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Amid 100s of Death Sentences in Egypt, AI 2013 Report Spun in Silent UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 26 -- Egypt sentencing 529 people to death this week put the death penalty was put even more in the spotlight. But Amnesty International's report "Annual death penalty statistics report 2014: Death Sentences and Execution 2013" just publicly released makes scant reference to Egypt, setting out this list:


Afghanistan (2), Bangladesh (2), Botswana (1), China (+), India (1), Indonesia (5), Iran (369+), Iraq (169+), Japan (8), Kuwait (5), Malaysia (2+), Nigeria (4), North Korea (+), Palestinian Authority 5 (3+, by the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza), Saudi Arabia (79+), Somalia (34+; 15+ by the Federal Government, and 19+ in Puntland), South Sudan (4+), Sudan (21+), Taiwan (6), USA (39), Viet Nam (7+), Yemen (13+). Little or no information was available in some countries - in particular Egypt...

  The United Nations, too, does and says very little about Egypt, beyond a single Security Council meeting.

  Amnesty International, it emerged, held an embargoed press conference "for UN-based media" on March 26 at 11 am, while a Security Council meeting was taking place.

  But the briefing wasn't publicized even to all UN resident correspondents -- which Amnesty could easily have itself done, and held its briefing in the UN Press Briefing Room. Instead it was held in the clubhouse of the United Nations Correspondents Association, which has degenerated into the UN's Censorship Alliance, having documentably sought to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

   One of the UNCA complaints "for the record" to the UN has since been banned from Google's Search by a dubious use for censorship of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, here, critiqued by the the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And Amnesty?

  Amnesty and its UN representation to their credit highlighted for example that one can be sentenced to death for adultery in Saudi Arabia, and for car jacking in Nigeria and Kenya (now cracking down in Somalis).

  But why would Amnesty partner with censors? UNCA allowed into the UN, for example, the Sri Lankan government's response to "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka," which was NOT screened in the UN but rather by Amnesty International at the Church Center across First Avenue. Click here for more on that.

  In Geneva earlier on March 26, Amnesty International spoke about accountability for Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council. What about accountability in the UN?

  Later on March 26, UNCA president Pamela Falk was spotted behind the UNCA signs blocking the windows of the rarely-open clubhouse the UN gives to its Censorship Alliance.

   While of a press conference Amnesty held in London, it tweeted a photograph before the embargo and presumably recorded the press conference, even after the embargo whatever was said in the UN Censorship Alliance, for example on Egypt, was not available. Death penalty or the death of openness? The means are the end. The end.


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