A gathering of the tortured in Geneva shames the UN Human Rights Council by giving victims not perpetrators a platform to tell their story
24 February 2013
The speakers were never meant to live and tell their stories. Their torturers expected them to either submit or die. But somehow these men and women managed to escape from their dungeons and concentration camps to gather at the seat of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
They came to bear witness to the crimes committed by some of the very members of this esteemed UN body. Naturally, at the Palace of the Nations, where over 80 international officials, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, will over the coming days address the Council, there will be no space for these brave freedom fighters.
This is why UN Watch, together with over 20 other NGOs, organized the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy last week. Now in its fifth year, the annual summit does the sort of work the UN shies away from. It gives the victims, not the perpetrators, of state terror a podium.
While the international dignitaries will speak under the auspices of Council Vice President Mauritania, the Geneva Summit participants heard from a former subject of the North African country—Abidine Merzough, a man born as a slave to slave parents.
As unfathomable as it may sound, some 20 percent of Mauritanians, about 600,000 people, are still slaves. Mauritania uses Sharia to justify a racist system where Arabs exploit the country’s black African population and which “runs counter to Islam’s humanist principles,” Merzough explained:
“From early on, people are taught in religious schools that slaves are the masters’ properties, who are passed along as inheritance and where the condition of slavery is transmitted from parent to child, where women slaves must submit their bodies to their masters.”
Merzough’s father, a modern-day Spartacus, rebelled against his status and led slave uprisings. This is why Merzough, the son of illiterate slaves, was able to attend school and study in Germany, where he works as an engineer…
The article continues at The Commentator.
H/T Blazing Cat Fur