Sleeping on the thorn

I THINK the Shoura Council members were late with their harsh criticism of the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

Sleeping on the thorn


Abdo Khal




I THINK the Shoura Council members were late with their harsh criticism of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). The commission reminds me of the famous Arab proverb, “Too much noise without ado”; and the English proverb, “An empty vessel makes much noise”.

The commission has either delayed or neglected looking at the complaints reaching it. Out of more than 12,000 complaints, the commission only settled about 5,000.

The rest represents the thousands of families and individuals still anxiously waiting for the commission to consider their cases and deliver justice for them.

Am I not right when I say that the Shoura Council was late in holding the commission responsible for its apathy and bad performance? The reality shows that I am absolutely right. A large number of citizens are extremely disappointed with the HRC.

When the HRC and the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) were established, people were exulted because they believed there would be no more violations of their human rights. They believed the two organizations would end their sufferings resulting from various injustices and violations of their human rights, but they could not be more wrong.

A short while after their establishment, the two organizations became offices to handle incoming and outgoing mail.

They wait until they receive complaints to start moving. All they do is start corresponding with the concerned ministry or government department. The issue ends one of two ways. Either there will be a response from the ministry against which the complaint was made (which is very rare) or a continuation of the protracted correspondences.

The ministry will bend the neck of the law to acquit itself and put the blame on the complainant.

Through legal ploys, a number of issues are either foiled or delayed. Therefore, the two human rights organizations are no longer the bodies that victims of human rights violations and injustices will resort to, especially when it comes to usurped personal rights.

The two organizations never take the initiative to look for human rights issues to adopt but they wait idly for the complaints to reach them in their offices to begin their work of routine correspondence.

Before the two organizations were created, we used to do this work by ourselves. We used to write our complaints in letters to the ministries or government departments and wait for their replies. So what new things do the two organizations offer?

Now all the two organizations are doing is to direct the complainants to where they should go. They very rarely intervene to make a difference.

When they do care and really move, the two organizations will select a lawyer to support you. The lawyer has a price that you should pay. So all that the two organizations will do is to help you in the choice of a lawyer and then they leave you on your own with him. You can do this job alone without their help.

Regretfully, some of the lawyers who are cooperating with the two human rights organizations are very costly. They have high fees that you, not the organization, will have to bear.

If the two organizations played the two roles of selecting a lawyer and paying his fees, this would be acceptable and lead to the settlement of a number of issues.

There is virtually no meaning for the existence of the two organizations if their entire role is to guide you toward a certain lawyer and then leave you on your own with him.

When the two organizations do take up causes, their support will end in a news story and a picture in the newspapers, nothing more. I think the two human rights organizations will do a lot better if they kindly take into consideration all the remarks and observations made by the Shoura Council members.