New Internationalist

Wanted!

Issue 161

new internationalist
issue 161 - July 1986

WANTED! For crimes against their people! - State Terrorism
A terrorist act may kill a handful of people. State terrorism,
directed mostly at political opponents, kills thousands every year,
and leaves many more psychologically damaged. Denied human rights,
these victims face arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, torture and death.

Aid and private investment from the West and the USSR is a vital prop to such
governments. Below is an NI guide to some of the world’s worst terrorist regimes.

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Leaden Nicolae Ceausescu

State ideology Marxist-Leninist, cool links with USSR, accorded ‘most favoured nation’ status by US. Ceausescu, his family and friends hold all key posts.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy Only known dissident party a exiled Romanian Social Democratic Party.

Unions Only legal union is government controlled. Members of dissident ‘Free Trade Union of Romanian Workers’ reportedly jailed or placed in psychiatric units in 1970s.

Religious freedom: 14 denominations allowed, but arrests of Seventh Day Adventists and other sects.

Minority rights: Repression of 2m Hungarians in Transylvania.

Prisoners: Leg-irons and death penalty.

Press freedom: +n/a

SUMMARY:
One of worst human-rights violators in Eastern bloc.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid $5m (none military) (1983); *p.i. $3m (1983)

Canada: Govt aid none; pi. n/a

†Australia: Govt aid none; pi. n/a

UK: Govt aid n/a, sells arms; pi. n/a

World Bank loans: $1.01 billion (1984)

BECAUSE:
For the West, aiding Romania gives a foot in the door of the Eastern bloc. Russia aids Romania (amount unknown) to shore up its boundaries with the West.


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Leader: President P W Botha

State ideology: lnstitutionalized racism known as apartheid (separate development of majority black population.)

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy: Blacks excluded from national politics

Unions: Restrictive laws, but black unions have become major force.

Religious freedom: Churches other than Dutch Reform harassed for opposing regime.

Minority rights: The white minority has all the rights.

Prisoners: Black detainees reportedly tortured. Death penalty used.

Press freedom: Restricted under current state of emergency. Banned black Opposition leaders may not be quoted inside SA.

SUMMARY:
Internal banishment of opposition leadership; unlimited police powers; 1,400 blacks killed in last two years, mostly by police; preventative detention; 238,000 blacks arrested in 1984 for violation of pass-book laws; suspicious deaths of prisoners; use of ‘treason’ (punishable by death) as a charge to stifle opposition.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid n/a; p.i. $2,319m.(1 983)

Canada: Govt aid $O.21m (1984); p.i. $96 (1984)

Australia: Govt aid none; p.i. n/a

UK:Govt aid none; p.i. $18 billion (1986), includes $1.2 billion by Barclays Bank

World Bank loans: $242 million (1984).

BECAUSE:
Strategic position, gold and diamonds, make this an important ally in Africa.


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Leader: Premier Turgut Ozal

State ideology: Ostensibly Republican democracy but military presence strong.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy: All parties exist only at the sufferance of the military, and can be dissolved. Any party advocating Islamic or Marxist-socialist stale is illegal.
Unions: Strikes virtually impossible; 100,000 workers at recent rally matched by 100,000 police.
Religious freedom: Most Turks are Muslim but state is officially secular. Muslim activism repressed.
Minority rights: Repression of Kurds and atrocities against Armenians

Prisoners: Brutality and harsh conditions.

Press freedom: Tight control, but recent confessions of police torturer widely reported.

SUMMARY:
20,000 political prisoners, 500 political activists face death sentence. Trial by military courts, systematic torture, death penalty.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid $310m, military aid $41Om (1983); p.i. $141 m (1983). Third largest recipient of US aid after Israel and Egypt

Canada: Govt aid none; p.i. n/a

Australia: Govt aid $285,000(1983 - 4, none since); pi. n/a

UK: Govt aid $610,000 (1984). U K supplies military training and weapons such as the recent Rapier missile deal worth $210m. Unilever and other companies encouraged to invest.

World Bank loans: $6.21 billion (1984)

BECAUSE:
Turkey’s large well-equipped armyat 630,000 the 2nd largest in NATO, and strategic location make it an important ally for the West which ignores its abominable human-rights record.


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Leader: President Suharto.

State ideology: Officially democratic but in practice a military dictatorship.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy: Suharto allows three political groupings to exist, but he and military hold power.

Unions: ‘Federation of Trade Unions’ is government-controlled.

Religious freedom: 86% are Muslim but govt-Muslim antagonism strong.

Minority rights: Fighting over West Irian and East Timor.

Prisoners: Political minority dissidents tortured.

Press freedom: Tight control over reporting. Foreign journalists restricted.

SUMMARY:
After alleged Communist Party-backed coup in 1965, Suharto killed at least 200,000 party members. People held without trial, sent to ‘resettlement’ camps.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid $323m; military aid $27m (1983); p.i. $3.042m (1983)

Canada: Govt aid $24m (1984); p.i. $0.7m (1984). (Indonesia’s 3rd largest foreign investor).

Australia: Govt aid $49m (includes $7m for defence) (1984-5)

UK: Govt aid $42,000 (1984). Military training and weapons sales like the $124m deal in Dec. 1985 for Rapier missiles; p.i. n/a

World Bank loans: $8.98 billion (1984)

BECAUSE
Given Indonesia’s strategic position in the East, and its huge reserves of timber, minerals and oil, the West has a stake in supporting Suharto’s regimes – especially since the fall of Marcos in the Philippines.


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Leader: Ayatollah Khomeini

State ideology: Islamic republic Socialists banned; opposition grouped in illegal National Resistance Council.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy: Communist Party and Islamic Socialists banned; opposition grouped in illegal National Resistance Council

Unions: Bloody repression of strikes

Religious freedom: Dissidents imprisoned.

Minority rights: Repression of Kurdish Baluchi and Turkoman Sunni Muslims.

Prisoners: Flogging/limb amputation used.

Press freedom: n/a

SUMMARY:
Over 6,000 executed since 1979 revolution, 660 in 1984. Widespread torture. Young children used in war against Iraq

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US:
Govt aid $306m, $500m military (1983); p.i. $43m (1983)

Canada: Govt aid none; p.i. n/a

Australia: Govt aid none; pi. n/a
UK: Govt aid none, but UK sells arms; pi. n/a

World Bank loans: $1.21 billion (1984)

BECAUSE
Strategic position near the USSR


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Leader: Lt-Col Mengistu Haile Mariam.

State ideology: Military one-party Marxist-Leninist state with Soviet ties.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracy: Civil wars and secessionist battles (eg Tigray and Eritrea) meet brutal response.

Unions: Govt controls only legal union federation. Strikes banned, absenteeism seen as crime against state.

Religious freedom: Repression of Muslims and Falashas (Ethiopian Jews), arrests of Christian sectarians.

Minority rights: Repression in Tigray, Eritres and other regions.

Prisoners: Beatings and electric shocks common.

Press freedom: Unknown but literacy is only 15%.

SUMMARY
War-torn, stricken by drought and famine, poorest country in the world with thousands of political prisoners.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
Soviet Union: Largest aid giver, exact figures n/a

US: Govt aid $25m. (no military aid) (1983); p.i. n/a

Canada: Govt aid $10m (1984); p.i. n/a

Australia: Govt aid $21m (1984-5); p.i. n/a

UK: n/a

World Bank loans: $818m (1984).

BECAUSE:
Super power ball-game; both sides aiding disaster victims and increasing sphere of influence.


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Leader: President Zia-ul Haq.

State ideology: Military Islamic Republic.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST
Democracy: Despite 1985 elections and lifting of martial law, main opposition is still extra-parliamentary.

Unions: n/a

Religious freedom: persecution of Ahmedis sect and Christians.

Minority rights: Arrest of Sindh secessionists, Pathans and Baluchis repressed.

Prisoners: Fetters, shackles and flogging common.

Press Freedom: ‘Political reporting’ was banned under martial law; self-censorship normal.

SUMMARY
Over 70 prisoners executed in 1984, suspect deaths in police custody, military courts.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid $542m, military aid $261m (1983) $109m (1983)

Canada: Govt aid $43m (1984); p.i. n/a

Australia: Govt aid $4.1m (1984 – 5); p.i. n/a

UK: Govt aid £27,0000 (1984); p.i. n/a UK provides police and military training and exports defence equpiment.

World Bank loans: $3.55 billion (1984).

BECAUSE
Strategic position near Afghanistan, Iran, India and USSR


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Leader: President Jose Napoleon Duarte

State ideology: Officially Christian Democrat democracy, but small oligarchy (‘Fourteen Families’) has held power for last century.

FOR CRIMES AGAINST:
Democracry: Only opposition from group of centre-left parties which opted for guerrilla tactics after military repression of 1970s.

Unions: Strikes met by harassment, arrests and assassinations of trade unionists.

Religios freedom: Catholic Church activists targets of death squads; dozens of catechists and clergy murdered in last five years.

Minority rights: n/a

Prisoners: Physical and psychological torture is widespread.

Press freedom: Two opposition papers closed in 1981; remaining press is pro-government or farther right.

SUMMARY
50,000 people murdered by govt forces since 1979; rural population terrorized and displaced by aerial bombardment and deprivation of food; death squads.

AIDED AND ABETTED BY:
US: Govt aid $464m (military aid $81 eg for C-47 gunship aircraft); p.i. $113m. (1983)

Canada: Govt aid $0.37m (1984); p.i. n/a

Australia: Govt aid £58,000 (1984 – 5); p.i. n/a

UK: Govt aid none directly, but UK trains officer corps; p.i. n/a

World Bank loans $242m (1984)

BECAUSE
Domino theory, that if one country goes communist, others will fall too.

Key: *p.i. = private investment; +n/a = figures not available; †Australia = total Australian private investment is about $86m, 90% of which goes to South East Asian countries. All figures in US dollars.

Sources: World Bank Report 1984; Amnesty International Report 1985; CIDA Annual Report 1984 – 5; Canada Yearbook 1985; US Survey of Current Business 1984; Australia’s Overseas Development Assistance Programme; Australian Development Assistance Bureau 1984 – 5; Turkey Newsletter; MRG Reports; Americas Watch; Tapol; CAAT; ICCHRLA; Asia Yearbook 1985; Index on Censorship; Merip Reports; Taskforce on Churches and Corporate Responsibility; Yearbook on International Communist Affairs 1985; Marxist Governments World Survey.

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