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The Box

Twilight in the Box. "The suicide statistics, the squalor and the recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement. Maybe the brain studies will." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2014 - 24 comments

 

Normalizing torture

"Fringe is a modern reincarnation of the X-Files. . . However one major difference that jumps out when you compare them is the huge amount of torture that happens in Fringe compared to the X-Files . . . Everywhere you see it it promotes the lie that torture works."
posted by tippiedog on Feb 27, 2014 - 79 comments

The Age of Anxiety

Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy And Doom is a new book by Elaine Scarry, author of The Body In Pain (NYRB, LRB), in which she contends that the existence of nuclear weapons creates an unaccountable monarchy. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 23, 2014 - 14 comments

United Nations report on human rights within North Korea

United Nations finds evidence of human rights violations within North Korea. [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Feb 17, 2014 - 106 comments

Evidence of 'industrial-scale killing' by Syria

A team of war crimes prosecutors has produced a report [PDF, alternate PDF] showing "clear evidence [...] of systematic torture and killing of detained persons by the agents of the Syrian government". The report is based on more than fifty thousand photographs, showing approximately eleven thousand individuals. The photographs, which were taken to substantiate the victims' execution, demonstrate that many of the detainees were emaciated and had been tortured.
Primary coverage of the report has been produced by The Guardian and CNN.
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 20, 2014 - 41 comments

You are all perverts, and we are going to kill you to save the world.

How Jihadists Are Blackmailing, Torturing, and Killing Gay Syrians. Even between the plush sofas and mood lighting of one of Beirut’s hippest bars, Ram shook with fear as he relived his ordeal. He turned his large green eyes from me to the translator and then back to me again, speaking in a low voice, even though we were the only people in the room. "I think I was targeted for two reasons: because I'm a Druze, and because I’m gay," he said. "They told us, ‘You are all perverts, and we are going to kill you to save the world.'"
posted by treepour on Nov 13, 2013 - 16 comments

The Girl in the Closet

From the Dallas Morning News, an 8-part profile of Lauren Kavanaugh, who was kept in a closet for six years before being rescued at age 8 weighing 26 lbs, and of the remarkable people and recovery that has followed. [Warning: this story and the accompanying photos and videos are immensely hard to read, watch and listen to, and this piece is a trigger for every possible kind of abuse.]
posted by DarlingBri on Oct 31, 2013 - 92 comments

Points for creativity?

"In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod— two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 10, 2013 - 131 comments

It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This.

It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This. Inside the Dark Heart of Guantánamo Bay By Molly Crabapple.
posted by chunking express on Jul 31, 2013 - 32 comments

Some viewers may find these images distressing

As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.
posted by jbickers on Jul 8, 2013 - 111 comments

We just think you are guilty so you must be ''detained indefinitely''.

The US government has finally released the names of 46 men being held in Guantánamo under the classification of "indefinite detainees" – terror suspects deemed too dangerous to release or move yet impossible to try in a civilian or even military court for reasons of inadequate or tainted evidence.
For more than three months, the US military has faced off with defiant prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, strapping down as many as 44 each day to feed them a liquid nutrient mix through a nasal tube. The prison camp has now been labelled a 'a medical ethics free zone' by Senior Professors at Boston University.
The hunger strikers are now reportedly being fed Reglan a medicine that increases the movements or contractions of the stomach and intestines with worrying side effects. See Huff Post Live video.
See previous ''Gitmo is killing me''.
posted by adamvasco on Jun 18, 2013 - 182 comments

Ain't No Prison Like The One I Got

On The Tamms Poetry Committee: "One of the artists' initiatives was "photo requests from solitary." Prisoners on solitary would request photos and professional photographers would then shoot the request and send the photo back. The gallery of prisoners requests is surprising and poignant."
posted by artof.mulata on Jun 2, 2013 - 27 comments

Letter From FCI Loretto

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou (previously) is serving a 30 month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and has sent a letter describing his experiences there. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on May 30, 2013 - 42 comments

jittery UK government reveals itself before potential claims of former v

Mau Mau to Midnapore: Confronting the brutality of empire There are certainly some Britons, including academics, journalists and human rights lawyers, who are aware of the realities of colonialism. However, in the society as a whole and in the media in the UK there are still far too many who seem strangely reluctant, even after so many decades after the end of the British empire, to come to terms with the true nature of colonialism or learn from the perspective of former subjects who had rebelled against it.
posted by infini on May 6, 2013 - 17 comments

And there will be light.

Recovered Documents Show Murder and Torture of Indigenous Groups during Dictatorship.
First hinted at in 1968 by the Milwaukee Journal.
Al Jazeera: All the President's Torturers.
The Minister of Justice will coordinate an effort to centralize the millions of documents produced during the military regime that, as of now, are held in the archives of various ministries in Brazil and is slowly coming to light under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 23, 2013 - 1 comment

"U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes"

Years after the first hints of "harsh interrogation practices" in the US war on terror, years after Obama's decision to "look forward, not back" and not investigate or pursue official torture by the CIA and other agencies, the 577-page Report of the Task Force on Detainee Treatment that was released today is, "[i]n many respects, . . . the examination of the treatment of suspected terrorists that official Washington has been reluctant to conduct." The New York Times' Scott Shane reports. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Apr 16, 2013 - 51 comments

On Chicago Public Schools Censoring Persepolis's Images of Torture

Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
posted by Artw on Mar 16, 2013 - 33 comments

Our Man in Samarra

James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq -- A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq.
posted by timsteil on Mar 8, 2013 - 18 comments

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable

TIE Fighter: A Post 9/11 Parable
posted by Drinky Die on Jan 31, 2013 - 36 comments

Nothing Else Matters

Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer -- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment. The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics), deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis. But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock -- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network -- have made them famous around the world, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take") and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You"). Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jan 11, 2013 - 46 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty"

Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty has been named the best film of 2012 by the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the National Board of Review. Does it endorse torture? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 10, 2012 - 140 comments

“NO. STOP.”

"You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth."
posted by Baron Kriminel on Nov 26, 2012 - 45 comments

"You can cause a lot of discomfort and some people will talk but interrogation is not about talking. It’s about the search for the truth."

"But the technique that all of us in Aden listened to agape was a method that had been developed allegedly very recently, which was to suspend the prisoner in a tank of liquid gelatine which was at 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Naked. With your arms and legs tied and your head encased in a sort of diver’s helmet, through which you were breathing. You were hung into this tank, so all you could hear was the [breathing noise] of your own breath. And in theory you would go bonkers. Because you didn’t know which way was up, you had no sense." -Interview with British Interrogator #1 [more inside]
posted by univac on Oct 21, 2012 - 57 comments

The official line is clear: the UK does not 'participate in, solicit, encourage or condone' torture.

An edited extract from Cruel Britannia: A Secret History Of Torture, or Torture UK: why Britain has blood on its hands.
In December 2005, the full truth about British complicity in rendition and torture was still such a deeply buried official secret that Jack Straw felt able to reassure MPs on the Commons foreign affairs committee about the allegations starting to surface in the media. "Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories," he said, "and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States… there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition."
Ian Cobain is a senior reporter for The Guardian who has previously been awarded the Orwell Prize and the Paul Foot Award.
He writes frequently about how British governments consistantly defy the law and then lie about it. As he has previously indicated, this is nothing new.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 20, 2012 - 37 comments

Solitary Confinement

Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons. "We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why." An article on solitary confinement (previously) by Shane Bauer, one of the three American hikers who were detained in Iran in 2009 (previously).
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2012 - 52 comments

The Railway Man

Eric Lomax, River Kwai prisoner who forgave, dies at 93.
posted by tykky on Oct 11, 2012 - 32 comments

"There's nothing more aggravating in the world than the midnight sniffling of the person you've decided to hate." ― Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 2, 2012 - 209 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

Hooded

Amnesty International’s 'Security with Human Rights' campaign has just released a short film called Hooded. It is a powerful reminder that torture is barbaric and never justifiable. Just two minutes long, this film uses a unique approach by marrying abstract images with intense sound design to convey the auditory and visual experiences associated with torture. It's a disturbing but gripping film that demonstrates the shocking effects of torture techniques such as water boarding and "hooding".
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 2, 2012 - 4 comments

John Kiriakou

An ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou has been indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 6, 2012 - 122 comments

Irrefutable evidence of crimes against humanity

Britain's Channel 4 has broadcast graphic and disturbing footage apparently showing torture within a Syrian military hospital. The UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, says that the allegations are "consistent with what my mandate has been receiving over the last several months." [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 7, 2012 - 92 comments

The allegedly amputated arm of the law

MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Feb 15, 2012 - 26 comments

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou Indicted.

In 2007 former CIA Agent John Kiriakou went public with his involvement with waterbording Al-Quaeda Detainees. At the time he felt that it worked. And, he only belived it had happened once with Abu Zubaydah. By 2010 he'd learned that Zubaydah had been waterboared 83 times, and that information was not good. Now, he's being prosecuted under the espionage act, for allegedly helping to identify CIA operatives that Guantánamo defense lawyers who might be able to testify about abusive treatment. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Feb 1, 2012 - 58 comments

Khooni lakir tod do, aar paar jod do

Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror is Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar's brand new documentary, which is banned in India, that provides the perspectives of people that rarely receive positive mainstream media attention. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 26, 2012 - 5 comments

Guantanamo: An Oral History

Guantanamo: An Oral History
posted by reenum on Jan 12, 2012 - 8 comments

Mohammed el Gorani

Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
posted by gman on Dec 14, 2011 - 65 comments

The Xinjiang Procedure

In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes. Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Nov 29, 2011 - 28 comments

The Sadist State

Cruel America: It appears that no one is so unfortunate that he or she is exempt from spending cuts, while at the same time no one is so fortunate as to be ineligible for a tax cut.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2011 - 164 comments

The History of Torture

The History of Torture—Why We Can't Give It Up. "Some 150 years ago, the West all but abandoned torture. It has returned with a vengeance." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2011 - 48 comments

UK had official torture use policy.

UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
posted by maiamaia on Aug 4, 2011 - 27 comments

The Legend of the Goatriders

The Legend of The Goatriders (Bokkenrijders): In the Limburg region at the end of the 18th century, between 300 and 600 individuals were tortured, tried and executed, accused of being members of a notorious and heretical band of robbers (who rode across the night sky on the backs of goats). But were they devil-worshipping hoodlums or the product of the economic and class pressures of their time? Regardless they have made their way into legend on TV and the printed page. (PDF link, from the European Ghost Literary Project) [more inside]
posted by jrb223 on Jul 19, 2011 - 19 comments

phone's not working today

It took the photographer Donald Weber more than five years to make his way inside a Ukrainian police interrogation room.

For months, Weber showed up every morning at police headquarters, where he sat on a wooden bench in a drab hallway, waiting to ask the suspects if they’d let him witness their interrogations. When they agreed, he sat and watched from his chair in a small room as a damaged light fixture cast spider-web patterns on the wall. [more inside]
posted by plexi on Jul 17, 2011 - 25 comments

Surely This...

Getting Away with Torture. "Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees." [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis on Jul 12, 2011 - 67 comments

Woolite is Blue, Isn't It?

Rob Zombie directs Torture. (YouTube) Background. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jun 22, 2011 - 20 comments

Is Syria approaching meltdown.

Syria vows to retaliate after attack on police and security forces in the North West kills 120
However there is a big gap between the media in Syria and what is happening in the street.
It is reported that blogger Amina Abdallah (Previously) has been kidnapped.
The Portrait of a tortured, murdered and mutilated 13 year old boy has become a rallying point for the uprising.
The Syrian regime has raised ghosts that will not go away indicating Alawite hit squads protected by the army.
There are cracks in the House of Assad and as is becoming normal in these situations communication with the outside world is fractured.
There is also the danger of the unrest spreading into Lebanon where the black-market price of an AK-47 rifle is now said to be $1,500.
posted by adamvasco on Jun 7, 2011 - 77 comments

Our infernal devices

The most curious was on a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow... the cats were arranged properly to produce a succession of notes from the octave… Sixteenth-century Europe, Jingle Cats, and the 2008 Housing Bubble: The Birth of Sampling [more inside]
posted by waterunderground on May 29, 2011 - 20 comments

No Blood, No Foul

Inside the Detainee Abuse Task Force
On 28 Jul 2004, the Detainee Abuse Task Force, was formed by USACIDC to investigate all allegations of Iraqi Detainee abuse involving Coalition Forces.
One of the special agents in charge describes the task force as under-resourced and hampered by a bureaucracy unable or unwilling to facilitate its investigations.
PBS and The Nation investigating journalist states “One thing that shocked me was that the ID/DATF agents that I interviewed said there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of allegations of detainee abuse and torture that likely didn’t reach them.”
In 2009 President Obama stated “Individuals who violated standards of behavior in these photos have been investigated and held accountable.” and concluded
"I ran for President because I believe that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together."
posted by adamvasco on May 27, 2011 - 9 comments

Torturing Republicans with the facts.

John McCain to Bush apologists: Stop lying about Bin Laden and torture
posted by SueDenim on May 12, 2011 - 73 comments

Portraits of Iraqis by Daniel Heyman

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Apr 24, 2011 - 5 comments

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