Friday, 12 June 2009

Diplomacy with a baseball bat

From something I've just seen posted by Article 19, it looks like religious knuckledraggers use exactly the same tactics against their critics at UN level as they do in small towns and backwaters throughout the world.
In an open letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council published today, thirty-five human rights organisations from every region of the world warned that recent “extraordinary attacks” by states on United Nations human rights experts at the Human Rights Council are “severely eroding the Council’s legitimacy and credibility.”
A global group of 35 NGOs, including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, as well as regional and national NGOs like the Asian Forum for Human Rights (Forum Asia) and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, state delegations at the Council are carrying out “what appears to be a coordinated effort to intimidate” human rights experts, “individually and collectively.”
They say attacks at the ongoing 11th session of the Council “have focused in particular on the current Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. These Rapporteurs were subjected to threats of disciplinary action because they offered their expert analysis and recommendations on important human rights issues that they brought to the attention of this Council.”
The group of NGOs contend that these “political attacks” are “fundamentally an attack on and threat to the Council itself,” and go on to “appeal, in the strongest terms” for states at the HRC to refrain from undermining the independence of UN human rights experts, and “ensure that the long term integrity and credibility of the Human Rights Council itself are not sacrificed to political expedience.”
Cut out the polite phrasing, and I think what they’re really saying is that countries with a record of strong, religiously based persecution of their own people want all the advantages of 21st century international co-operation, but not the responsibility.
In particular they are so upset at every responsible attempt to bring their thicko thuggishness to world attention that they want such attempts to stop.
Not having evolved to a level where they can discuss alleged grievances calmly with all parties and work out amicable solutions, they’re now trying to beat their UN critics over the head with baseball bats.
You can find a full version of the letter with a complete list of all NGO signatories at:

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