Palestine: Haneen Zoabi MK, Eamonn McCann, Mairead Corrigan McGuire & Martin O'Quigley speak in Belfast

Amnesty Internationals support for imperialist occcupation

By Ashley Smith (USA)

MOST PEOPLE associate Amnesty International with challenging torture, protesting the death penalty and agitating for the liberation of political prisoners. On top of these important campaigns, Amnesty has over the last decade opposed the Iraq war and demanded the closure of America's concentration camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

So antiwar activists in Chicago were shocked during last May's NATO Summit to find that Amnesty International USA had plastered city bus stops with ads declaring: "Human Rights for Women and Girls in Afghanistan: NATO, Keep the Progress Going!"

Worse still, Amnesty USA put on a "shadow summit" of its own during the NATO meeting, featuring Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's notorious secretary of state, who will be forever remembered for her chilling response to a question on 60 Minutes about sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s. Correspondent Lesley Stahl asked, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright responded, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."

With a veritable war criminal as one of its star speakers, Amnesty USA's shadow summit launched a campaign that, for all intents and purposes, called for the extension of NATO's "good works" in Afghanistan. Its speakers and promotional materials recycled George Bush's "feminist" justification of the invasion and occupation--that NATO would liberate women from Taliban rule.

End EU support for Israeli prison regime

On Wednesday 11th July the IPSC will hold a lunchtime demonstration from 1pm – 2pm outside the EU Offices (EU House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2) to raise awareness of Palestinian political and child prisoners and protest at EU silence and complicity in the face of Israeli violations of their rights.


At present, there are a number of prisoners on hunger strike including Akram Rikhawi and Samer Al-Barq who are nearing their 90th and 50th day of hunger strike.

AKRAM RIKHAWI from Gaza was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in 2004 and sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment by a military court (these courts convict 99.74% of all accused Palestinians). Rikhawi has refused food for over 89 days, he suffers from various chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma and osteoporosis. In spite of an independent doctor recommending examination by a lung specialist, to date this has been denied by the IPS (Israeli Prison Services) and when hospitalised recently he was shackled to his bed at all times. His request is simply that his medical condition be considered during the discussion of his request for an earlier release. Every prisoner is entitled to ask to be considered for early release when at least two thirds of the sentence has been served.

SAMER AL-BARAQ, from the village of Jayyous, near Qalqilia, has been on hunger strike for over 48 days. He has been interned by Israel for almost two years without charge or trial under the Administrative Detention regime. Baraq was assured by that he would be released after the mass hunger strike of over 2,000 prisoners came to a negotiated end, however his administrative detention order was renewed for another three months in violation of the terms of this agreement, thus forcing Mr. al-Baraq to resume his strike.


Syria and the Downing of the Turkish Plane - the threat of war

by Memet Uludag - Irish Anti War Movement

29th June 2012

A few years ago, in Iran, a university student told me that "Each time the US and the West threatens Iran with military attacks, the regime tightens its grip on various social/political elements of life. They use the "being under attack" argument and call for national unity and support for the regime. There are various political elements challenging the government in Iran and the government uses every excuse to disable these, including the sentiment of unity of the nation under attack"

A few days after this conversation there were two news items in one of the Iranian TV channels. The first one was about Hilary Clinton’s statement on how US will "obliterate" Iran. The following item was a warning from the government. It issued a warning to the people about their relaxed dress code, and said that "non compliance" with the regimes dress code will not be tolerated". The news channel went on about the great state of Iran and the bad foreign influences on some people...

I think this little episode is very relevant to the current situation in Syria.

Goals For Gaza - Charity Fundraiser in Aid of Al Huda Kindergarten, Palestine

Newsletter Issue: 13/06/2012

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