Posts Tagged ‘Muammar Gaddafi’

And the Nominees Are……Oscars for Human-Rights !!

February 28, 2014

Regular readers of this blog know that I like the idea of holding  celebrities accountable (most recently: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/star-power-and-human-rights-a-difficult-but-doable-mix/).   The reason is that there is a mutually reinforcing (and for many profitable) interaction between the stars and the media (which in turn feed on the interest of the public). Celebrities’ views on all kind of issues – including human rights –  can hardly be called private. Their social media are virtual industries and influence millions globally. So it seems a good idea to have an annual look at which celebrities have advanced and which have harmed the cause of human rights around the world. Halvorssen and Leigh Hancock ( of the Human Rights Foundation) have done exactly that in the Atlantic on 27 February 2004 and linked it to the upcoming Oscars night on Sunday. 

(Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

The list of celebrities deserving recognition for their accomplishments in the field of human rights or those who should be ashamed for supporting human-rights violators, is long and contains many video links. Like the real Oscars, the list is slanted in terms of geopolitical interest and I think that if all major international human rights organisations would get together to agree on a list if would be more balanced, but that is probably wishful thinking. Still, the Human Rights Foundation deserves credit for this creative initiative. and here is the summary:

The Nominees for Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights Read the rest of this entry »

Star power and human rights: a difficult but doable mix

February 10, 2014

RED-FACED. Jennifer Lopez performing for the leader of 'one of the world's most repressive regimes,' according to Human Rights Watch. Photo by Agence France-Presse/Igor Sasin

 (Jennifer Lopez performing for the leader Turkmenistan. (c) Agence France-Presse/Igor Sasin)

In quite a few earlier posts in this blog I have drawn attention to stars and celebrities who either support dictators or simply do not care that their actions do. So, I was quite happy to see a thoughtful piece by Jo Biddle of Agence France-Presse on 9 February 2014 analyzing this issue a bit more in-depth, with actress Scarlett Johansson as the “poster girl of Israeli apartheid”, Dennis Rodman in North Korea, and Kim Kardashian expressing her love of Bahrain. I would add, Mariah Carey who thinks nothing of singing for Gaddafi or the Angolan President, while Jennifer Lopez (picture above) did the same in Turkmenistan.

The author rightly states that when celebrities wander into complex foreign policy issues, it can be a minefield, leaving diplomats and human rights campaigners scrambling for damage control. The article mentions exceptions such as Bob Geldof, Bono, George Clooney or Angelina Jolie Read the rest of this entry »

Mariah Carey needs better-informed staff and donate her 1 million fee to Human Rights Defenders in Angola

December 19, 2013

Mariah Carey Celebrates Angola’s Dictator, his Family, and Their Ill-Gotten Wealth

Mariah Carey poses with José Eduardo dos Santos, the 34-year dictator of Angola, his wife, and his daughter Isabel—Angola’s only billionaire

 

 

 

The Human Rights Foundation has lately been targeting celebrities who give their voice and reputation to bad causes and I think it is an excellent idea. Some celebrities do good work (think of Barbara Hendricks or Angelina Jolie), most are not interested but there is no reason why some should go out of their way to give support to dictators. There is no financial or diplomatic necessity. So, it is good to highlight Mariah Carey‘s concert on 15 December during a gala for the Angolan Red Cross, which was sponsored by Unitel (President José Eduardo dos Santos billionaire daughter Isabel owns Unitel and is also president of the Angolan Red Cross). “Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash, reportedly more than $1 million dollars this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Gaddafi Human Rights Award resurrected: Mugabe rumored to be Laureate

March 31, 2013

The main aim of this blog is to follow events regarding Human Rights Defenders worldwide, but this time I have something of a ‘scoop’: in the process of doing research for an academic article on human rights awards I came across the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, which was thought to be defunct since 2011 with the death of the Libyan leader.

Talking to the North-South foundation in Switzerland, which has administered the 250.000$ award from 1988 to 2010, it turns out that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, from his jail in western Libya, has decided to resurrect as from 1 April 2013 the Prize in honor of his late father under the name: Gaddafi Award for African Governance.

Disappointed with the support received from the Arab world during the uprising in Libya last year, the resurrected award wants to focus on Africa. The rumor is that the first winner – supposed to be announced only tomorrow! – is rather surprisingly President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. When asked whether this would not lead the award to be seen as encouraging ‘bad governance’, the spokesman for the Foundation, T. (Thomas) Yran, refused to comment on Mugabe being the first winner, but said that the new award wanted to clearly distinguish itself from the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership (http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org) which rewards mostly “lackeys of the capitalist system” and anyway has not been given out for 3 years.

http://algaddafi.org/al-gaddafiinternationalprizeforhumanrights/list-of-recipients-of-the-international-prize-for-human-rights

English: The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)