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ECHR Rules CIA “Tortured and Sodomised” Wrongly Detained German Citizen

In News, NWO, Other Leaks, Police State on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM

12/13/2012

TheGuardian:

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European Court of Human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA “rendition team” at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

“The grand chamber of the European Court of Human Rights unanimously found that Mr el-Masri was subjected to forced disappearance, unlawful detention, extraordinary rendition outside any judicial process, and inhuman and degrading treatment,” said James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

He described the judgment as “an authoritative condemnation of some of the most objectionable tactics employed in the post-9/11 war on terror”. It should be a wake-up call for the Obama administration and US courts, he told the Guardian. For them to continue to avoid serious scrutiny of CIA activities was “simply unacceptable”, he said.

Jamil Dakwar, of the American Civil Liberties Union, described the ruling as “a huge victory for justice and the rule of law”.

The use of CIA interrogation methods widely denounced as torture during the Bush administration’s “war on terror” also came under scrutiny in Congress on Thursday. The US Senate’s select committee on intelligence was expected to vote on whether to approve a mammoth review it has undertaken into the controversial practices that included waterboarding, stress positions, forced nudity, beatings and sleep and sensory deprivation.

The report, that runs to almost 6,000 pages based on a three-year review of more than 6m pieces of information, is believed to conclude that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” adopted by the CIA during the Bush years did not produce any major breakthroughs in intelligence, contrary to previous claims. The committee, which is dominated by the Democrats, is likely to vote to approve the report, though opposition from the Republican members may prevent the report ever seeing the light of day.

The Strasbourg court said it found Masri’s account of what happened to him “to be established beyond reasonable doubt” and that Macedonia had been “responsible for his torture and ill-treatment both in the country itself and after his transfer to the US authorities in the context of an extra-judicial ‘rendition’”.

In January 2004, Macedonian police took him to a hotel in Skopje, where he was kept locked in a room for 23 days and questioned in English, despite his limited proficiency in that language, about his alleged ties with terrorist organisations, the court said in its judgment. His requests to contact the German embassy were refused. At one point, when he said he intended to leave, he was threatened with being shot.

“Masri’s treatment at Skopje airport at the hands of the CIA rendition team – being severely beaten, sodomised, shackled and hooded, and subjected to total sensory deprivation – had been carried out in the presence of state officials of [Macedonia] and within its jurisdiction,” the court ruled.

It added: “Its government was consequently responsible for those acts performed by foreign officials. It had failed to submit any arguments explaining or justifying the degree of force used or the necessity of the invasive and potentially debasing measures. Those measures had been used with premeditation, the aim being to cause Mr Masri severe pain or suffering in order to obtain information. In the court’s view, such treatment had amounted to torture, in violation of Article 3 [of the European human rights convention].”

In Afghanistan, Masri was incarcerated for more than four months in a small, dirty, dark concrete cell in a brick factory near the capital, Kabul, where he was repeatedly interrogated and was beaten, kicked and threatened. His repeated requests to meet with a representative of the German government were ignored, said the court.

Masri was released in April 2004. He was taken, blindfolded and handcuffed, by plane to Albania and subsequently to Germany, after the CIA admited he was wrongly detained. The Macedonian government, which the court ordered must pay Masri €60,000 (£49,000) in compensation, has denied involvement in kidnapping.

UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, described the ruling as “a key milestone in the long struggle to secure accountability of public officials implicated in human rights violations committed by the Bush administration CIA in its policy of secret detention, rendition and torture”.

He said the US government must issue an apology for its “central role in a web of systematic crimes and human rights violations by the Bush-era CIA, and to pay voluntary compensation to Mr el-Masri”.

Germany should ensure that the US officials involved in this case were now brought to trial.

Related Link: Khalid El-Masri Case: U.S. Pressured German Government to Prevent Arrest Warrants of CIA Agents

[EGYPT] Mubarak Suffers Heart Attack, Detained for 15 Days

In Egypt, News, NWO, World Revolution on April 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak has been put under detention in hospital while he is investigated for corruption charges.

In a dramatic twenty four hours the former leader was first put under questioning by investigators.

According to state television he then suffered a heart ‘crisis’ that put him in intensive care in hospital where he was subsequently placed under arrest.

Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered the detention of Mubarak and his two sons Gamal and Alaa for fifteen days.

The sons are believed to have been sent to Cairo to be questioned there.

It is thought their father will remain in hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

Related Link: Hosni Mubarak & Sons Summoned for Questioning over Allegations of Corruption/Abuse/Torture

Al Jazeera Demands Release of Journalists Held in Libya

In Libya, News, Viral Videos, World Revolution on April 8, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Al Jazeera is calling on Libyan authorities to set free Ahmad val ould Eddin, Ammar Al-Hamdan, and Kamel Al Tallou, who were detained last month while covering the ongoing conflict in the country.

Libyan authorities have not provided any information about why the journalists are being held. The three were held near Zintan in the northwest of the country and then imprisoned in Tripoli.

Al Jazeera:

Ahmad val ould Eddin first joined Al Jazeera in 2008. He worked as a correspondent in South Africa before returning to the newsroom in Doha. He reported on Africa, which led him to cover Libya during the recent uprising. A Mauritanian, he has two daughters, Layla and Lubna. He writes a blog called ‘Kounach’, a compilation of his newspaper articles. He is a passionate reader of Arabic poetry, especially by Al-Mutanabbi.

Kamel Al-Tallou joined Al Jazeera as a cameraman recently, driven by his passion for journalism despite his medical education and background as a doctor. Al-Tallou studied medicine in Tripoli before working as a doctor in England until 2009. Kamel, a 43-year-old UK citizen, is married with three sons and one daughter.

Ammar Al-Hamdan is a Norwegian cameramen with a multicultural background. He is of Palestinian origin but born and raised in Baghdad. Al-Hamdan is married to a Norwegian journalist and has worked in Al Jazeera’s Oslo bureau since 2006.

Late Sunday night, one of four detained Al Jazeera journalists, Lotfi Al Masoudi, crossed the border into Tunisia.

Lotfi Al Masoudi joined Al Jazeera from CNBC Dubai in March 2007 and started off as a presenter for Al Jazeera Sport. He is a native of Kairouan, Tunisia, and his main professional goal has been to make sure that Al Jazeera stays at the forefront of the news industry. This devotion took him to Libya to cover the conflict there as a correspondent. Lotfi is 34, married, and has a 2-year-old son named Mohamad Khalil. Lotfi and his wife Amira hope to have a family reunion soon.

However, the other three are still being held by Libyan authorities.

On March 31, Libyan authorities re-arrested the four Al Jazeera journalists just hours after they were released.

They had been detained earlier by Libyan authorities near Zintan, in the northwest of the country, and then imprisoned in Tripoli for three weeks.

Their latest incarceration came after Al Masoudi told Tunisian radio station Jawhara FM in a telephone interview that they had been released and that they had been treated well in detention.

Al Masoudi, a Tunisian national, had been re-taken on Thursday along with Ahmad val ould Eddin, a Mauritanian national, Ammar Al-Hamdan, a Norwegian national of Palestinian descent, and Kamel Al Tallou, a British citizen.

During their brief freedom, the journalists met with their respective ambassadors in Tripoli to discuss their situation and their planned departure for Tunisia the following day.

Libyan authorities have not provided any information about why or where the journalists are being held.

“We call on Libyan authorities to release the Al Jazeera journalists and all other journalists that they or their forces are holding,” Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said.

Since Libya”s revolt began in February, CPJ has documented more than 60 attacks on the press, including two fatalities, more than 33 detentions, two attacks on news facilities, numerous instances of equipment confiscation, three cases of obstruction, the jamming of satellite news transmissions, and the interruption of internet service.

On March 12, Ali Hassan Al Jaber, an Al Jazeera cameraman, was killed in an ambush while returning to Benghazi after filing a report from an opposition protest.

During the crackdown, Libyan authorities have targeted four New York Times journalists and a Guardian correspondent.

And at least seven local journalists who spoke critically of government policies remain missing amid wide speculation that they are being held by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, Libya”s embattled leader.

Al Jazeera released a statement on March 30 calling for the immediate release of its journalists. The call was signed by a foray of international organisations.

Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Detained

In China, China, News, World Revolution on April 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

France and Germany have called for the immediate release of a Chinese artist and dissident, detained in China.


Ai Weiwei has not been seen since he was stopped passing through security checks at Beijing airport for a flight to Hong Kong on Sunday.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called on China for an “urgent explanation” of his fate.

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry said the country was “very concerned” about his disappearance.

“We hope he will be released as soon as possible,” Bernard Valero said, adding that the French government was following events “very closely”.

The authorities have not commented on the detention of the internationally acclaimed artist, who has now been missing for more than 24 hours.

Vocal critic

His wife told Agence France Press on Monday that police in Beijing had refused to disclose why they detained the artist.

Mr Westerwelle, who has just returned from a visit to Beijing and Tokyo, said he had impressed on Chinese leaders the importance of freedom of opinion and human rights

Human rights group Amnesty International said Mr Ai’s arrest showed that “China’s time for open dissent has come to an end”.

It called his detention a “troubling development” symptomatic of a “widening crackdown on dissent” across the country.

The artist, who has become one of China’s most outspoken critics, complaining about a lack of human rights, was detained on Sunday morning while travelling with an assistant, Jennifer Ng.

House arrest

The documents of both were checked thoroughly before Ms Ng was allowed to continue on her journey to Hong Kong.

She has told the BBC that Mr Ai was taken away by border guards and she was told to board the flight alone.

Police officers later raided the artist’s Beijing studio, confiscating dozens of items and questioning several people.

Mr Ai helped design the main stadium used in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, known as the Bird’s Nest.

His work often has political connotations and he has also lent his vocal support to others who have tackled the authorities.

Last year, the 53-year-old was prevented from travelling abroad and, in a separate incident, briefly held under house arrest.

He has been under constant surveillance and, according to his assistant, the police had visited his compound three times recently, prompting him to suspect he would soon be detained again.

Egypt – Million People March

In Egypt, WikiLeaks, World Revolution on February 1, 2011 at 7:01 AM

Egypt, 1 st February 2011.

After seven days of demonstration

One million people will march to Tahir square Cairo.

In Alexandria large crowds continue to defy curfew and demonstrate in the city center.

The  internet become a trickle and then a void of unprocessed URL’s as Mubarak ordered the internet be “switched off” , slowly as a veil of expectancy falls upon Egypt for what may be a turning point in Egypt’s modern history.

Message to the world

Along with the rhetoric that American leader Barak Obama has clumsily moulded on a day by day basis has been the call to Obama to explain his rendering of foreign nationals, one occasions literally kidnapping, then rendering the captive to Egypt for interrogation purposes.

Hillary Clinton also seized upon the fact that Mubarak has appointed a vice president siting that it was one thing the U.S had been telling Mubarak to do. Fox NEWS continued rotating her sound grab throughout the evening with little or no effect.

A successor to Mubarak has become no clearer…..

ElBaradei continues his appearances with the Egyptian people, but as many analyst express, ElBaradei is not really fully supported by the Egyptian people.  His role may be seen here as more transitional.

Traditionally Egypt has been ruled by leaders from the military. Mubarak himself served in the airforce. The show of force in Cairo with the jets and helicopters was orchestrated by Mubarak supporters in the Egyptian airforce.

There may have been a catalytic effect after the revolution in Tunisia, however the following video shows the highlighted section of Wikileaks Cable 09CAIRO1468 outlining how the U.S had discussed Mubarak’s succession as far back as 2009.

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