German army torture scandal


This 2011 video is about torture in the German navy and army.

If we read about how German soldiers treat their fellow soldiers, then we can only have extremely big concerns about how German soldiers will treat African civilians during the German government’s neocolonial wars in Mali and elsewhere

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

‘Sadistic hazing for German recruits’

Today, 13:38

Soldiers of the German army base Pfullendorf have been found guilty of mistreatment and humiliation of recruits, weekly magazine Der Spiegel writes.

Pfullendorf is an ‘elite unit’ according to Der Spiegel.

There are said to be sadistic hazing rituals in the training for medics.

The magazine describes degrading practices at the barracks. Eg, newcomers would have to undress during training and recordings were made of that. Victims also had to insert tampons anally. That was filmed as well.

Also, soldiers would be tied up for hours naked on chairs while being sprayed with garden hoses. According to Der Spiegel, the Bundeswehr expects that investigation will find out still further abuses.

There were already in 2015 stories about misconduct in the medic training. Investigation, however, then did not discover anything. In October last year a female soldier approached the minister directly with new accusations. …

There is currently an investigation whether the commanding officers knew of the practices.

CIA torture, new information


This video says about itself:

Here the rain never finishes: exclusive CIA torture report from the ACLU

13 October 2015

Survivors of Central Intelligence Agency torture are sueing the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. Salim, one of the three ex-detainees in the suit, is a Tanzanian fisherman who says that flashbacks from his ordeal in CIA custody are a permanent part of his life.

By Shelley Connor in the USA:

Declassified reports reveal torture techniques used by Bush-era CIA

21 January 2017

Newly disclosed documents from the CIA detail the “enhanced interrogation” techniques—torture—used on detainees at black sites throughout the world. The documents, 50 in all, include information that was not presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the CIA torture program in 2014.

This information has been released amid a pitched legal battle concerning the handling of the full 6,700 page document that was presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The documents were released as the result of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Freedom of Information Act suit against the CIA. The documents describe, in clinical, disinterested prose, a harrowing array of torture techniques used against suspects, from extreme humiliation to potentially deadly force.

The use of “mock burials,” in which detainees were forced into coffin-shaped boxes with hidden ventilation holes, the slamming of detainees repeatedly into walls, and the exposure of denuded detainees to extreme cold stand out as particularly inhumane practices. The documents include an investigation into the 2002 death of suspected Taliban militant Gul Rahman, who died of hypothermia at a black site north of Kabul, Afghanistan. At the time of his death, Rahman was clad in nothing but an adult diaper, and had been chained to a vent in his cell throughout a cold, November night.

Attorneys for two of the CIA’s victims, Abu Zubaydah and Abdul Rahim Al-Nashiri, are currently fighting for the preservation of the full report of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings, which doubtless contain even more gruesome details.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is adjudicating Zubaydah’s habeas corpus request, issued a memo demanding that the United States government “immediately” deposit a complete and un-redacted copy of the Senate report with the court by February 10. Last week, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Obama administration to hand a copy over to the court, as well, in the case of Al-Nashiri. The Obama administration resisted on both counts.

Excerpts from the reports reveal how prisoners were subjected to torture through “walling” and waterboarding. During walling, a towel rolled up and placed behind the prisoner’s neck was the only precaution taken to ensure that the victims did not sustain concussions or spinal injuries when yanked upright by their chains and slammed into walls by their interrogators. Zubaydah was rendered unconscious and suffered seizures as a result of this treatment; to this day, he still experiences blackouts, headaches and seizures.

After three consecutive days of waterboarding, walling, and mock burials, Zubaydah was given a day-long reprieve from the aggressive interrogations. He was given Ensure, a meal replacement drink, and was again released to his cell, where interrogators disrupted his sleep purposely throughout the night. The next morning, interrogators again hooded Zubaydah and inflicted their torments upon him anew. After telling interrogators that he had no new information to offer, he was slapped and forced into a dark, upright box with a container for his waste.

Even after Zubaydah “showed distress,” he was left in the box for four hours. He was removed from this box, was walled again for two hours, and was then shoved into what interrogators called “the small confinement box.” Here, he was forced into a modified fetal position, with his back curved downward and his legs drawn up.

“Subject remained in the small box for one hour and ten minutes. Subject sounded distressed and did not appear to adapt as well to his time in the small confinement box,” interrogators recounted. He was waterboarded and walled for several more hours after being removed from the box. “Subject has not provided any new threat or elaborated on any old threat information. Medical assessment is that subject remains stable and that his physiologic condition is close to normal given his present circumstances,” the report affirmed.

Zubaydah himself remembers those events in much more excruciating detail. He told his lawyers that he remembered “screaming unconsciously,” in pain because he was unable to stretch his legs, unbend his back, or stand upright. The documentation of his torture reveals that the small box was used to the maximum amount allowable by interrogators.

The reports substantiate claims by several detainees that interrogators drugged them with powerful pharmaceuticals without consent during interrogation—a practice regarded as unethical by medical professionals. For years, the CIA asserted that detainees were only “sedated” as a last resort, mainly as a safety measure.

However, the released documents reveal another practice entirely. In April of 2002, interrogators documented plans to transport Zubaydah “in a state of pharmaceutical unconsciousness … to maximize the intended effect of disorienting.”

These documents have been released at a critical juncture. Obama ascended to the presidency eight years ago amid hopes that he would end the opacity and latitude the intelligence apparatus had enjoyed under Bush. Yet during his last week in office, he worked feverishly to ensure that the full, damning report of state-sanctioned torture would remain safely sealed in the presidential archives, where they would be free from public viewing until 2028. In response to Judge Royce Lamberth’s order to remand a copy to the court, Obama administration lawyers argued that doing so would endanger executive-congressional cooperation and that the document enjoyed enough protection by being included in Obama’s archives.

This action is of a piece with the rest of Obama’s presidency, which began with him granting immunity to war criminals from the Bush and Cheney era. Obama’s lukewarm expressions of distaste for torture are not borne out by his policies, through which domestic spying, extrajudicial assassinations and legalized entrapment have become standard operating procedure.

While Al-Nashiri fights for his freedom—and his life, as the Obama administration has sought the death penalty—James Mitchell, a primary architect of many Bush-era torture regimens, remains free.

Another criminal who walks free, CIA director John Brennan, worked to intimidate members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He ordered CIA thugs to break into Senate staffers’ computers and delete information concerning the CIA’s torture program. He then brazenly claimed that those staffers should be prosecuted for possessing confidential information, and arrogantly stated that the CIA had a right to withhold information from the Senate Intelligence Committee, to which it is supposed to be answerable.

Obama doused the flames between Brennan and outraged members of the Senate committee by stating that no one would be prosecuted. This effectively granted Brennan immunity and provided a precedent for the cover-up of war crimes.

Meanwhile, whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and CIA analyst John Kiriakou were punished for the “crime” of revealing the sadistic nature of military and intelligence practices. Kiriakou, particularly, stands out as a symbol for the injustice of the Obama administration; while James Mitchell boasts openly to the press about waterboarding detainees, Kiriakou was prosecuted by the Obama Justice Department and sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing the use of waterboarding to the American public.

Many Americans are rightly concerned about the dangers posed by recently inaugurated President Donald Trump. Attorneys for victims such as Zubaydah and al-Nashiri, among others, fear that Trump could, at the behest of Senate Republicans, destroy the full Senate torture report. Trump himself has expressed support for waterboarding and other techniques; “Torture works,” he has told reporters.

The Central Intelligence Agency announced February 2 that its new deputy director will be Gina Haspel, a 32-year CIA veteran who ran one of the first secret prisons where Al Qaeda suspects were subjected to torture in the period following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US: here.

British-UAE dictatorship military cooperation


This video says about itself:

UAE secret prisons and torture revealed

13 October 2015

UAE torture survivors reveal cases of enforced kidnapping, arbitrary detention, secret prisons and torture.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Naval forces begin military exercises

Monday 16th January 2017

BRITISH and United Arab Emirates (UAE) naval forces began military exercises yesterday as threatening actions towards nearby Iran continued.

The UAE sits near the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which passes nearly a third of all the oil traded by sea.

The current “Sea Dagger” exercises may be meant to intimidate Iran, which lies on the northern side of the Persian Gulf.

United States warships have recently fired warning shots at Iranian vessels.

Britain is massively expanding its military presence is the Gulf, establishing the £30 million HMS Jufair naval base in Bahrain.

This country is a strong backer of the repressive UAE, which was cobbled together in the 1970s when Britain couldn’t afford to keep troops in what was a “protectorate” designed to exert control over the oil-producing region.

UAE forces are equipped with British weapons and 4,000 Emirati troops are deployed as part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s bloodbath in Yemen.

Bahrainis protest executions of tortured political prisoners


This video says about itself:

The Brutal Backlash Against Protest In Bahrain (2011)

Undercover Kingdom: With civil unrest in Bahrain worsening, protesters continue to suffer under a government determined to quell dissent by using brute force and manipulating the media’s message.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bahrain protests after three tortured men are executed

Monday 16th January 2017

BAHRAINIS took to the streets in protest yesterday after the ruling monarchy executed three men whom its torturers had forced to confess to a deadly 2014 bombing.

Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali al-Singace were found guilty in 2015 of killing two Bahraini policemen and an Emirati officer deployed to strengthen the island country’s security forces.

A court upheld their death sentences last Monday and they were executed yesterday by being shot in the heart.

The prisoners were the first to be executed since 2010 — the year before widespread pro-democracy demonstrations were put down by force with the help of Saudi and Emirati soldiers.

Clashes continued throughout yesterday, despite Bahrain’s rulers flooding the streets with riot police.

Images posted online showed Bahrainis blocking roads by burning tyres and other debris …

“It is nothing short of an outrage — and a disgraceful breach of international law — that Bahrain has gone ahead with these executions,” legal action charity Reprieve director Maya Foa said.

“The death sentences handed to Ali, Sami and Abbas were based on ‘confessions’ extracted through torture, and the trial was an utter sham.”

Mr Samea and Mr Mushaima were given electric shocks, beaten, burned with cigarettes, deprived of sleep and sexually assaulted while in custody, according to Reprieve.

Mr Singace’s mum said that her son had also been tortured.

The killing of the three comes amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in the kingdom backed and armed by Britain.

Leading human rights activist Nabeel Rajab remains locked up for posting tweets about the Saudi-led war on Yemen and torture in Bahraini prisons.

The Gulf country is strongly supported by Britain, which is building a new £30 million naval base to extend its control over oil and gas supplies. The US navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.

As well as [selling] weapons and military gear, Britain also trains Bahrain’s police and a British military officer is embedded in Bahrain’s Interior Ministry.

From 1966 to 1998, the country’s top torturer was British former colonial officer Ian Henderson.

All British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had to say about the executions was that the government is “opposed to the death penalty” and that “the Bahraini authorities are aware of our position.”

Mohammed Ramadan & Husain Moosa are now under imminent threat of execution in Bahrain – wife pleads for help: here.

How UK’s support for Bahrain tyranny allows journalism to be crushed: here.

Bahrain’s torture ‘evidence’ to condemn people to death


This video is about torture in Bahrain.

From Reprieve in Britain:

Bahrain uses torture evidence to sentence three more to death

January 9, 2017

Bahrain’s highest court has today (9th January) upheld the death sentences of three men, despite allegations that they were tortured into making false confessions. Their executions are now imminent.

Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali al-Singace were originally sentenced to death in February 2015.

All three were tortured into signing false ‘confessions’ that were used against them in court.

Mr Mushaima was forced to sign documents despite being illiterate. He is a relative of a prominent opposition politician, but has never been involved in activism.

Mr al-Samea was admitted to hospital for surgery as a result of his interrogation. He is a PE teacher and aspiring photojournalist who had taken pictures at a protest.

The three men’s death sentences were overturned in October 2016 after a court ruled that their initial sentences were “misjudgements.”

However, in December 2016, the appeals court reinstated their death sentences.

Human rights organization Reprieve wrote to Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May asking her to raise the issue of police torture and the death penalty ahead of her meeting in Bahrain last month.

Millions of pounds in UK government aid have been spent on training Bahrain’s police, prison guards and torture watchdog in recent years.

Commenting, Maya Foa, a director of Reprieve, said:

“It is extremely alarming that Bahrain, a close ally of Britain, is gearing up to execute three people, all of whom were convicted on the basis of false ‘confessions’ extracted through torture. Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima, and Ali al-Singace will be the first people to be executed in Bahrain in six years. All three were charged with political offences and tortured into signing ‘confessions’ that were used against them in court – despite one of them being illiterate and not able to read the document. On her recent visit to Bahrain, Theresa May said that the UK ‘does not uphold our values and human rights by turning our back on this issue’ yet apparently declined to raise the cases of these prisoners facing imminent execution. The UK must do more to ensure its close allies do not render them complicit in the gravest abuses.”

UK trains Bahraini troops as May puts trade before human rights: here.