Fundamental Human Rights

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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Georgia targeted civilians

Posted by feww on October 29, 2008

Georgia committed war crimes in its attack on South Ossetia in August 2008

There are no ifs, no buts, no maybes. Georgia attacked South Ossetia in a war of aggression and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Overwhelmed by besieged by incontrovertible evidence, the BBC has finally admitted that “Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August [2008]”

Eyewitnesses told BBC that “tanks fired directly into an apartment block, and how civilians were shot at as they tried to escape the fighting.”

Human Rights Watch also told BBC that Georgian military used indiscriminate force, and possibly targeted civilians deliberately.

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)
Dr Marina Kochieva says her car was targeted by a Georgian tank. Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Indiscriminate use of force is a violation of the Geneva Conventions,” BBC said,  “and serious violations are considered to be war crimes.” [As if that has stopped George Bush’s corporate military from committing war crimes and heinous crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria …]

British Foreign Secretary David [how the heck did you get here] Miliband who called on the EU and Nato to initiate “hard-headed engagement” with Russia in response to its actions in Georgia, has now made a u-turn calling Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia as “reckless”.

David [how the heck did you get here] Miliband said “he had raised the issue of possible Georgian war crimes with the government in Tbilisi.” [BBC reported. But he didn’t state what Tbilisi rplied.]

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)
They went on firing all the next day without stopping. At some point there was a pause, and we saw Georgian soldiers going along the street in their Nato uniforms
Taya Sitnik

Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Georgia unleashed an indiscriminate barrage of heavy artillery,  rockets and ground-to-ground missiles on the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, on 7 August 7,  2008.  Tbilisi first said that it was responding to attacks on its own villages by South Ossetia militia, which of course was untrue. Georgia later changed its story and said the attack was provoked by an earlier Russian invasion, which of course was also a lie.

Eye-witness account (from the BBC report)

Georgy Tadtayev, a 21-year-old dental student, was one of the Ossetian civilians killed during the fighting.

His mother, Taya Sitnik, 45, a college lecturer, told the BBC he bled to death in her arms on the morning of 9 August after a fragment from a Georgian tank shell hit him in the throat as they were both sheltering from artillery fire in the basement of her block of flats.

Mrs Sitnik said she subsequently saw the tank positioned a few metres from the building, firing shells into every floor.

Extensive damage to the five-storey block appeared consistent with her version of events.

She said she and her son were watching television when the Georgian attack began.

“They started firing not from rifles, but from heavy weapons. Shells were exploding.”

“We jumped up straight away, switched off the lights and ran down to the cellar.”

“And we sat here on boxes. We thought it would end, but the firing got heavier and heavier,” she added.

We’re very concerned at the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military
Allison Gill
Human Rights Watch

“They went on firing all the next day without stopping. At some point there was a pause, and we saw Georgian soldiers going along the street in their Nato uniforms,” according to Mrs Sitnik.

“Then they started firing again, even more heavily. The Grad rockets were coming over all the time.”

“How can you trust those people now? What possible friendship can there be? Let them all be cursed, cursed for the deaths of our children.”

Neighbours said another resident of the block, Khazbi Gagloyev, also died of wounds received during the attacks.

‘Basements targeted’

The Russian prosecutor’s office is investigating more than 300 possible cases of civilians killed by the Georgian military.

Some of those may be Ossetian paramilitaries, but Human Rights Watch believes the figure of 300-400 civilians is a “useful starting point”.

That would represent more than 1% of the population of Tskhinvali – the equivalent of 70,000 deaths in London.

Allison Gill, director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said: We’re very concerned at the use of indiscriminate force by the Georgian military in Tskhinvali.

“Tskhinvali is a densely populated city and as such military action needs to be very careful that it doesn’t endanger civilians.”

“We know that in the early stages there were tank attacks and Grad rockets used by Georgian forces,” she added.

“Grad rockets cannot be used in densely populated areas because they cannot be precisely targeted, and as such they are inherently indiscriminate.

“Our researchers were on the ground in Tskhinvali as early as 12 August.

“And we gained evidence and witness testimony of Grad rocket attacks and tank attacks on apartment buildings, including tank attacks that shot at the basement level.

“And basements are typically areas where civilians will hide for their own protection.

“So all of this points to the misuse, the inappropriate use of force by Georgia against civilian targets,” according to Alison Gill.

Human Rights Watch will talk only of the “possible” deliberate targeting by Georgian forces of individual civilians, a still more serious charge, though some Ossetians the BBC spoke to in Tskhinvali claim to have witnessed such cases.

Alan Tskhurbayev, Institute of War and Peace Reporting)

Many Tskhinvali buildings were damaged during the attack. Source: BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Wreckage

Marina Kochieva, a doctor at Tskhinvali’s main hospital, says she herself was targeted by a Georgian tank as she and three relatives were trying to escape by car from the town on the night of 9 August.

She says the tank fired on her car and two other vehicles, forcing them to crash into a ditch.

The firing continued as she and her companions lay on the ground.

She showed the BBC the burnt-out wreckage of the car on the town’s ring-road, riddled with bullet holes and with a much larger hole, apparently from a tank round, in the front passenger door.

Ms Kochieva says a nurse from her hospital was killed while fleeing Tskhinvali in similar circumstances.

She says she counted 18 burnt-out cars on the ring-road on 13 August, at the end of the war, suggesting there may have been more casualties.

Asked if, at night, Georgian soldiers might not have suspected her car of carrying Ossetian fighters, Ms Kochieva said: “Fighters wouldn’t have gone away from town, they would have gone towards town. We were escaping like other refugees.

“The Georgians knew this was the ‘Road of Life’ for Ossetians. They were sitting here waiting to kill us,” she said.

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Posted in civilian targets, crimes against humanity, David Miliband, Geneva Conventions, Grad rockets | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

URGENT! No Execution of Troy Davis!

Posted by terres on October 24, 2008

UPDATE: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted Troy Anthony Davis a temporary stay Friday afternoon, October 24, 2008

Act NOW to STOP THE EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS!

Execution is scheduled for MON OCT 27

Troy Davis

TELL THE GEORGIA GOV., LEGISLATURE, PARDONS AND PAROLE BOARD, BUSH, OBAMA, MCCAIN, CONGRESS AND THE MEDIA:STOP THE EXECUTION OF TROY DAVIS!

Please join the online campaign to STOP THE EXECUTION! FREE TROY DAVIS NOW!
YOUR EMERGENCY ACTION IS NEEDED NOW! Click HERE to Fill in Online Form

Tell Gov. Perdue and the Georgia Pardons and Parole Board:

STOP THE EXECUTION! FREE TROY DAVIS!

On Monday, October 27, Troy Davis, an African American on death row in Georgia, is scheduled to be legally lynched by the state of Georgia. Davis was convicted in the 1989 killing of a police officer despite what Amnesty International calls “overwhelming doubts about his guilt.” No physical forensic evidence was presented at Davis’ trial, and 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their testimony, with at least two saying they were pressured by police to finger Davis as the killer. Yet on October 14 the Supreme Court refused to allow a new hearing in his case. TAKE ACTION NOW using the link below to let the Georgia Parole Board, Governor, Legislature, and congressional delegation as well as President Bush, Senators Obama and McCain, U.N. Secretary-General Ban, Congressional leaders and members of the media know you demand No Execution of Troy Davis!

To fill in the online form, go to:
http://www.iacenter.org/troydavis

Your messages will go to hundreds of public officials, including the Governor of Georgia, the entire Georgia legislature, each member of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the full Georgia Congressional delegation, as well as President Bush, Senators Obama and McCain, Congressional leaders, U.N. Secretary-General Ban, and national and local media representatives.

The text of the message reads as follows (you will have the opportunity to edit it if you wish):

To: Governor Perdue, Georgia Pardons and Parole Board, Georgia Legislature, Georgia Congressional Delegation, Senators Obama and McCain, President Bush, Congressional Leaders, U.N. Secretary General Ban cc: members of the media

On Monday, October 27, Troy Davis, an innocent man, is scheduled to be executed unless you act to prevent it. He was convicted solely on witness testimony, and 7 of the 9 witnesses have since recanted, many alleging that police coerced them into making false statements.

I join with millions in the US and around the world in demanding that you Stop the execution of Troy Davis. Innocence matters to me. Justice matters to everyone.

I urge you to act now.

———–

International Action Center
c/o Solidarity Center
55 W 17th ST #5C
New York, NY 10011
www.iacenter.org
iacenter@iacenter.org
212-633-6646

Posted in African American, coaching witness, forensic evidence, lynching, no evidence | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

“Bush has no right to lecture about human rights”

Posted by terres on August 22, 2008

A message from Ramsey Clark

“Bush has no right to lecture about human rights”

compel congress
Please make a donation today so that the movement to Impeach and Indict Bush and Cheney will keep growing. Click this link to donate online or by sending a check.

A price the American people are paying for the failure of the House of Representatives to impeach Bush, Cheney and their cabal for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity — the greatest assaults on peace and human rights of this century — is the Bush Administration’s bellicose drum beat for war against a widening circle of chosen enemies.

Imagine George Bush with the blood of a million Afghans and Iraqis on his hands, the shame of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo hanging around his neck, having trashed the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lecturing China for violating human rights at the World Olympics in Beijing, a hopeful symbol of international cooperation through the peaceful competition of athletes in friendship.

Imagine George Bush lecturing Russia on human rights after insisting on putting U.S. (not NATO) Star War missile sites on the Russian border in Poland and the Czech Republic despite the tragic lessons of the Cold War, all told the greatest crime in history. Among its costs are expenditures that could have provided food for all, vastly reduced poverty on the planet, progressed toward quality universal health care, education and housing for everyone. Instead it took more lives by military violence on five continents and greater military expenditures than World War II and released the genie of nuclear weapons to a status beyond control. Can the planet survive another arms race? And what was George Bush planning when he urged immediate admission of Georgia to NATO just months before Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

Imagine George Bush who committed wars of aggression, the “Supreme International Crime,” against Afghanistan and Iraq, invading and occupying both, judging Russia’s conduct as” unacceptable,” and demanding withdrawal of Russian forces because it sent troops into Georgia to protect the population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from an invasion by Georgia that killed citizens and peace keepers alike, destroyed property and had driven tens of thousands from their homes.

Nor was Georgia a stranger to Russia. It had been a part of Russia since 1801 for nearly all the last two centuries. It had great power within the USSR. Joseph Stalin was from Georgia, as were L. P. Beria, longtime head of the NKVD and many others, Edward Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union’s last Foreign Minister and the first President of the Government of the independent Georgia that separated from the Soviet Union in 1990.

George Bush took a keen interest in Georgia, which is on Russia’s southern border, but on the opposite side of the planet from the U.S., early in his Presidency and in Mikhail Saakashvili. Under Bush’s direction the U.S. provided major military arms and training for Georgia. It persuaded, or paid Georgia which had no interest in Iraq to send 2000 troops to there, a number exceeded only by the U.S. and U.K. It trained and supported the Georgian troops for duty in Iraq. Saakashvili, a U.S. law school graduate, to quote the New York Times “…positioned himself to become one of the world’s most strident critics of the Kremlin” and with the strong support from the U.S. he was elected President of Georgia.

The U.S. helped them militarize what had been a weak Georgian state. The Pentagon helped overhaul Georgia’s military forces, train its commanders and staff officers. U.S. marine strained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle. The forces were equipped with Israeli and U.S. firearms, reconnaissance drones and other sophisticated equipment, including anti aircraftweaponry. That the U.S. trained and equipped Georgian forces fled in the face of Russian forces should have told us something about the U.S. training and equipping of foreign militaries.

All this U.S. support and manipulation was with the public goal, urged by George Bush, of making remote Georgia, though a thousand miles from Europe across the Black Sea and Russia, member of NATO and placing Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Georgian control by force.

As in most matters in which George Bush takes aggressive action, oil is a factor in some form. Georgia has made itself available for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan then across Georgia to the Black Sea, a major Bush goal, carrying oil from Azerbaijan and former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, produced in large part by U.S. oil companies, to Western markets by-passing Russia. Western Europe shared this U.S. interest.

President Bush visited Georgia in 2005, the first U.S. President to do so. Condoleeza Rice visited while National Security Advisor to Bush and since. Saakashvili has been a frequent guest at the White House and in the Washington corridors of power.

It is George Bush’s enticement and incitement of Georgia that created the present crisis. We have not been told what has been paid Georgia for it.

Suppose NATO had agreed to Georgia membership before Georgia invaded South Ossetia, as the U.S. urged. NATO would have been bound by mutual defense pact to defend Georgia as a Member. NATO, a Cold War creation, which includes all the former colonial powers, should be abolished. The U.S. persuaded NATO to share blame for its assaults that balkanized Yugoslavia which was created to end centuries of violence in the Balkans through unity. It tried to persuade NATO to join in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. It nearly succeeded in Georgia.

The U.S. has a major military airbase in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic to Russia’s south and more than 1500 miles east of Georgia which is used to bomb Afghanistan. The U.S. has surrounded Russia with military bases from the Baltic states south across its western border with Europe then east for more than 2500 miles to its borders with Xinjiang Province in western China and Mongolia.

Now we can see the hypocrisy of the U.S. calling NATO into emergency session to address the Georgia crisis with false claims made repeatedly about the ceasefire and withdrawal terms negotiated by President Sarkozy of France, only to back down from all its threats and demands for action after fomenting international friction on false pretenses. The world cannot be made safe for hypocrisy, or mendacity.

It is noteworthy that Georgia is within one hundred miles of the border of Iran across Armenia. While George Bush vigorously protests Russian confrontation with Georgian troops which invaded South Ossetia, he has continued his threatening of Iran with a war of aggression for its alleged but unproven efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability while he engages in a huge U.S. expenditure for new nuclear weapons. The U.S. now has its largest Naval presence in the Gulf region since the Gulf war, pointed toward Iran. The probability that President Bush will cause Israel and the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities plants during his remaining months in office remains high. Such an attack would violate the Nuremberg Charter and Article 56 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1979, which protects “Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces,” including nuclear facilities, from attack, because of the “consequent severe losses among the civilian population” from the blast and radiation.

As Bush’s crimes grow, so does our responsibility to act. Please bring your friends and family members into the impeachment movement by sending them to ImpeachBush.org and make a donation today so that the movement to Impeach and Indict Bush and Cheney will keep growing. Click this link to make your donation.

Ramsey Clark
August 22, 2008

Posted in Armenia, bush, Cheney, china, GENOCIDE, human rights, Iran, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Mikhail Saakashvili, politics, Russia, Sarkozy, U.S. marine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

END NATO NOW!

Posted by terres on August 19, 2008

Send this message to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Congressional Leaders, the United Nations, NATO Command, and major U.S. corporate media:

Sign the petition

U.S. Hands Off Georgia and Russia – END NATO NOW!

TELL BUSH, CHENEY, RICE AND CONGRESS: U.S. HANDS OFF GEORGIA AND RUSSIA – NO NEW WAR – END NATO NOW!

It is with growing concern that we observe that the U.S. government is threatening new military moves that carry the danger of another war-this time against Russia.

The Bush regime and the corporate U.S. news media have launched an anti-Russia hate campaign. Yet just as with the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the threats on Iran, the threatened military confrontation with Russia is also based on a lie.

The truth, hidden by most of the corporate news media, is that Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili, unleashed his U.S.- and Israeli-armed and-trained forces on the tiny autonomous region of South Ossetia, murdering civilians and attacking Russian peacekeeping troops stationed there. Only then did Russian troops respond.

Saakashvili is the president who sent 2,000 Georgian youth to join the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. The U.S. supplies the weapons to his army. U.S. Special Forces and Israeli advisers and mercenary contractors direct the Georgian military, which just held three weeks of joint exercises with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in July. We must take note that like Iraq and Iran, Georgia itself is a prize for U.S. oil companies, as it is a major transit point for Central Asian oil.

There is little doubt that U.S. arming of Georgia and its push to get Georgia into NATO set the scene for the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia and created the threat of a new major war. Now Washington also threatens Russia by placing missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the people there. Surrounding Russia with this military alliance of new NATO members is the greatest danger to peace and stability on a global scale.

It is time to remember that NATO was established as an anti-USSR military alliance aimed at reinforcing capitalist control and preventing socialist revolutions in the colonialist powers of Europe weakened by World War II. Since the end of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the U.S. has attempted to vastly expand NATO and turn it into a military instrument to consolidate U.S. corporate power, surround Russia and China and re-conquer the former colonial world.

Consider these examples:

Yugoslavia. Based on the lie that NATO was defending small nations, U.S.-NATO intervention and bombing destroyed multinational Yugoslavia and turned the Balkans into a collection of dependent ministates ruled by the U.S. and Western Europe powers.

Afghanistan. Based on the lie that this was a police action against terrorists, U.S.-NATO have carried out a seven-year occupation leaving the country in ruins and enslaved.

Iraq. Here the lie about weapons of mass destruction was so blatant, and the U.S. position so weak, that most NATO countries refused to join the occupation and utter destruction of Iraq.

No one can believe Bush is promoting peace in Georgia. It is time not only to stop this expansion but to end the NATO war machine completely by dissolving NATO.

It is encouraging to anti-war people worldwide that Georgians themselves have issued a statement condemning the Saakashvili machine. “The entire responsibility for this fratricidal war,” the Georgian Peace Committee says, “for thousands of children, women and elderly dead people, for the inhabitants of South Ossetia and of Georgia falls exclusively on the current president, on the Parliament and on the government of Georgia.” (Aug. 11)

We cannot do less than the people of Georgia who oppose the current president and want no part of NATO. We demand from Washington:

(1) Stop interfering in Georgia and the Caucasus

(2) Stop attempting to expand the NATO military organization into the countries of Eastern Europe and those that border on Russia.

(3) End the aggressive NATO military alliance

(4) No new wars!

Sign the Petition at http://www.iacenter.org/anti-war/handsoffcaucasus

(For more images see source. WARNING! mature audience only!)
For other images click here.
.

Posted in china, environment, GENOCIDE, human rights, Israel, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Portrait of a minor fascist

Posted by terres on August 16, 2008

Managing Uncle Sam’s New Kind of Banana Republics in Eastern Europe

From a Cockeyed Tyrant to a Genocidal Murderer


NATO Aspirant Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili salutes during an Independence Day military parade in Tbilisi May 26, 2008. Tens of thousands of Georgians massed in the capital on Monday to protest against Saakashvili who they say stole victory for his ruling party in last week’s parliamentary election. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze/Pool (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

Georgia’s Rigged Elections


Opposition supporters attend a rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi November 2, 2007. Tens of thousands of Georgians challenged President Mikhail Saakashvili on Friday by taking part in what could be the biggest opposition protest since the Rose Revolution demonstrations that swept him to power. REUTERS/Str (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

By-Hook-or-by-Crook Government: No Holds Barred!


Police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi November 7, 2007. Georgian police armed with batons on Wednesday broke up a six-day protest outside parliament calling for the resignation of U.S. ally President Mikhail Saakashvili, but opposition leaders vowed not to be defeated. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

State of Emergency: A Tiny Fascist Dictator Is Born!


Military personnel patrol a street in central Tbilisi, November 8, 2007. A ring of soldiers cordoned off central Tbilisi on Thursday after Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili declared a state of emergency and shut down independent media to quash six days of anti-government protests. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

The Right to Rule by Military, Riot Police, Rubber Bullets, water Cannons …


Police clash with opposition supporters during a rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi November 7, 2007. Georgian riot police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon on Wednesday to break up a six-day-old rally by protesters demanding the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

Smart Political Allies: Bad News for Fascist Dictators [even minor ones]


Nino Burjanadze, a former Georgian parliament speaker, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tbilisi July 7, 2008. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili must show more respect for democracy if he is to uphold the values of the “Rose Revolution”, said Burjanadze, the woman who until three months ago was his most important domestic ally. Picture taken July 7, 2008. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

Shafted by Uncle Sam: A Disposable Anal Probe [used on Russia]


Photo: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

And then came the indiscriminate mass murder and genocide


Georgian troops fire rockets at a South Ossetian separatist territory near a settlement in Ergneti, 59 miles from Tbilisi, August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenedze. Image may be subject to copyright.


A resident walks along a street destroyed by a Georgian strike in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov.
Image may be subject to copyright.

(For more images see Ossetia. WARNING! mature audience only!) For other images click here.

They Told Me Genocide Was Easy, Look at Iraq!


Photo: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

See Fair Use Notice!

Posted in GENOCIDE, Iraqi genocide, military, Nazi, police state, politics, Riot Police, Rubber Bullets, water Cannons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Images of the Day: Madness!

Posted by terres on August 8, 2008

Georgian Style Madness


Georgian troops fire rockets at a South Ossetian separatist territory near a settlement in Ergneti, 59 miles from Tbilisi, August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenedze. Image may be subject to copyright.

Portrait of an Aggressor and a War Criminal


Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili (2nd L) and Defence Minister David Kezerashvili (3rd L) inspect troops near the town of Tskhinvali, some 100 km (62 miles) from Tbilisi, August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (GEORGIA). Image may be subject to copyright.

See Fair Use Notice!

Posted in bush, environment, GENOCIDE, human rights, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »