Middle East Eye

US accused of cover-up over children and refugees killed by airstrike

A Syrian father has accused the American military of attempting to cover up the deaths of six of his children and the serious injury of two others in a US-led coalition air strike.

Standing amid the rubble of his former home, Muawiyya al-Amouri said that six of his children, aged between 10 months and 10 years old, and three members of a refugee family sharing their house, had died in the attack near Atmeh, a town close to the Turkish border, on 11 August.

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Al Jazeera

‘Shame on you Cameron!’ Sisi’s ‘red carpet welcome’ stirs up protests

London, United Kingdom – Egyptian opposition groups and human rights campaigners have called for the investigation and arrest of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and members of his entourage during his visit to London amid condemnation of the “red carpet” welcome extended by the British government to a leader accused of plunging his country into the worst human rights crisis in its history.

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Protesters brought traffic on Whitehall to a standstill on the eve of Sisi’s visit to Downing Street. [Photo: Simon Hooper]

Hundreds of protesters, including many Egyptian exiles, gathered on Wednesday evening outside 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence, where Sisi was due to meet David Cameron on Thursday morning, to express their opposition to the visit, carrying banners reading “Stop butcher el-Sisi” and “Killer Sisi not welcome in the United Kingdom”.

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Al Jazeera

UN investigating UK disability welfare reforms blamed for thousands of deaths

London, United Kingdom – The UK has become the first country in the world to be placed under investigation by the United Nations for violating the human rights of people with disabilities amid fears that thousands may have died as a consequence of controversial welfare reforms and austerity-driven cuts to benefits and care budgets.

UN inspectors are expected to arrive in the country within days to begin collecting evidence to determine whether the British government has committed “systematic and grave violations” of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

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Al Jazeera

Radicalisation monitoring software for schools lists Muslim activists as extremists

School children in the UK who search for words such as ‘caliphate’ and the names of Muslim political activists on classroom computers risk being flagged up as potential supporters of terrorism by monitoring software being marketed to teachers to help them spot students at risk of radicalisation.

[academyschools.blog.gov.uk]

[academyschools.blog.gov.uk]

The radicalisation keywords library has been developed by software company Impero as an add-on to its existing Education Pro digital classroom management tool to help schools comply with new duties requiring them to monitor children for extremism as part of the government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy.

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Al Jazeera

Activists clash with bailiffs in battle over disabled man’s home

London, United Kingdom – Housing activists mounted a last-ditch fight on Thursday to stop a disabled man from being forcibly evicted from his home and left with “nowhere to go” to make way for private properties to be sold off at prices unaffordable to most residents.

Mostafa Aliverdipour, 50, who has required a wheelchair since injuring his back in a car accident five years ago, and his family are the last residents still living on the Sweets Way Estate in Barnet, north London, where campaigners accuse the local council and developers of waging a campaign of “social cleansing” against the poor and vulnerable.

A court ruled on Wednesday the family could be evicted with immediate effect as bailiffs watched by police and emergency services moved onto the estate to remove dozens of activists and squatters, many of them homeless, who had been occupying some of the empty houses for the past few months.

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Al Jazeera

Toddlers targeted by UK ‘1984’-style anti-terror laws

Childcare workers in the UK are being encouraged to play the music of Freddie Mercury to babies and toddlers in their care in order to demonstrate their compliance with anti-terrorism laws requiring them to “actively promote British values”.

freddie mercury

Flying the flag for ‘British values’: Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946.

The suggestion can be found on an advice page for childminders published by an influential childcare website to help them fulfil new regulations introduced this month as part of the government’s controversial Prevent counter-terrorism strategy.

The requirements, which also affect nurseries and schools, place a statutory duty on childcare providers to report children who they believe may be susceptible to “radicalisation and extremism”, prompting some to liken the situation to ‘1984’, George Orwell’s novel about a totalitarian surveillance state.

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Middle East Eye

UK arts officials raised censorship concerns over cancelled ‘jihadi play’

Senior figures at Arts Council England, the UK’s main arts funding body, raised concerns that the controversial cancellation of a play about radicalisation amounted to censorship and discussed whether they should step in to “help find a way to get this play shown”, newly released emails have shown.

homegrown

The emails, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, also reveal criticism of the National Youth Theatre over its handling of ‘Homegrown’, a production set and staged in a London school which had been promoted as a highlight of the company’s summer season until its abrupt cancellation just days before its opening night.

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