Category: Breaking News

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester.

Texas Govenor, Gregg Abbott, says that he is swiftly working to pardon Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant in Austin, who a jury convicted of murdering Garrett Foster in 2020. Foster was a Black Lives Matter protester. Abbott has since directed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider a pardon for Perry on an expedited basis. For instance, Abbott stated, “I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk.

 Cristina Ramirez criticizes Greg Abbott's Decision to Pardon Officer who Shot BLM Protestor
Courtesy of Cristina Ramirez

Abbotts’ move has been highly criticized by underrepresented groups in Texas. First, Cristina Ramirez Tweeted, “It’s time for Governor Abbott to listen to the people of Texas.” Ramirez went on to say Abbott should listen to the people “rather than to the voices of extreme conservatives and media personalities.” Joe Porter also Tweeted, “The racist governor of Texas is letting you know that murdering protesters is OK.” There were other voices, such as Black Aziz, who likened Abbotts’ move to Nazism, claiming that “Pardoning people who murder your political enemies is def something that the Nazis would do.”

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor  Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester
Courtesy of Joe Porter
Black Aziz said, "Pardoning people who murder your political enemies is def something that the Nazis would do."
Courtesy of Black Aziz aNANsi

Abbotts’ pledge to pardon Perry comes on the heels of evidence which showed Perry made numerous posts and direct messages on social media expressing his desire to shoot protesters in Austin, Texas. Irrespective of this evidence, Abbott is swiftly working to pardon the police officer.

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester. How Did Texans Get Here?

In 2021, Abbott Tweeted that he “signed SEVEN pieces of legislation into law protecting #2A rights in Texas — including constitutional carry & making Texas a #2A sanctuary state.” In other words, Texas is now the Gun State of the nation.

Abbott gloats over giving guns more protection in Texas
Courtesy of Texas Governor, Gregg Abbott

As attorney general, Abbott opposed gun-control legislation. Moreover, in 2013, Abbott criticized New York State legislators for expanding an assault weapons ban and creating a high-capacity magazine ban. During the same year, he articulated that he would sue if Congress enacted a new gun-control bill.

Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor  Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester
Courtesy of Texas Governor, Gregg Abbott

In 2015, Abbott signed into law the right of Texans to carry firearms on campus, which may have spawned the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting and the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Nearly 95% of individuals who quoted Abbott’s Tweet either thanked or congratulated his move, or requested that the Texas Governor pardon more police officers who murder protesters.

Coercive Repatriation: A Human Rights Crisis on the Rise in Ireland

Coercive Repatriation: A Human Rights Crisis on the Rise in Ireland

Coercive Repatriation: A Human Rights Crisis on the Rise in Ireland

Coercive repatriation, sometimes referred to as forced repatriation, is the practice of forcibly returning individuals to their country of origin, usually against their will. It is a phenomenon that has been on the rise in recent years, and one that is increasingly being recognized as a human rights crisis with potentially devastating consequences.

According to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries. Some Americans seek asylum in other countries due to government persecution, police violence or other threats to their safety and well-being. However, Ireland is using more aggressive tactics to try to repatriate Americans who seek asylum on their soil, regardless of the risks and dangers they may face upon their return to the United States.

The practice of coercive repatriation is a clear violation of international human rights law. Ireland is a signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which prohibits it from forcing asylum seekers to return to their country of origin when they would face persecution or other serious threats to their life, freedom, or well-being. Further, under international law, all persons— including Americans—have the right to seek asylum and protection from persecution.

Despite these legal frameworks, Ireland is engaging in coercive repatriation or other practices that make it difficult or impossible for American asylum seekers to access their rights. This includes tactics like pitting asylum seekers, NGOs and other community members against them, all of which can leave American asylum seekers effectively stranded and at risk of harm.

The consequences of coercive repatriation can be dire. For instance, many Americans who are repatriated in this way face arrest, detention, torture, or even death upon their return, particularly where they have been previously attacked for their race, political opinions or other characteristics.

Additionally, the trauma and psychological harm that can result from being forcibly removed from one’s new home and returned to a situation of danger and uncertainty can have long-lasting effects on their well-being.

Despite the clear legal and moral imperatives to protect all asylum seekers from harm, the rising trend of coercive repatriation illustrates how far Ireland is from meeting its obligations under international law.

Advocates and policymakers around the world must work together to ensure that the rights of all asylum seekers are upheld and that they have access to timely and effective protection from persecution and other serious threats to their safety.

In conclusion, coercive repatriation is a deeply concerning phenomenon that poses a clear threat to the rights and safety of American asylum seekers. It is a problem that demands immediate attention from the international community, and one that must be addressed with urgency and compassion.

Coercive Repatriation: A Human Rights Crisis on the Rise in Ireland – If you know someone that is being coercively repatriated, please contact us.

U.S. Persecution of Black Americans Dominate Global Headlines

U.S. Persecution of Black Americans Dominate Global Headlines

U.S. persecution of Black Americans dominate global headlines and we are not even 30 days into the New Year.

The most recent headline is the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who the Scorpion Unit stopped and brutally beat earlier this year. On January 10, Nichols succumbed to his injuries. Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, Tadarrius Bean and Preston Hemphill, were among the officers involved in Nichols death.

Days before Nichols’ death, law enforcement officers killed Keenan Anderson, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matters movement.

Both videos depict two men, Nichols and Anderson, who were both visibly frightened of law enforcement officers and fled. In one video, Nichols can be heard screaming for his mom while five officers punched and kicked him repeatedly. In the other video, Anderson can be heard yelling, “You are trying to George Floyd me.”

There is a debate among Americans as to whether these incidents should be considered acts of racism. CCG Bryson, who is known for his Christian conservative rapping, said “Can someone explain, logically, how 5 black officers killing a black man is white supremacy?” To which, Tariq Nasheed responded, it was the “white supremacist power structure that created that police unit that allocated the resources to them, trained them and incentivize them to go out there and terrorize the black community. That’s 100% white supremacy.” To be sure, prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said on The Daily Show that “the race of the police officer isn’t the determining factor of whether they’re going to commit excessive use of force. But it is the race of the victim. And it’s often Black and brown people who bear the brunt of police brutality.”

It must be emphasized that American law enforcement officers’ harassment and treatment of Black Americans as suspects, through pedestrian and traffic stops, has been thoroughly researched. A recent study found when police use tactics to gain control in encounters with civilians, such as issuing commands in an aggressive way, it fosters fear and make those encounters less predictable (Pickett, Graham & Cullen, 2022). For instance, an officers’ frightening commands may cause an individual to flee the scene, or result in them being hesitant to leave their vehicles even when officers command them to (Pickett, Graham & Cullen, 2022).

U.S. Persecution of Black Americans Dominate Global Headlines. Will the International Community Step In?

In 2016, the IACHR found U.S. law and practices regarding police killings soared to high levels of impunity (Canada, 2022). As a result, the IACHR urged the U.S. to conduct “exhaustive, impartial, independent, effective and prompt investigations.” Although human rights bodies have repeatedly advised the U.S. to bring its domestic law into compliance with international law and standards on use of force practices, the U.S. has failed to comply (Canada, 2022).

As I mentioned last year, in Bullets of Terror: Staring Down the Second Amendment’s Barrel of Death, the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety does not go far enough, nor does it provide for specific criminal legislation for penalties against race-based policing that often results in death for many Black Americans.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination made clear that police are not free to use any amount of force. Indeed, the CERD stated the brutality and excessive or deadly use of force by law enforcement officials against Black and Latinx Americans, including against unarmed individuals, was deeply concerning. It also was concerned at the persistence of the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement officials in the U.S.

Both the End Racial Profiling Act of 2019 (H.R.4339) and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 (H.R.1280) have not made it pass the House. Moreover, U.S. federal and state legislation that regulates the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials is not in accordance with international law and international standards.

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Defenseless School-girl in New York is Beaten By Adult NYPD Male Police Officer

Defenseless School-girl in New York is Beaten By Adult Male NYPD Police Officer

Breaking News (Cork, Ireland)-Defenseless School-girl in New York is Beaten By Adult Male NYPD Police Officer

Rafael Shimunov, a political activist in Queens, New York, Tweeted a video of a New York Police Department officer pummeling a 12-year-old girl near Edwin Markham Middle School.

A girl is heard in the video saying “He’s hitting her?! He’s hitting her?” while the NYPD police officer pummels, what appears to be a Black American girl, on the skull several times. Girls attempt to break the girl free of the officer’s grip, but are unsuccessful.

Defenseless School-girl in New York is Beaten By Adult Male NYPD Police Officer. Is There A Trend?

In the U.S., law enforcement officers have a terrifying history of arresting and brutalizing Black girls. In 2015, an officer in McKinney, Texas is seen throwing a bikini wearing Black teenage girl to the ground. The video also depicts the officer placing his knee on her back while he handcuffs her. A similar incident happened to an 18-year-old Black girl in 2016, where a D.C. police knocked her to the ground and arrested her. During the same year, a police officer in Maryland pepper-sprayed and handcuffed a 15-year-old Black girl.

Michelle S. Jacobs retells numerous incidents much like the present one in her paper The Violent State: Black Women’s Invisible Struggle Against Police Violence (2017).

According to Jacobs, “all incidents revolve around Black girls “talking back” to the police or being so-called “loud.”” Jacobs further points out that in the U.S. “Black girls are likened more to adults than to children and are treated as if they are willfully engaging in behaviors typically expected of Black women.”

For example, a Metropolitan Police Department was forced to acknowledge that they arrested an 11-year-old Black girl when she came to report she had been raped. Even though the girl had signs of sexual trauma, much like the Baltimore incident, the police charged her with filing a false police report. These incidents undoubtedly show the precarious circumstances Black girls and women face in their encounters with law enforcement, and further demonstrate Black Oppression Still Persists in America.

The officer in the present incident has been suspended. No information as to whether NYPD will bring charges against the officer.

Veghel Mosque Set Ablaze on New Year's Day

Veghel Mosque Set Ablaze on New Year’s Day

Breaking News (Cork, Ireland) – Veghel Mosque Set Ablaze on New Year’s Day.

Sangar Paykhar, the host of The Afghan Eye, recently uploaded a video to Twitter of the Veghel Mosque set afire in the Netherlands, bringing in a horrifying message for the New Year.

Veghel Mosque Set Ablaze on New Year's Day
Courtesy of Sangar Paykhar

The Met states the English word “mosque” denotes a Muslim house of worship. The word evolved from the Arabic term masjid, which means “place of prostration.” The Islamic Foundation converges with The Met, in that, mosques are special places of worship for Muslims, who meet five times every day to pray together.

Based on recent data collected in 2019, 20.1% of the Dutch population identified as Roman Catholic, 14.8% identify as Protestant and 5.0% identify as Muslim.

Veghel Mosque Set Ablaze on New Year’s Day is a Message of Hate

While it cannot be denied there are reasonable arguments to make against Islam, setting a mosque afire is an intimidating message to send the public. Indeed, the attack on places on worship, whether by gasoline or firearms, is a violent act of hate. Not only does such message serve to intimidate communities, but it also places communities on edge and makes them fearful.

The torching of sacred places of worship, such as Baptist churches and Synagogues, have also been used throughout history to terrorize marginalised groups, such as Black Americans and Jews, and to prevent them practicing their beliefs. For example, three Black churches were set alight by a suspected arsonist in the U.S. in 2019. Based on reporting conducted by the New York Times, the first fire occurred at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre on March 26.  Ten days later, two other historic Black churches, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, were also set on fire. Peter Szekely confirmed that the suspect destroyed both churches with gasoline.

In 2021, a man intentionally set afire the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Austin, Texas. In each case, all places of worship were empty and no one was injured.

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