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The United States voted in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of Resolution 3448 (XXX) on protection of human rights in Chile, which was adopted on December 9, 1975, by a vote of 95 to 11, with 23 abstentions. Leonard Garment, U.S. Representative in Committee III (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), made a statement in the Committee on November 11, 1975, in which he said:
Our vote reflects deep concern over reports which continue to come to this organization from many credible sources about violations of basic human rights taking place in Chile. My government is of the opinion that these reports deserve to be addressed by appropriate U.N. action.
... my government gave its strong support to the establishment of an ad hoc working group by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. .. my government was deeply disappointed that the visit of the working group to Chile did not take place. The position we take today has been greatly influenced by that development.
unlike other drafts on the situation in Chile which have been informally circulated and to which my delegation has objected because of their objectionable intervention in the internal affairs of that government, the draft resolution before us draws attention to specific provisions of international instruments to which Chile as well as other members of the United Nations is party. These international instruments are among the most important achievements of this organization during its existence. We regard this resolution as a positive attempt to give meaning to these human rights instruments through its call on the Chilean authorities to give full respect to them.
Mr. Garment expressed U.S. doubts about the resolution, however, for its focus on specified conditions stated to exist in Chile, which might be seen as involving the United Nations in matters of domestic concern, and for its criticism of a single country, leaving the impression that the United Nations was willing to overlook violations in other countries.
For the full text of Mr. Garment's statement, see Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1908, Jan. 19, 1976, pp. 84–86. The text of GA Res. 3448 (XXX) follows:
The General Assembly,
Conscious of its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,
Recalling that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile or to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Recalling that, in its Resolution 3219 (XXIX) of November 6, 1974, the General Assembly expressed its deepest concern about reported constant and flagrant violations of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in Chile and urged the authorities in that
country to take all necessary steps to restore and safeguard those rights and freedoms,
Noting that the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, at its eighteenth session, the General Conference of the International Labor Organization, at its sixtieth session, the World Conference of the International Women's Year and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, at its twentyeighth session, called for the cessation of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Chile,
Noting that, in its Resolution 8 (XXXI) of February 27, 1975, the Commission on Human Rights, after expressing its serious concern about the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Chile, decided to establish an ad hoc working group to inquire into the present situation of human rights in that country on the basis of all available evidence, including a visit to Chile, and appealed to the authorities of Chile to extend its full cooperation to the group,
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General under Resolution 3219 (XXIX) and, in particular, the progress report submitted by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile,
Convinced that the progress report contains evidence on which to conclude that flagrant and constant violations of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms have taken place and continue to take place in Chile,
Expressing its appreciation to the Chairman and members of the Ad Hoc Working Group for their report which has been prepared in a commendable manner, notwithstanding the refusal of the Chilean authorities to permit the Group to visit the country,
Reaffirming its condemnation of all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
1. Expresses its profound distress at the constant, flagrant violations of human rights, including the institutionalized practice of torture, cruel, inhu. man or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest, detention and exile, to which the progress report brings additional evidence, which have taken place and, according to existing evidence, continue to take place in Chile;
2. Calls on the Chilean authorities to take, without delay, all necessary measures to restore and safeguard basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and fully to respect the provisions of the international instruments to which Chile is a party and, to this end, to ensure that:
(a) The state of siege or emergency is not used for the purpose of violating human rights and fundamental freedoms, contrary to article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(b) Adequate measures are taken to end the institutionalized practice of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in full respect of article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(c) The rights of all persons to liberty and security of person, in particular the rights of those who have been detained without charge or in prison solely for political reasons, as provided for in article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are fully guaranteed and steps are taken to clarify the status of those individuals who are not accounted for;
(d) No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offense on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offense, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed, contrary to article 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(e) No one, in accordance with article 15, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, shall be arbitrarily deprived of Chilean nationality;
(1) The right to freedom of association, including the right to form and join trade unions, shall be respected in accordance with article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(g) The right to intellectual freedoms, as provided for in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, shall be guaranteed;
3. Deplores the refusal of the Chilean authorities to allow the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile to visit the country, notwithstanding previous solemn assurances given by the authorities in this regard and urges them to honor these assurances;
4. Invites the Commission on Human Rights to extend the mandate of the Ad Hoc Working Group established under Resolution 8 (XXXI), as presently constituted, to enable it to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-first session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its thirty-third session on the situation of human rights in Chile and, in particular, any developments which occur to reestablish respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
5. Requests the President of the thirtieth session of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to assist in any way they may deem appropriate in the reestablishment of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in Chile.
Assistant Secretary of State William D. Rogers, on June 11, 1975, discussed the question of human rights in Cuba, as it relates to the normalization of relations with Cuba, in a statement before the Subcommittee on International Trade and Commerce and the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the House Committee on International Relations. The relevant portion of his statement follows:
two questions have arisen in these hearings: the current status of human rights in Cuba and the relationship between the human rights problem and U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Previous witnesses have estimated that there are between 100,000 and 200,000 political prisoners incarcerated in Cuba. The U.S. Government does not have a definite number, and we are not able to confirm these estimates. .
If the numbers are unclear, what is certain is that there continue to be political prisoners in Cuba. They include eight U.S. citizens serving 20-to-30-year sentences.
... there are also 765 American citizens and 1,177 Cubannational relatives of our citizens presumably still seeking to leave Cuba and registered with the Swiss Embassy in Havana. Cuba claims that of these only 89 are American citizens. The Cuban Government states that the other 1,853 who registered to leave are Cuban-national and dual-national relatives. Only a handful of these persons has been permitted to leave Cuba annually since termination of repatriation flights.
. . Since the break in diplomatic relations between our two countries 14 years ago, mutual antagonism characterized our official attitudes until recently. Nonetheless two understandings were reached by our governments. One established the airlift which enabled 265,000 Cubans to come to our country. The other contributed to the near-elimination of hijackings of U.S. passenger aircraft-a measure which, incidentally, we regard as a major step forward and which represented, in our view, a significant gesture on the part of the Government of Cuba.
The airlift is our major achievement in the general area of human rights during this entire period. In fact, it could be argued, as it has by some scholars, that the policy of international hostility increased the propensity of the Cuban Government to internal repression. For example, thousands were arrested in the wake of the Bay of Pigs.
It has been suggested ... by some that reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba could have the effect of ameliorating human rights problems in Cuba or at least of providing a channel for the better expression of our concern. Others have suggested that resumption of diplomatic and commercial relations would countenance the human rights practices of the present Cuban administration and thus violate all moral principles.
With regard to the first view, I would only say that the policy of hostility and of seeking Cuba's isolation had, so far as we can ascertain, no significant positive impact on Cuba's record in the human rights field.
With regard to the second suggestion, I note that the United States has diplomatic and commercial relations with many countries whose forms of government are contrary to the democratic principles which guide our own nation. Senate Resolution 205, passed in 1969, states that the recognition by the United States of a foreign government and exchange of diplomatic representations does not imply that the United States approves the form, ideology, or policies of that government. We share this view and would emphasize that maintenance of relations does not imply either moral approval or condemnation of its governmental practices.
we continue to be concerned with the condition of human rights in Cuba and to have a humanitarian interest in seeing families reunited ... in any future negotiations with Cuba this concern and interest on our part will be conveyed.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1880, July 7, 1975, pp. 30–35.
On June 10, 1975, Ambassador Nathaniel Davis, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, made a statement before the Subcommittee on International Resources, Food, and Energy of the House Committee on International Relations in which, after reiterating United States support for U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2145 of October 27, 1966, terminating South Africa's mandate over Namibia, he outlined United States actions with respect to human rights violations in Namibia. He said, in part:
We have made clear to the South African Government our deep concern over violations of human rights in the territory and have emphasized our position that although the mandate has been revoked South Africa continues to have obligations to ensure the observance of basic human rights. One example of our concrete concern in the human rights area was our persistent effort during the first half of 1974 to seek information from the South African Government on the detention of some 15 South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and SWAPO Youth League members arrested in late January and early February 1974. Efforts by our Embassy in South Africa to obtain particulars on these detentions, such as charges and planned charges, the legal basis of detention, access to counsel, places of detention, etc., began on February 22, 1974. After repeated oral and written inquiries on our part, the South African Department of Foreign Affairs replied on June 25 by supplying us with the answers to some but not all of our questions. Our efforts to obtain further information continued until all of the 15 detainees were either released without being charged or brought to trial. Officers from our Embassy in South Africa attended all three trials which were eventually held, involving five detainees. One detainee was found not guilty, two detainees including SWAPO National Chairman David Meroro were found guilty but received light suspended sentences. The remaining two detainees ... were found guilty of attempting to incite people “to commit murder or to cause public violence or malicious damage to property in South West Africa” and sentenced to five years with three years suspended.
Our Embassy in South Africa also made strong representations to the South African Government in November 1973 and again in April 1974 when we became aware of press reports that people in Ovamboland, northern Namibia, were being publicly flogged because of their political opposition to the South African administration of Namibia. On both occasions our Ambassador to South Africa made clear to high South African Department of Foreign Affairs officials our deep concern over these reported floggings and emphasized the ultimate responsibility which the South African Government bore for the actions of tribal authorities in Namibia. Since that time the appellate division of the
outh African Supreme Court on February 24, 1975, has enjoined such political floggings in Ovamboland.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXII, No. 1880, July 7, 1975, pp. 36–39.
On Nov. 19, 1975, the U.S. Ambassador at Pretoria delivered an aide-memoire to the Government of South Africa, expressing U.S. concern regarding reports of alleged mistreatment by South African soldiers of named persons in Ovamboland. It also reminded that Government of its promised response to an earlier U.S. request in Sept. 1975 concerning Namibian detainees. Dept. of State File L HR.
The United States Government protested strongly to the South African Government following the issuance on June 16, 1975, by the South West Africa Legislative Assembly of an order of expulsion against Bishop Richard J. Wood, Suffragan Bishop of Damaraland, and his American citizen wife, Cathleen Wood. Bishop Wood