Big Brother database threatens to ‘break the back of freedom’

October 21, 2008

But Sir Ken, giving the Crown Prosecution Service lecture in London, said: “We need to take very great care not to fall into a way of life in which freedom’s back is broken by the relentless pressure of a security state.

“Technology gives the state enormous powers of access to knowledge and information about each of us, and the ability to collect and store it at will. Of course, modern technology is of critical importance to the struggle against serious crime. Used wisely, it can protect us.” >>>>>

AZERBAIJAN: State still deprives Muslims of mosque and Baptists of pastor

October 17, 2008

Azerbaijan continues to maintain the closure of Baku’s Abu-Bekr Mosque, Forum 18 News Service has found. The closure was imposed after a 17 August bomb attack on the mosque, and a nationwide “temporary” ban – still in force – on people praying outside mosques was also imposed. The authorities have caught the alleged attackers, but “the decision not to allow the mosque to reopen offends the community,” Imam Gamet Suleymanov told Forum 18. The ordinary police, the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Security Ministry (NSM) secret police, and the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations all deny that their agency is responsible. Similarly, the authorities also refuse to release the text of the ban on praying outside mosques. Elsewhere, Baptist prisoner of conscience Hamid Shabanov remains in jail, with his latest detention period due to end on 21 October. It is unclear what the authorities plan to do, even though he is held on charges his church and family insist are fabricated. >>>>>

Did NSA Lie, Cover-Up? Senators Open Second Probe

October 14, 2008

Kinne and Faulk told ABC News they were instructed to keep recording calls from Americans to Americans even after determining the conversations were private in nature. Kinne said “we could have blocked the calls from future” eavesdropping “but were told not to.”

The Senators also raised the issue that NSA and military officials may have misled, lied or covered-up earlier, similar allegations. >>>>>

Teachers warned to be on alert for pupils at risk of falling prey to extremism

October 13, 2008

Christine Blower, acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said that for the objectives of the guidance to be achieved, trust had to be maintained in schools.

She said: “No teacher will ignore obvious information about a specific, real threat, but it is vital that teachers are able to discuss with and listen to pupils, without feeling that they have to report every word.”  >>>>>

RIGHTS-US: Muslim Charity to Get Its Day in Court

October 11, 2008

In what appears to be another stunning legal rebuke to President George W. Bush’s policies in the “global war on terrorism”, a federal judge has blocked the government from blacklisting a Muslim-oriented charity to give the group a chance to defend itself after its assets were frozen almost three years ago. >>>>>

Freed Sudanese Detainee Tells of Torture at Guantanamo

October 10, 2008

At a press conference he held Thursday at the premises of the International Civil Aid Organisation in Khartoum, Mr Mustafa said that he went to Pakistan for education and trade, but he and others were arrested after the incidents of September 11 by local elements in Pakistan and were handed over to the American forces.

He said that they were then transported to Guantanamo prison where several aspects of torture had been inflicted on them, adding that no one can avoid torture unless he says that he had participated in the war against the Americans.  >>>>>

Guantanamo techniques applied on US soil: civil rights groups

October 9, 2008

The military documents, including regular emails between military officers, were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and detail the detention and interrogation at naval prisons in Virginia and South Carolina.

They focus on three “enemy combatants:” two US citizens, Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, and a legal resident, Ali al-Marri.  >>>>>