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Resources updated between Monday, August 11, 2014 and Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 16, 2014

An injured Yazidi boy

"Islamic insurgents have 'massacred' some 80 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority in the country's north, a Yazidi lawmaker and Kurdish officials said on Friday.

The news came as tribal leaders from Iraq's Sunni heartland offered their conditional backing for a new government that hopes to contain sectarian bloodshed and stop the advance of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), which now calls itself the Islamic State (IS).

'They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,' senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters. 'We believe it's because of their creed: convert or be killed.'

A Yazidi lawmaker and another senior Kurdish official also said the killings had taken place and that the women of the village were kidnapped.

Yazidi parliamentarian Mahama Khalil said he had spoken to villagers who had survived the attack. They said the killings took place during a one-hour period.

The resident of a nearby village said an ISIS fighter from the same area gave him details of the bloodshed.

'He told me that (ISIS) had spent five days trying to persuade villagers to convert to Islam and that a long lecture was delivered about the subject today,' said the villager. 'He then said the men were gathered and shot dead. The women and girls were probably taken to Tal Afar because that is where the foreign fighters are.'"

Dozens of Yazidis 'massacred' in northern Iraq Document

August 15, 2014

Boko Haram

"Suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said on Friday.

The kidnappings come four months after Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok.

Several witnesses who fled after the Sunday's raid on Doron Baga, a sandy fishing village near the shores of Lake Chad, said the militants had burned several houses and that as many as 97 people were unaccounted for...

'They were shouting 'Allah Akbar' (God is greatest), shooting sporadically. There was confusion everywhere. They started parking our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whoever disobey them. Everybody was scared.'"

Boko Haram abduct dozens of boys and men in Nigeria raid, witnesses say Document

August 12, 2014

UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland

On July 28, 2014 the UN Mission of Israel in Geneva sent a letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council regarding "multiple irregularities regarding preparation" of the special session held on July 23, 2014. The special session of the UN top human rights body commissioned the latest anti-Israel "inquiry" to condemn Israel's exercise of the right of self-defense in Gaza. Some of the rules breached during the session's preparation include the following:

  • "LETTER OF REQUEST
    According to article 121, the request to hold a Special Session should originate from a letter of request. In actuality such a letter was never circulated, nor was it sent to Israel, the concerned State. Further it was only published on the extranet at the express request of Israel, less than 24 hours before the Special Session was held.
  • SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST
    According to Rule 6 the Human Rights Council shall hold Special Session at the request of a member of the Council with the support of one third of its Members. The key which triggers action is the request, together with the 16 members supporting this request; however, one of these requirements was not met.
    We received Note Verbale on July 18. On July 21 at 19:10, a second Note Verbale regarding the Session was sent informing recipients of a change in the Members supporting the request. It further stated that the delegation of Burkina Faso had signed 'the' request, giving impression it had stepped in to replace the withdrawal of Benin in order to keep a continuum of procedural correctness.
    In reality, this apparent "swap" did not occur. There was actually a gap of several hours between one Member's withdrawal and the other Member's communication of support. To be clear, there was no quorum to keep the request valid and no country to instantly replace Benin. The very act of Benin withdrawing served to cancel the action to hold a Special Session, ipso-facto.
    The Secretariat should have communicated, in a transparent and timely manner, that request presented on July 18 was therefore voided due to not meeting the minimum quorum required to support the request. Additionally, it should have issued communication informing that the subsequent occurrence of a new country joining a new list of sponsors (hours later) had generated a new request, dated July 21.
  • DATE OF THE SPECIAL SESSION
    Article 122 states that the Special Session should be convened after the formal receipt of the request, in principle not earlier than two working days. With the Note Verbale communicating the request on July 21, at 19:l0 hrs, the Secretariat failed to explain in a transparent or timely manner why was t till considering July 18 as the date of the formal receipt of the request, or holding the Session less than 48 hrs later.
  • PRINCIPLE TO INFORM THE CONCERNED STATE
    Lastly, to complement the obligation to communicate in a timely and transparent manner and extrapolating application of Human Rights Council Resolution 5/2, Article 13, which establishes the principle of ensuring that the concerned government authorities are the first recipients of communications concerning this State, Israel was never treated as such. It was only due to Israel's proactivity and insistence that it managed to find out critical information cone n g the Special Session. The Secretariat did not communicate diligently, out of its own initiative with the concerned State."

UN "Human Rights" Council broke its own rules to hold Israel-bashing session, create "Goldstone II" inquiry Development

August 11, 2014

Doudou Dične, member of the newly-appointed UN "Goldstone II" Commission

Doudou Dične has just been appointed as a member of the UN's newest anti-Israel "inquiry" which was commissioned in July to condemn Israel's exercise of the right of self-defense in Gaza. Diene's anti-Israel bias is well known to the UN - undoubtedly one of the reasons he was selected by the President of the UN Human Rights Council, (who is himself a Muslim from a member state of the Islamic bloc of states, Baudelaire Ndong Ella from Gabon). Back in 2008, Diene was the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Diene produced a report in which he claimed anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism. In fact, he said, anti-Zionism is a trumped-up charge intended to subvert criticism of Israel. To the UN, the supposed right of self-determination is all about Palestinians. Anti-Zionism is, of course, the self-determination of the Jewish people:

"The Special Rapporteur has observed that the systematic equation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism has the effect of making it more difficult to combat anti-Semitism. The equation of a political ideology, Zionism, with a form of racism reinforces the essentialist and reductive vision characteristic of a deep current of anti-Semitism denying the political and ideological diversity of the Jewish people and manifesting itself also in relation to Zionism. In its most political form, this identification leads to the characterization as anti-Semitic of any criticism of the State of Israel, in particular the different facets of its occupation of the Palestinian territories as defined by the United Nations. This tendency to construe opposition to a political ideology and the political actions of a State as racism targeted at a whole people is not only a denial of the democratic legitimacy of political criticism but also blurs the analysis and understanding of anti-Semitism, in particular any objective assessment of the anti-Semitism entering into anti-Zionism and criticism of the State of Israel."

New UN "expert" on UN's new Israel-bashing "inquiry" says anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. Development

Photo of boy holding the decapitated head of a soldier.

"The boy, wearing a cap, checked pants and a blue shirt, struggles with both arms to hold up the head in the picture reportedly posted on the Twitter account of a Sydney man who is now an Islamic State fighter. The shocking photo, taken in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, is believed to be that of Khaled Sharrouf's son; posted with the words, 'Thats my boy!' Mr Abbott said the picture was further evidence of the barbarism of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL or ISIS. 'I believe there are more photographs in newspapers in Australia today of the kind of hideous atrocities that this group is capable of,' he told ABC radio on Monday..."

In Syria, Child Holds Severed Head as Proud Pa Snaps Photo Document

Palais Wilson, headquarters of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland

"Although far from central to the ongoing Hamas-Israel hostilities, the United Nations has nonetheless inflicted substantial damage to its own reputation and credibility. So outrageously have several U.N. institutions behaved, before and during the current Gaza crisis, that the United States can no longer ignore or excuse it. Congress must act to defund U.N. bodies that perform unacceptably - thereby denying them the resources and the legitimacy of American support and putting other U.N. agencies on notice they could face a similar fate.

Three U.N. agencies in particular have demonstrated serious, sustained bias against both Israel and the United States, starting with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. In recent weeks, based on press reports and Hamas accusations, Pillay has repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes because of Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza, saying, 'None of this appears to me to be accidental.'...

Next, on July 23, the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) voted to conduct yet another inquiry into Israel's struggle against Hamas terrorism. United Nations staff estimate this inquiry to cost over $2.3 million, of which the United States will pay 22 percent...

Finally, there is the U.N. Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA), which, contrary to every principle of refugee assistance, has helped preserve Palestinian 'refugee' status as a hereditary entitlement over generations. Three times in late July, UNRWA was forced to admit publicly that it 'discovered' stockpiles of Hamas rockets stored in UNRWA's Gaza schools (now closed for vacation)...

These failures are not simply one-time mistakes but reflect far-deeper, inherent flaws in the U.N. system. Given Obama's multilateralist sympathies, there is no chance he will do anything meaningful to rectify this conduct. Instead, Congress must investigate and then take the necessary steps to dissociate the United States from the United Nations' unacceptable behavior regarding Gaza.

We should immediately withdraw from the Human Rights Council and stop all U.S. funding to the U.N. agencies described above. So doing will strip them of American political legitimacy and at least weaken if not cripple them financially by depriving them of the considerable U.S. contribution. Despite the conventional wisdom, the United States is not legally obligated to pay for U.N. activities it deems objectionable any more than we would be legally obligated to pay 100 percent of U.N. costs if the other members voted to make us do so."

Congress must defund the worst of the United Nations' institutions Article

Hungry and thirsty: A Yazidi girl

"Women and children have been buried alive in mass graves by the fanatics terrorising Iraq, it was claimed last night.

Up to 500 members of the ancient Yazidi sect have suffered the appalling fate, according to an Iraqi minister.

Fighters from the Islamic State group are also accused of kidnapping 300 women to use for sex or as domestic slaves.

Some 150,000 Yazidis fled their homes after the militants overran their main town of Sinjar in northern Iraq last week...

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who is Iraq's human rights minister, said that he had seen pictures of militants cheering and waving their weapons over lines of dead Yazidis.

'We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic State have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,' Mr al-Sudani told reporters.

'Some of the victims, including women and children, were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar.'

Tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees who fled the militants' advance found themselves trapped on barren Mount Sinjar last week.

Scores of children, women and elderly people died of dehydration and starvation as their food and water supplies ran out in scorching temperatures."

Waving their weapons and cheering, Islamic State jihadis stood over bodies and celebrated as they buried 500 Yazidis alive Document