Again With The UN?

 With no Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment it’s all current news today so let’s get to it…Scoop reports that a cross-regional coalition of 100 Human Rights activists and UN-accredited civil society organizations has called for UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutierres, and HCHR (High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, to investigate Eric Tistaunet, the powerful head of the UN Human Rights Council staff since it was created in 2006, for his campaign of “harassment and gross misconduct” targeting a Human Rights group that has been recognized for giving a global platform to dissidents of authoritarian regimes.

 During the current session of the Human Rights Council Mr. Tistaunet blocked UN Watch from testifying in debates concerning abuses in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Russia said Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based NGO.

 Oppressive regimes like Venezuela frequently pressure UN officials to cancel the NGO’s accreditation and interrupt it’s speakers as they testify.

 Groups friendly to Mr. Tistaunet participated in more than 20 debates in the current session while UN Watch was prohibited from speaking more than once. Nine months ago a senior aide to the UN Secretary General promised they would review UN Watch’s complaint (the same as this one) and yet UN Watch registered for 31 debates in the current session and were denied in 30 of the 31 slots. In June, 2022 Mr. Tistaunet barred the NGO from all 36 debates.

 According to leaked emails, Mr. Tisuanet also engages in willful and illegal harassment, instructing his staff to anonymously spread false information about Mr. Neuer online and has explored the possibility of him being detained by UN security to block him from entering the UN Human Rights Council chamber in Geneva.

 Mr. Tistaunet has a long history of cooperation with authoritarian regimes. In March he accepted a complaint from Venezuela’s Maduro regime (most organizations routinely deny complaints by the Chavistas) calling for shutting down UN Watch, after the group gave the floor at the Human Rights Council to Venezuela opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Corina Machado, and Diego Aria.

 As reported by BBC and Le Monde, Mr. Tistaunet is accused of putting in place a policy of handing over to China in advance, the names of dissidents registered to speak at the UN Human Rights Council, putting their lives and families at risk, as Uyghur activist, Dolkun Isa, has testified. (Remember, China is responsible for the virtual enslavement of over a million Muslim Uyghurs)

 Mr. Tistaunet has also handed UN Watch speeches in advance to his friend, Jean Ziegler, the UN official who created the “Qaddafi Human Rights Prize”.

 Forget for a moment that Muammar Qaddafi was a brutal, murderous dictator. Recipients of the award include dictator Hugo Chavez, anti-semite Louis Farrakhan, and convicted French holocaust denier, Roger Garaudy.

 Add to this the testimony of whistleblower, Emma Reilly, who has said that Mr. Tistaunet would routinely request, when UN Watch speech was received in advance, that she draft new language for the council president to give a false impression that the speeches broke the rules leading to official reprimands from the president when, in fact, no rule was broken.

 In her words, “Mr. Tistaunet made clear on a number of occasions that his ultimate aim was to exclude Mr. Neuer and UN Watch more generally from UN premises.”

 In the words of Ian Flemming, “Once is happenstance, twice is a pattern, and three times is enemy action.”

 What more do you really need to know, although the article did detail numerous procedural violations by Mr. Tistaunet. This guy definitely needs to be investigated.

 And we have Reuters telling us that the European Court of Human Rights has denied an effort by former director of Venezuela Military Intelligence, Hugo Carvajal a.k.a. “The Chicken”, to avoid extradition to the US from Spain.

 “The Chicken” was accused in 2020 of drug trafficking along with other high-ranking Chavista officials including Nicolas Maduro. Another case of a guy trying to avoid extradition because the Chavistas know that he knows where “the bodies are buried”.

 That will do it for this week. We’ll be back Monday with our next Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment and more current news. Until then… Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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