Tag Archives: Human Rights

Not All Civilians Are Born Equal

Reuters: “Obama condemns Iran crackdown on protests” Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:45pm EDT

“we deplore violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place,” [Obama] said

BBC: “‘Dozens dead’ in US drone strike” Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 13:22 UK

There have been more than 35 US strikes since last August – killing over 340 people – and most have landed in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions

Multi-decadal Single-Party President and Dictator Lectures the World on Human Rights

It may be good news to see that President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of the Maldives preoccupies himself with human rights nowadays, just as global warming threatens the islands he has governed for 30 years (“With millions under threat, inaction is unethical“, IHT, Sep 9).

Some people will call his new worry a tad unethical and hypocritical, with him having won six elections as sole Presidential candidate and now trying to get re-elected for a seventh time.

But who knows? Perhaps President Gayoom will reconsider his priorities, and devote himself full time on solving the global warming issue: finally freeing up his people to choose their new, democratic leader. Ah, and to express their opinions unafraid of the State’s repressive policing.

With Millions Under Climate Threat, Gayoom (and Oxfam) Are Unethical

Today’s IHT sported what may be the most absurd climate-related speech by a politician. In a sentence, we are lectured on human rights by somebody that has been President of his country since November 1978.

That’s not all:

  • President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is officially the Dictator of the Maldives
  • He has been re-elected since 1978 five times, every time by 90%+ of the votes (as sole candidate for the job)
  • He is Head of Government, Head of State, Commander-in-Chief (well, George W Bush is that too) but has also been for a very long time Defence Minister and Finance Minister before being ridiculed about it
  • having been forced towards democratic reforms, President Gayoom is working hard to get himself re-elected under a Presidential system (for a change)
  • as recently as 2003, he was still imposing “severe restrictions on freedom of the press, and political parties were unable to function.” according to Amnesty International
  • as recently as August 13, 2004, responded to popular protests by declaring a State of Emergency, sending the police to rough up unarmed civilians, and arrested parliamentarians and members of the opposition
  • despite all his earlier promises, President Gayoom has just rescheduled to an unspecified date the first multi-party Presidential elections expected for 10 October

Wouldn’t the above recommend to thread carefully on the subject of human rights, if only to avoid the risk of being called a hypocrite, coming out in the open so clearly picking up only the “human rights” of one’s convenience?

Of course not.

See “With millions under threat, inaction is unethical” by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

And that’s still not all: apparently, President Gayoom has teamed up with Oxfam, and he specifically mentions the upcoming “Climate Wrongs and Human Rights” Oxfam report. Too bad that report contains a lie.

Oh well…what’s a little untruth when there is a chance to prop up a ruler of three decades, by lucky chance exactly during his election campaign?

Oxfam should be more than ashamed by this.

Oxfam's Climate Lie

As a student of international law, and a longtime supporter of human rights everywhere, I can only condemn the cavalier use of facts and truth by Oxfam in its pursuit of an AGW-based agenda.

From Oxfam’s “Climate Wrongs and Human Rights: Putting people at the heart of climate-change policy“:

In the opening remarks, the present tense:

In failing to tackle climate change with urgency, rich countries are effectively violating the human rights of millions of the world’s poorest people. Continued excessive greenhouse-gas emissions primarily from industrialised nations are – with scientific certainty – creating floods, droughts, hurricanes, sea-level rise, and seasonal unpredictability. The result is failed harvests, disappearing islands, destroyed homes, water scarcity, and deepening health crises, which are undermining millions of peoples’ rights to life, security, food, water, health, shelter, and culture

In Chapter 1, “How climate change undermines human rights“, the future tense.

Look for example at table 2 “Current and projected impacts of climate change upon human rights“.

I simply cannot find any “current impact” listed in there. Since Oxfam can only talk about “future impacts“, there is no climate-related violation of human rights at present.

The statement in the opening remarks is wrong. In fact, it’s a lie.

I have done a fair bit of work with Amnesty International in the past, and I do remember how important it was (and still is) to stick to facts and ascertained truths, as every lie and every fantasy, even if based on good intent, would inevitably bite back, discrediting the organization and its causes.

And so: if Oxfam is truly worried about future impacts on human rights, it should talk about future impacts on human rights. The fact that it feels compelled to masquerade them instead as present impacts shows that Oxfam doesn’t have a strong enough case to present.

Kill a Man One is a Murderer…

…kill a million, a Conqueror (quote by Jean Rostand).

And so this had to come to pass: “Ban Ki-moon Condolences For Indonesia’s Suharto