Sep. 24, 2005

Mohammad Mahjoub Ends Hunger Strike

Mohammad Mahjoub Ends Hunger Strike Secret Trial Detainee "Wins" Most Demands, but at What Cost? September 24, 2005, Toronto -- As he lay in the medical unit of Metro West Detention Centre last night on Day 79 of a hunger strike, a weak, exhausted Mohammad Mahjoub gave his consent to a written agreement with the province of Ontario that promised his long-standing demands for proper medical treatment would be met. In a letter received by Mahjoub's legal counsel, Barbara Jackman, the province has promised to allow medical specialists into Metro West to assess Mr. Mahjoub's medical conditions, including Hepatitis C and a knee injury. The province has agreed as well that it will respect the medical advice of those specialists and abide by their recommendations, including, if need be, hospitalization. Earlier in the week, Mahjoub finally received a pair of eye glasses (eight months after they were prescribed), and although they did not fit, he is likely to get them within a few weeks. Mahjoub also received a written agreement that officials at the detention centre would work to ensure that family visits would not be subject to the kind of arbitrary interference and outright denial that have marked the past five years. However, the issue of contact visits with his children remains unresolved and, given the government's absolute refusal to consider the possibility, Mahjoub vows to pursue this demand through the courts. Speaking from Metro West Detention Centre this morning, Mahjoub wanted to thank people around the world who have showed tremendous support during his hunger strike. "I thank every individual, starting from my wife, Mona, my kids, my lawyers, my support committee in Toronto, and every individual S for their support and their sympathy. I ask Allah to reward them all and S to make them soft in their hearts towards one another." Friends, family and supporters of Mr. Mahjoub, whose hunger strike has provoked international coverage and outrage, are troubled that such a simple agreement --doctors see a patient, doctors recommend hospitalization, patient receives hospitalization if required -- should have to take such a potentially lethal toll on Mr. Mahjoub. While pleased that Mr. Mahjoub has ended his hunger strike, they note he will likely suffer health complications from this 79-day hunger strike for the rest of his life. Why, they ask, couldn't the province have intervened months ago? Mahjoub had long been denied hospitalization for a recommended liver biopsy for undisclosed "security" reasons, so he was just as surprised as everyone else when he was briefly hospitalized last Tuesday for a short battery of tests, none of which related to Hepatitis C or his knee injury. Supporters of Mahjoub question the medical ethics of those doctors who told him he could likely go another 10 days to two weeks on hunger strike and had him returned to prison. Mona Elfouli, who along with her children, has struggled every day of the last three months with the consequences of her husband's hunger strike, is grateful for the support of so many people across Canada and around the world who put pressure on the provincial and federal governments. "Now we need to put that same pressure on the governments so they can stop the secret trial security certificates and return my husband and the other men who are still in jail to their families," she said last night, in reference to the Secret Trial Five, all subject to years of Canadian detention without charge on secret evidence. Mahjoub, like a victim of famine, is still in critical shape, and it will be a long and difficult climb back as he begins to eat, his health still very much in question. As he recovers from the hunger strike, he still faces many stresses: he awaits word on whether he may be released on bail, thus ending his indefinite detention, and on whether the Canadian government will continue pursuing his deportation to torture or death in Egypt. Hassan Almrei, a Syrian refugee who has spent the past 47 months in solitary confinement, ended a 73-day hunger strike September 3 at Metro West, and will go to court on October 11 seeking a court order allowing him the same rights as other federal inmates, including one hour of fresh air and exercise for his own knee injury. He too is awaiting a bail decision and is fighting government attempts to deport him to torture or death in Syria. Secret trial detainee Mahmoud Jaballah, also at Metro West for over four years, is currently challenging the provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which prevent him from applying for bail while he fights deportation to torture or death in Egypt. In Ottawa, secret trial detainee Mohamed Harkat, held almost three years, will apply for bail at the end of October, while in Montreal, Adil Charkaoui, released in February under draconian conditions, will launch an application in early October calling for an end to his security certificate given the mental torture it has inflicted on him and his family. Both Harkat and Charkaoui are fighting deportation to torture or death in Algeria and Morocco, respectively. Protests against secret trials continue to grow across Canada, and this week coast-to-coast actions occurred, closing with a 24-hour vigil of support for Mahjoub in Vancouver. On Wednesday, groups and individuals including former Solicitor General Warren Allmand, the Committee for Justice for Mohamed Harkat, Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, Amnesty International, and Canadian Council for Refugees appeared before a Parliamentary subcommittee reviewing secuirt legislation, calling for an abolition of security certificates. For more information, contact the Campaign to Stop Secret trials in Canada at (416) 651-5800, tasc@web.ca, www.homesnotbombs.ca. For information on the Charkaoui challenge in October, (514) 859-9023. Thanks to all who have called, written, emailed, faxed, demonstrated, and prayed for justice.

American Freedoms

A year ago, 27-year old quadriplegic, Jonathan Magbie, died in a D.C. jail for lack of a respirator. Why was he in jail? He smoked marijuana to alleviate his suffering. If D.C. residents (citizens is too elevated a word) had the democratic rights of, say, Basra, medical marijuana would be legal and the poor guy would never have been jailed. But jailing a quadriplegic in the first place? In a prison that didn't have the respirator he needed? via:http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_09_18_dish_archive.html#112750642102492776

Sep. 23, 2005

Dean Becker Nominated For Brecher Award

Eric Sterling, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, (www.csdp.org) has nominated Dean Becker, (and in essence, the Drug Truth Network) for the Brecher Award, to be presented this November in Long Beach, by the Drug Policy Alliance. http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/11_10_03dpa.cfm Likely as not, this award will go to some mainstream columnist (usually does) who had a good day, but myself and Dean would thank you all most sincerely for any assistance you may give him in towards overcoming the typical "status quo" nomination. This would be important because if he recieves this honor it would serve to further legitimize his (and ours) efforts, and his reporting of the "unvarnished truth about the drug war". Therefore, I encourage you all to recognize this journalist and his colleagues. I know how hard we works and the risks he takes to produce these programs. This nomination is in support of his reporting and that of 9 regular Drug Truth Network reporters to include Doug McVay with the "Drug War Facts", Nora Callahan and her look at the prison industrial complex, Cliff Thornton and his perspective on the drug war, Phil Smith with the "Corrupt Cop Story", Winston Francis and "The Official Government Truth", Howard Wooldridge's reports on his horseback ride across America proclaiming the need to "Legalize all Drugs", Glenn Greenway with the "Poppygate Reports", Loretta Nall and her digs at the drug war and Steve Nolin with "Drug War History". Each week, Drug Truth Network produces seven, 3-minute news feeds, the "4:20 Drug War NEWS", (for daily distribution), and two, 1/2 hour programs: "Cultural Baggage", the "club house" of drug reform, and "Century of Lies" which usually takes a more sober, somber look at the policy of drug prohibition itself. With 42 broadcast stations in the US and Canada, with a string of stations set to come online soon in New Zealand, the Drug Truth Network dares to present the "unvarnished truth" that major media has stepped over, crossed out and ruefully has participated in stifling for decades on end. If you would like to lend your support to their nomination for the Brecher award, I urge you to take a moment to craft a simple email and send it to the attention of Robin Beck, rbeck@drugpolicy.org Thanks for your help. Dean Becker can be reached at 281-752-9198 (Eric Sterling's Nomination letter is displayed below.) Eric Sterling's Nomination: Dean Becker wears well two important journalistic hats. (a) He is the producer and host of Drug Truth, the syndicated radio program that broadcasts interviews of drug policy reformers analyzing the issues of the day on over 30 radio stations nationwide. The quality of his work is attested to by the fact that his syndication steadily grows. No station that has taken his program has ever dropped it. (b) Moderator, since 2001, of The New York Times drug policy forum. The forum has hosted almost 14,000 posts. In addition, Dean has sponsored live web interviews with almost all of America's leading drug policy reformers, such as Ethan Nadelmann, on the website of The New York Times, and many individuals currently in the news, such as asylum seek Renee Boje. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/readersopinions/drugforum-transcripts.html Dean has made a sustained challenge to the propaganda of the war on drugs by putting the comments of America's drug policy reformers on the website of The New York Times. I think that honoring movement journalists would be a valuable step for us. Eric ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Join me at the 2005 International Drug Policy Reform Conference: Reason, Compassion, and Justice Nov. 9 - 12, 2005, Long Beach, CA Click http://www.drugpolicy.org/events/dpa2005/ for more information and to register! Co-sponsored by The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eric E. Sterling, President The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation esterling@cjpf.org www.cjpf.org 8730 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Tel. 301-589-6020

Sep. 21, 2005

BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS

BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS By JENNIFER LUCE and DON GENTILE Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal. Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe. Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.">National Enquirer: "BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS By JENNIFER LUCE and DON GENTILE Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal. Bush, who said he quit drinking the morning after his 40th birthday, has started boozing amid the Katrina catastrophe. Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster." Cont..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OK sure.It's the National Enquirer. But hey, they have broken some real high profile stories before because of the large money they offer for inside info. And the truth is, it explains much about his tendency to disappear back to the ranch whenever things are going badly...precisely the time when he should be doing his job. Mycos

Sep. 20, 2005

FOOD FOR POOR TO BE BURNED

UP IN FLAMES Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans From Ryan Parry, US Correspondent in New York HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned. US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees. Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption." cont......

Sep. 19, 2005

Croatian Government is behind the terrorist attack on British embassy

In Zagreb County jail there is Faton Zeqiri, citizen of Bosnia and Hercegovina,and has been there for two years now. In co-operation with croatian intelligence officers, bosnian and american intelligence services, he took part in destruction of islamic terrorist and extreme net in Bosnia and Hrcegovina. Zegiri has been extradited to Croatia at the begining of 2004., after the articles about ½Ostojiæ group and operations led in Bosnia and Hercegovina, written by Domagoj Margetiæ in Croatian letter. Zeqiri was then claiming and prooving how he got the list of all the islamic extreme intelligence officers in Bosnia and Hercegovina and gave it to american and croatian intelligence officers and that he gave the list of Al-Qaida members to american intelligence officers in Tuzla. Then it all seemed like a big prank. However, the arguments and datas that Zeqiri has should concider our authorities and international community. Nevertheless in Zagreb County prison with Zeqiri talked investigators of Mladen Bajiæ and State Attorney s Office and offered him to be silent about secret operatons in Bosnia an Hercegovina and in return promised him not to prosecute him for crimes he did in Croatia. Furthermore , Zeqiri was extradited from Central jail in Sarajevo where they tried to eliminate him couple of times. Complexity of that action also proves the fact that extradition of Zeqiri was held in big secrecy, was coordinated by two croatian ministers and Zeqiri was brought in Croatia by american army forces in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Why, on the other hand is Croatian government hiding that witness and is not allowing him to testify about islamic,terrorist instalations in Bosnia and Hercegovina? Government,for sure, has datas which Zeqiri gave them from jail. They decided the public. Maybe now, Sanader will have to explain his british partners that he might have prevent terrorist attack on british embassy in Zagreb. Instead of declaring that there is a witness who could have revealed islamic terrorist net, Sanader decided for new prank – that the bomb was act of supporters of Ante Gotovina. This last madness of Croatian prime minister sounds really rediculous and pathetic even to the biggest political naives, who are still supporting him. And I woul like to turn the ball on the other side. It is certain that a week ago on 29 of September Sanader has been told that Croatia will not enter EU. This incident with the bomb came in the best moment for Sanader to explain his personal failure. So, who are the anonymous Bombers is the question that shuold be appointed to Sanader. It is obvous that Sanader wiil profit most of this bombing operation. On September 29 th EU will give him no answer again for croatian membership. So if nothing happened, this new failure to enter EU wuold be his own responsibility and that, of course would leade into serious parlamenary crises. With this incident he profited the most. Now he ll say to Europe that there will be extremist s bombists all around Croatia if you refuse our membership now, and on the other hand when no answer from EU comes in the next few days, he ll sax that extremists are guilty foe his european failure. And in his sick political theory he wins any case. It is the unseene precedane that the prime minister of one country makes public statement that his fellows country men are responsible for such terrorist act. This truely could be the political end of such short and pittyfull political career of Ivo Sanader. Domagoj Margetic, Zagreb

Sep. 18, 2005

More on the Toronto Star's Lucas Oleniuk in New Orleans

Is the Government Trying to Stem the Tide of Images From New Orleans by Threatening Journalists?: Journalists covering New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina report that militarization in and around the city has hindered their work and threatened their physical safety. We hear from two journalists who were reporting in New Orleans recently. Video and transcript. This is a must listen http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10204.htm [excerpt from the transcript] AMY GOODMAN: That was White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan speaking on Thursday, being questioned by reporters at the White House. Joining us in our D.C. studio is Tim Harper, a reporter with the Toronto Star. He was with his photographer, Lucas Oleniuk, the photographer from the Toronto Star whose photos were taken from him by police. And here with us in New York is Jacquie Soohen. She just flew in last night, an independent filmmaker with Big Noise Films. And we'll talk with her about what happened to her in a minute, but first we go to Tim Harper in Washington. Explain when you were in New Orleans with your photographer and what happened. TIM HARPER: Sure. It was a week ago Thursday. It was a day that things were quite clearly out of control. It was before any federal troops had come in to try to take control of the situation. New Orleans authorities were clearly way over their head at that point, and looting had been breaking out over the past 24 hours everywhere. We drove, Lucas Oleniuk and I drove into the city. We were a couple of blocks away from the Convention Center, when he noticed on the left what looked to be perhaps the start of a shootout. We noticed a New Orleans ETF, emergency task force officer crouching behind his car with his gun drawn. Lucas jumped out of the car. As soon as he did, we heard a quick pop, pop, pop, and gunfire was coming from an apartment block, and being returned by the police. I was told in no uncertain terms at gunpoint to get the hell out of the area, and I complied as best I could. But Lucas was caught essentially in the gunfire because New Orleans police pulled up behind him and started shooting over his shoulder. So during the 15-minute or so standoff that ensued, he was taking pictures alongside New Orleans officers as they were caught in the standoff. Now, subsequently, they did get two suspects out of the apartment block where this incident was happening, and while Lucas was shooting, they administered a rather fierce beating on these two guys. And I guess that was the problem. As soon as they realized that the beating of the suspects was being captured on film, one officer tried to rip the camera off his shoulder. His press tag was ripped off. Eventually, they got one camera and started messing with the camera trying to get the pictures out. Fearful that they were going to ruin his camera, he showed them how to get the images out. His second camera was ripped from his shoulder at that time, and when he asked whether he could get his images back, he was threatened with having his neck broken, had guns pointed at him. I came back to try to help him. I had guns pointed at me. I was told to turn my car around, stop or I'll shoot. I had a shotgun pointed at the windshield. So the bottom line is about 350 images that Lucas Oleniuk took will never be seen, and I thought almost equally as important, ripping off his press tag at that point and leaving him out any press accreditation driving around in the city in that situation made him incredibly vulnerable. It was a very dangerous situation. JUAN GONZALEZ: So, in other words, they did not initially try to stop his shooting of photographs of the shootout. It was only when -- TIM HARPER: Not during the shootout, no. AMY GOODMAN: -- they started to beat the prisoners that they had grabbed that they became concerned? TIM HARPER: Yeah. No, it's not clear at that point whether they allowed him to keep taking the pictures, because obviously, they were worried about sniper fire coming from the apartment, and they didn't want to do anything to endanger themselves. But there was -- nobody tried to intervene. He actually at one point ran across the street from -- he had taken shelter behind a light standard, and then while the shooting was going on, ran across about a quarter block length to get behind a cruiser for better protection, beside another officer shooting, so, no, there was no move to stop him from taking pictures while they were involved in the shootout. AMY GOODMAN: Tim Harper is a reporter with the Toronto Star. His photographer, Lucas Oleniuk with the Toronto Star had his film taken. When we come back, we'll also be joined by Jacquie Soohen to talk about her experience as she was filming, as well.

Ethnic Cleansing and Katrina

Subject: Ethnic Cleansing and Katrina: A Shrub Has Sprouted and is Growing by Bushels: A Webliography

HURRICANE KATRINA: POLITICAL FALLOUT:

Contact Janet Eaton at or jeaton@ca.inter.net for copy. DIGEST : HURRICANE KATRINA: POLITICAL FALLOUT: (Digest #1 Covers the period August 31 to Sept 4, 2005) Compiled by Janet M. Eaton, PhD, September, 2005) http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/jmeaton/war/jeaton.htm =============================================== Dear All: These Digests assemble, summarize and bring together in one location a sampling of the political analysis and critique which is mounting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and which threaten to 'breach the barricades of the Bush administration'. INDEX : [1] Hurricane Katrina's real name By Ross Gelbspan The Boston Globe, August 31, 2005 [2] "For They That Sow the Wind Shall Reap the Whirlwind" Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Date: 31 Aug 2005 [3] On the devolution of FEMA (Sept 1, 2005) http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007023.ph p Washington Monthly September 1, 2005 By Kevin Drum [4] Halliburton gets contract to repair damage from Hurricane Katrina halliburtonwatch.org September 1, 2005 [5] How the Free Market Killed New Orleans* By Michael Parenti, ZNet, E-mailed by Michael Albert [Sep 02, 2005] [6] Dennis Kucinich Speech on the House Floor 'Indifference Is a Weapon of Mass Destruction' The Nation BLOG | Posted 09/03/2005 @ 8:33pm [7] Tomgram: Iraq in America : At the Front of Nowhere at All The Perfect Storm and the Feral City By Tom Engelhardt Sept. 4, 2005 [8] Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist However, experts for years had warned of threat to New Orleans Sept 4, 2005 [9] The U.S. Needs to Start Over: Failing at War, Peace and Dignity, Counterpunch, September 3 / 4, 2005

Being Poor

North Coast Cafe: Being Poor