Monthly Archives: March 2014

War crimes and disappearances in Sri Lanka

The UN Human Rights Council has recently voted in favour of an inquiry into alleged atrocities carried out during Sri Lanka’s civil war. It is also reported that violations have continued in Sri Lanka despite the end of the war. For example, Prageeth Eknaligoda was reported missing on 24 January 2010 and his family claims that Sri Lanka government is directly responsible for the disappearance.

Swedish transparency principle is about to erode

Nils Funcke is a journalist and expert on freedom of expression. Earlier this week his debate article about the transparency principle was publised by Dagens Nyheter. Many more than he is worried about eroding transparency. One reason to worry is that confidentiality can provide a breeding ground for crime and abuse of power, especially when combined with impunity. Unfortunately Sweden is an example of this. In December 2001, Sweden sent two people to be tortured in Egypt. The secret was exposed by journalists in 2004, but as far as we know, not a single person in Egypt, Sweden or USA (who was also involved) has been convicted, despite that torture is a very serious crime.

‘European bazaar’

Edward Snowden’s explanations of the ‘European bazaar’ should not come as a surprise to any of the European politicians and other officials involved in signals intelligence. They must have understood long ago that they have played their part in a game, where their own citizens have been betrayed, but they quietly accepted it. Not so surprising, many European politicians also lack the courage or moral to enable asylum to Snowden, despite the words from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay:

Without prejudging the validity of any asylum claim by Snowden, I appeal to all States to respect the internationally guaranteed right to seek asylum, in accordance with Article 14 of the Universal Declaration and Article 1 of the UN Convention relating to the status of Refugees, and to make any such determination in accordance with their international legal obligations

Torture in Russia

Swedish Radio today reports that the Committee Against Torture has stopped several deportations of Chechens from Sweden, because there may be a risk that these refugees would suffer torture if forced to return. This in one of many reports about torture and other violations of human rights in the Russian Federation. For example, one study concluded that the torture phenomenon is today commonplace and deeply rooted in the State institutons.