Issue 316: UN Chief Compares Gilad Shalit to Hamas Terrorists

Today: Ban Ki-Moon Compares Israel’s Shalit to Hamas Terrorists
• Canada Brings Moral Clarity to UN: “We won’t just go along to get along”
• Hall of Shame: Those Who Praised Syria on Human Rights


Today: Ban Ki-Moon Compared Israel’s Shalit to Hamas Terrorists

GENEVA, Oct. 18 – A Geneva-based watchdog group called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon to clarify remarks made today that seemed to draw a moral equivalence between the imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and Hamas terrorists.

“I am very encouraged by the prisoner exchange today after many many years of negotiation,” Secretary-General Ban told Reuters today. “The United Nations has been calling for (an end to) the unacceptable detention of Gilad Shalit and also the release of all Palestinians whose human rights have been abused all the time.”

“Mr. Ban needs to clarify whether, as it appears, he was referring to the Palestinians who committed such gruseome crimes as the bombing of Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15, the bombing of a Tel Aviv nightclub that killed 21, and the bombing of Netanya’s Park Hotel that killed 29 people attending a Passover Seder,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“We call on Mr. Ban to recognize that those who masterminded and carried out terrorist attacks against women and children are despicable criminals, not innocent victims, and that their detention is a moral and security obligation rather than a so-called violation of human rights,” said Neuer.

“The UN was founded on moral clarity, and its highest officials should know better than to engage in false moral equivalence. They should instead be condeming all of those today who obscenely celebrated cold-blooded murderers as heroes.”

The office of UN rights chief Navi Pillay also voiced concern about the rights of Palestinian terrorists, saying that some were being released to the wrong places. She made no mention of the serious security concerns involved.



Canada Brings Moral Clarity to UN: “We won’t just go along to get along”

Canadian cabinet ministers recently delivered two powerful speeches at the UN, raising the maple leaf as a banner of moral clarity within the world body. Here is the General Assembly address by Foreign Minister John Baird. And here is Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s speech in protest of the UN’s “Durban III” summit on racism.

Tyrants at the UN are outraged at Canada’s principled positions. The government of Syria’s President Assad, while being reviewed two weeks ago by the UN Human Rights Council (see below)lashed out at Canada, calling it “an extreme right-wing government” that is “against developing countries.” This from a regime that has murdered 3,000 of its own people this year alone, and whose Baathist party ideology was cloned from Europe’s World War II Fascist movements.


Hall of Shame: Those Who Praised Syria on Human Rights

Syrian opposition activist and cyber-dissident Rami Nakhle addressed the UN Watch-led summit of dissidents while the United Nations gave its podium to his oppressor. Sept. 21, 2011, New York.

GENEVA —  The U.N. Human Rights Council today concluded its quadrennial review of Syria’s human rights record after an exercise that saw criticism from the US and other democracies, while Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Burma and other countries praised the Assad regimeHall of Shame: click here for quotes by countries who praised murderous Damascus regime.

UN Watch put pressure on Syria by circulating a draft UN resolution to condemn the regime, as reported below by Bloomberg News and the Kuwait News Agency.


Syria Opposition Slams ‘Hostility’ of Russia, China in UN Vote

Oct. 7, 2011
By Emre Peker

A Syrian opposition leader accused Russia and China of putting their economic interests first and showing “hostility” toward the Syrian people by blocking a United Nations resolution demanding an end to violence.

The stance of Russia and China, which on Oct. 4 scuppered a U.S. and Europe-backed motion condemning President Bashar al- Assad’s crackdown on protests, will be reciprocated across the Arab world, Faruk Tayfur, deputy chairman of the Syrian National Council formed in Istanbul this month, told Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency. Russia sells weapons to Syria and maintains a naval base there.

Syrian opposition leaders will travel to Egypt this weekend, and there are plans to visit other countries to gain recognition as Syria’s representatives, said Tayfur, who fled the country in 1975 and said he hasn’t returned since.

Activists estimate that at least 3,600 people have died and tens of thousands have been detained during seven months of protests in Syria. Opposition leaders have been meeting in Turkey and on Oct. 2 said they created a council, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to coordinate efforts to end Assad’s rule.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva today for a quadrennial discussion of Syria’s record. A coalition of activists and rights groups sent a draft resolution to all UN member states calling for the creation of a special UN monitor of human rights in the country, said Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-government organization coordinating the effort.

The Syrian government’s submission to the UN council on the country’s human rights record is “fictional” and “insulting to the memory” of Syrians killed in Assad’s crackdown, Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said in an e-mailed statement.

The Syrian government has blamed the violence on terrorists encouraged by its foreign enemies.
Tayfur praised Turkey’s decision to press ahead with more sanctions against Assad’s government even after the failure of the UN measure. A former Syrian colonel, Riad al As’ad, fled to Turkey after forming the opposition Free Syria Army, according to Anatolia.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the veto of the Security Council resolution “unfortunate.” The premier canceled a trip to Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, where more than 7,600 Syrian refugees are staying, after his mother died today, Anatolia reported.



Dissidents, rights groups reject Syrian report to HRC, circulate UNGA draft resolution condemning Damascus


UNITED NATIONS, Oct 7 (KUNA) — Less than a week after Russia and China blocked the adoption of a draft resolution condemning Syria in the Security Council for killing its own people, dissidents and human rights groups circulated a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly’s 193 Member States seeking adoption of a similar text, the Geneva-based rights group ‘UN Watch’ said in a statement circulated here.
As the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva began Friday its quadrennial review of Syria’s human rights record, a coalition of 20 famous dissidents and rights groups [led by UN Watch] rejected Syria’s report as “fictional,” and circulated a draft resolution to all 193 Assembly members to “strongly condemn” Syria’s mass killing of its own citizens.

It also urges the creation of a permanent UN investigator (Special Rapporteur) on the human rights situation in Syria.

The issue will first be referred to the Assembly’s Social Committee, known as the “Third Committee” where all human rights abuses throughout the world, from Iran to Cuba, are debated. The Committee usually adopts resolutions, sponsored by the western countries, condemning the various regimes for those abuses. The resolutions move to the Assembly a few weeks later for adoption.

UN Watch said the sponsors of the anti-Syria draft resolution include well-known former political prisoners Yang Jianli of China, Ahmad Batebi of Iran, Fidel Suarez Cruz and Berta Antunez of Cuba, Rebiya Kadeer of the Uyghur people (Muslim Chinese) and Grace Kwinjeh of Zimbabwe, as well as UN rights groups, including UN Watch, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Human Rights Foundation.

According to the draft, the Assembly “strongly condemns” the “ongoing, grave and systematic human rights violations” by the Syrian authorities, including “arbitrary executions, excessive use of force, the killing and persecution of peaceful protesters and human rights defenders, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including children.” In its report to the Human Rights Council, Syria said it is “committed to promoting and protecting human rights,” that it “exercised the utmost self-restraint” and “refrained from shooting on groups in order to avoid killing innocent civilians,” and described the recent peaceful protests as “criminal attacks against the nation and the people by armed terrorist groups” supported by “certain western states that are bent on discrediting and weakening” Syria and getting it to “change its political position on the challenges facing the region,” in a direct reference to Israel.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which heads the coalition, said “the regime is wrong, and its days are counted. We urge the UN to take action to hasten an end to the mass murder of Syria’s citizens,” adding that the report is “insulting to the memory of more than 2,000 innocent Syrian citizens who sacrificed their lives for the basic values of human dignity and freedom from oppression”. 

UN Watch

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