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Tag: human rights

Israeli Settlers Send Death Threats, File Police Complaint Against Palestinian Who Filmed IDF Execution

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

After a video of an Israeli soldier executing an incapacitated Palestinian suspect went viral, two Israeli settlers are demanding a police investigation of the activist who recorded the act and the human rights group that released it online.

On March 24, Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, 21-year-old Palestinian men, were shot by Israeli Defense Forces soldiers after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near Hebron.Emad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian staff member at the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, recorded Elor Azraya, an IDF soldier, shooting al-Sharif at point blank range in the head as al-Sharif was on the ground, motionless but alive.

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein, two settlers known for subscribing to an extremist form of Zionism, have filed a formal police complaint alleging wrongdoing by Abu Shamsiya and B’Tselem, according to a March 27 report from Mondoweiss, a progressive Jewish news site.

Can ‘Sousveillance’ Bring Down Police States?

Posted in Journalism, MintPress News, and SXSW

From the footage of Eric Garner’s death to YouTube videos of Israeli soldiers’ violence against Palestinians, recordings made by everyday people are providing powerful evidence against the actions of police states around the world.

One NGO is harnessing that power and using it against some of the world’s most repressive regimes and dangerous criminals. Videre Est Credere (Latin for “to see is to believe”) provides hidden cameras and specialized training to victims of war crimes and human rights abuses from Africa to Asia.

Oren Yakobovich, CEO of Videre, said the organization’s main goal is to force governments to “protect human rights, or take another kind of action to make people’s lives better. It doesn’t matter how they do it, whether it’s in court or changing legislation.”

72 Percent Of Aid To Palestine Ends Up ‘In Israeli Hands’

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Aid money to Palestine ends up benefiting the Israeli economy, and may even help perpetuate the occupation, according to an analysis published last year.

Published by Aid Watch Palestine, a Palestinian NGO that scrutinizes the spending of foreign relief money, the September 2015 study by Shir Hever suggests that at least 72 percent of foreign aid actually ends up back in Israeli hands.

Palestine’s economy is dependent on foreign aid, although foreign nations sometimes pledge more than they actually give. The World Bank reported that of $3.5 billion pledged to Palestine in 2015, “only 35 percent has been disbursed, $881 million less than what was supposed to be disbursed so far” by September.

“[D]espite over two decades of sustained aid, the occupation has not come to an end and Palestinians are not yet sovereign in their own country,” Hever noted in the report. “The question that arises is not only whether aid is effective, but whether it also causes harm.”

SXSW Day 2: Ovarian Psycos, Surveillance Vs. Sousveillance & More

Posted in Journalism, and SXSW

My first night was a long one, ending with a midnight short film collection at Alamo Drafthouse which included such bizarre offerings as a teenager still attached to his mother by umbilical cord and the story of a girl whose selfies keep getting deleted from Instagram … because she has an asshole for a mouth. I also learned that horse dicks are funny, and you can never forget Gwilliam. Night of the Slasher, which I mentioned yesterday, was part of the program, and I plan to interview some of the creators today.

I was back downtown at 9:30 am today after barely any sleep to attend a panel on the possibilities of ‘sousveillance,’ or surveillance from the bottom-up. Oren Yakobovich, creator of Videre, talked about helping dissidents and victims of human rights abuses use hidden cameras to seek justice, while panel partner Omer Tene talked about protecting privacy in an age of body cameras and mass surveillance. I’ll be writing about this panel next week for MintPress News.

And tonight, I’m attending the world premiere of “Ovarian Psycos,” a documentary about a women of color cycling crew in East Los Angeles. Here’s a description from the filmmakers’ website:

From Mexico To Africa, Israel’s Dark History Of Training War Criminals, Gangs & Oppression

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

AUSTIN, Texas — Despite its apartheid policies toward Palestinians and other minorities, Israel is often cited as the Middle East’s only democracy and a preserver of human rights within the region.

Not only does this public image sharply contrast with the reality of Israel’s brutal treatment of Occupied Palestine and the country’s institutional racism, but its government also has a history of supporting repressive regimes and human rights violations worldwide.

South of our border, Israel has used its experience in suppressing indigenous uprisings to aid Mexico with the Zapatistas, an ongoing Mayan uprising based in the Chiapas region. Writing in 2013 for Electronic Intifada, a news and activism site focused on Palestinian liberation, Jimmy Johnson and Linda Quiquivix reported that the freshly appointed security chief for Chiapas region, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, was working closely with officials of Israel’s defense ministry to train his forces.

Saudi Arabia Takes Proxy War With Iran To Nigeria As Shias Are Brutalized

Posted in Archive, Journalism, and MintPress News

On Dec. 12, Nigerian government forces carried out a brutal massacre against the country’s minority Muslim Shia population, with some media reporting over 1,000 killed, after the military imprisoned and tortured the group’s important dissident leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.

The news of the slaughter of a minority religious group emerges as Nigeria announced it is considering joining Saudi Arabia in the fight against Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the group commonly known in the West as ISIS), linking two nations known for repression and repeated, disturbing human rights violations. Saudi Arabia, in turn, has a history of promoting the extremist religious ideology of Wahhabism that inspires terrorist groups like Nigeria’s own Boko Haram, the terrorist group that the country is still struggling to control, and even al-Qaida and Daesh.

And Zakzaky isn’t the only activist to face imprisonment in recent months — Nigeria has a reputation for quashing political dissent no matter where it’s source. However, the arrest and crackdown came just months after Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general, successfully won election on a promise to restore order to the country.