Tag Archives: Human Rights

Human Rights In China-Where Does Obama Stand?

Barack Obama confronts a situation in which his nation is economically damaged and militarily exhausted making him less able to take aggressive stands in support of human rights. Several leading human rights groups are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be firm in her meetings with Chinese officials about the situation of human rights in that nation. Human Rights told her fighting for human rights would send “a signal” to Beijing although it is doubtful if such comments would elicit anything other than anger and hostility. Years ago when she was a senator, Clinton spoke at conferences that it is the “duty of all governments to respect the fundamental human rights of women and men.” Those words were then, today, she is secretary of state of a nation that is experiencing economic collapse.

Hillary Clinton is now secretary of state and is not an individual senator who can freely speak her mind. The United States has limited leverage on the Chinese government and it is not likely she can do anything other than express some quiet pleasant words.

Trip To Burma-Trip To Oz

A visit by a United Nations official to investigate the level of human rights in Burma is akin to taking a trip to the land of Oz in search of reality. Sometimes, the military thugs who run Myanmar actually allow visitors to inspect the presence of what people in other parts of the world term, “human rights” but to the military clique, human rights means, they have rights and other humans have the right to agree with their version of rights. Tomas Ojea Quintana is in Burma, and he is talking to a few people, but the leaders of the nation simply don’t understand that when one talks with people, they have the right to disagree so their solution is not to talk with anyone from the UN or any of those nasty organizations which throw around words like “rights.”

Reality is that leaders of the National League for Democracy which won the last free election are currently under house arrest or in prison. UN officials can come and go but there will not be any changes in current approaches to human rights.

Hamas Involved In Murder Campaign In Gaza

Amnesty International(AI) has uncovered evidence that Hamas forces and militias were involved in a campaign “of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of ‘collaborating’ with Israel as well as opponents and critics” of their regime. The report says at least two dozen men have been shot by Hamas since the conclusion of the Israel invasion and that many others have been “knee-capped” which consists of crippling men by shooting them in the knees. Amnesty International insists it has “incontrovertible evidence” to support its accusations. Hamas has admitted it was searching for “collaborators” but denies the human rights charges of Amnesty International.

A study conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights supports claims by AI and believes about 32 men have been killed, and that dozens more were shot or tortured. After Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it has harassed the Human Rights Center.

Those who justifiably protested against Israel human rights abuses are remarkably silent when it comes to human rights violations by Hamas. One can only conclude from the silence and lack of protests that if Jews commit human rights violations the world is upset, but when millions are killed in the Congo or thousands in Darfur and Uganda, the silence is deafening.

I’m The Boss Of Russia Says Putin To EU!

At a recent meeting between European Union leaders and Prime Minister Putin of Russia, tempers flared when the Russian leader expressed his anger because EU Commission chief, Jose Manuel Barros dared to discuss issues concerned with human rights to President Medvedev and Putin was not present at the session . In response to European Union concerns about the treatment of minorities in Russia or the murder of journalists, the Russian president insisted it was the EU which has been abusing Russian minorities within their borders. Putin suddenly transformed himself into the defender of minorities, migrants, and even prisoners held in jails within the EU.

The real issue is gas and Russian control over the flow of it to the west. The Putin government has abused minorities, it has a hand in the killing of journalists who dare confront the boss of Russia, and it is clear if a nation wants Russian gas it must remain silent concerning Putin oppression of people..

Oh, and no more meetings with the president of Russia unless the prime minister is present.

Putin Hears Voices Of Dissent In Distance

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian people endured years of chaos as plutocrats seized control over vast areas of the economy. Pensions were devastated and the old days of free medical care under communism ended as well as inexpensive rents and education for children. Out of the void, same Superputin, friend of former KGB associates whose goal was stability at the cost of freedom of speech, press, and political life. In the ensuing years any sign of protest invariably resulted in being hauled off to the nearest police station and a fine, if one was lucky. If one was not lucky, the result might be a bullet in the head, courtesy of your friendly hit man whose boss might be anyone of several people including government officials.

In the wake of an economic downturn, thousands are now protesting in the streets of Russia which makes difficult rounding up ordinary citizens who want answers to their complaints. One can only wonder if this anger might eventually be translated into formation of political parties which can encompass millions who want an economically strong Russia together with a democratic society.

Death Of Russian Rights Activists

Hundreds of people in St. Petersburg protested the killing last week of Russian activists who were fighting for human rights and the establishment in Russia of a legal system predicated on law and due process. Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who had taken on human rights cases and fought against neo-Nazi groups. Protestors held flowers, candles, and carried pictures not only of Markelov, but of the slain journalist Anastasia Baburova. Naturally, the police claimed those expressing support for human rights in Russia were interfering with the movement of pedestrians.

The tragedy of modern Putin Russia is the absence of a strong government commitment to civil rights and due process. Those who stand up against neo-Nazis groups in the country are harassed and denied basic rights of protest. In Putin Russia, silence is the official manner in which one can express protest about violations of human rights. Hopefully, one day, the Russian people will enjoy a democratic society in which the forces of civil rights dominate society.

Another Human Rights Leader Killed In Russia

Individuals who assume roles in fighting for human rights within Russia have an unfortunate tendency to attract the attention of individuals who kill strangers. One of Russia’s top human rights lawyers was murdered in the center of Moscow most probably due to his defense of those opposing the Russian puppet government of Chechya. Stanlislav Makelov was shot in broad daylight on a busy street by a man who used a silencer . Markelov worked as a lawyer for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper whose famous correspondent, Anna Politkovskaya was also murdered during the day. An intern, Anasatasia Barburova, witnessed the shooting and when she tried following the man, he shot her in the head.

Putin is most probably not personally responsible for these killings, he is much too smart to get that close to anything so brutal. After all, he once worked for the KGB. His hand may not be on a murder weapon, but his words and disregard for the rights of those who oppose him sends a message to anyone out to murder those defending human rights. After all, Colonel Yuri Budanov who murdered a woman was convicted of murder in 2003 and released this week. In Putin Russia, murder is not a serious crime if you kill the right people.

New Zealand Shopowner Bans Israelis- A Hero Or Idiot?

A Muslim New Zealand shopkeeper noticed two women chatting in his cafe. He went over to them and decided they were Jewish. After inquiring about their background, he discovered one was an Israeli who was visiting her sister in New Zealand. Mustafa Tekinkaya decided he had to strike a blow for Hamas and the Palestinian people in Gaza so he ordered both women to leave his cafe. Natalie Bennie and Tamara Shefa filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission that their rights were violated. Can we assume Mr. Tekinkaya decides he doesn’t like gay customers and therefore they must leave his business establishment?

Ironically, Ms. Bennie had her own view of the Israeli invasion of Gaza: ‘I’m not a big supporter of Israel at the moment. But, he didn’t even bother finding out what my opinion was.” The problem with classifying and categorizing people is the inability to grasp that within any group there is divergence of views. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission intends to take action, but Mr. Tekinkaya is unmoved and believes he is absolutely correct. No wonder he supports Hamas.

British Missionaries Sentenced For Criticizing Muslims

Two British missionaries pleaded guilty to the charge of sedition in hope the court would be lenient since their “crime”consisted of sending emails describing the horrific conditions in the nation of Gamia. However, the judge sentenced them to a year of hard labor in an atrocious jail which fails to provide necessary food or medical assistance to inmates. David and Fiona Fulton, who have three children committed a terrible crime by sending an email which contained the comment the nation was fast sinking “into a morass of Islam.” The judge was furious and said, “I found the offenses of the accused party to be very shocking. They have shown no respect for the country, the government and the president of the republic. I will send a clear message to the offenders.”

In the beautiful Muslim nation of Gambia to make comments about the government suggests one is prepared to actually do something violent. The only violence these two humans did was to express a view that, most probably, is accurate concerning a backward government run by individuals for whom human rights is a stranger who has never knocked on their doors.

Why is it that those concerned about human rights tend to ignore human right violations in many African nations?

Czechs Divided On Human Rights

A recent poll revealed the Czech people have rather limited interest in issues of human rights within their own society although they wish their government took a vigorous stand in dealing with human rights in the world. A mere eight percent of respondents believe the Czech Republic should do more to maintain the human rights of minorities in the nation. Those conducting the survey were shocked at the lack of interest in issues such as the rights of Roma citizens who face discrimination and persecution on a daily basis. Few people appear concerned about recent right wing extremist attacks on Romas in the city of Litvinov. As one Amnesty International official commented: “This is one of the most urgent human rights issues in our country, but there is only silence on the part of Czech officials.

Perhaps, the history of being part of a multicultural nation impacts the thinking of Czech people. Most witnessed the end of the multicultural nation of Czechoslovakia and apparently those in the Czech Republic do not appear to be disappointed the nation divided into separate ethnic and cultural groups. In the meantime, minorities such as the Roma daily encounter repression and denial of human rights.

Although, Czech people appear to support human rights in a general way, a recent poll indicates this issue no longer has the importance it once held in the nation. The poll reveals ordinary citizens believe their government should be concerned about human rights in the world outside but only a small percent are concerned about human rights issues in their own nation. Those who conducted the survey were distressed at the low number of people who supported minority rights such as those of Roma citizens. An Amnesty International spokesperson commented, “it’s a negative trend, and it’s worrying” coming after right wing bigots clashed with police while trying to drive out Romas from their community.

Of course, Czech citizens once were part of a multicultural nation that was torn asunder over issues of rights and this might impact their rather cool attitude toward dealing with minority issues in their own country. Amnesty International officials noted the lack of interest or concern with plight of the homeless in the Czech Republic. Of course, a higher percent of homeless come from minority groups and this might account for the limited interest in the topic.