The International Writers Magazine:Comment
MENTIONED HUMAN RIGHTS?
of my many tasks as Honorary British Consul is to visit the local
prison centres where several British citizens are held on various
charges of breaking Spanish law. My main concern is that of a
humanitarian nature and is to ensure the safeguard of their treatment
and their welfare under the various international and European
agreements of human rights for prisoners.
Spain is a civilized
country and therefore there are hardly any real complaints of this nature.
When I first visited one of these institutions, I naively asked the
Director about the abidance of human rights in general and especially
by the prison guards when dealing with awkward prisoners. His answer
was quite succinct. Mr. Skinner, over 60% of the criminals in
here dont even know what human rights are!
Now this does not mean that there is any brutality of torture going
on in my local prisons. What the Director meant was that the majority
of the inmates were from neither countries that had no civil rights
codes, nor laws that protected abuse and therefore the criminals themselves
had no idea what was right or wrong as far as their possible treatment
was concerned. Turn the table round and this can also be interpreted
as everything goes by criminal acts perpetrated by citizens
of outlandish areas of the world when they happen to be in a law abiding
country such as those of the European Union. There are many persons
of different nationalities wandering around Europe today, legally or
illegally who couldnt give a fig about law and order. Because
they were so used to disorder in their original natural habitat, including
their own prisons it is very easy for them to interpret human rights
attitudes by their prison wardens as sheer weakness of authority. Put
another way, a stay in a European prison is equivalent to a 3 star hotel
in their own country. So what gives then, with all this hoopla about
Guantanamo and the United Nations insistence on closing it down? Who
is Koffi Annan listening to, the international secret service organisations
or Amnesty International?
Then we have all the do-gooders around the world, especially the international
media screaming blue murder at George Bush because the Pentagon is ill
treating suspected terrorists of all shapes and sizes. Has everyone
forgotten Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda friends? What about the destruction
of the twin towers in New York, the trains in Madrid and the underground
in London to name a few human rights acts; were the perpetrators
of these horrendous mass murders thinking about human rights at the
time? Not that Im in favour of torture and brutality of any kind;
far from it. The world has a right to know what goes on in one of the
most secretive prison centres in the world. This is probably where the
US military have got it wrong. But lets put everything into perspective
once and for all. Any guy who travels on a Western passport, flies out
to Pakistan for a few weeks, attends a tea party in Afghanistan and
is then caught by the US secret service is ripe for interrogation. As
Condoleezza Rice said without hesitation, thanks to Guantanamo,
weve been able to hinder a great deal of possible terrorist attacks
in Europe. Believe it if you like, but I think she has a point.
But we still havent got it right anyway. No sooner has the United
Nations condemned the Cuban prison centre that along comes the News
of the World newspaper from the UK and splashes a series of
pictures printed off a video depicting British soldiers beating the
hell out of a few Iraqi youngsters in Basra. The events were meant to
have taken place two years ago yet the timing of the publication is
bang on! Nothing like fuelling the Islamic dynamite centres around the
world now that they are all up in arms against the West because of some
caricatures published in a Danish newspaper in September last year showing
the prophet Mohammed. Its as if the media have done it on purpose.
Did everything cease forthwith? No way!
The Australian television has now jumped on the bandwagon and released
new pictures previously unseen of the abuses by US troops at the infamous
Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq that occurred way back in 2003. US civil liberty
groups have rushed to the rescue of human rights, once again and asked
for a full blown inquiry. Into what? To once again open up all the wounds
on human rights abuses that we were all subjected to three years ago
and to condemn a few psychopathic army guards who had nothing better
to do than torture a few prisoners at the time is crazy. Is all this
muck-raising on the pretext of exposing the truth going
to better relations with our Islamic brethren? Like hell it is! And
the worst thing is that it has nothing to do with the fight on neither
terrorism nor the appeasing of hungry Muslims the world over who are
screaming for revenge against our Western civilization. It just adds
to the madness.
Back in my host country, Spain we have just celebrated an international
forum in Valencia to discuss the plight of victims of terrorism.
Would you believe it? This country actually organised a real live show
and get-together of innocent human beings, especially those who were
or have had a relative shot, blown up or destroyed by the Basque terrorist
organisation ETA in order to view discuss and reassert the plight of
their own human rights abuse that had been inflicted on
them. Is it splashed across the international news? Are there massive
demonstrations supporting these victims and their destroyed lives? No,
sir! Nobody gives a damn about a few mutilated bodies, motherless children
or lost relatives who had their lives thrown out of the window by a
so called human rights abuser of another kind. When these
bastards are caught, are they given a Pit-bull or a Rotweiller as a
playmate? Are they paraded naked and asked to masturbate until they
are sperm dry? No sir! Anyone caught by the European authorities that
have blown up a few supermarkets and although they are condemned to
a few years in prison, not many, just a few are given three meals a
day, plenty of exercise and even a university course in business management
to pass the time away.
That is why I always ask, who mentioned human rights?
© James Skinner. February 2006.
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