Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Watch’

Pretext For War On Libya Proven Fraudulent By Casualty Figures

In Activism, Human Rights, Libya, Military, Society, World Government, World News on April 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

TRIPOLI. With leader of the Libyan Revolution ...

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As the EU prepares to invade Libya with ground troops under the contrived pretext of “humanitarian aid,” Texas University Professor Alan J. Kuperman highlights the fact that the entire justification behind the NATO-backed aggression has been proven fraudulent by casualty figures that clearly indicate Gaddafi has not deliberately targeted civilians.

Appearing on Russia Today, Kuperman dismissed the Obama administration’s claim that there would be a “bloodbath” in Libya if there was no foreign intervention, pointing out that there is no evidence Gaddafi is deliberately targeting civilians and engaging in massacres.

The EU is now awaiting the green light from the United Nations as it prepares to do what the initial UN resolution specifically forbade – sending in ground troops in the name of “humanitarian aid”. The EU has made it clear that its troops will attack Gaddafi forces if they are impeded in any way from taking over regions in the east of the country, and securing “sea and land corridors”.

Of course, the ground invasion was already unfolding before the so-called “no fly zone” was even enforced, with hundreds of British, American and French special forces troops arriving in the country at the end of February to train rebels. The humanitarian hoax was then manufactured as a veil with which to camouflage NATO’s wanton act of aggression, with the corporate media dutifully regurgitating baseless claims about Gaddafi slaughtering his own people while concocting lies about his regime using western journalists as human shields.


In addition, lurid claims about Gaddafi forces bombing “protesters” from fighter jets on February 22 over Benghazi and Tripoli were completely dismissed by Russian military experts, who said that sophisticated satellite imagery from space showed no record of such actions.

Asked about claims of Gaddafi violence against innocents, Professor Kuperman responded, “There is no evidence of that in the cities that Gaddafi has captured either totally or partially,” citing Human Rights Watch figures that clearly illustrate how Gaddafi forces are targeting combatants and not innocent people.

In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Kuperman accuses Barack Obama of “grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya,” highlighting the fact that the evidence clearly indicates Gaddafi is “Not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.”

“Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties,” writes Kuperman, adding that the only thing to deepen the humanitarian suffering of innocents was the NATO-led attack, which will indefinitely prolong the civil war.

Of course, to the western media, rebels driving tanks, flying fighter jets and carrying RPG launchers are still classed as “protesters” or “civilians” in the Orwellian doublespeak world of humanitarian hypocrisy.

While the corporate media has played up Gaddafi’s supposed attacks on innocent people, evidence of which is thin on the ground, videos, images and testimony of rebel fighters engaging in massacres and beatings of innocents, including children, has been universally ignored.

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While it’s obvious that there have been acts of brutal retaliation carried out by both sides that have killed innocent people, to claim that Gaddafi is overseeing a deliberate policy to attack innocents even as he battles against the might of NATO and the western-backed rebel forces is brazenly deceptive. Even the New York Times had to admit that the rebels were “making vastly inflated claims of his (Gaddafi’s) barbaric behavior,” and had “no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda,” after the much promised “bloodbath” in Benghazi never materialized.

The humanitarian hoax behind the assault on Africa’s richest oil country was invented out of whole cloth to prevent what globalist forces feared most, the defeat of their own Al-Qaeda backed rebel forces.

“The actual prospect in Benghazi was the final defeat of the rebels,” writes Kuperman. “To avoid this fate, they desperately concocted an impending genocide to rally international support for “humanitarian’’ intervention that would save their rebellion.”
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Gadaffi forces lay mines: Human Rights Watch

In Activism, Human Rights, Libya, Society, World News on March 30, 2011 at 11:52 pm


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Muammar al Gaddafi Mouammar Kadhafi Colonel Qu...

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Muammar Gaddafi‘s forces have laid both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines during the current conflict with armed opposition groups, Human Rights Watch confirmed today.

Libya should immediately stop using antipersonnel mines, which most of the world banned years ago,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “Gaddafi’s forces should ensure that mines of every type that already have been laid are cleared as soon as possible to avoid civilian casualties.”

The mines – two dozen antivehicle mines and roughly three dozen antipersonnel mines – were found on the eastern outskirts of Ajdabiya, a town of 100,000 residents that government forces held from March 17 until March 27, 2011.

Abdal Minam al-Shanti, electricity director for Eastern Libya, told Human Rights Watch that his employees discovered the mines around 11 a.m. on March 28, when their truck ran over and detonated two antipersonnel mines laid underneath power pylons about one kilometer from town. The mines destroyed one front tire and one back tire of the truck, but no one was wounded or killed, al-Shanti said.

After detonating the mines, the electrical workers notified local civil defense workers who began searching for more mines in the area, al-Shanti said. In the immediate area where the mines had detonated, a civil defense team found and disarmed 24 antivehicle mines and an estimated 30 to 40 plastic antipersonnel mines, he said.

The mines were found a few yards off the main road between Ajdabiya and Benghazi, in an area frequented by civilians in vehicles and on foot, Human Rights Watch said, and thus posed a direct threat to the civilian population. Given the pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area, the mines were clearly laid while government forces were in Ajdabiya, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch has photos of the mines found near Ajdabiya, as well as video from the clearance operation.

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Libya is one of 37 nations that has not joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. A total of 156 nations are parties to the treaty, and another two have signed but not yet ratified. The treaty comprehensively bans the use, production, and transfer of all antipersonnel mines, requires destruction of stockpiles within four years and clearance of mined areas within ten years, and calls for assistance to landmine victims. In recent years, the only government forces that have continued to lay antipersonnel mines are Burma’s.

In keeping with the international norm being established by the Mine Ban Treaty, Human Rights Watch condemns any use of antipersonnel mines by any party at any time. While antivehicle mines are not banned by the treaty, such mines are often used in violation of international humanitarian law, notably when they are used indiscriminately or deliberately to target civilians, or when adequate precautions are not taken to avoid civilian casualties.

Prior to the March 28 discovery of the mines near Ajdabiya, Human Rights Watch had confirmed on March 24 that government forces left behind plastic antivehicle mines in the area around Ghar Yunis University in Benghazi during their retreat from the city on March 19. Those mines, which had not been armed and planted, were found by local residents and brought to an arms collection point in downtown Benghazi, where they were inspected by Human Rights Watch. At a military arms depot in Benghazi, a demining expert from the United Nations located 12 warehouses filled with tens of thousands of antivehicle mines.

Rebel forces in Benghazi, now in control of the stockpile of antivehicle mines in the city’s arms depot, told Human Rights Watch that they will not use any type of mines. The pledge was made by Gen. Khalifa Hufter, commander of the rebel forces in Eastern Libya, during a meeting in Benghazi on March 25.

At this point, Human Rights Watch cannot independently confirm media reports that government forces have deployed mines around their stronghold of Sirte, and in the Wadi al-Ahmar area, 80 kilometers east of Sirte, where rebel forces are currently battling government forces.

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Libya has said in the past that it insists on the right to defend its extensive borders with mines. It has also said that it would cost too much to clear mines, as required by the treaty, and criticized the treaty for not requiring those who laid mines in the past to pay for clearance.

Prior to this conflict, Libya is not known to have used antipersonnel mines since its war with Chad ended in 1987. Libya has said that it has never produced or exported mines. According to standard reference works, however, Libya imported antipersonnel mines in the past from the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.

Libya still has large numbers of uncleared landmines and explosive remnants of war as a result of World War II, as well as conflicts with Egypt (1977) and Chad (1980–1987).

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China: Free Unlawfully Detained Legal Activists, Relatives

In Activism, China, Human Rights, World News on February 23, 2011 at 3:37 am

Liu Xiaobo

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Government Expands Use of Extralegal Detention and House Arrest
FEBRUARY 22, 2011

(New York) – The Chinese government should immediately release three prominent lawyers arbitrarily detained and feared forcibly disappeared this month, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also reiterated its call for the Chinese authorities to end the arbitrary house arrest imposed on Liu Xia, the wife of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, and on the blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng and his family.

Lawyers Tang Jitian, Teng Biao, and Jiang Tianyong were separately taken away by Public Security agents last week in Beijing and have not been seen or heard from since. The authorities have failed to give any reason or formal notification to their relatives, and all three are believed to be at risk of ill-treatment and torture.


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“Citizens’ demands for the state to respect its own laws are getting louder,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But the government is responding with even less regard for legal procedures, arbitrarily arresting lawyers and placing well known activists and their family members under illegal and indefinite detention.”

Police forced their way into Tang Jitian’s Beijing apartment early on the morning of February 16, 2011, and immediately took him away, returning later to search the apartment. Jiang Tianyong was arrested in Bejiing on the afternoon of February 19 while visiting his brother. Several men forced him into a car, and the police returned later that day to seize his computer. Teng Biao, a lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law, was arrested the same afternoon. Police searched his home the next day and seized two computers, as well as several books, documents, and DVDs.All three activists are leading lawyers from the weiquan, or “rights protection” movement, whom the government has deprived of their professional licenses in recent years. Judicial authorities have done this apparently in retaliation for the lawyers’ refusal to desist from cases that the authorities see as politically sensitive such as abuses of power, wrongful convictions, and illegal land seizures.

Under international law, authorities commit an enforced disappearance when they fail to acknowledge holding someone in custody or provide no information on the person’s fate or whereabouts. “Disappearances” increase the likelihood of torture or other ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said.

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The ‘Italian Job’ and Other Highlights From U.S.’s Rendition Program With Egypt

In Activism, Human Rights, World News on February 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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Among the many aspects of the U.S.-Egypt relationship, few have been as controversial as the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, where the agency frequently handed over suspected terrorists to foreign governments with histories of torture and illegal detention. According to Human Rights Watch, Egyptwelcomed more CIA detainees than any other country from the 1990s through 2005. And while renditions happen only with the assurance that a foreign partner will not torture the prisoner, as one CIA officer once told Congress, the assurances “weren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.” (Want to know more about rendition? Here’s a good backgrounder.)

Abu Zaabal prison, 25 kms north of Cairo, after a mass breakout during the nationwide protest. (AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Abu Zaabal prison, 25 kms north of Cairo, after a mass breakout during the nationwide protest. (AFP/Getty Images file photo)

In the case of Egypt, the assurances were given by Omar Suleiman, former head of the country’s intelligence service, and the man President Hosni Mubarak picked as his vice president a few days ago.

Perhaps the most notorious case is that of Ibn al-Shaikh al-Libi, a Libyan national captured by Pakistani authorities in the months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to a 2006 Senate Intelligence Committee report, [PDF] al-Libi was turned over to American authorities and eventually sent to Egypt, where his fabricated testimony, given under torture, became a key piece of “evidence” falsely linking al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein.

According to the Senate report, al-Libi said he began to feed his captors false intelligence once American interrogators threatened to send him to a foreign government. He started talking, he said, but was sent to Egypt anyway. He later told the CIA that his Egyptian captors placed him in a box less than 2 feet square for 17 hours.

Then, “when he was let out of the box, al-Libi claims that he was given a last opportunity to ‘tell the truth.’ ” He was struck down, he said, and finally “was punched for 15 minutes.” In another episode, he says he was beaten in a way that wouldn’t leave any marks.

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As The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and others have detailed, the “intelligence” he provided made its way into the 2003 speech that Secretary of State Colin Powell gave to the United Nations, laying out the evidence to justify war with Iraq. Years later, after no weapons of mass destruction were found, al-Libi recanted.

“When the F.B.I. later asked him why he had lied, he blamed the brutality of the Egyptian intelligence service,” Mayer writes. “Libi explained, ‘They were killing me,’ and that, ‘I had to tell them something.’ ”

Another famous case is that of Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, an Egyptian cleric who disappeared for a year after he was snatched off the streets of Milan in 2003 and taken to Egypt. Known in the agency as “The Italian Job,” the operation was exposed when Italian prosecutors were able to reconstruct the kidnapping after Nasr was released. In 2009, an Italian court convicted 23 Americans in absentia for the kidnapping. Read the rest of this entry »

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