Page images
PDF
EPUB

tions, the said slaves shall be turned over to the local authority, to be sent back, if possible, to their country of origin; if not, this authority shall facilitate to them, in so far as may be in its power, the means of livelihood, and, if they desire it, of settling on the spot.

ARTICLE LIII.

If it shall be proved by the inquiry that the vessel has been illegally arrested, there shall be clear title to an indemnity in proportion to the damages suffered by the vessels being taken out of its course.

The amount of this indemnity shall be fixed by the authority that has conducted the inquiry.

ARTICLE LIV.

In case the officer of the capturing vessel does not accept the conclusions of the inquiry held in his presence, the matter shall be turned over to the tribunal of the nation whose flag the captured vessel has borne.

No exception shall be made to this rule, unless the disagreement arises in respect of the amount of the indemnity stipulated in Article LIII, and this shall be fixed by arbitration, as specified in the following article.

ARTICLE LV. The capturing officer and the authority which has conducted the inquiry shall each appoint a referee within forty-eight hours, and the two arbitrators shall have twenty-four hours to choose an umpire. The arbitrators shall, as far as possible, be chosen from among the diplomatic, consular, or judicial officers of the signatory powers. Natives in the pay of the contracting Governments are formally excluded. The decision shall be by a majority of votes, and be considered as final.

If the court of arbitration is not constituted in the time indicated, the procedure in respect of the indemnity, as in that of damages, shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article LVIII, paragraph 2.

ARTICLE LVI.

The cases shall be brought with the least possible delay before the tribunal of the nation whose flag has been used by the accused. However, the consuls or any other authority of the same nation as the accused, specially commissioned to this end, may be authorized by their Government to pronounce judgment instead of the tribunal.

ARTICLE LVII. The procedure and trial of violations of the provisions of Chapter III shall always be conducted in as summary a manner as is permitted by the laws and regulations in force in the territories subject to the authority of the signatory powers.

ARTICLE LVIII.

Any decision of the national tribunal or authorities referred to in Article LVI, declaring that the seized vessel did not carry on the slavetrade, shall be immediately enforced, and the vessel shall be at perfect liberty to continue on its course.

In this case, the captain or owner of any vessel that has been seized without legitimate ground of suspicion, or subjected to annoyance, shall have the right of claiming damages, the amount of which shall be fixed by agreement between the Governments directly interested, or by arbitration, and shall be paid within a period of six months from the date of the judgment acquitting the captured vessel.

ARTICLE LIX.

In case of condemnation, the sequestered vessel shall be declared lawfully seized for the benefit of the captor.

The captain, crew, and all other persons found guilty shall be punished according to the gravity of the crimes or offenses committed by them, and in accordance with Article V.

ARTICLE LX.

The provisions of Articles L to LIX do not in any way affect the jurisdiction or procedure of existing special tribunals, or of such as may hereafter be formed to take cognizance of offenses connected with the slave-trade.

ARTICLE LXI.

The high contracting parties engage to make known to one another, reciprocally, the instructions which they shall give, for the execution of the provisions of Chapter III, to the commanders of their men-of-war navigating the seas of the zone referred to.

CHAPTER IV. Countries to which slaves are sent, whose institutions

recognize the existence of domestic slavery.

ARTICLE LXII.

The contracting powers whose institutions recognize the existence of domestic slavery, and whose possessions, in consequence thereof, in or out of Africa, serve, in spite of the vigilance of the authorities, as places of destination for African slaves, pledge themselves to prohibit their importation, transit and departure, as well as the trade in slaves. The most active and the strictest supervision shall be enforced at all places where the arrival, transit, and departure of African slaves take place.

ARTICLE LXIII.

Slaves set free under the provisions of the preceding article shall, if circumstances permit, be sent back to the country from whence they came. In all cases they shall receive letters of liberation from the competent authorities, and shall be entitled to their protection and assistance for the purpose of obtaining means of subsistence.

ARTICLE LXIV.

Any fugitive slave arriving at the frontier of any of the powers mentioned in Article LXII shall be considered free, and shall have the right to claim letters of release from the competent authorities.

ARTICLE LXV.

Any sale or transaction to which the slaves referred to in Articles LXIII and LXIV may have been subjected through circumstances of any kind whatsoever, shall be considered as null and void.

ARTICLE LXVI.

Native vessels carrying the flag of one of the countries mentioned in Article LXII, if there is any indication that they are employed in operations connected with the slave-trade, shall be subjected by the local authorities in the ports frequented by them to a strict examination of their crews and passengers both on arrival and departure. If African slaves are found on board, judicial proceedings shall be instituted against

the vessel and against all persons who may be implicated. Slaves found on board shall receive letters of release through the authorities who have seized the vessels.

ARTICLE LXVII.

Penal provisions similar to those provided for by Article V shall be enacted against persons importing, transporting, and trading in African slaves, against the mutilators of male children or adults, and those who traffic in them, as well as against their associates and accomplices.

ARTICLE LXVIII.

The signatory powers recognize the great importance of the law respecting the prohibition of the slave-trade sanctioned by His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans on the 4th (16th) of December, 1889 (22 Rebi-ul-Akhir, 1307), and they are assured that an active surveillance will be organized by the Ottoman authorities, especially on the west coast of Arabia and on the routes which place that coast in communication with the other possessions of His Imperial Majesty in Asia.

ARTICLE LXIX.

His Majesty the Shah of Persia consents to organize an active surveillance in the territorial waters and those off the coast of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman which are under his sovereignty, and on the inland routes which serve for the transportation of slaves. The magistrates and other authorities shall, to this effect, receive the necessary powers.

ARTICLE LXX.

His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar consents to give his most effective support to the repression of crimes and offences committed by African slave-traders on land as well as at sea. The tribunals created for this purpose in the Sultanate of Zanzibar shall rigorously enforce the penal provisions mentioned in Article V. In order to render more secure the freedom of liberated slaves, both in virtue of the provisions of the present general act and of the decrees adopted in this matter by His Highness and his predecessors, a liberation office shall be established at Zanzibar.

ARTICLE LXXI.

The diplomatic and consular agents and the naval officers of the contracting powers shall, within the limits of existing conventions, give their assistance to the local authorities in order to assist in repressing the slave-trade where it still exists. They shall be entitled to be present at trials for slave-trading brought about at their instance, without, however, being entitled to take part in the deliberations.

ARTICLE LXXII.

Liberation offices, or institutions in lieu thereof, shall be organized by the governments of the countries to which African slaves are sent, for the purposes specified by Article XVIII.

ARTICLE LXXIII.

The signatory powers having undertaken to communicate to one another all information useful for the repression of the slave-trade, the Governments whom the present chapter concerns shall periodically exchange with the other Governments statistical data relating to slaves intercepted and liberated, and to the legislative and administrative measures which have been taken for suppressing the slave-trade.

CHAPTER V. Institutions intended to insure the execution of the

general act.

SECTION I. Of the international maritime office.

ARTICLE LXXIV.

In accordance with the provisions of Article XXVII, an international office shall be instituted at Zanzibar, in which each of the signatory powers may be represented by a delegate.

ARTICLE LXXV.

The office shall be constituted as soon as three powers have appointed their representatives.

It shall draw up regulations fixing the manner of exercising its functions. These regulations shall immediately be submitted to the approval

« PreviousContinue »