Stuart Munckton

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted on July 23 to launch an international inquiry into allegations of human rights violations and war crimes committed by Israel during its latest bloody assault on the besieged Gaza Strip that began on July 7.

“The Australian government has reached a frightening new low as a human rights’ denier and perpetrator,” the Tamil Refugee Council said on July 3.

The council was responding to “credible media reports” about immigration minister Scott Morrison's “abhorrent act of secretly sending back a boatload of Tamil asylum-seekers to the certainty of a Sri Lankan jail and the probability of rape and torture”.

When Gerry Conlon died on June 21, it reminded the world once more of the cases of the Guilford Four and the Birmingham Six, Irish people framed for bombings in England they had noting to do with.

Conlon, of the Guilford Four, jailed in 1974, endured more than 14 years in prison, including solitary confinement, before finally clearing his name.

“We seek a New Republic with equality and social justice at its core,” Sinn Fein President and member of the Dail (Irish parliament) Gerry Adams said in his June 15 address at the annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown, County Kildare.

The address came less than a month after republican party Sinn Fein caused shockwaves in European and local elections by becoming the largest party across all Ireland.

“When Gerry Conlon, who has died aged 60 of lung cancer, met survivors of the US's Guantánamo Bay detention camp, he found that their 21st-century experiences mirrored his in the 1970s,” The Guardian wrote about the Belfast-born Conlon who passed away on June 21.

He spent more than 14 years in jail from 1974-1989 after being found guilty by British authorities for pub bombings in Guilford that he did not commit.

In a move denounced by Irish republicans as hypocritical and politically motived, Sinn Fein president and member of the Irish Dail (parliament) Gerry Adams was taken into custody by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on April 30.

He was questioned over the Irish Republican Army's 1972 killing of Belfast woman Jean McConville.

A fresh protest by fans in Australia's A-League football (soccer) competition against restrictions on their rights took place at Parramatta Stadium on March 2 in a match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Newcastle Jets.

The Red and Black Bloc (RBB), the “active support” group for the Wanderers sat still in their seats for the entire match in a 90-minute long “silent protest”.

“WHERE IS MURDEROUS DICTATOR #NICOLASMADURO HOLDING #LEOPOLDOLOPEZ ?IS LOPEZ TORTURED,DEAD?INSANE MONSTERS CAN’T BEAR PPL KNOWING THE TRUTH?” So tweeted singer, actress and renowned Venezuelan political analyst Cher on February 19.

Cher was far from the only celebrity to express support for the right-wing protests in Venezuela, and such tweets symbolise how much the source of disinformation and attacks on Venezuela and its democracy has shifted from mainstream to social media.

Well, January isn't even over and the race for Biggest Hypocrite of 2014 is well under way. And the ever-reliable contenders from Parliament House in Canberra already have some serious competition in the media.

Comedian, Hollywood star and former host of MTV and Big Brother's Big Mouth Russell Brand took on veteran BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman in a Newsnight interview subsequently viewed millions of times on YouTube.

The journalist, veteran of many bruising encounters with politicians of all stripes, decisively lost.

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