Showing posts tagged Human Rights
(Reblogged from kohenari)
(Reblogged from randomactsofchaos)
(Reblogged from jonathan-cunningham)

Extrajudicial Executions are Executions Too


In so many of my recent posts, I’ve written about my long-standing concern about the excitement that Americans feel about our use of the death penalty. The most obvious example, of course, was the GOP debate audience cheering at the mention of the hundreds of executions presided over by Rick Perry in Texas. With the news today of the death of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, there’s another round of triumphalism at the reach of the mighty arm of the United States, but this time it’s not only from supporters of executions.

I’ve been encouraged by the number of people who have taken note of the problem of the death penalty in the past few weeks and who have begun to ask whether or not the government ought to be in the business of killings its own citizens. Perhaps, for the first time, the fact that a presidential candidate has an unshakable faith in the death penalty’s infallibility will prove a detriment rather than a virtue, in no small part due to the many questions that people raised (and continue to raise) regarding Troy Davis’ and Cameron Todd Willingham’s guilt. The trials of these men, so many have now claimed, were tainted by bad evidence. 

But if you thought there was a problem with the evidence presented in those trials, you’re really going to have a problem with the evidence presented in the trial against al-Awlaki, who was assassinated in Yemen today …  because there was no trial. While there might be a great deal of evidence against Awlaki, none of it was presented in a court of law and, with his death, there’s no reason to believe that it ever will be. While Americans cherish the idea of having our day in court, it seems that we’re pretty quick to dismiss that right when it comes to a group of people who aren’t like us and who don’t like us.

The real trouble, though, is that a lot of liberals will now say that there is a categorical difference between the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki and the executions I oppose. They’ll make the case that Awlaki was killed as part of America’s ongoing war against its terrorist enemies and that, because he was declared some sort of enemy combatant, this targeted killing is a legitimate use of the power of the state.

But make no mistake: this is an extrajudicial execution of an American citizen and, regardless of how we feel about Awlaki, we ought to be deeply distressed by it. If we’re not, then we’re simply allowing ourselves to be fooled by the rhetoric of our government.

Ultimately, this is what the declaration of a war on terrorism has wrought; this is why words matter.

because there was no trial

To participate in this kind of extrajudicial killing seems to me, to admit defeat.

(Reblogged from kohenari)


Saudi king grants voting rights to women

Saudi King Abdullah announced Sunday that the nation’s women will gain the right to vote and run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015 in a major advancement for the rights of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

In an annual speech before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, the Saudi monarch said he ordered the step after consulting with the nation’s top religious clerics, whose advice carries great weight in the kingdom…

The right to vote is by far the biggest change introduced by Abdullah, considered a reformer, since he became the country’s de facto ruler in 1995…

(Reblogged from diadoumenos)


And it’s no coincidence that in the 1980s, Georgia prosecutors sought the death penalty for 70% of black defendants with white victims, but for only 15% of white defendants with black victims. (Source)

Racial prejudice and discrimination is pervasive throughout our justice system, and you cannot pretend otherwise. The systemic oppression inherent in the death penalty needs to be addressed and dealt with. 

(Reblogged from leastofeloquence-deactivated201)


A lot of people have been mobilized by the Troy Davis case, especially in the past few days. You called and emailed elected officials; you petitioned political appointees; you demanded that people be held accountable for a decision that put proper procedure ahead of anything else. But what will all of you do tomorrow? Will you dedicate yourselves to putting an end to the system whose flaws became so apparent to so many tonight? Or will you forget about the continued injustice of the death penalty until the next Troy Davis is moved to the death house? You have many other legitimate concerns in your daily lives and many other important issues that demand your attention. But you cared so much this time; do you think you can continue to care about the brokenness of our justice system as you do right now, tonight?

(Reblogged from kohenari)


It’s sometimes very difficult to imagine that I was born and raised in the same place as people like Ann Coulter. In my humble opinion, it takes a special sort of person to sit down and write something like this, hoping — it seems quite clear — that it will hurt a lot of people.

Shameful, shameful behavior.

A poisonous toad — nothing human about it

(Reblogged from kohenari)
(Reblogged from sarahlee310)
Can U.S. companies be held liable if foreign governments use their products for repression?

Two lawsuits by three Chinese dissidents and a human rights group accusing Cisco Systems Inc. of abetting imprisonment and torture could have far-reaching impact on how U.S. technology companies conduct business in authoritarian regimes.

The lawsuits filed in May and June target a second technology company for complicity in human rights abuses in China after Yahoo Inc. in 2007 paid to settle a case in which it was accused of aiding the prosecution of dissidents.

The lawsuits are drawing broad attention from U.S. companies because these are important test cases of the Alien Tort Claims Act, a law dating back to 1789 that accommodates actions in U.S. courts to uphold international law.

So … perhaps we’ll soon see about an answer to the above question. It all seems pretty clear to me, given the specifics of the complaint against Cisco, but then again I’m someone who generally seeks to promote the idea of universal human rights …

Much more here (HT: Dave Forsythe).

(via kohenari)

(Reblogged from kohenari)
(Reblogged from manicchill)

I would just add to that, if you live in one of the rich nations, you live behind a military barricade, and the only reason that you don’t know that every single thing you buy is based on violence is because of that military barricade. So we can turn away in complete denial to the real cost of every single piece of food we eat and everything we buy — the cell phones, the ipods, the cars, whatever. There are a whole bunch of dead people and dead bioregions behind everything that we buy. And it is that military barricade that keeps us safe and keeps us in a complete land of dreams. But it is all based on violence. All we are saying is that we want to stop the violence. We don’t want to make violence.

My friend Gail Dines has a lot of students that work at places like Old Navy and the Gap, and they regularly find, when they’re unpacking the jeans and the T-shirts, little notes stuffed into the pockets that say “Please help us.” This is from the factory workers in China or Taiwan or wherever.

Lierre Keith, Do We Need a Militant Movement to Save the Planet (and Ourselves)? (via cuntymint)

Well, now. Finding a note like that in your pocket sure would change that jazzy feeling you get from slipping on a new pair of jeans, wouldn’t it.

(via nezua)

I HIGHLY recommend the film China Blue if any of you are interested in learning more about the people (often young women) who make our clothing, specifically jeans. It’s a fantastic work.

(via seriouslyamerica)

(Reblogged from sarahlee310)