Resources updated between Monday, February 17, 2014 and Sunday, February 23, 2014
February 23, 2014
"Two prominent women - Liu Xia and Cao Shunli - were hospitalized in poor health this week, after months or years of detention, according to their lawyers and friends.
Ms. Liu, 52, the wife of the jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, has been under effective house arrest for three years as her husband serves an 11-year jail term for 'inciting subversion of state power.' She was hospitalized on Tuesday, or Sunday - accounts vary - with severe depression and a heart ailment. Her emotional and mental state has long been regarded as fragile by supporters.
Ms. Cao, 52, a former cadre at the now-disbanded Ministry of Labor and Manpower, was detained after she took part in sit-down protests last year outside the Foreign Ministry, where she and others called for ordinary Chinese to be allowed to contribute to an assessment of human rights in China, part of the United Nations' Universal Periodical Review. The protests had failed - Chinese officials did not allow them to contribute to the country's human rights report, and late last year China was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council...
On Thursday morning, Ms. Cao was sent to an emergency hospital in Beijing where she was put on a ventilator, said her lawyer, Wang Yu, and a friend, Liu Xiaofang. Ms. Wang and Ms. Liu said she had tuberculosis, a liver complaint and uterine fibroids...
Ms. Cao, who was barred by security officials from traveling to Geneva late last year to take part in a training course run by a civil society group on United Nations rights mechanisms, was rushed to Beijing's Qinghe 999 Hospital from the Chaoyang Detention Center, where she was being held pending trial for 'picking quarrels and provoking trouble,' Ms. Wang said. The lawyer said Ms. Cao had contracted the tuberculosis and liver ailment while in detention and that her previous medical examinations had been clear...
Meanwhile, Liu Xia's lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said he had very little information about Ms. Liu's condition or even her precise whereabouts...'Her health has been very poor for a long time, not just her heart,' he said. 'Three years of house arrest have aggravated her health. She tried to apply for medical treatment overseas, but the authorities refused.'"
February 21, 2014
What's the easiest way to create a pro-human rights image at the UN? Send money to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Kuwait News reports that Kuwait has donated $300,000 to the UN Human Rights Council. UN High Commissioner Pillay was thrilled and asked Kuwait to "continue its support to promote and raise awareness about human rights in different parts of the world."
The head of the Kuwaiti delegation to the UN office in Geneva, Jamal Al-Ghunaim, was equally pleased with the UN cover. "Al-Ghunaim described the talks with Pillay as very constructive. He added that the talks have tackled a large array of issues including Kuwait's cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council. He stressed that Kuwait's support of the UN Human Rights Council is meant to help put an end to the human rights abuses across the globe and disseminate human rights values."
Kuwait might begin by addressing human rights abuses closer to home. Here is how Kuwait, who is also a member of the UN's top rights body, has been "promoting and raising awareness of human rights", according to the State Department 2012 report on human rights in Kuwait:
On February 21, 2014 the UN nuclear agency IAEA released a report on Iran's nuclear capabilities and its compliance with the interim agreement signed in November with Western powers entitled "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran". The report includes the following findings of Iranian non-compliance with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations and other violations of international law. Such findings are rendered meaningless, however, by the Obama administration's deal with Iran which prioritizes never-ending negotiations over serious consequences for non-compliance.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who has a long history of anti-Israel bias, has recently issued a new report where she charges Israel with "excessive use of force" and leaves readers with the impression that a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers. The report, released on February 18, 2014, is submitted annually for the purposes of keeping alive the notorious Goldstone report.
The report alleges that "The Israeli security forces seemed to have made the decision to use force that was not proportionate to the seriousness of the offence." It further alleges that "the IDF soldiers responded to stones thrown at their convoy as it passed through a crowded market near Qabatiya on 31 October 2013 with tear gas, sound grenades and live ammunition, which resulted in the death of an unarmed 21-year-old man, Ahmad Tazaz'a."
But here are the real facts, contrary to the High Commissioner's inflammatory conclusions. The IDF forces were attacked with "IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and stones" while trying to detain terrorist operatives in Qabatiya. And Ahmed Tazaz'a was not killed by IDF fire. He was actually injured in an "internal conflict" among Palestinian factions and was already hospitalized at the time of the confrontation between Israeli troops and a group of Palestinians. A detailed IDF investigation found that "official Palestinian reports said Tazaza arrived at hospital between 03:00 and 04:00, at least more than an hour before shots in the air were fired by the IDF."
One more example of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay's, perversion of human rights for her anti-human rights agenda.
Witnesses say Chadian "peacekeepers" helping Muslims and killing civilians in the Central African Republic
"Chadian peacekeepers have killed at least 12 unarmed people in two days in the Central African Republic after fatally shooting six civilians yesterday in the capital, witnesses said.
The latest shootings occurred as the soldiers were escorting Chadian refugees to a military base near Bangui's M'poko airport, where more than 400,000 people have taken refuge from the Central African Republic's conflict.
The troops randomly shot at the civilians without provocation, according to witnesses. The violence caused scores of people to flee the refugee camp, they said.
On Tuesday, Chadian soldiers reportedly killed two civilians in Bangui and four civilians in the town of Damara, about 45 miles north of the capital.
The shootings were reported two weeks after Human Rights Watch accused Chadian peacekeepers of helping Muslim fighters in the Central African Republic, including escorting Muslim Seleka rebels from bases at which they were confined by African Union peacekeepers to areas where they committed atrocities against Christians."
"U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday it was a Christian militia that was behind recent atrocities in Central African Republic. Seleka, a Sunni Muslim rebel coalition, overthrew the government in March. Chaos ensued when former President Michel Djotodia lost control of the rebel force...Pillay said members of anti-balaka are deliberately targeting members of the Sunni population"
February 20, 2014
"A Venezuelan beauty queen and student demonstrator was fatally shot in the head during a political protest, making the fifth fatality from the country's ongoing political turmoil. Genesis Carmona, 22, was photographed lying limp in the arms of a man riding a motorcycle after gunfire broke out at Tuesday's protest in the city of Valencia. She was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday afternoon...Tuesday's demonstration was part of a rally outside the imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez, a Harvard-educated economist who has spearheaded three weeks of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro's government."
"A short-lived truce crumbled Thursday as gunfire erupted at Independence Square, the center of anti-government protests and an increasingly violent crisis that threatens catastrophe for this divided nation...
The head of the protesters' medical service said 100 people died and 500 were injured in clashes on Thursday, just hours after the government declared a truce in fighting that had shocked world leaders with the deaths of 28 people two days before...
If Thursday's death toll is confirmed, it would make it the deadliest day in Ukraine since protests began...a doctor volunteering to treat protesters, Olga Bogomolets, accused government forces of shooting to kill, saying she had treated 13 people she believed had been targeted by 'professional snipers.' 'They were shot directly to their hearts, their brain and to their neck," she said. "They didn't give any chance to doctors, for us, to save lives.'"
On March 3, 2014 a multi-platform campaign called Unlock Iran will launch a website that will "guide users on a Facebook-oriented tour of what it's like to be imprisoned in Iran". The visitors will see their own timeline "altered to show what their life would be like if they were held in prison, and their friends will consist of the 10 photographed activists." This week representatives of Unlock Iran and the photographic Inside Out Project, with the help of renowned French street artist and social commentator JR, posted 11 portraits of imprisoned Iranian activists and two of recently executed activists, on a wall across the street from the UN Headquarters in New York City. According to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center there were 624 executions in the country last year.
February 19, 2014
A new Israel-bashing report has been issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the upcoming March session of the UN Human Rights Council. The report is submitted annually pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1, which in 2009 established the notorious Goldstone inquiry, and S-12/1, which subsequently adopted the Goldstone report.
The High Commissioner Navi Pillay has a long history of anti-Israel bias. She called for the creation of the Goldstone inquiry. After Goldstone claimed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians, the High Commissioner expressed "full support to Justice Goldstone's report and its recommendations." In 2009, she issued a report that lauded Hamas for having "made public statements that it is committed to respect international human rights and humanitarian law."
In her latest report, among other things, Pillay accuses Israel of "excessive use of force" and lists alleged "incidents" on which she based her conclusion. One incident described in the report illustrates well her animosity against Israel.
The report alleges that Jihad Aslan and Younis Jahjouh "were shot and killed as they threw stones at the [IDF] soldiers" and that UNRWA employee Ruben Zayed, "was shot and killed on his way to work by the Israeli security forces as they were leaving the [Qalandia refugee] camp." It concludes that "In all of these cases, those killed or injured presented no threat to the lives of the soldiers."
In fact, while apprehending an arms dealer in the Qalandia refugee camp, the IDF was "confronted by scores of young Palestinian men who attacked them with Molotov cocktails, stones, cinder blocks and various other objects and shot at them." In response the soldiers fired shots at the rioters. After the investigation the IDF concluded that there was no excessive use of force because the violence the soldiers encountered was "extreme and unusual". In addition, the funeral of the three Palestinians was attended by Hamas leader Jamal al-Tawil. Also present was a member of Fatah's Central Committee, who called on the Palestinians to set up "human shields" to "protect the members of the resistance [i.e., terrorist organizations] and guard the homeland".
An objective report would at least include both accounts of this event.
Further, in the report the High Commissioner complains about Egyptian authorities destroying "numerous tunnels used to smuggle goods from Egypt to Gaza." She fails to mention that Hamas uses these tunnels as a way to circumvent the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and smuggle weapons into the Palestinian territory.
February 18, 2014
On Sunday morning, February 16, 2014, dozens of terrorists from the Nigerian Jihadist group Boko Haram ventured into several villages along the Christian border and slaughtered at least 150 Christians. The UN's response? Ravina Shamdasani of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights "condemned in the strongest terms Sunday's attack" without naming the religious identities of the attackers and their victims. Instead, Shamdasani used general terms such as "persons killed," "armed men," and "civilians." Solutions hurt by UN covering up religious and ethnic identities.
"Attacks by Islamist armed groups that have killed more than 200 people in recent weeks in northern Nigeria have been increasingly deadly and sophisticated, and amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said.
On 15 February, more than 100 people were reportedly killed and hundreds of houses burnt as gunmen attacked Baga and Izge villages in Borno state. It is just the latest in a series of attacks the organization has documented there and in neighbouring Adamawa state over the past three weeks.
'These killings and the systematic campaign by armed groups targeting ordinary people constitute crimes against humanity. Perpetrators of these alleged crimes, including the leaders of the armed groups who are responsible, must be brought to justice in fair trials,' said Makmid Kamara, Nigeria Researcher at Amnesty International."
February 17, 2014
"The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stoned to death a young Syrian girl for membership in Facebook social network. The ISIL militants took the Syrian girl, Fatoum Al-Jassem, to Al-Reqqa religious court and the judge ruled that membership in Facebook is tantamount to adultery and sentenced her to death by stoning..."
On February 17, 2014 the UN released the "Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." The Commission, established on March 21, 2013, was barred from visiting North Korea and held public hearings in Tokyo, London, San Francisco and Seoul, South Korea.
The UN report documents "unspeakable atrocities" in North Korea, including murdering babies born to pregnant women caught fleeing sexual violence, and political victims forced to catch snakes and mice to feed starving babies.
Among the "systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations" the Commission found to have been committed:
There is a "crisis of learning in the Arab region" says a new report on education in the Arab world produced by the Brookings Center for Universal Education. Of 19 Arab states and the Palestinian territory, a range of data was available for 14. Among the alarming findings are: