Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Watch’

I’m BACK!!  First and foremost, I want to apologize for my absence. Neither my wife nor I had any idea what awaited us when we decided, 3 months ago, to move across town. I thought moving half way around the world was bad. It doesn’t help when we both decided, without mutual consent mind you, that we felt much more comfortable putting off for 3 months what we can do at the last-minute. Well today is the last day of that adventure thank God, praise Allah, or whomever you wish to pray to!

OK, now on too much more important issues, in an excellent interview, Ali Dayan Hasan, an activist and the Director of Human Rights Watch outlet in Pakistan, speaks of the injustice in Baluchistan, geographically the largest but also poorest province in Pakistan. It’s a brilliant read by a man with a splendid mind. Among other points he makes is that “all governments and influential actors must pressure each other to adhere to international human rights standards” and that Congress “must examine US complicity with former president Pervez Musharraf in effecting the disappearances of al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, and how it allowed Musharraf to extend heinous practices such as disappearances to political opponents in Baluchistan”.

Congressman Rohrabacher may actually have had good intentions when he introduced his bill calling for self-rule of Baluchistan. He seems to at least be aware of the fact that Baluchistan exists and that people’s rights are being abused. I’m not going to debate that issue here. What got my attention and saddened me is the realization once again we citizens can do what we can, form watchdog groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace etc., but it IS the governments themselves that must pressure both themselves and each other to adhere to international human rights standards that they themselves have set up. They have to police themselves and this is where they tend to fail miserably.

We as a people listen to what they tell us they want to stand for, and applaud, smile and go home to our lives sometimes wishing it were true or not but knowing it is out of our control and beyond our reach, but the governments, who make those lofty speeches have the power to act accordingly and of late they tend more and more to do the opposite, frequently with deadly results.

I’ve been doing some studying of the history of Baluchistan, a region long subject to the perils corrupt royalty and the  innate suppression of colonial rule, and while I’m definitely no expert, it would certainly seem that the rights of that province are being trodden, no, make that stamped upon and have been for some time. In this, the poorest region in the country, there are reports of torture, abduction, with over 5,000 missing, arbitrary arrests, imprisonment and death. It raised my ire, in a very Che Guevara way to think of indigenous population not having the right to self-determination. The local press and of course the Pakistani government would want you to believe that it’s not that simple. Perhaps not, there are many sides to each conflict but only one solution that holds up to the test of time, and that is freedom and self-determination. You can’t practice war and claim to stand for peace.

In his testimony in front of Congressional hearings on the issue, Ali stated that we as citizens of the world must hold our governments accountable for their aggressions. It is the duty of the state to enforce a rights-respecting rule of law, a statement that I would consider self-evident but that some leaders, such as Bush, and even sad to say, Obama, seem to forget.

Once again, with the CIA executing drone strikes in Pakistan, the United States seems to turn a blind eye towards the indigenous people while pursuing only what it deems to be in its own best interest, all the while hiding behind a veil of smoke, mirrors and fear, waving the anti-Muslim anti-terrorist flags and warning, like former Senator McCarthy that they are at your heels awaiting their chance to destroy your way of life.




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I love Human Rights Watch. Their work is so very necessary. This is their report on forced marriage of young girls in Yemen and the repercussions. It’s lengthy, 58 pages, but worth every minute to read!yemen1211ForUpload_0

Their website address is  http://www.hrw.org/


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Syria: Red Crescent Workers Under Attack | Human Rights Watch.

A merciless attack on humanitarian workers in Syria. Please read and react. Join and donate to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Global Voices Online.  I will rarely ask you to follow much less donate to anyone or anything, but the world is in dire need of our humanitarian aid and our humanity. Read up on the Middle East, get involved and help those who can’t help themselves.

thank you very much for reading!


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