Archive for the ‘criminals’ Category

Pakistan: Can Tribal Elders Turn Over Osama to U.S.?

March 31, 2008

By Muhammad Khurshid
Voice For Peace
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan
March 31, 2008

Several tribal elders and maliks interviewed by Voice For Peace have shown willingness to hand over Osama bin Laden and other terrorists hiding in tribal areas to the United States as according to them, they are criminals and they must face charges in court of law whether it is in the United States or tribal areas. They suggested that the US forces and tribal people should carry out search operation jointly.

There are indications that Osama bin Laden may be hiding in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border as he according to reports, he along with his other colleagues were shifted to Bajaur Agency after launching of operation in Waziristan tribal region. At that time political agent of Bajaur Agency was from Waziristan Agency. Several maliks and elders confirmed the shifting of Osama to Bajaur Agency. Due to the sensitivity of the matter they requested that their names might not be disclosed.

On the other hand Pakistan media has been creating another militant leader in Bajaur Agency. A statement of the militant leader was carried out by several newspapers of Pakistan. According to The News International report, a militant leader with alleged ties to al-Qaeda has welcomed an offer by Prime Minister Gilani to negotiate with the militants accused of launching terrorist attacks from the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammed said on Sunday his fighters were not “enemies” of Pakistan, adding “our war is with America”.

Speaking in the Bajaur tribal region, Maulvi Faqir told more than 4,000 supporters — hundreds of armed militants among them, “We welcome the government’s announcement of talks with the Taliban.”

Maulvi Faqir comments came a day after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in his inaugural speech that fighting terrorism was his government’s top priority. Gilani also said his government was willing to talk to militants who laid down their arms and “joined the path of peace”.

Expanding education and development in the impoverished region would be a “key pillar” of the government’s strategy against the militants in the tribal zone, the prime minister said. Maulvi Faqir said the government should not cooperate with the United States. ìWhenever Pakistan will work for the American interests as its ally, we will have our opposition to that matter,î Maulvi Faqir said amid chants of ìdeath to America.î 

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the negotiation offer of the incoming NWFP government, saying that they were open to talks on enforcement of Shariah and restoration of peace in the restive Swat valley.

Talking to this scribe by telephone from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesman Sirajuddin said: “We hail the provincial government’s efforts for establishing law and order in the restive valley. However, end to the military operation is a prerequisite to achieve peace in the area,” he said.

He also demanded an immediate announcement regarding the implementation of Shariah in the Malakand region and reminded that government was duty-bound to fulfill its religious obligations.

Siraj also lauded MPA from Swat, Waqar Ahmed Khan for raising voice on the floor of provincial assembly for the people of Swat and showing his concern over the situation in the troubled region. He urged all political parties to unite in order to help restore peace in the picturesque valley.

Thailand: “Haven for Criminals”

March 9, 2008

The Bangkok Post
March 9, 2008

By Wassayos Ngamkham

A comprehensive network of communications, transport facilities and hospitality have made Thailand a sanctuary for the world’s criminals and other fugitives, said police.

Panaspong Sirawongse, the head of Interpol’s Liaison Office Bangkok, said foreign criminals pick Thailand as a hide-out or a venue to negotiate illegal deals apparently because the country is a hub of communications and transport.

Also, Thailand is a world tourist destination where fugitives from crime can easily slip in and mingle with foreign tourists, he said.

“I believe they chose us because it is convenient for them to make contacts here,” Pol Col Panaspong said.

He referred to the latest arrest involving Russian Viktor Bout, 41, dubbed the ”Merchant of Death”, on Thursday at a Bangkok hotel. The fugitive was wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration for allegedly selling arms to terrorists.

Police escort international arms dealer Viktor Bout as he arrives ...
Police escort international arms dealer Viktor Bout as he arrives at the Bangkok Criminal Court March 8, 2008. Bout, dubbed the “Merchant of Death” of the clandestine arms trade and who was arrested in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand, has told police he was in Bangkok for a holiday and not to transact any weapons business, a police officer said on Saturday.
REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND)

Before that, Thailand was also in the spotlight for the much-publicised arrest of Nurjaman Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, in Ayutthaya in 2003. Hambali was suspected of being Southeast Asian terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)’s operations chief and the architect of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

His capture, according to a recent US report on terrorism, suggested that Thailand was a transit point for regional terrorists.

Following Hambali’s arrest, a number of other wanted fugitive criminals have been apprehended in the kingdom. They include Christopher Paul Neil, 32, who was arrested days after Interpol issued an unprecedented worldwide public appeal for help in identifying the suspected paedophile.

In mid-February, Morgan Michelle Hoke, 21, known as the ”ponytail bandit”, was arrested at a guesthouse in the Bang Lamphu area. She was wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a series of armed bank robberies.

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) deputy chief Petcharat Saengchai agreed with Pol Col Panaspong that communications and transport facilities are among the factors criminals consider before they choose to flee to Thailand.

Pol Col Petcharat, the head of the task force involved in the arrest of Mr Bout, is chief of a new crime suppression division which has been specially set up to tackle international crimes.

He said Thai people’s friendliness and hospitality are also a drawcard.

“Thailand is their heaven. Thai people are also friendly so the criminals like Thailand, especially Bangkok, which is a large and complex city. It is an ideal hideout, even for local criminals,” he said.

CSD commander Pongpat Chayaphan agreed that the character traits of local people can be a double-edged sword.

“Thai people are kind and friendly. So the criminals feel at ease here,” he said.

Refugees Suffer the Agony of Mankind’s Most Heinous Predators

January 3, 2008

Refugees Raped to Assert Power, Control

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 3, 2008

One of the most degrading and harmful crimes committed against refugees is rape. Pirates, criminals, police, guards, soldiers even sometimes representatives of the United Nations have been known to rape refugees.

The criminal act of rape is not so much a sexual act of gratification, according to psychologists. Instead, in the case of refugees, it is a barbaric act of power, control and forced compliance with any order or directive.

After hearing countless stories of rape and humiliation related to me by Vietnamese refugees and “boat people” who fled communist Vietnam between 1975 and the late 1990s, I thought it might be useful to share some small bits of these stories without using the real names of any of the victims.

May was about 25 years old when she left Saigon and began to run away from communism and toward freedom. She traveled with her family to the sea coast and as a group they paid a broker about $1,000 per person for the privilege of leaving Vietnam by boat.

They transited by sea toward Thailand and freedom but they had never heard about the pirates plying the seas in search of the vulnerable and weak.

May’s entire family and everyone else in her boat suffered the horrible fate of being descended upon by armed pirates. Four Vietnamese men were killed in the attack and two more were slaughtered because they did not react quickly enough to the orders of the pirates. One man was beheaded by the pirates in front of the horrified refugee women and children.

May and all the other women in the boat were raped repeatedly. But, because she was one of the youngest and most beautiful women in the boat, May was singled out for special humiliation, abuse and torture. Her arms were tied so each spread out parallel to the deck and away from her torso. The lines were knotted painfully tight so that she could not move. She looked like someone subjected to crucifixion. Then her ankles were bound and tied so that her legs were apart. More than 22 men had they way with May before she lost consciousness.

When she regained the ability to think, she felt unbearable pain and shame and embarrassment. He own mother cut her down after the pirates left and tended to her bleeding.

When this refugee boat made landfall in Thailand, every woman was “rinsed out” without her own consent or authorization. The Thais didn’t want any pregnant refugees on their hands.

“And the cost of entering Thailand and the cost of entering the refugee camp was rape,” a Vietnamese American woman told us.

“My sister was raped 13 times,” she said.

“Many of my relatives disappeared. We are sure they must have been killed.”May wound up in the infamous Thai refugee center called “Sikhiew Camp.” She estimated that in her two year stay there she was raped about 60 more times.

Another Vietnamese woman named Suan told me a heartening story about the value of human life.

Like May, Suan was raped on the boat trip from Vietnam to Thailand. When she debarked from the boat in Thailand and saw the women being rinsed out, she faked an illness and refused the procedure. For some reason the Thai police sent her on her way to the refugee camp.

A few months later Suan realized that she was pregnant. All of her relatives and friends told her to abort the baby – and an old woman said she knew how to carry out the procedure as painlessly as possible.

Suan, a Roman Catholic who believed abortion to be a sin, prayed for two weeks for guidance. Then she told her mother she would need help having “her baby.”

Suan gave birth to a baby boy while in the refugee center. Today he is an American citizen who is a policeman in New England.

Suan’s decision to have her baby — a baby forced upon her by a man she didn’t know and didn’t love — turned out to be a good one.  A real lesson in the value of human life and our ability to overcome hardship.

Related:
Thailand’s Criminal Abuse of Refugees: a Shameful 30+ Year Saga