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ABUSE CRISIS: U.N. Investigator of Afghan Abuse Sacked Under U.S. Pressure

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posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 12:41 PM
The U.N.'s top human rights investigator in Afghanistan has been dismissed under U.S. pressure, just days after releasing a report accusing U.S. military forces of engaging in torture, illegaly detaining prisoners without trial, and consistently violating international humanitarian law. During his one year tenure in the position, Cherif Bassiouni repeatedly attempted to interview alleged Taliban and al-Qa'ida prisoners at the two largest U.S. bases in Afghanistan, without success.
U.S. diplomats at a meeting in Geneva of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights pressed the group to end the mandate of Cherif Bassiouni as the United Nations' "independent expert on human rights in Afghanistan."

Washington moved to scrap Bassiouni's post partly because the human-rights situation in Afghanistan is no longer troubling enough to require it, said a U.S. official who asked not to be identified.

Bassiouni, a Chicago-based law professor, repeated the criticisms in a 24-page report presented at the meeting. He noted reports that "estimate that over 1,000 individuals have been detained."

Human-rights advocates say the U.S. policies seem to come primarily from the military rather than the State Department. The Pentagon has withheld the results of its own investigation into human-rights violations at its bases in Afghanistan.
U.N. Monitor of Afghan Rights Accuses U.S. on Detentions - - April 23, 2005
KABUL, Afghanistan, April 22 - A United Nations human rights monitor has accused American military forces and contractors in Afghanistan of acting above the law "by engaging in arbitrary arrests and detentions and committing abusive practices, including torture." In a report released Thursday, the Afghan police and security forces were also criticized for similar actions.

Cherif Bassiouni, an Egyptian who was appointed as an independent human rights monitor for Afghanistan by Secretary General Kofi Annan in April 2004, called for American troops to set an example for Afghan forces by showing accountability for actions toward prisoners. In particular, he raised concern about the cases of eight prisoners who died while in American custody in Afghanistan, and said the cases should be immediately investigated.

During two visits to Afghanistan over the last year, he said, he received reports of "serious violations by coalition forces" from Afghans who said they had been victimized and from human rights and nongovernmental organizations. About 18,000 foreign troops are in Afghanistan, including 17,000 Americans, though only American troops run military detention centers there.

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Obviously this guy was too much of a thorn in the side for the now well-"oiled" Bush-Rumsfeld war machine. And his sacking came in a record three days. I'm sure he will be replaced by someone who knows how to make enough noise to seem as if he is doing his job, but without rocking the boat too much.

What a farce the U.N. has become, when it will bow and scrape at the slightest wave of a finger from Washington. Bush & Co. should at least be admired for their success in turning the United Nations into the United Lapdogs. Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog!

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[edit on 2005/4/26 by wecomeinpeace]

[edit on 2005/4/26 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 06:13 AM
The U.S. diplomats accused Bassiouni of grandstanding and attempting to further his career. Somehow looking at his career record to date, I doubt this Nobel Peace nominee has any real concerns about that.

M. Cherif Bassiouni - Professor of Law and President, International Human Rights Law Institute

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