Nuremberg Inspection in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Kleine Brogel/Volkel, October 1st 1999 - Citizens and several Members of Parliament have inspected once again two NATO facilities with US nuclear weapons in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The 'Citizens Inspection Teams' protest the presence of US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, and demand the start of multilateral negotiations leading to a global Treaty Banning nuclear weapons. The inspections also aim to press their governments into disclosing information around the secret deployment of these weapons of mass-destruction in their respective countries. For decades the involved NATO countries continue to rely on a 'nor confirmed not denied' policy, which especially upsets MP's when receiving such answers from their Ministry of Defense.
In Belgium MP's from both the Social Democrats, the Green Party and a Flemish Regionalist Party participated in the inspection which brought 120 people together on the early morning of Friday October 1st. October 1st marks the anniversary of the end of the Nuremberg Trial in 1946. The Nuremberg Trial set the basis for the Nuremberg Principles, which give citizens and security personnel the legal obligation to prevent the preparation of crimes against humanity. The threat or use of nuclear weapons was found generally in violation with international law by the UN International Court of Justice on July 8 1996. The Court also confirmed that the Nuremberg Principles are applicable to nuclear weapons.
Around 60 inspectors were stopped and arrested when entering the base and trying to question the military in an effort to gain information for NGO's, the Belgian Parliament and the International Criminal Court. The inspectors were all released within a few hours, without any charges being pressed against them. Mr. Cremers, the state police officer in charge, said to the organizers that all participants seemed to be well-briefed on the non-violent and legal character of the inspection, while also admitting that new tactics gave them a hard time to locate and stop all attempts to penetrate deep into the security perimeter.
In the Netherlands 50 people joined the inspection, amongst them also an MP from the GreenLeft Party. 25 inspectors were arrested after penetrating inside the base in their search for information. We hope more news will be posted soon from the Netherlands and the UK where an inspection of the Ministry of Defense was planned in London.
Further planning for this campaign is scheduled for November 6-7 1999 in Gent - Belgium. Campaigners from the WCP UK, GANA NL, WRI and FME have already confirmed their presence, and especially want to involve new participants. Special efforts will be made to welcome people from France, Germany, Greece and Italy.
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