Russia- Dear George, Take Your Unipolar World & Shove It

Russia, like other countries in the world, has regions in which it has privileged interests” said Mr Medvedev. “In these regions are located countries which have friendly relations…Russia will work attentively in these regions” he said, adding these “privileged” regions included states bordering Russia, but not only those.”

“Russia does not intend to isolate itself. We will develop, as much as possible, our friendly relations with Europe and the United States, and other nations of the world”

He also focused on a commitment to international law, and again expressed Moscow’s now familiar antipathy to a “unipolar” world dominated by Washington, saying “this type of world is unstable and threatens conflict”.

Hit

So Magomed Yevloyev, owner of the ingushetiya.ru site much hated by the President of Ingushetia Murat Zyazikov, (a former KGB general and Putin thug) is on a flight the President is also on, when the plane lands in Ingushetia Yevloyev is arrested at the airport then is led away by police and dies from a gunshot wound to the head. The BBC sez-

Reports quoting local police said Yevloyev had tried to seize a policeman’s gun when he was being led to a vehicle. A shot was fired and Yevloyev was injured in the head.

Al Jazeera though have him already in the car-

Vladimir Markin, the prosecutor’s office spokesman, said “an incident” took place after Yevloyev was taken into a police car “resulting in a shooting injury to the head and he later died in hospital”, Interfax reported.

Kaloi Akhilgov, a lawyer from the site, told the Reuters news agency: “As they drove he [Yevloyev] was shot in the temple … They threw him out of the car near the hospital.

Background-

BBC-His website reported on alleged Russian security force brutality in Ingushetia, an impoverished province of some half a million people, mostly Muslims, which is now more turbulent than neighbouring Chechnya.

Ingushetia borders Chechnya and has suffered from overflowing unrest. There is a low-level insurgency, with regular small-scale ambushes against police and soldiers. In June 2008, the Human Rights Watch group accused Russian security forces there of carrying out widespread human rights abuses. HRW said it had documented dozens of arbitrary detentions, disappearances, acts of torture and extra-judicial executions.

AJ- The website is among the most-visited for news on Ingushetia and has openly criticised Zyazikov, who threatened to shut it down on several occasions. Russian officials ordered the closure of the site in June, saying it was disseminating “extremist” views. Moscow had also blocked access to the site late last year after it urged readers to protest against the local administration, which the opposition had accused of corruption and mismanagement. Rosa Malsagova, the website’s chief editor, announced plans to seek asylum in France earlier this month.

Looks an awful lot like he pissed off the Pres a bit too much and maybe something on the flight was the last straw and he was whacked. Check out the action packed wiki profile of Murat Zyazikov and the BBC country profile. Hard not to see that it being a neighbour of North Ossetia this is part of the Russian security lockdown or at least with that underway Zyazikov figures he will be backed on anything he does. Meanwhile Russia does an Israel and keeps buffer zones in Georgia, ironic given the Israeli ‘consultants’ working with Saakashvili.

Self Harm Up 73% In Six Months In Migrant Prisons

This is a Red Alert that the jails and the Border agency system are absolutely wrong and inhumane in their approach. This is an expression of human pain that tells you the migrant gulag must be dismantled, for such activity to rise 73% in such a short time is profoundly indicative of the inequities and brutality of the institutions. Kudos to Emily Dugan for this report in The Independent-

Incidences of self-harm in immigration detention centres rose 73 per cent in the first six months of this year, Home Office figures have revealed. The sharp increase has provoked calls for the Government to re-examine its policy of treating asylum-seekers as prisoners. .

In the first six months of this year there were 109 cases of self-harm requiring medical attention. Colnbrook detention centre in Berkshire had the highest number, with 32 incidents so far this year. The numbers on self-harm watch have also risen – with 722 cases in the first half of 2008, up from 678 in the last six months of 2007. The total population of the country’s immigration detention centres is typically below 2,300.

When the Independent Asylum Commission concluded a review of the entire system earlier this year, it recommended the detention of asylum-seekers be reconsidered. Sir John Waite, the former High Court judge who chaired the commission, said: “This alarming figure confirms the anxiety which was expressed by us about the appropriateness of detention for asylum-seekers. It also confirms the need for a root-and-branch review of the entire policy.”

The UK Border Agency has already been criticised for its detention of vulnerable migrants and for the extended stays that many are forced to endure. Contrary to UN recommendations, there is no legal limit to the length of time a person can be held in a UK immigration detention centres. The Home Office no longer publishes a breakdown of the length of detention. Experts say it is not uncommon for asylum-seekers to be held for more than six months at a time. Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “It is unacceptable to detain people without charge for long periods. There is only one proper response to the unacceptably high level of self-harm in detention, and that is for the Government to end the use of detention as part of its asylum policy.”

Despite the latest figures, the Government is determined to expand the immigration detention capacity from 2,500 to 4,000. Dr Cornelius Katona, of the asylum charity Medical Justice, said: “There is an enormous body of evidence that says detaining asylum-seekers is bad for their mental health. These are people who are very vulnerable.” Dr Katona estimates that at least half of the UK’s detainees suffer from mental illness. John O, of the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, said: “I speak daily to people in detention and there is no solace you can give to a detainee who does not understand why they have been detained.”

A Border Agency spokesman insisted detention centres were “safe and secure”.

A detainee’s story: ‘They don’t treat you like a person’

Terri Matsvimbo, a 28-year-old asylum-seeker from Zimbabwe was held in Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire for four months this year. She was so distressed by her incarceration and her fears that she would be sent home that she began to self-harm.

In the worst of these incidents, she slit her wrists with razors that were provided by staff at the centre, despite her medical history of depression.

“I was just desperate,” she says. “They don’t treat you like a person there; people keeping animals would treat them with more respect.

“Being in Yarl’s Wood was the lowest I’ve ever been: it was mental torture at its worst. Now I’ve got mental and physical scars that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Wrong Number

I don’t use my mobile much but it’s handy for the odd thing, most of the time it is switched off, so when I turn it on it has a bunch of texts to catch up with. Last night I turned it on and one text was a wrong number, nothing too important so here is this odd snatch of someone else’s life-

Is it ok to come and
get the blanket
today? Also could you
please let me in to
grandad’s for
hannah’s nappy’s

Thankfully free of txtspk but- nappy’s- hmmm. Pedantry aside let’s all hope they solved their communication mishap and the blanket is safely returned and the baby has something to wear. I found it intriguing and it’s playful to construct a narrative into which this text fits. Seems to be between family members as grandad is used as a common title for sender and receiver and as they need to let them in, well gramps is away or no longer with us.  ‘Is it ok‘ seems very polite, maybe some tension in the relationships. Also a blanket seems a bit unremarkable to make a trip for so I guess it’s a beloved blanket probably belonging to Hannah, she’ll be hell without it. Not that I’m saying there aren’t fanstatic blankets we all love, not at all, I have my own lovely multicolured blanky that has kept me warm on many a sofa.

Unless it’s all code for a terror attack which is how we are encouraged to think, for blanket read nerve gas, for grandad read armourer for nappies read machine guns, yes that’s probably it, the dastardly terrorists just won’t ever let us be. About time we jettisoned some more civil liberties, just to be safe.

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Day of the Disappeared

In marking the 25th International Day of the Disappeared on Aug. 30, rights activists in a number of countries across the world are holding rallies and sit-ins to press their governments for immediate ratification of the U.N. Convention against Enforced Disappearance.

The 2006 treaty was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 2006. It has been signed by 73 nations, but not ratified. So far, only four countries — Albania, Argentina, Mexico and Honduras — have ratified it. “Enforced disappearance”, according to the treaty, is the “arrest, detention, abduction by agents of the state or by persons, groups or persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person.”

The treaty contains an absolute prohibition on forced disappearances in both peacetime and wartime, and enshrines measures such as the registration of detainees, their right of access to a court and the right to contact their lawyers and families. Recently, the U.N. Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances reported over 41,000 pending cases across 78 countries. Since its creation in 1980, the Geneva-based group has submitted more than 50,000 individual cases to governments in more than 90 countries.

According to the London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International, the worst national statistics referred to the Working Group last year were in Sri Lanka, where 5,516 people are currently registered as disappeared, and 30 new urgent action cases were identified in relation to alleged disappearances.

The Day of the Disappeared was started in 1983 by the Latin American non-governmental organisation FEDEFAM (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos) at a time when disappearances arose from authoritarian governance by military rulers. But, as human rights researchers point out, enforced disappearances are taking place in all parts of the world. In September 2006, U.S. President George W Bush publicly acknowledged that the CIA was running prolonged incommunicado detention in secret locations. This practice has involved governments around the world.

Those being held in secret locations have no clue about where they are and what is going to happen to them. It is feared that most of them are at risk of torture and death. Bush reauthorised the programme in 2007. In scrutinising the Bush policy on secret detentions, the Amnesty International identifies Pakistan as one of the chief collaborators. The rights group says that in that country there are many cases of enforced disappearances linked to the so-called U.S. war on terror.

Events are being organised in more than 20 countries to pay respect to disappeared persons as well as to campaign for the new convention on enforced disappearances. Among those countries are Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Nigeria, Morocco, Belarus, France, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Spain.

Fuk Da Kredit Krunch

It’s Saturday, the sea is becalmed, the doldrums lay heavy upon this humid Isle and it’s time to get my rant on. Fuck the credit crunch, what a bullshit meaningless term birthed in the fetid alien womb of PR speak politics. Fuck that shit. It’s a crisis of capitalism, of free market dogma, hey guess what- huge global unregulated markets decided in their unaccountable freedom and run by the already wealthy, they decided to be crooks, they faked up debt packages ignored warnings and fed their greed. It’s not a credit fucking crunch it’s the price of capitalist greed, the consequence of elite crime, so take your banal blameless phrase and stuff it up your economically moribund arse. Ignoring the reason for this only means once we have survived it…we’ll do it all over again.

Guess fucking what, if you have a social democracy with good welfare and progressives taxes the booms aren’t quite so good, but also the busts are not as bad, but no, not even that moderation is acceptable to the Church Of The Free Market. One less solid gold ball scratcher is far more immoral that a homeless person starving. These Friedmanite Taliban accept nothing but the unfettered liberty of capital to do as it will and by just an amazing coincidence this supposedly intellectually compelling theory just so happens to mean the rich get to be even richer. I wonder why it was embraced so enthusiastically, I’ll guess we’ll just never ever know, huh?

And while the proof the theories are utter bullshit that fail to account for hegemonic greed and the base dehumanisation of us into lonely selfish robots of enlightened rational market decisions (their model only works if the people within it act as psychopaths, hmmmm). While that proof stares us in the recession-tastic face, even now the fundamentalist are planning on taking this crisis and capitalising on it to push through even more extreme polices. Yeah maybe if the oligarchy get all the money some might trickle down this time, hey it’s worth a try, did I tell you my 17th home has a new jetway, yeah by the golf course? This just makes the race to the bottom even quicker, watch out China!

Fuck the credit crunch, the least we could do is have a competition (ooh they’ll like that) to find an even more facile term to lampoon our misery and let the guilty off the hook after all newspapers are already printing patronising how-to-make-more-money pieces (hey get an extra job, y’know after working 8 hours, and then 2 hours commute/prep so after working 10 hours -well 11 because lunch is at work you can’t chill at home-  go and do another job, problem solved!). So in place or in addition to the Krazeee Kredit Krunch, newspeak me this Batman-

  • Bill Bingo
  • The Job Shuffle
  • House Squeeze (that’s the new term for being made homeless)
  • Welfare Reform (already popular)
  • The Market Tingle
  • The Loan Spank
  • Mortgage Murmur
  • Money Drizzle
  • Vote Conservative

Mission accomplished New Labour, you have done what the US right wanted and destroyed Britain’s mainstream left wing party. Time for another (cold?) war.

Friday! Stewart Lee- Everyone Hates Ben Elton

Wherein the comedian (41st best) determines Osama Bin Laden is more popular than Ben Elton.

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