British government imprisons raped refugee women, causing self-harm


This video from England says about itself:

Yarl’s Wood: Undercover in the secretive immigration detention centre | Channel 4 News

2 March 2015

The treatment of detainees inside the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre is revealed in exclusive footage obtained by a Channel 4 News investigation.

Warning: this film contains offensive language from the start.

[Quote from Serco mercenary guard at Yarl’s Wood prison]: ‘They’re all animals. Caged animals. Right? Take a stick in with you and beat them up.’

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Yarl’s Wood medics out weekly to treat self-harm

Saturday 4th July 2015

Attended cases feared to be ‘tip of the iceberg’ for imprisoned immigrant victims of torture and rape

SELF-HARM has become so prevalent at the infamous Yarl’s Wood immigrant removal facility that medics have to be called in at least once a week, the Home Office revealed yesterday.

Newly published figures show that in 2014 there were 61 incidents of self-harm which required medical treatment, while in 2013 there were 74.

However, the figures only cover those incidents in which medical attention was given, leading to concerns that they may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The revelation prompted warnings that immigration detention can cause mental illness and could lead to instances of self-harm among vulnerable inmates, many of whom have suffered torture or rape.

“What you have heard is true,” Ugandan detainee Juliette Akao told the Star by phone from Yarl’s Wood.

“The women here are very depressed and have many problems. Things like this happen every day. There is no proper healthcare or concern about what’s happening. The ladies have to help each other. The situation is very bad.”

Ms Akao, herself a victim of torture, rape and sexual abuse, said that a culture of disbelief that permeates the immigration system was a major problem.

“No-one believes you,” she said. “If you have gone through torture in your own life you think you are coming to a country that respects human rights. But this is an inhuman culture and people need to know what is happening.

“It is very sad that a country like this, which says it respects human rights and criticises others for abusing them, is doing exactly the same thing here.”

The removal centre, near Bedford, is run by profiteer Serco and houses nearly 400 people awaiting deportation, most of whom are women.

In March, Serco suspended two members of staff after a Channel 4 News investigation raised questions about standards of care at the centre, with one officer recorded saying: “Let them slash their wrists” and several others referring to detainees as “animals.”

Medical Justice sends volunteer doctors to see detainees and claims to have seen hundreds of cases of seriously inadequate healthcare.

“In many cases immigration detention exacerbates existing medical conditions and in some cases has been the cause of mental illness,” said co-ordinator Emma Ginn.

“There have been a number of fatalities including self-inflicted deaths and we fear that, with no improvement in conditions, there could be more.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that women who had been sexually abused, tortured or were pregnant should not be detained and called for an “urgent review” of Yarl’s Wood.

“The government is overseeing the worst of all worlds in the asylum system — more people detained, and for longer, with fewer deportations,” she said.

“Too many women are left in a hellish limbo in detention centres.”

Police violence killed Mitch Henriquez, Dutch government admits


This 29 June 2015 video from The Hague, the Netherlands shows torches, sirens and motor bikes at a demonstration protesting against the death of Aruban Mitch Henriquez.

When Mitch Henriquez died after The Hague police arrested him, the Dutch public prosecution service said that was because Mr Henriquez had become ill during transport in a police car to a police station.

However, a video, recorded on that fatal day 27 June 2015, shows that Mr Henriquez was already not moving any more before being dragged into the police car.

Today, the Dutch government’s public prosecution service have implicitly admitted that they had lied about Mitch Henriquez’s death.

Translated from NOS TV:

Aruban detainee was killed by police violence

Today, 12:28

It is likely that the Aruban prisoner Mitch Henriquez died from lack of oxygen, which was probably caused by the police action last Sunday in the The Hague Zuiderpark.

“For that lack of oxygen no other explanations have been found,” said Kitty Nooy, chief officer of the public prosecution service during a press conference in The Hague. “Also, no natural causes for death have been found.” Additionally, Henriquez had not used drugs or too much alcohol.

Nooy gave an explanation of the preliminary results of the National Police investigation into the death of the prisoner. Nooy spoke of “severe findings”.

Suspended

The five officers who were involved in the arrest have been suspended, said the head of the police in The Hague, Paul van Musscher. They are officially suspected of involvement in the death of Henriquez.

This news has a strong impact on the police, says Van Musscher.

Dutch police chokehold death in The Hague


This video from New York City in the USA is called RIP Eric Garner VIDEO 2 – Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold.

The last words of New York City African American Eric Garner, while in an (illegal) police chokehold, were ‘I can’t breathe‘. Then, he died.

Unfortunately, it looks like The Hague city in the Netherlands now has its own Eric Garner-like lethal police violence case.

Mitch Henriquez, 42 years old, from Aruba island in the Caribbean, visited a music festival in The Hague as a tourist. As he left, four policemen grabbed him, and practiced a chokehold on him, until he did not move any more. A day later, on 28 June 2015, Mitch Henriquez was dead.

Mitch Henriquez and his son

Mitch Henriquez, before being arrested; and just before his death

At first, the public prosecutor claimed that Mr Henriquez had become ill while on his way in a police car to a police station.

This video, recorded on 27 June 2015, shows that Mr Henriquez was already not moving any more before being dragged into the police car.

This video is the sequel.

The blog of the The Hague anti-fascists writes about this:

Arubian man beaten to death by The Hague police

Yesterday (Saturday June 27, 2015), Hague police officers beat 42 year old Arubian Mitch Henriquez to death after the “Night in the Park” Festival in Zuiderpark in The Hague, the Netherlands. In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Officer (OM) stated that Henriquez began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. However, it is apparent from video footage that he was already unconscious or in a coma before he was thrown into the police bus without receiving any medical attention.

Witnesses said that Henriquez was making jokes with friends after the festival, when a group of officers tackled him. Henriquez fell into a coma, and died today at the hospital. According to bystanders and his family, police officers used a lot of force to arrest him. According to the “official” statement from the OM, Henriquez supposedly yelled that he had a weapon and then resisted arrest, leading to the use of force. Henriquez only began to feel unwell on the way to the police station. Eyewitnesses and a newly released video tell a completely different story. Henriquez was joking around with his friends, and was warned by the police and walked further. Lila also says that he was possibly being a bit loud and boisterous, but not toward the police.

The doctors from intensive care said that Henriquez clearly did not die from natural causes. His sister Lila said in an interview: “his head was completely swollen, he was mainly beaten on his head. How could someone be handcuffed, thrown in the car and then arrive black and blue and unable to breathe?” Henriquez’s sister wonders.

The The Hague police department has for years been at the center of many scandals because of (racist) police brutality. On November 24, 2012, 17 year old Rishi Chandrikasing was shot dead at Holland Spoor [railway] station as he ran away from the police. Racist police brutality is also a daily reality in the Schilderswijk and Transvaal neighborhoods in The Hague. In these neighborhoods, seemingly everybody knows somebody who has been a victim of police brutality, or even have even been victims themselves. Victims stated earlier to the local media: “I am often asked to show ID, for no reason. If I ask why, I get taken away and getting beaten up and abused in the police car. It continues at the station. They threw me into the cell and beat me while I was still handcuffed. Afterwards, they sprayed me with the fire hose and left me for the whole night soaking wet in the cell.” Even ex-officers speak of a culture of violence and racism in the police unit. These are only a few examples of the racist and violent culture of the police in The Hague, which has always been denied and covered up by police top brass and Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen.

Man dies in hospital following brutal arrest by Dutch police: here.

Mitch Henriquez was a member of the Aruban opposition political party MEP. Arubans, both in Aruba and in the Netherlands, are deeply shocked.

This 29 June video from The Hague shows a big demonstration, including bikers, protesting against the death of Mitch Henriquez.

Dutch Socialist Party members of parliament Nine Kooiman and Michiel van Nispen suspect that the public prosecutor lied; and they have asked the government questions about this today.

This punk rock music video from England says about itself:

Angelic Upstarts – The Murder of Liddle Towers

Classic debut single from the Upstarts, championing the cause of the Birtley boxer who died after a night in a police cell.

25,000 diving tarantula spiders discovered in Australia


This video is called National Geographic Super Spider – Fascinating Spider Documentary.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Discovery of 25,000 diving tarantulas could prove lucrative for tiny Australian community

The huge cluster of newly-discovered spiders could prove attractive to scientific researchers from across the world

Doug Bolton

Thursday 25 June 2015

A tiny settlement in the sparsely-populated Northern Territory of Australia has been the subject of scientific attention, after it was discovered that a nearby flood plain is home to an infestation of 25,000 tarantulas from a newly-discovered species.

However, rather than this unsettling news making sure that no-one will ever visit the town again, a leading Australian arachnologist believes that this could be good news for the remote community of Maningrada, which is over 300 miles from Darwin, the nearest city.

Dr Robert Raven, a senior curator at the Queensland Museum, believes that the venom of the spiders, which is strong enough to induce vomiting in humans, could be used for medical research purposes.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said that “pharmaceutical applications could apply across a broad spectrum.”

The spider, which is commonly called the diving tarantula due to its worrying ability to survive underwater by creating air bubbles, was only discovered in 2006, and the full potential of it as a medical resource has not yet been realised.

The uniquely high concentration of spiders in Maningrada means that it would make the business of finding the spiders and extracting their venom much easier.

Dr Raven said that the normal colony size is only around two or three hundred spiders – around 100 times smaller than the size of the newly-discovered cluster.

The sheer size of the Maningrada group could be very attractive to biologists and medical researchers trying to find out more about the under-researched creatures.

Read more: Giant tarantula discovered in Sri Lanka

Asbestos tarantula on the loose in Cardiff

Brazilian puts tarantulas in his mouth to save rainforest

Dr Raven hopes that the attractiveness of the region to researchers could work in favour of the small community, which is mostly made up of Aboriginal people.

He told ABC News that the intellectual property surrounding the spider belongs to the community.

He said: “This is a resource for the community in a number of ways… and this could flow back into the community eventually to help them manage the parks better.”

He added that he hopes young and strong scientists, capable of handling the harsh conditions, isolation and difficult spiders found in Maningrada, will take up the challenge of finding out more about the mysterious diving tarantula.

Glowing corals discovery in Red Sea


This video says about itself:

Glowing corals discovered in the Red Sea
24 June 2015

Corals that switch from green to deep red when exposed to ultraviolet light could provide a new toolkit for biomedical imaging.

From New Scientist about this:

24 June 2015

Glowing world of rainbow corals found in the Red Sea

There’s a fluorescent disco world in the Red Sea. An assortment of glowing corals has been discovered more than 50 metres down, outshining the monotone green varieties seen in shallower waters.

Jörg Wiedenmann of the University of Southampton in the UK and his team were surprised to see specimens with a red or yellow glow at depths of over 50 metres. “This could only be due to the presence of fluorescent pigments,” says Gal Eyal of the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Israel, a member of the team.

The lobed brain coral … changes colour from green to deep red when illuminated with ultraviolet light. Optical properties like this could be useful for biomedical imaging, for example to help highlight cell structures under a microscope, track cancer cells or screen new drugs.

Wiedenmann and his team want to find out why the corals produce the pigments. In shallow water, colours act as a sunscreen. But deeper down, where sunlight doesn’t penetrate, that can’t be the case. Yet the pigments must have a role since it takes a lot of energy to produce them.

The pigments might help the corals harvest energy from what little light is around, then feed it to symbiotic algae that provide them with energy-rich sugars. “The underlying mechanism is not understood,” says Wiedenmann. “Hopefully our future work can reveal their function.”

Corals also seem to be capable of other tricks. Although reefs are threatened by climate change, they are also able to put up a fight, sometimes evolving rapidly to adapt to their changing environment.

Journal reference: PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128697