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

CIA experiments on human beings, new information


This video about nazi Germany says about itself:

Mengele’s Human Experimentation | Nazi Hunters

7 January 2014

Joseph Mengele performed unthinkable experiments on his human subjects.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics

Read the document: ‘Human experimentation’ and the CIA

Spencer Ackerman

Monday 15 June 2015 12.33 BST

The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.

CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.

But the revelation of the guidelines has prompted critics of CIA torture to question how the agency could have ever implemented what it calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” – despite apparently having rules against “research on human subjects” without their informed consent.

Indeed, despite the lurid name, doctors, human-rights workers and intelligence experts consulted by the Guardian said the agency’s human-experimentation rules were consistent with responsible medical practices. The CIA, however, redacted one of the four subsections on human experimentation.

“The more words you have, the more you can twist them, but it’s not a bad definition,” said Scott Allen, an internist and medical adviser to Physicians for Human Rights.

The agency confirmed to the Guardian that the document was still in effect during the lifespan of the controversial rendition, detention and interrogation program.

After reviewing the document, one watchdog said the timeline suggested the CIA manipulated basic definitions of human experimentation to ensure the torture program proceeded.

“Crime one was torture. The second crime was research without consent in order to say it wasn’t torture,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a former war-crimes investigator with Physicians for Human Rights and now a researcher with Harvard University’s Humanitarian Initiative.

Informed consent, the director and his ‘human subject research’ panel

The document containing the guidelines, dated 1987 but updated over the years and still in effect at the CIA, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU and shared with the Guardian, which is publishing it for the first time.

The relevant section of the CIA document, “Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Agencies”, instructs that the agency “shall not sponsor, contract for, or conduct research on human subjects” outside of instructions on responsible and humane medical practices set for the entire US government by its Department of Health and Human Services.

A keystone of those instructions, the document notes, is the “subject’s informed consent”.

That language echoes the public, if obscure, language of Executive Order 12333 – the seminal, Reagan-era document spelling out the powers and limitations of the intelligence agencies, including rules governing surveillance by the National Security Agency. But the discretion given to the CIA director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research” has not previously been public.

The entire 41-page CIA document exists to instruct the agency on what Executive Order 12333 permits and prohibits, after legislative action in the 1970s curbed intelligence powers in response to perceived abuses – including the CIA’s old practice of experimenting on human beings through programs like the infamous MK-Ultra project, which, among other things, dosed unwitting participants with LSD as an experiment.

The previously unknown section of the guidelines empower the CIA director and an advisory board on “human subject research” to “evaluate all documentation and certifications pertaining to human research sponsored by, contracted for, or conducted by the CIA”.

CIA doctors, waterboarding and blurred lines of policy

Experts assessing the document for the Guardian said the human-experimentation guidelines were critical to understanding the CIA’s baseline view of the limits of its medical research – limits they said the agency and its medical personnel violated during its interrogations, detentions and renditions program after 9/11.

The presence of medical personnel during brutal interrogations of men like Abu Zubaydah, they said, was difficult to reconcile with both the CIA’s internal requirement of “informed consent” on human experimentation subjects and responsible medical practices.

When Zubaydah, the first detainee known to be waterboarded in CIA custody, “became completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth”, he was revived by CIA medical personnel – known as the Office of Medical Services (OMS) – according to a CIA account in the Senate intelligence committee’s landmark torture report.

The OMS doctors were heavily involved in the torture of detainees in CIA custody. They advised interrogators on the physical and psychological administration of what the agency called “enhanced interrogation techniques”. After observation, the doctors offered perspectives on calibrating them to specific detainees’ resilience.

OMS staff assigned to the agency’s black sites wrote emails with subject lines like: “Re: acceptable lower ambient temperatures”.

The CIA, which does not formally concede that it tortured people, insists that the presence of medical personnel ensured its torture techniques were conducted according to medical rigor. Several instances in the Senate torture report, partially declassified six months ago, record unease among OMS staff with their role in interrogations.

Doctors take oaths to guarantee they inflict no harm on their patients.

Zubaydah “seems very resistant to the water board”, an OMS official emailed in August 2002. “No useful information so far … He did vomit a couple of times during the water board with some beans and rice. It’s been 10 hours since he ate so this is surprising and disturbing. We plan to only feed Ensure for a while now. I’m head[ing] back for another water board session.”

Doctors and intelligence experts said they could imagine legitimate, non-abusive CIA uses for human experimentation.

Steven Aftergood, a scholar of the intelligence agencies with the Federation of American Scientists, suggested that the agency might need to study polygraph effects on its agents; evaluate their performance under conditions of stress; or study physiological indicators of deception.

But all said that such examples of human experimentation would require something that the CIA never had during the interrogation program: the informed consent of its subjects.

“There is a disconnect between the requirement of this regulation and the conduct of the interrogation program,” said Aftergood. “They do not represent consistent policy.”

A director’s decision, oversight and an evolving rulebook

Months after Zubaydah’s interrogation, Tenet issued formal guidance approving brutal interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Tenet explicitly ordered medical staff to be present – a decision carrying the effect of having them extensively document and evaluate the torture sessions.

“[A]ppropriate medical or psychological personnel must be on site during all detainee interrogations employing Enhanced Techniques,” Tenet wrote in January 2003. “In each case, the medical and psychological staff shall suspend the interrogation if they determine that significant and prolonged physical or mental injury, pain or suffering is likely to result if the interrogation is not suspended.”

Ironically, the only part of the CIA’s torture program in which agency officials claimed they were hamstrung by prohibitions on human experimentation is when they were asked by John Helgerson, their internal inspector general, if torture was effective.

Their response was framed as an example of the agency respecting its own prohibition on human experimentation. In more recent days, the CIA has used it as a cudgel against the Senate report’s extensive conclusions that the torture was ultimately worthless.

“[S]ystematic study over time of the effectiveness of the techniques would have been encumbered by a number of factors,” reads a CIA response given to Helgerson in June 2003, a point the agency reiterated in its formal response to the Senate intelligence committee. Among them: “Federal policy on the protection of human subjects.”

Harvard’s Raymond, using the agency’s acronym for its “enhanced interrogation technique” euphemism, said the CIA must have known its guidelines on human experimentation ruled out its psychologist-designed brutal interrogations.

“If they were abiding by this policy when EIT came up, they wouldn’t have been allowed to do it,” Raymond said. “Anyone in good faith would have known that was human subject research.”

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) internal regulations empower the agency’s director to override US and international laws restricting experimentation on human beings, a classified CIA document published by the Guardian on Monday, “AR 2-2, Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Activities,” shows: here.

Psychologists met in secret with Bush officials to help justify torture – report. Newly disclosed emails reveal American Psychological Association coordinated with officials in CIA and White House to help ethically justify detainee program: here.