Rosenthal: EU dialogue with Suriname is a step forward

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal sees the European Union’s decision to initiate soon a dialogue with Suriname under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement as a big step forward. ‘It’s very positive that the EU will be starting far-reaching, extensive talks in the near future with the Surinamese government about human rights, including the amnesty law and the separation of powers,’ said the minister.

This is the first time in the EU’s history that it has resorted to such a serious instrument with Suriname. The talks are meant to result in Suriname’s honouring its international obligations.

The Netherlands expressed serious concern last month in Brussels at the recent amendment to Suriname’s amnesty law, and pressed for a European response. It stated that the amended law was contrary to Suriname’s international obligations to combat impunity. ‘International agreements require Suriname to investigate human rights violations and bring the perpetrators to justice,’ Mr Rosenthal said. ‘The victims have the right to the completion of the trial for the murders committed in December 1982 under the military regime. And if the court finds the defendants guilty, they must not escape punishment.’