Evidences of Case UNESCO

 

Case 28-2017: UNESCO & Director-General Irina Bokova

 

By Master Yan Maitri-Shi, Prosecutor

 

HONORABLE JURY OF INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS COMMITTEE (IBEC) & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS (BTHR)

After Legitimating and Validating Evidences and Charges by Master Maitreya, President and Spiritual Judge of IBEC-BTHR, it is addressed the case against the accused party, UNESCO & Director-General Irina Bokova. This investigation was initiated from the Case Lama Ole Nydahl and also from the Case United Nations (UN).

The Charges by which the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights is accusing UNESCO & Director-General Irina Bokova are enumerated below:

  • Discrimination
  • Corruption
  • Complicity with Human Rights Violations
  • Complicity with Crimes against Peace

 

Therefore, it is detailed a series of EVIDENCES that support the Charges referred so that the Jury members decide about the possible “Responsibility”, “Innocence” or “Insanity” of the accused. Such evidence come from graphic and audiovisual media that have been gathered, sorted and confirmed in their order and context as Means of Proof in order to know, establish, dictate and determine the Responsibility of the Accused for committing the aforementioned Charges.

The procedure established in the Statute of INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS  COMMITTEE & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS provides both bodies the ostentation to enjoy independence and liberty from state and national regulation and control, besides having the legality and acting as a Buddhist People in order to assert its customs, traditions, practices, procedures, judgments and rights as well as acting in pursuit of the development of Spirituality, of Buddhist Ethics, and of the defense of International Human Rights. This procedure has the particularity, singularity and distinction of having “Special Jurisdiction of the Tribal Law” and “Universal Jurisdiction of the International Law”, thus having the Character, Juridical validity, Legal Powers, infrastructure, Training and Capability necessary to be Actor, Administrator and Executor of Justice in this realm and exercise, by judging of the Accused by means of an Ethical Judgment whose Purpose is Truth, Reconciliation and Learning.-

 

 

DETAILS OF EVIDENCES

Evidence 1: NON-COMPLIANCE WITH BUDDHIST LAW

Evidence 2: CORRUPTION

Evidence 3: COMPLICITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Evidence 4: UNESCO AWARD AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS

Evidence 5: DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE JEWS

Evidence 6: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO JIMMY CARTER

Evidence 7: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO THE ASSOCIATION GRANDMOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO

Evidence 8: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO President Abdoulaye Wade

Evidence 9: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE

Evidence 10: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO PRESIDENT Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Evidence 11: CENSORSHIP

 

 

Evidence 1: NON-COMPLIANCE WITH BUDDHIST LAW

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The Discrimination is a deep violation of Buddhist Law. Therefore, when Lama Ole Nydahl received an “UNESCO Prize” provided by a Spanish Association, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights declared that this Prize was void since Mr Nydahl has performed deep discrimination against Muslim people for several years, violating basic Human Rights that have been protected by UNESCO. The Director-General of UNESCO has not responded to this Ethical Judgment. Moreover, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human rights not only performed an international legal case against the UNESCO Association of Malaga which has delivered the Prize to Nydahl, but also performed an international legal case against the UNESCO Commission which must control the UNESCO Association of Malaga. Both have been sentenced by Complicity with Discrimination, for violating the ethical principles of UNESCO. However, the Director-General of UNESCO has never responded to all these international legal actions performed by the Buddhist Law. In front this breach against Buddhist Law, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has publicly repudiated Irina Bokova as candidate for the post of UN Secretary-General.

 

Evidence 2: CORRUPTION

Walter Pincus (Washington Post): “The General Accounting Office is investigating allegations that the director general of the U.N. Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Amidou Mahtar M’Bow, has sought reimbursement from the Paris-based U.N. agency for thousands of dollars in food, hotel and travel expenses already paid by other organizations, congressional sources said yesterday. These and other allegations of corruption in UNESCO have been gathered by two House committees, the sources said. Mismanagement of programs, personnel and the agency’s $200 million-a-year budget was among the reasons given by the Reagan administration last December for its decision to withdraw from UNESCO at the end of this year.”[1]

Jon Henley (The Guardian): “A private memo obtained by the Guardian shows that two French cabinet ministers have intervened directly with the secretariat of Unesco to ensure that former presidential aides would be given cushy senior positions in the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Such cronyism reaches into almost every corner of Unesco, according to young professionals who despair of salvaging the organisation they work for. Nepotism is also rife, they say, after watching well-paid jobs go to mistresses and family members. Some staff say that with mismanagement so pervasive, it may make little difference who becomes the next director general – a secret ballot by the executive council begins today with a Japanese candidate, Koichiro Matsuuro, the favourite to replace Federico Mayor, the Spanish biochemist who has held the post for 12 years. Documents seen by the Guardian indicate that the international body has reformed little in the decade since its name became a byword for inefficiency, nepotism and corruption – practices that caused the United States and Britain to pull out as members, although Britain has since rejoined. As well as the memorandum to Mr Mayor from one of his deputies informing him of two French ministerial interventions, a damning independent audit commissioned and carried out by the Canadian government is heavily critical of almost every area of Unesco’s operations. Cronyism seems all but endemic, with about 40% of the organisation’s appointments and promotions failing to meet Unesco’s own criteria for fair competition, the audit says. The report has been in the hands of Unesco’s ambassadors and its secretariat for nearly a year, yet staff say they have seen no action taken on its critical conclusions. To judge from the report, Unesco has also learned little from the 1980s accusations of fund-wasting on a huge scale. The organisation is stuffed with bosses: it has promoted so many managers to senior posts and taken on so many consultants that, despite a two-yearly budget of $544m (£340m), it cannot afford the properly qualified staff it needs to run its programmes effectively. The audit report also found that Unesco failed to measure programmes to see what taxpayers around the world and recipients had got for the money spent. Neither did it systematically assess the impact of what its programmes. Most internal accounting and audit procedures were inadequate, and computers were so outdated that this year it is possible that no final accounting figures may be produced.”[2]

Bivol: “A confidential report of UNESCO’s Internal Oversight Service Audit & Investigation Unit reveals scandalous details surrounding the appointment of Ms. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores as Director of BSP. (…) BSP is an acronym for UNESCO’s Bureau of Strategic Planning, which de facto controls the overall budget and manages the financial resources of the organization. (…) The appointment of Ms. Thompson-Flores involved drastic procedural violations: conflicts of interest, leaked confidential information, improper manipulation of UNESCO’s own rules and procedures, and submission of a fake diploma by the candidate. The people responsible for these violations hold the highest-ranking posts in UNESCO, while the audit document repeatedly refers to the actions of Mrs. Bokova herself.  Public information about the case is scarce. What is known is that at the end of 2014, Ms. Thompson-Flores became Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, only to be removed from the post a few months later, in September 2015. These abrupt developments attracted public attention, but both Mrs. Bokova and Ms. Thompson-Flores declined to comment for the media (…). Management is Bokova’s Achilles heel. She is a real product of the communist nomenklatura in Bulgaria.  A confidential report obtained by Bivol sheds abundant light on Ms. Thompson-Flores’ appointment and quick demotion. The report contains a detailed chronology of all the events related to the two scandalous.  On May 5, 2015, Mr. Mohamed Sameh Amr, Chairperson of UNESCO’s Executive Board, sought clarification on issues pertaining to the appointment of Ms. Thompson-Flores, and asked Mrs. Bokova for an explanation on the recruitment procedures that had been followed and invited her to address concerns, perceptions and rumors that had been brought to the attention of the organization’s Internal Oversight Service. In other words, behind its unassuming façade, internally UNESCO was in for some turbulent times. The story began in 2011, when Ms. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores became head of the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM). She was appointed to the post through manipulation of the recruitment procedures and lowering of the qualification requirements – according to the report. The first irregularity in that case was the participation of Ms. Thompson-Flores, in her capacity as Deputy Director of HRM, in the preparation of the Vacancy Notice and the job announcement under the supervision of the Director-General Irina Bokova. Bokova also appointed her as a member of the pre-selection committee. Conflict of interests? Yes, but that is not all. There was a concrete formal obstacle preventing the selection of the favorite, Thompson-Flores, for the post. For that post, there was a requirement for an advanced degree; however, Ms. Thompson-Flores had no such degree. That obstacle was circumvented by employing dubious means– the qualification requirements for the post were lowered. Bokova canceled the first job competition at the end of 2010, at the final stage when six candidates were already shortlisted and interviewed. The post was then re-advertised. Ms. Thompson-Flores herself modified the desired profile of the candidate in the Vacancy Notice. Then the Vacancy Notice was submitted to the Director of the Office of the Director-General for the Director-General’s review and approval. Attention! Further changes were made at this stage lowering the educational requirements, states the report in black and white. In other words, the changes were made either by a member of the Office of the Director-General, or by the Director-General herself. Since it was not clear who exactly introduced the changes, the IOS continued its investigation in the issue. What is clear is the nature of the changes to the requirements – they were edited so that they could fit the qualifications of Ms. Thompson-Flores. Instead of an advanced degree the candidate was allowed to apply on grounds of having equivalent extensive professional experience. The second announcement attracted 279 candidates; 15 were shortlisted, and 5 were selected for final interviews. Finally, on April 17, 2011, Irina Bokova decided to appoint Ms. Thompson-Flores to her dream-post Head of Human Resources of UNESCO (starting annual salary $120,000). Three years later, history repeated itself. In 2014, Ms. Thompson-Flores, in her capacity as HRM Director, drafted the Vacancy Notice for the post Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning. Contrary to every professional unwritten rule, the announcement for this important post, whose responsibilities involve all strategic, programmatic and budgeting issues as well as the extrabudgetary funding of UNESCO, was made on August 4, in the deadest possible period. The outgoing head of the Bureau of Strategic Planning had recommended to HRM (to Thompson-Flores) to include in the Vacancy Notice an educational requirement for a Ph.D. degree. But once again, the qualification requirements were lowered. The Ph.D. degree was included in the draft Vacancy Notice only as a desired qualification, and was not included as a mandatory requirement in the final Notice. Having eliminated this stumbling block, Ms. Thompson-Flores had her draft Vacancy Notice approved by Irina Bokova. And of course, she applied for the post. In this case, again, there was a conflict of interest, which Ms. Thompson-Flores did not report to the UNESCO’s Ethics Office. Thus, that conflict of interest was never addressed, states the report. The investigators, however, continued checking both appointments for conflicts of interest. 195 candidates applied for the post Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, 7 were recommended for interview. On the Director-General’s instruction the pre-selection committee reviewed the list and reduced it to 6 candidates, following a strange instruction for better geographical representation. Finally, Irina Bokova personally interviewed the candidates (including Thompson-Flores) and decided to appoint her to the post. This time, however, the institution found this to be a pill hard to swallow. In the end, the Brazilian was exposed as a sham and subsequently fired. She not only didn’t have aPh.D. degree, but she had also embellished her biography by claiming a non-existent MBA – certificate. The appointment letter from 2011, signed by Irina Bokova, states that Ms. Thompson – Flores holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the American University in Washington D. C. and an MBA Certificate from John Cabot University in Rome. There is an emphasis on her over 20 years of experience in various fields of Human Resources within the UN system. MBA, Master of Business Administration, is an accepted equivalent of the Master’s degree (MA). The check, however, showed that Such certificate did not exist and that the document presented by Ms. Thompson-Flores was actually a Certificate in Management, which is not the same as MBA. The investigators continued their probe in the replacement of one type of document with another and its submission with the job application. Besides questions regarding the suspicious diploma, the Executive Board of UNESCO suspected downright criminal actions, such as destroyed, altered, removed or inserted documentation into or from the official recruitment files for the Director HRM and ADG/BSP posts to which the favored Thompson-Flores was appointed. The audit rejected these allegations and found no irregularities in the hard copy files. But the report states that Ms. Thompson-Flores submitted her motivation letter supporting her candidature for ADG/BSP by e-mail 16 days after the deadline to submit the job application. This means that her application file was incomplete, but the application was accepted after the deadline as some kind of compromise. The audit then found that Ms. Thompson-Flores did not meet two of the 16 required qualifications for the ADG/BSP post, namely: a demonstrated experience in developing and managing the preparation of the programme and budget of a large international organization, including budgeting techniques and results-based budgeting approaches. Thompson-Flores also lacked demonstrated ability in the field of resource building and mobilization. The auditing body emphasized that the Director-General can only appoint staff members who fully meet the essential requirements set forth in the Vacancy Notice. But Irina Bokova has done exactly the contrary.”[3]

Andre Vltchek: “The situation changed only after the organization was so-called “reformed”, especially under the leadership of yet another Japanese pro-Western bureaucrat lackey, Director-General (1999-2009), Koichiro Matsuura. Educated in the US, this Japanese career diplomat took over the Paris-based organization in 1999. Since then Mr. Matsuura had been relentlessly lobbying for the United States to return, while purging “hardline” anti-imperialist cadres from the ranks of his organization. Under his leadership, UNESCO became toothless, submissive to the West, and technocratic. He managed to strip it of all ideological principles. In short: he turned UNESCO into yet “another UN agency”. There is absolutely nothing we can do”, several UNESCO staff members told me in Paris, during the Matsuura reign. “This is perhaps the end of the organization, as we know it. It is the end of its independent and progressive global stand. (…) UNESCO staff should insist on defending original values of its organization. It should be once again serving humanity, not the bullies in Washington or Tokyo! (…) On 11 November 2015, the United States was elected as a Member of the Executive Board of UNESCO for a four-year term. It received 158 votes. It was truly bizarre occurrence, considering that the country already lost its right to vote, after not paying its dues since 2011.”[4]

 

Evidence 3: COMPLICITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

UN Watch: “Though its ruler Omar al-Bashir is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, the regime of Sudan was elected on Friday to the decision-making Executive Board of UNESCO, the world agency on education, science, and culture. (…)The Islamic Republic of Iran — which has helped the Syrian regime kill 300,000 of its own people, and sponsors terrorism worldwide — was also elected last week to the highest body of UNESCO, whose declared mission is “Building peace in the minds of men and women.” UNESCO had no shame announcing the latest UN reward to the theocracy, one of the world’s most egregious violators of human rights.”[5]

Hillel C. Neuer – UN Watch Executive Director: “15 April 2013. Dear Ms. Bokova, UN Watch is alarmed by the reported destruction by Hamas of parts of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in Gaza for use as a terrorist training camp. We urge you to bring the matter immediately before the UNESCO Executive Board, currently meeting at its 191st session in Paris, for protective action. We note the tragic irony that this destruction by the rulers of Gaza comes exactly one year after the area was nominated by new UNESCO member state Palestine as a World Heritage site. As you must know, earlier last month, despite criticism from nongovernmental organizations, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas bulldozed a part of the Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea, according to yesterday’s report by Al Monitor Palestine Pulse. Hamas damaged the harbor in order to expand its military training zone, which was initially opened on the location in 2002, according to your own UNESCO representative in Gaza, Yousef al-Ejla. That the UNESCO executive has so far failed to place the Hamas destruction and cynical abuse of this site on its agenda underscores the tragic politicization and diversion of the agency’s mission to protect world culture and heritage. (…) UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a member state in 2011, which caused the organization to lose almost a quarter of its budget when the US suspended its contributions, was justified as a measure to help protect world heritage sites in Palestinian areas. Yet as Hamas turns a cultural heritage site into a terrorist training ground—the antithesis of culture—the silence of UNESCO now places the very credibility of the organization at stake.”[6]

Hillel C. Neuer – UN Watch Executive Director: “For UNESCO to keep President Bashar al-Assad on a human rights committee while his regime mercilessly murders its own people is immoral, indefensible and an insult to Syria’s victims, (…).The world squandered a golden opportunity to expose the Assad regime’s lack of legitimacy. Politics trumped human rights, with too many UNESCO diplomats fearful that if Syria were removed for gross violations, their own regimes would be next. Today’s appalling decision calls into question the credibility of UNESCO’s mission to promote human rights. Syria’s membership is a lingering stain upon the reputation of the UN as a whole, (…). While today’s text rightly condemns Syria’s violations — a welcome first for UNESCO — the promised call to oust the regime from UNESCO’s human rights panel has been completely excised. (…) By maintaining Assad in a position of global influence on human rights, UNESCO today has sent absolutely the wrong message. It an unconscionable insult to the suffering people of Syria”[7]  “It’s shocking that only two months ago the UN’s leading agency on science, culture and education gave two position of global influence on human rights to a regime that is raping, torturing and killing its own men, women and children. This was an unconscionable decision that must be reversed immediately, and we hope that all 58 countries on the UNESCO board will join the UK in doing do.”[8]

British Foreign Office: “(The British Foreign Office) deplores the continuing membership of Syria on this committee and does not believe that Syria’s presence is conducive to the work of the body or UNESCO’s reputation. We have therefore joined with other countries in putting forward an item for the first meeting of the Executive Board at which we will seek to explicitly address Syria’s membership of the body.”

UN Watch: “The U.N.’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization funded a Palestinian children’s magazine that published an article praising the Nazi genocide of six million Jews, reported Palestinian Media Watch last week. After a global outcry, UNESCO has now agreed to withdraw its support. UN Watch is demanding a full investigation. UNESCO’s cancellation of funding for a Palestinian children’s magazine that extols Hitler and the mass murder of Jews is a belated step in the right direction, but it’s far from sufficient,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based NGO UN Watch, said. “How and why did UNESCO fund this hatred in the first place? Who was responsible? Neuer said UN Watch endorses the call to investigate the circumstances of the funding to make sure it doesn’t recur. UN officials cannot credibly demand accountability from others when they refuse to examine their own actions – especially those that incite to racial discrimination and genocide, Neuer said. Regrettably, this latest incident only underscores that UNESCO is, too often, failing to live up its own values and mission. More than 60 MPs and human-rights groups, headed by UN Watch, are demanding that UNESCO also cancel its recent election of Syria’s murderous regime to two global human rights posts, he said.”[9]

Appeal for UNESCO to Cancel Its Election of Syria to Human Rights Committees: Shocked that the UNESCO Executive Board, on 11 November 2011, elected the Syrian Arab Republic to two committees dealing with human rights—the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, which examines communications relating to the exercise of human rights, and the Committee on International Non-Governmental Organizations, which is charged with overseeing the work of civil society and human rights groups within UNESCO; Having considered the recent findings of United Nations Human Rights Council investigators that the Syrian regime has in the past year committed crimes against humanity, including the murder of 5,000 of its citizens, the torturing of children and rape; Recalling that earlier this year, after United Nations Watch revealed that Syria had cynically submitted its candidacy for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, a global protest campaign emerged with the support of Human Rights Watch, the Syrian Human Rights Committee, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and numerous other NGOs and UN stakeholders, helping to successfully defeat the candidacy of the Assad regime; (…) Declaring that each day that the Syria continues to sit on the aforementioned UNESCO human rights committees constitutes an affront to the memory of the innocents who continue to be killed by the Assad regime, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of UNESCO, and of the United Nations system as a whole; We, the undersigned Members of Parliament, human rights organizations, civil society representatives and pro-democracy dissidents and activists, do hereby appeal to the UNESCO Executive Board to urgently remove the Syrian regime from the aforementioned human rights committees, and to publicly apologize to the victims of the Syrian regime for having elected it in the first place. Angie Bray, Member of British Parliament; Frieda Brepoels, Belgian Member of European Parliament, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Human Rights; Irwin Cotler, Member of Canadian Parliament, Liberal Critic for Human Rights, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights; Michael Danby, Member of Australian Parliament, Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ana Gomes, Potuguese Member of European Parliament, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Human Rights; Matteo Mecacci, Member of Italian Parliament, Chairman of Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly; Karin S. Woldseth, Member of Norwegian Parliament, Committee on Foreign Affairs; Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch, Switzerland; Rami Nakhle, Syrian National Council; Lama Atassi, Syrian democracy activist; Ismael Hachem, President, France Syrie Démocratie; Ahed Al Hendi, Syrian dissident, Cyberdissidents.org; Yang Jianli, Former prisoner of conscience and survivor of Tiananmen Square massacre, President, Initiatives for China; Dr. Osama Kadi, President, Syrian Centre for Political and Strategic Studies; Robert R. LaGamma, President, Council of the Committee of Democracies; Amina Bouayach, President, Organisation Marocaine des Droits Humains, Morocco; Yang Kuanxing, Chinese writer, original signatory to Charter ’08 manifesto calling for political reform in China, Editor of China E-Weekly; Abdinoor Farey, Executive Director, Somali Youth for Peace and Development, Somalia; Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Executive Director, Gram Bharati Samiti, India; Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg, President, UN Reform Advocates, USA; Okay Machisa, National Director, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, Zimbabwe; Phil ya Nangoloh, Executive Director, NamRights, Namibia; Nguyên Lê Nhân Quyên, Delegate, Vietnamese League for Human Rights, Switzerland; Catherine Legna, Secrétaire général, Comité international des Juristes pour la défense des victimes de la répression du soulèvement en Iran, France; Peter Hesse, Director, Peter Hesse Foundation, Germany; Francois Ullmann, President, Ingénieurs du Monde, France; John Suarez, International Secretary, Directorio Democratico Cubano; Sylvia G. Iriondo, President, Mothers and Women against Repression / MAR por Cuba; Don Kraus, Chief Executive Officer, Citizens for Global Solutions, USA; Dr Richard Lawson, Founder, Campaign for Global Human Rights Index, UK; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President, Stop Child Executions, Canada; Hu Ping, Editor in Chief, Beijing Spring; Wang Longmeng, President, Chinese-Tibetan Association France; Christina Fu, President, New Hope Foundation, USA; Duy Hoang, Spokesman, Viet Tan, Vietnam; Jacky Mamou, President, Collectif Urgence Darfour, France; Panayote Dimitras, Spokesperson, Greek Helsinki Monitor, Greece; Dr. Theodor Rathgeber, Forum Human Rights, Germany; Dickson Mugendi David Ntwiga, Executive Director, Solidarity House International, Kenya; Gibreil Hamid , Darfur Peace and Development Centre, President, Switzerland; Alain Jakubowicz, President, Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme, France; Sr Catherine Waters, OP, Main Representative to UN, Catholic International Education Office, USA; Simone Abel, Director, René Cassin, United Kingdom; Jean Stoner, SNDdeN, NGO Representative at the United Nations, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, USA; Dr Charles Mwape, President, Christian Coalition, Zambia; David French, former Chief Executive Officer (2003-2009), of Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an agency of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Virginia Swain, Director and CoFounder, Center for Global Community and World Law, USA; Orrvar Dalby, Director International Program Department, Norwegian People’s Aid, Norway; Nirvana González Rosa, General Coordinator, Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, Chile; Angelamaria Loreto, President, IUS PRIMI VIRI International Association, Italy; Galina Nechitailo, Vice President, Environmental Women’s Assembly, Russia; Ali Egal, Chairman, Fanole Human rights & Development Organization, Somalia/Kenya; Léonie de Picciotto, Representative to the UN Geneva, International Council of Jewish Women, Switzerland; Kyung B. Lee, President, The Council for Human Rights in North Korea, Canada”[10]

Panorama.am: “Does Irina Bokova, implicated in corruption scandals, push forward candidate from repressive Azerbaijan for UNESCO Director General? Irina Bokova, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), will run for the post of UN Secretary General, while promoting an Azerbaijani representative as UNESCO’s Director General, according to Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). According to the report, the European Centre of Press and Media Freedom stated in an appeal that Azerbaijan failed in its commitment to UNESCO’s ideals and aims, which includes protecting freedom of expression. The Azerbaijani government has been widely criticised for imprisoning journalists and shutting down independent media organisations. In an August 2015 interview to the Azerbaijani information agency Trend, Bokova expressed her gratitude to the authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan and noted a close cooperation with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, its financial support and joint projects.”[11]

 

Evidence 4: UNESCO AWARD AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The UNESCO has created a Prize for improving the quality of human life. This award has been named Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who is a dictator from Equatorial Guinea famous for being an authoritarian, brutal and corrupt ruler. He performed Human Rights violations, such as arbitrary arrest and torture of political opponents, also oppressing his people by means of poverty. This Prize was suspended in 2010. However, in 2012 UNESCO started to deliver this Prize with a new name.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel peace prize winner: “(Unesco) is allowing itself to burnish the unsavoury reputation of a dictator”

Chris McGreal (The Guardian): “Human Rights groups and anti-corruption organisations have accused Unesco of laundering the reputation of a kleptocrat with an appalling human rights record. (…) Seven recipients of a Unesco prize for courageous journalists wrote to the organisation objecting to an award, the Unesco Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research, named after a leader who oppresses the media. On Monday the US ambassador to Unesco, David Killion, urged the organisation to suspend the award in a belated show of disapproval of Obiang by Washington, which has generally overlooked the shortcomings of his rule since the discovery of oil in Equatorial Guinea. (…) About 270 organisations that united to campaign against the award, including Human Rights Watch, welcomed the delay but said that the prize must be cancelled. The coalition reiterated its calls for the funds behind the prize to be used to promote basic education and address other needs of Equatorial Guinea’s people, they said. (…) Obiang served his uncle and Equatorial Guinea’s previous ruler, Francisco Macias Nguema, as a military governor and then head of the national guard during a bloody reign of terror during the 1970s in which it is estimated half of the population were killed or fled abroad. Obiang seized power in 1979, put his uncle on trial but cut the hearing short when Macias started talking about Obiang’s own crimes. Macias was then sentenced and shot. When Equatorial Guinea was on the brink of becoming an oil rich nation in the mid-1990s, Obiang promised that it would be the Kuwait of Africa. Few would call it that today. Obiang has decreed the management of petroleum revenues to be a state secret so it is not known exactly where the billions of dollars in annual revenue goes, except that it does not go to the people. (…) Equatorial Guinea state radio has declared Obiang to be a god who is in permanent contact with the almighty and can kill anyone without being called to account.”[12]

The Zimbabwean: “The letter, signed by 127 African laureates, scholars, human rights defenders, and citizens of Equatorial Guinea, cited the record of serious abuses and mismanagement of the countrys wealth by the eponymous funder of the prize, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. The continued existence of this prize is inimical to UNESCOs mission and an affront to Africans everywhere who work for the betterment of our countries, the letter said. Equatorial Guinea has the highest GDP per capita on the continent, yet 3 out of 4 Equatoguineans live in poverty (…) and even basic education and health care remain unattainable for the vast majority. Civil liberties are heavily curtailed: in August, four Equatoguinean refugees were abducted from neighboring Benin, tortured for months and then summarily tried and executed. While Equatorial Guineas government has tried to characterize opposition to this prize as racist and colonialist, in fact many Africans have been vocal opponents of the prize, said Tutu Alicante, an Equatoguinean and Executive Director of the human rights organization EG Justice. Not all Africans believe that a dictator should be able to purchase legitimacy in Paris. Many recognize that this prize harms Africans. UNESCOs Executive Board has a responsibility to protect the organizations integrity, which this prize places in jeopardy. The diversion of wealth that should benefit Equatoguineans to finance a prize honoring President Obiang runs counter to the objective of improving human dignity that underpins the mission of UNESCO, the letter said.”[13]

EGJustice: “UNESCO should reject a new bid to honor Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea and now Africa’s longest serving ruler, with a prize in his name, (…) UNESCO should not honor President Obiang, said Tutu Alicante, of the nongovernmental human rights organization EG Justice. If he wishes to fund science and education around the world, he should start with his own country, where many still lack basic services such as electricity and clean water, while the president and his family flaunt an extravagant lifestyle that is the subject of legal investigations around the world. According to evidence produced in 2004 and 2010 investigations by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, President Obiang and close family members have diverted tens of millions of dollars from their country’s natural resource earnings to their private benefit. The 2010 US State Department  human rights report decried official corruption at all levels of government and noted that the president and members of his inner circle continued to amass personal profits from the oil windfall. Equatorial Guinea is consistently ranked among the most corrupt countries on the globe by Transparency International. (…) Critics of the prize have highlighted the contrast between the mandate of UNESCO to promote human rights along with its work to defend free expression, and the record of severe repression and official corruption that have marked President Obiang’s 32-year rule. Severe restrictions on press freedom, together with self-censorship, make it difficult for citizens of Equatorial Guinea to challenge the government from inside the country over sensitive topics such as ongoing foreign investigations into the alleged corruption of President Obiang and his close associates. The government has been repeatedly condemned by UN and other human rights monitors for its systematic use of torture.  Recent elections have been criticized as neither free nor fair. (…) In August 2010 President Obiang’s government shocked the world when it executed four dissident exiles within an hour after a summary military proceeding found them guilty of treason and attempted assassination.”[14]

Human Rights Watch: “The UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences is named after and financed by the dictator of the oil-rich West African country of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who presides over an appalling record of human rights violations and corruption. The existence of this prize constitutes an unwarranted international endorsement of Obiang, who has displayed open contempt for the values UNESCO promotes. His rule has been marked by systematic political repression, the needless deprivation of the most basic needs of his people, and the blatant use of public funds for personal gain. Moreover, the UNESCO-Obiang Prize seriously undermines the reputation of UNESCO and its ability to carry out its mission to promote education, science, culture, and human rights. For all of these reasons, the UNESCO-Obiang Prize should be cancelled and the funds used to benefit the people of Equatorial Guinea. UNESCO’s leadership, including the governments that belong to its governing executive board, need to intervene urgently if this scandalous prize is to be halted before it is too late. (…) Despite expressions of concern about the creation of the UNESCO-Obiang Prize from governments, human rights groups, scholars, and others from 2008 to the present, UNESCO has so far declined to cancel the prize. The organization’s response has been inconsistent. A public statement by UNESCO’s spokesperson on January 7, 2010, indicated that the organization would carry out a review of UNESCO prizes and that the UNESCO-Obiang prize remained on hold pending this review. (…) It would be appropriate for all UNESCO member states to object to the prize, which contradicts the requirement stated in article 1 of UNESCO’s constitution that UNESCO further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations. Governments from various regions have their own rationale to speak out at, or before, the June 15 meeting. For example, officials from Argentina, France, Ghana, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and the United States expressed concerns about abuses in Equatorial Guinea when its human rights record was reviewed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in December 2009. (…) As various UN bodies and other sources have documented, the government of Equatorial Guinea has an abysmal human rights record. Obiang’s neglect of social and economic rights, as well as civil and political rights, in Equatorial Guinea is in direct contrast to UNESCO’s mandate to promote education, science, culture, and human rights. Violations of human rights in Equatorial Guinea include the following: *Willful neglect of its international obligations with respect to the rights to education and health. under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) by its failure to allocate available funds for essential social services. The result has been worsening child mortality rates over the past decade that result in Equatorial Guinea having the highest child mortality rates in the world in 2010, declining primary school enrollment, and needless poverty. *Longstanding violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association, leading Reporters Without Borders to identify Obiang as one of its 40 predators of press freedom in 2010. *Deeply entrenched political repression. Opposition parties are silenced through the use of criminal prosecution, arbitrary arrest, and harassment. The country has never experienced free and fair elections. Obiang, who came into power after overthrowing his uncle in a coup, celebrated his thirtieth year in power in August 2009. He was re-elected with 95.4 percent of the vote in a highly flawed presidential election in November 2009. *Rampant torture in detention, as documented in a 2009 report by the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak. Arbitrary detention and arrests without legal due process are also common; numerous detainees are held for indefinite periods without knowing the charges against them. *Extensive corruption and mismanagement. Although the GDP of this once-poor country has shot up more than 5,000 percent since the mid-1990s, when oil was first discovered there, and elevated its wealth per capita to over $30,000, the overwhelming majority of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. Rather than benefiting the people, vast sums of the country’s oil revenues have gone to bankroll personal purchases for Obiang, his family, and his close associates. The corruption of Obiang and his family is the subject of ongoing legal cases in France (under appeal) and Spain (under investigation). A further case is under consideration before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in which human rights groups that initiated the action contend that Obiang’s diversion of the country’s oil wealth violates the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Official inquiries in the United States include a February 2010 investigation by the US Senate and a criminal inquiry by US authorities. In 2007, for example, a US Justice Department investigation found strong indications of extortion, theft of public funds or other corrupt conduct. The amount Obiang’s eldest son – who serves as his agriculture and forestry minister – spent on luxury goods in 2004-2007 nearly doubles the government’s 2005 budget for education. Conclusion: In light of the serious issues at stake, UNESCO should come to the appropriate decision to cancel the UNESCO-Obiang prize without delay. If it fails to do so, it risks damaging its reputation and its ability to fulfill its important mission. The money provided for the prize by the Obiang Foundation should be reinvested in Equatorial Guinea’s education system, where rudimentary educational materials and infrastructure are still badly needed. It is also essential for UNESCO to undertake an investigation into the source of the funds to make sure that it has not accepted money tainted by corruption, which would further compromise UNESCO’s reputation.”[15]

The Huffington Post: “In this very disturbing context, Unesco’s members should not hesitate to cancel a prize that could tarnish the institution’s image for a long time. And they should tell Obiang that the best way to overhaul his image and earn the trust of the international community would be to stop trampling on the rights of the people of Equatorial Guinea.”[16]

Joel Simon – executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists: “UNESCO, the U.N. agency charged with promoting education, science, and culture, also has a human rights and press freedom mandate. The Obiang prize represented an affront to everything UNESCO stands for. Human rights organizations, press freedom groups, scientists, journalists and prominent figures from all over the world, including past winners of UNESCO’s own Cano prize, spoke out against Obiang award. But getting UNESCO to reverse course and cancel it turned out to be an enormous challenge. As an organization composed of U.N. member states, UNESCO functions under arcane rules, essentially working by consensus. (…) we hope, UNESCO can get back to its more serious work, which includes promoting and defending press freedom around the world.”[17]

Global Witness: “UNESCO’s governing executive board should abolish a prize named after and funded by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea at its upcoming meeting, seven civil society groups said today. (…) UNESCO has repeatedly postponed action on the prize in the face of global protest against President Obiang, who has presided over high levels of official corruption, repression and poverty in Equatorial Guinea. (…) President Obiang was willing to concede that the prize for research in the life sciences, created in 2008, would not bear his name. The civil society groups said UNESCO should firmly reject that proposal. The UNESCO-Obiang prize is irreversibly tainted by its association with the repression and high-level corruption of President Obiang’s government, said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Laureate who has repeatedly condemned the prize. Giving the prize a different name does nothing to answer these concerns or remove doubts about the origins of the funds that finance the award. Civil society groups and prominent individuals who have rallied against the UNESCO-Obiang prize emphasized that the global campaign to overturn the prize was about more than just its name. Past winners of the Cano World Press Freedom Prize, for example, came out against the UNESCO-Obiang prize, saying that President Obiang’s heavy-handed rule is inconsistent with UNESCO’s own work to advance freedom of expression. The government of Equatorial Guinea does not allow journalists from state-owned media to report on criticisms of President Obiang so many citizens have not have access to news about the concerns raised about the prize. (…) On February 14, French authorities began a second raid on the Obiang residence in Paris as part of their investigation into alleged embezzlement. During the raid, which ended on February 23, police reportedly seized at least two truckloads of high-priced antiquities and artwork purchased by Teodorín. According to press accounts, the items are believed to be worth at least 40 million Euros. In October, the US Department of Justice moved to seize more than $70 million in US assets belonging to Teodorín, alleging he purchased the items using money obtained from extortion and/or the misappropriation, theft, or embezzlement of public funds. (…)  President Obiang is trying to misuse UNESCO to improve his own image and to shield his son from legal troubles, said Tutu Alicante, an exile of Equatorial Guinea who leads the nongovernmental group EG Justice. UNESCO should revoke the Obiang prize and send a strong message that its name is not for sale. Hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations, many of them from African countries, have opposed the controversial award and called for the $3 million endowment for the prize to be used instead to alleviate widespread poverty in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea.”[18]

BBC: “Human rights groups have denounced plans by a UN agency to award a science prize sponsored by Equatorial Guinea President Teodor Obiang Nguema. The groups said such move by the UN scientific and cultural agency (Unesco) would be irresponsible and shameful. (…) Mr Obiang is accused of rights abuses, rigging elections and corruption. (…) It is shameful and utterly irresponsible for Unesco to award this prize, given the litany of serious legal and ethical problems surrounding it, said Tutu Alicante, director of EG Justice – another signatory of the statement. Beyond letting itself be used to polish the sullied image of Obiang, Unesco also risks ruining its own credibility, he added. The award was first approved as the Unesco-Obiang prize by the UN agency in 2008, and oil-rich Equatorial Guinea was to finance it for five years. But Mr Obiang’s name was dropped in March following outrage by human rights groups and African intellectuals and writers. The award is now officially known as the Unesco-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.”[19]

Committee to Protect Journalists: “A vote by a commission of UNESCO’s executive board to rename the discredited Obiang prize is a blow to the credibility of the organization (…). The purpose of this prize is to whitewash the image of one of Africa’s most repressive leaders, and no one is fooled by the name change, CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita said. The states who voted in favor have chosen to promote the image of Obiang rather than uphold basic standards of human rights. They should be ashamed.  CPJ has consistently voiced its opposition to the prize, saying that Equatorial Guinea’s record on human rights, including press freedom, makes it incompatible with UNESCO’s mission.”[20]

Morgan Huston and Arch Puddington (Freedom House): “The Unesco–Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences was awarded for the first time. The award recognizes the achievements of scientific research that have contributed … to improving the quality of human life. Unfortunately, the man who proposed and funded this award, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, is among the most corrupt and repressive dictators in Africa, or indeed anywhere. In other words, he is a political leader who has devoted a long career to worsening the quality of life for the people of Equatorial Guinea.The country’s prodigious oil wealth is siphoned off by the leadership, leaving most citizens without reliable access to electricity, safe drinking water, education, or health care. (…) It has also been designated as one of the world’s most repressive regimes by Freedom House for many years. Its scores in the Freedom in the World report are only marginally better than those of Sudan, Uzbekistan, and North Korea. Arbitrary detention, torture, censorship of the media, rigged elections, and nepotism are defining features of Obiang’s regime. (…)  Given this dreadful and lengthy record of despotism and graft, the decision by Unesco’s governing board to extend its credibility to this award merits a special prize of its own, for hypocrisy in international affairs. For four years, the United States and other countries that serve on Unesco’s board had blocked the disbursement of funds for the Obiang award. (…) It was not simply the approval of an award for distinguished scientists, it was a way of giving the legitimacy of an agency ostensibly devoted to humanitarian ideals to a man whose principal achievement is a record of persecution and ruthlessness that is unique in today’s Africa.”[21]

Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa: “We understand that President Obiang has offered to remove his name from the prize, but that does not erase our serious concern that his US$3 million donation links him and the abuses of his government to UNESCO, thereby undercutting the organization’s worthy mission. We also are aware of concerns that the funds may be tainted by the high-level corruption for which Equatorial Guinea is well-known. It is public record that ongoing corruption investigations in France and the U.S. have led to the seizure of assets belonging to President Obiang’s son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue. Documents released as part of separate investigations by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Justice suggest a pattern of systematic corruption at the highest levels of President Obiang’s regime. (…) As an organization that advocates access to information and knowledge, UNESCO should not accept money from a leader whose decades-long record represents an affront to those principles. We urge to definitively abolish the UNESCO Obiang prize and implement new guidelines that will prevent in the future the creation of prizes that directly or indirectly, through their association with individuals or governments, contradict UNESCO’s core mandate.”[22]

Human Rights Watch: “UNESCO: Disappointing Vote on Obiang Prize. A Failure to Support Basic Human Rights and Good Governance. A split vote by UNESCO’s Executive Board to approve a prize sponsored by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea puts the president’s interests above UNESCO’s basic principles of human rights and good governance, seven civil society groups said today. (…) said Tutu Alicante, an Equatoguinean lawyer who runs the human rights group EG Justice from exile: The UNESCO board members who backed this prize have sold out the organization’s principles and have tarnished UNESCO’s reputation. (…) Wenceslao Mansogo, an Equatoguinean doctor who is also a prominent human rights defender and opposition member, urged UNESCO delegates to abolish the prize in a letter written from his prison cell, where he has been unjustly detained since February 9 for politically motivated reasons. The government also ordered his clinic closed, highlighting the hypocrisy of a prize intended to improve the quality of human life. It remains unclear if Bokova will implement the renamed UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea prize, in light of the irregularities in the description of the award’s financing, which violate the organization’s own rules. (…) In a legal opinion issued on March 2, UNESCO’s legal adviser concluded that the original UNESCO-Obiang prize was no longer implementable due to a material discrepancy between its stated and actual funding source and that the same would apply to any renamed prize. Ongoing corruption investigations of members of the Obiang family in France, Spain, and the United States contribute to questions over the legitimacy of the prize’s funding. On March 5, Association Sherpa and Transparency International requested that French judges extend France’s corruption investigation to include the $3 million prize donation. (…) Even if some delegates disregard UNESCO’s rules and reputation, Director General Bokova has a responsibility to guard against financial improprieties and poor ethical practices by the organization, Alicante said. She should stand on principle and refuse to let UNESCO use funds of suspect origin to promote the image of President Obiang.”[23]

David Smith (The Guardian): “Unesco criticised over Equatorial Guinea-sponsored prize. The UN’s scientific and cultural body, Unesco, has been condemned as shameful and utterly irresponsible for awarding a prize sponsored by one of Africa’s most authoritarian rulers. Seven civil society groups, including Human Rights Watch, issued a joint statement criticising the UN body because of corruption allegations against Obiang and his family.”[24]

Tutu Alicante, director of the rights group EG Justice: “Unesco shouldn’t award the prize until it can state with absolute certainty that the prize money isn’t associated with corruption or money-laundering. To do so is reckless and irresponsible, and risks staining the organisation’s reputation. It is disappointing that at a time when we insist that nations abide by the rule of law, Unesco is blatantly disregarding its own legal counsel advice. It is disappointing that Unesco is so blind to the realities in Equatorial Guinea; and so willing to be used to launder the image of a tyrant.”

Homero Aridjis, Mexican former ambassador to Unesco: “It is shameful that Unesco is party to a prize given by Africa’s longest reigning dictator, who has pillaged his country’s wealth, keeping the majority of the population in dire poverty, and who has a long record of human rights abuse [and] repression of freedom of the press. (…) Unesco’s mission is to promote universal respect for human rights to justice and the fundamental liberties to which all humankind is entitled. Unesco’s prestige is sullied by its endorsement of a prize which bears the weight of suffering of Equatorial Guinea’s people, and which is tinged with their blood.”

Open Society Foundations: “Creating a UNESCO prize to recognize scientists for improving the quality of human life that is named for and funded by President Obiang discredits UNESCO and bolsters the reputation of a corrupt dictator. President Obiang’s record of serious human rights violations and corruption is antithetical to UNESCO’s mission and values, and inconsistent with the objective of the prize itself. Promotion of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect, and the alleviation of poverty is supposed to be central to UNESCO’s efforts. Teodoro Obiang, however, has ruled Equatorial Guinea for more than 30 years by suppressing dissent and maintaining tight control over the country’s wealth. Thanks to his leadership, Equatorial Guinea’s people endure grinding poverty, while oil money flows into private bank accounts of Obiang family members and their affiliates. By honoring an oppressive regime, the prize undermines UNESCO’s important work on freedom of expression and the prestige of the Cano World Press Freedom Prize. (…) Furthermore, the propriety and legality of the money provided to fund the UNESCO-Obiang Prize is in question. President Obiang and his close associates are subjects of ongoing criminal proceedings related to alleged money laundering and corruption. An inquiry with UNESCO’s Internal Oversight Service Investigation Section has revealed that UNESCO currently has no process to screen funds to prevent money laundering, and may have accepted funds that are the proceeds of corrupt practices. (…) In October 2007, APDHE, the Open Society Justice Initiative, and EG Justice (a U.S.- based rights organization) filed a complaint alleging that the diversion of oil wealth from government coffers to private accounts—of which the Spanish and French cases illustrate one strand in a complex web of suspected corruption and laundering— violates Article 21 the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights by preventing the Equatoguinean people from freely disposing of their natural wealth.16 The complaint argues that the Equatoguinean government engages in corruption, undue control over the judiciary, and violent suppression of dissent to facilitate the spoliation of the country’s natural resources.”[25]

 

Evidence 5: DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE JEWS

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir said that the UNESCO idea of re-divide Jerusalem would be unthinkable, stupid and discriminatory, confirming that the solution for the Mideast conflict is the unification of Jerusalem and not its re-division. Simone de Beauvoir said that UNESCO idea sought symbolically eradicate Israel.[26] She expressed her disgust for the contemptible decision of UNESCO to discriminate against Israel.[27]

UN Watch: “GENEVA, Oct. 13, 2016 — UN Watch condemned UNESCO’s historical revisionism after the agency’s 58-member Executive Board adopted an inflammatory and one-sided Palestinian-drafted resolutionsubmitted by the Islamic states, which erases Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem and casts doubt on the connection between Judaism and the ancient city’s Temple Mount and Western Wall. The vote was 24 in favor (including Iran and Sudan)”

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch: “Once again, the United Nations agency for education, science and culture is being hijacked by genocidal regimes and serial human rights abusers like Sudan, Iran, Algeria, Qatar, and Russia, (…) Founded in 1945 to combat the doctrine of the inequality of men and races, UNESCO today has sadly become a serial perpetrator of inequality, (ignoring Jewish and Christian religious and historical ties to Jerusalem) (…) One-sided and political measures only divert UNESCO from its obligations to help educate needy children in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. UNESCO’s actions also send a message to bad actors in the Middle East, pouring fuel on the fires of incitement to terror that already poison educational curricula.”

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch: “(The UNESCO resolution’s likely adoption) dangerously risks fueling anti-Jewish incitement and violence, and legitimizing the escalating Palestinian denial of Jewish religious and cultural rights.”[28]

Giulio Meotti: “The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a decision calling on Israel to immediately cease all archaeological works in the Old City of Jerusalem. In particular, UNESCO, one of the UN’s most prominent and influential agencies, attacked the renovation of the Mughrabi Bridge that links the Western Wall plaza and Temple Mount. (…) Indeed, the vote is the latest anti-Jewish initiative launched by the UN office meant to promote culture, education and science around the world. (…) In 2009, UNESCO designated Jerusalem as capital of Arab culture, working with Palestinian Authority officials and key Arab figures to protest against what they described as the Israeli occupation of Holy Jerusalem. (…) The Arabs find it difficult to convincingly portray Israel as usurper of the land as long as the world believes there is a huge connection between the people of the Bible and the land of the Bible. UNESCO is denying this connection by depicting Jewish history in the Middle East as no more than an insignificant, brief sojourn by arrogant colonizers. UNESCO appears to deny that the Jewish people has laid its roots in Israel more than 4,000 years ago, or that 1,000 years before Christ, King David made Jerusalem the Jewish city par excellence, never entirely abandoned even in times of deadly persecution. The City of David in Jerusalem, a major target of UNESCO’s anti-Jewish fury, is now the hottest open archaeological site in the world, with biblical artifacts, ancient burial spots and royal seals. There, UNESCO is using archeology to bash Israel and treats Israeli archeologists as nationalistic martinets. In recent years, UNESCO increased its collaboration with ISESCO, the cultural body of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. According to ISESCO’s propaganda, the Biblical story and the Jewish temples are only fiction, Jewish monuments are Islamic treasures stolen by the Zionists, and Israeli archeological works are criminal acts against Muslims. UNESCO’s ideology portrays the Jews as no more than invading colonizers, while the Muslims who invaded the country and ravaged it in the Seventh Century are, by some inexplicable leap, the descendants of the so called indigenous Canaanites.  In 2010, UNESCO decided that Rachel’s Tomb and Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs are Muslim mosques. Western countries didn’t raise any protest. UNESCO never mentioned that in addition to the famous Tomb of the biblical Patriarchs, Hebron contains also the tomb of the first judge (Otniel Ben Kenaz), the tomb of generals and confidants to Saul and David and the tombs of Ruth and Jesse, David’s great-grandmother and father. There is also no word by UNESCO about the fact that Rachel’s tomb is unanimously revered as the burial site of one of the Bible’s great women, the wife of Jacob, the Jewish blessed mother.  During the Second Intifada, UNESCO condemned Israel for the destruction and damage caused to the cultural heritage in the Palestinian territories as a crime against the common cultural heritage of humanity. However, UNESCO remained silent when a Palestinian mob destroyed Joseph’s tomb, a major Jewish religious shrine, and built a mosque on the site. Upon the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorists also attacked Rachel’s tomb, and for 41 days Jews were prevented from visiting the compound. UNESCO never condemned it. Recently, dozens of graves at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem were vandalized, the latest in a series of attacks on Judaism’s oldest cemetery, where Jews have been buried since biblical times. Again, UNESCO remained silent. UNESCO also boasts a long list of decisions to boycott and isolate the Jewish State. On November 7, 1974, UNESCO voted to withhold assistance from Israel in the fields of education, science and culture because of Israel’s persistent alteration of the historic features of Jerusalem. On November 20, 1974 UNESCO voted also to exclude Israel from its European regional group. This anti-Jewish ostracism was not abandoned until 1978, after the United States withheld $40 million in payments from the organization in protest. UNESCO’s war on Israel and the West continued and was so blatant that in 1984 the US, UK and others Western countries left the organization. In 1989 UNESCO made the claim that Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem was destroying the holy city by acts of interference, destruction and transformation (then-mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, expressed deep disgust at UNESCO’s attitude.) In 1990, UNESCO attacked what it described as the irreversible changes to Jerusalem’s architectural heritage resulting from Israeli occupation. (…)  In 1996, UNESCO organized a symposium on Jerusalem at the body’s Paris headquarters. But no Jewish or Israeli groups were invited. When in 1998 a UNESCO delegation visited Jerusalem, it refused to meet with Israeli officials. In the past, UNESCO also has called for financial sanctions against Israel and passed hundreds of resolutions criticizing Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria. In 2001, UNESCO promoted the Cairo Declaration Document for Jerusalem Antiquities Preservation, which falsely accused Israel of destroying Islamic antiquities on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem’s Old City in an attempt to divert attention from Palestinian crimes against archeology and history. When the United Nations celebrated its 50th anniversary, UNESCO refused to mention the Shoah in its World War II resolution, intentionally ignoring Israel’s request to include a reference to the destruction of European Jewry. On a final note, a recent UNESCO report on science, Jewish physician and theologian Maimonides is classified as a Muslim named Moussa ben Maimoun. So the Rambam – for Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon – has been forced to convert to Islam by the UN’s revisionist historians. During the Middle Ages, the French Inquisition confiscated and burned Maimonides’s books. From the elegant Parisian boulevards, UNESCO’s inquisitors are now following the same dreadful solution of rendering history and the Holy Land Judenrein.”[29]

World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS): “The World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) denounced the cancellation by the UN cultural body UNESCO of an exhibit on The People, The Book, the Land: The 3,500-year relationship between the Jewish people and the land of Israel that was scheduled to open next week in Paris. UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova told the Simon Wiesethal Centre, which organized the display, that the decision arose out of UNESCO’s support for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She said: We have a responsibility in ensuring that current efforts in this regard are not endangered. WUJS, which holds Consultative Status in UNESCO condemns the cancellation of the event. Chaya Pomeranz WUJS Chairperson and Andi Gergely Incoming WUJS Chairperson stated: The event was meant to be a cultural event aimed at exhibiting historical evidence of the Jewish People’s connection to the Holy Land. The cancellation of the exhibit demonstrates UNESCO’s willingness to sacrifice education and cultural exchange to pursue a biased political agenda, which does disservice to the peace process. At WUJS we encourage our students to engage in the exchange of ideas and culture. It is only by educating others and ourselves about each other’s pasts, ideals, and identity that we pave the path towards acceptance and eventual peaceSacha Reingewirtz, President of the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF) and Executive Board member of WUJS : Building a fair and sustainable peace in the Middle-East goes through mutual understanding, cultural exchanges and education. By deciding to cancel this historical exhibition at the last minute, UNESCO is betraying its mission to take advantage of culture and science in order to build peace in the minds of people.[30]

Melanie Lidman (The Jerusalem Post): “The Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall strongly criticized the decisions adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board two weeks ago regarding holy sites in Israel. This decision is contrary to history and the truth, and political considerations are behind it, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said in a statement. He noted that the portion of the Torah that mentions Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs was read across the world this past Shabbat, providing written proof that the area belongs to the Jewish nation. We have to condemn this organization, which is always acting against Israel, and to protest against their one-sided decisions which are undertaken without learning the history or understanding them, Rabinowitz continued. The civilized world which knows the history should join us in our struggle to demand a change in the decision. On October 21, the UNESCO Executive Board approved five decisions about holy sites in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including a strong denunciation of the Gaza blockade, the security barrier, and any unilateral action by Israel at Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs. UNESCO also expressed deep concern about Israeli excavations in the Old City, especially in the area of the Al Aqsa mosque and the Mugrahbi bridge.[31]

 

Evidence 6: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO JIMMY CARTER

Timothy Alexander Guzman: “The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1994 and the Nobel Prize in 2002 were both awarded to former US President Jimmy Carter.  Carter supported the dictatorship of the Shah of Iran and The Somoza dictatorship of Nicaragua.  He also supported Indonesia’s Suharto militarily and diplomatically during the invasion and occupation of East Timor.  Under President Carter, US Military Aid to Suharto’s Military increased under Carter causing the deaths of over 200, 000 East Timorese.  UNESCO’s Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize are in fact an insult to World Peace.  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the Nobel Peace Prize have both proved that Western political influence dominate both prizes.”[32]

 

Evidence 7: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO THE ASSOCIATION GRANDMOTHERS OF PLAZA DE MAYO

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The Association Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo has the purpose of recovering grandchildren who have been appropriated or kidnapped by the last military dictatorship. This purpose is very noble. However, in the search of economic funds to carry out their projects, the Association has ethically and politically endorsed to the most corrupt governments of Argentine history. These corrupt governments were leaded by Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez, who has been sentenced by the Buddhist Tribunal for having perpetrated systemic human rights violations in Argentina. All this crimes were supported and endorsed by the Association Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. This Association has even made for several years false accusations against the owners of the country’s most important newspaper (Clarin), to whom the Association accused of being kidnappers of babies. However, the UNESCO has delivered the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to The Association Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo.

 

Evidence 8: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO President Abdoulaye Wade

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade has received the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize awarded by the UNESCO. However, he has violated Human Rights at international level.

Human Rights Watch: “On May 30, 2011, a Senegalese delegation unexpectedly and without explanation withdrew from discussions in Dakar with the African Union (AU) on the rules for a special jurisdiction to try Habré, who is accused of thousands of killings and systematic torture in Chad from 1982 to 1990. That jurisdiction was mandated by a ruling of the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The delegation’s withdrawal follows more than a decade of stalling tactics by the government of President Abdoulaye Wade. In 2000, a senior Senegalese judge indicted Habré but, after political interference by Wade, denounced by the United Nations, Senegalese courts said they had no jurisdiction to try the case. The victims turned to Belgium, and a Belgian judge, after a four-year investigation, indicted Habré in 2005. But Senegal refused to extradite him. In 2006, Wade accepted an AU mandate to try Habré in the name of Africa but then spent four years wrangling over a trial budget before a November 2010 donors’ meeting pledged US$ 11.7 million to provide the full trial costs. Since January, Senegal has rebuffed successive AU plans to establish the ECOWAS-mandated special jurisdiction. Habré ruled Chad from 1982 until 1990, when he was deposed by President Idriss Déby Itno and fled to Senegal. His one-party rule was marked by widespread atrocities, including waves of ethnic campaigns. Files of Habré’s political police reveal the names of 1,208 people who were killed or died in detention. A total of 12,321 victims of human rights violations were mentioned in the files. A Chadian Truth Commission also found that Habré had virtually emptied out the Chadian treasury before his flight to Senegal. The groups – the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (ATPDH), the Association of Victims of Hissène Habré (AVCRHH), the African Assembly for the Defense of Human Rights (RADDHO), the Senegalese League for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Agir Ensemble pour les droits de l’homme, and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) – noted that Senegal had a legal obligation under the UN Convention against Torture to prosecute or extradite Habré. In 2006, the UN Committee against Torture condemned Senegal for violating its obligation and called on Senegal to bring Habré to justice. In 2009, Belgium filed a lawsuit against Senegal at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to force Senegal either to prosecute Habré itself or to extradite him to Belgium. A ruling in that case is not expected until 2012. With this latest unexpected and shameful maneuver, President Wade has finally dropped his mask, said Alioune Tine of the Dakar-based RADDHO. Today, the last chance to obtain justice for the mass crimes of which Habré is accused is his extradition to Belgium. That is the legacy of Abdoulaye Wade, who calls himself a ‘pan-African‘.”[33]

Human Rights Watch: The United Nations Committee against Torture has called on Senegal to comply with its “obligation to prosecute or extradite Chad’s exiled former dictator, Hissène Habré, Human Rights Watch said today. The Committee’s action came in response to a statement by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal that he had had enough of the Habré case and was “going to get rid of him. The UN has stood up for Habre’s thousands of victims who have been seeking justice from Senegal for 20 years, said Reed Brody, counsel with Human Rights Watch, who represents the victims before the UN Committee against Torture. President Wade can’t simply ‘get rid’ of the case; he has a legal obligation to ensure that Habré faces justice. The United Nations Committee against Torture consists of 10 experts elected by the 147 states that have ratified the UN Convention against Torture. In 2006, the committee found Senegal in breach of its legal duty to bring Habré to justice. In a letter to Senegal dated January 12, the committee’s rapporteur, Fernando Mariño, recalled that decision and said that if Senegal was not going to prosecute Habré, it must, under the convention, extradite him to Belgium or another country which will prosecute him. (…) President Wade then appeared to backtrack yet again. On December 10, he announced that, The African Union must take its case back….. Otherwise I will send Hissène Habré elsewhere. …I’ve had enough of it at this point. ….I am going to get rid of him, full stop. (…) On January 13, however, President Wade told the Council of Ministers that he was returning the Habré case to the African Union. In the letter, the UN rapporteur said that, finally, financing is today at [Senegal’s] disposition, thanks to the raising of funds from many sources, and that, the Committee wishes therefore to remind [Senegal] of its obligation under the Convention against Torture, to submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution or failing that, since Belgium has made an extradition request, to comply with that request or another extradition request made pursuant to the convention. (…) In July 2010, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 117 groups from 25 African countries denounced the interminable political and legal soap opera to which the victims had been subjected over 20 years. If President Wade has ‘had enough,’ how does he think that we feel? said Souleymane Guengueng, who was mistreated during 27 months in Habré’s prisons and who founded an association of victims to seek justice.  We’ve had enough. We want justice now! It was Guengueng’s complaint that led to the committee’s ruling against Senegal in 2006.”[34]

Human Rights Watch: “The Nobel Peace Prize winners Bishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi, as well as 117 African human rights groups from 25 countries, called today for the government of Senegal and the African Union to move forward with the trial of  Hissène Habré.  The exiled former dictator of Chad is accused of thousands of political killings and systematic torture. (…) The victims of Mr. Habré’s regime have been working tirelessly for 20 years to bring him to justice, and many of the survivors have already died, says a petition to Senegal and the AU signed by the groups, the Nobel winners, and other prominent figures. Instead of justice, the victims have been treated to an interminable political and legal soap opera. (…) Among the signatories of the petition are Richard Goldstone of South Africa, the first prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and head of the Gaza fact-finding commission, as well as the leading human rights organizations in Chad and Senegal, the Foundation for Human Rights of South Africa, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, and the Association Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (DRC).”[35]

Human Rights Watch:  “While Senegal has avoided the coups and large-scale human rights abuses experienced by many of its neighbors, the country still faces challenges in promoting justice and accountability and in protecting vulnerable or persecuted populations. Human Rights Watch’s letter focuses on three issues: the need for Senegal to stop delaying or obstructing efforts to bring Hissène Habré to trial for atrocities committed under his rule in Chad, the widespread exploitation of at least 50,000 young boys through forced begging, and the protection of the rights of people who identify as gay or lesbian. (…) In an April 2010 report, Human Rights Watch documented how at least 50,000 talibés, or Quranic students – the vast majority under age 12 and many as young as 4 – are forced to beg on Senegal’s streets for long hours, seven days a week, by a marabout, or teacher, who often serves as a de facto guardian. The report documented widespread physical abuse, including severe beatings and several cases in which children were chained, bound, and forced into stress positions for failing to hand over a required daily amount from their begging or for trying to run away. In many of the exploitative daaras, or Quranic schools, Human Rights Watch found that the marabout used little of the money forthe boys’ basic needs. They often were forced to beg for their own food and medical care as well, or, all too often, go without. Islamic scholars in Senegal say that this practicof forced begging overseen by a minority of marabouts today is far removed from the country’s traditional practice of Quranic education. Senegal has the laws necessary to protect the talibés from exploitation, but the previous government lacked the will to enforce them, Human Rights Watch said. In September 2010, nine marabouts were convicted for forcing children in their care to beg, under a 2005 law that specifically forbids the practice. However, one month later, President Wade expressed dissatisfaction with the application of the law, effectively ending arrests and prosecutions. In all but a few cases, severe physical abuse of the talibés has gone similarly unpunished. (…) Human Rights Watch’s 2010 report, Fear for Life: Violence against Gay Men and Men Perceived as Gay in Senegal, found systematic human rights abuses against gay men, including torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the Senegalese police, arbitrary arrest, and discrimination in access to justice. Abuses against lesbians and other sexual minorities have been less thoroughly documented, but all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people suffer discrimination in Senegal. Senegalese authorities have also failed to discourage or punish incitement to violence against gays and lesbians, including public remarks made by religious leaders and politicians who have called for the killing of homosexuals. The Senegalese government, Human Rights Watch said, has an obligation to protect the basic rights of all citizens, including LGBT people. The new government should immediately put a halt to police violence against and arbitrary arrests of LGBT people. It should ensure that those who incite or participate in violence against gays, or any other community, are held accountable.”[36]

Amnesty International: “In the run-up to the February 2012 presidential election, Senegal is faced with a double challenge regarding the respect of human rights. The country must first manage to organize an election without human rights violations in what is an extremely tense context wherein a large part of the opposition contests the right of the current president, Abdoulaye Wade, to run for a third presidential term. Additionally, once the presidential election is over, the new elected authorities must, as a matter of urgency, address the impunity that the perpetrators of human rights violations enjoy and which continues to undermine the credibility of the judiciary and the rule of law in general. The Senegalese presidential electoral campaign will face the first moment of truth on 27 January 2012 when the Constitutional Council rules upon the validity of the candidacies for the presidential election, including the highly disputed candidacy of President Wade. In an atmosphere where some activists of political parties openly carry weapons and are determined to battle it out with their opponents, many fear the violence which may occur in the event that the outgoing president’s candidacy is validated. In this tense context where all lawful political debate should be held freely, the authorities’ decision to prohibit all public gatherings from 26 January to 30 January 2012 is all the more worrying. There is no apparent justification for this ban which undermines the right to demonstrate peacefully as enshrined in article 8 of the Senegalese Constitution. In addition to this presidential election which could lead to political violence, Senegal is also facing a sudden deterioration of the situation in Casamance. This region in the south of the country has been dealing with sporadic armed conflict for thirty years between Senegalese soldiers and an armed opposition group who wants independence for this region. (…) Over the last three years a number of journalists and political opponents have been subject to legal proceedings – several of whom have been convicted – for their political opinions. The harassment of, and threats made against, persons expressing a political opinion different to that of the ruling group constitutes a violation of their right to freedom of expression protected by article 10 of the Senegalese Constitution. Malick Noël Seck, secretary general of a movement affiliated with the Socialist Party was sentenced on 20 October 2011 to two years in prison for death threats and contempt of court after he deposited a letter addressed to the Constitutional Council asking members of this body not to accept the candidacy of President Wade for a third term. His sentence was reduced after a court appeal to 4 months in prison and he was pardoned by President Wade shortly after. Amnesty International called publicly for the release of Malick Noël Seck who was convicted for expressing his political opinion.1 Amnesty considers that neither the act of handing in this letter nor its contents justify being tried for such offenses. The letter given to the Constitutional Council did not contain death threats addressed to this body. Moreover, this text cannot constitute an act in contempt of court given that the members of the Constitutional Council are not, under Senegalese law, judicial or administrative magistrates. On 23 June 2011, Alioune Tine, president of the Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (Raddho, African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights) was attacked by men carrying rocks and sticks during a demonstration against the constitutional reform allowing for the possibility of a candidate to win the first round of the presidential election with only 25% of the votes. Alioune Tine was badly hurt and spent three days in hospital. Another Raddho member, Oumar Diallo, was also injured. In July 2011, Raddho’s lawyers lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor providing testimonies and images recorded during the attacks on Alioune Tine and Oumar Diallo. These images reportedly show the faces of the attackers, some of whom were wearing t-shirts of a young leader of the Parti Démocratique Sénégalais (PDS, Senegalese Democratic Party) the ruling political party. At the time of writing this document, no progress had been made in this investigation. (…) Several demonstrations were also violently repressed. Thus, in May 2011, gendarmes (paramilitary police forces) fired live bullets on demonstrators protesting against new local officials taking office after a new administrative system was put in place in the Sangalkam locality, near Dakar. A young man, Malick Bâ, was shot dead. An investigation was opened but those responsible for these acts have not yet been brought to justice. The right to demonstrate peacefully was further undermined on 23 January 2012 when the Minister of the Interior passed an order temporarily prohibiting public demonstrations. In a press release published the following day, The Minister of the Interior justified this ban by the fact that, the objective of such a decision is to avoid any pressure, in one direction or another, upon this High Institution [the Constitutional Council] and to allow this body to fulfil its duties in peace and calm. Whilst acknowledging that it is the responsibility of the security forces to keep control should there be any disturbances to public order, Amnesty International is worried that this ban undermines a fundamental freedom protected by the Constitution. (…) Despite solemn commitments made by the Senegalese authorities, security forces continue to use, in almost total impunity, torture and other ill-treatment to extract confessions during the first hours or days of detention. This practice has been publicly denounced many times by national and international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, as well as by several United Nations bodies. Yet, the authorities have not really demonstrated their willingness to put an end to the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of such acts. The Senegalese authorities consistently ensured impunity for members of the security forces allegedly involved in acts of torture or deaths in detention. They have often refused to investigate into these cases. Sometimes, however, often under pressure from lawyers, the press or human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the authorities have finally agreed to investigate serious allegations of torture that led to the death of common law detainees. However, to Amnesty International’s knowledge, hardly any of these investigations have brought the alleged perpetrators of these acts to justice or set sentences proportional to the gravity of their acts. The police force and gendarmerie have claimed that some deaths in custody were suicides, despite overwhelming evidence of torture and other ill-treatment. Other investigations have never been completed, thus depriving the families of access to justice and redress. Even when judges summon members of the security forces to account for human rights violations, they encounter a major obstacle. They must first obtain a prosecution order (ordre de poursuites) from the Ministry responsible for the state officials in question (the Ministry of the Interior in the case of police officers and the Ministry of Defence in the case of gendarmes and military personnel). This procedure, set out in article 60 of the Code of Military Justice, grants a de facto power of veto to the executive with regard to any judicial proceedings against members of the security forces. In practice, the issue of prosecution orders is refused or delayed by officials higher up the chain of command who are responsible of the security force officers implicated in human rights violations, which leaves the judiciary helpless and deprives the victims and their families of any hope of redress. Moreover, in the rare cases in which members of the security forces are challenged about acts of torture, these agents are not usually suspended during the duration of the investigation but simply redeployed elsewhere, which is contrary to the recommendations made many times in different contexts by the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT). The climate of impunity in Senegal is particularly apparent in the manner in which the judiciary has treated some serious allegations of torture. Thus, in the course of the last five years, at least seven people arrested for common law offenses have died in detention, apparently as a result of torture. During only the last 18 months, Amnesty International was able to investigate the cases of six people who were victims of torture after having been arrested by law enforcement officers. The body of one of these persons was found naked, handcuffed and showing marks of torture. In some cases, investigations were opened following complaints filed by relatives or after these deaths had been denounced by human rights organisations. But to the knowledge of the victims’ parents and Amnesty International, in at least 8 out of 9 cases, the investigation did not result in those police officers or gendarmes allegedly responsible for acts of torture being brought to justice. Furthermore, no moral or financial redress was awarded to the victims of these acts or their relatives. In a report published on 15 September 20103, Amnesty International notably reported five cases of death in detention, apparently the result of torture. The same day, the Senegalese authorities published a written response providing information on the status of the investigations of these cases in particular. Two and a half years later, it must be noted that only one case has been brought to trial and that the members of security forces convicted were given very short or suspended sentences, failing to recognize that torture or ill-treatment took place. In the four other cases, the investigation is still officially in process and no compensation has been awarded to the victims of these acts or to their families. (…) The impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of acts of torture and other serious human rights violations is deep-rooted in Senegal as public prosecutors have constantly refused to investigate allegations of torture in police custody or provisional detention, made by victims or their lawyers during trials. An even more serious issue is that judges often rely on confessions extracted under torture to convict defendants, in violation of one of the basic provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), ratified by Senegal in 1986. For example, this occurred in three trials in 2009 and 2010, during which men alleged to be homosexuals, others arrested in the region of Kédougou (approximately 700 km to the southeast of Dakar) and others arrested in the region of Vélingara (670 km to the south of Dakar), were sentenced to long prison terms on the basis of confessions extracted under torture. The use of confessions extracted under torture to convict the accused violates one of the essential provisions of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by Senegal in 1986. Article 15 of the Convention states that: Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made. (…) An amnesty law which denies the suffering and the rights of the victims of the conflict. The two agreements signed between the Senegalese government and the MFDC were accompanied by a law of amnesty promulgated by the Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade in July 2004. This law provided an amnesty for all offences committed during the internal conflict in Casamance since 1991, whether the perpetrators have been definitively judged or not. By declaring an amnesty before taking any legal proceedings against the soldiers of government forces and armed members of the MFDC responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses, President Abdoulaye Wade deprived hundreds of the victims of this terrible conflict and their families from their right to justice and redress. The impunity that marked the countless atrocities committed by both parties to the conflict was therefore enshrined in law, denying the suffering of the victims and their families and leaving them in a state of total abandonment. The suffering continues to haunt the families of the dozens of disappeared Casamance people arrested by government forces during the conflict. Although the uncertainty concerning the fate of the disappeared has given way to resignation as time has passed, many are still unable to grieve for their families as the bodies of the deceased has not been returned. The amnesty promulgated by the Senegalese Head of State also deprived of any hope of justice and redress the many victims of human rights abuses committed by the MDFC. Throughout the conflict, armed elements of the MFDC were responsible for the deliberate and arbitrary abduction and homicide of civilians suspected of collaborating with the Senegalese authorities. They also committed acts of torture and rape in order to force communities off land considered by the armed opposition movement to be its private property. Causing such suffering to the families of disappeared people (an inevitable and sometimes deliberate result of forced disappearances) also constitutes a violation of human rights. On several occasions, international human rights treaty bodies, including the United Nations Human Rights Committee, have stated that the willingness of the authorities to let months and even years go by without granting the families of the disappeared the right to know what happened to their families is a violation of the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. The continuing silence regarding the fate of the disappeared continues to have serious economic and psychological consequences for their families. The wives of the disappeared are faced with economic difficulties that many of them have never really been able to overcome and children have grown up without knowing why their father was not at home. To Amnesty International’s knowledge, no family, or almost no family of the disappeared has received either compensation or material or psychological support. (…) Senegalese human rights record leaves a lot to be desired. Many official Senegalese texts state that: Senegal is a State of law where the Constitution guarantees that all citizens are equal before the law. However, the cases described in this report indicate that, on the contrary, members of the security forces who commit human rights violations enjoy de jure or de facto impunity that protects them from being brought to justice. This impunity, consistently denounced by United Nations treaty bodies and many national and international human rights NGOs, undermines the foundations of the rule of law in Senegal. Once the elections are over, it will be incumbent on the Senegalese authorities to immediately combat this culture of impunity. They must respond to the anguish of the victims of human rights violations and the families who are still waiting for justice and reparation. It is a question of restoring the confidence of all Senegalese people in their security forces and judiciary, so that Senegal ceases to be a land of impunity and becomes a land of justice where the rule of law is truly observed.”

 

Evidence 9: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The France President Francois Hollande has received the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize awarded by the UNESCO. However, this Peace Prize by UNESCO was awarded for a military intervention in Mali, which caused the deaths of human beings. Since war and militarization is against the ideals and principles of UNESCO Constitution, this Peace Prize provided by the UNESCO Director-General Bokova is an international law violation. Moreover, since France has performed some human rights violations, this Peace Prize is void.

BBC: “France’s president has received a major prize from the United Nations’ cultural organisation for his decision to send troops to Mali in January. Francois Hollande was awarded the annual Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize by Unesco at a ceremony in Paris. The president of the jury praised Mr Hollande for the “solidarity shown by France to the peoples of Africa”. The decision was criticised by some human rights groups, who noted the continuing unrest in Mali. Earlier, the Malian army said its soldiers had clashed with Tuareg separatists near the northern town of Kidal, killing several rebels. (…) Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, president of human rights organisation Fondation Frantz Fanon, told the BBC that the decision to award Mr Hollande the Houphouet-Boigny prize was “cynical”, pointing to unresolved issues in Mali. The choice of recipient was perceived by some to be both cultural and political, reports the BBC’s Catherine Zemmouri in Paris.”

Human Rights Watch: “The last comprehensive study on mental health in French prisons, published in 2004, found that almost a quarter of inmates had psychosis: 8 percent of men and 15 percent of women had schizophrenia – much higher than the 0.9 percent among of France’s general population. Estimates by people interviewed for this report by Human Rights Watch in 2015 – prison directors, psychiatrists, the inspector of prisons, government officials and prisoners themselves – suggest the proportion of prisoners with psychosocial disabilities in prison remains high. (…)France has ratified several international human rights treaties that provide certain guarantees to those deprived of their liberty and impose clear obligations on France to uphold prisoners’ rights. France has a duty to protect prisoners’ rights to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and respect their right to physical and mental integrity (protected for example under article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and article 8 of the ECHR respectively). Furthermore, Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), requires France provide persons with disabilities with the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of their disability. And yet, in 2015, Human Rights Watch spoke with men and women who, in addition to the hardships of life in prison, endure additional suffering due to psychosocial disabilities. Such additional suffering documented by Human Rights Watch included being stigmatized by other prisoners, anxiety due to being locked in their cells all night and sometimes all day, and lack of adequate mental health care. Human Rights Watch spoke with four men and women whose arms were scarred from slashes they inflicted on themselves. Two of them and two other prisoners said they had attempted to take their own lives. (…)They are often placed in isolation not because of their medical needs or behavior, but because they are prisoners and psychiatric hospitals lack secure wings that would allow them to be treated in a less harsh setting. Such isolation can constitute cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as confirmed by the UN expert on torture. (…)The detention of people with psychosocial disabilities in conditions that fail to accommodate their disability and have a disproportionately negative impact on their mental health breaches the state’s obligations to respect their right to be treated with humanity and dignity, their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and their right to physical and mental integrity. By failing to equip prisons with adequate resources in mental health staff, France is failing to provide inmates with psychosocial disabilities with the mental health care they are entitled to under French and international law. (…)France should also remove the numerous ways in which, at present, women prisoners are discriminated against through less freedom of movement, less access to activities and less access to mental health care than male prisoners – all of which have a detrimental effect on women’s health and rehabilitation. France should also make use of the new provisions in French law that allow people to be released if their detention is incompatible with their health and ensure that they have access to mental health care in the community on the basis of free and informed consent and without being discriminated against because of their criminal record.”

Amnesty International: “In response to several violent attacks, the state of emergency was extended four times during the year; emergency measures restricted human rights disproportionately. (…) On 10 June, the UN Committee against Torture raised concerns regarding allegations of excessive use of force by police in the context of administrative searches conducted using the emergency powers, and called for investigations into those allegations. (…) On 24 October the authorities began the eviction of more than 6,500 migrants and asylum-seekers living in the informal settlement known as The Jungle in Calais, a process that took several days. Migrants and asylum-seekers were relocated in reception centres throughout France where they were given information regarding asylum procedures. The authorities failed to genuinely consult migrants and asylum-seekers or provide them with adequate information prior to the eviction. Civil society organizations raised concerns regarding the process for the approximately 1,600 unaccompanied minors in the camp. Their situation was to be assessed jointly by French and UK authorities in view of their best interests and/or possible transfer to the UK to be reunited with their family. The authorities did not have the capacity to register all of the minors, and some were allegedly turned away on the grounds of presumed age without undergoing a thorough assessment. On 2 November the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child raised concerns over minors in Calais who were left without adequate shelter, food and medical services during the eviction operation. As of mid-November, about 330 minors had been transferred to the UK. Due to the lack of reception capacity and resources to register asylum applications in the Paris region, more than 3,800 asylum-seekers lived in degrading conditions and slept rough for months in the 19th district of Paris until the authorities transferred them to reception centres on 3 November. (…) Since the fourth renewal of the state of emergency in July, the authorities were expressly permitted to ban public demonstrations by claiming that they were unable to ensure public order. Dozens of demonstrations were banned and hundreds of individuals were subjected to administrative measures, restricting their freedom of movement and preventing them from attending demonstrations. On several occasions, police used excessive force against protesters, including by using tear gas grenades, charging at them violently and using rubber bullets and sting ball grenades that left hundreds injured. (…) In June a Palestinian family lodged a complaint against French company Exxelia Technologies for complicity in manslaughter and war crimes in Gaza. In 2014, three of the family’s sons were killed by a missile fired at their house in Gaza City by Israeli forces. According to subsequent investigations, a component of the missile had been manufactured by Exxelia Technologies. France remained the fourth largest arms exporter in the world, selling to countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”[37]

Human Rights Watch: “A counterterrorism bill before the French parliament would provide overly broad and vague powers that would breach rights to free movement and expression, (…) The bill would introduce new measures such as barring anyone from leaving France who the authorities suspect would participate in terrorist activities or threaten national security on their return. The bill would also criminalize searching, obtaining or making material that could be used in an individual terrorist undertaking (…) The French government already has very broad powers to combat terrorism, said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. To prevent injustice, French parliamentarians should reject new measures that would expand those powers even further. These measures raise serious concerns because they significantly expand the government’s counterterrorism powers but are subject to vague and broad standards of evidence and insufficient due process safeguards, Human Rights Watch said. The result would be restrictions on fundamental rights to an extent wholly unnecessary and disproportionate to the purported aim of the measures. The bill would allow the government to ban French nationals from leaving the country on very broad grounds that could breach their right to free movement under international human rights law.  (…) Once a decision is made, the person’s passport would be withdrawn and the person would be prevented from leaving the country. (…) Under article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which France is a party, everyone has a right to leave any country, including their own. (…) By enabling the government to bar people from leaving France on such broadly and vaguely worded grounds, the bill does not meet the requirements of proportionality under article 12 of the ICCPR. (…) The human rights commission noted that the bill would criminalize the preparation of the preparation of the offense. The lack of clarity could lead to someone facing criminal charges for conduct the person could not know was unlawful. Such a provision would breach the principle of legality and the presumption of innocence under French and international law. Human Rights Watch research has found that the existing criminal offense in France of criminal association in relation to a terrorist undertaking, based on a broad definition that allows the authorities to intervene long before any offense has been committed, has already led to people being charged and convicted on the basis of weak and circumstantial evidence. There is a real risk that the offense of individual terrorist undertaking under the new bill would lead to similar abuses. (…) The bill would make France’s counterterrorism procedure, which the human rights commission has described as particularly in breach of fundamental rights and freedoms, applicable to those offenses. (…) The French government has a duty to keep people safe, but it also has a duty to protect human rights, Leghtas said. It should give parliament time to make sure the necessary safeguards are in place, rather than push this legislation through an accelerated procedure that doesn’t allow enough time for a genuine debate.”[38]

Human Rights Watch:Though the goal of the bill is to place France’s surveillance practices under the rule of law, it in fact uses law to clothe a naked expansion of surveillance powers, said Dinah PoKempner, Human Rights Watch general counsel. France can do much better than this, especially if it wants to distance itself from the overreaching and secretive mass surveillance practices of the US and the UK that have attracted so many legal challenges.  Unlike the protection of national security and public safety, these interests are not recognized in international human rights law as grounds for interference with basic rights and could be expansively interpreted to justify a huge range of data monitoring. The example of US law shows how easily vague standards can wind up justifying mass surveillance, PoKempner said. The draft’s sweeping mandate plainly contradicts France’s obligations under international human rights law and could be used to legalize a surveillance state. (…) The public will remain in the dark as to how many people were actually monitored, what targets or types of targets were approved, on what grounds, when or how surveillance was conducted, what material was collected and retained, or how many times the emergency bypass was used, Human Rights Watch said.”[39]

Human Rights Watch: “Human Rights Watch welcomes the upcoming review of France by the Human Rights Committee. This briefing provides an overview of our main concerns with regard to France’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). (…) Abuses by law enforcement officials against migrants and asylum-seekers (article 7, paragraph 8 in the list of issues). In November and December 2014, Human Rights Watch documented abuses by French police against migrants and asylum-seekers in the port city of Calais, in breach of the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under article 7.The abuses described to Human Rights Watch included beatings and attacks with pepper spray as migrants and asylum seekers walked in the streets or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom. In response to these findings, French government officials either denied that such abuse took place, or claimed they did not have enough evidence to conduct investigations. (…) Limited access to a lawyer in pre-charge detention (Article 14, paragraph 2 in the list of issues). While a reform of the French code of criminal procedure in 2011 has guaranteed those in police custody access to a lawyer from the outset of their detention, the law allows prosecutors to delay access in exceptional cases involving persons suspected of serious crimes for up to 12 hours. A liberty and detention judge can postpone access to a lawyer for up to 24 hours in such cases. The liberty and detention judge can postpone access to a lawyer for national security suspects for up to three days, as was the case prior to the 2011 reform. Access to a lawyer from the outset of detention, without exceptions, is key to ensure a suspect’s due process rights and respected and the preparation of an effective defense as well as a fundamental safeguard against torture and other ill-treatment. In all cases, detainees are only allowed an interview with their lawyer for up to 30 minutes which can undermine the right to an effective defense by limiting lawyers’ ability to provide advice at a critical stage in the procedure. France should grant anyone in police custody access to a lawyer from the start of their detention, regardless of the offense they are suspected of. France should also remove the time limit on interviews with lawyers, and not impose arbitrary limits on the time defendants can spend with their lawyer in preparation of their case. (…) Discriminatory restrictions on religious symbols (Articles 18 and 26, paragraph 26 in the list of issues). A ban on students from wearing Muslim headscarves (hijabs), Jewish kippahs, Sikh turbans, and large Christian crosses under Act No. 2004/228 of March 15, 2004, which prohibits the wearing of ostentatious religious symbols in public schools, breaches the rights to freedom of religion (Article 18) and to freedom of expression (Article 19), as well as rights under other human rights instruments (notably the right to education). The ban has a disproportionate impact on Muslim girls and women who wear the Muslim headscarf and is therefore discriminatory, in violation of the rights to equality before the law, including equality of men and women, and to freedom from discrimination (Articles 2, 3, and 26).  We are concerned by reports that it has led to the suspension or exclusion of girls who wear the Muslim headscarf from schools as well as of some girls who wear long skirts, considered to be religious dress in those schools.  (…) Human Rights Watch disagrees with the July 2014 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the vase of S.A.S. v. France, in which the Court upheld the ban. The prohibition is neither necessary nor proportionate, and in Human Rights Watch’s view breaches the right to freedom of religion and expression of those who choose to conceal their face in public. It disproportionately impacts Muslim women and is, as such, discriminatory (…) The Committee should also call on France to ensure that its laws are not applied in a way that discriminates against Muslim girls and women, and that no child is prevented from attending school on the grounds that their clothes are considered to be religious symbols. (…) Discrimination against (Romanian people) (Articles 2 and 26, paragraph 5 in the list of issues). Under the presidencies of both Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, migrant Roma have faced discriminatory expulsions and evictions and stigmatizing public statements by high level officials. An August 2010 circular of the Ministry of the Interior ordering prefects to systematically dismantle unauthorized camps and prioritize those inhabited by Roma was leaked to the press in September 2010. (…) An internal order leaked to the media in April 2014, instructing police officers in a Paris police station to locate and systematically evict Roma living on the streets of the 6tharrondissement (district) of Paris, raised serious concerns that the discriminatory practice of targeting Roma for eviction has continued notwithstanding assurances from Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve that the order had been rectified (…). Abusive Identity Checks (Article 26, paragraph 27 in the list of issues).  Despite campaign promises by President Hollande and a commitment undertaken at France’s 2013 UPR, the authorities have taken insufficient steps to address abusive identity checks by police, including the use of ethnic profiling, and repetitive and discriminatory identity checks targeting minorities (…). Statistical and anecdotal evidence indicates that young Blacks and Arabs living in economically disadvantaged areas are particularly frequent targets for such stops, suggesting that police engage in ethnic profiling to determine whom to stop.  The government has taken limited steps to correct abuses and improve accountability, including updating the police code of ethics to provide guidelines on the use of pat-downs and require officers to use the polite form of address, as well as introduce the use of identification numbers on police uniforms. However, the authorities have rejected proposals to introduce more meaningful reforms. In February 2015, Jacques Toubon, the French Defender of Rights submitted observations before the Paris Court of Appeal that was hearing a complaint of discriminatory identity checks by 13 people.  Toubon noted that by failing to adopt concrete measures to prevent and punish discriminatory identity checks, the French authorities were closing their eyes on the seriousness of those acts and threating them as ordinary.”[40]

Human Rights Watch: “The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), an organization that assisted Human Rights Watch in contacting people targeted by the measures, said they had documented 180 cases of abusive house arrests and raids. The vast majority of those placed under house arrest or whose homes were searched are Muslims and persons of North African descent. All the measures that Human Rights Watch documented targeted Muslims, Muslim establishments, or halal restaurants. Many people said they felt they had been targeted because of their religion. The CCIF echoed this sentiment. Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, also raised concerns about possible ethnic profiling in an interview on January 12. Practices that discriminate against Muslims are counterproductive as well as reprehensible and unlawful, alienating French Muslims and undermining cooperation between Muslim communities and law enforcement efforts that could assist in identifying local terrorism threats based on radical Islam, Human Rights Watch said. On January 19, five United Nations special rapporteurs, including those on freedom of opinion and expression, and on the protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism, called on the government not to extend the state of emergency beyond February 26. They said: While exceptional measures may be required under exceptional circumstances, this does not relieve the authorities from demonstrating that these are applied solely for the purposes for which they were prescribed, and are directly related to the specific objective that inspired them. (…)  The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly warned that security measures that violate human rights and rule of law are drivers of terrorism. In a context of growing Islamophobia, the French government should urgently reach out to Muslims and give them assurances that they are not under suspicion because of their religion or ethnicity, Leghtas said. Freedom, equality, and fraternity have been badly damaged in the weeks since the November attacks. France should live by those words and restore their meaning. (…) The effects of the house arrests are catastrophic, Xavier Nogueras, a lawyer representing several Muslims under house arrest, told Human Rights Watch. People are losing their livelihoods, their reputations, everything. (…) On November 16, 2015, police carried out an overnight raid in Aubervilliers, a town in the northern Seine-Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, searching homes and a mosque that also serves as the office of the Association of Muslims of Aubervilliers (AMA). The prefect’s search order, leaked to the media, described the AMA as a place where radical Islamists converged and used the premises of the association for their conspiratorial activities, and that there are serious reasons to believe that there are, in the mosque and the home of its president, people, weapons or objects linked to terrorist activities. Damage to the mosque of Aubervilliers, a suburb north of Paris, during a police raid on November 17, 2015, carried out under emergency powers.  The home of the AMA president, Chiheb Harar, was also raided. He said: They broke the door of my house. I came downstairs and found myself facing the police and gendarmes, there were about 60 of them [including outside the house]. I was put face down on the floor, handcuffed in my back with a policeman on my back, one on my shoulder. My wife shouted, ‘There’s nothing here,’ but an officer told her, ‘Shut up.’ They searched the house and found nothing related to terrorism.”[41]

Human Rights Watch: “Under its international and European obligations, France should protect people who fear persecution or inhumane treatment. France should also protect the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees who are on French territory and at its borders, and in particular ensure access to a fair asylum procedure and basic services. The European Union has failed to live up to its founding principles of solidarity and protection for people fleeing war and persecution. Several EU governments have closed their doors to asylum seekers and migrants and failed to cooperate with one another to share responsibilities more equitably, exacerbating the migration crisis and denying refugees their basic right to protection. Rather than share responsibility for hosting and processing refugees and asylum seekers, the EU is trying to deflect responsibility for these people onto other countries, increasing the burden on countries already hosting large numbers of refugees. This includes its problematic deal with Turkey, a country that already hosts almost three million refugees and is not a safe country of asylum. (…) Unaccompanied refugee children are particularly vulnerable and benefit from specific protections under French and international law. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which France was one of the first to sign, guarantees children government support and protection, including the right to education and to health care, and to guardianship and legal representation to protect their interests. Nevertheless, many unaccompanied children on French territory do not have access to the necessary protection and support.  The government has placed them in shelters outside the regular asylum and child protection system, and has been slow to move them into the regular system. Unaccompanied migrant children in the Calais area have suffered police harassment. (…) Beyond European Union borders, within the Council of Europe, France is party to the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. Through these two institutions, France is required to respect and promote universal rights, which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world (preamble of the ECHR). (…) Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of nine Arab countries carrying out military operations against Houthi and other forces opposed to the internationally recognized Yemeni government. Human Rights Watch has documented 61 apparently unlawful attacks by the Saudi-led coalition and has reported that over 4,000 civilians have been killed and close to 7,000 wounded, most due to coalition attacks. The Houthi-Saleh forces also committed human rights violations, including indiscriminate shelling, the use of landmines and recruitment of child soldiers. Saudi Arabia and the eight other coalition countries have not investigated these allegations of possible war crimes in an independent and credible manner. Human Rights Watch, along with other organizations such as Amnesty International, have called on the United States, United Kingdom, and France to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia as long as it continues to carry out unlawful attacks and does not investigate international humanitarian law violations in a credible manner. Nevertheless, France has continued selling arms to Saudi Arabia, including $500 million worth of Airbus H145 helicopters in July 2015, taking the risk of abetting these violations. Restrictions on providing food and other civilian necessities imposed by the coalition and obstacles to humanitarian aid by all parties to the conflict, have contributed to a catastrophic food crisis in Yemen. The United Nations says that 7 million people urgently need food aid. (…) Under the presidency of Xi Jinping, in power until at least 2022, the Chinese government has adopted increasingly repressive measures, drastically restricting the rights to freedom of expression, association and religion. Persecution of political activists and human rights defenders has led over the last few years to the imprisonment of hundreds of lawyers and activists, some of whom are still in detention. Liu Xiao Bo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2010, has been imprisoned for over eight years. He is one of the many human rights defenders imprisoned for political reasons. He was convicted in 2009 on the basis of false accusations of subversion for being the co-author of a widely-circulated petition calling on the Chinese government to promote human rights and the rule of law. France has been unwilling to speak out against human rights violations in China. Significantly, France did not take part in the unprecedented joint statement about the human rights situation in China adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2016. France’s close diplomatic and economic ties with China could allow France to play a more active role in encouraging the Chinese government to respect and protect fundamental freedoms. France should recognize that achieving the kind of trade and strategic relationship it wants with China depends on the Chinese government’s respect for the free flow of information and its recognition that being open to differing views contributes to good policy decisions, as well as an independent judiciary and a predictable and fair legal system for foreign and domestic business. (…) France intervenes militarily for counterterrorism purposes in several parts of the world, notably in Iraq/Syria and in the Sahel region. The French Operation Sangaris, which sent peacekeeping troops to the Central African Republic, ended in December 2016, but French soldiers are still in the country to provide support to the UN peacekeeping operation, known as MINUSCA. France should ensure that French forces and forces allied to France participating in these military operations strictly respect human rights and the laws of war. In counterterrorism operations, all military and security forces should strictly observe their obligations to protect the rights to life and security of civilians and to respect the fundamental rights of people who are detained or imprisoned. The French Operation Serval was initiated in January 2013 to drive out Islamist armed groups then occupying northern Mali. The French counterterrorism effort was expanded in August 2014, when Operation Barkhane was created to fight Islamist armed groups in five countries of the Sahel region: Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, and Mauritania. Despite the peace agreement in Mali in 2015, fighting between various armed groups continues and attacks and violations by Islamist armed groups have continued in the north and spread to the center of the country and into northern Burkina Faso. Human Rights Watch has documented numerous violations of human rights by Malian security forces engaged in counterterrorism operations. Violations include arbitrary arrests, executions, and severe ill treatment, including torture. These violations generally targeted people suspected of being members or supporters of Islamist armed groups.  Reports of these kinds of violations are decreasing, but remain extremely concerning. The French army has for many years provided support to the Malian army. Since at least 2012 the French presence has served as a deterrent to abuses by their Malian counterparts. But Malian authorities have for the most part failed to investigate violations by Malian security forces in an independent and impartial manner. France should publicly call and push for credible investigations and for justice and reparation for the victims, or else it may be seen as willing to tolerate and condone such violations. French armed forces under Operation Sangaris, along with UN peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic, have also been implicated in allegations of grave sexual exploitation and abuse, including rape of children. Despite lengthy investigations into these abuses, the public prosecutor in Paris requested the dismissal of one of the cases. While the final decision as to whether this case will be prosecuted lies with the investigating judges, there is concern about ongoing impunity for peacekeepers who commit sexual exploitation and abuse.”[42]

 

Evidence 10: UNESCO PEACE PRIZE TO PRESIDENT Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has received the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize awarded by the UNESCO. This Peace Prize by UNESCO was awarded for Social Justice. However, the President Lula da Silva has been investigated by several charges of Corruption, during an investigation leaded by judge Sérgio Moro. According to the investigations, President Lula da Silva received several millions of dollars in bribes. When the scandal came to light, President Dilma Rousseff offered him a post with immunity, which was rejected by the Justice system. As a result of these investigations of corruption, several politicians and businessmen are already imprisoned in Brazil, which is the most scandalous episode of corruption in Brazil history. For this reason, Judge Moro has been supported for investigating organized crime and institutionalized crime, where billions of dollars of bribes, corruption and money laundering were circulating. Moreover, during years President Lula da Silva has endorsed and supported to the criminal corrupt governments of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández from Argentina. Brazilian government has also been performed some human rights violations by its security forces.

Transparency International: “On November 13 the Supreme Court in Brazil sentenced one of the leading politicians in the country, José Dirceu former chief of staff to President Lula, to 10 years and 10 months in prison for corruption in a vote buying scandal that was uncovered in 2005. This significant sentence underscored the judiciary’s intent to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for politicians in Brazil.”[43]

Transparency International:  “Transparency International welcomed news Brazilian authorities are taking their investigation of the Petrobras corruption scandal to the highest levels, as seen by the detainment today of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for questioning. Brazilian police questioned Lula and searched his home, according to numerous media reports, suggesting for now that investigators will leave no stone unturned as they piece together the multibillion dollar corruption case at the oil giant Petrobras. This is one of the biggest corruption cases in Latin American history. We are pleased to see that in the ongoing investigation no current or former politician has been considered too powerful or untouchable by investigative authorities, said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International. If found guilt as charged by the investigation this will send a message to the corrupt that no one is immune from the law. The Petrobras case was recently chosen as one of the most symbolic cases of grand corruption in Transparency International’s Unmask the Corrupt campaign. It involves bribery, kickbacks and money laundering worth over US$2 billion. More than 50 sitting politicians and 18 companies linked to the scandal face investigations, including Brazilian construction companies that allegedly paid bribes to secure Petrobras business. Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.”[44]

Dom Phillips (The Guardian): “Brazil’s ex-president Lula decries persecution as he faces corruption charges in court. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the most popular president in Brazilian history, was questioned by Sérgio Moro, a national hero for jailing the rich and powerful. (…) Lula is accused of benefiting from the plot, in which billions of dollars were siphoned off fat contracts at the state-run oil company Petrobras. (…) Lula is accused of benefitting to the tune of 3.7m reais (£910,000), but the prosecution alleges OAS was settling a bigger 88m reais (£21m) graft bill with the Workers’ party he co-founded, in return for big oil refinery contracts.”[45]

Human Rights Watch: “Brazil has in recent years consolidated its place as one of the most influential democracies in regional and global affairs but continues to face important human rights challenges. Faced with high levels of violent crime, some Brazilian police officers engage in abusive practices instead of pursuing sound policing policies. Detention conditions in the country are inhumane. Torture remains a serious problem. Forced labor persists in some states despite federal efforts to eradicate it. Indigenous and landless peoples face threats and violence, particularly in rural conflicts over land distribution. (…) Most of Brazil’s metropolitan areas are plagued by widespread violence perpetrated by criminal gangs and abusive police. Violence especially impacts low-income communities. There were over 40,000 intentional homicides in Brazil in 2008. In Rio de Janeiro, hundreds of low-income communities are occupied and controlled by drug gangs, who routinely engage in violent crime and extortion. Police abuse, including extrajudicial execution, is a chronic problem. According to official data, police were responsible for 561 killings in the state of Rio de Janeiro alone in the first six months of 2009. (…) Brazil’s prisons and jails are plagued by inhumane conditions, violence, and severe overcrowding. Delays within the justice system contribute to overcrowding; some 45 percent of all inmates in the country are pretrial detainees. The National Justice Council, the judiciary’s oversight body, reported in 2009 that approximately 60,000 inmates were being held arbitrarily. The use of torture is a chronic problem within the penitentiary system. A 2008 report by the multiparty National Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on the Penitentiary System concluded that the national detention system is plagued by “physical and psychological torture.” In one case from Goiás, the Commission received evidence that the National Security Force subjected female detainees to kicks and electric shocks, stepped on the abdomen of a pregnant woman, and forced another woman to strip naked. (…) Indigenous and landless peoples face threats and violence, particularly in land disputes in rural areas. According to the Pastoral Land Commission, 28 people were killed and 168 arrested in rural conflicts throughout the country in 2008. In August 2009, Elton Brum da Silva, a member of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement, was killed during a police operation to remove landless families from a farm in Rio Grande do Sul. Also in August 2009, rural union leader Elio Neves, was attacked and seriously wounded in his home by an unidentified gunman. He had reported receiving repeated death threats prior to the attack. (…) Some human rights defenders, particularly those working on issues of police violence and land conflicts, suffer intimidation and violence. (…) The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a ruling against Brazil in July 2009 in the case of Escher et al. v. Brazil, declaring that Brazilian authorities had violated the rights to privacy and freedom of association of members of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement. Police had illegally wiretapped the organization’s phones and then broadcast nationally some of the conversations they had illegally recorded. At the United Nations Human Rights Council, Brazil has often been reluctant to support efforts to scrutinize the human rights record of abusive governments, thereby undermining the Council’s performance.”[46]

Human Rights Watch: “Children in northern Brazil are routinely subjected to beatings by police and detained in centers that fail to safeguard their basic human rights.  Once placed in juvenile detention centers, children may suffer further violence from other youths.  They are often confined to their cells for lengthy periods of time, with potentially serious consequences for their emotional well-being.  Many detained youths do not receive an education and are not offered other opportunities to develop the skills they will need to lead satisfying and productive lives as adults.  Girls often lack basic medical care and have fewer opportunities than boys for exercise, recreation, and other activities.  Conditions of confinement such as these violate international law and Brazil’s Statute of the Child and the Adolescente (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente). (…) Beatings at the hands of police during and after arrest are common, we found.  Such abuses often occur at police stations, where Brazilian law allows children to be held for up to five days while they await transfer to a juvenile detention facility.  (…) One youth told Human Rights Watch that military police aimed tear gas cannisters directly at him; he had burns, blisters, bruises, and cuts over his face, neck, abdomen, arms, and legs.  Other youths reported that police officers beat them with rubber batons and tree branches after they were detained. (…) Physical abuse is not the only human rights violation suffered by children in detention.  Upon entering a detention facility, children are routinely confined to their cells for five days or more with no opportunity for exercise or other activity. (…) Most detention centers fail to investigate complaints of abuses; indeed, most centers had no meaningful complaint mechanism.  Officials in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazônas, were the only ones to raise the issue of abuses by guards and military police and discuss it forthrightly with Human Rights Watch.  I can’t hide this, said Paulo Sampeio, the director of the Amazônas Department of the Child and the Adolescent, because if I do, I perpetuate it. Brazilian law guarantees youths the right to legal representation, including free legal assistance for those in need, meaning that in theory, a child could ask his or her attorney for assistance in making a complaint.  In practice, however, few of the youths we interviewed had actually spoken to their legal counsel.”[47]

 

Evidence 11: CENSORSHIP

Julian Assange (founder of WikiLeaks): “UNESCO has made itself an international human rights joke. To use freedom of expression to censor WikiLeaks from a conference about WikiLeaks is an Orwellian absurdity beyond words. This is an intolerable abuse of UNESCO’s Constitution. It’s time to occupy UNESCO.” [48]

Kristinn Hrafnsson (WikiLeaks spokesperson): “UNESCO has a duty to assure that fairness and balance is secured in important discussions carried out under the banner of the organization. It is obvious that this will hardly be the case, given the selection of speakers. This is both a disgrace to UNESCO and potentially harmful to WikiLeaks.” [49]

Julian Assange (founder of WikiLeaks): “UNESCO must conduct a full, frank and open investigation as to how its constitution, which tasks it to promote freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of communication, has become a blunt instrument of censorship. UNESCO must demonstrate that cold-war style power-plays, by the United States, or indeed any other country, are no longer acceptable.”

 

[1] Walter Pincus, GAO Probes UNESCO Corruption Charges. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1984/03/09/gao-probes-unesco-corruption-charges/23b87d05-accf-44b1-812f-f076b34a91c2/?utm_term=.cfbaa460811b

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/oct/18/jonhenley1

[3] Bivol, UNESCO Scandals: Director-General Irina Bokova Manipulated Recruitment Procedures to Appoint Protégé with Fake Qualifications as Her Assistant Director-General  https://bivol.bg/en/unesco-scandals-director-general-irina-bokova-manipulates-recruitment-procedures-to-appoint-a-protege-with-fake-qualifications-as-her-assistant-director-general.html

[4] Andre Vltchek, Reformed, Disciplined and Humiliated UNESCO. https://off-guardian.org/2015/11/25/reformed-disciplined-and-humiliated-unesco/

[5] https://www.unwatch.org/issue-558-genocidal-sudan-iran-win-unesco-leadership-roles/

[6] https://www.unwatch.org/unesco-silent-hamas-bulldozes-world-heritage-site-make-terrorist-training-camp/

[7] https://www.unwatch.org/scandal-unesco-vote-keeps-assad-regime-on-human-rights-committee/

[8] https://www.unwatch.org/uk-announces-bid-to-cancel-syrias-abhorrent-membership-on-unesco-rights-committee-2/

[9] https://www.unwatch.org/issue-331-unesco-funded-pro-hitler-palestinian-magazine/

[10] https://www.unwatch.org/55-mps-rights-groups-dissidents-urge-unesco-cancel-election-syria-human-rights-committees/

[11] http://www.panorama.am/en/news/2016/02/04/Irina-Bokova/1523478

[12] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jun/16/unesco-suspends-prize-equatorial-guinea-dictator

[13] http://thezimbabwean.co/2010/10/unesco-africans-urge-cancellation-of-obiang-prize/

[14] http://www.egjustice.org/post/obiang-prize

[15] https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/06/09/cancelling-unesco-obiang-prize

[16] https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/10/15/corrupt-dictator-tries-buy-unescos-brand-name

[17] https://www.cpj.org/blog/2010/10/obiang-prize-suspended-indefinitely.php

[18] https://www.globalwitness.org/en/archive/unesco-eliminate-obiang-prize-critics-oppose-his-proposal-rename-award/

[19] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-18857604

[20] https://cpj.org/2012/03/renamed-obiang-prize-is-a-blow-to-unesco.php

[21] https://freedomhouse.org/blog/obiang-prize-whatever-name-scandal-unesco

[22] http://www.osisa.org/economic-justice/global/unesco-urged-drop-obiang-prize

[23] https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/09/unesco-disappointing-vote-obiang-prize

[24] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/17/unesco-equatorial-guinea-prize

[25] Open Society Foundations, The UNESCO-Obiang Prize, Corruption, and Abuse in Equatorial Guinea

[26] JTA, De Beauvoir Denounces Unesco; Says Re-divided Jerusalem is Unthinkable. http://www.jta.org/1975/04/30/archive/de-beauvoir-denounces-unesco-says-re-divided-jerusalem-is-unthinkable

[27] New York Times, Jerusalem: UNESCO Curb Backfires. http://www.nytimes.com/1975/05/12/archives/jerusalem-unesco-curb-backfires.html?_r=0

[28] https://www.unwatch.org/danger-unesco-heritage-committees-jerusalem-resolution/

[29] Giulio Meotti, UNESCO against the Jews.  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4097506,00.html

[30] http://www.wujs.org.il/unesco.html

[31] http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Rabbi-of-Western-Wall-denounces-UNESCO-decisions

[32] Timothy Alexander Guzman, When “War is Peace”: “Peace Prizes” Awarded to War Criminals

[33] https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/06/09/senegal-habre-trial-illusion

[34] https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/01/18/united-nations-senegal-must-prosecute-or-extradite-hissene-habre

[35] https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/07/21/senegal/chad-nobel-winners-african-activists-seek-progress-habre-trial

[36] https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/03/senegal-human-rights-priorities

[37] https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/france/report-france/

[38] https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/09/france-counterterrorism-bill-threatens-rights

[39] https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/06/france-bill-opens-door-surveillance-society

[40] https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/22/human-rights-watch-concerns-and-recommendations-france

[41] https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/02/03/france-abuses-under-state-emergency

[42] https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/29/france-human-rights-implications-presidential-campaign

[43] http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/no_impunity_brazils_court_delivers_a_strong_message

[44]http://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/questioning_of_brazilian_ex_president_lula_in_petrobras_scandal_shows_no_on

[45] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/10/brazil-lula-president-court-corruption-charges

[46] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2010/country-chapters/brazil

[47] https://www.hrw.org/report/2003/04/09/cruel-confinement/abuses-against-detained-children-northern-brazil

[48] https://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-denounces-UNESCO-after.html

[49] https://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-denounces-UNESCO-after.html

 

 

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