Aug 12

​US, NATO war crimes against thousands of Afghan civilians ignored – Amnesty (RT, Aug 11, 2014):

Apparent war crimes committed by US and NATO troops in Afghanistan have gone uninvestigated, leaving the families of thousands of the victims without justice, Amnesty International said in a new report.

“Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.

“None of the cases that we looked into – involving more than 140 civilian deaths – were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.” Continue reading »

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Mar 28

Russian Authorities Raid Amnesty International Office (New York Times, March 25, 2013):

MOSCOW — The Russian authorities on Monday raided the local headquarters of the human rights group Amnesty International, the latest in a continuing series of office searches intended to put pressure on nongovernmental groups.The head of Amnesty’s office in Russia, Sergei Nikitin, said in a telephone interview that officials from the general prosecutor’s offices and from the tax police arrived unannounced on Monday morning to conduct what they described as an “audit” and demanded a list of documents, most of which Mr. Nikitin said were already on file with the government.

Continue reading »

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Aug 30

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The Western Onslaught Against International Law (Paul Craig Roberts, Aug 28, 2012):

A new film, “Compliance,” examines “the human desire to follow and obey authority.” Liberal institutions, such as the media, universities, federal courts, and human rights organizations, which have traditionally functioned as checks on the blind obedience to authority, have in our day gone over to power’s side. The subversion of these institutions has transformed them from checks on power into servants of power. The result is the transformation of culture from the rule of law to unaccountable authority resting on power maintained by propaganda.

Continue reading »

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Aug 30

From the article:

Obama is a despicable patsy, a front man for powerful private interests, and Democrats should be totally ashamed to have elevated such a cowardly lowlife. But as awful as Obama is, a vote for Republicans is a vote for Hitler or Stalin. Indeed, the election of Romney and Ryan would be worse than either.


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

paul-craig-roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Putin Is Demonized While Democracy Fails In Amerika (Paul Craig Roberts, Aug 30, 2012):

The latest “rights group” to jump on Russia’s President Putin about Pussy Riot is RootsAction. Following the propaganda line that Washington has established, RootsAction’s appeal for money and petition signers states that the three Russian women were sentenced to two years in prison “for the ‘crime’ of performing a song against Russia’s president Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.”

This statement is a propagandistic misrepresentation of the offense for which the women were tried and convicted.

Continue reading »

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Dec 02

Flashback:

G.W. Bush’s Toronto Visit Cancelled Amid Mass Public Pressure for Arrest (Veterans Today)


Amnesty urges African nations to arrest George Bush (AFP, Dec 1, 2011):

Amnesty International on Thursday urged Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to arrest former US president George W. Bush for violating international torture laws, during his African tour this week.

Bush is touring the countries through to Monday to promote efforts to fight cervical and breast cancers, and Amnesty said the three nations have an obligation to arrest him under international law.

“All countries to which George W. Bush travels have an obligation to bring him to justice for his role in torture,” said Amnesty’s senior legal adviser Matt Pollard.

“International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfil their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed.”

“Amnesty International recognizes the value of raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer in Africa, the stated aim of the visit, but this cannot lessen the damage to the fight against torture caused by allowing someone who has admitted to authorising water-boarding to travel without facing the consequences prescribed by law,” the group said in a statement.

Amnesty made a similar appeal to Canada in October when Bush visited British Columbia for an economic summit.

Continue reading »

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Feb 20

See also:

Gaddafi Sweats As Wave of Arab Unrest Reaches Libya

Libya: Anti-government Protesters Killed in Clash With Security Forces

Elite Puppet Mason Muammar Gaddafi Tells Palestinians: Revolt Peacefully Against Israel



Gaddafi, Obama and the Masonic handshake

LONDON (Reuters) – Human rights group Amnesty International said on Friday its sources had said Libyan security forces had shot dead at least 46 people in the past three days.

Amnesty said in a statement sources at al-Jala hospital in Benghazi had reported 28 deaths and more than 110 people injured in Thursday’s protests in the city, and at least three further deaths on Friday.

Local human rights activists reported at least 15 deaths on Thursday during protests in the nearby town of Al Bayda, an Amnesty International spokeswoman said.

“This alarming rise in the death toll, and the reported nature of the victims’ injuries, strongly suggests that security forces are permitted use lethal force against unarmed protesters calling for political change,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Libyan authorities must immediately rein in their security forces. Those responsible for unlawful killings and excessive force — both the direct perpetrators and those who gave the orders — must be identified and brought to justice,” he said in the statement.

Continue reading »

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Jan 08

How will things look like in the coming financial-economic collapse in America (and Europe)?


WASHINGTON — An Amnesty report laid bare Wednesday horrific accounts of rape in Haiti’s squalid refugee camps a year after a devastating quake left many struggling to rebuild their shattered lives.

They are women like Guerline, who two months after losing her husband when their home crumbled to the ground in the devastating quake, had to watch as her teenage daughter was raped in a makeshift tarpaulin camp in Port-au-Prince.

“Four men raped her. She is 13 years old,” Guerline told Amnesty International researchers, who compiled the report after interviewing more than 50 women and girls in Haiti’s post-quake camps.

“They told me that if I talked about it, they would kill me. They said that if I went to the police, they would shoot me dead.

“I’m scared. There is nowhere safe where I can live, so I had to keep quiet,” said Guerline, who, like all the women interviewed for the report, was given a false name to protect her from reprisals.

Guerline was raped on the same night as her daughter by hooded men in the tent city. She can’t get the events of that terrible night out of her head.

Amnesty said little is being done to help her and other victims of rape and sexual violence, old woes for Haiti that worsened after the earthquake killed over 230,000 people, injured 300,000 others and flattened large tracts of the capital.

Continue reading »

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Jul 16

Human rights group calls on international community to help end regime’s ‘systematic neglect’ and prevent humanitarian disaster

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Many children in North Korea are at risk of serious malnourishment. (AP)

A desperate picture of the health of North Korea’s population is painted by a report describing a country of stunted children, where the hungry eat poisonous plants and pigfeed, amputations are conducted without anaesthetic and doctors are paid in cigarettes.

Almost two decades after it was hit by a famine that killed an estimated 2 million people, North Korea again faces widespread food shortages and is unable to provide even basic healthcare for its people, according to the report, published today by Amnesty International.

The human rights organisation accuses the North Korean regime of systematic neglect and calls on the international community to intervene to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Based on interviews with aid workers and North Korean defectors, the report says hospitals lack essential equipment and drugs, which forces the sick to treat themselves with medicines bought from markets. Major operations are routinely conducted without anaesthetic, while malnutrition has paved the way for a tuberculosis epidemic.

“North Korea has failed to provide for the most basic health and survival needs of its people,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Asia-Pacific region. “This is especially true of those who are too poor to pay for medical care.”

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, North Korea spent just ¢50 (32p) per person a year on healthcare – a tenth as much as Burma. Continue reading »

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Jun 02

The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades

nigerias-agony-dwarfs-the-gulf-oil-spill_the-us-and-europe-totally-ignore-it
A ruptured pipeline burns in a Lagos suburb after an explosion in 2008 which killed at least 100 people. (Reuters)

We reached the edge of the oil spill near the Nigerian village of Otuegwe after a long hike through cassava plantations. Ahead of us lay swamp. We waded into the warm tropical water and began swimming, cameras and notebooks held above our heads. We could smell the oil long before we saw it – the stench of garage forecourts and rotting vegetation hanging thickly in the air.

The farther we travelled, the more nauseous it became. Soon we were swimming in pools of light Nigerian crude, the best-quality oil in the world. One of the many hundreds of 40-year-old pipelines that crisscross the Niger delta had corroded and spewed oil for several months.

Forest and farmland were now covered in a sheen of greasy oil. Drinking wells were polluted and people were distraught. No one knew how much oil had leaked. “We lost our nets, huts and fishing pots,” said Chief Promise, village leader of Otuegwe and our guide. “This is where we fished and farmed. We have lost our forest. We told Shell of the spill within days, but they did nothing for six months.”

That was the Niger delta a few years ago, where, according to Nigerian academics, writers and environment groups, oil companies have acted with such impunity and recklessness that much of the region has been devastated by leaks.

In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last month. Continue reading »

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May 27

Amnesty International has accused the EU being “weak” and failing to protect human rights, citing the bloc’s tolerance of the CIA’s rendition flights and secret detention programme.

The group said several European countries had repeatedly violated rulings by the European Court of Human Rights against the return of terror suspects to countries where they are at risk of torture.

The human rights group’s annual global report, released on Thursday, also noted “clear accountability gaps” in the EU’s foreign policy.

It cited the bloc’s “weak and incoherent” response to a UN report which found that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza in 2009, and to similar allegations against government forces in Sri Lanka.

Amnesty also criticised the UN for its failure to intervene during the fighting in Sri Lanka. Thousands were killed during the war, and the UN at the time described the conflict as a “bloodbath”.

Amnesty also accused the EU and the US of using their influence with the UN Security Council to “shield” Israel from accountability in Gaza. Continue reading »

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Apr 21

Al Gore is an elite puppet like Bush and Obama. He has been selected by the elite to brainwash the people with the global warming scam in order to push through with the elite agenda of world government, the ‘New World Order’.

It’s all about money, power and control.

Al Gore could become world’s first carbon billionaire


Environmentalists condemn former vice-president for letting controversial company fund Life Earth

al-gore-takes-cash-for-life-earth-water-campaign-from-dow-chemical
Shyam Babu, 10, lives close to the Dow-owned Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal, India

Al Gore, the self-styled squeakiest-clean and deepest-green politician in American history, has some explaining to do this weekend. His environmental organisation has taken money to raise awareness about the need for clean water from a controversial chemicals company.

Dow Chemical, the US firm, is sponsoring Life Earth events in 150 cities today. The event aims to raise money for clean water programmes. Research by environmental organisations has found dangerous levels of highly toxic chemicals in rivers, lakes and other water supplies close to several other factories owned by Dow and its subsidiaries in countries including the United States, Brazil and South Africa.

Dow’s factories at its global headquarters in Midland, Michigan, have been accused of contaminating the region, including the Tittabawassee River floodplains, with high levels of dioxin – one of the “dirty dozen” most dangerous chemicals. In 2007, the highest level of dioxin contamination ever measured by the US Environmental Protection Agency was found in the Michigan Saginaw River. Residents are advised to avoid contact with river sediments and not to eat locally caught fish.

Campaigners are outraged by what they call Dow’s “blatant attempt” to paint itself as a green company and divert attention from the Bhopal scandal, where 25 years after the 1984 disaster at the plant (then owned by Union Carbide) thousands of villagers are still forced to use contaminated water which causes birth defects, cancer and skin disorders.

Live Earth, which has accumulated celebrity supporters and thousands of activists worldwide since its climate change concert in 2007, has been criticised by campaigners for joining forces with a company which has a track record of, at best, being slow to clean up toxic spills that pollute water, damage ecosystems and endanger lives.

Three weeks ago, Amnesty International asked Live Earth to reconsider the sponsorship unless Dow publicly agreed to clean up Bhopal. Live Earth did not respond. Continue reading »

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Mar 12

maternal_mortality

Amnesty International may be best known to American audiences for bringing to light horror stories overseas such as the disappearance of political activists in Argentina or the abysmal conditions inside South African prisons under apartheid. But in a new report on pregnancy and childbirth care in the U.S., Amnesty details the maternal health care crisis in this country as part of a systemic violation of women’s rights.

The report, titled “Deadly Delivery,” notes that the likelihood of a woman dying in childbirth in the U.S. is five times greater than in Greece, four times greater than in Germany, and three times greater than in Spain. Every day in the U.S., more than two women die of pregnancy-related causes, with the maternal mortality ratio doubling from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in 1987 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006. (And as shocking as these figures are, Amnesty notes that the actual number of maternal deaths in the U.S. may be a lot higher since there are no federal requirements to report these outcomes and since data collection at the state and local levels needs to be improved.) “In the U.S., we spend more than any country on health care, yet American women are at greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than in 40 other countries,” says Nan Strauss, the report’s co-author, who spent two years investigating the issue of maternal mortality worldwide. “We thought that was scandalous.” (See the most common hospital mishaps.) Continue reading »

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Dec 20

gulag

“If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.”

Those chilling words were spoken by James Pendergraph, then executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of State and Local Coordination, at a conference of police and sheriffs in August 2008.

Also present was Amnesty International’s Sarnata Reynolds, who wrote about the incident in the 2009 report “Jailed Without Justice” and said in an interview, “It was almost surreal being there, particularly being someone from an organization that has worked on disappearances for decades in other countries. I couldn’t believe he would say it so boldly, as though it weren’t anything wrong.”

ICE agents regularly impersonate civilians–OSHA inspectors, insurance agents, religious workers–in order to arrest longtime US residents who have no criminal history. Jacqueline Stevens has reported a web-exclusive companion piece on ICE agents’ ruse operations.

Pendergraph knew that ICE could disappear people, because he knew that in addition to the publicly listed field offices and detention sites, ICE is also confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices, many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants–nary a sign, a marked car or even a US flag. (Presumably there is a flag at the Veterans Affairs Complex in Castle Point, New York, but no one would associate it with the Criminal Alien Program ICE is running out of Building 7.) Designed for confining individuals in transit, with no beds or showers, subfield offices are not subject to ICE Detention Standards. The subfield office network was mentioned in an October report by Dora Schriro, then special adviser to Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, but no locations were provided.

Continue reading »

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Nov 17

“All detainees in Afghanistan are entitled to minimum protections, including the right to legal counsel, and to be able to challenge the legal and factual basis for the detention before an independent and impartial tribunal,” three leading rights groups said in a statement.

“The U.S. reforms still fall short of providing detainees with those rights,”
Amnesty International, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch said in the statement.

Source: Reuters

Change you can believe in!


detention-facility-bagram-afghanistan
A U.S. Public Affairs officer stood in the recreation yard in the newly constructed “Detention Facility in Parwan” during a media tour in Bagram, Afghanistan, Nov. 15, 2009. (Wall Street Journal)

BAGRAM AIR FIELD — The new US prison for captured insurgents lies in the middle of a former Soviet minefield, on the northeastern side of the main American military base in Afghanistan.

Cleared of a deadly menace which still lurks elsewhere along Bagram’s perimeter, the complex of cinderblock, containers, Quonset huts and high barbed-wire fences will hold 675 inmates by the year end.

This number can be increased to 1,140 inmates.

The 67-million-dollar facility will be run by around 700 military personnel working for the Joint Task Force 435, created by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates “to take responsibility for all US detainee operations in Afghanistan”.

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U.S. helicopter took off from the Bagram Air Base. (Wall Street Journal)

Officially known as Detention Facility in Parwan, after the surrounding province, the prison will replace that now run by only 200 guards in the centre of Bagram, a rapidly growing garrison city of 24,000.

Most inmates will be held in communal cells with a capacity of 20 detainees with, on average, 40 square feet (3.7 square metres) of individual space. On arrival, each will be issued a green blanket, a prayer mat, a white prayer cap and a copy of the Koran.

Detainees may, however, be segregated into individual cells for disciplinary reasons, but for never more than 30 days at a stretch.

Continue reading »

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Nov 09

Work camps! Looks like the Israeli government has learned from history.


The government is considering establishing work camps in the south of the country, where illegal migrant workers will receive shelter, food and medical care, Army Radio reported Wednesday. In exchange, illegal migrants would perform manual labor outside the camps, but would not earn a salary.

They would stay at the camp until their asylum claims are decided, which could take months or years.

The proposal, part of the effort to address the problems posed by illegal migrants, would place asylum seekers at jobs in communities in the Negev and Arava. Their salaries would go to the state, in order to fund the camps.

Continue reading »

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Oct 27

Israel accused of denying Palestinians access to water (Independent)

Paul Craig Roberts: Israel and the Goldstone Report – War Criminals Are Becoming Arbiters of the Law


A girl stands next to a water tank near Nablus, West Bank. Photo: October 2009 Some Palestinians only get 20 litres of water a day, Amnesty says

Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.

In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

It says that in Gaza, Israel’s blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to “crisis point”.

Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal.

‘Basic need’

In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.

Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians’ access to water
Donatella Rovera
Amnesty International
Gaza thirsts as sewage crisis mounts Water shortages plague West Bank

It says that some Palestinians barely get 20 litres a day – the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies.

While Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy lush gardens and swimming pools, Amnesty describes a series of Israeli measures it says are discriminating against Palestinians:

  • Israel has “entirely appropriated the Palestinians’ share of the Jordan river” and uses 80% of a key shared aquifer
  • West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to drill wells without Israeli permits, which are “often impossible” to obtain
  • Rainwater harvesting cisterns are “often destroyed by the Israeli army”
  • Israeli soldiers confiscated a water tanker from villagers who were trying to remain in land Israel had declared a “closed military area”
  • An unnamed Israeli soldier says rooftop Palestinian household water tanks are “good for target practice”
  • Much of the land cut off by the West Bank barrier is land with good access to a major aquifer
  • Israeli military operations have damaged Palestinian water infrastructure, including $6m worth during the Cast Lead operation in Gaza last winter
  • The Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza has “exacerbated what was already a dire situation” by denying many building materials needed for water and sewage projects.
  • The report also noted that the Palestinian water authorities have been criticised for bad management, quoting one audit that described the sector as in “total chaos”.

    “Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford,” Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera said.

    “Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians’ access to water.”

Water consumption graph

Recommended for short-term survival: 20 litres For the medium term: 70 litres Recommended for the long term: 100 litres (Source: WHO) Continue reading »

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May 15

Human Rights Organization Reiterates Call for Detainees to be Tried in U.S. Federal Courts

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WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In response to President Barack Obama restarting the military commissions at the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International’s executive director Larry Cox issued the following statement:

“President Obama is reinstating the same deeply-flawed military commissions that in June 2008 he called an ‘enormous failure.’ In one swift move, Obama both backtracks on a major campaign promise to change the way the United States fights terrorism and undermines the nation’s core respect for the rule of law by sacrificing due process for political expediency.

Related articles:
Obama orders tribunals restarted for some Guantanamo detainees

Obama administration seeks indefinite detention for terror suspects

“Whatever revisions the Obama administration has made to the commissions do not change the fact that the commissions do not provide an adequate standard of justice for the detainees nor the victims of terrorism — they merely mock the U.S. Constitution, international laws and undermine fundamental human rights standards.

Continue reading »

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Apr 12

In the dying days of the Bush administration, and a week before Israel launched an aerial bombing campaign, followed by a land invasion of the Gaza Strip, the U.S. military shipped 989 containers of munitions to Israel.

Each container was 20-feet long with a total estimated net weight of 14,000 tonnes. The shipment reportedly reached Israel last month at Ashod, 40 kiometres north of Gaza. The huge arsenal of munitions will replenish those expended in the Gaza War.

According to Amnesty International in the UK, the shipment included white phosphorous.

The international organization says 300 of the containers had been unloaded at Ashod in March by a German cargo ship, Wehr Elb.

“We are sure that the consignment contained arms and munitions.” We have a strong suspicion that it contained white phosphorous which has been used against civilians in Gaza,” Brian Wood, head of Arms Control Campaign at Amnesty International in London said late this week.

“The cargo ship had been chartered and controlled by US Military Sealift Command. It left the USA for Israel on December 20, one week before the start of Israeli attacks on Gaza. The vessel was carrying 989 containers of munitions, each of them 20-feet long with a total estimated net weight of 14,000 tonnes,” he said.

“The world community including the Palestinians should be able to know where the remaining 680 containers on board the Wehr Elbe have gone and why the US is not transparent about the final destination of the dangerous cargo.

“A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to Amnesty International that “the unloading of the entire US munitions shipment was successfully completed at Ashdod on March 22,” Wood pointed out.

Continue reading »

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Feb 24


Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, Gaza (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.

The report documented dozens of weapons used by Israel and Hamas during the three-week offensive, concluding that both groups had carried out attacks on civilians constituting war crimes punishable by international law. The UN Security Council should impose an embargo until a mechanism was established to ensure that military equipment was not used to carry out such violations, said Amnesty.

Donatella Rovera, who headed the Amnesty fact-finding mission, said that the group had systematically collected and catalogued shells across Gaza, and traced serial numbers back to factory production lines in the US.

“All of the evidence points to the failure of America to exercise due oversight of what they sell to Israel, which is in breach of their own laws… which require that weapons will not be sold to a country where they will be misused. And the manner in which these weapons were used in Gaza is a war crime.”

The human rights group said that weapons experts in Gaza found white phosphorus artillery shells marked M825 A1 – a US-made munition – throughout the coastal strip. The Times published photographic evidence that Israel was using the M825 A1 shells on January 8. At that time, Israeli military spokesmen denied that the weapon was being used, saying: “This is what we call a quiet shell – it has no explosives and no white phosphorus”.

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Jan 22

Amnesty warns Israel could be guilty of war crimes

White phosphorus shells
Israeli soldiers prepare white phosphorus 155mm artillery shells (light green) as troops keep position on the Israel-Gaza border. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Israel has admitted – after mounting pressure – that its troops may have used white phosphorus shells in contravention of international law, during its three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip.

One of the places most seriously affected by the use of white phosphorus was the main UN compound in Gaza City, which was hit by three shells on 15 January. The same munition was used in a strike on the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City the same day.

Related articles:
Outcry over Israel’s reported use of phosphorus in Gaza (IHT)
Israel accused of executing parents in front of children in Gaza (Telegraph)
Gaza: ‘I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls’ (Independent)

Israel ‘admits’ using white phosphorus munitions (Times)
Gaza building apparently hit by phosphorus: UN (Vancouver Sun)

Israeli use of white phosphorus ‘undeniable’: Amnesty International (The Age)
Israel used phosphorus in heavily populated areas, doctors charge (Kansas City Star)
Israeli army investigates use of white phosphorous in Gaza (Guardian)
Israel shelled UK war graves in Gaza (Telegraph)
Israel ‘will resume bombing’ of Gaza if Hamas reopens tunnels (Telegraph)
Gideon Levy / Gaza war ended in utter failure for Israel (Ha’aretz)

Under review by Colonel Shai Alkalai is the use of white phosphorus by a reserve paratroop brigade in northern Israel.

According to army sources the brigade fired up to 20 phosphorus shells in a heavily built-up area around the Gaza township of Beit Lahiya, one of the worst hit areas of Gaza.

The internal inquiry – which the army says does not have the status of the full investigation demanded by human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – follows weeks of fighting in which Israel either denied outright that it was using phosphorus-based weapons, or insisted that what weapons it was using “were in line with international law”.


Dr Ahmed Almi from the al-Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis describes serious injuries and chemical burns, with victims covered in a white powder that continues to burn long after initial exposure

Phosphorus is a toxic chemical agent that burns on contact with air and creates thick white smokes in order to hide troop movements. However phosphorus shells are largely indiscriminate scattering large numbers of fragments over a large area, which can cause severe damage to both human tissue and property.

As the Guardian reported yesterday, Palestinian doctors have reported treating dozens of cases of suspected phosphorus burns.

Continue reading »

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Jan 20

AMNESTY International has said that Israel’s use during the Gaza offensive of white phosphorus – banned under international law for use near civilians – was “clear and undeniable”.

Tension eased in Gaza early yesterday as a fragile ceasefire entered its third day. There were no reports of shooting or rockets for the first time since Israel launched its massive assault on the besieged territory on December 27.

“Amnesty International delegates visiting the Gaza Strip found indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely-populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north,” the rights group said.

“We saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army,” said Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert touring Gaza as part of a four-person fact-finding team. Human rights groups and medics in Gaza reported treating dozens of people suffering burns caused by white phosphorus during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza that killed more than 1300 people.

Related articles:
Arabs: Israel ammo in Gaza had depleted uranium (AP)
Gaza doctors struggle to treat deadly burns consistent with white phosphorus (Guardian)

UN Says More than 50000 Left Homeless in Gaza Following Israeli Attacks (TransWorldNews)
Israel: Report of Gaza mortar fire incorrect (AP)
Robert Fisk: So, I asked the UN secretary general, isn’t it time for a war crimes tribunal? (Independent)

Gaza ‘looks like earthquake zone’ (BBC News)
Ban ‘appalled’ by Gaza’s damage (BBC News)
Amid dust and death, a family’s story speaks for the terror of war (Guardian):

48 members of the Samouni family were killed in one day when Israel’s battle with Hamas suddenly centred on their homes
Israel destroys, Saudi rebuilds (Middle East Online):
Saudi King donates one billion dollars to rebuild Gaza, calls for putting end to Arab rifts.
Israel to keep tight grip on Gaza reconstruction (Reuters)
Israel accused of war crimes over 12-hour assault on Gaza village (The Observer)

Under international law, white phosphorus is banned for use near civilians, but is permitted for creating a smokescreen.

Israel has insisted that all weapons used in its Gaza war were within the bounds of international law.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s researcher on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, said the use of white phosphorus could amount to a war crime.

Continue reading »

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Dec 17

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS:
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

“On October 21 (1948) the Government of Israel took a decision that was to have a lasting and divisive effect on the rights and status of those Arabs who lived within its borders: the official establishment of military government in the areas where most of the inhabitants were Arabs.”
Martin Gilbert, Israel: A History

I had given up on finding an American with a moral conscience and the courage to go with it and was on the verge of retiring my keyboard when I met the Rev. Thomas L. Are.

Rev. Are is a Presbyterian pastor who used to tell his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation: “I am a Zionist.” Like most Americans, Rev. Are had been seduced by Israeli propaganda and helped to spread the propaganda among his congregation.

Around 1990 Rev. Are had an awakening for which he credits the Christian Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and author Marc Ellis, co-editor of the book, Beyond Occupation.

Realizing that his ignorance of the situation on the ground had made him complicit in great crimes, Rev. Are wrote a book hoping to save others from his mistake and perhaps in part to make amends, Israeli Peace/Palestinian Justice, published in Canada in 1994.

Rev. Are researched his subject and wrote a brave book. Keep in mind that 1994 was long prior to Walt and Mearsheimer’s recent book, which exposed the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to control the explanation Americans receive about the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

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Jul 28

Border control staff will be able to use iris scans and finger printing to check passengers’ identities under major changes to New Zealand immigration rules.

Despite criticism from Amnesty International at the level of secrecy permitted, the changes look set to become law, with the National Party pledging its support.

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May 08

Amnesty Internationall: Ethiopian troops in Somalia slit throats of civilians, gouged eyes, gang raped

A leading human rights group on Tuesday accused Ethiopian troops in Somalia of killing civilians and committing atrocities, including slitting people’s throats, gouging out eyes and gang-raping women.

In a new report, Amnesty International detailed chilling witness accounts of indiscriminate killings in the Horn of Africa country and called on the international community to stop the bloodshed.

Ethiopia’s government said the report was unbalanced and “categorically wrong.”

The London-based rights group said testimony it received suggested all parties to Somalia’s conflict have committed war crimes. But it singled out Ethiopian troops, who are in the country to back Somalia’s U.N.-sponsored government, for some of the worst violations.

Somalia’s shaky transitional government invited Ethiopian forces into the country to help it battle Islamic insurgents. Somalia has been torn apart by years of violence between the militias of rival clan warlords.

The rights group said it obtained scores of reports of killings by Ethiopian troops that Somalis have described as “slaughtering like goats.” In one case, “a young child’s throat was slit by Ethiopian soldiers in front of the child’s mother,” the report says. Continue reading »

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Apr 25

Documents suggest CIA stonewalled Congress

The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged having 7,000 pages of documents pertaining to President George W. Bush’s secret rendition and detention programs, according to three international human rights groups.

Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law made the claim following a summary judgment motion by the agency this week to avoid a lawsuit that seeks to force the nation’s top spy outfit to make the documents public under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

“Among other assertions, the CIA claimed that it did not have to release the documents because many consist of correspondence with the White House or top Bush administration officials, or because they are between parties seeking legal advice on the programs, including guidance on the legality of certain interrogation procedures,” the groups wrote in a release. “The CIA confirmed that it requested-and received-legal advice from attorneys at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel concerning these procedures.”

“For the first time, the CIA has acknowledged that extensive records exist relating to its use of enforced disappearances and secret prisons,” Curt Goering, AIUSA senior deputy executive director, said in a statement. “Given what we already know about documents written by Bush administration officials trying to justify torture and other human rights crimes, one does not need a fertile imagination to conclude that the real reason for refusing to disclose these documents has more to do with avoiding disclosure of criminal activity than national security.”

RAW STORY was the first news outlet to identify the exact location of one of the sites in the CIA’s secret prison network, which was revealed first by the Washington Post. Raw Story identified a prison in northeastern Poland, Stare Kiejkuty, that was used as a transit point for terror suspects.

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Apr 22


A PENTAGON CAMPAIGN
Retired officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage
from inside the TV and radio networks.

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Correction Appended

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found. Continue reading »

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Apr 15

China is executing at least nine prisoners a week and sentencing a further 35 to death, according to Amnesty International.

In a report published today, the human rights group says that while China tries to keep the figures a state secret, the country put to death at least 470 people last year, making it the world’s most prolific executioner,

At least 1,252 people were executed in 24 different countries last year, while 3,347 were sentenced to death in 51 countries. Amnesty adds that some 27,500 people are now on death row around the world.

Second to China was Iran with 317 executions, followed by Saudi Arabia on 143, Pakistan on 135 and the United States on 42. Continue reading »

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