International Citizens Inspection Team to Prevent Warcrimes arrested at NATO headquarters
PRESS CONTACT 0495-28 02 59 (Pol D'Huyvetter)
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Brussels, May 27th 1999 - This late afternoon 67 Citizens Inspectors were arrested at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The arrests followed the refusal by NATO to hand over information about NATO's nuclear arsenal. This international team of Citizens Inspectors was the final action of a 500 people peace march from the International Court of Justice in The Hague which ended at NATO at midday. NATO press officer Nick Fiorenza and legal adviser Baldwin De Vidts refused to give any information about NATO's nuclear arsenal. The Citizens Inspectors demanded transparency about NATO nukes. They specifically asked for sites of deployment, numbers, types, yield and targets. They want to hand this information to the International Criminal Court which is being established in The Hague. The walkers also demanded an end to the bombings in the Balkan. "Only from the perspective of the developments in the Balkan, which hurt the progress in nuclear disarmament badly, we demand the end of the NATO bombings" declared For Mother Earth spokesperson Pol D'Huyvetter who referred to developments in Russia, China, Belarus and Ukraine.
A large delegation of the Citizen Inspectors is now being welcomed in the European Parliament, where they are guests of Magda Aelvoet, President of the Green Group in the EP.
This morning over 500 peace marchers from over 30 countries set their final steps to NATO headquarters in the For Mother Earth 220km peace walk. The peace marchers started their walk at the International Court of Justice in the Hague on May 16. They want NATO to take immediate action towards nuclear disarmament, while also asking an end to the NATO bombings in the Balkan. Although forbidden, today Mr. De Donnea, Mayor of Brussels, gave in to the non-violent marchers to reach the gates of NATO headquarters. At arrival the walkers found a strong police barrier. However they built a joyful festival with an open air lunch and a cultural event with a solar sound system. The marchers had announced themselves as 'an international citizens inspection team to prevent warcrimes'. In a registered letter to Solana they had asked for detailed information about NATO's nuclear stockpile (cfr. http://www.motherearth.org/walk99/tonato.htm).
The walk has received the support of Abolition 2000, an international network of over 1300 NGO's working to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
The organisation of the international peace march is being co-ordinated from the international office of For Mother Earth in Gent, Belgium. Since 1991 For Mother Earth organized more than 12000km of peace marches across the US and Europe
Letter to Solana http://www.motherearth.org/walk99/tonato.htm
Audiovisual footage available from the walk
During the walk, the mobile media unit will be providing continuous coverage via video clips, stills and digital images. These are available upon request. The audio-visual website will carry highlights of the footage, which is located at: http://www.motherearth.org/walk99/pics
For updates and more information contact:
For Mother Earth http://www.motherearth.org/
Press Briefings on Internet & on location:
Regular press briefings and photo images can be located at http://www.motherearth.org/walk99/press.htm
Pol D´Huyvetter and Krista Van Velzen Audio-visual media contact: Ville Aho
GSM 0495-28 02 59 (in Belgium)
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