Archive for the 'Sudan' Category

Sudan defends its abhorent human rights record

Before a UN committee, Sudan tried to whitewash its human rights record and deny well-documented abuses in the country.

On Wednesday, July 9th, the Human Rights Committee reviewed the human rights situation in Sudan. Sudan, among the 168 States party to the ICCPR, is required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 18 international independent experts in order to analyze its implementation of the ICCPR’s provisions.

The issues that were highlighted by the experts as being particularly worrying in Sudan were the death penalty, torture, female genital mutilation, Sharia law and child soldiers. One specific recent case mentioned was that of Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian sentenced to death for apostasy. Overall, the main concern was the State’s laws’incompatibility with international human rights.

Isameldin Abdelgadir, Sudan’s Deputy Justice Minister, presented the report and sang praise of his government’s commitment to improving compliance with international human rights law. The defensive response to the experts’ observations consisted mostly of absurd statements that denied the existence of such glaring issues in the countries. The Sudanese delegate said that “there is no discrimination against women”and that “all rights are enjoyed on an equal footing regardless of sex, ethnicity or religious beliefs.” Another delegate from Sudan responded that “we invite the woman who asked the question to come to Sudan and see the good situation of the status and safety of women in Darfur.”

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UN Invites Rep of Genocidal Sudan to Train Chinese Diplomats

The UN brought a representative of Sudan’s genocidal regime to train Beijing diplomats on China’s “role and opportunities within the United Nations.”

On 13-14 January, 2014, UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research, held a conference in Shanghai, entitled “Transformative Global Governance: China & the United Nations.”

One of the UN’s invited speakers was Ali Al Sadig, director of the “Training and Capacity-Building Department” of Sudan’s foreign ministry. Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court.

 

Another of the UN’s invited speakers was Idriss Jazaïry, the former Algerian representative to the Human Rights Council who famously eroded that body’s ability to confront tyrannies, intimidated NGOs, and denied that anti-Semitism was against Jews. See here and here. Continue reading ‘UN Invites Rep of Genocidal Sudan to Train Chinese Diplomats’

Scandal: Genocidal Sudan chaired UN human rights session

July 5-9, 2013: Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman chaired meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council, including on human rights. (UN Photo)

Despite its leader being indicted for racist genocide, Sudan over the past week chaired meetings of a top UN body that oversees human rights commissions.

As a Vice-President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman was in Geneva to chair the “coordination segment” of ECOSOC’s annual session, including a panel debate on “Using Human Rights instruments and ILO standards and recommendations to achieve decent work for all.” Continue reading ‘Scandal: Genocidal Sudan chaired UN human rights session’

Outrage over UN’s Sudan election discredits prior apologetics

Néstor Osorio, president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), has informed delegations that Sudan — whose leader is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court — would chair the humanitarian affairs segment of its annual session. A sharp protest by Canada, the US, and the EU has now sparked further consultations. Click here for details.

The welcome new outrage by Western diplomats over the UN’s legitimizing of Sudan discredits earlier attempts by several UN players to minimize Khartoum’s political victory.

When UN Watch first protested Sudan’s November election to ECOSOC, Human Rights Watch’s Peggy Hicks — in a bizarre move for a human rights activist  clearly opposed to genocide in Darfur — rushed to Twitter to downplay the move.

Hicks, herself a former UN human rights official, sought to stem outrage over Sudan’s election by challenging UN Watch’s description of ECOSOC as a top UN body dealing with human rights. Continue reading ‘Outrage over UN’s Sudan election discredits prior apologetics’

UN: Sudan to Chair ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs

When Sudan was elected at the end of January as Vice-President of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UN Watch, together with film star Mia Farrow rightly objected.

ECOSOC is a top U.N. body that regulated human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation. Genocidal Sudan, therefore, seemed a highly inappropriate choice.

Yet UN Watch’s calls to condemn this appointment fell on deaf ears, with neither UN chief Ban Ki-moon nor human rights commissioner Navi Pillay making a statement against this absurdity.

Last week, however, Sudan’s appointment became even more outrageous when ECOSOC President Néstor Osorio of Columbia informed delegations that Sudan would be chairing the humanitarian affairs segment of the Council’s work.

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ECOSOC Focus on Youth While Appointing Children’s Rights Abuser Sudan as Vice President

Yesterday the U.N elected Sudan as vice-president of its 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a top U.N. body that regulates human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation. UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, together with Mia Farrow have already spoken out against this absurdity.

Not only is it preposterous that genocidal Sudan will oversee the work of various UN human rights commissions — including the Commission on the Status of Women — but Sudan is an extremely unsuitable candidate for the direct work of ECOSOC itself.

Continue reading ‘ECOSOC Focus on Youth While Appointing Children’s Rights Abuser Sudan as Vice President’

Mia Farrow Condemns U.N. Election of Genocidal Sudan as Vice-President of Top Human Rights Body

Mia Farrow, the film star and human rights activist, today condemned the U.N.’s election of Sudan as vice-president of its 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a top U.N. body that regulates human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation.

The UN’s election of Sudan took place yesterday: click here for UN announcement.

“The election of Sudan as vice-president of this influential U.N. council is incomprehensible and unacceptable,” said Farrow, who last year headed a protest campaign, organized by UN Watch and 30 other human rights groups, that helped pressure Sudan to withdraw its candidacy for another body, the UN Human Rights Council.

“Sudanese president Al Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan,” said Farrow. “President Al Bashir and his regime are orchestrating a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Sudan’s border regions, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile, where some 700,000 civilians face starvation and are denied access to humanitarian aid because of incessant aerial bombardments.”

“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group.

“Electing genocidal Sudan as leader of a global human rights body is like choosing Jack the Ripper to guard a women’s shelter,” said Neuer.

Continue reading ‘Mia Farrow Condemns U.N. Election of Genocidal Sudan as Vice-President of Top Human Rights Body’

Shamed Sudan Pulls Out After Campaign by Human Right NGOs led by Mia Farrow

UN Watch sounded the alarm, filed legal protest, submitted appeal by 30 rights groups to 193 countries, organized online petition sending  3,000 messages to Sudanese UN mission

Group now shifts focus to candidacies of Venezuela and Pakistan

GENEVA, Sept. 3 – In a rare victory for activists seeking to bar abuser states from the U.N. Human Rights Council, Sudan dropped its bid following a massive NGO campaign chaired by Mia Farrow and organized by the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch.

The UN Watch offensive included the filing of a legal objection, an appeal by 30 human rights NGOs, the dispatch of letters to nine foreign ministers and 193 U.N. missions, a Facebook and online campaign that sent 3,000 messages to Sudan’s UN envoy, and to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who in turn pressured the Khartoum regime.

Continue reading ‘Shamed Sudan Pulls Out After Campaign by Human Right NGOs led by Mia Farrow’

Mia Farrow Heads Campaign to Block Sudan from UN Rights Council

GENEVA, Aug. 30 – Mia Farrow, film star and longtime advocate for victims in Darfur, heads a campaign of human rights activists that today launched a legal, diplomatic and online campaign to stop Sudan’s controversial bid for a seat on the world’s highest human rights body, in elections to be held on Nov. 12th.

In papers filed today with UN legal counsel Patricia O’Brien, the activists requested the disqualification of Sudan’s UN Human Rights Council candidacy, on grounds that its government stands accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court, which has already issued two arrest warrants for regime leader Omar Al Bashir.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch, which is coordinating the “Stop Sudan” campaign, said that “electing Sudan to the UN’s top human rights body is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter.”
Continue reading ‘Mia Farrow Heads Campaign to Block Sudan from UN Rights Council’

Block Sudan from U.N. Human Rights Council! Help us reach 100,000 signatures

It’s Official: Genocidal Sudan Running Uncontested for U.N. Human Rights Council Seat


GENEVA, August 7 - The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the candidacy of Omar Al-Bashir’s Sudanese regime, despite the International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest on charges of genocide, for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, as just now confirmed by a United Nations website.

“Electing Sudan to the international community’s highest human body is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

In July, UN Watch had called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Catherine Ashton to denounce and fight against Sudan’s then-reported candidacy.

“Regrettably, no responses were received,” said Neuer. “It’s still not too late, however, and we continue to urge them to speak out for basic morality and common sense at the United Nations.” Continue reading ‘It’s Official: Genocidal Sudan Running Uncontested for U.N. Human Rights Council Seat’

Genocidal Sudan to Win Seat on U.N.’s top human rights body

GENEVA, July 12 – The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to urgently speak out against the African-backed bid by Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Last week, the U.S. failed to get the council to pass a condemnation of what it said was a Syrian candidacy for 2014.

UN Watch, which headed the World NGO Summit on Darfur, also called on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Catherine Ashton to denounce and fight against Sudan’s candidacy.

“Electing Sudan to the U.N. body mandated to promote and protect human rights worldwide is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. Continue reading ‘Genocidal Sudan to Win Seat on U.N.’s top human rights body’

Stop Bashir

UN Watch supports the campaign of Collectif Urgence Darfour to bring the President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir, to justice. Bashir is subject to an international arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, extermination, forced transfer, torture, rape, and genocide.

Watch the compelling videos below and sign the petition: http://www.stopbechir.com/

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court issued yesterday three arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity based on political grounds, and murder and persecution, committed from February 15, 2011 onwards by the Libyan authorities.

The application for the warrant, issued in May by the Office of the Prosecutor Luis Moren-Ocampo, stated that these crimes constituted “widespread and systematic attacks against a civilian population, in particular demonstrators and alleged dissidents.” In the document, Gaddafi is stated to have authorized the mobilization of security forces against protesters, along with the recruitment of mercenaries.

In his television addresses, Gaddafi called protesters “rats” and threatened “to clean Libya inch by inch, house by house, small street by small street, individual by individual, corner by corner until the country is clean from all garbage and dirt.” Victims’ relatives were permitted to retrieve bodies of civilians killed in demonstrations only if they signed a paper stating that the victims were “rats”.

Not even cemeteries and burial sites were spared by the Libyan regime: according to the document, bodies were dug up, loaded on trucks and taken away. On April 30, Gaddafi asked those who claim that the regime was killing its own people to show him the bodies or autopsies or burial sites.

Two years ago, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for another head of state, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, for his responsibility in crimes of genocide against the Fur, Masali and Zaghawa ethnic groups, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Ahmad Harun, former minister of State for the Interior and today governor of the South Kordofan region is quoted as publicly acknowledging his mission to destroy specific ethnic groups, stating that al-Bashir had given him the power to kill whomever he wanted and that, “for the sake of Darfur, they were ready to kill three quarters of the people in Darfur, so that one quarter could live.”

The document also reported how thousands of women and girls were, and continue to be, raped in Darfur by members of Bashir’s militias.

Survivors from the attacks by government-related militias are forced into inhospitable terrain to then starve to death, while they are told slogans like “the Fur are slaves, we will kill them”; “You are Zaghawa tribe, you are slaves”;”You are blacks, no blacks can stay here, and no black can stay in Sudan… The power of al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end.”

Links
Gaddafi’s Warrant of Arrest
Gaddafi’s Prosecution Application

Al-Bashir’s Warrant of Arrest
Al-Bashir’s Prosecution Application

Sudan after the referendum: John Dau, Juan Branco, Bernard Schalscha address Geneva Summit

GENEVA, March 15 –  Dissidents and human rights activists from around the globe gathered today for the 2011 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, held in parallel to the main annual session of the UN Human Rights Council. Click here for program.  Below is a summary of the first panel on the situation in Southern Sudan after the referendum.

John Dau, activist and refugee from South Sudan, told the story of his experiences as a “lost boy” of Sudan. His five-year ordeal began when government forces from the North attacked his village in Southern Sudan. He was separated from his family at twelve years old.

Until he reached safety in Kenya at the age of seventeen, he lived as a refugee, hiding from government forces that targeted young boys from the South to keep them from growing up to be rebel soldiers. He and his fellow lost boys froze, starved, and suffered from thirst, with many of them falling prey along the way to the elements and to attacks by air and ground forces. Continue reading ‘Sudan after the referendum: John Dau, Juan Branco, Bernard Schalscha address Geneva Summit’

GA adopts outcome document of Durban Review Conference

On November 23, Sudan, on behalf of the Group of 77, introduced in the General Assembly’s Third Committee a resolution on the adoption of the Outcome Document of the Durban Review Conference.  The Conference was held in Geneva from April 20 – 24, 2009, and is best remembered by the dozens of democracies that walked out during Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial opening address. 

The delegation of Israel called for the vote, explaining that her government refused to afford credibility to a process that was “obsessed” with the Middle East.  The text was initially adopted with 161 countries in favor, 6 against, and 12 abstaining. 

After the vote, however, the delegation of the Russian Federation raised a point of order to note that their “yes” had been recorded as an abstention; they then requested a new vote.  The United States responded that it was “highly unusual” for a new vote to be recorded, asking under what rule of procedure the Committee would be acting.  The Chair replied that although it was, indeed, unusual, the rules do not prohibit the retaking of votes.  Furthermore, in previous demands for a new vote, the requesting delegation had pressed the wrong button.  As the Russian delegation had insisted that he had pressed the correct button, the Chair deemed it acceptable to grant a re-vote.  However, the United States argued that because the delegation had not requested a reconsideration of the resolution, a second vote would be invalid. 

The Chair decided to hold another vote, and the final count was 163 in favor, 5 against, and 9 abstaining.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Russian Federation, changed their votes from abstentions to “yes.”  The Marshall Islands, which initially voted “no” was absent during the second vote, as was Macedonia, which had voted “yes” originally.

Canada was one of five nations to refuse to vote for the Durban Outcome Document (the other four were Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, and the United States.)  The Canadian representative explained that the language in the text reaffirmed the outcome document of the first Durban Conference in 2001, and that his government would not lend its approval to such a politicized process.  Moreover, the delegation argued that references in the document to the Middle East bore no relevancy to the fight against intolerance.

The other five countries that walked out of the Conference, namely Germany, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Poland and Italy, all abstained.  They were joined by Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania and Tonga.

In a general statement on the resolution, the delegation of Israel remarked that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.”  Israel argued that the 2001 Durban Conference “had descended in a brazen display of anti-Semitic racism,” and the promotion of racist agendas.  The representative of Israel further explained that they had initially decided to reserve judgment on the General Assembly’s decision to convene the Durban Review Conference; that they had realized the Conference’s potential to rectify the wrongs of 2001, but that these hopes had been misplaced.  Though Israel acknowledged the importance of various elements of the Review, the Conference had, nevertheless, reaffirmed the 2001 Durban Declaration.  The delegation explained that Israel was “fully committed to address, in a professional manner, the scourge of racism, xenophobia and intolerance,” but that it could not support a document that endorsed the 2001 Durban Declaration.

Genocidal Sudan Nominated to Head U.N. Anti-Racism Panel

The Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on Durban Follow-up started its seventh session on Monday. The group was established following the 2001 Durban Conference with a mandate to implement its Declaration and Program of Action. Like many other ill-fated UN anti-racism initiatives, the IGWG it has been exploited by abusive regimes that are hostile to the very notion of human rights, seeking internatonal legitimacy as they deny freedom to their people.

By the end of its second day, this week’s IGWG session has met for a total of 90 minutes, instead of the scheduled 12 hours. Why the delay? A stand-off over who will chair the group. In the interim, the Secretariat is presiding, in the person of Mona Rishmawi, the Palestinian lawyer and former activist who recently became Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch of the OHCHR.

The IGWG used to be headed by the former Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Mr. Dayan Jayatilleka, who was recently recalled by his government after a reported internal political dispute.

Who will now lead the world effort to combat racism and xenophobia? Nigeria for the African Group made the only nomination: Sudan. Yes, the country whose ruler has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for its racist genocide in Darfur. Continue reading ‘Genocidal Sudan Nominated to Head U.N. Anti-Racism Panel’