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… says Louise Arbour
Published on HREA Human Rights Education Associates, by UN News Service, Jan. 31, 2008.
The Arab Charter on Human Rights contains provisions that do not meet international norms and standards, including the application of the death penalty for children, the treatment of women and non-citizens and the equating of Zionism with racism, the United Nations human rights chief said today.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour issued a statement saying that her office “does not endorse these inconsistencies [and] we continue to work with all stakeholders in the region to ensure the implementation of universal human rights norms” …
… “These concerns included the approach to death penalty for children and the rights of women and non-citizens. Moreover, to the extent that it equates Zionism with racism, we reiterated that the Arab Charter is not in conformity with General Assembly Resolution 46/86, which rejects that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. (full text).
Published on HREA Human Rights Education Associates.
Course 1T08: Mainstreaming Human Rights, from 31 March to 15 June 2008; Instructor: Gerd Oberleitner.
On-line application, in word. (Your application should be received by HREA no later than 1 March 2008 yet applications are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Completed applications can be mailed to: HREA, Attn: Distance Learning Programme, PO Box 382396, Cambridge, MA 02238-2396, USA).
In 1997, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (in his report “Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform”) designated human rights as a “cross-cutting issue” for the whole United Nations (UN) system and asked for human rights to be “mainstreamed” into the programmes, policies and activities of all UN specialised agencies, programmes and funds. This proved to be a system-wide and ongoing challenge for the UN system, the results of which are both potentially far-reaching and little understood. A decade after the Secretary-General’s call it is time to take stock of the achievements, failures and challenges of mainstreaming human rights in the UN.
Published on IPSnews, by William Fisher, January 14, 2008.
… As the world marked the sixth anniversary of the arrival of the first orange-jumpsuit-clad prisoners at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, human rights groups are attempting to focus public and congressional scrutiny on what some are calling “the other Gitmo”.
It is a prison located on the U.S. military base at base in the ancient city of Bagram near Charikar in Parvan, Afghanistan. The detention centre was set up by the U.S. military as a temporary screening site after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the Taliban. It currently houses some 630 prisoners – close to three times as many as are still held at Guantanamo.
In 2005, following well-documented accounts of detainee deaths, torture, and “disappeared” prisoners, the U.S. undertook efforts to turn the facility over to the Afghan government. But thanks to a series of legal, bureaucratic and administrative missteps, the prison is still under U.S. military control. And a recent confidential report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has reportedly complained about the continued mistreatment of prisoners.
The ICRC report is said to cite massive overcrowding, “harsh” conditions, lack of clarity about the legal basis for detention, prisoners held “incommunicado”, in “a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells,” and “sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions.” Some prisoners have been held without charges or lawyers for more than five years … (full long text).
Three links leading to reports:
PDF Version: Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation, 38 pages;
or the same in web version: Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation.
Read also about the Water Crisis in Iraq:
PDF Version: Bechtel’s Dry Run: Iraqis Suffer Water Crisis, 21 pages.
Released by Public Citizen last Spring, the report was sent to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense as well as the Members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
also called: Yi Jing/King/ or Yijing or I Ging/Ching
The Yì Jīng (also known as the I Ching, Yi King and I Ging) the “Book of Changes” or more accurately “Classic of Change”, is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. The book is also known as Zhou Yi, the “Changes of Zhou”, in ancient Chinese literature which indicates the book was based on work from Zhou Dynasty. The Yi Jing is based on an ancient system of cosmology and philosophy which is at the heart of Chinese cultural beliefs. This philosophy is centred around the ideas of balance through opposites, and acceptance of change. In Asia, the Yi Jing is the most popular form of prediction, and it is becoming increasingly popular throughout the rest of the world … (full text on Serena’s Guide).
Some links concerning the book of changes. The I Ching: on AFPC; on amazon; on Free I Ching Reading; on I Ching bookmarks; on Search Forecast; on The Yijing / I Ching oracle; on geocities; on wikipedia; on about.com alternative religions; on Zhou-Yi’s wensite; on dmoz; on The Essentials of the Yi Jing.
The I Ching on the Net: … These pages provide links to I Ching resources on the Internet, and include a brief introduction to the I Ching and to my own translation, Rediscovering the I Ching, with my versions of hexagram 1 Strong Action, and hexagram 21 Biting Through … (full text).
The introductions to the I Ching by Richard Wilhelm and C.J. Jung have been specifically edited for this web page, in HTML format, by Dan Baruth. He also incorporated the text of the original I Ching into an interactive computer program, the preface to which is presented as well. For the admirers of ancient Chinese wisdom, the Tao te king by Laotse – in English and German – was added. Furthermore, you are invited to visit the recommended sites … (full text);
Quelques liens en français:
Janjaweed Chief Says Sudan Government Backed Attacks
(Interview available also en français, in deutsch, en espanol, in arabic)
Published on Human Rights Watch HRW, not dated.
A top militia leader says the Sudan government backed and directed Janjaweed activities in northern Darfur.
Widely regarded as the top Janjaweed leader in Darfur, Musa Hilal was interviewed over the course of several hours by Human Rights Watch researchers in Khartoum.
Hilal states that the government of Sudan directed all military activities of the militia forces he had recruited. “All of the people in the field are led by top army commanders,” he told Human Rights Watch on videotape. “…These people get their orders from the Western command center, and from Khartoum.”
“Musa Hilal squarely contradicts the government’s claim that it has ‘no relationship’ with local militias,” said Peter Takirambudde, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa division.
The Sudan government has said that any atrocities in Darfur are the fault of Janjaweed “bandits” and are the result of recurring ethnic clashes in Darfur in which the government is “neutral” …
… Darfur government documents in the possession of Human Rights Watch refer to official Sudanese government support for Musa Hilal. In a memo dated February 13, 2004 from the office of a sub-locality in North Darfur, the authorities urge all “security units in the locality” to “allow the activities of the mujahedeen and the volunteers under the command of Sheikh Musa Hilal to proceed in the areas of [North Darfur] and to secure their vital needs.”
… a Chance for Victims to Find Justice – Government Should Investigate Crimes of Former Dictator’s Regime
Published on Human Rights Watch HRW, by Press release, January 27, 2008.
(New York, January 27, 2008) – The death of former president Suharto at age 86 provides an opportunity to commemorate the many victims of his oppressive regime, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch said the Indonesian government should make a serious commitment to hold accountable the perpetrators of human rights abuses during his rule.
Suharto presided over more than three decades of military dictatorship and systematic human rights abuses, including media censorship, tight restrictions on freedom of association and assembly, a highly politicized and controlled judiciary, widespread torture, attacks on the rights of minorities, massacres of alleged communists, and numerous war crimes committed in East Timor, Aceh, Papua and the Moluccan islands. He also presided over a famously corrupt regime in which he, his family, and his cronies amassed billions of dollars in illegal wealth – funds which could have addressed Indonesia’s widespread poverty and social problems.
Bridges Across Borders BAB designed and founded an integrated community legal education program based on the strong belief that the rule of law is essential in any society. Empowerment of citizens at a grassroots level is the key focus of the community legal education initiative. If citizens know the law and are aware of their rights, a movement can begin to give power back to legal structures and justice to the people.
Bridges Across Borders will collaborate with Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) for the 5th worldwide conference on the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) in December 2008. Bridges’ Community Legal Education Initiatives Program and AHRC are similarly involved in the development of legal education curriculum, facilitation of legal internships and human rights promotion amongst marginalized groups.
The conference held in Manila, Philippines, will provide the opportunity to share knowledge, skills and practices about local justice education activities undertaken by Bridges, AHCR and partner law schools from throughout the region, such as grassroots level legal rights education, and clinical legal education programs being developed in higher education institutions.
Launch of the New BAB CLE 2008 Legal Internship Program:
To learn more, visit: 5th WORLDWIDE CONFERENCE OF THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE EDUCATION, December 2008 in the Philippines.
Published on axis of logic, by Siv O’Neall, Jan 24, 2008.
A World Out of Joint: If there is not a restoration of some balance of power, the world will sink into a maelstrom of screwed-up governance, callous disregard for the people and a state of permanent war. The chief purpose of our neocon government is to give the Empire undisputed power and to make the giant corporations the multi-billionaire kings of this lopsided world …
… Where did equality go: Human beings as equals should not be just an empty word but the word equal should be given a true and distinct meaning. Not since the days of slavery has there been less equality in the United States. And it has been very intentionally crushed. Let us finally show up the emptiness of the word. Do away with the doublespeak of our so-called leaders who talk constantly of freedom and democracy but who mean neither. Never has a word been emptier than the neocon talk of bringing democracy to Iraq and the Middle East while it is gradually being lost at home. There is no equality in the United States and there is less and less freedom …
… There are places in the world, especially in Latin America, where we can see a glimmer of hope. But change must come soon, before that glimmer of hope that must expand to the rest of the world gets snuffed out and drowned.
by Alejandro Kirk, IPS
Published on TNI, by Inter Press Service, 22 January 2008.
The WSF as an “open space” idea can either be implemented in a liberal direction or in a committed, progressive direction, says Walden Bello.
An excerpt: … IPS: Since the first WSF, Latin America has experienced a spectacular shift to the left, in different shapes. What has this development to do with the WSF? Do you think this process will lead to meaningful change or will it eventually turn righwards?
WB: Well, I think the WSF emerged from a process in Latin America where social movements were, as in Brazil, shaking up the traditional institutions of political representation. The Workers’ Party in Brazil was, in its initial stages, an energetic hybrid of political party and social movement that captured the allegiance and imagination of the masses. However, a new stage was reached when the Workers’ Party became a serious contender for power. It became “professionalized” and began attracting middle class elements that were interested only in limited social transformation. Then, in the last few years, during the Lula presidency, the state and the ancien regime have captured the Workers’ Party.
Received by mail … I paste it just like that …
Linked with Nishikant Waghmare, India.
From: Nishikant Waghmare
“Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would reap their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carpine humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their Human Rights.” (Dr. B.R.Ambedkar).
In a country where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, we read in newspapers everyday about some atrocity being committed against Dalits (Dalits are denied right to food, water, education and liberty) Despite policies for social inclusiveness and equality, the upper castes are still at the top of the social order and the Dalits are at the bottom. India cannot progress unless this issue is addressed with justice.
Untouchability, caste-system and hierarchical discrimination have taken roots in the subconscious of the India psyche. We are the sinners who have misused God, religion, myths and scriptures to make this happen. Gandhi’s saying that ” Untouchability is a sin” Swami Vivekananda’s describing it as ” lunatic” and Dr. Ambedkar’s statement ” I shall not die as Hindu when Untouchability exists”- none of these seem to shock us. The biggest problem of our society is that since we have made discrimination itself a value, untouchability appears” natural” to us and therefore does not seem to be a problem of discrimination.
Published on CommonDreams.org, by Suzanne Trimel of Amnesty International 212-633-4150, January 22, 2008.
Guns, Fear and Hopelessness Create Volatile Mix in Camps Sheltering One Million Displaced Darfuri Children, Amnesty International Says in New Report
Download this report, 29 pages.
My comment: This all does not stop death crying Chadian crowds, when westeners try to safe some of these children. How long the humanity lets this yelling crowd decide over them? This all is a biggest shame for our – and their – elites. If we the people have not the right to act (belonging to laws created by our elites – see Zoe’s Arc) then I ask our elites to take their responsability. But they do not (even not our famous Sarkozy).
WASHINGTON – January 22 – As United Nations forces end their third week of operations in Darfur, Amnesty International today warned that the security situation for displaced people is on a knife’s edge with some 1 million children growing up displaced, hopeless and fearful, many in displacement camps awash with weapons – a potentially explosive combination.
The over 2.6 million people displaced by the Darfur crisis have been left largely unprotected. The African Union force that was supposed to protect them was outmanned and outgunned by often government-backed Janjawid and armed rebel groups who frequently attacked them.
Maybe there are some folks who do not want progress, but they forget that our today’s life comfort is the result of progress, a comfort specially appreciated in cold days when our rooms are heated and cosy.
Today most of us find it great when technical progress give some better products. And what about progress on other than technical levels? I mean more spiritual levels, the interpretation of facts, of our reality, the huge field of the non provable of our life. Here (mainly in our western world) exclusions are often bitter (wikipedia is the best example, academics and other ‘better people’ tell they do not make the effort to change the faults they see there).
We should have learned that progress is only possible if we work together. One person alone, or only a few persons, make only small progress. Acceleration of progress increases with the today’s quick communication exchanges by internet.
What I disgust strongly in this landscape is the still working separation of elites’ work and people’s work. Elites do not like people introduce in their work. Elites refer only to other elites. The reason is a question of trust: elites have strong guidelines for their work, meant helpful to give confidence in their work’s result.
But this elite forget that they never learned people this guidelines, and so I guess this behavior is only a hidden social racism, a racism against people’s work, to give the elites the feeling to be better than ‘those others’. Which normally would be the behavior of a sect.
I guess they need strongly these feelings.
The day when elites decide to work together with non academics, to learn them their guidelines, instead of spitting on people’s contributions in reserved fields, then I imagine real progress for this humanity.
Linked with Bahman Nirumand – Iran & Germany, and with Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in IRAN CASMII.
Published on Qantara.de, by Bahman Nirumand, February 4, 2004.
An excerpt: … The Lost Generation: Today, children and young people make up almost two-thirds of the Iranian population; these are people who grew up in the years immediately after the Revolution, or who were born in the years that followed. Around 40 million Iranians are now 30 or younger. They have never known any other world than the one ruled by the Islamists.
At kindergarten, at school, and during their higher education or vocational training, they were subjected to ideological indoctrination on a massive scale. In the first decade after the Revolution, the older ones amongst them included some of the most radical proponents of the ruling order, the most fanatical supporters of Khoumeini and the most embittered opponents of liberal and democratic values.
Many of them endorsed and even glorified the use of violence. In the name of Islam, they were prepared to wage jihad against Iraq, and to die as martyrs in the process.
Listen the Videos:
John Perkins, Part 1 at the VFP National Convention 2006, 21.50 Min, Nov. 6, 2006;
John Perkins, Part 2 at the VFP National Convention, 30.30 Min, Nov. 6, 2006;
John Perkins, Part 3 at the VFP National Convention, questions and answers with the public, 16.19 min, Nov. 6, 2006.
John Perkins – USA;
And also: US desperate in Waziristan hotbed on our blog Geopolitical Analysis.
… our civilizational crisis, part 3: The end of the world as we know it? – a Special Report
Published on Online Journal, by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Jan 7, 2008.
An excerpt: … 3. Food scarcity:
The convergence of these two global crises, climate change and peak oil, threaten to undermine global food security over the next few years. The effects of this are already being felt.
At the British Association?s Festival of Science in Dublin in September 2005, US and UK scientists working at the Hadley Centre described how shifts in rain patterns and temperatures due to global warming could lead to a further 50 million people going hungry by conservative estimates. ?If we accept that broadly 500 million people are at risk today, we expect that to increase by about 10 percent by the middle part of this century.?
Then toward the end of 2006, a study by Met Office?s Hadley Centre funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, predicted that if global warming continues, drought that already threatens the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth before 2100, and extreme drought making agriculture impossible will affect a third of the planet. The world-scale drought would undermine the ability to grow food, the ability to have a safe sanitation system, and the availability of water, pushing millions of people already struggling in conditions of dire deprivation over the precipice.
Published on IRIN, by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – as/ar/cb/bp, Oct. 19, 2007.
Barira Mihran, a 36-year-old mother of three, scavenges every day in other people’s dustbins in Baghdad for leftovers on which to feed her children.
Widowed and displaced by sectarian violence, the unemployed mother said she had no other way of providing for her children.
“In the beginning it was very difficult. I never imagined that one day I was going to be forced by destiny to feed my children from the remains of other people’s food,” Barira said. “We always had good food on our table when my husband was alive but since he was killed in August 2005, my life has gone from bad to worse.”
“My children are under age and so cannot work or beg in the streets,” she said.
“Sometimes you have to fight for a dustbin. Many women know which houses have good leftovers and so they wait for hours near the houses until the leftovers are thrown in the bins outside. Then you can see at least 10 people, women and children, running to get it, and I will be in the middle of the crowd, for sure,” Barira added …
… Vulnerable to attack:
Published on the spirit of ma’at, by John Perkins, August 1, 2000.
For definitional purposes we can talk about Shapeshifting occurring on three different levels:
The first is cellular, and that is when a person of an indigenous culture shapeshifts into a plant or animal, or in our culture when a cancer grows in someone and then miraculously disappears.
The second level is personal Shapeshifting. That is when we decide to transform our personality – and usually that means becoming more of what we most expect in ourselves. It might mean when a person honors themselves as a good writer or a better dancer or politician. It could also mean transforming an addiction.
The third form of Shapeshifting is about transforming the society that we live in, whether its at the town or city level, or the corporate level – the place where we work – or the institutions that help shape our lives … (full text).
‘Shapeshifting’, Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation, a book written by John Perkins.
Published on SARDC South African Research & Documentation Centre, by Pilirani Semu-Banda, The Nation, a 23 July, year not named.
It is official. There is gross abuse of children’s rights in Karonga. Parents are indeed forcing their daughters, as young as 12, to marry elderly men in exchange for food, cattle or money loaned to them.
The issue, which first cropped up last November as a mere rumour at a meeting for the Women’s Guild of the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP in Iponga area, has been confirmed.
Even the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), a body mandated by the Constitution to protect and investigate violations of human rights, has conducted its own investigations and it has found out that the practice is flourishing in the area.
Imagine a young girl being forced to have sex with an elderly person in the presence of her relations after she has resisted the man’s attempts on several occasions. Ironically, parents to girls undergoing such kind of abuse think the practice is “just normal and a mere tradition” and they do not even want to talk about what is happening to any outsider.
The victims of the practice are actually hidden if there are newcomers in the vicinity.
Retired Mathematician Develops a Family Tree of the Scholars in His Field
Published on The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Sarah Carr, August 18, 1999.
When Harry B. Coonce tried to trace his mathematical roots – to discover the identity of his academic advisor’s advisor – he hit a wall. Mr. Coonce, a retired mathematics professor, found that no one at his graduate program had the information. His frustration led him to create a resource to help mathematicians track their intellectual lineage. The result is the Genealogy Project for Mathematicians, a Web site that lists the advisors of thousands of mathematicians. Mr. Coonce has been assisted in the effort by other math professors, as well as students, who maintain the World-Wide Web site.
He hopes that the data base, which already contains more than 27,000 names, will eventually identify everyone who has earned a research degree in mathematics during the 20th century. Already, many professors and students of math have learned the identities of their so-called siblings (other students who studied under their graduate advisors), aunts and uncles (siblings of their advisors), or cousins (students who studied under their aunts and uncles) …
Linked with AHRC.
HELP US TO GET 5000 SIGNATURES UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY!
We urge you to sign the petition below. Ask your friends to join and sign the petition. For more information on the situation of human rights and the role of a UN monitoring mission, please read: Justification for a Petition
President, Sri Lanka
CC: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Published on AHRCHK, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – AHRC-PAP-001-2008, January 11, 2008. (A Paper by the Asian Human Rights Commission AHRC).
PAKISTAN: The exclusive interview with Munir Malik to the Asian Human Rights Commission
First the Glossary:
- SCBA Supreme Court Bar Association
- CJ chief justice
- SC Supreme Court
- CJP Chief Justice of Pakistan
- SJC Supreme Judicial Council
- PBC Pakistan Bar Council
- PCO Provisional Constitution Order
- PPP Pakistan People’s Party
- PIMS Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences
- SIUT Sindh Institution of Urology and Transplantation
We are publishing an interview with Munir Malik, the former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association who was imprisoned and given drugs under the pretext of painkillers which caused him renal failure and liver damage, but who continues to be an inspiration for the movement for the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Pakistan. His insights into the recent events will be helpful in understanding the movement of lawyers as well as the movement of democracy that is taking place in Pakistan now. This interview was conducted by Baber Ayaz on behalf of Asian Human Rights Commission. The Asian Human Rights Commission authorizes the faithful reproduction of this interview with due acknowledgements.
Munir Malik’s interview by Baber Ayaz.
Linked with Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan RAWA, with John Pilger – Australia & England, and with Rina Amiri – Afghanistan & USA.
Published on johnpilger.com, by John Pilger, January 9, 2008.
… Rawa is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, which since 1977 has alerted the world to the suffering of women and girls in that country. There is no organisation on earth like it. It is the high bar of feminism, home of the bravest of the brave. Year after year, Rawa agents have travelled secretly through Afghanistan, teaching at clandestine girls? schools, ministering to isolated and brutalised women, recording outrages on cameras concealed beneath their burqas. They were the Taliban regime?s implacable foes when the word Taliban was barely heard in the west: when the Clinton administration was secretly courting the mullahs so that the oil company Unocal could build a pipeline across Afghanistan from the Caspian.
Indeed, Rawa’s understanding of the designs and hypocrisy of western governments informs a truth about Afghanistan excluded from news, now reduced to a drama of British squaddies besieged by a demonic enemy in a ‘good war’ …
… The truth about the ‘good war’ is to be found in compelling evidence that the 2001 invasion, widely supported in the west as a justifiable response to the 11 September attacks, was actually planned two months prior to 9/11 and that the most pressing problem for Washington was not the Taliban’s links with Osama Bin Laden, but the prospect of the Taliban mullahs losing control of Afghanistan to less reliable mujahedin factions, led by warlords who had been funded and armed by the CIA to fight America’s proxy war against the Soviet occupiers in the 1980s.
Linked with Robert Bauval – Egypt & Belgium.
Published on Dreamscape, by Robert Bauval, not dated.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is probably the world’s best known relic from the distant past. It is shrouded in mystery.
The Sphinx is not built with quarried blocks like the pyramids and temples it guards, but carved out of the living bedrock. Its makers gave it a man’s head (some say it’s a woman) and the body of a lion. It is 66′ high and an impressive 240′ long. It has the most extraordinary expression, like a hundred Mona Lisas all rolled into one. And its eyes gaze forever at the distant horizon due east, at the equinox point, at something not of this world but beyond it, in the sky. Something, perhaps, that is reflected or “frozen” in the essence and age of the Sphinx.
Nothing can prepare a first-time visitor for the awe-inspiring experience of meeting the Great Sphinx face to face. No matter who you are, no matter what your disposition and temperament, the Great Sphinx will not leave you unmoved. John A. West knows this phenomenon well. He has stood in the shadow of this great statue many a time since he started visiting Egypt some thirty years ago. To him the Sphinx had always appeared as a monument apart, and much, much older than anything else he had seen either at Giza or elsewhere.