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Secretary Antony Blinken discusses 2022 Human Rights Report

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued his department’s 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, and declared, “Human rights are universal. They aren’t defined by any one country, philosophy, or region. They apply to everyone, everywhere.”

He then stressed: “This report makes a factual, objective, and rigorous accounting of human rights conditions around the world, looking at nearly 200 countries and territories. And, importantly, it applies the same standards to everyone: our allies and partners, and countries with which we have differences.”


Nice to know. So, without further ado, I flipped to the section about “Israel, West Bank, and Gaza,” and checked out the segment about Prison and Detention Center Conditions, because, you know, a country like the US, with the highest number of incarcerated persons on the planet, should know a thing or two on this subject. I was not disappointed:

“The nongovernmental organization Ma’avarim – Israeli Trans Community (the name means “crossings” in Hebrew), noted that Israeli prisons continued to hold transgender women in solitary confinement due to their gender identity. In April, a transgender woman who reported to the police that she had been attacked by her partner was arrested and held in solitary confinement for four days, according to Ma’avarim. During the arrest, she was exposed to harsh treatment, including physical violence and verbal humiliation by the police. After four days she was sent to house arrest.”

According to Lambada Legal, “nearly one in six transgender Americans—and one in two black transgender people—has been to prison. Once behind bars, discriminatory policies and the constant threat of sexual assault can make prison a living hell for this already mistreated group.

“Violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people tends to be worse in places that are separated by sex such as county jails, immigration facilities, and prisons. In the United States, transgender incarcerated people are still usually housed according to the sex assigned at birth, instead of by gender identity—one’s inner sense of being male, female, or something else. This policy makes transgender people more vulnerable to harassment or attack by staff or fellow incarcerated people: A California study found that transgender people were 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than non-transgender people in prison.

“US prison officials also commonly block the access of incarcerated people to transition-related health care such as hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery (SRS), even when it’s prescribed as medically necessary by a doctor.”

Somebody should tell Secretary Blinken.

The same State Dept. report states that “local human rights organizations reported Palestinian security prisoners (those convicted or suspected of nationalistically motivated violence) often faced more restrictive conditions than prisoners characterized as criminals. Restrictive conditions included increased incidences of administrative detention, restricted family visits, ineligibility for temporary furloughs, and solitary confinement.”

Seriously? They complain that Israeli security prisons don’t let murderous terrorists go on furloughs?

But some of this horrible treatment was improved somewhat when “on March 8, the IPS revised visit guidelines to allow Palestinians from the West Bank to visit immediate relatives without a vaccination requirement.”

Now, that’s an intriguing notion that begs the question, were they hoping that those unvaccinated relatives infect the murderers behind bars?

It’s a very long report, which also covers human rights under Hamas and the PLO. Highly recommended.


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