Colonialism and Foreign Occupation. The Right to Resist Occupation and Fight for Freedom

NGO Forum, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, August 27-Sept 1, 2001

Declaration:

95. Colonialism represents one of the most serious violations of national sovereignty of states and breach of international law, and in almost all colonial territories serious crimes against humanity were committed by colonial powers.

96. Foreign occupation creates an environment in which the occupied people are exposed to a wide range of systemic and gross violations of human rights and freedoms, including dispossession, displacement and denial of their right to self determination and women of occupied territories are subjected to rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy and other forms of violence against women.

97. Acknowledging that a foreign occupation which imposes an alien domination and subjugation with the denial of territorial integrity amounts to colonialism (according to the principles of the ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’ of the UN General Assembly 1960) and denies the fundamental rights of self determination, independence and freedom of the people under occupation. It also creates an environment in which the occupied people are exposed to a wide range of systematic and gross violations of human rights and freedom. We extend our solidarity to the struggles for self – determination for people of Palestine, West Sumatra, Aceh-Sumatra, Bougainville, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, North Cyprus, and other states and indigenous communities including the Kurdish people, the indigenous people in the north east of India and in the north east of Sri Lanka, in Tibet, Kashmir, Bhutan, Mindanao and the non independent countries of the Caribbean, like Puerto Rico and recognize the situation of other people living under foreign occupation in different parts of the world.

98. Recognizing further that the Palestinian people are one such people currently enduring a colonialist, discriminatory military occupation that violates their fundamental human right of self-determination including the illegal transfer of Israeli citizens into the occupied territories and establishment of a permanent illegal Israeli infrastructure; and other racist methods amounting to Israel’s brand of apartheid and other racist crimes against humanity. Recognizing therefore that the Palestinian people have the clear right under international law to resist such occupation by any means provided under international law until they achieve their fundamental human right to self-determination and end the Israeli racist system including its own brand of apartheid.

99. Recognizing further that a basic “root cause” of Israel’s on going and systematic human rights violations, including its grave breaches of the fourth Geneva convention 1949 (i.e. war crimes), acts of genocide and practices of ethnic cleansing is a racist system, which is Israel’s brand of apartheid. One aspect of this Israeli racist system has been a continued refusal to allow the Palestinian refugees to exercise their right as guaranteed by international law to return to their homes of origin. Related to the right of return, the Palestinian refugees also have a clear right under international law to receive restitution of their properties and full compensation. Furthermore, international law provides that those Palestinian refugees choosing not to return are entitled to receive full compensation for all their losses. Israel’s refusal to grant Palestinian refugees their right of return and other gross human rights and humanitarian law violations has destabilized the entire region and has impacted on world peace and security.

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