British government stops anti-death penalty campaigns


This video is about the death penalty by beheading against a woman in Saudi Arabia who cries out that she is innocent.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Anti-death penalty campaigns ditched

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Tories scrap support for anti-capital punishment projects

THE Tories are set to scrap Britain’s support for projects working to end the death penalty across the world, human rights campaigners warned yesterday.

Many were left alarmed as a revision of the Foreign Office (FCO) human rights priorities seemed to leave out all reference to abolishing capital punishment.

According to legal charity Reprieve, verbal confirmation was given by the FCO that the government’s Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty will not be renewed in January 2016.

Reprieve’s director of the death penalty team Maya Foa said: “At a time when executions in countries around the world are spiking, it is alarming that the government is ditching its strategy on the death penalty.

“With Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran all executing at a rate we haven’t seen for years, Britain’s move will send the wrong signal.”

Michael Gove – the new Justice Secretary in David Cameron’s Conservative government– called for the return of the death penalty by hanging in Britain. Maybe the British government thinks: ‘If we would like death by hanging in Britain, then we can hardly object to death by beheading in our ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’

The policy, which has been in place since 2010, was once described the former foreign minister David Lidington as a “firm goal.”

Campaigners raised further concerns as the FCO seemed to downgrade countries such as China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia from its list of “countries of concern” and renaming them “priority countries.”

In a letter sent to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond last week, Ms Foa said she feared changes meant “the government will end all ring-fenced funding for death penalty projects and significantly scale back the FCO’s human rights department.

“Britain has a long and praise-worthy history of speaking out against the use of the death penalty.

“Reprieve respectfully requests that the government urgently reconsider its current course of action.”

Reprieve, which is not funded by the FCO human rights department, relies on its legal work on death penalty cases to survive.

Saudi air force kills 120 civilians in Yemeni city


This 4 May 2015 video is called Saudi-led airstrikes kill 20 Yemen civilians in Taiz.

That was then. And now, over two months later …

By Thomas Gaist:

US-backed Saudi strikes in Yemen kill 120 civilians

27 July 2015

Saudi war planes killed at least 120 civilians in a series of airstrikes in the city of Taiz late Friday night. The strikes destroyed buildings that were serving as workers’ quarters as well as a nearby agricultural facility.

The attack was only the latest instance of mass killing of civilians in the bombing campaign waged by the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition that began in March.

Despite claims from Riyadh that such events are accidental, a growing body of evidence shows that the Saudi air campaign is systematically targeting civilian areas. The war is aimed at terrorizing the Yemeni masses into opposing the Houthi takeover and acceding to the restoration of US-Saudi control over the country through the re-imposition of the puppet government led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The mass slaughter of civilians has become “the new trend now of the air strikes from the coalition,” a representative from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told the Associated Press.

“It’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything,” the MSF representative said, referring to the direct targeting of civilian areas by the Arab coalition.

In May, Saudi military officials declared that the Houthi stronghold of Saada would be considered a “military zone,” i.e. a free-fire area, and ordered leaflets dropped instructing all civilians to leave the city. UN investigators have argued that the Saudi coalition is knowingly targeting “trapped civilians.”

As many as 140 Saudi strikes ripped through areas of Saada on Friday. The strikes intentionally targeted civilian areas where Saudi war planners claim the Houthi insurgents have hidden stores of weapons and ammunition. Further strikes on Friday slammed into residential areas in the coastal town of Mokha.

From all appearances, Saudi pilots have been granted standing authorization to deploy their bombs against civilian areas.

An Amnesty International press release from July 1, titled “Airstrike and weapon analysis shows Saudi Arabia-led forces killed scores of civilians with powerful bombs,” documents the killing of at least 54 civilians by a series of strikes against the cities of Sanaa and Taiz between June 12 and June 16.

In one attack detailed by the report, a 2,000 pound bomb fell directly on a residential suburban home, killing at least 10 civilians.

As a reward for their participation in this bloody air campaign, some 100 Saudi pilots have been offered high-end sports cars.

The humanitarian catastrophe facing the civilian population is now reaching “unprecedented levels,” according to a statement from the International Red Cross on Friday. The punishing Saudi assault has contributed officially to the deaths of at least 1,700 civilians in a matter of months, while devastating Yemen’s infrastructure to the point where some 80 percent of the population lacks reliable access to food and water.

In the aftermath of Friday’s mass civilian deaths, Saudi authorities have called for a five day cease-fire over the weekend, under the pretense of seeking to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country.

There is every reason to believe that the Saudi cease-fire has been called as a tactical maneuver, aimed at gaining breathing space for the Saudi coalition to rearm its bombers and recalibrate its ground strategy. Following the pattern of previous “truces” declared by the Saudis, fighting has continued to rage on the ground in the hours leading up to the official start of the ceasefire.

Houthi representatives have already denounced the cease-fire as aimed at preparing for “the beginning of a new war,” according to statements cited by the Associated Press.

The Saudi-led war, which has killed thousands of civilians and produced a social cataclysm, is now morphing into a full blown hybrid ground war along the lines of those fomented by US imperialism in Libya and Syria.

The Arab powers are preparing to launch a new ground offensive, utilizing an array of freshly trained proxy forces assembled in areas along the southern coast recently reconquered from the Houthis.

In return for their loyalty, formations of pro-Saudi militants who sided with the Saudi-led coalition and the government-in-exile of Hadi have been outfitted by the Gulf states with hundreds of armored vehicles.

Hundreds of fighters have already received training at new military training camps established on the outskirts of Aden by “advisers” from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan.

It is no coincidence that such operations bear the imprint of US-orchestrated machinations throughout the region. From the beginning of the war, US military advisers have been helping to orchestrate the bombing campaign from a Joint Planning Cell embedded with the Saudi coalition’s command element.

In the lead-up to the launch of Operation Decisive Storm in March, the Saudi ambassador to the US submitted a list of targets to be vetted by Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan. US Navy vessels have been deployed for months in support of the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

Washington views the war in Yemen as an opportunity to reshape the regional political order through the development of a new Arab military coalition dominated by its main “regional partners,” in particular Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Gulf monarchies that have been armed to the hilt by the Obama administration.

A new analysis produced by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a leading think thank of the American military-intelligence establishment, makes clear that beyond its immediate role in prosecuting the war against Yemen, the Saudi-led Arab coalition is being developed as an instrument of US regional hegemony.

In the introduction to his “Arab-US Strategic Partnership and the Changing Security Balance in the Gulf,” soon to be published in the form of a 600-page book, Cordesman argues that the Gulf war coalition must emerge as a strategic force capable of a range of interventions beyond Yemen.

“The strategic partnership between Arab Gulf states, and with the US and other outside states, must now evolve to both deal with conventional military threats and a range of new threats including ideological extremists, non-state actors, their state sponsors, and a growing range of forces design (sic) to fight asymmetric wars,” Cordesman argues.

Cordesman writes that the main political nemesis of the “Arab-US Strategic Partnership” is the government of Iran. He contends that the Arab states should proceed with an aggressive anti-Iranian line in the region, confident in their military superiority over Tehran.

Figures compiled by the CSIS report show that the Gulf states have vastly outspent Iran on armaments and other military expenditures since 2001 by a total of some $600 billion to $140 billion in spending by Tehran.

At the same time as it pursues the war in Yemen aimed at intensifying pressure on Tehran, the US has initiated a shift aimed at potentially bringing Iran into alignment with its broader strategy in the Middle East through the recently-negotiated agreement on the country’s nuclear program.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen: Saudi jets pause after deadliest raid

Monday 27th July 2015

SAUDI ARABIA announced the start of a five-day “humanitarian pause” in its brutal bombardment of Yemen yesterday.

The unexpected cessation of hostilities was down to a request from exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to King Salman, Saudi state media said.

But it followed the war’s deadliest bombing raid yet after at least 120 civilians were killed when warplanes swooped on a complex of housing for workers at a power plant in Mokha on Friday night.

Eyewitness Wahib Mohammed said the sudden blitz on the sleepy seaside town has “ripped bodies apart” and had also hit nearby livestock pens, so that human and animal blood mixed as it flowed through the streets.

Saudi Arabia is waging war on the Houthi rebels and loyalists of former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh on behalf of Mr Hadi — but Yemeni officials said the closest Houthi outpost was at least three miles from Mokha.

Doctors Without Borders spokesman Hassan Boucenine said the murderous raid “shows the trend of air strikes from the coalition — now it’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything.”

Casualties were higher because many workers had relatives visiting for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, Mr Boucenine said.

Saudi Arabian repression in 2011


This video says about itself:

Torture by Saudi Arabian authorities

30 October 2014

Unfortunately, these acts almost happen every day in Saudi Arabia’s prisons and police stations.

5 December 2011: A report by human rights organization Amnesty International records the wave of repression unleashed by Saudi authorities in response to the “Arab Spring” uprisings: here.

Saudi air force keep killing Yemeni civilians, violating ceasefire


This video says about itself:

Yemen: Saudi-led airstrikes kill 30+ civilians in market attack *VERY GRAPHIC*

5 July 2015

Saudi-led forces killed at least 30 civilians in airstrikes on Aahem market in Hajjah province, Sunday, as the UN confirms that nearly 3,100 people have died in Yemen since foreign incursions started in March.

By Niles Williamson:

Saudi-led assault on Yemen continues despite ceasefire

14 July 2015

Airstrikes carried out by jet fighters from the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition continued to pound Houthi militia-controlled areas throughout Yemen on Monday. The assault came despite a multi-day cease-fire announced last week by the UN, which was supposed to go into effect on Saturday.

Bombs slammed into a residential neighborhood of the country’s capital Sanaa, killing at least 21 civilians and wounding dozens of others. “Three missiles targeted the neighborhood, destroying 15 houses and killing 21 people and wounding 45 others,” a resident told Reuters news service.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon stated that he was “very much disappointed” that the ceasefire had not come into effect over the weekend. Less than an hour after the ceasefire deadline on Saturday, Saudi-led airstrikes were reported in the city of Sanaa, as well as the provinces of Hajjah and Taiz.

Saudi bombs killing civilians at markets all over Yemen


This 5 May 2015 video from the USA is called Human Rights Watch: Saudi-Led Coalition Bombing Yemen with Banned U.S.-Made Cluster Munitions.

From Doctors Without Borders:

Yemen: Hundreds Wounded in Attacks on Markets and Residential Areas

July 06, 2015

SANA’A, YEMEN/NEW YORK—Medical facilities supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have received hundreds of people wounded in airstrikes and ground shelling across Yemen in recent days, and MSF teams have treated scores of people in several locations, including victims of a July 4 attack on a crowded marketplace in Harad District.

An MSF team treated more than 67 injured persons in Beni Hassan, in northwestern Yemen’s Harad District, following a series of airstrikes targeting a busy marketplace after people broke Ramadan’s fast on the night of July 4. An estimated 20 people were killed in the attack in the market, and the MSF team recovered nine dead bodies among the debris the following day. An elderly injured man was also rescued and transferred to Beni Hassan health center, where MSF has provided support since May 2015.

“It is unacceptable that airstrikes take place in highly concentrated civilian areas where people are gathering and going about their daily lives, especially at a time such as Ramadan,” said Colette Gadenne, MSF head of mission in Yemen.

The attack on the market in Beni Hassan, called Aahem triangle, first hit a cooking-gas station at about 8:30 p.m. At about 9:00 p.m., a second attack hit the heart of the crowded market, as well as two restaurants and a hotel.

The MSF team was called to Beni Hassan an hour later, when private cars and public transport vehicles were already taking dozens of injured people to the health center. The team stabilized the wounded patients and referred three to the main hospitals of the region, al Jumhuri (Hajjah City) and al Olafi and al Thawara hospitals (Hodeida City).

MSF donated war-wounded kits for 100 persons to al Jumhuri hospital, which received over 40 referrals in total, and also provided fuel and ambulances.

Medical teams were quickly overwhelmed by the number of wounded persons and the severity of their injuries. “It has been terrible. We could never have imagined that we could receive so many severely injured people at one time in a small health center like Beni Hassan,” said one member of the MSF team, Dr. Ammar. “The whole team is shocked by what they have seen, especially since it happened to people enjoying an evening in Ramadan.”

Elsewhere in Yemen there have been several attacks with mass civilian casualties. In southern Yemen, MSF teams assisted 23 injured civilians due to an airstrike that took place in Alfayush market, in Lahj Governorate. In the nearby city of Aden, more than 80 injured people, including women and children, were treated by MSF staff members on July 1 as a result of heavy shelling on a residential area in Al-Mansoora district.

Ground shelling and clashes in Aden cause MSF teams to continuously receive wounded patients in the Emergency Surgical Hospital. In the last four months, more than 2,800 injured people, including women and children, have been treated there.

On July 5, in Amran governorate, in the east of the country, an MSF-supported hospital received seven injured people, including three children under 13 years old, due to airstrikes targeting Harf Sufian District.

Translated from an interview today by Dutch NOS TV with (Dutch) Ms Karline Kleijer, of Doctors Without Borders in Sanaa, capital of Yemen:

“Millions of Yemenis have nowhere to go because of the bombing

Today, 17:55

The bombing in Yemen is causing more victims. Yesterday, 176 people died. Among the victims were combatants, but also many civilians. …

“We have a clinic in Beni Hassan in the northwest of the country. There the coalition of Saudi Arabia are also bombing. …

What happened yesterday she calls an extreme example. “A very busy market is just bombed by a jet. There at one stroke nearly thirty people were killed. As far as we know, there was not even one military person among the victims.”

‘Unacceptable’

MSF/doctors Without Borders says that they do not really understand what is happening in Yemen. Kleijer: “Dropping a bomb there has nothing to do with eliminating the warriors of the other side. Then you are deliberately murdering people and one should not do that.”

She calls on the Saudi coalition and their Western partners like the US, Britain and France to accept their responsibility and ensure that this will no longer occur. “We consider this to be irresponsible and totally unacceptable.”

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a suburb of the southern port city of Aden killed more than 45 civilians on Monday. The deadly attack on a livestock market in the town of Foyoush also injured 50 civilians: here.

Jihadis likely winners of Saudi Arabia’s futile war on Yemen’s Houthi rebels: here.