position:policeman

  • [Revision] « Tell Me How This Ends » | Harper’s Magazine
    https://harpers.org/archive/2019/02/american-involvement-in-syria

    Dans cet article très USA-centré, le récit des premiers temps de la guerre en #Syrie par l’ancien ambassadeur US à Damas. (J’ai grasseyé certains passages. Le récit US passe égaleemnt sous silence la présence à Hama de l’ambassadeur français et de quelques invités...) L’histoire de ce conflit commence petit à petit à s’écrire...

    The vulnerable regimes in early 2011 were in the American camp, a coincidence that the Syrian president, Bashar al-­Assad, interpreted as proof that the Arab Spring was a repudiation of American tutelage. As Russia’s and Iran’s only Arab ally, he foresaw no challenge to his throne. An omen in the unlikely guise of an incident at an open-­air market in the old city of Damascus, in February 2011, should have changed his mind. One policeman ordered a motorist to stop at an intersection, while another officer told him to drive on. “The poor guy got conflicting instructions, and did what I would have done and stopped,” recalled the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who had only just arrived in the country. The second policeman dragged the driver out of his car and thrashed him. “A crowd gathered, and all of a sudden it took off,” Ford said. “No violence, but it was big enough that the interior minister himself went down to the market and told people to go home.” Ford reported to Washington, “This is the first big demonstration that we know of. And it tells us that this tinder is dry.”

    The next month, the security police astride the Jordanian border in the dusty southern town of Daraa ignited the tinder by torturing children who had scrawled anti-­Assad graffiti on walls. Their families, proud Sunni tribespeople, appealed for justice, then called for reform of the regime, and finally demanded its removal. Rallies swelled by the day. Ford cabled Washington that the government was using live ammunition to quell the demonstrations. He noted that the protesters were not entirely peaceful: “There was a little bit of violence from the demonstrators in Daraa. They burned the Syriatel office.” (Syriatel is the cell phone company of Rami Makhlouf, Assad’s cousin, who epitomized for many Syrians the ruling elite’s corruption.) “And they burned a court building, but they didn’t kill anybody.” Funerals of protesters produced more demonstrations and thus more funerals. The Obama Administration, though, was preoccupied with Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak had resigned in February, and with the NATO bombing campaign in Libya to support the Libyan insurgents who would depose and murder Muammar Qaddafi in October.

    Ambassador Ford detected a turn in the Syrian uprising that would define part of its character: “The first really serious violence on the opposition side was up on the coast around Baniyas, where a bus was stopped and soldiers were hauled off the bus. If you were Alawite, you were shot. If you were Sunni, they let you go.” At demonstrations, some activists chanted the slogan, “Alawites to the grave, and Christians to Beirut.” A sectarian element wanted to remove Assad, not because he was a dictator but because he belonged to the Alawite minority sect that Sunni fundamentalists regard as heretical. Washington neglected to factor that into its early calculations.

    Phil Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European affairs before becoming Obama’s White House coordinator for the Middle East, told me, “I think the initial attitude in Syria was seen through that prism of what was happening in the other countries, which was, in fact, leaders—the public rising up against their leaders and in some cases actually getting rid of them, and in Tunisia, and Yemen, and Libya, with our help.”

    Ambassador Ford said he counseled Syria’s activists to remain non­violent and urged both sides to negotiate. Demonstrations became weekly events, starting after Friday’s noon prayer as men left the mosques, and spreading north to Homs and Hama. Ford and some embassy staffers, including the military attaché, drove to Hama, with government permission, one Thursday evening in July. To his surprise, Ford said, “We were welcomed like heroes by the opposition people. We had a simple message—no violence. There were no burned buildings. There was a general strike going on, and the opposition people had control of the streets. They had all kinds of checkpoints. Largely, the government had pulled out.”

    Bassam Barabandi, a diplomat who defected in Washington to establish a Syrian exile organization, People Demand Change, thought that Ford had made two errors: his appearance in Hama raised hopes for direct intervention that was not forthcoming, and he was accompanied by a military attaché. “So, at that time, the big question for Damascus wasn’t Ford,” Barabandi told me in his spartan Washington office. “It was the military attaché. Why did this guy go with Ford?” The Syrian regime had a long-standing fear of American intelligence interference, dating to the CIA-­assisted overthrow in 1949 of the elected parliamentary government and several attempted coups d’état afterward. The presence in Hama of an ambassador with his military attaché allowed the Assad regime to paint its opponents as pawns of a hostile foreign power.


  • Palestinian shot, killed after Jerusalem stabbing attack
    Dec. 13, 2018 11:21 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 13, 2018 11:51 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782062

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem after carrying out a stabbing attack, predawn Thursday.

    Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces opened fire at a Palestinian youth identified as Majd Jamal Mteir , 25, at around 5:00 a.m., critically injuring him, in the al-Wad Street of the Old City of Jerusalem.

    Mteir, from the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem, was later pronounced dead.

    Israeli police and intelligence forces were heavily deployed across the streets of the Old City, sealed the city and prevented Palestinian worshipers from the entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Dawn Prayers.

    Israeli media reported that Mteir stabbed two Israeli police officers deployed in the al-Wad Street, a female police officer whose injury was reported as moderate and a policeman whose injury was reported as light.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israeli Soldiers Kill A Palestinian In Jerusalem
      December 13, 2018 9:28 AM
      http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-kill-a-palestinian-in-jerusalem-2

      Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday at dawn, a young Palestinian man in the al-Waad Street, in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, after he reportedly stabbed and injured two Israeli police officers.

      Israeli sources said two officers of the Border Guards Unit suffered mild wounds, “when the Palestinian stabbed them, before he was shot dead.”

      They added that one of the wounded officers, a 19-year-old policewoman, suffered a moderate injury, and was moved to Hadassah Ein Karem Medical Center, in Jerusalem, where her condition improved and was described as mild.

      The slain Palestinian was later identified as Majd Mteir , 26, from Qalandia refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

      He was shot with several live rounds, and succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards.


  • What happens to the bodies of those who die in the Mediterranean?

    Researchers, police, coroners and an imam in Sicily work hard to identify dead refugees and give them a proper burial.

    On All Soul’s Day, around three kilometres from the port in the Sicilian city of Catania, the pauper’s grave at the Monumental Cemetery is unusually well-tended, with fresh flowers and beads wrapped around cross-shaped headstones.

    Many belong to refugees and migrants who died at sea while trying to reach Europe. Sicilian cemeteries currently host the remains of more than 2,000 of them.

    The Mediterranean route is fraught with danger. So far this year, more than 2,000 people have died while crossing the sea, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    Local authorities here recover on average only one in 10 bodies, which usually remains unidentified.

    “An overall indifference has led to a higher non-identification rate of most bodies,” says Giorgia Mirto, a Sicilian anthropologist and founder of Mediterranean Missing, a database project collecting names of the identified dead refugees and migrants. “They just become statistics instead of humans.”

    After spending her time in cemeteries across the island, Mirto has identified a trend.

    “Here, migrants become part of the community. I noticed average citizens bringing flowers and praying over their graves,” she says. “’[It is] part of a Catholic mindset that instils the idea of taking care of the dead, in place of those who can’t afford or aren’t able to pay a visit.”

    In August, local policeman Angelo Milazzo accompanied a Jamal Mekdad, a Syrian man and his two children who had travelled from Denmark, to the cemetery of Melilli, a port village in Syracuse, eastern Sicily.

    They were visiting the grave of their wife and mother, who died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2014.

    “Remembering that day still brings me tears,” Milazzo says.

    He is part of a police unit trying to prevent undocumented migration and was present on the day the Syrian woman perished, that day he saw the bodies of 24 people.

    From that moment, his work went well beyond the duties of his job as he made it his mission to try and identify the dead - often outside his working hours - spending time in port towns, cemeteries and searching on Facebook.

    Most victims do not carry identification documents, such as passports, so the first step is collaborating with coroners who examine the bodies and provide forensic police with information about the refugees’ DNA, origin, height, weight and gender, as well as pictures of clothing and notes of distinctive features or objects they had.

    “These reports are sent to our police unit, as well as to migrant help centres hosting survivors of shipwrecks, who can help identifying some of the victims, as usually, they travel with family members,” Milazzo says.

    Some of the coroners in charge of examining bones and clothes were, like Milazzo, touched on a personal level by the tragedy.

    Antonella Argo, a coroner in Palermo, Sicily’s capital, examined the bodies of several drowned migrants.

    “The frustration in this job can be tough. I remember one time, during a major shipwreck in 2016, my team and I were in charge of helping provide information about 52 bodies. We only managed to identify 18,” Argo explains.

    “I think it’s a doctor’s duty, actually any human being’s duty, to give back dignity, importance and most of all an identity, to those who’ve represented something in someone else’s life. It’s called Mediterranean compassion, and we Sicilians know that well.”

    Milazzo, the policeman, began his work in identification in 2014, having received reports from Argo’s colleagues, by visiting several towns in the province.

    One of his first stops was La Zagara, a migrant centre in Melilli.

    With the help of an Arabic-speaking interpreter, he began talking to survivors, mostly Syrians, showing them pictures of clothing and giving them details.

    Many provided him with the information he was looking for, as they were also searching for the missing.

    A young Syrian woman, simply identified with the number 23, was on his list.

    At La Zagara, he showed a man who had lost his wife the woman’s pictures.

    “Angelo showed me a face close up from the autopsy. It was her, my Sireen,” says Jamal Mekdad, the Syrian refugee father, explaining he hadn’t recognised her at first.

    Now living and working as a photographer in Denmark with his two children, he says he’s grateful for those who helped identify his wife.

    “They do an important job of giving back dignity to the victims’ families, as well as the disappeared migrants themselves,” he said.

    It took Milazzo a year, two months and 10 days to file a complete report identifying all the victims from the 2014 shipwreck, allowing Italian authorities to issue official death certificates.

    He runs a Facebook page, posting details about the dead and exchanging messages with people searching for answers.

    “Facebook has been crucial in collecting information about the disappeared and to get in touch with relatives,” Milazzo says.

    “Death certificates are fundamental for the relatives to move on and think about the future, carry on their lives, be entitled to inheritance and get peace of mind.”
    ’They deserve to rest in peace’

    The 2014 case was, however, an exception.

    Most families remain in the dark about their relatives.

    But once an identity is settled, the search for a burial site begins.

    As most victims are Muslim, it falls on Abdelhafid Kheit, an imam in the community, to take care of the bodies.

    “When the refugee crisis began, I had the impulse to help, to do something not only as a spiritual leader but as a human being,” Kheit says, holding back tears.

    Overcrowding in cemeteries, however, is a challenge.

    “For years, I’ve asked Sicily’s president to buy a piece of land and open a cemetery of the sea deaths. So far, my request hasn’t been answered. But I don’t give up, and will continue my advocacy to reach this goal,” says Kheit.

    Mekdad remembers speaking on the phone in 2014 with Kheit, who he describes as a “gentle imam with a North African accent”.

    “I entrusted my wife’s soul to him for her funeral, as I wasn’t able to attend,” he says.

    Kheit supervises the various stages of burial: washing the deceased migrant’s body, wrapping it in a white shroud and leading the burial prayer.

    These experiences have been the most challenging of his career, he says.

    “On certain occasions, I was asked to do these rituals on bodies which were so decomposed that I almost refrained from doing my job,” he says, “but then I continued because they deserved to rest in peace.”


    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/bodies-die-mediterranean-181125235524960.html
    #Catania #Sicile #Italie #mourir_en_mer #cadavres #enterrement #cimetière #corps #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Méditerranée


  • Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

    Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

    “The Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in people’s private sexual practices, brutalizing and humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws,” said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisia should abolish its antiquated anti-sodomy laws and respect everyone’s right to privacy.”

    Human Rights Watch spoke with six men prosecuted in 2017 and 2018 under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. One person interviewed was only 17 years old the first time he was arrested. Human Rights Watch also reviewed the judicial files in these cases and five others that resulted in prosecutions under either article 230 or article 226, which criminalizes “harming public morals.” In addition to violating privacy rights, these cases included allegations of mistreatment in police custody, forced confessions, and denial of access to legal counsel.

    Police arrested some of these men after disputes arose between them or after neighbors reported them. Two had gone to the police to report being raped.

    Some of the men spent months in prison. At least three have left Tunisia and applied for asylum in European countries.

    K.S., a 32-year-old engineer, entered a police station in Monastir in June 2018 to file a complaint of gang rape, and to get an order for a medical examination of his injuries. Instead of treating him as a victim, he said, the police ordered an anal test to determine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy.” “How they treated me was insane,” K.S. told Human Rights Watch. “How is it their business to intrude into my intimate parts and check whether I am ‘used to sodomy’?”

    In another case, a 17-year-old was arrested three times on sodomy charges and was forced to undergo an anal examination, as well as months of conversion therapy at a juvenile detention center. Both harmful practices are discredited.

    Tunisian prosecutors have relied extensively in recent years on forced anal examinations to seek “evidence” of sodomy, even though the exams are highly unreliable and constitute cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture.

    On September 21, 2017, during the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Tunisia formally accepted a recommendation to end forced anal exams. However, Tunisia’s delegation stated: “Medical examinations will be conducted based on the consent of the person and in the presence of a medical expert.” This stance is not credible because trial courts can presume that a refusal to undergo the exam signals guilt, Human Rights Watch said. Tunisia should abandon anal exams altogether.

    Prosecutions for consensual sex in private and between adults violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a party. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the covenant, has stated that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that arrests for same-sex conduct between consenting adults are, by definition, arbitrary.

    Tunisia’s 2014 constitution, in article 24, obliges the government to protect the rights to privacy and the inviolability of the home. Article 21 provides that “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Article 23 prohibits “mental and physical torture.”

    The Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits house searches and seizure of objects that could serve a criminal investigation without a judicial warrant, except in cases of flagrante delicto, that is when catching someone in the act.

    Article 1 of Law No. 63 on the protection of personal data stipulates that “every person is entitled to the protection of their personal data and privacy of information, viewed as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. This data can only be used with transparency, loyalty and respect for the dignity of the person whose data is subject of treatment.” However, neither Law No. 63 nor any other domestic law regulates the conditions for seizing private data during a police investigation or its use.

    On June 12, the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality, appointed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, proposed, among other actions, to decriminalize homosexuality and to end anal testing in criminal investigations into homosexuality. It also proposed criminalizing the unlawful “interception, opening, recording, spreading, saving and deleting” of an electronic message.

    On October 11, 13 members of the Tunisian Parliament introduced draft legislation for a code on individual freedoms. It incorporated several proposals from the presidential commission including abolition of article 230.

    Parliament should move quickly on this draft legislation and abolish article 230, Human Rights Watch said. It should enact a law that effectively protects people’s privacy, through regulating the seizure and use of private data during criminal investigations, with consequences if such a law is violated.

    The Justice Ministry should meanwhile direct public prosecutors to abandon prosecutions under article 230. The Interior Ministry should investigate reports of the ill-treatment of people arrested based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Human Rights Watch conducted face to face interviews with men in Tunisia and phone interviews with men who fled to European countries. Pseudonyms have been used to protect their privacy.

    Shams and Damj, local LGBT rights groups, provided assistance.

    Accounts by Men Prosecuted

    K.S., 32, engineer

    K.S. used to work for an international company in Tunis. He said that on June 8, he went to spend the weekend in at a friend’s house in Monastir, a coastal city. He had earlier chatted with a man from Monastir on Grindr, a social network application for gays. They made a date and they met that day in a café. The man invited K.S. to his house, but once there, the man became aggressive and showed K.S. a police badge. Two other men arrived, and they started insulting him, calling him “sick.” “One said, ‘You people of Loth [a demeaning term derived from the Biblical and Quranic story of Lot], you deserve to be killed, you are like microbes.’”

    They punched and slapped him on the face, he said. Then the man who had invited him said, “We will show you what sodomy is like.” The men then forced him to take off his clothes and bend over. Two of them held K.S. by the arms while the third inserted a baton in his anus. “It was unbearable, I felt that I will faint,” K.S. said. They finally let him leave.

    I was shivering and bleeding [when I reached my friend’s house]. The next day, I went to Fattouma Bourguiba hospital in Monastir. I just wanted to get medical treatment and to check that I did not have internal hemorrhaging.

    But, he said, the doctor refused to examine him without a police order:

    I went to the Skanes district police station in Monastir, to try to get the requisition order. I did not want to tell the police the full story, so I just said that three men had raped me. The policeman who was typing my statement left the room at some point, and that’s when I saw on the screen that he was instructing the doctor at Fatouma Bourguiba hospital to examine whether I am ‘used to practicing sodomy.’ I felt the blood freeze in my body.

    Human Rights Watch reviewed the June 9 police requisition order, in which the chief instructs the doctor to examine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy” and whether he was victim of anal rape.

    K.S. said that, when the policeman returned to the office, K.S. asked if he could leave. The policeman replied: “And go where? You can’t leave before we check what kind of stuff you do.” The policeman called for a patrol car to drive K.S. to the hospital.

    The doctor told me that he has a requisition order to perform an anal test. “We want to check whether this is a habit,” he said. I was terrified. I told him that I didn’t want to do the test. But he insisted that he had to perform it. He told me to remove my pants and assume a prayer position [on hand and knees] on top of the medical bed. He put on gloves and started to examine me with his fingers. As soon as he did, I felt sick and told him I wanted to go to the toilet. I wanted to stop this humiliation. He let me go. I managed to avoid the policemen who were waiting for me in the corridor and left the hospital. Once in the parking lot, I started running until I felt safe, and then went to my friend’s house.

    K.S. said he took a flight on June 13 to Belgium, where he has filed a request for asylum.

    K. B., 41, documentary filmmaker

    K.B. spent 13 months in pretrial detention on accusation of sodomy and unlawful detention. He is married and the father of an 8-year-old girl. He told Human Rights Watch that on March 3, 2017, at around 9 p.m., he went to downtown Tunis for drinks. While he was sitting in a bar, S.Z., a young man, approached him. They chatted for a while, then K.B. invited him to his place. He said that, after having sex, he went to the kitchen to prepare some food. When he came back to the living room, he caught the man stealing money from his wallet. K.B. tried to force him out of his apartment, but the man locked himself in a bedroom, went to the balcony, and screamed for help. Policemen arrived, arrested them, and took them to the Aouina district police station.

    Police treated me with contempt. The first question the interrogator asked was whether I had sex with S.Z. I denied it categorically and told him we only had drinks together. But he said that S.Z. had confessed. The interrogator asked me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
    K.B. said the police at the station confiscated his phone and looked at his social media history and his photo archives. They switched the phone off and did not allow him to call his family or a lawyer. They presented him with a statement to sign, but he refused. At 4 a.m., they transferred both men to Bouchoucha detention center. Later that morning, the police took the men to the Tunis first instance court, where a prosecutor ordered them to undergo an anal test. The police took them to Charles Nicole hospital, K.B. said, where he refused the test. “The idea of them intruding into my intimacy and into my body was so humiliating to me.”

    He was returned to detention and after a few weeks decided to undergo the test in the hope that negative results would prove his innocence. He said he informed the investigative judge during a hearing and the judge issued a requisition. Police officers took him again to Charles Nicole Hospital.

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The doctor asked me to strip and get on the examination table. He asked me to bend over. There was one policeman in the room and one medical assistant, watching. The doctor put one finger into my anus and moved it around. I was so ashamed. It was very dehumanizing.

    K.B. said that even though the test result was negative, the investigative judge indicted him for sodomy. The order referring the case to trial said that the time elapsed between the alleged act and the test prevented the court from ruling out that K.B. was “used to the practice of sodomy.”

    In May 2018, 13 months after the court placed K.B. in pretrial detention, it acquitted and freed him.

    In the indictment, the investigative judge wrote that S.Z. had confessed to the police to “committing the crime of sodomy in exchange for money” and that he admitted that he “approached and dated men he met via Facebook.” The judge quotes the police report, which describes in crude terms the sexual intercourse between K.B. and S.Z. The judge also states that K.B has denied the accusation of sodomy, and instead stated that he and S.Z. were only having drinks at his place and did not have sex.

    The investigative judge notes that S.Z. later retracted his confession and says that he gave instructions for the forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole Hospital to administer an anal test to determine whether K.B “bore signs of the practice of homosexual activity” recently or whether he “practices sodomy in a habitual way.”

    The judge’s indictment of K. B. was based on S.Z.’s confession to the police, later repudiated, from “the circumstances of the case, which show that the two men had no other reason to go to K. B.’s house” and K. B.’s refusal to take the anal test. The judge wrote: “given that the test was performed 20 days after the reported incident, the forensic doctor was not able to find signs of anal penetration because those signs disappear five days after the act.”

    “Free” (nickname), 32, hairdresser

    Free said that on the night of April 5, 2018, he went with a female friend from Sousse to Monastir for drinks and to meet his boyfriend. When they arrived at around 9 p.m., he said, a police patrol stopped them and asked for their papers, then told the woman to accompany them to the station for further identity checks. Free waited outside the station.

    While waiting, Free received an angry message from his boyfriend asking him why he was late. Free explained where he was and snapped a photo of the station as proof. A police officer saw him and confiscated Free’s telephone, saying he had endangered state security. The officer took him to an interrogation room, where another officer handcuffed him to a chair. An officer searched the phone and finding nude photos of Free, then searched his social media activity and read the conversations he had with men on gay dating apps and his chats with his boyfriend on Facebook Messenger, some of them sexually explicit.

    Free said that the police officer turned to him and said, “I hate you, you sodomites. You will have to pay for your depravity.” Other police officers in the room insulted Free, he said. The officer interrogated him about his sexual activity, wrote a report, and told him to sign it. When Free refused, a policeman slapped him in the face and said, “Ah, now you are trying to be a man. Just sign here, you scum.” Free signed the report without reading it.

    At no point during the interrogation did the police advise Free of his right to speak to a lawyer. At around midnight, they moved him into a cell, where he spent the night. The following day, he was taken before a prosecutor, who charged him with sodomy but decided to release him provisionally pending trial. On June 6, he appeared before the first instance court in Monastir. The presiding judge closed the courtroom to the public.

    The first question he asked me was whether I am used to the practice of sodomy. I told him I was not. He asked the question again, then asked, “Then why did you confess?” I answered, “Because the police forced me to.” The judge asked, “But if you are not a sodomite, why do you dress like this, why do you look like one of them?”

    He said the judge adjourned the trial to June 14, when he convicted Free and sentenced him to a four-months sentence with probation, based on his phone conversations and his forced confession. Free has appealed.

    M. R., 26, paramedic

    M.R. worked in a hospital in Tebourba, a city 40 kilometers west of Tunis. He fled to France and applied for asylum after being charged under article 230 and granted pretrial release.

    M.R. said he had always hidden his sexual orientation because of severe social stigma. In November 2017, he chatted with a man on Facebook. The man, called A.F., sent him photos, and they decided to meet. When they did, M.R. realized that the photos were fake and told A.F. that he would not have sex with him. A few days later, on November 28, A.F. banged on his door at around 4 a.m. Fearing scandal, M.R. opened the door to find A.F. drunk and wielding a knife. A.F. slapped him on the face, ordered him to remove his clothes, and raped him, he said, threatening to cut his throat. After a few hours, A.F. told M.R. to buy A.F. cigarettes. M.R. went to the Tebourba police station and filed a rape complaint.

    When I told the police officers about the rape, they asked me how I knew the man and how we met. I dodged the questions, but they insisted. I told them that I am gay, and their behavior changed instantly. The station chief said: “Ah, so you were the one who initiated this, you are an accomplice to the crime, there is no rape here – you deserve this.” Then, he handed me a requisition order and told me to go get an anal test the following day at Charles Nicole Hospital.

    The police interrogated M.R., then accompanied him to his apartment, where they arrested A.F. The police told M.R. to undergo the anal examination, then report to the First Instance Court in Manouba. M.R. consulted the nongovernmental association Shams, which defends sexual minorities, and decided to skip the anal test. When he reported to the court, the investigative judge treated him as a criminal, not a victim. M.R. said:

    He asked questions about my sex life and when I started practicing sodomy with other men. He said that I deserved everything that had happened to me and that I should be ashamed of myself.

    M.R. said that the judge charged him with sodomy and granted him pretrial release. A.F. was kept in custody and charged with sodomy and rape.

    The indictment of M.R., prepared by the investigative judge and dated December 13, 2017, provides purported details from M.R.’s intimate life, including confessions that he is gay. The indictment also relies on the confession from A.F. and cites a condom seized at M. R.’s house as evidence.

    M.R. said that, three days after the encounter with A.F., he reported to work at the hospital. The director handed him a dismissal notice on the grounds that he was facing trial.

    I had to go back to my family’s place, as I had no salary anymore. It was like living in a prison. My father and older brother beat me many times, my father even burned me with a cigarette. They did not allow me to go out, they said they were ashamed of me.

    Having lost everything, he left Tunisia for France.

    I had no other choice, I felt rejected by everyone, my family, society, my colleagues. And I was afraid of going to prison.

    Mounir Baatour, M.R.’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the case is stalled in the first instance court in Manouba, and has yet to go to trial. On May 15, 2018, indictment chamber sent the indictment to the cassation court for a legal review, which is pending.

    R. F., 42, day laborer, and M.J. 22, unemployed

    On June 12, 2018, police in Sidi Bouzaiane arrested R.F. and M.J. after R.F. went to the police to say that M.J. had refused to leave R.F.’s house.

    M.J. said that the police came to his house and took both men to the police station at around midnight. They interrogated them in the same room, asking them how they met. A police officer took R.F.’s phone and watched videos stored on it, then said to R.F., “So you are a miboun [a degrading term for gay]. M.J. said:

    One of the four officers present during interrogation slapped R.F. on the face. Then he turned toward me and asked, “So what were you both doing in the house? I’m sure you were having sex, so you too must be a miboun. You are staining this country,” he said.

    M.J. said that policemen beat him on his face, head, and back. When the police finished the interrogation at 3 a.m., they presented a written report and told M.J. to sign it. He said he asked to have a lawyer first, but they refused to let him call one and insulted him. He signed the report.

    The police report, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, states that neither man requested a lawyer. R.F.’s purported statement, as the police recorded it, describes in graphic terms how he habitually practices sodomy and has sex with men. The police report states that officers searched R.F.’s smartphone and found videos of R.F. having sex with men. The police confiscated his phone, the report says, as “evidence of the crime.”

    Two days after the arrest, M.J. said, he and R.F. appeared before a prosecutor, who asked them: “Aren’t you afraid of God’s judgment?” He ordered pretrial detention, and they were sent to the Sidi Bouzid prison. M.J. said that one of the prison guards harassed him and asked him vulgar questions such as: “How you do this? Are you getting fucked for money? Why are you fucking men? Aren’t there enough women to fuck in this country?”

    He said he was put in a cell with 100 other men, who seemed to have been informed about his “crime.” Over the following days, his cellmates insulted, beat, and sexually harassed him. He said that one night, he refused to have sex with the cell “strongman”, so the man and two others beat him. He said they held his arms, while the strongman slapped him on the face and punched him on the chin.

    After a week in detention, he appeared before an investigative judge, who asked him about his sexual behavior. M.J. said he admitted that he is gay. He said he had done nothing wrong, but the judge replied, “You are harming society.”

    The first instance court in Sidi Bouzid sentenced the two men on June 12 to three months in prison for sodomy. The appeals court upheld the sentence.

    S.C., 24 and A.B., 22

    Police arrested S.C. and A.B. in Sousse on December 8, 2016, when they were allegedly caught committing sodomy in public. They were sentenced, on March 10, 2017, to eight months in prison under article 230 of the penal code and not on charges related to public indecency. The police report describes their sexual intercourse in detail and concludes that S.C. “committed active sodomy,” while A.B. was a “passive sodomite.”

    The judgment from the first instance court in Sousse, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that both denied committing sodomy or being homosexuals. It states that they were both subjected to anal examinations on December 9, 2016, that turned out “negative.” The judge concluded that: “the results of the anal tests cannot exonerate the accused of the crime, especially given that the [tests] were performed sometime after the facts.” The court based the guilty verdict only on the declarations by police officers and wrote that: “it is appropriate to sentence them to eight months as an adequate and dissuasive sentence proportional to the offense that they have committed.”

    A.C., 18, student

    A.C. was arrested three times for sodomy. The first time was in August 2017, when he was 17. Police forces arrested him at his house after his two sisters denounced him as gay and took him to the Kasba police station in Tunis. He said that they interrogated him extensively about his sexual orientation and took his smart phone and searched his personal data. The next day, they took him to a forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole hospital for an anal examination. He said he did not have a lawyer and that the police did not inform him of his right to have one.

    I did not understand what was going on. The police told me that the test is mandatory. The doctor told me to go on an examination bed and to bend, and then he inserted his fingers in my insides. The doctor did not explain what the test is about.

    A.C. said he was released without charge after spending two days in the Kasba police station.

    On May 15, 2018, he went to the police station in Sijoumi, in Tunis, in response to a summons. He said police officers told him his family had filed a complaint and questioned him for almost four hours. A.C. confessed to being gay. The police took him to Bouchoucha detention center in Tunis, where he spent the night. The next day, May 16, he appeared before the Tunis first instance court in Sidi Hassine, where an investigative judge interviewed him. The judge asked him: “Why are you like this? Don’t you know that what you’re doing is haram [forbidden under Islam]?”

    I told the judge that I didn’t break any laws, that what I do is my personal business. I did not hurt anyone. This is my private life and should not be the concern of anyone else.

    He said the judge ordered his detention for two months in a juvenile rehabilitation center, as he was still a minor, and forced him to undergo “conversion therapy,” a thoroughly discredited method to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the center, a psychiatrist visited him twice, telling him that “he should work on changing himself and his mind.” He appeared before another investigative judge, on June 25, who released him.

    A.C. said that on September 2, he was running some errands with his boyfriend when the police stopped them and asked for their identity cards. The police told A.C. that his family had filed a complaint against him. They took him to Hay Hlel police station in Tunis, where they questioned him about his sexual life, confiscated his phone, and looked at his photos and personal conversations. A prosecutor issued a warrant to detain him, and he spent eight days in the Bouchoucha detention center. On September 20, he appeared before a judge, who released him without charge.

    F.B, 28; N.A, 21 and B.K., 27, day laborers

    In Sousse, a coastal city, the police arrested three men in January 2017, after neighbors complained that they suspected the men were gay. In the indictment, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, the investigative judge states that the police went to the house where the men were staying, seized their phones, on which they found “evidence that they were sodomites,” as well as “women’s clothing,” and took the men to the police station.

    The investigative judge ruled that the men harmed public morals based on the content of the seized phones and “because they dressed up like women, used lipstick, and talked in a languid way.” The police report and the indictment, which usually would include information about a judicial warrant, did not indicate that the police had one. The three men were sentenced to two months in prison for the charge of harming public morals and served their terms.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/08/tunisia-privacy-threatened-homosexuality-arrests

    #Tunisie #homophobie #homosexualité #COI #LGBT


  • 56,800 migrant dead and missing : ’They are human beings’

    One by one, five to a grave, the coffins are buried in the red earth of this ill-kept corner of a South African cemetery. The scrawl on the cheap wood attests to their anonymity: “Unknown B/Male.”

    These men were migrants from elsewhere in Africa with next to nothing who sought a living in the thriving underground economy of Gauteng province, a name that roughly translates to “land of gold.” Instead of fortune, many found death, their bodies unnamed and unclaimed — more than 4,300 in Gauteng between 2014 and 2017 alone.

    Some of those lives ended here at the Olifantsvlei cemetery, in silence, among tufts of grass growing over tiny placards that read: Pauper Block. There are coffins so tiny that they could belong only to children.

    As migration worldwide soars to record highs, far less visible has been its toll: The tens of thousands of people who die or simply disappear during their journeys, never to be seen again. In most cases, nobody is keeping track: Barely counted in life, these people don’t register in death , as if they never lived at all.

    An Associated Press tally has documented at least 56,800 migrants dead or missing worldwide since 2014 — almost double the number found in the world’s only official attempt to try to count them, by the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration. The IOM toll as of Oct. 1 was more than 28,500. The AP came up with almost 28,300 additional dead or missing migrants by compiling information from other international groups, requesting forensic records, missing persons reports and death records, and sifting through data from thousands of interviews with migrants.

    The toll is the result of migration that is up 49 percent since the turn of the century, with more than 258 million international migrants in 2017, according to the United Nations. A growing number have drowned, died in deserts or fallen prey to traffickers, leaving their families to wonder what on earth happened to them. At the same time, anonymous bodies are filling cemeteries around the world, like the one in Gauteng.

    The AP’s tally is still low. More bodies of migrants lie undiscovered in desert sands or at the bottom of the sea. And families don’t always report loved ones as missing because they migrated illegally, or because they left home without saying exactly where they were headed.

    The official U.N. toll focuses mostly on Europe, but even there cases fall through the cracks. The political tide is turning against migrants in Europe just as in the United States, where the government is cracking down heavily on caravans of Central Americans trying to get in . One result is that money is drying up for projects to track migration and its costs.

    For example, when more than 800 people died in an April 2015 shipwreck off the coast of Italy, Europe’s deadliest migrant sea disaster, Italian investigators pledged to identify them and find their families. More than three years later, under a new populist government, funding for this work is being cut off.

    Beyond Europe, information is even more scarce. Little is known about the toll in South America, where the Venezuelan migration is among the world’s biggest today, and in Asia, the top region for numbers of migrants.

    The result is that governments vastly underestimate the toll of migration, a major political and social issue in most of the world today.

    “No matter where you stand on the whole migration management debate....these are still human beings on the move,” said Bram Frouws, the head of the Mixed Migration Centre , based in Geneva, which has done surveys of more than 20,000 migrants in its 4Mi project since 2014. “Whether it’s refugees or people moving for jobs, they are human beings.”

    They leave behind families caught between hope and mourning, like that of Safi al-Bahri. Her son, Majdi Barhoumi, left their hometown of Ras Jebel, Tunisia, on May 7, 2011, headed for Europe in a small boat with a dozen other migrants. The boat sank and Barhoumi hasn’t been heard from since. In a sign of faith that he is still alive, his parents built an animal pen with a brood of hens, a few cows and a dog to stand watch until he returns.

    “I just wait for him. I always imagine him behind me, at home, in the market, everywhere,” said al-Bahari. “When I hear a voice at night, I think he’s come back. When I hear the sound of a motorcycle, I think my son is back.”

    ———————————————————————

    EUROPE: BOATS THAT NEVER ARRIVE

    Of the world’s migration crises, Europe’s has been the most cruelly visible. Images of the lifeless body of a Kurdish toddler on a beach, frozen tent camps in Eastern Europe, and a nearly numbing succession of deadly shipwrecks have been transmitted around the world, adding to the furor over migration.

    In the Mediterranean, scores of tankers, cargo boats, cruise ships and military vessels tower over tiny, crowded rafts powered by an outboard motor for a one-way trip. Even larger boats carrying hundreds of migrants may go down when soft breezes turn into battering winds and thrashing waves further from shore.

    Two shipwrecks and the deaths of at least 368 people off the coast of Italy in October 2013 prompted the IOM’s research into migrant deaths. The organization has focused on deaths in the Mediterranean, although its researchers plead for more data from elsewhere in the world. This year alone, the IOM has found more than 1,700 deaths in the waters that divide Africa and Europe.

    Like the lost Tunisians of Ras Jebel, most of them set off to look for work. Barhoumi, his friends, cousins and other would-be migrants camped in the seaside brush the night before their departure, listening to the crash of the waves that ultimately would sink their raft.

    Khalid Arfaoui had planned to be among them. When the group knocked at his door, it wasn’t fear that held him back, but a lack of cash. Everyone needed to chip in to pay for the boat, gas and supplies, and he was short about $100. So he sat inside and watched as they left for the beachside campsite where even today locals spend the night before embarking to Europe.

    Propelled by a feeble outboard motor and overburdened with its passengers, the rubber raft flipped, possibly after grazing rocks below the surface on an uninhabited island just offshore. Two bodies were retrieved. The lone survivor was found clinging to debris eight hours later.

    The Tunisian government has never tallied its missing, and the group never made it close enough to Europe to catch the attention of authorities there. So these migrants never have been counted among the dead and missing.

    “If I had gone with them, I’d be lost like the others,” Arfaoui said recently, standing on the rocky shoreline with a group of friends, all of whom vaguely planned to leave for Europe. “If I get the chance, I’ll do it. Even if I fear the sea and I know I might die, I’ll do it.”

    With him that day was 30-year-old Mounir Aguida, who had already made the trip once, drifting for 19 hours after the boat engine cut out. In late August this year, he crammed into another raft with seven friends, feeling the waves slam the flimsy bow. At the last minute he and another young man jumped out.

    “It didn’t feel right,” Aguida said.

    There has been no word from the other six — yet another group of Ras Jebel’s youth lost to the sea. With no shipwreck reported, no survivors to rescue and no bodies to identify, the six young men are not counted in any toll.

    In addition to watching its own youth flee, Tunisia and to a lesser degree neighboring Algeria are transit points for other Africans north bound for Europe. Tunisia has its own cemetery for unidentified migrants, as do Greece, Italy and Turkey. The one at Tunisia’s southern coast is tended by an unemployed sailor named Chamseddin Marzouk.

    Of around 400 bodies interred in the coastal graveyard since it opened in 2005, only one has ever been identified. As for the others who lie beneath piles of dirt, Marzouk couldn’t imagine how their families would ever learn their fate.

    “Their families may think that the person is still alive, or that he’ll return one day to visit,” Marzouk said. “They don’t know that those they await are buried here, in Zarzis, Tunisia.”

    ——————

    AFRICA: VANISHING WITHOUT A TRACE

    Despite talk of the ’waves’ of African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean, as many migrate within Africa — 16 million — as leave for Europe. In all, since 2014, at least 18,400 African migrants have died traveling within Africa, according to the figures compiled from AP and IOM records. That includes more than 4,300 unidentified bodies in a single South African province, and 8,700 whose traveling companions reported their disappearance en route out of the Horn of Africa in interviews with 4Mi.

    When people vanish while migrating in Africa, it is often without a trace. The IOM says the Sahara Desert may well have killed more migrants than the Mediterranean. But no one will ever know for sure in a region where borders are little more than lines drawn on maps and no government is searching an expanse as large as the continental United States. The harsh sun and swirling desert sands quickly decompose and bury bodies of migrants, so that even when they turn up, they are usually impossible to identify .

    With a prosperous economy and stable government, South Africa draws more migrants than any other country in Africa. The government is a meticulous collector of fingerprints — nearly every legal resident and citizen has a file somewhere — so bodies without any records are assumed to have been living and working in the country illegally. The corpses are fingerprinted when possible, but there is no regular DNA collection.

    South Africa also has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and police are more focused on solving domestic cases than identifying migrants.

    “There’s logic to that, as sad as it is....You want to find the killer if you’re a policeman, because the killer could kill more people,” said Jeanine Vellema, the chief specialist of the province’s eight mortuaries. Migrant identification, meanwhile, is largely an issue for foreign families — and poor ones at that.

    Vellema has tried to patch into the police missing persons system, to build a system of electronic mortuary records and to establish a protocol where a DNA sample is taken from every set of remains that arrive at the morgue. She sighs: “Resources.” It’s a word that comes up 10 times in a half-hour conversation.

    So the bodies end up at Olifantsvlei or a cemetery like it, in unnamed graves. On a recent visit by AP, a series of open rectangles awaited the bodies of the unidentified and unclaimed. They did not wait long: a pickup truck drove up, piled with about 10 coffins, five per grave. There were at least 180 grave markers for the anonymous dead, with multiple bodies in each grave.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is working with Vellema, has started a pilot project with one Gauteng morgue to take detailed photos, fingerprints, dental information and DNA samples of unidentified bodies. That information goes to a database where, in theory, the bodies can be traced.

    “Every person has a right to their dignity. And to their identity,” said Stephen Fonseca, the ICRC regional forensic manager.

    ————————————

    THE UNITED STATES: “THAT’S HOW MY BROTHER USED TO SLEEP”

    More than 6,000 miles (9,000 kilometers) away, in the deserts that straddle the U.S.-Mexico border, lie the bodies of migrants who perished trying to cross land as unforgiving as the waters of the Mediterranean. Many fled the violence and poverty of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador or Mexico. Some are found months or years later as mere skeletons. Others make a last, desperate phone call and are never heard from again.

    In 2010 the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the local morgue in Pima County, Ariz., began to organize efforts to put names to the anonymous bodies found on both sides of the border. The “Border Project” has since identified more than 183 people — a fraction of the total.

    At least 3,861 migrants are dead and missing on the route from Mexico to the United States since 2014, according to the combined AP and IOM total. The tally includes missing person reports from the Colibri Center for Human Rights on the U.S. side as well as the Argentine group’s data from the Mexican side. The painstaking work of identification can take years, hampered by a lack of resources, official records and coordination between countries — and even between states.

    For many families of the missing, it is their only hope, but for the families of Juan Lorenzo Luna and Armando Reyes, that hope is fading.

    Luna, 27, and Reyes, 22, were brothers-in-law who left their small northern Mexico town of Gomez Palacio in August 2016. They had tried to cross to the U.S. four months earlier, but surrendered to border patrol agents in exhaustion and were deported.

    They knew they were risking their lives — Reyes’ father died migrating in 1995, and an uncle went missing in 2004. But Luna, a quiet family man, wanted to make enough money to buy a pickup truck and then return to his wife and two children. Reyes wanted a job where he wouldn’t get his shoes dirty and could give his newborn daughter a better life.

    Of the five who left Gomez Palacio together, two men made it to safety, and one man turned back. The only information he gave was that the brothers-in-law had stopped walking and planned to turn themselves in again. That is the last that is known of them.

    Officials told their families that they had scoured prisons and detention centers, but there was no sign of the missing men. Cesaria Orona even consulted a fortune teller about her missing son, Armando, and was told he had died in the desert.

    One weekend in June 2017, volunteers found eight bodies next to a military area of the Arizona desert and posted the images online in the hopes of finding family. Maria Elena Luna came across a Facebook photo of a decaying body found in an arid landscape dotted with cactus and shrubs, lying face-up with one leg bent outward. There was something horribly familiar about the pose.

    “That’s how my brother used to sleep,” she whispered.

    Along with the bodies, the volunteers found a credential of a boy from Guatemala, a photo and a piece of paper with a number written on it. The photo was of Juan Lorenzo Luna, and the number on the paper was for cousins of the family. But investigators warned that a wallet or credential could have been stolen, as migrants are frequently robbed.

    “We all cried,” Luna recalled. “But I said, we cannot be sure until we have the DNA test. Let’s wait.”

    Luna and Orona gave DNA samples to the Mexican government and the Argentine group. In November 2017, Orona received a letter from the Mexican government saying that there was the possibility of a match for Armando with some bone remains found in Nuevo Leon, a state that borders Texas. But the test was negative.

    The women are still waiting for results from the Argentine pathologists. Until then, their relatives remain among the uncounted.

    Orona holds out hope that the men may be locked up, or held by “bad people.” Every time Luna hears about clandestine graves or unidentified bodies in the news, the anguish is sharp.

    “Suddenly all the memories come back,” she said. “I do not want to think.”

    ————————

    SOUTH AMERICA: “NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT THIS IS A REALITY”

    The toll of the dead and the missing has been all but ignored in one of the largest population movements in the world today — that of nearly 2 million Venezuelans fleeing from their country’s collapse. These migrants have hopped buses across the borders, boarded flimsy boats in the Caribbean, and — when all else failed — walked for days along scorching highways and freezing mountain trails. Vulnerable to violence from drug cartels, hunger and illness that lingers even after reaching their destination, they have disappeared or died by the hundreds.

    “They can’t withstand a trip that hard, because the journey is very long,” said Carlos Valdes, director of neighboring Colombia’s national forensic institute. “And many times, they only eat once a day. They don’t eat. And they die.” Valdes said authorities don’t always recover the bodies of those who die, as some migrants who have entered the country illegally are afraid to seek help.

    Valdes believes hypothermia has killed some as they trek through the mountain tundra region, but he had no idea how many. One migrant told the AP he saw a family burying someone wrapped in a white blanket with red flowers along the frigid journey.

    Marta Duque, 55, has had a front seat to the Venezuela migration crisis from her home in Pamplona, Colombia. She opens her doors nightly to provide shelter for families with young children. Pamplona is one of the last cities migrants reach before venturing up a frigid mountain paramo, one of the most dangerous parts of the trip for migrants traveling by foot. Temperatures dip well below freezing.

    She said inaction from authorities has forced citizens like her to step in.

    “Everyone just seems to pass the ball,” she said. “No one wants to admit this is a reality.”

    Those deaths are uncounted, as are dozens in the sea. Also uncounted are those reported missing in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. In all at least 3,410 Venezuelans have been reported missing or dead in a migration within Latin America whose dangers have gone relatively unnoticed; many of the dead perished from illnesses on the rise in Venezuela that easily would have found treatment in better times.

    Among the missing is Randy Javier Gutierrez, who was walking through Colombia with a cousin and his aunt in hopes of reaching Peru to reunite with his mother.

    Gutierrez’s mother, Mariela Gamboa, said that a driver offered a ride to the two women, but refused to take her son. The women agreed to wait for him at the bus station in Cali, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) ahead, but he never arrived. Messages sent to his phone since that day four months ago have gone unread.

    “I’m very worried,” his mother said. “I don’t even know what to do.”

    ———————————

    ASIA: A VAST UNKNOWN

    The region with the largest overall migration, Asia, also has the least information on the fate of those who disappear after leaving their homelands. Governments are unwilling or unable to account for citizens who leave for elsewhere in the region or in the Mideast, two of the most common destinations, although there’s a growing push to do so.

    Asians make up 40 percent of the world’s migrants, and more than half of them never leave the region. The Associated Press was able to document more than 8,200 migrants who disappeared or died after leaving home in Asia and the Mideast, including thousands in the Philippines and Indonesia.

    Thirteen of the top 20 migration pathways from Asia take place within the region. These include Indian workers heading to the United Arab Emirates, Bangladeshis heading to India, Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution in Myanmar, and Afghans crossing the nearest border to escape war. But with large-scale smuggling and trafficking of labor, and violent displacements, the low numbers of dead and missing indicate not safe travel but rather a vast unknown.

    Almass was just 14 when his widowed mother reluctantly sent him and his 11-year-old brother from their home in Khost, Afghanistan, into that unknown. The payment for their trip was supposed to get them away from the Taliban and all the way to Germany via a chain of smugglers. The pair crammed first into a pickup with around 40 people, walked for a few days at the border, crammed into a car, waited a bit in Tehran, and walked a few more days.

    His brother Murtaza was exhausted by the time they reached the Iran-Turkey border. But the smuggler said it wasn’t the time to rest — there were at least two border posts nearby and the risk that children far younger travelling with them would make noise.

    Almass was carrying a baby in his arms and holding his brother’s hand when they heard the shout of Iranian guards. Bullets whistled past as he tumbled head over heels into a ravine and lost consciousness.

    Alone all that day and the next, Almass stumbled upon three other boys in the ravine who had also become separated from the group, then another four. No one had seen his brother. And although the younger boy had his ID, it had been up to Almass to memorize the crucial contact information for the smuggler.

    When Almass eventually called home, from Turkey, he couldn’t bear to tell his mother what had happened. He said Murtaza couldn’t come to the phone but sent his love.

    That was in early 2014. Almass, who is now 18, hasn’t spoken to his family since.

    Almass said he searched for his brother among the 2,773 children reported to the Red Cross as missing en route to Europe. He also looked for himself among the 2,097 adults reported missing by children. They weren’t on the list.

    With one of the world’s longest-running exoduses, Afghans face particular dangers in bordering countries that are neither safe nor welcoming. Over a period of 10 months from June 2017 to April 2018, 4Mi carried out a total of 962 interviews with Afghan migrants and refugees in their native languages around the world, systematically asking a series of questions about the specific dangers they had faced and what they had witnessed.

    A total of 247 migrant deaths were witnessed by the interviewed migrants, who reported seeing people killed in violence from security forces or starving to death. The effort is the first time any organization has successfully captured the perils facing Afghans in transit to destinations in Asia and Europe.

    Almass made it from Asia to Europe and speaks halting French now to the woman who has given him a home in a drafty 400-year-old farmhouse in France’s Limousin region. But his family is lost to him. Their phone number in Afghanistan no longer works, their village is overrun with Taliban, and he has no idea how to find them — or the child whose hand slipped from his grasp four years ago.

    “I don’t know now where they are,” he said, his face anguished, as he sat on a sun-dappled bench. “They also don’t know where I am.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/global-lost-56800-migrants-dead-missing-years-58890913
    #décès #morts #migrations #réfugiés #asile #statistiques #chiffres #monde #Europe #Asie #Amérique_latine #Afrique #USA #Etats-Unis #2014 #2015 #2016 #2017 #2018
    ping @reka @simplicissimus


  • Tour de France. The police attacked Christopher Froome
    https://vaaju.com/poland/tour-de-france-the-police-attacked-christopher-froome

    The situation came shortly after the Tour de France 17th stage. Froome went down, finishing her trip a few minutes earlier, putting on a jacket that would protect him from the cold and headed for the bus in his team. Then he was attacked by one of the police who watched the order during the race. The officer would respond, inter alia, to observing safety and preventing fans from entering the rider zone.

    The policeman drove Froome off the bike and tried to stop him. The player was first surprised and then began to disturb the official. This, after a dozen seconds, he let the rider enter.

    It was a misunderstanding, all right, Chris is fine – Team Sky spokesman said after the event.


  • Gregory Klimov. The Terror Machine. Chapter 16
    http://g-klimov.info/klimov-pp-e/ETM16.htm

    Stalin’s Party

    The days passed into weeks, the weeks into months. An incessant lapse of time in which there was no purpose, in which one only looked back and felt a great emptiness in the soul.

    Winter had come. The New Year of 1947 was approaching. In us Soviet men, who stood on the bound between two worlds, this aroused few cheerful memories and still fewer cheerful expectations. We had recently witnessed two noteworthy events: in the October there had been the first post-war elections to the Berlin municipal council, and in November the regular election of candidates to the Supreme Soviet of the U. S. S. R.

    The German elections aroused far greater interest among the Soviet residents in Berlin than one would have expected. Perhaps it was because they differed fundamentally from those to which we were accustomed. It was strange to see the pre-election slogans of the various parties. We were struck by the powerful and intelligent propaganda of the Socialist Unity Party. Here one sensed the long experience of Soviet propaganda; it was self-confident and shameless. We, who were the masters of the S. E. D. and knew what was behind it all, were particularly struck by this latter aspect.

    I well remember one incident that occurred during the Berlin elections. One Sunday morning I and two other officers decided to take advantage of the fine weather to go for a motorcycle ride. We borrowed three heavy military motorcycles from the Auto Battalion and tore out of Karlshorst along the Frankfurter-Allee.

    On our way to the Alexanderplatz we overtook a slowly marching column of men with crimson banners and flags in their hands. The demonstrators made an exceptionally depressing and joyless impression. Men in Thaelmann caps and red armbands were bustling backward and forward along its sides. We accelerated to drive past. It had been organized by the trade unions of the Soviet sector to express the wishes and desires of the German people. Attendance was compulsory. Any man who didn’t turn up was in danger of losing his job. It was pitiful and absurd to see this flock of sheep moving along under the supervision of the herdsmen in Thaelmann caps.

    I don’t know how it came about, but all the three of us Soviet officers began to ride our powerful military motorcycles round and round that column. The demonstrators looked at one another anxiously, assuming that we were a military patrol sent to ensure that the procession didn’t melt away. The herdsmen stared at us in astonishment, and as we drove close to the edge of the column they had to jump aside to avoid being knocked down. For our part, we were sickened at the sight of this shameful comedy, and on the other hand we enjoyed not having to take part in it ourselves for once.

    On that same day a Soviet patrol shot an American who was attempting to photograph a similar demonstration in the Soviet sector of Berlin. Evidently someone was of the opinion that such photographs might have the same effect on the close observer that that procession had made on us.

    The elections were held on 21 October. I have never known people in the Soviet Union to take any interest in the results of elections to the Soviet elected authorities. But on that election day in Berlin I doubt whether there was one man in Karlshorst who was not interested in the results. Most interesting of all was the fact that the S. E. D. came last but one of the parties. Not much was said about this eloquent circumstance.

    In the S. M. A. Administration for Industry the Berlin elections led to the following conversation between Captain Bagdassarian and Major Zhdanov:

    “You know,” Captain Bagdassarian said, as he pointed to the results printed in one of the newspapers, “when I think of these elections I get a queer thought. All the parties are voting. Supposing the Communist Party gets a majority. Does it mean that the others will let it take over the power?”

    “Yes, it looks like it,” Major Zhdanov answered uncertainly.

    “That’s funny! If the Communist Party comes to power, its first step will be to wring the necks of all the other parties. Yet these other parties are ready to give the power into the Communist Party’s hands without making any resistance. That doesn’t make sense!”

    “You can’t make sense of this democracy business all at once!” the major sighed.

    “It’s utter idiocy!” the captain agreed.

    “Perhaps it isn’t so stupid after all.” The major knitted his brows in the attempt to get to the bottom of it all. “Democracy as a political form is the will of the majority. If the majority votes for communism, there will be communism. True, very few are voting for it at the moment!” he ended on a different note.

    “All the same, it’s queer.” Captain Bagdassarian ran his fingers through his curly hair. “They all sling abuse at one another, but nobody puts anybody else into prison. But we do just the reverse: one says nothing and is put in prison. A man doesn’t even think, and still he’s put in prison...”

    In December 1946 the Officers’ Club in Karlshorst was the scene of electoral meetings at which candidates were nominated for the U. S. S. R. Supreme Soviet. On the day set apart for the Administration for Industry all the workers in the Administration had to be present in the Club, which had been decorated for the occasion with additional portraits of the leaders, and red bunting.

    We sat for some time in the hall, utterly bored. At last the chairman called on a speaker, who had been previously arranged. With a paper in his hand the speaker went to the platform and, speaking in a monotonous tone, began to explain how happy we all were that we ourselves could elect the representatives to our country’s supreme governmental authority. Then a further speaker went to the platform to propose our candidate from the Special Electoral District formed by the Soviet Occupation Zone.

    Then the candidate himself came out from the wings and told us his life story. He was a general, but I doubt whether he had ever spoken in such a humble and lackadaisical manner in his entire previous military career. The second candidate was someone quite unknown to all of us. We knew such a person existed only when he went to the platform not from the wings, but from the body of the hall. He was chosen to play the role of candidate ’from the very heart of the people’. Both candidates had been put forward in advance by the S. M. A. Political Administration and had been approved by Moscow.

    We all waited impatiently for this boring procedure to finish, especially as it was to be followed by a film show. When the chairman announced that he proposed to take the vote the hall sighed with relief, and everybody hurriedly raised their hands without waiting to be invited. Armed with pencils and paper, the tellers hurried through the hall. The audience began to murmur with impatience. At last the votes were counted, and the chairman asked in a drowsy tone: “Those against?”

    There was a dead silence. Nobody stirred.

    The chairman waited for a moment or two, then looked round the hall. Then, to intensify the effect of the unanimous decision, he asked in a tone of assumed surprise: “Nobody against?”

    And thus we elected two men ’chosen of the people’ to the U. S. S. R. Supreme Soviet.

    The turn of the year brought several innovations that made one take yet another glance back over the eighteen months that had passed since the capitulation of Germany.

    In the early autumn of 1946 the United States Secretary of State, Byrnes, had made a speech in Stuttgart, soberly surveying events since the end of the war and indicating the main features of American foreign policy. Only now, after eighteen months, were the Americans beginning to suspect that it was hard to sup out of the same bowl as good old Uncle Joe.

    Byrne’s’ speech was not to the Kremlin’s liking, and it was given a sharp answer in Molotov’s speech on the occasion of the revolutionary celebrations on 7 November. So much importance was attached to this speech that it was made the subject of compulsory study in all the political study circles throughout the S. M. A.

    There was no attempt to conceal the connection between the Byrnes and Molotov speeches from the senior officials of the S. M. A.; the two speeches were studied simultaneously, and those taking part in the discussion had to unmask the American’s imperialist intrigues and to stress Molotov’s peace-loving policy. But Byrne’s’ speech was regarded as too dangerous for the less politically educated workers, and they were allowed to discuss only their own leader’s speech.

    These two political speeches can be regarded as marking the beginning of the cold war. In the Control Commission Allied relations cooled off still more and went no further than diplomatic courtesy required. Decisions affecting the future of Germany were more and more removed from the Control Commission meetings to the private offices of the Kremlin and the White House.

    This situation also served as a signal for a final tightening of the screw on the Soviet post-war front. The S. M. A. Political Administration issued an instruction accusing minor Party authorities of having lost contact with the masses and neglecting political educational work. This was the crack of the whip. One could guess what would follow. In fact the first consequence was a change of Party organizers in all the S. M. A. departments. This was followed by measures to tighten things up all through the Soviet machinery.

    Hitherto the Soviet residents of Karlshorst had lived and worked without engaging in political study. Anybody who knows anything about Soviet life will know what that meant. The higher authorities were secretly astonished, the smaller fry quietly rejoiced; but one and all held their tongues, on the principle of not mentioning the devil in case he appeared. But now political studies were started, including study of the Short History of the C. P. S. U. And it had to be carried through in shock tempo at that. Evidently to make up for lost time.

    The next step was a campaign to raise labor discipline. It was decided to remind Soviet citizens abroad that there was such a thing as the Soviet labor code. Brand-new boards with hooks and numbers were hung up in all the departments, and every worker in each department had to take off and re-hang his own allotted number four times a day. In the Soviet Union these boards are the object of fear, but their effect on us was rather to get our backs up.

    The head of the Administration for Industry, Alexandrov, entrusted his number to his chauffeur, who very quickly lost it. We officers regarded the boards as an insult and took it in turn to remove several numbers at a time. But once more Soviet law with all its consequences hung as a threat over the head of every one of us.

    Then a hysterical ’vigilance’ campaign was inaugurated. Personnel Departments were instituted in all the S. M. A. offices with the obvious job of keeping closer watch on the workers. Once more extensive questionnaires were drawn up ’for Soviet citizens abroad’. These with their endless list of questions had to be filled afresh every three months. Many of us kept a copy of the questionnaire and our answers, and next time simply copied the old answers on to the new form.

    A demobilized lieutenant of the N. K. V. D. forces was appointed head of the Personnel Department in the Administration for Industry. From the very beginning he behaved with such rudeness and insolence that many of the officers, who were of higher rank, were infuriated. His room was in the basement, and he would ring someone up: “Comrade Colonel, come down to me and fill in your questionnaire.” But as often as not he got the answer: “If you need it filled in, bring it up to me. At the moment I’m still a colonel, I believe.”

    An order issued by General Dratvin, chief of staff of the S. M. A., was circulated for the information of all members of the S. M. A. In it, without actually mentioning names, he stated that the wives of quite a number of highly placed Soviet officials were going to the Berlin western sector while their husbands were at work, and were forming impermissible acquaintances among officers of the western powers. The order spoke in very sharp terms; it referred to fashionable restaurants, expensive furs, and, to crown all, agents of foreign intelligence services. All the accused women were returned to the Soviet Union at twenty-four hours’ notice, and the husbands were sternly reprimanded for their lack of Bolshevik vigilance.

    The secret purpose of this unusually frank order was revealed in its second paragraph, in which all members of the S. M. A. were strictly forbidden to visit the western sector, and were reminded of the necessity to be particularly vigilant in the circumstances of residence abroad. The women were chastised in order to serve as a warning to others.

    In conclusion General Dratvin threatened the application of sterner measures to all who violated the order... down to and including return to the Soviet Union. In saying so much, the general went too far. For thus officially, in the words of the S. M. A. chief of staff, return to one’s native land was recognized as serious punishment for Soviet citizens abroad.

    None of this was anything new to us. We had experienced it all before, at home. But coming after we had won the war, after we had looked forward hopefully to changes in the Soviet system, and above all after our comparatively free life in occupied Germany, this abrupt return to former practices gave us furiously to think. Or rather, to avoid thinking if possible. That was the only hope.

    II

    I had made Major Dubov’s acquaintance during the war. Even a brief comradeship at the front binds men together more strongly than many years of acquaintance in normal conditions. That may have been the reason why we greeted each other as old acquaintances when we met again as fellow workers in the S. M. A

    He was over forty. Outwardly stern and incommunicative, he had few friends, and avoided society. At first I regarded his reserve simply as a trait of his character. But after a time I noticed that he had a morbid antipathy to anybody who began to talk politics in his hearing. I assumed that he had good reasons for his attitude, and never bothered him with unnecessary questions.

    It so happened that I was the only person Dubov introduced to his family. He had a charming, well-educated wife, and two children. When I came to know his family, I realized that he was not only a good husband and father, but also a rarely decent fellow morally.

    His one great passion was hunting. That brought us still closer together. We often drove out of Berlin on a Saturday and spent all day and all night hunting, cut off from Karlshorst and the entire world.

    On one occasion, tired out after hours of wandering through the dense growth of thickets and innumerable little lakes, we flung ourselves down to have a rest. The conversation happened to turn to discussion of an officer we both knew, and I casually remarked: “He’s still young and stupid...”

    The major gave me a close look and asked with a queer smile:

    “And are you so old and wise?”

    “Well, not quite,” I answered. “But I’ve learned to keep a still tongue in my head.”

    He again looked at me fixedly. “Tell me, has anything ever happened to you... of... you know what?”

    “Absolutely nothing,” I replied, realizing what he was hinting at.

    “Then why aren’t you in the Party?” he asked almost roughly.

    “I’ve simply not had the time,” I answered shortly, for I had no wish to go further into details.

    ’Now listen, Gregory Petrovich, it’s not a joking matter," he said slowly, and I caught an almost fatherly note in his voice. “For a man in your position it smacks almost of a deliberate demonstration. It might even have serious consequences for you.”

    “I’m doing my job as well as any Party man!” I retorted.

    He smiled, rather sadly. “That’s how I argued once,” he said with bitter irony.

    Then, without my prompting him, in an objective sort of tone he told me his story: how he had come to join the Party, and why he avoided people who talked politics.

    In 1938 Dubov was an engineer working in a Leningrad factory producing precision instruments. He was a capable engineer, and held a responsible post connected with the construction of instruments for the air force and the navy. He liked his job, devoted all his free time to research, and bothered little about politics. Despite his responsible post he remained a non-Party man.

    One day he was summoned to the director’s room. From that moment he was not seen in the works again. Nor did he return home. His wife found out what had happened to him when the N. K. V. D. men turned up at their apartment in the middle of the night, made a thorough search, and confiscated all her husband’s personal property. Next day she went to the N. K. V. D. to ask for news of him. She was told they knew nothing about him, and was advised not to worry, nor to worry others. If there were any need, she would be informed.

    Dubov spent more than a year in the investigation cells of the N. K. V. D. He was charged with sabotage and counter-revolutionary activity. The sentence was the standard one: ten years’ imprisonment, to be spent in one of the camps in Central Siberia, where new war factories were being built. There he continued to work as an engineer.

    He discovered the real reason for his arrest only two years later. Among a fresh batch of prisoners he recognized the former chief engineer at the Leningrad factory for precision instruments. Dubov was delighted to see him, but the man seemed restrained and avoided Dubov as much as possible. But as the months passed the two engineers struck up a friendship based on their common memories of freedom. One day the conversation turned to the reasons why they had been sent to the camp.

    “Someone denounced me,” Dubov said.

    The chief engineer looked away, then sighed, and laughed bitterly. “Would you like to know who it was?” he asked.

    Dubov stared at him distrustfully.

    “I did it,” the other man said, and hurried on without giving Dubov a chance to comment: “We regularly received orders from the N. K. V. D. to provide them with so many persons possessing such and such qualifications. The lists had to be drawn up by the Party organizer and confirmed by the chief engineer and the director. What could I do? I too had a wife and children....”

    “But why was I put on the list?” Dubov asked.

    “Because you were not a Party member,” the former chief engineer said. “The Party organizer put you down.”

    Dubov said nothing for some time, then he looked wearily at the other man and asked: “But how did you get here?”

    The engineer only shrugged his shoulders helplessly.

    Dubov spent four years in the camp. But during all those years he did not suffer as much as his wife and children. Under Soviet law a political prisoner’s guilt extends to include his family. His wife was morally and physically shattered. Their children grew up in the knowledge that their father was ’an enemy of the people’, and felt always that they were not like other children.

    In 1948 he was released before the expiration of his term. With no explanation given, he was completely rehabilitated and the conviction quashed. He was called up straight from the camp into the army. That was the real reason for his premature discharge. Without seeing his family he went as an officer directly to the front.

    At the front he was an exemplary officer, just as he had been an exemplary engineer in Leningrad and an exemplary prisoner in the Siberian camp. He was just to his men and ruthless to the enemy. And he was devoted to his native land, with all its Party organizers and prison camps.

    Shortly before the end of the war he received another battle decoration, and in addition was singled out for the honor of being invited to join the Communist Party. This time he did not hesitate. Without a word he filled in the questionnaires. And without a word he accepted the Party ticket, which the corps commander’s political deputy presented to him.

    In the S. M. A. Major Dubov was regarded as one of their most reliable and knowledgeable engineers. He was given the responsible task of transferring the German industry in the Soviet zone to new lines, but his rank and position remained unchanged. Why? Because, although he had been completely rehabilitated and the conviction had been quashed, in his personal file was a curt note: ’Conviction under article 58.’ That was enough to cast a shadow over all his future life.

    III

    During my stay in Karlshorst I formed a close friendship with Captain Belyavsky. Little by little I came to know his story too, though he talked about himself very reluctantly, and only dropped hints. In 1936 Belyavsky was in Spain, where he was a lieutenant in the staff of the Republican forces. This was about the time that the Yezhov terror was at its height in the Soviet Union, and one night his father was arrested, to vanish without trace. Belyavsky was immediately recalled from Spain and demobilized. Until 1941 he shared the fate of other relatives of ’enemies of the people’; in other words, he was outside the pale.

    All those spheres of Soviet life in which the first requirement is a completed questionnaire were closed to him. Only a Soviet citizen can understand all the significance of such a situation. When war broke out in 1941 he was not called up for the army, since he was ’politically unreliable’. But when the German forces began to lay siege to his native city, Leningrad, he went to the military commander and volunteered for service. His request was granted, and that same day, as an ordinary private, he was flung into the fight - in a punitive battalion. In other words, straight to his death. But fate was more merciful to him than the Soviet regime, and he escaped with a wound.

    He spent the next three years as an ordinary soldier, going right through the siege of Leningrad. His service was exemplary, and he was recommended again and again for officer’s rank, but each time the questionnaire put an end to the story. In 1944, when the Soviet armies were suffering from a very serious shortage of officers, he was summoned to the staff once more.

    The colonel who interviewed him pointed to the entry: ’article 58’ on his questionnaire and asked: “Why do you always mention that?”

    Belyavsky did not reply.

    “Is it that you don’t want to fight?” the colonel asked sharply; he avoided looking at the decorations on Belyavsky’s chest. Belyavsky only shrugged his shoulders. The decorations rattled a little, as though answering the colonel’s question.

    “If you continue to make such entries, I must regard it as an attempt to avoid military service,” the colonel said. “Take a new form and fill it in properly. Leave a space for your service rank.”

    Private Mikhail Belyavsky did not return to his company. But next day First-Lieutenant Belyavsky was on his way to Moscow. In his pocket he had an order to proceed to the Military-Diplomatic College of the Red Army General Staff. Men were needed in wartime, and there was no bothering about a thorough examination of questionnaires. There would be plenty of opportunity for that after the war. And so Mikhail Belyavsky entered one of the most privileged military colleges in the Soviet Union.

    He was discharged from the college in the autumn of 1945 with the rank of captain, and was sent to work in the Soviet Military Administration. That was nothing extraordinary. Many of the students were freed from further study even in the middle of their second-year course, in order to take up a post.

    Captain Belyavsky’s personal file, which was kept in the S. M. A. Personnel Department, was in spotless order. All through his documents the phrase occurred again and again: ’Devoted to the Lenin-Stalin Party’. That was a stereotyped remark and was to be found in almost every officer’s personal file, but it was truer of him than of the majority.

    Certain days were set apart for political instruction, and on one of these days Belyavsky went to his office two hours earlier, as was his custom, and unfolded his papers. The educational circle to which he belonged was of a rather higher level, for it consisted exclusively of men with advanced education. With earnest faces they pored over the pages of the Short Course, though they must have known that the book was full of lies and falsifications.

    The leader of the circle, who normally was one of themselves, began proceedings by asking:

    “Well, who’s prepared to open on the third chapter? Any volunteers?”

    They all bowed their heads even lower over their books. Some of them began to turn over their papers hurriedly; others fixed their eyes on the table as though collecting their thoughts with a view to speaking later. There was no volunteer.

    “All right, then we’ll follow the list,” the leader proposed. There was a sigh of relief.

    The majority of the circle leaders kept alphabetical lists of their circle members. Each member knew whom he followed. And so the question was settled quite simply. The first on the list began to deliver a summary of the chapter, while the one who was to follow him read farther, underlining passages with red pencil. In this way the majority of circles got through their course without difficulty.

    All the members of Belyavsky’s circle had worked through the Short Course several times already. They were all bored to tears. When each had done his duty he sat gazing out of the window, smoking, or sharpening his pencil.

    Everything went off as usual. The speakers droned away monotonously. The leader sat with his eyes on his notebook, not even listening. It was a hot day, and everybody felt sleepy. And in that drowsy kingdom something happened to Captain Belyavsky that he himself would have had difficulty in explaining.

    When his turn was reached he had to expatiate on the passage which deals with the Entente’s three anti-Soviet campaigns. The theme had a heroic quality and there were parallels to the experiences of the war just ended. As soon as Belyavsky began to speak the leader raised his sleepy eyes and stared at him in astonishment. And one by one all the others began to gaze at him in bewilderment.

    For he spoke as though addressing a meeting. His voice had a note of unusual conviction. It sounded a note of faith, of challenge. He depicted the three foreign interventions in Soviet Russia after the 1917 revolution, and cleverly linked them up with the invasion and destruction of the Nazi armies in 1941-1945. He did not summarize the Short Course; he spoke extemporaneously, from a heart burning with conviction. The bewildered looks of his fellows expressed the mute question: ’Has he gone mad? Why all this unnecessary bother?’

    It happened that the circle that day included the Instructor from the S. M. A. Political Administration, who was there as observer. Belyavsky’s speech attracted his notice; obviously he had not often heard anyone speak with conviction in these circles for political education. He made a note of the name. Next day Belyavsky was summoned to the Political Administration.

    “Listen, Comrade Captain,” the instructor said to him. "I’m amazed at you. I’ve been looking through your personal file. An exemplary officer, the finest of testimonials, and yet you’re not a Party member. That simply won’t do. The Party must interest itself in men like you...

    “No, no, no...” he raised his hand, as though afraid Belyavsky might make some objection. “You made a very remarkable speech in the political circle yesterday... And yet you’ve never been drawn into Party work. We shall assign you to the task of giving political instruction to the officers’ wives. That to begin with. And secondly, you must put in your application for Party membership at once. No objections! Get that?”

    Belyavsky had no thought of objecting. Membership of the Party connoted a full and valid position in Soviet society. His heart was filled with joy; he shook the instructor’s hand with genuine gratitude.

    The November revolutionary celebrations were drawing near. In addition to having charge of a political education circle, Belyavsky was entrusted with the preparations for the festival. He plunged headlong into social and political activity and devoted all his free time to it. Spiritually he was born again. But above all he rejoiced because the Party had forgotten his past, because he was no longer a lone wolf. Only now did he fully realize how bitterly he had felt his alienation from society.

    Just about then an insignificant incident occurred which had unexpected consequences.

    Belyavsky was a keen motorcyclist. While working in the S. M. A. he had had innumerable specimens of motorcycles pass through his hands, and in the end he had picked on a very fine BMW sports model for himself. All Karlshorst knew that machine, and many a young officer stood to admire it as it flashed by.

    One evening, as he was riding past the house where Valia Grinchuk lived, he saw a light in her rooms, and decided to drop in and see her. He leaned the motorcycle against the railings, but did not lock it up, as was his habit, for he did not intend to stay long.

    Valia had guests, the company was a merry one, and he stayed longer than he thought. He left about ten o’clock. When he got outside his motorcycle had disappeared. He looked about him, thinking someone must be playing a practical joke. But there was no sign of it anywhere.

    He broke into a string of curses. Obviously someone had stolen the machine. But what infuriated him most was the knowledge that the thief must be one of his own, Soviet, people. No Berlin thief would ever have dared to take anything from Karlshorst, least of all a motorcycle.

    The Karlshorst commandatura was only a few paces away. He went and reported the theft to the officer on duty. The lieutenant sympathized with him and promised to find out whether the theft had been committed by one of the commandatura guards. He knew well enough who were responsible for the majority of the thefts that took place in Karlshorst.

    Belyavsky had no great faith in the commandatura, and he decided to go straight to a German police station situated just outside the sealed-off Soviet area. He returned accompanied by a German policeman and a police dog. At the spot where the motorcycle had been left the policeman put the dog on the scent. It made directly for the next wicket gate and began to paw at it.

    Belyavsky knew that the Party organizer for the Administration of Justice, Major Yeroma, and his deputy, Major Nikolayev, lived there, and he thought the dog was completely on the wrong trail. But each time they tried out the animal it persistently led them to that wicket gate. In the end Belyavsky shrugged his shoulders hopelessly and let the German policeman go.

    Next day he happened to be passing the gate at which the dog had pawed, and he decided to go in and make inquiries. He found four young women sitting in the sitting room. One of them was the wife of Major Nikolayev; another was the wife of the head of the S. M. A. Political Administration, General Makarov.

    All the women were rather problematic wives, wives only within the bounds of Karlshorst. Almost all the high S. M. A. officials had exceptionally young wives. Marshal Sokolovsky’s wife was several years younger than his daughter was. Such things were the result of the war.

    Belyavsky apologized for troubling them, explained why he had called, and inquired whether they had noticed anything suspicious the previous evening. They exchanged embarrassed glances and expressed their indignation at the theft. They seemed bored, and they invited him to stay awhile. Quite an animated conversation followed, a conversation, which played a large part in the further developments, chiefly because he made a very good impression on those young women.

    After searching fruitlessly for a week he had resigned himself to | the loss of his favorite machine, when one evening he was called | to the telephone. He was astonished to hear a woman’s voice

    “Is that Comrade Captain Belyavsky?” the unknown asked, and went on hurriedly: “You mustn’t mind my not mentioning my name. I I’m one of the ladies who... you remember, you called to inquire | about the motorcycle.... I phoned up to let you know that your machine is in the cellar of the house you called at. Go at once and you’ll find it. You can guess who took it.... Please don’t tell anybody how you found out. I wouldn’t like...”

    He hurriedly thanked her and put down the receiver. He sat for a moment considering what he should do next. For the thief could be no other than the S. M. A. Party organizer for the Administration of Justice, Yeroma himself. Finally he decided to ask a Lieutenant-Colonel Potapov and Major Berko to go with him as witnesses. On their way to Major Yeroma’s house they picked up the officer on duty at the commandatura.

    Major Yeroma was not at home. At the commandatura officer’s request the cellar was opened. There they found the missing motorcycle. The commandatura officer drew up an official report on the theft and discovery of the machine. In his simplicity he wrote: ’The thief is Major Yeroma, of the Administration of Justice, and Party organizer to the Administration of Justice.’ The report was signed by all the witnesses, including Major Yeroma’s wife.

    As the four officers struggled to haul the heavy machine up the stairs, between their groans and pants the officer could not help remarking: “One man couldn’t have got it down there by himself. He must have had at least two others to help him.”

    It transpired that the day the machine was stolen Major Yeroma was returning late in the evening from the Political Administration, accompanied by two other officers of the Administration of Justice. As he approached his house the Major noticed the machine and, without stopping to think, persuaded the other two officers to help him put it in his cellar. Probably it would not have been found if Belyavsky hadn’t chanced to call on the young women.

    They knew that Major Yeroma had got hold of a motorcycle the previous evening, but they had no idea where he had obtained it. When Belyavsky told his story they put two and two together, but they did not tell him what they were thinking, for obvious reasons. After he had gone they quarreled among themselves. The young wife of the head of the Political Administration took Belyavsky’s side and declared that the machine must be returned to him.

    In his indignation he decided to take steps to bring the culprits to justice. He wrote reports of the affair to General Dratvin, the S. M. A. chief of staff, to the Political Administration, and the S. M. A. Military Prosecutor. If justice were done, Major Yeroma should be expelled from the Party, stripped of his officer’s rank and sentenced to imprisonment for theft. So the law prescribed.

    When Major Berko heard what Belyavsky intended to do he advised him not to be in any hurry. A charge against Yeroma involved much else besides him, and in such cases it was advisable to be prudent. He suggested that Belyavsky should first go and see Yeroma personally, and they decided to call on him during lunchtime.

    They found him at home. He was sitting at the table, with his tunic unbuttoned and unbelted. Before him was an aluminum dish of steaming beetroot soup. He did not even look up when the visitors were shown in, but went on spooning up his soup.

    “Well, Yeroma,” Belyavsky said, “how did my motor-cycle get into your cellar?”

    “I found it,” the major answered with his mouth full of food, and not batting an eyelid.

    “I shall send a report to the Political Administration.” Belyavsky was so taken aback by the Party organizer’s impudence that he didn’t know what else to say.

    Yeroma went on eating, or rather guzzling his soup; the sweat rolled down his face. When he had finished the dish he picked it up and poured the last few drops into his spoon. Then he licked the spoon and smacked his lips.

    “You’ll never make any impression on him with a report,” Berko said in a rage. “Spit in his plate and let’s go!” They went, slamming the door behind them. The same evening Belyavsky went to the office of the head of the Political Administration and handed the adjutant on duty his report. While the adjutant was reading it with some interest General Makarov himself came out of his room.

    “Another case relating to Yeroma, Comrade General,” the adjutant reported with a smile.

    “Ah! That’s good!” the general observed. “He’s already on our list for bigamy...”

    The adjutant afterwards explained to Belyavsky that, following his superiors’ example; Yeroma had taken a new wife to himself. But in doing so he had made one tactical error: unlike others, he had registered his marriage at the Soviet register office in Karlshorst. But he had not taken the trouble to obtain a divorce from his first wife, who was in Russia.

    Belyavsky then went to the S. M. A. military prosecutor, Lieutenant-Colonel Orlov. Orlov knew Belyavsky personally, and he told him frankly: “We can’t take him to court. In this case it all depends on the Political Administration. You know yourself it’s a Party matter.”

    If Belyavsky had had more experience in Party matters, he would probably have avoided measuring his strength against the Party. Meanwhile, the Political Administration had received a resolution from a local Party group recommending Captain Belyavsky’s acceptance as a Party member. His application was accompanied by brilliant testimonials to his conduct during the war. But now the affair of the stolen motorcycle was beginning to be talked about all over Karlshorst. In order to smother the scandal the Political Administration decided that it must close the mouth of one of the two antagonists, and the choice fell on Belyavsky.

    Quite unexpectedly he received the order that he was to be demobilized and returned to the Soviet Union. He knew at once what was behind that order. What he did not know was that on his return he was to be brought to trial. The explanation was quite simple. Not long before the motorcycle incident he had filled up one of the regular questionnaires. This time, in accordance with new, strict instructions, it was sent to the local M. V. D. departments in all his previous places of residence, to be checked. It was returned from Leningrad with the comment: ’father sentenced under article 58.’ So he was demobilized and sent back to the U. S. S. R., where he was tried for making a false statement which he had been forced into making under threat of court-martial.

    Belyavsky’s collision with the Party in the person of Major Yeroma was not a decisive factor in his recall to the Soviet Union. He belonged to a category of people whose fate was predetermined. That was shown by the fact that almost at the same time Major Dubov also was demobilized and recalled. Only the S. M. A. Personnel Department and Major Dubov himself knew what was behind that order. He, too, had to take his postwar place in life.

    IV

    Two men in my close circle of acquaintances had been cut out of life and thrown overboard. I respected them as men and liked them as colleagues. Others, too, thought of them as fine exemplars of the new Soviet society. Neither of them had anything in common with the old classes, which, according to Marxism, were destined to be eliminated. They had both been created by the Soviet world and were, in the best sense of the words, true citizens of Soviet society. Yet they were condemned, irrevocably condemned to death. To spiritual death at the least. And there are millions of similar cases.

    That can easily be proved. During the thirty years of the Soviet regime at least thirty million people have been subjected to repressive measures on political grounds. As the families of all such people are automatically classified as politically unreliable, if we assume that each of them had only two relatives at least sixty million people must be on the black list.

    If ten million out of the thirty million died in prison camps, and at least another ten million are still in the camps, while ten million have served their time and been released, we get a figure of eighty million people whom the Soviet State has turned into its enemies, or, at least, regards as its enemies. That explains why in every section of the Soviet state apparatus there are personnel departments charged with the scrutiny and check of questionnaires. Today it is indubitable that the main class of the new Soviet society consists of millions of automatic enemies of the Soviet State.

    This invisible class of enemies who are also slaves permeates all society from top to bottom. Is it necessary to cite examples? One could mention the names of many marshals of the Soviet Union, as well as Stalin prize-winners, who have been in N. K. V. D. prisons; and these would be names known all over the world. Of the millions of petty collisions between State and individual who can speak?

    State and individual! Involuntarily I think of Valia Grinchuk, an undersized girl, and a partisan fighter who in the fight for her freedom took up arms. She fought bravely. She not only defended her freedom against the foreign enemy; she climbed the ladder of Soviet society. She raised herself out of the gray mass and became an individual. And hardly had she achieved this when she felt the heavy hand of the State.

    Her duties often took her to the Allied Control Commission. There she came to know a young Allied officer. There could be no outward objection to this acquaintance, as she visited the Control Commission in the course of her work. After some time the acquaintance developed into a personal friendship.

    One day she was summoned to the Party organization. She was given to understand quite amiably that the Party knew of her acquaintance with an Allied officer. To her astonishment, that was all that was said, and it seemed that the Party leaders were quite sympathetic in regard to the friendship. Some time later this incident was repeated, and she had the impression that they were even encouraging the acquaintance.

    Time passed and this friendship between a Soviet girl and an Allied officer developed into a genuine attachment. But now she was once more summoned to the Party organization, and, as a Party member, was confronted with the demand to harness her love to State interests.

    Next day she was taken to hospital. The doctors found she had a very high temperature and blood pressure, but could find no visible reason for her condition. Weeks passed without any change for the better.

    One day an elderly, experienced neuro-pathologist came to her ward, studied her case history, and shook his head as he asked her: “Have you met with any great unpleasantness... in your personal life?”

    “No!” she curtly replied.

    She spent more than two months in hospital. When she was discharged she applied on health grounds to be transferred to work which did not bring her into contact with the Control Commission. Through acquaintances she informed her lover that she had been recalled to Russia. Valia had the heart of a soldier.

    Only very few people knew the connection between these incidents. Everybody continued to regard her as a fine officer who was assiduously doing her duty in Soviet society. And only a few noticed that she began to leave off wearing her officer’s tunic with its decorations, and took to ordinary feminine clothes.

    All these things happened to people who were close acquaintances of mine. They affected me personally because sooner or later I, too, would have to join the Party. There was no other choice, except to face up to a future, which for Major Dubov and Captain Belyavsky had become the present.

    Today there is no Communist Party in the Soviet Union. There is only Stalin’s Party with its obsolete facade. The aim and end of that Party is power, indivisible power. The ideal Party member should not have any independent thought; he must be only a dumb executive of the higher will. A striking example is provided by Party organizer Major Yeroma, a bestial brute and an ideal Bolshevik of the Stalin school.

    I was wearing Soviet officer’s uniform and I was a child of the October Revolution. If I had been born twenty years earlier, I would perhaps have been a convinced Marxist and revolutionary, active in the October Revolution. Today, despite everything, I was still not a member of the Communist Party. If I had not been faced with the necessity, the indubitable necessity, it would never even have entered my head to join the Party, which was called the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    Sommaire https://seenthis.net/messages/683905
    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide


  • Les héroïques forces de l’ordre israéliennes faisant ce qu’elles font de mieux… (#pipi-caca) Israeli policeman accused of urinating in face of handcuffed Palestinian
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.830966

    According to the indictment, the incident occurred in 2007, when Cohen was working as a detective at the station. That night, November 6, Warani, and another Palestinian, both of whom were from the West Bank town of Al-Eizariya, adjacent to Ma’aleh Adumim.

    While Warani was handcuffed and blindfolded, Cohen led him to the police station restroom, the indictment states, and sat Warani on a toilet seat in a narrow bathroom stall and kicked the detainee’s legs in an effort to close the stall door. After not managing to close the stall, Cohen allegedly climbed up on a ledge to close the door and then proceeded to urinate in Warani’s face.

    Under interrogation, Cohen initially denied the allegations against him but when told that his DNA had been found on Warani’s clothing, Cohen admitted to “an unusual incident,” the indictment alleges.


  • The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan - Atlas Obscura
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/bluestockings-feminist-magazine-japan-sassy

    It was close to 10 p.m. on a spring night in Tokyo in 1912, when Kazuko Mozume heard a dog barking behind her father’s house. It would not stop. At the back gate, she found three men waiting for her, a policeman and two others. They didn’t say what they wanted, they only asked her if this was the office of Seitō, the women’s literature magazine she had started with four other young women.

    She led the men through the large house and down the long corridor to the rooms that served as the magazine’s headquarters. The men looked around and spotted just a single copy of the magazine’s latest issue. They seized the publication and, as they were leaving, finally told the surprised young woman why they had come. This issue of Seitō had been banned, they told her, on the grounds that it was “disruptive of the public peace and order.”

    The young women who had created the magazine less than a year before had known it would be controversial. It was created by women, to feature women’s writing to a female audience. In Japan in 1911, it was daring for a woman to put her name in print on anything besides a very pretty poem. The magazine’s name, Seitō, translated to “Bluestockings,” a nod to an unorthodox group of 18th-century English women who gathered to discuss politics and art, which was an extraordinary activity for their time.

    They fell in love, they indulged in alcohol, they built careers as writers, and they wrote about it all—publicly.

    But Seitō was not intended to be a radical or political publication. “We did not launch the journal to awaken the social consciousness of women or to contribute to the feminist movement,” wrote the magazine’s founder, Haruko Hiratsuka, who went by the penname Raichō, or “Thunderbird.” “Our only special achievement was creating a literary journal that was solely for women.” Raichō was most interested in self-discovery—“to plumb the depths of my being and realize my true self,” she wrote—and much of the writing in the magazine was confessional and personal, a 1910s version of the essays that might now be found in xoJane or Catapult.
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    Women’s feelings and inner thoughts, however, turned out to be a provocative challenge to the social and legal strictures of this era, when a woman’s role was to be a good wife and mother. The Seitō women imagined much wider and wilder emotional and professional lives for themselves. They fell in love, they indulged in alcohol, they built careers as writers, and they wrote about it all—publicly. The stories were radical enough that the government censored them. The story that prompted policemen to visit the magazine’s office late at night was a piece of fiction about a married women writing to her lover to ask him to meet her while her husband was away.

    As they attracted public attention and disapproval, instead of shying away from the controversy they’d created, the editors of Seitō were forced to confront more baldly political questions, and this in turn earned them more banned issues. In the pages of their magazine they came to debate women’s equality, chastity, and abortion. Without originally intending to, they became some of Japan’s pioneering feminists.

    #féminisme #historicisation #suffragisme


  • Israeli occupation’s brutal routine: Nightly raids, boys cuffed for hours and seized jewelry
    There’s never a dull night in the village of Beit Ummar, where the Israeli army is a regular visitor
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Nov 02, 2017 5:28 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.820741

    It’s the last street at the southern edge of the West Bank town of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The settlement of Karmei Tzur looms on the hill across the way. A street like any other: one- and two-story homes, potholes, no sidewalk. On this long road, which doesn’t even have a name and where grace does not abound, hardly a night goes by without a raid by the Israel Defense Forces. The troops swoop in four or five times a week, usually in the dead of night.

    Here’s what they’ve done in the past few weeks: They caught a boy who was suspected of throwing stones, dragged him across rock-strewn ground for hundreds of meters, thrust him into a room and forced him to stay there for six hours, blindfolded and hands bound; they confiscated money and jewelry from a number of homes; wrested a few young people from their beds; and handcuffed members of an entire family, including the women, leaving them bound that way after they left.

    This is how the occupation looks in Beit Ummar.

    Khaled Bahar, a small, lean, smiling boy of 13 with a chirpy voice and who looks younger than his age, is well groomed and sports a trendy haircut. He relates what happened to him one night two weeks ago just like an adult; children here grow up fast. This week, when we visited his home in Beit Ummar, located at the far end of the street of troubles, he was sitting on the living room sofa in the company of his family. Logs were burning in the fireplace: Winter, too, has descended on the village, early.

    Khaled’s father works in the local branch of a Jordanian bank. In addition to the nighttime raids, Israeli soldiers also appear on his street daily at the same time, around dusk, from Karmei Tzur. About 400 meters [1,310 feet] separate the settlement’s iron gate and the street. Like a ritual, the children wait for the soldiers, follow them and occasionally throw stones at them from afar. They also talk to them, says Khaled.

    On October 16, too, soldiers entered the town and took up positions in the structure of an unfinished house on the street. Khaled and his friends stood below the house, leaning on a stone wall. According to Khaled, the rocks his friends threw didn’t even get close to the four or five soldiers. He himself did not throw any, he adds.

    After watching the 10 or so children for a time, the soldiers came down to the street, splitting into two units. One unit got to Khaled, who describes the event as though it were some sort of strategic offensive. Two of the soldiers grabbed him, one by the neck, the other by an arm. You have to see how small Khaled is to appreciate the absurdity of this situation. They dragged him forcibly in the direction of the settlement. He says he stumbled a few times along the way and was scratched by thorns. He was very frightened but didn’t cry, and when he tried to ask them where they were taking him, they told him to shut up.

    Khaled’s cousin, Abded Kader Bahar, ran after them. He’s the same age as Khaled but even leaner, and has an even fancier hairdo. He shouted at the soldiers, then tried to kick them. One of the soldiers thrust his rifle butt into Abded’s back and tried to shoo him away. Khaled called out to his cousin to run. Other members of Khaled’s family, among them his mother and an uncle, arrived and tried to pry Khaled loose from the soldiers’ grip.

    “Mom, don’t be afraid, I’m alright,” Khaled cried out to his frightened mother. His uncle, Moussa, urged the soldiers to hand over his nephew. “I will educate him,” he told them. “All these years, none of you have educated him,” the soldier-pedagogue replied, vanishing with Khaled behind the settlement’s gate.

    Khaled was taken to a room, handcuffed and blindfolded, and made to sit on a chair, where he remained for the next six hours ­– scared, tired, bound. He remembers that he was given water and offered food, but declined it because he didn’t trust the soldiers. He wanted to go to sleep, but just as his head drooped, he suddenly heard the barking of a dog next to him. Scared, he thought they were siccing a dog on him to prevent him from sleeping, but through a slit in the blindfold, he saw someone’s fingers scratching his legs. It turned out to be a practical joke: A soldier was on his knees and barking like a dog in order to scare the boy. War games.

    Khaled was cold and asked for a blanket; after a time, someone brought him one. The chair was uncomfortable, but the soldiers refused to move him. Khaled thought about his mother, he says. Just as he was drifting off again, he heard a soldier calling him: “Yallah, yallah, get up.” They told him they were taking him somewhere. He asked where, and one of the soldiers replied, “First to Kiryat Arba, then to Etzion [a security forces facility] and then to Ben Gurion Airport.” Hearing “airport” unnerved the boy. He was placed in a military vehicle and taken to the police station in Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron. By now it was late at night.

    At the station, he was taken to an interrogation room and the blindfold was removed. When he asked to go to the restroom, the handcuffs were taken off.

    “Why did you throw stones?” the interrogator demanded.

    “I didn’t,” Khaled insisted.

    The policeman showed him a photo on a cell phone and asked, “Who is this?” Khaled said he didn’t know. “But he’s wearing the same shirt you have on,” the officer said. As usual in the territories, no lawyer and no parents were present – as stipulated by law in Israel for minors.

    “If you throw stones again, we’ll kill you,” the policeman said.

    Khaled was released following a brief interrogation. It was 2 A.M. Palestinian security liaison personnel took him to the gas station at the entrance to Beit Ummar, where his father was waiting for him. Back home, he didn’t want to eat or drink, only to sleep. He didn’t go to school the next day. Nor did little Abded Kader Bahar, as a token of solidarity. Khaled’s sister says that the next night, Khaled cried out in his sleep, “Don’t pull me, it wasn’t me! I didn’t throw anything!”

    Khaled doesn’t remember a thing.

    ‘They’re choking me’

    Ibrahim Abu Marya, a 50-year-old electrician from Beit Ummar, lives up the street from Khaled’s family. On October 25, soldiers invaded his home at about 2:30 A.M. After so many times, he’s used to it by now.

    There was an explosion near the front door and around 30 soldiers entered, along with a K-9 dog. Mahdi, his 14-year-old son, was bound by the troops and a soldier gripped him by the neck. “They’re choking me,” Mahdi shouted to his father. Ibrahim was pushed away; seven soldiers encircled him, he says. Bara, his daughter, who’s 17, tried to come to the aid of her brother, but the soldiers bound her hands with plastic handcuffs. She’s a pretty girl with a ponytail, now wearing a sweatshirt that says “I love you,” and slippers with rabbit ears. There were no female soldiers among the Israeli force. The older sister, Ala, 23, was also handcuffed when she tried to help Mahdi.

    Ibrahim asked the soldiers why they were being so violent, but got no reply. From the kitchen, he heard the shouts of his other son, Mohammed, 22, whom the soldiers had come to arrest. The mother, Faduah, 50, was locked in her room and not allowed to leave.

    The soldiers took Mohammed outside and as they were about to leave, Ibrahim asked one of them to release him and the others from their handcuffs. “It’s not my business,” the soldier told him. The soldiers spent about an hour in the home, before leaving with Mohammed. He is now being detained in Ashkelon prison. A neighbor arrived to remove the handcuffs.

    Soldiers have raided the Abu Marya home about 20 times in the past few years. It’s routine. The previous visit was less routine, though.

    On October 4, soldiers arrived at dusk and went up to the roof. They left after a while and returned at night to conduct a search. Ibrahim told Faduah to bring the cash they had in the house – 20,000 shekels ($5,680), which he’d borrowed from his brother-in-law to help pay for a heart operation for his father, Abdel Hamid, who is 83. He shows us the documents stating that his father was in Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron at the time.

    A female soldier took the bag containing the cash and counted the money, taking 10,500 shekels and giving Ibrahim 9,500 shekels. The authorization form, signed by Inbal Gozlan, describes the cash as “Hamas money”: 52 200-shekel bills and one of 100. The form, a “Seizure Order in Arabic,” is rife with clauses and sub-clauses citing security and emergency regulations, according to which the money was impounded.

    Ibrahim tells us he has no ties with Hamas or any other organization: “My ‘party’ is the municipality and the electrician’s profession,” he says.

    How did the soldier determine that about half the money was Hamas funds and the rest was not? It’s hard to know. The authorization form contains a phone number for appeals, but Ibrahim says he was told that hiring a lawyer will cost him more than the money taken. He has written off the money.

    According to Musa Abu Hashhash, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, IDF soldiers have lately been confiscating money with great frequency in the Hebron area. That same night, troops raided three other homes in Beit Ummar, confiscating money and property. Soldiers removed all the jewelry that Amal Sabarna – whose husband, Nadim, is in administrative detention (imprisoned without trial) – was wearing around her neck and hands, and impounded it. She received the items as a gift, she says. The soldiers also removed a gold earring from an earlobe of her daughter.

    The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated in response: “With respect to the first incident mentioned in the article, the suspect was arrested after he was caught throwing stones at the gate of the settlement of Karmei Tzur, held for interrogation and released thereafter without being taken to the police station.

    “As to the second incident, during a nighttime operation, terror activist Mohammed Abu Marya was arrested. Participating in the activity were female soldiers who checked the women in the house. It must be stressed that members of the family were not bound at any stage during the operation.

    “As to the third incident, authorization was given for impounding the 10,500 shekels, which were received from a terror organization.

    “As for the last incident, it should be emphasized that no jewelry was removed from [the person of] any of the individuals in the house. Rather, jewelry was confiscated in the presence of representatives of the police, of a value that had been approved in advance.

    “In spite of the above, following the incident the protocol was clarified and it was decided that confiscation of jewelry instead of terror funds will take place only in the event that specific approval has been given for doing so.”

    Soldiers returned to Beit Ummar this past week, too, of course. On Sunday night, they entered the home of Ibrahim Abu Marya’s brother, who lives nearby, and ordered his 16-year-old son, Muhand, to show them where another resident, Ahmed Abu Hashem lives. The boy refused. When the soldiers finally got to the Abu Hashem house, they arrested Ahmed’s son, Kusai, who’s also 16.


  • Egypt The Children of the Arab Spring Are Being Jailed and Tortured | The Nation

    https://www.thenation.com/article/the-children-of-the-arab-spring-are-being-jailed-and-tortured

    Yassin Mohamed will turn 23 in a few days. He will spend his birthday as he has spent much of the last seven years of his life in Egypt: in prison.

    If you had seen Yassin as I have seen him, you probably wouldn’t guess that he’s been jailed, beaten, tortured, electroshocked. From the almost four years I lived in Cairo—both before and after the 2013 military coup—my memories of him revolve around the cheap and seedy cafes of downtown: cracked and canting chairs, antediluvian waiters in soiled slippers, the slack hoses of water pipes trailing around tables like very sickly cobras. Here, on any given night, real veterans of the revolution gathered and smoked and talked, along with graffiti artists, would-be actors, musicians, middle-class students slumming from the suburbs, and a few clumsy, walrus-like police informers.

    “Downtown” in Cairo, shabbily resistant to successive regimes’ attempts to gentrify, was less a matter of real estate than a faintly unreal exception to whoever ruled. In its crumbling spaces, rigid mores relaxed a bit, as did the cops’ nightsticks that usually enforced them. Social classes could mingle, young men unspool their long hair, and single women drink stale beer. The point of being there was mostly the pointlessness itself, the sense that, late at night, you could imagine a different tomorrow, free from the pressures and repressions: a day, even, when the police would go away.

    PUBLICITÉ

    Yassin was almost always there, in this decrepit atmosphere. He didn’t go home much, partly because there was often a standing warrant for his arrest. He looked incongruously childish, small, with bright eyes and a constant smile, and he liked to laugh while others glowered. He had a quality of innocence that led even older revolutionaries to regard him as a kind of totem, a figure of hope, a good-luck charm when you were facing the security forces with their savagery.

    Some nights, Ahmed Harara, a blind activist, made the circuit of the cafes, led slowly on a friend’s arm. Harara had lost one eye to police birdshot on the fourth day of the revolution, January 28, 2011 (the “Friday of Rage”); security forces’ rubber bullets shot the other eye out that November, during protests against the military junta on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. (The police aimed deliberately for demonstrators’ eyes; they prefer their citizenry unseeing.) Harara was 15 years older than Yassin. Yet the two greeted each other with great dignity, like hardened veterans, not all their wounds visible on their bodies.

    There are some 60,000 political prisoners now under the Egyptian dictatorship. Yassin became one of them again almost a year ago, in October 2016, serving a sentence at Wadi Natroun prison in the Western Desert. His story is much of Egypt’s story in the last seven years.

    To be honest, I don’t know a great deal about Yassin’s pre-revolutionary background or family history. He was a middle-class kid, in a country where being middle-class—coming from educated, professional parents—increasingly means “poor.” In the intervals between prison terms, he worked odd jobs, in a furniture store for instance; he talked often about wanting to travel, but he never had much chance.

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    I do know that the first time Yassin was arrested, he had just turned 16. It was 2010, a few months before the revolution started. As he described it, sitting in a café years later, he saw a policeman beating a 10-year-old child (the police also pay great attention to the moral education of the very young) and intervened to stop him. Two policemen then tortured Yassin severely, and he spent about a month in jail. “After that humiliation,” he told a journalist a couple of years ago, “I learned a certain coldness about being beaten.”


  • An Israeli Arab’s encounter with Jaffa’s finest

    ‘You’re suspected of stealing a motorcycle,’ one of the cops said as he beat me. I told him I owned the bike and I was the one who’d called the police, but he kept calling me ‘Mohammed” and two other cops started kicking me.

    Michael Mansour Aug 18, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807516

    You never know how an evening might turn out that begins with an intimate dinner along the Israeli sea. The Manta Ray restaurant, located where Tel Aviv and Jaffa meet, was full on that Sunday evening three weeks ago, as it always is, with the elegant, international clientele that frequents it. The fish that I ordered was delicious and the atmosphere was serene. There was no hint I would end the evening wallowing in my own blood, humiliated and in restraints.
    Because I had drunk a little over dinner and the sun had not yet set, I decided to take a walk on the seafront promenade and leave my motorcycle at the restaurant, which I had driven there. A short time later I got a call from a friend who works there. “Michael, listen,” he said. “Your motorcycle isn’t here. I think it’s been stolen.”
    Because I was no longer near the restaurant, I called my brother, Peter, and asked him to go to Manta Ray. He rushed to the area and after talking to several passersby, told me that some of them had seen people dragging the motorcycle away.
    In the past, every time the pampered cats that hang around outside the café that I own in an expensive, mixed Arab-Jewish part of Jaffa spread themselves out on my motorcycle, I would get a notification from my alarm company. But this time, even though the cycle was dragged a considerable distance, I never heard from them. I called the company to notify them of the theft, but a short time later I was pleased to be informed that Peter had already found it — thrown on a sidewalk. My helmet was missing.
    I grabbed a cab and called the police to let them know that the motorcycle had been found, and I asked that they come to take fingerprints. It was already dark when I saw three men in civilian clothes approach me. In truth, I didn’t attach any particular importance to them. My sights were set in the distance, looking to see if the police were getting close.
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    The three men came closer and one of them started rushing at me. With great force, he knocked me to the ground, turned me over and handcuffed me. He identified himself as a policeman and started punching me in the back. Three or four other men showed up suddenly behind my brother, who was standing closer to the motorcycle. They pounced on him, handcuffed him and started hitting him. One of the men also called for reinforcements.


    • By #2080, without dramatic reductions in emissions, southern Europe will be in permanent extreme drought, much worse than the American dust bowl ever was.

      (...)

      Malaria, for instance, thrives in hotter regions not just because the mosquitoes that carry it do, too, but because for every degree increase in temperature, the parasite reproduces ten times faster. Which is one reason that the World Bank estimates that by #2050, 5.2 billion people will be reckoning with it.

      on peut l’ajouter aux compilations :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/524060
      https://seenthis.net/messages/499739

      #effondrement #collapsologie #catastrophe #fin_du_monde #it_has_begun #Anthropocène #capitalocène

    • The Power and Peril of “Climate Disaster Porn” | New Republic
      https://newrepublic.com/article/143788/power-peril-climate-disaster-porn

      The article has generated significant controversy, and not just from the usual denier crowd. “I am not a fan of this sort of doomist framing,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist who often warns of the potentially devastating impacts of global warming, wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “It is important to be up front about the risks of unmitigated climate change, and I frequently criticize those who understate the risks. But there is also a danger in overstating the science in a way that presents the problem as unsolvable, and feeds a sense of doom, inevitability and hopelessness.” In a Medium post, Daniel Aldana Cohen, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who works on climate politics, called the piece “climate disaster porn.”

    • Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong
      https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/scientists-explain-what-new-york-magazine-article-on-the-uninhabita

      I am sympathetic to the author’s efforts to raise awareness about such [high-end] scenarios, including impacts that are not always well discussed, and agree that we [scientists] tend to focus too much on median outcomes. Nevertheless, I think the article would have gained from a more explicit acknowledgement that this particular focus is the goal of the article, as well as a from an explicit discussion (even if only qualitative) of the probabilities associated with these scenarios. Absent that, I am afraid the article, as such, feels misleading, or at least confusing for the general public.

    • Réchauffement climatique : attention, planète en danger !
      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/revue-de-presse-internationale/rechauffement-climatique-attention-planete-en-danger

      Malheureusement, l’enquête du NEW YORK MAGAZINE n’est pas la seule à pointer le danger qui menace aujourd’hui notre planète. Selon une analyse publiée, cette fois-ci, dans la revue NATURE, et intitulée « 2020 : le point de bascule », l’humanité n’aurait plus que trois ans pour sauvegarder le climat terrestre. Si les émissions de gaz à effet de serre continuent à augmenter après 2020, ou même à rester stables, alors les objectifs de température fixés à Paris seront inaccessibles.

      Et comme si tout cela ne suffisait pas, une autre étude fait, elle aussi, la Une de très nombreux quotidiens depuis quelques jours. Là encore, l’avertissement résonne de manière effrayante : Il y est écrit que nous sommes entrés dans l’ère de « l’anéantissement biologique ». Publiée lundi dans la revue scientifique PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, cette étude réalisée par des chercheurs mexicains et américains dresse un constat sans appel : selon elle, la disparition des espèces vertébrées dans les dernières décennies est telle, qu’elle s’apparente à une extinction de masse, un « anéantissement biologique ». Evidemment, « ce terme serait alarmiste si nous n’avions pas les données », se justifie aussitôt l’un des chercheurs dans les colonnes de THE ATLANTIC. L’étude montre, en particulier, que l’ensemble des 177 espèces de mammifères étudiées ont perdu au moins 30 % de leur territoire entre 1900 et 2015 et que plus de 40 % d’entre elles ont connu une forte baisse de population. Mais surtout, elle met l’accent sur le fait que des espèces qui ne sont pas considérées comme en danger voient, elles aussi, leur population diminuer.

    • La revue de presse de Thomas Cluzel sur France Culture cite d’autres papiers déjà cités ici :

      Three years to safeguard our climate
      Christiana Figueres, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Gail Whiteman, Johan Rockström, Anthony Hobley& Stefan Rahmstorf
      Nature 546:593–595, le 29 juin 2017

      et

      Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines
      Gerardo Ceballosa, Paul R. Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo
      PNAS, le 5 juillet 2017

      et le papier original de David Wallace-Wells dans le New York Magazine a aussi donné lieu à cet autre article en français en juillet dernier :

      Changement climatique : les 8 apocalypses à venir
      Vincent Lucchese, Usbek & Rica, Juillet 2017
      https://seenthis.net/messages/624916

      1. La grande submersion, la grande extinction
      2. Une chaleur mortelle
      3. La famine mondiale
      4. Les pestes climatiques
      5. L’air irrespirable
      6. La guerre perpétuelle
      7. L’effondrement économique permanent
      8. Les océans empoisonnés


  • US threats and actions in Syria are those of a rogue state
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/394811-syria-assad-us-war-regime

    “When Trump’s UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, asserts - as she did recently - that the US is sending “not only Assad” but also “Russia and Iran a message,” and that Washington is putting them “on notice,” she does so as the tribune of a rogue state.

    Haley issued her ‘warning’ on the back of the recent dubious claim that Washington had intelligence confirming Syrian forces were preparing a chemical weapons attack. The claim and resulting threat revealed that the US continues to arrogate to itself the status of the world’s policeman, with the right to act as judge, jury, and – as the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have learned to their disastrous cost in recent years – executioner. It describes arrogance beyond measure, conforming to the worldview of an empire whose guiding mantra is “Rome has spoken; the matter is finished."

    Haley: ’Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out,’ https://t.co/hVKLBMO8CP
    — RT America (@RT_America) June 28, 2017

    The “matter” so far as Syria is concerned is regime change, which it becomes increasingly clear is Washington’s primary objective going forward, using its military campaign against ISIS as a stalking horse to justify the build-up of its military presence in the country with this in mind. Seen in this light, the recent spate of US attacks on Syrian forces on the ground and in the air takes on an entirely different connotation – i.e. less to do with protecting US-backed ground troops, as claimed, and more to do with testing Russia’s response and resolve when it comes to supporting its Syrian ally.

    In the immediate and short term, the partition of Syria between east and west appears underway – at least if Washington has its way – evidenced by the recent visit to Syria by Brett McGurk of the US State Department. The stated purpose of his visit was to meet the “council planning to run Raqqa” after it is taken from ISIS. Thus here we have a US official visiting a sovereign state without the prior permission of said sovereign state’s legitimate government to discuss the administration of a part of its territory. This is imperialism by any other name, consonant with the actions of a country that is inebriated with that most potent of cocktails, unipolarity and might is right."


  • Policeman checks to see if the old-fashioned... - Historical Times
    http://historicaltimes.tumblr.com/post/162081823879/policeman-checks-to-see-if-the-old-fashioned

    Policeman checks to see if the old-fashioned bathing suit complies with a 1933 Redondo Beach ordinance banning women’s suits that are more than 3 in. above knee . The city was worried about women wearing the recently-introduced “monokini” - a topless bathing suit.

    #monokini #contrôle #police


  • WikiLeaks: Met police embarrassed as Assange arrest plan revealed
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/9498115/WikiLeaks-Met-police-embarrassed-as-Assange-arrest-plan-revealed.html

    “The uniformed Met officer was pictured holding a clipboard detailing possible ways the WikiLeaks founder could try to escape from the building he has been holed up in for the past two months.
    His target, who is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault, is currently safe on diplomatic territory. He has been given political asylum by the Latin American country, on the grounds that he faces persecution in the USA over his whistle-blowing website, but faces arrest the second he steps outside because he has breached his bail conditions.
    The policeman’s handwritten tactical brief, captured by a Press Association photographer as he stood outside the Knightsbridge embassy on Friday afternoon, discloses the “summary of current position re Assange”.”


  • Reconstruction of Umm al-Hiran killings disproves car-ramming claims
    “An investigative team led by Forensic Architecture and Activestills proves, through a reenactment and visual analyses of footage of the incident, that the deaths of a Bedouin teacher and an Israeli policeman in Umm al-Hiran in January were not the result of a car-ramming attack.”

    By Yael Marom
    https://972mag.com/reconstruction-of-umm-al-hiran-killings-proves-no-car-ramming-attack/127351

    “The results of a police investigation into the January 18 events in Umm al-Hiran, during which — prior to a slate of home demolitions — a Bedouin man who was shot by police ran over and killed an Israeli policeman before succumbing to his wounds, have yet to be published. But it’s already clear that every detail the Israel Police tried to pass off to the public and the media was incorrect.

    The reconstruction also proves that Abu al-Qi’an was still alive after his car had stopped, as the autopsy findings showed. He even opened his car door before falling out of the vehicle. An eyewitness testified to investigators that he saw a police officer pointing his gun at Abu al-Qi’an while the latter was still alive, strengthening the claim that the already-injured Abu al-Qi’an was shot again after his car had stopped and he did not pose a threat to anyone.Forensic Architecture, in partnership with Activestills, has now managed to put together a reconstruction of what happened in Umm al-Hiran that day. Their work proves that contrary to police claims, Yaqub Mousa Abu al-Qi’an did not intentionally accelerate his car, but rather it picked up speed and went down the slope only after police had opened fire and hit Abu al-Qi’an’s right leg. As a result, his car struck and killed police officer Erez Levi.”


  • Israeli forces shoot, kill Jordanian man in Jerusalem’s Old City after alleged attack
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=777036

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a 57-year-old Jordanian man near the Chain Gate in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Saturday after he allegedly stabbed and moderately injured an Israeli police officer, according to Israeli police.

    An initial statement in Arabic from Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that Israeli forces had “neutralized” a Palestinian attacker and “immediately pronounced him dead on the spot.”

    The Israeli police officer was reported to have sustained “medium wounds” from the attack and was transferred to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment, according to al-Samri.

    According to al-Samri, a Palestinian noticed a police officer walking in his direction, prompting him to “approach the officer quickly,” pull out a knife, and stab the officer. The police officer, she said, pulled out his handgun after being wounded and shot the Palestinian to death.

    Police forces found two knives on the slain Palestinian’s body, according to al-Samri.

    Al-Samri later released a statement identifying the slain man as 57-year-old Jordanian citizen who had he arrived in the country a week ago on a tourist visa.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    (Updated : May 13, 2017 8:18 P.M.)

    Israel police identified the slain man as a 57-year-old Jordanian citizen who had arrived in the country a week ago on a tourist visa. Jerusalem-based news site the al-Quds Network said that the man, Muhammad Abdullah Salim al-Kisaji, was of Palestinian origin and from the occupied West Bank city of Jericho.
    (...)
    An eyewitness and local shop owner corroborated to Ma’an that he saw the assailant, who was wearing a black coat stab the Israeli policeman multiple times in the neck and face with a knife on the crowded street.

    “The injured officer fired heavily at the stabber and after he fell to the ground, a security guard escorting a group of settlers fired a bullet at the attacker’s head," the Palestinian witnesses, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

    Backup police officers arrived and one of them "hit the attacker with a plastic table while he was lying motionless on the ground,” according to the same witness.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Jordan condemns fatal shooting of knife assailant as ’heinous crime’
      May 14, 2017 12:42 P.M. (Updated: May 14, 2017 9:28 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=777045

      JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Jordanian government said Saturday that it held the Israeli government responsible for the death of Muhammad al-Skaji, a Jordanian national, reportedly of Palestinian origin, who was shot and killed earlier in the day in occupied in East Jerusalem’s Old City, after he attacked an Israeli policeman with a knife.

      Spokesperson for the Jordanian government and Jordanian Minister of Media Affairs Muhammad al-Mumni condemned in a statement the “heinous crime” committed against al-Skaji and demanded that Israel provide all details surrounding the incident.

      He added that Jordan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry was following up on the details of the incident in coordination with the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv.

      The remarks angered the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to mention that al-Skaji was killed for attacking and moderately injuring the Israeli officer.

      “It was outrageous to hear the spokesperson of the Jordanian government express support for the terror attack perpetrated today in Jerusalem by a Jordanian,” the statement said, adding that “it’s time that Jordan stops this double game. Just as Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel.”


  • Palestinian teen ’executed’ by Israeli police after stabbing, lightly injuring 3 Israelis
    April 1, 2017 3:37 P.M. (Updated: April 1, 2017 9:44 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776224

    17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday, after he carried out a stab attack that left three Israelis lightly injured, with witnesses asserting Israeli police could have easily detained the boy without killing him.

    Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a written statement that a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife stabbed and lightly injured two “Jewish young men” — aged 18 and 23, at around 3:30 p.m.

    Israeli forces chased after the teen, who ran inside a building that had its door left open, al-Samri said. As Israeli police struggled to detain him, one policeman was lightly injured, according to al-Samri.

    More Israeli police officers arrived to the scene and opened heavy fire on the boy, killing him.

    The slain Palestinian was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 17-year-old Ahmad Zahir Fathi Ghazal from Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

    An eyewitness told Ma’an that he saw the the boy stab “two settlers” on al-Wad street in the Old City and escape into the nearby building, before Israeli forces ambushed Ghazal in a small apartment, which had no alternate exit.

    “Then we heard sounds of intensive shooting coming from the building," he said."They could have detained him — he was surrounded by a large number of soldiers. But they executed him."

    According to the witness’ testimony, a female border police officer was seen exiting the building with a minor foot injury.
    In a recording shared on social media by local watchdog the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, another eyewitness and shop owner on al-Wad street also said that Israeli police “could have detained him (Ghazal), but they didn’t want to.”

    “They ambushed him in the staircase. They could have detained him without any problem, but they wanted to kill him instead. We heard four soldiers riddling him with bullets. It was like a battlefield.”

    A video was shared on social media purporting to show the moment after the two Israelis were stabbed, with one of their shirts visibly stained with blood.

    The two, in traditional Haredi dress, can be seen walking away from the scene after a group of Israeli border police rush inside an open doorway, after which at least a dozen gunshots can be heard from inside.(...)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yai-aCA_42Q


    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Un Palestinien poignarde trois Israéliens avant d’être abattu (police)
      AFP / 01 avril 2017 16h07
      https://www.romandie.com/news/Un-Palestinien-poignarde-trois-Israeliens-avant-detre-abattu-police/785028.rom
      Jérusalem - Un Palestinien de Cisjordanie occupée a blessé samedi à coups de couteau trois Israéliens dans la vieille ville de Jérusalem avant d’être abattu par des garde-frontières, a annoncé la police.

      Ce Palestinien a agressé deux passants juifs avant de s’enfuir. Des garde-frontières l’ont ensuite pourchassé et abattu après qu’il a blessé l’un d’entre eux, selon la version de la police. C’est la deuxième attaque de ce type depuis mercredi près de la porte de Damas, dans la vieille ville.

      Deux des Israéliens ont été légèrement blessés et le troisième a été plus gravement atteint. Ils ont été évacués vers un hôpital, a ajouté la police.

      Des affrontements ont ensuite éclaté entre des Palestiniens qui ont jeté des pierres vers les policiers qui ont utilisé des grenades assourdissantes, a constaté un photographe de l’AFP.

    • Funeral held for Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces following stab attack
      April 22, 2017 3:24 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2017 11:08 A.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=776590

      NABLUS (Ma’an) — A funeral was held in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Saturday for 17-year-old Ahmad Ghazal, who was killed by Israeli forces after carrying out a stabbing attack earlier this month, which lightly injured three Israelis.

      Israeli authorities had returned Ghazal’s body to his family on Friday evening.

      Mourners marched from Rafidia hospital to the Martyrs’ Square in the center of Nablus city while carrying Ghazal’s body. His body was then carried to the city’s western cemetery where he was laid to rest.


  • Palestinian officer killed, 2 gunmen injured during armed clashes in Balata
    March 20, 2017 10:36 A.M. (Updated: March 21, 2017 12:10 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776025

    NABLUS (Ma’an) — A Palestinian policeman was killed Sunday night during armed clashes that erupted in Balata refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, after Palestinian forces raided the camp to detain “wanted fugitives,” Palestinian security forces said.

    The clashes left another policeman and at least two gunmen injured — one of whom was detained while the other managed to escape.

    Local sources told Ma’an that Palestinian security forces ambushed the camp at the eastern cemetery dressed as civilians, sparking clashes with gunmen that lasted some 15 minutes.

    Governor of Nablus Akram Rujoub said that Palestinian security forces officer Hasaan Ali Abu al-Hajj was killed after being shot in the head, and was declared dead sometime later after succumbing to the injury. Rujoub noted that Abu al-Hajj was newly married, just six months ago.

    Abu al-Hajj was buried on Monday afternoon in his hometown of Kobar northwest of Ramallah.(...)

    #collaboration_coordination


  • Witnesses: Israeli police ’execute’ Palestinian in Jerusalem over alleged attack
    March 13, 2017 10:02 A.M. (Updated: March 13, 2017 2:57 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775919

    25-year-old Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar , from Jabal al-Mukabbir

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police shot and killed a 25-year-old Palestinian near the Lion’s Gate entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City early Monday morning after he allegedly stabbed two Israeli police officers, who were lightly and moderately injured.

    The slain man was identified as Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar , a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Jabal al-Mukabbir, located south of the Old City.

    The shooting happened ahead of the Muslim fajr (dawn) prayers, as worshipers were headed to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Witnesses told Ma’an they saw a dispute inside an Israeli police post located near Lion’s Gate between an Israeli policeman and a Palestinian "who was carrying a stick.”

    Israeli police then forced the young man outside of the enclosure and “executed” him at point blank range with with four bullets, leading to his immediate death, witnesses said.

    Referring to the dispute that lead up to the shooting, eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli police were “controlling the situation” and could have easily detained Matar without using lethal force.

    However, a statement released by Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri alleged that Matar entered the police post with a knife and stabbed two Israeli police officers before a third police officer shot and killed him immediately.

    According to al-Samri, Matar had arrived to the area in his car, which he parked near Lion’s Gate. Israeli border police stopped him as he tried to walk through Lion’s Gate and led him into the police room to search him, when he “attacked” two Israeli border police officers that were inside.

    A third officer was able to leave the room, and then shot and killed Matar, the police statement said.

    Al-Samri said the first officer sustained moderate injuries, while the second was lightly injured.They were both taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

    Following the killing, Israeli forces were heavily deployed in and around Lion’s Gate and prevented many Palestinians from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray, with witnesses saying the lockdown lasted from 4:30 until 6 a.m.

    Later Monday morning, Israeli forces raided Matar’s home in Jabal al-Mukabbir and detained his brother, parents, and his uncle, according to locals and Israeli police.(...)

    #Palestine_assassinée


  • The Refugee Archipelago: The Inside Story of What Went Wrong — Refugees Deeply
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2017/03/06/the-refugee-archipelago-the-inside-story-of-what-went-wrong-in-greece

    Exactly how much money has been spent in Greece by the European Union is much reported but little understood. Refugees Deeply has calculated that $803 million has come into Greece since 2015, which includes all the funds actually allocated or spent, all significant bilateral funding and major sources of private donations.

    The biggest pots of money are controlled by the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive body, which oversees the Asylum Migration Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) which collectively had $541 million dedicated to Greek funding needs. However, the government in Greece was unable to absorb significant amounts of these funds, necessitating emergency assistance from the commission, channeled through other means.

    Confusion over the true extent of spending has been exacerbated by inflated statements from the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who has regularly cited figures in excess of 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion). This amount apparently refers to all available and theoretical funds, not what has actually been allocated or spent.

    Nevertheless, the $803 million total represents the most expensive humanitarian response in history.

    [...]

    A Greek policeman serving at the Moria camp put it more succinctly when explaining that his job was to get a copy of an I.D. and a fingerprint and then speed them on their way to Germany: “Copy, finger, Merkel.”

    [...]

    With his borders set to close, no hot spots and a grilling in prospect at a European leaders’ summit at the end of February, the Greek prime minister, Tsipras, found an unlikely savior. Panos Kammenos has been one of the indisputable political winners from the upheaval of Greek politics and the collapse of its traditional parties. A thickset right-winger with a penchant for military uniforms who blames Greece’s debt crisis on a shadowy global banking conspiracy, he found himself as the junior partner in a coalition government. His price for propping up a hard-left government was the defense ministry.

    Prior to February, Kammenos’ contribution to the refugee response had been to growl that Europe should back down in debt negotiations or Greece would flood the E.U. with migrants. His change of heart came after $74 million was added to the defense ministry budget for refugee support, recurring annually. In a period of less than 10 days the Greek army established spartan but functional facilities at the hot spots.

    The pattern was set for inertia, concealment of chaos, external pressure and last-minute actions. With responsibility for the response now divided between several Greek ministries and a U.N. agency more accustomed to working in the developing world, E.C. cash flowed and effective oversight of refugee spending was removed. A series of amendments that passed through Greece’s parliament stripped out auditing requirements on contracts related to the refugee crisis.

    [...]

    bon j’arrête de copier-coller. C’est un excellent article. Lisez-le !

    #refugee #réfugiés #grèce #europe #argent #ong #ngo

    What about @rezo ?

    @cdb_77

    • By late spring 2016 the larger international aid agencies were already tabling plans to winterize the tented camps and donors were allocating funds. The Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, a German NGO, put forward a $1.6 million proposal to turn Softex into a 1,500-person site with accommodation in containers with heating and plumbing. Bilateral aid money from Germany was agreed to fund the winterized camp and the proposal went to the Greek migration ministry.

      Instead of signing off and allowing work to begin, the Greeks returned with their own proposal costed at $8 million. When donors and aid agencies replied that this was a nonstarter, Mouzalas refused to budge or negotiate a compromise. In a letter dated July 7, the ministry wrote to ASB “that for Softex camp our plans will not change” and therefore their proposal was rejected.

      #mouzalas #corruption #ordures

    • Adding to the uncertainty was a murky game over the number of refugees within Greek borders. After the closure of the northern frontier and the implementation of the Greece-Turkey deal, arrivals slowed dramatically. When the first official count of asylum seekers remaining in Greece was released by the migration ministry it stated that there were 57,000 on the mainland and the islands.

      This number grew with the trickle of new arrivals on the islands to 63,000 on the official bulletin from the migration ministry. But the numbers ran counter to what European officials and NGO staff were seeing in the camps where more and more people were disappearing. At the end of July a new column appeared on the ministry report listing “refugees outside camps.” As the numbers reported in individual camps reduced, the number in the new column rose.

    • “I am not sure officials understand the consequences of the situation they have created or the humiliation this bears for the country,” says Poutou. “I have no idea why they don’t make the managing authority function. Any minister who understands the responsibilities of his mandate could have managed this if he was interested.”


  • Serbian police: You are not allowed to feed the refugees!

    I have just come back from Serbia, says Czech activist Eva Zahradníčková. We were in Horgos. This is the place where people live in shelters made of rags. We talked to UNHCR people there. They told us that women and children have been moved to a brick building in Subotica, which is however closed so there is no access to the refugees. The men were left behind in the fields, in the shelters made of rags. At the moment, there are about twenty of them there. The UNCHR people gave them blankets and gloves. They told me they were not allowed to feed them. We brought food, but within a few minutes Serbian police arrive and a policeman started shouting at us that it is illegal to help refugees and that he can arrest us. After a debate lasting several minutes he told me that it was possible that the food we were about to give the refugees is poisoned so he is in fact protecting them from us.

    http://blisty.cz/art/85321.html
    #délit_de_solidarité #solidarité #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Serbie


  • Le chauffeur bédouin tué par la police israélienne n’effectuait pas d’attaque, un ensemble de preuves le montrera .

    Bedouin driver shot by Israeli police was not carrying out attack, probe set to show
    Yaniv Kubovich Feb 22, 2017 12:42 PM
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.773196

    Netanyahu and security officials were quick to call the incident a terrorist attack, but an investigation is set to prove otherwise. Findings are ’not good for police,’ legal experts say.

    A Bedouin driver who had run over a police officer during clashes in a Negev village did not intend to carry out an attack, a probe into the incident is expected to show in the coming days.

    The January incident took place during a Bedouin demonstration against the demolition of the unrecognized Negev village of Umm al-Hiran. At the demonstration, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan ran over officer Erez Levi before being killed by police gunfire.

    The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers’ probe should be completed within two weeks, but officials may come out sooner with a statement saying that the evidence collected indicates that Kiyan did not plan or commit a terror attack that caused Levi’s death.

    According to legal experts, the investigation findings so far are “not good for the police,” which claimed immediately after the incident that Kiyan was a terrorist who planned to run over policemen for political motives.

    According to the findings, Kiyan was driving at a low speed, never exceeding 20 kilometers per hour. Professionals who have studied this incident and others believe that someone who wished to commit a vehicular ramming attack would not have been driving so slowly when he had sufficient distance to accelerate. Also, the shooting was done from a further distance than claimed by the police officers and commanders in the field, and Kiyan’s intentions were not possible to discern.

    Testimony from the police about the location of where Kiyan began driving and the location where he was asked to stop also did not match the findings in the field. Nor did the claim that he did not have his lights on, which was refuted by the video of the incident that was publicized.

    On Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that “A difficult and regrettable incident took place in Umm al-Hiran a few weeks ago. We mustn’t let anyone try to take this particular incident − in which unfortunately both a policeman and a civilian were killed − and draw inferences from it regarding the totality of the relationship between the Bedouin population and the police.”

    Legal experts took his comments as an indication that he was reneging on his previous characterization of incident as a terror attack, noting that he aware of the investigation’s findings.(...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/561578


  • Why Theories of Everything Are Ill-Conceived - Facts So Romantic
    http://nautil.us/blog/why-theories-of-everything-are-ill_conceived

    The police don’t often sympathize with speeding drivers, but if you’re a quantum gravity physicist who was distracted by a grand epiphany while driving at night, you might have a better chance. “The Italian policeman asked me politely if I was crazy to drive at that speed,” writes the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli in his new book Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity. “I explained that I had just found the idea I’d been seeking for so long.”Rovelli’s epiphany? Figuring out how to write a book on quantum gravity for a popular audience. It was enough for the policeman, who wished a ticketless Rovelli good luck.A professor of physics at Aix-Marseille University in southeast France, Rovelli is one of the pioneers of “loop quantum gravity” theory, which envisions space as (...)