Jotman posts about a change in Thailand relations with Burma-
Irrawaddy reports that Thailand’s new PM Abhisit said it is time for “change” in regards to Thailand’s policy with regards to Burma…What this could mean in practice remains unclear, but considering that Thailand has been one of the junta’s staunchest defenders, it is a hopeful sign that a Thai PM would acknowledge this much.
Meanwhile yesterday was Muntadhar al-Zeidi’s birthday, he was 30 and still in jail-
“Muntadhar was in a good shape, his wounds were healed and his morale was high. Yesterday was his birthday and some patriotic officers there organized a party for him and brought birthday cake,” his other brother Dhargham told The Associated Press.
The brother who met with Muntadhar was taken by bus to the detention center and two army officers supervised the meeting. The journalist is being held alone in a comfortable room with a bed and a TV set, his brother said. “He is being visited frequently by doctors. The food is very good,” the brother added.
The visit was allowed after it was reported he had only been allowed 2 visitors and was in bad shape, so this is in part a PR stunt with of course enough time passed for his healing to be well advanced and one brother carefully shadowed by guards. Any bets how long he has had a decent cell and TV? And how free are the family to speak out, in a ‘democracy’ built through death by George ‘now I am admitting to torture’ Bush.
Peru, there is more to come on the Majaz Mine/Monterrico Metals torture, my previous and Otto’s latest, the mine manager who according to one witness ordered the torture, Andrew Bristow, refuses to discuss it. But this isn’t going away the Human Rights National Coordinator of Peru organisation (CNDDHH) is sending a representative to London in the next few days. So ex-ambassador Richard Ralph and the former UK owners might get some attention for their roles in the illegal mine and torture-
1. Beating with the weapons, instruments, kicking, punching; including both women. This caused, besides hematomas, bruises and bleeding, a broken jawbone of at least one of the victims.
2. Remaining tied in forced positions during long periods of time. Besides, of being forced to walk on a dangerous and rough surface (steep, mountain zone) with noshoes and blindfolded. During this the victims tell having felt strong fear of being thrown over the cliff by the police staff.
3. Asphyxia and trouble breathing as well as exposure to toxic products.
4. Prolonged exposure to cold and damp with little clothing, even wet in sierra zones. Including massive exposure to parasite insects.
5. Deprivation of sleep and obliged to remain seated.
6. Deprivation of water and food, during the first 24 hours of detainment.
7. Deprivation of access to toilet facilities and general hygiene, obliged to perform their physiological processes in front of third persons.
8. Death threats and greater physical aggressions, the prolongation of the detention, drug trafficking accusations and terrorism accusations, among other insults and humiliation.
9. Sexual abuse, rape threats directed in general to men and women at the moment of detention. Both women kidnapped were threatened repeatedly of being raped and submitted to different kinds of sexual abuse like touching and blows to their sexual zones.
10. Exposure to others torture.
11. Forced partial nudity.
12. Deprivation of sight.
Full pdf- Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos- Majaz Mine
My instinct on reading that is while such treatment is not new in the oppressors arsenal since the Bush regime it has become more prevalent and easier to get away with, such is the metastasizing cancer of torture. However this case can be pursued and those responsible sanctioned, although some other worrying news from Peru shows the government using the war-on-terror ™ to repress ‘leftists’ and journalists. The British connection to the Majaz torture though does present possibilities for cases to be brought here, not that we don’t have our own corrupt authoritarian government to deal with too.
The attack on the UN infrastructure in Gaza, buildings and essential workshops, as well as Palestinian hospitals, schools and University show Israel is after destroying very fabric of Palestinian society, to bomb them back into the stone age. To take land, call it a security zone while imprisoning Gaza in the open air, possibly the world’s largest concentration camp. The removed story (I guess Haaretz ran foul of Israel’s omnipresent military censors..only democracy etc) of IDF soldiers using Hamas uniforms to prosecute special ops also includes a detail that they used an ambulance as a military vehicle for their infiltration, another war crime and ironically something they accuse Hamas of ad nauseam, maybe they knew to bring up the accusation because by dressing as Hamas and using an ambulance they were making it true, like The Sun’s story of Islamic Terror!! which was entirety created by… The Sun.
Israel may be achieving some of its racist colonial zionist goals but it has (at least outside America) lost the war of public opinion, another tip to add to boycotts 729-
Keep an eye on the goods bar code: Israel’s country prefix is 729.
Although as Craig Murray points out there is a law in America that makes it illegal to boycott Israeli goods unless the government sanctions it, land of the free…
And should you still be wondering in some ahistorical fug why the anger in Gaza-
In 2000, Doron Almog, then the chief of the southern command, began policing the boundaries of Gaza: ‘We established observation points equipped with the best technology and our troops were allowed to fire at anyone reaching the fence at a distance of six kilometres,’ he boasted, suggesting that a similar policy be adopted for the West Bank. In the last two years alone, a hundred Palestinians have been killed by soldiers merely for getting too close to the fences. From 2000 until the current war broke out, Israeli forces killed three thousand Palestinians (634 children among them) in Gaza.