‘Stop deporting Afghan refugees to death’


This video from Germany says about itself:

31 May 2017

Clashes between police and students broke out at vocational school at Berliner Platz in Nuremberg, Wednesday after students blocked one of their fellow pupils, a 20-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, from being deported.

The school students surrounded the police car containing the student due for deportation to block his departure. The demonstration turned violent with police using tear gas and batons against the students, some were arrested.

A deportation of Afghan asylum seekers from Germany was planned on the same day, spurring protests around the country, but was cancelled following the detonation of a car bomb in Kabul killing some 80 people and injuring hundreds.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

‘Unclear why the Netherlands thinks Afghans can go back safely

Today, 15:58

“Ever since I’m back in Kabul, I’m homeless. I lived for a while under bridges, in old cars and garages. I traveled throughout Afghanistan to find relatives, but I did not find them. There are days and nights that I do not eat or drink. My life is very hard. Every day there are fights, explosions and killings.”

18-year-old Hamid told this to Amnesty International. Hamid – not his real name – fled to the Netherlands when he was 15, but was expelled when he was 18. Now he is living in the Afghan capital Kabul in need.

It is one of the stories that Amnesty noted of Afghans refouled by European countries. The human rights organization says that Norway, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands have jeopardized thousands of Afghans by sending them back to their country of origin.

In Europe, many tens of thousands of Afghan refugees reside. Their return was often refused by the Afghan government until last year. That is why the European Union and Afghanistan concluded a deal: until 2020, the country will receive 1.3 billion euros annually if Afghanistan will take back asylum seekers and economic migrants.

That while not all EU countries think it is safe in Afghanistan. The Netherlands is one of the few member states thinking that asylum seekers can be returned.

A view that is not entirely consistent with reality, says NOS correspondent Joeri Boom. In 2016 more than 11,000 civilians were injured or killed …

Boom: “Abductions, attacks, firefights, torture. It goes on day after day, even in the Afghan capital Kabul, which is considered safe by the Netherlands. In addition, many people are bombed by the Afghan Air Force, which is badly trained.”

And by the air forces of the USA and other NATO countries which are supposedly better trained.

Boom does not understand how the Netherlands has come to the conclusion that Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan are safe. “At least, no Dutch researchers have come to the country because it’s too dangerous, and the embassy staff do not move freely through Kabul, while that city should be safe according to the Netherlands. That’s a bit strange, I’d think.” …

The European countries mentioned in the Amnesty report, including the Netherlands, are members of NATO. The alliance started a war against the Taliban in 2001 and promised to build a democratic and safe state in Afghanistan.

Because of that promise, many Afghan youths got jobs with Western organizations while they knew they were in danger. But now there is still war in Afghanistan, and we can conclude that the Western project has failed, says Boom.

Thus, the question arises whether European countries are responsible for these Afghan youths who are at risk of being killed or detained by Taliban fighters. That’s an important issue, says Boom. “Actually, it’s a moral question.” ..

They wonder why the European countries are deporting them now. “These Afghans do not understand … “We have not started this war”, they say, “we want to build our lives: accept us.””

In September, the participation of Dutch soldiers in the NATO mission in Afghanistan was extended until 2018. There are about 100 Dutch soldiers in the country. Next year, the Netherlands will also send a surgical team at the request of the NATO alliance.

Amnesty International urges governments to adjust their policies immediately. According to the organization, it is widely reported in the media that it is too dangerous in Afghanistan. The returning of expelled asylum seekers to an unsafe country is an infringement of international law, Amnesty states.

The Dutch immigration authority IND was not accessible for comment.

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United States troops kill, injure Afghan civilians


This video says about itself:

Afghanistan: Civilian killed after US airstrike on Kabul airport attackers

27 September 2017

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Afghanistan: US fire hits civilians after Taliban tries to down Mattis‘s plane

Friday 29th September 2017

US forces in Afghanistan killed and injured civilians as they lashed out in response to a failed Taliban attack on their country’s defence secretary and the head of Nato.

The Taliban artillery attack was aimed at a plane carrying Pentagon chief General James Mattis to Kabul, along with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, but the pair were not at the airport at the time.

The US military admitted on Wednesday night that one of two missiles fired back at militants had missed its target, killing at least one civilian and wounding an undetermined number of others. …

However in July this year, the UN warned that civilian deaths in Afghanistan had reached a record high since the war began 16 years ago with increased air strikes by US and Afghan forces contributing to the high death toll.

By Keith Jones in the USA today:

Ultimately, US air strikes were called in, leading to civilian casualties, including the wounding of six members of a single family.

The Pentagon has sought to blame the civilian casualties on a malfunctioning missile, but local residents seethed with anger over the US military’s treatment of the Afghan people.

US troops dropped bombs on a residential area”, Mohammed Amin told Al-Jazeera. “How can they say it was mistake? We understand one time, two times, but not forever! They kill us, civilians, and call it a mistake all the time.”

Haji Rabbani, whose family members were injured by the US air strikes, told Agence France-Presse, “They do not target the enemies in front of their eyes—they target our house and kill our people.”

Recent UN reports have pointed to the major role that US air strikes have played in a surge in civilian Afghan war casualties.

British government sends Afghan refugee to death illegally


This video says about itself:

Pilot refuses to return failed UK asylum seeker back to Afghanistan

31 August 2017

Samim Bigzad
– Received death threats from Taliban
– Applied for asylum in UK
– Has UK-based father who needs care
Detained without warning after asylum rejected

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Kent asylum seeker returning to safety

Monday 18th September 2017

Samim Bigzad on his way home to Britain from Afghanistan

AN ASYLUM-SEEKER from Afghanistan who fears for his life was being flown back to Britain yesterday after the Home Office went against legal advice and deported him.

Samim Bigzad has been targeted by the Taliban, who threatened to behead him, because he has worked for a construction company with links to the Afghan government and the US military.

Campaigners from Kent Anti-Racism Network told the Star that before being deported last Tuesday he had been gagged to prevent a disturbance that would result in him being removed from the flight and, when he tried to call out, was punched in the head.

Until yesterday morning he was holed up in hotel rooms in Turkey and then the Afghan capital Kabul, where at one point a group of men with guns had demanded to know his whereabouts.

Legal experts and campaigners said Home Secretary Amber Rudd had defied the law by continuing with the extradition after ignoring two High Court orders preventing Mr Bigzad’s removal, with one judge branding it “prima facie contempt of court.”

Kent Anti-Racism Network’s Bridget Chapman said Ms Rudd had “applied to the court to have the previous two court orders overturned.”

Solicitor Jamie Bell told the Star that further attempts by the Home Office to prevent Mr Bigzad’s return were refused and he had started contempt of court proceedings against the Home Secretary.

As the Star went to press, following a third court order and a four-hour hearing, Mr Bigzad was in Istanbul waiting for a flight back to Britain.

The Home Office dragged its feet in responding to lawyers’ requests, Mr Bell said, but he now “eagerly and hopefully” awaited Mr Bigzad’s return and will continue representing him in his legal battle.

Ms Rudd appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, on which she said: “Deportation is an important part of managing our immigration process.”

Mr Marr attempted to draw her into commenting on being “in contempt of court,” and whether she would have to apologise.

She said she would abide by what courts asked her to do but refused to comment further, saying that the case was “ongoing.”

The Home Office also refused to comment on what it described as “ongoing legal proceedings.”

Foreign interference can ruin a nation, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai tells The Oslo Times.

Afghan refugee saved from deportation to death


This Associated Press video says about itself:

Protest as Germany deports Afghan refugees

(14 Dec 2016) Germany deported around 50 Afghans to their homeland on Wednesday after after their asylum bids were rejected.

They left on Wednesday evening from Frankfurt airport as dozens of people gathered to rally against the deportation.

Only 18 Afghan citizens were deported in the first half of 2016, according to government figures.

More than 12,500 Afghans have received orders to leave the country, but not yet been deported.

Instead, it has tried to convince them to go home on a voluntary basis by offering financial incentives upon their return.

Recently, however the government has said it would toughen its stance on rejected asylum-seekers and that more people would be deported.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Last-minute reprieve for young Afghan

Monday 28th August 2017

Pilot refuses to fly man who has been threatened by Taliban

A YOUNG man who could have faced death if returned to Afghanistan is still in Britain after the pilot on his deportation flight reportedly refused to take him.

Samim Bigzad, 22, was detained after he attended his monthly appointment at a London immigration office in July. His initial asylum claim was rejected in March 2016 and subsequent appeals were also refused.

He was due to be taken on a Turkish Airlines commercial flight via Istanbul on Saturday, however campaigners said he is still in the country because he did not board the plane.

A protest group at Heathrow pleaded with the airline not to “collude with the British government and facilitate the deportation of a young man who faces execution if he returns to Afghanistan.”

They spoke with passengers and airline officials, who said they would pass on concerns to the captain and crew.

Protest organiser Bridget Chapman said: “Looks like the pilot refused to take him.”

Mr Bigzad has been the main carer for his father – a British citizen who suffers from PTSD following his torture and jailing by the Taliban almost 20 years ago – and had visited him every day at his B&B room, brought him food and accompanied him to the mosque.

Ms Rafferty had launched a petition appealing to Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis to allow him to stay in Britain so that he could gather fresh evidence for the review of his asylum application.

Mr Bigzad arrived in Britain in November 2015 having spent some time living in the Calais refugee camp in northern France.

He risked his life escaping Afghanistan after the Taliban threatened to behead him because the construction company he worked for had contracts with the Afghan government and US firms.

He was placed to live with Kavel Rafferty in Margate through the Kent Refugee Action Network and Refugees at Home.

Ms Rafferty said: “The pilot wouldn’t fly him. We can do things, we can change things. I know it’s not over, but this is a small victory for us, for kindness and something other.”

Home Office statistics show just 35 per cent of asylum applications from Afghanistan were accepted in 2016 despite humanitarian organisations urging the government to stop deportations.

The High Court ruled in March last year that deportations to Afghanistan could resume following a blanket ban imposed in August 2015.

A Home Office spokeswoman said that they would not comment on individual cases.

European governments have deported almost 10,000 Afghans to risk of death and torture, Amnesty finds. Bloc ‘wilfully blind’ to evidence of atrocities in the country, says charity: here.

Janine Jackson interviewed Phyllis Bennis about Trump’s Afghan War escalation for the August 25, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Trump’s dangerous militarism on Korea, Afghanistan


This video from the USA says about itself:

Forget Russia. Is Provoking a Nuclear War with North Korea Grounds for Impeachment?

9 August 2017

Tension between the U.S. and North Korea escalated sharply Tuesday after President Trump suggested he was prepared to start a nuclear war, threatening to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea. Hours later, North Korea threatened to strike the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific. Guam is home to 163,000 people as well as major U.S. military bases. For more, we speak with longtime investigative journalist Allan Nairn.

A transcript of this video is here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Why Is U.S. Threatening War with North Korea Instead of Pushing for Negotiations?

10 August 2017

The war of words between the U.S. and North Korea continues to intensify, with North Korea threatening to strike the U.S. territory of Guam, while Defense Secretary General Mattis warned North Korea’s actions could result in the “destruction of its people.” This came after Trump vowed to strike at North Korea with “fire and fury.” … We speak with journalist Tim Shorrock, who recently returned from South Korea.

See also here.

We Need a Mass Movement to Prevent Nuclear Conflict in the Korean Peninsula: here.

TRUMP DOUBLES DOWN ON NORTH KOREA THREATS President Donald Trump argued Thursday that his “fire and fury” comments may have not been tough enough. Over 60 members of Congress have condemned the president’s statements in a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the midst of high tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the US is provocatively proceeding with joint military exercises with South Korea, involving tens of thousands of troops and aimed at training and preparing for war with North Korea: here.

US President Donald Trump has again placed North East Asia and the world on a knife edge by threatening North Korea with war. In a tweet yesterday, following North Korea’s launch of a missile that passed over Japan on Tuesday, he lashed out at Pyongyang and those advocating a diplomatic solution by flatly declaring: “Talking is not the answer!”. Here.

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Urges Trump to Privatize Afghan War and Install Viceroy to Run Nation: here.

The spectre of ‘pre-emptive’ war. The US could be heading for another ‘pre-emptive’ war and another overwhelming disaster: here.

Reese Erlich, August 22, 2017: On my first reporting trip to Afghanistan, I was surprised to find that so many people supported the US invasion. They loved President George Bush because he got rid of the hated Taliban regime. But when I asked what should the US do now, most answered “go home.” That was in January 2002, just three months after the US invasion. Almost 16 years later, the US remains in Afghanistan and President Donald Trump just announced plans to send yet more troops to a losing occupation. The war has resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, killed more than 2,400 US soldiers, and will cost an estimated $2 trillion, including veterans’ benefits: here.

Trump, like Obama, is ensnared by Afghanistan: here.

Don’t Privatize the Afghan War — Just End It: here.

The US Military’s Bloody “Successes”: Training Foreign Militaries to Start Coups: here.

The US government’s bellicose response to the North Korean regime’s nuclear test on Sunday has placed the world only a few steps away from a global war that would rapidly engulf Europe. As European governments denounce the North Korean regime in Pyongyang, Washington is pressing for aggressive actions leading to regime change in North Korea and a military standoff with North Korea’s neighbors, Russia and China, that could lead to nuclear war in Europe: here.

Will US threats against North Korea yield a global catastrophe? Here.

Donald Trump continuing bloody wars


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Sending More Troops To Afghanistan

14 May 2017

Before the election, Trump called the Afghanistan war a mess. Now he’s sending more troops to make a bigger mess. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“The Trump administration is looking to change America’s strategy in Afghanistan from waging peace to waging war.

In an effort to turn around the faltering Afghan war, Trump’s top foreign policy and defense advisers, led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, are recommending that the president send around 3,000 to 5,000 US troops into the country, reports the Washington Post.

They would primarily serve as trainers to Afghan forces who are currently fighting the Taliban …

But the country’s top intelligence official isn’t sure it’s such a good idea. “The intelligence community assesses that the political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in (the) military assistance by the United States and its partners,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee today.”

Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Western wars fuel the cycle of bloodshed

Saturday 5th July 2017

“I WANT to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years,” US President Donald Trump reportedly raged following news of more murder and mayhem in Afghanistan. “We aren’t winning. We are losing.”

The trigger-happy president in the White House imagines that his armies are in difficulty because he can’t get the staff: US officials say he has pressed for the top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, to be fired.

Nicholson is the 17th Nato commander in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion took place in 2001, so singling him out might seem unfair.

Admittedly his job is harder than his predecessors’ because the war he’s tasked with was declared over by Barack Obama at the end of 2014, which makes the continuing deaths of soldiers and civilians in the central Asian country more embarrassing for Washington.

The killing of a Georgian soldier and two Afghan civilians on Thursday, following that of two US troops on Wednesday, show the Taliban remains a lethal adversary.

But the Islamist group — which itself grew out of the mojahedin insurgents armed and funded by the US and its allies in their successful bid to destroy the socialist and secular Afghanistan of the 1970s and 1980s — is no longer the country’s last word in Wahhabi extremism, since Islamic State (Isis), a child of the US and British invasion of Iraq, is now also busy murdering police officers and Red Crescent workers.

(This provided the rationale for Trump to drop the “mother of all bombs” on Nangarhar province in April, killing around 100 supposed Isis fighters

including prisoners of ISIS

and shattering windows and damaging homes within a two-mile radius).

Those who naively hoped Trump would cut a less warlike figure on the world stage than his rival Hillary Clinton, whose hysterical pre-election threats against Russia and Iran raised terrifying prospects of a new world war, have been disappointed: the US continues to play with fire in Ukraine, Korea and Syria while the conflict in Afghanistan, the first battlefield of the endless “war on terror,” is still claiming lives.

But Trump’s assumption that a “win” could have been racked up in Afghanistan given a different commander or alternative tactics is common in this country too, and enables politicians to beat the drum for further conflicts even when the disastrous consequences of the previous war have become clear.

We were told that Libya was different from Iraq and that Syria was different from Libya.

But the experience in all three countries and over 16 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan demonstrates that Western intervention has been a godsend for extremist groups and has created a more violent and unstable planet.

The left has made serious advances in Britain over the past two years. Labour’s huge gains in the June election on an anti-austerity manifesto have silenced — for now — those elements of the party’s right who promote privatisation under the guise of “reforming” public services.

But the attachment to a US-led global order where the richest nations reserve the right to impose their will by force is as strong as ever — hence the current crop of liberal interventionists attacking Jeremy Corbyn for declining to cheer on the US-led bullying of Venezuela.

This weekend as we mark 72 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima we must remember that the peace movement is as vital as ever, and recognise that the fight against militarism and imperialism is an urgent priority for the whole of Britain’s left.

What will cure the U.S. addiction to war? Here.

The mask is off: Trump is seeking war with Iran: here.