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needs on the one hand and we have human rights on the other. People have died for human rights over and over. I don't equate needs and rights. I don't put them in the same basket. A country that cannot manage what it would like to do for its people economically—and many of the African countries are in that position could still give some decent treatment.
Mr. BONKER. Mr. Gastil, would you like to respond?
Mr. Gastil. I would like to respond this way. I think I see a great deal in that but I don't think I want to make the psychological judgments as to which is worse, starving or one of these other things. I think the important thing to emphasize is that we realize these are different issues whether or
not they are equally important. To respond to the earlier question, I remember one of the more important things that happened in Somalia in recent years was that a group of religious leaders opposed certain changes in the constitution in regard to women's rights in Somalia so they took them out and lined them up and shot them and that was the end of the opposition to womens' rights.
Mr. BONKER. What year was that, Mr. Gastil?
My point is that the suppression of people for their religious beliefs as we have seen in Iran in the last year or two, can generate a deep hatred for a system; this kind of hatred may be generated in many people in Somalia for all I know. We didn't know about the depth of this hatred in Iran because it was simply too dangerous to express it openly
I don't want to judge what the effect is on the average South African but I believe that the average South African does have many freedoms in his daily life that he would not have in Somalia. I think he has a more organized legal system, for example, more expectations at any rate as to how to get through the day without coming to a bad end.
Mr. SOLARZ. Sure, if he returns to the area where he is obligated to live in, if he has arranged to have his pass in order so that if he leaves his community for more than 72 hours he is not scooped up by the police, if he does not bother to have sexual relationship with his wife or if he has not fallen in love with somebody of another race and wants to marry her, then I quite agree. You don't have any of these problems.
Mr. GASTIL. Sure, absolutely, there are a lot of problems. I am saying it is very hard for us to get into the psychology of these people. I can see arguments on both sides, I have met with South Africans both black and white.
I want to disabuse you of the assumption that we have a quantitative study. It has been proposed to me many times that we have a quantitative check list. I have pointed out that exactly the problem that you identified would become a problem. For example, a rating system might have four points for religious freedom. Yet countries where religious dissenters were shot could only lose four points. You are absolutely right. You have to look at the balance of the overall situation.
Mr. SOLARZ. I was struck by your assertion that the use of torture in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia has become endemic particularly since the elections in April. That is a pretty damning indictment of the Salisbury Government. Do you know to what extent Muzorewa is aware
of the fact that these alleged acts of torture have been going on? Does he countenance them? Has he made any effort to combat them?
Mr. McGEE. I don't think I used the term endemic.
Mr. SOLARZ. You certainly did. It might have been epidemic instead of endemic. You said there has been use of torture but now, with the deteriorating security situation and the extension of martial law powers to all members of the security forces and those assisting them, it has reached epidemic proportion.
Ms. GRANT. I suppose your question has two points, first is this so and second
Mr. SOLARZ. You said it is so; so I assume it is so.
Ms. GRANT. When he was in this country we sought to see him to raise this with him and it is one of the areas on which his policy has really not differed from that of Mr. Smith in that neither of them has been willing to establish any sort of independent inquiry or indeed to prosecute. You will note that further down, I think, in the testimony there is a reference to a piece of legislation which indemnifies any official who commits an assault or inflicts an injury on another person in the course of his duty, and I think that demonstrates the situation which really removes protections.
Mr. SOLARZ. When you talk about torture having reached epidemic proportion in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia on the part of the forces of the Salisbury Government, are you talking about acts of torture involving thousands of people or dozens or hundreds ? I mean how extensive is the epidemic!
Ms. GRANT. I think it is impossible to put a statistic to epidemic. I think the best formula to use is that it appears to be normal for those people who are arrested for political reasons to be tortured, and you will see we give a figure of between 8,000 and 15,000 for those people who suffer torture or some brutality.
Mr. SOLARZ. Are you talking about physical torture? Ms. GRANT. Yes. Mr. SOLARZ. Not mental torture? Ms. GRANT. I am sure that too, but we are specifically concerned with physical torture.
Mr. SOLARZ. You are unaware of any efforts on the part of the Bishop to institute actions that would bring this to an end or minimize it!
Ms. GRANT. We would be happy to learn of them. There have been
Mr. SOLARZ. Have you looked at the Patriotic Front and its forces in the country?
Ms. GRANT. We would never assume atrocities particular to any one side of the conflict.
Mr. SOLARZ. Are there any examples that either of you are aware of where pressure by the U.S. Government has brought about an improvement ?
1 Stephanie Grant, director, Amnesty International, Washington office.
Ms. GRANT. I think this is the sort of linkage which is easier for the executive branch to make than for us.
Mr. SOLARZ. We got into a little disagreement before as to whether there were any countries in Africa where the human rights situation got worse. Obviously there are a few notable examples where it got better. Is there anywhere it got notably worse in the last year in Africa?
Ms. GRANT. We have mentioned the deteriorating situation in Rhodesia and South Africa.
Mr. SOLARZ. In South Africa !
Ms. GRANT. Yes. It is deterioration which is in sharp contrast to the supposed changes in other areas.
Mr. Gastil. Let me just remark on two of those points. One, it seemed to me that in Chad there may have been a deterioration because of the anarchical situation there; anarchy in general is not a good environment for human rights.
On South Africa I want to illustrate the different approaches. The Amnesty report as I recall mentioned a change in a law regarding the press. Now in fact in South Africa the press and the law have been in constant struggle for a very long time and I think from my point of view and the point of view of the survey we have always tried to determine what the actual effects of the law are and never try to think ahead as to what a law will accomplish.
Mr. SOLARZ. The final question—can any of you comment on the extent to which in your judgment American military assistance to Zaire has an impact on the human rights situation in that country? Does it contribute toward an improvement of the climate for human rights by presumably putting us in a better position to have influence, or does it strengthen the present apparatus of the regime, or does it have any impact in your judgment one way or the other
Mr. GASTIL. Let me use my answer as an illustration of a point I didn't get across enough in the paper: We have to think about the role the United States is going to play in regard to the self-determination of peoples in countries that are not fully solidified. In Zaire and Ethiopia and other countries that we have aided at various times, our aid is naturally used to hold together the group of ethnic people that happen to be within national boundaries. If we want at all cost to preserve these natural boundaries we have to give aid to the government, whatever it is. On the other hand, if we can develop some other kind of approach, maybe we could avoid giving that aid in certain circumstances.
Mr. SOLARZ, Amnesty International has not?
Mr. WEINSTEIN. Yes. How has the United States helped the situation? I tried to give some illustrations though I didn't mean to say that the complete situation had changed with respect to prisoners and some prison conditions. Where the United States and others, for a short period of time made some sort of pressure, things may be improved for a while, although when the pressure was stopped conditions deteriorated again.
I think in the case of military aid the fact that we continued to give it has been interpreted by most Zairians to mean we continue to support
President Mobutu politically and has contributed to a sense of sort of helplessness and feeling on their part that really these violations can go on there, and that there is nothing Zairians can do about it. Zairians believe that the United States is still Mobutuis friend and even if we tried to bring about certain changes, if we tried to do certain things, the government just behaves as it pleases, and continued U.S. military aid is interpreted as ample demonstration of the fact that the United States is not that serious about changing matters.
Mr. SOLARZ, Thank you very much.
I am looking for something that I want to find and ask you about, Professor Weinstein. It was about Angola. I have a note here page 8, Angola. Now I can't find it. Did you mention Angola in your testimony, Dr. Weinstein! I have other questions if we cannot find that.
I was interested as to your mention of our having intervened in both Zaire and Ethiopia and having thus messed up the whole future of both countries. I wonder if you could give us your thought on that.
Mr. WEINSTEIN. Well, I think in the case of Zaire here we will go back to the sixties.
Mrs. FENWICK. Yes.
Mr. WEINSTEIN. The United States, in an effort to win support for political individuals, was involved in bribing members of the parliament to insure their votes would be cast in particular ways. This contributed to the rise of corruption and, if you will, erosion of whatever local efforts there were to develop democratic processes within the parliament.
Mrs. FENWICK. Is it your thesis then that those who were opposed to our public witnesses were democratic and splendid in nature, and that it would have been much better had they taken over!
Mr. WEINSTEIN. No, I think that would be a mistake. You had a political situation where all the people didn't necessarily agree.
Mrs. FENWICK. I don't remember who the individuals were at this time.
Mr. WEINSTEIN. There were a number of political parties at the time. Not all of them were anti-United States. The bribery matter came up when the Adoula government was facing certain votes of confidence in the parliament. There were other times when this happened after that and the United States I think on the book about Zaire by Mr. Weissman, if I can cite someone who is one of this subcommittee's aides, lays that out in a few hundred pages with all the details with respect to the U.S. intervention in Zaire.
Mrs. FENWICK. What about Ethiopia?
Mr. WEINSTEIN. In the case of Ethiopia I think the United States in its assistance to the Emperor overlooked and did not pay any attention to what was going on. The United States made a mistake by simply supporting him and not, if you will, giving any thought to whether the cost of this support was in effect eroding and undercutting any possibility of an opposition that might have been one that we would have found easier to get on with at the present time.
Mrs. FENWICK. I see.
I would be very grateful for a list of the bad laws, Mr. McGee, that turn up in South Africa about the press and detention, and so on, a little more specifically than you have them here if you would not mind. Is that all right, Mr. Chairman, that we have that included in the record ?
Mr. McGEE. May we submit something in writing?
Mrs. FENWICK. If you would. I think we ought to be aware of any laws that go in one direction or another. Two good laws, the recognition of black labor whims, including black migrant laborers, and the 99-year leasehold law. These were two forward-looking moves and the Prime Minister also suggested that the government would review the marriage laws. That is hopeful but the press laws are certainly not hopeful and I think we ought to be aware of the direction that seems to be taking place in South Africa.
[The information follows:]
In the view of Amnesty International, the past year has seen no appreciable improvement whatsoever in the situation of South Africa's political prisoners. On the contrary, we believe there has been further significant deterioration in the human rights situation which contrasts sharply with the apparent reforms in the field of labor and trade union rights, and in respect of official attitudes towards the Immorality and Mixed Marriages Acts which have been reported so widely in the press.
The original Inquest Act, the Inquest Act Number 58 of 1959, was created "to provide for the holding of inquests in cases of death or alleged death apparently occurring from other than natural causes and for matters incidental thereto..."
The most relevant section of the recent amendment to the Inquest Act with regard to publicizing and the suppression of information, is the amendment to Section 20 which reads as follows:
Any person who prejudices, influences or anticipates the proceedings or findings at an inquest on which a magistrate has decided in terms of section 5(2), shall be guilty of an offence and liable to conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred rand or to imprisonment for a period not ex
ceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. It is bound to deter, if not prevent, any public mention or journalistic reporting of a death in detention or ongoing inquest about such death. It prevents any critical assessment of the preceding of an inquiry of such kind, without facing punishment.
It should be kept in mind that the death in detention of Steve Biko, which brought worldwide publicity to South African security police practices, has resulted since in "only" two deaths in detention since September 1977 compared with the 19 deaths which occurred in the two years 1976 and 1977. This indicates South Africa's vulnerability regarding its public images and this legislation seems to stem from a concern about their public image.
Several pieces of South African legislation provides for long term and/or indefinite detention of those accused as well as witnesses. Often provisions for incommunicado and solitary confinement are included in the legislation. The two most frequently applied are:
a. The 1967 Terrorism Act. This Act was given retroactive effect back to June 1962. Terrorism is defined in very broad terms as any activity likely “to endanger the maintenance of law and order." This law covers activities which take place in South Africa, Namibia and even extends abroad.
Section 6 of the Terrorism Act empowers the authorities to detain anyone incommunicado and without charge for an indefinite period of time. Under this section any police, Lieutenant-Colonel or higher ranking officer has authorization to arrest, without warrant or charge, anyone suspected of being a "terrorist” or possessing information relating to terrorism. Such detainees are held incommunicado, often in solitary confinement, until such time as the Commission of Police considers that they have replied "satisfactorily" to all questions put to them by the interrogators.
Section 6 detainees are left entirely in the care of their interrogators. They do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and no court can instruct the authorities to release any particular detainee. These provisions create the physical and legal conditions in which torture takes place.
b. The Criminal Procedures Matters Amendment Act, passed in May 1978, removed the six month limit on the length of time during which potential