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UN: Mexican Authorities Must Compensate Jailed Mayan Journalist

A drawing of Mayan journalist Pedro Canche Herrera, jailed in 2014 in the state of Quintana Roo for taking photos of a protest.

A drawing of Mayan journalist Pedro Canche Herrera, jailed in 2014 in the state of Quintana Roo for taking photos of a protest. | Photo: Twitter
teleSUR – January 3, 2016

The United Nations has urged Mexican officials in the south-eastern state of Quintana Roo to compensate a Mayan journalist who was jailed for more than nine months for taking photos of a protest, local media reported on Sunday.

Accused of the felony of sabotage against the government of Quintana Roo, Mayan journalist Pedro Canche Herrera was arrested on Aug. 30, 2014, and spent more than nine months in prison without bail or the right to request legal protections, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported.

Canche’s case will be submitted this week to Mexico’s Executive Commission for Victim’s Care under the Istanbul Protocol, the international U.N. guidelines regarding the documentation of torture, to rule on whether the journalist was subjected cruel and inhumane treatment.

The U.N. called on Quintana Roo Governor Roberto Borge Angulo to apologize to Canche and pay him reparations.

Canche was released from prison on May 30, 2015 after Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission and the U.N. working group on arbitrary detentions both urged Quintana Roo authorities to stop all harassment and threats aimed at the journalist and let him go free, according to El Universal.

Mexico has the highest murder rate of journalists and media workers in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

One in every three murders of media and communication workers in Latin America happens in Mexico, making the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Canche has worked as an independent journalist for over two decades, focusing on communicating the demands on Mayan communities.

According to Mexico’s El Universal, Canche hopes his case can set a precedent so that other Mexican journalist and human rights defenders are not persecuted in the same way.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

‘Saudis seek Muslim division by Nimr execution’

Press TV – January 3, 2016

Press TV has conducted an interview with political analyst Ibrahim Mousavi to talk about the Al Saud regime in Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

Below is a rough transcription of that interview:

Press TV: Let’s start with one of the main points of [secretary general of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah] Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech which basically he is talking about how all Muslims should be diligent and not to basically play the game that the Saudis have initiated, trying to ignite division in the Muslim community and that everyone must remain united.

Mousavi: Indeed this is a very important message at this juncture of history and this sensitive moment when Seyyed Nasrallah talks we hear the voice of reason, we hear the voice of wisdom, we hear the voice of responsibility. Those who are responsible for the Ummah, for the nation, for the people, they should be very aware of what they say, when they say it, and to who they say. The message that should be sent is that this unjust ruling of the Saudi dynasty, those supporters of Takfiri groups, the oppression against the Saudis whether Shia Muslims or non-Shia Muslims—and we know very well that when we talk about the Saudis who are outside the country—you go to Europe, you see how many have applied for political asylum. So we are talking here about a national crisis that is taking place when the Saudi rulers are oppressing their own people.

They are trying at the same time to say that this is a conflict between the Shias and the Sunnis. The execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and the execution of every single Yemeni individual regardless of his age, regardless of his belonging on the factional and conventional level, tells you that this is a kind of attack against humanity.

That’s why it is very important to highlight the direction of the message. The message that we should not be misled by what they are trying to do. They are trying to sow the seeds of discord and sedition among the people, among the Arabs, among the Muslims. We should not be in any way under the pressure or under the impact of the Saudi propaganda.

Press TV: And Mr. Mousavi, another point, basically that Seyed Hasan Nasrallah also talked about the desperation of the Saudi regime and that with the spilling of the blood of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and other innocent people, it is the beginning of the end of the Saudi regime. Your perspective on that point sir.

Mousavi: This is again, a very clear point and a very evident point. We know very well that when you are strong enough you can handle your problems and go through. When a kingdom, when a dynasty that has tens and hundreds of billions of dollars that they spend in order to annihilate Yemen and the civilization in Yemen and the Yemeni people. When they have all these F-16s that are being supplied to them by the Americans. Why would they go and execute Sheikh Nimr if they are afraid of the voice of one man when they wage wars against their neighbors? When they go and invade Bahrain against the will of the Bahraini people, trying to support the regime of Al Khalifa? When they go and send booby-trapped cars to Iraq? When they interfere in here and there. When they try to topple the authorized and legitimate government in Syria by supporting Takfiri groups?

This all tells you that when they go to these wars and try to execute a man who had always been preaching for change, for political rights, via peaceful means, via political means, this tells you that they are very weak. And yes indeed this is a very important indicative, this is very important and evident reason that proves that they are very weak and they are accumulating more and more mistakes that is going to bring their end in a more hasty way than expected.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Egypt sends ambassador to Tel Aviv after three-year haitus

Press TV – January 3, 2016

Egypt has sent a new ambassador to Tel Aviv after a three-year lapse in diplomatic presence in the occupied territories.

Israel’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that Egyptian ambassador Hazem Khairat arrived on Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Khairat’s arrival at his cabinet meeting on Sunday and said this would enable both sides to further “strengthen relations.”

Khairat previously served as Egypt’s ambassador to Chile and the Arab country’s envoy to the Arab League. He was appointed as the ambassador to Tel Aviv by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in June, but was deployed on Friday.

Khairat is the first residing Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv since former President Mohammed Morsi recalled Cairo’s last ambassador in November 2012 in protest to the Israeli regime’s aggression against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Relations between Egypt and the Israeli regime have been growing since Sisi took power in the Arab country in 2014 after orchestrating a military coup against Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, a year earlier.

The Israeli regime appointed Haim Koren as its envoy to Cairo in 2014 and opened its embassy in September 2015 after a four-year closure due to security concerns.

The embassy was closed on September 9, 2011, after thousands of protesters stormed the compound following the killing of six Egyptian policemen in August the same year by Israeli forces during cross-border operations on Egyptian soil in the Sinai Peninsula.

Last summer, Egypt launched a project to flood the area along its border with Gaza Strip to destroy the underground lifeline tunnels linking Egypt to the Palestinian territory.

In mid-June 2015, the Egyptian military said it had demolished nearly 1,430 underground tunnels in 18 months.

The Egyptian army claimed that the tunnels were “used by terrorists and criminals” to smuggle weapons to militants in the Sinai Peninsula. The World Food Program (WFP), however, said in a report in February 2014 that the tunnels have represented “the main supply and commercial trade route for goods into Gaza” since 2007.

Dozens of people, mostly Palestinians, have lost their lives during the destruction of tunnels, which has intensified since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi.

Gaza has been under the Israeli air, sea and land blockade since 2007, causing a decline in living standards, unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The Rafah border crossing, the sole crossing point between Egypt and Gaza, has also largely been shut since the 2013 coup in the African country.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Ariel university continues to pollute Salfit environment

Palestine Information Center – January 3, 2016

SALFIT – The Ariel settlement university has continued to pour its harmful chemical waste through its sewer system onto Palestinian agricultural land in al-Matwi Valley in Salfit province, local sources complained on Sunday.

Residents from the area told the Palestinian Information Center that the Israeli university persists in disposing of hazardous chemical waste into the valley with no regard for the environment in the surrounding areas.

Palestinian researcher Khaled Ma’ali said that the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem had affirmed in previous reports that Israeli settlements and Ariel university in the West Bank violate international and local environmental protection laws.

Ma’ali invited international and local environmental institutions to visit Salfit province and witness its suffering from the pollution resulting from the flow of wastewater from several settlements, especially Ariel.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home near Nablus

Ma’an – January 3, 2015

NABLUS – Israeli settlers on Saturday attacked a Palestinian home in the village of Beit Furik near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers threw stones at the home of Nihad Hanani before leaving behind a Molotov cocktail and a letter.

Daghlas said that the settlers — believed to be from the nearby illegal settlement of Itamar — were chased by locals as they fled the scene after attacking the home. The attack is the most recent to be carried out by settlers in the occupied West Bank.

The Nablus area where Beit Furik is located is site to several settlements who have gained a reputation for being home to extremists who regularly carry out attacks on Palestinians and their property, also known as “price tag attacks.”

Palestinian residents in the area have often orchestrated nightly patrols of locals to protect their villages from such attacks, as Palestinian security forces have no jurisdiction over Israeli settlers and Israeli forces rarely intervene in such attacks on behalf of Palestinians.

Last week in the Ramallah area, suspected Israeli settlers threw tear-gas bombs into the home of a Palestinian family and spray-painted the phrases “revenge” and “hello from the detainees of Zion” in Hebrew on the side of the home.

No injuries were reported in the attack, which appeared to be a revenge attack for the arrest of Jewish extremists who carried out a deadly attack on a Palestinian family in the Nablus-area village of Duma last summer.

The US State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism included price tag attacks for the first time, citing UN figures of some “399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage” that year.

Such attacks were “largely unprosecuted,” it said.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment


By Wendell Griffen | Justice Is A Verb! | December 31, 2015

Did you know that police tactics in the United States are being modeled after the tactics used by Israeli security operatives, the Israeli Defense Force, and Israeli police involved in the illegal occupation of Palestine and abuse of Palestinians? Consider the following information about the Israeli National Counter-Terrorism Seminar that one can find on the website of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

“Every year, American law enforcement executives travel to Israel with ADL to study first hand Israel’s tactics and strategies to combat terrorism. The National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) is an intensive week long course led by senior commanders in the Israel National Police, experts from Israel’s intelligence and security services, and the Israel Defense Forces. More than 175 law enforcement executives have participated in 12 NCTS sessions since 2004, taking the lessons they learned in Israel back to the United States.”

Do you remember seeing tear gas deployed against peaceful protestors in Ferguson, Missouri one night shortly after Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, Jr.? Do you remember the way peaceful protestors with the Occupy movement were violently treated in several places around the United States? Do you remember how the killers of Michael Brown, Jr., Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Dillon Taylor, Monroe Isadore, Eugene Ellison, and countless other victims of police homicides were exonerated, and treated by some in the media as being protectors of society?

I twice saw Israeli Defense Force (IDF) units deploy tear gas against Palestinian youth during my recent visit to Israel and Palestine. I smelled the tear gas. I felt the eye and nasal discomfort. What were the Palestinian youth doing? They were congregating on streets in their own neighborhoods protesting Israeli occupation of Palestine, just as neighbors of Michael Brown, Jr. protested that he was shot and killed, and just as they were attacked by armored police units, snipers, and tear gas while in their own neighborhood.

I met and spoke with an IDF veteran and member of the Breaking the Silence veterans movement during my trip to Israel earlier this month. The man told our group how IDF units treat Palestinians as likely terrorists even when Palestinians are minding their own business and tending their own olive groves. IDF personnel who abuse or kill Palestinians are not punished; they are protected and held up as heroic figures.

Our group immediately recognized that poor and communities of color in the United States are treated by the police the way Palestinians are treated by Israeli police and security forces—as if we are an occupied people. And we recognized that police in the U.S. operate as if the laws that govern the use of force, including deadly force, for the rest of society do not apply to them. Police in the United States behave the way I saw IDF personnel behave toward Palestinians, like an occupation force.

Then I remembered a case from years ago, when I was a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, involving a partially disabled black man who was attacked and beaten by police while standing outside the house of relatives waiting on a taxi in a neighborhood one prosecutor termed “a high crime area.” The attacked and beaten man was then charged with disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening because he cursed the police and accused them of harassment. The police were not punished for attacking and beating him.

Members of an occupation force are not punished for oppressing (and even killing) indigenous people and dissenters. Oppression tactics, use of excessive force, deploying tear gas against people who are merely expressing opposition to mistreatment, and condoning those and other abusive practices go hand-in-hand with occupation force government, otherwise known as tyranny or fascism.

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Monroe Isadore, Dillon Taylor, Eugene Ellison, Sandra Bland, and numerous other victims killed by police or while in police custody were treated like suspected terrorists. Their killers did not behave like community police in a neighborhood. They behaved like members of an occupation force in militarily occupied territory.

We are sending law enforcement leaders from communities across the United States to learn occupation force tactics and strategies from security operatives affiliated with the illegal occupation of Palestine. U.S. tax dollars have financed and supplied the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine since 1967. U.S. tax dollars provide diplomatic cover for it in the United Nations. U.S. tax dollars are spent sending state and local law enforcement leaders to Israel where they learn to unjustly treat us like suspected terrorists, the same way Israeli security personnel are trained to unjustly treat Palestinian men, women, and youth.

We are subsidizing tyranny and fascism by Israel against Palestinians. We are sending U.S. state and local law enforcement leaders to Israel where they learn to use occupation force methods and tactics of tyranny and fascism against poor and communities of color in the United States.
Politely speaking, that is “messed up.”

©Wendell Griffen, 2015

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel benefits most from regional conflicts: Iran

Press TV – January 3, 2016

The Israeli regime is benefiting the most from the conflicts in the region, Iran’s Foreign Ministry says.

In a Saturday meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Tehran Salah al-Zawawi, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said the issue of Palestine is of prime significance to the Muslim world.

He called on Muslim countries to make use of their utmost capacities to resolve the existing conflicts in the region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran follows up on the principle of dialog to end the problems and supports negotiations among various groups in regional countries with the purpose of putting an end to the existing crises,” Jaberi Ansari said.

Zawawi, for his part, said the current situation of the Arab and Muslim world is harmful to the Palestinian cause and added that the Zionist enemy aims to undermine the strengths of the Muslim world in its resistance against the Israeli regime.

He added that religious conflicts in the region are detrimental to Palestine and only benefit the Israeli regime.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Guess Who Railed Against : ‘State Terror Against Kurds’ in ‘Kurdistan’

Sputnik – 03.01.2016

Inconsistency is common in politicians, who one day decry ‘state terror’ against citizens and some two decades later send tanks against those same people to ‘impose curfews’.

A report published in a Turkish daily newspaper demonstrates the dramatic change in the stated political policy of Recep Tayyip Erdogan since 1991.

The Hurriet published passages from a 90-page report on the “Kurdish issue,” composed by Erdogan while he was an official with the conservative Islamist Refah (Welfare) party in his hometown of Istanbul.

In the report, requested by his party’s leadership, Erdogan clearly denounced Turkish military operations in the Kurdish southeast, referring to them as acts of “state terror” against “Kurdish people.”

Erdogan, at the time, wrote that because “the Kurdish issue” is a “national question,” the correct way to resolve it is “by recognizing Kurdish language as an independent language and which has no relations to the Turkish language.”

But by 2016, some 25 years later and with Erdogan as the boss, Kurds are not necessarily forbidden to learn their mother tongue, but several letters of the Kurdish alphabet are outlawed in Turkey and the number of schools providing education in Kurdish and other minority languages is very small.

​“What is called ‘the Southeastern issue’ is, in essence, the Kurdish question, which is no doubt a national question. These areas, which are labeled as Southeast, have since the dawn of history been called Kurdistan,” Erdogan said in 1991. “This region has suffered twice, from PKK assaults since 1985 and at the same time it has been subjected to state terror which has targeted the population for allegedly supporting the PKK.”

In 2016, as the president of the Turkish Republic and playing a nationalist card, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is singing a different song.

“You will be annihilated in those houses, those buildings, those ditches which you have dug,” Erdogan has pronounced recently, referring to trenches created by Kurdish fighters in many southeastern cities. “Our security forces will continue this fight until it has been completely cleansed and a peaceful atmosphere established.”

Many politicians and experts worldwide have described Erdogan’s ongoing military operation against Kurds as “state terror,” a comparison not lost on students of recent Turkish political history.

Some 200 civilians have been killed during recent blockades and attacks by Turkish government forces. Over 100,000 people have reportedly been displaced in ongoing military actions in Turkey’s majority-Kurdish southeast.

Severe clashes between Ankara forces and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), alongside popular resistance units, have arisen since a July terror attack in the city of Suruc which killed over 30 people, most of them Kurds. After Kurds killed two Turkish policemen they claimed were affiliated with Daesh soon after the attack, Ankara launched a military campaign against PKK and self-defense units. The clashes intensified in December 2015 in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, with curfews imposed in numerous Kurdish areas across the southeast.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Besieged Kurdish Towns Under Heavy Bombardment by Turkish Army

Sputnik – 03.01.2016

Kurdish neighborhoods in Silopi and Diyarbakir are under attack from Turkish military forces. Heavy tank bombardment in civilian areas is being reported.

On the 20th day of a curfew, several Silopi neighborhoods in southeastern Turkey have come under heavy gunfire from tanks and armored vehicles, according to local media.

​“Residents are trying to find shelter in safe areas as the neighborhoods, which house thousands, are being targeted by heavy fire from tanks and armored vehicles that have surrounded the area under curfew,” ANF News described.

The Kurdish neighborhoods of Barbaros, Basak and Zap have introduced self-rule and have strong local self-defense, including YDG-H youth units, who are resisting government forces attempting to impose the curfew, ANF News reported. YDG-H, or Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement, was founded in 2013 by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) youth members.

​“People struggling with hunger and thirst take shelter in the basements of their houses. No passages are allowed out of the blockade,” People’s Democratic Party of Turkey, (HDP) reported on Saturday.

A local Kurdish official, Emine Esmer, a co-mayor of Silopi, was taken into custody and released while investigating a water shortage in the municipality, according to

​Reports from the Kurdish district of Sur in Diyarbakir, also under curfew, say that tank bombardments in the residential areas intensified on Saturday, with two people injured, according to Jin News Agency.

​The HDP reports that almost 200 people have been killed during the blockade and attacks by Turkish government forces. Over 100,000 people have reportedly been displaced in ongoing military actions in Turkey’s majority-Kurdish southeast.

January 3, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment