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May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

UN Security Council Considers North Korean Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

For the first time, North Korea’s record on human rights has been placed on the agenda for discussion at the United Nations Security Council. The nuclear-status nation is led by capricious 31-year-old Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, whose mood swings and rages are legend both in the country and abroad.

Until now, the Council has focused primarily on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear activities and the threat they pose. In response to its violations of UN mandates nixing nuclear and ballistic tests, the Council imposed sanctions on Pyongyang that have caused severe economic hardship, but as is the case with Iran have not persuaded the country’s regime to change course.

Ultimately, the Council may consider whether or not to hold the North Korean government responsible for its alleged crimes against humanity.

The United States called Pyongyang a “living nightmare” for North Korean citizens at the first meeting held by the Council, held Monday despite an initial attempt from China to block it. The meeting opened with a procedural raised-hand vote that showed 11 of the 15 Council members supported placing the issue of North Korea’s human rights record on the agenda. China and Russia voted against; Chad and Nigeria abstained.

Testimony was compiled from North Korean exiles by a UN commission of inquiry that left no doubt as to the brutality of the country’s regime, according to U.S. envoy Samantha Power. The unprecedented talks included review of testimony from a former prison camp survivor who told of picking kernels of corn from cattle dung to stave off starvation. A former guard testified about prison wardens who routinely raped their prisoners.

In February 2014, an investigation by the United Nations found that up to 120,000 people are being held in North Korean prison camps. The report also detailed numerous cases of summary executions, torture and rape, leading the inquiry to conclude that North Korea was committing human rights violations “without parallel in the contemporary world,” ordered at the highest level of the state.

No decision was taken on Monday in response to a call to refer Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. But three of the five permanent members of the Council – the U.S., Britain and France – as well as Australia and others, said the Council should consider action on the issue.

“Rarely has such an extensive charge sheet of international crimes been brought to the Council’s attention,” said UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic.

Israel Wants UN to Recognize Hamas – as a Terrorist Organization

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Israel will demand that the United Nations label Hamas a terrorist organization when the head of the IDF’s international law department and Israel’s legal adviser to the international body meet this month for the first time ever with U.N. officials.

The United Nations never has officially recognized any group as a terrorist organization, and considering the solid pro-Arab majority in the General Assembly, the chances of its labeling Hamas as a terrorist group are as high as Iran publicly turning over its nuclear development program to the United States for safe keeping.

“Operation Protective Edge serves as a serious ‘indictment’ that reveals Hamas’ international crimes with emphasis on the terror tunnels as well as the usage of civilians as human shields,” the Israel delegation said in a statement.

The meeting with senior United Nations official will take place with the IDF’s expert on law, Col. Noam Neuman, and the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser Ehud Keinan to UN senior officials.

It added, with what must undoubtedly be a carload of sarcasm, “Surprisingly, to date the UN has not officially recognized any organization in the world as a terrorist organization.”

”Surprisingly?”

The United Nations does not even know what terrorism means. It has no official definition of the term, according to Anne Bayefsky, editor of Eye on the UN. If the United Nations were to define a country that sponsors terrorism and then expel it from the undistinguished international body, the General Assembly could move into much smaller quarters.

The United Nations, once known for its work around the world to help poor societies, especially in Africa, has turned into a front for terrorism because it protects countries that operate on terror. It even awards them with prestigious positions. Saudi Arabia is on the Human Rights Council and Iran is on the Commission on the Status of Women.

Bayefsky wrote last week in the New York Daily News:

“Since the UN has no definition of terrorism, state sponsors of terrorism happily denounce terrorism’ at the very same time as they promote it. Second, the terrorist funders and weapons suppliers redirect the world’s attention to the supposed ‘root causes’ of terrorism….

“On Oct. 7, at the legal committee meeting at UN headquarters, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon listed ‘root causes that may lead to radicalism such as . . . poverty, social exclusion and marginalization’ along with ‘Islamophobia.’

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani played the same card in an address to the General Assembly in September when he whined about ‘Iranophobia.’ …

“Iran is also the president of the so-called ‘Non-Aligned Movement — a group of nations routinely aligned against the West. As such, Iran speaks for 120 UN member states — a majority of the 193 UN countries.

“Here’s the Iranian speech to the UN legal beagles that was webcast Oct. 7: ‘Terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation.’

“All 56 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have signed on to the Islamic Convention on Combating International Terrorism, which gives a green light to killing Israelis, Americans and anybody else deemed fair game. The treaty says, ‘Peoples’ struggle, including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination . . . shall not be considered a terrorist crime.’”

The United Nations Security Council has followed the Peace and Love philosophy of universal self-destruction by blaming “conditions” for the “spread of violent extremism.”

No one is responsible for his actions, except Israel of course, whose existence is alleged as the reason for terror. Get rid of Israel, and there will be no more terror.

Iran Bows to Pressure and May Remove Reyhaneh Jabbari from Death Row

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Iran’s so-called justice ministry has postponed for a month the hanging of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who allegedly stabbed to death a former intelligence office whom she said testified tried to rape her.

Jabbari used a small pen knife to fend off the attacker, who has been described as a burly man, in the shoulder, leaving open several questions concerning his supposed inability to get up and seek medical attention, as reported here.

No Iranian official ever can admit wrongdoing, and the “death” has being interpreted as a probable commutation of her death sentence. It is not known if she will serve more time in prison, assuming her life is spared.

The case attracted worldwide attention after she was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, the attacker who she stabbed as he tried to rape her.

The prosecution’s case against her has been highly questioned, and her lawyers said she was not given a fair trial, which is far from surprising. Human Rights Watch has been leading a drive to save Jabbari’s life, and the Iranian judiciary earlier this year agreed to review the death sentence.

Approximately 200,000 people have signed a petition in her behalf.

 

 

Amnesty International Admits Flawed Reporting on Israeli ‘Abuses’

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

An Amnesty International field reporter has unwittingly admitted that Palestinians often mislead human rights activists when they report about supposed Israeli “abuses.”

Donatella Rovera,Amnesty’s Senior Crisis Advisor, recently wrote on the Professionals in Human Assistance and Protection website, that

“In Gaza, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and other places I interviewed civilians who described what they thought were artillery or bomb strikes being launched by far away government forces and striking near their homes – whereas in reality the loud bangs and tremors were caused by mortars or rockets being launched by opposition fighters from their positions nearby. For the untrained ear it is virtually impossible to distinguish between incoming and outgoing fire, and all the more so for those who find themselves close to the frontlines.

“Fear can lead victims and witnesses to withhold evidence or give deliberately erroneous accounts of incidents. In Gaza, I received partial or inaccurate information by relatives of civilians accidentally killed in accidental explosions or by rockets launched by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel that had malfunctioned and of civilians killed by Israeli strikes on nearby Palestinian armed groups’ positions. When confronted with other evidence obtained separately, some said they feared reprisals by the armed groups.

Responding to the article, Honest Reporting notes that much of Rovera’s faulty “reportage,” is often cited by anti-Israel groups to vilify not only Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, but in the Land of Israel at all.

“Human rights reports “spread quickly and then become widely believed – including by “unbiased” NGOs – before anyone has a chance to investigate,” said the website.

Canadian Politician Irwin Cotler ‘Honored’ to be Banned by Russia

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Irwin Cotler, a veteran human rights activist and member of Canada’s parliament,  says being banned from Russia is an “honor.”

When Russia issued its blacklist of 13 Canadians on Monday, Cotler was quick to express his pleasure at being included. ”I wear my exclusion from Russia as a badge of honor and am proud to be in such distinguished company,” he said in a statement. “I have no intention of visiting Siberia. I have no investments in Sochi. I have no desire to visit Moscow.”

This is not the first time Cotler, renowned for representing Jewish refuseniks from the Soviet era, has been banned from Russian soil.

He was expelled from the Soviet Union and then banned in 1979 while advocating on behalf of political prisoners, including Natan Sharansky. “I was arrested and accused of consorting with ‘criminals,’ among them the great Soviet human rights dissident, Andrei Sakharov,” Cotler wrote on his website. “These acts did not stop my human rights advocacy. Indeed, [Monday’s] announcement only inspires me to redouble my efforts to advance the cause of human rights for all.

“I stand in solidarity with the Russian people and those fighting for human rights and democracy. Their day will come and [President Vladimir] Putin will be no more.”

This time, Cotler suspects his banishment is because he introduced a bill regarding Sergei Magnitsky. The Huffington Post reported that Magnitsky was an accountant and auditor in Moscow who uncovered a corruption scheme and testified against several senior Russian officials. He was subsequently imprisoned and died in jail in 2009 at the age of 37. Cotler chairs an intra-parliamentary group on Magnitsky, and he said that is like a “red flag” to Russia.

“My sense is that’s probably the retaliatory reason in my case,” according to Cotler.

He said some of the Americans banned by Russia were people who had worked on the Magnitsky file. Cotler added he does not need to go to Russia to advocate for Magnitsky.

“Our intra-parliamentary group for Sergei Magnitsky is international. It contains parliamentarians from over 20 countries.”

Richard Falk Blames Israel for Sins of Egypt and Palestinian Authority

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Richard Falk, whose official title is “U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories,” is furious that Gaza fisherman are being shot at, angry about the “blockade” on Gaza, and is upset beyond imagination at those who violate Palestinian Authority Arabs freedom of expression and assembly and who use “excessive use of force.”

Last week, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported, “An Egyptian naval ship opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip early Saturday, a Palestinian union official said.”

The following day, the Chinese Xinhua news agency wrote, “Islamic Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip organized Sunday a sit-in at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, urging the Egyptian government to reopen the terminal which was closed after the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last year….

“Since toppling Morsi, the new army-backed Egyptian government has been partly opening the Rafah crossing, allowing the entry of only patients, students in foreign countries and holders of foreign visas and passports.”

Today, the Egyptian Ahram reported, “The Egyptian army has destroyed eight more tunnels used for smuggling along the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, an army spokesman said on Sunday.”

Earlier this month, the French AFP news agency told readers around the world, “Palestinian authorities on Thursday imposed a blanket ban on all rallies in support of Egypt and Tunisia after the security forces were accused of harsh conduct towards demonstrators.

“The move came just hours after Human Rights Watch issued a statement condemning the Palestinian security forces and police for forcibly breaking up a pro-Egypt gathering in the West Bank city of Ramallah a day earlier….

“Police punched, kicked and detained participants in the demonstration, as well as at least two journalists and a HRW research assistant,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement, adding that the police “began beating demonstrators without warning.”

“The PA’s suppression is but a continuation of its crackdown on activists and anyone expressing dissent,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It is a clear violation of our basic rights.”

Palestinian Authority Security chief Adnan al-Damiri said in a statement, “The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority forbid any interference in the internal affairs of another country, be it Arab or other, and respect the will of the people to decide their destiny.”

Now, take all of those points, connect the dots and come up with this conclusion: Israeli policies in Judea, Gaza and Samaria amount to apartheid.

That is what Falk concluded Monday in order to show everyone that he failed Logic 101, otherwise known as his final report to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Falk lies in answers to “who shoots at Gaza fishermen and who prevents Palestinian Authority Arabs from protesting?”

“The humanitarian situation in the Hamas-ruled enclave is dire amid fuel shortages,” he added, according to Reuters. Falk insists that Gaza still is “occupied” by Israel because it allegedly controls border, air space and coastal waters. That is two-thirds correct. Israel does control the air space and the coastal waters, in what the United Nations has said is a legal blockade. Falk ignores that any sane nation controls waters and air space used by terrorists trying to destroy it.

The borders on land controlled by Israel and Egypt. Israel allows hundreds of tons of goods, including building materials that can be used to build rocket weapons factories and missiles, to flow into Gaza. Egypt does not.

As for excessive force, Falk gave no examples, but the above quote from the Palestinian Authority’s own unofficial media says it all. Hundreds of reports have shown week in and week out that the Palestinian Authority regime is not less repressive than that of Egypt.

Saudi Court Orders Lashes for Man for Posting Insults on Twitter

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to three months in jail, 800 lashes and slapped him with a $2,666 fine for using Twitter and Facebook to falsely accuse a Kuwaiti singer from the United Arab Emirates of immoral behavior. He also posted photos of the singer.

Arab News reported, “Many have welcomed the ruling, saying it protects Internet users from online predators,” and it quoted expatriates as saying court decision will make them more cautious when using social networking.

“It is advisable for us not to post any negative comments on issues that are not clear to us. Let us establish the authenticity of the information that has reached us before sharing it,” Rasol Abbas, a community leader from the Philippines, was quoted as saying.

Arab News, which is based in Saudi Arabia, also cited an expert to tell its readers that “new research that reveals how social media sites negatively affect our sense of connection, decrease productivity, breach our privacy and lead to cyber-bullying in some instances.”

It also quoted Twitter account Judicious Arab as stating, “I hope this will put an end to irresponsible tweets and posts accusing women of adultery over differences of opinions.”

It is no wonder that a recent Pew poll showed that of all allies to the United States, American have the lest favorable view of Saudi Arabia.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saudi-court-orders-lashes-for-man-for-posting-insults-on-twitter/2014/01/02/

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