Reader’s Links for June 29, 2020

Daily Links Post graphic

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.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

96 Replies to “Reader’s Links for June 29, 2020”

  1. The models were wrong. The morbidity rate is a little above the seasonal flu, I believe. The economic impact from shutting down much of the world economy is just getting started. People are bewildered by the mix of a sorta-post-covid-but-don’t-say-it and BLM/Antifa riots at a city near you.

    I scratch my head. We here know more than your average bear. Eric Zammour says it beautifully in the clip Vlad posted last night. The racialists, the commies, the tards–all our enemies are linked and coordinated to great effect. And now this:

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/mass-tracking-covi-pass-immunity-passports-slated-roll-15-countries/269006/

    This won’t make the people at VTB, and those who think like us better off, will it? Placing your welfare in the hands of a very dubious technocracy will cost you your freedom. I beg anyone to convince me otherwise.

  2. Thirty Found Dead as Boat Capsizes in Bangladesh’s Dhaka – Photo (sputniknews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/asia/202006291079747049-thirty-found-dead-as-boat-capsizes-in-bangladeshs-dhaka–/

    “Thirty bodies have been recovered after a large boat capsized in the Buriganga river in the capital of Bangladesh on Monday morning, national media reported.

    The victims are 19 men, eight women and three children, The Daily Star specified, citing rescue services. The search and rescue operation is still underway

    The launch, which was carrying over 100 passengers, turned over after another large boat Moyur-2, hit it…”

  3. Gunmen Attack Stock Exchange Building in Karachi, Pakistan – Video (sputniknews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/asia/202006291079744334-pakistan-stock-exchange-building-in-karachi-under-attack-reports-claim/

    “Four militants have stormed the Pakistan Stock Exchange building and opened indiscriminate fire, according to media reports.

    Police said that three of the four terrorists have been killed, according to the Geo News media outlet.

    Armed men launched a grenade attack at the main gate of the stock exchange building and stormed the building after firing indiscriminately, according to reports.

    ?”An unfortunate incident took place at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. They made their way from our parking area and opened fire on everyone”, Abid Ali Habib, director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, said, as quoted by the Geo News…”

  4. At Least 10 People Killed in Bomb Blast at Animal Market in Afghanistan’s South (sputniknews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/asia/202006291079745143-at-least-10-people-killed-in-bomb-blast-at-animal-market-in-afghanistans-south/

    “At least 10 people were killed and 15 others injured in a bomb blast at an animal market in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a local source said on Monday, specifying that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.

    The incident occurred in Helmand’s Sangin district, where the Taliban militant movement is active.

    A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that there was no bomb blast.

    According to Mujahid, soldiers fired mortar shells at the bazaar, leaving several civilians killed and wounded.”

    • Afghanistan: At least 23 killed and dozens injured in Sangin rocket attack

      At least 23 people were killed and many more were injured in the Sangin district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Monday, when multiple rockets landed on a livestock-trading bazaar.

      Several of those hurt in the incident were taken to hospital near the city of Lashkargah, where they were treated for their injuries.

      While estimates vary, Omar Zwak, a spokesperson for the Helmand governor confirmed there were “a lot of casualties,” and said the number of dead could exceed thirty.

      According to reports, both the government and tha Taliban have blamed one another for the attack.

      The incident came just one day after a roadside bomb in Helmand claimed the lives of six civilians on Sunday.

      SOT, Ashnaullah, Eyewitness of attack (Pashto): “I have seen at least 25 wounded in Sangin (a district in Helmand province) at the market and deaths might be 40. I have seen seven deaths and four wounded from my villagers.”

      SOT, Edrees, Eyewitness of attack (Pashto): “First of all, a single rocket arrived then multiple rockets hit just the center of the market, I was in a hurry. I left my place there, I called the ambulances and private vehicles for help. Majority may be killed and wounded. The injuries might be around 40 people.”

      SOT, Omar Zwak, Spokesperson for Helmand Governor (Pashto): “In Sangin district near an old market, the insurgents dropped rockets on a gathering place which feared a lot of casualties, among the killings at least 30 people and over 15 people were wounded.”

  5. Iran Issues Arrest Warrant Against Trump Over Soleimani’s Killing, Asks Interpol for Assistance (sputniknews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/world/202006291079747338-iran-reportedly-wants-interpol-to-arrest-trump-over-soleimanis-killing/

    “Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force and one of the most respected figures in Iran, was killed in a US drone strike in January during a goodwill visit to Iraq.

    Authorities in Iran have approved a measure to ask Interpol to put US President Donald Trump on its international Red Notice of wanted persons over the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, Iranian media including Mehr News and the Fars News Agency have reported, citing judicial officials.

    “It was possible to identify 36 persons who participated in preparations for and were involved in the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, among them political and military figures from the United States and other countries,” Ali Alqasi-Mehr, Tehran’s prosecutor-general, said in a statement on Monday. “At the top of the list is US president Donald Trump,” he added.

    According to the official, judicial authorities adopted a resolution to bring these persons to justice and to appeal to Interpol to issue red notices against them. If approved, Interpol would require law enforcement agencies in other countries to facilitate the search for and arrest of the requested suspects.

    Iran’s charges against Trump and others include ‘murder’ and ‘terrorist acts’, charges which carry a maximum penalty of death under Iran’s criminal code. According to Alqasi-Mehr, Iran would pursue Trump’s prosecution even after the expiry of his term as president…”

  6. Italian Leftist MP Accused of Exploiting Migrants for Election Campaign (breitbart, Jun 28, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/06/28/italian-leftist-mp-accused-exploiting-migrants-election-campaign/

    “A member of the left-wing Italian Democratic Party (PD) has been accused of exploiting migrants during her election campaign by giving money to a pro-migrant group which allegedly made migrants work for free.

    Democratic Party MP Elena Carnevali from the city of Bergamo is said to have reached out to the Ruah cooperative, a social centre that manages around 1,600 asylum seekers and has a cash flow of around €9 million (£8.15m/$10.1m) per year.

    Allegedly, the PD MP reached out to the president of the cooperative Bruno Goisis during her election campaign in February 2018. She is said to have asked for three or four people to help with campaign work, such as leafleting and printing election posters, and said she would give an “economic contribution” for any help received, Il Giornale reports.

    Mr Goisis quickly accepted the request, it is alleged, asking the politician where she needed the help.

    Several days later, it is claimed, the two spoke again on the telephone to discuss money. Ms Carnevali allegedly referred Goisis to PD accountant Alessandro Redondi, who is said to have spoken to Goisis and discovered he was not going to pay any of the migrants, saying that he did not care if they were paid but only that Carnevali is re-elected.

    An investigation into the Ruah cooperative began in 2017.

    Recently, much of Italy was shocked after Antonio Zanotti, the founder of the Renewal cooperative, and two other senior associates were placed under house arrest earlier this month as part of a wider investigation.

    The group is accused of transferring illicitly earned money by profiting from state subsidies for migrants and using various companies and ventures to cover their tracks.

    In total, 38 people have been targetted by investigators in connection with the allegations made toward the cooperative and other groups.

    The claims come just weeks after 13 Chinese nationals were arrested by Italian authorities, accused of exploiting illegal migrants in slave-labour like conditions to make medical masks in the city of Prato.”

  7. Man Sentenced for Forcing Kidnapped 14-Year-Old into Prostitution (breitbart, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/06/29/man-sentenced-forcing-french-14-year-old-girl-prostitution/

    “A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to just four years in prison for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and forcing her to become a child prostitute in the French department of Loiret.

    The 24-year-old, along with his 19-year-old female partner and another 27-year-old man, kidnapped the teen after she had run away from home in Val-de-Marne. They forced her into sex work in an apartment in the commune of Montargis, along with forcing her to go to hotels in Orléans and Blois.

    According to a report from broadcaster France Info, the trio forced the girl to engage in dozens of sexual acts per day. The public prosecutor of Montargis, Loïc Abrial, said that the 24-year-old had been the “main pimp” and had put the girl under the supervision of the other two involved.

    “The main pimp, 24, was sentenced to four years in prison by the criminal court. Two other defendants, a man and a woman, were sentenced to three years in prison, two [years] of which were suspended,” Abrial said on Thursday.

    The three had initially been arrested in March but were left under judicial supervision until a verdict in their trial was reached rather than be placed in pre-trial detention, because of the Wuhan virus.

    The case comes as child prostitution becomes a major problem in France, with several cases taking place in the last year. In one instance in Chaperon-Vert Gentilly, five men were arrested for forcing a 16-year-old girl to have sex 500 times in just five days after holding her in an apartment against her will.

    The victim, who was also a runaway, eventually managed to get word of her abduction to police who were able to rescue her.

    In the heavily migrant-populated Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis, child prostitution is a major issue. According to an NGO report, a third of underage prostitutes in the area are under the age of 15, with some as young as six years old.”

    • Aged 14 is the age of consent many prominent Homosexual spokespersons want, and being a Sex Worker is a valid and noble service, so if that is what she wants to be, and no four witnesses say otherwise, you have your future Democrat MP here.

      Because when trapped, they become Born Again, and the Stockholm Syndrome keeps moving into city into city.

      This ‘sexual adult,’ escaped sexualization, dhimmification and Non-white Lives Matter.

      Many did not escape this mind-rape, and are attacking human history, right now for a sense of life in a zero-zone.

  8. Orban Laments ‘Firestorm of Violence’ as Police Branded ‘Racist’ and ‘Humiliated on the Streets’ (breitbart, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/06/29/orban-laments-firestorm-of-violence-as-police-branded-racist-and-humiliated-on-the-streets/

    “Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has lamented the “firestorm of violence” sweeping Western cities as police are branded “racist” and “humiliated on the streets and in political discourse”.

    Speaking to police cadets taking their oaths at Buda Castle after graduating from the National University of Public Service, Prime Minister Orbán warned them that “the future which awaits you as members of the uniformed services does not offer the prospect of simplicity.”

    “Surprising and disturbing developments are taking place,” Orbán explained in his speech, which has been seen by Breitbart London.

    “The health systems of affluent countries collapsed in a matter of days. Rich countries have set out on the path towards financial collapse. An unprecedented firestorm of violence is sweeping through renowned cities,” he said.

    “Armed organisations dedicated to maintaining order are being humiliated on the streets and in political discourse. Guardians of public order are being branded as racist. Public esteem for those in uniform is falling, along with public statues. The state and the law are withdrawing from the streets,” he lamented.

    “It is important for you to recognise that Hungary is not such a country. It is important for you to recognise that it will not become such a country,” he added emphatically.

    Orbán told the graduates to take heart, however, from the knowledge that they “can be sure that throughout every minute of your service you will feel that Hungary is behind you” — which officers in Western European and U.S. police forces cannot necessarily be sure of, given how many politicians and other public officials, including some police leaders, appear to have submitted to accusations of “systemic” or “institutional” racism.

    Indeed, some Western politicians now are now actively supporting demands from Black Lives Matter supporters to defund or outright abolish police forces, with Lisa Bender, President of Minneapolis City Council in the United States, actually going so far as to say that people concerned about the fate of citizens subject to nighttime home invasions with no police to call were speaking “from a place of privilege”.

    “No matter how much turmoil there is around us, we are still ruled by order in our heads, strength in our arms, and loyalty in our hearts. You can be sure that we shall never abandon our uniformed services,” Orbán promised, vowing that his government would “honour, respect, and stand up for the people who risk life and limb for our safety and the peace of our homeland.”

    “Here in Hungary every life matters. We love a world in which there is order, in which common sense reigns, in which the law protects the innocent and not criminals, in which we protect ourselves from migration, and in which we invest resources in the future of families and children… In your work may your hearts never falter, may you be loyal to your oath, and may you honour your fellow officers and superiors, and – above all – your homeland,” he concluded.

    “Hungary before all else, God above us all! In your service I wish you much strength, health and great success.””

  9. REP CHIP ROY WENT OFF ON MEDIA FOR COVERING FOR PELOSI & DEMS WHILE PEOPLE ARE DYING
    video – 3 mins 5 secs
    Rep. Chip Roy went off in front of the media yesterday for their unfair coverage of Tim Scott’s police reform bill and fawning coverage of Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats.

  10. MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER: ON BEHALF OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS – I APOLOGIZE FOR THE CLIMATE SCARE
    On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.
    The original post in Forbes appears to have been taken down.
    https://www.thegwpf.com/michael-shellenberger-on-behalf-of-environmentalists-i-apologize-for-the-climate-scare/

  11. US PROVOCATION: US AMBASSADOR TO MOSCOW – JOHN SULLIVAN – EXPLAINS WHY HE SUPPORTS SODOMY & DEGENERACY
    includes video – 2 mins
    Empire’s culture war on Russia. As Ambassador Sullivan has said, “LGBTI rights are human rights. And human rights are universal. It’s as simple as that.” [What saith the Lord! – Romans 1]
    https://russia-insider.com/en/watch-us-ambassador-moscow-john-sullivan-explains-why-he-supports-sodomy-and-degeneracy/ri30762

    • Which people do you prefer, the couple in St. Louis who confronted the mob with firearms and protected what they own or the people in NYC who are fleeing the city instead of fighting for it?

      • If it’s my dear neighbor’s kids, I want them OUT of NYC!
        Flyover cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City have hollowed out Orthodox Jewish communities. A handful of freaky beards light Hanukkah candles in public once a year, that’s about it.

        We didn’t bring Refuseniks from the Soviet Union to be subjected to pogroms here. Orthodox Jews are abandoned and betrayed in urban America – including by the vast majority of Jew-ish Americans. Next to no media coverage, but it’s been terrible.

        And forget about university! At least here we’ve got significant, visible security at shul and yeshiva, on the street when we walk together on Sabbath. But college kids are prey, subjected to relentless, vicious abuse.

        Three times the average number of young people are making aliyah from North America this summer. They will surely fight, they’ll live with tseva adom. They will bury close friends and family who die too young.

        Some won’t adjust, they’ll come back.
        None of this is easy.

  12. KARACHI PAKISTAN Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange

    Gunmen attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in the city of Karachi killing two guards and a policeman before security forces killed all four of the attackers, police said.

  13. Dozens arrested at the Hague rally against COVID-19 restrictions

    Dutch police arrested dozens of protesters at an unauthorised rally against coronavirus restrictions in The Hague. 37 people were taken into police custody after they refused to leave the location.

  14. Lebanon: Dozens in Beirut slam US Ambassador after Hezbollah criticisms

    Dozens of Hezbollah supporters rallied in Beirut on Sunday after US Ambassador Dorothy Shea accused Hezbollah of damaging Lebanese economy and democracy.

    Dozens of protesters on mopeds were seen waving Hezbollah flags and banners as they gathered at a busy road in a southern neighbourhood of Beirut. The demonstrators were seen blocking a road as they chanted and honked moped horns. The Lebanese military could also be seen arriving at the scene as the demonstrators dispersed.

    The protesters were denouncing the US Ambassador to Lebanon’s comments, made during a televised interview on Friday, where she accused Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah of endangering the country’s stability and hindering the economic crisis in Lebanon.

    Shea has reportedly been summoned by Lebanon’s Foreign Minister over the comments.

    • MEMRI US Amb. To Lebanon: Hizbullah Is A Terrorist Organization That Has Siphoned Billions Of Gov’t Funds

      U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea said in a June 27, 2020 interview on Al-Hadath TV (Lebanon) that the Lebanese people are suffering from decades of government corruption and that the U.S. has many concerns regarding the involvement of Hizbullah – which she pointed out is a designated terror organization – in Lebanese governance.

      She elaborated that Hizbullah has siphoned off billions of dollars that were meant to go into government coffers and into necessary economic reforms, and she added that the U.S. has very serious reservations about the Diab government, in part because of its relationship with Hizbullah.

  15. sky news Calls for greener Britain after pandemic

    Leaders from across society calling for a “stronger, fairer and greener” Britain as we rebuild after the pandemic.

  16. China subjects Muslim minorities to forced birth control, abortions to suppress population, report says (foxnews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-birth-control-abortion-muslim-minority-uighurs

    “China is subjecting hundreds of thousands of women to forced birth control methods — or even mandatory abortions — as part of the government’s campaign to slash birth rates among the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups, according to a report published Monday.

    While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to a recent Associated Press investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor.

    The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”

    The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the report claims. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang.

    The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, the AP found, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines. Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children.

    Gulnar Omirzakh, a Chinese-born Kazakh, said the government ordered her to get an IUD inserted after she had her third child in 2016. But two years later, in January 2018, Omirzakh claimed four officials in military camouflage came knocking at her door anyway and gave her three days to pay a $2,685 fine for having more than two children.

    Omirzakh said the men warned her that she would join her husband, a detained vegetable trader, and a million other ethnic minorities locked up in internment camps, if she didn’t pay the fine.

    “God bequeaths children on you. To prevent people from having children is wrong,” she said. “They want to destroy us as a people.”

    Birth rates in the mostly Uighur regions of Hotan and Kashgar plunged by more than 60 percent from 2015 to 2018, the latest year available in government statistics. Across the Xinjiang region, birth rates continue to plummet, falling nearly 24 percent last year alone — compared to just 4.2 percent nationwide, statistics show.

    The hundreds of millions of dollars the government pours into birth control has transformed Xinjiang from one of China’s fastest-growing regions to among its slowest in just a few years, according to new research by China studies scholar Adrian Zenz.

    “This kind of drop is unprecedented… there’s a ruthlessness to it,” said Zenz, an independent contractor with the nonprofit Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”

    China’s foreign ministry called the story “fabricated” and “fake news,” saying the government treats all ethnicities equally and protects the legal rights of minorities.

    “Everyone, regardless of whether they’re an ethnic minority or Han Chinese, must follow and act in accordance with the law,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday.”

  17. Gent, Belgium. Students were cussed out and (verbally) sexually harassed by cafe clientele and owner for ‘dressing like whores”. When one of them objected, she got slapped by the owner. Video, looks like the Ottoman Slap. Pretty sure he’s turkish:
    https://www.dumpert.nl/item/7938381_0052ac78

    Two articles, in Dutch:
    https://m.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20200625_05001232?utm_source=t
    https://www.hln.be/in-de-buurt/gent/gentse-cafebaas-slaat-studente-19-in-het-gezicht-hij-noemde-me-een-hoer-omdat-ik-zomers-gekleed-was~a2079abe/

    Other women on the beach of Oostende, Belgium confronted with Sexual Harrasment of Peace. Video:
    https://www.dumpert.nl/item/7940661_612084da

    Article (in Dutch):
    https://www.hln.be/nieuws/binnenland/debby-20-filmt-hoe-ze-lastiggevallen-wordt-op-strand-van-oostende-is-neen-niet-duidelijk-genoeg~a1166239/

  18. Netizens Ridicule WaPo ‘Fact Check’ After Claiming Trump Is Wrong on Violence in Dem-Run Cities (sputniknews, Jun 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/viral/202006291079751453-netizens-ridicule-wapo-fact-check-after-claiming-trump-is-wrong-on-violence-in-dem-run-cities/

    “On 25 June, The Washington Post published an article ‘disproving’ remarks by US President Donald Trump, that the most dangerous and violent cities are run by Democrats, instead providing data appearing to prove the president’s assertion.

    The Washington Post received a wave of mockery for a “worst fact-check ever” after an article claimed that US President Donald Trump was wrong when saying that most violence takes place in cities run by Democrats.

    People, however, were quick to notice that the data provided in the article failed to support its point, showing that Trump was not wrong when saying “most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats”, as both charts revealed only one Republican leader per 20 cities. Among those slamming the incorrect fact-check was Donald Trump Jr, who said in his Instagram account that “anything they can manipulate to push their narrative, they will”.

    Twitter users criticized the WaPo’s approach to fact-checking, urging not to only judge by the headline, but also check the contents, which may be contradictory. They went on to name the article “the worst fact check ever”.

    Netizens noted that the author might just be bad with numbers.

    ?Some even understood conservatives in their criticism of some media outlets.

    The WaPo article in question cited Trump saying that “Every one of them [the cities] is Democrat run. Twenty out of 20. The 20 worst, the 20 most dangerous are Democrat run”. The figures in the article instead detailed one Republican-ruled city and three independent leaders, the rest of the data showing 17 cities to be Democrat-run, backing Trump’s claim, not disproving them.”

  19. Black Lives Matter: Not Just Communist, But Viciously Anti-Semitic Too

    No matter the color of their skin, Jews are going to be labeled “white.”
    June 29, 2020
    Clare M. Lopez

    By the time violent rioters tore through the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Fairfax, Los Angeles on the night of Saturday May 30, 2020, it was too late. The vicious antisemitic, anti-Israel language of the M4BL and Black Lives Matter’s demands that included accusations against Israel of “apartheid” and “genocide” had been brushed aside. Black Lives Matter (BLM) delegations had traveled to the Middle East to endorse Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria and pose for photo ops with the Palestinian flag. Statements from delegation leaders spoke of “occupation, ethnic cleansing and brutality” that Israel supposedly has perpetrated against the region’s Arab-Muslim population.

    Even when city after city across America went up in flames after the May 25, 2020 killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer, with BLM ‘protesters’ assaulting private businesses, their owners, and law enforcement officers alike, smashing store fronts, setting fires, and destroying property, some among America’s Jewish leadership could hardly get their statements of support out fast enough. Jewish American organizations, the Reform Movement, rabbinical leadership figures, progressive and Zionist activists, even the Hasidic Community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn in New York City all practically fell over one another in their haste to endorse the BLM movement.

    https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/06/black-lives-matter-not-just-communist-viciously-clare-m-lopez

    • practically fell over one another in their haste to endorse the BLM movement.
      I shouldn’t read this. I get so mad, I scare my dust mites.

  20. Text Message Urges Chicago Police Officers To Call In Sick, Limit Arrests In A ‘Blue Flu’

    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/06/22/text-message-urges-chicago-police-officers-to-call-in-sick-limit-arrests-in-a-blue-flu/

    CHICAGO (CBS) — Along with a spike in violence in Chicago this past weekend comes with a new push by members of the police union to get officers on the street to stand down – and even stay home.

    As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Monday night, it all started with a text message.

  21. Jordan Foils ISIS Plot to Attack Church
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2360646/jordan-foils-isis-plot-attack-church

    “Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate has foiled a terrorist plot to attack a church and liquor store in Amman.

    Al-Rai daily reported that four militants affiliated with ISIS were arrested earlier this year before their attempt to join the terrorist organization by infiltrating the Jordanian border to Syria.

    Tight Jordanian security measures prevented them from crossing the border and instead they plotted to carry out military operations in Jordan.

    Authorities held a public trial for the four defendants, during which they said their plan was to attack the church and the store with explosive devices, but they faced difficulty in manufacturing the explosives and resorted to machine guns instead.

    Jordan’s State Security Court charged the defendants with conspiracy, intention to carry out terrorist attacks, and attempting to join armed groups and terrorist organizations. Three of the convicts are also facing charges of promoting the ideas of a terrorist group.

    The defendants are all friends and reside in al-Wehdat area, east of the capital.

    Following the developments in Syria and Iraq and the emergence of ISIS in 2014, the defendants began exchanging ideas and promoting rhetoric of the terrorist organization online.

    They became supporters and members of the extremist group and pledged allegiance to its leader.

    According to the newspaper, the defendants were adamant on supporting ISIS, so they agreed in 2017 to join its ranks. They began searching for a safe way to join the organization, but failed due to tight security measures on Jordan’s border.

    Early in 2018, the first and fourth defendants were determined to carry out military operations in Jordan, and identified a number of places as their targets.

    Eventually, they settled on attacking the Armenian Church in al-Ashrafyeh area, east of Amman, and a liquor store in al-Wehdat.

    They chose the two targets for their proximity and their knowledge of the area.”

  22. Lebanon judge orders media ban on US envoy after attack on Hezbollah
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-lebanon-judge-orders-media-ban-on-us-envoy-after-attack-on-hezbollah/

    “A Lebanese judge has banned local media as well as foreign journalists working in the country from reporting comments made by the US Ambassador, starting tomorrow.

    Judge Mohammed Mazeh, who is based in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, a Hezbollah stronghold, made the ruling after Ambassador Dorothy Shea criticised the Iranian-backed group during an interview with the Saudi-owned news channel Al-Hadath on Friday.

    In the interview, Shea claimed the US has “grave concerns about the role of Hezbollah” which “is destabilising the country and jeopardizing Lebanon’s economic recovery”.

    Adding, “[Hezbollah] has siphoned off billions of dollars that should have gone into government coffers so that the government can provide basic services to its people…[and] it has obstructed some of the economic reforms the Lebanese economy so desperately needs.”

    Mazeh reportedly issued the ban after receiving a complaint from a citizen who was concerned the ambassador’s comments were “insulting to the Lebanese people”. The order could be reversed, however, if Shea agrees to abstain from remarks which “pit Lebanese against each other”, Mazeh told Al Jazeera…”

  23. Yemen’s Houthis holding 20,000 people in 790 prisons
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-yemens-houthis-holding-20000-people-in-790-prisons/

    “Around 20,000 people are being held in hundreds of prisons in Yemen in areas occupied by the Houthi, Anadolu reported.

    The information was disclosed during an online symposium organised by a human rights coalition, Yemen’s official Saba news agency reported.

    Mutahar Al-Badhiji, executive director of the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations (Rasd), said during the symposium that Yemen has gone through its worst humanitarian crisis during the past year and a half due to the systematic violations of the Houthi militias.

    Murad al-Garati, president of the Temkin development and human rights organisation, said roughly 20,000 people are being held in 790 official and informal prisons under Houthi control.

    He added that the Houthis have recruited 7,000 child soldiers and are responsible for planting landmines in various cities that have killed 6,000 people.

    All parties to the Yemen conflict have been accused of abusing civilians and operating mass prisons. In the south, UAE-backed forces have been found to have a network of secret prisons and a “parallel security structure” according to Amnesty International.”

  24. Libya: 200 Yemen mercenaries arrive to fight on behalf of Turkey
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-libya-200-yemen-mercenaries-arrive-to-fight-on-behalf-of-turkey/

    “Military and intelligence sources have revealed that up to 200 mercenaries from Yemen have arrived in Libya to fight on behalf of the Turkish-backed, internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).

    According to the Houthi-aligned Yemen News Portal, militia belonging to the Islah Party in Marib sent fighters to Turkey under the guise of receiving hospital treatment, from where they were transferred to the Libyan capital Tripoli.

    It has been speculated that the Islah Party is trying to forge a military alliance with Turkey by sending fighters alongside it in Libya, amid increasing reports of a possible future Turkish intervention in Yemen, in particular against UAE-backed militia.

    The sources pointed out that forces of Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by General Khalifa Haftar have already captured a number of Yemeni mercenaries fighting in the ranks of the GNA.

    Last year footage emerged purportedly showing Syrian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the GNA, despite denials over “Syrian elements” operating in the country. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has recruited over 10,000 Syrians to fight in Libya.

    On Saturday, Libya’s permanent representative to the UN called for imposing sanctions on Russian and Sudanese mercenaries in the country fighting on behalf of GNA-rival General Khalifa Haftar.”

  25. Sudan arrests 122 mercenaries heading for Libya
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-sudan-arrests-122-mercenaries-heading-for-libya/

    “Sudanese authorities in western Darfur have arrested at least 122 people, including eight children, who they believe had planned to go and fight in neighbouring Libya, SUNA reported.

    General Gamal Gomaa, a spokesman for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, said in a statement that 72 of those arrested belonged to the Sudanese Awakening Revolutionary Council, an armed group led by the former Janjaweed militia leader Musa Hilal.

    SUNA published a video showing dozens of youths sitting on the ground, surrounded by military vehicles carrying soldiers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

    It said the video was shot in Al-Junayna, the capital of the West Darfur province.

    The country’s foreign minister this week denied that Sudanese forces were involved in the conflict in Libya.

    In an interview with AFP, Asma Abdalla said: “We cannot get involved in a conflict in any neighbouring country.”

    Sudan is currently undergoing a fragile democratic transition and unrest in the Darfur region

    According to the United Nations, Sudanese fighters from Darfur have been fighting for the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by retired Major General Khalifa Haftar in his battle against the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

    Neighbouring Libya has, in recent years, turned into a regional proxy war, with rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and foreign countries.

    Libya’s UN-recognised unity government has long accused Sudan of sending fighters to back renegade warlord Haftar who is backed by the UAE and Russia.”

  26. Turkish coastguard rescues 35 migrants from half-sunken boat
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-turkish-coastguard-rescues-35-migrants-from-half-sunken-boat/

    “Turkey’s coastguard said on Monday it had rescued 35 migrants and was searching for four more missing from a boat found half sunken in the Aegean Sea.

    The Turkish coastguard quoted the rescued migrants as saying that Greek coastguards had slashed their rubber dinghy, taken away their fuel containers, and pushed them back towards Turkish waters. A Greek coastguard spokesman denied the allegations.

    “The migrant boat never entered Greek territorial waters,” the Greek spokesman told Reuters. “There was never any contact between a Greek coastguard ship and the migrants’ boat.”

    The migrants were rescued around 2:45 am (2345 GMT) near a small island off the coast of Ayvalik in Turkey’s western Balikesir province, the Turkish coastguard said.

    Greece has been one of the main gateways into the European Union for people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and beyond, largely via its islands near the Turkish coast.

    More than a million people reached Greece from Turkey in 2015-16, although the numbers later dropped sharply under a 2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey for Ankara to take migrants back in return for funds.

    Earlier this year, tens of thousands of migrants tried to cross into Greece via land and sea borders after Ankara said it would no longer stop them. Turkey, home to 3.6 million Syrians, the world’s largest refugee population, had said it would open the frontier because it was alarmed by the prospect of another wave of refugees fleeing war in northwest Syria.”

  27. Turkey, Austria trade barbs over Kurdish-Turkish clashes in Vienna
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200629-turkey-austria-trade-barbs-over-kurdish-turkish-clashes-in-vienna/

    “Austria and Turkey accused each other on Monday of responding inappropriately to clashes between Kurdish and Turkish protesters in Vienna last week, further straining already tense relations.

    The violence began on Wednesday when a brawl broke out after Turks heckled a Kurdish gathering in Vienna, police said. Kurdish protests on Thursday and Friday with around 300 people, according to a police count, then led to clashes with Turkish counter-protesters in which stones and fireworks were thrown.

    Such violence is rare in Vienna, which has a large ethnic Turkish minority. Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is a vocal critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and their governments traded barbs over the violence.

    “Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg expressed to the Turkish ambassador the clear expectation that he contribute to de-escalation rather than pouring fuel on the fire,” Austria’s Foreign Ministry said after summoning the ambassador.

    Earlier on Monday Turkey’s Foreign Ministry strongly criticised Austria’s handling of the protests, which it said were by groups linked to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    “Austria’s ambassador to Ankara will be invited to our ministry and informed of our concern,” it said, accusing Austrian security forces of meting out “harsh” treatment to the Turkish protesters.

    Austria said police intervention had prevented worse violence and pledged to find out who was behind the clashes. The police made 11 arrests and seven officers were injured in the clashes, the Interior Ministry said.

    “Describing demonstrators as supporters of terror organisations is something we reject. The minister urgently requested that such statements be avoided in future,” Austria’s Foreign Ministry said, defending the right to peaceful protest.

    PKK militants have been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.”

  28. Libya’s Haftar ‘mobilising mercenaries’ for key battle in Sirte
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/6/29/libyas-haftar-mobilising-mercenaries-for-key-battle-in-sirte

    “Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar has sent thousands of foreign fighters to the frontlines of Sirte as government forces prepare to re-take the key city, according to media reports on Monday.

    Convoys of mercenaries – including suspected members of Russia’s Wagner company – passed through the city of Ajdabiya on Sunday, which is located between Haftar’s western stronghold of Benghazi and Sirte, according to Al Jazeera.

    These included “more than 3,000 Russian mercenaries” along with fighters from Sudan and Chad, the broadcaster claimed.

    The city of Sirte has been the battleground between the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and Haftar’s self-described Libyan National Army militias.

    “Sirte was the most dangerous place in Libya after it became a focal point for mercenaries of the Russian Wagner company,” an army spokesman for the GNA said in a statement on Saturday, warning of what he described as “criminal gangs”.

    GNA forces have made major gains against Haftar’s militias in recent months, thanks in part to increased support from backer Turkey.

    Sirte – which lies some 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of the capital – is under the control of Haftar’s forces and is seen as a major prize for the GNA.

    Last year, Haftar launched an offensive to seize control of western Libya and the capital Tripoli – held by the UN-recognised government.

    This failed and led to a successful GNA counter-offensive, which is now approaching Sirte.

    In a televised address, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – a key backer of Haftar – said Sirte is a “red line” for Egypt, citing the need for Cairo to protect its porous western border as grounds for “direct intervention” in Libya.

    “If the Libyan people asked us to intervene, it is a signal to the world that Egypt and Libya share .. common interests, security and stability,” Sisi said on Saturday.

    The GNA denounced Sisi’s warning, saying any intervention would be a threat to Libya’s security.

    “We strongly reject what was said by al-Sisi and consider it a continuation of the war on the Libyan people, interference in Libyan affairs and a dangerous threat to national security,” said Mohammed Amari Zayed, a member of the GNA’s presidential council.

    “There can be no ‘red line’ within our borders. We reject any bid aimed at dividing the Libyan people or their territory… (and) we categorically reject any bid to impose guardianship on Libya,” he added.

    Turkey also vowed to continue supporting the GNA’s push for Sirte and demanded the evacuation of Haftar’s forces from the city for a “sustainable ceasefire”.

    Libya has been torn by violence, drawing in tribal militias, mercenaries, and jihadists since the 2011 revolution which toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

    Like Haftar, the head of the House of Representatives is based in the east of the country, where they are both supported by Egypt.

    The GNA has vowed to take Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown and a strategic access point to Libya’s key oil fields.

    It is also the last major settlement before the traditional boundary between western Libya and Haftar’s stronghold in the east.

    “Some think they can trespass on the Sirte or Al-Jufra frontline. This for us is a red line,” Sisi said.

    Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told AFP in an interview that a ceasefire in Libya would be possible if Haftar’s forces withdrew from Sirte and Al-Jufra.

    “It should be a sustainable ceasefire, meaning that the other side, the LNA (Libyan National Army – forces loyal to Haftar), should not be in a position to launch another attack on the legitimate Libyan government any time it wants,” Kalin told AFP in an interview in Istanbul.

    Cairo proposed its own ceasefire in Libya earlier this month but it was dismissed by the GNA.

    That proposal also called for withdrawal of foreign mercenaries, and disbanding of Libyan militias.

    The Egyptian president blamed “external forces” supporting “extremist militias and mercenaries” in Libya for blocking the initiative.

    He further urged Egyptian troops to “be prepared to carry out any mission, inside our borders, or if necessary, outside our borders.”

    On Friday, the Arab League announced plans to hold an urgent virtual foreign ministers meeting on Libya this week at Egypt’s request.

    But the GNA said it would boycott the meeting as it would “merely deepen the rift” between Arab governments on the conflict.”

  29. China’s Aggression Pushing India Closer to U.S. Military
    Paul Crespo
    By
    Paul Crespo

    A week after Chinese border troops killed 20 Indian soldiers in a brutal hand-to-hand clash on their disputed Himalayan border, India is considering even closer defense ties to the U.S. and its regional allies. India has been gradually expanding ties with the U.S., Japan, and Australia, but China’s massive military buildup and increasingly belligerent actions on India’s northern border is pushing India even closer to the U.S. (RELATED: India and China Militaries Prepare Escalation After Deadly Clashes).

    As part of the quadrilateral, or ‘quad,’ dialogue, India, Japan, and the U.S. have increased defense cooperation and staged joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean in recent years, but ties have ramped up further this year. In February – directly following the visit by President Trump to India – both countries signed the ‘United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’ solidifying their growing military links.

    https://americanactionnews.com/foreign-affairs/chinas-aggression-pushing-india-closer-to-us-military-rs-pc/

  30. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs calls Iran the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism
    https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabias-minister-of-state-for-foreign-affairs-calls-iran-the-worlds-biggest-sponsor-of-terrorism-1.72314752

    “Saudi and US officials on Monday urged the international community to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, warning that letting the ban expire would allow Tehran to further arm its proxies and destabilise the region.

    Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, and US Iran envoy Brian Hook were speaking at a joint news conference in Riyadh.

    The venue displayed weapons, including drones and missiles, that Saudi authorities accuse Tehran of sending to Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement and which they said were used in cross-border attacks on Saudi cities.

    The Saudi official said that Saudi Arabia Sunday seized an arms shipment that Iran had tried to provide for its allies Al Houthi militia in Yemen.

    “We are working with the US to prevent Iran from exporting arms and we urge the international community to extend the ban on arms sales to Iran,” Al Jubeir said.

    He added that since the eruption of the Yemen war more than five years, Al Houthis have launched 371 drones against the kingdom. The Yemeni rebels, he added, have also mounted 64 explosives-laden boats in an attempt to block free shipping in the vital Strait of Bab Al Mandab and the Red Sea.

    “Since the begging of the war in Yemen, the Houthi militia has carried out 1,659 attacks on civilians in the Kingdom and launched 318 Iranian-made ballistic missiles against the cities and villages of the kingdom,” Al Jubeir added.

    “Iran’s terrorist policies”
    He urged the world to stand firmly against what called “Iran’s terrorist policies”, calling Iran the prime sponsor of terrorism in the world. He also accused Iran of dealing with drug rings.

    Al Jubeir said “Iran is the first country to support terrorism worldwide” adding that “Since the beginning of the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has assassinated more than 360 person worldwide.”

    “Iran deals with drug gangs and criminal gangs around the world, so Iran is a supporter of terrorism.” Al Jubai confirmed.

    “The kingdom is keen and committed to the security and safety of its citizens and residents and the protection of its facilities,” the Saudi official.

    Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military alliance fighting Al Houthis in Yemen upon a request from the internationally recognised government there.

    Al Jubeir said that his country is working to implement an agreement signed in Riyadh last November to defuse tensions between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council.

    The pact, official dubbed the ‘Riyadh Agreement” envisages power sharing between both sides and aims at refocusing efforts on the campaign against Al Houthis.”

  31. Vietnam grounds Pakistani pilots over licence concerns
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2252542/vietnam-grounds-pakistani-pilots-over-licence-concerns

    “Vietnam’s aviation authority said on Monday it had grounded all Pakistani pilots working for local airlines, amid concern from global regulators that some pilots may have been using “dubious” licences.

    Pakistan said last week it will ground 262 airline pilots whose credentials may have been falsified, after global airlines body IATA said that irregularities found in pilot licences at Pakistan International Airlines represent a “serious lapse” in safety controls.

    “The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered a suspension for all Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines,” the CAAV said in a statement on Monday.

    The suspension will be in effect until further notice from CAAV, it said, adding that the authority is coordinating with Pakistani authorities to review the pilots’ profiles…”

  32. French suburb elects Turkish origin mayor
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/french-suburb-elects-turkish-origin-mayor-156118

    “A French suburb Valenton has elected Turkish origin Metin Yavuz as its mayor on June 28. According to unofficial results, Yavuz received 52.37% of the votes, in the southeastern suburb 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the center of Paris.

    Yavuz as an independent candidate defeated the French Communist Party (PCF) candidate, Laurent Perichon, in the second round. The local elections were originally scheduled in late March but were postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Yavuz previously served as a member of the Provincial General Assembly in the Val-de-Marne region. In 2017, he unsuccessfully tried his luck in the senate elections.

    Previously the Republican Party had fielded Yavuz from the Val-de-Marne region.

    French President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party suffered a major defeat in municipal elections.

    According to the exit polls, Macron’s La Republique En March or The Republic on the Move (LREM) candidates lost in major cities including Paris and Lyon.”

  33. Turkey marks 2,229th anniversary of Turkish Land Forces
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-marks-2-229th-anniversary-of-turkish-land-forces-156098

    “Turkey on June 28 celebrated the 2,229th anniversary of the Turkish Land Forces, one of the oldest armies in the world.

    In a tweet, the Turkish Presidency said the country celebrates the 2,229th anniversary of the Turkish Land Forces.

    It said the Turkish people remember all their martyrs and veterans with respect, mercy and gratitude.

    In a statement, Vice President Fuat Oktay said he would like to celebrate the 2,229th anniversary of the Turkish forces.

    He said the forces are the protector of the country’s security and the architect of the Turkish people’s glorious victories.

    “I commemorate all our martyrs and veterans with gratitude and mercy,” Oktay added.

    The Turkish Defense Ministry also celebrated the anniversary.

    The ministry on Twitter said the Turkish Land Forces is an integral part of the glorious Turkish history and architect of blessed victories of Turks.

    The Turkish Armed Forces always stands by the noble Turkish nation and under the command of them, it added.

    Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in a written statement said: “Our land forces will successfully continue to fulfill all duties that will be given to them, as it has done so far, with the power of our noble nation’s love, trust and prayers.”

    He added that the forces will continue to be a source of pride of the country.

    The Turkish Armed Forces also celebrated the anniversary with a video footage on Twitter.

    Hun Emperor Mete Khan’s accession to the throne in 209 BC is recognized as the foundation of the Turkish Army.

    The organization model of the army, initiated by Mete Khan, was also used by other Turkish states in history, including Gokturks, Uighurs, Seljuks, and Ottomans.”

  34. Claw-Tiger: Turkey neutralizes 41 terrorists in N.Iraq
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/claw-tiger-turkey-neutralizes-41-terrorists-in-niraq/1893739

    “Turkey has neutralized 41 terrorists as part of Operation Claw-Tiger in northern Iraq and seized large number of weapons and ammunition, said the defense minister on Monday.

    “All our troops burst on the pre-determined areas with attacking air operations. They are working day and night, and the efforts are ongoing to take these regions under control,” Hulusi Akar said.

    His remarks came during a weekly meeting of chief of general staff, commanders of air, land and naval forces via a video link. The commander of Turkish Task Force in Afghanistan and the head of military representative of Turkey in NATO headquarters were also in attendance of the meeting.

    “We have achieved notable successes with our efforts so far. 41 terrorists have been neutralized, a large number of weapons, ammunition, tools, and life-sustaining materials belonging to the terrorists have been seized,” Akar added.

    He also said that at least 81 terrorist hideouts in northern Iraq were demolished by Turkish air forces in the Operation Claw-Eagle on June 15.

    “Our targets are only terrorists, we are respecting the territorial integrity of our neighbor Iraq,” he added.

    He stressed that Turkish forces are quite careful to not harm civilians as well as historical and religious buildings.

    Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle were launched earlier this month to ensure the safety of Turkish people and borders by neutralizing the threat of PKK and other terrorist groups, who often use northern Iraq to plan cross-border attacks.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.”

  35. Greece: Refugees attacked in the Aegean
    https://www.dw.com/en/greece-refugees-attacked-in-the-aegean/a-53977151

    “Are Greek coast guard forces deliberately sabotaging refugees’ and migrants’ boats on the high seas as part of a strategy to push them back to Turkey, away from the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos? A DW investigation.

    “Mama, Mama, we’re going to die!” A child wails in panic as masked men clamber about on the little refugee boat in the middle of the open sea. The video was posted on Twitter on June 4 by the emergency refugee hotline AlarmPhone. The incident took place in the strait between Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos. According to the Frontex border protection agency, the Eastern Mediterranean is currently the most active route for refugees trying to enter the European Union.

    ‘Completely illegal’ attacks of ‘outrageous force’

    AlarmPhone, a private initiative, is a hotline for migrants who get into trouble on the high seas. It forwards emergency calls to the nearest coast guard agency and tries to pressure authorities into acting swiftly to rescue the refugees.

    Lorenz, a Swiss volunteer for AlarmPhone, was on duty on June 4. The people on the boat were extremely distressed, he says; the masked men had destroyed the engine, disabling the boat, then left it to its fate. According to the coordinates Lorenz was given, all this took place in Greek waters. “These attacks are completely illegal by any legislative standard, and clearly demonstrate the outrageous force currently being used against refugees along the Greek border,” he says.

    The AlarmPhone volunteers are hearing about attacks of this nature more and more often. The following morning, on June 5, another boat got into distress with 19 refugees on board. One of them was 16-year-old Farhad (Ed. note: name changed) from Afghanistan. He told us he had fled with his mother and sister, but had lost them both on the way to Turkey. Now he is alone, and trying to get to Europe. He worked in a Turkish factory for four months to earn the money to pay the smugglers.

    Farhad described how a rigid inflatable boat approached from the Greek side of the strait and stopped their dinghy. “There were five masked men,” he said. “One was steering, two hit us with sticks, one destroyed our boat and our engine with a knife. The fifth just watched.” He didn’t dare film the attack itself, but he documented the immediate aftermath on his cellphone.

    Masked men were ‘Greek forces,’ says eyewitness

    DW has analyzed and verified his videos. They show the hole in the boat, an engine that has been destroyed, and desperate people, who eventually jump into the water to try to swim toward the shore of Lesbos while pushing the boat. A woman shakes her fist and screams, “They sent their friends to wreck our boat — now they’re watching us!”

    Indeed, a Greek coast guard vessel is clearly visible in the video, with a small inflatable alongside. Farhad marks it for us on a screenshot. He tells DW he is absolutely certain that the masked men were “Greek forces.” After all, he says, they came from the big coast guard ship, and were communicating with the mother ship the whole time.

    But the involvement of the Greek coast guard is hard to prove. There are scarcely any photos or videos of the attacks, the masked men do not wear uniforms, and their boats are unmarked. That is why the other video, from June 4, is so important.

    Through painstaking analysis of the superstructure and distinguishing features of the boats, the investigative online platforms Bellingcat and Lighthouse Reports were able to unequivocally match the rigid inflatable to a Hellenic coast guard ship. The inflatable belongs to the Greek coast guard vessel ?? 080, and this ship has been proven to have been deployed off Lesbos that day.

    Greece denies all accusations

    Greece, however, continues to reject any assertion that it is using illegal methods against refugees arriving in its waters. In response to a request from DW to comment on the reports of illegal pushbacks, the Greek coast guard said that amidst the coronavirus pandemic the country is confronted with “massive” and “organized migration flows” from Turkey. The coast guard further stated that it protects its European maritime border in accordance with national and international law and that any published accounts to the contrary stood in connection with “fake news” and from “intentional misinformation against this institution.”

    The European border protection agency Frontex, which works closely with the Greek coast guard in the Aegean, also refrained from a direct response to a specific inquiry from DW about the events of June 4. The agency’s headquarters in Warsaw simply replied with a general statement that “Frontex is fully committed to uphold [sic] the highest standards of border control within our operations, and pushbacks are illegal under international law.”

    However, the video documentation and witness statements collated by DW over several weeks suggest that these attacks and pushbacks are no longer isolated incidents. Rather, they are intensifying into a brutal pattern of intimidation that violates both national and international law.

    UNHCR demands an investigation

    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also concerned. Boris Cheshirkov, the spokesman for the refugee agency in Greece, confirmed to DW that, since March, it had documented dozens of incidents like these. The UNHCR has called on the Greek government to investigate them, and has made clear that while “Greece has the legitimate right to control its borders and manage irregular migration,” it must only do so “while respecting international human rights and refugee protection standards.”

    Hours after Farhad called the emergency hotline on June 5, their boat was still drifting on the water, gradually deflating. Farhad told us that, instead of coming to their assistance, Greek patrol boats drove past them, very close, trying to make waves that would wash the disabled boat back into Turkish waters. Eventually the refugees were so exhausted that they stopped paddling. By the time they were finally rescued by the Turkish coast guard, there was hardly any air left in the back of their boat. Back in Turkey, we spoke to 16-year-old Farhad. His voice was shaking; he was distressed, frustrated and despondent. This had been his fifth failed attempt.

    ‘There’s no good side here’

    The Turkish coast guard regularly publishes photos of these “rescues.” However, all observers in the region state that Greece is not the only party reportedly violating the law. All too often, they say, the Turkish side will also spend a long time watching, preferring to film their Greek counterparts’ alleged misconduct instead of acting promptly to save refugees in distress. “There’s no good side here, because both sides are playing a game on the backs of vulnerable people,” says Tommy Olsen, the founder of the platform AegeanBoatReport. “And the EU seems to have given Greece the green light for this.” Olsen has been meticulously documenting the refugee movement in the Aegean since 2017.

    Sometimes, refugees are directly caught between the two fronts. This was what happened on June 22, when a boat carrying 35 men, women and children was pulled back from Greek waters toward Turkey. A refugee filmed the scene. Once again, the video shows a rigid inflatable boat with a crew of men in black — and behind it, clearly recognizable, a Greek coast guard vessel.

    It is not clear what happens next. The refugees who were on the boat report that a Turkish patrol boat suddenly raced toward the Greek ship, and shots were fired. Panic broke out among the refugees. While we are verifying the videos, we suddenly see a familiar face: 16-year-old Farhad, with whom we had lost contact.

    In this video, he is speaking to an operator from the European emergency number, 112. “You should stay calm, and they will come as soon as possible. They know about your location,” says a female voice, in English with a Greek accent. “The Greek coast guards are near, too much near to us,” Farhad tells her again, clearly frustrated. “They are watching us, they know where we are. When will they come?” “As soon as possible,” repeats the woman. “Wait, and they will come, OK?” And then she ends the call.”

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