Humanity and The West

Helen Joanne Cox was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Batley and Spen constituency from her election in May 2015.

At 12:53 pm BST on 16 June 2016, Cox was fatally shot and stabbed outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where she was about to hold a constituency surgery at 1:00 pm. A 77-year-old local man, Bernard Kenny, was also stabbed in the stomach while trying to fend off her attacker.

Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old Batley and Spen constituent had links to the U.S.-based neo-Nazi group National Alliance, shouted “This is for Britain. Britain will always come first” as he carried out the attack.

Cox was born Helen Joanne Leadbeater on 22 June 1974 in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. She was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School, where she was head girl. During summers, she worked packing toothpaste. Cox studied Social and Political Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1995. She later studied at the London School of Economics.

Following her graduation, Cox worked as an adviser to Labour MP Joan Walley. From 2001 to 2009, she worked for the aid groups Oxfam and head of Oxfam International’s humanitarian campaigns in New York City in 2007. Her work for Oxfam in which she met disadvantaged groups in Darfur and Afghanistan influenced her political thinking. Cox’s charity work led to a role advising Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was spearheading a campaign to prevent deaths in pregnancy and childbirth. Cox was the national chair of the Labour Women’s Network and a senior adviser to the Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery charity.

Reasons for Cox’s Murder

Cox, a supporter of the Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, called for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Cox campaigned for a solution to the Syrian Civil War. In October 2015, she co-authored an article in The Observer with Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, arguing that British military forces could help achieve an ethical solution to the conflict, including the creation of civilian safe havens in Syria. During that month Cox launched the All Party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group, becoming its chair. In the Commons vote in December to approve UK military intervention against ISIL in Syria, Cox abstained because she believed in a more comprehensive strategy that would also include combatting President Bashar al-Assad and his “indiscriminate barrel bombs”.
She wrote:
By refusing to tackle Assad’s brutality, we may actively alienate more of the Sunni population, driving them towards Isis. So I have decided to abstain. Because I am not against airstrikes per se, but I cannot actively support them unless they are part of a plan. Because I believe in action to address Isis, but do not believe it will work in isolation.

Army major who ‘tied’ Kashmiri man to jeep honoured

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley. Reports Rahul Singh of Hindustan Times, New Delhi (India). May 22, 2017 Indian Standard Time

An army major, who was in the eye of a storm for allegedly tying a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, has been awarded the army chief’s commendation card. Confirming the development, army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said the officer had been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation (COAS) card for “sustained efforts in CI (counter insurgency) operations”.

The army found itself in the middle of a firestorm after the surfacing of a video clip that showed a man tied to the fender of a Rakshak jeep and paraded through villages. A day after the video clip surfaced on April 14, 2017 the army ordered a probe into the incident.

In the video, announcements of people being warned that “this will be the fate of stone-pelters” could be heard in the background. The incident had triggered outrage in Kashmir, with separatists saying it was on “expected lines from an oppressor”.

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley.

Solidarity with People of Jammu & Kashmir

All the people across the Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir mark the February 5, as solidarity day in a befitting manner to pay homage to martyrs of state Jammu & Kashmir, and express unity with people of Indian occupied part of the state in their rightful struggle for freedom from Indian subjugation.

Pakistan had been marking the day since 1990 to highlight the plight of people of the State Jammu & Kashmir for their birth-right to self-determination promised to them by the international community through UN Security Council Resolutions of January 17, 1948, April 21 1948, August 13, 1948 and January 05, 1949, and make it realize of its obligation of ensuring a UN sponsored plebiscite in the state according to the wishes of the people of the state.

Solidarity Day was first observed in 1990 when nation collectively prayed for the success of freedom movement of people of Kashmiri.

Symbolically, the Kashmir valley is known as “heaven on earth” which showcases stunning natural beauty, heavenly glimpses of different seasons and popular for its rare arts and crafts. While after the illegal occupation of a big part of Jammu & Kashmir state by Indian army, the heaven of Kashmir valley was enclosed in barbed wires drenched in blood and smell of Gun Powder which raised the issue of mass scale human rights violation committed by Indian Armed Forces in Jammu & Kashmir.

Kashmir problem is unfinished agenda of partition plan of 1947 which librated India from British Crown to make two free states Pakistan and India.

Under the plan the State of Jammu & Kashmir would have become part of Pakistan but unfortunately soon after independence India occupied the state and kept people of the territory under its yoke. However, people of State started freedom movement and liberated part of the State Jammu & Kashmir from Indian occupation which is known as Azad (free) Jammu & Kashmir.

The day protests against Indian occupation and atrocities on the inhabitants of the part of the State Jammu & Kashmir occupied by India using her military might. This issue is a real bone of contention in the relations of Pakistan and India since 1947.

Pity the so-called Flag-Bearers of Humanity, USA, Russia and UK who kill thousands of people in the name of human rights, but dam-care about their own promises given in UNO about seven decades back.

The Indian Express newspaper reported on Sunday that doctors at Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Singh hospital have treated at least 446 patients with injuries sustained from being shot at with pellet guns, which have been used against protesters by Indian forces in the region.
A majority of victims have “multiple structural damage” to their eyes, the state government told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, according to the daily.
Pellet guns have been widely used to quell protests in Kashmir that erupted after a popular rebel commander, Burhan Wani, was killed in a gun battle with Indian security forces last month.
At least 66 people have been killed in the almost daily anti-India protests and rolling curfews prompted by the killing of Wani on July 8.
The Central Reserve Police Force, an Indian paramilitary unit, told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court that it had used 1.3 million pellets in 32 days, adding that “it was difficult to follow the standard operating procedure given the nature of the protests”.

How U.S. Torture Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds

Beatings, sleep deprivation, menacing and other brutal tactics have led to persistent mental health problems among detainees held in secret C.I.A. prisons and at Guantánamo.
By MATT APUZZO, SHERI FINK and JAMES RISEN
October 8, 2016

Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one crucial outcome. They knew that the methods inflicted on terrorism suspects would be painful, shocking and far beyond what the country had ever accepted. But none of it, they concluded, would cause long lasting psychological harm.
Fifteen years later, it is clear they were wrong.

Today in Slovakia, Hussein al-Marfadi describes permanent headaches and disturbed sleep, plagued by memories of dogs inside a blackened jail. In Kazakhstan, Lutfi bin Ali is haunted by nightmares of suffocating at the bottom of a well. In Libya, the radio from a passing car spurs rage in Majid Mokhtar Sasy al-Maghrebi, reminding him of the C.I.A. prison where earsplitting music was just one assault to his senses.

And then there is the despair of men who say they are no longer themselves. “I am living this kind of depression,” said Younous Chekkouri, a Moroccan, who fears going outside because he sees faces in crowds as Guantánamo Bay guards. “I’m not normal anymore.”

After enduring agonizing treatment in secret C.I.A. prisons around the world or coercive practices at the military detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, dozens of detainees developed persistent mental health problems, according to previously undisclosed medical records, government documents and interviews with former prisoners and military and civilian doctors. Some emerged with the same symptoms as American prisoners of war who were brutalized decades earlier by some of the world’s cruelest regimes.

Those subjected to the tactics included victims of mistaken identity or flimsy evidence that the United States later disavowed. Others were foot soldiers for the Taliban or Al Qaeda who were later deemed to pose little threat. Some were hardened terrorists, including those accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks or the 2000 bombing of the American destroyer Cole. In several cases, their mental status has complicated the nation’s long effort to bring them to justice.

Americans have long debated the legacy of post-Sept. 11 interrogation methods, asking whether they amounted to torture or succeeded in extracting intelligence. But even as President Obama continues transferring people from Guantánamo and Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, promises to bring back techniques, now banned, such as waterboarding, the human toll has gone largely uncalculated.

At least half of the 39 people who went through the C.I.A.’s “enhanced interrogation” program, which included depriving them of sleep, dousing them with ice water, slamming them into walls and locking them in coffin-like boxes, have since shown psychiatric problems, The New York Times found. Some have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoia, depression or psychosis.

Hundreds more detainees moved through C.I.A. “black sites” or Guantánamo, where the military inflicted sensory deprivation, isolation, menacing with dogs and other tactics on men who now show serious damage. Nearly all have been released.

“There is no question that these tactics were entirely inconsistent with our values as Americans, and their consequences present lasting challenges for us as a country and for the individuals involved,” said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.

The United States government has never studied the long-term psychological effects of the extraordinary interrogation practices it embraced. A Defense Department spokeswoman, asked about long-term mental harm, responded that prisoners were treated humanely and had access to excellent care. A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.

This article is based on a broad sampling of cases and an examination of hundreds of documents, including court records, military commission transcripts and medical assessments. The Times interviewed more than 100 people, including former detainees in a dozen countries. A full accounting is all but impossible because many former prisoners never had access to outside doctors or lawyers, and any records about their interrogation treatment and health status remain classified.

Researchers caution that it can be difficult to determine cause and effect with mental illness. Some prisoners of the C.I.A. and the military had underlying psychological problems that may have made them more susceptible to long-term difficulties; others appeared to have been remarkably resilient. Incarceration, particularly the indefinite detention without charges that the United States devised, is inherently stressful. Still, outside medical consultants and former government officials said they saw a pattern connecting the harsh practices to psychiatric issues
Those treating prisoners at Guantánamo for mental health issues typically did not ask their patients what had happened during their questioning. Some physicians, though, saw evidence of mental harm almost immediately.
“My staff was dealing with the consequences of the interrogations without knowing what was going on,” said Albert J. Shimkus, a retired Navy captain who served as the commanding officer of the Guantánamo hospital in the prison’s early years. Back then, still reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks, the government was desperate to stave off more.

But Captain Shimkus now regrets not making more inquiries. “There was a conflict,” he said, “between our medical duty to our patients and our duty to the mission, as soldiers.”

After prisoners were released from American custody, some found neither help nor relief. Mohammed Abdullah Saleh al-Asad, a businessman in Tanzania, and others were snatched, interrogated and imprisoned, then sent home without explanation. They returned to their families deeply scarred from interrogations, isolation and the shame of sexual taunts, forced nudity, aggressive body cavity searches and being kept in diapers.

Mr. Asad, who died in May, was held for more than a year in several secret C.I.A. prisons. “Sometimes, between husband and wife, he would admit to how awful he felt,” his widow, Zahra Mohamed, wrote in a statement prepared for the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. “He was humiliated, and that feeling never went away.”

Courtesy: New York Times

Another incident of racial hatred in America

Yet another incident of racial hatred surfaced this week when a classmate of a female Muslim student in Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, Minnesota ripped off her hijab and pulled down her hair in front of other students, prompting the area’s school district to launch an investigation into the incident.

The family of the victim girl told the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that a female classmate of the Muslim student came up behind her and ripped off her hijab, before throwing it on the ground. She then pulled the Muslim girl’s hair down in front of other students in the school.

CAIR’s Minnesota expressed concern, in a statement, over the alleged delayed response by the school district to the incident. “School officials must take immediate actions to ensure that all students, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, are provided a safe learning environment,” CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement.

Numerous cases of racial crime and hatred against women covering their heads with hijab have emerged after Donald Trump’s recent victory in the US Presidential elections 2016.