Maltese hunting season stopped after wounded kestrel falls among playing children


This 2014 video is about a kestrel couple and their chicks in their nest on a balcony in Poland.

From the Times of Malta:

Monday, April 27, 2015, 13:43

Hunting season closed after shot bird falls into school yard

The hunting season was closed today after a bird which was shot twice crashed bleeding into the yard of St Edward’s College in Cottonera while the children were on their school break this afternoon.

The decision was announced by the prime minister in a tweet. He said what took place today was inexcusable.

“Despite sharp decline in illegalities, today’s hunting incident is inexcusable. I have decided to immediately close down the season,” Dr Muscat said.

The season was supposed to close on Thursday.

The wounded kestrel on the playground in Malta

A teacher, Diana Triganza, who was on supervision at St Edward’s, said the boys, aged between seven and 10 were ‘traumatised’ by what they had seen. Some of them started screaming when the bird fell into the football pitch.

The incident happened at about 12.30. The bird, believed to be a Kestrel, was shot from outside the school grounds.

It was first shot once and hit, and them shot again. Five shots in all were heard.

The police were called and officers from the ALE took away the bird. Officials from the Animal Welfare Department told school teachers that the bird may survive.

HUNTING SEASON CLOSED

In a statement announcing the immediate closure of the spring hunting season, the government pointed out that immediately after the referendum, the prime minister had warned that he would not tolerate abuse.

During the season, the number of abuses fell drastically thanks to strong law enforcement and the collaboration of those involved.

Nonetheless, today’s incident could not be justified. No information about who had carried it out had been received.

Therefore the season was being closed immediately. This, the government said, should be a signal that such abuses would not be tolerated.

Nazi violence in British election campaign


This May 2014 video is called UK: Nazi salutes as EDL march through Newcastle.

By Luke James in Britain:

Ukip‘ thugs ambush Labour party activists

Monday 27th April 2015

POLICE were hunting thugs yesterday who allegedly carried Ukip placards as they attacked Labour Party activists in South Thanet, Kent, at the weekend.

Officers are investigating claims that a Labour campaigner had a rosette ripped from his chest during the gang’s violent rampage on Saturday afternoon.

It was one of three alleged attacks carried out by the 10-strong mob linked to the English Defence League (EDL).

They also reportedly targeted Stand Up to Ukip and Tory volunteers campaigning in the constituency, which is being contested by Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Eye witnesses reported that the men carried Ukip posters and chanted: “Ukip, Ukip” as they ran riot on Broadstairs seafront.

A Ukip spokesman told the Star that they “misappropriated” the party’s campaign material and condemned their “thuggery.”

The men are believed to be part of the white supremacist South East Alliance, which split from the EDL.

They are said to have attacked a dozen Labour activists who had travelled from Hackney to help the campaign of their party’s South Thanet candidate Will Scobie.

The group were canvassing at around 2.30pm in the high street when they were ambushed by men who leapt out of a car, according to a local Labour spokesman.

“The men squared up to our activists, ripped up their campaign literature, tore off their rosettes and then drove off chanting: ‘Ukip’,” he said.

Kent Police confirmed they were investigating the incident. A statement said: “It is alleged that a rosette was torn from the clothes of a 46-year-old man who was canvassing in the area. Enquiries are ongoing to locate the suspect.”

Mr Scobie last night appealed for anyone with information to help the police investigation.

“This was an appalling incident and very frightening for the people involved,” he said.

“The individuals in question were clearly sympathetic to Farage’s party and while we are of course not suggesting this had anything to do with Ukip’s campaign in the seat, it is just the latest example of the negativity Farage has bought to the area.”

Among them was Gary Field, a former EDL organiser with assault convictions who was photographed at the rally by the Mail on Sunday.

A Ukip spokesman told the Star: “This has been happening quite a lot in that people misappropriate our stuff.

“We utterly denounce any thuggery by anybody towards any political party.”

Mr Field was also identified by eyewitnesses as one of the gang who attacked Stand up to Ukip activists.

Norman Thomas, who runs community magazine Thanet Watch, was selling magazines nearby when Mr Field and his followers struck.

He told the Star: “Suddenly from out of nowhere came 10 or so people with St George’s flags and Ukip placards.

“They attacked the Stand Up to Ukip people, ripping up their posters and throwing them all along the sea front.”

The gang screamed: “Commie scum” at the three women and one man as they pursued them into a nearby pub, according to the local resident.

Bahrain dictatorship and the European Union


This video is called ‘Night raids, torture, sham trials a daily reality in Bahrain‘ – human rights activist.

From EurActiv.com:

The EU cannot overlook its Human Rights commitments in the East

24/04/2015 – 13:21

The EU has significantly increased its foreign policy activity since the Treaty of Lisbon, establishing itself a power with global influence, write Isabel Cerdá Marcos, Husain Adbulla and Karim Lahidji.

Isabel Cerdá Marcos is an Advocacy Associate at the European Centre for Human Rights. Husain Adbulla is President of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. Karim Lahidji is President of the International Federation of Human Rights.

The recent Iran talks have proved the EU’s importance as a global player in world politics. As enshrined in the Treaties, the EU is committed to defending and promoting the rule of law, human rights and democracy. This task is particularly necessary in the Middle East region, where many countries are strategic allies for trade and energy, but tend to have a very poor human rights record. Particularly striking is the situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, a major ally for the UK and the US, hosting the US Fifth Naval Fleet in the Gulf Region. This small island, strategically placed between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, underwent one of the worst “Arab Spring” revolutions in February 2011 with hundreds killed, imprisoned and tortured by the Bahraini authorities.

Well-known is the case of Nabeel Rajab, a Bahraini human rights defender and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. On 2 April 2015, Bahraini security forces and police arrested him at his home for peacefully speaking his mind about the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Nabeel Rajab has been accused of insulting a statutory body (by denouncing acts of torture in Jaw Prison in a piece he published last week) and spreading rumours during wartime (by criticising Bahrain’s involvement in the current conflict in Yemen and the civilian casualties related to the conflict). Nabeel remains under solitary confinement, and for these two charges, Nabeel Rajab faces up to 10 years in prison.

This is not the first time that the government has punished Rajab for exercising his internationally-guaranteed right to free expression. In May 2014, he completed a two-year prison sentence after taking part in peaceful assemblies and protests criminalised by the government. Mr Rajab is currently facing another trial for a previous tweet he wrote in September 2014. His appeal for this 6 months sentence was scheduled for 15 April. However, it took place on 5 April and was then delayed until 4 May, the prosecutor arguing the existence of new evidence under this case. Further, Nabeel’s home was raided that same day and all the electronics in his home (whether his own or not) were seized for evidence.

Nabeel has previously reached out to the EU to seek support for his case and long standing battle for Human Rights in Bahrain. On past occasions, the European External Action Service and the European Parliament have issued formal statements demanding his immediate release, as well as that of others fellow human rights defenders and Bahraini citizens labelled criminals by the Government for peacefully speaking their mind about the human rights violations and democratic deficit in Bahrain. Despite these gross human rights abuses and the blatant injustice they suffer, the EU institutions have not used their full leverage on the matter.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (representing the Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, The Bahrain Center for Democracy and Human Rights and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy), together with the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of FIDH and OMCT have issued a joint statement on the matter. We have also reached out to Ms Mogherini’s office with an official joint letter, to ask for support in our advocacy campaign to free Nabeel and for the EU to officially position itself on the issue, as political leverage from EU institutions is crucial on the matter. ECDHR and FIDH have also jointly reached out to the President of the European Parliament, Mr Schulz, as well as members of the Foreign Affairs committee, the Human Rights subcommittee and the Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Nabeel’s case is just an example of the many injustices committed in Bahrain and in the Gulf Region daily, because they dare to speak out and to defend basic human rights and ideals. Injustice does not stop there; the treatment detainees receive in prisons is inhuman and degrading, and even amounts to grave torture, putting their physical and mental health, as well as the health and security of their relatives, at serious risk.

The European Union can exercise unique political and international pressure on Bahrain and other countries of the Gulf region where human rights are disregarded on a daily basis. The EU’s support is much needed. The Union should step up to its International commitments and keep waving the human rights flag higher and louder.

Bahraini authorities sentenced an Iraqi man to three years in prison on charges including rioting and joining an “unauthorised” protest in the capital Manama, official media reported: here.