Canada will stop bombing Syria and Iraq


This video says about itself:

21 April 2013

This video shows Syrians, Lebanese, Canadians, and others in the Canadian capital of Ottawa demonstrating and asking the [then Stephen Harper] Canadian government to stop supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Canada will stop airstrikes on ISIS in two weeks’ time

Today, 18:47

Canada will not participate in the air strikes on targets of IS in Syria and Iraq from February 22 on . In this way, Prime Minister Trudeau keeps his election promise of last year.

Since April 2015, when the country was still ruled by the Conservative Harper government, six Canadian warplanes have been participating in the bombing raids of the international coalition against ISIS.

The Canadian decision is opposed by the US government and the rest of the coalition.

Training mission

Two Canadian reconnaissance aircraft and a tanker aircraft will remain stationed in the area. Furthermore Trudeau will send another 130 troops to northern Iraq to train Kurdish militias. There are already 70 Canadian trainers in that region.

According to the Liberal prime minister, the region is more helped by strengthening its own military force then by military intervention from outside. He said this was the lesson that Canada had drawn after being active for ten years in Afghanistan.

The people who are terrorized by ISIS are not served by our revenge but by our support,” Trudeau declared to the Canadian press. The mission in Afghanistan has cost the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers.

‘Dutch warplanes kill terrorists … oops, civilians in Iraq’


This video from the USA says about itself:

20 November 2015

A U.S. air strike that targeted an Islamic State checkpoint in Iraq in March likely killed four civilians, one of whom may have been a child. Air Forces Central Command began investigating the March 13 air strike by an A-10 tank-killer jet near al Hatra, Iraq, on April 20 after an Iraqi citizen reported that her car had been destroyed and its passengers killed. The US military while rarely acknowledging civilian casualities has recently began investigating several dozen strikes in which civilians were reported killed. In May, it concluded two children had been killed in an air strike in Syria in November 2014.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Possibly civilian deaths in Iraq by Dutch F-16s

Today, 00:37

In Iraq bombing by Dutch F-16s has possibly caused civilian casualties. This is evident from the answers to questions in parliament by the government. The reason for those questions was the decision to extend the bombing of ISIS into Syria.

The Netherlands has so far fired precision weapons 1300 times in Iraq.

So ‘precise’ that they kill civilians, like other armed forces’ ‘precision’ weapons do.

There is an investigation of two cases where civilians may have died. The Ministry of Defence does research, and has also informed the Public Prosecution Service.

For operational reasons, no details are released about the individual studies. Parliament will be informed after the examination.

Syria

The government last week took the decision to also bomb ISIS targets in Syria. The Netherlands is thus responding to a request from the United States Secretary of Defense.

‘Wikileaks’ Assange detained arbritarily’, United Nations says


This video says about itself:

Collateral MurderWikileaks – Iraq

3 April 2010

Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents.

After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com.

From the BBC today:

Julian Assange is being arbitrarily held, UN panel to say

A UN panel has ruled in favour of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange after he complained he was “arbitrarily detained”, the BBC understands.

Mr Assange claimed asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex assault claims, which he denies.

The Met Police says Mr Assange would be arrested if he does leave the embassy.

He earlier said his passport should be returned and his arrest warrant dropped if the UN panel ruled in his favour.

In 2014, Mr Assange complained to the UN that he was being “arbitrarily detained” as he could not leave the embassy without being arrested.

The application claimed Mr Assange had been “deprived of his liberty in an arbitrary manner for an unacceptable length of time”.

The UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is due to announce the findings of its investigation on Friday. …

While the BBC understands the panel will find in Mr Assange’s favour, Wikileaks tweeted it was waiting for “official confirmation”. …

In his complaint to the panel – made in 2014 – Julian Assange argued that living in 30 square metres of the Ecuadorean Embassy with no sunlight or fresh air had taken a “significant toll” on his physical and mental health.

Previous rulings by the panel have gone against countries with some of the world’s worst human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Egypt.

So a decision against Sweden and Britain in favour of Mr Assange is bound to be controversial. …

The journalist John Pilger, who is a friend of Mr Assange, said “the ball is now at the feet of the British government”, whose international legal “obligations” were represented by the UN panel.

“They did something in terms of supporting the tribunal in all the other celebrated cases, and Assange now joins them because the UN jurists have clearly found this is a case of arbitrary detention,” he said. …

His Wikileaks organisation posted secret American government documents on the internet, and Mr Assange says he believes Washington will seek his transfer to the US if he is sent to Sweden.

In the statement, published earlier by Wikileaks on Twitter, Mr Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”

Last October, Scotland Yard said it would no longer station officers outside the Ecuador embassy following an operation which it said had cost £12.6m. But it said “a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him” would still be deployed.

‘Iraq war refugee falsely accused of sexual abuse in Belgium’


This video says about itself:

Fleeing ISIS In Iraq: Refugees Tell Of Loss And Tragedy

16 June 2014

Refugees from Mosul have told Sky News of the terror they experienced at the hands of ISIS militants.

Middle East correspondent Sherine Tadros reports from a newly-built refugee camp in the northern area of Dohuk.

Translated from daily De Morgen in Belgium:

Swimming incident in Koksijde: “An error of judgment”

No swimming ban for asylum seekers in Koksijde

25-01-2016, 15.38u

The asylum seeker who was suspected of sexually assaulting a girl in the swimming pool of Koksijde is probably innocent. According to the public prosecutor of Furnes, the Iraqi man in this twenties this Saturday afternoon already was released after questioning. The aldermen in Koksijde have decided that there will be no swimming ban for asylum seekers.

That the young man was not brought before the investigating judge shows hat the prosecutor does not think this is a case of serious crime, such as an assault.

According to sources close to the dossier everything points to “an error in judgment.” The 22-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker, according to witnesses was trying to save a girl who panicked in the whitewater of the pool complex. The supervisor then called the police, after which the refugee was taken in for questioning. The 10-year-old girl (and her parents) have not complained. …

After the incident the mayor of Koksijde, Marc Vanden Bussche (Open VLD) [right wing pro Big Business party], decided to introduce a ban for asylum seekers in the pool. That was immediately criticized strongly.

If one Roman Catholic clergyman abuses a child sexually, then, correctly, no one talks about banning swimming for all clergy, or for all male Roman Catholics. For refugees from the bloody Iraq war, the same should apply.

See also here about the Koksijde swimming pol.

Murdered Iraqi receptionist’s father demands justice for his son


Kenyan Mau Mau detainees outside London’s High Court recently won massive compensation for British army atrocities committed against them

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 4 January 2016

‘Prosecute those who murdered my son’ says Colonel Mousa

BAHA Mousa’s father, Colonel Mousa, considers it is imperative that those responsible for the death of Baha Mousa, including the commanding officer, are prosecuted.

Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) said yesterday said there is little doubt that war crimes were committed by British troops in Iraq. PIL said it notes that Mark Warwick, the head of the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT), has said that in relation to the ‘serious allegations’ of war crimes committed by UK personnel in Iraq that the IHAT are investigating ‘there is significant evidence to be obtained to put a strong case before the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) to prosecute and charge’ British soldiers who have served in Iraq.

PIL remains concerned about the length of time it is taking the IHAT to investigate these allegations and identify potential suspects. PIL also notes that only 45 of the 1,235 cases identified by the IHAT are currently being investigated.

PIL also notes that it has been publicly accepted by the MOD that there are systemic issues and that they need to be investigated in public. There is a complete absence of any indication that the IHAT are investigating those at the top of the chain of command in the military and politically.

Although the IHAT may make recommendations to the SPA that is no guarantee that the SPA will decide to bring prosecutions. Furthermore, Mark Warwick indicated that it will be for the IHAT with the SPA to decide whether the war crimes threshold has been met in any individual case.

Given the seriousness of all of the cases now before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and recently presented to the High Court in London it is difficult to see how there can be a doubt as to whether or not war crimes have been committed.

In relation to the case of Baha Mousa Sir William Gage’s 1,400-page report published at the end of the Baha Mousa Inquiry identified over 20 culpable individuals and yet there is still no sign of a prosecutorial decision. A PIL spokesperson said: ‘PIL has 1,386 cases where the victims all make allegations of torture and ill-treatment or of unlawful killings.

‘Despite public inquires, court proceedings ongoing since 2004 and the IHAT team of investigators, there is yet to be a single prosecution resulting from IHAT’s work. This is in circumstances where there is “significant evidence” according to Mark Warwick, the head of IHAT, that war crimes may have been committed. IHAT are simply failing to investigate any military personnel, civil servants or politicians responsible for the systemic abuse.’

“Staggering” violence in Iraq: The legacy of US war and occupation: here.

British war crimes in Iraq update


This video says about itself:

The British Soldier Disgraced For Speaking About Iraq

Diary of a Disgraced Soldier (2010): When some grainy mobile phone footage of British soldiers beating young Iraqis emerged in 2003, the man behind the mobile phone became public enemy no. 1. Enraged, yet bearing a deep sense of shame, Martin’s vitriolic video diaries get us closer to the ugly, uncut truth of combat than ever before.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

British soldiers could face prosecution for crimes committed during Iraq conflict, investigators confirm

Exclusive: The unit established to test allegations of torture and unlawful killings has been overwhelmed with cases

Jonathan Owen

2 hours ago

British soldiers are likely to face prosecution for crimes including murder in Iraq, the head of the unit established by the Ministry of Defence to investigate allegations of torture and unlawful killing in the war-torn country has said.

Mark Warwick, a former police detective in charge of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat), told The Independent that he believed there would be sufficient evidence to justify criminal charges being brought.

“There are serious allegations that we are investigating across the whole range of Ihat investigations, which incorporates homicide and everything, where I feel there is significant evidence to be obtained to put a strong case before the SPA [Service Prosecuting Authority] to prosecute and charge,” said Mr Warwick.

Ihat’s caseload in terms of victims of alleged ill-treatment or unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 has risen tenfold since it was established.

In 2010, it was dealing with cases involving 152 victims. It is now dealing with more than 1,500 victims, according to Ihat’s latest quarterly update. Of these, 280 are victims of alleged unlawful killing by British forces in Iraq, but more than 200 of these cases have yet to be investigated, with just 25 currently under investigation.

Of 1,235 alleged cases of ill-treatment, including allegations of rape and torture, only 45 are actually under investigation.

The initial target for completion of its investigations was 2016 but this will not be met. And, although the unit is funded until 2019, its work may not be finished within this period.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, we will review all the caseload to better understand the picture and then I think we can say whether 2019 seems realistic,” said Mr Warwick.

One of Ihat’s most notorious cases is that of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died after being beaten, abused and restrained while held in custody by British soldiers in 2003. More than a decade on, Mr Warwick stressed that this remains “a live criminal investigation”.

Asked whether some cases could constitute war crimes, he said: “There are lots of significant cases that we are investigating and at the appropriate time it will be a matter for us to discuss with the SPA whether they meet the war-crimes threshold, but there are certainly serious allegations currently being investigated.”

Five years after Ihat was established, there has yet to be a single prosecution.  Human rights groups are losing patience with the lack of obvious progress.

“The incredibly slow pace at which Ihat is investigating allegations of criminality committed by UK soldiers against Iraqi civilians is wholly unacceptable,” said Carla Ferstman, director of the human rights charity Redress. “Things seem to still be moving at a snail’s pace. We call upon the Government to ensure Ihat can, and does, do what it was set up to do, and to do it now. This cannot be a whitewash.” …

Meanwhile, Britain remains under the scrutiny of the International Criminal Court, which is conducting a preliminary examination of allegations of war crimes by British forces in Iraq. The ICC is looking at more than 1,200 cases of alleged ill-treatment and unlawful killing – including almost 50 Iraqis who reportedly died in British custody.

British soldiers ‘face prosecution’ over 55 Iraq War deaths. Exclusive: SPA director vows team would prosecute soldiers where there is evidence of unlawful killing and torture: here.

Nearly 300 British veterans face investigation over alleged Iraq war crimes. Iraq historic allegations team has delivered letters to hundreds of British personnel involved in incidents under investigation: here.