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Who are Palestinian escapees from Israel’s Gilboa prison?

By Awad Al-Rujoub | MEMO | September 6, 2021

In the early hours of this morning, six Palestinians escaped from Israel’s Gilboa Prison after they dug a tunnel out of the high-security prison.

Five of the prisoners were members of the Islamic Jihad movement, and one was a former commander of Fatah. They are all from the city of Jenin and were all serving life terms. Israeli media said that three of the escapees had previously attempted to escape from Israeli jails.

But who are they?

Zakaria Zubeidi

Zubeidi, 49, from Jenin refugee camp, was a former commander of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. In 2006, Zubeidi was elected a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. He was detained by Israeli forces in Ramallah on 27 February 2019 and accused of being affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He has not been sentenced to any crime.

 

Munadil Nafaya

Nafaya, from Ya’bad town near Jenin city, was detained by Israeli forces in 2006 before being released in 2015. He was rearrested in 2016 and again in 2020 and accused of membership in Islamic Jihad’s armed wing and involvement in staging attacks against Israeli occupation forces.

Nafaya has not yet received a final sentence.

 

Yaqoub Qadiri

Yaqoub Qadiri, 39, from Bir Al-Basha village northwest of Jenin city, was wanted by Israeli occupation forces since 2000.

Qadiri stood against the occupation’s massacre in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. On 18 October 2003, he was detained and handed two life sentences.

In 2014, he along with other detainees attempted to escape from Shatta prison but were unsuccessful.

 

Iham Kahamji

Kahmaji, 35, from Kafr Dan village near Jenin city, was wanted by Israeli occupation forces since 2003. He was detained on 4 July 2006 and handed two life terms.

 

Mahmoud  Al-Arida

Mahmoud Al-Arida, 46, from Arraba town southwest of Jenin city, was first detained in 1992 before being released in 1996.

He was detained again in September 1996 and handed a life sentence after being accused of being a member of Islamic Jihad’s military wing and carrying out attacks against Israeli occupation forces.

 

Mohammad Al-Arida

Mohammad Al-Arida, 39, from Arraba town, was arrested on 7 January 2002, before being released in March of the same year.

He was rearrested on 16 May 2002 in Ramallah city and handed three life terms.

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

15-year-old Palestinian boy brutally attacked by Israeli settlers

Defence for Children Palestine | August 27, 2021

15-year-old Tareq was brutally attacked by Israeli settlers and survived to share his story.

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Report Confirms Human Rights Violations in the 2019 U.S.-Backed Coup in Bolivia

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 23, 2021

A 471-page report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Bolivia (GIEI-Bolivia) recently presented to Bolivian President Luis Arce in La Paz on Tuesday this week confirms the U.S.-backed coup’s persecution of opponents, including “systematic torture and summary executions” in 2019. The report is based on interviews with 400 victims of the Anez regime and other witnesses, as well as 120,000 files related to abuses between September 1 and December 31, 2019.

The findings prompted Bolivian prosecutors to charge the self-styled “interim leader” Jeanine Anez with genocide. Anez faces charges over the massacres in Sacaba and Senkata, where 20 protestors were killed by the security forces.

At the announcement of her arrest in March this year, Anez tweeted, “They are sending me to detention for four months to await a trial for a ‘coup’ that never happened.”

Yet the U.S. was swift to recognize Anez as interim president as well as to endorse the Organization of American State’s (OAS) report in 2019, which alleged electoral fraud in Bolivia with the intent to keep Evo Morales in power.

The former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s address to the OAS office in Washington gives quite a succinct summary of U.S. interference in Latin America – a twisted narrative of alleged democratic intent trickling down from the U.S., when the facts speak otherwise. Pompeo spoke of the U.S. role in recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president and how members of the OAS followed suit, as well as a historical overview which attempted to disfigure the leftist movements in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s as “producing repression for their own kind at home.”

Pompeo also described Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as the countries through which “we face stains of tyranny on a great canvas of freedom in our hemisphere,” before moving on to praise the OAS for its role in ousting Morales. And as is typical of the U.S., with its long history of supporting military coups in the region, not a word was uttered about Anez’s persecution of the indigenous in Bolivia.

Yet the OAS report was denounced by the New York Times as having “relied on incorrect data and inappropriate statistical techniques.” The Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Co-Director Mark Weisbrot declared, “If the OAS and Secretary General Luis Almagro are allowed to get away with such politically driven falsification of their electoral observation results again, this threatens not only Bolivian democracy but the democracy of any country where the OAS may be involved in elections in the future.”

The GIEI report has established that the Anez regime committed summary executions, torture and sexual violence against indigenous people. Through the report, the Sacaba and Senkata massacres were revisited and will once again form part of Bolivia’s most recent memory of U.S.-backed violence. Just a day prior to the Sacaba massacres, on November 14, 2019, Anez signed a decree which established impunity for Bolivia’s armed forces.

Contrary to the rushed way in which the Trump Administration had recognised Anez as Bolivia’s legitimate leader, the U.S. is reluctant to comment on the GIEI report findings which established the U.S.-backed regime as having committed human rights violations. This year, however, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement in March after Anez’s arrest, stating he was “deeply concerned by growing signs of anti-democratic behavior and politicization” with regard to Bolivia’s quest for justice.

Of Bolivia’s quest for justice now, the U.S. can hardly be expected to voice support. Yet the report goes a long way in overturning the U.S. intervention narrative. Bolivia’s victims are victims of a U.S.-backed coup, and U.S.-funded political violence should equally share the spotlight now highlighting Anez’s short-lived legacy of human rights violations in Bolivia.

August 25, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 5 Comments

Palestinian organizer and former prisoner Ghassan Zawahreh seized by Israeli occupation forces

Ghassan Zawahreh
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | August 20, 2021

Ghassan Zawahreh, Palestinian former prisoner and longtime struggler for justice, was seized from his home in Dheisheh refugee camp by Israeli occupation forces in the pre-dawn hours of 19 August 2021. Zawahreh has been repeatedly detained since 2002, when he was only 14 years old. He was last released from Israeli occupation prisons on 4 March 2021 after 28 months jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. Almost every time he is released, he may spend only a few months with his family and community before being ripped away once again for arbitrary imprisonment with no charge or trial.

During his last detention, Zawahreh highlighted the injustice of administrative detention, announcing his boycott of the military courts: “Administrative detention is a heinous crime for the ages. What is even more criminal is the occupation’s attempts to mislead through mock courts and charades where the executioner and the ruler, dressed up in military suits, represent the Occupation and its crimes.”

He has spent nearly 16 years in total in Israeli prisons; his brother Moataz Zawahreh was murdered by Israeli occupation forces as he participated in a popular protest in Bethlehem in 2015. Moataz had actually returned home to Palestine from where he was studying in France to support Ghassan, who was engaged in a long-term hunger strike against his imprisonment without charge or trial. He won his release in December 2015, only to be seized again by occupation forces seven months later.

Ghassan Zawahreh mourns his brother after his release in 2015

He was in his last year of studies in social work at the Open University of Jerusalem when he was arrested in 2008, and has been prevented from completing his studies through multiple arrests.

He is well-known in the camp as a community activist and volunteer in popular programs that provide social services to people in the camp. He worked as a taxi driver in order to support his family, on the Bethlehem-Ramallah road.

Administrative detention was first used in Palestine by the British colonial mandate and then adopted by the Zionist regime; it is now used routinely to target Palestinians, especially community leaders, activists, and influential people in their towns, camps and villages.

There are currently approximately 550 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, out of 4,750 Palestinian political prisoners. These orders are issued by the military and approved by military courts on the basis of “secret evidence”, denied to both Palestinian detainees and their attorneys. Issued for up to six months at a time, they are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians — including minor children — can spend years jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention. There are currently nine Palestinians on hunger strike to end administrative detention without charge or trial.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of Ghassan Zawahreh, dedicated struggler for Palestine and leading political prisoner repeatedly attacked by Israeli occupation forces, and all of his fellow Palestinian political prisoners. We are committed to organize, struggle and work to achieve the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.

August 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

UN official voices concern over Israel’s detention of rights defenders

WAFA | August 12, 2021

GENEVA – Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, expressed concern yesterday over arrests, harassment, criminalization and threats targeting human rights defenders by the Israeli occupation forces.

“Arrests and raids on the homes of Palestinian human right defenders [by Israeli occupation forces] form part of a wider crackdown against those defending the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she said.

Lawlor was alarmed by the arbitrary arrest and detention of Farid Al-Atrash, a human rights defender and lawyer at the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).

Mr. Al-Atrash was detained by Israeli military forces after peacefully participating in a demonstration in Bethlehem on 15 June and released on bail eight days later.

The rights expert also voiced concern over the forcible transfer of Palestinians living in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.

“Muna Al-Kurd, Mohammed Al-Kurd and Zuhair Al Rajabi, human rights defenders at the forefront of protecting their communities against forced displacement, have been arrested and interrogated,” she said.

Another activist, Salah Hammouri, a Palestinian-French human rights defender and lawyer, is also at risk of having his permanent residency permit in Jerusalem revoked.

“I am shocked that members of the Health Work Committee, who provide health services to Palestinians living in remote areas of the West Bank, were arrested, interrogated and may be criminalised because of their human rights work,” Ms. Lawlor added.

Three Committee personnel are currently in prison. Director Shatha Odeh and former project coordinator, Juana Ruiz Sánchez, are being held in one facility, while accountant Tayseer Abu Sharbak, is in another. They are being tried on charges of participating in what has been described as “an illegal organisation”, said Ms.

Lawlor called on Israeli occupation authorities to immediately release them, and to investigate allegations of ill treatment against the two women rights defenders.

“The deteriorating health of Odeh and the solitary confinement of Sánchez are extremely worrying,” the UN expert said, noting that the rights defender, who has chronic underlying health conditions, had initially been denied access to necessary medication and clean clothes.

Lawlor underlined the importance of safeguarding Palestinian human rights defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially those who are protecting their communities’ rights to housing, healthcare and freedom of assembly and association.

“I call on the [Israeli] authorities to stop targeting these human rights defenders and allow them to carry out their legitimate and peaceful work free from any kind of restrictions,” she said.

August 13, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Decent About Torture, Assassination, and Secret Surveillance?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | July 28, 2021

In a Los Angeles Times editorial predictably hyping up the extreme danger to “national security” arising from the January 6 Capitol protests, the Times quotes Capitol police officer Harry Dunn as saying, “We represent the good side of America, the people who believe in decency.”

Really?

So tell us, Officer Dunn, what is decent about the following actions of the U.S. government:

1. The torture center and prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
2. The indefinite detention of people at Guantanamo Bay without charges or trial.
3. The denial of trial by jury in terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay.
4. The use of evidence acquired by torture at Guantanamo Bay.
5. The use of confessions acquired by torture at Guantanamo Bay.
6. The use of hearsay to secure convictions in terrorism “trials” at Guantanamo Bay.
7. The secret monitoring of communications between attorney and detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
8. The torture of people at the hands of U.S. officials in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world.
9. The intentional destruction of videotapes depicting the torture of people at the hands of U.S. officials.
10. The invasion, occupation, and war of aggression against Iraq, a country that had never invaded or attacked the United States.
11. The invasion of Afghanistan and the resulting 20-year destruction of life and property.
12. The secret mass surveillance of the American people.
13. The secret illegal surveillance partnerships with American telecoms.
14. The sanctions against the people of Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.
15. U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions, while difficult, were “worth it.”
16. The decades-old embargo against Cuba, which has been a major factor in the suffering of the Cuban people.
17. The sanctions against Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, and other countries, with the aim of causing death and suffering among the citizenry to achieve regime change.
18. Trade wars against China and other nations.
19. MKULTRA.
20. The invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
21. Coups and invasions for the purpose of regime change, including against democratically elected foreign presidents and prime ministers.
22. State-sponsored assassinations and executions, including of American citizens, along with cover-ups of such assassinations.
23. Official lies, including under oath.
24. The secret hiring of Nazis to secretly serve the U.S. government.
25. COINTELPRO.
26. The “war on terrorism.”
27. Secret illegal surveillance of American officials and American citizens for the purpose of blackmailing them.
28. The racist war on drugs, along with civil asset forfeiture, mandatory minimum sentences, and deadly no-knock raids.
29. The war on immigrants, which has brought untold death and suffering to countless people.
30. The immigration Berlin Wall along America’s southern border.
31. The immigration police state along America’s southern border, including domestic highway checkpoints, warrantless searches of farms and ranches, boarding of Greyhound buses to check people’s papers, and violent raids on American businesses.
32. The unexplained killing of Ashli Babbit during the January 6 Capitol protests.
33. Soaring federal spending and debt.
34. Waco and Ruby Ridge.
35. The undeclared Vietnam War.
36. The undeclared Korean War.
37. Inciting crises and new official enemies to justify ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment and its army of “defense” contractors.
38. The Federal Reserve and decades of monetary debauchery and debasement.
39. The IRS.
40. The persecution and prosecution of people who disclose the evil and sordid dark-side secrets of the U.S. government.

Pray tell, Officer Dunn: Is all this the official “decency” to which you refer?

July 28, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 5 Comments

Israeli military isolated Mohammad, 17, in solitary confinement for 35 days

Defence for Children Palestine | July 6, 2021

Israeli forces detained 17-year-old Palestinian teenager Mohammad in solitary confinement for 35 days in total for interrogation purposes. In this video, he describes his experience at the hands of the Israeli military and shares the lasting effects his time in solitary confinement have had on his mental health.

Sign the petition to end solitary confinement: https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/peti…

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 2 Comments

Top UN expert: “Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime”

Palestine Information Center – July 10, 2021

GENEVA – A high-level UN human rights expert has called for Jewish settlements to be classified as a war crime, urging the international community to hold Israel accountable for a practice it has long considered illegal.

Presenting his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, said he examined whether the Israeli settlements were in violation of the absolute prohibition against “settler implantation” in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and concluded that “the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime.”

Talking about the human rights situation in Palestine recently, he said that in east Jerusalem, Jewish settler groups sought to evict Palestinian families from their homes, pointing out that under the Fourth Geneva Convention, forcible transfer of a protected population was prohibited, and the occupying power is forbidden from applying its own laws to the occupied territory.

“I submit to you that this finding compels the international community … to make it clear to Israel that its illegal occupation, and its defiance of international law and international opinion, can and will no longer be cost-free,” Lynk told the Geneva rights council.

Lynk said Israel’s demolition of Bedouin tent dwellings in a village in the West Bank on Wednesday left residents without food or water in the heat of the Jordan Valley, calling it “both unlawful and heartless”.

“Progressive seizure of Palestinian lands together with the protection of the settlements is a further consolidation of Israel’s de facto annexation of the West Bank,” he said.

There are nearly 300 settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, with more than 680,000 Jewish settlers, Lynk noted.

The settlements have become “the engine of Israel’s 54-year-old occupation, the longest in the modern world”, he added.

He stressed the need for international action, not just words, in order to resolve the situation in Palestine.

“As long as the international community criticizes Israel without seeking consequences and accountability, it is magical thinking to believe that the 54-year-old occupation will end and the Palestinians will finally realize their right to self-determination,” he said.

A few days ago, the Israeli occupation army blocked the delivery of aid to Palestinians whose homes were demolished in the northern Jordan Valley and asked a UN aid team to leave the area, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.

The razing of 27 residential and animal structures and water tanks on Wednesday in the Palestinian herding community of Humsa al-Bqai’a was the first of its kind since February, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The Israeli army’s civil administration and forces also confiscated, among other things, food, milk for children, clothes, hygiene materials and toys during the demolition campaign.

The action involved 11 homes for about 70 people, including 36 children, the office said. Animals had no fodder and water as well.

Representatives of OCHA and humanitarian partners visited the community Wednesday evening, but the army on Thursday asked them to leave.

The community rejected a proposal from the Israeli army to move it to a different location, OCHA said, adding that the army moved the residents’ belongings to the proposed site.

Humanitarians said 11 structures donated as humanitarian aid in February following similar demolitions were destroyed or seized by the army during Wednesday’s raid.

“The repeated destruction of their homes and property, including assistance provided by the humanitarian community is having a devastating economic, social and traumatic impact on the community, particularly children,” OCHA warned.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres voiced his deep concern over the demolition of property in the herding community, Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for Guterres, stated.

“He reiterates his call on the Israeli authorities to cease demolitions and seizures of Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank,” Dujarric added in a regular briefing.

“Such actions are contrary to international law and could undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state,” he read a statement issued by Guterres.

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Aid to Syria should go through the recognized government NOT Al Qaeda

Syria Solidarity Movement | July 6, 2021

The United Nations Charter mandates “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”.

Turkey and the USA are in violation of this commitment as they occupy sections of northern and eastern Syria. In northern Idlib province, Turkey is doing this in alliance with the Syrian version of Al Qaeda called Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (formerly Jabhat al Nusra).

In the northeast, the US has invaded and is occupying the area in alliance with local proxies and mercenaries. For public relations purposes, the puppets changed their name to “Syrian Democratic Forces” after US military officers said, “You have to change your brand.”

These occupations clearly violate Syrian territorial integrity and the UN Charter.

The USA, Turkey and their allies want the world to ignore their violations of Syrian sovereignty. On top of that, they want the world to authorize and approve international border crossings for travel to their occupied zones. The Bab al Hawa crossing is now the main crossing on the border of Turkey and Syria. On the Syrian side, the area is controlled by [al Qaeda affiliates in Syria] in collusion with Turkey.  With Syrian civilians as hostages, Al Qaeda receives 1000 truckloads of supplies and support monthly.

This crossing is a clear violation of Syria’s territorial integrity and that is why United Nations Security Council members should vote NO to further authorization of an illegal entry point.  Respecting Syrian sovereignty and the UN Charter, the aid should go through the Syrian government. If there is concern about aid being distributed fairly in Idlib, a neutral international organization such as the Red Crescent can monitor or supervise the distribution of food and supplies.

The countries which seek “regime change” in Syria use civilians as a pretext while imposing crushing economic sanctions on most Syrians. They are pouring support into the Al Qaeda zone while strangling the vast majority of Syrians who live in government zones. Under US “Caesar” sanctions, it is prohibited to support any Syrian government rebuilding of hospitals, schools, water pumping stations, electricity power stations or residential housing. Syrian civilians now lack food, medicines, electricity, [water, fuel and building materials] because of the actions of the invaders [and occupiers].

The UN Charter should be followed and enforced.

Syria Solidarity Movement calls for the removal of US and Turkish occupations of northern and eastern Syria. We call for the United Nations Security Council to NOT authorize or participate in the violation of Syrian territorial integrity at Bab al Hawa border crossing.  We call for the US and western nations to stop their violations of Syrian sovereignty and their complicity and support of Al Qaeda in Syria.

—————————

The Syria Solidarity Movement operates a modest humanitarian aid program to which all are welcome to provide US tax-deductible donations. For further information go to www.aidforsyrians.org.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Media finally covering immense crimes against indigenous peoples in Canada known of for decades. Why now?

By Eva Bartlett | RT | July 4, 2021

The reprehensible issue of what many deem “mass murder” of indigenous children in Canada’s Catholic school system has been in global headlines in recent weeks. But this should have been in the headlines decades ago.

The nearly 1,000 bodies of indigenous children in mass graves were recently found by ground-penetrating radar, said the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nations (FSIN) and the Cowessess First Nation.

A reported 150,000 indigenous children were abducted and imprisoned in the Catholic schools, where they were tortured with the intent of erasing their culture and language, as were also sexually abused, had needles driven through their tongues for speaking their own language, were sterilized, among many other horrific practices.

After these findings made the news, people were rightly outraged. Catholic churches in British Columbia and Alberta have since been vandalized and set afire, including churches currently used by indigenous communities as meeting places, acts met with disgust by many indigenous, saying vandalism isn’t justice.

The vandalism continued on Canada Day, with another 10 churches in Calgary targeted.

The premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, denounced the vandalization of an African Evangelical Church, noting that the congregation is “made up entirely of new Canadians, many of whom came here as refugees fleeing countries where Churches are often vandalized & burned down.”

While some have justified the vandalization of the churches as a push for justice, others questioned whether vandalized or burned mosques or synagogues would also receive the same approval.

After Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of “reconciliation” and how “our relationship with indigenous peoples” has evolved, people rightly called out the government of Canada for empty talk, noting indigenous communities around the country frequently lack clean drinking water. Then, there’s the issue that aside from an official apology, the government hasn’t charged or tried anyone for these crimes.

A report first published in March 2016 by the International Tribunal for the Disappeared of Canada (ITDC) has since apparently been heavily censored and removed from Google search results.

It addressed the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” carried out by the government and churches, calling it “a rapid in-house response by church and state designed to present their own self-serving narrative of their Indian residential schools crimes,” noting it “was created by the same institutions of church and state that were responsible for the residential school crimes being investigated.”

The synopsis notes that the crimes were “legally authorized, sanctioned and protected by every level of government, church and police in Canada,” and “amounted to deliberate genocide.”

It refers to horrifying facts that the average Canadian likely doesn’t know, including that “Native children began dying in droves the very first year the residential schools opened in 1889, at an average death rate of nearly 50%.” This, it emphasized, continued for the next five decades, “despite constant complaints and reports by doctors who inspected the schools.”

The deaths were caused by “a continual denial of regular food, clothing and proper sanitation to children interned in the schools, amidst a regime of routine and systemic rapes, beatings, tortures and killings: conditions that continued unabated for over a century, from 1889 to 1996.”

Why now?

While I fully stand with the push for justice for the manifold crimes committed against the indigenous peoples in what is now Canada, I do wonder, why is this making headlines now? It’s not like these are new revelations.

Ostensibly the reason these mass graves are in the news now is due to their recent discovery. But, others point out that indigenous have for decades said there were mass graves, but were met with silence.

Indeed, an article first published in May 2008 – and according to the author, rejected by Canadian media – spoke of a 1996 lawsuit launched by residential school survivors on the issue of the death and torture at residential schools. It noted that “residential school children were being buried ‘four or five to a grave’, and that the death rate in these schools stayed constant at fifty percent for over forty years.”

It rightly asked: “Why is the disappearance of tens of thousands of native children in these schools not the subject of a major criminal investigation?”

That was 13 years ago, the lawsuit over two decades ago.

This is just one of, I’m sure, countless examples over the years, decades even, of calls to investigate the missing children and the criminal practices of the schools they were forced into.

So, while it would seem a good thing that the media is highlighting the issue of the barbaric ‘residential schools’, the fact that the media – and not just Canadian, but global media – is covering this should make us take pause. These are the same outlets that sold us WMDs in Iraq, chemical weapons in Syria, and innumerable lies to justify wars and invasions against sovereign nations.

Again, for me, the question is, why now is Canada discussing this issue? I don’t know the answer to that, but before getting swept up in toppling statues for ‘justice’, it is worth considering this and whether justice is really served by vandalization and the PM’s empty words.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | | 16 Comments

Prosecutors Drop Charges Against British Army Veterans Over Killings In Northern Ireland’s Troubles

Sputnik – 02.07.2021

On 30 January 1972 the British Army’s Parachute Regiment shot dead 13 unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers in Londonderry. The incident, known as Bloody Sunday, became a recruitment tool for the Provisional IRA who were determined to kick British troops out of Ulster.

Two retired British Army soldiers have been told they will not face trial for murder over incidents during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

More than 3,600 people suffered violent deaths during The Troubles – 30 years of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, which was ended by the Good Friday Agreement.

​Soldier F – believed to be a former member of the Parachute Regiment – was awaiting trial over the deaths of James Wray and William McKinney on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry.

Soldier B was facing a murder trial in relation to Daniel Hegarty, 15, who was shot in the head in Derry in July 1972.

The Public Prosecution Service reviewed both cases after another trial collapsed earlier this year.

In that case Soldiers A and C were acquitted of murdering IRA member Joe McCann after a court ruled statements they made were inadmissible.

​The PPS announced on Friday, 2 July, that in view of that ruling and the similarity of the evidence against Soldiers F and B “there was no longer a reasonable prospect of key evidence in proceedings against Soldier F and Soldier B being ruled admissible.”

The decision was greeted with anger by families of the Bloody Sunday victims, who said they would seek a judicial review.

John Kelly, whose brother Michael died on Bloody Sunday, said: “It’s a day of devastation but we’re not going to give up. The fight for justice goes on.”

​Soldier F had been the only person charged in relation to Bloody Sunday. The PPS had already decided there was insufficient evidence to charge 16 other former soldiers.

The British government announced in May it would introduce legislation to give greater protection to former soldiers who had served in Northern Ireland.

That followed the resignation of defence minister Johnny Mercer, who quit in disgust at the treatment of British Army veterans who had served in Northern Ireland.

July 3, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments