Posts Tagged ‘double standards’

EU and Human Rights NGOs urge Bahrain to end crackdown – as reported by Iranian news agency

September 15, 2016

The widely-supported call to free Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/nabeel-rajab/]was also taken up by the Iranian Tasnim News Agency (operating in English since 2013). This of course most welcome but begs the question why other such calls for human rights defenders, e.g. in Iran, do not get such attention [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/iran/] or the persist lack of cooperation with the UN is not critically reported [see yesterday’s: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-states-may-shut-my-office-out-but-they-will-not-shut-us-up/]

خبرگزاری تسنیم

The explanation is to be found in ‘about us’, where the agency says: Defending the Islamic Revolution against negative media propaganda campaign and providing our readers with realities on the ground about Iran and Islam, specially current wave of the Islamic Awakening in the region are top on our agenda in Tasnim News Agency. The Islamic nature of the developments in the region and similarities between the Islamic Awakening Movement, which swept the Middle East and North Africa since 2011, and Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution have unveiled Islamic Revolution’s inspiring role in the region. The development came despite efforts made by opponents and enemies of Iran to block the country’s growing influence in the region and in the world……Tasnim News Agency will do its best to bring to light the true aspects of events and developments in Iran and in the world, and will also cover the latest developments regarding the Islamic Awakening Movement.

That Nabeel Rajab is Shia may well be relevant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Baku Games defended by ‘NGO Coalition‘ in Azerbaijan

June 6, 2015

typical NGO coalition?
My earlier posts on the Baku Games [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/azerbaijan/] would not be complete without a reference to what is being done by Government (here called “The Civil Society Coalition Support for the Baku 2015 first European Games”) which held a round table on “Double-standard approach of international organizations toward human rights” on June 2015.
Sometimes the best reply is to say nothing and show how the poor response is by voting the piece in full. Note that not a word was uttered about the content of the disputed article. Not even the beginning of a discussion on whether the human rights defenders in question should be in detention. One can only conclude that the facts as put forward by the 3 authors and international human rights organizations are correct:

“Delivering an opening speech at the event, Rufiz Gonagov, the coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition, chairman of the International Relations Research Center, said certain circles, which have an unfriendly attitude toward the relations with Azerbaijan, have already begun to express their concerns over the country as first European Games – the grandeur event of a global scale – is approaching.

Aydin Aliyev, the coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition, editor-in-chief of “Baku-xeber” newspaper, said in his speech that the European Parliament is due to hold hearings on the upcoming European Games and human rights situation on June 10.

“The article, co-written by UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks, claims that representatives of international organizations and foreign human rights defenders undergo pressure in Azerbaijan as well. It is a groundless article which indicates double-standard approach of certain circles toward Azerbaijan as it is doing its utmost to hold the major sports event successfully,” Aliyev added.

Rauf Zeyni, the head of National NGOs Forum, said actions of anti-Azerbaijani circles pose a threat to the country’s independence, noting that as the Azerbaijani president stated, Azerbaijan will never give up its independence.

Alimammad Nuriyev, the chairman of the Center for Constitutional Studies, said the circles directed from a single center have already begun to take insidious actions as their attempts fail.

“I don’t remember such a statement was issued when people were shot during the Armenian parliamentary elections on February 19, two were shot dead on the eve of the elections in Georgia in 2011 and even after two Azerbaijanis were taken hostage by Armenians. However, these circles, including these three authors began to issue such a statement on the eve of the European Games,” he noted.

Vugar Rahimzade, the chief editor of “Iki sahil” newspaper, said these circles continue to demonstrate double-standard approach toward the negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s most painful problem.

“Some countries try to secure their own interests in Azerbaijan by putting pressure on the country through the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe. Behind the veil of democracy, people are being killed in the Middle East. We need to adopt a statement against such international organizations to put an end to double standards toward Azerbaijan,” he added.

Politician Elman Nasirov said these circles changed the direction of pressure when they saw that Azerbaijan is fully ready to host the first European Games.

“The article co-written by the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe representatives is aimed against Azerbaijan’s policy. This pressure will continue after European Games,” he noted.

Hikmat Babaoglu, the editor chief of “Yeni Azerbaijan” newspaper, regarded the joint statement of the representatives of the three international organizations as an attempt to unite their pressure due to the increasing power of Azerbaijan.

At the end of the event, a statement was adopted on the behalf of civil society institutions and media outlets.”

APA – Round table ‘Double-standard approach of int’l organizations toward human rights’ held in Baku – PHOTO.

“Human rights lectures are little more than a joke” but so is this article in the Herald Sun

February 27, 2014

People hold candles at Light the Dark - a vigil in response to tragic turn of events on M

(People hold candles at Light the Dark – a vigil in response to tragic turn of events on Manus Island that left one person dead and 77 injured. Source: News Corp Australia)

On 26 February the Australian Herald Sun contained an article by Rita Panahi under the provocative title: “Human rights lectures are little more than a joke. In it she hits hard at some countries that criticize Australia’s interception and detention policy of refugees. “Being lectured to by China and Iran about human rights abuses is a bit like taking advice on etiquette from Miley Cyrus. It’s not just the pot calling the sparkly stainless steel kettle black, but then accusing it of racial profiling.” Quite rightly she points to the irony that Iran feels “emboldened to attack, despite the fact the young man killed was supposedly fleeing that country.”[The riots in Manus Island detention centre escalated into a riot on Monday and 23-year-old Iranian Reza Berati was killed’]

Even China, with its record of silencing dissidents, felt entitled to question Australia’s record. China’s Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister, Li Baodong, criticised our asylum policy and expressed concern for “the protection of refugees and asylum seekers and the right of the children of refugees”. He said: “We have also asked about whether these refugees will be illegally repatriated to other countries.”

In looking at the China’s own human rights record the author then states: “Of course, China’s human rights abuses are not restricted to terrorising pregnant women. According to Amnesty International, “harassment, surveillance, house arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders are on the rise and censorship of the internet and other media has grown. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians, and of Falun Gong practitioners and Christians who practise their religion outside state-sanctioned churches, continues”. China and Iran indeed also execute more people than any other country.

However, to conclude now that these nations have “no right to question any country, let alone one with values of freedom and fairness, such as Australia” is a bit much. If only ‘sparkly’ clean countries are allowed to address human rights issues, it is going to be extremely silent. Would it not be preferable to have a substantive discussion of human rights issues? One that would include – in the case of Rita Pahani – at least a mention of the statement by Amnesty International – so eagerly quoted on above on China – on Australia’s refugee policy. It should not have escaped the author as the Amnesty statement came just two days before her own writing.

To help in her research: On Monday 24 February, Amnesty International in a report took a swipe at Australia for the way the country has responded to the global refugee crisis. Amnesty said Canberra should have accepted more refugees fleeing the bloody crisis in Syria.  The group said the country had the capability to take in seven thousand five hundred Syrian refugees. The rights group also called on Canberra not to send and detain vulnerable refugees on Islands in Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Nauru.” http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/02/24/352094/aussies-under-fire-over-refugee-stance/

Human rights lectures are little more than a joke | Herald Sun.

‘Western’ human rights defenders accused of double standards by controversial Azeri journalist

February 16, 2013

On 15 February 2013 News.az (an Azeri news agency) distributed under the title “Western human rights defenders’ silence shows double standards” a bit of a rambling attack on western-based international organizations and human rights defenders for using double standards by being quickly critical of repression of journalists in the ‘new democracies’ such as Azerbaijan and being silent with regard to similar repression in western Europe.

112464The 15 February piece is mostly based on an interview with Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the website Haqqin.az, who stated that the case of journalists from News of the World is a high-profile case, and certainly should be considered in the plane of restrictions on the rights of journalists to work freely. What the article does not state is that on 22 January of this year Amnesty International has announced the termination of its collaboration with Eynulla Fatullayev, a former prisoner of conscience, and head of the Public Association for Human Rights in Azerbaijan.  Amnesty International believes that Fatullayev, and in particular, his site Haqqin.az, is used by the Government of Azerbaijan to discredit European criticism of human rights violations in Azerbaijan. In 2011 Amnesty International had issued a “mass tweet” on Fatullayev’s behalf; Fatullayev attributed his release inter alia to the work of Amnesty International activists.

In the interview Eynulla Fatullayev states among others the following: I am more than sure that if a similar event occurred in Azerbaijan or in another state, located in the zone of the new democracies, it would be followed by statements by most international organizations condemning the policy of the authorities to the persecution of media. Why in the case of the United Kingdom or other EU countries, all these organizations remain strangely silent?”  Read the rest of this entry »