Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When Are Human Rights "Merely Breaking The Law"?

This is how Amnesty Israel explained why they thought the Israeli police alleged use of excessive force against the protesters this weekend was worse than the protester's violence against the police:

With regard to violence committed by the protesters, Amnesty said, "There is no room to compare this violence to the violence displayed by the police. The former is a violation of the law while the latter is a violation of human rights."
I have a hard time understanding Amnesty Israel's position. The protesters were far from innocent. They broke the windows of banks, blocked roads and allegedly attacked the police.  The right to own property is enshrined in  Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as follows:
"(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property"

 Though it has remained somewhat contreversial ans was not included in later treaties such as The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I don't think I need to cite a source to show that violence against people is an abuse of human rights. This is, unless Amnesty believes that policemen are somehow deprived of their human rights.  

This is sloppy writing by Amnesty. Amnesty should have equally condemned the use of violence by both sides. Trying to create a legalistic (and wrong) distinction between the two groups merely makes Amnesty looked incredibly biased against the state.

H/T: Israellycool

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