Monthly Archives: February 2010

Steenokkerzeel: centre de la honte

DROITS DE L’HOMME EN BELGIQUE
Centre fermé de Steenokkerzeel – le 127 bis

Originaire de Sri Lanka, Ramesam Shanmugam est arrivé en Belgique de Roumanie, en imaginant que le pays qui accueille le Parlement Européen respecte les Droits Humains. Il est incarcéré depuis 28 jours au « centre fermé de Steenokkerzeel – le 127 bis » à proximité des pistes de l’aéroport de Zaventem qui dessert la capitale de l’Europe. Il a été avisé qu’il serait renvoyé en Roumanie, pour y être incarcéré avant d’être rapatrié au Sri Lanka, où il craint pour sa vie. Bourré d’illusions sur la Belgique, il a commencé une grève de la faim le 8 février 2010. Les autorités pénitentiaires belges, qui sont formées à voir les gens mourir, n’y ont pas fait attention.

Ses compagnons d’infortune l’ont entouré pour assurer qu’il soit correctement abreuvé, mais depuis aujourd’hui, Ramesam Shanmugam vomit chaque gorgée d’eau qui lui est donnée. Il s’agit d’un signe clinique grave, qui le présume est diabétique et susceptible de décéder à tout moment. Les prisonniers demandeurs d’asile en Belgique se révoltent et demandent que Ramesam Shanmugam soit immédiatement hospitalisé, comme il le serait dans n’importe lequel des pays qu’ils sont actuellement en train de fuir.

Peine perdue : il faut l’autorisation de la direction de la prison, qui a besoin de l’autorisation des services du ministre, qui se moque de la vie des prisonniers demandeurs d’asile. Demain, on s’étonnera encore probablement, qu’un homme est mort, en pleine capitale de l’Europe, faute de soin élémentaire dans une prison belge pour avoir cru en la démocratie européenne, parce que l’Europe, présidée par un belge, Herman Van Rompuy, trouve cela tout naturel.

La Belgique se vantait autrefois d’être le pays le plus accueillant du monde. Fuyez cet enfer, mes amis, n’y mettez jamais les pieds, car même le Roi des belges se moque de si vous vivez ou crevez. Il n’est en rien raciste : il traite les belges de même. C’est normal, en Belgique.

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“attack” and “sabotage” global peace and human rights groups

Think tank tells Israeli government to declare war on peace groups

February 19 2010 by Cecilie Surasky

They’re baaaaack – Israel’s “most influential” think tank tells Israeli government to “attack” and “sabotage” global peace and human rights groups (as opposed to domestic groups which are already under attack.)

I wrote last month about the Reut (pronounced Ray-OOT) Institute’s report on what they see as the new existential threat to Israel. No longer military, the report said, the primary threat to Israel is political. Israel must fight a “delegitimization network” of peace and human rights groups based largely in four international “hubs”: Toronto, Madrid, London and the San Francisco Bay Area (where Jewish Voice for Peace is located.)

(Now, more of the report is available on-line, including a cool animated PowerPoint! Read terrific in-depth pieces on the new material by Ali Abunimah and Richard Silverstein.)

There are many astonishing elements of the report. One is the blame it places on others including the global left for the increasing political viability of a one-state solution. In fact it is Israel’s never-ending expansion of settlements that has made a two-state solution seem more and more unlikely by the day, not the global human rights movement. What groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) seek to delegitimize is the occupation and massive inequality and human rights violations committed against Palestinians, not Israel itself. Even most Palestinians, polls show, want their own viable state over a one-state solution. (JVP is neutral on the issue of one state or two or three for that matter, supporting any resolution consistent with international law which is largely supported by both parties.)

If the Israelis really wanted the Palestinians to have a state of their own, they could have made it happen years ago and the entire world would have cheered, and since 2002, they would have had full relations with all their Arab neighbors. But instead, the Israeli government has used endless peace negotiations as a way to expand settlements while keeping the international community at bay. If the one-state solution marks the greatest existential threat to Israel, as the Reut report suggests, the Israeli government has no one to blame
but itself. The global peace and justice movement is the symptom, not the cause.

Secondly, the report actually dares to suggest “sabotage” of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace who are part of an international peace and justice human rights network and who actively support Israeli and Palestinian activists on the ground (our sites include: http://www.December18th.org, http://www.FreeEzra.org, http://www.TheOnlyDemocracy.org etc..). We take this very seriously. Perhaps this is the way NGOs are
increasingly handled in Israel, especially under Netanyahu. But it’s certainly not how the government, and especially a foreign government, is expected to respond to law- abiding NGOs here in the United States (Ahem, Cointelpro and other efforts notwithstanding). And frankly, we won’t stand for it.

They’re baaaaack – Israel’s “most influential” think tank tells Israeli government to “attack” and “sabotage” global peace and human rights groups (as opposed to domestic groups which are already under attack.)

I wrote last month about the Reut (pronounced Ray-OOT) Institute’s report on what they see as the new existential threat to Israel. No longer military, the report said, the primary threat to Israel is political. Israel must fight a “delegitimization network” of peace and human rights groups based largely in four international “hubs”: Toronto, Madrid, London and the San Francisco Bay Area (where Jewish Voice for Peace is located.)

(Now, more of the report is available on-line, including a cool animated PowerPoint! Read terrific in-depth pieces on the new material by Ali Abunimah and Richard Silverstein.)

There are many astonishing elements of the report. One is the blame it places on others including the global left for the increasing political viability of a one-state solution. In fact it is Israel’s never-ending expansion of settlements that has made a two-state solution seem more and more unlikely by the day, not the global human rights movement. What groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) seek to delegitimize is the occupation and massive inequality and human rights violations committed against Palestinians, not Israel itself. Even most Palestinians, polls show, want their own viable state over a one-state solution. (JVP is neutral on the issue of one state or two or three for that matter, supporting any resolution consistent with international law which is largely supported by both parties.)

If the Israelis really wanted the Palestinians to have a state of their own, they could have made it happen years ago and the entire world would have cheered, and since 2002, they would have had full relations with all their Arab neighbors. But instead, the Israeli government has used endless peace negotiations as a way to expand settlements while keeping the international community at bay. If the one-state solution marks the greatest existential threat to Israel, as the Reut report suggests, the Israeli government has no one to blame
but itself. The global peace and justice movement is the symptom, not the cause.

Secondly, the report actually dares to suggest “sabotage” of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace who are part of an international peace and justice human rights network and who actively support Israeli and Palestinian activists on the ground (our sites include: http://www.December18th.org, http://www.FreeEzra.org, http://www.TheOnlyDemocracy.org etc..). We take this very seriously. Perhaps this is the way NGOs are
increasingly handled in Israel, especially under Netanyahu. But it’s certainly not how the government, and especially a foreign government, is expected to respond to law- abiding NGOs here in the United States (Ahem, Cointelpro and other efforts notwithstanding). And frankly, we won’t stand for it.

http://www.facebook.com/JewishVoiceforPeace?ref=nf

Human Rights: ‘Control Orders’

Control Orders: Solicitors’ Evidence before the Joint Committee on Human Rights, February 3, 2010

by Andy Worthington

On February 3, 2010, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, comprising members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, met to hear oral evidence on “Counter-Terrorism Policy and Human Rights: Control Orders” from two solicitors representing control order detainees, and three Special Advocates representing the detainees during discussions of secret evidence in court. The hearing took place two days after Lord Carlile, the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, issued his fifth report on the use of control orders (PDF), concluding that “The control order system remains necessary, but only for a small number of cases where robust information is available to the effect that the suspect individual presents a considerable risk to national security, and conventional prosecution is not realistic.”

In this first of two articles reproducing the oral evidence, which was originally made available here, Gareth Peirce and Sean Mcloughlin described life under control orders, responded to questions about whether they had “confidence in Lord Carlile as an independent adjudicator,” and explained how little has changed in the system since the Law Lords ruled last June, in the case of AF and others, that imposing control orders breaches Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, because a suspect held under a control order is not given “sufficient information about the allegations against him to enable him to give effective instructions to the special advocate assigned to him.”

Click here to read the article
http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/02/18/control-orders-solicitors-evidence-before-the-joint-committee-on-human-rights/