Israel: 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese Migrants ‘Coerced’ into Leaving

By Gianluca Mezzofiore, International Business Times (UK)
September 9, 2014

african miogrants israel

African migrants hold signs and gesture as they protest against Israel’s detention policy toward them, from inside the fence surrounding Holot, Israel’s southern Negev desert detention centre February 17, 2014

 reuters/Amir CohenIsrael has been accused of using unlawful detention and restrictive asylum policies to try to pressure 51,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants into leaving the country.

A fresh report by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that the Israeli government created “convoluted legal rules” to get around international and domestic law about protection of refugees and used the insecure legal status of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants to detain them indefinitely.

The asylum-seekers find themselves in a coercive position with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their days locked up in desert detention centres” or risking life-threatening abuse back home.

“Destroying people’s hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is transparently abusive,” Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at HRW and author of the 83-page report, said. Continue reading

Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor

[Exposing and discrediting the politicaland media hype of the so-called “war on terror”–designed to whip up fear, and to generate support for monstrous violations of human rights–is important for all anti-war, anti-imperialist, revolutionary and “99%-ers.”   The truth does come out, however slowly.  The story below  reveals much of the US war, and of the horrific “Guantanamo” project, which continues, despite the promises of President Obama to close it down years ago.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Murat Kurnaz

By MURAT KURNAZ

Murat Kurnaz, the author of “Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantánamo,” was detained from 2001 to 2006.
January 7, 2012
I LEFT Guantánamo Bay much as I had arrived almost five years earlier — shackled hand-to-waist, waist-to-ankles, and ankles to a bolt on the airplane floor. My ears and eyes were goggled, my head hooded, and even though I was the only detainee on the flight this time, I was drugged and guarded by at least 10 soldiers. This time though, my jumpsuit was American denim rather than Guantánamo orange. I later learned that my C-17 military flight from Guantánamo to Ramstein Air Base in my home country, Germany, cost more than $1 million.
When we landed, the American officers unshackled me before they handed me over to a delegation of German officials. The American officer offered to re-shackle my wrists with a fresh, plastic pair. But the commanding German officer strongly refused: “He has committed no crime; here, he is a free man.” Continue reading

Lawless Spying in America Obstructs First Amendment Freedoms

Thursday, October 07, 2010

by Stephen Lendman

The ACLU has released numerous reports of illegal spying. They include federal, state and local SARs (suspicious activity reporting) programs that encourage police, intelligence and homeland security officials, emergency responders, and members of the public to spy on neighbors, reporting any “suspicious” activities to authorities.

In an environment of fear, commonplace activities may be misinterpreted, increasing chances to get innocent people on terrorist watch lists. As a result, their names and vital information will be in law enforcement/intelligence data bases, their personal safety and reputations jeopardized.

Using new intelligence sharing systems like fusion centers enables easy access of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Information Sharing Environment (ISE), as well as local police-collected information.

In Terry v. Ohio (1968), the Supreme Court established “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity as the standard for police stops to investigate further. Under Title 28, Part 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations, law enforcement agencies getting federal funds “shall collect and maintain criminal intelligence information (on an individual) only if there is reasonable suspicion (of involvement) in criminal conduct or activity,” and what’s collected is relevant.

SARs, however, threaten civil liberties by encouraging indiscriminate spying, jeopardizing innocent people unfairly. They’re similar to various Bush administration schemes, including: Continue reading