Archive for ‘War Lords’

20/12/2014

Splendid Isolation

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

20 December 2014 — Almost a thousand Israeli personalities have already signed an appeal to European parliaments for their governments to recognize the State of Palestine.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

I am honored to be among the signatories, which include former ministers and members of the Knesset, diplomats and generals, artists and businessmen, writers and poets, including Israel’s three outstanding writers Amos Oz, David Grossman and A. B. Yehoshua.

We believe that the independence of the Palestinian people in a state of their own, next to the State of Israel, is the basis for peace, and therefore as important for Israelis as it is for Palestinians. This, by the way, has been my firm conviction ever since the 1948 war.

The extreme right wing, which has ruled Israel in recent years, holds the opposite belief. Since it wants to turn the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River into the “nation-state of the Jewish people”, it totally rejects the setting up of a Palestinian state.

These, then, are the battle lines:

20/12/2014

90% of World’s Cargo Shipped Every Year Uninspected, Allowing Narcotics, Weapons to Enter Countries Undetected.

Human Wrongs Watch

An estimated 500 million containers accounting for 90 per cent  of the world’s cargo are shipped around the world every year virtually uninspected, allowing consignments of narcotics, weapons and other illegal goods to enter countries undetected, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).*

UNODC

UNODC

UNODC has also informed that most containers carry licit goods, but some are being used to smuggle drugs, weapons, even people.

The sheer volume of this international maritime container traffic, the sophisticated and often ingenious concealment methods, along with the diverse routings adopted by illicit drug traffickers and other smugglers, invariably makes successful interdiction difficult.

19/12/2014

Middle East — 8.6 Million Lives Torn Apart

Human Wrongs Watch

Amman, 19 December 2014 - “The Syria crisis represents the biggest threat to children of recent times. By the end of 2015, the lives of over 8.6 million children across the region will have been torn apart by violence and forced displacement. That compares to a figure of 7 million just one month ago.*

Source: UNICEF

Source: UNICEF

“Since the outset, and in spite of the enormous security and other challenges posed by a conflict of such scale and brutality, UNICEF and its partners have been delivering clean water, sanitation, education, health and immunization services, and psychosocial care to millions of children and their families.

“This year, as part of the 2015 Syria appeal, UNICEF is renewing its commitment to the survival and protection of children, including those living under the harshest conditions of siege.

19/12/2014

On International Day, UN Urges Greater Attention to ‘Precarious’ Situation of World’s 232 MillionMigrants

Human Wrongs Watch

Far too many migrants still live and work in precarious and unjust conditions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on 18 December 2014 said in a message to mark International Migrants Day.

A scene at the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. Thousands of women leave their homes in Indonesia to work as domestic workers each year. Photo: IRIN/David Swanson

“We call for the fulfillment and protection of the human rights of the world’s 232 million migrants,” said Ban.*

17/12/2014

The Complicity of Psychologists in CIA Torture

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roy Eidelson and Trudy Bond*, December 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

What the American Psychological Association Knew

Earlier this week the Senate Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited executive summary of its 6,000-page classified report on the CIA’s brutal post-9/11 detention and interrogation program.

**Image: Waterboard on display at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: prisoners' feet were shackled to the bar on the right, wrists restrained by shackles on the left. Water was poured over the face using the watering can | 7 December 2007 | Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waterboardingdotorg/2104419905 | Author: waterboardingdotorg | Wikimedia Commons.

**Image: Waterboard on display at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum: prisoners’ feet were shackled to the bar on the right, wrists restrained by shackles on the left. Water was poured over the face using the watering can | 7 December 2007 | Author: waterboardingdotorg | Wikimedia Commons.

The report provides gruesome details of the abuse that took place in several “black site” prisons – waterboarding, confinement in a coffin-sized box, threatened harm to family members, forced nudity, freezing temperatures, “rectal feeding” without medical need, stress positions, diapering, days of sleep deprivation, and more.

16/12/2014

Afghanistan: Uphill Struggle for Female Aid Workers

Human Wrongs Watch

Kabul, 15 December 2014 (IRIN)* – When Shaharzad completed her law degree and announced she wanted to get a job, her younger brother did what he could to stop it. Coming from the culturally conservative Badakhshan region, the siblings had left their parents behind to move to the capital Kabul and her brother was technically the head of the household. Even still, she was determined to stand on her own feet.

Two years later, he is still trying to persuade her to quit. “Every two or three days he says the same thing – it is better to stay at home and I will provide the salary. He asks me to stay at home and cook for him and wash his clothes,” she said, giggling as though amazed by her own rebellion. “But I am trying to go forwards, not backwards.”

16/12/2014

World Summit of Nobel Laureates in Rome — Mairead Maguire’s Presentation

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mairead Maguire*, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

Appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis to Replace Just War Theory with Theology of Peace, Nonkilling, and Nonviolence

Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is particularly appropriate that we are gathered here around International Human Rights Day and our theme is Peace and Living It.

I believe that Peace is a Human Right for everyone, and its presence is necessary in order to protect and sustain all the other rights enshrined in the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I am sure we can agree that although we have a Universal Declaration, we have a long way to go to ensure that our Governments implement and uphold all these rights. In spite of this I am full of hope because I believe that we, the human family, are at a turning point in history.

There is a new growing consciousness a fresh way of thinking and living, with many taking care of each other and of nature and re-acknowledging that the true spirit of humanity is to love and be loved.

16/12/2014

Future of Israeli-Palestinian Peace ‘More Uncertain than Ever’ – Senior UN Official

Human Wrongs Watch

The quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has reached a “dramatic” crossroads, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, on 15 December 2014 told the Security Council in his briefing on the situation, warning that the region’s future remains “more uncertain than ever.”

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An Israeli Security Forces vehicle lights a gate in the security fence that separates farmers in the Biddu enclave from their land in the Seam Zone, which is the land between the 1949 Armistices Line and the West Bank Barrier. Photo: Alaa Ghosheh/UNRWA Archives

Speaking to the 15-member body in New York, Serry explained that as Israel heads into election season following the recent collapse of its ruling coalition, the resulting “deadly diplomatic vacuum can be no excuse for either side to let the present situation get even worse.”*

14/12/2014

Europe Has Lost Its Compass

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 15 December 2014 — The Swedish Social Democrat government, which took office only two months ago, has just resigned. The far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats sided with the four-party centre-right opposition alliance, and new elections will be held in March next year.

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T and O style mappa mundi (map of the known world) from the first printed version of Isidorus' Etymologiae (Kraus 13). The book was written in 623 and first printed in 1472 at Augsburg by one Günther Zainer (Guntherus Ziner), Isidor's sketch thus becoming the oldest printed map of the occident.| Artist: Isidore of Seville | Wikimedia Commons

T and O style mappa mundi (map of the known world) from the first printed version of Isidorus’ Etymologiae (Kraus 13). The book was written in 623 and first printed in 1472 at Augsburg by one Günther Zainer (Guntherus Ziner), Isidor’s sketch thus becoming the oldest printed map of the occident.| Artist: Isidore of Seville | Wikimedia Commons

In Europe, Sweden has been the symbol of civic-mindedness and democracy – the place where those escaping dictatorship and hunger could find refuge; the country without corruption, where social justice was a national value.

However, in just a short period, the Sweden Democrat xenophobic party, which wants to close the country to foreigners and is now the third-largest party in parliament, was able to topple the government on December 2014.

Similar parties exist in the other Nordic countries – Finland, Norway and Denmark – where they have been similarly able to take a decisive role in national politics. The myth of northern Europe, the modern and progressive Nordic Europe, has vanished.

14/12/2014

Danger on the Deep Blue Sea

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kate Bond*

December 2014 — The ocean waves crash violently against the boat, tossing it to and fro, as hundreds of men, women and children try desperately to stay on board. Behind them, they left a war zone, but none of them had been prepared for this.
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(12102014)_Featured_DangerontheDeepBlueSea

An Italian Navy vessel prepares to assist an overcrowded boat. | UNHCR/Alfredo D’Amato

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They were hoping to find a better future elsewhere. Now, as the water licks their ankles and another cold night sets in, they begin to wonder if they will make it to shore at all. Surely, they think, while clutching one another, help must be on its way.

But as the number of people making sea journeys in search of asylum or opportunity grows, UNHCR fears that many governments are beginning to lose focus on saving lives.

For this boat, there will be no rescue tonight. Instead it capsizes off the Libyan coast, claiming over 250 lives and leaving just 19 survivors.

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