Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Blue Nightmare - LA PESADILLA AZUL

Documentation about the massive human rights violations in Oaxaca (Mexico) on november 25th


After police repression against the people of Oaxaca and APPO (People ’ s Popular Assembly of Oaxaca) on November 25, more than 200 people were unjustly and illegally taken to varioius jails, suffering beatings and rape.

"The Blue Nightmare" contains testimony of some of the people that were detained.

Download MPG4 / 58mb


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Newroz 2007

Newroz Piroz Be
'Newroz 2007 in Bremen' von azadi

Millions celebrated the Kurdish new year Newroz on 21st of March worldwide. As you can see here on the videos from Bremen.

In Kurdistan itself up to one million people have come together close to the city of Amed (Diyarbakir) to celebrate Newroz and to express their cultural self determination as Kurds. This years Newroz was overshadowed by the news of the Poisoning of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan imprisoned on the island of Imrali and by the attempts of the Turkish army to invade Southern Kurdistan / Northern Iraq.

Some days before Newroz hundereds of Kurdish politicians, and social activists have been arested.
More news will follow soon...



Monday, March 19, 2007

Observe the Oury Jalloh trial in Dessau | The Caravan

Come to Dessau on March 27th - 30th and April 19th-20th of 2007

Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time

Break the silence!

'april-2006 060' von azadi

On the 7th of January, 2005, Oury Jalloh agonizingly burned to death---tied at his hands and feet in Cell Number 5 in Dessau. He was a 21 year-old refugee from Sierra Leone. The smoke and fire alarm were simply ignored by the supervising police officer; the communication system connected directly to the cell was turned off, supposedly because the police officers felt bothered by the "burbling noises" while they were talking on the telephone. Since his death to this day, the State Prosecutor, responsible for carrying out the investigations, has exclusively promoted the theory that Oury Jalloh committed suicide.

Nevertheless, there are simply too many contradictions in their theory: Why does a lighter first appear in a second inventory taken of the items found in the cell? How did a lighter enter into the cell when two police officers carried out a body search of Oury Jalloh? How do they explain the broken nasal bone and the injuries to the middle ear as found in the second autopsy organized by the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh? What role did the racist attitude of Dessau's police play, which was recorded on tape before and during the fire and made partially public?

On the basis of the ascertainable facts regarding the death of Oury Jalloh and until it is proved otherwise we will continue to believe and make our opinion known: Oury Jalloh was murdered.

That all of these contradictions have even been made known to a wider public has only been possible thanks to the mobilization and engagement of friends and acquaintances of Oury Jalloh as well as diverse migrant, refugee and anti-racist organizations, who in spite of the attempts at criminalization and the persecution of several activists have never given up in fighting for an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances surrounding the death of Oury Jalloh as well as justice and reparations. All of these groups have come together to form the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh.

Finally, after two years of mobilization and public campaigning of the Initiative, court proceedings are to be held in March against two of the police involved in the crime. Although we find this to be an important step in the direction of shedding light on the death of Oury Jalloh, we have serious doubt as to whether the proceedings will bring either justice or an exhaustive clarification of the circumstances.

Since Oury's murder, neither the court nor the State Prosecutor has shown interest in discovering the truth behind the events in Dessau. Rather, the case has been plagued by two years of impediments, cover-up and the denial to cooperate with the lawyers of Oury's parents. Only for the recognition of the mother and father as co-plaintiffs in the case did the court need 17 and 15 months to come to a decision, respectively. In addition, the State Prosecutor refused to allow an x-ray of Oury Jalloh's corpse to be carried out with the justification that it simply wasn't necessary. The second autopsy, carried out independently in the name of the Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh, demonstrated then demonstrated the serious injuries to Oury's nose and middle ear.

But Oury Jalloh was not alone. Dominique Koumadio, for example, was shot and killed by the police on the 14th of April, 2006. The General Public Prosecutor has already absolved the police of any crime. The justification? Self-defense. Indeed, crimes by the police enjoy almost complete impunity, especially when those crimes are committed against refugees and migrants. Indeed, German police abuse refugees and migrants on a daily basis, and physical mistreatment is widespread, though punishment is seldom—if it even comes that far. In general, it is fair to say that the police, just as society, is dominated by a racist, inhumane consensus that sees refugees and migrants in general as sub-humans.

In general, Europe has made it known and enforced the fact that refugees and migrants, but especially Blacks, are not welcome here. Alone in 2006 more than 7,000 HUMAN BEINGS were forced into their death by a system which has systematically and eternally robbed them of their most basic right: the right to life. Who will pay the price for these murders? Who can give their families and friends back their loved ones?

These are just some of the reasons why we totally distrust the German legal system.

It is our responsibility to Oury, his family and all victims and survivors of racist police violence and even murder to come together and demonstrate to the court, to the society and to the world that we will not stand silently by while they continue their crimes in impunity. If we do not come together to stop this now, how many will follow? Who will be next?

A wide public and political mobilization to accompany the trial and assist the proceedings as independent observers is of extreme importance. We therefore call on all progressive sectors and people of solidarity to join us in Dessau for the entire length of the court proceedings. Vigils, events and rallies will be organized during the whole duration of the events.
Come to Dessau on March 27th-30th and April 19th-20th. Observe the trial and participate in the permanent vigils, events and rallies during this time.

Landgericht Dessau, Willy-Lohmann-Str. 29, 06844 Dessau

Stay informed at: or
contact our Info-phone at: 0176-65977644

Donations can be made to: Antirassistische Initiative / Bank für Sozialwirtschaft / Konto-Nr.: 3039600 / BLZ: 100 205 00 / Stichwort: Dessau.



'ANGEKLAGT!' von azadi

Observe the Oury Jalloh trial in Dessau | The Caravan

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rape and the US-sponsored Islamization of Pakistan

5 March 2007. A World to Win News Service. Last week’s review of Mukhtaran Mai’s autobiographical book Deshonorée (Die Schuld, eine Frau zu sein) prompted the idea of taking a closer look at the problem of rape and sexual abuse of women in Pakistan and the source of these problems.

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In the past few years the internationally notorious cases of Mukhtaran Mai, Shazia Khalid and Sonia Naz have revealed a great deal about the problem of rape in Pakistan. There are no reliable statistics, since 80 percent are believed to go unreported.
The Islamic laws (the Hudood ordinances) introduced three decades ago have played a big role in the dramatic deterioration in the status of women. The US and other Western imperialists have also had a major hand in this. While in recent years the US has declared war on Islamic fundamentalists, especially in this region, the recent history of Pakistan shows how the US can also get along very well with fundamentalists and even strengthen them when they are allied with America, never mind that they oppress women and promote other backward traditions and relations. An examination of the situation of women in Pakistan reveals not only the hardships they endure, but also the hypocrisy of the US, the real values behind what it calls “promoting democracy” and the role it plays in oppressing the people, particularly women, in imperialist-dominated countries.
Mukhtaran Mai, from the village of Meerwala in Pakistani Punjab, was 28 years old in 2002 when she was gang-raped in front of her whole village by decision of the Jirga (assembly of the village elders) for the alleged wrong-doing of her 12 year old brother. Mukhtaran’s case is painful enough, but what’s even more devastating is that such incidents are not isolated but so common they are rarely considered news. In Mukhtaran’s blog for BBC on 15 June 2006, she tells the story of Shamshad Bibi, a very poor woman (even by the standards of a poor village). She “was reportedly gang-raped during a visit to the famous shrine town of Uch Shareef. After being raped she was thrown into a well. The police declared that it was a case of consensual sex while human rights organizations kept insisting that it was rape… Shamshad is bed-ridden now. Her backbone broke when she was thrown into the well. It is estimated that every 8 hours a women becomes the victim of gang rape.”
The case of the assault and rape of Shazia Khalid also acquired international resonance. In January 2005 she was alone, sleeping in her flat when in the middle of the night a senior Pakistani army captain named Hadad allegedly attacked, blindfolded and repeatedly raped her. At the time Shazia was working as a medical doctor at the Pakistan Petroleum Plant in Sui, Baluchistan, in the southwest part of the country, while her husband was working abroad. She was given accommodations in the hospital compound supposedly “protected” by the Pakistan Defence Security Guard. After the incidence, instead of helping her, her employers and the government they did everything they could to protect the rapist. Her employers went to see her when she was still in shock in hospital. “They said there is no need to tell anybody anything. If you do, it’s your reputation that you will lose. If you report it to the police, then they’ll push you around. You’ll have to go to court, and you won’t achieve anything. So keep quiet. I was alone. I didn’t know what to do.” (CBS News, 1 March 2006) Then she was drugged and taken to a psychiatric hospital, with the aim of either silencing her or having her declared insane. Her husband’s grandfather sent word that because Shazia had been raped she had become “a stain on the family’s honour – and must be killed or at least divorced”, he said. When the husband refused, the grandfather began gathering a mob to murder Shazia.
The incident provoked unrest in Baluchistan because the rapist was an officer in an army that has been at war with the people of Baluchistan for years. This ruined the attempts by local and national authorities to suffocate the news. With the support of her husband and her family, Shazia reported the crime. But even in the unlikely event that the police had wanted to help, they would have been unable to, because the army had taken measures to protect its man. The government of army chief/president Parvez Musharraf took the control of the case and destroyed all the evidence.
At the same time stories began appearing in the newspapers claiming that Dr Shazia Khalid was a “loose woman” who wore suggestive clothing. They went so far as to suggest that she was a prostitute. “The president himself said to one of the editors of the newspaper that if he were to speak of Dr Shazia, he didn’t want to but he could say a few things too. I mean what kind of an insinuation is that?”, she later told a reporter. (CBS News, 1 March 2006) But that is only half of the verdict delivered by President Musharraf. Even before the phoney investigation ended, he announced that Captain Hadad was “100 percent innocent”, so there was no need for more investigation or a trial. As intended, these comments put Shazia under such pressure that she began thinking of killing herself. “I went to the washroom and filled the tub with water. I wanted to commit suicide. Khalid and my son started knocking on the door to find out why I was taking so long. I didn’t answer,” she says. “Then Adnan knocked really hard and he said, ‘Mom if you kill yourself then I will kill myself. Please open the door.’ I opened the door.” (CBS News, 28 February 2006)
In order to prevent the further spread of the news and world-wide embarrassment, Shazia and her husband were put under house arrest for two months and advised to leave the country, with the threat that if they didn’t they “might be disappeared”, as she later told The New York Times (2 August 2005). Eventually, they were put on a plane for London, leaving their son behind. Before leaving the officials forced her to make a video in which she thanked the government for helping her.
Another telling and shocking example is the story of Sonia Naz, raped while in police custody. Her account reveals a bit more of the reality of women’s life in Pakistan and also the role of the police. A mother of two from Faisalabad, Sonia was 22 in April 2005 when she went looking for her missing husband, who, she found out, had been taken into custody by the police. She repeatedly visited the police station and filed several inquiries relevant to her husband. When she got no result, she tried the National Assembly in Islamabad. Instead of an answer, she was arrested and handed over to the Faisalabad police. Police chief Khalid Abdullah locked her up in a house for 15 days and ordered one of his officers to rape and beat her repeatedly. After that she was so devastated that she was ready to commit suicide. This is no surprise, since it is common and most often the only solution for victims. She says that the only thing that prevented her from doing that was the thought of what would happen to her two young children. Instead, she found the courage to speak up.
“Strict action will be taken against all those found involved in this incident,” intoned Pakistani Prime Minister Shukat Aziz. Again it is not surprising that what really happened next was a campaign to discredit her as having a “bad character”. Nevertheless Sonia’s mountain of troubles did not stop there. Her husband, for whom she had gone through so much trouble, refused to stand by her and under the pressure of his family refused to take her back. She was beaten by her brother-in-law and her children were taken away for some time. Finally she sought shelter with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). Since the judge assigned to her case is a relative of her attacker, what outcome can be expected of any trial?

'8-mars-2006 060' von azadi

Rape and Silence
The situation for women in Pakistan is actually much worse than the facts of these rapes alone can bring out. Rape is only the beginning of a long journey to hell for these women. They face depression, suppression and vulnerability to further oppression in the highest degree, especially if they come from poor families. Rape is viewed not as an assault on a woman’s self-respect and integrity, but as an affront to family honour.
The social stigma can ruin a woman’s life forever. If unmarried, she will loose her honour, her “price” as a bride. If married, in most cases her husband will not stand by her and will divorce her instead. Rumours that she is a “loose woman” who “brought it on herself” will float around. If the family does not support the victim, then she will be either killed in order “to cleanse the stain” or she will be left with no choice but to kill herself. Obviously, under these circumstances, if they are raped most women keep it a secret.
Abusive police, unjust courts and anti-women laws
The police are also reluctant to file a “FIR” (First Information Report) so as to prevent a rise in rape statistics for their area, and also because in most cases the police simply don’t believe that the woman was raped.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, “more than 70 percent of women in police custody experience physical or sexual abuse at the hands of their jailers. Reported abuses include beating and slapping; suspension in mid-air by hands tied behind the victim’s back; the insertion of foreign objects, including police batons and chilli peppers, into the vagina and rectum; and gang rape. Yet despite these alarming reports, to our knowledge not a single officer has suffered criminal penalties for such abuse, even in cases in which incontrovertible evidence of custodial rape exists” (“Double Jeopardy, police abuse of women”) According to the same report, a senior police officer claimed: “in 95 percent of the cases the women themselves are at fault.”
Human rights organisations in Pakistan and abroad have reported numerous cases in which police officers illegally detained women for days without formally registering a charge against them. Most of the abuses, especially the sexual abuse of females, take place during this period.
But even if we assume that a raped woman is lucky enough to have the support of her family and husband, is strong enough to stand up against all the social stigma and force the authorities to file a FIR, and clever (or influential) enough to deal with all the police abuse and insults and humiliation that will fall upon her, she still faces a very biased court system and anti-woman laws. In the Mukhtaran case, even while the world was watching, an appeals court released all but one of her rapists. If it were not for the immense international pressure, what would have happened to Mukhtaran herself is not hard to predict.
Even if the court were sincere enough to seek the truth and abide by the law, Islamic law and specifically the Hudood ordinances brought into force during the US-backed general/president Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime (1977-1988) requires four men to testify that they witnessed the rape. That is usually impossible, except in cases such as that of Mukhtaran that took place in front of the whole village. Otherwise, no woman can prove she was raped. While the court requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict accused rapists, if the man or men are acquitted, the woman can be immediately accused of zina (fornication, extra-marital sex), and the evidence already presented for the rape case can be sufficient to convict her. If she becomes pregnant, this makes the case against her even stronger. While there are many such cases, one of the most infamous is that of Safia Bibi, an 18-year-old blind girl who became pregnant. She was unable to prove the rape, and was charged with fornication. Her pregnancy was used as grounds for her conviction. She was found guilty and sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment, 15 lashes and a fine of 1,000 rupees. Her attacker was acquitted and freed. Her case happened to come to the attention of human rights organizations. It was only after national and international protests that an appeals court had to acquit Safia of fornication.
Fifteen-year-old Jehan Mina was doing house work for her aunt when, she said, she was raped by her uncle and his son. Her own family members did not believe her and even threatened to kill her. But one of her uncles did believe her and filed a rape case. The court refused to recognize her statement because she had failed to report it immediately. Unsurprisingly, she was immediately charged with fornication and sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and ten lashes. The rapists were released for lack of evidence. In other words, the court did not even charge the men with extra marital sex, let alone rape.

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The Hudood ordinances and their implication for women
Since the Hudood ordinances were put into effect during General Zia’s rule as part of the Islamization of Pakistan, there have been numerous cases in which rape cases have turned into prosecution of the victim, sometimes in the most brutal way. The Hudood ordinances were intended to implement Sharia (Islamic religious law). Hudood is the Arabic word for limits, meaning, in this context, the limit to what Islamic custom and legal literature considers acceptable behaviour. It applies to things like drinking, theft and “illegal” sex. While some crimes such as murder can be treated as a private dispute between the murderer and the victim’s heirs, these sorts of behaviour are considered an offence against god and are seriously punished.
The implementation of Hudood not only legitimated the oppression of women in the eyes of the state, but also intensified it, especially insofar as it reinforces the tendency on the part of the police and judiciary to see women as guilty until proven innocent. In fact, they can hardly ever prove their innocence unless national and international protest is mounted. At the same time the courts have effectively set a lesser burden of proof for conviction in cases involving female defendants. This has paved the way for false accusations by men, including husbands, fathers, brothers and in-laws. In many cases investigated by human rights activists, the women were wrongfully prosecuted for Hudood offences because they refused to marry men chosen by their families, decided to leave home or married men against their parents will, or sought to separate from or divorce abusive husbands. The majority of these cases are not supported by any evidence and should not have been prosecuted in the first place. Although around 30 percent of such cases end in acquittal, by the time the woman is vindicated she will have spent months or years in prison and very likely been subjected to police abuse. Since the implementation of Hudood, the number of women prisoners has increased tremendously. According to women’s activists in Pakistan cited by BBC (28 September 2005), more than 60 percent of women in prison have been accused under Hudood-related laws and around 50 percent accused of zina.
The Hudood ordinances were brought in by General Zia in the early 1980s. Then the governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf left them in effect. Under national and international pressures during Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif’s governments, commissions to investigate these laws were set up. These commissions did recommend some amendments that would not have led to basic changes, but even those were not followed through on.
After many scandalous cases in recent years put the Pakistani government under pressure, in November 2006 the National Assembly passed the “Women’s Protection Bill”. The main proposed change was to allow rape to be prosecuted under civil law. Musharraf signed it into law in December 2006. The Islamist political parties have attacked it vociferously for being un-Islamic. But it is unlikely to bring about an effective change in women’s situation since Hudood is still in force. Even more importantly, there has been no attempt to abolish the social relations and consequent customs and traditions of which Hudood is a legal expression. In short, the anti-woman social forces that stand behind this kind of rape have been untouched.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Musharraf himself accused the victims, saying: “This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.” Women in Pakistan organized protests against these comments, which angered women all over the world. Musharraf later denied saying these words, but the Post had taped them and later put the recording on its Web site. Government interference in all the above cases, especially the direct interference in the Shazia case and its verdict before any trail or even any investigation, are a clear indication of the Musharraf regime’s orientation towards women.

'8-mars-2006' von azadi

The role of the US
Some people might blame the “backwardness of the people” and “lack of civilisation” as the cause of such brutal oppression against women. Some people think that the West should be ashamed to have such an ally. But not only has the West allied with this anti-women state, it helped make Pakistan what it is today. The US and before it the UK did not invent the backward relations of production and social relations in Pakistan that provide the conditions for such a highly patriarchal environment. But in order to subjugate the country for their own imperialist interests, they established economic and political ties with the most backward forces in that society and acted aggressively in every sphere, from the ideological to the military, to reinforce those reactionary classes and the economic and social relations they represent. This was true from the country’s very beginning, when on the eve of India’s independence in 1947 Great Britain divided its colony along religious lines and established Pakistan as an Islamic state.
Pakistan was encouraged to become a centre of Islamic fundamentalism as a direct result of American policies during the Cold War era, when the US nourished its puppet General Zia. His programme for the Islamization of the country was meant to make Pakistan an Islamic centre in opposition to the Soviet Union, whose influence was spreading in the region due to a pro-Soviet coup in Afghanistan. It was also aimed at setting up a rival centre to the Islamic Republic of Iran that came to power after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Pakistani security services recruited, organized, trained and armed Jihadis (fundamentalist groups) from all over the world to fight the pro-Soviet regime and later the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan. This “holy war” against the un-Islamic and “godless” invaders was crucial for the US and Western imperialists in their contention with the Soviet bloc. US activities helped spawn the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups in the region and globally. Building such a centre was not possible without the Islamization of Pakistan itself brought forward by Zia’s programme. Zia promised to “transform the country’s socio-economic and political structure in accordance with the principles of Islam.” By the mid-1980s he had Islamized the country’s laws and court system and organized a political establishment based on Islam. The legal and social reinforcement of the oppression of women was a core component of these changes. This part of the US and other Western imperialists’ strategy in their rivalry with the Soviet Union has brought much misery for the people and especially women, who are still paying a high price.
Pakistan continues to be a major ally of the US in the region. Despite contradictions between the two countries, it still ranks as the fifth biggest recipient of US “aid”, most of that military. When American officials are faced with criticism about the lack of rights for women in Pakistan, they always rationalize it as the “cultural, religious and legal norm” of the society. But in reality, not only have the US and its allies justified what is going in Pakistan, they also actively pushed it in that direction.

'8-mars-2006 032' von azadi

AWorld To Win News Service » Blog Archive » Rape and the US-sponsored Islamization of Pakistan

Monday, March 05, 2007


"If this [the poisoning] is true, then that would mean the state is committing a well-planned and systematic murder. We, as the DTP, believe that such an attack against Öcalan would be an attack on the domestic peace of our country. If Öcalan is really under attack by the insertion of chemical or radioactive elements into his food - something that is backed by scientific data -- we feel the consequences of this would be unimaginably heavy."
~Aysel Tugluk, DTP Co-Chair.

Developing news on the Ocalan poisoning scandal . . .

On Friday, DTP co-chairman Aysel Tugluk warned of the obvious:

“If there is a chemical attack against Ocalan, the results would be as severe as no one could guess,” Tugluk said.

As reported Saturday, Aysel Tugluk held a press conference together with IHD, TIHV, the Turkish Bar Association, and Turkish Doctor's Association on the question of Ocalan's poisoning. She called for an independent team of health professionals to investigate the poisoning claims, to compare their results to the European results, and to make the matter transparent to the public.

In Europe, Kurdish organizations are united in their protest against the poisoning, with condemnations of the Turkish civil government and military as the responsible parties for the poisoning. There are universal calls for an independent medical investigation of Ocalan and publication of the results of such an investigation. Many organizations echo Tugluk's earlier warning about severe results in the event of Ocalan's death.

YEK-KOM noted that military attacks against the Kurdish people continued in spite of the ceasefire and implied that the resort to a campaign of poisoning was a result of the Turkish government's inability to engage the Kurdish situation with anything but annihilation. The poisoning of Ocalan was an act of poisoning the entire Kurdish people.

Kurdish singers called for all people to be sensitive to the poisoning issue, called for a cure of Ocalan's health, and demanded the poisoning stop immediately.

The Kurdish Women's Peace Bureau noted that the death sentence originally imposed on Ocalan was being carried out slowly over time, and Kurdish organizations in the UK consider the poisoning to be a provocation. They also call for an independent medical team to investigate the situation at Imrali and to inform the public of all findings.

The EU's only Kurdish parliamentarian had her own comments:

EU Parliamentarian Uca: Europe must take action.
EU parliamentarian Feleknas Uca released a written statement calling upon EU states to take action: "Europe must send an independent doctors' committee to Imrali, and this is urgent." Having said that, Uca stressed that the cause of the poisoning might be revealed at the location in which it ocurred. At the same time, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) must visit Ocalan with Uca noting the following: "European states that criticize Guantanamo rist credibility by closing their eyes to Ocalan, who is deprived of his legal rights in isolation at Imrali Island. The date of the prison's closing passed a while ago, anyway."

Uca urged the Turkish government to clear up this matter in order to prevent chaos.

Uca's comparison with Guantanamo is right on target and I would suggest another comparison, that of EU criticism of extraordinary renditions by the US. Last month, an EU Parliament report admitted that over 1200 extraordinary rendition flights had taken place in the EU--particularly in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal--all with EU acquiescence, naturally. HRW suggests that sanctions should be applied to those countries that have violated human rights and compensation should be made to innocent victims of illegal American renditions. Whether the EU is serious about this, or whether this is just another public relations event remains to be seen.

The comparison with Ocalan's case is that he, too, was extraordinarily rendered by the US, Israel, and Turkey, in 1999, with the same wink-and-nod complicity of the EU. The difference is that certain EU countries are now considering legal action against certain US and EU agents.

While the EU plays along with human rights issues for the sake of appearances, the Ankara regime frankly admits that prisoners serving life sentences have don't have the same rights as other prisoners:

"Ocalan, as a prisoner serving a life sentence, does not have all rights normally extended to prisoners. He has not had any serious health problems up until today."

Which rights are denied? Since the statement is in response to a request for a proper medical evaluation, is that one of the rights denied to prisoners serving life sentences? No proper medical care? In the prison paradise of Turkey, prisoners never have any health problems--not even as a result of torture--but in Ocalan's case there have been health complaints for at least three years, since 2004. Health complaints began to resurface at the beginning of 2006.

In a statement by Murat Karayilan, KKK holds Yasar Buyukanit primarily responsible for the poisoning of Ocalan, since Imrali Island is under the control of the Turkish military. Aiding and abetting the military is the civilian political structure of Turkey, represented by Sezer, along with Erdogan's AKP and Baykal's opposition CHP. KKK also calls for demonstrations of protest in Kurdistan and Diaspora.

Demonstrations against Ocalan's poisoning took place in Europe last Thursday and Friday, especially throughout Germany, at Strassbourg and in Switzerland.

It should be an interesting election year, with the extreme level of nationalism throughout the ordinary Turkish population, with the recent crackdown on DTP politicians, with murderers like Kenan Evren and others whining about "brotherhood" or similar stupid and condescending ideas, now we have the evidence that the likes of Evren, Buyukanit, Sezer, Erdogan, and Baykal have slowly been carrying out the original sentence against Ocalan. So much for the cosmetic change to Turkish law that abolished the death penalty. Just as the bright boys in Ankara thought the 1999 capture of Ocalan was the end of Kurdish resistance, so they must think that their application of the death penalty now will be the final blow to Kurds. They are wrong twice.

Poisoning-related or not? TAK has issued a travel advisory for the 2007 tourism season.


Friday, March 02, 2007

March on the Pentagon, Saturday, March 17, 2007

Introducing the March on the Pentagon
Saturday, March 17, 2007

~ 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 march on the Pentagon ~
~ 4th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war ~
~ Where we will assemble on March 17th ~

Download flyers

On March 17, 2007, the 4th anniversary of the start of the criminal invasion of Iraq, tens of thousands of people from around the country will descend on the Pentagon in a mass demonstration to demand: U.S. Out of Iraq Now! 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the historic 1967 anti-war march to the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. The message of the 1967 march was "From Protest to Resistance," and marked a turning point in the development of a countrywide mass movement.

In the coming days and weeks, thousands of organizations and individuals will begin mobilizing for the upcoming March on the Pentagon. Organizing committees and transportation centers are being established to bring people to the March on the Pentagon.

We will assemble at 12 noon at Constitution Gardens. Click here for more information.

Click here to read the full ANSWER statement on why we're marching.

Initial endorsers include:

Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Maxine Waters, Congresswoman
Alice Walker, Pulitzer prize winning author
Cynthia McKinney, Congresswoman
Cindy Sheehan, co-founder Gold Star Families for Peace, author
Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran, author, Born on the 4th of July
Malik Rahim, Founder, Common Ground Collective, New Orleans
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit
Paul Haggis, Director of Crash, 2005 Academy Award for Best Picture
Elias Rashmawi, National Coordinator, National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)
Howard Zinn, Author, A People's History of the United States
Rev. Luis Barrios, Iglesia de San Romero de las Americas, UCC
Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild
Chaplain James Yee, former Army chaplain, Guantánamo Detention Center
Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
Father Roy Bourgeois, Founder, School of the Americas Watch
Leonard Weinglass, Attorney for the Cuban Five
Eric LeCompte, National Office, School of the Americas Watch
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Co-founder, Partnership for Civil Justice
Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition
Mounzer Sleiman, TV commentator and Vice Chair, National Council of Arab Americans
Waleed Bader, Vice chair of the National Council of Arab American, Chair of NCA NY/NJ Chapter, Former President of Arab Muslim American Federation - NY
Ben Dupuy, Co-Director, Haiti Progres
Juan Jose Gutierrez, Executive Director, Latino Movement USA
Calvin Gipson, Former President, San Francisco LGBT Pride Committee
Rev. Graylan Hagler, Senior Pastor, Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington D.C
Kay Lucas, Director, Crawford Peace House, Crawford, TX
Iglesia de San Romero - United Church of Christ
Claudia de la Cruz, Director, Dominican Women’s Youth Development Center
Chuck Kaufman, Co-coordinator of the Nicaragua Network
Al Garcia, Alliance for a Just & Lasting Peace in the Philippines
Macrina Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network
Eugene Puryear, Howard University, student leader
Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
Iglesia de San Romero - United Church of Christ
Da Urban Butterflies
Korean Americans Against War and Neoliberalism
Justice Committee
Ed Asner, Actor
Shirley Knight, Actor
Debra Sweet, National Coordinator, World Can't Wait -- Drive Out the Bush Regime
Jennifer Harbury, Human Rights Lawyer, author
United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)
Jim Lafferty, Director, National Lawyers Guild - Los Angeles
James Petras, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Binghamton (State University of New York)
Mimi Kennedy, Actor (Dharma & Greg)

Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan - Peace in Kurdistan

International Initiative
Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
Telephone: +49 221 130 15 59
Fax: +49 221 139 30 71

Cologne, 1 March 2007

"We shall kill him piecemeal" - A threat that has come true

Now it is official: The lawyers of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan hold evidence in their hands indicating that their client is being poisoned with heavy metal compounds. Suspicions in this direction are not new, but now a scientific analysis is available which suggests a murderous intention is behind the numerous health problems of the detainee.

The malicious assault on life and health is not even concealed. During the debate on the lifting of the death penalty in 2002 one argumet was, öcalan would not be killed "just once, but every day". In 2003 the then secretary general of the National Security Council, Tuncer Kilic, declared that they would "kill him piecemeal".

The potentially catastrophic consequences of this state-run attempted murder are obvious: not only the Kurdish leader, the relations between Kurds and Turks are being poisoned - with deadly consequences. Military operatins are already conducted on a daily basis against a guerilla that has been adhering to a unilateral cease-fire for five months. It doesn't bear thinking about what might happen if the conflict is going to escalate now.

The European states are complices in this nefarious act. For years they have been silent on the unique isolation conditions of the prominent inmate which have been criticized harshly several times by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). It is these very isolation conditions that prevent the access of independent doctors to the island.

But staying silent is not the only way Europe backs the Turkish state. The latest decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Coucil of Europe to close the Ocalan file regardless the fact that the retrial the European Court for Human Rights demanded has not taken place, can only be understood as a "keep it up!" to Turkey. Howder "keep it up" in this case is nothing else but assistance to state-run murder.

Turkey must immediately permit independent obervers access to the island fortress Imrali. The only way of dispelling the justified current and future concerns about the life of the Kurdish leader supported by millions is to put an end to his isolation and to shut down Imrali.

Europe, never getting tired when it comes to critisizing Guantanamo and the CIA rendition flights, has to eventually realize the European Guantanamo in the Marmara Sea and press for its closure. Especially the European Anti-Torture Committee CPT bears a high responsibility. Its re-visit to the island is long overdue.

More than everything else Europe needs a change of policy in the Kurdish question. Appeasing Turkey is the wrong strategy for solving the Kurdish question and supporting a democratic development of Turkey. To look away if state terrorism happens aggravates conflicts and escalates the bloodshed - Saddam Hussein is a good example.

But first of all the life of the Kurdish leader has to be secured. Who is poisoning Ocalan? How can he be treated? Are other toxic materials involved apart from the established ones? Are radioactive materials involved? All these disturbing questions have to be enlightened - for the sake of peace, democracy and human rights.

'Freiheit für Öcalan' von azadi

Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan - Peace in Kurdistan