The last Sunday of the month
in the Plaza Mayor (next to the horse statue), at 12:00 noon
Women in Black
to a vigil in black and in silence.
28 March 2010
Considering THE SPANISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WAR – MADRID
Are concerned about the situation regarding human rights all over the world.
We believe that to promote and implement human rights locally and globally is the best legacy we can leave to coming generations.
Mr. President: As on other occasions, we direct ourselves to you crying out about the flagrant vitiation of human rights in places that we see first hand as Women in Black.
Let us expel war and violence
and from our lives
Mr. President, Mrs. Vice President, Minister of Foreign Relations:
We Women in Black are concerned about the human rights situation all around the globe. We believe that to promote and implement human rights locally and globally is the best legacy we can leave to coming generations. The reality demonstrates that these rights are systematically violated everywhere. As on other occasions, we direct ourselves to you to cry out in the face of the flagrant vitiation of human rights in places we see first hand as Women in Black.
At the halfway point of the Spanish presidency of the European Union, we send you our concerns and petitions:
Afghanistan: a war that you do not recognize as such, in which the Spanish army is involved.
Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero: We ask that you take the Spanish troops out of Afghanistan and participate in the search for other means of cooperating with the Afghani social sectors that are involved with the reconstruction of the country. In Afghanistan, it will also be necessary to find a way to repeal the law of “National Reconciliation” (which guarantees immunity for war crimes committed during the past 30 years).
Colombia: Since the inception of the Presidency of Mr. Alvaro Uribe, the violation of human rights has been a constant. The involvement or omission on the part of the army in assassinations has been demonstrated in some judicial proceedings.
Mr. Zapatero: Women in Black would have liked that Mr. Uribe’s policy of violating human rights had not been looked upon with favor by your government. We would like for you to change your attitude in the time remaining as President of the European Union and the legislature.
Palestine and Israel: We believe that Israel is not fulfilling the resolutions of the United Nations and reinforces this non-compliance with each unpunished violation of human rights, which it commits with the acquiescence of international organizations, the European Union included.
Mr. Zapatero: On 10 March the European Parliament accepted the Goldstone Report. We ask that it not be just a symbolic declaration and that in the time remaining of the Presidency you use diplomatic measures to put pressure on Israel to stop the occupation and guarantee safety for the work of the civil movements for peace.
Russia, Chechnya and the Caucasus: The policy of the European Union has been to look the other way regarding issues that involve human rights. Our companion and colleague Natalia Estemirova was assassinated in July of 2009, and her Organization for Human Rights “Memorial” service had to take place away from Grozni because of the danger that other members of the organization might be assassinated as well.
Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero, we ask that the European Union intervene to the end that Estemirova’s assassination not remain in impunity. Likewise, we ask for a clear commitment of support for the defenders of human rights in the entire territory.
Serbia: The situation in Serbia continues to be difficult for the defenders of human rights and the peace activists who struggle against impunity and for the truth regarding victims of war. The situation of gays and lesbians and gypsies is also highly vulnerable.
Mr. Zapatero, we ask for your commitment in support of the activists who work against impunity involved with war, so that they can demonstrate freely. We also ask support for the proposal that the government of Serbia officially declare 11 July as “Day of Genocide in Srebrenica”.
Women in Black of Madrid maintain our commitment to the defense and implementation of human rights. Once again, we lament that in Spain the possibility of universal justice has been suppressed during the current legislature.
Translation: Trisha Novak, USA