Grenada 17 Treatment Condemned by OAS
Grenadian Voice

OAS Human Rights Commission Condemns US military in Grenada

The handling of the "Grenada 17" by the American military at the time of
the US invasion in October 1983 has been condemned by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights of the Organisation of American States.

The report, which was published during the 104th Period of Sessions of the
organization, says the Unites States is responsible for the violation of
the rights of the 17.

The 17 had complained to the Commission that they were held incommunicado
for many days, and months passed before they were taken to a magistrate.

They also complained that they were threatened, beaten, deprived of sleep
and food and constantly harassed.

The Commission believes that the absence of any possibility for a review of
the detention of the 17 as required by the fourth Geneva Convention made
their imprisonment by the US illegal.

The report noted that taking into account that the 17 were classified as
civilians detained for security reasons and held in the custody of the
United States forces for 9 to 12 days, the Commission said that they should
have been afforded access to a review of the legality of their detention.

The report further outlined that the US failed to uphold the standards set
forth in the American Declaration of the Rights of Man in so far as the
arrest and incommunicado detention of the 17 is concerned.

The Commission recommended that the United States government review is
practices to ensure observance of the pertinent provisions of humanitarian

The Commission also recommended that the United States conduct a complete,
impartial and effective investigation into the allegations of torture in
order to determine and attribute responsibility to those for the violations.

Meanwhile there have been increased calls through the publication of
pamphlets calling for the immediate release of 5 of the 17.

Pamphlets appearing on the streets called for the release of Dave "Tan"
Bartholomew, Christopher Stroude, Colville Mc Barnette, Liam James and
Lester Redhead.

A group calling itself the Committee for the Release of the 17 says the
five men are innocent and were not involved in the killing of Bishop and
others at Fort George.

Meantime, Christopher Stroude who is assisting in the literacy campaign at
the Prisons has written two books named Fresh Start: Book One and Two.  The
books are used to help inmates at the Prisons who cannot read and write.

The Grenadian Voice: Week ending January 22, 2000.

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