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Resources updated between Monday, March 10, 2014 and Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 15, 2014

Dr. Israel Doron

In a move which smacks directly of antisemitism, the Arab Group of states is attempting to block the appointment of an Israeli as a UN human rights expert. The subject matter is the rights of the elderly. Dr. Israel Doron has been proposed to become the next UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.

The candidates for the UN independent human rights experts, called "Special Procedures", are vetted by the UN Human Rights Council Consultative Group which submits to the President of the Council a list of candidates "who possess the highest qualifications and meet the general criteria and particular requirements". On the basis of the recommendations of the Consultative Group and following consultations, the President identifies a candidate and presents it to the Council for approval.

Dr. Doron's appointment has been recommended by both the Consultative Group and the President of the Council.

However, on March 13, 2014, Yemen, acting on behalf of the Arab group, circulated the following letter to the President of the Council:

    Excellency,
    At the outset I would like to express my appreciation for your valuable efforts as President of the UN Human Rights Council.
    I am writing this letter to you in my capacity as the Coordinator of the Arab Group I would like to express my disappointment for the appointing an Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons from a country that does not have diplomatic relations with many Arab Islamic and other countries. As you may understand it will be difficult for these countries to deal with this expert or to facilitate his missions. I therefore call upon you to reconsider the appointment and identify an appropriate candidate for this mandate on the basis of criteria highlighted in the IB package.
    Please accept Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

    Dr. Ali Mohamed Majawr
    Ambassador
    Permanent Representative of Yemen
    Coordinator of the Arab Group
Of course, the only reason Israel has no diplomatic relations with "many Arab and Islamic countries" is that those same Arab and Islamic countries refuse to recognize the Jewish state.

Arab states attempt to block Israeli from UN human rights post Development

March 14, 2014

Cao Shunli

"Prominent Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, detained in September for staging sit-ins at the country's foreign ministry, has died, a fellow dissident and one of her lawyers said on Friday, after she was denied medical treatment in detention...

The news comes soon after the start of a session in Geneva of the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body to which China was elected amid controversy last November.

'On Sept 14 ... she was perfectly fine and going to Europe for a trip. Now she's gone. Cao Shunli's wishes were never accomplished,' dissident Hu Jia told Reuters...

She went missing in mid-September after authorities prevented her from flying to Geneva for a human rights training program. She was formally arrested in October on suspicion of 'picking quarrels and provoking troubles', the watchdog group Human Rights in China said.

Cao's family saw wounds on her body, Liu Weiguo, a lawyer who has been acting for Cao, told Reuters, citing another of her lawyers, Wang Yu. But it is unclear how they were inflicted.

'The hospital is not willing to let the lawyer and the family look at the body,' Liu said."

Well-known Chinese dissident dies after being denied treatment Document

March 13, 2014

"This year women human rights defenders from Iran are facing ongoing intimidation that continues to prevent them from attending the United Nations conference in New York. Highlighting conditions for women on-the-ground worldwide, over 8,000 attendees are now coming together for the UN conference in New York through March 21. This is the 58th year for the Commission on the Status of Women, a conference that is almost as old as the UN itself...

'...there were some very disturbing things that happened at the CSW this year. They included moments that could have accelerated to very unsafe conditions for panelists, and for event attendees,' said human rights journalist and WNN Women News Network founder Lys Anzia in a confidential letter to someone connected to high levels at the UN in April 2010 as she witnessed first-hand the harassment of Iranian women delegates who came to attend the UN CSW conference in 2010.

'One of those women delegates was later arrested some months after her return to Iran,' said Anzia recently...

The dangers for Iranian women, and other women worldwide, who speak out against injustice is real, experts convey."

Iran women rights defenders stay away from UN conference in fear of reprisals Document

Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President

On March 11 and 12, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council held an "interactive dialogue" with Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief. The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for Iran to conceal and distort its appalling record on religious freedom.

Iran said:

"My delegation believes that respect is the key term for understanding human rights particularly for freedom of religion. Under freedom of religion or belief states have an obligation to promote interreligious communication. By the same token all forms of racism racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance constitute serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

And this is how Iran respects freedom of religion according to the 2013 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report:

    "The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused. Iran is a constitutional, theocratic republic that discriminates against its citizens on the basis of religion or belief. During the past year, the already poor religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate, especially for religious minorities, in particular for Baha'is as well as Christians and Sufi Muslims. Physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment intensified. Even some of the recognized non-Muslim religious minorities protected under Iran's constitution-Jews, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and Zoroastrians-face harassment, intimidation, discrimination, arrests, and imprisonment. Majority Shi'i and minority Sunni Muslims, including clerics who dissent, were intimidated, harassed, and detained. Dissidents and human rights defenders were increasingly subject to abuse and several were sentenced to death and even executed for the capital crime of 'waging war against God.' Heightened anti-Semitism and repeated Holocaust denials by senior government officials and clerics continue to foster a climate of fear among Iran's Jewish community. Since the 1979 revolution, members of minority religious communities have fled Iran in significant numbers for fear of persecution."

Archenemy of religious freedom Iran preaches respect for freedom of religion at UN's top rights body Development

On March 11 and 12, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council held an "interactive dialogue" with Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief. The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to conceal and distort its appalling record on religious freedom.

Pakistan, speaking for the Organization of the Islamic Conference said:

"All religions are sacred and merit equal protection double standards must be avoided. The OIC demands similar sanctity for all religions."

Pakistan's record on religious freedoms, according to the 2013 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report, includes the following abuses:

    "The government of Pakistan continues to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief. Sectarian and religiously-motivated violence is chronic, especially against Shi'i Muslims, and the government has failed to protect members of religious minority communities, as well as the majority faith. Pakistan's repressive blasphemy laws and other religiously discriminatory legislation, such as the anti-Ahmadi laws, have fostered an atmosphere of violent extremism and vigilantism. Pakistani authorities have not consistently brought perpetrators to justice or taken action against societal actors who incite violence...The exceedingly poor religious freedom environment in Pakistan worsened during the reporting period. The Pakistani government failed to effectively intervene against a spike in targeted violence against the Shi'i Muslim minority community, as well as violence against other minorities."

Notorious religious freedom abuser and UN Council member Pakistan lectures Council on equal protection of all religions Development

On March 11 and 12, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council held an "interactive dialogue" with Heiner Bielefeldt, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief. The event proved to be an excellent opportunity for China to conceal and distort its appalling record on religious freedom.

China said:

"The Special Rapporteur raised manifestations of collective religious hatred, which deserves high attention. China is always against extremism in religion. We are against religions and other things based in violence prejudice and intolerance. We call on international community to fight against religion based discrimination and violence. China is for policy and implements this policy of religious freedom. Civilians believing or not and religions have equal rights and responsibilities. We treat all the religions equally. China protects all the religious rights of all religious groups, encourages strengthening of cooperation among religions. In China believers and no believers they can respect each other and co-exist harmoniously."

The actual situation of religious freedoms in China according to the 2013 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report includes the following:

    "The Chinese government continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief. Religious groups and individuals considered to threaten national security or social harmony, or whose practices are deemed beyond the vague legal definition of "normal religious activities," are illegal and face severe restrictions, harassment, detention, imprisonment, and other abuses. Religious freedom conditions for Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims remain particularly acute, as the government broadened its efforts to discredit and imprison religious leaders, control the selection of clergy, ban certain religious gatherings, and control the distribution of religious literature by members of these groups. The government also detained over a thousand unregistered Protestants in the past year, closed "illegal" meeting points, and prohibited public worship activities. Unregistered Catholic clergy remain in detention or disappeared. Falun Gong face some of the most intense and violent forms of persecution. Adherents are tortured and mistreated in detention and are pursued by an extralegal security force chartered to stamp out "evil cults." The Chinese government also continues to harass, detain, intimidate, and disbar attorneys who defend members of vulnerable religious groups."

At UN Rights Council, member China falsifies credentials on religious freedom Development

March 12, 2014

Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese president

The UN's top rights body Human Rights Council is currently holding its 25th session in Geneva, Switzerland. On March 12, 2014 the UN Human Rights Council held an "interactive dialogue" with Heiner Bielefeldt, UN's Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief.

Sudan, whose president Omar al-Bashir has been charged with three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups (non-Arab black population of Sudan) by the International Criminal Court and remains at large, made the following statement:

    "Sudan is a country that is characterized by diversity of races, cultures; the peaceful coexistence between the various components of the society reflects the great tolerance of its people. ..Religious tolerance in Sudan is a reality evidenced by mosques and churches, educational and social religious institutions...We encourage all countries, organizations and actors in civil society to intensify their efforts to promote mutual understanding and expand the horizons of dialogue...and work on establishing a climate of tolerance and coexistence between different religions and peoples."

Genocidal Sudan preaches "religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence" at UN's top rights body Development

March 11, 2014

The UN 's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, has no conditions for membership - so human rights violators are keen to run and are elected to direct "human rights" attention away from themselves. The NGO Freedom House carefully ranks countries free, partly free and not free using a detailed analysis of political and civil liberties. Currently there are 11 countries with the worst possible rating of "not free" that are members of the Council. One of them is Cuba.

Cuba was elected to serve a 3-year term on November 12, 2013 when 148 UN member states, out of 193 UN General Assembly members, voted in favor of Cuba's candidacy. In fact, this is Cuba's third term on the UN Council since its establishment in 2006, amounting to 6 years serving as a UN human rights authority, to date.

This is just some of what the most recent State Department report says about human rights in Cuba:

    "The principal human rights abuses were abridgement of the right of citizens to change the government and the use of government threats, extrajudicial physical violence, intimidation, mobs, harassment, and detentions to prevent free expression and peaceful assembly. The following additional abuses continued: harsh prison conditions, arbitrary arrest, selective prosecution, and denial of fair trial. Authorities interfered with privacy, engaging in pervasive monitoring of private communications. The government did not respect freedom of speech and press, severely restricted internet access and maintained a monopoly on media outlets, circumscribed academic freedom, and maintained significant restrictions on the ability of religious groups to meet and worship. The government refused to recognize independent human rights groups or permit them to function legally. In addition, the government continued to prevent workers from forming independent unions and otherwise exercising their labor rights. Most human rights abuses were official acts committed at the direction of the government. Impunity for the perpetrators remained widespread."
The member of the UN's top human rights body.

UN Human Rights Council member Cuba guilty of violations of fundamental human rights Development

The UN 's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, has no conditions for membership - so human rights violators are keen to run and are elected to direct "human rights" attention away from themselves. The NGO Freedom House carefully ranks countries free, partly free and not free using a detailed analysis of political and civil liberties. Currently there are 11 countries with the worst possible rating of "not free" that are members of the Council. One of them is the Congo.

The Congo was elected to serve a 3-year term on May 20, 2011 when 176 UN member states, out of 193 UN General Assembly members, voted in favor of the Congo's candidacy. This is the Congo's first term on the UN Council since its establishment in 2006.

This is just some of what the most recent State Department report says about human rights in the Congo:

    "Major human rights problems included beatings and torture of detainees by security forces, poor prison conditions, and lengthy pretrial detention. Other human rights abuses included: lack of due judicial process; arbitrary arrest; political prisoners; infringement of citizens' privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association; refugee abuse; restrictions on the right of citizens to change their government peacefully; restrictions on the activities of opposition political groups; official corruption and lack of transparency...
    [T]he government did not effectively enforce the law [against rape]...Rape was common... Domestic violence against women, including rape and beatings, was widespread but rarely reported. There were no specific provisions in the law outlawing spousal battery... Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)... still occurred."
The member of the UN's top human rights body.

Rape is commonplace in the Congo, a member of the UN's top rights body Development

"A Saudi court Sunday jailed an Islamist for eight years on charges of inciting protests, mocking the monarch and criticising the security services on Twitter, official news agency SPA reported. The defendant, who was not identified, had been convicted of inciting 'families of those arrested for security reasons to protest by publishing Tweets and videos on YouTube,' justice ministry spokesman Fahd al-Bakran was quoted by SPA as saying. Prosecutors also found the defendant guilty of 'mocking' King Abdullah, Saudi scholars and the judiciary, as well as criticising security services for arresting 'promoters of extremist ideology.' In addition to the jail sentence, the court banned the defendant from travelling for eight years and posting on social media."

Saudi Arabia Jails Islamist for 8 Years for Twitter Protest Call Document

March 10, 2014

The UN 's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, has no conditions for membership - so human rights violators are keen to run and are elected to direct "human rights" attention away from themselves. The NGO Freedom House carefully ranks countries free, partly free and not free using a detailed analysis of political and civil liberties. Currently there are 11 countries with the worst possible rating of "not free" that are members of the Council. One of them is China.

China was elected to serve a 3-year term on November 12, 2013 when 176 UN member states, out of 193 UN General Assembly members, voted in favor of China's candidacy. In fact, this is China's third term on the UN Council since its establishment in 2006, amounting to 6 years serving as a UN human rights authority, to date.

This is just some of what the most recent State Department report says about human rights in China:

    "Security forces committed human rights abuses. Repression and coercion, particularly against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy and public interest issues, ethnic minorities, and law firms that took on sensitive cases, were routine. Increasingly officials employed harassment, intimidation, and prosecution of family members and associates to retaliate against rights advocates and defenders. Individuals and groups seen as politically sensitive by authorities continued to face tight restrictions on their freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel. Authorities resorted to extralegal measures such as enforced disappearance and strict house arrest, including house arrest of family members, to prevent public expression of independent opinions. Authorities implemented new measures to control and censor the internet and particularly targeted bloggers with large numbers of followers, leading some to close their online accounts. Public-interest law firms continued to face harassment, disbarment of legal staff, and closure.
    As in previous years, citizens did not have the right to change their government, and citizens had limited forms of redress against official abuse. Other human rights problems during the year included extrajudicial killings, including executions without due process; enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention, including prolonged illegal detentions at unofficial holding facilities known as 'black jails'; torture and coerced confessions of prisoners; detention and harassment of lawyers, journalists, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others who sought to exercise peacefully their rights under the law; a lack of due process in judicial proceedings; political control of courts and judges; closed trials; the use of administrative detention; restrictions on freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel; failure to protect refugees and asylum seekers; pressure on other countries to return PRC citizens forcibly; widespread corruption; intense scrutiny of and restrictions on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); discrimination against women, minorities, and persons with disabilities; a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases resulted in forced abortion (sometimes at advanced stages of pregnancy) or forced sterilization."
The member of the UN's top human rights body.

Despite Gross Human Rights Violations, China Is a Member of UN Human Rights Council Development

Algerian women

The UN 's top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, has no conditions for membership - so human rights violators are keen to run and are elected to direct "human rights" attention away from themselves. The NGO Freedom House carefully ranks countries free, partly free and not free using a detailed analysis of political and civil liberties. Currently there are 11 countries with the worst possible rating of "not free" that are members of the Council. One of them is Algeria.

Algeria was elected to serve a 3-year term on November 12, 2013 when 164 UN member states, out of 193 UN General Assembly members, voted in favor of Algeria's candidacy. In fact, this is Algeria's second term on the UN Council since its establishment in 2006.

This is just some of what the most recent State Department report says about human rights in Algeria:

    "The three most significant continuing human rights problems were restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, lack of judicial independence, and overuse of pretrial detention. Other human rights concerns were limitations on the ability of citizens to change their government, excessive use of force by police...Widespread corruption accompanied reports of limited government transparency... The law... does not address spousal rape... Claims filed by women for rape and sexual abuse continued to face judicial obstacles...Domestic violence was widespread. The penal code states that a person must be "incapacitated" for 15 days and a woman claiming domestic abuse must visit a "forensic physician" for an examination to document injuries."
The member of the UN's top human rights body.

Abuse Of Women is rampant in Algeria though country is a member of UN rights council Development

UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has objected to the top candidate proposed by a cross-regional group to replace Richard Falk as the UN special rapporteur on Israel. Pakistan, acting on behalf of the OIC, has circulated the following letter on March 6, 2014:

"Excellency,
I am writing this letter to you in my capacity as the OIC Coordinator on human rights and humanitarian issues. I would like to invite your attention towards recently recommended list of the mandate holders by the Consultative Group...
Unfortunately, the Consultative Group has recommended the name of a candidate as a Special Rapporteur on the 'situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967' who has no expertise nor relevant experience of the Middle East situation. This recommendation of the Consultative Group is a violation of the IB package. It is, therefore, unacceptable to the OIC."

Islamic states try to hold up Human Rights Council appointment because of absence of known anti-Israel bias Development

From top, left to right: Maryam Shafipour, Bahareh Hedayat, Faran Hesami, Fariba Kamal Abadi, Hakimeh Shokri, Leva Khanjani, Mahvash Shahriari, Maryam Naghash Zargaran, Nooshin Khadem, Zhinoos Rahimi.

"The Iranian Judiciary should release student activists Shafipour and Bahareh Hedayat, along with the eight other women held in Tehran's Evin Prison's political prisoners' ward Nesvan, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. 'There is no justification for these young women to languish in prison for precisely the kind of positive engagement that International Women's Day is meant to promote,' said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Campaign. A student activist and member of Mehdi Karroubi's 2009 election campaign, Maryam Shafipour was arrested on July 27, 2013. On March 1, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced her to seven years' imprisonment and two years' ban on 'cyberspace, media, and press activities.' Hedayat, a student and women's rights activist, has been serving a nine-year prison term since December 2009... Maryam Shafipour's recent sentencing for the political charges of 'propaganda against the regime' and 'assembly and collusion against national security' included an unheard of ban on participating in cyberspace, a dangerous precedent for political activists and dissidents in Iran."

Release Shafipour, Hedayat, and All Other Women Prisoners of Conscience Document