As I understand it, the purpose of this hearing is to determine whether or not I am a refugee as defined by the Geneva Convention.
Clearly, on the basis of my documented experiences in the United States and in Europe, I am most certainly a Convention Refugee. Even the limited documentation I have submitted to this court demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that my fear of persecution in the United States on the basis of my political beliefs is eminently well-founded. I am thus entitled to consideration by the international community as a persecuted and tortured human rights advocate deserving the equal protection of Dutch and International Law.
Why, then, has this government not welcomed me as the peaceful hero of the spirit that I obviously am? Why am I treated as an intruder, when I should be embraced as a brother? I carry no weapons. I pose no threat. I create no disorder. With words and gentle deeds, I fight for human liberty and human dignity, for law and order, for justice, peace, and decency. Is there no place in the Netherlands for such a man?
A refugee is a refugee, regardless of his country of origin. This nation is bound by International Law to consider this case without regard to political or diplomatic implications. A man's life is at stake. The facts are the facts. The law is the law. If the United States is such a free and wonderful place, why am I not allowed to leave it?
Why, in 1991, did the Dutch Government violate my human rights by coercing withdrawal of my original asylum request? Why did the Dutch Government participate in a conspiracy to hold for ransom the two trunks containing, at that time, all my documents?
Why did the Dutch Government not respond, through its embassy in Washington, DC, to my earnest letter of 5 September, 1992?
Why did the Dutch Ministry of Justice conduct an interview while I was deprived of those documents I had brought to Holland, knowing full well that my documents were at the time in Dutch hands?
Why did the Dutch Ministry of Justice then issue a decision without first providing me with a copy of my interview? Why, considering my health and personal experience, was that decision a 24-hour negative, as opposed to one of the other options? Why have I encountered the same intransigency, the same obstinate refusal to acknowledge the facts and obey the law, the same mean-spirited knee-jerk negativism that I have experienced in my own country?
Unlike the United States, the Netherlands is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol. Article 12, Section 2 of the Covenant states: "Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own." Why was I kidnapped from Denmark to the United States on 19 December, 1991? Were Dutch officials involved in this extremely serious crime? Is another such crime about to be committed? Is the Netherlands once again conspiring to thwart my attempt at escaping from America?
Article 26 of the Covenant pledges "effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status." Is an American whistleblower, human rights advocate, and torture victim entitled to such "effective protection" against discrimination? Is an American in Holland entitled to the equal protection of Dutch law? If not, why not?
This nation has also signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Under that international agreement, these abominable acts must be prosecuted as crimes when they occur within Dutch territory. I have repeatedly informed this government that the electronic mental torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment inflicted upon me by, or at the instigation of, American government officials has continued throughout my stay in the Netherlands. I am entitled to thorough and objective investigation of my charges, prosecution of those responsible, and the provision of an effective remedy, as any other person within Holland would be. Rejecting and insulting the victim does not solve or eradicate the crime.
The first step toward justice is the immediate reversal of this negative decision issued in such haste by the Ministry of Justice. I am a Convention Refugee. I may not be returned against my will to the country that has tortured me. I deserve A-Status. Holland is certainly a small country, but if Holland accepts anyone, Holland must accept me, or else assist me in making alternative arrangements. Anyone who knows me personally and who has observed me in Amsterdam, Rijsbergen, Breda or Etten-Leur is certain to conclude that I fit very well into Dutch society. There is nothing about me to which any reasonable person might raise objection. Clearly, this is where I belong. This is the place where I can spend my remaining years in happiness, security, and productivity. I have many talents and skills to contribute. I need a place to call home. I need a government I can respect, a government that respects me.
Consider the facts. Consider the law, both local and international. Consider the long-range implications of expelling a torture victim once again from your country. Do the right thing, now. Do the Dutch thing, now. Stand up for human rights and human dignity, now.
Note: In the original, the penultimate paragraph stated "I deserve C-Status." My assumption was that "C-Status" represented Convention Refugee Status, which I clearly intended to claim. The paper explaining these distinctions was among several items that had disappeared from my room.
Selected Documents and Links