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Accusing Washington of attempts to “rewrite history,” Iran has firmly rejected as a “mockery” of the justice system the US court’s recent default ruling which ordered Tehran to pay over $6 billion in damages to 9/11 victims.
“Issuing such an absurd and unacceptable verdict mocks not only the international legal system but also the survivors and families of the victims of the September 11 attacks,” Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Bahram Kasemi said Sunday, rejecting the New York court’s decision.
Last week, Manhattan’s District Judge George Daniels made a default ruling (issued in the absence of a defendant) that found Tehran liable for the deaths and ordered its entities to pay over $6 billion in compensations to the families of more than 1,000 victims of the September 11 attacks.
Accusing the US of attempting to “rewrite history,” the Foreign Ministry stressed that the country reserves the right to respond to any “illegal procedures” and asserted that the ruling was obviously “politically” motivated.
The spokesman also rejected similar past verdicts against Iran, reiterating that the country had nothing to do with organizing or financing the 9/11 attacks. Previously Judge Daniels had issued default judgments against Iran, in 2011 and 2016, ordering the Islamic republic to pay billions of dollars to victims of the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
The rulings against Tehran are especially astounding since none of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001, were even Iranian citizens, and no investigation ever found links to Iran. The 9/11 Commission –the organization tasked with investigating the attacks– has said there is no evidence indicating direct Iranian involvement or suggesting that Tehran was even aware of the 9/11 plot. The only known connection is that several hijackers once allegedly travelled through Iran on their way to Afghanistan and supposedly did not have their passports stamped.
In his default verdicts, however, Daniels agreed with the claim that Tehran somehow provided technical assistance, training and planning to terrorists, even though the overwhelming majority of the suspects came from Saudi Arabia, the geopolitical rival and arch-enemy of Iran in the region. Fifteen of the terrorists that took part in the 9/11 plot were citizens of Saudi Arabia, while two were from the United Arab Emirates and one from Egypt and Lebanon.
While Judge Daniels has already found Iran ‘guilty’ of 9/11, he is yet to rule on a number of cases brought on behalf of the victims against Saudi Arabia, over the kingdom’s alleged role in the attacks. Both Iranian and Saudi involvement is being reviewed under the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) guidelines, which paved the way for legal proceedings against foreign states and their officials suspected of supporting terrorism.
- New York Judge Rules Iran Must Pay $6 Billion to 9/11 Victims
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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/llKJRpy_gfo/
NBC Nightly News
May 4, 2018
7:23 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Coming Up; Star Justice]
LESTER HOLT: When we come back here tonight, I’ll have a new look at the woman known as Notorious RBG, the Supreme Court justice with rock star status.
7:26 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Notorious RBG]
HOLT: Finally tonight, while we know the U.S. Supreme Court has a lasting influence on this country’s direction, many may not appreciate how one justice in particular has had a lasting influence on American culture and beyond. And now to mark the 25th anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination to the Court, a new documentary explores the woman sometimes known as RBJ. She may be an octogenarian but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is nothing short of a pop culture icon.
JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG: I am nearly 84 years old and everyone wants to take a picture with me. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]
HOLT: There are mugs, t-shirts, Halloween costumes for tiny jurists and SNL sketches.
SNL’s JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG (played by Kate McKinnon): It’s a Gins-burn!
HOLT: But her daughter Jane and granddaughter Clara say there’s a lot more to the woman known as the Notorious RBG.
CLARA SPERA: She is very quick and funny and doesn’t miss a beat.
JANE GINSBURG: She’s also incredibly sentimental and she cries at movies and at the opera.
HOLT: A new documentary called RBG follows her life-long fight for women’s rights —
GINSBURG: I did see myself as kind of a kindergarten teacher in those days because the judges didn’t think sex discrimination existed.
HOLT: — and her life beyond the law —
SPERA: She doesn’t know how to turn on the TV. In some ways, she’s just like your grandmother.
HOLT: — from the love story between Ginsburg and her gregarious husband Marty to her famously grueling workouts —
HARRYETTE HELSEL: I’ve heard she does 20 pushups three times a week or something. I mean, we can’t even get off the floor. We can’t even get down to the floor.
HOLT: — at 85, Ginsburg isn’t slowing down and her commitment to equality and justice remain as strong as ever.
SPERA: When she graduated at the very top of her class from Columbia Law School, she couldn’t get a job whereas I have graduated and almost every opportunity was open to me and I know that she is one of the many pioneers that allowed that transition to happen.
Activists for Equity and Justice Barred from Entering Israel
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
As an American Jew, strongly for peace, equity and justice, critical of Israeli ruthlessness, a cultural BDS member for years, I’m persona non grata in Israel – barred from entering the country, including the Occupied Territories.
I’ve never been to Israel, have no intention of going – virtually certain to face harsh humiliating treatment at Ben Gurion airport before being deported for supporting Palestinian rights.
Rebecca Vilkomerson is married to an Israeli. She lived in Tel Aviv for three years. She’s an Israeli citizen – barred from returning to the country because of her BDS activism.
The Jewish Voice for Peace organization she heads was placed on an Israeli blacklist. Israel is a ruthless apartheid state, why BDS activism demands universal support – a vital initiative opposing occupation harshness, championing Palestinian liberation.
Repressive Israeli law bars entry into the country by BDS supporters.
It applies to anyone Israel targets “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.”
The law applies to the state of Israel, its institutions and “area(s) under its control, including the Occupied Territories and Golan.
Prohibiting entry into the country was a provision of the 1952 Entry Into Israel Law, giving the interior minister discretion to decide who’s banned from the country.
The amendment to earlier legislation toughened it. Individuals at risk of deportation are treated harshly, subject to grueling interrogations, searches and detention for hours or longer.
Colombia Law School Professor Katherine Franke is a Center for Palestine Studies executive committee member, a leading expert on law, religion and rights.
Earlier she served as executive director for the National Lawyers Guild. She currently chairs the Center For Constitutional Rights’ (CCR) board.
Attorney Vincent Warren is CCR executive director – involved in holding corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses.
Earlier he was ACLU senior staff attorney, involved in litigating civil rights cases, focusing on affirmative action, racial profiling, and criminal justice reform.
Franke and Warren traveled to Israel, heading a delegation of 15 human rights activists, wanting to tour Israel and the West Bank.
On April 29, they arrived on at Ben Gurion airport, likely not expecting the grueling ordeal awaiting them, unacceptable for anyone, notably for prominent human rights champions like them.
They were detained for 14 hours, harshly interrogated, barred from entering Israel and deported. The group called itself mostly “black and brown civil and human rights leaders working on domestic US justice issues who have not had an opportunity to visit Palestine and Israel.”
Warren tweeted along with a photo of himself and Franke in front of an airport “Welcome” sign: “Don’t let the ‘Welcome’ sign fool you, it doesn’t apply to #humanrights.”
“Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director and Board Chair Both Denied Entry into Israel” – added testimony to its viciousness.
Separately, Warren said “(t)he Israeli government denied us entry, apparently because it feared letting in people who might challenge its policies. This is something that we should neither accept nor condone from a country that calls itself a democracy.”
“Our trip sought to explore the intersection of Black and Brown people’s experiences in the US with the situation of Palestinians, and Israel could not have made that connection clearer.”
Franke said her “interrogation in Tel Aviv made it clear that (she) was banned from entering Israel because of (her) work in the US on behalf of Palestinian rights,” adding:
“No government is immune from criticism for its human rights record. The abusive treatment Vince Warren and I received at Ben Gurion airport ironically illustrates how the state of Israel refuses to respect the political and civil rights of its own citizens, of Palestinians, and of human rights defenders globally.”
Israel notoriously treats human rights activists and critics of its policies harshly.
Palestinians have been ruthlessly treated throughout the Jewish state’s existence – a fantasy democracy, never the real thing from inception.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
The death of a 19-month-old baby girl, following a brutal rape by her aunt’s partner, has caused shockwaves across Chile. Protests have erupted demanding punishment of the perpetrator of the horrific attack against the infant.
On Sunday, the bleeding baby Ambar was brought to a hospital in the Valparaíso Region by her aunt with her boyfriend, who claimed that the 19-month-old girl had suffered an injury after falling from a bed. The doctors who battled to save the toddler’s life, however, saw a completely different, shocking story of a savage rape.
Hospital de Los Andes medics immediately figured out that the injuries suffered by the child were absolutely inconsistent with a fall. The examination revealed that Ambar had suffered from pneumoperitoneum and lesions suggestive of anal penetration.
The baby was immediately transferred to the pediatric Intensive Care Unit unit of the San Camilo Hospital, where she underwent surgery, which she did not survive. The minor died from internal bleeding and organ damage, caused by apparent sexual abuse.
Following the testimonies of the medical staff, on Monday officials from the Department of Investigations (PDI) detained 30-year-old Andrés Espinoza Aravena, the boyfriend of the dead girl’s aunt, over his alleged participation in a rape which led to the murder of a minor.
The injuries suffered by Ambar were so shocking that even the medical staff had to seek the help from psychologists to overcome what they had seen, the police report states.
Despite overwhelming medical evidence, Espinoza maintains his innocence, claiming that the girl had suffered her injuries after she fell from her bed, from a height of approximately 50 centimeters.
Information collected by the investigation so far suggests that the girl suffered from sexual abuse which occurred between 8pm on Saturday and 1am on Sunday, when the accused had been left alone with the minor.
On Monday, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Chile, Hernán Larraín, asked for the maximum penalty for Andrés Espinoza. The accused will, in the meantime, remain in prison for at least six months as the investigators complete their fact-finding mission.
Meanwhile, the public has staged rallies demanding justice for the baby victim. Some are demanding an arrest of Ambar’s aunt, claiming she must have been fully aware of the abuse the child had suffered.
“My sister knew about it, she is an accomplice, it does not fit in my head why she is not detained at this moment, knowing all the damage they did to my niece,” Ignacio Pérez, brother of the woman who cared for Ambar, told a local television outlet.
Others vented their fury against the National Service for Minors (Sename) who, for eight months, failed to decide on the custody of the baby, whose mother suffered drug addiction problems and could not provide for her.
Apparently, the girl’s uncle Pérez wanted to adopt the child, but was reportedly refused custody because of his sexual orientation. In the meantime, Ambar was temporarily being cared-for by her aunt and her boyfriend.
Activists gathered in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where New York City police shot at the 34-year-old father 10 times and killed him on Wednesday.
Police were responding to reports of a man wielding a gun, but later determined that the object Vassell had allegedly pointed at them was “a pipe with some sort of knob on the end of it.”
Standing on the corner where her son, who had bipolar disorder, had been killed the day before, Vassell’s mother, Lorna, gave an emotional address to the crowd.
“He did not deserve [for] a piece of iron in his hand for a cop to kill him,” she said, adding that her son came from a good family and was well loved by all who knew him. “It’s unjustified, and I want justice. They murdered my son, and I want justice for him.”
She also questioned why police didn’t simply shoot her son in his leg ― echoing the grandmother of Stephon Clark, another unarmed black man shot by police last month in Sacramento, California. Protests over Clark’s death have not stopped.
At the rally for Vassell, Women’s March leader and activist Linda Sarsour, who is from Brooklyn, called for the officers who shot Vassell to go to jail.
Another unidentified speaker at the rally demanded an investigation into the killing.
“They’re shooting us like birds, and it needs to stop,” he said. “People have to be held responsible for this. We need to check these police officers and lock them up.”
On Thursday, the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it was opening an investigation into Vassell’s death.
Mourners at the rally in Brooklyn chanted the now-familiar slogans against the repeated police killings of black people.
“No justice, no peace,” activists cried out. “Say his name!”
“Saheed!” the crowd yelled back.
A growing crowd of protesters then took to the streets of Brooklyn, marching to the 71st Police Precinct blocks away.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.