Tag Archives: Human Rights

Human Rights –UN Style!

Within a few months there will be a UN sponsored conference to deal with issues of human rights in the world. The sixty page draft of issues to be discussed by the conference come down to one nation being the cause of human rights on planet Earth–guess which one!! Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council include such fighters for human rights and sexual equality as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Cuba, and China. At the last such conference held in Durban, South Africa, the name of Israel was discussed 120 times and any attempt to discuss sexual issues such as dealt with by Sharia law were ruled out of order.

Perhaps, this writer has been living on another planet, but one would think the following might be issues to discuss at a conference on Human Rights:

The murder of 300,000 people in Darfur and the rape of thousands of women.

The murder of FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN CONGO and the rape of uncounted thousands of women.

The killiing of 60,000 people in Uganda and the kidnapping of thousands of children who are forced to murder.

The death of 4,000 people in Zimbabwe of cholera as a result of the brutal policies of President Mugabe.

China’s record in Tibet.

Saudi Arabia’s record on dealing with gays and lesbians.

Pakistan’s record on dealing with equal rights for women.

Iran’s stoning to death of women, imprisoning human rights activists, etc…

There is only one way to handle this travesty of justice and human rights –boycott the darn meeting. It is simply an opportunity for people like Cubans who imprison gays to denounce Israel.

My question is: If Israel did not exist, would they even hold such a conference? If they did, what would they discuss?

Zimbabwe Leader Freed From Jail

Imagine the prime minister of a nation selecting a man to be his deputy minister of Agriculture and discovering this person was arrested at the airport and put in jail without any notification to you of what was happening. Imagine a judge wanted to free the man since his rights were violated but the president and police said no. Stop imagining, that is life in Zimbabwe. Finally, after nearly a month in jail, Roy Bennett, was freed from prison and allowed to assume his role as deputy minister of Agriculture at a time when farm production has collapsed due to the idiotic policies of President Robert Mugabe. Bennett told reporters of his time in jail. “There are gross human rights abuses behind those walls. People are suffering. They are having a single meal a day. Five people died while I was inside and it took prison officers four or five days to remove the bodies. Cells are over crowded. The situation behind those walls is pathetic.”

Innocent Gonere, an official of Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change, put it bluntly by commenting: “The relief is that he is out of that hell of a place. Our prisons are hell on earth.” Nothing more to add to that description.

EU Court Says Kurdish Classes Legal In Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that peacefully petitioning for Kurdish language classes is a fundamental human right and it accused the Turkish government of violating a student’s right to an education. The decision arose from complaints by 18 applicants who attended Turkish universities and decided to petition their university authorities to provide optional Kurdish language courses. For daring to petition, the students were subjected to disciplinary action. The European Court ruled the petitions could not be “construed as an activity which would lead to polarization of the university population on the basis of language, race, religion or denomination.”

Kurdish was banned after the 1980 military coup as violence broke out between the armed forces and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Even as the EU Court was ruling in favor of the students, a Turkish court acquitted a mayor on charges of using Kurdish in his celebratory message to his constituents.

Bush Organized Torture System Says UN Leader!

Dr. Martin Scheinin, United Nations Rappoteur on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms identified the United States along with other nations which have created a system based on secret prisons, torture and other activities that result in violation of human rights. He states quite frankly the so-called war on terrorism has been used to cover up abuse of humans and the use of torture in order to elicit confessions. He has evidence that employees of the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom personally interrogated detainees who had ben tortured by the Pakistan intelligence service. He also cites the Tony Blair government for cooperating with the torture of individuals. “I am trying here, on the basis of the law, to indicate that there cannot be a very big difference between torturing and looking on while others torture.”

Dr. Scheinin charges that nations which took part in the infamous “war on terror” engaged in the very practices they were charging the enemy utilized. A real question emerging from his study is the question of who gave “the actual operative orders.” Are you reading this Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld? The three stooges are guilty of crimes against humanity!

Chile Blasts Bush America On Human Rights!

During the past eight years, the Bush State Department has issued an annual report on the state of human rights in the world. After reading the latest report, the government of Chile issued a response which noted, “there is no Guantanamo in Chile” and argued the United States was the last country on this planet to issue reports pointing the finger at violations of human rights while ignoring its own. Francisco Victal, a spokesperson for the government, said his own nation’s experiences with dictatorship had made it sensitive to questions of human rights and argued, “when a human being is tortured in any place in the world, the dignity of the rest of the six billion beings is also violated.”

The administration of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld has brazenly boasted of torture that is acceptable and ignored the violations of human rights in their own country. A society which values social justice does not allow 50 million people to go without health insurance, a society which values human rights ensures those who lose jobs receive decent pay. Hopefully, the Obama government will truly be for human rights.

China Denounces Criticisms Of Human Rights

Methinks, the Chinese government doth protest too much whenever the topic of human rights in their nation is raised by outside groups. A common Chinese strategy in dealing with negative remarks concerning its lack of democracy is to go on the attack and point out those raising issues about human rights do not have the best record in their own country. “We urge the U.S. to own up to its own human rights problems, and not use human rights as an excuse to publish human rights reports in order to meddle in others’ internal affairs” was the response of a Chinese spokesperson to the US State Department annual report on human rights abuses. Frankly, attacking the messenger does not address the issue of the message carried by the delivery person.

China has abused human rights in so many ways it is difficult having a beginning point. Dissidents are in jail, the people of Tibet are not allowed freedom of expression or even freedom of culture to be who they wish to be. China is right, there are many human rights abuses in the United States but that does not have anything to do with what happens in China. Why doesn’t China issue its own human rights report. Naturally, they would be number one on the list.

Human Rights Violations In Putin Russia! Really!

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed surprise and a bit of shock concerning the recent report issued by the US State Department concerning human rights violations in the world. As we all know, in Putin Russia there are no human rights violations because Prime Minister Putin says there are none and wise people would not like to disagree with Father Putin when he speaks the truth about what is or what is not. According to Lavrov, “We have problems in this sphere(human rights) but we honestly talk about them and what’s more, we ourselves publish annual reports on the state of things there.” I assume if you talk about human rights violations that basically solves the problem.

Russian journalists have been killed and the killers go free. Russian dissidents are harassed and beaten while the government turns a blind eye. The Russian media is dominated by those who follow the straight Putin line while those attempting to present opposing views will not have much access to television.

Russia has the semblance of democracy. One can say Russian democracy is a modern version of a Potemkin village, all show and no substance.

Suspects in Human Rights Activist Murder Freed

A jury acquitted three men who were charged with the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya which is not surprising given the manner in which justice is dispensed in Putin Russia. The 12 member jury’s decision was unanimous and it was greeted by cheers in the court room. It took the jury all of two hours to find the defendants really didn’t kill anyone and as they left the men shook the hand of the slain journalist’s son who was critical of the entire investigation of the murder. After the men left the courtroom, Ilya told reporters: “I believe these men are involved in the murder of my mother.”

A lawyer for the Politkovskaya family expressed concern that authorities had done a poor investigation and they were not interested in securing a conviction. This is Putin Russia and the quest for justice is never the highest priority of those in power. Several fighters for human rights have been murdered in recent years and it is rare for any of their killer to be convicted of anything.

International Report Blasts US War On Terrorism

One of the most prevalent myths over the past eight years is that America’s fight against “terrorism” somehow is furthering the goal of destroying violent wars and brutality in the world. In 2001, there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2001, the Taliban and al-Qaeda were not fighting and controlling large parts of Pakistan, and in 2001, the Taliban were confined to Afghanistan. A panel of jurists issued a report, “Assessing Damage, Urging Action” which blasts the Bush effort against “terrorism” as a disaster for human rights. Arthur Chasklalson, former chief justice of South Africa, comments: “in the course of this inquiry, we have been shocked by the extent of damage done over the past seven years by excessive or abusive counter-terrorism measures. The result is a serious threat to the integrity of the international human rights legal framework.”

The group noted that many countries now justify their abuse of people by citing the Bush program against terrorism. Of course, one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “hero.” The American colonists who rebelled against England in 1776 certainly fit the Bush definition of being “terrorists” but since Bush is an American he justifies their actions on grounds they were right. In the Bush version of human rights, if you believe your actions are right, then anything you do is justified on grounds if “they” win the outcome will be worse.

The American people have spent the past several years watching and applauding violations of human rights as portrayed on the TV show, “24″ which depicted using any form of abuse on grounds there was a “ticking bomb” someplace and you had to save the nation. It is time to put aside “24″ and return to the United States Constitution.

Russian Lies About Human Rights Activists!

During Martin Luther King’s fight to achieve equal rights for all people, a common tactic of his opponents was spreading lies about the love life of the civil rights leader. Apparently, someone in Russia has decided to employ a similar approach to transforming the fight for civil liberties into crimes of passion, and when they refer to “passion” they don’t mean the passion of fighting for the rights of those who are oppressed. Izvestia printed an article claiming noted human rights activists Stanlislav Makelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova were killed because they were lovers and a jealous lover who was also a civil rights activist killed them in an fit of jealous anger. The newspaper claimed their own “investigation” had concluded that human rights had nothing to do with the killings and just blame it all on jealous lovers.

The article states the ridiculous belief that Ms. Barburova was killed because the killer thought she recognized him from human rights demonstrations. As we gather, those involved in human rights spend their time in bed making love and those shooting them are simply members of human rights groups, not those who oppose such activities.

I guess Izvestia has cleared things up for we ignorant people who actually believe there are members of the Russian government who do not like he activities of human rights supporters.