Archive | August, 2012

UN human rights expert speaks out on Israeli ruling on Rachel Corrie verdict

Posted on 31 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 01st September 2012

UN News – Human Rights – 30 August 2012 –

The decision by an Israeli judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought forward by the family of a deceased young American peace activist is shocking and sad, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today, condemning the ruling as a victory for Israeli impunity.“This is a sad outcome, above all for the Corrie family that had initiated the case back in 2005, but also for the rule of law and the hope that an Israeli court would place limits on the violence of the state, particularly in relation to innocents and unarmed civilians in an occupied territory,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said in a statement issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist, was killed in March 2003 while protesting against the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, a city located in southern Gaza.

The details of her death are disputed, with the Corrie family accusing the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) of deliberately crushing her with a bulldozer during the demolition process. For its part, the IDF maintains that the bulldozer operator failed to see Ms. Corrie due to his restricted vision from inside the vehicles’ cockpit and that her death was entirely accidental.

According to Mr. Falk’s statement, despite evidence and eyewitness testimony indicating that Rachel Corrie was in the direct line of vision of the bulldozer driver and was also wearing a bright fluorescent orange vest increasing her visibility, Judge Oded Gershon ruled that Ms. Corrie’s death was “a regrettable accident” in a territory considered by the State of Israel to be “a war zone.”

“The judge’s decision represents a defeat for justice and accountability, and a victory for impunity for the Israeli military,” noted Mr. Falk, who added: “Such a shocking rationale flies directly in the face of the Geneva Conventions, which impose on an occupying power an unconditional obligation to protect the civilian population.”

Mr. Falk also drew parallels between Rachel Corrie’s death and other recent incidents in which the use of Israeli force against civilian populations has caused casualties, most notably the 2008-2009 Gaza War, in which over 1,400 people were killed, and the more recent 2010 Israeli commando assault on Turkish ships filled with activists bringing humanitarian supplies to the blockaded people of Gaza.

“Israeli governmental institutions have consistently embraced impunity and non-accountability in responding to well-documented violations of international humanitarian law and in many cases Israel’s own criminal law,” he said, adding that the Corrie family had been at “the partisan mercies” of the Israeli judicial system whose legal decisions were “a mockery of justice.”

The Corrie family have announced their intention to appeal Judge Gershon’s verdict in the Israeli Supreme Court, Mr. Falk added.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs like Mr. Falk, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. They work in an independent and unpaid capacity.

Comments (0)

UN human rights expert ‘appalled’ at level of executions in Iraq

Posted on 31 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 01st September 2012

UN News – Human Rights – 30 August 2012 –

An independent United Nations human rights expert today strongly condemned last Monday’s execution of 21 people within one day in Iraq, including three women, which was followed two days later by the reported execution of five more people.“I am appalled about the level of executions in Iraq. I deeply deplore the executions carried out this week, and am particularly alarmed about continuing reports of individuals who remain at risk of execution,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns.

“I urge the Government of Iraq to halt immediately the executions,” added Mr. Heyns, who noted that the number of people executed in the country since the start of this year is now at least 96.

The expert has previously expressed to the Iraqi Government his concerns about the imposition of the death penalty, and called for a halt to executions and a review of all death row cases.

He had also informed it of the need for transparency, stringent respect of due process and fair trial guarantees, and the application of the death penalty only for the most serious crimes – namely intentional killing.

“The death penalty may only be imposed, in countries that still have this form of punishment, if a strict set of substantive and procedural requirements are met,” Mr. Heyns underscored.

He noted that the continued lack of transparency about the implementation of the death penalty in Iraq, and the country’s recent record, raises serious concerns about the question of what to expect in the future.

“The arbitrary killing of people, also when it is committed behind a smokescreen of flawed legal processes, is not solely a matter of domestic concern,” he said. “Iraq should take note that the international community will take strong exception to a continuation of its flagrant disregard of the norms applicable to the protection of the right to life.”

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.

Comments (0)

Debate in Par will separate ‘fact’ from ‘fiction’: Sonia

Posted on 30 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 31st August 2012

Barmer (Raj), Aug 30 (PTI) UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi today stepped up attack on BJP and dared the main opposition party for a debate on issues over which they have been stalling Parliament proceedings, saying a discussion would separate “fact” from “fiction”.

Gandhi, who was here to inaugurate a drinking water project, said the country is facing several serious challenges that demanded people rise above party lines.

Comments (0)

9 killed as 2 MI-17 choppers of IAF collide mid-air

Posted on 30 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 31st August 2012

Nine killed as two MI-17 choppers of IAF collide mid-air

Jamnagar (Gujarat), Aug 30 (PTI) Nine defence personnel, including five officers, were today killed when two MI-17 choppers of Indian Air Force collided mid-air just after take off from an air base here.

“Nine IAF personnel–five officers and four other ranks– have been killed in the crash near Sarmat firing range, 15 kms from Jamnagar city,” an IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi.

Comments (0)

Verma charged under Official Secrets Act by the CBI

Posted on 29 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 30th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) Arms dealer Abhishek Verma faced fresh trouble today with the CBI slapping a case against him under the Official Secrets Act after Defence Ministry certified that the documents allegedly handed over by his US-based estranged business associate were classified.

Comments (0)

SC upholds death sentence of 26/11 terrorist Kasab

Posted on 29 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 30th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) The Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, saying that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by the Pakistani terrorist.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad dismissed the plea of 25-year-old Kasab challenging his conviction and death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court.

Comments (0)

Kanda sent to judicial custody till Sept 11 in Geetika case

Posted on 28 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 29th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda, key accused in the Geetika Sharma suicide case, was today sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D K Jangala remanded Kanda to judicial custody till September 11 after the Delhi police said he was not required for further custodial interrogation.

Comments (0)

Sonia asks Cong to “stand up and fight aggressively”

Posted on 28 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 29th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) Accusing BJP of making “political bread and butter” by holding Parliament to ransom by “blackmail”, a combative Congress President Sonia Gandhi today took the battle to the opposition camp and asked the party to “stand up and fight aggressively”.

Rallying the party behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the coal block allocation issue, she accused BJP of acting with “wanton irresponsibility”.

“We will not be deflected by the intemperate Congress bashing by the opposition.

Comments (0)

Par stalemate over coal block allocation enters second week

Posted on 27 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 28th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) The stalemate in Parliament over coal block allocation issue entered the second week today paralysing the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement as a determined BJP stuck to its demand for his resignation.

Turmoil over the issue which wiped off four days of business last week continued today with both the Houses witnessing repeated adjournments before calling off the proceedings for the day.

Comments (0)

CAG findings disputable, flawed: PM

Posted on 27 August 2012 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 28th August 2012

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today attacked the CAG findings on coal block allocations as “disputable and flawed”, blamed the states ruled by non-Congress parties for not not auctioning them but took “full responsibility” for the decisions of Coal Ministry, which he had presided over for sometime.

“The policy of allocation of coal blocks to private parties, which the CAG has criticised, was not not a new policy introduced by the UPA.

Comments (0)



Advertise Here

-->