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Resources updated between Monday, November 03, 2008 and Sunday, November 09, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Iran and Durban II

Anne Bayefsky

IRAN and DURBAN II

Iran, a leading state sponsor of racism,
is playing a significant role in promoting and
preparing the Durban II "anti-racism" conference. Here's how.

1. Iran is a Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Committee (known as the Bureau) of the Preparatory Committee responsible for planning Durban II.

2. A just released Report of the Secretary-General, dated October 19, 2008, describes the Iranian role: "as a Bureau member of the Preparatory Committee, it has been playing an active role in the preparatory process."

3. Iran is a major supporter of Durban II. In their words:



Watch video here.
4. Iran led the successful charge to keep a Jewish NGO out of the first planning meeting for Durban II. Watch them in action, in concert with the Libyan Chair of the Planning Committee.



Watch video here.
5. Iran plays an active role in the negotiating sessions of the final document scheduled to be adopted at Durban II. Their role? Advocating the destruction of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In their words:



Watch video here.


Watch video here.
6. Iran's written "contribution" for the Durban II final document has just been released. It claims that the most important form of racism and xenophobia targets culture and religion (ie. Muslims), that all the people of Iran "enjoy equal rights", and "judicial officials are to refrain from using sarcastic, offensive words or phrases that might result in offending the feelings and emotions of listeners." One wonders if that is before or after hanging homosexuals, stoning men and women, or bringing down sentences of cross-amputation. Here is a portion of its "contribution":
    "15. The Islamic Republic of Iran informed that the most serious manifestation of setback in the campaign against racism has been the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting ethnic, cultural and religious communities. According to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the emergence of new forms of discrimination also constitutes a negative impact in combating terrorism and the marginalization of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

    17. Regarding Iranian society, the Government informed that article 19 of the Constitution specifies that the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, regardless of tribal or ethnic origin, enjoy equal rights; and colour, race and language do not constitute a privilege. Through its policies and actions, the Government seeks to ensure that these principles are realized. Consistent with its effort to promote and protect human rights, the Government has adopted various measures, which include, inter alia, in the performance of their duties, judicial officials are to refrain from using sarcastic, offensive words or phrases that might result in offending the feelings and emotions of listeners..."
7. The Asian regional group, which includes Iran, has proposed a major assault on Israel and human rights protection.

Contribution of the Asian Region to the Durban Review Conference(10/8/2008)

The Demonization of Israel:

Preambular paragraph:

Recalling the 2001 Tehran Declaration and Programme of Action by the Asian Preparatory Meeting,
    [Editor's Note:The Tehran Declaration includes

    21. Recall with deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;

    33. Express deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return, and recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;

    34. Re-emphasize the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the right to life, liberty and self-determination;]
Operative paragraphs:

18. Recognize Jerusalem as a city of reverence and religious sanctity for three major religions of the world and call for an international effort to bring foreign occupation, together with all its racial practices, to an end, especially in holy shrines dear to the three religions;

19. Reaffirm that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;

26. Express deep concern at the plight of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return, and recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;

27. Re-emphasize the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the rights to life, liberty and self-determination;

68. Express deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and renew the call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;

69. Reiterate that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and urge member States to look at the situation of Palestinian people during the Durban Review Conference and implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East;

Violating freedom of expression:

15. Express deep concern at the use of new information technologies, such as the Internet, to propagate racial hatred, xenophobia, racial discrimination and related intolerance and that children and youth have access to this material;

40. Note with deep concern the widening use by some groups and organizations of the opportunity provided by print, audio-visual and electronic media as well as scienfific and technological progress, such as the Internet, to promote racist and xenophobic propaganda aimed at inciting societies throughout the world to racial hatred and in this connection urge all Governments to take necessary measures against such incitement;

89. Urge States to take necessary measures to denounce, actively discourage and prohibit the transmission of racist and xenophobic messages through all communications media, including new communications technologies such as the Internet;

91. Call upon the world media to establish and disseminate through their relevant associations and organizations a code of ethical conduct with a view to prohibiting the proliferation of ideas of superiority and the justification of racial or religious hatred and discrimination in any form, and promoting mutual respect and tolerance among all peoples;

Undermining the effort to end terrorism:

87. Call on states to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;

Manufacturing victims of discrimination:

77. Urge States to take serious steps to address the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and in this context to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols.

UN Releases New Draft of the Durban II Final Document:

Israel is guilty of apartheid, crimes against humanity and genocide

Hot off the press. The latest effort in fomenting anti-semitism, delegitimizing the Jewish state, defeating the effort to end terrorism, destroying free speech and manufacturing Muslim victims of Western human rights atrocities. Also known as, the Durban II Outcome Document.

The UN Preparatory Committee for "Durban II", the Durban Review Conference scheduled for Geneva in April 2009, has just released the latest version of the "outcome document" which is scheduled to be adopted at the Conference itself. As described by the UN Secretariat, the draft reflects the current state of negotiations. And it isn't a pretty sight.

There are four main features of Durban II and its assault on human rights in the name of human rights.
  1. The Demonization of Israel and of Jewish Self-Determination - Modern Antisemitism

  2. Attacking Freedom of Expression

  3. Attempting to Thwart Efforts to End Terrorism

  4. The Victimhood Game - Alleged Discrimination Against Muslims

*********

(1) DURBAN II OBJECTIVE NUMBER ONE: THE DEMONIZATION OF ISRAEL AND OF JEWISH SELF-DETERMINATION - MODERN ANTISEMITISM

The UN uses square brackets around proposals which have been the subject of objection and hence, are still up for debate during the Durban II process. Up for debate, that is, if President Obama and other Western and pro-democracy governments attend. Up for debate if you think the protection of human rights is well-served by debating with racists about their racist proposals that they vehemently maintain are anti-racist.

What is not in square brackets - no objection having been made - is the suggestion that Israel is a racist apartheid state, guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide. Why no objection? Either the European Union was asleep at the switch when this proposal sailed through (it wouldn't be the first time), or this is agreed-upon language which will find its way into the Durban II "anti-racism" bible.

In UN-eze:
    Section 1, Part A. Sources, causes, forms and contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    72. Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;
The EU has objected to (asked that square brackets be placed around) other Israel-bashing paragraphs. But that doesn't take any of them off the table. There is absolutely no indication that the 56 states from the Organization of the Islamic Conference have any intention of backing down, and they have the numbers to prevail in the UN system.

Here are the Israel-bashing provisions that will be debated at an "anti-racism" conference:
    Section 1, Part B. Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    136. [Reiterates its concern about the plight of the Palestinian people and other inhabitants of Arab territories under foreign occupation, urges respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law and calls for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;]
    137. [Although 7 years have passed since the adoption of DDPA Notes Condemns the fact that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and that, . Iin order to consolidate the occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction on movement and arbitrary closure of their territories. It further notes that iIllegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied territories and that . Tthe Review Conference must look into the human rights situation and urge member states to implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East.]
    137. [Expresses deep concern at the plight of the Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories as well as and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return., It and recognizes the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;]
    138. [Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the rights to life, liberty and self-determination;]
    139. [Recognizes the individuals, groups and nations affected by policies and practices, such as colonialism, slavery and ethnic cleansing, that are based on theories of racial or national superiority, hatred and distinction as to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as culture, religion and language as victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;]
    Section 4 - Identification and sharing of best practices achieved at the national, regional and international levels in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

    9. [Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;]
Still on the table, and not yet discussed, the idea that Israel's capital city of Jerusalem is fair game, along with suggestions of more Jewish racism directed at Christians and Muslims.
    Section 1, Part E. Strategies to achieve full and effective equality, including international cooperation and enhancement of the United Nations and other international mechanisms in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    346. Recognizes Jerusalem as a city of reverence and religious sanctity for three major religions of the world and call for an international effort to bring foreign occupation, together with all its racial practices, to an end, especially in holy shrines dear to the three religions;
And here are even more still-to-be-debated racism charges against one and only state - Israel:
    Section 5 - Identification of further concrete measures and initiatives at all levels for combating and eliminating all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to foster the implementation of the DDPA and to address challenges and impediments thereto, including in light of developments since the adoption of the DDPA in 2001

    Foreign Occupation

    93. Expresses deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and renew the call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;
    127. Reiterates that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and urges member States to look at the situation of Palestinian people during the Durban Review Conference and implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East;

(2) DURBAN II OBJECTIVE NUMBER TWO: ATTACKING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Here are some of the fundamental rights and freedoms on the chopping block at Durban II: new rules on so-called defamation - not of human beings - but of religion, expansive notions of incitement to religious hatred, and new rules on legal mechanisms to punish anything called "contemporary forms of racism and xenophobia" (i.e. Islamophobia) in "private life". So far the European Union has managed to object to these outrages, now in square brackets.
    Section 4 - Identification and sharing of best practices achieved at the national, regional and international levels in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

    24 (c) [Elaborating specific laws on combatingdefamation and incitement to racial and religious hatred, in conformity with obligations under article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;]
    Section 5 - Identification of further concrete measures and initiatives at all levels for combating and eliminating all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to foster the implementation of the DDPA and to address challenges and impediments thereto, including in light of developments since the adoption of the DDPA in 2001

    16. [Urges States to adopt and enforce legal and administrative measures at the national and local levels, or to strengthen existing measures, with the aim of preventing and punishing expressly and specifically contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in public and private life];
Still to be discussed, as part of this ongoing "human rights" dialogue, are the following outrageous proposals for the final outcome of Durban II: a code of conduct for journalists, a call for states to highly regulate speech according to Islamic states' concepts of "objectivity," and more and more national and international rules about the concocted "defamation or negative stereotyping of religions."
    Section 5 - Identification of further concrete measures and initiatives at all levels for combating and eliminating all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to foster the implementation of the DDPA and to address challenges and impediments thereto, including in light of developments since the adoption of the DDPA in 2001

    109. Recommends that the use of the new information technologies, including the Internet, should contribute to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and that they should also be used to promote tolerance and respect for diversity;
    110. Calls upon the world media to establish and disseminate through their relevant associations and organizations a code of ethical conduct with a view to prohibiting the proliferation of ideas of superiority and the justification of racial or religious hatred and discrimination in any form, and promoting mutual respect and tolerance among all peoples;
    111. Calls upon States to prevent, through all appropriate means, stereotyping of any ethnic, racial, national, cultural, religious and linguistic group, and encourage objective and balanced portrayals of people, events and history, especially in the media, recognizing the profound influence that such portrayals have on societal perceptions of groups whose members are frequently victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
    140. ...recent events have once again highlighted the need to demarcate the legal contours between freedom of expression and hate speech. OHCHR's proposed Expert Consultations on the permissible limits to freedom of expression, by taking into account the mandatory prohibition of advocacy of religious hatred, should reach some conclusions and recommendations coming out from the consultations should be worthy of including in the Review Conference documents
    146. Calls upon the Durban Review Conference to provide guidelines for States taking into account the assessment of various Durban follow up mechanisms as well as the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the issue of defamation or negative stereotyping of religions;
    147. Stresses the importance of the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards to elaborate a basic document to fill the gaps in the existing international treaties about the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination;

(3) DURBAN II OBJECTIVE NUMBER THREE: ATTEMPTING TO THWART EFFORTS TO END TERRORISM

Still to be discussed, as part of this ongoing "human rights" dialogue, are outrageous proposals such as "impunity on the ground of freedom of expression and counter terrorism" and a definition of discrimination aimed to cripple counter terrorism efforts.
    Section 1 - Review of progress and assessment of implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including the assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    189. Notes that some of the other obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination include; weak legislation and policies, lack of moral, educational and practical strategies, non-implementation of international legal framework and commitments by some, persisting impunity on different grounds such as freedom of expression, counter terrorism or national security as well as sharp increase in the extreme right wing xenophobic political platforms.
    235. Calls on states to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;
    Section 5 - Identification of further concrete measures and initiatives at all levels for combating and eliminating all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to foster the implementation of the DDPA and to address challenges and impediments thereto, including in light of developments since the adoption of the DDPA in 2001

    102. Calls on States to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;

(4) DURBAN II OBJECTIVE NUMBER FOUR: THE VICTIMHOOD GAME - ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS

Not in square brackets - no objection having been made - are wild allegations of discrimination against Muslims, clearly intended to paint Western governments as diabolical and the war to end terrorism as a fraud. The European Union has failed to object to any of these inflammatory proposals which are guaranteed to fuel intolerance and terrorism directed against the alleged Western perpetrators.
    Section 1 - Review of progress and assessment of implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including the assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    41. Notes that As regards the debate of contemporary forms of racism, some of the most worrying trends since 2001 include racio-religious profiling and discrimination, defamation of Muslims, their faith and beliefs, incitement to religious hatred and its concomitant effects on multiculturalism, national and international peace and stability as well as human rights of the affected communities.
    43. Shares the Special Rapporteur's assessment that the most serious manifestations of defamation of religions are the increase in Islamophobia and the worsening of the situation of Muslim minorities around the world. He has mentioned three main developments in this context; a) the stereotypical association of Islam (and Muslims) with violence and terrorism; b) the determination to impose restrictions on manifestation of Islam including construction of mosques and its minarets; and c) monitoring and surveillance of places of worship, culture and teaching of Islam.
    45. Acknowledges that the most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia. When it is expressed against migrants it takes the form of religo-ethnic or religo-racial tones, when it is expressed in the form of defamation of religions, it takes cover behind the freedom of expression and when it is expressed in the form of profiling. It hides behind the war against terrorism. Believes that association of terrorism and violence with Islam or any other religion including through publication of offensive caricatures and making of hate documentaries would purposely complicate our common endeavours to address several contemporary issues including fight against terrorism and occupation of foreign territories and peoples.
    46. Besides strengthening discrimination against Muslims, this insidious association is preventing Muslim communities from practicing their religion freely or integration in the society, in many countries. Discrimination on multiple grounds of religion, ethnicity or culture further affects enjoyment of their basic human rights including economic, social and cultural rights. Durban Review Conference, therefore, must look into this contemporary manifestation of racism and seek proscription of this practice through legal and administrative measures. As the existing national laws and courts have failed to address the issue, internationally binding normative standards need to be devised that can provide adequate guarantees against defamation of religions and religious intolerance. *
    57. Recognizes that there have been increasing risks of stereotyping Muslims and other groups and expresses its commitment to combat this phenomenon;
Up for debate are more and more and more allegations of Islamophobia. The only question is how many such hysterical, false and inflammatory allegations will the European Union allow into the Durban II final product.
    Section 1 - Review of progress and assessment of implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action by all stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels, including the assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

    2. [Notes also with concern the increase in incidents of defamation of religions, a phenomenon involving racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that is developing in the current political and ideological context and its most serious manifestation in the form of increase in Islamophobia.]
    Section 3 - Promotion of the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and proper consideration of the recommendations of the CERD

    53. ...When examining periodic reports, the Committee has expressed its concern about reported cases of "Islamophobia" following the 11 September attacks. Furthermore, while taking note that the criminal legislation of some States includes offences where religious motives are an aggravating factor, it has regretted that incitement to racially motivated religious hatred is not outlawed. The Committee has recommended that States give early consideration to the extension of the crime of incitement to racial hatred to cover offences motivated by religious hatred against immigrant communities . [para 8, page 10 A/CONF.211/PC.2/5]
    Section 5 - Identification of further concrete measures and initiatives at all levels for combating and eliminating all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in order to foster the implementation of the DDPA and to address challenges and impediments thereto, including in light of developments since the adoption of the DDPA in 2001

    100. Urges States to take serious steps to address the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and in this context to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols;
    142. National laws alone cannot deal with the rising tide of defamation and hatred against Muslims, especially if such trends are spreading to the grass root communities. A framework is needed to analyze national laws and understand their provisions. This could then be compiled in a single "universal document" as guidelines for legislation - aimed at countering "defamation of religions".

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