Update: Don't miss the update below!
First read this:
“In one week alone, we saw Libya praise Cuba for ‘promoting freedom of thought and expression,’ when Havana continues to keep human rights defenders and journalists behind bars,” said Neuer. “And then China praised Saudi Arabia for its record on women’s rights, when they can neither vote nor drive a car.”How do you like it? I remember time when I was able to laugh at this. Today it makes me want to barf.
“But it’s not just repressive regimes protecting each other. Many democracies, too, are failing to review countries seriously, with some—like India, South Africa and Uruguay—undermining the process by congratulating countries for practices that deserve condemnation,” said Neuer.
During the Saudi review, Riyadh's representative told the council today that, “We do not have a religious problem with women driving, but our polls shows 80 percent do not believe that women should drive cars, and we respect the wishes of people and respect gradual developments.”
The Chinese media hailed the U.N.'s UPR process for the praise heaped on China by many of its allies including Libya, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Pakistan. Click here to see more on how non-democracies use the UPR's mutual praise to create legitimacy for their rule.
This is a small part of what good fellows of UN Watch are doing. Read the press release here. And the priceless document Mutual Praise Society here.
Now I feel I have to apologize to the monkeys in that picture for sticking them here. What these monkeys are doing in the picture is a healthy and positive occupation. When I think about Chinese praising Saudis for their human rights records... excuse me, I have to run...
Update: This gets beyond surreal. The luminaries of human rights mentioned above are teaming up against US of A:
The Obama administration got a new “shellacking” this morning, this one entirely voluntary. In the name of improving America’s image abroad, it sent three top officials from the State Department to Geneva’s U.N. Human Rights Council to be questioned about America’s human rights record by the likes of Cuba, Iran, and North Korea.The willingness to have a go at the Big Satan is certainly there:
This was the first so-called “universal periodic review” of human rights in the U.S. by the Council, which the Obama administration decided to join in 2009.
This morning fifty-six countries lined-up for the opportunity to have at the U.S. representatives, many standing in line overnight a day ago in order to be near the top of the list. Making it to the head of the line were Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and North Korea.So, what are the charges - to start with?
Recommendations to improve the U.S. human rights record included Cuba’s advice to end “violations against migrants and mentally ill persons” and “ensure the right to food and health.”Oh boy... will wonders ever cease?
Iran – currently poised to stone an Iranian woman for adultery – told the U.S. “effectively to combat violence against women.”
North Korea – which systematically starves a captive population – told the U.S. “to address inequalities in housing, employment and education” and “prohibit brutality…by law enforcement officials.”
Libya complained about U.S. “racism, racial discrimination and intolerance.”