Thebeka Holders Outraged as Paramilitary Forces Accused of Taking Slaves; Notorious Khanid Slaver Arrested

By Alton Haveri

Thebeka, Domain – Accusations of opportunistic and illegal slave-taking have been levelled at paramilitary forces participating in counter-insurgency operations on Thebeka III, where a slave rebellion provoked by chemical weapon terror attacks is entering its fifth week. The sense of outrage among the Holders of Thebeka III has been heightened by the reported arrest of the notorious slaver Orlon Zashev, a former Sardar-Colonel in the Khanid Royal Uhlans alleged to have carried out war crimes and slave raids during the Vindication Wars.

Slave rebellions took place on several Amarr worlds a month ago, following terrorist attacks believed to be the work of the Blood Raider Covenant, although most of the uprisings were swiftly put down by local forces. The worst affected planets were the Sarum world of Alkabsi IV and Thebeka III in the territories of the Ardishapur Family. House Sarum forces were able to reduce the Alkabsi rebellion to a low-intensity and isolated insurgency shortly before the end of YC120. With all cities and vital infrastructure secured, Amarr military forces on Akabsi IV have been withdrawing to their garrisons as the Ministry of Internal Order and Sarum police troops deal with outstanding trouble spots.

The Thebeka III situation continued over the Yoiul Festival period and as a result has been the focus of much paramilitary and capsuleer activity. Amarr loyalist capsuleers from organizations such as PIE and the CVA have landed many troops on Thebeka III, under Imperial mandate, as have numerous other paramilitary and mercenary companies loyal to the Amarr Empire. Lord Khalil Numayr of the Numayriyah continent of the planet had already been reported as expressing disquiet at the continuing presence of numerous forces not directly loyal to House Ardishapur or its vassal houses. While Lord Numayr has not commented on the most recent developments, members of the Numayr court and vassal Holders across Numayriyah have complained of numerous incidents of illicit slave-taking during the unrest.

As the situation on Thebeka III has improved, with only the city of Dabara remaining a serious site of conflict, fresh accusations have emerged of paramilitary forces taking slaves from pacified areas where Ardishapur police and security forces remain overstretched. The scandal has exploded into open outrage among the local Holders with the reported arrest of Orlon Zashev in Sertene-Nauon, Numayriyah by Ministry of Internal Order troops. Some local Holders have claimed that large numbers of capsuleer, mercenary and foreign troops have contributed to a sense of chaos in their regions. Lord Caul Tol-Sarpol of the Trans-Dabara region went so far as to charge that "criminal acts of property damage, theft and abduction of servants have been carried out by foreigners claiming authority from so-called capsuleer 'lords' taking advantage of the situation."

For its part, the Minmatar Republic's Justice Department lists Orlon Zashev as their fifth most-wanted slaver and has filed a request through CONCORD for Zashev to be handed over to them under the terms of the extradition provisions of the Yulai Accords. It is highly unlikely that Zashev would be handed over given the strong protections Amarr and allied militaries have under Imperial law. Further impediments to such action would be the priority of any case the MIO has against Zashev, the likely inapplicability of CONCORD law to the Republic Justice Department's charges and the ongoing diplomatic tensions between the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic.

As direct fief-holder of Thebeka and its planetary bodies, Royal Heir Arim Ardishapur has indicated that the presence of paramilitary and other auxiliary forces on Thebeka III is no longer needed and evacuation of such forces should begin. Imperial authorities have expressed a desire for loyal capsuleers to concentrate on the security situation in Thebeka system's space.

Cardinal Sourem Itharen of the Court Chamberlain's Office said, "The additional forces supplied by loyal capsuleers to secure Thebeka III were most welcome but the time has come for them to withdraw. We remain most concerned by the presence of Minmatar terrorists, heretics, anarchists and criminal elements operating in Thebeka, and would wish loyal capsuleers to now concentrate their efforts on removing enemies of Amarr from our space."