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OPINION AND ANALYSIS | 13-07-2019 10:05

'We seek justice for a crime that should never be forgotten'

On Thursday, July 18, in front of the site of the AMIA Jewish community centre we will meet to reiterate our demand for justice, writes AMIA's Acting President Ariel Eichbaum.

In a few days, we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the worst-ever terrorist attack in the history of the country. On Thursday, July 18, in front of the site of the AMIA Jewish community centre, at 633 Pasteur Street in Buenos Aires City, we will meet to reiterate our demand for justice and pay tribute to the 85 victims who lost their lives, the more than 300 people who were injured and all of the survivors of the massacre.

The ceremony – which will begin at 9.53am, the exact time the bomb exploded – and the vigilance that we have maintained throughout the years, holding ceremonies along with the support of the community, will be yet another emphatic demonstration that oblivion has not won out.

In spite of the passage of time, we continue to remember, we continue to demand justice, we continue to denounce impunity. Our resolve is as strong as it was on day one. Yet we continue to feel the inmutable pain of a wound that has not been closed, a wound that has remained open, because those responsible intellectually and materially for the attack have not suffered the consequences of the atrocity they committed.

Since 1994 we have known that the attack was carried out with a car-bomb, and that the Islamic Republic, its diplomats and the terrorist organisation Hezbollah were responsible, and that they collaborated with a local connection, of which Carlos Telledín formed a part, and for which he is today being re-judged.

On repeated occasions, the Argentine justice system has demonstrated these facts. As such, it should continue demanding the cooperation of Iran, so that it can respond to the court’s requests.

Internationalising our demands serves to keep the cause alive. We are convinced that it is imperative for all democratic nations to unite to combat the advance of terrorism.

Today, Iran is a global threat. When international terrorism attacked Buenos Aires for a second time on July 18, 1994 – after the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 – the world still felt distant from such images of horror. Unfortunately, many cities have suffered from the scourge of a fanaticism that continues to add innocent victims.

We should redouble our efforts to make sure that the investigation’s reach can properly reach its ultimate conclusions, and to find the mechanisms for the accused to take to the stand in court. The Interpol red alerts against the accused Iranains have been renewed time and time again, despite Iran’s efforts to render them ineffective.

It is known that several of the accused continue to leave Iran and travel freely to countries that give them shelter and allow them to evade international arrest orders. They are accused of having committed a crime against humanity, which is an imprescriptible crime. State powers should use all the force necessary to make sure that they are put on trial and convicted, so they can be punished.

Twenty-five years have passed. It is time for impunity to no longer be synonymous with the AMIA bombing. In the meantime, it is our duty and mission to continue pushing our demands. We hope that everyone joins us this Thursday to pay tribute to the murdered in this cowardly attack and to make sure our serious claims are heard.

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Ariel Eichbaum

Ariel Eichbaum

Acting President of AMIA.

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