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Index July 2008

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Olympics and China

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download the report of Amnesty International:

People’s Republic of China – The Olympics countdown – broken promises, 17 pages, AI Index: ASA 17/089/2008, July 2008.

A Textbook Case of Intolerance

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Changing the world one schoolbook at a time.

Published on Slate.com, by Anne Applebaum, July 21, 2008.

Because they are so clearly designed for the convenience of large testing companies, I had always assumed that multiple-choice tests, the bane of any fourth grader’s existence, were a quintessentially American phenomenon. But apparently I was wrong. According to a report put out by the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom last week, it seems that Saudi Arabians find them useful, too. Here, for example, is a multiple-choice question that appears in a recent edition of a Saudi fourth-grade textbook, Monotheism and Jurisprudence, in a section that attempts to teach children to distinguish “true” from “false” belief in god:

Q. Is belief true in the following instances:
a) A man prays but hates those who are virtuous.
b) A man professes that there is no deity other than God but loves the unbelievers.
c) A man worships God alone, loves the believers, and hates the unbelievers.

The correct answer, of course, is c). According to the Wahhabi imams who wrote this textbook, it isn’t enough just to worship god or just to love other believers—it is important to hate unbelievers as well. By the same token, b) is also wrong. Even a man who worships god cannot be said to have “true belief” if he loves unbelievers …

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Evil as the Absence of Empathy

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Published on DissidentVoice,org, by Ernest Partridge, July 26th, 2008.

… In 1946, Dr. Gustav M. Gilbert, a psychologist fluent in German, was assigned by the U.S. Army to study the minds and motivations of the Nazi defendants at the Nuremberg tribunals. The following year, his Nuremberg Diary was published, containing transcripts of his conversations with the prisoners. (Excerpts here: Nuremberg Diary, by G.M. Gilbert, 488 pages, 1995 Da Capo Press).

In words consistent with what I have read of, and about, Gustav Gilbert, he is portrayed in the 2000 TV film Nuremberg, as telling the Head Prosecutor Robert Jackson (Alex Baldwin): “I told you once that I was searching for the nature of evil. I think I’ve come close to defining it: a lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants: a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.”

“Absence of empathy” is likewise, I submit, “the one characteristic that connects” most of the immoral and misbegotten tenets of Bushism: that dogmatic mix of market absolutism, libertarianism, corporatism and simple greed that falsely describes itself as “conservatism,” and which I choose to call “regressivism.” “Absence of empathy” is the essence of evil which, if unchecked and unreversed, is certain to bring about the demise of the American republic as we know it, just as it led to the fall of the Third Reich.

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Parecon and Aspirations

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Linked with Michael Albert – USA.

Published on Z Space Page, by Michael Albert, May, 04 2008.

… I have tried to argue that while parecon doesn’t itself answer visionary questions bearing on race, gender, polity, and other social concerns, it is at least compatible with, and even in some cases, perhaps necessary for doing so. Hopefully, in the future, stronger and better conceived movements than we now have will prevail in all these domains. To conclude this discussion, however, a summary is in order:

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Europe’s other legitimacy crisis

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Published on openDemocracy, by Ivan Krastev, July 23, 2008.

Bulgaria is the newest, poorest and probably the worst governed member of the European Union. Its economy is growing, its politics is collapsing and its public is totally frustrated. Bulgaria is also the EU member-state where the public is the most sceptical that democracy is the best form of government, one where only 21% agree that the country is governed according to the will of the people …

… In general, what the commission is doing is an attempt to replace the politics of conditionality (the famous “Brussels carrot”) with the politics of pressure (a “Brussels sandwich”) – where corrupt governments find themselves pressed between angry publics and an uncompromising commission. Anti-corruption, in this perspective, turns out to be the common language and concern shared by the public and the commission.

This is a promising change in the commission’s new strategy, but there are three major risks on the road. The first and most obvious one is that finding itself in the corner, the Bulgarian government will use all its resources not to fight corruption but to fight the commission, by mobilising nationalist sentiments among the public. This strategy does not work for the moment, but the situation can change. Today only 16% of the Bulgaria public claims that how government governs is not Brussels’s business. But who to blame for the lost money from the EU funds will be one of the key questions in Bulgarian politics in the coming years.

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Kucinich gets his day

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published on RealNewsNetwork: ANP: Hearing on allegations of Bush administration’s misconduct and cause for impeachment.

Since June 9, 2008, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has pushed for impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Last week, in an effort to placate Kucinich, the House Judiciary Committee finally agreed to hold a hearing July 25, 2008. The night before the hearing, Kucinich sat down with ANP in an exclusive one-on-one interview.

Listen this video, 8.11 min, July 26, 2008.

Iraq – Most NGOs Losing Face

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Published on Countercurrents.org (first on Inter Press Service), by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail, 25 July, 2008.

BAGHDAD, Jul 23 (IPS) – Welcomed at first after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, most NGOs have run into scepticism and mistrust. Few remain to help.

Hundreds of local and foreign NGOs became active in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, after decades of restrictions under the regime of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

“The former Iraqi regime did not trust NGOs, and always thought them to be spies,” Muath A’raji of the National Societal Organisation, a human rights NGO based in Baghdad told IPS. “Iraqis used to think the regime was wrong, but now they have changed their minds because of the many false foreign NGOs that look more like contracting companies than humanitarian and human rights organisations” …

… A member of the Iraqi Red Crescent IRC in Fallujah denied that the Da’wa Party controls the organisation, but refused to answer IPS questions about the way they work.

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Britain’s new nuclear abolitionists

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Linked with Rebecca Johnson – England.

Published on the Bulletin, (see their Homepage ), by Rebecca Johnson, 15 July 2008.

… In keeping with the restrictions imposed by the Scotland Act, the working group has a formal remit that includes an examination of the current licensing and regulatory framework that exists in relation to environmental, planning, and transport issues. But it will also consider Scotland’s obligations under international law, including the NPT. The group – comprised of 13 academic, civic, and faith leaders – will report in 2009.

Meanwhile, civil society is keeping up the pressure in Scotland and the rest of Britain, explaining how nuclear weapons undermine national and international security and pushing for Britain to become a leader in the growing world movement to abolish nuclear weapons.

It seems to be working. For any of the UK Four to sign their names to the argument that nuclear disarmament is achievable signals a major shift in the middle ground of British policy. Better still, such intellectual shifts are accompanied by an increase in the proportion of British people that opinion polls show opposed to Trident replacement. Of course, the real proof of change will be in whether future actions fit the rhetoric. Thus far, these newly converted advocates of a nuclear-weapon-free world seem to believe this objective is compatible with Britain hanging on to its nuclear weapons for at least another 40 years. That’s sort of like a smoker lighting a cigarette while praying, “Please, God, make me a nonsmoker – but not yet!”.

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Which Way Venezuela?

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Published on Zcommunications.org, by Michael Albert, July 24, 2008.

(The diverse factual reports and other data included are are culled from 
documents made available by the Venezuelan Embassy in the U.S.)

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is exciting and exemplary, yet few people know much about where Venezuela is headed.

Misrepresentations abound. Data is limited and people interpret it in quite contrary ways. Information deficit plus skewed interpretations cause many people who ought to support the Bolivarian Revolution to instead doubt or even reject it. Useful lessons from Venezuela go largely unreported and thus have less than their widest possible effect …

… 21st Century Socialism?

Hugo Chavez tells us he wants to build twenty first century socialism. He often decries market relations. He regularly excoriates capitalism. His innovative approaches to popular political and economic decision making via councils and his prioritization of radicalized health, education, and other human services via innovative public missions, inspire great hope. But beyond Bolivarian claims and short term policies, where is the Bolivarian Revolution structurally going? What are its main institutional goals and timetables? What are the methods it is employing and will employ to attain its ends? These are questions I think a lot of people need answers to if they are to have solid attitudes about Venezuela.

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What is global justice and who is it for?

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The ICC’s first five years

Published on openDemocracy, by Marlies Glasius, July 22, 2008.

(The International Criminal Court was set up in 1998 and began operation in 2003. How has it discharged its responsibilties in relation to states, civil-society groups and the victims of human-rights abuse? Marlies Glasius presents an interim report-card).

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has a good eye for publicity. On the eve of the ten-year anniversary of the Rome statute which established the court in July 1998, he indicted his first head of state: President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan. This announcement has trumped the news emerging a few weeks ago, that the prosecutor’s first suspect in custody, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, may have to be released without trial because of prosecutorial errors …

… Attitudes and policies: The ICC, unlike domestic courts, needs to establish its legitimacy, and the prosecutor’s actions are particularly crucial in this respect. On one level, Luis Moreno-Ocampo appears to be well aware of this. He has avoided controversial investigations in (for instance) Afghanistan, or against British soldiers in Iraq. Moreover, against expectations, he has not yet opened a single investigation on his own authority. Finally, the only indictment against a government official has been the Sudanese indictment sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council. None of his current actions could cause his legitimacy to be called into question by governments, be they African or western. But he has worked much less hard to seek legitimacy within civil society. As a result, the prosecutor has been seen as biased by the conflict-afflicted population in northern Uganda, as too timid by human rights activists in the DR Congo, and too slow by victims in Central African Republic.

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Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship JDS program

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Published on JICE, the Japan International Cooperation Center, (their Hommepage in japanese).

The JDS Program is to provide nationalities of Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam with opportunities for academic research at Japanese higher educational institutions under the Grant Aid assistance by Government of Japan. From last year, the recruitment for Kyrgyz Republic is newly started. (The new recruitment for Indonesia was terminated at the year of 2005.)

The objective of this program is to support the respective Government in its efforts to facilitate its own plans for human resource development mainly for capacity building and institutional building, and thereby extend and enhance the bilateral relationship with Japan.

The JDS Program targets young government officers for public sector, researchers, business people and others with the potential to play leadership roles in their specialties after return to each country as well as to become leaders in their homeland in the 21st century.

This Program is implemented by the related Ministry of the respective countries, Government of Japan and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

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Finding Your Obviousmeter

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Published on Personal Democracy Forum, by Matt Stoller, not dated.

Linked with Matt Stoller – USA, with blogpac bp, and with videos concerning the US.

(download this essay also as pdf).

I have an “Obviousmeter.” The Obviousmeter compares cultural trends and existing power centers and asks, “Can a sixteen year old do something our government can’t?” If the answer in any particular area is yes, then that’s a place to find out where the future is going to smack us in the ass.

I can’t predict the future of democracy in the digital age – no one really can – but certain characteristics of what the future will look like can be identified right now. And one of them is that obvious and stupid contradictions are ripe for attack …

… The asymmetry of power has been flipped in the Internet Age. Citizens can communicate online to potentially millions of people at no cost, but Members of Congress can’t. But this is real life, and regardless of the rules, members and staffers post videos on their sites, go offsite to join the conversation on blogs, do events in Second Life using congressional resources, etc. But the fact that the rules are in place tells us something very important about Congress, which is its antipathy to public spaces. Rather than delve into the difficult questions of whether an embedded YouTube clip of a government resource can be used on a political website, the Franking Commission just says “No” to YouTube. And the Obviousmeter goes off, and Members break the rules, and Congress appears to be clueless.

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Development: US fails to measure up on ‘human index’

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Published on The Guardian, by Ashley Seager, July 17, 2008.

Despite spending $230m (£115m) an hour on healthcare, Americans live shorter lives than citizens of almost every other developed country. And while it has the second-highest income per head in the world, the United States ranks 42nd in terms of life expectancy.

These are some of the startling conclusions from a major new report which attempts to explain why the world’s number-one economy has slipped to 12th place – from 2nd in 1990- in terms of human development …

… And while in much of Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia, levels of enrolment of three and four-year-olds in pre-school are running at about 75%, in the US it is little more than 50%.

The report not only highlights the differences between the US and other countries, it also picks up on the huge discrepancies between states, the country’s 436 congressional districts and between ethnic groups.

“The Measure of America reveals huge gaps among some groups in our country to access opportunity and reach their potential,” said the report’s co-author, Sarah Burd-Sharps. “Some Americans are living anywhere from 30 to 50 years behind others when it comes to issues we all care about: health, education and standard of living.

“For example, the state human development index shows that people in last-ranked Mississippi are living 30 years behind those in first-ranked Connecticut” …

… The US also ranks first among the 30 rich countries of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of the number of people in prison, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the total population.

It has 5% of the world’s people but 24% of its prisoners. (full text).

respect for red cross emblem

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ICRC underlines importance of respect for red cross emblem

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date:17/07/2008

ICRC Press release, 16-07-2008

Bogotá/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross takes note of the statement by Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez that a member of the public security forces who participated in the recent operation to free 15 hostages and detainees was wearing a tabard marked with the ICRC’s logo and the red cross emblem.

As the guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC recalls that use of the red cross emblem is specifically regulated by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977. The red cross emblem must be respected in all circumstance and its misuse is prohibited.

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How Britain Wages War

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Published on Countercurrents.org (first on The New Statesman), by John Pilger, 14 July, 2008.

… Five photographs together break a silence.

  • The first is of a former Gurkha regimental sergeant major, Tul Bahadur Pun, aged 87. He sits in a wheelchair outside 10 Downing Street. He holds a board full of medals, including the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery, which he won serving in the British army.
  • He has been refused entry to Britain and treatment for a serious heart ailment by the National Health Service: outrages rescinded only after a public campaign. On 25 June, he came to Down ing Street to hand his Victoria Cross back to the Prime Minister, but Gordon Brown refused to see him.
  • The second photograph is of a 12-year-old boy, one of three children. They are Kuchis, nomads of Afghanistan. They have been hit by Nato bombs, American or British, and nurses are trying to peel away their roasted skin with tweezers. On the night of 10 June, Nato planes struck again, killing at least 30 civilians in a single village: children, women, schoolteachers, students. On 4 July, another 22 civilians died like this. All, including the roasted children, are described as “militants” or “suspected Taliban”. The Defence Secretary, Des Browne, says the invasion of Afghan istan is “the noble cause of the 21st century”.
  • The third photograph is of a computer-generated aircraft carrier not yet built, one of two of the biggest ships ever ordered for the Royal Navy. The £4bn contract is shared by BAE Systems, whose sale of 72 fighter jets to the corrupt tyranny in Saudi Arabia has made Britain the biggest arms merchant on earth, selling mostly to oppressive regimes in poor countries. At a time of economic crisis, Browne describes the carriers as “an affordable expenditure”.
  • The fourth photograph is of a young British soldier, Gavin Williams, who was “beasted” to death by three non-commissioned officers. This “informal summary punishment”, which sent his body temperature to more than 41 degrees, was intended to “humiliate, push to the limit and hurt”. The torture was described in court as a fact of army life.
  • The final photograph is of an Iraqi man, Baha Mousa, who was tortured to death by British soldiers. Taken during his post-mortem, it shows some of the 93 horrific injuries he suffered at the hands of men of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment who beat and abused him for 36 hours, including double-hooding him with hessian sacks in stifling heat. He was a hotel receptionist. Although his murder took place almost five years ago, it was only in May this year that the Ministry of Defence responded to the courts and agreed to an independent inquiry. A judge has described this as a “wall of silence” …

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Request for Information in HR-education

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Received by mail:

From: hr-education, the Global Human Rights Education listserv. See: mail-address for the list, and archives of the list.
Date: 17/07/2008

Dear members, Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past two weeks. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can respond to the request directly:

  • 1. SEEKING BEST PRACTICES IN TRANS-NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION: NECE is currently searching best practice examples for trans-national European EDC/HRE-projects on (adult and school education-) methods and competencies for trans-national citizenship education that help to teach a sophisticated perspective on nationalism and populism and that might help to generate common educational ground for educators. The practice examples should be presented at the NECE-Conference in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 6-8 November 2008. For more information please contact Anja Ostermann, Germany, e-mail.
  • 2. LOOKING FOR RECREATIONAL MATERIAL FOR THE UNFORTUNATE CHILDREN IN LIBERIA: Dear Friends of Good will, Child Care International/ Liberia Chapter, an unfortunate children advocate and rescue mission group is appealing to people of good will around the world to help the Liberian chapter/children with recreational material of all kinds. We are trying to get these kids out of the 15 years war trauma, preparing them physically, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally and educationally. Lot of our kids are those from the streets and without parents. We are working hard to advocate their rights and close the gaps of fatherless and motherlessness in their lives. You may contact directly the Country Director for CCI/Liberia, Mr. Nathaniel Solo, e-mail. Thanks, Lawrence Diggs, Int’l Director, Child Care International, e-mail.
  • 3. LOOKING FOR A PHD PROGRAMME IN HUMAN RIGHTS: Dear Sirs, Having already Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation I would be very much interested in institutions that offer a PhD in Human Rights? Yours faithfully, Dott. Isabelle Azzopardi, Psichologa/Human Rights Expert, Malta, e-mail.
  • 4. SEEKING BOOKS FOR RESOURCE CENTRE (PAKISTAN): Dear Concerned, SYF is an independent, flexible, democratic, non-profit youth organization working for poverty reduction, literacy, employment, women empowerment, peace and disaster management in Malakand Region, NWFP, Pakistan since 1997 with a vision to strive in partnership with community, public and civil society organizations to achieve MDGs for developing a just, peaceful and prosperous society where all have equal access to opportunities irrespective of gender, color, race, religion and status. SYF was established in 1997 by a group of highly motivated and civic minded youths and was formally registered in 1999 under Social Welfare – Volunteer NGOs Registration and Control Act 1961 Government of Pakistan. For further details please visit Swat Youth Front SYF. SYF is seeking contribution in shape of books donations for its Resource Center (SYF’s Resource centre for Development) the main aim of the resource centre is to offer range of materials, sources, resources and programs sufficient to meet the needs of development sector professionals and human rights activists, university students, researchers for fostering Human Rights and Peace promotion, enlightened moderation and social and economic development and in contributing to the quality of life in our community in a militancy affected area. Therefore, SYF request you to kindly assist us by donating the books or other relevant material (in English) available with you and we would be extremely grateful to you if you kindly support us in other ways as well. Waiting impatiently for your positive reply! With best regards, Amjad Ali, Pakistan, Phone #: +92-946-723388, Mobile# 0092-345-9525666, e-mail.

The recycling of the G8: ghosts at the table

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Published on openDemocracy, by Noriko Hama, July 11, 2008.

Japan’s prime minister Yasuo Fukuda had a golden chance to make the G8 summiteers face the painful realities of globalisation. Noriko Hama laments a missed opportunity.

… The absent excuse: In fact, the 2008 gathering was in principle a golden opportunity to give the G8 a new lease of life – precisely because the economic situation the world faces is such a critically difficult one. To be sure, the environment of half a century away is important. It makes perfect sense to talk about it before it is too late. That said, there were clearly more pressing economic issues that demanded immediate attention: oil prices, food insecurity, the financial markets and poverty, to mention only a few. True, these topics were on the agenda in some form. But they were given only the most cursory of attention. It was almost as though the G8 nations deliberately turned their backs on these problems from awareness of their impotence in tackling them without the involvement of those others who weren’t there …

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Ten lessons from recent torture hearings

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Linked with Alberto J. Mora – USA, with Nieman Watchdog, and with Cruelty as a weapon of war.

Published on TheRealNews, July 15, 2008.

ANP: Lawyers who approved “enhanced interrogation tactics” are under increasing pressure to explain them: American News Project: Reporter’s Notebook: Ten Lessons from Recent Torture Hearings – The “enhanced interrogation tactics, ” used in Guantanamo under orders from the Pentagon and the White House have been the subject of numerous hearings on Capitol Hill recently. The lawyers who approved the policies – which many call torture – are under increasing pressure to explain how it was possible for such methods to be ordered by the United States government. More hearings are on the way.

Watch this video on TheRealNews, about Guantanamo Bay tortures, 5.37 min and read also the comments.

Links:

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp on wikipedia.

Google-search results:

Google-news results:

Sudan and the International Criminal Court

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… a guide to the controversy

Linked with Alex de Waal – England, and with Social Science Research Council SSRC.

Published on openDemocracy, by Alex de Waal, July 14, 2008.

The request to indict Sudan’s president on charges of genocide and war crimes in Darfur is a historic moment in international justice. But is it wise, and will it bring peace in Sudan nearer or destabilise the country further? Alex de Waal presents the many sides of a vigorous debate 14 – 07 – 2008

Today, 14 July 2008, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court to indict the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur.

Here, Luis Moreno-Ocampo is taking a bold and momentous step for global human rights and for Sudan. It is also controversial and fraught with danger. Will this be a historic victory for human rights, a principled blow on behalf of the victims of atrocity against the men who orchestrated massacre and destruction? Or will it be a tragedy, a clash between the needs for justice and for peace, which will send Sudan into a vortex of turmoil and bloodshed?

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Union for Mediterranean: a way to bypass human rights?

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en francais sur la meme page / for arabic: please scroll down and click on the link – use WordPad only for correct displaying

Linked with The Mediteranean Union MU / Union for the Mediterranean; and with The Med Union, dividing the Middle East and North Africa.

(Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain, Slovenia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey).

Published on Amnesty International, July 11,2008.

(Brussels, 11 July) The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) initiative, to be endorsed on 13 July, may lead to a serious breach of the EU’s commitments to raise human rights concerns in all bilateral relations, says Amnesty International.

The fact that there is no reference to human rights in the current proposal effectively means that increased cooperation and dialogue will be based purely on commercial and financial terms – unlike the current mechanisms, which have a human rights dimension.

“Has this proposal in part been created to bypass human rights obligations? The total absence of human rights provisions leaves this question open,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office.

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State Department’s Iran Democracy Fund Shrouded In Secrecy

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Linked with Jason Leopold – USA. Go alsoto: AOL/Microsoft-Hotmail Preventing Delivery of Truthout Communications, UPDATE: 09.20.07.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Jason Leopold, 11 July, 2008

Since 2006, Congress has poured tens of millions of dollars into a State Department program aimed at promoting regime change in Iran.

The “Democracy Program” initiative has been shrouded in secrecy since its inception and many critics of the initiative (who are also outspoken critics of the Iranian government) believe that it is directly linked to a spate of arrests of dozens of Iranian dissidents suspected of working secretly with the Bush administration to topple the Iranian government.

Up until last November, the program was operated by the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and overseen by David Denehy, the bureau’s senior adviser. The program was reportedly moved last November to the State Department’s Bureau of Iranian Affairs. Denehy did not return calls for comment.

One of the influential figures who helped launch the democracy program was Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, who as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, headed the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group and, with the financial help of a prominent Republican foundation, the International Republican Institute, financed efforts of dozens of Iranian and Syrian exiles to promote a campaign to overthrow their government leaders. Elizabeth Cheney left the State Department last year to work on Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign …

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IJED-RIED: Call for papers

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IJED Call for papers Special Edition on Education, Citizenship, Interculturalism / RIED Solicitud de Articulos Edicion Especial

Linked with Sylvia Schmelkes – Mexico, with IJED-RIED, and with Education Resources Information Center ERIC.

Received by mail:

From: the hr-education, the Global Human Rights Education listserv. (See: mail-address for the list, and archives of the list).
Date: 02/07/2008

by Bradley A.U. Levinson, Editor Principal;
by Sylvia Schmelkes, Editora invitada para la Edición Especial;
and by Carla Jiménez, Education Consultant, Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, Department of Education and Culture, Organization of American States, Washington, D.C.

*****

Call for papers (ver español abajo): Special Edition on Education, Citizenship, and Interculturalism

As our societies become progressively more diverse, the quality of relationships amongst different groups and cultures becomes increasingly important. Unfortunately, the close interdependence fostered by our societies also provides a fertile ground for the emergence of stereotypes, prejudices, and racist and discriminatory attitudes built over generations through collective imaginaries. These stereotypes hinder the resolution of structural inequalities, which in turn negatively affect ethnic minorities in our countries, and reproduce social asymmetries based on cultural diversity.

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Planet Burns While G8 Fiddles

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Published on IPS, by Ramesh Jaura, July 9, 2008.

“The summit (in Toyako on the northern Japanese island Hokkaido) has been another betrayal of the poor and citizens of G8 countries,” Kumi Naidoo, co-chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) told IPS.

“The outcome shows a lack of understanding of the heart of the issues causing hunger and desperation in many countries. We hope the citizens of these eight countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, Canada and the United States) will put more pressure on their out-of-touch leaders,” Naidoo said.

“The planet is burning while the G8 is fiddling,” the GCAP co-chair added.

Naidoo said the GCAP representatives of ten countries observing the G8 were deeply concerned at how out of touch with reality the G8 seemed to be on the main issues related to ending poverty.

GCAP is a growing alliance of trade unions, community groups, faith groups, women and youth organisations, NGOs and other campaigners working together across more than 100 countries. GCAP is calling for action from the world’s leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality …

… The farmers point out that the G8 also explicitly promotes genetically modified organisms (GMO) as a solution to the food crisis. In doing so, they say, the G8 countries forget that the development of industrial agriculture, with the use of GMO seeds, large amounts of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and monoculture has left millions of farmers in debt.

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Guantánamo military commission hearings resu me

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Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 10/07/2008

An Amnesty International Press release, AI Index: AMR 51/074/2008, 9 July 2008

“Further, proceedings must not only be fair, they must appear fair to all who observe them” – US Supreme Court, 19 June 2008

Five Guantánamo detainees accused of involvement in the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the USA are due to appear in front of a military judge this week. Pre-trial hearings in the case resumed on Wednesday. Amnesty International has an observer at the proceedings.

The defendants are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, ‘Ali ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Ali (‘Ammar al Baluchi) and Mustafa al Hawsawi. The US government intends to try the men in a joint trial and to seek the death penalty against them.

Before being transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, these five men had been held in secret incommunicado detention by the CIA for between two and three years. They were arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003. Their fate and whereabouts concealed, they became victims of enforced disappearance, which is, like torture, a crime under international law.

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