Showing posts from October, 2015

Genocide is Occurring in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

The Genocide Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 and entered into force in 1951. It declares that genocide is a crime under international law. It imposes affirmative legal obligations on states to prevent genocide from occurring and to punish perpetrators of genocide.
Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
As the Genocide Convention recognizes, “genocide is a crime . . . contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized …

Last British Detainee At Guantanamo Goes Home

Almost 14 years after he was first detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, was released from the prison today and repatriated back to his home in England. In a statement issued by a spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron, the government indicated that it had no plans to detain him upon his release, and that “he is free to be reunited with his family.”
Aamer’s release today concludes a long legal ordeal that had raised the ire of human rights groups around the world. Despite spending nearly a decade and a half in U.S. custody, Aamer was never charged with any crime, and was cleared for release from the prison on separate occasions in both 2007 and 2009. In a statement issued today through the prisoner advocacy organization CAGE, Moazzam Begg, another former British detainee at Guantanamo and a longtime friend of Aamer, said, “The day has finally arrived…[Aamer’s] family, friends, lawyers, campaigners and wel…

Genocide is Underway in Myanmar

New legal analysis by Yale Law School’s Lowenstein Clinic in conjunction with rights group Fortify Rights presents strong evidence to suggest that genocide is being committed against the Muslim minority group by Myanmar state actors, including the army, police and a recently disbanded border security force known as Nasaka.
The research, launched on Thursday at a press event in Bangkok, applies the 1948 Genocide Convention’s checklist of criminal elements to the Rohingya’s situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The findings confirm that the Rohingya qualify as a protected group, that they have suffered acts defined under the convention as genocide, and that the state-sponsored acts have been committed with the intent to destroy the Rohingya as a distinct ethnic group, in whole or in part.
[You can read the findings of the report by clicking here.]

Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary University, UK similarly says, “Myanmar’s Rohingya are being slowly annihilated through sporadic massacr…

Christian terrorists of South Sudan release Bangladeshi peacekeepers

South Sudan's Christian terrorists on Thursday released 18 Bangladeshi peacekeepers they had taken captive, but were still holding 12 UN contractors captured along with them on the Nile River.
The 18 Bangladeshi soldiers were later flown out of Kaka by UN helicopter to Malakal.
Around 100 heavily-armed rebels backed by two tanks on Monday detained the crew of a barge carrying fuel for the UN mission, along with the peacekeepers escorting the shipment.
The peacekeepers and the crew were captured north of Malakal, and taken to the town of Kaka, in Upper Nile state.
You can read the news by clicking here and here.

Opposition candidate attacked with machete in Myanmar

Three men attacked National League for Democracy (NLD) member Naing Ngan Lynn, who in running for a regional assembly seat in the commercial capital of Yangon, and two other people while he was campaigning on Thursday evening.
You can read the news by clicking here.

Israeli Police Repeatedly Raid East Jerusalem Hospital

Israeli police have carried out multiple raids against a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem over the past two days, seeking the location of a 15-year-old Palestinian protester who they’d shot, and who they accuse the hospital of “unlawfully” hiding.
You can read the news by clicking here.

After 13 Years with No Charges, British Prisoner at Gitmo Finally Released

After thirteen years held without charges at the offshore U.S. prison at Guantanamo, 48-year-old British citizen Shaker Aamer was put on a private jet just after midnight on Friday and sent back to the UK.
According to reporting by Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald:
[Aamer] was one of Guantánamo’s best known prisoners because some Britons, including his wife and four children living in London, turned his case into a cause célèbre. In May, a bipartisan delegation of British members of parliament stumped for his release in meetings with Obama administration officials as well as members of Congress.
The transfer left 112 detainees at the Pentagon prison, 52 of them approved for transfer to other countries. You can read the full story by clicking here.

Interesting news about two doctors saving lives of 'others'

Here is a report about two doctors that has appeared in the Washington Post that is quite interesting.

UN has a long history in disappointing Palestinians

To find out about this topic, please, click here.

Israeli deputy foreign minister: I dream of Israeli flag on Temple Mount

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said on Monday that “my dream is to see the Israeli flag flying over the Temple Mount,” and called on the government to allow Jews to go up to the mount and pray there. The deputy foreign minister’s comments, which were disowned by the Prime Minister's Office, came amid diplomatic attempts to quell rising tensions regarding the flashpoint site, which were sparked by Palestinian fears that Israel wanted to change the status quo on the site that is holy to both Jews and Muslims.
“My dream is to see the Israeli flag flying over the Temple Mount,” said Hotovely during a program on the Knesset’s TV channel. "It’s the holiest place for the Jewish people.” In addition, Hotovely reiterated her previously stated position that Jews should be allowed to ascend and pray on the Temple Mount.
To read the news report, please, click here.

Without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State - confesses Tony Blair

Only one of Tony Blair’s mea culpas in his CNN interview stands out as truly significant: his partial acknowledgment that without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State (ISIS).
Until now, Blair had refused to link the two, insisting instead in the lead-up to the war that sending western troops would deny jihadis an arena and prevent Saddam Hussein from using them as proxies in his standoff with the west.
Former British PM admits ‘mistakes’ and conflict’s role in rise of Islamic State but defends armed intervention in 2003 The 12 years since have constantly disproved both claims. Within six months of British troops landing in Iraq, the SAS was sent to Baghdad’s western outskirts to attack jihadis who had taken up residence in Ramadi. Back then, they were a mob of foreigners and Iraqis who fed off a broad Sunni discontent fuelled by the invasion; a serendipitous vanguard that not long afterwards organised into al-Qaida in Iraq, then the Islamic State

Netanyahu Says Israel Will Retain All Palestinian Territory

You can read the news report by clicking here.

Are the Saudis are repeating the crimes of the USA in Yemen?

After the US forces criminally bombed an MSF-run hospital now the Saudi government has been found committing the same crime in Yemen.
Adding to concerns about Saudi attacks on civilians in Yemen, an overnight air raid against the capital city of Sanaa pounded a residential district, hitting several homes, a girl’s school, and destroying a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital.
MSF reported the facility was struck multiple times and left in “wreckage.” The first strike hit the operations theater of the hospital, which fortunately was empty at night, and the staff had enough time to evacuate for the most part before a second missile went careening into the maternity ward.
Two MSF staffers were wounded, but there appear to have been no deaths in the hospital strike, though casualties out of the surrounding area are so far not certain. This is the second MSF facility destroyed in an airstrike this month, after the US destroyed one in Afghanistan.
MSF reported they’d provided the coordinat…

Genocide evidence against the Myanmar government - unearthed by al Jazeera

Al Jazeera’sInvestigative Unit has unearthed documents that analysts say prove the Burmese government has sought to incite anti-Muslim feeling. (You can view the al Jazeera's investigative video about genocide by clicking here.)

One of the most significant items is a presentation used by members of the armed forces at a training session in Naypyidaw, Burma’s capital city. The lecture aid instructs army cadets to view the state’s Muslim population as a threat to the nation as a whole, as well as to Buddhism itself.
Commenting on this document, former military insider and regime defector Sai Thein Win, told Al Jazeera that he recognised the name of the college where the lecture was given, as well its military function, as a centre for psychological warfare.
“They recruit the propagandists and create rumours which spread among the people. In this way they influence the policy of the country,” he says, with the aim to “make the people worry, spread fear, hatreds and create conflicts.”

How India's "Untouchable" Women Are Fighting Back Against Sexual Violence

Here is a good article on how India's untouchables are fighting back against sexual violence, which they face more than any other group in India.

Manisha Mashaal was five years old when her schoolteacher first called her an “untouchable” in front of the rest of her class.

“That’s when I found out why my family’s house was so close to the trash dumpsite of the village, and why it was so separated from houses of the dominant castes,” Mashaal said.

India is home to more than100 million Dalit women, according to the 2011 national census. The Dalit, sometimes referred to as "untouchables," have long been considered the lowest rung of the Indian caste system.
For Dalit victims of sexual violence, Marshaal said, response from police officers is often "How can you have been raped? You’re a Dalit — touching you would make anyone spiritually impure."

And Mashaal was far from alone. Astudyby the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights found that more than half of Dalit women …

Indian Union Minister VK Singh walking on Modi's path

Senior Samajwadi Party leader and state cabinet minister Mohammed Azam Khan on Thursday lashed out at Union minister VK Singh's controversial statement on the Faridabad incident where a dalit family was burnt alive and said he was "walking the path that Modi has shown him".
Referring to Modi as 'Badshaah' (emperor), Khan said, "Where does one learn such things? He learns such a culture from his seniors and elders. Badshah had compared the Muslims of Godhra to a puppy and now his minister has compared to dalits to dogs. The minister is only taking Badshaah's chain of thought further. It is clear where the culture is emanating from. This is nothing new. Be it the 'Ramzyaade' comment or Yogi Adityanath saying Hindus are ready fight with tann (body), mann (mind), dhan (wealth) and gun. There is a culture of hate and the leader is breeding it."

Claiming that minorities were living in a state of fear, he said, "We don't know what to do.…

Masked Jewish man attacks head of Rabbis for Human Rights

The head of a Jewish human rights organization was attacked Friday by a masked Jewish man near a settlement in the West Bank. The incident, which was caught on video, was labeled by the police as an altercation between left and right wing activists. The Jewish assailant was seen accosting Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who heads Rabbis For Human Rights, and threatening him with a knife during a Palestinian olive harvest near the Jewish settlement of Itamar. The Israel Police's political crimes unit has opened an investigation into the incident.
You can read the story by clicking here.

Israel eases Al-Aqsa limits as 90 wounded in Gaza, West Bank

You can read the news report by clicking here.

Why the New York Times blows it again on the Israel-Palestine coverage getting it so wrong

Here is a good article critiquing the news coverage on  the Palestine-Israel conflict, in the NY Times.

Weep, Beloved Country - by Uri Avnery

As to sensitivity around the Haram al-Sharif, Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery writes, "After the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans some 1945 years ago, the place was desecrated by the Christians who turned it into a dunghill. When it was conquered by the Muslims in 635, the humane Khalif Omar ordered it cleaned. Two holy Muslim buildings were erected – the beautiful Dome of the Rock, with its conspicuous golden dome, and the even holier al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest mosque in Islam.
If one wants to cause trouble, this is the place to start. The cry that al-Aqsa is in danger arouses every Palestinian, and every Muslim around the world. It excites moderately religious Muslims (as most Arabs are) as well as religious fanatics. It is a call to arms, to self-sacrifice. This has happened several times in the past. The terrible "events" of 1929, in which the ancient Jewish community in Hebron was massacred, were started by a Jewish provocation at the Western Wall…

When paranoia rules, everything seems so kosher!

Last Wednesday night Israeli (IDF) soldiers shot and killed a man they thought to be a terrorist in Jerusalem, after the man attacked them and tried to grab one of the weapons they were carrying.
According to police, the incident began when two soldiers boarding a bus near the entrance to the capital were asked for identification by an unknown man. When the soldiers, in response, asked the man to identify himself and submit to a search, he began physically assaulting them and tried to seize one of the firearms they were carrying, according to a police account.
The soldiers opened fire on the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The man, however, did not have a knife on him, as previously reported. A search on his body revealed an Israeli ID card, and reports indicated he was Jewish. But police said they were still working to identify him.
The incident occurred on Yirmiyahu Street, in the city’s Romema neighborhood, and came after another day of attacks against Israelis.
Hatred and…

Dr. Ram Puniyani's article on recent killings in India

Dr Ram Puniyani writes in the Citizen:
 "When Dr. Dabholkar, Com Pansare and then Prof Kalburgi were killed over a period of months, the danger signals started being perceived but still it took the beef lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq to give a message that something has drastically changed in the society , and the spate of returning  of Sahiya Academy, National and state, awards followed in quick succession. Their protest was against the rising intolerance in the society. The incidents that followed and ran parallel to these ‘award-returns’ were equally horrific. The killing of a trucker on the assumption that he is carrying cows for slaughter; beating of a MLA in Kashmir Assembly by BJP legislatures and the scattered incidents of attacks on Muslims on the ground of beef consumption are too striking. We are currently facing a situation where anybody can incite the violence by just uttering the word beef, while seeing mutton or some such thing. We are living in an atmosphere where co…

Bangkok needs to address its brutal mistreatment of the persecuted Rohingya minority

For years Thailand has been a refuge for many fleeing from the killing fields of Myanmar. However, while the Thai Police and government have been tolerant of the Buddhists fleeing there but when it comes to Rohingya and other non-Buddhist minorities they were quite intolerant. Many times they would handover the fleeing refugees back to the Myanmar security forces who would either kill those unfortunate ones or put them indefinitely in prison cells.

In May 2015, gruesome mass graves were unearthed in southern Thailand, revealing scores of bodies belonging to mostly Rohingya refugees who had been victimized by human traffickers. The discovery placed Thailand under a global spotlight exactly at the time when the country was seeking to be upgraded by the United States in terms of its handling of human trafficking. Here is an article that discusses the need for Thailand to stop its own atrocities against the Rohingyas. This article is part of “Southeast Asia: Refugees in Crisis,” an ongoi…