Human rights barrister Amal Clooney has told Australian MPs they have a role to play in ensuring authoritarian governments and individuals do not use the cover of the coronavirus crisis to permanently erode civil liberties and conceal abuses.
Similar laws in the US and UK are named for Sergei Magnitsky, who in 2008 uncovered a $230m fraud committed by Russian government officials. Magnitsky testified against the officials and was arrested, tortured and died in jail. He was then put on trial posthumously.
Clooney is a strong advocate for such laws, which she says are among the most effective tools in curbing global abuses of human rights. She says Australia would be among the most effective jurisdictions to use such laws, given its position of influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
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“It seems at times that there is so much bad news in the world that our moral nerve endings have been deadened – meaning abuses will thrive and impunity will remain the norm.
“Abuses of [power] thrive when no one is watching.”
Clooney said she was heartened and impressed by the actions of governments in Australia and New Zealand to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that “new powers used by autocratic governments in the name of a pandemic are unlikely to be rescinded when it has passed”.
“In the past few months we have seen more than 80 governments rush through emergency laws that grant them sweeping new powers over their people.
“Meanwhile international crimes from genocide in Iraqand Myanmar to war crimes in Syria and Yemen remain unpunished.”
On the need for Magnitsky laws, Clooney said they could be an effective tool for holding individuals and corporations to account.
“What is particularly valuable, this is one of the relatively few tools that raise the cost. If you go after people personally, the value in terms of the signal that it’s sending, you’re not going after an entire country, you’re not having ordinary citizens pay the price for the actions of their officials, you’re going after those responsible.
The coronavirus pandemic threatens a crisis for human rights too
“You may not be able to solve every problem in the world or respond to every abuse but you can make sure that your country is not a safe haven for despots and war criminals.
“You can send a message to those who engage in corruption and human rights abuses, that Australia’s banks and schools and beaches are off limits.
“That there are certain values you don’t only stand for but will stand up for through the consistent and fair use of asset freezes and travel bans against abusers of human rights.”
Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson is giving evidence to the committee later on Friday.
This is taken from my blog Peace is Our True Nature, as my last entry.
Independence is Self Sovereignty as Our True Nature
Today is US Independence Day and it feels the right moment to declare my own independence. I have achieved a great deal in this blog. Below was the introduction to Peace is Our True Nature. The purpose of this blog was to express myself, to travel into the known and unknown. To learn about my world as a inner journey after my world trip. This blog was written for 9 years and 9 is the number of completion. It has been wonderful to face the positives and the negatives of life to catalyse the wisdom of a higher understanding of who I AM and Who We Are as a civilisation.
Those who have travelled with me I realised were the ones I was to communicate to, there are no mistakes. This was not about popularity, it was about truth and I care not for numbers as life is about real meaning. Those others inspired me in this work and were thus co-creators with me unconsciously. I came to see their presence as working for me not against me in truth, as I am working for them. Their presence was welcome.
This morning I reflected on Carl Jung and the shadow of humanity and how he took himself into the depths of the psyche to understand the unconscious motivations of the collective consciousness. He explored the symbols that created meaning, the synchronicity of life sending signs and messages and feminine and masculine that is evident in both males and females. He chose to develop analytical psychology through experiential experiments with truth. He experienced the past, the present and the future as NOW. You cannot know this until you realise truth in your experience. He was my first teacher who opened up for me a portal that life was more than what we are taught, that it is a cosmic reality of magic, infinite possibilities and meanings and we are pioneers on the heroes journey to know the self. For we have collectively created the times we are moving through and until we own our aspect of this we cannot change anything. This video is in tribute to him who I felt as a fellow traveller.
We all have to travel through the dark and the light elements of life. These aspects exist in every human that is why there is no enemy. I learned to face what I fear, to speak my truth, to provide a channel for those who courageously have spoken their truth and to explore the magical, the mystical and explore the tempo of our times.
This process has been to learn from within rather than be taught. I chose to teach myself of life in all its forms as my own inquiry. The last year or so I have been saying OMG over and over and I revealed the face beyond the mask of smiling faces who are shape changing our world. However, my purpose was to come to peace – to love, to accept, to embrace and to forgive those who do not have the world’s interests at heart. Integration is the purpose of accepting the dark/light or yin/yang of who we really are as a civilisation. The opposites are the contrast. I have no enemies nor do I subscribe to right/left narratives that create wars of their own making in order to experience power that was never real.
I step back from the conflicts and observe unconsciousness parading as fact, confusion parading as authority, cruelty parading as control, indifference parading as professionalism to conclude that ‘to thine own self be true’ is the purpose of life itself. We can hide from ourselves, we can suppress our true selves, we can deny responsibility, we can justify harmful actions, we can construct a worldview that brooks no challenge, yet all this is self defeating in the end. I witnessed many leaders fall from grace when power was removed as what was left were frail human beings who had believed their power was derived from control, money, influence, status and titles to realise in the end they were mortal like the rest of us.
We all come from the same origin, we are all part of nature.
I have included in this last blog my first blog as I see life as circular.
Introduction to Peace is Our True Nature (15/12/2010)
Since the dawn of human civilisation, which can be viewed as one minute to midnight on the geological clock, we have been defined by our environment. We have lived deeply in the natural world as part of ourselves. Many indigenous cultures saw no separation between themselves and the natural environment. They had a deep understanding of where to find food, understanding the behaviour of other life forms and staring into the heavens.
When you lie back and you stare into the universe, the mind opens to questions of who we are, why are we here, are there other life forms on other planets. Interestingly when we start to look beyond planet earth we start to see the earth in a different way. We see ourselves as part of this ecosystem and the thoughts, beliefs and lifestyles seem insignificant to these larger questions.
This blog is going to go beyond the confines of thinking. It is going to move into the realm of feeling, intuition, enthusiastic discovery and it is going to explore topics that are known and venture into topics that will be unknown. There is no limits to who we are and our knowledge defines what we see. Just imagine what you don’t see. Imagine when you venture beyond your knowledge and look back at the earth, I wonder how you will see it.
We live on an incredibly beautiful planet, we are at a point in our evolution where the planet is sending us signals of change. The changes that are coming are real and it is part of our learning to live in harmony with our true nature. For we are not separate from this natural system of energy, we are part of it and we can make changes when we learn to see ourselves differently or in a way that expands infinite possibilities.
I have a positive vision for the future. I see myself as the future looking back as I can feel the potential in humanity. In my experience we are extraordinary beings and we are continually learning. We have just temporarily lost our way but we will find it again.
There are great possibilities that lie ahead of us, if we choose to be prepared to challenge our own beliefs and tune into our nature and seek the truth within ourselves. To remember our natural instinct as humans and the basic blueprint of who we are, has always been love.
We do know what to do.
Thank you for joining me on this blog, let’s explore together. As discussed in the previous blog, feel free to join in the dialogue or what I typically term reflections. Try to be open and just express your feelings or viewpoint without attachment. It is not about proving right or wrong. The new consciousness is a deep respect of diversity and really hearing others within a context of nonviolence or harmony.
We currently live in a world where many people are not heard and desperately trying to find their voice as they don’t feel powerful or significant. I am here to tell you each person is significant and you all make a difference. Your life is of the highest value.
I don’t believe in saviours, I believe in self responsibility. There is no-one that knows more than you, you have the wisdom. When you are attracted to a discourse or person, it is because you see yourself in them. It is nothing to do with the other. It is called resonance. That is you feel a connection to something that you remember. It may be vague or clear but the feeling is there. It is to learn to identify resonance whenever you feel it.
So you have a great day and remember how wonderful you truly are, notice all the good things you do. Notice your thoughts are they positive or negative, are you accepting or judging. Look at these things with curiosity not self judgement, as we have learned our thinking from the world around us. Yet beyond what we have learned our true nature can be seen and it shines with unity.
Every day is independence day ‘to thine own self be true’, this was the message that has been sent down through time to us all. We have to travel through the shadow to realise the enlightenment of unity. I have come full circle to know I have circled the square.