A Coalition of Support: Parliamentarians for Julian Assange – Global Research

a-coalition-of-support:-parliamentarians-for-julian-assange-–-global-research

15-10-19 08:19:00,

Australian politicians, and the consular staff of the country, are rarely that engaged on the subject of protecting their citizens.  In a couple of notorious cases, Australian authorities demonstrated, not only an indifference, but a consciously venal approach to its citizens in overseas theatres.  

Mamdouh Ahmed Habib (image below), a dual Australian-Egyptian national, was detained in Pakistan in October 2001 and subsequently sent to Guantánamo Bay via Bagram in Afghanistan and Egypt.  His subsequent detention till 2005 in a chapter of that sinisterly framed Global War on Terror was without charge and heavy with speculation.  In April 2002, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation formed the view that Habib had not been involved in the planning of future terrorist attacks, a point deemed insufficient in securing his early release.  On his release, he initiated federal court proceedings against the Australian government over their complicity in the matter.  The case was settled in 2010.

Mamdouh Habib.jpg

The squalid affair is worth nothing for the essential connivance of Australian officials in the ongoing detention of Habib.  Even intelligence assessments within the intelligence fraternity pointing to his innocence were dismissed.  In a joint media statement from the Attorney-General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs on January 11, 2005, the standard line was reiterated:

“it remained the strong view of the United States that, based on information available to it, Mr Habib had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks on or before 11 September 2001.” 

What the US suspected, went.

In a wordy and not particularly illuminating report on the case by the Australian Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, it was “found that communication to the Habib family in respect of Mr Habib’s welfare was not adequate and recommends that an apology be made.”  Stress was made that Australian intelligence officials were not directly involved in his rendering to Guantánamo Bay, though it was noted that “ASIO should have made active enquiries about how Mr Habib would be treated in Egypt before providing information which may have been used in his questioning in Egypt.”

An even more notable case of crude, dismissive abandonment can be found in the plight of David Hicks (image below), another Australian who found himself facing an array of charges brought forth by the “war” on terror. 

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International Coalition Calls for the EU to End Its Role in the Assault on the Amazon – Global Research

international-coalition-calls-for-the-eu-to-end-its-role-in-the-assault-on-the-amazon-8211-global-research

10-04-19 08:58:00,

On Jair Bolsonaro’s 100th day in office, an international coalition of NGOs – including a group representing more than 300 Brazilian indigenous groups – have called for the European Union (EU) to end its complicity in the assault on indigenous rights and the destruction of the Amazon.

Since President Bolsonaro became leader of the world’s “fourth largest democracy” on January 1, his government has dismantled environmental protections, incursions by armed invaders on Indigenous Peoples’ lands have surged, and deforestation rates in the Amazon have risen.

The EU provides a huge market for Brazilian soy and beef, which drive deforestation and human rights abuses in Brazil on a vast scale. The EU is also Brazil’s second largest trading partner, and together its Member States are Brazil’s largest source of foreign direct investment.

The coalition is calling for tough new EU laws guaranteeing that products sold in the EU do not cause deforestation and human rights abuses in Brazil.

“The EU already has laws to stop illegally logged wood, illegally sourced fish and conflict minerals entering its markets. The unfolding destruction in Brazil shows the glaring need for similar laws for agricultural goods,” said Nicole Polsterer, Forests and Consumption campaigner at Fern, the forests and rights NGO.

“The EU must clean up its [agricultural] supply chains, make them transparent, and use its enormous economic leverage to reduce the threat Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples face,” she added.

Sônia Guajajara, coordinator of Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB ) which represents more than 300 Brazilian indigenous groups, reinforced this call for EU action.

“The first 100 days of Bolsonaro’s presidency are the latest chapter in a long war of attrition against Brazil’s Indigenous People. The crimes that are being committed today are happening in the name of agricultural production. The EU must not evade its responsibility for this,” Guajajara said.

“The EU must use its consumer power to ensure our rights are protected and our forests are preserved,” she added.

The international call for EU action coincides with the release of a new Fern briefing, 100 Days of Bolsonaro,

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Coalition Demands Amazon, Microsoft, and Google Stop Giving Facial Recognition Tech to Government Agencies

coalition-demands-amazon-microsoft-and-google-stop-giving-facial-recognition-tech-to-government-agencies

25-01-19 11:02:00,

By Michael Maharrey

The Tenth Amendment Center has joined more than 85 other organizations demanding Microsoft, Google and Amazon stop providing facial recognition surveillance technology to government agencies.

The TAC signed on to separate letters to all three companies.

Microsoft
Amazon
Google

The coalition makes it clear to each company a decision to provide face surveillance technology to the government threatens basic liberties and will also undermine public trust in its business.

“We are at a crossroads with face surveillance, and the choices made by these companies now will determine whether the next generation will have to fear being tracked by the government for attending a protest, going to their place of worship, or simply living their lives,” ACLU of California Technology and Civil Liberties Director Nicole Ozer said.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have partnered up to create a massive facial recognition system. As of 2016, law enforcement face recognition networks included photos of more than 117 million adults. That number has undoubtedly grown significantly. Many of the pictures enter the system when police take mugshots during booking after an arrest, but increasingly, police have access to photos of innocent people. Currently, at least 16 states allow the FBI to access their driver’s license and ID photos. Ubiquitous surveillance cameras in some cities. and automatic license plate reader cameras that capture photos of vehicle occupants along with plate numbers and location information also provide entry points into the system.

Private companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google assist with this Orwellian nightmare by providing technology to government agencies. This needs to stop. No company should willingly assist the government in violating our most basic rights.

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A Broad New Coalition Is Rising to Block Brazil’s Far Right From the Presidency

A Broad New Coalition Is Rising to Block Brazil’s Far Right From the Presidency

28-10-18 09:00:00,

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While unusual elections are becoming commonplace, what has recently transpired in Brazil — the fifth most populous country — has left much of the world speechless. No one in my generation thought President Dilma Rousseff would be ousted, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would be arrested or that celebrity reality show presenter João Doria would be mayor of São Paulo. We never imagined we would see both the Pope and The Economist accused of being communist as fascism rises in Brazil. But we have seen it all.

The 2018 presidential campaign season has included the near fatal stabbing of a leading candidate, stories about massive corruption schemes, and an endless number of internet rumors about left-wing conspiracies, voter suppression and a wave of hate crimes.

The election results, announced on Oct. 6, surprised most analysts. Far-right fascist-leaning Jair Bolsonaro, who has an army general as vice president on his ticket, won the first round with 46 percent of the valid votes. Bolsonaro is known for his homophobic comments — including once saying he would rather have a dead son than a gay one — has been described as a Brazilian Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte. Among Bolsonaro’s latest international supporters is white supremacist former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, who declared his enthusiasm over the potential win once the first round results were announced.

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Although his domination of the presidential election in Brazil didn’t come as a complete surprise,

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