White House expresses ‘deep concern’ over Alaa Abd el-Fattah | Human Rights News

US says it desires the jailed British-Egyptian activist, who’s starvation and water strike, freed.

The White Home has expressed “deep concern” for jailed British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who’s on a starvation strike and has begun refusing water to coincide with the COP27 local weather summit.

“We’ve been in high-level communication with the Egyptian authorities on this case, now we have deep concern about it, we want to see him freed,” US Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan instructed reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday.

Senior United States officers stated on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will increase the problem of human rights throughout his assembly together with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The White Home made this assertion after the activist’s lawyer stated he had been refused entry to Abd el-Fattah, regardless of being authorised for such a go to by the inside ministry.

Concern over Abd el-Fattah’s destiny is rising as he continues to stage a starvation strike to protest his years-long detention by Egyptian authorities on expenses of spreading disinformation.

He had been on a partial starvation strike of 100 energy a day for the previous six months. He stopped all calorie consumption and started refusing water on Sunday, the primary day of the COP27 world local weather summit held on the Egyptian Crimson Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Abd el-Fattah emerged as a number one pro-democracy activist and blogger throughout Egypt’s 2011 standard rebellion that compelled former President Hosni Mubarak from workplace after 30 years in energy.

The 40-year-old has spent many of the previous decade behind bars.

Earlier this week, Volker Turk, the United Nations excessive commissioner for human rights, warned that Abd el-Fattah was in nice hazard and known as for Egypt to right away launch him. “His dry starvation strike places his life at acute danger,” Turk’s spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, instructed a information briefing in Geneva.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s workplace stated the chief had raised the case of the activist’s detention with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi throughout a gathering between the pair on Monday on the sidelines of the COP27 summit.

“The prime minister stated he hoped to see this resolved as quickly as doable and would proceed to press for progress,” Sunak’s workplace stated in a press release.

In the meantime, Abd el-Fattah’s household stated they’ve been instructed by jail authorities the activist is “underneath medical intervention”, probably which means he’s being force-fed – an act tantamount to torture.

Abd el-Fattah’s mom, Laila Soueif, travelled on Thursday to Wadi el-Natroun jail the place he’s being held, roughly 100km (62 miles) north of Cairo.

There she was knowledgeable “medical intervention was taken … with the information of judicial entities”, his sister, Mona Seif, wrote on Twitter.

The character of the intervention was not identified however the household has expressed fears jail officers would force-feed Abd el-Fattah.

His sister additionally disputed a declare by the Egyptian prosecutor that the Abd el-Fattah was in “good well being”.

Late on Thursday, the Egyptian prosecutor contended that “all his important indicators… are regular,” and that he “is in good well being and doesn’t should be transferred to hospital”.

“Lie!”, Mona Seif wrote on Fb, including that the authorities had been forcibly intervening to “deny” his starvation strike “in order that he received’t die”.

American horror: POTUS after POTUS wronged this old Pakistani man | Human Rights

I discover it infuriating when a scarred life is decreased to a unusual curiosity.

That’s what has occurred to Saifullah Paracha, a 75-year-old Pakistani entrepreneur who was lastly launched in late October from the United States-run dungeons in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In reporting on Paracha’s belated liberation, a number of information organisations famous that he was the oldest captive there with out, in fact, admitting that, like so many others, he shouldn’t have spent a second in jail given his US captors by no means got here even remotely near discovering him responsible of a criminal offense.

Paracha was locked up for 19 years at what one New York Occasions (NYT) correspondent known as a “seafront compound“. Sounds nearly like a sun-kissed vacationer resort somewhat than a brutish, distant jail that includes barbed wire fencing, guard canines and armed US troopers manning lookout posts.

In any occasion, that Paracha was an anomaly at Guantanamo Bay – the place many of the different captives have been a lot youthful males – is what made him newsworthy.

Not the truth that Paracha wasted almost 20 years of his life in a dungeon as a part of a covert, worldwide abduction racket. Nor the truth that Paracha was by no means charged by his American abductors and jailers throughout his lengthy imprisonment.

However journalists, in the end, aren’t the villains right here.

The duty for this horror is shared by a succession of unrepentant US presidents who will doubtless by no means expertise even a minute measure of remorse or discomfort for what they did to an ageing, frail man and his household.

Paracha was “accused” of being an al-Qaeda sympathiser and “suspected” of bankrolling the group. That sentence, which quotes the BBC, incorporates two of the three hottest weasel phrases governments use to “hyperlink” – that’s the third – anybody to terrorism with out proof.

In July 2003, a suspicious FBI lured Paracha to Thailand the place they kidnapped him and flew him – sure, shackled and hooded – to Afghanistan, in an obscene affront to worldwide legislation.

Whereas being held incommunicado at a US navy jail at Bagram, Paracha suffered the primary of a collection of coronary heart assaults. Fourteen months later, he was taken – sure, shackled and hooded once more – to Guantanamo Bay the place, and not using a scintilla of proof that he helped finance or promote al-Qaeda’s pursuits, he remained till just a few days in the past.

In 2005, Paracha’s son, Uzair, who was dwelling in New York, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail for allegedly “offering materials assist to terrorism”. 13 years later, in 2018, a US federal courtroom decide ordered his launch after exculpatory data was found that raised doubts about his conviction.

Justice Sydney Stein mentioned he was granting Uzair a brand new trial as a result of allowing the unique judgement to face can be “a manifest injustice”. Two years later, prosecutors dropped the case towards Uzair.

The Paracha household has certainly been the sufferer of a “manifest injustice”, perpetrated by highly effective males who, at present, are being rehabilitated and feted as “elder statesmen”.

American presidents are usually not solely proof against accountability; they’re additionally proof against disgrace.

I doubt that George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump bear in mind who Paracha is or care a whit about his destiny since one of many principal {qualifications} to turn into commander-in-chief is to be ready to deploy American pressure to hurt and kill folks in defence of the “nationwide curiosity”.

And this, not less than, Paracha has over those that have presidential libraries constructed as monuments to their significance: There isn’t any foundation to say that he has ever harmed or killed one other soul.

Particularly, the conduct of that smug liberal darling, Obama, in reference to Paracha’s ordeal is shameful.

A “activity pressure” established on inauguration day by the then-new president reported to him in 2010 that there was “no proof” to justify laying costs towards a few of the Guantanamo “detainees” however added that they have been “too harmful” to be let loose. In April 2013 it emerged that Paracha was one among 71 captives who have been harmless.

Nonetheless, politics trumped integrity. And Obama allowed a sick, trustworthy man to stay captive somewhat than launch him into the care of his loving household in Pakistan.

What makes Paracha’s prolonged incarceration in America’s gulag all of the extra egregious is that the businessman had lived and labored within the US because the Seventies and all through his inhumane odyssey professed not solely his innocence however love and gratitude for his adopted nation.

None of that historical past mattered.

The US – spurred on by revenge-thirsty columnists who informed Iraqis to “suck on this” – was searching “terrorists” in Kabul, Baghdad and past.

Paracha was merely disposable, forgettable fodder for use to indicate how ruthless each Republicans and Democrats may very well be in shielding their “homeland” from future assaults.

The rule of legislation didn’t matter. Worldwide legislation didn’t matter. The US Structure’s rights and ensures didn’t matter. Equity didn’t matter. Due course of didn’t matter.

And naturally, Saifullah Paracha didn’t matter.

The prime years of his life didn’t matter. He was a no one. Not a husband. Not a father. Not a brother. Not a son. Simply one other Muslim {that a} sham, unlawful equipment run by troopers on the behest of presidents bought what he deserved.

However what Paracha and his household deserve, on the very least, is an apology. That received’t occur. It ought to, however it received’t. Presidents don’t apologise to males like Saifullah Paracha. It might be beneath them and the workplace of the presidency to apologise. They’re essential. He’s not.

However a current picture of Paracha reveals that, by means of all of it, he held tight to his humanity and maybe his sense of humour. Arms crossed, carrying a white t-shirt and a wry smile, he sits at a desk in a McDonald’s restaurant in Karachi.

I suppose that after this burst of consideration, Paracha will slip again into anonymity and check out, as finest he can, to get well and benefit from the sundown of his life. He’ll try this within the quiet data that he’s a greater man than the preening presidents who will at all times carry the blot of the indecency they visited on a good human being.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

UN renews mandate for human rights mission in Venezuela | United Nations News

Human rights teams welcome two-year extension of UN mission, which Caracas condemns as ‘designed for interventionism’.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has renewed the mandate of its fact-finding mission in Venezuela, an initiative Caracas considers an aggressive instrument for interfering in home issues.

The mandate to increase the Worldwide Impartial Truth-Discovering Mission for Venezuela (FFM) for 2 extra years was authorised by 19 votes to 5 towards and 23 abstentions throughout a Council session in Geneva on Friday.

The UN mission was first created in 2019 to look into alleged human rights violations within the nation.

These opposed had been Cuba, Bolivia, China, Eritrea and Venezuela itself, whose consultant to the Council, Ambassador Hector Fixed Rosales, dubbed the decision “hostile”.

Venezuelan Overseas Minister Carlos Faria mentioned on Twitter that the FFM’s extension was “a brand new assault towards Venezuela”.

The mission “is designed for interventionism and for the falsification of actuality. This fee is a political instrument for essentially the most brazen defamation on problems with human rights“, he added.

In September, the mission’s third report discovered that state intelligence businesses beneath President Nicolas Maduro’s helm had suppressed the opposition via arbitrary detentions and torture that amounted to crimes towards humanity.

The intelligence businesses “made use of sexual and gender-based violence to torture and humiliate their detainees” since at the very least 2014 and “the violations and crimes … proceed to this present day”, the report mentioned.

The Venezuelan authorities responded that the report’s accusations had been “false and unfounded”.

Venezuela is a “democratic and social state, based mostly on the rule of regulation and justice, which is dedicated to the promotion, respect and safety of human rights”, the federal government mentioned.

Human rights teams welcomed the FFM’s extension.

The renewal is a “signal of assist for the numerous victims of grave human rights violations which have been, and proceed to be, dedicated within the nation,” Amnesty Worldwide’s Americas Director Erika Guevara Rosas mentioned on Twitter.

Human Rights Watch referred to as the FFM’s extension “extraordinarily necessary” and mentioned it performs “an early warning function within the lead-up to the 2024 presidential elections”.