Argentina’s Jewish foreign minister Hector Timerman held bilateral talks with his Iranian counter-part Ali Akbar Salehi at the United Nations headquarters in New York on the day after Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s landmark address at the UNGA. The Jewish press has reported that they discussed the 1992 terrorist attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 attack on the Jewish center AMIA. Israel blamed both Hizbullah and Iran for the attacks. However, till today, Israel and Argentian Jewish groups have failed to provide any genuine evidence to prove their claim.
Both Israel and the United States have criticized Hector Timerman for meeting the Iranian foreign minister and especially for agreeing to continue these negotiations through government officials in Geneva next month.
Roberta Jacobson, the Jewish US assistant secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs said in a news conference last week:
“Iran has had a nearly 20 years to comply with the requests from Argentine justice on the issues of the bombing of the Israeli embassy and the AMIA building. I’m not necessarily optimistic that they will respond any more positively now then they have in the past. Right now is the time for the international community to remain united in isolating Iran.“
Tehran denies the Israel-US allegations.
The Argentinian presiding judge on the case, Galeono, was dismissed for taking a bribe from Mossad and fabricating evidence against the Iranian diplomat Soleimanpour.
A British court refused to order the extradition of the Iranian diplomat.
Adrian Salbuchi on March 2, 2008 wrote in his column titled War in the Middle East: The Final Countdown:
“Argentina’s judiciary is thus acting on the requirement of Bush administration and powerful international and local pro-Israel Zionist lobbying organizations on Argentine president Nestor Kirchner, demanding that he falsely accuse Iran for that terrorist attack. Indications are that Mr. Kirchner bowed to this manipulation in spite of the fact that after more than twelve years since that attack, the United States, Israel, and key Zionist organizations have not been successful in fabricating sustainable proof of any involvement on the part of Syria, Iran or Hezbollah. At the same time, Argentina’s judiciary and intelligence agencies have systematically ignored much more plausible circumstances and evidence which point to the fact that this criminal attack may very well have been the result of deeply embedded conflicts INSIDE of Israel, in particular, and Zionist interests in general“.
Norberto Ceresole (died 2003), was a political activist, writer, author, former advisor to Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez’ close friend of French philosopher Roger Garaudy – and one of South America’s experts on Israeli terrorism. Ceresole, through various demonstrations, proved that the AMIA bombing had to be an inside job bombing to reduce a seven story building to rubble like the WTC buildings on September 11, 2001. He had called it a duplicate of the Oklahoma city bombing or the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried out by Israeli assets.
Ceresole exposed the Israeli Shin Beth as the actual bombers behind the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires. Shin Beth had complete security at the embassy and a bomb that size could never have been brought in. The Shin Beth also refused to allow any independent investigation of the embassy. Only Mossad was allowed access to the site.
From the very beginning, both Washington and Tel Aviv had accused Tehran and Hizbullah. However, despite pressure from these capitals and the powerful pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups, such as, the American Jewish Committee, the Asociacion Mutual Israelita and the Delegation of Argentine-Israeli Associations – the case has remained open as Tehran has always insisted: “Where is the proof?”
In 2004, the Argentine Supreme Court indicted former President Carlos Menem, Ruben Beraja (former head of Delegation of Argentine-Israeli Association), Judge Juan Jose Galeano, and several agents from country’s intelligence agency for the cover-up of the terrorists involved.
From the latest reaction of the US and Israel – it proves once again that they don’t want the world to know the truth about their terrorist activities in Argentina and around the world which they always blame on Muslims.
- New Report Revives Speculation On Azerbaijan-Israel Cooperation Against Iran (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel Disappointed At Argentina Talks With Iran (rferl.org)
When recycling decade-old allegations, lies, and threats that preceded invasion and occupation, sometimes sloppy mistakes happen.
In a short report posted this afternoon, Reuters quotes U.S. State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland praising the detrimental and destructive effects of its sanctions regime against Iran and claiming once again that Iran is building nuclear weapons, despite her own government’s assessments that this is not the case.
Nuland is thrilled that “the Iranian currency has dropped to a historic low today against the dollar,” as she believes “this speaks to the unrelenting and increasingly successful international pressure that we are all bringing to bear on the Iranian economy” which she adds is “under incredible strain.”
While much can (and should) be discussed regarding the continued collective punishment of Iranians over its wholly legal, safeguarded and monitored nuclear program, the real gem of the Reuters piece comes in the last paragraph. Reporter Arshad Mohammed, whose article was edited by both Doina Chiacu and Cynthia Osterman, shorthands Nuland’s own imperious demands to the Iranian government:
Catch that? The “international community” is trying to “intensify pressure on Baghdad” so that Iran won’t choose to acquire a nuclear weapon.
Apparently, either these fine Reuters staffers are unaware that Tehran is the capital of Iran, or – perhaps more plausibly – they merely forgot to replace the Iraqi capital with the Iranian one when reusing these old propaganda talking points about a Middle Eastern country supposedly building weapons of mass destruction.
- Tehran court finds Reuters guilty over defamation of character (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Friday brought another report of the civil war in Syria by Kelly McEvers of NPR’s Morning Edition.
The opening summary tells us that rebels “captured a third major border crossing between Syria and Turkey. The rebels are trying to restore services to a recently liberated town.”
Let’s hold on right there. “Liberated town”? According to Miriam Webster’s online dictionary, the first definition of “liberate,” is to set at liberty: free.; specifically : to free (as a country) from domination by a foreign power.” (The phrase “domination by a foreign power” is more than a touch ironic, given the role of the U.S., Turkey, Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council in bankrolling and supplying the rebels. )
One need not even probe into the connotations of “liberate” which by its very denotation tells us that liberation is the work of the “good guys.” Right there in a subtle, or not so subtle, way, National Pentagon Radio is taking sides. And it is not too far into the reportage before journalist ace Kelly McEvers repeats the formulation: “Inside the building, we sit down with Abu Azzam, one of the rebel commanders who helped liberate the border crossing (with Turkey, Jw) and the town beyond.”
So what kind of “liberation” has come to this town of about 20,000 people called Tal Abyad? As we get deeper into the story, the “liberation” becomes ever stranger. McEvers reports:
Once inside the town, the only civilians we see are a handful of people in a pickup truck, and they’re on their way out. The bakeries have reopened, but apparently just to make bread for the fighters. One of two functioning stores clearly caters to the rebels, too. Otherwise, the town is almost completely empty…. Our guide, Abu Yazen, shows us the blackened, pockmarked government buildings that were taken by the rebels. We ask Abu Yazen why the town is so empty. He says it’s because 80 percent of the people in town actually sided with the government, not with the rebels (emphasis, jw)…. What happens when those 80 percent of the people come back and they want their houses back? What’s going to happen to them?….
The guide Yazen replies and McEvers offers the translation, “Those who have blood on their hands will be tried, he says. The others will come back and help us build a new country.” Hardly a reassuring invitation to those who have fled from the “liberation” of their town.
McEvers hastily concludes her piece:
Someone rushes in to tell us they’ve spotted a column of trucks with mounted machine guns that belong to the regime’s army. (Soundbite of truck motor) We have to hurry out of town before we know the end of the story.
The operative term this time is “regime.” The routine usage on NPR is that official enemies have “regimes,” so both Iran and Syria routinely have regimes but Israel, for example, has a “government.” Here we must look at the connotation of the word; and as Wikipedia informs us under “modern usage,”: “While the word regime originates as a synonym for any form of government, modern usage often gives the term a negative connotation…” (There was a time when the antiwar movement referred to the “Bush regime,” but that usage has gone missing with the ascension of Obama, the candidate of the “progressive” Democrats.)
This sort of vocabulary is not trivial as George Orwell long ago pointed out. It is usage which, repeated endlessly, reinforces the idea of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Such propaganda molds opinions and is preparation for war and conflict.
If you have examples of such biased reports or discussions from NPR, please send them to me at moc.liamg@rawdnE.nhoJ . Besides Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Neal Conan’s Talk of the Nation, which reaches millions, appears to offer plenty of low hanging fruit. I am interested not only in bias based on word choice, but also outright falsification and coverage of only one side of an issue, often using two guests who, in fact, agree on basics which go unquestioned, a very effective form of propaganda. China bashing, Russia bashing, Iran bashing and Muslim bashing are especially worth being on the lookout for.
A college professor from St. Louis, Missouri claims that allegedly harmless chemical sprays that doused the city in the 1950s and ‘60s as a Cold War-era protection measure was something much more sinister.
Lisa Martino-Taylor, a sociologist at the St. Louis Community College in the Midwest, has been endlessly digging through publically available archives and documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests to learn more about a bizarre spraying program that blanketed parts of her hometown and other cities during the Cold War. At the time, the US Army admitted to showering certain locales with a chemical mixture, but said it was to test smoke screens they’d deploy to shield St. Louis from any nuclear assault by way of Russia. According to Martino-Taylor, the Army and others misled the public and actually poisoned residents of St. Louis and other cities with a dangerous compound composed of zinc cadmium sulfide and radioactive elements.
“It was pretty shocking. The level of duplicity and secrecy,” the researcher tells St. Louis’ KSDK.
“Clearly they went to great lengths to deceive people.”
Martino-Taylor has been researching what she calls the Manhattan-Rochester Coalition since at least 2011, but only last month formally presented her findings. In it, she suggests that tests in St. Louis and in Corpus Christi, Texas involved military personnel relying on low-flying airplanes to spray city skylines and even in some instances using chemical sprayers placed atop skyscrapers and station wagons, all the while using unsuspecting citizens as test subjects in the budding steps of biological warfare.
“The study was secretive for reason. They didn’t have volunteers stepping up and saying yeah, I’ll breathe zinc cadmium sulfide with radioactive particles,” she tells KSDK.
Instead of using curious citizens as test-subjects, the Army resorted to waging a secretive radioactive war on its own impoverished townspeople: according to the material Martino-Taylor has collected, the military launched no fewer than 16 tests in only the year 1953 that involved 35 separate releases of zinc cadmium sulfide in St. Louis. The neighborhoods affected, the professor found, were described at the time as “a densely populated slum district” that held around 10,000 low income residents, mostly children.
Martino-Taylor says she hasn’t been able to confirm for certain that St. Louisans were subject to radiological testing, but tells KSDK, “There’s an awful lot of evidence that there were radiological components to the study.” She says that a powder form of zinc cadmium sulfide was mixed with fluorescent particles so that dispersal patterns could be traced among unknowing test-subjects, and that a company called US Radium — previously put before a judge for radioactively contaminating its workers — has been linked to the scandal.
“US radium had this reputation where they had been found legally liable for producing a radioactive powdered paint that killed many young women who painted fluorescent watch tiles,” she says.
Regardless of what her future research reveals, she says, “This was a violation of all medical ethics, all international codes, and the military’s own policy at that time.”
On Monday this week, local lawmakers terrified of Martino-Taylor’s analysis asked the Army to come forth and explain the actual merits of the mysterious spray program that has long been acknowledged, but not necessarily with the greatest of accuracy.
“The idea that thousands of Missourians were unwillingly exposed to harmful materials in order to determine their health effects is absolutely shocking. It should come as no surprise that these individuals and their families are demanding answers of government officials,” State Senator Roy Blunt (R) tells the Associated Press.
State Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, has also asked Army Secretary John McHugh for more information in a letter sent this week.
“The Senate and House had investigations back in the 1990s but nothing ever came of it,” Martino-Taylor says. “Nobody has ever talked to the people who were exposed.”
October 13, 2012, National Demonstration at Alenia Aermacchi Headquarters, Varese, Italy
On Saturday, October 13, 2012, a national demonstration will be held in Varese, Italy, where most of the country’s military aircraft production is located, to denounce the weapons industry, in particular the sale of 30 M-346 trainer jets to Israel. The protest will take place at the Alenia Aermacchi headquarters, manufacturers of the M-346 and part of Finmeccanica Group, one of the world’s top weapons producers.
The M-346, defined as a “technologically advanced trainer jet,” is in fact designed to be armed with missiles or bombs. These weapons will undoubtedly be “tested” first and foremost on Palestinians. As a trainer jet, the M-346 is designed to prepare fighter pilots in the use of the most “technologically sophisticated” attack aircraft, such as the “netcentric” and “invisible” F-35 from US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Israel has signed on to purchase 19 F-35 fighter jets, with an option for 56, and Italy is also unfortunately in line to purchase the combat aircraft for future wars.
Recently, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stopped off at Alenia Aermacchi headquarters near Varese during his semi-secret tour of Italy, which was soon followed by the signing of the M-346 contract.
Local and national politicians, from center-left to center-right, have promoted the deal, conveniently “overlooking” the December 2008 – January 2009 “Operation Cast Lead”, which saw Israel’s “air power” rain down on the unarmed civilian Palestinian population, killing 1400, of which 400 children. A brutal military action, in which Israel used new unknown weapons as well as those already prohibited by international conventions (white phosphorus, DIME bombs, depleted uranium) and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity as documented in the UN “Goldstone Report”.
In addition to halting the sale of M-346 jets to Israel, the demands of the demonstration include suspension of the military cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel signed in 2005.
In recent years, local groups in Varese have denounced the chronic dependence of their territory on war production, organizing assemblies and protests against Agusta Westland (helicopters) and Alenia Aermacchi (aircraft) and, more recently, the F-35.
The demonstration also calls on workers at Alenia Aermacchi and all weapons producers to rejects employment based threats and to work to convert factories from producing instruments of death to socially beneficial and environmentally friendly products.
Moreover, local groups have called this national demonstration in opposition to the practice of war, which has intensified over the last 20 years, where military action is called “peace”, justified as an instrument of “preventive security” and to “export democracy”, and even defined as “humanitarian.”
“Humanitarian war” is instead an oxymoron: war causes nothing but death, injuries, destruction, generating hatred, resentment and revenge, it is the most inhumane act imaginable.
There will never be peace as long as the most profitable industry is that of producing weapons and instruments of death.
Participants include Father Alex Zanotelli, Prof. Massimo De Santi, Prof. Mauro Cristaldi, dr Mario Agostinelli and former Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini.
Endorsements and statements of support can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Varese organizing committee:
Valeria “Monique” Alvarado was killed on a residential street at 1 p.m. Friday. Border Patrol officials claim the woman driving the vehicle “assaulted” the officer by running him down with her car. The on-duty agent was responding to a felony warrant in the area, which was unrelated to Alvarado.
“The suspect was armed with a vehicle, and literally ran our agent down,” CBP Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott told NBC San Diego. “He was carried several hundred yards before he discharged his weapon through the windshield of the vehicle.”
Border Patrol officials claim that the agent ended up on the hood of the car after being struck – but multiple witnesses told reporters that they never saw the man anywhere close to being on the car. As the agent opened fire on the woman at least six times, the woman reversed in an attempt to get away from the approaching officer’s gunfire.
“As the car was backing up the officer was in the street walking toward the car, and discharging,” a witness said. The agent was dressed in plain clothes and was not displaying a badge.
“Without her even able to say a word – I didn’t hear anything – [he] just came across and just shot at the windshield many times,” Ashley Guilbeay told KMFB-TV.
Family members of the shooting victim argue that the mother of five would never intentionally hurt anyone – and that the officer overreacted by shooting her to death.
“My wife got killed for no reason,” Gilbert Alvarado told NBC 7. “Show me that my wife had a gun or something that threatened the guy’s life where he had to use lethal force against her.”
Witnesses say Alvarado may have accidentally hit the agent with her car and panicked when he pulled out a gun.
“The whole [thing] didn’t look right,” witness Ayanna Evans said.
Family and friends of the victim are demanding justice for the woman whose death leaves five children between the ages of 3-17 years motherless. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is working with Alvarado’s family to make sure the Border Patrol’s investigation is transparent.
Alvarado was a US citizen who was not wanted by law enforcement authorities, which Christian Ramirez of the Southern Border Community Coalition calls “troubling.”
“I don’t think it should have [gone] down like that. I don’t think she should have been shot,” a neighbor told NBC 7.
The US has reportedly deployed six MV-22 Osprey helicopter-plane hybrids on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa in the face of widespread opposition on the part of the Japanese people against the deployment.
On Monday, the aircraft were flown from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in western Japan to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, DPA reported.
Six such aircraft remain in the Iwakuni base. The 12 aircraft had been transferred from the US to Japan in July.
Okinawa has become known as the site of enduring tensions with the US forces deployed there, and hence a lasting source of conflict between Washington and Tokyo. Pacifist inclinations as well as security and safety concerns have prompted the Japanese to protest against the deployment.
On September 9, tens of thousands of people rallied in the country against the prospect.
The Osprey is equipped with rotors that facilitate take-off like a helicopter and engines that can tilt forward, powering it to fly like an airplane at much faster speed than a chopper.
It is considered pivotal to Washington’s ambitions of force realignment in Asia-Pacific, and enables the US marines to fly farther and with bigger loads from Okinawa to remote islands in Japan.
The aircraft, however, has had multiple malfunctions and many accidents since its early years in 1990s. Osprey crashes killed two in Morocco and an entire crew in Florida this year.
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has also argued against the Osprey’s safety, and warned that the Futenma base is located in residential areas.
- You: Osprey test rides fail to placate opponents (japantimes.co.jp)
- UPDATE2: Osprey to be moved to Okinawa Mon., U.S. tells Japan (english.kyodonews.jp)
- Tens of thousands protest in Okinawa against Osprey deployment (japantimes.co.jp)
- Nakaima pushes to nix Osprey deployment (japantimes.co.jp)
- 100,000 Okinawa islanders tell US to keep ‘unsafe’ Osprey plane away (morningstaronline.co.uk)
Next to exit Russia should be the National Endowment for Democracy
Russia’s decision to shut down the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Moscow, starting October 1st, was immediately followed by Washington’s “pledge to maneuver around the Kremlin,” according to a New York Times report.
Indeed, State Department Press Secretary Victoria Nuland assured: “We will continue to be vigilant in supporting democracy, human rights, civil society in Russia. We’ll just do it another way.” Other US officials named possible avenues for such maneuvering: The National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and others.
Let’s take a closer look at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an umbrella organization that includes the two aforementioned institutes. It came to existence in quite a peculiar a way: US Code Title 22, ‘Foreign Relations and Intercourse,’ section 4411, ‘Findings,’ states, “The Congress finds that there has been established in the District of Columbia a private, nonprofit corporation known as the National Endowment for Democracy which is not an agency or establishment of the United States Government.”
How exactly did this happen, that Congress found this agency suddenly established?
The Reagan administration, after coming to power in 1981, was looking for a civilian cover for conducting subversive operations in the USSR after a vast plot involving the CIA funding of public organizations was uncovered by investigative journalists. As President of NED Carl Gershman stated in 1986, “We should not have to do this kind of work covertly. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created.” (The New York Times, June 1, 1986.)
One of NED’s architects was Walter Raymond, Jr. According to the Washington Post, “From 1970 to 1982, he worked for the CIA, becoming an authority on overseas media operations.” In 1982, Raymond transferred to the National Security Council as Senior Director of International Communications and Information. In Gershman’s doublespeak, that reads as: “He was the democracy person at the White House, and his job, among other things, was to help the NED family take its first steps.” (Carl Gershman’s tribute to Walt Raymond, April 24, 2003, http://www.ned.org)
This new ‘private’ corporation was concocted in other ‘private’ circles as well. The establishment of NED was recommended by the Democracy Program, a project of the American Political Foundation that consisted of a “broad cross-section of participants in American politics and foreign policy making.” The seed funding for the Democracy Program came from, naturally, USAID.
NED has been funded by the US Congress ever since, initially through the US Information Agency. After 1999, NED got its funds through the Department of State’s Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act. In 2011, the NED budget totaled $118 million, and $104 million this year. Just like any other government agency, NED directs its annual reports to the president and Congress. And one of NED’s founding fathers, Allen Weinstein, even confessed to the Washington Post in 1991 that, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Who is running NED? Carl Gershman has held this position for almost thirty years, since 1984. What better shows to show Washington’s continuity, where “people is policy.”
NED is supervised at the State Department by an Assistant Secretary in charge of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Barry F. Lowenkron held this position and oversaw NED from 2005 to 2007. According to his official biography, prior to this appointment Mr. Lowenkron served in the intelligence community, including two tours as Director of European Security Affairs on the National Security Council (1988-89, 1991-93 – both critical times in Russia); Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence; Director of the National Intelligence Council’s Analytic Staff; Civilian Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and other similar positions,
Michael Posner currently supervises NED at the State Department. Previously, Mr. Posner was president of Human Rights First, whose stated mission is to “advance universal rights and freedoms.” Every year, Human Rights First presents their ‘Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders’ award. In 2008, Posner gave this award to a coordinator of Oborona, a leading Russian movement in the effort to foment a color revolution and oust Vladimir Putin.
NED is so clearly part of the US government that legislators had to pass a specific law stating that it was not. ‘Private’ organizations like NED are nothing but funding channels for activities that used to be run by the CIA under the title of ‘subversion.’ The fact that Washington is planning to redirect USAID funding through ‘private’ organizations reflects an outrageous level of disrespect for the decision of the Russian government.
Russia needs to enforce its decision and shut operations of NED and its all four mandated grantees, namely the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). The process of concealing an institution’s income or funding is called money laundering, and is forbidden by international law.
- Pro-Israel Groups Support Malaysian Opposition (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali on Sunday denied media reports that Egypt had agreed to Arab military intervention in violence-wracked Syria.
Earlier on Sunday, Seif Abdel-Fattah, an aide to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, reportedly told the Turkish Anadoul news agency that Egypt was considering a Qatari proposal for Arab military intervention in Syria aimed at ending the 18-month-long conflict there.
Abdel-Fattah was also quoted as saying that Egyptian and Qatari officials were expected to discuss the proposal “soon,” adding that non-Arab Turkey might also be involved in the initiative.
According to Anadoul, the presidential aide went on to say that Morsi, during his current visit to Turkey, was attempting to drum up support for the Qatari scheme with his Turkish interlocutors.
Yet Ali insisted that Arab intervention in Syria remained “out of the question.” He added that Egypt’s rejection of military involvement in Syria remained unchanged, stressing that statements made by anyone other than the president or his official spokesman did not reflect Egypt’s official policy.
On Sunday, Morsi visited Turkey for the first time in his capacity as Egypt’s president, where he delivered an address at the annual meeting of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.
Bahrain’s highest court on Monday upheld jail terms issued against nine medics convicted for their role in last year’s pro-democracy uprising, state news agency BNA reported, a decision that could further fuel unrest in the Gulf Arab state.
The controversial case has drawn international criticism of the US-backed Gulf Arab kingdom, which has been in turmoil since the protests erupted in February last year.
BNA quoted Attorney General Abdul-Rahman al-Sayed as saying that Bahrain’s Court of Cassation rejected all appeals presented by the defendants and confirmed the previous rulings of prison terms ranging between one month to five years.
In June, the appeals court sentenced Ali al-Ekry, former senior surgeon at the Salmaniya hospital in Manama, to five years in jail.
Al-Ekri was found guilty of “possession and concealment of white weaponry (non-firearms) to serve a terrorist purpose, and for illegal assembly,” the statement said.
“We did not get a fair trial…We think we are a card being used by the regime to negotiate with the opposition,” he told Reuters by telephone from Manama.
Ibrahim Damastani, who received a three-year jail term, was found guilty of “possession of a white weapon and illegal assembly.”
The remaining seven medics, who were convicted of lesser crimes, including illegal assembly and inciting hatred, were given sentences of between one month and one year.
This was the final verdict and no other appeals will be heard. All nine medics have been free on bail since September last year.
The medics were first charged and convicted by a quasi military court specially formed in the aftermath of the government’s brutal crackdown of the anti-government protests in March 2011.
Many initially received much harsher sentences of up to 15 years.
Only the two medics who remain at large, Ali Hassan al-Sadadi and Qassim Imran, still face 15-year prison terms since neither appealed the original verdicts. They are believed to be in hiding or to have left the country.
The doctors were released last year after an outcry over allegations of torture during detention.
Mohammed al-Maskati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said Monday’s verdict was final with no recourse for further appeal but there might be still a chance for a pardon by the king.
The medics’ case highlights the schism in Bahraini society over the protest movement and political reform.
The doctors and nurses say they were victimized for treating protesters and helping bring world attention to deaths caused by security forces.
Washington and rights groups have criticized the June ruling, with Amnesty International saying it was a “dark day for justice.”
The verdicts follow an earlier trial at a military court in September, 2011 which sentenced 20 medics to prison terms of between five and 15 years on charges including theft of medical equipment, occupying a hospital and incitement to topple the state.
The ruling Al Khalifa family used martial law and help of Saudi-led Gulf troops, to put down last year’s uprising. Thousands were arrested and military trials were instituted during the martial law period.
Washington has called on its ally to talk to the opposition, but unrest continues. Protesters and police clash almost daily.
Seventeen-year-old Ali Hussein Nemat was killed during clashes with police on Friday.
At least 80 people have been killed and thousands detained since the uprising began, according to media sources and human rights organizations.
(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)