Monday, January 19, 2009

Human Rights Round Up Jan 20, 2009

Middle East:
- Of biggest concern in the Middle East currently is Israel's current and continuing attacks on Palestine. Human Rights Watch and Democracy Now are both reporting on Israel's alleged use of white phosphorous and DIME weapons -- both terrible weapons, causing unnecessary civilian deaths. At this point, one of every three Palestinians killed in under 18 years old.
The United Nations Security Council voted 14-0 (with the United States' abstension) to pass a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire, which Israel has not yet obeyed.
Avi Schleim, a prominent Israel-Palestine expert is calling for an end to Israel's campaigns, citing human rights abuses. He alleges that Israel failed to fulfill its obligations during the ceasefire (Israel failed to lift the blockade on goods including medical supplies and food). Additionally, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) broke the cease fire first, on November 4th, 2008, killing four men in Gaza.
According to Richard Falk, esteemed international human rights scholar, the International Court of Justice is considering taking a case against Israel both for its attacks on Gaza, and because the IDF has allegedly been blocking aid ships and the media from Gaza. World Vision is confirming that journalists are being excluded from the Gaza Strip.
The Guardian is reporting that Shifa Hospital, in Gaza, is filled mainly with wounded civilians, not Hamas militants. There is a shortage of medical supplies and drugs. The ambulances are getting so many calls that they often cannot stop for the wounded.
As peace talks are scheduled in Egypt, it is important to note that Egypt, after Israel, is the second highest donor country in terms of United States aid. Will Hamas get a fair deal from these talks, considering that the United States recognizes Hamas as a terrorist organization?

- Charles Taylor's son, Chuckie Taylor, has been convicted for torture in a Florida court.

- Lori Berenson, imprisoned in Peru, has been moved to a prsion in Lima during her difficult pregnancy.
- Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1975 for an incident involving two white officers at Wounded Knee, has also been moved to a different prison.

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