Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sanctions Would Surely Work For Human Rights Defence

The news last night that Lithuania has had a wise rethink on laws against gay people is indeed welcomed. It also improves their standing in the challenge of fairness and justice that man must not operate and oppress man.

Exactly ten days ago at an event in the Houses of Parliament, I strongly put the view to the Foreign Office
Minister Chris Bryant and other panellists on how disappointed we, the gay community of Africa are with the likes of United Kingdom, (toothless) United Nations and the (un)Commonwealth for not playing their expected role in strictly rebuffing African countries for threats to us. I argued that if these powers could go to wars, impose sanctions and cut ties for economic or security reason, then it is an eyesore that such measures are not being taken on issues of Human Rights.

Iraq and Saddam Hussien was invaded for security reasons, Iran is being threatened for same, Zimbabwe has been rebuked and bombarded for economic issues, Cuba is still a pariah for same... and the list goes. If these lines of action could be taken for such materialistic and worldly affairs, why can't same be adopted for dealing with issues affecting lives and freedom?

The EU is being praised as deserved for putting Lithuania under the pressure of taking this line; and it thus confirms what I said above that pressure can work in changing these pitiful conditions that LGBT people face in Countries like Nigeria, Uganda, Iran and others. Prior to 2004, before joining the EU, the likes of Poland, Slovakia, etc were pressured to improve on Human Rights including those of the LGBT people; the result was amazing although today, we are seeing Poland falling back into that dark era of inequality.

In response to the media, even the spokesman for Lithuanian president confirmed EU standard when he said, "The homophobic clauses have been removed. The law is (now) in line with European standards." It is a re-enforcement that Human Rights, when defended with the right pressures, can be attained.

The United Nations and Commonwealth SHOULD borrow a leaf from the EU and begin to bring their weight to bear on defending its marginalised citizens. Sanctions could be considered, as well as ex-communication. Many cases have proved that these works when used rightly like the case of Libya. Continuing to ignore the threats of deaths, imprisonment, threats, violence and suffering of LGBT people in these countries worldwide is a failure of these organised institutions.

It leaves us the affected with no belief whatsoever nor regard for United Nations or Commonwealth. But far above that, it leaves a trait of disappointment and thus the dangers could be inestimable because the toxicity of the deep-seated frustration can brew into unexpected trouble in time (to come).

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