Tag Archives: prison

Nazanin to go back before Iranian court to face new charges – linked to Johnson’s blunder

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman has become a pawn in an international power struggle.


Just when it seemed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s Iranian prison ordeal was coming to an end, she’s being dragged back into court.

And that country’s officials have taken great pleasure in letting us know that her plight is due to blundering Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime muppet.

Johnson was the idiot who blurted out in Parliament – in 2017, when he was Foreign Secretary – that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “training journalists”.

She had been doing nothing of the kind.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, she had been doing nothing more sinister than visiting her family for the Persian New Year celebration when she was arrested in 2016.

But the Iranian authorities seized on Johnson’s idiotic remark and threatened to use it to add five more years to her five-year prison sentence.

Now – three years after Johnson misspoke, it seems they have decided to follow through on the threat:

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife will appear in court on Sunday accused of “spreading propaganda against the regime” in Iran.

Apparently that’s how they describe the teaching of journalism – which she wasn’t doing in any event.

Of course we all know that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment has more to do with the £400 million that the UK government owes to Iran.

It could not be paid before because of international sanctions – but when Boris Johnson’s career was in danger, it seems such concerns evaporated.

How contrary, then, for us to find that the money has not been paid, apparently because Johnson doesn’t want to upset Donald Trump.

Johnson, it seems, wanted to wait until after the US presidential election on November 3 because he wanted to know whether Trump would still be US president before taking action.

So the Iranian decision to go back to court now has put him in a particularly sticky situation.

Will he pay up and get Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe back?

Or will he delay, to stay on the right side of Donald Trump?

I think we all know the answer to that. Johnson is the runt of international politics.

When powerful people squabble, it is always the innocents who suffer.

Source: New Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe charges linked to Boris Johnson’s infamous gaffe – Mirror Online

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Extended jail term plan will lead to disaster

Behind bars: Boris Johnson’s plan for extended jail terms – stretching overstrained prisons beyond their limits – is criminal. But Johnson seems immune to punishment.

Conservatives can’t run prisons.

We all know this – right?

They tried privatising prisons and the cuts imposed by the privateers (in order to make a profit) meant wardens could not keep control.

Consider the failure to control drug use or even to stop drugs being passed into prisons.

Overcrowding led to unrest and even the occasional riot.

Now Boris Johnson has announced an intention to extend jail terms, meaning even more people will be packed into our limited prison space.

Or is he going to build more (like he promised to build more hospitals)?

Even if he achieved this – and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting – would he not simply turn them over to private companies that would cock it all up again?

Yes, of course he would.

The UK’s prime minister is deliberately plotting a disaster for the justice system.

Or is there evidence that I am mistaken?

Source: Watchdog warns of prison overcrowding as Boris Johnson vows to extend jail terms | The Independent

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Did the DWP’s cruel trick force a man into crime?

Faceless: The DWP has developed an attitude in which its employees don’t care what happens to the people relying on them. They just process the numbers.

I don’t think Carl Poynton’s story is unique. The DWP is supposed to help people survive but since the Tories took over this has become a cruel pretence.

Released from prison on Christmas Eve, he applied for benefits – but the length of time it takes the Department to process an application meant he was sure to run out of money long before any payment arrived.

So he applied for the short-term benefit advance loan that is offered to claimants in dire need, even though it meant he would have to pay the money back from any benefit award he received.

The DWP said he was eligible for such a loan…

… and then offered him eight pence.

He was left with no alternative – as far as he could tell – other than shoplifting.

A man who needed money until his benefits were sorted was offered a loan of 8p by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). This is Lancashire reported that Carl Poynton ended up in court for shoplifting after the DWP’s decision.

The Canary story quotes a report by the Prison Reform Trust that says nearly half of adults are convicted of another offence within a year of release.

With government help like this, is it any wonder?

Source: The DWP agreed a man needed money until his benefits were sorted and then offered him 8p | The Canary

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Did disablist bullying lead to the death of this prisoner?

Dead: Liridan Saliuka was pronounced dead after being found on the floor of his prison cell. Was it the result of disablist bullying?

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is to investigate after a disabled man was found dead in a cell – possibly after being bullied.

Liridon Saliuka was found in his cell in Belmarsh Prison on January 2. The Prison service confirmed he had died.

He had been imprisoned on remand, charged with murder – although he had protested his innocence and intention to clear his name.

He underwent extensive reconstructive surgery after a car crash two years ago, and was given metal plates that made it difficult for him to walk or stand still for long periods.

A surgeon’s report had concluded that he should be considered as “permanently disabled”.

But this seems to have been ignored by the minions of Her Majesty’s Government, who moved him from a special cell – with an orthopaedic mattress – to a standard cell.

His sister Dita reported that he had said this was so uncomfortable for him that he was sleeping on the floor.

She also said the claim by the authorities that his death was self-inflicted is unlikely to be true, as he had always said people who committed suicide were weak and selfish.

Isn’t this just further evidence of disablist discrimination by the Tory government and its minions?

Source: Investigation after prisoner found dead in cell at Belmarsh | UK news | The Guardian

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Remember Nazanin? Johnson doesn’t – so other Brits on hunger strike in Iran will be ignored

Imprisoned: British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert is one of many UK (or part-UK) citizens languishing in an Iranian prison because Boris Johnson is too busy sunning himself to do anything about it.

Richard Ratcliffe wrote about this back in November, when we had a chance to bring in a government that would help UK citizens wrongly convicted in foreign lands.

He referred to the fact that, after his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed on a false charge of spying, others have also been arrested, accused and imprisoned.

In an open letter to Boris Johnson, he wrote: “Other British Iranians have been arrested and sentenced, particularly in Spring 2018 and again this summer.

“The UK now has more prisoners held in Evin prison than any of its allies.”

Mr Johnson had worsened Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s situation when he made a false statement about her in Parliament, which the Iranian government had seized, intending to use it to double her five-year sentence.

The Iranian government has linked her plight with its demand for the payment of an arms debt said to be owed by the UK to Iran (from a government company called IMS).

As Mr Ratcliffe stated, the Iranian government has also arrested other British, or part-British, citizens.

Among these are Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, held in Evin prison since 2018 on a 10-year sentence for spying.

She has now begun a hunger strike, alongside French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah.

It won’t do her any good. Nazanin went on hunger strike, along with her husband, last year. It attracted no interest – from either the Iranian government or the British.

We may hope that the Australian government has more concern for the welfare of its joint citizens than the British under Boris Johnson. He couldn’t care less.

And Nazanin?

She celebrated (if you can call it that) her birthday on December 26:

Neither Boris Johnson nor Dominic Raab have any interest in helping Nazanin, let alone Ms Moore-Gilbert.

Boris Johnson is working harder on his suntan, over in the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

The UK had a chance to elect a government that takes the welfare of its citizens more seriously – but we blew it.

Let us hope, for Ms Moore-Gilbert’s sake, that the Australian government takes its duties more seriously.

Source: Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert on hunger strike in Iranian jail | Australia news | The Guardian

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Will Gove’s scaremongering put Boris Johnson in prison?

Behind bars: Considering all of the evidence, including his own behaviour in the weeks leading up to the vote on October 19, and Michael Gove’s decision to trigger Operation Yellowhammer, will a Scottish judge put Boris Johnson in prison?

Michael Gove has triggered Operation Yellowhammer – the Tory government’s contingency plan for a “no deal” Brexit, saying we cannot be sure the European Council will grant the Brexit delay that Boris Johnson has requested.

Why would he scaremonger like that? There’s no reason for the European Council to turn down the request.

Or is Mr Gove suggesting that the EU should pay more attention to Mr Johnson’s second letter, which states that he would prefer that a delay should be refused?

Won’t that put Mr Johnson in contempt of court?

He promised the Court of Session in Scotland that he would adhere to the provisions of the so-called Benn Act, meaning he would send a letter requesting a delay if Parliament did not pass his deal on October 19.

He has indeed sent such a letter – although unsigned. He also sent another missive asking the European Council to ignore the first – signed.

Today (October 21), Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, will rule on whether these actions constitute contempt of court.

Potential punishments could include a fine or even imprisonment.

It is possible that sanctions may be suspended to allow the prime minister to comply with the court’s ruling. But this might be a little difficult as the time for compliance was October 19.

And the fact that Mr Gove has triggered “no deal” preparations in the belief that the EU will not grant an extension, and his boss won’t get Parliament to pass his deal, suggests a belief in an intention to sabotage the Benn Act conditions at the very least.

Source: Michael Gove triggers no-deal Brexit contingency plans | Politics | The Guardian

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Johnson and Patel’s police state takes shape

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: They’re telling us they want to restore law and order – but are they simply planning for the effects of a ‘no deal’ Brexit or positioning for a general election?

Boris Johnson has announced a tightening of security in prisons, to go with yesterday’s increase in funding for lawyers to deal with violent crime cases, and a review – and toughening – of  prison sentences.

This Writer cannot help but notice that these announcements, along with a plan to build more prisons, are arriving alongside news that the UK’s economy has hit a downturn.

Economic activity fell in the second quarter of 2019 – for the first time since 2012. And unemployment has risen by 31,000.

Is Boris Johnson planning for unrest after a ‘no deal’ Brexit that harms jobs and our way of life?

Well, no. The worst part of this is that he probably isn’t.

The one-off payment of £100 million might help in the short term, but Labour’s shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon has described it as “tinkering at the edges”.

And the Howard League for Penal Reform said prisons have become centres of crime and violence and drugs, and the Tory government need to “pour good money after bad” (provide continuous funding) to solve a problem it has created.

The Crown Prosecution Service will receive £85 million to help it prosecute violent offenders – but the Criminal Bar Association has said that this will not seriously improve a system that has been “severely underfunded” by Conservative governments of the last nine years.

It has led to a situation in which “those who commit crime walk free and the innocent risk being convicted”, the organisation has said.

These claims follow assertions that the promise of 10,000 new prison places will not be enough; courts will order criminals to serve tougher sentences before those places become available, meaning that there will still be too few.

We can only conclude that these announcements do not indicate a serious commitment to tackle crime.

So why make them?

One theory is that the prime minister we call BoJob is trying to discourage people from participating in civil unrest if a ‘no deal’ Brexit takes place on October 31.

The thinking would be that a show of sabre-rattling now might reduce violence later.

But we’re being told that, even with the new funding, the authorities would not be equipped to deal with such unrest. So that plan has backfired.

The alternative – and far more likely – is that these announcements are simply attempts to position the Conservatives as the “Party of Law and Order” once more in the run-up to an autumn election.

The government has denied any intention of calling an election – which of course makes it more likely in the mind of a general public that is used to Tories who say one thing and then do another.

And of course there is a possibility that Mr Johnson will be forced into an election after an early vote of no confidence in his government.

September 9 is the date this is most likely to happen, we’re told – less than a month away.

Make a note in your diary.

Source: Prisons: Boris Johnson pledges £100m to boost security – BBC News

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Johnson announces new prison places and extension of stop/search police powers. Why?

Is this just electioneering?

An extra 10,000 new prison places will be created and stop-and-search powers expanded, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised.

The first new prison in the £2.5bn programme will be at HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire, where expansion plans have previously been announced.

Last month, the government also pledged to recruit 20,000 extra police officers, nearly replacing the number of officers lost since the Conservatives returned to power.

But the 20,000 new police places were quickly debunked; the additions will add nothing to police ranks once natural wastage has been taken into account.

The Ministry of Justice has already said it was on course to create 3,360 places at two new prisons by 2023 and the Prison Reform Trust said the suggestion that all 10,000 newly-announced places really were new was “misleading” given earlier announcements.

The trust said prisons needed 12,000 more places just to eliminate overcrowding and accommodate new prisoners who have already been sentenced – and the announcement would increase the use of imprisonment before the capacity to provide it had been created.

As for stop-and-search powers – these had been reined in by Theresa May’s government after it was revealed that they are sometimes misused and that they disproportionately target black people – who were 9.5 times more likely to be searched than white people.

Now, a pilot scheme making it easier for police to search people without reasonable suspicion, in places where serious violence may occur, is being extended to all 43 forces across England and Wales.

But the results of the pilot scheme are not fully known yet. It is possible that the new measure will expose innocent citizens to even more abuse.

And this is the reason some commentators believe these pledges are just electioneering ploys.

They believe it is more likely that Boris Johnson wants his government to present the appearance of being tough on crime, in order to gain an electoral advantage.

The aim may be to contrive a public relations victory – painting the Tories as the “Party of Law and Order” once again, while Labour would be cast as opponents of these measures.

But Labour has in fact been calling for action to tackle violent crime for a considerable period of time.

The all-party Parliamentary group on knife crime was founded (and is chaired) by Labour MP Sarah Jones.

When she appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday evening (August 11), it seemed clear that she did not approve of the measures announced by Mr Johnson and his Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

So perhaps this is just an election strategy. We’ll find out soon.

Source: PM to create 10,000 new prison places and extend stop-and-search – BBC News

‘Tommy Robinson’ to serve remainder of his original sentence for contempt of court

This was no surprise.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the far-right activist better-known by his stage name ‘Tommy Robinson’, has been sent to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence for contempt of court.

He had already served two months of a 13-month sentence when his lawyers managed to have him released on appeal, but a subsequent repeat trial confirmed his guilt.

As prisoners serve only half their sentences these days, those two months took four off the sentence the judge at the Old Bailey handed down today (July 11). He was ordered to serve nine months but will probably be out in four and a half.

Yaxley-Lennon is on record as claiming that the UK’s prisons are now run by Islamist terrorists, and that jailing him is the equivalent of a death sentence.

He appealed to Donald Trump to grant him asylum in the United States, ignoring the hypocrisy in the fact that he said the UK should refuse to take refugees from other countries because they were criminals.

This Writer wonders what he will be saying after he has served his sentence – if he survives it against all his own predictions.

Will all these terrorists he fears so much radicalise him?

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Life sentence for Nazi who plotted to murder a Labour MP – and hard questions on anti-Semitism

This news is both good and puzzling.

It’s excellent that neo-Nazism in the UK has been dealt a blow with the imprisonment – for life – of a man who plotted to kill a Labour MP.

It is excellent for the UK – and hugely damaging for the vile movement to which Jack Renshaw belonged – that he was jailed for paedophilia also.

And it is terrific that, after years of high-profile accusations by pro-Israeli government organisations – against innocent people – we can now see what a real anti-Semite looks like.

He looks like this:

Jack Renshaw: This was taken at a National Action event in 2016. Why was it impossible to prove he was a member?

But it is puzzling that it was impossible to establish a link between Renshaw and banned Nazi organisation National Action, when the information that foiled his plot came from a man who met him through that organisation.

And isn’t it puzzling that, now someone who genuinely hates Jews has been found and jailed, nobody who claims to represent Jews against such hate has anything to say?

A neo-Nazi who planned to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper in a terrorist attack has been jailed for life.

Jack Renshaw, 23, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, must serve at least 20 years in prison.

A judge at the Old Bailey said Renshaw, who earlier admitted preparing an act of terror, wanted to “replicate” the murder of Jo Cox.

Renshaw made a Nazi salute towards supporters as he was led to the cells from the dock.

He pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to buying a machete to kill the West Lancashire MP and making threats to kill police officer Det Con Victoria Henderson.

A jury twice failed to reach a verdict on charges relating to his membership of banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Renshaw was … jailed for 16 months in June 2018 for four counts of grooming adolescent boys.

Renshaw was also jailed for three years in 2018 for stirring up racial hatred in two anti-Semitic speeches in 2016.

Source: Jack Renshaw: MP death plot neo-Nazi jailed for life – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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