United States-Danish-Australian killing of Syrian soldiers

This video says about itself:

U.S. airstrike on Syrian army position kill 62 soldiers, paving way for Daesh [ISIS] attack

17 September 2016

UPDATE by SANA reporters from the battlefield: Army and Armed Forces units recover control over areas that it had lost control over earlier due to American aircraft attack on positions in the surroundings of Deir Ezzor Airport.

The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that US alliance aircrafts targeted at 5 PM on Saturday a Syrian Arab Army position in al-Tharda Mountain in the surroundings of Deir Ezzor Airport, causing losses in lives and equipment and clearly paved the way for ISIS terrorists to attack the position and take control of it.

In a statement, the General Command said that this act is a serious and blatant aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic and its army, and constitutes conclusive evidence that the United States and its allies support ISIS and other terrorist organizations, stressing that this act reveals the falseness of their claims of fighting terrorism.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Danes and Australians involved in mistaken Syria airstrike

Today, 09:22

The air raid on Syrian government forces that has been designated by the US as a mistake was carried out by at least Danish and Australian warplanes. This say the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull.

Aircraft of the international coalition that is fighting against Islamic State [ISIS] probably mistook the Syrian military for ISIS warriors. In the attack on Saturday dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed.


According to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, two Danish F-16s were involved in the attack. The Danish Defence Minister is willing to coöperate in the investigation into the air strike, the newspaper writes.

The newspaper says also other countries were involved in the attack, but does not say which countries.


Australian Prime Minister Turnbull said during a visit to New York that Australian aircraft took part in the attack. He regretted that Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack and that the Australian attack stopped immediately when the Russians told them what was going on.

The Australian defense minister refused to say to the Australian news channel ABC whether Australian aircraft were involved in the attack. …

It looks like this war ‘defense’ minister is less honest than her prime minister.


According to Russia, the US has with this attack threatened the cease-fire in Syria. The Russian Foreign Minister said that the US attacks “balance on the border of criminal negligence and direct complicity with the ISIS terrorists”.

The Russians call upon the US to do a comprehensive investigation into the attack.

Danish government punishes old lady for helping refugee baby

This video says about itself:

Danish human rights campaigner found guilty of smuggling

11 March 2016

* Couple’s lawyer says no money changed hands
* Family of six were driven from a Danish ferry terminal to a bridge crossing leading to Sweden
* Couple has two weeks to appeal

A court in Denmark has fined a prominent children’s rights campaigner for giving a family of Syrian migrants a ride across the country to Sweden.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad:

She helped stranded refugees and was fined 3,350 euros

Several hundred Danes were given thousands of euros fines because they helped stranded refugees. Lise Ramslog for example, a year ago she helped refugees with a newborn baby to Malmö and was punished for it.

Eppo König

September 5, 2016

On the day Lise Ramslog (70) became a people smuggler, she actually only wanted to go to an ATM. It was Monday, September 7th, 2015, a year ago, when the first wave of refugees reached Denmark.

In her little red Skoda she rode in the afternoon to the bank in Rødbyhavn, a southern port town. “Then I saw a lot of exhausted people sitting and lying along the highway,” says the Danish woman. “Not a pretty sight.”

Around 300 refugees, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, had arrived through Germany by train and ferry in Denmark. Police had halted rail traffic. In the heat then men, women and children walked on the E47 highway to the Swedish city Malmö, almost 200 kilometers away. From some crossovers xenophobes spat on them.

First Ramslog turned her car around. “I did not want to see those people. I thought, I’m going to the woods … But on the way I saw a resident talk to refugees, two couples and a young boy. They pointed to my car and said Sweden, Sweden! They showed me their railway tickets from Hamburg to Malmö. I had better bring them to the station in Maribo, I thought. That was not so far.”

She tells her story in the office of Lisbeth Zornig in Copenhagen. Zornig was children’s ombudswoman in Denmark from 2010 to 2012 and is half of a well-known detective thriller author couple with her husband, former journalist Mikael Lindholm. Like Lise Ramslog she also that September day helped hiking refugees. Both were convicted this year to a fine. This month is the appeal of Zornig and Lindholm. To nearly 160 Danes the same happened last year. This year their number is in the hundreds, appears from media reports. …

The refugee crisis came two months after the appointment of a new Liberal minority government with tacit support of the radical right-wing Danish People’s Party (DF). Strict asylum laws, translated into Arabic published in Lebanese newspapers, refugees had to be put off. Family reunification for asylum seekers is impossible in the first year, they said. The police may confiscate money and [jewelry] property as a contribution to shelter. …

In Denmark you can get up to two years in prison, or a fine, if you deliberately help ‘aliens’ across the border, transport or host them. Danes who do that are legally traffickers. In the Netherlands it is also against the law, but only if it is “for profit” or for money.

“If you offer a stranger a cup of coffee at home in Denmark or allow him or her to sit on the carrier of your bicycle, that’s criminal,” says Mikael Lindholm. Zornig: “They criminalize decency.”

Lise Ramslog does not know how the men and women in her car were called and where they came from. They did not speak each other’s language. Through the rearview mirror they smiled at each other. “They laughed when I laughed. I could see that they were afraid.” She gave them some lemonade and biscuits.

A baby under her dress

“From the back seat I heard strange noises. I looked and saw that one of the women hid something under her clothes: a newborn baby! Then I decided to bring them all the way to Copenhagen. Yes, and there I saw again signs with Sweden on them – to Malmö you just cross a toll bridge. So I just drove on.”

She is used to make mileage. Ramslog is a former professional driver, transporting flowers.

The toll was nearly 130 euros – she had just enough money in her pocket. There was no passport control. “Thank you, thank you, they kept saying when we were over the border. And, money, money. I was not sure whether they wanted money or wanted to give me money. But I said ‘No, thanks’ and gave the boy my glass brooch: a four-leaf clover. I had received it from my sister, because my daughter had died the previous year. They wanted to return the brooch, but I said, he’s still young. I hope he has more luck in life than me.”

On her way back Ramslog came across a police cordon. “I saw large white buses with refugees in them. How nice, I thought. They have arranged buses so that all those people do not have to walk. But they did not go to where they wanted to, they were deported to the ferry to Germany.”

At half past eleven at night she was finally back in her remote home in Nakskov. “My husband was worried and had called friends. I had not brought a phone. I was barefoot all the time. That’s the way I like walking in the woods.”

The next day, her husband said: “You realize you’re a smuggler? So they say on TV about people who help refugees.” Ramslog could not believe it. She put her story on Facebook. They drove back to the bank and met radio and TV journalists. “I told them what had happened. It really popped out. And that was in the news.”

Sometime later a policeman called. “You know why I call?, he said. I said it probably will not be for my speeding ticket. He asked me to make a statement. I do not know what will happen, he said. Maybe you will be prosecuted. ”

She began to worry only when she received a summons and was advised to find a lawyer. “You know what that cost? My husband and I live on 940 euros per month. I just told the judge the story myself. When the decision came, I almost fell off my chair. A fine of 3,350 euros! Since I am retired, they were so “nice” to halve the amount. They did not hang me, but just chopped my hand off.”

I do not regret it

The couple Zornig and Lindholm was fined 6,000 euros together for smuggling. Zornig that September day was also near Rødbyhavn for lecturing. They took to their beach house six refugees. Her husband later in Copenhagen put them on the train to Sweden. She was also filmed by journalists and put a photo of the group on Twitter. “Refugees Pit Stop”, she wrote.

“When people saw that, many more drove to the south with food, drinks and diapers,” says Zornig. “The police can only prosecute people who themselves told to have helped refugees, like us. And people against whom complaints were made by people who were angry about the helping. I am being sued by more than ten people, even by people from Norway and Iceland. We know their names, but we do not know them.”

Acquittal for the same offense

Last month something interesting happened. Two cohabiting women were acquitted for the same offense: a councilor of Aarhus city and a candidate for parliament. They allowed two refugees to stay overnight and bought tickets for them for the ferry to Norway. The court was not certain that they helped “aliens” “intentionally”.

Lindholm: “So it goes then with two politicians. My faith in our legal system has been considerably eroded. … A man who has got a 670 euro fine when he spat on refugees last year. And we get a 6000 euro fine? What example do we give that way?

Things turned out well with the penalty for Ramslog. The Danish jazz musician Benjamin Koppel started a crowd-fund action for Zornig and Lindholm. In a short time he raised nearly 22,000 euros. That also paid Ramslog’s fine. But they still can not tell the story without tears. “I have no regrets and I’m not angry. I just can not understand and do not accept that I’m convicted of something I do not consider to be criminal.” …

If Ramslog goes to the shops, she always passes a refugee center. “There is no bus. If people want to buy something, they have to walk five kilometers. But if I drive along, they know they can get a ride. They are very grateful. I simply will keep doing it. And that is not illegal, because those people have papers.”

This is a jazz music video by Marie Carmen Koppel & Benjamin Koppel – Cause It Reminds Me Of You.

Danish MPs banned from Australian refugee prison camp

This video says about itself:

Violence and sexual abuse revealed in Nauru files

9 August 2016

The Guardian has released 2000 incident reports from Australia’s Nauru detention camp which highlight suicide attempts, assaults and sexual abuse. Guardian reporter Paul Farrell joins Checkpoint.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Danes halt Pacific trip after MP snub

Wednesday 31st August 2016

DENMARK: A delegation of Danish MPs cancelled a visit to Australia’s refugee detention camp on the Pacific island of Nauru yesterday after two leftwingers were denied entry.

Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen of the Red-Green Alliance and Jacob Mark of the Socialist People’s Party had both criticised Canberra’s draconian refugee policy.

The delegation, including anti-immigration Danish People’s Party MPs, cancelled the trip over the snub.

Only 1,868 refugees from war-ravished Syria and Iraq have been brought to Australia since the Liberal-National government promised, nearly a year ago, to settle 12,000 people. With 4.8 million Syrian refugees now living in camps across Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, this is a contemptible response. For all the government’s claims to be fighting in Iraq and Syria for humanitarian motives—to protect the people of the Middle East from the atrocities of ISIS—its reaction to the fate of those displaced by the war underscores its true attitude toward the millions of victims of the predatory US-led war in Iraq and Syria: here.

Danes against government stealing refugees’ jewelry

LGBTQ pro-refugee demonstrators at Danish embassy in London

Where is fictional British pilot and jewel thievery crime fighter Biggles, now that we need him in reality to arrest the Danish governmental jewel thieves?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thefts from refugees are sparking a popular resistance

Saturday 19th March 2016

[Danish daily] Dagbladet Arbejderen editor-in-chief Birthe Sorensen looks at the effect of state racism

IT CAUSED a stir in the world when Denmark in January this year adopted the socalled Jewellery Act.

It is a law that requires Danish police to seize refugees’ belongings if they have a value in excess of 10,000 Danish kroner (approximately £1,050) while having no special sentimental value to the person in question either.

When the law was named Jewellery Act, it was due to the fact that the Danish government originally had planned for the authorities to confiscate asylum-seekers’ jewellery, including wedding rings, if they cost more than 3,000 kroner.

But after some debate, the law was changed. Now jewellery with sentimental value cannot be confiscated. In practical terms the Jewellery Act has hardly any significance. None of the refugees coming to Denmark carry large values with them.

Far worse, however, are all the other measures that the Danish government has carried out. It has now been allowed to detain asylumseekers as well as rejected asylumseekers indefinitely. The waiting period for the right to family reunification of refugees with temporary protection has been extended from one to three years after arrival in Denmark.

Cash allowances for asylumseekers have been reduced by 10 per cent to 57 kroner (£6) a day (for food, clothing, toiletries, telephone, etc), and it has become a lot harder to get permanent residency.

The government justifies all its restrictive measures with the argument that they should act as a disincentive to apply for asylum in Denmark. Thus the government hopes to reduce the number of new asylumseekers.

To this end, the government is also beginning to accommodate the refugees in tent camps, despite the fact that Denmark has plenty of empty houses that could easily be converted into asylum centres.

In 2015, Denmark received 21,225 asylum-seekers, which is the highest number to date. Denmark has historically received many refugees, without our society collapsing.

In 1990, for example, Denmark received 18,994 applications for asylum, Iranians and stateless Palestinians being the largest groups. Two years later, in 1992, 20,071 people requested asylum in Denmark. The high figure was due mainly to a surge in asylum-seekers from ex-Yugoslav states.

The Danish government (a one party, neoliberal cabinet) has been backed by a large majority in parliament for its harsh line against foreigners. Both the bourgeois minority government and its supporting parties, as well as the Social Democrats, have supported the government on these matters.

This should all be seen in light of the fact that the right-populist and anti-immigration Danish People’s Party during the past several years has enjoyed increasing success among voters. Today it is the second largest party in parliament with 37 out of 179 seats. The party’s success has meant that the other parties have competed to implement austerity measures on immigration matters.

At the same time, however, a large popular movement has been growing, working to offer the refugees welcome in Denmark just as there have been several demonstrations, both to welcome refugees and to protest against the government’s anti-immigration measures.

The biggest movement is by far Venligboerne, which translated into English means Friendly Habitants. Originally started in a small town in northern Jutland three years ago, when the town received 500 asylumseekers in a short timespan, the movement today is still growing.

Along with 10 other Facebook groups, 44-year-old nurse Merete Bonde Pilgaard created Venligboerne Refugee Council, which was intended to welcome the then newly arrived refugees.

Today, no less than 80 cities in Denmark have their own group of Venligboerne with volunteers and active citizens who assist and help refugees with the small and large challenges of everyday life. All the groups are organised around different local Facebook pages, and together there are now more than 130,000 Friendly Habitants evenly represented in various cities around the country, including a couple of European cities as well.

“We see the meeting with the new citizens as an opportunity to add some extra joy and insight into life. We want to welcome them to this country, and we will do our utmost to be friendly when meeting them. Hence the name Friendly Habitants,” the group emphasises on its Facebook page. Local initiatives are ever emerging.

In Djursland (the eastern part of the Jutland peninsula), a woman launched a collection aimed to fund a new bus to be used by the local asylum centre Lyngbygard, which in September last year was subjected to an arson attack.

In Copenhagen, locals among other activities have organised legal advice for asylum-seekers and created groups for collecting money for the refugees, and most recently has opened a cafe in Vesterbro in the centre of the Danish capital. Furthermore, Venligboerne organises activities at detention centres all over the country.

Among many other things, people participate in social events with refugees such as barbecues and communal eating, and set up groups where locals invite residents in asylum centres on outings as well as arranging dinners and play dates for children.

Anyone who wants to contribute and show kindness can sign up via the Facebook groups and thus be part of the movement.

“There must be room for everyone in our groups, regardless of political leanings, as long as they want to help create friendships, show kindness and build bridges,” writes Venligboerne Refugee Council.

Danish police seize valuables from asylum seekers for first time. Cash seized from two men and three women under law that allows police to confiscate valuables worth over 10,000 kroner: here.

As a result of the Danish government’s response to a recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, it will now be more difficult for Danes to bring foreign spouses and other family members into the country: here.

Helping refugees on Lesbos island, interview

This video says about itself:

Refugees Welcome – Lesvos Greece

22 December 2015

I’m an English teacher taking a year off to explore film/travel and this was my last trip of the year.

I have no volunteer experience but I wanted to see what was really happening with the refugee crisis in Lesvos, Greece.

I booked a flight, rented a van, and headed for the beaches where I found a hotel and a great volunteer group to join.

Here are some of the “rabid dogs” and “terrorists” I met there.

I would love nothing more than to make this my everyday job. Different countries, different conflicts, different people…but in the end we are all in this together.

Shot with: GoPro 3+ Black, Lumix Gh3, Iphone 5c

Poem: “Home” by Warsan Shire (read by Benedict Cumberbatch)

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

‘Locals avoid coastal roads so they don’t have to see corpses’

Saturday 19th March 2016

[Danish daily] Dagbladet Arbejderen talks to refugee solidarity activist Var I Dali about her experiences helping desperate incomers to Lesbos island

Faroe islander Var I Dali and her sister Simone have spent four months on the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea helping tens of thousands of refugees arriving from Turkey in flimsy rubber boats.

In October alone 100,000 people arrived on the tiny island’s shores. “I simply acted out of my frustration, I had to do something for these people in need,” says the 27-year-old, who finished her MA in international development language and cultural studies at Roskilde University Center west of Copenhagen last year.

More than a million people sought asylum in Europe last year and every month the United Nations aid agency UNHCR releases statistical data showing where the refugees are coming from.

Around 40 per cent come from Syria, a country more or less completely destroyed by bombings after five years of war. Another 30 per cent are coming from Afghanistan — a country EU president Donald Tusk recently declared “safe.” It has been almost continuously at war since the late 1970s.

One morning, Var and three other volunteers were driving along the northern coast of Lesbos. From the vehicle, they saw a rubber boat approaching. There was unrest on board. “It turned out that the boat en route from Turkey had taken in water, so the Turkish smugglers panicked and threw bags and people’s belongings overboard. In their haste, they overlooked the fact that an infant was wrapped in some of the carpets in the bottom of the boat. “The child was never found. The mother was heartbroken when the boat came ashore. She couldn’t understand why we were saying ‘now you are safe’,” recounts Var.

She accompanied the mother to a nearby refugee center in order to be registered and then contacted the Red Cross and the UNHCR. “It’s the worst thing that can happen to parents, to lose their children like that. Everybody is deeply shocked,” says Var.

Whenever the volunteers on Lesbos can see Greek rescue ships at sea and hear the sound of rushing helicopters, they know that a rubber boat has capsized and a search has begun. Twice Var I Dali has helped organise checks where relatives have had to identify their drowned children, fathers, mothers, uncles or cousins.

“The corpses are lying on the beach, and families identify them while weeping heavily. There used to be many drowned children. Normally, psychologists should be present under such circumstances, but it wasn’t the case when I was there,” Var says with regret in her voice.

She explains that several of the passengers have burn marks on their bodies because they have been sitting too close to the rubber boat motor. Others have frostbite due to the cold water.

International migration organisation IOM estimates that more than 22,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2014. “Local Greeks tell us that they are deliberately avoiding the roads running close to the coast simply to avoid seeing drowned human beings, or even just baby shoes rolling around in the shallows,” she explains.

Var is critical of narratives which suggest migrants are driven by a desire to earn more. “I refuse to believe that people leave everything they own and hold dear behind just to achieve prosperity and wealth inside Europe.

“When they arrive here, they own only the clothes they are wearing. And they never know if they or their families will survive the journey across the Mediterranean. Why do human lives have to be lost when this problem, in principle, could be solved politically?” asks Var.

“If you meet just one of these refugees while already thinking they are just migrants pursuing wealth, you will change your mind like this,” she says and snaps her fingers.

She then looks ahead, quietly. Var comes from Thorshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, but lives in Copenhagen. She explains that when the rubber boats finally reach the shores of Lesbos after an hour and a half at sea, passengers are gathered at assembly points where they get some fruit, blankets, dry clothes and medical care if needed.

All too often there are not enough tarpaulins or tents for 300-500 people at the assembly points, which is why Var has frequently witnessed men giving their indoor seats away to women and children. “The men then simply sleep outside in freezing temperatures,” she reports.

After this reception, the refugees either walk or are put onto UN buses which take them to a center where Greek police register and fingerprint them. Var helps to organise queues outside the centre, where thousands of people are given a number while waiting, standing up for hours.

When they have been given a temporary residence permit, refugees then rush to the ferry heading for Athens. Syrians will be allowed to stay in Greece for three months, while Afghans will have to leave after one.

Upon arrival in Athens they mostly set course for northern Greece and the border with Macedonia, then from there follow routes northward through Europe either on foot, or in buses and trains.

Nato actions won’t help. Var does not think Nato warships patrolling the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey in support of EU border force Frontex, currently the EU’s major response plan, will help. Nato vessels are being tasked with picking up shipwrecked refugees and send them back to Turkey.

Experts from the Red Cross and the Danish Refugee Council predict that actually more refugees will emerge out of this scenario. Eight-nine million internally displaced Syrians in refugee camps are already waiting to break up.

“I think that increased border control will create more danger for the refugees, as they will try to come in through other and even more dangerous routes. Some are already sailing at night, which is extremely dangerous,” Var warns.

Var travelled back to Lesbos earlier this month to help more refugees.

Danish government persecutes people helping refugees

Lisbeth Zornig

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Danish author on trial for helping hitchhiking refugees

Today, 16:35

The Danish writer and activist Lisbeth Zornig will be in court today because they she helped a hitchhiking Syrian family. She is suspected of people smuggling. It is one of the many lawsuits against Danes who helped refugees.

Zornig, previously children’s ombudsman in Denmark, saw in September big groups of refugees walking in the south of Denmark, on their way from Germany to Sweden. “I just could not go home with an empty car. I did not know it was forbidden to take hitchhikers,” she said.

The writer let the four adults and two children into her car and took them to Copenhagen. This happened while she was interviewed by a Danish TV station. “I always thought that you smuggle if you cross borders, or if you are asking for money. Not if you just stay within the borders of the country. But unfortunately it appears that is not the case in Denmark.”

The Danish Aliens Act makes it a crime to transport people who have no fixed abode. 279 people have thereto committed such a ‘crime’ from September to January, police say.

In January, a man was fined 670 euros because he had allowed a hitchhiking Afghan family into his car. Yesterday a 70-year-old man was fined for carrying refugees. He has to pay 1675 euros.

Zornig’s husband is being sued because he has treated the family at his home to coffee and biscuits, has brought them to the train station and has bought tickets to Sweden for them.

The author says she is innocent of people smuggling. She says she just wanted to help people who were in trouble. The verdict in the case is expected today.

Confiscating valuables

In Denmark the center-right government of Prime Minister Rasmussen does everything to make the country unattractive for refugees. In September, the government placed advertisements in four Lebanese newspapers with the message: refugees, do not come to Denmark.

Parliament passed in late January a package of measures that should put off asylum seekers in many ways. Under the new law, asylum seekers have to give up their jewelry to pay for their stay.

Danish children’s rights activist fined for people trafficking. Lisbeth Zornig says her fine for giving a lift to family of Syrians is ‘criminalising decency’ amid asylum clampdown in Denmark: here.