Monday, October 13, 2014

Biased Human Rights Report on Ukraine

Biased Human Rights Report on Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is gone. She served from September 2008 through August 2014.

She won't be missed. She disgraced the office she held. She lacked credibility altogether.

She served Western interests. She was a reliable imperial tool. She buried truth.

She irresponsibly bashed Assad. She blamed him for Western-sponsored death squad crimes. 

She published misinformation on Obama's war on Syria. She supported illegitimate Ukrainian fascist putschists.

Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein replaced her. He's Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid's son. He heads the so-called Royal Houses of Iraq and Syria.

He represents business as usual. From 2000 - 2007, he was Jordan's UN envoy.

From 2007 - 2010, he was Amman's ambassador to America. In January 2014, he was Security Council president. He served as chairman of two SC committees.

He's Jordan's so-called "Sherpa" on nuclear security. In 2011, he chaired the International Criminal Court's search efforts for a new pro-Western prosecutor. 

He held various other establishment posts. He picked up straightaway where Pillay left off. He was chosen for that purpose.

He hasn't disappointed. His agenda reflects double standards. Duplicity dots his rhetoric. He lied saying:

"There is no justification ever, for the degrading, the debasing or the exploitation of other human beings - on whatever basis: nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or caste."

His job is serving wealth, power and privilege. Claiming otherwise is willful deception.

His newly released human rights report on Ukraine didn't surprise. It covers the August 18 - September 16 period. 

It's hugely biased. It largely points finger the wrong way. It mostly pays lip service to Kiev high crimes. On the one hand, it said without detailed elaboration:

"During the reporting period, international humanitarian law, including the principles of military necessity, distinction, proportionality and precaution continued to be violated by armed groups and some units and volunteer battalions under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces."

"(B)eatings, poor nutrition and lack of medical assistance" were reported. So were "enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention(s) and ill-treatment allegedly perpetrated by members of the volunteer battalions."

Especially Aydar, Dnepr-1, Kiev-1 and Kiev 2. Since so-called "anti-terrorist" operations began in late August, over 1,000 Ukrainians were lawlessly detained.

On fabricated charges. Unsubstantiated allegations about being "militants and subversives.

UNHCR's report was its 6th on Ukraine. It's based on information supplied by the so-called UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission (HRMMU).

It calls Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters "armed groups." It ignores their democratic struggle.

It said in mid-August, government forces regained control of some Southeastern areas. They restored "law and order."

Through shelling, bombing and mass murder. UNHCR didn't explain. 

It lied claiming "(g)overnment ministries and volunteer groups began restoring essential services, clearing away rubble and unexploded ordnance, and rebuilding damaged areas."

It turned truth on its head saying residents in some areas got "social welfare benefits and pensions that had not been paid since April when the city first fell under the control of the armed groups."

A litany of additional Big Lies followed. False allegations about Russian forces in Ukraine. Fighting government troops.

Along with Russian citizens, former and current Russian soldiers on leave.

It said escalated conflict killed at least 3,517 people. It reported "indiscriminate shelling in residential areas and the use of heavy weaponry."

It attributed "some" of it to Ukrainian armed forces. Doing so largely pointed fingers the wrong way.

Kiev bears full responsibility for war on its own citizens. Washington shares it. So do rogue EU states.

UNHRC didn't explain. In late August, so-called Trilateral Contact Group representatives met in Minsk. 

On September 5, ceasefire terms were agreed on. To be implemented straightaway.

Conditions on the ground are fluid. Extremely fragile. Skirmishes, shelling and fighting continue.

"(T)here are reports that the Ukrainian military has been shelled by the armed groups many times," it claimed.

False! Kiev National Guard hardline elements and extremist so-called volunteer battalions bear full responsibility.

Area freedom fighters respond in self-defense. Doing so is a universal right. UNHCR didn't explain.

Misinformation, deception and Big Lies substituted for truth and full disclosure. Similar to UNHCR's previous reports on Ukraine.

Largely pointing fingers the wrong way. Blaming courageous freedom fighters for Kiev's crimes.

UNHCR's new report lied claiming "(a)rmed groups (continue) terroriz(ing) the population in areas under their control, pursuing killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment and other serious human rights abuses, including destruction of housing and seizure of property." 

"They abducted people for ransom and forced labour and to use them in exchange for their fighters held by the Ukrainian authorities." 

"They also continued to practice forced mobilisation of civilians and threatened the local population with executions." 

"Reports also continued of parallel governing structures being set up in the 'Donetsk and Luhansk peoples' republics.' "

"An unlawful 'criminal code' was adopted by the so-called 'presidium of the council of ministers' of the 'Donetsk people's republic…' "

It "entered 'into force' on 18 August. Modeled on the criminal code of the Russian Federation, its provisions include the establishment of military tribunals to implement death sentences to be applied in cases of aggravated murder."

Exaggerations, distortions and Big Lies substituted for explaining what's actually going on.

It bears repeating. Kiev bears full responsibility for months of high crimes. Washington supports and encourages them.

Claiming otherwise is false. Willful deception. Freedom fighters are maliciously blamed for Kiev high crimes against peace.

UNHCR paid lip service alone to their human rights violations. It said government officials "need to exercise more control over (its) forces…to ensure accountability for any violations and crimes committed by their members."

It failed to say high crimes against peace reflect official Kiev policy. They're not happenstance conflict exceptions.

They're ongoing daily. Civilians suffer most. Months of conflict took a terrible toll. No end of fighting looms.

Ceasefire terms are largely illusory. Kiev's military is regrouping. It's rearming.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said doing so violates ceasefire terms.

"All agreements that have been recently reached - those in Minsk on September 5 and 19 - clearly stipulate the necessity of a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry and concrete steps in disarmament, rather than boosting up the strength of Kiev-led forces," he said.

US and other Western arms supplies are "not something that is needed to ensure political settlement in Ukraine." 

They sabotage one. They assured continued conflict, instability and many more casualties.

At the same time, Russia's Foreign Ministry raised concerns about catastrophic Southeastern Ukrainian humanitarian conditions.

Especially with winter approaching, it said. Residents lack adequate food, water, medical care and housing.

Russia alone provides humanitarian aid. Despite Kiev's efforts to block it with full US support.

UNHCR's report criticized Moscow for doing the right thing. It lied claiming international law was violated.

Russia went out of its way to comply. Inspections showed vital aid alone was supplied. No weapons or efforts to assist area self-defense forces.

UNHCR didn't explain. Or cover ongoing Kiev state terror.

Its responsibility for Maidan killings, Odessa's massacre, other egregious human rights abuses, downing MH 17, and hundreds of murdered Southeastern Ukrainians buried in unmarked graves.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich commented, saying:

UNHCR's report lacked "objectivity in (its) portrayal of events in Ukraine, making selective use of information to reach politically motivated conclusions." 

"We were perplexed by the absurd allegations of Russia’s 'direct intervention' in the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, based on information provided by NGOs." 

"Let's recall that the International Red Cross has officially designated it a 'non-international armed conflict.' " 

"The mission's attempts to deny the obvious only serve to further undermine confidence in its conclusions."

They largely have no credibility whatever. They turn truth on its head. They suppress what's ongoing. What's most important to know.

"While (UNHCR's) report acknowledges the deteriorating humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine, Russia’s humanitarian assistance to Donetsk and Lugansk is portrayed in a negative light, in step with Western propaganda," said Lukashevich.

"Russia's aid deliveries fully complied with international law. Kiev recognised the humanitarian nature of the Russian convoys, and workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) oversaw the distribution of essential supplies to those in need."

Lukashevich hopes future reports will explain what previous ones suppressed.

State-sponsored high crimes against peace "demand an urgent, impartial, unbiased and comprehensive investigation," he stressed.

It's been entirely lacking so far. Whitewash substituted with full US support and encouragement. Accountability remains nowhere in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.