The Doatian Armed Forces has eroded the DRF’s control of Hunaq. DRF controlled territory in the region has shrunk to only about 5 city blocks. In November of last year, General Organa pled with the People’s Chamber about supporting the Chancellor’s proposal to authorize targeted airstrikes in Hunaq. A 1967 Doatian law strictly prohibited the Doatian military from deploying explosives or airstrikes against a civilian area. But, in a 407-203-90 (Y-A-N) vote, the Chamber approved the temporarily suspension of that law.
Conditions in Hunaq under DRF-control were described by many as inhumane. Reports of sexual assault, famine, sickness, and general violence poured from the region. Independent media and journalism was prohibited by the DRF, so many journalists risked a penalty of death by recording the events in Hunaq.
Immediately following the airstrike authorization, Organa and the DAF, and by association Chancellor Recardo herself, began to receive criticism on how the airstrike authorization was being executed. Civilian causalities remained high. The strikes, which were supposed to be targeted, struck several residential buildings and neighborhoods, hospitals and medical centers, refugee and shelter camps, water sanitation facilities, and other critical infrastructure; a bridge was destroyed and stranded 2,000 residents in Hunaq’s ‘Juqan’ neighborhood. Out of the original 2,000, nearly 1,200 of those stranded residents died due to famine or sickness.
Organa was asked to testify voluntarily before the Chamber’s oversight committee, but repeatedly refused. She was eventually subpoenaed, due to report to the committee tomorrow morning. The subpoena comes after Chancellor Recardo referred Organa to the Oversight Committee due to her own concerns about Organa’s performance.
After months of attacks from fellow government leaders, faith groups, political party officials, and members of her own party (the Environmental Justice Party), Chancellor Recardo released a statement. An excerpt below:
“When I proposed the airstrike authorization to the Chamber, I amended the original text to include restrictions on when and where a strike could be authorized. Restrictions prohibiting strikes on residential areas, refugee camps, shelters, hospitals, etc. To ensure military independence, existing Doatian law gives unilateral military authority during wartime to the Commander of the DAF: Commander Victoria Organa. As soon as reports were released on the heavy hand the DAF was using and the consequences expressed in the alarmingly height number of civilian causalities, I asked Organa to come to my office to discuss the matter. She assured me that it was necessary to root out the DRF. I disagreed. I said I was going to refer her to the Chamber’s oversight committee, seeing as I can’t fire her until the committee finds wrongdoing on her part. The Chamber asked the Commander repeatedly to testify, and yet, she refused. She is now mandated to testify before the committee in a public session tomorrow morning.
While I am grateful that the DRF is nearly defeated and will be by the end of the week, it did not need to come with the loss of so many innocent lives.”
Recardo is facing opposition from every party within the Chamber, including her own. Calls for impeachment and/or a vote of no confidence are amplifying; her statement doing little to placate the Chamber.
Throughout Doatia, citizens from all backgrounds, political affiliations, and regions have been taking to the streets to protest the response in Hunaq, to call for Organa’s arrest (many are accusing her of violating Doatian law) and the resignation of the Chancellor. One of the largest demonstrations had over 1 million participants and caused several districts of Doa city to shut down.
Since October, the Chancellor has been pushing a major and controversial security reform package. She says it is in response to the massive infiltration and revolt, led by the former-princess Ayana Bokum and the DRF. Originally titled the “Doatian Security Package of 2023”, it has since been retitled to the “Doatia Security Reform Act (DSRA) after we entered 2024 and the bill still didn’t get passed committee. Facing stiff opposition from her own party, the Chancellor is sporting this bill as “essential to maintain order in Doatia”.
The bill aims to increase funding for law enforcement, boost and strengthen the universal the background check system, vet all current Doatian government employees, and create a new anti-corruption police force. The bill also grants security forces unprecedented authority to conduct searches and detain citizens suspected of certain crimes, without adhering to the traditional due process in Doatia. A key element of the bill allows law enforcement to indefinitely detain anyone suspected of violating laws with a “anti-Doatian” attitude. Purposefully vague, the policy aims to allows security forces to detain suspected terrorists and their sympathizers without a warrant or due process.
Under the law, citizens detained for certain suspected crimes would have their rights restricted, such as:
- instead of law enforcement having to inform a detainee of what they’re charged with in 72 hours, it is now 90 days
- law enforcement can conduct warrantless searches and seizures on persons suspected of certain crimes and their property
- All convicted felons and their property can be searched without a warrant
- A suspect used to be entitled to legal representation within 72 hours of arrest. The law changed that to people suspected of certain crimes to 60 days.
The Law and Order committee voted on January 1st to move the bill forward, with several minor amendments. The 35-member committee vote by a slim margin, with 16 of the 21 EJP members voting against moving the bill forward. With 5 EJP members voting yes, all PLP and DN committee members voting yes, and 1 PLP member voting against and one voting for, the committee moved the bill forward by a 18/17 margin. A majority of elected EJP members oppose the bill, with majority leader in the Chamber saying in part “If the Chancellor ignores the will of her own party, I can’t promise we will support her bid for reelection when the time comes. I can actually promise that if she manages to get this bill past the Chamber, I will actively work to ensure she never gets reelection.”
Coming to the Chamber floor on January 4th, it was approved by a slim +2 margin. EJP members walked out in protest after the bill’s passage.
Chancellor Recardo signed the bill today, January 8th, cementing it into Doatian law. The law and all of its provisions are effective immediately.