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Resources updated between Monday, April 24, 2017 and Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 30, 2017

Andres Kompass, a UN whistleblower who exposed sexual abuse by peacekeepers and was suspended and condemned by the UN (File photo)

"By law, the U.S. can withhold 15 percent of its contributions to international organizations, including those under the United Nations' banner, unless the secretary of State deems they're enforcing policies that uphold 'best practices' to protect whistleblowers.

But for far too long, Turtle Bay has skated on its treatment of staffers who step up to report wrongdoing, says U.N. watchdog Brett Schaefer of The Heritage Foundation...

Mr. Schaefer recalls a case in 2015 of a senior official with the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who reported on alleged sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. For that, Anders Kompass was pilloried and pressured to resign before an independent panel exonerated him. Having endured enough of this U.N. treatment, however, Mr. Kompass resigned anyway.

Nevertheless, former Secretary of State John Kerry gave U.N. agencies a clean bill of health with regard to the whistleblower standard except for the World Intellectual Property Organization, according to Schaefer...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson needs to restore U.S. credibility by enforcing, to the letter of the law, America's whistleblower standard at the U.N."

Watching the U.N.: Enforce Whistleblower Law Article

Illustrative photo

Three 24-year-olds have been sentenced to 12 years in prison each in Iran for posting critical commentary about politics and religion on the popular Telegram messaging network.

"These guys were posting articles and cartoons on Facebook and Telegram that criticized the political and religious situation, and also shared material from others," an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "But most of the accusations against them are related to their posts on a Telegram channel where political and religious topics were discussed."

Alireza Tavakoli, Mohammad Mehdi Zamanzadeh and Mohammad Mohajer were arrested in Tehran during the summer of 2016 by Iran's Intelligence Ministry.

Tavakoli was arrested on August 2, Zamanzadeh on September 3 and Mohajer on September 10.

The internet and social media apps are heavily restricted and censored in Iran, with hardliners in the government viewing any form of internet freedom as a threat to the sanctity of the Islamic Republic.

They were held in Evin Prison's Ward 209, controlled by the Intelligence Ministry, where they were interrogated without access to legal council and then transferred to Ward 8, the source told CHRI.

They were tried at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati on April 10, 2017.

On April 21, the men were each handed 12-year prison sentences for allegedly "insulting the sacred" (five years), "assembly and collusion against national security" (five years) and "insulting the supreme leader" (two years) in posts on Telegram.

In December 2016, President Hassan Rouhani signed the Charter for Citizen's Rights, which states the government should "guarantee freedom of speech and expression" within the limits of the law.

According to Article 26: "Every citizen has a right to freedom of speech and expression. This right shall be exercised within the limits prescribed by law. Citizens have the right to freely seek, receive and publish views and information pertaining to various issues, using any means of communication. The government shall, according to the law, guarantee freedom of speech and expression, especially in the mass media, cyberspace, including in newspapers, magazines, books, cinemas, radio and television, social networks and the likes."

Three Young Iranian Men to Serve 12 Years in Prison For "Insulting" Social Media Posts Document

April 29, 2017

Former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor (File photo)

"...UNESCO is working to rewrite history and erase the Jewish people's historical connection to their eternal capital, Jerusalem. In an era of fake news, UNESCO is trying to impose a fake history, and is doing so at the most defying timing.

On Monday, as the State of Israel marks the memorial day for its fallen soldiers and victims of terror, remembering the tens of thousands of men and women who gave their lives to defend the state, including thousands who were killed in the battles for Jerusalem in Israel's wars and in terror attacks, UNESCO will vote on a resolution stating that any attempt by the State of Israel to enforce its sovereignty in Jerusalem-not just in east Jerusalem but in all parts of the city-is illegal.

How should we deal with such a false attack, at a bad timing and on an international level?

First of all, we must expose the facts, before those who say that Israel is creating much ado about nothing stand up again. The suggested resolution explicitly states that "any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever." There is no room for interpretations or an apologetic angle, there is no room for downplaying the resolution because it fails to mention the Temple Mount. UNESCO is trying to determine loud and clear that sovereign Israel's actions in its capital have no legal validity.

Second, we must act!...

The diplomatic counter-terrorism is based on three simple and ongoing stages which complement each other: Intelligence and warning, leverages of pressure and attack.

Intelligence and warning: The state must not be caught with its pants down, and it should detect anti-Israel activities while they are still making their first steps and act against them from the very beginning.

Leverages of pressure and attack: As soon as a diplomatic danger is discovered, the state must detect possible leverages of pressure and attack and respond immediately-whether independently or by creating coalitions with countries which share our interests..."

UNESCO trying to impose a fake history Article

April 28, 2017

UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (File photo)

A UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been suspended over allegations that he fathered a child with an underage girl.

Under Congolese law, anyone under 18 is considered a minor.

The Romanian military observer is among five peacekeepers accused of acts of sexual abuse and exploitation in the first three months of 2017, a senior UN official told the BBC.

UN peacekeeping missions have been hit by a raft of child sex abuse scandals.

The underage girl involved in the first case has been put under the care of the UN children's agency Unicef, Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline team for the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (Monusco) told the BBC.

All the other cases involve adults.

Two of the complaints come from women who are demanding paternal recognition from the peacekeepers they had sex with, Ms Ndao added.

She said that one of the women has already had her baby, while the other is still pregnant.

Two South African soldiers and two non-military Monusco officials, from Burundi and Niger, are among the accused.

All have been suspended pending the outcome of investigations.

Other complaints about UN peacekeepers which have been received and are under consideration, implicate police officers and soldiers from Senegal, Uruguay and South Africa, Monusco spokesman Charles Bambara said on Wednesday.

UN and French forces faced multiple allegations of child rape in the Central African Republic, a scandal which was compounded by allegations of a high-level cover-up.

DR Congo: UN peacekeeper fathered child with underage girl Document

Dainius Puras, UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (File photo)

Chronic Human Rights Abusers to Review GOP Health Care Plan at United Nations Article

Senators Marco Rubio and Christopher Coons, who led the effort to gain full support of the U.S. Senate for the letter (File photo)

"All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter Thursday asking U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body.

The unanimous message notes that the United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations but does not threaten the withholding of U.S. dues. Still, it uses strong language to insist that the United Nations rectify what the senators said is unequal treatment of Israel on human rights and other grounds.

"Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing," the letter said...

The senators asked Guterres, who assumed leadership of the world body in January, to seek such institutional changes as the removal of a standing agenda item for U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees sessions that has been used as a forum to denounce Israel. The senators also want a change to the rules for membership on the human rights panel to broaden participation beyond what U.S. officials have said is often a narrow and self-interested group of countries.

The unusual unanimity expands on the fierce denunciation of U.N. treatment of Israel mounted by Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, this year..."

All 100 senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the U.N. Article

April 27, 2017

Knife used in the attack, April 26, 2017

IDF Soldiers Thwart Second Stabbing Attack in Nablus Area in Two Days Document

April 26, 2017

Israeli troops (File photo)

Israeli Troops Foil Palestinian Stabbing Attack Document

April 25, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump (File photo)

Trump Said Bidding to Defeat New Anti-Israel UNESCO Resolution Article

April 24, 2017