This is a video from Australia of a protest against the visit of George W. Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney. It says about itself:
Address by Greens Upper House MP Ian Cohen outside the US Consulate in Martin Place.
From Associated Press:
Australian troops kept Taliban suspects in dog pen
By KRISTEN GELINEAU
September 01, 2008
Australia’s defense minister on Tuesday rebuffed criticism of the country’s special forces in Afghanistan after they were accused of detaining suspected Taliban militants in dog pens.
Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon confirmed that four suspected insurgents arrested by special forces soldiers on April 29 were held for 24 hours in a compound occasionally used to house dogs.
Dogs are considered impure by observant Muslims and the soldiers’ actions prompted strong criticism from Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel.
‘It is quite appalling that the Australian soldiers are in any way caught up in the inhumane treatment of human beings _ irrespective of who they are,’ Patel said. ‘I think it’s quite despicable that something like that could happen and that the Australians are party to it.’
The revelation follows complaints by an Afghan soldier about mistreatment of the detainees, who were held in southern Uruzgan province after a battle with Taliban fighters.
No Portuguese soldier for Afghanistan! See here.
500th U.S. service member dies in Afghanistan: here.
From PakTribune in Pakistan:
Factory workers take up Taliban arms
Monday September 01, 2008 (2117 PST)
(Quqnoos) A LARGE number of jobless factory workers have joined the Taliban in the southern province of Kandahar, the head of the factory said.
More than 2,000 men were employed by the textile factory, but now only 30 workers remain to guard the disused building, which was forced to close because of the ongoing insurgency in the south.
Head of the factory, Muhammad Muhsin, said: “The factory workers were sacked. We know that most of the workers have now joined the Taliban or have turned into criminals.”
Some of the former factory workers have blamed the government for failing to create job opportunities for the people.
One of the citizens in Kandahar said: “The government can rehabilitate the factory and can rescue the people from unemployment, if it wants.”
Another citizen said: “The government gives no money to re-build the factory. About 5,000 people would have jobs if the factory started functioning.”
Nato tries to hide Afghan massacres: here.
Australia and Afghanistan: here.
The use of dog pens for human detention has been strongly criticised by Afghan ambassador Amanullah Jayhoon, who warned the incident could provide valuable propaganda for the Taliban.
“What is important is the humane treatment of prisoners,” he said. “We (the Afghan Government) are concerned about any incident that creates problems for Afghans, whether they are Muslim or not.”
Australia’s peak Muslim body, the Islamic High Council, expressed alarm at the practice.
“This is of concern to us whether they are Muslim or other people being confined in accommodation designed for dogs,” said council spokesman Mohamed Mehio. “This is a matter of human rights.” …
Defence was unable to provide the dimensions of the wire dog pens or whether they had been previously used to house detainees. It did confirm that the four – including a 70-year-old man, later released – were detained in the pens for 24 hours.
The use of dog pens appears to contravene the Geneva Convention covering the treatment of prisoners of war.
Article 25 of the Convention states: Prisoners of war must be quartered in conditions as favourable as those enjoyed by the detaining power.
“The conditions shall make allowance for the habits and customs of the prisoners and shall in no case be prejudicial to their health.
“The premises provided for the use of prisoners of war, individually or collectively, shall be entirely protected from dampness and adequately heated and lighted.”
Greens leader Bob Brown yesterday vowed to raise the issue in the Senate and push for an inquiry into the treatment of Afghan detainees. He said: “There would be outrage if Australian prisoners were kept in former cages for dogs.
“This requires an independent inquiry, and the other claims of the four detainees need to be reassessed.”
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