Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Crushing dissent - not in the United States 

"Dutch aid workers arrested in Darfur over rape claims"
No, it's not what you think; it's not another UN-style scandal involving peacekeepers and international bureaucrats mixing with underaged girls in some Godforsaken war zone:

Police in Sudan arrested a national head of the aid agency Médecins sans Frontières over a report issued about the widespread rape of women by soldiers and militiamen in Darfur.

Paul Foreman, a Briton who heads the Dutch branch of the organisation, was taken for questioning by security forces in Khartoum yesterday.

Mohamed Farid, Sudan’s Attorney-General, said he had opened a criminal case against Médecins sans Frontières Holland for publishing the report in March, which detailed hundreds of rapes over a recent 4½-month period.

Mr Farid said that MSF had failed to consult the Government-run Humanitarian Aid Commission before publishing the information and, despite repeated requests, had refused to supply medical evidence to back up its claims.

“If they don’t give us the medical documents, we will send them to the criminal court accused of publishing a false report which harms the general peace,” Mr Farid told Reuters.
"Newsweek" should thank its lucky stars that it's not based in Sudan.

Médecins sans Frontières is, of course, not the first international organisation to document rape being used in Darfur as a weapon of war:
the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have covered this territory before. Not to mention all the major media.

A cynic might think that the pro-government Janjaweed militias harm the "general peace" more than any NGO reports. Sadly, the media has not been particularly interested in the problem, either, seeing that the American soldiers are not the perpetrators.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?