British secret policemen not prosecuted for sexually abusing women activists


This video from Britain is called UK ‘Special Demonstrations Squad’ Undercover Police Used Identities of Dead Children For 30 Years.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

‘State rape’ undercover police escape charges

Friday 22nd august 2014

Women ‘dismayed’ after CPS says there’s not enough evidence

WOMEN duped into sleeping with undercover cops posing as campaigners were left “dismayed” yesterday after prosecutors decided not to charge the men.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge four members of the Met’s now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) with sexual offences.

Solicitors representing the women suing the Met said they were angered by the decision.

One women, known as “Laura,” is considering challenging the CPS decision after providing a detailed statement about her relationship with one officer three years ago, the lawyers added.

Prosecutors considered statements from the women who say they were tricked into having long-term intimate relationships — some allegedly lasting as long as nine years — with undercover officers.

The CPS said it had considered whether there was sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

But following a “thorough investigation” it decided that there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers.”

London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the decision would deny justice to the victims.

“I find this decision by the CPS quite staggering and it will damage trust in both the CPS and the police,” said the Green AM.

“The CPS appears not to have looked at the use of sexual relationships as a systematic tactic used by a group of undercover officers during their deployment and that concerns me.

“We have heard time and again from senior officers that such relationships are completely unacceptable and yet today’s decision by the CPS means these officers have escaped being held to account.

“One of the victims of these officers said she felt as if she had been ‘raped by the state.’ Unfortunately today’s decision by the CPS means she, and the other victims of undercover police, will be denied justice. I hope the CPS will reconsider its decision and puts these cases before a jury.”

Members of the clandestine SDS unit, which was axed in 2008, have also faced claims of fathering children with women they spied on after infiltrating environmental campaign groups.

Two of the men were confirmed in court to be Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert, while John Dines, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy have also previously been named as their colleagues.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Met is now considering if misconduct proceedings are appropriate.

A civil suit brought by eight women continues in the High Court.

Japanese government honours war criminals again


This video from Australia says about itself:

Australian comfort woman Jan Ruff-O’Herne

02/04/2007

Jan Ruff-O’Herne told her shocking story on Australian Story in 2001 – a secret that took her 50 years to come to terms with before finally, she revealed it in a letter to her two daughters.

An idyllic childhood in Java was brought to an abrupt end by the Japanese occupation during Word War Two. Aged 21, she was taken from her family and repeatedly abused, beaten and raped – forced to be a sex slave for the Japanese military.

The term coined for this brutal sex slavery was ‘comfort woman‘.

But since revealing her ‘uncomfortable truth’ Jan Ruff-O’Herne’s suffering has been transformed into something affirmative.

In February this year, this 84-year-old Adelaide grandmother made the long journey to testify before Congress in Washington DC. The Congressional hearing was the pinnacle in her 15-year global campaign to seek justice for ‘comfort women’.

Now six years since Australian Story first aired her story, Jan Ruff-O’Herne feels she is one step closer to finally achieving her ultimate goal.

By Ben McGrath:

Japanese lawmakers visit notorious Yasukuni war shrine

19 August 2014

A large group of 80 Japanese lawmakers and three cabinet ministers visited the infamous Yasukuni Shrine to the war dead last Friday—the 69th anniversary of the end of World War II. The visit was part and parcel of the revival of Japanese militarism being pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government, which includes whitewashing the war crimes of the Japanese military during the 1930s and 1940s.

While the government claims that the Yasukuni Shrine is like other war memorials around the world, it symbolically inters 14 convicted, class-A war criminals and its associated museum denies or minimises atrocities such as the 1937 Nanjing massacre. The three cabinet members were National Public Safety Commission chairman Keiji Furuya, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Administrative Reform Minister Tomomi Inada.

Last December, Abe became the first sitting prime minister to visit the shrine since Junichiro Koizumi in 2006. He did not join his ministers this time, but sent a cash offering with one of his aides, signing as head of the ruling Liberal Democrat Party and not as prime minister. Abe appeared at a government ceremony and claimed that Japan “will contribute to a lasting peace in the world with all our might.”

Abe’s decision not to visit the shrine was apparently a conciliatory gesture to China and President Xi Jinping, whom Abe is attempting to meet later this year. Since coming to office in December 2012, Abe has not met with Xi or South Korean President Park Geun-hye, both of whom came to office around the same time.

Abe’s claim to be seeking “lasting peace” is belied by his government’s actions. Over the past year and a half, the government has increased the military budget, established a US-style National Security Council and revised the interpretation of the country’s constitution to allow for “collective self-defence”—that is, Japanese participation in US-led wars of aggression.

The Abe government, with Washington’s backing, has ramped up tensions with China over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in order to justify Japan’s remilitarisation. Abe has closely aligned Japan with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” and military build-up against China.

Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine last year signaled an intensification of the ideological campaign to cover up past war crimes. The government is seeking to overcome deep-seated antiwar sentiment, particularly in the Japanese working class, which suffered police-state repression and deprivation in the 1930s and 1940s.

That sentiment was reflected in the critical remarks of some of those who fought in World War II. Tokuro Inokuma, a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army, now 85, drew parallels between the current political atmosphere and that before World War II. “I find it quite dangerous … This is the path we once took,” he warned. “We have neither killed nor been killed [in war] for almost 70 years. That’s unprecedented. It’s important that we think hard about that.”

Former Kamikaze pilot Yutaka Kanbe, 91, who was saved from a suicide mission by Japan’s surrender, said he was worried about the rightward shift under Abe and the recent glorification of kamikaze pilots. “Japan could go to war again if our leaders are all like Abe. I’m going to die soon, but I worry about Japan’s future,” he said.

The Chinese and South Korean governments condemned the latest visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. The two countries were both subject to Japan’s brutal colonial rule in the 1930s and 1940s, leaving a legacy of resentment and anger. However, Beijing and Seoul exploit these memories to whip up anti-Japanese chauvinism to divert attention from the worsening economic and social crisis at home.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declared: “Sino-Japanese relations can develop in a healthy and stable way only if Japan can face up to and reflect on the history of invasion and make a clear break with militarism.” A Xinhua news agency article went further, denouncing Japan’s militarization and warning: “By doing this, Japan is sowing the seeds of another war.”

South Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman No Gwang-il said: “Only when Japanese politicians abandon their historical revisionism and repent for Japan’s wartime atrocities sincerely, the relations between Seoul and Japan could be developed in a stable manner, as people in both nations hope.”

The Abe government’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine and efforts to revive Japanese militarism reflect a broader shift within the Japanese media and political establishment. The previous Democratic Party-led government deliberately stirred up tensions with China by “nationalizing” the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are under Japanese administration.

Another sign of this rightward lurch was the decision of Japan’s main liberal newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, to retract a series of articles dealing with one of Japan’s most notorious wartime abuses—the kidnapping and coercion of as many as 200,000 women in Asia, mostly from Korea, to be used as sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army.

On August 5, the Asahi Shimbun published a formal retraction of more than a dozen articles dating back to 1982 dealing with the abduction of women in South Korea during World War II. Japanese right-wing leaders welcomed the decision as proof of their allegation that these “comfort women,” the euphemistic term for those forced into sexual slavery, were not coerced. Abe has previously made similar claims.

The articles concerned the accounts of Seiji Yoshida, a soldier in the Japanese army who was stationed in South Korea during the war. After the war, Yoshida, a member of the Stalinist Communist Party, authored a 1983 memoir recounting how he participated in rounding up as many as 200 women on South Korea’s Jeju Island to be forced into military brothels. The Asahi Shimbun now claims that Yoshida’s account was false.

Yoshida, who died in 2000, admitted to making some changes in his description of what took place, but did not retract his account. His work played a role in bringing the issue to light in the 1980s and encouraged others to step forward with their own experiences. Japan issued a limited apology in 1993, known as the Kono Statement. For this reason, Yoshida has long been the subject of attacks from the Japanese right.

The timing of the Asahi Shimbun’s retraction is not coincidental. Just a few weeks ago, the Japanese government released a report by supposed experts, questioning the validity of the testimonies of Korean comfort women and claiming that there was no definitive evidence of coercion. This falsification of history is part of the ideological preparations for Japanese imperialism’s involvement in new wars.

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, David Cameron and hypocrisy


This video says about itself:

I’ll never forgive Tony BlairBianca Jagger on Iraq, human rights and gender equality

17 Febuary 2014

Bianca Jagger, Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, speaks to the host of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi, about the war in Iraq, 11 years on. She says she will never forgive Tony Blair for taking the country to war, and people are still suffering from his poor choices. She explains why she campaigned against the war right from the start, and talks about the fact-finding mission she made to Iraq before the war started. Also, she wants to keep fighting to ensure women everywhere have the same rights as men, and the challenges people campaigning for gender equality still must overcome.

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Tuesday 19th August 2014

DAVID CAMERON insisted yesterday he had a “fully worked through” strategy to deal with Islamic State (Isis) extremists as he prepared for his second holiday this month.

The Labour Party and senior Church of England figures have branded as “incoherent” the Prime Minister’s approach to the terrorist group, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

But he did not respond to calls from Anglican canon Andrew White of St George’s Church in Baghdad for the British government to offer asylum to up to 30,000 persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Mr Cameron failed to answer accusations of hypocrisy for having backed the insurgency in Syria which put Isis on the map.

The terror group’s equipment and funds come disproportionately from Western powers and regional allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said the government’s “top priority should be to enforce the UN security council resolution preventing the flow of arms to Isis and its allies.

“It is a tragedy that US, British and Nato support for Syrian rebels has led to this catastrophe.”

TOP brass rounded on holidaying PM David Cameron yesterday, adding their voices to the clamour for clarity on his Iraq policy. General Sir Richard Dannatt said “the nation would expect” Parliament to be recalled for a full debate if there was a risk of British forces getting involved in the battle between Islamic State (Isis) militants and Iraqi and Kurdish troops: here.

UK joins US military offensive in Iraq: here.

Germany expands its intervention in Iraq: here.

Meanwhile, the number of anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of Syrian rebels poses a serious threat to commercial aircraft. [AP]

99-year-old-women’s 100 meter running world record


This video says about itself:

15 August 2014

A 99-year-old woman from New York is claiming a new record as the fastest sprinter of her age over 100 metres. Ida Keeling took part in the race at the Gay Games in Akron, Ohio on Tuesday, 12 August. She finished last, but her daughter and coach, Shelley Keeling, claimed that no woman her mother’s age has ever recorded a quicker time in an internationally-certified race – 59.8 seconds.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

99-year-old sets sprint record at Gay Games

Great-great-grandmother becomes first in her age class to run race

Andrew Griffin

Sunday 17 August 2014

A 99-year-old woman set a 100m sprint record at the Gay Games this week, becoming the first person woman in her age category to go the distance in an internationally-certified race.

Ida Keeling, from New York, completed the race in 59.8 seconds at the ninth Gay Games, which were held in Ohio last week.

“I’m running from old age and arthritis,” Keeling told the local Akron Beacon Journal before the race. “Believe me!”

Keeling came last in the race, but finished to a huge cheer from spectators. USA Track & Field, which represents US athletes and tracks spring records, does not yet have an entry for any group older than 90-94.

Ida has set records when she ran a 60m race in 2011, when she was 95, and again two years later.

Keeling took up running when she was 67, in part as refuge from the sadness of losing her two sons in separate drug-related killings. She started the sport at the urging of her daughter, Shelley Keeling, who is now her coach.

Ida and Shelley had also planned to run a 400m relay earlier in the week, but opted not to after bad weather left the track wet.

The Gay Games were held between August 9 and August 16, and saw around 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes from more than 60 countries compete in Cleveland and Akron, in Ohio.

British police spies made women environmental activists pregnant


This video from Britain says about itself:

Police’s corrupt ‘Special Demonstration Squad‘ part 1/3 (06Mar2014)

Part 1 of 3: Looking into the criminal behaviour of the UK’s police and their “Special Demonstration Squad” that have been fitting poeple up for crimes they didn’t commit, infiltrating families who are victims of crime, and groups that are no threat to anyone.

And these two videos are the sequels.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Met exposes sex spies -but tries to justify their actions as ‘normal’

Saturday 16th August 2014

Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert fathered children with activists they secretly monitored

POLICE malpractice watchdog Netpol welcomed the formal unmasking yesterday of two Met spies who slept with women activists — but expressed disgust at new attempts by the force to justify its officers’ actions as “genuine relationships.”

Eight women are demanding compensation from the Metropolitan Police for emotional trauma over the actions of four undercover members of the Special Demonstration Squad, lodging claims for deceit, assault, negligence and misfeasance in public office.

But until yesterday the police had refused to confirm statements by journalists and the claimants identifying two of its operatives as Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert.

The Met only dropped its official policy of “neither confirm nor deny” after High Court judge Mr Justice Bean told police chiefs if they did not name the officers concerned the court would take it as an admission that names put forward by the claimants were correct.

However in their filing defence lawyers attempted to frame the spies’ actions as being based on “genuine personal feelings,” sparking a furious reaction from supporters of the victims.

Netpol co-ordinator Kevin Blowe said: “The Met’s insistence that these relationships were ‘genuine’ is both jaw-dropping and genuinely sickening.

“If the claim was true, why would every one of the spies, who were the supposedly ‘real’ partners of eight women currently suing the police, follow protocol and their training and disappear without trace at the end of their tours of duty?”

Mr Boyling and Mr Lambert, both of whom fathered children with targets, were previously named by Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis in their book Undercover.

While Mr Boyling has since stayed out of the limelight, Mr Lambert has belatedly gone on record admitting his role with the force.

Solicitor Harriet Wistrich, representing the women, condemned police bosses for attempting to maintain a shroud of secrecy despite the known facts.

She said: “Their ongoing refusal in the face of an overwhelming body of evidence in the public domain has greatly aggravated the distress caused to my clients, who want answers from the police as well as justice and accountability.”

Mr Blowe said Netpol was further concerned by evidence of recent cases of police infiltration against protest groups — including by phoney environmental activist Mark Kennedy.

Police were also found to have repeatedly attempted to infiltrate activist groups in Cambridge as recently as last autumn.

“The police need to come clean about other SDS officers who deliberately instigated intimate relationships to gain intelligence,” he added.

During his undercover years Mr Lambert says he helped write the infamous leaflet which sparked McLibel, the longest-running legal case in British history.

He is also alleged to have been one of three activists who planted incendiary devices in branches of Debenhams in 1987. The other two men were jailed for arson.

Mr Boyling’s disappearance following his “tour of duty” resulted in his partner taking an expensive wild goose chase to South Africa, where she believed he had gone. She returned weighing less than seven stone.

See also here.

New Italian football boss accused of racism and sexism


This video says about itself:

Controversial Carlo Tavecchio Wins Election

12 August 2014

Carlo Tavecchio has been elected the president of Italy’s football federation, less than a month after making a racist remark about African players.

After a self-styled fascist as Italian football boss in Sunderland in England, now a somewhat similar case from Italy itself.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Football: Italy elect racist to lead governing body

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Carlo Tavecchio appointed Italian Football Federation president

Carlo Tavecchio, the candidate at the centre of a racism controversy, has been elected as the new president of the Italian Football Federation.

The 71-year-old beat former AC Milan player Demetrio Albertini after three rounds of voting in Rome, the governing body announced through its official Twitter account yesterday afternoon.

Tavecchio drew heavy criticism last month for making an allegedly racist comment about “eating bananas” during an address to a summer assembly of Italy’s amateur leagues and was also accused of sexism in an interview back in 2009.

But despite the fact Serie A clubs including Fiorentina and Sampdoria withdrew their backing in the weeks leading up to the elective assembly, Tavecchio was confirmed as Giancarlo Abete’s successor at the FIGC when polling 63.33 per cent of the third-round votes after the first two rounds proved inconclusive.

He polled 60.20 per cent to Albertini’s 35.46 per cent in the first round, which had required a quorum of 75 per cent, and had 63.18 per cent of the votes to his opponent’s 34.07 per cent in a second round requiring a quorum of 66 per cent.

The delegation was comprised of 278 representatives from Serie A, Serie B, the Lega Pro, the Amateur League, the Players’ Association, the Coaches’ Association and the Referees’ Association.

The Lega Pro, which represents 60 third and fourth division teams, last week said nearly all of its members would back Tavecchio, who had been vice-president of the FIGC since 2009.

The campaign against his candidacy began when he made an allegedly racist comment when using a fictional example to try to make a point about the number of foreign players in the Italian leagues.

Quoted in La Repubblica, Tavecchio said: “England identifies the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play.

“Here, on the other hand, let’s say there’s (fictional player) Opti Poba, who has come here, who previously was eating bananas and now is a first-team player for Lazio.

“In England he has to demonstrate his CV and his pedigree.”

He subsequently apologised but Fifa has since asked the FIGC to conduct an investigation into the comments and to report its findings back to the world governing body.

He has a string of criminal convictions to his name and was recently at the centre of a racism and sexism storm in Italy, but – quite remarkably – Carlo Tavecchio is the new president of the FIGC: here.

See also here.

Irish ‘pro-life’ government threatens women’s lives


This 15 November 2012 video from Ireland is called UTV coverage – Vigil and Protest in Memory of Savita Halappanavar- Belfast.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pregnant women face abortion ban in Ireland even if they’re a suicide risk

Guidelines allow pro-life medics to stop vulnerable women from terminating pregnancies at all costs, pro-choice experts warn

Henry McDonald in Dublin

Thursday 7 August 2014 18.27 BST

Pregnant women in Ireland could be blocked from having an abortion even if they are at risk of suicide after conceiving as a result of rape or incest, under new guidelines issued to Irish doctors.

Experts warned that the Guidance Document for Health Professionals, which has yet to be made public but has been obtained by the Guardian, will give power to doctors, obstetricians and psychiatrists to prevent vulnerable women from terminating their pregnancies.

Some clinicians, including one of the Irish Republic’s leading psychiatrists, said the rules would leave women “at the mercy of a local, moral and political lottery”. Veronica O’Keane, professor of psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, said a woman could potentially have to see up to seven medical experts before getting a decision on her right to an abortion.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which has also been shown the document, has described the guidance on dealing with women contemplating suicide as “an excessive degree of scrutiny by medical professionals”.

The guidelines were drawn up after the Irish government introduced legislation last year to allow for abortion in extremely limited circumstances. The law followed the death of Savita Halappanavar, 31, who was denied an emergency termination that could have saved her life.

Pro-choice campaigners are concerned that conservative attitudes among health professionals will put more women’s lives at risk. More than 100 Irish psychiatrists – nearly one in three in the country – signed a statement last year opposing any kind of abortion reform, including those cases of women at risk of suicide.

The 108-page guide does not include provisions for an independent committee to make decisions on treating those with “suicidal intent”, which was a key demand among campaigners for reform. They argue an independent committee would be more objective than local medics and allow women more privacy.

Pro-choice doctors are also concerned that the language in the first few pages of the guidelines is more stridently anti-abortion than last year’s law. In its introduction, the document states that “the purpose of this act is to restate the general prohibition on abortion in Ireland“. Medical professionals are also advised on the first page that the act provides “a clear criminal prohibition on abortion”.

On page 10, a diagram explaining the procedure for applying for a termination makes clear to Irish doctors that the initial referral for women including those with “suicidal intent” begins with her own GP.

If the GP agrees, he or she will refer the woman to three doctors – including one obstetrician and two psychiatrists – who will decide whether there is a real risk to the woman’s life through suicide. If her request is rejected, she will go through an appeal system involving another two psychiatrists and another obstetrician.

The guidance states that the first psychiatrist to assess the woman has the right to “seek a second psychiatric assessment” or appoint a psychiatrist of their own choice. Critics say this will allow anti-abortion psychiatrists to recommend a colleague sharing the same views.

On the same page it advises that any of three medical experts, including an obstetrician, can assess a woman with suicidal intent and certify whether or not the woman should be allowed an abortion – although obstetricians have no mental health training.

O’Keane, a consultant psychiatrist for more than 21 years, said because there was no national body to rule on these cases vulnerable women were left “at the mercy of a local, moral and political lottery. They could come up against anti-choice physicians who in effect become conscientious obstructors to abortion.”

She added: “The repeated examination of a woman’s mental state by at least four doctors, and possibly seven, the repeated questioning specifically about suicidal ideation and intent, will not only be overly invasive, confusing and distressing emotionally, it will also be time-consuming in a period of crisis when a suicidal woman needs access to a termination as soon as possible.”

She called the guidelines “completely inappropriate”. “I would have preferred a national review panel to make these decisions because Ireland is a small country,” she said. “It would have been better in terms of privacy and access to mental health professionals who are committed to enacting the spirit of the legislation. We have a very strong anti-choice lobby in psychiatry and there should have been procedures put in place to allow women to bypass them and their moral, political, theocratic obstacles.”

O’Keane pointed out that the section called “Risk to life from Suicidal Intent” means pregnant women have to state explicitly that they are going to kill themselves before being considered for a termination.

“This is very bad practice because if psychiatrists are practising within these guidelines then that will be the stipulation, that the woman in question must state that. Yet in the majority of cases of suicide that psychiatrists deal with there is no stated intention of killing themselves.

“The terms of reference are too narrow and dangerous, and we in Ireland have very high rates of suicide and even a government drive to reduce suicide numbers. In these guidelines, what we are actually doing is saying to Irish women, ‘You have to actually tell us that you’re going to kill yourself or you won’t get that abortion.’ It is completely contrary to good psychiatric practice.”