Perspectivas / Perspectives

Tragic Self-immolations by Tibetans continue in protest for Chinese oppression

Since February 2009, 94 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet as reported up to March this year, with a dramatic acceleration in frequency since the once-in-a-decade leadership transition at the Chinese Communist Party Congress in November.

Two Tibetans self-immolating in Dzatoe township in Qinghai The Chinese authorities in Tibet have intensified measures to prevent information reaching the outside world about the self-immolations. This has been combined with a more aggressive and formalized response to the self-immolations, involving harsh sentencing and torture for those suspected of involvement, even if that is simply bearing witness. Due to this climate, it is impossible for this list to be fully comprehensive, and it is indicated on the list where circumstances of the self-immolations are not fully known.

A map marking the locations of the self-immolations in Tibet can be viewed HERE. For further information and details of the lives of a number of those who self-immolated and the statements they left behind. (ICT report, Storm in the Grasslands: Self-immolations in Tibet and Chinese policy).

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Jimmy Morales y la CICIG: La situación en Guatemala

por Eduardo Fernández Luiña *   

La Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (CICIG) ha sido desde sus orígenes, allá por el 2007, un organismo polémico, capaz de despertar el interés investigador de especialistas en la lucha contra la corrupción fuera y dentro del citado país centroamericano.

El pasado 1 de septiembre, el presidente Jimmy Morales señaló en un comunicado problemático y plagado de incertidumbres que la CICIG finalizaría su mandato en el año 2019. Todo porque el Estado de Guatemala ya no desea prorrogar su misión en el país durante dos años más. A día de hoy y si todo sigue igual, la CICIG finalizará su mandato después de diez años de bagaje y cinco prórrogas. Todas solicitadas, como señala el documento que da origen al organismo, por el Gobierno de Guatemala.

La decisión de Morales disfruta de validez jurídica. Obviamente, parece lógico que el presidente, la cabeza del poder ejecutivo de un Estado, pueda romper cuando considere necesario y con base en el acuerdo firmado un compromiso de naturaleza internacional. En política internacional parece evidente que el opting out es (y debe seguir siendo) una opción. 

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May dictators hide behind the principles of "sovereignty" or "territorial integrity" with impunity?

In the early morning hours of December 19, 1989, President George Herbert Walker Bush ordered the United States Army to organize a deliberate and well-accomplished attack that overwhelmed the Panamanian Defense Forces (FFPP) of dictator General Manuel Noriega. The goal was to reestablish the democratically elected government of Guillermo Endara and arrest Noriega on drug trafficking charges. In addition, there were reports that Noriega had acted as a double agent for Cuba’s intelligence agency and the Sandinistas.

"Operation Just Cause", as it was known at the time, was the largest and most complex combat operation since the Vietnam War. Nearly 26,000 combat troops were deployed. Two dozen targets were attacked throughout the country, using a wide spectrum of tactical operations including Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT), Air-Assault, Airborne, and Special Forces. A dictator sustained by huge drug trafficking operations was removed and Noriega’s Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) were promptly crushed, forcing the dictator to seek asylum with the Vatican nuncio in Panama City, where he finally surrendered to the US authorities on January 3rd, 1990.

However, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Parliament both formally protested the invasion, which they condemned as a flagrant violation of international law. Was that so? Did the US military operation violated Panama's sovereignty?

On Sept. 2012 world leaders and civil society representatives proclaimed their commitment to the rule of law as the foundation of equitable State relations and the basis upon which just and fair societies were built, as they adopted a lengthy declaration during the UN General Assembly’s first-ever high-level meeting on the rule of law at the national and international levels.

By terms of this “Declaration on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels” [A/67/L.1], adopted at the start of the day-long meeting on Sept. 23, the GA reaffirmed that human rights, the rule of law and democracy were interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations. The rule of law applied equally to all States and international organizations, including the United Nations. All persons, institutions and entities were accountable to just, fair and equitable laws, and entitled to equal protection before the law, without discrimination. However, in that document delegates also rededicated themselves to supporting efforts to uphold "the sovereign equality of all States".

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La experiencia y pragmatismo del Alto Comisionado Brunori, de la ONU, para Colombia

El politólogo italiano es el nuevo representante del Alto Comisionado de la ONU para DD.HH.

Solicitar mejores maestros, reclamar por la tierra robada, buscar a una vecina desaparecida, denunciar la contaminación de los ríos, protestar por los crímenes sin castigo y cantar rap son algunas de las causas por las que han sido asesinadas más de trescientas personas en los dos últimos años.

Bogotá, Ago.29.– Una escalada criminal, que arreció el pasado mes de julio y ahora vuelve otra vez en ocho departamentos, concentra el 70 por ciento de las víctimas .

Un informe sobre las actividades de las personas asesinadas, su lugar de origen, así como los grupos a los que pertenecen algunos de los presuntos victimarios, le fue entregado a Alberto Brunori de manera simultánea a su posesión.

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The Quiet Threat to Human Rights in democratic Tunisia

Tunisia is often heralded as the sole success story to come out of the 2011 Arab uprisings, insomuch as it is the only country that established a democratic government in their wake. In a 2017 study conducted by Freedom House, Tunisia was the only country in the Middle East and North Africa ranked as “free.” But the relative success of Tunisia’s transition does not mean that the process has been an easy one. 

“If you ask many Tunisians what has made the difference in holding together the fabric of their democracy, they will say civil society,” writes Sarah Yerkes, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Under the repressive regime of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, space for civic engagement was practically nonexistent. After the Arab Spring, thousands of civil society organizations (CSOs) formed to help transform Tunisia into the most promising emerging democracy in the Middle East by encouraging citizen participation and by holding the government accountable. However, Yerkes notes freedom of civic space is now at stake due to a restrictive law adopted by parliament on July 27, 2018.

The legislation, entitled Law 30 of 2018, would require CSOs to register for government oversight, purportedly to combat money laundering and terror financing. While these concerns are legitimate, the pre-existing “Decree 88” already provides legislation to address anti-money laundering and terror financing—without the type of stringent oversight that Law 30 would enact.

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