Saudi Cargo Ship Departs from European Ports Loaded w/ Weapons & Munitions Destined for Yemen

(AI) – Reacting to the onward voyage of the Saudi Arabian state shipping company’s vessel, the Bahri Yanbu, from the Spanish port of Santander this afternoon, Ara Marcen Naval, Deputy Director for Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:

Laden with arms that will likely be used in the war in Yemen, the Bahri Yanbu has been bouncing off European ports like a pinball. After loading up with Belgian munitions in Antwerp, it has visited or attempted to visit ports in the UK, France and now Spain, and is due to dock at the Italian port of Genoa later this week. This is a serious test of EU countries’ resolve to uphold their obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and EU Common Position on Arms Exports. Several states have failed this test in the space of just a few days.

No EU state should be making the deadly decision to authorize the transfer or transit of arms to a conflict where there is a clear risk they will be used in war crimes and other serious violations of international law.

The Bahri Yanbu’s voyage reminds us that states prefer to allow the lucrative global arms trade to continue to operate behind a veil of secrecy. But this veil is not impenetrable, and Amnesty International and its partners will continue to closely monitor developments and denounce states for flouting their international legal obligations.

Background

In Yemen, the Saudi Arabia/UAE-led Coalition has used arms imports to contribute to thousands of civilian deaths and injuries, including as a result of attacks that violated international humanitarian law. This has exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where 2.2 million people have been displaced and 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Read More – The War In Yemen, The Media’s Forgotten War: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/yemen-the-forgotten-war/

According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports. Other countries – including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway – have started to restrict weapons sales to the Saudi and UAE-led coalition.

According to a published export schedule for Saudi Arabian state-owned shipping vessels, the Bahri Yanbu set sail from Corpus Christi, USA on 2 April 2019, destined for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. It then called at several other US ports and one Canadian port before crossing the Atlantic and stopping in Germany, Belgium and the UK in early May.

On 3 May, it was reportedly loaded with six containers of Belgian-manufactured munitions at Antwerp, before continuing on to France. It was due to dock at the French port of Le Havre to receive additional arms on 8 May, but following legal action by French NGOs and increased public scrutiny, it continued its voyage without stopping in France, and made an unscheduled stop at Santander in northern Spain on 12-13 May. Its next scheduled port of call is in Genoa, Italy, now expected on or after 18 May.

Read More – The Yemen Papers, Classified Documents from French MoD Published Online: https://roguemedia.co/?s=yemen+papers&x=13&y=12

Amnesty International activists in Belgium, France, Spain and Italy have been monitoring the Bahri Yanbu’s voyage around Europe. The activists have joined protests and co-authored a letter to the Spanish authorities to call on them not to authorize its transit through Spanish waters. The organization will highlight the apparent ATT and EU Common Position violations at a 17 May meeting of the European Council’s Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports.

Saudi Weapons Export Schedule – April to May 2019:

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This report was originally published by Amnesty International on May 15th 2019. It was republished, with permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Amnesty International | Formatting Edits and PDF’s added and embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Canada’s Democratic Institutions Minister Proposes New Laws To Regulate Social Media Apps Prior To October Elections

Earlier this morning, April 8th 2019, the Communications Signals Establishment (CSE) of Canada, a government agency tasked with the protection of the country’s communications networks and electronic information, released a 28 page report outlining all of the top cyber threats posed to Canada’s election infrastructure. According to the report, entitled “Cyber Threats To Canada’s Democratic Process,” chief among them are concerns that foreign actors will attempt to leverage social media applications as a means of effecting the outcome of the countries upcoming elections this October – similar in many ways to what was done to the United States in 2016.

As a result, Canada’s Democratic Institutions Minister, Karina Gould, is actively considering enacting new laws that would “regulate social media” – citing that social media companies appear to be incapable of self regulation themselves. What these new laws will look like remains to be seen, but Gould ended her speech stating that “Digital platforms are going to have to accept that they’re going to have to abide by domestic legislation from country to country around the world.

Download Full Report: https://cyber.gc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/tdp-2019-report_e.pdf

Browse Report:

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Family Whom Housed Edward Snowden In Hong Kong Granted Asylum In Canada

(HRW) – Vanessa Rodel and her young daughter Keana are finally safe, some six years after they opened the door to a scared young man who was seeking shelter in Hong Kong. That man was Edward Snowden, introduced to the penniless refugee family by their shared lawyer, who needed his soon-to-be-famous client to disappear for a few days while they worked on the US National Security Agency whistleblower’s legal case.

Vanessa had wound up in Hong Kong after fleeing a violent and powerful sexual abuser in the Philippines. But her act of kindness, and her location in Hong Kong, unfortunately became known – to the world, and to her abuser – at some point after Oliver Stone released his movie on Snowden. Hong Kong then rejected her asylum claim, effectively giving the green light for her to be deported back to a place that offered no protection against her abuser. Fortunately, Canada accepted Vanessa and Keana, now 7, as sponsored refugees, ensuring she would not be returned to the Philippines.

But five more kindhearted people who also sheltered Snowden for a few days face the same danger that Vanessa and Keana just escaped.

Supun Kellapatha and his partner Nadeeka separately escaped death threats and politically motivated abuse in Sri Lanka, and met each other as they waited – in vain – for Hong Kong to grant them asylum. The couple now have two children, Dinath and Sethumdi, who are stateless. Ajith Debagama Kankanalamage escaped horrific and repeated torture by the Sri Lankan army, but his asylum request was also rejected by Hong Kong, which is ready to deport him to where his life is at risk. His family was threatened and harassed by police once his connection to Snowden, and location in Hong Kong, became known. Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department officers were spotted in Hong Kong searching for these five in late 2016, making the prospect of retaliation should they be repatriated all the more likely.

These five people, who live in daily fear, have sponsors ready and waiting in Canada. Their path to a secure life is clear. Vanessa and Keana have been saved by Ottawa’s decision to admit them. The authorities can save their friends from peril by allowing them entry to Canada.


This article was originally published by Human Rights Watch on March 26th 2019. It was republished, with permission, using a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 US License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Human Rights Watch | Formatting edits & Tweets added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Anonymous Europe – Cyber Guerrilla Leak Files from Clandestine UK Operation “Integrity Initiative”

In news first brought to my attention via Sputnik, one of Russia’s largest news corporations, Anonymous hackers have published documents outlining a large scale clandestine operation undertaken by United Kingdom from 2015 to present entitled the “Integrity Initiative,” designed to create a “secret large-scale information service” across Europe. According to the leak, the operation was carried out under the pretext of countering the “Russian propaganda” and its main objectives were “to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian misinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare.

All said, The Integrity Initiative has an annual operating budget of $2.4 million dollars and is said to consists of groups of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics across over a dozen countries. Working together, the team is dedicated to finding and publishing alleged evidence of Russian interference in European affairs and, at the same time, influencing community policy.

In response to the leak, in statements to Sputnik, Konstantin Kosachov, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Council of the Russian Federation said that “The hackers’ information on the actions of the British special services against Russia requires a thorough investigation. The Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty will analyze the data just published.

Full Leak from Anonymous:

Greetings. We are Anonymous.

We have obtained a large number of documents relating to the activities of the ‘Integrity Initiative’ project that was launched back in the fall of 2015 and funded by the British government. The declared goal of the project is to counteract Russian propaganda and the hybrid warfare of Moscow. Hiding behind benevolent intentions, Britain has in fact created a large-scale information secret service in Europe, the United States and Canada, which consists of representatives of political, military, academic and journalistic communities with the think tank in London at the head of it.

As part of the project Britain has time and again intervened into domestic affairs of independent European states. A most demonstrative example is operation ‘Moncloa’ in Spain. Britain set to prevent Pedro Baños from appointment to the post of Director of Spain’s Department of Homeland Security. It took the Spanish cluster of the Integrity Initiative only a few hours to accomplish the task.

https://www.scribd.com/document/392195691/Moncloa-Campaign-6-AttTwitter-08-06-18

For now, Britain is capable of conducting such operations in the following states:

Spain: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195775/Spain-Cluster

France: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195457/France-Cluster

Germany: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195486/Germany-Cluster

Italy: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195660/Italy-Cluster

Greece: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195527/Greece-Cluster

The Netherlands: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195718/Netherlands-Cluster

Lithuania: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195170/Baltics-Cluster

Norway: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195748/Nordic-Clusters

Serbia and Montenegro: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195208/Central-Eastern-Cluster

London’s near-term plans to create similar clusters include Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Malta, Czechia, countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Cyprus, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the USA.

https://www.scribd.com/document/392195321/Cluster-Roundup-Jul18

All the work is done under absolute secrecy via concealed contacts in British embassies, which gives rise to more suspicion that Britain uses plausible excuse to create a global system of information influence and political interference into affairs of other countries.

Covert structures for political and financial manipulative activities under control of British secret services are created not only in the EU countries but also on other continents. In point of fact, quiet colonization of both former British neighbors in the EU and NATO allies is taking place.

The government of Great Britain has to come out of the dark and declare straight its intentions and unveil the results of the Integrity Initiative activities! Otherwise, we will do it!

Today, we make public a part of the documents we have available. In case London gives no response to our demands during the following week, we will reveal the rest of the documents that contain many more secrets of the United Kingdom.

Integrity Initiative Handbook: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195560/II-Handbook-v2

Integrity Initiative Guide to Countering Russian Disinformation May 2018: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195802/The-Integrity-Initiative-Guide-to-Countering-Russian-Disinformation-May-2018-v1

Austria Cluster: https://www.scribd.com/document/392194912/Austria-Cluster

Cluster leaders: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195250/Cluster-Leaders

Cluster participants: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195286/Cluster-Participants

UK Cluster: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195849/UK-Cluster

USA and Canada Cluster: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195882/USA-Canada-Cluster

xCountry: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195906/x-Country

xOutreach: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195933/x-Outreach

FCO application form 2017-18: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195350/FCO-Application-Form-2017-18

FCO application form 2018v2: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195390/FCO-Application-Form-2018-v2

FCO proposal Integrity budget 2017-18: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195430/FCO-Proposal-Integrity-Budget-2017-18

Integrity 2018 Activity Budget v3: https://www.scribd.com/document/392195593/Integrity-2018-Activity-Budget-v3

Top 3 deliverables (for FCO): https://www.scribd.com/document/392195825/Top-3-Deliverables-for-FCO

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

We do not forget.

Expect us.

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