Saudi warplane attack on Yemeni hospital, again


This video says about itself:

15 August 2016

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike has hit a hospital in northern Yemen, killing at least 11 and wounding 19, according to Médecins Sans Frontières.

A witness told a reporter that the injured could not be evacuated immediately as war planes continued to fly overhead and they feared more bombings.

The Abs facility in the Hajja province is run by aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, they said they had repeatedly given GPS coordinates to all parties in the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition.

By Peter Symonds:

Saudi coalition airstrike on hospital in Yemen kills at least 11

16 August 2016

The Saudi-led coalition added to its war crimes in Yemen by carrying out an airstrike yesterday afternoon against a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), killing at least 11 people and wounding at least 19 others. As MSF had provided the GPS coordinates of the medical facility to all sides in the conflict, the targeting was deliberate.

With US backing and assistance, Saudi Arabia and its Middle Eastern allies have waged an illegal air war inside Yemen since March 2015, following the seizure of Sana’a, the capital, by Houthi Shiite rebels. The Saudi regime accused its regional arch-rival Iran of backing the Houthis and is seeking to reinstate the government-in-exile of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Yesterday’s airstrike on the Abs hospital in the northern Hajjah province is part of a deliberate campaign to terrorise the Houthi population in the north of Yemen. The Saudi-led war has killed more than 6,500 civilians and destroyed much of the country’s social infrastructure, including some 250 medical centres, 800 schools and hundreds of electricity plants and fuel store houses.

Hospital director Ibrahim Aram told the New York Times by phone that three Yemini MSF staff members—a guard, a logistician and an electrician—were killed in the attack. Another guard, an X-ray technician and a nurse had limbs amputated as a result of their injuries. Three foreign doctors suffered relatively minor injuries.

Ayman Ahmed Mathkoor, health director for Hajjah province, reported that the airstrike destroyed the hospital’s emergency department. He put the death toll at 15 killed and 20 wounded. Health ministry official Ibrahim Jafari, who visited the site yesterday, told the New York Times that the emergency area had been full of patients at the time and that many of the victims were badly burned. He said there were no military forces near the hospital.

Teresa Sancristoval, MSF emergency program manager for Yemen, said it was the fourth attack on an MSF-supported medical facility in Yemen during the past year. Other airstrikes hit Shiara Hospital in Razeh in northern Saada province on January 10, killing six people; Taiz Hospital in the city of Taiz on December 2; and Haydan Hospital in Saada province on October 26.

“Once again, today we witness the tragic consequences of the bombing of a hospital. Once again, a fully functional hospital full of patients and MSF national and international staff members was bombed in a war that has shown no respect for medical facilities or patients,” Sancristoval said in a news release.

Other aid agencies condemned the attack. “This was a horrific attack, killing sick and injured people and the medical staff desperately trying to help them. The world cannot turn a blind eye as the most vulnerable suffer in his conflict,” Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Oxfam country director in Yemen, said.

The Saudi-led coalition told Associated Press its Joint Incidents Assessment Team was “aware of reports of an airstrike on a hospital in Yemen’s northern Hajjah province” and had opened an investigation. The outcome will undoubtedly be another whitewash. A Saudi report, issued this month, claimed that the MSF hospital hit in October had been used by Houthi rebels for military purposes.

On Saturday, an airstrike on a school in Saada killed at least 10 children and wounded another 28, according to local officials and aid workers. MSF staff treated the victims, who were aged between 6 and 15. The Saudi military said the attack hit a militia training camp, but provided no evidence to support its allegation.

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau issued a low-key expression of concern over yesterday’s airstrike. “Strikes on humanitarian facilities, including hospitals, are particularly concerning,” she said. “We call on all parties to cease hostilities immediately. Continued military actions only prolong the suffering of the Yemeni people.”

These remarks are utterly hypocritical. The US has backed the Saudi war to the hilt, deploying US military advisers and intelligence officers to coordinate with their Saudi counterparts and assisting airstrikes by providing targeting data and aerial refuelling. In May, the Pentagon announced the deployment of small Special Forces teams inside Yemen to support Saudi operations. The US has waged its own protracted and illegal drone war inside Yemen, nominally against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Last week, the US State Department approved the sale of 150 Abrams battle tanks to Saudi Arabia—part of a package of American weaponry worth $1.15 billion. The package includes a range of additional military hardware, including Gatling guns, as well as extensive training for the Saudi military. US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, one of its key Middle Eastern allies, are worth an estimated $20 billion annually.

The State Department’s muted comments about yesterday’s attack on a hospital are in marked contrast to the propaganda campaign by the US and international media over alleged atrocities by Russian and Syrian war planes against US-backed Islamist militias inside Syria.

The US military is responsible for the criminal attack on an MSF hospital at Kunduz in northern Afghanistan last October that killed 42 civilians. An AC-130 gunship unleashed its devastating firepower on the medical facility for more than an hour. Some victims were burned alive in their beds while others were mown down as they tried to flee. The Pentagon’s final report, released in April, was a brazen cover-up which denied that a war crime was committed. None of the personnel involved faced criminal charges or a court martial.

Yesterday’s airstrike on a Yemeni hospital is further evidence of an intensification of the Saudi-led war inside Yemen following the breakdown of UN-sponsored talks between the Houthi government and the government-in-exile led by President Hadi. Backed by Washington and armed to the teeth with US weapons, the Saudi regime is determined to subordinate the country to its interests.

Saudi royal air force destroys MSF hospital, again


This video says about itself:

Yemen: Saudi-led air strike hits MSF hospital in Hajjah, 7 reported killed *GRAPHIC*

15 August 2016

At least seven people are reported dead after a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-supported hospital in Abs, Hajjah Province, at around 15:45 local time on Monday. MSF confirmed the attack via their Twitter account.

From Reuters news agency:

Saudi Airstrikes Hit MSF Hospital In Yemen, Killing At Least Seven

The destruction of medical facilities has become a tactic of war.

08/15/2016 11:09 am ET | Updated 2 hours ago

A Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a hospital in Yemen’s northern Hajja province on Monday, residents and local officials said, killing at least seven people and wounding 13.

A Reuters witness at the scene of the attack in the Abs district said medics could not immediately evacuate the wounded because war planes continued to fly over the area and first responders feared more bombings.

The facility is run by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, which confirmed on its official Twitter account that an air strike had occurred there but said the number of deaths and injuries remained unclear.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported attack.

Another air attack hit what MSF described as a school in neighboring Saada province on Saturday, killing 10 children …

Dozens of air strikes have hit civilians in Yemen since a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia began military operations in March 2015 to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

UN Secretary-General Condemns Saudi Airstrike On Yemen School That Killed 10 Children. More than two dozen children were also wounded in the attack: here.

In France, death of Adama Traoré, and of civil liberties?


This video says about itself:

France: #BlackLivesMatter activists demand justice for Adama Traoré in Paris

23 July 2016

Hundreds of ‘#BlackLivesMatter‘ activists marched through Paris, Saturday, to protest against police brutality and institutional racism in France. In particular, the protest was dedicated to the death of Adama Traoré who died in police custody earlier in the week.

The protesters, including Traoré’s relatives, gathered at Place Joachim-du-Bellay in central Paris and marched around the square while carrying ‘#BlackLivesMatter‘ banners and chanting “Justice for Adama” and “Black Lives Matter.” A strong police presence was deployed to prevent the crowd from marching on through downtown Paris.

The protest came after 24-year-old Adama Traoré died in police custody near Paris last Tuesday following his arrest for extortion charges. Local authorities claim that Traoré fell prey to a ‘serious infection,’ adding that the autopsy did not reveal any traces of violence. Traoré’s friends and family reject the claims however, accusing police of his death.

SOT, Franco, protester (French): “We are here to demand justice for Adama Traoré because we are not talking of conspiracy, we say that we must study the mechanics of police logic to understand that their logic is deeply rooted in slavery and colonialism and we can’t understand the inequitable logic of this policy if we don’t study its colonial roots that was created to hunt black people.”

SOT, protester (French): “In a country like France, the country of human rights, freedom, equality, fraternity, we are not equal at all. We do not understand why we should raise our children in fear. And so we condemn all police officers who have committed crimes without punishment.”

By Kumaran Ira in France:

Adama Traoré’s autopsy undermines French police’s account of his death

2 August 2016

On Saturday, nearly 600 people gathered before Gare du Nord in Paris demanding the “truth” about the circumstances of the death of 24-year-old Adama Traoré in police custody on July 19. The rally, planned by the Traoré family, was halted by police.

Traoré’s death triggered riots in his hometown, Beaumont-sur-Oise, and in several other Paris suburbs, where security forces were deployed under the French state of emergency to crack down on the protests.

CRS riot police blocked the procession, citing an order by the Paris police prefecture to prevent it from taking place. The prefecture’s communiqué claimed the protest ban was necessary for “reasons linked to the protection of the institutions,” “to the preservation of public order,” and to ensure “the security of the protesters themselves.” It claimed that authorisation to protest had been denied because the application had been filed too late, after the deadline of three days before the event.

This reactionary ban is yet an attack on the right to assemble and to protest, amid the all but permanent state of emergency imposed by the Socialist Party (PS) government of President François Hollande. When youth and workers protested again the PS’s regressive labour law this spring, the PS sent riot police to crack down on protests, and ultimately took the unprecedented step of threatening to ban protests outright.

Claims that the Traoré family and its supporters are a threat to public order are brazen lies. Insofar as these claims have any foundation in fact, it is that the police and the French state fear that allowing any expression [of] social opposition to police brutality will lead to an uncontrolled explosion of social anger. Many French suburbs suffer from deep social crises, and in particular from soaring youth unemployment, and in recent years they have witnessed mass urban riots pitting police against the population, notably in 2005 and 2007.

By banning the rally, the authorities are seeking to whitewash the lies told by the authorities in the aftermath of Traoré’s death. New autopsy reports have revealed that Traoré died of asphyxia, refuting various, mutually contradictory police accounts of Traoré’s death that attributed it either to cardiac arrest or to infections of his internal organs.

The first autopsy report highlighted “an infectious phenomenon on several organs,” including the lungs and liver, and “no kind of violence to cause death,” which remains unexplained. Traoré’s family then requested another autopsy by an outside expert.

The new autopsy report by the outside expert, the Medical-Legal Institute of Paris, found no evidence of heart disease or internal infections. The asphyxia that caused his death was likely the result of overwhelming force employed by the police during his arrest.

“We used only the force that was strictly necessary to control him,” police claimed. However, they added, “He had to bear the weight of all three of us at the moment that he was arrested.”

The Traoré family’s lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, said, “We have the cause of his death, asphyxia. Given the statements of the police, I would propose the hypothesis that the cause of death was compression of the thorax. The police got three people together to crush him, that could be a weight of approximately 240 kilograms.”

Another lawyer retained by the family, Frédéric Zajac, wondered how it was possible that the outside expert report “has found no infection” while the first autopsy had revealed “a serious infection of the lungs, liver and trachea.”

“The problem, is that this young man of 24 years of age died of an asphyxia syndrome whose mechanisms the experts cannot determined,” Zajac said, who asked that “the truth be uncovered.”

In a statement, a relative of Traoré declared, “First they said it was a heart attack, then an infection, now it is asphyxia. … What are they hiding from us? What really happened? From the beginning, youth in the neighborhood said the arrest took place in a violent fashion.”

“My brother died over a week ago, and we still do not know what caused his death. It is very difficult to mourn him under these conditions,” wrote Lassana Traoré in the statement.

Traore’s family is demanding a third autopsy report, which has been rejected by the judge handling the case. Two parallel investigations are conducted by the Research Section and the General Inspectorate of the Gendarmerie (paramilitary police).

Maryland, USA: Korryn Gaines: Mother holding five-year-old son shot dead by police during traffic violations arrest stand-off: here.