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by Eye on the U.N.



Libya, Iran, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan are some of the long list of dictatorships and human rights basket-cases in UN leadership roles - positions that entail responsibilities diametrically opposed to their qualifications. Here are some of today's UN authority figures.

States in UN Leadership Positions

Individuals in UN Leadership Positions with troubling histories and biases


UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

The UN job description for the NGO Committee: [ 779a7657507fa1127185b036a&id=29be5eea46&e=5a65791601]

"The main tasks of the Committee are...The consideration of applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by NGOs...[T]he monitoring of the consultative relationship." (Committee on NGOs web-site)

In plain language, this Committee gets to decide what NGOs are permitted to get UN passes, passes which will allow them into the UN, to lobby governments and to participate and speak at UN meetings. Who gets to choose the right and wrong NGOs? On April 28 the UN re-elected Sudan, Cuba, China and Pakistan. Their qualifications for the job?


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Sudan)

"[T]he government expelled 13 humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the country. The government also shut down three Sudanese NGOs in March...As of year's end whereabouts [of the cofounder of the NGO Darfur Forum for Reconciliation and Peaceful Coexistence] were unknown...Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained...NGO members...[G]overnment forces frequently harassed NGOs that received international assistance; restricted or denied humanitarian assessments; did not approve technical agreements; changed procedures; copied NGO files; confiscated NGO property; questioned humanitarian workers at length; monitored humanitarians' personal correspondence; delayed the issuance of visas and travel permits; restricted travel; and publicly accused humanitarian workers of being "spies," "Western agents," and "workers for Israel."

(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Cuba)

"[T]he government did not recognize any domestic human rights groups or permit them to function legally...There are no officially recognized, independent NGOs that monitor human rights...The government continued to deny human rights organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross access to political prisoners and detainees."

(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, China)

"Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), both local and international, continued to face intense scrutiny and restrictions...[T]he government maintained a task force aimed at blocking political change advocated by NGOs involved in social, political, and charitable activities, and also by groups dedicated to combating discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, and minorities...To register, an NGO must find a government agency to serve as its organizational sponsor, have a registered office, and hold a minimum amount of funds...The government did not permit independent domestic NGOs to monitor openly or to comment on human rights conditions...The government...increased scrutiny of NGOs with financial and other links overseas."


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Pakistan)

"Criminal groups, some with ties to militant groups, engaged in extortion and kidnapping activities throughout the country...NGO workers were among those targeted... NGOs are required to register with the government...Security was a problem for NGO workers...By year's end seven NGO workers had been killed...and several others had received threats...[S]ecurity agencies blocked issuance of visas for international staff of NGOs..."

UN Commission on Social Development

The UN job description for the Commission: "...the Commission has taken up key social development themes...These themes are...Promoting full employment and decent work for all...Improving public sector effectiveness....National and international cooperation for social development...Integration of social and economic policy" (Commission for Social Development web-site) )

On April 28 the UN chose Zimbabwe and re-elected Egypt and Cuba as social development authorities.

Their qualifications for the job?


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Egypt)

"The country was a source, transit point, and destination for women and children trafficked primarily for the purposes of forced labor...The law prohibits strikes...[E]mployers abused, overworked, and generally endangered working children...There were reports of employer abuse of undocumented workers, especially domestic workers."

(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Zimbabwe)

"The government's campaign of forced evictions and the demolition of homes and businesses continued during the year under the land reform policy, which affected more than 5,000 farm workers and their families. Approximately 3,300 families were forcibly displaced, sometimes violently, during government-condoned takeovers of commercial farms...[C]hild labor was common...[T]he incidence of children who worked in the informal sector continued to increase...Children often lacked access to necessary safety equipment and training. Children illegal gold and diamond mining, as street vendors, and as car-watchers. There were continued reports of large numbers of girls subject to sexual exploitation."

(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Cuba)

"The law does not allow workers to form and join unions of their choice. The only legal labor union in the country was the CTC, whose leaders were chosen by the CP [Communist Party]...Virtually all workers were required to belong to the CTC, and promotions frequently were limited to CP members who took part in mandatory marches, public humiliations of dissidents, and other state-organized activities...The government can determine that a worker is "unfit" to work, resulting in job loss and the denial of job opportunities. Persons were deemed unfit for their political beliefs, including their refusal to join the official union, or for trying to depart the country illegally. Several small independent labor organizations...were subject to police harassment and infiltration by government agents and were unable to represent workers effectively or work on their behalf...The law does not prohibit forced or compulsory labor by adults...Authorities also often imprisoned persons who refused to participate in mandatory work...[T]he government required children to work in various situations."

Commission on the Status of Women

The UN job description for CSW:

"The Commission on the Status of exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide." (Commission on the Status of Women web-site, "Overview")

On April 28 the UN deemed The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Iran to be worthy of the job.

Here are the DRC's qualifications:


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, DRC)

"...[R]ape was common throughout the country and especially pervasive in conflict areas in the east...[M]ore than 1,100 women and girls were raped each month...Government security forces, armed groups, and civilians perpetrated widespread and sometimes mass rape against women and girls...[M]embers of armed groups, the FARDC [Congolese Armed Forces], and the police were responsible for 81 percent of all reported cases of sexual violence in conflict zones...It was common for family members to pressure a rape victim to keep safeguard the reputations of the victim and her family...After a sexual assault, many young women and girls were often labeled as unsuitable for marriage and married women were frequently abandoned by their husbands. Some families forced rape victims to marry the men who raped them or to forego prosecution in exchange for money or goods from the rapist."

As to what newly elected member of CSW Iran brings to the table see "Since When Is Iran a Champion For Women's Rights?"

UN Commission on Sustainable Development

The UN job description:

" promote dialogue and build partnerships for sustainable development with governments, the international community and the major groups...who have a major role to play in the transition towards sustainable development. These Major Groups include women, youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific community, and farmers." (Commission on Sustainable Development web-site, "Mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development"))

On April 28 the UN chose Angola and Lebanon, and re-elected Saudi Arabia as social development authorities.

Here are their job qualifications:


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Angola)

"The government arrested and harassed NGO workers...[T]rafficking in persons, and discrimination against persons with disabilities and indigenous persons were problems...Domestic violence against women, including spousal abuse, was common and pervasive...Female inmates informed...that prison guards regularly raped them... [C]hild labor...remained a problem...Children engaged in...exploitive labor practices [which] included forced prostitution, involvement in the sale or transport of illegal drugs, and the offloading and transport of goods in ports and across border posts...Street children were common..."

(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Lebanon)

" Palestinian refugees residing in the country were not able to obtain citizenship...The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence, and domestic violence, including spousal abuse, was a problem...Foreign domestic servants, usually women, were often mistreated, abused, and in some cases raped or placed in slavery-like conditions...According to the penal code, a man who kills his wife or other female relative may receive a reduced sentence if he demonstrates he committed the crime in response to a socially unacceptable sexual relationship conducted by the victim...[D]iscrimination against persons with disabilities continued...Discrimination against homosexual activity persisted...Women from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia were trafficked and forced to provide sexual or domestic services. Children...were... subject to forced labor."

(Freedom House Country Report 2009, Saudi Arabia)

"Women...may not legally drive cars, and their use of public facilities is restricted when men are present. By law and custom, Saudi women cannot travel within or outside of the country without a male relative...[D]aughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers, and the testimony of one man is equal to that of two women in Sharia courts...[A]llegations of torture by police and prison officials are common, and access to prisoners by independent human rights and legal organizations is strictly limited...There continues to be virtually no protection for the more than six million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. Many of these laborers...are forced to endure dangerous working and living conditions. There continue to be public reports of female domestic workers suffering regular physical, sexual, and emotional abuse...Substantial prejudice against ethnic, religious, and national minorities prevails."

U.N. Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Governing Council

The UN job description: "The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-HABITAT's Land and Tenure Section is the agency's point of reference for land management and tenure systems, policies and legislation that help achieve adequate shelter, security of tenure and equal access to economic resources for all, with a specific focus on gender equality. The main focus areas and mandate are implementation of land, housing and property rights, and particularly secure tenure for women." (UN-HABITAT web-site, "Shelter Branch")

On April 28, the UN re-elected Iran as the right country for the job.

Here are Iran's qualifications for the Governing Council:


(US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2009, Iran)

"Provisions in the Islamic civil and penal codes, particularly sections dealing law, discriminate against women...The constitution allows the government to confiscate property a manner not in conformity with Islamic law, and the government particularly targeted religious minorities, especially members of the Baha'i faith...The courts denied Baha'is the right to inherit property...The government reportedly continued to confiscate private and commercial properties, as well as religious materials, belonging to Baha'is...There were widespread reports that government agents entered, searched, and/or ransacked the homes and offices of reformist journalists in an attempt to intimidate them."


Why Is U.S. Supporting Sham U.N. Human Rights Council?

With the conclusion of the latest Human Rights Council session at the United Nations the grim statistics sum up the disastrous disregard for human rights from both the Council and the White House.

The U.N. Human Rights Council ended its latest three-week session on Friday by abandoning human rights victims the world over and contributing to the spread of anti-semitism. With the United States now a member of the Council, the Obama administration is neck deep in the Big Muddy but telling Americans to push on.

President Obama's decision to join the Council, the U.N.'s lead human rights body, was one of his first foreign policy moves. It has been an unmitigated disaster - for human rights.


On Friday, the United States delegation in Geneva teamed up with the government of Kyrgyzstan to protect the authorities instead of the people. In the face of what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called an "immense" humanitarian crisis, the Council adopted a U.S.-Kyrgyz initiative as trivial as its title suggests: "technical assistance and cooperation on human rights in Kyrgyzstan."

Southern Kyrgyzstan is engulfed in ethnic violence that has affected more than one million people, left 400,000 homeless and thousands of dead and injured according to the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the ICRC. The Kyrgyz government is failing to provide protection and to stop the violence, with numerous reports that government security forces are contributing to the targeting of Uzbeks.

Freedom House describes Kyrgyzstan as among the least free states on the globe. Leading journalists are murdered, and the country is ranked 162 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International's 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.

In addition to the immediate evidence of an ethnic slaughter, the Human Rights Council had before it a report from one of its own special investigators which alerted it to a number of other disturbing facts.

"Kyrgyzstan is recognized as the country with the highest prevalence of bride-kidnappings," and as many as "30 per cent of all marriages are the result of bride-kidnapping." That's the practice of kidnapping women and forcing them to marry either before or after they are raped. The report also said that forty per cent of women in Kyrgyzstan "had been denied the right to work outside the home or to seek an education."

But as if on another planet, the U.S.-led resolution adopted by the Council, "Expresses its support and encouragement for...efforts made to restore democratic and constitutional order and the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan." No reference is made to current events whatsoever. The resolution mentions only "the loss of life of 7 April 2010," (when the country's former president was toppled).

Instead of criticism or an immediate move to alleviate the crisis, the resolution calls upon the U.N. "to work with the Government of Kyrgyzstan identify areas of technical assistance that will assist Kyrgyzstan in its ability to fulfill its human rights obligations."

Think back to three weeks earlier. Nine people were killed by Israel in an attempt by Turkish-backed extremists to run a legal naval blockade of the terrorist-run Gaza strip. With American approval, the same Human Rights Council suspended its normal proceedings and held its first ever "urgent debate" on the subject. The one million people affected by an ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan attracted no call by the U.S. (or any other Council member) for an urgent debate, or a condemnatory resolution, or a report to the Council, or a demand for immediate steps to halt the violence.

Moreover, the U.S.-Kyrgyzstan resolution merely requests the country conduct "a full and transparent investigation that holds perpetrators accountable" for events on one day in April.

In the case of Israel - with American approval - the U.N. Security Council adopted a unanimous call for "a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards," a formula which led to the immediate launch of a Human Rights Council investigation, with another one by the Secretary-General in the offing. Democratic Israel can't run its own investigation, but corruption-infested Kyrgyzstan can.

And, oh yes, Kyrgyzstan is an elected member of the Human Rights Council.


The long-suffering people of Iran fared no better. To mark the anniversary of last June's stolen Iranian election, the Obama administration contrived to manufacture the appearance of Council action.

On June 15, Norwegian Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen read a statement that spoke about human rights violations in Iran for a total of 171 seconds. She spoke on behalf of 56 states, or just 29% of U.N. members. She was interrupted by fourteen separate points of order. The controversy resulted in a suspension of the meeting for two hours and another half-hour was lost debating whether the statement could be read at all.

When the Ambassador was finally allowed to proceed, she gingerly read the remainder of the statement by omitting the word 'Iran' three times from the original written text. How painful to listen to her plead "We call on the 'aforementioned government' to live up to the commitments it has undertaken...and to fulfill its obligations...[We] wish to see an improvement in the human rights situation of individual people 'in this country.'"

While the State Department broadcast the written statement (and not the one actually delivered), the U.S. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe spun the story this way. She called it "a significant accomplishment" and an "important moment" for the Human Rights Council. She explained the toothless nature of the remarks by telling Reuters that the statement "is intended as a show of solidarity with the human rights defenders, rather than a condemnation of the government."

A short lesson in U.N. processes is necessary to fathom the fraud involved in the administration's actions on Iran. The Human Rights Council can respond to human rights violations by a state in a number of ways. It can (1) adopt a resolution launching a human rights investigation, (2) adopt a resolution condemning the violations of human rights, (3) adopt a decision read by the Council President reflecting unanimous concern, (4) decide to hold a special session devoted to the state's human rights abuses, and/or (5) decide to hold an urgent debate on the country at hand. In the case of Iran, the Council did none of the above - no resolution, no decision, no special session, no urgent debate, no condemnation by the Council of any kind.

While Iranians are denied the most elementary civil and political rights, and Americans are held hostage by its government, the Obama administration managed to get the U.N.'s lead human rights body to permit a fraction of U.N. members to read haltingly a statement with no consequences. Yet Donahoe crowed before the cameras: "American engagement and leadership matters at the Human Rights Council."


The fallout from the Obama administration's "leadership" on the Council got worse. On Friday, the Council adopted a resolution on freedom of religion or belief. It was instantly heralded by none other than the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) - with good reason.

In the context of a major push by the OIC to expand the reaches of their notions of "freedom" of thought, conscience, religion or belief, the United States agreed to remove a reference to freedom of expression as a countervailing principle.

The last time such a resolution on the subject was adopted by the Council, pre-dating an Obama presence, it read: "appeals to all Governments to take all appropriate counter intolerance and related violence based on religion or belief,...recognizing that every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, expression and religion."

Even in the General Assembly last fall, the resolution on the subject said: "freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression are interdependent, interrelated and mutually reinforcing." With Obama's people on the Council, freedom of expression was erased from the statement of entitlements flowing from religion and belief.


And it didn't end there. Friday the Obama administration changed course on nine consecutive years of clear American opposition to the product of the anti-semitic hatefest known as the 2001 Durban conference.

The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), which was adopted after Israel and the United States walked out of the conference in disgust, names only Israel and charges it with racism. The UN system has made so-called "follow-up" of the DDPA one of its central goals. So has its fan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who opened a Durban II conference in Geneva in April of 2009.

Now the U.N. is planning to hold two more such meetings as "commemorations" of the tenth anniversary of the 2001 conference. There will be a one-day event in September 2011 organized at the same time as presidents and prime ministers are in New York for the opening of the General Assembly.

Most of them refused to attend Durban I and II, but the plan is that this time they will be a captive audience.

And on Friday the Council adopted a resolution which decides to hold a second commemorative meeting at the UN Human Rights Council in June of next year. It also urges the widespread participation of civil society in the festivities. Civil society members used Durban I to adopt a declaration that zionism is racism.

One would have thought that encouraging the celebration or repetition of Durban I would be anathema to a U.S. administration. After all, between 2002 and 2009 the United States faced twelve main U.N. resolutions on Durban follow-up in the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, and voted against each and every time. But no longer.

Ambassador Donahoe explained that the United States would allow the resolution to be adopted without a vote, and the U.S. would simply dissociate itself. Donahoe explained her failure to demand a vote, rally like-minded states to oppose the resolution, and vote against, as a consequence of the resolution's sponsors agreeing to place one paragraph dealing with an unrelated report of a working group into the resolution's preamble instead of its "operative" part.

Her feeble story ignored the obvious inconsistency between prior policy and three remaining operative paragraphs which give birth to son of Durban.


In addition to this kind of American "leadership," there were only three votes held during the Council session, and the United States was on the losing end of the stick every time.

One was a successful Cuban-driven initiative, entitled the right to peace. It pushes for "the renunciation of the use or threat of use of force in international relations," which is not to be confused with turning swords into plowshares. The idea is to ensure that countries engaged in breaches of international peace and security and human rights have nothing to fear, ever.

And there was a second successful Cuban-led resolution on foreign debt, which alleges human rights eliminate any connection between the entitlement to debt relief and responsibilities of the debtor.

The resolution says: "the exercise of the basic rights of the people of debtor countries to food, housing, clothing, employment, education, health services and a healthy environment cannot be subordinated to the implementation of structural adjustment policies, growth programmes and economic reforms arising from the debt."


In addition to losing every time it cared enough to vote, the Obama administration has utterly failed to diminish the Council's lethal obsession with Israel and Jews - contrary to its undertakings when it joined. Today, it is clear that U.S. membership has simply given it undeserved credibility.

The Council has a standing agenda of ten items. One is reserved specifically for condemning Israel. One is for all of the other 191 UN states, should anybody consider them to raise "human rights situations that require the Council's attention."

The practical consequence of such a skewed agenda was plain this session. On the basis of the regular agenda, five hours were devoted to Israel-bashing and four hours were devoted to all other countries.

The Council thought that was insufficient. By deciding to hold an additional "urgent debate" over the pro-Hamas blockade-busting enterprise, they spent another 4.5 hours on Israel.

In total, the Council spent more than twice as much time on Israel than the rest of the world taken together. Sitting there twiddling its thumbs was the Obama administration, which made no objection to the change in the procedural rules to increase the amount of time spent on Israel.

To get a full sense of the U.N. Human Rights Council pathology, consider the number of Israel-focused investigations in play at this session. First, on June 1 the Council chartered a supposed "investigation" of Israel over the flotilla event (after already deciding to "condemn" Israel for its "outrageous attack.")

Second, on June 14 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay announced the formation of a three-person committee to follow-up the findings of the infamous Goldstone Report. The report is a modern manifestation of the ancient blood libel against the Jewish people, since it alleges that Israel really intended to murder civilians rather than defend itself against eight years of rocket attacks. (In Goldstone's words, Israel "deliberately...terrorize[d] a civilian population" and Israeli "violence against civilians w[as] part of a deliberate policy.")

And third, the Council took up a document from another of its investigators who is charged with reporting on Israeli human rights violations on a year-round basis. September 11 conspiracy enthusiast Richard Falk advised the Council this month that 4 million Palestinians have a right to return to Israel (thereby eliminating a Jewish state), and encouraged the Council to back a "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign" (intended to isolate and cripple the country).

That's a total of three separate investigations on Israel alone currently sponsored by the Human Rights Council. But as part of the Obama administration's decision to become a member, it also decided American tax dollars should pay for it.

So U.S. taxpayers are now on the hook for 22% of the cost - trips, meals, assistants, press conferences, webcasts, printing...all the everyday items that make hate-mongering possible.

Last, but not least, there was the old-fashioned anti-semitism characteristic of the day-in and day-out proceedings. This session, Syrian representative Rania Al Rifaiy told the Council that Israeli school children "sing merrily as they go to school and I quote 'With my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood.'"

Sitting in the room listening to her, not a peep of protest was uttered by the American delegation. Nor was anything heard from the Belgian president of the Human Rights Council, who in the past has had no difficulty interrupting and reprimanding speakers on less popular themes.



Eye on the UN monitors the UN direct from UN Headquarters in New York. Visit the website at Contact Anne Bayefsky by email at Note that the Appendices below were NOT part of the original Eye on the UN release. Part 1 was published June 22, 2010 and is archived at Part 2 was submitted May 1, 2010 and is archived at Part 3 was submitted June 22, 2010. It was written by Anne Bayefsky and appeared on Fox News anne-bayefsky-human-rights-council-obama-israel- kyrgyzstan-syria-durban-cuba/ The three parts were published as independent items. The Appendices below were not part of the original articles.

(Added by Editor, Think-Israel)

"UN Committee: Intellectual Property Rights Prevent Enjoying the 'Right to Health'"
by Linda Gorman
Jun 18, 2010
On the John Goodman's Health Policy Blog intellectual-property-rights-prevent-enjoying-the- right-to-health/]
Hat Tip: Pharmalot

Despite an extensive economic literature showing that free trade lowers prices for consumers and improves efficiency, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is concerned that free trade between the United States and Columbia will "negatively impact" the "enjoyment of the right to health" by increasing the price of medicines.

Specifically, it worries that a free trade between Columbia and the United States will harm people because it protects intellectual property.

The Committee membership list is here
[]. The available member career summaries suggest that the entire committee membership is limited to people with legal, political, or activist experience in the tax supported sector.

Separately, the World Health Organization's International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce reportedly estimates [] that counterfeit drugs comprise up to 30 percent of the drugs for sale in developing countries in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Counterfeit drugs tend to be less expensive than the real thing.

Unfortunately, the low prices so prized by the Committee may not make up for the fact that a fake pharmaceutical with toxic or inactive ingredients also may "negatively impact on the enjoyment of the right to health."

(Added by Editor, Think-Israel)

UN Committee against Torture includes as members: Ecuador, Senegal, China. Chile. "Chinese court sentences US geologist abused by state security agents to 8 years in jail"
July 04, 2010 sentences-geologist-tortured-state-security-agents- years-jail-1624851947/?test=latestnews

In this file photo released by David Rowley, taken Dec. 7, 1993 and made available Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009, Xue Feng poses for photos in Yuexi, Anhui province.

An American geologist held by Chinese state security agents who stubbed lit cigarettes on his arms was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for gathering data on China's oil industry - a case that highlights the government's use of vague secrets laws to restrict business information.

In pronouncing Xue Feng guilty of spying and collecting state secrets, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said his actions "endangered our country's national security." [...]

Agents from China's internal security agency detained Xue in November 2007. During the early days of his detention they stubbed lit cigarettes into his arms and hit him on the head with an ashtray. His case first became public when The Associated Press reported on it last November.

"Torture in Ecuador"

Although the Constitution of Ecuador prohibits torture and establishes no statute of limitations for the crime, the definition of the practice established in the Criminal Code does not correspond to the definition outlined in article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture. Ecuador's Criminal Code criminalises "corporal torment" and does not include psychological torture. Additionally, in practice, the burden of proof falls on the victim. Due to the principle of legality, the Constitution can not be applied directly and therefore, if the Criminal Code does not criminalize the act of torture, then a criminal court can not judge the matter.

Although citizens are afforded a wide range of freedoms and individual rights, there remain some shortcomings in the functioning of the judicial system, which is susceptible to political pressure. Police officers are tried only in closed session before police courts so that convictions for abuse or other violations are rare. Despite laws restricting arbitrary arrest and detention, such violations continue to occur in practice. The UN reports state that human rights violators are often penalised with a fine, rather than incarceration.

"Extrajudicial executions: UN expert to investigate claims of unlawful killings in Ecuador"
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Media.aspx?IsMediaPage=true

[Note: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is yet another UN group.]

GENEVA (2 July 2010) - UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston will launch a mission to Ecuador from 5 to15 July 2010 to investigate allegations of unlawful killings. The human rights expert will visit the country at the invitation of the Ecuadorian Government.

"I will focus on allegations of hired killers, hit squads, police or military killings, prison deaths, and mob or private justice," said Mr. Alston announcing the first mission to Ecuador by an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The Special Rapporteur will also investigate death threats against activists, as well as killings that may result from indigenous justice. His mission will include assessing whether perpetrators of unlawful killings are brought to justice, and the outcomes of the Truth Commission.

During his ten-day visit, the Human Rights Council envoy will travel to Quito, Guayaquil and the province of Sucumbíos. He will meet with Government officials, members of the judiciary and the legislature. His mission will also include meetings with victims, family members of victims, and witnesses to killings, as well as civil society organizations.

Syria is not a member of the Committee Against Torture but she was most graphic in her blood libel accusation against Israel. The speech by Syrian diplomat Rania Al Rifaiy included this gem:

"'Let me quote a song,' said Syrian diplomat Rania Al Rifaiy, "that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school: `With my teeth I will rip your flesh, with my mouth I will suck your blood."

Yup, that sounds like Israeli kids, who are brainwashed in school to worship "peace" and think kindly of their Arab neighbors. Rifaiy also complained about Israel torturing Palestinians, including sleep deprivation. He may be referring to Israel's practice of paying for college courses for the terrorists in her prison.

Read More of Syrian accusations in an article called "UN Watch Exposes Syrian Blood Libel, Calls on World Body to Condemn Anti-Semitic Speech"
Geneva, June 8, 2010:
( un-watch-exposes-syrian-blood-libel-calls-on- world-body-to-condemn-anti-semitic-speech/

Syria is a Regular Member -- as is Algeria, Libya and Palestine [sic] -- of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network

"UN Committee Against Torture Reviewed Syria's Record for the First Time"
May 10, 2010

(10 May, 2010 - Cairo) The widespread use of torture by security agencies in Syria, not only against political prisoners and detainees, but also against ordinary criminal detainees, is highlighted in a report submitted to the Committee Against Torture (CAT) by the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) together with the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The report stresses that Syrian security bodies have become increasingly associated with far-reaching human rights violations. Violations such as abductions and enforced disappearances; arbitrary arrests and detention; solitary confinement; torture and ill treatment; and deprivation from legal and medical assistance, have been increasingly prevalent in Syria over the last decades in the context of the continuing State of Emergency.

Syria ratified the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on July 1, 2004, but the report states that "no concrete improvement has been registered regarding the use of torture or degrading treatment." Syria will be reviewed by the CAT in early May of this year. Representatives from DCHRS and the Committees for the Defense of Human Rights and Democratic freedoms in Syria will consult with the CAT ahead of the review and attend the review of Syria to address the grave situation of torture in their country. [Note: Syria is NOT a member of the Committee Against Torture. She is however a Regular Member of includes Palestine Jordan (where usa sent gitanamo guys for some extra water sports) Syria, Turkey]

(Added by Editor, Think-Israel)

UN Committee on Migrant Workers; is a Brussels-based non-profit organization working for the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants worldwide from 1999. The name of the organization refers to the day when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the "International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families". Today, the 18th of December is also known as International Migrants Day.

December 18 advocates for a world where migrants are not discriminated against because of their sex, race, colour, language, religion or conviction, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, nationality, age, economic position, property, marital status, birth or any other status. A world that understands and accepts migration as normal and takes place within a framework that applies universal human rights norms and standards to all migrants and members of their families.

Editor's Note: Does "or any other status" mean illegal?

In the April 28, 2010 meeting of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers:

A representative of Amnesty International raised concerns regarding the situation of migrants in Algeria. Algeria had become a country of transit for those immigrants looking to move to Europe and in many cases they were intercepted in Algeria. In the face of such pressures, Algerian authorities had introduced legal measures to combat smuggling, but some of those measures failed to comply with Algeria's human rights obligations. In 2008 the Algerian parliament passed law 08-11 which regulated the entry, stay and movement of foreigners in Algeria. Amnesty International had three main concerns with the application of that law which included problems with the appeals process for deportation orders, the establishment of waiting centres and the duration of detention orders, and criminalization of third parties who may assist migrants, including charitable organizations who may provide legal, medical, or humanitarian assistance.


Thousands of migrants were reported to be deported every year by the Algerian authorities. Press reports, citing police sources, indicated that some 35,000 migrants from 55 African and Arab countries were arrested in the period 2001 to 2007 and that some 32,000 people were deported. More recent media reports, citing official sources, suggested that some 4,500 irregular migrants who entered Algeria through the country's borders with Morocco, Mali, and Niger were arrested and expelled in 2008.

Editor's Note: We wouldn't want any interference with immigrants moving to Europe's welfare gravy train,


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