Tag Archives: political prisoners

Syria: 13,000 people hanged in secret at prison, Amnesty says

Source: CNN

"Thousands of people have been hanged at a Syrian prison in a secret crackdown on dissent by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a report by Amnesty International has alleged. The human rights group says up to 13,000 people have been executed at Saydnaya prison north of the capital Damascus in a 'hidden' campaign authorized by senior regime figures. … Most of those hanged were civilians 'believed to be opposed to the government,' the report found." (02/07/17)


Zimbabwe: Pastor faces 20 years for organizing anti-Mugabe protests

Source: Fox News

"The Zimbabwe pastor who fled to the United States after launching the popular #ThisFlag protest movement faces up to 20 years in prison for organizing protests against President Robert Mugabe in New York. Evan Mawarire was arrested at Harare International Airport on his return home Wednesday. He is yet to appear in court. Mawarire has been charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government, which carries up to 20 years in prison." (02/02/17)


Assange: "Ball in government's court" on whether he goes to US to face charges

Source: Press Gazette [UK]

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said the ball is in America's court when pressed on whether his offer to go to the United States now that Chelsea Manning is being released still stands. … He appeared to be suggesting that the next move in the long-running saga would be a tactical one, but that it was not his to make. He did not rule out going to the United States 'under certain circumstances.'" [editor's note: Presumably that next move would be the US actually charging him with something (or unsealing an already existing secret indictment). In order to start talking about extradition, there would need to be something to extradite him OVER – TLK] (01/30/17)


Trump pouts over commutation of his moral superior's sentence

Source: Washington Post

"President Trump on Thursday intensified his criticism of the decision to commute the sentence of military leaker Chelsea Manning, calling her a 'traitor' who should remain in prison. In a tweet, Trump claimed Manning had called former president Barack Obama a 'weak leader' even after her 35-year sentence was commuted in the last days of the Obama administration. Trump appeared to be referring to a column that Manning wrote in the Guardian newspaper. In the commentary, she argued that Obama's legacy will leave 'few permanent accomplishments' because he often sought common ground and compromise rather than battling harder against 'unparalleled resistance from his opponents.'" [editor's note: Yeah, I know, kind of "dog bites man" — who ISN'T Trump's moral superior, and what WON'T he whine about? – TLK] (01/26/17)


Assange retreats from extradition pledge

Source: Palm Beach Post

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange retreated from his pledge to accept extradition to the U.S. if Chelsea Manning was granted clemency, arguing Wednesday via his lawyers that what he was really asking for was an immediate pardon for the ex-Army analyst. … when Obama granted clemency to Manning on Tuesday, setting a May release date that lops almost 30 years off her sentence, Assange's lawyers said it wasn't enough. … Critics of Assange had a field day, accusing him of dishonesty or using Manning's case to win publicity." [editor's note: It seems to me that the first step in holding Assange to any extradition pledge would be to actually seek his extradition. That would require, you know, charging him with something – TLK] (01/25/17)


Russia: Regime arrests Kaspersky cybercrime hunter in "treason" probe

Source: Forbes

"One of Russia's most successful cybercrime investigators and hacker hunter at one of the world's biggest security companies, Kaspersky Lab, has been arrested by Russian law enforcement as part of a probe into possible treason, according to reports. Kaspersky has confirmed incident response chief Ruslan Stoyanov was at the center of an investigation, but could not offer more details. 'This case is not related to Kaspersky Lab. Ruslan Stoyanov is under investigation for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab,' a Kaspersky spokesperson said in an emailed statement. 'We do not possess details of the investigation.' … A Russia-based information security source told FORBES the details of the case were likely to remain private [sic]. The case has been filed under article 275 of Russia's criminal code, the source said, meaning it should result in a secret military tribunal." [editor's note: "Private" and "secret" do not mean the same thing – TLK] (01/25/17)


Secrets and lies

Source: The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith

"Naturally, all of the conservatives in the New Media are going fully as ape-shit as they accuse their unhappy anti-Trump opponents of going. They are absolutely beside themselves (and kind of funny to watch), with self-righteous indignation because a very humble and vulnerable Army private did their job for them. She paid the price. Manning was tried and imprisoned for releasing 750,000 secret government documents, many of them detailing dubious or illegal government activity, not to some enemy, but to Wikileaks, and thus to the entire world, including the very individuals who are forced, every year, at implicit IRS gunpoint, to pay for them. In a democracy, supposedly comprised of self-ruling people, the government has absolutely no right to secrecy, or else how will these self-ruling people know what decisions to make?" (01/22/17)


What the clemency of Chelsea Manning means about Obama

Source: Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"The Barack Obama who ordered drone assassinations of American citizens, including — allegedly by mistake — that of a 16-year-old, and who went after whistleblowers with particular enthusiasm seems like a strange man to have passed out this mercy after Manning spent seven years behind bars. However, if you'll pardon the attempted psychoanalyzing, as an act of the Obama who likes to think of himself as a man of the people, and a civil libertarian, and someone who did drugs, and got away with it, while others weren't so lucky, well, it's not as surprising. And it's not as radical a move as some people might be interpreting it." (01/20/17)


Scoundrels of patriotism: The freeing of Chelsea Manning

Source: CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark

"He might have had a sharp attack of conscience, but President Barack Obama decided, in the flickering days of his administration, to do good by Chelsea Manning, forever linked to WikiLeaks and the disclosure of US military war logs and 250,000 state cables to the organisation. On May 17, Manning, labouring under a brutally hefty sentence of 35 years for disclosing classified information, will be released. Obama's decision overruled the disapproving Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Much of this was a question of patriotism, that ever confused, and confusing word that remains painfully elusive." (01/19/17)


Obama commutes bulk of political prisoner Chelsea Manning's sentence

Source: New York Times

"President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration, and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous. The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to commit suicide last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan." (01/17/17)