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Posts Tagged ‘UN Watch’

U.S. Envoy: Syria ‘Not Fit to Sit’ on UN Rights Committee

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

U.S. Ambassador David T. Killion spoke out as UNESCO’s human rights committee which was assembled in Paris this week to rule on individual human rights complaints—with Syria’s Assad regime as one of its 30 judges.

The Geneva-based watchdog group UN Watch congratulated Ambassador Killion and urged UNESCO to finally expel Assad from the panel.

“It is indefensible for the Syrian regime to be allowed to stand as a judge of other countries’ human rights records,” said Ambassador Killion in response to a question by UN Watch, which heads a global campaign of more than 50 parliamentarians, human rights and religious groups calling for Syria’s expulsion.

In a statement on Thursday, UN Watch called on France, Germany, the UK, the EU and the UN to speak out and take action to remove Syria from the UN committee.

“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad as a global judge of human rights is like appointing a pyromaniac to be a firefighter,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “UNESCO is allowing the Assad regime to strut in Paris as a UN human rights arbiter. That’s immoral, indefensible, and an insult to Syria’s victims.”

UN to Adopt Syrian Text Damning Israel for ‘Violating Human Rights’

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, Syria accused Israel of violating the human rights of children in the Golan, while diplomats met in another chamber on the same day to discuss a Syrian-drafted resolution, to be adopted next week, entitled “Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan.”

There will be five other resolutions targeting Israel, and about the same number combined covering the rest of the world.

While this year Syria did not officially present the text, its delegate sat on the dais next to his Pakistani colleague who chaired the session on behalf of the Islamic group. Not a single diplomat called out the sheer lunacy of the exercise. Rather, the EU commented that it was “committed to the protection of all, including those in the occupied Golan.” It was willing to “constructively engage on the text,” even as it noted that its proposals last year were not implemented.

Egypt said it aligned itself with the Islamic group.



Later in the day, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer took the floor in the plenary. Here are his notes:

Mr. President,

This Council is charged with promoting and protecting the guarantees enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today we ask: is the Council fulfilling its mission?

Let us consider the most basic right: the right to life.

As we heard this week from Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is preparing imminently to execute seven alleged child offenders including Sarhan Al Mashayekh—who was also sentenced to be crucified over three days. Why is the Council refusing to address this in any resolution, urgent session, or even debate? [Ed. note: the Saudis executed them today by firing squad.]

Three other countries known to execute juvenile offenders are Yemen, Sudan and Iran—yet none of these situations is being addressed by any resolution.

And while there is a resolution on Iran, it is silent on child executions—and indeed the text is devoid of any documentation whatsoever of the regime’s other massive abuses, including against women, religious and ethnic minorities, and dissidents.

Finally, the Council must do far more about the thousands of children subjected to violence and death in Syria.

Now, today we just heard from the Syrian representative about human rights in the Golan Heights. This was a transparent attempt to change the subject from the dire, catastrophic human rights situation in Syria.

Sadly, this has been going on for decades. The United Nations has allowed Syria to present itself as a champion of human rights.

Indeed, a resolution was circulated today—presented by Syria—the same one that has been adopted each year by this Council, on purported human rights violations in the Golan Heights.

This text embodies all that is wrong with giving Syria a free pass. Year after year, the UN enabled Syria to portray itself as a champion of human rights.

- While Hafez al-Assad was murdering 20,000 people in Hama, in 1982, Syria was sitting here, as an elected member of the human rights commission. Two years later, it was reelected.

- A year and a half ago, Syria was elected to two human rights committees of UNESCO.

- A few weeks ago, Syria was elected Rapporteur of the decolonization committee dealing with human rights.

Mr. President,

Let us be clear: the situation in Syria today was allowed to develop, and the Syrian regime was allowed to remain in power, in part because the United Nations granted false legitimacy to this murderous regime.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Head of UN Rights Panel: Report Is ‘Weapon’ against Israel

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

The head of the UN panel that issued a one-sided report attacking Israel, has said publicly that the document could be “a kind of weapon for the Palestinians.”

French judge Christine Chanet said at a news conference that the Palestinians could use the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) report, if they wanted to, take their grievances before The Hague-based International Criminal Court.

The Palestine Liberation Organization has already announced it is planning such action and said the report, describing Israel’s settlements as “creeping annexation,” was “proof of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing” and its desire to undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Israel has said the report is biased and UN Watch, a watchdog group based in Geneva, also denounced it saying, “The council report is categorically one-sided, casting Palestinians as the sole victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict, while denying the slightest consideration to any basic human rights for Israelis.”

The HRC report says Israel is violating international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention, since the Israeli government is persisting in building settlements in territories claimed by Palestinians for a future state, including east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, “despite all the pertinent United Nations resolutions declaring that the existence of the settlements is illegal and calling for their cessation.”

The settlements are “a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” the report concludes.

The report’s conclusions are not legally binding and Chanet complained that Israel did not cooperate with her investigation.

The panel went to Jordan to interview more than 50 people on the impact of the settlements, reporting violence by Jewish settlers, confiscation of land and damage to olive groves.

Pakistani attorney Asma Jahangir, a mwember of the panel, said the settlements “seriously impinge on the self-determination of the Palestinian people.”

More than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in Judea and Samaria and in east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians wish to make their capital. “All the Israeli settlement activities are illegal and considered to be war crimes according to the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention. This means that Israel is liable to prosecution,” said PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi. The settlements, according to her, are “clearly a form of forced transfer and a proof of Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the council of taking a systematically one-sided and biased approach toward Israel, with the report being merely “another unfortunate reminder” of that bias.

In a statement, Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, said he was astonished that the report members had decided to ignore a 54-page document with 257 footnotes sent to them by his organization.

“The report disregards the thousands of suicide bombings, knifings, and other terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arab groups, failing to acknowledge how this violence brought about Israeli security measures in the territories that did not previously exist,” he said.

“The reality is that the HRC’s fact-finding enterprise is dedicated chiefly to attacking but one country: Israel. In the entire history of the HRC, there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry.

“In a week when the UN legitimized genocidal Sudan, by electing the regime as vice-president of a top human rights body, it is now focusing its scarce time, resources and moral outrage on yet another biased, politicized and one-sided report against Israel.”

Palestinians Shout Down Visiting Pro-Israel Egyptian Blogger

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Egyptian blogger, Maikel Nabil Sanad, was shouted down today during his visit to Israel… by Arab students studying at Hebrew University. The protesters were screaming, “Shame on you”.

Sanad is visiting Israel on a trip organized by UNWatch.

Sanad was the first blogger arrested in Egypt after Mubarak’s fall. He was arrested by the military, and held in prison for 10 months, where he held a 120 day hunger strike, demanding his release.

Sanad, born into an Christian Copt family, is a liberal secularist and  doesn’t believe that Egyptians have had the opportunity to hold free elections, since the atmosphere created by the Muslim Brotherhood does not permit an environment where the actual will of the Egyptian people can be expressed.

He is very fearful about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and compares what they’re going to do, to what Hamas did in Gaza, particularly regarding the oppression of women.

Oh, and he also admires and supports Israel , which would explain the shout-down.

But what would explain the Arab (“Palestinian”) protesters’ hypocrisy? After all, they’re the ones studying at the Hebrew University.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinians-shout-down-visiting-pro-israel-egyptian-blogger/2012/12/23/

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