Democracy Now! April 11, 2002

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Democracy Now! April 11, 2002
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MASSACRE IN JENIN; ISRAEL STEPS UP PALESTINIAN ARRESTS The killing is continuing in Jenin. The Israeli army has blocked all reporters from the area and prevented ambulances from entering. But Palestinian medical sources and witnesses say Israeli troops Israeli Apache helicopters fired several missiles at a house in the town of Jenin, killing two, and Army bulldozers are continuing to destroy houses. Troops also attacked the nearby village of Arabeh and killed at least seven, among them a family of three. Meanwhile, there are reports that dozens of Palestinians have surrendered in Jenin. The Xinhua General News Service reports that a senior Palestinian negotiator says that Israeli troops on Wednesday killed eight Palestinians after they surrendered. And dozens of Palestinians appealed Wednesday to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and other world organizations to intervene as soon as possible, after the Israeli army rejected their request of surrender. Guest: Kamel Jaber, Jenin citizen. CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY LYNNE STEWART IS INDICTED FOR "SUPPORTING TERRORISM" BY ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT Yesterday on Democracy Now! we began a discussion with the noted civil rights attorney, Lynne Stewart, 24 hours after she was indicted on charges of supporting terrorism. On Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General John Ashcroft accused Stewart along with her translator and two others of helping her client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman deliver messages from his Minnesota prison cell to his followers in Egypt. Abdel Rahman is the man who was accused of leading the plot to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison for plotting to attack the UN and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Two years later, he was barred from sending or receiving written or recorded messages of any kind from his prison cell. If his lawyers wanted to meet with him, they had to pledge to discuss only legal matters. But according to John Ashcroft, Stewart broke this rule by helping Abdel-Rahman deliver coded messages to the members of his organization in Egypt. He says she allowed a translator to read and reply to letters sent by Abdel-Rahman's followers. Ashcroft claims some of these letters advocated the resumption of "military operations" in Egypt. The Attorney General could not cite a single specific terrorist act that resulted from these communications, but he called them "very important signaling to the Islamic Group." The Islamic Group is the name of Abdel-Rahman's organization in Egypt. Stewart, her translator, and two others face possible sentences of five to 20 years in prison. Stewart was indicted Tuesday afternoon and released on $500,000 personal recognizance bond. The indictment also charges Mohammed Yousry, her Arabic interpreter, and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a postal worker from Staten Island. Yousry's bond was set at $750,000. Sattar was held without bail. A fourth man, Yassi al-Sirri, the head of the London based Islamic Observations Center, is being held in Britain after his arrest in October. She joins us again in our studio today. Guest: Lynne Stewart, civil rights attorney. THE FEW REPORTS SEEPING OUT OF JENIN REFUGEE CAMP DESCRIBE A SCENE OF CARNAGE; THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS SAYS ISRAELI AUTHORITIES ARE REFUSING TO ALLOW AMBULANCES TO TREAT THE WOUNDED ALL OVER THE WEST BANK; WE'LL TALK TO A PALESTINIAN MEDICAL DOCTOR AND A HEBRON-BASED PSYCHOLOGIST ABOUT MEDICAL ACCESS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES The few reports seeping out of Jenin refugee camp describe a scene of terrible carnage. According to the London Independent, survivors from the camp in the nearby village of Ramani say that bodies are being taken out of Jenin camp in trucks. Abdullah Washai told reporter Justin Huggler that he watched his 17-year-old brother slowly bleed to death in the camp, after a hole had been ripped in his shoulder by a round from an Israeli helicopter. When the boy's mother ran into the street screaming for help, Washai says, Israeli soldiers shot her dead. His claims are typical of those who have managed to escape the scene of the worst fighting of Israel's onslaught in the West Bank. But censorship by the Israeli authorities has made it impossible to verify the stories coming out of Jenin. Journalists have been denied access to the camp and risk their lives even in the streets of the town. Reports from a delegation of International Solidarity Movement activists who are outside of Jenin tell similar stories. According to a report they sent out this morning, a Palestinian United Nations Relief and Works Agency employee was detained at a checkpoint for three days without food, and the right side of is face paralyzed due to severe beating. The International Red Cross says Israeli authorities are refusing to allow ambulances to treat the wounded all over the West Bank. As we reported on Democracy Now yesterday, the Israeli military threatened to shoot any foreigners traveling in ambulances in Nablus. To help us paint a picture of the scene in Palestine now, we are joined today by two medical experts who have been working in the Occupied Territories. Guests: Samah Jabr, Palestinian medical doctor, journalist and peace activist. Dr. Sally Motch, Hebron-based psychologist, and a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders. Related links: Doctors Without Borders Medecins Sans Frontieres AS COLIN POWELL TRAVELS TO JERUSALEM, RABBI MICHAEL LERNER AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN SCHOLAR AND ACTIVIST CORNELL WEST LEAD A DEMONSTRATION IN FRONT OF THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Jerusalem tonight, where he will push to arrange a cease-fire between the Israelis and Palestinians and steer them into negotiations that he hopes will lead to a Palestinian state. Powell says he will try to persuade Sharon to withdraw his troops from the West Bank as soon as possible. But outside the US State department today, Black Voices for Peace and the Tikkun organization have called a non-violent civil disobedience to demand that the US support an international force to separate the two sides and provide protection to both sides. They say US power is essential to prevent Israel from further invading the Palestinian territories. We are joined now by two of the organizers, Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, and African-American scholar, activist and theologian Cornell West. Guests: Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun Magazine, a Jewish publication, and author of The Politics of Meaning and Spirit Matters. Cornel West, professor of African-American studies and philosophy of religion at Harvard University and author of the best-selling book, Race Matters. Lower Third, scholar, activist and theologian. Related link:

Date Recorded on: 
April 11, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
April 11, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. April 11, 2002
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