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New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2005 Jan 21. 22 p.Since February 2003, Darfur has been the scene of massive crimes against civilians of particular ethnicities in the context of an internal conflict between the Sudanese government and a rebel insurgency. Almost two million people have been forcibly displaced and stripped of all their property and tens of thousands of people have been killed, raped or assaulted. Even against this backdrop of extreme violence against civilians, several incidents in March 2004 stand out for the extraordinary level of brutality demonstrated by the perpetrators. In one incident, Sudanese government and “Janjaweed” militia forces detained and then conducted mass executions of more than 200 farmers and community leaders of Fur ethnicity in the Wadi Saleh area of West Darfur. In a second incident in neighboring Shattaya locality, government and militia forces attacked Fur civilians, detained them in appalling conditions for weeks, and subjected many to torture. To date, the Sudanese government has neither improved security for civilians nor ended the impunity enjoyed by its own officials and allied militia leaders. Immediate action including an increased international presence in rural areas of Darfur is needed to improve protection of civilians and reverse ethnic cleansing. International prosecutions are also essential to provide accountability for crimes against humanity and ensure justice for the victims in Darfur. The Sudanese government is clearly unwilling and unable to hold perpetrators of atrocities to account: a presidential inquiry into abuses recently disputed evidence of widespread and systematic abuses and instead of prosecutions, recommended the formation of a committee. The United Nations Security Council, following receipt of the January 25th report of the international commission of inquiry’s investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and allegations of genocide in Darfur, should promptly refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. (excerpt)
Intimidation, coercion and resistance in the final stages of the South Asian smallpox eradication campaign, 1973-1975.
Social Science and Medicine. 1995 Sep; 41(5):633-45.Occasions during 1973-75 are reviewed when physician-epidemiologists working under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) in south Asia intimidated local health officials and resorted to coercive vaccination in the final stages of the Smallpox Eradication Program (SEP). The SEP was established inside this structure in 1962 with the goal of immunizing 80% of the population. By 1964, however, when 80% coverage had indeed been achieved in some states, outbreaks continued to occur because vaccination had been concentrated on the most accessible groups. From 1964 to 1967 a goal of 100% vaccination was set to include slum dwellers, migrant workers, and fishermen in less accessible regions. However, still numerous outbreaks occurred with more than 130,000 cases reported between 1970 and 1973. In mid-1973 an intensified campaign was launched in both India and Bangladesh under WHO guidance that appointed expatriate epidemiologists to work in cooperation with national SEP authorities. Surveillance teams were equipped with jeeps and motorcycles so they could search markets, schools, pilgrimage sites, tea-shops, and slums for cases. Repeated village-to-village and house-to-house searches were launched in both countries; cash awards were offered for hidden cases; rigorous containment measures were taken; and motorized teams rushed to the scene of outbreaks to backstop local vaccination personnel. Nonetheless, the SEP came close to a collapse in the first six months of 1974 with an explosion of outbreaks in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. After June of 1974 the number of foreign epidemiologists doubled to about 100. Coercion was justified by containment, and in the last phase of the campaign, containment was defined to mean the vaccination of everyone living within a 1-1.5 km radius of an outbreak. Sustained resistance was infrequent, but there were a range of coercive encounters involving American WHO advisers during this period of time that were all documented by the advisors involved.