Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
It is estimated as many as 3,000 people are executed every year in China, more than the rest of the planet combined.
Uighurs and Tibetans are among the many ethnic minorities who have suffered persecution lasting decades.
And of course this is before we get to the totalitarian nature of the Chinese state, the lack of freedom of speech, the lack of voting, etc. etc.
China is the world class expert in human rights abuse.
This honeymoon idyll captured the headlines in February when a court ruled a 15-year-old girl should be flogged for having extra-marital sex. The extra-marital sex in question was being raped by her stepfather. Thankfully, in August, after an international outcry, the sentence was annulled. But the Minivan News reports about the culture of flogging in the Maldives and here you can watch a 17-year-old girl being flogged with a wooden paddle in March this year.
There are the obvious crimes, the public executions and crucifixions, with bodies subsequently hanged from lampposts as warnings to all.
Like China and Saudi Arabia, Russia is excellent at abusing human rights, regardless of international concern.
Greenpeace activists, and an accompanying journalist, are currently locked up awaiting trial, charged with hooliganism and face seven years in jail.
Their treatment follows the jailing of Pussy Riot, one of whose members just showed up in a Siberian prison camp several thousand miles away from Moscow and her home and family.
And dare one mention Georgia and Chechnya, on whose soil the most appalling atrocities have been carried out with either Russia's connivance or knowledge.
It may be the darling of some on the left, with Fidel Castro a hero, but its human rights record continues to be woeful.
Few countries in the world have suffered more as a consequence of the misguided and counterproductive 'war on drugs'. As part of the security services' campaign to tackle narcotics, thousands of people have gone missing, been tortured or have been killed.
HRW reports that between January 2007 until mid-November 2012, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission issued reports on '109 cases in which it found that members of the army had committed serious human rights violations, and received complaints of 7,350 military abuses'. Soldiers who commit such abuses 'are virtually never brought to justice'.
Despite its membership of the EU and civilisation, it doesn't escape criticism from bodies including Amnesty International. In its 2013 report, it highlights the problems of deaths in custody, particularly amongst ethnic minorities, it questions its stance against torture in custody and says there is discrimination against ethnic minorities and LGBTI people.
Amnesty also criticises France's eviction of Roma camps:
'Camps and makeshift homes inhabited by Roma continued to be dismantled in forced evictions throughout the year. According to NGO estimates, 9,040 Roma were forcibly evicted throughout France in the first three quarters of 2012.'
It's not the first time the UN Human Rights Council has been a joke and it won't be the last. To make way for many of these countries places like Angola, Libya and Malaysia have left the council. These countries join, for a three-year term, and 33 others states like India, the US, Brazil, Congo, Kazakhstan continue on the council. But is it any wonder human rights abuses continue with such vigour when the body tasked with monitoring and protecting rights is packed full of countries guilty of such atrocities?
Friday, 8 November 2013
|Kirsty Valentine outside The Alma on eviction day|
|Enterprise representative, plus 'shutters man' arrive|
|Kirsty goes behind the bar one final time|
They add: ‘Regrettably therefore, we have been left with no alternative but to revoke her tenancy and will seek to put in place a new operator as soon as possible.’
As for Kirsty, she has lost her home – she lived above the pub – her business and livelihood – ‘they’ve wiped me out in 12 hours’ she says. Friends have rallied round and offered her places to stay while she continues her next move.
‘I can’t even begin to consider anything much because I’m just so, I’m just in shock. It’s a mixture of shock and relief that it’s finally all over.'