US Still Seeks Jail for ‘Fighter’ Captured at 15 in Afghanistan: Child Soldier released from jail by Canadian court
by Dave Lindorff
- This Can't Be HappeningT
he good news is that an appellate judge in Canada has had the courage and good sense to uphold the release from jail on bail of Omar Khadr, a native of Canada who was captured as a child soldier at the age of 15 in Afghanistan by US forces back in 2002 and shipped off to Guantanamo, where he became one of the children held in captivity there illegally.
The bad news is that Khadr, who spent 13 years in captivity, most of them in America's Guantanamo hellhole, should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Brought along at the age of 14 to fight in Afghanistan by his father, a Canadian Muslim extremist who was killed in Afghanistan, the young Khadr should have, when captured, been treated under international law not as a combatant, illegal or otherwise. Under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty signed by the US and thus an integral part of US law, all children under the age of 18 captured while fighting in wars are to be offered “special protection” and treated as victims, not as combatants.
Instead, as Reuters reports, "Khadr claims that during at least 142 interrogations in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, he was beaten, chained in painful positions, forced to urinate on himself, terrorized by barking dogs, subjected to flashing lights and sleep deprivation and threatened with rape."
Under these circumstances, and fearing that he would never leave Guantanamo, Khadr in 2010, at the age of 23, agreed to plead guilty to the US military’s spurious murder charge, so that he could be sent to serve out his prison sentence in his home country of Canada. Now appealing his sentence, and renouncing his plea on the grounds that it was made under duress, he will be confined to the home of his attorney under the court’s order.
Created on Sunday, 10 May 2015 16:53
Written by Craig Murray
Illegitimate Government: News Blackout on London Protest
by Craig MurrayT
he almost total blackout on broadcast media of the police attack on the popular protest by thousands outside Downing Street – with 30 injured and 17 arrests – is in stark contrast to the wall to wall coverage of the staged fake “riot” in Glasgow in which 6 people were slightly rude to Jim Murphy with no arrests and no injuries.
Thanks to the UK’s appalling electoral system, we now have a seriously right wing government with absolute power from an absolute parliamentary majority, but which 63% of voters voted against, and which was supported by only 23% of those eligible to vote. Many of the 38% who did not vote at all, were not apathetic but actively disgusted by a corrupt political system which offers little meaningful choice in most of the UK.
Legitimacy is a different question to legality. The government is undoubtedly legal under the current rotten system, but its legitimacy is a different question entirely.
Legitimacy lies on the popular consent of the governed. With an extreme government supported by only 23% of the population, actively planning to inflict actual harm on many more than 23% of the population, there are legitimate philosophical questions to be asked about the right of the government to rule.
Created on Sunday, 10 May 2015 16:44
Written by WSWS
Kerry in Riyadh: A meeting of war criminals
by Bill Van Auken
8 May 2015
US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared side by side with his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh Thursday and praised the monarchical oil regime for its role in the bloody nearly two-month-old war against Yemen, the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.
The Saudi royals were to be commended, he said, for their “initiative to bring about a peaceful resolution through the announcement of their intent to establish a full, five-day, renewable ceasefire and humanitarian pause.”
Kerry used the word “intent” advisedly.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Even as he spoke, Saudi warplanes continued to pound Yemeni homes, schools and hospitals into rubble, carrying out at least seven airstrikes Thursday against the port city of Hudaydah and five against the northwestern provincial capital of Sa’ada, a stronghold of Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement that the Saudi regime is determined to crush.
Earlier, Saudi warships fired rockets into the town of Hajjah, striking the Maydi Hospital, and more than 100 airstrikes in other areas of the country left scores dead, many of them women and children.