PTI | msn news | UN(Geneva) | 05/03/2010
United Nations has described as "disturbing" the continuing attacks on Indians in Australia, with its rights commissioner Navi Pillay asking Canberra to get to the bottom of the matter. "While the Australian authorities have questioned whether these incidents were racially-motivated, there is a need for concerted attention by federal and state authorities, both in terms of the investigation and prosecution of such crimes, as well as addressing the root causes behind such violence," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay said.
The top UN official described that the spate of attacks on Indian residents in Australia as "disturbing", and called for the government of Australia to get to the bottom of the matter. There have been over 100 cases of attacks on Indians, mostly on students, in Australia since the last year.
Pillay also expressed concern at the continuing human rights violations in Sri Lanka. "The opportunity for peace and reconciliation continues to be marred by the treatment of journalists, human rights defenders and other critics of the
BBC NEWS | 2009/12/20 | 11:00:28 GMT
The US has expressed deep concern about the fate of 20 Uighur asylum seekers deported from Cambodia back to China. A statement by the US embassy in Phnom Penh came a day after the Uighurs were put on a plane to China, despite pleas from the UN refugee agency. The agency condemned the expulsions, saying Cambodia had committed a grave breach of international refugee law. The Uighurs fled to Cambodia after mass ethnic riots in China in July. Beijing has referred to the group as criminals. Human rights organisations have warned that the asylum seekers are likely to face persecution on return to China.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the welfare of these individuals, who had sought protection under international law,” the US embassy in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh said in Saturday’s statement. “We are also deeply disturbed that the Cambodian government decided to forcibly remove the group without appropriate participation by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.” The embassy also urged China to “uphold international norms and to ensure transparency, due process and proper treatment of persons in its territory”. Continue reading
26/11/2009 | 7:30pm GMT+5:30 | nvs
Increasing internal and external pressures have lead Israeli Government to rethink about its firm stand of denying re-probe of what UN commission accused as war crimes committed by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) during its attack on Gaza in Dec ’08-Jan09 period. It has been under severe pressure to set up independent probe commission to look into war crimes allegations raised by Richard Goldstone lead commission set up by UNHRC. Israel denied every allegation made in ‘Goldstone Report’ and accused Goldstone of having done biased investigation who was himself a South African Jew having a well built house in Israel. Mr. Richard Gold stone rejected Israeli allegations and challenged the US to concrete examples of any flaw in his report submitted to UNHRC. The report accused both IDF and Hamas with targeting civilians during the war. Major part of the report consisted description of war crimes committed by IDF. Both parties accused Goldstone of being biased. The report recommended for both sides to conduct independent inquiries failing which would lead them to face international prosecution at Hague. The report was passed in UNSC meeting with 25-6 votes.
As per the BBC report, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister David Ayalon told “another investigation could be conducted if it was necessary to prove… there were no wrongdoings”. He insisted Israeli army probes by military investigators were already “completely independent… but we are looking into further reviews as Continue reading
Counterpunch | October 15, 2009 | RAMZY BAROUD
As Israeli bombs fell on the Gaza Strip during its one-sided war between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, millions around the world took to the streets in complete and uncompromising outrage. The level of barbarity in that war, especially as it was conducted against a poor, defenseless and physically trapped nation, united people of every color, race and religion. But among those who seemed utterly unmoved, unreservedly cold were some Palestinian officials in the West Bank. Mahmoud Habbash, the PA Minister of Social Affairs is but one of those individuals. His appearances on Aljazeera, during those fateful days were many. On one half of the screen would be screaming, disfigured children, mutilated women, and search parties digging in the dark for dead bodies, at times entire families. On the other, was Habbash, spewing political insults at his Hamas rivals in Gaza, repeating the same message so tirelessly parroted by his Israeli colleagues? Every time his face appeared on the screen, I cringed. His every unruly shriek reinforced my sense of shame. It’s Shame, perhaps, but never confusion. Those who understand how the Oslo agreement of September 1993 morphed into a culture that destroyed the very fabric of Palestinian society can fully appreciate the behavior of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank during the Gaza war, before it and today. Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2009/10/16 | 17:07:58 GMT
The UN Human Rights Council has backed a report into the Israeli offensive in Gaza that accuses both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes. The report by Richard Goldstone calls for credible investigations by Israel and Hamas, and suggests international war crimes prosecutions if they do not. Twenty-five countries voted for the resolution, while six were against. Both Israel and the US opposed official endorsement of the report, saying it would set back Middle East peace hopes. The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism. Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 Gazans were killed in the 22-day conflict that ended in January, but Israel puts the figure at 1,166. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed.
‘Culture of impunity’
Before the vote in Geneva – in which 11 countries abstained and five others, including the UK and France, chose not to vote – the Palestinian Authority’s representative argued that the matter was simply about respect for the rule of law. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, meanwhile insisted that now was the time to end the “culture of impunity” which continues to prevail in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In contrast, the Israeli government had lobbied intensively against the resolution, saying the Goldstone report was biased against Israel and removed the right of nations to defend themselves against terrorists. It also complained that the vote was not simply on the Goldstone report, but on a Palestinian-backed resolution that criticised Israel and ignored Hamas. The resolution also made Continue reading
15/10/2009 | 8:08 pm GMT+5.30 | nvs
It seems Israel has come under some pressure or strong advice to probe what the UN judge Mr. Richard Goldstone found as War Crimes during the 22-day conflict which began on 27 December 2008. The Goldstone Report accused Israel of using disproportionate force against Palestine and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. Palestinian Hamas militants are also accused of indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilians. Both Hamas and Israel rejected the report findings accusing it ‘biased’ and favouring terrorism. Israel said it has already conducted a detailed enquiry and found that no war crimes as pointed out by the Goldstone Report, had taken place from Israeli side. It vehemently argued it has right to self-defence.
As UN Human Rights Council is going to discuss the Goldstone report today i.e. on 15th October London’s UN envoy asked Israel to hold “full, credible and impartial” investigations. Israel received almost similar calls from his counter parts of the US and France. Though Mr. Goldstone has presented his report two weeks ago, the UNHRC has deferred the discussion on report to March of the next year. Palestinians were angered with this development and expressed their serious concern that the allegations made against Israel in the report were being ignored by the International community. Again the decision to defer the discussion was reconsidered and decided to meet for discussions on 15th October. Continue reading
Today’s national and international news papers published a news indicating that the United Nations Security Council would debate Israeli ‘War Crimes’ committed during Dec’08-Jan’09 Gaza. The UN has brought forward a regular Security Council meeting on the Middle East after Libya demanded an urgent debate on alleged war crimes in Gaza. Arab states say the 14 October debate must tackle a report which criticised Israel, after the US argued against an emergency session dedicated to it. Fallowing a Palestinian request the UN Human Rights Council delayed its debate on the findings of the Goldstone report. . Libya’s envoy to the Security Council said its aim was to see that the momentum be kept alive. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has come under sharp criticism at home for requesting the UNHRC delay, which followed intense pressure from the US and Isrel. State department spokesman Ian Kelly insisted the US focus was solely on reviving the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process and wanted “to clear the decks of any issues that might impede our progress towards this”. Palestinian officials voiced “full support” for Libya’s efforts to get the issue on the agenda of the Security Council, and senior PA politician Yasser Abed Rabbo has called the request for a UNHCR delay a “mistake”. Mr. Abbas himself has ordered an “investigation” into how his own government made the decision, in an apparent attempt to head off a wave of anger and protests.
It is also said that the rivalry between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas has lead Mohummad Abbas to request for delay. It is widely believed that there have been hidden ties between Israel and PA, which controls Fatah, so as to defeat ‘Hamas’ the more radical Palestinian Organisation. Palestinian West Bank is governed by PA at present where as Gaza Strip is governed by Hamas faction. Israel has been effectively making use of the rivalry between PA and Hamas through the policy of ‘divide and rule’, without compromising it’s racial attacks on either areas ruled by Palestinian factions. Interestingly enough, after successfully destroying most of ‘Gaza’ during deadliest “Dec ’08 – Jan ’09 war” now Israel is busy constructing new settlements in occupied West Bank. Palestinian factions must find some way out to resolve their rivalry and form a single Palestinian Organisation. ……nvs
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