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Orest Maximov
Orest Maximov

Both Sides Of Humanity VERIFIED


The harm visited by ideology upon innocents earlier in this century conferred upon the practice of evil unprecedented dimensions of depravity and scale. Nazism invented a ferocious machine of focused death. And communism, though less systematic in its methods of killing and not obsessed with race as a basis for it, destroyed human life with no less success. In both cases, the bureaucrats who gave the orders and the ordinary soldiers or policemen who carried them out found it possible to do so without concluding that they were evil.




Both Sides Of Humanity


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I have just finished writing a book called Le Banc du Temps qui Passe (The Bench Where Time Goes By), where I gather together my thoughts on several subjects and make several points. I have come to the conclusion that there are two sides to humanity. The sublime and the cruel.


(Abidjan) - The three-month campaign of organized violence by security forces under the control of Laurent Gbagbo and militias that support him gives every indication of amounting to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today. A new Human Rights Watch investigation in Abidjan indicates that the pro-Gbagbo forces are increasingly targeting immigrants from neighboring West African countries in their relentless attacks against real and perceived supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who is internationally recognized as having won the November 2010 presidential election.


The crisis has escalated since the end of February 2011, with clashes between armed forces loyal to Gbagbo and Ouattara in the western and central regions of the country, as well as in Abidjan, the financial capital. Armed combatants have committed war crimes, including executions of detainees and targeted killings of civilians and destruction of their property, Human Rights Watch said. The killing of civilians by pro-Ouattara forces, at times with apparent ethnic or political motivation, also risks becoming crimes against humanity should they become widespread or systematic. No one has been held accountable for the attacks, which have left hundreds dead, and neither side has even publicly denounced abuses by its own forces.


On March 10, the African Union Peace and Security Council confirmed previous African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), UN, and EU determinations recognizing Ouattara as the winner of the November 28 presidential elections and called on Gbagbo to step down. Gbagbo's representatives immediately rejected the AU decision, leaving Côte d'Ivoire on the brink of all-out civil war - with armed clashes between forces of both sides already occurring daily.


Human Rights Watch believes that Gbagbo and several of his close allies are now implicated in crimes against humanity as defined by the Rome Statute, which created the International Criminal Court (ICC). The role of Blé Goudé and RTI demonstrates a government policy of encouraging violence, further supported by the refusal of Gbagbo and his military leaders to stop or denounce the recurrent abuses by security forces under their control. The targeted killings, enforced disappearances, politically motivated rapes, and persecution of West African nationals over a three-month period demonstrate a policy of systematic violence by security forces under the control of Gbagbo and militias long loyal to him.


With the deaths of almost 400 civilians documented by the UN - the vast majority killed by pro-Gbagbo forces in circumstances not connected with the armed conflict and with no apparent provocation - the attacks appear to be widespread. Either the widespread nature of attacks or the systematic element is sufficient to trigger the characterization as crimes against humanity when combined with the nature of the crimes documented by Human Rights Watch and others and the fact the crimes appear to be the outcome of deliberate policy of the authorities, amounting to an "attack on a civilian population."


On the Ouattara side, armed fighters have begun a pattern of extrajudicial executions against alleged pro-Gbagbo combatants detained in Ouattara territory since the Forces Nouvelles ("New Forces" or FN) gained effective control of the Abobo neighborhood and Anyama village around February 26. Human Rights Watch documented 11 such cases from both witnesses and perpetrators - including three detainees who were burned alive and another four whose throats were slit, practices amounting to war crimes under international humanitarian law. Credible reports indicate the death toll may be higher.


On March 14, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, echoed the call of several member states on the Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry that would investigate grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the post-election period. Any such commission should investigate the key individuals implicated in the crimes committed by both sides, helping to ensure that those responsible are held to account, Human Rights Watch said.


After looting and setting six stalls on fire, they returned to the road where they ran into an elder man from Niger who was selling wood near the market. They beat him, then took him to a police station saying, "We've found a rebel and assassin!" They walked out a few minutes later. The man was screaming, "No, no, I'm a Hausa man from Niger.... I'm not a rebel!" Within a few minutes they had put a tire around his neck, sprayed him with gas and set him alight. It happened right in front of the police station but they did nothing. A half an hour later they stopped a taxi at their barricade, dragged out a man who we later learned was also from Niger, beat him bitterly, tied both his hands and legs and then one of them cut off his sex. Then they brought a tire and gas and burned him alive.... The whole thing was so fast.


A doctor who treated several of the women who later died said that their wounds were clearly caused by heavy weaponry, not bullets. The doctor, as well as two witnesses at the scene, told Human Rights Watch that the head of one victim had been completely separated from her body. Other victims, including both deceased and seriously injured, had bullet wounds from the mounted machine gun.


Civilian Killings in Anonkoua VillageAround 2 a.m. on March 7, more than 60 pro-Ouattara fighters attacked the village of Anonkoua-Kouté, located just outside their Abidjan military stronghold in Abobo. Anonkoua is a village of predominantly Ebrié people, who largely support Gbagbo. The previous day, there had been combat in the area between armed forces on the two sides. Victims of the March 7 attack as well as a fighter from the Ouattara side told Human Rights Watch that pro-Ouattara forces believed that weapons had been left in the village. However, the attackers appear to have killed civilians at random and burned down much of the village.


One pro-Ouattara combatant in Abobo described four cases to Human Rights Watch in which he had been part of the operation. On March 2, an ambulance was stopped and his fellow-combatants said they had discovered Kalashnikovs during the search and its driver was then detained. On March 5, the pro-Ouattara fighter said he found three people with arms passing a checkpoint on foot near the Abobo sub-neighborhood of Anonkoua. In both cases, the pro-Ouattara fighter related bringing the detainees to a higher-level commander, indicating organization and a clear chain of command among the fighters. After being detained, the person was subject to an "intense interrogation," then "neutralized," the fighter said. The ambulance was also burned, several witnesses who saw it later said.


The prohibitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity are among the most fundamental prohibitions in international criminal law. Under the Rome Statute of the ICC, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or armed conflict and consist of specific acts committed on a widespread or systematic basis as part of an "attack on a civilian population," meaning that there is some degree of planning or policy on behalf of the authorities. Such acts include murder, rape, and persecution of a group on political, ethnic, or national grounds.


When crimes against humanity and war crimes are committed, people in command authority who should have been aware of the crime and failed to prevent the crime or submit it for investigation and prosecution can be held accountable.


The Commission found that forces loyal to Qadhafi were involved in a range of violations including murder, torture, enforced disappearances and certain acts of sexual violence as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population. These violations, the Commission says, amount to breaches of human rights and humanitarian laws and crimes against humanity.


Catholics must be mindful of the humanity on both sides of conflict in Israel and Gaza, said a top official at a global Catholic aid agency shortly before the conflict reportedly reached a cease-fire on Thursday.


The fact of the Holocaust is that the hatred and prejudice in the hearts of humanity rose up and decided that they want to commit a genocide against several groups of people resulting in the murder of 6 million Jews and many more disabled, LGBTQ, Romani and other people groups. The only other side to that is that you think the genocide of a people group you hate is an acceptable solution.


But thanks to recent scientific developments in areas such as biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology, humanity may be on the cusp of an enhancement revolution. In the next two or three decades, people may have the option to change themselves and their children in ways that, up to now, have existed largely in the minds of science fiction writers and creators of comic book superheroes.


Advances in computing and nanotechnology have already resulted in the creation of tiny computers that can interface with our brains. This development is not as far-fetched as it may sound, since both the brain and computers use electricity to operate and communicate. These early and primitive brain-machine interfaces have been used for therapeutic purposes, to help restore some mobility to those with paralysis (as in the example involving the quadriplegic man) and to give partial sight to people with certain kinds of blindness. In the future, scientists say, brain-machine interfaces will do everything from helping stroke victims regain speech and mobility to successfully bringing people out of deep comas. 350c69d7ab


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