What can be done to stop sexual violence against women in Iraq and Syria?
This morning, I had the privilege of joining experts on a panel hosted by the American Red Cross, Physicians for Human Rights, and other key groups.
We focused on Iraq and Syria, and I also got into issues affecting women in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and North Africa.
On Thursday, I spoke with CCTV America about Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other repressive governments reported to be supporting U.S. actions against the armed group calling itself “Islamic State.”
Nicholas Kristof criticizes both leaders of Israel and Hamas in his latest column for The New York Times. If you decide to read it, keep in mind the following two oversights and errors.
First, there’s one word he doesn’t use: occupation. Since 1967, *every* Israeli government has taken Palestinian land and built settlements. This isn’t just an action by conservative or “right wing” Israeli governments. Israeli settlement construction — and the brutality towards Palestinians involved — has been supported by both Labor and Likud parties.
Second, Mr. Kristof ignores the history of nonviolent campaigns by Palestinians that Israeli security forces have brutally repressed in the occupied West Bank. Get this: Under Israeli Military Order 101, it is illegal for Palestinians to peacefully protest the Israeli military occupation without an Israeli military commander’s permission.
The many indiscriminate rockets fired by Hamas into Israel are war crimes. The same is likely to be true for many Israeli attacks in Gaza. Gaza civilians are now reeling under the latest Israeli invasion and the seven years of an ongoing Israeli blockade. But American readers of The New York Times need to know that over the decades of US-armed Israeli occupation, there are other details to this sad story that should have been mentioned in Kristof’s latest piece.
I spoke with CCTV News Anchor Susan Roberts about Israel, Hamas, and Gaza yesterday evening. CCTV is a global Chinese network.
You can watch the full interview here.
Editorial Board, Star Tribune, June 24, 2014
‘Sham’ conviction of journalists just the latest human rights slide.
The unjustified conviction of three Al Jazeera journalists on charges of conspiring with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a miscarriage of justice. It’s also a symptom of a broader, brutal repression of post-coup dissent in the country.
Several Western nations, human rights organizations and everyday citizens already have protested the prosecution, which may be a manifestation of Egypt’s hostility toward Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based. Pressure should be kept on Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, the former general who just became president in a sketchy election, to free the journalists and to respect international human rights standards. Already el-Sissi appears to be as oppressive as Hosni Mubarak, the last military man to rule Egypt.
The three journalists — Egyptian Baher Mohamed, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste — were held in a courtroom cage and convicted in a trial that Amnesty International called a “complete sham.” The three men are widely respected by their peers, and their collective reporting resumes include work for CNN, the New York Times and the BBC. They were simply doing their jobs, and now Greste and Fahmy face seven years in prison, while Mohamed, who had kept a spent bullet casing from one of the protests as a souvenir, faces 10 years in an Egyptian jail. Several students were also convicted in the Orwellian trial, and other journalists were convicted in absentia.
Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and other organizations say there is no evidence to suggest that the three had links to the Muslim Brotherhood or that they reported anything but the truth about Egypt’s turmoil.
Instead, this appears to be a clear attempt to silence them and to intimidate other journalists from exposing, let alone challenging, el-Sissi’s autocracy.
“In the last year, there have been a number of attacks on journalists and media institutions by Egyptian authorities in an effort to silence critics,” said Sunjeev Bery, Middle East and North Africa advocacy director for Amnesty International USA. “It’s all part of a larger crackdown on human rights and basic freedoms across Egyptian society.”