly 20,000 are from Syria, 31,000 from neighboring Iraq, and nearly 12,000 others – 8,000 children and 4,000 women – are from almost 60 other countries. Conditions for the non-Iraqi foreigners, who are kept in special annexes, are particularly dire.

The Syrian Democratic Forces are also holding about 10,000 men as well as at least 700 boys of all nationalities, most ages 14 to 17 in 14, overcrowded, makeshift prisons for ISIS suspects, Chia Kurd said. Prison conditions “do not meet minimum standards,” he said, blaming scarce international aid for the abusive conditions. Human Rights Watch in 2019 and 2020 documented the inhumane conditions in some of these prisons.

Camp Conditions

In al-Hol and Roj, the locked camps for family members, more than 90 percent of children are under age 12 and more than half under 5, aid groups say. Syrians and Iraqis in the camps have relative freedom, including the ability to leave and return to the camps. During multiple visits to the two camps from 2017 to 2019, Human Rights Watch documented conditions in the foreigners’ annexes that amounted to cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment. Combined with the indefinite and arbitrary nature of detention, these conditions may also amount to torture when they deliberately inflict serious physical or mental harm on a detainee. Since then, detainees, family members, civil society representatives, and aid workers told Human Rights Watch, conditions have deteriorated further along with detainees’ despair.

“You can feel that people are giving up on the outside world, they are so desperate you meet a wall of hopelessness,” said Natascha Rée Mikkelsen, founder of Repatriate the Children-Denmark, who has visited the camps several times, including in February. “And the young children, some of them have diarrhea all the time and they are so skinny and so small. They just have this look like they are locked up. They have nothing to do and they know nothing about their future.”

Detainees and others interviewed by Human Rights Watch complained of contaminated water, overflowing latrines, shortages of fresh food and diapers, tents leaking or catching fire, rampant disease, insufficient medical care, and almost no schooling for children or counseling for a severely traumatized population.

While conditions are somewhat better in Roj than in the larger camp, al-Hol, detainees and family members described harsh conditions there as well. Three relatives, a civil society member and two detainees said noxious fumes from adjacent oil fields were causing asthma, deep coughs, and lung inflammations. One mother texted of being terrified by the lack of medicine for her child, by guards threatening to cut detainees’ clothes if they were not “short and colorful,” and of the desert winds that flipped over her tent at night:

Honestly I have ptsd [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] from the camps more than IS territory (even though I am traumatized from that lifestyle). … I would hold my daughter tight and stay alert all night watching the tent as it was about to collapse onto us at any moment. And it did actually happen many times.

In mid-March, said a Western European man whose grandchildren are in the camps, a small group of children no older than 6 crossed an internal camp fence to pick dandelions just on the other side. “The camp guards saw them, caught them, and beat them severely,” he said. “The children didn’t decide to be there, they don’t deserve to live like this in such terrible conditions.”

Two relatives described detainees waiting hours to access a shared phone that they could only use for seconds. Communication in one section for foreigners in Roj is limited to messages of less than a minute every 8 to 10 days, compounding detainees’ isolation, one relative said.

Life-Threatening Conditions

According to humanitarian groups and the UN Office of Counterterrorism, more than 700 detainees in al-Hol and Roj – at least half of them children – have died in the past two years. Several were killed by detainees in al-Hol who remain loyal to ISIS, while others died in crossfire between guards and detainees or from lack of medical care, unsanitary conditions, and accidents such as tent fires.

At least 29 people were killed in al-Hol camp alone in January and February 2021 including seven children. “The people who work there feel more and more scared of the situation, as if they have no control,” Mikkelsen said. “You have the feeling that any time you could be killed.”

In text messages relayed to Human Rights Watch, one woman in Roj described a fire breaking out in a tent housing two children whom guards left in the camp while jailing their mother for having a cellphone. The woman said it was one of three fires in Roj so far in 2021:

The 5 year old boy put the tent on fire and his 7 year old sister took him out from the burning tent. Two tent burned that day, it was terrible day cuz it took very long time to put the fire [out] since many fire extinguisher didn’t work and we didn’t know if there was more ppl trapped in the fire.

In February, 10 Frenchwomen in the camps went on a hunger strike to publicize their demand to stand trial at home. That same month, Pascale Descamps, a Frenchwoman whose 32-year-old daughter and four young grandchildren are held in Roj, began her own hunger strike to press the government to let her daughter leave to receive medical treatment for advanced colon cancer. Doctors in northeast Syria told her daughter that she needed “urgent” treatment but that the operation would be high-risk if performed locally, Descamps told Human Rights Watch. In December, the UN Committee Against Torture called on France to repatriate Descamps’ daughter for medical care but she remains in Roj. Descamps said that in intermittent audio messages, her daughter sounded desperate:

Every time my daughter talks to me, she starts crying. She tells me that she is getting worse, bleeding a lot, and getting weaker. She is like an animal in her tent, dying in front of her children. … I am not exonerating my daughter, but she has the right to a fair trial and to receive proper medical care given the seriousness of her health condition … I am also fighting for my grandchildren not to have to go through all this any longer. It is a stake in the heart to know that they see their mother so ill and to imagine that she could die there when France could repatriate her and her children. It’s like they have no rights anymore.”

Covid-19 is another threat. As of February 16, the UN had reported 8,537 cases of the virus in northeast Syria, but humanitarians warn that rates are vastly under-counted because of insufficient staff and supplies for extensive testing. At least 13 cases of Covid-19 had been reported in al-Hol and Roj as of December 2020. A greater outbreak could disproportionately harm camp and prison detainees as most are malnourished with severely limited access to medical services.

Detainees began receiving monthly handouts of masks and gloves in mid-2020 but they have to reuse them several times because of shortages, two women in Roj said.

Inhuman Prison Conditions

Despite some improvements, only one of the 14 makeshift prisons for male ISIS suspects is fit for the purpose, said a June 2020 US military report. The 10,000 men, most Syrian and Iraqi and 2,000 from other countries, are jammed into severely overcrowded cells with open latrines and poor ventilation. The prisons lack essential services including adequate medical care for festering wounds and infectious diseases including tuberculosis. Up to several hundred men have died in the prisons including one from Germany and another from the UK.

The 700 or more boys in the prisons are held separately from the men. About 400 are Syrian, 200 are Iraqi, and the rest come from several other countries, Chia Kurd said. The boys have access to outdoor courtyards, but have little access to education, recreation, and other essential services, he said.

Three well-informed sources speaking on condition of anonymity said that many of the boys in the prisons were taken from the camps where they lived with their mothers and siblings when they reached mid-adolescence and that some were as young as 12. Imprisoned Syrian boys can visit with families, but imprisoned foreign boys are not allowed visits with their mothers and siblings in the camps, Chia Kurd said. Between 100 and 110 more boys are living in a locked rehabilitation center. Services there, too, are “insufficient” due to a lack of aid, Chia Kurd said. The Autonomous Administration would like to transfer the boys in prisons to additional rehabilitation centers if foreign governments will build them, he said.

Chia Kurd said some of the boys were taken from the camps for families and elsewhere “for committing acts of violence” or for ISIS ideology, although Human Rights Watch received reports from local family support groups that at least some of the boys were taken simply because they had reached adolescence. UK-based Rights and Security International in 2020 reported that Syrian Democratic Forces forcibly disappeared dozens of boys from the camps.

The Kurdish-led coalition had prosecuted about 8,000 Syrians suspected of membership in ISIS and other armed groups in People’s Defense Courts as of early 2021, with about 4,000 more awaiting local prosecutions. The trials have been piecemeal with due process gaps and the Autonomous Administration has sought assistance from foreign governments to bring them in line with international standards. For two years, the Autonomous Administration has asked foreign governments to help it create a hybrid or international court to prosecute the detainees, Chia Kurd said. At times the regional authorities have proposed internationally supported local courts. But “the international community has not been cooperative with us,” he said.

Humanitarian Access

Medical and other supplies are scarce in the camps and prisons, in part because of difficulties aid workers face in gaining access to the region. Russia has since January 2020 used and threatened its veto power at the UN Security Council to force the closure of three of the four vital border crossings into Syria that UN agencies had used to transport medicine and other aid into the country. Turkey and Turkish-backed forces have also repeatedly cut off water supplies to Autonomous Administration-held areas of northeast Syria, including al-Hol camp.

Representatives of four aid organizations said that these factors combined with mounting insecurity have forced many humanitarian organizations to suspend or scale back operations in northeast Syria.

Scant Repatriations

Despite the deplorable conditions, only 25 of nearly 60 home counties have repatriated any of their nationals from northeast Syria, and repatriation operations fell from 29 in 2019 to 17 in 2020 and 3 in the first 10 weeks of 2021, according to Save the Children and Human Rights Watch tallies. KazakhstanKosovoRussiaand Uzbekistan have together brought home more than 1,200 of their citizens, about 85 percent of all returns. Repatriations by Western countries remain piecemeal. The UKAustralia, and Denmark have stripped citizenship of some nationals detained in northeast Syria, in some cases even when the revocation may leave them stateless.

A few countries, including Germany and Finland, have brought home some mothers with children. But others including Canada, the UK, and France have repatriated one or more children without their mothers and others, such as Sweden and Belgium, plan to do so. Systematic returns of children without their parents flout the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that countries should uphold the principle of family unity absent a professional assessment that separation “is necessary for the best interests of the child.” While governments obtain mothers’ written consent to take their children without them, Human Right Watch questions whether consent can be informed and voluntary for women indefinitely detained inside locked camps with no access to redress or counsel.

“If I had to choose again, I don’t know if I would have done it,” a Canadian mother in Roj said of her anguished decision to allow Canada to repatriate her 4-year-old daughter without her in March. “It’s the hardest sacrifice for a mother to make.”

Many governments contend that repatriations pose too much of a security risk. While governments have an obligation to keep people safe, security concerns do not obviate their parallel duty to uphold human rights, Human Rights Watch said. Moreover, as even the US-led coalition against ISIS argues, abandoning these detainees to indefinite confinement in dire conditions may pose a greater risk than bringing them home.

Men imprisoned as ISIS suspects in northeast Syria have repeatedly rioted and more than 100 have escaped to whereabouts unknown. With no way to leave legally, women are regularly paying traffickers to smuggle them and their children out of the locked camps, placing them at risk of being trafficked into forced labor and sexual exploitation, among other abuses, or of rejoining ISIS. Shunned by home countries, children may be vulnerable to recruitment by ISIS hardliners in the prisons and camps.

In contrast, repatriations or third-country transfers allow governments to conduct individual assessments of each returnee, monitor them as appropriate, and hold to account those who have committed serious international human rights crimes, a critical step in redress for thousands of ISIS victims.

Repatriations of the foreigners may also improve conditions for the Syrian ISIS suspects and family members whom the local authorities are also detaining in the camps and prisons. The Autonomous Administration has allowed more than 9,100 Syrians to return to their communities since 2019, including more than 2,600 under an amnesty it announced in October 2020, but thousands of others remain. As with the foreign detainees, the local authorities should release any Syrians held in degrading or inhuman conditions or without due process, and improve conditions for those who may not be able to return home because of risks that their communities may reject them or fears of returning to areas held by the government.

In January, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called repatriations by home countries, particularly of children, “an urgent and strategic counter-terrorism imperative.” The European Parliament and UNICEF have also called on member states to repatriate all children, taking into account the best interests of the child. The UN human rights commissioner, the UN counterterrorism chief, and 22 UN specialized human rights experts have called on home countries to repatriate their nationals as well. The 22 UN human rights experts noted that the “violence, exploitation, abuse and deprivation” suffered by foreign detainees in northeast Syria have resulted in deaths and in and of themselves “may well amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international law,” with no effective remedy.

International Legal Standards

Countries have a responsibility to take steps to protect their citizens when they face serious human rights violations, including loss of life and torture. This obligation can extend to nationals in foreign countries when reasonable action by their home governments’ actions can protect them from such harm. International human rights law also provides that everyone has the right to a nationality. Governments have an international legal obligation to provide access to nationality for all children born abroad to one of their nationals who would otherwise be stateless, as soon as possible. All individuals have the rights to adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, and mental and physical health, and fair trials. All children have the right to education.

Detaining people in conditions that amount to inhuman or degrading treatment is strictly prohibited under human rights law.

The Autonomous Administration’s indefinite detention of these foreigners without due process, including their right to appear before a judge to review the legality and necessity of their confinement, is arbitrary and unlawful. The detention of ISIS suspects’ family members, particularly the children but also women who are not being investigated for any crimes, also amounts to guilt by association and collective punishment, prohibited under international law.

The arbitrary detention and lack of reintegration support for these children violates international principles for children associated with armed groups, who are to be viewed primarily as victims. UN Security Council Resolution 2396 of 2017, which is binding on all member states, emphasizes the importance of assisting women and children associated with groups such as ISIS who may themselves be victims of terrorism, including through rehabilitation and reintegration.

Resolution 2396 also calls on member states to investigate and prosecute suspects for involvement with foreign terrorist groups if appropriate. Given the absence of any fair trial proceedings for foreigners detained in northeast Syria, investigations by home countries remain the only viable option at this time to provide redress to victims for any serious crimes these detainees may have committed.

Countries with Citizens Detained in Northeast Syria

Citizens of at least 58 countries are reported to be detained in camps and prisons in northeast Syria: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Maldives, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.


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A Royal Daughter for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!/Lady Lilibet Diana, welcome to the world!


Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan pose with their newborn son during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 .https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/2019/05/08/royal-baby-photos-meghan-markle-prince-harry-pose-newborn/1120765001/

Image result for royal baby/prince harry and Meghan Markle/Images
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Image result for royal baby/prince harry and Meghan Markle/Images
Image result for royal baby/prince harry and Meghan Markle/Images

The Royal Family@RoyalFamilyCongratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana! The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news. Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild.9:00 PM · Jun 6, 2021·Twitter for iPhone3,275 Retweets511 Quote Tweets36.7K Like


Image result for Cheddar man/Images


”“It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA.

She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home. 

Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.

This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.” [1]

This was the official Statement of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, the happy parents of now a son [ Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor] and a daughter [Lilibet Diana  Mountbatten-Windsor ] [2]

As at the birth of their son, Lord Archie [3], I add my congratulations to the happy parents!

Also to the Royal Girl’s uncle and aunt, the Duke and Duchess ofCambridge [Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William andhis wife, Kate Middleton], paternal grandfather Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Prince Harry’s stephmother, her maternal grandparents Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle.And of course her great grandmother, Queen Elisabeth and alas for him, her husband, paternal great grandfather Prince Philip didn’t live long enough to see this day….[4]
Of course the Duke and Duchess of Sussex received congratulationsfrom the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William [5]

After the birth of Lady Lilibet’s brother, Lord Archie, I remarked jokingly, that it would be nice if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex became parents of a daughter, who would

be named after Queen Elisabeth and so nice that they did indeed! 

But the most of all I appreciate that the Royal Couple named their daughter after Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana,

who died so tragically and made such a great contribution to

the fight against landmines [6], which remains greatly


Beautiful to honour her on this way, to name her granddaughter,

whom she regrettably never saw, after her.

Astrid Essed




“It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA.

She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.

Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.

This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.”


“On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”




””It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” the statement said.”Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital,” it said, adding that the new arrival weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces (3.49 kilos) and that “both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.””Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” the statement added.”

(CNN)Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a daughter, the second child for her and Prince Harry, the couple announced in a statement on Sunday.”It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” the statement said.”Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital,” it said, adding that the new arrival weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces (3.49 kilos) and that “both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.””Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” the statement added.Baby Lili is a sister for the couple’s 2-year-old son, Archie Harrison.Harry, Meghan and their baby son, Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019.In a message on their Archewell foundation website, Meghan and Harry said they had been “blessed” by their daughter’s arrival.”She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”Buckingham Palace released a statement Sunday on the baby girl’s birth.”The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” it read.The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted their congratulations.The US Embassy in London also congratulated the Sussexes, noting the news comes just in time for Father’s Day.

‘Feeling of joy’

Harry and Meghan revealed they were expecting a girl during their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, broadcast in March.The newborn is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild. She is eighth in line to the throne behind her grandfather Charles, uncle William, his three children (George, Charlotte and Louis), her father Harry, and big brother Archie.Her birth in the United States makes her the most senior royal in the line of succession to have been born overseas.It also makes her a dual US-UK citizen, meaning that the youngest Sussex could potentially go on to become US President when she grows up — while also being in line to the British throne.Meghan and Harry kept the pregnancy as private as possible, speaking just a handful of times about their daughter’s impending arrival.One of those occasions was for a pre-recorded message from Meghan for the recent Vax Live concert in May, which she and Harry co-chaired.”My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter — it’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world,” the Duchess told the audience at the event, intended to promote Covid-19 vaccine equity and gender equality.”When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward,” she said. “Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make, and the actions we take now to set them up, and set all of us up, for a successful, equitable, and compassionate tomorrow.”

Pregnancy announcement

The royal couple announced back in February they were expecting an addition to their family, sharing a black-and-white snap of them gazing at each other, while Meghan cradled her baby bump.The photo was shot by Misan Harriman, a Nigerian-born British photographer and friend of the couple, who took the picture remotely from his London residence.The timing of their Valentine’s Day announcement likely held special significance for the couple, coming almost exactly 37 years to the day after Prince Charles and Princess Diana revealed that they were expecting their second child: Prince Harry.

Meghan and Harry are expecting a second child

Meghan and Harry are expecting a second childMeghan disclosed in an opinion piece for The New York Times that she suffered a miscarriage last summer.Their newborn daughter is entitled to be a Lady from birth, but will likely not use the title.When Archie Harrison was born in 2019, the Duke and Duchess opted to forgo titles and indicated they would not use his father’s second peerage title, the Earl of Dumbarton.Neither of the Sussex children is currently eligible to use HRH titles, following the rules set out by George V in the 1917 Letters Patent. However, this will change when their grandfather Charles ascends to the throne.As for the question of whether Archie and his baby sister will be joined by more siblings in the future, that doesn’t seem to be on the cards right now.Harry revealed that he and his wife are likely to keep their brood limited to “two, maximum” while discussing the Earth’s dwindling resources with activist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall for a special edition of British Vogue last July.Harry and Meghan were married in a lavish wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England, three years ago.They stepped back from their roles as senior working royals last year, relinquishing their HRH titles, and now live in Santa Barbara, California.

The private neighborhood

Harry and Meghan settled into their Santa Barbara home last July, according to August reports from People magazine.”They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family,” a representative for the family told the magazine in August 2020.Richard Mineards, a columnist for Montecito Journal who covered the royals for 45 years, told CNN on Sunday that the area where they live is very “grand … with very large estates” and it does not have issues with paparazzi.”I mean, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, Oscar winner Kevin Costner (and) George Lucas live just down the road,” Mineards said. “We are a celebrity community.”The community also has “very wealthy people” such as tech billionaires, he said. “You name it, we have it,” he said.











9 APRIL 2021


Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

A statement issued by the palace just after midday spoke of the Queen’s “deep sorrow” following his death at Windsor Castle on Friday morning.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, was at the Queen’s side for more than her six decades of reign.

Boris Johnson said he “inspired the lives of countless young people”.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband,” the Palace said.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

It is understood that the Prince of Wales travelled from his home in Gloucestershire to visit his mother at Windsor Castle on Friday afternoon.

Speaking at Downing Street, the prime minister said that the duke had “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world”.

Meanwhile, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said he “consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service”.

In tribute to the duke, Westminster Abbey began tolling its tenor bell once every 60 seconds at 18:00 BST. It rang out 99 times to honour each year of his life.

Earlier, the flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and a notice was posted on the gates to mark the duke’s death.

People placed floral tributes outside the palace, while hundreds visited Windsor Castle to pay their respects.

However, the government urged the public not to gather or leave tributes at royal residences amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family has asked people to consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving flowers in memory of the duke, and an online book of condolence has been launched on the official royal website for those who wish to send messages.

A message on the website of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s non-profit organisation Archewell paid tribute to the “loving memory” of the Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “Thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.”

From midday on Saturday, a 41-gun salute will take place for Prince Philip in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as in Gibraltar and at sea from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence said. They will be broadcast online and on television for the public to watch from home.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was “a moment of sadness” for the country and “most particularly, for the Queen losing her husband of 73 years – a bigger span of years than most of us can imagine”.

He said Prince Philip had made “a huge contribution to the success of the Queen’s reign”, describing the duke as “utterly loyal in his belief in the importance of the role that the Queen was fulfilling – and in his duty to support her”.

“It was the importance of the solidity of that relationship, of their marriage, that was so crucial to the success of her reign,” he added.

A bank of photographers and cameramen were lined up around the growing number of tributes at Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon, said BBC News reporter Marie Jackson.

Rhea Varma, from Pimlico, pulled up to the gates on her bike to lay flowers and a note saying Rest in Peace Duke.

She said the news was “super sad”. To her, the duke was “the kind of stability that’s so old-fashioned it’s difficult to comprehend. He was a rock who brought integrity.”

Adam Wharton-Ward, 36, also arrived to leave lilies by the palace gates. He is visiting London from his home in France but was so moved by the news, he wanted to “rally round” for the Queen’s sake.

“It’s so sad. He’s been with her for 73 years. If it wasn’t for him who knows if she would have got through it,” he said.

The duke’s appeal, he added, was that he was “almost normal with his gaffes”.

“Now that normality has gone,” he said.

The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

In March, the duke left King Edward VII’s hospital in central London after a month-long stay for treatment.

He was admitted on 16 February after feeling unwell, and later underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.






Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth is now a great-grandmother to eleven! With the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s new daughter, the Queen added yet another little one to her royal brood.

The Queen has not been able to meet little Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor yet, as she was born in California. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now living in Montecito with their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and their new baby girl. The pandemic has made international travel difficult and, given the Queen’s age and schedule, she probably will not head to California soon. However, despite the distance, the monarch shared a sweet public message welcoming the new baby, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.

The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Royal Family’s social media channels also shared a note about the new baby, along with a photo from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day.This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Lilibet, whose name is a tribute to both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m weighing in at a healthy 7 lbs 11 oz. Her parents and older brother were all happy to welcome the little royal to their family. According to the statement, grandparents Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are also “delighted” about the newest addition to their brood.

Aside from Archie, the Queen’s other great-grandchildren include Prince William and Kate’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, who are the third, fourth, and fifth in line for the throne, respectively. There are also Peter Phillips’ two children, Savannah and Isla, and Zara Phillips’ kids, Mia, Lena, and Lucas. Princess Eugenie also recently welcomed her son, August Brooksbank, to the ever-growing British royal family.


A tweet posted on the Kensington Royal official account read: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge have reportedly sent a gift to Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex for their new daughter Lilibet.

According to Us Weekly, the pair were “informed about the birth and have sent Lilibet a gift,” and later offered their congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after it was confirmed that in their second child was born in Santa Barbara on June 4.

The Duke and Duchess admitted they were “delighted” to hear the news that Harry and Meghan have become parents to a little girl, whose full name is Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

A tweet posted on the Kensington Royal official account read: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”

While the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall shared on their page: “Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana. Wishing them all well at this special time.”

Buckingham Palace officials also issued a statement to reveal the Royal Family were thrilled to hear about the baby’s arrival.

The statement released by the family read: “The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

The couple’s happy news was confirmed on Sunday by their spokesperson.

They said in a statement: “It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.”



The Royal Family@RoyalFamilyCongratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana! The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news. Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall@ClarenceHouse·Jun 6Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana �� Wishing them all well at this special time

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge@KensingtonRoyal·Jun 6We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.




The tour across southern Africa begun Monday by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; and their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, will surely be as modern as they are — but Prince Harry’s plan for Thursday and Friday has also echoed the past. Harry is honoring Princess Diana’s advocacy against landmines in Angola by making a trip very similar to the one his mother made in January of 1997, when she walked across a minefield in Huambo in central Angola.

The photographs of Princess Diana wearing protective clothing and equipment, as well as her meeting landmine survivors, raised the profile of the work being done to clear landmines around the world. Her untimely death in August 1997 came only a few months before the United Nations Mine Ban Treaty — a legally binding prohibition on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of landmines — was opened for signature. Since then, 164 countries have become parties to the agreement, which is informally known as the Ottawa Treaty.

Here’s what to know about Princess Diana’s work on landmines, why it was so significant and how Prince Harry is continuing her legacy.

Why Princess Diana walked across a minefield

At the time of Princess Diana’s visit to Angola in January 1997, Prince William and Prince Harry were 14 and 12 years old, and her divorce from Prince Charles had been finalized the previous year. She was already known for her other charitable endeavors, such as her role in the 1987 opening of the U.K.’s first HIV/AIDS unit in London, which was designed specifically to treat patients with the virus at a time when it was perceived with much stigma.

Princess Diana brought her signature determination to her campaigning against landmines. She had been involved with the British Red Cross for several years before the charity organized and supported her January 1997 trip to Angola. It was there, in Huambo province, that she came across the work of the HALO Trust, which had been working to clear mines in Angola since 1994 amid the then-ongoing civil war there. (The civil war in Angola, which remains one of the world’s most heavily landmine-contaminated countries, ended in 2002 after more than 25 years of intermittent conflict.)

She met children who were landmine survivors, and she was also escorted by HALO students and mine-clearance experts through a cleared lane in one of the active minefields wearing protective armor and headgear. Images from her trip were immediately circulated across international media and provided a striking portrait of the princess among people in a humanitarian context.

“Diana’s visit is something that people in Huambo still talk about today,” says Ralph Legg, program manager of HALO Trust’s operations in Angola. “For the people that were here at that time, which was obviously still a time of conflict, it led to a feeling of acknowledgement, and that their plight was recognized around the world. The people I’ve spoken to who met Diana on that trip have all said how kind, considerate and how genuinely interested she seemed in them.”

After her visit to Angola, Princess Diana wrote a letter to the British Red Cross saying: “If my visit has contributed in any way at all in highlighting this terrible issue, then my deepest wish will have been fulfilled.”

Angola wasn’t the only country affected by landmines that Diana visited; in early August 1997, she visited victims of mines in Bosnia and again focused the world’s attention on the issue. Zoran Ješić, now 46, remembers her visit well. Ješić stepped on a landmine in 1994, and now lives and works in Bosnia for the organization UDAS, which supports landmine survivors. “It was a very brave decision for her to come here only two years after the war,” he says. “The situation wasn’t so stable, and I had the feeling that Diana decided to use her popularity to help people in states like mine. Her contribution on the international level was enormous.”

The legacy of her advocacy against landmines

Diana’s Angola trip was reported on all over the world, and the legacy of her humanitarian work with landmines remains long-lasting. “At that time, she was probably the most recognizable person in the world, and so the fact that she went and met with landmine survivors was really quite incredible,” says Paul Hannon, Executive Director of Mines Action Canada, the Canadian member of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. “She showed basic humanity to people who don’t normally get that, and I think that was a wake-up call to all of us.”

At the time of her visit at the beginning of 1997, negotiations were ongoing to initiate the Mine Bans Treaty. Diana had vocally appealed for an international ban on landmines during her time in Angola. Yet her efforts sparked criticism from U.K. lawmakers, who called her a “loose cannon” and out of line with government policy on the issue, which took a more cautious approach to negotiations about the use of landmines, which had not yet been banned in the U.K. Despite the controversy, she had a significant impact on the political process that successfully banned landmines.

The exposure she gave the issue on her visit, and her tragic death in August that year, created an added impetus for the treaty process; as TIME reported in September 1997: “[President Bill] Clinton and his wife Hillary had been touched by the Princess of Wales’ poignant visits to young victims of such mines in Bosnia and Angola a few weeks ago. After her death, the [mine bans] treaty being written in Oslo took on the luster of a humanitarian memorial to Diana and her cause.”

“We planned for the treaty signing here in Ottawa, and we would have loved to have had her there,” says Hannon, who volunteered at the signing of the treaty. “She was only involved for a few months, but everyone identifies her with the fight to ban landmines.”

How Prince Harry is continuing Princess Diana’s work

The upcoming visit is not the first time that the Duke of Sussex has visited the projects run by HALO Trust; he went to a minefield in Mozambique in 2010, and previously visited Angola in 2013. During the 10-day trip, Harry will visit other countries in southern Africa, including Malawi and Botswana, where he has connections with several other charities.

Over the past 22 years, several countries have made huge strides on clearing landmines. In 2015, the government in Mozambique declared the country was mine-free after two decades of clearance operations. With the financial support of international donors and the Angolan government, the HALO Trust alone has cleared about 100,000 landmines in the country, and 297 minefields across Huambo province — only one minefield away from the province being declared mine-free. On Friday, Harry detonated a landmine in southern Angola and walked across a minefield in Dirico province, echoing Diana’s 1997 walk in Huambo. However, the minefield area that his mother visited is now home to communities, schools and businesses. “It’s been totally transformed and is unrecognizable today from when she visited in 1997,” says program manager Legg.

However, campaigners are keen to highlight that there is still work to be done. According to the ICBL, some 61 countries and areas around the world are contaminated by landmines and 32 states remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor recorded over 7,200 casualties caused by mines in 2017, and at least two people clearing mines in southwest Bosnia were killed as recently as Aug. 25.

Harry’s visit to Angola, with its focus on landmines, falls two months before a major conference on achieving a mine-free world by 2025 — one of the major ambitions of the Mine Ban Treaty and a cause that the Duke has spoken about in the past. “I’m hoping that Harry provides the same visibility and added momentum from his trip that his mother did, and that he will remind people that this is a human story,” says Hannon. “It’s a success story in progress. I hope he can remind everybody that the job’s not done yet, but it can be finished.”

Landmine survivor Ješić agrees: “In a way, he will continue something that his mother proudly started.”


”Princess Diana took particular interest in the Red Cross’ work overseas, visiting projects in Nepal and Zimbabwe, among others.

Some of Diana’s most notable humanitarian work was around anti-personnel mines.”




Throughout her life, Princess Diana was a dedicated humanitarian who championed causes in the UK and overseas. We look back on her journey with the Red Cross.

Princess Diana was always committed to using her public profile to bring about positive change.

A firm believer in the power of young people, she became patron of the Red Cross Youth in 1983, which gave her an increasingly visible role with the British Red Cross.

In July 1985, Diana visited a Red Cross adventure camp for disabled children at Hindleap Warren, in East Sussex.

Barbara Summerfield, now in her 80s and from Saltdean, was a youth officer at the time and has fond memories of Diana’s visit.

“What went down well, more than anything else, was that Diana was a real person who the children could talk to,” said Barbara.

“They were very excited about her visit. I don’t think they got much sleep the night before. She watched them do their abseiling and other activities.

“They loved showing her what they could do. Some had serious disabilities and Diana was interested in their medical conditions.


Barbara Summerfield, British Red Cross vice president, Sussex

“The children made two lovely birdhouses for Diana to give to William and Harry, but they didn’t finish them in time. When they gave them to Diana, she said: ‘Don’t worry, they [William and Harry] will finish them off.’”

Barbara, who is currently British Red Cross vice president in Sussex, added: “I thought Diana had a lovely calming manner, soothing.

“You know how when you meet a princess you bow and there are the formalities, well the children didn’t seem to worry about that. They spoke to Diana as a normal person, a friend even. And that’s the way she spoke to the children.”

“She was interested in what we did”

Edith Conn is British Red Cross president for Greater Manchester. Edith met the Princess when she visited Manchester in the mid-1980s to see a youth orchestra perform.

“We spoke about the Red Cross Youth and she was interested in what we did,” recalled Edith.

“Then we just chatted about everyday things. The funny thing about it was I said to her: ‘What happens when you go home, do you go to another engagement?’

“She said: ‘Oh no I’m going home to have beans on toast and I’m going to watch EastEnders.’ That has always stuck in my mind!”

Diana later sent Edith a trinket for auction at a Red Cross gala ball.

“It was a real privilege to meet her”

“When she spoke to you she looked directly at you,” continued Edith. “You felt as though she was really very interested in what you did and what you had to say. She was lovely.

“I think I am very lucky to have met her. And to think back … that we chatted about beans on toast!

“It was a real privilege to have met her and this … should be a time to celebrate her life.”

In 1993, Diana became a vice president of the British Red Cross, and two years later she became patron of our 125th Birthday Appeal.

The Princess resigned her positions with the British Red Cross in July 1996, but continued to engage with the organisation until shortly before her death.

Princess Diana in Angola

Princess Diana took particular interest in the Red Cross’ work overseas, visiting projects in Nepal and Zimbabwe, among others.

Some of Diana’s most notable humanitarian work was around anti-personnel mines.

She famously travelled to Angola in January 1997, a trip organised and supported by the British Red Cross.

In 1995, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched its international ‘Landmines must be stopped’ campaign in a bid to bring about the total ban on the use of anti-personnel mines.

Angola was littered with landmines, a deadly legacy from its civil war.

Estimates put the number of landmines in the country between nine and fifteen million. 

Between 1979 and 1996, the ICRC fitted 9,200 amputees with false limbs in Angola, and manufactured 12,800 prostheses in total.

A lasting impact

During her time in Angola, Princess Diana visited active minefields, met local victims of landmine violence and spoke in favour of a ban on anti-personnel mines.

After her visit, she wrote a letter to the British Red Cross saying: “If my visit has contributed in any way at all in highlighting this terrible issue, then my deepest wish will have been fulfilled.”

Diana’s visit to Angola brought unprecedented attention to the landmine issue and sparked international discussion.

The Ottawa Treaty, which placed a ban on anti-personnel mines, was signed by 122 countries in December 1997 – less than a year after Diana’s Angola visit and a few months after her death. Today, 162 UN member states are parties to the treaty.

Dr Helen Durham, director of international law and policy at the ICRC, believes Diana’s visit to Angola highlighted the problems of using anti-personnel landlines to a broader audience.

“The glamour and global appeal of Princess Diana added another layer to the voices of lawyers, humanitarian workers and medical staff who were raising their concerns about weapons that cannot distinguish between children and combatants,” said Durham.

The treaty, also known as the Mine Ban Convention, has undoubtedly saved lives. Twenty years ago, the ICRC estimated that anti-personnel landmines maimed or killed 20,000 people every year.

In 2015, that number had dropped to 6,461 casualties, according to a report from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

However, due to conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen, that figure actually represented a ten-year high of new casualties.

Durham added: “It is wonderful to see the progress today, but sadly we still have a long way to go to ensure that these weapons stop destroying the lives and livelihoods of thousands. Applying the Ottawa Treaty is the first step.”





Reacties uitgeschakeld voor A Royal Daughter for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!/Lady Lilibet Diana, welcome to the world!

Opgeslagen onder Divers

A Chronicle of Israeli prison brutality in Ketzion prison/Letter to the members of the Dutch parliament


Screenshot from video about prison brutality in Ketzion prison, revealed by Haaretz




Dear Readers
Underlying letter I wrote recently to the members of the Dutch parliament about thestructural mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.Here a ghastly example of prisoner mistreatment, revealed by the Israeli newpaperthe Haaretz


Below the English translation of my letter to the Dutch parliament

Astrid Essed



Subject:Israeli  violent conduct against Palestinian prisoners
[This mail has been sent to all your collegue members of parliament, except forthe parties, The Party for Freedom, Forum for Democracy, the Reformed Political Party and JA21, concerning their pro Israel views


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you’ll probably know, I write you regularly about the injustice concerning the Middle Eastern conflict and about other cases, concerning human rights. [1]Often I refer extensively to international law aspects [2] 
However, in this case I try to make it short[er], because the case is simple here:This concerns a shocking case of abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners and I demand you to use your influence, as fae as possible, to stop this!Here and now!
The news reached me about the shocking mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prison Ketziot [3] and the pictures were publicized by the Israeli newspaper the Haaretz in its Hebrew edition. [4]
Mij bereikte het bericht over de schokkende mishandeling van Palestijnsegevangenen in de Israelische gevangenis Ketziot [3] en de beelden daarvan werden gepubliceerd door de Israelische krant de Haaretz in zijnHebreeuwse editie [4]See also the Youtube images! [5]
What you see is obvious.Prisoners are dragged over the ground, thrown in a heap and beaten.What you see is unacceptable!
The case, dating from 2019 [6], revealed by the Haaretz [which I appreciate], was ”investigated”I write ”investigated” with quotation marks, because there was noreal investigation, but it was ”swept under the rug” [7]
In an editorial article The Haaretz writes:

”It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug. [8]
”It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.” [9]
Although this incident in itself is serious enough, itdoes not stand alone.No, this violent behaviour against Palestinian prisonersis structural!Amnesty International writes in its review from 2020 among else:””The Israeli authorities arbitrarily detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity.” [10]
This is a very serious matter!You must act against this, dear members of parliament, because I don’t have to explain to you, that yet apart from the humanity, those violent acts are contrary with the International Treaties! [11]
I expect from you, members of the Parliament, that you stand up againstthis structural violence against Palestinian prisoners, which also includes torture by violence. [12]Use your political power by posing questions in the Parliament and makinga plea for the suspension of the EU Israel Association Agreement, that includes a human rights clausule [13], in case Israel doesn’t listen.
Too long this injustice had its chance and you can’t walk away from it!You swore an Oath or did a promise on the Dutch Constitution, which states in article 90:”The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order.” [14]

I count on your efforts.
Kind greetings
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe Netherlands










22 MAART 2020













””De beelden dateren uit 2019 en zijn naar buiten gebracht door de Israëlische krant Haaretz in zijn Hebreeuwse editie. Ze tonen de mishandeling van een kleine zestig Palestijnse gevangenen door zo’n vijftien gevangenisbewaarders in de C-vleugel van de Ketziot-gevangenis in de Negev/Naqab in Israël.”
[TRANSLATION:The images are from 2019 and have been revealed by the Israeli paperHaaretz in its Hebrew edition. They show the mistreatment of about 60 Palestinian prisoners by about 15 jailers in the C wing ofthe Ketziot prison in the Negev/Naqba in Israel”’



Tientallen gevangenen worden geboeid over de grond gesleurd, op een hoop gegooid en afgeranseld. De zaak verdween in de doofpot, en dat is geen uitzondering.

De beelden dateren uit 2019 en zijn naar buiten gebracht door de Israëlische krant Haaretz in zijn Hebreeuwse editie. Ze tonen de mishandeling van een kleine zestig Palestijnse gevangenen door zo’n vijftien gevangenisbewaarders in de C-vleugel van de Ketziot-gevangenis in de Negev/Naqab in Israël. De gevangenen worden geboeid over de betonnen vloer gesleept, boven op elkaar gegooid, geschopt en met wapenstokken geslagen. Vijftien gevangenen raakten zodanig gewond dat ze in het ziekenhuis belandden. De beelden roepen herinneringen op aan de mishandeling van Iraakse gevangenen door Amerikaanse militairen en CIA-medewerkers in de Abu Ghraib-gevangenis bij Bagdad in 2004.


In zijn redactioneel commentaar schrijft Haaretz dat het geweld kennelijk een wraakactie was voor het neersteken van een bewaarder elders in het gevangeniscomplex – volgens Wikipedia het grootste detentiecentrum van Israël en zelfs ter wereld. De Israel Prison Service maakte destijds bekend dat veiligheidstroepen op de bewuste dag ‘een opstand van gevangenen onder controle hadden gebracht’. Op de beelden is van een opstand echter niets te zien.

De zaak is door de autoriteiten in de doofpot gestopt, schrijft Haaretz. De Prison Service ‘keek de andere kant op’ en de onderzoeksafdeling van de Israëlische politie – de National Prison Investigation Unit – volstond met het ondervragen van één gevangenisbewaarder. Hoewel die toegaf zich schuldig te hebben gemaakt aan ‘onnodig geweld’, werd geen vervolging ingesteld. De zaak werd gesloten onder het mom dat ‘de dader onbekend is’.

De politie ‘veegde de zaak onder het tapijt’, concludeert Haaretz, en ook de openbaar aanklager kwam niet in actie. ‘Het is moeilijk voor te stellen dat het zo zou zijn gelopen als de gevangenen Joden waren geweest’, voegt de krant daaraan toe. In dit geval ging het echter om ‘terroristen en veiligheidsgevangenen die lid waren van Hamas’.

Geen uitzondering, maar regel

Overigens betekent dat niet dat de gevangenen daadwerkelijk lid waren van Hamas en een misdaad op hun geweten hebben. Afgelopen jaar besteedden wij in een brede analyse aandacht aan het oppakken van Palestijnen onder het mom van ‘betrokkenheid bij terrorisme’. Onder die noemer verdwijnen aan de lopende band Palestijnen uit de door Israël bezette gebieden in Israëlische gevangenissen. Het is onderdeel van ‘het intimideren en terroriseren van de bevolking door het Israëlische bezettingsregime’, concludeerden wij.

Daarop wijst vandaag ook de vooraanstaande Israëlische mensenrechtenorganisatie B’Tselem. In een persbericht schrijft het dat het ‘witwassen’ van de zaak door de autoriteiten geen uitzondering is, maar regel: de Israëlische overheersing van de Palestijnen is gebaseerd op geweld en het witwassen daarvan. De nu naar buiten gekomen zaak onderstreept volgens B’Tselem het belang van onderzoek en vervolging door internationale gerechtshoven als het Internationaal Gerechtshof en het Internationaal Strafhof in Den Haag:

Het Israëlische apartheidsregime is gebaseerd op constant, georganiseerd geweld tegen Palestijnen. Dat geweld is cruciaal voor zijn voortbestaan. Daarom is het regime noch bereid, noch in staat om degenen die het geweld plannen en uitvoeren te onderzoeken, laat staan te vervolgen. […] De zaak bewijst eens te meer dat Palestijnse slachtoffers van geweld van Israëlische veiligheidstroepen binnen het bestaande Israëlische systeem geen gerechtigheid kunnen krijgen, en alleen kunnen hopen op behandeling van hun zaken door internationale gerechtshoven.

Mishandeling schering en inslag

Het mishandelen en martelen van Palestijnse ‘verdachten’ en ‘veiligheidsgevangenen’ is in Israëlische ondervragings- en detentiecentra schering en inslag. Het Israëlische Hooggerechtshof staat echter ‘speciale ondervragings­methoden’ toe als er sprake is van ‘bijzondere veiligheidsrisico’s’, en die bepaling biedt politiediensten, de Prison Service en de veiligheidsdienst Shin Bet een vrijbrief om verdachten te mishandelen zonder dat er een haan naar kraait. Het Israëlische Comité tegen Marteling (PCATI) diende tussen 2001 en 2020 circa 1300 officiële klachten wegens marteling door de Shin Bet in. Dat leidde in slechts één geval tot strafrechtelijk onderzoek, dat uitliep op seponering.

Het martelen van gevangenen is onder internationaal recht en de Universele Verklaring van de Rechten van de Mens strikt verboden en geldt in het oprichtingsverdrag van het Internationaal Strafhof – het Statuut van Rome – als een oorlogsmisdaad. Eerder dit jaar maanden zeven mensenrechtenexperts van de VN Israël zich aan het internationaal recht te houden en rigoureus een eind te maken aan de verboden praktijken. De autoriteiten dienen alle wetten, voorschriften, beleidslijnen en praktijken die zulke misdaden mogelijk maken met spoed te herzien. Staten zijn verplicht marteling en mishandeling te voorkomen en, in het geval zulk wangedrag toch plaatsvindt, te bestraffen. Slachtoffers dienen gerehabiliteerd en gecompenseerd te worden.



”This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.”




The shocking video from Wing 3 of Ketziot Prison should have set off an earthquake in the Israel Prison Service, police and the State Prosecutor’s Office: Scores of Arab security prisoners were forcibly thrown down onto a concrete floor, sometimes on top of each other, as guards passed between them for long minutes, beating them with batons and kicking them randomly, without any resistance from their victims (as Josh Breiner reported Thursday).

The unrestrained violence is believed to have been carried out in revenge for the stabbing of a guard shortly beforehand near the wing. The guards’ act of revenge, which left 15 prisoners injured, was described by the Prison Service as “gaining control over a riot.” But the evidence clearly shows there was no riot, just the abuse of prisoners. The evidence was an open secret in the Prison Service: Top officials had viewed the video and knew exactly what occurred but acted as if nothing happened. The Prison Service knew that Ketziot’s officers turned a blind eye while at least 10 guards brutally beat the bound prisoners.

It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.

It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.

Now, when the evidence has been revealed to the public, the affair can no longer remain behind prison walls. The state prosecutor must immediately order a thorough investigation that includes all the guards alleged to have been involved, and bring indictments. Any other outcome will only prove that from the state’s viewpoint, security prisoners don’t deserve to be treated like human beings.

The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.


”It wasn’t only the Prison Service that looked the other way. In the Israel Police, Lahav 433’s National Prison Investigation Unit did as little as possible to probe the affair: Only one guard was questioned and even though he admitted that he had engaged in gratuitous violence, it wasn’t enough for the police or prosecutors to proceed with an indictment. This was a negligent investigation – with no real effort to identify the guards and no police lineup – which proves that even when such an unusual case of abuse has been fully documented, the police still prefer to sweep it under the rug.”



”It’s hard to believe that the investigation would have ended this way if the prisoners had been Jews. But in this case, the victims were Palestinian terrorists and security prisoners belonging to Hamas. Therefore, not only was the case closed on the grounds that “the offender is not known,” but the warden on duty at the time, General Avichai Ben-Hamo, was promoted to the rank of major general. The other guards allegedly involved in the incident remain at their jobs.”








Israel continued to impose institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians living under its rule in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It displaced hundreds of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as a result of home demolitions and imposition of other coercive measures. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force during law enforcement activities in Israel and the OPT. Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinians, including nine children, in the OPT; many were unlawfully killed while posing no imminent threat to life. Israel maintained its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, subjecting its residents to collective punishment and deepening the humanitarian crisis there. It also continued to restrict freedom of movement of Palestinians in the OPT through checkpoints and roadblocks. The Israeli authorities arbitrarily detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity. The authorities used a range of measures to target human rights defenders, journalists and others who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syrian Golan Heights. Violence against women persisted, especially against Palestinian citizens of Israel. The authorities denied asylum-seekers access to a fair or prompt refugee status determination process. Conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned.


Israel held parliamentary elections in March, the third in just over a year. In May, the two largest parties in the Knesset, Likud and the Blue and White alliance, reached a power-sharing agreement that included an announcement that Israel would further annex territories in the occupied West Bank starting in July 2020. This followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement of his “deal of the century”, which included a formal extension of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank in exchange for land currently inside Israel. Israel postponed the annexation plans following diplomatic deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September. The parliament was again dissolved in December, triggering another round of elections in three months’ time.

Israel imposed lockdown measures in March and in September to contain the spread of COVID-19, triggering waves of protests calling on the Prime Minister to step down. The measures allowed the Israel Security Agency (ISA) to use surveillance capabilities usually reserved for Palestinians to trace COVID-19 infections. The Prime Minister’s trial on corruption charges began in May.

In February, the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad fired around 80 rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, causing minor injuries to over 20 people, after Israeli forces killed an Islamic Jihad operative. The Israeli army carried out multiple airstrikes in Gaza, injuring 12 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

In August and September, Israel launched artillery and airstrikes against Gaza in retaliation for incendiary balloons and kites launched from Gaza into Israel. Palestinian armed groups launched indiscriminate rockets into Israel in response.

In August, Israel launched airstrikes against Hizbullah targets in Lebanon after it said that shots were fired from Lebanon into Israel. Israel also launched airstrikes against Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria.

In July, a district court rejected a case to force the Ministry of Defense to revoke the export licence of spyware company NSO Group, dealing a blow to victims of unlawful and targeted international surveillance.

Forcible transfers, forced evictions and demolitions

Israel demolished 848 Palestinian residential and livelihood structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 996 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Israeli authorities said many of the demolished buildings lacked Israeli-issued permits, which are virtually impossible for Palestinians to obtain, or were in closed military zones. The law of occupation prohibits such destruction unless necessary for military operations.

In other cases, Israel confiscated residential and livelihood structures, including some that were donated for humanitarian purposes. Israeli forces also punitively demolished at least six Palestinian homes, leaving 22 people, including seven children, homeless, according to B’Tselem. Punitive demolitions constitute collective punishment and are prohibited under international law.

On 5 March, Israeli forces demolished the homes of Walid Hanatsheh, in Ramallah, and Yazan Mughamis, in Birzeit, displacing six Palestinians, after an Israeli court rejected a petition by the families against the punitive demolition. On 11 March, Israeli forces punitively demolished the home of Qassam Barghouti in Kobar village near Ramallah. The three men are in prison in Israel for alleged involvement in an attack in August 2019 that killed an Israeli civilian and injured two others outside Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settler organizations initiated, with the support of the Israeli authorities, forcible evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.

OCHA estimated in December that around 200 Palestinian households in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, had eviction cases pending against them, placing 800 adults and children at risk of displacement.

Israeli authorities demolished at least 29 residential and livelihood structures that belonged to Bedouin citizens living in “unrecognized” villages in the Negev/Naqab, according to the Negev Coexistence Forum, an Israeli NGO.


Israel continued to discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in areas of planning, budget allocation, policing and political participation. According to the Adalah-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel maintains over 65 laws that discriminate against Palestinians.

Local Palestinian councils in Israel went on strike to protest against discrimination in the distribution of the state budget for local councils. The vast majority of Palestinians in Israel, comprising over 20% of the total population, live in around 139 towns and villages. They received only 1.7% of the state budget for local councils.

In August, Adalah and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of 10 local Palestinian councils and dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel against government policy discriminating against these communities in the distribution of housing, construction and land development benefits compared to neighbouring Jewish communities that enjoy higher socio-economic status and have access to such benefits.

Israel continued to deny Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza married to Palestinian citizens of Israel the right to nationality by enforcing the discriminatory Entry to Israel Law.

In December, the magistrate court in Krayot, near Haifa, rejected a petition for access to education by Palestinian citizens of Israel living in Karmiel, citing the discriminatory Nation State Law. The decision said that establishing an Arabic school in the town or funding transport for its Palestinian residents to study in Arabic schools in nearby communities would undermine the town’s “Jewish character”.

In December, the Israeli Health Ministry began the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that excluded the nearly 5 million Palestinians who live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Unlawful killings and excessive use of force

Israeli military and police used unnecessary and excessive force during law enforcement activities, including search and arrest operations, and when policing demonstrations.

Military and security forces killed at least 31 Palestinians, including nine children, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, according to OCHA. Many were unlawfully killed by live ammunition or other excessive force when posing no imminent threat to life. Some of the unlawful killings appeared to be wilful, which would constitute war crimes.

Israeli forces frequently used excessive force against protesters in Kufr Qadum who continued weekly protests against settlements and settlement expansion. According to OCHA, 214 protesters and bystanders were injured during the year.

On 15 February, Israeli forces shot and injured in the eye nine-year-old Malek Issa while he was returning home from school in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya. No clashes were recorded at the time, according to OCHA. Israeli forces were maintaining a violent and intense police operation in Issawiya as a form of collective punishment.

Israeli forces frequently opened fire on fishermen and farmers in Gaza. According to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 12 fishermen and five farmers were injured.

Freedom of movement

For the 13th consecutive year, Israel continued its illegal air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the area, which continued to have a devastating impact on the human rights of Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants. Israel stopped the entry of construction materials and fuel into Gaza repeatedly. This shut down the only power plant in Gaza, leading to a further reduction in the supply of electricity, which had already been available for only about four hours a day. Israel also imposed a full maritime closure and repeatedly limited entry of goods to food and medicine only. The measures amounted to collective punishment at a time of increasing COVID-19 infections in Gaza.

On 2 February, following an exchange of attacks between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups, Israel cancelled the permits of 500 traders from Gaza that enable their holders to travel to Israel and the West Bank for business. The permits were reactivated on 18 February.

On 18 June, Omar Yaghi, a baby with a cardiac condition, died in Gaza after Israel denied the family a permit to enter Israel for a scheduled operation on 24 May at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan city.

In the West Bank, at least 593 Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks continued to heavily restrict the movement of Palestinians and access to rights, including health, education and work. Holders of Palestinian identification cards faced an ongoing bar on using roads built for Israeli settlers.

Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement continued to impede Palestinians’ access to health care, posing further threats to vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of access to hospitals and specialized clinics during the pandemic particularly affected Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Kufr Aqab and Shu’fat Refugee Camp, which are segregated from the rest of the city by military structures, including checkpoints, and the fence/wall.

Arbitrary detention

Israeli authorities conducted hundreds of raids throughout the West Bank to arrest Palestinians, usually at their homes at night. Those arrested were detained in prisons in Israel, along with thousands of other Palestinians from the OPT arrested in previous years. This violated international humanitarian law, which prohibits the transfer of detainees into the territory of the occupying power.

Israeli authorities used renewable administrative detention orders to hold Palestinians without charge or trial. Some 4,300 Palestinians from the OPT, including 397 administrative detainees, were held in Israeli prisons as of December, according to the Israel Prison Service. Many families of Palestinian detainees in Israel, particularly those living in Gaza, were not permitted entry to Israel to visit their relatives.

On 16 July, Israeli forces arrested Iyad Barghouti, an astrophysicist and professor at Jerusalem’s Al-Quds University, at a checkpoint near Jerusalem and placed him in administrative detention. He had previously been administratively detained in 2014 and 2016.

Israel held 157 Palestinian children in prison, including two in administrative detention, as of October. Defense for Children International Palestine said that children were interrogated without their parents present and placed with adults in prison. Under international law, detention of children should be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time.

Unfair trials

Palestinian civilians, including children, from the OPT were prosecuted in military courts that did not meet international fair trial standards.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Israeli soldiers, police and ISA officers continued to torture and otherwise ill-treat Palestinian detainees, including children, with impunity. Reported methods included beating, slapping, painful shackling, sleep deprivation, use of stress positions and threats of violence against family members. Prolonged solitary confinement, sometimes lasting months, was commonly used as a punishment.

Israeli forces occasionally denied medical help for Palestinians injured during law enforcement activities.

Freedoms of expression and association

The authorities used a range of measures, including raids, incitement campaigns, movement restrictions and judicial harassment, to target human rights defenders who criticized Israel’s continuing military occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories.

Israel continued to deny human rights bodies entry to the OPT, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the OPT.

On 30 July, Israeli forces arrested Mahmoud Nawajaa, a human rights defender and co-ordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the occupied West Bank, from his home in Ramallah. A prisoner of conscience, he was released without charge on 17 August.

On 13 November, the Jerusalem District Court rejected a petition by Amnesty International against the arbitrary and punitive travel ban imposed on its employee, human rights defender Laith Abu Zeyad. For undisclosed reasons, Israeli security forces continued to bar him from entering occupied East Jerusalem and from travelling abroad through Jordan.

Rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants

Israel continued to deny asylum-seekers access to a fair and prompt refugee status determination process, leaving many without access to basic services. About 31,000 asylum-seekers were living in Israel.

Gender-based violence

Violence against women persisted in Israel, especially against Palestinian citizens.

At least 21 women were killed as a result of gender-based violence.

Conscientious objectors

At least four Israeli conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned. Hillel Rabin spent 56 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli army citing oppressive policies against Palestinians.


Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment



BTSELEMTORTURE AND ABUSE IN INTERROGATIONhttps://www.btselem.org/topic/torture

In interrogating Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories, the Israel Security Agency (ISA, also known by the Hebrew acronyms Shin Bet or Shabak) routinely used methods that constituted ill-treatment and even torture until the late 1990s. In doing so, the ISA relied on the 1987 recommendations of a state commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau. The commission had held that, in order to “prevent terrorism”, ISA interrogators were permitted to use “psychological pressure” and a “moderate degree of physical pressure”. This permission was grounded, in the commission’s opinion, in the “necessity defense” laid out in Israeli Penal Law. In practice, the interrogation methods used by the ISA during that time went far beyond a reasonable interpretation of the term “moderate physical pressure”.This state of affairs persisted for years, despite the right not to be subjected to ill-treatment or torture – whether physical or psychological – being one of the few human rights that are considered absolute. As an absolute right, it may never be balanced against other rights and values and cannot be suspended or limited, even in difficult circumstances.In September 1999, following a series of petitions filed by human rights organizations and by Palestinians interrogated by the ISA, Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruled that Israeli law does not empower ISA interrogators to use physical means in interrogation. The justices ruled that the specific methods discussed in the petitions – including painful binding, shaking, placing a sack on a person’s head for prolonged periods of time and sleep deprivation – were unlawful. However, they also held that ISA agents who exceed their authority and use “physical pressure” may not necessarily bear criminal responsibility for their actions, if they are later found to have used these methods in a “ticking bomb” case, based on the “necessity defense”. Following this ruling, reports of torture and ill-treatment in ISA interrogations did drop. However, ISA agents continued to use interrogation methods that constitute abuse and even torture, relying on the court’s recognition of the “ticking bomb” exception. These methods were not limited to exceptional cases and quickly became standard interrogation policy.Several joint research reports published by B’Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, based on hundreds of affidavits and testimonials given by Palestinians who underwent ISA interrogations after the HCJ ruling, indicate that the ISA still routinely employs psychological and physical abuse in interrogations. While interrogators steer clear of the specific methods that the court disqualified, the rationale is the same: using isolation from the outside world and harsh incarceration conditions, in addition to the interrogation itself, to psychologically pressure and physically weaken the individual. This combined use of holding conditions and interrogation methods constitutes abuse and inhuman, degrading treatment, at times even amounting to torture. It is regularly employed against Palestinians in ISA interrogations, in blatant violation of international law and basic moral standards.According to the accounts of Palestinians who have undergone ISA interrogation, they are held in inhuman conditions, including narrow, windowless cells that are sometimes moldy and foul-smelling and are constantly lit with artificial lighting that is painful to the eyes. Some detainees reported being held in solitary confinement, completely cut off from their surroundings. Some reported exposure to extremes of heat and cold, as well as sleep deprivation. Many described abominable hygienic conditions; among other things, they stated that the prison authorities do not allow them to shower, change clothes, brush their teeth or even use toilet paper. The food is intentionally poor in quality and quantity, and detainees lose weight while in custody. In the interrogation room, they are forced to sit bound to a chair, without moving, for hours and even days on end. Interrogators threaten the detainees, including threats to harm their relatives, as well as shouting and employing violence against them.Most Palestinians who are physically or mental abused in interrogation have no way to complain until the interrogation is over. This is because Palestinian detainees are regularly denied the right to meet with counsel, and HCJ petitions against the denial of this right have been repeatedly dismissed. Also, they usually cannot use the opportunity of coming before a judge in a remand hearing to air their grievances: Most hearings are extremely cursory and, in some of them, detainees are not represented or are denied the opportunity to confer with the lawyer representing them. Most detainees are not aware of the fact that they may approach the judge on their own initiative. In any case, they shy away from sharing what they are undergoing with the judge for fear of reprisal back in the interrogation room. Even when detainees do come forward, the authorities take no action, as years of monitoring by human rights organizations reveal. Since 2001, not a single criminal investigation has been launched into a complaint against an ISA interrogator, despite hundreds of complaints being lodged with the relevant authorities. Although formal changes have been made to the apparatus charged with looking into these complaints – including the appointment of an Inspector of Complaints by ISA Interrogees inside the ISA, and the subsequent transfer of the position to the Ministry of Justice – they have done nothing to alter the situation: Hundreds of complaints, zero criminal investigations.This system of interrogation, which relies on a combination of holding conditions and interrogator conduct, was shaped by state authorities. It is not the personal initiative of any particular interrogator or prison guard, and the actions described here are not anomalies to be weeded out by the justice system. The cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees is inherent to the ISA’s violent interrogation policy. This policy is dictated from above, and not set by interrogators in the field.While the ISA runs the system, a broad network of partners collaborates to facilitate it. The Israel Prison Service (IPS) adapts prison conditions to match the interrogation plan designed to break the detainee’s spirit. Medical and mental health personnel greenlight the interrogation of Palestinians who arrive at the facility – including in cases of poor health – and even hand detainees back to the interrogators after caring for physical and mental injuries they sustained in interrogation, knowing full well that they would be subjected to measures of abuse and torture; soldiers and police officers abuse detainees while transporting them to the ISA, with their commanders turning a blind eye and the MAG Corps and State Attorney’s Office not bringing them to justice or holding them fully accountable. Military judges almost automatically sign off on motions for remand in custody and effectively sanction the continued abuse and inhuman conditions. The State Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General have thus far provided ISA interrogators with full immunity. Finally, HCJ judges regularly reject petitions seeking to overturn the denial of detainee’s rights to meet with legal counsel, clearing the way for continued abuse.All these are party, in one form or another, to the cruel, inhuman, degrading and abusive treatment to which Palestinians are subjected in ISA interrogations. By enabling the existence of this abusive interrogation regime, they all bear responsibility for the severe violations of interrogatees’ human rights and for the mental and physical harm inflicted on these individuals
Article 2 Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.EURO MEDITERRANEAN AGREEMENT establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part 

Article 90 Promotion of the international legal order
The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order.

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDSChapter 5 Legislation and administration






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