ICDSM on Illegal Prohibition of Visits and Communication With The Press

Hans Holthuis                                                                            August 26, 2003

Registrar,

His Honour Judge Theodor Meron,

President,

The Honourable Judges Trial Chamber III

ICTY,

The Hague, Netherlands 

 

RE: Slobodan Milosevic

        Illegal Prohibition of Visits and Communication With The Press

 

The International Committee For The Defense of Slobodan Milosevic protests the illegal and unjustified prohibition of visits to Slobodan Milosevic by members of the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Sloboda (Freedom) Association, a non-government organization dedicated to achieving his rightful freedom.

The order prohibiting visits is allegedly based on a violation of the newly introduced rule prohibiting communication to the media of statements made by a detainee during visits, a rule which is both illegal and unjustified and the sole purpose of which is to silence the voice of an innocent man, a political prisoner, held hostage by the “judicial” arm of NATO.

The British House of Lords has stated in Regina v Ex Parte Sims and O’Brien that the right of prisoners to communicate with the media is essential to prevent miscarriages of justice. The prohibition of such communication is a fundamental violation of the presumption of innocence set out in the Statute of the Tribunal. 

The blanket prohibition of personal visits is also a flagrant violation of Article 10 of the European Convention For The Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, of Rule 92 of the UN Standard Minimum Rules For The Treatment of Prisoners, Principle 15 of the UN Principles of Detention and the Tribunal Rules of Detention themselves.

The Tribunal is unable to demonstrate any need for this action in terms of the security or good order of the UN Detention Unit or under any other legitimate rationale. Therefore, the question arises; what is the real purpose of the order of prohibition? There can be only one answer; to silence the voice of an innocent man in order to prevent the embarrassment of the NATO countries who are his political enemies and the enemies of the Serbian people and in order to suppress the truth about the war crimes committed by NATO in Yugoslavia.

The actions of the Tribunal follow the issuance of arrest warrants by the present Belgrade regime against his wife and son which have the sole objective of preventing them from visiting him in an attempt to isolate him and wear him down psychologically. In this, neither NATO nor the Tribunal will succeed.

The ICDSM demands that the order prohibiting visits to Slobodan Milosevic be rescinded forthwith along with the “rule” prohibiting communication with the news media.

 

Prof. Velko Valkanov, Co-Chair, ICDSM,

 

Christopher Black, Toronto

Prof. Mikhail Kuznetzov, Moscow

Maitre Jacques Verges, Paris,

 

For The Legal Committee, ICDSM

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