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August 27, 2012

Israeli soldiers break silence over their systematic brutality against children

Israel breaks silence over army abuses - Middle East - World - The Independent
He lifts his black Boss T-shirt to show another scar running some three inches down his back from the left shoulder when he says he was violently pushed – twice – against a sharp point of the cast-iron balustrade beside the steps leading up to the front door. And all that before he says he was dragged 300m to another house by a unit commander who threatened to kill him if he did not confess to throwing stones at troops, had started to beat him again, and at one point held a gun to his head. "He was so angry," says Hafez. "I was certain that he was going to kill me." This is just one young man's story, of course. Except that – remarkably – it is corroborated by one of the soldiers who came looking for him that morning. One of 50 testimonies on the military's treatment of children – published today by the veterans' organisation Breaking the Silence – describes the same episode, if anything more luridly than Hafez does. "We had a commander, never mind his name, who was a bit on the edge," the soldier, a first sergeant, testifies. "He beat the boy to a pulp, really knocked him around. He said: 'Just wait, now we're taking you.' Showed him all kinds of potholes on the way, asked him: 'Want to die? Want to die right here?' and the kid goes: 'No, no...' He was taken into a building under construction. The commander took a stick, broke it on him, boom boom. That commander had no mercy. Anyway the kid could no longer stand on his feet and was already crying. He couldn't take it any more. He cried. The commander shouted: 'Stand up!' Tried to make him stand, but from so much beating he just couldn't. The commander goes: 'Don't put on a show,' and kicks him some more." Two months ago, a report from a team of British lawyers, headed by Sir Stephen Sedley and funded by the UK Foreign Office, accused Israel of serial breaches of international law in its military's handling of children in custody. The report focused on the interrogation and formal detention of children brought before military courts – mainly for allegedly throwing stones. . . .

August 26, 2012

New York state Supreme Court justice furious over cover-up of cop throat-punching him

The judge was witnessing an altercation. He pulled out his phone to call 911 to get the cops backup and a nearby cop--allegedly--became enraged at taunts people in he crowd were shouting and punched the state Supreme Court Justice in the throat. And now all the cops on the scene say the Supreme Justice is lying. Judge Thomas Raffaele's Alleged NYPD Attacker Won't Face Criminal Charges
No criminal charges will be filed against an NYPD officer accused of violently striking a New York state Supreme Court justice in the throat in an unprovoked attack earlier this summer, the Queens district attorney said Wednesday. Judge Thomas Raffaele, who reported the alleged assault, called the DA's decision "shocking" and accused the NYPD officers involved of lying to cover up their misconduct. "For this to happen, for me to be attacked by a cop -- and for the cops to do this huge cover up -- it's really changing my view of the force," Raffaele told The Huffington Post. Raffaele said he is strongly considering filing a lawsuit against the police department over the alleged attack. "It may be that there is no other option," he said. In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said his office lacked the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer "intentionally and unjustifiably" struck the judge. "We find that there is insufficient evidence of criminality to support a charge that the police officer acted with intent to injure," Brown said. . . .