Remembering Rachel Corrie on the anniversary of her death

contact@ifamericansknew.org

 

 

Dear Friend,

On this day 13 years ago, American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli soldiers driving a military bulldozer. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Representative Brian Baird from Washington State introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the federal government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel’s death. The bill was co-sponsored by 77 representatives, but Congress took no action. 

The Corrie family then filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc in 2005, alleging that Caterpillar supplied Israelis with bulldozers even though they knew they were being used to commit war crimes. The lawsuit was dismissed.

The Corrie family’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also dismissed. The court acknowledged that the U.S. government paid for the bulldozer that killed Rachel, but said that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the “political question” of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

In 2010, the Corrie family filed a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli officials prevented the physician who had examined Rachel’s wounds from testifying in the case. The court ruled that Rachel was responsible for her own death. In 2014, the Corrie family’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the IDF was absolved of any wrongdoing.

Keep Rachel’s message alive by sharing her story with your community. We have cards, a booklet of Rachel’s letters, and posters available for download and order.

#SupportPalestineInDC2016

U.S. taxpayers send Israel over $3 billion a year in military aid with virtually no strings attached, and now the prime minister of Israel wants $5 billion a year.

The majority of Americans oppose taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but virtually all Democratic and Republican members of Congress continue to supply Israel with more and more weapons each year (Palestinians do not receive military aid).

American taxpayer dollars have enabled Israel to continue its decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians basic legal and human rights. With our money, Israeli forces have killed over 9,200 Palestinians as well as numerous international journalists and peace activists since 2000.

We are driving the violence in this region, and we must stop it.

This weekend, AIPAC kicks off its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump scheduled to give speeches. We hope you will join us this Sunday at noon at the White House to protest AIPAC’s influence on American politics and support Palestinian human rights. Your voice is urgently needed!

As always, thank for your commitment to peace, justice, and equality for all people.

The If Americans Knew team

Share this with your Facebook friends

Quick Links

Order or download Rachel Corrie cards, letters, and posters on our site

Protest AIPAC in DC on March 20th! Join this rally spearheaded by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Connect With Us

Facebook

Twitter

Donate

Website | Our Mission | Contact us | Unsubscribe

Mailing address:

5694 Mission Center Rd, Suite 602-710

San Diego, CA 92108

[announce_onepalestine] Counterpunch: Sometimes People Fight Back–Amer Jubran Names His Torturers

October 16, 2015

Sometimes People Fight Back:
Amer Jubran Names His Torturers

by Lana Habash

… What is compelling about Jubran’s case is that he knows the names of those who tortured him. And the reason Jubran knows those names underlines the absolute confidence that the Jordanian government has in the State Security Court to act as a rubber stamp for the government’s agenda. There is not even the need for the pretense of a fair system. Coerced confessions of different co-defendants carried identical phrasing and were literally edited several times throughout the course of the trial to serve the needs of the prosecution.  Jubran discovered the names of his torturers because they were the first five witnesses for the prosecution. In a recent statement by Jubran on October 10, 2015, he names two of the torturers: Colonel Habes Rizk (who threatened Jubran with being disappeared) and Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman (who threatened to assault Jubran’s wife to get Jubran to cooperate and also physically tortured Jubran).  …

Impunity for torturers is dependent on a system that permits those who torture to remain anonymous. Though it may benefit repressive regimes to advertise what can happen to you if you are criminalized, it certainly doesn’t benefit those regimes for the names of those doing the dirty work  to be common knowledge. Anonymity is the main source of protection for those who torture. …

Read the full article on Counterpunch:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/16/sometimes-people-fight-back-%E2%80%A8amer-jubran-names-his-torturers/

_____________________________________________________________  

To subscribe, send a message to: announce_onepalestine-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

[announce_onepalestine] FW: [Free_Amer] Amer Jubran: Statement on GID Detention: Torturers Named; Threats of Retaliation

**Please Forward Widely***

Amer Jubran Statement on Detention Under Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate.

Torturers Named. Threats of Retaliation by Prison Officials.

On October 1st, Amer Jubran made another statement with a more complete commentary on his case and the conditions he is now facing in prison. In this statement he named two of the GID interrogators who tortured him.

We received word on Oct. 10th that Amer is now being threatened by prison officials, who are  limiting contact with his family and pushing for him to be placed in solitary confinement. We urge people to continue to write Jordan’s Minister of Justice. New sample letter here: https://freeamer.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/sample-letter-101215/

We are releasing Amer’s statement below, along with some further details from court papers concerning his trial:

“This case is made of two parts: one of targeting US soldiers stationed in Jordan back in 2006, and the other, of joining Hezbollah to carry out terrorist acts. As far as the part about US soldiers is concerned, how can a plot go on for 8 years without execution unless it was not true at all? Besides, there are no American troops in Jordan, as confirmed by the king himself and the Jordanian Prime Minister through their official statements published in the local media and presented to the court as evidence. Furthermore, there was a similar case that was ruled in favor of the defendants based on the same official statements. And also, there is one big question here:  who is  to be believed and who is lying? Is it the king, or is it some confessions extracted by force by the GID?

The GID has exaggerated this case for the following reasons, apart from its vindictiveness against me: first, they wanted to enlarge the achievement for themselves and for the officers involved, for promotional reasons; also, accordingly, to reflect maximum punishment and revenge against me in person; and thirdly, to use their false achievement to collect anti-terrorism funds from the foolish US government. No proofs were presented in this case except for the confessions made by forceful process. If this case is as serious as they claim, how come all the co-defendants have received 2-3 year sentences and I have received a 15 year sentence? Lastly, please note that I was declared innocent on the charge relating to carrying out terrorist acts and this constitutes a screaming contradiction between the verdict and the sentence.

As for the part about Hezbollah, apart from the political argument over this issue and my denial of this charge–and despite my respect and admiration for Hezbollah–here is the big fact: the Jordanian government has not classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The judges denied us our requests numerous times where we have requested both in writing and verbally to make the prosecutors spell out Jordan’s official position on Hezbollah’s classification or have us get an official statement from the Prime Minister or the GID and the Ministry of Interior, or the Ministry and the Ministry of Defense. The Court ruled on this based on its opinion and not based on the legal official stance of Jordan  on Hezbollah. Again, in this part, no proofs were submitted except for a false confession and a laptop–that had an encoding and decoding software–seized from the defendant  number 7. Defendant number 7 had this laptop  in his possession, and surprisingly he was cleared of any charges including also codefendant number 5.  Which puts a question mark on, Why? 

During the interrogation there were numerous sessions during which I was asked questions about friends and activists from the States. Including [list of names]. They claimed, when I asked why, that this was for their own use of information and for their friends in the States. [He provides some additional details about statements that the GID claimed were made by his co-defendants concerning people from the US.] These are total lies, made up to pressure me into cooperating […]

My dear friends, I admit that I was not a hero during the encounter with the GID. Except for refusing to be a sell-out. I was broken down by the amount of threats against my faith and my family, and the one I love. But one would ask, Why I would believe these threats? Because the GID is credible in its evil and criminal history. I, until this moment, still fear the vindictive reaction against myself and my loved ones. I have signed all documents that they have presented to me. And wrote all sorts of confessing narratives including admitting to full responsibility of an attack that was carried against the Israeli Ambassador convoy back in January 2010. Also plotting to attack the Israeli embassy in Amman. At the end, it got so funny with the confessions and the rearrangement of the confessions, that they had to rewrite them and to rearrange them–the whole full set of the confessions by all the co-defendants for over five times. And each time they changed–they made sure that it is directed toward my full responsibility. And along with these changes and amendments and total turn around of events in each different confession that they had assigned, the Prosecutor went on and made the changes accordingly in order to match and fit the confessions made by the interrogators, or before the interrogators.

The abuses and torture were carried out by a colonel whose name–you have his name in the papers. His name is Habes Rizk. He was the man in charge. And also, he is Officer Number 1 in the table list which you have. Also, there are many others. The first five witnesses presented by the prosecutor. … The first 5 of them were the actual interrogators and officers in charge of the whole show. The first witness is what you know as Officer Number 2. And he’s the one who took charge, from the moment of raiding my house, threatening me and my family inside my house, taking me and doing all sorts of torture and threats and abuse.

Last item I have, I’m kept now in a group solitary confinement with the other six co-defendants, of which 5 of them have made my life hell as they have been instructed by the GID if they were to get off the hook.

[… ] Now I will be in lock-up for perhaps some retaliatory measures to be carried out against me while in prison like perhaps by denying my rights to make phone-calls and visitation, or even by moving me to another prison where individuals who are charged with Al-Qaeda and its sisters do not take lightly people who are charged with being with Hezbollah or members of that party. And this is the least I would say.

Please note, I don’t know if you have realized in the documents which you have received that the court of military judges has said that they did not need to look even at our facts of defense or our evidence of defense and they have thrown all of that out and ruled from their own heads what was designed or predesigned before even the trial went on.”

***

Amer refers in his statement to a table list with officers who conducted the interrogations against him. This list of interrogation methods was provided as part of his trial testimony, but with numbers in the place of the names of officers. Since Amer has now provided the names of two of the individuals who tortured him, we are supplying the names of the actual officers in brackets from the narrative provided by Amer’s lawyers:

1.    Officer 1 [Colonel Habes Rizk] threatened to “hide  [the defendant] behind the sun” and expressed his racism that all the Palestinians are traitors because they want to free their country.

2.    Officers 1 [Colonel Habes Rizk] and 2 [Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman] deceived the defendant by claiming that his father [name] , his brother [name] and ten of his company’s employees had been arrested.

3.    Torturing other arrested persons in the same case before him like [defendant name] and [defendant name].

4. Successive interrogation sessions lasting 72 hours, with an interrogation team alternating every 8 hours. Sometime these sessions extended for 120 hours. During such sessions, the defendant sometimes suffered from fainting and in three such instances was taken to an internal clinic, a large quantity of acetone was poured into his nose to revive him, and the doctor would say that the fainting has nothing to do with cardiac disease, but is a psychological effect of the severity of the interrogation. When the interrogation was resumed, if the defendant lost consciousness he was given a cold shower with his clothes on to wake him up and the interrogation continued.

5.     On the third day after each interrogation tour, Officer 2 [Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman] would pour water on the defendant and treat him as if he had urinated on himself. He would then be punished by ordering him to stand in the corner of the room and then by insulting him, e.g. ‘Is not it shameful for a 45 year old man to urinate on himself?’ This would be repeated every three or four days.

6.     During the interrogation, Officer 2 [Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman] threatened to bring the wife of the defendant, and to insult and assault her in a way that would guarantee cooperation on part of the defendant. This occurred in the presence of Officer 3.

7.     Officer 2 [Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman] would use the method of applying pressure to the point where the defendant’s neck meets his shoulder while he is seated. He would do this by using a conscript called ‘Abu Zeid’ who was heavily built. Abu Zeid would put his elbow on the aforementioned area while pushing the head in the opposite direction for several hours. In addition, the method of slapping the defendant on the face was used when he was not responsive.

8.     Officer 2 [Captain Motaz Ahmad Abdurrahman] would order the defendant to sit in the prayer position and would place both feet on the leg of the defendant in case of his failure to respond.

***

At the conclusion of his statement, Amer refers to the Court’s refusal even to consider the testimony and evidence of the defense. The court relied entirely on the confessions obtained through torture, although the defendants testified that in some cases they had not even been allowed to read these “confessions” before signing them. Here is the statement of the court:

“… The court was assured of the evidence presented by the prosecution, and relies on it for proof, including the fact that the confessions of the defendants during the investigations were given clearly, correctly, with no ambiguity, and were given freely and by choice.  … Upon the preceding and upon the prosecution’s evidence, this court finds that it is not obliged to discuss Defense’s evidence presented by defense attorneys since accepting prosecution’s evidence automatically implies rejection of defense’s evidence, as this was the interpretation settled upon by the respected Court of Cassation in many of its rulings, among them decision number 757/2002 chapter 21/10/2002, from which is quoted: ‘…the State Security Court has done well to set aside defense’s evidence without discussing it.'”

***

Amer’s case is still on appeal before Jordan’s Court of Cassation. We urge supporters to share information publicly about his case to create as much visibility as possible while it is still in appeal.

Amer’s case underlines the fact that the primary purpose of torture has never been to gather intelligence. Its purpose instead is to terrorize people into silence and inaction and to force them to implicate themselves and others in false crimes, which in turn props up whatever narrative the state wishes to promote about terrorism.

As friends of Amer from his time in the US–some of us apparently named in the the GID’s interrogation sessions–we express our full solidarity with Amer in his pursuit of justice, and condemn the use of torture against him and his co-defendants.

_______________________________________________

Free_Amer mailing list

Free_Amer@amerjubrandefense.org

http://mail.amerjubrandefense.org/mailman/listinfo/free_amer_amerjubrandefense.org

_____________________________________________________________  

To subscribe, send a message to: announce_onepalestine-subscribe@lists.riseup.net