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Reactions to news that Pollard the traitor will go free

New York Times | July 28, 2015

Comments from New York Times readers regarding Jonathan Pollard’s forthcoming release:

Pollard betrayed his country and the sacred trust it placed in him. He seems to be totally unrepentant. His crimes were motivated by allegiance to another nation. I don’t see why America should be releasing Pollard, and at the same time trying to imprison a man who leaked secrets to the American people, motivated by love of the Constitution and concern for our disappearing freedoms. I’m talking, of course, about Edward Snowden.

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I DO NOT approve of this, and I have written the White House and my representatives to say so. A spy who spies for a ‘friend’ is far, far more dangerous in many ways than a spy who spies for a nation or entity that is clearly our adversary. He should of course be treated humanely, but he should die in prison. If Israel chooses to spy on the USA again, and I am certain that they have people trying to do so even today, it should be crystal clear that the price for that is very high.

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The fact that he was not executed for treason and that relations with Israel were not permanently affected by his spying – those things constitute a dangerous degree of concession to a nation that is willing to undermine our security for their own gain. He should remain in prison, and entreaties by Israel to release him should be met with a cold shoulder.

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Pollard is the worst kind of human being, a traitor to his country. If Israel gives him a hero’s welcome, it will be proof to the American people that Israel is not a true friend of the U.S., but is willing to sacrifice the safety and security of American families in pursuit of its own goals. May Pollard never be allowed to return to this country when he leaves.

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Pollard stole the crown jewels of American intelligence (documents detailing the sources and methods utilized to safeguard American interests and agents throughout the world) and sold them to the Israelis, who proceeded to trade the material with a number of countries, including the Soviet Union. Pollard’s treasonous betrayal of his country has made him a hero in Israel. Pollard’s offenses are infinitely worse than any crime committed by Edward Snowden, who exposed classified information not to a foreign government or for money, but to inform the American people of the illegal activities directed by their government against them. Once again, the Obama Administration proves that justice lies not in what you do or its effects, but who you know and their influence. — David Eason, Denver, CO

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How could he have been tried and convicted as a spy for selling secrets to Israel? Is not Israel just a distant 51st state? Albeit a very greedy,ungrateful and entitled state that has more influence in our Congress than the Koch brothers. A state that has no other friend in the world but us yet insults our president and threatens our Congress. — Ed Blau, Marshfield, WI

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Let’s see, they spy on us, they undermine our democratically elected president, they cause us to loose face in the world for being on “their side”, they cost taxpayers billions, yes billions, every year in free money we give them and highly escalated military costs because of them, they kill innocent woman and children, and these are our dear friends? Yikes! No wonder no one likes us anymore.

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The NSA investigate the corrosive effect of Israeli lobbying on American Security. When the Senate Minority leader (Democrat Charles Schumer-NY) puts Israel’s interests over that of his own country’s, or at least says he needs to weigh the Iran deal through the lens of Israel’s security needs, as opposed to those of his own country’s, and when the Israeli Ambassador (born American) has open doors to anybody’s office in the US Congress, this is an insidious relationship. Those who support Pollard’s release just on the basis of his Jewish faith (presumably coinciding with their own faith), really need to check their passports in.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing | , , , | 10 Comments

Putin blames US for ‘spiral of arms race’

Press TV – July 28, 2015

489e3c3f-8890-4323-a490-405c874d3efbRussian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the United States for the current round of arms race in the world.

“This new spiral of the arms race was prompted by the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” Putin said in an interview with Swiss broadcaster RTS on Monday.

On December 13, 2001, Washington withdrew from the treaty, which had been signed in 1972 between the US and the Soviet Union, on the limitation of the anti-ballistic missile systems used in defending areas against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons.

“This treaty was a cornerstone of the entire system of international security,” he said.

According to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a leading think-tank focusing on international security, Washington in 2014 spent USD 581 billion, the highest amount of military expenditure last year.

China, Saudi Arabia and Russia are the countries coming after the US with USD 129, 81 and 70 billion in military expenditure respectively, the British institute’s report said.

Putin also said that US officials should rethink their policies and stop “acting in a way ‘who-in-not-with-us-is-against-us.’”

“Undoubtedly, the United States is a great power. But it doesn’t mean that the current US authorities have any right to move around the world, seizing people and taking them to their prisons,” he added.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Russian president said that Moscow is ready to negotiate with the US and Europe on a host of issues including the situation in Ukraine.

“Russia takes no interest in seeking confrontation with other countries. But sometimes we simply have to defend our interests. And we will undoubtedly do it, but not in a confrontational manner but through finding compromises and mutually acceptable solutions,” he said.

The US and its European allies have imposed economic sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of being involved in the Ukrainian conflict that broke out last year. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusation and has imposed retaliatory sanctions against many Western countries.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , | 2 Comments

UK government spent 13 times more bombing Libya than securing peace

‘UK Govt priorities were wrong over Libya’

Scottish National Party | July 26, 2015

The UK government spent 13 times more bombing Libya than securing peace in the years afterwards, it has been revealed.

The House of Commons library has released information which shows the UK government spent around £320 million in a bombing campaign against Libya, and just £25 million in re-building programmes following the conflict.

The revelations follows serious concerns raised by the SNP over the UK’s current involvement in Syria -which had been taken forward despite a vote against bombing Syria in the House of Commons two years ago.

Stephen Gethins MP said:

“These figures are eye-watering. The amount of money the UK government will spend bombing a country dwarves the re-building programme thirteen to one.

“The lessons of Libya, like Iraq, is that you cannot just bomb somewhere and move on. The figures are especially alarming given the UK government’s current involvement in Syria.

“The case for bombing in Syria has simply not been made – and the involvement of British service personnel in bombing without the approval of Parliament clearly flouts the democratic decision taken by the House of Commons.

“We urgently need honesty and transparency about the UK intentions in Syria- and a strong commitment to the country following the conflict.”

Commenting on UK intervention in Syria on the Marr show this morning, SNP Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alex Salmond said:

“Parliament has to be consulted and Parliament would have to be persuaded. And I’ve heard nothing yet from the Prime Minister that would persuade me that there’s an integrated strategy that would justify a bombing campaign.

“Spending £320m on a bombing campaign and £25m to help restore the country is one reason perhaps that we have a failed state in Libya.”

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fabius must apologize to Iran over infected blood exports: MP

Press TV – July 28, 2015

A senior Iranian lawmaker has called on French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to officially apologize to the Iranian nation over his role in the export of infected blood.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who serves as the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, said Tuesday that Fabius must apologize over involvement in the selling of infected blood products to Iranian companies in the 1980s.

The controversial case dates back to 1984 and 1985, when Fabius served as the prime minister of France. He was, at the time, accused of having a hand in a French company’s deliberate selling of blood products contaminated with HIV to a number of countries, including Iran. The blood products were used for the treatment of haemophiliacs in the target countries. Fabius and two of his ministers were charged with manslaughter but the then French premier was later acquitted.

Boroujerdi said most of the countries that received the bloods were compensated by Paris over the years, but the French government has yet to pay redress to Iranians.

“The relevant bodies, especially the [Iranian] Foreign Ministry, should take action” to get reparations from the French government, Boroujerdi said.

Fabius is due in Tehran on Wednesday for talks with senior Iranian officials.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Saleh Jowkar, another member of the Iranian parliament (Majlis), highlighted the role of Fabius in the controversial case, saying the people of Iran cannot forget his antagonistic actions toward the Iranian nation.

Jowkar also criticized Fabius for adopting an “arrogant” stance toward Iran during the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.

“We will not forget his oppositions, distractions and his advocacy for the Zionist regime during the negotiations,” Jowkar said, adding that the Wednesday visit by Fabius to Tehran is in line with France’s business and economic objectives.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany – finalized the text of an agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in Vienna on July 14 after 18 days of intense talks.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

A Surveillance Bill by Any Other Name Smells Just As Foul

By Nathaniel J. Turner | ACLU | July 28, 2015

An impressive coalition has formed to oppose a new surveillance bill masquerading as cybersecurity legislation.

Privacy and civil liberties organizations, free market groups, and others from across the political spectrum are joining this week in a common chorus call: Stop CISA.

Proponents of CISA — the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act — claim the Senate bill would help prevent cyber-crimes by improving information sharing between the government and the private sector. But in reality, CISA only succeeds in expanding government surveillance and weakening privacy while making Americans less secure online. The bill as drafted would have done nothing to stop the high-profile breaches at Sony, Anthem, and, most recently, the Office of Personnel Management, which holds terabytes of sensitive information about millions of government employees.

For several years, certain elements of the business community and national security hawks in Congress have pressed for legislation like CISA. In April, the House passed a package of similar cybersecurity information sharing bills, which were opposed by the ACLU and bevy of other privacy and civil liberties groups, but were in some ways dramatically better than the bill now pending in the Senate.

CISA’s vague language and expansive definitions will give the government new ways to collect and use the personal information and communications of innocent Americans, all without a warrant or any review by an independent court or overseer. CISA would allow companies to share information with the government relating to a “cybersecurity threat,” a term defined so broadly in the bill that it could include huge swaths of emails and text messages.  The handover of user information under CISA would be permitted even if otherwise prohibited by existing data privacy laws, like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The law would also give companies broad legal protections even if they improperly share consumer data.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the information shared by companies would automatically be forwarded to numerous intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies, including the NSA and FBI.

Once in the government’s hands, CISA allows for the shared information to be used in garden-variety law enforcement cases that have nothing to do with cybersecurity. For example, the government could use private emails and messages received from communications providers like Comcast, Facebook, Google, or Verizon to investigate and prosecute whistleblowers who report serious misconduct to the press. That’s a serious concern given that the Obama administration has already prosecuted more national security whistleblowers than all other administrations combined.

As an added bonus for government snoopers, CISA also includes a new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act, which will make it harder for groups like the ACLU to obtain documents from the government to determine how it is using — or misusing — the shared information.  That means, for example, that it could be nearly impossible for us to find out how much private information is flowing from companies to the government or how the government is using it.

And despite CISA’s promise to open the floodgates for private information to flow to the government without any privacy protections, it fails at actually delivering better cybersecurity. As we learned with the hack at the OPM, the government is not a reliable guarantor of data security. Hackers were able to access the personal information of millions of Americans — including Social Security numbers, birthdates, and records about citizens’ finances, health, associations, and even sexual orientation—that applicants for security clearances must disclose to the government. All that additional information would make the government an even more desirable target for cybersnoops and cybercrooks.

CISA is more than just a bad solution to a serious problem. It would actually make cybersecurity worse while compromising basic democratic protections for personal privacy. The Senate must reject this surveillance bill. But if it decides to send this travesty to the president, he should veto the bill, consistent with his past threats against similarly atrocious bills.

Do your part to Stop CISA.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analog resistance: Activists protest CISA by faxing Congress

RT | July 28, 2015

Privacy activists are flooding Congress with messages of opposition to the cyber surveillance bill due to be considered by the Senate, using faxes rather than emails in order to poke fun at lawmakers’ antiquated understanding of technology and privacy.

Fight for the Future, a nonprofit fighting for privacy and against government surveillance, has set up a page dubbed “Operation: Fax Big Brother,” which lets anyone generate and customize a fax protesting the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Each fax is then sent to all 100 Senators. The group has not said how many faxes have been sent so far.

CISA sailed through the Senate Intelligence Committee in March, with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden being the sole dissenter. Senate is expected to take up a vote on the bill before the August 7 recess. A similar proposal, known as CISPA, was approved by the House of Representatives in 2013 but died in the Senate after public opposition compelled President Barack Obama to threaten a veto.

“Groups like Fight for the Future have sent millions of emails, and they still don’t seem to get it,” Evan Greer, the group’s campaign manager, told the Guardian. “Maybe they don’t get it because they’re stuck in 1984, and we figured we’d use some 80s technology to try to get our point across.”

According to the group, since 2012 civil liberties activists have sent hundreds of thousands of calls and tweets and over 2.6 million emails to Congress opposing overreaching cybersecurity laws. However, the fax stunt does not just have publicity value. Lawmakers often use analog technology like faxes and pagers in order to hide their digital tracks from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries, claims a Senate staffer who spoke to the Guardian.

Sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, CISA seeks to enlist the support of corporations in collecting user data in the name of cybersecurity, providing them with liability protection if they share the data with federal agencies such as the NSA. Once they have the data, federal agencies would be able to share it freely with each other. What’s more, information shared with the government by the companies will be specifically exempt from FOIA disclosures.

Gabe Rottman, a legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, described the bill as a “new and vast surveillance authority that might as well be called Patriot Act 2.0 given how much personal information it would funnel to the NSA.”

The US Chamber of Commerce and a number of major corporations are backing the bill. In addition to Facebook and Google, Comcast and AT&T also favor CISA, as do Bank of America and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Proponents of CISA have cited a spree of data breaches over the past year, from corporations such as Sony and healthcare provider Anthem to government agencies including the Department of State and Office of Personnel Management (OPM), as a reason to beef up cybersecurity. Critics have countered that CISA is not doing anything to protect networks from threats, and everything to vacuum up Americans’ data.

“With all these breaches, there’s a lot of fearmongering going on in DC,” says Fight for the Future’s Greer. “They just say: ‘This is a problem – we’ve got to do something!’ And this is the something they’re going to do. It’s not just that this won’t fix things – it’ll make them worse. And it’ll give sweeping legal immunity to some of the largest companies in the world and open us all up to new forms of surveillance.”

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poll: Overwhelming US Majority Says Israel Should Receive No Aid Boost due to US / Iran “Deal”

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By Robert Barsocchini | Empire Slayer | July 27, 2015

67.8% of respondents to a Google Consumer Survey said Israel should receive no compensation for the US finalizing a deal with Iran over its civilian nuclear program, which was begun at the behest of the US when Washington’s puppet, the Shah, one of the world’s worst human rights violators, ruled over Iran.

Obama is currently offering Israel increased aid to compensate for the agreement.  Israel is the biggest recipient of US aid at over $3 billion per year, and Obama has increased aid to Israel after each of Israel’s major massacres in the Gaza refugee camp since Obama assumed power.

The major study of the issue of citizen impact on US government policy, conducted in 2014 by research teams out of Princeton and Northwestern universities, looked at nearly 2,000 policies and found that average-income US citizens have “near zero, statistically non-significant” impact on them, while the most affluent citizens essentially dictate policy.  This dynamic has been illustrated by previous research, such as by Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt.

Another issue to watch for: the “world’s most influential” think tank, the Washington-based Brookings Institute, has suggested (among other options), as a way for the US to gain dominance over Iran, making it appear that Iran has rejected a “great” deal, then using Israel to attack Iran.  (Note the above poll asks if Israel should be given long-range bombers and “bunker-buster” explosives.)

The US and Israel have both continued to make threats of force, criminal acts under the UN charter adopted by both countries, against Iran since the agreement, and Obama’s anti-democratic offering of increased aid to Israel could possibly signal that the “leave it to Bibi” strategy is still being entertained, along with any number of other goals.

Author is a US-based researcher focusing on force dynamics, national and global.  @_DirtyTruths

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 4 Comments

Turkey arrests over 1,000 in ‘anti-terror’ raids

Press TV – July 28, 2015

Turkey has arrested more than 1,000 people across the country in “anti-terrorist” operations launched after a recent deadly bombing in the border town of Suruc.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s Office of Public Diplomacy said in a Monday statement that 1,050 people had been arrested during the operations in 34 provinces, adding that most of the detainees have been accused of being members of ISIL, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

The country has launched a far-and-wide arrest campaign since at least 32 people were killed in a massive explosion in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the southern border with Syria, on July 20. The attack was attributed to the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group, which has swathes of territory in neighboring Syria and Iraq under its control.

Ever since the blast in Suruc, the country has also started conducting aerial attacks against PKK bases in northern Iraq as well as what it claims to be ISIL positions in Syria.

Turkey has been the scene of several protests since the bomb attack in Suruc, with police forces using water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds. Demonstrators condemn Turkish military campaigns in Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish government is believed to be one of the main supporters of the terrorist groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2011, with reports showing that Ankara actively trains and arms the militants operating in Syria, and also facilitates the safe passage of would-be foreign terrorists into crisis-hit areas.

In a report published last Sunday, The Guardian quoted an unnamed senior Western official as saying that evidence on direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIL members was “undeniable.”

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

NYPD Cops Beat Man in Target Store for Refusing to Identify Himself

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | July 27, 2015

New York City police say they held a young man down and beat him in a Target store because he “refused to identify himself” Saturday evening in an incident caught on video.

The beating could have been much worse if it was not for the growing crowd of witnesses either recording or yelling at the cops to stop beating him.

In fact, more cops came out of nowhere to control the restless crowd, which appeared ready to start pulling officers off the man they were beating.

The young man, whose name has not been released, was charged resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to Patch, who reached out to the NYPD for comment.

However, those are typical contempt-of-cop charges police use when they can’t determine if an actual crime was committed. Like shoplifting, for example, which is what a person would normally be arrested for inside a retail store. Or at least outside it once they walk out with the merchandise.

Nevertheless, those are all misdemeanor charges that generally don’t require a beat down.

Patch also reached out to Target who said their employees were the ones who called police:

And Target’s press office says in a statement that Target employees were the ones to call police: “At Target, we take the safety and security of our guests, team members and property very seriously. Following concerning behavior by one of our guests, the team contacted law enforcement.”

The video, recorded by a man named Michael Rolland, lasts almost 15 minutes, but it’s within the first minute that shows the beating. It currently has just more than 2,000 views but it is quickly going viral.

Rolland posted the following on Facebook:

The response was totally disproportionate and put his life at risk. From what I can tell they were beating him on the back because he refused to let go of the Bible (or other large gilded book) he was holding onto.

The book is ripped out of the man’s hands around the :49 mark in the video and tossed aside and nobody else seems to pay it any mind.

The  incident took place in Flatbush, Brooklyn and involved officers from NYPD’s 70th Precinct.  Police told Patch that the incident is “under internal review.”

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , | 2 Comments

Israeli training drives US police brutality: Analyst

Press TV – July 28, 2015

Police brutality in the United States is directly linked to the training some American officers receive in Israel, says a political commentator in Kentucky.

John Miranda made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday when asked about the death of an African American woman while in police custody.

Sandra Bland was found dead in a prison cell at the Waller County jail in Texas on July 13.

Miranda pointed to the circumstances surrounding Bland’s arrest on July 10 by a Texas state trooper for failing to signal while changing lanes with her vehicle.

“That these people are being taken out of their cars is 100 percent illegal. The only reason a person should be taken out of their car is if the officer thinks some other crime or something illegal has happened, but obviously as we can all see from dashboard camera from Sandra Bland that this is not what happened,” he said.

Police said that an autopsy has confirmed an initial finding by a medical examiner that Bland’s death was a suicide.

However, Miranda said “the story that police gave to the press conference just does not add up.”

“As for the increase in police brutality within the United States,” Miranda said, “I think this definitely can be pointed towards the Israeli training that the Department of Homeland Security is giving all of American police officers.”

“This is not a myth, this is actually happening. I know this first-hand from friends of mine that are police officers,” he continued.

“Some police officers are actually being flown to Israel for the training, not all of them but some, and then those that are flown to Israel, they come back home and they train the head officers in the training that they’ve gotten in Israel,” he explained.

“All these incidents, it is not just happening to African Americans,” Miranda said. “Police are literally being brutal with all Americans.”

The deaths of Bland, as well as two others – Rexdale W. Henry and Kindra Chapman – who were both found dead in their prison cells a few days after they were arrested, are the latest in a series of suspicious police-involved incidents that have sparked protests in many cities across the US.

Listen to full interview: http://presstv.ir/Default/embed/422190

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

Black woman found dead in Cleveland jail cell, family demands answers

RT |  July 28, 2015

CK7ulnwWoAE8Ff_A black woman has been found dead in her prison cell near Cleveland, Ohio, police said, adding that the autopsy “revealed no suspicious injuries.” Her family, however, claims she was “perfectly fine” a day before she died.

The sister of Ralkina Jones, 37, told the Cleveland.com news website that she talked to her sister on the eve of her death.

“She was perfectly fine. She didn’t complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Renee Ashford said.

“[My sister] would want us to find out why. You can’t just tell me one minute I seen my sister, then the next day she dead. That don’t even make sense. And it’s just, ‘I can’t help you. I can’t tell you.’ Like, no. That’s un-human.”

The oldest of seven children, Jones had an 11-year-old daughter. “She was a go-getter… She was the person who held us together,” Ashford said.

Police have released a report where they explained the details about Jones’s death and her arrest. They said that the victim’s body was found in Cleveland Heights Jail Facility “during a routine jail check of prisoners.”

“Squad personnel were unable to locate any vital signs and it was determined by CHFD paramedics that Ms Jones was deceased.”

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is now investigating the cause of woman’s death, said police, adding that the “autopsy was completed” Monday and “revealed no suspicious injuries.”

“The exact cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner pending further studies.”

Jones was arrested Friday after a confrontation with her ex-husband. She was taken into custody “on charges on felonious assault, domestic violence and child endangerment,” police said.

According to Cleveland police, Jones “was being treated for several medical conditions that were documented during her intake process and she administered her prescribed medication as directed.”

On Saturday, the jail’s administrator “observed Ms Jones to be lethargic” and called emergency services. She was transported to hospital but then sent back to jail a few hours later.

On Sunday, paramedics recorded Jones’ vitals normal and she was observed “overnight through routine checks,” police said.

“She was later found unresponsive in the bed of the holding cell.”

The scandal comes shortly after another black woman was discovered dead in her cell. A 28-year-old African-American activist, Sandra Bland, was found hanged in jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13. Three days prior to her death, she was detained for allegedly assaulting a state trooper during a traffic stop.

Bland’s autopsy report showed that she committed suicide by hanging. None of the injuries on her body were found to be consistent with a violent homicide.

A police dashboard video showed Bland’s confrontation with the trooper. Brian T. Encinia is seen pointing a stun gun at Bland and threatening to drag her out of the car.

A video from the arrest taken by a bystander showed the officer forcing Bland to the ground as they argued. The black woman was on the way to Texas to begin her job at Prairie View A&M University.

While Bland’s family acknowledged the possibility of Sandra struggling with depression, they continue to dispute the suicide ruling. Bland’s death caused an explosion of outrage on Twitter, where her case has been placed alongside other police brutality victims, such as Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man killed last year in Ferguson, and Freddie Gray, a black man who died after an arrest by the Baltimore police.

READ MORE:

‘I will light you up’: Sandra Bland arrest footage released after suspicious jail death

‘What happened in that jail?’ FBI to probe death of black activist found hanging in Texas cell

Native American civil rights activist found dead in Mississippi jail cell

Unarmed black man shot in head by cop during Cincinnati traffic stop

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

UK Government urged to come clean on Pakistan executions funding

Reprieve | July 28, 2015

The Home Office is refusing to reveal the true extent of secret funding to Pakistan which risks implicating the UK in a wave of executions currently underway.

Human rights organization Reprieve has brought proceedings before the Information Rights Tribunal (IRT) challenging ministers’ refusal to reveal whether Government guidelines were followed when funneling at least £12 million into anti-drugs efforts in Pakistan, largely carried out by the Pakistani Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF). The ANF is responsible for sending more than a hundred alleged drug mules to Pakistan’s 8,500-strong death row, and lists these numbers on its website as ‘Prosecution Achievements.’ Several British citizens are understood to be among those facing execution on drugs charges.

Pakistan has executed some 180 people since resuming executions in December 2014, having widened its hanging campaign in early 2015 to cover all prisoners on the country’s death row – including drug offenders, others convicted of non-violent offences, juveniles, and mentally ill prisoners.

The UK’s Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) guidance requires ministers to consider the potential risk to human rights of government overseas assistance. However, the Government is refusing to reveal crucial details of its decision-making about the funding, despite the recent resumption of hangings. The Home Office is arguing that publishing the information would both damage its relations with Pakistan, and reveal information which could “relate to” the British security services.

At the Government’s request large portions of the hearings so far have been heard in secret, without the presence of Reprieve, its lawyers, or a Government-appointed security-cleared lawyer known as a ‘Special Advocate’. Reprieve is currently seeking permission to appeal the judge’s decision to refuse the presence of a special advocate.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said:

“The British public deserves to know how much of its money is funding hangings in Pakistan, particularly as the country continues its aggressive execution spree. If the UK is contributing to putting vulnerable drug mules – including British nationals – on death row in countries like Pakistan, this is a matter of huge public interest. The Home Office should stop hiding behind spurious national security arguments in an effort to dodge taxpayer scrutiny, and instead come clean about the true extent of its aid for executions”.

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , , | 1 Comment