British government deports child refugees to war zones


This video from Canada says about itself:

Syrian Children Experience Snow

19 January 2016

Snow is a new experience but fun in any language looks the same.

Unfortunately, not all refugee children have the luck of the children in this video (and if the previous Stephen Harper government in Canada would not have been defeated by the voters, then the children in the video might never have seen snow either.)

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Refugee crisis: Thousands of child asylum seekers deported back to war zones, Home Office admits

Exclusive: Hundreds sent back from UK to countries where Isis and Taliban are rampant

Maeve McClenaghan

Tuesday 9 February 2016 21:44 BST

Thousands of young people who sought refuge in Britain as unaccompanied child asylum-seekers have been deported to repressive regimes and countries partly controlled by Isis and the Taliban, the Home Office has admitted. Over the past nine years 2,748 young people – many of whom had spent formative years in the UK, forging friendships and going to school – have been returned to countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.

The figures were finally published by the Home Office minister James Brokenshire this week. Previous Home Office figures significantly understated the scale of the deportations.

The bulk of those deported – some 2,018 – were sent to Afghanistan, but around 60 young people have been deported to Iraq since 2014, the year Isis seized control of swathes of the country. The findings, which were triggered by questions from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Labour MP Louise Haigh, raise serious concerns about what happens to child asylum-seekers when they turn 18, and at a time when Britain is being urged to help thousands of orphaned child refugees from Syria.

Unaccompanied child asylum-seekers arriving in the UK are given temporary leave to remain. But this expires when they become adults, at which point many are sent back to their home country – even if they have taken GCSEs and A-levels, integrated into British society and lost touch with their homeland. They often struggle to start new lives, because their Westernised mannerisms mean they are regarded with suspicion.

Ms Haigh said: “These shocking figures reveal the shameful reality behind our asylum system.

“Children who flee countries ravaged by war in the most appalling of circumstances are granted safe haven and build a life here in the UK, but at the age of 18 can be forced on to a flight and back to a dangerous country they have no links to and barely any memory of.

“With many more vulnerable young children due to arrive in the UK over the next five years the Government needs to answer serious questions and provide a cast-iron guarantee that vulnerable young people will not be sent back to war zones.”

She now plans to bring a parliamentary debate on the issue, while the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is to chair an emergency cross-party summit on 10 February to explore how Britain can support future intakes of child refugees.

Mr Farron said: “It is a sad state of affairs that the Government is stripping the protective blanket of safety we have offered these children on their 18th birthday. Many will have integrated into their communities.”

As he released the figures, Mr Brokenshire was forced to apologise for previously providing the Commons with inaccurate numbers in November that said just 1,040 former child refugees had been returned to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya since 2007. He blamed the inaccurate data on “an error during the extraction process”.

Ms Haigh said: “Ministers have been basing their confident assurances on protecting these extremely vulnerable young people on a calamitous guesstimate.”

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism explored the cases of several Afghan teenagers last year as they battled deportation orders. Some who were returned claimed they had been left homeless, chased by the Taliban, kidnapped, ransomed and beaten.

The latest Home Office figures show that in 2015, 57 former child refugees were sent back to Afghanistan, where the Taliban still controls many districts. Removals to the country have now been temporarily halted as lawyers argue that the security situation is so unsafe that no one should be returned.

However, earlier this month lawyers for the Home Office argued in a Court of Appeal case that removals should continue. The judgment is expected imminently. The latest figures also show 657 former child refugees have been returned to Iraq since 2007, including 22 last year and 38 in 2014 when Isis began to take territory in the region.

The Foreign Office advises against “all but essential travel” to half of Iraq, and against any travel to the north-western areas. …

Explainer: Child asylum claims

Children can apply for asylum when they first arrive in the UK, but the likelihood of getting refugee status at this point is low, and even less likely for Afghan or Iraqi children.

The UK Government does not generally deport unaccompanied children – so instead they are given temporary leave to remain, which lasts until they turn 17-and-a-half.

At this point, teenagers must apply to extend their leave. But the BIJ’s analysis of appeals from Afghan teenagers found just one in five was granted asylum at this point. Thousands of teenagers are deported after years living in the UK.

Refugee crisis: Welfare cuts and anti-migration policies ‘will not stop’ asylum seekers coming to Europe – report. New laws might change the countries where refugees end up but they will not stop them arriving, a report found: here.

Dutch Auschwitz survivor blasts Pegida racists


This video shows a mass meeting in Amsterdam in the Netherlands against the extreme right refugee-hating Pegida organisation, on Saturday 6 February 2016.

Max van den Berg is a Dutch Jewish survivor of Adolf Hitler‘s mass murder camp Auschwitz. After the second world war, he helped to found the Dutch Auschwitz committee for commemoration.

Here is a translation from the speech by Max van den Berg on that Saturday 6 February 2016, at the statue De Dokwerker, commemorating the general strike in February 1941 against the German nazi occupiers’ anti-Jewish violence in the Netherlands. Max van den Berg was then fourteen years old. He participated in the general strike at his school: school students struck along with the workers.

This video shows Max van Den Berg’s 6 February speech.

Mr Van den Berg addressed the 6 February 2016 mass meeting against the extreme right refugee-hating Pegida organisation:

Max van den Berg spoke on the demonstration on February 6: Refugees are welcome, racism is not!

Here, along the wall of the Portuguese synagogue was then a row of German trucks. That was on Sunday, February 23, 1941. One hundred meters further on the Waterlooplein square Jews were herded with clubs and rifle butts. When there were more than 400 they were driven into the trucks and taken away. All were murdered in the concentration camp Mauthausen.

On Monday 24 February, the communist party gathered at the Noordermarkt [Northern Market] to spread the watchword: Strike! Strike! Strike!

75 years ago the February strike broke out. The city was in solidarity with their persecuted Jewish fellow citizens and revolted against racist violence. The commemoration of this strike is more relevant than ever.

Again in the city there is solidarity with those who flee war and violence. Again, the city resists, now against racist hate mongers of Pegida. In Amsterdam there is no place for these people.

How did this war and refugee misery arise? Then we must go back in history. On February 4, 2003 at 16.30 Colin Powell, an American government minister, appeared at the UN, and displayed photos that supposedly proved conclusively that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There had to be intervention quickly. A war based on a lie started. Later complemented by a Syrian civil war and the whole Middle East becoming ablaze.

Men, women and children fleeing the war which has lasted for 13 years. A fight with front fighting, guerrillas, attacks, terrorist attacks, hunger, phosphorus grenades and poison gas bombs. A fight that ended in a civil war. Nothing is more traumatic than a civil war. Village and neighborhood communities are torn apart and family ties torn asunder. Millions leave the battlefield hoping for a safe place in Europa. They fled by sea, more than 3,000 men, women and children drowned. They fled across the muddy paths of the Balkans during heat and during icy cold. They went to the Arctic Circle hoping to reach Sweden and Norway. Along the way there are now 10,000 children without parents who became lost and are wandering in groups across our continent. Easy prey for pickpocket gangs and prostitution.

Meanwhile, forty thousand refugees have found housing in our country. They were traumatized, and housed in large centers. …

Citizens wonder whether those refugees do not exceed the carrying capacity of society. [European Union authorities in] Brussels also question whether European society can support this financially. But that is a travesty, hypocritical. The same Brussels people refuse to tackle the tax dodging by big corporations, so that society is missing out on an amount of 80 billion euros.

Citizens have questions about unemployment, now there are refugees. But at the same time, the government’s statistics office states that the economy is picking up and may result in a shortage of workers in white-collar jobs and construction early next year. We may start to ask ourselves then whether too little refugees have come.

And then came Cologne and sexual violence and the so-called “testosterone bombs“. But then I think of the [murdered] girl Vaatstra, the Putten murder, about the Utrecht serial rapist [all crimes by non-refugee white Dutchmen], the massive child abuse within the Catholic Church and I think for just once: Our own people first [extreme right nationalist slogan, turned upside down here]. It is dirty to misguide worried citizens with hate speech.

Nothing is more dangerous than to mistake concerned citizens for racists. The hate mongers of Pegida would like that. We won’t be tricked by that.

And now the reception of refugees should be made a success. Refugees have to go from large centers to smaller more intimate and better shelters scattered across the cities and the country. Now there should be more government workers, making it possible to shorten the asylum procedure from seven months to a maximum of seven weeks.

Now there should be warm humanistic support in the areas of food, education and leisure. In this context we want to pay tribute to the thousands of workers, including many Dutch men and women with a Turkish or Moroccan background, who are doing that.

Some governments and politicians want to stop the flow of refugees. They want to close all borders. Europe should be made into a fortress with as its slogan: Me, me, me, and let all others die. Others want to take away the refugees’ money and jewelry (they can keep only their wedding rings! Aren’t those politicians ‘humane’, right?). Still others have developed illegal plans. Send them back to dictatorial Turkey, a country which itself bombs Kurds from the air. Creating a wave of Kurdish refugees.

No, there is no end to the flow of refugees as long as the war continues. 58,000 in January have braved the wintry chill and yet moved into Europe.

But there is a perspective. Through trial and error the first peace negotiations began and there is a chance to let the war end with joint forces. But just as these negotiations begin the Dutch parliament threatens to approve Dutch bombing in Syria (‘precision’ bombing – ridiculous). The English foundation Body Count and the BBC have calculated together that only because of the US bombing, apart from Russian and Syrian bombing, 1051 civilians have lost their lives. Collateral damage this is called and a little bag of dollars is ready, wrapped in a cloth of hypocritical ‘philanthropy’. But this breeds new hatred and terrorism. There are in the [ISIS] ‘caliphate’ no more military targets, say the experts. Dutch bombs may turn a desert into a Swiss cheese. That’s all.

We therefore call on parliament: no bombing in Syria! Stop arms exports to conflict areas! No drones dropping bombs but a blow against hate speech!

Dear people. Let us be aware of the serious political and moral crisis in which Europe finds itself. The contradictions are increasing, democratic freedoms are under pressure. Everyone has an interest in ending the protracted war with its destruction and waves of refugees.

Join the fight for the restoration of peace. Join the newly founded Amsterdam Peace Initiative.

Fight the racists of Pegida.

Long live solidarity with the war refugees.

Long live the people rescuing refugees!

Long live the struggle for peace!

This video shows another 6 February 2016 speaker, Anousha Nzume.

Refugee crisis: Angela Merkel appeals to Turkey for border controls to stop fresh wave of Syrian refugees: here.

Canada will stop bombing Syria and Iraq


This video says about itself:

21 April 2013

This video shows Syrians, Lebanese, Canadians, and others in the Canadian capital of Ottawa demonstrating and asking the [then Stephen Harper] Canadian government to stop supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Canada will stop airstrikes on ISIS in two weeks’ time

Today, 18:47

Canada will not participate in the air strikes on targets of IS in Syria and Iraq from February 22 on . In this way, Prime Minister Trudeau keeps his election promise of last year.

Since April 2015, when the country was still ruled by the Conservative Harper government, six Canadian warplanes have been participating in the bombing raids of the international coalition against ISIS.

The Canadian decision is opposed by the US government and the rest of the coalition.

Training mission

Two Canadian reconnaissance aircraft and a tanker aircraft will remain stationed in the area. Furthermore Trudeau will send another 130 troops to northern Iraq to train Kurdish militias. There are already 70 Canadian trainers in that region.

According to the Liberal prime minister, the region is more helped by strengthening its own military force then by military intervention from outside. He said this was the lesson that Canada had drawn after being active for ten years in Afghanistan.

The people who are terrorized by ISIS are not served by our revenge but by our support,” Trudeau declared to the Canadian press. The mission in Afghanistan has cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers.

Salvadorean murderers of Spanish priests arrested


This 1995 Associated Press video says about itself:

Salvadorans are commemorating the sixth anniversary of a massacre of Jesuit priests by members of the military.

The priests- who taught at the Central American University in the capital San Salvador-were accused by rightists of being communists and even members of the guerrillas.

At the anniversary ceremonies Salvadorans called for peace and an end to violence in their country.

A rose garden at the Central American University in San Salvador stands as a remembrance of those who were martyred in the fight for justice for the poor people of El Salvador.

Salvadorans marked Thursday the sixth anniversary of a massacre in which six Jesuit priests were killed by members of the military.

Their bodies were buried at the Monsignor Romero Temple in the university campus.

Romero was also a victim of El Salvador‘s 12-year bloody civil war, murdered in his own cathedral by right-wing killers.

Six years later Jesuit priests are calling for an end to violence and injustice.

SOUNDBITE: (In Spanish)

“The legacy they’ve left is that we shouldn’t rest as long as there’s injustice, as long as there are lies and as long as there’s poverty. We should do our best to try to combat these evils that are still affecting terribly El Salvador.”
SUPER CAPTION: Rodolfo Cardenal, Jesuit priest and Vice-rector of the Central American University- UCA

On November 16 1989, left-wing guerrillas launched a nationwide offensive against the government.

The Jesuit priests were killed in the middle of a counter-attack by members of the military.

Six Jesuit priests living on the university campus were killed along with a cook and her daughter.

The military blamed the attack on the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front– known as the F-M-L-N- which launched the offensive against the government.

But investigators later discovered the massacre was perpetrated by the army.

The “Hall of Martyrs” at the Central American University has been opened as a remembrance of the victims of the massacre.

It was erected on the area where the bodies were found after the attack.

The hall holds pictures of the massacre and clothes worn by the six priests on that tragic day.

Throughout the civil war, Jesuit priests became a target for their “theology of liberation” philosophy which advocated social justice and fair distribution of wealth among the poor.

The priests were accused of being communists and even allies of the guerrillas.

Hundreds of Salvadorans took to the main campus of the university- known as the U-C-A- for a religious ceremony to commemorate the death of the priests.

They marched with candles and held signs calling for justice and an end of violence in their country.

Many believe that in spite of recent progress the country still needs to find the road for peace.

SOUNDBITE: (In Spanish)

“The fight continues, we have to pick up the banner of those good and noble men and we have to continue opening the path for peace and reconciliation, but always based on justice.”
SUPER CAPTION: Rogelio Poncel, Catholic priest

SOUNDBITE: (In Spanish)

“There have been certain improvements, not exactly what we expected, but I think certain political spaces have been opened, but there are still many tasks to do.”
SUPER CAPTION: Jon Cortina, Spanish Jesuit priest

And six years after the massacre Salvadorans hope the legacy of the tragedy will be a catalyst for much needed peace in this Central American nation.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Four ex-soldiers detained over 1989 priest killings

Monday 8th February 2015

FOUR former soldiers wanted in Spain for the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter have been arrested in El Salvador, police said yesterday.

Five of the priests were Spanish and their killings during El Salvador’s civil war sparked international outrage.

Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren urged military officers still fugitive in the case to turn themselves in to authorities.

“There are people who have hidden. We don’t know if they have left the country, but my recommendation is that they turn themselves in to justice,” he said.

“We need to know the truth about what happened in the past, but we also need justice as well as pardon.”

It is now up to the Salvadoran Supreme Court to rule on extradition to Spain.

The arrests in El Salvador followed a judgement in North Carolina, US, that cleared the way for a former Salvadoran colonel to be extradited to face charges in Spain in the case.

Nazi crimes whitewash in Hungary


This video says about itself:

Holocaust Survivor Chava Fried- Arrow Cross takeover in Hungary

15 October 2014

Born in 1922 Chava Fried grew up in Vac, Hungary. The war started for her with the German occupation in March 1944. After escaping to Budapest she lived under an assumed identity and worked in a factory. She befriended one of the owners of the factory who hid Chava until liberation in January 1945. Chava moved to Canada in 1953.

From Associated Press:

Jewish Group Condemns Far-Right WWII Remembrance in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Feb 6, 2016, 3:57 PM ET

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has condemned a far-right commemoration in Hungary of a World War II battle in which speakers lauded a wartime pro-Nazi Hungarian leader.

A report on the feol.hu website said a Waffen-SS veteran who was scheduled to speak at Saturday’s memorial in the city of Szekesfehervar did not attend for health reasons. The Wiesenthal Center said the event was “another blatant attempt to honor and glorify the perpetrators of the Holocaust.”

Last year, international criticism caused a foundation to cancel plans to erect a statue in Szekesfehervar of a Holocaust-era minister who helped draft anti-Semitic laws.

The Wiesenthal Center’s Mark Weitzman said authorities‘ failure to condemn the event, considering that Hungary is currently chairing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, was “an exercise in political and historical hypocrisy.”