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Silence on Human Rights

On Oct. 21, 1994, 30 years after its conclusion and 27 years after its entry into force, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, upon the advice and consent of the United States Senate, was finally ratified by President Clinton.

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As students of international human rights at the University of Iowa College of Law, we have searched in vain for any significant media coverage of this event. The purpose of the convention is to protect individuals against discrimination based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin.

Considering the severe problems of discrimination in the United States and elsewhere in the world, we are perplexed that neither the Senate, the Clinton administration nor the media appear to have called public attention to the convention's ratification.

Also, we question how the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights can be seriously advanced in the face of such silence.

This letter was signed by 23 students at the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City. The students' countries of origin include Peru, Thailand, Spain, Sudan, and Japan.

Justice and peace

Thank you for the opinion-page article "Israeli Tactics Shut Out Palestinians, and Peace," April 12. The essay highlights the connection between justice and lasting peace.

Without full political and economic human rights for a people, peace is at best temporary and imposed. Justice and true peace will not be achieved in Israel or Palestine until Palestinians gain legislative control not subject to Israeli veto, and until Palestinians gain full control of land that has not been dismembered by Israeli roads, settlements, and military zones. With Palestinian political and economic self-determination will come an end to terror and the beginning of peace.

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Linda Bevis


Palestine Solidarity Committee

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