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Human Rights and the Media

Human Rights and Media Coverage

Do you have any personal or professional experience to share?

If you on the other hand have any legal question regarding Human rights and the media, please feel free to ask.

I am currently writing on Human Resources and Human Rights in China and in Denmark, therefore, I would appreciate to get information from these countries. You can also send me photos and we can set up interviews through email or video-confernece.

 

Eliana van de Craats

L.L.M in B. and Trade Law

Human Resouces Consultant

Members: 95
Latest Activity: Jul 16

We Need People for New Human Rights & Development Projects

Dear All,

Please share the link to our new  project's page http://www.wix.com/vandecraatsuk/behindthelens#!portfolio/photostackergallery0=11 among your friends and colleagues.

I hope to count on you to give opportunity for professionals and the public in general to learn and exchange knowledge, ideas, dreams and above all to remind the community of our social responsibility and sensibility regarding global issues and diversity.

Eliana


Human Rights in Pakistan 


Dear Jafri,


Dear Journalists,

 

About human rights of a Media professional and whether should we accept that Media professionals would be treated differently in the different countries in the world:

It is true that some countries have restrictions to Human Rights Laws and although the UN and all other Human Rights institutions try to make it accessible to every human being, one should bear in mind that injustices happen everyday. Therefore, we have a long way to go in order to prevent injustices to happen. It is not an easy task, it is an everyday exercise that we all need to endeavour everyday and not always with a happy-ending.

Nevertheless, if your country has signed the Universal human rights conventions, but in practice misinterpret, limit or abuse freedom of expression, one should have the right to challenge these laws or to request a changing of the laws that limit the right to provide citizens to have access to information.

All media professionals, no matter if they are bloggists or certified journalists, no matter the medium where the information is been published, if written or oral, we all have the same rights to disseminate information.

This is what the United Nations has to say about it:

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the right of all people to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Let us reaffirm our commitment to this bedrock principle of democracy, development and peace. (source: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sgsm13536.doc.htm).

“When Governments repress their people and shield themselves from scrutiny, press freedom is among the most powerful vehicles for exposing misdeeds and upholding public trust. When people face discrimination and marginalization, access to media can give them voice and create a shared awareness of their plight. And in an era of pressing global challenges, the free exchange of information and ideas through the media can connect people and countries in networks of common cause.” (source: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sgsm13536.doc.htm).

I suggest that you as representative of Journalists in Pakistan, collect histories and signatures of Journalists in your country and send a petition or a video, addressing the issues of human rights directlyt to the attention of Mrs. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General.

“Media professionals and owners must be allowed to carry out their work freely and without fear. Only under such conditions can the media fulfil its responsibilities, contributing to democracy and good governance,” she stated. Irina Bokova-UNESCO Director-General. Bokova. (source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40984&Cr=journalist&Cr1=)

The situation in Pakistan

The country's law on blasphemy has been used against journalists.

Most democratic countries in the world have abolished any law related to BLASPHEMY. However, Morocco and other countries have requested the UN to create a resolution to approve a global blasphemy law, in the name of religion and to prevent religious discrimination. Which is a dangerous thing to think of. In Pakistan, such law is very popular and it is still in place. Execution is the penalty for those who infringe Pakistani blasphemy law, a nightmare for people from other non-islamic religians in that country. The same applies to other Islamic countries. In the UK, it was in force until 2008. In the US such a law would be inconstitutional.

Pakistan is a very diverse country, with an almost Homeric level of conflicting issues regarding almost all kind of human subjects. If for one side, it is a country with one of the oldest civilizations and cultures in the world, it is a country which is in desperate need of attention from international communities. Pakistan needs all of us to help the country and its people to adjust to a modern society, trying to find and maintain a balance between its ancient traditions and the rights of its own citizens in a modern world.

Journalists in Pakistan are the heroes of our time. They will help the country in challenging times to find enlightment and the balance needed to unite it is separatist society. Therefore, the Pakistani government should help and protect them from all kind of injustices.

Therefore, the first step to make universal human rights be respected in Pakistan is to abolish its blaspheymy laws.

I think it would be wise to write a petition to the Pakistani Parliament with a copy to the United Nations and request international Journalists all over the world to support movements that reinforce the need to abolish the Blasphemy laws in place in that country.

Freedom of religion as much as freedom of expression are basic human rights. As long as governments think or abuse of their religion majority to undermine its people, there is no respect for human rights in a broader sense. If those countries that have adopted blasphemy laws, have also signed the Universal declaration of human rights, we should expect them to obey the convention entirely not only parts of it. One might be able to measure the level of democracy in a country by the respect they have for the profession of Journalism and of course, respecting freedom and access to information of all its citizens.

Freedom of expression, is intended to protect individuals, not religion institutions. For more information of which are human rights and which are the human rights laws in place at the moment, please visit this website:

http://www.un.org/en/documents/index.shtml

Please see the opinion of the United Nations official Navi Pillay, in regarding to murders and murderers in Pakistan:

“These murders are a tragedy for Pakistan and those who envision a future for the country centred on human rights,” said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement. “I hope the Government of Pakistan will not only hold the killers to account, but reflect on how it can more effectively confront the extremism which is poisoning Pakistani society.” (source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37659&Cr=pakistan&Cr1=)

It is above all important that Journalists in Pakistan sign a common pact rejecting any kind of abuse or infringement to universal human rights, and that includes, putting freedom of expression above their religion convictions if they do want to respect human rights. In order to have freedom of religion, one should learn to respect individuals first.

“Ms. Pillay appealed to all Pakistanis to condemn the latest killing, saying she was appalled that a number of political and religious leaders, legal professionals and media commentators in Pakistan condoned, or even welcomed, the assassination of Salman Taseer in January.”

(source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37659&Cr=pakistan&Cr1=)

Please watch the daughter of a victim of the blasphemy law in Pakistan and her appeal to the UN. Click the link to hear Shehrbano’s message to the within this video from Human Rights First:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JzSWyKe7pY

I will be happy to sign any petition to your government or the United Nations or to Journalist communities around the world if you need, to support the freedom of Journalists in your country.

Sincerely,

Eliana

 

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Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on May 5, 2011 at 16:23

Dear All,

Words shape the world we live in...they can build or destroy a whole society and Men's destinies. Some words are too dangerous to be pronounced, to be heard or to be silent about them...

Nevertheless, I am interested in Journalim, Communication, Linguistics, Philosophy and Law but have little interest in religion). Even though most of the historic conflicts of mankind happened because of religion. Susana seems to be very keen to discuss freedom of religion here and I hope will not be the only one to give her a feedback.

Anyway, as she said, I am "physically sick"....not yet "psychologically" ill....Therefore, this is my last comment on the topic (at least for the rest of the month):

 

With the advent of the Internet and social media and the last conflicts between the US government and WikiLeaks, there is a great debate going on, regarding the fact that Journalism should not only be about finding "events" to write about but also on a responsible analysis (ideas) of the facts / events before spreading the News. It is easy for Journalists to find events and information to their public, however, some people, including me think that good Journalists should be able to check the information before publishing it and they should also be able to understand and interpret those facts or events. Therefore, a Journalist should know not only the language, but also the culture and the idea that drive the people or events before writing about them.

Hope to get all Members engaged in this discussion: Should Journalists be able to analyse the facts and ideas before writing about them? Make yourself heard!

Comment by Susana Dione Ngole Epie on May 5, 2011 at 10:24
In my country Cameroon, we have freedom of religion. Everyone is free to practice any religion, and to talk about it loud in streets at all time of the day. Writing about God is not prohibited at all.
The Colonial masters brought written religion to Africa and to other parts of the world, but did not introduce the word of God to Africa. The word was there, and our ancestors knew there was a God. That is why in our dialetes, many words in the bible could be translated into pure dialete.
The difference is clear, when things like telephones, computers, internet, etc... which are now introduced to some part of the world, does not have any translations in the dialete. These items were never thought of by our ancestors, and so they have not words for them in the dialete. I don't know if you understand me!!
The fear of the Lord is good, how I wish God starts sending to the world only God Fearing leaders. "The fear of the Lord indeed is the begining of Wisdom". Where there is God, there is wiseness, and wisdom is truth. That was why King Solomon Son of David succeeded in his reign as King. We share alot in the Old Testament with other relegions, but its in the New Testament that there is some disagreement. Dates were fully kept in the days of Moses, thats why we have BC "Before Christ" and AD "After the death of Christ", used by most historians. I love your promptness, though you are sick. Wish you quick recovery.
Comment by Susana Dione Ngole Epie on May 5, 2011 at 10:05
Hello dear,
I am grateful for all that I have read this morning as reaction to what I wrote concerning the time. I agree with you in very many different ways, but what pricks me most is the fact that "THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD". I disagree that there are many Gods, yes there are many gods in small letters but not in capital "G". We are journalists and should be sure of what we write. We should base our attention on EVENTS not OPINIONS. That is why most journalists find themselves into deep deep shit. Events unfold and much is learnt from it, but opinions sterms up debates and less is learn from it. I don't know if you agree with me!!
Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on May 4, 2011 at 23:02

Hi Dionne, I'm happy to hearing from you again. We need to keep this group alive and no matter if we agree or disagree, I am happy we are all different and we all have something to learn from each other.

You are talking about the BIBLE, the most read book in the world and it is difficult to argue with you. I agree with most of your observations.

As this group is about Human Rights, Journalism, media in general, the Bible is part of it. Many important people start their discourse mentioning the Bible. From Shakespeare to George Bush...the list is endless...now it is your time and again, I admire your strong oppinion. Welcome home!

It is interesting to know from you what is important for you. It is also important to know if the Media in your country is driven by religion.

From the point of view of Human Rights religion is an important subject, however, bearing in mind that because we are different there is not only one Bible, there is not only one God, there are many churches. Even when we speak about the Bible as one and the same thing, we can't forgot the Bible has been translated into many languages and translations are made by man and as humans we make mistakes. I strongly respect the Bible or Bibles and all religions. I am disappointed when people use religion to commit crimes in the name of GOD! Fortunatelly most religious people are good and do not commit any crime.

My only concern is when we people of the world forget that the Bible was written in a time different than modern times. At the time the first Bible was written, there was no notion of time itself the way we see time now. There was no notion of Science in the way we know it now...and so on, and so on....

As Philosophy and as dogma, and even as law, we should all respect the Bible, however, we should see it with open EYES and understand the Bible can be interpreted in different ways by different men.

Another concern I have regarding not only the Bible but any other book is the fact that the one who writes a book will obviously speak up on his or her terms, his or her beliefs.

I am a great fan of Jesus! For me, he was the first Ad man! I also think every man should have faith in something good and positive!

On the other hand, I can't close my eyes to the fact that the Bible was taken to Africa by Colonizers and that not only in Africa but in many other countries such as Brazil and other South American countries, the Bible and religion were used and abused as a tool to colonize people. Therefore the existence of the word INDOCTRINATION which basically means  "influencing other people".

 I do understand your feelings and I know deep in my heart that many of us are suffering with all the changes in the world. Nevertheless I embrace changes when they come from the PEOPLE, when they show tha the average man is no longer slave from a past of oppression. When we can hear People's voice and no longer Authoritarian regimes.

I have no doubt that the Bible has interesting histories but I do hope we, the "ORDINARY PEOPLE" will be able to write our own stories following our own minds and using our own FREE hands.

In the end, I believe that all of us, religious or non-religious people are all humans and mostly, we all wish the same thing: happiness and dignity!

Comment by Susana Dione Ngole Epie on May 4, 2011 at 10:41
I think the Holy Bible has much to teach us, concerning what is happening and what would happen during this year 2011. Biblically, the 11th year has never been an easy year to live in or to come by with. We have seen what has happened already. This year carries DISORDER, DISORGANISATION, DISUNITY, DISCRIMINATION, DISFAVOUR in fact all the negativity you can ever imagine. For those who study the Holy Bible critically, have taken pains to analyse what had taken place in the previouse 11th years, like the one in which we are today. (Ezekiel 26:1&2, Jeremiah 39:2, 2 Kings 23:36 and so on). Imagine in Africa how many  Countries are working towards electing a new leader. If God does not intervene, then we shall be going back to the days of the Old Testament. We need to get into the details of what has happened on the 11th year AD, and come up with wonderful interesting and breath taking stories and events.
Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on May 3, 2011 at 15:39
Dear David, thanks for bringing the case to our knowledge. I am sorry to hear that Dear Manu Brabo is victim of such a terrible conflict. May I ask you which providences have been taken until now? I think his situation is not his own problem but our problem as well. I would like to reflect on that and ask every other Journalist to think together and come up with ideas of how can we help. That is a challenge that I would really like to see the Media involved and mobilized in order to show solidarity and power of action! I would be more than happy to get more information from you. Please feel free to email me: vandecraatsuk@gmail.com. Courage and positive thoughts to Manu. Eliana
Comment by David Aparicio on May 3, 2011 at 13:39

Today is World Press Freedom from the APFA (Association 
Asturian Photojournalists professional) are not to many 
celebrations and while we know that many of our colleagues are 
difficult situations or are suffering repression and imprisonment or even 
killed, in many countries, trying to put the work of 
information, we do not want to forget and less than ever that an Asturian 
freelance, Manu Brabo, takes nearly a month held by the "government" 
Libya in Tripoli with four other colleagues, to our knowledge. for all 
ask more than ever: 

MANU BRABO FREEDOM AND ITS PARTNERS HELD BY Gadhafi 
LIBYA; PASS !!!!!!!


Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on May 2, 2011 at 20:58

The death of Osama Bin Lada . How is the Media treating the subject in your country

Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on May 2, 2011 at 20:38

Dear Mr. Sumbal,

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I have to say that I do not advice any of my friends or colleagues to write about things based on diplomatic connections of a country Diplomatic corps when the subject is International of nature. It may soud unreliable and biased. Based on exhaustive research, it is quite clear that the US has nothing to do with WikiLeaks. On the contrary they are in opposite sides. I am not trying to defend or criticize one or another just trying to clarify the subject before other members think that your point of view is the same as mine and that of a majority of scholars and  researchers.

Comment by Malik Ayub Sumbal on April 25, 2011 at 9:48am

Delete Comment

Dear Eliana Van De Craats:

The WikiLeaks is the new diplomacey of the new age and i think that all that has been revealed by the Wikileaks is according to the vested interests of the United States and as per Capitalists policies.

So Wikileaks didnot gone through any revoultionary stage in to the Arab world but the United States of America now want to get rid from the Kingdoms from the Arabs countries for their future programming.

Comment by Eliana van de Craats Lima on April 25, 2011 at 10:12

Hi Susane Dione, thanks again for your comment and active participation. I have been sick therefore I could not reply. Well, human trafic and even animal traffic is a cruelty in all possible ways. The only way we can deal with this problem is through education, new laws and throuh the Media. Journalits have a powerful voice and if you wanna know what human rights are, we all have to carry a copy of the HR conventions and read it thouroglly everyday in order to understand and in order to help other people to understand it. Many people around the world read the Bible, my bible are the UN conventions and all related laws on universal human rigts. Therefore, I can't agree with any oppinion that contradict the UN principles even though,the UN is still on the making in many aspects. If the world is not perfect with the UN it will be much more imperfect without it. Good luck!

 
 
 

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