British police training UAE torturers


This video says about itself:

Torturing in deportation jail in Abu Dhabi (English subtitles)

10 November 2013

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Questions raised as Met admits training notorious UAE force

Friday 4th September 2015

Legal action charity Reprieve has demanded urgent answers after British cops admitted yesterday to spending weeks training United Arab Emirates (UAE) police officers — notorious torturers and human rights abusers.

The Metropolitan Police revealed it recently hosted a delegation of the Security Support Department of the Abu Dhabi Police, who took part in “daily patrol field tasks and various training activities.”

In a statement, the Met lauded the officers as “on par with the best international experts in this field.”

Reprieve has demanded urgent answers from the Home Office over the exchange.

Police in UAE routinely use torture — including electrocution, beatings, solitary confinement and threats of rape — to extract “confessions.”

It demanded to know what human rights considerations were made by the British government before the exercise was agreed.

The joint training is understood to have included the use of “advanced equipment and devices to handle moderate and high-risk security incidents.”

The exercise also included “drills and methods for tactical firearm use and marksmanship, alongside implementing various security scenarios.”

Reprieve death penalty team director Maya Foa told the Star: “The Abu Dhabi police’s victims include Indian citizen Ezhur Gangadharan, whose bogus statements under torture led to a death sentence, while Brits such as Ahmad Zeidan, who remains unjustly locked up, have also been brutally tortured in the UAE.

“It’s alarming, therefore, to see British officers training alongside UAE police in vaguely drawn ‘security scenarios’ — apparently including ‘the use of weapons to apprehend suspects’.”

Reprieve has in the past represented a number of people challenging alleged UAE police brutality, including several Britons who say they were tortured into giving false confessions.

Met chief of operations Dave Moss expressed his admiration for the Abu Dhabi Police delegation’s “professionalism and sophistication in carrying out difficult and dangerous tasks.”

He also praised their “expertise, physical fitness, and their intellect; placing them among the most effective security members worldwide.”

Free Bahraini political prisoner Abduljalil al-Singace


This video from England says about itself:

#SingaceHungerStrike – NGOs protest ongoing detention of Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace in Bahrain

On Wednesday, 29 July 2015, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), English PEN and Index on Censorship gathered outside the Bahrain Embassy in London to protest the ongoing detention of Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace.

Dr. Abduljalil Al-Singace is a prominent academic and blogger who promoted human rights in Bahrain throughout the years 2000. After participating in peaceful protests, he was tried by a military court in June 2011 and sentenced to life in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.

From fidh.org:

Dr Abduljalil al-Singace hunger strike hits 160 days, 41 NGOs call for immediate release

28 August 2015

Bahraini prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace today hits a milestone 160 days of hunger strike as rights organisations appeal for his freedom. Forty-one international NGOs today released an urgent appeal addressed to the Government of Bahrain to release the hunger striker.

Dr Abduljalil al-Singace is a prisoner of conscience and a member of the Bahrain 13, a group of activists arrested by the Bahraini government for their role in peaceful protests in 2011. Dr al-Singace is a blogger, academic, and former Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bahrain. Dr al-Singace is currently serving a life sentence ordered by a military court on 22 June 2011.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry met with Dr al-Singace in 2011 and collected testimony regarding his arbitrary arrest and torture. Despite the existence of this testimony, in 2012 a civilian appeals court refused to investigate Dr al-Singace’s credible allegations of abuse and upheld the military court’s decision. Dr al-Singace has received no compensation for the acts of torture that he suffered, nor have his torturers been held accountable for their actions.

On 21 March 2015, Dr al-Singace went on hunger strike in protest at the collective punishment and acts of torture that police inflicted upon prisoners following a riot in Jaw Prison earlier that month. Today, he passed 160 days of hunger strike.

Dr al-Singace suffers from post-polio syndrome and is disabled. In addition to the torture Dr al-Singace has suffered, his medical conditions have deteriorated considerably as a result of his incarceration. Prison and prison hospital authorities have denied him physiotherapy and surgery to his nose and ears. He is currently being held in solitary confinement in a windowless room in Al-Qalaa hospital.

We remind the Bahraini government of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Bahrain acceded to in 2006. Under the ICCPR Bahrain must ensure that no individual is subjected to arbitrary detention (Article 9) and that everyone enjoys the right to freedom of expression (Article 19). We demand that the government release all individuals who are arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to free expression, whether through peaceful assembly, online blogging or other means. We also remind the Bahraini government of its obligations arising from the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), to which Bahrain is a state party. In 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that arbitrary detention and torture are used systematically in the criminal justice system of Bahrain.

We, the undersigned NGOs, call on the Bahraini authorities to release Dr Abduljalil al-Singace and all prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

We further call on the international community, and in particular EU member states and the United States, to demand release of Dr al-Singace.

Background Information

Dr al-Singace has been the target of judicial harassment since 2009, when he was arrested for the first time and charged with participating in a terror plot and inciting hatred on his blog, Al-Faseela, which was subsequently banned by Bahraini Internet Service Providers. Dr al-Singace had blogged prolifically and critically against governmental corruption in Bahrain. He was later pardoned by the King and released, although his blog remained banned in Bahrain.

In August 2010, police arrested Dr al-Singace on his return from London, where he had spoken at an event hosted by the House of Lords on Bahrain. A security official at the time claimed he had “abused the freedom of opinion and expression prevailing in the kingdom.” Following his arrest, Bahraini security forces subjected Dr al-Singace to acts of physical torture.

Dr al-Singace received a second royal pardon alongside other political prisoners in February 2011. He was rearrested weeks later in March following the imposition of a state of emergency and the intervention of the Peninsula Shield Force, an army jointly composed of the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

On 22 June 2011, a military court sentenced Dr al-Singace to life imprisonment. He is one of thirteen leading human rights and political activists arrested in the same period, subjected to torture, and sentenced in the same case, collectively known as the “Bahrain 13”. A civilian appeals court upheld the sentence on 22 May 2012. The “Bahrain 13” are serving their prison sentences in the Central Jau Prison. Among the “Bahrain 13”, Ebrahim Sharif, former leader of the secular political society Wa’ad, was released by royal pardon on 19 June 2015, but was rearrested weeks later on 11 July, following a speech in which he criticized the government. He currently faces charges of inciting hatred against the regime. On 9 July 2015, the EU Parliament passed an Urgent Resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the “Bahrain 13” and other prisoners of conscience in Bahrain.

During his time in prison, authorities have consistently denied Dr al-Singace the regular medical treatment he requires for his post-polio syndrome, and have failed to provide him with the surgery he requires as a result of the physical torture to which he was subjected in 2011. Dr al-Singace has an infected ear, suffers from vertigo, and has difficulty breathing.

A combination of poor quality prison facilities, overcrowding, systematic torture and ill-treatment led to a riot in Jau Prison on 10 March 2015. Though a minority of prisoners participated in the riot, police collectively punished prisoners, subjecting many of them to torture. Authorities starved prisoners, arbitrarily beat them, and forced them to sleep in courtyards for days, until large tents were erected. Fifty-seven prisoners are currently on trial for allegedly instigating the riot.

In response to these violations, Dr al-Singace began a hunger strike on 21 March. It has now been 160 days since Dr al-Singace has eaten solid foods, and he has lost over 20 kilograms in weight. Dr al-Singace subsists on water, drinking over four litres daily, fizzy drinks for sugar, nutritional supplements, saline injections and yoghurt drink. His intake is monitored by hospital nurses.

Since the start of Dr al-Singace’s hunger strike, he has been transferred to Al-Qalaa Hospital for prisoners, where he has been kept in solitary confinement in a windowless room and has irregular contact with medical staff and family. Prison authorities prevented condolence visits to attend his nephew’s and mother-in-law’s funerals. Dr al-Singace should be immediately released, allowed to continue his work and given full access to appropriate medical treatment without condition.

Last Update 28 August

Signatories:

Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
ARTICLE 19
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR)
Bahrain Human Rights Observatory
Bahrain Human Rights Society
Bahrain Institute of Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
Bahrain Press Association
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
English Pen
Ethical Journalism Network
European – Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
Front Line Defenders
Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR)
Index on Censorship
International Forum for Democracy and Human Rights (IFDHR)
Irish Pen
Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (KRC)
Maharat Foundation
Mothers Legacy Project
No Peace Without Justice
PEN American Center
PEN Canada
Pen International
Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
Rafto Foundation
Redress
Reporters Without Borders
Salam for Democracy and Human Rights
Sentinel Human Rights Defenders
Shia Rights Watch
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR)
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Tunisia Initiative for Freedom of Expression
Vivarta
Wales PEN Cymru

From the Committee to Protect Journalists:

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 40 human rights and press freedom groups, is calling on Bahrain to release Abduljalil Alsingace. The imprisoned blogger began waging a partial hunger strike on March 21, 2015 in protest at the maltreatment of prisoners after a riot in Jaw prison earlier that month, according to a campaign set up by his supporters.

Dictatorship boiling humans alive, new Pentagon anti-ISIS ally?


This video says about itself:

How The CIA Tortured Terror Suspects In Uzbekistan

The West’s Torture Farm (2005) …

Watch Torturing Democracy, Journeyman’s collected playlist on CIA torture: here.

It’s one of the nastiest, most repressive dictatorships in Asia but its relationship with Washington has helped it avoid censure. Just how valuable an ally is Uzbekistan in the War on Terror?

Critics of the government risk being tortured to death, there’s no freedom of speech and all opposition parties are banned. “This is not a government. It’s a monster against its own people,” laments Prof Mirsaidov. In the name of fighting Islamic terror, Uzbekistan has jailed thousands of members of Hiz-but-Tahrir. The problem is, many claim they are innocent and confessions are extracted under torture.

But despite its appalling human rights record, few Western governments seem willing to criticise it. Uzbekistan is now regarded as a key ally in the War on Terror. It allows the US to use its airbases to support operations in Afghanistan and American agents are believed to have ‘rendered’ terrorist suspects to Uzbekistan to be tortured. However, there are growing fears that siding with this repressive regime to fight terrorism is counter productive. As former British Ambassador Craig Murray states: “Our short sighted policy in Asia is creating the terrorism we claim we are fighting.”

Transcript of this: here.

The non-democratic governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are part of the United States military coalition fighting, officially, ISIS (aka ISIL) terrorism. Even though both the Bahraini and Saudi regimes have some disturbing similarities with, and links to, cruel ISIS.

They are far from being the only dictatorships to which the United States sells arms. Look at Uzbekistan.

Islam Karimov and Hillary ClintonLook at Islam Karimov. This dictator of Uzbekistan boils oppositionists alive. Nevertheless, when she was United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton considered Karimov her “friend”.

From Al Jazeera:

August 28, 2015 12:50AM ET

The United States on Thursday asked Uzbekistan to join the multinational coalition it leads against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying Central Asia’s most populous state was free to choose how to the fight against the armed group. …

Uzbekistan, a majority Muslim nation with a population of 31 million, has been a strategic NATO partner in post-Soviet Central Asia, assisting a U.S.-led war on the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. …

Uzbekistan, a gold and cotton producer whose 78-year-old strongman president, Islam Karimov, has been in power since Soviet days, has been criticized by Western governments and human rights bodies for clampdowns on dissent and basic freedoms. …

The criticism was very much more often by human rights bodies than by Western governments (like Tony Blair’s government in Britain).

While noting the need for “closer ties and better sharing information between our security establishments,” Rosenblum lauded Uzbekistan for progress in eliminating child labor in cotton fields, for which Uzbekistan had also been strongly criticized.

He said, however, that more needs to be done in eliminating involuntary adult labor in cotton production.

British daily The Guardian writes about this:

Uzbekistan ban on child labour forces more adults into cotton workforce

Report claims 4 million adults including teachers, businessmen and students pressed into working on cotton harvest

The United States State Department recently claimed there was human rights ‘progress’ in the Bahraini absolute monarchy as well, saying that was an excuse for selling arms to that dictatorship again. Tortured Bahraini political prisoners have not felt any of that ‘progress’.

If the United States government and other NATO governments want to oppose ISIS, then it would be much better to instead remove the only effective forces fighting ISIS, the Turkish and Syrian Kurds, from the lists of so-called ‘terrorists’. Lists which used to include Nelson Mandela, Senator Edward Kennedy, etc.

British government not helping Briton tortured in UAE


This video says about itself:

‘Repeatedly interrogated’: Muslim American sues FBI for torture in UAE prison

19 March 2015

An Eritrean-born American citizen is suing the FBI for pressuring him to collaborate and torturing him in a foreign prison when he refused. Yonas Fikre says he was arrested and interrogated in the United Arab Emirates.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

FCO refused to aid tortured student

Tuesday 25th August 2015

Government did not ask United Arab Emirates for a pardon

THE government refused to request a pardon for 22-year-old British student Ahmad Zeidan, who has allegedly been tortured into admitting drugs charges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a human rights charity said yesterday.

Mr Zeidan has been locked up for nearly two years, but his case was not raised during Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi last month, just before 900 pardons across the UAE were announced, Reprieve said.

He alleges that, in the course of a week, he was hooded, stripped, kept in solitary confinement for two days, beaten and threatened with rape before being forced to sign a “confession” in Arabic, which he cannot read or write.

Reprieve death penalty team leader Maya Foa said Mr Zeidan had suffered a “staggering miscarriage of justice” and urged the government to help him end the “nightmarish ordeal.”

The charity has received an email from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) admitting that it had not sent a letter in support of a pardon scheduled for September, despite it being official policy to do this for British nationals.

British consular staff in UAE have forwarded letters from Mr Zeidan’s father appealing for clemency to the ruler’s court in the emirate of Sharjah and to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa and Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, the FCO email added.

The FCO, when contacted by the Star, did not comment on why it has not supported the pardon request.

Mr Zeidan, of Reading in Berkshire, was studying at the Emirates Aviation College in Dubai when he was arrested in December 2013.

Police found 0.04g of cocaine — with a street value of around £3 — in the glove compartment of a car in which he was a passenger.

He always maintained that the drugs were not his, but he was sentenced to nine years in prison last summer. His six non-British co-defendants have been released. He also “narrowly missed a death sentence,” Reprieve said.

His family have twice called on the government to formally petition for his release.

Mr Zeidan, who is being held in Sharjah Central Jail, said he has suffered “a mountain of pain,” with seizures and disturbing flashbacks waking him during the night.

He said: “I’m not coping. I feel like I am going to self-implode. I’m just holding onto a thin line of something and I feel it’s going to run out very soon.”

Canadian family campaigns for release of father detained and tortured in UAE. Salim Alaradi has spent 362 days in a cell in the United Arab Emirates, detained without charge and allegedly tortured as the prisoner of state security agents: here.

United States President Jeb Bush would torture, like his brother


This video from the USA says about itself:

“These Are Crimes”: New Calls to Prosecute Bush Admin as Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture

10 December 2014

Graphic new details of the post-9/11 U.S. torture program came to light Tuesday when the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of its investigation into the CIA with key parts redacted. The report concludes that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al-Qaeda and other captives in secret prisons worldwide between 2002 and 2006, and details a list of torture methods used on prisoners, including waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks, and medically unnecessary “rectal feeding.”

The report also confirms the CIA ran black sites in Afghanistan, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Thailand, and a secret site on the Guantánamo Naval Base known as Strawberry Fields. So far no one involved in the CIA interrogation program has been charged with a crime except the whistleblower John Kiriakou.

In 2007, he became the first person with direct knowledge of the program to publicly reveal its existence. He is now serving a 30-month sentence. We speak with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, who has written several reports on prisoner mistreatment in the war on terror, including a 2011 report which called for a criminal investigation of senior Bush administration officials.

Watch all Democracy Now! reports about the U.S. torture program in our archive.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Jeb Bush doesn’t rule out torture

UNITED STATES: Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush refused to rule out a resumption of the use of torture if he becomes president.

At a party campaign rally in Iowa, the former Florida governor said on Thursday that, in general, he believed torture was inappropriate.

But, asked whether he would enforce President Barack Obama’s ban on “enhanced interrogation” practices, he said: “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement.”

Election 2016: Jeb Bush Got $1.3M Job At Lehman After Florida Shifted Pension Cash To Bank: here.

United States psychologists’ convention bans participation in torture


This video, recorded in Canada, says about itself:

Anti-Torture Psychologists Celebrate New APA Interrogation Ban

7 August 2015

Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz, two founders of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, speak to Amy Goodman in Toronto moments after the American Psychological Association approved a ban on psychologists from taking part in national security interrogations. See full coverage here.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

US psychologists’ convention bans participation in torture

10 August 2015

On Friday, the American Psychological Association overwhelmingly adopted a resolution banning participation by psychologists in national security interrogations, in the face of accusations that the proposed ban on torture was “anti-government” and “anti-military.”

The resolution states that “psychologists shall not conduct, supervise, be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities, including private contractors working on their behalf, nor advise on conditions of confinement insofar as these might facilitate such an interrogation.”

The resolution was adopted at a convention in Toronto by a vote of 156 council members to one, with seven abstentions and one recusal. Following the successful vote, participants and a crowd of observers rose for a defiant standing ovation. Some wore T-shirts that read, “First, do no harm,” referring to the fundamental concept in medical ethics.

The American Psychological Association is a scientific and professional organization embracing 122,500 professionals. Full membership in the organization requires a doctoral degree.

According to an APA press release, “The new policy does allow for psychologist involvement in general policy consultation regarding humane interrogations. The prohibition does not apply to domestic law enforcement interrogations or domestic detention settings where detainees are under the protection of the U.S. Constitution.”

The vote follows the release of a 542-page independent report last month implicating the APA in the CIA torture program, which was prepared by a team of lawyers led by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman. The Hoffman report, commissioned by the APA, exposed a conspiracy at the top levels of the APA, in collusion with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Defense (DOD), to facilitate the involvement of psychologists in the CIA torture program and later to shield the perpetrators from accountability.

The CIA torture program was the subject of a devastating Senate Intelligence Committee report in December of last year, which shamefully continues to be ignored by the establishment media in the US. The Senate report painted a picture of systematic and shocking brutality, infamously including “rectal feeding” and other practices, with the active oversight of the highest levels of the state. The Senate report found that numerous medical professionals had been accomplices or direct participants in torture, including doctors, nurses and psychologists.

In the period leading up to the APA’s annual conference last week, dissident psychologists opposed to torture were targeted for browbeating and intimidation. Tony Williams, president of the APA’s Society for Military Psychology, characterized the ban on torture that was passed Friday as a “politically motivated, anti-government and anti-military stance.” He went on to criticize the Hoffman report as serving “an effort to advance an unspoken political agenda.”

In the face of such efforts, the nearly unanimous vote is certainly a welcome repudiation of the criminal torture practices of the American government that were implemented as part of the “war on terror.” The vote vindicates the efforts of those dissident psychologists who have campaigned for years against torture.

At the same time, it is certainly an indication of the present crisis of American society that a vote was even necessary at all. Torture has been clearly illegal for decades, under both international and domestic law.

The involvement of medical professionals in torture is unambiguously prohibited by the Nuremberg Code, which resulted from the trials of Nazi doctors in the aftermath of the Second World War. (See The American Psychological Association, torture and the Nuremberg doctors’ trial.) Under the Nuremberg Code, medical professionals require the voluntary informed consent of their patients, and they are required to minimize harm.

The vote Friday paves the way for ethical complaints to be initiated against the psychologists involved in the CIA torture program, the loss of their licenses, and even prosecutions.

While those psychologists who participated in torture should certainly be held accountable, holding them accountable raises the question of all other civilian, military and intelligence officials and personnel who participated in torture. What about the top officials in the Bush and Obama administrations that orchestrated the program, lied about it, and tried to conceal it?

To date, the Obama administration has consistently refused to hold anyone involved in the criminal torture program accountable, invoking the slogan “looking forward, not backward.” The APA vote on Friday is a reminder that war criminals and torturers remain at large, who have yet to be brought to justice.

Retired Army Colonel Larry James cast the one dissenting vote on Friday. James served as Guantanamo’s chief psychologist in 2003 and as the director of the Abu Ghraib “behavioral science unit” in 2004.

At both Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, according to the Center for Torture Accountability, “James headed teams of ‘mental health’ professionals charged with destroying the mental health of detainees, on the theory that psychologically broken men would provide interrogators with more information.”

James claims that his role was to ensure that the detainees were treated ethically, but the Center indicates that his real function was “to maximize their psychological pain.”

“On his watch, prisoners were threatened with rape and murder, sexually humiliated, left naked in cold cells, chained into uncomfortable ‘stress positions’ for hours on end, and deprived of sleep and human contact, among other psychological regimens,” the Center notes.

In 2008, James became dean of the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. In 2009, he served as president of the American Board of Health Psychology. From 2009 to 2010, he served as president elect of the APA’s Division of Military Psychology.

In 2010, James announced that he had been appointed to a task force headed by Michelle Obama called, “Enhancing the Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family.” In a press release, James emphatically agreed with the Obama administration’s policy of “turning the page” on torture—that is, the policy of zero accountability for torturers and their accomplices.

See also here.