UN rights official who ignored African child rape by French troops resigns; UN Watch reacts

 

Flavia_Pansieri
GENEVA, July 22, 2015 – The resignation of a top UN rights official who admitted she did nothing after receiving reports of child rape by French soldiers in Central African Republic — because she was “distracted” by budget cuts — underscores the dire need for greater accountability at the world body, said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental Geneva watchdog agency that measures the performance of the world body by the yardstick of its own charter.

“Not only did Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri fail to act,” said Neuer, “but she was part of a coterie of top UN officials who punished the only member of her office who sounded the alarm, veteran staffer Anders Kompass, by firing him.” Continue reading ‘UN rights official who ignored African child rape by French troops resigns; UN Watch reacts’

Hamas congratulates ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ for winning UN status

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Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh congratulated the Palestinian Return Centre for winning UN status and “stressed the vital role played by the PRC in the legal and political arena,” revealed Israeli representative David Roet, during Monday’s debate at the UN ahead of the vote.

The information undermines PRC’s strenuous denials that it has any ties to Hamas. See full story below. Continue reading ‘Hamas congratulates ‘Palestinian Return Centre’ for winning UN status’

UN’s Yemen statement gives free pass to Saudi & Iranian roles in mass killings

Congratulations to the UN human rights office for the long statement below on the suffering in Yemen that makes only one fleeting mention of the Saudi role, and no mention at all of the Iranian role. Once again, the world’s worst abusers of human rights are given a free pass.

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Yemen Briefing Note by Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

21 July 2015

Intense fighting has continued in Yemen, with at least 165 civilians, including 53 children and 23 women, killed between 3 and 15 July. Another 210 were injured during this period. The majority of the casualties are reported to have been caused by air strikes, but civilians are also regularly being injured and killed by mortar fire and in street fighting. The total death toll since 26 March is now at least 1,693 civilians, with another 3,829 injured. Continue reading ‘UN’s Yemen statement gives free pass to Saudi & Iranian roles in mass killings’

With EU Support, UN Casts Israel as Worst Violator of Economic and Social Rights

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.14.00 AMGENEVA, July 22 – The UN’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council singled out Israel as the only violator of economic and social rights in the world, by a resolution adopted on Monday by a majority of 42 states including all EU members.

Only Australia and the U.S. opposed, with abstentions by Honduras and Panama. Eight countries were absent.

ECOSOC condemned Israel

The text excoriates Israel for such crimes as “destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural lands and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan”; of the “exploitation of natural resources”; and of “the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threaten their natural resources.”

The EU-backed resolution mentions Hamas 0 times.

Syria was mentioned 13 times — but only to condemn Israel for alleged violations against “the Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan” whose family members reside in “their mother homeland, the Syrian Arab Republic.” The murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad is not condemned or even mentioned once.

No other country is singled out for condemnation at this year’s ECOSOC’s annual session.

After the introduction of the resolution by South Africa, the Syrian Ambassador took the floor and accused Israel of facilitating terrorist attacks against Syrian cities and civilians. Assad’s envoy condemned the Jewish state for “destroying the soil of the Golan, exploiting its resources, burning its products and other racist policies.”

 

Hamas-linked UK group celebrated kidnapping of teens, today set to win UN status

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 6.19.13 PMUN Watch revealed today that the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), a Hamas-linked group vying to win UN status today, celebrated the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens, cheered Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, and threatened “punishment” for PLO President and Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas.

Tweets from the official account of Tarek Hamoud, executive director of the London-based PRC, include:

1. PRC Cheers Hamas Kidnapping of Israeli Teens

https://twitter.com/TarekHamoud/status/477926302885117952 
[UPDATE: PRC chief Tarek Hamoud has just deleted this tweet today after this blog post was published. Screen capture of the tweet, however, is at the top.]

Above: On July 14, 2014, two days after the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens, PRC posted this symbol of three fingers to cheer the abduction of the boys who were later  discovered to have been murdered.

A group that celebrates kidnappings violates the peace and human rights principles of the UN Charter and should not be granted NGO status.

 

2. PRC Threatens PLO President Abbas with “Punishment”

https://twitter.com/TarekHamoud/status/488870858115792896

PRC warns Abbas

[UPDATE: PRC chief Tarek Hamoud also deleted the above tweet today after this blog post was published. Our screen capture of his tweet, however, is above.]

Above: PRC chief Tarek Hamoud threatens PLO President Mahmoud Abbas (featured on right next to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu) with “punishment.” The translation reads:

Grim, humiliated faces agreeing to hate #Gaza and fight it. The faces are different but the crime is one, and the punishment will be the same
#Gaza_wins

 

UN to vote today on admitting antisemitic PRC group, tied to Hamas

 

UPDATE: PRC chair Majed Al-Zeer has just deleted his Facebook post below, after this blog was published. We screen-captured it.

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Above: Antisemitic image posted here on Facebook by Majed Al-Zeer,Chairman of the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre

GENEVA, July 20, 2015 – Regarding a controversial vote scheduled this afternoon at UN headquarters in New York, UN Watch called on the world body’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to reject the Sudan-sponsored decision by a subsidiary committee to recommend NGO status for a group intimately linked to the Hamas terrorist organization.

The vote today will approve or overturn the June 2nd decision by the 19-nation Committee on NGOs which voted in favor of the application by the Palestinian Return Centre, a Hamas affiliate in Europe, by a vote of 12 to 3.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and, its armed wing is designated a terrorist organization by Australia and the United Kingdom.

Continue reading ‘UN to vote today on admitting antisemitic PRC group, tied to Hamas’

Resolutions and Voting Results of 29th HRC Session

Condemnatory Country-Specific Resolutions:

The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/29/L.4)
Sponsors: France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK, USA
Orally revised
Vote result: 29 in favour (EU, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA), 6 against (Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela), 12 abstentions (India, Pakistan, South Africa)

Situation of human rights in Belarus (A/HRC/29/L.12)
Sponsors: Latvia on behalf of the European Union
Vote result: 21 in favour (EU, Brazil, USA), 8 against (China, Cuba, India, Russia, Venezuela), 18 abstentions (Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE)

Situation of human rights in Eritrea (A/HRC/29/L.23)
Sponsors: Djibouti, Somalia
Adopted without a vote

Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar (A/HRC/29/L.30)
Sponsors: Pakistan on behalf of the OIC
Orally revised
Adopted without a vote

Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (A/HRC/29/L.35)
Sponsors: Pakistan on behalf of the OIC
Orally revised
Vote result: 41 in favour (EU, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE, Venezuela), 1 against (USA), 5 abstentions (Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Paraguay, Macedonia)
Continue reading ‘Resolutions and Voting Results of 29th HRC Session’

PLO’s Draft UN Resolution on Gaza Inquiry is All About the ICC

-Acting via the Islamic group, the Palestinians have just submitted a draft resolution this evening that would have the UN Human Rights Council call on all countries to implement the recommendations of the Gaza inquiry, which effectively means to pursue the investigation and prosecution of Israel’s political and military leaders for “possible” war crimes.

The text, officially sponsored by the 57-strong Organization of Islamic Cooperation chaired by Pakistan, will win an automatic majority from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and other members of the 47-nation council when it it put to a vote on Thursday or Friday this week. The U.S. will vote No, while the Europeans are likely to either vote Yes or abstain. Continue reading ‘PLO’s Draft UN Resolution on Gaza Inquiry is All About the ICC’

Wife of Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leader Addresses U.N.

Testimony of Lilian Tintori, wife of Venezuelan opposition leader and prisoner of conscience Leopoldo Lopez, before UN Human Rights Council, 30 June 2015.

Thank you, Mr. President.

My name is Lilian Tintori and I am Venezuelan. I have the honor to make this declaration on behalf of UN Watch.

IMAG1584Article 2 of the Durban Declaration prohibits all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on political or other opinions.

I am here for all the names I have on my chest and my back. They are tortured, persecuted and killed. My husband Leopoldo Lopez, opposition leader in Venezuela, unjustly in jail, is only one of many cases. I speak in his name and in the name of all those silenced, like Geraldine Moreno, assassinated in close range, and Jose Manuel Carrasco, raped with a weapon in his anus, both by state security forces.

My husband Leopoldo is in jail for speaking out against the human rights violations that occur in our country, the right to life is violated every 20 minutes, homicides last year were above 25,000, inflation, medicine and food scarcity is more that 72%. Leopoldo has been in jail for 16 month, 9 of which in solitary confinement, with inhuman treatment and torture. In 2014, there were more than 3700 arbitrary detentions. I am here as a wife, as a mother that is raising her two children alone.

Continue reading ‘Wife of Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leader Addresses U.N.’

Legal Expert: UN’s Gaza report “not based on credible military operational expertise”

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Lt. Col. Corn, law professor & former senior law of war adviser for U.S. army, addresses UN Human Rights Council on the report of the Gaza inquiry. Geneva, June 29, 2015.

Thank you, Mr. President. I am Geoffrey Corn, a Professor of Law and the U.S. Army’s former senior expert on the Law of Armed Conflict. I advised an independent JINSA-commissioned Task Force on the 2014 Gaza conflict.

I commend the Report’s recognition that all parties to armed conflict must implement and respect the Law of Armed Conflict. While objective critiques of military operations can contribute substantially to the understanding, implementation, and evolution of theLaw of Armed Conflict, findings and recommendations must derive from credible information, legal interpretation, and operational expertise. Otherwise, any critique risks distorting the essential balance between mitigating the suffering of armed conflict and the dictates of military necessity – one that has defined the law since its inception. Continue reading ‘Legal Expert: UN’s Gaza report “not based on credible military operational expertise”’

U.S. General Blasts Gaza Report in UNHRC Testimony

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 12.08.37 AMMajor-General Michael D. Jones, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command, addressed the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of UN Watch, in the debate on the Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict. Geneva, June 29, 2015.

Mr. President,

My name is Mike Jones, a retired U.S. Army general officer who, with four other retired U.S. generals, conducted a JINSA-sponsored, but independent, study of the 2014 Gaza conflict. We conducted research, and interviewed Israeli, UN, and Palestinian Authority officials. Our focus was what the U.S. should learn from the conflict, but our report is relevant to the Council.

I am pleased your report acknowledged that all combatants are required to abide by the law, and that Hamas’ and other groups’ indiscriminate rocket fire at Israel was unlawful.

However, it is disappointing that the report fails to condemn these groups for unlawfully failing to distinguish themselves as combatants, as well as purposefully co-locating amongst civilians, knowingly placing them at risk, with absolutely no military necessity to do so.

I am also disappointed that the report, while acknowledging that lawful targeting is a balance between the military necessity and the known risk to civilians, came to conclusions without sufficient information to make a judgment. Specifically, they condemn the IDF for engagements without any information on the IDF’s objectives, military necessity, or known information on risk. Continue reading ‘U.S. General Blasts Gaza Report in UNHRC Testimony’

Col. Kemp tells UNHRC it’s become “tool of Hamas’ murderous strategy”

Address of Colonel Richard Kemp to the United Nations Human Rights Council, debate on report of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict, Geneva, 29 June 2015.

Mr. President, I fought in combat zones around the world during 30 years’ service in the British Army. I was present as an observer throughout the conflict in Gaza.

Mr.  President, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas, to its eternal shame, did more to deliberately and systematically inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population, including its children, than any other terrorist group in history. Continue reading ‘Col. Kemp tells UNHRC it’s become “tool of Hamas’ murderous strategy”’

UN: “No comment” on Saudi cash-for-HRC-seat scandal

The UN won’t comment on the scandal, revealed by UN Watch, that Saudi Arabia used money and UN votes to buy itself a seat on the UN Human Rights Council:

UN Watch’s blog post on Saudi Arabia’s secret quid pro quo deals with Russia and other states is here.

Leaked cables: Saudi Arabia & Russia traded votes for UNHRC seats

Saudi Putin

By Hillel Neuer

Now in its 29th session, we are asked by many to believe that the UN Human Rights Council is a serious, effective and credible body.

Leaked Saudi cables, however, document what we knew all along: that despite the UNHRC’s official membership criteria —  “the candidates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto” — dictatorships strike backroom deals to elect each other onto the 47-nation body, in Kofi Annan’s words, “not to strengthen human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others.”

Amid the trove of Saudi diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks are at least a dozen that explain how the Saudis bought their seat with money, and by bartering their UN votes. Continue reading ‘Leaked cables: Saudi Arabia & Russia traded votes for UNHRC seats’

In Defense of Naming and Shaming: High Commissioner Zeid

Zeid_Hussein

I am often told in this chamber, in our debates, that I should not be “naming and shaming” member states. Somehow the naming is, or has become, the very shame itself. This is a disfigurement of the truth, which we must now reset.

The shame comes not from the naming: it comes from the actions themselves, the conduct or violations, alleged with supporting evidence or proven. The greatest factory of shame is the blanket denial of human rights. The denial of the right to life shames unreservedly. Killing on a massive scale, shames stunningly, and inexhaustibly. The denial of the right to development also shames. The denial of human dignity shames. Torture shames. Arbitrary arrests shame. Rape shames.

We name; the shame of States, where it exists, has already been self-inflicted. The loss of face for the affected countries has come well before OHCHR raises its independent voice. We say what we believe to be the truth, on behalf of victims. We have no monopoly over truth, but we believe our contentions can be supported by fact.

— UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, statement to UNHRC, June 15, 2015

Hillel Neuer tells UN: “Why did you reward Iran & Saudi Arabia with top posts?”

Testimony today by UN Watch Executive Director before the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Thank you, Mr. President. The High Commissioner spoke of the need to end impunity. Yet what we are witnessing here at the United Nations is this: Countries that commit gross and systematic violations of human rights are not only given immunity, but they are actually rewarded with high positions.

When member states are silent, the High Commissioner must lead. We urge him to consider, and we ask:

Why is it that Saudi Arabia, which subjugates women, which just expelled a student from university because she lowered her veil on a female-only schoolbus, is rewarded by the UN with a seat on this Human Rights Council? Continue reading ‘Hillel Neuer tells UN: “Why did you reward Iran & Saudi Arabia with top posts?”’

“Israel’s war was just,” reports Australian general after mission on Gaza conflict

Israel showed care in a just Gaza war

The Australian, June 1o, 2015

By Major-General Jim Molan (Ret.)

molan jimWe sat in the Israeli kibbutz 800m from the closest Gaza Strip buildings. Four Israeli women told ­stories of life during Operation Protective Edge, the 50-day conflict last year between Israel and Hamas, of the rain of rockets and mortars, 15 seconds’ warning, days in shelters and of a four-year-old child killed by shrapnel.

The rockets impacted on every aspect of life but the effect of finding one of the many sophisticated tunnels dug over several years at the very door step of the kibbutz for Hamas fighters to kill civilians more precisely and personally was an even greater shock. Continue reading ‘“Israel’s war was just,” reports Australian general after mission on Gaza conflict’

Key Preliminary Findings of the High Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict

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Key preliminary findings on the 2014 Gaza Conflict by a high level international military group as submitted to the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, which is expected to issue its report next week. 

PDF of Report & Cover Letter to UNHRC

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HIGH LEVEL INTERNATIONAL MILITARY GROUP
THE GAZA CONFLICT IN 2014

From 18th – 22nd May 2015, the High Level International Military Group, made up of 11 former chiefs of staff, generals, senior officers, political leaders and officials from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Holland, Spain, Italy, Australia and Colombia visited Israel for a fact-finding mission on the 2014 Gaza conflict. We were led by General Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the most senior officer in the Alliance, and Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy. Also in the group were Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, formerly US State Department Ambassador at Large for war crimes issues; and Mr Rafael Bardaji, former National Security Adviser to the Government of Spain.

This was part of a longer term project by our group, whose principal concern is how civilian lives can be protected and military forces can fight effectively when operations must be conducted in a densely packed civilian area. We will be producing a full report this autumn.

Continue reading ‘Key Preliminary Findings of the High Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict’

UN Racism Expert Condemns Antisemitism – But It Is Not Enough

In his regular report (A/HRC/29/46) to the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council on contemporary forms of racism, the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mutuma Ruteere, focuses on the issue of racial profiling, which in his view affects primarily people of African descent and Middle Eastern origin. However, in his second report (A/HRC/29/47) that will be presented to the same HRC session, the Special Rapporteur addresses the issue of the resurgence of neo-Nazi ideologies.

Muslim and Jews, as well as the Roma communities are the minority groups suffering the most from stigmatization and violence in their respective countries, as pointed out by the Special Rapporteur. Political leaders have used the constant stigmatization of certain “vulnerable groups,” especially during austerity periods to justify “high unemployment rates, cuts in social benefits and increasing poverty.”

Continue reading ‘UN Racism Expert Condemns Antisemitism – But It Is Not Enough’

Beheadline goes viral

Saudi executioner sword

Was the alleged typo in our viral headline “Saudi Lose Bid to Behead of UN Human Rights Council” intentional, or not?

Autocorrect will do just the darnedest things when the word “Saudi” is in context?

One thing is sure: the faux typo caught the attention of the world’s leading news agencies, whose reporters posted it all over Twitter — turning a global spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s shockingly cruel system of gross and systematic human rights abuses.

The buzz sparked a feature debate on Twitchy.com, which concluded: “Amazing UN Watch ‘typo’ regarding Saudi Arabia ‘has to be on purpose’.”

Here’s Henry Tricks, regional bureau chief in Mexico City of The Economist: Continue reading ‘Beheadline goes viral’

“Saudi Arabia Withdraws Its Alarming Candidacy,” reports Tribune de Genève

Pressure caused Saudi representative to backtracked, yet tensions remain

Translated from Tribune de Genève, June 8, 2015

By Alain Jourdan

Facing with an outcry over its candidacy, Saudi Arabia finally renounced its bid for the presidency of the Human Rights Council. Riyadh asked its representative to the UN in Geneva, Faisal bin Hassan Trad, to shelve his ambitions. The diplomat, who took up his post in 2014, had been campaigning for several weeks in the Asia group to become its candidate and secure his tenure as head of the Human Rights Council when the presidency rotates in 2016.

Despite this decision, the “puzzle” remains unsolved, commented a European diplomat. Finding someone to succeed the German Joachim Ruecker in the Asia group promises to be complicated to say the least. The position of president has great symbolic value. The effect would be disastrous for the Council if a representative were appointed from a country that is clearly at odds with the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Continue reading ‘“Saudi Arabia Withdraws Its Alarming Candidacy,” reports Tribune de Genève’

No Joke: Venezuela wins UN award for combating hunger as its people scrounge for food

FAO Venezuela

June 9, 2015 - As Venezuela’s citizens scrounge for food, with hundreds desperately waiting in long lines only to reach empty store shelves, the Maduro government was recognized yesterday by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for “meeting the UN millennium goal of halving malnutrition,” according to Venezuelan news reports.

“This is simply absurd and immoral, and a betrayal of the UN’s own values,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “Venezuelan media is now trumpeting the UN recognition as propaganda to legitimize a regime that is responsible for causing a desperate food situation for millions of their own people.” Continue reading ‘No Joke: Venezuela wins UN award for combating hunger as its people scrounge for food’

Saudis Lose Bid to Behead of the UN Human Rights Council

Saudi executioner swordBREAKING NEWS

GENEVA, June 4, 2015 - First, the good news: following UN Watch’s forceful protest campaign, covered in newspapers worldwide, Swiss TV is now reporting that Saudi Arabia has failed in its bid to be head of the UN Human Rights Council next year.

“Before we break out the champagne,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group, “the truth is that the presidency is mostly symbolic, yet the Saudi monarchy — a regime that is beheading more people than ever before — retains their power as a full voting member of the council.”

“The real question is why the U.S. or the EU refused to utter even one word of protest when we urged them, together with Saudi dissidents, to oppose the monarchy’s election in 2013? It’s a sad comment on our world that oil continues to trump basic human rights principles.”

 

Now, the bad news: The UNHRC today legitimized the Islamic fundamentalist regime by allowing it to play host to a “religious freedom” conference in Jeddah, a short stroll away from where they lashed blogger Raif Badawi for “insulting Islam.”

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, is outraged.

UN Watch has the full story on today’s Jeddah farce here.

 

 

 

 

 

Farce: Saudi Arabia Hosting UN Human Rights Conference on Religious Freedom

UNHRC president Ruecker on right


UN Human Rights Council President (right) in Jeddah addressed
a Saudi-hosted conference on religious freedom

GENEVA, June 4, 2015 –  Despite its reputation as one the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, Saudi Arabia is now hosting in Jeddah a UN human rights conference on combating intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, attended by the president of the UN Human Rights Council and other top international representatives.

“It’s time for the politics of oil to stop trumping the basic principles of human rights,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights group.

“It’s bad enough that the oppressive and fundamentalist Saudi monarchy was elected to sit on the UN Human Rights Council. But for top UN human rights officials to now visit Jeddah and smile while human rights activist Raif Badawi languishes in prison for the crime of religious dissent, still under threat of further flogging, is to pour salt in the wounds. It’s astonishing.” Continue reading ‘Farce: Saudi Arabia Hosting UN Human Rights Conference on Religious Freedom’

Venezuelan political prisoner in critical state

Daniel Ceballos, mayor of San Cristobal, is about to die. He has been on hunger strike since May 22 along with Leopoldo López, Venezuelan political leader and another six political prisioners. Their demand is to fix a date for parliamentary elections–due to take place this year–allow for international election observers, and free all political prisoners.
Ceballos was detained in March 2014 under allegations of conspiracy and other charges related to student demonstrations in his city last year.
To date, the government has taken no steps to attend to any of these demands, and family members fear he will soon die as his kidneys are shutting down and has face and hands paralysis. We call upon the government of Venezuela to release all political prisoners without delay and open the way for free and democratic elections.
Below the OHCHR spokesman release on this matter:

Continue reading ‘Venezuelan political prisoner in critical state’

Erdogan’s Turkey Deports Palestinians to War-Torn Syria

Erdogan angry

Based on report by Action Group for Palestinians of Syria

May 30, 2015 – Unprecedented: Turkish authorities deported nine Palestinian Syrian refugees to the north of Syria, who were arrested while trying to reach Greece.

According to one of the deportees, they had been arrested in the Turkish city of Izmir, where they were harassed by the security men. They were then deported by bus to a border camp, as they were told.

Suddenly, however, at the border the soldiers transferred them outside of the Turkish border, telling them they were forbidden from entering Turkish territory for a year.

The refugees stressed that the Turkish authorities did not give them any official document confirming the reason for deportation.

For their part, activists saw that this move constitutes a great threat to the lives of refugees owning to the acts of bombing and clashes in northern Syria, and noted this violated international law prohibiting the return of refugees to areas of conflict from which they fled.

UN Watch to Appeal to 54-Nation Body to Overturn NGO Status for Hamas Front

filastin-gaza-21-3-2014 cartoonScreen Shot 2015-05-28 at 3.57.27 PM

Above: Antisemitic image posted on Facebook by Majed Al-Zeer,
Director-General of the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre

GENEVA, June 2, 2015 – UN Watch announced that it will contest yesterday’s “incomprehensible” decision by a UN committee to recommend NGO status for a group intimately linked to the Hamas terrorist organization, by appealing for it to be overturned by the 54-nation ECOSOC when it meets in July to consider the application.

At UN headquarters in New York yesterday, the 19-nation Committee on NGOs yesterday voted in favor of the application by the Palestinian Return Centre, a Hamas affiliate in Europe, by a vote of 12 to 3.

Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, Israel, Japan, and the United States, and, its armed wing is designated a terrorist organization by Australia and the United Kingdom.

Continue reading ‘UN Watch to Appeal to 54-Nation Body to Overturn NGO Status for Hamas Front’

Bill Clinton addressing UN body on same day it’s set to accredit Hamas front group

Clinton.pmg

GENEVA, May 28, 2015 – Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is today addressing ECOSOC, a top 54-nation UN body, on the same day that its Committee on NGOs is set to grant official UN status to a Hamas front group.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer urged Mr. Clinton to speak out against the application by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which has documented ties with a U.S.-designated terrorist entity. See full details in today’s UN Watch press release on the PRC.

Neuer also called on Mr. Clinton to condemn ECOSOC for “absurdly electing misognystic Iran last month to the Executive Board of UN Women.”

In addition, Neuer called on Clinton “to condemn ECOSOC for stacking its UN committee that oversees human rights groups with non-democracies including Iran, Sudan, China, Cuba, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela.”

“These are the regimes that will today decide whether to grant coveted ECOSOC status to a front group of the Hamas terrorist organization. Mr. Clinton cannot allow himself to be seen as legitimizing the pernicious and anti-democratic actions of ECOSOC.”

 

UN status for antisemitic Hamas front group to be decided today

filastin-gaza-21-3-2014 cartoonScreen Shot 2015-05-28 at 3.57.27 PM

Above: Antisemitic image posted on Facebook by Majed Al-Zeer,
Director-General of the Hamas-linked Palestinian Return Centre

GENEVA, May 28, 2015 – A UN committee dominated by Iran and its allies will decide today whether to grant official observer status to an antisemitic front group of the Hamas terrorist organization, warned UN Watch. The Geneva-based independent monitoring group called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to speak out against a “an alarming development that would negate the very principles of the United Nations.”

According to a UN timetable, the world body’s 19-member Committee on NGOs — which is is stacked with non-democracies including Iran, Sudan, China, Cuba, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, and Venezuela — is scheduled to decide on the application of the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) to receive official UN accreditation as a non-governmental observer organization.

Iran, the main backer of Hamas, along with Sudan, also a Hamas ally, have spoken out in support of the group, most recently during a February meeting of the UN committee.

NGO status would allow representatives of the Hamas-linked PRC  to acquire official UN badges, full access to UN facilities and participation in debates in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and, perhaps most significantly, global legitimacy.

PRC haniyeh

Above: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, center, with (on his left)
Majed Al-Zeer, director-general of the Palestinian Return Centre

Despite its pose as pro-Palestinian human rights group, the PRC is one of the few Palestinian advocacy groups to have been banned by Israel, on account of its deep entanglement with top leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization based in Gaza and abroad.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the PRC “has regularly hosted Palestinian leaders, including [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh, at its annual conferences.”

According to an intelligence digest monitoring worldwide activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, PRC leaders include Ghassan Faour, who is part of Interpal, designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist entity, for being one of several front groups that “provide support to Hamas and form part of its funding network in Europe”; and Zaher Birawi, head of programming for Al-Hiwar TV, which frequently features Hamas individuals and organizations, and which was founded by Azzam Al-Tamimi, a U.K Muslim Brotherhood leader who is “close to Hamas.”

PRC’s deep ties to senior Hamas officials was further documented in a detailed, 80-page report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. The study, replete with photos of PRC leaders with Hamas officials, concludes that the PRC “is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and “some of its senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain.”

UN casts Israel as only violator of health rights in the world

 

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By: Hillel C. Neuer
© 2015

GENEVA, May 20, 2015 - As Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for escalating numbers of wounded Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks, the U.N. reached new heights of absurdity today by accusing Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan.

By a vote of 104 to 4, with 6 abstentions and 65 absent, the Jewish state was the only country in the world to be singled out as a violator of health rights when its alleged victims were spotlighted by the annual assembly of the U.N.’s World Health Organization.

The resolution on the plight of Israel’s alleged victims, which was the 2015 assembly’s only treatment of a specific country situation, sent an unmistakable message when it ordered “health-related technical assistance” for “the Syrian population in the occupied Syrian Golan,” and when it called on the director-general of the World Health Organization to report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” at next year’s session.

By calling for next year’s report to focus on “the effect of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental and physical health,” and particularly “the health consequences of the Israeli military detention system on Palestinian prisoners and detainees, especially child detainees, ” the UN frames and delegitimizes Israel’s defensive measures against terrorism as a presumed cause of mental and physical illness. The mandate for the report completely ignores actions by the PA, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others.

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