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martedì 27 dicembre 2016

THE TORTURE REPORT

Following the liberation of Aleppo, Syrian soldiers have made a gruesome discovery while inspecting the freed city: bodies of dead children with signs of flendish tortures
Syrian servicemen have discovered the bodies of people, including children, executed by terrorists in one of the schools in eastern Aleppo, military police prosecutor Samer Yousseff told Sputnik Arabic. "The bodies of the dead children and adults have traces of executions, including cut off heads and gouged out eyes," Yousseff said on Friday, adding that all of the bodies will undergo DNA verification at a hospital. According to preliminary information, the people were executed four to five days ago, some of them were shot at from a close distance, no more than one meter (about 3 feet), the Syrian police said.
On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was over.


Two young men working from their homes in Berlin with 3,000 euros ($3,130) in funding have created a database of atrocities in the Syrian war that is being used as a source by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as lawyers and activists all around the world.
The Syrian Archive (syrianarchive.org), presented at the Chaos Computer Club in Hamburg on Wednesday, has so far documented more than 2,200 illegal actions in the ongoing five-and-a-half-year civil war with the help of a network of volunteers around the world, and especially in Syria, who verify the material.
The database collects raw and frequently gruesome video footage from Syria - often uploaded to YouTube - of the aftermath of airstrikes on hospitals, attacks with chlorine gas, cluster bombs, and other illegal weapons, by all sides, along with a location, date of recording and the source.
The archive can be filtered by various criteria, including types of weapons used, as well as categories drawn up by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria set up by office of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). These include "arbitrary and forceful displacement," "plunder and theft," "hostage-taking," "torture and ill-treatment," and "massacres and other unlawful killing." There is also a special filter for "alleged civilian casualties from Russian attacks," which already returns several hundred results.
Vetting sources
Hadi al Khatib, who came to Berlin from Syria in 2011, and Jeff Deutch say the main aim is to make individual atrocities verifiable for future legal investigations, though they hope the database will also be used by media outlets. As they explain, even though there is a massive proliferation of video evidence from Syria on social media across the internet, there is a lack of proper standardization and cataloging, and a lot of footage and the metadata that shows where it was taken, easily gets lost entirely.
Al Khatib and Deutch conceived the archive while working with human rights lawyers in southern Turkey in 2014. There Al Khatib, who does not belong to any Syrian opposition group, helped train Syrian lawyers and journalists to capture video evidence of human rights violations that could be used in court. "Since then I have been working with Syrian civil society - journalists, lawyers, and so on - on training related to how they can keep their communication more secure," he told DW.
The pair has long-standing relationships with certain sources: "We follow the social media accounts of particular people that we've vetted, and then we will download videos every day from those channels," said Deutch. But they are always looking for people in Syria such as "human rights groups, journalists, citizen reporters, lawyers, media offices/agencies and others," as the website's "Join Us" page says, to supply more evidence.
But there is always the inevitable problem of verifying sources in a war zone. That's why they have a vetting procedure, Deutch explains, during which they look at "how long [the new sources] have been reporting on issues, where they've been reporting - we have a list of questions we have to go through - and we look at whether they're familiar to our network of activists, and whether the reporting they've been doing in the past has been reliable." Al Khatib and Deutch also check whether the new sources are actually providing original material, rather than just aggregating footage from elsewhere.
Committed to neutrality
The Syrian Archive is also at pains to underline that it reports atrocities from all actors in the war, though Al Khatib admits that some sources could have affiliations. "They could be part of specific groups, or they could have agendas," he said. "But this is not what we're looking at. We are looking at the visual evidence that they are publishing, so we can understand what's happening in specific incidents, and if it's related to any other incidents."
 "We're taking videos from all sides of the conflict, to try and be as impartial as possible," added Deutch.
The Syrian Archive is already sharing the evidence it collects with the OHCHR in Geneva, and has set up a partnership with Amnesty International's "Digital Verification Corps," a program where law students around the world sift through actual evidence from the masses of digital video footage proliferating from war zones around the world. Over the next year, the Syrian Archive intends to work more closely with lawyers who are building cases in Syria.
Syrian Archive catalogues war atrocities online 29.12.2016 Ben Knight

Nobel laureates urge UN to act against Myanmar for Rohingyas atrocities NEW YORK, 30 Dec 2016 
Horrifying stories of gang rape, torture, murder from Rohingya migrants 24 NOVEMBRE 2016
Rohingya Describe Rape, Murder in Myanmar 6 DICEMBRE 2016
The Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya DECEMBER 4, 2016
Sexual abuse of Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian security forces 25 DICEMBRE 2016
Mass Extrajudicial Killings in Balochistan 29 DICEMBRE 2016
Mass Rape, Organ Trade: the Genocide of the Baloch people 13 DICEMBRE 2016

‘Torture Devices’, Ammo Filmed at Daesh, Al-Nusra Front Base in E. Aleppo (VIDEO) December, 16, 2016 

US-sponsored terror in Aleppo: Mass graves, mutilated bodies & other 'moderate' atrocities Dec 27 2016 

Global Arms Trade: U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015 DECEMBER 28, 2016


WASHINGTON — Suicide — not combat — is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants, according to newly released Pentagon statistics.

The reasons suicide ranks as the No. 1 cause of troop deaths are complex and poorly understood, according to experts on military suicide. They likely include mental illnesses that enlistees brought with them to boot camp, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments and heightened anxiety in a military at war for 16 years.

Amputation is just one of the many instances of the Islamic State’s brutality. An Atlantic Council report detailed various methods of torture Islamic State members performed on their prisoners.
“The ISIS prison wardens would speak continuously of the coming retribution. ISIS men would enter, place knives on our necks and threaten to kill us. An ISIS member would occasionally enter carrying a prisoner’s amputated head, promising the others a similar fate,” a man only referred to as Ahmed told the Atlantic Council back in June.
Lashings and electric shocks are also reportedly common ISIS torture practices. Prisoners have also recalled militants using the “flying carpet,” a metal board with hinges in the middle that Islamic State members would tie captives to. They’ve also been known to use an iron “biter,” a metal jaw-like instrument the group used to beat women who failed to abide by the ISIS dress code.

ISIS Torture In Iraq: Islamic State Chopped Off Hands In Mosul, Victim Recalls  @MANHATTANJAN 


A man was tortured to death by militants fighting for the Turkish-backed Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement who are now on control of the Akhtarin town in northern Aleppo countryside.
Local sources said that Mahmud Akhtarini was arrested by a group of Zenki militants at midnight on charges of being a member of the ISIS terror organization. Four hours later, Mahmud was reported dead after being brutally tortured.
The sources confirmed that the victim was mentally retarded.
The Turkish backed group is notorious for beheading a 12 year-old boy in Aleppo city, for allegedly being a fighter of the Palestinian Liwaa Al Quds (Al-Quds Brigade).
In November, the town was captured by an alliance of rebel forces fighting under the "Euphrates Shield"; a cross-border military operation by Turkish military and allied forces to secure the borders against ISIS.

Turkish-backed rebels torture, execute civilian in northern Aleppo Zen Adra 21/12/2016

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb had been tortured before he died. Returned to his family a month after he was arrested at a peaceful protest in April 2011, the 13-year-old boy’s dead body was covered with cigarette burns and lacerations. His jaw and both kneecaps had been smashed and his penis had been cut off.
As demonstrations against the regime’s rule spread across the country, the boy’s death at the hands of the regime’s security forces became a powerful symbol of its brutality. “I can only hope that this child did not die in vain but that the Syrian government will end the brutality and begin a transition to real democracy,” said Hillary Clinton, who was America’s secretary of state at the time. During the early days of the uprising many shared her hope.
Almost six years on that hope has been crushed. The scale of the killing carried out inside Syria’s torture dungeons is difficult to gauge: human-rights groups say the regime has tortured to death or executed between 17,500 and 60,000 men, women and children since March 2011. The dead, often buried in mass graves or incinerated, are rarely returned to their relatives. The official death certificates that are sometimes handed to relatives typically say that the victims died from natural causes.
Tracking the number of people in detention is also difficult. Mr Assad’s security forces have converted sports stadiums, abandoned homes, hospitals and schools into jails. Loyalist militias from Iraq, Lebanon and Iran also operate their own secret sites. At least 200,000 people are thought to remain in detention, most of them in government facilities that are closed to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
What little is known about Mr Assad’s torture machine comes from survivors swapped in prisoner exchanges or released after bribing officials. Relatives of the dead, defectors and hundreds of thousands of government files smuggled out of the country by activists add to their accounts. Together, they paint a picture of a regime that has tortured and murdered on an industrial scale to silence dissent.
Take the case of Muhannad, a 28-year-old university student who organised some of the first peaceful protests in Aleppo. He was arrested in 2011 by agents from air-force intelligence, blindfolded and taken to a cell where he was strung from the ceiling by his wrists. He was tortured for eight days until he signed a false confession that he had killed regime soldiers with the help of his mother.
After that he was moved to an air-force intelligence base near the presidential palace in Damascus, where he underwent two years of almost daily interrogation and torture. Sometimes, for amusement, the prison guards would force the inmates to strip naked and play at being dogs. As they drank alcohol and smoked water pipes, the guards stubbed out cigarettes and tipped hot coals over the prisoners’ backs. “You have to work hard to amuse them or you get beaten,” he says.
Murder for fun
Death at the al-Mezzeh Air Force Intelligence prison was routine. Muhannad remembers how, during the month of Ramadan in 2012, the guards killed 19 prisoners in a single night. “They had brain seizures, severe bleeding from the torture,” he says.
On another occasion, a teenage boy returned to his prison cell in tears. “They’d executed his brother in front of him. Then they’d bent him over a table and raped him with a stick. They were laughing and saying ‘a new woman has been opened.’” Two other cellmates were beaten to death by guards as they waited to have their hair cut.
When the infection from an open wound in his leg spread, the guards took Muhannad to a nearby military hospital. Patients were forced to sleep with shoes in their mouths. If the shoe fell, nurses beat them with stiff plastic pipes. Muhannad says he saw a nurse club a patient to death in his bed after he asked for medicine.

It was here, at Hospital 601, that a forensic photographer working for Syria’s military police force photographed the bodies of more than 6,000 people killed in government detention facilities between 2011 and 2013. The images show rows of naked, emaciated corpses with numbers written on their foreheads. Most bear signs of torture. Smuggled out of the country on flash drives, these images provide some of the most damning evidence of the regime’s systematic use of torture.
There is little that can be done to bring Mr Assad and his thugs to justice. The UN says the regime’s use of torture and the “mass death of detainees” inside its prisons amount to crimes against humanity. Yet rights groups say that the UN, in its drive to negotiate an end to the conflict, has largely ignored the regime’s atrocities. The Security Council’s last attempt to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court failed when Russia and China objected.
For nearly six years the Syrian people have watched Mr Assad butcher his own people. They look at him and think, ‘This person took away my son.’ How do you expect them to accept any deal that keeps the regime in power?” says Saeed Eido, who chronicles atrocities for the Syrian Institute for Justice, set up in Aleppo in 2011.
On December 2nd Syrian intelligence officials returned the dead body of Ibrahim al-Ahmed to his family. They were told that the 25-year-old, who had been missing for four years, had died of a heart attack. Yet his emaciated body, which the family barely recognised, was disfigured by missing teeth, a leg broken by a blunt tool, deep lacerations across his back, bruises and cuts. “There was no funeral. We took him straight from the fridge to the grave,” says Ibrahim’s brother. “When people in Syria know their relative has been killed in prison, they don’t make any noise about it, but it is impossible to forget.”

Assad’s torture dungeons Dec 20th 2016

Some 456 Palestinians have been killed by torturea new report by the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) has revealed.
The London-based human rights watchdog, which monitors the situation of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria, claims that the bodies of 456 Palestinians that were killed under torture in Syrian prisons have not been released by the regimeThe group says this is another crime perpetrated by the regime forces.
Withholding the bodies of dead victims is prohibited under international law except in cases where pillage and mistreatment is feared to occur.

The report concludes that:

  • At least 3,414 Palestinians, including 455 women, have been killed in Syria
  • 1,135 Palestinian refugees, including 80 women, are incarcerated in Syrian government prisons
  • Over 79,000 Palestinian Syrian refugees have fled to Europe
The report also alleged that Syrian government officers are involved in a network of organ harvesting and trafficking. It states that “cadavers are transferred from Lock-up 215 in Kafr Soussa to Al-Assad University Hospital , where organs are severed from the casualties’ bodies, before they are dissolved in a an acid-filled pool dug by the government forces in a subterranean vault at Military Hospital 601.”
It reported that the bodies of “77 victims were identified via photos leaked by a photographer code-named Caesar”.
Syrian regime forces have also been accused of blocking access to Sbiena camp for 1,137 consecutive days, stopping its residents from accessing their home.
Sbiena residents were forced out of their homes following deadly hostilities between the Syrian army and opposition forces. Regime troops have since taken over the entire camp.

Siria, l’ultimo simbolo della rivoluzione è un bambino di 13 anni ucciso dal regime Enrica Garzilli | 4 giugno 2011 

Opération César le immagini della brutale repressione in Siria OCTOBER 1, 2015

A 31-year-old Syrian refugee in Lebanon was detained and tortured in February 2016, apparently on suspicion of being gay, Human Rights Watch said today. The man, identified only as Shadi for his protection, told Human Rights Watch that he had been detained by Lebanese Military Intelligence officers, and tortured over a five-day period at Military Intelligence, Ministry of Defense, Military Police, and Internal Security Forces centers.

On November 2 and 3, Human Rights Watch sent letters to the Ministries of Defense and Interior, Military Intelligence, Military Police, and Internal Security Forces, detailing the torture allegations and calling for a full investigation. The Interior Ministry responded on December 13, saying that it had a complaints procedure but would not be able to pursue an investigation and penalize offending officers unless the victim filed a complaint in person.
Torture is common in Lebanon’s detention centers, but vulnerable people like Shadi, a gay Syrian refugee, are at particular risk,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The routine abuse of detainees isn’t going to stop until Lebanon puts an end to the culture of impunity surrounding its security forces.”
The UN Committee against Torture found in its 2014 report of an inquiry in Lebanon that “torture in Lebanon is a pervasive practice that is routinely used by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigation, for securing confessions to be used in criminal proceedings and, in some cases for punishing acts that the victim is believed to have committed.”

Lebanon: Syrian Refugee’s Account of Torture DECEMBER 21, 2016

Tunisian security forces reportedly tortured and beat pregnant women during former Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s presidency, according to the national Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC).
The TDC aims to bring justice to those that experienced abuse and torture under the Ben Ali regime and has witnessed a series of harrowing accounts from victims including many missing in the regime’s torture cells.
The commission has collected tens of thousands of witness statements from victims over the last five decades.
During the second public hearing session over the weekend, Mahrzah Ben Abed told the commission that police officers beat her so viciously in 1991 that she miscarried and was only allowed to go to hospital four days later.
“They beat me about the head and used pliers on my bosom among many other torture methods, which were also used on a large number of other victims”
Since the TDC’s first public hearing on 17 November, Ben Ali responded to the victim’s account by releasing a public statement stating how his regime had “committed errors, abuses and violations”.
“Tunisia shall no longer accept human rights violations, nor shall this land leave ground for impunity: this is the prerequisite for a genuine national reconciliation,” president of the TDC, Sihem Bensedrine, said last November.
“Today, the victims of despotism are fully entitled to justice and fairness. This is the message Tunisia is about to convey to the entire world.”

Torture in Tunisia: ‘I was beaten until I miscarried’ December 19, 2016 

CAIRO: Ten policemen in Egypt have been charged with torturing a man to death at a police station in Cairo in November, a judicial source and the victim’s lawyer said Sunday.
Rights groups say police brutality is widespread in Egypt, enabled by a culture of impunity, and a string of incidents have triggered protests and riots in the past year. Anger at police was also major factor in setting off the 2011 uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Magdy Makain, a middle-aged street vendor, died in custody at a police station in Al-Amiriah in Cairo in November. He was taken in after a traffic argument with police but not formally arrested or charged with a criminal offense, according to local media.
Photos purported to be of Makain’s body bearing signs torture on his legs and face circulated on social media.
Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered four of the policemen to be kept in custody. They also face charges of forging reports and using force against two other men held with Makain at the police station, the judicial source said.
The six other policemen were released on a 3,000 Egyptian pound ($160) bail.
If found guilty, the men could face the death penalty, said Mohamed Othman, the Makain family’s lawyer.
In February, a policeman shot dead a driver in a Cairo street in an argument over a fare, prompting hundreds of people to protest outside the security directorate. In April, a policeman shot three people in a Cairo suburb after an argument over the price of a cup of tea, killing one of them, which also caused a riot.


Ten Egypt policemen charged over fatal torture Dec. 19, 2016

Israel has failed to launch a single criminal investigation for torture despite more than 1,000 complaints by victims since 2001.
The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz revealed that the justice ministry unit responsible for investigating torture complaints, known by its Hebrew acronym Mivtan, employs only one investigator.
Mivtan “has never launched a single criminal investigation against a Shin Bet agent, even though it has examined many hundreds of complaints,” Haaretz reports, referring to the Israeli secret police agency also commonly known as Shabak, the Israel Security Agency or the General Security Service.
From 2001 to 2008, nearly 600 complaints were submitted to Mivtan, but every single one was dismissed. During that period, the investigations were carried out by a Shin Bet employee, meaning in effect that the agency that was accused of torture was in charge of investigating itself.
The impunity extends to circumstances where there is strong evidence that torture led to the death of a detainee, such as Arafat Jaradat, a 33-year-old father of two who died after an Israeli interrogation in Megiddo prison in 2013.
Mivtan only reports the numbers of inquiries it conducts, not the total number of complaints received. However Efrat Bergman-Sapir, an attorney with the nonprofit group Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, told Haaretz her organization has submitted more than 1,000 complaints since 2001.

In several cases cited by Haaretz, Mivtan ruled that the interrogation techniques used against Palestinians and in at least one instance against a Jewish Israeli were “necessary” – making such methods as sleep deprivation, beatings or tying a prisoner in painful positions legal under Israeli law.
In May, Israel sent a 13-member delegation to the 57th session of the Convention Against Torture at the United Nations to respond to questions about its record on human rights.
In his introductory remarks, Eviatar Manor, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, stated that “the composition of our delegation here today, reflects the importance we attribute to the UN HR [human rights] conventions.”
“They did all their efforts to come out as perfect as possible. They didn’t dismiss the questions, they were polite,” Andrea Barsony from Physicians for Human Rights–Israel told The Electronic Intifada at the time.
But after studying Israel’s harsh treatment of Palestinian prisoners, the UN Committee Against Torture issued an unsparing report.
The body recommended that Israel must “ensure that all instances and allegations of torture and ill-treatment are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially and that alleged perpetrators are duly prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished with sentences that are commensurate with the gravity of their acts.”
The facts and figures revealed by Haaretz indicate that Israel is making no serious effort to investigate and punish torture by its personnel, let alone to end it, while it undertakes an elaborate international campaign to burnish its human rights image.
Notably, Israel’s efforts to carve out a legal exception for torture, despite the absolute international prohibition, have been cited by the United States to justify its own use of torture.

Torture tolerance

The revelations about the scale of impunity Israeli interrogators enjoy come as a new survey from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has found that world opinion is becoming more tolerant of torture.

BRITAIN was accused of complicity with the death penalty after a report revealed that police and security training is provided without safeguards to countries that torture and execute children.
International human rights organisation Reprieve suggested that there may have been a cover-up and demanded an end to support for death penalty states after freedom of information (FOI) requests revealed that officers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been trained in Britain without the required human rights checks being conducted.
The National Police Chiefs Council came under fire in June for continuing to provide training to Saudi police despite identifying a risk that “the skills being trained are used to identify individuals who later go on to be tortured or subjected to other human rights abuses.”
In November, the council said the publication of this information had been a mistake and it would not release similar documents in the future.
Both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia use the death penalty and have tortured people involved in anti-government or pro-reform protests.
In Saudi Arabia, Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher were all children when they were arrested for their involvement in demonstrations calling for reform. They are currently on death row awaiting execution.
In Bahrain, police officer Mohammed Ramadan faces the death penalty for having told interrogators while under torture that he had attacked other officers after joining a pro-democracy protest.
Britain has a long history of involvement in Bahrain, with many British citizens having served in top roles with its internal security services.
The most notorious was Ian Henderson, a colonial officer in Kenya and head of various police agencies in Bahrain from 1966 to 1998. He presided over torture and was accused by opposition groups of “masterminding a ruthless campaign of repression.”

GENEVA (23 December 2016) – The UN’s torture prevention body urged Mexico to focus more on the fight against impunity, including the prompt adoption of the General Law on Torture, which should be in full conformity with relevant international standards. The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) recalls that the effective fight against impunity is one of the most efficient preventive measures that can be taken against torture and ill-treatment.
“Eight years after our first visit to Mexico, the different definitions of the offence of torture continue to generate actual or potential loopholes for impunity,” - said Felipe Villavicencio, who headed the SPT delegation.
According to official statistics, at the federal level there are currently more than 4700 open investigations for acts related to torture. However, the number of sentences for perpetrators is disproportionately low.
During its 10-day stay in the country, the SPT conducted visits to 32 places of deprivation of liberty in Baja California, City of Mexico, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Guerrero, Morelos, Nuevo León and Veracruz, and held an important number of individual and collective confidential interviews with persons deprived of their liberty.
It also met with authorities, civil society representatives and the National Commission for Human Rights. This allowed the SPT to identify solid findings about the phenomenon of torture and ill-treatment at the moment of detention, transfer and placement of persons deprived of their liberty, which were shared confidentially with the Mexican authorities.
Background:
The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has, to date, been ratified by 83 countries. The SPT communicates its recommendations and observations to States by means of a confidential report and, if necessary, to National Preventive Mechanisms. However, States parties are encouraged to request that the SPT makes these reports public. The SPT is composed of 25 independent and impartial experts from different regions of the world. For more information on the mandate of Subcommittee, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/OPCAT/Pages/OPCATIndex.aspx
Evidence of how prison officers cooperate with inmates to effect torture and humiliation inside Karelia’s prison system continues to emerge.
"I was then dragged into the office where, continuing to be beaten, my trousers were torn off and I was threatened with rape unless I stopped complaining." Sergei Malygin's testimony of torture at IK-1, 2015. Source: Territory of Torture.
The deeper you go into the woods, the darker it gets. My colleagues and I at Territory of Torture have received more complaints from Karelia’s IK-1 prison colony. These complaints concern not only beatings and humiliation, but even (excuse the expression) “a stick up the arse” — anal rape with a baton or other instruments. Over a dozen current prisoners from IK-1 and around the same number of former prisoners have spoken of their experiences of torture at this prison colony. 

Our investigation into tortures at IK-1 began with Aleksandr Nikolaevich Zaytsev, otherwise known as “Arkhara”. Zaytsev went on the record about a number of beatings he suffered, despite the fact that he had just undergone heart surgery. Prison officers also extorted money from him, “squeezing” him for cash. Zaytsev even reported the murder of a prisoner, which took place in May 2015. Zaytsev’s complaints have been sent to Russian investigators, we have the necessary receipts. 
We sent a lawyer, Natalya Vasilkova, to speak with Aleksandr Zaytsev. In discussion with her, Zaytsev reiterated his complaints and provided further details. Our colleague also managed to speak with another prisoner, who gave testimony but was extremely afraid and requested that rights defenders from Moscow visit IK-1:
I can confirm that when new convicts arrive at IK-1, they’re beaten by other recently arrived prisoners while in quarantine. Everyone is beaten very brutally, the new prisoners are gagged with scotch tape, and a broom handle is forced up their sleeves, so they can’t move their arms. Their trousers are then pulled down and their tormenters threaten to insert a stick into their anus. They’re beaten, bullied and forced to work all night.” 
This humiliation of new prisoners is ordered by the director of the penal facility, and is carried out by ‘activists’ [the term given to prisoners, often convicted for rape or child abuse, who agree to cooperate with the prison administration]. Normal convicts serving their sentences in IK-1 urgently await visits from representatives of human rights organisations and the human rights ombudsman. They believe that the situation can only be addressed on the federal level, given that local and regional authorities cannot be trusted to deal with the beatings and work-related injuries sustained during these unpaid night shifts. We’ve repeatedly sent appeals to Ivlev, the local chief prosecutor, but to no avail.” 
A third witness, who we quote on condition of anonymity, was a prisoner at IK-1 until quite recently, and revealed what went on there to his relatives. 
“Basically, in the quarantine area there are two guys, Artyom Vlasov and Andrey Yershov. They’re in there on orders — who to kill, who to injure. There are also two prison officers — Denis Sergeevich Kopeykin and Denis Aleksandrovich Malevich. There’s another one, this Zabolotsky, I don’t know his full name, he’s the deputy director of security. He came over from IK-4 camp, in Onda. He gives the orders on who to beat up, who needs to be punished and how, and who needs to be controlled. Basically, if you remove those prison officers or try to get to them, then everything will stop.” 
Here’s another former prisoner from IK-1. It’s interesting that in the full transcript, this former prisoner doesn’t even use the word “beat” but instead “murder”. Here’s what he told us about the so-called “cold torture”:
“At IK-1 there’s Cell No.4, and if you go in there on any day, they won’t stop you. It seems the floor is ventilated, it’s underground so there’s a draft. I don’t know why, but the floors are covered in ice, the cell is frozen. If it’s -5 degrees outside or even less, then everything here will be the same, frozen over — even the radiators. The temperature in that room is terrible. 
In Cell No.10 at IK-1 it’s a tiny bit warmer, but they won’t even let you sit near the radiator, to press yourself up to it. They won’t even let you sit near it. You’re supposed to sit over there in the corner near the bench, in the cold.” 
Here’s another from IK-1: a statement from Sergey Vasilyevich Malygin, dated 12 January 2015, which found its way to the For Human Rights foundation: 
I was beaten, a gas mask was forced onto my head without its respiratory system. I was then dragged into the office where, continuing to be beaten, my trousers were torn off and I was threatened with rape unless I stopped complaining [about the prison conditions]. They then attempted to tear open my mouth, shoved me off the table onto the floor and continued to beat me. I was then hung up, beaten and subject to electric shocks. Finally, I was brought to the office of K.I. Bondarovich, the deputy director for security and ‘special regime’, before whom I was to say that I understood everything.
This article originally appeared on Territory of Torture. Translated from Russian by Maxim Edwards. 

The Russian activist has told about terrible tortures in colony and is afraid that he can be killed


"They collared my penis and tightened until it turned blue"

Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov, one of the so-called "Crimean saboteurs", gave a terrifying account of tortures he went through after being arrested by Russia's FSB secret service in August this year.

Panov states that all day long he was tortured: "They were beating my head, back, legs, arms and kidneys with an iron pipe, tightening handcuffs till my limbs were numb, hanging me by the handcuffs".



Jiang Tianyong, a Christian human rights lawyer in China, went missing on Nov. 21 and has not resurfaced since. This has prompted Release International to urge China to reveal his location and to reassure the public that the lawyer is not being tortured in prison. Jiang was last seen on his way home after visiting the wife of lawyer Xie Yang, who is in prison.
According to Chinese media, Jiang is accused of leaking state secrets to foreigners. His friends and family suspect that he is being held in one of China's "black jails" or under secret custody because of his efforts to defend Tibetan protesters and other human rights lawyersThe Guardian reports.
Authorities say they have already released the lawyer, but nobody knows his current whereabouts, including his family.
China's Legal Daily website has reported that Jiang had confessed to the allegations against him. However, the United Nations says his disappearance may be connected with his meeting with UN officials in August.
"Forced confessions are common, and in the case of Christian lawyers, often extracted under extreme intimidation and torture," Release International chief executive Paul Robinson said. "Jiang has courageously stood up in the courts to call for justice. He has worked lawfully within the Chinese legal system at great risk to himself. What does this say about a nation when it kidnaps, intimidates and even tortures its human rights lawyers?"
Earlier this month, the UN asked the Chinese government to investigate the Christian lawyer's situation. The international organization expressed fear that Jiang may be tortured, citing reports about the lawyer being arrested, detained, and even physically abused by police and state security offers several times. UN also brought up the possibility that state agents may have something to do with his disappearance.

Missing Christian lawyer in China believed to have been tortured in prison Lorraine Caballero

Former Tibetan prisoner shares her experience of torture and human rights abuse in Tibet Danny Cordova December 12, 2016

TIBET ON FIRE  DECEMBER 10, 2016

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A North Korean defector who once spied on his fellow citizens testified on Monday that people arrested for watching foreign films would have their fingers broken or their nails pulled out as forms of punishment.
The statement from the defector in his 50s identified only by his surname Kim was given during a press conference held by South Korea-based defector organization North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, local news service News 1 reported.
Kim, a former university professor, said he began to work as a member of an "anti-socialist inspection group" in South Hamgyong Province, where he "used all means and methods to prevent North Koreans from having contact with the outside world."
Kim said his activities led to the arrest of the propaganda secretary of Hamhung city, who was ultimately responsible for distributing a South Korean television show to three middle school students who were watching the media at home when Kim made an unexpected visit of a house in 2000.
The North Korean official was tortured "every day," and all 10 of his fingers were broken in the course of interrogation, Kim said.
Kim said in July 2002 alone he handled 500 similar cases, and detainees were punished with nail-pulling, starvation or subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques like sleep deprivation using bright lights.
Another defector who was in charge of monitoring women laborers sent overseas described the workers as "modern-day slaves."
The defector, also in his late 50s with the last name Kim, said North Korea began sending women workers to the Czech Republic in 1998 to earn foreign currency for the regime.
The women are under "double, triple surveillance" and are "treated like animals," the defector said.
The money they earn goes to the regime to fund the lavish lifestyle of Kim Jong Un or to build weapons of mass destruction, the defector said.
Women are also exploited by the regime and have been used as prizes for North Korea's nuclear scientists, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.
Some nuclear scientists described as "monsters" by Lee Ae-ran, a woman defector, were exposed to radiation but were given brides as recompense, according to the report.

North Korea defectors testify about torture, 'modern-day slavery' Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Dec. 19, 2016

A 114-page report by the American NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has brought to attention the chilling magnitude of custodial deaths in India – with at least 591 people having died in police custody between 2012 and 2015, as per government figures 97 of these deaths were in 2015 alone.
Many of the deaths, the NGO has suggested, have taken place under mysterious circumstances and involved brutal torture by police authorities. One must note that police torture is illegal in the country.
The infamous deaths of Khalid Muzaffar Wani – elder brother of Burhan Wani – in Kashmir (2015) and Agnelo Valdaris in Mumbai (2014) are just two among many cases that have been shrouded in mystery. The families of both the individuals have suspected brutal torture by the police that led to the deaths.
In such a scenario, where police torture is allegedly so commonplace, the NGO is pushing for a stricter implementation of existing provisions concerning arrest and custody, as well as formulating new reforms in the police system.
Jayshree Bajoria, a researcher with HRW, and Vikram Singh, a retired police officer, have suggested many changes in this regard, so as to bring in more accountability into the system – including mandating strict punishment for officers indulging in torture, reforming police structures and providing training to officials, and subjecting cases of custodial killings allegedly involving torture to judicial inquiry instead of magisterial inquiry.

Hundreds of Custodial Deaths in India Suggest Police Torture Kabir Upmanyu December 21, 2016

A private torture cell of police station incharge was exposed in Rahim Yar Khan on Monday night, where arrested people were tortured in a barbaric manner, reported Dunya News.
There were 15 people who were tortured in the cell for 22 days inhumanly with electric current and heat gun. The Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Bahawalpur took notice of the cell.
The incharge of the police station was suspended whereas cases were filed against 3 out of 15 people for theft. The other 12 innocent people were freed.

Rahim Yar Khan: Police's private torture cell revealed, RPO takes notice 27 December 2016 

Jaipur: Woman killed over dowry, family alleges torture PTI Dec 13, 2016

UN agency says government torture and abductions continue in Sri Lanka Saman Gunadasa 19 December 2016

Amnesty International reports Fiji’s police and military using torture John Braddock 16 December 2016


Chile: Art Exhibition Reveals Testimonies of Torture Under Pinochet DEC 16, 2016

Two men and two women were convicted last month of kidnapping two male University of Rochester students in December 2015.
Prosecutors say the victims, both men, were abused during a 40-hour ordeal after being mistakenly targeted for retribution for a drug-related robbery.
Matthew Schwartz, one of the lead prosecutors in the case, said the perpetrators arranged for a woman to flirt with one of the victims on Facebook and eventually invited him to what she said was an off-campus party, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
Two other women picked up the men and drove them to a home in Rochester. When the college students walked into the home they were surrounded by men in masks and were bound in duct tape, Schwartz said.
Over the next 40 hours, the victims were “repeatedly assaulted,” both sexually and physically, the attackers cut them with knives and a chainsaw and even shot one victim in the leg, Schwartz said.

4 sentenced in ‘almost indescribable’ torture case of N.Y. college students  December 23, 2016

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