Executive Director of Amnesty International Warns United Nations Faces Critical “Turning Point in Human History”

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In the wake of issuing Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on the State of the World’s Human Rights, Executive Director, Larry Cox, claims the global struggle for human rights has reached a critical “turning point.” in an exclusive interview with Rebecca Costa, host of The Costa Report.

the global struggle for human rights has reached a critical “turning point.

In the wake of issuing Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on the State of the World’s Human Rights, Executive Director, Larry Cox, claims the global struggle for human rights has reached a critical “turning point.” In an exclusive interview with Rebecca Costa, the host of The Costa Report, Cox said:

‘We’re at a critical moment. There was such hope unleashed by the events in Tunisia and Egypt and this spread not only to the (immediate) region and North Africa, but also throughout the world. You saw people in Zimbabwe and China beginning to speak out. . . . We’re right at the moment when the world must decide who we are going to stand with. Are we going to stand with those who are killing and locking up people for expressing their beliefs? Those who are silencing the internet? Or are we going to stand with those that are risking their lives for the ideals we say we believe in?”

Cox urges leaders to “double, triple and quadruple their efforts” to support citizens who are fighting for “the dignity and freedom that all governments - more than 60 years ago - said they would protect.” Cox was referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted as international law by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. By virtue of their membership in the United Nations, 192 countries are obligated to uphold human rights as described in the U.N. Charter: “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction to race, sex, language, or religion.” Cox warns there is a great “gap between rhetoric and verbal and written commitments, and (government) practices.” He encourages individual citizens and grass roots organizations to “keep pushing governments to live up to their word.”

When asked by Costa whether America can afford the high cost of supporting insurgency abroad, Cox was quick to respond:

“The kind of military intervention we’ve seen (in the past) has been extremely costly, and in many ways counter-productive. . . (instead) we need to listen to what the people in these places are really saying. They’re not saying we want the United States to invade or occupy us. They’re simply saying we don’t want you backing the very people who are locking us up because we blog something they don’t like, and killing us simply because we come out on the street and say we want a constitution that gives us freedom of expression.”

In addition to the Middle East, Cox believes the United States faces a turning point of its own: human rights violations at Guantanamo and the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) on the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where hundreds Afghan nationals are being indefinitely held. According to Cox “This is one of the great stains on America’s character. . .We have people who have been held (in jail) for years without ever being charged with a crime, or tried.” Cox claims due process for detainees has been thwarted at every turn. He explained:

“It’s not just President Obama’s fault. He’s met with incredible resistance from the Congress. The effort to finally use the court system that we are so proud of has been blocked. The attempt to bring people out of Guantanamo to United States prisons has been blocked. . . Right now we are criticizing governments around the world for using military commissions to try people, and yet, that’s exactly what we’re proposing to do.”

Despite Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report, which reveals human rights abuses in 157 countries - including torture reported in 98 – the Executive Director of Amnesty International remains optimistic:

“One of the things that has changed is that the voices you’re now hearing speak out
about human rights are not coming from London or New York. One of the contributions Amnesty International has made over the past 50 years is inspiring people around the world to form their own human rights organizations. So when you pick up the paper now you’re likely to hear about human rights groups in places like Syria who are now the ones actually doing the reporting and gathering information . .There are now thousands of human rights organizations that are standing up and demanding their rights, including some in the most repressive countries in the world - and that’s a huge step forward.”

The full interview with the Larry Cox is available at http://www.rebeccacosta.com, iTunes and KSCO.com.

About Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org
Amnesty International, founded in London in 1961, is a global, non-governmental agency whose mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” In 1977, the organization received the Nobel Peace prize for its “campaign against torture” and in 1978, was awarded the United Nations Prize for Human Rights. Amnesty International is supported by over 3 million members. The organization’s Executive Director is Larry Cox.

About Rebecca D. Costa: http://www.rebeccacosta.com
Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice in the mold of Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell and Jared Diamond, Costa examines “the big picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to evolutionary forces. Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. The success of Costa’s book led to a weekly radio program in 2010 called The Costa Report. A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in Silicon Valley (sold in 1997 to J. Walter Thompson), Costa developed an extensive track record of introducing new technologies. Her clients included industry giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Seibel Systems, 3M, Amdahl, and General Electric Corporation.

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