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US govt brushes child abuse under the carpet in Afghanistan – ex-diplomat — RT...

The US government shrugs off child abuse in Afghanistan but is more than happy to push...

Toddler gives evidence in court to put child abuser behind bars

Published time: 11 Oct, 2017 12:19 Edited time: 11 Oct, 2017 15:50 A two-year-old girl...

No jail term for UK man who imported ‘childlike’ sex doll and in possession...

Published time: 30 Sep, 2017 01:49 A man who imported a “childlike sex doll” into...
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Video: Field McConnell On Elite Global Child Abuse Rings & How They Get Away...

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A Question of Accountability: Cardinal Pell, the Vatican and Child Abuse

The Catholic Church, much in the manner of a modern corporation, is a sprawling edifice of operations and functions.  To hold part of it...

£1mn child abuse inquiry into ex-PM Edward Heath closed due to ‘lack of evidence’

A £1 million ($1.25mn) taxpayer funded child abuse investigation into former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath has been closed by police, reportedly due to...

Penn State child abuse scandal costing university over $237mn

Penn State’s costs in relation to the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal are nearing a quarter of...

Rotherham Child Abuse: Eight Jailed For Rape And Sexual Abuse Of Three Girls

Eight men who sexually abused three teenage girls in Rotherham between 1999 and 2003 have been jailed. The men are Sageer Hussain,...
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Video: David Icke On Donald Trump, Brexit, Child Abuse Inquiry, His World Tour &...

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Video: Dutroux 20 years on: state sponsored child abuse, VIPs hypnotising & sexually abusing...

Twenty years ago today: the Dutroux scandal in Belgium where VIPs were sexually abusing children – used as blackmail by security services? – witnesses...

Police arrest 900 Syrians in England and Wales for crimes including rape and child...

And officials say the migrants were accused of sickening crimes including rapes and child abuse. Now critics say they are concerned that...

New UK Child Abuse Scandal: Council Failed Background Checks on School-Run Taxi Drivers

Children as young as five are alleged to have been targeted in South Ribble, Lancashire, The New Day reports Children as young...

New UK Child Abuse Scandal: Council Failed Background Checks on School-Run Taxi Drivers

Children as young as five are alleged to have been targeted in South Ribble, Lancashire, The New Day reports. The allegations involve drivers in council-funded...

Hundreds of convicted rapists & child abusers removed from sex offenders register

Nearly 700 convicted sex offenders in the UK have been removed from a national register over the past four years, including 170 rapists and...

Child abuse survivors demand redress from N. Ireland Executive

Survivors of historic child abuse at residential institutions have launched a report urging Stormont to...

Cop who investigates child abuse is himself charged with child sex offences

Child sex abuse charges have been brought against a detective in the Metropolitan Police Child...
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Video: Sandra Fecht: ” Ritual Satanic Child Abuse Is A Global Reality. Victims Have...

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Child abuse cases up 30% in UK – NSPCC

Reported child abuse cases in the UK have risen by over 30 percent in the...

G4S child abuse scandal: Wardens dealing with kids ‘must wear body cameras’ — watchdog

A deepening child abuse scandal engulfing G4S has led watchdogs to suggest that its young offenders facility in Kent be scrutinized by an independent...

Online child abuse investigation leads to hundreds of arrest

British police have made more than 680 arrests in the past nine months for allegedly downloading child abuse images.   The National Crime Agency (NCA)...

Video: Joanne Mjadzelics: “Police covered Up Ian Watkins Child Abuse To Protect Very Powerful...

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Video: Fiona Barnett Witnessed Child Abuse And Murder Involving 3 Former Australian Prime Ministers!

Please Support The Show — http://richieallen.co.uk/ http://IndependentAustralia.Net/ http://PedophilesDownUnder.Com/ Twitter: @FionaRaeBarnett ... Via Youtube

British police team to probe child abuse cover-ups

Police in the UK have set up a new team of 90 officers to handle inquiries into reported attempts to cover up child abuse...

UK body to probe ‘police failure’ in child abuse claim against ex-PM

The UK police’s monitoring body says it will investigate whether the British law enforcement failed to probe an allegation of child sex abuse against...
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Video: One dead, 25 injured as violent clashes break out at Pakistan rally against...

Clashes between police and protesters in a village in eastern Pakistan have left one person dead and 25 others injured. The rally was organized...
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Video: This is Child Abuse: Social Worker Breaks Silence Over Conditions Inside Immigrant Detention...

http://democracynow.org - Olivia Lopez, a longtime social worker, began working at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas last October, but decided to ... Via...

Video: Mickey Summers On The Cover-Up of Historic Child Abuse In Nottingham.

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New Probe Exposes Horrific Child Abuse by Israeli Forces

Palestinian children face chokeholds, stun grenades, and forced confessions at the hands of Israeli forces, Human Rights Watch report reveals by Sarah Lazare Israeli forces are choking,...

Police criticized for poor handling of child abuse investigation

Some analysts blame the British police for deliberately mismanaging child sexual abuse cases after a recent report found that about 38% of their investigations were inadequate. “In many...

Minneapolis church turns blind eye on child abuse

The Catholic Church in the US city of Minneapolis faces criminal charges for turning a blind eye to reports of child abuse by a...

Why Shouldn’t We Arrest All Of Congress As Child Abusers?

“Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was paying a former student to keep quiet about allegations of sexual abuse from the time when...

Met Police To Be Investigated For Covering Up Establishment Child Abuse

A British watchdog is expanding its investigation into allegations that senior Metropolitan Police figures ordered officers to drop inquiries into child sex abuse claims...

VIP paedophile files: The sick web of high-powered and well-connected child abusers

Since Labour MP Tom Watson stood up in the Commons in October 2012 to ask Prime Minister David Cameron to probe a high-powered ­paedophile...

Anonymous Vows to Assault Homes of Pedophiles to Avenge Child Abuse Victims

A global group of demonstrators is protesting against an establishment cover-up of child abuse by marching outside the homes of rich and famous people...

New Pope Can End Church Cover-Up of Child Abuse

Robert Weiner and Florian Prommer Pope Francis has just announced he will be coming to the U.S. next year for a conference on families. The...

Child abuse inquiry: Why can’t we find somebody fit to investigate the Establishment?

This investigation into child abuse has already been a marvellous success, before they've even agreed who's going to conduct the thing. Because Fiona Woolf,...

Cops write off child abuse victims

We are often told that Asian men get away with abusing children because police fear being called racist if they arrest them. But the head...

Evangelist Nazis And Child Abuse

In Cambodia, children in an orphanage run by Australian ‘evangelists’ were forced to crawl as they were beaten with sticks and had to eat...

Failure of Authorities Lead to Rotherham Child Abuse

The failures of responsible bodies to deal with reports of child abuse contributed to the sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in the British town...

Brother Of Tory MP Faces 21 Charges Of Child Abuse

RINF Alternative News The brother of  Conservative MP, John Whittingdale, is to face 21 charges over alleged historic child abuse. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Charles Napier, a former...

Tory child abuse inquiry in chaos; Did Margaret Thatcher cover up child abuse?

The government was blasted this week as the judge appointed to lead a child sex abuse inquiry quit less than a week into the...

Tories hope child abuse inquiry will divert gaze from top

Simon Basketter The Tories hope that the announcement of a panel of inquiry into how allegations of child abuse were handled will get them past...

Pressure on Cameron to investigate high level child abuse

RINF Alternative News A number of politicians have placed demands on the Home secretary to establish a committee to investigate past cases of child sex abuse, following...

Juvenile Prison: $5 Billion for Child Abuse

Every juvenile prison must be immediately closed and all of its prisoners freed. David Swanson RINF Alternative News Oh. Oh. Oh! That sounds too drastic and simplistic...

The Secret List Of Parents Labeled “Child Abusers” Without Due Process

MICHIGAN – Hundreds of thousands of parents have been flagged as “child abusers” in a huge database maintained in secret by Michigan’s Child Protective...

ACE: aiding and abetting child abusers

Jonny Scaramanga If you’ve been following my series on Christian reform homes, you’ll have noticed the name Lester Roloff popping up. It is, as Abigail McWilliam puts it,...

US child abuser keeps Navy career

A child-molesting lieutenant is still keeping his Navy career unhindered after four years. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has opened a 4-year-old case to investigate...

Pope Francis sets up committee to fight child abuse in the Catholic Church

Pope Francis has set up a committee to fight child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and give pastoral care to victims following a...

British police nab another child abuser

British police officers working for National Crime Agency.A new arrest has been made by the British police investigating historic child abuse case at children™s...

British courts fail child abuse victims

Child sexual abuse victims in Britain do not get the support they need to give evidence in courts, NSPCC warns.Child sexual abuse victims in...

Corporate Child Abuse: The Unseen Global Epidemic

“There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul”, Nelson Mandela says, “than the way in which it treats its children”. Who would...

Breaking Their Will: The Sick Biblical Literalism That Leads to Child Abuse and Even...

In 2008, Hana Williams was adopted from an orphanage in Ethiopia and brought to the United States where she died at the hands of...

UK charity seeks to stop child abuse

A leading British charity for child protection has launched a major campaign to help stop child abuse amid a surge in sexual abuse cases...

Australia opens child abuse inquiry

Justice Peter McClellan (center), chair of the Royal Commission into child sex abuse, delivers a media statement with his fellow commissioners in Sydney. (File...

NI police launch child abuse probe

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have launched a major child exploitation investigation after many children and young adults in care were found...

BA under fire amid child abuse claims

British Airways (BA) faces a lawsuit including a former pilot, who allegedly abused more than a hundred children in African schools and orphanages. BAâ„¢s first...

'Israeli rabbi guilty of child abuse'

An Israeli Zionist rabbi has been found guilty of sexually abusing a young boy twice, a report says. A court in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) ruled...

'Israeli rabbi guilty of child abuse'

An Israeli Zionist rabbi has been found guilty of sexually abusing a young boy twice, a report says. A court in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) ruled...

7 jailed over Oxford child abuse ring

Members of a sadistic pedophile ring in Britain are jailed at the Old Bailey.Members of a sadistic pedophile ring, found guilty of extreme abuse...

UN details grave child abuses in Syria and 20 other countries

UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon has issued a report on children in armed conflict, detailing grave abuse going on in Syria and other countries, adding...

Tip Of The Iceberg: Police Uncover 140 Cases Of Child Abuse

A police investigation into child abuse at children's care homes in the UK has uncovered "significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse" dating back decades.

Bogus Child Abuse Charges for Pregnant Drug-Using Moms

Drug-using women can be punished for the assumption that they harmed their fetuses, even if there is no evidence other than drug use itself.

February 11, 2013  |  

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Editor's note: America has a long history of treating the poor like criminals, from legislation banning the transportation of poor people across state lines to anti-vagrancy laws that could land you in jail if you didn't have a job or a home. We've come to rely on the criminal justice system to deal with the poor, even as more and more Americans fall into poverty. The following is part of a series that looks at the diverse ways poverty is criminalized in America, such as laws targeting the homeless, the surveillance of welfare recipients, the re-emergence of debtor prisons, and extreme policing tactics like stop-and-frisk.

After suffering a stillbirth in South Carolina, 21-year-old Regina McKnight was arrested and charged with her fetus’ homicide because she used cocaine while pregnant. McKnight served eight years in prison for a loss that, as it turned out, she did not even cause. In 2008, with four years of her sentence left to serve, the South Carolina Supreme Court said the state used “outdated” research to make its case and overturned McNight’s conviction.

While prosecutors had claimed McKnight’s cocaine use caused her stillbirth, the Court said McKnight’s attorneys failed to secure testimony from experts who would have explained how “recent studies show[ed] that cocaine is no more harmful to a fetus than nicotine use, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, or other conditions commonly associated with the urban poor.”

McKnight’s case is not unusual. A recent study examining the outcome of pro-life policies since Roe v. Wade through 2005 identified more than 400 pregnant women who were arrested, incarcerated or forced into health “treatment” they did not want or need. As the data make clear, drug war stigma and racism were central to such prosecutions: 84 percent of these cases alleged that the woman, “in addition to continuing her pregnancy, had used an illegal drug,” particularly cocaine. Fifty-two percent of the women targeted are black.

Legal Rights for Fetuses 

The cases do not necessarily include the death of a fetus, as in McKnight’s case. Drug-using women can be punished for the assumption that they harmed their fetuses, even if there is no evidence other than drug use itself. In states where feticide or “personhood” measures define an egg, embryo or fetus as a child, "child abuse" can occur in the womb.

In South Dakota, a 12-weeks pregnant, homeless, 28-year-old Native American woman, Martina Greywind, was charged with “reckless endangerment” for using inhalants during her pregnancy. After two weeks in jail, she was able to obtain a release for a medical appointment where she received an abortion. Her case was dismissed, with the state noting that her pregnancy’s termination made her charges “no longer ripe for litigation,” while the prosecutor told media it was “no longer worth the time or expense to prosecute her.”

Lynn Paltrow of the National Advocates for Pregnant Woman, one of the groups that worked on the study, says the trend of incarcerating women for harming their fetuses with drug use is part of the larger effort to create separate legal rights for fertilized eggs and embryos. According to Paltrow, the legal principle that fetuses are separate entities with their own legal rights involves a “synergetic effect” established through case law.

One such precedent was established earlier this month in the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled that “the crime of chemical endangerment” -- exposing a child to a controlled substance or the environment in which it was produced -- applies to a fetus in a womb. The concurring opinion defined a fetus as a child, noting that the state has the responsibility to “protect life.” In these cases, the pro-life rhetoric works with equally flawed drug war stigma to criminalize women for crimes against an “unborn child.”

While the Alabama ruling rests firmly on the belief that a fetus is a child, it also stems from the notion that exposing infants to methamphetamine is so damaging it should be labeled a crime. Studies have repeatedly found that the developmental effects of prenatal exposure to methamphetamine are not clear.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s special information sheet about meth exposure in-utero, "the effects of maternal methamphetamine use cannot be separated from other factors” and there "is no syndrome or disorder that can specifically be identified for babies who were exposed in utero to methamphetamine."

Bogus Child Abuse Charges for Pregnant, Drug-Using Women (Hard Times USA)

A woman who uses drugs can be punished just for the assumption that using drugs has harmed her fetus.

February 11, 2013  |  

Like this article?

Join our email list:

Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.

Editor's note: America has a long history of treating the poor like criminals, from legislation banning the transportation of poor people across state lines to anti-vagrancy laws that could land you in jail if you didn't have a job or a home. We've come to rely on the criminal justice system to deal with the poor, even as more and more Americans fall into poverty. The following article is part of a series that looks at the diverse ways our countrycriminalizes poverty, including laws targeting the homeless, the surveillance of welfare recipients, the re-emergence of debtor prisons, and extreme policing tactics like stop-and-frisk.

After suffering a stillbirth in South Carolina, 21-year-old Regina McKnight was arrested and charged with murdering her fetus because she used cocaine while pregnant. McKnight served eight years in prison for a loss that, as it turned out, she did not even cause. In 2008, with four years of her sentence left to serve, the South Carolina Supreme Court said the state used “outdated” research to make its case and overturned McNight’s conviction.

While prosecutors had claimed McKnight’s cocaine use caused her stillbirth, the Court said McKnight’s attorneys failed to secure testimony from experts who would have explained how “recent studies show[ed] that cocaine is no more harmful to a fetus than nicotine use, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, or other conditions commonly associated with the urban poor.”

McKnight’s case is not unusual. A recent study examining the outcome of pro-life policies since Roe v. Wade through 2005 identified more than 400 pregnant women who were arrested, incarcerated or forced into health “treatment” they did not want or need. As the data make clear, drug war stigma and racism were central to such prosecutions: 84 percent of these cases alleged that the woman, “in addition to continuing her pregnancy, had used an illegal drug,” particularly cocaine. Fifty-two percent of the women targeted are black.

Legal Rights for Fetuses 

The cases do not necessarily include the death of a fetus, as in McKnight’s case. A woman who uses drugs can be punished for the assumption that she has harmed her fetus, even if her drug use is the only evidence against her. In states where feticide or “personhood” measures define an egg, embryo or fetus as a child, "child abuse" can occur in the womb.

In South Dakota, a 12-weeks pregnant, homeless, 28-year-old Native American woman, Martina Greywind, was charged with “reckless endangerment” for using inhalants during her pregnancy. After two weeks in jail, she was able to obtain a release for a medical appointment where she received an abortion. Her case was dismissed, with the state noting that her pregnancy’s termination made her charges “no longer ripe for litigation,” while the prosecutor told media it was “no longer worth the time or expense to prosecute her.”

Lynn Paltrow of the National Advocates for Pregnant Woman, lead author of the pro-life policies study, says that cases targeting women who become pregnant, go to term, and use an illicit drug or alcohol are part of the larger effort to create separate legal rights for fertilized eggs and embryos.

One such precedent was established last month in the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled that “the crime of chemical endangerment” -- exposing a child to a controlled substance or the environment in which it was produced -- applies to a fetus in a womb. The concurring opinion defined a fetus as a child, noting that the state has the responsibility to “protect life.” In these cases, the pro-life rhetoric works with equally flawed drug war stigma to criminalize women for crimes against an “unborn child.”

While the Alabama ruling rests firmly on the belief that a fetus is a child, it also stems from the notion that exposing infants to methamphetamine is so damaging it should be labeled a crime. Studies have repeatedly found that the developmental effects of prenatal exposure to methamphetamine are not clear. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s special information sheet about meth exposure in-utero, "the effects of maternal methamphetamine use cannot be separated from other factors," and there "is no syndrome or disorder that can specifically be identified for babies who were exposed in utero to methamphetamine."

Child Services 

On February 7, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a positive drug test does not prove parental neglect and that the state’s child protection services do not have jurisdiction over pregnant women. “The court’s decision protects the rights of all pregnant women and in so doing actually protects maternal, fetal, and child health,” Lynn Paltrow said. 

While the Alabama ruling interpreted a criminal statute, the New Jersey law interpreted a civil statute. The former provides for a criminal case and prosecution, while the latter turns the matter over to child protective services, which is not always as benign as it sounds.

“Facing jail or the loss of custody of child are both devastating consequences, both likely to deter a mother from getting care,” Paltrow said. “But one does send you to jail, potentially for life, and the other puts you in the civil child welfare system.”

Lawrence S. Lustberg, an attorney who worked on the case, told AlterNet, “Nobody is endorsing the use of drugs while one is pregnant, but the problem with regulating it and allowing for state interference or state scrutiny of women who are pregnant leads to two problems.” The first is that threatening a woman with the removal of her children due to behavior while pregnant  “is going to disincentivize women from doing the right thing, from getting care," Lustberg said. “Women who are drug-addicted, alcoholics, or have other problems while pregnant  should be encouraged to seek help, and if you threaten to take their children away they will be discouraged from seeking help, and that’s damaging to women and children.”

Another issue, Lustberg said, is that punishing pregnant women for crimes against a fetus encourages much broader oversight of children and mothers' lives. “The research shows that drug use...while potentially harmful, is no more harmful than a number of other things that are legal. Not just alcohol, but working too hard, not getting enough exercise, getting too much exercise, not eating the right things, sleep — all kinds of things that correlate with problems upon childbirth," he said. “Once you start allowing the state to intrude into that whole decision-making process, there is no end to it, and you would be subjecting pregnant women to a level of oversight by the government that you would not be subjecting any other people in our entire society to, and that is very troubling indeed.”

History of Racism

“The prosecutors typically charge the least popular most politically vulnerable women in town -- usually drug-using, African-American women," said Lynn Paltrow. She adds that prosecutors “try to get a court to decide that the word 'child' in the child-abuse statute applies to eggs, embryos, and fetuses” by suggesting that the law would only be used “against drug-using women,” and then setting the precedent for “unequal system of law for all pregnant women.”

The majority of these kinds of cases involve black women, and cocaine is the mostly commonly cited drug used to justify an arrest for fetal harm. The crack era of the ‘90s portrayed black women as enemies in the war on drugs. Media coverage of the crack cocaine “epidemic” churned out images of the “crack whore” whose reckless pleasure-seeking unknowingly or even intentionally harmed her unborn child. The media sensationalized the “crack baby,” providing an emotionally charged icon of victimization, while pregnant, black drug users were scapegoated for a policy failure to prevent crack cocaine use.

Researchers following children who were exposed to cocaine before they were born have found that the long-term effects are relatively minor. The infants exposed to crack cocaine in the ‘90s are now growing up, and most of them are leading normal, healthy lives.  

One study found that cocaine exposure slows fetal growth, but the difference went away as cocaine-exposed children grew up.

Research measuring brain function has found that cocaine-exposed children may have a harder time with tasks requiring attention management, as well as deviant behavior. Still, as Harolyn M. Belcher, a neurodevelopmental pediatrician who is director of research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Family Center in Baltimore, told the New York Times in 2009, these conclusions are “subtle and hard to generalize.”

“Just because it is statistically significant doesn’t mean that it is a huge public health impact,” Belcher told the Times. In 1997 for example, a study found that clinicians could not distinguish “crack-addicted babies” from babies born to comparable mothers who did not use cocaine.

Most women using crack cocaine while pregnant were also using other substances, and most of the children in these studies are poor, and are subject to a variety of other risk factors that affect cognitive development and behavior, like inadequate healthcare and schools, unstable family situations, and exposure to lead. In 2001, a comprehensive study concluded: “[T]here is no convincing evidence that prenatal cocaine exposure is associated with any developmental toxicity difference in severity, scope, or kind from the [consequences] of many other risk factors.”

“Society’s expectations of the children,” Deborah A. Frank, a Boston pediatrician, told the Times, “and reaction to the mothers are completely guided not by the toxicity, but by the social meaning” of the drug.

Barriers to Treatment

Even seeking treatment for substance addiction does not safeguard a pregnant woman from persecution. Wisconsinite Rachael Lowe, 20, learned this the hard way, when her attempt to seek treatment for her Oxycontin addiction landed her in a psychiatric ward more than an hour away from her husband and 2-year-old son. While she was held against her will in the psychiatric ward, she did not receive prenatal care, but was prescribed several medications, including Xanax. Lowe’s fetus received legal representation, but Lowe did not receive legal counsel until 12 days after she was taken into custody.

At a later hearing, a doctor testified that Lowe’s addiction posed no significant risk to the health of the fetus, and the court said Lowe would be released from what the study called her “hospital-based incarceration.” But the state was still allowed access to her womb, as Lowe was under surveillance and supervision for the remainder of the pregnancy, required to provide urine samples and cooperate with law enforcement and health professionals. As a result of the intervention, Lowe lost her jobs, and her husband had to take a leave of absence from his job.

For pregnant addicts, withdrawing from drugs like narcotic painkillers and heroin can be a greater danger to both the woman and the fetus. Nonetheless, prosecutors and judges who demand full abstinence have criminalized pregnant women who are taking methadone to curb their drug cravings. The legal system’s failure to recognize the complexity of a pregnant woman’s health decisions can have the effect of scaring women out of treatment -- causing danger to both them and their fetus.

Prenatal exposure to opiates like heroin and oxycodone is not associated with birth defects or impeded growth and development, but it is associated with withdrawal symptoms in newborns that trained professionals can manage and eliminate. 

In pregnant women, withdrawal symptoms can cause uterine contractions, miscarriage or early labor that may be more damaging to the child.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises:

If you’re pregnant and using drugs such as heroin or abusing opioid prescription painkillers, it’s important that you get help for yourself and your unborn baby. Methadone maintenance treatment can help you stop using those drugs. It is safe for the baby, keeps you free of withdrawal, and gives you a chance to take care of yourself.

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£18mn investigation into historic child sex abuse case delayed again

A public inquest into the alleged child abuse crimes of the late Lord Janner has...

Church of England ‘buries’ shocking child sex abuse report

The Church of England published a damning report on the horrific abuse of youngsters at...

VIP child sex abuse: 14 new corruption inquiries leveled against London police

British police are alleged to have covered up cases of child sex abuse perpetrated by...
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Video: Marilyn Hawes “2.5 Million Children Being Abused Today & The Government Denies...

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Video: Fear of ‘Rocking the Boat’: Why BBC refused to speak on Rotherham’s child...

Rotherham was at the center of a child sex abuse scandal which saw systematic molestation of more than 1400 children as young as 12...

Serial pedophile Huckle blames his ‘immaturity’ for abuse of up to 200 Asian children

British pedophile Richard Huckle, who is believed to have raped or molested up to 200...

‘Poor kids are easier’: Christian volunteer abused up to 200 children in Asia

A pedophile Christian who targeted impoverished children is suspected of having raped and molested up...
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Video: Unsafe haven: Child sexual abuse scandal hits Turkish refugee camp praised by Merkel

Harrowing accounts by pre-teen victims of a rapist at Turkey's Nizip refugee camp paint a picture of systematic abuse at the site designed to...

Ex-PM Edward Heath child sex abuse claims to be investigated despite cost concerns

Police have announced they will continue to investigate allegations of child sex abuse by late Prime Minister Edward Heath, despite MPs raising concerns about...

VIP child sex abuse: Is Cliff Richard on verge of being charged?

Prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges against the veteran entertainer Sir Cliff Richard over allegations of historical sexual abuse. The Crown Prosecution Service was...

Cameron U-turn offers hope to lone child refugees in EU at risk of abuse

David Cameron has caved into demands for Britain to take in more child refugees who...

Rotherham Child Sex Abuse: 300 New Suspects

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said most of the potential suspects were Asian men, while the vast majority of victims were young British girls. The...

The UK Child Sex Abuse People’s Tribunal publishes its findings

The UK Child Sex Abuse People’s Tribunal (UKCSAPT) has found that Governmental institutions failed to provide survivors of sexual abuse with meaningful opportunities for...

US bishops hide sex abuse of hundreds of children

Two Roman Catholic bishops, at the helm of a church in the US state of Pennsylvania, have helped cover up the sexual abuse of...

Fox host Bill O’Reilly loses custody of children amid abuse allegations

Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly lost custody of his teenage children over allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife. The New York Appellate Division...

Police ignored 3 chances to arrest Lord Janner over child sex abuse claims

Police and prosecutors missed out on three opportunities to arrest Lord Janner over claims that he sexually abused a string of underage children from...
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Video: NATO wars distract national attention away from VIPaedophile child sexual abuse

How the Establishment hid the monster in their midst: As MPs demand an inquiry into the covering-up of a VIP child abuse ring, chilling...
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Video: The Pope is Dishonest About Zero Tolerance for Child Sex Abuse

Pam Spees of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Barbara Blaine of SNAP say the Catholic Church and Pope Francis are not serious about...

Video: Sandra Fecht: “Children Are Being Abused In Satanic Rituals. David Icke Was Right”.

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​Former Labour peer in court over child sex abuse charges

A former senior British politician has appeared in a court in London to face historical child sex abuse charges. Former Labour peer, Lord Janner, arrived at...

Cameron says ‘no limit’ on child sex abuse inquiry – if you believe that,...

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has pledged full support to the country’s law enforcement agencies investigating child abuse allegations against high-profile politicians. Cameron says police...
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Video: Chokeholds & Beatings: IDF abuse Palestinian children — Human Rights Watch

Israeli security forces have abused Palestinian children, choking, beating and coercing them into confessions - that's according to a recent Human Rights Watch ... Via...

Child Hood Abuse Survivor Faces Jail NHS DRUG INDUCED PSYCOSIS

The horrors of prescribed medication in the UK for  Joanne Peacher Nhs Nightmare The horrors of prescribed medication in the UK — how Police lock...

Child sex abuse investigations ‘inadequate’ — police watchdog

Police investigations into allegations of historical child sex abuse have been branded “inadequate” in a new report, which claims more than one-third of such...
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Video: As France Suspends Soldiers for Child Sexual Abuse, Will UN Tackle Impunity for...

http://democracynow.org - In the latest allegations of child sex abuse by Western troops in the countries they are supposed to be protecting, France has...

British politician to stand in the dock over child sex abuse

In the UK, Labour peer Greville Ewan Janner is set to stand trial over alleged child sex abuses. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced...

​Police suppressed child sex abuse report ahead of 2010 UK election

(RT)  - Britain’s second largest police force suppressed the release of a report detailing how criminal gangs were sexually grooming vulnerable young girls, over fears...

Scottish police investigate Lord Janner over child sex abuse

Police in Scotland are investigating claims that Lord Greville Janner, rumored to have been a prolific child sex offender, abused a boy there in...

Revealed: MI5 blackmailed child sex abusers

Some reports suggest that the British Security Service, MI5, shielded pedophile politicians from prosecution to blackmail them back in the 1970s.  "There's now substantial evidence...

‘UK shy of enough land to lock up all child sex abusers’

Britain’s child protection chief says the UK does not have enough land to build prisons and put all its child sex abusers behind bars. The...

1400 investigated in child sex abuse inquiry

UK police have investigated more than 14,000 individuals, including politicians and celebrities, over allegations of child abuse in the past. The National Police Chiefs' Council...

UN battle to ‘shame’ Israel over abuse of children

Attack on Gaza last year raises pressure on Ban Ki-moon to put Israeli army on same list as Islamic State and Taliban Palestinian solidarity groups...

Former BBC presenter Rolf Harris facing more child sex abuse charges

(RINF) - Former BBC presenter, member of the British establishment and convicted paedophile, Rolf Harris, is facing a slew of new charges following a 'full...

Cameron says child sex abuse to be classified ‘national threat’

British Prime Minister David Cameron said tackling child sexual abuse was a national priority on a par with organised crime on Tuesday, announcing measures...

Scotland Yard searching Bodleian Library for Dickens Dossier on alleged child sex abuse

Scotland Yard is carrying out a search of the Barbara Castle archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library to try and locate a...

G4S must end its complicity in Israel’s abuse of child prisoners

As G4S management and shareholders prepare to participate in the G4S AGM on Thursday, we call on G4S management and shareholders to end the...

Thousands of vulnerable children and adults still at risk of abuse and torture

RINF Alternative News In 2011, the National Health Service faced a scandal when rampant patient abuse at the Winterbourne View private hospital was brought to...

Teacher Uses Hidden Camera To Expose Abuse of Disabled Children

When a Georgia school teacher reported the abuse of a disabled child by a teacher’s aide, the school administration refused to take action. Instead...

US court reverses conviction in Catholic Church child sex abuse case

A Roman Catholic Church official who has been jailed for 18 months for failing to protect children from a known sexual predator within the...

UK TV host charged with child sex abuse

British and Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has appeared in a London court to answer charges including nine counts of indecent assault and four of...

UK TV host nabbed over child sex abuse

Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been charged with 13 child sex offences as part of a British police investigation that revealed the prolific child...

‘CAR children at risk of abuse’

Save the Children says children in the Central African Republic face sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups.Save the Children has warned that over...

Foster Care System Traps Children into Vicious Cycle of Sex Abuse

The FBI raid that rescued 105 sexually exploited children from a sex trafficking ring last weekend has highlighted the vulnerability of foster children.

Study: India street children face abuse

A new study shows that nearly every Indian child living on the streets is exposed to violence and abuse, with the majority being victims...

NJ Supreme Court Rules State Can Seek Custody Of Child Without Evidence Of Abuse

Cherri Gregg philadelphia.cbslocal.com June 19, 2013 The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that authorities can seek custody of a child, even where...

NJ Supreme Court Rules State Can Seek Custody Of Child Without Evidence Of Abuse

Cherri Greggphiladelphia.cbslocal.comJune 19, 2013 The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that authorities can seek...

Conspiracy of Silence: Child Sex Abuse Ignored in India

A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has discovered that child abuse victims in India are often mistreated and humiliated by police. The 82 report 'Breaking the Silence: Child Sexual Abuse in India' says that Indian authorities are failing to protect children.

Priest held over child sex abuse

A Catholic priest is one of two men arrested by detectives investigating allegations of historic child abuse centring around a guest house and a care home. Reverend Tony McSweeney, 66, from Norfolk, was held along with another man aged 70 from East Su...

Former top Tory involved in “systematic abuse” of children

The BBC’s Newsnight claimed last night that a former top Tory from the Thatcher government was a child sex pervert. The programme alleged he was...

Police ignored child sex abuse for more than a decade

Alice K Ross | Today’s Times reveals that South Yorkshire Police had detailed knowledge of how young girls were being groomed, pimped and sexually abused for...

Scottish children & adults could soon choose to have no gender at all —...

Scottish children and adults could soon be able to choose to have no gender at...

Corey Feldman Names Some of his Alleged Abusers

Corey Feldman has finally named a few of the men he claims abused him as a child star. The ’80s child actor, who...

Britain will grant asylum to 480 child refugees… and not one more, court rules...

Published time: 2 Nov, 2017 17:09 Thousands of refugee and migrant children who were once...

Child-porn images so widespread, police can’t prosecute everyone – chief constable — RT UK...

A “horrifying” number of people in Britain are viewing child sexual abuse images online, a...

Pedophile mother sexually abused boy, 11, then sold footage on market stall — RT...

Published time: 20 Oct, 2017 15:34 A female pedophile has been jailed for 15 years...

Govt threatened with legal action over ‘humiliation & abuse’ at immigration center — RT...

Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 14:26 The UK Home Office has been threatened with legal...

Disabled children suffer 150% rise in verbal, physical & online hate crime in 2yrs...

Published time: 16 Oct, 2017 12:29 Hate crimes against disabled children including verbal, physical and...

Effects of childhood bullying disappear as kids grow up, study reveals — RT UK

Published time: 12 Oct, 2017 13:33 Edited time: 13 Oct, 2017 08:37 Ground-breaking research into...

Cyril Smith abused kids for ‘perverted amusement’ & MI5 may have covered it up,...

Published time: 10 Oct, 2017 14:52 The late Liberal Party politician Sir Cyril Smith treated...

Vatican recalls diplomat under investigation for child porn crimes in US

The Vatican has recalled a high-ranking diplomat to Rome whom the US State Department believes may...

Seattle mayor resigns after 5th child molestation charge comes from cousin

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his resignation after a fifth man came forward to accuse...

Two charged with abuse of 9yo girl trapped in dog cage (PHOTOS)

Published time: 9 Sep, 2017 15:51 A man and a woman have been charged in a...

Churchwarden who imported child sex doll is jailed

Published time: 8 Sep, 2017 15:00 A former churchwarden has been jailed for importing an...

Corbyn ally ‘unfit for office’ after liking spoof tweet telling sex abuse victims to...

A Labour MP who shared social media posts telling Rotherham sex abuse victims to shut...

Report on child sex allegations against ex-PM Ted Heath ‘could be buried’

Published time: 22 Aug, 2017 13:18 The police force investigating claims of pedophilia against former...

Catholic Church ‘exploits legal loophole’ to avoid compensating child sex victims – report

The Catholic Church and local authorities have come under fire for reportedly exploiting a loophole...

Sex abuse by Asian gangs unreported because informers fear being called racist – MP

Political correctness is getting in the way of authorities investigating whether there is an underlying...

Children as young as five expelled from schools for sexual misconduct, charity warns

Published time: 9 Aug, 2017 09:11 Children as young as five have been either expelled...

Convicted child rapist paid by police to spy on underage sex parties

Police paid a convicted child rapist almost £10,000 to spy on “sex parties” as part of an investigation into a grooming gang in Newcastle...

More UK children fearing forced marriage – protection charity

Published time: 4 Aug, 2017 13:52 The number of children in the UK who fear...

British Army must stop recruiting child soldiers, veteran tells RT

Britain should raise the military recruitment age from 16 to 18 because joining the services...

Doctor charged with 118 sex offences, 1 against a child

Published time: 3 Aug, 2017 09:32 A doctor from East London has been charged with...

Could child sex dolls be ‘prescribed’ to treat pedophiles?

Child sex dolls could be used to treat pedophiles in the same way that methadone...

Churchwarden faces jail for importing ‘obscene’ child sex doll

A former primary school governor has been found guilty of importing an “obscene” life-sized child...

Iowa couple who adopted 9 kids with disabilities charged with abuse after 68 police...

Police were reportedly called to a house in Ankeny, Iowa, 68 times over the past 10...

Government Owns Your Children

The state is deciding who is fit to be parents, keeping parents from treating their sick kids, and arresting parents if their kids skip...

Pennsylvania parents who “gifted” their daughters to abuser go to jail

A Pennsylvania judge has sentenced a married couple to up to seven years in prison each...

1,000s of children rescued from slavery in England – report

Thousands of children in England have been rescued after being exploited for slave labor, suffering...

Former Archbishop resigns over church ‘collusion’ in sex abuse

Published time: 26 Jun, 2017 15:06 Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has resigned...

Australians should show 'sensitivity' to migrants whose cultures 'don't value women's and child's rights'...

A taxpayer funded study has made the audacious claim that Australians need to show 'cultural sensitivity' towards migrant men who physically abuse...

Palestinian Children’s Lives Are Shaped By 50 Years of Military Occupation

There are two places to visit if you want to know the human impact of Israel’s 50-year military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory:...

‘Total lack of awareness’: Elite NH boarding school bungled previous sexual abuse report

St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire has become the latest elite boarding school to publish a...

Child sex offenders still at large in Rochdale, says former detective

Victims of the Rochdale child sex abuse ring, exposed in 2012, are still at risk...

Vicar who posted child sex stories to neighbors’ houses avoids jail

Published time: 3 May, 2017 13:33 Essex vicar Peter Low was spared jail despite writing a...

‘Cult leader’ Alex Jones loses full custody of children in bitter courtroom battle

Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 17:24Edited time: 29 Apr, 2017 19:00 Right-wing conspiracy theorist and Infowars host...

Using Children for Israeli Propaganda

On Tuesday thousands will gather to celebrate the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism. Organizers of Montréal’s annual Israel Day rally claim it is...

An End to UN Occupation of Haiti, but Abuses Remain

Last week the UN Security Council finally voted to end its military occupation of Haiti. Instigated by the US, France and Canada, it has...

Facebook refuses to delete ‘child pornography & extremist material’

Social media giant Facebook could face criminal prosecution after it refused to take down alleged pedophilic content, an investigation has found. Scores of videos and...

Man on trial for child rape & triple murder jumps to death from courthouse...

Published time: 11 Apr, 2017 19:34 A man has jumped to his death from an Ohio courthouse...

Homeland Security considering separation of parents & children at border

Published time: 8 Mar, 2017 00:33 The US Department of Homeland Security is considering a plan to...

Facebook accused of allowing images of child sex distributed to pedophiles

Facebook has been accused of letting sexually provocative pictures of children be published through its...

Jailing parents for female genital mutilation ‘unlikely to benefit the child’ – police

An English police force has come under fire for claiming the prosecution of parents who allow female genital mutilation (FGM) of their children is...

Child refugees still arrive in Calais & Dunkirk as UK scraps resettlement of 3,000...

Five months after the Calais ‘Jungle’ was bulldozed by French authorities, migrants and refugees are...

ICE Raids May Scare Abuse Survivors Into Staying With Partners, Advocates Fear

President Donald Trump's mass immigration raids—which have swept up longtime residents with no criminal histories, including an undocumented immigrant with license to live and...

Jerry Sandusky's son arrested, charged with child molestation

Jeffrey Sandusky, son of convicted child sexual abuser and former university football coach Jerry Sandusky, has...

‘Scientology knock-off’: Whistleblower exposes ‘cult’ that thinks ‘children are sexy’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Almost two years after Jane started ‘personal development’ course Access Consciousness, she realized she was...

Calais refugee children sue UK govt for neglect

Thirty-six children who arrived in Britain from the infamous Calais "Jungle" camp are suing the...

Trash find reveals ex-Olympic gym doctor had 37,000 child porn images – FBI

A former Olympic gymnastics doctor has been arrested and faces federal charges on two counts of...

Kids as young as 4 part of football pedophile investigations as historical sex abuse...

Britain’s historical child sex scandal has hit record proportions with nearly 3,500 people now under...

Children's sex texts should be monitored by tech firms, says health secretary

Social media companies should use snooping software to stop children from sending sexually explicit images,...
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Video: Michael Mansfield QC: “Is 2½ years of historic abuse inquiry inaction & failed...

Labour's Chuka Umunna spoke out after the largest victims' group, representing 600 victims who lived in London children's homes, quit the inquiry – calling...

‘What Open Borders Mean for Corporations Is Really About Restricting Workers’ Rights’ – CounterSpin...

Janine Jackson interviewed Michelle Chen about Samsung’s labor and environmental abuses for the November 4, 2016, CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Michelle Chen:...

‘Child poverty will rise’ as tough new welfare cap comes into force

Tens of thousands of families will be hit with a controversial new benefits cap that...

What to Do When Domestic Abuse Is Financial, Too

"I'm very blessed that I can see out of both my eyes," says Kalyn Risker Fahie. Nearly ten years ago, her left...

Billionaire’s Elephant-hunting Safaris Implicated in “Pygmy” Abuses

by Survival International / November 4th, 2016 Survival International has learned that an elephant-hunting safari operation jointly owned by a French billionaire has been implicated...

‘Virtual sex slave’: Former inmate alleges rape by prison counselor, abuses from staff

An ex-prisoner’s lawsuit states he was coerced into having sex with his counselor, while another counselor...

Far-right Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen abused Muslim mother, court finds

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, was found guilty of shouting abuse at a Muslim woman while brandishing a white...

BBC’s Children Show ‘Just a Girl’ Is About A Transgender Child Taking Hormone Blocking...

The BBC series aimed at children as young a six describe how Ben became Amy by taking hormones to halt puberty. It is...

Child, teen opioid-poisoning hospitalizations doubled since 1997 – study

The number of children and adolescents hospitalized for prescription opioid poisoning more than doubled over the...

500 rape threats in 4 days: Female MPs face constant abuse – report

Death threats and sexual harassment against female politicians are rife and eating away at democracy, according to a new international study of women MPs. A...

Child Migrants Arrive in UK but 15ft Screens Are in Place so Public Cannot...

Three coaches carrying migrants with no links to the UK arrived yesterday at the Home Office building in Croydon. Last week, the...

Foster Mother Discovers Migrant Orphan 'Child' is Adult Jihadi

A woman opened her heart and her door to a 12-year-old boy who had fled the horrors of war in Afghanistan after...

Home Office rules out forcing dental checks on child refugees to prove age

The Home Office has ruled out forcing young refugees arriving in Britain from the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp to have their teeth checked to determine...

May to face MPs: Did PM help cover up sex abuse inquiry chief’s ‘incompetence’?

Prime Minister Theresa May will be challenged in Parliament over whether she helped cover up the failings of Dame Lowell Goddard, who allegedly made...

Children pressured into ‘sexting’ nearly every day, police say

Children as young as 10 are being pressured into sharing explicit images of themselves “virtually...

Sex abuse inquiry judge denies saying UK has ‘so many pedophiles because it has...

Dame Lowell Goddard has denied saying Britain has so many pedophiles “because it has so...

Trouble for trolls: Unleashing online abuse & harassment may now end in jail sentence

Internet trolls will face prosecution for certain types of online harassment and abuse, including posting degrading photoshopped images or creating derogatory hashtags, under new...

UK pedophile snagged with 137k obscene photos of children spared jail to have his...

A pedophile who was caught red-handed with around 137,000 pictures and 4,336 videos of children has been spared prison time for the most surprising...

‘Pedophile playground’: Sexual predators targeting increasing number of children online

The internet is increasingly a “playground” for predatory pedophiles, a charity warns, allowing them to groom children, view pictures, and even direct live sexual...

‘Safe houses’ for young sex abuse victims to open next year

Two ‘safe houses’ offering medical care, psychological support and protection for child victims of sexual...

Are the kids alright? ChildLine contacted by suicidal youngsters in Britain every 30mins

Children reporting suicidal thoughts in Britain have doubled in number over the last five years, according to the charity ChildLine, which says it receives...

50mn children displaced by war & poverty worldwide – UNICEF

Almost 50 million children worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes by war and...

Ultra-orthodox Jews raise big money to keep children away from secular society

An ultra-orthodox Jewish community in London has launched a £1 million fundraising bid to finance...

Church of England told bishops not to apologize to sex abuse victims

The Church of England explicitly warned bishops not to apologize fully, if at all, to...

Opioid abuse, America’s deadliest epidemic, loses funding to Zika fight

America’s opioid epidemic, in which overdoses on mostly prescription drugs claim more lives each year than...

Will Britain & France finally intervene to support children living alone in Calais ‘Jungle’?

British and French officials will meet in Calais to discuss how to care for unaccompanied...

Ultra-Orthodox London Jews raising £1m to stop children from living with ‘irreligious parents’

A group of British ultra-Orthodox Jews have launched a million-pound fundraising drive to stop “pure...

Louisiana priest arrested for 500 counts of child pornography

A Catholic priest from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana was arrested and subsequently released on bail for possessing...

A boy of THREE is quizzed by police for racism as number of children...

More than a hundred children have been reported for hate crimes over the past year with those as young as three being...

‘Without shoes or water’: 3 young children left in Mojave Desert as punishment

A homeless couple allegedly punishing three young children by sending them out into the Mojave Desert...

David Icke accuses TV hosts of ‘abuse’ after heated interview about shape-shifting lizards

Conspiracy theorist David Icke claims he was verbally abused by Australian TV hosts after they...

Refugee family forced to flee home over racial abuse hours after settling in former...

Members of a Syrian refugee family, including six children, were left “shaking and crying” hours after settling into their new home in Stoke-on-Trent when...

LA police catch 238 cyber child molesters in 2 months, adds to over 1,000...

Nearly 240 alleged child molesters have been arrested in Southern California in just two months. It came as part of a nationwide crackdown on...

Children as young as 1 targeted by sexual predators online – NSPCC

The internet was used in more than 3,000 sex crimes against children in England and Wales over the past year, according to the NSPCC....

British mother pregnant for most of her adult life had 17 children taken into...

A mother who has been pregnant for most of her adult life has had 17...

Before Orlando, Omar Mateen Worked for Human Rights Abusers

(Photo: Palestine Solidarity Campaign / Flickr) How do we even talk about the horrific killings in Orlando, which left at least 50 LGBTQ revelers dead...

Ex-wife of Orlando nightclub shooter: 'He abused me, had bipolar disorder & anger towards...

The ex-wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen said he repeatedly abused her, was emotionally unstable...

Armed by Britain: Saudi-led coalition on UN ‘child killer’ list

Britain faces condemnation for arming the Saudi-led coalition launching airstrikes in Yemen, which appeared on...

UK pedophile Richard Huckle gets 23 life sentences for serial sex abuse in Malaysia

Child sex offender Richard Huckle has been given 23 life sentences for crimes committed in...

Mormon Church rocked by latest Navajo Indian sex abuse claim

A woman from Navajo Nation has accused the Mormon Church of allowing her to be sexually...

Relatives charged after 2 children accidentally shoot selves in Detroit

The grandparents of a 5-year-old who fatally shot herself and a great-grandfather and mother of a...

Sex tourism boom causes child exploitation to spread across Europe, Asia – UK charity

Moldova, Portugal, Laos and Vietnam are all seeing a child sex tourism boom, according to...

What if it happened here? Hard-hitting video casts British child as fleeing refugee (VIDEO)

Save the Children UK has released a powerful campaign video depicting a British child fleeing...

US Army board overturns decision to boot out soldier who beat up Afghan officer...

Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland gets to stay in the Army after all, thanks...

'It's sickening': 2 toddlers tied up in backyard as 8 children found abandoned in...

Two crying toddlers tied or chained down in the backyard of a home in San Antonio,...

History will judge UK on failure to accept 3,000 refugee children stranded in Europe...

Britain must not turn its back on vulnerable child refugees stranded in Europe because history...

Tasing children: UK cops used stun gun on 407 minors despite UN warning

Hundreds of minors were tased by police across England and Wales between January 2014 and November 2015, according to a report by police monitoring...

Military Sims? US Army’s new video game tackles sexual abuse

The US Army has released a video game training commanders to tackle sexual assault and harassment...

British govt may have to accept 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees after Lords defeat

The House of Lords has defeated the government in a vote that could see 3,000...

“Best for Choctaw child’: California family appeals removal of 6-year-old foster child

A California family appealed to the state’s highest court after a decision to return their 6-year...

70 sex attacks committed by children in 1 year – police

Police have investigated a five-year-old boy for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl, it...

Nurse sacked after disabled patient blinks ‘sexual abuse’

A male nurse was banned from the profession after a patient that he had been...

For Domestic Violence Survivors, Family Court Becomes Site of Continued Abuse

Batterers are more likely to challenge custody than ex-partners who are not abusive. At the same time, family courts lean toward joint custody, a...

UK sex abuse inquiry highlights ‘serious failings’ at BBC

Two damming reports into sexual abuse cases of former BBC TV presenter and radio hosts, Jimmy Savile and James Stuart Hall criticize the media corporation...

Eton student who sent child porn to undercover cop spared jail despite Britain’s ‘crackdown’

A former Eton College student who made and shared graphic child pornography images has avoided jail time, despite Britain's promise to crack down on...

‘Beaten, raped, abused’: Gangsters use UK airports to traffic vulnerable women

British airports are increasingly being used as gateway points to the European Union by Nigerian sex trafficking gangs that are keen to find safer...

PTSD-afflicted veteran deprived of his 5 children over medical marijuana use

The family of a Gulf War veteran suffering PTSD lost custody of their youngest kids after moving from Colorado, where treatment with medical marijuana...

US Navy accused of covering up SEAL abuse of Afghan detainees

Though several US soldiers accused a SEAL team of beating and waterboarding Afghan men detained after a checkpoint bombing, their commanding officer decided not...

Child porn, war crimes & fraud: Internal CIA probes reveal shocking findings

Documents released by the CIA show details of over a dozen investigations into serious allegations of misconduct by agency employees, including child pornography, torture...
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Video: US cops beat woman in front of her children for alleged seatbelt violation

New evidence of US police brutality has sparked public anger after being posted online. The video shows a woman being abused by officers -...

‘Sex abuse victim of ex-BBC host paid settlement’

A new report says a sex abuse victim of the former BBC presenter, Jimmy Savile, has received £15,000 as settlement for the scandal. The BBC...
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Video: Colonia Dignidad: sexual abuse, murder & human experimentation. Andre Vltchek on Paul Schaefer

Andre Vltchek on Sexual abuse & murder of children, human experimentation Paul Schaefer's Colonia Dignidad Nazis operating in Chile until 2005 ... Via Youtube

Video: Colonia Dignidad: sexual abuse, murder & human experimentation. Andre Vltchek on Paul Schaefer

Andre Vltchek on Sexual abuse & murder of children, human experimentation Paul Schaefer's Colonia Dignidad Nazis operating in Chile until 2005 ... Via Youtube

Former Cameron adviser & BBC star charged with child sex offenses

A former economic advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, American businessman Doug Richard, has been charged with a string of child sex offenses after...

Former bishop pleads guilty to sex abuse charges

Another church sex scandal has rocked UK as former Church of England bishop pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges. Peter Ball, the former bishop of...

125,000 tenants ‘abused’ by private landlords — charity

Thousands of dissatisfied private renters in Britain have complained of their landlords abusing, assaulting, threatening and harassing them, research by Shelter has revealed. In the...

Why didn’t this happen while he was alive? 5 police forces investigating Ted Heath...

At least five separate police forces in the UK are investigating allegations that Sir Edward Health sexually abused children after it emerged a criminal...

For NYT, US Labor Abuses Abroad Are a Thing of Decades Past

A New York Times graphic shows the share of Chinese investment in “risky countries” (red) and countries that are “not risky” (green). Does foreign investment...

Police falling short of child protection

Major improvements are needed to child protection in the UK, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). South Yorkshire police have been urged to...

Abuse of Minors in Adult US Prisons

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - Among developed countries, American and Israeli prisons (for persecuted Palestinians) are most abusive. Torture and other forms of  mistreatment are...

Government ‘must step in to pay for Rotherham sex abuse probe’

A Rotherham MP has urged the Government to foot the bill of up to £15 million for the National Crime Agency’s criminal probe into...

MSM: Joking about dead terrorists is ‘insensitive,’ but making fun of vaccine-damaged children is...

Whether or not Americans have a right to free speech increasingly depends on what the purveyors of political correctness on the Left sanction as...

Police refused to warn public about child grooming gangs

West Midlands Police knew five years ago that Asian grooming gangs were targeting children outside schools across the city - but failed to make...

‘Oliver Twist’ children used in organized crime

Britain’s anti-slavery commissioner has warned about the ‘Oliver Twist’ scenarios in UK streets, saying criminal gangs are using children to pickpocket, steal and beg...

1,000s of disabled people in UK sexually abused: Charity

A UK charity has revealed that nearly 5,000 disabled British adults have been sexually abused across England in the past two years. The National Society...

Police Abduct 10 Children From A Family In Kentucky Because Of Their ‘Off The...

If the government does not like the way that you are raising your kids, they will come in and grab them at any time without giving any warning whatsoever.  Of course this is completely and totally unlawful, but it has been happening all over America.  The most recent example of this that has made national headlines is particularly egregious.  Joe and Nicole Naugler of Breckinridge County, Kentucky just had their 10 children brutally ripped away from them just because the government does not approve of how they are living their lives and how they are educating their young ones.  Let’s be very clear about this – Joe and Nicole had done nothing to violate the law whatsoever.  All of their kids were happy, healthy and very intelligent.  But because the control freaks running things in Kentucky got wind of their “off the grid lifestyle”, they have now had all of their children unlawfully abducted from them.

A lot of my readers also lead “off the grid” lifestyles similar to what the Nauglers had been enjoying.  The Nauglers  own 26 acres in a remote area of Breckinridge County, and their family has been described as “extremely happy”.  But despite never giving them a single warning or a single indication that anything was ever wrong, Kentucky police raided their home on May 6th.  The following is how the raid was described on a website dedicated to this case

On May 6th, 2015, Breckinridge Co. Sheriff’s officers came to their home, acting on an anonymous tip, and entered their property and home without a warrant and without probable cause. Nicole was at home with the two oldest children, while Joe was away with the others. When the officers left the home, they attempted to block the access road to the family property. Nicole and the two boys got in their car to leave the family property. The got only a short way down the road before the officers pulled Nicole over.

During this stop, sheriffs deputies took their two oldest boys from Nicole’s custody, providing her no justification or documentation to support their action. Nicole was able to contact Joe briefly by telephone, but only for a short period of time, because she needed to use her phone to record the events.

At that point, Nicole had been taken into custody for disorderly conduct (for not passively allowing the Sheriff to take her boys) and resisting arrest. Even though she is 5 months pregnant, she was slammed belly first into the cop car and bruised and scraped on both arms.

And people wonder why there is such an uproar about police brutality in this country…

How in the world can a police officer ever justify treating a pregnant woman like that?  The police officer that treated Nicole like that should immediately resign.  Talk about an utter disgrace.  You do not ever treat a pregnant woman like that.

But this is America, where we are turning a little bit more into Nazi Germany every single day.

You can listen to audio of Nicole’s shocking arrest right here.

When Joe arrived on the scene, the police continued to act like Gestapo thugs

Joe was able to arrange transportation to meet his wife where the stop had taken place. Joe attempted to get out of the car to speak with the officers and his wife, and to recover the vehicle Nicole had been driving. The Sheriff, with his hand on his sidearm, ordered Joe back into the car. Joe complied with that request. The sheriff informed Joe that he had every intention of making this as difficult as possible for them and that their car would be impounded, despite the fact that Joe was there on­site to recover it.

A friend, who had driven Joe to the location, got out of the car to speak with the Sheriff. She was able to convince the Sheriff to let Joe recover the vehicle. Joe also recovered Nicole’s cell phone, which had been recording audio the entire time.

The Sheriff ordered Joe to turn the remaining eight children over to Breckinridge County Sheriff’s deputies by 10:00 a.m., and threatened him with felony charges if he does not comply.

Joe did comply with the Sheriff’s order, and now their kids have been scattered by CPS among families in four separate counties

As of now, officials have placed the children with four families in four different counties, and as of Friday morning, the parents had not spoken with them. The four families are families that CPS chose – families the Nauglers don’t know.

Shame on you Kentucky.  You are supposed to be better than this.

One of the most disturbing elements of this entire incident is that Child Protective Services never visited the Nauglers a single time and never gave them any indication that anything was wrong.  The following comes from Off The Grid News

Child Protective Services never visited the home, said Ellsworth, who believes the arrests took place because of the parents’ choice of “unschooling” for their children, and because of their simple way of life that some would call backwards. The family’s Facebook page calls it a “back to basics life.” They have a garden and raise animals. Deputies apparently were concerned about whether the children’s needs were being met, but friends say they personally have no concerns — and that the children are blessed to have Joe and Nicole as their parents.

How would you like it if government thugs raided your home and took your children away because they considered your lifestyle to be “backwards”?

What in the world is happening to this country?

Like I said earlier, what happened to the Nauglers is not an isolated incident.  These kinds of things are happening all over the nation.  For example, just consider the abuse that one homeschooling family received in New Jersey

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a WND report highlights how parents were interrogated by a CPS caseworker who questioned Christopher Zimmer and his wife Nicole, “on everything from their son’s homeschool education to questions about vaccines and guns in the house.”

Michelle Marchese aggressively demanded to enter the property after asserting Christopher Zimmer Jr. was not getting a “proper education.” Police subsequently arrived and allowed Marchese to enter the home before conducting a warrantless search.

The Zimmers are now suing the CPS for $60 million in a case before the U.S. District Court in Trenton.

I very much hope that the Zimmers win that case and collect a huge monetary award.

All over the nation, CPS officials are running around acting like little dictators and trampling the law.  They need the courts to send them a clear message that this is a nation where the rule of law still applies.

If we do not stand with families like the Nauglers, control freak bureaucrats will continue to harass families that have chosen to live a “basic” lifestyle all over the nation.  So let’s stand with them and make this case viral all over the Internet.

And Kentucky, get your act together and send those kids back home.  You are supposed to be so much better than this.

Priority Saudi Targets in Yemen: Civilian Men, Women, Children and Infants

Priority Saudi Targets in Yemen: Civilian Men, Women, Children and Infants

by Stephen Lendman

Saudi Arabia is a ruthless dictatorship. It's a rogue terror state. It brutalizes its own people. 

It punishes anyone challenging its rule with arbitrary arrests and imprisonment under horrific gulag conditions.

Torture and physical abuse are commonplace. So are public whippings and beheadings.

Fair public trials, due process and judicial fairness don't exist. Anyone charged by state authorities is automatically guilty by accusation. Harsh treatment follows.

Most Saudi prisoners are political ones or for offenses too minor to matter.

Human and civil rights are nonexistent. Despotic rule governs virtually all aspects of daily life.

After Israel, Saudi Arabia is Washington's main Middle East ally. Three rogue states partner in each other's high crimes - notably against Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Saudis actively recruit, fund and arm takfiri death squads against Bashar al-Assad's popularly elected government and Yemeni Houthi rebels unwilling to accept US-installed despotic rule.

Obama's war against both countries rages. Saudis are reliable axis of evil partners.

Their money and US weapons are responsible for hundreds of thousands of regional deaths - millions including victims of preventable diseases, starvation, overall deprivation and endless violence.

Washington, Israel, Saudis, and allied dictatorships bear full responsibility for regional nightmarish conditions.

Ongoing in Syria into its fifth year with no end of conflict in sight. Raging in Yemen into its 26th day heading for genocidal mass slaughter, destruction and appalling human suffering.

Saudis conducted over 2,300 airstrikes in less than a month of terror-bombing.

Speaking on national television, Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said "(i)t's the right of our people to resist (Saudi) aggression and face the aggressor by any means."

Saudis plan "invasion (and) occupation (to) place this country again under its feet and hegemony."

"Our Yemeni people will never give in. (They) will resist in the face of the savage aggression."

Saudis have "no right to interfere" in internal Yemeni affairs. "The political problem is an internal one, and it is up to us to define our future."

"The US is sponsoring the attacks. The US is directing the attacks against Yemen."

US "criminal hands" are killing Yemenis. America, Saudi Arabia and Israel are partners in war on its people.

Washington chooses targets to strike. Israel is actively involved.

Saudis claim they plan to "restore Yemen to its Arab identity. What kind of Arab identity is this," Houthi asked?

It's to "return Yemen to the Israeli and US identity." It's to let "Al Qaeda seize control of Yemen."

"The Yemeni people have the right and legitimacy to defend" their nation. "Our great people will not surrender. They will stand."

It's the right of all people to resist aggression, he added. He called on Yemenis to unite against a common enemy.

Up to hundreds are being killed or wounded daily across most of the country - by terror-bombing and ground fighting.

Prime Saudi targets include civilian neighborhoods, refugee camps, farming areas, hospitals, schools, mosques, power facilities, food storage ones, and other nonmilitary related sites - ones chosen by Washington to attack.

On Sunday, Oxfam said Saudis terror-bombed its Saada governorate food storage facilities. Its country director Grace Ommer issued a statement saying:

"This is an absolute outrage, particularly when one considers that we have shared detailed information with the coalition on the locations of our offices and storage facilities."

Saudi strategy includes starving Yemenis to death, depriving them of electricity, water and vitally needed medical care.

It's denying them essentials to survive. It's destroying an entire country to control it.

It's partnering with US imperial ruthlessness. On Sunday, Red Crescent Society representative Abdollah Maboud al-Shokri accused Saudis of using lethal chemical agents.

"We will display a video on the death of tens of children who died after inhaling poisonous gases," he said.

Expect increasing Saudi use of banned toxic agents as terror-bombing continues. Washington, other Western powers and rogue regional states encourage it.

Media scoundrels report nothing. They're silent about horrific US-sponsored war crimes. Noncombatant men, women and children suffer most of all.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei condemned Saudi child killers, saying:

"We feel hatred and disgust for those who attack the civilians, women and children and believe that they are not aware of Islam and human conscience, but we don’t meddle in other countries' affairs."

He blamed Washington and other Western states for involvement in what's ongoing - including Saudi, Egyptian and US warships enforcing blockade.

Ships carrying food, medical supplies and fuel can't access Yemeni ports. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure targets were destroyed.

Grinding poverty and deprivation during normal times are greatly exacerbated under wartime conditions.

A humanitarian disaster increases daily. Dire shortages of everything exist. Some hospitals can't function properly for lack of electricity and vital medical supplies.

Yemen's capital Sanaa resembles a ghost town. Usually congested streets are empty. One Yemeni spoke for others saying "(w)e're suffering terribly." 

Obama bears full responsibility. His rogue partners share it. Expect the worst to come.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of Deliberately Murdering Gazan Children

Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of Deliberately Murdering Gazan Children

by Stephen Lendman

A new Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) report accuses Israel of willfully killing Palestinian children during last summer's Gaza war.

Around 550 children were murdered in cold blood - two-thirds under age 12.

Israel considers all civilians legitimate targets. International law calls killing them a war crime.

Another 3,400 children were injured - over 1,000 maimed for life. They need vital medical care unavailable because of Israel's lawless siege - ongoing aggression by any standard with full US-led Western support.

America and Israel partner in each other's high crimes. They're the world's leading aggressor states - the most egregious human and civil rights abusers. 

They're mindless of core international laws, norms and standards.

Imagine willfully murdering defenseless/nonthreatening young children at home asleep, at play, going to or from school, or running errands for parents.

Imagine considering them enemies of the state. Imagine using illegal terror weapons against them. 

Imagine traumatizing young survivors for life. Imagine Israel outrageously trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Imagine a grieving Palestinian mother explaining her nine-year-old son's "arms and legs were cut off" by an Israeli shell. 

"The upper part of his body was separated from his lower body, which was turned into small pieces. I screamed," she said. 

She and her son were returning to a UN shelter when disaster struck. Israel murdered dozens of entire families in cold blood.

Accountability for its highest of high crimes remains nowhere in sight.

Cold-blooded murder is longstanding Israeli policy. Viciously persecuting Palestinians continues daily.

Israel is a ruthless terror state. It's just a matter of time before it ravages Gaza again.

DCIP's report said "2014 was a year that brought violence, fear and loss (to Gaza)."

"The Israeli military offensive" lasting 51 days from early July to late August killed nearly 550 Palestinian children.

Nearly 3,400 other children were wounded - many from illegal terror weapons.

Over 2,200 Palestinians died - mostly defenseless civilians.

"Investigations undertaken by (DCIP) into Palestinian child fatalities during Operation Protective Edge found overwhelming and repeated evidence of international humanitarian law violations committed by Israeli forces."

"These included direct attacks on children, and indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilian homes, schools, and residential neighborhoods."

Witness testimonies and other documented evidence DCIP collected "showed places that should have been provided children with shelter and safety were not immune from attacks from Israeli forces."

"Missiles fired from Israeli drones and warplanes, artillery shelling, and shrapnel scattered by explosions killed children in their homes, on the street as they fled from attacks with their families, and as they sought shelter from the bombardment in schools."

Israel killed scores of children in drone attacks alone. Clear evidence shows "Israeli forces directly targeted children."

One of many examples affected Rawya Joudeh and four of her five children. An Israeli drone attack murdered them in cold blood - "as they played together" in the family's Jabalia refugee camp yard.

Around half the number of children Israel killed came from attacks on residential buildings.

Sunday, July 20, characterized Israeli viciousness most clearly - the deadliest day for children throughout its lawless aggression.

A nighttime and ground assault on the residential Gaza City Shuja’iyya neighborhood killed 27 children. It injured at least 29 others.

Israeli armed forces are "regularly implicated in serious, systematic and institutionalized human rights violations against Palestinian children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," said DCIP.

"Children affected by armed conflict are entitled to special respect and protections under international law…"

Israel breaches it repeatedly. It indiscriminately and disproportionately murders and injures defenseless Palestinian civilians in cold blood - including young children and infants, helpless against its onslaught.

Evidence of Israel high crimes is overwhelming. It bears repeating. Accountability is nowhere in sight - nor justice for long-suffering Palestinians.

DCIP stressed "(w)ithout an end to the current regime of collective punishment, targeted assassinations, and regular military offensives, the situation for Gaza's children (and all illegally occupied Palestinians is) guaranteed to further deteriorate."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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by Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding Israeli practice. They're treated like adults. Each year, about 700 are lawlessly arrested.

They're detained. They're brutally interrogated. They're prosecuted in military courts. 

They have no legitimacy whatever. They give kangaroos a bad name.

Since 2,000, over 9,000 Palestinian children under age 18 were treated this way. Many became traumatized. No-holds-barred brutality defines official Israeli policy.

On May 12, Defence for Children International Palestine (DCI-P) headlined "Rising numbers of Palestinian children subjected to solitary confinement."

They're isolated for "interrogation purposes," said DCI-P. Over 21% of them are treated this way. It's 2% more than in 2012.

In 2013, DCI-P obtained 98 sworn affidavits. It did so from Palestinian children aged 12 - 17.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish is DCI-P's Accountability Program director. "The use of isolation against Palestinian children as an interrogation tool is a growing trend," he said.

"This is a violation of children's rights and the international community must demand justice and accountability."

DCI-P said interrogating Palestinian children this way aims for forced confessions. They threatened to do so or else.

Isolation ranges from around 10 to 28 days. It continues as long as it takes to terrorize kids to confess to crimes they didn't commit.

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights Richard Falk condemned the practice earlier.

"This pattern of abuse by Israel is grave," he said. 

"It is inhumane, cruel, degrading, and unlawful, and, most worryingly, it is likely to adversely affect the mental and physical health of underage detainees."

Isolated children are held in Petah, Tikva and Kishon detention centers. They're in Ashkelon-based Shikma prison.

They have no contact with family, friends or legal counsel. Transferring them out of Palestine violates Fourth Geneva's Article 76. It states:

"Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein."

"They shall, if possible, be separated from other detainees and shall enjoy conditions of food and hygiene which will be sufficient to keep them in good health, and which will be at least equal to those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country."
  
"They shall receive the medical attention required by their state of health."
  
"They shall also have the right to receive any spiritual assistance which they may require."
  
"Women shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the direct supervision of women."
  
"Proper regard shall be paid to the special treatment due to minors."
  
"Protected persons who are detained shall have the right to be visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in accordance with the provisions of Article 143."
  
"Such persons shall have the right to receive at least one relief parcel monthly."

DCI-Palestine wants Israeli military court judges to exclude forced confessions from their decisions. It demands isolating children for interrogation be "recognized as a form of torture and stopped immediately."

It "demands that the prohibition of solitary confinement against juveniles be enshrined in law and recommends that Israeli authorities implement effective measures to ensure that perpetrators of children’s rights violations are held to account."

It said most arrested Palestinian children are rousted from bed while sleeping.

"Children report that heavily armed Israeli soldiers arrest them in violent circumstances during night raids on their family homes," it said.

They're "often (awakened) by the sound of Israeli soldiers banging on the front door before a family member opens the door or the soldiers force their way in, storming the home."

They "gather all the occupants of the house, regardless of their age, in one room or outside and then demand identification." 

"Generally, the entire home will be searched during the raid." 

"Once a child’s identity has been verified from his identification card, his family will be informed that he must accompany the soldiers."

Parent aren't told charges. Children don't know why they're targeted. Arrests reflect "the last time the family will see their child until he appears in a military court following an unknown period of solitary confinement and interrogation."

"Once the soldiers have identified the child, his hands will be tied with plastic cords, most likely behind his back, and he will be blindfolded and led to a military vehicle."

Most children later recount brutalizing treatment. It begins during arrest. It continues during transfers to detention.

It's worst during isolated interrogations. Children are treated like sub-humans. They're denied all rights.

They're terrorized daily. Brutalizing treatment continues until forced confessions are extracted. Core international laws are violated. Israel spurns them. It does so with impunity.

Thousands of Palestinian children suffered horrifically. Hundreds do annually.

They're held in small windowless cells. It's lit 24 hours a day. They sleep on concrete beds. 

Some on floors. Others on thin "dirty" "foul-smelling" mattresses. Cell walls have "sharp or rough protrusions…" Leaning against them inflicts pain.

They're constructed this way to punish. It's one of many Israeli brutalizing practices. 

Media scoundrels ignore it. They turn a blind eye to Israeli torture, abuse and other ill-treatment. 

One-sided Tel Aviv support is longstanding practice. Palestinians are blamed for their own self-defense. Israel literally gets away with murder.

Horrific Palestinian suffering persists. Young children are affected most. Israel takes full advantage. 

Rogue states operate this way. Israel is one of the world's worst. It's a democracy in name only. It's pure fantasy. 

Police state lawlessness reflects official policy. Most children face stone-throwing charges.

Israeli authorities turn a blind eye to settler violence and vandalism. 

Palestinian children face baseless charges. They arrested. They're detained. They're isolated. They're brutally interrogated.

They're forced to confess. They're tried in military kangaroo tribunals. Guilt by accusation is official Israeli policy.

They can be imprisoned from months to years. They have virtually no right of appeal.

Imagine young children alone against well-trained interrogators. Techniques used include "mentally and physically coercive, frequently incorporating a mix of intimidation, threats and physical violence with a clear purpose of obtaining a confession," said DCI-P.

"Shouting and intimidation are regularly used to elicit confessions, incriminating statements, and information on neighbors or family members."

Children "report being forced to sit in a low metal chair secured to the floor with their hands and feet cuffed to the chair, often for several hours."

Most often they're shackled painfully for hours. Again the next day. Until forced confessions are extracted.

Children are extremely vulnerable. Especially isolated from family members and other outside contacts. 

Young minds take only so much. Israel takes full advantage. Informants are used. Children are entrapped to admit what never happened.

"(N)ot a single indictment has been issued against a perpetrator, and in many cases it is unclear if an investigation has been initiated," said DCI-P.

Horrific Israeli crimes against humanity go unpunished. Justice is systematically denied.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

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Palestinian Children’s Day 2014

Palestinian Children's Day 2014

by Stephen Lendman

In 1925, the World Conference for the Well-Being of Children first proclaimed a day to honor children. In 1954, it was universally established.

Dozens of countries recognize it. Variants include the UN's November 20 Universal Children's Day. 

It was established to encourage all countries to institute a day. It urged doing so to promote mutual exchange and understanding for children's rights.

It was done to promote child welfare worldwide. On November 20, 1958, UN members adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

On November 20, 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) became law.

Universal Children's Day is commemorated on other days. Many countries do so on June 1. 

It's done to create awareness about violence, exploitation, discrimination, and other abuses affecting children. 

They're horrific. They're rampant worldwide. They occur virtually everywhere. They're mostly below the radar. Children are among societies' most vulnerable.

They're used as chattel and other forms of labor. They recruited as combatants. They're sexually abused. They're harmed in many other ways. 

Many are too young to resist. Abuse is a universal problem. It's getting worse, not better.

Palestinians commemorate Children's Day on April 5. Ahead of this year's commemoration, Defense for Children International (DCI) released data revealing Israeli brutality.

Nearly 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 are detained annually. They're held under horrific conditions. 

They isolated. They're threatened. They're terrorized. They're harshly interrogated. They're forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit. Or ones too minor to matter.

In February, 230 children below age 18 languished in Israel's gulag. Israeli security forces murdered others in cold blood. Some are shot in the back. None posed threats.

Cruel and inhuman treatment defines official Israeli policy. Young children suffer most of all. Many become traumatized. 

They're affected longterm. Some never recover. None forget. Many never forgive.

Since September 2000 Intifada resistance began, militarized occupation harshness affected virtually all Palestinian children.

Israeli security forces systematically murder them in cold blood. Others saw loved ones and friends killed. 

They witnessed Israeli missiles and other munitions destroying their homes and neighborhoods. They saw family members brutally arrested pre-dawn.

Israel is a CRC signatory. It systematically spurns its provisions. It ignores them. It commits horrific violations. Doing so based on security concerns doesn't wash.

Israel's only threats are ones it invents. Victims are blamed for its crimes. They persist daily. They show no signs of ending.

Palestinians suffer horrifically. Children most of all. They're defenseless against Israeli brutality. Its security forces take full advantage.

On April 5, PA social affairs minister Kamal al-Sharafi said Israeli forces murdered 1,525 Palestinian children since 2000. Another 6,000 were injured.

More than 10,000 were arrested. Currently over 200 are lawlessly imprisoned. "Protecting and supporting children should be a national responsibility," said al-Sharafi.

He urged PA officials to do more to help. A UN Children Fund (UNICEF) report documented 700 Palestinian children aged 12 - 17 arrested, brutally interrogated and imprisoned during 2013.

Doing so constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. International law is violated. It doesn't matter. 

Israeli rules are enforced. They're horrific. They're extrajudicial. They persist. UNICEF's report was damning. 

Its report covered what it called "the occupied Palestinian territory, which includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip."

It said Israeli treatment "amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture."

In response, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmer lied saying:

"Israel will study the conclusions and will work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF, whose work we value and respect."

According to UNICEF, "(t)he pattern of ill-treatment includes…the practice of blindfolding children and tying their hands with plastic ties, physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, including the use of painful restraints."

Minors accused of stone throwing endure horrific treatment. They're defenseless on their own against it.

Children's rights are denied "during court appearances, including shackling of children, denial of bail and imposition of custodial sentences and transfer of children outside occupied Palestinian territory to serve their sentences inside Israel," said UNICEF.

It's "widespread, systematic and institutionalized." UNICEF's report was based on 400 documented cases since 2009.

It used Israeli legal papers, government and NGO reports, interviews with Palestinian minors, as well as others with Israeli and Palestinian officials and lawyers.

Clear evidence revealed extreme Israeli brutality. Children are violently arrested. They're beaten. They're blindfolded.

They're painfully shackled. They're isolated. They're sleep-deprived. They're brutalized in other ways.

They're "physically and verbally abused." They're given limited access to "water, food, toilet facilities and medical care."

They're denied access to family members and lawyers. They aren't told their rights. Confessions are "extracted under duress."

They're forced to sign them in Hebrew they can't read. They're threatened with physical violence, death, "and sexual assault against themselves (and/or) family members."

Few children can resist this type sustained treatment. Nor can many adults.

Jean-Nicolas Beuze is UNICEF's child protection regional advisor. "Israel is the only place in the world where automatically a child, when he is under arrest, is put before a military tribunal," he said.

In other countries, doing so is "an exception," he added. "A child is a civilian."

On April 5, Palestinians commemorated Children's Day. It's no celebratory event. Not under brutalizing occupation. 

Not when horrific suffering persists. Not when countless numbers of defenseless Palestinian children are grievously harmed.

Children's Day reminds. It highlights high Israeli crimes too grave to ignore. It's about murdering children in cold blood. It's terrorizing them.

It's arresting them lawlessly. It's imprisoning them. It's torturing them. It's attacking them at home, at checkpoints, at play, heading to school or coming home. 

It's systematically denying their rights. It's about world leaders able to make a difference turning a blind eye. It's about letting Israel get away with murder and much more.

UNICEF says violence against children is "everywhere." It's in plain sight. Other times it's "hidden behind closed doors. It's invisible" out of sight.

"All children have the right to live free from violence. (It) harms their physical and mental growth. (It affects) every society." It's worst of all against children.

Their day highlights Israeli crimes. They're too grave to ignore. They harmed generations of Palestinian children. Their rights are systematically denied.

Annual commemorations include speeches, marches, school events, poetry readings, theatrical productions, music and more.

They're held to highlight children's rights. They defend them. They support them. They protest against abuses too grave to tolerate.

According to Defense for Children International (DCI), Universal Children's Day includes little joy in Palestine.

Israel "consistently fail(s) to fulfill or respect the rights of Palestinian children…It systematically sideline(s) or violate(s) these rights…"

It's done so throughout decades of militarized occupation. Murdering and brutalizing Palestinian children is longstanding Israeli practice.

So is harming them in many other ways. Accountability is rare. Convictions are "almost unheard of."

Soldiers are "indifferent to Palestinian children's right to life." They commit murder and other high crimes with immunity.

As a CRC signatory, Israel is obligated to protect children under its jurisdiction. Non-compliance with fundamental international law is common practice.

DCI calls Israel's occupation "illegal." It appealed to world leaders to demand Israel respect Palestinian children's rights.

They turn a blind eye to doing so. Palestinian children today suffer more than ever. They're defenseless on their own.

A Final Comment

Sham peace talks continue. How much longer remains to be seen. An April 29 cutoff date looms. 

Perhaps Palestinian negotiators will agree to extend it. If so, they'll have to explain. Months of talks went nowhere. Nor will months more.

Days earlier, Abbas applied to join 15 UN bodies and treaties. Joining dozens more should be prioritized. They include the International Criminal Court and World Court.

Abbas should have done it years ago. Joining is one thing. Using them responsibly another. Israeli officials outrageously denounced Abbas' initiative. 

They want Palestinians denied all rights. They want Jews alone having them. On Sunday, Netanyahu commented for the first time.

He did so saying: "Unilateral steps by the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral steps on our part."

He omitted explaining "unilateral" Israeli lawlessness. Palestinians are systematically brutalized. They're attacked multiple times daily.

They're beaten, terrorized, arrested and detained. They're tortured. They're murdered in cold blood. Don't expect Netanyahu to explain.

Palestine already is a state. It became one in November 1988. Most UN members support it. Netanyahu won't acknowledge what exists.

"(T)he Palestinians will get a state only though direct negotiations, and not through empty declarations, nor through unilateral actions that will only keep the peace agreement further away," he said.

He deplores Palestinian self-determination. He's gone all-out to prevent it. He wants occupation harshness continued.

He wants all valued Palestinian land stolen. He wants Palestinians kept brutally oppressed. He wants them denied all rights.

Peace process talks mock legitimate ones. Multiple previous ones were dead on arrival.

Current talks are worthless. Israel concedes nothing. It negotiates one-way. Netanyahu lied claiming:

"Right when we were about to come close to that framework, Abbas rushed to declare he will not even discuss recognizing Israel as the national state of the Jewish people - not even discuss, not to mention agree."

Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state violates the fundamental rights of its 20% Arab population. It consigns them to oblivion. It makes them non-persons.

Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan included no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state provision. Demanding it likely would have killed both initiatives.

Abbas acted, Netanyahu added, "even though he knows no agreement will be signed without the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, something that the US president and other world leaders also made clear." 

False! World leaders oppose it. So do Obama and John Kerry. During a March meeting with Abbas, Obama never raised the issue. 

He said nothing about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Kerry called Israel's demand a "mistake." He wants it excluded from talks. Netanyahu lied claiming otherwise. He continued, saying:

"Unfortunately, as we approached the talks' deadline, the Palestinian leadership rushed to unilaterally join 14 (15, not 14) international treaties." 

"Thus the Palestinians significantly violated the agreements that were achieved. The threats to turn to the UN do not affect us. The Palestinians have plenty to lose in a unilateral step."

Abbas acted legally. He violated nothing. Harsh Israeli recrimination is likely. 

It's longstanding rogue state practice. Millions of ordinary Palestinians suffer most. Expect dark times to get darker.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Text of UN Human Rights Council Report on US Human Rights Abuses

UN Human Rights Council Report on US Human Rights Abuses
ADVANCED UNEDITED VERSION
Human Rights Committee
Concluding observations on the fourth report of the United States of America

1. The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of the United States of America (CCPR/C/USA/4 and Corr.1) at its 3044th, 3045th and 3046th meetings (CCPR/C/SR/3044, CCPR/C/SR/3045 and CCPR/C/SR/3046), held on 13 and 14 March 2014. At its 3061st meeting (CCPR/C/SR/3061), held on 26 March 2014, it adopted the following concluding observations.
A. Introduction
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the fourth periodic report of the United States of America and the information presented therein. It expresses appreciation for the opportunity to renew its constructive dialogue with the State party’s high level delegation which included representatives of state and local governments on the measures that the State party has taken during the reporting period to implement the provisions of the Covenant. The Committee is grateful to the State party for its written replies (CCPR/C/USA/Q/4/Add.1) to the list of issues (CCPR/C/USA/Q/4), which were supplemented by the oral responses provided by the delegation and for the supplementary information provided to it in writing.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee notes with appreciation the many efforts undertaken, and the progress made in protecting civil and political rights by the State party. The Committee welcomes, in particular, the following legislative and institutional steps taken by the State party:
(a) The full implementation of article 6(5) of the Covenant in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), despite the State party’s reservation to the contrary;
(b) The recognition by the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), of the extraterritorial application of constitutional habeas corpus rights to aliens detained at Guantánamo Bay;
(c) The Presidential Executive Orders 13491 (“Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”), 13492 (“Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities”) and 13493 (“Review of Detention Policy Options”), issued on 22 January 2009;
(d) The support for the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples announced by President Obama on 16 December 2010;
(e) The Presidential Executive Order 13567 establishing periodic review for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility who have not been charged, convicted, or designated for transfer, issued on 7 March 2011.
C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations
Applicability of the Covenant at national level 
4. The Committee regrets that the State party continues to maintain its position that the Covenant does not apply with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory, despite the contrary interpretation of article 2(1) supported by the Committee’s established jurisprudence, the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice and state practice. The Committee further notes that the State party has only limited avenues to ensure that state and local governments respect and implement the Covenant, and that its provisions have been declared to be non-self-executing at the time of ratification. Taken together, these elements considerably limit the legal reach and the practical relevance of the Covenant (art. 2).  
The State party should:
(a) Interpret the Covenant in good faith, in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to its terms in their context, including subsequent practice, and in the light of its object and purpose and review its legal position so as to acknowledge the extraterritorial application of the Covenant under certain circumstances, as outlined inter alia in the Committee’s general comment No. 31 (2004) on the nature of the general legal obligation imposed on States parties to the Covenant;
(b) Engage with stakeholders at all levels to identify ways to give greater effect to the Covenant at federal, state and local levels, taking into account that the obligations under the Covenant are binding on the State party as a whole, and that all branches of government, and other public or governmental authorities, at every level are in a position to engage the responsibility of the State party under the Covenant (General Comment. No. 31, para. 4);
(c) Taking into account its declaration that provisions of the Covenant are non-self-executing, ensure that effective remedies are available for violations of the Covenant, including those that do not, at the same time, constitute violations of U.S. domestic law, and undertake a review of such areas with a view to proposing to the Congress implementing legislation to fill any legislative gaps. The State party should also consider acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Covenant providing for an individual communication procedure.
(d) Strengthen and expand existing mechanisms mandated to monitor the implementation of human rights at federal, state, local and tribal levels, provide them with adequate human and financial resources or consider establishing an independent national human rights institution, in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles) (General Assembly resolution 48/134).
(e) Reconsider its position regarding its reservations and declarations to the Covenant with a view to withdrawing them. 
Accountability for past human rights violations
5. The Committee is concerned at the limited number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions of members of the Armed Forces and other agents of the U.S. Government, including private contractors, for unlawful killings in its international operations and the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. custody, including outside its territory, as part of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” program. While welcoming the Presidential Executive Order 13491 of 22 January 2009 terminating the programme of secret detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Committee notes with concern that all reported investigations into enforced disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that had been committed in the context of the CIA secret rendition, interrogation and detention programmes were closed in 2012 leading only to a meagre number of criminal charges brought against low-level operatives. The Committee is concerned that many details of the CIA programme remain secret thereby creating barriers to accountability and redress for victims (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 14).
The State party should ensure that all cases of unlawful killing, torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful detention, or enforced disappearance are effectively, independently and impartially investigated, that perpetrators, including, in particular, persons in command positions, are prosecuted and sanctioned, and that victims are provided with effective remedies. The responsibility of those who provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behavior should also be established. The State party should also consider the full incorporation of the doctrine of ‘command responsibility’ in its criminal law and declassify and make public the report of the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence into the CIA secret detention programme.
Racial disparities in the criminal justice system
6. While appreciating the steps taken by the State party to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, including the enactment in August 2010 of The Fair Sentencing Act and plans to work on reform of mandatory minimum sentencing statutes, the Committee continues to be concerned about racial disparities at different stages in the criminal justice system, sentencing disparities and the overrepresentation of individuals belonging to racial and ethnic minorities in prisons and jails (arts. 2, 9, 14, and 26). 
The State party should continue and step up its efforts to robustly address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, including by amending regulations and policies leading to racially disparate impact at the federal, state and local levels. The State party should ensure the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act and reform mandatory minimum sentencing statutes.
Racial profiling
7. While welcoming plans to reform the “stop and frisk” program in New York City, the Committee remains concerned about the practice of racial profiling and surveillance by law enforcement officials targeting certain ethnic minorities, and the surveillance of Muslims undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) in the absence of any suspicion of wrongdoing (arts. 2, 9, 12, 17, and 26).   
The State party should continue and step up its measures to effectively combat and eliminate racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement officials, inter alia by: (a) pursuing the review of the 2003 Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and expanding protection against profiling on the basis of religion, religious appearance or national origin; (b) continuing to train state and local law enforcement personnel on cultural awareness and inadmissibility of racial profiling; and (c) abolishing all “stop and frisk” practices.
Death penalty
8. While welcoming the overall decline in the number of executions and the increasing number of states that have abolished the death penalty, the Committee remains concerned about the continuing use of the death penalty and, in particular, racial disparities in its imposition that affects disproportionately African Americans, exacerbated by the rule that discrimination has to be proven case-by-case. It is further concerned by the high number of persons wrongly sentenced to death, despite existing safeguards, and by the fact that 16 retentionist states do not provide for compensation for the wrongfully convicted and other states provide for insufficient compensation. Finally, the Committee notes with concern reports about the administration by some states of untested lethal drugs to execute prisoners and the withholding of information on such drugs (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 14, and 26).  
The State party should (a) take measures to effectively ensure that the death penalty is not imposed as a result of racial bias; (b) strengthen safeguards against wrongful sentencing to death and subsequent wrongful execution by ensuring inter alia effective legal representation for defendants in death penalty cases, including at the post-conviction stage; (c) ensure that retentionist states provide adequate compensation for the wrongfully convicted (d) ensure that lethal drugs for executions originate from legal, regulated sources, and are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that information on the origin and composition of such drugs is made available to individuals scheduled for execution; (e) consider establishing a moratorium on the death penalty at the federal level and engage with retentionist states with a view to achieving a nationwide moratorium. The Committee also encourages the State party, on the 25th anniversary of the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, to consider acceding to the Protocol. 
Targeted killings using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones)
9. The Committee is concerned about the State party’s practice of targeted killings in extraterritorial counter-terrorism operations using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) also known as ‘drones’, the lack of transparency regarding the criteria for drone strikes, including the legal justification for specific attacks, and the lack of accountability for the loss of life resulting from such attacks. The Committee notes the State party’s position that drone strikes are conducted in the course of its armed conflict with Al- Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces and in accordance with its inherent right of national self-defense and are governed by international humanitarian law, as well as by the Presidential Policy Guidance that sets out standards for the use of lethal force outside areas of active hostilities. Nevertheless, the Committee remains concerned about the State party’s very broad approach to the definition and the geographical scope of an armed conflict, including the end of hostilities, the unclear interpretation of what constitutes an “imminent threat” and who is a combatant or civilian taking a direct part in hostilities, the unclear position on the nexus that should exist between any particular use of lethal force and any specific theatre of hostilities, as well as the precautionary measures taken to avoid civilian casualties in practice (arts. 2, 6, and 14). 
The State party should revisit its position regarding legal justifications for the use of deadly force through drone attacks. It should: (a) ensure that any use of armed drones complies fully with its obligations under article 6 of the Covenant, including in particular with respect to the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality in the context of an armed conflict; (b) subject to operational security, disclose the criteria for drone strikes, including the legal basis for specific attacks, the process of target identification and the circumstances in which drones are used; (c) provide for independent supervision and oversight over the specific implementation of regulations governing the use of drone strikes; (d) in armed conflict situations, take all feasible measures to ensure the protection of civilians in specific drone attacks and to track and assess civilian casualties, as well as all necessary precautionary measures in order to avoid such casualties; (e) conduct independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigations of allegations of violations of the right to life and bring to justice those responsible; (f) provide victims or their families with an effective remedy where there has been a violation, including adequate compensation, and establish accountability mechanisms for victims of allegedly unlawful drone attacks who are not compensated by their home governments.
Gun violence 
10. While acknowledging the measures taken to reduce gun violence, the Committee remains concerned about the continuing high numbers of gun-related deaths and injuries and the disparate impact of gun violence on minorities, women and children. While commending the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ investigation of the discriminatory effect of “Stand Your Ground Laws”, the Committee is concerned about the proliferation of such laws that are used to circumvent the limits of legitimate self-defence in violation of the State party’s duty to protect life (arts. 2, 6, and 26). 
The State Party should take all necessary measures to abide by its obligation to effectively protect the right to life. In particular, it should: (a) continue its efforts to effectively curb gun violence, including through the continued pursuit of legislation requiring background checks for all private firearm transfers in order to prevent possession of arms by persons recognized as prohibited individuals under federal law and strict enforcement of the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban legislation of 1996 (the “Lautenberg Amendment”); and (b) review Stand Your Ground Laws to remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to the principles of necessity and proportionality when using deadly force in self-defence.
Excessive use of force by law enforcement officials
11. The Committee is concerned about the still high number of fatal shootings by certain police forces, including, for instance, in Chicago, and reports of excessive use of force by certain law enforcement officers including the deadly use of tasers, which have a disparate impact on African Americans, and use of lethal force by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the U.S.-Mexico border (arts. 2, 6, 7, and 26).  
The State Party should  (a) step up its efforts to prevent the excessive use of force by law enforcement officers by ensuring compliance with the 1990 UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officers; (b) ensure that the new CBP directive on use of deadly force is applied and enforced in practice; and (c) improve reporting of excessive use of force violations and ensure that reported cases of excessive use of force are effectively investigated, alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions, that investigations are re-opened when new evidence becomes available, and that victims or their families are provided with adequate compensation. 
Legislation prohibiting torture
12. While noting that acts of torture may be prosecuted in a variety of ways at both the federal and state levels, the Committee is concerned about the lack of comprehensive legislation criminalizing all forms of torture, including mental torture, committed within the territory of the State party. The Committee is also concerned about the inability of torture victims to claim compensation from the State party and its officials due to the application of broad doctrines of legal privilege and immunity (arts. 2 and 7).
The State party should enact legislation to explicitly prohibit torture, including mental torture, wherever committed and ensure that the law provides for penalties commensurate with the gravity of such acts, whether committed by public officials or other persons acting on behalf of the State, or by private persons. The State party should ensure the availability of compensation to victims of torture. 
Non-refoulement
13. While noting the measures taken to ensure compliance with the principle of non-refoulement in cases of extradition, expulsion, return and transfer of individuals to other countries, the Committee is concerned about the State party’s reliance on diplomatic assurances that do not provide sufficient safeguards. It is also concerned at the State party’s position that the principle of non-refoulement is not covered by the Covenant despite the Committee’s established jurisprudence and subsequent state practice (arts. 6 and 7). 
The State party should strictly apply the absolute prohibition against refoulement under articles 6 and 7 of the Covenant, continue exercising the utmost care in evaluating diplomatic assurances, and refrain from relying on such assurances where it is not in a position to effectively monitor the treatment of such persons after their extradition, expulsion, transfer or return to other countries and take appropriate remedial action when assurances are not fulfilled. 
Trafficking and forced labour
14. While acknowledging the measures taken by the State party to address the issue of trafficking in persons and forced labour, the Committee remains concerned about cases of trafficking for purposes of labour and sexual exploitation, including of children, and criminalization of victims on prostitution-related charges. It is concerned about the insufficient identification and investigation of cases of trafficking for labour purposes and notes with concern that certain categories of workers, such as farm workers and domestic workers, are explicitly excluded from the protection of labour laws, thus rendering these categories of workers more vulnerable to trafficking. The Committee is also concerned that workers entering the U.S. under the H-2B work visa programme are also at a high risk of becoming victims of trafficking/forced labour (arts. 2, 8, 9, 14, 24, and 26).
The State party should continue its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, inter alia by strengthening its preventive measures, increasing victim identification and systematically and vigorously investigating allegations of trafficking in persons, prosecuting and punishing those responsible and providing effective remedies to victims, including protection, rehabilitation and compensation. It should take all appropriate measures to prevent the criminalization of victims of sex trafficking, including child victims, to the extent that they have been compelled to engage in unlawful activities. The State party should review its laws and regulations to ensure full protection against forced labour for all categories of workers and ensure effective oversight of labour conditions in any temporary visa program. It should also reinforce its training activities and provide training to law enforcement and border and immigration officials, as well as to other relevant agencies such as labour law enforcement agencies and child welfare agencies. 
Immigrants
15. The Committee is concerned that under certain circumstances mandatory detention of immigrants for prolonged periods of time without regard to the individual case may raise issues under article 9 of the Covenant. It is also concerned about the mandatory nature of the deportation of foreigners without regard to elements such as the seriousness of crimes and misdemeanors committed, the length of lawful stay in the U.S., health status, family ties and the fate of spouses and children staying behind, or the humanitarian situation in the country of destination. Finally, the Committee expresses concerns about the exclusion of millions of undocumented immigrants and their children from coverage under the Affordable Care Act and the limited coverage of undocumented immigrants and immigrants residing lawfully in the U.S. for less than five years by Medicare and Children Health Insurance, all resulting in difficulties in access of immigrants to adequate health care (arts. 7, 9, 13, 17, 24 and 26).
The Committee recommends to the State party to review its policies of mandatory detention and deportation of certain categories of immigrants in order to allow for individualized decisions, to take measures ensuring that affected persons have access to legal representation, and to identify ways to facilitate access of undocumented immigrants and immigrants residing lawfully in the U.S. for less than five years and their families to adequate health care, including reproductive health care services.
Domestic violence 
16. The Committee is concerned that domestic violence continues to be prevalent in the State party, and that ethnic minorities, immigrants and American Indian and Alaska Native women are at a particular risk. The Committee is also concerned that victims face obstacles to obtaining remedies, and that law enforcement authorities are not legally required to act with due diligence to protect victims of domestic violence, and often inadequately respond to such cases  (arts. 3, 7, 9, and 26)
The State party should, through the full and effective implementation of the Violence against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, strengthen measures to prevent and combat domestic violence, as well as to ensure that law enforcement personnel appropriately respond to acts of domestic violence. The State party should ensure that cases of domestic violence are effectively investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and sanctioned. The State party should ensure remedies for all victims of domestic violence, and take steps to improve the provision of emergency shelter, housing, child care, rehabilitative services and legal representation for women victims of domestic violence. The State party should also take measures to assist tribal authorities in their efforts to address domestic violence against Native American women.
Corporal punishment 
17. The Committee is concerned about the use of corporal punishment of children in schools, penal institutions, the home, and all forms of child care at federal, state and local levels. It is also concerned about the increasing criminalization of students to tackle disciplinary issues arising in schools (arts. 7, 10, and 24).
The State party should take practical steps, including through legislative measures where appropriate, to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings. It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment and should conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects. The State party should also promote the use of alternatives to the application of criminal law to address disciplinary issues in schools.
Non-consensual psychiatric treatment
18. The Committee is concerned about the widespread use of non-consensual psychiatric medication, electroshock and other restrictive and coercive practices in mental health services (arts. 7 and 17).
The State party should ensure that non-consensual use of psychiatric medication, electroshock and other restrictive and coercive practices in mental health services is generally prohibited. Non-consensual psychiatric treatment may only be applied, if at all, in exceptional cases as a measure of last resort where absolutely necessary for the benefit of the person concerned provided that he or she is unable to give consent, for the shortest possible time, without any long-term impact, and under independent review. The State party should promote psychiatric care aimed at preserving the dignity of patients, both adults and minors.

Criminalization of homelessness
19. While appreciating the steps taken by federal and some state and local authorities to address homelessness, the Committee is concerned about reports of criminalization of people living on the street for everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, sitting in particular areas etc. The Committee notes that such criminalization raises concerns of discrimination and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment (arts. 2, 7, 9, 17, and 26).
The State party should engage with state and local authorities to: (a) abolish criminalization of homelessness laws and policies at state and local levels; (b) ensure close cooperation between all relevant stakeholders including social, health, law enforcement and justice professionals at all levels to intensify efforts to find solutions for the homeless in accordance with human rights standards; and (c) offer incentives for decriminalization and implementation of such solutions, including by providing continued financial support to local authorities implementing alternatives to criminalization and withdrawing funding for local authorities criminalizing the homeless.  
Conditions of detention and use of solitary confinement
20. The Committee is concerned about the continued practice of holding persons deprived of their liberty, including juveniles and persons with mental disabilities under certain circumstances, in prolonged solitary confinement, and about detainees being held in solitary confinement also in pretrial detention. The Committee is furthermore concerned about poor detention conditions in death row facilities (arts. 7, 9, 10, 17, and 24).
The State party should monitor conditions of detention in prisons, including private detention facilities, with a view to ensuring that persons deprived of their liberty be treated in accordance with the requirements of articles 7 and 10 of the Covenant and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. It should impose strict limits on the use of solitary confinement, both pretrial and following conviction, in the federal system, as well as nationwide, and abolish the practice in respect of anyone under the age of 18 and prisoners with serious mental illness. It should also bring detention conditions of prisoners on death row in line with international standards.
Detainees at Guantánamo Bay 
21. While noting President Obama’s commitment to close the Guantánamo Bay facility and the appointment of Special Envoys at the Departments of State and Defense to continue to pursue the transfer of detainees designated for transfer, the Committee regrets that no timeline for closure of the facility has been provided. The Committee is also concerned that detainees held in Guantánamo Bay and in military facilities in Afghanistan are not dealt with within the ordinary criminal justice system after a protracted period of over a decade in some cases (arts. 7, 9, 10, and 14).
The State party should expedite the transfer of detainees designated for transfer, including to Yemen, as well as the process of periodic review for Guantánamo detainees, and ensure either their trial or immediate release, and the closure of the Guantánamo facility. It should end the system of administrative detention without charge or trial and ensure that any criminal cases against detainees held in Guantánamo and military facilities in Afghanistan are dealt with within the criminal justice system rather than military commissions and that those detainees are afforded the fair trial guarantees enshrined in article 14 of the Covenant. 
NSA surveillance
22. The Committee is concerned about the surveillance of communications in the interests of protecting national security, conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) both within and outside the United States through the bulk phone metadata program (Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act) and, in particular, the surveillance under Section 702 of Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) conducted through PRISM (collection of the contents of communications from U.S.-based companies) and UPSTREAM (tapping of fiber-optic cables in the U.S. that carry internet traffic) programs and their adverse impact on the right to privacy. The Committee is concerned that until recently, judicial interpretations of FISA and rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) have largely been kept secret, thus not allowing affected persons to know the law with sufficient precision. The Committee is concerned that the current system of oversight of the activities of the NSA fails to effectively protect the rights of those affected. While welcoming the recent Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-28) that will now extend some safeguards to non-US persons “to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the national security”, the Committee remains concerned that such persons enjoy only limited protection against excessive surveillance. Finally, the Committee is concerned that those affected have no access to effective remedies in case of abuse (arts. 2, 5(1), and 17).
The State party should:
(a) take all necessary measures to ensure that its surveillance activities, both within and outside the United States, conform to its obligations under the Covenant, including article 17; in particular, measures should be taken to ensure that any interference with the right to privacy complies with the principles of legality, proportionality and necessity regardless of the nationality or location of individuals whose communications are under direct surveillance;
(b) ensure that any interference with the right to privacy, family, home or correspondence be authorized by laws that (i) are publicly accessible; (ii) contain provisions that ensure that collection of, access to and use of communications data are tailored to specific legitimate aims; (iii) are sufficiently precise specifying in detail the precise circumstances in which any such interference may be permitted; the procedures for authorizing; the categories of persons who may be placed under surveillance; limits on the duration of surveillance; procedures for the use and storage of the data collected; and (iv) provide for effective safeguards against abuse;
(c) reform the current system of oversight over surveillance activities to ensure its effectiveness, including by providing for judicial involvement in authorization or monitoring of surveillance measures, and considering to establish strong and independent oversight mandates with a view to prevent abuses;
(d) refrain from imposing mandatory retention of data by third parties;
(e) ensure that affected persons have access to effective remedies in cases of abuse.
Juvenile justice and life without parole sentences
23. While noting with satisfaction the Supreme Court decisions prohibiting life without parole sentences for children convicted of non-homicide offenses (Graham v. Florida), and barring mandatory life without parole sentences for children convicted of homicide offenses (Miller v. Alabama) and the State party’s commitment to their retroactive application, the Committee is concerned that a court still may, within its discretion, sentence a defendant to life without parole for a homicide committed as a juvenile and that a mandatory or non-homicide related sentence of life without parole may still be applied to adults. It is also concerned that many states exclude 16 and 17 year olds from juvenile court jurisdictions and thus juveniles continue to be tried in adult courts and to be incarcerated in adult institutions (arts. 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 24). 
The State party should prohibit and abolish all juvenile life without parole sentences irrespective of the crime committed, as well as all mandatory and non-homicide related sentences of life without parole. It should also ensure that all juveniles are separated from adults during pretrial detention and after sentencing and that juveniles are not transferred to adult courts. States that automatically exclude 16 and 17 year olds from juvenile court jurisdictions should be encouraged to change their laws.
Voting rights
24. While noting with satisfaction Attorney General Holder’s statement of 11 February 2014 calling for a reform of prisoner disenfranchisement State laws, the Committee reiterate its concern about the persistence of state-level felon disenfranchisement laws, its disproportionate impact on minorities, and the lengthy and cumbersome state voting restoration procedures. The Committee is further concerned that voter identification and other recently introduced eligibility requirements may impose excessive burdens on voters resulting in de facto disenfranchisement of large numbers of voters, including members of minority groups. Finally, the Committee reiterates its concern that residents of the District of Columbia are denied the right to vote for and election of voting representatives to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives (arts. 2, 10, 25, and 26).
The State party should ensure that all states reinstate voting rights to felons who have fully served their sentences, provide inmates with information about their voting restoration options and remove or streamline lengthy and cumbersome state voting restoration procedures, as well as review automatic denial of the vote to any imprisoned felon, regardless of the nature of the offence. It should also take all necessary measures to ensure that voter identification requirements and the new eligibility requirements do not impose excessive burdens on voters resulting in de facto disenfranchisement. The State party should also provide for the full voting rights of residents of Washington, D.C. 
Rights of indigenous people
25. The Committee is concerned about the insufficient measures being taken to protect the sacred areas of indigenous peoples against desecration, contamination and destruction as a result of urbanization, extractive industries, industrial development, tourism and toxic contamination. It is also concerned about restricted access of indigenous people to sacred areas essential for preservation of their religious, cultural and spiritual practices and the insufficiency of consultation conducted with indigenous peoples on matters of interest to their communities (art. 27).
The State party should adopt measures to effectively protect sacred areas of indigenous peoples against desecration, contamination and destruction and ensure that consultations are held with the communities that might be adversely affected by State party’s development projects and exploitation of natural resources with a view to obtaining their free, prior and informed consent for the potential project activities.
26. The State party should widely disseminate the Covenant, the text of the fourth periodic report, the written responses that it has provided in response to the list of issues drawn up by the Committee and the present concluding observations so as to increase awareness among the judicial, legislative and administrative authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations operating in the country, as well as the general public. The Committee also requests the State party, when preparing its fifth periodic report, to continue its practice of broadly consulting with civil society and non-governmental organizations.
27. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 5, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party should provide, within one year, relevant information on its implementation of the Committee’s recommendations made in paragraphs 5, 10, 21 and 22 above.

28. The Committee requests the State party, in its next periodic report, due to be submitted on 28 March 2019, to provide specific, up-to-date information on all its recommendations and on the Covenant as a whole

This Is The Face Of Evil -Du Pont Heir Rapes Own Children, No Jail...

By Susan Duclos


What kind of man rapes his own 3 year-old little girl? Admits it, pleads guilty, yet receives no jail time? 


Robert H. Richards IV a Du Pont heir, that's who. He is now being accused of also sexually abusing his toddler son as the ex-wife sues Richards for compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children, according to reports.


In 2008, Richards plead guilty to fourth-degree rape of his 3 year-old daughter, and is still currently on probation but was never sentenced to prison and now details that were never made public at the time are listed in the current lawsuit.


Key quotes from the Delaware Online article:


• The lawsuit claims that Richards raped his daughter, now 11, in 2005 when she was 3. Several times, he entered her bedroom at night while she slept and penetrated her with his fingers while masturbating, said the lawsuit, which includes documents from the criminal case.

• The lawsuits asserts that Roberts also admitted in April 2010, while on probation, that he sexually abused his son. Those assaults began around December 2005, when the boy was 19 months old, and continued for about two years, the lawsuit said.

• The revelations allegedly came while Richards was taking a lie detector test, ordered in an attempt to get Richards to be more forthcoming about his sexual history. Richards told the examiner he "was very concerned that something happened with his son but that he has repressed the memories,' " He told the examiner he worried that his acts were "similar to what happened with his daughter," the lawsuit said. "But he promised that whatever I did to my son, I will never do it again."

A man is supposed to protect his children but this man became the monster parents hold the responsibility of protecting their children from.


The image below the video of the press conference held announcing the lawsuit, is of Richards.... take a good hard look because that is the face of evil..... that is a monster.





Cross posted at Before It's News

Israel Targets Palestinian Children

Israel Targets Palestinian Children

by Stephen Lendman

Imagine waging war on kids. Imagine doing it no-holds-bared. A joint Four Corners/The Australian broadsheet investigation discusses ruthless Israeli treatment.  

Palestinian boys are targeted. Beatings, arrests, detentions and torture follow. More on it below.

In November 2011, the weekend Australian magazine headlined "Stone cold justice," saying:

"You hear them before you see them." You hear "a shuffle of shoes and a clinking of handcuffs and shackles."

Four boys look bewildered in an Israeli military courtroom. Palestinians are denied civil justice.

"They wear brown prison overalls..." They're treated like hardened criminals. Military injustice awaits them. Guilt by accusation follows.

A new "Stone Cold Justice" report updated the earlier one. Australian lawyer Gerard Horton is involved. 

He's trying to help arrested Palestinian boys. Three are discussed. More on them below.

Hundreds of Palestinians are mistreated annually. They're lawlessly arrested and detained. Children young as five are terrorized. They're too young to know why.

Imagine facing prison for stone-throwing. Imagine it awaiting hundreds whether or not they're guilty as charged.

Imagine being systematically abused. Imagine violating their fundamental rights. Imagine Israel doing it contemptuously. Imagine no way to stop it.

Israeli military court prosecutions produce nearly 100% convictions. Virtually no Palestinian is found innocent. Children are abusively treated. Some end up in adult prisons.

Trials are short as 60 seconds of less. Guilt pronouncements and sentencings complete them. Independent observers say they never saw anything like it anywhere.

Israel wants what goes on suppressed. Most Palestinians are lawlessly charged. They're coerced to confess. They're terrorized. 

They're severely tortured. They're forced to sign Hebrew confessions they don't understand. They're brutalized until they agree.

Israel's criminal injustice system is like Guantanamo for kids. Many don't understand what's happening. Families can't intervene to help. Nor legal counsel except to plea bargain.

It bears repeating. Once charged, guilt by accusation follows. There's no escape. Generations of Palestinians have been abused this way. It's been ongoing for nearly half a century.

Gross mistreatment leaves lasting scars. Traumas don't go away. Emotional harm lasts. For many it's for a lifetime.

Imagine treating young children like hardened criminals. Imagine denying them due process. Imagine no judicial fairness. Imagine Nazism writ large.

Israel is a lawless police state. It's one of the world's most ruthless. Palestinians are targeted for being non-Jews. Praying to the wrong God is considered terrorism. So is self-defense.

Stone Cold Justice focuses on three Palestinian boys. Two were arrested in the middle of the night. They were taken to unknown locations. According to one boy's mother:

"Every soldier stood at the door of a room. I (addressed one of them saying) "What do you want with him? 

He said 'Shut up woman.' And then they started hitting him and pulling him out of bed."

Her son said "(t)hey started kicking (him) with their boots in (his) stomach, slaps on (his) face. They pulled (him) up by (his) t-shirt and took (him) out of bed."

Israel calls this maintaining security. Palestinians call it institutionalized persecution. Enforced ruthlessness makes life intolerable.

"(T)hey want to kick us out out of here and drive us away because they don't want Arabs in this area."

Israel's Foreign Ministry lies claiming otherwise. Ethnic cleansing is longstanding Israeli policy. So is maximum land theft with minimum Arabs.

UNICEF released a scathing report. It said "children (are) threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault."

Other reports say the same things and more. Four Corners said "Palestinian children have more to fear than the Israeli army." 

Reporter John Lyons (presented) clear evidence that "Israeli settlers in the West Bank regularly attack Palestinian school children, knowing authorities will not intervene."

On February 10, Stone Cold Justice aired. Presenter Kerry O'Brien discussed "a new generation of hatred in the making."

Imagine heavily armed soldiers making middle-of-the-night raids. Imagine it in Australia or any civilized society. Imagine arresting young children in their beds.

Imagine beating and kicking them. Imagine cuffing and blindfolding them. Imagine ordering parents not to intervene.

Imagine military prisons with young kids in shackles. Imagine isolating them from society outside. Imagine brutal interrogations.

Imagine no-holds-barred torture. Imagine forcing innocent kids to confess. Imagine brutalizing them until they do. Imagine the worst crimes against humanity.

Imagine hundreds of Palestinian children mistreated this way annually. Lyons said imagine a "peaceful evening in a small Palestinian village. A 14-year-old boy and his family sleep."

Vehicles arrive in the middle of the night. Soldiers are making a raid. Asai Zamara is targeted. He's a young teenager. 

Soldiers claim he threw stones. He insists he did nothing wrong. It doesn't help. An "18 day nightmare" begins.

Qsai Zamara: "There was this big machine with all the electric wires in it, connected to the electricity. He wanted to give me electric shock with it." 

"He would throw me on the ground and hit me, things like that. He also had a whip with a hose which he hit me with."

John Lyons: "Fathi Mahfouz would spend the next 82 days in prison - beginning with an interrogation."

He's 15 years old. He's innocent. Accusations were baseless. It didn't matter. He was brutalized to confess.

Faithi Mahfouz: "They were holding electric batons and they hit me with them. One of the officers lifted up his mask." 

"They all had charcoal on their faces and their eyes were black. He would talk to me and frown at me to scare me and he hit me. He gave me electric shocks."

Horton said interrogators "started yelling at him and then (he) was placed on some sort of wooden device on the wall, similar in shape to a cross, although if had two legs."

His hands and legs were shackled to it. He was left there that way for hours. Faithi said "(b)ecause of all the shaking, a piece of wood snapped."

An interrogator kept hitting him. He asked "(d)on't you want to confess?" Faithi said he wouldn't "confess to something (he) didn't do."

Beatings continued to force him. After five hours, he was released from the structure.

He was in pain, he said. "Then white foam started coming out of my mouth. Two men came and took me to first aid." 

"Then my chest was cramped. I couldn't breathe. They took me to the same area I was in, to the same building, there was this small clinic." 

"He took me in and asked me 'Where's the pain?' Then he'd press on it and hit it, and make fun of me."

John Lyons: "As a 14-year old, Islam Dar Ayyoub (faced) Israel's security services."

Islam Dar Ayyoub: "He told me 'Here, sign this paper.' I told him 'It's in Hebrew and I can't read Hebrew. Can you read it to me?' " 

"He said 'It's for your release. You need to sign it.' After I signed it at the court, I was surprised to find out it was a confession paper."

Hundreds of Palestinian boys face this type injustice annually. Attorney Gerard Horton is leading a campaign against systemic Israeli injustice.

Horton: Middle-of-the-night arrests have "a paralyzing effect on whole communities..." 

State-sponsored "fear…makes this system work so effectively well with relatively few soldiers on the ground..."

It makes occupation harshness "cost-effective." It's ruthless state terror on the cheap. It's standard Israeli practice.

Israeli officials and spokespersons consistently lie. They claim no such policies exist. Irrefutable evidence proves otherwise. Denials ring hollow.

Maintaining security is a ruse. No violence exists except what Israel inflicts. Rogue states operate this way. Israel is one of the world's worst.

It's hard imaging policies more extreme. Police state ruthlessness describes it.

Horton: "So take a situation involving two children in the West Bank throwing stones, one a Palestinian child, one an Israeli child living in the settlements." 

"The Palestinian child will be prosecuted in a military jurisdiction with far fewer rights and protections, whereas his Israeli counterpart, living sometimes 500 metres away, will be prosecuted in a juvenile justice system which meets international standards and complies, is a sort of system you would expected in any western-style democracy."

Prosecuting settler children or adults is almost unheard of. Rare exceptions prove the rule. Slap-on-the-wrist punishments at most follow.

Palestinians are fair game. To understand their mistreatment, "come to Hebron," said Lyons.

It's the largest West Bank Palestinian city. Around 800 settlers live in its center. They're surrounded by 180,000 Palestinians.

"The effect of Israel's occupation is obvious. (Hebron's center) is a ghost town. Israeli soldiers (prevent) Palestinians (from) walk(ing) along these streets."

They've been forced out of buildings. They've been ethnically cleansed. They're denied all rights. They have no recourse.

A Palestinian man wanted to visit his father's grave. Soldiers prevented him.

Lyons witnessed Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian children heading to school. They tear-gassed them. 

Allegedly in response to stone-throwing. "We could see no provocation from the children who were trying to avoid the gas," said Lyons.

Teachers said soldiers fire tear gas daily. They do it to protect settlers. They do it maliciously. They do what they can get away with. They do whatever they want with impunity.

Teachers want children in school learning. One teacher said three kids were hospitalized from gassing in the last week.

They're young children. They're not criminals. They're targeted for being Palestinians.

Lyons approached Israeli police. "Why do you fire tear gas (at) children going to school," he asked?

"We can't talk to you," police responded. Lyons persisted. He repeated his question. He was stonewalled.

Hebron is typical of West Bank injustice. Israelis have "one law," said Lyons. Palestinians another. Systemic injustice is longstanding Israeli policy.

Last July, Israeli soldiers targeted five-year old Wadi'a Mawadeh. An Israeli settler accused him of stone throwing.

Six soldiers terrorized him. They threatened him and his parents. They handcuffed and blindfolded his father. 

They handed the boy over to police. They wrongfully accused him of stone-throwing.

Arrests are lawless. They're violent. Homes are broken into. Property is damaged or stolen. 

Children are blindfolded and shackled. They're terrorized. They're beaten. Family members are threatened not to intervene.

Even five-year-olds aren't safe. Imagine detaining them for hours. Imagine traumatizing them.

Lyons asked Wadi'a what he thinks when he sees an Israeli soldier. "I'm scared of them," he said.

Gaby Lasky is an Israeli lawyer. "I want people to think what they would do if their five-year old child was being taken by an occupier's army, even by your local police."

"If a five-year-old was being held by an authority that is not you, you would do anything in order to try to get your child back." 

"Military courts are the long arm of the occupation. We're not talking about courts of justice; we are talking about courts of occupation."

Former Israeli commander Yehuda Shaul said he "grew up believing that our actions as a military in the occupied territories (were) to protect Israel from terrorism."

"What I've learned from my three years of service and nine years of activism and Breaking the Silence...is that the main story here is about maintaining our absolute military control over (defenseless) Palestinians."

"When we see settlers attacking a Palestinian, our orders are not to intervene."

Israeli settlers harmed three-year-old Adele Biton for life. She has brain damage. Her mother Adva said:

"Eight months ago I was driving back from my parents' home, back to my home in Yakir, when Palestinian terrorists threw large building stones on my car." 

"The stones, the building stones, hit Adele's head and also caused me to bump into a truck."

"We're fighting together to get her back to life." She's hospitalized. 

"I don't think it's fair for her to sleep here in the bed and don't do things like children her age. It's not fair."

Israeli Lt. Col. Maurice Hirsh said it's unlikely she'll recover. "That is terrorism," he added.

It's state terrorism. Middle -of-the-night arrests, detentions and brutal interrogations reflect it.

According to Horton, "(y)ou'll be subjected to violence if you don't confess. You will be detained for an extended period of time..."

"(T)he intelligence is usually very good, so the interrogator will know if that child's father has a work permit, for example, to work inside Israel." 

"If that's the case, the threats sometimes are of the nature of we will revoke your father's work permit unless you confess."

Horton said one interrogator stood out. He specialized in terrorizing children. He threatens rape.

He mentions someone outside the interrogation room. He says someone will come in and rape the child.

He threatened one boy by putting food on his head. A dog was brought in to eat it. The boy was terrified. The dog drooled all over him.

He feared being bitten any moment. Someone put food on his genitals. The dog was positioned to eat it. Imagine anyone enduring this. 

Imagine a young boy terrorized this way. Imagine Israel calling itself civilized. Imagine rogue state terror writ large.

Most Palestinian boys convicted of stone-throwing face about three months in prison. They shouldn't face three minutes.

According to Lyons, Israeli security services devise ghastly new tactics. Young children are brutalized to extract information on their villages. Residents in them. On their parents, family members and neighbors.

Gaby Lasky added: "I can see a pattern that Israel's hasn't been able to put down the non-violent movement in the occupied territories through violent means." 

"So the best way to do that is by incriminating those leaders, and the easiest way to do that, to achieve, to get those incriminations, is by arresting children which are the weakest link."

Israel uses Palestinian children for intelligence gathering. It does so by terrorizing them to collaborate.

Stiff punishment follows failure to cooperate. It includes torture and longer prison terms. 

Daniella Weiss is an Israeli activist. She's a former Kedumim settlement mayor. She rejects settler lawlessness.

In the 1970s, she met regularly with Ariel Sharon. She did so when he was agriculture minister.

He was adamant then, earlier and later. "There would be no option for a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria," he said.

God promised Israel to Jews, he believed. All of it. He opposed Palestinian statehood. So do current Israeli hardliners.

Their notion of sovereignty is isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland. Palestinians can expect nothing more.

Not as long as Washington lets Israel have its way. Kerry's so-called framework agreement is structured this way.

It's entirely one-sided. It offers Palestinians virtually nothing. It continues occupation harshness.

It assures legions of traumatized Palestinian children. Perhaps another generation will be destroyed. Militarized occupation assures it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Palestinian Children in Cages

Palestinian Children in Cages

by Stephen Lendman

Israel willfully, systematically, maliciously and lawlessly abuses detained Palestinian children. They're treated like adult prisoners.

Mercy isn't Israel's long suit. Nor are peace, equity, justice or respect for fundamental human and civil rights. 

Israel spurns them repeatedly. It's standard practice. It remains unaccountable for grave crimes against humanity.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) calls torture and ill treatment of any kind morally, ethically and legally incompatible with democratic values.

PCATI "advocates for all persons - Israelis, Palestinians, labor immigrants, and other(s)." It does so to "protect them from torture and ill treatment by" Israeli interrogation and enforcement authorities.

It does it in accordance with rule of law principles and other democratic values. It challenges longstanding lawless Israeli practices.

Torture is official Israeli policy. The UN Convention against Torture defines it as:

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain and suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity..."

Fourth Geneva's Article 27 states:

Protected persons "shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof..."

Its Articles 31 and 32 state:

"No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons." 

"This prohibition applies to...torture (and) to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents."

Its Article 147 calls "willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment...grave breaches" under the Convention and are considered "war crimes."

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 7 states:

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Other international law statutes call torture a high crime against humanity. It's prohibited at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.

Israel operates extrajudicially. Crimes against humanity occur daily. Palestinians face torture and other forms of abuse. Children are treated like adults.

Principle 1 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child says:

"Every child, without exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to (fundamental human and civil) rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family."

They're entitled to special protections and opportunities. It's to help them develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and socially. It's so they'll do it under conditions of freedom and dignity. 

They include the right to life, an adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, leisure, safety and peace. Israel systematically denies Palestinians all rights. Children are no exception.

Imagine putting them in cages. Imagine them outside in stormy winter weather. Israel did so in December.

Two Israeli National Public Defender lawyers witnessed it firsthand. They met with Palestinian prisoners. They included young children.

They were "shock(ed)" to see them confined outdoors at night in freezing stormy weather. They spent hours waiting to be taken to court around 6AM.

The practice has been ongoing "for months," they said. They verified it during previous visits.

They issued an emergency appeal "to prevent another night of such grave harm to humanity."

They were especially appalled at how young children are treated.

PCATI issued a lengthy statement. It headline "Childhood is not a Privilege but a Right!" It expressed "alarm and condemnation."

It accused Israel of "failure to protect Palestinian children from direct and indirect torture and ill treatment." It said "Torture Destroys Childhood, Families (and) Society."

Israel's Knesset Public Petitions Committee members discussed how security forces treat Palestinian children during arrests and imprisonment.

According to the Istanbul Protocol Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Istanbul Protocol):

"Perpetrators (of torture) often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill-treatment by the need to gather information."

"One of the central aims of torture is to reduce an individual to a position of extreme helplessness and distress."

Torture "attack(s) an individual’s fundamental modes of psychological and social functioning." 

"The torturer attempts to destroy a victim’s sense of being grounded in a family and society as a human being with dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future." 

"In addition, torture can profoundly damage intimate relationships between spouses, parents, children, other family members and relationships between the victims and their communities."

Torture especially harms children. The effect on their well-being is devastating. It's traumatizing. It's long-lasting. It affects their development. Many children are scarred for life.

It causes profound personality changes. It creates anti-social behavior. PCATI gets scores of complaints. It's actively working on cases involving children.

It's gravely concerned about clear evidence. Other NGOs and human rights groups documented Israeli torture and abuse. They did so in cases involving children.

PACTI said "fail(ing) to allow the arrested child or minor to full enjoyment of his or her rights, including the failure to allow for an attorney or accompanying adult at the time of arrest and interrogation places the child in a state of helplessness, distress and increases the pressure being applied to the child by the security forces in order to achieve a confession or information during the interrogation."

The threshold for what's considered torture must be lowered in cases involving children, it said. They have the right to rehabilitation. So do adults.

They have the right to have their complaints fully examined, including by competent independent forensic experts. They have the right to testify in their own behalf. 

Defense for Children International-Palestine and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights said the following:

"Israel is the only nation to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees." 

"Around 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years old, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year." 

"The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and 74 percent experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation, according to evidence collected by Defence for Children International Palestine." 

"No Israeli children come into contact with the military court system." 

PCATI stressed its position against torture and ill treatment of all kinds. It called on Knesset Public Petitions Committee members to address it responsibly.

It expressed especial concern for abused children. It wants international law enforced. It wants longstanding Israeli torture and ill treatment stopped.

Previous efforts to do so failed. Israel's Knesset is its most hardline ever. Anti-Palestinian fascists infest it. Expect business as usual to continue. Expect nothing substantive to change.

Expect efforts to relieve Palestinian suffering to get short shrift. Expect the worst of Israeli abuses to continue. Nothing suggests otherwise.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/palestinian-children-cages/

Washington Abuses Indian Diplomat

Washington Abuses Indian Diplomat

by Stephen Lendman

India's New York consular official was targeted. Devyani Khobragade is Deputy Consul General. On December 12, US marshals abused her.

They arrested, handcuffed, detained, and strip-searched her multiple times. India's government had to post a $250,000 bond for her release.

She's charged with visa fraud and failing to pay her Indian maid proper wages. True or false doesn't justify treating her abusively.

Doing so compromised her diplomatic immunity. Her lawyer, Daniel Arshack, said she'll plead not guilty. 

Her diplomatic status protects her from prosecution, he said. Regardless of pending charges, she deserved respect.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, she should have enjoyed full diplomatic immunity. Host countries are obligated to provide it.

It grants foreign officials free movement and travel. It requires treating them respectfully. All appropriate steps must be taken. Article 29 states:

"The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity."

If nations want their diplomats treated lawfully, they're obligated to treat foreign officials the same way. International law mandates it.

Washington spurns it with impunity. It violates core constitutional and US statute law provisions. It operates extrajudicially. It does so unapologetically. It does so hypocritically.

CIA agent Raymond Davis operated covertly in Pakistan. In January 2011, he was arrested and detained. He shot and killed two men. It was at a crowded Lahore traffic stop.

Pakistan charged him with murder and possession of a concealed, unlicensed gun. Washington lied claiming it was a botched robbery. So did Davis saying he acted in self-defense. 

He shot both men 10 times in the back at close range. He fled the scene. He carried a telescope, a GPS set, bolt cutters, a survival kit, and a long-range radio. 

His gun a powerful Glock semi-automatic pistol. It's able to fire 17 - 33 rounds. It depends on what magazine is used.

Davis assassinated two targeted victims. It didn't matter. Obama officials claimed diplomatic immunity. They demanded his release. Davis was no diplomat. CIA operatives are spies. 

Washington applies pressure relentlessly. Doing so got Davis released. Murder didn't matter.

Alleged visa violations and underpaying wages apparently are more serious offenses. Only in America. Hypocrisy defines policy.

Why Washington would risk straining relations with India isn't clear. Why was it over offenses far less than major ones, if true? They pale compared to commonplace US policy brutality.

They don't rise to the level of American crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. 

Khobragade didn't rob, brutalize or kill anyone. If tried and convicted, potentially she faces years in prison.

India's government expressed justifiable outrage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called her treatment "deplorable." Other Indian officials voiced outrage.

Imagine if US embassy or consular officials were abused abroad. Imagine how Washington might retaliate. Khobragade explained her treatment, saying:

"I must admit that I broke down many times as the indignities of repeated handcuffing, stripping and cavity searches, swabbing, holed up with common criminals and drug addicts were all being imposed upon me despite my incessant assertions of immunity."

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro endured a similar abuse. It happened years earlier. At the time, he was Chavez's foreign minister.

In September 2006, he was part of Venezuela's New York General Assembly delegation. He arrived without trouble. None occurred during his stay.

Heading home, things changed. He was accosted at JFK Airport. Officials demanded he surrender his ticket and boarding pass. They claimed his name was on a so-called "red list."

He was lawlessly detained. He was taken to a small room. He was maliciously strip-searched. It was done to harass and humiliate him. He protested in vain.

He identified himself as Venezuela's foreign minister. He said treatment then got worse. Police threatened to handcuff and beat him.

He was isolated. He was detained for 90 minutes. He was denied legal and other outside contact. 

Venezuela's government demanded a full apology. A State Department spokesperson issued a contemptuous one. 

It was typical Washington. What happened was Bush administration thuggery. It continues unapologetically. Obama operates the same way.

Lawlessness defines longstanding US policy. So does unjustifiable brutality. America's most disadvantaged are mistreated. People of color are targeted for not being white. It happens with disturbing regularity.

Thousands of political prisoners languish in America's gulag. It's by far the world's largest. It's one of the most abusive. 

Torture is commonplace. Practices include dogs savaging prisoners, shocking them with cattle prods, burning them with toxic chemicals, harming them with stun guns, beating and abusing them in other ways.

Longterm isolation turns normal prisoners into dysfunctional ones. It contributes to anti-social behavior and mental illness. At times, it creates sociopaths. 

Other victims become zombies. Isolation is like being buried alive. It can cause irreversible psychological trauma and harm. 

It's common practice in US prisons. It's cruel and usual punishment.  It violates America's 8th Amendment. It doesn't matter.

Violence in America is endemic. It's part of the national culture. Among all industrialized nations, America by far has the highest homicide rate.

Similar video games crowd out simpler street play. Violent films are some of the most popular. Women are routinely abused. Husbands mistreat wives and daughters.

One-fourth of adult women are victimized by forcible rape. It happens one or more times in their lives. Often it's by someone they know. Family members are responsible.

Many girls are molested as young children. Often it's repeatedly by a close family member.

An astonishing 75% of women experience extreme levels of violence in one or more forms. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury. It's the second leading cause of death.

Homes with adult males are the most dangerous places for millions of women. Assailants abuse them freely. Often it's with impunity. Societal help is lacking.

Children endure horrific abuses. Millions suffer serious neglect, physical mistreatment, and/or sexual abuse. Family members are more dangerous than strangers.

Childhelp addresses prevention and treatment of child abuse. It defines it as "any act of commission or omission that endangers or impairs a child's physical or emotional health and development."

It "includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably be explained and which is often represented by an injury or series of injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature."

Non-accidental injuries include "hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping and paddling."

Sexual abuses include "fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts."

Neglect includes "(f)ailure to provide for a child's physical needs."

Examples include "lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene."

Emotional abuse includes "(a)ny attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development."

Examples include yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are 'bad, no good, worthless,' or 'a mistake.' " 

It's failing to provide parental affection and support. It's needed to develop a child's emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being.

All of the above practices are commonplace in America. Where's the public outrage? Why haven't authorities cared enough to act responsibly? 

Why do they most often turn a blind eye to outrageous forms of abuse? Why are perpetrators so rarely prosecuted? Why is a national epidemic allowed to persist?

America's elderly and infirm are affected. Women most of all are harmed. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates up to two million Americans aged 65 or older have been injured, exploited or mistreated by caregivers annually.

Often they're family members. Most often they're unpunished. Federal, state and local funding to combat it is less than years earlier.

Actor Mickey Rooney is aged 92. He's one of many victims. In March 2011, he testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

He implored members to stop what experts call chronic emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse of elderly Americans by family members or other caregivers.

His stepson, Christopher Aber, intimidated him, he said. He blocked access to his mail. 

He abused him various ways. He stole his money. He withheld medication and food. 

"You can't believe it's happening to you," said Rooney. "You feel overwhelmed." He urged Congress to criminalize what's happening.

"I'm asking you to stop this elderly abuse," he said. "I mean stop it now. Not tomorrow. Not next month, but now." Pass legislation saying "it's a crime, and we will not allow it in the United States of America."

Rooney said he suffered in silence. He did so for years. "I didn't want to tell anybody. I couldn't muster the courage, and you have to have courage," he stressed.

"I needed help, and I knew I needed it. Even when I tried to speak up, I was told to shut up and be quiet." 

Eventually he got a court order. He turned over his affairs to an attorney. He got a restraining order against his stepson. Countless others suffer similar abuses. They do so largely out of sight and mind.

Despite his age and frailty, Rooney devoted time and effort publicly. He's an advocate for elder abuse protection. His celebrity gives him credibility and attention.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), over 14% of noninstitutionalized adults experienced some form of elder abuse in 2009.

It cautioned that reported numbers may way understate reality. Many elder abuse instances go unreported. So does widespread women and child mistreatment.

Dr. Mark Lachs heads geriatrics at the New York Presbyterian Health System. He was blunt, saying:

"I tell the physicians I train that if they've seen 15 or 20 older people in their practices then they have probably met an elder abuse victim, whether they realize it or not."

Based on a 2011 New York state study, "it would appear that for every elder abuse victim that makes it into an official service or reporting system, another 23 to 24 go undetected," Lachs stressed.

Women, children and elder abuse in America reflects a largely silent epidemic. Marie-Therese Connolly heads Life long Justice (LLJ). It's a nationwide initiative.

It pursues effective ways to safeguard America's elderly. Billions of dollars are spent to lengthen life. Elder abuse research gives pause for concern, says LLJ.

It estimates up to 11% of aged 60 or older elders at home suffer abuse, neglect or exploitation. Nearly half of all people with dementia at home are abused or neglected by caregivers.

"For every case of elder abuse (reported), 23.5 (others are) not." From "50% - 90% of nursing homes are understaffed at levels that harm residents."

"Elder abuse includes mistreatment, neglect and financial exploitation," says LLJ. 

"It occurs in homes and facilities; cuts across all demographic groups; and causes untold suffering and cost, not just for its victims, but also for those who care about and for them." 

"Victims often live their last years - impoverished, injured, neglected and in fear - with little effective assistance, protection or attention from any system."

They "suffer more injuries and illnesses and are three times more likely to die sooner than non-victims." 

"In addition to depleting the resources of already stressed individuals and families, elder abuse costs taxpayers billions of dollars annually in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal, state and local program expenditures."

"We are at the early stage of a hidden epidemic," LLJ stresses. "As 77 million baby boomers age, and caregiving shortages grow more acute, the problem will" become much more serious than already.

Rooney expressed what many others feel, saying:

"You're afraid, but you're also thinking about your other family members." He noted concern about potential criticism from "family, friends, and people who know them."

"They might not want to accept the dysfunction. Everyone should love their families as I do. I love my family," he stressed. 

He deserves as much back or more in return. Millions like him lack it. America's most vulnerable are harmed. Abuses continue largely out of sight and mind. 

Even foreign dignitaries aren't safe. Diplomatic immunity doesn't matter. Nor does rule of law justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Dorian Lee Harper and his wife, Wanda Sue Larson have been arrested and four foster children removed from the couple's custody.





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Extreme Political Correctness Is Making Public School Education Pure Hell For America’s Children

Political Correctness

Political correctness is taking over America, and this is especially true when it comes to our public schools.  In the United States today, our public schools are being transformed into “Big Brother” training centers where virtually everything that our children do inside and even outside of school is being monitored, tracked, scrutinized and put into permanent records.  As you will read about below, some U.S. public schools are now even monitoring the social media accounts of their students and are ready to pounce on any perceived violation.  “Zero tolerance” policies have been implemented at public schools nationwide, and if a student does break “the rules”, it can result in immediate arrest and it can end up haunting them for the rest of their lives.  Meanwhile, the content of the “educational instruction” that our children are receiving continues to decline.  At this point, public schools in American have become little more than government indoctrination centers, and a steady stream of politically correct propaganda is being endlessly pumped into their heads.  Our children may not know how to read, write or do math very well, but they sure do know how to let others do their thinking for them.  As a result, most of our public school students are dumb as a rock, and as you will see below a new study has found that U.S. adults “are dumber than the average human”.

Political correctness in our schools has become so pervasive that it has even crept into the playgrounds.  For example, footballs and baseballs have been deemed “dangerous” at one middle school in Long Island and have been permanently banned…

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, officials at Weber Middle School in Port Washington are worried that students are getting hurt during recess. Thus, they have instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds.

But if that was the worst our kids had to put up with, they could certainly survive it.

Unfortunately, these days a single politically incorrect mistake by your kid could result in an arrest and being hauled out of school in handcuffs.  Just consider the following examples from a recent article by John Whitehead

These days, it is far too easy to rattle off the outrageous examples of zero tolerance policy run amok in our nation’s schools. A 14-year-old student arrested for texting in class. Three middle school aged boys in Florida thrown to the ground by police officers wielding rifles, who then arrested them for goofing off on the roof of the school. A 9-year-old boy suspended for allegedly pointing a toy at a classmate and saying “bang, bang.” Two 6-year-old students in Maryland suspended for using their fingers as imaginary guns in a schoolyard game of cops and robbers. A 12-year-old New York student hauled out of school in handcuffs for doodling on her desk with an erasable marker. An 8-year-old boy suspended for making his hand into the shape of a gun, in violation of the school district’s policy prohibiting “playing with invisible guns.” A 17-year-old charged with a felony for keeping his tackle box in his car parked on school property, potentially derailing his chances of entering the Air Force. Two seventh graders in Virginia suspended for the rest of the school year for playing with airsoft guns in their own yard before school.

This is the constant danger that is looming over the heads of our public school students today.  And what makes this even worse are the “zero tolerance” policies that have been put in place all over the country.  It does not matter if your kid is a straight A student that has never done a single thing wrong.  If your kid breaks the politically correct rules, the hammer will be brought down on your kid very hard.  And according to Whitehead, many schools are now continually monitoring the social media accounts of their students for any “violations”…

Despite a general consensus that zero tolerance policies have failed to have any appreciable impact on student safety, schools have doubled down on these policies to the detriment of children all across the nation. Indeed, the zero tolerance mindset is so entrenched among school administrators all over America that we are now seeing school officials reaching into the personal lives of students to police their behavior at all times. For example, 13,000 students in the Glendale Unified School District in California are now being subjected to constant social media monitoring by school officials. Superintendent Richard Sheehan has hired private firm Geo Listening to analyze the public social media posts of students both off and on campus. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or any other social media platform, students will have their posts and comments analyzed for evidence of “bullying, cyber-bullying, hate and shaming activities, depression, harm and self harm, self hate and suicide, crime, vandalism, substance abuse and truancy.”

Unfortunately, the Glendale program is simply one component of a larger framework in which all student activity is treated as an open book by school administrators. What we are witnessing is a paradigm shift in American society, in which no personal activity is safe from the prying eyes of government agents and their corporate allies. Every decision and action, no matter how innocent, is scrutinized, analyzed, filed, stored, and eventually held against you when those in power feel like it.

You can read the remainder of Whitehead’s outstanding article right here.

So does it make you feel safer knowing that school authorities are “monitoring” your kids at all times?

And while they are sitting in the classroom, the goal is to “shape young minds” to accept the politically correct agenda of the progressives.

If parents only knew what was going on in these classrooms they would be absolutely shocked.  For example, one sixth grade class in Arkansas was recently given an assignment to “revise” the Bill of Rights because it has become “outdated”

Sixth graders at the Bryant School District in Arkansas were given an assignment to “revise” the “outdated” Bill of Rights by deleting and replacing two amendments, using the “War on Terror” and the Patriot Act as a guide.

The worksheet, which is the first Constitutional assignment of the school year, tells students that they will be on a “National Revised Bill of Rights Task Force” who will “prioritize, prune, and add amendments” for a “Revised Bill of Rights.”

“The government of the United States is currently revisiting the Bill of Rights,” the assignment states. “They have determined that it is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer.”

Is that the kind of stuff that you want your kid to be taught?

Meanwhile, the reading, writing and math skills of U.S. students continue to decline.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dave Hodges

For the most part, the end product our schools are producing is grossly substandard. SAT reading scores have declined to 40 year lows and there is no sign of a rebound. Since reading is the key to all knowledge, we are sending our children to a gunfight with a butter knife. Before the defenders of the public school system raise their voices in opposition, everyone needs to realize that our school children have been under attack for decades. Even the best educators have referred to our public education system as “the deliberate dumbing down of America.”

The results of our foolish national experiment with progressive education are predictable.  A brand new international study just released by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that “U.S. adults are dumber than the average human“.  The following is how USA Today described the findings of the study…

Americans have been hearing for years that their kids are lagging behind the rest of the developed world in skills. Now it’s the adults’ turn for a reality check.

A first-ever international comparison of the labor force in 23 industrialized nations shows that Americans ages 16 to 65 fall below international averages in basic problem-solving, reading and math skills, with gaps between the more- and less-educated in the USA larger than those of many other countries.

What is the solution?

Well, it would be nice if our public schools would stop doing all of the politically correct garbage and would start focusing on reading, writing and math again.

But we all know that is not going to happen.

So it is up to individual parents to make the choices that are going to be right for their own children.  Our kids are not going to be getting a high quality education in the public schools, but they are not going to be able to be successful in life without one.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

Michael T. Snyder's Shocking New Novel About The Future Of America

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Listen to the Children

“My friends are dead. I saw the bad man. He was next to me when we ran out.”
“I played ball with him. Now he is dead.”
“My friend got killed cause she didn’t hide good enough.”
“Do you think it is my fault?”

These are some of the devastating voices of children from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Elaine Zimmerman, the executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Children, joined by others, has been offering support to children and families in Newtown, Conn., since the shootings at their school in December 2012. She shared these quotes at a recent Harvard Graduate School of Education Askwith Forum where she, PBS NewsHour correspondent and Learning Matters president John Merrow, and I participated in a panel on school violence. Less than 2 percent of fatal gun violence against children takes place at school, but everyone’s heart broke with Elaine’s as she told the audience, “I am haunted by the child who said, ‘There is nothing you can do or say that will convince me that this will not happen again.’

Although many children in the school building and school system were not physically hurt on December 14, all these children and their siblings were also victims of the horrific violence that day. They carry an enormous burden and are paying an incalculable price that may never disappear. It’s the same price paid by children 50 miles away in Hartford’s North End -- though the gun violence there and in inner cities across the country does not always make headlines, adding another layer of anger and frustration about feeling invisible on top of the Black community’s already deep pain. From rural Southern communities to small Midwestern towns, child and adult survivors of gun violence all over America pay a high price every day. The psychological and emotional toll of gun violence on bystanders, victims, and families can be overwhelming and leaves effects that last for years.

What about the costs we can count? In addition to the trauma that is so deep and pervasive that it is harder to quantify, there are actual costs to gun violence that can be measured and are enormous. Victims and families often find themselves paying a high economic price while struggling with the emotional one, and other taxpayers share the economic burden.

A recent study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation found that gun injuries and deaths in 2010 cost the country $8.4 billion in medical and mental health care, emergency services, and administrative and criminal justice costs. Those shot and killed and their families and employers were estimated to have lost $52.5 billion in forgone wages and productivity due to death or injury. This adds up to a total of $60.8 billion, 20 percent of which was borne by local, state and federal governments. On top of these costs to the victims, their families, employers and taxpayers, the researchers also estimated the economic value of the pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life among those shot and their families to total an additional $113.3 billion. This gives a sense of the magnitude of the loss experienced by those killed or injured and their families. Together all these costs add up to $174.1 billion a year, a little over one percent of our nation’s gross national product. This is an average of $1.7 million in one year for each of the 105,177 gun deaths and injuries that occurred in 2010. And even this number is an underestimate. It does not count the larger toll and economic impact of gun violence on entire communities, including lower housing values, lost property tax revenue, and lost quality of life due to fear of violence.

The lost quality of life is the price Sandy Hook’s children are paying right now, along with every other child in America who has seen gun violence in their own neighborhood, their own street, or their own home. The 2008 National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found that more than one in five 14- to 17-year-olds had witnessed a shooting at some point in their lives. This number is thought to be even higher among low-income children: one study found that 43 percent of low-income black school-aged children had witnessed a murder. Behind those children are millions more who have seen pieces of news stories on television or passed armed guards or policemen at their school and wonder whether the grown-ups they know will ever be able to protect them and keep them safe. There is nothing you can do or say that will convince me that this will not happen again.

A December 2012 report of the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence found that exposure to violence takes an enormous emotional toll on children with effects including difficulty sleeping and eating, irritability, attention and concentration problems, aggression, depressed mood and withdrawal, relationship problems, anxiety and intrusive thoughts, and impulsivity (which includes dangerous risk-taking, alcohol and drug abuse, delinquency, and promiscuous sexual behavior). The task force also reported that chronic violence can lead to long-lasting changes in brain anatomy and physiology, including long-term psychiatric problems and lifelong limitations on health, well-being, relationships, and personal success.

It’s not fair. Our whole country and our nation’s economy bear the financial burden caused by gun violence. Survivors and family members pay the highest price of all. No one should be forced to pay a lifelong emotional or physical toll because a fit of anger, an episode of depression or other mental illness, or a careless accident ended with a gunshot. No child deserves to have their childhood snatched away in an instant and their life changed forever because of an adult’s decision to carry and use guns, including high-powered assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips.

Listen to the children. The costs of gun violence in America are far too high for them and for all of us. They are a price none of us can afford and none of us, especially our children, should be forced to pay. It is past time to protect children, not guns.

© 2013 Childrens' Defense Fund

Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman is the president of the Children's Defense Fund.

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Why Is the U.S. Funding International Drug Rehabs Known for Torture and Abuse?

Despite calls to close the centers, the U.S. government continues to fund them.

Photo Credit: (c) RDaniel/Shutterstock.com

March 14, 2013  |  

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The United States is not just funding an abusive drug war at home; taxpayer funds are propping up violently oppressive "drug treatment" centers that act more like detainment camps abroad. At the U.S.-backed Somsanga Rehabilitation Center in Laos, detainees are subjected to shocking physical abuse, including beating to the point of unconsciousness for showing withdrawal symptoms or attempting to escape. Allegations of sexual assault are also rampant.

According to reports, younger residents are raped by older detainees whom the center gives power to enforce rules and regulations. One Somsanga detainee interviewed by Human Rights Watch said he saw "supervisors rape boys between the ages of 10 and 14." Children are not exempt from indefinite detainment in these camps. UNICEF-sponsored investigations in Laos found 150 detainees under 18 in 2003, and more than 600 children in 2006.

Despite calls from human rights organizations, the United States has continued to pump money into the Somsanga Rehabilitation Center.

In March of last year, 12 United Nations agencies, including the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and UNAIDS, issued a  joint statement calling for the closure of drug-user detention centers where they identified grave human rights violations. Abused patients, perhaps better described as inmates, should be released "without delay," the report urged. Nonetheless, a new report from UN's special expert on torture, Juan Mendez, explains that many nations, including the US, continue to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to "rehabilitation" centers that act as hubs for indefinitely holding and systematically abusing marginalized people.  

 "These centers continue to operate often with direct or indirect support and assistance from international donors without any adequate human rights oversight," the UN report says. Detainment in punitive drug-free centers still "exponentially" exceeds evidence-based treatment for drug dependence, Mendez said.

Mendez notes that "numerous calls by various international and regional organizations to close compulsory drug detention centers" --  as well as several recommendations and resolutions from WHO, UNODC, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs -- "are routinely ignored." 

This June, the U.S. agreed to donate an additional $400,000 to the Somsanga center. US officials heeded no warnings issued by at least three separate reports (2003 UNICEF report, 2004 WHO report, and 2011 Human Rights Watch report), each of which warned against the center's deplorable conditions and inhumane treatment of detainees. The UN report says past US funds have been used to build dormitories "to expand the capacity of the government to detain drug users, street children, and ethnic minorities," as well as fences surrounding the center.

“International donors claim that Somsanga is a legitimate drug treatment center,” Joe Amon, director of health and human rights at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release prompted by the UN report. “The reality is that people, including children and the homeless, are held in Somsanga against their will, behind barbed wire fences, and are beaten and brutalized.”   

Inside Somsanga

Human Rights Watch says that while only a minority of amphetamine-users (the most popular drug in Laos) actually become addicted, legislators pressure local officials to declare their villages “drug-free.” Eager to comply with public policy, village officials and locals request for detainment in Somsanga people who use drugs only occasionally and do not necessarily require rehabilitation. 

Located in Laos near the capital of Vientiane, Somsanga’s patients did not voluntarily commit to drug addiction rehabilitation, nor is there always evidence that they are drug addicts. Rather, Somsanga detainees are picked up by police or sent away by relatives bowing to pressure to cleanse their villages of drug users. The result is not more addicts in drug treatment, but the detainment of "beggars, homeless people, street children, and people with mental disabilities" without due cause. One detainee cited in the report says an arrest for being out too late landed him in Somsanga for nine months. 

UN raps Israeli abuse of minor prisoners

Israeli soldiers stand near Palestinian children arrested in the West Bank. (File photo)

The United Nations says the ill treatment of Palestinian minor inmates within the Israeli military detention system is "widespread, systematic and institutionalized."

The UN children’s fund, UNICEF, said in a 22-page report on Wednesday that it has examined the Tel Aviv regime’s military court system for holding Palestinian children and found evidence of "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment."

Some 7,000 Palestinian children, aged between 12 and 17, have been arrested, interrogated and prosecuted by Israeli forces, the report said, adding that the majority of them were boys.

"In no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights," the report stated.


UNICEF analyzed the procedure employed by Israeli forces from arrest to trial of the children. It said many children were "aggressively awakened in the middle of the night by many armed soldiers and being forcibly brought to an interrogation centre tied and blindfolded, sleep deprived and in a state of extreme fear."

Many of them faced mistreatment during the transfer process and forced to lie down on the floor of a vehicle for one day in some cases. They were also subjected to verbal or physical abuse, the report also noted.

"The interrogation mixes intimidation, threats and physical violence, with the clear purpose of forcing the child to confess," the international body said, adding they were not accompanied by a lawyer or a family member during the interrogation.

"Children have been threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member," it said, adding that they were restrained during the questioning even for extended periods of time.

The maximum penalty for minor inmates, aged 12 to 13, is six months. However, it could be extended to 20 years for those who are over 14. The vast majority of Palestinian children have been arrested for throwing stones.

"The principal evidence against the child is the child's own confession, in most cases extracted under duress during the interrogation," the UNICEF report further said, saying they have to sign confession forms in Hebrew which they barely understand.

"Ultimately, almost all children plead guilty in order to reduce the length of their pretrial detention. Pleading guilty is the quickest way to be released. In short, the system does not allow children to defend themselves," the report concluded.

SAB/PKH/HJL

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Bad Cop: 7 Cities Where Shocking Police Abuses Cost Taxpayers Millions

Bad police behavior runs roughshod over civil liberties, and costs cities millions of dollars in payouts to those who successfully sue.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

March 4, 2013  |  

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When it comes to interactions between regular citizens and police on the street, the police hold all the cards. They can, and often do, act however they want. One of the few meaningful mechanisms for restitution if you are a victim of police misconduct is to sue for damages. The costs of these lawsuits and payouts add up, and bad police behavior takes a toll not only on our civil liberties, but also on a city's budget.

It's worth mentioning that lawsuits against the police rarely result in million-dollar payouts for victims, are difficult to win, and represent only a fairly small slice of total reports of police misconduct. Also, the reported costs of settlements and judgments to victims often exclude fees paid to attorneys representing the city, so in many cases the real numbers are higher.

This list doesn't include every example of police misconduct or every study about how much it costs, but below are some recent instances of reports that detail just how much money police misconduct costs taxpayers. The point here isn't to argue that people shouldn't sue cops. They should, if they have a good case. The cops should simply give people fewer reasons to sue them.

1. Chicago

Lieutenant Jon Burge is in many ways the posterchild for police brutality. He oversaw a torture regime at the Chicago Police Department from 1973-1991 that included 64 other cops directly and an untold number of police who were aware of what was going on. According to a recent report, over 100 African Americans were allegedly tortured under his watch.

As the Chicago Reader reported in 2003, charges against Burge and his crew included “electric shock, suffocation, burnings, attacks on the genitals, severe beating, and mock executions.”

Burge was eventually prosecuted by the US attorney and sentenced to four and a half years for perjury, though according to the report the Cook County State Attorney never prosecuted any officers for torture or for covering it up. The “blue code of silence” plays a large role in perpetuating corruption.

The report, by the University of Illinois at Chicago, claims that corruption and abuse of power are rampant problems in the Chicago Police Department. The authors looked at CPD corruption dating back to 1960, and conclude that  “[t]oleration of corruption, or at least resigned acceptance, appears to be the order of the day for at least the past 50 years.”

Top Chicago officials have allowed (or created) a culture of impunity for officers. A separate study the authors cite claims only “19 of 10,149 (or less than 2%) civilian complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse and false arrests between 2002 and 2004 led to police suspensions of a week or more.”

Over the last decade, police misconduct lawsuits against the city and out-of-court settlements “have cost taxpayers several hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when all levels of government have to cut services and raise taxes,” according to the University of Illinois report. Defending cops against litigation has cost Chicago more than $82.5 million since 2003, and “Jon Burge cases have cost local taxpayers more than $53 million since 1998.”

2. New York

According to a 2012 report  from NYC's Comptroller's office, the city paid out $185.6 million in claims for fiscal year 2011. That's a 35% increase over the previous year, which came in at $137.3 million in settled claims. Fiscal year 2011 saw “an historical high of 8,882 claims filed” against the NYPD, with a 55% rise in claims against the NYPD over the past five years.

Torture at Guantanamo: Lt. Col. Stuart Couch on His Refusal to Prosecute Abused Prisoner

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today we spend the hour taking an inside look at the Guantánamo military prison, where 166 men remain locked up. Many have been held for over a decade without charge. Our first guest today was one of the first military officers assigned to prosecute prisoners at Guantánamo. Stuart Couch joined the Marines in 1987, enrolled in law school, became a military prosecutor, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He eventually left active duty but returned after the September 11th attacks. A friend of his, Michael Horrocks, died on September 11th. Horrocks was the co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center.

AMY GOODMAN: Two months after the attacks, President Bush issued an order creating military commissions to try prisoners captured abroad. Lieutenant Colonel Couch's first assignment was the prosecution of a man named Mohamedou Ould Slahi. At one point, Slahi was described as "the highest value detainee" at Guantánamo Bay. The case would change Couch's life and put him at the center of a national debate around torture, interrogations and ethics.

Couch's story is featured in the new book, Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay. It's by Wall Street Journal reporter Jess Bravin. Later in the show, we'll be joined by Jess, but first we turn to Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch, who's joining us from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he now works as an immigration judge.

Lieutenant Colonel, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the first day you went to Guantánamo and what you found.

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: Well, Amy, it was in October of 2003, shortly after I had joined the Office of Military Commissions. And on that particular day, I was waiting to watch the interrogation of one of the detainees who had been assigned to me to prosecute his case. This was a detainee that was particularly cooperative and involved in some very serious activities in the Gulf region. As I was waiting in a room next to his interrogation room, I heard some loud heavy metal rock music playing down the—down the hallway. I went down to investigate. I thought it was a couple of guards that were off duty and didn't realize that we were getting ready to conduct the interview. So I walked down the hallway, and as I reached the room where the source of the music was coming out, the door was cracked. And I looked into the room, and I could—all I could see was a strobe light flashing. The rest of the lights in the room were out, but from the flashes of the strobe light, I could see a detainee in orange sitting on the—seated on the floor and shackled, hand to feet, and rocking back and forth.

There were two civilians who asked me, you know, what was I doing. And I said, "I'm Lieutenant Colonel Couch. You need to turn that down. What's going on here?" And they just basically told me to move along, and shut the door in my face. There was a judge advocate reservist with me, and I said, "Did you see that?" And his immediate response: "Well, yes. That's approved." And so, that was my first inclination that there was—of evidence of coerced interrogations going on at Guantánamo.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what did you do at that point?

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: Well, I started mulling that over. For me, it was—it was a degree of a flashback. Before I had become a lawyer, I was a naval aviator in the Marine Corps, a C-130 pilot. And part of that training as an aviator, we were sent to a school called SERE school—Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. It's a school conducted by various Department of Defense entities to help train aviators for how to conduct themselves if they're ever taken into captivity by the enemy. Basically, it's—the course is based upon lessons learned of the treatment of aviators in the war in Vietnam and also the treatment of our own POWs that suffered in Korea. And so, what I saw occurring on that day in October of 2003 was right out of the SERE school playbook. It was precisely the same treatment that I had received there.

And so, having had that experience, my immediate concern was, if this is how the evidence is being collected in some of our cases, it's going to be inadmissible, because it's going to be at least coercive and at worst torture that precipitates that information. And so, there—at that time, I was still becoming acquainted with the military commissions process that had been set up. The rules and standards of admissibility of evidence were significantly different than I was accustomed to, both in civilian prosecutions as well as military courts-martial. And so, in my view, this incident sort of crystallized for me very quickly that there were going to be some problems with some of the evidence that we were to use.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, this, of course, was in 2003, before the Abu Ghraib photos were revealed to the world and where—before there was real discussion of possible mistreatment or torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. Could you talk about the—when you then began to get the case of Mohamedou Ould Slahi and what you found as you began to deal with that particular case?

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: Well, by the—not long after I joined the office in August of 2003, the Slahi case was presented to me. And at that time, to our knowledge, he was one of the very few detainees held at Guantánamo Bay that had a 9/11 connection. As I was studying over the different statements that he had made, the intelligence reports that had come out of his interrogations, I could see a trend where he was uncooperative for a long period of time, but then, beginning in the later part of the summer of 2003, I saw where he began to give up significant information. And so, again, as a prosecutor, my view was past conduct and what evidence I had of past conduct and what was going to be his connection to 9/11, if any.

The vast majority—virtually all of the evidence I had against Slahi at that point were his own statements, as well as statements of another detainee. And so, to determine the veracity of that information, I had to find out, OK, why is he saying the things he's saying about his own conduct? And I actually plotted it out over a chart on a timeline, and I could see a definite point where he went from giving no information to giving a lot of information. And so, that was—after I saw what I saw in October of 2003, my concern was, if this—if these were the kinds of interrogation techniques that were being applied to Slahi to get his cooperation, then we might very well have a significant problem with the body of evidence that we were able to present as to his guilt.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Could you go into the details of some of his interrogations and what they reported?

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: Well, at that time—at that time, I was not privy to what techniques were applied in his interrogations. All I had was the intelligence reports that came out that stated what he—what admissions he made. And I do want to make sure I'm clear on this, that none of the information that I'm going to talk about today is classified at this point; it's all been subject to a congressional inquiry and is a matter of congressional record.

I requested information to tell me, OK, give me the circumstances of the interrogations and interviews where Slahi was giving his information, again, in preparation for the day down the road that I would have to present this evidence in court, with the concern of basically credibility of the information. That information was not provided to me. I had a criminal investigator that was working on this case, and as we began to discuss these matters, he had the same concerns that we might have a problem with the evidence. And I would note he's—he was also a former marine, as well, so we had a lot of commonality on how we viewed the world. This criminal investigator had unofficial sources of information on the intelligence side. There was kind of this dividing line between the law enforcement efforts at Guantánamo and the intelligence efforts at Guantánamo. My investigator had sources of information on the intelligence side, and he was able to start receiving documents and information that painted, for lack of a better term, the rest of the story—in other words, why—you know, what was the nature of these interrogations. And that information was coming out piecemeal.

And so, over the subsequent eight or nine months, it became clear that this information—that what had been done to Slahi amounted to torture. Specifically, he had been subjected to a mock execution. He had sensory deprivation. He had environmental manipulation; that is, you know, cell is too cold, or the cell is too hot. He, at one point, was taken off of the island and driven around in a boat to make him believe that he was being transferred to a foreign country for interrogation. He was presented with a ruse that the United States had taken custody of his mother and his brother and that they were being brought to Guantánamo. It was on a letter with fake letterhead from the State Department, I believe it was. And in the letter, there was a discussion that his mother would be the only female detainee held at Guantánamo and concerns for her safety.

So, any one of these individual things, I don't believe, as a legal matter, rose to the level of torture, until I got evidence of an email between one of the officers responsible for the—for the guards that were guarding Slahi and a military psychologist. And there was this discussion over this email about the fact that Slahi was experiencing hallucinations. And then—and the psychologist, as she was giving her opinion as to this concern raised, it was clear to me that she was aware that the circumstances of Slahi's detention had been set up to such a point where he would experience these types of mental breakdown.

And at that point, I had done some research. We had another lawyer in the office, another prosecutor, who was very experienced in international law, and I had discussed the issue with him. And under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment—it's a treaty that was ratified by the United States in 1996—under that treaty, there is a definition of torture. And under that definition of torture, it includes mental suffering. And so, as I put it all together, what I saw was the fact that Slahi ultimately began to give information after all of these different interrogation techniques had been applied to him. I came to the conclusion we had knowingly set him up for mental suffering in order for him to provide information—

AMY GOODMAN: He was also sexually humiliated.

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: —and that that met the definition under the U.N. Torture Convention.

AMY GOODMAN: Is that right? He was also sexually humiliated.

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: He was. The evidence I saw was—apparently, he had a—he had an issue about the fact that he had been unable to impregnate his wife. And the interrogators at some point learned that and then began to capitalize on that with various issues related to sexuality. There was like a room set up with photographs of male and female genitalia on the walls, a baby crib, just some kind of, you know, just bizarre types of efforts related to his sexual hang-up, if you will.

AMY GOODMAN: We're going to break and then come back to this discussion, and we'll be joined, as well as Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch, retired U.S. Marine Corps prosecutor, by the author of the book called Terror Courts, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.

[break]

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Lieutenant Colonel Couch, if you could, talk to us about your decision to tell your superiors that you did not feel you could prosecute this case because of the issues of possible torture.

LT. COL. STUART COUCH: Well, Juan, it was—again, it was sort of an incremental thing. I was receiving this information from a criminal investigator that he was gleaning through these unofficial sources. And after studying the U.N. Torture Convention, I found that there was a provision under Article 15 of the U.N. Torture Convention that said any evidence derived as a result of torture was inadmissible in any proceeding. And so, you know, I was trying to figure out, OK, what is "any proceeding"? And as I could tell from the source material behind the U.N. Torture Convention, I came to the legal conclusion that that included a military commission, as we were conducting them at that time under the president's military order of November of 2001.

I then turned to the ethical concern about what information did I need to be able to turn over to a defense counsel for Slahi in the future. And I would note, at that time, Slahi did not have a defense counsel, because we had not gone through the formal process of bringing a charge against him. So, I reviewed the pertinent ethical obligations. Under the discovery provisions of the president's military order at that time, it was evidence of his guilt known to the prosecution. And another provision was that the detainees would have a full and fair trial. And so, it was a very broad, broad construct, if you will, for discovery. As I looked at the ethical obligations that we have in the United States under the ABA Model Rules, and specifically under the rules of professional conduct of my bar, the state of North Carolina, I concluded that if I was in possession of information that, if given to his defense counsel, would allow his defense counsel to utilize those protections under Article 15 of the U.N. Torture Convention, I had that obligation to turn over to that defense counsel what I knew. And that was, again, prospective.

I was wrestling with these—with this legal issue and with this ethical issue. And then, ultimately, you know, one Sunday when I was in church, it all kind of came together. I describe myself as an evangelical Christian. I was attending a church service in the Anglican tradition, and it was a baptism of a child. And anybody who's ever been to one of these services knows that at the end of the baptism all of the congregants in the church stand up, and the pastor goes back and forth with basically the tenets of the Christian faith. And one of those tenets was that we would respect the dignity of every human being. And it was at that time, when I was professing that on Sunday, begged the question to me, if this is what you believe as a Christian, then how does that inform how you're going to act the other six days of the week? And that really, for me, was the moral point that I came to of what I had to do next.

And what I did next was I went and met with the chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions. I told him my legal opinion. I told him my ethical opinion. And then I stated in—you know, I have a moral reservation at this point that what's been done to Slahi is just reprehensible, and for that reason alone, I'm going to refuse to participate in the prosecution of his case. Shortly, within a couple of days, I reduced that—those positions into writing. I provided them to the chief prosecutor. And then, after a few days, I was told to transfer that case to someone else and for me to get busy on my other cases.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, in that memorandum, you not only raised the question, you said that, quote, "If these techniques are deemed to be 'torture' under the [Geneva] Convention, then they would also constitute criminal violations of the War Crimes Act." And you went on to say, "As a practical matter, I am morally oppose