The Iranian authorities have waged a ruthless campaign of repression over the past three decades against students and academics because of their peaceful activism, views or beliefs.
I spoke with Alyona Minkovski at Huffington Post Live about Amnesty International’s latest report on repression in Iran’s higher education system: “Silenced, Expelled, Imprisoned: Repression of Students and Academics in Iran.”
You can watch the clip here.
“Amnesty believes the U.S. can also take a more aggressive approach in demanding that a certain set of international standards be met.
“Members of Congress and the White House need to incorporate labor rights in [the U.S.’s] bilateral relationship with Qatar,” said Sunjeev Bery, Amnesty [International USA]’s Middle East and North Africa advocacy director, to msnbc. “Sporting events are frequently used as opportunities for host government to rebrand the country. It’s important that the 2022 World Cup not become a situation where massive human rights abuses are swept under the rug.”
“The president’s silence demonstrates once again that when it comes to human rights, the U.S. holds repressive allies to a much lower standard than adversaries,” said Sunjeev Bery, Amnest International USA’s advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Bloomberg: Obama Seeks to Reassure Saudi King on Iran Talks, Syria
March 29, 2014
On Wednesday, I’ll be speaking about human rights in Bahrain at a DC panel organized by Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB).
More info here, or see below:
Under the Universal Periodic Review, every country in the world goes through a human rights review by its peers in the United Nations. How has Bahrain fared under its review? How well has Bahrain’s government implemented the recommendations of governments and civil society?
On Wednesday, I will get into the details when it comes to this repressive ally of the United States.
Last weekend, Edward Snowden made a surprise appearance via video link at Amnesty International USA’s conference in Chicago.
Snowden’s host, Glenn Greenwald, joined in from Brazil:
Notes on U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing
Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Time: 02:15 PM
Location: S-116 Capitol Building
Attended / compiled by Anna McMahon, Intern, Middle East/North Africa Advocacy Department, Amnesty International USA
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Presiding: Senator Menendez
Summary: Unanimous passage of Resolution 384 from Committee.
“Expressing the sense of the Senate concerning the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries, resulting humanitarian and development challenges, and the urgent need for a political solution to the crisis.”
Continue reading “U.S. Senate Committee passes humanitarian aid resolution on Syria”
March 31, 2014
By Adam Coogle
Human Rights Watch
US President Barack Obama left Riyadh on the afternoon of March 29 apparently without raising human rights issues during talks with Saudi officials. The trip came at a time when Saudi Arabia has scaled up its persecution of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists – including one who is expected to receive a long prison sentence next week; deported thousands of undocumented migrants who have been detained in terrible conditions; and continues its systematic discrimination against women.
Although billed as a “fence-mending” trip, it is hard not to wonder what it would take for Obama – or any senior US official – to shed some light on these pervasive abuses.
Continue reading “HRW: Dispatches: “Obama Refuses to Talk Human Rights in Saudi Arabia””
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Hearing: World Bank Lending and Human Rights
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
HVC-210, Washington, DC
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on World Bank lending and human rights.
Although the World Bank has contributed to the advancement of human rights, it currently lacks procedures to track and measure such contribution. More importantly, there are no safeguard policies in place to help the Bank avoid or mitigate adverse human rights impacts resulting from its projects. In the context of the Bank’s unprecedented comprehensive review of its environmental and social safeguard policies and overall restructuring under the new leadership of President Jim Yong Kim, the hearing will examine how the Bank can be more effective in supporting human rights protections in its activities. Given the World Bank’s considerable influence in the development community and its leadership among multilateral organizations, the hearing will also focus on the role of the United States in strengthening the consistency between Bank policy and U.S. law and policy. Continue reading “A Hearing Worth Attending: World Bank Lending and Human Rights”
Washington Examiner: Obama refuses to raise human rights issues with Saudis
By Joel Gehrke | March 31, 2014
“…It wasn’t just Republicans angry with Obama. Amnesty International accused him of showing hypocrisy on human rights issues.
“The president’s silence demonstrates once again that when it comes to human rights, the U.S. holds repressive allies to a much lower standard than adversaries,” Amnesty International’s Sunjeev Bery said. “On Saturday, Saudi Arabian women activists will defy the government’s ban on women driving. It is the only such ban in the world. Through Amnesty International’s campaign, thousands of people in the U.S. have shown their solidarity with these brave women. Unfortunately, White House officials, including the president, will not be among them.”
McClatchy Washington Bureau: Obama honors Saudi woman’s fight against abuse, heads back to Washington
By Lesley Clark | March 29, 2014
Sunjeev Bery, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for Middle East and North Africa, said the group was deeply disappointed that Obama didn’t raise human rights issues with the Saudi leader or speak about it publicly.
“The President’s silence demonstrates once again that when it comes to human rights, the U.S. holds repressive allies to a much lower standard than adversaries,” Bery said.
Amnesty noted that 70 members of Congress had urged Obama to bring up the “significant government repression” facing Saudis.