Cutting through the bullshit.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Festival of the repressed

Natan Sharansky, veteran of nine years in the Soviet Gulag, writes in the International Herald Triibune that he, Vaclav Havel, and José Maria Aznar had convened a conference in Prague over the weekend ‘whose goal was to determine the best way to help support the spread of democracy and human rights’. Gracing the proceedings was none other than ‘President George W. Bush, who put the democracy agenda back on the world stage after 9/11’ who ‘came to Prague to renew the commitment he made in his second inaugural address to work toward "ending tyranny in our world"’.

Among those attending were ‘voices courageously devoted to the non-violent struggle for human rights - including Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt, Garry Kasparov of Russia, Alexander Milinkevich of Belarus, Junning Liu of China, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam of Sudan and Mamoun Homsy of Syria’.

Curiously, he doesn’t mention whether Azmi Bisharat was there.

Only in the last three months, more than 20 democratic dissidents were sent to prisons in Syria, Cuba, Vietnam and other countries without drawing international rebuke or sanction.

Meanwhile, you don’t even have to be a dissident, or Israeli, or even in Israel to be sent to and Israeli prison without charge and above all ‘without drawing international rebuke or sanction’. Just a few weeks ago,

Israeli forces seized a Palestinian cabinet minister and 32 other Hamas officials in overnight [24 May] West Bank sweeps designed to intensify pressure on the Islamic faction.

Not to mention the ones they abducted nearly a year ago, on 29 June 2006.

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