Probing UK War Crimes in Iraq. Bravo, ICC. Thank You, WikiLeaks

UK war crimes in occupied Iraq
Standard

Preliminary investigation into UK activity in occupied Iraq

UK war crimes in occupied Iraq

UK war crimes in occupied Iraq

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated today that she will resume an investigation into conduct of forces of the United Kingdom during the Iraq occupation. In 2006, the previous Prosecutor issued a statement saying that he had decided not to proceed with investigations. Earlier, as we now know from Wikileaks, he had reassured diplomats that he had no intention of investigating conduct of the occupying forces in Iraq. Today’s statement by the Prosecutor notes that new information has been received in a submission by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and Public Interest Lawyers. The full communication, delivered to the Prosecutor in January of this year, can be found here. The Prosecutor should be congratulated for her courage in taking this step. It will no doubt incur the wrath of the right wing press and conservative politicians who think that there are two standards of justice, one for the global south and another for those who wrote the Magna Carta. Last week, the Prosecutor indicated that she would begin an investigation into the Ukraine as a result of that country’s declaration accepting jurisdiction of the Court. And presently, France is promoting a resolution in the Security Council aimed at referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court. For the Court, this activity in States outside Africa where very strategic interests of major powers are involved is a welcome development. It will help to transmit a message that this is an independent and impartial institution capable of judging the strong and not only the weak. 

Up to 1,000 British soldiers face an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the following occupation of the country. The charges are mostly based on testimony given by detainees in Iraq and are related to the abuse and torture of detainees.

News from Iran – Week 06 – 2013

Standard

Prisoners News

A- Transfers

 

  • Political prisoner Ahmadreza Ahmadpour suffering from multitude of illnesses hospitalized due to medicine administrated at prison.
  • Adel Naeemi transferred from Evin to Rejaei Shahr.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Two weeks after release on furlough Mahsa Amrabadi returned to Evin prison
  • Senior Reformist Feyzollah Arabsorkhi was returned to Evin from hospital before completing treatment.
  • Dr. Latif Hasani, Azari activist, arrested.
  • Graduate student Khaled Mohammadi was arrested last week, whereabouts unknown.
  • Shahram Radmehr, Azari activist, arrested.

 

C-Liberations

 

  • Ali Dehghan, journalist, released on bail.
  • Political prisoner Zahra Mansouri has been released on medical furlough, she suffers from breast cancer
  • Mohammad Tavakoli the detained member of Teachers’ Union in Kermanshah released on 50 million tomans bail.

 

D-Other News

 

  • Dervishes on hunger strike Saleh Moradi and Kasra Nouri forced to sign a letter stating health OK.
  • 3 political prisoners in Rajai Shahr denied family visit because they refused to wear a prison uniform.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Sentence reduced to 1 year + 600 Toman fine for 85 years old prisoner Mohammad Hossein Nakhaei.
  • After 7 years in prison an Afghan citizen was executed in Varamin prison.
  • 3 hangings in Isfahan’s prison on Tuesday


University – Culture

  • Iran lifted the block on Tabnak news website, close to Mohsen Rezaee.
  • Baztab site reports it has been under heavy cyber-attack.


Iran Economics

  • Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad’s Road Department workers have not received their salaries for 6 months.


Politics in Iran

  • Ahmadinejad appointed General Mohammad Hassan Nami as acting Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
  • Reformists will participate in presidential election says former minister.
  • The Parliament impeached Ahmadenejad’s Labor Minister with, 56 against, 24 abstained & 192 yes votes
  • Mortazavi arrested on Monday for corruption and released on Tuesday.
  • On supreme leader’s orders, Justice Minister, Sadegh Larijani, gives up suing Ahmadinejad for defamation.


Iran  abroad

  • Bank melli ex manager Mahmoud Reza Khavari wanted by Interpol for fraud.
  • Salehi, in separate meetings, held talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Syrian opposition leader, Mouaz Al-Khatib.
  • Egypt’s Morsi greets Iranian president upon his arrival in Cairo for historic visit.
  • European Union court ruled that EU should lift sanctions it imposed on one of Iran’s largest banks, Bank Saderat
  • In a unilateral decision, Foreign Minister Salehi announced Egyptian citizens visiting Iran will no longer require a visa.


Miscellaneous

  • $40m oil rig being built for Iran by an Australian crew sank and disappeared into the deep.

 

News from Iran – Week 05 – 2013

Standard

Prisoners’ News

A- Transfers

 

  • Student activist Amir Chamani moved to workshop section from the quarantine ward in Central prison, Tabriz.
  • Pan-Iranist member Milad Deghan [43 days of interrogation in solitary ] moved to Ward 8 in Karoon Prison
  • Political prisoner Reza Sharifi Boukani was moved from RajaeiShahr, Karaj to ward 209 in Evin in Tehran.

 

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

 

  • Sasan Aghaie, journalist, arrested.
  • Pouria Alemi, journalist, arrested.
  • Emily Amraee, journalist, arrested.
  • Saba Azarpeik, Journalist, arrested
  • Javad Daliri, journalist, arrested.
  • Soran Daneshvar, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Ali Dehghan, journalist in Bahar newspaper, arrested.
  • Milad Fadaei Asl, head of the political section of ILNA news agency, arrested.
  • Taher Faghih, student of Ayatollah Dastgheib, arrested in Shiraz.
  • Davar Ghasemi, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Narges Joodeki, journalist, arrested.
  • Saman Mahmoudi, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Keyvan Mehregan, journalist arrested.
  • Journalist Soleiman Mohammadi arrested.
  • Zana Moeini, Kurdish student, arrested in Marivan.
  • Ali-Akbar Montajebi, journalist, arrested.
  • Pezhman Mousavi, journalist, arrested.
  • Fatemeh Sagharchi, journalist, arrested.
  • Motahereh Shafiei, journalist, arrested and released the day after.
  • Arash Shaltooki, dervish Gonabadi, arrested in Isfahan and sent to Evin.
  • Reyhaneh Tabatabaie, journalist, arrested.
  • Nasrin Takhiri, journalist, arrested.
  • Hossein Yaghchi, journalist, arrested.

 

C-Liberations

 

  • Popular singer Arya Aramnejad released from Babol prison after serving out his sentence.
  • Imprisoned Freedom Movement of Iran member Jafar Ganji granted a prison furlough to attend mother’s funeral.
  • Editor-in-Chief of Maghreb, Mohammad Mehdi Emami-Naseri, released after 120 days.
  • Participation Front member, journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian has been released on furlough.
  • Didar Raufi freed from Rajaei Shahr at the end of his sentence

 

D-Other News

 

  • Gonabadi Dervish, Hamid Moradi was beaten severely in ward 209 of Evin.
  • Imprisoned Zoroastrian citizen Abolfazl (Pouria) Shahpari denied furlough to visit mother undergoing chemotherapy.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Pastor Saeed Abedini has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.
  • Gonabadi Dervish, Ali Moazami, sentenced to 2 years in prison by the judge Salavati in Tehran.
  • Amputation carried out in Sari prison – Four fingers were amputated.
  • 6 executions in Esfahan prison on Sunday of which 2 women.
  • One man hanged in Myaneh prison on Monday.
  • One man hanged in Tabriz prison on Tuesday.
  • 5 executions in Kerman prison on Wednesday.


University – Culture

  • Hamed Malek Abadi, Azari activist, sentenced to 6 months in prison.
  • Sama and Sirus Sabeti expelled from Babol University because they are Baha’i.
  • Tabnak news website, close to conservative Mohsen Rezaei, blocked by Iranian Authorities.
  • Iran authorities have blocked Baztab Emrooz and Iranian History websites.
  • Offices of Reformist newspapers Etemad, Bahar, Aseman  and Shargh raided by security forces.
  • Iranian cyberattacks target Radio Farda journalists.


Protests

  • A group of sugar cane cutters of the Karun Agro-industrial Complex in Shushtar have held a protest rally outside the President’s office in Tehran for 7 consecutive day.


Iran Economics

  • $1 = from 3800 to 3900 Toman – Euro 1 = from 5200 to 5300 toman on Wednesday.
  • $1 = above Toman – Euro 1 = 5500 toman on Thursday.


Politics in Iran

  • Iranian Guardian Council approves watered-down election law.
  • Accused former prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi removed from position.


Iran  abroad

  • Omar Hakim, President of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, arrived in Iran.
  • Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, traveled to Jordan.
  • Large arms shipment intercepted off Yemen, Iran eyed as source.
  • India to open cultural center in Iran
  • Academic delegation from China visits Iran.
  • Europe’s highest court annuls EU sanctions against Bank Mellat.


Miscellaneous

  • Explosion at Fordow nuclear facility -trapped 240 workers in underground ; Iran authorities deny same.
  • Iran sends a monkey into space.
  • Iran’s one and only Geopark dropped from UNESCO list.

 

 

Iraq Protests – 9 Demands

28 Dec 2012
Standard

Elections looming on the horizon and 5 days of protests have led to a sudden burst of interest in Iraq, the country the world usually chooses to ignore. The protests erupted after the arrest of the Finance Minister’s bodyguards sparked already simmering anger. Prime Minister Maliki has denied ordering last Thursday’s arrests and suggested that they were the result of an investigation undertaken by the judiciary. Protesters say the issues are far greater than these recent arrests.

Western media is playing up the Sunni-vs-Shia “rising sectarian tide” angle on these events, which bear all the hallmarks of other similar uprisings in the MENA region, starting with Tunisia a little over 2 years ago. One of the protest areas, Anbar, is also claimed to be a location currently favoured by al Qaeda, with the suggestion it might be used as a transit point for fighters en route to Syria. The government is reported to have imposed emergency situation restrictions there.

28 Dec 2012

Tens of thousands protest in Iraq 28 Dec 2012

No revolution is complete without a Facebook page these days and Iraq has one, because in fact there have been protests there for at least two years; they just didn’t get the same level of attention as some countries.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have joined demonstrations in Anbar, Falluja, and Ramadi, chanting slogans against Mr Maliki. During the protest in Ramadi a mock funeral was held for the Iraqi judiciary. Asharq Alwasat reports that around 60,000 people blocked the main road through the city of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of the capital, setting fire to the Iranian flag and shouting “out, out Iran! Baghdad stays free” and “Maliki you coward, don’t take your advice from Iran”. At demonstrations in the northern city of Mosul and in Samarra, protesters chanted “the people want the fall of the regime”, the slogan used in popular revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Some journalists attempting to reach the city were held at an army checkpoint some 50km east of Ramadi for six hours, and were unable to cover the demonstration, says the BBC’s Rami Ruhayem who was at the scene.

Al Jazeera has already hosted a discussion asking “What is stoking Iraqi rage?”

In one protest today, community leaders issued nine demands and an ultimatum to the government during  a video interview:

  1. immediate release of detained protesters and dissident prisoners
  2. approve the amnesty law for innocent detainees
  3. the abolition of anti-terrorism laws used to target them
  4. repeal unfair rulings against dissidents
  5. provide essential services to areas which have been neglected by the state
  6. hold all members of official or security organisations who have committed crimes against dissidents accountable, especially those who have violated the honor of women in prisons
  7. stop financial and administrative corruption
  8. stop agitating divisions between groups, end marginalization of Sunnis
  9.  fight sectarianism

From tomorrow, Saturday 29 December 2012, an open-ended sit-in will begin, until these demands are met.

#Syria: #Refugee Crisis Deepens

photo_1347356386856-1-0
Standard

Photo: AP Number of registered Syrian refugees and country of asylum, as of Augist 2012

Since Syrian protests developed into a civil war, the entire region has experienced an exodus of refugees from the violence. More than 250,000 Syrians have registered in neighbouring countries with the UN High Commission on Refugees, while many have fled without registering, and more than a million are internally displaced.

Syrian refugee count. (Design by Farwa Rizwan/Al Arabiya English)

Complicating matters further, Syria has long been home to refugees fleeing other conflict zones in the region. Communities of Iraqis in Damascus and Palestinians near the south western border now find themselves uprooted for a second time.

Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq have opened their borders to many of those fleeing the Syrian conflict. Other governments and international agencies have responded with aid. But with approximately 50,000 fleeing Syria every month, more and more refugees risk the deprivation of shelter, food, security, and other basic human rights.