November 17, 1994 |
As he stood on the white porch of Bogor Palace to announce a trade-opening agreement for the Pacific Rim, Indonesian President Suharto was asked by a U.S. reporter about his country's human-rights abuses in East Timor. Suharto ignored the question. Hours later, Chinese President Jiang Zemin was also pressed about human- rights problems in his country. He gave his pat answer: Nations should not meddle in each other's domestic affairs. Try as they might not to mix business with human rights as they discuss regional trade here this week, Asian leaders are having a hard time keeping the two issues separate.
October 16, 1986
In the United Nations, and among voluntary organizations worldwide, pressure for governments to respect human rights is growing. But each year hundreds of thousands of people are still being tortured, killed or detained for their political beliefs, according to the human rights group Amnesty International, in its latest annual report. Amnesty said that at least 1,125 individuals in 44 countries were killed by their governments in 1985. Prisoners were tortured in Chile and Cambodia, executed by the hundreds in Iran and Iraq, tortured, abducted or killed in police custody in South Africa and killed under Soviet occupation in Afghanistan and in many other countries.
September 1, 2010
By Roger Pilon When we think of human-rights problems, most of us imagine arbitrary arrests, political repression, religious persecution, torture, show trials, censorship, and the like. In America, we don't often have those kinds of problems. Even the current controversy over an Islamic center near ground zero isn't about the right to build there; it's about the wisdom of doing so. All of which made it surprising to learn from the Obama State Department that America does indeed have human-rights problems.
July 31, 2001
Since 1980, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) has taken dozens of trips abroad to fight for the rights of those suffering under repressive regimes (Inquirer, July 23). His dedication to international human rights is commendable. He is not to be commended, however, on his own contributions to repressive regimes and human rights violations: his forceful opposition to safe and legal abortion in developing countries. If Smith were truly fighting for freedom of speech, he wouldn't ban overseas organizations from telling women information that could save their lives.
April 6, 2004 |
CONDOLEEZZA Rice will be on the hot seat this week, fielding questions from the 9/11 commission. Unlike Richard Clarke, former anti-terrorism czar under the Clinton and Bush administrations, she doesn't have a book to peddle, so I don't anticipate any juicy soundbites, maudlin apologies to families who lost loved one on the day of terror or self-serving flip-flops. Say what you will, Condi is genuine, a woman of intelligence whose loyalty and competence are undisputed. Disagree with her positions, perhaps, but mistrust her motives?
May 6, 1988 |
Local producer Joseph Franklin says he's been waiting all year for this one: a concert titled Voices of Dissent, which his group, Relache, will perform here tomorrow and in Washington on May 27. Essentially a repeat of the group's favorite program of last season, Voices of Dissent is a lineup of scores whose focus is international human rights violations. John King's "(corn)" from the suite Immediate Music, and his Current Music "(constitutionmusic)," will be performed by the composer on steel violin.
June 22, 1993 |
In Vienna this week, representatives of every country on earth are in conference on human rights. The conference's principal aim - as is to be expected of any conclave of 183 governments, the majority of which are despotic - is to destroy the human-rights idea. Washington sent Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Vienna to hold the fort. The results were mixed. The destroyers, led by China, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam and other paragons of human rights, are not very subtle. Their strategy is to shred the idea of human rights by having the world deny that they are universal and by insisting that they "must be considered in the context of . . . national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds.
January 12, 1989 |
Is Moscow a proper site for the highest level review conference on human rights mandated by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe? It is - if you accept the cemetery at Bitburg as deserving the laurels of a U.S. president. The administration's willingness to let Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev play host to such a conference in 1991 brings to mind Elie Wiesel's brief but eloquent plea on the eve of President Reagan's departure for Germany. Wiesel said: "This is not your place, Mr. President.
August 18, 1995 |
U.N. Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, hinting strongly that Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit China next month, said yesterday that the U.S. delegation would use an international conference in Beijing as a pulpit to decry China's human-rights abuses. "I'm not a diplomat," Albright said. "I'm somebody who speaks her mind. I'm not going to mince words in China. I'm going to say what we believe. " Albright said she had no plans to meet with Chinese officials to demand the release of human-rights activist Harry Wu. But she disagreed with Wu's wife, who has said that a trip to the conference by Clinton would be an unearned, symbolic reward to Wu's captors.
September 2, 2001 |
Amnesty International, founded 40 years ago, was almost immediately dubbed "one of the larger lunacies of our time. " The crazy idea: Collect information on people incarcerated in prison solely for their political views and then, by means of an army of volunteer activists, bombard the offending governments with letters, postcards and telegrams, calling for the prisoners' swift release. Critics called it "subversive" and "an agent of Satan. " Heavyweights including Ayatollah Khomieni, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Augusto Pinochet, Margaret Thatcher, and Jacques Chirac tried to squash it. In the 1990s and after, some have argued that Amnesty has become respectable, a part of the international establishment.