HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
Annually on December 10, Human Rights Day is celebrated across the world.
This date honors the December 10, 1948, United Nations, General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Traditionally, the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded on Human Rights Day, There are high-level political conferences and meetings that are held as well as cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues along with many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field that also schedule special events to commemorate the day.
Use #HumanRightsDay to post on social media.
It was on December 4, 1950, that the formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 217th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly when resolution 423(V) was declared, inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit. Each year a new theme is adopted by the United Nations.
ON DECK for December 11, 2016
Protection Not Protest: The People of Standing Rock
Protection Not Protest: The People of Standing Rock.
On April 1, 2016, an elder member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and her grandchildren established the Sacred Stone Camp to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they claim threatens the only water supply for the Standing Rock Reservation. Founded by LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, the camp is on her private land, and is a center for cultural preservation and spiritual resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protests at the pipeline site in North Dakota began in the spring of 2016 and continue to grow drawing indigenous people, U.S. Veterans and demonstrators of every color and creed. Over the weekend, Tavis Smiley joined Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme to hear from demonstrators and "water protectors" about the current state of the protest in North Dakota.
On October 27, more than 100 police from seven different states and the North Dakota National Guard, clad in riot gear and carrying automatic rifles, arrived in MRAPs [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected military vehicles], Humvees and an armored police truck. They defended Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the pipeline, and arrested 142 Water Protectors. That brings the total arrested since August to over 400. More than 40 people have been injured, and some have broken bones and welts from rubber bullets fired by officers.
AIUSA sent a delegation of observers to the area in August and has stayed in contact both with the Indigenous community and those policing the protests since then. Letters had previously been sent to the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Morton County Sheriff’s office calling for law enforcement officers to respect international human rights standards on the policing of protests.
"..To provide additional background on the situation, the officials reported they have been “dealing with this situation for almost 3 months” and alleged that during that time “protestors have stolen cattle, intimidated local residents, destroyed DAPL property, blocked public highways, and engaged in altercations with police.” Chief John and I were not presented with evidence supporting these allegations. However, the officials reported that over 400 arrests have been made over a period of 3 months. The officials also suggested that there are two contingents at the larger “south camp” including a more radical or militant minority and a larger, more peaceful group.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier indicated that his department “has nothing to hide” and allowed us to inspect and photograph the "temporary holding cells" (referred to as kennels or dog cages at the camp) located in the garage of the jail facility of the Morton County Sheriff at 205 1st Ave in Mandan, North Dakota. Chief John and I observed that the temporary holding cells included 4 divided cells for men and 2 for women with each unit said to accommodate 25 individuals. The two sets of units are separated by a blue tarp with a distance of about 30 ft between both sets of cells. The temporary holding cells were built over a concrete floor and no mats, no blankets, and no privacy was provided for the detainees. It was reported by the law enforcement officials that detainees were asked to remove their shoes and “strip down to one layer of clothing” and were held in these cells. The temporary holding cells were built by a local fencing company and according to officials, approved by the State Department of Corrections (see addendum). Two portable washrooms, one marked male and the other female, are located in the same space in the garage. This is where the individuals were processed. From this location, due to limited space in the Morton County jail facilities, individuals were then transported to other jail facilities - some as far as 400 miles away..."
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