Of one essence is the Human race

   (A report on protests held across Australia in condemnation of Kuchi attacks on Behsud and daimirdad)

By: Besmellah Rezaee

 

The ongoing killings, massacre, destruction of homes, villages, and illegal occupation of Hazara’s Land in Behsud and Daimirdad districts are the worrying signs for all humanity loving people around the globe.

Our people have been suffering from such tyrannic oppression for over two centuries, especially since 1894.

Throughout the history, our people have compromised for the benefit of peace, national unity and national interests. Alas such compromises have been interpreted as our weakness and resulted in further violations, bloodsheds and oppression. We have always relied on the law enforcing authorities to resolve the issues but sadly despite their promises to do so; they have practically acted in contrast to their promises and have exercised severe discrimination and brutality against our people. However we haven’t lost hope in our civic and humane campaign, protest, resistance and struggle.

As such thousands of Australian Hazaras protested across Australia against the bloody incursion of armed Kuchis into Hazarajat namely Behsud and Daimirdad last week. The protest was the largest organised protest of Hazaras anywhere in the Western world to date. The protests were organized by the Australian Hazara Coucil and respective associations and organizations of our people across the country. The main purpose of the protest was to show the support of the Australian Hazara community for Hazaras around the world and to demonstrate to the Australian public and government that the situation is far from secure for Hazaras in Afghanistan.

The protestors were children, men, women, young boys and girls and even our elder men and women who could hardly walk. In Adelaide over 500 protestors gathered in Victoria Square and marched through King William Road to the Parliament house of South Australia. Protestors were carrying placards with slogans such as “Hazara Rights are Human Rights”, “Stop the systematic Genocide of Hazaras”, “We are united against oppression”, “children are killed, schools are burnt = Humanity is Death”, etc…

Protestors were chanting slogans such as “Shame Shame Karzai”, “NATO and ISAF, why are you Silent”, “Discrimination: NO, Justice: Yes”. 

Once everyone was in front of the parliament house, Ahmad Amani, one of the organisers of the protest, took on the stage and commended the efforts of the protestors and their overwhelming attendance and support. He then called on Hussain Rezaiat the chairperson of Afghan United Association of SA to speak to the public. Mr. Razaiat had a brief introduction about the history of oppression of our people and concluded that gone are the days when we were prosecuted in thousands and no one could voice their concern. We will not be silent and will fully sympathize with our fellow citizens in Behsud, he said.

Following his speech Besmellah Rezaee, president of ‘The Association of Australian Tertiary Students from Afghanistan’ and Karawaan Organisation’s Executive member, took on the stage and asserted that peaceful protests are our civic right to voice our concern and stand for a common cause. We have and will continue to stand for justice, peace and freedom. We have reasonable cause to defend the righteous and condemn the oppressor. He then went on to read the resolution of the protestors. The demand articles of which will follow as:

  While supporting the establishment of peace and stable security in Afghanistan, we the Australian Hazaras strongly sympathise with the oppressed and tormented Hazaras who have suffered at the hands of the Nomads during the aggressive invasion of Hazaristan specifically the aggression and assaults seen in Behsood, Nahoor and Daimerdad. Tens have been killed, hundreds injured, their properties destroyed and looted, thousands of people forced to leave their homes to escape the aggression and carnage. Tens of schools, clinics and mosques have all been destroyed.

1-     We condemn the aggression of nomads and request the United Nations, Human Rights Organisations, peace loving communities and groups, civil societies of the relevant donor countries specially Australia to try and stop the Taliban Pashtun-nomads from violent displacement (an obvious manifestation of Crimes against Humanity) of Hazara people.

2-     We request that in the face of this invasion; the international community and all relevant human rights organizations stand for and defend the peace loving and civic Hazaras who are strong arms for the peace loving societies in their efforts for the establishment of peace and democratic relations, and eradication of International Terrorism and the extremist Taliban. 

3-     We urge the UN agencies specifically UNEMA in Afghanistan to assist the defenceless Hazaras by formally advising the President of Afghanistan and his Ministers and the Afghan Ambassador to the United Nations of the consequences of their failure to prevent the persecution, harassment and genocide of minority groups, specifically the Hazara’s of Afghanistan.

4-     The Government of Afghanistan can resolve the issue of the Nomads under the provisions of Article 14 of the Afghan[1] constitution.  A concerted effort by Mr Karzi to provide permanent settlement of the Nomads will not only safeguard the peace and security of the country and prevent war and bloodshed but also will integrate the Nomads as citizens and introduce them to the civil and cultural life of the cities. We along with all other civil societies and political groups support the immediate implementation of this article of the constitution.

5-     We ask the international forces for security in Afghanistan to facilitate the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of government backed Taliban forces in the name of nomads from Hazara homes and villages.

6-     We strongly ask the international community to put a stop in the systematic genocide of Hazaras and hand those who committed crimes against humanity to justice. 

7-     We strongly condemn the target killings of hazaras in Quetta Pakistan and believe that it is a systematic genocide plan against hazaras.

8-     In the rein of  Karzai govt., this is the 5th time that Hazarajat is being attacked by Kuchis resulting in 100s of killings, injuries, destruction of homes, mosques, schools and villages. The Karzai has only issued presidential decree, none of which has been implemented. We therefore urge the hazara political leaders to fundamentally question such failure and stand united against systematic oppression.

9-     We finally request our government here in Australia, specifically the foreign ministry to diplomatically question Karzai and the relevant cabinet ministers about this gross violation of human rights and systematic genocide of  hazaras.

10-We also question the intentional silence and inaction of ISAF and NATO forces about this violation.

The result of inaction on these matters may not only facilitate the destruction of Hazaras and their culture but also contribute to the genocide of the Hazara people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Such inaction will also ensure that Afghanistan and the people remain in a state of turmoil and ongoing bloodshed. 

Lastly we will keep the option of self defence as legitimate option for our people. Should the government and international community fail to stop this gross violation of human rights, our people have every right to exercise other means of resistance and protest against the genocide.

 


[1] Ch. 1, Art. 14- The state shall design and implement within its financial resources effective programs for development of agriculture and animal husbandry, improving the economic, social and living conditions of farmers, herders, settlement and living conditions of nomads. The state adopts necessary measures for housing and distribution of public estates to deserving citizens in accordance within its financial resources and the law.

In welcoming the 8th March, I am posting this article to convey my respect for the day and congratulate the day to all mothers, sisters and wives of the world.

International Women’s day: Looking Back

Introduction

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. In adopting its resolution, the General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development and urged an end to discrimination and an increase of support for women’s full and equal participation.

History

International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

1909: The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February. The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions.

1910: The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women’s Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women’s rights and to build support for achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish Parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

1911: As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women’s rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

1913-1914: International Women’s Day also became a mechanism for protesting World War I. As part of the peace movement, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with other activists.

1917: Against the backdrop of the war, women in Russia again chose to protest and strike for ‘Bread and Peace’ on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the Czar abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote.

Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas. Increasingly, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The United Nations and Gender Equality

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has helped create a historic legacy of internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, the UN and its technical agencies have promoted the participation of women as equal partners with men in achieving sustainable development, peace, security, and full respect for human rights. The empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN’s efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe.

Justice is one of the main principles that brings cohesion and stability in a society. however virtually it is never acheived in its fullest extent. The following essay is a researched piece about the justice in South Australian judicial system.

                                                           

 

         JUSTICE 

       

    

 Justice in its fundamental form is the outcome of all legal systems. It is human’s internal peace and harmony and the societies pillar for righteousness and social cohesion. It is a human virtue that makes a person content and satisfied. While on the other hand due to the simultaneous nature of human beings and different perspectives, justice can never be seen to be perfect.     

      Australia, being a democratic country and having an adversary system, has a highest reputation for justice in its legal system. Sections of the community lacking the understanding of the legal processes, principles and structures of the legal system have always raised their concerns that justice has not been achieved. Media as the only source of awareness of the masses has, on the other hand, used sensationalism and provided the community with misconceptions of justice not being achieved in our legal system. This has lead to a perception of injustice developing in the community. This is more obvious when considering the 80,000 cases being dealt with each year in state’s criminal and civil courts and only one or two come out in the newspapers, radio and television, and develops the sense of injustice among the masses[1]. In the last three years, corespondents repeatedly refer to two examples, Nemer and McGee. As Alexander Ward, former president of the law society said “How could one rationally say that one problem out of more than 80,000 cases represents a judicial system in a state of crisis?”  It is very rare to find the media reporting and preaching the justice that has been achieved as in the case of  McCullagh who has been sentenced for 20 years murdering 21 year old Melanie Harnden on September 1999[2] Moreover this perception of injustice has been supported by the government and media continuously, as [3]Mike Rann announced publicly that our legal system has failed to achieve justice and announced a royal commission into the police investigation and prosecution of [4]McGee a lawyer who hit and killed Mr. Gilchrist Humphrey. The media and Government have been able to falsely manipulate the public into believing that the current justice system is not providing the community with a sense of justice. The community and unfortunately the government have never considered that judges and lawyers in criminal courts are administering the court in accordance with the law and procedures which are prescribed in constitutional law. In sentencing, they must consider the sentencing act section 10 and appropriate case law[5]. Section 10 outlines the criteria for sentencing a criminal and must be adhered to most stringently, especially as the Judge must give reasons for their decision. The judges can not impose a sentence based on their level of conscience and the balance of kindness and cruelty rather they impose a sentence in accordance to the sentencing act.

     The principles of the adversary system, the method of administering justice in courts, well and truly are the obvious factors that justice is being achieved in the community[6]. The rule of law; a fundamental element that everyone is treated equally before the law, natural justice; a person’s right to a fair trial, which refers to the standards of behaviour by officers of government, executive and judicial are the simple facts that justice is being achieved. Independence of the judiciary from executive and legislative arms of the government and the rule against bias is another factor which ensures judges decide cases according to law, not by arbitrary influence. The right to be heard and many more, are the principles that ensure justice is being achieved in our legal system. Being realistic one has to admit that the judges resolving the disputes in criminal courts are human and human do commit mistakes, a common fact we all know. Referring to the case of Josiah Finch, a 20 year old guilty of murdering Karim Morrison, who is sentenced for 14 years and yet he still denies the responsibility of murdering. The parents of the victim Karim Morrison are not happy with the sentence imposed. They believe it has been an injustice to them and the accused wishes it was him who died. In such a controversial state, Justice White has considered the criminal background of the accused and in accordance with the sentencing act has sentenced Finch to mandatory life in jail with a 14 year non-parole period[7]. Justice has absolutely been achieved in the eyes of an optimist.

Justice is furthermore visible in the case of Sydney tri athlete Glenn Bennett, who suffered incomplete quadriplegia for injuries in a swimming accident hitting his head at submerged storm water pipes. He sued Manly council and the Sydney Water Corporation for negligence and the Supreme Court found both defendants in breaching their duty of care. Supreme Court fined the Sydney water corporation a sum of $1.75m paying Mr. Bennett[8].

      Despite all our criminal justice system is under funded as the Chief Justice John Doyle mentions it in the Selway Lecture at Adelaide University[9]. He believes it is because there are no votes in courts. And says the ability of courts to administer justice depends upon funding support from government. Hereby it is the responsibility of the public to voice their concern and appeal to the government for funding rather than being critical of the justice system without exactly knowing the limitations and factors that judges have while deciding on a case.  Undoubtedly there are strengths and weaknesses in our legal system. The adversary system has proved to be the best justice system in the world to balance the rights of the individual against the community’s expectations that people who break society’s laws will be punished[10]. Equality before the law, party control, judicial independence, respect for individual legal rights and right of appeal are some of the strengths. The weaknesses in the legal system are due to some outer factors such as inadequate funding which effects efficiency of the courts management in achieving justice and broadening accessibility of courts to all sections of the community.

    Finally apart from the media publicising the controversial cases and government representing the legal system to be failing, Justice has been the sole priority and outcome of our legal system and it has been achieved through the fundamental principles of our system. The sections of community whom have voiced their concern and given rise to perception of injustice are required to pay deep consideration to cause not the effect.  

                                                                       By: Besmellah Rezaee 13 Dec 05

                                                                                  Adelaide South Australia.

 



[1]  Alexander WARD A.W, 2005, Legal Standards in a fine state, thanks, Australian/New Zealand Reference Centre, Advertiser

 

[2] Peter Gregory, march 30, 2006 the advertiser, www.advertiser.news.com.au

[5] Geof Bailey, G.B, 2006, Legal Studies Key Ideas Stage 2, Essentials education series, Adelaide Tuition Centre

[6] Geof Bailey, G.B, 2006, Legal Studies Key Ideas Stage 2, Essentials education series, Adelaide Tuition Centre pages 260-269

 

[7] Alexander Economou, court reporter 29 march, the advertiser news, http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au

[8] ABC Online 4 April 2006 Tri athlete gets $1.75m payout for swimming accident, http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200604/s1608162.htm

[9] Colin James 30 march 2006, the advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au

 

[10] Geof Bailey, G.B, 2006, Legal Studies Key Ideas Stage 2, Essentials education series, Adelaide Tuition Centre pages 308-317

First and foremost welcome to this page,

well, i have recntly moved to wordpress. I have been blogging since 2003. My previous English blog is www.hamta-english.blogfa.com. The services of blogfa is more effectively designed to suit the needs of the persian bloggers. Hence after starting my English blog there and posting out few articles, I was disappointed with the service and ceased to post more articles. However coming across wordpress, it seems like an effective and user friendly blogging service. I will ensure to make you updated and browse the current blog as regularly as possible.

For now chaw.

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