Log-book: July 2004

  Paying homage to Maurice Audin The Pentecost of the people
  European Court for the defence of Human Rights   In the Valais area




The Bible

Special Edition

Paying homage to Maurice Audin

place Maurice Audin The Mayor of Paris came to inaugurate the " Maurice Audin " Square in the 5th district. It was noon. We were a few hundred waiting under a hot sun. 

Maurice Audin was assassinated in Alger on the 21st of June 1957. He died at the age of 25 while being tortured by the French military. This anti-colonialist militant and communist, a brilliant mathematician was arrested at his home where he lived with his wife and three children. 

His body was never found. But it is known that the man who killed him continued his military career and became a commander of the Legion of honour.
A lot of time passed before the name of this man was restored, him whose name had been voluntarily sunk into oblivion.
I had admiration for this courageous militant who was right too soon. I saluted his wife who had awaited this day for a long time.






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The Pentecost of the people
Macondo In the North of Italy, in the district of Treviso, Bassano Del Grappa lies at the foot of the mountains surrounded by vines and olive trees. It is paradise. I was invited by the " Macondo " Association to participate in their assembly of the Pentecost. 

Macondo works for the communication and the meeting between people through exchanges and solidarity between associations and communities of Africa and South America. Bassano Del Grappa welcomes with joy people coming from all over. Native products from each country can be seen on each stand at the rhythm of the tom-toms.
During the morning, a South African man, a Bolivian man, an Ecuadorian woman and myself delivered a speech…During the afternoon, a large crowd gathered to participate in the Pentecostal mass.
I was quite amazed at the number of young people in the assembly, young people with a rich missionary experience, shaped by solidarity and cultural exchanges.

la jeunesse

What joy to see these young people go abroad to follow Jesus. They are witnesses to the intrepid answer proposed by the Gospel. How can it be possible to receive the Holy Spirit from the Pentecost without venturing off the registered trails to go abroad?



European Court for the defence of Human Rights

In Strasbourg, the large courtroom is almost full. I was invited as a guest. When the bell rings, everybody stands up to meet the Court. The Twenty judges coming from all parts of Europe walk in silently. The chairman is Swiss. After this ceremonial, the lawyers start their long plea.

l'affaire Ocalan What is it all about? It is the Ocalan Affair. In 1998, the Kurd leader was expelled from Syria where he had been living for several years. 

After being on the run in Greece, in Russia, in Italy, in Kenya, he was kidnapped by Turkish agents and put aboard a plane in Nairobi going to Turkey. Since 1999, he is imprisoned on the Isle of Imrali, in complete isolation, having to suffer inhuman treatments. Sentenced to death, the capital punishment was commuted to life imprisonment.
That the Ocalan Affair be brought to justice before the European Court is a consecration in favour of the Kurds. This is an historic day. The European Court will have to reach a verdict in the Ocalan Affair.

In Strasbourg, thousands of Kurds have come by bus from France and Germany. They march to the Meinau Stadium in a festive demonstration. With the lawyers, I join them under a scorching sun. 


The decision of the Court will be known later but until then, it is the celebration because the Kurd question is now officially before this European institution. Ocalan cannot be separated from his people.




In the Valais area

Monthey en Suisse In this lovely area of Switzerland, Monthey is a city of around 15 000 inhabitants which is characterized by its 83 nationalities. In the theatre where I am invited to speak on the integration of foreigners, there is quite a gallery of portraits in colour: they are the faces of men and women living in Monthey and reflecting all its various nationalities. 
To understand a foreigner is it not important to have a friendly relationship with him, and meet him face to face? A foreigner, before being a problem, is a person. 


At the college, two meetings are scheduled with young people. They have open and energetic faces. A psychologist is there to act as a moderator for these fascinating exchanges. The carefully prepared questions are related to important social issues of society: racism, violence, death penalty, abortion, excision, the marriage of people of the same sex…However not one issue dealt with the essential of the Christian message, that is to say that Jesus reveals the ultimate nature of the human being, of its relation with God, of the destiny of the universe. The Christian religion is not first a set of moral principles.