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2015 suppressed news

suppressed news
 concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
against forgetfulness

2016

 

September 24, 2016

     Canada: on September 22nd, Indigenous leaders from across North America (among them the Standing Rock Sioux) signed a Treaty in Montreal and Vancouver to stand together in forbidding the use of their lands for production or distribution of crude oil from the Alberta oilsands. Also targeted: TransCanada's Energy East pipeline, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and Line 3 pipeline modernization/replacement, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, and the Keystone XL pipeline (the rejection by U.S. President Obama is currently challenged by TransCanada in courts). Not mentioned: the BC government has approved the Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre LNG facility and a 47 kilometre natural gas pipeline between Vancouver Island and Squamish. Not mentioned: the Trudeau government has issued two permits for the Site C dam near Fort St. John; two bands are trying to halt construction in court (previous). The Indigenous Treaty position protects Indigenous heritage, protects affected Indigenous environments from the risk of extreme pollution, eases the dangers to local wildlife, encourages alternative energy sources of wind and solar and tidal power, helps Canada honour its commitment to keep the global temperature increase to under 1.5% Celsius. The growing number of Treaty signatories has reached some seventy 70 aboriginal bands or nations. The fact of the Treaty makes clear that the pipelines do not have the Indigenous peoples' support as required by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (previous). On Sept. 20th David Archambault II, acting chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux (see above and previous) asked the U.N.'s Human Rights Council in Geneva, to "call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect our environment and our nation's future, our culture and our way of life." The "Treaty Alliance against Tar Sands Expansion," is available online at [access:< http://www.treatyalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Treaty-and-additional-information.pdf >].     Partial sources online: "U.S. and Canadian aboriginal groups sign treaty to oppose oilsands development," Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press, Sept. 22, 2016, CTV News Montreal; "Energy East: Kanesatake grand chief vows to pull out stops to fight pipeline," March 14, 2016, CBC News; "Here are the major Canadian pipelines the oil patch wants built," Christopher Adams (Analysis, Energy), Sept. 22, 2016, National Observer; "Canadian First Nations, U.S. tribes form alliance to stop oil pipelines," Thomson Reuters, Sept. 22, 2016, CBC News; "Standing Rock Sioux Chairman asks the United Nations for protection of the tribe's sovereign rights," navajo, Sept. 20, 2016, Daily Kos.; "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Takes #NODAPL to the United Nations," Sept. 20, 2016, Indian Law Resource Center .

 

 

September 18, 2016

     The Hague: on Sept. 15th the International Criminal Court announced it will extend its focus on the worst crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression and war crimes, to crimes against the environment. The Court may address the theft and exploitation of natural resources, contamination of the environment, exploitation of resources requiring the unlawful ejection of peoples from their lands, etc. The acts of corporations and the governments granting permits - which are currently confronted at Standing Rock North Dakota and the Site C dam in British Columbia among other locations, could fall under international regulation and criminal charges. In August the Court opened its first case against destroying cultural heritage; Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi of Timbuktu pled guilty with sincere apology. While Canada is a member of the ICC, the U.S. is currently not, attempting to protect its leaders from prosecution. As a non-member the U.S. was able to escape charges of genocide laid against it by Milosevic as leader of the former Yugoslavia after the U.S. and NATO countries attacked the country's civilian infrastructure. It isn't likely that energy and resource extraction industries of Canada or the U.S. will be charged by the ICC in the near future; the Court has so far, primarily charged Africans. But times change.     Partial sources online: "International court to prosecute environmental crimes in major shift," Chris Arsenault , Sept. 15, 2016, Reuters' "ICC widens remit to include environmental destruction cases," John Vidal and Owen Bowcott, Sept. 15, 2016, theguardian; "ICC to war criminals: Destroying shrines in Timbuktu is worse than rape," Marie Forestier, Aug. 22, 2016, Chicago Tribune .

 

     Standing Rock , North Dakota: (see previous). Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman came under a warrant for her arrest on charges of trespassing; this was the State's response to Democracy Now! coverage of Dakota Access security dogs biting unarmed protesters. Following the Federal government's selective delay of pipeline construction, protectors of the land continued attempts to stop the pipeline in another nearby location; some were arrested for chaining themselves to heavy machinery. Protests by supporters of those protecting the land took place across the U.S. and Canada. The firmness of the Indigenous people's resolve, their solidarity, the land's need for protection by all groups opens a new phase of people's resistance to corporate takeover of the land mass resources. This struggle will continue. Counterpunch has published Leonard Peltier's letter "On Solidarity with Standing Rock, Executive Clemency and the International Indigenous Struggle," (Sept. 16), which supports from prison all those at the Camp of the Sacred Stones on Standing Rock. He writes "I have to caution you young people to be careful, for you are up against a very evil group of people whose only concern is to fill their pockets with even more gold and wealth. They could not care less how many of you they have to kill or bury in a prison cell," and he asks support for his own deserved clemency.     Partial sources online: "Breaking: Riot Police Begin Mass-Arrests at Dakota Access Pipeline, FB Censors Video," Sept. 13, 2016, Indigenous Network; "U.S. Government Bans Native American Tribe From Protesting On Their Own Land – Send In Police To Remove Protesters – Indigenous People," Sept. 7, 2016, Indigenous Network; "Arrest warrant for Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman over North Dakota pipeline protest," Sept. 11, 2016, RT.

 

    Site C British Columbia: in Canada a similar confrontation is underway between the interests of the people (specifically local Indigenous tribes) and corporate interests of the power companies. A dam proposed for the Peace River, to flood approximately 14,000 acres including large stretches of Native people's lands and heritage, has been granted permits by the Province and Federal government to proceed, despite the expected damage to endangered species and without adequate permissions from the affected tribes. Further up the Peace River BC Hydro has already flooded (in the 1960's) 1400 square kilometers, with enough substantial damage to the environment to require an ongoing public apology. The Bennet dam heralded extensive resource extraction and then population growth (Amnesty International). Amnesty also points out that continued construction of the new dam directly violates the rights of Indigenous peoples. Logically, permits for the Site C dam raise questions of impunity as clear violations of Indigenous treaty rights. Lawyers for the West Moberly and the Prophet River First Nations recently presented their case to stop dam construction in a Montreal court room. In previous actions by Native peoples and Settlers the courts have ruled in favour of the Power company - energy interests and resource extraction interests are intent on staying boss. In the current case the violation of Indigenous rights and interests is clear; a decision probably by November to allow exploitation can't be taken for granted. The basic control-by-fear of native peoples exercised in the ongoing disappearances of Indigenous women, has recently been subjected to a national inquiry. If the Site C dam proceeds Prime Minister Trudeau's efforts at some historical reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous peoples will be understood as the usual. Meanwhile on Sept. 15th the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge to the dam by Ken Boon, president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, by ruling that portions of the environmental assessment report can be ignored.     Partial sources online: "Amnesty International calls for halt to B.C.’s Site C dam," Dirk Meissner, Aug. 16, 2016, The Globe and Mail; "The Point of No Return: the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada Threatened by the Site C Dam," Amnesty International 2016; "Site C dam not in keeping with constitution, UN declaration: Bellegarde," Kristy Kirkup - Canadian Press, Sept. 10, 2016, CTV News; "BC Hydro granted injunction against Site C protesters," Feb 29, 2016, CBC News; "BC Hydro CEO refuses to halt Site C, despite Amnesty report," Canadian Press, Aug. 10, 2016, CBC News; "After day-long court hearing, it’s wait and see for Site C dam opponents," Jonny Wakefield, Sept. 13, 2016, Dawson Creek Mirror; "Site C opponents lose another court battle," Sept. 16, 2016, 890 CJDC; "B.C. Court of Appeal upholds Site C environmental assessment report," The Canadian Press, Sept. 15, 2016, CTV News.

 

     U.S. Prisons: on trike - see previous. the information of this summary will not be verifiable for a while. There's almost no national coverage of the prison strike which continues throughout the U.S. and to some extent internationally; estimates of participant numbers vary. Private sources are at odds with State supplied information. Prison administrators have made an effort to suppress news of the strike as well as participation. Strike organizers are being kept in solitary. Communications from some prisons are disrupted by lockdowns. Reasons for the lockdown are not made public. Prisoners' ongoing reports of the strike are available at mask: Live Updates from the National Prisoners Strike [access:< http://www.maskmagazine.com/the-prisoner-issue/struggle/live-updates-prisoner-strike >]. Internet news sources for U.S. prison news have decreased over the past five years. There are few contradictions to the strike's validity, necessity and seriousness. It's Going Down reports as of Sept. 14th, 29 prisons affected by the strike with 24,000 prisoners missing work; support demonstrations in 60 cities [access:< https://itsgoingdown.org/prisonstrike-huge-continuing/ >]. On Sept. 14, The Guardian reported Chelsea Manning ended her hunger strike after the Army allowed her medical surgery.

 

 

September 10, 2016

     Standing Rock , North Dakota: (see previous). According to an AP News Alert at 2:45PM, the Standing Rock Sioux's attempt to stop the Dakota Access pipeline was denied. The Judge's reason: the tribe failed to show how stopping the pipeline would protect sites sacred to the Native people. Judge James Boasberg's 58 page Memorandum on the case concludes that the "Tribe has not demonstrated that an injunction is warranted here." This allows the 3.8 billion dollar pipeline to proceed. The Memorandum Opinion shows some awareness of Native customs and beliefs but reads as a justification of Dakota Access and Army Corps of Engineers practices. Counterpunch points out that Judge Boasberg's salary is $203,100 for 2016. The average yearly income of a Standing Rock Sioux Reservation resident is $4,421 / year. Unsurprised by the verdict, the Federal Government intervened immediately to stop construction of the pipeline locally, temporarily. In a joint statement three Federal agencies (Department of Justice, the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior) say no construction by Dakota Access on land adjacent to the Standing Rock Reservation or under the large reservoir Lake Oahe (the Army Corps of Engineers formed this lake in 1958, damming the Cannonball River and destroying substantial Native Heritage). The permit process is to be re-examined. President Obama stresses the importance of approval by the Native leaders. Meanwhile protests in support of the Standing Rock Sioux occurred across North America.     Partial sources online: "Obama administration intervenes in Dakota pipeline project opposed by Standing Rock Sioux, halts construction," Jorge Barrera, Sept. 9, 2016, aptn National News; "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," Case 1:16-cv-01534-JEB Document 39 Filed 09/09/16, United States District Court for the District of Columbia ; "Pipelines, Poverty and Privilege: the Finances of Judge James Boasberg," Frances Madeson, Sept. 8, 2016, counterpunch.

 

   U.S. Prison System: (previous) almost no news is available about the U.S. September 9 prisoner strike, protesting slavery and honouring the victims of Attica, 1971. The Bankok Post reports that news of the strike is hard to access; in Florida Mayo Correctional and Holmes Correctional were in lockdown September 9th after rioting September 8th. RT reports that all the prisoners of Alabama's Holmon Correctional Facility refused to go to work. Another source reports a smaller number of striking prisoners but 27 Alabama correctional facilities involved in the work stoppage. Reuters Canada reports Chelsea Manning began a hunger strike in protest of her treatment. The Army's response to her recent suicide attempt was an attempt to increase her sentence. Imprisoned, reviled and extra-judicially punished for exposing war crimes, she is hunger striking to be treated decently. In Portland Oregon two were arrested as an anti-slavery protest for the day moved through downtown streets. Strike related actions are confirmed at prisons in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida.     Partial sources online: "‘Incarcerated Workers’ stage nationwide prison labor strike 45 years after 1971 Attica riot," Sept. 10, 2016, RT; "Chelsea Manning announces hunger strike over treatment in prison," Sept. 9, 2016, Reuters Canada; "US inmates launch nationwide prison protests," AFP Sept. 10, 2016, Bankok Post; "2 arrested during ‘Slave labor’ protest downtown," Koin & News staff, Sept.9, 2016, KOIN 6; "Inmate work stoppage at Alabama prison comes on 45th anniversary of deadly Attica riot," Haley Townsend Rhinehart, Sept. 9, 2016, WIAT CBS42; "In Sunset Park, Protesters Call for 'Prisoner Liberation'," John V. Santore, Sept. 9,2016, Sunset Park Patch (Brooklyn); "Live Updates from the National Prisoner Strike," ongoing , Mask.

 

 

September 8, 2016

     Standing Rock, North Dakota: Governor Jack Dalrymple has called up the North Dakota National Guard as police backup, awaiting the decision of U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, September 9th, on the legality of the Dakota Access company's pipleine construction and the company's tactics (previous). The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is affected but hasn't given its permission (required by international treaties), as evidenced by the thousands who have gathered to stand with this Band's pipeline protest. The Guardsmen on standby number about a hundred. Dave Archambault, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman, insists those gathered must remain non-violent. The Army Corps of Engineers which gave permit to the Dakota Access Company project, is mythic in its challenges to common sense. It is notably faulted for its flood management protection of New Orleans. Among other assets the Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates 609 dams (Wikipedia). Each stripped a local population of its lands. Currently, native peoples at least under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, have some protection from corporate abuse and its sanction by the State:

Article 32, 2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
Partial sources online: "North Dakota National Guard to provide backup to law enforcement ," Caroline Grueskin and Blair Emerson, Sept. 8, 2016, Bismarck Tribune; "Tribe challenging pipeline has some advantages in courtroom ," Josh Funk, AP; 'Breaking: North Dakota National Guard to provide backup to law enforcement . What's next? the US Cavalry??' Jennifer Tsun, September 8, 2016, Eaglewatch listserv; "More Tribes Head to Standing Rock on Canoe Paddle Down Missouri River," Sept.8, 2016, Democracy Now!

 

 

September 7, 2016

     Standing Rock, North Dakota: on Sept. 2nd the BBC reported the gathering of Native peoples at the Red Warriors Camp, in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. By September 6th the number was estimated at five thousand from all through the States, gathered in protest of the Dakota Access LLC pipeline (a 4 state, 3.8 million dollar project) about to be placed upstream under the Missouri River. Dakota Access is part of Energy Transfer Partners, Dallas Texas. The pipeline bulldozers have already created a scar across the landscape and are currently entering Native ancestral burial grounds. Pipeline Security guards have held the non-violent protesters away from the bulldozers with the use of dogs and pepper spray, before leaving the area. In videos of the incident protestors are unarmed. Several were bitten. During August over 20 Native Americans were arrested. For the first time in a very long time all Sioux tribes are in agreement and supporting the encampment which is also supported by other Native bands and many others. Due to proximity of the upriver crossing any mishap during the pipeline's use would irreparably damage the land and water. A major access road to the encampment has been blocked by law enforcement. The Standing Rock Sioux have taken the Army Corps of Engineers to court for granting the company license to do what it's doing without permission of the Native peoples. A judge will rule on the "legitimacy" of the pipeline, September 9th. The Dakota Access Pipeline route is currently planned to carry crude oil from North Dakota, through South Dakota, Iowa, to Patoka Illinois. Location maps [access:< http://www.daplpipelinefacts.com/about/route.html >].     Partial sources online: "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Condemns Destruction and Desecration of Burial Grounds by Energy Transfer Partners," Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Sept 4, 2016, Indian Country; "Life in the Native American oil protest camps," Sept. 2, 2016, BBC News; "Fwd: Urgent! Standing Rock ND: 'Protectors' Under Seige; 2+ Miles of Sacred Sites Destroyed!" Jenifer Tsun, Sept. 5, 2016, eaglewatch; "Oil Pipeline Protest Turns Violent in Southern North Dakota," James Macpherson, Sept. 5, 2016, AP.

 

 

 

gerald and maas permission to reprint image by george maas
anti-slavery leaflet .pdf download

 

September 1, 2016

     U.S.: Heather Ann Thompson's Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, (Pantheon) was released August 23rd. - Dr. Thompson is a Professor of History in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan and remains on the Faculty of Temple University. Noted by The New York Times as a "superb work of history" the book makes clear that 33 Attica prisoners and 9 hostages were killed by bullets from the security personnel who took over the prison by force September 13, 1971. The order was given by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Despite the State's efforts to hide its responsibility for massacring unarmed prisoners, Dr. Thompson presents evidence of the specific murders by law enforcement which began weeks of brutalization of prisoners, torture and terrorization..... (Continue "Arrogance, Impunity and Attica," by J.B.Gerald)

 

 

August 3, 2016

     The Hague: amid the 2590 pages of its recent verdict finding Radovan Karadzic guilty with a forty year sentence, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) quietly found Slobodan Milosevic innocent of Bosnian war crimes. There was no ICTY press release on this issue which can be regarded as an attempt to hide the ruling to avoid the Court's embarrassment. One witness against Milosevic was in Western government pay. The principal prosecution witness admitted to being tortured to provide false witness against him. The Court's unanimous judgement of innocence was discovered by journalist Andy Wilcoxson, and published on a Milosevic memorial page July 18th. The article became widely available through an August 1 reprint in Counterpunch. Karadzic's trial reveals that Milosevic attempted to mitigate Karadzic's policies. Milosevic's egalitarian perspective and the Court ruling directly contradict a world wide media campaign against him which allowed the persecution of a leader who correctly took the NATO community nations to court for genocide during their attack and bombing campaign against his country. Milosevic died from a sophisticated poisoning in the ICTY's prison before his trial could be adjudicated. See previous.     Partial sources online: "ICTY Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic for War Crimes," InSerbia with agencies, Jul 24, 2016, inserbia / Aug.3, 2016, Global Research; "Hague Tribunal Exonerates Slobodan Milosevic for Bosnia War Crimes Ten Years Too Late," Andy Wilcoxson, July 18, 2016, www.slobodan-milosevic.org; "The Exoneration of Milosevic: the ICTY’s Surprise Ruling," Andy Wilcoxson, Aug. 1, 2016, Counterpunch; "Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on," Neil Clark, Aug. 2, 2016, RT; "'Milosevic to NATO was the new Hitler, a new Serbian Nazis'," [Sic], Sputnik, Aug. 1, 2016, b92, "On Crimes of Power: the Bombing of Yugoslavia, 1999," John Bart Gerald, August 1, 1999, serendipity.

"'To Entertain You,' Boris Kovac with La Campanella Orchestra" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfWjLjbOogU&list=RDWfWjLjbOogU#t=2 >]

 

     Ottawa: the Trudeau government has opened an inquiry on the missing aboriginal women in Canada (ie. why are so many aboriginal women murdered), appointing five to an 'independent of the government' commission: Justice Marion Buller, Michèle Audette, Qajaq Robinson, Prof. Marilyn Poitras, Brian Eyolfson. The investigation will not have the power to bring charges against RCMP and Provincial law enforcement. Mandated to investigate causes of violence within the system and the underlying historical causes, the Commission could finally address the issue of genocide. However funding for the Inquiry, initially budgeted at forty million dollars has risen to 53.8 million plus a 16.17 million dollar increase for victim services over four years. Previous: 1     2.     Partial sources online: "About the commissioners," current, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; "Marion Buller, B.C. First Nations judge, to lead MMIW inquiry," Catharine Tunney, Kathleen Harris, Aug. 3,2016, CBC News; "Ottawa launches inquiry into missing, murdered indigenous women ," Gloria Galloway, Aug. 3, 2016, The Globe and Mail; "On Missing Aboriginal Women," J.B.Gerald, Aug. 27, 2013, nightslantern.ca.

 

 

July 12, 2016

     Poland: a video made by Amnesty International Poland recording refugees and Europeans meeting for the first time - "Look Beyond Borders - 4 minutes experiment" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFnB4Sa4Ewg&feature=youtu.be >].

 

     U.S.: the 2014 suicide rate of veterans decreased slightly to twenty per day, down from 22 per day in 2013. The rate for female veterans was almost two and a half times that of women in the general population. Older veterans were at the highest risk. The ACLU reports that Foreign born veterans, some in service since Vietnam, who have been charged with misdemeanors were being deported; their military service was not being taken into account. Stars and Stripes notes that every night almost 50,000 vets sleep in the streets. Military Times reports a 70,000 disability claims backlog in the Veterans Administration system, an improvement from 2013 when the backlog reached over 600,000. In 2015 the number of veterans receiving VA disability benefits reached 4.2 million.     Partial sources online: "VA puts latest estimate of veteran suicides at 20 per day," AP, July 7, 2016, Yahoo! news; "ACLU says US deporting 'untold number' of military veterans," Feliks Garcia, July 6, 2016, The Independent; "One reason so many veterans are homeless? They can't afford lawyers," Martha Bergmark and Ellen Lawton, July 8, 2016, Stars and Stripes; "VA disability backlog tops 70,000 — 7 months after it was supposed to be zero," Leo Shane III, July 10, 2016, Military Times.
 

Free all political prisoners.
Updates for some North American political prisoners, July 2016:
            Oscar López Rivera
            Djamel Ameziane
            Sundiata Acoli
            Dr. Mutulu Shakur
            Dr. Rafil Dhafir
            Sami Al Hajj
            Abu Hamza al-Masri
            Fahad Hashmi
            Chelsea Manning
            Leonard Peltier
            Hassan Almrei
            Mohamed Harkat
            Said Namouh
            Librado Jacinto Baños Rodriguez

 

July 2, 2016

Newfoundland - historical note: "One More Will Stand" - Shanneyganock [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPe30VErAzM >].

 

 

June 22, 2016

      Syria: The United Nations "Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic" has released a new report, “'They came to destroy': ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis," to deal specifically with the horrific treatment of Yazidi peoples by ISIS. Much of the evidence concerns Sinjar of northern Iraq, but many of ISIS captives are kept in Syria. The Commission’s report substantiates evidence of a genocide in progress against the Yazidi people in Iraq and Syria, limiting the scope of its inquiry to this one minority (more: "ISIS as a Mirror").

Previous:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

 

June 14, 2016     Germany   Brazil   Peru   Rhode Island   Canada   Israel/Palestine   Montreal

      Germany: on June 2nd the German Bundestag accurately, formally and bravely declared the Turkish attempt to exterminate the Armenians in 1915, a genocide. Israel and the United States have not. 1.5 million Armenians died.     Partial sources online: "Germany just voted to recognize the Armenian genocide. Turkey is furious," Zack Beauchamp, June 2, 2016, Vox World; "Erdogan: Armenia 'genocide' used to blackmail Turkey," June 3, 2016, Al Jazeera.

 

      Brazil: Dilma Rousseff's replacement as President places Brazil under the control of a financial sector with sure ties to Wall Street. The new Finance Minister carries dual U.S./ Brazilian citizenship while the newly appointed head of Brazil's Central Bank carries dual Israeli / Brazilian citizenship. Ms Rousseff as a workers' president was not able to counter the damming the Amazon continuing the historical progression of genocide against Brazil's Amazon Indians. The interim government is trying to revoke recent measures by Rousseff's government made to protect Indigenous lands, including the Kawahiva people ("The Last of the Kawahiva," [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLgdJfn9B5Y >]). The new house of government representatives is said to be entirely "white"; the death rate for Afro-Brazilians is one fatality every 23 minutes. If Rousseff is permanantly replaced by impeachment the pro-tem President plans neo liberal austerity measures (as encouraged by the IMF).     Partial sources online: "Brazilian Indians protest plan to “undo” land rights progress," June 2, 2016, Survival; "Brazil's president announces austerity measures to deal with $48B budget deficit," APMay 25, 2016, Fox News Latino; "Wall Street Behind Brazil Coup d’Etat," Prof Michel Chossudovsky, June 1, 2016, Global Research; "Brazil's new president Temer unveils austerity measures," May 24, 2016, Deutsche Welle.

 

      Peru: in a hairline close vote between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski the runoff (see previous) election for President is ceded to Kuczynski. Fujimori's campaign carried the implicit threat of the state terrorism nourished by her father; he is currently in prison as a convicted war criminal yet uncharged for the massiveness of his crimes against the people. The leftist candidate, Veronika Mendoza, pushed from the ballot by the U.S. friendly, is a congresswoman from Cuzco, a region which paid heavily for the elder Fujimori's successful military obliteration of the Shining Path (still listed by the U.S. as a "terrorist group"). To avoid another Fujimori in office she endorsed Kuczynski who has spoken of her as a "half-red who has never done anything in her dog’s life” (The Guardian). While Kuczynski went to Oxford and Cambridge Fujimori supporters control the Congress.     Partial sources online: "Peru: Left Announces There Will Be No Deal with New Government," June 13, 2016, Telesur; "Kuczynski ahead in Peru election, but will he be able to govern?," Dan Collyns, June 7, 2016, theguardian.com; "Son of Holocaust Survivor Wins Peru Elections by Slim Margin," Associated Press, June 10, 2016, Haarez; "Peru Keeps Driving Right," editorial, June 13, 2016, The Wall Steet Journal; "Peru’s New President Knows Leprosy, Coups and Terrifying Escapes," Ethan Bronner, June 13, 2016, Bloomberg.

 

      Rhode Island: the Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives have voted to require genocide education in the State's schools. Curriculum provided by Rhode Island's Department of Education is required for public middle schools and high schools, as well as private and charter schools. The program starting in 2017 is reported to include discussion of the Holocaust, genocide of Armenians, Cambodians, Iraqis, Rwandans, and the people in Darfur. The Providence Journal notes similar legislation in "California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."     Partial sources online: "RI First New England State to Mandate Genocide and Holocaust Education," June 10, 2016, armenian weekly.com; "Bill mandates students study horrors of genocide," Alisha A. Pina, June 6, 2016, Providence Journal.

 

      Canada: Canada's Waterless Communities: Shoal Lake 40 [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHOJ0c2izbo >].

 

      Israel / Palestine: citing independent political reasons Catherine Hall, the British historian and feminist, withdrew her acceptance of the prestigious Dan David research award in Israel . The 225,000 pound (over 400,000 Canadian dollars) prize was offered jointly by the Dan David Foundation and University of Tel Aviv. Her field of expertise is colonial history. The award money will instead go to young students across the world.     Partial sources online: "Famed feminist British historian refuses prestigious Israeli award," May 23,2016, Islamic News Daily; "British historian Catherine Hall rejects £225,000 Israeli award for 'political' reasons," Gabriel Samuels, May 24, 2016, The Independent; "Cash prize refused by UK historian to fund TAU researchers of all backgrounds," Staff, May 26,2016, The Times of Israel.

 

      Montreal: the trial of the killers of Salvatore Montagna has revealed the advanced technology of contemporary assassination, and a lack of human rights protection for members of groups portrayed as "criminal." "Criminals" was one of the categories the Third Reich consigned to concentration camps. A "power vacuum" and turf war is generally blamed for Montreal's ongoing violence toward, as previously noted, targets of almost exclusively Italian descent, usually elders, and with alleged links to the Mafia. Often little evidence links them to crimes. Salvatore Montagna, born in Canada, deported from the U.S. for refusing to testify against his associates, then living under surveillance in Montreal, was murdered Nov. 24, 2011. Attempting to protect the sophistication of RCMP electronic intelligence gathering, the killers were allowed to plead to lesser charges. However RCMP surveillance revealed at the trial enabled the media to report conversations between assassins as they planned the victim's murder and monitored its execution. Once the murder was completed, plotters and accomplices were arrested with little choice but to plead guilty. Canadian media have not been able to question RCMP complicity in the murder while the surveillance clearly indicates the crime in progress. Despite long standing heavy surveillance of the victim and assassins, no move to protect the intended victim is evident. Further background: 1 and 2 and 3.     Partial sources online: "Montreal Mafia: Secret messages tell the story behind a high-profile killing," Paul Cherry, June 11, 2016, Montreal Gazette; "Six men plead guilty to conspiracy to murder Mafioso Salvatore Montagna," Paul Cherry, March 30, 2016, Montreal Gazette; "Murder and rivalry: The intercepted BlackBerry messages of the mob," Tu Thanh Ha and Les Perreaux, June 11, 2016, Globe and Mail.

 

 

May 13, 2016   New York   Canada   U.S.A.

      New York City: two forces on the American left have died. Neither was self-serving. On Saturday April 30th, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J. died at the age of 94, a priest, poet, activist and brother to the world; nightslantern.ca carries his poem - "Accounts Come Home", and his essay - "Meditation on a Martyr, in Tribute to Franz Jagerstatter." On Wednesday May 11th, Michael Ratner, died at the age of 72. Lawyer and long time President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a former president of the National Lawyers Guild, he fought fascism with the law and for fifty years his thinking and presence interwove and strengthened America's protest of American injustice.

 

      Canada: this May Canada announced it fully accepts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In November 2010 Canada expressed support for the Treaty without full acceptance. Use of Indigenous land by resource corporations requires Indigenous approval and historically the government is deeply entrammeled by corporate resource exploitation at home and abroad. The U.N. Declaration's 46 articles are not stated as law, but as "a standard of achievement to be pursued...." Canada's new commitment binds the nation to honouring Indigenous rights and shifts the ground for negotiations to Indigenous favour.     Partial sources online: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish), General Assembly A/RES/61/295, Oct. 2, 2007, United Nations [access:< https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/512/07/PDF/N0651207.pdf?OpenElement >]; "Canada officially adopts UN declaration on rights of Indigenous Peoples," May 10, 2016, CBC News.

 

      United States: on March 11th the first of two riots in 3 days broke out at W. C. Holman prison in Alabama. According to MIC Network the cause of problems is that Holman is a "hellhole," also known as "the House of Pain," and "Slaughter Pen of the South." As of May 7th, 250 inmates in Elmore and Holman prisons were on strike against inhumane conditions. Starting April 4th inmates of four Texas prisons struck for an end to human rights violations and to prison slavery. The news was suppressed. Prisons placed in lockdown give some indication of the extent of the strike: "Jester III, Dalhart, and Beto, partial lockdowns at Coffield and Allred, and a confirmed order for lockdown at Michael" (as of April 16, Support Prisoner Resistance). By April 11th, seven Texas prisons were affected. By April 27th eight Texas prisons were in lockdown. A large majority of prisoners are forced to work without pay. Three of Michigan's prisons were faced with food strikes in March. The actions protest conditions of confinement and strengthen prisoner unity. About 1000 of 1300 prisoners at Kinross Correctional Facility refused meals on March 20th and 21rst. On March 26 to 28 about 800 prisoners refused meals at Chippewa Correctional Facility. On April 12th about 660 prisoners refused meals at Cotton Correctional Facility.

In commemoration of the Attica prison uprising of 1971, U.S. prisoners are calling a nationwide strike for September 9th, 2016, to shut prisons across the country and end prison slavery. The prisoners' "Call to Action Against Slavery in America" [access: < https://iwoc.noblogs.org/post/2016/04/01/announcement-of-nationally-coordinated-prisoner-workstoppage-for-sept-9-2016/ >] makes no call for violence. It calls on prisoners to stop working as slaves. It calls for convict solidarity between races, ethnic groups and genders. It makes no threat of violence against guards or prison administration. It asks for outside support.
Partial sources online: "What You Need to Know About Holman, the Brutal Alabama Prison Where 2 Riots Just Broke Out," Zak Cheney-Rice, March 17, 2016, Mic Network Inc.; “'This Was About Unity': a Wave of Protest Spreads though the Michigan Prison System," April 20, 2016, It's GoingDown; "Who’s behind unpaid prison labor in Texas?" Aaron Cantu, April 27, 2016, Support Prisoner resistance; "Inmate strikes continues at 2 Alabama prisons," May 7, 2016, WVTM 13; "Texas Inmates Protest ‘Inhumane’ Conditions," Robin Young, Erica Gammill, April 12, 2016, here & now; "Tipping Point in Texas Prison Strikes? New Wave of Lockdowns, Threats," April 16, 2016, Support Prisoner Resistance; "Announcement of Nationally Coordinated Prisoner Workstoppage for Sept 9, 2016," IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.

 

 

May 1, 2016   Belgium   Peru   Canada   Israel/Palestine   Syria/Iraq

      Belgium: all residents of Belgium are to be issued iodine pills, said to be a precautionary measure in case of dirty bomb attack by ISIS. Iodine helps counter the effects on the thyroid of radiation. The Government of the Netherlands plans similar measures. Among seven reactors, Belgium's two forty year old Doel nuclear reactors have been placed back online, updated to last until 2025.     Partial sources online: "Belgium Residents To Get Iodine Pills In Case Of Nuclear Incident," Katrina Pascual, May 1, 2016, Tech Times; "All Belgian residents issued with iodine tablets to protect against radiation," Matthew Holehouse, April 28, 2016, The Telegraph; "Two oldest Doel units cleared for restart," Dec. 23, 2015, World Nuclear News.

 

      Peru: Peru is about to undergo a runoff election June 5th for its presidency between the two successful money market candidates who forced out the left wing candidate in the first round of voting. At their victory Peru's stock index made its largest gain since 2008. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is a former World Bank employee and finance minister. Keiko Fujimori, the 40 year old former congresswoman with a nearly two-to-one lead going into the runoff, has staunchly defended her father, a previous president Alberto Fujimori, currently in prison for white collar crimes but more exceptionally crimes against humanity (death squad murders). Responsible for application of a program sterilizing as many as 300,000 indigenous women without their informed consent, charges of genocide have been raised against Alberto Fujimori. Some worry that another Fujimori in power would drive the country towards becoming a Narco-State. 250 million dollars of drug money is alleged laundered in Peru last year, with the drug trade covered by illegal resource developers. TeleSur alleges that of 21 "narco-congress" members recently elected 14 are of Keiko Fujimori's party.     Partial sources online: "Two pro-business candidates make Peru runoff, markets rise," Ursul Scollo and Mitra Taj, April 11. 2016. Reuters; "Drug Traffickers Laundered $250 Million in 2015: Peru Official," Quenton King, April 28, 2016, Insight Crime; "Peru Could Turn into a 'Narco State,' Says Expert," April 27, 2016,TeleSur; "5 Relatives of Peru’s Fujimori Wanted for International Arrest," Aug. 3, 2015, TeleSur.

 

      Canada: (see previous) suicides continue in First Nations communities. The Toronto Star has pointed out that essentially nothing has been done in response to declarations of emergency by aboriginal communities suffering from extreme rates of youth and adult suicide, as well as lack of clean drinking water and reasonable habitation. The Canadian system of Aboriginal 'management' promotes good intention on paper and through declarations by Liberal politicians. Canada's Human Rights Tribunal has ordered the government provide services to the children of First Nations. The Department of Indigenous Affairs was ordered to report back in two weeks that an appropriate policy is in place. The Toronto Star lists 38 states of emergency as active for First Nations communities in Ontario, yet none since 2014 for Quebec. A genocide warning continues.     Partial sources online: "Tribunal orders federal government to ensure services for Aboriginal kids," Kristy Kirkup/The Canadian Press, April 26, 2016, CBC News; "5 more Attawapiskat youth attempt suicide in 'spiralling situation'," April 16, 2016, CBC News; "A First Nations cry for help gets little government attention: Star investigation," Allan Woods, April 25, 2016, The Toronto Star.

 

      Israel / Palestine: the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has registered protest against INOGS, the International Network of Genocide Scholars, which plans to hold its annual conference in Jerusalem. PACBI asks people of conscience to boycott the conference due to Israel's violations of international law. In the U.S. and Canada it is difficult for academics among others critical of Israel. INOGS may have called a conference in Jerusalem to bring under public consideration the genocidal aspects of Israeli policy. U.S. and European University programs as well as heavily funded NGO's addressing issues of genocide rarely include genocide warnings necessary for Gazans and all Palestinians. My own position is that selective application undermines the power and affect of the Genocide Convention and its intended ability to prevent mass atrocities. PACBI's statement of protest alleges the INOGS conference is sponsored by "five deeply complicit Israeli academic insitutions," and the PACBI statement attempts to counter the impunity of Israel's extra-judicial killings and increasing overt racism. A member of INOGS I respect the boycott and urge any who attend to confront the realities of Israel's policies.     Partial sources online: "Palestinians call for boycott of genocide conference in Jerusalem," Rania Khalek, April 27, 2016, The Electronic Intifada; "Boycott the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS) Conference in Occupied Jerusalem!" PACBI statement, March 16, 2016, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel ; "Israel’s new justice minister considers all Palestinians to be ‘the enemy’," Ishaan Tharoor May 7, 2015, Washington Post; "Israel's Lawless Death Penalty Without Trial Buoyed by Cheers of the Masses," Gideon Levy, Oct. 11, 2015, Haaretz; "Genocide Warnings & Updates: Israel," J.B.Gerald, ongoing, nightslantern.ca.

 

      Syria / Iraq: the Catholic Church with John Kerry and the U.S. State Department are finding ISIS guilty of genocide in territories where it gains control. The government of the UK has so far refused to acknowledge that a pattern of ISIS atrocities against Christians and Yazidis is genocide, declaring the decision one to be made by the courts rather than political bodies. This position is currently favoured by Canada. It is a welcome attempt to depoliticize an issue which risks tactical use to further the interests of aggressor nations attempting to use the Convention on Genocide as an excuse to invade de-stabilized areas. The extreme degree of ISIS atrocities finds little parallel in modern warfare except in techniques of terrorization of civilian populations to control areas destabilized by CIA and DIA covert programs. With NATO and U.S. policy having destroyed without just provocation the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, (with almost exclusively Muslim populations) a case remains available charging Western leaders with the genocide of national groups or the religious groups of Muslims. For a legal case concerning genocide against the peoples of Iraq see Narration of Facts by the Ad Hoc Committee for Justice for Iraq. After the loss of millions of Muslims, non-combattants, not in warfare or on the battlefield but civilian casualties, and the displacement of millions represented in part by the current "refugee crisis" in Europe, it's impossible to exclude NATO and Euro-American interests from consideration as proponents of genocide. ISIS actions against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities could be considered as reactive rather than aggressive. ISIS atrocities are both unjust and criminal but under an objective court could be interpreted as an armed response to genocide. In Iraq the safety of its ancient Christian community was sacrificed when 'Christian' America's bombs and missiles bombed the country 'into the stone age.' Partial sources online: "UK Reluctant to Call Daesh Crimes Genocide Despite MPs' Unanimous Vote," Tania Kader Hussein, April 27, 2016, Sputnik; "UN Security Council: Golan Heights Doesn’t Belong to Israel," Jason Ditz, April 26, 2016, antiwar.com.

 

 

March 28, 2016

      Canada: the "at risk" status of First Peoples, does not mean they’re at risk of being uncomfortable. It means they could die. It is a way to talk about the failure of the Canadian government's responsibility for Aboriginal peoples, without imputing intention for the deaths. Americans consider the proving of "intention " necessary for charges of genocide, and the American interpretation of the Convention on Genocide is often adopted by less powerful nations... (continue reading "Canada: why aren't conditions of life for First Peoples a national emergency?")

 

      The Hague, a note in addition to the previous posting: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia announced its verdict against Radovan Karadzik on the anniversary of the day, March 24,1999, when NATO began its campaign to bomb the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's infrastructure, civilians as well as military targets without U.N. approval.     Source online: "Serbia, Russia accuse UN court after Karadzic verdict,"Jovan Matic, AFP, March 25/26, 2016, Rappler.com; "Legitimacy of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia," current, Wikipedia..

 

 

March 24, 2016

      The Hague: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia finds Radovan Karadžic guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and has sentenced him to 40 years in prison. The former Bosnian Serb leader is convicted of legal responsibility for genocide at Srebrenica,1995, in the mass execution of 8000 Muslim men and boys. He's also held legally responsible for the siege of Sarajevo. Evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity presented to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was overwhelming. Pleading innocent Karadžic claimed that individual soldiers and civilians who committed the crimes were responsible for them. He is found not guilty of genocide in the clearing of Muslims and Croatians from Bosnian villages held by the Serb military. Karadžic, once a psychiatrist, defended himself but with court appointed legal assistance. Defense attorney Peter Robinson of Santa Rosa California told The Guardian he didn't consider it a fair trial. Robinson has stated "Defending somebody like Karadžic at these international tribunals is pretty much like trying to stop a moving train.” He finds the Court proceeds under a double standard, to the disadvantage of less powerful countries while sparing the powerful. Robinson points out that if Obama's policies of arming dissidents in Syria were held to the same standards the Court applied to Karadžic, the U.S. President would be found guilty. The ruling will be appealed. 94 suspects on the Serbian side have been charged by the ICTY, 29 Croats and 8 Muslims. See previous.     Partial sources online: "Radovan Karadzic sentenced to 40 years in prison for Bosnian war crimes," AP, March 24, 2016, CBC News; "Karadzic guilty of Bosnia genocide, jailed for 40 years," Thomas Escritt and Toby Sterling / Reuters International, May 24, 2016, SWI swissinfo.ch; "Radovan Karadžic sentenced to 40 years for Srebrenica genocide," Julian Borger and Owen Bowcott, March 24, 2016, The Guardian; "Radovan Karadžic's lawyer expects guilty verdict over war crimes," Matthew Weaver, March 18, 2016, The Guardian.

 

 

March 19, 2016

      The former Yugoslavia: an article by Christopher Black at Global Research re-examines the death of Slobodan Milosevic in a holding cell of the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague, where the head of the prison was reporting to the Americans. Black, an attorney, points out that Milosovic's self defense and the ineptness of the prosecution turned the trial in Milosevic's favour early on. It would be difficult to find him guilty. Black points out that the trial was necessary to NATO's justification of its bombing and destruction of Yugoslavia. He notes NATO's in-house investigation, the Parker Report, 'clears' NATO but doesn't explain traces of poison in Milosevic's system at death, nor why he was refused medical treatment necessary to keep him alive. No one mentions the President of the former Republic of Yugoslavia's charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice against all NATO countries, supplying evidence in the details of targeted infrastructure within his country. The U.S. evaded prosecution through lack of accession to the International Court. Canada pleaded lack of intention. Milosevic's charges were put on hold indefinitely and have apparently died with Milosevic. Background: "On Crimes of Power: the Bombing of Yugoslavia, 1999" .     Partial sources online: "Ten Years Since the 'Extrajudicial' Assassination of Slobodan Milosevic. NATO's Responsibility." Christopher Black, March 13, 2016, Global Research; "Yugoslavia, Interrupted: A European Success Story Ruined by NATO Invasion," InSerbia with agencies, Feb 24, 2016, InSerbia.info.

"To Entertain You," Boris Kovac with La Campanella Orchestra
[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfWjLjbOogU&list=RDWfWjLjbOogU#t=2 >]
 

      Guatemala: Ríos Montt was initially charged with genocide in 2013; his trial started once again (previous) on March16, 2016, amid further attempts by his lawyers to delay. At this point Ríos Montt has been found unfit to stand normal trial for reasons of dementia and can be found innocent or guilty but not punished for the murder of 1771 Txiles, indigenous Mayans of Quiche. Among other deaths resulting from the impunity of Guatemala's right wing controls, between 1976 and 1983 thirteen Catholic priests (from the U.S., Guatemala, the Philippines, Belgium, Italy, and Spain) were assassinated in Guatemala. Fr. Stanley Rother from a farm in Oklahoma is currently proposed as a candidate for beatification. Serving the Tz'utujil (Mayan) people and under death threat for speaking out he was murdered by a death squad in his church rectory, 1981. Background.     Partial sources online: "Ex-Dictator Ríos Montt's Genocide Trial Opens in Guatemala," AP, March 16, 2016, abc news; "Guatemala: Ríos Montt Judgement Scheduled for Wednesday," March 15, 2016, Telesur; "Vatican panel calls Fr. Sanley Rother a martyr," Tom Gallagher, July 13, 2015, National Catholic Reporter.

 

 

March 12, 2016 ~ notes

      As a young woman in Iran, in a broken marriage her son went to live with his father and she adopted a child of lepers. She died at thirty-two driving her car into a wall to avoid ramming a school bus. A poem from the Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad, "I called you from the dark," [access:[ < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVADnkrsarQ >].

      In the early 1980's the Argentine writer Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges spoke at a PEN American Center gathering in New York and at dinner I was sitting next to him on one side, and a distinguished professor of Spanish was sitting on the other. At some point during the meal the waiter came by and presented us with newly filled glasses. It was hard to hear this generosity in the din of us all talking and eating. It was hard to know how deeply blind Borges was and my Spanish wasn't good enough to explore the subject gently, when suddenly the professor reached out and substituted Borges's nearly empty glass with the newly filled one. For some reason I immediately intercepted and put the old one back again so Borges as he reached out did not find suddenly a full glass instead of his nearly empty. The professor said to me in English "What did you do that for!" He was an old friend and so I was embarrassed and could say nothing as he explained the mixup to Borges. Borges just grinned at me as though he wasn't blind at all. When Peron's government came to power in Argentina Borges who worked as a librarian was reassigned to work as an inspector of chickens. When he asked why, they answered what did he expect for supporting the allies in WWII. His sister, the artist, Norah Borges, and his mother were jailed for protest against Peron. Borges became president of the Argentine Society of Writers, which Peron closed down when Borges refused to hang portraits there of Peron and his wife Eva. Historically the closing presents a kind of tribute to all Argentinian writers capable of resisting popular government: during contemporary wars and war crimes governments have never threatened to close North American PEN centres. A tribute to Borges is found at "Buenos Aires - Las Calles de Borges" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvDbQQgKil4 ]. In much of the video Borges is replaced by an actor whom for many views I was almost sure was Borges....

      A compendium of U.S. "Social Movement Prisoners" from Denver Anarchist Black Cross is available at [access:< https://denverabc.wordpress.com/prisoners-dabc-supports/political-prisoners-database/ >].

 

 

February 25, 2016     U.S. political prisoner updates   Tom Manning     Albert Woodfox     Russell Shoatz     Mumia Abu-Jamal     Leonard Peltier     Imam Al-Amin     Seth Hayes     Sekou Odinga     Dr. Mutulu Shakur     Judith Clark

      U.S.: "The torture of U.S. political prisoners: some updates"

 

 

February 24, 2016     Yemen     Canada     Vatican City     Zimbabwe

      Yemen: (previous). On Feb. 16th, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, expressly warned of the cost in lives and the losses of human and humanitarian rights engulfing the people of Yemen. In a joint statement with Jennifer Welsh, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, the Special Advisers warned of the violence overflowing into Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries. Neither the responsibility for the conflict nor the issue of genocide is directly mentioned in the warning. Genocide Warning for the national group.     Partial sources online: "Statement by Adama Dieng, special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on the situation in Yemen," Press release, Feb. 16, 2016, United Nations, apprec. INoGS.

 

      Canada: in the case of Omar Khadr whose freedom on bail was granted by a Canadian judge, the decision was appealed by the Harper government attempting to put him back in prison. Both the Courts and Canadians are aware of the Canadian intelligence establishment's crime of complicity in Khadr's torture. The new Liberal government has withdrawn the government's appeal and Khadr will remain free while a challenge to his case is decided in the U.S.. Also underway, Omar Khadr's suit against the Canadian government for not protecting him as a child and citizen despite knowledge of U.S. crimes against him (20 million dollars). If the suit is successful it may face claims by U.S. courts which have allowed a blinded soldier and widow of a U.S. soldier killed in action allegedly by Khadr, to sue, most recently for 134 million dollars, which was then awarded by a Utah judge. The two already won a U.S. civil court suit against Khadr's father's estate for 102 million dollars. While such claims may be collectible under U.S. dominated law common sense suggests neither suit is valid. In principle the cases and awards offer to all victim families the economic liabilty U.S. soldiers might incur by following orders. To point: if Khadr wins his case against the Canadian government, the millions could go to the U.S. military circles responsible. An alternative perspective: transfer of such large sums between military parties should make them suspect of a collusion between U.S. and Canadian government agencies to use the torture of a minor child for profit. No one speaks of Omar Khadr's entire family which was demonized and damaged by Canadian media for being true to the themselves and their beliefs. Khadr's sister tried to defend her brother to the press. Current bail conditions forbid Omar Khadr to speak to either his mother or sister. A January 31rst article in The Toronto Star suggests Khadr's sister Zaynab is being held in custody in Turkey. Canada mustn't treat her with the same complicity it treated two of her brothers imprisoned at Guantanamo. Born in Ottawa, she is thought to be living in the middle east, married with children, and although the Canadian consul is informed, there's no 'news' of her or sureness that she has any rights at all amidst the extrajudicial detention common in Turkey.     Partial sources online: "Justin Trudeau and the Omar Khadr case," Michael Friscolanti, Feb. 16, 2016, Maclean's; "Omar Khadr to stay out on bail after federal government drops appeal," Feb.18, 2016, CBC News; "Omar Khadr sued by soldier’s widow and blinded soldier," The Canadian Press, May 22, 2014, thestar.com; "Widow and ex-soldier injured in Afghanistan move for final judgment on $134M suit against Omar Khadr," Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, May 17, 2015, National Post; "U.S. judge awards $134-million in suit against Omar Khadr," AP, July 3, 2015, The Globe and Mail; "Omar Khadr's sister Zaynab detained in Turkey," Michelle Shephard, , Peter Edwards, Jan. 31, 2016, thestar.com; "Omar Khadr's sister detained in Turkey," Postmedia Network, Feb. 1, 2016, Ottawa Sun.

 

      Vatican City: affirming the absolute value of the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," on Feb. 21, 2016 Pope Francis requested the abolishment of the death penalty, globally. The United Nations protocol for the abolition of capital punishment (Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty of, Dec. 15, 1989) is available for signing by the 113 nation states which have not done so. Currently 82 nations are State Parties to the treaty with 3 signatories. Having spoken previously against the "hidden death penalty" of life imprisonment, Pope Francis called for improvement of prison conditions and respect for the human dignity of all prisoners.     Partial sources online: "Pope Francis: Abolish the death penalty worldwide," Reuters, Feb. 22, 2016, Religion News Service "Pope Francis Calls for Worldwide Ban on Death Penalty During Year of Mercy," Thomas D. Williams, PhD., Feb 22, 2016, Breitbart

 

      Zimbabwe has in its Constitution abolished the death penalty for women and minors under the age of twenty-one. At the 9th International Meeting of the Ministers of Justice in Rome Feb. 22nd, Zimbabwe's Vice-President Mnangagwa assured eradication of the death penalty in all Zimbabwe's laws, noting Zimbabwe had accepted the UN Human Rights Council's recommendation that it sign the the Second Optional Protocol (above) ( "Zim to eliminate death penalty — Mnangagwa," Feb. 23, 2016, The Herald).

 

 

February 11, 2016     The Care of Children:     U.S.     Europe     Norway     U.K.     Sweden     France

U.S.: According to The Washington Times a report on the "Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement," reveals immigrant minors turned over to sponsors who abused them or forced them into slavery: in the summer of 2014 unaccompanied children crossed the border from Mexico at the rate of ten thousand per month with 90% of these going to close family and 10% to "sponsors" with minimal background checks, and with no official followup.     Partial sources online: "Obama administration delivered illegal immigrant children to predators, lawmakers say," Stephen Dinan, Jan.28, 2016, The Washington Times.
Europe: Turkey is closing its borders to tens of thousands of refugees from Aleppo where the NATO country sponsored rebel groups against Syrian President Assad are under severe pressure by the Syrian army and Russia's air power. An estimated 300,000 civilians remain trapped in the war zone. This is one of many sources of refugees seeking asylum in Europe. According to UNICEF about 36% of the refugees leaving Turkey, crossing the sea to Greece, are children. Women and children now make up 60% of the refugee influx which was 73% male last summer. Since September over 330 children drowned in the crossing. According to the International Organisation for Migration, over 36,000 refugees reached Greece and Italy by sea in the first three weeks of 2016.
    Partial sources online: "UN says one-third of refugees sailing to Europe are children," Agence France-Presse, Feb. 3, 2016, theguardian; "Dozens drown off Greek islands in deadliest January for refugees," Mark Tran et al, Jan. 22, 2016, theguardian; "Migrant Arrivals in Europe by Sea Reached 36,556 in First 21 Days of 2016: IOM," Jan. 22, 2016, International Organisation for Migration; "Syria: Hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced as Aleppo siege continues," Harriet Sinclair, Feb. 10, 2016, International Business Times.

Norway: Norwegian police are reporting sex offenses against minors by known offenders among others at refugee reception centres housing unaccompanied minors among asylum seekers. In 2015, 31,000 refugees applied for asylum and among these 5300 were unaccompanied children.     Partial sources online: "Norway police thwart attack on migrant centre; investigate child abuse allegations," Matti Huuhtanen AP, Feb. 9, 2016, CTV News; "'Well known sexual offenders' are visiting Norway's migrant centres to carry out attacks on unaccompanied minors, police admit," Tom Wyke, Feb. 8, 2016, Mail Online.

U.K.: The Guardian reports a serious backlog of refugee children kept from attending school by Home Office paperwork. Local communities aren't required to educate them, and under the category of "Initial accommodation" the children including unaccompanied minors are sent to various parts of the country without the legal right to attend school. The Guardian finds accurate statistics unavailable.

An article in Mail Online reveals that the Home Office, after the issue was raised in parliament, doubled its statistical report of the number of children who were deported (repatriated) at eighteen to "Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Albania." Initially the government claimed 1616 eighteen-year-olds were sent back, then revised this to 3750. How could the government misplace 2134 children in its custody ? Article 33 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees prohibits the return of refugees to countries where they would be threatened with death or imprisonment. How could the government legally repatriate refugees just old enough to fight, to war zones ?     Partial sources online: "Children seeking asylum in UK denied access to education," Diane Taylor, feb. 2, 2016, theguardian; Nearly 4,000 children offered asylum in Britain as orphans were DEPORTED once they turned 18 - including to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya"," Matt Dathan, Feb. 10, 2015, Mail Online.

Sweden: the police are questioning 14 ethnic Poles, suspected of planning an action (attack and burning) against a refugee centre. This follows the murder of a Swedish social worker at an asylum centre for minors last month, and more recently the rumoured assault of a Polish woman on a tram. Swedish asylum centres are reported to be under constant attack by right wing groups. Refugee children were specifically targeted in a January 29th right wing attack at the Stockholm train station.     Partial sources online: "Sweden detains Poles over plot to attack asylum centre," Cajsa Wikstrom, Feb. 10, 2016, Al Jazeera.

France: in France where xenophobic policies have followed the government's military policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, and Syria, repercussions are shaping France's domestic policies. Results of France's involvement in the destabilization of Syria are clear. France's fierce protection of its middle class is evident in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Roma families which by 2014 extended to the endangerment of other minorities (see genocide warnings). Resulting tensions have predictably increased emigration of France's Jews. Conventionally attributed to abuse by Muslims the departure of many Jews may be a response to the country's helpless accession to fascism. Neither the government enforced homelessness of Roma mothers and children nor the high percentages of women and children among new asylum seekers have moved the Hollande administration. Prime Minister Valls in an interview with the BBC claims Europe to be in grave danger of losing its identity if refugees continue to be allowed in. He attributes Germany's compassionate response to the refugee crisis to the supposition that Germany has need of the refugees (hundreds of thousands of strangers impoverished and traumatized by war). The Sarkhozy and Hollande governments' "illegal persecution of the country's Roma families prepares one for: France's current extension of its "state of emergency", Valls's bill attempting to enshrine emergency law in the Constitution as well as deprive of citizenship any citizen convicted of a terrorist offense (this bill passed lower parliament February 10th), and François Hollande's attempt to make "conspiracy theories" illegal, further immerse France in a tragedy of forgetfulness.     Partial sources online: "The State Against The Republic," Thierry Meyssan trans. Roger Lagassé, March 13, 2015, Voltaire Network; "French lawmakers approve divisive citizenship bill," AP, Feb. 10, 2016, The News Herald.

 

 
February 1, 2016     France     poem/blockprint     Sweden     Burundi     Canada

      France: speaking at Notre Dame in Paris, January 29th, Monseigneur Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Archbishop of Aleppo Syria, faults France's policies in Syria, and France's failure to defend its historical values of liberty, humanity, secularism and respect. He notes the Assad government has protected the Syrian population, portions of which now find themselves refugees throughout the world (and prey to governments attempting to re-colonize their land). Portions of his congregation have been taken away and murdered by ISIS. The Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop claims ancestry in Syria which goes back 7000 years. He understands the exodus of so many Christians among the general population of Syria, as more of a deportation than willing exile, and as part of a US-Euro-NATO program to bring about their military intervention in Syria. Last October, the Archbishop appealed to the British House of Lords to stop arming the terrorists - ie. anti-Assad mercenaries. He revealed that the Christians of Syria prefer Russian military intervention to terrorist challenges to the Assad regime. Both the United Kingdom and France support regime change and the demise of Syrian people's elected President Assad. The Syrian people as a group remain under genocide warning due to attempts at regime change from beyond its borders.     Partial sources online: "L’archevêque d’Alep: le gouvernement Assad constitue «une protection pour la population» syrienne," RT, 29 janvier 2016, Mondialisation.ca; "A Syrian archbishop asks UK to help stop anti-Assad Islamist groups," Oct. 17, 2015, RT; "Melkite archbishop urges British not to support militants in Syria," Simon Caldwell, Catholic News Service, Oct. 14, 2015, The Catholic Regster; "Christians almost completely destroyed by ISIS fanatics in Syria, says Aleppo Archbishop," Tom Batchelor, Oct.21, 2015, Express.

 
from Plainsongs, a poem by John Bart Gerald, blockprint by Julie Maas (1985)

lorraine

they all disappeared once
from england italy france spain
the shores of africa acadia
never to go home again
once enough for centuries
nation of disappeared families
"gone to a happier land"
for those who waved good-by

of the americas
the just and poor taken away forever in the night
stopped at lonely roadblocks
picked up on some puzzling charge
'disappeared' was murdered
it never let go the hope of life

consider holocaust
recurring image in a hall of mirrors
six million brazilian indians
six million jews communists
the 'swarthy,' trade unionists
homosexuals, misfits, petty criminals
those of genetic imperfections
roma
uncooperative wives or husbands
of pretty women, dissidents
the honest men and women
the resistance
the poor
then anyone who cared

a study of bonhoeffer shows
the world's churches knew before
what would happen
why the surprise
at the demise

was it any different from today
in a parable
where the means of disappearance vary
the poverty of no escape
the next to final loneliness of
whatever happened to him or her
who was never seen again

 

      Sweden: by varied reports a neo-Nazi group of from fifty to two hundred men wearing black masks swarmed and attacked refugees and their children at the Stockholm train station January 29th. Their stated target was refugee children. There are no reports of police interference. The Guardian reports that last October in Trelleborg officials announced that a thousand refugee children were "missing" among those arriving in the southern Swedish port during the previous month. Europol has confirmed the disappearance of over 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children: minors are targeted for sex work and slavery. 163,000 refugees reached Sweden seeking asylum last year. Of these the government plans to deport 60,000 to 80,000.     Partial sources online: "'Hundreds' of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm," Samuel Osborne, Jan. 30, 2016, The Independent; "'Hundreds-strong' mob of masked men rampage through Stockholm station beating up refugee children in revenge attack for female asylum centre worker killed by Somali 'boy'," Sara Malm and Gianluca Mezzofiore, Jan. 30, 2016, Mail Online; "10,000 refugee children are missing, says Europol," Mark Townsend /The Observer, Jan. 30, 2016, theguardian; "Sweden faces difficult task deporting '80,000' migrants," Jan.28, 2016, the local se.

 

      Burundi: the African Union has decided not to intercede in Burundi, despite ongoing hostilities against and by the government resulting in casualties. Amnesty International with access to NASA photos has reported 'mass graves'. It is is unclear what normal procedures are for burying those who die in the conflict. A government ethicist, Samantha Power who supported the U.S. war against Iraq and is current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. is quoted saying “A match could be laid down, lighting up whole communities that have so far stayed peaceful" (PRI). The intent of her observation is unclear. She is also noted as saying to Burundi's security detail, "Don't touch me." Ambassador Power has lobbied against Burundi President Nkurunziza's third term in office; U.S. policy supports Rwanda President Kagame's third term, and Power admits Rwanda's involvement in Burundi's lack of stability. Some U.S. Euro, NATO interests seek intercession in Burundi to obviate a genocide, but some objective sources suggest that both class struggle and civil uprisings are more causative of conflict in Burundi than ethnic warfare. Deciding that Burundi's conflict is a "genocide," could allow legal incursions into the country by foreign powers. So Western reports of human rights violations have to be very clear and verifiable. NATO NGO human rights organizations as sources are not considered objective or non-aligned. With casualty statistics of the low-intensity conflict rising toward 1200 persons, Burundi's Civil Society Organisation Chairman, Vital Nshirimana, has revealed that many of the dead appear to be missing their hearts. This is not meant figuratively and may indicate use of Burundi's casualties for organ trade. With for example U.S. waiting list for hearts noted as 3,391, the Finance Degree Center cites the cost of a legal heart for transplant as US$ 997,700, an illegal or black market heart at US$119,000 (FDC). Another report equally suggesting what are basically economic crimes against the very poor rather than ethnic hatred, is made by Burundi Women and Girls Movement for Peace and Security Chairperson, Marie Louise Baricaku, who reports the disappearance of large numbers of children and in particular the abduction of girls. Background 1 and 2.     Partial sources online: "How Much Is Your Body Worth on the Black Market, Finance Degree Center, current [access= ]); "Rights Group: Dozens Were Put in Mass Graves in Burundi," Eloge Willy Kaneza and Rodney Muhumuza AP, Jan.29, 2016, abc News; "Burundi conflict more horrifying as hearts found missing from bodies," Mark Nkwame in Arusha, Jan. 18, 2016, Daily News (Tanzania); "Burundi police detain British, French journalists in raids," Reuters, Jan.30, 2016, The Himalayan Times; "Burundi: 'There is no genocide under way', claims award-winning journalist Roland Rugero," Elsa Buchanan, Jan. 27, 2016, IBTimes Co Ltd; "African Union abandons plans to send peacekeepers to Burundi," Jan.31, 2016, BBC News; "Burundi: 'Crisis is not about ethnicity,'" Gerd Hankel, Christine Harjes, Jan 29, 2016, Deutche Welle; "UN finds gang rape, mass graves in Burundi," Mark Caldwell AFP, Reuters,AP, Jan. 15, 2016. Deutche Welle; "Samantha Power: 'The match could be laid down' to ignite Burundi," Joyce Hacket, Feb.1, 2016, PRI.

 

      Canada: the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has found that the government of Canada has discriminated against First Nations children on Reserves by allotting them lower rates of payment for social services benefits. According to the CBC by 2014 Canada's government had spent 5.3 million in legal fees to defend this discriminatory policy. In other news, after years of criminalizing opponents to old growth logging of BC's coastal forests, agreement is finally reached between the government of British Columbia, environmentalists, logging companies and First Nations tribes, to protect the largest coastal rainforest in the world. While sparing 85% of the land the agreement allows logging of 15%, amounting to "logging 2.5 million cubic meters of old growth forests every year for the next ten years" (Globe and Mail).     Partial sources online: "Canada discriminates against children on reserves, tribunal rules: on-reserve child welfare system receives up to 38% less funding than elsewhere," Jan. 26, 2016, ; "First Nations child welfare ruling a precedent for other on-reserve issues, lawyers say," Nicole Ireland, Jan. 27, 2016, CBC News; "Final agreement reached to protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest," Justine Hunter, Feb.1, 2016, Globe and Mail.

 

 

January 16, 2016     Canada     Guatemala     Ethiopia


      Canada: in August 2015 the CBC reported the results of a study from Statistics Canada showing risk of avoidable death for First Nations peoples twice that (in some cases five times that) of non-natives. On January 15th, 2016, it featured a plea by the Ontario First Nations Regional Chief, Isadore Day, that Canadians deal with the fact of inadequate health care for aboriginal peoples. The CBC notes that according to the Ministry of Health TB rates are five times the general population for First Nations people, and fifty times the general population for the Inuit. If verifiable these disastrous figures would show something of an improvement. In 2009 Night's Lantern reported UNICEF's findings that noted the tuberculosis rate among Canadian aboriginal people was 90 times the national average for the years 2004 to 2006. In 2013 Night's Lantern noted news reports of the rate of Inuit tuberculosis as 186 times that of native born non-aboriginals. Sources of reliable information concerning damages to Canadian First Nations were intentionally removed by the Harper government in 2012 when the Conservative government de-funded the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO). Studies linking TB rates to Canada's poverty levels are also not easily available. Lack of transparency raises issues of the government's enduring intentions. Historically both disease and lack of adequate health care have been used as a weapon. To my understanding, aboriginal communities of NorthWestern Ontario do not have resident doctors. The CBC noted last October that 10 First Nations in Ontario's North West have gone without safe tap water for ten years, while citing a Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine report of "dramatic increase in invasive disease." The recent rate of sepsis and pneumonia is estimated as about 20 times that of Calgary. The rate of rheumatic fever is reported as 75 times higher than Canada's general population. The statistics are so far outside the norm that a continuing lack of normalization implies intent by the government and calls into force Article II b and c of the Convention on Genocide. Despite occasional highly placed political appointments, a genocide warning for Canadian Aboriginal people remains in effect.     Partial sources online: "First Nations adults more than twice as likely to die from avoidable causes," Aug. 19, 2015, CBC News; "First Nations leaders cite deplorable health conditions, urge action," Kristy Kikup The Canadian Press, Jan. 15, 2016, CBC News; "Bad water in First Nations leads to high rate of invasive infection, doctor says," Jody Porter, Oct. 26, 2015, CBC News; "Rheumatic fever rates in some Ontario First Nations 75 times higher than rest of Canada," Jody Porter, Oct. 22, 2015, CBC News.

 

      Guatemala: the Ríos Montt defense team continues to use legal technicalities and evasion to avoid his re-trial on charges of genocide. Initially convicted of genocide in 2013 the verdict was nullified by non-standard judicial procedures which required a set back of the trial to a previous date, then followed by postponement after postponement. Intended once again for trial, the case was once again temporarily postponed January 11th. Prosecution and witnesses remain prepared to testify again. Concurrently the legal system has arrested 18 military officers on January 6th for crimes against humanity and their part in the destruction of Mayan villagers during the country's open war against the people. Extraordinary about the recent indictments is the power of those indicted, their high rank and known closeness to their U.S. protectors / handlers who aren't immune to eventual prosecution. 12 of the officers were trained by the U.S. School of the Americas. Allan Nairn describes the arrests as the "beginning of a Nuremberg trial-type process" except applied by the local people; he notes the arrests would have been impossible without massive support for reform shown by the people's uprising against the former president. He recognizes in the extremes of the Guatemalan military's crimes and torture the contemporary acts of ISIS. Challenges to impunity aren't limited to Guatemala. On January 6th in El Salvador, the government acceded to Spain's request for the extradition of 17 former soldiers including officers of the military's High Command, all involved in the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter (previous). Ralph McGehee's 1999 archive CIA Support of Death Squads at Serendipidy includes material relevant to the war crimes in both Guatemala and El Salvador. Background.    Partial sources online: "New Moves on Old Crimes in El Salvador and Guatemala," Kevin Clarke, Jan. 7, 2016, The National Catholic Review; "Genocide trial for Guatemala ex-dictator Rios Montt suspended," Jan. 11, 2016, Reuters; "Guatemala Arrests 14 Ex-Military Officials Linked to Genocide," Jan. 6, 2016, Telesur; "Guatemala ex-military officials held over massacres," Jan. 7, 2016, BBC News; "Guatemalan authorities arrest SOA-trained officers for massacres, disappearances," Linda Cooper James Hodge, Jan. 11, 2016, National Catholic Reporter; '"CIA Death Squad," Allan Nairn, April 17, 1995, The Nation; "18 Guatemalan Ex-Military Leaders Arrested for Crimes Against Humanity During U.S.-Backed Dirty War," Amy Goodman / Allan Nairn, Jan.8, 2016, Democracy Now!.

 

      Ethiopia: the Ethiopian government continues to enjoy U.S. favour as it sacrifices the security of its peoples to corporate uses. Severe oppression of Ogadeni and the Oromo peoples, continues. The booming economy and its development are powered by Ethiopia's tactical and military uses to the U.S. and the coining of oppressed groups' resources. Curiously, Addis Ababa is the seat of the African Union. In recent elections of May 2015, the ruling party for 25 years met no effective opposition while opposition areas and groups were frightened or in places denied the voting process (UNPO). The government's attempt to take land rights within Oromo territory outside Addis Ababa was met on the streets with resistance resulting in the death of 140 Oromo protesters and arrests of Oromo leaders, activists, students, and journalists. The essentially nonviolent student protests were successful and a stronger resistance begins to cohere. Government plans for expansion had to be dropped. Journalists are banned from regions challenged by separatist groups which are labeled "terrorist." These have recognized that resources of both Oromo and Ogaden peoples among other minorities are coined to the profit of the government, creating humanitarian crises. The Ogadeni basin is divided into concession blocks for foreign corporate resource development of natural gas deposits. Government opposition press releases reveal no change in the government's tactics since Night's Lantern's genocide warnings of 2010 and 2011 which are suggested reading for background. Current estimates of internal displacement in this oasis of corporate capitalism reach 413,400 (OZY).     Partial sources online: "The Secret War in Ogaden," Laura Secorun Palet, Nov. 4, 2015, OZY; "Ogaden: Community Expresses Support to Oromo People," Press release, Jan. 7, 2016, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization; "Ethiopian journalists worry after editor flees," IBT staff, Nov. 24, 2015, International Business Times; "Ogaden: Killing and Destruction of Communities along Somalia Border," June 1, 2015, UNPO; "Ethiopian Election 2015: Is Democracy Prosperous or Destitute?" HPLHA Press release, June 28, 2015, Ayyaantuu News; "US official praises Ethiopian ‘democracy,’ rest of world begs to differ," Mohammed Ademo, April 18, 2015, Al Jazeera.

The entries of January 16th appear in a single essay / file, "Updates: coping with oppression in Canada, Guatemala, Ethiopia"

  January 13, 2016     Canada     Kashmir     Burundi

      Canada: in 1997 José Figueroa, an El Salvadoran national found refuge with his family in Canada, after threats and persecution by El Salvador's military government. When Canada's Conservative government learned he had been a member of the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front, the government decided to deport him. Faced with an arrest warrant and deportation order in 2013 he took sanctuary in a B.C. Lutheran Church. Pleas to the Conservative Minister of Immigration produced no result. Under Canada's new government on Dec. 21, the Canadian Border Services Agency threw out the arrest and deportation order, and José Figueroa was free to continue his life in Canada with his wife and children.     Partial sources online: "El Salvador man who spent 2 years in B.C. church granted permanent residency,"Tamsyn Burgmann, the Canadian Press, Dec. 22, 2015, CTV News; "Deportation order withdrawn against José Figueroa in time for Christmas," Yvette Brend, Dec. 22, 2015, CBC News.

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and supporters of Mohamed Harkat who continue to fear for his safety from torture and fear for his life if deported to Algeria, ask the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to reconsider the order for his deportation and allow him to remain in Canada with his wife, family and friends. Mohamed Harkat was one of the five highly publicized Muslim refugees / immigrants to Canada arrested on Canadian Security certificates. Taken from his life and imprisoned on December 10, 2002, through arduous court battles he was gradually returned to family. Previous     Partial sources online: "Advocate warns Ottawa man faces serious mistreatment if deported," Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press, Dec. 10, 2015, CTV News; Mohamed Harkat's Deportation Should Be Stopped Immediately," Press release, Dec. 21, 2015, ICLMG.

 

      Kashmir: on World Human Rights Day the Research Section of the Kashmiri Media Service released a report asserting that since India's troops occupied Kashmir in January of 1989: 94290 civilians were killed (7038 in custody), 22806 women widowed, 107545 children became orphans, 10167 women were molested by troops, 106050 residences were damaged; over 8000 people disappeared in custody, with an emphasis during the past seven years on the arrest of thousands of young people and resistance leaders. On January 1, 2016, a six man Kashmiri guerrilla unit entered India's Pathankot airbase and remained four days. At least six security personnel and an officer were reported killed. The six guerrillas were killed. These are said to be indigenous fighters from independent Kashmiri resistance units under the umbrella of Kashmir's United Jihad Council (UJC).     Partial sources online: "94,290 Kashmiris killed by Indian troops since 1989: report," Dec. 10, 2015, The Nation (Pakistan); "UJC 'will keep hitting India' until it stops genocide in Kashmir," Jawad R. Awan, Jan. 7, 2016, The Nation.

 

      Burundi: on December 23, 2015, Canada suspended deportation to Burundi of those from Burundi seeking asylum in Canada, excepting those charged with crimes or human rights violations. The deportation reprieve is similar to those for refugees from Gaza, Somalia, Syria, Mali, Central African Republic ("Canada suspends deportations to strife-torn Burundi," AFP, Dec. 2, 2015, Yahoo! News). The Human Rights Watch coordinator in Burundi reveals one of the civil rights violations HRW faults is the government's radio ban. Radios were confiscated. Found to be a primary means of spreading hatred and incitement to genocide before the Rwanda genocide, the removal of radios seems an acceptable emergency action by Burundi's government attempting to prevent hate killings. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty reports on human rights violations in Burundi mention crimes committed but without naming perpetrators. The murders of human rights leaders this past year are noted by HRW without naming suspects. The evil doers are shadow figures. It is implied that the government is guilty, without providing adequate evidence. There may be a Western campaign to overturn the current government. A clarifying article by Gearóid Ó Colmáin in Dissident Voice, charges Amnesty and HRW with tactical propaganda, and traces the chaos and misery to corporate Euro-American NATO interference. The thesis is cogent. The article mentions a corporate interest in nickel and possibly agricultural lands. This would provide motivation for corporate expansion if we understand it simply to be how first world foreign policy functions, how corporate and military expansion works. The possible destruction of thousands in Burundi could be part of a global m.o. - nothing personal, not directed at a specific ethnic group or the inter-tribal warfare which might risk definition as genocide, but simply acquisition. Resistance to corporate crime requires complete rejection of racial conflict or tensions. As suggested in the previous posting, setting the people against eachother by tribal grouping, is a crime against all the people. Both Colmáin's article and a KPFA interview by Ann Garrison find current President Pierre Nkurunziza popular among the people, particularly the rural poor, with evidence that primary tensions are urban/rural, ie rich/poor. In Nkurunziza favour: over three thousand schools, universal primary education, increased life expectancy from 43 to over 50 since 2000, hospital births increasing from 15% in 2005 to 70%, free health care for pregnant women and children under five, a decrease in abject poverty from 80% to 60%. Not allowed a third term under a previous peace treaty agreement, Burundi's court has approved the President's bid for a third term in office, while his opponents and NATO countries have objected. There is a reasonable possibility that Burundi is being destabilized by outside interests. In as much as this concerns NATO NGO's, it may explain increased difficulties for Burundi's human rights community. While a confident group within Burundi has declared it's intention to replace the government by force, there are also reports of refugee exiles being recruited to fight against their homeland, as well as specific recruitment in Rwanda where Kagame's invasion of his homeland once caused the separation of citizens into tribal identification, initiating the Rwandan genocide of 1994.     Partial sources online: "The Human Rights Empire Attacks Burundi," Gearóid Ó Colmáin, December 23rd, 2015, Dissident Voice; "Burundi: Samantha Power invite le gouvernement à revoir sa décision," Dec. 22, 2015, SeneNews.com; "Burundi on a Knife's Edge: the UN Human Rights Council Must Act Vigorously to Prevent a Human Rights Disaster, Dec. 16, 2015, Amnesty International; "Jordan Ryan: UNDP address at the Development Partners Conference on Burundi, Geneva, Switzerland," Oct 29, 2012, UNDP[access:< http://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/presscenter/speeches/2012/10/29/jordan-ryan-undp-address-at-the-development-partners-conference-on-burundi-geneva-switzerland/ >]; "Burundi: Nkurunziza uplifts Burundi’s 93 percent rural poor," Ann Garrison, Dec. 28, 2015, BayView / KPFA Weekend News broadcast Dec. 25, 2015.

 

 

2015 suppressed news

 

 

A branch that comes from violence will not take root;
for a blighted root is on sheer rock, like reeds by the
banks of a river, which are dried up before any grass; but
kindness, like eternity, will never be cut off, and faithfulness
will be established forever
- from Ben Sira
(Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Abegg et al)

 

This account is against forgetfulness. 

    

 

 


by john bart gerald
graphics by julie maas
guest contributions as noted
24 september 2016