May 09, 2006

I'd hate to piss off Amnesty International…

Writing about web page

…but I figure a guy with a beard like that doesn't really care what other people think of him.

I'm not a fan of the death penalty. But let's leave that aside for the moment because one of my biggest problems with it is who makes the judgement that the person in question definitely needs the death penalty. You'd have to look a pretty long way down my list of suggestions before you'd come across Zimbabwe and even then it'd be written in orange crayon in the handwriting of Mr Mugabe.

So Mr Lucas…because I'm sure you're reading this…I would agree that the issue of the death penalty is one which could be seen from a number of perspectives. However, Zimbabwe probably can't be trusted to judge adaquately who should receive the death penalty. Unless you disagree, Mr Lucas? You obviously do so let's have a quick look at some Amnesty International stuff on Zimbabwe…it's all taken from their website and very easy to find so feel free to look for yourself:

Break-down of the rule of law

Intimidation of and attacks on judicial officials and lawyers intensified. Judges and magistrates who demonstrated judicial independence were threatened with investigation and disciplinary action for alleged misconduct. They were also subjected to intimidation and attacks for rulings perceived to be favourable to MDC supporters.

In August, Chipinge district magistrate Walter Chikwanha was dragged from his courtroom by people believed to be “war veterans” and assaulted. The attack was reportedly in response to his dismissal of an application by the state to remand in custody five MDC officials accused of burning two government tractors, on the grounds that the state did not have sufficient evidence.

Police involvement in abuses

The government intensified its misuse of the police to repress freedoms of expression, association and assembly. In the run–up to the presidential election, opposition rallies and other campaign gatherings were marred by political violence perpetrated by ZANU–PF youth militia, often with the direct collusion of the police. Police officers also actively committed human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, assaults and torture. The police failed to intervene to protect communities under attack by ZANU–PF militia, while protecting militia members alleged to have carried out assaults. Suspected perpetrators of these human rights abuses who were apprehended were not brought to justice, nor were police officers who colluded with or acquiesced in violations by the militia. Police who acted impartially were purged from service or transferred to inferior postings or administrative positions.

Torture and ill-treatment

More than 1,000 cases of torture and ill–treatment were reported during 2002. Victims were primarily targeted for their perceived or real affiliation with the political opposition. Among those responsible were members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the CIO and the Zimbabwe National Army.

ZANU–PF youth militia, trained in national youth service camps established throughout the country, were deployed to suburbs and rural areas in the run–up to elections and were implicated in the widespread harassment and torture of the political opposition. The number of reported cases of rape and other forms of sexual torture perpetrated against women suspected of supporting the political opposition increased. This intimidation and political violence created a climate of fear, and of impunity for perpetrators of human rights abuses.
Five men – Tendai Maluzi, Cosmos and Barbabas Ndira, Tom Spicer and Reuben Tichareva – were arrested in September and charged under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) with public violence allegedly in connection with an incident where police were stoned by a crowd in a Harare suburb. All five were MDC youth members. They were reportedly beaten and tortured while in police custody for three days. Tom Spicer was tortured with electric shocks and beaten on the soles of his feet.

I hope Amnesty don't mind that I took that from their website. Now I'm not saying that we have to believe them or the BBC or the UN, EU, UK…well pretty much nearly everyone, isn't it? However, we should probably err on the side of caution…y'know just to be safe.

If you didn't have time to read that Mr Lucas then let me assure you that what you're doing is sick or at worst a little bit iffy. In fairness you probably haven't watched a news report in decades and thus are probably blissfully ignorant of the problems in the world. If only everywhere was as blissful as Suffolk.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. edd

    The irony of it is that if you piss off amnesty, they're automatically precluded from doing anything remotely cruel in revenge. I'd say they're quite a good organisation to piss off. ("good" being the wrong word, probably). The worst you can expect is a strongly worded letter.

    It's like eddie izzard talking about the meek and how they're not actually inheriting the earth:
    "Is it alright if we just put blessed are the meek, and drop the rest?"
    "What, not inherit the earth? Yes, yes I think we're all fine with that, thank you."

    Not that I don't think they're right almost all the time and this dude in suffolk is a douche. I'm just saying, when it comes to violent bearded retribution, they're no greenpeace.

    10 May 2006, 15:49

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