8 posts tagged torture
On 20 March 2012, DCI-Palestine launched a new report: Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention.
The report is the culmination of four year’s work by DCI, with the support of the European Union, focusing on verifying reports of ill-treatment and torture of children in the Israeli military detention system. The findings of the report are based on 311 sworn affidavits taken from children between January 2008 and January 2012. The report also includes:
- An interview with a lawyer who represents children in the military courts;
- An interview with the director of the YMCA rehabilitation programme;
- An interview with an Israeli soldier, courtesy of Breaking the Silence;
- A Psychological opinion into the effects of military detention on children; and
- 25 case studies taken from child-detainees.
The report found that there is a systematic pattern of ill-treatment, and in some cases torture, of children held in the military detention system, with the majority of the abuse occurring during the first 48 hours.
The testimonies reveal that most children are arrested from villages located close to friction points, namely settlements built in violation of international law, and roads used by the Israeli army or settlers.
It’s good to see media outlets not letting the torture issue go, even though the Justice Department decided they won’t formally investigate the Bush administration or any of the individuals who wrote the torture memos, including John Yoo, who’s currently a law professor at Berkeley.
Nearly 40 People Arrested Outside of Obama’s White House Protesting Guantanamo, Indefinite Detention
Thirty-seven members of Witness Against Torture, a grassroots organization calling for the closure of the US detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were arrested in front of the White House around three o’clock yesterday afternoon. Dressed in the iconic Guantanamo orange jumpsuits and black hoods and accompanied by a cage representing indefinite detention, the activists were warned to clear the sidewalk by National Park Police or risk arrest. After occupying the sidewalk for more than three hours, they were arrested one by one.
“We came to the White House because just eleven days ago, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act. It is dead wrong,” says Leah Grady Sayvetz, an activist and college student form Ithaca, New York arrested this afternoon. “The NDAA makes Guantanamo near-permanent and expands detention powers just when this terrible and immoral detention apparatus should be being dismantled.”
The activists held signs that said: “NDAA is Guantanamo Forever,” NDAA is Guantanamo Come Home,” “Shut Down Guantanamo,” “Shut Down Bagram,” “Release Those Unjustly Bound” and pulled a full-size cage up on the side walk.
Numbers released by the federal receiver’s office show that on September 28th, nearly 12,000 prisoners were on hunger strike, including California prisoners who are housed in out of state prisons in Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma. This historic and unprecedented number shows the strength and resolve of the prisoners to win their 5 core demands and is a serious challenge to the power of the California prison system and to the Prison Industrial Complex in general.
Prisoners are currently on strike in Pelican Bay State Prison, Calipatria, Centinela, Corcoran, Ironwood State Prison, Kern Valley State Prison, North Kern State Prison, and Salinas Valley State Prison. Throughout the last week prisoners at California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, Pleasant Valley State Prison, San Quentin as well as West Valley Detention Center in San Bernadino County were participating.
The receiver’s office and the CDCR begin monitoring prisoners who have refused food for 72 hours or for 9 consecutive meals. Representatives of the hunger strikers have previously stated that this will be a rolling strike, allowing prisoners to come off strike to regain strength. Because of this, numbers will likely fluctuate throughout the duration of the strike.
Watch a short video about solitaritary confinement produced by the American Friends Service Committee.
Time for the US to Investigate Torture
There’s overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration. The Obama administration has a legal obligation to investigate. Jessie Graham reports.
“The widespread abuse across three continents was not the result of low ranking soldiers who broke the rules. It was the result of high administration officials who cast the rules aside to shape their own desires.
When the United States refuses to investigate American officials for their involvement in torture and ill treatment, it undermines the global effort to press for accountability for human rights abuses in other countries. The US is right to call for justice in places like Darfur, Libya or Sri Lanka but there can’t be double standards.”
For the uninitiated, a few links below have been provided to give you an idea of how the Bush regime not only administrated torture methods on detainees but also justified each and every one of them:
- George W Bush recounted in his memoir, Decision Points, that when he was asked in 2002 if it was permissible to waterboard a detainee held in secret CIA custody outside the United States, he answered “damn right”. This “decision point” led to the waterboarding of that person 183 times in one month. More here and here.
- Bush administration acknowledges and defends use of torture technique.
- Insects, sleep deprivation and waterboarding among approved techniques by the Bush administration.
Appalling, to say the least.
US and UK spy agencies built close ties with their Libyan counterparts during the so-called War on Terror, according to documents discovered at the office of Col Gaddafi’s former spy chief.
UK officials were apparently keen for Tony Blair to meet Col Gaddafi in a tent
The papers suggest the CIA abducted several suspected militants from 2002 to 2004 and handed them to Tripoli.
The UK’s MI6 also apparently gave the Gaddafi regime details of dissidents.
The documents, found by Human Rights Watch workers, have not been seen by the BBC or independently verified…Alleged CIA letter
I am glad to propose that our services take an additional step in cooperation with the establishment of a permanent CIA presence in Libya. We have talked about this move for quite some time and Libya’s cooperation on WMD and other issues, as well as our recent intelligence cooperation, mean that now is the right moment to move ahead. I am prepared to send [XXX] to Libya to introduce two of my officers to you and your service, arriving in Tripoli on 20 March. These two officers, both of whom are experienced and can speak Arabic, will initially staff our station in Libya. [XXX] will communicate the details via fax. I will call to confirm this with you.
We are also eager to work with you in the questioning of the terrorist we recently rendered to your country. I would like to send to Libya an additional two officers and I would appreciate if they could have direct access to question this individual. Should you agree I would like to send these two officers to Libya on 25 March. Again [XXX] will communicate the details to you.
Thousands of pieces of correspondence from US and UK officials were uncovered by reporters and activists in an office apparently used by Moussa Koussa, who served for years as Col Gaddafi’s spy chief before becoming foreign minister.
He defected in the early part of the rebellion, flying to the UK and then on to Qatar.
Rights groups have long accused him of involvement in atrocities, and had called on the UK to arrest him at the time.
The BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Tripoli says the documents illuminate a short period when the Libyan intelligence agency was a trusted and valued ally of both MI6 and the CIA, with the tone of exchanges between agents breezy and bordering on the chummy.
Human Rights Watch accused the CIA of condoning torture.
“It wasn’t just abducting suspected Islamic militants and handing them over to the Libyan intelligence,” said Peter Bouckaert of HRW.
“The CIA also sent the questions they wanted Libyan intelligence to ask and, from the files, it’s very clear they were present in some of the interrogations themselves,” he said.
The papers outline the rendition of several suspects, including one that Human Rights Watch has identified as Abdel Hakim Belhaj, known in the documents as Abdullah al-Sadiq, who is now the military commander of the anti-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli…
Read More: BBC News
Preston Randolph and Dan Battaglia, Truthout:
“News reports from California’s Pelican Bay Prison amplified the need for change, but after the three-week inmate hunger strike ended, the torture of solitary confinement continues nationwide…
In 1977, American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Peltier has now served more than 35 years in federal prison. His trial remains one of the most controversial in the history of the American judicial system.”
During the Pelican Bay hunger strike that rippled into prisons across the country, a 66-year-old man with extreme medical needs, Leonard Peltier, was forced into “the hole” at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.
Since Peltier’s conviction, overwhelming information has been released confirming extreme misconduct by the FBI and the government prosecution’s withholding of evidence and use of coerced testimonies. It is obvious that Peltier, despite overwhelming reasonable doubt, was considered guilty before the trial began. […]