... for persecution is worse than slaughter..(part of 2:191)
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Western Detainee at Gitmo?

...Returns to Canada

Published on Sep 29, 2012 by AssociatedPress : The last Western detainee held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned to Canada Saturday after a decade in custody following his capture in Afghanistan at age 15 after being wounded in a firefight with U.S. soldiers, officials said.

A British Guy still there : Who am I - Do You Know Me?

Published on Jul 29, 2012 by SaveShaker : Shaker Aamer, The Last Londoner in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Cleared for release in 2007 but still held without trial.

Rumours of Aafia Siddiqui death unfounded

Rumours of the death of Aafia Siddiqui, for now, are not true but how long before rumours become reality?
Rumours of Aafia Siddiqui death unfounded
Disturbing rumours circulated  recently suggesting that Dr Aafia Siddiqui (picture) has died are mercifully not true. However, the family are asking supporters of Aafia, despite the pain and relief they have felt over the past few days, to use this opportunity to remember their sister and daughter.

Aafia's sister Fawzia Siddiqui told CagePrisoners' Yvonne Ridley:
"The rumours have been very distressing and my mother heard about it before we could verify that Aafia was unharmed. She has been unwell but now that the prison has confirmed that she is alive we've asked for a direct telephone call to at least speak with her.
 "The rumours began in the UK and I would ask people not to spread anymore rumours about Aafia. If they hear something they should contact us through the family website first. But hopefully they will use this opportunity to download our Independence Day postcard and mail it to her now."
 * Details of the family's postcard campaign can be found here.
The address to write to Aafia is:
AAFIA SIDDIQUI # 90279-054
P.O. BOX 27137

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Palestinian Loss of Land 1946 to 2011:

Legal expert counts 469 (illegal) settlements in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem

A Palestinian expert in international law has revealed that the number of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is now 469, of which 29 are in Jerusalem. The settlements outside the Holy City house more than 500,000 Jewish settlers. All settlements in occupied territory are regarded as illegal under international law.

Dr. Hanna Issa pointed out that about 9,500 Jews have settled in the Jordan Valley, putting pressure on the 65,000 Palestinians who are the rightful owners of the land. The valley represents 29 per cent of the West Bank, with an area of almost 6,000 square kilometres. “Israel is investing four and a half billion dollars a year in the occupied Jordan Valley,” he revealed.

The number of Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem is now 29, he added, which are inhabited by 350,000 illegal settlers. Sixteen of these settlements have been annexed unilaterally by Israel in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians Authority considers to be the capital of a future State of Palestine within the borders of June 1967.

“Settlements are spreading everywhere, threatening the Palestinian presence,” said Issa. “They split Palestinian territory into cantons.”

Ongoing settlement activity has accelerated under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinian Authority insists on a total freeze of settlement building before peace negotiations can resume.

Original here  >>>

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gitmo : A Decade of Injustice - UK

Published on Sep 10, 2012 by journeymanpictures : Shaker Aamer has been held in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He's a legal UK resident, married to a British national, with four children. He's also yet to face trial or be charged. So why is he still behind bars?

Through conversations with activists and former detainees, this film paints a picture of Aamer and his extraordinary situation; from the injustices he has endured to what his life has involved for the last decade. From Bagram to Guantanamo Bay, his story illustrates the "unlawful" measures that the US and UK governments continue to use to justify their War on Terror, "ignoring international law, Geneva conventions, and their own Constitution."

Guantanamo inmate dies at US-run military detention facility

File photo shows a detainee with guards at the US-run prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
File photo shows a detainee with guards at the US-run prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The US military has announced that a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has died over the weekend.

The US Southern Command, in a statement issued on Monday, said that the inmate was found "unconscious and unresponsive" by guards on Saturday during a routine check, AFP reported. 

It added, “After extensive lifesaving measures had been performed, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician." 

The Southern Command, however, did not disclose the name and nationality of the prisoner. 

It noted that the detainee's remains will be brought home once an autopsy is complete. 

“As is standard procedure, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has initiated an investigation of the incident to determine the cause and manner surrounding the death,” the command said. 

The US detainment facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was established in 2002 by the Bush administration. Almost 800 detainees have been brought to the prison camp since October 7, 2001, when Washington began the war on Afghanistan. 

A total of 1,100 US army and navy personnel are reportedly engaged in guarding the detainees held in nine separate camps at Guantanamo. 

International Red Cross inspectors and released detainees alike have described various acts of torture, including extensive use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings and confinement in small, cold cells. 

One of the allegations of abuse at the US camp is the abuse of the religion of the detainees. 

According to Amnesty International, of the 173 men held at Guantanamo Bay only three had been convicted under a military commission system, "which failed to meet international fair trial standards." 

"Military commission proceedings were conducted in a handful of cases, and the only Guantanamo detainee so far transferred to the US mainland for prosecution in a federal court was tried and convicted,” the international non-governmental organization pointed out. 

Upon taking office, Obama signed an executive order to stop military commissions in order to close down the facility by 2010. However, this has not happened yet. 

source   >>

Friday, September 7, 2012

Libya: Former intelligence chief must be surrendered immediately to ICC

Abdullah al-Senussi, military intelligence chief for Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, should have been surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said today amid reports that Mauritanian authorities had extradited him to Libya. 

In June 2011, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for al-Senussi, as well as Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, on two counts of crimes against humanity – murder and persecution – allegedly committed in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi in February 2011.

Al-Senussi had been in Mauritanian custody since March 2012, when he was arrested at the airport in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott.

In July, Mauritania’s Minister of Justice asserted to Amnesty International that al-Senussi had entered the country illegally and was being held in good conditions. He added that the Mauritanian government was considering extradition requests made by Libya and France and the surrender request by the ICC. It has not been possible to determine whether he has had access to a lawyer, an independent doctor of his own choice and ICC staff.

“Instead of extraditing Abdullah al-Senussi back to Libya, where he faces an unfair trial and the death penalty for ordinary crimes under national law, Mauritania should have given precedence to the ICC’s surrender request – he should face the charges of crimes against humanity against him in fair proceedings,” said Marek MarczyƄski, International Justice Research, Policy and Campaign Manager at Amnesty International.

“If the extradition reports are confirmed, the decision to send him to Libya – with its weak justice system and inadequate fair-trial guarantees – will inevitably delay justice for victims and could lead to violations of al-Senussi's rights to a fair trial.

“The ICC arrest warrant for al-Senussi remains in force and Libya has an obligation to surrender him without delay to The Hague.” 

Monday, September 3, 2012

America's deadly leftovers?

Female bomb clearance teams created in Laos

Published on Sep 2, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish : During the Vietnam War, the US dropped millions of cluster bombs on Laos.Forty years on, an estimated 80 million remain buried and unexploded - posing a risk to anyone who goes near them.

Now, 50 women have joined teams of the Mine Action Group, MAG, to clear as many as they can.The decision to have three of its 14 teams led entirely by women is also a financial one, as the work helps elevate the women's position in society.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Code Pink Challenges John Brennan on US Drone Warfare

Published on May 1, 2012 by TheUncannyNSP : Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin speaks out against civilian causalties and human rights violations before John Brennan,Obama's chief counter terrorism advisor.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

U.S. Justice Department Has Failed to Hold CIA Accountable for Torture in Detention

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel
(New York) – Amnesty International USA Executive Director Suzanne Nossel made the following comments today in response to the Justice Department’s announcement that it closed the investigation into the CIA’s torture and abuse of detainees, without bringing charges.
“The continued failure to hold accountable all of those responsible for well documented cases of torture and other abuses is now a stain on two administrations -- and itself a crime. Those responsible must be punished. The failure to do so is a striking blow against justice and human rights. The Attorney General noted that the decision to close the investigation ‘was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct.’
But when will those ‘broader questions’ be addressed? And when will the U.S. government meet its international human rights obligations to ensure accountability for torture and other crimes under international law? There must be a full and impartial investigation, prosecutions where warranted, and remedy and redress for victims. Failure to ensure accountability for torture and other crimes is itself a violation of international law."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.