After Khashoggi Scandal, another Journalist Dies due to Torture at Al Saud’s Prison

After Khashoggi Scandal, another Journalist Dies due to Torture at Al Saud’s Prison

Local Editor

Saudi journalist and writer Turki bin Abdulaziz al-Jasser died as a result of torture while in the regime custody as the conservative Saudi Kingdom grapples with an international crisis over the murder of prominent dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, an independent non-governmental organization seeking to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that al-Jasser lost his life due to severe torture he was subjected to during criminal investigations at a prison.

Saudi authorities claimed that Jasser administered the Twitter account Kashkool or @calouche_ar, which disclosed rights violations committed by high-ranking officials and members of the royal family.

Several sources reported that Saudi authorities discovered Jasser’s real identity after a team of the kingdom’s cyber spies infiltrated the Twitter headquarters in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, as part of the so-called Saudi online army founded by Saud al-Qahtani, the former chief adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Qahtani is said to be the architect of a social media campaign against Muslim preachers, intellectuals and critics of the Riyadh regime.

Qahtani, who was fired after being blamed for Khashoggi’s murder, posted a tweet in August 2017, saying that fake names on Twitter would not protect those behind the accounts critical of the Saudi royal family.

Khashoggi went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul on October 2.

A senior Turkish official told the Washington Post on November 2 that the slain journalist’s body was destroyed in acid on the grounds of the Saudi consulate or at the nearby residence of the Saudi consul general.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

A journalist and writer in Saudi Arabia has reportedly died as a result of torture while in the regime custody as the conservative oil-rich kingdom grapples with an international crisis over the murder of prominent dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization seeking to promote human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Turki bin Abdulaziz al-Jasser lost his life due to severe torture he was subjected to during criminal investigations at a prison.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Prisoners of Conscie@m3takl_en

🔴 Authorities believe that the writer Turki bin Abdul Aziz al-Jasser (TurkialjasserJ) is the Twitterati KASHKOOL (coluche_ar), private security sources asserted to us. The source confirmed what ALQST tweeted about using personal information in Jasser’s PC to blackmail him

Saudi authorities claimed that Jasser administered the Twitter account Kashkool or @calouche_ar, which disclosed rights violations committed by high-ranking officials and members of the royal family.

Several sources have reported that Saudi authorities discovered Jasser’s real identity after a team of the kingdom’s cyber spies infiltrated the Twitter headquarters in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, as part of the so-called Saudi online army founded by Saud al-Qahtani, the former chief adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Qahtani is said to be the architect of a social media campaign against Muslim preachers, intellectuals and critics of the Riyadh regime.

Qahtani, who was fired after being blamed for Khashoggi’s murder, posted a tweet in August 2017, saying that fake names on Twitter would not protect those behind the accounts critical of the Saudi royal family.

Khashoggi went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul on October 2.

A senior Turkish official told the Washington Post on November 2 that the slain journalist’s body was destroyed in acid on the grounds of the Saudi consulate or at the nearby residence of the Saudi consul general.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said biological evidence discovered in the diplomatic mission garden supports the theory that Khashoggi’s body was disposed of close to where he was killed and dismembered.

“Khashoggi’s body was not in need of burying,” the official was quoted as saying.

Khashoggi, a distinguished commentator on Saudi affairs who wrote for The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, had lived in self-imposed exile in the US since September 2017, when he left Saudi Arabia over fears of the Riyadh regime’s crackdown on critical voices.

His death has subjected the Riyadh regime and Mohammed bin Salman to strict scrutiny.

Hatice Cengiz, the journalist’s fiancée, has accused Saudi officials of a massive cover-up.

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#Khashoggi -VT Sources: Trump, Pompeo Have Had Murder Audio for 4 Days and Lied and Lied and Lied

VT Sources: Trump, Pompeo Have Had Murder Audio for 4 Days and Lied…

US Intelligence Contractors (NSA) monitoring the comm spectrum in Istanbul listened to the murder in “realtime”

Editor’s note:  VT has known about these recordings all along as has President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo.  While defending Saudi Arabia and, in Trump’s case, lying about how much business the US does with the Saudi’s, which isn’t all that much, Trump had long ago listened to Khashoggi being tortured and hacked to pieces.

He listened to the tape over and over and lied about it anyway, lied about everything, all the while, Saudi Arabia has gone to Iran and asked them to join against the US if Trump even opens his mouth.

The issue, of course, is that Saudi Arabia does business with Trump, he has licenses to run covert high level whore houses and gambling dens inside Saudi Arabia, an attempt on their part to prevent the huge river of cash normally flowing to the UAE where Saudi’s go to drink and party, filling the 5 star hotels.

The enlightened new prince, with Trump and Kushner’s help, was going to keep the drugs and whores close to home, saving Saudi Arabia billions.

You see, Saudi Arabia spends far more on whores than it does planes and tanks, but that’s another story, one Khashoggi was going to tell.

From the Guardian:

  • Audio reportedly proves Khashoggi was tortured then killed
  • Trump points to Saudi role as important strategic partners
Donald Trump says the US has asked Turkey for an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death which reportedly proves he was brutally tortured before his premeditated murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials said the audio recording had been handed over to the US and Saudi Arabia. But on Wednesday, Trump told reporters: “We’ve asked for it … if it exists” – before adding that it “probably does” exist.

Trump had previously suggested he believes the denials of responsibility from the Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and warned against a rush to judgement.

On Wednesday, Trump denied he was covering up for the Saudi royals but at the same time pointed to their importance as strategic and commercial partners.

“I’m not giving cover at all. And with that being said, Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East. We are stopping Iran,” he told reporters.

But Trump’s defence of the Saudi royals has become increasingly difficult as Turkish government leaks and press reports have revealed more details about the grisly nature of Khashoggi’s fate and the involvement of Saudi operatives close to the Saudi crown prince.

read more at UK Guardian

Report: Saudis Dismembered Journalist While He Was Still Alive, Audio Recording Shows

Recording: Saudis Dismembered Journalist While Still Alive

Pompeo gives Saudis a few more days to finalize report on killing

Turkish media has gained access to an audio recording of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The recording reportedly reveals that Khashoggi was dismembered by the Saudi “interrogation team” while he was still alive.

The seven minute execution, per the report, involved the team cutting him up for several minutes until he died. His body was ultimately said to have been dissolved in acid. The consulate was confirmed to have been repainted in the two weeks since the incident.

Among the details in the recording, the Consulate General Mohammed al-Otaibi objected to the dismembering of Khashoggi, telling them to “do this outside, you’ll get me in trouble.” One of the team told him to “shut up if you want to live when you return to Saudi Arabia.”

Turkey has already searched the consulate, and is planning to inspect the consulate general’s residence next. Otaibi won’t be there either way, as he’s reportedly been sacked, and recalled to Saudi Arabia to face accusations of “violations.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Turkey now to visit with top officials, has said that the US has agreed to give the Saudis a few more days to finalize their own report. This was expected to claim that Khashoggi was accidentally killed in a “botched interrogation,” and that the royal family didn’t know about it.

The audio recording, however, puts further holes into this narrative, as dismembering the man clearly was going to be lethal and not some surprise mistake. The consulate general’s reaction also throws doubts into this being an operation that happened outside of the purview of top leadership. That he’s also been recalled to Saudi Arabia raises only more concerns about what happened.

U.S./ israel (apartheid state) shared values : Torture

Source

Israeli security forces brutally arrest Palestinian protesters in West Bank [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | September 20, 2018

A new report by Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer claims that Israeli officials “routinely” carry out the “practice of torture” at a key interrogation facility in occupied East Jerusalem.

The report, “I’ve Been There: A Study of Torture and Inhumane Treatment in Al-Moscobiyeh Interrogation Centre”, is based on the testimonies of 138 individuals held in the Russian Compound of Jerusalem gathered during the period 2015-2017.

“For generations of Palestinians, the Russian Compound has represented the most severe interrogation facility in all of the occupied territory,” Addameer states.

“It has been the place of intentionally inflicted suffering for hundreds of prisoners. Its location in the heart of Jerusalem, next to the Old City, is something of a metaphor for the whole apparatus of the occupation. The domination is hidden in plain sight.”

According to the testimonies acquired by Addameer, eight forms of abuse were identified at the facility: positional torture such as “stress positions”; beatings during interrogation; isolation/solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and long interrogation, threats to family members, being subjected to sounds of torture, deliberate medical neglect, and screaming and cursing.

More than half of those surveyed reported being held in stress positions; one 18-year-old former prisoner was held in a stress position for eight hours a day, for 18 days. A third of prisoners reported being beaten, while a fifth of individuals were subjected to violent shaking.

Addameer noted that “children are no exception when it comes to mistreatment and intimidation”, with 47.8 per cent reporting “that they were beaten during their arrest”, 45.5 per cent experiencing positional torture during interrogation, and 40.9 per cent “threatened with the potentially injuring of their families if they did not cooperate”.

According to the rights group, “the primary conclusion that the above research and indicators provide is that mistreatment, and coercion, amounting to torture, are commonplace and systematic within the occupation’s interrogation systems”.

Addameer added that “as a result of torture’s status in international law, the international community has a distinct responsibility to take action to sanction the perpetrating entity”, urging “the international community to begin sanctioning the occupier for its crimes”.

12,800 immigrant children detained in American internment camps, some subjected to emotional and sexual assault by guards

12,800 immigrant children detained in American internment camps

On Wednesday night, the  New York Times reported that the Trump administration has been covertly conducting a campaign to round up and detain thousands of immigrant youth traveling to the US without their parents or guardians.

According to the report, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have increased the number of detained unaccompanied minors nearly six-fold, from an average of 2,400 each night in May 2017 to 12,800 each night this month. The network of some 100 child internment camps and relocation centers located throughout the US are now reaching capacity, with immigrant youth packed together in cells and bunk houses, subject to physical, emotional and sexual assault by guards.

The Trump administration is preparing to drastically expand the size of the internment camp cities.

Last Thursday, the administration announced it was abandoning a 1997 court settlement barring the government from detaining children for over 20 days, meaning the government will now detain children indefinitely.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it was tripling the size of the Tornillo tent city internment camp located outside El Paso. The camp, which was constructed in June to “temporarily” house children separated from their families under the Department of Justice’s “zero tolerance” policy, will now hold 3,800 children.

In June, the administration initiated a new policy requiring potential sponsors to submit fingerprints to immigration authorities—a blatant attempt to scare undocumented relatives and isolate the young people in jail. As a result, although over 40,000 unaccompanied children have been arrested by CBP in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2018, the number of youth that have been released from detention and placed with sponsors has fallen 30 percent.

The massive increase in the size of the interned child population comes six weeks after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all children separated from their parents through the implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy in May.

The administration has blatantly disregarded the court order, forcing non-profits to send representatives through remote villages in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to knock on doors in search of the deported parents of separated children.

There are over 400 children who remain separated from their family as a result of the “zero tolerance” policy. As AZ Central recently noted, “It now appears increasingly likely that hundreds of those families will never be reunited because parents were deported from the United States intentionally or mistakenly waived their rights to reunification.”

Aside from the initial Times report, the revelation of a six-fold increase in child detention was blacked out by the corporate press. At press time, none of the following publications had covered the Times report: CNN, Politico, the  Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, the  Hill, and ABC News.

Though the Democratic Party feigned opposition to Trump’s family separation policy in response to popular outrage, the Democrats are responsible for laying the basis for Trump’s attack on immigrants. Obama also detained thousands of children, in particular during the migration surge of 2014. Now, Democrats have all but dropped immigrants as an issue in this November’s midterm elections.

As PBS News noted, “no Democrats running in competitive Senate races in November have advocated abolishing ICE.” In fact, six of the seven most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection voted with Trump over 40 percent of the time this last term: Ben Nelson (43 percent), Claire McCaskill (45 percent), Angus King (47 percent), Joe Donnelly (55 percent), Heidi Heitkamp (55 percent) and Joe Manchin (61 percent).

Over 30 percent of House Democrats recently voted to pass an anti-immigrant bill that will lead to the deportation of hundreds of thousands with minor criminal records. Among those supporting the bill was House Latino Caucus Chairperson Michelle Lujan-Grisham, who wept crocodile tears over the mistreatment of immigrants in the spring. Many self-proclaimed “progressive Democrats” voted in favor or abstained, including DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison and nearly the entire Northern California Democratic congressional delegation.

Many Democrats running against incumbent Republicans for House seats are running on explicitly anti-immigrant programs.

Arizona Democratic congresswoman and candidate for Senate Krysten Sinema echoed Trump when she said last month that “ICE does provide some important functions, ICE is responsible for removing dangerous criminal aliens, aliens who hurt other people by engaging in rape or murder.”

Amy McGrath, who is running for congress in Kentucky, denounced anti-ICE protestors as “wrong” and praised ICE for being “very professional” and for “perform[ing] an essential function in keeping our borders secure.” Gina Ortiz Jones, candidate in Texas, combined meaningless statements about diversity and the “American dream” with the threat that “our nation’s border security cannot be compromised” and “we need smart, responsible immigration policy reform that protects the security of Americans.”

Organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America claim the anti-immigrant, pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist Democratic Party can be pressured “to the left” despite the fact that it is responsible for passing all of the major laws laying the basis for mass deportation. In a June 29 article titled “How to Abolish ICE,” the DSA-backed Jacobin magazine demanded its readers pressure the Democrats:

“Democrats should support abolishing ICE simply for its raw politics: it materially improves the lives of immigrants, who are by and large a Democratic constituency. … Even if attempts to shrink the agency don’t succeed in the short term, it is worth drawing a line and demanding that congressional Democrats say which side they are on. As more Democrats come to our side, abolishing ICE will inch toward becoming a reality.”

The Democratic Party’s “constituency” is not the masses of workers and young people who are repulsed by Trump’s fascistic attacks on immigrants, it is the Wall Street banks, the military-intelligence apparatus, and the ICE and CBP agents their candidates are praising in the lead-up to the election.

A Democratic-controlled congress will pledge its willingness to collaborate with Trump’s immigration policies, echoing Senator Bernie Sanders’ January 2018 statement: “I don’t think there’s anybody who disagrees that we need strong border security. If the president wants to work with us to make sure we have strong border security, let’s do that.”

Seventeen years since September 11, 2001, both parties repeat the tired lie that “national security” and “border security” justify the evisceration of basic democratic rights. A powerful, mass movement of the working class is required to sweep the ruling class from power, end their wars, expropriate their wealth, abolish the borders and guarantee the right of all workers to travel the planet unharmed.

Eric London

John Bolton Threatens International Criminal Court Judges for Probing U.S. Torture in Afghanistan

Source

President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has threatened U.S. sanctions against International Criminal Court judges if they proceed with an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In 2016 an ICC report accused the U.S. military of torturing at least 61 prisoners in Afghanistan during the ongoing war. The report also accused the CIA of subjecting at least 27 prisoners to torture, including rape, at CIA prison sites in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania. Bolton said in a speech at the Federalist Society Monday, “We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.” We get response from Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program.

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

President Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton has threatened U.S. sanctions against International Criminal Court judges if they proceed with an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In 2016, an ICC report accused the U.S. military of torturing at least 61 prisoners in Afghanistan during the ongoing war. The report also accused the CIA of subjecting at least 27 prisoners to torture, including rape, at CIA prison sites in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania. John Bolton made the comments in a speech at the Federalist Society Monday.

JOHN BOLTON: Today on the eve of September the 11th, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecutions by this illegitimate court. We will not cooperate with the ICC, we will provide no assistance to the ICC and we certainly will not join the ICC.

AUDIENCE: [Applause]

JOHN BOLTON: We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.

AMY GOODMAN: John Bolton also threatened to directly target judges at the ICC.

JOHN BOLTON: We will respond against the ICC and its personnel to the extent permitted by U.S. law. We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, we will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.

AMY GOODMAN: During his speech, John Bolton also announced that the Trump administration would close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington in response to a Palestinian effort to push the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes.

JOHN BOLTON: The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC or any other organization to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense.

AMY GOODMAN: Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat criticized the move.

SAEB EREKAT: We were notified unfortunately that they will close the office and lower the Palestinian flag. This is an affirmation of the U.S. administration’s determination to continue its process of blackmail and extortion and undermining the peace process and the two-state solution. They have cut all humanitarian aid.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human rights program. Jamil, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you talk about what John Bolton is saying, the significance of his Federalist Society speech yesterday, on the sanctioning of the ICC, saying he will not allow ICC, International Criminal Court judges into the United States, because they might be investigating the United States and Israel for possible war crimes?

JAMIL DAKWAR: Unprecedented attack on the rule of law. This is unheard of, that we have a government and a country that has committed acts of torture in another country, and the country itself, the United States, failed to hold any official accountable for acts of torture by the CIA, by the U.S. military, during the armed conflict in Afghanistan. And that happened during the Bush years and then Obama administration failed to take the comprehensive, thorough investigation into those acts and said, “We will look forward, not backward.”

And now we’re seeing the Trump administration doubling down on their assault on international law and human rights and impunity and fighting impunity by saying we will now go against the same body that is a last resort for victims of torture, that is the only international institution recognized as the one that is supposed to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. And the Trump administration is saying, “We will be treating your judges and prosecutors like drug traffickers, like war criminals,” instead of admitting that there was a failure in holding officials accountable.

So John Bolton basically is the same John Bolton he was when he was in the Bush administration. He was the same one. He made destroying the court a lifetime project and goal. The difference now, he is in the place where he can do more than what he was doing in the Bush years. So it is a very dangerous attack on the international body where 123 countries are members—many of them are close U.S. allies, particularly in Europe—that is supposed to defend the independence of this body, and yet we see John Bolton perhaps wants to score points with the political base, people who are supporting Trump in the U.S. by invoking distorted and misinformation about the fact that the court is likely to investigate crimes that actually do not exist under the statute, under the law of the ICC.

So we’re in a very—the tipping point where the administration is basically saying, “We’re going to have a frontal attack on judges and prosecutors and personnel.” By the way, there is no legal theory to support that. I don’t understand what is it that, how is it that they would be prosecuting judges for the mere fact of conducting their job and responsibility under international treaty that is recognized, again, and ratified by 123 countries.

What is also concerning and very dangerous is that the threat is not just against the judges and the prosecutors and the personnel of the court, but it’s also against any state or party that is supposed to or willing to assist the ICC in its investigation of U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. Lithuania, Romania, and Poland—these are the three countries where the CIA had black sites where people were tortured. And that means that they are opening, they are sending this threat to anyone, virtually anyone who would be an a position to assist the ICC. Does that include lawyers? Does that include individuals, organizations here in the United States? Lawyers who represented torture victims, including us at the ACLU? Where does that go? What is it that the Trump administration wants to do?

But ultimately, they are seeing that the ICC is about to open a full investigation into torture in Afghanistan. As a report said, this investigation is not only against the United States. It is the United States and Afghan forces, Taliban forces who were part of the armed conflict in Afghanistan. What makes it so important and significant here is that the United States is the country that has the longest tradition of upholding the rule of law and having independent investigative bodies and judiciary to investigate acts of torture when they occur, and yet it failed to do so. That is why the ICC is stepping in.

The ICC is not stepping in just for the sake of how Bolton put it, just to undermine U.S. sovereignty. This is really nonsense. They are stepping in because we failed—the United States failed to uphold the rule of law. It failed to investigate acts of torture that were well-documented by the Senate torture report that was published or at least partially declassified in December 2014.

So we are in a position where we see an escalation in attack on international bodies. This is the same administration that withdrew from the Human Rights Council. This is the same administration that is now changing the rules of engagement with regard to the use of targeted killings. This is the same administration that is pulling out of international treaties, including the issue like the Paris Accord, which you talked about in the previous segment.

So we are very concerned about that, but I think we also need to put it into perspective. This is the same Trump administration that has an abysmal record of human rights here in the United States and is trying to encourage other countries to follow its pattern, the pattern of disregarding a court of law, the rule of law, disregarding international law and basically saying that there are certain countries that are above international law, that they should enjoy immunity, they should not be prosecuted or investigated.

The United States after all is the one that actually conducted these operations, military operations, intelligence operations, that were involving torture and prolonged detention of detainees in Afghanistan. And that is why I think we ought to step back and look at what is it and not buy into the false misinformation that is being spread by John Bolton with no basis in U.S. law to threaten prosecutors and judges and so forth.

American hysterics at the meeting of Bolton and Patrushev (Ruslan Ostashko)

August 27, 2018

[please make sure to press the ‘cc’ button to see the English-language captions]

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