Archive for September 6th, 2012

06/09/2012

‘US-Led Torture, Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Regime’

Human Wrongs Watch

Washington – The United States government during the Bush administration tortured opponents of Muammar Gaddafi, then transferred them to mistreatment in Libya, according to accounts by former detainees and recently uncovered CIA and UK Secret Service documents, Human Rights Watch reported

*Bush. Credit: Original uploader was Craig Michaud at en.wikipedia

“One former detainee alleged he was waterboarded and another described a similar form of water torture, contradicting claims by Bush administration officials that only three men in US custody had been waterboarded.”

The 154-page report, “Delivered into Enemy Hands: US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya,” is based on interviews conducted in Libya with 14 former detainees, most of whom belonged to an armed Islamist group that had worked to overthrow Gaddafi for 20 years.

Many members of the group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), joined the NATO-backed anti-Gaddafi rebels in the 2011 conflict. Some of those who were rendered and allegedly tortured in US custody now hold key leadership and political positions in the country, adds the report which was released on 6 Sept. 2012.

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06/09/2012

‘Bahrain Must Free Prisoners of Conscience after Outrageous Verdict’

The decision by Bahrain’s appeal court to uphold sentences against 13 opposition activists and prisoners of conscience is outrageous and the authorities must ensure it is overturned and the activists immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International (AI) said*.

Bahrain Prisoners of Conscience demo in Denmark© AI

The High Criminal Court of Appeal in Bahrain on Tuesday  [4 Sept. 2012] upheld the convictions and sentences of the 13 men, who were convicted last year before military courts on charges related to anti-government protests.

Amnesty International sent a trial observer to Bahrain who was present in court.

“Today’s court decision is another blow to justice and it shows once more that the Bahraini authorities are not on the path of reform, but seem rather driven by vindictiveness,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

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06/09/2012

More Repression in Bahrain, Harsh Sentences against Activists

Human Wrongs Watch

“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned at the harsh sentences, including life imprisonment, upheld by a Bahrain appeals court against 20 Bahraini political activists.”

Demonstrators in Bahrain | UN

“He urges the Bahraini authorities to allow all defendants to exercise their right to appeal and to ensure that due process is observed,” his spokesperson added in a statement on 4 Sept 2012.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his appeal to the Bahraini authorities to ensure the application of international human rights norms, including the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

The men, who include activists Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Ebrahim Sharif, were originally sentenced last summer to between two years and life in prison, according to media reportsThe charges included espionage and “setting up terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution.”

Since February, there have been clashes in Bahrain between security forces and demonstrators, a year after widespread civil protests first emerged in the Gulf country, the UN said.

Ban called again on the Bahraini Government to complete the full implementation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations. The Commission had reportedly found that Government forces had used excessive force during the crackdown in February and March 2011 and had tortured some detainees.

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