‘Stop British government recruiting child soldiers’


This October 2013 video is called Child soldiers in the British Army: one recruit’s story | Guardian Docs.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Army puts kids at risk, says rights charity

Monday 23rd May 2016

CHILDREN enlisting in the British Armed Forces are facing “significant risk and disadvantage,” a human rights campaign warned yesterday.

According to Child Soldiers International, recruits under the age of 18 were “actively sought” for more dangerous infantry roles.

In a letter to Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt, the charity urged the government to raise the minimum enlistment age to 18. At present, kids can take to the colours at 16 and apply to from 15.

The letter was co-signed by the National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower and the children’s commissioners for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

LEGOS HAVE GOTTEN A LOT MORE VIOLENT “The number of Lego weapons overall has increased greatly since then. Researchers found that nearly 30 percent of all Lego sets sold today now include at least one weapon. In 1978, that figure was under 5 percent.” [HuffPost]

British cluster bombs killing Yemeni children?


This video says about itself:

Yemen: Cluster Munitions Kill and Wound Civilians

(Beirut, August 27, 2015) – Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces appear to have used cluster munition rockets in at least seven attacks in Yemen’s northwestern Hajja governorate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks were carried out between late April and mid-July 2015.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Are British-made cluster bombs killing kids?

Monday 23rd May 2016

Amnesty demands full probe after bombs found in Yemen

HUMAN rights campaigners are demanding an urgent investigation into evidence that banned British-made cluster bombs may have been used to slaughter children in Yemen.

Amnesty International demanded “full government disclosure” over whether any British personnel were involved in dropping the BL-755 bombs from British-supplied Tornado jets.

The campaign called on Prime Minister David Cameron to review Britain’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, which is leading attacks on Yemen and still receives British arms licences despite an EU embargo.

Amnesty UK arms control director Oliver Sprague said: “Cluster bombs are one of the nastiest weapons in the history of warfare, rightly banned by more than 100 countries, so it’s truly shocking that British cluster munition has been dropped on a civilian area in Yemen.

“Given that this type of cluster bomb is very likely to have been used in combination with Tornado war planes which the UK has also sold to Saudi Arabia, there’s even a possibility that British support personnel might have been involved in the cluster bombing of Yemen.”

Amnesty inspectors found a partially exploded BL-755 near a farm in the Hajjah governorate. The bomb was originally manufactured in the 1970s by Bedfordshire’s Hunting Engineering Ltd.

BL-755s are banned under international law and can contain up to 147 bomblets designed to burn through tank armour, which scatter on impact but often don’t detonate until picked up.

Cluster bombs and their bomblets often take the lives of civilians unaware of their dangerous nature.

In one recent incident on March 1, an eight-year-old was killed after unwittingly playing with some discarded bomblets while herding goats with his older brother.

In the explosion, the 11-year-old brother lost three fingers and suffered severe shrapnel injuries.

He said: “We go down every day to the valley to herd goats, where there are many small bombs.

“We found four of them in the morning, they were cylindrical with a red ribbon.

“We carried them with us while herding. At around 1pm, I started to take the red string with my right hand and pull and [my brother] pulled on the other end of it and then it went off and I fell back.

“[My brother] was hurt in his stomach and he had fallen down too. We didn’t know it would hurt us.”

According to Campaign Against Arms Trade, the British government has made £2.8 billion in arms sales to the Saudi monarchy since March 2015 — when its attacks on Yemen began.

Stop the War’s Lindsey German said: “This is the latest example of Saudi Arabia’s dirty British-backed war in Yemen.

“British military advisers, British planes and British bombs are killing civilians including children there.

“We should break all links with Saudi now and stop supporting this ultra-reactionary regime.”

Britain trains soldiers of over sixteen torture regimes


This video from India says about itself:

3 Kerala men trapped in Saudi Arabia, tortured by employer

23 December 2015

A horrifying video of three Indians being beaten brutally by their Saudi employer has evoked strong reactions in Kerala. The men, were who are from Haripad, a town in north Kerala, had forwarded the video to their family members, with an appeal for help.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Britain trains soldiers for many regimes on its own human rights abuse watchlist

Sixteen nations on the Foreign Office watchlist for use of torture and sexual violence benefit from military and security support

Jon Stone

Britain is providing military training and support to the majority of the countries named on its own human rights abusers watchlist, The Independent can reveal.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) designated 30 nations as “human rights priority” countries last year, warning of their conduct on a range of issues from internal repression to the use of sexual violence in armed conflict.

But information released by ministers shows that British armed forces trained “either security or armed forces personnel” in 16 of the listed countries since 2014.

According to the Ministry of Defence, British soldiers have trained the armed forces of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, China, Colombia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Zimbabwe – despite the human rights records of those countries.

The revelation comes days after the Government announced it would step up the level of military training it provided for the armed forces of Oman. Though Oman is not among those nations named on the FCO’s watchlist, human rights observers working for Amnesty International say they have identified widespread use of torture and detention in the country.

Methods in use in Oman include mock execution, beating, hooding, solitary confinement, subjection to extremes of temperature and to constant noise, abuse and humiliation,” the organisation said in its 2014 report. “These practices are allowed to flourish within a culture of arbitrary arrest and detention in secret institutions.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stated that Oman “is our friend” and that the UK was “working more closely than ever with them across military, counter-terrorism and intelligence fields to tackle shared threats to stability.”

The UK could also build a permanent military training facility in the country, Mr Fallon added.

In March, The Independent reported that British commandos are training Bahraini soldiers in using sniper rifles – despite the alleged use of such specialist troops to target protesters during a pro-democracy uprising in 2011.

Soldiers from the Gulf monarchy were again hosted at the Infantry Battle School in Wales last week, according to Ministry of Defence publicity.

They visited alongside troops from Nigeria, whose top military generals Amnesty say should be on trial for war crimes. The human rights group produced a 133-page dossier alleging Nigerian forces caused the deaths of 8,000 people through murder, starvation, suffocation and torture during security operations against Islamist militants Boko Haram.

A senior military official told Amnesty that Nigerian solders respond to Boko Haram attacks by going “to the nearest place and kill[ing] all the youths” whether they were armed or not.

Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said Britain should not be “colluding” with countries it was well aware were led by authoritarian regimes. “The UK army has provided training to some of the most authoritarian states in the world,” he said.

“The fact that many of them are included on the government’s own ‘human rights priority’ list is a sign of how oppressive they are. The UK military should not be colluding with or legitimising human rights abusers.”

The Government has faced criticism from campaigners in recent months for continuing to rubber stamp arms sales to repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of committing war crimes during its military campaign in Yemen, something the country denies. The aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontiers states that Saudi war-planes have bombed multiple hospitals in which it operates in the area. Other reports include the bombing of schools and weddings.

The British government has however ignored calls for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia from both the European Parliament and the House of Commons International Development Committee.

Defence minister Philip Dunne confirmed last month that British liaison officers had trained Saudi Arabian troops in using weapons systems supplied by Britain and that they were present in the country’s operations centre.

 

Murder, rape around US military base in Okinawa


This video from the USA says about itself:

US military contractor murders another Okinawa woman, Japan furious

20 May 2016

By James Tweedie:

US ex-marine held for woman’s killing

Saturday 21st May 2016

Abe ‘outraged and speechless’ at latest in string of atrocities

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined the governor of Okinawa in outrage yesterday at the latest murder of a local woman apparently by a US military contractor.

Former US marine turned civil contractor Kenneth Shinzato was arrested on Thursday in connection with the disappearance of Rina Shimabukuro on April 28.

Ms Shimabukuro’s boyfriend told police she went for a walk that evening and never returned.

Mr Shinzato was arrested after police found the victim’s body at a forest location he gave them, but he had not yet been charged yesterday.

However, local media quoted sources close to the investigation saying he had admitted strangling and stabbing the victim.

“I feel extremely strong outrage,” Mr Abe told reporters.

“I have no words to express, considering how the family feels.

“We urge the US side to take thorough measures to prevent the recurrence of such events.”

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga said he was “outraged” and that the death of the woman broke his heart.

“As I look back at all the developments to date, I’m simply speechless,” he said.

US ambassador Caroline Kennedy said: “We will double our efforts to make sure this will never happen again,” while the US State Department said the military was co-operating with police.

Two months ago a US Navy sailor admitted raping a woman at a hotel on Okinawa and US servicemen have committed numerous rapes and murders of Okinawan women and children since occupying the island towards end of World War II.

The island is home to more than half the 50,000 US troops remaining in Japan since the war.

The litany of outrages — compounded by the US military’s insistence on trying suspects by court martial rather than in Japanese civilian courts — has fuelled strong opposition to the US military presence.

Mr Onaga has been among those leading mass protests against the planned relocation of US Marine Air Station Futenma from its present unsafe location in a suburb of the capital to a more remote spot, demanding instead that it be closed altogether.

This video from Japan says about itself:

20 May 2016

Protesters rallied in Tokyo, Friday, condemning the alleged murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman by an American contractor working at a US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Dutch colonial army’s ISIS-style beheading in Indonesia


This video says about itself:

Libya, Feb 16 2015 (ANI): Islamic State [ISIS] released a video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages in Libya. Egypt’s state news agency MENA quoted the spokesman for the Coptic Church as confirming that 21 Egyptian Christians believed to be held by Islamic State were dead. In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach that the group said was near Tripoli. They were forced down onto their knees, then beheaded.

At present, there is only one internationally recognized country where cruel beheading is official government policy: Saudi Arabia.

It is also the official policy of ISIS, not internationally recognized as a government, inspired in many respects by the Saudi government.

It is the policy of the extreme right pro-Kiev government Aidar paramilitary gang in Ukraine.

It used to be government policy in Hitler’s Germany.

Marine Le Pen, neo-fascist candidate for the French presidency, would like this cruelty to become official policy in France once again.

Few people know that these atrocities used to be Dutch government policy during its 1945-1949 war against Indonesian independence.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Son of officer decapitated in Sulawesi demands apology from the Netherlands

Today, 09:25

The son of an Indonesian captain who was beheaded by Dutch troops in 1947 claims in a lawsuit an apology from the Dutch government. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld is acting as counsel for the plaintiff in a trial that will start next week, reports NRC Handelsblad daily.

Zegveld was counsel before at a number of court cases on behalf of victims of outrages by the Dutch army in the years since Indonesia had declared its independence from the Netherlands.

The case is about the beheading of Andi Abubakar Lambogo, captain of the Indonesian National Army in Celebes, Sulawesi today. He got with his men into an ambush by Dutch troops who tried to put down the revolt of the Indonesians. Abubakar was injured and was beheaded in captivity. …

Bayonet

Dutch soldiers impaled the head on a bayonet and forced villagers to kiss it, thus discouraging other insurgents. Zegveld speaks in the NRC of a “very shameful action.”

Historians have noted that Dutch governments in the past were aware of summary executions in Indonesia, but have done nothing.

The son of Abubakar wants the Dutch government to offer apologies to the Indonesian people for all military operations during the colonial era which were contrary to the Geneva Convention. It contains the international agreements on the protection of civilians in wartime.