Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Vineyard of the Saker: Ukraine's Démarche Against Refugees - To Be Interned, Split and Forcibly Utilized as Soldiers

Ukraine's Démarche Against Refugees - To Be Interned, Split and Forcibly Utilized as Soldiers

Preamble: The document below was published by LifeNews as a true copy of a letter prepared by the acting Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Colonel General Mikhail Koval, who addressed it to the President of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko. Unless I receive a specific request—and due to lack of time and volume of work—I am not going to apply my legal experience dealing with refugees (in Egypt and in Canada) to expound on the enormous and obvious legal failings of this proposed policy.

Suffice to say, this newest pearl of the Ukrainian national-fascist, Nazi government flies directly in the face of the very foundations of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, as well as applicable customary international law. If there is sufficient interest, I may ask Barbara Harrell-Bond, a recipient of the Order of the British Empire and a world-renowned expert in the field (and my kind and dear mentor) to provide a short commentary on the subject, if she is so inclined. In the meantime, a few brief points would be useful here:

The most basic rule of refugee law is the prohibition on the expulsion of refugees from safety into harm's way. Once a refugee has crossed the boundary into a safe haven (wherever that may be), he or she may not be compelled to return to danger (this prohibition applies also to those accused of international crimes, such as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Although the latter accusations have not here been made, it should be noted that even persons in this category must be brought to trial, rather than re-exposed to the very threat they fled from).

The second basic rule of refugee law is the principle of preservation of families: family units ought not to be split, regardless of the circumstances and irrespective of what any of the family members have done or are alleged to have done. Families (by which I mean husbands, wives, children, relatives, the elderly, etc.) must be permitted to remain together, just as they otherwise would have had the opportunity to do so.

The third basic rule of refugee law is that refugees are persons in need of protection, and not a convenient workforce to be exploited as forced labour, or as soldiers; nor are they to be forcibly interned and segregated into various groups and dispersed into various institutions or establishments (however suitable such institutions may appear to an ignorant, untrained eye). By law, refugees possess and must be furnished with unrestricted freedom of travel and mobility within their country of refuge and may not be corralled or segregated from the rest of the population. This is a fortiori the case when refugees are found in a country in which they already benefit from a full panoply of personal, political and social rights, as is the case with Ukrainian refugees in Ukraine.

A more in-depth discussion would, as indicated, raise further issues. For now, though, I leave you to consider the following shining example of the rise of totalitarianism in Ukraine.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Ukraine's Démarche Against Refugees - To Be Interned, Split and Forcibly Utilized as SoldiersCC Photo Google Image Search Source is upload wikimedia org  Subject is Palestinian refugees

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