The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), being held in Tanzania, has sentenced a former Rwandan civic leader to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to involvement in the 1994 genocide. Vincent Rutaganira, 60, is the fourth man to have pleaded guilty before the tribunal. Former Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda was the first to plead guilty, and is serving his life sentence in Mali.
Twenty-two imprisoned militants of the Abu Sayyaf group and at least 17 others are dead in the Philippines, 24 hours after they launched a rebellion at Camp Bagong Diwa maximum security prison at in Taguig City. The dead are said to include three top Abu Sayyaf leaders, Alhamser Limbong (alias Kumander Kosovo); Ghalib Andang (Kumander Robot); and Nadjmi Sabdula (Kumander Global). Authorities reporteldy gave the militants a non-extendable 15-minute deadline to lay down their weapons and surrender before launching the assualt.
In Nam Khem, a poor coastal village in Thailand, when displaced survivors returned to the ruins to search for the remains of their loved ones and rebuild their homes, they found the area had been sealed off my armed men. The thugs told them the land now belonged to the "Big Boss," a nameless real estate speculator who had been battling for control of the land in the courts for years, hoping to cash in on the local boom in tourist resorts.
Two US soldiers have now been charged in the deaths of two Afghan prisoners who died in US custody in December 2002, after they were apparently chained to the ceiling before being savagely beaten at the Bagram Control Point, just north of Kabul. (NYT, March 12)
As previously noted here, a CIA contract agent charged in a similar case plans to cite Bush in his defense.
Linden Corrica, an immigrant father and husband from Guyana living in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, pleaded guilty to selling ten dollars worth of marijuana in exchange for a 20-day sentence in September 2003. But after serving his time at NYC's Rikers Island prison, he was transfered to an out-of-state federal detention facility to await deportation. Having exhausted all his appeals, he is now about to be deported—despite a psychiatric evaluation of the emotional problems his seven-year-old daughter has suffered since his detention.
Brazil's ruling Workers' Party rejected a claim by a leading weekly magazine that Colombia's FARC guerrillas donated $5 million to its candidates for the 2002 elections. In an eight-page cover story, Veja magazine said that it had been given access to secret documents of Brazil's Intelligence Agency (ABIN) showing that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) offered aid. Veja said that a FARC representative in Brazil, Father Oliverio Medina, made the offer during a meeting on April 13, 2002, at a small farm outside Brasilia. A secret service agent infiltrated the meeting. In a statement March 12, Workers' Party President Jose Genoino contradicted the Veja story, headlined "FARC's tentacles in Brazil," calling it irresponsible and stating that the allegations lacked proof. He said that Veja failed to print any documents showing financial links between the Workers Party and FARC. (Reuters, March 13)
Three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement were arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn while engaged in the legal monitoring of police activities. They have been falsely charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and obstructing governmental operations. (Our Time Press, reprinted by the NY Independent Press Association, Feb.