Tag Archives: Prison

Assault On Prisoners In Sofia Central Prison, October 17 (Bulgaria)

via Brighton ABC:

Jock Palfreeman

Jock Palfreeman

Jock Palfreeman, a young Australian anti-fascist currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for defending 2 young Roma lads being brutally attacked by fascist thugs, was attacked along with a group of his fellow prisoners on October 17. here is a statement released by him:

“On the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association’s blog I have up until now not written much if anything about myself in an attempt to keep the Association’s blog neutral and equal for all issues and prisoners in Bulgaria and specifically Sofia Central Prison. However, I have done this at the expense of not reporting the prison’s attacks against myself for my unionism and solidarity with other prisoners, in an attempt to reform the corrupt prison administration, however on Thursday 17th of October an incident occurred involving myself that must be published.

At 8.30am a guard was counting prisoners for roll call, he quickly entered a cell and demanded that all 11 occupants exit the cell into the cold corridor, but before 10 of them could react he quickly left the cell and locked the door (the speed in which he left and locked the door made it evident that the guard was looking provocation). I Jock Palfreeman was not asleep but the guard did not see me as I had just exited the toilet and I was standing behind him in the guard’s blind spot, the guard swore at the 10 prisoners and said “now you’re going to see what will happen to you”.

However when the guard locked the cell door, I immediately banged on the door as it was getting close to when I had to go to my university studies at 9am. One of the guards shouted “you’re too late for roll call”, I replied “I’m not too late I have been up since 7am, you just didn’t see me as I just left the toilet, I was standing behind you”, the guard from the previous shift told me that he would open the door for me, but the guards started arguing with each other, one wanted to open the door, the other wouldn’t let him. The guards left the block at about 8.45am.

I sat down and waited to be let out to go to the study room, but at about 8.50am 50 guards rushed into the cell, took all of us out of the cell, 11 people, all of whom had not been in bed since the argument with the guard at 8.45am. The guards took all of us into the corridor and started viciously beating all of us. They used their boots, batons and also punches with their fists, they also took us by the hair and rammed our heads against the wall, myself included.

They lined us up against the wall and about 50 guards started beating everyone from behind. We were 3 Iranians, 6 Iraqis, 1 Sudanese and myself – Jock Palfreeman – citizen of Sofia Central Prison. The guards were comprised of two shifts, from the days of the 16th and the 17th. There were 2 commanding officers and 2 sub-commanding officers and the rest were normal prisoner guards.

During the attack I was shouting “this is a crime” and other prisoners were shouting “Why?”, because they did not speak Bulgarian, all they could say was “Why?”. After the attack had finished, I started to explain to the commanding officer that I didn’t have anything to do with any problem, the guard making the roll call had simply not seen me and that after I explained the situation to him he had refused to re-open the cell door again and that I had the right to go to the study room at 9am.

As I was explaining this, the same guard from the roll call, burst through the other guards, grabbed my shoulder from behind and started hitting me in the stomach and upper body. After this individual guard had finished beating me the commanding officer started threatening us, he said “I don’t care about the human rights organisations, I don’t care about your embassies, this is Bulgaria and we will beat you when we want”, I started to argue with him and he shouted “Shut up or I’ll cut off your beard and shave your head”, this threat perplexed me as it seemed out of context for the violent environment the guards had just put us through. I was shocked into silence as the threat was just so random and although very illegal, somewhat comical.

We were put back in the cell and the guards left. At 9.05am a group of us went to the bars that divide the block’s corridor from the stairs that leave to the block’s exit. Several prisoners wanted to go to the gym as it was their allocated time at 9am, others wanted to go to the Bulgarian language lessons also set at 9am, and I wanted to go to the study room for my own studies. But the same guard from the morning roll call refused to open the corridor gate and instead ran away. I believe that he thought that everyone was coming to him in a big group so as to seek revenge for his previous attack against 17th cell.

The guard was an old guard but new in Sofia Central Prison and so as is typical in Bulgarian institutions, none of his superiors properly instructed him to the fact that at 9am many prisoners have to leave the block to go to their respective activities (which aren’t many so should not have been hard to have known).

So the guard upon seeing people gathering around the gate ran and called the commanding officer thinking that a group was assembling for revenge for the guards’ earlier attack. We could hear him on the phone downstairs telling the commanding officer that a large group of prisoners are at the gates and that he needed help.

About 5 minutes later (which is amazing reaction time considering it can take over 30 minutes for medical help) 30 guards came running up the stairs and they assembled outside the gate of 10th group. They told all the prisoners to go into their cells, which all the prisoners did, including myself. The guards then tried to open the gate but they soon found out they couldn’t. I looked out of my cell and saw that there was a pad lock on the inside of the gate that the guards couldn’t reach.

They tried by force to open the gate by barging it, but the padlock wouldn’t break. I then realized that this was my only opportunity to call for external help. I took my prison phone card and went to the phone in the corridor about 2 metres from the gate where the guards were and I called a lawyer, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Australian consulate.

The guards started banging on the metal gate with metal rods, shouting and they also turned on the block’s siren to try and drown out my conversation with the consul and the lawyer. I told them one by one “please come ASAP, the guards beat us at 8.45 and they’re coming again to beat us”. After I made my phone calls I returned to my cell at 9.11, we know the exact time due to the recorded phone calls.

What is also interesting is at this time the prison told all the lawyers to leave from the lawyer consultation room at the other end of the prison then the prison administration shut down the lawyer consultation room. The prison administration tried all they could to try and stop their crime from leaving the premises of the prison and the confines of the prison administration. It is also completely illegal to expel lawyers from the prison premises, even more so during working hours. The right for a prisoner to meet with his/her lawyer is non-negotiable and this was another extreme violation of prisoners’ rights.

A prisoner from prisoner maintenance Budimir Kujovic came and cut the lock off the gate at about 9.15am and the guards ran into the empty corridor as if they were charging down for a rugby ball despite the total lack of aggression from the behalf of prisoners. They locked all the cell doors and entered 17th cell, my cell. They again started beating everyone with batons, punches, kicks and ramming heads against walls.

After they stopped beating us I asked the sub-commander “why have you come back to this cell? Why are you angry with us specifically?” the sub-commander replied “you (collective ‘you’) have made us come back twice today”, I said “we didn’t make you come one time, people wanted to go to their work and the gym and that guard called you here”.

Despite the beatings I was completely calm as were the other 10 prisoners. They handcuffed us all and they said “ok now we will start the search for telephones”. 5 minutes into the search I was taken out of the block and put into a temporary holding cell on the other side of the prison. I asked the arresting officer “why have you restrained me in handcuffs?” he replied “we (the guards) have been sick of your group for over two months now”, meaning that the problem wasn’t with me individually but rather the guards were trying to make a collective punishment on the entire group.

A normal search of a cell would take about 45 minutes, however they searched the cell for about 3 hours and confiscated only an undocumented hotplate for cooking and furniture. No mobile phone was found and the guards went crazy that not a single mobile could be found, this is as they are all acutely aware of the problem of corruption within the prison administration and therefore presume that every prisoner has a mobile.

The same guard who had provoked the two incidents then came to me in the temporary holding cell and tried to intimidate me to sign as a witness for the search in 17th cell that had been carried out without me, I flatly refused and explained that I would not be a witness for something that I didn’t in fact witness.

With nothing illegal found in the cell, the guards then tried threatening other prisoners to testify against me, but out of about 100 prisoners not a single one would lie, all of them stuck to the truth as they saw and heard it. I was kept in the temporary holding cell (which can be said to be less then comfortable) all day, but allowed visits from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, a lawyer and the Honorary Consul of Australia. At 4.30pm I was returned without explanation to 10th group, but needless to say all my personal belongings had been thrown around, destroyed or confiscated.

The prison administration wanted to put me in isolation, but could not find legal grounds to do this especially as my lawyer was present. So they took the administrative decision to move me from my old cell to a different cell, in a petty attempt to increase my discomfort, however for those of you who know me personally, you know I love camping!

An ‘investigation’ was carried out and concluded by the prison administration but has yet to be revealed, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee have conducted their own investigation as well as the Ombudsman’s office of Bulgaria. The matter has been referred to the regional prosecutors office, but experience tells us not to expect anything when it comes to the Bulgarian state investigating itself.

The instigating guard was not moved from the block and on Monday the 21st of October he started threatening prisoners to not testify against him; however on the 25th of October he was moved to another place within the prison to separate him from his victims.

This is another case of unacceptable violence against the human rights of prisoners in Bulgaria, the commanding officers should be sanctioned, failing this the Association asks for the resignation of the Director Peter Krestev, so that law might prevail within Bulgarian prisons!”

Jock Palfreeman
Chairman
Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association

——————————–

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EDL – Attack Dogs of the State and Enemies of the Working Class

Origins of the EDL

1011994_293190610826058_1211824587_nThe English defence league was formed in 2009 to counter a tiny ultra-islamist group ‘Al-Muhajiroun’ who protested the return of British soldiers from Afghanistan.

The flashpoint came when Al-Muhajiroun burnt a poppy at a demonstration which fed the flames of hatred and caused the far right to react. It was also the perfect excuse for the far right to point the finger at all muslims from that moment on although concealed for a time under the guise of only being against ‘muslim extremism’.

Research suggests that many involved in the EDL originate from the criminal fraternity and the criminal fraternity is in turn attracted to the EDL. The so-called Luton based ‘leader’ of the EDL ‘Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’, an individual who uses multiple aliases, has convictions for drug dealing, fraud, breaching bail conditions and violence.

176587_1Amongst supporters it is common to find rather a lot of paedophiles, rapists, hardcore racists, nazis, violent thugs, petty criminals and even the odd murderer, most having their convictions documented in local newspapers and by anti-fascist organisations, others still at large hiding en masse within the ranks of the EDL. Since this article was written the number of EDL related convictions continues to rise.

In the first years from 2009 the EDL concentrated mainly on demonstrating against muslim extremist groups, then slowly moved their sights towards immigrants before finally focusing on left wing groups and basically anyone else that opposes them, because of these revalations, the EDL has been termed a fascist organisation.

On the racism front alone the EDL have built up the confidence to shout “send the black cunts home” over megaphones in city centres.

EDL and Austerity

The English Defence League are playing a significant part in diverting attention away from the banking collapse caused by bankers greed .. the failing capitalist system .. and of course the much despised and hated right wing Conservative party who elected themselves into office back in 2010. The Tories being the party that have implemented brutal austerity measures against the working class and under privileged as way of making us pay for the greed of the rich who caused the banking collapse in the first place.

master's biddingThe EDL’s main objective has been to demonise immigrants/ muslims and lay the financial blame solely at their door thus diverting attention away from the crimes of the bankers, the rich and the stranglehold austerity measures that they have imposed as a consequence.

Back in Thatcher’s day it was the National Front who thrived on the right wing rhetoric of the Tory party, now in Cameron’s day it is the EDL thriving on the same rhetoric.

Cameron stating that ‘there is none sicker than the EDL’ was a two-bit sound byte that meant nothing. Cameron hates the left and the working class making the EDL very useful because the EDL rail against working class people who fight for their rights and try to intimidate workers into silence on street level.

same_shitIt’s business as usual on the streets for the EDL and business as usual for the Tory party as the left and anyone else who opposes fascism is submerged into constant battle with the EDL. It seems that more effort and energy is put into fighting off the EDL than people can muster to fight austerity.

Already the EDL have cost the taxpayer over £10,000,000 towards policing a mob of drunken, coked up criminals on the streets of England every month or so since 2009. So much for the EDL stating that they are a ‘working class organisation’. They are literally pissing public money down the drain whilst intimidating entire communities whenever it suits them.

The English Defence League and its many offshoots who intimidate the working class on the streets would rather us wave little union jacks whenever a tory mp is in town, a royal gets pregnant or a soldier gets a badge rather than criticize their masters,  the ruling class.

Basically the far right EDL want the working class to ‘shut their mouths’ whilst the Conservative party would rather kill the working class off slowly and “legally” through stranglehold austerity measures that leave little option to some of our class.

A cunning plan indeed, a plan that is working out pretty nicely for the ruling class except for those ‘lefties’ and other critics that constantly attack and confront the ruling class and the subservient nationalist groups that serve them.

EDL achievements

Alan Lodge, Photographer tash@indymedia.orgThe major achievement of the EDL has been to draw every decent person opposed to racism, fascism and hatred into the lenses and notebooks of the police evidence gatherers to be rubber stamped and documented, at the request of the ruling class, no doubt.

Whether these opponents were politically active beforehand or not is irrelevant, they are now on file in their thousands. In this respect there is no question that the the EDL work hand-in-hand with the police and the state.

Violent nationalist EDL thugs ‘casuals united‘ supplied us with what was required in or hour of need, aiding us in finishing this article…

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

The EDL’s Prison wing/ lynchmob mentality

The EDL being structured like a gang, employ bullying tactics that can be found on any prison wing in any prison. Any person that happens to disagree with the EDL is commonly labelled a ‘paedophile’ in public and online and as soon as the finger is pointed at certain individuals, or groups, the rest of the gang go in for the kill, trying to garner public support whilst they are at it.

imagesThis behaviour happens on a daily basis with the EDL, and of course this behaviour is rife in prisons. If this doesn’t work they will say that those that oppose them are ‘anti-British’ or ‘supporters of militant Islam’ as a final last gasp or continue to circulate unfounded rumours plucked out of thin air to keep the pressure on their opponents.

The EDL as ‘scabs’

On a number of occasions the EDL have tried to publicly disrupt anti-cuts events, usually unsuccessfully but still with determination. Members of the public attending these events have  been accused of being ‘paedophiles’ for no other reason than fighting the measures imposed on the working classes by the government and the rich.

1818_816As in prison, labeling an innocent person a ‘paedophile’ would put them in fear for their life, the EDL are using this same tactic out on the street.

We can now see where the EDL are coming from.

As well as attempting to disrupt anti-cuts protests they have also been active in trying to disrupt anti-racist concerts and all kinds of meetings held by the left, on quite a few occasions resorting to violence when the insults and false accusations fail to have the desired effect.

The EDL and custody

wakefield_prison_croppedEDL members are not phased in the slightest by custody or prison. We’ll call prison their ‘home’ as we believe this is where they started and this is actually where they are most at home.

The policeman on the street to them is ‘guv’ or ‘boss’, as the screws in prison are ‘guv’ or ‘boss’ to them.

Over the four years since the EDL came to light there has been a steady and consistent trickle of scores of offenders belonging to their movement coming in and out of prison, the revolving door.

The EDL and ‘Britishness’

As a hate group that points the finger to divert attention from the crimes of the rich it is of no surprise that the EDL do not want to save the British badger or the NHS or any other public services that serve the British people, that would put their masters in the firing line. That is why we do not see any effort to help British people out in any way, shape or form mentioned in their hate filled agenda.

 The EDL are class traitors and used as attack dogs by the state.

More info on what the EDL wouldn’t want you to see at edlnews and exposingon


EDL gang jailed after East Lancashire ‘mob protest’

Bernard Holmes

“AN English Defence League mob which descended on an East Lancashire town for a flash mob protest have been branded ‘a pack of wild animals’.

Five of the gang have today been jailed for their parts in the brawl.

One Asian teenager was punched and kicked during the disturbance last July and another Asian man was run over as around 35 EDL supporters rolled into Brierfield last July.

Ringleader Bernard Holmes has been jailed for 18 months for his role in co-ordinating the protest, which ended when a rival gang of Asian youths confronted the mob in the Castle Street area of the town.

And Lancashire Police have secured a five year anti-social behaviour order on Holmes, 26, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, preventing him from organising any further ‘flash mob’ protests. He admitted a racially aggravated public disorder charge.

His ‘lieutenants’ Leonard Hawley, 47, of Worcester Road, Blackburn, Jason Smith, 43, formerly of Burnley but now of Hollinge Road, Todmorden, David Wilson, 47,of Devon Road, Blackburn, who admitted the same offence, were each jailed for 37 weeks.

David Garratt, 45, of Beckett Street, Darwen, who confessed to possession of an offensive weapon, was jailed for 47 weeks.

 Six others from Todmorden, Chorley, Clitheroe and Blackburn were given suspended prison sentences, after admitting using threatening behaviour as part of the same incident.

Passing sentence Judge Norman Wright said freedom of speech was something enjoyed by everyone in the UK, no matter how repugnant the views expressed may be.

But the judge, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said the events of that day saw ‘middle-aged men running around like a pack of animals’.

Earlier that day protests had taken place in Accrington and Clitheroe, and outside the home of MEP Sajjad Karim at Simonstone, who said his wife and daughter were left ‘terrified’ by the ordeal.”

Source


Newcastle EDL Celebrate Jubilee by throwing Nazi Salutes

“English Defence League members celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend by throwing Nazi salutes after they turned up at an alternative Jubilee event in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.

The attack, organised by EDL North East regional co-ordinator, Alan Spence and his friends from the National Front took place near the Monument and Sky News ran footage of firecrackers and bottles being thrown at families attending the event.

Our picture (above) shows EDL members standing alongside National Front members who are displaying a flag with the Nazi insipred ‘14 words‘.

Spence has recently been released from prison on licence for an attack on a non existent meeting by the SWP at the city’s Irish Centre. Spence is thought to be the link between the English Defence League and other neo Nazis in the North East.

Footage from Sky News clearly show EDL members sieg heiling as abuse was shouted and objects thrown which goes along way to disproving their claims that they are not a  racist organisation.

The attack concluded with Northumbria police moving them on.”

Report taken from EDL News.

*Update 14th June “Arrests made after Newcastle city centre clash

*Update 28th June “EDL Supporter Admits Throwing Firecracker At Anti-Jubilee Protester In Newcastle

*Update 2nd July “EDL thug facing prison after firework attack in Newcastle

*Update 6th July “Byker EDL firework thug gets suspended sentence


Message from recently released Antifascist Ravi Gill

“I just hope this can even show 1% for the love I feel for those who supportted me, I’ll never forget you and love you always. NO PASARAN!

As reported, yes I was releasd on Friday. I just wanted to take this opportunity to try and thank everyone who supportted me while I was inside. If ever I had any doubts on whether prisoner support had any effect I can say in total honesty that they’ve been quelled.

Throughout my sentence I was able to stay positive, strong and focused which I believe was down to the post and contact I got.

Honestly it was the wierdest thing but just the post was like a daily kick in the arse to remind me Im not alone. So please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the support, letters. cards, mags, money, leaflets, etc etc. If anything positive came out of the this experience (Apart from your support), I have seen with my own eyes the fallacy of a fair British (or worldwide) justice system. The whole thing is run by bullies with their own agendas, committing crimes in the name society.

Im now just getting back into normal life but wont forget our brothers and sister still incarcerated, even they wrote to me and Im proud to say Ive made a lot of new friends bothg inside and outside of the prison system.

Please if you’ve everv thought about writing to a prisoner, take it from me the letters make such a difference, for me it was the difference between getting depressed or making a stand against prison policies that were clearly wrong and sometimes illegal! Throughout my sentence though alone I felt I was on my own, it was the words of the kind people that wrote to me that kept me going, as Im sure governers Rielly and I’anson will confirm (sorry lads but ya never beat me!).

Letters make all the difference in keeping the mind strong, so please just send that letter. There are many comrades still inside worldwide so the battle goes on, of course my freedom is a source of joy but I hope you’ll excuse me if I dont celebrate to much as many people I now know, love and respect are still hostages of a corrupt system.

Thank you all Ill love you always. By the way I have a list of all who promised me a pint so will be collecting, its better you come to me HA! HA!

Till all are free, Till the walls fall in a pile of dust.
We’ll drip like water and make the locks rust.
Draw your weapons and beat us senseless,
yet still we smile for our battle is relentless.
We fight for for what is right, you fight for a wage.
Thats why we stand proud, feel our rage.
For each you kill 10 more grow like a tree
because none are free till all are free”

Ravi Gill

Taken from Indymedia UK


Ravi Gill Released

From Leeds Anarchist Black Cross

Ravi Gill was released from HMP Wayland this morning after completing half of a 21 month sentence imposed last year following the first Welling antifascist trial. He thanks everyone for the support he received while inside.

Ravi was one of seven antifascists fitted-up on conspiracy charges after a German neo-Nazi was floored at Welling train station.

A further sixteen antifascists were acquitted.

Six comrades went to jail in the case, with one subsequently being deported. Ravi Gill is the last prisoner to be released.


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