Jan Nederveen Pieterse in conversation with Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher and political commentator. Chomsky is Emeritus professor of linguistics at MIT. Jan Nederveen Pieterse is professor of Global Studies and Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Series: “Carsey-Wolf Center” [5/2014] [Humanities] [Show ID: 28120] (Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/)
When a country’s military has been turned into nothing more than a criminal killing and torture machine we should not be surprised when its own ranks in turn become seized with all sorts of psychosis and pathology.
The latest mass killing this week at the US army base in Fort Hood, Texas, in which four personnel were shot dead and 16 others injured is but another symptom of how the American military is at war with itself. Continue reading →
Another day, another stitch up. On 6th March Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the eloquent and elegant Mr. Bashar al-Ja’afari and the Syrian UN Mission had restrictions placed on them by the US State Department, limiting their travel to no further than twenty five miles from New York’s Columbus Circle intersection.
Hidden and isolated from the world the armed conflict raging in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia goes unnoticed. The killing and raping of innocent civilians at the hands of the military and their paramilitary partners in crime the Liyu police, the false arrests, torture and imprisonment remain largely hidden and unreported. The international media, human rights groups and most aid organisations (including the International Red Cross) have been banned from the region by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 2007.
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 26, 2013
Statement by the President on H.R. 3304
Today I have signed into law H.R. 3304, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.” I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims.
With few opportunities at home, millions of poor, desperate men and women from South East Asia and the horn of Africa migrate annually to Saudi Arabia. Vulnerable at home and vulnerable abroad where many are enslaved and badly abused, some killed. Slavery is woven into the fabric of the psyche of the kingdom; according to Saudi scholar Ali al-Ahmed, a “culture of slavery pervades the country”[The Guardian[i]], and although banned in 1964 (when it is thought there were 30,000 slaves in the country) the barbaric practice of owning a fellow human being still exists in the form of the internationally condemned kafala sponsorship system. By tying the residency status of migrant workers to their employers, the system grants the latter total control, amounting to ownership.
In the last 10 days persecution of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has escalated. Men and women are forced from their homes by mobs of civilians and dragged through the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah. Distressing videos of Ethiopian men being mercilessly beaten, kicked and punched have circulated the Internet and triggered worldwide protests by members of the Ethiopian diaspora as well as outraged civilians in Ethiopia. Women report being raped, many repeatedly, by vigilantes and Saudi police. Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), has received reports of fifty deaths and states that thousands living with or without visas have been detained awaiting repatriation. Imprisoned, many relay experiences of torture and violent beatings.
Sent to Dandelion Salad from a personal contact who wishes to remain anonymous
Nov. 15, 2013
Ali Al Taweel is an extreme example of the illegal, violent nature of the Bahrain legal system. It also shows that torture is widespread in the prisons to degrade detainees and extract confessions.
Ali is an uneducated young man, unable to read or write and the son of a fisherman. He was picked up because he was in Sitra when the demos were going on. He was tortured for weeks including being strung up like a chicken and sexually abused. There has not been an execution of a Bahraini since 1990s, the last execution was of a Bangladeshi in 2010.
www.democracynow.org A video just posted online by Rolling Stone shows a hogtied prisoner being whipped by Afghan security forces, as what appears to be two unidentified American military officers look on. According to investigative reporter Matthieu Aikins, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command confirmed an ongoing investigation into the incident. Aikins says the video fits with a general pattern of recurring abuse of detainees in U.S. and Afghan custody.
Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq, says the regime’s harsh crackdown on pro-democracy activists has intensified over the past month, with the highest levels of violence since the uprising began in 2011. In a report, al-Wefaq has documented nineteen hundred cases of human rights violations only in the month of September 2013, including incidents in which regime forces used excessive force or torture.
According to the report, last month 214 anti-regime protesters were arrested, including two women and 40 children — the highest number since the uprising began. The al-Wefaq report also said that 111 activists — who were convicted by a Bahraini court and given sentences of up to 15 years — were tried based on fabricated charges.
The court sentenced today political detainees, including activists and an human rights defender, to total of more than 400 years’ imprisonment and upheld the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment against two children. All of the sentences were delivered under the internationally criticized and vague terrorism law. The court also reduced the sentences of two police officers who tortured a detainee to death from 10 years’, to 2 years’ imprisonment. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned over the politically motivated charges and sentences delivered against dissents, and urgently calls for an end to Bahrain’s biased judicial system.
They speak of democracy, but act violently to suppress dissenting voices and control the people through the inculcation of fear: they ignore human rights and trample on the people, they are a tyrannical wolf in democratic sheep’s clothing, causing suffering and misery to thousands of people throughout Ethiopia. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government repeatedly scoffs at international law and consistently acts in violation of their own Federal constitution – a liberal document written by the regime to please and deceive their foreign supporters. Continue reading →