Harold Riedewald

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Harold Riedewald
BornCornelis Harold Riedewald
(1933-01-12)January 12, 1933
💀DiedDecember 8, 1982(1982-12-08) (aged 49)
Paramaribo, SurinameDecember 8, 1982(1982-12-08) (aged 49)
💼 Occupation

Cornelis Harold Riedewald (January 12, 1933 – December 8, 1982) was a Surinamese lawyer. He was one of the victims of the December murders.


As a child from a fairly poor family, Riedewald was already interested in the theme of justice at a young age. Like Eddy Hoost, he was trained by Hugo Pos at the Surinamese School of Law; especially public and criminal law had his interest. They were also both members of the Thalia theater company, of which Pos was chairman.

Riedewald became a substitute officer and later a public prosecutor, but he did not like to accuse or convict people. He switched to the business world and became chairman of Interfood. In that position, he focused on encouraging small industrial companies involved in local production.

After the military coup took place in February 1980, he lost his job. The military determined the administration of justice.

On March 11, 1982, a counter-coup was committed by Surendre Rambocus, Wilfred Hawker and Jiwansingh Sheombar. The conspirators were arrested and accused of coup attempt. A court martial proceedings followed, which, according to the lawyers, was an illegal sham trial. Together with John Baboeram and Eddy Hoost, Riedewald took on the defense of the suspects, including Rambocus. The lawyers argued that the coup attempt by Rambocus against the Bouterse regime could not be unlawful, because this regime itself had come to power by non-legal means; a defense that was handled by lawyer Gerard Spong. Riedewald warned in his plea that violence provokes more violence. In November 1982, Rambocus was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was imprisoned in Fort Zeelandia, where Sheombar also ended up.

In the early morning of 8 December, Riedewald was removed from his bed by soldiers and taken to Fort Zeelandia. Here, he was executed in the course of the day. In the morgue, it was later found that Riedewald had been shot through his right temple and had severe injuries on the left side of his neck. The lecture of those in power at the time, was that Riedewald, along with Baboeram and Hoost, wanted to liberate the prisoners Rambocus and Sheombar to commit a new coup around Christmas. He was buried on 13 December at Protestant cemetery Mariusrust in Paramaribo. He had a wife, four children and a foster child.


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