I'm becoming impassive to the inconsistent and selective mantra chanting of Western liberals calling for human rights, rule of law and democracy. They seem to be quick to condemn human rights abuse in certain situations but in others, especially those involving Muslims, they remain curiously silent.
On 5 February 2016 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled on a Communication filed on behalf of the exiled Editor-in-Chief of Wikileaks. It ruled that since his arrest on 7 December 2010 he had been held arbitrarily. The Working Group recommended that the UK immediately release him and that he should be afforded the right to compensation.
Our political leaders won't act unless public pressure forces them to do so and the trade in blood diamonds will continue unchecked and unseen. Consumers, especially those in the fashion, film and media industry who are used to promote the industry, must questions the ethical provenance of the jewellery they wear and not allow the industry to fob them off with bogus claims that diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict-free.
The intent upon which the law of Universal Jurisdiction in the United Kingdom was developed was to ensure that those persons committing international crimes such as torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity, those crimes that have attained the status of jus cogens, in foreign jurisdictions couldn't escape justice, simply on the basis that that country did not have the appetite or ability to commence such proceedings.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
Apparently we are presented with two monochromatic sides of this argument, Team Israel vs. Team Gaza, and failure to select one on the basis of who is or is not a terrorist means that your opinion is unlikely to rear its humdrum head in mainstream news or grant you a few thousand followers on Twitter.
The shocking news that the city of Mosul in northern Iraq has just been overrun by ISIS Sunni extremists exposes beyond dispute the disastrous policy that is being followed by the British government in the Middle East, and more broadly the pressing need to hold the original authors of the ongoing disaster in Iraq - specifically Tony Blair - to legal account.
The United Kingdom should take the ICC's investigation in stride to show its younger, oversized, wayward little brother that there is nothing to be afraid of--and that global leadership in the 21st century demands constructive engagement, even with those institutions and organizations whose mandates you find disagreeable. This is a powerful aesthetic opportunity. The UK shouldn't waste it.
Syria has been, by and large, relegated from the front page to the 'World News' sections of quality papers. Politicians no longer mention the fate of that nation and its occupants - and, if they can summon up the courage, they do so in mundane statements, of the sort which bloodlessly assert how truly awful it all is.