tv Third Rail Al Jazeera January 14, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm EST
>> every monday night. >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. "talk to al jazeera". monday, 6:00 eastern. only on al jazeera america. i will is a human rights expert if any of that is possible. after the 62nd attempt to reappeal owe be that as it may acare my final thought on what the health care law really needs. i'm ali velshi. this is third rail. saudi arabia began the year with a mass execution that included a leading cleric and plit cat dissident >> the issue of these trials and convictions belongs to the
kingdom of saudi arabia, is part of its exercise of sovereignty the death of a she eight cleric triggered protests in iran and other countries that could unhinge efforts to stop the syrian civil war >> you have to bring all the external actors to a table and then the internal actors to a table >> obviously the last thing we want to see is there to be an impact on that or any other significant regional issues joining me now is the executive director of human rights watch busy. we have been talking about saudi arabia and they've just executed 47 people in addition to more than 150 that were executed in the year. you say that the human rights record is farce kal. of the 47 who were-- farcical. if you believe they were tried properly, the violent crimes that would get them a long jail
sentence or maybe even the death penalties in the u.s. putting aside the four political people who were executed, was that justice for the other 43? ist first of all, i don't know that the 43 were all tried on evidence of violent crimes. i know that the saudi government have said that the majority of those executed were tied to terrorist attacks by al-qaeda over a decade ago. but what specifically each of the individual men who were convicted was accused of and what evidence was presented against them is not clear to anyone. what i do know is that to be convicted of terrorism in saudi arabia you don't need to commit any violence. in fact, you don't need to do much other than criticise the government. that is enough to be labelled a terrorist and subject to capital punishment they like to make between what you say and violence >> they like to make that link, but in their mind anything that
criticise the saudi government is the same the issue in saudi is that they say these people were executed tried and executed under saudi law which they say they get right from the qara, n. how did you fight that argument? >> to begin with, it's false. the bumming of these who were tried and executed were done under the recent terrorism law. including nimr al-nimr, and that's very much a saudi man made law. furthermore, there will be little by way of a penal code in the qaran. everyone around in every muslim country, even all of those who say they are upholding the law, ultimately have to define and interpret what that means through penal codes. missing in saudi arabia is a penal code. there are few laws and the ones that do exist like the counter terrorism law is grossly over
broad and include charges that are not recognizable as crimes much has been made recently about the relations deteriorating between the u.s. and saudi arabia but, in fact, the u.s. reaction, the state department of the white house reaction to executions was in the opinion of many people quite muted. a spaex man talked about expressing concerns about a legal process that doesn't include due process and the human rights situation in saudi arabia. how does that make you feel when the hear the american government using those terms to describe being upset about the execution of 47 people? >> when the u.s. says things like expressing concern, what they're really saying is we know what this government just did, it is a terrible, terrible thing, but since they're our al-i lie we will shut up about this. this is the same formula they have used with crimes why egypt and now we're seeing it in saudi arabia. i think it is very embarrassing
the supreme leader in iran had a graphic posted on his website. you can see it in any language which xaers i.s.i.l. to saudi arabia. they're saying is there any difference - compares. this graphic is fraught with irony and contradiction. is it a valid question and is it a valid question coming from eye reason that puts more people to dpeth per capita than anyone else in the world? >> putting aside the messenger, i think disturbing and troubling to the extent that a lot of behaviour saudi arabia models is exactly where i.s.i.l. and al-qaeda define inspiration. the notion that you should commit violence against journalists and subject them to physical lashings, is it spraying that al-qaeda also thinks it's a good item to attack a journal iflt whose opinions they don't like? the notion that you should be head people in public displays for those who insult islam or otherwise harm the state, is it surprising that i.s.i.s. also in
the name of islam is sentencing people to death and executing them? this is the fundamental problem that saudi arabia that is to grapple with and that's why it know it has struck a nerve and that's why the government has passed the law making it a crime to compare saudi arabia to i.s.i.s. you said putting aside the messenger. the current news is saudi arabia and iran and their battles. iran has a pretty bad human rights record >> yes. back to the messenger, pot meet kettle. it could be a skip from saturday night live to have the iotollahdbemoaning you've recently written something that i found interesting about the peace process. you said that excluding parties that have committed abuses may well mean there would be no-one left to negotiate. this is tricky because the
syrian regime is not involved in some of the negotiations that are underway. they are responsible in some ways for setting off the spark that has created the civil what war and the refugee crisis says that we've got and other says it. >> clearly there will be no deal without them at the table. the last four years have shown us this and the recent russian intervention under lines it puts it in bold and all cap letters if it wasn't clear that there will be no solution without the syrian government at the table. i think that everybody pretty much recognises this and accepts this, including saudi arabia, which did agree to be part of this peace process, including the notion that bashar al-assad could be part of a negotiating process. the question that we now have to ask ourselves, if the purpose of these so-called peace talks is to end the devastation and destruction of syria, why do the peace talks contemplate the
continuation of war in a third of the country where i.s.i.s. are located some in what is the grounds for which excluding i.s.i.s. al-nusra make sense from a point of view. is it their abuse record? i don't think so. certainly the force responsible for the gravest abuses in syria is bashar al-assad and the syrian government you believe that - i think you're making the point that all parties are guilty of human rights abuses from the perspective of somebody who works on human rights you believe that these various factions all of whom have their hands blood eed, not dirty, have to be part of a negotiation? >> they will be part of a negotiation. the problem is how do you exclude some basis on the basis of that you are human rights abuses while turning away from others. in light of the reality that there will be a peace process that will include many culpable parties, how do you secure an outcome that will actually bring what we say is what we desire, which is peace and security for the syrian people
you have written that the truth telling process that names names and identifies who did what needs to be part of the syrian peace process. why should these parties agree to that? >> because it doesn't necessarily speak of accountability. it speaks of truth telling and most peace process do include at a minimum, and this is a minimum, it is not the ideal position or the position that we would ideally want which is to see full accountability for all abusers, but at minimum for the sake of the justice of the syrian people and all they've suffered, there should be an open and public accounting of what did what. that in itself is a form of justice so if you look at a perfect society being one in which there is peace, one in which there is justice, and one in which there is human rights and you look at syria, there are people who say you can't get all three. which one do you want? >> i think you can get as most of all three as possible. what we're proposing and what i proposed is to make sure that
the elements that will make peace possible, which is justice and human rights, are not left out of the equation because if they are left out the equation you just won't have it you know lots of examples in the countries that you cover where there is peace but there is not necessarily justice and there's not necessarily great human rights. people just understand what you're not supposed to do and the things that you're not supposed to say and they get to live relatively peaceful >> until there isn't and it blows up in everyone's face as it did in 2011 and the ongoing issues throughout the region which are very much the direct result of the failure of virtually every government in the region to provide justice and rights to their own populations. this is why the middle east is the mess that it is i look at your job, being po responsible for middle east and north africa, it sounds like the worst job in the world. if you couldn't get everything that you wanted, but you could
get one thing, people to say we will do one thing of the, what's the greatest gain you can achieve toward the end of the greater human rights? >> space for people to speak. i fundamentally believe that the arab world, that the people of the region, not just arabs, of course, all of the people of the middle east, fully have the skills and the means and the resours to figure out how to fix their societies if they could have a peaceful exchange of ideas and words. right now the option of a civil society injecting itself into how to run their governments, how to run their societies doesn't exist pretty much across the board what a great conversation. thank you for being with us >> your very reason the third rail panel is next >> how we challenge the structures to work through these as opposed to shutting down the conversation. you have to give people says to ask the ignorant questions >> the same issue that you face in the community is what the black people say probably get yelled at.
welcome back. americans have witnessed what some believe is a rise of hateful rhetoric in recent years, but is political correctness to blame? >> people are starting to feel like political correctness is having a negative effect on society >> it is easy to take a shot at political correctness. it is trying to place a premium on civility. >> political correctness stifles free expression >> people are getting crazy
having to worry about every word they say enough our panel. a senior vice president of target queue. another is a republican strategist and former white house aid. the executive director of the perception institute and a past chair of planned parenthood. great to see you all. it is now cool to say i'm just not pc, i'm not buying into this. it is becoming a thing >> it is a crazy thing. why would you do that? i think you look back at the movements that we all may not have marched in but have a lot of not stall video for-- nostalgia for. it has been about defining the boundaries for what is racist and sexist and what is not.
you want to be on the right side. political correctness has been about establishing a set of practices so that we train ourselves what that formal interaction is, how to respect and honor each other is real and we have to our space to do it a former adviser told the washington post people have been biting their lip but not changing their mind >> i don't think that's true. i think the first step is biting your lip and realising what i've been saying is offending people. i was raised to be respectful of other people. that's really what political correctness is all about. respecting and understanding diversity. if biting your lip is the first step in the process and you continue that and you start to appreciate and understand people who are different than you, then that's good. people who bite their lip and continue to seethe and not understand and want to hate people that's a different issue. >> sometimes people close off space for discussion. you don't want to say anything
that might be offensive. i would like to see people's minds and hearts change, more so than have them tell me what they think i want to hear. i know what it was like as a kid growing up. i'm old enough to remember the days of segregation and the civil rights marches of the 60s and 70s. i would much rather somebody not just be pc to me but have their heart changed. it is important for me and the country as well. a lot of us thought when obama was elected that we had reached that society that the president wants us to be at. the reality is that we haven't. you see what is going on in all these cities with these shootings of kids and all the challenges for black men being killed by police. we haven't gotten there. people are pc, they say the right thing but hearts haven't been changed. the challenge becomes how to change people's hearts. how to have people look at you and me and you and say they're
human beings. i can love you past the color of your skin, your sexuality, your economic status, i can love you because you're you it's thoughtful. one of the discussions we've been having a lot is about campuses. it is quite sweet to me that the students think this is the first time it is happening. the raement is there is a real discussion between a safe space for people who wish to proceed fest and air their grievances and a space for those who agree with them >> that's valid. there are arguments on one sides. one of the dragons that we have to slay is around polarization. we don't know how to hold people accountable for social issues, not about our individual dna. we are very good people at heart, but we've internalised these biasses.
the question for the students are is how to create the structures or challenge these structures to allow ourselves for our own humanitarian and ambivalence to work through these as opposed to shutting down the conversation. >> there are two words to come to mind. kon technical and intent. i think the own us is on those who are part of the groups that are saying this is offensive. i worked for glad for 14 years. some things are subjective and you have to give people space to is the ignorant questions. i always work on the assumption that the vast majority of people that i talked to and dealt with and i have for 25 years as a gay activist are more ignorant. they just don't know. it could be sitting there for somebody on a plan on tv. i have given people the space to ask questions, given the
opportunity to kind of say something that maybe a little bit offensive. i don't mean it to be offensive. when they start asking those questions, then you know the person is on a different path >> the same issues that you faced in the lgbd community is the same issues that black people face >> if i said that i would probably get yelled at, but that's okay. that's how subtle and complex it is >> yeah. we share a lot of the same challenges. people ask me questions that might seem borderline racist, but they're saying it in - they're being honest. they want to know. so if i can help people to know and not be ignorant of that, i think it's a good thing bill cosby is facing a charge of indecent assault for an alleged incident from 2004. this past week the l.a. da's office declined to bring rape charges against him from a 1965
case because the statute of limitations has expired. should there be any time limit on rape cases? >> why is there a statute of limitations on something as serious as rape? >> time after time it prevents survivors from getting the justice they deserve >> the statutes are there to ensure that cases are brought to trial where there is reliable evidence >> as time progresses, evidence deteriorates. documents disappear and memorys simply fade away >> at some point you have to give up there's no statute of limitations on murder. rape? >> i just worry about the last one we saw about the memorys fading and things changing over time. or in the case of somebody who when the incident happened may have been - had one set of circumstances and then become wealthy or famous and then then suddenly it's a rape incident
and then they're no limitations or somebody wants money or fame has the rate to go after that person. that's not to say what they did wasn't wrong. i'm just saying that the statute of limitations at least limits the period of time you have to go after somebody. the longer the worse it is. as long as you keep it in a certain at the time frame, you stand a better chance of finding truth. >> i understand the arguments for limitation, but as someone who worked on the catholic church abuse scandal, we're talking about kids appeared it is beyond the physical assault, it is beyond the sexual assault. there's a power dynamic that's normally part of the circumstance around sexual assault, especially around rape. where you need to really think about why it might take that person a long time to come out and come forward. that's what we deal with. we had people coming to us in their 20s, 30s and 40s who were saying that as children they were attacked.
are you going to go to them and say that when you were 10 or 12? you don't remember or it doesn't matter or we're not going to do anything about this. i worry. i think it's eights serious enough crime that we really have to look at the circumstances some states make exceptions. even if there is a statute of limitations that falls aside. there are issues with documentation, reports. >> the longer we are away from them, the longer the evidence may get lost or memorys may have faded. all those things still apply. what we're talking about here is a culture of shame that has infected-- affected young children and women, particularly and in some cases men around rape and the way the laws exist
right now, the way the state ute of limitations, they privilege the offender, the alleged perpetrator. we're limiting the statute of limitations which gives more opportunity for the victim to give voice. if one woman came out against bill cosby, was able to give voice that led 30 to 40 women telling that same story is what has him under charges now because there is one case where i think the sexual limitations was two weeks before it was about to expire more than half a million untested rape kits in this country. everybody has said it is unacceptable. the federal government has provided money for this. still not done >> we have a lot of challenges still. look at all the black men that get raped in prison. our prisons are overwhelmingly black and brown.
there's lots of rape going on there. those men, who are human beings, have no opportunity to bring to light what has happened to them. not only the shame of it, but likewise all the other challenges that come with being raped. so we've got a long way to go as society. we still weigh things very unequally or this is a big issue. >> you say they don't matter. those lives matters just as much as any other life. so you have to bring it to the forefront and make sure everybody is protected thanks to all of you, my guests. straight ahead after 62 fact of the matters, republicans send a bill to the president repealing owe be that as it may
before we go i want to share this final thought. on wednesday house republicans followed the senate and voted overwhelmingly to reappeal the affordable care act. the 62nd time for the house since democrats passed obamacare in 2010. it went to the white house where it was vetoed by president obama making the effort to end the obamacare just like the others that came before it. a gesture to the kon is servetives to those who hate it. it doesn't mean that it is loved by other americans or doesn't have problems that need to be fixed. a poll found that 46% of americans don't like obamacare compared to 40% who do. why?
premiums. many who rely on it claim premiumers keep going up. around 8 million americans say they would rather pay a fine and risk illness because they're earning too much for r to qualify for subsidies that would make it affairable. it obscures the fact that the health care law has achieved much. between october 2013 when it took effect and september 2015, more than 15 million adults and close to a million and a half kids who were previously uninsured got health insurance through obamacare. while the u.s. remains the most expensive country to get sick, it does continue to drop and overall health costs have risen at the lowest rates since the 1950s. after passing the erepeal speaker of the house told reporters we are confronting the president with the hard honest truth.
obamacare doesn't work. confronting a different truth, obamacare is working but needs fixes that require democrats and republicans to come together. that would be really third rail. tonight the republican candidates for president will take the stage in an encounter sponsored by the fox business network. most of the candidates are skeptical about human activity having much to do with changing the climate while the business world coverd by and watching fox business is already thinking about how to get ready for a changed planet and protecting future business. it's a clash of politics and commerce and it is unclear whether fox plans t