"On the 23rd of November 2006 Alexander Litvinenko died due to suspected deliberate poisoning with polonium-210."
~ Wikipedia, Radiation Poisoning.
~ Wikipedia, Radiation Poisoning.
First of all, I mentioned earlier that when more news surrounding the banning of a discussion of Ocalan's book from the House of Commons was available, I would write something. Well, today, Mark Thomas let the cat out of the bag, from the New Statesman:
Now consider this. The Welsh Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd was to host a book launch in Parliament on 20 February. The book, "Prison Writings: The roots of civilisation", is published by Pluto Press and is written by Abdullah Ocalan, and the book was Ocalan’s submission to the European Court of Human Rights.
The invites were sent, the room was organised, when out of the blue the Serjeant at Arms office phoned Mr. Llwyd’s office saying that the book launch shouldn’t go ahead as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had sent a letter to him informing him that Mr. Ocalan was a terrorist and muttering about how it could be "glorifying acts of terrorism". So it was that the FCO managed to cancel a Parliamentary launch of a legal submission to the European Court of Human Rights. All of which seems a little, well, nuts really. You can’t beat terrorism by banning book launches.
Much more at the link, so please peruse.
Basically, what happened was the UK's Foreign Ministry--the equivalent of the US State Department--threatened a member of Parliament with the "glorification of terror" clause of the UK's current anti-terror law in order to silence a discussion of Ocalan's submission to the ECHR. So, if a member of Parliament is threatened into silence by the British government, it's probably a hell of a lot worse for the average Joe or Jane on the street. For all practical purposes, this means the the freedom of expression is dead in the UK, thanks to the Blair government, which also happens to be Turkey's strongest backer for EU accession. EU accession, as has been preached to us endlessly, is supposed to be the only chance for Kurds to gain any measure of "democracy"--whatever definition that word is supposed to have given the circumstances surrounding this scandal.
Right. I know I believe them.
Second item: It would appear that the Ankara regime has been slowly poisoning the Prisoner of Imrali with radioactive materials, specifically strontium. According to an analysis of Ocalan's hair samples, results show that the level of strontium in Ocalan's body measures 115 ng/mg. Normal levels are between 0.6 - 14.4 ng/mg.
According to a statement on the analysis by a Professor of Medicine and registered toxicologist in Norway:
Bone marrow effects are the most serious immediate consequences of exposure to high levels of radioactive strontium. Depending on the dose incorporation into bone may result in hypoplasia of the haematopoietic tissue and pancytopenia, i.e. anemia, immune system depression and depression of blood platelets, the latter resulting in bleeding tendency. The severity will depend on the dose. At lower doses white blood cells will occur with weakened immune functions as a result.
Internally deposited radionuclides, such as radioactive strontium, is classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Long term exposure and effects relate to radiation induced cancer in tissues adjacent to bone and haematopoietic cells in bone marrow are especially vulnerable with increased risk of leukaemia. The risk is dependent on the actual radiation dose.
More, from the Nuclear Energy Institute:
The chemical toxicity of the stable isotopes of strontium is considered to be quite low. Strontium poisoning is rare and in most instances accidental. Current interest in the toxicity of strontium is related to the radioactive isotope, Sr-90, which is present in radioactive fallout as a fission product, remains available for an extended period because of its 28.1-year half-life, and has been implicated as a causative agent in bone cancer and leukemia.
In fact, most of the discussion in the NEI document has to do with strontium poisoning as a result of radioactive fallout. When did Imrali Island end up downwind of an atomic blast?
The good news is that KHRP has taken up the issue:
Kurdish Human Rights Project
Telephone Walter Jayawardene, Resources and Communications Coordinator at +44 (0) 207 405 3835
1 March 2007
Press Release: For immediate release
KHRP Calls for Investigation after Fresh Evidence Raises Concern for Health of Abdullah Öcalan
According to information recently provided to the Kurdish Human Rights Project Legal Team, a hair sample of Abdullah Öcalan's has recently been obtained through covert means which (because of a need to protect the source), the KHRP Legal Team is not at this stage at liberty to disclose.
The samples have been submitted for testing and according to a report from a leading European professor of pharmacology and senior public health official “the [body sample] analysed has elevated levels of chromium (moderately elevated) and of strontium (markedly elevated)”.
Although the professor identifies some uncertainty because the amount of sample was small, he expresses the conclusion that “it seems very likely that the subject from whom the…sample originates has been exposed to a high dose of strontium acutely and/or chronically”.
These matters clearly require further investigation but given their potential importance to Mr Öcalan's health, the KHRP Legal Team has considered that it is appropriate to draw them to the attention of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (the CPT) at the first opportunity. The KHRP has in the past argued that it would be appropriate for Mr Öcalan to have access to independent medical advice and this latest information only underscores the merit of such a course in order to provide some certainty as to the position.
The CPT has visited Imrali Island in the past to monitor Mr Öcalan's conditions of detention and has made a series of recommendations for the improvement of his conditions.
The KHRP Legal Team has also drawn its concerns to the European Court of Human Rights in the context of Mr Öcalan's ongoing complaint that his conditions of detention violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Kurdish Human Rights Project
11 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1DH
Tel: 020 7405 3835
Given its many successes at the ECHR, it is an extremely important move that KHRP has called for further investigation. Such an investigation must be carried out by a neutral party.
Never happy with having to do away with the death penalty, has the Ankara regime been carrying out its own, unique form of capital punishment, slowly and over a period of eight years now? Was the Ankara regime going to make it look like death by leukemia or bone cancer? Isn't a slow death the kind that the regime promised? Ocalan's lawyers are being diplomatic in their statement:
We, as the lawyers of Mr Ocalan, have grave concerns over the results of the samples which were taken under extremely difficult conditions. As yet, we do not have any knowledge as to what the source of these elements which are at an alarming level stem from, for what period these have existed at this level and what effects it has had on our client. However we do believe that our client’s life is under a serious and a grave risk. We do believe that the scientific results at hand are enough to allege this. Under the present circumstances we are only able to shed light onto this dimension of the truth. It is utterly important that the results attained be investigated by an independent and international delegation of experts and a new analysis should be held under better conditions so that the situation can be completely clarified. However, we do insist that such an investigation must be held immediately and urgently.
I, on the other hand, am no diplomat. The Ankara regime is fully responsible for everything that happens to its prisoners, and at this moment, in this case, it looks like they have been purposely poisoning Ocalan in order to bring about a death that would appear innocuous.
This is the same regime that is directly responsible for the murder of 40,000 Kurds in the last decade. What's one more?
As a reminder, Ocalan is not the only prisoner to be abused by the Turkish system.
Many thanks to the heval who alerted me to these new developments. I guess that's the advantage when you live several time zones ahead--you get to see all the news first.