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London, 21 February-
The Argentina Embassy in London has received from a wide range of personalities from various sectors in the UK – journalists, politicians, intellectuals and union leaders, as well as local activists – a statement regarding solidarity with the victims of the AMIA bombing in 1994, which also rejects the political use of this tragedy.
The full text of the statement is transcribed here:
AGAINST THE POLITICAL USE OF A TRAGEDY
In view of the misleading information concerning the situation in Argentina published by some British media, we the undersigned reaffirm our solidarity with the relatives of the victims of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) who, for the past 21 years, have been calling for justice. This tragedy should not to be used for political purposes.
Neither the Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner nor Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman have been prosecuted. Prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita took over the investigation for “obstruction of justice for covering Iranian suspects as sponsors of the AMIA bombing” initiated by Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who tragically died in 18 January. Now it is up to a judge to assess whether or not there is enough evidence to start an investigation.
Yet, some reports in the British media suggest that the government is somehow responsible for concealing evidence regarding the involvement of Iranian nationals and the death of the prosecutor. Nothing in the case supports such conclusions.
Mr Nisman’s report accuses Foreign Minister Timerman of seeking to revoke the Interpol Red Notices, or arrest warrants, issued against the accused Iranians. However, Mr Nisman was rebuked for this claim by the former Secretary General of Interpol, Ronald K. Noble.
Nisman’s presentation also states that the Memorandum of Understanding that Argentina and Iran signed in January 2013 facilitated a cover-up which would have enabled Argentina to purchase Iranian oil and increase its grain exports to this country. This never actually took place. Due to its high sulphur content, Iranian oil does not meet Argentine needs. Furthermore, the Argentine government does not sale grains, private firms do.
Given that Iranian law prohibits extradition and Argentine law does not allow for suspects to be tried in absentia, the memorandum’s purpose, after years of stagnation in the investigation, was to allow a judge to interrogate the accused Iranians and to set up an International Truth Commission composed of prestigious jurists from other countries, providing a way to move the case forward.
Argentine judicial system boasts a well-established reputation for delivering justice in complex cases.
The fight against impunity and international terrorism has been a fundamental pillar of the governments of Presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Their governments have actively promoted a firm state policy for the protection and defence of human rights nationally, regionally and internationally.
Since 2003, Argentina has implemented the most comprehensive set of actions ever seen to bring truth and justice to the victims of the AMIA terrorist attack and to their families, and to punish all perpetrators and masterminds behind this terrible attack.
Furthermore, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has taken all necessary steps to facilitate the judicial investigation by declassifying intelligence files and allowing intelligence agents to testify in court.
The Argentine government is highly interested in resolving the unfortunate and regrettable death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Media outlets have the responsibility to report impartially and accurately. The British press should not take part, like some Argentine media, in the destabilization of the country. To reproduce false information seriously undermines the image of a democratic country and its legitimately elected government.
Richard Gott, historian, writer, journalist
Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory, Centre for the Study of
Democracy, University of Westminster
Costas Douzinas, Director of the Birbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birbeck, University of London
Alan Freeman, economist, International Working Group on Value Theory
Guillermo Makin, Research Associate Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge University
Bernard McGuirk, Professor of Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham
Julia Buxton, School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest
Radhika Desai, Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba
Doreen Massey, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University
Jeremy Fox, journalist, Director of Open Democracy
Susan Benn, President Performing Arts Lab
Rob Miller, Director of Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Matt Wilgress, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign National Co-ordinator.
John Wilson, former Chairman of the Anglo Argentine Society.
Daniel Ozarow, Middlesex University, Jubilee Campaign activist
Francisco Domínguez, Senior lecturer in Spanish, University of Middlesex
Marta Zabaleta, essayist, poet, writer, Sussex University
Gabriel Mocho Rodríguez
Pablo Robledo, journalist
Victoria Brittain, writer, journalist
Amaranta Wright, Managing Director, THE LUKAS – The Latin-UK Awards, and LATINOLIFE – The UK’s leading Latino lifestyle magazine Latino Life UK
Brian Precious, journalist, Morning Star
Ricardo Cinalli, artist
Chino Soria, artist
Adele Cain, Master of Arts (MA),Political and Legal Theory, University of York
Oriana Donati Illanes