Friday, April 24, 2009

U.N. Torture Czar: U.S. Obligated to Prosecute - U.N. Rape Continues

Did you know the U.N. has a torture czar? I didn't but it certainly makes sense, and it is certainly no surprise. This torture Czar, Manfred Nowak, says the U.S. is obligated to prosecute American lawyers deemed to have sanctioned "torture, as labeled "by" a United Nations convention. See photos and a video below.

U.N. Torture Czar - Manfred Nowak
Nowak's proper U.N. title is U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture. He has to be a very busy man with all the torture going on all over the world. There's Darfur, of course, and Myanmar and every Islamic country - especially Iran, but of course, nevermind those pesky annoyances, the U.N. is going after the U.S. Nowak's focus is on Justice Department officials who "wrote memos" which "narrowly defined" ways to interrogate suspected terrorists, and wrote the memos in a way so that it might seem not to be torture. Then, CIA officials implemented the memos. This Austrian says the memos were written with the intention to torture. I want to know what this man, the Rapporteur and the U.N. says about the beheadings going on around the world, the rape going on around the world. Beheadings in Mexico have been reported at least since 2006 and continue to today. Islamic beheadings in the U.S.
In Basra [Iraq] along, police acknowledge that 15 women a month are murdered for breaching Islamic dress codes. Others say the number is higher. April 20, 2008 Violence against women is rampant, rising every day with the power of the militias. Beheadings, rapes, beatings, suicides through self-immolation, genital mutilation, trafficking and child abuse masquerading as marriage of girls as young as nine are all on the increase. Du'a Khalil Aswad, 17, from Nineveh, was executed by stoning in front of mob of 2,000 men for falling in love with a boy outside her Yazidi tribe.
Brutal rape of women and children, and I'm sure young boys also. It's not just the rape, some of them die too. If they don't die then, they die earlier than they should - often after giving birth to multiple children - often after being infected with HIV/AIDS, abandoned by families, divorced by husbands who refuse to protect their women. What about the women beaten, buried alive, sometimes hanged - and none of these women were suspected of a terrorist act. Their torture just comes at the hands of men from their own culture.
Women and girls in Sudan's war torn Darfur region continually face rape and sexual assault,... Human Rights Watch calls on government to end sexual violence in Darfur, as neither the Sudanese security forces nor international peacekeepers are doing enough to protect women from attack. Sadly rape is not the end of most victims suffering, as stigma, shame and shame accompany numerous physical and physiological effects long after the rape. Fatima (pictured on the left) was only 15years old when in front of her own mother she was brutally gang-raped. She soon found her self pregnant, but that would not be the end for Fatima, as she was “arrested by Sudanese police and charged with fornication” when she was seven months pregnant (The Age). Since the dawn of the conflict pro-government militias have continually been accused of using sexually based attacks on women, as a means to terrorize, destabilize and demoralized the civilian population. The Sudanese army has recently criticized a UN report in March which accused soldiers of raping women and girls.
The U.N. Forces are rapists too.
The abuse allegedly began two years ago when the UN mission in southern Sudan (UNMIS) moved in to help rebuild the region after a 23-year civil war. The UN has up to 10,000 military personnel in the region, of all nationalities and the allegations involve peacekeepers, military police and civilian staff. It is thought that hundreds of children may have been abused.

"I was sitting by the river the first time it happened,” said Jonas, 14, one of more than 20 children who claimed they had been abused this way.

"A man in a white car drove past and asked me if I wanted to get into the car with him. I saw that the car was a UN car because it was white with the black letters on it. The man had a badge on his clothes. When he stopped the car, we got out, he put a blindfold on me and started to abuse me. It was painful and went on for a long time. When it was over we went back to the place we had been, and he pushed me out of the car and left."

In January 2007, the UK Guardian reports that these rapers have been disciplined for sex offenses, "including rape and child abuse." One hundred and eighty have been dismissed or repatriated - BUT NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS PROSECUTED.

These numbers do not include allegations levelled at members of the U.N.'s own staff. According to an internal UN report, these total 91, including 13 alleged to have had sex with minors, 15 who gave jobs in return for sex, 17 who had sex with prostitutes, five who face allegations of rape and one person who is alleged to have committed sexual assault.

The internal report, which was published in May last year, presents data on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse within the UN system between January and December 2006. It also says that 40 UN staff were alleged to have carried out other forms of sexual abuse.

Presenting the figures about the 319 personnel investigated, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Jane Holl Lute, said that the inquiries had resulted in the summary dismissal of 18 civilians, and the repatriation of 17 international police and 144 military personnel. However, she did not cite any prosecutions.

Of the U.N. staff misdeeds, the then U.N. Assistant Secretary-General of Peacekeeping, Jane Holl Lute, said some "are going to behave badly...." We can be assured that that "bad behavior" has not been perpetrated upon her or hers. The U.N. didn't just have an affinity for women and children in the Sudan. They liked the Congolese too. A report indicates that U.N. officials are "worried" because there are videos and photos of the abuses on sale in the Congo. "It would be a pretty big problem for the U.N. if these pictures come out," said a U.N. official. No "worry" for the children and the remainder of their miserable lives - only that the U.N. might have to fight off the publicity. In 2008 the United Nations finally passed a resolution that declared rape a war crime.
The resolution calls for a crackdown on "peacekeepers" who exploit women and children during times of conflict and calls for countries to punish troops that commit sex crimes (as the U.N. doesn't have the power to pursue prosecution). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said sexual violence during war has reached "unspeakable and pandemic proportions" and that the council has "zero tolerance" for such abuse by U.N. workers.
Despite the United Nation's "zero tolerance" the abuse continues, and what a surprise, the U.N. can't do a darn thing about it - because they do not "have the power to pursue prosecution." It begs the question, how hard did they try to get the home country of the U.N. member (not staff, evidently) to prosecute? Did they try as hard as they are trying to get DOJ officials prosecuted? Now this, my friends is something to get all bothered about:
...rape has become one of the biggest problem facing Darfur (now, that is saying a whole hell of a lot). CNN reports that rape has become "a way of life" for thousands of women and girls, some as young as 4, in the region. In a perfect illustration of how rape is, indeed, an issue of international peace and security, Refugees International called it "an integral part of the pattern of violence that the government of Sudan is inflicting upon the targeted ethnic groups in Darfur." Adding to the tragedy, many women in Darfur are giving up children conceived through rape; in one refugee camp of 22,000, as many as 20 babies are abandoned each month.
So do we get all bothered about the U.S. waterboarding Kahlid Sheik Mohammed? Yes we do and really, it is indecent that we do. Spare me the diatribe about the "image" of the U.S. because we do not torture, or the rhetoric about our "values." All of a sudden I notice the Left is talking about values and principles - those of not torturing...really, until we can stand up to what is happening to the children of the world, including in the U.S., I won't give a fig about what we do get the information we must have to keep America from falling into the hands of those who will do to America what they are doing to the unfortunate, all over the rest of the world. It is unbearable to think of what these women and girls must endure. See a video on rape and torture in the Congo here. You must see this video. This is a saddness that is unspeakable. Let the U.N. Rapporteur on Torture spend his concern here and places like this.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton