Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Amnesty International Blasts Denmark Refugee Policies

Amnesty International issued a sharply critical report on alleged poor treatment of asylum seekers in Denmark as well as noting failure on the part of police to respond to complaints of mistreatment by people. The report deplored the decision of Denmark to accept assurances from other nations that asylum seekers on return home will be treated with respect. “The most important thing for the Danish government seems to be closing the country’s borders to refugees, forcing 282 Iraqi asylum seekers home to an unknown future and deporting terror suspects to countries that employ torture and unfair trials.” There are currently about 300 people in Denmark seeking asylum, but it is doubtful if their requests will be accepted.

The nation’s police force also came under criticism, particularly in their failure to respond to allegations of rape. It was noted only about five to eight out of a 1,000 complaints against police are ever upheld.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Violated By Mugabe

Amnesty International is frightened at the prospect of mass starvation in Zimbabwe unless something is done to get a government organized which can address the horrible economic conditions facing their country. Human rights abuse continues under the authoritarian regime of Robert Mugabe even as millions face the prospect of starvation brought on by the inept and morally illegal economic policies of the current government. Inflation has reached astronomical levels unheard of in human history and food is denied people based on their political views. Central to the inability of forming a coalition government is refusal on the part of Mugabe to share power with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change(MDC)led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

As Mugabe continues his fight for power because he fears an honest government will uncover corruption on the part of his cronies and allies, the prospect for economic recover grows dimmer. Attempts to protest are met by beatings and imprisonment since Mugabe fears the expression of honest public opinion.

Amnesty International Presses Medvedev On Rights

Amnesty International pressed newly elected President Dimitry Medvedev to initiate a “sea change” in his country’s attitude toward human rights. It noted “in your speech following your inauguration, you stated that human rights and freedoms are of the highest value to Russian society. Amnesty International looks forward to seeing this commitment made a reality.”An Amnesty International report was highly critical of Russia which it acused of employing torture, crushing free speech and ignoring its obligations under international treaties to respect basic freedoms of speech, press, and assembly. “Russia, like China, needss to remember that global leadership bring responsibility and expectations and that, to be credible, it cannot ignore the values and principles of the international community and the promies that it makes on human rights.”

The office of President Medvedev refused to comment on the report as did Russia’s Human Rights ombudsman. Russia was not the only country to be criticised since the report sharply condemned American disrespect for human rights in the Guanatanmo Boy prison. However, there are some slight indications Medvedev might be more receptive than his predecessor Putin to instituting changes that would respect basic freedoms.

CIA’s Dirty Little War Against The Constitution

CIA spokesman George Little continually insists the agency has operated its terrorist detention and interrogation program in accordance with US law. After being held for nearly three years in secret CIA prisons or “black sites,” a Yemeni prisoner, Khalid Al-Maqtani, was finally released without any charges being brought before a judicial tribunal. Al-Maqtania told Amnesty Internatonal he spent 28 months in isolation without anyone telling him the nature of his alleged crimes. He was arrested in Iraq on suspicion of being a foreign insurgent, transferred to Abu Ghraib prison where he was beatedn, deprived of sleep, suspended upside down in painful positions, intimidated by dogs and induced hypothermia.

After nine days of interrogation in Abu Ghraib, he was flown to Afghanistan where he again was tortured and kept in isolation. According to Amnesty International, the CIA turned him over to Yemen authorities in 2006 and he was not released until May, 2007. In July, 2007, President Bush issued an executive order banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of terror suspects by the CIA.

As an American, I wonder how those who wrote the Constitution would have reacted to such a story of human degradation. I know they never would have accepted the Bush ratonale that allows torture and violation of human rights in the name of “ticking bombs” that must be defused. As of this date, Mr. Al Maqtan has not been any bomb, ticking or not.

Amnesty International Slams Lebanon For Anti-Palestinian Behavior

Amnesty International in a 31 page report, “Exiled Suffering Palestinian Refugees In Lebanon” severely criticized the Lebanese government for failing to accord Palestinian refugees opportunities to integrate within the community and afford them educational and economic opportunities available to the average Lebanese citizens. There are now 300,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps on the same amount of land the original refugees were given in 1948. This has resulted in massive crowding and miserable living conditions. Syria and Jordan have taken steps to integrate Palestinians within their societies, but Lebanon continues its policy of segregation and dehumanization of the refugees. Amnesty International has documented evidence that even attempting basic ways of improving one’s hovel by Palestinians usually results in fines.

The refugee question which hinders resolution of the Israel and Palestinian conflict can be more readily addressed if massive aid was provided refugees currently in areas such as Lebanon. It is unrealistic to assume 5,000,000 Palestinians can return to their original homes in Palestine or Israel. There is need for economic, political, and cultural actions to ensure the refugees can succeed in their present areas of habitation. It is the only realistic approach to a complex question.