Saturday, June 13, 2009

UN Leaders: CROOKS, DESPOTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS

From an EYEontheUN email, June 10, 2009, by Anne Bayefsky:

LIBYA - PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[June 10], Libya was elected President of the UN General Assembly. Ali Abdussalam Treky of Libya, Libyan Minister for African Affairs, will assume the role of President in September. The General Assembly is supposed to assist "in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion." Here is how Libya has "fulfilled" the General Assembly's mandate:

US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Libya:
"Citizens did not have the right to change their government. Remaining problems included reported disappearances; torture; arbitrary arrest; lengthy pretrial and sometimes incommunicado detention; official impunity and poor prison conditions...denial of a fair public trial by an independent judiciary, political prisoners and detainees, and the lack of judicial recourse for alleged human rights violations...The government restricted civil liberties and freedoms of speech, press...assembly, and association...freedom of religion; corruption and lack of transparency; societal discrimination against women, ethnic minorities, and foreign workers; trafficking in persons; and restriction of labor rights."

Libya already holds a non-permanent seat on the Security Council - with the job of promoting "peace and security" - until the end of 2009. From this seat, Libya promotes the murder of Israelis or anyone it claims should be "resisted": "My delegation stresses the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation. That right is recognized under all international norms and laws. My country completely rejects any linkage between resistance to occupation and terrorism." (July 22, 2008)

SUDAN - A VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[June 10], Sudan was elected a Vice-President of the UN General Assembly. Here is how Sudan has "fulfilled" the General Assembly mandate. Its President is currently evading an international arrest warrant on war crimes and crimes against humanity. And:

US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Sudan:
"Civilians in Darfur continued to suffer from the effects of genocide. Government forces bombed villages, killed civilians including internally displaced persons (IDPs), and collaborated with janjaweed militias and tribal factions to raze villages and perpetrate violence against women...The government's human rights record...abridgement of citizens' right to change their government; extrajudicial and other unlawful killings by government forces and other government-aligned groups throughout the country; disappearances...torture, beatings, rape, and other cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment by security forces; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, incommunicado detention of suspected government opponents, and prolonged pretrial detention; executive interference with the judiciary and denial of due process; obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian assistance; restrictions on privacy; restrictions on freedom of speech...on the press...on freedoms of assembly, association, religion, and movement...violence and discrimination against women, including female genital mutilation (FGM); child abuse, including sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers..."

ALGERIA - CHAIR OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S LEGAL (SIXTH) COMMITTEE
[June 10] Algeria was elected Chairperson of the UN's Legal Committee, known as the Sixth Committee. This body, composed of representatives of all 192 states, is the General Assembly's "primary forum for the consideration of legal questions." Here is how Algeria "fulfills" the Sixth Committee mandate:

US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Algeria:
"[T]he president exercises supreme judicial authority, and executive branch decrees and influence limited judicial independence...[A]uthorities did not completely respect legal provisions regarding defendants' rights and denied due process. The High Judicial Council is responsible for judicial discipline and the appointment of all judges. President Bouteflika serves as the president of the council...Legal decisions regarding family matters are based on Shari'a (Islamic law) as well as civil law...The judiciary...lacked independence in human rights cases. Family connections and status of the parties involved reportedly influenced decisions."

IRAN - A VICE-CHAIR OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S LEGAL (SIXTH) COMMITTEE
[June 10] Iran was elected a Vice-Chair of the of the UN's Legal Committee, known as the Sixth Committee. This body, composed of representatives of all 192 states, is the General Assembly's "primary forum for the consideration of legal questions." Here is how Iran "fulfills" the Sixth Committee mandate:

US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Iran:
"[T]he court system was corrupt and subject to government and religious influence...[T]he head of the judiciary shall be a cleric chosen by the supreme leader. The head of the Supreme Court and prosecutor general also must be clerics. Women continued to be barred from serving as certain types of judges...Defendants did not have the right to confront their accusers, and were not granted access to government-held evidence...Revolutionary court judges were chosen in part due to their ideological commitment to the system. Authorities often charged individuals with undefined crimes, such as "antirevolutionary behavior," "moral corruption," and "siding with global arrogance."...Secret or summary trials of only five minutes' duration occurred frequently. Other trials were deliberately designed to publicize a coerced confession..."


THE UN'S IDEA OF AUTHORITY FIGURES: CROOKS, DESPOTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS ...
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