Japanese government lies on ‘comfort women’, people protest


This video from South Korea says about itself:

“Herstory” Comfort Women Animation – English

15 January 2014

Produced with actual voices of the victims of the Japanese Military’s ‘Comfort Women‘ [policy].

By Ben McGrath:

Opposition to Japanese government’s lies on “comfort women”

27 February 2015

Opposition to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempt to whitewash the history of the Japanese military’s war crimes has emerged in Japan and also the United States. Earlier this month, a group of American historians issued a statement criticizing the Abe government’s attempts to pressure a US publishing company McGraw-Hill to amend its textbook’s treatment of so-called “comfort women.”

During the 1930s and 1940s, some 200,000 Korean, Chinese and other women were coerced into sex slavery in “comfort stations” established for Japanese officers and soldiers. Abe and other right-wing nationalists falsely claim that the women were not forced but willingly acted as prostitutes. This revision of history is bound up with the government’s plans to remilitarize and to end the current constitutional restrictions on the dispatch of the Japanese military in overseas interventions and wars.

Abe’s efforts to rewrite history could cloud plans for him to address a joint session of the US Congress, which, according to the Japan Times last weekend, could take place in late April. He would become the first Japanese prime minister to speak to Congress since 1961 when Hayato Ikeda addressed the House of Representatives. Abe’s grandfather, Nobsuke Kishi, also spoke before Congress as prime minister in 1957.

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers who visited Japan last week raised questions about Abe’s view of history. Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette warned that the issues surrounding World War II “could really put some cracks in the relationship… It’s really important that Japan not be seen as backtracking… on the comfort women issue and some other issues around the end of the war.”

Republican congressman James Sensenbrenner told the Wall Street Journal that Abe’s “revisionist history” was hurting “Japan’s standing with its neighbors. That has to be cooled down.” His warning reflects concerns in Washington that the Abe government’s whitewash of Japanese war crimes was undermining relations with South Korea, the other major US ally in North East Asia.

Regardless of these misgivings, Abe’s congressional address appears to be going ahead. The Obama administration regards Tokyo as a crucial ally in its “pivot to Asia” and military build-up throughout the Indo-Pacific region against China.

It should be noted that the criticisms of Abe’s stance on Japan’s atrocities are rather hypocritical. The US political establishment remains silent on its own crimes during World War II, including the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

Within Japan, right-wing nationalist groups continue to wage a vicious campaign against the Asahi Shimbun after it retracted a series of articles last August based on the testimony of Seiji Yoshida, a former soldier, who claimed to have forcibly rounded up “comfort women” on Korea’s Jeju Island. Yoshida later admitted that he had made up parts of his story, which has been seized on to claim there is no evidence that women were coerced into sex slavery and to demand the retraction of Japan’s 1993 Kono statement—a formal, but limited apology over the abuse of “comfort women.”

In an interview last month with the Asia-Pacific Journal, Yoshiaki Yoshimi, a leading historian on comfort women, said in, “As early as 1993 at the latest, no one took seriously Yoshida’s testimony claiming that he had witnessed the Japanese Army’s forcible relocation of women in Jeju Island. The Kono Statement was not based on Yoshida’s testimony. Nor do scholars researching the comfort women issue draw on it for their argument. In short, Asahi’s retraction of Yoshida’s testimony due to its falsity should not affect the discussion.”

Other former Japanese soldiers have provided evidence of the military’s system of sexual slavery. Masayoshi Matsumoto, currently 92, has spoken out against the crimes he witnessed as an army medic. “I feel like a war criminal. It is painful to speak of such things and I would rather cover it up. It is painful, but I must speak,” he said in a 2013 interview with Reuters.

In a more recent interview in the Asia-Pacific Journal in October 2014, Matsumoto described working at a base in Yu County in Shanxi Province in China during the war. “Our battalion had approximately one thousand men. We took about 5 or 6 ‘comfort women’ with us. I was a corpsman…I had to help the army doctor to do tests for venereal disease on comfort women.”

After describing the instruments and testing methods, Matsumoto said, “These [women] had definitely not arrived there of their own will. Nobody would be willing to travel to such a remote area. The money was handled by Japanese civilians employed by the military, who took care of the women.”

Matsumoto made clear that rape of captured village women was rampant and that the setting up of the “comfort stations,” where soldiers forced women to have sex, was an attempt to curb the spread of disease among the troops. Matsumoto described finding several women in a captured village.

“When we raided a village, there happened to be some villagers left behind. Normally during a raid all the villagers would flee. Among them were seven or eight women. The soldiers grabbed them and took them away to the barracks. Knowing that they would be killed if they resisted, these women came along without resisting. The women were made to live inside the barracks, and whenever the soldiers felt like it they would visit them to have sex,” he said.

Matsumoto explained why he spoke out: “While reading all kind of things, I realized that if we don’t face our past squarely, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes. When I look at Abe, I think he’s starting to do exactly that. Someone needs to speak up.” Asked about Abe’s claim that there was no coercion of women, Matsumoto responded: “Such a thing is not true! It’s…nonsense. A lie.”

The evidence proving that the Japanese army engaged in the wide-scale and systematic coercion of women into its “comfort stations” is not limited to such personal accounts, but has been found in wartime documents unearthed by historians. Nevertheless Matsumoto’s first-hand testimony is not only telling refutation of Abe’s lies but also points to the fact that the whitewashing of war crimes is the preparation for new ones.

British child abuser Sir Jimmy Savile and his political connections


This video from Britain says about itself:

Jimmy Savile & Margaret Thatcher

16 October 2012

Why were Savile and Thatcher, strange bedfellows however you look at it, so close?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

End the culture of cover-ups

Friday 27th February 2015

HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges, in the wake of the Lampard report into the crimes of Jimmy Savile, that the power of celebrity or money must never again prevent people from exposing wrongdoing.

Savile was utterly brazen in daring NHS officials and police officers to take action against him.

He felt secure in his position as a major charity fundraiser for Stoke Mandeville, where he had a bedroom, a plush office and a master key with access to all areas despite having no qualifications or experience.

His wealth and political connections, not least with Margaret Thatcher at whose Downing Street New Year’s Eve parties he was a permanent fixture, persuaded people not to take him on.

However, Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee, who worked briefly at Stoke Mandeville, is surely correct in saying that, if junior staff were aware of what Savile was doing, senior managers and clinicians must also have done.

Turning a blind eye to abuse of patients, visitors, staff members and others for fear of losing the charity funds his activities generated was a gross betrayal of the victims’ right to personal security.

Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham’s call for a formal inquiry into accountability for failure to investigate this serial predator’s crimes must be supported.

Those in positions of influence who chose not to speak to the Lampard inquiry should be subpoenaed to give evidence and explain their roles.

Many people will be shocked to learn that there is no legal compulsion on NHS staff to blow the whistle on people suspected of abusing patients.

That legal loophole must be closed so that people in authority cannot encourage embarrassing suspicions to be swept under the carpet.

Above all, Savile’s reign of abuse and terror must not be seen as a one-off aberration.

Too many children and vulnerable adults have been disbelieved in a variety of institutions and forced to carry their torment with them.

That culture must end. Complaints must be recorded, investigated and taken as far as required.

Politicians should also consider whether our essential health services should be better funded through taxation rather than being dependent on celebrities organising charity drives for self-aggrandisement.

British child abuser Sir Jimmy Savile and the Thatcher government


Jimmy Savile with the prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980, the same year she appointed him as a fundraiser for Stoke Mandeville hospital, where he sexually abused people as young as eight. Photograph: PA

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Jimmy Savile given free rein to sexually abuse 60 people, report finds

Damning reports point finger at politicians, civil servants and senior NHS staff but stop short of holding anyone accountable

Sandra Laville and Josh Halliday

Thursday 26 February 2015 19.28 GMT

Politicians, civil servants and NHS managers gave Jimmy Savile free rein to sexually abuse 60 people, including children as young as eight, over two decades at Stoke Mandeville hospital, two damning reports have concluded.

Savile’s celebrity status, his connections with the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and with royalty, and his role as a fundraiser allowed him unfettered access to patients, staff and visitors at the Buckinghamshire hospital. Over 20 years he brazenly used that power and access to rape, sexually abuse, harass, intimidate and silence his victims who ranged in age from eight and 40.

A report into Savile’s activities at Stoke Mandeville by Dr Androulla Johnstone and Christine Dent said the BBC celebrity’s reputation as a sexual predator was an “open secret” yet he was able to go about his business not only unchallenged but also with the perception of sanction from the senior hierarchy. The report stopped short, however, of holding senior managers accountable, saying there was no evidence they were aware of Savile’s behaviour, despite junior staff saying it was widely known.

On 10 occasions, vulnerable patients complained about his sexual abuse to staff, their parents and to teachers, but they were either not believed or ignored, the report said. A supervisor tried to raise concerns to higher management but was reprimanded, patients who complained to nurses were told to stay silent, and one victim who told his headteacher was laughed at.

Kate Lampard, who carried out an independent review of Savile’s activities across the NHS, said in her report, also published on Thursday: “Savile’s status and influence … was enhanced by the endorsement and encouragement he received from politicians, senior civil servants and NHS managers. His access within NHS hospitals gave Savile the opportunity to commit sexual abuses on a grand scale for nearly 50 years.”

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said in a statement to the Commons that the power of celebrity or money must never again blind people to repeated clear signs that vulnerable individuals were being abused.

He said people were “too dazzled or too intimidated by the nation’s favourite celebrity to confront the evil predator we now know he was”.

However, Liz Dux, a lawyer at Slater and Gordon who represents 44 of Savile’s victims, said the report had been met with “crushing disappointment” because it held no one accountable.

“It beggars belief that a report which has revealed Savile was widely known as a sex pest at Stoke Mandeville can find no evidence of management responsibility,” Dux said.

“Ten victims had reported their assaults to nursing staff on the ward, including one complaint being made to management, yet still his deviant and sickening behaviour continued.”

She said the revelation in the report that three other doctors had committed serious sexual offences at the hospital in the past four decades suggested “something seriously amiss”.

Savile abused victims as soon as he started frequenting Stoke Mandeville in 1968, the report said. He became a porter at the hospital, having been invited in by a fellow porter who had worked with Savile at Leeds General Infirmary, where the DJ had also abused patients.

“He was a nightmare … he was vile,” a staff nurse told the inquiry. Others described how, when he turned up in a ward, a “Jimmy Savile alert would go out and we’d all disappear”.

Savile’s victims at Stoke Mandeville included an eight-year-old boy, and a girl, also eight, who was raped at least 10 times by Savile when she visited relatives there. One victim was systematically abused in the chapel by Savile, who was often accompanied by another, unnamed man. “Every time I went in that room I just knew he would touch me wherever he wanted to touch me,” she said.

A 12-year-old girl was raped by Savile in the television room. She returned to her ward and told a nurse that a porter, Savile, had “hurt me, down there”. She was told not to say anything, otherwise the nurse would get into trouble. Later that night Savile appeared at the girl’s bedside and sexually assaulted her again. Alone in her room afterwards, the child tore a page from a Bible in the room and wrote two notes asking for her father.

She posted them into a red post box in a corridor outside the ward, hoping someone would contact him; no one did.

In 1980 a clinical supervisor tried to escalate the concerns of students who had told her of sexually inappropriate behaviour by Savile at their accommodation block. But the supervisor was “reprimanded for interfering”.

Between 1972 and 1985 nine informal verbal complaints and one formal report were made about Savile by his victims. Johnstone found that none of the complaints were “either taken seriously or escalated to senior management”.

The formal complaint in 1977 came from the father of an 11-year-old girl who was sexually abused by Savile in a treatment room. The girl screamed hysterically, and a senior nurse arrived but told her to be quiet, saying Savile would not do such a dreadful thing and he raised a great deal of money for the hospital.

The incident “was serious and should have led to Savile’s suspension from the hospital and a formal police report being made”, Johnstone said. “There can be no excuses made in relation to ‘what was acceptable at the time’ or ‘how children were perceived’. This was a serious allegation and should have been investigated fully as it was reported to a hospital manager.”

The report revealed how Savile’s charitable work and status within the hospital were boosted by Thatcher, who in 1980 sponsored him as the lead fundraiser and commissioning project manager for a £10m campaign to rebuild the spinal injuries unit (NSIC) – a move which gave him “virtually uncontested authority and control”. Savile flattered Thatcher during several meetings, including trips to Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence.

In one letter to Thatcher, he wrote: “Dear PM I waited a week before writing to thank you for my lunch invitation because I had such a superb time … My girl patients pretended to be madly jealous and wanted to know what you wore. All the paralysed lads called me Sir James, they all love you, me too!!”

He was also supported in his new position by Dr Gerard Vaughan, a health minister at the time, who rode roughshod over concerns and policies to give Savile free rein, the report said.

“No member of parliament or the Department of Health and Social Services, to our knowledge, knew about Savile’s sexual abuse activities,” but there were major consequences of their actions.

“First there was an ongoing dependence on Savile’s charitable funds which ensured his continued position of power and influence at the hospital which was often detrimental to service management,” she said. “Second, Savile was able to access a new cohort of victims for his sexual abuse in the guise of young charity fundraisers to the hospital.”

David Clay, who was made general manager of the NSIC in 1983, said Savile acted as if he was God. “It was Jimmy Savile’s kingdom.”

By the time Ken Cunningham was appointed in 1991 as unit general manager at the hospital he was shocked by the power wielded by Savile, who by then had a bedroom/office installed with a Berber carpet, a flip-down bed, a large leather sofa and a gold letter box.

“This was a man who had the ear of royalty, prime ministers … It worried me that there was someone who could buy the loyalty and friendship of senior staff,” he said.

In 1993, when Stoke Mandeville became an NHS trust, Savile’s rule began to be challenged and the inquiry said his sexual abuse stopped around 1992. But the patients he attacked were left to deal with abuse which was not believed and continues to scar their adult lives.

“I didn’t know what had happened,” said one victim. “I didn’t understand what had happened. I knew it felt wrong and I felt dirty and I wanted to clean myself and I just wanted to wash myself again and again … I did not understand … I could not even explain to myself what had happened.”

PROLIFIC sex offender Jimmy Savile was able to gain a “position of authority and power” at Stoke Mandeville Hospital due to the backing of Margaret Thatcher and her ministers, a damning new report found yesterday. Savile was “sponsored” in his role as lead fundraiser and project manager in the 1980 rebuilding of the hospital’s national spinal injuries centre by the Tory leader, report author Dr Androulla Johnstone said: here.

After Sir Jimmy Saville, Sir Cliff Richard?


United States preacher Billy Graham and Cliff Richard in 1967

From Rolling Stone in the USA:

Cliff Richard Sex Assault Investigation Expands

“I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail,” singer says

By Kory Grow

February 25, 2015

An investigation into sexual assault allegations against 74-year-old musician Sir Cliff Richard has “increased significantly in size,” U.K. police recently disclosed. The singer, who is best known for a string of U.K. hits with the group the Shadows, previously faced only one claim against him, but now authorities say he faces multiple allegations. He has not been arrested or charged, but The Telegraph reports police have previously raided his home in Berkshire, U.K., in association with the claims last August.

“I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from,” Richard wrote on his Facebook page in response. “The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.”

The singer went on to say that he would not comment on the matter further until the investigation was done, “which I hope will be very soon,” he added. But that might not be the case, though. In a letter that South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton sent to a member of parliament, the BBC reports, he wrote, “It would be premature and potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be concluded.”

The alleged victim who made the first allegation was under the age of 16 at the time of the reported assault, according to The Telegraph, which is said to have occurred at a speaking event held by American Christian evangelist Billy Graham in June 1985. No details on the other complaint or complaints are currently public.

Although the police did not offer any further comment on the investigation, other than it was ongoing, The Associated Press reports they said that Richard has been cooperative.

Richard rose to prominence in the late Fifties with songs like his Drifters single “Living Doll,” a U.K. Number One that reached Number 30 in the U.S., and many U.K. hits with the Shadows like “Travellin’ Light.” He achieved his greatest chart success in the U.S. with “Devil Woman,” a tune that appeared on his 1976 album I’m Nearly Famous. He was knighted in 1995.

Turkish women demonstrate against rape, murder


This video from Turkey says about itself:

14 February 2015

Women in Turkey have raised reactions to the savage murder of Özgecan Aslan.

On Feb 11th, Ozgecan Aslan (20) university student, caught a bus from Adana to Mersin as was her routine from school to home. As the last passenger gets off the bus, she’s left alone with the driver, his father and his friend. Two days later, three suspects were captured and Özgecan’s body was found. Initial autopsy report shows young woman was stabbed to death after she was raped, and then her body was burnt.

Aktivist Kamera 14.02.2015 Kadıköy / İstanbul

Twenty-year-old Özgecan Aslan was a psychology student at Çağ University in Mersin. DHA Photo

From Doğan News Agency in Turkey:

20-year-old Turkish woman brutally murdered, body burned

The burned body of a 20-year-old female student who had been missing for two days was discovered Feb. 13 in a riverbed in the Tarsus district of the southern province of Mersin.

Three suspects have been detained for stabbing Özgecan Aslan to death and later burning her remains.

The family of Aslan, who was a psychology student at Çağ University, had filed a missing report with the police on Feb. 11 after failing to contact her. As the search for the missing girl continued, gendarmerie forces stopped a suspicious minibus on Feb. 12, discovering blood stains and a hat in the minibus.

The driver of the vehicle, 26-year-old S.A., his 50-year-old father, N.A., and 20-year-old F.G. were detained when the victim’s father recognized the hat and said it belonged to his daughter.

During the interrogation, N.A. and F.G. admitted to the crime. According to the suspects’ testimonies, after all other passengers disembarked from the minibus, S.A. exited the scheduled route in spite of Aslan’s protestations and drove to a secluded spot.

When he attempted to rape the woman, she fought back and used pepper spray against her attacker. S.A. then stabbed Aslan several times and hit her with an iron pipe, killing her.

He also allegedly cut off Aslan’s fingers in an effort to ensure that no DNA match would be made with the scratches the woman made on his face during the struggle.

After the murder, S.A. went back home with the body and asked for his father and friend’s help in disposing of the remains. The three then tried to burn Aslan’s body to eliminate any evidence.

The remains of a woman were found Feb. 13 at a location indicated by the suspects. One of Aslan’s close friends, who was with her on the day she went missing, failed to identify the severely damaged body, but she said the clothes on the body matched what Aslan wore the day she disappeared.

“We were together at the school until noon, then we went shopping, ate something and got on a minibus to go home,” the witness said. “I got off near my home and she stayed on the minibus to go home. I later learned that she did not go home and was missing.”

The gendarmerie and the police have launched an investigation to find out the details and the reasons for the murder.

February/14/2015

Women carry the coffin of Özgecan Aslan, who was killed during a rape attempt

From Doğan News Agency in Turkey:

Women defy imam in murdered woman’s funeral, carry the coffin

Thousands bid farewell on Feb. 14 to Özgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old woman who was murdered during a rape attempt, in a funeral ceremony held in her hometown Mersin.

Although the imam requested women to step back during the ceremony, hundreds of women attended the funeral prayer on the front lines, while they also carried he coffin of Aslan before and after the prayer. …

Songül Aslan, mother of Özgecan, was devastated. …

“Özgecan had a wonderful heart, she would work hard, help everyone. I cannot accept that she was massacred when she took a minibus to come home. Is my daughter’s only mistake is to get on a minibus to come home?” she added. …

Protests have been held across the country to protest the brutal murder, with the demonstrators carrying photographs of Aslan and other female victims of violence.

February/14/2015

See also here.

From Revolution News:

Turkey: Outrage over Horrific Rape and Murder of Student Ozgecan Aslan

02/14/2015

On Feb 11th, Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old university student, caught a bus from Adana to Mersin as was her routine from school to home. As the last passenger gets off the bus, she’s left alone with the driver, his father and his friend. Two days later, three suspects were captured and Özgecan’s body was found. Initial autopsy report shows young woman was stabbed to death after she was raped, and then her body was burnt.

Women all over Turkey are organizing protests today, claiming this is not “just another criminal incident”, but a result of a systematic misogynist state policy. Recent declarations by government officials against women’s employment, abortion, and similar statements to restrict women’s rights including even “when to go out and what to wear” have been responded to with public outrage. Also, perpetrators of rape and murder of women get the minimum sentence due to “incitement” or “consent” by the victim or “no psychological damage observed” on the victim. The extent of femicide in Turkey has once again been revealed by the murder of Ozgecan Aslan, while according to official figures murders of women have increased 1,400% during the period of AKP rule.

Turkish women demonstrate against the murder of Ozgecan Aslan

FIVE Turkish MPs were injured yesterday in a brawl that broke out in parliament. The fight started after opposition parties submitted motions to hamper the passage of a draconian new Bill restricting the right to protest: here.

Jimmy Savile is dead, other British child abusers still alive


Jimmy Savile wearing a Stoke Mandeville T-shirt after running a marathon in aid of the hospital. Photograph: PA

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

Stoke Mandeville hospital ‘still putting children at risk’

Independent study of Buckinghamshire hospital’s child protection policy criticises it as ‘vague’ on eve of Savile reports

Alex Renton

Sunday 15 February 2015 00.05 GMT

On the eve of the publication of two explosive reports into the abuses – thought to involve more than 60 victims – committed by Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville, an independent study of child protection policy at the Buckinghamshire hospital claims that it still puts children at risk.

Two years after Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust claimed that it had revised policy, following the initial revelations about Savile’s two decades of abuse at the hospital, the children’s safety campaigning group Mandate Now says that the trust’s “vague” policy offers little support to junior staff who want to report their suspicions.

Former staff have said that Savile and other sexual abusers at Stoke Mandeville capitalised on a “bullying” regime that left junior staff too frightened to report abuses and a senior management that ignored allegations.

These issues are expected to feature prominently when the Department of Health publishes a “lessons learned” report later this month, alongside Buckinghamshire NHS trust’s ownreport. It will bring to 29 the number of hospitals and other institutions that have been investigated since Savile died in 2011.

Delayed for nine months by the volume of evidence and by outstanding prosecutions, the Stoke Mandeville investigations, overseen by former barrister Kate Lampard, are expected to provide details of even more alleged crimes than a similar report into Savile’s activities at Leeds Infirmary, where 64 victims came forward. It was published in June last year, but failed to find any fault in senior management.

But the Stoke Mandeville report is likely to be different. Liz Dux, of the solicitors Slater and Gordon, represents 44 people who claim to have been assaulted by Savile at the hospital, some as children, others as staff. Dux told the Observer that her clients, most of whom have been interviewed by the two inquiries, had evidence that management – including a senior nursing sister – were informed about Savile’s abuses. “The scale is extraordinary. Savile was absolutely indiscriminate. He assaulted children, autograph hunters, nurses, people who worked in the chapel,” said Dux.

Savile had a flat at the hospital and his own office beside the children’s wards. He appears to have been allowed access to medical records. Staff who worked there have said that their only recourse when the DJ visited the hospital was to tell children to pretend to be asleep if he visited their ward.

Two former senior doctors at Stoke Mandeville have been accused of rape and other abuses of children at the hospital at the same time, though there is no evidence yet that they colluded with Savile. One, Bruce Bailey is dead; the other, Michael Salmon, was jailed last Thursday for 18 years, having been found guilty of eight indecent assaults and two rapes of girls aged 12 to 18.

Stoke Mandeville’s former director of nursing and a now-retired Thames Valley police detective have already said that their concerns about Savile’s abuse of girls were dismissed by authorities. “Subtle bullying” by hospital managers helped maintain Savile’s extraordinary power and freedom at the hospital, Christine McFarlane, former director of nursing and patient care, told the BBC.

Savile’s clout came from the millions in donations – no exact figure is known – he raised for Stoke Mandeville and its spinal injuries work. He also worked in wards as a volunteer from the mid-1960s. In 1988 he was appointed to the trust that then managed the hospital by health minister Edwina Currie.

Mandate Now – which is campaigning for a legal duty to report suspicions of abuse to a third party – has audited child protection policies at schools, the BBC and other institutions. The current one for Buckinghamshire conforms “to the bare statutory minimums”, it says. The 53-page document leaves many uncertainties, including who is responsible for protecting children and deciding whether suspected abuses “should” or “must” be reported to independent authorities. “Many institutions which have had serious safeguarding failures have subsequently been found to have similarly vague safeguarding arrangements,” says the Mandate Now analysis.

It says key information is missing – like a promised phone number for nurses to report suspicions. Web links in the policy document to important information from outside authorities are broken or do not work.

The reports into Stoke Mandeville are unlikely to lead to any further prosecutions, because there is no law that makes the inaction of senior management a criminal offence. Reporting of alleged abuse in schools, hospitals and other institutions to an outside party is at the discretion of managers.

“The victims I represent find it inconceivable that no one can be prosecuted,” said Dux. “These people were complacent and nothing can be done about it. Even if it’s found that the senior management of the time deliberately turned a blind eye, there’s nothing that can be done, because we don’t have a law.”

Tom Perry of Mandate Now, which audited the Buckinghamshire NHS trust child protection policy, wants legislation to make reporting of abuse allegations obligatory, as it is in many countries. “Discretionary reporting has failed for 65 years. It is a key reason why we now have child sexual abuse inquiries in England, Wales and Scotland.”

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said “it took its safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously”. Since the first Savile revelations, it said, “We have strengthened our internal processes, for example, by introducing a comprehensive training strategy; by appointing named safeguarding leads within the trust; and through the launch of an awareness campaign to enable staff to speak out safely … We are never complacent and are always working to strengthen our approach.”

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron was under pressure to investigate top Tory officials last night following claims they plotted a paedophilia smear campaign against “senior Labour figures.” Crusading Labour MP Tom Watson went public yesterday over his month-long hunt for answers on the allegations, which surfaced at a dinner date involving a senior Daily Telegraph journalist: here.

Northern Ireland child abuse and secret service MI5


This video about Northern Ireland says about itself:

BBC News & The Today Programme 6 August 2014

The Kincora Boys’ Home was a children’s home in Belfast, Northern Ireland that was the scene of a notorious child sex abuse scandal.

The Belfast News Letter reported that files on Kincora were “conspicuously absent” from the routine January 2013 release of 1982 government papers by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year rule.

In July 2014 former soldier Colin Wallace said that any new investigation into the abuse at the home should have access to information from intelligence agencies. Wallace said that he received intelligence in 1973 that boys at the home were being abused, but some of his superior officers refused to pass on information. He also said that the Terry and Hughes inquiries did not examine evidence relating to the intelligence services.

In August 2014 a former intelligence officer, Brian Gemmell, said that he also had been ordered to stop investigating allegations of abuse at the home. He said that he learned details of what happened in the home while gathering information on loyalists. He was told he was running two agents who had close links to the home. As well as telling him not to investigate, the senior officer told him to stop running an agent. He had spoken out anonymously before, but dropped his anonymity because he wanted the allegations to be investigated again. (Wikipedia)

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Kincora scandal: Abuse victim seeks Judicial Review over MI5 link to Belfast boys’ home

A former resident of the notorious institution says local inquiry lacks the legal clout to expose the extent of cover-up

James Hanning

Sunday 15 February 2015

A victim of abuse at a notorious boys’ home in Northern Ireland will seek this week to challenge the conduct of Whitehall’s ill-fated investigation into child abuse.

A former resident at the Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast, supported by other victims, is applying for judicial review into the decision to exclude the home from the London-based inquiry, now chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard from New Zealand. At stake is whether current and former members of MI5 can be forced to give evidence.

Widespread allegations of abuse of residents – including claims that abuse was covered up and allowed to continue unchecked for years because police and the British security services were using the home to blackmail people – are the subject of a separate inquiry in Northern Ireland, the Historical and Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, led by Sir Anthony Hart.

Critics of the HIA claim it lacks sufficient powers to get to the heart of the scandal, and want Kincora to be investigated by the Goddard inquiry. On Tuesday at the High Court in Belfast, lawyers representing a Kincora victim, Gary Hoy, will challenge the decision by the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, to leave the Kincora investigation under the control of the HIA. The lawyers want the decision judicially reviewed. The Government confirmed last week that it will oppose the application.

Campaigners say Kincora should be removed from the HIA and included in the Goddard inquiry because of the purported links with London of some of those who abused boys, and because, they say, the HIA will not be able to compel witnesses to attend nor insist on seeing sensitive civil service documents.

Kincora has long cast a shadow over both Northern Ireland and MI5. In 1981, three men were imprisoned for between four and six years for a number of offences relating to systematic sexual abuse of children over a period of years. Previously, a number of whistleblowers had attempted to call a halt to the abuse, but it continued unabated, giving rise to claims that staff were being protected by the security services. Last year, former MI5 officer Bryan Gemmell told The Independent on Sunday that he had expressed concern but was told by his boss in MI5 to keep his nose out of Kincora. He also said that he had been asked by the same person if he thought a known Protestant terrorist might be susceptible to being blackmailed over his homosexuality “because they had film of him”.

Former army press officer Colin Wallace also sought to raise the alarm, but went unheeded.

One Kincora victim, Clint Massey, told The IoS recently: “In those days [the 1970s], there were loads of people over from London. I have always assumed they were senior figures from Whitehall. I certainly heard English accents…. I strongly believe it was an entrapment operation [for the security services]. They hoped to get a handle on the people who visited, to get them to work for them and inform for them.”

Last week, Mr Massey gave evidence to the Police Ombudsman, who is investigating the failure of successive police inquiries to get to the truth. Yesterday he said: “The HIA inquiry needs to be able to summon the senior civil servants. When Whitehall says jump, they jump. But if it’s based here in Northern Ireland, it won’t have the authority.” This view was backed by the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee on Friday.

HIA inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart has sought to reassure critics that his inquiry has sufficient powers. It has sought details of all Kincora-related files held by all UK government departments and agencies. It has secured extra funding and claims that witnesses who co-operate with the inquiry will be immune from prosecution, including offences under the Official Secrets Act.

However, victims’ solicitor Kevin Winters says: “This case has to be taken by the Goddard inquiry, because the applicants and many others believe there was a cover-up. It has never been properly investigated, and the sense of there having been a cover-up is compounded by a very real perception the Banbridge inquiry is not fit for purpose.

“The HIA is not a statutory inquiry and doesn’t have the necessary powers. It is true it can seek to be given those powers, but that would take primary legislation, and we can’t know how quickly that would happen or how effective.

“In the absence of a proper inquisitorial inquiry, this case must be taken on by the Goddard inquiry.

A VICTIM of child abuse at a notorious Belfast boys’ home today won the right to challenge the British government’s refusal to hold an inquiry into the crimes committed there here.