Gaddafi Okayed U.S. Prisoner Airlifts For Torture, Human Rights Group Finds

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Gaddafi

Gaddafi

Sep. 6 (GIN) – Islamic militant suspects were secretly shipped to Libya for harsh interrogation after 9/11 under a U.S. program called “extraordinary rendition,” it was revealed this week by the New York-based group Human Rights Watch.

The program was outlined in hundreds of letters recently discovered in the now-abandoned office of Moussa Koussa, former foreign minister and head of Libyan intelligence who defected to Britain in February.
The documents expose how the CIA turned over suspects to Libyan authorities knowing they would be tortured.
“Eight or nine individuals” were delivered to Libya, according to the rights group, and not just for questioning, said Peter Bouckaert of HRW in Tripoli. “The CIA also sent the questions they wanted Libyan intelligence to ask. And from the files it’s very clear that they were present in some of the interrogations themselves.”
The practice of torture to obtain information, while not permitted at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, received a green light from President Gaddafi in Tripoli, the documents reveal. In return, Libya’s secret service reportedly received specific information about Libyan dissidents and was even assisted with the deportations of exiled dissidents back to Libya.
“What’s remarkable is the friendly tone of these files,” observed Bouchaert. “U.S. and British intelligence agents thank Musa Kusa for the crate of oranges and dates that he sent back with the intelligence agent who came to visit. And all of the—these are letters, ‘Dear Musa’ letters, to a man who is infamous in Libya for his involvement in repression.”
Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, top Gaddafi aides are reportedly taking refuge in neighboring Niger where the former Libyan president has close ties with the Tuareg nomads. Some African countries continue to recognize Colonel Gaddafi as Libya’s leader. Niger’s government, however, has recognized the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council as the country’s legitimate authority.

 CHIEF JUSTICE NOMINEE HAS ‘APPALLING’ RECORD ON GENDER VIOLENCE AND RAPE
Sep. 6 (GIN) – The proposed appointment of Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng to chief justice has raised a loud outcry among women’s groups, labor and other rights groups who cite his “appalling” record on gender violence, marital rape and homosexuality, according to local media accounts.
The Southern African Litigation Centre, in a new report, raises serious doubts about Judge Mogoeng’s rulings, such as reducing a sentence for child rape, saying in one case that it was not clear if the 7 year old girl was penetrated by a sexual organ or a finger and that her injury was “not serious.”
A rape conviction of a 14 year old girl was reduced because “the accused was mindful of the victim’s tender age and was careful not to injure her private parts except accidentally.”
The SALC wrote: “It is hard to see how an injury to a seven-year-old which results from sexual abuse … can ever be classified as ‘not serious’… “Comments like this have no place in cases of child rape.”
In another case, the judge suspended the sentence of a man who tied his girlfriend to his car’s bumper and drove her at high speed over a gravel road. Despite abrasions on her stomach, thigh and knees, the boyfriend failed to take her for immediate medical treatment. Judge Mogoeng called the proposed sentence of two years “excessive” because, “by pleading guilty, the accused – a first time offender – was showing remorse.” Further “he was provoked by the complainant… The sentence is too high by any standard.”
A submission against the appointment by the Sonke Gender Justice Network and other gender rights groups pleaded: “Judge Mogoeng’s are not befitting a judicial officer, let alone one who occupies a seat on the Constitutional Court. … It is our view that he is not suitable for the position of Chief Justice of South Africa.”
But in a vote by the Judicial Services Commission, Judge Mogoeng’s appointment was approved by a vote of 16-7. President Zuma is reportedly reconsidering his chosen candidate due to widespread opposition.
Former Junta LEADER Apologies for Atrocities of War
By Fungai Maboreke
Sep. 6 (GIN) – Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has buckled down to pressure and apologized for crimes committed by his junta in the 1990s, that include among others fleecing millions of dollars in shady military contracts, money laundering, torture and the execution of political opponents.
Bio’s bid to run for office against President Ernest Bai Karoma, has caused concern to the Sierra Leonean people who fear a return to violence in the midst of pending elections next year.
Commenting on the concerns, Mr. Bio said, “As a member of the former National Provisional Ruling Council, I feel morally bound to express, on its behalf, deepest regret for the wrongs committed by the NPRC.”
Bio represents the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, which has been under pressure by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to publicly apologize to the nation for the extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations that characterized the country in the early 90s through to the early 2000s.
President Koroma has received major praise for being the front runner in apologizing even though it is believed he was not responsible for any of the violence.
NEW VICTORY FOR SOUTH AFRICAN RUNNER CHALLENGED OVER GENDER
By Fungai Maboreke
Sep. 6 (GIN) – South African runner Castor Semenya clinched a silver medal in the World Championships held Friday in Daegu, South Korea – two years after a gender controversy that nearly derailed her career.
Semenya was suspended in 2008 by the International Athletics Authority Federation and forced to undergo tests to prove her gender.  Her suspension was lifted when the IAAF approved new regulations concerning “hyperandrogenism.”
Gold medal winner Mariya Savionova said, “When I saw Castor’s great shape before the race, I told myself that she was very well prepared and she was unbeatable to me.”
Also competing in Korea was South African runner and double amputee Oscar Pistorius, running in the 400m relay with curved carbon-fiber blades in place of both legs below the knees.
The “blade runner,” who had been earlier banned from the race, was allowed to compete with able-bodied contestants, even though he was eventually not lined up for the relay race. Disgruntled, after his team lost to the United States Oscar twitted, “was really hard watching, knowing I deserved to be part of it.” He managed to grab a silver medal for the team in the heats.

MUGABE HAS PROSTATE CANCER, SAYS NEW WIKILEAKS RELEASE
By Fungai Maboreke
Sep. 6 (GIN) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has cancer and was told in 2008 that he had about five more years to live, according to a newly published United States diplomatic cable.
In one of the so-called ‘wikileaks’ cables released Friday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono, who is also President Mugabe’s personal banker and a close family confidante, disclosed this news to former US ambassador James McGee during a private meeting.
McGee was quoted to as saying, “according to Gono, Mugabe’s doctor had recommended he cut back on his activities,” adding that “Gono told us last year (2007) that Mugabe was ill and that his doctor had urged him to step down immediately.” Further, “Mugabe told his doctor, according to Gono, that he would leave office after the election.”
Rumors of Mugabe’s illness have been swirling around and they have been further exacerbated by his frequent trips to Singapore, where it is believed he is receiving treatment.

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