UAE: Qatari prisoner of conscience tortured then jailed for seven years

Qatari national, Dr Mahmoud al-Jaidah, is a prisoner of conscience in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must immediately quash the conviction of a Qatari medical doctor who has been sentenced to seven years in jail today after a grossly unfair trial, said Amnesty International.

Mahmoud Abdulrahman al-Jaidah was arrested more than a

year ago over alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood and faced torture and ill-treatment in detention. He was denied access to a lawyer while held in secret detention and given limited access to one during his trial, in flagrant violation of international fair trial standards. He has no right to appeal his sentence.

“Today’s disgraceful sentencing of Mahmoud al-Jaidah is a farce and makes a mockery of the UAE’s claim to be a progressive country that respects human rights.  He was arrested without a warrant, blindfolded and flung into solitary confinement before being repeatedly tortured, ill-treated and forced to sign papers he wasn’t allowed to read,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

He is one of scores of prisoners of conscience unjustly imprisoned by the UAE authorities in the past year for alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or al-Islah (Reform and Social Guidance Association), an association legally established in 1974 in the UAE where it has been engaged in peaceful social and political debate.

“The evidence against him appears scant and his trial was marred by flaws. The charges he faced were politically motivated. He has become the latest victim of the UAE’s deeply flawed judicial system. His conviction must be quashed and he must be immediately and unconditionally released. The unrelenting unfair trials in the UAE must end,” said Said Boumedouha.

While in detention Mahmoud al-Jaidah’s interrogators threatened to peel off his nails and hang him upside down until he died. They also subjected him to brutal beatings on his face and his feet, deprived him of sleep and continually exposed him to bright lights.

“Mahmoud al-Jaidah’s treatment in detention was appalling. The authorities have failed to investigate these allegations of abuse. An independent investigation into his mistreatment must be conducted and those responsible brought to justice,” said Said Boumedouha.

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“…a distinction betweenGod and what one sees deep inside his heart and knows there is a god. Indeed, it would be difficult to know that our god is really God.”

by Natalia Laskowska

Something to think about:

It happened only once that this question came from my mouth, yet still the mere thought of uttering it makes me feel quite uncomfortable. “Do you believe in God?”. The person who had to hear it from me is one of the dearest beings that live on this planet, so back then I was just very gently made aware that the question was wrong. It is the last week that I sensed on my skin not only how wrong but also how intellectually boorish it was.

During somemore academic session on religion, one lady asked me “So do you really believe in God?”.I was baffled. Feeling uncomfortable to hear such question from a person whom I never met before, I changed the subject. But she came back with it requesting an answer with flat yes or no. I replied with question: “Do you have orgasm?”.

It was impolite, yet the two questions had something in common – answering them was disturbing, and both related to experience which only the person asked would know if it is there or not. And even supposing it is there one cannot be really certain it is.

Mark Johnston in Saving God (2009) makes a distinction between God and what one sees deep inside his heart and knows there is a god. Indeed, it would be difficult to know that our god is really God. Professor Johnston points three conditions we can determine by looking into our hearts: that we believe there is God; that we believe our god is God; and that we believe in our god. Yet do we actually believe in God then? We believe that we believe…This is already most personal and intimate.

We can see a difference between asking whether God exists or not, and whether a person believes in God or not. The latter one is like forcing somebody into our own patterns of believing: if we believe – into how we believe, if we do not believe – into how we think other people believe. And this is quite low, for somehow our concepts may be too shallow and conventional to fit other person’s subtle thought. Saying “yes” the person would accept the frame structured in our possibly very much limited brains. But maybe he or she would not really want to be reduced to it?

This is where answering “yes” becomes so odd and disturbing, it could be that the person would say “yes” to what is inside his heart, but he does not feel like saying “yes” to what is inside our hearts or brains. Saying “no” is equally uncomfortable. It could mean that the person clearly refuses to accept our idea of god which is already included in “Do you believe in God?” question. And this means the end ofdiscussion as well.

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I am back, this time I bring a video.

Do you get it now?

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iran-riots-1

May God be with You

In God they trust

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AI1

Amnesty International members around the world took part in actions to pay tribute to Delara Darabi and oppose the death penalty against juveniles in Iran on Wednesday.

Delara Darabi, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who had been convicted of a crime she allegedly committed while aged 17, was executed on Friday 1 May despite a two-month stay ordered by the Head of the Judiciary in her case.

Her execution has sparked international outrage. In London, Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan and scores of Amnesty International activists laid white lilies and roses at the door of the Iranian embassy. They were joined by Alistair Carmichael, Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

The demonstrations also highlighted the scheduled execution in Iran of two people – Amir Khaleqi and Safar Angooti – who faced execution in the early hours of 6 May, despite having been convicted of offences that occurred when they were below the age of 18. Both executions were reported on Wednesday morning to have been postponed for a period of a month.

Speaking at the gathering in front of the embassy of Iran in London, Irene Khan said:

“The earth on Delara Darabi’s grave has not dried yet as the Iranian authorities prepared to execute two more people who, like her, were accused of having committed crimes when they were still under 18.

“They were granted a one-month stay of execution this morning. This might not save them from the gallows considering that Delara was executed in spite of a stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary in Iran.

“Children deserve protection and rehabilitation, not death.”

Amnesty International activists in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Switzerland gathered in front of the embassies of Iran in their relative countries, leaving flowers and pictures of Delara Darabi there. Some brought drawing materials in recognition of Delara Darabi’s talents as a painter.

In Burkina Faso, where Iran does not have an embassy,  Amnesty International activists gathered at the organization’s offices in Ouagadougou where a tribute to Delara Darabi was laid out.

In Paris, Amnesty International activists joined with Action by Christians Against Torture at the Iranian embassy. They were unable to deliver a letter to the embassy, but left a big picture of Delara with a wreath of flowers.

In Sweden, Amnesty International activists held a protest at Sergels Torg, in the centre of the capital, Stockholm. A petition with 1,110 signatures urging the Iranian authorities to pass legislation banning the execution of all people convicted of committing crimes when they were under the age of eighteen was submitted to the Embassy of Iran on Wednesday 6 May. Similarly, activists in Finland organized a flower-laying event in a park at the center of Helsinki.

Other members from around the world have been sending messages, including “virtual flowers”, pictures of white roses, of protest to the Iranian authorities and urging them to ban, once and for all, the execution of juvenile offenders – persons convicted of crimes committed when under the age of 18. Activists from Turkey have for example been sending virtual roses by email to pay tribute to Delara and in Spain some 200,000 people have signed a petition by Amnesty International Spain calling for a total ban on executions.

Since January 2009, Iran has executed at least two people for crimes they were alleged to have committed while under the age of 18. No other country has done so since 2007. At least 135 other juveniles are known to be on death row in Iran. A group of lawyers and activists in Iran are making relentless efforts to save their lives.

These demonstrations echo the recent call by prominent members of Iranian society, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi, for a ban of all executions of juvenile offenders, including those sentenced to murder (qesas).

Read Source

Amnesty International members around the world took part in actions to pay tribute to Delara Darabi and oppose the death penalty against juveniles in Iran on Wednesday.

Delara Darabi, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who had been convicted of a crime she allegedly committed while aged 17, was executed on Friday 1 May despite a two-month stay ordered by the Head of the Judiciary in her case.

Her execution has sparked international outrage. In London, Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan and scores of Amnesty International activists laid white lilies and roses at the door of the Iranian embassy. They were joined by Alistair Carmichael, Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

The demonstrations also highlighted the scheduled execution in Iran of two people – Amir Khaleqi and Safar Angooti – who faced execution in the early hours of 6 May, despite having been convicted of offences that occurred when they were below the age of 18. Both executions were reported on Wednesday morning to have been postponed for a period of a month.

Speaking at the gathering in front of the embassy of Iran in London, Irene Khan said:

“The earth on Delara Darabi’s grave has not dried yet as the Iranian authorities prepared to execute two more people who, like her, were accused of having committed crimes when they were still under 18.

“They were granted a one-month stay of execution this morning. This might not save them from the gallows considering that Delara was executed in spite of a stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary in Iran.

“Children deserve protection and rehabilitation, not death.”

Amnesty International activists in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Switzerland gathered in front of the embassies of Iran in their relative countries, leaving flowers and pictures of Delara Darabi there. Some brought drawing materials in recognition of Delara Darabi’s talents as a painter.

In Burkina Faso, where Iran does not have an embassy,  Amnesty International activists gathered at the organization’s offices in Ouagadougou where a tribute to Delara Darabi was laid out.

In Paris, Amnesty International activists joined with Action by Christians Against Torture at the Iranian embassy. They were unable to deliver a letter to the embassy, but left a big picture of Delara with a wreath of flowers.

In Sweden, Amnesty International activists held a protest at Sergels Torg, in the centre of the capital, Stockholm. A petition with 1,110 signatures urging the Iranian authorities to pass legislation banning the execution of all people convicted of committing crimes when they were under the age of eighteen was submitted to the Embassy of Iran on Wednesday 6 May. Similarly, activists in Finland organized a flower-laying event in a park at the center of Helsinki.

Other members from around the world have been sending messages, including “virtual flowers”, pictures of white roses, of protest to the Iranian authorities and urging them to ban, once and for all, the execution of juvenile offenders – persons convicted of crimes committed when under the age of 18. Activists from Turkey have for example been sending virtual roses by email to pay tribute to Delara and in Spain some 200,000 people have signed a petition by Amnesty International Spain calling for a total ban on executions.

Since January 2009, Iran has executed at least two people for crimes they were alleged to have committed while under the age of 18. No other country has done so since 2007. At least 135 other juveniles are known to be on death row in Iran. A group of lawyers and activists in Iran are making relentless efforts to save their lives.

These demonstrations echo the recent call by prominent members of Iranian society, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi, for a ban of all executions of juvenile offenders, including those sentenced to murder (qesas).

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I came to write once again in the blog. Unfortunately with a very bad story

Delara Darabi was executed in Iran this month, I just saw today in the news and it was like was executed too.

I am very sorry that all of us that defend Human Rigths and fought for her life… that we had lost her

I would like to personally thank Amnesty International and SaveDelara.com for their struggle to save her.

delara-1-2

Delara Darabiدلارا دارابى September 1986 –  May 2009

Rest in Peace

“To God We belong, and to Him is our return”

“inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun”

Holy Quran 2:156

In her honor I added her photo to my Blog banner

I finish this entry with a video of her paintings

Check her story in Wiki or in SaveDelara.com

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From: http://www.richardsilverstein.com

For the past few days Haaretz has carried numerous stories about the riveting eyewitness testimony from IDF officers concerning cold-blooded murders of unarmed Palestinian civilians.  The second day of their testimony wasn’t available in the English edition of Haaretz last night, which was why I translated excerpts.  But Haaretz now does have the English version available in a fuller translation than my own hastily composed one.

Iris Hefets also informs me that Israeli blogger and seruvnik Idan Landau has compared Haaretz’s Hebrew version of the eyewitness transcript to the original and finds several telling phrases omitted (he uses the term “censored”).  If you read Hebrew you can follow that interesting sidebar of the main story.

Tonight I wanted to bring you an equally distressing story which tells of he budding fashion sense of IDF soldiers who, when they return from killing Gazans, boast of personalized T-shirts that they design often with the approval of their IDF superior officers.  To be clear, the shirts are not officially sanctioned by the IDF.  But the phenomenon is so widespread and tone of the slogans so toxic, that the IDF might just as well have endorsed them.

Here are some of the slogans:

A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”

There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, “Bet you got raped!” A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies – such as “confirming the kill” (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead)…”We won’t chill ’til we confirm the kill.”

Pregnant Palestinian woman in the crosshairs

Pregnant Palestinian woman in the crosshairs

The [T-shirt] slogan “Let every Arab mother know that her son’s fate is in my hands!” [is accompanied by] a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town,” he explains. “The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him.”

When are these shirts worn?

G. [soldier in an elite unit]: “These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out. Sometimes people will ask you what it’s about.”

Of the shirt depicting a bull’s-eye on a pregnant woman, he said: “…It doesn’t really mean anything. I mean it’s not like someone is gonna go and shoot a pregnant woman.”

What is the idea behind the shirt from July 2007, which has an image of a child with the slogan “Smaller – harder!”?

“It’s a kid, so you’ve got a little more of a problem, morally, and also the target is smaller.”

'Every Arab mother must know that the fate of her son is in my hands' (photo: Nahum Kafri)

‘Every Arab mother must know that the fate of her son is in my hands’ (photo: Nir Kafri)

A shirt printed after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza for Battalion 890 of the Paratroops depicts a King Kong-like soldier in a city under attack. The slogan is unambiguous: “If you believe it can be fixed, then believe it can be destroyed!”

Y., a soldier/yeshiva student, designed the shirt. “You take whoever [in the unit] knows how to draw and then you give it to the commanders before printing,” he explained.

What is the soldier holding in his hand?

Y.: “A mosque. Before I drew the shirt I had some misgivings, because I wanted it to be like King Kong, but not too monstrous. The one holding the mosque – I wanted him to have a more normal-looking face, so it wouldn’t look like an anti-Semitic cartoon. Some of the people who saw it told me, ‘Is that what you’ve got to show for the IDF? That it destroys homes?’ I can understand people who look at this from outside and see it that way, but I was in Gaza and they kept emphasizing that the object of the operation was to wreak destruction on the infrastructure, so that the price the Palestinians and the leadership pay will make them realize that it isn’t worth it for them to go on shooting. So that’s the idea of ‘we’re coming to destroy’ in the drawing.

From left: "The smaller, the tougher" "Only God forgives"

From left: “The smaller, the tougher” “Only God forgives”

This past January, the “Night Predators” demolitions platoon from Golani’s Battalion 13 ordered a T-shirt showing a Golani devil detonating a charge that destroys a mosque. An inscription above it says, “Only God forgives.”

One of the soldiers in the platoon downplays it: “It doesn’t mean much, it’s just a T-shirt from our platoon. It’s not a big deal. A friend of mine drew a picture and we made it into a shirt.”

What’s the idea behind “Only God forgives”?

The soldier: “It’s just a saying.”

No one had a problem with the fact that a mosque gets blown up in the picture?

“I don’t see what you’re getting at. I don’t like the way you’re going with this. Don’t take this somewhere you’re not supposed to, as though we hate Arabs.”

After Operation Cast Lead, soldiers from that battalion printed a T-shirt depicting a vulture sexually penetrating Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied by a particularly graphic slogan.

There is one penetrating critique of the entire phenomenon by an academic sociologist from none other than Bar Ilan University (affiliated with the Orthodox community):

Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, of Bar-Ilan University…said that the phenomenon is “part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront. I think that ever since the second intifada there has been a continual shift to the right. The pullout from Gaza and its outcome – the calm that never arrived – led to a further shift rightward.

“This tendency is most strikingly evident among soldiers who encounter various situations in the territories on a daily basis. There is less meticulousness than in the past, and increasing callousness. There is a perception that the Palestinian is not a person, a human being entitled to basic rights, and therefore anything may be done to him.”

Could the printing of clothing be viewed also as a means of venting aggression?

Sasson-Levy: “No. I think it strengthens and stimulates aggression and legitimizes it. What disturbs me is that a shirt is something that has permanence. The soldiers later wear it in civilian life; their girlfriends wear it afterward. It is not a statement, but rather something physical that remains, that is out there in the world. Beyond that, I think the link made between sexist views and nationalist views, as in the ‘Screw Haniyeh’ shirt, is interesting. National chauvinism and gender chauvinism combine and strengthen one another. It establishes a masculinity shaped by violent aggression toward women and Arabs; a masculinity that considers it legitimate to speak in a crude and violent manner toward women and Arabs.”

I don’t think it’s right to blame the soldiers for expressions of such hatred, violence and racism.  They are mere projections of the society and military command from which they spring.  The generals and politicians, and behind them the Israeli people make these young boys who they are.  They fill them with the ideas rolling around in their brains.  The soldiers are doing Israel’s bidding.

It is all too common and almost hackneyed to warn how the Occupation has corrupted Israeli society.  But these images and slogans bring that message home terribly clearly.  Especially when you read the flummoxed soldier who becomes angry with the reporter and warns him not to take the slogans the wrong way lest he think his boys “hate Arabs.”  Of course they hate Arabs.  They were brought to do so.  And they have so little contact with a real Palestinian that they can easily delude themselves into believing that they don’t actually hate them.  The truth is they don’t know them and it is terribly easy to hate what you don’t know.

In fact, I often think that about readers and commenters here who vent their disgusting racist and hateful comments both towards me personally and Arabs in general (and a few toward Israelis).  They don’t know me.  They don’ t even have to see or meet me to write the things they do.  This makes the hating all the easier.

But returning to the soldiers and their hate, this is what the Occupation does to Israel.  It causes citizens to express and believe ideas whose content even they deny.  I can’t think of anything more corrupting, more corrosive to a people than being yoked with an albatross like this which drains the vitality and common sense from body and brain.

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lol Easy ah?

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Please watch this video at BBC website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7812286.stm

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