Secret Saudi-UAE-USA torture prisons in occupied Yemen


This video from the USA says about itself:

C.I.A. Torture: Interrogating The Interrogators | The New York Times

21 June 2017

Two men who proposed interrogation techniques widely viewed as torture are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of former C.I.A. detainees. Deposition videos, obtained exclusively by The New York Times, reveal new insights into the enhanced interrogation program and the C.I.A. officials behind it.

Read the story here.

By MAGGIE MICHAEL of Associated Press:

June 22, 7:57 AM EDT

In Yemen‘s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

MUKALLA, Yemen — Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme – including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.

The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government,

The Saudi puppet Yemeni government in exile, only present in territory occupied by the Saudi absolute monarchy and its allies’ invasion forces.

which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.

The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others.

Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present.

Inside war-torn Yemen, however, lawyers and families say nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons, a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests among families seeking information about missing sons, brothers and fathers.

None of the dozens of people interviewed by AP contended that American interrogators were involved in the actual abuses. Nevertheless, obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture and could qualify as war crimes, said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year

At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the “grill,” and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“We could hear the screams,” said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. “The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.” He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.

Like other ex-detainees, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being arrested again. The AP interviewed him in person in Yemen after his release from detention.

The AP interviewed 10 former prisoners, as well as a dozen officials in the Yemeni government, military and security services and nearly 20 relatives of detainees. The chief of Riyan prison, who is well known among families and lawyers as Emirati, did not reply to requests for comment.

Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel at Human Rights Watch, said the abuses “show that the US hasn’t learned the lesson that cooperating with forces that are torturing detainees and ripping families apart is not an effective way to fight extremist groups.” Human Rights Watch issued a report Thursday documenting torture and forced disappearances at the UAE-run prisons and calling on the Emirates to protect detainees’ rights.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has praised the UAE as “Little Sparta” for its outsized role in fighting …

U.S. forces send questions to the Emirati forces holding the detainees, which then send files and videos with answers, said Yemeni Brig. Gen. Farag Salem al-Bahsani, commander of the Mukalla-based 2nd Military District, which American officials confirmed to the AP. He also said the United States handed authorities a list of most wanted men, including many who were later arrested.

Al-Bahsani denied detainees were handed over to the Americans and said reports of torture are “exaggerated.”

The network of prisons echoes the secret detention facilities set up by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama disbanded the so-called “black sites.” The UAE network in war-torn Yemen was set up during the Obama administration and continues operating to this day.

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at NYU, who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition meant to help Yemen’s [puppet] government [in exile] fight Shiite rebels known as Houthis …

A small contingent of American forces routinely moves in and out of Yemen, the Pentagon says, operating largely along the southern coast. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has escalated drone strikes in the country to more than 80 so far this year, up from around 21 in 2016, the U.S. military said. At least two commando raids were ordered against al-Qaida, including one in which a Navy SEAL was killed along with at least 25 civilians.

A U.S. role in questioning detainees in Yemen has not been previously acknowledged.

A Yemeni officer who said he was deployed for a time on a ship off the coast said he saw at least two detainees brought to the vessel for questioning. The detainees were taken below deck, where he was told American “polygraph experts” and “psychological experts” conducted interrogations. He did not have access to the lower decks. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation for discussing the operations.

Senior U.S. defense officials flatly denied the military conducts any interrogations of Yemenis on any ships.

The Yemeni officer did not specify if the ‘Americans on ships’ were U.S. military or intelligence personnel, private contractors, or some other group.

Two senior Yemen officials, one in Hadi’s Interior Ministry and another in the 1st Military District, based in Hadramawt province where Mukalla is located, also said Americans were conducting interrogations at sea, as did a former senior security official in Hadramawt. The three spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the U.S. role.

The AP learned the names of five suspects held at black sites who were said to have been interrogated by Americans. The Yemeni official on the ship identified one of the detainees brought there. Four others were identified by former detainees who said they were told directly by the men themselves that they were questioned by Americans.

One detainee, who was not questioned by U.S. personnel, said he was subject to constant beatings by his Yemeni handlers but was interrogated only once.

“I would die and go to hell rather than go back to this prison,” he said. “They wouldn’t treat animals this way. If it was bin Laden, they wouldn’t do this.”

Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor and Desmond Butler in Washington and Ahmed al-Haj and Maad al-Zikry in Yemen contributed to this report.

Investigating the Yemen prison interrogation programs.

Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan’s vice presidential torture, sexual abuse scandal


This video says about itself:

The Shady Afghan Warlords Whom the US Pays to Fight the Taliban

Afghan Warlords (2009): Despite shady pasts, powerful warlords are given recognition from Washington in return for their support fighting drug traffickers and the Taliban. We take a look at America’s new pragmatic approach.

One such character is Gul Agha Sherzai, aka The Bulldozer and Governor of Nangarhar for the last five years. After striking a political deal with President Karzai, he became a power broker to be reckoned with.

Ruling from his Jalalabad palace, Sherzai shows off his power: The Taliban is no danger. I have defeated them. By Afghan standards, security in his region has drastically improved along with an impressive fall in drugs production. Its hard to argue that he’s been anything but a success to enthuse US counter-narcotics officials. However, his past is less than pristine.

An expert on the region says: To be an effective leader there, at some point you had to have been involved in the commission of atrocities, together with the accumulation of enormous wealth and that means opium.’ Sherzai allegedly got wealthy during his time as governor of Kandahar taking a cut from the opium profits from the area. While his former associate has been serving a life sentence in the US, he’s been enjoying a high-profile collaboration with Washington. Why? Theres a perception [in] the West that he’s somebody who can be rehabilitated. He was simply deemed more useful.

From the BBC:

Afghan Vice-President Dostum flies to Turkey amid torture claims

Afghanistan’s Vice-President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, has left the country amid claims that he ordered his men to kidnap, beat and rape a political rival last year.

Afghan officials confirmed he had left Kabul for Turkey on Friday night.

General Dostum has not been charged with any offence, and the incident is under government investigation. …

The vice-president is a former [?] warlord with decades of experience in Afghanistan’s turbulent political arena.

He is blamed for some of the worst atrocities in the country’s long-running civil war, but joined its national unity government in 2014.

The allegations against him come from Ahmad Eshchi, a former ally, who says he suffered days of severe beatings and sexual abuse at Gen Dostum’s command.

He said the vice-president and 10 other men assaulted him while he was forcibly kept at Gen Dostum’s residence in November 2016.

The ex-warlord denies the claims and has said that Mr Eshchi was detained by the country’s intelligence service. …

In 2008 Gen Dostum went to Turkey amid similar allegations that his personal militia had abducted, beaten and sexually assaulted a political rival in Kabul, then fired on police who responded to the incident.

The U.S. will never win the war in Afghanistan: here.

CIA torture, new revelations


This video from the USA says about itself:

Report Details New Facts About CIA Torture

Read more here.

Turkish regime threatens torture of British journalist


This video says about itself:

25 October 2016

After the botched coup attempt in Turkey, human rights groups quickly reported the ill-treatment of prisoners. The ruling AK party, however, blocked an independent investigation. DW portrays people whose accounts support those allegations of torture.

By James Tweedie in Britain:

Star reporter held by armed Turkish police

Thursday 11th May 2017

Sweeney cornered over anti-Erdogan articles

MORNING STAR reporter Steve Sweeney was detained for eight hours in Turkey on Tuesday after travelling there to interview victims of the army crackdown on majority-Kurdish cities.

Mr Sweeney and his companion were stopped at a police road checkpoint near the south-eastern city of Cizre on Tuesday.

He told the Star that when police realised they were journalists, they called in the army and anti-terrorist officers.

They were grilled by the roadside for five hours, surrounded by 16 heavily armed men and armoured vehicles.

Officers emptied their bags and photographed their notepads and books on Syria’s Kurdish north.

“They treated us like we were criminals or terrorists,” Mr Sweeney said.

Pointing to the headline on a Morning Star website article by Mr Sweeney — calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “tyrant” — their interrogator said: “If you wrote something like that in Turkey you’d be arrested and tortured.”

The officer focused on Cambridge-born Mr Sweeney’s surname, asking him if he was from the north or south of Ireland and suggested he was a supporter of the IRA and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

And he demanded to know why the reporter had changed his Twitter account to the “protected” setting half an hour earlier, saying he “was too late anyway.”

Ominously, the troops invited the pair for a “picnic” in the mountains across the border from PKK positions in Iraq.

The detainees were released after Mr Sweeney’s colleague contacted the British embassy in Turkey.

They were told it was “not safe” in the area and sent to Cizre to stay the night.

But the only open hotel in the devastated town was full so they drove on to nearby Silopi — where they were held for an other three hours at the police station and told to leave town early in the morning.

Journalists’ union NUJ president Tim Dawson welcomed the release of Mr Sweeney and his colleague. He said: “Sadly, Steve’s experience mirrors that of many in the media who are under attack daily by this regime which has jailed 150 journalists and closed down more than 150 media organisations since last year’s failed coup.

Mr Dawson said he was in Istanbul last week “and heard directly from members of the Turkish journalists’ union, Turkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, about the attacks on journalists and a free press, as well as meetings [with] journalists who had served long prison sentences for trying to report fairly.”

Genoa G8 police brutality victims compensated at last


This 2002 Associated Press video says about itself:

1. Wide shot pan of Genoa city and port
2. Various activists clapping to mark the moment of Carlo Giuliani’s death
3. Close up Carlo’s father, Giuliano Giuliani, shaking hands with people and clapping
4. Release of balloons
5. Photo of Carlo
6. Photo of police vehicle that ran over Carlo Giuliani
7. Flowers marking his death
8. Demonstration with poster
9. Shops barricades over the front
10. Deserted streets
11. Wide shot thousands on march
12. Ground shot of march
13. Top shot of marchers
14. Close up top shot of marchers with banners
15. Police outside McDonald’s
16. Demonstrators at front of march
17. Police at McDonald’s
18. Wide shot thousands of marchers, pullout
19. Banner and protestors
20. Sign with cross through riot police
21. Riot police heading towards marchers who wanted to go towards a prison
22. Wide shot standoff during demo
23. Police walking away
24. Top shot march

STORYLINE:

Tens of thousands of people held commemorations in Genoa, Italy, on Saturday for an anti-globalisation protester killed last year by police at the Group of Eight summit.

A 23-year-old protester, Carlo Giuliani, was shot dead …

Since his death, Giuliani has become a symbol for the movement, with activists condemning his death as an act of police brutality.

During Saturday’s commemoration in the square where Giuliani was killed, protesters let loose colored balloons printed with the words “Ciao Carlo” at the time of the shooting, 5:27 p.m. (1527 GMT). …

Crowd estimates varied with police saying about 60,000 people attended while organizers estimated it at 100,000.

The overwhelming majority of demonstrators held peaceful demonstrations.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

After 16 years compensation for demonstrators abused in Genoa

Today, 15:07

Six demonstrators who were injured in 2001 at the G8 summit in Genoa will each receive compensation of 45,000 euros from the Italian authorities. Italy admits that the police used excessive force.

The summit of eight major industrialized countries was marred by violent clashes between protesters and police in July 2001. In three days, hundreds of people were injured. One demonstrator was shot dead … .

Torture

Amnesty International spoke of the greatest violation of human rights in a Western country since World War II. Most criminal cases against the responsible police officers of the last few years led to acquittal, especially as torture is not a crime in Italy.

In a case before the European Court of Human Rights Italy and six protesters have now reached a settlement. The authorities will not only pay 45,000 euros per person, but also costs.

Code

In 2015, the European Court already awarded damages of 45,000 euros to an injured demonstrator. Also Italy was then commissioned to work on the inclusion of torture in the Criminal Code. However, that has still not happened.

Governments torturing refugees, new report


This video from Britain says about itself:

18 July 2016

Over 65 million people have fled their homes; please help by signing here.

Families are being ripped apart. The 6 richest countries which own half the world’s wealth host less than 9% of refugees. Wealthy governments need to welcome more refugees and provide more support so they are safe.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Oxfam: refugees mistreated at European Union borders

Today, 06:25

Refugees attempting to travel to northern Europe via the Balkans are often faced with violence and intimidation by authorities. Oxfam charity organisation says in a report (.pdf) that policemen, border guards and other officials in the Balkans regularly cross red lines and wrongly send migrants back or treat them unlawfully.

Oxfam bases itself on interviews with 140 refugees who came to Europe in 2015 and 2016. They expose, according to the aid organization “a disturbing pattern” of abuse of power and violence. According to aid agencies border guards do everything to get people back across the borders.

In the report a man from Afghanistan says that he was put into a cage in Bulgaria and did not get any food for three days. “And I was not the only one treated cruelly. They beat us and even did electric shocks,” said Issaq.

Hungarian border guards are said to have snatched valuables from migrants. They were then deported. “Our cell phones were destroyed, they took our money away“, said Afghan Malik. “We were beaten and then driven back to the border.”

Hypothermia

Other examples mentioned in the report were in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia. Eg, a group of migrants in Serbia was told that they would be taken to a refugee center. Instead, the group was dumped along the border with Bulgaria in the freezing cold. By the time they were found, two of them had become hypothermic and unconscious.

Also, several migrants tell that policemen used air conditioning of cars to scare them off. Nabil from Afghanistan says he deliberately had to sit in the cold, though he had ended up in the water in an attempt to reach Croatia. “After the police had caught us, we were locked into a car with air conditioning. It was really cold.”

Oxfam says that some things are extra bad as Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia are European Union countries. “The EU should be a bastion for human rights, but by accepting such conditions, they really support violent behaviour“, says Oxfam.

British government help for Bahraini torturers


This video says about itself:

22 November 2015

Bahraini security forces are torturing detainees during interrogation. Institutions set up after 2011 to receive and investigate complaints lack independence and transparency.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Britain covered up extent of intelligence training

Monday 6th February 2017

BRITISH authorities were accused yesterday of covering up the provision of intelligence training to Bahraini police on how to gather information about protesters.

The government’s intelligence project was put in place after protesters in the Gulf kingdom were rounded up and sentenced to death, international human rights charity Reprieve claims.

Bahraini police officers were allegedly paid by the Foreign Office to visit Belfast in August 2015 so that the Police Service of Northern Ireland could teach them how to gather intelligence ahead of demonstrations.

Protesters in Bahrain, such as Mohammed Ramadan, have been targeted by police and tortured into falsely confessing to capital crimes.

Mr Ramadan, a father of three young children, is now on death row and could be executed at any time.

The training, which also included sessions on the use of water cannon, dog handling and public order tactics, was kept secret.

The government has repeatedly denied providing public order training to Bahrain’s security forces.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said: “The UK does not fund any programmes in Bahrain focused on public order.”

However, documents obtained by Reprieve show that Bahrain’s police received an “introduction to combined operational training with a focus on public order.”

The training was prepared by Northern Ireland police officers during a week-long “scoping” visit to Bahrain in April-May 2015, during which they assessed Bahrain’s public order set-up, Reprieve said.

Reprieve death penalty team director Maya Foa said: “It is outrageous that the government has covered up this project, which risks supporting the execution of protesters in Bahrain.

“Bahrain is notorious for arresting, torturing and sentencing to death people involved in protests.

“By training Bahrain’s police how to gather intelligence on protesters, there is a serious risk that Britain is helping them arrest and execute people who are guilty of nothing more than calling for reform.

“It is scandalous that the government has sought to sweep this under the carpet.”