Steve Sachs Duke


Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Human Rights? What? We interrupt this series to note Sudan's re-election to a position on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Sudan's victory comes amid its continued practices of ethnic cleansing, chattel slavery, and recruiting child soldiers. (Which raises the question -- what, precisely, does a nation have to do to get kicked off the HRC?)

But the bigger story, though, concerns all the other countries on this august body who will be welcoming Sudan with open arms. As I wrote in the statistical study I posted back in June, the regimes with the worst human-rights records are now significantly over-represented on the HRC, having secured seats to prevent criticism of their own records. Let's see what Freedom House has to say about some of the other countries that will be on the commission next year, including:

  • Bhutan, which is ruled by an absolute monarchy that does not permit free expresion and arbitrarily detains dissenters;
  • China, "one of the most authoritarian states in the world";
  • Congo, where government forces are accused of "extrajudicial execution, torture, rape, beating, and arbitrary detention";
  • Cuba, which holds political prisoners convicted of "disseminating enemy propaganda" or "dangerousness," and whose delegates to the Human Rights Commission recently beat unconscious a human rights organizer inside the U.N. building in Geneva;
  • Egypt, where Amnesty International reports that "everyone taken into detention . . . is at risk of torture";
  • Eritrea, where senior ruling-party members who publicly criticized the government were arrested for treason;
  • Guinea, whose elections displayed such widespread manipulation that the EU refused to send monitors;
  • Nigeria, where women convicted of adultery are sentenced to death by stoning (and where approximately 60 percent are subjected to genital mutilation);
  • Pakistan, which maintains a mandatory death sentence for blasphemy;
  • Qatar, where women cannot apply for driver's licenses without the permission of a male guardian;
  • Russia, whose legal system is arbitrary and bribe-ridden;
  • Saudi Arabia, which criminalizes public non-Wahhabi religious worship, and which discounts the testimony of women compared to that of men;
  • Swaziland, whose absolute monarch had a lawsuit dismissed regarding an 18-year-old woman abducted to be his tenth wife;
  • Togo, which criminalizes "'defaming or insulting' the president, state institutions, courts, the armed forces, and public administration bodies," and which punishes "insulting the head of state" with a jail term of one to five years; and
  • Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe presides over a corrupt regime that politically manipulates international food aid for the starving.

Remind me again why the U.N. is losing credibility...




Blog Archives

Front page
XML Feed


© 2011 Stephen E. Sachs


Anglia Regnum