Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Occupation raids, attacks Palestinian organizations: EU, US and Canada are complicit!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | August 21, 2022

In the early morning hours of Thursday, 18 August, armed Israeli occupation forces invaded the offices of seven prominent Palestinian NGOs, civil society organizations and human rights defenders: the Health Work Committees, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Bisan Centre, Defence for Children International – Palestine, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. These organizations have all been designated by the Israeli occupation as “terrorist” in retaliation for their advocacy and community organizing work for Palestine, and then labeled “illegal organizations” in a military order covering the occupied West Bank of Palestine.

The invading forces ransacked the offices, confiscating computers, legal client files, documentation, printers and monitors and leaving clutter behind — as documented by the organizations’ surveillance cameras, recording the occupation forces’ invasion. The doors of the organizations were welded shut and a paper military order affixed to the door declaring their operation “illegal” under the occupation’s (illegal) military orders.

The organizations declared that they would not be silenced by these attacks, holding press conferences and returning to the offices to reopen them and continue their work. The attacks received widespread condemnation not only from Palestinian and pro-Palestinian forces but even from European governments whose policies and practices consistently target the Palestinian people and their fundamental rights.

Now, on Sunday, 21 August, occupation intelligence authorities — the Shin Bet — phoned Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin to threaten him with interrogation and arrest if the organization’s work continues, while Defence for Children International – Palestine director Khaled Quzmar was summoned to and held under interrogation.

“Terror” Designations and Political Control

The invasions, interrogations, ransacking and attacks on these organizations reflect the failure of the occupation’s regime of “terror” designations to undermine their work. In 2021, not only did the regime designate Al-Haq, Addameer, DCI, Bisan, the UPWC and the UAWC as “terrorist” organizations — quickly followed by the military orders banning their work in the occupied West Bank of Palestine — it earlier in the year designated Samidoun (on 21 February 2021), followed by three more organizations. Previously and in a similar pretext, the occupation had issued a similar designation against the Health Work Committees along with designations of groups including the Arab Organization for Human Rights UK, the Palestinian Return Centre and Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

As we noted at the time, this

“indicates just how meaningless the term ‘terrorist’ is in the hands of the Israeli regime. It means precisely any organization, activist, or freedom fighter that challenges Zionist colonialism through any method or means of resistance at all. The flurry of ‘terrorist’ designations for organizations working to expose Israel’s crimes and organize Palestinians underlines this reality….These designations are not attacks on individual organizations but against Palestinian human rights defenders and those around the world who stand up for Palestinian liberation — and, fundamentally, the Palestinian people as a whole, especially the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons. They attempt to repress growing support for the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people and confrontation of imperialism and Zionism.”

Further, it is clear that the use of such designations is intended to further political control over Palestinian society. These designations hinge on the allegation that organizations are close to one or another Palestinian resistance organizations, most commonly the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Hamas. Israeli officials have shopped around “evidence” to various governments that is so weak so as to be ludicrous, consisting almost entirely of unsubstantiated statements or on the idea that employing a person who supports a political organization (or, in some cases, relatives of people in political organizations “designated” by the occupation) is “funding” that organization by paying employees a salary for doing their job.

While it is obvious that these are false claims, the objective of this type of attack goes beyond simply lobbing allegations. Indeed, the European governments that have criticized the attacks and designations have also repeatedly affirmed their willingness to “examine evidence” and “act” if the Israeli regime “proves” that popular organizations, civil society groups and human rights advocates are in some way “tied” to Palestinian resistance movements. Not only are the organizations “innocent” of the Israeli claims, the claims themselves are fundamentally repugnant. The Palestinian people have the right to resist occupation and to be a part of political, social and armed movements in that resistance; this is not “terrorism” but an essential right of people under occupation and colonization.

Rather than affirming the right of Palestinians to resist and to organize themselves to achieve those goals, these European governments instead use these attacks to impose even greater political scrutiny and conditions. In many cases (such as the Netherlands), these governments recommend or require that all employees of these organizations must not be associated with any “banned” Palestinian political organization. If Palestinians are part of a political party or movement, they must be unemployable and impoverished: this is both the argument of the occupation and of the European states providing a meager “defense” of Palestinian civil society.

For the European funding agencies and many large foundations, supporting Palestinian NGOs has never been primarily about empowering or supporting the Palestinian people to achieve their liberation but rather about redirecting Palestinian energies into “state-building” and/or “reform” projects that exist within the confines of Oslo. Time and time again, these forces have introduced new conditional funding mechanisms and restrictions on everything from the political affiliation of individual employees to the names of buildings and schools.

European Union: Partners in Colonialism and Apartheid

This is borne out once again by the statement of nine European states — Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden — which invokes the promotion of “democratic values and the two-state solution,” a fundamental contradiction as the so-called “two-state solution” itself is the legitimization of the colonization and occupation of 78% of Palestine and no solution at all for the Palestinian people. This brief comment lays bare the real political motivation for European involvement in funding Palestinian organizations, which is to limit rather than to achieve rights, justice and liberation. Further, the statement notes that “should convincing evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly.”

Here, the “evidence” being referred to would be any “links” between these NGOs and the Palestinian resistance. By including this statement in their alleged defense of the organizations, these European states actually encourage the occupation to continue its raids and ransacking, confiscation of files, arrests and interrogations, in an attempt to manufacture such “evidence”.

Of course, the position of these states themselves — members of the aggressive NATO alliance, defenders of the Israeli occupation in international arenas — is all too clear. The European Union, while rejecting the designation of advocacy and civil society organizations, continues to designate Palestinian resistance organizations as “terrorists.”

France continues to imprison Georges Ibrahim Abdallah while doing almost nothing to advocate for its citizen Salah Hamouri, jailed without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention, as the government attempts to criminalize Palestinian activism, such as the Collectif Palestine Vaincra. Germany not only engages in weapons deals with the occupation, it also engages in severely repressive practices against Palestine organizing, particularly Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora, from the expulsion of Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat and Palestinian torture survivor and feminist Rasmea Odeh to the ban on 15 May Nakba demonstrations in Berlin. This is not to mention the links between Zionism and European colonialism from the very beginning of the Zionist project.

Now, Israeli prime minister and war criminal Yair Lapid is scheduled to come to Brussels on 6 October to convene the “Association Council” with all EU member states’ foreign ministers, for the first time in 10 years. This is the council under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the agreement that provides for free trade for occupation products inside the EU and allows for occupation institutions to receive European grants for research and development.

Ending the EU-Israel Association Agreement is a long-time demand of the Palestine solidarity movement, but despite their expressed “concerns” about the violent repression imposed on Palestinians, these European states are planning to welcome Lapid and convene the Association Council after a long hiatus, celebrating their complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Canadian government has refused to make any meaningful statement about these attacks, despite posing as a defender of “human rights.” U.S. officials stated their “concern,” while continuing to provide $3.8 billion in military support to the occupier.

**

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms that these attacks are part and parcel of the ongoing war on Palestinian existence and organization, carried out by the Zionist state and supported by the imperialist powers that ally with the Israeli occupation, as well as Arab reactionary regimes engaged in “normalization” and the Palestinian Authority. While PA officials declare their public support for the targeted organizations, the PA continues to engage in security coordination with the occupation, declined the use of its security forces to defend the organizations, and has even previously detained leaders, directors and staff of these organizations challenging its repression at the behest of the occupier.

We reaffirm that the primary way that we can confront these designations is by intensifying our organizing, action, mobilization and resistance to bring down the structures of colonialism, implement the right to return for Palestinian refugees, and support the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners and of Palestine, from the river to the sea. This includes campaigning to bring an end to the so-called “terrorist lists” used to terrify Palestinian communities and Palestine solidarity organizers, which only provide a weapon in the hands of the occupation and encourages it to engage in further specious designations.

We also urge all to take action to confront Lapid’s visit on 6 October in Brussels and to bring down the “EU-Israel Association Agreement,” an agreement built on the colonization of Palestine and the massacres targeting the Palestinian people. It is incumbent upon all institutions and organizations concerned about these raids and about the Palestinian people to adopt and implement the boycott and international isolation of Israel, including at the United Nations and its bodies.

Further, we urge all to join us in organizing to march in Brussels on 29 October for the March for Return and Liberation to the European Parliament, to demand an end to European complicity, involvement in and support for the colonization of Palestine, the siege on Gaza, the imprisonment of Palestinians and the denial of millions of Palestinians’ right to return home.

samidoun@samidoun.net

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nations Fail to Restrain Surveillance Industry 1 Year After Pegasus Revelations

Samizdat | July 18, 2022

The international scandal over Pegasus spyware, used by the Israeli authorities to spy on “terrorists,” broke in July 2021 after a joint media investigation unveiled that the spyware had also been used by private company NSO Group to conduct unlawful surveillance on politicians, businessmen, activists, journalists and opposition figures around the world.

Following the disclosures, human rights watchdogs have been repeatedly calling for the surveillance industry to be regulated, with some steps made “in the right direction,” yet governments’ action has been insufficient, Amnesty International said in a statement.

“The Pegasus Project offered a wake-up call that action was urgently needed to regulate an industry that is out of control. Shamefully, governments worldwide are yet to step up and fully deal with this digital surveillance crisis,” Deputy Director of Amnesty International – Technology Danna Ingleton said.

Currently, there are open investigations against NSO Group in France, India, Mexico, Poland and Spain. In November 2021, the United States designated the NSO Group as an entity engaged in “in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests.” In March, the European Parliament set up the PEGA Committee to probe the misuse of Pegasus and other spyware across Europe. Nonetheless, most states have failed to mount a robust response to unlawful surveillance, Amnesty International noted.

“One year after the Pegasus spyware revelations shocked the world, it is alarming that surveillance companies are still profiting from human rights violations on a global scale… We continue to call for a global moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of spyware until human rights regulatory safeguards that govern its use are in place,” Ingleton added.

Under international law, states are not only obliged to uphold human rights, but also to protect them from abuse by third parties, including private companies, the watchdog said, stressing that unlawful surveillance infringes on the right to privacy as well as the rights to freedom of expression, belief, association, and peaceful assembly.

July 18, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

France to Extend Vaccine Passport Entry Requirement Until March 2023

BY WILL JONES | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | JUNE 29 2022

France is planning to extend its vaccine passport scheme obliging travellers to present proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or negative test results upon arrival at the borders of France until at least the end of March 2023. Schengen Visa News has more.

A leaked draft law published by the French media Atlantico, the authenticity of which has later been confirmed by the French Ministry of Health, shows that the country is planning to set up a border scheme through which travellers over the age of 12 reaching the territory of France, Corsica and overseas territories would have to show proof they are immune [sic] to COVID-19.

The same document also foresees the extension of the SI-DEP computer files results of screening tests and Contact Covid (infected people and contact cases) until March 31st, next year.

According to the Ministry of Health, the preliminary draft bill “will be the subject of discussions, before its presentation to the Council of Ministers, with the political forces”.

The bill comes at a time when the country is experiencing an increase in the number of cases, with a total of 342,504 new cases registered in the last seven days alone and 270 deaths within the same period, data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show.

The spike in the number of cases has occurred in spite of the vaccination rates in the country. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 80.4% of the French population are vaccinated with at least the first dose, 78.1% with the second dose, and 59.2% with a booster or additional COVID-19 vaccination dose.

The bill comes following a vote in the European Parliament last week to approve an EU Commission proposal to renew the EU Digital Covid Certificate for another year.

The EU countries which, like France, still have COVID-19 travel restrictions are Spain, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia.

Have none of them noticed that vaccination does not prevent infection or transmission? Why are they hobbling their economy and undermining freedom by restricting visitor entry for a policy which has not been shown to achieve any benefit at all?

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

President of large pharma co. and leading doctor among 2,200 famous people caught falsifying vaccine passports

BY WILL JONES | THE DAILY SCEPTIC | JUNE 8, 2022

Police in Spain have uncovered at least 2,200 famous people, including José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, the President of PharmaMar, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Spain, holding false COVID-19 vaccination certificates bought from a nurse. EuroWeekly News has the story.

Amongst those that have been investigated are leading singers, musicians, football stars, business people, politicians and top medical personnel.

The scandal involved people being added to the National Immunisation Registry in exchange for money, with many of them familiar faces and household names.

The latest of these to be charged is the President of PharmaMar José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, an IBEX 35 company, and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Spain. The company is dedicated to researching drugs including cancer, Alzheimer’s and yes, COVID-19.

The 76-year-old businessman, who has not yet been summoned to testify, was included in the lists to reflect that he had received the third dose.

The leader of the network was a nursing assistant at the La Paz University Hospital, where he is accused of charging more than €200,000 euros for fraudulently registering 2,200 people as vaccinated in the National Registry against COVID-19. He has been arrested and is currently in custody.

Among those accused are Bruno González Cabrera, a defender who played for Betis, Getafe, Levante and Valladolid. Fabio Díez Steinaker in beach volleyball, runner-up in Europe and fifth in the Sydney Olympic Games. The former Valencian boxer and wrestler José Luis Zapater, alias Titín, who starred in more than a thousand fights.

The famous people investigated so far includes: José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, President of PharmaMar; Trinitario Casanova, one of the richest men in Spain; Kidd Keo, singer; Anier, rap singer; Jarfaiter, rap singer; Veronica Echegui, actress; Bruno Gonzalez Cabrera, soccer player; Fabio Díez Steinaker, former beach volleyball Olympian; José Luis Zapater, alias Titín, former boxer; Camilo Esquivel, recognised and prestigious doctor.

According to the police who are investigating the 2,200 over false COVID-19 vaccination certificates, the fee was dependent on your social standing. The more important you were, the higher the price.

This story broke at the end of last month but has received scant attention in the media. Some may say it is obvious this kind of thing is going on – though I’m not sure the public would see it that way. For sceptics, the real crime is coercing people to be vaccinated against their own assessment of the benefits and risks. Since such a law is clearly contrary to any reasonable conception of personal autonomy and human rights, should we really blame people for finding a way around it?

Let’s not forget the biggest scandal here: that the president of a pharmaceutical company would be so wary of taking a drug which all the trials and medical authorities insist is safe and effective. What does he know that he’s not letting on?

June 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 3 Comments

Popular Ukrainian Zelensky critic arrested in Spain

Samizdat | May 5, 2022

Prominent blogger and critic of the Ukrainian government, Anatoly Shariy, has been detained by Spanish police as part of an international operation, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) announced on Thursday.

Shariy was arrested on Wednesday in a joint operation by Spanish and Ukrainian cops, as well as international “partners”, the SBU said in a statement.

The agency, Kiev’s successor to the Soviet KGB, said that the opposition figure is wanted on charges of treason by Kiev, among other things. Shariy has been infringing Ukraine’s national security through his activities in the media realm, while allegedly acting on behalf of “foreign” forces, it insisted. The case against the YouTuber with almost 3 million subscribers was launched in February 2021.

Shariy’s arrest “is more proof that every traitor of Ukraine will sooner or later receive his well-deserved punishment. It is inevitable,” the SBU claimed.

The Ukrainian announcement was confirmed by the Spanish police, who told RIA-Novosti that Shariy was detained in the coastal city of Tarragona on May 4 on an international arrest warrant.

Shariy had been granted political asylum in the EU by Lithuania back in 2012. Back then, he said that he was fleeing persecution by the government of Viktor Yanukovich, whom the Western media branded pro-Russian.

Yanukovich was deposed after the Maidan coup in 2014, but the blogger remained a harsh critic of authorities in Ukraine, be it President Petro Poroshenko or his successor Volodymyr Zelensky.

He condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine after it was launched in late February but kept pointing out what he saw as flaws in Kiev’s conduct during the ongoing conflict.

The blogger’s political asylum was cancelled by Lithuania in January this year.

Shariy was absent from social media on Wednesday, but on Thursday he took to Telegram to share a photo of his wife feeding parrots in Barcelona, accompanying it with a comment reading: “This really is a comedy.”

According to media reports, the blogger was released from Spanish custody and placed under travel restrictions. He’s to remain in Barcelona where he has a home pending a decision on his extradition to Ukraine.

President Zelensky’s representative at the Constitutional Court has already expressed confidence that Shariy will “face a Ukrainian court and will be held liable in line with Ukrainian laws.”

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 7 Comments

Mexican president updates position on Ukraine conflict

Samizdat | April 10, 2022

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has denounced “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” after weeks of trying to remain neutral on the conflict. However, he managed to do so while reminding the world that some of Moscow’s fiercest critics have previously invaded his own country.

“We do not accept Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because we have suffered from invasions,” Lopez Obrador said on Saturday in a video message. Mexico has at various times been on the receiving end of invasions by the US, France and Spain.

Lopez Obrador issued his video statement to be included in Saturday’s ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’ fundraising event, a campaign that organizers claim seeks to raise money for humanitarian relief to Ukrainian refugees. The Mexican president declined Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation to attend the event, but he agreed to release a statement speaking out against the “Russian invasion.”

Lopez Obrador’s comments likely weren’t as pointed as some of his critics would have liked. He stopped short of accusing Russia of war crimes, as Trudeau and US President Joe Biden have done, and he gave no indication that Mexico would join in imposing sanctions against Moscow. He spoke more in generalities about his opposition to war, rather than condemning specific actions by Russia.

“We are in favor of a peaceful solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” he said. “Peace must be reached so that neither the people of Ukraine nor the people of Russia nor any other nation in the world continues to suffer from such absurdity because wars are disgraceful and must never be sought.”

Lopez Obrador’s comments come amid political turmoil at home. He faces a vote on Sunday over whether he should stay in office for the three years remaining on his term – the first such referendum in Mexico’s history. He called for the vote himself in order to confirm democratic support for his policies, a move that opponents criticized as a costly political stunt.

April 10, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Striking truckers reject Spain’s half-billion euro offer

Samizdat | March 22, 2022

Striking truckers have rejected Madrid’s offer of a hefty subsidy to offset rising diesel prices, which the government had hoped would shut down a work stoppage that has snarled traffic across the country.

Transport Minister Raquel Sanchez pledged to introduce a $551.35 million (€500 million) subsidy in direct aid to the industry on Tuesday after meeting with the National Road Transport Committee.

However, while Sanchez pointed out the measure was similar to moves taken by France, Portugal, and Italy to shore up their own industries in the face of skyrocketing fuel prices, there will be no reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) on fuel, and strike organizers the Platform for the Defense of Transport did not attend the meeting, calling the government’s announcement “insufficient.”

Three Spanish truckers’ unions opted to join the Platform’s strike on Tuesday, potentially aggravating a food shortage across the country as trucks are already having difficulty making deliveries on time. The unions denounced the plan, scheduled to be approved March 29, in a joint statement, pointing out that it “doesn’t specify what it will comprise, how it will work, and, more importantly, how much aid each trucker would get.”

Drivers loosely allied under the banner of the Platform stopped work last Monday, faced with a surge in diesel prices, demanding the government lower taxes and roll back regulations. “Until we negotiate the real problems faced by small truck drivers, there will be no suspension [of the strike],” Platform president Manuel Hernandez told Reuters on Monday, saying drivers must be protected from taking on losses or else they faced “total bankruptcy”.

Finance Minister Nadia Calvino, however, told reporters that the truckers should not reject the offer and that those who would “are clearly showing they do not defend the interests of this sector.”

The government’s plan was offered up following a European Commission meeting on a draft proposal for temporary crisis aid aimed at propping up the continent’s ailing economy as inflation and fuel prices soar, in part due to the sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of its ongoing military offensive in Ukraine.

While the EU receives more than 40% of its natural gas supply from Russia, the alliance is reportedly considering an embargo on oil from the country as part of the latest round of sanctions aimed at economically crippling the country. More than half of Russia’s oil exports are sent to Europe. However, several European countries, including Germany and Bulgaria, have suggested a total ban on Russian fuel is a bridge too far.

Madrid has dismissed the truckers, branding them as unorganized and attempting to link them to far-right extremists. Spain has mobilized a reported 23,000 police in an effort to crush the strike.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

Spanish Officials to Hire Foreign Snitch Squads to Report on Illegal House Parties

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | August 3, 2021

Under the justification of stopping the spread of COVID-19, officials on the Spanish island of Ibiza are planning to hire teams of snitch squads made up of foreigners who will report illegal house parties to the authorities.

Yes, really.

Organizers of illegal parties face gigantic fines of up to €600,000 euros, but that apparently hasn’t deterred some people from risking financial ruin after local authorities once again shut down nightclubs and imposed a ban on mixed household gatherings from 1am to 6am.

Local official Mariano Juan appealed for “outside help” after explaining that it was hard for police to infiltrate the parties because officers were known to locals.

He added that authorities are working with a private company to hire “foreigners between 30 and 40 years old” who can infiltrate the parties and then report back to police.

In other words, the government is hiring private snitch squads to grass people up for having fun in their own homes.

“The idea has… been heavily criticised by the Socialist party, which leads the regional administration covering Ibiza,” reports the Guardian. “A spokesperson, Vicent Torres, called on the island’s officials to put forth “serious proposals that have legal backing” rather than “acting irresponsibly by launching ideas that we cannot agree to.”

Draconian efforts to enforce coronavirus rules are still underway despite a recent ruling by Spain’s top court which concluded that the country’s lockdown was unconstitutional.

Spain’s lockdown was characterized by innumerable dystopian facets that confirmed it as one of the most brutal in Europe.

During the first six weeks of the lockdown, stay at home measures were so strict that Spaniards weren’t even allowed to go outside to exercise or walk their dogs.

In one case, police were called after a neighbor spotted two brothers playing soccer in their own back yard.

For many months during hot weather, wearing masks in every outdoor setting, even on beaches, was compulsory and authorities briefly told citizens that wearing masks while swimming in the sea was mandatory.

People were also issued fines of €2,000 euros for “disrespecting” a police officer during lockdown.

Numerous instances of police beating people for not wearing masks also emerged, while protesters at one point freed a woman from police arrest while cops were trying to handcuff her for not wearing a face covering.

August 3, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

Spain’s Top Court Rules That Lockdown Was Unconstitutional

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | July 14, 2021

Spain’s top court has ruled that the country’s national COVID-19 lockdown was unconstitutional following a lawsuit filed by the populist Vox party.

“While leaving intact most of the state of emergency’s terms, the court said that the key articles ordering the population off the streets except for shorts trips for shopping and unavoidable commutes for work and other official business were unconstitutional,” reports the Associated Press.

“According to TVE, the ruling said that the limitations on movement violated citizens´ basic rights and therefore the state of emergency was insufficient to give them constitutional backing. The six magistrates said that a state of exception, which does allow the government to suspend basic rights, would have been necessary.”

During the first six weeks of the lockdown, stay at home measures were so strict that Spaniards weren’t even allowed to go outside to exercise or walk their dogs.

In one case, police were called after a neighbor spotted two brothers playing soccer in their own back yard.

As we previously highlighted, Spain’s lockdown laws were so draconian that at one point authorities briefly told citizens that wearing masks while swimming in the sea was mandatory.

For many months during hot weather, wearing masks in every outdoor setting, even on beaches, was compulsory.

People were also issued fines of €2,000 euros for “disrespecting” a police officer during lockdown.

Numerous instances of police beating people for not wearing masks also emerged, while protesters at one point freed a woman from police arrest while cops were trying to handcuff her for not wearing a face covering.

Early on during the first lockdown, police helicopters fitted with loudspeakers were also used to aggressively order beachgoers to go home.

The Spanish government many now face multiple lawsuits as a result of the lockdown being declared unlawful.

July 14, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

Spain allows Israeli agent to interrogate Palestinian journalist in Madrid

MEMO | April 15, 2021

The Spanish security services have allowed an Israeli agent from the Mossad spy agency to interrogate a Palestinian journalist seeking asylum, Wafa news agency has reported. The incident at the Civil Guard building in the capital has been condemned by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate.

The syndicate called on the Spanish government to assume its responsibilities by ensuring the security of Muath Hamid and his family. It also called for the Spanish authorities to open an investigation into what happened during the interrogation.

Spain’s Civil Guard is the oldest law enforcement agency in the country and “military in nature”. The journalists’ union said that it is suspected of being “complicit” with Mossad in allowing the Israeli agent to interrogate Hamid in its building. “This was a gross violation of international law, a violation of Spanish sovereignty and a threat to the journalist’s security and safety,” the syndicate insisted.

It added that the case is being followed closely in conjunction with the Union of Spanish Journalists, the Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, and the Spanish political and security authorities to ensure that Hamid is not subject to any harm or torture. The reporter for Al Araby TV and freelance contributor to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed is currently a refugee in Spain, where he lives with his wife and two children.

According to popular Spanish online newspaper Público last Friday, on 9 December Hamid received a telephone call from “Nicolás”, an officer on duty at the Civil Guard’s Spanish Information Services “Nicolás wanted to discuss Hamid’s work as a journalist, his past and his current life in Spain. This is a regular procedure for refugees and migrants.”

When the journalist went to meet “Nicolás” in Bilbao, he met another officer, Javier. “Hamid answered all the questions, explaining why he applied for asylum in Spain and describing his journey from Palestine to Europe through Turkey,” reported Público. “In early February, the young Palestinian journalist was summoned again by Nicolás… this time in the Spanish capital, Madrid.”

This time there was also another man in the room, allegedly named Omar, “who was introduced to him as a Palestinian. Hamid, however, immediately noticed his strong Israeli accent… and he decided to answer his questions in Hebrew.” Omar acknowledged that he was an Israeli, at which point Javier “left the room, leaving Muath in the hands of the supposed Mossad agent… who threatened the Palestinian journalist and his family, saying that they will never be allowed to go back to Palestine due to one of his journalistic investigations” related to the work of the Israeli spy agency.

Público sought comments and clarifications from the Israeli Embassy and the Civil Guard, as well as Spain’s Interior Ministry. It has received no replies.

April 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Spanish Court Dismisses Criminal Complaint against BDS Activists

Palestine Chronicle | January 24, 2021

The Provincial Court in Valencia, Spain, has definitively dismissed a criminal complaint against eight Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists who had questioned the invitation for Jewish American singer Matisyahu to take part in the Rototom Festival in 2015.

The Court’s decision has been praised by the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC), an NGO based in Amsterdam that defends and empowers the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe through legal means.

“This is another milestone victory for the right to freedom of expression for those who defend Palestinian rights in Spain,” said a spokesperson for the Centre.

The Court acknowledged in its hearing earlier this month that criticism of the Israeli government’s practices against the Palestinians does not constitute an incitement to hatred.

Objecting to a singer’s participation in a festival that is committed to respecting human rights, when the objections are based on his personal support for the practices of the State of Israel, the Court determined, is not a criminal act. It is, rather, reflective of a legitimate form of activism in support of Palestinian rights.

January 25, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Spain Rejects Extradition of Orlando Figuera’s Murderer – Black Chavista Burned Alive in 2017

Enzo Franchini Oliveros inside the red circle. File photo.
Orinoco Tribune | October 2, 2020

A Spanish Justice on Wednesday rejected the extradition of the Venezuelan Enzo Franchini Oliveros, who is requested in Venezuela for his participation, during the 2017 guarimbas, in the criminal action, where a group of people stabbed and burned alive 22-year-old Orlando Figuera, under the accusation of “being Chavista.”

The ruling issued by the Spanish National Court revokes the sentence adopted in June that ordered the extradition of Franchini on whom audiovisual evidence weighs that points at him as the material author of this action that resulted in the death of Figuera as a consequence of a cardiopulmonary arrest due to the collapse that registered his body after being stabbed six times and suffering for several days second and third degree burns in 54% of his body.

According to the EFE news agency, this judicial overturn, promoted by three magistrates, arises under the argument of understanding “the rational fear” of the accused, who alleged that in Venezuela his “fundamental rights” could be affected.

Contrary to this assertion, in the same ruling the rapporteur judges acknowledge that “the seriousness of the crime that motivates the extradition request (a hate crime) is undoubtedly considered,” while accepting the “lack of political connotations” in the extradition request on the part of the Venezuelan authorities.

They also acknowledge the absence of evidence that indicates a possible political persecution against Franchini by pointing out “the lack of data that allow us to conceive a special significance of the accused as an opposition political leader of the current Venezuelan government.”

Prior to this ruling, the first section of the Criminal Court of the National High Court agreed to extradite Franchini considering that all the requirements were met and after ruling out a motive of political persecution by not “glimpsing any element”, it stressed the importance of guaranteeing the application of justice against Franchini given “the connotation of the crime.”

(Ultimas Noticias)

October 9, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment