To be arrested without trial in the US

To be arrested without trial in the US

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 4


US President Barack Obama is demonstrating strong signs of hegemony and despotism. The countries, especially Muslim ones, that want to protect their national rights and strengthen their independence, and have approaches different from that of the US, face serious pressure.

Military coups are carried out, civil strife is encouraged in these countries, and if all this is unsuccessful, they are subjected to direct military aggression. Today the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt and other countries must be "thankful" to Mr Obama for the consequences of disastrous policy pursued in the name of "democracy" and "prosperity".

Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson events and other facts confirm that people in the U.S. cannot freely express their opinion, they are not allowed to protest against the current governance system and are helpless even when it comes to protecting their basic rights. Ferguson events showed that even journalists, bloggers, lawyers, human rights defenders may face any form of pressure.

One of the favourite tools of Mr Obama, which aims to silence the critics, is to arrest them. But in his speeches, the American President almost leaves behind well-known human rights defenders. People who are suspected of "terrorism" or "helping terrorists" are detained at Guantanamo even today. No one has information about their number, crimes they committed and conditions of their detention.

The reason is that like his predecessors, Mr Obama thinks that they don't need to stand trial. Moreover, journalists and activists, who criticize the current situation, are subjected to arrests. Journalist and social activist Daniel McGowan was arrested in April, 2013 for criticizing the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the Huffington Post. He was jailed on suspicious grounds that he had violated a plea agreement.

Human rights defenders believe the arrest was politically motivated. This confirms that the American courts became slaves of law enforcement bodies, which are the tool of the political system. The US, which justifies its attacks on different countries by decisions and resolutions of some international organizations and provisions set in international conventions, does not want to be responsible to any international organization, and generally disregards these conventions.

Disrespect for and pressure on OSCE observers during the elections are strong signals of this.

Former US army intelligence analyst Bradly Manning disclosed video showing a US helicopter killing civilians in Iraq in 2010. Among those killed were journalists of leading media organizations. Although the US government vowed to investigate the incident, it put all its efforts in finding the man behind the disclosure. Manning then gave the material highlighting the US army`s atrocities to journalist Adrian Lamo.

It was then disclosed on WikiLeaks. Later in 2010, Lamo reported Manning to federal authorities and he was arrested. Manning was held at Camp Arafjon in Kuwait for a nearly two months before being transferred to the US in July. Manning faced 52 years in prison.

What happened in March of 2011 once again proved that the US court system remains committed to its Orwellian feature - the Army announced 22 additional charges on Manning, for which he could be sentenced to death penalty.

In an legal letter released by his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning, who had psychological problems, set out in his own words how he was "left to languish under the unduly harsh conditions of max [security] custody" ever since he was brought from Kuwait to the US. He described how he was put on suicide watch in January, how he was being stripped naked every night, and how he was in general terms being subjected to what he called "unlawful pre-trial punishment".

Manning`s supporters, including members of the American general public, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, famous foreign public figures unsuccessfully appealed to the US authorities to release him. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013. And this can be considered the true attitude of the US government and personally President Barack Obama to the international community`s opinion.

The US authorities continue to persecute those who work to the advantage of the rest of the world by unmasking the policy of the US government. In June 2013, Edward Snowden, a former system administrator for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a counterintelligence trainer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), provided the Guardian and The Washington Post with top-secret NSA documents leading to revelations about US surveillance on phone and internet communications.

He now lives in an undisclosed location in Russia. In his recent statements, Snowden said he had concerns that he would be killed.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks website, who was deprived of all fundamental rights, lives in Ecuador`s Embassy in London where he took refuge in June 2012. He has not yet faced any official charges. In September 2012, Assange was designated an Enemy of the United States.

All this clearly proves how severe Washington`s attitude towards its opponents is. Moreover, official Washington is doing its utmost to silence all the media outlets and human rights organizations that support Assange and Snowden. This is not a new experience in Mr Obama`s policy.

In 2013, employees of the Russia Today television channel were arrested and held in police custody for 32 hours. They were arrested for covering protests near a "death school" military training camp in Georgia. The protesters demanded the closure of the military centre accused of training Latin American police and military personnel to torture and kill. Journalist Kaelyn Forde described her treatment as 'brutal'.

Legal protection companies condemned the arrest of the journalists. Interestingly, the US` leading media outlets, which usually criticize arrests of and attacks on journalists in other countries, remained silent in this case.

Mr Obama is concerned about the activity of people such as Snowden, Manning, Assange. Snowden`s experience demonstrates that US security forces are capable of watching and finding anyone in any part of the world. In the aftermath of bloody events that happened in different countries on the basis of US-drawn scenarios, the Guantanamo and other similar factors, the world realized that both internal and foreign policy of the United States lacks justice, and that statements made by Washington`s top-ranking officials are fictitious.

During one of his speeches, Mr Obama said that America will protect democratic values across the globe. Bur after the Ferguson incident, when the people were awaiting for a just jury decision, Mr Obama appealed to citizens for calm and understanding after the grand jury found nothing illegal in a police officer`s shooting a black teenager and decided not to indict him. Instead, Mr Obama proposed a $263 million spending package to increase use of body-worn cameras, expand training for law enforcement and add more resources for police department reform.

One can put a question, forgetting about the fate of these funds: how can the head of a state, who turns a blind eye to gross violations of his people`s rights, and even makes them the target of criticism, protect democracy in the world?

Is Mr Obama, who made double standards part of state policy, right in expecting the world trust himself and his country? A couple of years ago while on a visit in Egypt, Mr Obama said the US is building new relations with the Muslim world. Interestingly, has he wondered ever since what Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans think of the US?

In an interview with Vox television channel this February, the US President said: "There are bad people out there who are trying to do us harm. The reality of those threats has compelled the US to have the strongest military in the world. We occasionally have to twist the arms of countries that wouldn't do what we need them to do if it weren't for the various economic or diplomatic or, in some cases, military leverage that we had - if we didn't have that dose of realism, we wouldn't get anything done, either." Mr Obama has become a hostage of "America is the world`s number one country" idea.

But if he continues his hegemonic and despotic governance, the policy of dominating the world, he will obviously raise the world against America and his claims will fail.

In this year`s State of the Union address, Mr Obama referred to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and said "we're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small ". We wonder how many times is Iraq bigger than the USA?

"Azerbaijan" newspaper

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