Nov 252012
 

At DPAC we receive regular emails from people who have lost loved ones and attribute this to the process of the WCA, indeed with recent evidence of 73 deaths and suicides per week we are seeing these emails increasing.  December 3rd is being marked as a day of remembrance for all Atos victims. Disability activist Samuel Miller from Canada is taking this outrage against human rights as far as he possibly can in an effort to secure justice.

Samuel has made many efforts at the United Nations level on behalf of disabled people in the UK and the constant attacks they face under the Tory regime. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. He is looking for evidence of linked Atos deaths. DPAC supports this and want to help in any way we can –below we repost the blog from Vox Political with permission from Mike from Wales.

Please help if you can by publicising and also subscribe to Vox Political at: http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/ids-off-the-hook-with-icc-so-evidence-needed-of-atos-deaths/

IDS off the hook with ICC – so evidence needed of Atos deaths

 Brian McArdle. On the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday, Iain Duncan Smith flew into a rage when Owen Jones challenged him about what happened to Mr McArdle, “57 years old, paralysed down one side, blind in one eye; he couldn’t speak. He died one day after being found ‘fit for work’ by Atos.”

People whose family members have died while going through the DWP/Atos work capability assessment are being urged to contact a disability specialist – who has been seeking international legal action against the austerity-enforced injustice.

Vox Political reported back in September that Samuel Miller had contacted the International Criminal Court in The Hague, intending to file a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller, the ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions, considered most responsible for “draconian welfare reforms and the resultant deaths of their society’s most vulnerable”.

Mr Miller got in touch over the weekend, but said that the result had been disappointing: “They stated that the International Criminal Court has a very limited jurisdiction. The Court may only address the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as defined by Articles 6 to 8 of the Rome Statute.”

The Rome Statute is the document under which the ICC was established. Article 7, which covers crimes against humanity, states: “For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

“(k) Inhumane acts … intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

I thought this – Article 7 (k) – was a perfect description of what the DWP and its ministers are trying to achieve, and Mr Miller agreed. But he said: “Clearly the ICC is striving to discourage the filing of austerity complaints.”

There is a way forward. He added: “On a welcome note, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently acknowledged that austerity measures may violate human rights — which certainly is a step in the right direction.”

He’s right. The chair of the UN committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay said on October 23 that, although member states face tough decisions when dealing with rising public deficits, austerity measures are potentially violations of their legal obligations to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“All States Parties should avoid at all times taking decisions which lead to the denial or infringement of economic, social and cultural rights,” Pillay said, citing an open letter to States Parties from the committee earlier this year that clarified the committee’s position on austerity measures.

By ratifying the Covenant, member states like the UK have a legally binding obligation to progressively improve, without retrogression, universal access to goods and services such as healthcare, education, housing and social security and to ensure just and favourable conditions of work, without discrimination, in accordance with established international standards. These rights must be achieved by using the maximum of available resources.

Pillay pointed out that austerity measures are also a disincentive to economic growth and thereby hamper progressive realization of economic and social rights.

The committee had pointed out that social insecurity and political instability, as seen in parts of Europe today, were also potential effects of the denial or infringement of economic, social and cultural rights.

The poor, women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, people with HIV/AIDS, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees were particularly at risk, the committee had noted.

Having identified the possibility, we come to the burden of proof. Mr Miller said: “My best hope lies in procuring coroner’s reports where the cause of death is found to be destitution and/or suicide.”

Inevitably, there is a problem. The UK Coronial system does not involve the collating of such information, nor does it look for national trends. The role of the Coroner is case specific, so wider information is not available. This is because the system of inquests into deaths was never intended to investigate whether those deaths were being caused by insane decisions of the government itself.

The law in relation to death certification may be amended in 2014 to provide for Medical Examiners whose role will be to examine such matters – but that is two years from now, and the DWP/Atos system could pile up another 7,600 bodies in that time (using the generally-accepted average of 73 deaths per week).

Mr Miller has written to the DWP, seeking a change of coroners’ duties to allow proper and robust reporting of trends such as stress-related deaths, suicides and/or destitution deaths of welfare recipients and recipients who perished shortly after being stripped of their benefits can be reported to both the DWP and the Ministry of Justice.

But I think we all know there is little chance of success there. This government is hardly going to hand over the tools by which its own ministers might end up in an international court. They’re insane, but they’re not stupid!

So people are going to have to do it themselves. We know about high-profile cases in which deaths have been blamed on Atos. Information about the others needs to be available now.

This is why I want to appeal for anyone who has lost a loved one because of the DWP/Atos work capability assessment system to get in touch with Mr Miller. He needs to know the verdict that was reached at the inquests into their deaths.

His email address is disabilityinliterature@gmail.com

I would strongly urge that anyone writing to Mr Miller keeps their correspondence to the point. It is to be hoped that he will receive a strong response, but this entails a large amount of work. It is therefore important to make that work as easy as possible, perhaps by putting the deceased’s name, address and the verdict at the top of your email.

Follow mike on twitter :@MidWalesMike

 

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  20 Responses to “Deaths and Suicides linked to WCA: more evidence needed for justice”

  1. I have only just applied for pip I I live in manchester but got sent all the way to Blackburn for an assessment I have received a letter stating that my claim is now being looked at I am crapping myself to hear the out come I have add mental health problems and physical problems,

  2. I for one Fully intend to use the same rules that govern them against them, these are simply this, the D.M (Decision Maker) must abide by the “Brown Principles” they clearly do no such thing, also if these so called guidelines are compliant with our Human Rights articles 14,8,2, and 3 (the last two are inviolable and cannot be broken even if done unintentionally) then I simply must have quantum leaped into an alternative reality, George Rolph is on Hunger Strike, he will probable die(be allowed to by the government clearly ignoring what he stands for and represents everything in fact that we do, I have contacted the ECHR in Strasburg(Reference Number 46864/13) although I haven’t exhausted the so called legal system here, and that would probably void my case, however, after I have sent on my letter to the DWP/ATOS/Chris Robinson (works for them as a sort of go between Lovely Lady but not suited to dealing with those ……rds I have mentioned) and also the F.O.I people, as I want the D.M charged with Manslaughter after my death,(assuming George Rolph is not successful, but that for me is sadly a givin and I will no doubt have to follow suit) anyway, I intend for either myself(if I am still here) or someone else to take all the documented evidence including the four T.V programmes (2 Panorama and 2 from Dispatches) that expose this system for what it is a means (Directly or otherwise) of Euthanasia for those of us who are now such a burden on Society, that with a little bit of well documented propaganda about so called “scroungers” Killing them/us (indirectly and subtlety) then no one will barely know, or worse still care, that seems to be the real problem faced by the disabled and sick people, once in power any and all governments become Autocratic and listen to no one but themselves, forget the discussions in parliament they are simple for show, posing and trying to sound good on T.V. was I sadly mistaken or did Mr David(we are all in this together) Cameron not Cycle before the election? showing people how green he was, now look at the Bastard holidays all over the place at the taxpayers expense, the price that good people pay for not taking an interest in politics is to be governed by people worse than themselves, (Plato) of whom Aristotle was classed as a pupil to all intent and purposes.

    • Hi Gerald xx Just wondered how you were getting on re “The Brown Principles” ?? I have just stumbled onto this page and read the above comment Which has intrigued me ! …. I will now have to go and find out about Mr. Brown for myself ! ….. I sincerly hope all is well with you take care Face book Lesley-Anne Perrin xxx

  3. Five weeks ago, my brother who had disabling back pain for eighteen months, and was sleeping in a chair because he couldn’t lay down, was told he was fit for work after a WCA. Four weeks ago he was diagnosed with end stage cancer.
    He died on the 6th April after enduring pain likened to “walking on two broken legs”.He was 55 years old, so much for the WCA.

  4. I am currently struggling through the latest debacle, having been assessed and put in the Work Related Activity Group. I am so stressed that on more than one occasion recently I have considered taking my own life. I even wrote to David Cameron and told him so. Today I got a letter back from one of his minions saying that ‘Mr Cameron is grateful for the time and trouble you have taken to get in touch’. It then goes on to say that ‘Because the Department of Work & Pensions is best placed to respond to the matters you raise, he has asked me to forward your letter to the Department so that they may reply to your concerns directly’.

    Obviously he couldn’t care LESS whether I kill myself or not, and I’m darned sure that the DWP will ignore what I’ve said in the same way that they’ve dismissed every other piece of evidence I’ve sent them.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help the campaign, as I’ve only just found out about it, and was feeling very alone.

    • do get in touch with us at mail@dpac.uk.net to let us know where you’re based and we may have a local group to put you in touch with

      • I’m interested in local groups. I live in Kentish Town London with my little girl
        I’m health-challenged but kinda managing lone mothering & activism when possible
        Look forward to hearing from you

    • Hi Judi, One things for sure you are far from alone, thousands will testify to that, so hang on in there, keep the faith.
      Like you I am in the WRAG farce. Have had my first meeting with my ” advisor” and was given a sheet of paper listing short college courses that I might fancy trying. I have to go back to my “advisor” in a couple of months to show that I have got myself onto a course. At least we are keeping the DWP, Jobcentre PLus and College Tutors in work.

  5. my mate Bungy was disabled, he had been for most of his life.He had been enduring pain and depression.

    Since February of this year 2012,Atos and the job center had hounded him, he became more depressed and in more pain.it was awful to see the agony he was in. We did all we could to help him, but to no avail. By July of this year, our mate had changed from a 45 year old to a 90 year old in front of our eyes. We forced him into hospital, by the end of July,he was dead. We knew he was ill,but we believe we would have kept our mate longer if Atos hadnt intervened.

  6. I agree with you William, disabled people are being trampled on by this poor excuse of a Government, it’s more like the Gestapo. Where are the labour party when you need them, they don’t seem to be all that bothered about it, and I can’t see them doing anything different if they did get back into power.

  7. Very rarely, if ever, is ‘social cleansing’ accepted as existing whilst it is still going on! We should all, or our relatives, keep diaries of how we are treated so that, in the event of our own death, this can be used as evidence of the existence of ‘social cleansing.

  8. Is this not an infringement upon the ECHR, UN convention regarding human rights and the fundamental “right to life”? With numbers of elderly dying of hunger and/or hypothermia estimated at 20,00 pa and forecast at 22,000 this year because of cuts in already low benefits, is this not a planned plebicide? At the very least discrimination against disabled people, elderly and terminally ill to the detriment of their lives, we need international intervention in Britain to end the “Social cleansing”.

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