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Archive for April 19th, 2011|Daily archive page

Bradley Manning Being Moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

In Bradley Manning, Manning, News, WikiLeaks on April 19, 2011 at 11:08 PM

After increasing international outcry over the alleged treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning, the Pentagon is transferring him to a medium security facility at Forth Leavenworth, Kansas.

Manning’s move will limit access to his attorney, family, and friends, and does not guarantee better treatment.

This most likely was done to cover up his inhumane conditions at Quantico Bay, with the recent pressure by the U.N. and others demanding a visit with Manning.

Pfc. Bradley Manning has been transferred out of Quantico, where he spent the last nine months in solitary confinement, to the prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. The Pentagon claims the move has nothing to do with the international criticism of Manning’s treatment but rather is a matter of policy, as Quantico is meant for short pre-trial stays, and Fort Leavenworth, is more suitable for Manning’s continued long stay, as he waits for trial. Kevin Zeese, co-founder of VotersforPeace.us weighs in.

Firedoglake.com‘s Jane Hamsher says that President Obama needs to explain inconsistencies in statements about Pfc. Bradley Manning’s treatment.

After being “stonewalled” in attempts to investigate PFC. Bradley Manning’s confinement conditions, Rep. Kucinich says of the Department of Defense, “I don’t believe anything they say when it comes to Bradley Manning.”

Dylan Ratigan discusses the recent moving of Bradley Manning with former State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley and Firedoglake‘s Jane Hamsher.

Related Links:

US Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks Tactical Standard Operating Procedure 2004

US Fort Levenworth Control Proceedures for Intractable Inmates 2006

Uganda Riots (April 2011)

In News, Uganda, World Revolution on April 19, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Kampala, Uganda (CNN) — The leader of Uganda’s main opposition party was arrested Monday on unspecified charges by police ahead of a planned walk to protest sharp increases in inflation and commodity prices.

Dr. Kizza Besigye was taken to the Kasangati police station and detained, authorities said.

Police spokeswoman Captain Judith Nabakooba said Besigye, who heads the Forum for Democratic Change party, was arrested while “walking from his home in a group” for charges “which are still under investigation, as well as previous cases against him.”

Last week, Besigye had to be taken to a hospital after he was hit in the hand, apparently by a rubber bullet fired by a member of the military police during a similar protest.

Video from Kireka which was the scene of rioting

Police confirmed that Monday’s arrest of Besigye set off clashes between demonstrators and police in the Kampala suburbs.

Besigye had vowed to “walk to work,” protesting every Monday and Thursday, contending the government is manipulating prices for fuel and commodities.

Nabakooba said last week that police had asked Besigye to walk alone, without being accompanied by supporters.

Authorities said Monday that supporters who walked with Besigye were responsible for “inciting violence.”

In February, Besigye lost in an election bid to replace President Yoweri Museveni, who has led the country since a rebel group with which he was aligned seized power in 1986. Besigye, a former doctor to Museveni, lost previous presidential bids in 2001 and 2006.

At least two people were killed and over 100 injured in Uganda’s capital Friday over the capture of opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

Besigye has been leading protests in recent months over high food and fuel prices in Uganda.

Israel’s Masada Attack Palestinian Prisoners

In Israhell, News, NWO, Other Leaks on April 19, 2011 at 2:43 AM

Hundreds of Palestinian have died inside Israeli prisons and now an Israeli television channel has aired shocking footage of Israel’s so-called Control and Restraint unit, or Masada, attacking Palestinian prisoners.

Activists have demanded people in charge of the operation, carried out in 2007, be charged and the family of one of the victims told Al Jazeera that they would consider suing Masada.

Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Seida in the occupied West Bank. (17 Apr 2011)

For years Israel has tried to hide this tape, and now it has been exposed. Israel’s Channel 2 aired the story on “Uvda”, a “60 minutes” style program.

A search in prisoners cells and tents in Ktziot, a huge prison for Palestinians near the Egyptian border, ended up with the guards shooting prisoners in their quarters, killing one and injuring others.

The whole operation was unnecessary, intended to promote self-confidence and to “boost morale” among the guards. As can be see near the end of the video, some guards are clearly enjoying themselves (not everyone – others are trying to prevent the situation from getting out of hands).

Original Video Uploaded By djonesowens1

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have gone on a one-day hunger strike in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) to protest the inhumane treatment by the Israeli prison guards.

PressTV:

Coinciding with the Palestinian Prisoners Day, the detainees are trying to draw attention to the violations and human rights abuses against Palestinian political prisoners, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Earlier, Israel’s Channel 2 TV station released a video footage showing Israeli forces in a surprise attack on prisoners in Israel’s desert prison Ktziot in Naqab (Negev), which sparked riot.

Israeli forces respond with deadly live ammunition. One Palestinian, Mohamad al-Ashkar, sustains injury in the head from a bullet shot at close range. He later dies due to the injury. Dozens of others also sustain injuries during the attack.

The footage also shows medics being prevented from treating the wounded Palestinians.

Family members of the Palestinian prisoners have been enraged by the recent video footage.

Human rights activists are demanding those responsible for the killing of Mohamad al-Ashkar to be put on trial, but were skeptical that this will in fact happen due to the legal system in Israel.

Meanwhile, relatives of Palestinian prisoners and human rights activists gathered outside Israel’s Shata prison on Sunday to commemorate the Palestinian Prisoners Day and to protest Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners.

Palestinians in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and those living in Israel came out together to demand the release of their loved ones.

“We visit prisoners frequently to listen to their cause, and fight for their rights and release,” said Jamal Zahalka, an Arab member of Israeli Parliament.

“We have been in struggle since 1936. I am here today to voice my solidarity with all Palestinian prisoners, including my son,” said Raese Abdel-Qader, mother of a Palestinian prisoner.

Despite Israeli claims that torture and abuse of prisoners have been outlawed and no longer occur, Palestinian prisoners continue to accuse Israelis of physical and psychological abuse, medical negligence and refusal to allow them to see visiting relatives.

Around 8,000 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, the Press TV correspondent said.

Over 200 Palestinian prisoners have died inside Israeli prisons so far, according to Palestinian officials, who say that the deaths were the result of torture, medical negligence and shooting.

Leaked U.N. Report Indicates Sri Lanka War Crimes

In News, Other Leaks, Sri Lanka, World Revolution on April 19, 2011 at 2:00 AM

A leaked United Nations report indicates “credible allegations” of Sri Lanka war crimes. Video first broadcast by Channel 4 News, showing alleged Tamil executions, formed a key part of the evidence.

Channel 4 News obtains exclusive footage from the “closed off”corner of northern Sri Lanka, showing evidence of camps, repression and abuse, ahead of the publication of the UN’s report on war crimes.

READ SUMMARY OF LEAKED REPORT HERE:

Report of the UNSG’s panel of experts on accountability in SL

Ban Ki Moon’s Expert Panel Report

Related: UN spokesman regrets premature publication – Ban “reviewing” Advisory Panel report

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Dear UN Secretary-General, tell us what you know about Sri Lanka

Dr Manoharan has been fighting for 5 years to bring his son’s murderers to court. This film follows the 70 year old doctor from Sri Lanka to London and the UN building in New York with a 50,000 strong petition for Amnesty International members. They demand Justice for the thousands of victims lost or killed in Sri Lanka, as a UN report is written on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict.

It must be made public, Amnesty International said as a panel of experts submitted their findings to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

In May 2009, Sri Lanka’s decades long civil war with the Tamil Tigers, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam came to a bloody close after government forces launched a massive offensive.

What exactly happened during the last days of the battle is still the subject of fierce debate, but it is clear that as the rebel perimeter shrank, around a third of a million civilians were trapped between the two armies and tens of thousands were killed.

Update:

A UN report on the Sri Lanka war is delayed as the Sri Lankan Government warns it has gone too far. A key player in the Sri Lankan reconciliation process tells Channel 4 News the report is “vulgar”.

Channel4:

The Sri Lankan government appears to have successfully delayed the publication of a critical UN report. By securing an agreement that the report’s release would be held back until a Sri Lankan government response could be prepared, the Colombo authorities look to have forced the deferral of its release. It may be published over the Easter weekend, but is likely to receive much less global attention as a result.

The report on atrocities committed at the end of the 26-year Sri Lanka war, which has already been leaked, was compiled by a UN panel advising the Secretary General on accountability, and accuses both the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) of “crimes against humanity”.

It focuses in the main on the Government’s responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in the final bloody months of the civil war in 2009, which ended with Government victory.

Overstepped

Ahead of the expected publication, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister said the report had overstepped its mandate.

Foreign Minister GL Peiris said: “So how can this panel transform itself into an investigative panel? They must confine themselves to the limit of their mandate.”

He said Sri Lanka had strongly urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon not to formally publish the report, and declined to comment on the detail until it was published. Sri Lanka banned the panel from entering the country during its investigations.

“We are very much conscious of the fact that the need of the hour is reconciliation,” Mr Peiris said. “What needs to be emphasised is oneness and solidarity…we have to consider whether it is useful to have a report of this nature.”

‘Vulgar’

Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, a Sri Lankan MP who was central to the Government’s reconciliation efforts towards the end of the war, told Channel 4 News the report was “vulgar”.

Professor Wijesinha, the former Secretary-General of the Sri Lankan Government Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), and former Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, said: “The bulk of the Sri Lankans will find this report a very vulgar exercise.

“I don’t think anyone’s got particularly excited about it at the moment, I think it is important that members of the Security Council have made it very very clear that this is not an official document and I think this whole exercise has been rather regrettable.

“As I told the British, if you want us to hark back to terrorism, we are not playing at all. If you want to encourage us to work with the Tamil population of Sri Lanka, well that’s what we want to do.”

Criticism

The report will suggest there are “credible allegations” of war crimes which – if proven – suggest a “grave assault on the entire regime of international law”. It will indicate that actions by both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

These alleged crimes include executions, rape and torture by Government forces. The leaked report also lists the shelling of civilians inside “no-fire zones”, the “systematic shelling” of hospitals and attacks on the UN and Red Cross.

The LTTE stands accused of refusing civilians permission to leave the conflict zone and “using them as hostages” in a “buffer zone”. The report also took into account a Channel 4 News video, which appeared to show executions and raised new questions over war crimes.

The Sri Lankan Government maintains it should be allowed to look into its own affairs through its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

But many human rights organisations, as well as civilians, who are still searching for their family members or grieving for those they lost in the war, feel that someone must be held to account and international pressure could be the only way.

Dr Manoharan, whose son was killed by security forces in 2006, told Channel 4 News he has been searching for justice for his son, and all the other victims in Sri Lanka, ever since.

“I want a judgement on this and I hope the UN will release their report – I have a right to see that report and so do all the civilians in Sri Lanka,” he said.

U.S. Government Shuts Down Online Poker Sites

In News, NWO on April 19, 2011 at 1:49 AM

Federal authorities have unshielded an indictment against the founders of the three largest Internet poker companies operating in the U.S. The indictment charges 11 defendants, including the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet with bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling offenses.

The federal government is getting serious about cracking down on online gambling, with 2009 revenue from U.S. players to be an estimated $5.4 billion. So is the federal government missing out on potential tax revenue, and what’s the future of the online gaming industry? Fox Business Network’s Adam Shapiro reports live from the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

Obama’s justice department led a massive crackdown on online poker sites, with the FBI indicting 11 people on charges of fraud, money laundering and illegally operating online gambling sites. The websites include three of the largest and most popular online poker forums, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and Poker Stars. Cato’s Julian Sanchez weighs in on the sudden crackdown.

Led by US attorney Preet Bharara, the so-called “anti-poker crusades” have sparked debate over the government’s role in online gambling. Protesters dispute poker’s classification as gambling, saying it is a game of skill, not just luck.

According to John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, poker is not an illegal activity — it is a legitimate business.

“The reality is, we don’t believe poker to be gambling, therefore the activities surrounding it shouldn’t be viewed as covering up some sort of illegal gambling activity.”

Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the real motives behind the U.S. government cracked down on several large internet poker websites and players.

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