Quit Preaching and Lead by Example

After Russia’s parliamentary election, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bluntly advocated “a full investigation of all credible reports of electoral fraud and manipulation.” She then asserted, “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted.” Needless to say, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was not … Continue reading “Quit Preaching and Lead by Example”

Why Limit Human Rights Bill to Russia?

During the past few weeks, several items related to human rights have come to my attention. One involved the tragic death of whistleblower and lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in the custody of Russian authorities after being detained under harsh conditions denied medical attention for nearly a year. A detailed piece concerning this particular matter … Continue reading “Why Limit Human Rights Bill to Russia?”

‘New’ Iraq a Nightmare for Women, Minority Groups

UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations report on Iraq says the human rights situation there remains fragile and huge development challenges loom as the country transitions out of a nearly decade-long conflict. Torture and poor judicial practices are widespread, says the report [.pdf], released Monday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and … Continue reading “‘New’ Iraq a Nightmare for Women, Minority Groups”

The Wiesenthal Center’s Bait and Switch

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s stated purpose is “confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity, standing with Israel, defending the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust.” Rabbi Marvin Hier established the Center as a tax-exempt foundation in 1977 with a major grant from Canadian financier Samuel Belzberg and … Continue reading “The Wiesenthal Center’s Bait and Switch”

Rights Groups Under Sustained Attack Worldwide

Abusive governments around the world escalated their attacks against local human rights defenders and other independent monitors during 2009, according to the 2010 edition of Human Rights Watch’s annual ‘World Report’ released here Wednesday. Their attacks have also become increasingly sophisticated, relying in some cases less on brute force than on regulations and other non-violent … Continue reading “Rights Groups Under Sustained Attack Worldwide”

Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory

JERUSALEM – Israel is set to approve a radical new bill that threatens to legalize discrimination against its sizable Arab minority for the first time. The bill, approved this week by the ministerial committee for legislation, would make it illegal to relate to the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948, as … Continue reading “Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory”

Rights Groups Still Waiting for Obama to Deliver

While human rights and open-government groups are generally pleased with President Barack Obama’s rhetoric during his first 100 days, some are skeptical that he will deliver on his promises. Caroline Fredrickson, head of the Washington Legislative Office for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told IPS that Obama’s first 100 days "are something of a … Continue reading “Rights Groups Still Waiting for Obama to Deliver”