The Voice of Oppression

2014-06-13 12:09


“Everyone is Equal before the Law, Everyone has the Right not to be subjected to Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Punishment or Torture, Everyone has the Right to Life, Liberty & Dignity…”

These are just a few Human Rights which manifests itself in most International Human Rights Law Charters and is by no means conclusive. Human Rights which are expressly guaranteed to all human beings invoked by virtue of being human embodied in Charters in terms of which States’ have Ratified and Acceded to and have given an undertaking to give effect to these rights without discrimination based on race, gender, religion, birth, status and nation, amongst others, with further Protocols established to give effect to the rights not contained in these Charters.

But how often are these Charters and Protocols utilised effectively for the purposes for which they were created? Looking back at the world we live in, the infringement of these very basic rights are seen on a daily basis with no one in the Ranks of Authority so much as batting an eyelid. While we all live in our Free Country and celebrate the many years of democracy and freedom, others are living in a world where Life is a War and every day is a Battle.

A simple example of States’ failure to give effect to these Human Rights under International Human Rights Law is Guantanamo Bay (“Gitmo”). The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a US military prison located in Cuba. It was established in January 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold, without charge or trial, detainees captured all over the world as part of the War on Terror. Gitmo is notorious for its abuses and denial of due process. Inmates of Gitmo have been denied their rights to life, liberty, dignity and have certainly been the primary subjects of Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Punishment and Torture. The US being in direct contravention of the very Charters and Protocols ratified and acceded to, to protect and promote these rights and voluntarily limiting their sovereignty by doing so. Their defence? The adoption of Anti-Terrorism laws, the name behind which reveals “Anti-Islamic Laws”. Is this not discrimination based on religion and an advocacy of hatred toward Muslims and Islam? Surely the detainees of Gitmo and many others suffering (Syria, Palestine, and Africa) at the behest of others fall within the definition of “Everyone” and “Every Human Being” and should be afforded the same rights which we have acquired freely?

International Human Rights Laws, while they look very appealing on paper, is yet to win my confidence until the application of the enforcement mechanisms contained therein are used effectively to achieve world peace, security and justice for all.

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