Friday, November 24, 2006

Editorial: Hunger Strikes in the Hague

Good editorial about Seselj and Glavas's hunger strikes:

For those who are more familiar with the legal aspects, can at anytime the OTP, or whoever the proper authorities are, intervene and force the men to be fed via a tube? (If it comes to that point).


ETA: 11/26/2006
If anyone cares (and I'm assuming some do not ;) ), more articles on Seselj and his hunger strike:

Seselj moved to hospital as protective measure

UN will intervene in Seselj's hunger strike if necessary

Well that was quick, according to an ICTY spokesman, the tribunal will not interfere in Seselj's hunger strike-and will not force feed him.


igor said...

Yes, just like the authorities can and are even obliged to prevent suicide. In fact it is suicide if you starve yourself to death.

Daniel said...

hahah, they are lying, they are not on hunger strike, they just want to make a political statement. I wish them NOT to die, and I wish them to stay in prison for life (but that's not going to happen, because Hague sentences are so low that anybody would feel 100% comfortable to shoot anybody and everybody because international justice is a joke (but at least, that's all we have. The situation would be worse without ICTY, so... yeah..)

Anonymous said...

ops... let me clarify, I screwed up my grammar above, because I want to do everything fast.

What I meant is that if another war came to Bosnia, nobody would be respecting human life, because ICTY sentences are very low, so why not kill hundreds of civilians for a sentence of under 5 or under 10 years? That's how most people will think after they saw what was happening in Hague.

igor said...

This is a common misconception about punishments, based on common sense, but common sense is just plain wrong on that one.

Punishments over 15 or maybe 20 years are ineffective. To prevent crimes it's much more important to punish as many criminals as possible.* Of course the ICTY can't do everything alone, we just hope it would set an example, and then it's apparently the responsibility of ex-YU countries. It seems to work at least in Croatia.

* The explanation is apparently that it's a bigger threat if you're pretty sure you'll be punished, even if it's not very severe (the first time at least), than if there's an incredibly small posibility of getting a severe punishment.

Shaina said...

Update on Glavas' condition from his lawyer:

Igor, interesting point re: amount of people being punished vs. the length of the prison terms. I suppose it is too early to know, but I wonder what effect the state courts, (which are designed to try relatively minor officers/officials, while the Hague deals with the most serious offenses and more notorious alleged perpetrators) have on punishment/deterrence etc?

observer said...

The problem with force feeding some one on hunger strike is that the in order to ensure the human rights of the accused are protected, authorities have to wait until the defendant's health deteriorates to such an extent that not intervening would result in the defendent's death. By that time older defendants have done so much damage to their own health (especially if they are refusing medicine as well), that their life expectancy can be expected to be rather short.

The other option is an 'early intervention' that would result in a force feeding of the defendant before he/she actually damages his/her health, but that would violate existing European legal obligations on the matter. But it is done at Guantanamo Bay...

Bg anon said...

maybe it sounds petty but I'm not losing sleep over this!

Having said that I believe that human rights apply to everybody regardless of whether those same people respected the human rights of others or not...

observer said...

Bg Anon,

I completely agree with you, the last sentence of my comment was purely sarcastic. Anyway, should Croatian authorities attempt to force feed Glavas they would be subject to prosecution for a serious breach of the defendants human rights (if not domestically than within ECHR). The existing guidlines on the matter are as follows.

"Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially. The decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner."

Bg anon said...

Observer, I'm not disagreeing with you!

One other factor which should not be forgotten - this is certainly part of Seselj's electoral strategy.

Thats not some guess or way to bad mouth him but truly the way he calculates things. He is determined that something is made from his sacrificing himself to the Hague. If SRS were ever to come to power he would rest easy.