Archive | November 3rd, 2015

Non-implementation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir travesty of law and morality

NOVANEWS

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MATEEN HAIDER 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi at the UN said that the non-implementation of long-standing UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Kashmir were a travesty of law and morality.

Drawing attention to the plight of the Kashmiri people, who have long been denied their right of self determination, she called for the urgent resolution of the issue in accordance with UNSC resolutions.

Speaking in a debate on the “Right to Self-determination and Elimination of Racism”, Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Third Committee that the continued suffering of Kashmiri women, children and men “should shake the collective conscience of the international community”, a statement issued by Pakistan’s mission to the UN said.

Ambassador Lodhi underlined the urgent need to fulfil the long-held promise of self-determination to the Kashmiri people and said that this was indispensable to establishing lasting peace and stability in South Asia.

She recalled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement during the UN General Debate, in which he reiterated the call for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also stated that the Kashmiri people were an integral part of the dispute and consultations with them were essential to reach a peaceful settlement,” she said, adding that he had characterised the Kashmir dispute as “the most persistent failure of the United Nations”.

UNSC resolutions on the disputed region of Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy said, pronounced that the future status of the region would be decided through the democratic means of “a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices”.

But she regretted that these resolutions, which were supported by Pakistan, India and the international community “still await implementation”.

“Generation after generation of Kashmiris have seen only broken pledges and ruthless oppression,” she told the world body.

Human rights violations remain rampant. “Over 100,000 have died in their struggle for self-determination,” she added.

She emphasised that the 70th anniversary of the UN ought to be a catalyst spurring the body into action.

Speaking on racism and intolerance, Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistan was firmly opposed to all forms of racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance.

She said that a contemporary form of racism is religious intolerance and discrimination on the basis of religion.

Faith-based discrimination, stereotyping of people on the basis of their belief, incitement to violence through hate speech and acts of desecration were not only inconsistent with fundamental human rights and freedoms, but also jeopardised social harmony and global peace and security.

She called for urgent steps to reverse this disturbing new trend.

Also read: Kashmir dispute cause of tension in South Asia, UNGA told

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Non-implementation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir travesty of law and morality

Graphic video shows Afghan woman stoned to death for eloping

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KABUL: A young Afghan woman who was married against her will has been stoned to death by extremists after she was caught eloping with another man, local officials told AFP Tuesday.

The graphic video shows the woman, named as Rokhsahana and aged between 19 and 21, being stoned.

Rokhsahana can be heard repeating the ‘Shahada’, or Muslim profession of faith, her voice growing increasingly high-pitched in the nearly 30-second clip run in Afghan media. Local authorities confirmed the footage.

The killing took place about a week ago in Ghalmeen, an area some 40 kilometres from the Ghor provincial capital of Firozkoh, governor Seema Joyenda said.

Rokhsahana had been “stoned to death by Taliban, local religious leaders and irresponsible armed warlords”, Joyenda told AFP.

Joyenda, one of Afghanistan’s only two female governors, said that according to authorities’ information Rokhsahana’s family had “married her to someone against her will and she was eloping with a man her age”.

She condemned the stoning, calling on Kabul to take action to “clean the area”.

“This is the first incident in this area but will not be the last. Women in general have problems all over the country, but especially in Ghor… The man with whom she was eloping has not been stoned.”

Ghor police chief Mustafa Mohseni told AFP that the incident happened in an Afghan Taliban-controlled area, confirming that it was the first such incident “this year”.

Read: Parents of young woman stoned to death await justice

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‘Calculated to put American troops in danger’: Why US wants escalation in Syria

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Radical and moderate Syrian rebels Middle East Monitor
RT 

Sending some 50 US advisers to Syria illegally to train the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ looks like a calculated move. If, or when, someone gets hurt, the US will have a pretext for boots on the ground, believes retired US Air Force Lieutenant Col Karen Kwiatkowski.

RT:  Does this deployment mean Americans will be putting themselves in the direct line of fire in Syria?

Karen Kwiatkowski: I think there is a danger of that happening and I think that is part of why they are going there. I think they are looking for an excuse to up the ante, to send more troops and to have a crisis of some sort. Clearly the president has been lying, and so has Ash Carter, about what their real intentions are. So, in my opinion, I think this is provocative and I think it is calculated to put our troops in danger.

RT:  How is that not a combat operation?

KK: Well, special forces are combat. And what the president said [is] they are going to be opportunistic. When you are training and advising, you do not use the word opportunistic. Training and advising is a more steady state situation. So they are using the word opportunistic, they are expecting to get involved in combat operations, and they have sent combat troops to do that. I do not care how they have used the term for non-combat. This is combat.

RT:  They are going there to support the so-called moderate rebels. We know it hasn’t been terribly successful. Why should this make a huge difference?

KK: In terms of helping the moderate rebels – if there are any that we can identify – it is not going to make any difference in that regard. This is about US exercising some power, some limited power that it has, to kind of assert its relevance, particularly in the face of our allies who are asking how we are helping or not helping them.

RT:  Sure, but do you think this is a game changer or, perhaps, this is a question of timing, because Russia has obviously taken on Islamic State?

KK: I don’t think it is a game changer in that regard. It is a gesture to kind of save face in some respects. But there is a real danger, that if our troops, even if it is a limited number, get killed, and if they get killed by, let’s say, Russian fire or something like that, than we have a big problem, that we are not able diplomatically or militarily able to deal with. So it is extremely foolhardy what they are doing. But yes, it is a gesture to show that the US is trying something. But it is a weak gesture and it is a dangerous gesture.

RT:  And you mentioned the Russian airstrikes there and, presumably, Americans are saying we do need to speak with the Russians now to say where we are located so we don’t get into an incident like that?

KK: You would think that. You would think so.

RT:  But you sound like that might not happen?

KK: If you believe what the president and Ash Carter say, they aren’t really seeking out any cooperation with the Russians. So perhaps behind the scenes they are. I would like to think that they care about the lives of our soldiers that they are sending over there and that they would coordinate, but their public rhetoric is that we will not coordinate. That is what I’ve heard unless something has changed. They are not really interested in coordinating with Russia, anything that Russia is doing in Syria. And by the way remember that it is an illegal act to send our troops into Syrian space, air space or ground space, without the permission of the government of Syria, which we do not have. So this is an act of war on top of everything else that makes this extremely stupid.

RT:  Americans clearly don’t see that as a big issue, I mean it has been conducting airstrikes, despite it being against international law. It does not seem to matter in this case, at this stage anyway.

KK: It has not mattered in our policy in the Middle East for a long time. But I have pointed out that if our people killed, if we decide to make some sort of case about that, we are in the wrong totally in this, because we don’t have permission of the Syrian government to put those troops there at all. They are there illegitimately. So when they get killed or injured or harmed we have a problem in a diplomatic sense.

RT:  A public opinion sense too, I mean what was the reaction when the US soldier did die on a special operations mission in Iraq. Was there a big public outcry in America?

KK: No. Two things that I have noticed about this: one is there is no public outcry, not a lot of concern. I haven’t seen a lot of attention given to this death. What surprised me was how much Ashton Carter and President Obama paid homage to this particular individual, called him a hero, and this is what we would like to see – some guy running into a fight and getting slaughtered in an illegitimate combat situation, because I think even in Iraq we still have some concerns there about what we are doing. They celebrated it. They tried to put a positive spin on it. American people aren’t listening. We have a lot of other different things on in general. The American people aren’t interested in what is going on in the Middle East. They don’t want to get involved in it. But they really tried to spin the death of this soldier in a very positive way. And, I’m sure, to see if it can be sold. And, as far as I can tell, it was sold. Americans aren’t interested, but they haven’t really pushed back at the death of this guy. I think we’ve become inert to it.

RT:  Just looking into the future, you foresee a similar thing?

KK: I do. I mean if you go in the middle of a fire storm in an ill-planned situation, then certainly, you can’t say that anything the Pentagon is doing in the Middle East is well planned. They themselves admit this. So, yes, it is going to lead to the death of Americans. And given how they spun the death that happened last week we’ll see more spinning and, you know, more of Russia as a ‘bad guy’ in this situation, as they try to salvage what is left of their Middle East policy in this final year of the Obama administration, in these final months of the Obama administration… I hate to be cynical about this, but it is such a game that they are playing – no good results for our people, no good results for the Syrian people. It is not going to help the exodus of refugees at all. In fact, it will probably make it worse.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on ‘Calculated to put American troops in danger’: Why US wants escalation in Syria

High Court lifts ban on protests at Nazi drone factory

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A UK arms factory was recently occupied by nine British activists in protest against the company’s alleged complicity in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge
RT 

An injunction banning protests from taking place outside a drone factory in Staffordshire has been thrown out by Birmingham High Court. The factory has produced parts for drones used to attack Gaza in 2008, according to Amnesty International.

UAV Engines Limited in Shenstone, owned by an Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, is one of the world’s leading drone producers. The company says it produces “engines for various size tactical armed unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs], target drones and single mission platforms.”

Angered by the factory’s unethical behavior, hundreds of protesters have staged demonstrations outside its industrial unit, calling on the manufacturer to stop contributing to the death of Palestinians.

In June, campaigners shut down UAV and another Israeli arms factory in Kent as part of a protest marking the one-year anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza.

Soon after, it became illegal for activists to protest within 250 meters of the Shenstone factory. The ban came in the form of a temporary injunction granted by the High Court.

However, Birmingham High Court scrapped the ban on Tuesday, ruling Elbit had failed to disclose information on the history of protests which have taken place at the factory since 2009.

Judge Purle at the High Court said the injunction is dismissed “as if it never existed.”

“I think it inconceivable you would have got the same injunction, possibly even any injunction, if you had disclosed relevant information to me,” she told the court. “Accordingly the injunction I granted on 30 June is dismissed ab initio [from the beginning] and it is as if the injunction never existed.”

‘It shouldn’t have been introduced’

A spokesperson for campaign group Block the Factory said the injunction should not have been imposed in the first place.

“This injunction should never have been imposed.It seems to have been designed to deter protest and campaigning around ending the UK’s deadly arms trade with Israel,” they told IBT.

“It’s Elbit Systems and its arms factories that should be facing a ban, not our protests. Today’s decision will bring even more energy to our campaigning in solidarity with ongoing Palestinian resistance and for a two-way arms embargo on Israel.”

War on Want, a charity fighting against the root causes of poverty and human rights violations, said it is pleased the ban has been lifted.

“It would have been a travesty for people to be criminalized for protesting against the sale of arms that are killing Palestinians. It just goes to show the depths UAV Engines will stoop to in order to protect the profits they make from the sale of deadly drones,” campaigner Ryvka Barnard said.

“We welcome the news that the judge has binned this draconian injunction and we will keep up the fight for an immediate two-way arms embargo between the UK and Israel,” he added.

In July, hundreds of activists protested outside the factory, which led to 19 people being arrested by Staffordshire police.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on High Court lifts ban on protests at Nazi drone factory

I$raHell Redefines Terrorism

NOVANEWS

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By Stephen Lendman 

Rogue states make their own rules, mindless of inviolable international laws, norms and standards. On October 19, Israel’s repressive counter-terrorism bill passed its 2nd and 3rd readings – criminalizing legitimate resistance as terrorism, expanding regime authority to counter it extrajudicially.

Any activity can now be called terrorism or terrorist-related, innocent Palestinians subject to possible longterm imprisonment. Charity officials providing aid to anyone linked to or associated with Hamas or legitimate resistance groups can be arrested, charged and prosecuted.

Children wearing clothing bearing the Hamas name face arrest, detention, and grueling interrogations amounting to torture. The law authorizes Big Brother surveillance, more intrusive than already, replicating how the NSA operates, monitoring all phone and online communications.

Israeli Law Professor Yael Berda called the measure “scary and undemocratic…criminalizing an entire population for identifying with an organization that Israel considers terrorist (true or false)” – first introduced in 2011, redrafted several times, never brought to 2nd and 3rd readings until now, required for passage.

It expands the definition of terrorism to virtually anything considered a (real or invented) threat to public safety, well-being, property, infrastructure, the economy, religious sites or the environment.

It makes no distinction between alleged attacks against civilians, soldiers or police. Vandalism against (Israeli) religious sites is now terrorism.

Terrorist organizations are any authorities say so for any reason or none at all. Members or supporters face harsh punishment.

Any alleged terrorist crime incurs “double the penalty set for the same crimes, but no more than 30 years” imprisonment. Administrative detentions (without charges levied or trials) can be ordered more easily than before, subjecting victims to indefinite imprisonment.

Punishment for allegedly intending to conduct a terrorist act is equivalent to committing it. Noted Israeli lawyer, human rights champion Leah Tsemel calls the new law “not…about terrorism. It…remove(s) restrictions from everything to do with opposition to occupation,” criminalizing legitimate resistance.

“When it comes to the occupation, there is no rule of law,” she explained. Israel always operated extrajudicially – now with more police state authority than before.

A passage in the 100-page measure reads as follows:

“The law substantially strengthens and widens the powers of the police and the General Security Services (Shabak or Shin Bet) to suppress any legitimate protest activities against Israeli policies.”

“It also enables the use of ‘secret evidence’ in order to take preventative measures against these activities, which impedes the possibility of objecting to these repressive decisions based on their merits before the judiciary.”

According to Yael Berda, “(y)ou don’t have to do anything to be considered a terrorist. You can publish an article or make a comment in cyberspace, and you will be criminalized.”

“If you are located in the physical environment of terrorist activities, you are guilty.” The measure applies specifically for Palestinians and Arab Israeli citizens – Jews as well for opposing regime authority.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) denounced the new measure, saying “in its current form, (it) seeks to perpetuate and normalise problematic arrangements that are currently set out in emergency legislation and regulations from the time of the British mandate.”

“(D)efinitions included in the bill are very broad and could apply to people and organizations who are not engaged in terrorism. Such broad definitions give excessive discretion to law enforcement authorities to determine ‘who is a terrorist,’ with potentially serious implications.”

“For example, the definition of ‘terrorist act’ may apply to protests, including ‘disturbances.’ The definition of ‘member of a terrorist organization’ includes people who did not take any active part in the organization. The broad definitions contained in the bill and the draconian powers that it gives to authorities could potentially lead to serious human rights violations.”

The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel condemned the measure, saying it “substantially strengthens and widens the powers of the police and the Shabak to suppress any legitimate protest activities against Israeli policies.”

It’s specifically designed to criminalize legitimate resistance – “to further suppress the struggle of Palestinian citizens of Israel and the pursuit of their political activities in support of Palestinians living under Occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

Humanitarian and cultural activities are vulnerable. So is independent journalism, legitimately criticizing repressive state policies. Its passage assures greater collective punishment – all the more urgency to resist this vile, freedom-destroying regime.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

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We Must Oppose Obama’s Escalation in Syria and Iraq!

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Obama scapegoat ISIS Syria Altagreer Arabic
By Ron Paul 

Today Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to outline a new US military strategy for the Middle East. The Secretary admitted the failure of the US “train and equip” program for rebels in Syria, but instead of taking the appropriate lessons from that failure and get out of the “regime change” business, he announced the opposite. The US would not only escalate its “train and equip” program by removing the requirement that fighters be vetted for extremist ideology, but according to the Secretary the US military would for the first time become directly and overtly involved in combat in Syria and Iraq.

As Secretary Carter put it, the US would begin “supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL (ISIS), or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.”

“Direct action on the ground” means US boots on the ground, even though President Obama supposedly ruled out that possibility when he launched air strikes against Iraq and Syria last year. Did anyone think he would keep his word?

President Obama claims his current authority to conduct war in Iraq and Syria comes from the 2001 authorization for the use of force against those who attacked the US on 9/11, or from the 2002 authorization for the use of force against Saddam Hussein. Neither of these claims makes any sense. The 2002 authorization said nothing about ISIS because at the time there was no ISIS, and likewise the 2001 authorization pertained to an al-Qaeda that did not exist in Iraq or Syria at the time.

Additionally, the president’s year-long bombing campaign against Syrian territory is a violation of that country’s sovereignty and is illegal according to international law.

Congress is not even consulted these days when the president decides to start another war or to send US ground troops into an air war that is not going as planned. There might be notice given after the fact, as in Secretary Carter’s testimony today, but the president has (correctly) concluded that Congress has allowed itself to become completely irrelevant when it comes to such grave matters as war and peace.

I cannot condemn in strong enough terms this ill-advised US military escalation in the Middle East. Whoever concluded that it is a good idea to send US troops into an area already being bombed by Russian military forces should really be relieved of duty.

The fact is, the neocons who run US foreign policy are so determined to pull off their regime change in Syria that they will risk the lives of untold US soldiers and even risk a major war in the region — or even beyond – to escalate a failed policy. Russian strikes against ISIS and al-Qaeda must be resisted, they claim, because they are seen as helping the Assad government remain in power, and the US administration is determined that “Assad must go.”

This is not our war. US interventionism has already done enough damage in Iraq and Syria, not to mention Libya. It is time to come home. It is time for the American people to rise up and demand that the Obama Administration bring our military home from this increasingly dangerous no-win confrontation. We must speak out now, before it is too late!

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Syria hospitals Russia accused of bombing don’t exist – Defense Min ‘VIDEO’

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US used Christian NGO to spy on North Korea

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Press TV 

The United States has used a Christian non-governmental organization (NGO) as a front for an espionage program to spy on North Korea, a new report reveals.

In 2004, the Pentagon launched a secret program to gather intelligence from inside the East Asian country that has long been a source of great concern to Washington, The Intercept reported.

“We had nothing inside North Korea,” one former military official familiar with US efforts in the country told the Intercept. “Zero.”

However, a Christian charity organization called the Humanitarian International Services Group, or HISG, was able to finally make way into North Korea through offering much-needed humanitarian aid to Pyongyang.

According to the NGO’s documents, HISG was established by three friends shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. Under the leadership of Kay Hiramine, the organization set out to provide disaster relief and sustainable development in poor and war-torn countries around the world.

The espionage program was the brainchild of Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, a senior US Defense Department intelligence official during the George W. Bush administration.

Boykin who was an evangelical Christian, obsessed with finding new and unorthodox ways to penetrate North Korea.

He was assigned with the task of increasing the Pentagon’s ability to conduct intelligence operations independent from the CIA.

 
Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin

Boykin improvised a plan to use charities as a cover for espionage operations and this was how HISG was chosen to participate in the program.

In the period between 2004 and 2006, HISG helped coordinate a humanitarian shipment to North Korea.

The charity offered faith-based donations that the North Korean government would occasionally accept to help its population endure the country’s harsh winters.

However, the shipment included concealed compartments of bibles underneath the clothing. The idea was that if the bibles were not discovered, the Pentagon could use the same smuggling method to get military sensors and equipment into the country.

Once they made sure that the bibles entered the country unnoticed, the Pentagon tasked HISG with gathering the intelligence it needed inside North Korea.

 
HISG CEO Kay Hiramine (L) stands next to former US president George W. Bush

Hiramine’s NGO used unsuspecting Christian missionaries, aid workers, and Chinese smugglers to move equipment into and around North Korea without any of them knowing that they were part of a secret Pentagon operation.

The Pentagon planted “spoofers” and similar devices in the country to disrupt North Korean military devices and radio signals. The report also noted that “[equipment] to measure nuclear anomalies” were scattered throughout the country.

The US even planted shortwave radios that could help a downed pilot to escape in the event of a future conflict with North Korea.

Citing a former US military official and documents reviewed in relation to the case, the report noted that before being dismantled in 2013, Hiramine’s organization had received millions in funding from the Pentagon through a complex web of organizations designed to mask the origin of the cash.

In 2007, President Bush awarded Hiramine with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime block contact with death row political prisoners

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Reprieve

Reports have emerged that the family of political prisoners facing execution in Saudi Arabia have been unable to make regular, scheduled calls with the prisoners, raising concerns over their well being.

Ali Adubisi, the director of a Saudi human rights organisation in Europe who is assisting activist Sheikh Nimr and six other political prisoners, told Reprieve that Mr Nimr yesterday failed to make a regular weekly call – something which has never happened previously during over three years in prison.

Sheikh Nimr is facing beheading and crucifixion by the Saudi authorities over his involvement in political protests. Families of other political prisoners facing execution – including juveniles Ali al Nimr and Dawoud al Marhoon – have also expressed concern over their recent inability to make contact with them.

The highly secretive nature of the Saudi justice system means that prisoners are usually executed without their families or lawyers receiving any prior warning – making the apparent block on communications by the Saudi authorities particularly concerning.

The news comes as the UK Government reveals that, despite cancelling a bid to provide services to the Saudi prisons system, discussions with the Saudi Government over judicial cooperation are still “ongoing.” Reprieve is calling on the Government to provide further details on what such cooperation involves, and what safeguards are in place to ensure that the UK will not be complicit in Saudi Arabi’s death penalty system.

Commenting, Kate Higham, caseworker at international human rights organisation Reprieve said: “The apparent blocking of contact between families and political prisoners is deeply concerning – especially since those facing execution include several people sentenced to death as children over their involvement in political protests. The Saudi authorities need to ensure that legal representatives and families have unfettered access to their clients and loved ones, in addition to reviewing and overturning these unjust sentences.”

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UK supports Dubai police fair, despite UAE torture record

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C.I.A puppet

Reprieve

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is supporting a trade fair hosted by the Dubai police this week, despite widespread use of police torture in the UAE.

The event, the Emirates Security Exhibition and Conference (Emsec), is said by its organizers to be ‘designed to support and encourage UK exports’. It is officially hosted by the Dubai police, though UKTI has organized a reception at the British embassy in Dubai for UK companies taking part.

Human rights organization Reprieve – which assists British and other victims of police torture in the Emirates – has previously raised concerns with UKTI about its support for the event. Reprieve’s research has found that some 75 per cent of prisoners in Dubai Central Jail reported having been tortured into ‘confessing’. They include British citizens who say they were subjected to electric shocks. Despite this, a recommended ‘product requirement list’ given to UK companies ahead of this week’s event included the category ‘Public Order Equipment – Electronic’.

British student Ahmad Zeidan, from Reading, was arrested and tortured in December 2013, and was eventually convicted on the sole basis of a ‘confession’ he signed in Arabic – a language he neither reads nor writes. Ahmad, who initially faced a potential death sentence, recently learned that he was not included in a royal pardon that saw hundreds of other prisoners freed – despite his requests to the UK Foreign Office to support his case.

A 2013 UKTI strategy document unearthed by Reprieve lists security export events such as Emsec as a new priority for the Government, and a Reprieve Freedom of Information request has revealed that last year the government spent £12,000 on encouraging British companies to attend.

The event comes as the UAE was expected to secure re-relection to the United Nations Human Rights Council, in a vote today. In a submission to the body in support of their bid, Emirati representatives said: “Our wish to serve a second term on this esteemed body reflects our view that societies that uphold human rights are more resilient, more sustainable and more secure.”

Commenting, Maya Foa, head of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: “The Emirati authorities have boasted to the UN about their human rights record, but the reality is dismal. The UAE systematically uses torture to secure convictions – and death sentences – based on bogus statements. British student Ahmad Zeidan is still languishing in prison after he was forced to sign one of these ‘confessions’. Instead of lending UK support to the Emirati police responsible for his torture, the British Government should make clear that we want no part in such abuses – and should demand the release of victims like Ahmad without delay.”

Posted in Middle East, UKComments Off on UK supports Dubai police fair, despite UAE torture record

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