Archive for Human Rights

Islamists in the ICU

Has anybody here
Seen my old friend Ismail?

The Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) has published a report on Hamas’s use of public buildings as cover for operational activity.

The ISA said that interrogation of captives taken in Operation Protective Edge gave a “somewhat disturbing” picture of Hamas’s use of civilians and public buildings to carry out military activity, “out of an assumption that Israel will avoid hitting them.”

Two captives from Bayt Lahya, Afif Jarah and Amad Jarah, said that an attack tunnel from a Bedouin village was dug from a point adjacent to a kindergarten. In case of a successful operation to abduct an Israeli, the abductee was to be brought to the kindergarten and taken elsewhere from there.

Muhammad Kadra of Khan Yunis told interrogators that “everybody knows” that the Hamas leadership in Gaza under Ismail Haniyeh is hiding out inside Shifa Hospital, apparently in an area that is out of bounds to ordinary civilians.

Where do you expect him to hide? Khaled Mashaal has already claimed the hiding spot behind the ladies’ skirts.

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How It’s Done

Hamass shows Israel that if you want the job of killing Gazans done right, you’ve got to do it yourself:

Hamas’ public executions of at least 25 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have sparked debate in the West Bank. Those executed, including at least two women, are accused of providing information which allowed Israel to carry out targeted killings of several senior Hamas officials.

Hamas officials continued to defend the mass killings through the Palestine Information Center, a Hamas-affiliated website, reporting that “the collaborators sold out their religion, sold out their people and their country for a cheap price in order to benefit the enemy which resulted in tens of Palestinians killed, homes demolished and led to the failure of some operations of the resistance.”

But the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are at least conflicted over summary executions:

In the West Bank, there were mixed reactions to the killings. Tayib Abdelrahim, the Secretary General of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office told the Ma’an news agency that the executions were carried out without due process.

“The executions were done in cold blood and according to ‘Hamas law,’ meaning that whoever is not with Hamas is against it,” he added.

Palestinian analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem offered a rationale, calling the executions a “spontaneous reaction” to the Israeli assassinations.

“What Hamas did is just plain wrong. I don’t think a democratic person with ethics would agree with such a practice,” he told The Media Line. “Hamas had no legal right to take matters into its own hands. The death penalty requires the signature of the Palestinian President, as stated in the Palestinian Basic Law.”

Ah, yes, “Palestinian Basic Law”. Three words have never been more at conflict in any language.

Lest there be any doubt about executions in Islam (after James Foley and Daniel Pearl, how could there be?):

But some religious authorities in the West Bank defended the executions, and said the accused could have received a fair trial.

“In Islam, a fair trial could be finished within one or two hours,” Sheikh Abu Ali, an expert on Islamic law told The Media Line. “If the information enables the enemy to target specific Palestinians, leading to their execution by Israel, the death penalty could be permissible. In this case, dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed in the Israeli air strikes that targeted the Hamas leaders.

“In Islam, when any Muslim man or woman who informs the enemy of the location of Mujahedeen (resistance fighters) or senior leaders that the enemy wants to kill or bomb, he or she becomes a partner to the crime of killing and according to Islamic law, must be given the death penalty.”

Take that, US justice system—not years, hours! How’s that for a speedy trial? Here’s your hood, what’s your hurry?

Political analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem says the Hamas executions will reflect negatively on the Palestinians and the unity government. [No!]

Al Masri, who has long been an advocate of the two-state solution, agreed that the unity government is critical to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The most important thing is to keep the reconciliation going, to get our independence and remove the occupation. I have been working on it for seven years. Thank God it’s working.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Al.

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Hamas Executes Tunnel Builders

In order to protect the secrecy of the locations

The tunnelers, many of whom constructed the tunnels over the course of months, would dig for 8-12 hours a day, and received a monthly wage of $150-$300, according to the blog.

Sources in Gaza told the website that Hamas took a series of precautions to prevent information from reaching Israel. The terror organization would reportedly blindfold the excavators en route to the sites and back, to prevent them from recognizing the locations. The tunnels were strictly supervised by Hamas members, and civilians were kept far from the sites.

M., a former tunnel digger and Israeli collaborator, told the website that Hamas would strip search the workers to ensure they had no recording devices or cameras hidden on them.

“The people we met had their faces covered; no one knew them by their real names, it was all codes and first names. They didn’t want to take the risk that some of the diggers were collaborating with Israel,” he said.

A tunnel, within a civilian home, found by Golani soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/ Flash 90)
A tunnel entrance, within a civilian home, found by Golani soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/ Flash 90)

After the tunnels were completed, dozens were reportedly executed to prevent intelligence leaks to Israel.

“Anyone they suspected might transfer information to Israel on the tunnels was killed by the military wing,” a different source said. “They were very cruel.”

In 2012, a Journal of Palestine Studies article claimed 160 Palestinian children were killed while working on Hamas’s tunnel system.

The digging of tunnels began four years ago and has demanded 40 percent of Hamas’s budget, The Times of Israel has learned.

Tunnel diggers have been using electric or pneumatic jackhammers, advancing 4-5 meters a day. The tunnels found were reportedly mostly dug 18-25 meters (60-82 feet) underground, though one was discovered at a depth of 35 meters (115 feet). “That’s like a 10-story building underground,” one expert said.

So, let’s see: They executed both adults and children who were hired (forced?) to build the terror tunnels. They used 40% of the aid provided by the west to carry this out. And the Left thinks that Israel is somehow the bad guy?

- Aggie

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With Two Political Prisoners You Get Egg Roll

It’s not often I praise the Obama administration, much less its State Department.

It won’t become a habit, trust me:

The street holding the Chinese embassy in Washington DC could be renamed after a noted Chinese dissident.

An amendment attached to a state department budget bill would make the embassy’s address 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza.

Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion in China.

The Chinese foreign ministry has called the proposed change of address – which now requires Congress approval – “nothing more than a sheer farce”.

“Some people from the United States have used so-called human rights and the Liu Xiaobo case to engage in this meaningless sensationalism,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

Choke on it, China.

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While I Have Your Attention…

Speaking of the UN (as we were below, last night):

Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council, delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 18 June 2014, during the Interactive Dialogue with the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

In November 2011, well into Syria’s atrocities, UNESCO elected the Syrian regime—unanimously—to its human rights committee.

I ask the commission: what message did the UN send, when—up until only a few months ago—it allowed the Assad regime to sit as a judge of petitions submitted by human rights victims from around the world?

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. On February 20th of this year, as Syria’s Juhayna news trumpeted with glee, that country, that mass murdering regime, was “unanimously re-elected as Rapporteur of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.”

In fact, as we meet, that committee—with Syria as its Rapporteur—is in session this week in New York, debating the future of Gibraltar, the Falklands, Bermuda, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

So while Assad’s forces starve Palestinians to death in Yarmouk, his representative sits on a UN podium telling democracies like Britain, France, the U.S. and New Zealand how to treat their populations—all in exercise of his UN-elected mandate to end the “subjugation, domination and exploitation of peoples.”

But Mr. President, it didn’t stop there. In March, this Council undermined its own credibility on Syrian human rights, by adopting a resolution entitled “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan” — a resolution drafted by Syria itself.

The U.S. delegate commented at the time: “To consider such a resolution—while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens by the tens of thousands—exemplifies absurdity.”

It’s rare that diplomats use plain language, but “exemplifies absurdity” comes pretty close to describing the United Nations. It also exemplifies cruelty, corruption, venality, racism, hypocrisy, and five out of the Seven Deadly Sins.

We will now let the subject of the UN slip back into the septic tank whence it came.

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DysfUNctional

I used to write more about the shabby character of the UN. I don’t know, I guess I got tired. It never seemed to be a big hit with any of the readers, judging from the lack of comments.

But just for old times’ sake:

Mr. President,

The members of this [Human Rights] Council have been mandated by the international community to protect victims of human rights violations around the world.

Is the Council living up to its mandate?

Let us consider the most fundamental of all human rights—the right to life—by examining what has happened in the world, over the past 12 months:

July 2013, Turkey: Doctors report that in the Gezi Park protests, police killed 5 people, wounded 8,163 and used chemical riot control weapons against more than 10,000.

August, Egypt: Authorities crush the sit-in held by supporters of deposed president Morsi, killing 1,000 people.

September, Iran: One month after President Rouhani’s inauguration, amid promises of human rights reforms, Iranian officials ignore UN appeals, and hang a record 50 individuals.

Did the council respond with any resolutions, urgent debates, or inquiries to determine the facts, and hold perpetrators accountable? No. Its response was silence.

October, Afghanistan: Terrorists bomb a minibus, killing 14 women and a child who were on their way to celebrate a wedding.

November, Libya: Militia kill 31 during protests in Tripoli, injuring 235.

December, South Sudan: BBC reports mass ethnic killings, including 200 shot by security forces.

January, Pakistan: 236 civilians killed by terrorist attacks.

This Council’s response? Silence.

February, Ukraine: Police kill 75 protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square.

March, China: Activist Cao Shunli, who was arrested for trying to travel to Geneva and participate this Council, mysteriously dies in prison.

April, Iraq: 750 Iraqis killed, 1,541 injured by terrorism.

May, Venezuela: Troops arrest 243 student protesters and kill one of their own, bringing the death toll to 42 since the start of the opposition protests.

Finally, June — a few weeks ago – in Nigeria: Boko Haram massacres 200 civilians while still holding the 276 school girls it abducted in April…

The UN’s response? Hung heads? Pleas for forgiveness? Promises to do better?

How about…?

At this point Mr. Neuer’s testimony was interrupted by points of order claiming that the content was outside of the agenda item, and requesting the Chair to stop him from speaking. Venezuela said Neuer was “out of order,” echoed by Cuba, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt, the latter saying that the subject matter of the speech was “inappropriate.” Mr. Neuer’s right to speak was, however, defended by representatives of the U.S., France, Ireland, Canada, Norway, and Britain. The Chair read out the relevant rules of procedure, and gave the floor back to UN Watch.

Mr. President, if it “inappropriate” to speak about the urgent need to take action for victims of human rights violations around the world, then why are we here?

Our readers are wondering the same thing, Mr. Neuer.

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Emance in Your Pants

If slavery is so bad—and I mean it is bad, no question—but since it’s so bad—the worst—why is there so much of it?

Niger:

A man has been sentenced to four years in jail in Niger in the first ever conviction for slavery in the country.

The pressure group Anti-Slavery International told the BBC the 63-year-old man was convicted of having what is known as a “fifth wife”.

Men in Niger are allowed to have four wives under a local interpretation of Islamic law.

With a “fifth wife”, no marriage takes place and the woman is treated solely as property.

Niger officially banned slavery in 2003 but anti-slavery organisations say thousands of people still live in subjugation.

Presumably all of those people are women. Which reminds us of the 276 Nigerian girls who still haven’t been “brought back”. Surely their fates as bartered brides amounts to slavery.

Mali:

The recent occupation of northern Mali by separatist and Islamist groups left people of slave descent, many of whom are still in slavery, extremely vulnerable, but Anti-Slavery partners Temedt can play a vital role in re-establishing stability.

Lebanon:

Widespread abuse of Nepalese migrant domestic workers in Lebanon is rooted in a continuum of vulnerabilities that is a direct consequence of the systems in place in both home and destination countries says new report by Anti-Slavery International.

Qatar:

The exploitation and forced labour of migrant workers in Qatar in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup continues as new evidence of widespread abuse comes to light. An extensive report by Amnesty International and a recent visit by International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) delegation to Qatar confirmed an alarming situation faced by migrant workers there.

Uzbekistan:

The Uzbek government again systematically forced children and adults to pick cotton and farmers to produce state-established quotas of cotton in one of the largest state sponsored systems of forced labor in the world, states the “Review of the 2013 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan,” released today by the Cotton Campaign.

England(!):

Anti-Slavery International and ECPAT UK are pleased that the Court of Criminal Appeal has today sent out a clear message that no one should be prosecuted for crimes committed as a consequence of being trafficked.

The Court has quashed four convictions of people trafficked into the UK for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Three of them were Vietnamese children forced to work in cannabis factories. The fourth was a woman in her thirties from Uganda who was trafficked for sexual exploitation who was prosecuted on the charge of using a false passport.

These are terrible, terrible stories. Very disturbing. I think they call for a hashtag.

#freedredscott #slaverysucks #slaverysux #fourwivesaremorethanenoughthankyouverymuch

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Pink Floyd, Brown Shirt

I see Roger Waters has ripped the Rolling Stones for agreeing to play in Israel. Who cares, I know, But isn’t that Alice Walker’s job? Or does she only rip the American megastars who agree to perform for Jewish audiences? Or is it a black-white thing? Alice calls out Alicia Keys, Roger gets pasty Mick Jagger.

Like I said, who cares.

But why don’t Alice and Roger and Stephen (Hawking) and the other haters who would shun the Jewish people ever say a word about this?

Authorities in Hamas-run Gaza on Thursday executed two Palestinian Arabs for allegedly collaborating with Israel, the territory’s interior ministry said in a statement.

“Two collaborators with the Israeli occupation, condemned to death for having given information leading to the martyrdom of two citizens, have been executed,” a spokesman told AFP.

He said one of the men, aged 40 and identified by the initials ZR, was shot and the other, AK, aged 30, was hanged in a different location.

The last execution in Gaza, in October, was of a man found guilty of murder.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel, murder and drug trafficking are all punishable by death. All execution orders must be approved by the Palestinian leader before they can be carried out – but Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.

Isn’t that the Arabs all over? The so-called Palestinians have an illegitimate government to represent an illegitimate people. (Show me the treaties declaring a state called Palestine—one not meant for the Jewish people—or show me some DNA that proves the existence of such a people. I’ve got plenty of treaties proving the existence of the Jewish state, some going back almost a hundred years—some thousands! I don’t believe the Jewish people are in question, by either the haters or the defenders.)

This is the best the liberal panty-waists can do:

Last June, Amnesty International appealed to people to mail Hamas in protest at the hanging of two alleged collaborators and to appeal against other pending executions.

The London-based rights organization called on people to “write immediately in Arabic or your own language condemning the executions… as applications of the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”

And this is the worst:

“Abbas’s actions brought Hamas to power in Gaza and now it will rise to power in Judea and Samaria,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Tuesday, stressing that “no matter when elections are, Hamas will win and take control of the Palestinian Authority.”

As Liberman later alluded, the European Union (EU) has dismissed those concerns based on its conviction that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, would remain in charge of a unity government.

“The EU expects any new government to uphold the principle of non-violence, to remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement … including Israel’s legitimate right to exist,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton insisted last month.

“The fact that President Abbas will remain fully in charge of the negotiation process and have a mandate to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians provides further assurance that the peace negotiations can and must proceed.”

Who the hell is she to say so? Abbas is one lamb kebab away from an infarction, and the last election won by any self-identified Palestinian was won by Hamass. “No matter when elections are, Hamas will win and take control of the Palestinian Authority.” No [bleep]! Politics ain’t beanbag, Cathy honey. Hamass will make Abbas an offer he couldn’t refuse.

The (so-called) Palestinian (so-called) Authority has been without an elected leader for five years! The EU might just as well insist that Obama negotiate with Boris Yeltsin.

You Euro-weenies (and Ameri-weenies) don’t like Israel—message received, loud and clear. So, just leave her alone. Pick on someone else for a change, I don’t know, Togo. Oh wait, they’re black. How about Estonia? No, that’s Putin’s next target. Well, you got 140-something other countries to slander, it can’t be that hard.

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Truth and Reconciliation

Twenty-five years later, those concepts are as foreign to China as dairy and flatware:

During a Harvard University conference Saturday marking the 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, students stood, gave their names, and posed questions to a panel of former protesters.

But one young woman, a freshman from China, would not give her name.

“I took this class because I am the generation that’s being brainwashed,” she told the packed auditorium. “Everything I knew about June 4, 1989, was the fragments I heard from my dad.”

A quarter-century after tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into Beijing to suppress a student-led prodemocracy movement, fear persists. The Chinese government has only minimally acknowledged its crackdown, which killed hundreds of the protesters and possibly thousands, and heavily censors media references and Web searches related to the 1989 protests.

“I wanted to know more about this part of history that was hidden from my people, that was a taboo for decades,” the student said, explaining why she enrolled in a class on the Tiananmen uprising.

What happened in Tiananmen 25 years ago? You asked:

“I’m very reluctant to tell what I saw and experienced,” said Liane Lee, a former student journalist who traveled from Hong Kong to Beijing to document the protests. “But I don’t think I have a choice, because I was rescued by those people. They are so courageous, so brave. They are good people.”

Lee spent nearly an hour describing in vivid detail her experiences in Tiananmen. She recalled trying in vain to restrain a hysterical, bereaved protester who wanted to attack soldiers he said had killed his brother. Lee later fainted when she saw the man later being carried away, suffering from a severe gunshot wound.

She also recalled being shepherded into an ambulance by an insistent doctor as Chinese Army units firing guns moved into the square.

“She told me, ‘My child, please get in the ambulance and leave the square safely. Go back to Hong Kong . . . tell the world what our government has done to us,’ ” Lee said, as another panelist wept.

Also at the conference was Jeff Widener, the photographer who captured the iconic image of a Chinese man standing in front of a column of tanks. Widener shook his head as he listened to Fang Zheng, a student whose legs were crushed by a tank as he tried to lift another protester to safety, describe how Chinese officials tried to use the photograph as evidence that tanks would not have run over protesters. The officials were warning Zheng, a paralympian, not to tell Western news media outlets how he sustained his injuries.

Isn’t it interesting how the one thing the Chinese despots are afraid of is the truth? More than having committed these atrocities, they fear being discovered. Still.

[Professor] He said some of her students drew parallels to the Boston Marathon bombings last year, which occurred on April 15, the same date the Tiananmen protests began in 1989.

“They felt like they could identify, understand what it was like to lose legs,” she said.

As He watched television coverage of memorials for Marathon bombing victims this month, she lamented that China never had a similar opportunity to mourn and reflect.

“People here got the counseling. They can openly talk about it; they can mourn together,” she said. “I felt like, why didn’t we get a chance to heal?”

China teaches us that if revolutions are violent, permanent revolutions are permanently violent. What happened in Tiananmen 25 years ago is part of a continuum of bone-crushing and oppression unbroken from 1949 through the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward to this very day. The only thing that unnerves such totalitarian regimes is the truth. Which is why they teach even their victims (especially their victims) to fear the truth.

The only mildly surprising thing about the events of a quarter-century ago was that it took the Chinese tyrants so long to act.

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Another Reason To Hate The Military…

Some of them are talking about Benghazi

As usual, if you want to know what happened in the US, read the British press. We are such a banana republic.

Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report
Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.
The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured [at link] are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’
‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.
‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.
Kubic said that the effort at truce talks fell apart when the White House declined to let the Pentagon pursue it seriously.
‘We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize,’ Kubic said, ‘but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours.’

More at the link, including names and pictures of committee members. Then, take the Aggie Challenge! Go to the NY Times and the Washington Post and see if you can find any mention of this. BTW did you notice that those weapons are now in Syria? If this President and his administration had declared their intent to allow the murder of as many Muslim civilians as possible, they couldn’t have done a better job. How many have died in Syria? How ’bout The Arab Spring™? Libya? Various drone attacks on wedding and such-like. You can see why they might not care for us.

- Aggie

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Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast?

Let’s hope he gets to come and go by the front door this time:

Obama Schedule || Friday, February 21, 2014

10:00 am || Meets with the Dalai Lama
11:15 am || Attends the Democratic Governors Association Meeting; State Dining Room
12:30 pm || Lunch with Biden

Crikey, what a day. I almost feel sorry for Obama.

Almost.

PS: What’s that whining noise?

China urged Obama to immediately cancel the meeting, accusing him of letting the Buddhist monk use the White House as a podium to promote anti-Chinese activities.

“The U.S. leader’s planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China’s domestic politics,” said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry. “It is a severe violation of the principles of international relations. It will inflict grave damages upon the China-US relationship.”

Ah, shaddap.

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Breaking News From Pyonyang!

Are you sitting down? Okay.

They torture people!

I kid you not:

After a year of public hearings, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea will paint a detailed, damning picture of the country.

“For the first time, the magnitude of what’s going on inside North Korea is coming to light,” says Lillian Lee, an officer for the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization based in Seoul. Ms. Lee, who testified before the U.N. commission last year, said the report, by laying out details on labor camps, torture and inhuman treatment, will force the world to confront the issue.

“For the first time”? That must be a translation error. Haven’t we known about this for… oh, let me see… decades???

Good for the UN and all (the one and only time I’ll ever write those words), but this news is only slightly fresher than the sinking of the Titanic.

What, pray tell, do they hope to accomplish with this “scoop”?

[W]ill it make much of a difference to North Korea’s regime, or to its people?

On one level, probably not. The report, due for release later Monday in Geneva, will include the commission’s conclusions about human-rights violations and possible crimes against humanity in North Korea. But China, a longtime ally of Pyongyang, holds a veto in the U.N. Security Council—enough to prevent a referral to the International Criminal Court.

“We think that it will not contribute to improving a country’s human-rights situation by resorting to the International Criminal Court to address the human-rights issue,” Chinese foreign-ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday. She added that China’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Liu Zhenmin, is in North Korea this week for what she called a routine visit.

On a larger scale, however, government officials and human-rights activists argue, the commission’s findings could prove a breakthrough, increasing international pressure on North Korea’s leadership while laying the groundwork for eventual legal proceedings.

Nonsense. Poppycock. Balderdash. Don’t waste our time. North Korea in court? What are you smoking?

What do you think, honey?

I would ask if the cat had her tongue, but she already skinned and ate the cat (and swallowed her tongue).

PS: As disturbing an image as this young woman makes, I use her as my face of starvation in NK out of kindness to our readers. There are worse.

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