Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Amnesty report criticises Australia

Amnesty International has accused Australia of using national security to justify the erosion of human rights and says the United States has proved "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle" in its fight against terrorism and invasion of Iraq.

The London-based organisation's 2004 report has targeted the Washington-led war on terrorism, [the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], for sanctioning abuses in the name of freedom.

It says the unilateral nature of the conflict to unseat Saddam Hussein in Iraq had "virtually paralysed" the United Nations's role in guaranteeing human rights on a global level.

[An illegal and degrading war, crimes against humanity, occupation and genocide.]

In its report on Australia, Amnesty says: "National security was invoked to justify the erosion of human rights safeguards in draft laws on 'anti-terrorism' measures, [draconian laws], and refugee rights. [Indefinite detention.]

"Domestic violence against Aboriginal women and children and indefinite detention of child asylum seekers were prominent themes in the domestic human rights debate."

The 339-page document, which detailed the human rights situation in 157 nations and territories, reserved the most column inches for the United States but criticism was also meted out to global giants Russia and China.

Other perennial violators were also highlighted, such as North Korea, Cuba and the central Asian state of Turkmenistan, where Amnesty summarised the human rights situation simply as "appalling".

While the report only briefly dealt with damning allegations that US and British troops, [militants], tortured Iraqi prisoners, it had harsh words about the nations' overall record in Iraq.

"Coalition forces, [Coalition of the Killing], failed to live up fully to their responsibilities as occupying powers, including, [failed], their duty to restore and maintain public order and safety, [which was not their objective], and to provide food, medical care and relief assistance," the report's section on Iraq said.

Elsewhere, Amnesty detailed a long list of abuses in Russia, noting that the country's security forces "continue to enjoy almost total impunity for serious violations of human rights and international law" in the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

China, despite the accession of a new political regime under President Hu Jintao during 2003, had made "no significant attempt" to end the use of torture and other abuses, which "remained widespread", the report said.

In the Middle East, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority were taken to task for alleged rights violations, with Amnesty saying that some actions by the Israeli army, such as the destruction of property, "constituted war crimes".

One of the most damning assessments was handed to Cuba, which saw a "severe deterioration in the human rights situation" during 2003, most notably through the jailing of dozens of dissidents after "hasty and unfair" trials.

By Appalling Human Rights 26 May 04


The bone has been pointed at Howard
A Queensland Indigenous leader says an ancient Aboriginal curse placed on Prime Minister John Howard is no laughing matter and could even have deadly consequences.Suspended Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner (ATSIC) chairman Geoff Clark was with a group of Aboriginal people who performed a ceremony known as pointing the bone at Howard at Colac in south-west Victoria this week.

O'Shane blasts constitution
Controversial New South Wales magistrate Pat O'shane has described the Australian Constitution as flawed and grossly inappropriate.

Demounting Auntie Isabel Coe
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HoWARd, where's your head at?
Australians is living on the edge! Seems each time the bombs go off overseas for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East Australians are living on the edge.

Howard Vs Regina in Canberra the Capital Territory of Australia- Friday January 30 2004. Would the defendant please stand while I read out the judgement of this court.

War criminals should be tried: Human Rights
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Message of Solidarity: Greens
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Brain injury for suspicion 'inhumane'
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QLD Politician (Community Safety?) Amendment Bill 2004
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Dictatorship under the crimes Act?
[War criminal], Attorney General Phillip Ruddock said yesterday under the Crimes Act Izhar Ul Haque committed a crime. But the real crime was preventing a 21-year-old young man decide for himself what is wrong and what is right. What a disgrace! Under the heading, further education.

Report recommends freeing child detainees
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Child detention breaches UN convention: human rights report
There are currently 86 children in detention in Australia and more than 70 on the Pacific Island of Nauru. The Federal Opposition, [as well as of at least half of Australia], has called on the Government to act on the report immediately.

Detention centre media ban criticised
The Howard Government has been criticised in a report by media freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders for stopping journalists covering the conditions in refugee detention centres.

Refugee protests expected to move to Sydney
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Zimbardo on US Soldiers and Iraqi prisoners
My former colleague in the Psychology Department at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY forwarded this letter to me. It was distributed via the Social Psychology e-network. I think you will find it enlightening, and possibly disturbing, but I believe it is important information for us to be aware of.

Steve Stefanowicz: Adelaides new torturer!
Is the U.S. citizen Steve Stefanowicz going to be allowed to resume his working entry visa to Australia, given the revelations in the Weekend Australian May 8-9?

Hicks interrogator features in CBS broadcast
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