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Torture


Kangaroo Courting a Torture Victim

Mimi Herald:

Kammen also asked Pohl if he would fulfill his obligation under international treaty to report to "outside authorities" evidence that Nashiri's "torture" was arranged by high public officials, doctors, psychiatrists and lawyers. "I will comply with the law," Pohl responded.

Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania: CIA Prison Program

Lithuania in the dock for role in CIA rendition program

28 October, 2011 - A human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania for its role in a CIA rendition program which allegedly involved the illegal detention and torture of “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah, who was initially captured by American and Pakistani special services in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, spent some of his time in custody in a secret detention center in Lithuania, according to the Interights group. The European country allegedly collaborated with the CIA on its program of secret prisons, which allowed suspects to be incarcerated and tortured outside American territory.

On War: AMEN, Rachel, AF'inMEN!!!

Quite enough from Mr. Wolfowitz and the Cabal
Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow expresses exasperation that Paul Wolfowitz is still treated by the media as if he has credibility on foreign policy matters despite his infamous history of disastrously poor judgment.

 

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Now: 30 Unconstitutional Years on Death Row are Enough!

 

By Dave Lindorff and Linn Washington, Jr.

 

With Mumia Abu-Jamal’s sentence of death now formally vacated, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last week not to consider an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney of a Third Circuit Court panel’s ruling that that sentence had been unconstitutional thanks to flawed jury instructions from the trial judge and a flawed jury ballot form, many of those who have long called for his execution are now saying, fine, let him rot in prison for the rest of his life.

 

Demanding Bush’s “Arrest” Over War Crimes with Indictment

Canadian protesters demand Bush’s “arrest” over war crimes

October 21, 2011 - Ottawa: Hundreds of protestors have asked the Canadian authorities to arrest former US President George W Bush for war crimes after he reached a Surrey hotel on Thursday.

Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton were among the keynote speakers attending the annual Surrey Regional Economic Summit at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel. Human-rights groups, including Amnesty International were demanding the arrest of Bush.

Gail Davidson of the Lawyers against the War expressed outrage over the federal government for ignoring its responsibility in not arresting Bush.

Torture Victims to Initiate Private Prosecution against George W. Bush on His Arrival in Canada

Canadian Government Has Legal Obligation under UN Convention Against Torture

to Prosecute Alleged Perpetrators of Torture, Rights Groups Say
                                                                                               

Prominent Individuals and Organizations Sign on in Support

October 19, 2011, Surrey, BC—Tomorrow, four individuals who allege they were tortured during George W. Bush’s tenure as president of the United States will lodge a private prosecution in Provincial Court in Surrey, British Columbia against the former president, who is due to visit Canada for a paid speaking engagement at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit on October 20.  The four men will take this step after repeated calls to the Canadian Attorney General to open a torture investigation of George Bush went unanswered.  Human rights groups and prominent individuals will sign on in support of the effort.
 
The four men, Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz, each endured years of inhumane treatment including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation, and other horrific and illegal treatment while in U.S. custody at military bases in Afghanistan and/or at the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.  While three of the plaintiffs have since been released without ever facing charges, Hassan Bin Attash still remains in detention at Guantánamo Bay, though he too has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing.
 

“I lost my family, my father, my health, my education because of George Bush.  Although I was completely innocent, I lost nearly 10 years of my life,” said former Guantánamo detainee and torture survivor Muhammed Khan Tumani. “I suffered greatly while detained at Guantánamo, and continue to suffer. I have restrictions on my travel and cannot travel to see my father who is ill.  George Bush must face justice and be held accountable for his actions, which continue to cause me and so many harm.”

 
On September 29, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ) submitted a 69-page page draft indictment to Attorney General Robert Nicholson, along with more than 4,000 pages of supporting material, setting forth the case against Bush for torture.  The indictment, incorporated into the criminal information lodged today, contends that by Bush’s own admission he sanctioned and authorized acts that constitute torture under the Canadian criminal code and the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
 
Katherine Gallagher, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) who is assisting the plaintiffs, said, “George Bush’s brazen admission to authorizing torture techniques and unlawful detentions, including enforced disappearances, must not be met with indifference. His years of impunity must come to an end.  Even if the United States has failed to meet its obligations to hold torturers accountable, Canada has an opportunity and a legal obligation to position itself on the right side of history and the law.”
 

Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), who will submit the filing on men’s behalf, added, “Canadian law could not be clearer.  If an alleged torturer is present in Canada, the government has the power to prosecute.  As a signatory of the Convention Against Torture, Canada has an obligation to initiate an investigation when Mr. Bush sets foot in this country.”

 

More than 50 human rights organizations from around the world and prominent individuals signed on to support the call for George W. Bush’s prosecution, including former UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Theo van Boven and Manfred Nowak, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the Canadian-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. A number of the human rights organizations which signed on are facing the on-going harms of the “counterterrorism” policies advanced under the Bush administration and then adopted or employed in their own countries.

 

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, said: “The main aim of the UN Convention Against Torture was to eradicate safe havens for persons who commit, order, or participate in acts of torture worldwide. States parties to the Convention, including Canada, have a legal obligation to arrest all persons suspected of torture with the aim of bringing them to justice. There is plenty of evidence that President Bush authorized enhanced interrogation methods against suspected terrorists, some of which clearly amount to torture, such as waterboarding.”

 
Last February, the Center for Constitutional Rights, along with other human rights organizations, attempted to initiate criminal proceedings against Bush during a private speaking engagement in Geneva, but he canceled after news of the planned prosecution came to light.  Following the cancellation, CCR and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights released the “Bush Torture Indictment,” which can serve as the basis for country-specific indictments against Bush in any of the 147 countries that have ratified the UN Convention Against Torture or have universal jurisdiction laws for torture.
 
Prior to the filing of this case, CCR and the CCIJ twice (on Sept. 29, 2011 and Oct. 14, 2011) petitioned Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Robert Nicholson by letter to launch a criminal investigation against Bush during his October 20 visit to Canada, but received no response.  George Bush and former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney both recently made trips to Canada, without any legal consequence.
 
A copy of the filing can be viewed in full here. The Letter of Support is available in English and French.
 

The Canadian Centre for International Justice works with survivors of genocide, torture and other atrocities to seek redress and bring perpetrators to justice. The CCIJ seeks to ensure that individuals present in Canada who are accused of responsibility for serious human rights violations are held accountable and their victims recognized, supported and compensated. For more information visit www.ccij.ca

 
The Center for Constitutional Rights, in addition to filing the first cases representing men detained at Guantánamo, has filed universal jurisdiction cases seeking accountability for torture by Bush administration officials in Germany, France and submitted expert opinions and other documentation to ongoing cases in Spain in collaboration with ECCHR. The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Further details regarding the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Bush Torture Indictment can be viewed at: http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/bush-torture-indictment.Visit www.ccrjustice.org. Follow @theCCR.

Thugs on the Job: The NYPD, Protecting and Serving...Wall Street

 

By John Grant

 

At the end of this chaotic YouTube video, made at the end of a huge victory by the activists occupying Wall Street, and their thousands of supporters, one of many outraged demonstrators is heard hollering: "He ran over his fuckin' leg!"

Well, I've looked at the video three times and that seems a pretty accurate description of what this cop did.

At first, the scooter's front wheel seems to be in front of the young man's leg. The guy, by the way, is a clearly legal observer wearing an official National Lawyers Guild yellow observer hat. He seems to be in serious agony at this point. So it seems likely he has already been run over once.

No New Penalty Trial Likely: US Supreme Court Confirms 3rd Circuit Ruling Lifting Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Penalty

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Here’s a prediction: Seth Williams, the district attorney of Philadelphia, will decide not to seek to reimpose the death penalty on Mumia Abu-Jamal, the world-famous journalist, former Black Panther and condemned prisoner who has spent the last almost 30 years of his life on Pennsylvania’s overcrowded death row.

 

The choice belongs to Williams, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided, on its second time dealing with the issue, not to overturn the decision of a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which had, on orders of the Supreme Court, reheard, reconsidered and reaffirmed its earlier decision upholding the tossing out of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence by a lower federal district court.

 

The last hype for 9/11 industry is over

“George W Bush has blood on his hands, and Tony Blair too"

September 16, 2011 - The 9/11 industry harvested its biggest riches on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the yet-to-be fully documented coordinated attacks on the United States of America which produced the era of awe and shock, bull-dozed all international norms, and initiated two great wars of the twenty-first century.

 

The greatest casualty of 9/11: The America we knew

LibertyShahid Buttar is the executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

Reflections on the 9/11 attacks are important and moving. But most overlook the enduring legacy of the attacks, in the form of the vastly greater damage done to American principles over the past decade. Whether in the context of surveillance, torture, or the congressional cowardice that has enabled them, our leaders have sullied the legacy of an America that once inspired the world.

Naming the torturer: protest against Alberto Gonzalez at Auraria

Alberto Gonzalez spoke at the Auraria Campus yesterday and was met with serious protest. As Attorney General, Gonzalez signed off on torture and murder, in violation of U.S. and international law. Some 100 people were victims of homicide, according to the Pentagon on their death certificates, in secret American custody (murdered while tortured). Gonzalez is the outlaw “Attorney General” of an outlaw regime. Many of the political scientists at the University of Colorado at Denver wrote an open letter, circulated as a leaflet at the door of the event, which commendably names the legal and moral issues involved (see below). Some 200 people showed up; 5 stood up in black hoods, emulating the prisoners at Abu Ghraib (one of Gonzalez’s “achievements as a public servant”) and were eventually escorted out by the campus police. It is good to see that the campus police and administrators take serious crimes seriously…

Insider Tells Why Obama Chose Not to Prosecute Torture

Two Years Ago Obama Decided Not to Prosecute Torturers
Now We Get An Account of Why
By David Swanson

If you can think back all the way to January 2009, back when wars were ending, Guantanamo was closing, the Pentagon was getting oversight, employees were going to have free choice, the rich would start paying taxes, the air would be getting cleaner, and so forth, you'll recall that the Obama transition team was acting super populist and high-tech.

They had questions from ordinary people for the President Elect submitted on their website and voted up or down. The top question at the end of the voting had come from Bob Fertik of Democrats.com and it was this:

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
-Bob Fertik, New York City

Bush on 9/11: 'I Didn't Have a Strategy'

Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!

More on the Use of Torture Within US Prisons

by Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait      

Anti-Torture Protesters Greet John Yoo at Pro-Torture Conference

         EVENT:         Rally & Protest
         WHEN:         Friday, August 26, 6:30 PM
         WHERE:         Marines' Memorial Club Hotel,  609 Sutter St., San Francisco


Protesters will gather when the California Young Republican Federation hosts the University of California's premiere torture advocate JOHN YOO in San Francisco.

Torture can lead to self-incrimination

Right to Remain Silent Not Understood by Many Suspects; Confusion About Constitutional Rights Can Lead to Self-Incrimination, Psychologist Reports

ScienceDaily (Aug. 5, 2011) — Movies and TV shows often depict crime with a police officer handcuffing a suspect and warning him that he has the right to remain silent. While those warnings may appear clear-cut, almost 1 million criminal cases may be compromised each year in the United States because suspects don't understand their constitutional rights, according to research presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Judge says American defense contractor can sue Rumsfeld personally over torture allegations

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.

The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

ICC: International Justice Day 17 July 2011

Celebrating the 13th Anniverasary of a New International Justice System

July 17, 2011 - This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 13th International Justice Day, commemorating the adoption of the Rome Statute, the document that established the International Criminal Court.

 

Melissa Kaplan, Deputy Director of Government Relations at Citizens for Global Solutions and Coordinator of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC) said,

 

Is it Emancipation Day for 'good faith' torturers?

By Nat Hentoff, Coshocton Tribune

Both the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations have strongly opposed the very idea of a comprehensive independent investigation of CIA "enhanced interrogations" at the agency's secret prisons and during its "renditions" of terrorism suspects to countries known for torturing prisoners.

American and international critics of torture were told by President George W. Bush and now are told by President Barack Obama that these actions took place under legal justification provided by the Justice Department (recall the John Yoo "torture memos"). And our government assured practitioners of "enhanced interrogations" that they would be protected from punishment.

Calls Growing for bush and co. Criminal Investigations

HRW Urges Investigation on Bush

July 12, 2011 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the US government to order a criminal investigation into allegations of torture of detainees during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The New York-based rights watchdog said that overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to take action.

Speaking with The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Deputy Director of HRW's Asia Division Phil Robertson said, “We try to encourage the Obama administration to do what they are required to do under the Convention against Torture.”

Years Later: Human Rights Watch Announces That Bush and Cheney Tortured -- What Gives?

Statutes of limitations for torture not resulting in death have passed. The DOJ has refused to prosecute 99 of 101 cases of torture-to-death that it looked at. Obama has long since publicly told the DOJ not to prosecute the CIA for torture. Obama's torture of Bradley Manning has been widely ignored. Rendition has been established as normal. Torturers have published confessional/bragging memoirs. Habeas corpus has been formally ended. The Bagram-Gitmo archipelago is here to stay. Torture continues in Iraq, Afghanistan, elsewhere. Assassinations have been established as the truly big new fashion. Harold Koh has replaced John Yoo as the Guy Who Will "Legalize" Anything. We've got more illegal wars going at once than ever before. Congress has practically dropped the pretense of a rule of law. The President can't clear his throat without opposing "relitigating the past," as if on the planet he comes from it is common to litigate the future. And Human Rights Watch has chosen this moment to announce that Bush and Cheney might just have been responsible for torture?

(Washington, DC) - Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.

Hey, thanks, Sherlock.  What was your first clue? 

I'm glad someone still cares.  But why not care a little faster?  This report ends by reviewing foreign efforts to step in where the U.S. justice system has failed, and U.S. efforts -- successful thus far -- to prevent that.

If Human Rights Watch turns against illegal wars someday, we can perhaps expect a review of the bombing of Libya several years after it ceases.  And we'll be better off, I guess.  But why not speak up at the time? If Bush and Cheney belong in prison, why would it have been so unacceptably impolite to impeach them and remove them from office?

Guantánamo - Torture - Crimes We Are All Concerned

by Marie
Marie is a French student in a political sciences school currently interning for the summer at World Can’t Wait's National Office in New York.

The purpose of this article is not to find an answer for each question I had or wondered. Neither is it to explain all the issues of Guantánamo, but rather to show what people really think and to speak up for what I believe is fair and that which represents my values.

A week ago, the director of World Can’t Wait, Debra Sweet, and I talked about my trip to Washington, DC for the Witness Against Torture protest demanding, “Close Guantánamo.” We decided I would be free to write anything I wanted.
I then reflected it would be interesting to interview activists and people involved in organizations against torture, crimes and Guantánamo Bay, as well as American citizens and foreign tourists to collect a maximum of varied opinions.

Historic Judgment on British Army in Iraq

Strasbourg judge: “Those who export war ought to see to the parallel export of guarantees against the atrocities of war”

European Court Issues Historic Judgment on British Army in Iraq

7 July 2011 - The highest court in Europe – the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights – has this morning handed down one of its most important judgments ever, involving the alleged ill-treatment and unlawful killing of Iraqi citizens by UK Armed Forces. See the European Court’s official press release (attached to this email).

Iran: Putting the 26 US Officials on Trial

Makes sense as we condemn them constantly for what is now very public the same practices against humanity we're ordering done as we joined them, and the others who do and some we used, in the toilet as to crimes against humanity while still condemning! We even use those issues as justified excuses to invade, destroy and occupy countries!

 

Iran to File Lawsuits Against 26 US Officials

07 July 2011 - Iran will certainly put the 26 US officials on trial in absentia and will pursue their cases at international circles: MP

Iran to file lawsuits against 26 US nationals who committed crimes against humanity, FNA quoted Iranian parliament’s National and Foreign Policy Commission Seyyed Ali Aqazqdeh as saying.

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