The Amnesty Report 2008

May 28, 2008

Amnesty has recently published its yearly report on the state of human rights across the world and it makes very interesting, if not depressing, reading.

I will leave the deatils to the report itself but here are some of the details that struck me and were highlighted by Amnesty International themselves:

“The most powerful must lead by example,”

* China must live up to the human rights promises it made around the Olympic Games and allow free speech and freedom of the press and end “re-education through labour”.
* The USA must close Guantánamo detention camp and secret detention centres, prosecute the detainees under fair trial standards or release them, and unequivocally reject the use of torture and ill-treatment.
* Russia must show greater tolerance for political dissent, and none for impunity on human rights abuses in Chechnya.
* The EU must investigate the complicity of its member states in “renditions” of terrorist suspects and set the same bar on human rights for its own members as it does for other countries.

Ms Khan from Amnesty warned: “World leaders are in a state of denial but their failure to act has a high cost. As Iraq and Afghanistan show, human rights problems are not isolated tragedies, but are like viruses that can infect and spread rapidly, endangering all of us.”

“Governments today must show the same degree of vision, courage and commitment that led the United Nations to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sixty years ago.”

“There is a growing demand from people for justice, freedom and equality.”

Some of the most striking images of 2007 were of monks in Myanmar, lawyers in Pakistan, and women activists in Iran.

“Restless and angry, people will not be silenced, and leaders ignore them at their own peril,” said Ms Khan.

Facts and Figures

ARTICLE 1

1948 Promise:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
2008 Reality:
In the first half of 2007 nearly 250 women were killed by violent husbands or family members in Egypt and on average 2 women were raped there every hour.

ARTICLE 3

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person
2008 Reality:
1,252 people were known to have been executed by their state in 2007 in 24 countries; 104 countries however voted for a global moratorium on the death penalty.

ARTICLE 5

1948 Promise:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
2008 Reality:
Amnesty International documented cases of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in more than 81 countries in 2007.

ARTICLE 7

1948 Promise:
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law
2008 Reality:
Amnesty International’s report highlights at least 23 countries with laws discriminating against women, at least 15 with laws discriminating against migrants and at least 14 with laws discriminating against minorities.

ARTICLE 9

1948 Promise:
Noone shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile
2008 Reality:
At the end of 2007, there were more than 600 people detained without charge, trial or judicial review of their detentions at the US airbase in Bagram, Afghanistan, and 25,000 held by the Multinational Force in Iraq.

ARTICLE 10

1948 Promise:
Everyone charged with a crime is entitled equally to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal
2008 Reality:
54 countries were recorded in the Amnesty International Report 2008 as conducting unfair trials.

ARTICLE 11

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law
2008 Reality:
Amnesty International figures show that around 800 people have been held at Guantánamo Bay since the detention facility opened in January 2002, some 270 are still being held there in 2008 without charge or due legal process.

ARTICLE 13

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state
2008 Reality:
In 2007, there were more than 550 Israeli military checkpoints and blockades restricting or preventing the movement of Palestinians between towns and villages in the West Bank.

ARTICLE 18

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
2008 Reality:
Amnesty International has documented 45 countries as detaining Prisoners of Conscience.

ARTICLE 19

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
2008 Reality:
77 countries were restricting freedom of expression and the press according to the Amnesty International Report 2008.

ARTICLE 20

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
2008 Reality:
Thousands of people are believed to have been arrested during the crackdown on protests in Myanmar in 2007, Amnesty International estimates that around 700 remain in detention.

ARTICLE 23

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to fair and equal pay, and to form and join trade unions
2008 Reality:
At least 39 trade unionists were killed in Colombia in 2007, 22 have died in the first 4 months of this year.

ARTICLE 25

1948 Promise:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, especially mothers and children
2008 Reality:
14% of Malawi’s population was living with HIV/AIDS in 2007, only 3% of them had access to free anti-retroviral drugs, 1 million children were orphaned there by HIV/AIDS related deaths.

(All figures from Amnesty International Report 2008)


My Dislike For The US of A

July 5, 2007

I was reading soemthing about visiting the US recently and quite frankly it was pathetic:

Important: Some travelers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the VWP. These include people who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, those with criminal records, (the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to U.S. visa law), certain serious communicable illnesses, those who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from, the United States, or have previously overstayed on the visa waiver program. Such travelers must apply for special restricted visas. If they attempt to travel without a visa, they may be refused entry into the United States.

So the USA deliberately discriminates against the innocent… its like a travel agent Guantanamo Bay lol. The USA is like a paradox, they claim to fight for freedom yet contradict themselves at every turn. There will be people who say it isnt 100% that you arent admitted, but jesus, someone is arrested for something they didn’t do as routine, and they are discriminated against? So sad. Biggots.

I quote:

Guantanamo Bay detainment camp is a joint military prison and interrogation camp under the leadership of Joint Task Force Guantanamo since 2002.[1] The prison holds people suspected by the executive branch of the U.S. government of being al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, as well as those no longer considered suspects who are being held pending relocation elsewhere.

The detainment areas consist of three camps in the base: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and the now-closed Camp X-Ray. The facility is often referred to as Guantanamo, Gitmo (derived from the abbreviation “GTMO”), or Camp X-Ray.[2]

The camp has drawn strong criticism for its extrajudicial detention of captives and the possibility that captives held there were subjected to abusive interrogation techniques that could constitute torture.[3][4] The detainees held by the United States were classified as “enemy combatants”. The U.S. administration had claimed that these prisoners were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against this interpretation on June 29, 2006.[5] Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners will in the future be entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.[6][7][8]

Most of the detainees still at Guantanamo are not scheduled for trial. As of November 2006, out of 775 detainees who have been brought to Guantanamo, approximately 340 have been released, leaving 435 detainees (MSNBC.com): 110 are ready for release, 70 will face trial, and 250 may be held indefinitely.[9]

I mean seriously….. come on. Does any of that seem right to you? Fighting to deny people the right to the Genvea Conventions. ‘250 may be held indefinitely’ It would be laughable if it wasnt so serious.

I could really try and get into this but I won’t, to you Americans out there, you voted them in. Twice.

A few thousand people died in 9/11. You should look up the figures for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was that needed or required? No. And nothing can justify what is going on now or what happened then. You don’t judge people who haven’t been proven guilty and you don’t mass murder innocent people in the name of war. Isn’t liberty something Americans hold dear to their hearts? Laughable.

I could rant for ages using many examples, but precise is easier reading.

Feel free to comment on this one, debate is welcome.