Rights & Wrongs: New Media Targeted, Sonic Torture, U.S. Arms Deals and More

Rights & Wrongs: New Media Targeted, Sonic Torture, U.S. Arms Deals and More

SOLEMN REMEMBRANCES, HOPE MARK DECLARATION ANNIVERSARY -- The world community marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, with calls for stronger international institutions and remembrances of those around the world currently deprived of their rights.

The U.N. General Assembly awarded the 2008 U.N. Prizes in the Field of Human Rights to several individuals, including slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto and former U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour, as well as to the group Human Rights Watch. Meanwhile, critics slammed the U.N. and the world community for their failures to address the suffering in the Palestinian Territories, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some used the occasion to lash out at institutional failures to uphold the principles laid out in the document. "The declaration marks mankind's most noble intentions, but after 60 years it has become a feckless piece of paper that is openly violated because the U.N. refuses to defend the very rights and freedoms it promotes," the Calgary Herald's Susan Martunik wrote.

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