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Resources updated between Monday, November 24, 2014 and Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 28, 2014

Makarim Wibisono, UN "Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories"

"In the last two months, the UN's special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Makarim Wibisono, has not issued any statements condemning terror attacks that killed Israelis in the last few months, including the Har Nof murder of four rabbis and a Druse policeman last week.

Similarly UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Leilani Farha, has not commented on the hundreds of homes Egypt has destroyed along the Rafah border in the last month to prevent Hamas from digging smuggling tunnels.

Both rapporteurs are under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council. On Tuesday they issued a joint statement calling on the Israel to 'end its punitive demolition of Palestinian homes in response to alleged acts of violence by Palestinians.'...

Israel's mission to the UN in Geneva on Thursday said in response, 'We regret that, despite the escalating trend of family evacuations and house demolitions throughout the entire Middle East region, the special rapporteur on adequate housing has never commented on the issue before, but deemed it necessary to make a statement regretting the demolition of the house of a terrorist who killed in cold blood a three-month-old baby, a young woman, and injured six others.'

Israel's mission noted that the rapporteurs ended their press release by asking Israel to place human rights at the center of its policy- making so that the cycle of violence could end.

'By saying this, the mandate holders have turned a blind eye to terrorism, incitement, celebrations of violence and encouragement of extremism carried out by Palestinians and their leaders,' Israel's UN mission said."

Israel accuses UN investigators of turning blind eye to terrorism Article

Wasilat Tasiu

"The father of a 14-year-old child bride accused of murdering her husband said Thursday he was appealing to a Nigerian court to spare his daughter the death sentence.

"Wasilat Tasi'u is on trial for the murder of her 35-year-old husband, Umar Sani, who died after eating food that Tasi'u allegedly laced with rat poison.

"'We are appealing to the judge to consider Wasilat's plea,' her father, Isyaku Tasi'u, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

"On Wednesday witnesses told the High Court in Gezawa, a town 60 miles outside Nigeria's second largest city of Kano, that Tasi'u killed her husband two weeks after their wedding in April. Three others allegedly died after eating the poisoned meal.

"The prosecution, led by Lamido Soron-Dinki, senior state council from the Kano State Ministry of Justice, is seeking the death penalty.

"The case calls into question the legality of trying a 14-year-old for murder under criminal law and the rights of child brides, who are common in the poverty-stricken, predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria region.

"'She was married to a man that she didn't love. She protested but her parents forced her to marry him,' Zubeida Nagee, a women's rights activist in Kano, told AP. Nagee and other activists have written a letter of protest to the Kano state deputy governor.

"Nagee said Tasi'u was a victim of systematic abuse endured by millions of girls in the region. Activists say the blend of traditional customs, Islamic law and Nigeria's constitutional law poses a challenge when advocating for the rights of young girls in Nigeria.

"Justice Mohammed Yahaya adjourned the court until December 22. Tasi'u is in state juvenile custody."

Death Penalty Sought For Child Bride In Nigeria Document

November 26, 2014

Veena Malik took part in the staged wedding with her husband Asad Bashir Khan on a morning show

"A Pakistani actress has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for blasphemy after appearing in a mock TV wedding. Veena Malik took part in the staged marriage on a morning show while musicians sang a devotional song about the wedding of the Prophet Muhammad's daughter. Her husband, Asad Bashir Khan, and the chief of the country's biggest media group, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, were also handed 26-year jail terms."

Glamorous actress is handed 26-year jail sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan for appearing in mock TV wedding Document

November 25, 2014

Zeid Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

"The following statement was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, in Geneva on 25 November 2014...

'I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in United States prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row.

It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems. I urge the United States authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.

Concerns about institutionalized discrimination in the United States have repeatedly been raised, by respected national bodies and by United Nations bodies monitoring the implementation of international human rights treaties, ratified by the United States.'"

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights weighs on Ferguson, suggests "institutionalized discrimination in the United States" Development

A man is taken away by police officers in Mong Kok district of Hong Kong

"Hong Kong authorities on Tuesday arrested pro-democracy demonstrators who refused to comply with a court order to clear a protest site in the city's Mong Kok district, scene of previous violent confrontations with police and angry mobs.

"Police took away about a dozen protesters after warning people not to interfere with workers and bailiffs enforcing the court order to remove obstructions from the site, one of three that activists have occupied for nearly two months.

"Protesters initially put up no resistance as workers in white hard hats and gloves tore down barricades, moving wooden pallets and other junk into the middle of an intersection to be taken away in a truck that had pulled up.

"But as the authorities pushed down the 50-meter (164-foot) occupied stretch of Argyle Street to remove tents and other debris, they faced defiance from protesters, who used delaying tactics such as asking for more time to pack up their belongings.

"Pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung was among those taken away by officers to waiting police vans.

Traffic on the previously occupied section of Argyle Street - which had been blocked by the protesters for two months - was flowing in one of the four lanes by late afternoon.

"Protesters have been camped out on major thoroughfares in three areas of Hong Kong since Sept. 28 demanding greater democracy. The standoff has continued with no end in sight as neither the government nor the student-led protesters have shown any willingness to compromise.

"'I'll continue to fight for true democracy,' said housewife Candy Chan, 50, who visited Mong Kok regularly to support the protesters. 'We're fighting because we want the government to come out and respond to our demands.'

"A crowd of people supporting the police clearance operation applauded from the sidelines.

"Businessman Andrew Tang said he traveled across Victoria Harbor to watch the barricade removal. He said the protesters were not realistic in their demands to China's communist rulers in Beijing and miscalculated by not withdrawing earlier.

"'The Communist Party will never surrender,' he said as he gave a thumbs-up to the police..."

Hong Kong Police Arrest Demonstrators at Protest Site Document

Saudi Arabian restaurants ban single women from entering because of their 'mentally unstable' behavior such as flirting, smoking and using mobile phones

"Restaurants in Saudi Arabia have banned single women from entering because of their 'mentally unstable' behaviour such as using flirting, smoking and using mobile phones.

Several restaurants have put up signs that say 'women are not allowed' in another blow for women's rights in the conservative Muslim kingdom."

Saudi Arabian restaurants ban single women from entering because of their 'mentally unstable' behavior Document

Luay Shehab, UNRWA school principal in Nablus, shows photos of dead Israelis on his Facebook page. The caption reads: Oh Allah, make the number of their dead as [every time a Muslim says] Amen

More UNRWA Employees, Including School Principals, Laud Jerusalem Synagogue Slaughter Article

"About 100 people were slaughtered last week in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the latest massacre to shake the restive region, lawmakers told AFP on Monday.

The carnage took place on Thursday near Beni in the North Kivu province, where mainly Muslim Ugandan rebels have been blamed for killing more than 200 civilians in gruesome machete attacks since October.

'I have a figure of 95 bodies buried in a common grave,' as well as 'nine others that were shown to authorities in a morgue,' opposition member of parliament Juma Balikwisha told AFP."

100 killed in new DRC massacre Document

Ron Prosor, Ambassador of Israel

"The fact of the matter is that when members of the international community speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fog descends to cloud all logic and moral clarity. The result isn't realpolitik, its surrealpolitik.

The world's unrelenting focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an injustice to tens of millions of victims of tyranny and terrorism in the Middle East. As we speak, Yazidis, Bahai, Kurds, Christians and Muslims are being executed and expelled by radical extremists at a rate of 1,000 people per month.

How many resolutions did you pass last week to address this crisis? And how many special sessions did you call for? The answer is zero. What does this say about international concern for human life? Not much, but it speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of the international community.

I stand before you to speak the truth. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free - and they are all citizens of Israel.

Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court.

Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.

Nonetheless, nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticize Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression...

The European nations claim to stand for Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité - freedom, equality, and brotherhood – but nothing could be farther from the truth.

I often hear European leaders proclaim that Israel has the right to exist in secure borders.

That's very nice. But I have to say – it makes about as much sense as me standing here and proclaiming Sweden's right to exist in secure borders.

When it comes to matters of security, Israel learned the hard way that we cannot rely on others – certainly not Europe...

As we came into the United Nations, we passed the flags of all 193 member States. If you take the time to count, you will discover that there are 15 flags with a crescent and 25 flags with a cross. And then there is one flag with a Jewish Star of David. Amidst all the nations of the world there is one state – just one small nation state for the Jewish people.

And for some people, that is one too many.

As I stand before you today I am reminded of all the years when Jewish people paid for the world's ignorance and indifference in blood. Those days are no more.

We will never apologize for being a free and independent people in our sovereign state. And we will never apologize for defending ourselves.

To the nations that continue to allow prejudice to prevail over truth, I say "J'accuse."

I accuse you of hypocrisy. I accuse you of duplicity.

I accuse you of lending legitimacy to those who seek to destroy our State.

I accuse you of speaking about Israel's right of self-defense in theory, but denying it in practice.

And I accuse you of demanding concessions from Israel, but asking nothing of the Palestinians.

In the face of these offenses, the verdict is clear. You are not for peace and you are not for the Palestinian people. You are simply against Israel."

Statement by Israel at the UN General Assembly on the "Question of Palestine" Development

November 24, 2014

Scene of Jaffa Gate stabbing in Jerusalem

A Jewish man in his 40s is in moderate-to-serious condition after being stabbed in the upper torso Monday evening, while another man sustained light wounds, police said, when both were attacked by a group of Arab assailants near the Old City's Jaffa Gate.

"According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police "strongly believe the stabbing was a terrorist attack."

"'The victims were surrounded by a group of Arab men, and one was stabbed and the other was lightly injured, although it is not clear if he was stabbed as well,' Rosenfeld said shortly following the attack.

"Police arrested one of the suspects and continue to search for the others after they fled the scene, he said, adding that the stabbing victim managed to walk to a nearby police station where he received first aid before being rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

"'Police continue to search the Old City for the other suspects and hope to make arrests soon,' Rosenfeld said..."

2 Jewish Men Wounded Outside Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate In Suspected Terrorist Attack Document

Residents of Tabit Village in North Darfur, Sudan

The African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), directly involved in a recent cover-up of mass rapes committed by the Sudanese security forces, is hard at work on an image makeover. Instead of focusing on bringing to justice the perpetrators of the latest horrific crime, and exposing its own complicity, it is styling itself as a women's rights champion for the UN presses.

On November 22, 2014 the UN issued a press release hailing the UNAMID for holding "a Global Open Day forum bringing together more than 140 women representing the five states of Darfur to discuss the role of women in peace." According to the press release "The event, convened in El Fasher, North Darfur, on 20 November, stressed the significance of ... special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse...At the conclusion of the meeting, participants presented recommendations that included...capacity-building programmes targeted at empowering Darfuri women economically and socially."

The story is a far cry from UNAMID's sordid involvement in covering-up recent atrocities committed by Al-Bashir's genocidal regime, despite its "core mandate" being "the protection of civilians."

  • On November 2, 2014 first reported that
      "More than 200 women and girls were collectively raped in their village on Friday evening, reportedly by Sudanese soldiers belonging to a military garrison south of El Fasher in North Darfur. 80 of the victims were schoolgirls...One of the elders in Tabit village told Radio Dabanga that the commander of the military garrison...came to the village...claiming that one of his soldiers went missing on Thursday evening. He gave the villagers until sunset to retrieve the missing soldier. 'We were caught by surprise when soldiers surrounded Tabit at 8 pm,' the village elder told. 'They beat the people with rifle butts and chased all of the men outside the village. Then they started to rape about 200 women and girls, which lasted from Friday evening until 4 am on Saturday. 'They also prevented us from transferring the wounded to El Fasher city, the Unamid base, or to Shangil Tobaya,' the witness stressed."
    According to Eric Reeves of "While the Janjaweed and other militia and paramilitary forces have many times been reported to have engaged in mass rape, and individual members of the SAF [Sudan Armed Forces] have been guilty of rape, never before has an entire SAF army unit engaged in an orgy of sexual violence, directed against an entire non-Arab/African village population."
  • At the same time Radio Dabanga recorded testimonies of several victims and two local leaders which "confirmed that government forces raped around 200 women and girls on Friday 31 October, when the soldiers were looking for a comrade who had gone missing in the area." In addition, a delegation of five members of the Coordination Committee of Refugees and Displaced Persons in Darfur also visited the village and reported that "after two days of investigation" when they "met 60 women and girls, we looked into their eyes while they told us they were raped by soldiers from 8 pm [on Friday 31 October, ed.] until 5 am."
  • Moreover, the Sudanese commander admitted that his soldiers committed mass rapes. On November 3 reported that "The commander acknowledged that his forces 'committed a mistake' against Tabit. He explained that the soldier who went missing was found in Tawila locality ...The commander then apologized for his soldiers' actions against the villagers."
  • On November 5 the UNAMID first announced that "it is investigating the veracity of this information." At the same time the press statement downplayed the reports of rapes:
      "As part of the investigation, UNAMID's Human Rights officers have met with the Chief Prosecutor of North Darfur who stated that not a single complaint about any rape incident was received from Tabit."
  • On November 6, Eric Reeves revealed that the UNAMID has "deliberately and consequentially lied about the investigation" into Tabit rapes:
      "Tabit is some 30 miles southwest of el-Fasher, capital of North Darfur and the location of UNAMID headquarters. From el-Fasher UNAMID, were it willing, is capable of projecting all necessary military protection needed for the investigation of serious crimes committed at such a short distance. UNAMID has declared to various news agencies, including Reuters and Agence-France Presse, that their team sent to investigate this ghastly episode in unconstrained sexual violence was prevented from entering Tabit by Khartoum's security forces. This not only bespeaks a crippled mission but is also deeply false.
      Darfuri eyewitnesses from Tabit have reported to multiple sources, including this writer, that UNAMID did in fact enter Tabit, specifically on Tuesday at 5:00am. Once in Tabit, UNAMID investigators spoke for at least ten minutes with four villagers at the transportation center in the town. There the UNAMID investigators received full confirmation of the sexual violence... instead of admitting what investigators had discovered speaking with eyewitnesses, UNAMID claimed the team had been stopped at the checkpoint outside Tabit. As the conversation between UNAMID investigators and the four villagers continued, four cars containing Military Intelligence personnel roared onto the scene; those present quickly walked away. They report that having walked some distance, they watched as Military Intelligence-which has long had the primary security role in Darfur-spoke with UNAMID investigators for half an hour. The UNAMID investigators then returned back to El Fasher...
      UNAMID investigators, even in the course of a ten-minute conversation with Tabit villagers, were able to confirm the basic facts about the horrific events: that some 200 girls and women were in fact raped (and here Military Intelligence did nothing to intervene) from October 31 to November 2 in the Tabit area. UNAMID was not 'denied access by Sudanese military at a checkpoint': they allowed themselves to be expelled from the scene of what they themselves had already confirmed was a massive atrocity crime."
  • On November 10 the UNAMID published a press release which denied any rapes took place and omitted any references to Sudan security forces interfering with the UN's investigation. On the contrary, the UN press release found praise for "local military authorities":
      "Village community leaders reiterated to UNAMID that they coexist peacefully with local military authorities in the area. The team also interviewed the local Sudanese Armed Forces Commander. None of those interviewed confirmed that any incident of rape took place in Tabit on the day of that media report. The team neither found any evidence nor received any information regarding the media allegations during the period in question."
  • On November 12, 2014 Agence France-Presse leaked portions of a UN internal confidential report on the actual findings of the UNAMID investigation which reveals numerous instances of witness intimidation by the Sudanese security forces:
      "The report by the joint UN-AU mission in Darfur suggests that a visit by a team of monitors to the village of Tabit was carefully prepared by the Sudanese military to prevent witnesses from coming forward. During the team visit, there was a heavy presence of Sudanese soldiers who followed the monitors and recorded interviews with the villagers, according to the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) report obtained by AFP.
      'The behavior and responses of interviewees indicated an environment of fear and intimidation,' said the report on the Sunday visit. 'Some of the sub-teams had to ask the military personnel to stop following them and also asked them to allow the conduction of interviews in some privacy,' it added. The report quoted a villager in Tabit who said the soldiers had told the community "not to provide information to UNAMID" and that 'reportedly a committee was formed to interact' with the fact-finding mission.
  • On November 20 the Sudanese government said it would not allow any investigations into Tabit rapes. According to Sudan Tribune the foreign ministry undersecretary Abdalla El Azrag "asked the UN chief to investigate mass rape in countries other than Sudan, underscoring that such practices do not take place in his country."

UN mission engaged in cover-up of mass rapes in Sudan casts itself as women's rights champion Development