Tag Archives: #UK

The UK Human Rights Petition #UKHRpetition

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This is post is for those folk who have encountered the petition calling for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, to provide us with the formal procedures that need completing in order to formally open an investigation into multiple breaches of Human Rights law in the UK. You can find the petition here:

Letter to the ICC at the Hague re potentially criminal breaches of Human Rights in the UK

This post is designed to explain the thought processes behind the request and provide background information for those who are interested in learning more.

 

Bl--KS2CIAAb5UzThis is not the only petition of its kind – I ‘borrowed’ the idea from another initiative and I would urge you to sign this petition too:

Letter to the ICC at the Hague re Mistreatment of the Disabled and Sick

Our own seeks to complement, not compete with, the efforts of other UK activists. In the case of the mistreatment of sick and disabled people, we share the belief that there is clear prima facie evidence that crimes against humanity ARE being committed by the UK government. If the petition on behalf of the sick/disabled is successful at the ICC, our petition – Jayne Linney’s & mine – aims to draw attention to the fact that this is NOT a single issue. The problem appears to extend right across our society with regard to the UK government’s treatment of the British people and seems to impact mostly upon those who fail to meet current ‘standards of social acceptance’. This ‘standard’, in practice, seems to ensure that only the interests of predominately financially-wealthy, white-skinned men carry power and influence in social decision-making, regardless of the consequences to those outside it. Certainly, the present front-bench of UK government and our mainstream media reflects this practice in real terms.

 

Please note my careful use of language here. There is a reason for this. If our claim that multiple breaches of Human Rights are systemically occurring in the UK is not to be dismissed as mere conjecture, the judgement has to come from a properly formed and recognised ‘body’ – the International Criminal Court meets this criteria. Additionally, it is for those with recognised social responsibility in the matter to present any evidence for judgement: Mrs Bensouda meets this requirement. Finally, any judgement, if it is to meet Human Rights standards itself, MUST come about as the result of a fair trial. This is the Law. In my long experience as an activist, it simply does not ‘do’ to challenge criminal breaches of the Law by breaking the law ourselves… unless and until all proper and recognised legal processes have been fully exhausted and have failed to correct the problem. With regard to potential government breaches of Human Rights law in the UK, we have yet to exhaust all lawful avenues to resolution and it therefore falls to activists to ensure that we remain lawful in our opposition to suspected criminal behaviour. We have to pass the test of ‘reasonableness’.

 

BjhaBDKIQAA0u_ZPolitical discourse in the UK, and led by government, appears to have manifested a furious intolerance of people ‘othered’ by current British social processes and this is being reflected within our mainstream media. It is not just the sick and disabled who are affected: women, people of colour, poor people, jobless, prisoners… the list is huge! I simply cannot to justice to all those affected in one blog-post. Nor is it humanly possible for two women to represent these issues for everyone affected by what is occurring.

 

It is this last point that informs our petition. Each and every group or individual affected by the current political climate in Britain knows their case far better than anyone else. We know the detail how we are impacted and affected. I believe that if we can persuade the ICC prosecutor to consider that fundamental and criminal breaches to British peoples’ Human Rights may be occurring and is worthy of a full investigation, our aim is to make it possible for each affected group to submit their evidence directly rather than having it funneled through processes that might exclude vital details from already misunderstood and silenced people.

 

Whether this is possible or practical, I don’t know, but I believe it is vital to make the attempt because thousands of people have already died and are still dying. I count myself as one who has been ‘marked’ for death, so I have a personal interest in this petition’s success. So do many other people – I know I am not alone.

 

Both Jayne and I will keep you updated on our progress. In the meantime, if you believe that our initiative could be truly effective, please sign BOTH petitions above and share them with those you know are already impacted by present UK government policies.

 

Thank you for any help and support you are willing to share.

 

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Related posts

Let’s Talk – Challenging Oppression through Honesty

Let’s Talk: Challenging Oppression with Evidence (with tweets)

Let’s Talk – Challenging Oppression through Law

 

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Ecuador and Assange – The straw that’s breaking the global camel’s back?

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At the time of his appeal to the UK Supreme Court, I blogged about the impact its decision would have upon the collective:

“The death-dealers need to realise that the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Julian Assange has little to do with legalities anymore, even if it might appear that way. It is about which path the Heart-Energy takes now. In much the same way as Anonymous is an idea not an individual, so what is occurring around Assange and Manning is an emotion triggered by an absence of honest truth – the instinct to do what is in harmony with the planet. Death-dealers may think they can ‘take out’ these individuals, but you can’t kill the Spirit and every time you try, the Spirit grows stronger and becomes more powerful. She can’t be evaded or avoided because this Spirit resides in everything we are and everything we see around us. If Julian Assange is being judged for his choices so, too, will you be judged and the consequence of all our collective choices is in manifestation now. I don’t know how this will happen but happen it will because the Assange River has just flowed into the Heart-Spirit Ocean and no human thing will be able halt the tides of change.”

 

As events have unfolded, the essence of my intuition has proven accurate in some profoundly unexpected ways. At the time of writing this, Julian Assange has become a citizen of Ecuador having successfully sought diplomatic asylum in their UK embassy. The Latin-American country took a close look at his case and concluded that there was something very wrong in the way the laws were being applied to the whistleblower. The subsequent and extremely undiplomatic actions of the UK Foreign Office have more than demonstrated that the countries involved have a case to answer and that Ecuador has been largely correct in its view about the human rights issues involved. The US, UK and Sweden have been playing fast and loose with their own laws in ways that are now apparent to anyone who is willing to look and we are at the stage where some countries, particularly in Latin-America, are taking collective steps to put the issues involved onto the international agenda.

At the same time, Assange’s actions in seeking asylum have opened the global Pandora’s Box concerning the gender politics around rape. To be clear, Assange has not been charged with any crime. There are questions to answer and he has made it clear that he is willing to be interviewed but not in Sweden because he fears extradition to the USA on unrelated matters. The allegations of sexual misconduct fall into deeply unclear categories as far as the patriarchal mind is concerned. Regarding the man himself, I find myself profoundly ambivalent. I have a deep personal antipathy towards cults of personality that apparently exonerate bad behaviour because the individual has done something elsewhere for benefit of the collective. In my own mind, this applies to everyone not just Assange. Nevertheless, if potentially criminal behaviour is to be subject to examination, that individual has the legal human right to be treated fairly. Sweden, whose record on women’s rights falls far short of equality under law, has some very serious questions to answer in its handling of the allegations against Assange. Whilst publicly denying it, the US has been shown to have prepared secret charges against him created in equally secret courts which, potentially, could result in life imprisonment or execution whilst publicly denying this.  The UK has been exposed as willing to arbitrarily tear up international diplomatic agreements in this global witch-hunt against a single individual. In short, all three countries have been found blameworthy of manipulating facts to the point of downright lies. Anyone caught lying in such situations can be reasonably regarded as unreliable and their evidence untrustworthy. In the circumstances, Assange’s right to a fair investigation – let alone a fair trial – seems to have disappeared altogether and we find ourselves in a global battle between truth, lies and the law.

In my earlier blog, I’d described the case as the Assange River which had now become part of the Heart-Spirit Ocean and this has clearly proven to be true because it has torn open the gender politics of rape on a global scale. As a woman, some of the rape-dismissive comments made by Assange supporters have been truly terrifying. Apparently some men think their desires are justifiable regardless of whether the woman consents or is capable of consenting. If Assange is guilty of such behaviour, he is certainly not alone in his attitude. In such minds, women become a commodity where a man can freely help himself and the levels of astonishment that we might actually object to being treated that way is, in my opinion, obscene. The polarisation of attitudes in the case has become as vicious as the pursuit of the man involved. Some Assange supporters dismiss the women’s claims as unimportant or a diversionary tactic. Others have accused anyone wishing to explore these issues as a ‘rape apologist’. Both viewpoints try to impose simplistic solutions on a highly complex problem and neither contributes to humane, let alone legal, solutions. The world finds itself caught up in some very deep and destructive tides.

As a woman, the debate about what constitutes rape has been highly educational. The subtleties of the Assange case have made me realise that, under these emerging definitions, I am amongst those who have been raped in the past and I have certainly been subject to violence for my refusal to consent to sex. I didn’t report it, as many women don’t, because in practice the UK legal system fails to recognise such nuances. It is highly unlikely that my experience would have ever been taken seriously, let alone seen charges or the inside of a courtroom because these only manifest if prosecutors think there is a chance of winning. UK statistics concerning rape cases tell the sadly all-too-familiar stories about what happens to victims who do pursue much clearer cases through the courts. I don’t know anything about the Swedish legal system but I know the country doesn’t do well on a woman’s property rights, so I am inclined to be cynical about the motives in pursuing Assange purely on the basis of these allegations. I am not questioning the complaints of the women involved or their right to have their experience examined under law but I do wonder if their stories would have been given as much attention had the perpetrator not been Julian Assange.

In the global pursuit of the man himself, the governments involved have now made it clear that the subtleties and nuances involved do matter when it comes to the meaning of consent and the ability to consent. According to this interesting about-face, Assange must be prosecuted (anyone who thinks I am mistaken about this is invited to consider the likelihood of Sweden interviewing him and determining that there is no case to answer). So regardless of the case itself, I am deeply grateful to the women involved for bringing these subtleties to the international stage because their complaint has expanded the issue into other important principles.

For example, the US complaint against Assange is that he released previously secret information without their consent. They had said ‘No’. One might feel sorry for the US had its own past behaviour clearly demonstrated it’s tendency to override the democratic ‘No’ of many other countries. As a serial rapist of the democratic process, the US has been found guilty on numerous occasions. Under the auspices of the International Declaration on Human Rights, the USA could be regarded not only as a serial rapist but also a highly unrepentant one at that. The actions authorised by the UK government for invading the Ecuadorian Embassy in order to recapture Assange clearly manifest an intention to override the international diplomatic ‘No’ against the country involved. Transferred the realm of sexual politics, this could certainly be regarded as conspiracy to rape. The questions arising from Sweden’s actions and Australia’s inaction point to the possibility that they could be accessories to the rape of international law. Truly, this is the Heart-Spirit Ocean of global morality and the tsunami of Assange is laying bare a criminal level of intent by those who deem themselves to be international upholders of the law. As far as I can see, the only thing apparently being upheld by the US, UK and Sweden is the lawlessness of rapist mentality and their public statements of denial sound like every rapist who has ever been publicly accused of that crime.

The case of Assange stretches from the personal, between the man and these two women, to the international and criminal abuses of power inflicted upon the world by unlawful attitudes that turn people, and especially women, into commodities. It highlights prevailing male attitudes towards the accessibility of women’s bodies regardless of our consent. Transferred to the international arena, it highlights some ‘first-world’ attitudes regarding the accessibility of ‘third world’ countries, equally without their consent.

Had it not been for the evidence produced by Wikileaks and other activists in raising our collective awareness of the true nature of this so-called ‘diplomacy’, the chances of Assange and Ecuador being ‘raped’ by this mindset probably would have been very high indeed.  We can be grateful to the global attention created by outcry from both extremes of the Assange polarity that prevented this additional outrage from occurring. But supposing the world hadn’t been watching? In my own mind, I can almost hear these ‘diplomatic rapists’ saying to their victims that they could protest all they wanted to, no-one was going to believe them.

In all the reports I’ve heard about the case against Assange, I have yet to hear him accused of that.