Tuesday, April 01, 2008

  • Tuesday, April 01, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the bedrocks of human rights is the right of free speech. The UN recognizes this and its old Commission on Human Rights as well as its newer Human Rights Council has appointed a "Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the promotion
and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
."

This job includes:
a) to gather all relevant information, wherever it might occur, of discrimination against, threats or use of violence and harassment, including persecution and intimidation, directed at persons seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression as affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, where applicable, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, taking into account the work being conducted by other mechanisms of the Commission and Sub-Commission which touched on that right, with a view to avoiding duplication of work;

b) as a matter of high priority, to gather all relevant information, wherever it might occur, of discrimination against, threats or use of violence and harassment, including persecution and intimidation, against professionals in the field of information seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

c) to seek and receive credible and reliable information from governments and non-governmental organizations and any other parties who have knowledge of these cases; and to submit annually to the Commission a report covering the activities relating to his or her mandate, containing recommendations to the Commission and providing suggestions on ways and means to better promote and protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression in all its manifestations.
This past Friday, however, the UN's Human Rights Commission added a new job responsibility to this Special Rapporteur:

To do the exact opposite.
The amendment passed by the UN Human Rights Council in its rush to adjourn Friday told its expert on freedom of expression to report on people who abuse their free speech rights to espouse racial and religious discrimination.

The measure, proposed by Egypt and Pakistan, passed 32-0 with the support of Islamic, Arab and African nations. European nations and some other countries abstained.
This Special Rapporteur is now expected not to defend free speech, but to defend those who try to stifle free speech. It is amazing that he hasn't yet suffered from whiplash.

Now, what does the UN Human Rights Council consider "abuse" of free speech?

The previous day, the same UNHRC passed (21-10) a resolution urging states to prohibit the "defamation of religions" in a resolution that referred specifically and repeatedly to Islam and no other religion.

We all knew that the UNHRC was a corrupt joke of an organization, but at least up until now it could at least pretend to be guided by principals, even as it applied them in a ridiculously biased manner. Now the perversion is so complete that it is demolishing its very own basis.

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