Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.Con.Res. 144 (ih) Urging the United States Government and the United Nations to undertake [Introduced in House] ...

H.Con.Res. 144 (ih) Urging the United States Government and the United Nations to undertake [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.Con. Res.144
                                         Agreed to July 12, 1999        

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE FIRST SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
   the sixth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine


                          Concurrent Resolution


 
Urging the United States Government and the United Nations to undertake 
  urgent and strenuous efforts to secure the release of Branko Jelen, 
 Steve Pratt, and Peter Wallace, three humanitarian workers employed in 
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by CARE International, who are being 
unjustly held as prisoners by the Government of the Federal Republic of 
                               Yugoslavia.

Whereas Branko Jelen, Steve Pratt, and Peter Wallace are three 
  humanitarian workers employed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
  by CARE International, the relief and development organization, 
  providing food, medicines, and fuel to more than 50,000 Serbian 
  refugees in Serbia and to displaced ethnic Albanians in Kosovo;

Whereas Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace, two Australian nationals, were 
  detained on March 31, 1999, and later accused of operating and 
  managing a spy ring and being employed by a spy ring, and Branko 
  Jelen, a citizen of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was arrested 
  1 week later on the same charges;

Whereas on March 30, 1999, CARE International received a letter of 
  commendation from the Government of the Federal Republic of 
  Yugoslavia relating to CARE International's humanitarian work in the 
  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;

Whereas one of the three men, Steve Pratt, appeared on Serbian 
  television on April 11, 1999, and he was coerced into saying that he 
  had performed covert intelligence activities;

Whereas the three Care International humanitarian workers were held 
  without access to outsiders for 20 days;

Whereas on May 29, 1999, a Serbian military court dismissed every 
  element of the original indictment against the three CARE 
  International humanitarian workers, but then proceeded to convict the 
  three individuals on an entirely new charge of passing on information 
  to a foreign organization, namely CARE International, and sentenced 
  Pratt to 12 years, Jelen to 6 years, and Wallace to 4 years;

Whereas this last charge was introduced at the reading of the verdict, 
  denying lawyers for the three CARE International humanitarian workers 
  any opportunity to mount an appropriate defense;

Whereas it appears the three CARE International humanitarian workers 
  were convicted of providing ``situation reports'' to their head 
  office and other CARE International offices around the world, based 
  on legitimately gathered information, necessary to enable CARE 
  International management to plan their humanitarian assistance in a 
  rapidly changing context and to inform CARE International management 
  of the security situation in which their staff were working;

Whereas the convictions of the three CARE International humanitarian 
  workers raise serious questions regarding the ability of humanitarian 
  aid organizations to operate in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 
  with implications for their operations in other areas of conflict 
  around the world;

Whereas the three CARE International humanitarian workers are innocent, 
  having committed no crime, and are being held as prisoners unjustly;

Whereas the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia needs humanitarian workers 
  who feel secure enough to do their work and who are not at risk of 
  going to prison on false charges; and

Whereas many leaders around the world have raised the issue and sought 
  to free the captives, including United Nations Secretary General Kofi 
  Annan, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Finnish 
  President Martti Ahtisaari, United Nations Commissioner for Human 
  Rights Mary Robinson, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson: Now, therefore, 
  be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That the Congress--
        (1) urges the United States Government and the United Nations 
    to undertake urgent and strenuous efforts to secure the release of 
    Branko Jelen, Steve Pratt, and Peter Wallace, three humanitarian 
    workers employed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by CARE 
    International; and
        (2) calls upon the Government of the Federal Republic of 
    Yugoslavia to send a positive signal to the international 
    humanitarian community and to give these humanitarian workers their 
    freedom without further delay.
  Attest:

                                 Clerk of the House of Representatives.

  Attest:

                                               Secretary of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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