This video says about itself:
‘Stealing A Nation‘ (2004) is an extraordinary film about the plight of the Chagos Islands, whose indigenous population was secretly and brutally expelled by British Governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s to make way for an American military base. The tragedy, which falls within the remit of the International Criminal Court as “a crime against humanity”, is told by Islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and by British officials who left behind a damning trail of Foreign Office documents.
From British daily News Line:
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
LABOUR’S SECRET DETENTIONS ON DIEGO GARCIA
Legal charity Reprieve yesterday demanded the British government reveal details of the secret illegal detention of ‘ghost’ prisoner Mustafa Setmariam Naser on Diego Garcia and asked two UN Special Rapporteurs to urgently investigate his disappearance.
Reprieve said in a statement: ‘Mustafa Setmariam Naser was ‘disappeared’ while in US custody in 2005.
‘Reprieve has learned that he was sent to Syria, where he is held incommunicado in shocking conditions and almost certainly tortured.
‘It seems the US deliberately “disappeared” him to a rights-abusing regime once he stopped being useful for intelligence purposes.
‘The UK shares responsibility for Mr Naser’s disappearance because of its complicity in his “ghost” detention on Diego Garcia and elsewhere.’
More about Diego Garcia: here. And here.
US Military Expelled Some Diego Garcia Residents to Make Way for Military Base: here.
The British government is hiding behind a “wall of secrecy” over claims its agents were complicit in the torture of “terrorism” suspects, a parliamentary committee has said: here.
New Labour ministers have refused to give a cast-iron assurance that the British government will never collude with torture: here.
‘US and British governments embroiled in enforced disappearances’ – charges Reprieve: here.
A Window Into C.I.A.’s Embrace of Secret Jails: here.
Despite scant police evidence, the Australian media has universally depicted five Muslim men arrested on August 4 in the course of extensive police raids as guilty of an extraordinary plot to attack an army base: here.
LALIT calls for Diego Garcia military base Inspection by IAEA: here.
January 2010. One of the world’s largest coral atolls, which belongs to Britain, could soon become the biggest marine protected area on Earth. A three-month public consultation is underway to persuade Gordon Brown to protect the Chagos Archipelago a group of 55 tropical British islands, which lie in the heart of the Indian Ocean. 10,000 people have already signed up in support of the campaign: here.
Wildlife of the Chagos islands: here.
Conservationists want to turn archipelago into a giant sea-life reserve. But what about the exiled population whose hopes of going home would be dashed forever? Here.
CHAGOS ISLANDERS MAY WIN BACK THE RIGHT TO RETURN says Royal Holloway Report: here.
- Britain ‘rebuffs US plans over Iran operation’ (thejc.com)
- Britain Rejects US Request to Use Bases in Attacking Iran (news.antiwar.com)
- UK-US talks over military bases use (express.co.uk)
- U.S. And Great Britain Not On Same Page On Iran (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Action against Iran: UK and US hold talks over military bases: Discussions have taken place between British and … (independent.co.uk)
- British Won’t Go Along with Illegal Iran War Planning by Americans (reason.com)
Afghan jail conditions hamper Gitmo prosecutions
8/9/2009, 3:00 a.m. CDT
The Associated Press
(AP) — GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – U.S. military prosecutors allege that Ahmed al-Darbi has met with Osama bin Laden, trained at an al-Qaida terrorist camp, and plotted to blow up a ship in the Strait of Hormuz or off Yemen.
But the government may never be able to bring those allegations to court because of the torture the prisoner says he suffered in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Al-Darbi says American troops subjected him to beatings, excruciating shackling, painfully loud music, isolation and threats of rape, according to a new affidavit obtained by The Associated Press. If al-Darbi’s statements to interrogators were indeed obtained under such circumstances, they will likely be thrown out.
“I was frightened and there were times I wished I would die,” the 33-year-old prisoner from Saudi Arabia said in the statement taken in July at Guantanamo, which was provided to the AP by his lawyer. “I felt that anything could happen to me and that everything was out of control.”
Al-Darbi’s is a test case of sorts for what will happen under the Obama administration to prisoners who allege their testimony was forced out of them under torture. His affidavit illustrates one of the greatest challenges facing President Barack Obama as he tries to determine what to do with the 229 prisoners still left at Guantanamo, the military prison at the U.S. base in Cuba. Obama has vowed to close the prison by early next year.
Under former President George W. Bush, the special war crimes tribunals known as Military Commissions allowed “coerced” statements from defendants at a judge’s discretion. But the rules are changing for the 60 or so prisoners whom authorities had planned to prosecute: The Obama administration has prohibited the use of confessions obtained under “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” A Justice Department official has told Congress, which is drafting new rules for Military Commissions, that only “voluntary” statements are likely to withstand future court challenges.
But legal experts believe a number of cases can’t be prosecuted because conditions were so harsh in Guantanamo, Afghanistan and secret CIA “black sites” elsewhere. The number of cases involved isn’t known publicly since most of the background is still classified.
In some cases, Obama will have no choice but to release the prisoners or, if they are considered too dangerous, place them in “preventative” detention, said David Glazier, an associate professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Either scenario opens the president up to criticism, but Glazier, a former Naval officer and expert in military law, says it’s better than allowing convictions that aren’t reliable or would be viewed as illegitimate around the world.
“Some number of cases may not be prosecutable, but I also think it’s safe to that they should not be prosecutable,” he said.
Al-Darbi may be just such a case.
The affidavit, which was provided to the AP by al-Darbi’s lawyer, is an unusually detailed first-person account of the harsh conditions at the heart of the issue. In October, a military judge threw out the confession of Guantanamo prisoner Mohammed Jawad because it was given to U.S. officials in Afghanistan after Afghan authorities threatened to kill his family. Jawad had been charged with wounding two U.S. soldiers and their interpreter with a grenade.
Al-Darbi was captured at the airport in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2002. Several weeks later, the affidavit says, he was taken blindfolded to the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan, through which many if not most of the Guantanamo detainees have passed.
Al-Darbi was held for eight months at Bagram. For the first two weeks, he was kept in isolation when not being interrogated, according to the affidavit. Later, it says, he went through a litany of harsh tactics, including being kicked and dragged around a room by U.S. troops while music blared in the background. At times, he was forced to kneel with his hands cuffed above his head through the night and repeatedly interrogated, often while hooded. He also describes a process in which he was hooded, shaken violently and subjected to water poured over his head.
“My view is that taken together all this treatment amounts to torture,” said his attorney, Ramzi Kassem.
Al-Darbi is charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism. He denies the charges, which carry a potential sentence of life in prison. In April 2008, at a hearing at the base, he called the Guantanamo tribunals a “sham” and a “scandal” and said he would not attend his trial.
Kassem says his client was taken into custody because he is a distant relation by marriage to Khalid al-Mihdhar, one of the hijackers who crashed a plane into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Al-Darbi is married to a sister of the hijacker’s wife.
The attorney late last year filed a motion to dismiss the charges, citing torture, and prosecutors have filed a written response. But the war crimes court has declined to release the court filings, and the prosecution team did not respond to requests for comment.
The chief Guantanamo war crimes prosecutor, Navy Capt. John F. Murphy, declined to discuss any specific case but said his team would follow the new rules. “We will introduce no evidence that’s obtained by torture, no cruel, inhumane or degrading evidence,” he said.
A former U.S. official who is familiar with the case said he doubts the government will be able to convict al-Darbi without the incriminating statements. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.
The affidavit specifically accuses an American soldier, Army Pfc. Damien Corsetti, of stepping on the prisoner’s handcuffs to make them tighten around his wrists. In a separate incident, the affidavit says, Corsetti placed his knees on al-Darbi’s chest so he couldn’t breathe.
The U.S. military has already tried Corsetti on charges including maltreatment and assault for allegedly abusing al-Darbi and other detainees at Bagram, where at least two prisoners died while in U.S. custody.
Corsetti was acquitted by a military jury in 2006. He was among 15 soldiers charged with mistreating detainees at Bagram. Nine were acquitted; the other six were either convicted or pleaded guilty.
The military prosecutor in the case, Army Capt. Ellis, referred questions about al-Darbi to a military spokeswoman, who did not respond to requests for an interview. At the trial, Ellis said the accused soldier “crossed the line” with his treatment of detainees.
A military judge is scheduled to hold a hearing in September on the motion to dismiss charges against al-Darbi, who has been at Guantanamo more than six years.
“We believe no American system of justice should admit involuntary statements,” said Jamil Dakwar, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who monitors Guantanamo for the rights group. “They are inherently unreliable and their admission will likely be the cause of reversals eventually.”
New phase in the struggle for Diego Garcia
By Lalit (Mauritius)
December 3, 2009 — The Diego Garcia struggle is moving into what we
call “phase 4”. Each past phase has had its victories, victories within
which there were defeats. And each victory won has been won because the
three elements making up the struggle held together, were embraced as
Before looking at phase 4, let’s look first at three intertwined past
* Read more http://links.org.au/node/1397
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I saw the John Pilger documentary about the Chagossians on television a long time ago, but it was worth watching again.
The British and Americans are still displacing people in a way that demonstrates sociopathic tendencies.
Indeed. More about this: