Statement by Journalist Support Committee The Journalists Support Committee in Yemen, with deep regret, continues to pursue the media blackout imposed by the coalition governments upon Yemen. The coalition has prevented foreign journalists from entering Yemeni grounds, therefore, preventing media coverage of the dire and dangerous conditions in Yemen. The committee notes that the Yemeni authorities -who are led by the internationally recognized president- and the Saudis have consistently restricted journalists from entering Yemen, with excuses that do not match with human rights laws and other international treaties, charters, and conventions or with the preamble of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Committee draws attention to the coalition preventing cargo planes carrying aid and belonging to the United Nations from reaching Yemen in September because the plane had journalists on board. Ahmad Ibn Al-Aswad, the spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen said: ‘The coalition reckons that it is not possible to assure the safety of the journalists in areas controlled by the rebels’ he then advised them to board commercial flights instead.
Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times, Fascist Franco may have been dead for more than four decades, but Spain is still encumbered with his dictatorial corpse. A new paradigm has been coined right inside the lofty European Union, self-described home/patronizing dispenser of human rights to lesser regions across the planet: ‘In the name of democracy, refrain from voting, or else.’ Call it democracy nano-Franco style.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.
Yes. Since December 2016, all visitors to the U. S. under the ‘Visa Waiver Program’ (VWP) have been asked to identify the social media IDs they use to the Department of State on the online ESTA form. In several recent notices in the Federal Register, and in official statements in response to questions about those notices, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it already searches for and reviews information about individuals from social media.
Why is the U. S. singling out immigrants and visitors for this surveillance? The U. S. government is targeting foreigners first because they are legally more vulnerable. Under U. S. law, foreign visitors and immigrants have often been held to have fewer rights than U. S. citizens. We don’t think this is the way it ought to be, and we don’t think this is even a correct reading of the U. S. Constitution and the human rights treaties that the U. S. has ratified. But this is often the way that courts have ruled. Most acts of terrorism in the U. S., like most crimes of any sort, are committed by U. S. citizens. Most of those criminals are white, and most of them are Christian, not that this should matter either. In practice, the government knows that it is more likely to be able to get away with surveillance of foreigners – on social media or in any other realm – than with surveillance that targets U. S. citizens equally or that focuses on, say, white Christian nationalist sources of terrorism.
The Spanish state police violence have turned against the people showing that they are clearly still a fascist reign supported by troops. Riot officers have been firing rubber bullets at crowds protesting in a Barcelona street, sending people running for cover. Countless are injured. This demonstrates that Spain is not a place for investment and one should be very cautious about even buying a house in Spain after this display of ruthless authoritarianism. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy has demonstrated he is a fascist and this is EXACTLY the type of person that caused the American Revolution. We should all take pause and read just the first two paragraphs of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. The King sent a whole army to his house to kill him for writing these words. He was warned the army was coming and told to flee into the hills which he did. I fully disagree with Donald Trump for supporting Rajoy. That has been a total disgrace and Trump needs to study history.
Just look around the world and throughout recent history, and you will find a number of compelling cases where western-backed NGOs have been frequently acted as enablers for the military interventions, sanctions and economic blockades that followed. Look at Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iran and Sudan – all were given the ‘human rights’ treatment prior to aggressive western actions. In most cases, claims of human rights violations and exaggerated atrocity reports preceded western action.
Camille Otrakji Creative Syria – 2015 [Editor’s note: this article was written in 2015] ‘America and France should broaden their outreach to Syrian dissidents, human rights groups, artists, professors – indeed, almost anyone who’s willing to talk with outsiders. They should convey the message that the West is standing with the Syrian people as they move into the future. When Syria is truly ripe for change, these helping hands can ensure a safe passage.’ ~ David Ignatius, a 2005 article titled ‘Careful with Syria’ The ‘America and France’ that Mr. Ignatius called on to motivate Syrians to rebel against their government was actually a group of westerners residing in Damascus: Diplomats, NGO management and staff, resident journalists and professional photographers, students studying Arabic in Damascus. Not all of course, but many. There are three different headings under which countries in the Middle East are classified as far as the United States is concerned; Most valuable allies; Israel and Saudi Arabia Well-behaved allies; Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt (and many more) Pressure/destabilization targets; Syria, and Iran. If Syria’s authoritarian leadership (‘regime’) had an inherent propensity to distrust the intentions of resident foreigners eager to befriend Syrians, their extensive experience with the consequences of such contacts turned their caution into paranoia. They would question or detain anyone who travels to attend private meetings, workshops or conferences without prior arrangements with the Syrian security services. Syrians who frequently visited foreign embassies in Damascus (4thof July events, dinners at Ambassador’s house …etc.) were never trusted again.
The Spanish government is facing the real moment of truth. It is displaying that it is by no means concerned about human rights nor is it a true democratic system. Spain has reverted to Franco fascism as now more than 40,000 people have gathered in Barcelona to protest over the Catalan independence vote being shut down as the Spanish Government sends in 16,500 troops to deal with the activists. This is showing just how far out of touch this entire EU anti-democratic government has gone. The people no longer matter – the elite know what is best for them. This is 86 years from the beginning of the Second Republic in Spain so 2017 is precisely on target for this type of civil unrest. What this is demonstrating is the old adage – the king is dead, long live the king. No matter what form of government takes power, it will ALWAYS, and without exception, seek to act only in its own self-interest precisely as Thrasymachus argued against Socrates.
Purveyor of platitudes, the West portrays itself as the epitome of universal values . A paragon of democracy, this champion of human rights always deploys its presumed virtues in support of its hegemonic ambitions. Like the Fairy Godmother, doing her best to match her morals with her interests, she veils her ambitions with the cloak of Law and Justice. Thus, the ‘Free World’ goes about bombing foreign nations for the sake of ‘democracy’, preferably in oil or mineral-rich territories. By combining a simple creed with capitalist greed, it is acting as if it can convert its economic supremacy into moral privilege. The rest of the world is not fooled by these tactics, but who cares? The ‘Free World’ is always right because it represents the ‘good fight’ and for as long as it is the most powerful, it will not be contradicted. The inherent barbarism that it projects onto others is the counter to its self-proclaimed monopoly on ‘civilization’. Sanctified by the holy order of ‘right to intervene’, a marriage of the GI sandbags with the Kouchner-style bag of rice, the West, vassalized by Washington, believes wholeheartedly that they can save the world by subjugating it to the pitiless ravages demanded by the financial vultures and military industrial complex.
The article should be entitled: The Rakine State refugee crisis or the Burmese/Bengali refugee crisis. But readers will be more familiar with headings such as Rohingya refugee crisis or Rohingya genocide. Why is that? On the 25th of August a Saudi-backed terrorist group Arakanese Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA formerly Harakah Al Rakin) attacked thirty police stations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, murdering 12 security forces and two civilians . The Burmese government responded with a full-scale military counter-insurgency operation. 59 insurgents were killed. Burmese authorities leaked information which proves that ARSA leader Ullah Ata had planned the attack with help from outside agents in Pakistani intelligence and ISIS terrorists in Iraq. Supporters of ARSA and the Rohingya cause accuse the Burmese military (Tatmadaw) of burning down Rohingya(Eastern Bengali) villages. The Tatmadaw say the villages have been burned by the terrorists, embedded among the illegal Bengali immigrant communities. Thousands of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus have fled the violence. Many Buddhist eye witnesses and victims have described massacres committed by Bengali terrorists to local journalists in Myanmar. The stories have not made international headlines. Human rights agencies financed by the US State-Department and Saudi Arabia, such as Human Rights Watch have blamed all of the violence on the Tatmadaw.
Authored by Andrew Korybko via OrinetalReview.org, The US government is blatantly violating the most basic tenets of its purportedly ‘sacred’ ideology of ‘human rights’ and ‘free speech’ by egregiously overstepping the bounds of FARA to engage in the same type of state-sponsored intimidation that it regularly accuses its geopolitical opponents of for far less. Yahoo broke the story earlier on Monday that the FBI questioned former Sputnik employee Andrew Feinburg following his public complaints to the media about how the company is supposedly being run, and this reportedly came after another former employee, Joseph John Fionda, allegedly contacted the FBI on his own initiative to share ‘a big packet’ of information accusing Sputnik of breaking the law. The legislation at the center of this scandal is the ‘Foreign Agents Registration Act’ (FARA), a 1938 law originally passed to expose Nazi influence operations inside of the US. It’s since been used for registering anyone who works as a ‘foreign agent’, which stereotypically refers to Congressional lobbyists hired by foreign governments but is nowadays being proposed by some US voices to apply to Sputnik and RT as well. The basis for this move is that both companies are publicly funded by the Russian government, and that this therefore supposedly makes them ‘propaganda’ because it’s assumed by the American authorities that all of their employees lack ‘editorial independence’ from the Kremlin. As could have been expected, the same forces pushing for Sputnik and RT to register as ‘foreign agents’ under FARA aren’t interested in equally applying these expanded ‘standards’ to other publicly financed international media outlets such as Al Jazeera and the BBC.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.
The majority of Federal judges are the most ruthless people you will ever encounter. They have ZERO respect for human rights and on this point I seriously disagree with Trump and his undying support for the law enforcement divisions in this country. If you have not been exposed to the Judicial System, you are clueless. The US government relies on the contempt power claimed by judges asserting right as if they were pre-revolution judges of the kind. The prosecutors are keeping a former police officer in prison until he dies because he claims not to be able to remember the code to decrypt two hard drives under investigation. Francis Rawls, the former sergeant in the Philadelphia police department, has spent nearly two years in prison for contempt of court after refusing to provide the passcode for two hard drives the Feds took from his home back in 2015 during an investigation into child abuse images.
Bills are moving forward in both houses of Congress which, if approved, would mandate the administrative, extra-judicial revocation, non-renewal, and refusal of issuance of a US passport to any US citizen, even if their citizenship is unquestioned and they have been accused of no crime, but ‘whom the Secretary [of State] has determined is a member of or is otherwise affiliated with an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U. S. C. 1189).’ The proposed legislation would leverage administrative determinations related to immigration (which US courts have allowed to be largely exempted from judicial review insofar as they only affect foreigners who aren’t considered by the US to have the same human rights as US citizens) to impose a categorical ban on certain US citizens leaving or entering the US except at the (standardless, i.e. arbitrary) ‘discretion’ of the Secretary of State. Since June 1, 2009, US citizens have been forbidden by Federal law and regulations from crossing any border into or out of the US by any means(land, sea, or air) without a passport, passport card, or Federally-approved ‘enhanced’ drivers license. Denial of a passport thus amounts to a categorical ban on leaving or returning to the US. As such, it is a blatant violation of the rights of US citizens pursuant to the First Amendment ‘right of the people… peaceably to assemble’ and their human rights pursuant to Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own…. 4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
President Donald Trump is about to make a decision that will mark his presidency forever. There are some 800,000 technically illegal aliens who came to the States as small children brought by their parents. They have gone to school here, fell in love here, and very often, they have married an American and have children who are American. If Trump makes a decision that these people must be deported, he is seriously out of touch with human rights. Trump has dragged his feet on this issue known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. If he moves to deport these people, his presidency will go down in history as really deplorable.
Following an air strike in Yemen that killed at least 12 civilians, a senior United Nations official has condemned Saudi Arabia’s actions, asserting the Kingdom has shown a complete disregard for human life. According to Reuters, three women and six children from the same family were killed in their sleep during the dawn air strike conducted the Saudi-led coalition. Medical officials noted that the youngest of the children was just two years old. Ten others were wounded, according to the U. K.’s humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick. In an official statement, McGoldrick said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the Saudi-led action, also accusing Saudi Arabia of violating international law: ‘While these new incidents are still being investigated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, they are an example of the brutality in which the conflict is being conducted. All parties to the conflict continue to show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities. As I have said before, even wars have rules and such rules must be respected.’ [emphasis added]
The European Union recorded the largest increase in slavery of any world region in 2017, with the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants, many of them extremely vulnerable to exploitation, analysts said on Thursday. As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria are the countries with the most slave labour within the EU. The risk of slave labour in farming, construction and other sectors rose across the region, with 20 of the EU’s 28 member states scoring worse than in 2016 in an annual global slavery index by British analytics company Verisk Maplecroft. ‘The migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents appearing in company supply chains across Europe,’ said Sam Haynes, senior human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft. Globally there are 21 million people in forced labour, including children, in a business worth $150 billion a year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The index, which assessed incidents of human trafficking or slavery, as well as laws and law enforcement in 198 countries, ranked Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria as the countries with the most slave labour within the EU.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.
An international war crimes prosecutor has resigned from her position on the U. N.’s Investigative Panel into human rights abuses in Syria over her frustration regarding the perceived impotence of the commission and the lack of ability to prosecute war criminals. Essentially, Carla Del Ponte is resigning because she and her panel have not been able to overcome Russian objections to framing Bashar al-Assad for crimes committed by America’s terrorists. While admitting that Western-backed terrorists are made up ‘mostly’ of extremists and that they have been guilty of war crimes, Del Ponte also peddled the disproven narrative that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it is engaged in ‘terrible crimes against humanity.’ In her remarks announcing her resignation, Del Ponte, who is 70 years old, also admitted her own bias against the Syrian government since the beginning of the crisis.
(TFTP) From Seattle to Tuscaloosa, police arrested more than 1,000 people in just one month – including a law enforcement officer and pastor – as part of a sweeping crackdown on child sex offenders, and juvenile and adult sex trafficking in the United States. Police from 37 departments in 17 states participated in the annual National Johns Suppression Initiative – a regular effort to ostensively crackdown on human trafficking and illegal sex work – rescuing 81 adult and child victims and arresting 1,020 people from Seattle to Chicago, and Texas to Tuscaloosa in the monthlong effort spearheaded by Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. Harris County, Texas, saw the largest number of people arrested, 170, while police in Seattle nabbed 160 alleged perpetrators and authorities throughout Cook County, seat of Chicago, arrested 141.
In a fawning editorial Saturday (7/22/17), pillar of the national security establishment Washington Post fell over itself to commend a John McCain that never existed, instead lavishing praise on a well-curated PR facsimile developed over decades. *** After praising McCain for issuing a ‘toughly worded criticism’ on Twitter of Donald Trump for allegedly ending an entirely pointless, destructive and likely illegal CIA program supporting unnamed ‘rebels’ in Syria (the highest act of moral courage for the Post is gunrunning to CIA proxies), the Fred Hiatt – run editorial board proceeds to paint McCain as the antidote to the problem of ‘partisan warfare, where politicians will say just about anything at all, true or untrue, to gain an advantage.’ This is clearly meant to be an opaque shot at Trump, but the Post is too cowardly to say so outright, much like McCain was too cowardly to actually vote against any of Trump’s cabinet – aside from the OMB director who McCain only opposed because he believed he would cut defense budgets. Never mind, the Washington Post had a childhood hero to worship: And all over this world, Mr. McCain is associated with freedom and democracy. He has championed human rights with verve and tirelessness – speaking out against repression and authoritarianism, and inviting – no, cajoling – his colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, to bear witness with him on trips abroad. He has frequently welcomed victims of repression to the corridors of the capital, too, giving them succor and encouragement in the fight against tyranny.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.
These days it seems college is about everything buthigher learning. Undergraduates enrolled in a Global Politics of Human Rights course at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, for example, were allowed to stage a protest for their final assignment. ‘The focus,’ according to the initial report by the Arizona Republic, ‘was opposition to many of President Donald Trump’s policies, with deportations and a call for a new border wall the major focuses.’ Listen to Rob Franek on Colleges That Pay You Back The students were ‘shocked’ by what the Republic dubbed in a follow-up story the ‘social media mob’ that ensued. ‘They didn’t understand why everyone was so angry,’ said course instructor Angeles Maldonado. But ASU is hardly an isolated incident. Students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, turned on biology professor Bret Weinstein for, as he explained to the Wall Street Journal, objecting to ‘a planned ‘Day of Absence’ in which white people were asked to leave campus,’ a practice Weinstein considers ‘coercive segregation by race.’ The student harassment became so severe he was advised by campus police to stay home for his own safety.