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Tag: torture
Syria artists in a time of revolt (October 30 2012) Syria artists in a time of revolt (October 30 2012)

Jane Ferguson the British Freelance Journalist currently with Aljazeera has published an article titled ‘Portrait of Syria artists in a time of revolt’ discussing how artists who fled the country had experienced “torture” by security forces but are still intent on continuing their work. Ferguson states “Many of them [Artists] have been detained, beaten and disappeared by the government for focusing their talents on the ugliest of truths around them. In times of war, writers, painters, filmmakers and photographers often mirror its horror. We now look upon great works such as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, with nostalgia – neatly cleansed of the terror that inspired them. Fast forward a generation and works born from the Syrian revolution will likely be part of our contemporary art world. But first Syrian artists must survive, and to do that many have fled the country. Filmmaker Firas Fayyad tried to board a flight from Damascus Airport last November. … they put a bag over his head, threw him into a car, and drove him to the first of a series of underground detention centres where he said he was beaten and interrogated repeatedly for four months. …After his release in March, Fayyad knew he was being watched, and could be arrested again at any time. He left the country on foot. …He is now working to challenge the Assad government as an exiled activist, even though the once peaceful rebellion has transformed into an increasingly violent civil war.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Linkedin

Torture and the Myth of Never Again (October 14 2012) Torture and the Myth of Never Again (October 14 2012)

John Kiriakou the 48 year old American former CIA analyst and case officer, the first official within the U.S. government to confirm the use of water boarding of al-Qaeda prisoners as an interrogation technique, which he described as torture has been profiled by Peter Van Buren for TomDispatch in an article titled ‘The Persecution of John Kiriakou – Torture and the Myth of Never Again’. Van Buren states “The one man in the whole archipelago of America’s secret horrors facing prosecution is former CIA agent John Kiriakou. Of the untold numbers of men and women involved in the whole nightmare show of those years, only one may go to jail. And of course, he didn’t torture anyone. The charges against Kiriakou allege that in answering questions from reporters about suspicions that the CIA tortured detainees in its custody, he violated the Espionage Act, once an obscure World War I-era law that aimed at punishing Americans who gave aid to the enemy. It was passed in 1917 and has been the subject of much judicial and Congressional doubt ever since. Kiriakou is one of six government whistleblowers who have been charged under the Act by the Obama administration. From 1917 until Obama came into office, only three people had ever charged in this way. The Obama Justice Department claims the former CIA officer “disclosed classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities.”


Inspired by TomDispatch image source Twitter

Mohammed Abdelmawla al-Hariri the Syrian journalist who regularly provided updates to Al Jazeera has been sentenced to death. al-Hariri known as the ‘Citizen Journalist’ had the death sentence handed down on grounds of “high treason and contact with foreign parties”, however human rights activist groups claim the sentence is a further attempt to repress dissidents. The DOHA Centre claim “The Syrian League of the Defense of Human Rights dismisses the charges as “null and void”… The organisation claims that Hariri was tortured from the first day of his arrest and was forced to confess. “They broke his backbone and authorities refused to give him the proper medical care”… According to the Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, Hariri was tortured to the point of being partially paralysed. He has now been moved to the Saidnaya military prison north of Damascus. Local and international groups have criticised the death sentence of Hariri and demand it be revoked… Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is targeting the media in order to control what information is being broadcast out of the country. Foreign journalists are generally not allowed to enter the country. Other journalists who were already working in Syria had their accreditation revoked, faced arrest or were even tortured, trialed or killed.”


Inspired by DOHA Centre image source Skeyes

George Walker Bush the 65 year old US former president is coming under increasing scrutiny over his illegal activities whilst president writes Nikolas Kozloff. Kozloff states “For far too long, Bush has enjoyed impunity and it is disgraceful that few have questioned his efforts to create a freedom institute in Texas. While it’s doubtful that the authorities would ever investigate the former president for war crimes or torture, pressing for such efforts would send an important signal that activists are not willing to put up with a legal double standard in this country anymore. …If protests were to spread, Bush might find that he has difficulty in travelling not only to foreign lands but also to domestic destinations within the US itself. More importantly perhaps, such demonstrations might spur efforts to unite Occupy with the anti-war movement and thus further galvanise the ongoing season of protest”.


Inspired by Nikolas Kozloff image source quotezuki

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