Archive for the 'Terrorism' Category

China-Uyghur Clash: UN Watch Summit Speech Prescient

In an operation aimed at countering “violent terrorists,” Chinese government authorities killed seven “kidnappers” who were trying to leave the country to attend “foreign jihad camps” – but had stopped along the way to take two hostages.

That’s the official Chinese backstory – presented at a press conference this week – to a Dec. 28 shootout in the restive province of Xinjiang, where indigenous Muslim Uyghurs are struggling to preserve their culture in the face of a still-rising presence of Han Chinese.

Uyghur exiles give a different account of the shootout, which also left one police officer dead. They say police opened fire when locals clashed with officers during a demonstration outside the police bureau to protest a recent security crackdown.

Branding Uyghurs as “terrorists” when they’re involved in clashes with China’s authorities fits a pattern that Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent Uyghur businesswoman and human rights activist, outlined in detail when she spoke at UN Watch’s “We Have a Dream” human rights summit in New York in September. Continue reading ‘China-Uyghur Clash: UN Watch Summit Speech Prescient’

UN Indifferent to Gaza Rocket Attacks on Israel: Ambassador

The absence of any United Nations condemnation of the ceaseless Gaza-sourced rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities is highlighted in a letter Israel has sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council.

“This is a dangerous trend,” Ambassador Haim Waxman, Israel’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, says in comments reflecting the letter’s content.

“During the past month, more than 40 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israeli cities. Israel holds Hamas fully responsible for all acts of terrorism emanating from Gaza. We will continue to exercise our right to self-defense and take all measures necessary to protect our citizens.” Continue reading ‘UN Indifferent to Gaza Rocket Attacks on Israel: Ambassador’

AUDIO: Hillel Neuer on Toronto Radio urges UN to retract praise of Tehran terror conf

After UN chief Ban Ki-moon sent warm greetings to Iran’s “Anti-Terrorism” Conference, UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer urges him to retract. Interviewed on the Arlene Bynon Show, Toronto Talk Radio AM 640, June 28, 2011. “This is like Bernie Madoff leading an initiative to combat fraud,” said Neuer.

UN confirms: Ban Ki-moon did send message to Iran’s “Anti-Terror” Conf

From today’s daily UN press conference: full transcript here, video here.

Question:  Thank you, Farhan.  I have a report, message this morning from the organization UN Watch in Geneva about an international conference on global fight against terrorism in Tehran, which has a purported message from the Secretary-General — I am not vouching for the English on this — this is a reproduction from the conference’s website; it says:  “In a written message to international conference on fight against terrorism in Tehran, UN Secretary emphasized right against terrorism is a great responsibility for all nations and Governments.” My question to you is…

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  You mean “fight”, not “right” against terrorism.

Question:  Pardon?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  Fight against terrorism; not right against terrorism.

Question:  It said “fight”, I am reading… As I said, I am not vouching for the English.  Did the Secretary-General make such a statement?  In fact, did he say — I am sure he has said something like that any number of times, did he make this, send this particular statement directly on the occasion of this conference?

Acting Deputy Spokesperson:  Yes.  In fact there is a message that was delivered on his behalf.  Obviously, the Secretary-General did not deliver it first-hand; but a message has been delivered on his behalf.  We are getting the text, and we’ll put that out in fact this afternoon.  As you know, the Secretary-General believes that all nations, all peoples are affected by terrorism; and that it is imperative that we involved as many States, as many peoples as possible in the fight against terrorism.  

UN Defends Endorsement of Iran’s “Anti-Terror” Conf

GENEVA — After a UN spokesperson defended the world body’s endorsement of Iran’s “anti-terrorism” conference—which accused the US, Britain, and Israel of perpetrating terrorism, and asserted a cover-up concerning 9/11 and the Holocaust—UN Watch today called on US and British representatives to intervene.

As reported today by The Jerusalem Post, a UN spokesperson defended Ban Ki-moon’s message to the conference, presented in person by a UN counter-terrorism official, saying, “the UN believes that it is important for all nations to work together in the fight against terrorism.”

UN Watch expressed “deep disappointment” with this reponse, and sent letters today to US Ambassador Susan Rice and British Ambassador Mark Justin Lyall Grant (see below), asking them to demand a UN retraction.

If the Chinese Communist Party will now organize an international conference for internet freedom, and if Syria’s President Assad will hold one for the right to peaceful protest, will the UN also endorse those, on grounds that it is important for all nations to work together in promoting human rights?” asked Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization.

“With Iran now trumpeting headlines such as ‘UN Chief Praises Tehran’s Anti-Terror Initiative,’ the UN must immediately distance itself from this insult to victims of Iranian terrorism worldwide. Mr. Ban should also condemn Iran’s president — as he has rightly done before — for insulting the memory of the victims of 9/11 and of the Holocaust.”

Click for letters

NGO Urges UN Chief to Retract Blessing for Cynical Iranian Conference on Terrorism

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh: “We are happy that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is sending his representatives to read out his message to Tehran conference.”

GENEVA — A watchdog organization is calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to retract his apparent endorsement of an Iranian government conference on terrorism that seeks to deny Iranian complicity, while instead blaming the US, Britain and Israel. The following letter was sent today to the UN chief by Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch.

# # # # #

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017

25 June 2011

Your Excellency,

Earlier this week, UN Watch warmly welcomed your deserved reelection as UN Secretary-General and applauded your principled leadership. It is in that spirit that we call upon you to distance yourself and the United Nations from a cynical conference now underway in Iran which claims to have your blessing and that of the United Nations.

Organized by the Iranian government, the conference is entitled “International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism.” It began today and ends tomorrow. The opening message by Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei attacked “the United States, Britain and some Western governments, with a black record in terrorist behaviors,” “satanic world powers,” and “terrorist organizations such as the Zionism International Agency.” (http://www.icterrorism.com/en/?news=163)

The Iranian Supreme Leader further says on the conference website that “the creation and growth of the wild and blind terrorism is basically the result of the wicked policy of America and England,” and that “it is a duty for all Muslims to confront and fight this inauspicious offspring which is the clear example of corruption on earth and fighting with God.” (http://www.icterrorism.com/en/?page=200) Continue reading ‘NGO Urges UN Chief to Retract Blessing for Cynical Iranian Conference on Terrorism’

Video: U.N. reps questioning Bin Laden take-down are “jerks,” says U.S. Senator

U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay, along with Christof Heyns, the U.N. expert on extrajudicial executions, and Martin Scheinin, the U.N. expert on human rights and counter-terrorism have questioned the U.S. take-down of Osama bin Laden, demanding the United States provide information so the UN can examine whether the operation complied with “international human rights law standards.”

In response, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch said they should “get real… It’s unbelievable to me that these people can be such jerks.”

Senator Hatch said the U.S. Navy SEALS put their lives on the line to defend Americans by eliminating the world’s top terrorist, and the world should be grateful.

Pakistan claims “diplomatic” victory over absence of UN resolution on Mumbai attacks

The Pakistan government sees the failure of the United Nations to issue a resolution regarding the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks despite unprecedented pressure from India, as its diplomatic win over its neighbour, reports Asian News International (ANI).

Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Hussain Haroon said Pakistan was emerging as the most important country on the world map due to Islamabad’s diplomatic efforts.

“It is shameful that U.N. bodies such as the Human Rights Council have ignored the victims of the Mumbai terror attack due to political pressure by Pakistan, which chairs the 56-strong Islamic group,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “Pakistan is cheering because the U.N. chose politics over victims.”

Pakistan, Algeria: Right to Self-Determination Justifies Terrorism; Morocco: the Right is “Obsolete”

In debate on Item 3: “Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights” at the U.N. Human Rights Council, Pakistan and Algeria insisted that the right to self-determination is the foremost human right. Continue reading ‘Pakistan, Algeria: Right to Self-Determination Justifies Terrorism; Morocco: the Right is “Obsolete”’

Red Cross course for Gaza hooded terrorists: Israeli “targets they can attack”

The International Committee of the Red Cross is now teaching terrorist groups in Gaza about the finer points of international humanitarian law, which concerns the protection of civilians during war. Since the main fighting method of organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad is the intentional, mass murder of civilians — by suicide bombers heading for martyrs’ paradise — one wonders what it is precisely that the good people of the ICRC hope to accomplish here. 

The BBC writes about the story here. But the must-see report is an Al Jazeera video — which could easily be mistaken for a clip from Comedy Central — where hooded terrorists gather in a classroom with colored markers to debate international law and rights.

What exactly are they learning, though?

Iyad Nasr, ICRC spokesman, is quoted on the video as saying, “We’d like these armed guys to understand the civilian population, the target, the military targets that they can attack, and the ones they cannot attack.” The reporter tells how the fighters were “absorbing what was sometimes surprising new information, learning that the armed resistance they engage in is a right the law guarantees them.” 

“I have rights,” exclaims one hooded fighter. “Who knew?”

While it is true that under the highly controversial 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions (never ratified by the U.S.) “organized armed groups” are accorded prisoner of war treatment, there is absolutely nothing in international law that condones armed aggression, by state or non-state actors, against civilian or military personnel.

Was the ICRC suggesting that certain Hamas attacks, like the one in June 2006 that killed or wounded five Israeli soldiers (including the captive Gilad Shalit), are not illegal?

Mr. Nasr and the ICRC would do well to clarify what it is exactly that they are teaching.