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  1. #1
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    Default '50,000 Iraqi refugees' forced into prostitution

    Helpless Iraqi Refugees Turn to Sex

    CAIRO — In a country ill-equipped to meet the needs of the growing influx, many Iraqi woman refuges - willingly or otherwise - turn to prostitution to make ends meet.
    "From what I’ve seen, 70 percent to 80 percent of the girls working this business in Damascus today are Iraqis," Abeer, a 23-year-old Baghdadi working in a Damascus nightclub, told The New York Times on Tuesday, May 29.

    "The rents here in Syria are too expensive for their families. If they go back to Iraq they’ll be slaughtered, and this is the only work available."

    A 2006 UN report showed that the deterioration economic situation of Iraqi refugees have forced many teens and women to sell their bodies in secret or even with the support of family members.

    The fact that many Iraqi women in Syria are the breadwinner of their families has increased the number of prostitutes.

    "So many of the Iraqi women arriving now are living on their own with their children because the men in their families were killed or kidnapped," said Sister Marie-Claude Naddaf, a nun at the Good Shepherd convent in Damascus, which helps refugees.

    "I met three sisters-in-law recently who were living together and all prostituting themselves," she added.

    "They would go out on alternate nights — each woman took her turn — and then divide the money to feed all the children."

    For more than three years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, Iraqi prostitution in Syria was a forbidden topic.

    Now the Syrian government is acknowledging the problem and working with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

    The UNHCR estimates that about 1.2 million Iraqi refugees now live in Syria, though Damascus puts the figure even higher.

    No Honor
    Seeking work outside the home for the first time and in a country with high unemployment, many Iraqi women and girls find that their only marketable asset is their bodies.

    "We Iraqis used to be a proud people," said Umm Hiba, who fled Baghdad with her 16-year-old daughter last year after threats from militias.

    Hiba, once a brilliant hijab-clad schoolgirl who never missed the dawn prayers, now works as a dancer at a nightclub along a highway known for prostitution in Damascus.

    Wearing a pink silk dress with spaghetti straps, her frail shoulders bathed in colored light, she dances among about two dozen other girls on the stage for drunken clients.

    "We make sure that each girl has a minimum of 500 lira [$10] at the end of each night, no matter how bad business is," said the club manager.

    "We are sympathetic to the situation of the Iraqi people. And we try to give some extra help to the girls whose families are in special difficulties."

    Umm Hiba shook her head.

    "During the war we lost everything. We even lost our honor."

    Zafer, a waiter, said most of the women and girls at the club sell sexual favors.

    "They have an hourly rate," he said. "And they have regular customers."

    Mouna Asaad, a Syrian women’s rights lawyer, said the fact that some Iraqi refugees are selling sex or working in sex clubs was not uncommon.

    "Sometimes you see whole families living this way, the girls pimped by the mother or aunt."

  2. #2
    umkemesic
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    I've heard of this also when I was deployed some of the guys we were escorting (the Iraq man had went their for his birthday) told us of certain places were women could "do anything we dreamed" for a few dollars.

    Women who are already disgraced (raped) also go on to this lifestyle as no man would marry them now anyway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by umkemesic
    I've heard of this also when I was deployed some of the guys we were escorting (the Iraq man had went their for his birthday) told us of certain places were women could "do anything we dreamed" for a few dollars.

    Women who are already disgraced (raped) also go on to this lifestyle as no man would marry them now anyway.
    They are forced into this way of life, if you read the statements. most of their men are killed and they having no means to support themselves, are forced into go this way or die of starvation. Like they said, they were dishonored the day war started. This is the result of an illegal war waged for oil based on faulty intelligence and the greed that keeps bush in Iraq till he establishes a US friendly puppet regime.

  4. #4
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    May Allah grant dignity and honour once again to our brothers and sisters in Iraq. This story brings tears to my eyes ... I heard a story about a week ago on a local radio station about a young Iraqi sister,aged 19, who has an ill mother and three younger brothers. She has no form of income as her father has passed away. As the sole breadwinner of the family, she also has taken this path of selling her body for a few dollars in order to buy medication for her mother and to feed her younger brothers. Her mother knows about this but her brothers think that she is working at a restaurant.

    She, like so many others, dreamt of marrying one day, but these hopes have now been trampled upon just as the entire country has been trampled upon.
    A pirate was captured & brought before Alexander the Great. Alexander asked the pirate: 'How dare you molest the people?' The pirate replied:'And how dare you molest the entire world? I am called a thief because I do it with a little ship only. You do it with a great navy & you are called an Emperor!'
    Under this scenario, powerless people doing trivial acts are the major terrorists of the world whilst major powers perpetrating terrorism in many parts of the world are the civilised barbarians.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yumna

    She, like so many others, dreamt of marrying one day, but these hopes have now been trampled upon just as the entire country has been trampled upon.
    Sadly true. May Allah ease their burden, free them from this form of life and help them in this ordeal, may He punish the occupiers and bring justice soon.

    ameen.

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    Default '50,000 Iraqi refugees' forced into prostitution

    Assalamualaikum Dear Brothers & Sisters,


    IRAQI Refugee girls in Syria are forced to prostitute themselves just so they can eat. Please sign our petition to help them – 1 Million Signatures needed as soon as possible.. They are someone’s sister, mother, wife, or daughter, who, out of sheer desperation and hunger, resort to prostitution. We came across a news report of a Muslim, hijab-wearing mother who said that so far only her deen has stopped her from turning to prostitution – that’s how bad it is ! PLEASE SIGN What do we hope to achieve? We want to present our concerns to world leaders so they can mobilise large organisations like the UN Refugee Council who have the money and resources to help these vulnerable people, InshaAllah. We need 1 Million signatures. Please forward to your friends and encourage them to sign on the dotted line – Its free. Details are on our website : MercyMankind.org



    Jazakallahukhayr



    Mercy Mankind – A British non-profit working for the poor.


    Iraqi Refugees in Syria Turning to the Unknown - http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S...rs%2FMAELayout

    '50,000 Iraqi refugees' forced into prostitution - http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle2701324.ece

    ALSO PASS ONTO OTHERS!

  7. #7
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    Default Stories of Iraqi refugee families

    Stories of Iraqi refugee families

    This below shows us a glimpse of how these poor refugees are being "helped" after having their homes and lives destroyed.
    Asalaam alaikum,

    I hope you include this video in your email list. www.iqranewspaper.com/iraqirefuees.html


    This video is one of many to come about stories of Iraqi refugee families. They are from all walks of lives and sects. They came to the USA thinking they would receive a lot of support and a better life. Unfortunately they were all placed in some of the worst ghettos of Houston, in apartment complexes with drug dealers, gun shots, and crime activities around them ( They lost their country, children , women and innocent people abused... Tried to leave the country with the hope that they would get help and now they are caught up in this situation...)

    In Sr. Maryam's case, she was told that she was on a plane to Denmark where she would be reunited with her brother. She arrived to the U.S.A thinking she was in Denmark. These family were given $450 per month (for 4 months) to pay for run down apartments with rents at $750 per month. Many of them do not speak English nor can they adapt to the American culture and lifestyle. They do not have food, clothing, telephones, televisions ...

    This dear sister witnessed the murder of one her close relative in Iraq. She is afraid, depressed and in need of a ticket to go to Washington so that she can get a visit to go to Jordan to be with her family. She and her daughter also needs a ticket for her travels to Jordan.

    A group of Muslims in the community have started a grassroots campaign to help these refugees. They are not getting they type of help from the Masajid or Islamic organizations they need to survive. The volunteers are donating on their own, visiting the refugees, sending food etc.....

    We decided to film their stories on our own through Deen Media (Iqra's parent company).

    Please donate to the sister. If you are sending a check, please make it payable to "Maryam Ali"

    Maryarm Ali
    14210 Blue Falls Dr.
    Sugarland, Texas 77478
    (note, she does not live at this address)


    I also ask that you donate to Deen Media, because Deen Media is in great need of

    1) A light kit
    2) Additional lavalier mike
    3) Capable system for editing. We are not able to edit properly because of the limitations of their current system and limited hard drive space.

    Here is a link to the video

    This interview is in Arabic and English
    http://www.iqranewspaper.com/Iraqirefugees.html

    We will be working on an full Arab version. Time permitting.

    Also don't forget to support Iqra Newspaper

    Our paypal account is mail@iqranewspaper.com

    All donations large or small are welcomed. If anybody wants to donate through western Union, please contact us at mail@iqranewspaper.com. We will find the necessary information required for sending the money.

    Jazekallar Khair for your anticipated support.
    If you unable to support the refugees through donations, please make a lot of Du'a and also forward t his email to as many people you know (email list)

    P.S.

    As you are aware, Houston has a refugee crisis. Please see the video we produced about one family's crisis. These families were brought here with a lot of hope but were placed in substandard housing - in other words, the ghetto. Sources are telling us that the organizations that brought them here are doing very little to help.

    Very little help is received from Muslim organizations that we are aware of. Most of the efforts are coming from a grassroots effort. We will investigate more on this later.

    Please watch the video and we ask you to follow up with these organizations. If more of us call them, they know that someone is watching etc....
    Also follow up with local masajid and ask them what are they doing for the refugees.

    http://www.iqranewspaper.com/Iraqirefugees.html

    Try this google video link if you do not have quick time installed in your computer

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?...on&sitesearch=

    TXLIRS06: REFUGEE SERVICES OF TEXAS, INC
    HOUSTON, TX 77054
    Phone: 713-644-6224

    TXUSCC07: CATHOLIC CHARITIES
    HOUSTON, TX 77266
    Phone: 713 874-6527

    TXUSCC11: CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES CC OF THE DIOCESE OF GALVESTON-
    HOUSTON
    HOUSTON, TX 77006
    Phone: 713-874-6587

    TXCWS 01: INTERFAITH MINISTRIES FOR GREATER HOUSTON
    HOUSTON, TX 77006
    Phone: 713-533-4990

    TXDFMS01: INTERFAITH MINISTRIES OF GREATER HOUSTON
    HOUSTON, TX 77006-3980
    Phone: 713-533-4900

    TXHIAS02: JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF HOUSTON
    HOUSTON, TX 77225
    Phone: 713-667-9336

    TXIRSA01: YMCA INTERNATIONAL SERVICES
    HOUSTON, TX 77057-7220
    Phone: 713-339-9015

    TXECDC01: ALLIANCE FOR MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITY SERVICES
    HOUSTON, TX 77081
    Phone: 713-776-4700

  8. #8
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    Default Helpless Iraqis Sell Their Organs

    Helpless Iraqis Sell Their Organs

    By Afif Sarhan - Oct. 15, 2009

    BAGHDAD – Raad Bader al-Muhssin, 41, worked as a gardener for more than 20 years, during which he used to make no more than $4 dollars per day.

    After the 2003 US invasion and the ensuing violence, life became harder as the number of clients requesting his services nosedived.

    Adding insult to the injury was the recent discovery that his wife had cancer.

    Thus, when he was offered $12,000 dollars for one of his kidney he did not hesitate or have second thoughts.

    "I never had more than $100 dollars in my pocket at the end of the month, even if I didn’t spend one cent from my salary," Muhssin told IslamOnline.net.

    "I lived my whole life a poor man and was afraid my children were going to have the same fate and my wife would die because we do not have money to help her," he added.

    Five months ago when he was cleaning a garden in Baghdad, the owner started to speak with Muhssin about kidney transplantations and a friend who arranges them.

    "I never imagined I would become a donor but when my wife’s condition got worse, I went to his house and asked for a way to find his friend who would guide me to the similar fate."

    Muhssin called the friend who told him he had to take a blood test to check if he had any health problems.

    "I borrowed some money and made it in a private lab. When I took the test results, the guy checked in a list he had in his pocket and came with the news that he had four patients with the same blood type and that they would pay good money for it."

    Experts say organs donations, which are not illegal, have impressively increased in the past 18 months.

    "It is a very complicated issue, especially because there isn’t any law that prevent donations," Abdel Haythem Abdel-Kareem, a health expert and member of the transplantation chamber, told IOL.

    "Of course there are many cases of free donation but the majority are looking for money and even travelling to Jordan where prices are higher with patients coming from different countries willing to pay for it."

    There isn’t an official number of how many transplantations are carried out in Iraq every year but local NGOs helping patients looking for organs donations say that one in 500 persons accept to donate without financial interest.

    Better Life!!

    Al-Muhssin made the donation, got his money and opened a small shop to sell gums, cigarettes, cereals and beans.

    "It is one chance in life," he suggested.

    "I still have a healthy kidney and with the money I got I will never be humiliated again," he added.

    "My sons returned to school and our life changed. If I was going to wait for the government to help my family, I would have died before getting it."

    Salwa Ahmed (not her real name), is another victim of poverty in Iraq.

    After her husband died in a car bomb attack in Diyala four years ago, she moved to Baghdad with her four kids to find a better job and better living conditions.

    "I was already living as displaced, my kids were hungry all day because I couldn’t afford more than one meal," she said.

    "When a woman in the camp said that there was someone who constantly pays them visits asking for kidney donation, I got excited and was prepared to sell one and give my children a better living condition," Ahmed added.

    "At first he wanted to pay only US $3,000 but after two weeks of negotiations and my lab test, which should I had a rare blood type, the price went up to US $8,000," she said, noting that the sum equals 15 years of hard work.

    "Today I feel healthy, my children have enough food and new clothes and I was able to get a job as seller in a clothes shop."

    Ahmed has no regrets.

    "I know it might look wrong but when a mother sees her children suffering from hunger, you realise that a kidney is nothing.

    "I hope I will never have kidney problems but even if this happens I will be happy to know that at least I have saved the life of my loved ones and of a person who was in a dire need of an important organ that God blessed me with having two healthy ones."

    Mafia
    Muhammad al-A’ani, an aid employee working with patients requesting organs transplantations, says some people are so desperate for the money they are willing to do anything.

    "Recently we received a man who couldn’t donate his kidney because he had some renal problems," he noted.

    "But he was asking of someone who would be interested in buying one of his corneas.

    "I got surprised and tried to help him so that he would not fall prey to any gang in Iraq," said al-A’ani.

    "I kept looking for information about him and two months ago I heard from a colleague that he did it for nearly US $20,000. We couldn’t find where or how but we will keep investigating it because it is too serious to leave behind."

    He lamented that body transportations became like an industry controlled by a mafia.

    "Unfortunately there are dozens of corrupted nurses, doctors and government employees who allow such disgusting situations to take place in exchange for money."

    The Health Ministry says it is too complicated to find out who is donating for free and who is selling his body organs.

    But in some cases donations, whether free or paid, are not done voluntarily.

    Many children and youngsters have been reportedly kidnapped by gangs that sell their body parts for huge prices.

    A 17-years-old victim, who requested anonymity, said he was drugged and abducted.

    He woke up two days later in a dirty room with signs of a surgery. They gave him US $20 and drove him to the outskirts of Baghdad.

    He later started to have health problems as a result of an infection he got during the procedure.

    "It is unfair and I might die now because of the criminals who wanted to make money from selling my body," he cried.

    "I don’t have a rich family and my father is now selling the house to raise money and find someone who is willing to sell his kidney and save my life.

    "I was once a healthy person with two kidneys but now I’m a victim who wants to buy an organ that was stolen from me. Is not that ironic?"



    Comments:

    This is what happens when a terrorist regime illegally invades a nation and occupies it for a decade, forcing millions out as refuges and over 50,000 women into prostitution just to feed their families (Iraq refugees in Syria), body part selling, kidnapping, unjust detention and rape of innocents by invading terrorist and all this is just the tip of the ice berg!

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    Default Camerawoman filmed tripping up and kicking refugees

    Camerawoman filmed tripping up and kicking refugees

    while filming the events of 8 September at a registration camp in Roszke, László “kicked a young man in the shin with a swift kick of the sole of her right foot, and also kicked young girl around the knee with her right foot.

    video: http://viewpure.com/AROEkUr3kIY?start=0&end=0

    A camerawoman who was filmed tripping up a refugee as he ran from police carrying his young son has been charged with breaching the peace.\n\nPetra László said her life was “ruined” by the footage, which also showed her kicking a small girl as hundreds of asylum seekers broke through police lines near the Hungarian border to make their way towards Budapest.\n\nLászló was fired from right-wing online television channel N1TV with immediate effect when the footage emerged and now faces a prison sentence if convicted.\n\nZsolt Kopasz, the chief prosecutor of Csongrad County, said an investigation had determined there was no “reasonable chance” for Laszlo\'s actions “to cause injury.”\n\n“No data emerged which would have indicated that the conduct of the accused were motivated by ethnic considerations or by the migrant status of the victims,” he added, ruling out possible charges of racially-motivated hate crime

  10. #10
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    Camerawoman filmed 'tripping up and kicking refugees' faces jail

    A camerawoman who was filmed tripping up a refugee as he ran from police carrying his young son has been charged with breaching the peace.

    Petra László said her life was “ruined” by the footage, which also showed her kicking a small girl as hundreds of asylum seekers broke through police lines near the Hungarian border to make their way towards Budapest.


    László was fired from right-wing online television channel N1TV with immediate effect when the footage emerged and now faces a prison sentence if convicted.

    Zsolt Kopasz, the chief prosecutor of Csongrad County, said an investigation had determined there was no “reasonable chance” for Laszlo's actions “to cause injury.”

    “No data emerged which would have indicated that the conduct of the accused were motivated by ethnic considerations or by the migrant status of the victims,” he added, ruling out possible charges of racially-motivated hate crime.

    Prosecutors said that while filming the events of 8 September at a registration camp in Roszke, László “kicked a young man in the shin with a swift kick of the sole of her right foot, and also kicked young girl around the knee with her right foot“.

    Her trial will be held in the southern city of Szeged later this year. Breach of the peace carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison under Hungarian law.

    The man she appeared to trip up, sending him and his son crashing to the ground, has since moved to Spain and been hired as a football coach in Madrid.

    Osama Abdul Mohsen, also known as Osama al-Ghadab, and his family lived in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor but fled in 2013 when fighting intensified in the region.

    He said he joined peaceful demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad’s government during the 2011 Arab Spring and then had to resign from his position with the regime’s sport federation.

    During the backlash sparked by László’s case, critics accused him of supporting al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group but Mr Mohsen denied the allegations, which appeared to stem from a Facebook picture incorrectly thought to display the group’s flag.

    “I just want a better life,” he told the New York Times in an interview last year. “I just want to live peacefully with my family and my friends.”

    In a letter to right-wing newspaper Magyar Nemzet days after the incident, László said she “sincerely regretted what happened” and had been frightened.

    “Something snapped in me,” she wrote. “With the camera in my hand I didn't see who was actually running towards me.

    “I just felt I was being attacked and I had to protect myself.”

    In a subsequent interview with the Izvestia newspaper, László said her life and career had been “ruined” by the controversy and threatened to sue Facebook over threats and defamatory comments.

    Mr Mohsen and his son were among almost 400,000 refugees and migrants who passed through Hungary last year before the government constructed razor wire fences along the borders with Serbia and Croatia.

    Prime Minister Viktor Orban also introduced controversial measures allowing police to ”escort“ unregistered migrants found within five miles of the border back to Serbia, and has promised an even “more massive fence” to stop any increase in numbers if the EU-Turkey deal falls through.

    Austria has threatened to take Hungary to the EU's highest court over its refusal to accept migrants turned back by the neighbouring country.

    Wolfgang Sobotka, the Austrian interior minister, gave the warning on Wednesday as the government moved closer to passing a law that would shut the border to asylum seeker if the number reaches 37,500 this year.

    Government statistics show nearly 29,000 people had applied for asylum in Austria this year by the end of July.

    The United Nations and humanitarian organisations have raised concern about the restrictions in place in Hungary, Austria and elsewhere as thousands of refugees remain trapped in Greece or detained under the EU-Turkey deal.

    A series of boat disasters in the Central Mediterranean has made the crossing between Libya and Italy the deadliest in the world, with more than 3,100 asylum seekers drowning so far this year.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7230281.html

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    Hungarian parliament approves law allowing all asylum seekers to be detained

    Prime Minister claims country ‘under siege’ from refugees and must be protected

    3.2017

    The Hungarian parliament has approved a law enabling all asylum seekers in the country to be detained and forced back into neighbouring Serbia.


    Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister, claimed migrants were keeping his country “under siege”. Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for a group of specialist guards known as “border hunters”, he said that Hungary could only count on itself for protection.


    Mr Orban, leader of the right-wing populist Fidesz party and a supporter of Donald Trump, has already ordered the reinforcement of fences along Hungary’s southern border and claimed refugees are a threat to Europe’s Christian identity and culture.


    The new legislation will see refugees locked in border camps made of shipping containers while their cases are decided.


    Applications will be declared inadmissible for anyone who entered Hungary from Serbia or a “safe third country”, while the appeal period will be cut to just three days and migrants may have to cover the costs of their own imprisonment.

    The new bill also allows authorities to detain all adult asylum seekers and summarily return those refused to the Serbian border as part of “crisis” measures in place until September.

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was “deeply concerned” by the measure, which combines with other policies to make it “nearly impossible for asylum-seekers to enter the country, apply for asylum and receive international protection”.

    “This new law violates Hungary’s obligations under international and EU laws, and will have a terrible physical and psychological impact on women, children and men who have already greatly suffered,” spokesperson Cécile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva.

    “Under international and EU laws, the detention of refugees and asylum seekers can only be justified on a limited number of grounds, and only where it is necessary, reasonable and proportionate … children should never be detained under any conditions.”

    Humanitarian organisations had appealed to the European Commission to intervene to block the draft bill, saying it was “at odds with EU, human rights and refugee law” in a letter last month.

    The law “on the amendment of certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management”, allows adult asylum seekers including families with children and unaccompanied minors above the age of 14 to be jailed.

    It reinstates Hungary’s previous practice of detaining asylum applicants, which was suspended in 2013 under pressure from the European Union, the UNHCR and the European Court of Human Rights.

    The provision to allow authorities to round up migrants and forcibly return them over the Serbian border expands a previous law permitting the push-backs within five miles of the boundary.

    The law was approved by 138 votes to six against and 22 abstentions, amid continuing reports of abuse by border police, with migrants claiming to have been beaten, filmed and photographed in “selfies” with officers.

    Lydia Gall, a Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch, said it was expected to come into effect with the President’s signature within eight days.

    “It makes a mockery of the right to seek asylum,” she told The Independent.

    “Of course Hungary has a right to protect its borders and separate asylum seekers from others whose claims do not have merit, but this is not the practice at the border.

    “They beat people en masse and push them back over the other side of the fence. That is not allowed under EU law or any other law.”

    An estimated 7,000 asylum seekers are currently stranded in dire humanitarian conditions in Serbia while waiting to cross the border, with only a handful allowed through two designated transit zones a day.

    Hundreds of thousands of refugees have crossed into Hungary on their way from the shores of Greece to western Europe but the right-wing government has spared no expense to stop their journeys.

    The crackdown is intensifying despite a dramatic fall in the number of refugees journeying to Hungary after the EU-Turkey deal was implemented a year ago to prevent boat crossings to Greece.

    Thousands of guards have been deployed to patrol the country’s 100-mile southern border with Serbia, where soldiers and prison inmates are expanding a barbed wire fence into an electrified 13ft barrier.

    A spokesperson for the European Commission told The Independent: “We will be analysing the bill when we have been notified by Hungarian authorities but we do not have any further comment to make at this time.”

    The Hungarian government has dismissed allegations of mistreatment and abuse, saying authorities were “carrying out their duties lawfully, professionally and proportionately”.

    “They place special emphasis on treating migrants humanely and with respect for their human dignity,” a spokesperson added.

    “Hungary was one of the first member states to enforce EU rules, and has been protecting the EU’s Schengen borders, stopping, registering and separating out genuine refugees from economic migrants.

    “Hungarian police officers and soldiers are protecting the EU’s Schengen borders lawfully and in compliance with EU and Hungarian regulations.”


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7615486.html

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    Refugee Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines



    Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.

    MINNEAPOLIS — Images of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian – Kurdish boy who washed up dead on Mediterranean shores in his family’s attempt to flee war-torn Syria, have grabbed the attention of people around the world, sparking outrage about the true costs of war.


    The heart-wrenching refugee crisis unfolding across the Middle East and at European borders has ignited a much needed conversation on the ongoing strife and instability that’s driving people from their homes in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq. It’s brought international attention to the inhumane treatment these refugees are receiving if — and it is a major “if” — they arrive at Europe’s door.


    In Syria, for example, foreign powers have sunk the nation into a nightmare combination of civil war, foreign invasion and terrorism. Syrians are in the impossible position of having to choose between living in a warzone, being targeted by groups like ISIS and the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown, or faring dangerous waters with minimal safety equipment only to be denied food, water and safety by European governments if they reach shore.


    Other Syrians fleeing the chaos at home have turned to neighboring Arab Muslim countries. Jordan alone has absorbed over half a million Syrian refugees; Lebanon has accepted nearly 1.5 million; and Iraq and Egypt have taken in several hundred thousand.


    Although it’s not an Arab nation or even part of the Middle East, Iran sent 150 tons of humanitarian goods, including “3,000 tents and 10,000 blankets, to the Red Crescents of Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon” via land routes to be distributed among the Syrian refugees residing in the three countries last year.


    Turkey has taken in nearly 2 million refugees to date. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan made international headlines for opening his nation’s arms to migrants, positioning himself as a kind of savior in the process.


    Meanwhile, Gulf Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have provided refuge to zero Syrian refugees.


    While there’s certainly a conversation taking place about refugees — who they are, where they’re going, who’s helping them, and who isn’t — what’s absent is a discussion on how to prevent these wars from starting in the first place. Media outlets and political talking heads have found many opportunities to point fingers in the blame game, but not one media organization has accurately broken down what’s driving the chaos: control over gas, oil and resources.


    Indeed, it’s worth asking: How did demonstrations held by “hundreds” of protesters demanding economic change in Syria four years ago devolve into a deadly sectarian civil war, fanning the flames of extremism haunting the world today and creating the world’s second largest refugee crisis?


    While the media points its finger to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s barrel bombs and political analysts call for more airstrikes against ISIS and harsher sanctions against Syria, we’re four years into the crisis and most people have no idea how this war even got started.

    This “civil war” is not about religion

    Citing a lack of access on the ground, the United Nations stopped regularly updating its numbers of casualties in the Syrian civil war in January 2014. Estimates put the death toll between 140,200 and 330,380, with as many as 6 million Syrians displaced, according to the U.N.


    While there is no question that the Syrian government is responsible for many of the casualties resulting from its brutal crackdown, this is not just a Syrian problem.


    Foreign meddling in Syria began several years before the Syrian revolt erupted. Wikleaks released leaked US State Department cables from 2006 revealing U.S. plans to overthrow the Syrian government through instigating civil strife, and receiving these very orders straight from Tel Aviv. The leaks reveal the United State’s partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Egypt to use sectarianism to divide Syria through the Sunni and Shiite divide to destabilize the nation to weaken Iran and Hezbolla. Israel is also revealed to attempt to use this crisis to expand its occupation of the Golan Heights for additional oil exploration, according to Wikileaks editor Julian Assange.


    According to major media outlets like the BBC and the Associated Press, the demonstrations that supposedly swept Syria were comprised of only hundreds of people, but additional Wikileaks cables reveal CIA involvement on the ground in Syria to instigate these very demonstrations as early as March 2011.

    Just a few months into the demonstrations which now consisted of hundreds of armed protesters with CIA ties, demonstrations grew larger, armed non-Syrian rebel groups swarmed into Syria, and a severe government crackdown swept through the country to deter this foreign meddling. It became evident that the United States, United Kingdom, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would be jumping on the opportunity to organize, arm and finance rebels to form the Free Syrian Army as outlined in the State Department plans to destabilize Syria. (Just a few months ago, WikiLeaks confirmed this when it released Saudi intelligence that revealed Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia had been working hand in hand to arm and finance rebels to overthrow the Syrian government since 2012.)


    These foreign nations created a pact in 2012 called “The Group of Friends of the Syrian People,” a name that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their agenda was to divide and conquer in order to wreak havoc across Syria in view of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad.


    The true agenda to hijack Syria’s revolt quickly became evident, with talking heads inserting Syria’s alliance with Iran as a threat to the security and interests of the United States and its allies in the region. It’s no secret that Syria’s government is a major arms, oil and gas, and weapons ally of Iran and Lebanon’s resistance political group Hezbollah.


    But it’s important to note the timing: This coalition and meddling in Syria came about immediately on the heels of discussions of an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market.


    Perhaps the most accurate description of the current crisis over gas, oil and pipelines that is raging in Syria has been described by Dmitry Minin, writing for the Strategic Cultural Foundation in May 2013:
    “A battle is raging over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leans in favor of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change.
    It’s the oil, gas and pipelines, stupid!

    Indeed, tensions were building between Russia, the U.S. and the European Union amid concerns that the European gas market would be held hostage to Russian gas giant Gazprom. The proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversifying Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia.


    Turkey is Gazprom’s second-largest customer. The entire Turkish energy security structure relies on gas from Russia and Iran. Plus, Turkey was harboring Ottoman-like ambitions of becoming a strategic crossroads for the export of Russian, Caspian-Central Asian, Iraqi and Iranian oil and even gas to Europe, assesses journalist Pepe Escobar writing for Al Jazeera.
    The Guardian reported in August 2013:
    “Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar and Turkey that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was ‘to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.’”




    Knowing Syria was a critical piece in its energy strategy, Turkey attempted to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to reform this Iranian pipeline and to work with the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline, which would ultimately satisfy Turkey and the Gulf Arab nations’ quest for dominance over gas supplies, who are the United State’s allies. But after Assad refused Turkey’s proposal, Turkey and its allies became the major architects of Syria’s “civil war.”


    Much of the strategy currently at play was described back in a 2008 U.S. Army-funded RAND report, “Unfolding the Future of the Long War”:
    “The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized. … For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources. … The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”
    In this context, the report identifies the divide and conquer strategy while exploiting the Sunni-Shiite divide to protect Gulf oil and gas supplies while maintaining a Gulf Arab state dominance over oil markets.
    “Divide and Rule focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts. This strategy relies heavily on covert action, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces. … the United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists in the eyes of the local populace. … U.S. leaders could also choose to capitalize on the ‘Sustained Shia-Sunni Conflict’ trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world…. possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran.”
    The report notes that another option would be “to take sides in the conflict, possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran.”


    This framework crafted an interesting axis: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S., Britain and France vs. Syria, Iran and Russia.

    Divide and conquer: A path to regime change

    With the U.S., France, Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — aka, the new “Friends of Syria” coalition — publicly calling for the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad between 2011 and 2012 after Assad’s refusal to sign onto the gas pipeline, the funds and arms flowing into Syria to feed the so-called “moderate” rebels were pushing Syria into a humanitarian crisis. Rebel groups were being organized left and right, many of which featured foreign fighters and many of which had allied with al-Qaida.


    The Syrian government responded with a heavy hand, targeting rebel held areas and killing civilians in the process.


    Since Syria is religiously diverse, the so-called “Friends of Syria” pushed sectarianism as their official “divide and conquer” strategy to oust Assad.

    Claiming that Alawites ruled over a majority Sunni nation, the call by the “moderate” U.S.-backed rebels became one about Sunni liberation.


    Although the war is being sold to the public as a Sunni-Shiite conflict, so-called Sunni groups like ISIS, the Syrian al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front) and even the “moderate” Free Syrian Army have indiscriminately targeted Syria’s Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Jews.

    At the same time, these same foreign nations supported and even armed the Bahraini government, which claims to be Sunni, in its violent crackdown on the majority Shiite pro-democracy demonstrations that swept the nation.


    The Syrian government army itself is of over 80 percent Sunnis, which indicates that the true agenda has been politically — not religiously — motivated.


    In addition to this, the Assad family is Alawite, an Islamic sect that the media has clumped in with Shiites, though most Shiites would agree that the two are unrelated. Further, the Assad family is described as secular and running a secular nation. Counting Alawites as Shiites was simply another way to push a sectarian framework for the conflict: It allowed for the premise that the Syria-Iran alliance was based on religion, when, in fact, it was an economic relationship.


    This framework carefully crafted the Syrian conflict as a Sunni revolution to liberate itself from Shiite influence that Iran was supposedly spreading to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.


    But the truth is, Syria’s Sunni community is divided, and many defected to join groups like the Free Syrian Army, ISIS and al-Qaida. And as mentioned earlier, over 80 percent of Assad’s military is Sunni.


    As early as 2012, additional rebels armed and financed by Arab Gulf nations and Turkey like al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, declared all-out war against Shiites. They even threatened to attack Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s government after they had overthrown the Assad government.


    Soon after, the majority of the Muslim Brotherhood rebels became part of al-Qaida-affiliated groups. Together, they announced that they would destroy all shrines — not just those ones which hold particular importance to Shiites.


    Hezbollah entered the scene in 2012 and allied itself with the Syrian government to fight al-Nusra and ISIS, which were officially being armed and financed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. And all the arms were actively being sold to these nations by the United States. Thus, US arms were falling into the hands of the same terror group the US claims to be fighting in its broader War on Terror.


    According to reports, Hezbollah was and has been been active in preventing rebel penetration from Syria to Lebanon, “being one of the most active forces in the Syrian civil war spillover in Lebanon.” Despite this, the U.S. sanctioned both the Syrian government and Hezbollah in 2012.
    Also that year, Russia and Iran sent military advisers to assist the Syrian government in quelling the terror groups, but Iranian troops were not on the ground fighting during this time.


    What was once a secular, diverse and peaceful nation, was looking more like it was on its way to becoming the next Afghanistan; its people living under Taliban-style rule as jihadists took over more land and conquered more cities.

    Effects of foreign meddling outweigh self-determination

    If you think that was hard to follow, you’re certainly not alone.


    Most sectarian civil wars are purposely crafted to pit sides against one another to allow for a “divide and conquer” approach that breaks larger concentrations of power into smaller factions that have more difficulty linking up. It’s a colonial doctrine that the British Empire famously used, and what we see taking place in Syria is no different.


    So, let’s get one thing straight: This is not about religion. It might be convenient to say that Arabs or Muslims kill each other, and it’s easy to frame these conflicts as sectarian to paint the region and its people as barbaric. But this Orientalist, overly simplistic view of conflict in the Middle East dehumanizes the victims of these wars to justify direct and indirect military action.


    If the truth was presented to the public from the perspective that these wars are about economic interests, most people would not support any covert funding and arming of rebels or direct intervention. In fact, the majority of the public would protest against war. But when something is presented to the public as a matter of good versus evil, we are naturally inclined to side with the “good” and justify war to fight off the supposed “evil.”


    The political rhetoric has been carefully crafted to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. Ultimately, no matter the agendas, the alliances or instability brought on by foreign meddling, the calls for freedom, democracy and equality that erupted in 2011 were real then and they’re real today. And let’s not forget that the lack of freedom, democracy and equality have been brought on more by foreign meddling to prop up brutal dictators and arm terror groups than by self-determination.


    The people in the Middle East once stood united and strong together against foreign meddling, exploitation and colonialism no matter their religious or cultural background. But today, the Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion. The ensuing chaos provides ample cover to install a new regime that’s more amenable to opening up oil pipelines and ensuring favorable routes for the highest bidders.


    And in this push for energy, it’s the people who suffer most. In Syria, they are fleeing en masse. They’re waking up, putting sneakers on their little boys and girls, and hopping on boats without life jackets, hoping just to make it to another shore. They’re risking their lives, knowing full well that they may never reach that other shore, because the hope of somewhere else is better than the reality at home.


    http://www.mintpressnews.com/migrant...elines/209294/

  13. #13
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    Hungarian parliament approves law allowing all asylum seekers to be detained


    Prime Minister claims country ‘under siege’ from refugees and must be protected





    The Hungarian parliament has approved a law enabling all asylum seekers in the country to be detained and forced back into neighbouring Serbia.


    Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister, claimed migrants were keeping his country “under siege”. Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for a group of specialist guards known as “border hunters”, he said that Hungary could only count on itself for protection.


    Mr Orban, leader of the right-wing populist Fidesz party and a supporter of Donald Trump, has already ordered the reinforcement of fences along Hungary’s southern border and claimed refugees are a threat to Europe’s Christian identity and culture.

    he new legislation will see refugees locked in border camps made of shipping containers while their cases are decided.


    Applications will be declared inadmissible for anyone who entered Hungary from Serbia or a “safe third country”, while the appeal period will be cut to just three days and migrants may have to cover the costs of their own imprisonment.


    The new bill also allows authorities to detain all adult asylum seekers and summarily return those refused to the Serbian border as part of “crisis” measures in place until September.


    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was “deeply concerned” by the measure, which combines with other policies to make it “nearly impossible for asylum-seekers to enter the country, apply for asylum and receive international protection”.


    “This new law violates Hungary’s obligations under international and EU laws, and will have a terrible physical and psychological impact on women, children and men who have already greatly suffered,” spokesperson Cécile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva.


    “Under international and EU laws, the detention of refugees and asylum seekers can only be justified on a limited number of grounds, and only where it is necessary, reasonable and proportionate … children should never be detained under any conditions.”


    Humanitarian organisations had appealed to the European Commission to intervene to block the draft bill, saying it was “at odds with EU, human rights and refugee law” in a letter last month.


    The law “on the amendment of certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management”, allows adult asylum seekers including families with children and unaccompanied minors above the age of 14 to be jailed.


    It reinstates Hungary’s previous practice of detaining asylum applicants, which was suspended in 2013 under pressure from the European Union, the UNHCR and the European Court of Human Rights.


    The provision to allow authorities to round up migrants and forcibly return them over the Serbian border expands a previous law permitting the push-backs within five miles of the boundary.

    The law was approved by 138 votes to six against and 22 abstentions, amid continuing reports of abuse by border police, with migrants claiming to have been beaten, filmed and photographed in “selfies” with officers.

    Lydia Gall, a Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch, said it was expected to come into effect with the President’s signature within eight days.

    “It makes a mockery of the right to seek asylum,” she told The Independent.

    “Of course Hungary has a right to protect its borders and separate asylum seekers from others whose claims do not have merit, but this is not the practice at the border.

    “They beat people en masse and push them back over the other side of the fence. That is not allowed under EU law or any other law.”

    An estimated 7,000 asylum seekers are currently stranded in dire humanitarian conditions in Serbia while waiting to cross the border, with only a handful allowed through two designated transit zones a day.

    Hundreds of thousands of refugees have crossed into Hungary on their way from the shores of Greece to western Europe but the right-wing government has spared no expense to stop their journeys.

    The crackdown is intensifying despite a dramatic fall in the number of refugees journeying to Hungary after the EU-Turkey deal was implemented a year ago to prevent boat crossings to Greece.

    Thousands of guards have been deployed to patrol the country’s 100-mile southern border with Serbia, where soldiers and prison inmates are expanding a barbed wire fence into an electrified 13ft barrier.

    A spokesperson for the European Commission told The Independent: “We will be analysing the bill when we have been notified by Hungarian authorities but we do not have any further comment to make at this time.”

    The Hungarian government has dismissed allegations of mistreatment and abuse, saying authorities were “carrying out their duties lawfully, professionally and proportionately”.

    “They place special emphasis on treating migrants humanely and with respect for their human dignity,” a spokesperson added.

    “Hungary was one of the first member states to enforce EU rules, and has been protecting the EU’s Schengen borders, stopping, registering and separating out genuine refugees from economic migrants.

    “Hungarian police officers and soldiers are protecting the EU’s Schengen borders lawfully and in compliance with EU and Hungarian regulations.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7615486.html

  14. #14
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    Hungary builds border fence able to electrocute refugees


    2017

    Hungary is building a large new barrier capable of delivering electric shocks to unwanted refugees and migrants and armed with heat sensors, cameras, and loudspeakers that blare in several languages, along its southern border.

    The country was a main crossing point for hundreds of thousands of people trekking into Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

    “Attention, attention. I’m warning you that you are at the Hungarian border,” the loudspeakers say in English, Arabic and Farsi.

    “If you damage the fence, cross illegally, or attempt to cross, it’s counted to be a crime in Hungary. I’m warning you to hold back from committing this crime. You can submit your asylum application at the transit zone.”

    The “transit zones” are two border posts where a total of just 10 migrants per day are allowed in legally. Rights groups say they are wholly inadequate and, by creating such a tight bottleneck, may be illegal.

    The new floodlit fence of wire reinforced with steel will give anyone who touches it an electric shock that well-informed sources say is mild.

    Only 10 kilometres of the new structure has been completed but officials say the remaining 140 kilometres (along the border with Serbia will be finished in just two months, built largely by 700 prison inmates.

    Hungary’s populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called mass immigration from the Middle East and Africa an existential threat to the European way of life.

    The government has earmarked 38 billion forints ($0.13 billion) for the new fence. Orban’s chief of staff Janos Lazar said on Thursday the total cost of the border effort, including patrols and transit zones, was nearing €1 billion ($1.05 billion).


    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...cute-refugees/


 

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