Tag: uk

Tackling antisemitism doesn’t mean clamping down on criticism of Israel

The government has formalised a flawed definition of antisemitism that includes ‘exceptional criticism’ of Israel.

It is summer 2013, the height of the most recent Gaza war. With around twenty fellow members ‘Jewdas’ – a group of self-proclaimed leftwing Jewish anti-zionists, are assembled opposite Brighton Pavilion. I’m there to picket a demonstration by ‘Sussex Friends of Israel’. We read out the names of the Palestinian dead – a figure that by that point was already in the hundreds – only to be half drowned-out by the boos of the larger of demonstration.

From between two bulks of policemen, we were faced down by a gaggle of young men around the age to be fresh of the grand tour of Israel . who yelled at us that we were antisemites. Someone pointed out, as politely as possible whilst still being heard over the chanting, the cheers, the sirens, that we were in fact all Jews, or at least, Jew-ish. He replied that real Jews support Israel. Another Jewdas member shouted that antisemitism was not the same as anti-zionism, whilst someone else waded in to the effect that Jewish identity is complicated. From somewhere in the crowd someone lobbed a “self-haters!” at the picketers. This unlikely identitarian dispute was quickly broken up when an unprepossessing auntie-type (complete with cardigan and pearls) punched me in the arm and ripped up my “Zionism, Schmionism” sign.

UN General Assembly recognises ongoing concerns over health risks from depleted uranium

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1091131

151 countries at the UN General Assembly have sent a clear message that the concerns of affected states and communities over the health risks from depleted uranium must be properly addressed.

The UN General Assembly has backed a new resolution on DU weapons by 151 votes to 4. The resolution, which highlights the ongoing concerns of affected states and communities, health experts and civil society over the potential health risks from DU exposure, is the sixth to be adopted since 2007. The text also recognises that countries affected by the use of DU weapons face considerable technical and financial barriers in dealing with DU contamination to internationally recognised radiation protection standards.

Yemen: US-Made Bombs Used in Unlawful Airstrikes

Dozens of Civilian Deaths Underscore Need for Saudi Arms Embargo.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition killed several dozen civilians in three apparently unlawful airstrikes in September and October 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The coalition’s use of United States-supplied weapons in two of the strikes, including a bomb delivered to Saudi Arabia well into the conflict, puts the US at risk of complicity in unlawful attacks.

REPORT: BOMBING MUSLIM COUNTRIES RESULTS IN MORE ATTACKS AT HOME

According to a report from the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), European countries who are taking part in the US-led coalition against ISIS are more likely to suffer terrorist attacks at home– and the trend is expected to rise.

France ranked especially high on the list; Belgium, Germany, and the UK are also particularly susceptible to attacks. Ultimately however, the report also states that any country participating in the US-led coalition can expect a wave of “IS inspired attacks” from both organized groups and lone wolves. Attacks on European soil are not only expected to increase, but the ECTC expects attackers to shift away from symbolic targets and focus towards more soft targets with more civilian casualties. They expect the attacks carried out by organized groups to become more complex and could involve more car bomb style attacks similar to those in Iraq.

My Son the Jihadi

How did a perfectly normal British teenager end up fighting in Somalia as a recruit for the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab?

Peter Beard’s documentary “My Son the Jihadi” follows the life of traumatized mother Sally as she struggles to come to terms with her estranged son’s transformation from a ‘normal teenage lad’ to Abdul Hakim, the violent Islamic extremist. Through this lens, we see a mother who is torn between the love for her child and a disgust at his actions in a faraway land. She admits, “I’m ashamed of him, but he’s still my son”.

Supreme Court Justice Says Brexit Vote May Not be “Legally Binding”

In a statement today from one of the eleven Supreme Court judges, Lady Brenda Hale, the Brexit vote may not be recognized as “legally binding”. This might mean that the protectionist measures and complex trade negotiations (and renegotiations) with other European countries may be defined on completely different terms than are already being proposed.

It is worth noting that any referendum, including Article 50 (aka Brexit) can be as ruled non-binding in praxis, as furthermore legally inapplicable.

The “Brexit” referendum is no different and has been challenged on several legal fronts already. The High Court has ruled in favor of campaigners opposed to the fulfillment of Brexit, against the government’s wishes. However, the Supreme Court’s evaluation would prove to be the final frontier in which any opposition to the vote can be mobilized in an uncomplicated and legally finalizing fashion. This would very likely derail current Brexit plans significantly.

Case Takes UK Privacy Tribunal to European Court

Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ. The challenge, filed on November 4, 2016, also seeks to know whether or not any such surveillance was unlawful and comes after claims filed with the UK tribunal in 2015.

In the earlier case, the tribunal dismissed the claims of those applicants that were not UK residents. It issued a “no determination” finding for Human Rights Watch and other claimants who were present in the UK, without revealing whether they were subjected to surveillance that was lawful or they were simply not spied on.

UK Royals must raise torture and death penalty on Bahrain trip

The Government must ensure that the UK Royal Family raise the issue of torture and the death penalty when they visit Bahrain in the coming week, human rights organization Reprieve has said.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are due to visit Bahrain this coming week (7-11th). The Government has said the trip will “strengthen the UK’s warm bilateral relations” with the country, among others in the region.

The visit comes amid growing concerns for an innocent man who faces execution in Bahrain, after he was tortured into a forced ‘confession.’ Mohammed Ramadan, a policeman and a father of three, was arrested in 2014 after he attended a protest. He was forced to give statements that he later recanted. His ‘confession’ was subsequently used as the basis for his conviction and death sentence.

UK Home Office drugs policy may contribute to executions overseas

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of UK funding for international counter-narcotics operations may be contributing to higher numbers of death sentences and executions abroad, international human rights organisation Reprieve has found.

Reprieve has written to the Home Office – the lead department on international drugs policy – to highlight new evidence that UK support for programmes operating in countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may be resulting in the arrest and sentencing to death of vulnerable, exploited individuals.

Was the Anti-Globalist Movement Infiltrated by Provocateurs?

Subsequent to the United Kingdom’s «Brexit» referendum, which saw 51.9 percent of voters in the United Kingdom opt to leave the European Union, political forces around the world were encouraged that the forces of anti-globalism had achieved a substantial victory. The Brexit success was followed a month later by the U.S. Republican Party’s nomination of anti-globalist businessman Donald Trump as the traditionally pro-free trade party’s presidential candidate. UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage traveled to the Republican convention in Cleveland to forge an anti-global common front with Trump.

In just two months, a series of embarrassing revelations about Trump’s past as a philandering television celebrity and UKIP internal political upheavals, left the two most potent anti-globalist forces in the world – the Trump presidential campaign and UKIP – in shambles. The rapid decline of both political movements led to a belief by many political observers that outside influences, led by professional «agents provocateurs» employed by globalist powerbrokers, caused the fracturing of the Trump and Farage movements.

UK body builds Cairo court, as Irish student faces death penalty in Egypt

A state-owned Belfast business is helping to furnish an Egyptian juvenile court, despite concerns over mass trials and death sentences in the country – including in the case of an Irish juvenile.

New research by human rights organization Reprieve has revealed that, since March 2015, Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) – a state-owned UK business that has contracts with the Foreign Office – has been involved in a €10 million EU-funded project to support “the Administration of Justice” in Egypt, in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Justice.

What’s the point of prison?

Well over half of all prisoners in the UK have personality disorders and other mental health problems. What are we doing?

Gifted to the people of the city by King James II in 1450, Glasgow Green is Scotland’s oldest public park. It’s the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army camped in the year of the rebellion against English rule in 1745; where upwards of 40,000 people met in the first quarter of the nineteenth century to demand more representative government from the British Parliament; and where another 100,000 gathered in the mid nineteenth century under the banner of the Chartists.

England’s bonfire of children’s rights

A new bill threatens decades of carefully drafted laws designed to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in care.

Twelve year-old Dennis O’Neill was pronounced dead on the afternoon of 9 January 1945. A public inquiry by Sir Walter Monckton reported the coroner’s finding that the child had suffered “acute cardiac failure following violence applied to the front of his chest and back while in a state of under-nourishment”.

Dennis had been seen once in six months by a local authority clerk, who recorded after her visit that he looked ill and frightened and kept his eyes to the ground when answering questions.