NoonShadow

An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

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Speaker for the oppressed and downtrodden?

The N.Y. Times explains how the U.N. chooses sides between gang rapists and their victims:


Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman whose defiant response to being gang-raped by order of a tribal court brought her worldwide attention, was denied a chance to speak at the United Nations on Friday after Pakistan protested that it was the same day the country's prime minister was visiting.

Ms. Mai had long been scheduled to make an appearance called "An Interview With Mukhtar Mai: The Bravest Woman on Earth" in the United Nations television studios, sponsored by the office for nongovernmental organizations, the Virtue Foundation and the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Human Rights.

But on Thursday night the organizers were informed that the program would have to be postponed because of Pakistan's objections.

Ms. Mai is leaving New York on Saturday so the effect was to cancel her appearance.

Asked at a news conference why Pakistan had taken the action, the prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, said: "I have no idea. You have informed me and so have some other people as I was walking in. I don't know how the place functions."

The Pakistani Mission did not return calls seeking comment.

In 2002, a village council sentenced Ms. Mai to be gang-raped for the supposed misconduct of her brother. Pakistani women in such circumstances often commit suicide, but Ms. Mai instead successfully challenged her rapists in court. She gave the compensation money she received to schools in her remote district...

Mr. Aziz is scheduled to see President Bush in Washington next week.

This was not the first time that Pakistan's government had interfered in Ms. Mai's travels. President Pervez Musharraf blocked her from taking a trip to the United States in June and then relented last fall when Glamour magazine honored her as its "Woman of the Year...

In an interview, Ms. Mai said: "I feel disappointed. I was not going to say anything bad about Pakistan. I was just going to talk about my work and what people are doing."



(Emphasis added.)

It is a strange place, the U.N.

Supposedly founded to advance humanity's highest ideals, it instead wallows in the muck, proudly protecting the world's cruelest scum.

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