What Human Rights?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fatemeh Teimourzadeh

Today, values such as human rights and freedom have been turned into tools in the hands of their so-called advocates to exert political pressures and accomplish certain objectives. The West has kept silence vis-à-vis the biggest genocide by the Zionist regime in Gaza and at the same time has launched a political game against Iran on the question of human rights!

West’s countless and widespread violations of human rights and its double standard policy in this respect are nothing new; however, with escalation of this policy by governments in the US, France, UK and certain other Western countries, values of this nature have been translated into democracy in favor of those who claim to be its supporters to the extent that their defense of human rights is ridiculed by many international organizations and by people.

At present, under conditions that 1.5 million Gazans have been deprived of their primary rights and the entire world is watching the Israeli genocide in the occupied Palestine, France which holds the rotating chairmanship of the European Union has passed 16 resolutions against the situation of human rights in Iran in line with exerting political pressures against Tehran. One cannot expect more from France which is reluctant to issue even a single statement in condemnation of the crimes of the Zionist regime today because Paris itself has been condemned by the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) for its inhuman behaviors and breach of the right to live in French prisons. The appalling situation in French jails is a source of great concern for human rights organizations particularly because many prisoners commit suicide under various pressures.

According to latest figures, 89 prisoners have committed suicide at French prisons. A Human Rights Watch report authored by Judith Sunderland says the French government holds many people under long detention or subjects them to various types of torture on the pretext of fight against terrorism.

Convicts serving time inside French prisons had to deal with overcrowding, a lack of privacy, dilapidated facilities and substandard hygiene, the Council of Europe's Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg said in the report, which followed an inspection of the French detention system.

European Court Supports MKO Terrorists

Defense of human rights in the West is taking a reverse course. As the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (anti-Iran opposition) remains in the list of terrorist groups in the world, the European Court of First Instance in Luxemburg issued a ruling based on which the MKO should not be in the list of terrorist organizations any longer.

US: Forerunner in Human Rights Violation

Widespread breach of human rights in European countries, particularly in France, is continuing at a time that its old ally, the United States, is at the frontline of this violation itself. The name US reminds one of the catastrophes at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib detention camps as well as secret CIA prisons in East Europe and elsewhere.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in a recent report announced that the situation in Iraqi prisons under supervision of American troops was very difficult. According to the report, many of the detainees were kept in prison for months and even years without informing them of their charges or allowing them lawyers. According to reports, following the recent scandals at Guantanamo Camp, there are 270 prisoners still kept there for years without trial. A Daily Telegraph report said many of these detainees have not been convicted yet.

The Human Rights Watch in reaction to a recent report by the US government to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) affiliated to the United Nations which said over 2500 Iraqi children had been detained during the six years of the Iraqi occupation, called for freedom of hundreds of Iraqi children who are in US detention. The HRW urged the US government to let the children talk to lawyers and settle their issues through an independent judicial team.

Since the occupation of Iraq, the US troops have detained 2400 Iraqi children and young adults (under 18) some of whom are under 10. Some of the children were subjected to interrogation for days and weeks before being transferred to military zones.

The United States holds the highest number of prisoners with 2.3 million people lingering in jails. A few months ago, The Guardian exposed the existence of floating American prisoners at the coasts of the Indian Ocean as well as near the coasts of Somalia.

The birth of hundreds of nameless babies, escalation of aggression against women and children in a vast section of the society, breach of civil rights of Muslims, violence against Muslims, discrimination and disturbance against Muslims, inequality between men and women, use of torture in interrogations, etc. are clear examples of human rights violations in the “cradle of civilization.”

Torture and mistreatment has become an inseparable part of the Bush administration’s strategy in the “war on terror.” Support for the crimes of the Zionist regime in Palestine has also turned into the most strategic policy of Washington so that this so-called advocate of human rights announced this year it would quit the UN Human Rights Council for its criticism of Israel!


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