Joint declaration on the 8 December Trials

From the Heads of Mission accredited to Suriname of France, Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Heads of Mission accredited to Suriname of France, Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States have closely monitored the progress of the 8 December Trials over the years. We appreciate the challenging circumstances under which the Military Court operates and commend the Court on reaching a verdict in the cases before the Civilian Chamber.

The trials have been instrumental in reconstructing the events and political context of December 8, 1982. The integrity and independence of the Judiciary is a pillar in Suriname society. It is critical that the final verdicts in the killing of 15 innocent citizens -- whatever those verdicts may be after the appeals process is complete -- are implemented and upheld in accordance with the rule of law.

Lastly, our thoughts go out to all of the families and loved ones of those who have been a part of this tragedy. The verdict will undoubtedly prove instrumental in helping the nation move towards reconciliation.