Issue 378: Mia Farrow Heads Campaign Against Sudan on U.N. Rights Council


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Mia Farrow Heads Campaign Against Sudan on U.N. Rights Council


GENEVA, Aug. 30 – Mia Farrow, film star and longtime advocate for victims in Darfur, heads a campaign of human rights activists organized by UN Watch that today launched a 3-pronged legal, diplomatic and media offensive to block Sudan’s bid for a seat on the world’s highest human rights body, in elections to be held on Nov. 12th.

  1. Legal Offensive.In an unprecedented objectionfiled today with UN legal counsel Patricia O’Brien, UN Watch, which is coordinating the “Stop Sudan” campaign, requested the disqualification of the Khartoum regime’s UN Human Rights Council candidacy, on grounds that it stands accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court, which has already issued two arrest warrants for regime leader Omar Al Bashir.
  2. Diplomatic offensive. The group sent letters today to the missions of all 193 U.N. member states, urging them to oppose Sudan’s bid over its failure to meet the council’s own membership criteria, which require countries to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

The letters were sent on behalf of an international coalition comprised of 30 high profile human rights figures as well as senior activists in the Darfur movement, including Yang Jianli (above center), the Chinese dissident and former political prisoner; Irwin Cotler (above left), Canadian parliamentarian, former justice minister, and head of Canada’s All-Party Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition; Dr. Gregory Stanton, president of Genocide Watch; Bernard Schalscha of France’s Collectif Urgence Darfour; Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen; and Nazanin Afshin-Jam (above right), the president of Stop Child Executions.

3. Media offensive. The campaign launched a Facebook page and online petition calling on U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, President Obama’s representative to the UN, to lead the diplomatic effort to block Sudan.

While Hillary Clinton and many other Western diplomats spoke out early and forcefully against Syria’s bid last year, the reaction to Sudan’s bid has so far been muted.

The UN Watch-led appeal has significantly won the endorsement of numerous African human rights groups, including those from Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia and Zambia. Other non-governmental members hail from Bahrain, Germany, India, Switzerland and the U.S.

Ms. Farrow, a devoted activist for Darfuris victimized by genocide, mass rape and displacement,sounded an alarm this week over fresh air strikes by Sudan forces.

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“Electing Sudan to the international community’s highest human body is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said. The Geneva-based group, which has long pressed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Washington and other governments to fight against Sudan’s candidacy, reported that the country’s election was virtually assured. — Agence France Presse, Aug. 28, 2012  more…


Meanwhile, UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group, urged the U.S. and Europe to stop a bid by African nations to put Sudan on the UN Human Rights Council. The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir on a charge of committing genocide in Darfur. — The National Post, July 12, 2012.  more…