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November 21 2019

mr-absentia

@wikileaks: While the world knows Julian's name has been cleared in Sweden, he is sitting in a cell in Belmarsh prison, probably unaware of the news. The Prison cancelled all visits today. Don´t Extradite Assange!

October 24 2019

mr-absentia

Assange in Court - Craig Murray

«I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.»

«For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to this, Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.»

«Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

“I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.”

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.»

June 01 2019

mr-absentia

Assange exposed to severe abuse - UN expert


GENEVA (31 May 2019) A UN expert who visited Julian Assange in a London prison says he fears his human rights could be seriously violated if he is extradited to the United States and condemned the deliberate and concerted abuse inflicted for years on the Wikileaks co-founder.

“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture.

“I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” said Melzer, who was also following up on earlier concerns for Assange’s health.

Although Assange is not held in solitary confinement, the Special Rapporteur said he is gravely concerned that the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and his lack of access to case files and documents make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence in any of the complex legal proceedings piling up against him.

“Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards getting Mr. Assange extradited to the United States for prosecution, raising serious concern over the criminalisation of investigative journalism in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights law,” Melzer said.

“Since then, there has been a relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr. Assange, not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Sweden and, more recently, Ecuador.” According to the expert, this included an endless stream of humiliating, debasing and threatening statements in the press and on social media, but also by senior political figures, and even by judicial magistrates involved in proceedings against Assange.

“In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.”

Melzer was accompanied during his prison visit on 9 May by two medical experts specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment. The team

were able to speak with Assange in confidence and to conduct a thorough medical assessment

“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years,” the expert said. “Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” the expert said. “Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr. Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity,” the expert said. “By displaying an attitude of complacency at best, and of complicity at worst, these governments have created an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr. Assange’s uninhibited vilification and abuse.”

In official letters sent earlier this week, Melzer urged the four involved governments to refrain from further disseminating, instigating or tolerating statements or other activities prejudicial to Assange’s human rights and dignity and to take measures to provide him with appropriate redress and rehabilitation for past harm. He further appealed to the British Government not to extradite Assange to the United States or to any other State failing to provide reliable guarantees against his onward transfer to the United States. He also reminded the United Kingdom of its obligation to ensure Assange’s unimpeded access to legal counsel, documentation and adequate preparation commensurate with the complexity of the pending proceedings.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Melzer said. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!” 

Reposted fromFreeminder23 Freeminder23 viawikileaks wikileaks

June 23 2017

mr-absentia

‘US grills inmates in secret UAE-run jails in Yemen’

“The Associated Press documented at least 18 secret jails across southern Yemen run by the UAE or by Yemeni militia loyal to the former Yemeni government, where prisoners face extreme abuse and torture on a routine basis.

On Wednesday, senior US defense officials confirmed that the American forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights violations.

Several torturing methods are being used at the jails, including the ‘grill’ in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spins in a circle of fire, according to the report.

Former inmates released from one main detention facility at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, said they were crammed into shipping containers covered with feces and blindfolded for weeks. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the ‘grill,’ and sexually abused.

‘The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber,’ said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport.

So far, over 400 men have disappeared after being swept up in Mukalla.

The UAE secret jail network in Yemen was established during former US president Barack Obama’s administration and still continues its operations, according to the report.”

mr-absentia

イエメン外相,「サウジは,イエメンで戦争犯罪を行っている」 - Pars Today

Yemen foreign minister: Saudi Arabia is sending POWs to US/UAE ships on the Red Sea and interrogating them with torture. Saudi war crime.

“シャラフ外相は、プレスTVの取材に対し、「サウジアラビア軍は、紅海に停泊するアメリカやアラブ首長国連邦の船舶に、拘束した捕虜たちの身柄を移し、拷問により彼らを取り調べている」と語りました。

さらに、「サウジアラビアは、捕虜たちを収監し、拷問にかけてから、偽りの声明に対する署名を迫っているが、このやり方はイラクのアブーゴライブ刑務所や、キューバのグアンタナモ刑務所を想起させるものだ」と述べています。

また、「イエメン救国政府の主な戦略は、恒久的な平和の追求である」とし、各都市への空爆の停止や、陸、空、海からの包囲の解除、首都サヌア国際空港の再開、そして侵略者の代表としてのサウジアラビアとの協議を含めた停戦の実施を強調しました”

March 13 2015

mr-absentia
In a Guardian op-ed, Chelsea Manning called on CIA torturers and those who approved torture to be held legally accountable for their actions.
— from @wikileaks (Mar. 9 2015)

December 15 2014

mr-absentia
«Donald Rumsfeld und Dick Cheney gehören vor Gericht, ebenso George W. Bush»: Das sagt Dick Marty, der seit Jahren die Anti-Terror-Politik der Bush-Administration anprangert. ... Marty ist nicht überrascht vom Inhalt des CIA-Folterberichts des US-Senats. Dabei erlaubt er sich eine sarkastische Bemerkung: «Meinen Bericht nannten meine Kritiker einen Roman, den Bericht des Senats nenne ich jetzt ein Plagiat.» Wichtig in der Sache sei jedoch, dass der Senat selber festgestellt habe, dass die Verhöre der CIA nicht nur brutal und illegal gewesen seien, sondern auch unwirksam und kontraproduktiv.
«Rumsfeld, Bush und Cheney gehören vor Gericht» (via @in-god-we-trust)

August 06 2014

mr-absentia

August 03 2014

mr-absentia

May 10 2014

mr-absentia

December 14 2013

mr-absentia

Video exposé of PAP violence reinforces Tibetan grievances (Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Dec. 13 2013)

Earlier this year, TCHRD released a manual from the People’s Armed Police (PAP) that described how many members of the PAP are suffering from nightmares and flashbacks as a result of the treatment they inflicted upon Tibetans in 2008. Now, a video of eight senior PAP firefighters beating five young recruits in Inner Mongolia has gone viral in the PRC.

The over 15-minute long video shows the young PAP officers being beaten while forced to stand at attention. They are slapped, punched and kicked. One victim was kicked by two of his abusers while he lay on the ground. Others are kneed, knocked against a wall, and have their heads slammed against the wall. The senior members of the PAP also beat the victims with belts and sticks that they broke over the victim’s heads. After seven minutes some of the victims clearly had trouble getting back to their feet and standing.

The video quickly became one of the most searched for items on PRC’s most popular search engine. The Chinese public was shocked to see the members of their domestic military acting like “hooligans” and being “cruel to their own compatriots.” However, for Tibetans this sort of treatment is expected and an inevitable part of any detention by the PRC. During pre-sentencing detention, in prison, and in PRC’s extrajudicial detention centers, Tibetans are routinely beaten not only with fists, sticks, and belts, but also with chairs and electric batons. While the video shows some instances of compassion—for Tibetans there is none. After their beatings Tibetans are returned to solitary confinement, overcrowded cells, or labor and given a starvation diet.

On another level the public’s revulsion at the video demonstrates both the strength and weakness of the PRC. That the public was surprised at the conduct of the PAP, who some thought of as “the most loveable people,” demonstrates that the PRC has effectively hidden from its own people how Tibetans are treated. More importantly, it demonstrates that the PRC is unable to keep the horrific treatment it inflicts on Tibetans and other ethnic minorities away from the Chinese people. Torture cannot be contained. As one commentator of Weibo, the PRC’s twitter service, asked, “If you treat your own comrades like that, how do you treat others?” The PAP treats Tibetans so severely that the PAP officers suffer from nightmares and flashbacks.

The local government responded to the video by claiming that it had suspended the people involved and launched an investigation. This is unlikely to change the PAP’s conduct but proves that public attention can achieve some incremental progress. If the PRC is going to abolish torture, and the conduct that horrified its citizens, it must take action to abolish torture where it is most entrenched, such as in Tibet. If the PRC will not or cannot abolish torture, as it committed itself to in the 3rd Plenum Decision, the treatment in the video will be inflicted not only upon Tibetans and PAP officers but any person who is unfortunate enough to fall into the PAP’s clutches.

October 01 2013

mr-absentia
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and head of UNSMIL, Tarek Mitri, said that the prevailing situation of arbitrary detention and torture ‘runs against the very goals of the 17th of February Revolution of making a clean break with the systematic human rights violations of the former regime.’
Despite Government efforts, torture widespread in Libya’s detention centres – UN report (United Nations News Centre, Oct. 1 2013)
Tags: Libya Torture UN

June 07 2013

mr-absentia

国連人権高等弁務官事務所第50回拷問禁止委員会 - kmiura - 従軍慰安婦問題を論じる

勧告のドラフトが2013年5月31日付で公表された。以下、軍慰安婦に関する部分を抜粋して示す。結論部分にある(b)では「被害者を再び悪夢に陥れることのないように政府高官や公人は繰り返し事実を否定することをやめるべし」(c)では、関連する史料を公開し事実をしっかり精査せよ、と勧告している。1993年の河野談話以来、多くのあらたな事実が歴史家たちの努力によって明らかになっているにもかかわらず、その時代遅れな河野談話さえも否定しようとする努力を続けさらにその昔に戻ろうとしている人々に対しての勧告である。 ...

January 05 2013

mr-absentia

BBC News - Nepal's Colonel Kumar Lama charged in UK with torture

Col Lama is currently employed as a UN peace keeper in Sudan, but was visiting the UK when he was arrested.

The Metropolitan Police had investigated information supplied by a third party in the UK relating to allegations of torture.

Detectives with specialist experience of war crimes arrested the officer under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act, a law that defines torture as a "universal jurisdiction" crime. This means that suspects can face trial before a British court even if their alleged offences had nothing to do with the UK.

He is accused of committing crimes during Nepal's civil war, in which more than 16,000 people died.

The decade-long war, which ended in 2006, generated allegations of human rights atrocities against both the army and Maoist rebels.

Nepal says Britain is breaching its sovereignty by carrying out the arrest.

  • Nepal: A Warning to Rights Abusers (Human Rights Watch, Jan. 4 2013)

    The Nepal authorities have failed to file a single prosecution in civilian courts concerning war crimes, including torture, despite numerous cases in which evidence has been presented to the authorities by victims, their families, and national and international organizations.

    Although torture is not a specific crime in Nepal, the Nepali government is bound by international law to ensure that serious international crimes such as torture are investigated and those responsible are prosecuted. The failure to prosecute these cases also contradicts the Nepal government’s public pronouncements about delivering justice for wartime atrocities and orders of the Nepali Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute wartime abuse cases. Several people alleged to be responsible for these abuses from both the Nepali security forces and the former Maoist insurgents have been promoted, some to positions in which they can directly interfere in criminal investigations.

    The UK provides significant military assistance to Nepal. At the same time, it has prioritized human rights and the rule of law in its bilateral support to the country. Human Rights Watch and others had previously called on the UK government to end contacts with alleged human rights abusers and to press the Nepali Army to cooperate with investigations into crimes alleged to have been committed by its forces during the country’s armed conflict.

    “The arrest of the Nepali army officer sends a strong and important signal that the UK takes its international obligation to hold torturers accountable for atrocity crimes seriously, even if Nepal does not,” [HRW Asia director Brad] Adams said. “The UK’s move should remind those accused of rights abuses the world over that they can run, but it’s getting a lot harder for them to hide.”

December 10 2012

mr-absentia

‘Tibet’s children victims of torture for political and religious beliefs,’ says new report

The 29-page report [Growing up under China’s occupation: the plight of Tibet’s children, released by Free Tibet and Tibet Watch] finds that children involved in non-violent protests have been subjected to violence, including in some instances the use of lethal force by Chinese authorities and further documents China’s “frequent, systematic and severe violations” of its commitments under international law.

The report notes that over two thirds of the 95 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama are younger than 25 and have only ever known life under Chinese rule.

“A number of children, Tibetans under 18 years of age, have set themselves on fire in protest, some of whom have been confirmed dead,” the report says. “These acts of self-immolation are driven by the lack of recourse to freedom of expression, political or legal redress and must be seen as evidence that China's policies are not only failing Tibet's children and young people but China’s policies in Tibet are directly causing serious violations of the Convention.”

The report details multiple cases of children’s rights abuse and documents Tibetan children beaten, shot, imprisoned and killed for standing up for their rights; children orphaned, threatened and assaulted because their families resist China’s occupation; children denied the right to learn their language and culture, and “educated” to be second-class citizens in their own country; and children defying the authorities by demonstrating, sharing information, and even burning themselves to death.

Releasing the report, Free Tibet and Tibet Watch Director Stephanie Bridgen said “normal life and normal childhood” doesn’t exist in militarily occupied Tibet.

“The children of Tibet face all the challenges of life under occupation, and in many cases are full participants in the struggle to resist it,” Bridgen said. “That means they are also victims of the systematic and ever-present abuse of human rights in Tibet. On Human Rights Day, we hope we have been able to shine a light on victims whose suffering and struggle is rarely seen.”

March 18 2012

mr-absentia

Mauritania: Surrender Abdullah Sanussi to ICC | Human Rights Watch

The ICC judges granted arrest warrants on June 27, 2011, for Sanussi, as well as Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam. The three were wanted for crimes against humanity for attacks on civilians, including peaceful demonstrators, in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and other locations in Libya. The ICC warrants apply only to events in Libya beginning on February 15, 2011.

The ICC's proceeding against Muammar Gaddafi was terminated following his death on October 20, but anti-Gaddafi forces apprehended Saif al-Islam Gaddafi on November 19 in southern Libya and are holding him in the town of Zintan. Government officials say they will try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in Libya for his role during the government’s 2011 crackdown and prior corruption.

Dozens of other senior Gaddafi-era officials and their relatives are in custody, held either by the official government authorities or militias around the country, the latter having no legal authority to hold detainees. The majority of these detainees have not had access to a lawyer or been brought before a judge.

Human Rights Watch has long called for the militias in Libya to hand all their detainees over to the competent government authorities.

Human Rights Watch has also documented mistreatment in detention in Tripoli and Misrata. Last month, a Libyan diplomat who served as ambassador to France died apparently from torture after he was detained by a Tripoli-based militia from the town of Zintan. Libya’s former prime minister, Abuzaid Dorda, was badly injured in a fall he sustained in October while detained by a militia in Tripoli. Human Rights Watch has also called on the Tunisian authorities to decline ordering the extradition to Libya of Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, the former Libyan prime minister, due to a real risk of torture.

“At this point, we doubt that Libya can provide a fair trial for Abdullah Sanussi,” [HRW international justice director Richard] Dicker said. “For justice, and for Libyans to understand the tragedies of their past, Mauritania should hand him to the ICC.”

February 16 2012

mr-absentia

January 27 2012

mr-absentia

Libya: Detainees Tortured and Denied Medical Care | Doctors Without Borders

Detainees in the Libyan city of Misrata are being tortured and denied urgent medical care, leading the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to suspend its operations in detention centers in Misrata, MSF announced today.

January 24 2012

mr-absentia

Chinese dissident tells of torture, seeks US asylum

Yu Jie, 38, author of a book critical of Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao and also a close associate of jailed Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo announced of his intentions at a press conference held in Washington on Wednesday.

In a press statement describing the torture and persecution he underwent for over a year at the hands of state police, Yu said he was detained several times in the past year and beaten so badly that he passed out.

Yu said he was hooded and taken away by plainclothes officers to an undisclosed location on December 9, 2010, the day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

"They stripped off all my clothes and pushed me, naked, to the ground, and kicked me maniacally. They also had a camera and were taking pictures as I was being beaten, saying with glee that they would post the naked photos online," Yu said.

"They forced me to kneel and slapped me over a hundred times in the face. They even forced me to slap myself … They also kicked me in the chest and then stood on me after I had fallen to the ground."

Following his initial arrest, Yu said he was put under close surveillance with state officials curtailing his freedom of movement.

"After over a year of inhumane treatment and painful struggle, I had no choice but to leave China," he said.

“I cannot publish any work, neither articles nor books. Other people are also barred from mentioning me in their public articles”.

December 14 2011

Nato ignoring alledged torture by Uzbek ally says human rights group - Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk

Nato ignoring alledged torture by Uzbek ally says human rights group
Telegraph.co.uk
Britain, the United States and other Western powers are virtually ignoring torture in Uzbekistan because the former Soviet state is now a vital ally in their war in Afghanistan, a leading human rights group has said. By James Kilner, Almaty The Foreign ...
Uzbekistan: Human Rights Crisis Deepens, Group SaysHuffington Post
Uzbekistan torture ignored by the west, say human rights groupThe Guardian
Rights group says Uzbekistan denying basic legal rights, torture widespreadWashington Post

all 132 news articles »
Reposted fromsigalonhumanrights sigalonhumanrights
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