Archive | Human Rights

Zio-Nazi torturing non-Jewish children. 2014 Australian documentary film. Viewer discretion

NOVANEWS

Palestinian Children in Zio_Nazi Camp

Zio-Nazi torturing non-Jewish children documentary film full length. Viewer discretion.
The still picture shows Palestinian girl Nesreen Hash’hash after being shot in the face by Nazi soldier.

- Banned from the media journalist Alison Weir explains why this is happening http://youtu.be/_-UwcVP_k2Y

 

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Zionist Justice: Defense promises to appeal guilty verdict against Rasmea Odeh

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Charlotte Silver
141110-rasmea-odeh.jpg

Rasmea Odeh before entering court this morning.

After less than two hours of deliberation, a Detroit federal courthouse jury reached a guilty verdict today in the government’s case against Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh.

The case against Odeh centered on her alleged failure to disclose on her US immigration papers her conviction in an Israeli military court in 1969.

Dozens of supporters of Odeh had driven from Chicago through the night to be at the courthouse today for the announcement of the verdict.

As the jurors read their guilty votes, many of those seated in the gallery dropped their heads to their hands. Prior to bringing the jury into the courtroom, Judge Gershwin Drain had admonished those in the gallery not to make any reaction to the verdict.

The defense intends to file an appeal of the verdict as soon as sentencing is completed several weeks from now.

Judge endorses verdict

After the verdict was read, Judge Drain said, “I don’t normally comment on verdicts, but in this case I will: I think it’s a fair and reasonable one based on the evidence that came in.”

Lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada that he had never heard a judge comment on a jury’s verdict before. “That’s not his job,” Deutsch remarked. “But it is a window into his whole thinking into this trial.”

After the jury was escorted out, those in the courtroom remained seated in silence. After a few minutes, Odeh turned to those behind her and said solemnly, “Someday we will find fairness, in some place in the world.”

“Jury kept in ignorance”

Judge Drain had told lawyers that the jury was interested in speaking to them after the hearing. However, after Deutsch exited the courthouse, he told the gathering of Odeh’s supporters that the jurors did not wish to speak to the defense at all after they had spoken with the government attorneys for thirty minutes.

“That’s the kind of jury we had: they were kept ignorant of 75 percent of our defense and then they didn’t even want to hear from us at the end,” Deutsch told the crowd over a bullhorn.

Odeh told her supporters, many of whom were in tears, “I don’t want to be weak in this situation. I am strong and I ask you all to be strong.”

Odeh, 67, was granted citizenship in November 2004 after living as a permanent resident in Detroit, Michigan, and later Chicago, Illinois, since 1995. She was indicted last October, when agents from the Department of Homeland Security arrested her at her home in the Chicago suburbs.

The government charged Odeh with immigration fraud for failing to disclose her 1969 conviction in an Israeli military court on her visa and naturalization applications. They have argued that had the consular known her record, Odeh would not have been admitted into the US.

Odeh maintains that the conviction for alleged participation in bombings in Jerusalem was false and based on a confession she was forced to sign after 25 days of torture. She was later released from Israeli jail in a prisoner exchange.

Throughout the trial, Odeh’s defense maintained that she had not knowingly provided false answers, and instead believed the questions under scrutiny were only inquiring about her criminal background in the United States.

The defense had initially argued that Odeh suffers from chronic post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the sustained torture she endured during her time in Israeli detention. However, a week before the trial began, Judge Drain ruled that evidence of her torture and PTSD would not be allowed into trial.

“This was not a full or fair trial,” Hatem Abudayyeh told The Electronic Intifada. Abudayyeh is the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, where Odeh serves as associate director, and the spokesperson for the Rasmea Defense Committee. “When the judge made his rulings that the torture and PTSD would not be allowed into trial, while the evidence from the Israeli military court would — this was a travesty of justice,” Abudayyeh added.

Speaking to reporters, Odeh said, “I felt the verdict is not justice, it was a racist verdict.”

Pretext

Supporters of Odeh have emphasized that the indictment was the result of an investigation of Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest that began in 2010. In a pretrial motion, Deutsch had argued for the charges to be dismissed on the grounds that her indictment was a product of “an illegal investigation” into activities protected by the First Amendment.

“The immigration charge is nothing but a pretext for what they were trying to go after: a Palestinian icon and legend who represents the Palestinian movement,” Abudayyeh stated on Monday.

“Palestinian people around the world are doing effective work; we’re getting stronger and stronger and Israel is on the ropes. And when Israel is on the ropes, the US government cracks down,” he added.

During Odeh’s trial last week, supporters filled the courtroom and a spillover room. After each day of the trial, the group would gather outside the courthouse holding up signs reading “Drop the charges against Rasmea.”

Gesturing to the dozens of supporters chanting outside the court, Abudayyeh said, “This is what the Palestinian-American community looks like. They understand this to be a political case … the US attorneys offices in Chicago and Detroit are doing the bidding of Israel in the prosecution of Palestinian Americans.”

Odeh faces up to ten years of imprisonment before being subject to deportation proceedings.

Deutsch told reporters that he believes there are very strong points for appealing the conviction, which Odeh’s attorneys will file after sentencing is concluded.

Update: Odeh taken into custody

The court reconvened this afternoon as Judge Drain heard a motion from the prosecution to revoke the bond on which Odeh had been released after she was arrested on 22 October last year.

Odeh’s attorneys refuted the government attorneys’ assertions that she was a flight risk, arguing that Odeh had opted to go to trial in a bid to remain in the US where she has strong community ties, rejecting a plea deal that would have seen her deported without serving jail time.

But Drain ruled for the prosecution and there were tears and gasps in the courtroom as Odeh was led away. With her head held high, Odeh said, “I am strong.”

Her supporters gathered outside of the court house as their worst fear was realized — returning to Chicago while leaving behind Rasmea Odeh in a Detroit jail.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, USA0 Comments

After tense last day, jury begins deliberations on Rasmea Odeh

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Charlotte Silver

fennerty-deutsch-odeh.jpg

From left, defense attorneys Jim Fennerty and Michael Deutsch, and Rasmea Odeh.

Finishing on schedule, Rasmea Odeh’s trial came to a close on Friday. The day included a grueling cross examination of the Palestinian American community leader, and closing statements delivered by the prosecution and defense.

A verdict may come on Monday.

After a week in court, the last day brought some relief to Odeh and her lawyers, who have been preparing for this trial for a year.

Odeh was indicted last year in October for allegedly giving false answers on her application for citizenship, which she was granted in 2004. The four questions she is alleged to have answered falsely inquired about her criminal record.

Odeh was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1969 for participating in a series of bombings that led to the death of two civilians. She spent ten years in an Israeli prison.

Odeh denies her involvement and says she was forced to confess after weeks of brutal torture in Israeli custody.

Before the jury entered Judge Gershwin A. Drain’s Detroit courtroom on Friday morning, Odeh’s lead attorney Michael Deutsch asked the court to have a directed verdict of not guilty; this was was denied by Drain. A directed verdict is when a presiding judge decides that no reasonable jury could arrive at a guilty verdict.

For the last week, her defense team has stoutly contested the allegation that Odeh “knowingly” answered falsely, arguing instead that her brother first filled out her application for a visa in 1995 and that she misinterpreted the questions on her application for citizenship in 2004.

The misinterpretation, Odeh asserts, is that she believed the questions were only about her criminal background in the United States. She has also testified that at the time of the application her English skills were insufficient.

The prosecution argues that this interpretation is not reasonable, and claimed an immigration officer verbally specified the questions referred to “anywhere in the world” when Odeh was interviewed for her citizenship.

Jennifer Williams, the immigration officer who interviewed Odeh in 2004, testified on Thursday that when she conducted Odeh’s interview she added “anywhere in the world” to those questions. However, doubt was cast on Williams’ memory during Deutsch’s cross examination.

After the jury returned to their seats Friday morning, Rasmea Odeh resumed her place on the witness stand to testify in her own defense.

Deutsch questioned Odeh about her interview with Williams.

“I remember exactly what she asked,” Odeh said. “I felt like she wanted to finish the interview quickly and make it easy for me.”

Odeh testified that Williams asked the questions exactly as they were written in the application — without adding “anywhere in the world” to those questions.

Palpable tension

The prosecution’s cross examination of Rasmea Odeh lasted more than an hour and was by far the most intense moment in the trial, with palpable tension in the courtroom and frustration expressed by both sides. Judge Drain repeatedly intervened to keep US Attorney Jonathan Tukel and Odeh from talking over one another.

In his cross examination, Tukel tried to establish that Odeh’s mistakes were not innocent, and that she intentionally lied on both her immigration and citizenship applications in order to secure status in the United States.

Tukel began by asking Odeh about her education. As the defense has alleged that Odeh had help from her brother on her 1994 visa application and then misinterpreted the questions on her 2004 application for naturalization, the prosecution focused on Odeh’s advanced education.

“You knew that was a false statement when you submitted your application?” he asked.

“No why would I lie?” Odeh responded.

“Why would you lie?” Tukel retorted. “You had to lie because you knew if the US Embassy had found out you were in Lebanon, they would find out you had been in Israel before and would then have found out that you had been convicted of two bombings that resulted in the death of two innocent civilians.”

“No, I was tortured —” Odeh exclaimed.

This was the first time the jury has heard any direct mention of torture — though the defense hinted at “extensive interrogation” during its opening statement. The prosecution immediately objected to Odeh’s invocation of her torture, which was sustained by the judge. Deutsch objected to the long and argumentative question, which was also sustained by the judge.

Throughout the cross examination, Odeh pushed back on Tukel’s questions, attempting to point out the inconsistencies in the application that led her to becoming confused by the question.

Closing arguments

In closing arguments, both the prosecution and defense reiterated the cases they had presented over the last four days in court.

The prosecution, using the same PowerPoint presentation from their opening statement, maintained that they had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Odeh knowingly provided false answers on her immigration and naturalization applications.

The “knowingly” element of the crime is what has been consistently disputed by defense attorneys. The legal standard for “knowingly” is that Odeh knew the answers she gave were false and she gave them intentionally; not because of mistake, accident, or any other innocent reason.

The jurors are therefore being asked to infer her state of mind when filling out the application.

The prosecution contends that she wanted to come to the US and knew she would be ineligible if her conviction were disclosed. The defense, by contrast, maintains that Odeh was brought to the US by her family, who originally filled out her visa application and then she misread the questions on her N-400 form — what they assert was an innocent mistake.

With derision, Tukel characterized this as an “amazing string of coincidences.” He described Odeh’s claim that she misinterpreted the question as “ridiculous.”

In an apparent effort to appeal to the majority female jury, Tukel made an analogy to a hypothetical conversation between an engaged couple: “What if a woman asked her fiance if he had ever been married and he said no.”

In the scenario Tukel posited to the jury, the man is then revealed to have been once married abroad, to which “the wife’s head snapped” — but the man claimed he had nevertheless truthfully answered her question.

“That’s an everyday, common experience that you can imagine, to help you use your common sense in this case,” Tukel said to the jury.

Deutsch’s closing statement noted that while the prosecutor and the judge have directed the jury not to consider Odeh’s conviction from 1969, the prosecution invoked the bombing more than fifty times over the course of the week and at least ten in the closing argument alone. “They want you to think she’s dangerous, she’s threatening.”

“Remember [her conviction] comes from a military court in Israel that is made up of Israeli soldiers,” Deutsch said.

He urged the jury to review the N-400 carefully and consider the ambiguity of the questions.

“She testified that if they had asked her directly she would have told them and would have explained the conviction and what happened to her.”

Deutsch emphasized that there are no written instructions or training materials to substantiate the prosecution’s claims that Williams specified she wanted to know about a criminal record “anywhere in the world.”

Deutsch said that representing Odeh has been one of the greatest experiences of his long legal career.

He ended with a quiet appeal to the jury: “A bird of justice, a bird of truth, a bird of redemption is in your hands. You can throw it down and crush it into dust or you can open your hands and let that bird soar back to Chicago.”

Jury instructions

Throughout the trial, the jury has been instructed not to speak about the case among themselves or to anyone outside the courtroom. As they will be at their homes for the weekend, before returning to deliberate on Monday morning, the judge admonished them against reading any media about the case.

If a guilty verdict is reached, Judge Drain will determine the punishment. If convicted, Odeh faces up to ten years in prison, revocation of her citizenship and a $250,000 fine.

Before the jury had entered the court that morning, the prosecution and defense had requested certain instructions be included in addition to the judge’s own standard instructions. Deutsch requested that the jury be given the definition of “knowingly,” provided above.

The prosecution asked that the jury be reminded that they are not to determine Odeh’s guilt or innocence in the 1969 conviction.

The jury broke to deliberate for the remaining fifteen minutes of the day, but did not reach a verdict. They did request all evidence submitted to the court.

Odeh and her legal team will return to Chicago for the weekend, as will many of Odeh’s supporters who traveled to and remained in Detroit for the duration of the trial.

The Rasmea Defense Committee has asked people to return to court on Monday, when the jury may reach and announce its verdict.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Video captures execution of Palestinian citizen by Nazi police

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Note: This video shows disturbing footage of Nazi police shooting and killing a Palestinian youth.

At least thirty Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in the Galilee village of Kufr Kana on Sunday as protests spread over the cold-blooded police killing of a youth on Friday.

The video above shows Israeli police shooting 22-year-old Kheir Hamdan in Kufr Kana in circumstances that totally contradict their initial account.

“It is clear from the video footage that the shooting of Hamdan was a murder, as Hamdan did not pose an immediate threat to the lives of the police officers when they shot him,” the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said in a statement.

hamdan.jpg

An image of Kheir Hamdan widely circulated on social media.

“Hamdan approached the officers’ van and banged on the windows with an object. The officers then opened the door of the van, got out and shot him from close range as he tried to run away from the scene, without giving any prior warning such as firing a shot into the air,” Adalah added.

“After the murder occurred, the police rushed to publish a false statement about the details of the incident, but later it became clear that cameras had documented the incident, showing that the police narrative was false and fabricated,” Adalah said.

Nazi police had previously told media that Hamdan was shot “when he tried to stab an officer during an attempt to arrest him for allegedly throwing a stun grenade in the town.”

“The officers’ actions clearly violate the open fire regulations of the police,” Adalah added. “The video also raises suspicion that the police shot Hamdan again after he was injured and had fallen to the ground.”

The group notes that “the police dragged Hamdan’s body in a humiliating manner while he was bleeding and threw him into the police van, as if they were carrying a meaningless object, instead of calling on rescue teams to save him.”

Adalah called for the officers involved in the shooting to be suspended immediately and for a criminal investigation to be opened under the supervision of Israel’s attorney general.

Adalah expressed pessimism that the existing system could result in accountability. “The experience of Arab citizens proves that the Israeli Police Investigation Unit (Mahash) will not seriously investigate an incident of an Arab citizen’s murder at the hands of the police, and will not take those responsible for the murder to trial,” attorney Hussein Abu Hussein said in the statement.

Result of incitement

Adalah noted that the shooting came after direct incitement to violence against Arab citizens of Israel by a senior minister:

Adalah sees a direct connection between the murder of Kheir Hamdan and the statements made earlier this week by Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich. The Minister stated that anyone who attacks Israeli Jewish citizens should be killed immediately. In any democratic society that respects the life of its citizens, any government minister that makes statements such as those by Yitzhak Aharonovich should be immediately dismissed.

Impunity

There are more than 1.6 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, who unlike Palestinians living under Israeli siege and occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, are supposedly afforded civil rights and protections.

However, Palestinian citizens of Israel live under dozens of laws and de facto practices that leave them at best with second-class citizenship.

The Nazi state recognized this in the Or Commission report produced after the October 2000 police killings of thirteen Palestinian citizens of Israel. But as Patrick O. Strickland reported last month, Israeli police brutality against Palestinian citizens remains unchecked fourteen years after that massacre.

Kheir Hamdan’s killing is only the latest by Israeli forces to be caught on video. In May, CNN and security camera video showed the cold-blooded killings by Israeli snipers of two teens, Nadim Nuwara and Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia.

In December 2012, a camera caught the killing of seventeen-year-old Muhammad al-Salaymeh in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. In that case, as in the killing of Hamdan, the video directly contradicted Israeli claims that the youth posed an immediate threat to the person who shot him.

Protests and repression

This video shows hundreds of people marching in Hamdan’s funeral in Kufr Kana as many more line the streets:

On Saturday, thousands of people marched through the town in a protest:

As this video posted on Saturday shows, Israeli police stationed large numbers of forces at the entrances to Kufr Kana:

Strikes and protests against Hamdan’s killings have continued in Palestinian cities towns across the Galilee and the north of present-day Israel, including in Haifa, Umm al-Fahm, Sakhnin and Tamra.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Human Rights in Our Name

NOVANEWS

Human Rights in Our Name
bY; Clive Hambidge

Under international law all parties involved in a conflict, must whether state or non state armed actors, respect international humanitarian law. The aim of which is to regulate conduct during hostilities and respect for human rights law.

bilgrimage.blogspot.combilgrimage.blogspot.com

“The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on the 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October. Its aim is to give further affect in UK law to the rights contained in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, but more commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights. The Act makes available in UK courts a remedy for breach of a Convention right without the need to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”

So there we have it, the protection of our Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms make us feel safe? Protected? Free? Well to a degree. And because of certain rights I will be demonstrating that today (9th August 2014) for the Palestinians under pressure, under attack, under unlawful occupation, this brings some meaning to my fundamental rights and reminds me of my duty as a free citizen of the international community to peaceful protest. Though for the time being little solace for Palestinians murdered by a rampaging Israel who wilfully ignores the Palestinians, their human rights, and takes violence to new depths of depravity.

Others protested and marched too. Hundreds of thousands marched in London. The compassionate route took us around the shamed American embassy and into Hyde Park. This ‘day of rage’, conducted peacefully, reverberated around the activists’ globe where for intance 50,000 strong in Cape Town South Africa demonstrated. In defiance of a cowardly “ban imposed by French authorities” thousands marched through Paris. In addition, 2000 souls marched in Melbourne and Sydney. Others in India, Greece, Jordan and Yemen gave voice to the outrage against the military actions of Israel toward an essentially defenceless Palestine. The PSC estimated that 150,000 marched through London. And still others have demonstrated: Montréal, Muscat, Zagreb, Barcelona, Brussels, Algiers, Tokyo, Berlin, Chicago (one million protested), Caracas, Kuala Lumpur, Ottawa, Amsterdam, Austin Texas, Kyoto, Washington DC, Sofia. In fact other demonstrations were held in Peru, Chile, Cyprus, Poland, Ireland, Ecuador, Malta and many other countries.

In London“Protesters packed the main shopping artery of Oxford Street, marching to the US embassy and on to Hyde Park, many of them chanting “Free, Free Palestine” and holding up banners saying “UK – Stop Arming Israel”.

According to ongoing BBC reports “more than 1,900 Palestinian civilians have been killed in four weeks of Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, the UN says.” The Palestinian death toll is -and rising- 1,935 killed to include 1,408 civilians: 452 were children and 235 women.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said as of yesterday “The conflict in Gaza has taken a terrible toll. The UK has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to help those affected and it is right that we see what more we can do.” Little can be done for the shattered families of the murdered women and children recorded above. And let us be clear Britain has been complicit in murder by selling arms to Israel. So where is the arms embargo Mr Cameron? Is Britain not profiting by selling arms to Israel? And is this not unconscionable?

Therefore, Facilitate Global fully backs the UNGA Human Rights Council’s Twenty-first special session, where in a 5 page Resolution S-21/1 titled ‘Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’ was adopted on 23 July 2014, stating among things that “The Human Rights Council, Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Recalling General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 and Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007,
Reaffirming the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land by the use of force, as enshrined in the Charter,
Affirming the applicability of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian ….”

Says Paulina Parhiala, Director of ACT Alliance, “The resolution also demands that Israel immediately ceases its military action and lifts the blockade of Gaza. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is now dire, and needs even more commitment from the international community to ensure protection and safety of civilians and all objects protected by international humanitarian law, and to ensure humanitarian access in Gaza. This resolution should be implemented immediately in order to bring to an end the suffering of innocent people both in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It is unacceptable that over 600 people, mostly civilians, have died as a result of the escalated violence.”

Baroness Warsi who recently resigned, according to her conscience and understanding of the ongoing Israeli illegal occupation, said on BBC Radio 4 Today programme “What we need to do right now is put all our efforts into making sure we move the government’s position, that they suspend arms exports licenses immediately, that they -the government- start to lead the international effort on accountability on both sides and that they move towards a Middle East policy that is, in the long term, sustainable.”

Patrick Wintor, Matthew Taylor and Dominic Smith writing for the Guardian 6th August 2014 ”Since 2010, UK arms export licences to Israel worth £42m have been granted to 131 British defence manufacturers. According to government documents the equipment ranges from components for drones to “military radars”, “targeting systems” and “electronic warfare equipment”. Details published last month by the Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) show one licence has been issued in relation to the American-built Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme, which is due to start arriving in Israel from 2016, with the first aircraft becoming operational in 2018.”

Moreover, “Documents obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that since 2010 there have been £42m worth of licences to export military-only equipment to Israel.£10 million of which has been licensed in the past monthes Licences granted in the past year include a wide range of hardware from components for naval guns to ammunition, submarines and combat aircraft parts to components for drones.”

In addition the Kuwait News Agency (KNNA) stated “July 12th 2014 British Companies sell spare parts and military technology to the Israeli army worth Billions of pounds.” Further, “Arab Organization for Human Rights in [the] UK (AOHR) said “Britain was profiting from Israeli massacres in Gaza as Israel intensifies its assault on the [Gaza] strip.”

Cameron talks of increased humanitarian efforts to help the Gaza citizens whilst supplying the arms along with America that kills and maims them. If this doesn’t constitute a war crime I know not what does.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, UK, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

POLICE STATE USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming our Reality

NOVANEWS

The Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize America today. The God-given freedoms they championed in the Bill of Rights have been chipped away over the years by an ever-intrusive government bent on controlling all aspects of our lives in the name of safety and security. NSA wire-tapping and data collection is Orwellian in its scope. The TSA, BLM, and IRS are all jockeying for control of our lives. Warrantless searches are on the rise and even encouraged in some communities. Free speech, the right to bear arms, private property, and freedom of religion all are under attack. The Constitution has been tossed on the same trash pile as the Bible. From traffic light cameras to phone tapping, from militarized police forces to targeting specific groups of people, the government is unfettered in its desire to control the American people.

Police State USA chronicles how America got to the point of being a de facto police state and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the constitution and exploits 9/11 security fears to justify spying on its citizens. Stunning new surveillance technology makes it easier to keep tabs on the people. The acquisition by police departments of major battlefield equipment emboldens officials to strong-arm those they should be protecting. The failure of the news media to uphold the rights of citizens sets the stage for this slippery slope.

Police State USA tells how we might overcome and recapture our freedoms, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

 

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

U.S. Torture Pics Ordered Released by 12/12

NOVANEWS
45_CIA_Torture_Docs• ‘National security’ no longer a defensible excuse to continue to hide evidence of U.S. abuse of prisoners.By Olga Belinskaya —

For over 10 years, the United States Department of Defense has been battling a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which wants access to horrific images of torture and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies and the military.

Recently, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein gave the Obama administration until December 12 to justify withholding as many as 2,100 photographs depicting the torture of prisoners. The government’s response is expected to be its most detailed argument for secrecy yet.

“Americans have a right to know what was done in our names in military detention centers,” said Marcellene Hearn, the senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project .

The images are suspected to be similar to the more than 1,300 photographs taken at the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq that were released in 2006. The Abu Ghraib images depicted prisoners crawling on the floor naked, being forced to perform sexual acts, being covered in feces and attacked by dogs. Some images also showed prisoners killed by the soldiers, some shot in the head and some with slit throats.

In 2009, the Obama administration concealed the images in question with the Protected National Security Documents Act of 2009, which allows an image to remain secret for three years if release endangers Americans. At the time, President Barack Hussein Obama said: “The individuals who were involved have been identified, and appropriate actions have been taken. It’s therefore my belief that the publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals. In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”

Ms. Hearn responded: “It would be completely backwards to suppress images of government misconduct on the grounds that they are too powerful to be disclosed when it is often disclosure, accountability and ensuing reforms that prevent misconduct from recurring.”

In his ruling, Hellerstein quoted British economist John Maynard Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

The Iraq War is over, and almost all soldiers have been withdrawn, so the argument that the photos endanger Americans is weak. The burden of proof is now on the government to show why the publication of images risks national security.

Hellerstein’s ruling for transparency was joined by an October 3 federal district court ruling to release 28 classified military videotapes showing the forced cell extraction and forced feeding of a hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay detainee, Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Diyab, a Syrian who has been held for 12 years without a trial.

Judge Gladys Kessler rejected the Obama administration’s arguments that making the videos public would endanger national security. Judge Kessler cited the First Amendment in overriding the government’s arguments for keeping the videos secret. She added that the “national security” arguments were “unacceptably vague, speculative,” lacking specificity or “just plain implausible.” Judge Kessler also ruled that hearings about force-feeding would be public.

Another major torture disclosure may soon follow. The Senate Intelligence Committee voted six months ago to release its findings of a landmark study on the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture program. The committee is currently pushing back against the administration’s efforts to censor much of the report to make it unreadable.

The push for secrecy isn’t surprising, considering the hellish conditions in Abu Ghraib. Saddam Salah al-Rawi, who was in one of the infamous photographs recalls: “In my cell I was shouting: ‘Please come and take me. Please kill me. I am Osama bin Laden, I was in the plane that hit the World Trade Center.’ I wanted to be dead 1,000 times. I asked my God to take my soul.”

- See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=20452#sthash.YZcpBNKp.dpuf

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

UN Questions for US and Yemen over ‘Disappeared’ American

NOVANEWS

A UN body that tracks forced disappearance has reiterated its call to Yemen to produce a US citizen who has been missing from a prison in the country for nearly nine months.

Sharif Mobley, a father of two from New Jersey, was last seen by lawyers from legal charity Reprieve on 27 February 2014, as he awaited trial at Sana’a's central prison. When they returned three weeks later, they were told that Mr Mobley had been transferred to another, secret location. All attempts by Mr Mobley’s family and lawyers to trace him have since failed.

Further questions were raised in July about a possible US role in the disappearance, when US diplomats in Yemen admitted to Reprieve that they had been in contact with Mr Mobley, but refused to reveal where he is being held. In August, the Yemeni court heard – in comments that the judge subsequently ordered to be struck from the record – that Mr Mobley may have been transferred to face trial before the Specialized Criminal Court, a secretive, US-funded body that has been criticised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for failing to meet international fair trial standards.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has submitted a dossier of facts on the case to Yemen and the US regarding Mr Mobley’s disappearance. The submission, made earlier this month, follows the group’s launching of an investigation in May, and a request that Yemen ensure Mr Mobley would not be detained arbitrarily, or subject to unfair legal proceedings.

Mr Mobley’s ordeal began in January 2010 when he was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from outside his house in Sana’a, shot in the leg and held incommunicado for several months. Logs released under a US Freedom of Information request revealed that two US agents interrogated Mr Mobley in secret detention. Since mid-2010, he has faced charges relating to the death of a Yemeni police officer in the course of an alleged escape attempt from hospital, where Mr Mobley was being treated after a beating in detention.

Mr Mobley disappeared on the eve of a court hearing at which his Yemeni lawyer was due to present evidence of the US authorities’ role in his original disappearance. The judge in the trial is thought to be deliberating over the legality of Mr Mobley’s original arrest, shooting and secret detention, which violated several provisions of Yemen’s laws and constitution.

Cori Crider, Mr Mobley’s lawyer and Strategic Director at Reprieve, said: “It’s hard to believe that, nine months on from Sharif Mobley’s disappearance, we are no closer to the Yemeni government admitting where they have taken our client. Mr Mobley’s family and lawyers need immediate access to him to determine how he has been treated, and why he disappeared on the eve of a crucial hearing. We can only hope that this ongoing UN intervention spurs the US and the Yemenis to reveal their role in this murky affair.”

Posted in Human Rights, USA, Yemen0 Comments

Police kill shooter and lose suspect in Ottawa — Canada’s 911?

NOVANEWS 
by Denis G. Rancourt

I live in Canada’s capital city Ottawa, walking distance from where a Canadian soldier was murdered at the War Memorial on the morning of October 22, 2014.

The shooter, with the help of an accomplice and driver (according to authentic eye witnesses media-interviewed at the scene), then made his way into the particular parliament building (Centre Block) in which the Prime Minister was meeting his cabinet — where he was shot dead by police.

The entire Parliament Hill, City Hall, provincial courthouse, Rideau Centre shopping mall, University of Ottawa, and so on, went into “lock down” for the morning and most of the day. Car traffic dropped to almost zero, as folks were told to stay away from the downtown core.

This morning (October 23rd) the city police chief announced that there was “only one shooter” who had been killed, that there was no remaining threat to the public, and made no mention of the driver. The Mayor put things in perspective by pointing out that there have been a total of four murders in Ottawa this year. Ottawa’s population is approximately 1 million.

Canada has been at war in multiple countries for over a decade, in full support of the US-Israel war machine that regularly attacks civilian populations with aerial bombings and violent occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Gaza, …, as part of geopolitical terrorism aimed at overthrowing governments and controlling territory and resources.

Canada is a warring nation annexed to the US superpower. It is amazing that the Canadian public appears to generally accept the notion that this murder of a soldier in Canada is an act of “terrorism”. It is either an act of war, if it was directed by those being attacked by Canada, or it is a murder. It is not an act that can realistically intimidate a nation. Rather, it is being spun into “terrorism” to justify increased militarization and police-state policies.

The persons most likely to benefit from this murder are Prime Minister Harper and his political party, if the spin and public reaction work out to their benefit. The military-surveillance establishment and those committed to sycophantism towards the US are the other clear beneficiaries of this murder. Those attacked by Canada will derive no benefit whatsoever from the killing of the soldier, to the contrary, and no external group has claimed responsibility.

The last time there was a “terrorism” attack in Ottawa it was the 2010 arson of the entrance of an empty bank, in relation to G20 held in Toronto. The video of the attack showed three criminals (including the videographer) but only two persons were charged, and only one person was prosecuted and found guilty and jailed.

It turned out that the condemned arsonist had for years been closely followed and accompanied by a police infiltrator who was never cross-examined, and who disappeared from Ottawa.

Now, we have a similar scene. Who is the driver? Who is behind the premeditated murder and attack on Centre Block? We can dream that a thorough police investigation of the homicide will be made and made public, but without a live suspect there will not ever be a trial.

Days prior to the October 22 murder, a former soldier struck two soldiers with his car in a parking lot (in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec), and killed one of them. The driver was chased. His car overturned in a ditch. When he emerged he was shot dead by two police officers, alleging he had a “large knife”. The only suspect was shot dead rather than apprehended. Harper mused in Parliament that the hit-and-run was a “terrorist” attack. There won’t be a trial.

Understanding domestic crimes and informing the public appears to be the last concern. Justifying Canada’s militarization and its wars is high on the agenda.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Police Use of Drones May Threaten Human Rights: UN Expert

NOVANEWS

Christof Heyns says legality of law enforcement use of remote-controlled weapons must be considered

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns speaking in 2013.  (Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Geneva/flickr/cc)

The increasing use of drones by police forces and private security may pose a threat to human rights, a United Nations independent expert has said.

“An armed drone, controlled by a human from a distance, can hardly do what police officers are supposed to do—use the minimum force required by the circumstances,” Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, told a UN General Assembly committee Wednesday.

The right to life and human dignity must be considered above any added value of giving police these unmanned weapons, he said.

“The decreased personal involvement of police officers in the deployment of force raises the question, among others, of who is responsible if things go wrong,” Heyns added.

The Special Rapporteur made the comments while presenting his report (pdf) on his activities to General Assembly.

That report notes that some uses of “less lethal” weapons—including rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and drones, have lead to death as well as injury. “The danger is that law enforcement officials may argue that the weapons that they use are labeled ‘less lethal’ and then fail to assess whether the level of force is not beyond that required,” the report states.

“It should be asked whether remote-controlled weapons systems should be as readily viewed as legal weapons in the law enforcement context as in armed conflict,” Heyns writes in his report.

Among the emerging technology noted in the report is a drone produced by Vanguard Defense Industries that “can be armed with 37-mm and 40-mm grenade launchers, a 12-gauge shotgun with laser designator or can be fitted with an XREP taser with the ability to fire four barbed electrodes that can be shot to a distance of 100 feet, delivering neuromuscular incapacitation to the victim.”

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

Shoah’s pages

Join our mailing list

* = required field