Tag Archive: Human rights

 Published time: 25 Sep, 2015 12:20
© Seven LE DUC
The French animal rights group, Cause Animal Nord, has come under fire after a video emerged of the activists taking away a puppy from a crying homeless man in central Paris.

The video shows the man fighting for his dog, but eventually losing out as three members of the group, including the organization’s president, seized the puppy and ran away. The homeless man was left in tears.

The cruel act has been condemned by the media and internet users. A number took to social networks to express their disgust, while others left highly critical messages on the organization’s Facebook page.

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3 French animal rights activists steal puppy from homeless man, and put it up for adoption under the name “Vegan”:h…

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United Nations Farce: Saudi Arabia to Head UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Security Council: An Organization for Injustice

All victims of human rights abuses should be able to look to the Human Rights Council as a forum and a springboard for action. (Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, 12 March 2007, Opening of the 4th Human Rights Council Session.)

Article 55 of United Nations Charter includes: “Universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

In diametrical opposition to these fine founding aspirations, the UN has appointed Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council to head (or should that be “behead”) an influential human rights panel. The appointment was seemingly made in June, but only came to light on 17th September, due to documents obtained by UN Watch (1.)

… Mr Faisal Bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as Chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.

As head of a five-strong group of diplomats, the influential role would give Mr Trad the power to select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on human rights.

Such experts are often described as the “crown jewels” of the HRC, according to UN Watch.

The “crown jewels” have been handed to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia will head a Consultative Group of five Ambassadors empowered to select applicants globally for more than seventy seven positions to deal with human rights violations and mandates.

In a spectacular new low for even a UN whose former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, took eighteen months to admit publicly that the 2003 invasion of, bombardment and near destruction of Iraq was illegal, UN Watch points out that the UN has chosen: “a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key Human Rights panel …” (2)

In May, just prior to the appointment, the Saudi government advertised for eight extra executioners to: “ … carry out an increasing number of death sentences, which are usually beheadings, carried out in public” (3.)

Seemingly: “no special qualifications are needed.” The main function would be executing, but job description: “also involves performing amputations …”

The advert was posted on the website of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of the Civil Service.

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More than 100,000 people have been killed in the ongoing Syrian conflict according to figures released Wednesday by UK-based watchdog The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The unrest began in March 2011.

By FRANCE 24 (video)
News Wires (text)

More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the country’s uprising in March 2011, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said in a new toll on Wednesday.

The Observatory said the toll now stands at 100,191 people, with at least 36,661 civilians killed, including more than 3,000 women and more than 5,000 children under the age of 16.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground throughout Syria, said 18,072 rebel fighters had been killed.

On the regime side, the group reported the deaths of at least 25,407 army soldiers, 17,311 pro-regime militia and 169 members of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which has dispatched fighters to battle alongside the Syrian army.


Read More and Watch Video Here



Syria Blames Saudi Arabia for Conflict

The civil war in Syria has now killed more than 100,000 people, a grim new estimate Wednesday that comes at a time when the conflict is spreading beyond its borders and hopes are fading for a settlement to end the bloodshed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the death toll through a network of activists in the country, said most of the 100,191 killed in the last 27 months were combatants.

The regime losses were estimated at nearly 43,000, including pro-government militias and 169 fighters from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group — a recent entrant in the conflict.

The Observatory said 36,661 of the dead are civilians. Recorded deaths among the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad reached more than 18,000, including 2,518 foreign fighters.

Observatory director Rami Abdul-Rahman said he suspected that the toll actually was higher, since neither side has been totally forthcoming about its losses.

The United Nations recently estimated that 93,000 people were killed between March 2011, when the crisis started, and the end of April 2013, concurring with Abdul-Rahman that the actual toll is likely much higher.

The Syrian government has not given a death toll. State media published the names of the government’s dead in the first months of the crisis, but then stopped publishing its losses after the opposition became an armed insurgency.

Mideast Syria.JPEG

Abdul-Rahman said that the group’s tally of military deaths is based on information from medical sources, records obtained by the group from state agencies and activists’ own count of funerals in government-held areas of the country. Other sources are the activist videos showing soldiers who were killed in rebel areas and later identified.

The new estimate comes at a time when hopes for peace talks are fading. The U.N.’s special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Tuesday an international conference proposed by Russia and the U.S. will not take place until later in the summer, partly because of opposition disarray.


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Vietnam: Escalating Persecution of Bloggers

Recent Arrests, Physical Attacks Require Strong Diplomatic Response

June 19, 2013

Rights activist Nguyen Hoang Vi distributing Universal Declaration of Human Rights to people on May 5 at April 30 park.

Vietnam’s strategy of repressing critics big and small will only lead the country deeper into crisis. The latest arrests and assaults on bloggers show how afraid the government is of open discussion on democracy and human rights.

Brad Adams, Asia director

(New York, June 20, 2013) – The Vietnamese government should unconditionally release recently arrested bloggers and end physical attacks on critics, Human Rights Watch said today. Vietnam’s donors and trading partners should publicly call on the government to end the use of the criminal law against peaceful activists.

Human Rights Watch called for the immediate and unconditional release of recently arrested bloggers Truong Duy Nhat and Pham Viet Dao, as well as internet activist Dinh Nhat Uy, and an investigation into allegations that police assaulted internet activists Nguyen Chi Duc, Nguyen Hoang Vi, and Pham Le Vuong Cac, whose security the authorities should protect.

“Vietnam’s strategy of repressing critics big and small will only lead the country deeper into crisis,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The latest arrests and assaults on bloggers show how afraid the government is of open discussion on democracy and human rights.”

Many of the arrests have come under Vietnam Penal Code article 258, one of several vague and elastic legal provisions routinely used to prosecute people for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Recent cases of arrest and assault include the following:

  • On May 26, 2013, Ministry of Public Security officers arrested blogger Truong Duy Nhat for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens,” according to the Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien. The arrest at his home in Da Nang of the 49-year-old followed his posting on his popular “A Different Perspective” blog of a call for the resignation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and ruling Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, blaming them for leading Vietnam into worsening political and economic difficulties.
  • On June 7, 2013, five men believed to be police officers assaulted 26-year-old blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi (also known as An Do Nguyen) and legal activist Pham Le Vuong Cac on a Ho Chi Minh City street. According to Vietnamese bloggers, the attackers had been monitoring Nguyen Hoang Vi and her family for several days and beat her into unconsciousness, leaving wounds requiring hospital treatment. Nguyen Hoang Vi is a prominent Internet personality who was also attacked on May 5-6, 2013, after playing a leading role in an attempted “human rights picnic” in Ho Chi Minh City.


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800 Scientists Demand Global GMO “Experiment” End

Elizabeth Renter

May 24th, 2013
Updated 05/24/2013 at 5:23 am

Did you hear about the 800 esteemed scientists who came together and demanded the production of genetically modified crops and products be stopped? Scientists who called on world powers to re-evaluate the future of agriculture and seek sustainability rather than corporate profits? Don’t be surprised if you haven’t, as the mainstream media won’t touch this one.

Eight-hundred scientists did make such a demand. They made it first over a decade ago and they have updated it over the years, adding signatures and release dates. Still global powers have all but ignored their calls.

The Institute of Science in Society is a non-profit group of scientists from around the world, dedicated to bringing an end to what they refer to as the “dangerous GMO “experiment. In their open letter to the world, they have highlighted why governments need to stop genetically modified crops now – before there are irreversible effects on the health of the people and the health of the earth at large.

The Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments calls for “the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of GM crops and products, both commercially and in open field trials, for at least 5 years.”

They also want patents on organisms, cell lines, and living things revoked and banned. Such patents (a sort of corporate version of “playing God,”) “threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources, violate basic human rights and dignity, compromise healthcare, impede medical and scientific research and are against the welfare of animals.”

And as Anthony Gucciardi recently detailed on NaturalSociety, this would be bad news for Monsanto following the recent Supreme Court decision that they have the ‘right’ to patent life.

democracynow democracynow·

Published on May 30, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – As Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in funding for food stamps, a new report finds one in six Americans live in a household that cannot afford adequate food. In “Nourishing Change: Fulfilling the Right to Food in the United States,” the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University’s School of Law reports that of these 50 million people going hungry, nearly 17 million are children. Food insecurity has skyrocketed since the economic downturn, with an additional 14 million people classified as food insecure in 2011 than in 2007. The report comes as Congress is renegotiating the Farm Bill and proposing serious cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Millions of Americans currently rely on the program to feed themselves and their families. The report’s co-author, Smita Narula of the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU’s School of Law, joins us to discuss her findings and why she is calling on the U.S. government to ensure that all Americans have access to sufficient, nutritious food.




Food stamp cuts hurt the economy and taxpayers along with the poor

Posted Tuesday, May. 28, 2013

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/28/4889196/food-stamp-cuts-hurt-the-economy.html#storylink=cpy

To hear Republicans — and some Democrats — in Congress talk, you’d think food-stamp dollars just disappear into a black hole. The prevailing debate in the Senate and House versions of the farm bill, which contains funding for food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), is over how much to cut.

But when more than 15 percent of Americans remain impoverished, slashing food assistance for the poor makes no sense in humanitarian, economic or public-health terms.

The House bill which is gaining steam after passage by the Agriculture Committee last week, is the more draconian of the two. It would chop $20 billion over 10 years from SNAP, and its changes to food-stamp eligibility rules would cut off vital sustenance for about 2 million low-income people, including seniors and families with children.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 210,000 children in low-income families would lose their free school meals under the House plan.

The Senate version would cut far less, though a final figure will be hashed out by a conference committee in June. But the attacks on food assistance for the poor are deeply misguided and are only going to get worse.

The proposed House budget from Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seeks to gut food stamps by an additional $135 billion through block grants to states.

Yet government and other studies clearly show that food stamps are among the most wisely spent public dollars, providing essential nourishment and public health benefits to low-income people as well as economic stimulus to rural and urban communities.

These are returns on spending that you won’t find in the corporate tax giveaways and military spending boondoggles routinely supported by both political parties. even as they scream for austerity when it comes to slashing “entitlements” and food assistance for the poor.

The Trust for America’s Health, a health advocacy organization that focuses on disease prevention, warned recently of the consequences of cutting food stamps: “If the nation continues to underfund vital public health programs, we will never achieve long-term fiscal stability, as it will be impossible to help people get/stay healthy, happy and productive.”

Indeed, According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “research shows that low-income households participating in SNAP have access to more food energy, protein and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals in their home food supply compared to eligible nonparticipants.”


Read Full Article Here



Nestle CEO Seeks to Control the World’s Water Supply


Gun control may be a hot topic, but what about water control? Recent comments from Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck imply that the world’s water will soon come under the control of corporations like his. Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water is not a human right, but should be managed by business people and governing bodies. He wants water controlled, privatized, and delegated in a way that sustains the planet. View the astonishing interview below:

Water control hitting the United StatesAll of this means that Brabeck’s future plans include monitoring and controlling the amount of water people use. One day, cities and towns may be forced by international law to limit each household to a set amount of water. People may have to obtain permits to dig wells or pay fines for collecting rainwater. Laws like these are already in motion in the United States. Learn more here: http://www.naturalnews.com/029286_rainwater_collection_water.htmlNestle’s CEO thinks all water should have a price


In the interview, Brabeck touts that his company is the largest foodstuff corporation in the world with over $65 billion in profit each year. He proudly claims that millions of people are dependent on him and his company. Does this guy think he is a god?

He calls water a “foodstuff” that needs an assigned value. Who controls the price of water? Brabeck bases his sustainability projects on the fact that a third of the world’s population may face water shortages within 15-20 years. By price controlling water, Brabeck believes he may save the planet from food and water shortages in the coming years.

With the threat of future water shortages, is it necessary to strip all humans of their natural liberty to water, as Brabeck suggests?

Read Full Article Here

Published on Mar 31, 2013

Legislation seeks to combat high levels of violence against women



Power minnow Rurelec takes on Bolivia over compensation for forced nationalization

Aim-listed energy minnow Rurelec is preparing to take on the Bolivian Government in a court battle over the forced nationalization of its assets.

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks at opening session of European Parliament in Strasbourg

Evo Morales’s move could further spook European investors already wary of resource nationalism in left-wing regimes in South America Photo: Reuters


The Telegraph

9:00PM BST 31 Mar 2013

The South American nation seized Rurelec’s controlling stake in power company Guaracachi on May Day 2010 and has not paid any compensation.

Rurelec claims independent valuations show it is owed $142.3m (£94m) and on Tuesday the case will be heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, has made a habit of carrying out nationalisations of assets in politically-sensitive sectors such as telecoms and energy on May Day each year.

Peter Earl, Rurelec chief executive, said: “Bolivia has never gone to arbitration before — they have always settled beforehand. I think they thought we were a small company and they could bully us and we would cave.

“They never realised we had strong shareholders, or that we would get the support of the British Government.”

Rurelec raised money from shareholders to pay the legal costs of the arbitration process and said William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, had personally backed its case.

The company had said it would be willing for settle for a minimum of the book value of the assets, which it puts at $75m, plus interest. But Mr Earl said Bolivia had never even suggested a figure.

Read Full Post  Here



New Law in Bolivia to Protect Women from Violence (including “Femicide”)

The United Nations human rights office has welcomed a new law in Bolivia which broadens the protection of women against various forms of violence.  “We welcome the promulgation, on 9 March 2013, of the Comprehensive Law to guarantee women a life free from violence in Bolivia (Law 348), which broadens protection of women against various forms of violence and establishes the eradication of violence against women as a priority of the State,” the spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told journalists in Geneva.

The law also includes the crime of ‘femicide’ – in which a woman is murdered due to the fact that she is female – in the penal code, with a prison term of 30 years without pardon.


Read Full Article Here


Saudi Arabia threatens to block Skype, WhatsApp, Viber

Monday, 25 March 2013
Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications regulator has threatened to block messaging applications, such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber. (Al Arabiya)

Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications regulator has threatened to block messaging applications, such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber if telecommunication companies fail to monitor the applications.

The Saudi Telecommunications and Information Technology Commission urged telecom companies to examine possible ways for security oversight with companies who own those ‘apps.’

The commission gave the telecom companies until the end of this week to respond. In case they say it is impossible to monitor the applications, the commission said it will consider procedures to block them altogether in the kingdom.

The Saudi telecommunication watchdog had addressed a similar case with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) in 2010 when it ordered local telecommunication companies to suspend BlackBerry messenger services.

The Kingdom demanded access to the Blackberry’s encrypted network. The Saudi regulatory commission reportedly refused to comment about its imminent decision.

Sulaiman Mirdad, the commission’s deputy governor, told the Okaz daily newspaper that the commission has named Sultan al-Malik as its spokesman to answer the media’s questions.

But the paper reported that several attempts were made to reach al-Malik by phone but he did not respond.

Saudi online users took to twitter to mock the commission’s anticipated decision, with some asking for the internet service to be cut off altogether. Others wrote that the next target for government control will be the oxygen that people breathe.




Al Saud remains hostile towards democracy and human rights: Zayd al-Isa

Tue Jan 1, 2013 4:30PM GMT
Press TV

Interview with Zayd al-Isa

[Saudi Arabia] is afraid of everything. It’s actually the country which is the number one enemy of democracy and human rights. They basically do not exist in that country.”

Related Viewpoints:
The Al Saud family of Saudi Arabia has dealt heavy crackdowns on peaceful protesters who demand democracy and human rights, an analyst tells Press TV.

In the background to this, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province to protest against Saudi forces who opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators, killing a teenager and with scores injured.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Zayd al-Isa, a Middle East expert from London, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: In a country that claims to be a supporter of democracy and human rights, we see suppression of the voices of dissent and a heavy-handed response to those who stage demonstrations there. Just why does Saudi Arabia prevent the voices of dissent from being heard? What is it afraid of?

Al-Isa: It’s afraid of everything. It’s actually the country which is the number one enemy of democracy and human rights. They basically do not exist in that country.

All those people who are gathering, they are simply asking for legitimacy, for justice, for human rights, political reform and democratic change.

But now, because of the ferocious and murderous onslaught which has been unleashed by the authorities, those people are demanding the downfall of the Al Saud regime which is absolutely incapable as is considerably clear from their actions of facing any concrete or tangible steps towards reform.

We’ve seen that they always resort to brutal, ruthless, murderous crackdowns against peaceful demonstrators – those people are simply peaceful protesters.

But I do believe that those murderous and ferocious crackdowns have spectacularly backfired. It has spectacularly failed in derailing or unnerving those people from taking to the streets.

We’ve seen those protests gathering momentum, gathering face.

A heavy-handed approach has simply backfired and galvanized more support for those protests. They actually have bolstered the position of the protesters. Even those people who did not participate at the beginning by sitting on their hands have now joined in. You can see now that the numbers are intensifying and the protests are escalating.

We’ve seen [them] trying to bribe off the people, issuing stern warning against protests. Even the Wahhabi Salafis institutions said that those protests are anti-Islamic.

The mufti of Saudi Arabia has said that they are simply a bunch of prisoners and outsiders who hell-bent on destabilizing the regime. The interior minister has called those people terrorists…



Jailing Saudi rights activists, clear HR violation: Iran MP

Saudi women hold pictures of jailed activists during a protest rally to demand the release of all political prisoners. (File photo)

Saudi women hold pictures of jailed activists during a protest rally to demand the release of all political prisoners. (File photo)
Iranian lawmaker Mohammad-Saleh Jokar has condemned Saudi Arabia for dissolution of a human rights group and handing down heavy jail sentences to its members.

“The international community must be vigilant of Al Saud’s crackdown on human rights organizations in the country,” Jokar, who is also member of Iran Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Riyadh criminal court dissolved the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), with the judge saying the group had failed “to obtain authorization.”

Referring to the court order as a clear violation of human rights, the lawmaker noted that governments devoid of popular support have to resort to repression and intimidation to maintain their authority.

“Legislative and judicial institutions of the Al Saud regime are ailing, as they are only after protecting the [Al Saud] regime rather than the interests of the people of the country, and the product of such a regime will certainly not be human rights and democracy,” the lawmaker added.

The Riyadh court also upheld a six-year jail sentence for Abdullah al-Hamed, an ACPRA activist, and increased his sentence by five more years.

Hamed has also received an 11-year travel ban, which will prevent him from leaving Saudi Arabia for a little over a decade after his release from prison.

Mohammed Gahtani, another group member, was also given 10 years in prison and a 10-year travel ban.

The two men were convicted of breaching the kingdom’s cyber crime law by using Twitter to lash out at the country’s political system and social life.


Published on Jan 31, 2013

Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank violate international law, and the country must “immediately” withdraw all settlers from such areas, UN human rights investigators have said.

Israel has not co-operated with the inquiry, set up by the Human Rights Council (HRC) last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including East Jerusalem.

“Israel must … cease all settlement activities without preconditions [and] must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers” from the occupied territories, the fact-finding mission concluded in a report released on Thursday.

Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Jerusalem.