tv Inside Story 2018 Ep 53 Al Jazeera February 23, 2018 2:32pm-3:00pm +03
five african countries are in brussels for a security fund raising summit they need to raise more money for a joint military force that works alongside french and u.n. troops the so-called g. five sawhill group is made up of soldiers from mauritania mali but kenya faster. and chad north korea is sending one of its highest ranking generals to the closing ceremony of the pure china winter olympics former intelligence chief kim young child is believed to have plotted several attacks on south korea president childs daughter ivanka will lead the u.s. delegation. india's prime minister narendra modi has met the canadian prime minister justin trudeau in new delhi mr trudeau arrived in the country six days ago but only met mr modi on friday on wednesday canadian diplomats withdrew an invitation to a former member of a banned sikh group to attend an official dinner some in india have accused members
of trudeau's cabinet of supporting sikh separatism in india inside stories next. amnesty international slams what it calls trump led politics of hate for eating away at human rights around the world as things deteriorate protest movements have been created to fight back but will activism turn the tide on certain policies this is inside story.
hello and welcome to the program. it's a report which frankly paints one of the bleakest pictures in living memory of the state of human rights around the world u.s. president donald trump has been singled out by amnesty international for in its words setting a dangerous precedent for other governments to follow the organization's annual report says trump and other leaders including russia's vladimir putin china xi jinping and egypt and the fact that his sisi are callously undermining the rights of millions of people amnesty says we've seen the ultimate consequence of hateful politics in what it describes as the horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing against me on mars or him to people and it accuses the world of having a feeble response to reports of severe rights abuses not only in me and more but also at all south sudan syria and yemen we'll get to our guests in a moment but first this report from particle hainan washington. a bleak assessment
on the state of human rights in twenty seventeen they will not look back and draw any lessons from this they will look back and they will see that they will not all of the drafting of some of the dockers chapters in modern history the forward of the four hundred page report takes aim at specific countries first and foremost me and mar accusing the government of committing crimes against humanity which forced almost seven hundred thousand rohingya muslims to flee it singles out saudi arabia's blockade for creating a humanitarian catastrophe in yemen all of the countries fighting eisel in iraq and syria for not protecting civilians and south sudan for crimes which forced thousands of people to flee from their donald j. trump is called it comes out the united states calling president donald trump's plan to ban entry from citizens of several muslim majority countries a transparently hateful move and it blames european leaders for creating the conditions for what it calls shocking abuses of refugees in libya it names
countries it says are consistently violating human rights such as turkey china russia then israel and egypt and iran it also pointed the finger at six african countries for stifling public protests this is the very first time that amnesty international has chosen to unveil their annual report here in the united states and they chose the capitol building they say in large part because they believe what they call his nationalistic and sometimes even hateful rhetoric and policies of president donald trump are spreading across the globe anything of the us does has a massive in a multiplier effect across the world but they will embolden by the fact that you know trampling on human rights abandon the human values is something which is acceptable today we asked the white house for a response but didn't hear back as for amnesty international it says it's not all bad out there it sees the rise of hate being met with the rise of a resistance from the u.s. line. to poland. then its way. to
iran. which embassy says gives it some hope that just maybe twenty eighteen won't be quite as bleak in so many places the party calling al-jazeera washington. all right let's bring in our guests now in washington so little shaddy secretary general of amnesty international and london i'm all that you care a co-director of the institute on statelessness and inclusion and joining us on skype from jakarta been germans a walkie a human rights researcher and southeast asia analyst thank you all for joining us i want to start with you you say efforts of u.s. president donald trump to ban him free to all citizens of several muslim majority countries based on their nationality was a transparently hateful move what kind of effect has that had on the rest of the world. the united states is one of the most
powerful countries in the world and president tom started as an electoral campaign with a very hateful divisive rhetoric against women against minorities against muslims and then in the last one report shows how this is played out into concrete actions and policies it's not just the discriminatory muslim travel ban it's also the massive reduction in the refugee settlement numbers in the united states it's never been as low as the since one nine hundred eighty he's also introduced the global gag rule which means that one point eight billion dollars have been cut in terms of women's reproductive rights now i travel across the world and meet leaders from so many countries and you know us immediately hear them talk about you know why are you asking us about our human rights record when the country which has been the long term champion of human rights itself is flagrantly violating human rights i mean the two people that come to mind immediately the two countries and the two
leaders presidency seen egypt and prime minister netanyahu in israel who you know you can see them starting out on the world stage you know brazenly while eating human rights because they feel a direct sense of empowerment and emboldening with the great image from president jumper and his administration but i can give you many more examples of this been jamin the amnesty report says that hate filled rhetoric by leaders was normalizing discrimination against minorities what is your reaction to that and how do you see that playing out where you are. well i would echo what selena has said about the rest of the world the examples he gave were in the middle east israel and and egypt but certainly the same can be said in southeast asia it's an area in which at the minorities political rate in some cases i think minorities if put together would would make up a much larger majority in their in their individual countries than the the
predominant ethnic majority does and you have the religious minorities as well which sometimes overlap with those ethnic minorities and what you have throughout southeast asia is likewise leaders at the national level saying saying too to me and to others look the president of the most powerful country in the world has essentially legitimized racism both within his country these are the minorities and in terms of some of the statements he has made about other countries offhand statements derogatory statements racist statements and also via his policies and denying refugees from certain countries for being able to to enter the country not to mention that those countries are also predominately muslim and so you have throughout southeast asia a situation in which you have both ethnic and religious minorities sometimes with those labels be conflated more blatantly being discriminated they discriminated against and having their rights violated on account of an example being set as far away as washington i'm of building on what benjamin just said how much harder does that make the work that you and your colleagues do in trying to stand up for human
rights in the regions where you work. well we were globally on the on the sure statelessness which we see very much as. one of the most fundamental human rights issues and what the amnesty international report very powerful e can with is that states increasingly. using nationality using migration status or a lack of migration status as a means of discrimination and exclusion against minority groups and we see this having a terrible impact in terms of the right to nationality and the rights that flow once people do have a nationality and then in the report itself there are examples from the dominican republic from bahrain obviously me and my in the ring a situation and many others which could to this very important.
overlap between the right to nationality and the right to other rights and the role that discrimination plays in terms of. denying people who have been denied their nationality of access to their rights as so it's an important issue i'm glad to see him picked up by this this report of amnesty international and it shows that there's a lot more work to be done in this field so will one of the issues at the forefront of amnesties reporting this year is of course the return to refugee crisis now when i was reporting on the ranger crisis out of bangladesh this past october i met a woman to reenter refugee who said to me that the fact that this can happen in this day and age doesn't just mean that her people are in danger means that everybody around the world is in danger is that sentiment in line with what is being reported by amnesty international this year. absolutely at many levels because you know crisis which sort of erupted in august of last year is not
a new crisis misty is we're reporting on the discrimination against a real india for a long time and you know what happened in august of last year was that hundreds of thousands of. people in just a minority group will pushed out of me and murder which is clearly a case of ethnic cleansing and i think she's absolutely right that you know this this phenomenon is happening in so many places in so many different ways and what is shocking is that it's not just the callousness of the myanmar military you know and particularly general on mainland who's really directly responsible for what would happen in myanmar but it's also the kind of complete indifference of the international community and the cynical way in which the we do is used in the security council because at the end of the day if the security council is not the permanent five members are not able to act on something as you know the kind of levels of crimes against humanity walk rahm's that we are seeing in in syria in in
myanmar myanmar is a very clear case where you know people of fairly sure the permanent fire sure that any resolution put to take action to hold the myanmar military accountable will be vetoed by china so she's absolutely right that you know what we are seeing is a mainstreaming and normalization of hate divisiveness and you know really an us worse is them a kind of scapegoating of minorities which we're seeing in so many parts of the world bitterman building on what sylvia was just saying in the past you've written that although the root causes of the range of crisis are within me and more their effects are felt regionally and or of relevance elsewhere where are those effects being felt and how. well i think the being felt to echo so little as far away as as new york i mean look there is there is it would be wrong to take the onus of responsibility for the for the ethnic cleansing for the potential genocide in
myanmar away from the me i'm our army of the man i'm our authorities but the larger failure here we are six months removed from the beginning of this crisis and you referred to it earlier as a as a refugee crisis it's been referred to a state was this crisis those are crises that then are more more appropriately labeled in times of peace but you still have people being being forced out of myanmar you have people being exploited in bangladesh and it's been six months since this has taken place over seven hundred thousand bridges have crossed the border have been forced to cross the border as grave as the as the commission of crimes against humanity because initially genocide has been by the b.m.r. authorities as great has been the international community's refusal to take to take action that the world is increasingly globalized there's no no longer is there is there the plausible denial or the plausible ignorance of what has taken place. so when it comes to international peace and security the very mandate of the u.n. security council it is abjectly failed the united states china and the other three
permanent members of them gently failed the ridges and for years for decades indeed we've talked about never again and yet it seems that every five to ten years there's a situation that that gives the world the opportunity to make good on that pledge to make good on that promise and yet time and time again we have failed. so imo when we talk about statelessness son and we talk about the oh sorry so we'll go go ahead were you going to say no i was just wanting to i was just going to make one point you know because in all of these places interestingly we're talking a lot about you know developing countries where. this kind of atrocity crimes are happening but our report also refers to the way in which europe is treating its. people who are fleeing from war and persecution reaching the shores of europe i mean we're talking more pushbacks into libya where where the conditions are just shocking but the pattern you'll see in all these countries where the myanmar
example or syria or or yemen you know the language that's used to attack and put secured minorities and people who are weaker and wisely this is always couched around two main themes one is the national security and counterterrorism so essentially anybody you don't like is a terrorist and secondly the language of economic development and growth that you know this is putting our country in economic you know this is a sort of trumps argument in this country which is that you know we have to make america great again and we will make america great again by violating other people's human rights i mean it's the most absurd conception but this is what has gained currency amongst this group of leaders which is the head hunted center m i want to get back for a minute to the issue of statements because obviously it's in the report by amnesty international but also with something you've written about what are some of the key factors of being stateless and how much of the human rights of stateless people
affected nowadays. i mean swiss is statelessness as loudly of phenomena that relates to discrimination where because of gender discrimination discrimination against race racial or ethnic groups religious groups sometimes discrimination against disabled people you have individuals and entire communities when it comes to play their role in the dominican the asian region being deprived of their nationality we also have bitterness anger coming into play here just picking up on what sally said so where increasingly political dissent is being punished by stripping individuals of their citizenship and we see this happening a lot in the middle east region but as a global phenomenon we it's safe to say that states are giving themselves more power to strip citizens of their nationality under the guise of national security
and counterterrorism actually i want to follow up with you on this one so this sorry to interrupt i want to ask you specifically about that because in the world stateless report from your group this past year it was written that the renewed instrumental ization of citizenship policy as a means to punish and exclude people who are different from society was growing what do you mean by the renewed instrumental ization of citizenship policy does that tie into what you're saying now. it isn't and i think i mean i think states are increasingly and this is a generalization but states are increasingly taking quite a cynical approach to nationality weight where it is seen as a weapon that can be used to stifle dissent it's seen as a weapon that can be used to exclude those who are not seen as being part of the mainstream so nationality which people should have by right based on where they were born or who their parents are is now. increasingly being seen as something
that the state can take away from your d.n.a. you outright and the implications of that in terms of access to education access to health care but also civil liberties deprivation of of liberty detention removal from countries i mean it's a whole host of issues and much we see as actually statelessness and migration and such issues now playing out at the very cutting edge of of the human rights challenges and problems you see around the world if i may also just want to pick up on one other thing that sally said which was the use of language and i completely agree there's a very dangerous swing in terms of the use of rhetoric in terms of. commitments to protect refugees to not refuel refugees. but i think that here there is also a role for us in the human rights field to take a more principled approach to to stick by our guns and to not used that are used by
states in and in in a detrimental way. an example in the ring there would be i think we are on much stronger territory using the language of crimes against humanity then we are using the language of it explains in which is a euphemism and this is this is a challenge that i think i would like to push out of human rights and. so we all know getting around the fact that this year's report is extremely bleak but there are all. are notes of optimism that you and your colleagues have written about among them the kind of active activism that we're seeing in the u.s. particularly by women's groups by high school students that are demanding action on gun control right now do you believe that this kind of activism can really effect change no question but if i could just add a point to the statelessness and or nationality question because we have to understand the kind of the this is very interleaved to the flip side of using hyper
nationalism and patriotism and sort of nationalism and we're seeing this in the u.s. of course in turkey etc whereas if you are not hyper nationalist almost jingoistic then you're considered anti national and so the whole issue of you know saying we the nation and then the people who we don't lake who are scapegoating not national . linked to the question of staying to people's nationality as well so it's way linked to identity politics and divisive politics i just wanted to you know put that in that context as well ok so we'll let me stop you there once i'm sorry to interrupt let me but let me let benjamin pick up on that point as well then i'll get back to my original question to you benjamin from your perspective have there been positive steps when it comes to combating statelessness and is there a country now that is showing leadership on this issue. well thailand has taken some some additions to in the past several months to confer statements that start
to confer nationality on earth while stateless people in the north of the country some of what are called the hill tribe people it was surprising about that is that thailand at present is under a military government and one of the sort of. with the whole the silver lining of such but one of the realities of this of this military government is that it's able to take action in a manner that is much more expedient and much more direct than we're finding under democratic governments not only in thailand but elsewhere in the world and it's very rare however to see a military government using that sort of power to confer rights as opposed to taking rights away and yet as you point out thailand is one country in which a very small number it's in terms of percentage a very small number more symbolic than significant percentage wise but a small number of persons being granted nationality who otherwise had didn't have it before and it's opened the door to a much wider dialogue and for perhaps
a much wider effort on the part of the thai authorities to continue in those efforts ok so let me get back to the question i asked you a few minutes back and i really want to get your take on this about the fact that even though the report is very bleak this year there are notes of optimism and part of that is because the kind of activism the are pointing out that's going on a different part of the world particularly in the u.s. can you expand on that and say if you believe that this really could affect change right now. there's no question and in our mind that you know that is really the only thing that is going to affect change i mean it's you know classically said that evil triumphs only when good women and men are apathetic or silent and you know i'm deliberately mentioning women because and young people because these are the people who've really stood up across the world in the last year and we have one of the biggest women's marches in washington d.c. we've seen the kids come out in large numbers against gun violence in this country just in the last few days but you know we have to keep minds kind of open globally
on this question we've had now a referendum on abortion in ireland which would not have happened without people standing up we've had poland you know the people of poland pushing back on the attack on the independence of judiciary but africa i mean you know we don't normally think of africa african states in the last year twenty states or so have actually attacked peaceful protests have been beatings and killings thirty of them have reduced media freedoms but at the same time we've had public protests in charge against you know increased market praises young people coming out against oil prices can you imagine that we have had four african heads of state leaving in the last year who we never thought would be you know we're talking about thirty seven years in power and several others were twenty to thirty years the gambia jummy going and almost every one of this south africa zuma going most recently and
santos you know most of these cases in angola where people their leaders have moved on the rule of people power and activism particularly young people has been hugely powerful and instrumental so you know this country has never been so radicalized before the united states the kind of political awareness consciousness and radicalization of people standing up for their rights not only their rights but for the rights of others who are defending human rights is very very powerful. give you the last word here from your perspective the regions that you cover very briefly could you tell us do you have cause for optimism right now do you believe there is a renewed sense of activism. there is less so in southeast asia i think and then what's illegal is pointing out rightly in other parts of the world and i think one of the problems is that human rights activists far too often are inclined to advocate human rights strictly on normative grounds strictly by saying look it's in a particular treaty that you've signed or it's customary international law or it's
simply the right thing to do i think more and more it's not only important but indeed imperative for human rights advocates to be able to advocate human rights when you kill a tyranny grounds to be able to say not only have you signed this treaty but it is in your interest to do x. y. or z. that it's in your economic interest it's in your national security interests it may be in your electoral interests let's face it people politicians and policy makers are complex individuals who have to take human rights concerns into account because of the a whole host of other concerns i don't think it should be above or below the human rights community to muddy their hands in a sometimes dirty business of affecting change and that means that utilitarianism as well as a principled approach all right gentlemen we're going to have to leave it there thanks to all our guests so we'll shetty i'm all that you care and benjamin's a walkie and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me mohammed and join the entire team here i for now.
the scene for us where on line what is american sign in yemen that peace is always possible but it never happens not because the situation is complicated but because no one cares or if you join us on set there are people that that are choosing between buying medication or eating this is a dialogue i want to get in one more comment because this is someone who's an
activist just posted a story join the global conversation at this time on al-jazeera the way we communicate is what defines us. we don't always has been. as innovation in technology continues to shape our lives. i am hearing content creation and distribution utilizing cloud technology and dr fisher intelligence. the future that's never seemed closer than it does today. and what lies beyond the horizon. to take us to watch from t.v.'s the future of media leaders' summit. limitless possibilities. in two thousand and eight rocky traveled across the united states discovering what it was like to be both a patriotic american and a devout muslim can you be muslim and american you have to be american first i
didn't have much appreciation for why it would be a big deal that a muslim be elected to the united states congress but ten years on mort has changed rewind islam in america at this time on al jazeera. and as a product of the headlines on al-jazeera officials in ne in my geria have apologized for telling the parents of dozens of missing schoolgirls that their daughters have been rescued and outspent turned out to be false of the spot outrage.
Uploaded by TV Archive on