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arrested abroad?
November 29, 2005 6:28 AM   Subscribe

Ever wondered what to do if you end up in a spot of bother far from home? Fair trials abroad is an organisation campaigning for the fair treatment of Europeans arrested abroad. They deal with campaigns like the Free Craig Alden campaign. Unlike the famous bloke there's no history of child abuse and no real evidence of an offense, but there is a history of standing up to authority and evidence of legal incompentence. If you're from the US, you have to rely upon these people instead.
posted by handee (13 comments total)

 
Ever wondered what to do if you end up in a spot of bother far from home?

Warren Zevon recommended lawyers, guns, and money.
posted by three blind mice at 7:05 AM on November 29, 2005


Are we trying to distinguish ourselves as a superior class of human beings by claiming that we deserve fair treatment when abroad for no reason other than we are from a more 'Civilized' country?
Seems to me we should be devoting our attention and efforts to helping all people get a fair trial, not just white European tourists.
Anyone who does not display an equal amount of empathy for a European as they do for say, an African in the same situation is at best a hypocrite.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 7:05 AM on November 29, 2005


So, You're Completely Fucked: A Guide For Canadians Imprisoned Abroad

(self-link)
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:26 AM on November 29, 2005


The Vienna Convention on Consular relations allows every country to have contact with nationals of that country who have been accused of a crime. Many countries already take an interest in ensuring that their citizens receive a fair trial. So having a nonprofit trying to get involved is sort worthless. It looks like someone trying to generate intrerest and income by pretending to have some sort of influence.
posted by turner13 at 7:27 AM on November 29, 2005


And the official version of The Card Cheat's guidebook.
posted by smcniven at 8:05 AM on November 29, 2005


turner13: some of the recent news items regarding Canadians imprisoned in the US have highlighted the fact that very few of them are made aware of their right to contact a Consular official.

In fact, one guy was executed in Texas a few years ago for a crime committed in the 70's (I believe). It wasn't until just prior to his execution that Canadian officials became aware of his situation.
posted by smcniven at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2005


The Vienna Convention? Oh, you mean that thing that Texas opted out of?
posted by djfiander at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2005


Heh...yeah, that's the one, smcniven. I used to distribute governmental publications in a past life, and that sort of thing was the only way I could keep myself from going crazy with boredom.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:23 AM on November 29, 2005


No matter how I say, "Spot of bother" it never seems like I'm in shit all that deep.
posted by NationalKato at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2005


smcniven: How is recent news regarding Canadians imprisoned in the US related to this?
posted by turner13 at 10:02 AM on November 29, 2005


turner13: to be honest it doesn't. I skimmed through the FPP, saw the reference to the US State Department, saw your reference to the Vienna Convention and jumped the gun. Apologies for the knee jerk reaction (although it worth pointing out that even Countries party to the convention do not always abide by it).
posted by smcniven at 10:16 AM on November 29, 2005


The Vienna Convention guarantees only contact with consular officials, who can at best provide a link to the outside world. The alien government has no official standing in the courts and cannot intervene on your behalf, and political considerations may limit noisemaking. I'm not certain this is the group to become a kind of ACLU without borders, but there's definitely a place for such a group. Are there any successful releases to point to? Family endorsements? In any case they seem less active since 2004.

Anyone who does not display an equal amount of empathy for a European as they do for say, an African in the same situation is at best a hypocrite.

One can always use the squeaky wheel argument -- that a European with a determined claque of support is more likely to get a fair trail, and create local legal precedents, than a native. Also, Amnesty International has operated on the principle of international embarassment for years.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 PM on November 29, 2005


An effective strategy might be to target the influential exporters of any nations who abuse the human rights of any European visitors, by getting some products pulled from major chains and/or increasing the tariffs.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:59 PM on November 29, 2005


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