Wednesday, June 28, 2006

the making of a mockery

From Nasrin Alavi's insighful article on the hypocritical disgrace which is the UN's new Human Rights Council:

The United Nations inaugurated its new Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday 19 June 2006, replacing the discredited human-rights commission. It should be a historic, inclusive, optimistic moment that marks a new departure for the world body and for the cause of human rights worldwide.

But between the thought and the act falls the shadow. The launch of the new body was witnessed by two Iranian representatives whose human-rights records – even by the standards of the Islamic Republic – are infamous: justice minister Jamal Karimirad and Tehran's prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi.

Mortazavi was the presiding judge of the infamous Court 1410 and hailed as the "butcher of the press" for his vicious rulings against journalists and free thinkers. He is credited with the closure of more than 100 publications and the harassment and imprisonment of many writers, activists, lawyers and bloggers in recent years. Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer and Nobel laureate, has even accused Mortazavi of being present in 2003 when Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured and killed.

Mortazavi's arrival at the UN has rightly provoked an outcry from human-rights groups. He is undeterred. His first official meeting in Geneva was with Zimbabwe's infamous minister of justice, Patrick Chinamasa.

Mortazavi also told Iranian news-agency reporters in Geneva that the United States "should be put high on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council" for abuses in Bagram, Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib (he added that "nuclear technology for peaceful purposes" is a basic right of all nations).

Mortazavi comes to the United Nations concerned by "Islamophobia" and "the instrumental use of human rights by the west", arguing that the "holy concept" of human rights should be more susceptible to Islamic sensibilities.

Yet the regime that appeals to Islamic traditions is readily willing to crush dissent when it suits it to do so and it has imprisoned many prominent members of the Shi'a clergy such as Mohsen Kadivar, Abdollah Nouri and Mojtaba Lotfi just to name a few. It is also unique in Iran's Islamic history for having kept under house arrest a Grand Ayatollah ( Montazeri). In 2004 Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, stated that the Iranian people did not go through a revolution in order to "substitute absolutist rule by the crown with one under the turban".

Unfuckingbelievable!...the way military science gets conflated into an insincere paean on universal human rights while these same rights twisted to fit the yoke of irrational Sharia laws. To top off, legitimate complaints about the US and its detention policies lack any sort of moral authority within a forum including Iran and Zimbabwe as chief critics. I don't care iabout appeals to tradition; things like buying and selling other human beings and punishing criminals with mutiliation are wrong and should not be spoken of as justice in the 21st century.

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At 8:31 AM,

Here's the thing people choose to forget when they are busy critisizing the hrc. The idea is that all the nations of the world participate at some level, because there needs to be an open conversation and an international body where policies regarding human rights can be debated and yes, sometimes adopted.

The critics always say -- Sudan can't be there. Iran can't be there. Cuba can't be there .etc etc.. they judge who is and isn't a human rights violator before anyone can get to the table.

A better idea, which in fact the HRC continues to persue, is to include even the contreversial nations, in hopes that despite their record, some good can come of this and perhaps it will influence them to adopt BETTER policies for human rights, in the future.

Anyway Ive said this too many times on blogs. Im tired and ready to retire.




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