Archive for Juli, 2010

Afghanistan: Ruhe sanft oder wen interessieren schon Massengräber?

Mittwoch, Juli 28th, 2010

AFGHANISTAN: Mass grave cover-ups undermine justice


Photo: Akmal Dawi/IRIN
Over 118 mass graves have been found in different parts of Afghanistan over the past eight years

KABUL, 27 July 2010 (IRIN) – Three years after President Hamid Karzai appointed a commission to investigate a mass grave site in the Chimtala plains, north of Kabul city, the site, the commission and the truth are missing.

Commission chairman Mawlawi Fazel Hadi Shinwari has been in a coma in hospital in India for over eight months, according to government officials.

“I have no knowledge about the commission and its work,” said Mawlawi Qiamuddin Kashaf, acting chairman of the Ulema Council which was also headed by Shinwari. Officials in the President’s Office were also unable to shed any light on the commission’s findings.

Dozens of mass graves have been disturbed or destroyed over the past eight years, and with them crucial evidence about atrocities committed and their perpetrators, human rights groups say.

“In some cases, people have deliberately tampered with or destroyed a mass grave in order to hide criminal evidence,” Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) official Ahmad Nader Nadery told IRIN.

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Numerous human rights violations, including mass killings, have been committed by various warring factions since 1979, but no proper investigations of the graves have been carried out.

Officials estimate some graves contain hundreds of bodies, and one in the eastern province of Kunar has over 1,100 bodies, according to the AIHRC, which said it had registered at least 118 mass grave sites.

Accused

A mass grave in the Dasht-e-Lailee desert in Jowzjan Province, where the bodies of thousands of Taliban prisoners were reportedly dumped in 2001-2002, was allegedly tampered with by Uzbek warlord Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum in 2008.

Despite denials, Dostum has been accused of killing thousands of Taliban prisoners when he helped the US-led coalition overcome the Taliban in northern Afghanistan in 2001-2002.

Dostum is a close ally and senior military adviser to President Karzai.

The disturbance of the burial site in Dasht-e-Lailee was widely condemned by human rights groups. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a US-based organization, called on the Afghan government and its foreign supporters to preserve the sites.

“Our calls were never heeded and it led to the destruction of an area where we suspect there are mass graves… and even that has not been investigated,” Stefan Schmitt, a PHR forensic expert, told IRIN.

He said a lot of powerful people, some of them in high government posts, were involved in past crimes in Afghanistan and they do not want the truth to come out. “One can attempt to destroy evidence but cannot wash away a crime forever,” he said.

A senior UN official said in December 2008 that the UN was committed to helping the Afghan authorities preserve such sites in order to protect evidence of crimes.

Justice denied


Photo: Akmal Dawi/IRIN
Some mass graves have been tampered with or destroyed by alleged criminals

Mass graves were considered key elements in the implementation of a transitional justice action plan which, according to AIHRC officials, failed to achieve even 10 percent of its targeted benchmarks

The official deadline for the implementation of the action plan expired over two years ago and Karzai has refused calls to renew it.

An overwhelming majority of the over 4,000 people interviewed by the AIHRC in 2005 said human rights violators and criminals must be brought to justice. However, there is a lack of political commitment to conduct the necessary investigations, experts say.

“Individually people want to find out about their victims and seek justice but officially this has not been possible so far,” said PHR’s Schmitt.

“Regardless of their importance for the transitional justice process – which is very important – mass graves are an inextricable part of our brutal history and must be protected out of respect for the victims,” said AIHRC’s Nadery.

No peace is viable without justice, and over 76 percent of those interviewed by the AIHRC in 2005 said justice would bring stability and security, which has deteriorated since the fall of the Taliban. Many powerful criminals have not been brought to book, undermining peace efforts, experts say.

Complicating any future investigations is the fact that while the motives for tampering with the dead may be criminal, they are not necessarily so: In some instances, local people, searching for lost family members, have taken bones from mass graves and buried them elsewhere. Collective reburials of human remains have also been reported in some areas at the behest of local Islamic leaders.

[This report does
not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

(Quelle: IRIN News.)

REDAKTIONSFERIEN

Mittwoch, Juli 28th, 2010

Redaktionsferien

“Ticker” ist bis zum 21. August 2010 in Redaktionsferien.

Danach liefern wir wieder in gewohnter Regelmäßigkeit Nachrichten, Dokumente und Interviews.

Bitte greifen Sie bis dahin auf unser Archiv zurück.

Angenehme Sommertage wünscht Ihnen

die Redaktion

USA: Kreativer Protest gegen Israels Blockadepolitik

Mittwoch, Juli 28th, 2010

“In San Francisco there is a New Round of Guerilla Bus Shelter Ads Targets Israeli War Crimes

by SF Truth Squad

The Bay Area artists who have been putting up guerrilla bus shelter posters for the last year scored again on Sunday, with two designs focusing on Israeli war crimes. (like the one pictured above).

A public service message posted near the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle reminds passersby of the deadly Israeli commando attack on the flotilla of international aid ships to Gaza.
‘700 Kidnapped, 9 Murdered, and Israel says it is the victim. Sound familiar? Same story since 1984,’ reads the text below a huge fist descending on a passenger ship. The poster calls for ending the blockade of Gaza and holding Israel accountable.

‘The actions of the United States government are primarily responsible for the impunity with which Israel constantly violates human rights and international law,’ said art activist W.G. ‘The U.S. needs to join the rest of the international community in calling for an independent investigation into the attack on the flotilla, and an immediate end to the illegal and deadly blockade of Gaza.’

‘We are reclaiming public space from corporations and those who collude with them,’ says artist A.D. ‘The canvas of the city needs to reflect the ideals of the people and movements working for justice for all of our communities. We can’t afford to buy ad space, but we can borrow it.'”

 

(Quelle: Window into Palestine.)

Iran: Neue Website und Zeitung der MarxistInnen

Dienstag, Juli 27th, 2010

“Seit einem Jahr gibt es im Iran eine Bewegung die das Ziel hat das verhasste Mullah-Regime zu stürzen. Die MarxistInnen im Iran wollen nun mittels ihrer neuen Website und Zeitung dieser Bewegung eine sozialistische Perspektive geben.

Vor einem Jahr wurde der Iran von gewaltigen Massenprotesten gegen den offensichtlichen Wahlbetrug durch das Mullah-Regime erschüttert. Über Monate gelang es der „grünen Bewegung‟ Millionen auf den Straßen von Teheran und anderer Großstädte zu mobilisieren. Und dies obwohl das Regime mit äußerster Brutalität gegen diese Proteste vorgeht. Aus unserer Sicht ist das der Beginn einer Revolution im Iran. Schon in den ersten Massendemonstrationen wurden unsere Analysen im Iran verbreitet, doch mit der neuen Homepage Mobarezeye Tabagathi („Klassenkampf‟) hat unsere Arbeit im Iran eine neue Qualität erhalten.

Wie es unter den konkreten Umständen im Iran nicht viel anders sein könnte, hat diese Massenbewegung eine mehr oder weniger zufällige Figur an ihre Spitze gespült – nämlich Mirhossein Mousavi, den wichtigsten Herausforderer Ahmadinejads bei den letztjährigen Präsidentschaftswahlen. Doch von Anfang war klar, dass Mousavi nicht viel mehr als eine Symbolfigur des Widerstands, nicht aber ihr tatsächlicher Anführer ist. Zwischen den Reformkräften von seinem Schlage und den AktivistInnen dieser „grünen Bewegung‟ könnten die politischen Unterschiede größer nicht sein.

Dies lässt sich nur damit erklären, dass der unmittelbare Auslöser für diese Bewegung und ihre realen, viel tiefer liegenden Ursachen nicht dasselbe sind. Was wir im Iran heute sehen ist nicht nur ein Protest gegen Wahlbetrug sondern eine revolutionäre Auflehnung gegen eine System der Unterdrückung, Ausbeutung, Korruption, Staatsgewalt und der Armut.

Das unmittelbare Ziel der Bewegung liegt im Sturz der „Islamischen Republik‟, d.h. der Mullah-Diktatur, welche die iranische Bevölkerung über drei Jahrzehnte lang geknebelt hat. Die MarxistInnen unterstützen diesen Kampf für demokratische Forderungen, doch nur wenn die Revolution eine sozialistische Perspektive erhält, können die grundlegenden sozialen Fragen der iranischen Massen gelöst werden. Die soziale Kraft, die das Potential dazu hat die revolutionäre Bewegung in diese Richtung zu führen, ist die ArbeiterInnenklasse.

Mit diesem Selbstverständnis haben die iranischen GenossInnen der Internationalen Marxistische Strömung (IMT) eine neue Homepage in Farsi gestartet. Und deshalb haben sie auch den Namen „Klassenkampf‟ für ihre Publikationen gewählt.

Die größte Schwäche der Bewegung liegt derzeit im Fehlen realer Massenorganisationen, eines Programms, einer revolutionären Partei und Führung und im Fehlen eines Auftretens der ArbeiterInnenklasse als „Klasse für sich‟.

Rund um den Jahrestag des Beginns der Bewegung am 12. Juni kam es neuerlich zu Demonstrationen. Dabei wurden unsere Flugblätter in mehreren Städten verteilt, und die GenossInnen haben mit der Herausgabe einer eigenen Zeitung begonnen, welche du dir hier als PDF herunterladen kannst. In sozialistischen Kreisen der „grünen Bewegung‟ stoßen unsere Ideen auf ein sehr positives Echo.

Wir möchten alle ehrlichen Revolutionäre auffordern, die Arbeit der MarxistInnen im Iran zu unterstützen. Wir begrüßen alle Diskussionen über die nächsten Aufgaben der revolutionären Kräfte im Iran und möchten in diesem Sinne auch auf die jüngsten Artikel unserer iranischen GenossInnen verweisen:

Iran 22 Khordad 1389: Yet again the masses come to the rescue, Yet again Mousavi is dragged behind the movement

Iran: On the character of the present lull and the tasks of the Marxists

The historical origins of the Iranian Revolution and the tasks of the Revolutionary Marxists – Part One und Part Two (die weiteren drei Teile werden in den kommenden Wochen veröffentlicht)

Den letzten Artikel den wir ins Deutsche übersetzt haben wurde im Februar veröffentlicht: Eine neue Stufe – Bilanz der gegenwärtigen Iranischen Revolution

Wer mit den iranischen GenossInnen in Kontakt treten möchte, kann dieser unter der folgenden Email-Adresse tun: mobareze@mobareze.org

 

(Quelle: Der Funke.)

Israel: Skandalöse Straflosigkeit

Dienstag, Juli 27th, 2010

“Israeli Police Impunity

Office Gets 30 Months for Killing Arab Driver

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

A decision by Israel’s Supreme Court to double a 15-month jail term for a policeman who shot dead an unarmed Palestinian driver suspected of stealing a car has provoked denunciations from police commanders and government officials.

Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the internal security minister, condemned the judges for ‘sending a terrible message to police officers’.

On the advice of police lawyers, the accused policeman, Shahar Mizrahi, had appealed his conviction last year in the expectation that the ruling would be overturned by the Supreme Court.

Mr Aharonovitch and Dudi Cohen, the police commissioner, said they would immediately seek a presidential pardon for Mizrahi. ‘I won’t merely support a pardon bid, I’ll lead it,’ Mr Aharonovitch said.

But groups representing Israel’s large Palestinian Arab minority said the outrage at the doubling of the 15-month sentence for Mizrahi reflected the reality that the police force expected impunity when it used violence against Israel’s Palestinian citizens, who comprise a fifth of the population.

At Mizrahi’s original trial last year, the district court judge, Menachem Finkelstein, ruled that the policeman had acted ‘recklessly’ during an operation to stop car thefts in the Jewish town of Pardes Hanna in 2006.

Despite his life never being in danger, Mizrahi had used the butt of his gun to smash the window of a car in which Mahmoud Ghanaim, 24, was seated and shot him in the head from close range. The court also noted that Mizrahi had changed his testimony several times during the investigations.

According to Mossawa, an advocacy group, 40 Palestinian citizens have been killed in suspicious circumstances by the security forces over the past decade. Mizrahi is the first policeman to be convicted in such a case.

As of yesterday, an online petition calling on the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, to pardon Mizrahi had attracted more than 5,000 signatures in a few days, and a Facebook page supporting the policeman had 1,300 fans.

Gideon Levy, a columnist with the liberal Haaretz newspaper, warned yesterday that those ‘siding with Mizrahi are eager to have a police force that kills — but just Arabs, of course’.

Jafar Farah, the director of Mossawa, said: ‘The atmosphere of racism in Israel is being used to destroy the legal system from the inside, using the justification that Arabs are being killed.

‘The reality today is that the police can kill an Arab citizen in any circumstances and know that there is almost no chance they will pay a price. The safeguards are being stripped away.’

Relations between Israel’s Palestinian minority and the police have been marked by profound distrust since late 2000, when police shot dead 13 protesters and wounded hundreds more during largely non-violent demonstrations in the Galilee at the start of the second intifada.

A subsequent state commission of inquiry found that the police had a long-standing policy of treating the country’s 1.3 million Palestinian citizens ‘as an enemy’ and recommended that several officers be prosecuted for their role in the 13 deaths.

After a long delay, state prosecutors announced in 2008 that no one would be charged.

In several speeches since he took over as security minister last year, Mr Aharonovitch has promised measures to restore the minority’s faith in the police, including recruiting more police officers from the Palestinian population and fighting high rates of crime in Arab communities.

According to a police report submitted to the parliament earlier this year, only 382 of more than 21,000 police officers are Muslim – or less than two per cent.

At the appeal hearing last week, the Supreme Court increased Mizrahi’s jail sentence after ruling that Judge Finkelstein had not given enough weight to the victim’s life and the value of deterring similar police behaviour in the future. Under police regulations, Mizrahi was entitled only to shoot out the car’s tyres or fire at Ghanaim’s legs.

Immediately after the ruling, Mr Aharonovitch reported that he had called Mizrahi to tell him: ‘Your fight has become all of our fight.’

He was backed by several retired police commanders and a Likud MP, Danny Danon, who said he would submit a bill barring the indictment of police officers who open fire when they believe they are in danger.

In a sign of the mounting pressure from police groups on the Supreme Court, it issued a rare ‘clarification’ statement of its judgment, pointing out that Ghanaim’s car was travelling too slowly to have ever put Mizrahi in any danger.

Mr Farah added that Mossawa’s investigations had revealed that, despite police claims, Ghanaim was the documented owner of the car he was driving.

The police, Mr Farah added, had supported Mizrahi throughout the case and had continued paying his police salary after his conviction.

The court’s decision to increase Mizrahi’s sentence came in the wake of strong suspicions that police officers executed a Palestinian driver in East Jerusalem last month, shooting him twice in the head from close range as he lay on the ground.

Moments earlier, Ziad Jilani, who was married with three children, had fled on foot after driving into a detail of police, injuring several officers, in the Wadi Joz neighbourhood. Witnesses said a stone had smashed his windscreen seconds before he swerved.

In one of the few other recent prosecutions of a policeman for killing a Palestinian citizen, Rubi Gai was acquitted last year of the manslaughter of Nadim Milham, who was shot in the back during a police search of his home for weapons. Witnesses testified that police had beaten Milham and that he was shot as he fled.

A survey published last month by Haifa University found that only one in five Palestinian citizens expressed faith in the police.

Mr Aharonovitch upset the Palestinian minority last year during an inspection of undercover narcotics agents in Tel Aviv. He was caught on camera telling one detective dressed as a drug addict he looked like ‘a real Araboosh’, a derogatory Hebrew term for Arabs.

The minister, who is a member of Avigdor Lieberman’s far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu, apologised but added that the comment was a ‘moment of banter’.

Mahash, the justice ministry’s police investigations unit, has been harshly criticised for the small proportion of complaints against the police it agrees to investigate. It rarely prosecutes officers.

The police have also refused to cooperate in imposing official sanctions on wayward officers, with critics saying that officers found to have acted negilgently or violently towards Palestinian citizens are often rewarded with promotion.

The state commission of inquiry into the killing by police of 13 Palestinian protesters in October 2000 recommended that several officers be dismissed from service or denied promotion. The recommendations were disregarded.

In one notorious case, the commission found that Benzi Sau, a northern Border Police commander, had acted with gross negligence in allowing snipers to shoot at stone-throwing demonstrators. Despite suggesting a ban on his promotion for four years, he rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming head of the Border Police in Jerusalem in 2001 and national head of the Border Police in 2004.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are ‘Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East’ (Pluto Press) and ‘Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair’ (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.”

 

(Quelle: CounterPunch.)

Republik Südafrika: Generalstreik in Sicht?

Dienstag, Juli 27th, 2010

“South Africa braces for massive strike action

BY SAKHILE MODISE

South Africa is this week bracing itself for a first major industrial action after the World Cup over pay as representatives of public-sector unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said talks had reached a dead end.

The strike by unions representing around 1,3 million public servants could cripple essential services in the country.

Some of the unions affiliated to Cosatu include the South African Municipal Workers’ Union, the Democratic Nurses’ Association and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Reports say the Public Servants’ Association (PSA) had already been given the go-ahead for a strike from its approximately 210 000 members, from this Thursday.

The PSA said in statement Monday that ‘Negotiations in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC] have deadlocked and the employer, despite numerous meetings aimed at breaking the deadlock, has not moved’.

Another labour union, the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) said it had also been given permission to strike from Monday, August 1.

Call for strike action come at a time when information is emerging on the extravagant use of finances by some companies during the just ended world cup.

South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, on Friday said it splashed R1.5 million on expensive 2010 FIFA World Cup shirts for selected workers. Each t-shirts had a prize tag of R600, Eskom said.

This has angered trade unions as it comes on the heels of Eskom’s R12.6m spending spree on Would Cup tickets. A further R976 200 was spent on refunding employees who had bought their own shirts at a price of R600 each.

The shirts were allocated at the discretion of Eskom’s divisional heads as the intention was to increase employee morale, the company said.

During the soccer extravanganza, Eskom agreed to sign a wage deal with three unions, averting a strike that had threatened to disrupt electricity supply and tarnish South Africa’s record on hosting of the games.

The wage deal saw about 13 000 workers who had not previously received a housing subsidy receive one for the first time and take home an extra R1 500 a month.”

 

(Quelle: Afrik-news.com.)