GENEVA, March 31 – After UN Watch’s latest campaign of UN speeches, articles and TV appearances exposing Jean Ziegler’s ties to the Qaddafi regime, the Austrian province of Salzburg cancelled a keynote speech by the UN Human Rights Council official at its prestigious cultural festival, a regional government spokesman confirmed today. Allegations of Ziegler’s closeness to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi would have overshadowed his speech at the festival, which begins in July, the spokesman said.
“We congratulate the Salzburg Festival for doing the right thing in the end by denying its prestigious platform to the U.N.’s chief apologist for the Qaddafi regime,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group. “This is the first known public cancellation on Jean Ziegler, and we hope others will follow.” In 2008, Amnesty International refused a request to disinvite Mr. Ziegler from its annual Swiss conference.
“UN Watch has assembled a cross-regional coalition of 45 human rights groups who will be officially demanding that the U.N. Human Rights Council fire its long-time official, ” said Neuer. “Tragically, Ziegler is not a bureaucratic anomaly or a tolerated annoyance at the council — he is the product and embodiment of a distinct political culture, where abusers like China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia get to judge others on human rights, and where murderers like Syria’s Assad get a free pass.”
The Salzburg decision follows Friday’s Swiss TV broadcast, entirely based on UN Watch’s detailed report, exposing Jean Ziegler’s role in creating, managing and winning the Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize — a propaganda instrument awarded to dictators and anti-Semites from Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and convicted Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.