The British Police State strikes us all when it commits such outrages: #ReleaseMoazzam

Countless innocent people have become caught up in unjust War on Terror justified laws and practices of authorities at home and abroad. Precious few are as articulate, gentle and courageous as Moazzam Begg of CAGE, who was arrested yesterday in what looks to be the another case of the British State crossing another rubicon in violating the rights of its citizens.

Its an immoral act that is worthy of creative and transformative resistance, but first I think we need to read, liaise and take stock.

A recent report from CAGE, called The Prevent Strategy: A Cradle to Grave Police State shows, with evidence, how every aspect of our lives has been rendered legitimate to control and intimidate to this policy. From healthcare to primary education, to mosques, universities, airports and financial transactions., education. It is more comprehensive than McCarthyism.

One useful tool that emerges form the report is the following depiction of how this nonsense engine works and harms.
Rrom page 29 of The Prevent Strategy: A cradle to Grave Police-State (CAGE, 2014)

We can test the effectiveness of this model by the case of Moazzam's unjust state kidnap.  He stands accused of 'terrorism related offences' by the West Midlands Police, who state that arrest is not necessarily about guilt and that they were acting on intelligence.
MOBILISE: There was a twitter storm at 10pm last night
there will be another at 6pm tonight (26th)

We know that innocence until proven guilt doesn't apply to Muslims, wherever we might be. We know that the authorities in particular like to target Muslims who challenge them through democratic processes for their rights, especially if they are getting somewhere.

CAGE is a worthwhile and justice-making organisation that I recommend distributing Zakat through.  They have condemned the arrest and are holding a demonstration this Saturday in Birmingham at NOON. Their website http://cageuk.org/
provides a humanising portal for people to see what Muslims, especially conservative ones are going through these days, its staffed by a pretty diverse bunch who I have learned much from over the years. Theres a new microsite on Schedule 7 Stories contains vivid case studies of ordinary lives, humiliated and obstructed by the state.

Moazzam's last facebook status update was as follows, he was onto something, and duas for his condition, family and support.

This state kidnap is not the first time Moazzam has been intimidated by the UK authorities. 'Security' services have been complicit in his detention, render and torture before. A couple of weeks ago he wrote about why the British state was so obsessed with his passport. I append the article below.

I do hope justice loving people will lend thir soulful minds and stamina to the collective effort to #ReleaseMoazzam.  We shall also see what nasty people are lurking out there wetting themselves with glee over this. Gita Seghal CHECK, Quilliam Foundation CHECK.

Home / Politics / Europe / The real reason behind the confiscation of my passport

The real reason behind the confiscation of my passport

The real reason behind the confiscation of my passport

Moazzam Begg reveals why the British government has been continually harassing him since his return from Guantanamo, and took his passport for the second time in eight years.
In the summer of 2012 I wrote about the first of my two visits to Syria to investigate leads into cases of British and American complicity in the rendition of terrorism suspects to the regime of Bashar al-Assad[1].
This followed on from something I learned first-hand from CIA and US military intelligence agents who threatened to send me to Egypt or Syria if I failed to co-operate with them during my time in the Bagram prison. I made British MI5/MI6 agents, who were present at every leg of my unlawful imprisonment, fully aware of these threats[2]. Their response was that I had to co-operate with their US counterparts.
On my eventual return to the UK from Guantanamo, along with three other British citizens I received a letter from the Home Office informing me that my ability to apply for a passport had been restricted by the Home Secretary under the powers of the ‘Royal Prerogative’[3].
Having returned from three years of separation from my loved ones, spent mostly in solitary confinement and after suffering the effects of regular human rights violations, I didn’t challenge the decision immediately. Instead, I tried to rebuild my lost connection to a traumatised family, including a son I’d never seen.
UK torture complicity
As part of my work for CagePrisoners, however, I soon began campaigning for prisoners detained at Guantanamo and others held in secret detention sites or who had disappeared after being rendered to countries like Libya[4], Egypt, and Syria. We conducted numerous investigations[5] into recurrent reports of extreme torture carried out by the Syrian regime and discovered the complicity of the governments of the US, Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Britain.
I was also constantly being invited to speak all over the world about issues pertaining to Guantanamo, torture, the rule of law and the war terror. Thus, in 2009 I mounted a successful challenge to get my passport back.
My subsequent extensive travel abroad was greeted simultaneously by meetings with people in power[6]—including unexpected praise[7] from US ambassadors in Luxembourg—to armed police escorting me off planes in order to deny me entry to Canada[8] (where I’d gone to meet with Canadian rendition victims sent to Syria).
Returning to the UK airports was often an ordeal in its own right as I would be stopped almost every time and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. This happened even on visits to Brussels where I was invited to speak at the European Parliament by British MEPs as well as trips to Malaysia where I had been giving evidence in war crimes tribunals[9] set up by the former prime minister there. Often British police would ask me if I had gone to these places to further my claims about British complicity in torture.
During this period three very important things happened which I believe the British intelligence services have been unable to recover from:
1. A major civil action was taken by 16 former Guantanamo prisoners against the British government and intelligence services for complicity in torture and false imprisonment.
2. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a judge-led inquiry to be launched into allegations that the UK was complicit in torture
3. The Metropolitan police began a criminal investigation against British intelligence services into recurrent allegations of complicity in kidnap, torture and false imprisonment
In 2010 we won an out-of-court settlement[10] against the government after it was compelled to hand over documents that showed how British government ministers had decided we should be consigned to Guantanamo, despite evidence of mistreatment.
At the end of the discussions with the government the then Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke QC, sat with us and listened. Several of the world’s supposedly most dangerous terrorists sat in a room with a senior Tory minister discussing the previous government’s wrongs. I handed Clarke a copy of my book hoping there might be some proper understanding after this but, all the while the government was preparing the Justice and Security Bill[11]—which was passed as law earlier this year—that would ensure damaging and embarrassing civil actions such as ours would henceforth be heard in secret under colour of ‘national security concerns.’
The inquiry into torture by Sir Peter Gibson was shelved last week in favour of the Intelligence and Security Committee but in his interim report Gibson concluded that MI5 had at best ‘turned a blind eye’[12] to our abuse.
The criminal investigation is still on-going but I have sat for hours with the Metropolitan Police giving testimony to them about what happened in Bagram and Guantanamo and, they have gone to meet with rendition victims in Libya[13] and continue to investigate the claims of Shaker Aamer[14] who has been in Guantanamo without charge for twelve years.
Last year several former Guantanamo prisoners, including me, met with Asa Hutchinson, who had served as US Undersecretary for Homeland Security while we were captives. In a report by the Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment, which included him and two former senior US generals, the practice of torture by the US administration was described as “indisputable”. The report[15] also stated bluntly that our treatment and indefinite detention was “abhorrent and intolerable”. There was also no escaping the fact that the British government had colluded in sending and keeping us there.
Visiting Syria
Following the uprisings of the ‘Arab spring’ I was able to make several visits to the Arab world and follow up cases of rendition, including the shocking case of a man whose tortured false testimony[16] was used as a justification by both the US and UK to invade Iraq.
In July last year, I visited Syria where I met numerous former prisoners who had been held by the Assad regime as well as a few victims of US and UK rendition. One of the men, a Libyan who had resided in Syria, had been rendered to Libya after a phone call by a British Libyan dissident had been intercepted by MI5 and its contents disclosed to Assad’s Mukhābarāt (intelligence agency). Documents[17] found in the headquarters of Gaddafi’s Mukhābarāt after the fall of Tripoli clearly prove British involvement.
A few months later, in October 2012, I was called by an MI5 officer who said they wanted to talk to me about my views on the situation in Syria after having read my article[18]. I told them that they must be aware that I was investigating several leads regarding British and American complicity in rendition and torture in Syria. They called back after consulting with their lawyers and said they understood that and would still like to meet. I agreed to speak to them and meet at a hotel in East London. Both MI5 and I had our lawyers present.
MI5 was concerned about the possibility of Britons in Syria being radicalised and returning to pose a potential threat to national security. I told them that Britain had nothing to worry about, especially since British foreign policy, at the time, seemed in favour of the rebels. At the end of the meeting I was assured by MI5 that my proposed return to Syria to continue my work would not be hindered, and it wasn’t.
Subsequently, I travelled to Syria without incident. I spent much time accumulating testimony and information for a report on the situation of the current prisoners as well as the accounts of those who had been detained and tortured in the past. I witnessed the squalid refugee camps, I visited the wounded, young and old, some of whom I buried, I saw the carnage of Assad’s killing machine and I saw the beautiful young faces of children aged beyond their years. I witnessed the harsh winter and saw farmers chop down their olive trees to warm themselves and I heard the horror stories of torture under the rule of both Bashar and Hafiz al-Assad. However, I also saw aid coming in from all over the Muslim world which included British ambulances, British fire engines, British garbage disposal trucks; British aid centres and hospitals with British doctors (one of whom was killed[19] saving lives a few months ago) and volunteers from Britain’s Muslim community. And yes, there were some British fighters too. I do not believe any of them posed any kind of threat to the UK.
I returned home without hindrance, except for the customary Schedule 7 stop. I was briefly questioned about my visit by border police and returned home shortly after. I came back ‘radicalised’ enough to speak at numerous events for various charities working out in Syria. I also conducted interviews[20] with people on the ground that are close to the fighters to answer questions about any tangible threat to the UK to help allay the fears of the British public and intelligence services.
Schedule 7 stops
Since then I have been ‘randomly’ stopped[21] more times than I can recall under Schedule 7 while travelling.
The last time this happened, last month, I was en route to a conference[22] in Turkey about the mass-imprisonments and torture occurring in Egypt following the military coup. British police suggested that I might be going to Syria, despite showing them details of itinerary and return flights for the following weekend.
I was made to miss my flight but the police were prepared to rebook me for the next available one meaning that they were neither preventing me from going to Turkey, or even potentially to Syria. I refused their offer as I would have had missed the conference by then and opted to returned home. However, they took possession of my iPad and phone and kept them for a week. Both items contained sensitive information and documents pertaining to CagePrisoners’ investigations on both complicity in torture and responses to the British government’s measures in tackling extremism.
In anticipation of future harassment at airports I began legal proceedings to challenge the constant harassment at airports under Schedule 7 and informed the Home Office, the border police and British airports about my intended travel via my lawyers. We received a response from their lawyers, which acknowledged the letter but did little else.
Change of language
The language and attitude of the British government has steadily changed towards the Syrian opposition especially since much of it has openly chosen an Islamic path, something the west has been unwilling to engage with and unprepared to accept. Britain went to war based on the falsehood that Iraq may have possessed weapons of mass destruction. Clear evidence of the use of chemical weapons, in addition to over 120,000 dead through the use of conventional ones in Syria has not elicited any such response, and most people are grateful for it. No one wants to see British involvement in Syria, especially the Syrians who know well what happened next door in Iraq.
As a result, however, the Assad regime is now regarded as the better of the two choices. That is why last month the decision to stop[23] even non-lethal aid for western-backed factions in Syria was taken by Britain. But, despite there being no evidence of a tangible threat from British fighters returning from Syria (the contrary[24] in fact) and certainly not the type that might have been posed from the same in Iraq or Afghanistan because of the presence of British troops, the government now wants to remove not just the passport but the nationality[25] of Britons suspected of being involved in fighting in Syria. The government’s myopic insistence on this point cannot fathom that this is simply about Syria, not Britian. The counterterrorism industry, it seems, has too many vested interests for the language to be tempered with reason.
Instead of easing the arduous journeys for the numerous convoys leaving with aid from Britain for Syria every month, border authorities detain the aid workers for hours on end—both on exit from and re-entry to the UK. On several occasions volunteers have been turned back, vehicles confiscated and money and goods collected by the community for the beleaguered Syrian people seized.
Britain has refused[26] to take any Syrian refugees despite the unprecedented crisis facing millions fleeing the war. It also did next to nothing for the British Muslim Dr. Abbas Khan[27] and has been heavily criticised for shirking its duty regarding one of its own citizens while he was horrifically tortured and murdered.
Simply speaking, the British government has lost all touch with the reality on the ground and the enormous sentiments in the Muslim community, and beyond, regarding the Syrian conflict.
Losing my passport – again
After a trip to South Africa[28] last month—which had coincided with the funeral of Nelson Mandela—where I spoke extensively about the complicity of the British government in rendition and torture, I was met upon arrival at Heathrow by officials who served me with a notice to seize my passport under the ‘Royal Prerogative’ stating that it was assessed my previous visits to Syria had constituted involvement in terrorism. No explanation other than that was given.
I am certain that the only reason I am being continually harassed—something that began long before any visit to Syria—is because CagePrisoners and I are at the forefront of investigations and assertions based on hard evidence that British governments, past and present, have been wilfully complicit in torture.
How logical is it to stop me from travelling anywhere in the world simply because they want to prevent me from going to Syria? Numerous British citizens have been prevented from entering Turkey (the key entry point to Syria) at the behest of the British authorities. They could have done the same with me.
It is these government-shaking issues that are the real reason why I have been continually harassed and targeted by the authorities in this country. I am not and never have been in anyway a threat to them, unless words seeking accountability are a threat.
At a time when Islam and the Muslim community is facing an unprecedented attack via politicians, the media and ultimately some sections of the public susceptible to this onslaught, it has been the aim of CagePrisoners and myself in trying to empower the community that is being purposefully undermined.
The struggle for reason and justice is clearly a longer one than I once imagined but since our aim is a good and just one, I do not believe our detractors will succeed.
Source: www.islam21c.com
This article was cross-posted from www.cageprisoners.com
[1] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/4758-syria-my-journey-to-the-land-of-blessing-and-torture
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/feb/12/moazzem-begg-speaks-binyam-mohamed
[3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4266609.stm
[4] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/2425-some-deaths-are-more-convenient-than-others
[5] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/3496-fara%E2%80%99-falastin-%E2%80%93-syria%E2%80%99s-proxy-us-prison
[6] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/alerts/item/454-luxembourgs-olive-branch-to-former-guantanamo-detainees
[7] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-cables-us-guantanamo-moazzam-begg
[8] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/13/canada-guantanamo-bay-camp-guard
[9] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/4175-bush-convicted-of-war-crimes-evidence-from-cageprisoners-director-crucial”
[10] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/861-settlement-are-the-guantanamo-cases-closed
[12] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/19/gibson-report-mi6-detainees-torture-cooperated
[13] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/12/libya-rendition-torture-abduction-mi6
[14] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/feb/19/police-claims-shaker-aamer-torture-mi5-complicit
[16] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/may/13/ibn-al-sheikh-al-libi
[17] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/04/libyan-commander-demands-apology
[18] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/4758-syria-my-journey-to-the-land-of-blessing-and-torture
[19] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22684151
[21] http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/7059-just-a-job-how-uk-border-police-target-muslims-at-airports
[22] http://www.thecordobafoundation.com/news.php?id=1&art=160
[23] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10510498/Britain-and-US-suspend-non-lethal-aid-to-Syrian-rebels.html
[24] http://news.sky.com/story/1183820/syria-sky-news-gains-access-to-uk-jihadists
[25] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-no-way-back-for-britons-who-join-the-syrian-fight-says-theresa-may-9021190.html
[26] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/former-liberal-democrat-leader-sir-menzies-campbell-joins-labour-in-condemning-uk-for-turning-its-back-on-syrias-refugees-9026083.html
[27] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25517356
[28] http://www.ciibroadcasting.com/2013/12/10/moazzam-begg-obama-tributes-to-madiba-ironic/


Baishey February: The Ekushey Hangover and the Dawning of Fuller Futures

It is the 22nd of February, and  Ami chetonar gaan gayna,  is the refrain from a growing number of maturing deshi activists and observers, openly rejecting the out of tune Ekushey Murti Puja (21st Idol Worship) of the Bengali Nationalists.

The people who died and were injured in the police firing of 1952 would be disgusted at what blood capitalism, intellectual lobotomy and middle class danda fikir has been prosecuted in their names, again and again and again. Its about  an epistemic equality and pluralism, not Banglawash. Idiots.

This time last year, the hypernationalist Shahbag was in full delusion in . It had began openly lying about what was occurring in front of its very nose. The government, which it is now accepted, had planned the Shahbag from the onset, fired on Friday prayer protesters, who were voicing their opposition to deeply insulting statements coming out of bloggers involved with the Shahbag movement. Corrupt journalists belonging to the CPJ crying wolf to the international gallery, making out like the events were all about them.

We know what this was gearing up for.

  • Mass firings on Jamaat e Islami processions on 28th February 2013 protesting the verdict against arguably their most innocent leader, Delwar Hussain Sayeedee. See JI supporter's feb28.info  movement website for more.
  • Unprecedented government brutality upon unarmed protesters during 5th and 6th May 2013. See the Motijheel Massacre Archives for more
  • An IDF style attack on Jamaat stronghold Satkhira district in December 2013 . 
  • The immoral and illegitimate electoral coup of 5th January 2014

Below is a blog post from last year, this date and significance needs to be raised in a dynamic way.


This is hard to explain, but important that you understand, at least slightly.

Today (friday) after Jummah in Bangladesh there were a lot of demonstrations flowing out of mosques in Bangladesh.  A day after the exploitative commemoration of students shot and killed by government forces in 1952, four people are reportedly killed by the police and scores if not hundreds injured.

Protestors were objecting to insulting antiIslamic writings on the web somewhere, from authors quite close to the centre of the Shahbag movement. The Shahbag movement consists of a large trendy mob demanding executions of prominent leaders of political Islam accused of war crimes, and the exclusion of political Islam from the body politic. The Awami League government is broadly aligned and supportive of this movement. One of its student leaders, Dr Imran H Sarkar in fact is one of Shahbag's defacto spokesperson.

The picture below shows police firing at people in Baitul Mukkarram, the national mosque. Maybe you've prayed there or seen it in your namaz time calenders, or visited the Islamic Foundation on a trip to Dhaka. There are other pictures, of brothers bloodied and lying motionless, other cowering as police fired indiscriminantly at them.

It is the kind of image we are used to seeing coming out of Palestine or Chechnya, not an independant Muslim majority country.

My thinking is now that the wheels are starting to come of the Shahbag Bandwagon more sensible heads will prevail. We hear this as more reasonable figures for fromm inside the awami camp distance themselves from the offending bloggers and Shahbag. 

The religious establishment is a lot larger than jamat, and the party has pissed a lot of people off in its history.The processions across the country today were not pro jamat but more an alliance against a common threat, the autocratic awami league. 

Decolonial duas for all who live and die.


[New Word] Jhography

The science of squabbling, quite a territorial affair.

e.g. The jhography of the seculibs, the nationalists and the islamists was taken to a new phase by the events of 2013.


Reading Shah Ali Farhad in London

With the brutality of the illegitimate Awami League Government of Bangladesh slothfully crawling onto a more international radar, a young(ish) lawyer from the hyper nationalist ICSF group puts forth a rather long winded legalistic article to pooh-pooh an idea that the government of Bangladesh has committed crimes against humanity.
ICSF stands for International Crimes Strategy Forum. Shit acronyms and campaign names are pretty standards in Bangladesh, they are the bumprint of top down foolishness which suppresses creativity, in power and in opposition.
It is interesting to unread this first defence of the regime by Shah Ali Farhad for a number of reasons.
  1. The massacre of 5th and 6th May is grave violation of the right for life. The events and their cover up pretty much define our times. Deshis who struggle to know and feel it are what the future is made of. Evidence is building up.
  2. The deadly police crackdown on protests at the unjust death sentence given to Delwar Husain Sayedee on February the 28th was unacceptable. 
  3. The January 5th 2013 election was stolen. The government is illegitimate.
  4. The brutality of the pre election government crackdown in Satkhira and other areas is shocking
  5. The politics of the ICSF - Nirmul - Swadinota Trust - Shahbag - Awami League complex should be made explicit, there is no moral need for the first 4 to defend the government, yet this document joins them at the hip
  6. The media, national and international is heavily biased towards the Awami League narrative, for social, sexual, financial and political reasons.
  7. SAF would make an interesting subject of a study called "The Banality of Shahbag"
  8. Its worth submitting any evidence you might have of government brutality to the ICC Prosecuter, who will be interested to hear from you.
Here we go.
Created on February 18, 2014 at 01:19 [some hack was up late]

The ICC and our [very clearly a very specific our] politics 
Shah Ali Farhad

How an international court is being ‘used’ to score political points in here

Protests erupted on December 19 last year after Pakistan condemned the ICT-Bangladesh verdicts on the war crimes trials [Imran Khan gave a 6 minute wonder of human understanding in the Pakistan National Assembly, and yes it was a judicial murder]
No, this is not an article on the correlation of politics and cricket vis-à-vis the International Cricket Council. I apologise in advance to anyone who might get that misleading impression from the title. [cringe] Far from that, the subject matter of my article is actually, how an international court in Hague, Netherlands is being “used” [are courts not there to be used?] by known players in UK and US to score political points here, in Dhaka, Bangladesh [is transnationalism a problem? didnt Father Mujib have foreign counsel during the Agartala Conspiracy case ].      
On February 4, 9 Bedford Row (a barristers’ chambers in the UK) filed a communication with Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the ICC.
The communication asks the prosecutor to open a preliminary inquiry into alleged human rights violations by the current Bangladesh government against opposition activists belonging to Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (Jamaat) [more than that, as you later concede] .
The time frames which has been suggested include February 2013 onwards generally, and particularly the period of unrest [government brutality] surrounding the Dhaka siege programme by Hefazat-e-Islam in the first week of May 2013 and the weeks preceding and following the January 5 [sham]elections.
The communication alleges that the government, represented by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her son Sajeeb Wazed and other high ranking officials of the current administration have been involved in the systematic repression of the opposition in several districts of Bangladesh within a span of about a year. [quite a long list of districts, and density of incidents, which would indicate a plan, a structure and a lot of organisation]
It alleges that this was achieved through murder, torture, forced disappearances, arbitrary imprisonment, persecution and other inhumane acts on the opposition activists using state machineries like the police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), and the judiciary. [indeed, despicable really, accountability should be extended to pro-government activists in media and civil society]  
However, before going to the merit and substance of the allegations [which you do not return to, funny that], it is perhaps best to first refresh our memories regarding the parties involved. 9 Bedford Row is instructed in this matter by a human rights organisation called the International Coalition for Freedoms and Rights (ICFR). 
Interestingly, 9 Bedford Row has since October 2010 also provided legal assistance to those leaders of Jamaat and BNP who stand accused or convicted of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICT-BD) [An internationally discredited kangaroo court that has made mincemeat out of the decaying members of the tens of thousands of bengalis, biharis and pakistanis unjustly killed in and around the 9 month 1971 war] . One of the key members of that defence team is a barrister named Toby Cadman. Apart from being a foreign counsel for Jamaat leaders like Nizami, he is also seen speaking on behalf of other convicted war criminals like UK-based Chowdhury Mueenuddin and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of BNP. [Shahbag was so last year old chap, even fewer people are biting this time, there has been an industrial disaster, a massacre, media control and a sham election to bolster our faith in the government]
In addition, Mr Cadman is also the founder of TMC Advisory Group, an international consultancy (lobbying) firm which claims to have the capacity to influence decisions in “Downing Street, Brussels, Geneva and the White House.” Thus, the human rights activist-cum-counsel is also an international lobbyist. [ problem being? isnt the rt dishonourable Farhad an international (hobbyist) lobbyist?]
If you are finding the combination of a lobbyist, activist and barrister strange, then you should know that I did too, and questioned it on a previous occasion as well (“Toby Cadman: A Crusader for Rights or Devil’s Advocate?” bdnews24, Dec 3, 2012). [ Ah BDNEWS24, plutocrat Salman F Rahmans e-rag, thankyou for the Bollywood self reference brother]
It is of course, not a crime for a counselor or activist to be simultaneously a lobbyist as well. However, questions regarding his motivations [ Ah the motivation defence, I remember this one from that Sweety Sabur's attack on Farida Akhter's contextualisation of Hefazot e Islam, before they were massacred. I do wonder how she sleeps at night. ] can naturally arise though, and quite justifiably so, since the nexus and potential for conflict is too obvious to overlook [How many cliches can you string together in a row?  Do you get paid for this shit?].  
Now that we are clear about the lawyers and their background, let us turn our attention to the client instructing the said communication, that is, the ICFR. ICFR was formed in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 after a military coup [Aha so you call it a coup? your Tamarod colleagues in fascist eastern liberalism wouldn't not approve. I note you omit the Rabaa and other massacres which were conducted in broad daylight] removed Egypt’s former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi from office [Patrick Galey's coverage of Egypts spazzy year is valuable].
According to the Washington Post, the organisation is closely associated with Islamist legal efforts to prosecute the coup leaders (“Islamic Rights Group: Investigate Bangladesh,” Feb 4, 2014). If anyone even gives a cursory glance to the website of the group (www.icfr.info), one would find substance in what was stated in the Washington Post article [ I agree that Islamist people and Muslim conservatives have rights to life, audience and political participation and shouldn't be massacred with impunity. Why does Shah Ali Farhad think that they don't?].
The site is dedicated entirely to discussions, reports, evidences and statements on behalf of Muslim Brotherhood. Their members not only include internationally known Brotherhood sympathisers and apologists, but most importantly, Toby Cadman himself. [ I saw a post about charging GWB with war crimes. do you support the Iraq war too?] Thus, the instructed is also the instructor in this particular instance. Even more reasons to feel suspicious about the potential for conflict here. [Nothing illegal here I believe, especially since you are coming from an organisation, the ICSF which played an important role in coaching the  'independent' judges of your kangaroo war crimes court Ref: TribunalGate ]
As for the merit of the allegations, assuming that Cadman et al are acting on the basis of information and evidence provided by Jamaat and/or BNP, then there is a very good chance that factually the allegations are either outright false, or at the very least, exaggerated, given Jamaat and BNP’s very poor record when it comes to figures of oppression and/or repression. [mister 3 million hmmmm]
For example, according to Khaleda Zia’s public assertions made on February 4, between December 26, 2013 and January 27, 152 opposition activists were killed in nine specific districts at the hands of the law enforcers.
However, investigation in this regard by the The Daily Star (from sources such as the BNP itself, police records and media reports) revealed that only 17 people had been killed during that timeframe in those nine districts. [ the Daily star is run by pro government Mahfuz Anam and Transcom industrial grouping, providers of whirlpool spinning washing machines, even if they wanted to cover government brutality, Inus probably got Anams balls between a few electrodes]
By the same token, while the communication itself specifically refers to the security operation conducted in the early hours of May 6, 2013, and cites Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s calls for investigation in this regard, it conveniently fails to point out that in that very report (“Blood on the Streets,” Aug 2013), HRW itself conceded that the opposition and Hefazat-e-Islam’s claims of genocide, massacre, etc were baseless and unsupported by evidence. [HRW had one indigenous deshi researcher, given their track record in hiring people like blind Awami Leaguer and Daily Star staffer Tasneem Khalil during an earlier regime, their investigations are hampered by a lack of capability, access to these disenfranchised communities, seculib leanings, government cover up and as you know the hysteria of the Shahbag movement. I looked at the HRW report on the Gujrat Massacres of 2002 in India recent, they regurgitated several lies, most crucially the 'Muslims burnt the train full of hindutva activists so they kicked it of and kinda deserved it' falacy. They were wrong then and will continue to be wrong about many things, not least because of the politics of Brad Adams and Nato in the region ]
The communication made an incorrect assertion about the ICT-BD and its founding legislation, the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 (as amended). It stated that the ICT-BD “has been determined to be in breach of international law on a number of occasions.” This is likely to give the impression that an authoritative body has legally ruled upon the validity of certain actions and/or legal provisions of the ICT-BD as being contrary to international law. [not really, many had determined this, havent you been paying attention?]
In reality nothing of that sort has ever happened. In fact, the UN, US, Britain, the European parliament and many others have all lauded the achievements made so far by the ICT-BD [ bolloxs, though neat reference to your lobbying efforts on the EU scale, how is ziauddin these days?]. The biggest critics of the trials have actually been Mr Cadman and his associates, their clients, and the clients’ national and international associates. [unsurprising as he is DOING HIS JOB]
Interestingly, it is only those countries with which both Mr Cadman and the ICFR share such close proximity that openly took a hostile position vis-a-vis these trials, viz Egypt under Morsi and Turkey under Erdogan. As I stated above in another context, the nexus is too visible to overlook. [did you recently get a Google nexus from Santa or something? say Muslim Ummah, go on, I dare you!]
There are also reasonable grounds to view the other critics with suspicion as those, who want to see the trials derailed, haven’t even spared hiring million-dollar lobbyists in US for attacking Bangladesh’s trial process. [yawn]
Now, one can have his/her doubts about the standards prevailing at the ICT-BD. But one also has to concede that with such a coordinated and well-funded international campaign being run against these trials, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between suggestions and/or criticisms that are genuinely motivated, and those which are induced and/or influenced by partisan interests or lobbying. [lots of slashes in this paragraph, positively diuretic]
Thus, in short, what we have here is BNP-Jamaat’s foreign counsel acting on behalf of the Brotherhood aligned ICFR, talking about the arguable human rights record of the Bangladesh government, while at the same time completely ignoring the gross and wholesale human rights violations which the apolitical people of Bangladesh suffered at the hands of his clients, that is, Jamaat and BNP, in the very time frame suggested in the communication (February 2013 onwards, and most particularly the weeks preceding and following the January 5 elections). [ Ah, the champion of the apolitical people of Bangladesh]
Hence, it is my opinion that it would be naivety of the highest order if anyone even entertains the thought that these people are genuinely concerned about the human rights situation in Bangladesh. They clearly are not. They are professional lobbyists who have been paid (quite handsomely presumably) by their clients to go about the business of discrediting the Bangladesh government in general, and the ICT-BD in particular, at international forums. [when's the bit about the substance of the allegations coming up? you seem to be restating the same things but with different punctuation, paragraph after paragraph]
When the communication asks the ICC to investigate the sentences handed down by the ICT-BD, it shows the complainant’s utter disconnect with the national perception of Bangladeshis in this regard. Even amidst the rapidly changing political landscape of Bangladesh, the only constant over the last few years has been the overwhelming public support that the ICT-BD enjoys. [not really. people give even less of a shit for this emotional game now than ever]
Even the latest opinion poll conducted in January 2014 by Dhaka Tribune revealed that 74% respondents were either “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with the ICT-BD trials [a thoroughly objective and fair poll no doubt, unlike the election you stole on 5th Jan]. 
Moreover, even if one legitimate complaint deserves to be made to the ICC for human rights violations in Bangladesh from recent times, it will have to be the extreme form of political violence unleashed by Jamaat and its student organisation Shibir, following the ICT-BD verdicts from February 2013 onwards, a trend which was subsequently adopted by BNP in their failed lengthy campaign for reinstating the caretaker government. [The BNP's point of view is vindicated by the sham election and government clamp down]
Religious minorities have been targeted, attacked, raped and killed. Awami League supporters have had their tendons slit, their houses torched; ordinary people, going about daily lives, were set ablaze along with their vehicles. Vandalism, arson and Molotov bombs terrorised the streets. Even young children were not spared. Railways were sabotaged; tracks uprooted; fish plates removed. Roads dug up to cut off communications. A perpetual physical siege persisted during that period. [worth investigating thoroughly no doubt, especially given the fantastical delusions you've been pushing all year long]
A human rights complaint that does not take into account the foregoing is anything but a genuine complaint on behalf of the Bangladeshi people. And hence, I term it “vexatious and frivolous.” Not only does it fail to take into account the real violations, it purports to put the potential offenders in the place of the victims. That is preposterous. [characteristic double speak]
The frivolous and vexatious nature of this particular complaint is also apparent from the very much ill-motivated inclusion of Sajeeb Wazed’s name in the said communication. Those who follow the politics of Bangladesh are well aware that Sajeeb Wazed is not, in any manner or mode, involved with law enforcement or security issues of Bangladesh. [Actually, Im most interested in this chaps involvement in government over the past 5 years, stupid enought to have been very careless indeed.]
He discharges his functions as the IT adviser to the PM and has been involved with the party’s publicity and campaign matters only, that too in recent times. The communication referred to a facebook post of Sajeeb Wazed which, according to the complainants, resulted in numerous members of the opposition being killed in the days following the statement. [lots of data to collect here]
If anyone has actually seen the post complained of, they would know that it simply dealt with Sajeeb Wazed’s personal outrage and frustration at the resolution that was adopted by the Pakistan National Assembly following the execution of convicted war criminal [judicial mass murder] Abdul Quader Molla, and certainly nothing of the sort suggested in the communication (https://www.facebook.com/sajeeb.a.wazed/posts/385431671593262).     
So, what happens now legally? According to Article 15 of the Rome Statute, in order to assess whether to initiate investigations, the prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received. In order to make this determination, he/she may seek additional information from states, UN organs, NGOs or other reliable sources that he/she deems appropriate.
If he/she concludes that there is “a reasonable basis” to proceed with an investigation, a request for authorisation of a formal investigation is made to the Pre-Trial Chamber of ICC, along with any supporting material collected. If, however, the conclusion is that the information provided does not constitute “a reasonable basis,” that will usually be the end of the matter. [Whats with all the slashes again?]
Pursuant to Article 53, in order to determine whether there is “a reasonable basis,” the prosecutor considers: first, the jurisdiction of the court (including temporal, material, and either territorial or personal jurisdiction); second, admissibility issues (including “complementarity” and assessing gravity of the alleged violations); and lastly, the interests of justice.
It should be noted that Article 17(a) of the Rome Statute provides that a case will be inadmissible where it is being investigated or prosecuted by a state which has jurisdiction over it, unless the state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.
There are no reasonable grounds to speculate that the state of Bangladesh is unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out investigation or prosecution into the rights violations complained of. To the best of my knowledge, no such indication has ever been expressed or implied on the part of the current government. [Arrests and hounding of Adilur Rahman, Elan and Mazhar of Odhikar who tried to investigate the Massacre on 6th May, closing down of two TV station and the black out during that night. If the government has nothing to hide,.... pull the other one.]
By the same token, it can also be argued that the scale of the violations alleged is most likely not of “sufficient gravity” meriting involvement of the ICC pursuant to Article 17(d). This requires an assessment of the groups of persons or individuals likely to form the object of the prosecutor’s investigations, the nature of the crimes alleged, and their modus operandi through a qualitative and quantitative approach.  
One must also remember that there is no formal requirement for such communications and anyone can send a communication to the prosecutor, for instance, simply by writing a letter, or by sending an email or a fax. By 2013, a total of 10,470 such “communications” were received by the prosecutor.  [now you are just copying other people's websites]
This is not, however, the first time that “communication” has deliberately been used against the Bangladesh government. For example, a similar complaint was filed against the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and four other members of her government, on January 31, 2012 by some pro-Jamaat expatriate Bangladeshis residing in Britain.
On June 27, 2013, another complaint was sent to the ICC by a US law firm on behalf of two virtually unknown US-based human rights organisation against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and 24 other members of her government for alleged “widespread human rights violations.”
Needless to say, the prosecutor of ICC has still found no “reasonable basis” to proceed any further than the initial complaint in all of these instances. And most likely, the same fate will befall the complaint made on February 4 as well. [That would be convenient for you, personally I don't sit in wait for deliver by white structures of power]
However, whatever the outcome, one thing is certain already; any such complaint is in itself bad publicity for the state in question. Something the complainants are well aware and taking full advantage of.  [the saving face defence, now this is getting surreal]
However, what these “complainants” are failing to see is that their quest of causing embarrassment to the Bangladesh government [ you are an embarrassment bro argh] by way of vexatious complaints to the ICC, is only succeeding in permanently tarnishing the image of the entire nation in front of the world stage. [Padma Bridge, Rana Plaza, Share market scam, Baroness Pola Uddin, peacekeepers and civil society internationally renowned as liars, indeed it takes great deeds to develop self esteem, which we readily piss away at the faintest sniff of power] 
Additionally, they are forgetting that their conduct is tantamount to abuse of an important international judicial mechanism. [perhaps thousands of dead people, and definitely more than a thousand families would beg to differ Shah Ali Farhad, they fear to speak up for fear of recrimination]


El Caracazo and what we hunger for

In 1989 there was a massacre in Venezuala by the government of Carlon Andres Peres, known as Caracazo. Dozens to thousands were killed. (yes I know). Recently a film was made about it, the youtube clip below has English subtitles.

The political response was the possibility, then the reality of the late Chavez. That took ten years.

Would you like enfranchisement with that?


Screw you Zawahiri

Desperate agent
of misslamic division,
Participant steakholder
of religious derision

Fuck off zawahiri,
Go intern for BRAC.
The same nonsolution
Dim traders of CRAP.

Fuck your intifada, and those
Fake postcards from heaven
We've been fighting these bastards
Since 1757.

Cha ching went the tills
At gencomm and drik
Yet more mugs to spin
Good times for neoliberal dick.

Oh cowered and fearful
Bengal Musalman
Just see what unfolded
When you venerate the wrong one.

The time isnt right
For a full frontal fight
So sharpen your selves
Prepare well this long night.


When Sheikh Hasina ordered anti-Hindu Riots and Looting

Recently the propaganda from the illegitimategovernment of Bangladesh, and its supporters is that their opposition, especially Jamaat e Islami is attacking Hindus, "just like in 1971". Yes, its the communal violence card folks played by your friendly native neighbourhood defenders of secular values. 

Although evidence has been mounting for more than a year that Bangladesh's self-styled secularists are no protectors of minorities, the government and its allies, for example the head of the donor dependant Human Rights NGO Ain o Salish Kendra Sultana Kamal, believe that they can mislead the public on this one.

For their part what's left of Jamaat, the accused, have repeatedly condemned attacks on minorities and vowed that any member of theirs truly found to be involved in communal attacks prompt expulsion and punishment.

A Key into the Mind of Sheikh Hasina's Awami League: The Rentu Memoirs

Reliable reporting of the real nature of this kind of violence in Bangladesh remains elusive, and its worth knowing just who we are dealing with here. Amar Fashi Chai (They want my Hanging) is a fascinating book by late Matiur Rahman Rentu, a Bangladesh war veteran, Mujib loyalist and close aide of Sheikh Hasina for about 16 years. The memoir was banned when first published towards the close of the last Awami League government. I am told that bootlegs were widely circulated and that it had a noticeable impact. I am unaware of any equivalent book that chronicles the leader of the BNP.

I first became acquainted with the English translation during the rise of Bengali Fascism in early 2013.  For Bangladesh watchers, it provides an eye-on-the-wall portrait of the psychopath at the helm of Bangladesh. Indeed Rentu could have added some spice to things, to exoneration himself from wrong doing (though not in this case) or other reasons. At times it reads like a BNPwallah's wet dream. Yet he did the brave thing and published it while Hasina was still in power, not when she had left.  Having spent time in desh and consulted widely amongst different people, my view is that Amar Fashi Chai is like a time machine filled with treasure, as close to a Wikileaks cable as we are likely to get for a while.

Amar Fashi Chai takes us from Hasina's arrival in Dhaka from exile just before the assassination of Gen Zia in 1981,  through to 1997 with Hasina as Prime Minister and the author falling into her cross-hairs. We learn a lot about her as a wife, mother and aunt also, as Rentu clearly had access to these realms.

1992: A Pact, a Pogrom and the Politics of Anti Hindu Attacks in Bangladesh

There are many gems in this book, which beg for further investigation; for example the Awami League-Jamaat Pact of ~1992 which is a crucial moment for present day younger generation Islamists to get their heads around whilst they are trying to avoid getting killed, maimed and detained.

It is a  necessary head fuck because before Shahbag there was the Nirmul Committee, and the Nirmul Committee was energised by the decision makers of Jamaat deciding that it would be a good idea to have Ghulam Azam as their leader. It is alleged that Ghulam Azam met with Hasina and agreed to shift support from the BNP to the Awami League with Hasina agreeing to derail the Nirmul Committee (p36). The demonology of the Nirmul Committee lies at the heart of Bengali Fascism these days.

Later on in 1992, in the north Indian heartlands of Uttar Pradesh, Hindutva activists destroyed the Babri Masjid, in a symbolic planed act followed by communal violence across indian cities which claimed the lives of 2000 and fed the politics of the BJP. Anand Patwardhan's rather excellent documentary Ram ke Naam  (In the Name of God) explores this episode.

Some darling has uploaded it to youtube.

Fascism is just a template that anybody can use to achieve a political objective.

"Good boy, you can deliver the goods. That’s why I need you so much." 

It is into this regional context that Rentu's account of the Sheikh Hasina ordering anti-Hindu riots throughout Bangladesh plays out on pages 36 to 38. In 1992 the purpose was to kill two birds with one stone: prevent the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to embarrass Khaleda Zia, and to distract attention away from the Nirmul committee. Today's political calculus is worth investigating.

It was the first week of December, 1992. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia was the current chairperson of the South Asian Agreement for co-operation (SAARC). The summit meeting of the seven SAARC member countries had been scheduled to be held in Dhaka. The date, time and place of the summit had all been slated. Begum Khaleda Zia as the chairperson was to inaugurate the conference. Quite a few Heads of Governments had already started arriving Dhaka. The Indian Prime Minister was expected any time. In the meantime, however, there was a serious outbreak of communal riots in India following the demolition of Babri Mosque. The leader of the opposition, Sheikh Hasina promptly summoned the rider of the motor-cycle’ (i.e. the author) to her official residence at 29 Minto Road.

On reaching there, he learnt that Sheikh Hasina had left a message asking him to meet her at Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmnondi. The author was taken to the library room of the Bhaban. The conversation that took place between Sheikh Hasina and the author is as follows:

Sheikh Hasina: Organize Hindu-Muslim riots throughout the country.

Author: (Surprised) No, this is not proper.

Sheikh Hasina: Don’t think about what is right and what is wrong. I am asking you to organize the riot. Do it.

Author: I have gone to different areas of the city and asked the youth to be watchful and prevent any attack on the Hindus. Now you are asking me to organize communal riots’?

Sheikh Hasina: Yes.

Author: No my leader. It is unethical.

Sheikh Hasina: (Angry). Hell with your principles. I am your leader. Do what I ask you to do.

Author: I deeply respect your command. However, if there are attacks on the Hindus, they will certainly leave this country. Remember, they always vote for

Sheikh Hasina: The Hindus here have no place to go. You just do your job.

Author: (Unconvinced) If the Hindus leave for India. (following a large scale riot all over), there will be an influx of Muslims from India. They may be inclined to vote for BNP. Have you considered this point?

Sheikh Hasina: You fool. Don’t you understand that a situation has to be created that will make the holding of SAARC conference impossible. The conference will be chaired by Khaleda Zia. The Indian Prime Minister, Narhsima Rao has not yet arrived. This is the time for starting a communal riot. (This will create a situation that will make the arrival of the Indian Prime Minister inopportune. The absence of the Indian Prime Minister will abort the SAARC Conference).
Besides, Jahanara Imam is getting popular and many of the Hindus are now behind her. She is increasingly becoming a threat to my leadership. She has to be cut down to size. The riot will kill two birds with one stone-SAARC aborted and Jahanara Imam cut to size.

The author was entrusted with the task of organizing communal riots in Dhaka. It was decided that telephones at 29 Minto Road and at Bangabandhu Bhaban would not be used for the purpose. Instead the telephone of Sheikh Hafizur Rabman, a cousin of Sheikh Hasina and the Secretary General of Bangabandhu Trust would be used to communicate instructions to outlying districts for organizing Hindu-Muslim riots. This was measure to prevent possible leakages of the plan. The government of Khaleda Zia should not get any scent of the plan thus hatched.

A number of thugs, goons and terrorists of the city were organized according to the plan of Shiekh Hasina and given Taka Five lacs in cash. They were assembled near Shivbari Temple east of Jagannath Hall in the University area. After distributing 100 Taka notes among them, they were told, “Muslims are being butchered in India, women violated, their property looted. Should we the Muslims of Bangladesh watch it in silence? Go, start your work,”

The thugs and looters immediately began to plunder the property of Shivbari Temple with great enthusiasm. The next targets were Dhakeshwari temple and Ramkrishna Mission. Both cash rewards and inflammatory speeches had their effects on the looters. The looting soon spread to Tantibazar, Shakharipatti, Banglabazar. Millharrack, Goshaibari. Narinda, and Islampur areas of the old city. Hindu shops were the main targets in the old city. Since the local agent provocateurs were known faces, inflammatory speeches could reveal the link between Awami League and the organization or the riot. Currency notes, rather than provocative speeches w~te more extensively used in the old city.

As the looting continued, Sheikh Hasina was contacted at 32 Dhanmondi after three to four hours of its commencement. She was informed of the successful execution of her plan. Jubilant Hasina praised the work of the author in the following words, "Good boy, you can deliver the goods. That’s why I need you so much. I will have you elected as the member of the Parliament from Moksedpur-Kashiani constituency of Gopalgonj at the next election.”

The riot spread to fresh areas. Narshima Rao did not arrive. SAARC summit was effectively sabotaged.