Greek police torture anti-nazis


Greek anti-nazi's injuries, caused by police torture

By Christoph Dreier:

Greek police torture anti-fascist protesters

11 October 2012

Demonstrators protesting against the fascist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party were beaten and tortured after their arrest by Greek police at a demonstration on September 30.

According to the victims, the police used techniques similar to the torture practised in prisons such as Abu Ghraib. Prisoners were beaten, filmed naked and had their skin burned. This was reported on Tuesday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which published photographs of the protesters’ wounds.

On Sunday September 30, some 15 young people gathered in the Athens district of Aghios Panteleimon, together with about 150 like-minded protesters who arrived on motor bikes to protest an attack on a Tanzanian community centre. Several members of Golden Dawn appeared on the scene.

Shortly afterwards, scuffles broke out, a large number of police officers stormed into the demonstration from nearby streets and arrested some of the protesters. According to the protesters’ lawyer, they were arrested for “disturbing the peace with covered faces”—that is, they were wearing motorcycle helmets.

Many of those affected said that they were maltreated by police officers at the station who insulted them, hit and spat on them, as well as using them as ashtrays. They were kept awake the entire night, and for 19 hours received neither food nor drink, nor allowed contact with legal representatives. Some reported how their skin was burned using a cigarette lighter.

Police officers filmed them and threatened they would post the pictures on the Internet and give their addresses to the fascists of Golden Dawn.

Two of the women affected complained of sexual insults and violence; one of the men reported that the police had violently splayed his legs and kicked him in the testicles. Another reported that despite an open head wound, he was refused any medical care for hours and was further beaten.

The next day, when a solidarity demonstration for the detainees took place, there were numerous arrests. A group of 25 protesters told the Guardian that they were beaten at the police station and forced to strip naked, bend over and open up their buttocks. They said that many other officers and detainees were also present at this time.

One of the victims said, “He did whatever he wanted with us—slapped us, hit us, told us not to look at him, not to sit cross-legged. Other officers who came by did nothing.”

One of the victim’s lawyers, Charis Ladis, said that violence at police stations had previously been an exception.

“This case shows that a page has been turned. Until now there was an assumption that someone who was arrested, even violently, would be safe in custody. But these young people have all said they lived through an interminable dark night.”

The reports are certainly not an exception, but express the reality of the ever closer collaboration between the police and Golden Dawn, which received 6.9 percent of the vote at the last elections, entering parliament for the first time.

Not only did a large number of police officers vote for this party, but they have covered up for the party’s brutal attacks on immigrants and political opponents. There have been many reports of police officers telling people making complaints about alleged criminal activities by immigrants to speak directly to Golden Dawn representatives, who were supposedly responsible for dealing with “problems with immigrants”.

For months, the Greek government has not only been building up the fascist party in this way but has also encouraged xenophobia. In August, the authorities mobilised 4,500 police officers for a mass anti-immigrant raid.

The witch-hunting and persecution of immigrants continues to this day. The aim is to track down so-called illegal immigrants and deport them. The minister responsible for homeland security, Nikos Dendias, is consciously encouraging xenophobia to divert attention away from the social attacks being carried out by the government. He has stated Greece’s “immigrant problem” is bigger than its financial problems.

The use of torture in Greek prisons is no accident. Police are using force to terrorize the population and break up any expression of popular opposition to the reactionary austerity policies of the European Union (EU).

The fact the government has gone from encouraging and covering up for the fascists to torturing political opponents is a clear warning to the entire European working class. Such scenes were last witnessed in Europe after the colonels’ coup in Greece, or under the fascist dictatorships in Spain and Portugal.

They show how far the social conflict has advanced. The government is prepared not only to mobilise the police, but the most backward and depraved layers of society to break the resistance of the working class to the austerity diktats of the EU. While the first blows are aimed at immigrants and anti-fascist protesters, they will be turned next against all Greek workers who dare to oppose social barbarism.

The Greek government is working with the full support of the EU, which has not only encouraged and welcomed the actions against immigrants, but also tolerates the growing police violence and the cooperation with the fascists. Not a single representative of the EU or a European government has so far made a statement about the torture of the protesters. The actions of the Greek police are being accepted in silence.

The images showing the mistreated demonstrators reveal the true face of the EU, which is the most important instrument of the financial elite to destroy the social gains of the working class across the continent. These social attacks, which are most advanced in Greece, are incompatible with democratic rights. The events in Athens demonstrate that the EU elite is quite prepared to encourage fascist gangs against workers rather than make any concessions.

Golden Dawn violence and police collaboration: here.

A Fascist party in full cry. Black-shirts smashing migrants’ homes. Swastikas on the streets. No, not Germany in the Thirties: Greece 2012: here.

‘Closed’ Iraq torture prison still open


This video is called Secret Prison Camps Honor & Justice In Iraq.

By Barry Malone:

Iraq‘s Secret Prison Still Open, Human Rights Group Claims

05/15/2012 3:28 am Updated: 05/15/2012 11:29 am

BAGHDAD, May 15 (Reuters) – Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday Iraqi authorities were still running a jail they said had been shut over a year ago after reports of prisoners being beaten and electrocuted, but the government denied this, saying the site was empty.

The New York-based watchdog and other critics of the administration of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accuse it of pushing Iraq back towards authoritarianism by cracking down on protests, harassing opponents and torturing detainees.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the prison, known as Camp Honor, is inside Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone, an area that houses most government offices and foreign embassies.

Camp Honor is a former U.S. military base of more than 15 buildings that was handed over to Iraqi forces in 2006. The last U.S. forces left the country in December.

Human Rights Watch said its latest report was based on interviews with 35 former prisoners, witnesses, family members, and government officials.

The report alleged that, in addition to Camp Honor, there were two other secret prisons inside the Green Zone.

HIDING PEOPLE AWAY

Human Rights Watch said that, since October 2011, the government has carried out several waves of detentions, surrounding neighbourhoods and going door-to-door with lists of people marked for imprisonment.

“Iraqi security forces are grabbing people outside of the law, without trial or known charges, and hiding them away in incommunicado sites,” Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

It called on the Iraqi government to reveal the names and locations of all prisoners, free those not yet charged with any crime and set up an independent judicial authority to try those who had been charged.

Human Rights Watch said in a Feb. 1 report that security forces were torturing inmates at Camp Honor, citing interviews with former detainees.

As well as electrocution, asphyxiation and beatings, the group said prisoners were packed into windowless cells that “reeked of human excrement”.

Torture was widespread in Iraq under Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, who was ousted in the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and executed in 2006. Disclosures in 2004 that U.S. jailers had abused and sexually humiliated Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison outraged many Iraqis. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Allegations that British troops carried out systematic torture of civilians during the occupation of Iraq were set to be heard in court on Thursday of this week: here.

Australian complicity in Abu Ghraib torture


This video from the USA is called Abu Ghraib covered up, Congress misled by Rumsfeld.

By James Cogan:

Documents prove Australian complicity in Iraq war crimes

13 July 2011

Documents obtained last week by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), after a six-year legal battle, confirm what was already clear in 2004: that the Australian military was complicit in the torture committed by American forces at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in late 2003. The documents, finally released by the Department of Defence to comply with a Freedom of Information request lodged in June 2005, also demonstrate that the Australian government of Prime Minister John Howard concealed information from Senate Estimates hearings into whether Australian personnel were aware that war crimes were being committed.

In January 2004, the US military announced that it was investigating claims of abuse at Abu Ghraib―aware that leaked photos of the sadistic treatment of Iraqi detainees would inevitably become public. The first photos were published in late April 2004 and provoked a storm of international revulsion, further fuelling mass antiwar sentiment.

The Howard government was one of the few in the world that still had forces deployed in the US-led occupation of Iraq when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. Its immediate response was to deny that either it or the Australian military had prior knowledge of prisoner abuse. Howard declared: “We were not involved.”

This claim was soon exposed as a lie. Australian military officers were embedded in US military headquarters in Baghdad and were aware of the allegations surrounding Abu Ghraib and other cases of abuse. They had seen an October 2003 Red Cross report that provided damning details of prisoner mistreatment, and they communicated the allegations to their superiors and the government in Canberra.

Australian Major George O’Kane was working for the main US military legal unit in Iraq. In August 2003 he provided advice on the legality of the interrogation techniques that the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade intended to apply at Abu Ghraib. O’Kane visited the prison on a number of occasions. He drafted replies to two Red Cross reports outlining charges of abuse, in which he argued some Iraqi prisoners were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

Britain: The Supreme Court has banned the state from using secret evidence by the state in a bid to cover up allegations of complicity in torture: here.

The 28th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan was killed on July 4. In what is becoming a routine, Prime Minister Julia Gillard used the occasion of giving the nation’s condolences on July 6 to harangue an increasingly sceptical public about the necessity for the occupation to continue: here.

As if it’s not bad enough that our Defence personnel are being used as cannon fodder in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are now taking to the streets of Sydney “to provide assistance to the people of Australia in times of civil emergency, including in response to terrorist incidents”: here.

Film director Jim Loach explores the deportation of thousands of children from England and their incarceration in Australia’s outback: here.

Australia’s controversial intervention policy on aboriginal communities: here.

An Australian Navy cadet who filmed himself with a mobile phone raping a woman as she slept wanted to be accepted by his peers, a court heard: here.

US Defense Secretary visits Iraq to extract new troop agreement: here.

The epidemic of soldier and veteran suicides in the U.S.: here.

THE Court of Appeal will on Monday 18th July 2011 commence a three-day hearing to consider the lawfulness of the refusal by Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence, to hold a public inquiry into allegations of torture and inhumane treatment of Iraqis by British forces: here.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox will be challenged at the Court of Appeal tomorow over his refusal to launch a public inquiry into the alleged torture of Iraqis by British troops: here.

A ‘Toxic Genre’ – The Iraq War Films: here.

Torture in Bush’s ‘new’ Iraq


This video is the film Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, about prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

The government of “liberated” Iraq operates secret prisons and routinely tortures prisoners to extract confessions that are used to convict them, Amnesty charged today: here. See also here.

The wife of an Iraqi-British national allegedly tortured by Iraqi security forces called on the Foreign Office today to ensure he receives a fair trial in Iraq: here.

US anti-torture soldier’s suicide


This music video from the USA says about itself:

A song of mourning for Alyssa Peterson who took her own life after working in “the cage” for only two days as an interrogator in Iraq.

From Greg Mitchell’s blog in the USA:

The U.S. Soldier Who Committed Suicide After She Refused To Take Part in Torture

September 13, 2010

With each revelation, or court decision, on U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo — or the airing this month of The Tillman Story and Lawrence Wright’s My Trip to Al-Qaeda — I am reminded of the chilling story of Alyssa Peterson, who died seven years ago this week. Appalled when ordered to take part in interrogations that, no doubt, involved what most would call torture, she refused, then killed herself a few days later, on September 15, 2003.

Of course, we now know from the torture memos and the U.S. Senate committee probe and various press reports, that the “Gitmo-izing” of Iraq was happening just at the time Alyssa got swept up in it.

Spc. Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers who died in Iraq. Her death under these circumstances should have drawn wide attention. It’s not exactly the Tillman case, but a cover-up, naturally, followed.

Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native, served with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. She was a valuable Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq.

The soldier who committed suicide after she refused to go along with torture, Part II: here.

Pat Tillman’s Brother: ‘I Wish He Would’ve Lit These F–king Idiots Up’: here.

Pat Tillman’s Mom Wants General Stanley McChrystal Removed From White House Post: here.

Britain: Reprieve has condemned the coalition government’s decision to wash its hands of former British resident [and Guantanamo prisoner] Ahmed Belbacha.

Rape in Abu Ghraib torture jail


This video from the USA is the film GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB.

War crimes do not just happen in Afghanistan.

Also in Iraq.

This is from the British Conservative Daily Telegraph (before any pro war reader of this blog starts yelling about “liberal media” etc. etc.). Maybe “old news”. However, as the cover-up described in this item is still going on, it is not really old news.

Abu Ghraib abuse photos ‘show rape’

Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent and Paul Cruickshank

Published: 8:02PM BST 27 May 2009

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

In April, Mr Obama’s administration said the photographs would be released and it would be “pointless to appeal” against a court judgment in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

But after lobbying from senior military figures, Mr Obama changed his mind saying they could put the safety of troops at risk.

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

The latest photographs relate to 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other prisons. …

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”

Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed.

This is not old news, but today’s news: 4 Iraqi Prisoners Escape US Prison In Baghdad: here. Hey, that does not really sound like “withdrawal” from Iraq, if you have your own prisons for Iraqis?

Journalist: Women raped at Abu Ghraib were later ‘honor killed’: here.

The US Court of Appeals has said that torturers (alleged of course) can not be sued because to talk about torture committed by agents, employees or contractors of the US government is a state secret. But everyone knows that there has been a systemic torture regime in place, that is not a secret. Accountability is the secret sauce that prevents or at least minimizes torture: here.

A federal appeals court’s dismissal Wednesday of a lawsuit on behalf of victims of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program represents a victory for the Obama administration’s defense of torture and dictatorial executive powers: here.

On Tuesday afternoon, Soran Rahman Taleh Wali, a Kurdish Iraqi soldier, opened fire on US troops at an Iraqi commando base near the city of Tuz Khurmatu: here.

Palestinian-Iraqi refugees — the forgotten victims of Iraq war: here.