Aletho News


‘US a warzone’: Police deploy heavy armor in America

RT | June 9, 2014

From the streets of Fallujah to Franklin, Indiana, heavily armored military vehicles have been rolled out for one and the same reason: many police officers in the US believe there’s a war going on.

Franklin, Indiana is by all accounts the idyllic Midwestern American town. Eponymously named after one of the founding fathers and “the first American,” Franklin’s small town bona fides provided Life Magazine with a Norman Rockwell-esque scene for a bit of village life utopia in the heart of the Great Depression.

But if you were to talk to local law enforcement, a battle is raging in the streets of Mayberry.

Franklin is the county seat of Johnson Country, Indiana. Speaking with Mark Alesia from The Indianapolis Star, Sheriff Doug Cox described the 139,000-strong administrative district as a place where officers’ old-time policing just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Leading Alesia to a pole barn in Franklin, Cox shows him a MRAP – a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored-fighting vehicle with the word “SHERIFF” emblazoned on its flank.

“We don’t have a lot of mines in Johnson County,” confessed Sheriff Doug Cox, who acquired the vehicle. “My job is to make sure my employees go home safe.”

Cox isn’t alone in believing his deputies have something to fear. Johnson County is one of eight Indiana law enforcement agencies to acquire MRAPs from military surplus since 2010, according to public records obtained by The Indianapolis Star.

All across the state, and the country, the trend is similar. From picking up military surplus to using to $35 billion in grants from the Department of Homeland Security to acquire the most advanced weapons, police forces across America are armed to the teeth.

And as Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer puts it, the effects are not only tactical, but psychological.

To put it bluntly: “It’s a lot more intimidating than a Dodge.”

Pulaski, mind you, is a county of roughly 13,000 people. The question of whether civilians need to be intimidated like that depends on your perspective, and as far as Gayer sees things, America is a battlefield and the police are akin to an occupying force.

“The United States of America has become a war zone,” he said. “There’s violence in the workplace, there’s violence in schools and there’s violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

‘What if it were your kid’

The militarization of America was covered in a recent documentary, entitled: ‘Here’s What Happens When Hackers Send a SWAT Team to Your House.’

Danny Gold heads to Somerset County, New Jersey, what he describes as “one of the wealthiest counties in the US.”

Sgt. Edward Ciempola, commander of the county SWAT team, boasts of a Lenco BearCat Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck, which he says they use on “every call out.”

With infrared cameras in stock and other military grade hardware, Gold asks Ciempola one simple question: in a quiet, relatively crime-free area, is all of this hardware really necessary?

“I would ask somebody that maybe suffered a loss because of not having this service and I would ask them the answer to that question,” Ciempola said.

“I would say, well, the SWAT team wasn’t available when you really needed it or a police officer wasn’t available when you really needed it, or an ambulance didn’t get there when you really needed it. How does that make you feel? And if your child’s school was suddenly under attack by some random actors, do you want them coming (points to SWAT team) to help your kid or do you want no one to show up?”

Despite the fears of Ciempola and Gayer, in a 2012 Department of Justice report, violent crime had declined by 72 percent from 79.8 to 22.5 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older since 1993. And yet, what’s happening in places like Franklin and Somerset County are the exception rather than the rule.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Radley Balko noted the disturbing trend in SWAT team growth across the country.

He argues that SWAT teams in municipalities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 have “increased by more than 300 percent between 1984 and 1995.”

By 1995, nearly 90 percent of cities with 50,000 or more people had a SWAT team. In 2000, 75 percent of towns with 25,000 to 50,000 people had their own SWAT teams as well. And those paramilitary units are not sitting idly by.

Citing Peter Kraska, a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University, Balko says the total number of SWAT raids in America has increased exponentially, from just a few hundred per year in the 1970s, to a few thousand by the early 1980s, to around 50,000 by the mid-2000s.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “disproportionately those in poor communities and communities of color – have become targets for violent SWAT raids, often because the police suspect they have small amounts of drugs in their homes.”

And with the SWAT teams comes the military hardware. In Keene, New Hampshire, a town with two murders since 2009, officials accepted a $285,933 grant from the Department of Defense in 2012 to purchase a BearCat. In Columbia, South Carolina, a MRAP which can be equipped with a 50-caliber machine gun was picked up in 2013. In the sleepy town of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina – a town of 16,000 people, police got their hands on their own Humvees and MRAPs, which they went on to display at a car show.

According to March report in USA Today co-written by US Representative Hank Johnson, the following counties “have acquired free MRAPs from US war zones”:

McLennan and Dallas Counties in Texas; Boise and Nampa Counties in Idaho; Indiana’s West Lafayette, Merrillville, and Madison Counties in Indiana (not to mention Johnson); Minnesota’s St. Cloud and Dakota Counties in Minnesota; Warren and Jefferson Counties in New York; North Augusta and Columbia in South Carolina; Murfreesboro in Tennessee; Yuma in Arizona; Kankakee County in Illinois; and Calhoun County in Alabama.

Many of the vehicles were acquired through the 1033 program, a 1997 law which facilitated the transfer of military hardware to local police forces. But what appears to be free federal handouts could result in fundamentally changing the face of the United States.

“Americans should therefore be concerned, unless they want their main streets patrolled in ways that mirror a war zone,” Johnson lamented.

“We recognized that we’re not in Kansas anymore, but are MRAPs really needed in small-town America? Are improvised explosive devices, grenade attacks, mines, shelling and other war-typical attacks really happening in Roanoke Rapids, a town of 16,000 people? No.”

Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary Committees, announced he was introducing legislation to reform the 1033 program “before America’s main streets and civilian police militarize further.” The ACLU, meanwhile, has launched an investigation into the militarization of US police.

“The police officers on our streets and in our neighborhoods are not soldiers fighting a war. Yet many have been armed with tactics and weapons designed for battle overseas,” it said.

In 2013, ACLU affiliates in 25 states filed over 260 public records requests with law enforcement agencies to document the impact of excessively militarized policing on people, families, and communities.

But as Balko warns, vested interests are likely to keep pushing the police-industrial complex until America is on lockdown.

“A new industry appears to be emerging just to convert those grants into battle-grade gear,” he said.

“That means we’ll soon have powerful private interests, funded by government grants, who will lobby for more government grants to pay for further militarization — a police industrial complex.”

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Over 100,000 form human chain demanding Basque independence vote

RT | June 9, 2014

At least 100,000 people have formed a 123-kilometer-long human chain in support of a regional referendum on the Basque Country’s independence from Spain.

People began to link up at noon to form a continuous line along a road that connects the northern cities of Durango and Pamplona in the neighboring Navarra region, considered part of Basque cultural heritage.

The organizers of ‘Gure Esku Dago’ (It’s in our hands) initially said that around 50,000 people would be just enough to cover the distance of 123 km. But the turnout went beyond expectations with some reports indicating that 150,000 people eventually took part in the campaign.

Demonstrators draped in red-white-and-green Basque flags raised their linked hands as media crews flew over their heads.

Organizers of the solidarity movement say it was aimed to echo a similar demonstration last year in Catalonia where more than 1 million people formed a human chain stretching 400 kilometers.

Basque, a region of 2.2 million people, held its first elections in October 2012 after separatist group ETA ended its violent campaigns of bombings in 2011, the struggle claimed at least 850 lives from 1968-2010.

In late May, Basque lawmakers adopted a declaration of self-determination to follow on the footsteps of Catalonia, which made its own sovereignty claim last year.

In March, Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled the Catalan declaration was “null and unconstitutional” but the Catalan government is still committed on holding a referendum on secession in November.

The Basque already proposed a similar declaration back in 1990 in an attempt to hold a vote of self-determination but it was blocked by the Constitutional Court in 2008.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Mere Existence of Palestine Deemed a “Threatening Racial Slur”

Free Press Houston | June 4, 2014

Mere Existence of Palestine Deemed a “Threatening Racial Slur” by the [parent corporation of the] Houston Dynamo Organization

Apparently, soccer fans are very nationalistic.  It is not uncommon for soccer fans to bring their national flag to a game where their national team is not even playing. In this spirit, a Palestinian-American woman named Buthayna Hammad brought her Palestinian flag to last Sunday’s Honduras vs Israel match at BBVA Compass Stadium.  Fifteen minutes into the game, Nathan Buchanan, head of security at the stadium, removed her from her seat, surrounded her with four Houston Police officers and three additional stadium security personnel, and prohibited her from returning to her seat until she surrendered the “racist” flag. What makes the flag “racist?”  We’ll get to that, but first let’s hear the lady’s side of the story:

On June 1st, BBVA Compass stadium was host to a “friendly” soccer match between Honduras and Israel. Both countries have the same national colors and a similar look to their flags. I am a big fan of futbol and I went eagerly to the match with my alt family from Honduras. I wore a Honduras jersey and was eager to cheer on this team, dressed to represent Honduras. To represent my own heritage as a Palestinian-American, I also brought my Palestinian flag. I made sure my flag was allowed (based on the size, etc.) and I was all ready to go. For the first 15 minutes of the match I stood up and cheered and stomped my feet with the rest of the crowd chanting “HON-DU-RAS” and waving my Palestinian flag, my colors vibrant and loud against a sea of blue and white…and apparently also racist. I was told I had to sit down, which I did, only to be told to get back up again and follow the manager of security away from the stadium seats and into the concession area. I followed, and there waiting for me were three more BBVA security personnel and four police officers. When I asked them what was wrong, the manager of security, Nathan Buchanan, told me I am not allowed to carry this flag because it implies a “racial slur” and it is in BBVA Compass Stadium violation. I asked him to show me evidence of his accusations and asked him how my flag, a part of my identity as a Palestinian-American, implies a racial slur. He could not answer whether he did not know or could not articulate why he was ordered to remove my flag and me from my seat. I was getting very emotional at this point, I had my flag wrapped around my neck like a scarf, and he said he would take my flag and “check it in” for me, that I was not permitted to return to my seat until I surrendered my flag. The Israeli government has banned Palestinians from hanging their flags outside their home, and arrests the occupants of the home for having it on display on their own land. Every day, in Occupied Palestine, Palestinians are denied entry to neighboring villages, to schools or their family’s home and in many cases to hospitals thanks to Israel’s apartheid state. Yes “apartheid,” that word implies racism, yet my flag implies a racial slur? I asked him several times if I could go back to my seat and he would spread his arms out to create a blockade with his body and his arms so I could not pass. “This is private property,” he said. I told him I paid for a ticket to enter. I could not keep my eyes from gathering tears, but forced myself from letting them fall. “What country are we in again?” I asked. “Just because Israel is playing a match, does that mean you should treat me this way? Because of my Palestinian identity? I am a U.S. Citizen!” I have attended many soccer matches, many of which at the Dynamo stadium, and I have worn a different national jersey every time. Why was I pulled away that day? Who ordered this singling-out and on what grounds? When I asked him if he would feel comfortable with his actions once my treatment became public, he offered a compromise which was that I could keep my flag as long as I did not wave it. The first half was nearly over; they were extended three minutes when I was finally able to return to my seat. I had spent over 15 minutes defending myself from being bullied. I missed the first half because I waved a Palestinian flag at an international match in my hometown. I am proud and honored to be an American, to be able to enjoy the civil liberties that people in many countries are not afforded, but I would have never thought that the influence of an Israeli soccer team on U.S. soil would compromise our most basic liberties.

I asked BBVA Compass Stadium to clarify their flag policy, to explain how a flag could be “racist.”  (I suppose you could say that all flags are “racist,” but still, why single out this one?)  This is what Houston Dynamo [parent corporation] spokesperson Gina Rotolo had to say:

The decision to not allow the Palestinian flag to be displayed during the game was based on the sole intention of maintaining the safety of those in attendance. The flag bearer was instigating the crowd, and we felt it was important to diffuse a potentially volatile situation as emotions began to escalate.

Of course safety comes first, so I asked Ms. Rotolo how exactly was Hammad  “instigating the crowd?” Did she threaten anybody or called for violence? Rotolo replied:

This patron instigated the crowd by waving the Palestinian flag in front of Israeli supporters.  Given that her actions caused emotions to escalate, the appropriate course of action, in our eyes, was to ask her to please refrain from waving the flag.

So…there you have it.  “This patron instigated the crowd by waving the Palestinian flag in front of Israeli supporters.” It is now considered “racist” for an American of Palestinian descent to wave her flag at fans of the Israeli soccer team.  The First Amendment can be suspended in a stadium built with taxpayer money because some Israeli soccer fans might be moved to violence by the mere sight of the Palestinian flag.  The good people of the Houston Dynamo Organization think that it is “racist” to merely remind Israeli soccer fans that Palestine exists. I am trying to imagine what the complaint sounded like.  “Excuse me, Mr. Buchanan, that flag over there is really pissing me off–causing emotional distress–and I might have to hurt the lady holding it so you better get four cops to impound that flag or else I’m going to beat her up and it will be all her fault.”


Rotolo did not answer my questions about who complained, nor would she clarify the stadium policy on flags or how this flag violates that policy. She did not answer questions about which other flags are banned. According to Hammad, Honduras fans were shouting “faggots” and “motherfuckers” at Israel fans, and a fight between an Israel fan and a Honduras fan was going on just a few rows behind her, at the very time that she was removed from her seat…yet she was the one singled out for “instigating violence.”  Go figure.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine President Once Agent for U.S. State Department

By Michael Collins | The People’s Voice | June 9, 2014

Is he still working for his former masters in Washington, DC?


Two diplomatic messages from the WikiLeaks Public Library on U.S. Diplomacy indicate that newly elected President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko was an agent for United States State Department. A confidential message from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev on April 29, 2006 mentions the newly elected Ukraine president twice.

“During an April 28 meeting with Ambassador, Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko emphatically denied he was using his influence with the Prosecutor General to put pressure on Tymoshenko lieutenant Oleksandr.”

“During an April 28 meeting with Ambassador, Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko denied that he was behind Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko’s recent decision to issue an arrest warrant for Tymoshenko lieutenant Oleksandr Turchynov. … [to] question him about the alleged destruction of SBU [Ukraine intel] files on organized crime figure Seymon Mogilievich.” [Russian Mafia Boss of Bosses] WikiLeaks Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy

The motivation for alleged destruction of files appeared in an embassy message from April 14, 2006.

“– The files contained information about Tymoshenko’s cooperation with Mogilievich when she ran United Energy Systems in the mid-late 1990s.” WikiLeaks

Yulia Tymoshenko, an aspiring oligarch, is the darling of the both the Bush and Obama administrations for her role in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the first modern anti-Russian Ukraine government to power. She helped negotiate the natural gas deals between Ukraine and Russia.

Another mention of Poroshenko made it clear that the State Department saw the future value of Poroshenko’s insider role.

OU-insider Petro Poroshenko was in the running for the PM job.” WikiLeaks

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the current president in 2009 when he served as Ukraine Foreign Minister. The content of the meeting was described in a confidential message from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev on December 18, 2009:

[Speaking to Ukraine Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko] “She [Secretary of State Clinton] emphasized that the United States envisioned multiple pathways to NATO membership.” WikiLeaks

Since he was doing his work in secret, and he was “our insider,” it follows that Poroshenko played the role of agent: ” someone hired or recruited by an intelligence agency to do its bidding. The person to whom the agent reports — the actual agency employee–is known as an operative.” Encyclopedia of Espionage, Intelligence, and Security

Poroshenko is a Ukrainian oligarch, one of the fifty or so wealthiest citizens who run the country. It is unlikely the president got cash for his services but highly likely that he extracted financial advantage as a result.

Amidst the chaos and ruin visited upon Ukraine, Poroshenko’s recent election may mean a full synchronization of U.S. – Ukraine policies regarding the eastern regions where citizens of Ukraine are subject to bombardment by land an air in their towns and cities.

False Hope at D-Day Gathering?

At the recent D-Day commemoration in France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland arranged a fifteen-minute meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the newly elected Ukrainian president. Both leaders agreed that military actions must stop and set up a date for meetings to accomplish that goal. Putin went beyond military settlement by offering Ukraine its former discounts on Russian gas.

According to the Guardian, “Putin said he welcomed Poroshenko’s call for an end to the bloodshed and liked his approach to settling the crisis but wanted to wait until the Ukrainian leader could deliver it in detail to the nation.” (Authors emphasis) Poroshenko delivered some detail to the nation but it wasn’t what Putin wanted to hear in order to move forward. The inauguration speech in Kiev included the new president’s desire to sign the European Union (EU) association agreement and seek full integration into the EU, which implies NATO membership.

“Dear friends, my pen is already in my hands. I am ready now. As soon as the EU takes a relevant decision, the signature of the Ukrainian president will immediately appear under this document. We see the association agreement as only the first step towards Ukraine’s fully-fledged membership in the European Union ” Petro Poroshenko, June 7

As Poroshenko spoke, “Residents [of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine] said the sounds of shelling reverberated around the city on Friday.” ABC, June 7

Which Poroshenko can we believe? The president who worked for the U.S. as “Our Ukraine insider” or the elected head of a sovereign state engaged in honest diplomacy?

Right now, it’s safe to stick with the bellicose rhetoric of the inaugural speech. In a heavily documented report, RT showed the handiwork of President Poroshenko’s troops in Slavyansk – eight dead yesterday from aerial bombardment of the separatist occupied city administrative building.

“Death and destruction is reported in eastern Ukraine as Kiev’s artillery has resumed shelling the rebellious city of Slavyansk. Locals tell RT they have been without running water and power for days, and that hope is fading.” RT, June 8

The $5 billion spent to get a U.S. friendly government in the Ukraine worked. “Our Ukraine insider,” Petro Poroshenko is president. He was informed five years ago that the U.S. wanted Ukraine in NATO, and he no doubt heard Vice President Joseph Biden’s speech in Kiev. Without a vote by Congress or a valid treaty, Biden assured the then coup-run government that our government would be there to help.

U.S. will stand by Ukraine in face of Russian aggression, Biden says

“I came here to Kiev to let you know, Mr. Prime Minister, and every Ukrainian know that the United States stands with you and is working to support all Ukrainians seeking a better future. You should know that you will not walk this road alone. We will walk it with you.” Vice President Joseph Biden, April 22

The players and plans have been in place for years and it’s all paid off. The White House and their masters finally have their insider in place in charge of Ukraine. It’s worth listening to the assessment of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst and his Deputy around the time they handled Poroshenko. The ambassador saw him as a “disgraced oligarch” and his deputy pointed out that “Poroshenko was tainted by credible corruption allegations.”

Spreading brand democracy around the world is a tough job. Somebody’s got to do it.

(Image: Global Panorama)

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 3 Comments

Israeli police raid the village of Iqrit

International Solidarity Movement | June 9, 2014

Photo by ISM

Yesterday morning on the 8th June, Israeli police forces raided the village of Iqrit (located on the northern tip of Israel, within eyesight of Lebanon). The police uprooted trees, destroyed and confiscated all the personal belongings of Palestinian activists present in the village. Furthermore they beat and violently arrested 3 Palestinian men who were present in the village at the time. The 3 arrested are: Walla Sbait, Nidal Khoury and Jeries Khiatt. They were taken to the police station in Nahariyya, where they were kept in detention over night.

Confiscated belongings loaded into an Israeli truck. (Photo by witness)

Today at 8:30 AM the three detainees were brought before the Kiryat Gat Magistrates’ Court, following a police request for an extension of their detention. The police have charged the detainees with trespassing the land owned by the ILA, obstructing the work of public officials, assaulting a public employee and endangering public order.

Photo by Iqrit activists

The court ruled that Nidal Khoury is kept in detention until Wednesday 11th of June. Walaa Sbeit and Jeries Khiatt was sentenced house arrest until Sunday 15th of June and they are not allowed to go back to Iqrit for 60 days.


Photo of archive picture by Jonathan Cook/Al Jazeera

As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im —all citizens of the newly created state of Israel— to leave their homes near the northern border with Lebanon because of military operations in the area. The Israeli forces made a promise to the inhabitants, that they could return to their homes after 15 days. The people of Iqrit are still waiting.  In July 1951, the Israeli High Court ruled that the people of Iqrit and Kufr Bir’im had the right to return to their homes. The military refused to comply, and on Christmas Eve 1951 blew up all houses in both villages.


Photo by ISM

Shortly thereafter, all village lands were confiscated by the state and has been rented out to the nearby Kibbutz for their cows to graze until this day. Since then, decades of demonstrations and legal appeals for the villagers’ right to return have seen a string of favorable decisions by courts and commissions that have resulted only in more broken promises and unenforced rulings.In the 1970s, the government had granted use of the cemetery —allowing only the dead to return to Iqrit after they lived and died in exile at Kufr Yasif, Rameh, Haifa or other places. The original villagers and their descendants now around 1,500 people scattered across northern Israel are allowed only to hold services in the church and bury their dead in the cemetery. Every first Saturday of the month there has been a mass held at the village church and every year a summer camp has been organised on the hillside. In August 2012 the third generation reclaimed their village.


Photo by ISM

Around 20 descendants from Iqrit  took the initiative to begin resurrecting the village despite the village’s legal limbo. The activists make sure that the village is constantly inhabited, sleeping in tents, under the stars or in rooms attached to the church. The group consists of university students, factory and restaurant workers, and teachers.
Their attempts to construct or plant anything in the village have been met with immediate demolition by the Israeli authorities. But over time, they’ve been able to add a few amenities, including solar panels on the church roof,  determined to bring back life to Iqrit.

Photo by ISM

Iqrit’s 80 homes are long gone, but the activists goal is to rebuild Iqrit for the villagers-in-exile, refusing only to return to their home in coffins, but alive. The activists have returned to the area and are discussing on how to proceed with their campaign, determined not to be intimidated by Israeli forces and their harassment.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Livni to head committee on ‘Jewishness’ of Israel

MEMO | June 8, 2014

Tzipi LivniAn Israeli committee tasked with putting forward a law on the “Jewish State” is scheduled to be formed today, Sunday, 8 June.

The committee will be chaired by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and is expected to have among its members MK Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid) and the initiators of the proposal MKs Oielit Shaked (Jewish Home) and Yariv Levin (Likud).

Livni and Yair Lapid had previously stated that they would oppose the bill.

The formation of the committee has been approved by the Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz said, adding that Netanyahu will adopt any agreement reached by the committee and will help adopt a legislation as proposed by the committee.

According to Haaretz, bills on the “Jewishness of Israel” proposed in recent years aimed at obliging courts to favor “Jewish identity” over “the Decmocratic nature” of decisions, since the Jewishness of the state contradicts with its being democratic.

The text of the bill describes Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” and that “the right to determine the destiny of the nation in Israel is owned by the Jewish people alone.” The bill also states that “The land of Israel is the historic home of the Jewish people.”

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Syrian President Assad Grants General Amnesty

Al-Manar | June 9, 2014

Assad_salutes_SyriansSyrian President Bashar al-Assad issued Monday Legislative Decree no. 22 for 2014 granting a general amnesty for crimes committed before June 9, 2014.

State television cited Justice Minister Najem al-Ahmad as saying the decree was issued in the context of “social forgiveness, national cohesion calls for coexistence, as the army secures several military victories.”

It was not immediately clear who would be included in the amnesty.

That was not the first time President Assad grants amnesty of such kind, the last was October 2013.

June 9, 2014 Posted by | War Crimes | | 1 Comment