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October 02 2019

mr-absentia

Shooting of Children is never acceptable

Media statement from Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights, Oct. 2 2019

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«The Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights is deeply concerned by several police shooting incidents and the use of live rounds during demonstrations across Hong Kong on 1 October. In one incident, an 18-year-old school boy was hit in the chest by a live bullet fired from close range by a police officer in Tsuen Wan. We are deeply distressed and note that the secondary school student is still under serious conditions.

Our Committee does not accept the explanation of the Commissioner for Police, Stephen Lo to the media last night that “the officer made the right decision in a split second”. We worry that it would normalize police shooting in handling protesters, particularly those involving children and young persons.

Our Committee objects to any kind of violence and would like to call on restraint from all parties, and an immediate end to the escalating use of force. The Commissioner of Police must clearly instruct frontline police officers that any use of arms must strictly follow international standards and police guidelines.

It is imperative that the HKSAR Government must address the recent shooting incidents by commissioning an immediate independent inquiry to ease the public worries, and to mend the serious social conflicts right now in Hong Kong.»

September 19 2019

mr-absentia

UN: Act to End China’s Mass Detentions in Xinjiang

«“The magnitude of abuses allegedly occurring in Xinjiang demand uncompromising scrutiny from the Human Rights Council,” said Kenneth Roth, Executive Director at Human Rights Watch. “The Human Rights Council’s integrity demands that states not allow China to hide behind its membership or economic might to escape accountability.”

The Chinese authorities have detained Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims – outside any legal process – in “political education” camps for their perceived disloyalty to the government and Chinese Communist Party. In those camps, they are subjected to forced political indoctrination, renunciation of their faith, mistreatment, and, in some cases, torture. Numerous UN experts, treaty bodies, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have expressed grave concern about the situation in Xinjiang and called for unrestricted access to the region.

China has not responded positively to these requests. In December and January, the government arranged visits for some journalists and diplomats to what they claim to be mere “vocational training centers.” Following those visits, Chinese state media asserted that visitors found the conditions there “impress[ive]” and detainees “in good spirits.” “China has had multiple opportunities over the past year to answer serious questions about the horrendous situation in Xinjiang, and at every turn provided narratives that strain credibility,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International. “China should recognize that only an international fact-finding mission can separate facts from fiction and set the record straight.”»

mr-absentia

【PDF】 Xinjiang Joint Statement

«In July, 25 countries issued a joint statement on Xinjiang at the UN Human Rights Council that raised serious concerns about the arbitrary detention and intense surveillance that the predominantly Turkic Muslim population in Xinjiang has been subjected to in recent years.» — Human Rights Watch

October 25 2017

mr-absentia

OHCHR | UN independent expert urges Spanish Government to reverse decision on Catalan autonomy

“The Spanish Government appears to invoke the principle of territorial integrity to justify forceful attempts to silence political dissent and aspirations of self-determination. While the principle of territorial integrity is important, as understood in many United Nations Resolutions, including GA Resolutions 2625 and 3314, it is intended to be applied externally, to prohibit foreign threats or incursions into the territorial integrity of sovereign States. This principle cannot be invoked to quench the right of all people, guaranteed under Article 1 of the International Covenants on Human Rights, to express their desire to control their futures. The right of self-determination is a right of peoples and not a prerogative of States to grant or deny. In case of a conflict between the principle of territorial integrity and the human right to self-determination, it is the latter that prevails.”

“Of course, there are many peoples worldwide who aspire to self-determination, whether internal in the form of autonomy or external in the form of independence. And while the realization of self-determination is not automatic or self-executing, it is a fundamental human right that the international community should help implement.”

“The international law of self-determination has also progressed far beyond mere decolonization. Applying the 15 criteria contained in my 2014 report (paras 63-77), it is evident that no state can use the principle of territorial integrity to deny the right of self-determination and that arguments about the legality of actions taken by Catalonia’s elected parliament are immaterial. Such arguments do not nullify the ius cogens character of self-determination.”

August 07 2017

mr-absentia

Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our Government Has Never Apologized

from globalresearch.ca (August 5, 2017):

We, the undersigned, represent a coalition of concerned peace organizations and citizens of the United States who are advocating the importance of abolishing nuclear weapons globally, toward a more peaceful world. We are gathering here, in front of the office of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, with a bouquet of flowers to express our sincere regrets and apologies for the deaths of those killed by our nation’s atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a war crime and crime against humanity, although our government has never apologized. We wish to extend our deep condolences and apology to those atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) who have endured great mental and physical hardships for over seven decades as a result of the horrific bombings.

First, we appeal to Japan to play a leadership role in supporting and promoting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by the UN on July 7, 2017 with overwhelming support from 122 member states. It states clearly the prohibition from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. We urge that the Japanese government act in a timely fashion to complete the domestic legislative process, so that Japan can sign and ratify the treaty soon after it opens for signature at the UN in New York this September.

Hiroshima

After more than seven decades of nuclear deterrence policy, the global consensus undeniably agrees that the world has become more dangerous under such a policy. 122 member states clearly showed their common ground that peace cannot be achieved by the existence of nuclear weapons. We promise to keep raising our voices to press our own government, and call for signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, agreeing to begin to remove all the existing nuclear weapons from operational status and destroy them in accordance with this international document.

In addition, we are deeply troubled by the security implications of Japan’s stockpile of 48 tons of separated plutonium in conjunction with the start-up of Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, scheduled for late 2018, which will have an estimated capacity to separate up to an additional 8 tons of plutonium annually. Such a large stockpile of separated plutonium is a proliferation threat as well as a target to nuclear terrorism and could become a grave environmental disaster if another nuclear accident happens.

Rokkasho reprocessing plant

The reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel requires excessive costs. It has serious environmental concerns and safety risks to workers and local citizens, as we have seen at the Hanford Nuclear Site in the United States.

On July 17, 2018, the US-Japan Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement will mature. It will be automatically extended unless either the US or Japan notifies the other country six months prior to termination. We are deeply worried about the extending of this Agreement, and its impact on the security of the Northeast Asian region and the rest of the world.

Instead of extending the US-Japan Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement, we propose the US and Japan jointly cooperate to:

(1) Discuss alternative energy policies;

(2) Implement nuclear-free policies;

(3) Review issues associated with Japan’s existing stockpile of 48 tons of separated plutonium and analyze ways to store them safely and securely with independent third-party experts and all stakeholders, including those whose lands and waters are being put at risk;

(4) Conduct risk assessment and comprehensive reviews on reprocessing spent fuel in Japan; and,

(5) Supply and exchange information and technology on how to contain and monitor Japan’s plutonium stockpile and radioactive waste materials from nuclear facilities and nuclear accidents in order to keep them out of the food, water, air, and land of local citizens for future generations.

Victimized by the use of atomic bombs, Japan has also been a victim of the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident since Chernobyl, suffering from massive radiation leaks that have spread well into the Pacific Ocean; the evacuation of more than 150,000 people, most of whom haven’t yet been able to return home; and a rise in thyroid cancer among children, among some of the known adverse effects. The use of nuclear technology, whether military or civilian, comes with enormous risks and incalculable consequences. Effective global nuclear disarmament will not be possible as long as we allow commercial uses of plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

Finally, your constitution has an inspiring introduction clause which recognizes that “all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.” Japan has learned the benefits of a strong culture of peace, while the U.S. increasingly moves toward the economy of war. Article 9 of your peace constitution is more powerful and honorable than the possession of nuclear weapons. It is more persuasive than the policy of nuclear deterrence or a reliance on a “nuclear umbrella.”

Thus, our coalition calls on Japan to protect its peace constitution, discard its military reliance on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, and say NO to the extension of the US-Japan Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement in order to build a more humane and safer world, one free from the terror and fear of nuclear weapons.

NO MORE HIROSHIMA
NO MORE NAGASAKI
NO MORE WAR
NO MORE HIBAKUSHA
NEVER AGAIN!

August 4, 2017

Co-signed by:
Brooklyn for Peace, Catholic Worker NYC, Coalition Against Nukes, Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy (CIECP), Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space , Granny Peace Brigade, International Action Network on Small Arms, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NYC War Resisters League, Pax Christi Metro NY, Peace Action Fund of New York State, Peace Boat US, Radiation Exposure AwarenessCrusaders for Humanity-Marshall Islands, The Ribbon International, Veterans for Peace (National), Veterans for Peace – Chapter 34 (NYC), The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, The NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World, Beyond Nuclear

Endorsed by:
Cora Weiss (UN Representative of the International Peace Bureau), Carol Reilley Urner (Emerita, national DISARM/End War Issue Committee of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section), Norma Field (Author and emeritus professor of East Asian studies at the University of Chicago), Ann Wright (retired United States Army colonel), Barry Ladendorf (president of Veterans for Peace), Tarak Kauff (board member of Veterans for Peace), Bruce K. Gagnon (Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space), Regis Tremblay (independent filmmaker), Will Griffin (Peace Report, board member of Veterans for Peace), Mariko Bender (Child Advocate, WNSCR, Westport for Japan), Anthony Donovan (author/filmmaker), David McReynolds (former chairperson of WRL International), Priscilla Star (Coalition Against Nukes), Desmond Narain Doulatram (Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders for Humanity-Marshall Islands)

Contact info:
Veterans For Peace-Chapter 34 (NYC), P.O. Box 8150, New York, NY 10116-8150

Reposted byanti-nuclearswissfondue-interim

July 16 2017

mr-absentia

Seth Rich murder: one year anniversary

  • Family releases statement on the anniversary of Seth Rich's death, vigil held in DC (ABC7 via WJLA, Jul. 10 2017)

    “The family of murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich released a statement Monday morning on the one-year anniversary of his death.

    In the statement, the family says thank you for all the support they have received since Rich's murder as well as for the work done to establish scholarships in Rich's name.

    The family also thanked D.C. Police for their efforts as they continue to investigate Rich's murder, saying ‘While we are saddened that the crime has not been solved yet, we were aware early on, this was going to be a difficult case to solve.’

    Rich, 27, was shot in the back while walking home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood on July 10, 2016. This incident happened shortly before Wikileaks released emails which sparked the resignation of several party leaders on the eve of the Democratic Convention.”

  • Seth Rich: Family blasts ‘partisan’ investigations on 1st anniversary of DNC staffer’s death (RT Viral, Jul. 10 2017)

    “Rich, 27, was shot in the back and fatally injured while walking home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington D.C. on July 10 last year. The incident, which police investigators believe was a failed robbery attempt, has been a source of speculation among some people who believe the shooting is linked to the leaking of DNC emails.

    In a statement released on the one-year anniversary of Rich’s death, the family have pleaded for those investigating the case to ‘cease using Seth as a political football in predetermined partisan narratives.’

    The family adds: ‘The continual push of false and inaccurate information about Seth's death, along with the harassment of Seth's friends, family and co-workers, hurts those who were closest to Seth, and does nothing to bring justice to his killers.’

  • Silent Vigil For One Year Anniversary of Seth Rich Murder (Big League Politics, Jul. 10 2017)

    “The police initially ruled that the shooting was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police. He had bruises on his knees and his face. He was alive and able to communicate with emergency workers at the scene — though what he told them has never been made public.

    Despite the incident taking place on a street with many surveillance cameras, no footage was ever released to the public that may aid in identifying a suspect. Likewise, no dash or body camera footage has ever been published.

    Rich had been drinking alone at a bar called Lou’s City Bar in the hours leading up to his death. Police reportedly never questioned the staff on duty that evening.

    In June, tech mogul Kim Dotcom released a statement asserting that Rich was the source of the leaked emails, and that he had gone by the alias ‘Panda.’ Social media postings from both Rich and those closest to him reveal that he had an extreme fondness for the animals.

    ‘I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich,’ Kim wrote in his statement. ‘Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.

    I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.’

    Dotcom added that, ‘he wanted to change that from the inside.’”

    “In an interview last year, Assange also alluded to Rich having been the source of the earth shattering leaks, which exposed a massive plot to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.

    ‘Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington,’ Assange said during an interview with Dutch TV last year. When asked by the host if he would suggest that Rich was involved, he stated that ‘we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.’”

    “In a recently discovered video from the Election Data Summit in 2015, Rich was seen expressing concern about ballot integrity.

    ‘Seth Rich, with the DNC,’ he introduces himself, after clearing his throat. ‘I think some of you had spoken about provisional ballots and rejected ballots — I guess we have looked at, as an outside practitioner with a vested interest in training our voters, how do we get better access to data that tells us why ballots are rejected — why ballots are cast as provisional — so we can analyze that and develop better training guides?’

    The following year, nearly three months before Rich was killed, New York voters reported two highly suspicious voter purges that barred 120,000 people from being able to vote. The scandal lead to massive outcry from supporters of Sanders, who believed that the DNC was engaging in election fraud to nominate Hillary Clinton.”

July 15 2017

mr-absentia

Liu Xiaobo’s death an indelible blot in the history of Chinese Communist Party | International Campaign for Tibet

“Unfortunately, by not heeding to domestic and international humanitarian requests to respect the will of Liu Xiaobo to be treated abroad, the Chinese Government continues to clearly show that it does not deserve to be considered as a major world power as it purports to be. Furthermore, the tragic circumstances of Liu Xiaobo’s death will remain as an indelible blot in the history of China.”
mr-absentia

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Deeply Saddened by Liu Xiaobo's Passing Away July 14, 2017

“Although he is no longer living, the rest of us can best pay honor to Liu Xiaobo by carrying forward the principles he has long embodied, which would lead to a more harmonious, stable and prosperous China.”

June 25 2017

mr-absentia

翁長雄志知事の平和宣言 2017年6月23日

from huffingtonpost.jp:

70年目の6月23日を迎えました。私たちの郷土沖縄では、かつて史上稀に見る熾烈な地上戦が行われました。

20万人あまりの尊い命が犠牲となり、家族や友人など愛する人々を失った悲しみを、私たちは永遠に忘れることができません。それは私たち沖縄県民が、その目や耳、肌に戦のもたらす悲惨さを鮮明に記憶しているからであり、戦争の犠牲になられた方々の安らかであることを心から願い、恒久平和を切望しているからです。

戦後、私たちはこの思いを忘れることなく、復興と発展の道を力強く歩んで参りました。しかしながら国土面積の0.6%に過ぎない本県に日米安全保障体制を担う米軍専用施設の73.8%が集中し、依然として過重な基地負担が県民生活や本県の振興開発にさまざまな影響を与え続けています。

米軍再編に基づく普天間飛行場の辺野古への移設をはじめ、嘉手納飛行場より南の米軍基地の整理縮小がなされても、専用施設面積の全国に占める割合は0.7%しか縮小されず、返還時期も含め、基地負担の軽減とはほど遠いものであります。

沖縄の米軍の基地問題は我が国の安全保障の問題であり、国民全体で負担すべき重要な課題であります。特に普天間飛行場の辺野古移設については昨年の選挙で反対の民意が示されており、辺野古に新基地を作ることは困難であります。そもそも私たち県民の思いとは全く別に強制接収された「世界一危険」といわれる普天間飛行場の固定化は許されず、その危険性除去のため「辺野古に移設する。嫌なら沖縄が代替案を出しなさい」との考えは到底、県民には受け入れられるものではありません。国民の自由・平等・人権・民主主義が等しく保障されずして、平和の礎を築くことはできないのであります。

政府においては固定観念に縛られず、普天間基地を辺野古に移設する作業の中止を決断され、沖縄の基地負担を軽減する政策を再度見直されることを強く求めます。一方、私たちを取り巻く世界情勢は地域紛争やテロ、差別や貧困が基となり、多くの人が命を落としたり、人間としての尊厳が蹂躙されるなど、悲劇が今なお繰り返されています。このような現実にしっかりと向き合い、平和を脅かすさまざまな問題を解決するには、一人一人が積極的に平和を求める強い意志を持つことが重要であります。

戦後70年を迎えてアジアの国々を繋ぐ架け橋として活躍した先人たちの万国津梁(しんりょう)の精神を胸に刻み、これからも私たちはアジア太平洋地域の発展と平和の実現に向けて、努力して参ります。未来を担う子や孫のために誇りある豊かさをつくりあげ、時を超えていつまでも子供たちの笑顔が絶えない豊かな沖縄を目指します。慰霊の日にあたり、戦没者の御霊に心から哀悼の誠を捧げるとともに、沖縄が恒久平和の発信地として輝かしい未来の構築に向けて全力で取り組んでいく決意を、ここに表明します。

June 07 2017

mr-absentia
We are deeply concerned that the protesters target schools, hospitals, transport… Attempts have been made to take over the arsenals of military units, it is absolutely inadmissible.
— Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the opposition protests in Venezuela (via sputniknews.com)

June 23 2015

mr-absentia

US Nationalist Group Says South Carolina Shooter Had Legitimate Motives / Sputnik International

“The killing of nine African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina was wrong, but gunman Dylann Roof had some legitimate reasons for his actions, US conservative activist group the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) spokesperson Jared Taylor said on Monday, according to media reports.”

“‘We of course categorically condemn his act, but that doesn't mean his motives weren't entirely legitimate,’ Taylor was quoted as saying by ABC News.

The shooter reportedly relied on the CofCC’s distorted data on African-American rapists to partially validate his actions.

‘Even as we're speaking right now, a white woman is probably being raped by a black man. If we're going to have any kind of honest discussion of race in this country, you're going to have to talk about black-on-white violence.’”

Reposted byin-god-we-trustdarksideofthemoonbesenzerocool911

June 21 2015

mr-absentia

“On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story's circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed?

Today's release of the WikiLeaks ‘Saudi Cables’ from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it's done.

The oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its ruling family take a systematic approach to maintaining the country's positive image on the international stage. Most world governments engage in PR campaigns to fend off criticism and build relations in influential places. Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between.

Documents reveal the extensive efforts to monitor and co-opt Arab media, making sure to correct any deviations in regional coverage of Saudi Arabia and Saudi-related matters. Saudi Arabia's strategy for co-opting Arab media takes two forms, corresponding to the ‘carrot and stick’ approach, referred to in the documents as ‘neutralisation’ and ‘containment’. The approach is customised depending on the market and the media in question.”

Buying Silence: How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls Arab media

“Julian Assange, WikiLeaks publisher, said: ‘The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself.’

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hereditary dictatorship bordering the Persian Gulf. Despite the Kingdom's infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the United States and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivalled oil reserves. The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies. Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe. The Kingdom has since the 1960s played a major role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and dominates the global Islamic charity market.

For 40 years the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was headed by one man: Saud al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the world's longest-serving foreign minister. The end of Saud al Faisal's tenure, which began in 1975, coincided with the royal succession upon the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. Saud al Faisal's tenure over the Ministry covered its handling of key events and issues in the foreign relations of Saudi Arabia, from the fall of the Shah and the second Oil Crisis to the September 11 attacks and its ongoing proxy war against Iran. The Saudi Cables provide key insights into the Kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions. The cables also illustrate the highly centralised bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.”

WikiLeaks publishes the Saudi Cables

June 13 2015

mr-absentia
ロシアのスプートニクが20日水曜に伝えたところによりますと、ラブロフ大臣は、日本の北方領土に関する立場を批判するとともに、「日本は第2次世界大戦のすべての結果を受け入れているが、北方領土に関しては国際法規に沿った事実を認めていない … 日本は第2次世界大戦の結果に疑問を呈する、唯一の国であり、ほかにこのような行動を取る国は存在しないといえる」と述べました
ロシア外相が北方領土に関する日本の立場を批判 (IRIB Japanese Radio 2015年5月20日)

May 31 2015

mr-absentia

“As we all know, on Friday FIFA was to elect its president, and Mr Blatter has every chance to be re-elected. We are aware of the pressure that was put on him to prevent the 2018 World Cup in Russia. We know of his views, which have nothing to do with any special relations between FIFA and Russia. This is his general principled position: it’s not right to mix sports and politics. Moreover, he believes sport should have a positive influence on politics and serve as a platform for dialogue, for reconciliation and a search for solutions. I believe this is the right position.

As for the arrests that were made, it seems strange in the very least as the arrests were conducted on the basis of corruption charges made by the American side. Whom did they charge? International officers. It may be possible that some of them did something wrong, I do not know, but the USA definitely have nothing to do with this. These officers are not United States’ citizens, and if anything did happen, it did not happen on the territory of the United States and the USA have nothing to do with it. This is yet another obvious attempt to spread their jurisdiction to other states. I have no doubt that this is obviously an attempt to prevent Mr Blatter’s re-election to the post of FIFA President, which is a grave violation of the principles that international organisations function on.

Meanwhile, according to our media, the United States Attorney General has already stated that these officers of the FIFA executive committee have committed a crime, as though he [sic] as a prosecutor is unaware of the presumption of innocence. Only a court can find a person guilty or not guilty, and only after that can anyone say anything, even if we assume that the United States have a reason to extradite those people, though the actions occurred on third party territory.

We are aware of the position of the United States regarding the former special services employee Mr Snowden, who was a National Security Agency employee and who made public the illegal practice of the United States practically all over the world, including tapping the phones of foreign leaders. Everybody is discussing this, including in Europe, but nobody wants to grant him asylum, guarantee his security, nobody wants to quarrel with their partners, with their senior partners.

This may be understandable, as Mr Snowden is a former security service employee and a citizen of the United States. What about Mr Assange, who has been forced to hide at a foreign embassy for several years? This is almost like being imprisoned. What is he persecuted for? For sexual crimes? Nobody believes that, you do not believe that either. He is being persecuted for spreading the information he received from US military regarding the actions of the USA in the Middle East, including Iraq.

Why did I bring this up now? Unfortunately, our American partners use these methods for their own ulterior purposes. They are illegally persecuting people. I do not rule out the possibility that the same goes for this situation with FIFA. Although I do not know what this will result in, but the fact that this is happening on the eve of elections of the FIFA president leads one to think so.”

— Comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation with FIFA (kremlin.ru, May 28 2015)

Reposted byin-god-we-trust02mydafsoup-01verschwoerer
mr-absentia
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full statement on the FIFA scandal is available in which he also commented on the US actions against Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
— from @wikileaks (May 30 2015)

May 29 2015

mr-absentia
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Putin said that the detentions made just days before presidental elections for the soccer governing body were clearly an attempt to prevent current boss Sepp Blatter from being reappointed for a fifth term. He has governed FIFA since 1998. ... [Putin claimed] that the U.S. was illegally trying to influence matters way outside its jurisdiction. ‘This is yet one more attempt to try and impose their law against other states. I am absolutely sure that this is an attempt to try and stop Blatter from being re-elected as FIFA president, which is a grave breach of the principles of a functioning international organization,’ he said.
Vladimir Putin Accuses US of Meddling Over FIFA Arrests (teleSUR English, May 29 2015)

May 19 2015

mr-absentia

Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan

For introduction and the names of signatories, see the JapanForcus webpage.

The undersigned scholars of Japanese studies express our unity with the many courageous historians in Japan seeking an accurate and just history of World War II in Asia. Because Japan is a second home as well as a field of research for many of us, we write with a shared concern for the way that the history of Japan and East Asia is studied and commemorated.

In this important commemorative year, we also write to celebrate seventy years of peace between Japan and its neighbors. Postwar Japan’s history of democracy, civilian control of the military, police restraint, and political tolerance, together with contributions to science and generous aid to other countries, are all things to celebrate as well.

Yet problems of historical interpretation pose an impediment to celebrating these achievements. One of the most divisive historical issues is the so-called “comfort women” system. This issue has become so distorted by nationalist invective in Japan as well as in Korea and China that many scholars, along with journalists and politicians, have lost sight of the fundamental goal of historical inquiry, which should be to understand the human condition and aspire to improve it.

Exploitation of the suffering of former “comfort women” for nationalist ends in the countries of the victims makes an international resolution more difficult and further insults the dignity of the women themselves. Yet denying or trivializing what happened to them is equally unacceptable. Among the many instances of wartime sexual violence and military prostitution in the twentieth century, the “comfort women” system was distinguished by its large scale and systematic management under the military, and by its exploitation of young, poor, and vulnerable women in areas colonized or occupied by Japan.

There is no easy path to a “correct history.” Much of the archive of the Japanese imperial military was destroyed. The actions of local procurers who provided women to the military may never have been recorded. But historians have unearthed numerous documents demonstrating the military’s involvement in the transfer of women and oversight of brothels. Important evidence also comes from the testimony of victims. Although their stories are diverse and affected by the inconsistencies of memory, the aggregate record they offer is compelling and supported by official documents as well as by the accounts of soldiers and others.

Historians disagree over the precise number of “comfort women,” which will probably never be known for certain. Establishing sound estimates of victims is important. But ultimately, whether the numbers are judged to have been in the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands will not alter the fact of the exploitation carried out throughout the Japanese empire and its war zones.

Some historians also dispute how directly the Japanese military was involved, and whether women were coerced to become “comfort women.” Yet the evidence makes clear that large numbers of women were held against their will and subjected to horrific brutality. Employing legalistic arguments focused on particular terms or isolated documents to challenge the victims’ testimony both misses the fundamental issue of their brutalization and ignores the larger context of the inhumane system that exploited them.

Like our colleagues in Japan, we believe that only careful weighing and contextual evaluation of every trace of the past can produce a just history. Such work must resist national and gender bias, and be free from government manipulation, censorship, and private intimidation. We defend the freedom of historical inquiry, and we call upon all governments to do the same.

Many countries still struggle to acknowledge past injustices. It took over forty years for the United States government to compensate Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II. The promise of equality for African Americans was not realized in US law until a century after the abolition of slavery, and the reality of racism remains ingrained in American society. None of the imperial powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the United States, the European nations, and Japan, can claim to have sufficiently reckoned with their histories of racism, colonialism, and war, or with the suffering they inflicted on countless civilians around the world.

Japan today values the life and rights of every individual, including the most vulnerable. The Japanese government would not tolerate the exploitation of women in a system like the military “comfort stations” now, either overseas or at home. Even at the time, some officials protested on moral grounds. But the wartime regime compelled absolute sacrifice of the individual to serve the state, causing great suffering to the Japanese people themselves as well as to other Asians. No one should have to suffer such conditions again.

This year presents an opportunity for the government of Japan to show leadership by addressing Japan’s history of colonial rule and wartime aggression in both words and action. In his April address to the US Congress, Prime Minister Abe spoke of the universal value of human rights, of the importance of human security, and of facing the suffering that Japan caused other countries. We applaud these sentiments and urge the Prime Minister to act boldly on all of them.

The process of acknowledging past wrongs strengthens a democratic society and fosters cooperation among nations. Since the equal rights and dignity of women lie at the core of the “comfort women” issue, its resolution would be a historic step toward the equality of women and men in Japan, East Asia and the world.

In our classrooms, students from Japan, Korea, China and elsewhere discuss these difficult issues with mutual respect and probity. Their generation will live with the record of the past that we bequeath them. To help them build a world free of sexual violence and human trafficking, and to promote peace and friendship in Asia, we must leave as full and unbiased an accounting of past wrongs as possible.

May 08 2015

mr-absentia

March 21 2015

mr-absentia

ALBA and Non-Aligned Movement Reject US Aggressions Against Venezuela, Call for Dialogue | venezuelanalysis.com

Two multilateral bodies, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), joined the international chorus condemning President Obama's executive order targeting Venezuela this week.

The executive decree, which declares Venezuela an "unusual and extraordinary threat" and imposes further sanctions against top Bolivarian officials, was also firmly rejected on Saturday by the twelve South American nations that make-up UNASUR. ...

March 20 2015

mr-absentia
フランス通信によりますと、オバマ大統領は19日木曜、イランの新年ノウルーズに際して、イランの人々や指導部にメッセージを寄せ、「イランと6カ国の核協議は、イランとアメリカにとって、両国の関係を改善するためのこの数十年で最高の機会だ」としました。
オバマ大統領は、「この機会は再びすぐにはやってこない可能性がある。私は、我々の国民がこの問題の平和的解決に向けた歴史的な機会を享受していると考えている。我々はこの機会を逃すべきではない」と述べました。
さらに、「今後しばらくは非常に重要なときだ。今も核協議には対立が残されている」としました。
オバマ大統領は「イランと6カ国の核協議は進展している」とも述べています。
さらに、「今年はイランとアメリカのこれまでとは異なる関係を追求するための、数十年で最高の機会である」としています
アメリカ大統領が,イランの新年に際してメッセージ (IRIB Japanese Radio 2015年3月20日)
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