ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘HRW

Protests, Hamas And Torture

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Human Rights Watch has news of Hamas torturing Palestinians.

This is not new, but a recurring theme with the group that gained power in a coup d’etat of 2007, HRW says:

“Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that Hamas police and plainclothes security officials prevented a demonstration at the Unknown Soldier square in Gaza City on February 28, 2011, without giving any reason, and detained and tortured one of the organizers, Ahmad Arar. Arar, 31, gave Human Rights Watch a detailed accounted of the abuse he said he suffered, an attempt, he said, to make him confess to being a Palestinian Authority agent. Since late February, Hamas internal security officials have threatened, confiscated equipment from, and repeatedly questioned young activists trying to organize similar protests for March 15, the activists said.

“The Hamas government has shown time and again that it cares little about the rights of Palestinians who peacefully challenge its policies,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Hamas says it’s fighting for liberation from occupation but is repressing people living under its control.

Other witnesses to the February 28 events told Human Rights Watch said that Hamas security officials threatened to assault journalists who tried to cover the protest and that they had assaulted a journalist trying to cover a similar demonstration on February 11. ”

Within Gaza, Hamas place serious restrictions on books, newspapers and other media according to HRW:

“On January 23, 2011, Hamas police officers entered three bookstores in Gaza City and confiscated copies of two books, saying they were allegedly “against Shari’a” without providing any basis for their actions in written law or court order.

Dr. Talaat al-Safadi, the owner of the Ibn Khaldun bookstore near Al Azhar University in Gaza City, told Human Rights Watch that two police officers in street clothes and another in uniform came to his bookstore and confiscated seven copies of A Banquet for Seaweed, a novel by Haidar Haidar, and one copy of Chicago, a novel by Alaa’ al-Aswany.

“The police didn’t tell me why they were taking the books and I didn’t ask them, but I insisted that they prove they had the right to take them, and eventually they showed me a note from the Ministry of Interior,” al-Safadi said. The police refused to give him a receipt for the books, he said, telling him to go to the al-Abbas police station, which he refused to do.

“A Banquet for Seaweed was written and translated into many languages 20 years ago, and people these days can download novels anyway,” al-Safadi said. “There’s no point in confiscating them.”

Also on January 23, members of the General Investigation Bureau confiscated copies of Chicago and A Banquet for Seaweed from the al-Shurouq bookstore in Gaza City, and Internal Security Service officers ordered employees at the Samir Mansour bookstore, near Gaza City’s Islamic University, not to sell any copies of the novels, said the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a nongovernmental rights group based in Gaza. “

It is just a matter of time before Hamas start burning books.

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Update 1: Meanwhile in Bahrain, HRW reports:

“We were at the anti-government demonstration in Rifaa, south of Manama, where King Hamad’s palace is located. It turned violent. Several pro-government protesters or Rifaa residents broke through the police line and began chanting and hurling rocks toward the anti-government demonstrators. Some in the latter group reacted and did the same. After a minute or two of these exchanges the police began shooting tear gas in the direction of the protesters and hundreds began running away. I saw lots of teargas, and dozens of people fell on the ground due to inhalation, being struck by canisters, or simply falling over. The firing of tear gas canisters stopped after about a minute, and some protesters went back to the front line again. But after half an hour or so the crowd began to disperse. Ambulances on the scene took some of the injured to the hospital.”

Not Too Proud.

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Whatever you think of David Cameron, and I try not to, you have to admire his gall.

Cameron is, at the present moment, sucking up to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which must be a bit of a come down for a British PM.

Still, these once imperial powers have more in common than people will often admit.

Perhaps Cameron could inquire about Turkey’s treatment and murder of Kurds?

Or maybe the Turkish Prime Minister is advising Cameron on how to avoid charges of torture, or collusion with torture?

Anyone that needs reminding of Turkey’s appalling human-rights record could do worse than read Amnesty international’s and Human Rights Watch’s summaries.

Written by modernityblog

27/07/2010 at 15:47

HRW Does The Obvious.

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Elsewhere I made the point that basically HRW should have suspend Garlasco, and investigated his conduct.

According to a piece in the NYT, forwarded to me by an astute reader that’s what they’ve just done.

Written by modernityblog

15/09/2009 at 13:40

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The Moral Imbecile And HRW.

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The CST sums it up:

“To repeat, however, HRW are far better placed than me to say whether or not Garlasco is a Nazi sympathiser. I believe him to be a moral imbecile for wearing an Iron Cross sweatshirt, but that does not make him a Nazi. (Whilst many Nazis are idiots, thankfully the opposite is less true). Despite this, HRW need to cast aside their arguments with Israel and instead engage with the issues, and in particular with the human right of Jews and others to protest that a senior HRW activist should be an Iron Cross sweatshirt wearing Nazi medal obsessive.”

Update: Ignoblus take issue, HRW88?

Written by modernityblog

11/09/2009 at 19:15