[mili]war crimes and impunity/accountability

A global justice gap is being made worse by power politics despite a landmark year for international justice, said Amnesty International today in its annual assessment of human rights worldwide. Launching Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World's Human Rights, which documents abuses in 159 countries, the organization said that powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.

Robert Fisk, The Independent newspaper's Middle East correspondent, gave the following address to the fifth Al Jazeera annual forum on May 23: Power and the media are not just about cosy relationships between journalists and political leaders, between editors and presidents. They are not just about the parasitic-osmotic relationship between supposedly honourable reporters and the nexus of power that runs between White House and state department and Pentagon, between Downing Street and the foreign office and the ministry of defence. In the western context, power and the media is about words - and the use of words.

'Women are not just victims of war, as some aspects of their experiences are empowering and can be used as a resource for healing and transformation’. War is a gendered process. Post war is no different. It may be a cliché to say that in Sri Lanka as elsewhere in the world, the most visible and harmful impact of 30 years of war has been on women, but that is the reality. As men joined militant groups or the armed forces, were arrested, abducted, disappeared, or took flight to safer locations outside the community or the country, women were left behind to cope with fractured families and communities; multiple displacement, transition in alien spaces such as camps for the displaced; or resettlement in distant and unfamiliar regions.

I am back in Baghdad after seven years away, writes Hadani Ditmars who returns to find a broken Baghdad.Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence.Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As Government ministries remain feeding troughs for cronyism and sectarian patronage, national reconciliation remains elusive.

Une publication de Alternatives, une organisation non gouvernementale de solidarité et de développement international fondée en 1994. En Irak, Alternatives met en oeuvre un programme qui vise à favoriser l’émergence d’une société civile dynamique et de médias pluralistes et indépendants, capables de promouvoir les droits économiques, sociaux, politiques et culturels: www.alternatives.ca

The current wave of assaults on Israeli peace and human rights organizations, intended to silence and restrict us, only convinces us of the importance of our work and of the impact it has on the Israeli establishment, write the Coalition of Women for Peace. The past year has seen many encouraging developments: The BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement has been growing and “To ourselves, Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis, we need to say: We must not lose hope. We will continue this struggle until the Palestinian people are free and justice is done. And to the people of Gaza and all the Palestinian people we say: Do not despair, we will end the occupation!” - Abir Kopty, CWP activist. The CWP 2009 report is attached below.

A surgical strike on Israel's wallet could end the occupation, writes Matthew A. Taylor in Haaretz: What on earth will it take to persuade Israel to leave the occupied territories? Sometimes it seems as if nothing will work. For eight years now, the Arab Peace Initiative, which early Zionist leaders would have seen as a dream-come-true, has been collecting dust. Its terms include two states based on the pre-1967 borders, a mutually agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis, and normalized diplomatic relations between Israel and the entire Arab world. What once would have appeared to many to be Israel's salvation now seems impossible given Israel's entrenched colonial position in the West Bank and the settlers' political power. Update on Israel/Palestine: Endorse UC Berkeley bid to divest from companies linked to Israeli occupation

In the first of a two-part conversation, Deniz Kandiyoti and Gita Sahgal explore the challenges posed by the international conjuncture following the “war on terror” for gender justice and women’s rights.

For the first time in the University of California history, the UC Berkeley Student Senate has approved a bill to divest from two US companies in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and to Israel’s siege and bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The Senate bill directs both the UC Regents and the Student Government to divest from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies*. In addition, the bill creates a task force to look into furthering a socially responsible investment policy for the UC system. However, the bill has been vetoed, and in their campaign to override the veto on 14 April, led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Student Senate are up against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] that has launched a drive to take over student government at the UC Berkeley.

Son visage paraîtrait innocent, avec ses lèvres boudeuses, ses joues roses, l'air juvénile, si les clichés où elle apparaît ne la montraient brandissant crânement un pistolet ou une grenade : à 17 ans, elle fut probablement l'une des deux kamikazes du métro de Moscou. "Il a été établi à quasiment 100 % que c'est bien elle qui a commis l'acte terroriste", a indiqué, vendredi 2 avril, à l'agence Interfax une source des forces de l'ordre au Daguestan, région pauvre et reculée du Caucase du Nord, dont la jeune fille était originaire.

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