ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Geneva convention

Bahrain Ruling Elite Attack Doctors.

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Libya might be in the news, but for utterly contemptible behaviour look no further than Bahrain. The regime there is attacking doctors and other medical staff in the open.

The contemptible rulers of Bahrain felt emboldened when Saudi Arabia flexed its imperialist muscle and sent security forces to the small kingdom, since then the crackdown has intensified, as the Independent reports:

“The intimidation and detention of doctors treating dying and injured pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is revealed today in a series of chilling emails obtained by The Independent.

At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain’s police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. Doctors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.

One doctor, an intensive care specialist, was held after she was photographed weeping over a dead protester. Another was arrested in the theatre room while operating on a patient.

Many of the doctors, aged from 33 to 65, have been “disappeared” – held incommunicado or at undisclosed locations. Their families do not know where they are. Nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff have also been detained.

Emails between a Bahraini surgeon and a British colleague, seen by The Independent, describe in vivid detail the threat facing medical staff as they struggle to treat victims of the violence. They provide a glimpse of the terror and exhaustion suffered by the doctors and medical staff.

Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops have cracked down hard on demonstrators since the unrest began on 15 February – and the harshness of their response has now been extended to those treating the injured. “

What is shocking is, how such brutality is barely mentioned in the wider Western media and how Britain has played a part in consolidating the power of the minority rulers in Bahrain.

(H/T: Hussein Ibish)

Vittorio Arrigoni And The Need For The Geneva Accords.

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No one should sneer or joke about the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, rather our humanity should make us think of why it happened and what the alternatives are.

The continued violence in the Middle East only brutalises people, it desensitises them and makes any settlement harder to achieve.

The on-going conflict in the Middle East is a political problem and requires political solutions, not military gung-honess, attacks on buses or the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni.

Such a political solution is the Geneva Accords.

These accords try to balance the wants and desires of all parties, and endeavour to find reasonable compromises to these seemingly intractable problems.

For peace in the Middle East a degree of realism is needed on all sides, no one is going to vanish or go away, so a modus vivendi must be found.

The Geneva Accords offer an outline of a settlement and should be given greater prominence in light of Vittorio Arrigoni’s death, lest nihilism and the status quo linger on, leading to further killings and the brutalisation of so many more.

Written by modernityblog

16/04/2011 at 01:30

Kidnapping In Gaza.

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In a bizarre twist, an ISM activist has been kidnapped by a group even more extreme than Hamas, AFP reports:

“GAZA CITY — A Salafist group of radical Islamists kidnapped an Italian activist in Gaza on Thursday and threatened to kill him, the group and aid workers said.

Foreign aid workers in the enclave named the man as Vittorio Arrigoni and said he was an activist with a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who was also working as a journalist and writer.
In a video posted on YouTube, the Salafist group said it had taken him hostage in order to secure the release of an unspecified number of their members who had been arrested by the security forces in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

It said it would execute him if their demands were not met by 5:00 pm (1400 GMT) on Friday.

“We kidnapped the Italian prisoner Vittorio and we call on the Haniya government … to release all our prisoners,” it said, referring to Hamas premier Ismail Haniya and naming an imprisoned jihadi leader called Sheikh Hisham al-Suedani.

“If you don’t respond quickly to our demands, within 30 hours from 11:00 am (0800 GMT) on April 14, we will execute this prisoner,” it said.
The interior ministry of the Islamist Hamas movement which controls Gaza said it was checking the reports of the kidnapping.

The West Bank-based Palestinian leadership called for the “immediate and unconditional release of this foreign activist who is working in support of the Palestinian cause and people.”

“This action does not help the just cause of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, it harms it,” a statement said.

The kidnappers identified themselves in the video as belonging to a previously unknown group called The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammed bin Muslima.

The group described Arrigoni as a “journalist who came to our country for nothing but to corrupt people — from Italy, the state of infidelity, whose armies are still in the Muslim countries.” “

I hope they release Vittorio Arrigoni unharmed, and at the same time, that Hamas make an effort to free their own captive, the kidnapped Israeli, Gilad Shalit.

Gilad Shalit has been held without any external contact or competent, independent, medical supervision (which contravenes the Geneva Convention) for 4 years, 9 months and 20 days.

Written by modernityblog

15/04/2011 at 01:16

Ingrid Betancourt and Gilad Shalit.

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One of my readers kindly reminded me, I had forgotten that Gilad Shalit had French citizenship, with that in mind the situation of Ingrid Betancourt is pertinent.

She was kidnapped by FARC whilst out campaigning in 2002. This BBC News article marked her 1000th day in captivity yet you would search high and low to find a similar one on Gilad Shalit.

Ingrid Betancourt has dual Colombian and French citizenship.

Gilad Shalit has dual Israeli and French citizenship.

There the similarity ends. There is precious little coverage in the Western media of Gilad Shalit’s plight.

More recently France has made a few token noises and even granted Paris citizenship to Gilad’s father, but there is nothing about Hamas’s treatment of Gilad Shalit and their contravention of his status as a POW (access to the Red Cross, etc).

What is noticeable is the inability of the Western media and policy makers to make even elementary criticisms of Hamas when the fate of an Israeli is at stake.

I suspect such an attitude doesn’t go unnoticed in Israel.

Written by modernityblog

11/10/2009 at 15:44

1,195 Days – Compare and Contrast.

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Recent events set me thinking, Alan Johnston, the journalist, was held in Gaza for some 114 days.

The Western media were full of stories about him, delegates of worthy citizens pleaded for his safe return, so many column inches were expended on his plight.

Compare that with Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped from Israel’s territory during an attack in June 2006, pulled down a tunnel back into Gaza.

Held as a POW by Hamas, but afforded none of the rights, no visits, no Red Cross, etc.

Gilad Shalit’s family, until now, had no confirmation if he was alive or dead. No information was forth coming from Hamas, nothing, nada, zip.

After a brokered agreement by the Egyptians and Germans a video of Gilad Shalit and some letters were exchanged for 20 female prisoners in Israel’s jails.

Gilad’s captors, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, even made him state how wonderful their treatment of him was, here’s a cached copy of their web site.

If you followed the Western media you’d hardly see anything about the Israeli solider, kidnapped, deny the basics under the Geneva convention, held in incommunicado for three and a half years.

Hardly a sausage in the media about Gilad Shalit’s treatment, yet plenty about Gitmo or even Abu Ghraib.

Compare and contrast that with Alan Johnston’s fate. The BBC even have a whole web page devoted to him, masses of information.

Oh, how the Western media agonized about poor Alan Johnston, but Gilad Shalit’s predicament barely registers.

Oh, Western sensibilities, how fickle you are. Why don’t you question Hamas about their treatment of Shalit? Or perhaps he isn’t British so doesn’t count?