[Ppnews] American Association of Jurists resolution on repression of Puerto Rican independence movement

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 22 11:24:50 EST 2008

Declaration of the American Association of 
Jurists on the Politically Based Persecution in Puerto Rico


1. Anti-terrorist laws in several countries have 
produced worsening repression against movements 
dedicated to the protection of human rights.

2. Under the pretext of combating terrorism, 
atrocities have been committed throughout 
history, from the Condor Plan in Chile, to the 
persecution of dissidents in Argentina and 
Paraguay, to the Massacres of Ponce and Cerro 
Maravilla in Puerto Rico, among others.

3. Fear is used in order to persecute, 
discriminate, imprison and torture, based on race 
and religion, as with the Japanese interned in 
camps in the United States during the Second 
World War, and today, with Arabs and Muslims in 
areas of conflict and on military bases.

4. The struggle of peoples for self-determination 
and national sovereignty is the fundamental 
reason  for the attacks, repression, and 
accusations of terrorism, and criminalization of 
those who defend the preservation and protection 
of natural, economic, historical and cultural resources.

5. The Mapuche and other Peoples and ethnic 
groups, those of Western Sahara, Molucas, 
Palestine and Puerto Rico, and other parts of the 
world, have suffered not only the lack of 
sovereignty, but their sustainability, to which 
they have a right and a power to live with dignity, has been impeded.

6. Political assassinations have been perpetrated 
by the military, militia and paramilitary groups, 
with governmental endorsement or their 
indifference and impunity through all of the Americas and the Caribbean.

7. The political assassinations of those who 
struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, 
such as Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, Santiago Mari 
Pesquera and Angel Cristobal Ruiz, remain unprosecuted.

8.  The repression and persecution of various 
groups advocating for the independence of Puerto 
Rico is currently escalating by the conduct of 
the government of the United States and its 
institutions such as the FBI, the federal court 
and the Grand Jury, against people of Puerto 
Rican descent and against those born on the 
Island and in New York, who struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.

9. The Grand Jury, an inquisitorial institution 
used by the U.S. Department of Justice, provides 
no minimum guarantees to those subpoenaed­there 
is no right to be represented by an attorney­ and 
refusing to testify can result in imprisonment.

10. Historically, members of the Puerto Rican 
independence movement have been sent to prison 
for refusing to collaborate with this instrument 
of repression, intimidation and persecution used 
by the U.S. government against the struggle for 
the ideal of Puerto Rican independence.

THEREFORE, the American Association of Jurists, 
jointly with the AAJ Puerto Rico Chapter, resolve that:

1. Political discrimination and persecution based 
on race, color, language, among other rights, is 
prohibited by the Charter of the U.N., the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political 
Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on 
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial 
Discrimination, and the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS).

2. Every individual has the right to life, 
liberty, security and dignity (UDHR, Charter of 
OAS, and the Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man).

3. Every human being has the right not to be 
arbitrarily detained, imprisoned, tortured or 
treated in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way 
(UDHR, Convention Against Torture and Other 
Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment).

4. Every person has the right to freedom of 
expression and opinion, to receive and 
disseminate information, irrespective of borders, 
and to peacefully meet and associate (UDHR), to 
exchange of ideas characteristic of a democratic society.

5. A People’s right to self-determination is a 
fundamental right guaranteed by several 
international instruments such as the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights, the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 
Conventions107 and 109 of the International Labor 
Organization (ILO), in various resolutions of the 
United Nations, such as the Declaration on the 
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries 
and Peoples (Resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960), the 
Declaration of the U.N. on the Rights of 
Indigenous Peoples of 2007, and the African Charter.

6. All Peoples have, in addition, the right to 
freely determine their social and cultural 
development, including the right to have their 
resources protected (International Covenant on 
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; ICESCR), 
with cultural diversity forming an inseparable 
part of human dignity (Universal Declaration on 
Cultural Diversity of UNESCO), and the right not 
to be discriminated against or persecuted as a result.

7. These rights have been adopted and included in 
all the constitutions and laws of the world; they 
have been ratified by all nations, in 
international and regional accords, and have applied since time immemorial.

8. All nations have the obligation, as members of 
international organisms, to comply with and 
enforce human rights, as required by Articles 55 
and 56 of the Charter of the United Nations of all Member Nations.

January 14, 2008

Vanessa Ramos
President of the Continental AAJ

Beinusz Szmukler
President of the AAJ Consulting Counsel

Dinorah La Luz
President of the AAJ Puerto Rico Chapter

Board of the AAJ Puerto Rico Chapter

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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