Tag: <span>Solidarity</span>

The Hazara Apelaciones

Debemos proteger los derechos de la población Hazara en…

Imagen Destacada: Pueblo Hazara en las calles de Kabul, Afganistán 2020. Por Shaah-Sultaan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Association of World Citizens (AWC) Manifiesta su profunda preocupación por la posible represión contra la población Hazara en Afganistán, represión de tal magnitud que podría considerarse genocidio. Si bien todavía es demasiado pronto para saber cuáles serán las políticas y prácticas de los talibanes hacia las minorías, durante el pasado gobierno de los talibanes (1996-2001) hubo una discriminación sistemática contra los Hazara y una serie de masacres.

Hay unos tres millones de Hazara cuya zona de residencia se encuentra en el núcleo montañoso central de Afganistán, pero un buen número ha emigrado a Kabul, la mayoría ocupando puestos de mano de obra no calificada en la ciudad.

Los Hazara son mayoritariamente chiíes en religión, pero los talibanes y los miembros del Estado Islámico en Khorasan (ISIS-K) los consideran herejes no musulmanes o infieles, que ahora también tienen presencia armada en Afganistán.

En el pasado hubo un período genocida bajo el gobierno de Abdur Rahman Khan. Durante el período 1891-1893, se estima que el 60 por ciento de los Hazara fueron asesinados y muchos otros puestos en condiciones similares a la esclavitud.

Para comprender plenamente la preocupación de la AWC por los hazara, es útil recordar el artículo II de la Convención contra el Genocidio de 1948.

En la presente Convención, genocidio significa cualquiera de los siguientes actos cometidos con la intención de destruir, total o parcialmente, a un grupo nacional, étnico, racial o religioso, como tal:

  • Matar a miembros del grupo.
  • Causar daños físicos o mentales graves a los miembros del grupo.
  • Infligir deliberadamente al grupo condiciones de vida calculadas para provocar la destrucción física total o parcial.
  • Imponer medidas destinadas a prevenir los nacimientos dentro del grupo.
  • Transferir por la fuerza a los niños del grupo a otro grupo.

Abdur Rahman Khan

Abdur Rahman Khan, Rey de Afganistán desde 1880 hasta 1901. Por Frank A. Martin, Dominio Público, via Wikimedia Commons.

No obstante, han existido  repetidos llamamientos para que la Convención sobre el Genocidio de 1948 sea operativa como ley mundial. El entonces Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, Kofi Annan, dijo en un discurso en la UNESCO el 8 de diciembre de 1998:

“Muchos pensaron, sin duda, que los horrores de la Segunda Guerra Mundial – los campos, la crueldad, los exterminios, el Holocausto – no podrían volver a ocurrir. Y sin embargo lo han hecho. En Camboya, en Bosnia y Herzegovina, en Ruanda. Nuestro tiempo, incluso esta década, nos ha demostrado que la capacidad del hombre para el mal no conoce límites. El genocidio, la destrucción de todo un pueblo sobre la base de sus orígenes étnicos o nacionales, es ahora una palabra que también es nuestro tiempo libre, un recordatorio duro e inquietante de por qué nuestra vigilancia es eterna..”

La Convención de 1948 tiene un artículo de acción, el Artículo VIII:

Cualquier Parte Contratante podrá pedir a los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas que tomen las medidas previstas en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas que consideren apropiadas para la prevención y represión de actos de genocidio. […]

A pesar de las pruebas fácticas de matanzas en masa, algunas con la intención de destruir “en su totalidad o en parte”, ninguna Parte Contratante ha pedido jamás que se tomen medidas en virtud del artículo VIII. (1)

Los criterios para que los asesinatos en masa se consideren genocidio no dependen del número de personas asesinadas o del porcentaje del grupo destruido, sino de la posibilidad de que se destruya la identidad de un grupo. Es la identidad de los Hazara y su base religiosa es el tema clave. Los eventos deben ser observados de cerca y las organizaciones no gubernamentales deben estar preparadas para tomar las medidas adecuadas.Kofi Annan

El Enviado Especial Conjunto, Kofi Annan, habló con los medios de comunicación en la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra después de la reunión del Grupo de Acción para Siria del 30 de junio de 2012. Por US Mission en Geneva, Dominio Público, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Nota.

(1) Para un estudio detallado de la Convención de 1948 y el desarrollo normativo subsiguiente, ver: William A. Schabas, Genocide in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2000, 624 pp.)

 

Prof. René Wadlow, Presidente de  the Association of World Citizens.

Si deseas leer este artículo en su versión original, visita: We Must Protect the Rights of the Hazara Population in Afghanistan.

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The Hazara Appeals

We Must Protect the Rights of the Hazara Population…

Featured Image: Hazara people in the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan 2020. By Shaah-Sultaan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Association of World Citizens (AWC) is strongly concerned by possible repression against the Hazara population in Afghanistan, repression of such an extent that it could be considered genocide. While it is still too early to know what the policies and practice of the Taliban toward minorities will be now, during the past Taliban rule (1996-2001) there was systematic discrimination against the Hazara and a number of massacres.

There are some three million Hazara whose home area is in the central mountainous core of Afghanistan, but a good number have migrated to Kabul, most holding unskilled labor positions in the city. The Hazara are largely Shi’a in religion but are considered as non-Muslim heretics or infidels by the Taliban as well as by members of the Islamic State in Khorasan (ISIS-K), now also an armed presence in Afghanistan.

In the past there was a genocidal period under the rule of Abdur Rahman Khan. During the 1891-1893 period, it is estimated that 60 percent of the Hazara were killed, and many others put into slavery-like conditions.

To understand fully the concern of the AWC for the Hazara, it is useful to recall Article II of the 1948 Convention against Genocide.

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Abdur Rahman Khan

Abdur Rahman Khan, King of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. By Frank A. Martin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

There have been repeated appeals to make the 1948 Genocide Convention operative as world law. The then United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said in an address at UNESCO on December 8, 1998:

“Many thought, no doubt, that the horrors of the Second World War – the camps, the cruelty, the exterminations, the Holocaust – could not happen again. And yet they have. In Cambodia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, In Rwanda. Our time – this decade even – has shown us that man’s capacity for evil knows no limits. Genocide – the destruction of an entire people on the basis of ethnic or national origins – is now a word our out time too, a stark and haunting reminder of why our vigilance but be eternal.”

The 1948 Convention has an action article, Article VIII:

Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide […]

Despite factual evidence of mass killings, some with the intent to destroy “in whole or in part”, no Contracting Party has ever called for any action under Article VIII. (1)

The criteria for mass killings to be considered genocide does not depend on the number of people killed or the percentage of the group destroyed but on the possibility of the destruction of the identity of a group. It is the identity of the Hazara and their religious base which is the key issue. Events need to be watched closely, and nongovernmental organizations must be prepared to take appropriate action.

Kofi Annan

Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan spoke with the media at the United Nations Office at Geneva following the June 30, 2012 Meeting of the Action Group for Syria. By US Mission in Geneva, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Note.

(1) For a detailed study of the 1948 Convention and subsequent normative development see: William A. Schabas, Genocide in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2000, 624 pp.)

 

Prof. René Wadlow is President of the Association of World Citizens.

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Antoine de Saint Exupéry Portraits of World Citizens.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry (29 Jun 1900 – 31…

Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Scanned drawing. By К.Е.Сергеев, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry was a cosmopolitan humanist in the Stoic tradition. He belonged to the rural nobility of France and could have used the title of Count but never did. His mother, however; did use the title of Countess and raised her five children in a large property in central France, near Lyon; her husband having died shortly after the birth of her fifth child.  Saint Ex as he is usually called was the middle child and the older boy. He always recalled the calm atmosphere of the property where he grew up; “spoiled” by his mother and older sisters.

The Saint Exupéry family was traditionally Roman Catholic; and his mother was very attracted to Catholic practice.  Antoine de Saint Exupéry, however; by temperament and intellectually grew early to hold views close to those of Henri Bergson; a belief in an impersonal cosmic energy that was the motor of evolution.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in Tunis in 1935. By Unknown authorUnknown authorWhidou, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dreamy.

Therefore; some would call this cosmic energy “God” though Saint Ex rarely did.  However; out of respect for his mother; he never expressed anti-clerical ideas.  A reflective youth; he was often called “dreamy” and was most at ease in solitude. Solitary reflection in a state of harmony with Nature was his character throughout life; and in this he was close to the Greek and Roman Stoics.

In secondary school and at university; he studied science, and later in life with his experience as a pilot; he held several patents for airplane improvements. France had a system of universal military service for men, when one reached 21.  Thus; in 1921 Saint Ex was taken into the military and trained as a pilot − the importance of the military use of the air force having been shown in the 1914-1918;  First World War.  On finishing his military service and with no set career plans; he used his air force training to join the newly created postal air service between Europe and the French colonies of Africa; and later to South America.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

A model of Saint-Exupery’s Breguet 14 at the Museo Antoine de Saint-Exupéry en Tarfaya (Marruecos). By dimitri from Millau, France, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Framework for Saint Ex’s writings.

These experiences of early flights over ocean, desert and mountain obstacles; create the framework for Saint Ex’s writings. The theme is the solitude of the individual facing nature and the solidarity among the men; who are facing these common dangers.

The Saint Exupéry family had friends in the publishing world; and Antoine was encouraged to write on his experiences. In 1928; his first book Courrier Sud is published on his experiences of flying mail to Africa; and saving his colleagues who had crashed. In 1930; he is sent to South America to create the air postal service there.  He drew from the experience to write Vol de nuit with a preface by André Gide; then at the height of his literary influence.  Saint Ex also brought back from South America a wife, Consuelo Suncin.  It was in today’s terminology a very “open marriage”. St Ex, good looking and famous, had many female adventures, but his wife had no fewer.

Solidarity and Togetherness.

In the mid-1930s; the private postal service companies were “nationalized”. Saint Ex, in personality clashes; was pushed out of what had become Air France. His fame as a writer opened the door to writing for newspapers, especially that he already knew many of the publishers. In 1935, he spent a month in Moscow and was impressed by the solidarity of the First of May celebrations. However; Saint Ex had no political or economic views and his Moscow reports are more on the solidarity of Russians among themselves.

In 1936; the civil war started in Spain and Saint Ex was sent to report on the battles. Again he had no particular views of the ideology of the Republicans and the Fascists; but he was struck by the solidarity among the soldiers on both sides. In 1937; he was sent to report on Hitler’s Germany. He had no sympathy for the Nazi cause; but was impressed by the “togetherness” of the Nazi mass ceremonies.

 

Le Petit Prince.

On the eve of the war in 1939; his best known book Terre des hommes was published. In English, it became Wind, Sand, and Stars and was widely read in the USA.  Although Saint Ex was against war; believing that “all men can be brothers”; once the war with Germany was declared; by a sense of duty; he joined the French army air force until the armistice was signed with Germany.  From this war experience, he wrote Pilote de guerre, translated into English as Flight to Arras, the city where was posted.

Terre des Hommes - Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Antoin de Saint-Exupéry (29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As France started to be occupied by German troops, he left for North Africa and then quickly moved to New York City where his writings were well known in literary circles and where he had friends. While in New York, he published his philosophical tale  Le Petit Prince,  which became his most translated book. 

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry exhibit at the French Air and Space Museum in Le Bourget, Paris. Shown are four title’s from Saint-Exupéry’s works: Le Petit Prince (lower left), The Little Prince (upper right), Pilot de  Guerre (lower right) and Lettre à un otage (upper left).By Harry Zilber, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Citadelle.

When the US troops liberated North Africa and the Free French government was established there, Saint Ex returned to North Africa to rejoin the French air force. Although at 43, he was “overage” to pilot the US war plane Lightning P38, his fame was such that he could not be refused. It is with a Lightning that he carried out a number of reconnaissance missions over Italy and France. On 31 July 1944 his plane was shot down by German fire and was lost in the Mediterranean.

A book of his philosophical thoughts on which he had been working for a number of years Citadelle was published in 1948 after his death. Saint Ex’s style was influenced by Frederic Nietzche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra which he had read.

However, the spirit is much closer to Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. There is no indication that he had read  Gibran in Saint Ex’s period in New York. It is more likely that both writers shared a common outlook on life. Saint Ex’s outlook was basically that of the Stoics: the common nature of all humans whatever the cultural differences, harmony with Nature, and calm in the face of danger.

René Wadlow, President, the Association of World Citizens.

 
 
 

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