Ukrainian nazis ‘celebrate’ with looting


Azov battalion symbol

This picture (also reproduced on the Facebook page of the Dutch NVU nazi party) shows the symbol of the Ukrainian Kiev government’s Azov battalion; source: here. It is the wolfsangel, or wolf’s hook. Which used to be a symbol in Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS. It was also the symbol of the Dutch nazi party NSB in the 1930s and 1940s.

Wolfsangel on Dutch NSB nazi flag

On the Dutch NSB 1930s-1940s nazi flag for their paramilitary organisation, the WA, the same wolfsangel, in a different direction.

The Azov battalion logo has, behind its black wolfsangel, also another nazi SS symbol, depicted in white: the ‘schwarze Sonne‘ or black sun.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Ukraine: Fascists mark three years since riots by looting store

Saturday 3rd December 2016

UKRAINIAN neonazis marked the third anniversary of the Maidan Square riots on Thursday by ransacking a regional government office and robbing a petrol station.

Members of the fascist Azov Battalion stormed the offices in the capital city of Cherkasy in the region of the same name, an online Ukrainian publication reported.

Security camera footage showed masked and hooded thugs looting the public building, some recording the break in on video cameras.

Following a separate march by Azov goons near the village of Novodmitrovka in Zolotonosha district, members distracted staff at a petrol station while some two dozen youths looted food and alcohol.

Later police stopped their bus and detained three suspects.

December 1 2013 saw pro-EU protesters against the former president Viktor Yanukovich’s government erupt into riots as far-right groups such as Right Sector and Svoboda hijacked the sit-in in Maidan Square.

Five Ukraine police killed in friendly fire mix-up: here.

Walter Scott murdered, killer cop scot-free in the USA?


This video from the USA says about itself:

The following contains unedited, graphic footage of the April 4, 2015, shooting of Walter Scott by North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager taken by an anonymous bystander.

By Adam Hamze, Politics Intern, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Only One Juror Stands Between Michael Slager And A Conviction For Walter Scott’s Death

“I cannot and will not change my mind,” the juror said.

12/02/2016 06:57 pm ET

One juror is standing between former North Charleston police Officer Michael Slager becoming one of the first, and few, police officers in the last decade to be charged with murder.

Deliberations began on Thursday in the case, and 11 of the 12 members of the jury ― which consists of five white men, four white women and one black man, despite Charleston county being 28 percent black ― have come to the conclusion that Slager should be found guilty on murder charges stemming from the fatal shooting of Walter Scott in April.

If the final juror cannot reach an agreement with his counterparts, the case will be declared a mistrial — and he doesn’t seem like he’s going to change his mind.

“I cannot in good conscious consider a guilty verdict,” the juror, who is a white man, wrote in a note provided to the judge by the jury foreman. “I cannot and will not change my mind.”

While the judge has ordered the jury to continue deliberating until a decision is reached, the other jurors wrote in two separate letters that the lone juror who is supporting a non-guilty verdict “needs to leave” and is “having issues.”

Deliberations are scheduled to resume Monday.

Refusing to view Slager as guilty has baffled many pundits and writers who have been following the case throughout the year.

Slager, who pulled Scott over for a broken taillight on April 4, 2015, claims to have been in “total fear” before he pulled the trigger eight times.

But a video taken by bystander Feindin Santana shows that Scott, who was unarmed, was shot in the back from 17 feet away as he ran away from Slager. The video also shows Slager dropping what seems to be a taser next to Scott’s unmoving body — a weapon he says Scott took from him during a scuffle — before handcuffing the victim rather than administering first aid.

Scott, who formerly served in the Coast Guard, was the father of four children.

“He was outgoing ― loved everybody, (was) very known in the community and got along with everybody,” his brother Anthony Scott told CNN in April. “All the family loves him, and his kids loved him.”

In this case, a video recorded the killing by police officer Slager. If there would not have been that video, then I am afraid that not just one, but more people in the jury might have thought: ‘Slager is a police officer, we gotta support the police all the time, etc’. This shows how dangerous police policies against recording police are.

Much torture in Turkish prisons


This video says about itself:

‘I was tortured in Turkey‘ – BBC News

28 November 2016

The UN’s special investigator on torture has arrived in Turkey following allegations of rape and abuse by the country’s security forces, after July’s failed coup. Tens of thousands of people have been jailed in a crackdown that has been condemned by activists and several western governments. Mark Lowen‘s report contains details some viewers may find disturbing.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

“Much torture in Turkish prisons weeks after coup”

Today, 19:21

In the days and weeks following the coup in Turkey it looks like detainees have widely been tortured and mistreated. That concludes the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer after a six-day visit to Turkey. There he spoke with authorities and prisoners.

The torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners was encouraged by the special security measures after the coup of July 15, Melzer told news agency AP.

So someone can be held thirty days before a judge decides whether he should be detained any longer. And in the first five days after a person is arrested, he has no right to a lawyer. “Right then, the risk of torture and inhumane treatment is greatest,” said Melzer.

Zero-tolerance policy

Formally, Turkey regarding torture has a zero-tolerance policy, but allegations of torture are not investigated, said Melzer. Lawyers’ organizations that gathered evidence about police misconduct have been banned.

Human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said this autumn already that Turkey tortures prisoners.

Amnesty says that happened even before the coup, especially in the Kurdish southeast of Turkey. “But after July 15 we saw an explosion,” said an Amnesty researcher to AP.

Will Trump destroy CIA torture evidence?


This video says about itself:

The Dark Prison: The Legacy of the CIA Torture Programme – Fault Lines

24 March 2016

“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.”

It’s been more than a year since US President Barack Obama admitted that the CIA tortured prisoners at its interrogation centres.

While the CIA has long admitted the use of waterboarding, which simulates drowning by pouring water into a person’s nose and mouth, a truncated and heavily redacted report by the Senate Intelligence Committee in December 2015 detailed other abuses that went beyond previous disclosures.

Reading like a script from a horror film, some of the techniques involved prisoners being slapped and punched while being dragged naked up and down corridors, being kept in isolation in total darkness, subject to constant deafening music, rectal rehydration and being locked in coffin-shaped boxes.

Critical to the development of the CIA’s brutal interrogation programme was a legal memo that said the proposed methods of interrogation were not torture if they did not cause “organ failure, death or permanent damage”.

Despite failing to produce any useful information about imminent terrorist attacks, the CIA meted out these and other brutal treatments for years after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

And with dozens of people having since been released without charge, and at least a quarter of them officially declared to have been “wrongfully detained“, the effects of torture live on with the victims, burned into their minds.

In this episode of Fault Lines, we explore the plight of these men struggling to overcome their harrowing experiences of torture since leaving CIA-run black sites.

By Laura Barron-Lopez, Congressional Reporter, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Senate Democrat Urges Obama To Ensure The CIA Torture Report Won’t Disappear

Ron Wyden is worried the report could be destroyed under the Trump administration if it’s not made a federal record.

12/02/2016 07:00 am ET

WASHINGTON ― If President Barack Obama wants to codify his legacy on banning the use of torture in U.S. intelligence gathering, he should declassify the 6,700-page CIA torture report and make it a federal record, according to a top Senate Democrat.

Ron Wyden, a vocal member of the Senate intelligence committee, has long urged the administration to declassify the report with necessary redactions. But now he’s pressuring Obama to make the report a document of federal record before he leaves office ― protecting it from possible destruction under a Donald Trump presidency.

With Trump heading to the White House in just under two months, the Oregon Democrat told The Huffington Post it’s “more important than ever” that the American public know what is in the full torture report.

Something Obama “can do today on this,” Wyden said, is “make sure the report isn’t destroyed and lost to history.”

“All that the president needs to do is direct that the report be a federal record under the Federal Records Act, and an agency record pursuant to [the Freedom of Information Act], and then it can be disseminated widely to appropriate, cleared agencies,” Wyden said in his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday.

On his second day in office Obama used his executive authority to ban “enhanced interrogation” techniques authorized by President George W. Bush, but his administration decided not to press charges against individuals involved in the torture program. Prompted by revelations that the CIA had destroyed videotapes of some of its interrogations, the Senate intelligence committee voted in 2009 to investigate the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. In December 2014, the Democrats on the committee released a 525-page executive summary of their findings. They concluded that the CIA’s interrogation program used techniques far more brutal than it had previously disclosed and misled the public about the efficacy of the program in producing intelligence.

The full report remains classified. Lawyers who represent detainees at Guantanamo who were previously held at CIA black sites say the executive summary of the torture report reveals only a small part of the abuse their clients endured.

The Obama administration has been less than eager to declassify the report, with agencies directed to keep their copies unopened. Even less transparency is expected from his successor. Trump, a real estate businessman with no prior government experience, said earlier this year that he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

Trump’s sympathetic stance toward torture is why Wyden thinks the president-elect wouldn’t think twice about the destruction of a report long mired in controversy.

“It seems to me ― and this’ll be the argument we’d be making to the administration ― that the president wants a legacy issue,” Wyden said. “This is something he can do today that will be very meaningful, and frankly we’re very concerned that it’s just going to get destroyed and that will be that.”

Making the torture report a federal record would not require its declassification, but making it an agency record would open it up to a Freedom of Information Act request. Even then, it can be redacted in part or full.

The report, an “exhaustive history with hundreds of footnotes,” should “at a minimum” be protected, Wyden said.

Wyden pointed to Trump’s campaign promises, the views of those he’s surrounding himself with, and comments made by his Republican colleagues as proof there’s a real threat the report could be lost forever.

In January 2015, during his first month as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) requested that the White House return every copy of the document that had been distributed to the administration officials and federal agencies. In a letter to Obama, Burr wrote: “I consider that report to be a highly classified and committee sensitive document.”

“It should not be entered into any Executive Branch system of records,” Burr continued.

At the time, Burr also said he planned to give back a critical secret document, the Panetta Review, that underpins the entire Senate investigation into the CIA’s torture program.

Burr never got the copies of the torture report back; the White House said it would “preserve the status quo.”

But once Republicans have complete control of the federal government from the White House on down, it only follows that Burr would again request to have the last copies of the secret report returned. And what he does with them after that is pretty much up to him.

That means the fate of the infamous document would depend on individual senators like Wyden fighting to keep it in existence until it can be declassified.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who led the intel committee during the investigation and when the report was released, is also pushing for Obama to declassify the document.

She hasn’t always been supportive, however. A New Yorker report published in the summer of 2015 said Wyden, then-Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) rarely aligned with Feinstein on surveillance and tried to convince her to push for the entire declassification of the report.

“Feinstein, concerned that the information in the full report would be too inflammatory, decided that the executive summary sufficed for the time being,” according to the New Yorker.

She’s changed her mind since, and handed a letter to Vice President Joe Biden to give to Obama last week, urging him to make it public.

“The time has come to declassify the report, allow the general public to make up its own mind,” Feinstein said, according to Politico. At least, those that’ll read 7,000 pages.”

So far, the White House response has not been encouraging.

“It was not a full-throated: ‘We are gonna declassify the report,” Wyden said of recent statements coming from the administration. “So we’ve got some heavy lifting to do on that.”

In the final days of the Obama administration, Wyden says, he plans to focus on preserving the torture report so people understand what the CIA engaged in when interrogating suspected terrorists, and “that it’s contrary to our values; contrary to our laws.”

“I want to amp up the concern I have to make sure that this full report is not destroyed,” he said. “That’s all the more reason why the report ought to be put in hands of American people so that you can have a real debate about this.”

White House spokesman Ned Price didn’t comment on Obama’s plans for the report or on calls by Democratic senators for it to be declassified or made a federal record.

When Feinstein disseminated the copies nearly two years ago there were eight: one sent to the White House, two to the CIA (one for the inspector general, which was “mistakenly” deleted) and the rest to five different agencies.

The White House declined to comment Wednesday on the status of the various copies.

Jessica Schulberg contributed reporting.

Rape rampant in Canadian army


This video says about itself:

13 November 2015

Canada’s Sikh Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has faced racial abuse from his own soldier for being Indian. Apparently, a non-commissioned officer from the Canadian Forces Base commented on Sajjan making a racist reference on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hundreds of Canadian soldiers assaulted by colleagues

Today, 18:04

Nearly one thousand Canadian soldiers during the last twelve months have been victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment. More than a quarter of the female soldiers have been assaulted during their careers, says the Canadian Statistical Office.

The office examined the situation, because the Canadian army has had for long time a reputation of hostility and aggression against women and homosexuals.

The army top brass began last year a campaign to put an end to harassment and sexual violence, but the Canadian Chief of Staff General Jonathan Vance acknowledges that the campaign appears to have had little effect. He calls the outcome of the investigation “sobering, but not surprising.”

Ban

Vance thinks the sexual mores are substantial problem for the Canadian Forces. “We know about it and try to address it. These new figures make me more motivated than ever to eradicate this behavior and ban the perpetrators from the army.”

The statistical office calculated that sexual assault and sexual harassment in the armed forces appear almost twice as much as in other work environments. 840 soldiers say they had to do last year with “unwanted sexual touching”, 150 soldiers have assaulted people and 110 soldiers complained about other unwanted sexual acts.

Higher rank

About 15 percent of the Canadian Forces are women and most of the complaints came from women soldiers. 49 percent said the perpetrator was a man with a higher rank.

Statistically, for soldiers one may expect that far less than 49% of other soldiers are of higher rank. I have no Canadian army figures on this; but in most armies the higher the rank, the less soldiers with that rank. So it looks like the higher the rank, the worse the sexual abuse.

Among men who reported sexual violence or intimidation, the perpetrators were primarily soldiers in the same rank.

The report does not mention any case of a soldier with a lower rank assaulting or harassing someone of higher rank.

Eight out of ten surveyed Canadian soldiers have also witnessed or have been targets last year of inappropriate sexual comments, innuendo, insults and jokes, the researchers say.

Men in Canadian army are at ‘significantly’ greater risk of suicide after deployment, study finds: here.

Trump elected, US racists threaten Muslim genocide


This 27 November 2016 Bangladesh TV video is called Three California mosques receive hateful letters mentioning Trump.

By Andy Campbell in the USA:

Letters To California Mosques Praise Donald Trump, Promise Genocide

“You Muslims are a vile and filthy people.”

11/26/2016 05:35 pm ET

Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement asking for increased protection after the hate-filled letters were discovered at the Islamic centers of Long Beach and Claremont as well as a mosque in San Jose.

The handwritten and photocopied letters, received over the course of the week, were signed by “Americans for a Better Way.” They call Muslims “a vile and filthy people” who “worship the devil” and evoke Trump.

“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims,” the letters read. “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”

CAIR leaders in San Francisco and Los Angeles didn’t initially want to bring the letters into the public spotlight to avoid copycats, but they acknowledged the need for police intervention once the diatribe was sent to a number of jurisdictions across the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship,” CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo said in a statement. “Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”

Though Trump has said he isn’t aware of campaigns across the country to intimidate and hurt Muslims since his victory, the problem is rampant.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked more than 700 acts of this kind of bias intimidation and harassment targeting Muslims, blacks, Latinos, immigrants and LGBTQ people since Election Day, though not every incident has been independently verified. The Huffington Post’s Christopher Mathias has identified at least 13 incidents in which Muslims have been attacked, harassed or threatened in Trump’s name.

San Jose police are reportedly investigating the letters. It wasn’t immediately clear whether police departments across the state would ramp up security in response to CAIR’s statement.

CAIR urges Muslim community members to report any incidents to police and to the organization’s civil rights department by calling 202-742-6420 or by filing a report online.

Have you been a victim of an act of harassment or discrimination? If so, we encourage you to report the incident to local authorities, and to send us an email about it at: trackinghate@huffingtonpost.com.

See also here.

‘Fear of Trump’ Is Making Some Children Physically Sick, Say Health Experts. As nation braces for what life under Trump will mean, anxieties are specifically growing among those targeted by president-elect: here.