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URUK Net 5 May, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, May 7, 2009 11:37

Afghan Taliban spokesman: We will win the war
Nic Robertson, CNN
…The man in front of me is Zabiullah Mujahid — one of two spokesmen for the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. He is around 30, maybe a little younger, bearded, but not heavily so. He is slight but not weak and close to my height — a little over six foot — and meeting him is a big deal… I ask what are the conditions for going into talks? “Our conditions are clear, we want to negotiate and they [the U.S.] will not interfere in our affairs, secondly they [the U.S.] will leave the country, third let the Afghan people to do what they want to do, like form the Islamic government they want to establish.”From what my sources tell me, the talks seem stalled or at the very least to have sunk to a very low level. The Taliban don’t just want U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan, they want them out before talks can even begin. Always with negotiations, I’ve learned the key is in working out the sequencing. Mujahid confirms my suspicions and what I hear from my sources is that the talks are bogged down. He says the former Taliban officials who have been at the talks so far don’t represent Mullah Omar… He tells me it doesn’t matter how many come, they won’t win. “If the Pentagon is thinking of changing its policy, we too are thinking of changing the policy. If they want to send 20,000 to start a new campaign, this is a war and we will see the war and make our policy.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54011

Pakistan: Taliban Seize City as Up to 500,000 Civilians Flee
Key Swat Town of Mingora Now Occupied by Militants
The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly wrested control of the Swat Valley’s largest town, Mingora, from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) government and Pakistani security forces. The move comes just one day after the group announced that it was formally withdrawing from the controversial Swat Valley peace deal in response to ongoing military offensives in and around the valley…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54004

UN rights experts seek access to Israeli prison
AFP
The United Nations anti-torture committee on Tuesday asked Israel to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to a secret detention facility where torture is allegedly being practised. “Allegations of torture, ill-treatment and poor detention conditions in this facility have been reported to the committee,” said a document prepared by the committee for a hearing held Tuesday on Israel’s record on torture. The committee of 10 independent experts demanded that Israel release information on the alleged “Facility 1391" which is situated in an “undetermined location within Israel and which is not accessible to the International Committee of the Red Cross or detainees’ lawyers or relatives”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54003

PCHR welcomes the Spanish National Court’s decision to continue investigating suspected Israeli war criminals
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Today, 4 May 2009, Judge Fernando Andreu of the Spanish Audencia Nacional (National Court) announced his decision to continue the investigation into the events surrounding the al-Daraj bombing of July 2002. This attack resulted in the deaths of 16 Palestinians, including 14 civilians. The decision represents a major step towards achieving justice for victims. It opens the door for accountability, whereby suspected Israeli war criminals may be held responsible for the suffering they have inflicted on the Gazan people. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the victims of this attack, and all Palestinians who have suffered at the hands of Israel’s brutal and illegal occupation, wholeheartedly welcome this decision…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54000

IOA kidnaps 40 Palestinian children in one month
Palestinian Information Center
The PA ministry of prisoners and ex-prisoners’ affairs in Gaza has accused Tuesday the Israeli occupation authorities of kidnapping 345 Palestinian citizens, including 40 minors during the past month of April. Although the month of April witnessed a number of activities in support of the Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails, which were considered as the biggest in this regard, repressive Israeli measures against the Palestinian captives persisted despite strong condemnation from local and international human rights groups…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53999

Al Jazeera Strikes Back at Pentagon, Releases Unedited Footage of US Soldiers’ ‘Bible Study’ in Afghanistan
by Jeremy Scahill
Hours after Al Jazeera first broadcast a video showing US soldiers in Afghanistan being instructed by the military’s top chaplain in the country to “hunt people for Jesus” as they spread Christianity to the overwhelmingly Muslim population, the Pentagon shot back. It charged that Al Jazeera had “grossly misrepresent[ed] the truth.” Col. Greg Julian, told Al Jazeera: “Most of this is taken out of context … this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism.” Now, Al Jazeera and the man who filmed the controversial material are striking back. The network has just released unedited and unaltered footage (see below) of US soldiers in ‘bible study’ in Afghanistan. Jazeera describes it as “Extended footage shot by Brian Hughes, a US documentary maker and former member of the US military who spent several days in Bagram near Kabul.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53998

Torture and Impunity in Iraqi Prisons
Jeremy Scahill
Part of the deadly serious problem with the Obama administration’s position on (not) holding accountable CIA torturers, their lawyers, and the Bush administration officials who authorized and ordered all of these crimes is this: It sends a message to other governments that if Washington does it, we can too. Especially governments completely created by the U.S. government. No governments on the planet are more controlled by the U.S. right now than the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54006

Moqtada al-Sadr becomes ‘ayatollah’
AKI
Moqtada al-Sadr is reported to have assumed the title of Grand Ayatollah after concluding his studies in the holy city of Qom in Iran. Sources close to the cleric’s faction released the news to the Arab daily, al-Sharq al-Awsat Around 70 supporters of al-Sadr on Sunday concluded a conference in the Turkish city of Istanbul where they elected new leaders and mapped out their future. Al-Sadr, who leads the Mahdi Army militia, also met both Recep Tayyip Erodgan, the Turkish prime minister, and president Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Friday during his visit to Turkey…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54008

Iran: Teacher unionist detained after National Teachers’ Day demonstration
Education International
Shortly after the May Day crackdown on Iranian workers’ rallies, teachers organised gatherings to celebrate National Teachers’ Day on 4 May. The teacher association TTA invited members to gather in front of the Education Ministry in Tehran and in front of the Education Department offices in the provinces. The meeting in Tehran started at 1pm with more than 100 teachers present. Before the gathering, police officers in plain clothes and in uniform patrolled the area, attempting to compel teachers to leave…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54009

Iraqi army kills U.S.-allied Sunni militiaman
Reuters
Iraqi soldiers killed a Sunni Arab fighter from a U.S.-allied local militia unit on Tuesday and arrested his brother, Iraqi police said. Basim Mohammed was shot during a raid in Abu Ghraib, a predominantly Sunni district on the western outskirts of Baghdad, a police source in the district said. The official, who declined to be named, did not say what charges Mohammed or his brother may have been facing…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=54005

Fever Pitch: Obama-Clinton Dream Team Breeds Nightmare in Pakistan
Chris Floyd
The headline from McClatchy says it all: “Pakistani Army Flattening Villages as it Battles Taliban.” This is exactly what the hot-blooded humanitarian interventionists in the Obama Administration have been demanding: that Pakistan “take the fight” to the Taliban forces that, according to such world-historical savants as Hillary Clinton and the President himself, are posing an existential threat not only to Pakistan but even to the sacred Homeland itself…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53974

What is the Unites States preparing in Pakistan?
Keith Jones
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will undoubtedly come under renewed pressure to allow US military forces to wage war within Pakistan when he visits Washington this week for a trilateral summit meeting with President Obama and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai. For weeks, the US political and military establishment and the American media have been mounting an increasingly shrill campaign to bully Islamabad into fully complying with US diktats in what Washington has redefined as the AfPak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) war theater. At the US’s behest, the Pakistani military has for the past 10 days been mounting a bloody offensive—including strafing by warplanes and heavy artillery—against Pakistani Taliban militia in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The offensive has caused large numbers of civilian casualties and forced tens of thousands of poor villagers to flee…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53978

RIGHTS-IRAQ: U.N. Report Paints Grim Picture
By William Fisher
Iraqi prisons are torturing detainees, locking people up for months without charges and, in most cases, allowing the perpetrators of these human rights abuses to escape justice, according to a new United Nations report. “Security may not be sustainable unless significant steps are taken in the area of human rights such as strengthening the rule of law and addressing impunity,” warned the report, issued on Apr. 29… “Allegations of torture should be promptly and thoroughly investigated, and criminal proceedings taken against officials found to have abused detainees in their custody. Every effort should be made to ensure that juvenile detainees are held at the appropriate and separate locations equipped with rehabilitation facilities, and additional resources devoted to address the issue of overcrowding at detention places,” the report said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53980

The Lessons of Gaza 2009
Bashir Abu-Manneh
…Sanctions against the occupying Israeli state are thus an urgent and primary task in the West. This also means that the solidarity movement should not get bogged down or distracted with discussions about the one-state or two-state solutions (ultimately a matter for Palestinian democracy). Nor should our movement be required to lend ideological legitimation to Hamas or to other Palestinian nationalists. One supports the Palestinians, not because of the nature of their leadership, but because one supports the principle of self-determination for an oppressed people. It’s a basic democratic right and a pre-requisite for a life of dignity, freedom, and justice. It’s also a moral imperative…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53985

The Jewish State VS Mordechai Vanunu: A Case Of Christian Persecution
By Eileen Fleming
On April 10, 2009, Billy Briggs reported from occupied east Jerusalem that Mordechai Vanunu informed him, “I was walking here this morning and a car drew slowly up alongside me. There were four men in the car wearing sunglasses. One of them shouted at me…the car followed me…the man call out again in Hebrew. ‘You are garbage,’ he said. But I kept on walking and ignoring him.” When Vanunu entered the foyer of his rundown backpacker’s hotel the men “leapt from the vehicle, flashed ID cards and ushered him into the back seat. Residents and traders, many of whom know the famous Israeli, stood and watched his public humiliation. “They took me to the local station and warned me not to go to Bethlehem this year to celebrate Christmas. They said they’d be watching me and that I should also not speak to journalists or foreigners.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53402

Iraq: Does al-Maliki Have Room for Human Rights?
Mark Kukis, Time
The 17 bodies were found beneath a construction site in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Ur, just at the edge of Sadr City. The victims were blindfolded with tape across their mouths and may have been buried alive, according to Iraqi authorities who uncovered the grave in November. The corpses had lain there since at least 2007. The grisly find was one of six recently uncovered mass graves cited in the newest U.N. human-rights report on Iraq. The five others were found in areas controlled by Sunni insurgents during the peak periods of violence in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, meaning the killers likely had no connection to the Iraqi government. But the grave in Ur was almost certainly the work of killers associated with the Shi’ite Mahdi Army militia, which was supported by elements of the Iraqi security forces…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53991

Aids convoy in the Mediterranean to Gaza
Sameh A. Habeeb
The climax to the Seventh Palestinians in Europe conference was the launch of the long anticipated ‘Hope for Gaza convoy’ The convoy moved to Gaza and recently is in the Mediterranean carried by a shipping boat. The convoy is destined for the Gaza Strip and carries provisions for the education and medical sectors, specifically for Palestinians with special needs – those who were handicapped by the major Israeli attacks of December and January. Through a chorus of cheers and tears the convoy of a dozen well-equipped ambulances and some 30 trucks loaded with medical and humanitarian supplies set sail on a cargo ship from Genoa along with human rights volunteers, European parliamentarians, and journalists…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53990

AFGHANISTAN: ‘US air-raid kills over 100 civilians in Farah’
Ahmad Qureshi
Residents of the Bala Boluk district in western Farah province on Tuesday claimed more than one hundred ‘innocent people’ have been killed in the Monday’s air offensive by the US forces. The air-strike in Bala Boluk district came after an insurgent attack on a police check post that killed six people and three others on spy charges on Sunday. Following the militant attack, locals say, the American forces bombarded Grani village, inflecting huge casualties to non-combatants. Dr Atiqullah, a resident of the village, told Pajhwok Afghan News the bombardment destroyed the whole village and some of the mutilated bodies were beyond recognition…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53995

Torture and Mr. Obama
By WILLIAM BLUM
Okay, at least some things are settled. When George W. Bush said “The United States does not torture”, everyone now knows it was crapaganda. And when Barack Obama, a month into his presidency, said “The United States does not torture”, it likewise had all the credibility of a 19th century treaty between the US government and the American Indians. When Obama and his followers say, as they do repeatedly, that he has “banned torture”, this is a statement they have no right to make. The executive orders concerning torture leave loopholes, such as being applicable only “in any armed conflict”. What about in a “counter-terrorism” environment? And the new administration has not categorically banned the outsourcing of torture, such as renditions, the sole purpose of which is to kidnap people and send them to a country to be tortured. Moreover, what do we know of all the CIA secret prisons, the gulag extending from Poland to the island of Diego Garcia?…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53989

Spain: Garzón investigation reveals abuse suffered by Guantánamo detainees
Paul Mitchell
The criminal investigation launched this month by Spain’s top investigative judge, Baltasar Garzón, into allegations of torture at Guantánamo Bay and other US prison camps is based on the evidence of four detainees who were subsequently sent to Spain for trial. All four were accused of being Al Qaeda members, but Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed and Lahcen Ikassrien were acquitted by Spain’s High Court, and Abdul Latif Al-Banna and Omar Deghayes had their warrants for arrest in the UK cancelled. Garzón’s investigation targets the “possible material authors, enablers and accomplices” of these illegal abuses, possibly including the high-level Bush administration officials, responsible for what amounts to an “authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53987

U.N. Inquiry Critical of Israeli Attacks in Gaza
By Thalif Deen
A detailed 184-page report critical of Israeli attacks on U.N. personnel and buildings during the Gaza conflict last December-January has been meticulously stripped down to a 27-page document – mostly due to political sensitivities and on security grounds. Responding to charges he had released only a “watered down” version of the report by a four-member U.N. Board of Inquiry (BoI), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vehemently denied the accusation…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53993

In final letters, Saddam Hussein complained of being tortured
Raw Story
Saddam Hussein complained of torture in letters to his interrogators… Hussein alleged beatings and of being kept where he was forced to endure the screams of others being tortured — thought to be at Baghdad International Airport. Meek notes that Hussein was accused of torturing and killing thousands himself during his 24-year reign. “Not a single part of my body was spared of the severe harm that was inflicted by the detention gang,” Hussein wrote. “Some of the traces are still visible on my body.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53983

Hamas legislator: “P.A Security Forces in the West Bank act in collaboration with Israel”
IMEMC News
Hamas legislator, Dr. Ismail Al Ashqar, stated Tuesday that the Palestinian Security Forces in the West Bank, loyal to Fateh movement, are collaborating with Israel by targeting resistance fighters and shutting down charitable institutions. Al Ashqar added that the Palestinians reject security coordination with Israel and its security forces, and added that the Palestinian Security Forces became part of the “Zionist occupation”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53982

Another Love Mail…
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
This one comes from someone called Sahley Dern. And this is what it says : If i ever see you i will attempt to gauge your eye out of it’s socket. You have officially made we want to join the army just to have the chance to see a relative of yours get shot, explode or burn […] Followed by another with : Burn in hell bitch…fuck fuck fuck…fuck fuck fuck…” A whole A4 page full of “fuck”…ad infinitum. It feels so wonderful to be that loved…by psychopaths, pathological liars, sadistic murderers, plain assholes, ignoramuses, backward cave men and women who live in trailers and below average, mediocre specimens who can’t spell…and the list goes on… A reflection of Iraq. These are exactly the kind of people who are currently occupying and ruling it…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53984

Fatah lawmaker says foreign interfering blocks unity dialogue
Xinhua
A Fatah lawmaker on Tuesday said external interference were affecting the progress of the inter-Palestinian dialogue. The dialogue, which mainly involves Abbas’ Fatah movement and its Islamic Hamas rival, “faces obstacles and delaying due to external parties that want to impose its own agenda on the debates,” said Faisal Abu Shahla, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). He did not reveal who were those foreign lobbies but Hamas has often accused Fatah of trying to impose the U.S. and the Israeli agenda on the dialogue while Fatah implicitly accused Iran and Syria of influencing Hamas during the talks. The talks aim at reconciling Hamas and Fatah on a unity government that rules the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53981

Obama, Israel on collision course over Iran
By MARTIN SIEFF, UPI
U.S. President Barack Obama met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday, the day after Peres spoke to the annual policy conference of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The meeting was closed, but the Palestinians and Iran can be expected to be the key agenda items, especially as the Obama administration and new Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are on a collision course on both of these key Middle East issues…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53979

UN blames Israel for Gaza attacks
Aljaeera.net
A United Nations inquiry into the war in Gaza has found that Israel was blame for at least seven direct attacks on UN operations – including schools and medical centres. The UN report, commissioned by Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, said the Israeli military intentionally fired at UN facilities and civilians hiding in them during the war and used disproportionate force. Missiles, bombs and small arms were all used by Israel against the UN – leading to dozens of deaths…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53976

Israeli police detained 280 Palestinian workers in 24 hours
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
Israeli Radio reported Monday morning that Israeli policemen detained 280 Palestinian workers in 24 hours after claiming that they were illegally staying and working in Israel. The radio added that most of the detained workers were sent back to the Palestinians territories. ..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53975

Israel’s war on dissent
Rela Mazali, The Electronic Intifada
About six months after Israel’s attorney general publicly announced an effort to criminalize dissent, state authorities have upped the ante in their “war” — as the Israeli daily Haaretz called it last September — against Israel’s youth; against the broad, grassroots movement slandered by officials as “draft shirkers.” On 26 April, a day before Israel’s Memorial Day, Israeli police produced a hyperbolic piece of political theater. As if facing down a dangerous organized crime “family,” they “raided” — to quote their press release — the homes of six activists in different parts of Israel, who were detained for interrogation. Exploiting the ritual emotions of a day of mourning for military dead, the police action singled out and branded anti-militarist activists as non-members of the legitimate community, implying that they (we) are fair game…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53977

AI; Iran: Stop Wednesday’s execution of two juvenile offenders
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
The Iranian authorities must halt the execution of two juvenile offenders due to be executed on Wednesday, five days after the execution of Delara Darabi who had been convicted of a crime she was alleged to have committed while still under 18, Amnesty International said today. “The international consensus against executing child offenders reflects the widespread recognition that because of children’s immaturity, impulsiveness, vulnerability and capacity for rehabilitation, their lives should never be written off – however heinous the crimes of which they are convicted,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “The scheduling of these executions, just days after the appalling execution of Delara Darabi, show that the Iranian authorities have total disregard for international law which unequivocally bans the execution of those convicted of crimes committed under the age of 18.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53988

Love Song for Words.
Layla Anwar, Uncensored Arabwomanblues
Nazik al-Mala’ika (1922-2007) Iraqi poet and critic, one of the most important Arab women writers. Al-Mala’ika was one of the first and a major advocate of the free verse movement in the late 1940s with Badr Shakir al-Sayyab. Her poetry is characterized by its terseness of language, eloquence, original use of imagery, and delicate ear for the music of verse…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53992

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