Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.
This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.
So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.
This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.
Amnesty calls on Algerian authorities to stop ‘persecuting peaceful protesters’
“Amnesty International has called on Algerian authorities to release all anti-government protesters and “immediately halt a campaign of arbitrary arrests and prosecutions.”
Algerians have taken to the streets for more than a year demanding the dismissal of corrupt politicians and individuals who had ties to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was forced to resign last April.
More than 1,400 people have been prosecuted for participating in the weekly protests, the rights group said on Thursday citing local humanitarian organisations…”
Bouteflika: The guy who held annual Qur’an rote recitation contests for kids.
Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince orders arrests of senior royal family members
“Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has detained three senior members of the kingdom’s royal family, clearing away once-formidable rivals to the throne, people familiar with the matter have said.
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported that Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, King Salman’s younger brother, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s nephew, were arrested early on Friday.
The details of their alleged crime couldn’t be learned, but the two Saudi royals were accused of treason.
The two men, who had once been in line for the throne, are now under threat of lifetime imprisonment or execution, people familiar with the matter said.
Saudi authorities also detained Nayef’s younger brother, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef.
The move by MBS comes more than two years after hundreds of Saudi businessmen and at least 11 Saudi princes arrested in an alleged anti-corruption drive.
Several senior figures were beaten and tortured and required hospital treatment.
On Friday morning, guards from the Saudi royal court wearing masks and dressed in black arrived at the homes of the two men, took them into custody and searched their homes, the Journal reported.
Mohammed bin Nayef is the former interior minister, a powerful position with oversight of troops and Riyadh’s large intelligence service, and had already effectively been under house arrest since he was removed from that post by MBS in 2017.
Over the past few years, their standing in the royal family has diminished as King Salman consolidated power and installed his son, MBS, as crown prince and the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
In September 2018, a senior source told Middle East Eye that Prince Ahmed was considering placing himself in self-imposed exile in London.
Prince Ahmed previously made comments saying “the king and the crown prince, and others in the state” are to blame for the current situation in the country, marking the first time someone of the prince’s rank broke the family code of silence.
Since coming to power, MBS has led a brutal crackdown against dissenting voices, with activists, scholars, writers, economists and public figures arrested.”
UN: Anti-terror laws in Egypt’s Sinai increase rights violations
“The UN has written a report expressing “serious concern” over amendments to Egypt’s terror laws.
In August 2015 Egypt enacted a sweeping anti-terror law that broadly defined terrorism as an act that disturbs public order with force. It was seen as part of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s sweeping crackdown on dissent, which has worsened as he has consolidated his power.
These latest amendments toughen penalties for terror-related crimes, expand the definition of financing terrorism and impose the death penalty on people found guilty of funding terror groups and acts.
The UN is alarmed at increasing practices of arbitrary detentions, torture, ill-treatment, the absence of judicial oversight, restrictions on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly in the country, the report says.
In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Al-Sisi has been waging a war on terror since he assumed power, which local citizens describe as a war on civilians, that is completely disproportionate to the threat that is posed.
Anti-terror laws have given the government cover to increase human rights abuses in the peninsula, including socio-economic rights violations, including the suspension of schools across North Sinai…”
Serbia might close its borders to asylum seekers
“If national security is endangered, Serbia will close its borders hermetically, said President Aleksandar Vucic, Anadolu Agency reports.
Vucic on Friday said that he has instructed the Serbian Army, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Information Agency to prepare plans to close Serbia’s borders during the migrant crisis.
“If Serbia’s national security were threatened, we would close our borders almost hermetically,” Vucic told reporters, adding that he hoped that would not happen.
He said Serbia is ready to close its borders within 12 hours and reiterated that he hoped they would not have to do so.
Serbia has had a humanistic attitude towards refugees but the country does not want to be a victim.
“If we were to be the only victim and to think that these should be the countries of the Western Balkans, that would not happen,” Vucic said…”
Turkish coastguard rescues 120 migrants off western coast
“Turkey’s coastguard rescued around 120 migrants trying to reach a Greek island on three dinghies early on Friday after they said their passage was blocked by Greek coastguard vessels, Reuters reports.
Drifting in the darkness in the Aegean Sea and packed into one of the dinghies stranded without a functioning motor, migrants shouted as coastguard vessels approached them off the coast of western Turkey’s Izmir province.
The migrants, including people from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and various African countries, held up small children to be rescued first by the crew of the coastguard vessel…”
Turkey’s VP: ‘Turkey’s treatment of refugees lesson of humanity’
“Turkey has given the world a lesson of humanity by opening its doors and being a safe haven for refugees, the country’s vice president said on Friday.
Speaking at an event in the southern Mersin province, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay strongly criticized Greece for its cruelty towards asylum seekers.
“Greece is shooting bullets and using tear gas at innocent people,” Oktay said in an address at the inauguration of a hospital, asking: “How does this cruelty conform with the EU’s values?”
The world would be up in arms if Turkey ever acted the way Greece does today, he added.
“The effects of the crisis in Syria are obvious but the world still questions our presence in the region,” Oktay noted.
He said there was no military solution to end the humanitarian catastrophe being witnessed in Syria, stressing that Turkey was always in favor of diplomacy, negotiations, and a political settlement.
“But we did not hesitate to use force when it was necessary to ensure the security of our borders, fight terrorism, and prevent human suffering,” said Oktay.
Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield on Feb. 27 after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred in an Assad regime airstrike in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians under a September 2018 deal with Russia, which prohibits acts of aggression in Idlib but was consistently violated by the regime and its allies.
The operation was also in retaliation to rising regime aggression that led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, who took shelter near Turkish borders.
In the latest Turkish operation, thousands of regime forces and many of its military hardware — including battle tanks, war jets, helicopters, air-defense systems, and howitzers — were neutralized.
On Thursday, an agreement for a cease-fire in Idlib was reached after an hours-long meeting in Moscow between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.”
Pope issues theme for World Migrants and Refugees Day
“Pope Francis on Friday released the theme for the 2020 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which focuses on the need for the pastoral care of internally displaced persons, Vatican news reported.
The Catholic Church’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees this year is focussing on the pastoral care of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who currently number over 41 million worldwide.
“Forced like Jesus Christ to flee” is the theme that Pope Francis chose for the 106th edition of the day this year, which will be marked on Sunday, 27 September, according to a statement released on Friday by the Holy See Press Office.
“As the title makes clear, the reflection begins with the experience of the young Jesus and his family as displaced persons and refugees,” the Press Office said. “This provides a Christological grounding for the Christian action of welcome or hospitality.” In the coming months, the theme will be developed in six sub-themes expressed by six pairs of verbs: to know in order to understand; to draw near so as to serve; to listen in order to reconcile; to share and thus to grow; to involve in order to promote; and finally, to collaborate and therefore to build.
The Migrants & Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will encourage, prepare and support the celebration of this day. Resources are being developed and a communication campaign will soon get underway. Each month, information, reflections, and multimedia aids will be offered as means of exploring and expressing the theme chosen this year by the Holy Father.
A few months ahead of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis will release his message. The issue of migrants and refugees has been one of the focal points of the pontificate of the 83-year old pope. The origins of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees can be traced to 1914, a few months before the outbreak of World War I.
Touched by the drama of millions of Italians who had migrated abroad since the beginning of the 20th century, Pope Pius X called on all Christians to pray for migrants.
A few months later, his successor Pope Benedict XV instituted the Day of the Migrant to support spiritually and economically the pastoral work for Italian emigrants.
In 1952, Migrant Day took on a broader and more international connotation and the particular Churches were called upon to choose a date to celebrate the day during the liturgical year.
St. John Paul II was the first pontiff to issue, since 1985, a message each year drawing attention to some of the specific realities and difficulties of people on the move, calling the Church to action.
In 2004, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People extended the day to refugees calling it the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
At the behest of St. John Paul II, since 2005, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees has been celebrated by the Universal Church on the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany.
On the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, January 14, 2018, Pope Francis announced the change in the date of celebration which will be the last Sunday of September.”
Erdogan says ‘Greek police killed five migrants’
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday claimed Greek security forces killed five migrants at the border with Turkey. Erdogan made the allegation while talking to reporters aboard a plane taking him back home after visiting Russia.
”Along with this, there is also obviously a very brutal approach” of Greek coast guards in the Aegean Sea ”sinking boats” of migrants arriving from Turkey, the president added.”
EU-Turkey migration deal is ‘dead,’ warns Greek PM
“A deal to stop irregular migrants from entering the EU through Turkey has collapsed, according to Greece’s prime minister. Tens of thousands of migrants hoping to enter the EU have gathered at the Greek-Turkish border.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday said a landmark EU-Turkey agreement to curb irregular migration to the bloc had effectively collapsed.
“Right now, let’s be honest, the agreement is dead,” Mitsotakis told US broadcaster CNN. “And it’s dead because Turkey has decided to completely violate the agreement because of what happened in Syria.”
Tensions have risen at the Greek-Turkish land border after tens of thousands of migrants gathered there in the hopes of crossing into the EU. But European officials have accused Turkey of enabling people’s attempts to cross the border illegally.
“They have systematically assisted, both at land and at sea, people in their effort to cross into Greece,” said Mitsotakis. “Europe is not going to be blackmailed over this problem by Turkey.”
Turkey requests new deal
In 2016, the EU made a deal with Turkey that effectively closed the so-called Balkan route, once considered the main pathway for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria.
In exchange for keeping people from crossing into Greece, the EU offered Turkey €6 billion ($6.8 billion) along with trade and travel incentives as part of the deal.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that the EU-Turkey deal needed to be revised because the terms of the agreement were no longer effective, according to a statement from his office.
Shortly after Erdogan’s statement, the Turkish coast guard said they were instructed to prevent migrants from attempting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece, citing unsafe conditions.
“While the principle of not intervening with the illegal migrants wanting to leave Turkey remains to be implemented, such an approach does not cover sea crossings due to life-threatening danger,” the coast guard said, citing a Turkish presidential order.
Meanwhile, at the land border, journalists were purportedly prevented from approaching the area where migrants have congregated at the Greek-Turkish land border, according to DW correspondent Julia Hahn.
“There are some reports suggested that the [Turkish] soldiers there are encouraging the refugees or migrants maybe to use violence to demand passage to Europe,” Hahn said. “The people we talked to also told us that although they have some access to food and drinks, the temperatures here are particularly difficult.”
“The also told us that there are still thousands there waiting to cross into the European Union.””
Report: Iran Forcing Gay People to Choose ‘Sexual Reassignment’ Surgery or Death
“Those suspected of or found guilty of homosexuality in Iran, a crime in the Islamist country, are being offered a choice between execution or undergoing sexual reassignment surgery, according to reports and testimony revealed this week from LGBT campaigners.
Officially named the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country’s theocratic regime boasts some of the most brutal sodomy laws anywhere in the world, with punishments ranging from torture to public flogging and executions. However, new reports and testimony suggest that authorities have come up with a new way of “treating” homosexuals for their supposed sins by giving them a choice between execution or being forced into a surgical sex change.
Ample evidence suggests those opting for the surgery do not in any way identify as transgender but feel compelled to agree to it to avoid being killed.
In an interview with the Sun, Iranian-born LGBT activist Shadi Amin explained that the regime views homosexuality as an “illness” that can only be cured by changing the person’s gender.
“The government believes that if you are a gay man your soul is that of a woman and you should change your body,” she said. “We think this is a way to fight the existence of homosexual people because you change their body and you solve the problem.”
Sexual reassignment surgery has been legal in Iran since 1987 and has the largest number of operations after Thailand. Reports indicate that around 4,000 surgeries are carried out in Iran every year, the majority of which are subsidized by the government, while one doctor reportedly told Amin that he carries out between 30 to 40 surgeries per month.
“The regime gives gay people two choices — to be arrested as a homosexual and being punished, even executed, or change your body,” Amin continued. “They are trying to cleanse the country of homosexuals. They would rather carry out mass surgeries than executions because they know the world is watching them.”
Amin, who leads the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6Rang) from her home in Germany, explained that victims of this abuse are not given any support following their transition and continued to be shunned by their families and wider society, forcing them into prostitution to make a living.
“There is nothing which criminalizes attacks against trans people,” she said. “After the surgery, they have no rights anymore. There is no physiological support after the surgery.”
British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who despite being an ardent left-wing activist has a record of standing up to repressive regimes of all political persuasions, told the British tabloid that the number of surgeries is only high because homosexuals want to carry on living.
“The Ayatollah’s are seeking to eliminate homosexuality by pressuring or forcing gay men to undergo gender reassignment surgery to make them ‘women,’” he said. “Some gay men agree to become trans women to protect themselves from prosecution and execution when they have sex with men.”
“They don’t want to be trans but fear being hanged if they don’t transition,” he added. “Iran’s policy of encouraging gender reassignment has nothing to do with supporting trans people. It is motivated by a desire to eradicate homosexuality and enforce traditional male and female gender norms.””
They had this ad:
four-hour event is designed to increase the representation of women and non-binary artists on Wikipedia, which is edited by volunteers around the world.
“Studies estimate that less than 15 per cent of [Wikipedia] contributors identify as women,”