Resources updated between Monday, January 20, 2014 and Sunday, January 26, 2014
January 26, 2014
Ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi kidnapped and raped hundreds of teenagers in specially built sex dungeons, according to a television documentary to be screened by the BBC next week... Victims and witnesses state...that Gaddafi would choose his targets on visits to schools or colleges, patting on the head those who caught his eye. His security officials would then take the victim to one of several specially designed suites of rooms, where they would be abused and raped by the dictator. In one such suite at Tripoli University, there is a fully-equipped gynecological examination room, where victims were tested for sexually transmitted diseases before being sexually abused. 'Some were only 14,' recalled one teacher at a Tripoli school. 'They would simply take the girl they wanted. They had no conscience, no morals, not an iota of mercy, even though she was a mere child.'"
In Pakistan, a "judge convicted and sentenced Mohammad Asghar (to death), from Edinburgh, on Thursday following a trial. Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 in Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, for claiming to be the Prophet Mohammed in letters sent to various officials, according to prosecutor Javed Gul. But a lawyer who defended Mr Asghar said he suffers from mental illness and the case was really a property dispute... Mr Asghar, a UK citizen of Pakistani origin, returned to Pakistan in 2010 after being treated for paranoid schizophrenia in Edinburgh, the lawyer said. He later fell into a dispute with a tenant who brought the blasphemy complaint against him to police..."
"Legal advocate Xu Zhiyong was sentenced Sunday morning to four years in prison after being convicted by a Beijing court of 'gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.' The 40-year-old Xu is the most prominent Chinese activist to be sentenced to prison since the 2009 trial of Liu Xiaobo, who was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 'This destroys the last remaining dignity of the Chinese legal system,' Xu told the court, according to his lawyer, Zhang Qingfang.... The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court rejected 68 witnesses that Xu's defense team tried to present."
January 24, 2014
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan chairs the "Elders," who describe themselves in grandiose terms as "a group of leaders who work for peace, justice, and human rights worldwide." So what are they doing? According to Annan, "Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time." Not Syrian slaughter-houses, the Iranian execution machine, a billion Chinese with no elementary freedoms, millions of Saudi women enslaved....Of course, this is the same UN official who turned a blind eye to the Rwanda genocide.
On January 24, 2014, the head of the Vienna-based U.N. atomic agency (IAEA) asked for 5.5 million euros ($7.5 million) needed to monitor Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal (Joint Plan of Action) signed in Geneva last year. Under the Joint Plan of Action the IAEA is responsible for "monitoring" and "verification in relation to the nuclear-related measures" in Iran. The deal was signed on November 24, 2013 while its implementation started on January 20, 2014 and it's not clear why the IAEA waited this long to request the funds.
This development comes after Iran nixed the IAEA meeting planned for January 21, 2014. This meeting was to be held pursuant to a Joint Statement on Framework for Cooperation (separate but complementary initiative) signed by Iran and the IAEA on November 11, 2013, which included six initial steps to be taken by Tehran within three months of the signature.
The six steps are: "providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Gachine mine in Bandar Abbas [scheduled for January 29, 2014] and to the Heavy Water Production Plant [the IAEA visited on December 8, 2013]; providing information on all new research reactors; providing information with regard to the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants; clarification of the announcement made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities; further clarification of the announcement made by Iran with respect to laser enrichment technology."
Tehran must carry out the remaining steps by February 11, 2014. However, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on January 17, 2014 that "The agenda for negotiations between Iran and the IAEA which will take place on February 8 on how to implement the second phase is not clear yet."
On January 21, 2014, the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations opened its 2014 regular session at UN Headquarters in New York. The UN NGO accreditation body includes countries notorious for NGO harassment and intimidation such as China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela. The Committee is currently chaired by Turkey. The Committee's membership matters.
The New York State Bar Association is currently applying to become an officially accredited UN NGO, but its application was deferred on January 22, 2014 after Cuba questioned "information on Cuba on its website."
Another NGO seeking UN accreditation at this session is the Palestinian Return Center, documented as one of the central institutions through which Hamas operates in the United Kingdom. In 2012 the Center co-organized a UN "Human Rights" Council side-event in Geneva where its representative said
January 23, 2014
Seven years after its establishment the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the Hague finally began the trial of four men accused of murdering the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. None of the four suspects, all Hezbollah members, have been caught and instead all are being tried by the UN-backed court in absentia. Criticism of the UN's handling of Hariri's murder abounds.
"Hariri was the victim of a vast conspiracy, as UN investigators concluded early on, but today only five suspects, involved at the operational level, have been indicted [the fifth suspect was indicted in October 2013 but is not on trial at this stage]...
More troubling is the fact that the prosecution has not outlined a motive for the assassination...And yet that was not always true. In his opening report, the first commissioner of the UN investigation, the German Detlev Mehlis, provided a motive: that Hariri was killed for political reasons, as it was well-known in Lebanon that he was likely to challenge and defeat Syria's candidates in the summer 2005 elections...[H]e concluded that there was Syrian and Lebanese intelligence involvement in the crime...
To the UN, Mr Mehlis was a headache. When he began his assignment, he later told me in an interview, UN secretary general Kofi Annan had made it clear 'that he did not want another trouble spot'...
Far more palatable to the UN was Mr Mehlis's successor, the Belgian Serge Brammertz. Perhaps that's because Mr Brammertz progressed very little in his investigation...[T]he UN did not seem to want it otherwise. His successor [Daniel Bellemare] would take three more years to issue an indictment, showing how empty was the Belgian's dossier. Meanwhile, many more people were assassinated in Lebanon..."
January 22, 2014
"Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV recently reported on a baby born in a Lebanese hospital, filmed dressed in the military fatigues of Hizbullah. 'Military fatigues were the first garment to touch his tender body,' said the reporter, adding that Mahdi 'is a potential resistance fighter from the first hours of his life.'
Following are excerpts from the report, which aired on January 18, 2014...
Mother of newborn Mahdi: 'Nothing could be better than him becoming a soldier of Imam Mahdi. This reflects the continuation of the path of the Islamic resistance, one generation after another.'"
Newborn Lebanese Baby 'Joins' Hizbullah Human Rights Voices
Palestinians, and their undemocratic UN cohorts, are off to a roaring start for 2014, the UN Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Last week UNESCO tore down an exhibit on the Jewish people's ties to the land of Israel, just before it opened to the public, because it offended Arab states. Unfortunately, the move was only the tip of the UN iceberg. All visitors to UN Headquarters in New York, including school children from across America, walk off the elevator straight into the "Palestine" exhibit. The UN tour's first stop communicates malignant historical revisionism.
The UN propaganda campaign against the legitimacy of Israel has now reached epidemic proportions. On January 20, 2014 the UN organized its first Solidarity Year event for "civil society." In one of the UN's main galleries, it conducted a public screening of the film "Where should the birds fly?" and sponsored a subsequent discussion with Palestinian filmmaker Fida Qishta and journalist Laila El-Haddad. Here is just some of what the film included: Mona Samouni (age 11 or 12): "The Israeli soldiers were shooting at the people, as if they were not human, as if they were chickens or mice. For the Israeli army this is something without meaning. But the victims were very precious to us, even though they didn't consider them human." Fida Qishta: "Even the presence of international observers does not prevent daily random Israeli gunfire. The Israelis seem to be playing a deadly game with Palestinians who are just trying to work and live, taunting them and intimidating them, sometimes killing them." At the close of the UN afternoon of portraying Israelis as Nazi-like wanton baby killers, the Chairman of the UN working group that organized the affair, Maltese diplomat Bernard Hamilton, asked the crowd to do their utmost to promote the film.
January 20, 2014 was actually the second Solidarity Year occasion thus far. The year was launched on January 16, 2014. A statement read for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas referred to "the unprecedented historical injustice which the Palestinian people have endured since 'Al-Nakba' [the catastrophe] of 1948." Clarifying once again, that the existence of a Jewish state has always been the real issue. At the January inauguration, the UN's Palestinian Rights Committee adopted a 12-page manifesto on its "program of work for 2014." The ambitious platform spells out a global campaign to blanket the airwaves, social media, schools, as well as legislative and judicial forums, with the demonization of the state of Israel.
The unusual UNESCO exhibit was suppressed for the same reason that Palestinian hate speech at the UN is promoted. The propagation of antisemitism is the UN's normal.
Secretary of State John Kerry told the opening day crowd at the Geneva conference on Syria that Assad was a real problem - but only after lauding his Russian co-hosts who are directly responsible for keeping Assad in power. Here's Kerry speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time: "I thank the Russian Federation and Foreign Minister Lavrov for his cooperation and efforts together with us, working to try to initiate this process...[W]e see only one option: a negotiated transition government formed by mutual consent...Bashar Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way – no way possible in the imagination – that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern."
UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency now says it might put the exhibit "People, Book, Land - The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land," back up, after tearing it down last week and refusing to open it to the public. UNESCO folded to last-minute pressure from Arab states after the exhibition took two years to mount. The exhibit will only see the light of day under UNESCO auspices, however, if the authors agree to new UNESCO censorship demands. The UN agency explained it only cared about "peace." It "needed extra time to revise 'unresolved issues relating to potentially contestable textual and visual historical points' that member states could perceive as 'endangering the peace process'"...
While Kerry runs for cover after the UN Secretary-General invited (and then disinvited) Iran to Geneva 'peace' conference over Syria, it's very hard to believe Kerry was not to blame. "I know for a fact that this could not have been a surprise to the U.S. authorities," Ban's chief spokesman, Martin Nesirky said Monday. "It was not hasty and they were fully aware of the timing of the announcement." ...[O]ne U.N. official suggested that the U.S. had actively promoted the arrangement, saying the U.S. had even urged the U.N. chief to step up his announcement to invite Iran by a day out of concern that the news could leak. ...Other U.N.-based diplomats said it was hard to imagine that Ban had undertaken the decision to invite Iran without believing he at least had Washington's implicit support. "I have never seen Ban act without a green light from the United States," said one U.N. diplomat."
In 2010, the UN General Assembly created UN Women which was described as "the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women." In 2014, here are some of the "champions" of women rights that sit on its Executive Board:
• Somalia, where 98 percent of women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and the majority have been subjected to the most severe form, has just started its 3-year term;
• Djibouti, where 93 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM/C, has been a member since 2013;
• Saudi Arabia, where women can't drive or travel without permission, has been a member since 2010 and in 2013 was re-elected for a second term; • China, where women are dragged from their homes in the middle of the night and forced to have an abortion, has been a member since 2010 and in 2013 was re-elected for a second term.
January 21, 2014
"Throughout the West Bank, 4,500 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the group that has provided assistance to the Palestinian refugees for more than six decades, have been on strike over pay and other issues since early December."
"...The U.N.'s Department of Information hosts a special information service devoted entirely to the Palestinians (UNISPAL). And while refugees from every other part of the globe come under the umbrella of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.N. for the past 64 years has run a special refugee agency dedicated to serving the Palestinians: the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Opened for business in 1950 as a "temporary" agency to serve some 860,000 Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has taken root as a permanent entitlement system, conferring refugee status down the generations to include some five million clients today. In 2011, UNRWA reported receiving $948 million toward its $1.2 billion budget, including $239 million from the U.S. - its largest donor... "
"Peace" and Prejudice at UN Article
"A recent Associated Press report raises concerns about the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services. OIOS is supposed to be the organization's equivalent of an inspector general. But AP's story leaves doubt that the OIOS is willing and able to fulfill its oversight functions... The U.N. Dispute Tribunal...found that Michael Dudley, deputy director of the OIOS Investigation Division, had altered or withheld evidence in an investigation of U.N. physicians who were using or improperly dispensing narcotics. In addition to retaliating against the OIOS whistleblowers who raised questions about the matter, Dudley also and 'threatened to report [then head of OIOS] Inga-Britt Ahlenius... for incompetence unless she agreed to 'protect' him.' The OIOS whistleblowers were awarded compensation. But Dudley, an American, still works for OIOS and, according to AP, has not been punished."
The State Department refused to co-sponsor a planned UNESCO exhibit entitled: "The People, the Book, the Land - 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel." The excuse given earlier this month, by Kelly Siekman, the State Department's director of UNESCO affairs, to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in writing was this: "At this sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels, we have made the decision that the United States will not be able to co-sponsor the current exhibit during its display at UNESCO headquarters. As a rule, the United States does not co-sponsor exhibits at UNESCO without oversight of content development from conception to final production." Either a shocking denial of the reality of Jewish history or an equally shocking capitulation to Arab blackmail. UNESCO pulled the exhibit down from the walls just before its public opening, after Arab states objected.
"On December 11, 2013, the Supreme Court (SC) of India struck down a lower court decision to decriminalize gay sex, thereby upholding the 153-year-old colonial-era Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which punishes gay couples with a 10-year prison term. The judgment came on a petition to which several Islamic and Hindu religious groups were party...
On December 20, the Indian media reported that an Islamic cleric of the Barelvi school of Sunni Islam based in the northern Indian town of Bareilly had issued a fatwa against both homosexuality and heterosexual cohabitation...
The fatwa was issued by Mohammad Afzaal Rizwi, the mufti (a scholar qualified to issue a fatwa) who is based at the Darul Uloom Ifta at Bareilly. Fatwas are legal advisory opinion in Islam, usually delivered in response to a question...'[S]uch acts could attract severe punishment,' he said. 'A person may be burned alive, pushed from a high wall, or beaten publicly with stones if he indulges into either of the two behaviors,' the fatwa states."
"In December 2013, a Pakistani television channel launched an open attack on the members of Pakistan's gay community, accusing them of misleading the nation, being part of a conspiracy hatched by Jews and Christians, and violating the tenets of Islam and Pakistan...
[I]nternationally known Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, former expert advisor to the UN on human rights, accused gays of being foreign spies in the streets of Pakistan and of serving the interests of terrorists...
He says of gays: 'This is a matter of extreme concern. They are standing at every crossroads, they are standing at every [stop] signal; they may be foreign agents [spies]...Maybe they are watching in this garb, they are looking, and this information [on peoples' movements] is being relayed to terrorists...'
In Pakistan, all minority groups have faced persecution over the past few decades."
January 20, 2014
"A Nigerian man has received 20 lashes after an Islamic court in the northern city of Bauchi convicted him of homosexual offences.
Under Islamic law, courts can punish homosexual acts by stoning to death...
In Nigeria, homosexual acts are illegal under both Islamic and secular law and restrictions have been tightened. Earlier this month, President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a bill which bans same-sex marriages, gay groups and shows of same-sex public affection...
Along with Mr Ibrahim, 11 other Muslims and a Christian man were arrested last month accused by the authorities of being homosexuals...
Mr Ibrahim was lashed with a whip, made of animal skin smeared with oil. Mr Ibrahim, who had pleaded guilty to the charge, was ordered to lie on a bench, and an official whipped his back in front of a packed courtroom..."
Nigeria gays: 20 lashes for 'homosexual offences' Human Rights Voices