Jean Ziegler and the Khaddafi Human Rights Prize.pdf


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SWITZERLAND’S NOMINEE TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
AND THE MOAMMAR KHADDAFI HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE

During the next two weeks, as well as over the next year, the eyes of the
world—especially the eyes of those whose human rights are denied—will be turned
toward the United Nations’ new Human Rights Council. Great hopes have been
raised.
Among the Council’s expected actions next week will be the appointment and
renewal of its human rights experts, known as the Special Procedures. Many of these
experts do excellent and important work. Regrettably, however, one of the candidates
for election as an expert is a man who has routinely subverted the language of human
rights to serve the interests of dictators like Moammar Khaddafi.
This report—based on numerous documents (attached here), including official
records of the canton of Geneva, UN materials and international news sources—
reveals the leading role of Jean Ziegler, despite his denials and non-disclosures, in
founding the Moammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize, his ongoing relationship with
the Prize organization in Geneva, and his own receipt of the Prize. The report also
reveals how a group of interconnected organizations—co-founded and co-managed by
Mr. Ziegler—have awarded the Prize and its accompanying funding to notorious
racists and human rights violators, including convicted French Holocaust denier
Roger Garaudy.
The human rights record of Colonel Khaddafi’s regime is routinely rated by
Freedom House as one of the “Worst of the Worst.” Notwithstanding Libya’s recent
renunciation of weapons of mass destruction in return for international favor,
Khaddafi continues to rule by fiat, denying freedom of the press, freedom of religion,
freedom of assembly, and other basic civil rights and liberties. Security forces have
the power to pass sentence without trial. Arbitrary arrest and torture are
commonplace. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor have been sentenced to
death by firing squad, under trumped-up charges that they contaminated 400 children
with HIV/AIDS. International appeals have been rejected.
If one of the new UN Human Rights Council’s first actions was to be the
election of an expert with substantial ties to Libya—the country whose notorious 2003
election as chair of its predecessor helped to bring about the latter’s demise—the
harm to the Council’s credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness might be irreparable.
I.

Introduction

On April 11, 2006, an international coalition of human rights organizations,
including UN Watch, sent a letter of protest to the Swiss government over its
nomination of Jean Ziegler, a longtime apologist for dictators, to be an expert on the
UN’s human rights think-tank, the Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection
of Human Rights, which is now part of the newly created Human Rights Council.1
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NGO Statement Opposing Jean Ziegler’s Nomination to new UN Post, available here. The
signatories include Libya Watch for Human Rights; Libya Human Rights Solidarity; Madres

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