30 September, 2015

Saudi Arabia and the United Nations Human Rights Council

According to Amnesty International, 175 individuals were executed in Saudi Arabia in the period August 2014 to June 2015.  Recent reports state that they intend to execute (by beheading) a 17 year old male (Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr) and display his crucified body - Saudi Arabia plans to crucify teen as is ascends to UN Human Rights Council Chair.

Such barbarity is utterly incompatible with human rights and should be condemned internationally.

Instead, we see that Saudi Arabia is to head the Consultative Group to the President of the UN Human Rights Council.  The Consultative Group comprises 5 Ambassadors - UN Watch 20th September.  The Group has the power to select applicants from around the world for more than 77 positions dealing with country-specific and thematic human rights mandates.

Reports that the UK Government supported Saudi Arabia becoming part of the UNHRC are particularly disturbing - The Guardian 29th September.

In his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour Party Leader),

15 September, 2015

Nations using drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or "drones" are in use by several nations - The Five most deadly drone powers in the world.

In August 2015, a drone was used by (or on behalf of) the British government to kill a British citizen who was in Syria - BBC News 7th September.  Irrespective of the legality of that killing, there ought to be serious concern that this technology will spread into the hands of unfriendly regimes (including non-State actors) with obvious consequences.

It has recently been forecast that every country will have armed drones within 10 years

With regard to Targeted Killings conducted by the USA see Council on Foreign Relations 23rd May 2013