Report finds Israel still torturing Palestinians | Mel Frykberg

26 June 2009

Source: Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture.

The report, “Shackling as a Form of Torture and Abuse,” based on the evidence of over 500 prisoners, was released in advance of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims Friday, 26 June.

It follows a report published in May by the UN Committee Against Torture that had criticized the continued mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

The UN report also condemned Israel’s refusal to allow access to a secret detention centre known only as Facility 1391.

The report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) states that Israel’s various security agencies, chiefly the Continue reading

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Hamas’ political immaturity | Haidar Eid

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25 June 2009

Soruce: Electronic Intifada

When Hamas, unexpectedly, won the 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the message from the one-third of the Palestinian people living in those territories was clear: no more of the “peace process” facade — with its untiring “two-state solution” slogan that never materialized, and no more of the bread crumbs offered to the new inauthentic NGOized, Osloized leadership classes. (In the years since the 1993 Oslo accords, funding NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — has been a major means for foreign governments to influence, co-opt and neutralize Palestinian politics. This process of “Osloization” made some Palestinian organizations more loyal to their funders than to their principles.)

Many of those who voted Hamas into power were not, in fact, supporters of the organization, but rather disgruntled Palestinians looking for change and reform after 13 years of futile, meaningless negotiations that did huge damage to the Palestinian cause and transformed it from a liberation struggle supported by millions all over the world into a Continue reading

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Women’s Groups Condemn State Cover-up Over the Rape and Murder of Two Women in Shopian, Kashmir | Farida Khan, Jagori, Nirantar, Partners for Law in Development, Pratiksha Baxi, Saheli, Stree Adhikaar Sanghatana, Uma Chakravarti, Zubaan

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Source: South Asia Citizens Web

The news of the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian in Kashmir is deeply shocking. We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms.

We are also deeply disturbed by the reaction of the State. Instead of speaking out against this flagrant violation of human rights, and particularly the right of women to live safely and with dignity, instead of taking speedy and firm steps to bring the perpetrators to book, the State and the new administration first denied the rape of women and then attempted to justify it by Continue reading

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Sri Lankan president seeks extended term without elections | Panini Wijesiriwardena

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23 June 2009

Source: World Socialist Website

In an extraordinary, anti-democratic move, the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka—the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA)—has begun to sound out amending the constitution to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to remain in office beyond his six-year term without facing a new election.

For weeks, the government has been whipping up a climate of communal triumphalism following the army’s victory over the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Now it is seeking to exploit the atmosphere to entrench Rajapakse in the powerful post of executive president.

Under the present constitution, presidents can serve Continue reading

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Who are the “Taliban” in Swat? | Humeira Iqtidar

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( Dated Piece | 30 April 2009 )

Source: Open Democracy

The distorting glare of the mainstream media obscures a more complex reality in restive Pakistan

Who are the ” Taliban” in Pakistan? Islamist militants in the country have won significant international attention after wrestling control over the Swat Valley, the restive region in northern Pakistan where elements of sharia law are now in place. Yet these militants do not self-identify as “Taliban”, unlike the Afghan Taliban who chose the name for themselves, and preferred it to the then generic term “mujahideen”. The term “Taliban” means students; the original Taliban were educated in madrassas, religious schools. Groups and individuals that are being labelled the “Taliban in Pakistan” (TIP) are very different from their Afghan counterparts in important respects. It is pertinent not just to think through the implications of these differences but also to raise questions about why distinguishing details are being lost in the media frenzy of recent months.

In Swat, the group that has gained the most notoriety in recent months calls itself Tehreek Nifaz e Sharia Mohammadi (TNSM).  This can be roughly translated as the “Movement for the Continue reading

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A Conversation on Kashmir with Arundhati Roy and David Barsamian
March 4, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Indian Subcontinent | Tags: , , , , , ,


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( Dated Piece: 4 February 2009 )

Source: National Radio Project


Listen to this Interview @ http://www.radioproject.org/archive/2009/0509.html


Arundhati Roy is the celebrated author of “The God of Small Things” and winner of the prestigious Booker Prize. “The New York Times” calls her, “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence.” She is the winner of the Lannan Award for Cultural Freedom. Her latest books are “The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile,” with David Barsamian, and “An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire.”

David Barsamian: You’ve been spending at lot of time in Kashmir and you were just there again. There has been a series of elections over the last couple of months, and these elections have been heralded, at least by the mainstream press here in India, as a great referendum for freedom and democracy and a rebuke for the separatists. What is your understanding of what exactly happened in terms of the elections?

Arundhati Roy: Really, the difficulty about it, the thing I worry most about, is losing the language with which to describe what’s happening there. Because it’s almost as though you need a deep knowledge of what’s going on there to be able to understand what happened. In August, even then I was there, and all over the world it has been reported, there was an incredible spontaneous uprising, and there were hundreds of thousands of people on Continue reading

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Gaza massacre: security measure or capitalist venture? – Omar Kalinge Nnyago

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16 January 2009

Source: Sunday Monitor

Israel’s invasion on Gaza could be the most significant event yet on the global political calendar. It overshadowed the Christmas festivities of the past year, blurred the New Year celebrations and threatens to diminish the most anticipated Obama inauguration on January 20. Indeed, the only item to look for in Obama’s inaugural speech is likely to be his views on the massacre of Palestinians.

His legendary oratory notwithstanding, Obama will have a tough time telling the world and the American people that the change he promised was around the corner. The world looks much gloomier than that night when he accepted his election.

By 2p.m. on Wednesday this week, 879 Palestinians, largely women and children had been confirmed dead by official sources. Another 4,698 had been injured in the continuing Israeli bombardment that started on December 19, 2008.

The Diplomatic footwork that was initiated by Continue reading

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