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2019 suppressed news
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
graphics by j. maas
February 18, 2020
Rwanda: a strong force for healing and reconciliation following Rwanda's genocide, Kizito Mihigo was arrested by Paul Kagame's government in April 2014 for a gospel song. The song was a prayer for genocide victims, both Tutsi and Hutu. Popular, his songs were then banned in Rwanda. He was convicted of plotting to assassinate Kagame and sentenced to ten years. Then he was pardoned by Kagame in 2018 as was Victoire Ingabire , a presidential hopeful imprisoned basically for attempting to mourn Hutu (as well as Tutsi) victims of Rwanda's genocide. Kizito Mihigo was re-arrested about Feb. 14th near Rwanda's border with Burundi and placed in solitary confinement in Kigali. He was found hanging in his cell Feb. 17th. Rwandan police have suggested he hanged himself. His family and non-government sources do not think it so. Background.. Partial sources online: "Shocking death of gospel singer in custody must be effectively investigated - Amnesty International," editor, Feb. 18, 2020, Rwanda News Agency. "Popular Rwandan singer found dead in police cell," Ivan R. Mugisha, Feb. 18, 2020, Daily Nation. "Le Parti FDU-Inkingi a appris avec Tristesse la Mort du Chanteur Rwandais Kizito Mihigo," Communique de Presse, Feb. 18, 2020, The Rwandan; "Kizito Mihigo - Wedding Song"[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mfqm7i6JKA >].
February 12, 2020
Lake Huron, Canada: In a referendum held January 31, the Anishnaabek Saugeen Ojibway Nation by an 86% majority voted against The Deep Geological Depository to store nuclear waste in their territory. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) sought the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the people to bury 200,000 cubic meters of intermediate and low level nuclear waste 680 meters underground. This may end the company's billion dollar project planning to bury nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Huron. The Anishnaabek are protectors of their ancestral Lake Huron waters. The project could have affected the drinking water of forty million people. Partial sources online: "G'ganoonigonaa Zaagigan / The Lake Is Speaking To Us: Nuclear Waste In Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory?" Bidaabinokwe and Waasekom,Jan. 29, 2020, Indigenous Governance / Yellowhead Institute; "The Deep Geologic Repository for low and intermediate level nuclear waste will not go ahead as planned, preparing for what's next," Press release, Feb. 1, 2020, G'ganoonigonaa Zaagigan / The Lake Is Speaking To Us; "OPG's plans for a nuclear dump near Lake Huron are dead, now everyone wonders what's next," Colin Butler, Feb. 11, 2020, CBC news.
Loreto, Peru: in this northern region of the country a lawsuit by Indigenous peoples and the Institute of Legal Defense has forced the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Perupetro corporation, to suspend any development of the specified Indigenous territory lots 135, 138, 31B, which are part of the Sierra del Divisor National Park. Most Indigenous people there are uncontacted peoples and their informed permission can't be obtained. Since the informed consent law was effected in 2011, Indigenous peoples of the Amazon and Andes have successfully claimed their rights in court. Sources: "Peruvian indigenous group wins suit to block oil exploration in Amazonian region," Marcia Cervantes, Jan. 22, 2020, Reuters; "Indigenous Communities Push Back Against Amazon Development," Jonathan Stormer Pezzi, Jan. 26, 2020, Via News; "Court bars oil exploitation in Peru's Sierra del Divisor," Feb. 2, 2020, Countervortex.
February 8, 2020
U.S.A.: Delbert Orr Africa was released on parole January 18th, Chuck Sims Africa was released on parole february 7th. This completes the releases of all surviving members of the MOVE 9 organization imprisoned on what many believe to have been false charges over forty years ago. They were sentenced to thirty years after the nine were convicted of third-degree murder of a policeman killed by one bullet amid a barrage of gunfire from police forces. In 2019 Janine Phillips Africa, Janet Holloway Africa, Eddie Goodman Africa were paroled. In 2018 Mike Africa Sr. and Debbie Sims Africa were paroled. Merle Africa and Phil Africa are reported to have died in confinement. Gerald and Maas Night's Lantern first noted the injustice of their imprisonment 2004. See also my "Open Letter to American Writers" of 1994, which notes Mumia Abu-Jamal's honest reporting on the Move 9 as a motive for his death sentence. Partial sources: "Out of prison after 41 years, MOVE member Delbert Africa rails against ‘unjust’ criminal justice system," Mensah M. Dean, Jan. 21, 2020, Prisoner News, Freedom Archives; "Chuck Sims Africa freed: final jailed Move 9 member released from prison," Ed Pilkington, Feb. 7, 2020, Prisoner News, Freedom Archives.
U.S.A.: The U.S. Air Force has announced a marked increase in suicides among Air Force personnel. The 137 Air Force suicides in 2019 include Air National Guard and Reserve personnel and represents the highest number since official suicide count began in 2008. The number of suicides in all active military services (the casualties from covert service are not likely listed) in 2018 showed an increase of 40% from 2017. Regular Army suicide statistics are usually double the Air Force's. Whatever the DoD considers them, are these men and women "suicides" or casualties of policies against the peoples' interests? Partial sources: "Air Force Saw Record-Breaking Number of Suicides in 2019," Oriana Pawlyk, Feb. 4, 2020, military.com; "Department of Defense (DoD) Quarterly Suicide Report (QSR) 4th Quarter, CY 2018," Kevin Orbin DSPO, Defense Suicide Prevention Office.
Myanmar /Burma: The UN Security Council failed to reach agreement in response to the International Court of Justice ordering Myanmar to prevent Genocide of the Rohingya. Unofficial reports are that China and Vietnam found objections. The European Union members believe the ICJ ruling "compulsory under international law" (Al Jazeera) and affecting Myanmar's Rakhine, Shan and Kachin States. See genocide warnings. Response to the Court's decision is downplayed if not censored in the U.S. and Canadian media. Partial sources: "UN fails to take action on order against Myanmar on Rohingya," Feb. 5, 2020, Al Jazeera; "UN did not reach an agreement against Myanmar," Feb. 5, 2020, Prensa Latina.
Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory: On the night of Feb. 7-8th, those witnessing Wet'suwet'en reported that the RCMP had towed from the road all the cars which belonged to those at Camp 27 leaving them without transportation, then told camp members that they had to leave or would be arrested. Among those at the camp is a 7 month pregnant woman. Subsequently the RCMP told them they could pass the night in their camp but would be arrested in the morning if they stayed. The procedure could suggests malice rather than policing. Partial source: live stream reporting from Wet'suwet'en territory.
Background: the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en have not allowed Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. to place a pipeline through their unceded territory in British Columbia. Band members and their allies are nonviolently resisting. Fearing state violence the Unisto'ten camp asked for legal observers January 18th. There is evidence legal observers were subsequently blocked from access and entry to Unisto'ten territory. The RCMP, operating under a court issued injunction against the Indigenous resistance, is attempting to clear the native encampments. The court injunction is illegal under Wet'suwet'en law and rejected by Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. RCMP actions are unwise in that they deprive the Indigenous people of Treaty rights, land rights, rights under UNDRIP (international law protecting Indigenous peoples), human rights and attempt to turn the Indigenous people against their own laws. While the company insists that it has the approval of numerous band councils to lay its pipeline, band councils do not have the same responsibility to protect their lands and people's future. Band councils may be subject to government and company persuasions, both legal and illegal. The Wet'suwet'en camp has asked the RCMP to leave the territory. In response to the RCMP actions, entry and takeover, there are resistance actions by Indigenous bands and Wet'suwet'en camp supporters throughout Canada as reported in the media.
February 4, 2020
Canada: The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled against an Indigenous challenge to the 7.4 billion dollar Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The Indigenous immediate response to the court decision is these spoken truths noting the endangerment of the water, water table, sea, whales, land, and the high likelihood of oil spills. Indigenous law speaks to the ancestors, the present and the future. The Federal Court allows the pipeline to proceed with increasing its barrels-per-day capacity from 300,000 to 890,000, while climate change radically increases the pipeline risks to the environmment. On December 13th the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ( CERD) issued a report calling on Canada "to immediately cease construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and cancel all permits, until free, prior and informed consent is obtained from all the Secwepemc people, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult." The CERD report was subsequently criticized by the Haisla Nation Chief for not consulting with First Nations peoples before issuing the directive. The Haisla Nation is one of the tribes that made an agreement with Coastal GasLink.
Partial sources online: "Live: First Nations respond to Trans Mountain appeal decision" [access:< https://www.facebook.com/cbccalgary/videos/1167756786757877/ >]; "Coldwater Indian Band v. Canada (Attorney General)," 2020 FCA 34, Feb. 4, 2020, Federal Court of Appeals; "First Nations chief blasts 'condescending' UN anti-racism directive that called for pipeline to be shut down," Jesse Snyder, Jan. 17, 2020, TheProvince: "Prevention of Racial Discrimination, Including Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure," Advance unedited version, 2801rst meeting Hundredth Session, Dec. 13, 2019, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination..
Mexico: Raúl Hernández Romero, was last seen alive January 27th. His body was discovered February 1, badly beaten. He worked as a tour guide part-time, at the butterfly sanctuary. According to the BBC after the death of Homero Gómez González (previous) the police of the towns of Ocampo and Anganguero were held for questioning by authorities ("Second man with ties to Mexico's largest monarch butterfly reserve found dead," Kevin Sieff, Feb. 2, 2020, The Washington Post; "Second Mexico monarch butterfly activist found dead," Feb. 3, 2020, BBC News; "Mexican butterfly activist's disappearance: 53 police detained," Jan.22, 2020, BBC News).
January 31, 2020
Mexico: Homero Gómez González, a former logger who managed the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve, was known as Mexico's leading butterfly activist. His disappearance was reported January 14th. On January 29th his body was found floating at the bottom of a nearby well. Mexican laws protect the habitat against logging interests.
January 26, 2020
Myanmar (Burma): the International Court of Justice released its ruling on Myanmar's genocide of the Rohingya, January 23rd. Its order of provisional measures is discussed here in "To Keep the Rohingya Alive," by John Bart Gerald.
January 18, 2020
Quebec: The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, and Ichrak Nourel Hak have filed a 27 page brief with the Supreme Court of Canada, asking the Court to consider ruling on the legality of Quebec's Bill-21. As a Provincial law it outlaws the wearing of religious symbols by those in authority. The outlawing of Muslim religious symbols became politically fashionable as European countries moved to the right in response to a heavy influx of refugees from countries destroyed by NATO destabilization and bombing. The current (Coalition Avenir Quebec) Government of Quebec considers this law a way to prevent secularism in politics, to keep state and religious issues apart. There is some latitude; those wearing religious symbols at the passing of the law are allowed to continue. However the law deprives some people of their religious freedom. Judges of Quebec's appeals court where this issue was tested in December, while recognizing damage to individuals, ruled that the law will remain in effect until the issue is heard by Quebec Superior Court. Some background: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Night's Lantern first noted this as a danger to Muslim women's human rights March 11, 2010 (Partial sources: "Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's religious symbols ban file appeal to Canada's top court," Jan. 17, 2020, CBC News; "'I Feel Like a Stranger Here Now,'" Alia Youssef, Dec. 21, 2019, Globe and Mail; "Groups seek leave to appeal Quebec's secularism law to Supreme Court," The Canadian Press, Dec. 18, 2019, Globe and Mail).
Iraq. Historical note: at this time 29 years ago the massive bombardment of Iraq was just beginning. On January 12th 1991 the U.S. Congress authorized war on the sovereign nation of Iraq. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution was approved in the Senate by 52 to 47 votes, and in the House by 250 to 183. In debate, with some thought to the future, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California (D) noted, "The King of Jordan last night on 'Nightline' said that if we go to war, we could have an ecological disaster of the first order." The bombardment of Iraq began about 6:30 PM January 16th and the January 17th headlines of The Boston Globe read "Gulf War Begins: US leads massive bombing of strategic sites in Iraq, Kuwait." The Globe January 18th headline read," Iraqi missiles strike Israel; region braces for retaliation."On February 24th U.S. and Coalition ground forces invaded: U.S. and Saudi forces are reported 40 to 50 miles inside Kuwait, while U.S., British and French forces are reported 70 miles within Iraq. By March 1 a cease fire was in effect. A UN team visiting Iraq from March 10th to 17th reported that the Allies had bombed Iraq into a "pre-industrial age"; the report found 72,000 homeless, and 9000 homes destroyed (NYTimes International). In 2010, Souad Al-Azzawi, distinguished Iraqi scientist and expert on depleted uranium, reported that Iraq's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs numbers Iraqi orphans at 4.5 million with half a million living in the streets. The 700 children in Iraq's prisons and 100 in U.S. prisons were allegedly raped tortured and otherwise brutalized ("Violations Of Iraqi Children Rights Under The American Occupation," Souad Al-Azzawi, March 20, 2010, countercurrents.org). By 2019 Prof Souad Al-Azzawi notes 1.5 million Iraqi deaths caused by the war. She notes as well 940,000 Depleted Uranium "projectiles" fired with an additional 14,000 by the British, 210,004 bombs on cities, 39,336 cluster bombs dropped, 9342 smart bombs, in addition to missiles. She lists among everything destroyed these components of the civilian infrastructure: 833 sewage and drinking water facilities, 205 dams and water services, 145 radio & tv stations and museums, 44 orphanages & old age facilities, 159 religious buildings, 251 food related facilities, 421 hospitals and medical service facilities, 3968 educational facilities, etc.. ("Twenty-Eight Years of Continuous Aggression Against Iraq," Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi. Jan. 21, 2019, Global Research). These remain unaddressed war crimes. A case was attempted before the Audiencia Nacional de Espana in 2009, but was not accepted. Its full text is available at http://usgenocide.org/the-legal-case/ . The crime of genocide has no statute of limitations.
January 8, 2020
Night's Lantern starts the year with updates for U.S. political prisoners. Some are suffering inhumanly long sentences as targets for law enforcement control programs. Some are prisoners of war in our society's ongoing war on the poor. Many are pawns in a corporate prison industry that places as many people in prison as possible for profits, where imprisonment becomes a way of life for the survivors, or a kind of death sentence. In part political prisoners represent all prisoners and all peoples subject to the over-ruling greed of the unjust.
Imam Jamil Action Network [https://whathappened2rap.com/] has asked those who care, to call and ask friends to call the Bureau of Prisons and request cataract surgery for Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. Diagnosed with Smoldering Myeloma (considered a precancerous condition), treatment is being denied. The number to call at USP Tucson is (520) 663-5000 and al-Amin's inmate number at Tucson is 99974-555. For those concerned with injustices of this case, the Action Network has posted the confession by another man to the killing of officers Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin was charged with killing and convicted of: "The Otis Jackson Confession," Imam Jamil Action Network [access:< https://whathappened2rap.com/pages/the-otis-jackson-confession >] ("Imam Jamil Al-Amin denied cataract surgery - Call Bureau of Prisons," Imam Jamil Action Network, Jan. 4, 2020, San Francisco BayView)
Bill Dunne is being added to our Political Prisoners pages. Arrested in 1979 for aiding and abetting the escape of Artie Ray Dufur and auto theft, Bill Dunne was sentenced to 80 years in a federal prison. He received an additional sentence of 15 years when he attempted to escape prison in 1983. This amounted to an inhuman sentence of 90 years in prison for non lethal crimes attempting freedom - release date 2043 ("Dunne, Bill," current, National Jericho Movement).
Denied parole ten times Robert Seth Hayes was released on parole July 24, 2018. He suffered serious and frequently untreated medical difficulties throughout his 45 years in prison; before parole these conditions included hepatitis C, diabetes, bleeding, abdominal growths, trouble breathing. He was 72 years old and at home when he ceased to be of our world, Dec. 21, 2019 ("Rest in Power Robert Seth Hayes!" Freedom Archives, Dec. 23, 2019, Prisoner News).
Last May Russell "Maroon" Shoatz was in hospital unable to keep fluids down, nausea and stomach pain. By August he was found to have stage 4 cancer. He's currently being treated. Donations are requested to help cover the costs: "Free Russell Maroon Shoatz!". His illness follows a successful legal battle against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) (Shoatz was released into the general prison population from an over 22 year stretch of solitary confinement), and a statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that conditions of his imprisonment were uncivilized.
According to a posting by his family and friends, Dr. Mutulu Shakur was diagnosed with malignant bone cancer this past October. After a year delay since he noticed pain and a four month delay since the Doctor requested a CT scan, suspecting cancer, and the diagnosis was confirmed. Dr. Mutulu Shakur at 69 is already known to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, high cholesterol as well and his sight is hampered by glaucoma. Compassionate release on health grounds was applied for to the Bureau of Prisons by his legal team and denied this past December 5th. He's currently undergoing chemotherapy. His original trial judge is being petitioned for release. A federal judge in California is being petitioned for his release under a habeas corpus request, due to previous unjust denials of parole. Dr. Shakur joins a number of U.S. political prisoners who have contracted cancer since arrest (" Mutulu Shakur - December 2019 Medical and Legal Update," Freedom Archives, Dec. 14, 2019, Prisoner News).
This suggests prison conditions lead to or advance the illness of political prisoners through contaminated or unhealthy environments, bad water, intentional psychological damage, contaminated food, institutional diets, spatial conditions which prohibit psychological healing and health, and physical regimens including isolation intended to destroy a person's psychological and then physical resistance. I remember that Phil Berrigan died of a fast moving stomach cancer probably contracted in prison. Marilyn Buck contracted cancer in prison which was not addressed quickly and which she died of on compassionate release. The prosecution and unjust long sentence for Lynne Stewart because of cancer became a death sentence though she was also granted a compassionate release. Imam Jamil Al-Amin is known to have contracted blood cancer. And there's the recently diagnosed cancer of Russell Maroon Shoatz. And now Dr. Shakur is among those whose fight against cancer is known to these pages.
2019 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)
at first posting in 2002 this bulletin board was for emergency protests, attempts to counter
genocide, anti-war information, which were suppressed in the media; my interest remains in
how a society is moved into what have become genocidal wars, and how people are able to
resist... it becomes a kind of history in motion and a way to counter enforced forgetfulness,
the lies that say these things never happened, or that there is nothing wrong with the murders
of hundreds of thousands of innocents in other countries, or the continuing move toward
eradication of the poor by death, in north america; this account is against forgetfulness. - jbg 2008
by john bart gerald
graphics by julie maas
guest contributions as noted
Feb. 18, 2020