Van Bommel: December Murders trial must be resumed

1 December 2015

Van Bommel: December Murders trial must be resumed

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is determined to see the legal action concerning the so-called December Murders in Surinam resumed. In December of 1982, fifteen young men, well-known as active opponents of the then dictator of the former Dutch colony, Dési Bouterse, were tortured and killed following a series of arrests. ‘Since the adoption of the amnesty law these proceedings have been in a sort of legal vacuum,’ says Van Bommel. ‘It needs to be rapidly brought out of that situation, because this kind of serious human rights abuse should not qualify for impunity.’

On 8th and 9th December 1982, fifteen opponents of Dési Bouterse’s military regime, which had come to power a few years previously, were tortured and murdered. In 2007 a trial began of those suspected of these crimes, but since the amnesty law was adopted in 2012 it has been in abeyance. Yesterday the Surinamese media announced that the country’s Court of Justice had decided that the Prosecutors’ Office should proceed to further prosecution of Dési Bouterse as leading suspect in the December Murders.

‘Surinam must do everything possible to ensure the prosecution of the perpetrators of the December Murders,’ says Van Bommel. ‘That goes also for the bloodbath in Moiwana in 1986, when a village was butchered and razed to the ground by a unit of the Surinamese army. As long as prosecution of such things is left undone, these painful chapters of Surinamese history won’t ever be closed.’

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