SHAFAQNA-- The Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been transferred from hospital to prison, US police say.
The US Marshals Service said the 19-year-old had been moved from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to a facility at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been in hospital since his arrest following a huge police operation a week ago.
He was found badly injured in a boat in a suburban backyard. His brother Tamerlan was killed during the manhunt.
Many of the injured have also been treated at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and were reported to be unhappy at having the surviving bombing suspect in the same building.
The US Marshals Service said the accused, whose condition has been described as fair, was taken overnight to the Federal Medical Center Devens some 40 miles (65km) west of Boston.
The facility, on the decommissioned Fort Devens US Army base, treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialised long-term medical or mental health care, the Associated Press reports.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged, by a magistrate at his hospital bedside earlier this week, with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
He could be sentenced to death if convicted on either count.
Having suffered apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs and hand, he was reported to have responded to questions in writing because a throat wound left him unable to speak.
The two bombs, placed in pressure cookers and left close to the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on 15 April, killed three people and wounded more than 260.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Thursday that the Tsarnaev brothers had concocted a spur-of-the-moment plan to attack Times Square with their remaining explosives: a pressure cooker device and five pipe bombs.
They hijacked a Mercedes and its driver in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the evening of 18 April, but the driver managed to escape and alert police when the brothers stopped for petrol, say the authorities.
Police say they then intercepted the brothers in the stolen car, prompting a gun battle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.
The Tsarnaev family has origins in the predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya in southern Russia, but the brothers had been living in the US for nearly a decade.
The pair are thought to have planned the attack themselves, without help from foreign militants, and are suspected of having become radicalised online.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has said he and his brother were angry about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are questions as to whether the US security services could have done more to prevent the bombings.
It has emerged the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev after a tip-off from Russia that he had become a follower of radical Islam, but agents found nothing and closed the case.
And Tamerlan Tsarnaev was added to a terrorism watch list 18 months ago at the CIA's request, according to US media reports.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Another Palestinian prisoner has died under mysterious circumstances in Israel’s Nafha Prison, Palestinian sources say.
The prisoner, whose name has not been released, died in the Israeli prison in Be’er Sheva.
On Wednesday, Palestinians staged a sit-in in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
The sit-in was held to raise awareness on the condition of Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers such as Samer Issawi, who was arrested in July 2012 only months after being released as part of a prisoner swap deal between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas.
Issawi has been on hunger strike to protest against his administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows the Tel Aviv regime to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.
Earlier this month, Maisarah Abu Hamdiah, another Palestinian detainee, also died in an Israeli jail, triggering protests.
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been subject to human rights violations such as the use of torture during interrogations by prison authorities.
Arafat Jaradat, 30, who was arrested on February 18 on suspicion that he was involved in hurling stones at Israeli troopers, died days later in Israel’s Magiddo prison. The Israeli regime claims that Jaradat died of cardiac arrest, a claim Palestinians deny.
According to Palestinian sources, over 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons, many of them without charge or trial. www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Afghanistan has taken full control of Bagram military prison from the US, as US-led forces wind down more than a decade of war.
The handover on Monday follows an agreement reached after a week of negotiations between US and Afghan officials, which includes assurances that inmates who "pose a danger" to Afghans and international forces will continue to be detained under Afghan law.
The move came as John Kerry, the US secretary of state, arrived in Kabul for a surprise trip, holding a news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai in which he said that both governments were "on the same page" when it came to peace talks with the Taliban, another source of tension in recent weeks.
Earlier, Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, spoke with Karzai by telephone about the detention facility, which is located next to Bagram airfield.
"The secretary welcomed president Karzai's commitment that the transfer will be carried out in a way that assures the safety of the Afghan people and coalition forces by keeping dangerous individuals detained in a secure and humane manner in accordance with Afghan law," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.
The US last year agreed to hand over responsibility for most of the more than 3,000 detainees at the prison to Afghanistan and held a transfer ceremony in September.
US soldiers remained at the prison, however, and controlled the area around it.
A formal ceremony transferring the last prisoners to Afghan custody collapsed at the last minute two weeks ago when General Joseph Dunford, the head of international forces in Afghanistan, called it off after Karzai rejected part of the transfer deal.
The collapse provoked an angry response from Karzai and embarrassed both sides as Hagel was starting his first official visit to the country as defense secretary.
The Afghan government raised concerns about keeping suspects in detention who had not faced any formal charges in court, terming any US insistence on suspected anti-state fighters being kept in detention as being a violation of sovereignty.
At the formal handover ceremony on Monday, Dunford said the transfer "highlights an increasingly confident, capable and sovereign Afghanistan".
About three dozen non-Afghan detainees, including Pakistanis and other nationals, will remain in US hands under the new agreement. The exact number and nationality of all detainees at the base has never been made public.
After Monday's handover, the facility was renamed the Afghan National Detention Facility at Parwan and the US military said it would provide the Afghan army with advisers and $39m in funding.
'On the same page'
Speaking at the news conference on Monday, Kerry said: "I am confident [Karzai] does not believe the US has any interest except to see the Taliban come to the table to make peace."
Kerry's 24-hour visit to the country was his sixth since Barack Obama became US president, but his first as Obama's secretary of state.
He plans to meet with civic leaders and others to discuss continued US assistance to the country, and how to wean it from such aid, as the international military operation winds down and upcoming national elections are held.
Karzai hailed the handing over of the detention facility at the Bagram base as being positive for the Afghan-US relationship, and said that he hoped that negotiations to reach an agreement to govern US involvement in Afghanistan post-2014 would reach a positive conclusion.
On talks with the Taliban, Karzai said that the Taliban would have to join the process in earnest, and that neighbouring Pakistan also had a role to play in securing a peace deal.
Rights groups, meanwhile, have raised concerns about the Afghan government's treatment of detainees at Bagram and elsewhere.
"Amnesty International is concerned about the allegations of torture against those detainees who have been in Afghan custody," Horia Mosadiq, Afghanistan researcher at Amnesty, told Al Jazeera.
"The United Nations and other human rights groups in the past few years have frequently raised the concern about the widespread use of torture and ill-treatment against detainees who are kept within the Afghan National Security directorate and Afghan police and other Afghan government agencies.
"Unfortunately, in the past one year, [...] there hasn't been much progress in reforming detention centres and the prison system in Afghanistan."-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- A senior Iranian government official has been arrested two years after a parliamentary probe found him responsible for deaths by torture of at least three jailed anti-government protesters, state media reported Tuesday.
Saeed Mortazavi — a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — was taken to Tehran's Evin prison late Monday night, according to the reports, which gave few details on the arrest. Mortazavi once served as Tehran's prosecutor general.
Mortazavi has been at the center of an escalating confrontation between Ahmadinejad and the president's conservative rivals in parliament ahead of the June presidential election.
Ahmadinejad cannot run a third time because of term limits, and many of his allies have either been arrested or pushed to the political margins by opponents in reaction the president's attempt to extend his powers.
Mortazavi's detention came a day after Ahmadinejad showed parliament a barely audible video showing Fazel Larijani, brother of parliament speaker Ali Larijani, meeting with Mortazavi and allegedly seeking a bribe from the former prosecutor. The money allegedly sought was in exchange for getting Ali Larijani to support a business deal involving a company linked to Mortazavi. Ali Larijani denied any links to the video.
Ahmadinejad strongly denounced Mortazavi's arrest, accusing the judiciary of being run as a "family institution" — a reference to the Larijanis. Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, another brother of the speaker, is Iran's judiciary chief.
"The judiciary should be the judiciary of the nation and not one special family's private organization," said Ahmadinejad in remarks posted on the president's website.
"This is very ugly. It's not appropriate for the people of the Islamic Republic and the judiciary," Ahmadinejad said before leaving Tuesday for Egypt, to attend a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. "I'll definitely pursue this matter seriously when I return."
Mortazavi was Tehran city prosecutor in 2009, during mass protests in the wake of Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. At the time, he was responsible for Kahrizak prison in the Iranian capital, where at least three anti-government protesters were tortured to death. He now heads the country's social security fund.
Iran's reformists have openly criticized Mortazavi during his years in the judiciary. He was even dubbed "butcher of the press" for the closures of more than 120 newspapers and the imprisonment of dozens of journalists and political activists over the past 13 years.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency said Mortazavi was detained at midnight Monday. Fars, another semiofficial news agency, said he was detained as he was leaving work and taken to Evin prison, just north of Tehran.
Fars had different takes on why Mortazavi was arrested. In one, it said the authorities have Mortazavi for misappropriation of state funds, while in another, it said the arrest was related to Mortazavi's role in the 2009 prison deaths of the protesters.
The following year, a parliamentary probe into the case found Mortazavi responsible for what had happened at Kahrizak. He was suspended as Tehran prosecutor general and the case remained open for a judicial investigation, though no further action was taken against Mortazavi.
The judiciary said the prison deaths would be investigated again in March.
The three prisoners, detained in mass street protests against Ahmadinejad, died in Kahrizak a month after their arrest. The case embarrassed the authorities and drew some of the fiercest criticism against Iran's government and its treatment of those arrested in the turmoil following the election.
On Sunday, Iranian lawmakers impeached the country's labor minister, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, another Ahmadinejad ally, for appointing Mortazavi as head of the social security fund. www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Government officials were evacuating a prison after a deadly riot that reportedly left at least 61 people dead and 120 others wounded in Venezuela's northwestern city of Barquisimeto, Venezuela's top prisons official said.
Penitentiary Service Minister Iris Varela said on Saturday that officials had decided to evacuate all inmates from the Uribana prison in the central city of Barquisimeto after the bloodshed on Friday in order to "close this chapter of violence.''
Varela said inmates were being taken to other facilities.
Most of those injured at the Uribana prison in Lara state late on Friday suffered gunshot wounds, Ruy Medina, the hospital official said.
Among the dead are a pastor and a member of the National Guard - the rest are said to be inmates, the hospital director said.
He called the death toll "alarming", saying it was based solely on bodies brought to the hospital.
Saying that "prisons need to be places of re-education not for crimes and mafia", Nicholas Maduro, Venezuelan vice president, said an "immediate investigation" had been launched into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
Medina said the inmates began arriving at the hospital shortly before midday, and that 14 of the injured had wounds severe enough to require surgery.
Iris Varela, the government minister responsible for Venezuela's jails and prisons, said the riot was set off after inmates rebelled when prison authorities launched a sweep of the facility in search of illicit weapons.
Varela had said earlier in the day that there was an "undetermined number" of casualties from the melee.
The state of Venezuelan prisons have often been called into question, especially for their overcrowding, which is among the worst in Latin America.
While the country's prisons have been built to house 14,000 inmates, there are almost 50,000 prisoners behind bars.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- A cat has been detained in the grounds of a jail in Brazil with contraband goods for prisoners strapped to its body with tape.
The white cat was apprehended crossing the main prison gate.
The incident took place at a jail in Arapiraca city, 250km (155 miles) south-west of Recife in Alagoas state.
The confiscated items included drill bits, files, a mobile phone and charger, plus earphones The cat was taken to a local animal centre.
A prison spokesperson was quoted by local paper Estado de S. Paulo as saying: "It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak."
Officials said the items could be used to effect a means of escape or for communicating with criminals on the outside.
The incident took place at New Year, but the photo has only recently been released.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its grave concern over the continued delay in providing proper medical treatment to the imprisoned opposition leader and former cancer patient Mr. Hassan Mushaima, whose cancer may have returned as doctors report having located another tumor. The BCHR is also concerned for the lack of transparency in providing Mushima, his family, and his lawyer with the latest results of his medical examination.
In 2010, Mr. Hassan Mushaima (65 years old) received cancer treatment for stage IV follicular lymphoma (a malignant cancer); he undertook 6 cycles of chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden hospital. In order to prevent the relapse of the disease, he was advised by doctors to take two injections of Rituximab on a monthly basis for two years (until January 2013). Since his arrest on 17 March 2011 in Bahrain, there has been no confirmed information that Mushaima has been provided with the required preventive medication while in prison.
Mushaima’s family stated that Mr. Mushaima was given unknown injections while in detention on three different occasions in 2011, while blindfolded and handcuffed, and without knowing the identity of the doctor or the name of the hospital in which he was located. Although his lawyer has requested a clarification on the treatment he received, as well as a copy of the medical report since August 2011, no clarification has been provided.
In October 2012, and after conducting scans for Mr. Mushaima, a doctor informed him that a tumor in his pelvis area had been observed and confirmed that it was cancer. Upon his repeated insistence and a call to the Red Cross, Mr. Mushaima was allowed to be examined by his personal doctor, who also confirmed the tumor’s existence, but added that further examination was needed for a more reliable diagnosis.
On the 4th of November, 2012, Mr. Mushaima was taken to the military hospital to have a biopsy and was told that the results would be available within ten days. No information about this biopsy has been provided to him.
On the 22nd of December 2012, Mushaima was taken from prison to have a surgery at the military hospital in order to get a sample of the tumour. He was not allowed to know the operating doctor. He was returned back to prison in the same day, and told that he will know the results within 2 weeks.
On the 25th of December, 2012, the Public Prosecution issued a statementstating that “Mushaima is receiving complete and thorough health care since his arrest.” The Public Prosecution said in their statement that Mr. Mushaima was taken to the hospital for medical visits around 80 times since his arrest on the 17th of March, 2011, and alleged that he refused to take treatment "required for his condition”. It was also added that the recent surgery was arranged with Mushaima in advance.
When Mr. Hassan Mushaima tried to respond to the Public Prosecution’s statement during a phone call he made to his family, a prison officer interrupted the call, and ordered Mushaima to stop speaking on his condition by saying “it’s prohibited”, while Mushaima argued for his right to speak about his condition to his family, the phone call was disconnected. [YouTube Audio of Mushaia Phonecall - Arabic]
Mushaima’s family responded to the statement issued by the Public Prosecution with the following:
“Mushaima didn't refuse his treatment, he went three times to take the injections, but every time he went he was blind folded, handcuffed and put in this way for several hours, which is why he suspended going to the injections until humane treatment is provided. He was supposed to have an operation on November 4th, 2012, but it was cancelled for no reason. Only when the European MPs came to Bahrain and intended to visit the prison they told Mushaima that his operation will be after 2 days.”
The information on Mr. Mushaima’s health and the lack of transparency regarding his current medical state is a cause of serious concern. The lack of access to his medical reports concerning his actual condition, as well as the secrecy surrounding the doctors who are conducting the detainee’s surgery are not aligned with his rights a patient and as a prisoner. The public prosecution’s statement indicated a serious health condition for the 65 year-old detainee, as it seems that his condition requires approximately 4 medical visits per month. It is also worrying that he is not allowed to discuss his own health condition with his family.
The political opposition leader Mr Hassan Mushaima received a life sentence by a military court in June 2011, which was upheld in September 2012. During his detention, and despite his age and medical condition, Mr. Mushaima was subjected to extreme physical and psychological torture including direct blows to the body; sleep deprivation; drenching in cold water then placed under a cold air conditioning unit; verbal abuse; and threats to target his family for abuse and harassment. The torture he was subjected to has been confirmed in the BICI report , and Mr Mushaima has described this treatment in detail to the court that upheld the sentence against him in September 2012, despite the fact that no evidence was presented against him.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls for the immediate release of Mr. Hassan Mushaima as he is a prisoner of conscience who was imprisoned solely for practicing his right to freedom of speech. The BCHR demands that he be immediately provided with access to the necessary medical treatment that he requires, inside or outside of Bahrain, in order to avoid any further risk for his life. The BCHR holds the Bahraini authorities responsible for the life of Hassan Mushaima and his well-being.
1. Urgent Appeal: Prominent Opposition Leader Hassan Mushaima in need of urgent medical attention
2. Public Prosecution Statement on Mushaima Health [Arabic]
3. The Judiciary and Public Prosecution in Bahrain are Tools to Oppress the Human Rights Activists and Political Opponents
4. The Testimony of Hassan Mushaima, A Bahraini Prisoner Sentenced For Life of Imprisonment In Bahraini Court
Source : BCHR
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - The detention of a 16-year-old Bahraini boy in an adult prison has been extended for a further week despite the Bahraini authorities’ failure to bring any charges against him, which Amnesty International said violates international standards of justice.On 11 December, police raided the family home of Mohammad Mohammad ‘Abdulnabi ‘Abdulwasi in Sitra – an island east of the capital Manama – and arrested him, despite failing to produce a warrant. Family members present at the time allege that riot police broke the main door and took money and other possessions with them.Since his arrest, the 16-year-old has not been allowed to see his family or a lawyer, and his unlawful detention in Dry Dock Prison – a facility for adults – has been extended until 26 December.
“It is absolutely shocking that Bahraini authorities broke into this boy’s house, detained him unlawfully and are still holding him in an adult prison, despite never bringing any charges against him,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.“Mohammad Mohammad ‘Abdulnabi ‘Abdulwasi should not be treated as an adult before the law, and the authorities must immediately grant him access to his family and lawyer. Unless they can disclose the reason for his arrest and charge him with an internationally recognizable offence, he should be set free.”‘Abdulnabi ‘Abdulwasi’s family did not know his whereabouts for two days after his arrest. On 18 December he was allowed to call them and told them he was being held at Dry Dock Prison, but he has yet to be allowed a visit from relatives or a lawyer.No charges appear to have been brought against him and the exact reasons for his arrest remain unknown.
Child detention concerns
In the past few months, a growing number of 15 to 17-year-olds have been held in adult prisons and detention centres in Bahrain. Some sources put the number as high as 80.Many of these children were arrested during demonstrations, where they were accused of “illegal gathering” and rioting.In some cases, they appear to have been targeted and punished solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.Some of the child detainees have alleged they were beaten during their arrest or on the way to detention, and some have also been forced to sign “confessions”.Under international law, anyone under the age of 18 is a child, and children suspected of a criminal offence should be treated according to the rules of the juvenile justice system.“Children should always be held separately from adults, and the Bahraini authorities must protect all child detainees from torture or other ill-treatment,” said Hadj Sahraoui.“The Bahraini authorities’ disregard for international juvenile justice standards is just another sad indicator of the ongoing deterioration in the country’s human rights situation.”
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - When 23-year-old Soheila was forced by her father to marry an older Afghan man, she ran away and married the man she loved. Her father tracked her down and dragged her back to Kabul where she was sentenced to six years in the women’s prison – all despite being pregnant.
“Here I don’t have a life. My child does not have a future. Life in prison is difficult. But if I go to be with my husband, my father will kill me,” Soheila told filmmakers of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR).
CIR's film offers a rare glimpse into the daily lives of Afghan women behind bars against a backdrop of rising violence. The center explains that the majority of women in Afghan prisons have committed what courts describe as moral crimes: refusing arranged marriages, running away from home, marrying without family consent and attempting adultery. Prisons, much like safe-houses established by NGOs, have emerged as one of the few places women can go to be safe.
On Tuesday, the United Nations published a report revealing a rising number of discrimination and domestic abuse cases among Afghan women, and this despite the 2009 Elimination of Violence Against Women law. Most of these incidents, the report says, remain under-reported because of "cultural restraints, social norms and religious beliefs," according to Reuters.
The report comes only a day after unknown gunmen fatally shot Nadia Sediqqi, acting head of the women's affairs department in Laghman province. Reuters reported that Sediqqi's predecessor Hanifa Safi was killed by a car bomb in July. Safi's family blamed the Taliban for the attack.
Most of women's rights abuses in Afghanistan are seen as being rooted in the rampant illiteracy in the male-dominated country. Even so, Afghan women’s rights lawyer Gol Ghutai tells CIR that the responsibility of Afghan society is not just to educate women on women's rights, but also to educate men.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Mr. Breivik, the Norwegian extremist convicted of the coldly premeditated murders of 77 people in 2011, is serving a 21-year sentence in a maximum-security prison outside Oslo. He is not satisfied with the accommodations, though: his three-cell suite with a television and exercise equipment, lodgings commensurate with Norway’s typically humane treatment of its convicts.
Addressing penal officials in a 27-page letter obtained by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang and confirmed by his lawyer, Mr. Breivik bemoaned the “800” strip searches he has undergone, for instance. Not one of them has shown him to be holding an object “between the buttocks,” he noted.
He would enjoy more social interaction, according to the letter, which says he is alone with his thoughts for “23 hours and 55 minutes” on a typical day and speaks only with his guards.
“Such treatment isn’t human,” said a lawyer for Mr. Breivik, Tord Jordet, according to Agence France-Presse.
Mr. Breivik is denied a computer or Internet access to prevent him from spreading his ideology of racial hatred, officials have said.
He expressed many other concerns in his letter, many of them prosaic. He must be supervised while shaving and brushing his teeth, he complained, and because of the “mental strain” this causes he is forced to limit those activities to once a week. Nor is he permitted to keep hydrating skin cream in his quarters, which are drab and without a view, he wrote. Switches for his lights and television are outside his suite of cells, obliging him to summon guards to turn them on and off.
Mr. Breivik dislikes handcuffs, too, because the steel edges cut into his wrists, and he dreads putting them on for each trip outside his cell, Verdens Gang reported. Without a thermos, his coffee frequently goes cold, according to news media reports.
Furthermore, he wrote, his phone calls and mail are unfairly censored. “His freedom of speech is being violated,” Mr. Jordet said.
Only correspondence from “New Testament Christians and other people who do not like me” has reached him in recent months, Mr. Breivik wrote.
Letters aside, Mr. Breivik would like to pursue his literary ambitions while in prison, he said, but those aspirations are being thwarted by the stab-resistant safety pen he has been provided, “a nightmare of a tool” that causes his hand to cramp. The pen is “an almost indescribable manifestation of sadism,” he wrote, though presumably it did not prevent him from composing his lengthy letter of complaint.
A prison spokeswoman said Mr. Breivik was given an electric typewriter on Friday. It was not given in response to Mr. Breivik’s letter, the spokeswoman said, according to The Associated Press.
“I highly doubt that there are worse detention facilities in Norway,” Mr. Breivik wrote.
Mr. Breivik’s 21-year sentence is the country’s maximum, and he is considered the most heinous offender in modern Scandinavian history.
Mr. Breivik confessed to setting off bombs in downtown Oslo in July 2011 before shooting dozens of people at a summer youth camp run by the Labor Party. He said the killings were intended to protect Norway from Muslims and multiculturalism. — www.shafaqna.com/English