Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On October 26

On this day in ...
... 1986, the government of South Africa threw out of the country Swiss nationals who were working for the International Committee of the Red Cross. The move came a day after South African delegates had been expelled from an ICRC conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The New York Times commented that South African had been kicked out of the ICRC meeting in an effort "to protest apartheid." But it speculated that the vote "could have the unintended effect of hurting opponents of apartheid," given that the workers ordered to leave had been visiting anti-apartheid campaigners "jailed for such crimes as treason and terrorism," among them "the black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela." (credit for photo of Mandela's cell at the prison on Robben Island, where the future South African President was incarcerated from 1964 to 1982.) The following month, South Africa reversed the expulsion order.

(Prior October 26 posts are here, here, and here.)

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