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first_imgLE MARS — Iowa Congressman Steve King says he expects to be placed back on several legislative committees in the near future.King, a Republican from Kiron, was removed from all committee assignments in January following a New York Times article where he addressed white supremacy. Speaking in Le Mars on Monday, King said he’s been talking with House leaders about restoring his status.“There is that possibility,” King says. “I’ve had some discussion with leadership as recently as just the end of last week. I expect to go back next week and pick up that discussion. I’ve let them know that I’m going to start to turn this up now. I’ve been too nice, too long.”During the Times interview, King said he didn’t understand how the phrases white supremacy, white nationalism and western civilization had developed negative connotations. King says he was misquoted. He says he deserves to have his assignments restored as there’s no precedent for how he’s being treated.“We asked the Congressional Research Services to go back through the history of the United States Congress and identify each member of Congress that had been removed from all of their committees, had served with no committees,” King says. “Since antiquity, as far back as they could go in the records, there have been four.”King is the fourth — and he says two previous representatives were convicted of serious crimes while the third is still facing trial. King points out, he’s never been charged with anything. “What have I been accused of? I’m accused of a misquote, by the way, for asking a politically incorrect, rhetorical question. That’s the level of it. This is something that cannot be allowed to stand,” King says. “If it stands, there will be speech sanctions against any member of Congress that speaks out, no matter how objectively true they are.”King says if he remains stripped of his committee assignments, then our constitutional rights will be jeopardized. “It supresses the freedom of speech, thought and expression for the entire nation,” King says. “People should think that if you can’t speak freely, neither can you even think freely because what good are those thoughts if you can’t express them and how do you measure them against someone else? Another way to put this is, you’ve gotta’ put people together, they’ve got to exchange ideas and have open conversation. Let their imaginations soar.”The 4th District Republican says he will continue to “put the heat on the leadership.”last_img read more


first_imgMr. Knight wants former combatants accused of crimes against humanity being given their days in court.…United Methodist Human Rights MonitorJefferson Knight, executive director of the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor, said his institution remains supportive of the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, “because it is time to address the culture of impunity in the country.”Knight said if Liberia as a nation must move forward in sustaining peace and stability, it is about time that the government begins to address the issue of impunity which, for far too long, has exempted people accused of crimes, especially heinous crimes, from being punished or free from the injurious consequences of their individual or collective actions against fellow human beings.He spoke to the Daily Observer recently at the end of a two-day workshop organized by the Faith and Justice Network-Liberia. The workshop was held in Monrovia under the auspices of the Faith and Justice Network of the Mano River basin.Mr. Knight told participants that if the culture of impunity is not addressed by the current administration, the country may likely slide into “another dark day.”He said that the country cannot have a lot of people, who committed heinous crimes and also violated International humanitarian laws but don’t have a single word of repentance to ask for forgiveness from the Liberian people.Knight added that as long as some of those suspected of committing rights violation during the country’s civil crisis continue to be in the corridors of power, the issue of impunity will not be of major concern to them. As such, it is incumbent upon civil society organizations (CSOs), and other stakeholders to keep putting the government’s feet to the fire, in order to establish an economic and war crimes court.He said that the best way to move forward as a people and nation is to have the alleged economic and war criminals prosecuted, which would serve as deterrent for those who might think it is all over.“The establishment of an economic and a war crimes court should now be a major priority for this current government,” Knight said.He also frowned on those “war criminals”  for their actions against unarmed civilians during the civil crisis.“Those family members are still grieving because those who committed these crimes against them are seen moving around with impunity,” something which, he said, is unacceptable in the society.As one of the facilitators of the training, Mr. Knight recommended that the training be taken to churches, to intensify their effort in monitoring the justice system and human rights issue in the country.The events brought together human rights monitors from other institutions, including those from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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