Serbia: Taking the gag off

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Fri Nov 7 09:02:15 MST 2003


This is really good news. The Serbian working class has begun the 
siege of the Quisling government in Belgrade. In my own country, the 
press has not given a single line of newspaper space (not to speak of 
absolute blindness on other media) to these events, which may turn 
down the whole effort of imperialism in the South Western Balkans.

So that I am trying to help by taking the gag off at least some of 
the media: our lists.


FREE SLOBO !



Unitarian Newsletter issued by 

FCDSM (Frenchspeaking Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic),

ICDSPP (International Committee to Defend the Serbian Political 
Prisoners)

and  PACDSM (Pan-African Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic)



Lettre d'information unitaire co-éditée par

le CFDSM (Comité Francophone pour la Défense de Slobodan Milosevic),

le CIDPPS (Comité International pour la Défense des Prisonniers 
Politiques
Serbes)

et le CPADSM (Comité Pan-Africain pour la Défense de Slobodan 
Milosevic)



www.free-slobo.org

===============================================

N° 67 – 6 nov. 2003

===============================================

Webmaster - Editeur responsable :

Luc MICHEL - email : contact at free-slobo.org



Publishing leading / Comité directeur :

Luc MICHEL, Fabrice BEAUR, Djimadoum LEY-NGARDIGAL

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This number  is send to 61.000 emails.

Ce numéro  a été envoyé à plus de 61.000 mailes

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In this special issue :

(articles only in English)



TOWARDS THE END OF THE DOS’ SERBIAN QUISLINGS !



PART 2 :  THE FIGHT FOR PEOPLE’S SOVEREIGNTY: IN THE HAGUE STAR 
CHAMBER
AND ON THE STREETS OF BELGRADE, IT IS ONE STRUGGLE!



Analysis from the Canadian Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic : 



SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC IS DEFENDING JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL PEOPLE



President Milosevic warned of the loss of economic sovereignty,
privatization, and their consequences 



In his address to the Yugoslav people on October 2nd, 2000, President
Slobodan Milosevic implored the citizens of Yugoslavia protect their
dignity and independence against the assault of foreign domination. 
He
said: 




All countries finding themselves with limited sovereignty and with
governments controlled by foreign powers, speedily become 
impoverished in
a way that destroys all hope for more just and humane social 
relations. 



A great division into a poor majority and a rich minority, this has 
been
the picture in Eastern Europe for some years now that we can all see. 




That picture would also include us. Under the control of the new 
owners of
our country we too would quickly have a tremendous majority of the 
very
poor, whose prospects of coming out of their poverty would be very
uncertain, very distant.



The rich minority would be made up of the black marketeering elite, 
which
would be allowed to stay rich only on condition that it was fully 
loyal to
the outside, controlling powers. 



Public and social property would quickly be transformed into private
property, but its owners, as demonstrated by the experience of our
neighbors, would be foreigners. Among the few exceptions would be 
those
who would buy their right to own property by their loyalty and 
submission,
which would lead to the elimination of elementary national and human
dignity. 



The greatest national assets in such circumstances become the 
property of
foreigners, and the people who used to manage them continue to do so, 
but
as employees of foreign companies in their own country. 



National humiliation, state fragmentation and social misery would
necessarily lead to many forms of social pathology, of which crime 
would
be the first. This is not just a supposition, this is the experience 
of
all countries which have taken the path that we are trying to avoid 
at any
cost. 



The capitals of European crime are no longer in the west, they were 
moved
to Eastern Europe a decade ago.



As the NATO powers pointed a gun to the heads of Yugoslavia’s 
electorate,
and drenched them with propaganda via their local hirelings, 
President
Milosevic appreciated that not everybody would heed his warnings.  He
expressed the following hope:  "Citizens, you must make up your own 
minds
whether to believe me or not. My only wish is that they do not 
realize I
am telling the truth when it is too late, that they do not realize 
after
it has become so much more difficult to correct mistakes that some 
people
have made, naively, superficially or erroneously."



It is not too late


For five consecutive days, Belgrade has been at the heart of an
extraordinary upheaval. Workers have descended upon the Parliament, 
by
tens of thousands, demanding an end to privatization, and the 
dissolution
of the so-called “pro-democracy” government which, while committing
constitutional breaches and making a repressive mockery of democratic
norms, has created unimaginably desperate living conditions for the 
people
of Serbia.  With an unemployment rate of at least 30%, it is galling 
to
read the smug, condescending rebukes of the mainstream press, who 
claim
workers are unhappy or “impatient” with the "painful process" of
privatization, and would prefer a "radical" improvement of their 
quality
of life.  The indignities suffered by the people of Yugoslavia are 
too
many to mention.  Since 1990, every attempt has been made by the US 
and
Western powers to defeat Yugoslavia’s sovereignty: from IMF blackmail 
to
cluster bombs and depleted uranium, and along the way the fomenting 
of
civil war, unrest, poverty, the financing and encouragement of 
terrorism,
the sowing and exacerbation of hatred, fear, and hopelessness.



Today, Serbian steel workers, now employed by the giant multinational 
US
Steel, who purchased the Smederevo steel company – which used to 
belong to
the workers – for a measly $23 million as part of the DOS’s
"pro-democracy" fire-sale, are striking for the right to make a bit 
less
than one dollar an hour.  Workers all over the country now reject the
humiliation of foreign domination and the immiseration of their
compatriots in this looting spree brought by NATO bayonets and the 
IMF and
bearing the cynical euphemism of “reforms.”  They are demanding 
respect
for their dignity and a return of their sovereign rights.  How 
poignantly
this principled struggle points up the prescience and wisdom of 
President
Milosevic’s warnings.   



President Milosevic Defends the Ideals of Yugoslavia from a cell in 
The
Hague 


For the past seventeen months, President Slobodan Milosevic has 
defended
the dignity of his fellow citizens in an ever-increasingly secretive,
unfair and illegal process. The International Criminal Tribunal for 
the
Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), born of political pressure from the US
administration – which has institutionalized legal impunity for its 
own
crimes – does not intend to conduct a trial that would meet 
international
standards of justice.  The show-trial of President Milosevic provides
"legal" cover for the US/NATO policy of regime change in Yugoslavia. 
President Milosevic has never wavered in his characterization of the 
ICTY
as an illegal, illegitimate tool of the US and NATO powers against 
the
sovereignty of a nation they destroyed. He has taken every 
opportunity to
defend the dignity of his nation, and reveal the perfidy that broke 
up
Yugoslavia.



An unfair process


As the process wears on, the Trial Chamber's effort to stifle the
defendant have gone from outrageous to pathetic. First, the major 
media
pulled out of The Hague, complicit in the browning-out of President
Milosevic's articulate and effective defense. Then, without 
complaint, he
has weathered successively more transparent attempts to exhaust him 
and
has maintained remarkable poise in life-threatening conditions. 



In November of last year, the ICDSM requested standing before the 
Chamber
to argue that Slobodan Milosevic's medical condition required 
immediate
specialized medical attention, and that his state of health required 
he be
released from custody, given adequate time for his convalescence, and 
be
allowed to prepare his defence in a non-custodial setting. The ICTY 
has
not granted this request, nor has it denied it. The "Tribunal" has 
simply
ignored it.



Gag order


In brazen complicity with the ICTY, the Belgrade regime persecutes 
the
family of President Milosevic, preventing him even from receiving 
visits
from his wife and son. 



Slobodan Milosevic cannot meet with his closest associates and 
friends, as
the Registrar has banned him from contact with members of his party, 
the
SPS, (Socialist Party of Serbia) and "associated entities". Sloboda, 
the
leading association in defence of President Milosevic has been listed 
as a
banned group.  The Registrar applied this measure based on the 
suspicion
that two SPS members who had visited him had spoken to the press.
"Associated entities" could be anyone - it is left to the discretion 
of
the Registrar.  This is an attempt to silence President Milosevic and
interfere with the preparation of his defence. Sloboda has challenged 
the
ban on legal grounds.  It has yet to hear from the ICTY. 



A public trial?


Article 11 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms 
the
presumption of innocence and the right of the accused to a public 
trial.  
But the "trial" of Slobodan Milosevic is often not public, and 
shielded
from international public scrutiny.  Security concerns are 
systematically
invoked to justify the numerous closed sessions, pseudonymous 
witnesses,
and ex parte motions filed by the Prosecutor, motions whose content 
Mr.
Milosevic is not entitled to review.  In the past six months, the 
Chamber
has handed down several decisions following ex parte motions.  
Another
fundamental right is to be present for one's own trial. If Mr. 
Milosevic
cannot read Prosecution submissions to the judges, let alone respond 
to
them, can it be said that he is actually present at his trial?



Unintelligible


The ICTY has now authorized the admission into evidence of written 
witness
statements. It has become impossible to follow the trial. Witnesses
declare that their statements are true, and President Milosevic is
afforded a mere hour to cross-examine them. The public can only try 
to
speculate as to the content of the witness' evidence. At least we can 
now
say that this is no longer a "Show Trial", but rather a strictly
closed-circuit event.



Less time, fewer questions!


So effective has been Slobodan Milosevic in hammering home the 
message of
NATO's aggression against his nation, and the conspiracy to dismember
Yugoslavia, with consequences now being felt – and courageously 
challenged
– by the people of Serbia, that the ICTY is determined to prevent him 
from
continuing. Cross-examination has been severely curtailed and he has 
been
barred, with respect to certain witnesses, from asking questions with
respect to their credibility. This is unheard of in any adversarial 
legal
system, such as the ICTY purports to be.



When President Milosevic attempted to question the Deputy Prosecutor 
(who
appeared as a witness!) about their position – namely, supine – with
respect to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia, whether the Prosecutor had 
acted
"objectively" and "without bias" in summarily dismissing a request to
investigate a large number of egregious violations of International 
Law,
including the Geneva Conventions, Mr. Milosevic was told by the 
President
of the Chamber that it was "irrelevant". He was told that if he did 
not
ask questions "as ordered" he would not have the right to ask 
questions at
all.  A question pointing up the protection of Al Qaeda-supported
terrorism in Kosovo by the ICTY and its NATO sponsors met with a 
similar
reaction.  The "amicus curiae," friend of the court, appointed 
against
President's Milosevic's will, attempted to intervene but was 
browbeaten by
a visibly angry President of the Chamber.



What comes next? 


President Milosevic has been afforded a mere three months to prepare 
his
defence, while the Prosecution has been accumulating evidence since 
the
ICTY was established in 1993. The Prosecution has stalled throughout 
this
case, and is still adding witnesses to its list, as well as changing, 
at
the last minute, the order in which they are to appear. But the ICTY 
has
ordered President Milosevic to provide a witness list only six weeks 
after
the close of the seemingly endless Prosecution case.  All the while, 
the
Prosecution blames President Milosevic for the delays.  They blame 
his ill
health – for which they are responsible – and they blame him for 
"wasting
the court's time" by asking embarrassing questions. 



He has received millions of pages of documents, as well as thousands 
of
tapes, exhibits and photos.  Isolated from his closest associates, 
his
preparation of the defence phase – and the crucial matter of defence
witnesses – is severely impaired.



After twenty-one months of this process, nothing has been proven 
against
President Milosevic, and thanks to his unerring determination, much 
has
been proven about the ICTY's purely political nature.  He could very 
well
invite the Chamber to take notice of the Prosecution's failure to
establish a single count of the Prosecution's fantastic indictments.  
Only
one indictment, the so-called "Kosovo" indictment, has shown itself 
to be
of any use – it served to isolate the leadership and people of 
Serbia, to
demonize them, and to justify a gruesome 78-day bombing campaign that
barely lifted an eyebrow in the West, even among so many who claim to 
be
progressive.



What is more, it is not clear that this institution has the power to
compel witnesses to testify. The ICTY has claimed it is bound by 
respect
for the sovereignty of states – perhaps not that of Yugoslavia – in 
that
they respect the idea that states may decide whether or not they 
choose to
cooperate.  In contrast, consequences are severe for non-cooperation 
when
requests are made to surrender those indicted.



It is true that sovereignty is the cornerstone of international law. 
How
can one explain the scores of decisions rendered by the International
Court of Justice – a truly legitimate UN body – against the US that 
have
never been complied with?  Including the judgments having found that 
US
death sentences had been pronounced against foreign nationals in 
violation
of international law. The President of the ICTY, Theodor Meron,
represented the US in one such case, brought by Germany, who won its 
suit
before the world court. But the German prisoners were executed
nonetheless.



It is not clear that Slobodan Milosevic could call Bill Clinton as a
witness.  The ICTY has left open the question as to whether there are
certain categories of State officials for whom immunity would apply. 
Perhaps former Presidents will be protected by immunity from 
testifying,
to prevent other former Presidents from defending themselves and 
their
people.  And this in contrast to the United States itself, where Bill
Clinton was compelled to provide a deposition when accused of sexual
harassment.



This concept of sovereignty, now threatening to prevent President
Milosevic from questioning those who destroyed Yugoslavia, is key.  
Loss
of sovereignty created the ICTY, as well as the miserable conditions
against which Serbia’s people are now rising, thus recalling 
President
Milosevic’s words:  "All countries finding themselves with limited
sovereignty and with governments controlled by foreign powers, 
speedily
become impoverished in a way that destroys all hope for more just and
humane social relations."



This is the same struggle!


The large-scale protests in Belgrade demonstrate that the will of the
people to fight for their dignity will not be defeated. This has been
President Milosevic's struggle as well. A Committee of the Serbian
Diaspora, ICDSM, Sloboda and other progressive forces and individuals 
are
calling upon all honest and principled people to participate in the
international demonstration at The Hague on November 8th.  



United for freedom in the same struggle, we shall all rise for 
freedom,
life and for the fundamental rights of the Serbian people and of 
their
defender, President Slobodan Milosevic.  This kind of battle a united
people always wins.  This fight against tyranny is a fight for the 
dignity
and prosperity of all peoples.  



AGGRESSORS SHALL NOT WRITE OUR HISTORY !
FREEDOM FOR PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC !



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Consulter aussi – See also :



WEBSITE SPS (Serbe et Anglais)

 http://www.sps.org.yu/eng/explorer.htm



BELGRADE FORUM (forum for the world of equals) :

http://www.belgrade-forum.org/



PCN-NCP'S YUGO INFO :

http://www.pcn-ncp.com/yougoslavie.htm

(Information en Français, en Serbe et en Anglais - Information in 
French,
Serbian and English)



SERBIAN NETWORK :

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/




Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 



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