Posts Tagged ‘‘black sites’’

The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan

February 11, 2010

The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan Black Sites in the Empire of Bases

by Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com, Feb 10, 2010

In the nineteenth century, it was a fort used by British forces.  In the twentieth century, Soviet troops moved into the crumbling facilities.  In December 2009, at this site in the Shinwar district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province, U.S. troops joined members of the Afghan National Army in preparing the way for the next round of foreign occupation.  On its grounds, a new military base is expected to rise, one of hundreds of camps and outposts scattered across the country.

Nearly a decade after the Bush administration launched its invasion of Afghanistan, TomDispatch offers the first actual count of American, NATO, and other coalition bases there, as well as facilities used by the Afghan security forces.  Such bases range from relatively small sites like Shinwar to mega-bases that resemble small American towns.  Today, according to official sources, approximately 700 bases of every size dot the Afghan countryside, and more, like the one in Shinwar, are under construction or soon will be as part of a base-building boom that began last year.

Continues >>

Lithuanian Probe Reveals Two CIA Black Sites

December 23, 2009

CIA Conducted ‘Interrogations’ in Stable

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  December 22, 2009

The Lithuanian Parliament released its findings into a probe of CIA activities in the nation today, confirming that the American spy agency in fact operated two “black sites” inside the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius.

Povilas Malakauskas

The probe further showed that at least five CIA planes landed in the city and that Lithuania’s own domestic spy agencies prevented border guards from inspecting them. Lithuania’s civilian government denies ever having been informed of any such actions beforehand, and Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius called it a “matter of great concern.”

Rather the requests are said to have gone directly to Lithuania’s State Security Department, which approved the CIA’s requests establishing both a single-cell “interrogation” facility and later a larger site. A former stable on the outskirts of the city served as the CIA’s interrogation center.

The US has declined all comments into this probe so far, but the Lithuanian government seems determined not to allow the activity to damage relations at any rate. The State Security Department’s chief, Povilas Malakauskas, resigned last week in anticipation of the results of the probe.

Call From Gaza

April 14, 2009

Hiyam Noir | uruknet.info, April 13, 2009

18-palestinian.jpg

Please forward widely….

Dear Everyone:

Please take a few minutes to read the call-out below from a broad Gaza-based prisoner solidarity campaign made up of a coalition of prisoner rights groups, local and international activists, prisoner families and Ministry of Detainees representatives in Gaza.

Friday April 17th is the international day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Just over 11,000 are behind bars in occupation prisons inside the apartheid lines and outside the ghetto walls of the West Bank and Gaza.

Prisoners are a community under siege which represents every faction in Palestine. Solidarity between prisoners inside Israeli jails crosses all political borders. They have sacrificed their individual freedom for collective freedom.

From taking direct action to symbolic gestures (in the case if prisoner campaigns, simple visual solidarity gestures drawing public attention to the struggle of prisoners is always effective in keeping memories, spirit and solidarity alive). Please take action this week! And email us about it…
April 17th is the international day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. These over 11,000 men, women and children are ghost prisoners, forgotten by the international community and media which has focused on the systematic and physical psychological torture of prisoners in high profile camps such as Guantanamo Bay but has largely ignored the network of Israel’s ‘Guantanamos’ inside ‘Israel’.

This call comes from Gaza – recognized as a large open air prison and place of punishment and exile for Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank.

Maximum security facilities such as Nufha, Haderim, Jalamy, and Ashkalon , and so-called ‘black sites’ which the Israeli government refuses to acknowledge, hold thousands of Palestinian prisoners. These prisoners are regularly and systematically tortured, denied access to legal representation, family visits, education, shelter, light, essential medical care and medicines.

The ‘Israeli state’ has a policy of administrative detention which means any man, woman or child can be arrested at any time and in any place and incarcerated without trial or access to any alleged evidence held by the intelligence services, for an undetermined and extendable length of time.

The majority of Palestinian men has been and will be arrested and incarcerated at some point in their lives by Israeli occupation forces. Under the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which Israel is a signatory to, Palestinian prisoners should be treated by the occupying forces under the rules applicable to the treatment of civilians in time of war.

Almost all the Palestinian detainees are held in jails away from the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip, in violation of international humanitarian law, which bars the removal of detainees to the territory of the occupying power. The ‘Israeli’ military and security forces regularly violate international law and conventions relating to prisoners.

Imprisonment and torture is an intergenerational experience for Palestinians living in Gaza, 1948 Palestine (‘Israel’) and the West Bank.

Imprisonment is a core element of the Israeli occupation’s strategy of collective containment and punishment of the Palestinian population – both of those jailed, and their families who suffer their absence and wait for their release. Military resistance fighters, as well as non-militarily active political activists, community organizers, paramedics, doctors, journalists, teachers, and students are regularly jailed under an Israeli legal framework which criminalizes any form of resistance to occupation

The inhumane prison conditions that Palestinian prisoners endure are steadily deteriorating. Following the Gaza massacres, the collective punishment of prisoners from Gaza has accelerated, with prisoners being denied the right to newspapers, radios, phone calls and visits from legal representatives. Gazan prisoners are now being confined to their cells for up to 23 hours a day and are being classified as “enemy combatants” further stripping away any rights to legal defense.

Palestinian prisoners are a forgotten community behind bars, often locally referred to as ‘living martyrs’. The prisoner issue is a core part of the Palestinian struggle, whose liberation is as integral to the struggle for justice and peace as the return of refugees, Jerusalem and stolen land.

In Gaza we will be holding a week of activities in solidarity including a marathon through the streets of Gaza in solidarity with our jailed loved ones, a conference of all prisoner advocacy organizations and prisoners’ families, a mass demonstration and a celebration of Palestinian resilience, sacrifice and patience.

In the light of ‘Israel’s’ further shift to the far right, unchallenged impunity, and the intensified humiliation of Palestinian prisoners, we call on the international community to take a stand.

We call for an end to double standards and for international pressure to force ‘Israel’ to adhere to international law.

We call on national representatives, parliamentarians, human rights organizations, trade unions, activists and people of conscience throughout the world to recognize, remember, speak out and protest the treatment of Palestinian prisoners this week.

We hope this week will be the catalyst that sparks long-term campaigns and commitments towards solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

Ahmed A. Alnajjar

Director of International Relations Office

Ministry of Education & Higher Education- Gaza

April 12 2009


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