Recent developments relating to human rights: report of a mission to Suriname in February 1981

This is a report concerning the human rights situation in Suriname, based upon a mission to that country carried out between 3 and 17 February 1981 by Prof. J .Griffiths. The facts herein reported are as of 1 7 February 1981.

The original purpose of the mission was to observe the proceedings before the Special Tribunal, to gather related information, and to report tn the ICJ. It proved impossible, however, to plan a trip to Suriname within the short period after the definitive date of any given trial became known. In consultation with the undersigned it was therefore decided that he should visit Suriname for a somewhat longer period than originally contemplated, and that his mission should be more broadly conceived as encompassing the human rights situation in Suriname in general.

In the conclusion, it is stated that the “following would seem to be the most serious problems concerning human rights which have arisen during the past year:

  1. Infringement of the freedom of the press by means of lawless, arbitrary intimidation.
  2. Mistreatment of detainees, some very seriously, without the possibility of any legal redress.
  3. Arbitrary arrests and long detention without adequate legal safeguards.
  4. Prevention of and interference with contact between detained persons and their lawyers.
  5. The absence of a proper prosecutorial structure in corruption cases.
  6. Inadequately specific charges in corruption cases.
  7. Inadequate time and oppotunity to orepare the defence in corruption cases.
  8. The absence of a right of appeal in corruption cases.
  9. Problems concerning the appearance of independence and impartiality of the members of the Special Tribunal

Suriname-human rights developments-fact-finding mission report-1981-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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