Monday, January 23, 2006

UN cancels Mukhtar Mai (Mukhtaran Bibi) at Pakistan's request

This stinks.

NEW YORK: An interview with Mukhtar Mai in the United Nations scheduled for Friday night has been cancelled because of pressure from Pakistan’s government, according to the New York Times. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, currently on an official visit to the US, said he was not aware of the planned interview or cancellation. “I have no Idea. I don’t know how the place functions.”

The prime minister doesn't know how the United Nations functions.


This, from Rediff, the Asian news service...

Pakistan on Friday forced the United Nations to block Mukhtar Mai from speaking at the world body headquarters around the time Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz held a press conference.Mai, whose defiant response to being gang-raped on the orders of a village council in Pakistan has made her a champion of women's causes, was scheduled to speak at the UN on Friday.
Recounting the 11th-hour nature of the decision, Joseph Salim, the executive director of the Virtue Foundation, a New York-based human rights charity, told the paper, "On Friday, as we were going about a walk-through, getting our ID badges, they suddenly told us that because this event was considered by the Pakistan government as embarrassing to them, they were going to block it."

An e-mail message from Meena Sur of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs on Thursday night informed the organisers that the event had to be postponed until sometime after January 24, the Times reported.
Neither she nor Michele Fedoroff, the deputy head of the section, who had conveyed the same message in a telephone call, responded to the Times' messages seeking explanation.

Background links from Rediff...

'Don't single out Pakistan over women's rights'

Rosa Parks of Pakistan in NYC

Pakistan is an ally.
This action should be an embarrassment.
Is there any statement or other response from the US?

Anyone? Anywhere?

...deafening silence...

H/T Duck of Minerva
Yo, Tom Watson; you getting this? (Yep, he did.)
A lot of us blogged about this story in June.

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