Posts Tagged human rights

Israel boycotts UN rights council

…in unprecedented move

The Israeli authorities refused to co-operate with a fact-finding mission investigating settlements

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.”

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Opinion:

“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.

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The length of the sentence is proportionate to the paranoia of the government

Vietnam jails dissident bloggers

Security was tight at the court in Ho Chi Minh city

Vietnam has jailed three bloggers accused of spreading anti-government propaganda, in a case criticised by human rights groups.

The high-profile but brief trial took place in Ho Chi Minh City under heavy security.

The trio were given jail sentences of between four and 12 years.

The government, which does not allow freedom of expression, has been under pressure from bloggers over corruption cases and human rights issues.

The three were accused of posting political articles on a banned website called Free Journalists’ Club, as well as articles critical of the government on their own blogs.

Nguyen Van Hai, who uses the pen name Dieu Cay, received the longest sentence of 12 years.

Former policewoman Ta Phong Tan, who also wrote a blog called Justice and Truth, was sent to jail for 10 years. In July, her mother died after setting herself on fire in front of a government office – it is not clear if the act was in protest at her daughter’s detention or connected to other disputes, the family say.

The third dissident writer, Phan Thanh Hai, was jailed for four years.

‘Dictatorship’

The case of Dieu Cay, who was a soldier before he became a dissident writer, was raised by US President Barack Obama earlier this year.

“I just feel frustrated by injustice, corruption, dictatorship which does not represent the state but some individuals,” Dieu Cay told the court on Monday.

“According to Vietnamese laws, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and it is in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is party,” he said before the audio feed was cut off, AFP news agency reports.

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Opinion:

I can see the day very soon when the people will rise up against these turds.

To jail the bloggers at all, but for such long sentences shows just how scared and paranoid the government is.

Read my original post: When governments are afraid of blogs for more background on this case

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2 Comments

F1 Farce

This post was removed because it was causing a disruption in the html.

Sorry, but I couldn’t figure out the problem.

AV

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What a Friggin’ Joke?

China’s Xi defends rights record…

China Vice-President Xi Jinping in US visit

Barack Obama: "It is absolutely vital that we have a strong relationship with China"

China’s leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, has defended his country’s human rights record, during a visit to Washington.

At a State Department lunch, the Chinese vice-president admitted that there was “room for improvement” on human rights.

Separately, Mr Xi and US President Barack Obama discussed trade and currency issues, as well as China’s stance on Syria, officials said.

Mr Obama said a strong relationship between the two nations was “vital”.

Mr Xi, meanwhile, said he hoped his visit would deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the two powers.

The 58-year-old is expected to succeed China’s President Hu Jintao, who must retire as head of the Communist Party later this year and from the presidency in 2013.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

What a friggin’ joke?

Firstly Obama should be damned well ashamed that he his even consorting with China.

China’s human rights record is one of the most dismal on the planet.

Think about Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang… China doesn’t know the meaning of human rights!

It’s disgraceful that the world is kow towing to China.

“Mr Obama said he “welcomed China’s peaceful rise,”[in trade]” Bloody hypocrate! Unfair trade practices, currency manipulation; this is aggression, there is nothing peaceful about that.

Until China forgets it’s ambitions for Taiwan, until China returns Tibet’s freedom there ought to be no latitude given.

China’s human rights record is a blight, a plague, a pestilence and a canker against all that is humanity.

“Of course, there is always room for improvement when it comes to human rights,” he [Xi] added.

Room for improvement… room… I don’t believe he said that, I don’t believe he has the gall to minimise it in that way.

They can’t run their own country decently and they had the affront to veto the UN resolution on Syria. Of course, it is obvious that China would see nothing wrong with what Bashar al Bastard is doing in Syria, they’re doing the same thing in Tibet, there’s nothing wrong there…

I temper that with the report in BBC News that apparently Xi was personally disappointed with the veto decision. If he is then maybe China will be better off under his ‘rule’, maybe Tibet can look with hope.

I would like to think so.

 

 

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Brazilian anti-dam campaigner sacked

The projected dam at Belo Monte in Brazil would be the third largest in the world, after the Itaipu dam, above, on the Brazil/Paraguay border

Activists in Brazil are in uproar after one of the country’s best-known indigenous leaders was sacked from his job with the indigenous protection service, allegedly because of his outspoken stance against the construction of a massive hydro-electric plant in the Brazilian Amazon.

According to reports in Brazil, Megaron Txucarramãe lost his job late last week after years campaigning against the Belo Monte dam, which is currently being built in the Amazon state of Pará but which campaigners fear will bring environmental and social chaos to the region.

“It is political persecution,” Txucarramãe told the Guardian in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They said nothing to me. They haven’t said what I did wrong. They just did it [fired me]. Nobody in Brasilia called me or explained the reason. It is strange.”

Megaron Txucarramãe, a member of the Kaiapó people, is one of the Amazon’s most respected indigenous leaders and was until this week a co-ordinator for the indigenous protection service, Funai, in the Amazon town of Colíder in Mato Grosso state. He has been highly critical of the £7bn Belo Monte dam project which would be the third largest in the world, after China’s Three Gorges and the Itaipu construction on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

“I will never support the construction of Belo Monte. It will damage the indigenous people, the environment and the rainforest,” Txucarramãe said.

“The Belo Monte dam is not good for the environment, for the Indians who live nearby, for the fishermen or the river-dwellers.”

Environmentalists and indigenous rights activists slammed the decision to fire him.

“This is one more symptom of dams versus democracy in Brazil,” said Christian Poirier, Brazil programme coordinator for environmental group Amazon Watch. “Chief Megaron’s sacking is yet another politically motivated and authoritarian action taken by a government that has shown itself impervious to the demands for human rights and environmental protection that the Kaiapó are fighting for.”

Calls to Funai went unanswered on Wednesday, a bank holiday in Brazil. The department has yet to make a public statement explaining Txucarramãe’s sacking.

The Brazilian government is currently engaged in a fierce propaganda war with NGOs and activists who oppose to the dam’s construction.

Hollywood celebrities such as Avatar director James Cameron have weighed in, supporting those fighting Belo Monte’s construction.

Meanwhile a leading Brazilian production company was recently hired by the consortium building Belo Monte to produce more upbeat documentaries and television programs about the project.

Source: The Guardian

Opinion:

The building of dams with such a high social and demographic impact should be banned.

The Brazilian city dwellers should not be placed before the original peoples of the land.

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