Tag Archives: Associated Press

Lawyer gets threats for defending gays

Yaounde – Cameroon lawyer Alice Nkom, who is known for defending gays and lesbians in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, said on Tuesday that she has been receiving death threats from anonymous callers over her stance.

“Since October 18, I have become the victim of anonymous death threats,” she said, adding that she has been warned to stop defending homosexuals.

“In the beginning, there were calls at 04:00 in the morning. Now they are sending SMSes,” she said, adding that she received the latest text message at 03:00 on Tuesday.

She said one such SMS read: “Lesbian whore, it’s your turn to suffer. Watch your back well as your security is very weak. We will give you a demonstration when the moment comes. No respite for gays in our country.”

Nkom said that the threats also targeted her children, but she vowed that they “cannot discourage me from my fight”.

 

– AFP

Ambam – Two women on trial in Cameroon for homosexuality pleaded not guilty on Thursday as their lawyers sought an annulment of the trial over alleged rights abuses.

“Not guilty”, said Esther, 29, and Martine, 26, whose full names are being withheld to protect them in a country where homosexuality is illegal.

The two are charged with “having intercourse with a person of the same sex”.

Their lawyer, gay activist Alice Nkom, asked the court in Ambam in south Cameroon to annul the case as investigators had failed to inform her clients of their right to legal counsel or to remain silent.

“Since this case began, we have been the laughing stock of our town. We are being treated as witches,” Esther told AFP on leaving the courtroom, which was packed with curious onlookers and supporters

“I do not see what they did wrong to deserve this,” onlooker Fabrice Ngningha told AFP.

But another passerby, who refused to give her name, said: “It is not normal that two women sleep together. They must be condemned, as an example to their children.”

Martine has two children and Esther one.

– SAPA

Liberia’s senate to consider anti-gay bill

2012-02-24 07:50

Monrovia – Liberia’s senate will consider a bill to strengthen the nation’s existing anti-gay laws, a senator said, as another West African nation, Cameroon, announced the arrest of 10 women suspected of being lesbians.

Cameroon Radio Television reported on Thursday that the 10 women are being detained in Ambam, about 300km south of the capital of Yaounde, until they go to trial.

Consensual same-gender sex is considered criminal in Cameroon and punishable by a jail sentence from six months to five years and a fine. Gay rights defender and founder of the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals, Alice Nkom, says detainees in Cameroon are frequently tortured in police stations to force them confess.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s former first lady, Senator Jewel Taylor, submitted a bill last week that would prohibit same-sex marriage and make homosexuality a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“We are only strengthening the existing law,” she said. “Some media are reporting that I said anyone found guilty of involvement in same sex should face the death penalty, I did not say so, I am calling for a law that will make it a first degree felony,” she told the Associated Press.

The current law considers gay relationships a first-degree misdemeanour, which carries a punishment of up to a year in prison.

We are looking at it critically” and will put it before the entire Senate “during our next sitting on Thursday”, Senator Joseph Nagbe, chairperson of the Judicial Committee, told The Associated Press.

Wave of intense homophobia

If passed by the Senate, the strengthened bill would then go the House and then the president.

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said she will not sign any such bill into law.

“Liberia is a member of the global community and therefore cannot kick against the rights of others to do what they choose to do,” said Archie Ponpon, chairperson of the newly-formed gay rights advocacy group the Movement for the Defence of Gays and Lesbians in Liberia.

Ponpon and his family have already faced hostility because of his fight for gay rights in Liberia. Weeks ago, his mother’s house was set on fire and he and another advocate, Abraham Kamara, were mobbed by angry students while campaigning at the University of Liberia.

“We will not relent,” he said. “People will come to the realisation that in this day and age, individuals should be free to practice what they wish.”

A wave of intense homophobia has been washing across Africa in the past few years, where homosexuality is already illegal in many countries.

“It’s getting worse,” Cameroon gay rights defender Nkom said of homophobia.

People accused of homosexuality are put in jail straight away” she told reporters in November after three men were each sentenced to five years in prison for homosexual acts.

Death threats

International rights groups, including Amnesty International, have frequently lambasted Cameroon’s homosexuality law, demanding its abolition.

But the authorities have turned a deaf ear to such requests. Last year, the government demanded and successfully obtained the withdrawal of grants allocated the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals by the European Union.

Nkom said she has received numerous death threats from fellow lawyers and Cameroonians, as well as a threat from the Ministry of Justice to dismiss her from the country’s roster of legal practitioners.

Contempt for homosexuals has led to anti-gay legal measures elsewhere in Africa. Last year, Nigeria’s Senate voted in favor of a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. Two years ago, Ugandan legislators introduced a bill that would impose the death penalty for some gays and lesbians, though it has yet to become law.

In January, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said African nations should stop treating gays as “second-class citizens, or even criminals”. Ban told African leaders that discrimination based on sexual orientation “had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for far too long”.

– SAPA

Uganda raids gay rights workshop

2012-02-15 07:53

Kampala – A Ugandan minister on Tuesday raided and shut down a workshop run by homosexual rights activists in Entebbe, Amnesty International reported, days after a draconian anti-gay bill was reintroduced.

The London-based rights watchdog said in a statement that Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, also a priest, raided the workshop flanked by police and expelled its participants from the Entebbe hotel where it was being held.

This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda,” Amnesty International said.

Ugandan police spokesperson Asuman Mugenyi said: “Gay activities are illegal activities under our law and our law has not been amended.”

Homosexuality is already punishable by life imprisonment in Uganda but a recently reintroduced bill proposes to toughen the law, notably by criminalising acts aiding or abetting homosexuality.

The bill, which enjoys wide support in the east African country’s parliament, initially envisioned making certain homosexual acts punishable by death.

But the bill’s author, MP David Bahati, said last week after an international outcry that he wanted to drop the death sentence clauses.

Gambia president will cut off gay’s head

2012-02-14 22:34

Banjul – Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday reiterated his stance that he would never accept homosexuality in his country, after recent pressure from abroad on African states to respect gay rights.

“We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date,” Jammeh said while swearing in 15 ministers of his new government.

“If you think it is human rights to destroy our culture, you are making a great mistake because if you are in the Gambia, you are in the wrong place then,” he added.

In 2008, Jammeh gave an ultimatum to homosexuals to leave the country and vowed to “cut off the head” of any homosexual found in the Gambia.

In the west African nation homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, for men and women. Jammeh has threatened to introduce even stricter laws.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told leaders at an African Union summit they must respect gay rights.

“If we Africans are to build our societies based on outside dictates and structure, our cultures based on alien cultures, we will be the losers,” said Jammeh.


Fed With LIES::The distribution of African swine fever virus isolated from Ornithodoros moubata in Zambia.[doc]


Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison

CBS NEWS WASHINGTON – In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

For years, the CIA used a government building — codenamed “Bright Light” — as a makeshift prison for its most valuable detainees. There it held al Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and others in a basement prison before they were ultimately transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006, according to former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the location and inner workings of the prison.

The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but its location has never been made public. The Associated Press and German public television ARD located the former prison and learned details of the facility where harsh interrogation tactics were used. ARD’s program on the CIA prison is set to air Thursday.

The Romanian prison was part of a network of so-called black sites that the CIA operated and controlled overseas in Thailand, Lithuania and Poland. All the prisons were closed by May 2006, and the CIA’s detention and interrogation program ended in 2009.

Unlike the CIA’s facility in Lithuania’s countryside or the one hidden in a Polish military installation, the CIA’s prison in Romania was not in a remote location. It was hidden in plain sight, a couple blocks off a major boulevard on a street lined with trees and homes, along busy train tracks.

The building is used as the National Registry Office for Classified Information, which is also known as ORNISS. Classified information from NATO and the European Union is stored there. Former intelligence officials both described the location of the prison and identified pictures of the building.

In an interview at the building in November, senior ORNISS official Adrian Camarasan said the basement is one of the most secure rooms in all of Romania. But he said Americans never ran a prison there.

“No, no. Impossible, impossible,” he said in an ARD interview for its “Panorama” news broadcast, as a security official monitored the interview.

The CIA prison opened for business in the fall of 2003, after the CIA decided to empty the black site in Poland, according to former U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the detention program with reporters.

Shuttling detainees into the facility without being seen was relatively easy. After flying into Bucharest, the detainees were brought to the site in vans. CIA operatives then drove down a side road and entered the compound through a rear gate that led to the actual prison.

The detainees could then be unloaded and whisked into the ground floor of the prison and into the basement.

The basement consisted of six prefabricated cells, each with a clock and arrow pointing to Mecca, the officials said. The cells were on springs, keeping them slightly off balance and causing disorientation among some detainees.

The CIA declined to comment on the prison.

During the first month of their detention, the detainees endured sleep deprivation and were doused with water, slapped or forced to stand in painful positions, several former officials said. Waterboarding, the notorious interrogation technique that simulates drowning, was not performed in Romania, they said.

After the initial interrogations, the detainees were treated with care, the officials said. The prisoners received regular dental and medical checkups. The CIA shipped in Halal food to the site from Frankfurt, Germany, the agency’s European center for operations. Halal meat is prepared under religious rules similar to kosher food.

Former U.S. officials said that because the building was a government installation, it provided excellent cover. The prison didn’t need heavy security because area residents knew it was owned by the government. People wouldn’t be inclined to snoop in post-communist Romania, with its extensive security apparatus known for spying on the country’s own citizens.

The National Registry Office for Classified Information, also known as ORNISS, sits in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the center of Romania’s capital city of Bucharest in this recent photo. (AP)

WASHINGTON – In northern Bucharest, in a busy residential neighborhood minutes from the heart of the capital city, is a secret the Romanian government has long tried to protect.

For years, the CIA used a government building — codenamed “Bright Light” — as a makeshift prison for its most valuable detainees. There it held al Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, and others in a basement prison before they were ultimately transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006, according to former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the location and inner workings of the prison.

The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but its location has never been made public. The Associated Press and German public television ARD located the former prison and learned details of the facility where harsh interrogation tactics were used. ARD’s program on the CIA prison is set to air Thursday.

 

The Romanian prison was part of a network of so-called black sites that the CIA operated and controlled overseas in Thailand, Lithuania and Poland. All the prisons were closed by May 2006, and the CIA’s detention and interrogation program ended in 2009.

Unlike the CIA’s facility in Lithuania’s countryside or the one hidden in a Polish military installation, the CIA’s prison in Romania was not in a remote location. It was hidden in plain sight, a couple blocks off a major boulevard on a street lined with trees and homes, along busy train tracks.

The building is used as the National Registry Office for Classified Information, which is also known as ORNISS. Classified information from NATO and the European Union is stored there. Former intelligence officials both described the location of the prison and identified pictures of the building.

In an interview at the building in November, senior ORNISS official Adrian Camarasan said the basement is one of the most secure rooms in all of Romania. But he said Americans never ran a prison there.

“No, no. Impossible, impossible,” he said in an ARD interview for its “Panorama” news broadcast, as a security official monitored the interview.

The CIA prison opened for business in the fall of 2003, after the CIA decided to empty the black site in Poland, according to former U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the detention program with reporters.

Shuttling detainees into the facility without being seen was relatively easy. After flying into Bucharest, the detainees were brought to the site in vans. CIA operatives then drove down a side road and entered the compound through a rear gate that led to the actual prison.

The detainees could then be unloaded and whisked into the ground floor of the prison and into the basement.

The basement consisted of six prefabricated cells, each with a clock and arrow pointing to Mecca, the officials said. The cells were on springs, keeping them slightly off balance and causing disorientation among some detainees.

The CIA declined to comment on the prison.

SCHEME OF THE PRISON HERE

During the first month of their detention, the detainees endured sleep deprivation and were doused with water, slapped or forced to stand in painful positions, several former officials said. Waterboarding, the notorious interrogation technique that simulates drowning, was not performed in Romania, they said.

After the initial interrogations, the detainees were treated with care, the officials said. The prisoners received regular dental and medical checkups. The CIA shipped in Halal food to the site from Frankfurt, Germany, the agency’s European center for operations. Halal meat is prepared under religious rules similar to kosher food.

Former U.S. officials said that because the building was a government installation, it provided excellent cover. The prison didn’t need heavy security because area residents knew it was owned by the government. People wouldn’t be inclined to snoop in post-communist Romania, with its extensive security apparatus known for spying on the country’s own citizens.
Human rights activists have urged the Eastern European countries to investigate the roles their governments played in hosting the prisons in which interrogation techniques such as waterboarding were used. Officials from these countries continue to deny these prisons ever existed.

“We know of the criticism, but we have no knowledge of this subject,” Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a September interview with AP.

The CIA has tried to close the book on the detention program, which President Barack Obama ended shortly after taking office.

“That controversy has largely subsided,” the CIA’s top lawyer, Stephen Preston, said at a conference this month.

But details of the prison network continue to trickle out through investigations by international bodies, reporters and human rights groups. “There have been years of official denials,” said Dick Marty, a Swiss lawmaker who led an investigation into the CIA secret prisons for the Council of Europe. “We are at last beginning to learn what really happened in Bucharest.”

During the Council of Europe’s investigation, Romania’s foreign affairs minister assured investigators in a written report that, “No public official or other person acting in an official capacity has been involved in the unacknowledged deprivation of any individual, or transport of any individual while so deprived of their liberty.” That report also described several other government investigations into reports of a secret CIA prison in Romania and said: “No such activities took place on Romanian territory.”

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE


Russian oil spill emphasizes decrepit, outdated petroleum recovery infrastructure

 

Some 2,000 tons of oil have spilled over the weekend at a crucial drilling field in Russia’s northern the Nenets Autonomous District after a two-day struggle to contain the leak causes by a combination of technical and human error, Russian and Western media outlets have reported. Charles Digges, 23/04-2012

The accident happened at the Trebs oil field, jointly developed by OAO Bashneft and OAO Lukoil, in the Nenets Autonomous District on Friday following work on an exploratory well, according to RIA Novosti.

The accident occured around 5:30 p.m. on April 20 and caused an uncontrolled oil blowout that rescue workers contained by around 6 a.m. Sunday, the Russian news service wrote, citing an Emergency Ministry official it did not identify.

Vladimir Bezumov, chief of the Russian Environmental Agency in the area, said the weekend spill could have produced between 800 and 2,000 tons and contaminated at least 8,000 square meters of land. Another 6,000 square meters of land are believed to have been slightly damaged, the Associated Press reported

Bellona President Frederic Hauge said that the spill “was not terribly major” and “that it was good that it was reported, as many that happen in this region are not.”

He did reemphasize, however, that money Russia is spending on new oil and gas field development projects should be put into overhauling Russia’s decrepit and leak prone oil and gas infrastructure.

The oil had been gushing for nearly two days before the workers finally capped the well Sunday morning, Emergency Ministry officials told Russian media.

Bezumov told AP it was too early to speak of the causes of the accident, but he said it was likely a combination of technical issues and human error.

The Trebs oil fields are developed by OAO Bashneft Plus, a joint venture between Bashneft and Lukoil, and hold about 153 million tons of oil, according to RIA Novosti.

Russian environmental officials will be preparing a lawsuit against the oil companies after the clean-up is over, Bezumov told the AP.

The area around the oil field is largely unpopulated but the oil spill has damaged pastures used by local reindeer herdsmen, said the agency.

An AP investigation last year showed that at least 1 percent of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled into the environment every year.Source

 


Past Medical Testing on Disabled and Inmates

Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States — studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies.
At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.

These studies were worse in at least one respect — they violated the concept of “first do no harm,” a fundamental medical principle that stretches back centuries.

“When you give somebody a disease — even by the standards of their time — you really cross the key ethical norm of the profession,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics.

Some of these studies, mostly from the 1940s to the ’60s, apparently were never covered by news media. Others were reported at the time, but the focus was on the promise of enduring new cures, while glossing over how test subjects were treated.

Attitudes about medical research were different then. Infectious diseases killed many more people years ago, and doctors worked urgently to invent and test cures. Many prominent researchers felt it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society — people like prisoners, mental patients, poor blacks. It was an attitude in some ways similar to that of Nazi doctors experimenting on Jews.

“There was definitely a sense — that we don’t have today — that sacrifice for the nation was important,” said Laura Stark, a Wesleyan University assistant professor of science in society, who is writing a book about past federal medical experiments.

The AP review of past research found:
* A federally funded study begun in 1942 injected experimental flu vaccine in male patients at a state insane asylum in Ypsilanti, Mich., then exposed them to flu several months later. It was co-authored by Dr. Jonas Salk, who a decade later would become famous as inventor of the polio vaccine.
Some of the men weren’t able to describe their symptoms, raising serious questions about how well they understood what was being done to them. One newspaper account mentioned the test subjects were “senile and debilitated.” Then it quickly moved on to the promising results.

* In federally funded studies in the 1940s, noted researcher Dr. W. Paul Havens Jr. exposed men to hepatitis in a series of experiments, including one using patients from mental institutions in Middletown and Norwich, Conn. Havens, a World Health Organization expert on viral diseases, was one of the first scientists to differentiate types of hepatitis and their causes.

A search of various news archives found no mention of the mental patients study, which made eight healthy men ill but broke no new ground in understanding the disease.

* Researchers in the mid-1940s studied the transmission of a deadly stomach bug by having young men swallow unfiltered stool suspension. The study was conducted at the New York State Vocational Institution, a reformatory prison in West Coxsackie. The point was to see how well the disease spread that way as compared to spraying the germs and having test subjects breathe it. Swallowing it was a more effective way to spread the disease, the researchers concluded. The study doesn’t explain if the men were rewarded for this awful task.

* A University of Minnesota study in the late 1940s injected 11 public service employee volunteers with malaria, then starved them for five days. Some were also subjected to hard labor, and those men lost an average of 14 pounds. They were treated for malarial fevers with quinine sulfate. One of the authors was Ancel Keys, a noted dietary scientist who developed K-rations for the military and the Mediterranean diet for the public. But a search of various news archives found no mention of the study.

* For a study in 1957, when the Asian flu pandemic was spreading, federal researchers sprayed the virus in the noses of 23 inmates at Patuxent prison in Jessup, Md., to compare their reactions to those of 32 virus-exposed inmates who had been given a new vaccine.

* Government researchers in the 1950s tried to infect about two dozen volunteering prison inmates with gonorrhea using two different methods in an experiment at a federal penitentiary in Atlanta. The bacteria was pumped directly into the urinary tract through the penis, according to their paper.

The men quickly developed the disease, but the researchers noted this method wasn’t comparable to how men normally got infected — by having sex with an infected partner. The men were later treated with antibiotics. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, but there was no mention of it in various news archives.

Though people in the studies were usually described as volunteers, historians and ethicists have questioned how well these people understood what was to be done to them and why, or whether they were coerced.

Prisoners have long been victimized for the sake of science. In 1915, the U.S. government’s Dr. Joseph Goldberger — today remembered as a public health hero — recruited Mississippi inmates to go on special rations to prove his theory that the painful illness pellagra was caused by a dietary deficiency. (The men were offered pardons for their participation.)

But studies using prisoners were uncommon in the first few decades of the 20th century, and usually performed by researchers considered eccentric even by the standards of the day. One was Dr. L.L. Stanley, resident physician at San Quentin prison in California, who around 1920 attempted to treat older, “devitalized men” by implanting in them testicles from livestock and from recently executed convicts.

Newspapers wrote about Stanley’s experiments, but the lack of outrage is striking.

“Enter San Quentin penitentiary in the role of the Fountain of Youth — an institution where the years are made to roll back for men of failing mentality and vitality and where the spring is restored to the step, wit to the brain, vigor to the muscles and ambition to the spirit. All this has been done, is being done … by a surgeon with a scalpel,” began one rosy report published in November 1919 in The Washington Post.

Around the time of World War II, prisoners were enlisted to help the war effort by taking part in studies that could help the troops. For example, a series of malaria studies at Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois and two other prisons was designed to test antimalarial drugs that could help soldiers fighting in the Pacific.

It was at about this time that prosecution of Nazi doctors in 1947 led to the “Nuremberg Code,” a set of international rules to protect human test subjects. Many U.S. doctors essentially ignored them, arguing that they applied to Nazi atrocities — not to American medicine.

The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners to be used as medical guinea pigs.

But two studies in the 1960s proved to be turning points in the public’s attitude toward the way test subjects were treated.

The first came to light in 1963. Researchers injected cancer cells into 19 old and debilitated patients at a Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in the New York borough of Brooklyn to see if their bodies would reject them.

The hospital director said the patients were not told they were being injected with cancer cells because there was no need — the cells were deemed harmless. But the experiment upset a lawyer named William Hyman who sat on the hospital’s board of directors. The state investigated, and the hospital ultimately said any such experiments would require the patient’s written consent.

At nearby Staten Island, from 1963 to 1966, a controversial medical study was conducted at the Willowbrook State School for children with mental retardation. The children were intentionally given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured with gamma globulin.

Those two studies — along with the Tuskegee experiment revealed in 1972 — proved to be a “holy trinity” that sparked extensive and critical media coverage and public disgust, said Susan Reverby, the Wellesley College historian who first discovered records of the syphilis study in Guatemala.

By the early 1970s, even experiments involving prisoners were considered scandalous. In widely covered congressional hearings in 1973, pharmaceutical industry officials acknowledged they were using prisoners for testing because they were cheaper than chimpanzees.
Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia made extensive use of inmates for medical experiments. Some of the victims are still around to talk about it. Edward “Yusef” Anthony, featured in a book about the studies, says he agreed to have a layer of skin peeled off his back, which was coated with searing chemicals to test a drug. He did that for money to buy cigarettes in prison.

“I said ‘Oh my God, my back is on fire! Take this … off me!'” Anthony said in an interview with The Associated Press, as he recalled the beginning of weeks of intense itching and agonizing pain.

The government responded with reforms. Among them: The U.S. Bureau of Prisons in the mid-1970s effectively excluded all research by drug companies and other outside agencies within federal prisons.

As the supply of prisoners and mental patients dried up, researchers looked to other countries.

It made sense. Clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules. And it was easy to find patients who were taking no medication, a factor that can complicate tests of other drugs.

Additional sets of ethical guidelines have been enacted, and few believe that another Guatemala study could happen today. “It’s not that we’re out infecting anybody with things,” Caplan said.

Still, in the last 15 years, two international studies sparked outrage.

One was likened to Tuskegee. U.S.-funded doctors failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study in Uganda even though it would have protected their newborns. U.S. health officials argued the study would answer questions about AZT’s use in the developing world.

The other study, by Pfizer Inc., gave an antibiotic named Trovan to children with meningitis in Nigeria, although there were doubts about its effectiveness for that disease. Critics blamed the experiment for the deaths of 11 children and the disabling of scores of others. Pfizer settled a lawsuit with Nigerian officials for $75 million but admitted no wrongdoing.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general reported that between 40 and 65 percent of clinical studies of federally regulated medical products were done in other countries in 2008, and that proportion probably has grown. The report also noted that U.S. regulators inspected fewer than 1 percent of foreign clinical trial sites.

Monitoring research is complicated, and rules that are too rigid could slow new drug development. But it’s often hard to get information on international trials, sometimes because of missing records and a paucity of audits, said Dr. Kevin Schulman, a Duke University professor of medicine who has written on the ethics of international studies.

These issues were still being debated when, last October, the Guatemala study came to light.
In the 1946-48 study, American scientists infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital in Guatemala with syphilis, apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some sexually transmitted disease. The study came up with no useful information and was hidden for decades.

The Guatemala study nauseated ethicists on multiple levels. Beyond infecting patients with a terrible illness, it was clear that people in the study did not understand what was being done to them or were not able to give their consent. Indeed, though it happened at a time when scientists were quick to publish research that showed frank disinterest in the rights of study participants, this study was buried in file drawers.

“It was unusually unethical, even at the time,” said Stark, the Wesleyan researcher.
“When the president was briefed on the details of the Guatemalan episode, one of his first questions was whether this sort of thing could still happen today,” said Rick Weiss, a spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

That it occurred overseas was an opening for the Obama administration to have the bioethics panel seek a new evaluation of international medical studies. The president also asked the Institute of Medicine to further probe the Guatemala study, but the IOM relinquished the assignment in November, after reporting its own conflict of interest: In the 1940s, five members of one of the IOM’s sister organizations played prominent roles in federal syphilis research and had links to the Guatemala study.

So the bioethics commission gets both tasks. To focus on federally funded international studies, the commission has formed an international panel of about a dozen experts in ethics, science and clinical research. Regarding the look at the Guatemala study, the commission has hired 15 staff investigators and is working with additional historians and other consulting experts.

The panel is to send a report to Obama by September. Any further steps would be up to the administration.
Some experts say that given such a tight deadline, it would be a surprise if the commission produced substantive new information about past studies. “They face a really tough challenge,” Caplan said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/28/past-medical-testing-humans-revealed/#ixzz22NwwCKIz


Why Are Vaccine Inventors Refusing To Take H1N1 Shots

 

Target 1:

In this video journalist Wayne Madsen reports:

Even scientists who helped develop the vaccine for small pox say they’re not going to take the vaccine.

The Associated Press: Half of health workers reject swine flu shot

By MARIA CHENG (AP) – Aug 25, 2009

LONDON — About half of Hong Kong’s health workers would refuse the swine flu vaccine, new research says, a trend that experts say would likely apply worldwide. In a study that polled 2,255 Hong Kong health workers this year, researchers found even during the height of global swine flu panic in May, less than half were willing to get vaccinated.

Remote Viewing Target: So here’s a target for you remote viewers: Why is the vaccine considered dangerous by so many scientists?
Target 2:

In this video Dr. John Cannell states that 5000 IU of vitamin D a day prevents the flu.

Remote Viewing Target: Does vitamin D really prevent the flu and how much safer is Vitamin D than the squaline and mercury in the vaccine?
Target 3:

Mike Adams listed “10 Things You’re Not Supposed To Know About The Swine Flu Vaccine”

(NaturalNews) She was deathly afraid of the flu.
So she asked her doc what she should do.
He jabbed her unseen
With a swine flu vaccine
Blurting, “Darling, I haven’t a clue.”
– by the Health Ranger

Let’s not beat around the bush on this issue: The swine flu vaccines now being prepared for mass injection into infants, children, teens and adults have never been tested and won’t be tested before the injections begin. In Europe, where flu vaccines are typically tested on hundreds (or thousands) of people before being unleashed on the masses, the European Medicines Agency is allowing companies to skip the testing process entirely.

And yet, amazingly, people are lining up to take the vaccine, absent any safety testing whatsoever. When the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. announced a swine flu vaccine trial beginning in early August, it was inundated with phone calls and emails from people desperate to play the role of human guinea pigs. The power of fear to herd sheeple into vaccine injections is simply amazing…

Back in Europe, of course, everybody gets to be a guinea pig since no testing will be done on the vaccine at all. Even worse, the European vaccines will be using adjuvants — chemicals used to multiply the potency of the active ingredients in vaccines.

Notably, there is absolutely no safety data on the use of adjuvants in infants and expectant mothers — the two groups being most aggressively targeted by the swine flu vaccine pushers. The leads us to the disturbing conclusion that the swine flu vaccine could be a modern medical disaster. It’s untested and un-tried. Its ingredients are potentially quite dangerous, and the adjuvants being used in the European vaccines are suspected of causing neurological disorders.

Paralyzed by vaccines
I probably don’t need to remind you that in 1976, a failed swine flu vaccine caused irreparable damage to the nervous systems of hundreds of people, paralyzing many. Medical doctors gave the problem a name, of course, to make it sound like they knew what they were talking about: Guillain-Barre syndrome. (Notably, they never called it “Toxic Vaccine Syndrome” because that would be too informative.)

But the fact remains that doctors never knew how the vaccines caused these severe problems, and if the same event played out today, all the doctors and vaccine pushers would undoubtedly deny any link between the vaccines and paralysis altogether. (That’s what’s happening today with the debate over vaccines and autism: Complete denial.)

In fact, there are a whole lot of things you’ll never be told by health authorities about the upcoming swine flu vaccine. For your amusement, I’ve written down the ten most obvious ones and published them below.

Ten things you’re not supposed to know about the swine flu vaccine
(At least, not by anyone in authority…)

#1 – The vaccine production was “rushed” and the vaccine has never been tested on humans. Do you like to play guinea pig for Big Pharma? If so, line up for your swine flu vaccine this fall…

#2 – Swine flu vaccines contain dangerous adjuvants that cause an inflammatory response in the body. This is why they are suspected of causing autism and other neurological disorders.

Read the other 8 here

Vaccines may become mandatory and the government will be able to inject whatever chemicals it wants into your body at any time.

Wake Up, America: Forced vaccinations, quarantine camps, health care interrogations and mandatory “decontaminations”

(NaturalNews) The United States of America is devolving into medical fascism and Massachusetts is leading the way with the passage of a new bill, the “Pandemic Response Bill” 2028, reportedly just passed by the MA state Senate and now awaiting approval in the House. This bill suspends virtually all Constitutional rights of Massachusetts citizens and forces anyone “suspected” of being infected to submit to interrogations, “decontaminations” and vaccines.

It’s also sets fines up to $1,000 per day for anyone who refuses to submit to quarantines, vaccinations, decontamination efforts or to follow any other verbal order by virtually any state-licensed law enforcement or medical personnel. You can read the text yourself here: http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/sen…

Here’s some of the language contained in the bill:

(Violation of 4th Amendment: Illegal search and seizure)

During either type of declared emergency, a local public health authority… may exercise authority… to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises; to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be
decontaminated any building or facility; to destroy any material; to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;

(Violation of 14th Amendment; illegal arrest without a warrant)

…an officer authorized to serve criminal process may arrest without a warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated an order given to effectuate the purposes of this subsection and shall use reasonable diligence to enforce such order. [Gunpoint]

(Government price controls)

The attorney general, in consultation with the office of consumer affairs and business regulation, and upon the declaration by the governor that a supply emergency exists, shall take appropriate action to ensure that no person shall sell a product or service that is at a price that unreasonably exceeds the price charged before the emergency.

“Involuntary Transportation” (also known as kidnapping)

Law enforcement authorities, upon order of the commissioner or his agent or at the request of a local public health authority pursuant to such order, shall assist emergency medical technicians or other appropriate medical personnel in the involuntary transportation of such person to the tuberculosis treatment center.

$1,000 / day in fines

Any person who knowingly violates an order, as to which noncompliance
poses a serious danger to public health as determined by the commissioner or the local public health authority, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per day that the violation continues, or both.

Forced vaccinations

Furthermore, when the commissioner or a local public health authority within its jurisdiction determines that either or both of the following measures are necessary to prevent a serious danger to the public health the commissioner or local public health authority may exercise the following authority: (1) to vaccinate or provide precautionary prophylaxis to individuals as protection against communicable disease…

Forced quarantine for those who refuse (illegal imprisonment without charge)

An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit to such procedures but may be isolated or quarantined pursuant to section 96 of chapter 111 if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health, as determined by the commissioner, or a local public health authority operating within its jurisdiction.

 


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