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Exporting Terrorism and Sectarian Discrimination 33rd-UNHRC 22 September 2016

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Published on Jan 22, 2017

International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)

www.eaford.org

The International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), in cooperation with Geneva International Centre for Justice, International-Lawyers.Org, the BRussells Tribunal and the South Asia Democratic Forum, organized a side event on 22 September 2016, on the occasion of the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The event titled “Exporting Terrorism and Sectarian Discrimination” was moderated by Ms. Gulnoz Saydaminova, Senior Human Rights Researcher at Geneva International Centre for Justice, and hosted the following distinguished speakers:

Mr. Tahar Boumedra, Former UN Human Rights Chief of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in Baghdad and Adviser to the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq. His work background allowed him to acquire deep knowledge in the involvement of Iran in the creation of the militias in Iraq as well as its policy against other Arab countries (for instance Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen).

Mr. Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President of the Arab Lawyers Association – UK. As a lawyer, and human rights defender, Mr. Al-Mukhtar has been an outspoken person against the activities of terrorist groups, including the rise of militias and their associated grave human rights violations. He has also analyzed on multiple occasions the role of Iran in the creation and support of these groups and how this is used as a tool to interfere in the internal affairs of its neighboring countries.

Mr. Paulo Casaca, Former EU Parliament Member and Founder of the International Co-operation Association ARCHumankind (Alliance to Renew Co-operation among Humankind). Mr Casaca was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009 where he chaired the delegation for relations with NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He was also a member of the national parliament in 1992-1993 and a member of the regional parliament of the Azores in 1990-1991. He lectures in several universities and is the author of several books and reports on economics and international politics.

The panel was also shared by three distinguished discussants:

Ms. Elisabeth Nössing, Member of Foraus Programme on Migration, a Swiss foreign policy think tank, Mr. Dirk Adriaenses, Member of the Executive Committee of the BRussells Tribunal, and Ms. Sigyn Meder, Member of the Iraqi Solidarity Association in Stockholm (Sweden).

Topic of Discussion:

The side event aimed at analyzing the exportation of terrorism through the use of non-state actors and the resulting sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

When thinking about “terrorism”, one immediately associates the term with groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or ISIL), whose acronym is ever so mentioned in the media and press.

Whereas these terrorist groups are surely committing heinous crimes against humanity, which indeed deserve media coverage and condemnation by the entire international community, there are numerous other terrorist factions that have emerged in the past few years, whose crimes, in stark contrast, not just do not get as much international interest, but are not even classified as terrorism. These militia groups, supported by local and regional governments, are portrayed as allies in the so-called “fight against terrorism” while they, in fact, implement their own sectarian agenda in the region, committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against certain components of society. A clear example of that are the militias operating in Iraq, Syria and Yemen which are supported, funded, trained and armed by the government of Iran.

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