Features

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Features, Human Rights, International

by Jamison Maeda

Native American activist and six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Leonard Peltier, has been in prison in the US for 40 years for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. And thousands of people around the world believe him.

“…Leonard Peltier has committed no crime whatsoever,” said former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

In addition to Clark, the list of Peltier’s supporters over the years included Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Coretta Scott King, Amnesty International, Robert Redford, multiple Native American nations, documentarian Michael Moore, and it goes on. The Soviet Union cited Peltier’s case as an example of human rights abuses in the US.

The US justice system failing poor people and people of color is not news. But even in a climate of institutionalized discrimination and racial prejudice Peltier’s case stands out.
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Features, Prisoners

This 3:49 minute video documentary by Peter Kearney aims to tell the story of the conviction of Brendan McConville through the words of his parents Willie and Eileen. McConville was convicted on 30 March 2012, for the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll on 9 March 2009. He was arrested and held in prison since 10 March 2009. A group calling itself “The Continuity IRA” claimed responsibility.

McConville was convicted along with John Paul Wootton by a non-jury trial and they remain in prison to this day, despite their claims and the claims of campaigners (Justice for the Craigavon Two – JFTC2) that it was a miscarriage of justice. Campaigners know McConville and Wootton as “The Craigavon Two”.

While a 15-minute documentary is currently being produced and due for release in mid August 2016, this short documentary tells the story from the point of view of Brendan’s parents, Willie and Eileen.

Read more about the Craigavon Two and the documentary here.

Features

Statement from Clare Daly TD re: GSOC report into the leaking of information about her arrest by An Garda Síochána

I welcome the publication of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission report following their investigation into the leaking to the media of information about my arrest on 29 January 2013. The report concluded that, on the balance of probabilities, some of the details relating to my arrest came from within An Garda Siochána and were made available to the media in an unauthorised manner. I also welcome the acknowledgement that my right to privacy and the presumption of innocence were infringed by these leaks.

I believe that the leaking of information about my arrest, coming as it did at the height of a period during which I was working to expose Garda malpractice, was a deliberate attempt to damage me, and to distract from the issues.

While I compliment the work of GSOC staff, the investigation highlights the limitations placed on the investigative powers available to the Commission by legislation – for example it took almost three-and-a-half years for the investigation to come to a conclusion, in part because of stonewalling and non-cooperation by An Garda Síochána.

In relation to my complaint, I asked GSOC to establish if the information which made its way into the media concerning this incident came from within the ranks of An Garda Síochána. I note with interest that this is precisely what the Commission concluded.

Features

Last week Lubnah Shomali of BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights gave a presentation to TDs and staff in Leinster House. BADIL was established in January 1998 based on recommendations issued by a series of popular refugee conferences in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Its goal is the protection and promotion of the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons.

Palestinian refugees constitute one of the largest and longest-standing unresolved refugee groups in the world today. According to recent estimates, at least 7.9 million (67%) of 11.8 million Palestinians worldwide are forcibly displaced persons. As Shomali pointed out, the displacement of Palestinians is ‘continuous and ongoing’ – an ‘ongoing Nakba (‘Catastrophe’)’.
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