Archive for category United Nations
The UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has urged the US to close Guantanamo Bay, saying the indefinite detention of many inmates there without charge or trial violates international law.
Ms Pillay said about half of 166 prisoners had been cleared to transfer either home or to third countries.
She also said she was “deeply disappointed” that the US was not honouring its pledge to close the camp.
It opened in 2002 to hold terrorism suspects after the 9/11 attacks.
President Barack Obama moved to close the facility at the US naval base in Cuba, but his plans to try suspects in US civilian courts were blocked by Congress.
“The continuing indefinite incarceration of many of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law,” Ms Pillay said in a statement on Friday.
That’s alright, the USA is above the law!
…in unprecedented move
Representatives of Israel have boycotted its regular review by the UN Human Rights Council, the first time a country has ever taken such action.
The move was expected as Israel has long been angered by what it claims is unfair criticism from the body.
A decision last year to investigate Jewish settlements in the West Bank prompted Israel to announce it would no longer co-operate with the council.
Tuesday’s meeting was suspended and a course of action will be decided.
“After a series of votes and statements and incidents we have decided to suspend our working relations with that body,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that there is no change in that policy.”
Council spokesman Rolando Gomez told the Associated Press that Israel’s unprecedented absence had put the council in “new territory” because attendance of the Universal Periodic Review was mandatory.
Haitian representatives failed to appear before the council in 2010, but on the basis that their country had suffered a devastating earthquake.
Otherwise, so far all countries – even Syria and North Korea – have attended.
Israel’s action has prompted concern that it might undermine the UN’s human rights work, says the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva, where the council is meeting.
Human rights experts fear other countries facing awkward questions might follow suit.
Even Israel’s biggest ally, the United States, had urged Israel to take part. The big question now is what – if anything – the UN can do about Israel’s refusal to participate, our correspondent adds.
A joint statement by eight Israeli human rights groups said: “It is legitimate for Israel to express criticism of the work of the council and its recommendations, but Israel should do so through engagement with the Universal Periodic Review, as it has done in previous sessions.”
“if anything – the UN can do about Israel’s refusal to participate?”
Sanctions, like North Korea and Iran!
If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.
Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine reserve
Ruling by permanent court of arbitration in The Hague may challenge UK’s unilateral declaration of marine protected area
Britain’s colonial-era decision to sever an Indian Ocean archipelago from Mauritius and turn it into a US military base will have to be justified before an international tribunal – a process that could lead to the return of the islands’ exiled inhabitants.
The unexpected ruling this month by the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague that it can hear the case is a challenge to the UK’s unilateral declaration in 2009 of a marine protected area around the Chagos Islands.
Decisions by the tribunal, which arbitrates in disputes over the United Nations law of the sea, are binding on the UK. At the preliminary hearing the UK’s attempt to challenge the court’s jurisdiction was defeated. Britain is now obliged to explain highly sensitive political decisions dating back to 1965.
The legal battle, begun more than two years ago, raises fundamental questions about who has sovereignty over the Indian Ocean territory. Mauritian government officials believe it could lead to the unravelling of Britain’s disputed claim and the eventual return of the islanders.
The Mauritian prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, has also alleged that the decision to establish a 545,000 sq mile marine reserve was carried out in defiance of assurances given to him at the time by the then UK prime minister, Gordon Brown.
Talking to the Guardian in London, Ramgoolam said: “We welcome the fact that the UN tribunal will have the whole case before it when it next meets. Never before have [the UK] had to explain why they detached the Chagos Islands from Mauritius.”
In 1965, three years before Mauritius was given its independence, the UK decided to separate the Chagos Islands from the rest of its then Indian Ocean colony. The Mauritian government claims this was in breach of UN general assembly resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the breakup of colonies prior to independence.
The Chagos archipelago was subsequently declared to be part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) from which, in 1971, most of the 1,500 islanders were deported. The largest island, Diego Garcia, was then leased to the US as a strategic airbase. The lease is due to be renegotiated by December 2014.
Britain’s skullduggery over the Chagos Islands is at last due for an airing.
There was never an intention for a ‘marine protected area’. The ‘M’ should be read as ‘military‘.
The Americans wanted/needed a base in the Indian Ocean, and the British obliged.
The chances are high that Britain could get caught with its pants down and egg all over its face!
It must be obvious to even the blind that Bashar al-Bastard has no intention, nor did he ever contemplate, abiding by the peace plan.
Now that the UN Peacekeeping Force has decided to end their mission because of the dangers al-Bastard is free to continue as before or indeed worsen the attacks on the phantoms in his head.
The bombings, destruction, slaughter of innocents has only worsened since the date of the ceasefire. al-Bastard is thumbing his nose at the world.
The veto by Russia on western intervention and then to be caught with its pants down sending a ship load of arms and the supply of attack helicopters to the regime needs to be looked at very very closely by the UN. Such duplicity, is treason. They need to be removed from the Security Council because obviously they cannot be trusted… security implies trust, after all.
“all military-technical cooperation with Syria is limited to defensive weapons”. “As regards helicopters, there were planned overhauls of equipment supplied many years ago,” the ministry said.
The ministry statement follows a denial by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators,” he said.
The ministry’s statement follows claims by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia was supplying helicopters to Syria that were being used against civilians.
Clinton later clarified her statements, acknowledging that Russia was returning used equipment to Syria.
“Whether they are new or they are refurbished, the concern remains that they will be used for the exact same purpose that the current helicopters in Syria are being used, and that is to kill civilians,” Source: Can-India Read more
That statement itself proves that the Russians are updating contracts signed years ago, thus sidetracking the supply of ‘new’ weapons.Returning, or sending… it doesn’t matter, they are supplying arms to al-Bastard.
Look at that machine of destruction above!
What hope have the opposition forces against such technology? How can a mother protect her children from the hellfire sent from above?
“limited to defensive” WTF is Lavrov trying to kid? Defense of whom?
A responsible attitude by the Russians would have been to withhold the arms and helicopters until the situation was resolved…
The ball game has been changed by the Russians. They arm the regime, then it is only just that the world arm the opposition so they can defend themselves and the Syrian people…
“Oh but that’s creating a civil war!” You all cry in unison.
The civil war was declared when al-Bastard killed his first civilian! Any idea that the situation in Syria has been anything but a civil war is pure naïvete.
Meanwhile, thumbs are twiddled and Syrian women and children die!
Syria UN team ‘shot at’ near Qubair ‘massacre site’
The head of the UN has said monitors trying to reach the Syrian village of Qubair, where 78 people are said to have been killed, were fired upon.
None were hurt in the shooting but they have pulled back for the night.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “killing of innocents” at Qubair as “shocking and sickening”.
Envoy Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council the crisis could soon “spiral out of control”, diplomats said.
Mr Annan earlier told the General Assembly his six-point peace plan was not being implemented despite having been accepted by Damascus.
Opposition activists blame the killings at Qubair on pro-government forces but the government accuses “terrorists”.
The White House said it strongly condemned “the outrageous targeted killings of civilians including women and children” in Qubair.
But both China and Russia repeated their opposition to outside intervention in Syria.
The UN has 297 unarmed observers in Syria to verify the implementation of a peace plan negotiated by Mr Annan. It includes a ceasefire, meant to have taken effect in mid-April.
‘Killing of innocents’
“I just learned a few minutes ago that while trying to [enter Qubair], the UN monitors were shot at with small arms,” Mr Ban told the 193-state assembly in New York.
Addressing a special closed meeting of the Security Council, Mr Annan urged world powers to warn President Bashar al-Assad of “clear consequences” if he did not comply with the six-point peace plan, diplomats said.
Sausan Ghosheh, spokesperson for the UN observer mission in Syria, told the BBC the monitors had been sent home for the night.
“We’re here serving the flag of the United Nations… until now we’re lucky no-one has been injured,” she said.
Speaking earlier in Syria, UN mission chief Gen Robert Mood said Syrian troops had blocked access to Qubair, which is near the western city of Hama.
In a statement, the White House said the killings, coupled with the “Syrian regime’s refusal to let UN observers into the area”, were “an affront to human dignity and justice”.
Source: BBC News Read more
The world pussy foots around while cowering to Russia and China.
What’s al-Bastard hiding in Qubair?
My guess is proof that his forces were responsible for the latest massacre, in which a whole village was as good as wiped out, men, women, children, all extinguished.
The six point plan for the Syrian ceasefire was, as I predicted, simply an excuse for al-Bastard to continue his bloody slaughter with impunity.
The UN observers have nothing to oversee. There was never and there won’t be a ceasefire as long as al-Bastard is at the helm. The best they can do is act as gathers of evidence for future prosecutions.
Now that UN observers have been met with hostile action; Russia and China MUST come to terms that their Syrian pet is out of control and totally beyond reason. He has fired on friendly forces. The world must now act.
Russia’s response should be to abandon its naval base in Syria and set sail and let the UN do its work.
Because after this mess is over both Russia and China should be held responsible and accountable.
Another Massacre in Syria: Qubair, Hama
It seems that Houla’s effect wasn’t “grand” enough for whatever force killing people in Syria to stop doing so. We all know who that force is but for the sake of keeping this about the people, I won’t throw names.
In the town of Qubair, near Hama in Northern Syria, 78 people have been killed including 35 from the same family. Half of those killed so far are women and children. The death toll is still rising. Did I mention the town counts only a 100 or so resident? They literally killed everyone there.
In the nearby town of Kfarzeita, 6 bodies were found burned till they became charcoal. There’s even a video for that.
In total, the death toll is at 130, more than Houla, and rising.
Source: A separate Sate of Mind Read more and see videos and pictures of the slaughter.
Warning: The content is horribly graphic
Syria unrest: Who are the shabiha?
Syria’s government has blamed “armed criminal gangs and terrorists” for much of the unrest since March 2011, but activists accuse state-sponsored militia of assisting in the crackdown that has left more than 9,000 people dead. Here is what is known about these armed regime supporters, known locally as the “shabiha”.
Throughout the uprising, many Syrians have said they have seen heavily-armed men dressed in black fighting alongside the security forces.
The men are accused not only of killing and beating people who attend demonstrations, but also of carrying out a campaign of intimidation that has included executions, drive-by shootings and sectarian attacks.
Activists say their presence has allowed the government to deny any involvement in the most brutal actions against protesters.
“They’re not afraid to use force, violence, weapons, racketeering and blackmail,” Ammar Qurabi of Syria’s National Organization for Human Rights told the Associated Press.
“That way, the regime will remain clean and will say: ‘Look these are gangs doing this, not us’.”
It is not clear exactly who they are and to whom they are loyal, but the term “shabiha” has repeatedly been used to describe them. Possibly derived from the Arabic word for “ghost” (“shabh”), it has come to mean “thugs” in modern day Syria.
Source: BBC News Read more
While it is not officially clear who the shabiha are loyal to, the answer must be al-Bastard if they are fighting alongside his troops and doing their dirty business.
Sadly Annan’s Ceasefire plans have failed. Not only failed but given Bashar al-Bastard even more power and time to kill, slaughter and summarily execute anyone who stands in his way, including women and children.
“The UN Human Rights Council has meanwhile begun an emergency session to discuss the violence in Syria.” – BBC News More talk, more hot air, and still nothing is being done.
al-Bastard is laughing his socks off – The Russians and the Chinese are protecting him. He knows that the world is afraid of them and that nothing will be done. He knows that as long as Russia and China use their vetoes, he is bullet proof!
If you have a cancer, you have it surgically removed…
al-Bastard is a cancer!
The United Nations is a complete and utter failure in this matter.
Russia and China have castrated the UN.
They are more responsible for all the deaths since the ceasefire date than al-Bastard himself.
Russia has said in the past that it supports the cease fire efforts of the UN so it’s hard to see how supplying more weapons to Assad’s forces will further that goal. And it’s pretty certain that some of the bullets in that shipment will end up killing innocent civilians.
A high price to pay just to fatten the profits of Russian arms companies.
Source: American Thinker Read more
Russian ship bound for Syria full of arms
No wonder the Russians are preventing the UN Security Council from slapping an arms embargo on Syria.
Syria is one of Russia’s top weapons customers. The United States and European Union have suggested the U.N. Security Council should impose an arms embargo and other U.N. sanctions on Syria for its 14-month assault on a pro-democracy opposition determined to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
But Russia, with the support of fellow veto power China, has prevented the council from imposing any U.N. sanctions on Syria and has refused to halt arms sales to Damascus.
“Al Arabiya have learned that a Russian cargo ship carrying a large amount of weapons plans to unload its cargo in the Syrian port of Tartus,” the broadcaster said on its website on Thursday.
The report said the ship left a Russian port on May 6 and cited a “Western source” as saying that it will dock at Tartus on Saturday.
“The ship is trying to conceal its final destination in a suspicious way,” Al Arabiya said.
Source: American Thinker Read more
Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows
Western nations are pressing for a response to the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla, with the US calling for an end to what it called President Bashar al-Assad’s “rule by murder”.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council this week.
The UN has confirmed the deaths of at least 90 people in Houla, including 32 children under the age of 10.
The Syrian government blamed the deaths on “armed terrorist gangs”.
Houla, in the central province of Homs, came under sustained bombardment by the Syrian army after demonstrations on Friday.
Activists say some of the victims died by shelling, while others were summarily executed by the regime militia known as the “shabiha”.
The killings have sparked a chorus of international condemnation.
The EU, Arab League, France, Britain and Germany all expressed shock over the incident and called for an intensification of pressure on the Assad government, while the UN demanded that Syria stop using heavy weapons in populated areas.
Source: BBC News Read more
Cyprus stops Russian ship with ammunition cargo for Syria
NICOSIA, Cyprus — A Russian ship that made an unscheduled stop in Cyprus while carrying tons of arms to Syria was technically violating an EU embargo on such shipments. But the vessel was allowed to continue its journey Wednesday after changing its destination, Cypriot officials said.
The cargo ship, owned by St. Petersburg-based Westberg Ltd., left that Russian port on 9 December for Turkey and Syria, which is 105km east of Cyprus, the officials said.
Russia and Turkey are not members of the European Union, so such a route would not have violated the embargo the bloc imposed in protest at Syria’s crackdown on the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule.
But the Chariot, a St. Vincent and Grenadines-flagged ship, dropped anchor off the southern Cypriot port of Limassol on Tuesday because of high seas, drawing the attention of Cypriot officials.
Customs officials boarded the ship to examine its cargo, but couldn’t open and inspect the four containers because of “the confined space” they were stored in, the Cypriot Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Nevertheless, the officials determined they were holding a “dangerous cargo.”
State radio in Cyprus went further, saying the vessel was carrying “tens of tons of munitions.”
Source: Egypt Independent Read more
al-Bastard’s imaginary “armed terrorist gangs” apparently include children under 10 years of age, dangerous little tykes, aren’t they? Have to be eliminated.
As for blaming the same “armed terrorist gangs”… I have seen several reports that UN observers confirmed that it was indeed al-Bastard’s military who were responsible.
Some months ago I stated that there will be no end to the bloodshed until al-Bastard is surgically removed like the cancer he is.
The procrastinating western world is well on the way to being responsible for the second 10,000 deaths in Syria.
As for this Russian ship taking arms to Syria. It has to be STOPPED! It has to be prevented from delivering arms to the despotic al-Bastard.
If this ship is successful in delivering the arms, RUSSIA HAS FORFEITED ITS RIGHT TO BE ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE UN! And should be removed immediately having proved themselves unworthy to be trusted with protecting legitimate Syrians who want a fair governance.