Big clerical sexual abuse scandal in Spain


This video is called Spain’s Stolen Babies – and the Catholic Church.

From AFP news agency, on Expatica.com:

Spanish court probes allegations group of priests abused man

17th November 2014

A Spanish court has launched a sexual abuse investigation after a man sent a complaint to the Vatican alleging a group of priests molested him as a boy, officials said Monday.

The alleged abuse happened in the southern Spanish city of Granada and prompted authorities to open a probe targeting 12 people, though it was not clear if all those under investigation are clergymen, a judicial source told AFP.

Pope Francis “forced the opening of an enquiry into abuse in this diocese”, according to religious news site ReligionDigital.com.

According to judicial sources, Criminal Court number four in Granada opened the investigation in the beginning of November.

The Archdiocese of Granada said it had suspended an undisclosed number of priests while it waits for the results of the court probe and has sent the conclusions of its own internal inquiry to the Vatican.

“As soon as it was reliably informed of the accusation made to the Holy See by a youth from Granada, of having suffered sexual abuse by a group of priests from the diocese, this Archdiocese has scrupulously followed the procedure for these cases,” it said in a statement.

Pope Francis has moved to crack down on priests who sexually abuse children, but critics say the Vatican is moving too slowly to decide the ultimate fate of these priests.

The Church is sensitive to charges, levied by both the United Nations and thousands of abuse victims, that, for years, it instinctively protected serial sex offenders within the clergy.

Church tribunals have resulted in the defrocking of nearly 850 priest for sex abuse in the last decade, during which time hundreds of millions have been paid to settle compensation claims by victims of abuse.

See also here.

Islamophobic violence in Myanmar


This video says about itself:

19 April 2013

Buddhist monk uses racism and rumours to spread hatred in Burma. Thousands watch YouTube videos of 45-year-old ‘Burmese Bin Laden‘ who preaches against the country’s Muslim minority. His name is Wirathu, he calls himself the “Burmese Bin Laden” and he is a Buddhist monk who is stoking religious hatred across Burma. Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

100,000 Rohingya flee Myanmar violence and discrimination

Tuesday 18th November 2014

HUMAN rights group the Arakan Project warned yesterday that violence and discriminatory government policies had set an estimated 100,000 Rohingya fleeing Myanmar in the last two years.

Project director Chris Lewa said the group, which monitors the Rohingya, had seen the pace of the exodus accelerating, with more than 15,000 people leaving since October 15.

Ms Lewa said troops in northern Rakhine state were engaging in a “campaign to create fear and to get them to leave.”

She said that in the last six weeks, at least four Rohingya men had been tortured to death.

Security forces broke one victim’s leg and burned his penis during interrogation and the beaten body of another Rohingya was found in a river, she said.

Ms Lewa said that more than 140 people have been arrested on what appeared to be trumped-up charges, ranging from immigration violations to alleged links with Islamic militants.

Bahrain regime police, violent and sectarian


From the France24 site about this video:

14/11/2014

Video depicts Bahrain police abuse – but will inquiry lead anywhere?

A video recently emerged showing a Bahraini police officer mistreating a prisoner and showering him with insults, while making references to the man’s Shiite faith. The video, posted on Monday to YouTube, quickly went viral – to the extent that the Bahraini authorities were forced to respond. The day after its release, the Interior Ministry announced the suspension of the police officers involved and the opening of an investigation. According to our Observer, it’s all a smokescreen.

The images were posted by activists of the February 14 movement, the group behind the protests against the Sunni monarchy headed by King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa. The movement is now regarded by Bahraini authorities as a terrorist organisation.

The video takes place in a police car, with a prisoner sitting on the back seat between two police officers in uniform, his hands tied behind his back and his head covered by his shirt. It is clear he is Shiite due to the police’s mention of “zawaj al-mut’a”, literally meaning “pleasure marriage”, the name given by Shiite Muslims to “temporary marriage”. The marriage is agreed between potential spouses for a limited period of time and generally sealed by a religious authority. This form of union, which is still practiced by a number of Shiites, is rejected by a large majority of Sunnis.

The policeman sitting in the seat next to the driver (whose face is hidden) asks the prisoner if he can make a “pleasure marriage” with his sister. “Do you agree?” yells the police officer. The prisoner nods his head as the officer continues: “And a Sunni, can she have a zawaj al-mut’a?”. The prisoner remains silent, so the police officer gets angry: “Do not even say ‘Sunni’, you son of a b***!”. The officer proceeds to punch the prisoner on the head and back while the other policemen try to calm him down.

The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday via its Twitter account that an investigation had been launched and that the police officers involved in the video had been suspended from their duties.

However, Said Yousif Al-muhafdah, vice-president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, believes it is certain there will be no legal consequences for the police officers.

“Investigations of police brutality rarely lead to punishment”

“Unfortunately, the police officers who commit abuse or even acts of torture are spared due to a culture of impunity. Since 2011, there have been 7 or 8 proven cases of abuse, which came to light thanks to leaked videos.

Each time, it’s the same scenario: the authorities announce the opening of an investigation, but the investigations go nowhere and very rarely result in sanctions. The ministry’s announcements are only intended to calm public opinion and sell a semblance of democracy abroad.

In the rare cases where there is a conviction, the sentences are eventually reduced. In May 2013, a police officer sentenced to 7 years of prison for shooting an unarmed demonstrator dead saw his sentence reduced to 6 months.

That same year, the court acquitted two police officers who killed a demonstrator by shooting him with buckshot pellets. The court found that the two officers had not fired with the intent to kill, and were therefore free to go [Editor’s Note: In May 2014, an unarmed 14-year-old protestor was also killed by buckshot pellets during a demonstration].

In April 2012, police officers were involved in a case involving thugs damaging a grocery store owned by Shiites. The scene was recorded by the store’s security camera, but it did not lead to an investigation, even though the faces of the police officers were clearly identifiable in the video.

This situation will not change until Bahrain has effective institutions and most notably an independent judicial system. To achieve that would require genuine democratic reform, and that is still a far-off dream.”

The organisation Human Rights Watch issued a report last May denouncing impunity and judicial bias in the kingdom. “In Bahrain, a police officer who kills a protester in cold blood or beats a detainee to death might face a sentence of six months or maybe two years, while peacefully calling for the country to become a republic will get you life in prison,” the report states.

Bahrain is a Shiite-majority country (about 75 percent of the population), ruled by an exclusively Sunni monarchy and government. Since February 2011, members of the Shiite community who feel discriminated against regularly go into the streets in protest. In May, the International Federation for Human Rights estimated that at least 89 people had been killed since the start of the protests.

Bahrain arrests female activists demanding ‘anti-regime’ vote: here.

Bahrain: Regime Forces ‘Rape, Brutalise’ Jailed Female Protestors: here.

Dutch Islamophobic newspaper ‘news’ turns out to be lies


This video from the USA is called Bush Talks about Crusade on September 16 2001.

Trouw is a Dutch daily newspaper. It was originally founded during the nazi occupation of the Netherlands, as a clandestine anti-occupation voice of Protestant Christians. It has a better reputation than, eg, a daily like De Telegraaf, a rightist paper which during World War II collaborated with the nazis and now has a reputation of xenophobia, sensationalism and being ‘economical with the truth’.

So, when earlier this year, Trouw published a series of articles about the Schilderswijk neighbourhood in The Hague city, these articles looked credible to many people. Most Schilderswijk people are immigrants. The Trouw articles claimed that fanatical Muslims had managed to make the Schilderswijk into a ‘Sharia triangle’; where Dutch laws did not apply any more, and had been replaced by extremely strict Muslim Sharia law rules. Other corporate Dutch news media reproduced this uncritically.

Today, Trouw writes that they now doubt seriously the truthfulness and existence of so-called sources of some of the articles in their paper. These articles are by an editor who has meanwhile been sacked. Trouw refuses to say which articles these are, and what is the name of this (ex-)editor.

There are strong suspicions in the Netherlands that the name of this (ex-)editor is Perdiep Ramesar. And that the untruthful articles are his writings about the so-called ‘Sharia triangle’ in the Schilderswijk. After the ‘Bermuda triangle’ myth, the ‘Sharia triangle’ myth.

So, not just one daily, but big parts of the Dutch corporate media, believe Islamophobic lies. Why? To understand, we have to go back to 2001, when George W Bush and Tony Blair abused the 9/11 atrocities for starting war first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq. Wars based on lies. The wars were not really about religion, more about oil and other economic factors. Still, George W Bush referred to his ‘Global War on Terror’ as a ‘crusade’, giving rise to war propaganda depicting Islam as the enemy.

Recent atrocities by ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq, and the re-start of the Iraq war by NATO governments (officially against these atrocities, but, again, more about oil and other economic factors; and in alliance with regimes with links to ISIS, like in Saudi Arabia and Turkey) revived Islamophobia in war propaganda.

In such a climate, the lying Trouw articles contributed to making the immigrant people in The Hague and their Schilderswijk neighbourhood a target of the violent extreme Right. A loose alliance of various Islamophobic extremists, called Pro Patria, tried to march to the Schilderswijk. Then, the Hitler admiring Dutch party Nederlandse Volksunie (a component of the earlier Pro Patria march) tried to march to the Schilderswijk again.

Both the publishing of the earlier lies, and today the secretiveness about the name of the editor and the articles, are not good for the reputation of Trouw. One should hope they won’t be good for the reputation of Islamophobic war propaganda in the Netherlands and elsewhere in general.