Archive for September 28th, 2012

28/09/2012

Bahrain: The Story of Nasser Burdestani and His Fight for Rights and against Nukes

Human Wrongs Watch

By Dipanjali Rao*, ICAN – Nasser Burdestani, 37, wears many hats. He is a banker by day and an activist, father and husband the rest of the time.

Source: ICAN

Burdestani’s passion for human rights led him to establish Amnesty International in Bahrain in 2002, and since 2012 he has become the regional campaigner for ICAN in Bahrain. His interest in human rightscame to the fore in 2001 when a package of political reforms paved the way for Bahrain to become a constitutional monarchy.

In 2002, he and five colleagues established Amnesty International in Bahrain – a first for a Gulf country.

Asked what his motivation was, he says, “I felt responsible as a human being to make a contribution in improving human rights conditions in my region and the world. The biggest motivation is to put a smile on the faces of human rights victims.”

As part of ICAN, Mr Burdestani’s focus is to raise awareness in Bahrain about the dangers of nuclear weapons, build partnerships with local non-government organizations and lobby the government to play a larger role in the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

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28/09/2012

Palestine Seeks UN Non-Member State Status

Human Wrongs Watch

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, whose bid for full United Nations membership failed last year, announced on 17 September from the podium of the General Assembly that he would seek non-Member State status this year, accusing Israel of apparently rejecting the internationally endorsed two-state solution.

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority addresses General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier

“In our endeavour, we do not seek to delegitimize an existing State, that is Israel, but rather to assert the State that must be realized, that is Palestine,” he told world leaders on the third day of the Assembly’s annual General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York, calling on the Security Council to urgently adopt a “binding reference” for achieving the two-state solution.

“Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community: there is still a chance – maybe the last – to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” he said, reciting a long list of actions, including Israeli settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory.

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28/09/2012

Netanyahu Calls for ‘Red Line’ for Action on Iran

Human Wrongs Watch

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to set a “clear red line” for taking action, by next summer at the latest, to prevent Iran from completing the second stage of nuclear enrichment “necessary to make a bomb.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/J Carrier

“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down,” he said of the nuclear programme that Iran says is for the peaceful energy production but which Israel, along with the United States and many other countries, believes is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb.

“This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme altogether,” he said to the UN General Assembly on 27 Sept.. “Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.”

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