La factura de Bosnia será inminente si Annán duda

Nir Boms, 19 de julio de 2012 a las 19:08

Se cumple este mes el 20 aniversario del inicio de las hostilidades de la Guerra de Bosnia. Mientras las fuerzas del régimen machacan la ciudad de Homs utilizando artillería pesada con vistas a la visita del equipo de observadores de las Naciones Unidas, no puedo evitar una rara sensación de que la historia se repite.

En la Guerra de Bosnia hubo más de 100.000 muertos (200.000 según algunos cálculos), civiles en su mayor parte, antes de que los efectivos de la OTAN pudieran ponerle fin. En Siria, el “más modesto” de los recuentos habla de “solamente” 11.000, pero como hemos aprendido de Bosnia, al fondo siempre queda espacio para más. View full post…

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Another Week in Geneva

I returned from Geneva last week and made a few notes on this peaceful place that was so full of politics….

The peaceful white mountaintops remained unscathed by the heat of debate that took place within United Nations corridors. The mountains, I thought, are indeed a fitting background. Full of frozen splendor and  high enough not to be touched by the realities on the ground. Such was another week of deliberation at the UN Human Rights Council that this time debated on Iran and Egypt . You  will find some more in the post below

Another Week in Geneva
By Nir Boms, 3rd March 2010

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva concluded a week of deliberations with Iran and Egypt topping the agenda. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process which involves the review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States. This recent UN tradition started in 2006 following growing criticism regarding the lack of attention given to human rights at the UN. The process, which allows for input given by NGO’s as well as other states, was meant to change that. To say the pace of change has been slow is an understatement.  More like a Swiss glacier.

“Human rights violations in Egypt are widespread and routine, including arbitrary detention, torture, and unfair trials before state security and military courts” wrote Human Rights Watch in one of the submissions on Egypt.  The government habitually invokes the ‘state of emergency’ laws, in place since 1981, to suppress peaceful political activities and critics.  Security officials routinely arrest bloggers and journalists for their writings, and Egypt’s laws allow for an extremely broad definition of an “illegal organization” that are subject to special trials conducted by military and state security courts.  Torture is also allowed under article 126 of Egypt’s penal code.

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A Moment of Truth in Geneva?

Tomorrow, February 15 2010, and for the first time since the 1979 revolution, the UN  will review the human rights record of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The UPR (Universal Periodic Review) is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States. This recent UN tradition started in 2006 following the growing criticism of the lack of attention given to human rights at the UN. In response, the Human Rights Council was established. And now comes its first moment of truth.

Iran has been oppressed by the rule of tyranny since its birth in 1979 as an Islamic republic. Since then and despite countless attempts to condemn Iran for its gross violations of human rights and its persistent failure to amend its laws and actions, the human rights record in Iran remains deplorable and abysmal.  Iran is in constant breach of international treaties and conventions that its government has ratified, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR); Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (CRC); and the customary binding declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (UDHR).
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Arab Rulers and Promises


By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck
May 2, 2005

A year ago last month, in Egypt, a group of more than 100 Arab scholars, ambassadors and political leaders signed the “Alexandria Declaration,” an ambitious agenda for political, economic, legislative and institutional change designed to help Arab societies move “towards building concrete and genuine democratic systems.” In the 13 months since the declaration was signed, the world has witnessed successful elections in Iraq, widespread pro-democracy demonstrations in Lebanon, municipal elections in Saudi Arabia and constitutional reform in Egypt. (The latter two are widely viewed as transparent attempts to alleviate U.S. criticism.) 

Add to these developments last October’s free elections in Afghanistan and the continued democratic rumblings among the young people of Iran, and it appears that the Alexandria statement — combined with the Bush administration’s unwavering commitment to a democratic Middle East — may have started a trend. Until, that is, you talk to the signatories.  View full post…

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