Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kuwait: A Mockery

How can Kuwait – a State that deprives 120 thousand citizens of their civil rights – be elected as member of the Human Rights Council? Not only that. According to a report by Reuters, “Kuwait's ruling family largely sets the policy agenda and dominates political life. Formal political parties are banned, and the country limits freedom of the press and assembly and has no independent judiciary”. This is abominable and deplorable.
What is more appaling is that Kuwait received the full US backing for a seat on the Council. Only yesterday, in his speech, President Obama emphasized on democracy and the need for change in the region. Yet, Kuwait was “rewarded” for violating the human rights of its citizens. This is a rather bizzare and infurating situation.
It would have been way preferable, and even more respectful for human rights, to leave one of the 47 seats of the Council empty than filling it with a State that does not respect the human rights of its own citizens, bearing in mind that it was elected instead of Syria. Both of them should stay out of the Council. The UN General Assembly should therefore reconsider Kuwait’s membership of the Council, and put an end to this mockery.

Gabriel Helou

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