US troops shoot three during Bagram anti-war protest

US troops shoot three during Bagram anti-war protest

United States troops shot three civilians including a 12-year-old boy at a demonstration near its main base at Bagram airfield at the weekend – the latest in a rising wave of protests against the occupation.

Nato claimed the soldiers had been forced to shoot at locals after they surrounded contractors building a massive Afghan army base on their land.

Around 250 civilians gathered around the building workers and their heavily armed escort to demand that the project be halted, said government official Abdullah Adil.

Reports of the latest violence against civilians came as US commander in the country General David Petraeus launched a prime-time TV bid to shore up plummeting public support for the occupation.

July was the deadliest month for US forces so far, with 66 soldiers killed, while the UN warned last week that civilian casualties are increasing at their fastest rate yet.

Washington’s former commander in Iraq trawled up the spectre of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden to justify a long-term Nato presence in Afghanistan – and raised the prospect of increasing bloodshed in coming months.

“There is understandable concern and in some cases frustration,” Gen Petraeus said.

“Therefore we have got to really put our shoulders to the wheel and show during the course of this year that progress can be achieved.”

US troops in Afghanistan are currently at an all-time high of 100,000, although US President Barack Obama pledged last November that numbers would reduce from July 2011.

But Gen Petraeus hinted that he could oppose plans to cut US forces.

He said he could “certainly” see a scenario where he would ask Obama to delay withdrawal because of conditions on the ground.

Gen Petraeus’s comments appeared to put him on collision course with Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who said in a weekend interview: “There is no question in anybody’s mind that we are going to begin drawing down troops in July of 2011.”

Meanwhile, the Afghan mines ministry has reported that up to 1.8 billion barrels of oil could lie beneath the ground in the country’s north – a potential haul worth around £87bn at current prices.

Spokesman Jawad Omar said that Afghan and international geologists had found the possible oil field between Balkh and Jawzjan provinces, around 250 miles north-west of Kabul.

US geologists have previously estimated that Afghanistan, one of the world’s most impoverished countries, could be sitting on around $1 trillion (£640bn) in mineral wealth.


Hezbollah gives UN court alleged anti-Israel proof

Hezbollah gives UN court alleged anti-Israel proof

Published: 08.17.10, 16:43 / Israel News
Vodpod videos no longer available.

A Lebanese judicial official says Hezbollah has handed over material it says implicates Israel in the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The official says the militant group gave the footage to Lebanon’s prosecutor general on Tuesday. The prosecutor then handed it over to the international tribunal investigating Hariri’s death. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly. (AP)

I Smell B.S.–Suddenly a Tape Of Alleged Key 911 Strategist Surfaces

Guantánamo captive’s interrogation tapes found under CIA desk



WASHINGTON — The CIA has videotapes of Sept. 11 plotter Ramzi bin al Shibh being interrogated in a secret overseas prison. Discovered under a desk, the recordings could provide an unparalleled look at how foreign governments aided the United States in holding and questioning suspected terrorists.

The two videotapes and an audiotape are believed to be the only surviving recordings made in the clandestine prison system.

The tapes depict bin al Shibh’s interrogation sessions at a Moroccan-run facility the CIA used near Rabat in 2002, several current and former U.S. officials told The Associated Press. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the videos remain a closely guarded secret.

When the CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two other al Qaeda operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, being waterboarded in 2005, officials believed they had wiped away all of the agency’s interrogation footage. But in 2007, a staff member discovered a box tucked under a desk in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and pulled out the bin al Shibh tapes.

A Justice Department prosecutor who is already investigating whether destroying the Zubaydah and Nashiri tapes was illegal is now also probing why the existence of the bin al Shibh tapes was never disclosed. Twice, the government told a federal judge they did not exist.

The tapes could complicate U.S. efforts to prosecute bin al Shibh, 38, who has been described as a “key facilitator” in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. If the tapes surfaced at trial, they could clearly reveal Morocco’s role in the counterterrorism program known as Greystone, which authorized the CIA to hold terrorists in secret prisons and shuttle them to other countries.

More significantly to his defense, the tapes also could provide evidence of bin al Shibh’s mental state in the first months of his capture. In court documents, defense lawyers have been asking for medical records to see whether bin al Shibh’s years in CIA custody made him mentally unstable. He is being treated for schizophrenia with a potent cocktail of anti-psychotic medications.

With military commissions on hold while the Obama administration figures out what to do with suspected terrorists, bin al Shibh has never had a hearing on whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

“If those tapes exist, they would be extremely relevant,” said Thomas A. Durkin, bin al Shibh’s civilian lawyer.

The CIA first publicly hinted at the existence of the bin al Shibh tapes in 2007 in a letter to U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Virginia. The government twice denied having such tapes, and recanted once they were discovered. But the government blacked out bin al Shibh’s name from a public copy of the letter.

At the time, the CIA played down the significance, saying the videos were not taken as part of the CIA’s detention program and did not show CIA interrogations.

That’s true, but only because of the unusual nature of the Moroccan prison, which was largely financed by the CIA but run by Moroccans, the former officials said. The CIA could move detainees in and out and oversee the interrogations, but officially, Morocco had control.

CIA spokesman George Little would not discuss the Moroccan facility except to say agency officials “continue to cooperate with inquiries into past counterterrorism practices.”

Moroccan government officials did not respond to questions about bin al Shibh and his time there. Morocco has never acknowledged the existence of the detention center.

Morocco has a troubled history of prison abuse and human rights violations. A government-created commission identified decades of torture, forced disappearances, poor prison conditions and sexual violence. And this year’s State Department report on Morocco notes continued accusations of torture by security forces.

But current and former U.S. officials say no harsh interrogation methods, like the simulated drowning tactic called waterboarding, were used in Morocco. In the CIA’s secret network of undisclosed “black prisons,” Morocco was just a way station of sorts, a place to hold detainees for a few months at a time.

“The tapes record a guy sitting in a room just answering questions,” according to a U.S. official familiar with the program.

That would make them quite different from the 92 interrogation videos of Zubaydah and Nashiri being subjected to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics.

Bin al Shibh was captured Sept. 11, 2002, and interrogated for days at a CIA facility in Afghanistan. Almost immediately, two former CIA officials said, bin al Shibh exhibited mental instability that would worsen over time.

When FBI agents finally had a chance to interview bin al Shibh, they found him lethargic but unharmed.

“He had a certain toughness about him, like he didn’t care,” said Raymond Holcomb, a retired FBI agent who spent five days alongside the CIA with bin al Shibh in Afghanistan and wrote about it in a forthcoming book “Endless Enemies: Inside FBI Counterterrorism.”

Though bin al Shibh was uncooperative during his early interrogations, his interviews formed the foundation for parts of the Sept. 11 commission report. One official said he also provided intelligence about a plot to crash aircraft into London’s Heathrow Airport.

Bin al Shibh spent five months in Morocco in late 2002 and early 2003, the first of three trips through the facility during his years in CIA custody.

Since he was moved to a secret prison called Camp 7 at Guantánamo Bay in 2006, bin al Shibh has appeared increasingly erratic. Court records show him acting out, breaking cameras in his cell and smearing them with feces.

At the war court he has been the most vocal and at one point delivered a tribute that sent his greetings to Osama bin Laden.

Bin al Shibh has experienced delusions, believing the CIA was intentionally shaking his bed and cell, according to court records and interviews. He has imagined tingling sensations like things were crawling all over him and developed a nervous tic, obsessively scratching himself.

Nine years after his capture, there is no indication when bin al Shibh and other admitted Sept. 11 terrorists will face military or civilian trials.

Bin al Shibh and other accused Sept. 11 conspirators have openly admitted their roles, praising the attacks. Bin al Shibh and the others have asked to plead guilty, a move that would head off any trial and almost certainly guarantee the videotapes never get played in any court.



15.At a press conference at Washington on August 12 jointly addressed by Mr. Dan Feldman,  the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Mr. Mark Ward, acting Director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the following details were given:.

  • Mr.Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, has    authorized the deployment of 19 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps helicopters consisting of 12 Sea Knight helicopters, four Super Stallion helicopters, and three Dragon helicopters. These will replace the six  US Government helicopters that are currently in Pakistan on loan from the U.S. Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will be visiting Pakistan to make an on-the-spot study of the US aid effort.
  • From the questions posed at the press conference, it was evident that the public response to the appeal made by the State Department to US citizens and corporate houses to contribute to the aid effort has been very poor as compared to the public response at the time of the Haiti quake. Whereas in the case ofHaiti, the public contributions touched US $ one million a day, in the case of Pakistan the public contribution has been around a few thousand dollars a day. This disappointment over the inadequate response was evident from the following question posed by Mr.Anwar Iqbal, the Washington correspondent of the “Dawn” of Karachi: “Nineteen helicopters, ten boats, for more than 14, 15 million people, probably now almost 20 million people. This seemed very inadequate. I’m not trying to blame or belittle the U.S. contribution, but somehow the right response is not coming from the international community. Even the Pakistanis living in America or Britain are not coming forward. They’re very, very reluctant. What is preventing them? I mean, one reason that comes to mind is the lack of trust in the present Pakistani Government. People say, openly when you go to them, they will steal our money and run away, particularly with this President ( Mr.Zardari). They seem very upset. I’ve spoken to my American friends, they say that they feel that we will give them money and the credit will go to the Taliban. So how do you overcome this and what do you do? How to actually get the people involved and why are not they involved so far?” The two US officials could not give a satisfactory reply. They attributed the poor public response in the US to the fact that the fatalities in Haiti ran into thousands and that Haiti is a next-door neighbour.

16.An article dated August 9 in the Time magazine stated as follows on the public fury against President Asif Ali Zardari: “”Popular fury has settled on PresidentAsif Ali Zardari, who has been criticized for abandoning his people to tour Europe. As television channels carried images of waters washing away buildings and homes, Zardari was seen racing off on a private plane, sporting blue jeans and his trademark high-voltage smile. As flood victims anxiously awaited the arrival of a rescue helicopter from the Pakistan military’s limited fleet or the half-dozen Chinooks supplied by the U.S. military, Zardari was seen floating across northernFrance in a private helicopter to visit his family’s château in Normandy. And when he made a nationally televised speech, while addressing a gathering of party supporters in the British city of Birmingham, there was only a glancing reference made to the tragedy unfolding at home. During the Birmingham speech, a protester who had managed to sneak into the hall hurled his two shoes at Zardari, missing by some distance. Zardari’s supporters insist that his visit was necessary to secure aid for disaster relief. Opponents counter that such aid could have been appealed for from home and that even the $150 million that has been received, $35 million of which was donated by the U.S., is barely a fraction of the amount needed. One of Zardari’s ministers was less fortunate. In a sign of the rage that has built up in recent days, crowds pelted the junior economic-affairs minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s convoy with stones as it arrived in southern Punjab on Sunday, Aug. 8. It was the first time, enraged constituents said, that she had ventured there since the floods had hit.”

17. The same article contrasted the Army’s role with that of Mr.Zardari in the following words: “Although its response has been limited, the Pakistan army at least has been visible. Television images prominently showed soldiers plunging into high waters to rescue the stranded, though critics said the footage was courtesy of camera crews dispatched there on helicopters that could have been used for further rescues. Some 30,000 soldiers are currently at work in the affected areas. In the country’s major towns and cities, men in fatigues have set up makeshift tents to gather donations. In sharp contrast to Zardari’s summer sojourn, Army GeneralAshfaq Kayani was the first of Pakistan’s prominent leaders to hasten to see flood victims. He announced that every soldier in his force would donate a day’s pay to flood relief — a gesture that shamed lawmakers who refused to do the same.”

18.The “Dailt Telegraph” of London attributed the poor response to the fact that more than 300 million pounds of aid to help rebuild parts of Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake was diverted to other projects. Citing unnamed senior Pakistani officials, it said there were fears this diversion of funds would put off foreign donors from giving money to help 20 million people  affected by the floods. “There’s reluctance, even people in this country are not giving generously into this flood fund because they’re not too sure the money will be spent honestly,” opposition leader Nawaz Sharif told the newspaper.

19. While the Pakistani public has been reluctant to contribute to  official flood relief funds, it has been contributing readily to funds set up by the Lashkar-e-Toiba(LET) and the Jamaat-e-Islami both of which have been very active in flood relief as they were in quake relief in 2005. As a result, the prestige of these organizations has shot up. People have been comparing their selfless service with the indifferent attitude of Mr.Zardari and his colleagues.

20. The same article of Time stated as follows in this regard: “Also standing to benefit from the disaster are Pakistan’s hard-line Islamist groups, pushed to the sidelines by elections and weakened by military offensives. Unlike the civilian government and the army, which took days to marshal aid, Islamist groups boasted of efficient networks of volunteers. This is especially true in the volatile northwest, where the bulk of the devastation is taking place. The Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, a charity with alleged links to the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) — which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai massacre — has for days been feeding tens of thousands of affected people. Drawing on a similar popularity achieved during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, members of the group say they receive donations from the urban middle class of Punjab, who are turning increasingly to religious conservatism. Such aid will make it difficult for the government to crack down on the do-gooders, no matter how malevolent Islamabad alleges their motives to be.”

21.The magazine quoted  Farzana Sheikh  at London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs as saying as follows: “The Government now finds itself in an awkward position. If there is any pressure for it to move against these groups, it’s going to find itself in much the same position as Gen. Musharraf, who during the Kashmir earthquake said, ‘We need all the help we can get from whatever source.’ Given the circumstances, for it to now act against groups who are seen to be doing a sterling job in terms of helping people will be absolutely suicidal.”  The article added: “Working alongside the LeT-affiliated charities are the social-welfare wings of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the hard-line Islamist political party. It and other Islamist parties have lately been polling poorly in elections, perceived as having been too close to former dictator Pervez Musharraf and too indulgent of the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest when they controlled the provincial government there. But observers warn that with the failures of the current civilian government, the Islamists could seize the opportunity to rebuild local support. More worrying, the devastation wrought by the disaster might give armed militants — chastened by a Pakistani army offensive last year — an opportunity to stage a comeback, seizing advantage of a government in crisis, an army overstretched and a local population enraged.”


22.There has been speculation in Pakistan that the US has been inducting a large number of its Marines into the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtoonkwa and the FATA ostensibly for implementing its flood relief projects and that some of them could actually be used for ground operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban and for catching or killing Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, both of whom are believed to be in North Waziristan. These misgivings were reflected in the questions posed to Brigadier General Michael Nagata, deputy commander of the Office of the US  Defence Representative, Pakistan,  who briefed the Pakistani media on the US aid effort at Islamabad on  August 13.

23.He said, inter alia, in his replies: ” The first Marine element landed here at Ghazi Air Base yesterday ( August 12 ). We’ve been receiving additional aviation assets and personnel throughout the day. As a matter of fact, a couple of additional helicopters just landed within the last hour. But it’s going to take us a few days to get the entire complement in here. Meanwhile, the army element that has been here now for almost two weeks continues to operate. And our goal is to make this transition from army aviation to Marine aviation as seamless and as transparent as possible to the Pakistani military partners that we are – have been working with ever since this effort began. In terms of operational focus, I anticipate right now that the focus of the Marine aviation effort, once the army element leaves, will be the same as what we have been doing already, which is focused on the Swat valley, where we have been delivering hundreds of thousands of pounds of relief supplies and recovering thousands of stranded personnel from this very large river valley, because of infrastructure damage, bridge destruction, road erosion, etc, many, many people are in need. ….. First of all, as is pretty obvious, our focus is purely humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Secondly, while there is, obviously, a militant threat in this region, not just in Pakistan, there are some security challenges here, but the Pakistani military, ever since we stood up this task force, have done simply an incredibly energetic and totally committed job at providing multiple layers of security around our activities both in the air and on the ground.  I think the best transparency I can provide is to simply tell you what we have here. We do have Marines here in Pakistan. We have Marine security guards at our US embassy, as we do in every embassy around the world. I just talked about the Marines that are coming in with the aviation element, coming here to help Pakistani citizens in need, and partner with Pakistani military forces. You started your first question or you started the question earlier talking about how some people talk about thousands of Marines or thousands of US military personnel that are in Pakistan. It is not true. It is – it wasn’t true then. It isn’t true now. Everything we do here, every single US service member we bring to Pakistan is based on one thing and one thing only: the request for support and partnership that we receive from the Pakistan military and appropriate government authorities. That is as literally as transparent as I can be.”

24.In spite of this, there is persistent speculation in Pakistan that the Pakistan Government, which is in desperate need of US assistance, has agreed to the Marines coming for flood relief  mounting a hunt for bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.


25.There have been allegations of discrimination in the distribution of flood relief materials against the people of Balochistan, the POK and Gilgit-Baltistan. The “Dawn” of Karachi wrote on August 15 as follows:  “The National Disaster Management Authority has so far not covered itself with glory in the delivery of relief goods in flood-hit areas. According to NDMA’s own statistics, it does not appear to have reached the millions in need of shelter, food and medicine. The authority has so far sent only 59 emergency medicine kits — 17 to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 24 to Punjab and 18 to Sindh.  Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgilt Baltistanhave not received any medicine kit. And this was the authority’s own admission on Friday (August 13), two weeks after the calamity struck the country. The large-scale displacement in hot, humid weather, where camps are makeshift and amenities minimal has increased the chances of outbreak of diseases such as cholera. The NDMA has distributed 149 cholera kits — all in Punjab. The other provinces got nothing. The authority has distributed 3,500 mosquito nets among the affected people — 600 in Balochistan, 750 each in KP and Punjab and 1,500 in Sindh. But whether or not the distribution has been driven by some empirical evidence of more mosquitoes in Sindh remains unknown. For general health and welfare of the flood victims, the NDMA has sent 59 emergency medicine kits of which the lion’s share of 24 went to Punjab and 17 to KP.Clean drinking water is a major issue. According to NDMA data, it has provided 41 water purification plants — 13 to KP, 15 to Punjab, 13 to Sindh. Balochistan, AJK and GB have received nothing. The authority has so far distributed 1,272 water bottles — 300 each in KP and Sindh and 672 in Punjab. With the millions affected, it does appear to be the proverbial drop in the ocean, but then the authority has provided 80 more water tanks — 35 in Balochistan, 13 in KP, 19 in Punjab and 13 in Sindh. But where the flood victims are desperate for basic things such as clothes, the NDMA has generously distributed over 2,000 towels, but strategically so — only Sindh and Punjab got this amenity; perhaps the people in KP, AJK and Balochistan did not need any. A similar logic was followed for soap which too only went to the two bigger provinces and not to other regions. All the buckets, however, went to KP as did the 24 foam beds, a luxury that the other areas did not get. Punjab got all 15 tons of dates distributed by NDMA. When it came to provision of other food items, the NDMA said it had so far distributed 2300 bags — 650 each in KP and Sindh and 1,000 in Punjab. However, all 437 food bags and their unknown contents were sent to KP, perhaps in exchange for all dates that were sent to Punjab.”

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

Aid From ‘Humanity United’ Beginning To Flow Into Southern Kyrgyzstan

[This is the answer to conflict and the way to peace.  It is human nature to help when tragedy strikes.  It is only natural that we reach across oceans and outstretch our hands deeply into the the Asian continent, when great conflict causes equally great misery.  This is the edge of humanity, the former front lines where the two superpowers once came head to head.  Now it is the front lines in the “peace war.”   The battle for peace must be won right here.  We see how the giving process can overtake the organized taking, if only we rub the sand from our eyes.  Feed the world and you will make friends.  Wage war upon humanity and you will be hated by all mankind.  With the shrinking of the world through the growth of the electronic mind, comes an awareness of the human faces involved in the latest tragedies, bringing with it the compassionate response.

The suffering child (just like the smiling healthy girl in the picture below) could just as easily be our own daughter.   Easing their pain just a little, or making the path unto a better future just a little easier, sets a spirit of giving into motion.  Enough people begin giving a little and a unified stream of hope begins to flow.  The flowing river of hope begins to connect sources of help to needy people.  With each act of giving or receiving, perceptions begin to change.

The changing of perceptions is as important as fighting against the greater war.  In fact, changing human nature for the better is the real war.  One side strives to overcome the will of man by force–the other side, my side, works to overcome human nature by appealing to reason.  Draw out that force for goodness which lies dormant within each man or woman, so that each person can see for themselves what is the better way.

Everyone of us will agree that there has to be a better way.  I tell you, this is it.]

Ural human rights defenders: “Until the restoration of peace in Osh far”

Alexey Starostin

Participants charity “Race World”, which caused 42.5 tons of humanitarian cargo to the affected areas of inter-ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan, safely returned to Ekaterinburg.

Living in the Sverdlovsk region genuinely felt for the volunteers who took care of Osh and Jalal-Abad, and followed all messages in the media about the movement of the caravan. And it is no accident: an interest in shares, about the beginning of which was announced in late June, was enormous. Sverdlovchane responding to the disaster in the distant Kyrgyzstan, carrying on the collection points for humanitarian assistance flour, rice, sunflower oil, clothing, toys. Children are one of the Yekaterinburg schools drew pictures on the theme of peace for their peers from Kyrgyzstan. More than 40 tons of humanitarian aid have been collected in just three weeks. All of this Ural defenders took to the south of Kyrgyzstan. Returning home, they shared their impressions with reporters about the trip. A large number of media representatives who came to the meeting, shows how Ural interesting events in the distant central Asian republic and hoped that the situation is normalized.

Participants “Reis World LA Grishin, R. Serazhetdinov, A. Lukanin. Photo Agency “Fergana.Ru”

As told organizers “Race World”, the route of the convoy with humanitarian aid, who left from Yekaterinburg, passed through customs post nodular, and then through Kostanay, Astana, Karaganda, Balkhash, Chu, Bishkek, Osh and Jalal-Abad. Back Yekaterinburg back to Astana in the same way, and then through Petropavlovsk proceeded to the customs post “Petukhovo”, through which entered Russia. The trip took two weeks.

Participants “Reis World

To prepare for it carefully, as told, answering the question of “Fergany.Ru” chairman of the NGO “Ural House Leonid Grishin: Consulate General of the Kyrgyz Republic in Yekaterinburg was a letter to the power structures of Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with a request to cooperate fully with the protesters “Rays of the world,” Sverdlovsk Regional Public Organization “Ata-Jurt” helped to contact the Kyrgyz party compatriots “Zamandash”, whose representatives have provided a second car. On it to the affected areas of the republic carried 22 tons of flour.

Representatives of the Uzbek community in Yekaterinburg, collected a considerable part of humanitarian assistance, human rights commissioner of the Sverdlovsk region Tatiana Merzlyakov helped solve many issues with officials of a number of Russian services for clearance and worked with colleagues from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to ensure the smooth passage of the convoy through the territories of these countries. Organization of Yekaterinburg, which are engaged by migrant workers (they have initiated the action), solved all the organizational issues and deliver the goods. Directly in Central Asia have helped solve many issues from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and in Kyrgyzstan – yet MOE republic.

Help came!

Despite such strong support, was not without its adventures on the road, especially at border crossings.

“It seems to be in Russia and Kazakhstan are now a common customs area, the borders are open, but we have this” open “feel to me: we tested eight o’clock, till they came by our partners from the IOM, – says Leonid Grishin. – They followed us on the territory of Kazakhstan, for we had made a “green corridor”, in all positions was passed without problems. The transition of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border, too, was difficult, despite letters of support that we have had and support the IOM, we spent four o’clock.

On the way to Osh, the expedition was tormented by forebodings, which, fortunately, not materialized.

“Going through the territory of Kazakhstan, we occasionally went to the Internet, watching news, – says co-organizer of the action, director of” Migratika “Alexander Lukanin. – We realized that our visit coincides with the 40th day after the tragedy, the media flashed the information that the conflict could flare up again. We traveled to Kyrgyzstan with apprehension. From Bishkek to Osh we were accompanied by Colonel MOE, with him we were safely past the seven checkpoints, and the eighth most in Osh, we arrived at four o’clock in the night during curfew hours. It began with district Furkat, and it was like in the blockbuster – against the background of destroyed homes roam armed to the teeth, whether soldiers, or police, or thugs – they were in khaki uniforms without insignia and in some T-shirts, their hands lay on the trigger machines. These people came to our cars, and demanded a passport, something to turn over the pages viewed, crawled into our window. We are very tense, thought that would lose the humanitarian cargo, but later, when they can see what we are citizens of Russia and his team came to miss us, let us go. ”

Machines with humanitarian aid settled in one of the units of Osh, and from there transported products targeted to the needy.

Children’s drawings – from heart to heart

“All the help was targeted, – emphasized the technical project manager” Race World “Rafael Sirazhetdinov. – Even in the Urals, we drew up lists of specific streets and areas which it will, among aid, which we drove, there were parcels from relatives to specific individuals. Accordingly, we had phone numbers and addresses of recipients. When we arrived, we each phoned, he reported the number of his machine, this machine, and porters came, passed through a checkpoint of the military unit, we are filled with acts of acceptance, transfer, loaded with humanitarian aid in this car. And we, along with her traveling in a particular area and controlled the distribution of humanitarian aid, all that we fixed on the photo and video. People knew that it was going to help her very much and waiting.

It is targeting delivery, assured the protesters, ensures that humanitarian aid reaches the people, and not left “the left”.

Distribution of humanitarian aid to Osh

“International organizations, large amounts of humanitarian aid, – says Alexander Lukanin – probably the strength and ability to distribute it away from them, so they entrust this task to the authorities, but much of the aid is not reaching people, UNO humanitarian aid is sold in markets Osha .

In such a situation the Ural defenders collided, and themselves. According to Alexander Lukanin, they are the Russians tried to help not only the Kirghiz and Uzbeks, but also compatriots – Russian, living in southern Kyrgyzstan. They contacted the head of the Russian diaspora, offered assistance. He said that there are victims families, organizations have lists of these individuals, and offered to take the “humanitarian aid” and give this to people. Participants “Reis World” said that they themselves hand out aid and asked for this list. As a result, representatives of the Russian diaspora called and told that abandon their parts in favor of the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. The expedition found themselves 14 Russian families, and learned that none of them anything about an organization such as the Russian diaspora, not heard.

According to the head of public organization “Ural House Leonid Grishin,” Race the World “- it is very hard volunteer work, both economically and morally. It was very difficult to see done to the city, hundreds of destitute people who Yekaterinburg’s defenders tried to help any products or advice.

“On the road we met often cars that were filled – instead of seven people going 17 instead of seventeen – 25, – says Leonid Grishin, – according to the border every day to Kazakhstan and Russia are leaving 250-500 people. They’re coming and Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. They run, mainly men under 40 years. And, go to “nowhere”, sometimes not even thinking about the documents “, – noted human rights activist.

Growth seen dozens of people consulted about what they have to undergo the procedure in Russia to obtain legal status. But, according to Leonid Grishin, to the south of Kyrgyzstan departure of people, perhaps, is a relief, because that would reduce the tensions and contradictions that have not dissipated. But Russia promises to issue, as the refugees do not want to return back.”These people are not guided in Russia in general. They have one desire – to get away from Kyrgyzstan “, – adds L. Grishin.

“We talked with witnesses: it was a war, brutal destruction of one another, and to the restoration of peace is still very far – continues Leonid Grishin. – People are living in subhuman conditions. They are up tents in the yards of their damaged homes and live in them. Day seems to be the city lives an ordinary life – is trading, driving cars, but somehow very fast moving, never stopping for long periods, and closer to the city curfew is dying out. On the streets, only armored vehicles and emergency vehicles.

“The situation there is very stressful, the air is electrified, the slightest spark from one or the other could again ignite the fire”, – said Alexander Lukanin.

Little joy

But in any case, my contribution to the Urals to alleviate the situation in Osh and Jalal-Abad introduced. Of course, 40 tons – a drop in the sea, but the organizers of the “World Flight” pleased that most of the cargo was flour.

“Bread is – this is now the staple food in Osh”, – said L. Grishin.

If there willing to help assemble a new batch of humanitarian aid, Ural defenders are ready to go in the second flight, “the road trodden. By the way, and they returned home empty-handed. Children living in refugee camps, were very happy pictures of their peers from Ekaterinburg and also draw pictures of their wish for the world.

Alexey Starostin. Photos and videos available to members of the “World Flight”

One killed in suicide blast in Russia’s Caucasus region

One killed in suicide blast in Russia’s Caucasus region

Russian commandos

MOSCOW : A young man blew himself up Tuesday near a checkpoint in Russia’s Caucasus region of North Ossetia, killing himself and a policeman, in the region’s first suicide attack this year, an official said.

The unidentified man walked up to the checkpoint close to the administrative border with neighbouring Ingushetia and detonated his charge, killing one policeman and wounding another two, Samir Sabatkoyev, spokesman for the regional interior ministry, told AFP from the scene.

“He detonated an unidentified explosive device,” Sabatkoyev said. “He blew himself up,” he added, noting it was “apparently” a suicide attack.

North Ossetia lies to the north of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, recognised by Russia as independent after the 2008 war with Georgia over its status.

The region is part of the country’s most volatile North Caucasus, scene of the simmering guerrilla war between Russian forces and separatist rebels, and deadly attacks in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are a near-daily occurrence.

The Kremlin calls the Caucasus unrest its biggest domestic problem and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last month announced an ambitious drive to bring prosperity there by enticing investors to the violence-torn region.

Analysts say poverty and corruption create a fertile ground for violence and help Islamist militants to recruit young people in the region.

Militants from the Caucasus were blamed for the bombings on the Moscow metro on March 29 carried out by two female suicide bombers that killed 40 people in a pair of coordinated attacks.

Kyrgyz army involved in mob violence, rights group says

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – From wire dispatches
The Kyrgyz army may have been involved in the atrocities against Uzbeks during clashes in the south that killed more than 370 people, according to the official toll, a New York-based watchdog says. Kyrgyz government forces are targeting ethnic Uzbeks for torture, including severe beatings and suffocation, Human Rights Watch says
Kyrgyz government forces wearing riot gear go to stop anti-government protesters in the capital, Bishkek, on Aug. 5.  AP photo
Kyrgyz government forces wearing riot gear go to stop anti-government protesters in the capital, Bishkek, on Aug. 5. AP photo

A prominent human rights group said that Kyrgyzstan’s armed forces abetted and may even have actively taken part in violence by ethnic Kyrgyz mobs against the minority Uzbek community that left at least 370 people dead in June.

The Human Rights Watch, or HRW, blasted the Bishkek government in a report for failing to protect Uzbeks both during and after clashes in the south that displaced nearly 400,000 people.

“Research by Human Rights Watch indicates that law enforcement officers routinely subjected people detained in connection with the June violence to ill-treatment and torture in custody,” Agence France-Presse quoted the report as saying. “While the authorities claim to be investigating crimes committed during the June violence by both ethnic groups, Human Rights Watch research indicates that the security operations disproportionately targeted ethnic Uzbeks.”

The report by the New York-based organization was the most ambitious attempt to date at an independent survey of the causes and consequences of the clashes, which also sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from their homes to neighboring Uzbekistan.

The spokesman for Kyrgyzstan’s interim government, Farid Niyazov, wouldn’t immediately comment on the report, but said the government welcomes the probe and would continue to cooperate with rights groups to help establish the truth about the unrest. Top government representatives have acknowledged the real death toll may be much higher than the official tally.

Kyrgyzstan, a strategically located ex-Soviet Central Asian nation that hosts U.S. and Russian military bases, has remained tense ahead of October’s parliamentary elections, called after former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was driven from power in a bloody uprising in April.

Growing tensions

Establishing the origin of the five-day wave of violence that erupted on June 10 has been hindered by sharply diverging testimonies, although international observers largely agree it rose out of petty interethnic brawls in the southern city of Osh.

Tensions between the two communities are rooted in a rivalry over land in the overpopulated Ferghana Valley, where the violence-wracked cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad are located. While Uzbeks dominated agriculture and owned many lucrative businesses, most government officials and law enforcement officers were Kyrgyz.

“The conflict is related to the lack of balance, as economic powers were in the hands of Uzbeks, while political power belonged to Kyrgyz,” Human Rights Watch researcher Anna Neistat said, according to a report the Associated Press.

The report, the result of nearly two months of research into the clashes between majority Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks, contained harrowing details.

“The main methods of ill-treatment appear to be prolonged, severe beatings with rubber truncheons or rifle butts, punching, and kicking,” it said. “In at least four cases, the victims reported being tortured by suffocation with gas masks or plastic bags put on their heads; one detainee reported being burned with cigarettes, and another reported being strangled with a strap.”

In an interview with AFP this month, President Roza Otunbayeva, a former ambassador to both the United States and Britain, admitted some abuses by her security forces, including a raid in the village of Nariman mentioned in the report, which she called a targeted revenge killing by Kyrgyz police.

Human Rights Watch called for official probes into the use of military vehicles to attack Uzbek districts and whether they were being manned by mobs or by armed forces personnel.

“National and international inquiries need to find out just what the government forces did and whether the authorities did everything they could to protect people,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Ole Solvang, who co-authored the report.


Compiled from AP and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.