Thursday, January 28, 2016

Holocaust survivor Mayer Hersh retiring from public speaking

Mr Hersh has spent his adult life recounting his time in Auschwitz, to ensure the horrors are never repeated

 
Mayer Hersh has spent his adult life recounting his time in Auschwitz
A holocaust survivor who spent decades speaking about his escape from ‘the worst hell on earth’ is retiring from public speaking.
Mayer Hersh has spent his adult life recounting his time in Auschwitz, to ensure the horrors are never repeated.
He is considered one of the most distinguished and inspirational figures in holocaust education in the country.
Mayers has talked to boys at The Manchester Grammar School for more than a decade, telling them of his harrowing experiences during the Second World War.
To commemorate his years of service at the school, and to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, a special portrait of Mayer was commissioned.
Photographer Nigel Maitland’s moving piece will now adorn the school’s walls.



The 88-year-old was just 12 when the Nazis seized him – along with his brother Jakob – in 1940, after invading his native Poland a year earlier.
The pair were thrown into a string of concentration camps before eventually ending up in Auschwitz three years later.
Mayer was finally freed from the camp by the Russians in 1945 – by then a ‘filthy, emaciated skeleton’ suffering from typhus.
He has been raising awareness of Europe’s darkest era ever since.
Mayer and Jakob were the only survivors of a family of eight.
Mayer now lives in Heathlands Village care home, in Prestwich, having settled in Manchester after the war.
He was handed an MBE in 2013 - nearly 70 years after the horrific events.
 

Andy Smith, pastoral deputy head at The Manchester Grammar School, said: “The educational opportunity for our pupils of listening to Mayer cannot be overestimated.
“Mayer was able to offer our pupils an unsparing account of what it was like to be a boy in the middle of these terrible events in European history at a very similar age to themselves.
“Mayer’s recollections of how he spent his youth in Nazi concentration camps remains seared in the memory of everyone who has listened to him.
“His personal story of quiet endurance and stoicism is both deeply moving and spiritually uplifting.
“Mayer’s deep generosity, good humour and ‘old world’ courtesy made those who met him feel special.
“Many of our boys have been moved to write letters to him after hearing him speak at MGS.”
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/holocaust-survivor-mayer-hersh-retiring-10800290

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Germany bans far-right Internet platform, arrests 2
 











BERLIN (AP) -- 

The German government on Wednesday banned a far-right Internet platform that it accused of spreading "racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-Islamic content," and federal prosecutors said two people were arrested.
The ban on the Altermedia Deutschland platform is "a clear sign that the rule of law doesn't allow hate crime," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
The prosecutors' office said that two Germans, identified only as Jutta V. and Ralph Thomas K. in line with German privacy rules, were arrested on suspicion of founding a criminal organization and incitement. Three other suspects weren't arrested.
Raids were conducted in homes in four German states and the northeastern Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.
The two arrested people were the administrators of the Altermedia website and therefore responsible for its content, which included banned Nazi slogans and the denial of the Holocaust as well as incitement of violence against foreigners, the prosecutors' office said.
The server was located in Russia to prevent German authorities gaining access, it added. German officials asked Russia to switch it off in the coming days.
German security officials say that the far right has become much more savvy in using of the Internet and social media to push its message to a broader audience.
The head of Germany's domestic intelligence, Hans-Georg Maassen, told reporters Tuesday that "there is the danger of a gray zone developing between far-right extremists, right-wing conservatives and citizen protesters with significant potential for violence."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_GERMANY_FAR_RIGHT_RAIDS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-01-27-06-29-28 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

One in 217 Rochdale residents is an asylum seeker

The Borough of Rochdale is one of only five regions in the country where more than one in every 300 residents is an asylum seeker.

Home Office immigration statistics show one in every 217 residents in the borough is an asylum seeker, one of the highest proportions in the country.

Middlesbrough has the highest proportion with one in every 173 residents an asylum seeker. Neighbouring Oldham also features in the top ten list with one in every 360 residents an asylum seeker.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk told Rochdale Online News: “The figures speak for themselves. Rochdale houses over 1,000 asylum seekers, more than the whole of the South East region put together.

“Every town and city should do its fair share when it comes to helping vulnerable people who come to the UK seeking refuge. Sadly this is not the case.

“Only 95 of the 326 local council areas currently house asylum seekers. In Rochdale this puts extra strain on housing, schools, the NHS and council services.

“It is grossly unfair for the asylum seekers who are placed in an area which is ill-equipped to support them in such large numbers.

“I have written several times to Immigration Minister James Brokenshire, raised the issue in Parliament and even grilled David Cameron on the figures at Prime Minister's Questions. Despite all this, I have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation as to why Rochdale is expected to do so much while areas in the South do nothing.

“I will continue to press on this matter until we get a new deal that is fairer for everyone.”
http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/100607/one-in-217-rochdale-residents-is-an-asylum-seeker

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The 'witch hunts' against Armed Forces veterans  continues;

The Grand old Duke of York, he had 10.000 men 
The Lawyers tried to lock them up, 
so they could not fight again
So when they were up they were up
and when they were down they were down.
But when they were only half way up,
the politicians stitched them up again


Now they want to prosecute Army snipers ! 


'British sniper investigated for not shouting warning in Iraq'

Veterans group expresses outrage at unlawful killing investigation despite fact that lethal shot prevented insurgent firing rocket propelled grenade at British base




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British soldier to be questioned by Iraq war crime investigators
Hundreds of soldiers face being investigated over allegations brought by British lawyers acting for groups of Iraqis seeking compensation from the British government 
A British sniper is being investigated for shooting dead an Iraqi insurgent preparing to fire a rocket propelled grenade because he did not shout a warning, according to a pressure group representing former members of the armed forces.
The group, UK Veterans One Voice, says the unidentified soldier is the subject of an inquiry by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), despite preventing an attack on a British base.
The sniper's account contains no details of when or where the incident happened and could not be immediately verified.
British soldiers could be prosecuted for crimes in Iraq, according to reports
ADVERTISING
However, the dramatic tale published by UK Veterans One Voice begins with the words: “This is not fiction.”
It describes how a British base was subject to attack by an Iraqi armed with an RPG after Friday prayers over a period of weeks. Soldiers were told not to return fire for fear of hurting bystanders who gathered to watch after they left the local mosque.
Then one Thursday a patrol returned without a sniper team – either by accident or design.
The following day, the same insurgent is spotted preparing to launch his weekly attack.

“As the insurgent’s finger tightened on the trigger of the RPG, a single shot cracked out,” says the account.
“The round flew almost 1200 metres across the face of the crowd missing them safely. The RPG jumped unfired into the air and the insurgent’s body briefly flew across the ground having been hit by a veteran of long military service, a graduate of the Army Sniper School.”
'I’d rebuilt my life, I don’t want this dragged up again by unfair Iraq investigation'
The distance of the shot ruled out a shouted warning, says the pressure group.
“Duty done, eventually, the sniper returned home to the UK and a happy civilian family life, with the respect of those who know him.”
Yet now it says the sniper is the subject of an IHAT investigation for unlawful killing.
Inquiries tipped to reach £100m to remove 'war crime' stain from reputation of British forces The Iraq Historic Allegations Team: The unit is investigating claims prisoners were mistreated  Photo: PA
The IHAT team was set up by the Ministry of Defence in 2010 after dozens of claims from Iraq were submitted by British lawyers.
Initially, £57 million was set aside to investigate 152 allegations of unlawful killing and abuse. Since then the number of cases has passed 1500, provoking anger among veterans and their families who say they are being treated unfairly after putting their lives on the line for Queen and country.
UK Veterans One Voice is planning a series of marches next month to highlight the issue.
“Let the Government know we will not go away until full responsibility is accepted for allowing the mis-management of persecuting and prosecuting members of the Armed Services,” it said in a message to supporters.
“We ask for a stop to the current trend of ‘bash a soldier’ that is making a mint for lawyers, but ruining lives of individuals.”
Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, recently criticised "ambulance chasing" law firms, which he said were inhibiting the effectiveness of British troops abroad.
He told the Telegraph: "We don’t need these ambulance-chasing British law firms. It is not only extremely expensive but it inhibits the operational effectiveness of our troops because they start to worry about whether they will end up in a court or not.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/12107164/British-sniper-investigated-for-not-shouting-warning-in-Iraq.html 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Polish political party to launch Northern Ireland branch

Razem Ireland has no current plans to have candidates stand in Northern Ireland

Razem Ireland has no current plans to have candidates stand in Northern Ireland

07:30Wednesday 13 January 2016

A Polish political party which contested parliamentary elections in that country last year is organising a local branch in Northern Ireland, it has confirmed.

In a statement ‘Razem Ireland’ described itself as “an Irish branch of the Razem Party (Together Party) in Poland” and said it was “a social democratic political initiative” focusing on:
• Job stability and rights;
• Redistribution [of wealth] through progressive taxation;
• Opposing deregulation and privatisation;
• A progressive social agenda supporting LGBT rights and gender quotas.

Professor Nicholas Whyte of the faculty of Social Sciences at the Ulster University said the Polish population in Northern Ireland does not have enough density to elect anyone on the strength of Polish votes. The two largest Polish wards – in Ballymena and Dungannon – have only around nine per cent Polish voters.
The party got less than four per cent of the vote in the Polish parliamentary elections in October and did not win a seat. But it would expect less than four per cent of the emigrant vote as such people are less progressive than the average Polish person; the Polish middle classes tend to be more liberal and more financially secure and less likely to emigrate.

Party spokeswoman Justyna Mokry, 38, is the Irish coordinator for the party. Based in Cork, she is a full-time mum, married with two children, and previously worked for a Polish welfare charity.
“There are too few members to stand in this election in Northern Ireland,” she told the News Letter. “We will think about it for the future.”
In the meantime, they aim to cooperate with other left-wing parties. There is a prospective plan to stand for election in Dublin first.
“The party will discuss this when it meets on January 23,” she said.
It currently has no position on union with the UK.
She acknowledges her party got only 3.9 per cent of the vote in October in Poland but says it was a good result as the party only launched in May.
Mrs Mokry confirmed that Polish emigrants are much less progressive than the average Polish person, which does not bode well for her party gaining traction among them.
“But I hope when Polish emigrants hear about what we want to do for our community they would want to cooperate with us.”
She acknowledged that “most Poles support right-wing parties” but said they will focus on Polish votes and workers’ rights.

An information stall will be on Hill Street, Newry on January 23 at 1pm. In case of bad weather it will move to the Foresters Club at 2.30pm.
PUP councillor John Kyle said: “Job security is an issue for many workers but in my view creating a Polish political party is unwise and could increase division rather than integration”.
The PUP would be willing to fight for job security and would be happy to work with any Poles who felt unjustly treated, he added.
Commentator Alex Kane commended choice in elections but expressed concern that the party “would hinder rather than help the integration of Polish”.
The DUP said all participation in democracy is welcome and that it was “happy to seek support right across the community”.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

'Merkel out!': PEGIDA supporters vent fury after Cologne attacks

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) rally in reaction to assaults on women on New Year's Eve, in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 9, 2016.
 
Chanting "Merkel out" and waving German flags, supporters of the xenophobic PEGIDA movement vented their anger Saturday against migrants after a rash of sexual assaults in the western city of Cologne.
Carrying banners and signs bearing slogans like "Rapefugees not welcome," the far-right protesters took aim at Merkel, accusing her of allowing migrants to running amok in Germany through her liberal stance towards those fleeing war.
"Merkel has become a danger to our country. Merkel must go," a member of PEGIDA told the crowd, which echoed the call.
Witnesses have described the perpetrators of the assaults in Cologne on the night of Dec. 31 as people with "North African or Arab" appearance.
Federal police have said that a majority of the suspects identified so far are of foreign origin, inflaming a debate over Germany's ability to integrate the 1.1 million asylum seekers it took in last year alone.
"These women who fell victim will have to live with it for a long time. I feel like my freedom has been robbed from me," a mother of four introduced as Christiane told the rally.
"That's impossible. Frau Merkel, Frau Reker, you are women! Where is your solidarity? What are women worth in this society?" she said, referring to Henriette Reker, who is mayor of Cologne, and who was stabbed in the neck last October by a man with a far-right background.
"We are the people,"chanted the crowd as they began marching away from the train station. "Those who don't love this country should disappear," they shouted.
Some also heckled at the line of police officers standing guard, saying "where, where, where were you on New Year's eve?"
"Nazis out"
A helicopter circled overhead, and an occasional firecracker went off, adding to tensions as leftist demonstrators staged a counter-protest.
Kept at bay from the PEGIDA crowd by police they chanted "Nazis raus!" (Nazis out!).
"There is nothing right about Nazi propaganda," said a slogan on the sign held up by one protester, while another read "Fascism is not an opinion, it is a crime".
"We are there to tell them to shut up. It is unacceptable for PEGIDA to exploit this horrible sexual violence perpetrated here on New Year's day and to spread their racist nonsense," said Emily Michels, 28.
Half a dozen Iraqi and Syrian refugees were also part of the counter-demonstration group, with a Jordan-born woman running their local shelter, Dana Khamis, saying they had joined in the rally after hearing about the attacks.
"I told them that the demonstration is about women's rights and against sexism and against facism, and they said they wanted absolutely to be part of it," said Khamis, 27.
PEGIDA started life over a year ago as a xenophobic Facebook group, initially drawing just a few hundred protesters to demonstrations in the eastern city of Dresden before gaining strength, peaking with rallies of 25,000 people.
Interest subsequently began to wane following overtly racist comments by founder Lutz Bachmann, and the surfacing of "selfies" in which he sported a Hitler moustache and hairstyle.
But PEGIDA has seen a revival with the record influx of migrants to Germany.

Friday, January 08, 2016

The BNP is removed from the official list of political parties after its vote collapsed by 99.7 per cent and it failed to pay £25 fee

  • In 2009 the far right party had two MEPs and more than 50 councillors
  • But in 2015 it mustered just eight candidates at the general election
  • The party collapsed amid infighting, including the expulsion of Nick Griffin 
  • The Electoral Commission has now removed them from the official list
  • BNP claims it will submit the paperwork within days to get back on register 

Following the ruling, the BNP name and logo can no longer appear on ballot papers 
Following the ruling, the BNP name and logo can no longer appear on ballot papers 
The BNP has been removed from the official list of political parties after failing to renew its registration with the Electoral Commission - a process which would have cost just £25.
It means the party name and logo cannot appear next to any candidate on any ballot paper on election day - but the party blamed a 'clerical error' which would be corrected.
The far right party has collapsed in recent years and stood just eight candidates at the 2015 general election - all unsuccessfully as the party's national vote share dived by 99.7 per cent.
The Electoral Commission said today all parties have a maximum of six months from the deadline for submission of their account to re-register as a party.
This date passed for the BNP yesterday meaning it can no longer stand party candidates.
The Electoral Commission said: 'The Electoral Commission did not receive the notification by this date and is required by law to remove the BNP from its register of political parties in Great Britain.
Now that the party has been removed from the register, BNP candidates cannot, at present, use the party's name, descriptions or emblems on the ballot paper at elections.
'The party can, however, submit an application to re-register at any time and their name, descriptions and emblems are protected under PPERA for two years to prevent other parties using them.
'Any application will be considered by the Commission in line with its usual processes for assessing new applications to register political parties.' 
BNP spokesman Stephen Squire said it was a 'clerical error on our part' and that the party would submit the necessary paperwork within the next few days.
'It's a little bit embarrassing,' he said, but insisted it would be 'business as usual' for the party, which intended to contest the London mayoral election and some council seats.
He added: 'We've been overwhelmed by the number of phone calls we've had from people concerned we might be disappearing.' 
In October 2014, the BNP announced ex-leader Nick Griffin, 55, had been 'expelled from membership' amid claims that he had attempted to cause 'disunity' within the party.
In a damning letter, Adam Walker, the current BNP chairman, alleged that Mr Griffin had attempted to spread 'lies' about the party and had 'harrass[ed]' current members.
An hour and a half after the statement was released on the party's website, the former politician, who had led the BNP for 15 years, took to Twitter to speak out against the decision.
He wrote: 'Breaking news! I've just been 'expelled' without trial from the #BNP! That'll teach me to tell a member of staff he's a 'useless, lazy t***'.'
Moments later, he compared the BNP to the former Sovet Union tweeting: 'Only thing is that the ruling Wigton Soviet are operating outside the constitution so I shall ignore their plastic gangster games.'
Mr Griffin stepped down from his leadership of the BNP in July this year, after losing his seat as an MEP, but was given an honorary title of President. He had declared bankruptcy months before leaving the group.
The Electoral Commission today confirmed the BNP's removal from the official register of political parties on Twitter 
The Electoral Commission today confirmed the BNP's removal from the official register of political parties on Twitter 
Despite the ruling, an account purporting to represent the BNP was still recruiting for members today
Despite the ruling, an account purporting to represent the BNP was still recruiting for members today
 In 1997 he was handed a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of inciting racial hatred. Mr Griffin was ousted from the party following a review by its conduct committee.
Mr Jefferson, a member of the committee who did not provide his first name, said: 'This has been a difficult decision to make and not one taken lightly.
'Although we all appreciate that Nick has achieved a lot for our Party in the past, we must also remember that the Party is bigger than any individual.
'Nick did not adjust well to being given the honourary title of President and it soon became obvious that he was unable to work as an equal member of the team and alarmingly his behaviour became more erratic and disruptive.' 
Earlier in 2014, former leader Mr Griffin had lost his seat in the European Parliament and the party was reduced to just two local councillors.
It had stood 330 candidates at the 2010 election following a decade when it appeared it had made a 'breakthrough', securing a London Assembly seat and more than 50 local councillors.
Political parties are legally required to renew their registration every year, including a fee of £25.
Ex-leader Nick Griffin lost his European Parliament seat in 2014 and was expelled from the party later that year. The BNP vote collapsed by 99.7 per cent at the 2015 general election
Ex-leader Nick Griffin lost his European Parliament seat in 2014 and was expelled from the party later that year. The BNP vote collapsed by 99.7 per cent at the 2015 general election

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3390584/The-BNP-removed-official-list-political-parties-vote-collapsed-99-7-cent-failed-pay-25-fee.html#ixzz3wfr9j8FJ

NWN: Griffin always leaves a trail of devastation. The same happened in the 1980's when he was wrecking the National Front. The NF have still not recovered from that wrecking spree by Griffin. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016


These are two of the solicitors who are trying to 'hound' our ex servicemen into Court . 

They work for LEIGH DAY & CO solicitors of  Farringdon, London.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leigh-Day-Co-Solicitors/144220902348532

Have a look at some of the veterans comments on their FB page. The veterans are very angry indeed. Now read the news story below to find out what they have been getting up to.

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New defence shadow minister Emily Thornberry accepted £14,500 from law firm which sued British troops

David Cameron says Labour MP has "questions to answer" over donations from the firm, which has been accused of making false claims that British soldiers were involved in torture and murder in Iraq





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Emily Thornberry

Labour's new shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry received donations from a law firm which was condemned over false claims British soldiers were involved in torture and murder in Iraq.
David Cameron has said there are "questions to answer" over Ms Thornberry's links with the firm after a Conservative MP branded the lawyers "immoral, thieving and ambulance chasing".
Jeremy Corbyn's new frontbench appointment accepted £14,500 from Leigh Day & Co, which is now facing disciplinary action after allegations it made were found to be "wholly and entirely without merit" by the Al-Sweady inquiry.

Will my Right Honourable Friend agree with me that it's more than a matter of regret that the new shadow secretary of state for defence has seen fit to take a donation from the immoral, thieving and ambulance chasing lawyers Leigh Day, who together with public interest lawyers specialise in hounding our brave service personal in Iraq on spurious claims
Conservative MP Stewart Jackson
Lawyers at the firm could be struck off after the investigation found that a key document at the centre of the inquiry was shredded. Leigh Day was also accused of "deliberate and calculated lies".
The donation to Miss Thornberry in December 2014 was to fund a legal research assistant for her office.
The issue has sparked concern among Labour MPs and came as shadow defence minister Kevan Jones resigned and shadow foreign affairs minister Stephen Doughty also decided to leave the front bench just before Prime Minister's Questions began.
Prime Minister David CameronThe Prime Minister has warned there are "questions to answer"  Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Conservative MP Stewart Jackson said: "Will my Right Honourable Friend agree with me that it's more than a matter of regret that the new shadow secretary of state for defence has seen fit to take a donation from the immoral, thieving and ambulance chasing lawyers Leigh Day, who together with public interest lawyers specialise in hounding our brave service personal in Iraq on spurious claims."
Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Cameron responded that Mr Corbyn has questions to answer over the appointment. He said: "I do think this organisation Leigh Day does have some questions to answer, not least because they were deeply involved in the al-Sweady inquiry.
Afghanistan 2001—2014:  We will remember themBritish troops in Afghanistan
"I do think it is instructive that we have lost a Shadow Secretary of State for Defence who believed in strong defence and instead we've got someone apparently who takes funds from Leigh Day and that leaves us with serious questions.
"We will be left with a collection of politicians who've signed up to unilateral nuclear disarmament, who have signed up to racking up taxes debt and spending."
Asked what people in the Armed Forces will make of Thornberry's links with the law firm, a Labour spokesman said: "I don't think it's relevant. Emily is a very capable shadow defence secretary."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/12084846/David-Cameron-Questions-to-answer-over-Emily-Thornberrys-links-to-condemned-law-firm-Leigh-Day.html

Monday, January 04, 2016

End witch-hunt of our soldiers: Fury as 'ambulance-chasing' lawyers try to prosecute UK's Iraq heroes - and are handed taxpayers' millions to do it 

  • Government set aside £57m years ago for investigation of 152 allegations
  • Cases examined by Iraq Historical Allegations Team passed the 1,500 mark
  • Mark Warwick who heads the unit said soldiers could see murder charges
  • 13,000 veterans have now joined organisation to campaign against action

The legal ‘witch-hunt’ against UK troops who served in Iraq could cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds and drag on for years.
War heroes, military families and politicians last night called for ‘ambulance-chasing’ lawyers to stop harassing soldiers who had simply been doing their duty.
The Government set aside £57million five years ago for the investigation of 152 allegations of ill treatment and unlawful killing of civilians.
The legal ‘witch-hunt’ against UK troops who served in Iraq could cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds and drag on for years. Above, British soldiers fire rubber bullets in Basra in 2003
The legal ‘witch-hunt’ against UK troops who served in Iraq could cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds and drag on for years. Above, British soldiers fire rubber bullets in Basra in 2003
Now the number of cases being examined by the 145-strong Iraq Historical Allegations Team has passed the 1,500 mark.
Despite no one being convicted, Mark Warwick, who heads the unit, says it has been ‘overwhelmed with cases’ and murder charges could result.
As the outcry over the treatment of troops who risked their lives on the frontline grows, the Daily Mail can reveal that:
  • The MoD pays an Iraqi agent nearly £40,000 a year to help the families of supposed victims;
  • His son says up to 20 new clients come forward each week hoping to sue the UK Government;
  • The cases go to British-based law firms which are receiving legal aid payments; 
  • An accused ex-soldier says he has been hounded for 12 years and ‘left to rot’ by the Army; 
  • Hundreds of veterans and their families will march to Westminster tomorrow to call for an immediate end to the harassment.
Ian Sadler, a former soldier whose son Jack was killed in Afghanistan in 2007, said: ‘How can they spend so much money on these spurious legal claims, which are being pursued by ambulance-chasing law firms in this country to get Iraqis compensation? 
'This is a witch-hunt with a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow for these law firms.’
Colonel Bob Stewart, a Tory MP on the Commons defence committee, said: ‘Not only do we have civilian battlefield ambulance chasers, we now have MoD battlefield ambulance chasers. I’m fed up with our soldiers being chased and harassed and intimidated after they have put their lives on the line.
‘And for our country to be taking part in this witch-hunt is despicable.’
Despite no one being convicted, Mark Warwick, pictured, who heads the unit, says it has been ‘overwhelmed with cases’ and murder charges could result
Despite no one being convicted, Mark Warwick, pictured, who heads the unit, says it has been ‘overwhelmed with cases’ and murder charges could result
The Iraq Historical Allegations Team was set up by the Ministry of Defence in 2010 after a flood of claims from Iraq were submitted by Public Interest Lawyers and Leigh Day.
Mr Warwick, a former police officer, believes there is enough evidence for successful prosecutions – leading to an outcry among soldiers who say they are now constantly looking over their shoulders. There are 2,360 claims overall by Iraqi civilians against the MoD from the five-year mission – a figure which continues to rise. There are also nearly 100 claims from Afghanistan and mounting investigations against troops who served in Northern Ireland.
Last night it emerged that 13,000 veterans and their families have joined an organisation called UK veterans, One Voice, to campaign for former soldiers facing arrest.
The organisation, founded by former private Nigel Kelsall, who completed tours of Northern Ireland and Bosnia, will take part in the march tomorrow.
The 41-year-old father of one, who was a private in the Royal Logistical Corps, said: ‘No soldier should have to go through the ordeal of being questioned years later.
‘The Government needs to put an end to this. These men are just doing their job and to prosecute troops is wrong.’
Former private Robert Gray, 61, who served with the Duke of Wellington’s regiment in the 1970s in Northern Ireland, said: ‘This is British soldiers doing their jobs and then being called murderers.’
Felicity Sayers, who served in the Royal Navy and whose husband was in the Black Watch in the 1970s, said: ‘It is absolutely ridiculous that our men and women are trained to fight an enemy and then are hung out to dry when they do.’ Mrs Sayers, 55, from Lincoln, said her husband was expecting to be questioned about his role in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer, who served in Afghanistan, said it was important for soldiers to operate within the rule of law. But he added: ‘At the same time, it would be the easiest thing in the world in Iraq or Afghanistan to go out and find people who say they were harmed by coalition forces of any flag.’
An MoD spokesman said last night: ‘The vast majority of UK service personnel deployed on military operations conduct themselves professionally and in accordance with the law.
‘The MoD takes all allegations of abuse or unlawful killing extremely seriously. Where there is sufficient evidence, members of HM Forces can be prosecuted. It is estimated that the IHAT’s work will take until the end of 2019.’
 
MoD pays Iraqi agent £40,000 a year to gather evidence against OUR soldiers
By LARISA BROWN
An Iraqi agent is being paid nearly £40,000 a year by the Ministry of Defence to help the families of suspected insurgents killed by British soldiers.
Abu Jamal, 59, earns up to £3,200 a month – plus expenses – from the MoD to take statements from witnesses and ferry them to Lebanon to give evidence via video link to the Iraq Historical Allegations Team.
On top of his work for the MoD, a grieving widow claimed he knocked on her door persuading her to claim compensation from the British government.
Her husband’s death is one of more than 1,000 claims of wrongdoing and unlawful detention which Abu Jamal has handed over to Public Interest Lawyers and Leigh Day over the past decade.
Abu Jamal, 59, earns up to £3,200 a month – plus expenses – from the MoD to take statements from witnesses and ferry them to Lebanon to give evidence via video link to the Iraq Historical Allegations Team. He is pictured with his son Jamal Alshiraida, who also helps with the compensation claims
Abu Jamal, 59, earns up to £3,200 a month – plus expenses – from the MoD to take statements from witnesses and ferry them to Lebanon to give evidence via video link to the Iraq Historical Allegations Team. He is pictured with his son Jamal Alshiraida, who also helps with the compensation claims
The Daily Mail tracked down the father of one to his office in Basra, southern Iraq, where he is now so busy he gets up to 20 new clients a week. He has recruited his son, Jamal Alshiraida, 28, and another colleague, Abu Zaid, to help with all the paperwork.
The family firm is known across the city for its success in helping Iraqi civilians win millions of pounds in compensation from the Ministry of Defence.
Speaking from Basra, Mr Alshiraida told the Mail they also worked for PIL and Leigh Day. He said: ‘I enjoy my job because of the treatment we get from the British. They have good lawyers in Britain.
‘I send emails and print documents. We have more than 1,000 clients, maybe we will get about ten, 20 more people this week. There are lots. They tell us about how they were detained by the British.’
It is unclear, however, how much PIL or Leigh Day pay Abu Jamal or whether he is on commission.
Figures show there are 2,360 outstanding claims of all sorts by Iraqi civilians against the MoD from the five-year war – a figure which continues to rise.
We have more than 1,000 clients, maybe we will get about ten, 20 more people this week. There are lots. They tell us about how they were detained by the British 
Jamal Alshiraida 
Mr Alshiraida’s comments will fuel fears that there are thousands more claims to come as Iraqi civilians hear about successful cases heard in the UK.
The department has paid out £22million in compensation to Iraqi civilians.
Last month the grieving widow of Muhammad Salim, who was shot during an arrest operation in November 2003, revealed that she was approached by Abu Jamal weeks after his death.
Her testimony suggests a close connection with Birmingham-based PIL, which used Abu Jamal.
PIL’s boss, Phil Shiner, has always maintained that his firm has done nothing wrong.
When Mr Alshiraida was asked how he and his father found the Iraqis claiming to have been victims of mistreatment by troops, he said: ‘Always they come to the office in Basra.’
His father, who lives in the centre of the port city, refused to comment on whether he approached clients or whether they came to him.
In a statement, PIL said Abu Jamal was not known to the law firm in 2004 and PIL did not tout for business.
But Mr Alshiraida said he and his father had been working for the firm in 2004.
‘In 2004 he rang them,’ he replied, when asked how his father first contacted PIL.
Over the years, Abu Jamal has become so popular with alleged Iraqi victims that all those represented by PIL ‘insist on dealing with him’, a source said.
This has meant the Iraq Historical Allegations Team investigating wrongdoing by British troops has been forced to use the Iraqi as a paid chaperone for victims and witnesses.
Responding to a complaint that PIL used an agent, Mr Shiner’s lawyers claimed that that the MoD ‘routinely use Abu Jamal’ and pay him up to 5,000 US dollars a month plus expenses.
Both IHAT and the MoD did not comment on the figure.
 
I was cleared TWICE but the lawyers are still hounding me, says war hero: Decorated soldier says he was 'left to rot' over death of Iraqi civilian armed with an AK-47
By LARISA BROWN
A decorated soldier says he was ‘left to rot’ while lawyers hounded him over the death of an Iraqi civilian 12 years ago. Richard Catterall believed the suspect, who was armed with an AK-47, was threatening the lives of his comrades.
Two inquiries cleared the former sergeant of unlawfully shooting Muhammad Salim dead only for him to now face a third investigation. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he has repeatedly begged to be left alone to the point that investigators apparently feared he would take his own life.
The father of two, who was medically discharged from the Army in 2014 after serving 23 years, said the latest investigation was the ‘final nail in the coffin’.
Decorated soldier Richard Catterall, pictured with his two daughters, says he was ‘left to rot’ while lawyers hounded him over the death of an Iraqi civilian 12 years ago 
Decorated soldier Richard Catterall, pictured with his two daughters, says he was ‘left to rot’ while lawyers hounded him over the death of an Iraqi civilian 12 years ago 
The 46-year-old waived his right to anonymity after the Daily Mail revealed last month that Mr Salim’s widow had been persuaded by an agent used by a British law firm to make the claim that he was unlawfully killed.
Mr Catterall said he had thrown his medals from his five tours of Northern Ireland, two tours of Iraq and one tour of Afghanistan in the bin because he been made to feel ashamed of his life of service. Speaking from his small terraced home in Liverpool, he said: ‘The Army have just hung me out to dry.’
Mr Catterall, who is struggling financially, said: ‘I am at my wits’ end. I have a lot to cope with and I just feel like I am going backwards.
‘I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and now I’m scared to go out into the street. I tried to tell them how sick I was.
‘This latest hearing has been the final nail in the coffin. I’ve got worse since this started, I’ve isolated myself even more over the last couple of months.
In a gruelling six-month tour of Iraq in 2003 one bloody firefight lead to Mr Catterall being handed a baby whose arm had been blasted off. Despite his efforts the child died in his arms.
Days later he was on patrol in Basra when he shot Mr Salim in the stomach during an arrest operation.
Mr Catterall, pictured fourth from left, was medically discharged from the Army in 2014 after serving 23 years and said the latest investigation was the ‘final nail in the coffin’
British soldiers had been acting on information given to them that up to 15 armed men had been seen entering a property in the port.
As they arrived at the address they heard five rounds of gunfire and were confronted by two armed men.
Mr Catterall shot one of them, believing Mr Salim to be an insurgent and about to shoot. The Iraqi was treated by a combat medic but he died from his injuries in hospital the following day.
It later emerged that the information given to the Army had been wrong, and Mr Salim was a civilian carrying an AK-47 for his own safety.
Shooting someone is no easy thing to do and I’ve never got over it 
Richard Catterall 
Mr Catterall said he shot in self-defence thinking his life and those of his comrades were in danger. He said he had followed the rules of engagement.
A military investigation at the time and a separate eight-month investigation carried out by the Iraq Historical Allegations Team cleared him of any wrongdoing. IHAT quizzed Mr Catterall after being handed statements by Phil Shiner’s Public Interest Lawyers and obtained from Mr Salim’s widow and others.
Exonerating him, a review concluded: ‘The IHAT have investigated the resulting allegation of unlawful killing and after careful consideration ... it has been decided that there is no evidence to suggest the soldier was not acting in self defence.’
Mr Catterall said: ‘I thought it was all done with and I tried to get on with my life. The incident was one of the traumas I have been dealing with, with combat stress. Shooting someone is no easy thing to do and I’ve never got over it.’
But in September he was contacted by Iraq Fatality Investigations, an inquest-style inquiry set up in response to yet more PIL claims on behalf of the family now seeking compensation. He said: ‘They said they would like to question me again.
‘They asked me to go to London and I said I couldn’t do that because I was agoraphobic.
‘They knew I was suffering and I told them I didn’t want to do it but they said it would be hanging over my head if I didn’t.’
Mr Catterall said he shot in self-defence thinking his life and those of his comrades were in danger
He said he had followed the rules of engagement
Mr Catterall said he shot in self-defence thinking his life and those of his comrades were in danger. He said he had followed the rules of engagement
Mr Catterall was questioned twice by the inquiry chairman, Sir George Newman, through a video link from his home, before he was asked to give evidence in front of Mr Salim’s family.
‘I said to them on the phone, I’m not prepared to go for more questioning,’ he said. ‘Then I put the phone down and later that evening two policemen came to check I was still alive. I said I wasn’t very well. I explained how I wasn’t well. Obviously the man from the inquiry was so concerned that he sent the police that night to make sure I was OK.
‘And even after all of that I was still strongly encouraged to go and do the interview with the Iraqi families.’
In November Mr Catterall, whose marriage ended the month before, gave evidence to the inquiry via video link from Liverpool under the cipher S011 which gave him anonymity.
He said he was ‘deeply, deeply sorry for the family’, telling the inquiry: ‘If I could change anything and go back in time, I’d do it and I’m sorry.’ Mr Salim’s family said they did not accept his apology because he had been reckless.
The soldiers who were with him at the time supported his version of events. Despite his service with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, Mr Catterall said he had been refused help from the Army which ‘wanted nothing’ to do with him.
He said he had contacted his regimental association to ask for help – but it declined.
He said: ‘I was loyal to the Army for 20 odd years and I don’t want to start looking like I’m disloyal to them but they’ve shown me no loyalty over the past few years.
‘I understand I had to be brought to account for my actions but to be brought to account so many times on so many different occasions was a massive kick in the teeth.’
He said one of his daughters had taken his medals out of the bin and framed them for him and hung them on his wall.
Mr Catterall was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia in 2011, a year after falling ill with a severe neck injury from excessive weight carrying in the Army.
He said: ‘I think about what happened when I had the injury to my neck and when I was put at home. I was just left there to rot.’
His case is understood to have been passed to the International Criminal Court, which usually tries dictators accused of genocide.
ICC prosecutors have refused to grant the soldiers involved in the death of Mr Salim immunity from fresh charges, which raises the prospect of Mr Catterall being tried at the Hague.
 
Support these old soldiers...................
 
London - Tuesday 5th.January - 11.00 AM. 
 
March starts at 12 noon.
 

Whitehall Gardens

Northumberland Avenue

Opposite the playhouse

London

Protest about the enforced starvation and murder of German soldiers AFTER WW2