by Emma

Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide bomb attack

December 28, 2007 in news by Emma

From the BBC:

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.

Ms Bhutto – the first woman PM in an Islamic state – was leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi when a gunman shot her in the neck and set off a bomb.

At least 20 other people died in the attack and several more were injured.

President Pervez Musharraf has urged people to remain calm but angry protests have gripped some cities, with at least 11 deaths reported.

Security forces have been placed on a state of “red alert” nationwide.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. Analysts believe Islamist militants to be the most likely group behind it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7161590.stm

Amnesty International has spoken out against the attack:

“It is shocking to see someone’s life cut short in such a brutal way. Attacks such as these can never be justified. They violate international law and the rules of democratic behaviour,” said Catherine Baber, director of Amnesty International’s Asia programme.

“We know that the government of President Musharraf will find itself under enormous pressure to go after the culprits and keep the country calm and stable, but Amnesty International calls on President Musharraf – and on the security forces – to exercise restraint and uphold the rule of law.

“The killing of Benazir Bhutto must not be allowed to become a setback to civilian governance or indeed lead to a further crackdown on civil liberties.”

Amnesty International Article

by Emma

Guantánamo men freed and detained again.

December 20, 2007 in news by Emma

Three men who returned to Britain after being freed from the American internment camp at Guantánamo Bay were in custody again last night. The men were taken to police stations in London and Bedfordshire as Spain sought the extradition of two of them in connection with terrorism offences.

The trio were released after Britain put pressure on America to clear out the infamous camp at Guantánamo. They had all been residents in Britain, but are not British citizens.

Jamil el-Banna, 45, a Jordanian, and Omar Deghayes, 38, a Libyan, the pair wanted by Spain, were accompanied by counter-terrorist police on the flight from Cuba. They had been detained without charge for five and six years respectively. The third detainee on the plane was Abdennour Sameur, 34, an Algerian.

Mr Deghayes and Mr Sameur were held under the Terrorism Act 2000 and taken to Paddington Green police station. Mr el-Banna was detained under port and border controls.

Taken from, and more information at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3075641.ece

by Emma

Nigerian government misleads world about death penalty record

December 18, 2007 in news by Emma

Amnesty International revealed yesterday that secret executions have been taking place in Nigeria’s prisons, despite recent assurances by the government that Nigeria has not executed ‘in years’.

Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme said:

‘The Nigerian government has been misleading the world – and they must now come clean on their death penalty record, establish an immediate moratorium on all executions in the country, and fully investigate how something like this could have happened.’

For more information: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=17576

by Emma

British Guantánamo detainees to be released

December 12, 2007 in main by Emma

The BBC reported on Saturday that four of the five British Guantánamo detainees are to be released.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7133760.stm

Amnesty’s UK spokesman Neil Durkin welcomed the move and said:

“We will now be seeking to establish why Shaker Aamer is expected to go to Saudi Arabia, why Binyam Mohammed is apparently not set for return and why another former UK resident – Ahmed Belbacha – has not been mentioned in these reports.”

by sinead

QMU Stall

December 12, 2007 in actions, unsubscribe by sinead

Hello everyone,

Just a reminder for anyone who is still in Glasgow, that the stall is happening tomorrow, so if you’re free between 10-4, drop by and lend a hand.

Thanks,

Sinead

Guantánamo Detainee Claims CIA Tortured Him

December 10, 2007 in news, We Like by Rob Hallam

Attorneys for a “high-value” terror suspect who says he was tortured while being held at secret CIA prisons have requested that a judge bar the agency from destroying evidence of the alleged torture.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/12/08/detainee.cia/

US: We Have The Right To Kidnap British Citizens

December 10, 2007 in news by Rob Hallam

A senior lawyer representing the US government has declared that a Supreme Court ruling allows the kidnap of British citizens wanted for crimes in America. Although the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of terror suspects was already known, this claim makes the asserts that the US can forcibly take people wanted in a non-terror connection.

Alun Jones QC, representing the US Government, said:

“The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared… If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, called for a review of the law

“This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilised nation.”

I’m going to editorialise again: I thought interfering with foreign nationals (especially on their own soil) outwith established legal protocols was an act of war? I mean, if suicide is an act of war, isn’t this?

by Emma

Human Rights Watch account of Burma events

December 9, 2007 in news by Emma

The New York based group Human Rights Watch has published an account of the events in Burma earlier this year.

The report, covered here by the BBC, can be found here, and includes information gained from a series of interviews with nearly 100 eye witnesses in Burma.

There is also a haunting photo montage here.

42 Day Detention Limit Proposed

December 6, 2007 in news by Rob Hallam

Ministers have 30 days to approve or reject plans to extend the period a terror suspect can be held without charge. This news comes 10 days after speculation that ministers were planning to extend the limit to 56 days. Evidently, they didn’t listen to us, or Amnesty UK when we gave them a list of reasons not to extend it.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Justice said:

“It seems more like politics than policy-making to me. I think it is a real mistake as I’ve never seen such good will in the House of Commons.”

Quite so. If you’ll forgive the editorialising – who wants to take a bet that this is stage one of the distract them from the funding scandal plan?

by Emma

GU Amnesty Committee Meeting 2/12/07 – Minutes

December 5, 2007 in minutes by Emma

Stall for Wednesday

– MP/MSP action letter
– Sinead will look up MSPs for Glasgow
– Sinead also will look up anti-terrorist legislation
– Dawn will bring camera

Star

– Jonny will go to meeting to contact them.

Radio Show

– Dawn, Jonny and Sinead to go.

Raise off

– Rachel to coordinate project
– Sleepout (sell sandwiches out of bins?)
– QM – hijack Cheesy Pop on 11th Jan for Guantànamo
– Glaswegian celebrity?

Greetings cards

– Saturday afternoon in Qudos?

Dawn is stepping down as president. Sinead will take over until we can hold an EGM in January.