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Australian aims another blow at Gitmo military justice system

Guantanamo nightmare“David Hicks didn’t commit any crime,” according to his lawyer Wells Dixon, and that’s why the Australian former Guantánamo prisoner is seeking to quash his conviction by a U.S. Military Commission. If he succeeds, Hicks will have dealt a serious blow to the already embattled system created by the Bush Administration to circumvent the U.S. legal system in dealing with Guantánamo detainees.

The Australian who spent almost six years at the island prison after he was sold to U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001, in 2007 became the first detainee tried by a military commission. He had been one of three detainees to file the first habeas corpus petitions challenging the government’s authority to hold them without due process — a case they won before the U.S. Supreme Court.


5 more released from Guantanamo

Gitmo - five more releasedFive Yemeni detainees at the Pentagon's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba were released and transferred late Wednesday night.

Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati, and Mohammed Ahmed Salam were sent to prisons in Oman, and Akhmed Abdul Qadir was sent to Estonia, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said. Each was approved by the U.S. government for transfer five years ago, and remained at the prison until an appropriate transfer plan was established.


Satellite images reveal ‘catastrophic’ scale of Boko Haram massacres

boko haram massacreHuman rights group Amnesty International has released satellite images showing what it calls "indisputable and shocking evidence" of the scale of the latest Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria — the “catastrophic” razing of whole communities, resulting in as many as 2,000 deaths.

Before and after images of the neighboring towns Baga and Doro Gowon in northern Nigeria, taken on Jan. 2 and 7, appear to reveal the devastating effect of the attacks, with more than 3,700 structures damaged or destroyed.


Israeli Military Officers: Don't Punish Palestine for Joining the ICC

Palestinians and the ICCIf you thought it was a done deal that US aid to the Palestinians would be cut off in punishment of the Palestinian application to join the International Criminal Court, think again. Opponents of Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Kentucky) boneheaded proposal to punish Palestinians for embracing the rule of law just got some powerful reinforcements.

Yes, Virginia, the cavalry is here: Israeli military officers.

Defense News reports:

Israeli military officers and experts are warning against funding freezes and other punitive acts against the Palestine Authority (PA) that they insist will jeopardize security coordination with Ramallah.


Two anti-torture protesters arrested at Dick Cheney's house

CheneyTwo protesters were arrested at the McLean, Virginia, home of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday after 20 demonstrators, some in orange prison jumpsuits, walked onto his property to mark the 13th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay prison.

The protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink walked up to the house before police arrived and asked them to leave, said Fairfax County police spokesman Roger Henriquez. Two members who refused to go were arrested on trespassing charges, he said.


Are some prisoners destined to be held in Guantánamo forever?

gitmo prisonersIndefinite detention without trial is illegal under international law, but that’s slim comfort for the 35 men being held at Guantánamo with no prospect of release or a day in court. (A further two dozen men remain in legal limbo, having been recommended for trial by a federal task force five years ago, but not yet charged.)

The 35 “forever prisoners” are men the U.S. deems too dangerous to release, but is reluctant to try in court. As law of war detainees, goes the official line in Washington, these men are not entitled to a trial.


Slaves freed from SKorean salt farms face misery in shelters

S Korean slaves freed from salt minesLife as a salt-farm slave was so bad Kim Jong-seok sometimes fantasized about killing the owner who beat him daily. Freedom, he says, has been worse.

In the year since police emancipated the severely mentally disabled man from the remote island farm where he had worked for eight years, Kim has lived in a grim homeless shelter, where he has been preyed upon and robbed by other residents. He has no friends, no job training prospects or counseling, and feels confined and deeply bored.


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