| Top UK family judge adjourns father’s contact case amid legal aid impasse!

Top family judge adjourns father’s contact case amid legal aid impasse ~ , legal affairs correspondent, The Guardian.

Sir James Munby calls for justice secretary’s intervention amid concerns that man’s lack of legal aid could disadvantage child.

The most senior family judge in England and Wales has asked the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, to explain how a case involving a father’s contact with his son can proceed without legal aid.

In a judgment that in effect challenges the Ministry of Justice’s policy of removing public funding for most matrimonial and separation hearings, Sir James Munby has had to adjourn a case because he has reached a legal dead end.

The decision, made last month but only published on Monday, comes shortly after a serious fraud case collapsed owing to cuts in legal aid; the court of appeal subsequently reinstated the trial.

Restrictions imposed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 have resulted in the family courts being inundated by unrepresented claimants because legal aid is no longer available for their claims.

In a family case identified only as Q v Q, the lack of legal aid for a convicted sex offender who wants to maintain contact with his son has emerged as a crucial factor preventing the court delivering a fair hearing. The unrepresented man speaks little English and requires an interpreter.

The MoJ disputed whether the removal of legal aid for the father had anything to do recent cuts. It may have been due an earlier policy on merit tests which may have been affected by the father’s conviction. The decision to remove legal aid is understood to have been upheld by an independent adjudicator.

After considering submissions, the president of the family division indicated that for justice to be delivered the father may need to be represented and possibly call expert witnesses. Munby said precedents from the European court of human rights showed “that there could be circumstances in which, without the assistance of a legally qualified representative, a litigant might be denied [their right to a fair hearing].

“The question then is what is to be done because, on one view, we have … reached an impasse, which is unthinkable. This case raises, in quite an acute form, a problem which is increasingly troubling judges sitting in the family court at all levels.” Either the mother, who is publicly funded, or the court itself might have to pay, he suggested, “in order to ensure a just and fair hearing”.

He continued: “It seems to me that these are matters which are required to be investigated in justice not merely to the father, but I emphasise equally importantly to the son, as well as in the wider public interest of other litigants in a similar situation to that of the father here … there is the risk that, if one has a process which is not fair to one of the parents, that unfairness may in the final analysis rebound to the disadvantage of the child.”

Munby concluded: “I propose to adjourn this matter for … a short time, inviting the Ministry of Justice – or it may be the secretary of state for justice or it might be the minister for the courts and legal aid – to intervene in the proceedings.”

Their submissions, he suggested, should address who should pay if funding for legal representation for the father is necessary.

The ministry has defended successive cuts, arguing that the legal aid system in England and Wales costs £2bn a year and is one of the most expensive in the world.

An MoJ spokesperson said: “We have only just received this judgment. However, it is clearly a complex case that requires careful thought. In his judgment, Sir James Munby references expert evidence that the child would not be safe in the father’s presence and that, given these circumstances, the father’s legal aid was terminated.”

This article was amended on 9 June 2014. The word “custody” was changed to “contact” in the headline and first paragraph to better reflect the circumstances of this case

A father and son

The judge said there was a risk that, if the process of deciding on a man’s contact with his son was not fair to one parent, that unfairness might ultimately disadvantage the child. Image posed by models. Photograph: Amana images/Alam
The judges do not go on the consider the two cases – Q v Q and A Father v SBC – in the light of Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 s 10 (exceptional case determinations under s 10(3): for a background to this legal aid jurisdiction, see http://wp.me/p4jaDx-5y). That must be the next step, since on their view of each case the President and Baker J both found a European Convention 1950 aspect: Art 8 and Art 6(1) (in the context of a fair trial in the difficult circumstances posed by both cases); Art 10 and Art 2 in the P case. And, it must be recalled, Art 14 (discrimination) might apply in both Q v Q and A Father v SBC.

| Care for teenage UK karate champion so bad it ‘breached human rights’, coroner rules!

Care for teenage karate champion so bad it ‘breached human rights’, coroner rules ~ , The Telegraph.

Dana Baker, who represented Great Britain in karate, killed herself after “serious and systematic failings” in her care by a council that was too busy and overworked to help her

Dana Baker, aged 16, from Kiddermister, Worcestershire, who killed herself while waiting for the retrial of her karate teacher Jaspal Riat

Dana Baker, aged 16, from Kiddermister, Worcestershire, who killed herself while waiting for the retrial of her karate teacher Jaspal Riat Photo: NEWSTEAM

A teenager who represented Great Britain in karate killed herself after receiving care from social services that was so bad it breached her human rights, a coroner ruled.

Dana Baker, 16, was found hanged in Kidderminster in Worcestershire on March 3, 2011.

The teenager had been in a “soap opera romance” with her karate teacher Jaspal Riat, 52, who was later jailed for eight years for sexually abusing her, an inquest heard.

She had been in care since 2009 after she tried to kill herself when the abuse was revealed.

Geraint Williams, coroner for Worcestershire, said if Miss Baker had received proper care she would not have had the opportunity to commit suicide and it is likely she would have survived.

He said there were “serious and systematic failings” in the care by Worcestershire Social Services which saw the bright pupil have five social workers from three different teams, attend three different schools and be put in two foster placements in an 18 month period. She ended up being sent to live with an adult friend, Sally King, who was not given any advice or guidance on how to look after the teenager.

Mr Williams said that by failing to provide her with proper care – despite Miss Baker being known as a suicide risk – her “article two rights were breached”, which relates to the ‘right to life’ contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. This article has been interpreted to include the requirement of the state to ensure preventative measures are taken to protect citizens.

“I find that it would have been the simplest measures, and well within the power of the local authority, to have asked Sally King not to let Dana out of her sight and to arrange for visits on a daily basis by professionals,” said Mr Williams.

“In my judgement these simple steps would have avoided Dana’s death on March 3 and therefore I consider thatDana’s article two rights were breached.”

Mr Williams said from March 2011 the teenager was at a “real and immediate risk of death by suicide”, and this was known by those who cared for her.

But little was done because they were too busy and overworked, the inquest heard.

He added: “Her death was contributed to by a failure to have in place adequate measures to protect her from a known, present and continuing risk that she would kill herself.”

The inquest heard Dana had first confessed in a school English lesson about the relationship with Riat two years before she committed suicide in April 2009.

But Dana’s deputy headteacher said she had no response from social services or police for several days after reporting her concerns.

Vicki Blake, who works at Wolverley CE Secondary School, told the hearing she had noticed self-harm marks on the teen when she was just 14.

Gordon Robertson, a former county council officer, said there was a ‘large issue’ of capacity and big caseloads for him and other staff at that time.

Miss Baker was taken to hospital the night before she was found hanged after becoming distraught because her placement with the foster parents she called “mum and dad” was being ended.

In a final text to Mrs King from Dana before she killed herself, she said: “I’m so sorry. I didn’t ever want to lie to you but I promised I wouldn’t do anything in your house. I love you all. I’m so sorry.”


| Michael Mansfield QC denounces Egypt coup for Rule of Law!

Michael Mansfield explains to MEMO why it is important to prosecute the perpetrators of the Egyptian coup ~ Dr Sarah Marusek, MEMO.

“The Middle East is a crucible for what is going on” in the world.

Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Palestine. These are among some of the territories that hegemonic world powers have been trying to construct as spaces of exception, where international law does not apply and crimes against humanity take place with impunity.

Since last summer, Egypt has now joined this list. However, as is the case in all of these territories, the effort to deny people their basic rights is being met with strong resistance in Egypt.

On Saturday, a group of international lawyers convened a press conference to present the initial findings of their investigation into the Egyptian military regime’s crimes against humanity since the coup d’état on 3 July that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president and parliament.

The high profile legal team has been appointed by Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) as well as other members of the country’s deposed parliament. Led by Tayab Ali, a solicitor and partner of the human rights law firm ITN Solicitor, the team comprises some of the world’s most distinguished legal minds, including: the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Ken Macdonald QC; South African International Lawyer and former UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Professor John Dugard SC; and renowned human rights barrister, Michael Mansfield QC.

At the conference Ali and Mansfied joined Dr Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, a member of Egypt’s suspended parliament, and Professor Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine, to discuss the preliminary findings of their report and to call upon the international community to name these crimes and actively oppose them.

Indeed, the speakers repeatedly stressed that we all share this historical burden and that our collective future, including the rights that we all cherish, depends on the outcome in Egypt.

Ever since the tragedy of 11 September 2001, Western eyes, and especially those of Americans, have been focused on the Middle East to try to understand why the attacks happened. However, as American scholar Derek Gregory points out in his book The Colonial Present, by searching for the answer “over there” rather than “over here”, the US and its European allies have created spaces of exception, where following the logic of the colonialist and Orientalist projects, the lives “over there” are imagined to be governed by a different set of ethical and legal principles than “over here”. This post-colonial gesture note only reproduces difference, but also undoes the rights-based achievements of the post-colonial era. Gregory suggests that “it is this asymmetry—accepting the privilege of contemplating ‘the other’ without acknowledging the gaze in return… that marks this as a colonial gesture of extraordinary contemporary resonance.”

More recently, Western eyes have watched the unfolding of the Arab uprisings, inspired by ordinary people mobilising in the streets to bravely demand an end to decades of dictatorship in order to make way for the rule of law and democracy. But while the revolutionary uprisings captured the Western imagination, even this was not enough to disrupt that colonial gaze and collapse the constructed difference that Gregory speaks of, as the West has been largely silent ever since Egypt’s democracy was crushed and the Egyptian people were terrorised by a military coup.

Those fighting to restore their democracy in Egypt are now demanding that the time has come for the international community to finally acknowledge their gaze. Oppressed by a military regime that is armed and supported by Western countries, Egyptians are now calling upon the international community to actively support their democratic struggle and to help them hold the military coup regime accountable for its crimes against humanity.

Before the press conference convened, Mansfield, who has worked on numerous international civil rights struggles for more than four decades, and who recently sat as a juror for the Russell Tribunal for Palestine, spoke at length with MEMO about this effort.

Outraged by our collective silence, Mansfield pointedly asked why “nobody’s making the point that President Mohamed Morsi is actually making himself,” which is that “he’s been deposed by a military coup.” He also stressed that the case against the perpetrators of the Egyptian coup is important because “the Middle East is a crucible for what is going on” in the world.

Mansfield explained to MEMO that using international jurisdiction to seek justice in Egypt is not without precedent. He cited other cases that “demonstrate the need to enforce international law” elaborating that, “One that I quite like using is one that the Israelis did. The Israelis, you may remember, in 1961 retrieved Adolf Eichmann, a war criminal, from South America and took him back to Jerusalem for trial on the basis that nobody else was going to do it.”

Since Eichmann had committed war crimes for which he would not have faced justice otherwise, Israel was indeed entitled to try him. Of course, many, including the Jewish scholar Hannah Arendt, critiqued Israel for trying Eichmann in the name of Jewish suffering rather than in the name of all. As critical theorist Judith Butler has observed “the destruction and displacement of whole populations was an attack not only on those specific groups, but on humanity itself.”

During Saturday’s press conference, Professor Falk also remarked that as citizens of conscience in the modern era, “it’s not just a matter of deferring to governments and states as the implementers of the rule of law. If we really believe in the premises of democratic society, we all have that right and obligation” to speak out against those who commit crimes against humanity, “because this is not a territorial crime; it’s a crime against people. And in a certain, very fundamental sense, we are all humans before we are nationals of any state, or we belong to any religion or ethnicity. Our humanity calls for a response to outrages of this dimension, this scale.”

Of course, Mansfield agrees on the ethical imperative here, but he also adds a practical layer by insisting that, “we all have an interest, a vested interest, in ensuring self-determination for the peoples in the Middle East, including Palestine and Egypt.”

Anybody who doubts this self-interest needs look no further than his or her own shores. In the UK, Mansfield pointed to the police’s efforts to spy on students at Cambridge University, as recently uncovered by the Guardian. In the US, there is the continued expansion of the Patriot Act, as well as the mass surveillance of Muslim Americans, which journalist Trevor Aaronson claims has resulted in the FBI’s manufacture of terrorists simply to justify the infringement of civil liberties.

And while Dr Dardery poignantly stated that, “Egypt is at the crossroads,” he too added that, “What is happening in Egypt now has serious ramifications on the future [of us all]. What type of future do we want? Do we want a future of war of all against all? Or do we want a future of democracy, rule of law and human rights?”

I asked Mansfield how his own past experiences shape the way that he sees the struggle for justice and democracy in Egypt, and he replied that, “I’ve recognised that fighting in court, the struggle inside the court to get justice, is only part of a bigger picture. You’re not going to get justice inside the courts unless you’ve created a climate outside the court, even a culture possibly, in which people recognise the rule of law, recognise the need for conventions on human rights, don’t disregard them, and further recognise that it makes a difference in individual, particular lives on the street. And once they realise that these rights are not ethereal, that they are not abstract, and that they are actually important for rights of assembly, speech and association and all that,” people will stop taking their activities for granted and recognise that their freedoms “have only survived because somebody has been bothered to clothe them, if you like, in the rights culture.”

He further explained: “The over-arching problem here is that, unless there is respect for the rule of law by nation-states who are otherwise acting like terrorists, and I include Israel in this, but obviously Egypt is the same; if, in fact, they are just going to stick their fingers up to all of this, and say we don’t care, carry on, it provides an example to others. Whatever their rationale is, they will be saying to themselves, so what? You know, if states do the same, then why can’t we do that? And so it sets a terrible example and it means that all the hard work that has been put in by lawyers and politicians over centuries to construct a civilised basis for conduct, it’s just undermined in one fell swoop. You just take over, because might is right.”

Mansfield and the others are all making an important point that in today’s world, our rights are always contingent upon others’ rights. While the current framework to ensure our rights may be imperfect, it remains a framework that we have struggled to create, and continually struggle to reform, for strong ethical reasons. And however imperfect, this framework must uphold the rule of law without discrimination or else the whole effort becomes meaningless.

According to Mansfield, “The problem that everybody’s got, is that the key decisions are taken by the UN Security Council, which is dominated by five permanent members, all of whom have the power of veto. And the US, in particular, vetoes regularly, certainly everything to do with Israel, but in all sorts of other spheres, if it thinks it is inimical to their national interest, whatever they are. And I definitely think that the veto has got to go and that the Security Council must be changed.” However Mansfield also stressed that, “On the other hand, bringing pressure to bear shouldn’t stop. So, for example, like when individual governments, such as the UK, approach the Security Council.”

And this is not the only way to act. Mansfield elaborated that, “I think every effort to isolate the Egyptian illegal government and bring pressure to bear to terminate the proceedings against President Morsi at the moment would be useful. So you start with politicians in the Senate and politicians in the UK parliament, and so on. But there has to be, you know, a form of solidarity between all these people who are willing to do it. There has to be.”

There are other cases that inform the international legal effort to seek justice in Egypt, for example the trial in Spain against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, as well as a UK court’s recent effort to arrest Israeli politician Tzipi Livni in relation to her role in the war crimes committed during the 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza. But while each case is different both legally and politically, Mansfield pointed out that all of these cases are sending out the same message “to people who are potential war criminals, or who are committing crimes against humanity, that you can run, but there is nowhere for you to hide. There is no safe haven, or there shouldn’t be a safe haven, for you.”

As Dr Dardery also warned the coup leaders in Egypt, “We as Egyptian people, we are determined to say clearly and widely, never again. Never again we will allow those who killed us to get away with it.”

While it is imperative that the Egyptian people always remain in control of their own destinies, what the international legal effort to seek justice in Egypt makes very clear is this: whether or not any safe haven exists for those who perpetrate crimes against humanity, including the war criminals in Egypt, depends not only on the will of the Egyptian people, our international bodies and our respective nations, but also on each and every one of us.



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| Doubly screwed by undercover cops: Tricked women lose fight for public hearings!

Undercover police: Women lose fight to have their cases heard in public ~ HEATHER SAULThe Independent.

A group of women who claim they were tricked into forming relationships with undercover police officers have lost their fight to have their cases heard in public.

A ruling was today backed by the Court of Appeal that the women’s claims their human rights were breached must be heard in a private court, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT).

In January, Mr Justice Tugendhat gave permission for the cases to brought under common law by 10 women and one man, who are seeking compensation for emotional trauma allegedly caused by officers infiltrating environmental activist groups.

But he said that claims brought under the Human Rights Act against the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police should be determined by the IPT, which holds a number of hearings in private and has no obligation to take oral evidence or tell complainants why their case is dropped.

Today, the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Lady Justice Sharp said the IPT did have jurisdiction to decide all the human rights claims.

They went on to permit the appeal against the judge’s decision to stay the High Court proceedings pending the determination of proceedings at the IPT.

The women claim they had a sexual relationship with a man who they later found to be a covert human intelligence source (CHIS), while the male claimant alleges a non-sexual relationship.

The police have argued that the IPT, which was formed in 2000, was the appropriate forum for all the claims as Parliament intended such cases to be decided by a specialist tribunal with a specially tailored procedure.

Three of the claimants say they had relationships with Mark Kennedy whilst he was undercover, the undercover police officer who spent seven years spying on environmental activists posing as Mark “Flash” Stone, one of which lasted six years.


UK police stateA


| Overdue Accountability: Pirate Israel’s deplorable Human Rights record!


Israel’s Deplorable Human Rights Record ~ Stephen Lendman.

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) conducts Universal Periodic Reviews. It calls doing so “a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all (193) UN Member States.”


It’s an “opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.”


It’s “designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.”


In January, Israel became the first country to opt out. It no-showed disgracefully. It calls legitimate criticism anti-Israeli bias.


It got a second chance. On October 29, it showed up in Geneva. Complicit EU allies rigged the process. Doing so gave Israel special treatment. It’s the only UN member state so afforded.


Its internal human rights record was evaluated separately from occupation harshness. Its presentation turned truth on its head. Fiction substituted for indisputable facts.


Israel denies Arab citizens fundamental rights. Activist Jews face harsh treatment. Israeli viciousness reflects official policy.


Occupied Palestinians fare worst. Militarized occupation harshness brutalizes them ruthlessly. Netanyahu exceeds Sharonian evil.


Palestine is an isolated prison. Besieged Gaza is the world’s largest open-air one. An entire population is being suffocated out of existence.


Since 1948, Palestinians endured virtually every form of indignity, degradation and crime against humanity. They face daily abuses too great to ignore.


Israeli viciousness is unrelenting. Its HRC presentation mocked reality. It made painful listening. In text form, it ran 25 pages. It includes one lie and distortion after another. It bears no relation to truth.


On September 30, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel prepared a “Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Israel 29 October 2013.”


Israel has no constitution. Basic Laws substitute. No Israeli law “guarantees the right to equality and/or prohibits direct or indirect racial discrimination,” said Adalah.


Israel’s 18th Knesset (2009 – 2012) was its worst ever. Racist laws passed routinely. In March 2013, the 19th Knesset convened.


In its first March – July session, 35 new discriminatory laws were introduced. Doing so exceeds the worst of the previous body. Human rights are systematically violated. Core international laws are spurned.


Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens. It does so in virtually all ways imaginable. Equality is verboten. Arabs are treated like fifth column threats.


Doing so is longstanding Israeli policy. Being Arab means being denied fundamental rights.


According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI):


“Arab citizens face entrenched discrimination in all fields of life. In recent years, the prevalent attitude of hostility and mistrust towards Arab citizens has become more pronounced, with large sections of the Israeli public viewing the Arab minority as both a fifth column and a demographic threat.”


“There are glaring socioeconomic differences between Jewish and Arab population groups, particularly with regard to land, urban planning, housing, infrastructure, economic development, and education.”


“Over half of the poor families in Israel are Arab families, and Arab municipalities constitute the poorest municipalities within Israel.”


ACRI struggles legally and other ways to overcome these inequities. So does Adalah and other Israeli human rights organizations.


Challenging Israeli ruthlessness takes commitment. It requires longterm struggle against injustice. It demands staying the course no matter what.


Israel’s contempt for rule of law principles and ruthless use of force make things tougher.


Zionism is the enemy of Jews and non-Jews alike. It endangers world peace. It threatens humanity. It’s corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful.


It claims Jewish supremacy, specialness and uniqueness as God’s “chosen people.”


It violates fundamental human and civil rights. It deplores peace. It chooses confrontation over diplomacy. It espouses violence.


It seeks dominance through militarism, intimidation and naked aggression.


In his book “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine,” Joel Kovel said it turned Israel “into a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses.” It rages out-of-control.


If you accept “the idea of a Jewish state,” you mix its twin notions of “particularism (and) exceptionalism (that are) the actual bane of Judaism (and give) racism an objective, enduring, institutionalized and obdurate character,” he explained.


“(T)he world would be a far better place without Zionism(‘s)” corrosive effects. Israeli state terror is called self-defense. Palestinian freedom fighters are called terrorists.


Israel is a classic rogue state. It’s all take and no give. Core international law principles don’t matter. Israel violates them unaccountably. Occupation harshness persists.


Jews alone have rights. Palestinians suffer horrifically. Israelification aims for:
  • total control of Palestine;
  • encouraging Palestinians to leave;
  • confining remaining ones to isolated cantons;
  • stealing all valued land;
  • dispossessing its Arab inhabitants;
  • exploiting its water and other resources;
  • co-opting a quisling Palestinian leadership;
  • using it to enforce Israeli diktats;
  • terrorizing ordinary Palestinians into submission; and
  • denying them all fundamental rights and privileges.
Law Professor Michael Mandel said:


“Israel’s West Bank and Gaza settlements are war crimes in Canada.”


“Under the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 2000, c. 24, Israel’s settlements in territories taken in the June 1967 war constitute war crimes punishable in Canada.”


Mandel cited Section 8, paragraph 2 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Item viii prohibits: “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory.”


Mandel added:


Although “Israel denies it, there is no question (it’s) an Occupying Power for the purposes of the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute, and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.”


Law Professor Francis Boyle said since the 1987 first Intifada erupted, “the world has seen heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people.”


They include “willful killing.” Israeli security forces and extremist settlers bear full responsibility. Fourth Geneva breaches persist daily.


They include “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated,” Boyle explained.


Israel policy mirrors what Nazi Germany did to Jews. Crimes against humanity “are the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention,” said Boyle.


Michael Mandel explained how America gets away with murder in his book by that title. Israel operates the same way. Palestinians suffer horrifically.


Whitewashing Israeli crimes won’t absolve them. Decades of pain and suffering persist. Don’t expect Palestinians to forgive or forget. Liberation remains a distant dream.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”



Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.



Ethnic Cleansing for Dummies 2 

Still living in fairy-tale-land about Israel?

Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on the currency:

All facts at Storify continuously updated. Read what Israeli ‘leaders’ have said and done even before (peace) talks and how their actions contradict the reality and ugly facts which they try to hide from you:

You can forget all details.
Save yourself time.
It is only about Ethnic Cleansing
 of Palestine

Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…

The No-State Solution for Palestine

The facts. Mainly Israeli sources. Continuously updated


Collective Punishment 1

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| Pirate Israel compelled to attend UN Geneva HR periodic review!

Geneva Council Holds Periodic Review of Member States’ Rights Records ~ United Nations Photo.


Geneva Council Holds Periodic Review of Member States' Rights Records

UN Photo/Gilles Sereni
Shai Nitzan (left), Deputy Attorney General for Special Affairs in Israel’s Ministry of Justice, and Eviatar Manor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), attend the session on Israel within the Human Rights Council’s 17th Universal Periodic Review (UPR).The UPR is a process by the Council to review the human rights records of all UN Member States and gives each State the opportunity “to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations”.

29 October 2013
Photo # 568842



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| Alison Weir’s open letter to the head of the ADL‏!

Dear Abe Foxman,

Thank you! Our organization, If Americans Knew, is enormously honored by our inclusion in your recent Top Ten list of “anti-Israel groups” – in reality, organizations working most strenuously and effectively to oppose Israel’s brutal human rights abuses and violent ethnic cleansing project.

As you note, hundreds of such groups “operate in the U.S. today,” and, I might add, a great many of them produce profoundly valuable work. This makes us particularly honored to have been included among the ten most effective.

Your organization apparently finds those working on behalf of justice and equality for all abhorrent when this includes Palestinians. Happily, many disagree with you. In fact, a large and growing number of people (of all ethnicities, religions, races, and political persuasions) believe that universal principles of morality do not contain exceptions.

Britain’s “Redress Information & Analysis” calls inclusion on your list “one of the highest accolades truth-telling fighters against racism and bigotry could hope for.”

Your Top Ten report appears to be an important element of your fundraising outreach, which rakes in almost $60 million for your annual budget – on top of your $115 million net assets.

Yet in looking through the report, I notice that almost all of us Top Ten groups have quite small budgets. Ours, which is one of the smallest, is less than 1/400th of your yearly revenue. Your salary alone – $688,188 – dwarfs the entire yearly budget for all but two of these groups, and is over four times the annual budget for our entire organization.

The truth is, all our groups are struggling, and our financial survival is at times in real jeopardy.

Abe, this should worry you.

What will you do if we go under? How will you raise such large sums of money? How in the world will you pay yourself two-thirds of a million dollars each year if you can’t scare your donors with distorted stories of what we do and frightening myths about why we do it?

But there is a solution:

I propose that you give If Americans Knew a nickel of each dollar you raise. After all, you use our work to raise this money. You name me among the five most “anti-Israel” (i.e. pro human rights for all) individuals in America. You used our billboard image to illustrate your report on the ten organizations your donors should be most terrified of, and put it at the very top of your home page.

I further propose that you provide a similar amount for each of the other nine organizations whose work you use (or, more accurately, distort) to raise your vast sums of money.

Under this proposal, you would still get the lion’s share of the money, while ensuring that your Top Ten groups won’t disappear from the scene – and from your fundraising strategy.

In all honesty, however, there could be a drawback to this proposal. If our organization (and the others on the list) had a nickel for each dollar the ADL raises, this budget could help us make our ideas more widely known in the marketplace of ideas.

This could be devastating for you.

Even though your budget would still dwarf ours – and even though the ADL is only one of numerous multi-million dollar organizations propagandizing for Israel – we and our colleagues are marketing a product that would likely win out over yours in any sort of fair competition.

After all, you’re selling a lemon: lies, tribalism, cruelty, endless war, and fear and hatred of entire populations; while we’re marketing truth, equality, dignity for all, and peace through justice and self-determination.

For this reason, I sincerely doubt you will adopt my proposal.

But I hope, in seriousness this time, that perhaps someday you’ll do something even better:

You’ll join us. You’ll decide to make the ADL into a real anti-defamation league; an organization that believes in the worth of all human beings, both in Palestine and beyond, that doesn’t promote division and difference, and that instead reveres our common humanity and works to protect all the world’s children from suffering and injustice.

That’s my real proposal. I hope you’ll consider it.

Best wishes,


Alison Weir is the executive director of If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest, which is a co-sponsor of the billboard mentioned in the article, and is also on the Top Ten list. She can be reached at contact@IfAmericansKnew.org.


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| Recently published handbook offers guidelines for Palestinian rights activists!

Recently published handbook offers guidelines for Palestinian rights activists ~ Ramona Wadi, MEMO.

The Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLS) and The Center for Constitutional Rights have joined forces to provide a handbook for Palestinian rights activists entitled “Palestinian human rights advocacy in the US“. The handbook, published this month, provides activists with a guide to more efficient campaigning as well as creates awareness about the legal implications of activism and the institutions that exist to keep activists safe.


Palestinian human rights advocacy Us

The handbook also covers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activism, reminding activists that while federal anti-boycott laws exist, these do not apply to human rights boycotts, such as the boycott of Israel and companies which maintain the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Activists are reminded that each state’s legislation may vary, which is why an adequate understanding of laws and regulations is so important. Especially because the legislation may be interpreted differently across multiple forms of activism, leading to possible legal charges against activists. Taking into account the various methods of free expression, the guidelines detail the difference between accepted means of protest and others that may give rise to criminal accountability. While the specific protest behaviour might not infringe regulations, its practice may infringe other regulations, so activists are reminded that charges under other law statuses may be brought against them, blurring the lines between forms of acceptable protest and any possible liabilities for such actions – one example being the infringement on other people’s right to free speech and, in the case of universities, academic freedom.

The material support laws are also discussed in detail, reminding activists that any form of help given to a “designated foreign terrorist organisation (FTO)” may subject activists to prosecution. The guidelines differentiate between collaboration with an FTO and solidarity activities, clarifying that: “The ‘material support laws’ do not restrict independent advocacy.” So as long as such advocacy is carried out independently, it does not carry the same degree of responsibility. However activists are urged to consult with legal experts in order to determine if their activities are in violation of any legislation, particularly as various Palestinian organisations have been described as “terrorist” by government departments in the US.

An equally important section deals with Palestinian rights activism on university campuses, because it may be interpreted as a form of discrimination against Jewish students under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which “prohibits discrimination by federally funded programs on the basis of race, color and national origin.” If a university fails to address complaints against protected groups, the university may be penalised by losing its federal funding. The law has been actively promoted by pro-Israel organisations, which counter criticism of Israel by accusing Palestinian rights activists of creating a hostile, anti-Semitic environment detrimental to Jewish students. The handbook stresses the importance of media advocacy to counter claims of anti-Semitism in relation to Palestinian rights activism.

The handbook recommends that activists maintain an engagement with university administrators in order to avoid possible conflict. Communication with administrators regarding activism on campus is encouraged, with activists also advised to take precautions through written statements regarding the agreements of planned protest events.

The handbook also covers the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activism, reminding activists that while federal anti-boycott laws exist, these do not apply to human rights boycotts, such as the boycott of Israel and companies which maintain the illegal occupation of Palestine. Readers are also encouraged to pursue further resources regarding the discussed topics through various listed websites, including Palestine Legal Support.




| Egypt Military Crackdown: What is an Egyptian human life worth?

Egypt Military Crackdown: What is an Egyptian human life worth? ~ Hanine Hassan, MEMO.

Egypt Protest

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Egyptians have been killed in recent days as the security services crackdown on the anti-coup protests

Prior to the 14 August clashes, the two main protest sites, al-Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya, were densely populated with women, children, and men who have been staging a 47 days-long peaceful sit-in to protest the removal of President Mohammed Morsy. Both sit-ins would at certain moments have a gathering of at least 115,000 people. On July 31, the Egyptian cabinet authorized the interior minister to “take all necessary measures to face these dangers and put an end to them within the framework of the constitution and the law.” More than 40 international and national human rights organizations have warned the Egyptian Authorities not to use abusive and excessive force in the dispersal of protesters as Egypt’s riot police have consistently responded with excessive and unlawful lethal force in dispersing demonstrations and have showed insufficient respect to protecting the right to life.


This warning resulted from previous massacres committed by the Egyptian Armed Forces and Security Forces against peaceful protesters just a few weeks before. On 8 July, 51 people were killed when lethal force was used on protesters gathered outside the Officer’s club, followed by another massacre on 27 July when 74 people were killed, many shot in the head and chest.

On July 19, the EuroMid Observer for Human Rights issued a statement, signed by 11 international human rights organizations, demanding the Egyptian Authorities to protect human lives , emphasizing that “Egyptian security forces and the army are responsible for protecting all protestors, including both supporters and opponents of the deposed president. However, instead, a serious escalation in human rights violations – such as extrajudicial killings; arbitrary arrests; excessive use of force; and deprivation of freedoms of association, speech and expression – has been documented, targeting those who oppose the military’s ouster of President Morsi. The Egyptian authorities have not only perpetrated such acts, but also turned a blind eye to their practice by others”1.

As the Egyptian cabinet was considering the pro-Morsi sit-ins a “threat to national security”, human rights organizations and governments around the world kept urging the Egyptian Armed Forces to show restraint, to seek for a peaceful dispersal of the sit-ins and to avoid the escalation of violence.

Yet Egypt has been ruled since its independence by the generals who have since then committed severe human rights violations, showing little respect to human rights and dignity and acting with blatant disregard for human life.

Violating the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association of the protestors

The violence started around 6.30 a.m. on Wednesday 14 August as Central Security Forces (riot police) backed by helicopters and snipers, surrounded both sit-ins and fired tear gas from three different entries while heavy semi-automatic bursts of gunfire were heard. Eyewitnesses’ reports and video footage showed the sounds of successive gun shots and men in the crowd falling to the ground right away, which means that security forces were using live gunfire as snipers were firing tear gas and live ammunition from rooftops and helicopters. EuroMid researcher counted 42 victims in the first hour. Security forces shredded through the labyrinthine networks of tents and tarpaulin shacks, setting them on fire, with women and children still inside of them, causing many casualties and injuries. An eyewitness told EuroMid “a mother and her baby were crushed to death inside the tent”, as severe chaos rose among the bloodshed.

The Egyptian Authorities have blatantly violated the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association of the protestors, which states that: “Everyone has the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association […] and these rights are essential components of democracy”.

Responses to demonstrations and sit-ins must comply with international standards, even when some participants err by resorting to violence, including the use of firearms. International standards forbid the excessive use of lethal force, and do not justify the intentional murder of protestors by police or military snipers. The use of force must not exceed what is required to prevent the use of violence. Firing live ammunition at crowds is intolerable and should be considered a criminal act.

Extrajudicial executions

The Egyptian Security Forces had announced one safe corridor from which protesters could exit the Rabaa sit-in parallel to Tayaran Street. Protestors and eyewitnesses stated that the security forces deliberately targeted protesters who were using the safe corridor, and attacked physically and verbally protestors as they were trying to escape. Men were executed on the spot while walking with their hands above their heads. The police unlawfully killed protesters who were clearly not engaged in any form of violence.

This was clearly not an attempt to break-up a peaceful sit-in, but a huge military operation against unarmed civilians. The use of deadly fire on such a scale and the killing of so many by the security forces prove that there was an intention to kill with no regard for people’s lives.

Within less than 3 hours, the Field Hospital itself and the adjacent halls were completely full with corpses and injured protesters. The injuries varied from birdshots to live bullets, burns and asphyxiation. Medical staff reported that the “majority of the bullet injuries were to the head, neck, and chest, as well that the angle of gunshot wounds indicated they were shot from above, as some of the deaths were judged to be targeted killings, as the position of the shots could only result in death”.

The Egyptian Security Forces are guilty of extrajudicial executions, which are acts outside the realm of rule of law and hence deprive the targeted individual(s) of their right to life, as well as the right to defend themselves against charges against them. The killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process is an unlawful punishment that violates the Declaration of Human Rights.

But who will hold the Egyptian Forces accountable? They have not opened or announced any investigation into any of those cases, which is contrary to the provisions of Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, which state the need to investigate cases of unlawful killings and that the “purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the cause, manner and time of death, the person responsible, and any pattern or practice which may have brought about that death,” and that “the body of the deceased person shall not be disposed of until an adequate autopsy is conducted by a physician”.

But as death tolls rose, the Egyptian authorities attempted to cover up the numbers of the massacre. The police are refusing to register the cause of death as murder and push families to list the cause as accidents or suicide. The EuroMid researcher was shown official certificates of death were the cause of death was not mentioned.

Places designated for the sole protection of civilians, such as hospital zones, should not be the object of military operations

Additionally, the Egyptian Security Forces imposed a siege on the Rabaa Field Hospital, preventing ambulances from coming through from the very beginning of the violent crackdown. At least one ambulance medic was shot in the head. Snipers were targeting anyone coming in and out of the hospital. It is a criminal act to deliberately attack a hospital or other medical units, whether civilian or military. Medical personnel in general may not be attacked.

According to the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, when whenever the use of force and firearms is unavoidable, law enforcement officials shall ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons at the earliest possible moment. This obligation was violated by Egyptian Forces, specifically by imposing a siege on the Field Hospital, and blocking its entrance, and eventually setting it on fire.

Unlawful use of teargas

Rules under international customary law ban the use of certain weapons as an instrument to contain assemblies. Central Security Forces (riot police), backed by the Egyptian Army, fired teargas canisters and gas bombs directly at the densely populated sit-ins, causing severe cases of asphyxiation and injuries among women, children and elderly. Eyewitnesses reported that as a result of the excessive use of teargas, the stampede rushed forward, and some people were crushed to death. It appears that security forces firing tear gas at the stampeding protesters exacerbated the situation, as people could not see a safe passage and may have been the cause of some of the deaths.

No respect to Human Life Right and Dignity

The Egyptian authorities may decide, in accordance to national law, to disperse a demonstration, they are bound to comply with a series of obligations, namely, they should respect and protect the life and security of all personas. The Egyptian Security Forces have clearly failed in safeguarding Egyptian lives.

Considering the evidence in the case of Egypt, security agents used lethal force when it was not necessary to protect lives or prevent serious injury and hence clearly violated the international law and standards. They have used live ammunition at crowds; they have extrajudicially killed dozens; they have used excessive teargas, resulting in some people crushed to death and hundreds asphyxiated; they have targeted medical personnel, setting a hospital on fire, and they have not spared women and children. Men were executed on the spot while walking with their hands above their heads. More than 700 have been victims of arbitrary arrests and at least 1500 are missing until this moment.

While human rights organizations are overwhelmed with the magnitude of the Rabaa massacre, a new one followed just 3 days later. Hours after Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah El Sissi urged the Muslim Brotherhood to pursue dialogue instead of “terrorism,” 52 prisoners were killed while being transported to a prison outside Cairo. The Egyptian Security Forces are prohibiting human rights organizations and journalists from investigating this new incident. Egyptian security forces are guilty of a pattern of excessive and unwarranted lethal force, which have led to an unlawful mass massacre, unprecedented in modern Egyptian history.

On 15 August, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated that “the number of people killed or injured, even according to the government’s figures, point to an excessive, even extreme, use of force against demonstrators. There must be an independent, impartial, effective and credible investigation of the conduct of the security forces. Anyone found guilty of wrongdoing should be held to account” she said.

Since the deposal of President Morsy on July 3, at least 1500 people have been killed in Egypt as a result of the erupted violence. But who will investigate these violations of national and International laws? Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, on Egyptian TV, defended and justified the clearing as “necessary to restore the security of Egyptians” and praised the Ministry of Interior and police for showing “restraint to the maximum level”. While Egyptians rose in January 25 to put a halt to all these violations, it is clear, one massacre after the other, that the new military-installed regime does not appear to be interested in safeguarding Egyptian human rights. The path to democracy has vanished under the bloody boots of the army.

Hanine Hassan is a Researcher in Human Rights violations and doctoral student studying aspects of mental torture and humiliation under occupation. She tweets at @hanine09.


Egyptian authorities must protect human rights and hold violators to account



| BDS: Alicia Keys Don’t Play Apartheid Israel!

| Alicia Keys Don’t Play Apartheid Israel! ~ YouTube.

Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/alic…

People around the world are calling on Alicia Keys to join figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker and Roger Waters who are boycotting Israel’s human rights abuses.

In the spirit of the South African movement that helped end Apartheid, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) was called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

This film is inspired by the Palestinian women who every day nonviolently resist the illegal occupation of their land.

URL: http://youtu.be/yAuc2EFwd-A

Learn more & video sources:

We do not own the rights to this song:
“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.

| No rogue, criminal, pirate state is worth the trouble it causes!

Americans really should now give their heads a wobble and demand to cut the ziocolony loose to sink or swim as a well-behaved neighbour instead of funding more ethnic-cleansing and land-thievery with yet more impunity like a pandering parent with it’s spoilt brat.

European post-war holocaust guilt is no excuse to still raid the meddle-east or dispossess Semite Palestinians, whatever emotional-blackmail hissy-fit the Jewish lobby throws up.

Apathy is shameful, willful ignorance is worse.

The goals of the Palestinian Boycott, Divest & Sanction [BDS] campaign are crystal clear — to simply :

{1} End Israel’s occupation & colonisation of all Arab lands + Dismantle the Apartheid Wall;

{2} Engage & Secure the basic Human Rights of the Palestinian-Arab citizens of israel to Full Equality; Respect, protect & promote the inalienable Rights of Palestinian refugees to Return to their homes and properties & to ensure Full compliance with all UN Resolutions.


| No rogue, criminal, pirate state is worth the trouble it causes! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-2Lh


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