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    Political prisoners

    The definition of political prisoners refers to the fact that these prisoners are put away by countries for non-judicial reasons. Countries that incarcerate political prisoners use every trick to label them as criminals. These countries do this to get a good image, internal as well as abroad. They think that if the law and a judge were involved, this qualifies them to be just and civilized states. For multinationals it’s an excuse to locate themselves in these countries. And for other countries to give development aid. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International must expose these practices. It’s very important to stay alert if it comes to criminal rulings and the misconduct of due process.

    A clear standard

    To be able to recognize political prisoners, political and legal standards are required that go beyond common law and even beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such standards are still missing. The 10th of December is the day on which worldwide human rights are celebrated. This date is selected by the United Nations to commemorate the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. It’s about time that the United Nations establishes a clear standard for political prisoners and advocates it to the world. This perhaps could lead to the accentuation of the Universal Declaration, which by the way is overdue for more than just one article.

    Bert Breij, Amsterdam

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