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Arbitrary arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja and violation of her right to protest | CJFE

Arbitrary arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja and violation of her right to protest | CJFE | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....As a result of exercising her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Ms Al-Khawaja has already spent four months in prison and she is currently facing four different prosecutions. She has been sentenced twice for the same conviction (two months' imprisonment). While in jail, she is denied the right to receive visits from relatives, for which she recently began a hunger strike in protest.

Freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and liberty and security of the person are protected by theInternational Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), articles 19, 21 and 9 and recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), articles 19, 20 and 9. Freedom from arbitrary detention is also a protected right. As a member of the United Nations (UN) and as a party to the ICCPR Bahrain has legal obligations to ensure and protect these rights and to prevent, punish and remedy violations.

The arrest, prosecution and conviction of Ms Al-Khawaja violate Bahrain’s legal obligations to protect and ensure the rights of Ms Al-Khawaja to expression, peaceful assembly and freedom from arbitrary detention.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has defined arbitrary detention as any detention contrary to the human rights provisions of the major international human rights instruments. Specific categories of arbitrary detention include:

2. When a person is deprived of their liberty because they have exercised the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the UDHR and the ICCPR.
3. When a person has been deprived of their liberty after a trial which did not comply with the standards for a fair trial set out in the UDHR and other relevant international instruments.

We conclude that the detention of Ms Al-Khawaja is arbitrary and therefore illegal.

The alleged acts of insulting a police officer and ripping up a photograph of the King are a lawful exercise of freedom of expression, protected by the ICCPR. As observed by the UN Human Rights Committee (Committee), the ICCPR protects expression that is offensive in content or delivery.1 The attempt to convert lawful expression to an unlawful act through criminal sanctions, as was done in this case, is itself a violation of the ICCPR. The Committee has determined,

[freedom of expression] is a right to which the Covenant permits no exception or restriction….No person may be subject to the impairment of any rights under the Covenant on the basis of his or her actual, perceived or supposed opinions. All forms of opinion are protected, including opinions of a political, scientific, historic, moral or religious nature. It is incompatible with paragraph 1 to criminalize the holding of an opinion. The harassment, intimidation or stigmatization of a person, including arrest, detention, trial or imprisonment for reasons of the opinions they may hold, constitutes a violation of article 19, paragraph 1 [of the ICCPR].2

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry has also repudiated the legitimacy of criminal sanctions for political expression and recommended that,

…all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence, [should] have their convictions reviewed and sentences commuted or, as the case may be, outstanding charges against them dropped.3

Similarly the prosecution of Ms Al-Khawaja for attending an illegal assembly, contravene Bahrain’s duty to ensure and protect Ms Al-Khawaja’s right to enjoy freedom of assembly and there constitutes a violation of the ICCPR.

Under the ICCPR, Bahrain has positive legal obligations, not only to allow, but to actively facilitate and support peaceful assemblies.4 Bahrain’s negative legal obligation not to interfere with peaceful assemblies includes the duty not to impose unreasonable restrictions regarding notification, time or location. With respect to location, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association holds as best practice law as avoiding any location prohibitions.5

Freedom of assembly is an essential component of the public discourse upon which democracy depends. Properly recognized and protected, the right enables people to, “express their political opinions…and elect leaders to represent their interests and hold them accountable” (Council resolution 15/21, preamble). An individual does not lose this right because of the sporadic violence of others.6 As noted by many commentators,

“laws governing freedom of assembly [that] both avoid blanket time and location prohibitions, and provide for the possibility of other less intrusive restrictions … Prohibition should be a measure of last resort and the authorities may prohibit a peaceful assembly only when a less restrictive response would not achieve the legitimate aim(s) pursued by the authorities.”7

Similarly authorities have determined that the purpose of notification is to allow state officials to enable the assembly and that a failure to notify cannot legitimately result in criminal or civil sanctions for participants.8 In addition, participants cannot legitimately be held liable for the unlawful conduct of others at an assembly.9
The Committee has rejected legislation as a mean of legitimizing arbitrary arrests and detentions and concluded that states…

…should ensure that the right of persons to peacefully participate in social protests is respected, and ensure that only those committing criminal offences during demonstrations are arrested. […]10

The legitimacy of the restrictions imposed on freedom of assembly in Bahrain was considered and rejected during the second Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain.11 Recommendations included bringing Bahrain legislation, including the Penal Code, into compliance with ICCPR obligations.

Proceedings against Ms Al-Khawaja also violate her right not to be tried or punished twice (ne bis in idem) guaranteed by the ICCPR Article 14(7). The conditions of her detention violate her right to be treated humanely guaranteed by Article 10 (1). We note in this regard that, “[a]llowing visits, in particular by family members, is normally also such a measure which is required for reasons of humanity.”12

LRWC and CJFE call on Bahrain to take measures to ensure:

• Recognition and enforcement of Zainab Al-Khawaja’s rights including her right to release and to be treated humanely;• The review of her convictions and commuting of her sentences;• The withdrawal of any outstanding charges;• A judicial determination of the scope and legitimacy of the Bahrain law restricting the freedoms of assembly and expression carried out with proper reference to Bahrain’s international law obligations arising from the ICCPR and the UDHR as interpreted by international tribunals, monitoring bodies and experts;• The amendment of “any article of [Bahrain’s] Penal Code that can be used to prosecute individuals for the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly or association, and bring its laws into line with international standards established by the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights”;• The investigation and remediation of the ill-treatment of Ms Al-Khawaja while in custody.

Sincerely,

Gail Davidson, Executive Director, LRWC
Marian Caussanel, Bahrain Monitor, LRWC
Annie Game, Executive Director, CJFE

References

1 CCPR General Comment No. 34: Freedom of opinion and expression (Art. 19), CCPR/C/GC/34, 102nd session, 12 September 2011, para. 11, online at :http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/comments.htm
2 CCPR General Comment No. 34: Freedom of opinion and expression (Art. 19), CCPR/C/GC/34, 102nd session, 12 September 2011, para. 9, online at :http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/comments.htm
3 Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, 23 November 2011 (Final Revision of 10 December 2011), para. 1291, online at: http://www.bici.org.bh/BICIreportEN.pdf
4 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, 20th session, A/HRC/20/27, 21 May 2012, para. 33, online at:http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session...
5 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, 20th session, A/HRC/20/27, 21 May 2012, para. 39, online at:http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session...
6 Ibid, para. 25
7 Ibid, para. 39
8 Ibid, para. 29
9 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, 20th session, A/HRC/20/27, 21 May 2012, para. 31, online at:http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session...
10 Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Canada, CCPR/C/CAN/CO/5, 85th session, 20 April 2006, para. 20, online at:http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/898586b1dc7b4043c1256a450044f331/7616e3...ae00397f5d/$FILE/G0641362.pdf
11Report of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review – Bahrain, A/HRC/21/6, July 2012, paras. 115.24 (Slovakia), 115.27 (Ireland), 115.99 (Canada).
12CCPR General Comment No. 09: Humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty (Art. 10), 16th session, 7 July 1982, para. 3, online at:http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28Symbol%29/a4f543b9dadd08a7c12563ed00...

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repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned for more than 11 years, as a matter of urgency. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned for more than 11 years, as a matter of urgency. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Plz sign and help an innocent Muslim women regain her freedom.  She was convicted on nothing other than guilt by association.  She is a gifted neuroscientist and has no connection whatsoever to 

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UN human rights body to investigate claims of Israeli violations in Gaza

UN human rights body to investigate claims of Israeli violations in Gaza | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
UN's human rights chief says Israel has not done enough to protect civilians while also condemning attacks by Hamas....

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has agreed to launch an international inquiry into violations that may have been committed during Israel's latest military offensive in Gaza.

Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, warned earlier that Israel may have committed war crimes in its offensive against Hamasin the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the past two weeks.

Pillay told an emergency debate at the UNHRC in Geneva that Israel had not done enough to protect civilians.....

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Baloch National Voice Condemns acid attacks on women in Balochistan - Quetta - News - Balochwarna News

Baloch National Voice Condemns acid attacks on women in Balochistan - Quetta - News - Balochwarna News | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Quetta : 

The Baloch National Voice (BNV) in a statement on Wednesday strongly condemned the ‘cowardice act of’ acid attacks on women in Quetta and Mastung areas of Balochistan. 

The BNV said that Baloch are a tolerant nation but their enemy [Pakistan] is uncivilised and it is breaking all international war convents and laws. “Pakistan is using the name of Islam to counter Baloch freedom struggle through its criminal death squads. These military death squads and Pakistani intelligence agencies are involved in abduction and kill & dump of innocent Baloch civilian,” the BNV said. 

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Please help the Rohingya!

Need help to stop Genocide against Muslims of Burma including ethnic RohingyasPosted by yannaing Burmese ( Myanmar) government have been systematically committing genocide against Burmese Muslims including Rohingyas since half a century ago. The latest round of oppression started in June 2012 in western Burma killing hundreds if not thousands and drove out over 140,000 Rohingyas to the concentration camps without including another 250,000 Rohingyas, living in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, who escaped to Bangladesh in 1978. By United Nation statistics, half a million Rohingyas are internally displaced since then. Very few to no food and medical assistance made the situation of Rohingyas to the worst now. Children, women, elders and men are being killed by this slow burning genocide. Human Right Watch stated that Rohingyas of Burma are the most persecuted people in the world. Recently, Burmese government oppresses more to Burmese Muslims using Nazi-style ethnic cleansing throughout Burma. From 2012 to now, Muslims of Burma have been going through being killed, tortured, imprisoned, discriminated, and destruction of their places of worship, homes and businesses. Recent attacks on Muslims in the city of Mandalay a week ago is another proof of systematic government-sponsored genocide against Muslims of Burma. There are around 10 million Muslims in Burma. Especially over 140,000 Rohingyas of western Burma, who are living in flimsy make-shift tents, are in dire situation now and they are greatly in need of food and medical treatments. Therefore, I would like to ask people around the world to help Muslims of Burma contributing your knowledge, power and wealth to provide medical, food, advocacy, awareness media and more to the most persecuted people in the world. Great Thanks!
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Erekat: International community must stop Israeli aggression 'before it is too late'

Erekat: International community must stop Israeli aggression 'before it is too late' | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The international community must act quickly and immediately to stop "the current round of Israeli collective punishment and terror attacks against the people of Palestine", Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement today.

"We call upon the international community not to turn a blind eye to Israel's exploitation of the incident involving the killing of three Israelis, and to immediately act in order to prevent the consequences that this new Israeli wave of aggression will bring for regional peace and security," Erekat said.

He warned the international community to act quickly "before it is too late".

"Israel's military bombardment of Gaza, the killings, injuries and the statements by Israeli ministers advocating for revenge through aggression and further illegal settlement building are fuelling a very dangerous situation," Erekat warned.

The senior official went on to describe how Israeli forces and "armed settlers have terrorised thousands of Palestinians", including Mohammad Abu Khdeir, calling for a UN investigation into his murder saying: "Criminals should be prosecuted".

He blamed the escalation of violence and the revenge attacks by settlers on "years of impunity granted by the State of Israel to its soldiers and settlers in their daily crimes against the Palestinian people".

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'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe' | Middle East | DW.DE | 04.07.2014

'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe' | Middle East | DW.DE | 04.07.2014 | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...

I'm sure our struggle is going to continue, and that we will use all peaceful means, all legitimate means recognized by the international community. We do not believe in the use of violence. Everyone knows the fight is costly and painful, but Bahrainis are willing to continue, and to pay the price. Stopping or going back is not an option.

How has the human rights situation changed in the two years you were in detention?

Since I was detained, the number of prisoners has doubled, the number of jails has doubled, the number of arbitrary arrests has increased, discrimination and marginalization against the Shia community is worse than ever in the history of this country. But at the same time, there are fewer media reports, fewer statements from civilized governments. That makes people angry.

Every international media outlet covers 20,000 people protesting in Ukraine, but when 200,000 in a country of just 700,000 take to the streets, it is not reported. And that is very disappointing. We are marginalized in the media at a regional and international level.

Western governments keep talking about democracy and human rights in countries such as Syria and Iran, but when it comes to the rich Gulf countries, they ignore our struggle. Even their media ignores our struggle.

That should not continue. Civilized nations have to react, because ignoring our situation makes people feel a sense of hopelessness and that will lead to the creation of extremist groups.

Activists accuse Western governmnents of turning a blind eye to the ongoing repression

How would you like to see Western governments act?

In the same way they act in other countries. They should have one language and one standpoint, whether on Iran, Syria, Iraq or China. They should be straightforward with all governments, no matter how rich they are or what business they do. Otherwise they lose credibility - which is what is happening now.

The unrest in Bahrain is often portrayed as sectarian. Is that how you see things?

The ruling family is Sunni. The ruling family is repressive. It's true that the majority of protesters are Shia, because the majority of the population is Shia, but we are not against the family's religion - we are against their policies, attitude and behavior. The ruling family tries to present it as a Shia-Sunni issue, but we are not against the Sunni people.

I come from a mixed family and our revolt is against the ruling family that wants to keep all the power. We are struggling to share this power. Seventy percent of our government is from one family, we have had the same prime minister for more than 40 years. This system can't continue. It is time for democracy, justice and human rights. We are a civilized, educated nation. But unfortunately we happen to be ruled by a tribe....."

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Long-Oppressed Kurdistan on Verge of Independence from Iraq

Long-Oppressed Kurdistan on Verge of Independence from Iraq | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

....But with the current takeover of much of Northwest Iraq by the terrorist “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shan” -- ISIS -- the Kurds were given the impetus to opt for total independence, as their Peshmerga warriors had repelled the ISIS terrorist invasion, while the Shiite-dominated Iraq security forces had fled, leaving their military weaponry in the hands of the terrorists. Despite the difficulties still facing the Kurds in fulfilling their long-standing dream of total freedom, they will not let this chance escape them. They are even planning to expand their shrunken borders to regain their full extend of Kurdistan, which they had originally claimed historically and traditionally.....

Spencer Haskins's insight:

An Independent, sovereign Kurdistan is needed now!

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Human Rights Watch confirms reports of mass executions in Iraq | News | DW.DE | 27.06.2014

Human Rights Watch confirms reports of mass executions in Iraq | News | DW.DE | 27.06.2014 | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The US-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday demanded "further" investigation be conducted into alleged executions of captured soldiers at Tikrit in northern Iraq. Evidence pointed to a "war crime," it said.

In mid-June militants of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posted photos online after its fighters overran the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, which was once the bastion of the late longtime dictator Saddam Hussein.

HRW said its analysis "strongly indicates" that the ISIS conducted "mass executions" at two locations in Tikrit between June 11 and June 14.

Imagery of two trenches filled with bodies matched landmarks in ISIS photos, it said.

Toll could be 'much higher'

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Bahrain 'Moving Backwards' Says Nabeel Rajab...

Bahrain 'Moving Backwards' Says Nabeel Rajab... | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Nabeel Rajab, one of the most prominent opposition activists in Bahrain, has been speaking after being released from jail.
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Activist urges nations to punish Manama

Activist urges nations to punish Manama | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Prominent Bahraini human rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, has called on the international community to punish Manama over its rights abuses.

The Bahraini regime has become a “dictatorship” and the situation in the country has worsened over the past couple of years, Rajab said during a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday.

“Many...measures have been taken and turned the system into a dictatorship,” he said, adding, “I...urge all civilized nations to take action against my country...regardless of the business relationships they have with my country.”

He also noted that  between 3,000 and 4,000 political prisoners are kept in the jails of a country having about 700,000 inhabitants....

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JURIST - The Human Rights Implications of "Killer Robots"

JURIST - The Human Rights Implications of "Killer Robots" | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Fully autonomous weapons, which could select and fire on targets without meaningful human intervention, have the potential to revolutionize the nature of warfare, bringing greater speed and reach to military operations. In the process, though, this emerging technology could endanger both civilians and soldiers.

Nations have been considering the multiple challenges these weapons would pose to the laws of war, also called international humanitarian law. But little attention has been given to the implications for human rights law. If these weapons were developed and used for policing, for example, they would threaten the most basic of these rights, including the right to life, the right to a remedy and the principle of human dignity.

Fully autonomous weapons, also known as autonomous weapons systems or "killer robots," do not yet exist, but research and technology in a number of countries are moving rapidly in that direction. Because these machines would have the power to determine when to kill, they raise a host of legal, ethical and scientific concerns. Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic are advocating for a pre-emptive prohibition on fully autonomous weapons. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a global coalition of 52 nongovernmental organizations coordinated by Human Rights Watch, is making the same call.

Spencer Haskins's insight:

Drones WITH human interaction are a gross violation of human rights as well....in these cases there are no charges, no trials, and no habeas corpus....

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Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of war crime in death of Palestinian protesters

Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of war crime in death of Palestinian protesters | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
IDF maintains forces did not use live ammunition, conducting investigation; rights group states soldiers shot two Palestinian teens in cold blood.
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Inhuman zionist Bahrain Regime forces detained 214 kids in 2013: Report

Inhuman zionist Bahrain Regime forces detained 214 kids in 2013: Report | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahraini police forces have detained more than 200 children across the Persian Gulf nation during raids on their homes and over the past year, the country’s main opposition group said.
In a Thursday report titled “Bahrain: Repression – The Shadow of Tyranny,” Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society listed the human rights violations committed by the Manama regime in the course of 2013.
According to the nearly 130-page report, Bahraini regime forces detained 214 children last year, with most of them being detained during raids on their houses. A number of other children were also taken from their schools, the report added.
The report, drafted by Al-Wefaq’s Liberties and Human Rights Department (LHRD), further said the Bahraini regime made 7,342 arbitrary arrests between 2011 and 2013. It also highlighted the demolition of religious structures in the Persian Gulf country as well as Manama’s restrictions on religious freedom.
“The human rights situation in Bahrain has reached dangerous levels,” said Sayed Hadi al-Musawi, the LHRD head, adding, “Bahraini citizens are exposed to different forms of violations…, including killing, torture and arrest.”
The LHRD official further criticized the international community for remaining silent in the face of the Manama regime’s numerous human rights violations, saying that the world “is standing on the sidelines and watching as the atrocious human rights abuses continue in broad day light.”...

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ISIS Militants Order Iraqi Females to Undergo Genital Mutilation - NBC News

ISIS Militants Order Iraqi Females to Undergo Genital Mutilation - NBC News | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
GENEVA - Militants have ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said...
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Editorial: Acid attacks on women in Balochistan | The Balochistan Point

Editorial: Acid attacks on women in Balochistan | The Balochistan Point | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...No organization has claimed responsibility so far for the acid attacks but it’s obvious that who is behind them. The same forces of darkness that forced the closure of girl’s schools in Panjgur are behind acid throwing attacks. The sinister minds behind these attacks want to terrify Baloch women so that they don’t dare coming out of their homes for education, protests and for anything that threatens the status quo in Balochistan. Since the inception of Pakistan, Religious extremism has been used to oppress the people of smaller provinces and this acid throwing episode is mere extension of that policy...."

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JURIST - Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group

JURIST - Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahrain's Ministry of Justice [official website, in Arabic] on Sunday filed a lawsuit seeking to suspend all activities of the main Shi'ite opposition group for three months. The move comes after leaders of theAl-Wefaq party [GU Berkley Center backgrounder] were charged recently withholding an illegal meeting[JURIST report] with a US diplomat from the State Department [official website]. The lawsuit, however, does not mention the meeting, but rather seeks to suspend the party[AP report] for violating quorum and transparency requirements. Al-Wefaq leader Ali Salman said his party plans to challenge the move [Reuters report].

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Corporate Human Rights Abuses Are Fine, United States Tells the UN

Corporate Human Rights Abuses Are Fine, United States Tells the UN | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Good news: The United Nations has recently approved the implementation of a legally binding body that can punish corporations that commit human rights abuses.

Bad news: The United States is furious and says it will refuse to abide by any repercussions this Human Rights Council-approved body should assign.

Up until now, the UN’s standards for corporate accountability have been strictly voluntarily. Resolving that waving a metaphorical finger at companies that commit human rights abuses was insufficient, in 2013, Ecuador initiated a proposal to hold international offenders responsible for their immoral actions. More than 80 other countries signed on, agreeing that actual accountability was necessary to diminish human rights abuse. With help from South Africa, Ecuador finally convinced the HRC to vote on the issue last week; the resolution passed by a 20-14 vote.

Alas, it’s the nations who voted no that are being the most vocal at this point, with the United States and nations in the European Union leading the charge. Before the vote, they lobbied hard to have nations reject Ecuador’s proposal; since losing, they have thrown what amounts to a hissy fit. ...“



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/corporate-human-rights-abuses-are-fine-united-states-tells-the-un.html#ixzz36jXyPN00

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UN human right chief condemns Gaza rockets, Israeli strikes - Diplomacy and Defense

UN human right chief condemns Gaza rockets, Israeli strikes - Diplomacy and Defense | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...

"From a human rights point of view, I utterly condemn these rocket attacks and more especially I condemn Israel's excessive acts of retaliation," UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told journalists in Vienna on Thursday.

"I am extremely concerned by what's happening," she added on the sidelines of a conference.

Pillay said the demolition of Palestinian homes constitutes a human rights violation.

She also condemned killing of a Palestinian teen, whose body was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

"It's despicable but now in turn there's been a kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian youth. This cannot happen. This level of retaliation is excessive and this is what is spawned when governments do not respect the rule of law, when governments themselves resort to excessive forms of retaliation," she said.  ...."

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The searing hypocrisy of the West - Intifada Palestine

The searing hypocrisy of the West - Intifada Palestine | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"

Palestinian children are assaulted or murdered every day and barely do their lives register in western press. No mother should have endure the murder of her child. No mother or father. That does not only apply to Jewish parents. The lives of our children are no less precious and their loss are no less shattering and spiritually unhinging. But there is a terrible disparity in the value of life here in the eyes of the state and the world, where Palestinian life is cheap and disposable, but Jewish life is sacrosanct."
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Bahraini torture victims gather in UK

Bahraini torture victims gather in UK | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahraini torture victims have gathered in Britain to publicize the terrifying ordeal they have faced in regime custody, Press TV reports.

A group of people, most of whom have experienced torture in the jails of the Bahraini regime, gathered in the UK on Thursday to voice their solidarity with the victims of torture in Bahrain.

They called the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom “The Kingdom of Torture.”

“Honestly, I don’t like to speak as a victim because victims are everywhere in Bahrain,” said Mohammad al-Tajir, a human rights lawyer, who has faced two months of interrogation and torture in Bahrain.

He added that prisoners can be found in all families in Bahrain and they can talk about their experience in Bahraini jails.

The Bahraini activists also gathered outside the UN office in Manama on Thursday, holding photographs of the political prisoners tortured by the regime forces in detention centers.

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Rights activists demand anti-torture law

Rights activists demand anti-torture law | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

KARACHI: “The current state of Balochistan is such that if we dig a hole anywhere we discover a mass grave there,” said Kareema Baloch, vice chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation (Azad), while presiding over a seminar on Thursday.

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These Aren't Refugee Camps, They're Concentration Camps, and People Are Dying in Them

These Aren't Refugee Camps, They're Concentration Camps, and People Are Dying in Them | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Confined to squalid camps, supposedly for their own "protection," Burma's persecuted Rohingya are slowly succumbing to starvation, despair and disease. Some are calling it a crime against humanity
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Bahrain: 'detainees tortured daily', study says - General news - ANSAMed.it

Bahrain: 'detainees tortured daily', study says - General news - ANSAMed.it | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
(ANSAmed) - ROME, JUNE 11 - The ordeal of prisoners in Bahrain, the country with the highest percentage of detainees across the entire Middle East, often starts with a police raid in a home or a checkpoint operation which turns into a real abduction, a report published on Wednesday said. The person taken away simply disappears - sometimes for 24 hours or for months, according to the study published by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). Those arrested reportedly find themselves ''locked inside a nightmare''.
In the three years since the beginning of the protest movement in favour of democracy which started in February 2011, the report said, Bahrain's prison population has increased exponentially. BCHR reportedly documented thousands of arbitrary detentions, most of which followed forced disappearances, and a long list of human rights violations, including torture.
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Bahrain: A message of thanks from newly released prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab

Bahrain: A message of thanks from newly released prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"...

The authorities arrested me in order to send a message that you will be arrested if you publicly defend human rights in Bahrain. Strangely enough they were not aware that in this way, they have created hundreds of activists who will follow the same path as me.

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I and my colleagues at BCHR have won numerous human rights awards for defending the civil and human rights of all Bahrainis. We will continue our work because there are still many political prisoners, including prisoners of conscious, being held on trumped-up charges...."

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Freed From Prison, Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab Urges U.S. to Stop Backing Regime’s Crackdown

Freed From Prison, Bahraini Activist Nabeel Rajab Urges U.S. to Stop Backing Regime’s Crackdown | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, joins us after nearly two years behind bars for his role in pro-democracy protests. With the critical backing of the U.S. and neighboring Gulf states, the Bahraini government has waged a crackdown on opposition protesters since an uprising broke out in February 2011. "We have been abandoned by the American government, we have been ignored completely," Rajab says. "They support a dictatorship here... no one can change their policy except the American people." We are also joined by Human Rights Watch’s Josh Colangelo, author of a new report that finds Bahrain’s courts have played a key role in maintaining the country’s highly repressive political order, routinely sentencing peaceful protesters to lengthy prison terms.

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