Posts Tagged ‘amnesty international’

Israel: amnesty antijüdisch?

Donnerstag, November 1st, 2012

“Israeli authorities must release Palestinian prisoner of conscience in West Bank

1 November 2012

Nariman Tamimi, Bassem's wife said that "the police were brutal" during his arrest

Nariman Tamimi, Bassem’s wife said that “the police were brutal” during his arrest

© Private

The Israeli military authorities must end their campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention against a Palestinian activist in the occupied West Bank, Amnesty International said.

Bassem Tamimi, who has been detained since his arrest at non-violent protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers onto Palestinian land last week, faces a further prison sentence after appearing before the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday.

“Once again, Bassem Tamimi is being held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly. We believe he is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

Tamimi was arrested on 24 October following a non-violent demonstration in a supermarket in Sha’ar Benjamin settlement north of Ramallah. More than 100 protesters had gathered to call for an end to the occupation and a boycott of all Israeli products.

He faces charges of assaulting a police officer, participation in an unlicensed demonstration, and activity against the public order.

If convicted of either of the latter two “offences”, he will also have to serve one or more suspended sentences from a previous trial: two months for participation in an unlicensed demonstration, and 17 months for “activity against the public order”.

After viewing footage of the protest, the military judge ruled that he should be released to house arrest for the duration of legal proceedings. The military prosecution is appealing this decision, and he remains at Ofer prison.

Tamimi was previously sentenced in May 2012 to 13 months in prison for his role in organizing regular non-violent protests against Israeli settlements in the West Bank. At the time, Amnesty International considered him to be a prisoner of conscience, and called for his immediate and unconditional release. 
The establishment and expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank violates international humanitarian law.

Violent arrest

According to eyewitness and media reports, as the protesters left the supermarket on 24 October they were beaten by Israeli police and security forces who also fired stun grenades.

Bassem’s wife Nariman Tamimi attended the protest and told Amnesty International: “The police were brutal during the arrest. They threw Bassem on the ground and pressed him down while putting the cuffs on his hands. Anyone who tried to approach them was beaten up. The police seemed scared and nervous. They wanted to make arrests fast.”

Despite the police use of unnecessary and excessive force, the military prosecution has charged Bassem Tamimi with assault, based on the testimony of one police officer who alleges that the activist hit him on the hand.

Amnesty International spoke to witnesses and reviewed numerous videos from the protest, and found no evidence that he or the other protesters used violence. Tamimi is committed to non-violent resistance and has a long record of peaceful protest. Another Palestinian protester, now released on bail, faces similar charges.

Tamimi managed to contact his wife after his arrest.

“He still had his phone with him, he told me that he was in a cell somewhere, and he said that he felt like there was something broken in chest, he said ‘I cannot move or breathe and I am very tired’. Then they took the phone away so we could not talk more,” she told Amnesty International.

Encroachment of settlers

Bassem Tamimi is from the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh, 21km northwest of Ramallah.

In July 2008 Israeli settlers from nearby Halamish began to use the Qaws spring, which is on al-Nabi Saleh land and used to irrigate crops there and in the nearby village of Deir Nitham. In February 2009 settlers began to build structures on the spring site.

The Palestinians complained that settlers were building on private Palestinian land, and that the work damaged other property including trees. Israeli police routinely close Palestinian complaints against settlers due to “lack of evidence”.

Israel’s Civil Administration, the military body which controls most of the West Bank, prohibits Palestinians from visiting the Qaws spring site in groups and on Fridays, while settlers are allowed unfettered access.

Ongoing demonstrations

Weekly demonstrations began on 9 December 2009. Every Friday residents of al-Nabi Saleh and solidarity activists gather around noon in the village centre and march peacefully towards the spring. They have been met repeatedly with unnecessary and excessive force by the Israeli army including the use of stun grenades, pepper spray, batons and guns.
 
Demonstrations are dispersed as soon as they begin and are usually not allowed to reach the spring. The Israeli army raids the village regularly, usually during the night, and conducts house searches and arrests, including the arrest of children under the age of 15.

Israeli military laws in place in the West Bank impose sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, requiring people to obtain advance permission from the Israeli military for any proposed gathering of 10 or more persons “for a political purpose of for a matter that could be interpreted as political”.

Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International that in al-Nabi Saleh and all areas where there is popular resistance, police use extreme violence, noting that “there is nothing [to the protests] except that you chant and express your opinion.”

As one of the organizers of the al-Nabi Salneh protests and a coordinator of the village’s popular committee, Bassem Tamimi and his family have been the target of harsh treatment by the Israeli army.

Since the demonstrations began, his house has been raided and ransacked numerous times. His wife has been arrested twice and two of his children have been injured – Wa’ed was in hospital for five days after he was hit in the leg by a rubber bullet and Mohammed was injured by a tear-gas canister that was shot directly at him and hit him in the shoulder.

Bassem Tamimi has been arrested by the Israeli army 11 times to date, though he has only once been convicted by a military court – on charges that Amnesty International believes were unfounded.”

 

(Quelle: amnesty international.)

USA: amnesty in der Kritik

Freitag, Juni 22nd, 2012

“Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars

By Coleen Rowley and Ann Wright, June 22, 2012

The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA – Suzanne Nossel – is a recent U.S. government insider. So it’s a safe bet that AI’s decision to seize upon a topic that dovetailed with American foreign policy interests, "women’s rights in Afghanistan," at the NATO Conference last month in Chicago came directly from her.

Nossel was hired by AI in January 2012. In her early career, Nossel worked for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke under the Clinton Administration at the United Nations. Most recently, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press and congressional relations.

She also played a leading role in U.S. engagement at the U.N. Human Rights Council (where her views about the original Goldstone Report on behalf of Palestinian women did not quite rise to the same level of concerns for the women in countries that U.S.-NATO has attacked militarily).

Nossel would have worked for and with Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, and undoubtedly helped them successfully implement their "Right to Protect (R2P)" – otherwise known as "humanitarian intervention" – as well as the newly created "Atrocity Prevention Board."

This cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy (which has served mainly to rationalize the launching of war on Libya) is now being hauled out to call for U.S.-NATO military intervention in Syria.

"Smart Power" = smart wars?

In fact, Nossel is herself credited as having coined the term "Smart Power," which embraces the United States’ use of military power as well as other forms of "soft power," an approach which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at her confirmation as the new basis of State Department policy.

An excerpt from Nossel’s 2004 paper on "Smart Power" published in the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs magazine sounds a lot like Samantha Power’s (and also traces back to Madeleine Albright’s) theories:

"To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war.

"Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership — diplomatic, economic, and not least, military [our emphasis] — to advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD)."

Perhaps the AI’s hiring of a State Department shill as executive director of its U.S. affiliate was merely coincidental to how/why its "NATO Shadow Summit " so closely mimicked the CIA’s latest propaganda assault, but….

The "CIA Red Cell," a group of analysts assigned to think "outside the box" to anticipate emerging challenges, was right to worry in March 2010 when the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) found that 80 percent of French and German citizens were opposed to continued deployment of their countries’ militaries in the U.S.-NATO war in Afghanistan.

Even though public apathy had, up to that point, enabled French and German politicians to "ignore their voters" and steadily increase their governments’ troop contributions to Afghanistan, the CIA’s newly-created think tank was concerned that a forecasted increase in NATO casualties in the upcoming "bloody summer … could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal."

In a "confidential" memo, the "Red Cell" wrote: "The Afghanistan mission’s low public salience has allowed French and German leaders to disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Berlin and Paris currently maintain the third and fourth highest ISAF troop levels, despite the opposition of 80 percent of German and French respondents to increased ISAF deployments, according to INR polling in fall 2009.

"Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters …

"Only a fraction (0.1-1.3 percent) of French and German respondents identified ‘Afghanistan’ as the most urgent issue facing their nation in an open-ended question, according to the same polling. These publics ranked ‘stabilizing Afghanistan’ as among the lowest priorities for US and European leaders, according to polls by the German Marshall Fund (GMF) over the past two years.

"According to INR polling in the fall of 2009, the view that the Afghanistan mission is a waste of resources and ‘not our problem’ was cited as the most common reason for opposing ISAF by German respondents and was the second most common reason by French respondents. But the ‘not our problem’ sentiment also suggests that, so for, sending troops to Afghanistan is not yet on most voters’ radar.

"But Casualties Could Precipitate Backlash

"If some forecasts of a bloody summer in Afghanistan come to pass, passive French and German dislike of their troop presence could turn into active and politically potent hostility. The tone of previous debate suggests that a spike in French or German casualties or in Afghan civilian casualties could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal."

The CIA "Special Memorandum" went a step further, inviting "a CIA expert on strategic communication and analysts following public opinion" to suggest "information campaigns" that State Department polls showed likely to sway Western Europeans.

The "Red Cell" memo was quickly leaked, however, furnishing a remarkable window into how U.S. government propaganda is designed to work upon NATO citizenry to maintain public support for the euphemistically titled "International Security Assistance Force" (ISAF) waging war on Afghans. Here are some of the CIA propaganda expert’s suggestions:

"Messaging that dramatizes the potential adverse consequences of an ISAF defeat for Afghan civilians could leverage French (and other European) guilt for abandoning them. The prospect of the Taliban rolling back hard-won progress on girls’ education could provoke French indignation, become a rallying point for France’s largely secular public, and give voters a reason to support a good and necessary cause despite casualties. …

"Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF mission. … Media events that feature testimonials by Afghan women would probably be most effective if broadcast on programs that have large and disproportionately female audiences."

‘NATO: Keep the Progress Going!’

Amnesty International struck similar themes in announcements posted online as well as billboard advertisements on Chicago bus stops. "NATO: Keep the Progress Going!" beckoned us to find out more on Sunday, May 20, 2012, the day thousands of activists marched in Chicago in protest of NATO’s wars.

The billboard seemed to answer a recent Huffington Post article, "Afghanistan: The First Feminist War?"

"The feminist victory may be complete in America, but on the international stage it’s not doing so well with three quarters of the world’s women still under often-severe male domination. Afghanistan is an extreme case in point in what might be termed the first feminist war … a war that now may not be won even if Hillary Clinton dons a flack jacket and shoulders an M16 on the front lines. Still, since the Bush Administration to the present America ‘s top foreign policy office has been held by women … women who have promised not to desert their Afghan sisters."

Our curiosity was further piqued because we consider ourselves to be women’s rights and human rights proponents and also due to our own prior federal careers in intelligence and military. (Colonel Wright is retired from the State Department/US military and Rowley is from the FBI.)

So along with a few other anti-war activists, we packed into a taxi to head to the Chicago hotel where Amnesty International’s "Shadow Summit" featuring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other female foreign relations officials was being held. We happened to carry our "NATO bombs are not humanitarian"; "NATO Kills Girls" and anti-drone bombing posters that we had with us for the march later that day.

As we arrived, an official-looking black car dropped off Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who was to be a main speaker (on the first panel, along with former Secretary Albright; U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois; and Afifa Azim, General Director and Co-Founder, Afghan Women’s Network; along with Moderator Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Deputy Director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Program).

Verveer cast a cold glance at us and would not answer Ann Wright’s questions as she scurried into the hotel with her aides surrounding her and us following behind. At first the hotel security guards tried to turn us away but we reminded the registration desk the Summit was advertised as "Free Admissions" and that some of us were members of Amnesty International.

So they let us register and attend as long as we promised to leave our signs outside and not disrupt the speakers. The hotel conference room was about half full. We stayed long enough to hear the opening remarks and the moderator’s first questions of Albright and the other speakers on the first panel.

All generally linked the protection and participation of Afghan women in government as well as the progress made in educating Afghan women to the eventual peace and security of the country as envisioned by the new strategic "partnership" agreement that Obama had just signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Ms. Verveer said Afghan women do not want to be seen as "victims" but are now rightfully nervous about their future. When we saw that audience participation was going to be limited to questions selected from the small note cards being collected, we departed, missing the second panel as well as kite-flying for women’s rights.

We noted, even in that short time, however, how easy it was for these U.S. government officials to use the "good and necessary cause" of women’s rights to get the audience into the palm of their collective hand — just as the CIA’s "strategic communication" expert predicted!

Secretary Albright?

Not everyone was hoodwinked however. Even before the "Summit" was held, Amnesty realized it had a PR problem as a result of its billboard advertisement touting progress in Afghanistan. An Amnesty official tried to put forth a rather lame defense blaming an accidental poor choice of wording.

But many readers (and AI members) posted critical comments and questions, including concerns about Albright’s involvement given her infamous defense of Iraqi sanctions in the 1990s, which were estimated to have caused the deaths of a half million Iraqi children, with the comment "we think the price is worth it."

Under the blogger’s explanation: "We Get It / Human Rights Now," there were comments like these:

"Could someone from AI please explain why Madeleine Albright was invited to participate in this event? We (and especially those of us who are familiar with AI) should all be able to understand that the wording on the poster was a genuine, albeit damaging, mistake. But why Ms. Albright?"

"The posters are pro-NATO and play into prevailing tropes about so called ‘humanitarian intervention’ via ‘think of the women & children’ imagery. The posters & the forum that includes Albright are neither slight slips nor without context. AI is coping heat because they have miss-stepped dramatically. There is NOTHING subtle about either the imagery nor the message!

"It is not a case of ‘oh sorry we didn’t realize it it could be interpreted that way!’ They used pro Nato imagery & slogans ahead of & during a controversial summit that has thousands protesting in the streets. Tell me again how that is not taking sides?

"They asked a notorious apologist for mass murder of children to speak on the right of women and children…tell me again: how is that not taking sides. So it is absolutely reasonable for past supporters (and board members like myself) to be asking how it is that Amnesty USA so lost its bearings they could make a critical SERIES of errors like this?"

Of course the defensive AI blog author never answered the numerous questions asking why Amnesty had chosen Madeleine Albright as their main speaker. So we will venture an answer that probably lies in the fact that all of the powerful feminist-war hawks who have risen to become Secretary of State (or are waiting in the wings) are now taking their lead from the ruthless Grand Dame who paved the way for them, Madeleine Albright — (see Coleen Rowley’s recent articles: "Obama’s New ‘Atrocity Prevention Board’: Reasons for Skepticism" and "Militarization of the Mothers: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, from Mother’s Day for Peace").

It’s also possible the highest ranks of the feminist wing of military interventionism (i.e. Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, et al) are so passionate and hubristic about the nobility of their goal and "American exceptionalism" that some have simply succumbed to a kind of almost religious (blind faith) type fervor.

The Road to Hell

Nossel’s and Albright’s theories are flawed in many ways but suffice it to say that democracies are actually not less prone to war. A long list of "democracies" – including Nazi Germany, the Roman Empire, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States itself – disprove this assertion.

In any event, the U.S. has been terribly hypocritical in its support of "democracies" in foreign countries, often toppling or attempting to topple them (i.e. Iran’s Mosaddegh, Guatemala’s Arbenz, Chile’s Allende) in order to gain easier control of a foreign country through an allied dictatorship.

No one is going to argue that the goals of humanitarianism, preventing atrocities, and furthering women’s rights around the world are not "good and necessary" (in the words of the CIA strategic communications expert). We would go so far as to say these ARE truly noble causes!

Testimonials about human rights abuse are often true and fundamentalist regimes’ treatment of women seems to vary only in degrees of horrible. But while it’s true that many women lack rights in Afghanistan, some would argue that it’s conveniently true. And that the best lies are always based on a certain amount of truth.

The devil, however, lies in the details of promoting equality and accomplishing humanitarianism. Most importantly the ends, even noble ends, never justify wrongful means. In fact, when people such as Samantha Power decide to bomb the village (Libya) to save it, it will backfire on a pragmatic level.

It must be realized that it is the nobility of the U.S.-NATO’s motivation that – as CIA propaganda department has advised – should be relied upon to convince otherwise good-hearted people (especially women) to support (or at least tolerate) war and military occupation (now known to encompass the worst of war crimes, massacres of women and children, torture, cutting off body parts of those killed, as well as increasing mental illness, self-destructive behavior and suicides among U.S. soldiers and the corresponding cover-ups of all such horrible means).

In the decades after Vietnam, a number of military scholars identified declining American public support for that war as the main factor responsible for the U.S. "losing" Vietnam. One lesson learned and quickly implemented was to get rid of the military draft and put the wars on a credit card so fewer citizens would pay attention.

Some control also had to be gained over the type of free media (that led to trusted TV anchor Walter Cronkite broadcasting his public souring on the Vietnam War). A whole series of war propaganda systems, from planting retired generals as "talking heads" on TV to the assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld deciding to "embed the media," have worked pretty well to maintain the necessary level of war momentum in mainstream media and amongst public opinion.

But now, with American polls approaching the same problematic levels as those in Europe cited by the "CIA Red Cell," we suddenly see major human rights organizations like Amnesty International (as well as others) applauding Obama’s (and the feminist war-hawks’) "Atrocity Prevention Board."

Such sleight of hand seems to work even better amongst political partisans. By the way, it should be noted that Congress may allow these Pentagon propagandists to target American citizens through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. Should we connect the dots?

There are some clear lines where the laudable need to further human rights should not be twisted into justifying harsh economic sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of children or, even worse, "shock and awe" aerial bombing that takes the lives of the women and children the "humanitarian" propagandists say they want to help.

Madeleine Albright’s response about the deaths of a half million children on 60 Minutes, that "the price was worth it," illustrates the quintessential falsity of what ethicists call "act utilitarianism" or concocting fictional happy outcomes to justify the terrible wrongful means.

It also seems that a human rights NGO, in this case Amnesty International, which had gained a solid reputation and hence the trust of those it has helped through the years, will be jeopardized in aligning itself with the U.S. Secretary of State and NATO.

This is exactly how the Nobel Peace Prize got corrupted, aligning itself with the U.S. Secretary of State and NATO, which is why Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire withdrew from the Nobel Peace forum held in Chicago during NATO.

Good NGOS and non-profits that want to maintain the trust in their humanitarian work tend to be very careful to maintain their independence from any government, let alone any war-making government. When NGOs, even good ones, become entwined with the U.S./NATO war machine, don’t they risk losing their independent credibility?”

 

(Quelle: Antiwar.com)

Saudi-Arabien: Beim Warten auf die deutsche Panzerlieferung…

Samstag, Januar 7th, 2012

“Massiver Anstieg bei Hinrichtungen in Saudi-Arabien

Das UNO-Hochkommissariat für Menschenrechte in Genf hat sich besorgt über die im vergangenen Jahr deutlich angestiegene Zahl von vollstreckten Todesstrafen in Saudi-Arabien gezeigt. „Wir sind wegen des signifikanten Anstiegs der Anwendung der Todesstrafe alarmiert“, sagte der Sprecher des Kommissariats, Rupert Colville, heute vor Journalisten in Genf.

Noch beunruhigender als die hohe Zahl von Exekutionen sei aber die Tatsache, dass die jeweiligen Gerichtsprozesse von internationalen Standards weit entfernt seien. „Folter als Mittel, um ein Geständnis zu erzwingen, scheint eine breite Anwendung zu finden“, kritisierte Colville. Das Kommissariat rief die Behörden vor diesem Hintergrund zur Einhaltung der UNO-Antifolterkonvention auf, die auch Saudi-Arabien unterzeichnet hat.

Einer Zählung der Nachrichtenagentur AFP zufolge wurden im Jahr 2011 mindestens 76 Menschen hingerichtet, die Menschenrechtsorganisation Amnesty International beziffert die Zahl der Exekutionen in diesem Zeitraum auf 79. Im Jahr zuvor waren nach Angaben der UNO, die sich auf die Organisation Human Rights Watch beruft, 27 Todesstrafen vollstreckt worden.”

 

(Quelle: ORF.at)

Saudi-Arabien: Warten auf die deutschen Panzer

Freitag, Dezember 16th, 2011

“Panzer-Export nach Saudi-Arabien stoppen!

Waffen gegen Demonstranten 2012 in Riad?

Als mutige Bürgerinnen und Bürger in Tunesien und Ägypten die dortigen Diktatoren aus dem Amt jagten, räumten auch deutsche Politiker selbstkritisch ein, man habe die Diktatoren im Nahen Osten zu lange hofiert. Doch wenige Monate später scheint diese Erkenntnis schon wieder vergessen zu sein.

Mitten im „Arabischen Frühling“ will die Merkel-Regierung ausgerechnet die saudische Diktatur mit High-Tech-Waffen beliefern. Und das obwohl in der Geschichte schon oft Diktaturen Panzer gegen das eigene Volk einsetzten. Als der Arabische Frühling im März das kleine Nachbarland Bahrain erreichte, schickte das saudische Regime 1.200 Soldaten und Panzer nach Manama, die dem dortigen Regime halfen, den Aufstand brutal niederzuschlagen.

“Deutsche Leopard-Kampfpanzer für Saudi-Arabien?

Der Bundessicherheitsrat hat einem Bericht des Nachrichtenmagazins Der Spiegel zufolge den Export von 200 Leopard-Kampfpanzern des hochmodernen Typs 2A7+ grundsätzlich befürwortet. Demnach wurde eine Voranfrage des Rüstungskonzerns Krauss Mafei Wegmann positiv beschieden. Die endgültige Entscheidung über den Export werde der Bundessicherheitsrat voraussichtlich Ende des Jahres fällen, so der SPIEGEL.

Der Bundessicherheitsrat ist ein geheim tagendes Gremium der Bundesregierung, das unter anderem über die Genehmigung von Rüstungsexporten entscheidet. Ihm gehören Bundeskanzlerin Merkel (CDU) und acht Bundesminister an, darunter unter anderem Außenminister Westerwelle (FDP), Bundeswirtschaftsminister Rösler (FDP), Verteidigungsminister de Maizière (CDU), Innenminister Friedrich (CSU) und Entwicklungshilfeminister Niebel (FDP). Die Leopard-Kampfpanzer des Typs 2A7+ sind nach Herstellerangaben für die asymmetrische Kriegsführung optimiert und sind damit besonders für die Bekämpfung „innerer Unruhen“ geeignet.

Video mit Leopard 2A7+, das dokumentiert, wie der Kampfpanzer gegen Zivilbevölkerung eingesetzt werden kann:

 

(Klicken Sie auf das Play-Zeichen im Bild, um den Film zu starten. Kurzfilm läuft nicht? Flash downloaden!); Foto: Aust Defence Force

Nach einem Bericht des Handelsblattes will die Bundesregierung auch mit dem diktatorischen Regime in Algerien milliardenschwere Rüstungsgeschäfte abschließen. Es gehe um zehn Milliarden Euro und mehrere Vorhaben innerhalb von zehn Jahren, heißt es in dem Bericht: Man wolle den Transportpanzer Fuchs in Algerien fertigen, Last- und Geländewagen verkaufen sowie Fregatten für die Marine des Landes bauen. Dass der algerische Staatschef Bouteflika verdächtigt wurde, dem libyschen Ex-Diktator Gaddafi mit Waffen, Fahrzeugen und Söldnern unterstützt zu haben, spielt für die Bundesregierung offenbar keine Rolle.

Der Leopard 2A7+ – optimiert für die Bekämpfung von Volksaufständen

Der “Leopard 2A7+”, auch unter der Abkürzung “PSO” (Peace Support Operations) bekannt, soll etwas können, was schweren Kampfpanzern normalerweise eher schwer fällt: in städtischen Gebieten kämpfen. Er ist nach Herstellerangaben optimiert für die “asymmetrische Kriegsführung” und die “Bekämpfung von Einzelpersonen”. Kampfhandlungen in Städten stellen teils völlig andere Anforderungen an einen Panzer als Schusswechsel auf freiem Feld. So verfügt der “Leopard 2A7+” über eine ferngesteuerte Waffenstation auf dem Turmdach: Die Besatzung kann Ziele – auch solche, die in Häusern steil über dem Panzer liegen und mit der 120-Millimeter-Hauptkanone nicht erreichbar wären – mit einem schweren Maschinengewehr oder einem Granatwerfer unter Beschuss nehmen, ohne den Innenraum verlassen zu müssen. Ursprünglich wurde der rund 60 Tonnen schwere und 1500 PS starke “Leopard 2″ für Schlachten gegen gleichwertige Gegner konstruiert – und ist damit ein Relikt aus dem Kalten Krieg. Das Gleiche gilt für andere schwere Kampfpanzer wie den amerikanischen “M1 Abrams”, den israelischen “Merkava”, den britischen “Challenger” und den französischen “Leclerc”, schreibt SPIEGEL-Online dazu. Die Leopard Kampfpanzer des Typs 2A7+, die Saudi-Arabien unbedingt haben will, haben ein Räumschild zur Beseitigung von Barrikaden, eine verbesserte Klimaanlage, einen ausgebauten Schutz gegen Minen und einen stärker gepanzerten Turm.

Die Menschenrechtslage in Saudi-Arabien

In Saudi-Arabien werden die Menschenrechte massiv verletzt. Das Königshaus versucht jede Opposition im Keim zu ersticken, Kritiker werden drangsaliert oder ins Gefängnis geworfen. Amnesty International spricht von tausenden politischen Gefangenen. Es gibt zahlreiche Berichte über Folter in saudischen Gefängnissen. Saudische Gerichte verhängen grausame Strafen, vor allem Auspeitschungen. Sowohl Christen als auch Angehörige der schiitischen Minderheit werden wegen der Ausübung ihres Glaubens festgenommen. Frauen und Mädchen leiden besonders unter Diskriminierung und Gewalt. Frauen dürfen dort nicht einmal Auto fahren. Setzten sie sich trotzdem hinters Steuer, droht ihnen die Auspeitschung.

Im Arabischen Frühling stellte sich das saudi-arabische Königshaus auf die Seite der Diktatoren. Dem gestürzten tunesischen Diktator Ben Ali gewährte das Königreich Unterschlupf, ebenso dem verletzten Diktator aus Jemen. Und das Regime in Riad versucht alles, um Syriens Diktator Assad an der Macht zu halten, berichten informierte Kreise. „Saudi-arabische Streitkräfte, die in den Konflikt im Norden des Jemen eingriffen, führten Angriffe aus, die willkürlich und unangemessen erschienen. Sie führten zu Toten und Verletzten in der Zivilbevölkerung und verstießen damit gegen das humanitäre Völkerrecht“, schreibt die Menschenrechtsorganisation Amnesty International.

Panzer in Krisengebiete?

Lange Zeit war es Konsens in der deutschen Außenpolitik, keine Kampfpanzer in Krisengebiete zu liefern. Frühere Bundesregierungen lehnten deshalb mehrfach den Verkauf von Leopard-Panzern nach Saudi-Arabien ab, weil sie ein gefährliches Wettrüsten zwischen dem Iran und Saudi-Arabien befürchteten und den arabisch-israelischen Konflikt nicht zusätzlich anheizen wollten. Nach den im Jahr 2000 von der damaligen rot-grünen Koalition verabschiedeten Rüstungsexportrichtlinien sollen Rüstungsexporte eigentlich restriktiv gehandhabt werden.

Rüstungsexporte in Krisengebiete soll es nach den Richtlinien eigentlich gar nicht geben. Doch elf Jahre nach Verabschiedung der Richtlinien ist Deutschland vom fünften auf den dritten Platz im internationalen Rüstungshandel vorgerückt, so das Stockholmer Friedensforschungsinstitut Sipri. Innerhalb der vergangenen zehn Jahre haben sich die deutschen Rüstungsexporte verdoppelt. Der Weltmarktanteil der Deutschen stieg von 2006 bis 2010 auf rund elf Prozent. Nur Amerikaner (30 Prozent) und Russen (23 Prozent) exportieren noch mehr Waffen und Kriegsgerät als die Deutschen.

 

(Quelle: Campact!)

Grossbritannien: Bush gehört verhaftet

Donnerstag, Oktober 13th, 2011

“Amnesty Calls on Canada to Arrest Bush

Published on Thursday, October 13, 2011 by Agence France-Presse

 

Former US president George W. Bush speaks at the ceremony marking the opening of the Flight 93 National Memorial and the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in Shanksville, Pennsylvania September 10, 2011. (Photo: Reuters File)

 

OTTAWA –  Amnesty International called on Canadian authorities Wednesday to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush, saying the former US president authorised “torture” when he directed the US-led war on terror.Bush is expected to attend an economic summit in Surrey in Canada’s westernmost British Columbia province on October 20.

In a memorandum submitted last month to Canada’s attorney general but only now released to the media, the London-based group charged that Bush has legal responsibility for a series of human rights violations.

“Canada is required by its international obligations to arrest and prosecute former president Bush given his responsibility for crimes under international law including torture,” Amnesty’s Susan Lee said in a statement.

“As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring former president Bush to justice, the international community must step in. A failure by Canada to take action during his visit would violate the UN Convention Against Torture and demonstrate contempt for fundamental human rights,” Lee said.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blasted Amnesty for “cherry picking cases to publicize, based on ideology.”

“This kind of stunt helps explain why so many respected human rights advocates have abandoned Amnesty International,” he said.

Kenney said it will be up to Canadian border officials to decide independently whether to allow Bush into the country.

Bush canceled a visit to Switzerland in February, after facing similar public calls for his arrest.

Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International’s Canadian branch, told a press conference the rights group will pursue its case against the former US president with the governments of other countries he might visit.

“Torturers must face justice and their crimes are so egregious that the responsibility for ensuring justice is shared by all nations,” Neve said.

“Friend or foe, extraordinary or very ordinary times, most or least powerful nation, faced with concerns about terrorism or any other threat, torture must be stopped.

“Bringing to justice the people responsible for torture is central to that goal. It is the law… And no one, including the man who served as president of the world’s most powerful nation for eight years can be allowed to stand above that law.”

Amnesty, backed by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, claims Bush authorised the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “waterboarding” on detainees held in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency between 2002 and 2009.

The detention program included “torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (such as being forced to stay for hours in painful positions and sleep deprivation), and enforced disappearances,” it alleged.

Amnesty’s case, outlined in its 1,000-page memorandum, relies on the public record, US documents obtained through access to information requests, Bush’s own memoir and a Red Cross report critical of the US’s war on terror policies.

Amnesty cites several instances of alleged torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, by the US military.

The cases include that of Zayn al Abidin Muhammed Husayn (known as Abu Zubaydah) and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, both arrested in Pakistan. The two men were waterboarded 266 times between them from 2002 to 2003, according to the CIA inspector general, cited by Amnesty.”

 

(Quelle: Common Dreams.)

Libyen: amnesty widerspricht NATO-Kriegspropaganda

Freitag, Juni 24th, 2011

“Amnesty questions claim that Gaddafi ordered rape as weapon of war

By Patrick Cockburn

Human rights organisations have cast doubt on claims of mass rape and other abuses perpetrated by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which have been widely used to justify Nato’s war in Libya.

Nato leaders, opposition groups and the media have produced a stream of stories since the start of the insurrection on 15 February, claiming the Gaddafi regime has ordered mass rapes, used foreign mercenaries and employed helicopters against civilian protesters.

An investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for these human rights violations and in many cases has discredited or cast doubt on them. It also found indications that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence.

The findings by the investigators appear to be at odds with the views of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who two weeks ago told a press conference that “we have information that there was a policy to rape in Libya those who were against the government. Apparently he [Colonel Gaddafi] used it to punish people.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week said she was “deeply concerned” that Gaddafi’s troops were participating in widespread rape in Libya. “Rape, physical intimidation, sexual harassment, and even so-called ‘virginity tests’ have taken place in countries throughout the region,” she said.

Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty, who was in Libya for three months after the start of the uprising, says that “we have not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped”.

She stresses this does not prove that mass rape did not occur but there is no evidence to show that it did. Liesel Gerntholtz, head of women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, which also investigated the charge of mass rape, said: “We have not been able to find evidence.”

In one instance two captured pro-Gaddafi soldiers presented to the international media by the rebels claimed their officers, and later themselves, had raped a family with four daughters. Ms Rovera says that when she and a colleague, both fluent in Arabic, interviewed the two detainees, one 17 years old and one 21, alone and in separate rooms, they changed their stories and gave differing accounts of what had happened. “They both said they had not participated in the rape and just heard about it,” she said. “They told different stories about whether or not the girls’ hands were tied, whether their parents were present and about how they were dressed.”

Seemingly the strongest evidence for mass rape appeared to come from a Libyan psychologist, Dr Seham Sergewa, who says she distributed 70,000 questionnaires in rebel-controlled areas and along the Tunisian border, of which over 60,000 were returned. Some 259 women volunteered that they had been raped, of whom Dr Sergewa said she interviewed 140 victims.

Asked by Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s specialist on Libya, if it would be possible to meet any of these women, Dr Sergewa replied that “she had lost contact with them” and was unable to provide documentary evidence.

The accusation that Viagra had been distributed to Gaddafi’s troops to encourage them to rape women in rebel areas first surfaced in March after Nato had destroyed tanks advancing on Benghazi. Ms Rovera says that rebels dealing with the foreign media in Benghazi started showing journalists packets of Viagra, claiming they came from burned-out tanks, though it is unclear why the packets were not charred.

Credible evidence of rape came when Eman al-Obeidy burst into a hotel in Tripoli on 26 March to tell journalists she had been gang-raped before being dragged away by the Libyan security services.

Rebels have repeatedly charged that mercenary troops from Central and West Africa have been used against them. The Amnesty investigation found there was no evidence for this. “Those shown to journalists as foreign mercenaries were later quietly released,” says Ms Rovera. “Most were sub-Saharan migrants working in Libya without documents.”

Others were not so lucky and were lynched or executed. Ms Rovera found two bodies of migrants in the Benghazi morgue and others were dumped on the outskirts of the city. She says: “The politicians kept talking about mercenaries, which inflamed public opinion and the myth has continued because they were released without publicity.”

Nato intervention started on 19 March with air attacks to protect people in Benghazi from massacre by advancing pro-Gaddafi troops. There is no doubt that civilians did expect to be killed after threats of vengeance from Gaddafi. During the first days of the uprising in eastern Libya, security forces shot and killed demonstrators and people attending their funerals, but there is no proof of mass killing of civilians on the scale of Syria or Yemen.

Most of the fighting during the first days of the uprising was in Benghazi, where 100 to 110 people were killed, and the city of Baida to the east, where 59 to 64 were killed, says Amnesty. Most of these were probably protesters, though some may have obtained weapons.

Amateur videos show some captured Gaddafi supporters being shot dead and eight badly charred bodies were found in the remains of the military headquarters in Benghazi, which may be those of local boys who disappeared at that time.

There is no evidence that aircraft or heavy anti-aircraft machine guns were used against crowds. Spent cartridges picked up after protesters were shot at came from Kalashnikovs or similar calibre weapons.

The Amnesty findings confirm a recent report by the authoritative International Crisis Group, which found that while the Gaddafi regime had a history of brutally repressing opponents, there was no question of “genocide”.

The report adds that “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge”.

The rising cost of war

The Nato-led air campaign in Libya will cost the UK at least £260m if it continues for another three months, Defence Secretary Liam Fox said yesterday.

The estimate stands in sharp contrast to the figures predicted by George Osborne in March, when the Chancellor said Britain’s involvement would be likely to cost “tens of millions, not hundreds of millions” of pounds.

Mr Fox told Parliament that the projected cost was “in the region” of £120m, with an additional £140m bill to replace missiles and other weapons. He said attempts to minimise civilian casualties had led to a steeper bill.

Emily Fairbairn”

 

(Quelle: The Independent.)