Journalist facing death sentence in Bangladesh

According to Reprieve, the Bangladesh journalist Shafik Rehman has been falsely accused because of his attempts to investigate corruption and wrongdoing. See the call for Shafik Rehman’s freedom.

His case is one in a long row of reported human rights abuses in the country. According to Human Rights Watch:

The rights to freedom of speech and assembly are coming under sustained attack by Bangladesh’s increasingly authoritarian government. Bloggers and others espousing secular values have been killed or injured by extremist groups. Security forces continue enforced disappearances, killings, and arbitrary arrests with impunity. Bangladesh made some progress in ensuring better safety regulations in garment factories following the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed thousands of workers. Government agencies continue to prosecute, and in some cases execute, those convicted of war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence, despite concerns that the trials do not meet international standards. Bangladesh has the highest rate of marriage in the world for girls under 15.

Legal action against CETA

German NGOs are taking legal action to invalidate the EU’s planned “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” (CETA) with Canada. Just like the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP), which is a planned similar agreement between the EU and USA, CETA is not acceptable because it is against the principle of equality before the law. Many, including the British Labour party, have realized that TTIP is bad. It is obvious that “free trade” is just a disguise. However, the Swedish trade union confederation “Landsorganisationen” (LO) buyes the lies about free trade and underestimates the dangers with these agreements. When LO today states that they welcome such negotiations, they are playing with fire in a game they or their members cannot win.

I, who am writing this blog post, work in a Swedish company that frequently buys products made in the USA and Canada. Therefore I can testify that import and export between these countries works very well as it is, without such new agreements. We also do exports. To simplify trade with other countries than USA and Canada would be much more helpful for us, for example regarding exportation from Sweden to Brazil, because that is where the difficult isses are.

Be aware that there is a risk that CETA passes more unnoticed and paves the way for TTIP and other similar bad deals. As we have earlier warned for, it is part of a pattern, selling out Europe.

Resignation letter to Obama

Dear Mr. President:

I hereby resign my commission as an Officer in the United States Army.

I resign because I refuse to support U.S. armed drone policy. The Executive Branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.

I resign because I refuse to support U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The Executive Branch continues to invest billions of dollars into nuclear weapons, which threaten the existence of humankind and the earth. I refuse to support this policy of terror and mutually assured destruction.

I resign because I refuse to support U.S. policy of preventive war, permanent military supremacy and global power projection. The Executive Branch continues to claim extra-constitutional authority and impunity from international law. I refuse to support this policy of imperial overstretch.

I resign because I refuse to serve as an empire chaplain. I cannot reconcile these policies with either my sworn duty to protect and defend America and our constitutional democracy or my covenantal commitment to the core principles of my religion faith. These principles include: justice, equity and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth, a commitment to the democratic process, and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher John Antal

Read more about Reverend Chris Antal on Democracy Now.

EU to decide on Glyphosate

During the 18-19 May, the EU will make an important decision on Glyphosate, which has been classified as probably carcinogenic in humans. Watch a short film in EnglishFrench, Italian, Spanish or Swedish that explains why an alliance of environmental organizations have filed a case against Monsanto and public authorities. Others use the words “naked corruption” to describe what has been going on.

The deceit of a people

On the 13 June 1952, a Swedish signal intelligence equipped DC-3 was shot down over the Baltic Sea. The plane was found on the seafloor in 2003. It was salvaged and is now shown on the Swedish Air Force Museum.

DC3

The story of the DC-3 is a flagrant example of how a government propagates a belief that is not true, or at least not the whole truth. By letting a museum distort the history, this is taken one step further: Lies become institutionalized.

At the museum, the overall impression a visitor gets is that an innocent Swedish plane was shot down by the Soviet Union. The Swedish innocence is one of the lies. Only at a single place in the museum, the illegal nature of the flights of these DC-3s is hinted. On a sign you can read that in the early 1950s, there were continuous violations of the Soviet airspace by British and American reconnaissance aircraft and also by Swedish. The museum does not tell you that a Swedish crewmenber had seen the islands Saaremaa and Hiiumaa from “the wrong side” on an earlier flight with the same or a similar plane or that the Swedish military many years later forced the burning of a crewmember diary. That information can be found in Cecilia Steen-Johnsson’s book with the long title Ett folkbedrägeri: DC-3:an och svensk säkerhetspolitik: Sverige och NATO 1952-92.

Instead, the museum sells another book about the DC-3 in their shop, which tells the story much more the way the Swedish authorities want it to be told. Interestingly, that book by Christer Lokind claims that: “No authority and no archive is withholding material related to the DC-3 affair. Sometimes, however, one has to note that certain material that should be in the archives just cannot be found.” In those words, he actually reveals what has happened. Facts have been erased. At one place in the museum, I could also find that they admit this.

Another lie is probably the number of people on board, when the DC-3 was shot down.

Crew photos

The official story is that there were eight men in the crew, shown on the photo above. However, Anders Jallai (who was the project leader when the DC-3 was found), has compiled much information supporting that there were actually nine people in the crew that day. For more information, see his web page about the DC-3 (in Swedish).

Cecilia Steen-Johnsson’s book explains how the DC-3 affair is part of a broader picture, which is much worse than most Swedes understand. She writes about the enourmous hidden influence of NATO in Sweden:

Within NATO, one thinks about the recruitments that may be necessary for the future, which journalists can be connected, which the future’s influential industry leaders can be. The talent hunt goes on in the secret, one must not lose the grip on Sweden when useful people retire or die. An internal organization of reliable Swedes, which in a crisis can act for the Western alliance in desirable way, must be continually renewed.

This is incompatible with democracy.