Ukraine suspended all military flights from 14/07/2014 following the downing of a military transport plane at 6,000 meters. Unfortunately this did not lead to a similar closing of airspace to civilian air traffic. Continue Reading…

One of the pillars of the Ukrainian government evidence regarding MH17 has been a video, supposedly taken on the border with Russia in Krasnodon. Like the previous information provided about the Buk 512, the information appears to be incorrect. Continue Reading…

More information has emerged, proving that elements of the evidence produced by Ukraine on the events around the downing of the MH17 flight are clear misinformation. Continue Reading…

In the days since the downing of MH17 a lot of people have jumped to conclusions prematurely. Evidence provided by the Ukrainian Security Service, combined with the results of social media investigations, suggests the Ukrainian authorities have been less than honest in key disclosures of information to date. Continue Reading…

In a May 12 letter published on AlterNet (and on the HRI site), two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and over 100 scholars, journalists and human rights activists called on Human Rights Watch to close its revolving door to the U.S. government. Continue Reading…

Lugansk war crime

June 5, 2014 — 2 Comments

The air strike on the regional civil administration building in Lugansk by the armed forces of Kiev on June 2nd is a terrible tragedy for the civilians killed. Whilst the action has been described by the Ukrainian government as part of an “anti-terrorist operation,” it clearly violates the basic principles on the use of force governing law enforcement operations. Given the presence of armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the action violates international humanitarian law. Continue Reading…

The issue of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and their close links to the US government has been highlighted by a recent letter sent to Ken Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars. Continue Reading…

The latest survey in Ukraine by the Pew Research Center, reveals 91% of Crimeans believe the recent referendum was free and fair and only 4% believe Ukraine is correct in not recognising the referendum results. The poll numbers underline that the official results of the Crimea referendum are a true reflection of the will of the Crimean people. Continue Reading…

So-called “anti-terror operations” in Mariupol today have seen a number of deaths as Ukrainian military and “National Guard” (an outfit including many virtually untrained neo-fascists) face off against crowds of unarmed protestors. The BBC covered this situation and, whilst admitting the Ukrainian army is killing unarmed civilians, have edited a video to cut out the part where the Ukrainian army shoots a cameraman, injuring him severely and at a man who is on his knees with his hands in the air. Continue Reading…

The idea that only 15% of Crimeans voted to join Russia is speeding around the internet after an article was published in Forbes magazine written by Professor Paul Roderick Gregory. Continue Reading…

Evidence shows that photographic evidence is being misused to “prove” the presence of Russian special forces in Eastern Ukraine. It is clear that corporate media are complicit, either through stupidity or design, in this attempt to mould perceptions of the situation in post-coup Ukraine. Continue Reading…

An article by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books provides some very interesting information pointing to Turkey as having been the prime mover behind the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. Continue Reading…

As the EU announces that it will be making $15 billion in grants and loans available to the new Ukrainian government, a phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU Chief Catherine Ashton has emerged in which Peat reveals that those behind the killings of police and demonstrators may be members of the new coalition. Continue Reading…

Edward Snowden, speaking from hiding in Russia to German TV station ARD, discusses the threats against him by anonymous US officials and the wider responses to his revelations of major violations of human rights by the NSA and the national security state. Continue Reading…

A few comments on the final UN report on alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria are in order.

The report provides evidence which suggests use of chemical weapons against the Syrian army, including on a fairly large-scale in Khan al-Assal and including with the use of Sarin. This has major implications which should give impetus to the peace negotiations in Geneva and ensure that the countries supporting the insurgency think very carefully about the dangers in what they are doing. Continue Reading…

Åke Sellström’s final report on the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria was handed over to the UN Secretary-General today (12th December) at 4.40pm EST. Continue Reading…

Key evidence about the range of the rockets allegedly used by the Syrian regime in the chemical attacks on 21st August in East Ghouta, which was first published by Human Rights Investigations (HRI) yesterday, indicates that widespread statements made by Human Rights Watch (HRW), government officials and the mass media about the attacks are erroneous. Continue Reading…

A new video uploaded to YouTube provides good evidence of the range of the kind of rockets allegedly fired into East Ghouta on 21 August – under 2km and possibly too short a distance to have been fired from government territory. Continue Reading…

According to the Swedish Government web site, the long delayed final report of the UN team investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria is due to be presented to the UN on 13th December. Continue Reading…

Human Rights Investigations (HRI) analysis shows that opposition forces in Syria, including those supported by Western powers and Qatar are openly using young children in combat roles, including as mortar crews. Continue Reading…

In the aftermath of the chemical attack in Syria on August 21st, each side naturally blamed the other, with western intelligence agencies providing evidence supporting the opposition, and Russian intelligence supporting the regime. Both sides issued biased reports with cherry-picked evidence, only adding to the confusion. A sadly rushed and deficient interim UN Report by Professor Sellstrom and his team was published, which was interpreted by those favouring US cruise missile strikes as a veiled indictment of the Syrian regime.

To clear a way through the morass of propaganda, a new blog called ‘Who attacked Ghouta‘ (WaG) was set up as an online collaboration platform to investigate who was behind the attack. Since then, dozens of contributors have meticulously documented and analyzed thousands of pieces of evidence. Continue Reading…

In a surprise announcement, following this writer’s prompting of a question from the invaluable Inner City Press, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General has confirmed that the publication of the final UN report on chemical weapons use in Syria, which was to include the alleged attacks in Damascus as well as possible attacks by the rebels in Khan al-Assal and other places, has been delayed until early December. Continue Reading…

Amnesty International have issued a briefing called “Barred from their Homes
about the Tawergha, an ethnic group of black Libyans who were attacked and driven out of their homes in Misrata and Tawergha by racist rebel brigades and western bombing, during the NATO-backed war on Libya in 2011. The briefing documents the current situation of the Tawergha, none of whom have been allowed to return to their homes, many of whom have lost family members, and many of whom are living in refugee camps or under detention and torture in Misrata. Unfortunately, the Amnesty authors fail to explain the background to the Tawergha’s current situation, fail to criticise NATO’s role in the ethnic cleansing and make unrealistic suggestions to the “Libyan authorities” most of which are beyond the power of these authorities to deliver, even if they were minded to do so, and which indicate Amnesty is still in denial about the events of 2011. Continue Reading…

As the majority of the world’s media have misinterpreted the UN inspectors report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, it is necessary to look closely at what the report actually says, to ensure the report is interpreted correctly and dispel the widespread perception the trajectories calculated by the inspectors indicate the rockets were launched from a Syrian government military base. Continue Reading…

Talking on Russia Today, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, one of those leading the UN Investigation into the alleged chemical attacks in West and East Ghouta argued that autopsies of the victims were unnecessary as “A dead body can’t tell you anything.” Continue Reading…

In the wake of the NSA revelations, Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, socked it to Barack Obama on September 24, 2013, at the same 68th session of the UN General Assembly. Obama then replied, arguing the US was only spying on everyone and bombing countries for the common good. Read the speeches before voting on who you would rather trust to defend human rights: Continue Reading…

The UN Security Council agreement on the destruction of all chemical weapons held in Syria, by both government and rebel forces, and the measures adopted to try to prevent the terrorist groups operating in the country from getting their hands on chemical weapons are welcome. However, these agreements need to be followed up by an overall political agreement, the formation of a non-sectarian government including elements of the opposition committed to human rights and democracy and an end to the illegal support of the sectarian, terrorist insurgency by western countries, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Continue Reading…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Executive Director, Ken Roth, and New York Times (NYT) journalist CJ Chivers, were quick to argue the UN report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta proved the Syrian regime forces launched the attacks. However, analysis of the report suggests HRW and the NYT’s argument is flawed and illustrates that, as in Libya, where the opportunity for US air strikes presents itself, HRW displays militaristic (“responsibility to protect”) impulses and functions as a willing vehicle for pro-bombing propaganda. Continue Reading…

The UN has issued a picture of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon receiving the Chemical Weapons Report on Syria from the Head of the Investigation Team Avi Sellstrom. Continue Reading…

Speaking to Jeremy Bowen in Damascus, the Deputy UN Envoy to Syria, Mokhtar Lamani, has said that in Syria we are “not only talking about the humanitarian situation which is almost a catastrophe” but sectarianism which is frightening with “the possibility of having a large genocide, it’s there.” Continue Reading…

As Obama and John Kerry prepare to bomb Syria, after months of supporting the sectarian insurgency in that country, we should remember the words of Martin Luther King.
Continue Reading…

Analysis of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the subject of the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs, suggests the senator has his facts wrong again and is fully engaged in war-mongering propagandistic rhetoric. He may be using a form of psychological projection to protect himself from ongoing feelings of guilt at his role in the massive use of chemical weapons by US forces in Vietnam but in any case the posited military action in Syria represents yet another case of an ill-thought out policy with dire humanitarian consequences being sold to the public on grounds of high morality. Continue Reading…

As we hear the disturbing news that whistleblower Bradley Manning has been sentenced to thirty-five years for revealing war crimes, I’d like to recommend our readers check out Christopher Yates’ article “The Whistleblower’s mad moral courage” in the Guardian. Continue Reading…

Glenn Greenwald has, especially over recent weeks, been shaking the national security state to its foundations. It is due to his work the US army has blocked access to Guardian website to preserve ‘network hygiene’ Continue Reading…

Analysis of video at the centre of the original allegations of “chemical weapons attacks” by the Syrian government indicates that the public is being misled about the facts in Syria and the so-called evidence of chemical weapons attacks comes about though a combination of riot control grenades, rebel fakery and Western intelligence duplicity. Continue Reading…

The big news is that, in the words of George Orwell “Big Brother is Watching You” – indeed everyone’s online communications are being constantly monitored and stored by the US Security Services. Continue Reading…

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is a phrase from the Old Testament, not the Holy Koran.

So it is perhaps strange to see it used by “Islamic” extremist Michael Adeboloja after he beheaded a UK soldier on the streets of Woolwich, South East London. Continue Reading…

On March 4, 2013, ‘rebel’ groups overran government forces in al-Raqqa city, the first provincial capital and only urban center to fall to the armed groups since the start of the Western-backed insurgency in Syria.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, “al-Raqqa serves as an important test case for how the opposition will administer territory that they seize from Assad.” Continue Reading…

You have to wonder to what levels of depravity Syrian rebels have to descend to in order to fall out of favour with western leaders, and the CIA and other intelligence agencies which have been supplying them large quantities of weapons. Continue Reading…

The text of the letter from the White House to John McCain and Carl Lewin, reproduced below, makes it clear that the Obama Administration has, despite media reports, not been able to confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Continue Reading…

As FI begins in Bahrain, in an attempt to normalise the al-Khalifa regime, it is worth remembering that Western, and particularly British complicity in torture and repression in Bahrain goes back a long way. Continue Reading…

Better late than never, Human Rights Watch (HRW) have today called for the Libyan government to take “urgent steps to stop serious and ongoing human rights violations against inhabitants of the town of Tawergha,” and stated that the “forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.” (Our emphasis) Continue Reading…

Bradley Manning – A five-minute film by Freedom of the Press Foundation Board member and award-winning documentarian Laura Poitras

Watch it, share it Continue Reading…

In an astonishing development, Human Rights First (HRF), a New York and Washington-based NGO, has issued a report and launched a new web site called Atrocity Supply Chain aiming to cut Syria off from any supplies that could possibly be used by the government for military purposes, regardless as to whether these supplies are vital to the economy, for the functioning of sewage and water systems, for hospitals or needed for civilian power or heating in the bitter winter. Continue Reading…