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Councilmember Ruggles Puts Queen’s Hospital on Notice

September 26, 2018, 9:18 PM HST (Updated September 27, 2018, 7:18 AM)
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Jen Ruggles campaign photo.

Council member Jen Ruggles released a letter she sent notifying Queen’s Health Systems that it appears they may be violating the rights of protected persons in Hawai’i.

She stated that she, “as an agent for the United States, which is an occupying Power, and one who took an oath to support the constitution of the United States, is bound to uphold the 1907 Hague Convention IV, and the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, and ensure respect for the conventions in all circumstances.”

In her letter, Councilmember Ruggles referenced a Feb. 25, 2018, communication from United Nations independent expert Dr. Alfred M. deZayas to the State of Hawai‘i judges in which he stated:

“I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation. As such, international laws (the Hague and Geneva Conventions) require that governance and legal matters within the occupied territory of the Hawaiian Islands must be administered by the application of the laws of the occupied state (in this case, the Hawaiian Kingdom), not the domestic laws of the occupier (the United States).”

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The U.S. Senate ratified the Hague and Geneva Conventions making both of these treaties part of federal law under Article VI of the federal constitution and which Councilmember Ruggles says must be carried out in a territory that the United States is occupying.

Councilmember Ruggles said, “as an agent of the the United States as defined under the Hague Convention and whistleblower, it is my duty to hold individuals and other officials of the State of Hawai‘i and the United States government accountable for apparent violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the rights of civilians within the occupied territory under the title of protected persons.”

In Councilmember Ruggles’ letter, she says that the Queen’s Hospital was formed as a corporation on June 20, 1859, and that Article 1 of the Hospital’s Charter provides for the establishment of a permanent hospital for the “treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians, as well as such foreigners and others who may choose to avail themselves of the same.”

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It was understood at the time that the term “Hawaiians” meant aboriginal Hawaiians, both pure and part.

In Ruggles letter. she wrote that after pressure to sever the Hawaiian government’s interest in Queen’s Hospital and to no longer admit Native Hawaiians free of charge, the Board of Trustees, with the approval of territorial governor, amended the charter. In 1909, the phrase in the original 1859 charter “for the treatment of indigent sick and disabled Hawaiians” was replaced with “for the treatment of sick and disabled persons.” She said the change was made secretively.

According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, “Today, Native Hawaiians are perhaps the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i. This risk stems from high economic and cultural stress, lifestyle and risk behaviors, and late or lack of access to health care.”

Ruggles wrote that the “lack of access to health care” is what troubles her, knowing that the Queen’s Hospital was specifically established under Hawaiian Kingdom law to provide for their healthcare, free of charge.

According to CouncilmemberRuggles, Hawaiian subjects of aboriginal blood, both pure and part, are protected persons whose rights during the U.S. occupation are protected under the Geneva Convention.

Councilmember Ruggles hold community meeting. VC: Big Island Video News

Councilmember Ruggles stated that the changes to the charter since 1909 appear to violate Article 47 and 50 of the Geneva Convention IV. In light of these violations, she called upon the Chief Executive Office of the Queen’s Health System, Art Ushijima, and the “Board of Trustees to comply with the 1859 Charter and to admit aboriginal Hawaiians, as that term was understood under Kingdom law, for medical care free of charge. Failure to do so [would] appear to constitute war crimes under Article 47 and 50 of the [Geneva Convention, IV].”

Councilmember Ruggles alerted Ushijima to that there “seems to be a direct nexus of deaths of aboriginal Hawaiians as ‘the single racial group with the highest health risk in the State of Hawai‘i [that] stems from… late or lack of access to health care’ to the crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Genocide Convention was also ratified by the United States Senate, and, like the Hague and Geneva Conventions, are a part of United States federal law.”

VC: Big Island Video News

In her letter, Councilmember Ruggles mistakenly referred to Article 51 of the Geneva Convention, when it should have been Article 50. A letter to Ushijima has been sent notifying him of the mistake.

During Ruggles’ Town Hall on Sept. 24, 2018, she announced that this letter is the first of many letters where she will be putting every agent of the United States in Hawai‘i concerning the rights of protected persons on notice of any apparent violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

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