8-10 million Iranians died over Great Famine caused by the British in late 1910s, documents reveal

The document in the American Archives, reporting the widespread famine and spread of epidemic disease in Iran, estimates the number of the deceased due to the famine to be about 8-10 million.

Sadegh Abbasi*

One of the little-known chapters of history was the widespread famine in Iran during World War I, caused by the British presence in Iran. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Britain became the main foreign power in Iran and this famine or–more accurately–‘genocide’ was committed by the British. The document in the American Archives, reporting the widespread famine and spread of epidemic disease in Iran, estimates the number of the deceased due to the famine to be about 8-10 million during 1917-19 (1), making this the greatest genocide of the 20th century and Iran the biggest victim of World War I (2).

It should be noted that Iran had been one of the main suppliers of food grains to the British forces stationed in the empire’s South Asian colonies. Although bad harvest during these two years made the situation worse, it was by no means the main reason why the Great Famine occurred. Prof. Gholi Majd of Princeton University writes in his book, The Great Famine and Genocide in Persia, that  American documents show that the British prevented imports of wheat and other food grains into Iran from Mesopotamia, Asia, and also the USA, and that ships loaded with wheat were not allowed to unload at the port of Bushehr in the Persian Gulf. Professor Majd argues that Great Britain intentionally created genocide conditions to destroy Iran, and to effectively control the country for its own purposes. Major Donohoe describes Iran of that time as a “land of desolation and death” (3). But this event soon became the subject of a British cover up.

Britain has a long record of its several attempts to conceal history and rewrite it in their own favor. The pages are filled with conspiracies that were covered up by the British government to hide its involvement in different episodes that would tarnish the country’s image. One of the clear examples is the “Jameson Raid”; a failed coup against Paul Kruger’s government in South Africa. This raid was planned and executed directly by the British government of Joseph Chamberlain under the orders of Queen Victoria (4) (5). In 2002, Sir Graham Bower’s memoirs were published in South Africa, revealing these involvements that had been covered up for more than a century, focusing attention on Bower as a scapegoat for the incident (6).

The records that were destroyed to cover up British crimes around the globe, or were kept in secret Foreign Office archives, so as to, not only protect the United Kingdom’s reputation, but also to shield the government from litigation, are indicative of the attempts made by the British to evade the consequences of their crimes. The papers at Hanslope Park also include the reports on the “elimination” of the colonial authority’s enemies in 1950s Malaya; records that show ministers in London knew of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya and roasting them alive (7). These records may include those related to Iran’s Great Famine. Why were these records that cover the darkest secrets of the British Empire destroyed or kept secret? Simply because they might ‘embarrass’ Her Majesty’s government (8).

A famine occurred in Ireland from 1845 until 1852 which killed one fourth of the Irish population. This famine was caused by British policies and faced a large cover up attempt by the British government and crown to blame it on ‘potatoes’ (9). The famine, even today, is famous in the world as the “potato famine” when, in reality, it was a result of a planned food shortage and thus a deliberate genocide by the British government (10).

The true face of this famine as a genocide has been proven by historian Tim Pat Coogan in his book The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy published by Palgrave MacMillan (11). A ceremony was planned to take place in the US to unveil Coogan’s book in America, but he was denied a visa by the American embassy in Dublin (12).

Therefore it becomes obvious that Britain’s role in Iran’s Great famine, which killed nearly half of Iran’s population, was not unprecedented. The documents published by the British government overlook the genocide, and consequently, the tragedy underwent an attempted cover-up by the British government. The Foreign Office “handbook on Iran” of 1919 mentioned nothing related to the Great Famine.

Julian Bharier, a scholar who studied Iran’s population, built his “backward projection” estimation of Iran’s population (13) based on reports from this “handbook” and, as a result, ignored the effect of the Great Famine on Iran’s population in 1917. Bharier’s estimations were used by some authors to deny the occurrence of the Great Famine or to underestimate its impacts.

By ignoring Iran’s Great Famine in his estimations, Bharier’s work faces four scientific deficiencies. Bharier does not consider the loss of population caused by the famine in his calculations; he needs to ‘adjust’ the figure of the official census in 1956 from 18.97 million to 20.37 million, and this is despite the fact that he uses 1956 census as his primary building block for his “backward projection” model. He also ignores the official growth rates and uses his personal assumptions in this regard, which is far lower than other estimates. Finally, although Bharier frequently cites Amani’s estimates (14), in the end Bharier’s findings contradict that of Amani’s; notably Bharier’s population estimate for 1911 is 12.19 million while Amani put this figure at 10.94 million.

Despite deficiencies in the population estimates offered by Bharier for the period of the Famine and its earlier period, his article offers useful data for the post-Famine period; this is because these figures are generated from 1956 backward. That is to say, numbers generated from 1956 to 1919 are thus credible because they do not include the period of famine. Moreover, this portion of Bharier’s data are also true to that of the American Legation. For example, Caldwell and Sykes estimate the 1919 population at 10 million, which is comparitive to Bharier’s figure of 11 million.

Gholi Majd was not the first author to refute Bharier’s figures for this period. Gad G. Gilbar, in his 1976 article on demographic developments during the second half of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, also considers Bharier’s estimates inaccurate for the period.

In an apparently biased review of Majd’s work, Willem Floor confirms Bharier’s model (15), despite its apparent deficiencies, and takes a mocking tone toward the well- documented work of Gholi Majd to undermine the devastation caused by the British-instigated famine in Iran, to the point of total denial of the existence of such a genocide. Floor also offers inaccurate or untrue information to oppose the fact that the British deprived Iranians from honey and caviar in the north, as he argues caviar was haram (religiously prohibited), while no such fatwa has ever existed in Shia jurisprudence and all available decrees assert that caviar is halal or permissible under the Islamic law. There was a rumor made up by Russians at the time, saying that Caviar was haram and Britain made full use of this rumor.

Another criticism made by Floor was to question why Majd’s work does not use British archival sources. A more important question is why Majd should have used these sources when they totally ignore the occurrence of the famine in Iran. The fact that Majd used mainly US sources seems to be reasonable on the grounds that the US was neutral toward the state of affairs in Iran at the time, and made efforts to help by feeding them (16).

*Sadegh Abbasi is a Junior M.A. student at Tehran University. As a student in history he has also worked as a contributor to different Iranian news agencies.


1. Majd, Mohammad Gholi. The Great Famine & Genocide in Iran: 1917-1919. Lanham : University Press of America, 2013. p.71: https://books.google.com/books?id=5WgSAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA71&lpg.

2. Sniegoski, Stephen J. Iran as a Twentieth Century Victim: 1900 Through the Aftermath of World War II. mycatbirdseat.com. [Online] 11 10, 2013. [Cited: 10 12, 2015.] http://mycatbirdseat.com/2013/11/iran-twentieth-century-victim-1900-aftermath-world-war-ii/.

3. Donohoe, Major M. H. With The Persian Expedition. London : Edward Arnold, 1919. p. 76.

4. Nelson, Michael and Briggs, Asa. Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera. London : Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2007. p. 97: https://books.google.com/books?id=6ISE-ZEBfy4C&pg=PA97&lpg.

5. Bower, Graham. Sir Graham Bower’s Secret History of the Jameson Raid and the South African Crisis, 1895-1902. Cape Town : Van Riebeeck Society, 2002. p. xii: https://books.google.fr/books?id=VFYFZKRBXz0C&pg=PR23&lpg.

6. Ibid. p. xvii.

7. Cobain, Ian, Bowcott, Owen and Norton-Taylor, Richard. Britain destroyed records of colonial crimes . The Guardian. [Online] 03 17, 2012. [Cited: 10 10, 2015.] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/apr/18/britain-destroyed-records-colonial-crimes.

8. Walton, Calder. Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War, and the Twilight of Empire. New York : The Overlook Press, 2013. p. 15: https://books.google.fr/books?id=f2cjCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT15&lpg.

9. Warfield, Brian. History Corner: The Great Irish Famine. wolfetonesofficialsite.com. [Online] [Cited: 10 12, 2015.] http://www.wolfetonesofficialsite.com/famine.htm.

10. Britain’s Cover Up. irishholocaust.org. [Online] [Cited: 10 12, 2015.] http://www.irishholocaust.org/britain’scoverup.

11. Coogan, Tim Pat. The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

12. O’Dowd, Niall. Proving the Irish Famine was genocide by the British. IrishCentral. [Online] 08 06, 2015. [Cited: 10 12, 2015.] http://www.irishcentral.com/news/proving-the-irish-famine-was-genocide-by-the-british-tim-pat-coogan-moves-famine-history-unto-a-new-plane-181984471-238161151.html.

13. Bharier, Julien. A Note on the Population of Iran, 1900-1966 . Population Studies. 1968, Vol. 22, 2.

14. Amani, Mehdi. La population de l’Iran. Population (French Edition). 1972, Vol. 27, 3: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1529398.

15. Floor, Willem. Reviewed Work: The Great Famine and Genocide in Persia, 1917-1919 by Mohammad Gholi Majd . Iranian Studies. Iran Facing the New Century, 2005, Vol. 38, 1.

16. Fecitt, Harry. Other Theatres of War. westernfrontassociation.com. [Online] 09 29, 2013. [Cited: 10 12, 2015.] http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/the-great-war/great-war-on-land/other-war-theatres/3305-dunsterforce-part-1.html.

thanks to: Khamenei

‘West silence on crimes in Syria deafening’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at the West for its “deafening” silence on the atrocities committed by the Western-backed militants in Syria.

Zarif posted a tweet on Friday after a video emerged showing US-backed terrorists brutally beheading a child.

The Iranian foreign minister said such acts of brutalities by the Western-sponsored terrorists have turned into the norm in Syria.

The footage, circulated on social media on Tuesday, shows a member of the Nureddin al-Zenki opposition group cutting off the 12-year-old Palestinian boy’s head with a knife on a public road in Aleppo.

Nureddin al-Zenki, which is largely based in Syria’s Aleppo province, has received military support in the past from the United States as part of Washington’s backing for “moderate” militants in Syria.

Before being killed, the boy, identified by activists on social media as Mahmoud Issa, is seen on the back of a truck surrounded by militants who accuse him of being a spy and a member of al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

However, the Palestinian group issued a statement, strongly denying that Issa was a member and saying the boy was ill. It further said he was killed apparently as revenge by a “terrorist” who had lost his brother in battles near Handarat, north of Aleppo.

Takfiri terrorists have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, such as public decapitations and crucifixions, against all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians, in areas they have overrun in the Arab country.

Sorgente: PressTV-‘West silence on crimes in Syria deafening’

US Military Personnel Have Committed Nearly 6k Crimes in Okinawa Since 1972

US military personnel have committed over 5,800 crimes on Japan’s Okinawa Islands since the territory was returned to Japan in 1972, according to police figures cited by protesters rallying against US presence in Japan’s southernmost prefecture.

Sorgente: US Military Personnel Have Committed Nearly 6k Crimes in Okinawa Since 1972

IRAQ. Il mondo post-coloniale e la commissione Chilcot

Di Gian Paolo Calchi Novati

Roma, 12 luglio 2016, Nena News – Come ha scritto Chomsky, il mondo occidentale, grazie ai suoi valori e al suo sistema istituzionale, si distingue da altre civiltà perché è capace di riconoscere i massacri che commette o sono commessi in suo nome.  Avendo in mente questo postulato, la vicenda della Commissione Chilcot, che ha indagato sulle responsabilità del governo inglese nella guerra in Iraq del 2003, assume l’aspetto di un apologo che trascende gli eventi specifici.

Un organo espresso dall’establishment di una grande potenza occidentale, – che aveva appena compiuto il passo, falso secondo alcuni benpensanti gelosi di antichi privilegi, di far decidere al popolo il proprio futuro europeo – ha rivelato le falsità e in ultima analisi i crimini dello Stato e personalmente del capo del governo in occasione di un evento di grande portata, che non ha ancora finito di proiettare le sue tragiche conseguenze su tutti noi.

La Commissione era presieduta da un Lord. E anche chi comincia a temere, e persino a lamentare in pubblico, i rischi impliciti in pratiche troppo democratiche, davanti a un Lord non ha argomenti. Non si può neanche dire che gli ottimati hanno rimediato alla distrazione o alla connivenza del popolo. Il popolo di Londra, pur senza conoscere tutti i documenti, aveva già emesso il suo giudizio nella grande dimostrazione di quel “sabato” che Ian McEwan ha posto come proemio di un suo romanzo.

Negli anni bui dell’amministrazione di Bush junior, quando l’unipolarismo (sia pure “imperfetto”, come dimostrò Samuel Huntington in un saggio su Foreign Affairs) conferiva poteri assoluti agli Stati Uniti, che avevano vinto la guerra fredda e non mancavano di ricordarlo in tutte le occasioni, il New York Times identificò nell’opinione pubblica “la seconda potenza mondiale”. Allora c’era ancora spazio per una mobilitazione di massa.

 I rapporti di forza, nel 2003 come nel 2016, hanno impedito però e impediscono di trasformare la denuncia in un’azione politica adeguata. Persino la Brexit si è imposta facendo leva probabilmente su motivazioni tutt’altro che nobili. Un argomento forte per il Leave poteva essere proprio l’impotenza dell’Europa di fronte alla “linea rossa” della guerra che attraversa ormai incontrastata i nostri giorni.

 Le rimostranze tante volte espresse, soprattutto dall’Africa, per l’andamento a senso unico della giustizia penale internazionale trovano una conferma perfetta nell’”affare Blair”. L’incriminazione di Bechir o Gbagbo a confronto del trattamento riservato a Blair, chiamato ovunque per conferenze strapagate, e degli incarichi che gli sono stati conferiti a livello internazionale (addirittura nel Medio Oriente), e che forse svolge ancora, sembra fatta apposta per avallare l’impressione di un sistema che, in tutte le sue espressioni, garantisce all’Occidente un’impunità assoluta.

 Naturalmente Blair non fu mai escluso dal G7 o G8 e quando i disastri degli “errori” commessi in Iraq stavano ancora bruciando si improvvisò, con l’aiuto di Bono, benefattore dell’Africa.

Il costo dei privilegi concessi a Blair, come a Bush, ma anche ai capi di stato e di governo che hanno condotto la guerra contro la Serbia in Kosovo e che hanno via via dato vita a tanti interventi militari con o senza Onu in Asia e Africa, “terre vacanti” come ai tempi del colonialismo reale, si fa sentire pesantemente in tutte le crisi. La pax americana dei nostri giorni ricorda la pax britannica all’epoca della regina Vittoria: più di una guerra all’anno secondo la storia dell’imperialismo inglese di fine Ottocento. scritta da Niall Ferguson.

Di sicuro, quando l’anno prossimo l’Europa celebrerà in Campidoglio i 60 anni dei Trattati di Roma, il tema principale sarà la pace che l’unità dell’Europa ha assicurato. L’autoreferenzialità dell’Europa in un’epoca che si vorrebbe caratterizzata dalla globalizzazione nasconde una forma implicita di esclusività che è di per sé una causa di tensione. Che la sfida all’Occidente sia condotta da movimenti spesso di pura distruzione e al servizio di cause inaccettabili è un prodotto dei tempi. Anche nei nostri paesi la “protesta” degli ultimi o dei penultimi assume l’aspetto dell’”antipolitica”. Si deve andare ben oltre le degenerazioni dell’integralismo religioso o identitario per spiegare le forme che ha assunto il “populismo” dei “dannati della terra”.

Rabindranath Tagore, in un ciclo di conferenze pubblicato nel 1917 con il titolo Nationalism, aveva bollato la nazione come un ricettacolo di potere angusto e spietato, tendente a generare conformismo, e si augurava per l’India una fuoriuscita dalle concezioni basate su razza, etnia o religione. Se la coscienza nazionale non si trasformerà in coscienza sociale, scriveva Fanon, non ci sarà nessun riscatto.

Le contraddizioni che inceppano le sorti della storia impersonata dall’Europa portatrice oltremare di modernità e in ultima analisi di liberta ai popoli arabi, asiatici e africani recalcitranti, sono le stesse a cui Edward Said imputa la perdurante sottomissione dell’Oriente e in genere dei colonizzati all’impero reale o virtuale che detta le sue condizioni con la forza. La tragedia della resistenza del Sud e nel Sud contro il colonialismo e le altre forme di subordinazione, anche di quella che si presenta come nazionalista, è che «essa debba lavorare, almeno fino a un certo punto, per recuperare forme già stabilite, o quanto meno influenzate o infiltrate dalla cultura dell’impero».

La transizione post-coloniale e post-autoritaria nel sistema globale del Terzo mondo, esteso per l’occasione ai Balcani e al Caucaso, è inquinata dall’asimmetria coloniale. Colonizzato significa oggi essere cose potenzialmente anche molto diverse, in posti diversi e in epoche diverse, ma sempre inferiori.

Il mondo post-coloniale è un mondo dopo il colonialismo ma non senza il colonialismo.

Una delle ossessioni del colonialismo e in genere dell’Occidente nei suoi rapporti con le “aree esterne”– lo sanno bene gli storici indiani e dell’India – è la pretesa incapacità degli “indigeni” di organizzare la propria sovranità e di affrontare i problemi di stabilità o di sviluppo senza un contributo dal Centro. È così che i diritti dei popoli a regime illiberale, Kant avrebbe detto non repubblicani, sono alla mercé della “grande politica”.

Nel clima del post-bipolarismo, al posto del comunismo e della rivoluzione, come nemico dell’Occidente è subentrato il “terrorismo”, per il quale non può valere nessuna comprensione come in fondo poteva accadere per il marxismo o i movimenti di liberazione.

È essenziale (e in un certo senso auspicabile) per il sistema ideologico occidentale che si crei un abisso, anche di moralità, fra l’Occidente civilizzato e quanti per qualsiasi ragione non riescono ad apprezzare l’impegno dell’Occidente. Si è fatta ancora più insistita così la pretesa che solo l’azione, ormai pressoché puramente militare, di una o più potenze occidentali, può tirar fuori gli ex-sudditi degli imperi europei – senza differenze fra Iraq, Libia o Bangladesh – dall’arretratezza e dal pericolo per sé e per gli altri.

Sorgente: IRAQ. Il mondo post-coloniale e la commissione Chilcot

US Army major brandishes gun, threatens to kill Muslims attending mosque during Ramadan

Insulting Muslim Americans by leaving bacon at their mosque wasn’t enough for a US Army reserve major. He then brandished a handgun and made death threats, according to the local sheriff’s office in North Carolina.

Sorgente: US Army major brandishes gun, threatens to kill Muslims attending mosque during Ramadan — RT America

Israeli Soldier Filmed Killing Wounded Palestinian

Footage released by B'Tselem

An Israeli soldier has been detained after a rights group released video of him shooting a wounded Palestinian in cold blood.

The incident occurred Thursday morning. A pair of Palestinian men, Abdel-Battah al-Sharif and Ramzi al-Qasrawi, stabbed an Israeli soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron. Troops fired on both men, killing al-Qasrawi and injuring al-Sharif.


Video footage filmed by Emad abu-Shamsiyah, and released by rights group B’Tselem, shows one of the troops shooting al-Sharif in the head while the 21-year-old lies incapacitated on the ground.


Warning: Extremely graphic video

“I heard gunshots, went outside my house to check what it was, and saw several Israeli soldiers yelling and two youths on the ground,” a witness told Ma’an news agency. “A soldier approached one of the youths that was moving while yelling and opened fire on him from zero range.”

According to the Israeli military, the offending soldier had been detained by his unit commander before the video was released.


A number of similar incidents have been reported by humanitarian groups in recent months.


Last week, Israeli troops shot and killed three Palestinians near the Kiryat Arba Israeli settlement. Autopsies performed the following day showed the bodies were riddled with bullets that had been fired into the corpses long after the initial incident.


The incident also left one Israeli soldier dead.


In February, Israeli soldiers shot 20-year-old Mohamad Abu Khalaf. An autopsy showed that while he was killed by two rounds, his body was littered with dozens of other bullets.

Over the last six months there has been an uptick in violence. Twenty-eight Israelis and two Americans have been killed in a series of Palestinian stabbings, shootings, and car-ramming attacks.


During that same period, at least 188 Palestinians have been killed by security forces.


In February, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot encouraged soldiers to exercise discretion. The country’s chief Sephardic Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, however, demanded that soldiers ignore those pleas.


According to Haaretz, Rabbi Yosef called for the killing of any “armed Palestinian,” whether in possess of a gun or a rock.

thanks to: Sputniknews

Opposing the Japanese Pirate Whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

Japan has declared war on the whales in the Southern Ocean. Their fleet is en route to the Southern Ocean NOW, in abject disrespectful defiance of the International Court of Justice.

The signatory nations to the relevant conventions have not done anything but talk. All other NGOs aside from Sea Shepherd are not doing anything to intervene. Japan returns to the killing fields with an arrogant confidence that they will be unopposed.

The question is what will Sea Shepherd do about this egregious and illegal invasion of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary?

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has actively opposed the unlawful slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean since 2005 with aggressive interventions that saved the lives of 3,651 whales including Minke, Humpback and Fin whales.

Sea Shepherd has fought the outlaw whalers on the high seas and in the courts.

In 2008 the Australian Federal Court declared that Japanese whaling in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory was unlawful, and banned further whaling. Japan ignored this decree.

In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japanese whaling is neither scientific nor lawful and ordered the Japanese whaling fleet to cease and desist from killing whales in the Antarctic.

In response, Japan developed a new “research” whaling program – yet another transparent attempt to justify its commercial slaughter as “science.” But the International Whaling Commission (IWC) rejected the program, finding it both unscientific and unlawful.

Japan agreed to abide by the order of the ICJ and did not kill a single whale during the 2014/2015 season. This cessation in their whaling operations was an acknowledgement that they accepted the ruling of the court.

Now, in open and arrogant defiance of the Australian Federal Court, the International Court of Justice and the International Whaling Commission, Japan has announced that they will return to kill whales in the Southern Ocean.

Australia and the other members of the IWC could take action to stop the whalers. The question is, will they, or have they been compromised by threats of trade retaliation from Japan?

There is no question that Sea Shepherd opposition has been a leading factor in bringing Japanese whalers to their knees in reduction in quotas and in focusing international public attention on Japan’s nefarious whaling activities.

Our opposition dates back to 2002:

  • 2002/2003:  Operation Cold as Ice – 0 whales saved. In our first direct action campaign, we were unable to find the fleet.
  • 2005/2006:  Operation Minke – 169 whales saved.
  • 2006/2007:  Operation Leviathan (depicted in the documentary film “The Edge of the World.”) – 534 whales saved.
  • 2007/2008:  Operation Migloo (Season One of Whale Wars) – 484 whales saved.
  • 2008/2009:  Operation Musashi  (Season Two of Whale Wars) – 305 whales saved.
  • 2009/2010:  Operation Waltzing Matilda (Season Three of Whale Wars) – 528 whales saved.
  • 2010/2011:  Operation No Compromise (Season Four of Whale Wars) -863 whales saved.
  • 2011/2012:  Operation Divine Wind (Season Five of Whale Wars) – 768 whales saved.

In 2011, the whalers sued the U.S. Sea Shepherd entity – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society – and me in U.S. federal court, and were able to obtain an injunction barring us from approaching the whaling vessels. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society complied with this injunction, but foreign participants in the global Sea Shepherd movement, including Sea Shepherd Global and Sea Shepherd Australia, continued their opposition:

  • 2012/2013:  Operation Zero Tolerance (Season Six of Whale Wars) – 932 whales saved.
  • 2013/2014:  Operation Relentless (Season Seven of Whale Wars) – 784 whales saved.
  • 2014/2015:  Zero Kills. 1,035 whales saved.

Total: 6,402 whales saved from illegal slaughter by the Japanese fleet.

Sea Shepherd has paid a heavy price for this opposition. Not only did the whalers secure a temporary injunction from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but they also persuaded that court to find us in contempt, despite our extensive efforts to comply with the injunction – because we did not prevent foreign Sea Shepherd entities beyond our control from going forward with Operation Zero Tolerance.

During our Southern Ocean campaign in 2010, the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru No. 2 rammed the vessel Ady Gil, which had been chartered by Sea Shepherd to help protect the whales. Japan refused to acknowledge the investigation of the incident by New Zealand and suffered no legal consequences for destroying the vessel. As a result, the vessel’s owner Ady Gil sued Sea Shepherd for the loss.

Japan also used its economic and political clout to have an INTERPOL Red Notice issued against me, demanding my extradition on the charges of “conspiracy to trespass on a whaling ship” and “interference with commerce.”

Japan uses the courts to get what it wants and ignores the court rulings against it.

Yet the Japanese whalers made a major mistake in bringing their case in U.S. federal court, because this gives Sea Shepherd the legal grounds to countersue them.

By suing Sea Shepherd in the United States, the whalers submitted themselves to U.S. jurisdiction. Since they brought their lawsuit, our case has changed from a defensive action to a legal attack on Japanese whaling. We are currently seeking rulings that would end Antarctic whaling, declare the whalers to be pirates, award us damages for the loss of the Ady Gil, secure an injunction protecting all Sea Shepherd ships from the whalers’ attacks, and overturn the injunction prohibiting Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from interfering with Japanese whaling.

We cannot simply defeat the Japanese on the water; we need to defeat them for good in the courts, and we cannot surrender to their arrogance in defying international law.

Sea Shepherd has contributed to Japanesewhaling operational losses and to the now-diminished quota of 333 whales annually, instead of the 1035 whales that they previously and unsuccessfully attempted to kill every year.

The issue however is not just one of numbers. We are talking about the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which demands nothing less than a zero quota.

The logistics of the situation in the Southern Ocean have changed considerably since Japan announced its new program Lowering the quota and expanding their hunting area means it would be more difficult and take more time to track down the whaling fleet, and in the time that would take, they could kill most of their quota. Although Sea Shepherd Australia is sending the Steve Irwin to the Southern Ocean this December on a mission to intervene against illegal activities in the Southern Ocean, it is unlikely that they will make any dent in the whalers’ killing. To be blunt, however, intervention this year will be difficult. The whalers have a great area to operate with a reduced quota. They will have three harpoon vessels to block any approach by any Sea Shepherd Australia ship.

The best way to stop illegal Japanese whaling now may be through another effort in the courts – this time, the U.S. courts.

We need to show the U.S. courts that they should take action to stop Japan’s illegal whaling, not to protect it. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an anti-poaching organization dedicated to operating within the boundaries of the law to uphold international conservation law with a commitment to absolute non-violent tactics. We will abide by the U.S. injunction while it remains in place, because we respect the rule of law.

The Japanese whalers have no such respect for the rule of law. While they have spent millions to try to turn the U.S. courts into their biggest defenders, they have at the same time openly defied the Australian courts and the International Court of Justice.

With your help, we have the opportunity to stop the whalers for good.   But they have millions from the Japanese government to fund their legal fight, and they are trying to use their money to bully us into submission.   We can only continue to stand up to them with your support. Please donate today.

Sorgente: Opposing the Japanese Pirate Whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Morti di Cie

Giovedì, 20 Agosto 2015

Foto: repubblica.it

“Giustamente il volto di Stefano Cucchi, scavato e tumefatto, è impresso nella mente di tutti noi, come un monito; ma chi conosce Amin Saber? Chi ha mai sentito nominare Christiana Amankwa?”. Olivia Lopez Curzi sfoglia un quaderno scritto a matita, fitto e ordinato. Elenchi, nomi, date, sottolineature e frecce. Corruga un attimo la fronte. “Sai che della morte di Moustapha Anaki si è saputo solo nove giorni dopo? E in Italia ci viveva da parecchi anni, una parte della famiglia era qui…”. Anaki, Saber, Amankwa, Ben Said, Ramsi. Nomi senza un volto, identità sfocate, cancellate dalla storia nazionale. “Eppure quelle persone ci sono state, hanno vissuto, amato, lavorato in Italia e sono morte nelle mani dello Stato; ecco perché vogliamo raccontarle”.

Sono 25 i “Morti di Cie” sulle cui vicende sta lavorando una dozzina di reporter, grafici, informatici, antropologi e politologi. “E’ un progetto nato dal basso, indipendente e autofinanziato; siamo a Roma ma ci muoviamo in tutta Italia per raccogliere documentazione negli archivi delle Procure, nelle Prefetture, da avvocati, medici e magistrati”. L’obiettivo è ricostruire le vicende di chi è morto nei Centri di Identificazione e Espulsione, ex Centri di Permanenza Temporanea, dall’apertura nel 1998 ad oggi. “Persone a cui la cronaca dedica un trafiletto, ‘morto marocchino nel Cie di Crotone’ e nulla più, tanto che in alcuni casi – spiega Lopez Curzi, fra gli autori dell’inchiesta – è stato difficile persone risalire al nome completo”.

Nessuna colpa. Nei Cie, su cui pesa un giudizio di incostituzionalità e numerose denunce per violazione dei diritti umani, si muore per diverse cause. “Amin Saber  è il primo caso in cui ci siamo imbattuti: è morto nel 1998, non sappiamo esattamente quando, e sembra sia stato vittima di un ‘proiettile vagante’ sparato dalle forze dell’ordine nel Cpt di Caltanissetta”. Poco dopo sarà il turno di sei giovani tunisini, soffocati nel Centro “Serraino Vulpitta” di Trapani. Bloccati in una stanza senza senza vie di fuga, stavano scappando dall’incendio appiccato da un altro trattenuto durante una protesta. Morti violente, di cui nessuno, raccontano i processi, è stato mai riconosciuto responsabile.

Testimoni che scompaiono. “Ricordiamoci che sono centri di espulsione, e quindi la gente da qui è rimpatriata o fatta uscire, quasi sempre senza documenti in regola, e questo fa sì che i testimoni non collaborino con la giustizia”. Una conferma ulteriore – spiega Lopez Curti – della volontà di insabbiare queste storie. Una di queste vittime si chiama Abdou Said. “E’ arrivato in Italia con il fratello nell’estate del 2011, erano due ragazzi egiziani che lavoravano in Libia, sono scappati dalla guerra… dopo due settimane nel Cie di Ponte Galeria, a Roma, Abdou ha tentato di scappare, ma è stato fermato dalle forze dell’ordine”. Tornerà nella gabbia del Cie poche ore dopo, con segni di percosse, cieco da un occhio.

Abdou e Mabrouka. ll ragazzo sembra un altro, sragiona, tanto che l’avvocato teme abbia subito danni neurologici e che dopo alcuni mesi il giudice di pace – caso rarissimo – decide di di sospendere il trattenimento. Said si trova senza nulla e senza gli psicofarmaci che riceveva nel Cie. Si ucciderà un mese dopo il rilascio, gettandosi dalla finestra di casa di un amico. Sempre a Roma, una sera del maggio 2009, Zorah, compagna di camerata di Mabrouka Mimuni, interviene su Radio Onda Rossa per raccontare le ultime ore in Italia dell’amica, prima di un rimpatrio che non ci avverrà mai. Mabrouka si impiccherà la mattina successiva e Zorah, che sarà rilasciata, morirà alcuni mesi dopo per overdose, stroncata da una dipendenza che, probabilmente, il Cie aveva accentuato.

Morti innaturali. “Spesso i referti e le note stampa parlano di arresto cardiaco, ma questo non dice nulla sulla causa del decesso, sul perché il cuore di 25 donne e uomini si sia fermato in un Cie”. Certo è che si tratta di “luoghi fuori dal tempo, in cui la vita è appesa a un filo”. Mancanza di cure mediche, somministrazione incontrollata di psicofarmaci che – come il Minias – possono creare dipendenza e avere effetti dannosi se interrotti bruscamente, si aggiugono alle violenze e contribuiscono ai frequenti atti di autolesionismo, sfociati in alcuni casi nel suicidio.

A futura memoria. “Vorremmo chiudere il lavoro – spiega Olivia Lopez Curzi – per l’inizio del 2016 e da oggi a allora collaboremo con chi si occupa di Cie e di abusi da parte dello Stato in tutta Italia”. Sperando, conclude, “che anche qualche famigliare di questi invisibili, internati solo perché privi di un pezzo di carta, condivida il nostro obiettivo, che è quello di dare dignità a episodi gravissimi della nostra storia, avvenuti nell’indifferenza delle istituzioni”. Un lavoro importante anche per un futuro prossimo, in cui la parabola discendente dei Cie, passati da 11 a 5 in pochi anni, potrebbe rivitalizzarsi.

Hotspot e nuovi Cie, la tragedia continua. Gli hotspot sarebbero centri chiusi in cui identificare chi entra in Italia via mare, grazie alla presenza di agenti di Frontex e Easo – European Asylum Support Office, per poi rimpatriare chi non ottiene l’asilo o piuttosto chi, come dichiarato dal ministro dell’Interno Alfano lo scorso giugno, “non può fare la domanda d’asilo”. Il Cie di Milo, a Trapani, potrebbe essere il primo ad assumere ufficialmente queste funzioni, raddoppiando la propria capienza. Nel frattempo la nuova giunta regionale della Liguria ha dichiarato di voler aprire un Cie sul suo territorio. La vicenda della cosiddetta detenzione amministrativa degli stranieri sembra insomma non fermarsi. Nemmeno di fronte a 25 “morti di Cie”.

Giacomo Zandonini

thanks to: unimondo

Perchè la morte del piccolo Ali non cambierà nulla

La condanna fatta dal premier Benyamin Netanyahu dell’uccisione del piccolo palestinese è lontana dalla realtà sul terreno.  Gli ultimi giorni per i coloni che vivono insediati in Cisgiordania e per i palestinesi sotto occupazione sono stati come gli altri, come se nulla fosse accaduto a Kfar Douma

foto Reuters

Perchè la morte del piccolo Ali non cambierà nulla.

Africa’s Most Beloved Lion Killed by ‘Evil’ Dentist From Minnesota

Africa’s Most Beloved Lion Killed by Monster From Minnesota

The “hunter” who made Cecil the world famous lion suffer for 40 hours after skewering him with a crossbow before shooting, skinning and beheading the King of Beasts, has been identified as a dentist from Minnesota. In a poetic twist, he’s become the subject of an international hunt by Zimbabwean authorities and an outraged international public.

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force named Walter Palmer, 55, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota — owner of Palmer’s River Bluff Dental in Bloomington — as their primary suspect, before Palmer admitted to the kill on Tuesday.

The 13-year-old lion, famous for his unique black mane, is believed to have been killed on July 1, during a poaching trip which cost Palmer over $54,000. The lion’s body was not found until several days after his death.

“He never bothered anybody,” Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told The Telegraph. “He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.”

The lion was a resident and tourist attraction at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where he enjoyed protected status and the adoration of local and tourist fans alike. The evening of the fatal hunt, Palmer and local guides allegedly — and illegally — used bait to lure Cecil out of the park before Palmer shot him with a crossbow.

Injured, but still alive, Cecil fled from the bloodthirsty savages, but was unable to find help. He was discovered by the poachers 40 hours later, at which time he was shot dead with a gun, his body was beheaded, and his pelt removed.

Cecil was fitted with a GPS collar that allowed authorities to track his movements, which the poachers subsequently attempted to destroy.

As if the story couldn’t be more tragic, Cecil had six cubs.  With their father gone, those cubs will now likely be killed by the next dominant male lion.

“The saddest part of all is that now that Cecil is dead, the next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho, will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs,” Rodrigues told the Star Tribune.

Two of the men who assisted Palmer in the hunt are facing poaching charges — charges which Palmer himself is no stranger to.

In 2008, Palmer pleaded guilty to federal poaching charges after killing a black bear in Wisconsin, 40 miles outside of the legal hunting zone.  He was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $3,000, clearly not harsh enough a penalty to deter him from killing again, as many photos of him holding the carcases of rare species have surfaced online.

The ZCTF has stated that they are looking for Palmer, though they believe he has left the country.

“We arrested two people and now we are looking for Palmer in connection with the same case,” police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told reporters.

So with the tables turned, Palmer seems to have become the prey. Beyond being hunted by the ZCTF, social media users outraged at the disregard for wildlife’s majesty have also begun hunting down any information they can find. Many people have even called for the dentist’s death.

Palmer’s River Bluff Dental has been shuttered for business, with a note posted on the door with the contact information for a PR firm ostensibly hired in the wake of public outrage, and the practice’s Facebook page and website have been closed.

By Tuesday afternoon, his rating on crowd-sourced review site Yelp had fallen to one star, and the page was flooded with 1906 reviews, none of which were complimentary.

“Dr. Palmer, I can only hope that when your time comes, karma takes over and puts you through even worse suffering, than what you did to Cecil the Lion,” Andrea M. from New York City wrote in her review. ‘You are an evil man, a coward. Dare I say some sort of devil. You will get your comeuppance and many, MANY people will dance with joy.”

“Too bad this was not one of the many Dentist that commit suicide,” Mike W. from Middleton, Massachusetts wrote in his one-star rating.

Palmer’s website, prior to being taken down, shared information about the dentist’s interests:

“Anything allowing him to stay active and observe and photograph wildlife is where you will find Dr Palmer when he not in the office.”

It failed to mention that he doesn’t only get blood on his hands at the office.

Even Piers Morgan, the British journalist and television personality known for ruffling feathers, got in on the outrage, writing a piece for the Daily Mail entitled “I’d love to go hunting one day with Dr. Walter Palmer the killer dentist… so I can stuff and mount him for MY office wall.”

On Tuesday evening, the big-cat-killer issued a statement defending himself:

“In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bowhunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.

“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” Palmer wrote. “I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the US about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”

On the same day, the Zimbabwe National Parks issued a statement confirming that “all persons implicated in this case are due to appear in court facing poaching charges.”

Meaning that they want Palmer back.

“Both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt,” ZNP’s statement asserted.

Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter with Bushman Safaris who assisted Palmer in the kill, stated that he was unaware of Cecil’s fame, but like Palmer, had no remorse about potentially killing seven African lions that conservationists warn are facing extinction in the next 35 years.

“It was a magnificent, mature lion. We did not know it was well-known lion. I had a licence for my client to shoot a lion with a bow and arrow in the area where it was shot,” Bronkhorst said in a statement.

The two poachers who assisted Palmer are scheduled to appear in court on August 6, and could face up to 15 years behind bars.

thanks to: Sputniknews