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April 3, 2019
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April 12, 2019
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May 16, 1977
PDF icon INR WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS OF [15515294].pdf369.41 KB
Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT INR WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN HUMAN RIGHTS* No. .5, May 16, 1977 EAST ASIA Philippines On May 13, President Marcos ordered the release of Mrs. Trinidad Herrara, the leader of a Catholic Action movement in Manila,.and called for an investigation into charges that she had been tortured. He also ordered the court martial of a lieutenant and the arrest of any others involved in her arrest and interrogation. (UNCLASSIFIED; Reuter 724) Our Charge/reported on May. 14 that he planned to advise the Minister of Finance that he will recommend that the US executive director of the World Bank vote in favor of the IBRD loan for the Philippines: --on the ground that the government has moved expeditiously in the Herrara investigation; and --on the assumption that it will pursue the case vigorously and decisively. (CONFIDENTIAL; Manila 7341) Our Commercial Attache in Manila has talked to three US businessmen who have been requested by Philippine Govern- officials to help improve the human rights image of the Philippines. One of the businessmen considered the approach a threat, i.e., if the companies did.not assist in improving the Image, "difficulties" would arise. The other two men did not interpret the approach as a threat. (CONFIDENTIAL; Manila 7260, 7324, 7336) On May 15, a British television program reported "detailed allegations" of torture and human rights viola- tions in the Philippines. Former detainees who claimed to have personal knowledge of torture were interviewed. Also interviewed was Defense Minister Enrile, who replied to * This round-up covers countries receiving development or security assistance or likely to make FMS cash purchases. SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT XGDS-2 Ks.2ie2r2 914/ Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT - 2 - the allegations by saying: "Some of the Philippine clergy are picking up isolated cases of abuses of the military to argue that there are widespread abuses. This is not so." (UNCLASSIFIED; Reuter 326.-7) South Korea According to a clandestine report, the following number of persons have been arrested and turned over to prosecution under Emergency Measure 9: January 1 - April 26, 1977 56 May 1975 - April 26, 1977 520 (SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT; CIA 315/05510) Embassy Seoul reported on May 9 that the Korean Govern- ment has authorized the Korean National Council of Churches to form a committee to visit the Myongdong prisoners and inspect their condition. (CONFIDENTIAL; Seoul 3804) LATIN AMERICA Argentina President Videla said at a news conference in Caracas on May 12 that he could not set a date for Argentina's complete return to "institutionality," although efforts were being made in that direction. In reviewing various possible reasons for the disappearance of persons, he mentioned that it might be a result of "excessive repression on the part of the public forces." He denied that there was any disdontent among the armed forces over the arrest of the former President, General Lanusse. (UNCLASSIFIED; FBIS 106) Chile* The wife of Carlos Lazo, who has been detained in Chile for the last four years, asked Embassy Paris on May 9 for US assistance. She said that she believes that international political pressure is necessary to obtain his release. She has requested assistance from the French also, and Socialist leader Francois Mitterand has agreed to enlist the aid of Willy Brandt through Socialist International channels. (CONFIDENTIAL; Paris 13662) SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 SECRET/NOFORN/NOCOTRACT. � 3 � Embassy Santiago on May 10 commented as follows on this case: --Lazo is one of two remaining persons involved in the 1974 air force mass trial who are still incarcerated. --The Chilean board which considers requests for commuta- tion of sentences has made no decision on his release, probably following instruction from top levels of the government. --It is difficult to believe that Lazo's release would worsen Chile's international position. =It is doubtful that US pressure would be effective in this case. --Senator Jackson has a continuing interest in the case. (LIMITED OFFICIAL USE; Santiago 3863) Colombia President Lopez told Assistant Secretary Todman, May 9, that Columbia's human rights record is "virtually unequaled." He warned, however, against actions which could be inter- preted as intervention. He commented that it would be better for the US "to take a more pragmatic attitude towards such happenings rather than trying to act like an international policemen." He agreed with Todman that it is useful to pursue a multilateral approach to human rights. (CONFIDENTIAL; Bogota 4247) AFRICA Ethiopia When our Charge(informed a Foreign Ministry official on May 12 that the US had abstained on two IDA loans, the official characterized our human rights policy as "hypocriti- cal and politically inspired." Our Charge' noted that the government may take negative decisions regarding our AID operation in Ethiopia. (CONFIDENTIAL; Addis Ababa 3001) Senegal The Chief Justice of Senegal wrote our Ambassador in Dakar that the Secretary's human rights speech "strikes a very responsive chord in me." (LIMITED OFFICIAL USE; Dakar 3261) SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431 SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT - 4 - WESTERN EUROPE Spain Strikes, demonstrations.1. and violence in the Basque region over the weekend protested the failure of the Spanish Government to release "all" political prisoners. Five persons were killed and dozens were injured. The demonstrators claimed that there are still 33 Basques being held for political offenses.. The government has replied that, with the recent release of 286 prisoners: � --only 110 political prisoners are still being. held; --27 of those are Basques; --their cases are being studied with a view to possible pardon. (CONFIDENTIAL; Madrid 3802) INTERNATIONAL A non-governmental organizations international symposium on torture was held in Geneva on May 5-6. The symposium was financed by Jean-Jacques Gautier, a lawyer and former Swiss banker who has been working on a draft convention against torture. Discussion of.the role of governments in combatting torture was led by an American, Frank Newman, of the International League for Human Rights. He said, inter alia: �"Most State Department people are anti-human rights." --In the US, the only governmental sector speaking out against torture is Congress. --The President is only carrying out the will of Congress, but he has to drag the State Department along. .--Human rights organizations should be established in geographic regions; such as the court in Strasbourg. . (LIMITED OFFICIAL USE; Geneva 3703) On May 12, three African nations were elected to the UN Human Rights Commission (HRC)--Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Egypt. USUN comments that the election of Senegal was notable as a tribute to the personal reputation of Keba DeBaye, the Senegalese representative on the HRC. Also notable were the quick defeats of Ethiopia and Burundi. (LIMITED OFFICIAL USE; USUN 1536) SECRET/NOFORN/NOCONTRACT Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C00763431