tv [untitled] February 16, 2011 10:30pm-11:00pm EST
i'm algernon and today my guest in the studio is now to late. it's her first visit here the u.n. high commissioner for human rights is in russia to check out the situation now that has so far left an era of top officials including the president so how does she find the state of affairs here is the u.n. high commissioner for human rights now the. two years ago russia was trying to qualify for the membership in the un human rights council but a poor record on press freedom civil liberties and etc put paid to its aspirations present better for the trained lawyer and is actively promoting democratic values in the country during a recent meeting for human rights activists he agreed with many of their proposals it's seen as a good step towards improving the country's human rights record and a precursor for its future membership of the council.
see thank you very much for being with us it's a privilege to have you on the show was great privilege thank you thank you for coming well first of all you have met the president of russia and had a chance to talk to him and as you know. a situation with the police with the militia being transformed into police and big reform going on and the the russian president is very much into this idea of changing changing the way the force works well it was in the beginning of your career if i'm not mistaken you were suing the police and the any major name as a lawyer by suing the police for for misusing the police force so they did you have something to offer did you have something to to share with the russians concerning the reform of the police force was not my own experience or because we were standing against the a far too. police who used torture and in one of the cases they detained and
tortured my husband and that's when we brought court action. here i welcome that initiative is coming at the highest level from the president on the form and so that i want to watch closely and be very supportive. i think that. his initiative is very good to address the form of the judiciary and the police and the military and many other aspects. hoping that that will be followed through and implemented well the russian public isn't very happy about the way the way the russian police force is implementing the the human rights and it's not always respectful to human rights are the un human rights bodies are going to monitor the the implementation of the new law in russia the.
human rights council is the premier body which watches out for the protection and promotion of human rights and this body was set up by the un general assembly it's based in geneva and i. the secretary of that body they periodically look at the human rights situation of every country as well as russia the review is done by other member states so the recommendations they make a very important one of them will obviously cover the. the peace and security issues the conduct of police the use of torture and above all that the police should not only be law enforcement but should be a protection agency so it will be a matter that will be subject to the review what are the major problems could you
can you give us work like a short list of major problems with human rights in russia that you see while it is my second day here on missions i want to hesitate to bits in forming any conclusions you know that i have full press conference on thursday and that's where i will give my sis ments but nevertheless from what i have seen over two days and talking with. civil society organizations and including the ministers in the government. is that you have very very good laws. but there is a big gap there's a deficit in implementation of these laws if i take for instance the equality principle that's in almost every law and yet i see very few women in positions of power or in decision making. they tell me that they are subject to huge
discrimination and they subject to domestic violence so one of the things i will be urging is all right you have the equality principle in your basic law so it feels good to have it there what can you do about delivering that on the on the grounds so that people can see a real difference and one of the ways i'm going to suggest is i have specialized laws many countries in the world have now passed family violence acts specifically making it a crime you know most countries russia being no exception always treated domestic violence as. something that happens in the private side if you're here and the police tell the woman complainant if she's the one who's been beaten up they tell her to go on a case and make up yeah i've heard this in very many countries so that's that's what i'm watching out for how to support these efforts and we are in
a position my office we are almost a thousand strong and so we are in a position to to provide the search and material that we provide to almost fifty six countries in the world where we have a presence into international issues egypt has been making headlines for nearly three weeks now and commenting on the events in egypt prior to mubarak's resignation you said i quote one of the prime drivers of this chaos seems to have been the actions of egypt's security and intelligence services and quote do you insist on calling for an international investigation of this matter we've been sitting on that i will call for an independent investigation it could be a national. because there are. people in egypt
they they could be selected by the people themselves so as long as they are independent there's no interference from the attorney fees i think that they were able to conduct an investigation but above all make that the mendacious and on ethical code of conduct for the security forces we saw a little bit of that which is out in the deaths of almost three hundred peaceful protesters so that's really bad for a country like egypt. but it's combined with the fact that there was a dictatorship for thirty years what i've also pointed out in my press statements is that the. complaints of the people are all to do with human rights it's breath freedom human dignity civil and political rights economic and social rights so human rights and the lack of feet are the bay are the heart of the problems in egypt. but you mention the national government the gyptian authorities themselves
for a league committee investigating the matter but do you think immersion in government especially like like in the ship today could be impartial such an investigation well firstly they're still forming in the government. it's the military who is in command i welcome that they said they're going to. hand over to civil system as soon as possible and hold elections is all good signs but i actually don't know who the authorities are and i don't want to comment on the on the formations the political formations because that's for egyptians to decide what i say to egypt is there are standards and values set up by the international community in very many treaties and these should be their guide on what kind of system of government they
would like the root of it should be democracy and human rights well you have visited the middle east recently and you know the situation you've seen it with is do you think that egypt from inside should lift the blockade of the gaza. strip and improve the grim humanitarian situation of the should it happen and will it help while you're quite right i sized just saw that the days ago with my own eyes. the blockade i have said is illegal i think that the peace treaty between israel and egypt. secures the co-op. ration of egypt even to imposing that blockade in yemen it's illegal because of it collectively punishes civilians it denies just basic food until cement for instance is not allowed and so they are unable to build houses the houses demolished standing
outside in the early is just an absolute necessity. so it's my hope that when they address. the maintenance of this peace treaty they will leave you cooperation with regard to the blockade i just met with the gazans i heard for themselves what their hopes and dreams are for some relief from the change in egypt while during your visit to israel and palestine one of the local papers quoted you as saying east jerusalem is being steadily drained of its palestinian habitants in a clear cut defiance of the security council resolutions end quote does that mean you will be bringing this issue. at the security council. well i don't have the power to do that its member states can or can bring matters before you can make you've had a militia trying to make this happen you know why my work mandate has
a high commissioner to bring matters like this in the open not only by way of press statement but by a reports we do file reports. on the occupied territory. almost like two of reports a year and we support the various commissions such as the goldstone commission that investigated. the operation cast lead attack on gaza flotilla raid so all this is our work in. providing liable reports for the human rights council the general assembly and the skill to council to take action. mary poway the un high commissioner for human rights spotlighted will be back shortly we will continue this interview in less than a minute sound the way your agenda.
a pretty tree they have no idea about the hardships that we face. to claim one it businesses are all going to need to. bring the army to life ever using them it is the most precious thing in the world. if you use of self-sacrifice and heroism but those who understand it fully but you have to live a. real life stories from world war two six six three nine hundred forty five don't r.t. dot com. welcome back to spotlight i am now going to have in just a reminder that my guest on the show today is now the pele the u.n. high commissioner for human rights not russia is proposing to send a u.n.
security council mission to the middle east to save the peace process blocked by israel settlements policy and their activity do you believe this mission is long overdue and will of the helpful what's your opinion. well in my meeting with president medvedev i urged him to play a role in the middle east because i have just come from there and i have heard from people heard from palestinians in will in the west bank in east jerusalem and gaza har the international community should not forget them and of course peace is the. proud everything else flows from the lack of it and israel's major concern is its security and we have to. respect that as well and i think that the russian federation has
a very important role to play and i raised the matter with the president because he has recently been there i think he was there a few days before me. yorks and see another middle east country with a situation human rights is iran and has a pretty pretty low human human rights record and you you have already expressed concern over the situation there you said you mentioned the number of those executed including three known to be political dissidents and you said you were planning to visit this country pretty soon and to enter and to try tried to go in depth into the situation there. is really happening i and all these plans are going to be released in time so i received the invitation from the national human rights commission of iran and thereafter it was supported by the government of iran asking
me to come as a high commissioner for human rights and observe the human rights situation there and i welcome these because some of the countries simply closed the door to us. but i laid down several preconditions the key one being that i usually send premier. in to. to plan the tour and also to advise me on the situation and we just now live agreed to the supreme mission and we're going to be fixing the dates and going there but i want to make clear is a need for me to go because of a call as well from the people of iran and the very many e-mails and letters and petitions that i received from that country with regard to really many . human rights situations of grave concern ok now i want to comment on a failing that we heard from the u.n.
secretary general mr ban ki moon he recently addressed the u.n. human rights council with criticism and here's the quote he said this body has come under criticism from various quarters for this human rights council to fulfill its mandate it must be seen as impartial and fair and quote as the supervisor of the h. or c. would you agree that the human rights council really deserve this criticism i think that it was a reminder rather than a criticism from the secretary general and little mind is to point out to the states that this is their body it's the only mechanism we have. human rights issues pertaining to a country can be addressed and therefore member states should take that job seriously and not just support their friends or criticize their photos they should
impartially examine that a court and make recommendations because that's the least that victims of violations in various countries hopeful. of the e.u.'s first shills and even mr byrne given himself well they. give an impression that they would like to see the un special rapporteur imposed in human rights mr richard falk be fired after he suggested there was what he called the apparent cover up in the two thousand and one terrorist attacks on the united states would what's your position that do you share the position of some observers that they will when they say that it's it's sort of a censorship within the u.n. . richard falk is one of almost forty experts appointed by the human rights council so it's the member states who appoint
them they pick them for the expertise it whether they are expertise on top or water or indigenous populations in this case is a special rapporteur is an expert on israel there are a few country specific men it's been one sudan it's the other and what richard falk says each time he delivers he's a report in the human rights council is don't attack me personally. consider the substance of my report so i think it's really a diversion to go after him personally and the views he olds personally they should look at the report because he has carefully documented very serious violations and what we're hoping for is that together member states will address these and urged israel to redress those violations i think that they are experts they are tools very important to people to look forward to them russia has invited some of them
like the expert on indigenous peoples who was here. and they are very helpful to governments and to people so the human rights council should respect the experts whom they have elected so so so you think that what putin. says really deserves more attention than his personality. and all and you know he can be a little removed except by the human rights council that elected him ok now the very very touchy issue to the issue of the this so-called multiculturalism which which apparently doesn't work or at least these this is what people are are saying louder and louder in europe merkel now the david cameron and sarkozy so on. are they right what's your comment to that is has it really
failed the multiculturalism in europe. look before i answer your question about europe because that's a different context and each country's different let me say. that the is what my former president nelson mandela achieved for us in south africa and if he had not. developed this ethos of respecting each other giving space and not discriminating in any on religious or racial basis we wouldn't have peace today so now we have peace and democracy because he said certain lines and values i come here to russia and i find that person medvedev is making a rather important statements on multiculturalism it may work in some countries it may not like this issue but it would be very distressing i'm sorry for interrupting here trusting that the situation in russia is totally different from the situation in europe because russia was an empire and for multi cultural state in its nature
not like the the the british the germans get right back in these are important points is making you have one hundred and ninety ethnic groups for instance and he's calling for respect for ethnicity respect for diversity there are many important human rights principles above all is calling for an interest in a phobic violence which i must say is a problem right going on right now in russia and in many parts of the world so if that's he is his. policy towards dealing with the situation and just getting people to respect each other's human rights i think that i wish him well. from the point of view of human rights while we all of course we all one human rights the idea humor to be observed to work with those that work better in the boiling part quite in the united states like they're all americans or i can cross
the. border in canada where multiculturalism well if i judge from what i really read in the papers in the us it works better than in canada do you agree while the melting pot is better than multiculturalism while i die what i would say is there are challenges everywhere i just told you how wonderful south africa is it isn't we have xenophobic violence as well i think my answer as a high commissioner for human rights and i'm encouraging that here too on my visit to russia is i think that we have to have human rights education in schools so you build values and respect for one another so there isn't suspicion and discrimination but rather embracing embracing everyone as human beings and a last carbon from you please mr cameron's state when a white person holds objectionable views racist views for instance we rightly
condemn them but when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn't white we've been too cautious frankly even fearful to stand up to them do you agree with with these words of the british prime minister while these words seem to indicate that they've been very patronizing so far. you have to apply the principle impartially quickly once again let me fault but still mandela he said we will not do to white people what they did to us because we want to build a nation a nice positive message i think that racism should be condemned in all its forms of racism racial discrimination that's why we adopted a very good document not we the states and up to them a good document after the durban world conference on racism and i'm urging all states to implement what they undertook in that document and that is to
end racism. discriminations in a phobia in all forms thank you thank you very much your excellency for being with us centuries through minded my guest in the studio was navi pillay the un high commissioner for human rights and that's it for now from all of us here spotlight will be back with more firsthand comments on what's going on in and outside russia until then stay on r.t. and take care thank you thank you very much for the closure talking to you.
gross continued to swivel the outer worlds upon by the revolutions in tunisia and egypt will have the latest and rescued me. and the position politician in this way may face up to two years in jail for disagreeing with the government's version of recent history he denies the official account that soviet troops are responsible for billy's there which fourteen people were shot dead in ninety nine c. one. hundred forty experts say rising food prices have held drive recent unrest to be one of warning of a looming catastrophe. up next your live show which his from the mother of the c.b.s. correspondent talks and sexually assaulted in cairo and also looks at president obama's defense spending plans.
welcome a lot of show we'll get the real headlines with none of the mersey we're going live to washington d.c. now today we'll look into the budget cuts and the one area that always seems to get off completely untouched defense spending nathan hodge will join me in studio to talk about the military industrial complex and his new book armed humanitarians next the media world has exploded with news of c.b.s. correspondent lara logan's assault while reporting on protests in egypt now though it's rare to hear about incidents like this do female reporters face problems like this on the regular is it a risk that comes with the job we're going to speak with mother jones reporter mark mcclellan and even though the defense department seems untouchable there is still yet another industry that is doing even better right now pharmaceuticals aren't.