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Neither Served, Nor Protected

By Holly Dickson | ACLU | October 7, 2015

web15-blog-jus-arkansas-1160x768When 16-year-old Matthew Robinson and his mother, Eva, took their dog out for a walk one September evening four years ago, they never once thought they’d end up in a federal courtroom. Yet that’s where they have been as their terrifying case against two police officers was put in the hands of a jury this week in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tased, beaten, and terrorized — the Robinsons were not suspected of any crime when they were stopped by police beside their home in Dover, Arkansas. The catalyst for the stop was innocent: Matthew looked and waved at Dover Deputy Marshall Steven Payton as he drove by. Payton admitted this behavior is perfectly legal, yet said he found it suspicious. That led to Matthew being beaten, tased multiple times, kicked, searched, and arrested while his mother was also beaten, handcuffed, choked, and arrested. Her glasses were broken as her face was repeatedly slammed into the hood of a patrol car.

Dover Deputy Marshall Steven Payton testified that he detained the Robinsons and their dog in the back of his patrol car, with the intent to take them to jail solely to identify them. When co-defendant Pope County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Kristopher Stevens arrived on the scene, he ordered Matthew to get out of the car. When Matthew was not able to get out quickly enough, the Pope County sergeant tased him twice inside the car.

Counsel for the officers claim that the incident would have been avoided if Matthew had said who he was or if he had gotten out of the patrol car when they said, maintaining that officers had “no choice” to use the taser.

We disagree. De-escalation is always an option.

The case has been rife with missing evidence that police had a duty to preserve. Data from the taser, which would have shown the number and duration of taser deployments on Matthew, was destroyed even after a request was made for a copy of the data. Sergeant Stevens admitted at trial he was untruthful when he told Mr. Robinson there was no data on the taser. Though three police cars were audio and video capable, and should have been in use, police produced only one grainy video of part of the stop.

Photographs show 22 separate taser marks on Matthew’s torso, sides, shoulder, stomach, and lower back. Police admitted at trial to tasing Matthew at least six times, though Sergeant Stevens’ written report from the incident reflected only three tasings and Deputy Payton’s report showed only one. Sergeant Stevens admitted that his testimony in the juvenile case against Matthew, where he denied tasing the teenager while he was on the ground being cuffed, was untrue and that he had in fact tased the minor while he was on the ground. He also admitted that each of the six tasings were in violation of the department’s policy, as was the failure to properly record the incident.

To boot, each officer testified that the other was in charge of the scene. Neither Matthew nor his mother were ever read their rights or told that they were being arrested or why. This is in direct violation of the Robinson’s rights and the polar opposite of good policing.

While the officers continued to deny any wrongdoing, they have admitted to previously testifying falsely, false reports, missing evidence, and multiple violations of policy and training standards. We brought out the missing evidence and inconsistent testimonies in the Robinsons’ case. Missing evidence and police misconduct, after all, are often reasons that the criminal justice system fails us.

With the officers and departments disclaiming any and all responsibility, the Robinsons had nowhere else to turn but to court. They’ve had to fight for four years to ask a jury to serve as the first line of accountability.

In the end, Sergeant Stevens and Pope County settled with the Robinsons just before the verdict for $225,000. No action has been taken by the departments or the officers to prevent such a thing from happening again. Officers have not been disciplined or retrained, and no policies have been revised or implemented. In fact, both officers testified that they would do things exactly the same again.

Success in civil rights cases is against the odds, especially in a case involving police. Tremendous time, money, resources, and energy must be invested just to fight for a chance to obtain some bit of relief or accountability. And then, judges and juries are not empowered to truly bring about better, safer policing.

Unchecked violations of the duty to serve and protect threaten police credibility and safety as well as public safety. We entrust our police officers with great power — to detain, arrest, and use deadly force if necessary — and we provide them special status in return. For all our sakes, they should honor that status by serving and protecting, not terrorizing and tasing.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Settlers march through occupied al-Khalil attacking, insulting and threatening Palestinians and internationals

International Solidarity Movement | October 8, 2015

Al-Khalil/Hebron, occupied Palestine – Yesterday night, October 7th 2015, a large group of settlers harassed, insulted and physically assaulted Palestinian residents and internationals in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), injuring several.

Around 08:00 pm, more than 50 settlers from the illegal settlements within al-Khalil, most of them children and teenagers, accompanied by a few adults, marched around the Palestinian neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida, chanting insults and hate-speech, calling for the death of Arabs. The group was not only chanting racist abuse, but also demonstrated a high level of violence and aggression towards the Palestinian residents of the neighbourhood.

After marching through the streets loudly chanting, they attacked Palestinians right outside a shop, running towards them and beating them, and hurling rocks at Palestinian youth and internationals documenting these violent assaults. Instead of intervening, Israeli forces watched these attacks happen at first just to point their loaded guns at Palestinians that just a few seconds before were standing in a hail of stones, threatening to shoot. Two persons were injured with stones thrown by the settlers, a Palestinian youth in his hand and an international in his chest. In the meantime, the settlers openly picked up more stones and rocks from the ground, attacking families that opened their main gates to find out what the shouting was about. Again, instead of preventing or stopping attacks by the settlers, the army violently pushed Palestinians to move back into their homes, yelling at them. All complaints made by Palestinians against the attacks by the settlers were ignored by the soldiers. But not only the settlers, also the Israeli soldiers violently attacked several Palestinians and beat them.

Many families rushed into their homes upon hearing the yelling, locked their doors and then had to watch the settlers chanting abuse at them from behind their windows – protected only by the metal grids installed in the past due to frequent settler attacks. Soldiers, in the best case, are standing idly by. Last night, they were pointing their guns at children and women watching in fear from the roof of their houses – the one place farthest away from the settlers down on the street; and soldiers were banging on the door of Palestinian family homes, while the group of settlers are aggressively chanting and threatening the families while standing right behind the soldiers.

Settler woman photographing internationals getting attacked

Settler woman photographing internationals getting attacked

When the march proceeded down the hill towards Shuhada checkpoint, where over two weeks ago the Israeli army ruthlessly gunned down and killed the Palestinian student Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, more than two dozen activists from Youth Against Settlement arrived to document the racist abuse and attacks against Palestinians. Israeli forces that by then finally arrived, immediately stopped the Palestinians and isolated them in an alley, preventing them from going anywhere. The group of settlers on the other hand was allowed to keep on chanting racist abuse and burned Palestinian flags, cheering and clapping. Israeli soldiers were getting their guns ready, facing the Palestinians that were clearly upset when their flags were being burned, but did not do anything to stop the flag-burning.

In order to allow for the greatest possible space for the settlers to move around and keep on chanting, Israeli forces pushed back the Palestinians, with one soldier threatening an international that he would ‘break his face’ if he didn’t move right away. Settler children and women also attempted to break cameras of internationals, blocking them from documenting the events and spit at them.

Infamous, aggressive settler Anat Cohen repeatedly attacked an international observer while she was standing right in front of a police car with two policemen inside, that did not even bother to get out of the car and instead just kept watching from inside. Soldiers did at no point try to prevent Anat Cohen’s attacks and instead ordered the internationals to go back up the hill, which at that point was not safe with settlers still roaming the streets. The settler woman both tried to grab the international observer’s camera and attempt to punch her in the face without soldiers intervening. When the international observer was ordered by soldiers to move towards the Palestinians detained on the other side of the road, Anat Cohen pushed her as she was passing in front of the police car, and her daughter kicked the her in the stomach. Soldiers still did not intervene and refused to take a complaint about this attack, forcing her and another international to leave.

This incident again illustrates the power settlers hold over the Israeli army. Even when attacking Palestinians – or internationals that enjoy a greater protection than any Palestinian – settlers enjoy the protection of the Israeli army.

Last evening, most Palestinian families, did not go to sleep, staying up late scared of what might happen during the night. Unfortunately, this incident in al-Khalil is only a case in point in a long record of settler attacks, that recently have been escalating not only in al-Khalil, but throughout the occupied West Bank.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

MH-17 Yet Again, Poring Over the Data (and Translations); Serious Factual Errors by Time and Western Media

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock | Global Economic Trend Analysis | October 7, 2015

For most, the shoot-down of flight MH-17 over Ukraine is a forgotten memory. Western media has continually trumped up one of three stories.

  1. Russian-backed rebels did it
  2. Russia did it
  3. Russian-backed rebels did it with Russia’s help

The extent to which Western media fabricated all sorts of lies to make those claims is still not widely known or understood.

Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks and reads Russian, and who works for the US government (but speaks only for himself),  just recently decided to review some video footage and translations offered by Time Magazine on July 17: Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17.

Dreizin emailed Time about factual errors in the article a few days ago. He sent this letter to Time.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have found a serious factual error—in fact, a complete fabrication—in your July 17, 2015 piece titled How Russia Is Blocking Justice for the Victims of Flight 17, which is posted here:

http://time.com/3963346/mh17-malaysia-airlines-flight-17-russia-ukraine/

In the piece, your author, Simon Shuster, states as follows:

On the day of the tragedy, the Ukrainian State Security Service, which is known as the SBU, released what it claimed to be an intercepted phone conversation between Kozitsyn and one of his fighters. According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake. “There’s a whole sea of corpses, women and children,” the fighter says. The voice identified as that of Kozitsyn does not seem moved by this information. “They shouldn’t have been flying,” the voice says. “There’s a war going on here.”

I am a native Russian speaker and I have listened to this recording, which commences at around 1:50 at the following link:

https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCMFhiqp9R0

I can tell you that in this recording, despite the allegations of your author, who claims to be a native Russian speaker (as per his LinkedIn account), at no time does either party to this particular conversation claim to have shot down an airplane.

Rather, as per the SBU’s accurate translation, which is shown in subtitles on the YouTube link, and which I confirm is correct, the unnamed alleged rebel speaking with a person alleged to be Kozitsyn merely recounts his observations of the wreckage of a plane that he believes has been shot down.  He takes no credit for shooting it down, nor does he state or suggest who shot it down.

Why, then, does your writer, Simon Shuster, state “According to the SBU’s recording, the fighter reports to Kozitsyn that they have shot down a civilian plane by mistake”?

Mr. Shuster’s account substantially departs from his own source material.  Why?

Of course, the SBU’s intent is to showcase a number of alleged rebels talking about an aircraft going down and to imply (by way of their interest in the matter) that they were responsible for the MH17 disaster.  Mr. Shuster, like so many others over the last 14-some months, seems to have taken that implication and ran with it, to the point of actually putting words into the recording that are simply not there!

Another point of interest:  In the first recording in the above link, which starts at around 0:18 in the link, the SBU allegedly presents the rebel commander Igor Bezler talking with his alleged Russian handler as to his knowledge of a certain rebel unit shooting down a plane around 30 minutes prior to the conversation occurring.  The SBU translation subtitles also suggest that Bezler can see smoke coming from the crash site, although to me that part is indiscernible.

Given that Bezler’s headquarters and main zone of control (the city of Gorlovka) was roughly 25 to 30 miles northwest of the MH17 debris field, it is highly likely that—assuming it is in fact him on the recording—the conversation relates to a prior shoot-down of a Ukrainian combat plane in the Gorlovka area, i.e. something that did in fact take place before the downing of MH17.

In any case, there is nothing within the recording itself to identify a place, date, time, or even the parties to the conversation—we have only the SBU’s word as to who these people are and when the conversation is taking place.

Also of interest, the second recording in the link (starting at 0:43) is unnatural in places and, to a Russian speaker such as myself, seems to be either a splice of two or three separate conversations, or else one conversation that has been condensed (i.e. pieces of it have been removed, possibly to present an inaccurate picture of the whole.)

Last but not least, the fact that this diverse montage (totaling three separate conversations) was jumbled together in one video, subtitled in English, and posted to YouTube, not to mention pitched to the media, all just a few hours after MH17 went down (note the date on the link), is suspicious to say the least.  I work for the U.S. Government, and (though I am not speaking for the Government or any of its agencies or offices in any way whatsoever) I have never seen Government move so fast—it is simply inconceivable.

My main point in writing you is to inform you that your writer, Simon Shuster, has made a bold, significant claim on your website that is patently and demonstrably false—and moreover, one that he must have known to be false.

Thus, I request that you issue a public retraction on this matter.

Thank you for your attention.
Respectfully,

Jacob Dreizin

Video in Russian – English Subtitles

Link if video does not play: Malaysia Airlines: Phone calls of terrorists intercepted by Security Service of Ukraine.

I commend Dreizin for taking a stand for the truth, and I hope it does not cost him his job.

Bottom Line

  1. Neither the US nor Ukraine is interested in the truth if Ukraine is responsible.
  2. Neither Russia nor the Rebels are interested in the truth if the rebels or Russia is responsible.
  3. Blatant lies and sloppy media reporting by Ukraine and Western media is clearly rampant.
  4. Most have jumped to conclusions believing biased reporting and outright fabrications by their government.
  5. A small subset of us would like to know what really happened, regardless of whom is to blame.

Shortly after the incident, allegations similar to those made by Simon Shuster were widely trumped up as “proof” the rebels did it. The ensuing propaganda campaign was an unfortunate success, at least to the small subset of us who want the truth be known, no matter which side is to blame.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Tehran Has No Info on Cruise Missiles Which Allegedly Landed in Iran

Sputnik – 08.10.2015

Iranian defense ministry believes reports on “fallen Russian cruise missiles” are part of the intensified western propaganda war, according to a source.

Tehran has denied US reports that four of Russia’s cruise missiles targeting ISIL actually fell to the ground in Iran, with the country’s defense ministry calling the accusations “psychological war.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry also refutes US media reports of an alleged incident involving cruise missiles which were fired at ISIL positions in Syria on October 7, stating that all missiles hit their designated targets.

“No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday’s high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets,” ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

On Thursday, CNN reported that four of the 26 missiles fired from Russian warships in the Caspian Sea went off target and crashed in Iran. That report was based on anonymous Pentagon sources, who despite claiming to have evidence of the targeting malfunction, could not identify where, precisely, the missiles landed.

“In contrast to CNN we do not talk with reference to anonymous sources,” Konashenkov said. “We show the launch of our rockets and the targets they struck.”

Indeed, the Russian Defense Ministry has posted a number of videos to prove the accuracy of its targeting systems.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media | , , , | 2 Comments

NYT: Putin is “enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world”

Sputnik – 08.10.2015

In the US information war aimed against the Russian air campaign in Syria, perhaps no outlet has been more misleading than the New York Times.

Writing for America’s newspaper of record, columnist Thomas Friedman wrote fairly candidly of his opinion on Russia’s Syria campaign.

“Putin stupidly went into Syria looking for a cheap sugar high to show his people that Russia is still a world power,” Friedman wrote in the NYT last week. “Watch him become public enemy No. 1 in the Sunni Muslim world. ‘Yo, Vladimir, how’s that working for you?'”

As Patrick L. Smith points out, writing for Salon, “most of ‘the Sunni Muslim world’ is as appalled by the Islamic State as the non-Sunni Muslim world.”

But Friedman’s unfounded statements shouldn’t be altogether surprising, given his employer’s history of toeing the line of the US government.

Since the Russian airstrikes began, the New York Times – as well as the vast majority of Western media – has spread the Pentagon’s falsehoods about the conflicts.

“We are always encouraged to find anything Putin does devious and the outcome of hidden motives and some obscure agenda having to do with his pouting ambition to be seen as a first-rank world leader,” Smith writes.

“From the government-supervised New York Times on down, this is what you read in the newspapers and hear on the radio and television broadcasts.”

So Friedman’s self-described “defense of President Barack Obama’s policy on Syria,” falls in line with that doctrine.

While Friedman may claim to disapprove of the airstrikes because “Putin and Russia would be seen as going all-in to protect Assad, a pro-Iranian, Alawite/Shiite genocidal war criminal,” it’s hard to ignore the true source of such hyperbolic statements.

Friedman’s views – and those of the New York Times – owe allegiance not to truth, but to American empire.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Mainstream Media | , | Leave a comment

Mexican Marines Place Community Under Siege, Disappear Two People

teleSUR | October 8, 2015

Mexican marines raided a small community in the northern state of Durango and opened fired on homes with no known reason, while two young males were forcibly disappeared, neighbors told Sinaloan newspaper RioDoce.

“The troops of the Ministry of the Navy arrived in the community of El Verano and began firing at houses,” the witness said, according to RioDoce.

The newspaper said the El Verano inhabitant told them that about 15 families live in the community, still “besieged” by the marines.

The unidentified person that spoke with RioDoce said they were unaware if there were any victims, but said they saw a funeral home hearse driving through the small community.

Those forcibly disappeared were identified as Jesus Felix and his cousin Octavio Almodovar.

RioDoce said there were unconfirmed reports that a naval helicopter had been gunned down near El Verano.

A witness, identified as Lorena Silvas, said, “There are many complaints by people of other small communities near the municipality of Tamazula near El Verano, and they say there too many abuses being committed by the marines.”

Silvas said there are reports of marines carrying out raids on homes without search warrants, where they “take with them everything they find.”

The U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, called on the Mexican government Wednesday to remove all military forces from public safety operations.

Al-Hussein said that impunity in Mexico is extremely commonplace, with 98 percent of reported crimes never resolved and in most cases not even investigated. He also said that 151,233 people have been murdered in Mexico from December 2006 to August 2015, while over 27,000 remain disappeared.

In June, various news outlets reported that marines had fired on civilians — including minors — in Tamazula.

Cadena Cinco reported that marines attacked a family traveling in a vehicle during which at least two people died, according to local officials. The president of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights of Sinaloa, Leonel Aguirre, explained then that marines planted guns on various young males to justify the attack and deaths.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Video: Israel lures protesters into trap

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog From Nazareth | October 8, 2015

This two-minute video, taken on October 7 in the West Bank near Ramallah, is worth studying carefully to understand how Israel has become so adept at managing the Palestinian population under occupation and at foiling their efforts at resistance.

We can see about 20 men, faces concealed, who look like they are Palestinian protesters throwing stones at the army. In fact, they are what are called “mistaravim”: Israeli security forces in disguise as Palestinian youths.

According to those who witnessed this incident (see update below), the mistaravim began throwing stones at the army in a piece of theatre to lure other Palestinians to the protest.

Then, as we can see in the video, when a few Palestinian protesters separate themselves from the main body of the crowd they are picked off by the mistaravim, like lions going after a gazelle.

Notice, once they have grabbed the main Palestinian in this video, they shoot him in the knee and take turns kicking him.

We can’t see what happens next, but the routine is well known.

He will be taken off to a Shin Bet interrogation (torture) cell, where he will be made to give up the names of anyone he can think off who was there (and very possibly those who weren’t).

Then the Israeli army will make night raids to grab those who were named, or arrest them when they try to cross one of the many checkpoints and roadblocks Israel operates in the occupied territories.

At some point later he will be released. The Shin Bet will use his “confession” as blackmail to get him to serve as an informer.

This has been going on for nearly five decades in the occupied territories. It has created an awful lot of Palestinians trapped in a vicious cycle of collaboration, and a very effective system of control for Israel.

Sam Bahour makes the point that the drama playing out here illustrates the way young Palestinians are being drawn not into an organised intifada but into futile bursts of anger against Israel.

He says it more eloquently than I can:

UPDATE:

Here is another video of the same incident, showing what happens earlier when the mistaravim are throwing stones and then switch sides.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , | Leave a comment

That Awkward Moment When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another

By Dan Sanchez | ANTIMEDIA | October 6, 2015

US/NATO planes bombed a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan on Saturday. The attack lasted an hour, and continued even after medics “frantically phoned NATO and Washington” to tell them what they were bombing.

It was no use. The attackers already knew full well what their target was. Doctors Without Borders had long ago provided them with the GPS coordinates of their facilities. And the US-installed Afghan government, which had raided that very same hospital in July of this year, had requested the strike, claiming the hospital was being used by insurgents.

The attack killed 22 people, including 12 medical workers and 10 patients. Three of the patients were children. The first bombardment targeted the Intensive Care Unit, where an eyewitness nurse said, “Patients were burning in their beds.” And a hospital caretaker said that he could hear women and children, “screaming for help inside the hospital while it was set ablaze by the bombing.”

Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. President Obama was awarded his in 2009. As Commander-in-Chief of the military that bombed the Doctors Without Borders hospital, this makes Obama perhaps the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to bomb another Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Or maybe not? Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, and he masterminded the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos for President Nixon around that time. Shortly thereafter, it came to light that in that campaign, hospitals were routinely targeted for bombing. As The Nation recently reported:

“A letter from former Army captain Rowan Malphurs said that in 1969 and 1970, he analyzed aerial photographs where B-52 bombs (the ones ordered by Kissinger) fell on Cambodia: “I saw on several occasions where possible hospitals had been bombed…. On another occasion I observed a red cross on a building that was partially destroyed by bombs.”

By then, the Red Cross had already been awarded its three Nobel Peace Prizes.

Sorry, Obama, it looks like that’s one “historic first” you can’t claim. That old fox beat you to it.

If it makes you feel any better, Kissinger seems to think your mass-murder record actually beats his. (I know this will warm your heart, since you once bragged, “Turns out I’m really good at killing people.”) When confronted about bombing Cambodia on a recent book tour, Kissinger said in his own defense:

“I think we would find, if you study the conduct of guerrilla-type wars, that the Obama administration has hit more targets on a broader scale than the Nixon administration ever did. (…)

And I bet if one did an honest account, there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks.”

Whether that dubious claim is true or not, it’s the thought that counts. Consider it a compliment: a gold star from teacher. Or even an elder statesman’s passing of the torch: from one peace-prize winning war criminal to another.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Yemen’s Houthis conditionally agree to UN-brokered peace plan

Press TV – October 8, 2015

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has expressed conditional support for a UN-brokered peace plan put forward in talks previously held in Oman.

The Ansarullah movement will agree to the seven-point peace plan, which also requires adherence to UN Resolution 2216, if other parties to the conflict also commit to the initiative, Yemen’s Saba Net news agency quoted Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam as saying on Wednesday.

The resolution, which was adopted in April, calls for the withdrawal of Ansarullah fighters from the areas under their control and for them to lay down arms.

Abdulsalam also called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council to back Yemen’s peace process.

Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, has not yet commented on Houthi’s new position. He had earlier ruled out engaging in talks with the Houthis before they accept the UN resolution.

Yemen’s General People’s Congress (GPC), the party of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has also accepted the peace plan.

Ansarullah fighters took control of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in September 2014 and are currently in control of large parts of the Arab country. The revolutionaries said the government of Hadi was incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and containing the growing wave of corruption and terror.

Hadi, along with the cabinet of the former Yemeni prime minister, Khaled Bahah, stepped down in January.

On February 21, he escaped house arrest in Sana’a and fled to his hometown Aden, where he withdrew his resignation and highlighted his intention to resume duties. He later fled the port city to Saudi Arabia.

Unhappy with the advances of the Ansarullah fighters, who are backed by army forces and Popular Committees, Saudi Arabia began a deadly military aggression against Yemen – without a UN mandate – on March 26. The strikes are meant to undermine the Ansarullah movement and restore power to Hadi.

About 6,400 people have reportedly lost their lives in the conflict in Yemen, according to reports.

In a Thursday interview with Press TV’s website, Siraj Davis, a Jordan-based freelance journalist and human rights activist, hailed the UN-proposed peace plan because it envisions a political process whereby the Houthis are given a role in the decision-making process in the country.

“What I like about the peace plan is the fact that they (Saudi Arabia and its Yemeni allies) do agree to make the Houthis a political party, which is extremely important,” Davis said.

He added, however, that the fugitive officials of the former Yemeni government, which have set preconditions for peace talks, are not sincere in their claims about reaching a peace deal.

“I believe that all sides need to just come to agreement, recognize what is on the ground… that Houthis control practically the majority of everything,” Davis said.

October 8, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment