Archive | Human Rights

US defends I$raHell at UN Human Rights Council meeting

NOVANEWS

 unclesam

On final day of its winter conference, the UN’s top human rights body passed five resolution on Israel, with the US the sole country voting against.

Ynet

Israel’s staunch ally, America, was the sole buffer against five resolutions which passed Friday against the Jewish State at the UN’s top human rights body.

Four of the resolutions, which focused on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, passed 46-1, with the US the only country to vote against.

On the final day of the body’s winter session, the American representative to the body condemned controversial Agenda Item 7, which required a discussion of Israel at every gathering, saying that such resolutions are not only biased “but they work against our collective efforts to advance a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Paula Shcriefer, the US representative to the UN’s Human Rights Council, called on the council’s members to “avoid actions that hinder” such an outcome, in a short speech in which she argued that “council continually singles out Israel for criticism without acknowledging the violent attacks directed against its people.”

She noted that “none of the world’s worst human rights violators, some of whom are the objects of resolutions at this session have their own stand alone agenda item at this council,” and emphasized that “only Israel, a vibrant and open democracy, received such treatment.”

The fifth resolution under Agenda Item 7, which passed with the support of 33 members, condemned Israeli treatment of the Syrian population on the Golan Heights.

Schriefer ridiculed the resolution: “To consider such a resolution while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens exemplifies the absurdity of this agenda item.”

No representatives of the Foreign Ministry were present because of an on-going general strike.

Posted in Human Rights, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

UK: Migrant Domestic Workers Face Serious Abuse

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UK Government Should Abolish ‘Tied Visa’ to Protect Workers, Prevent Forced Labor.
  • A domestic worker holds up her UK Overseas Domestic Worker visa. Following changesto the immigration rules in April 2012, workers entering the  UK on this visa are not permitted to change employer, making them more vulnerable to abuse.
The UK government is failing in its duty to protect migrant domestic workers, who all too often are victims of horrific hidden abuse. If it’s serious about ending what it calls modern day slavery, the government should recognize just how vulnerable these workers are and give them the protection they deserve.
Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher

(London) – Migrant domestic workers accompanying their employers to the United Kingdom are being subjected to serious abuses including forced labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UK government is doing far too little to protect vulnerable workers, and recent changes to UK immigration rules make it harder for workers to flee abuse, the report found.

“It’s scandalous that in modern Britain migrant domestic workers are subject to such appalling abuses,” said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But instead of protecting these workers, the system makes it harder for them escape.”

The 58-page report, Hidden Away: Abuses against Migrant Domestic Workers in the UK,” documents the confiscation of passports, confinement to the home, physical and psychological abuse, extremely long working hours with no rest days, and very low wages or non-payment of wages. The report also shows the UK government has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to protect migrant domestic workers and enable them to access justice if they are mistreated.

In April 2012, the UK abolished the right of migrant domestic workers to change employer once they are in the UK, against the recommendations of parliament, nongovernmental organizations, and UN experts. Under the terms of the new ‘tied visa,’ overseas domestic workers cannot legally leave their employer and find new work, meaning those abused can become trapped.

“Workers who are mistreated now face a horrendous choice: either endure the terrible abuse, or escape and become undocumented migrants, where of course they are much more vulnerable to further abuse and exploitation,” said Leghtas. “It’s abhorrent that anyone should be tied into abuse in this way.”

Because domestic helpers work in private households, much of the abuse takes place behind closed doors. Workers told Human Rights Watch of working up to 18 hours per day for weeks on end without breaks, not being fed properly and surviving off leftovers, being forbidden from possessing a mobile phone or contacting their own families, and being unable to ever leave their employers’ homes unaccompanied. Some were paid wages as little as £100 (US$160) per month and sometimes even these meagre salaries were withheld.

The British Home Secretary Theresa May is bringing forward a modern slavery bill to tackle serious labor abuses in the UK. In December 2013, May presented a draft bill that would increase penalties for slavery, servitude, forced labor, and human trafficking from 14 years to life imprisonment. But the bill makes no reference at all to the plight of domestic workers. A parliamentary committee is reviewing the draft bill and is due to publish a report in early April.

Human Rights Watch is urging the government to broaden the scope of the bill to ensure appropriate protections for migrant domestic workers, including the right to change employer. Restoring this right is vital to help combat abuse against this very vulnerable group of workers, Human Rights Watch said.

Every year, some 15,000 migrant domestic workers arrive in the UK. Many of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch were women from Asia or Africa who previously worked for their employers in the Gulf, and had already experienced abuse there at the hands of their employers.

Human Rights Watch has documented serious and widespread abuses against migrant domestic workers in the Gulf where gaps in labor laws and the restrictive sponsorship (kafala) system contribute to exploitation. The kafala system ties a domestic worker’s visa to her employer, and gives employers control over whether the worker can change jobs and, in some places, exit the country. The UK’s abolition of the right to change employer risks sending a signal to employers from the Gulf that they can continue to treat their workers as they did under the kafala system, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch also found that the measures the UK government has in place to prevent abuse are inadequate. The government requires workers to have been employed for at least a year by their employer before coming to the UK. However, many migrant domestic workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch in London said their employers had subjected them to abuse in the Gulf and treated them the same, or sometimes even worse, in the UK. Migrant domestic workers are often unable to access redress mechanisms in the Gulf – because their employers confiscate their passports and heavily restrict their movements – so prior employment with a family overseas is not a reliable indicator that no abuse has occurred.

The UK government also requires written terms and conditions of employment to be signed by both the employer and the employee, including the obligation to pay UK minimum wage. But there is no mechanism to monitor whether those terms are respected.

Under domestic, European, and international human rights law, the UK must protect migrant domestic workers from abuse, both from government officials and from private individuals. But recent cuts to legal aid deny victims who have not been recognized as possible victims of trafficking free legal assistance, even if they are victims of forced labor.

The UK government has also refused to ratify a groundbreaking international treaty which affords the same rights to domestic workers as other workers. In June 2011, the UK was one of only nine countries that did not vote in favor of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. Human Rights Watch is also recommending that the UK ensure that domestic workers are made fully aware of their rights in the UK when they apply for visas, and that employers understand their duty to treat employees in accordance with UK law.

“The UK government is failing in its duty to protect migrant domestic workers, who all too often are victims of horrific hidden abuse,” Leghtas said. “If it’s serious about ending what it calls modern day slavery, the government should recognize just how vulnerable these workers are and give them the protection they deserve.”

Posted in Human Rights, UK0 Comments

Palestinian child describes details of torture and mistreatment during his arrest by Zio-Nazi Police

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Zio-Nazi forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen south of Hebron

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deuteronomy
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the Hebron district on Wednesday, security and medical sources said.

The sources said the 15-year-old was attempting to cross Israel’s separation wall near the southernmost West Bank area of al-Ramadin when Israeli forces shot him dead.

Israeli troops gave him no warning before shooting him, the sources said.

The youth was identified as Yousef Nayif Yousef Shawamrah Abu Akar from the village of Deir al-Asal al-Fauqa south of Hebron.

Israeli forces have yet to deliver his body.

Witnesses said the victim had been foraging for local plants when he was shot, but the army claimed he and two others had been vandalising the security fence.

“Three suspects sabotaged the security fence in Deir al-Asal Atachta, and soldiers at the scene called them to distance themselves and fired warning shots in the air,” an Israeli army spokeswoman said.

“After all efforts were exhausted the soldiers fired at the main instigators’ lower extremities and a hit was identified.”

The victim was evacuated to an Israeli hospital, where he died from his wounds.

But the victim’s brother, Abed Shawamreh, 23, denied the army’s account and said the teenager had been out looking for gundelia, a thistle-type plant used in cooking.

“Every year, people from the village go out to pick gundelia. Today Yussef went with his friends to pick some in an area close to the wall and the army shot at them. They hit him and arrested two of his friends,” he told AFP.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

US boycotts UN human rights conference with drone resolution looming

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A protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal region, in Lahore (AFP Photo / Arif Ali)A protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region, in Lahore (AFP Photo / Arif Ali).

Pakistani leaders hope to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council to pass a resolution that would force US drone strikes to adhere to international law – a request that inspired the US to boycott the talks altogether, according to a new report.

The draft of a Pakistani resolution, first reported by Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy, proposes that nations “ensure transparency” when discussing drone strikes and “conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.”

While official numbers are nonexistent, experts have suggested that anywhere from 200 to nearly 1,000 Pakistani civilians have been killed by US drone strikes, with as many as 200 children possibly among that total.

The issue of drone strikes, while remaining largely out of US headlines, has become one of the most polarizing in Pakistan. While previous reports have made it clear that Pakistani leaders have authorized at least some drone strikes, they publicly maintain that that unmanned American aerial vehicles constantly buzzing in the skies undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty.

The proposal revealed Wednesday, which also calls for “an interactive panel discussion” on the use of drones, is a clear appeal from Pakistan to the international community.

The Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, entered its third day of discussing the resolution Wednesday, yet the US delegation was nowhere to be found.

A general view taken on the opening day of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)A general view taken on the opening day of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini).

The Obama administration first joined the council in 2009, ending a boycott initiated by the Bush administration, which was nervous about smaller nations trying to influence the body – particularly on matters relating to Israel.

Since then, though, the US has avoided a number of instances where authorities may have been forced to turn over information about its classified drone program.

Ben Emmerson, the UN’s current special rapporteur for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, told Foreign Policy that American intelligence leaders must at least give other world leaders a basic understanding of US drone use.

The single greatest obstacle to an evaluation of the civilian impact of drone strikes is lack of transparency, which makes it extremely difficult to assess claims of precision targeting objectively,” he said.

Pressure from the international community seems to have worked, at least temporarily, as the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan has fallen over the past month. The Pakistani government asked the US to curtail drone activity as it tries to continue peace negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban, according to The Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller.

That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no,” one US official said.

The president has made clear that even as we aggressively pursue terrorist networks – through more targeted efforts and by building the capacity of our foreign partners – America must move off a war footing,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said last month. “We will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequence.”

Those self-imposed restrictions have done little to quash debate both at home and abroad. Last month, after the Obama administration said it would reduce the amount of attacks, it came under fire from Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who warned against such a decision.

Individuals who would have been previously removed from the battlefield by US counterterrorism operations for attacking for plotting to attack against US interests remain free because of self-imposed red tape,” he said during a congressional hearing, adding that the new rules endanger “the lives of Americans at home and our military overseas in a way that is frustrating to our allies and frustrating to those of us who engage in the oversight of our classified activities.”

Resolutions like the one proposed by Pakistan generally pass by consensus, although the US has asked that this proposal goes up for a vote when it is formally introduced next week.

This, like the rest of the Obama administration’s approach on this matter, is misguided, says Andrew Prasow, an American lawyer affiliated with Human Rights Watch.

This resolution would be the first time the council is going to do anything about drones and the US is not participating in any of the informal discussion about language,” he told foreign Policy. “They are telling us they are reserving judgment on the resolution, which means they won’t be happy with it. We have also heard from them and others as well they are concerned that the council doesn’t have the jurisdiction over this issue. I think it’s ludicrous to say the Human Rights Council doesn’t have anything to say about drone strikes.”

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

UK continues mass experiment in human despair

NOVANEWS

By: John Wight

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.(AFP Photo / Leon Neal)British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.(AFP Photo / Leon Neal).

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has confirmed that the Tory-led government’s policies to cut public spending are set to continue, but the food banks don’t lie.

Prior to delivering his 2014 budget to the country via the chancellor’s annual budget speech to parliament earlier this week, Osborne waited patiently while the prime minister and the leader of the opposition entered into the ritual pre-budget speech exchange.

Tributes were paid by both men to former Labour MP and government minister, Tony Benn. Benn, it should be noted, was the most hated man in Britain at one time, reviled by the Tories, the British establishment, and the leadership of his own party. The tributes that have been paid to him in response to his recent death would suggest that the political class in Britain is either suffering collective memory loss or is riddled with rank hypocrisy.

This pre-budget speech exchange then moved onto recent events in Crimea. Ed Miliband assured the prime minister that he will have Labour’s support for the toughest possible action against Russia over the decision by the Crimean people to secede from Ukraine and apply to join the Russian Federation, asking Cameron if he favors suspending Russia from the G8. The prime minister assured the Labour leader and the House that he will discuss it with Britain’s allies, but that they should consider banning Russia from the G8 permanently as punishment for its role in the Crimean events.

The House cheered its approval and you knew by now that you were bearing witness to a political class in Britain that exists in a parallel universe.

Next up was Chancellor George Osborne to outline the government’s budget for 2014-15. It only took him a couple of minutes to confirm that the mass experiment in human despair which the Tory-led coalition government describes as an economic policy is set to continue.

Osborne began his speech with the boast that “If you are a maker, a doer or a saver, this is a budget for you.” He then went on to regale the House with various statistics to support the government’s assertion that Britain’s economic recovery is headed in the right direction as a result of the austerity measures they have implemented since coming to office in 2010. The chancellor then confirmed that cuts to public spending will continue.

Food banks don’t lie. Their proliferation over the term of the current government confirmation that Britain in 2014 is a nation in which poverty, destitution, and the inevitable despair which follows on from those maladies is worse than at any time since the Second World War.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the social spectrum, recent figures released by the charity Oxfam reveal that the five richest families in Britain share more wealth between them than the poorest 20 percent of the population – around 12.6 million people.

Never mind taking a penny off a pint of beer, as the chancellor announced in his budget speech, the sheer extent of inequality in Britain in the 21st century is a travesty, the fruits of three decades of neoliberal orthodoxy that shows no sign of abating even in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

The response of the government – whose front bench consists predominately of millionaires educated at Eton and other elite schools in England – to the recession has been to wage an all-out assault against the poor, especially the unemployed, who have seen savage cuts to their benefits in addition to a tightening of the conditions attached to their provision.

Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett

In a classic example of divide et impera – divide and rule – the government has succeeded in turning the low waged against the unwaged, the able bodied against the disabled, and everybody against immigrants. Meanwhile, the City of London has felt no pain and continues to reward itself with outlandish bonuses, despite its responsibility for the financial crash which caused the economic crisis, a consequence of the greed and recklessness that has and continues to underpin its drive for short term profit at the expense of long term stability and sustainability.

The chancellor’s announcement that growth is expected to outperform previous expectations – moving from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent – tells us little apart from the fact that international demand for high-end London properties remains buoyant and that the City of London remains one of the world’s premier financial hubs, attractive to investors seeking a regulation and tax-friendly environment in which to do business.

The housing crisis that has bedeviled the country for decades, and which successive governments have failed to tackle, has led to an ever-burgeoning housing benefit bill as private landlords have cashed in at taxpayers’ expense. Placing a cap on housing benefit rather than on the amount of rent landlords can charge tells us whose side the present government is on.

One of the main planks of this government’s economic strategy has been to keep interest rates down, benefitting borrowers, especially homeowners with mortgage repayments constituting the bulk of their monthly outgoings. Suffering in the process has been the nation’s savers and those dependent on the value of investments, such as pensioners. Both the aforementioned demographics are more likely to be Tory voters, which is why they have been rewarded by Osborne with measures designed to increase the threshold at which pensions contributions are taxed and make it easier for savers to move money around without being penalized.

Lost in this direction of travel in favor of the nation’s savers is that the British economy is still laboring due to a lack of spending. What the nation requires are measures designed to put money in people’s pockets, necessitating more government investment in order to offset the lack of investment on the part of the private sector, which continues to sit on a giant cash surplus. Back in January the government’s own Office for National Statistics (ONS) put the amount of said surplus at 334 billion pounds. This is an investment strike by any other name, which the government is responding to with measure after measure – tax cuts, tax breaks, subsidies, below-inflation pay rises across the public sector, thereby acting as a brake on pay in the private sector – designed to bribe them to end it.

Ultimately, the chancellor’s 2014 budget merely confirms that Britain is a country where socialism for the rich is being paid for with austerity for the poor.

Karl Marx, lying in his grave at London’s Highgate Cemetery, could never have seen that one coming.

Posted in Human Rights, UK0 Comments

Stop Zio-Nazi Apartheid!

NOVANEWS

Stop Israeli Apartheid!

I am a Norwegian woman, a quite ordinary person. I started this petition after experiencing life in Palestine, including the Jordan Valley and the Negev desert. It was heartbreaking seeing the daily harassments that the Palestinians and beduin tribes were exposed to; it afflicted women, children, old people, peasants, workers – every single person living in the territories occupied by Israel.

As we learned from South African apartheid, a state that makes its inhabitants victims of apartheid policies and practices, won’t stop until the people of the world react. It is time we wake up once more!

The governments of the world, as well as do the EU and the UN, know more than enough about what is going on “on the ground” in the occupied territories, but still they don’t put any power at all behind all their resolutions.

Then remains only: We, the people!  Apartheid has no future.

We will stop apartheid once more! Join in by signing this petition, push the red button to sign.

Check out my Youtube video where I explain what I learned about Israeli apartheid: http://bit.ly/notcomplicated  (The video has subtitles in English and Norwegian.)

So then, this is what WE, THE PEOPLE want to tell the world’s most important international decision makers:

“I call upon the European Union (EU) as well as the United Nations and all its member states that they join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to boycott the state of israel until it ceases its apartheid policies, disregard for international law, violations of human rights and totally ends its Occupation and ends the siege of Gaza!

I demand this from all governments, including and especially my own.

Furthermore, I encourage all UN member states to fulfill their obligations according to the resolutions they themselves have passed through both the Security Council and General Assembly condemning the policies of the State of Israel toward Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Finally, I call upon the permanent members of the UN Security Council – and especially the US – to refrain from using their veto power to block nor thwart resolutions condemning the illegal practices of the State of Israel toward the Palestinian people!”

To:
the EU, the UN, the UN’s Security Council and National Parliaments, UN General Assembly
Stop Israeli Apartheid!
I call upon the European Union (EU) as well as the United Nations and all its member states that they join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to boycott the state of israel until it ceases its apartheid policies, disregard for international law, violations of human rights and totally ends its Occupation and ends the siege of Gaza!

I demand this from all governments, including and especially my own.

Furthermore, I encourage all UN member states to fulfill their obligations according to the resolutions they themselves have passed through both the Security Council and General Assembly condemning the policies of the State of Israel toward Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Finally, I call upon the permanent members of the UN Security Council – and especially the US – to refrain from using their veto power to block nor thwart resolutions condemning the illegal practices of the State of Israel toward the Palestinian people!

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

FIFA PLAY BALL: HELP END MODERN SLAVERY IN QATAR

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Squalid, overcrowded accommodation. Brutally long days working in the blistering heat. Regular abuses of rights such as having passports withheld or being lied to about the nature of promised work.1

This is the everyday reality for migrant workers in Qatar helping to bring us the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Worse still, recent reports show that workers from Nepal and India are dying in record numbers on Qatari construction sites since the country won its World Cup bid.2

FIFA has pledged to do more to improve the “unacceptable” situation for workers on World Cup-related projects,3 but these words have yet to be followed by action.

Call on FIFA to take responsibility for awarding the World Cup to a country with historic issues of worker exploitation and forced labour. FIFA President Sepp Blatter must use his influence over World Cup organisers to ensure all future World Cups are slavery free, including Qatar as a top priority.

FIFA should:

  • Call for an end to the exploitative kafala system in its current form in Qatar, specifically by allowing workers to freely change jobs and leave the country without their employer’s permission.
  • Demand that fundamental labour rights are protected as a requirement for countries to be selected to host World Cups.
  • Call on the Qatar 2022 organising authorities to establish a complaints mechanism that allows migrant workers to report abuses and secure justice.

SOURCES

  1. http://www.ituc-csi.org/qatar-response-to-labour-rights 

  2. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/qatar-world-cup-india-migrant-worker-deaths 

  3. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/qatar2022/media/newsid=2227055 

Posted in Campaigns, Human Rights, Middle East0 Comments

I$raHell is Killing Palestinian Civilians With Impunity: Amnesty International

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Human rights group calls for the international community to halt arms shipments to I$raHell, citing possible war crimes

- Sarah Lazare

Relatives of Samir Awad mourn his death at a hospital in Ramallah, to where his body was taken after the shooting. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Zuma Press/Corbis)Israeli forces are killing Palestinian civilians in the West Bank — including children — with “callous disregard for human life,” enjoying near impunity for likely war crimes, and should be immediately cut off from arms shipments by the international community, declares a damning report released by Amnesty International on Thursday.

“This is a hugely significant development,” says Mike Coogan of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in an interview with Common Dreams. “This report is unequivocal. It clearly points to the perpetrator of crimes — the Israeli military.”

Entitled Trigger-Happy: Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank, the 87-page report documents mounting violence and human rights violations due to Israeli use of “unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force,” as summarized in an Amnesty statement. The study traces the chilling trail of death and injury this leaves behind.

In the past three years, at least 261 Palestinians in the West Bank — 67 of them children — have been seriously injured by live gunshots fired by Israeli forces. In this same time frame, over 8,000 Palestinians in the West Bank — 1,500 of them children — have been wounded by other weapons wielded by Israeli forces in the West Bank, including rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas, with some dying from their wounds.

The report highlights the murder of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank last year, four of whom were children, and 14 of whom were killed at protests. In some of these cases, Amnesty found evidence of “willful killings, which would amount to war crimes,” according to the summary.

Sixteen-year-old school boy Samir Awad, from Bodrus, numbers among the dead. He was shot by Israeli forces in January 2013 while protesting Israel’s separation barrier that slices through his village. Bullets hit the back of his head, leg, and shoulder as attempted to flee an ambush. Multiple eye-witnesses testify that he and other young protesters did not pose a danger to the Israeli forces who fired.

“Out of nowhere many soldiers jumped out and ambushed Samir,” said 16-year-old Malik Murar, a friend of Samir and eye-witness to his killing, in an interview with Amnesty. They shot him first in the leg, yet he managed to run away towards the village. But how far can an injured child run? Twenty, maybe 30, meters? They could have easily arrested him, especially when he was injured, but instead they shot him in the back with live ammunition… To me this is premeditated murder.”

One year later, “authorities have failed to ensure any accountability for his death,” the report states.

Samir’s murder is one of many that may constitute extrajudicial execution — a war crime under international law — the report reveals.

Others have also been shot in the back, and protests against expanding settlements, the separation wall that annexes Palestinian land, evictions, checkpoints, and restriction of movement are often met with deadly force, the report reveals. These killings are not transparently investigated, leading to an over-all permissive climate for arbitrary violence.

“The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty.

The report urges an immediate halt to use of deadly force by Israeli forces and calls for the international community — including the United States — to halt all arms shipments.

“Amnesty’s courageous call for cutting all transfer of weapons to Israel is a very significant first step towards a full embargo,” said Omar Barghouti — Palestinian campaigner for boycott, divestment, and sanction of Israel — as quoted in Mondoweiss. “Israel should not get away with what Amnesty rightly characterizes as ‘war crimes’ and ‘willful killings’ of Palestinian civilians.”

The Israeli Army swiftly released a statement and tweet dismissing the report as demonstrating a “complete lack of understanding as to operational challenges the IDF faces.” Yet the statements did not directly answer to the specific killings highlighted by Amnesty, including that of Samir.

Coogan said in response, “There is absolutely no excuse for Israel’s continued and flagrant misuse of weapons against civilians. Entire families have been affected by this. There is a very clear pattern, including clear video evidence.”

He added, “It’s about time that Israel is held accountable for this.”

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs0 Comments

December 2013 Report to UN Human Rights Council on Occupied Palestine

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[(Prefatory Note: This is my last report as Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine as my term is coming to an end after six years. The mandate is important as a source of information pertaining to the realities of occupation from the perspective of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. My hope is that this mandate can be brought to an end as early as possible, but not earlier than when Palestinians can live in equality with the Israelis either in a single bi-national state or in separate states. It is a matter that need to be decided by the two peoples in accordance with respective rights. No solution can be imposed or negotiated in a setting that is not premised on the equality of the peoples. RAF)]

Human Rights Council

Twenty-fifth session

 

Agenda Item 7

Human rights situation in Palestine and other

occupied Arab territories

 

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk

SummaryThe present report is the final report of the current Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1. The report addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the wall in the context of the tenth anniversary of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, and considers Israel’s policies and practices in occupied Palestine in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid. It also addresses concern in relation to the deterioration of the human rights situation of Palestinians living under the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs0 Comments

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