Rotsne

A possible solution in the Niels Holck case

In International justice on June 6, 2010 at 08:51

This week there was a hearing in court in the Niels Holck case.

A lot of evidence has not been released to the defense so the case is not even started at this point.

But regardless of the verdict of the court a general concern about the fact that India use torture as they did when Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal.

We need to address this problem because we all want to bring those persons who destabilize other countries by their actions to justice.

When I took my weekly tour around Danish blogs I found one which gave me awareness about the fact that France last year in cooperation with Iran did set some standards third world countries should apply to when they want to prosecute citizens from a European country.

Down in Iran a French woman according to the charges brought against her by the government in Iran did involve herself into activities which were a threat against their form of democracy.

Her cell during the trail in Iran was the French embassy. She was only allowed to leave the embassy when she should attend court hearings. Once she was convicted they put her on a plane to France where it was up to the French government how she should serve her sentence.

Some claim that France gave Iran something in return for her. I would not judge whether this is true.

But I believe that a similar arrangement could be made with Niels Holck. The guidelines for a French citizen should apply for a Danish citizen also. They are both citizens in an EU member state. They were both charged for participating in activities which could destabilize a local government.

I know what you are going to say. Why should citizens from European countries be treated so much different than a local person charged with a crime? The simple answer is that the local person should be treated as good as the European citizen while waiting for the result of the trial because we must agree upon the fact that every person is innocent until proven guilty.

And the difference in treatment is not that big anymore. I happen to watch a program about the conviction of Cholmondeley in Kenya. He was given a rather harsh sentence for a shooting incident. Such a trial could not have taken place just a few decades ago. We have moved in the right direction. While the general picture of justice systems in Africa still looks very little improved compared to the descriptions given in George Remi’s book from around 1930 I have to say that I was impressed in a positive way about the way the justice system in Kenya handled Cholmondeley’s case.

We must all agree about that the days where citizens from Europe could travel around the world considering them above the law. The need to bring stability to foreign countries like people Cecil Rhodes and James Brooke did does not exist anymore. The population must endure life on their own without us interfering all the time. In daily life based on the recent economically demands by the European Union we ordinary citizens are as challenged as any population in any country outside Europe. I have started simply to shut off my television whenever news from outside Europe appears in the news.

But there is a second opposition against the French solution. Some claim that Iran practice a different form of democracy than India which should lead to demand to different treatment of European prisoners than local prisoners.

The Niels Holck extradition case does based on several sources build on the possibilities of possible export. For some time India has played a huge part in the renewal of our merchant fleet. Old ships are disposed off very professional so we can build new ships. If Denmark had maintained strong no to this extradition case, our export could risk damage.

Also Iran is working close together with Denmark so we can provide updated public transportation. Just as few decades ago worn-out train sets did meet their destiny in the middle of Copenhagen where they were burned down because they were built of materials which can damage people if they worked with it. Now the old train sets ferry people down in Iran. It is a win-win situation for both nations.

Because India and Iran are very alike when it comes to the general treatment of minorities inside their country we must set the same level of demands when it comes to put citizens from Europe before trial in either country.

I hope that Denmark and India can agree on terms similar to the standards which were agreed upon between France and Iran, so we can move on in this sad case.

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