Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Hate without Borders

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Hate without Borders

Article excerpt

Nations throughout the world continue their crusade to silence members of the free press

When the United Nations Commission on Human Rights kicked off its annual session in Switzerland on March 17, the Castro government of member-nation Cuba observed the spirit of the occasion by waiting a whole day before rounding up 28 independent journalists in police raids. Before the U.N. commission's six-week session was even half over, the journalists had been run through one-day secret trials and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 14 to 27 years. A far worse fate awaited the desperate trio who tried to escape the island while Cuban delegates sat in judgment of human rights in Geneva's Palais des Nations assembly hall: They surrendered April 3, and were executed by firing squad at dawn on April 11.

Another episode occurred on the opening day of the commission's session. A few members of the Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its initials in French) tossed leaflets inside the hall to protest the outrageous appointment of Libya -- the Libya of the tyrant Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libya of the cold-blooded murder of 280 men, women and children aboard Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland -- to chair the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

So guess who was just suspended for disrespecting the U.N. human rights commission? Hint: It wasn't the regime that imprisons journalists for merely doing their jobs. …

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