Read the article Human rights absence from reform package in Jakarta Post, which reminds about the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib (see also Garuda’s Deadly Upgrade).
After fifteen years of the latest war in Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is reported to consider to opening a full-blown investigation on war crimes in Afghanistan. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the Taliban, Afghan government forces and US troops as well as the CIA all appeared to have carried out war crimes. What took ICC so long? And what about the European countries, Canada and Australia, which have cooperated with the US/NATO? ICC has lost much credibility, because of their focus on crimes committed in Africa, while turning a blind eye to much of the rest of the world. Because of ICC’s track record of selective justice, it is not surprising that South Africa, Burundi and Gambia are leaving ICC and it would be very surprising if ICC would really go ahead and accuse the powerful (remember the “Hague invasion clause”).
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) outlaws the use of death penalty on a person who was under 18 when they committed a capital offence. However, that has not stopped Iran from placing juveniles on death row. Read about the case of Zeinab Sokian and Amnesty’s report Growing up on death row.
Read the article in The Indicter about Sweden’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which is reported to be financing terrorists and waging war on Yemen together with the USA.
In many parts of the world, authorities are interfering in journalism, for example by bribes or criminal prosecution of journalists. Many people are realizing that our world is not as free as we have thought, not even in what we usually call democratic countries, and that the concept of “free press” is at risk almost everywhere. One of the latest examples is that a North Dakota state prosecutor has sought to charge Amy Goodman from Democracy Now with participating in a “riot” for filming an attack on anti-pipeline protesters. As Jason Reynolds writes:
So, what is the real purpose of the criminal charges and the arrest warrant? That’s what you should be concerned about: a government that will stifle and silence a reporter for airing a story that they don’t agree with.
This is taking place in a country where the people thought that the First Amendment of their Constitution would guarantee freedom of speech and free press. And it is not the first time US authorities have participated in silencing a journalist. We remember Gary Webb (see, for example, Managing a Nightmare: How the CIA Watched Over The Destruction of Gary Webb and Gary Webb Was Right).
As The Guardian has noticed, Britain has been perpetually at war for over 100 years, but many may not be aware of that. Now T.J. (Tim) Coles, director at Plymouth Institute for Peace Research, has published the book Britain’s Secret Wars. Read the book review by Paul Richard Harris at Axis of Logic.
Today, the newspaper Politiken stands up for the basic freedoms against Danish authorities and publishes a “forbidden book” about the Danish security and intelligence service, PET. See the editor in chief, Christian Jensen, explain why (in Danish). Earlier, Danish authorities have made headlines for participating in breaking the ceasefire in Syria, for not allowing Danish citizens to sue their own prime minister and regarding torture in Iraq and Afghanistan (links to content in Swedish).
Read the article by the former British diplomat Alastair Crooke, were he explains how the USA, together with their allies, caused the mess in Syria and how it is getting out of control.
In an article published yesterday, Paul Craig Roberts wrote that:
the main European political figures are bought-and-paid-for by Washington. As a high US government official told me as long ago as the 1970s, “we own them; they belong to us.”
The same corruption seems to go deep also in much of European media, key government agencies and military. NATO is obviously a tool for that. Sweden is a discouraging example, which is year by year leaving neutrality and becoming involved in very questionable military activities, including alleged war of aggression, violent regime change and extrajudicial killings in far-away countries. How can anyone still believe that the individuals behind this are serving the Swedish people? In 1993, Cecilia Steen-Johnsson wrote a book exposing some of the hidden influence of NATO in Sweden. And last month, the magazine Filter wrote about Swedish propaganda against Russia. It is time to bring the corrupt individuals behind this to court, before they bring more of war. We as citizens are paying them with our taxes, but it is obvious that they are serving someone else.
Kidnapping is one of the most serious criminal offences. It is bad enough that parts of the private criminal sector does this, but even some governments are involved in such activities (although they like to call it something else, like rendition). Read about Andargachew “Andy” Tsegebut on CommonDreams and see the petition on Reprieve.