One (1) Brit tortured by Dubai police acquitted.

Reprieve +44 (0) 207 553 8161

For Immediate Release: Tue April 15, 2014

Acquittal for Brit tortured by Dubai police
 
A British man arrested and tortured by Dubai police has today been acquitted.
 
Hasnain Ali (32), from London, was on holiday in Dubai in May 2013 when he was arrested and held for three days without access to a lawyer or his family. While detained he was beaten and threatened with tasers, firearms, and the prospect of sexual assault. Following his torture he was forced to sign a ‘confession’ in Arabic, a language he doesn’t understand, and charged with drugs offences for which he could have been given a death sentence.
 
In response to Mr Ali’s acquittal on all charges, his brother Jed said:
 
“Our family is overjoyed at this morning’s verdict. It is such a relief that Hasnain’s innocence has been recognized and that we will soon have him home with his family. However, we still cannot understand why Hasnain was treated so terribly.  We hope that the authorities in Dubai will put a stop to police torture before any other people or their families have to go through the same ordeal as us.”
 
Mr Ali’s case is not an isolated example. The trial is ongoing in the case of another British citizen facing a potential death sentence on the basis of a ‘confession’ extracted through torture.  Ahmed Zeidan, a 20 year old student, was arrested last year in the neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah, tortured, and forced into signing a ‘confession’ relating to drugs charges.  Despite repeated requests, UAE authorities have failed to carry out a proper investigation into Mr Zeidan’s mistreatment.
 
A report compiled by human rights charity Reprieve found that 75% of prisoners in the UAE report some sort of torture or abuse upon arrest. In the report, prisoners detailed the type of torture to which they were subjected with an alarming number including threats of a sexual nature. One prisoner reported that “They kept saying if you don’t co-operate, we will all [expletive] you one by one.”
 
Maya Foa, director of Reprieve’s death penalty team said: “This is welcome news indeed for Hasnain. It was ludicrous that he was put on trial with ‘evidence’ extracted by torture in the first place – an acquittal is a just outcome. But police torture and abuse in the UAE is systemic and ongoing. Ahmed Zeidan is a 20 year old British student who was tortured by police in the UAE and is now facing a possible death sentence – the UK government must do everything they can to investigate the abuse to which he was subjected and assist in his defence.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
 
1. For further information please contact Reprieve’s press office on: clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk / donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8161 / 8166

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Nearly every hour of every day, a Veteran commits suicide. Let’s stop it – with Medicare.

Our broken Veterans Administration is responsible for the pandemic of Veteran suicides, and there’s an easy fix … give Veterans no copay Medicare, rolling the drug negotiating powers the VA has that Medicare mysteriously doesn’t have into Medicare.

Veterans hospitals are placed in major metropolitan areas, which adds more of the latest and greatest diagnostic equipment to communities that already have an abundance of equipment. Meanwhile, smaller communities get by with what they have.

If the VA was rolled into Medicare, small community hospitals would have greater incomes, incomes that would evenly distribute the latest and greatest diagnostic equipment, benefiting everyone. The increased incomes for small community hospitals would also evenly distribute medical talent and experience, as bigger salaries would be affordable.

Our Vet’s deserve to survive being discharged. Our Vet’s deserve care in their own communities that doesn’t isolate them from friends and family when they need them most. Our Vet’s deserve care that is absent a military agenda; this has been clear for decades.

Giving our Vet’s what they need – Medicare – would save our tax dollars, and save our souls. We’ve slipped into unprecedented darkness in allowing our Vets to endure unemployment, homelessness, helplessness and despair that leads to nearly one suicide every hour of every day – 24/7/365, year after year.

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Florida vacations … to die for.

Family Of Nick Christie, Man Who Died In Florida Jail’s Restraint Chair, Settles Lawsuit [note: Mr. Christie died as a direct result of use of the restraint chair (and pepper spray), but not in the restraint chair]

After Huffington Post and other outlets reported in January 2012 on the incident, Florida Gov. Rick Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the deputies involved in Christie’s death. A week later, the FDLE announced that there wasn’t enough evidence of wrongdoing even to begin an investigation. The settlement of the civil suit likely means the end of any effort to hold accountable the law enforcement officers responsible for Nick Christie’s death. Whatever the amount, it will be paid by Florida taxpayers, not the officers themselves.

via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/nick-christie_n_2696234.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=2588690b=facebook

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Florida Governor Rick Scott encourages his constituents to invite their friends to vacation here. Like most of his ideas – per the video in this instance – it’s incredibly reckless.

Additional information about Rick Christie’s homicide-by-officers can be found here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/jail-abuse-nick-christie-pepper-spray-florida_n_1192412.html

And here:

https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForNickChristie

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Suggestions for New Chiefs of Police

Originally posted on improving police:

TEN VITAL SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW CHIEFS OF POLICE

chief's badge

  1. VISION. Establish a bold and breathtaking vision for your department. Be willing to pass it around and work to make it everyone’s bold vision.
  2. DEFINE. Who you are and what you stand for. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Do your best to stay out of political squabbles.
  3. SERVE. Remember, a chief of police not only leads the police, but also serves the community (he or she is their chief, too). Therefore, a chief protects the Constitutional rights of everyone.
  4. MODEL. Bethe kind of police officer you want others to be – well-trained, educated, controlled in the use of force, honest, and respectful.
  5. LISTEN. Listen, and then listen generously and continuously to those inside and outside the police department. Never stop.
  6. SURVEY. Know what the current level of trust, support and confidence is within the community with regard to your department. If…

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“Revolving Doors” never hit anyone in the ass on their way out. But they should.

Inside the Private Prison Industry’s Alarming Spread Across America | Alternet

While the total prison population in the country grew 16% between 2000 and 2011, the state private prison population grew 106% …

Christopher Petrella, a researcher at UC Berkeley who works on issues of race and incarceration, told AlterNet that there are two reasons for this astronomical growth: Official lobbying and revolving door politics …

Among some of the bigger players he cites are three former directors of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Harley Lappin, Michael Quinlan and Norman Carlson), all of who went on to chair senior level positions in either CCA or the GEO Group.

via Inside the Private Prison Industry's Alarming Spread Across America | Alternet.

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The math of privatizing prisons is unworkable, just as the math of privatizing any government service is unworkable. Privatization is the biggest fraud on the American public to ever come down the pike.

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US Supreme Court, Florida governors: On the record as declining to give a damn.

Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep? | The Nation

Several years ago I read a piece in The New York Times by Adam Liptak about Ryan Holle. Ryan, who had no prior record, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole in Florida. He was convicted of pre-meditated murder, even though no one, including the prosecutor, disputes that Ryan was asleep in his bed at home at the time of the crime.

via Why Is a Florida Man Facing Life in Prison For Lending a Friend His Car and Going to Sleep? | The Nation.

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By prosecutor David Rimmer’s logic – no car, no crime – the dead girls’ parents were even more guilty of homicide.

They were the precipitants – no marijuana in a home safe, no crime.

Charles Grodin, the author of the linked article, agrees:

I felt the father and mother were a lot more responsible for their daughter’s death than Ryan Holle.

David Rimmer needs a new line of work. One where lives and freedoms don’t hinge on his ability to prioritize.

Unfortunately, Charlie Crist didn’t see it that way: Rimmer was apparently rewarded for this glaring shortcoming with a judgeship in 2009:

http://www.pnj.com/article/20091202/NEWS01/912020326/1006/RSS01?nclick_check=1

Of course, Rick Scott has had ample opportunity to undo many if not most of previous governors glaring errors of judgement in-so-far as malicious prosecutions, dating all the way back to Bob Graham and including Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist.

But Scott is now on the record as declining to give a damn … over and over and over again.

Malicious proseutions aren’t a felony. They aren’t even a crime. We have the U.S. Supreme Court to thank for this in their 2011 ruling on Connick v Thompson.

The Justices had the opportunity to reverse the obviously deadly and insane immunities for deliberate prosecutorial and supervisory misconduct foisted on us by prior rulings (Brady v Maryland, Imbler v Pachtman, Van de Kamp v Goldstein, etc). But, like Bob Graham, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist and Rick Scott, on the record, the majority of Justices declined to give a damn.

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Those who oppress are never a “success.” Not even Bill Gates.

Protesters want Gates Foundation to stop investing in prison operator | Local News | The Seattle Times

“If the Gates Foundation wants to have the effect in the world they say they want to have, then investing in private prisons is the antithesis of that.”

via Protesters want Gates Foundation to stop investing in prison operator | Local News | The Seattle Times.

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Among many other things, genuine business successes never:

1) underpay employees or deny them reasonable benefits
2) mercilessly squeeze suppliers
3) offshore jobs, or profits
4) buy “conflict” materials
5) willfully endanger lives, or make life not worth living
6) invest in companies that routinely do all of the above

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