76 Market Street, Apt. D5
Perth Amboy, NJ 08861-4445
United States of America
9 March, 1996
Human Rights Committee
Center For Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Dear Human Rights Committee:
This communication is submitted for consideration under the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is a restatement and reaffirmation of an earlier unresolved complaint, dated 4 November, 1991.
Please see the attached copies of that communication and several subsequent letters dealing therewith. The letter dated 13 May, 1992, sent via Certified Mail to your New York office, was probably not received. Its postal receipt never returned to me.
Note also that I have included a copy of my letter dated 13 February, 1993, directed to the Committee Against Torture. This was written at Van Helmont Hospital in Vilvoorde, Belgium. The torture complaint to which it refers, dated 31 October, 1991, is likewise unresolved. In the near future, I intend to communicate with your committee regarding the actions of the Dutch and Belgian governments in violation of my rights under the Covenant. I also plan to restate and reaffirm my standing complaint before the Committee Against Torture. As stated in my letter to the Danish Embassy dated 18 January, 1996, these things would not have happened to me had Denmark fulfilled its obligations under Danish and international law.
I am James Henry Graf, a citizen of the United States of America, born 21 March, 1942 at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. I am a former Speech and Hearing Therapist, now disabled. My present address is as follows:
James H. Graf
76 Market Street, Apartment D5
Perth Amboy, New Jersey 08861-4445
United States of America
All correspondence may be sent to me at this address. Please do not contact my former wife, whose address I included in the original complaint.
I am submitting this communication as victim of the violations set forth in my original complaint, as here reaffirmed, restated, and supplemented. I accuse the State of Denmark, a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol, of having violated my rights under Articles 2, 12, 13, 17, and 26 of the Covenant. While still in Denmark, I made appeals to Danish authorities (please refer to the attached letters to Mr. Hans Viggo Jensen of 9 November, 1991, to the Ministry of Justice, written 7 December, 1991, and to the Police at Sandholm, dated 12 December, 1991). All these were ignored. Danish authorities seized me and forcibly repatriated me on 19 December, 1991. The Danish Embassy has not responded to my letter of 18 January, 1996. It appears that no domestic remedy can or will be provided.
As indicated above, my complaint dated 31 October, 1991 before the Committee Against Torture remains unresolved. Inasmuch as I intend to pursue the matter, I am omitting from this communication any charges under Article 7 of the Covenant, although such charges would most certainly be appropriate.
Regarding the substance of my complaint, I refer you to pages 2 through 5 of my original communication dated 4 November, 1991. As indicated in the attached pages from my Chronology, the trunks containing my documents and other personal effects, having supposedly arrived in Copenhagen from Amsterdam on the very morning of my repatriation, did not find their way back to me until 3 June, 1992. The matter is cause for considerable suspicion.
The Cashier's Check withheld from me by the Danish authorities, then returned to me with the claim that it was not good, was honored without dispute by the bank that had written it. I used the money throughout my stay in the United States, and it financed my two subsequent attempts at obtaining political asylum in Europe. As charged in my letter to the Danish Ministry of Justice, this money was, indeed, withheld from me in order to prevent me from hiring an attorney and remaining in Europe.
My original communication noted various provocations I experienced while housed at Sandholm Refugee Camp, apparently intended to incite inappropriate behavior that could be used to impugn my sanity or attack my honor and reputation. These, I regret now to relate, included sexual provocations, involving several young women and at least one young girl. I bring this up because subsequent experiences in the Netherlands have made it clear to me that the persons responsible, American agents, were in fact sexually exploiting and abusing young women and girls. In future communications with appropriate UN authorities, I intend to relate these experiences in greater detail.
I state, at this time, the following allegations regarding Denmark's violation of my rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
Denmark failed to ensure that my rights, as set forth in the Covenant, were provided without distinction of any kind. Danish authorities used my status as an American citizen and an asylum-seeker as an excuse for violating my rights, collaborating with the very American authorities from whom I was seeking protection. Denmark denied me an effective domestic remedy for those violations.
In confiscating my money and in forcibly repatriating me, Denmark interfered with my right to leave my own country.
Denmark expelled me, as an alien legally within its territory, without permitting me to have my case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before, the competent authority. I was denied the right to appeal my asylum case, was not provided with legal counsel, and, because the police had confiscated my money, I could not retain counsel of my own choosing.
In interfering with my efforts directed toward contacting my former wife and toward securing my luggage, Denmark violated Article 17 of the Covenant. In describing my asylum claim as "manifestly unfounded," Denmark has attacked my honor and reputation.
Denmark denied me the equal protection of its laws. Having been advised that an innocent man was pursued, threatened, and tormented within Danish territory by foreign agents, Denmark's only response was to punish the victim. I was denied protection against discrimination on the basis of my national origin. I still maintain that an asylum-seeker from Romania or Iraq who had experienced what I experienced would have been accepted by Denmark -- would at least have been given the right of appeal -- and would not have been prevented from seeking asylum elsewhere in Europe. I maintain that a person in my physical condition from Yugoslavia seeking refuge from persecution would have been treated with greater compassion than I received. Because I was persecuted and tortured, even within Denmark, by the most powerful nation on earth, I was, and am, everywhere anathematized.
On filing my original complaint with your Committee, I was within the territory of Denmark, and under its jurisdiction. Subsequent communications have originated in the United States, the Netherlands, and Belgium. None has ever prompted any sort of acknowledgment, response, or action. An aide to my present congressman, the Honorable Robert Menendez, assured me last year that his office would follow up my complaints. Still, I have heard nothing.
I am still prepared to provide further information, testimony, and documentation. Please respond.
James H. Graf
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