Human Rights and the Will to be free
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Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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Congress protests Obama on Bahrain arms sale

Congress protests Obama on Bahrain arms sale | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
18 representatives and three senators point to continued human rights abuses in letter to Hillary Clinton...

Tragically, even a brief survey of reports from reliable sources makes clear that the Bahraini government continues to perpetrate significant human rights violations.

The letter then enumerates some of those reported violations, things like the killing of at least 10 people in the past few months, the prosecution of doctors who treated protesters, and the barring of international human rights observers from entering the country.

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"Responsibility to Kill" (R2K): Washington Gives Green Light to Toxic Terror in Bahrain

"Responsibility to Kill" (R2K): Washington Gives Green Light to Toxic Terror in Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...Also, the teargas being used now is a far more toxic than the previous variety. The new type gives off distinct yellow fumes and is reckoned to be 10 times stronger than regular CS gas. Residents say that their homes are constantly laced with the acrid smell even long after riot police have vacated the area. The number of deaths does not reflect the thousands of injuries from intoxication. There are reports of many pregnant women losing babies from miscarrying.

As pointed out by London-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade, teargas is supposed to be used in riot control situations, not in confined areas, and certainly not in civilian homes.

In Bahrain, the gas is being used more like a chemical weapon against civilians. Its indiscriminate, massive use in mainly Shia villages and residential districts in the capital, Manama, is patently a policy of “toxic terrorism” and “collective punishment” against the 70 per cent of the population demanding that the Western-backed regime gives way to democratic government.  ....

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Bahrain Opposition Fears Effects of Iran-West Tensions

Bahrain Opposition Fears Effects of Iran-West Tensions | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Opposition supporters in Bahrain have expressed concern that escalating tensions between Iran and the West may further stifle their calls for democratic reform in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

...

Al-Wefaq spokesman Matar says these tensions may provide an advantage for Bahraini authorities. "It is easy for the regime here to utilize this conflict and blame Iran for everything happening here in Bahrain and such tone can be accepted in the United States," he said.

Bahrain’s opposition has criticized America and its allies for what it sees as a failure to press the Bahraini government to end its deadly assault on civilian demonstrators.

...

"This is a domestic issue at the end of the day. Saudis are using, and the Bahraini regime are using this accusation of Iranian involvement to crack down on the protesters, but that’s a false narrative and it’s been quite comprehensively shown that there hasn’t been Iranian involvement," said Barnes-Dacey.

 

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The US and its double standards on human rights - Arab News

Human Rights Watch’s report issued on Jan. 22 provides several facts that make reasonable people conclude that there may in fact be a double standard operating in more cases than can be explained by bureaucratic failures or cultural norms.

Consider these examples that the HRW report documents:

1. The US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, sometimes imposing very long sentences marred by racial disparities.

2. Some 363,000 non-citizens are held in immigration detention facilities, although many are not dangerous or at risk of flight.

3. Detentions without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

4. Seriously flawed military tribunals.

5. Blocking lawsuits seeking redress for torture victims.

6. 46 million people live in poverty in the US, the largest number in recent memory. Poverty often intersects with racial and gender inequalities.

Keep in mind that HRW, which has documented these infractions of the US’ own standards, is a moderate, middle of the road American organization. If anything, it is accused sometimes of soft-peddling, not over-criticizing, US human rights violations.

There is no question that US advocacy of human rights has been frequently quite useful for a variety of reasons, but its value would be greater if it had a better record of compliance.

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U.S. warns over Bahrain travel before anniversary | Al-Khalifas are terrorists!

U.S. warns over Bahrain travel before anniversary |  Al-Khalifas are terrorists! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States has warned Americans travelling to Bahrain of potential unrest in the Gulf kingdom as the anniversary of a failed pro-democracy uprising approaches.The travel alert...
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Take Action Now - Amnesty International USA | Stop U.S. Arms Sales to Bahrain

Take Action Now - Amnesty International USA | Stop U.S. Arms Sales to Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
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Senator: Bahrain’s human rights trump arms sale

Senator: Bahrain’s human rights trump arms sale | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A Senate Intelligence Committee member says a recent report on Bahrain’s human rights abuses against protesters validates his opposition to a proposed $53 million arms sale to the island kingdom. ....

Mr. Wyden acknowledged the strategic importance of Bahrain, which hosts the Navy’s 5th fleet.

But he said he would not end his opposition to the arms sale until Bahrain’s government releases political prisoners, begins a dialogue on political reforms with the opposition, and holds public officials accountable.

Other senators - such as Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Marco Rubio, Florida Republican - have joined the congressional chorus calling for the Obama administration to condition the sale on political and human rights reforms.

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Report: Israel Occupation Forces, Bahraini Guards Used To Train American Cops Against Domestic Disturbances

Report: Israel Occupation Forces, Bahraini Guards Used To Train American Cops Against Domestic Disturbances | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

According to Police Magazine, a law enforcement trade publication, “Law enforcement agencies responding to…Occupy protesters in northern California credit Urban Shield for their effective teamwork.

”Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Urban Shield also featured a unit from the military of Bahrain, which had just crushed a largely non-violent democratic uprising by opening fire on protest camps and arresting wounded demonstrators when they attempted to enter hospitals. While the involvement of Bahraini soldiers in the drills was a novel phenomenon, the presence of quasi-military Israeli police – whose participation in Urban Shield was not reported anywhere in US media – reflected a disturbing but all-too-common feature of the post-9/11 American security landscape.

 

[ America learns from Israeli Apartheid tactics and Bahrain's Mercenaries about how to kill Human Rights in OWS protests! ]

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American silence as Bahrain's Hamad attacks Ashura processions and observances!

American silence as Bahrain's Hamad attacks Ashura processions and observances! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

http://is.gd/95w2c1 : Learn of Ashura!

 

I wish a blessed Ashura to Muslims everywhere!

 

[ The Tragi-comic shows US oncerned only about money and oil, as 'king' Hamad attacks his citizens and violates their right of religious expression!  Muslim sacrilege! ]

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Cancelling Bahrain Arms Deal Assures US National Security | Fair Observer°

Cancelling Bahrain Arms Deal Assures US National Security | Fair Observer° | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The human rights implications are obvious, but the more pressing matter is the fact that these weapons are designed to check Iranian regional influence but would in fact do the opposite. The sale would give protesters a strong reason to turn to the Iranian government for support, thereby inviting a stated enemy of the US to increase its influence over a key regional ally. It is in the American national interest to not make this sale.

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Obama cracks down on abuses by big-city police departments

Obama cracks down on abuses by big-city police departments | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

In interviews, activists and attorneys on the ground in several cities where the DOJ has dispatched civil rights investigators welcomed the shift. To progressives disappointed by Eric Holder’s Justice Department on key issues like the failure to investigate Bush-era torture and the prosecution of whistle-blowers, recent actions by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division are a bright spot.

 

see also:  http://is.gd/7235PT

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Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes

Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

A Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

[ICC warrants for arrest are NOW needed to get these monsters off the streets!]

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Mercenary from Bahrain hanging-out with the US Army!

Mercenary from Bahrain hanging-out with the US Army! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

As far as I am concerned, this is tantamount to the US Army socializing with terrorists!

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Concentration of Wealth == Existential Risk

Concentration of Wealth == Existential Risk | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
"In this possible terminal phase of human existence Democracy and Freedom are more than 'values to be treasured' - they may well be essential to survival." - Noam Chomsky.
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U.S. Arms Sales to Bahrain: 4 Questions for the Obama Administration

U.S. Arms Sales to Bahrain: 4 Questions for the Obama Administration | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Regarding this new arms sale, here are the top four questions that the Obama administration must answer immediately:

1. Why was the arms sale kept secret from the public?

Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy leaked the news of the arms sale on Friday. He also reported that U.S. arms sales under $1 million don’t have to be publicly disclosed. So the Obama administration didn’t publicly mention it. But why? At a time when the Bahraini government continues to crack down on protesters, why did the Obama administration keep the contents of this arms sale — or multiple arms sales – secret?

2. What is in the arms sale?

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the arms sale “includes spare parts,” arms for Bahrain’s “external defense”, and that “none of these items can be used against protesters.” But the last time the U.S. State Department said that arms were being sold to Bahrain for “external defense” – the arms package contained humvees. This came after the Bahraini government had already used tanks to surround a hospital where wounded protestors had been treated. The public needs to know what the Obama administration is selling to Bahrain. Ammunition? Replacement parts for ships? Vehicles to transport soldiers? Landing gear for cargo planes? Tanks?

3. How many secret arms sales are there?

In his above mentioned piece, Rogin implied that the Obama administration could hypothetically turn the suspended $53 million arms sale into 53 or more separate arms sales under $1 million each — and that none of them would have to be reported. Is that what is happening? How many unreported U.S. arms sales to Bahrain are happening now — or are slated to happen in the future?

4. How does this secret arms sale square with the President’s State of the Union address?

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama referred to the “wave of change” in the Middle East. He also described what U.S. foreign policy would be: “We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings –- men and women; Christians, Muslims and Jews.”

It remains to be seen what is in this latest arms sale (or sales) to Bahrain. But at a time when Bahrainis are experiencing human rights violations at home, it doesn’t look good to be handing their government additional military equipment.

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US moves ahead with military sales to Bahrain

US moves ahead with military sales to Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is selling some military equipment to Bahrain as it walks a fine line between pushing the Sunni monarchy to open talks with the opposition while proceeding cautiously with a strategic ally to counter Iran.
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Obama administration using loophole to quietly sell arms package to Bahrain

Obama administration using loophole to quietly sell arms package to Bahrain | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

"The Bahraini government has shown little progress in improving their human rights record over the last few months and in some ways, their record has gotten worse," Wyden told The Cable on Friday. "Protesters are still being hurt and killed, midnight arrests are still happening and the government continues to deny access to human rights monitors. The kingdom of Bahrain has not shown a true good faith effort to improve human rights in their country and the U.S. should not be rewarding them as if they have."

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US shifts embassy staff to avoid Bahrain clashes ... Escalation?!

US shifts embassy staff to avoid Bahrain clashes ... Escalation?! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
MANAMA, Bahrain — The U.S. State Department says it is moving American Embassy employees to safer locations in Bahrain after ongoing political unrest elevated security worries in the strategic Gulf kingdom.
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Is the U.S. on the wrong side of history in Bahrain?

Is the U.S. on the wrong side of history in Bahrain? | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Nabeel Rajab: 'This is the image of the United States in our country: that this superpower supports dictators and doesn't want democracy in our region, because they [are] told that democracy would not serve their interests. They were misled by governments in our region that democracy will bring extremists to power who will fight against U.S. interests. Democracy is not against anybody's interests. Democracy is about living together, sharing together, tolerance, working together, and that's what we are fighting for.'

 

[America IS on the wrong side of history....In Bahrain, and around much of the World!  A new model for American foreign policy needs to be molded!]

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World needs to act on Camp Ashraf

The 3,400 men and women residents in Camp Ashraf were there when the U.S.-led coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003. They stayed completely neutral. After the downfall of the Saddam Hussein government, they were protected by U.S. forces in return for voluntarily accepting complete disarmament.

The United States designated them as protected persons under the Geneva Conventions. Every one of the residents received written assurance by a U.S. official that they would be protected until their final disposition. The United States gave them its word.

...

Iraq's refusal to allow UNHCR refugee status determination of the residents leaves no doubt that it has no intention of resolving this crisis peacefully and is planning to carry out the mullahs' demand that Ashraf be demolished and its residents annihilated -- because Tehran knows full well that they represent its democratic and viable opposition.

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The Dictatorship of America: The National Defense Authorization Act #NDAA

The Dictatorship of America: The National Defense Authorization Act #NDAA | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

This week, the United States Senate passed S. 1867 also known as the National Defense Authorization Act including sections 1031 and 1032 which authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without trial or charge. ...

But this act of Congress is even more dangerous than we first thought. Included in the bill is Amendment 1068 which was offered by Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. This part of the bill undermines President Obama’s executive order that bans torture and overrides the list of permissible interrogation techniques in the US Army Field Manual. In other words, the US military could arrest ordinary American citizens without reading them their Miranda Rights, put them in a cell at Gitmo without the benefit of an attorney, a trial, or charges of any kind, and then torture them during interrogation. A secret list of torture techniques would be created without public knowledge.

Who does this affect? Every single man, woman, and child on American soil would be directly affected by this bill. It would give this President and all future Presidents, the power to arrest American citizens with the military and torture them into confession even if they are innocent. Essentially, it turns the Presidency into a dictatorship authorized to use the military against the people.

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Impeach Every Senator Who Votes for "U.S. is a Battlefield" Bill that Violates Basic Rights - The Petition Site

Impeach All Senators for Voted for the McCain/Levin Bill they committed Treason directly against the Constitution!

 

NO TO NDAA ! ! !

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Letter on Bahrain to Secretay Clinton

As you noted recently, “mass arrests and brute force are at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain’s citizens and will not make legitimate calls for reform go away.” In order to restore public confidence and deliver on its promises to uphold human rights and accountability, the U.S. Government should urge the Government of Bahrain to:

Unconditionally release political prisoners and end torture, arbitrary detention, and incommunicado detention;

Protect Shi’a places of worship and religious buildings, rebuild destroyed mosques, and end systematic discrimination in political representation, government recruitment, employment, and naturalization policies;

Take measures to ensure the reinstatement of all workers and employees who were dismissed from their workplace for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, political opinion, and assembly;

Allow and fully cooperate with independent human rights organizations and observers, including U.N. bodies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to investigate claims of human rights abuses; Investigate and hold accountable all individuals who authorized, condoned, or committed human rights abuses, including the use of violence or torture against peaceful protesters and detainees

Release medical professionals and political prisoners who have been detained without charge or convicted and sentenced for political offenses; and

Allow access by local and international journalists to activists, protest sites, hospitals and other public institutions.

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أمريكي متعجب من هدم المساجد في البحرين - Bahrain

An American asks the right questions about the Bahraini regime's destruction of Shia Mosques and Americas silence with regards it.....

Muslim sacrilege......., Bahrain regime foolishness.....,  and American hypocrisy!

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