Pakistani High Court orders police to investigate CIA drone strikes – Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8160 For immediate release: Thurs, June 05, 2014

Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8160  For immediate release: Thurs, June 05, 2014
Pakistani High Court orders police to investigate CIA drone strikes

A judge at the High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, has ordered the Pakistani police to open a criminal investigation into the CIA’s involvement in a drone strike that killed three people, including a teenager, on December 31 2009.

Ruling in the case of Kareem Khan, a resident of the country’s North Waziristan region whose brother and son were among the dead, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered police to examine whether Jonathan Banks, former CIA station chief in Islamabad, and John Rizzo, former CIA General Counsel, are guilty of committing murder, waging war against Pakistan and offences under the provisions of the Terrorism Act 1997 for their involvement in authorizing the New Years’ Eve strike.

Mr Khan first brought the case in 2011 with support from the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR) in Pakistan. In February this year Mr Khan, who has been an outspoken critic of the covert US programme, was illegally detained for ten days by unknown men in police uniforms, ahead of a European trip where he spoke to parliamentarians about the civilian impact of the US drone programme.

Commenting on today’s judgement, Kareem Khan said: “Today’s order is a victory for all those innocent civilians that have been killed in US-led drone strikes in Pakistan. I also feel heartened that people like me in Waziristan might now also be able to get justice for the wrongs being done to them. I sincerely hope that the authorities now do their job and investigate the culprits”.

Jennifer Gibson, attorney for legal charity Reprieve, which is assisting Mr Khan, said:  “Today’s decision marks a crucial first step in finally providing justice for people like Kareem – the innocent victims of the CIA’s illegal drone wars. The message is clear – there can be no impunity for the killing of innocent people. The police in Pakistan should move to launch their investigation as soon as possible.”


Notes to editors1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: (UK) +44 (0) 207 553 8160 /

Sign up to join our press mailing list.


How can the government’s new ESA specialist claim he knows nothing about all the deaths?

Vox Political

Dr Paul Litchfield, here pictured giving evidence at another committee meeting, so it's probably another load of tripe. Dr Paul Litchfield, here pictured giving evidence at another committee meeting – so it’s probably another load of tripe.

An evidence session on Employment and Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments was held by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee on Wednesday – and was notable for the fact that the ‘expert’ hired to review the system claimed to know nothing about the thousands of deaths taking place because of the current system.

Dr Paul Litchfield OBE was hired to take over from Professor Malcolm Harrington to carry out the fourth annual independent review of the assessment process. It seems Prof Harrington was replaced amicably, but evidence has come to light that he was not happy with political decisions that ran against his findings.

A claim that the government was taking “appropriate steps” in areas singled out for improvement by Prof Harrington was disproved when it was revealed…

View original post 597 more words

刘霞的要求: Nobel Peace Laureate’s wife Liu Xia Under House Arrest: Pleads for Freedom!


This gallery contains 17 photos.

Originally posted on Sustain-Able 余 : ♥
The Conscience of China: Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia Liu Xia’s Pleads for Freedom!  Translation by Cecilia.W.Yu 余詠詩 because the translation in the source material left some ambiguities, for the non-Chinese speaking readers. Original Source: zengjinyan’s official…

Self Evident Truths Comes to SF! Public · By Tyler Renner, IO Tillett Wright and 2 others

  • Clear 15°C / 8°C
  • Self Evident Truths Project is coming to San Francisco on Sunday, December 15th and we want you! Be part of thousands of faces humanizing America’s LGBTQ Community!


    ” Self Evident Truths Project is a photographic document of 10,000 Americans who identify as NOT 100% straight. That means ANYWHERE on the LGBTQ spectrum. The idea is to humanize our community for those that think they don’t know any gay people. We want to show them that we come in all shapes and sizes, and look just like everyone else!”

    IO TIllett Wright will be photographing! You can watch her TED talk, “Fifty Shades of Gay” here:


    11am-2pm: Corner of Market and Castro

    2pm-4pm: Hi Tops: 2247 Market Street

    (each photograph will take less than 5 minutes)

    PLEASE, spread the word and email/facebook invite as many people as possible!

    We are super excited to make this happen! See you all there!

    Thank you,

For refugee children like Najah, who’ve fled ..Syria, the arrival of snow means that the freezing wet ground they sleep on will feel unbearable.


For refugee children like Najah, who’ve fled the violence in Syria, the arrival of snow means that the freezing wet ground they sleep on will feel unbearable. And the flimsy summer clothes they fled in will be even more inadequate. 

These innocent children have been forced to leave their homes in terror. They have survived terrible conflict.

Now as temperatures plummet, their lives are in danger again. We are already providing warm clothes, waterproof boots and sleeping bags. But hundreds more children arrive every day. 

We urgently need your support so we can keep these children warm and help them survive the winter. 

Please donate today and help keep a Syrian child safe and warm >

Photo: © STR/AFP/Getty Images

Holmes Wilson Fight for the Future – Aaron Swartz was a friend, and we went to his funeral Tuesday.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the win against SOPA, and instead this week has been crushingly sad.  Aaron Swartz was a friend, and we went to his funeral Tuesday.

Aaron was behind so much of the amazing activism you see on the web.  He helped Lessig start Creative Commons and helped get Reddit off the ground.  With David Segal he founded Demand Progress.  He gave us tons of advice and encouragement on Fight for the Future and even swooped in to fix our website at a crucial moment in the first SOPA protest (it was amazing to watch him work).

The tool that delivers your letters to Congress when you take action on our sites?  He built that.  Probably in a day or two.

It’s fun and comforting to be in awe of him.  But all that “boy genius” stuff is not the important part.  The thing that distinguished Aaron more than his intelligence was that he was political and effective.  He didn’t use his ability to make apps– he used it to right wrongs.  But he didn’t let the deep corruption in his Chomsky books turn him into a helpless cataloguer of the world’s sins and scams.  He worked backwards to some steps he thought might–just maybe–make things better.  Part of my horror at losing him is how clutch he was to have on our side.  He was so powerful, versatile, and independent.  If this was chess, they took our queen.

But that’s the one way he can be replaced.  Not as a friend.  And probably not by any single person on this planet.  But by a network of people infected with his brazen courage.  

I remember Aaron saying that one of the best things Fight for the Future could do– beyond stopping or even passing any piece of legislation– would be to encourage activists and geeks to think bigger and bolder.  In a world where any one of us can build things or say things that mobilize millions, handfuls of people can do so much.  So it matters what you think.  It matters what your dreams are.   And it makes a difference when you step up.

Seriously, this is 2013.  Kickstarter exists.  Bitcoin exists!  Half the planet will soon have the Internet in their pockets, and most of them aren’t very happy with their governments or employers.  That’s a lot to work with.   So try something! 🙂  In this email, there’s no simple link to an action you can take; it’s on you to make a plan.  But once you do, post it to #ForAaron … we’d like to read it.

Aaron had so many friends and allies, and all of them want to make some lasting change in his memory, both to advance the causes he worked for and fix the unjust system that lead to his death.  These include:

* Fixing the CFAA, the law used to prosecute Aaron that makes harmless “terms of service” violations felonies
* Requiring open access to *all* research that receives public funding
* Building ever greater archives of open data
* Creating consequences for prosecutors who bring disproportionate cases against the innocent or harmless

We’ll be helping on all of these fronts, personally or as FFTF.  As Massachusetts natives, we’ll work to end the political careers of the prosecutors here who targeted Aaron.  

Finally, if you do anything right now, learn about depression.  Tiffiniy and I agree 100% with Aaron’s family and closest friends that the actions of federal prosecutors and MIT were what killed him.   But there’s more to it than that, and we can’t shake the feeling that our community’s responses to depression are failing brilliant people like Aaron.  Anyone who dreams big is going to encounter extreme stress.  Anyone who works independently, driven by their own values and goals is especially vulnerable to spirals of guilt, frustration and depression when they hit a wall or push past their limits.  The private, quiet lives that fuel our focus when we’re happy become hellish traps when depression starts.  All of us someday will lose a parent, a partner, a sibling, or someone close to us.   If it hasn’t happened to you, it will– and it can throw you, hard.  So get help, don’t be afraid to rely on others (including doctors or therapists) and when it hits your friends, go above and beyond for them.  If you have a project you’d like to pursue to address mental health issues at scale, using the Internet, be in touch– we’d love to help in some way.

With sadness, and love,

Holmes Wilson
Fight for the Future

P.S. We’ll be launching something in the morning.

Breaking the taboo Posted on January 11, 2013


Breaking the taboo

Breaking the tabooLet us break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now.Sign the petition

Breaking the Taboo is a global grass-roots campaign website against the War on Drugs, run by the Beckley Foundation in association with The Global Commission on Drug Policy, Virgin Unite, Avaaz and Sundog Pictures. The Mission Statement of the campaign is the Beckley Foundation Public Letter calling for a new approach to the War on Drugs, signed by nine Presidents, twelve Nobel prize winners, and many other world figures. The site hosts a coalition of international NGOs, united in their belief that the War on Drugs has failed and that global drug policy can and must be reformed. An Avaaz petition is hosted on the site, which will be presented to the UN. We hope that by collecting together so many voices calling for change, we will finally be able to persuade governments and lawmakers into adopting a humane and rational approach to drugs.

Mission Statement:

The global war on drugs has failed. It is time for a new approach.

We call on Governments and Parliaments to recognise that:

Fifty years after the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was launched, the global war on drugs has failed, and has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide.

Use of the major controlled drugs has risen, and supply is cheaper and more available than ever before. The UN conservatively estimates that there are now over 250 million drug users worldwide.

Illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world, after food and oil, all in the control of criminals. Fighting the war on drugs costs the world’s taxpayers incalculable billions each year. Millions of people are in prison worldwide for drug-related offences, mostly personal users and small-time dealers.

Corruption amongst law-enforcers and politicians, especially in producer and transit countries, has spread as never before, endangering democracy and civil society. Stability, security and development are threatened by the fallout from the war on drugs, as are human rights. Tens of thousands of people die in the drug war each year.

The drug-free world so confidently predicted by supporters of the war on drugs is further than ever from attainment.The policies of prohibition create more harms than they prevent. We must seriously consider shifting resources away from criminalising tens of millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, and move towards an approach based on health, harm-reduction, cost-effectiveness and respect for human rights.

Evidence consistently shows that these health-based approaches deliver better results than criminalisation. Improving our drug policies is one of the key policy challenges of our time. It is time for world leaders to fundamentally review their strategies in response to the drug phenomenon.

At the root of current policies lies the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is time to re-examine this treaty, which imposes a “one-size-fits-all” solution, in order to allow individual countries the freedom to explore drug policies that better suit their domestic needs.

As the production, demand and use of drugs cannot be eradicated, new ways must be found to minimise harms, and new policies, based on scientific evidence, must be explored.

Let us break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now.

Yours faithfully,

President Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

President Otto Pérez Molina, President of Guatemala

President César Gaviria, Former President of Colombia

President Lech Wałęsa, Former President of Poland, Nobel Prize winner

President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Former President of Poland

President Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States of America

President Fernando H. Cardoso, Former President of Brazil

President Ruth Dreifuss, Former President of Switzerland

President Vincente Fox, Former President of Mexico

Sir Richard Branson, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Virgin Group

Bernardo Bertolucci, Oscar-winning Film Director

Carlos Fuentes, Novelist and essayist

Sean Parker, Founding President of Facebook, Director of Spotify

Thorvald Stoltenberg, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Asma Jahangir, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Execution

Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ, Former UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights

Professor Sir Anthony Leggett, Physicist, Nobel Prize winner

Dr. Kary Mullis, Chemist, Nobel Prize winner

Maria Cattaui, Former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce

Wisława Szymborska, Poet, Nobel Prize winner

Professor Sir Harold Kroto, Chemist, Nobel Prize winner

Professor Sir Harold Kroto, Chemist, Nobel Prize winner

Gilberto Gil, Musician, former Minister of Culture, Brazil

Professor Thomas C. Schelling, Economist, Nobel Prize winner

Professor Sir Peter Mansfield, Economist, Nobel Prize winner

Professor Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard University

Professor Colin Blakemore, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and University of Warwick

Professor David Nutt, Former Chair of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Professor of Economics at Cambridge

Dr. Julian Huppert, MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform

Dr. Muhammed Abdul Bari, MBE, Former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

Trudie Styler, Actress and producer

Professor Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University

Lord Mancroft, Chair of the Drug and Alcohol Foundation

Professor A. C. Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities

General Lord Ramsbotham, Former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Lord MacDonald, QC, Former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service

Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, Former Editor of The Sunday Telegraph

Tom Brake, MP, Co-chair of the Lib Dem Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities Parliamentary Policy Committee

Professor Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT

George P. Schultz, Former US Secretary of State

Yoko Ono, Musician and artist

Mario Vargas Llosa, Writer, Nobel Prize winner

Jaswant Singh, Former Minister of Defence, of Finance, and for External Affairs, India

Sting,  Musician and actor

Michel Kazatchkine,  United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS

John Whitehead,  Former US Deputy Secretary of State

John Perry Barlow,  Co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Javier Solana, KOGF, KCMG,  Former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Professor Kenneth Arrow,  Economist, Nobel Prize winner

Jeremy Thomas,  Film Producer

Professor John Polanyi,  Chemist, Nobel Prize winner

Pavel Bém,  Former Mayor of Prague

Dr. Jan Wiarda,  Former President of European Police Chiefs

Professor Lord Piot,  Former UN Under Secretary-General

Professor Martin L. Perl,  Physicist, Nobel Prize winner

Lord Rees, OM,  Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore,  Former President of the Royal College of Physicians

Professor Trevor Robbins,  Professor of Neuroscience at Cambridge

Caroline Lucas, MP,  Leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton

Professor Jonathan Wolff,  Professor of Philosophy at UCL

Carel Edwards,  Former Head of the EU Commission’s Drug Policy Unit

Professor Robin Room,  School of Population Health, University of Melbourne

Gary Johnson,  Former Republican US Presidential Candidate

Bob Ainsworth, MP,  Former UK Secretary of State for Defence

Nicholas Green, QC,  Former Chairman of the Bar Council

Peter Lilley, MP,  Former Secretary of State for Social Security

Tom Lloyd,  Former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire

Professor Robert Grayling,  Dean of School of Medicine, KCL

Paul Flynn, MP,  Labour MP for Newport West

Dr. Patrick Aeberhard,  Former President of Doctors of the World

Amanda Feilding,  Director of the Beckley Foundation