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In Ecuador, at least 44 people were killed during a prison riot near the capital Quito Monday. Over 100 others escaped after violence broke out. Relatives gathered outside the prison waiting for news of their loved ones. Human rights groups have denounced the horrid conditions of Ecuadorian prisons, which are dangerously overcrowded and rarely provide programs that help people rehabilitate. Hundreds have been killed in at least five separate prison riots in Ecuador since February of last year.

[Source: Democracy Now!]

09.11.2021 – Video footage emergeslibya-flag-icon-32 showing distressing police violence on migrants in Lybia

The policemen wrestled the disabled man to the ground, then try to twist his arms to turn him and lay him on his belly. In the background, another person can be seen face down on the ground with several policemen on his back and knee.

The day before, Refugee In Libya issued a press release :

[] In recent years refugees have seen and complained against the trajectory of Syrian refugees indulged and pampered by the UNHCR staff. Syrian Nationals or Arabs precisely do not take or wait in line when they come to the UNHCR office both at the door and in the sitting rooms. They are usually allowed to enter, and no security guards prevents them or stops them, UNHCR staffs & its security guards never told them stand in a line with the African refugees, we have been witnessing these racism since 2017 until now and it’s unnumbered how many times we have complained and reported these but went unanswered by the commission.These are the main reasons refugees are losing trust in the UNHCRLIBYA and the socalled humanitarian organizations or human rights organizations in Libya.

Discrimination and racism is very clear and plainly visible used in the offices, because of they’re ethnicity.

There is a secret door at the UNHCR headquarter in the registration main center and only Syrians are allowed to enter, so today refugees of African nationalities tried to enter this door, which is the secret door designated for Syrian nationality by UNHCR staff, so the security guards prevented them, and then this led to violence and the stabbing of a refugees by a security guard. We (Refugees) feels that the step taken by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is against humanity and human rights, and this is racism and discrimination between refugees and asylum seekers according to their colors, geography or religions. This must stop in all public institutions of the international organizations and the human rights organizations, because there’s no place for discrimination and segregation anymore in this era or in the 21st century, let us all stand against the attempting of reusing of RACISM. []

[Source: Refugees In Libya on Twitter]

20.10.2021 – Whistleblower leaksrussia-flag-icon-32.png horrifying videos showing rape and torture inside a Russian prison

Sergei Savelyev, a 31-year-old Belarusian IT specialist gained access to footage stored in the prison’s computers that were shot in several prisons in the Irkutsk, Vladimir and Saratov regions between 2018-2020.

Sergei was a former inmate at the Saratov prison (he served 7,5 years for “drug trafficking“) who got a job as an IT maintenance officer, granting him access to the prison’s internal server and those of other jails, where he found several videos. Released in February, he saved them on USB sticks that he hid near the prison exit.

Serguei said he suffered abuse at a prison in Krasnodar to force him to “cooperate” — beaten “around once a week but not so hard as to leave too visible bruising.

He fled the country on a long, tortuous and perilous journey, fearing kidnapping or even death. He said he had no choice but to speak up. “Psychologically, it’s very difficult to keep things like this to yourself. What else can you do once you know?” told AFP on on October 16 at Charles de Gaulle airport in France, where he intends to request asylum.

He then leaked the footage in March to Gulagu.net, an NGO tracking abuses in Russia’s prison system. Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the Gulagu.net rights group, who left Russia in 2015 and currently resides in France, explained he received “over 40 gigabytes of files showing widespread torture“. [Watch his video, in Russian]

Thousands of videos show, among other nightmares:

  • inmates being tortured at a prison hospital in the Volga city of Saratov,
  • prisoners being beaten and tortured at the prison hospital in Saratov and at prisons in the Belgorod and Kamchatka regions,
  • several people using a broom stick to rape a naked man who is tied to a bed at the Saratov prison,
  • prisoners urinating on other inmates
  • graphic images of rape.

According to Serguei, the abuse was often doled out by fellow inmates, eager to please officers in the jail, typically to force inmates to confess or snitch on other prisoners. In some cases the abuse is filmed so the victim can then be blackmailed into cooperating with his handlers. Or it is used to blackmail inmates — if word of the assault becomes widely known, the victim slides down the rankings of the prison pecking order, reduced to a “petukh,” or rooster, a derogatory term in Russia.

Gulagu.net has also sent the videos to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). The website was blocked by Russia’s state media watchdog Roskomnadzor in July following requests from the Federal Security Service (FSB) and Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN).

Russian prosecutors said on October 5 that they had launched a preliminary investigation into the videos already released by Osechkin’s Gulagu.net, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov promised a “serious” probe if the incidents depicted in the clips turn out to be genuine. A day later, on October 6, the FSIN said it had fired five senior prison officials, including the director of the prison where the alleged abuse took place and the head of the regional prison service.

NGOs in Russia and worldwide have long alerted international institutions and the public about “systematic” torture in Russian prisons, and argue that conditions are little changed from the Soviet era. E.g., the following video from The Guardian dates back to 2012 :

[Sources: Gulagu.net, The Moscow Times, The Moscow Times with AFP, Zona Media, Zona Media, YouTube, Gulagu.net, Radikal, Radikal, Radio Free Europe, The Guardian]

Solidarity with Mimmo Lucano!11.10.2021 – Support the Abolish italy-flag-icon-32.pngFrontex network : sign the open letter to Free Mimmo!

The Abolish Frontex has written an open letter to the Italian government in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano, the mayor who was recently convicted to 13 years in prison for his support for people on the move.

Although this case does not involve physical police brutality, ObsPol signed the following open letter to protest again this vicious form of repression upon a major figure of the resistance to the terrible suffering inflicted on migrants.

ToMr Mario Draghi, President of the Ministers Council
Ms Luciana Lamorgese, Minister of Interior
Ms Marta Cartabia, Minister of Justice :

“As civil society groups and organisations, we were disgusted by the first-degree sentence given to Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Lucano by the court of Locri and express our full solidarity with Mimmo. The sentence is shameful and unjust and embodies the rightwing and racist migration policies that are being entrenched in Europe. We are calling on the Italian government to exonerate Domenico Lucano immediately and to stop its hostile migration policies. 

Mimmo Lucano’s actions as mayor were a lived, tangible example of life in solidarity. They demonstrated that inclusion, justice and social provision are possible and can reverse the tide of racism and xenophobia. His sentence doesn’t reflect justice, but rather shines in the light of racist political agendas which criminalise solidarity and fortify Europe’s walls.

Over 44,764 people have been killed by the militarised policies at the borders of Fortress Europe since 1993.  Thousands more are brutally criminalised, repressed and oppressed after they reach Europeevery day is a struggle. EU Member States are using violent and illegal tactics to force asylum seekers back across their borders as part of operations funded by the EU. Evidence gathered by numerous reports reveal that migrants have been beaten and shot at in recent months during so-called “pushback” operations carried out by masked men in Croatia, Romania and Greece. This in addition to the infamous interceptions and pushbacks carried out by the so-called Libyan coastguard which is funded by the EU and trained by the Italian navy.

European states are failing to provide safe routes, shelter and other support to people on the move. They are failing to rescue people in distress and to address their own responsibility and complicity in forcing people to move.  In camps, asylum centers, detention centres and on the streets, people on the move have organised themselves to protest against inhumane conditions, detentions and deportations and demand permission to stay, with safe, liveable future prospects. While the EU and European governments deny responsibility and refrain from serving International law,  NGOs, activists and people like Mimmo Lucano step in and show solidarity in praxis. Europe is outsourcing its international obligations to civil society. 

These protests are often met with state and police repression. Solidarity is often criminalised. Search and Rescue ships have been confiscated and crews have been arrested; as have other people supporting people on the move and taking action against Europe’s deadly border policies and institutions. Places squatted for shelter have been evicted, food and aid distributions at border crossings disrupted, uprisings in asylum and detention centers have been violently crushed, people have been put in isolation cells, have been denied medical and legal assistance and have been violently deported. 

Europe is built on a history of colonialism, slavery, imperialism, extractivism and exploitation that continues today. The EU’s border policies institutionalise this violence, injustice and inequality. The EU and its Member States should take responsibility for this and build community not walls. The current course is not solving any issues but instead violently externalises them – as exemplified by Italy’s close cooperation and financial and material support for the Libyan coast guard, constantly guilty of violence and pullbacks against people on the move. 

We stand in solidarity with people on the move and those who support them, unwaveringly. Everyone should be free to move and live – but no one should be forced to move. The militarisation of borders is not the solution. Other migration policies are possible and necessary, based on the analysis of the causes and responsibilities of forced migration, based on solidarity. 

Free Mimmo and end the persecution of people on the move and those who support them.  Solidarity will never be a crime.”

[Sign the open letter – also available in AR, FR, GE, IT and NL]

[Sources: Jacobin, Anticapitalist Resistance, Abolish Frontex, The Guardian, Wikipedia]

05.08.2021 – Riots follow deadlycolombia-flag-icon-32.png evacuation of land occupation

On Monday Security forces removed peasants from their illegal occupation of the firma El Retiro, in the Cauca region. One of the peasants, Huber Samir Camayo Fajardo, who was on the sidelines of the social protest, was shot dead by the police: he was only passing through the area when he was hit by a shot fired at a distance of 60 meters. He was transferred to the University Hospital of Popayán city, where he died after surgery. A riot then broke out near the police station.

On Wednesday, the police station was again targeted, prompting intervention of the anti-riot forces (ESMAD). Hooded protestors then moved to the offices of the Mayor of Cajibío and set them on fire.

Huber‘s death follows growing reports of police, judicial and paramilitary advances against young people participating in the National Strike protests, issued by several human rights organizations.

[Sources: teleSUR, Radio Super Popayan, Anti-K, Secours Rouge]

11.03.2021 – Video montage showing Police violence in Germanygermany-flag-icon-32.png

In Germany as well cops can get violent, as shown on this video montage, pointing in particular violence against young people and people of color.

We can see the same techniques in use, like kneeling on the victim’s neck, same way of shielding the scene, same passivity from colleagues, same kind of agressions on minors (15)…

[Source: Handbook Germany Deutsch sur YouTube]

Democracy Now! logo from website20.10.2020At Least 15 People Killed as Nigerian Protests Against Police Violence Continue

In Nigeria, protests against police brutality show no signs of slowing down, even after police disbanded the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, earlier this month. Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Lagos in recent days, bringing traffic in the bustling city to a standstill. An estimated 15 or more people have been killed, and dozens more injured, since the demonstrations started. Protesters also say they doubt SARS officers will be held accountable for their abuses or that excessive force by police will be curtailed despite recent reforms.

[Source : Democracy Now!, News AKMI]


02.10.2020Police officer in Chile chile-flag-icon-32.pngaccused of throwing teen from bridge

In Chile, a now-viral video shows a police officer in Santiago chasing a 16-year-old boy during an anti-government protest, whom the officer then grabs and throws over the railing of a bridge into a river channel. The boy is seen floating face down, motionless in the dirty shallow water. He is reportedly at a hospital in stable condition. Chileans are preparing to vote on a referendum that could replace the country’s Pinochet-era constitution. Over 8,500 human rights violations have been attributed to Chilean police since the start of protests over inequality and privatization started a year ago.

[Sources : Democracy Now!, New York Post, Al-Jazeera]

Der_Spiegel_logo.svg.png17.09.2020In Germany, 12 000 casgermany-flag-icon-32.pnges of illegal police violence each year

According to an yet-unpublished study, illegal police violence acts in Germany may be a lot more frequent than previously thought. This is the conclusion of a research led at Bochum University, by criminologist professor Tobias Singelnstein : at least 12.000 presumably illegal aggressions by police officers per year, 5 times more than actually registered cases.

This projection is based on the most extensive study on police violence in Germany to date. Over 1000 people participated in this study.

Based on our results so far, we suspect the dark zone might be 5 times larger than the clear zone revealed by statistics“, said Prof. Singelnstein to Kontrast and Der Spiegel reporters.

So far at least 2000 cases per year of  presumed police agressions were processed by State or Federal Prosecutors. Theses cases are seldom brought before penal Courts: less than 2% are tried before the courts, and less than 1% result in a criminal sentence, according to Prof. Singelnstein. Most often, this a case of the word of citizens vs. the word of police officers.

Prof. Singelnstein points out that the main reason of such a low rate of investigation is due to public prosecutors trying to avoid putting at risk their relatioship with the police. Moreover, Prosecutors tend to consider accusations of physical harm as generally unjustified, hence the low rate of registered complaints.

[Sources : Kontraste, Der Spiegel]

belarus-flag-icon-32.png17.09.2020Unknown pro-Loukachenko masked men film protesters, while other para-military beat an kidnap them

In this video compiling various footage of police and para-military brutality, new actors seem to have appeared in the Belarus streets to help police forces with the ferocious repression of anti-government protesters:

  • in Minsk, masked men equipped with video cameras and radios came to film protesters, declining to identify themselves
  • as protesters engage with them asking why they are filming and who they are, para-military dressed in fatigue with their face covered come to the rescue of the men in blue with batons… Those appeared in the country a week ago, they lead the repression of protests, beating them up and kidnapping them in unidentified cars, taking them to unknown places…
  • masked men in civilians clothes are also active in the streets alongside regular police forces and the special unit against organized crime…

[Sources : Arte TV, Nexta, social networks]


09.09.2020Police killing of an unarmed lawyer repeatedly tasered for ‘not social distancing’ sparks riots that leave at least seven dead

Javier Humberto Ordonez, a 46-year-old lawyer and father of two was allegedly violating coronavirus social distancing rules (Colombia had a six-month coronavirus pandemic lockdown that began in late March, with the harsh restrictions eased two weeks ago) when he became involved in an altercation with police in the early hours of Wednesday Sept. 9 morning.

Javier Humberto Ordóñez

In a video posted on social media by friends who were with him, Javier Ordonez can be heard shouting, “Please, no more, I’m suffocating” as two police officers continued to restrain him with their knees on his back and repeatedly tasing him. Javier Ordonez was taken into police custody early on Wednesday where family members have alleged he faced more police abuse. He died in hospital soon after.

Bogota’s Mayor Claudia Lopez called the police brutality “unacceptable“, but also condemned the violence in Bogota that resulted in deaths. Colombia’s defence minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, said rioting had killed seven people in Bogota with more than 150 civilians and police injured across Colombia. Protesters took to the streets on Wednesday night not only in Bogota, but also in the cities of Medellin, Pereida and Ibague, attacking police stations and public transport infrastructure.

The government announced the two officers involved have been suspended pending an investigation, and an autopsy on Javier Ordonez would be carried out.

[Sources : Twitter, BBC, Caracol TV, Colombiamegusta, Liberation News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Sun, RT]

Logo_TheGuardian.pngaustralia-flag-icon-32.png28.08.2020 Tanya Day’s family ‘devastated’ that no police will face charges for death in custody

Police officers involved in the death in custody of the Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day will not face any criminal charges.

The Victorian coroner Caitlin English referred the case to the director of public prosecutions in April, saying in her lengthy inquest findings: “I believe an indictable offence may have been committed in connection to Ms Day’s death.”

Victoria police said they had received advice from the office of public prosecutions not to proceed with charges against any officers involved in Day’s death, which the inquest found was caused by a fall in the cells of Castlemaine police station in December 2017. []

Day died in hospital on 22 December 2017 from a brain haemorrhage sustained when she fell and hit her head in the police cells 17 days earlier, after being arrested for public drunkenness. Police officers told the coroner she had been detained for her own protection, to sober up, but the coroner found that the welfare checks conducted by two police officers responsible for Day’s care in the cells were inadequate and not compliant with police guidelines, and that one of those offices was not a “credible witness”.

No internal sanctions have been issued by Victoria police against any officer involved. The force said it acknowledged the loss and suffering experienced by Day’s family.

[Source : The Guardian]

NY-Times-logo.pnggreece-flag-icon-32.png14.08.2020 – Taking Hard Line, Greece Turns Back Migrants by Abandoning Them at Sea

The Greek government has secretly expelled more than 1,000 refugees from Europe’s borders in recent months, sailing many of them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoning them in inflatable and sometimes overburdened life rafts.

Since March, at least 1,072 asylum seekers have been dropped at sea by Greek officials in at least 31 separate expulsions, according to an analysis of evidence by The New York Times from three independent watchdogs, two academic researchers and the Turkish Coast Guard. The Times interviewed survivors from five of those episodes and reviewed photographic or video evidence from all 31.

It was very inhumane,” said Najma al-Khatib, a 50-year-old Syrian teacher, who says masked Greek officials took her and 22 others, including two babies, under cover of darkness from a detention center on the island of Rhodes on July 26 and abandoned them in a rudderless, motorless life raft before they were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard. []

Illegal under international law, the expulsions are the most direct and sustained attempt by a European country to block maritime migration using its own forces since the height of the migration crisis in 2015, when Greece was the main thoroughfare for migrants and refugees seeking to enter Europe.

The Greek government denied any illegality. []

These pushbacks are totally illegal in all their aspects, in international law and in European law,” said Prof. François Crépeau, an expert on international law and a former United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. []

Greeks were once far more understanding of the plight of migrants. But many have grown frustrated and hostile after a half-decade in which other European countries offered Greece only modest assistance as tens of thousands of asylum seekers languished in squalid camps on overburdened Greek islands.

Since the election last year of a new conservative government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece has taken a far harder line against the migrants — often refugees from the war in Syria — who push off Turkish shores for Europe.

The harsher approach comes as tensions have mounted with Turkey, itself burdened with 3.6 million refugees from the Syrian war, far more than any other nation. []

[Read the full article on : The New York Times]

Logo DemocractyNow!belarus-flag-icon-32.png13.08.2020 – U.N. Sounds Alarm as Belarus Police Open Fire on Anti-Government Protesters

In Belarus, police fired live ammunition, stun grenades and water cannons at anti-government protesters as demonstrations calling for the ouster of longtime authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko continued for a fourth straight evening. The U.N. high commissioner for human rights called the police use of force excessive and a clear violation of international human rights standards, saying 6,000 people have been detained — including children — with at least two protesters killed by police.

In a harrowing video broadcast by Belarus state television, a half-dozen terrified protesters are shown lined up against a wall with injuries to their heads as, one by one, they promise to no longer take part in anti-government protests.

On Wednesday, hundreds of women dressed in white marched peacefully through the streets of Minsk demanding an end to police brutality.

Protester: “We stand against violence, against people getting beaten. We are standing against our children living in such a forceful state. We just want a bright future for us and our children.”

[Sources : DemocracyNow!, The New York Times]