name='verify-v1'/>"> MediaTrial: October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 08, 2011

American charade of double standards

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 Yusuf Naderkhani, a Christian pastor in the northern Iranian city of Rasht

The hullabaloo and tumult which the Western mainstream media have ignited during the past weeks over the fallacious report that a Christian pastor in Iran is sentenced to death on charges of apostasy once again underscores the hypocritical nature of the United States and its European allies, bringing to light the double standards which they have conventionally exercised regarding the human rights issue.

Over the past weeks, the American newspapers and news websites have widely circulated the deceptive report that Yusuf Naderkhani, a Christian pastor in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, has been convicted and sentenced to death for converting to Christianity from Islam and is awaiting execution.

In line with their duplicitous policies in the international level regarding the human rights issue, US officials were quick in responding to the self-manufactured report. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the 32-year-old Yusuf Naderkhani, who had turned to Christianity when he was 19, "has done nothing more than stay devoted to his faith."

The American official then went on to say that the alleged death sentence for Iranian pastor has "breached Iran's international obligations" and "crossed all bounds of decency." He further claimed that the Iranian authorities have forced Naderkhani to renounce his faith and abandon Christianity.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also said that he has "deplored" reports that the pastor could be executed for not returning to Islam. This comes while the US House Speaker John Boehner has urged Iran to grant Naderkhani "a full and unconditional release."

But what's the reality behind this US-produced tale?

First of all, reports published by some of the Iranian media outlets show that the incarceration of Yusuf Naderkhani has nothing to do with his religious affiliation or career as a pastor. According to Fars News Agency, Naderkhani has been jailed for violent crimes such as rape, burglary and extortion since 2009 and his prison term is not related to his religion at all.

Moreover, the Director General of Guilan Province's Department of Justice Javad Heshmati stated in a recent press conference that the sentence of execution has not been upheld for Naderkhani and the reports of Western media are nothing but sheer propaganda and misinformation.

But there remains a vital question: why do the Western media use every opportunity to make a mountain out of a molehill and accuse Iran of violating human rights and restricting religious freedoms?

The answer is almost clear: Violating human rights is a Western tradition. Similarly, restricting the religious freedoms is a Western practice. And likewise, suppressing the citizens is a Western convention. The West wants to distract the international attention from its grave violations of human rights by attributing its own crimes to independent and non-aligned countries such as Iran.

According to the US Department of Justice's Bureau of Statistics, 1,099 people have been executed in the United States since 1976 until April 2008. Furthermore, 3,263 people have been awaiting death penalty in the States since 1976. More astoundingly, The Espy file, compiled by M. Watt Espy and John Ortiz Smykla, lists 15,269 people executed in the United States and its predecessor colonies between 1608 and 1991.

Just a few weeks ago, a Black US citizen, Troy Davis, was controversially executed by lethal injection on charges of killing a police officer named Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. The execution of Davis was responded by the American public critically as they believed that he was innocent. Davis himself maintained his innocence since he was imprisoned in 1989 until his death and a group of prominent international figures such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, former FBI director William Sessions, former US President Jimmy Carter, and Amnesty International called for a halt to his verdict, which the Georgia's Board of Pardons and Parole rejected stubbornly.

The US-based magazine "The Week" published an elaborate report on the case of Troy Davis and raised the possibility that he was executed innocent.

"Seven of the nine witnesses who tied Davis to the crime have at least partly recanted their testimony - some claiming police duress influenced their initial testimony. One witness later said that a different man, Sylvester "Redd" Coles, had bragged afterward about shooting MacPhail."

Not coincidently, says Dave Zirin at The Nation, "of the two witnesses who still maintain that Troy was the triggerman, one is Sylvester 'Redd' Coles." Also, police produced no murder weapon, blood, DNA, surveillance tape, or other physical evidence tying Davis to the crime. The only hard evidence was the shell casings that prosecutors say matched a gun linked to Davis from another crime.

The truth is that the United States and its European allies, which have always boasted of commitment to human rights and civil liberties, have been the most prominent violators of those rights and liberties.

According to a "Cascade Patch" report, in the wake of the execution of Troy Davis last month at the Jackson prison, "some activists are seeking to clear the name of the youngest person ever to receive the death penalty in the United States: George Stinney, Jr."

On June 16, 1944, the 14-year-old black boy George Stinney "was executed in South Carolina in connection with the brutal murder of two white girls, eight and 11, who disappeared after going out to pick flowers in Alcolu," the report added.

As reported by the National Public Radio (NPR), for reasons that aren't exactly clear, Stinney became a suspect, and even though he himself was only 14 years old, he became the focus of this, and a lynch mob formed.

Stinney was arrested by the police officers and during his short and speedy interrogation he was offered ice cream on the condition that he would confess to the double murder.

At the end, Stinney confessed, though he was a part of the original community search crew looking for the girls and there was no physical evidence linking him to the murder, according to a story in The Grio.

After a speedy trial with a defense attorney trying to get into politics before a packed courtroom of some 1,500 whites (blacks were not allowed in), an all-white jury deliberated for 10 minutes, found the boy guilty and sentenced him to death.

Religious intolerance, violation of citizen's privacy, extrajudicial imprisonment and torture of the inmates and discrimination against racial minorities are among other elements which would turn the US and its European allies into the greatest violators of human rights. In the Western countries where the Muslim women are barred from wearing Islamic hijab, it's almost impossible to trace the footsteps of justice and equality for the people, whether white or black, Muslim or Christian, man or woman.

Four US nationals arrested in Pakistan

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Four US nationals have been arrested in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab on suspicion of espionage, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Islamabad, Press TV reports.

The four individuals were arrested on Friday while they were roaming around military bases in Punjab's northern city of Jehlum, and were reportedly taken to an unknown location for investigation.

Neither Washington nor Islamabad has so far commented on the issue.

In February, a CIA contractor called Reymond Davis, claimed by the US to have been a consulate staff, was arrested after he killed two locals in the southern city of Lahore.

Davis's arrest, which soured relations between Washington and Islamabad, engaged top US officials in negotiations with Pakistani authorities over his release.

He was set free after reportedly paying blood money to the family of the victims.

In June, Pakistani government imposed travel restrictions on the US diplomats in the country, forcing them to get a 'No Objection Certificate' before leaving the capital, Islamabad, for any other cities.

Pakistani experts believe that violence in the northwest of the country has decreased after the government limited the movements of the Pakistan-based US officials.

The experts say most of American diplomats traveling across Pakistan without legal documents are agents of the US intelligence agency, the CIA, which they say is trying to destabilize the Asian country.

US-led Afghan war enters 11th year

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The US-led invasion of Afghanistan waged in 2001 under the pretext of 'war on terror' and with the declared aim of toppling the Taliban regime and establishing security in the war-torn country has entered its eleventh year.
The US-led military occupation of the war-torn country took place on October 7, 2001, less than a month following the highly sophisticated September 11 terror efforts in New York and near Washington DC that was hurriedly blamed on the shadowy al-Qaeda group that was reportedly based in the severely underdeveloped Asian state.

The war began days after Washington accused the Taliban regime of harboring leaders of the al-Qaeda group.

After a decade and the expenditure of billions of dollars in what has turned out to be America's longest war, Afghanistan remains poor and insecure while battling the steadily growing human sufferings, militancy as well as narcotics production and trade across the country.

Thousands of Afghans turned up on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the invasion of their country in the capital city of Kabul on Thursday to demand an immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

"The United States said it came to help the Afghan people and provide a good life to Afghan people, but their true purpose was to occupy our country," a protester said.

"It is 10 years since the invasion of Afghanistan and all it has left behind is the blood of the Afghan people. We want the US to leave our country," the protester added.

A recent UN report indicates that the number of security incidents in Afghanistan has increased 40 percent in the first eight months of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

There are nearly 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, with almost 100,000 from the United States.

The US plans to pull out 10,000 soldiers this year and 23,000 by September 2012 to advance a plan of handing over security to Afghan police and army, which Washington claims will be completed by the end of 2014.

However, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that transition of security to Afghan forces is different from departing from Afghanistan, insisting that foreign soldiers will continue to stay in the war-ravaged country well beyond 2014.

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