Archive for category Human Rights
This is a quick post to add a link from Human Rights Watch new report entitled ‘Work On Him Until He Confesses’.
The report documents how President Hosni Mubarak’s Government(Egypt) allows police abuse towards its own citizens by failing to investigate accusations of torture, and not allowing criminal prosecutions. There in effect leaving the abused party with NO form of remedy.
The link will bring to a page that sets out the table of content for the report, and allows you to receive it in the English and Arabic translation.
Hope you Enjoy
In 1993 a so-called comprise between the then president of the United States Bill Clinton and military leaders resulted in the policy known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. The policy meant that gay men and women, as well as bisexuals, could serve in the United States armed forces as long as their sexuality was kept secret, and they did not engage in these practices on or off base. In return for this there would be no intrusions into anyone’s personal lives. Although consensual sexual behaviour between those of the same sex remained a criminal offence under military law, and since the implementation of DADT in 1993 14,000 service persons have been wrongly discharged from the services based on a sexual trait, and NOT due to any lack of skill.
To summarize, this policy led to a clear message that non-heterosexual behavior of any kind was unacceptable, it cost people their livelihoods, led to harassment, and the military lost out on valuable members of the service due to an irrelevant fact.
Now however in 2011 ‘Do Ask, Do Tell, We Don’t Care’ policy has occurred. I use these words for emphasis on the policy, but in essence the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act’ of 2010 has done just that.
This Act signed by president Obama is a massive step in stopping irrelevant characterics stigmatising capable men and women.
So I would like to give big congratulations to the United States for setting an example to the rest of the world.
I leave with just one important message from Human Rights Watch:
“Human Rights Watch urges the Defence Department to implement rapidly the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.”
As one journalist states – and I agree – “…the United States of America has the moral duty and legal obligation to go after each and every one of those involved in the illegal acts of butchery in Afghanistan and Iraq, following up and holding them responsible for the consequences of these acts and holding accountable each and every person involved in the decision-making process, however high their position in the pyramid may have been.” The notion of command responsibility seems conveniently absent from the minds of American policy-makers. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, “a wall of impunity surrounds the architects of the policies responsible for the larger pattern of abuses.”
Ah. Let us take a moment to re-read that last sentence. This time focus on the word “architect”. Architect…perhaps as in, Karl Rove, widely known as “The Architect” for Bush’s reelection and subsequent policies? Read the rest of this entry »
Just a quick update regarding the Niqab debate in France: last week, the French Senate voted overwhelmingly and as expected the law banning the wearing of full-face veils that had already been voted by the lower house of the French Parliament, l’Assemblée Nationale, in July.
The law still has to face the scrutiny of the French Conseil Constitutionnel (France’s Constitutional “Court”), and eventually, challenges before the European Court of Human Rights. The outcome of each of these tests is uncertain, as there are arguably good arguments on both sides of the debate. Read the rest of this entry »
An interesting piece of legislation was signed by the New York governor entitled the Dignity for All Students Act. The basic terms of the legislation is to protect students from bullying and harassment. The reason I mention this legislation however is because it is the first New York piece of legislation that directly refers to gender identity, and expression.
I just want to welcome this important piece of legislation that thanks to the tireless efforts of state lawmakers, and Governor Patterson makes students more safe. Due to this legislation students can now be protected legally for having to put up with relentless bullying for a characteristics they can not help. Finally, New York has recognised these consequences that leave young individuals emotionally and/or physically damaged, with no option but taking their own lives. So I welcome this important piece of legislation.
However I would ask the question why has it took so long ? How long have individuals worried about expressing who they are in a so-called democracy. How many people can not express their true self? And how many lives have been taken under pressure of relentless abuse?
So thank you New York, but next time don’t take so long.
There was an interesting story on the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANS AND INTERSEX ASSOCIATION site. It involved a girl, a lesbian, who was excluded from the school year book because she wore a tuxedo in her photo, but had implications far beyond that mere fact.
The reason I mention the story is because it got me thinking: are there still roles unique to men and women, or do we live, or should live in a genderless society? Obviously when I talk about this issue I am not referring to actual biology but to perceptions in society. In the process of thinking about this subject I tried to think of advantages to certain roles for certain genders, and was faced with quite a difficult time. Therefore I came to the conclusion maybe gender is just a label to allow discrimination, which women are unfortunately but not exclusively subjected to.
I then asked myself legally would it be possible to be genderless, and found a type of answer out quickly thanks to Norrie May-Welby. This individual has become the world’s first legally genderless person thanks to New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages giving into the activist demands. Although a few days later the decision from New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages were told they did not have the power to issue a certificate for a genderless person. Yet still this means the idea legally has been introduced, and likely many ideas when they have entered the minds of people, they are hard to get rid off.
Hence I leave with you with the question: should the human race become genderless? if so why, and if not, why not?
There’s been a media firestorm in response to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s trip Friday to attend the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution, despite the ICC warrant for his arrest (see Xavier’s post below). A quick response:
In a press release, Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Programme Director, said, “It is disturbing that the Kenyan government is celebrating a new constitution – the national centrepiece of the rule of law – while obstructing justice for victims of such serious human rights violations in a neighbouring country.” Apparently the whole ‘neighbor’ part is being used by the Kenyan government to defend al-Bashir’s attendance: Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula stated, “[al-Bashir] was here today because we invited all neighbors and he is a neighbor.” Well, thanks, Mr Wetangula, for that priceless bit of social precedent. Next time I have a barbecue, I’ll be sure to invite the serial killer down the block, even though I promised my friends that I wouldn’t associate with him.
I don’t know where Wetangula is finding these gems, but he keeps them coming: “[Bashir] is a state guest. You do not harm or embarrass your guest.” Yes, Mr Wetangula, it seems the only thing Kenya is embarrassing lately is itself. To be fair, there is some hope for the sanity of select Kenyan government officials. Deputy Defense Minister David Musila stated, “Kenya has brought shame to itself by allowing President Bashir to visit the country. If he is still in the country he should be arrested immediately and handed to the ICC.” Unfortunately, Kenya’s apparent war crimes poster boy is already safe and snug back in Khartoum.
My apologies for the tone of this post. If I sound bitter, that’s because I am.
But do follow me on twitter @cminall.
This is going to be a short post, as I’m short on time, and I don’t really know what to think about this anyway. The Sudan Tribune reported yesterday that Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam, through the intermediary of his human rights group – the Arab Alliance For Democracy Development and Human Rights – expressed support for the prosecution of perpetrators of mass atrocities in Sudan, “irrespective of their positions“.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“August 11, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — A Libyan human right group headed by the son of Muammar Gaddafi has issued a statement last week calling for prosecuting perpetrators of war crimes in Darfur “irrespective of their positions” in what appears to be a subtle reference to the indictment of Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera website said that the statement by the Arab Alliance For Democracy, Development and Human Rights (ADDHR) coincided with a visit made by Bashir to Tripoli last Wednesday for talks with his Libyan counterpart.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide during Darfur’s seven-year conflict
“The Arab Alliance For Democracy, Development and Human Rights continues to monitor and follow the grave humanitarian situation in Darfur and the resulting suffering and serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity,” said a statement by the group on their website.
“The continuation of humanitarian violations against the citizens of Darfur and subjecting them to the suffering, killing and displacement is a serious situation that requires condemnation and working to stop it,”.
“[The world] cannot continue to turn a blind eye to crimes committed against innocent people in Darfur by parties to the conflict [including] government and rebel factions. [The world] cannot continue to postpone the realization of justice and offering compliments to offenders irrespective of their positions. This requires all states, governments, organizations and human rights activists to show solidarity with this humanitarian issue and not siding with the devil’s advocates so that each party faces the results of their own actions,” the statements reads. (…)”
The article further explains that this is really a message sent by Tripoli to Bashir, as the relationship between Sudan and Libya has been rather tense lately.
I honestly don’t know what to think about this. Should I take it seriously or is this hypocrisy at its best? Or am I missing something?
You tell me.
It turns out that people face greater injustice in the United States, well at least in regards to immigration. This is because individuals with mental disabilities are more likely to face erroneous deportation under the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The reason for this is the judicial system. In the US, immigrants have no right to free legal representation at their hearings. Normally this is bad, but the effects are compounded when these immigrants have mental disabilities, and are just unable to defend themselves and put across their reasons for seeking asylum. Read the rest of this entry »