Deadlier than any virus: Euro-doctors pass secret anti-immigrant motion
9 September 1997 (MAHA)
PARIS, 9 september 1997 (MAHA)
During a plenary session, the Federation of Academies of Medicines and Similar Institutions of the European Union unanimously adopted an anti-immigrant motion to draw attention to "the risks presented by immigration, and especially clandestine immigration, by bringing and propagating certain diseases, the most serious of which are tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, the frequency of which is becoming menacing in the countries of the European Union."
The secret motion was submitted by a group of delegates from eight European Union academies of medicine who had gathered earlier in Brussels to discuss "the pathology of immigration." It was then quietly submitted to "the relevant authorities," says the report.
In May, when the Paris-based Réseau Voltaire obtained a copy of the report, the Federation refused to comment. According to Réseau Voltaire coordinator Thierry Meyssan, "this motion was never intended to be made public, because the members of the Federation were highly aware of the xenophobic connotations."
"This is not just a motion passed by a few reactionary old doctors" Meyssan told MAHA. "The Federation has real power in the European Union. They are always consulted when there are important decisions to be made about health policy." Whether there was a request from a government on this issue is not known.
In this case, it was Profesor Sicard, a representative from the French Academy of Medicine, who proposed and organized the meeting on the "pathology" of immigration. The Réseau Voltaire claims the motion was adopted "thanks to the intervention of French AIDS specialist Marc Gentilini," whose right-wing religious activism is well-documented by the Réseau.
Gentilini does not deny he attended the Federation’s meeting, where he was asked to "assist" professor Sicard. He maintains, however, that he made "no presentation at this meeting, submitted no documents, took part in no votes" and adds that the "level of debate" was not "up to his expectations." In a bitter letter responding to charges of racism made by Act Up Paris, Gentilini deemed it "unacceptable" that he might be "suspected of racism", given that he has "very much invested in the field of immigration."
Gentilini heads the French-sponsored Organisation pan-africaine de lutte contre le sida (OPALS) active in 16 African countries. In 1968, he founded the Comité Médico-Social d’Aide aux Migrants.
According to the Réseau Voltaire, the Belgian government considered cutting all funding to the Federation upon learning of the motion. When MAHA contacted the Federation in Brussels, the staff denied any knowledge of either the motion or the report.
MAHA wrote to the Federation on 20 May 1997, asking for the report, but never received a response. Federation spokesperson Professor de Scoville told MAHA by phone that, in any case, the Federation has no obligation to make its internal documents available to the public.
A few days later, MAHA’s Paris office received a call from Marc Gentilini. We had also sent a copy of the request for the report [per thou] [per thou] by fax to his office in Paris. Gentilini was eager to deny having had any role in the meeting. A few weeks later, we received a copy of his letter in response to Act Up Paris a few weeks later, stating he hoped it would put an end to a "terrorist action" against him.
For Meyssan, the proliferation of so-called "expert" committees and shadow institutions like the Federation - whose members are appointed by those who are themselves administrators and not elected officials - is part of the problem. Furthermore, he says, "the health policy experts who sit on various opaque EU committees come from institutions like the Federation. These are the people who often make decisions about funding and policy."
The only chance for accountability is by getting a Euro MP to ask questions to the European Commission.
Now that we have the facts, we cannot tolerate the Federation’s unacceptable link between our health and immigration controls, and must not allow it to go unanswered.nmBringing and propagating diseases
The Réseau Voltaire obtained a copy of a report by the Fédération des Académies de médecines et des Institutions similaires de l’Union européenne, adopted in plenary session on 8 and 9 November 1996 in Brussels. According to the report, the Federation unanimously adopted the following motion: "The Federation of the Academies of Medicine wishes to bring attention to the risks brought by immigration, especially illegal immigration, by bringing and by propagating certain diseases, the most serious of which are tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS, the incidence of which is becoming menacing for the countries of the European Union. [The Federation] insists that public health controls should be applied better. The Academies of medicine must be informed and consulted by those responsible in each country of the European Union."The court victories of Mister D in the UK and of Ali B. in France, despite the pain and suffering involved, does show that such injustices can and must be challenged openly, in the courts as well as in the streets.