Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Defending human rights

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Peninsula readers' letters: Dec. 13
From Daily News Group readers Posted: 12/12/2011 03:45:02 PM PSTUpdated: 12/12/2011 11:57:47 PM PST

Defending human rights
Dear Editor: As I said, "At Christmas time, let the guns of war fall silent and even enemies share a brief but blessed moment of 'peace on Earth, good will toward men.'" As one reader stated (Letters, Dec. 10), "Ted Rudow III's Dec. 8 letter relies on the unreliable Palestinian Center for Human Rights for statistics on civilian deaths in Gaza and then reminds us that Christmas is near and that good will is needed from all sides."
Raji Sourani, founder of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza City in 1995, began his human rights career challenging Israeli prison conditions and defending Palestinians facing deportation in Israeli military courts. As a human rights defender, he was detained by Israeli authorities on multiple occasions, prompting Amnesty International to name him one of their "prisoners of conscience" in both 1985 and 1988.
Today, Sourani is one of the foremost human rights lawyers and advocates in the Middle East. With the creation of the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, Sourani's work took on another dimension, exposing and documenting human rights violations on the part of both Israeli and Palestinian officials. While this even-handedness was not always popular, it demonstrates Sourani's commitment to a universal standard.
Ted Rudow III, MA
Palo Alto

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