June 12, 2006 Carleton University // Norman Paterson School of International Relations // Centre for Security and Defence Studies
When U.S forces captured Saddam Hussein in December 2003, and the first
images of the fallen Iraqi dictator were beamed around the world, it was difficult for the
historian of the 20th century to avoid thinking of obvious and not-so-obvious analogies to
the fall of authoritarian regimes in the preceding century. The same was true months
later, when Saddam and the leading figures of his regime - including Ali Hassan al-
Majid, the notorious xe2x80x98Chemical Ali' - found themselves in hastily organized courtrooms
answering to young and inexperienced Iraqi judges about various crimes committed
during the long life of the Baathist regime. For years, pundits and politicians have been
drawing comparisons between Saddam's regime and Nazi Germany, often to the
consternation or at least unease of professional historians. A cursory perusal of any
major search engine combining the names xe2x80x98Hussein' and xe2x80x98Hitler' yields hundreds of hits;
not surprising, of course, given the currency of the Hitler-Hussein analogy in public
January 11, 2006 Anthropology of East Europe Review
This paper is the fruit of a preliminary inquiry into the presence of Albanian refugee women in Southern Italy. The research is based on participant-observation and interviews with Albanian couples the adjacent regions of Apulia and Basilicata. While it is impossible to offer a precise quantification of the Albanian presence, we recall that in 1991 over 40,000 refugees landed in Italy - some remaining more or less legally, others deported - and even today, clandestine landings continue on an almost daily basis. The two research sites were directly involved in the "crisis" of 1991, and while the refugees were "distributed" throughout Italy, the two regions presently host Albanians numbering in the thousands....
The Bush administration contends that the push for democracy in the Muslim world will improve U.S. security. But this premise is faulty: there is no evidence that democracy reduces terrorism. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington.
The article investigates the way in which asylum reception has been organized in Italy in response to Kurdish refugees. The analysis suggests that Italy, as compared to northern European countries, has failed to develop a public system of reception, which has been counterbalanced by the parallel development of a private one. The abandonment of the vast majority of asylum seekers to their own survival strategies should read as an institutional failure to develop adequate reception policies and serious protection plans. The xe2x80x98Kurdish crisis' has exposed the importance of state intervention in providing reception, which could no longer be left to local NGOs, self-help strategies and migrants' networks. In particular, the article looks at the way in which Italy, during the 1990s, has organized refugee reception; the (non) reception system in the municipality of Rome; and finally some private survival strategies that Kurdish asylum seekers have resorted to once no public help was made available to them.
January 12, 2005 American Society of International Law
On December 15, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismissed separate complaints originally filed on April 29, 1999 by Serbia and Montenegro against eight NATO member states (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom), asking the ICJ to hold each of the respondent states responsible for international law violations stemming from the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in March-April 1999. According to the Court's unanimous Judgments, Serbia and Montenegro lacks standing to sue before the ICJ....
Thousands of international troops remain in Afghanistan, but some members of this coalition are more willing than others. FP looks at whose militaries are pulling their weight—and who could do far more.
Erich Priebke was born on 29 July 1913 in Hennigsdorf/ Germany. He was a Hauptsturmfxc3xbchrer (Captain) of the Waffen-SS. He served under Obersturmbannfxc3xbchrer Herbert Kappler (cf. "related cases") in Rome, where he was responsible for liasing with the Italian police. On 23 March 1944, a bomb planted by the Italian resistance killed 33 German soldiers. As a consequence, Kappler drew up a list of 320 civilians who were to be executed as a reprisal. In total, 335 civilians were executed on 24 March 1944 in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome. During his trial, Priebke confessed having directed the massacre with the help of a certain Karl Hass....
Freedom House welcomes the vote by the United Nations General Assembly to elect Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the two open seats for Eastern European States in yesterday's election to the UN Human Rights Council. Belarus, the third candidate for the East Europe vacancies, was defeated in a tight race following a vigorous campaign by numerous human rights organizations and countries opposed to the candidacy of a country with one of the world's most abysmal human rights records.
Nearly everyone agrees that a large, multinational force of some kind is needed to police the Israel-Lebanon border and enforce a cease-fire. But Israel has made it clear that it won't accept the usual U.N. rent-a-force. With Britain and the United States unwilling to send troops because of their commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, FP takes a look at other nations that could supply the boots on the ground.
The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation....
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In no country does a majority agree on another possible perpetrator, but in most countries significant minorities cite the US government itself and, in a few countries, Israel. These responses were given spontaneously to an open-ended question that did not offer response options. On average, 46 percent say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks while 15 percent say the US government, seven percent Israel, and seven percent some other perpetrator. One in four say they do not know. WPO_911_Sep08_graph.jpgGiven the extraordinary impact the 9/11 attacks have had on world affairs, it is remarkable that seven years later there is no international consensus about who was behind them," comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org....
• The protection of asylum-seekers in Europe is dealt with under three principal bodies of law: the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, the law of the European Union and the soft law developed by the Council of Europe.
• Member states of the Council of Europe are also bound by the judgments of the European Convention on Human Rights; although the convention makes no reference to refugee protection, its provisions and the judgments of its court in Strasbourg impose important obligations on states in respect of asylum.
• The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 initiated the first phase of the creation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which aimed to harmonize refugee protection among member states while enabling them to meet their international obligations in that respect.
• The harmonizing measures adopted by the EU have been subject to severe criticism and the practices of member states reveal a systemic failure to comply with international refugee protection obligations.
• While there have been improvements in European refugee policy, significant challenges must be addressed before Europe can regain its reputation as a champion of the rights of the refugee. This is given particular urgency by recent events in North Africa, which may lead to large numbers of persons fleeing violence and disorder....
February 24, 2011 International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
This handbook is intended to serve as a document that provides relevant information on issues that external actors who interact with diasporas in development and peacebuilding will encounter. It does not present simple replicable techniques, tools or instruments; rather, the authors aim to explain the underlying philosophy and aspects of process involved in facilitating participation of diasporas in development and peacebuilding (Pretty et al., 1995: ii). How to best apply these principles will vary from context to context. The document is based on experiences with various diaspora communities in the five European countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway), though many of the examples cited focus on the Somali diaspora and, more generally, on diasporas originating from Africa. A number of those experiences are described in detail in separate text boxes....
February 24, 2011 British Journal of Politics and International Relations
This article addresses the management of unauthorised migration from Africa to Europe. We
review eight policy measures and explore how they relate to prominent policy narratives, centred on
security, co-operation and protection of migrants. We also examine the specific mechanisms through
which the policy measures function: direct control, deterrence and dissuasion. Analysis of policy
narratives helps explain the ascendance of externalised migration control, such as pre-border
patrolling. Furthermore, our analysis shows how the narrative of protection can be aligned with
direct control measures and constitute a double-edged sword for migrants. The text focuses on
maritime migration from West Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands. We draw in part on ethnographic
data from fieldwork in Senegal in order to assess the impact of specific measures on the target
population of prospective migrants....
This report compiles the latest evidence of European countries' complicity in the CIA's programmes in the context of the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA.
"The EU has utterly failed to hold member states accountable for the abuses they've committed," said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office.
"These abuses occurred on European soil. We simply can't allow Europe to join the US in becoming an 'accountability-free' zone. The tide is slowly turning with some countries starting investigations but much more needs to be done." Intergovernmental organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the UN have been at the forefront of investigating human rights violations associated with the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes.
Following disclosures in their reports, inquiries into state complicity or legal processes aimed at individual responsibility took place or are currently in progress in countries such as Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom....
April 13, 2010 Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
Afghan civilians deserve amends from warring parties for deaths, injuries, and property
losses—that is, some form of recognition and monetary compensation. Under international
law and agreements signed with the Afghan government, the troop contributing nations
(TCNs) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are not liable for damage to
civilian property or civilian injury or death as a result of lawful operations. However, most
ISAF members now offer payments when such losses occur. This is a marked improvement
from the early days of the conflict when the US and its NATO allies declined to address civilian
harm. CIVIC’s research into the experiences of ISAF troops and Afghan civilians demonstrates that
when international military forces provide payment (henceforth called “compensation” to
indicate both monetary and in-kind help), especially combined with an apology for harm,
civilian hostility toward international forces decreases. However, the effectiveness of these
payments has been limited by the lack of uniform policies across ISAF nations, limited information
gathering about civilian harm generally and, in many cases, insensitive requirements
that civilians suffering losses take the initiative to file claims.
This report describes the policies and practices of major ISAF TCNs. It finds that soldiers as
well as civilians view amends for harm favorably. The process of investigation, negotiation
of payment, and offers of formal compensation are opportunities to strengthen relationships
with local leaders and communities, to explain what happened, and acknowledge loss....