Category: UNESCO Human Rights

Human rights: The search for truth and reconciliation

UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register includes archives relating to human rights abuses in Argentina, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Cambodia and the Baltic States. They describe not only the horrors that occurred in those countries but also, in some cases, document resistance to the abuses. All of them highlight the need to reveal the truth of the past to heal their countries and consolidate democratic values.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The motto may have been coined over 200 years ago during the French Revolution, but the rights it implies still prove difficult to impose or guarantee in many countries across the world today.

Another outcome of that period in France was the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, of which the original handwritten version is inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

The document is one of the foundations on which world human rights are based. But guaranteeing comprehensive human rights has proven to be very difficult to achieve, and recent history is, unfortunately, littered with examples of countries failing to respect the rights of its citizens.

In Latin America for example, several countries were part of a campaign of political repression by right-wing military dictatorships, implemented in 1975 and known as Plan Condor. This involved the assassination of opponents, forced disappearances of people, extra-judicial killings, repression and other serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Plan was modelled on Rafael L Trujillo’s highly effective system of surveillance in the Dominican Republic where state repression lasted throughout the tyrannical rule of Trujillo, which began in 1930 and ended with his assassination in 1961.It was the most oppressive regime ever seen in Latin America.

But what these countries had in common was internal resistance to these violations of rights and a desire, today, to make public the horrors of this period in an effort to heal the wounds of the nations. In Chile, Paraguay and Argentina, attempts have been made to bring those responsible for the atrocities to justice and their records are now listed on the Memory of the World Register.

Although geographically very remote from Latin America, Cambodia also experienced sever human rights violations from 1975 to 1979, when the country was ruled by the Cambodian communist movement, the Khmer Rouge. In the space of just 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, an estimated two to three million people or 25 to 30 per cent of the population lost their lives. They died from famine resulting from the party’s agricultural reform, forced labour, torture, execution and the purging of perceived enemies within the party, to name but these few. Over 15,000 people passed through the infamous Tuol Sleng or S-21 prison and interrogation centre in the capital, Phnom Penh. Only a handful of them survived the ordeal.

As with the Latin America countries, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archive is included in the Memory of the World register and it is hoped that knowledge of the horrors that took place will help prevent the same thing from happening again.

The story of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, is not one of citizens fighting fellow countrymen, but one of external control and secret pacts. A few days before Germany invaded Poland in 1939, at the start of the Second World War, the Nazi regime signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.

A secret protocol appended to the agreement divided eastern Europe into Soviet and German spheres of influence. The Baltic States fell under Moscow, and in 1940 they were annexed and organized as Soviet republics. However, until 1989 the Soviet Union denied the existence of the secret deal. This changed only after a peaceful demonstration, known as the Baltic Way, which took place on 23 August 1989.

On that day, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the pact, more than a million people joined hands to create a human chain spanning over 600 km across the three states. The pro-independence groups who organised the protest demanded recognition of the secret clauses of the pact. The Baltic Way quickly led to all three countries declaring their independence.

The fact that ordinary people, through social unity and joint commitment, could bring about peaceful change encouraged democratic movements throughout the Soviet Union.

Listing of items such as these on the Memory of the World Register is intended to generate interest and help with the conservation of documentary heritage which helps us to understand our society in all its complexities.

However war, social upheaval, looting, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate conservation and lack of funding have all had a disastrous effect on the conservation of our documentary heritage.

A growing awareness of this, together with UNESCO’s belief that the world’s documentary heritage belongs to all and should be preserved and protected, led to the establishment of its Memory of the World programme in 1992.

The programme works to identify and facilitate the preservation of valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide, and assists with their dissemination. Inscription of a collection in the Memory of the World register, created in 1995, is part of the process.

To date some 193 items have been included in the register from folk music recordings to films and the remnants of old documents.

The programme is supervised by its International Advisory Committee which will hold its 10th biennial meeting from 23 to 25 May 2011.

My name is Gardenia C. Hung (Fong) Wittler, eldest daughter of Mr. Roberto Hung Mustelier, and Lombard resident homeowner at 502 South Westmore-Meyers Road and Washington Boulevard, Post Office Box 1274, Lombard, Illinois 60148-8274, in DuPage County, citizen of the United States of America. Originally, I was born in Santiago de Cuba, in the province of Oriente, in the country of Cuba, on December 27, 1958, the eldest daughter of Dr. Roberto Hung Mustelier, J.D. and Mrs. Gardenia Fong Ramos, both natural parents of Chinese-Cuban descent, whose grandfathers were Chinese nationals from southern China, Hong Kong, Canton province in mainland China. Since I have lived in the Village of Lombard, I have been a victim of heinous hate crimes, emotional distress, personal tragedy, physical abuse, a broken right toe which has developed into a hammertoe with painful muscle tension around the twisted right ankle (attached photos), harassment, sedition, kidnapping on several occasions, inducing drug while I was sleeping at home–injecting me behind the ear, around the neck area, thighs, ankles, toes, and feet, conspiracy, contrived auto accidents due to mechanical failure, motor breakdown, faulty brakes, broken front axle, electrical wiring failure on the motorcycle Derbi Boulevard 150 CC, a broken Sears Craftsman Deluxe Lawn Mower, damaged auto vehicles, victim of criminal disaster roofing for water damages and losses, burglary, theft. I have been married to former U.S. Navy Postal Clerk Nathan Scott Wittler (Patriquin) during the years of victimization from June 18, 1988 through June 17, 1994, when Nathan S. Wittler filed for a divorce by proxy in West Dummerston, Vermont, New England in the United States of America.

For the last seventeen (17) years, I have worked as a legal, medical, technical interpreter and translator while I have lived in the Village of Lombard, in the Counties of Du Page, Cook, Will, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle, Lake in Illinois, United States of America. During the same period of time, I have been employed as a certified freelance court interpreter and translator for Interlate Systems, Inc. in Elgin and Aurora, Arroyave Languages Academy in Arlington Heights and Highland Park, Palencia Language Services in Chicago, Accurate Translations Bureau in Hinsdale, and other translation agencies in the U.S.A. I have been an active member of the Chicago Area Translators and Interpreters Association (CHICATA), the American Translators Association (ATA), the International Federation of Translators (FIT) I have been commissioned as an Illinois Notary Public in Cook and Du Page County, Illinois. In addition, I have worked as faculty at the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn and Lombard for Good Samaritan Hospital, Central Du Page Hospital, National Chiropractic College (NCC) , also known as the University of Health and Sciences in Lombard, as well as for other companies sponsored by the College of Du Page Business Institute Programs for Health Communications.

Prior to living in the western suburbs, during January 1991, I resided on the northwest side of Chicago, while I worked as certified interpreter and translator for Action Translation Bureau in Palos Heights and Carmen Kenny and Associates in Arlington Heights, Illinois upon assignment at the Illinois Industrial Commission Arbitration Center for Workers’ Compensation . In addition, I was hired for temporary assignment by Diplomatic Languages Services based in Arlington, Virginia. Later, I was employed as a medical claims examiner for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWCP), Employment Standards Administration (ESA), General Services Administration (GSA).

During seventeen years of residency in the Village of Lombard as a homeowner, I have participated as an active volunteer for the Lombard Service League, Friends of the Helen M. Plum Library Committee, Friends of the Park, the Lombard Garden Club, Friends of the Court in Wheaton, Court Advocacy Programs in Illinois; as well as faculty and committee/community volunteer at the College of DuPage, for the Latin American Studies Committee with Zinta Conrad and the European Heritage Committee with Ann Cotton.

While I growing up, I never had to worry about having a roof above my head and a place to live, until I moved to the Village of Lombard, Du Page County, Illinois, in the United States of America. My great-grandparents and great-great grandparents in mainland China, Taiwan, and Cuba, all owned their own real estate property, private homes, and purchased land parcels to lease to others. All American family members living throughout the United States of America, have real estate holdings today under the same family name. As the eldest daughter of an attorney, judge, and university professor, I was fortunate to have been born with the same family name and real estate land holdings and accounts where my name was listed. Only the Village of Lombard in the York Township community has questioned my human rights in housing under the law after seventeen years (17) years of homeownership as a Lombard resident and U.S. citizen in the State of Illinois during the 21st century—after my Father and I, purchased a Lombard Historical Brick Bungalow at 502 S. Westmore Avenue, at the corner of Washington Boulevard, one block northwest from Westmore Elementary School and one block southeast from St. Pius X Catholic Church and School, only three blocks from the Illinois Secretary of State Drivers Vehicle Facility at the Eastgate Shopping Center along Westmore-Meyers Road and half a mile from the York Township Community Center. For the last seventeen (17) years, the Village of Lombard has been denying U.S. Constitutional rights in housing under the law in the State of Illinois to me as a Lombard resident homeowner and U.S. citizen in the State of Illinois. And for the same period, the Village of Lombard Town Hall, Police and Fire Department, have been using me, as a Victim of Crime while being a working Lombard resident homeowner and U.S. citizen, in Du Page County, Illinois in the United States of America. Thus, the Village of Lombard, Town Hall, Police and Fire Department, including Du Page County have been violating my human rights in housing under the law and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, in the U.S.A. today.

For the record, the Hung Family purchased the Lombard Brick Bungalow on September 2, 1993 and moved to the Village of Lombard in DuPage County, Illinois during the Autumn 1993 from the Northwest side of Chicago, Cook County. The Hung Family have been Lombard resident homeowners at the corner of 502 S. Westmore-Meyers Road and Washington Boulevard, near Saint Pius X Catholic Church and Westmore Elementary School, all victims of heinous hate crimes, criminal disaster demolition, persecution, harassment, and physical abuse, car accidents, and forced hospitalizations in DuPage County, Illinois USA. The Village of Lombard and DuPage County, have been stealing from the Hung Family personal, family belongings, household electronics, kitchen equipment, and professional company assets and resources belonging to the company Communications, Languages & Culture, Inc. without compensating or restituting the Estate of Mr. Roberto Hung and Family and/or the company Communications, Languages & Culture, Inc. in the State of Illinois, United States of America.

The Village of Lombard is denying me human rights in housing under the law as a Lombard Victim of Heinous Hate Crimes, during seventeen (17) years of living in Du Page County as resident homeowner and U.S. citizen, when David Hulseberg continues in the refusal to provide lawful lodging, compensation, and restitution for criminal disaster roofing damages and losses, considered to be violations of the Bill of Rights under the Constitution of the State of Illinois.

During 2009-2010 and the celebration of the Bicentennial of the late President Abraham Lincoln’s two hundredth anniversary, the Constitution of the State of Illinois still upholds “inherent and inalienable human rights” listed under the Bill of Rights, Section 1, Section 2, Section 6, Section 8.1, Section 12, Section 15, Section 17, Section 18, Section 20, Section 23, Section 24, as follow:

Inherent and Inalienable Rights

All men (and women) are by nature free and independent and have certain inherent

and inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To

secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among

men (and women) deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Due Process and Equal Protection

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be

be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Searches, Seizures, Privacy and Interceptions

The people shall have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and other

possessions against unreasonable searches, seizures, invasions of privacy or

interceptions of communications by eavesdropping devices or other means. No warrant

shall be issued without probable cause, supported by affidavit particularly describing the

place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Crime Victims’ Rights

(a) Crime Victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights as provided by law:

(1) The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.

(2) The right to notification of court proceedings.

(3) The right to communicate with the prosecution.

(4) The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.

(5) The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.

(6) The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.

(7) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.

(8) The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.

(9) The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate or other support person of the victim’s choice.

(10) The right to restitution.

(b) The Illinois General Assembly may provide the law for the enforcement of this Section.

(c) The Illinois General Assembly may provide for the assessment against convicted defendants to pay for the crime victims’ rights.

(d) Nothing in this Section or in any law enacted under this Section shall be construed as creating a basis for vacating a conviction or a ground for appellate relief in any criminal case. (Section 8.1 added by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution. Approved November 3, 1992, effective November 23, 1992).

Right to Remedy and Justice

Every person shall find a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries and wrongs which he receives to his (or her) person, privacy, property or reputation. He (or She) shall obtain justice by law, freely, completely, and promptly.

Right to Eminent Domain

Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation as provided by law. Such compensation shall be determined by a jury as provided by law.

No Discrimination in Employment or in the Sale or Rental of Property

All persons have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national ancestry and sex in the hiring and promotion of any employer or in the sale or rental of property.

These rights are enforceable without action by the Illinois General Assembly, but the Illinois General Assembly by law may establish reasonable exemptions relating to these rights and provide additional remedies for their violation.

No Discrimination on the Basis of Sex

The equal protection of the laws shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex by the State of Illinois or its units of local government and school districts.

Individual Dignity

To promote individual dignity, communications that portray criminality, depravity or lack of virtue in, or that incite violence, hatred, abuse or hostility toward a person or group of persons by reason or by reference to religious, racial, ethnic, national or regional affiliation are condemned.

Fundamental Principles

A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of civil government is necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty. These blessings cannot endure unless the people (of the State of Illinois) recognize their corresponding individual obligations and responsibilities.

Right Retained

The enumeration in this Constitution (of the State of Illinois) of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the individual citizens of the State of Illinois.

Illinois Blue Book of Government, 2009-2010. Edited by Jesse White Secretary of State.

For the last seventeen (17) years, the Village of Lombard has been denying U.S. Constitutional rights in housing under the law in the State of Illinois to me as a Lombard resident homeowner and U.S. citizen in the State of Illinois. And for the same period, the Village of Lombard Town Hall, Police and Fire Department, have been using me, as a Victim of Crime while being a working Lombard resident homeowner and U.S. citizen, in Du Page County, Illinois in the United States of America. Thus, the Village of Lombard, Town Hall, Police and Fire Department, including Du Page County have been violating my human rights in housing under the law and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, in the U.S.A. today.

Lombard Policeman Fractured Right Toe on the foot of Gardenia C. Hung causing a hammertoe and a pigeon foot in the Village of Lombard, without reason

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