14 November 2007
Faced with widespread criticism, the military has now denied humiliating the dead and argued it became necessary to strip the Black Tigers for any "hidden suicide devices" under their jungle fatigues.While it claimed that the bodies were wrapped in black polythene bags, photographs of the trailer packed with naked bodies and a huge gathering of residents watching in the rain, proved otherwise. The military also said the bodies had been since buried. The opposition Lankadissent.com website alleged that the bodies were displayed "to prevent the mentality of defeat from entering the public mindset in the aftermath of this major military debacle." The site also published pictures of the tractors in procession. The military too had on Tuesday posted photographs of some of the killed Tigers sprawled on the airbase tarmac, some charred, one with eyes wide open and another with a gaping hole in his head. The pro-Tiger Puthinam Tamil website reported that the rebel leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran paid his respects to the Black Tigers killed in the air base attack at a well-organised ceremony on Thursday. It said Prabhakaran garlanded the photographs of the 'martyrs' and lit memorial lamps. Meanwhile, the pro-Tiger website, Tamilnet, quoted the LTTE spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan saying that their rebel commando unit Thursday evening ambushed a Sri Lanka Navy bus carrying more than 25 personnel, in Thissamaharama in the Hambantota division of the southern province, killing 6 naval officials and wounding 12.Thissamaharama is 174 kilometres southeast of Colombo and 118 kilometres south of Ampaarai town; it also falls within the parliamentary constituency of the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Earlier in the day, the Sri Lankan government said its fighter jets bombed "identified Tamil Tiger position" in the northern region of the country for the second day causing "severe damage", while the rebels commemorated its members killed in the pre-dawn attack on Monday. The Media Centre for National Security said an airstrike was launched against a well-identified Tamil Tiger position, which was "posing a threat" to one of the army front defence lines in the northern Vavuniya district and the rebels sustained 'severe' damage. Earlier on Wednesday, the military claimed Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets raided an LTTE "Black Tiger" training facility at in Mulaittivu in the rebel-held Vanni inflicting heavy damages.
21 July 2007
Joginder Singh and Daljit Singh of 57 Rashtriya Rifles unit.
Indian soldiers 'paraded naked'
By Altaf Hussain
BBC News, Srinagar
Hundreds of angry Kashmiri villagers paraded two Indian soldiers naked through the streets after they were "caught trying to rape" a 17-year-old girl, witnesses and newspaper reports said on Wednesday.
Police said they were investigating the incident, which took place late on Tuesday in Kunan, a village north of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"Two army men in civil dress entered our house in the afternoon demanding food and shelter. They asked my mother to leave and tried to rape me," the girl was reported as saying.
"I resisted and screamed until my neighbours rescued me," she said, according to the Greater Kashmir daily.
Mohammad Usman, a witness, told Reuters by phone that furious villagers had beaten up the soldiers, stripped them, shaved their heads and paraded them through the village market.
"Police fired in the air to disperse the protesters and rescued the two soldiers," said a local police officer, who asked not to be identified.
Two Indian soldiers have been paraded naked for allegedly attempting to rape a girl in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.
Angry residents in Kunan village near the northern town of Bandipora beat up the soldiers, stripped them bare and paraded them through the market.
Police have charged the soldiers with attempted rape.
An army spokesman said the charges were baseless, and that the villagers had been incited by "hardliners".
Reports quoting local residents say that the two soldiers, dressed in civilian attire, forcibly entered a house in the village of Kunan on Tuesday evening.
The soldiers are said to have posed as militants and asked the family for food and shelter.
The reports said that the soldiers allegedly attempted to rape a teenage girl in the house.
When the girl raised the alarm, neighbours rushed in and joined by the family, beat up the soldiers, stripped them, shaved their heads and smeared soot on their faces, witnesses say.
The soldiers were then paraded naked through the local market by the angry mob, who also shouted slogans against the army.
Police fired tear gas shells and fired in the air to break up the demonstration before taking the soldiers into custody.
Army spokesman Colonel Manjinder Singh said that the soldiers had gone to the village to collect intelligence.
He said some "hardliners" had levelled false allegations against them, and incited the residents.
25 May 2007
How-to’ Manual Found in Al Qaeda Safe House Shows Disturbing Torture Methods
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The book guides followers of Al Qaeda how to interrogate and torture captives.
The drawings and cartoons depict ways to use electric drills and irons, meat cleavers and other devices to force victims to talk or harm them.
Some of the drawings show how to drill hands, sever limbs, drag victims behind cars, remove eyes, put a blowtorch or iron to someone’s skin, suspend a person from a ceiling and electrocute them, break limbs and restrict breath and put someone’s head in a vice.
Items found at the safe house include electric drills, hammers, blow torches, meat cleavers, pliers and wire cutters, chains, screw drivers, whips and handcuffs.
Earlier this week U.S. troops found the information near Baghdad, along with five Iraqis being held.
Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Thursday that Al Qaeda poses a dangerous threat to the United States for years to come.
"Clearly, whatever military advice we give, both in Iraq and regionally, must take into account that this group — of Al Qaeda — has targeted free nations, to include the United States, and how our long-term plan and our long-term recommendations must deal with that very real threat to the United States," Pace said at a Pentagon briefing.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States continues to direct most efforts to defeating Al Qaeda, but he predicted insurgents in Iraq will ramp up attacks this summer
"I think the worry that we have is clearly what we have seen over the past year: that whatever progress is made — and particularly in the last few months — often is overshadowed when Al Qaeda will launch a major attack that kills a lot of innocent civilian Iraqis," Gates said.
18 May 2007
The video showed scenes from a battle at night and then close-ups of military identification cards for Spc. Alex Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and Pvt. Byron Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich. An unidentified voice said in reference to the soldiers, "They were alive and then dead."
The video did not show the men or provide any evidence they had been killed.
Jimenez and Fouty have been missing since an ambush south of Baghdad on May 12 that killed five others, including an Iraqi. The body of another soldier was found in Iraq's Euphrates River during a massive search.
Pfc.Joseph Anzack-20 yrs.old
Sgt. Anthony Schobel-23 yrs old
Spc. Alex Jiminez-25 yrs old
10th Mountain Division 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
Killed in the attack were
Sergeant First Class James D. Connell, Jr., 40, of Lake City,
Private First Class Daniel W. Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Mich.,
and Private First Class Christopher E. Murphy, 21, of Lynchburg, Va
1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers. 4 Then said Saul to his armorbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armorbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell upon it. 5 And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell upon his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men, that same day together. 7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry the tidings unto the house of their idols, and to the people. 10 And they put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11 And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 13 And they took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk-tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
For the first time in Saul's life, he was losing badly in a battle. All three of his sons had been killed by the Philistines, and he was badly wounded from arrows. Saul felt it was more honorable to be killed by his armor-bearer or to commit suicide than to be killed by Philistines. I can't agree; it is never right to ASK someone to kill you or to kill yourself purposefully. Life is from God and not to be taken without God's sanction.
Saul probably killed himself because he feared the ridicule and torture the Philistines would mete out to him if they found him alive, but even that was not a good reason. We've been reading stories of Christian martyrs in our family devotional times in the evenings before bed. Those valiant Christian witnesses didn't kill themselves when they knew that torture and death were imminent. Such stories can inspire us not to be afraid of persecution!
The Philistines put Saul's armor on display in one of their idolatrous temples and displayed Saul's dead, naked body on a city wall. Some Israelites heard of the disgrace and snuck into the Philistine city, removed the body, and cremated it. Perhaps they buried the ashes under a tamarisk tree because Saul liked to sit under trees when he was alive (22:6). Fasting was another thing Saul did a lot, and the men fasted for a week in mourning his death.
Thus all God's prophecies were fulfilled for Saul: he lost his kingship with his death and the death of his heirs, and the way was now paved for David to become king. God's word will always be proved true.
17 May 2007
The gallery's artistic director tendered his resignation to protest the cancellation.
The sculpture "My Sweet Lord" by Cosimo Cavallaro was to be exhibited for two hours each day next week in a street-level window of the Roger Smith Lab Gallery in Midtown Manhattan.
The display had been scheduled to open on Monday, days ahead of Good Friday when Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus and Easter Sunday when they celebrate his resurrection.
But protests including a call to boycott the affiliated Roger Smith Hotel forced the gallery to scrap the showing.
"We have caused the cancellation of the exhibition and wish to affirm the dignity and responsibility of the hotel in all its affairs," James Knowles, president of the Roger Smith Hotel, said in a statement.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights had called for a boycott of the hotel and dropped the idea once "We got what we wanted," a spokeswoman said.
"We're delighted with the outcome. We're glad that they came to their senses," said Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the league, which describes itself as the largest U.S. Catholic civil-rights group.
Before the cancellation, she had called it "an assault on Christians" adding: "They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the prophet Mohammad naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan."
14 May 2007
International rights groups have often accused the conservative kingdom, a key US ally, of applying draconian and arbitrary justice, beheading murderers, rapists and drug traffickers in public by the sword.
The desert kingdom, which is home to Islam's holiest shrines, says it applies strict Islamic law.
The Sri Lankan gang were executed at a public square in a busy market district of the city of four million.
Saudi media said that although no one was killed in the series of robberies they were convicted of, the four men were given the death sentence due to the organised nature of the violent hold-ups, raising fears of foreign mafias.
Al-Riyadh newspaper said the men were "crucified" - tied to wooden beams after beheading - as part of moves to deter other expatriates from crime.
"There is a pressing need to review many of the negative practices of foreigners in the kingdom," al-Riyadh quoted Abdel-Rahman al-Luweiheq, who teaches at the Imam bin Saud University, as saying.
"Foreigners in the kingdom are implementing criminal plans made abroad," he said, referring to mafia-like outfits.
Almost one third of Saudi Arabia's population of 24 million people are foreigners, mostly blue-collar workers from Asia.
Most are tied to Saudi employers who usually take their passports as a way of controlling their movements and behaviour, a system rights groups says deprives expatriates of rights.
A Sri Lankan embassy spokesman expressed shock that the sentence was implemented despite appeals to spare them.
"We are shocked, we never expected any of this," the spokesman said. "We made an appeal asking for clemency."
Saudi newspapers regularly carry reports about busted drug, alcohol and prostitution rackets, often involving African and Asian residents in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
13 May 2007
Ernesto Che Guevara was born on June 14 in Rosario, an important town in Argentina. At the age of two Che had his first asthma attack, a disease which he later suffered a great deal while fighting against Batista troops in Sierra Maestra, and which did not let go of him till he was shot to death by Barrientos’ troops in the forests of Bolivia. His father Ernesto Guevara Lynch, an engineer, was from a family of Irish descent, and his mother, Clia dela Sena, was an Irish-Spanish descent. When Che was three his family moved to Buenos Aires. Later, his asthma attacks had gotten so worse that the doctors advised him for a drier climate. Hence once again Guevara family moved, this time to Cordoba. Guavaras were a typical bourgeois family, and in terms of their political inclinations they were known to be liberal closer to left. During the Spanish civil war they had supported the Republicans. In time their financial situation worsened. Che started Dean Funes high school where he was being educated in English. In the meanwhile, he was also learning French from his mother. At the age of fourteen Che started reading Freud, he especially loved French poetry, and he had a great passion for Boudelaire’s works. When he was sixteen, he became an admirer of Neruda.In 1944 Guevara family moved to Buenos Aires. They were having serious financial problems. Che started working while he was a student. He registered to medical school. In the early years of his study at the medical school he traveled throughout the northern and western Argentina, studying on leprosy and tropical diseases in the villages. In his last year at the school, Che went on trip through the Latin America by motorbike with his friend Alberto Granadas. This gave him the chance to get to know better the exploited villagers of the Latin America. Che graduated from medical school as a doctor in March 1953 and decided to work in a leper colony in Venezuela. He was on his way to Venezuela when he was put to jail in Peru because of his earlier publication on the natives. When got out, he stayed in Ecuador for a while, where he met Ricardo Rojo, a lawyer. Meeting Ricardo turned out to be a turning point in Che’s life. He changed his mind of going to Venezuela, and instead went to Guatemala with Ricardo Rojo. When revolutionary Arbenz government was overthrown by a rightist coup, he took refuge in Argentina embassy. Soon afterword he joined the resistance he was forced to leave the Embassy. When it became too dangerous for him to stay in Guatemala, he went to Mexico. During his stay in Guatemala he had met Fidel Castro’s brother Raul as well as many Cuban exiles. In Mexico, he met Fidel Castro and his friends, and joined the Cuban revolutionaries. Later, he left for Cuba onboard the ship Granma and took part in the front lines till the end of the war. After the Revolution he, Colonel Ernesto Che Guevara, was assigned to the command of fort la Cabana in Havana. In 1959 he was given Cuban citizenship. Later he married a fellow comrade Aleida March. He was assigned to the presidency of the Institute of National Agricultural Reform, and of the National Bank of Cuba in 1959, by which he was given the financial responsibilities of the country.In February 23rd, 1961, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba assigned Che as the head of newly established Ministry of Industry. However, during the Playa Giran battle he was again called for the command of the fort. In the following years, his many visits to underdeveloped countries provided Che with a closer understanding of the exploited nations and the imperialists. This awakened the rebel in him. He decided to organize the peoples of other Latin American countries. In September of 1965, he left for the unknown countries. In October 3rd, 1965, Fidel Castro read Che’s famous farewell to the people of Cuba....And the death caught up with him near Higueras in Bolivia. He was surrounded by Barrientos’ troops on the night of October 7th, 1967. Heavily wounded from his leg, and he was locked up in a school in Higueras. Never he bowed to anyone. Nine bullets fired by Mario Turan, a murderer for Barrientos....Che died on October 9th , 1967
With Fidel Castro
Captured and Execution
The Bolivian Special Forces were notified of the location of Guevara's guerrilla encampment by an informant. On 8 October, the encampment was encircled, and Guevara was captured while leading a detachment with Simeón Cuba Sarabia in the Quebrada del Yuro ravine. According to some soldiers present at the capture, during the skirmish as they approached Guevara, he allegedly shouted, "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead."
Barrientos promptly ordered his execution upon being informed of his capture.Barrientos[›] Guevara was taken to a dilapidated schoolhouse in the nearby village of La Higuera where he was held overnight. Early the next afternoon he was executed. The executioner was Mario Terán, a Sergeant in the Bolivian army who had drawn a short straw after arguments over who got the honour of killing Guevara broke out among the soldiers. Guevara received multiple shots to the legs, so as to avoid maiming his face for identification purposes and simulate combat wounds in an attempt to conceal his execution. Che Guevara did have some last words before his death; he allegedly said to his executioner, "I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man." His body was lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to neighboring Vallegrande where it was laid out on a laundry tub in the local hospital and displayed to the press. Photographs taken at that time gave rise to legends such as those of San Ernesto de La Higuera and El Cristo de Vallegrande (Local people came to refer to Guevara as a saint, "San Ernesto de La Higuera", whom they ask for favors. Others claim his ghost walks the area.). After a military doctor surgically amputated his hands, Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara's cadaver to an undisclosed location and refused to reveal whether his remains had been buried or cremated.Amputation[›]
The hunt for Guevara in Bolivia was headed by Félix Rodríguez, a CIA agent, who previously had infiltrated Cuba to prepare contacts with the rebels in the Escambray Mountains and the anti-Castro underground in Havana prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and had been successfully extracted from Cuba afterwards. Upon hearing of Guevara's capture, Rodríguez relayed the information to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, via CIA stations in various South American nations. After the execution, Rodríguez took Guevara's Rolex watch and several other personal items, often proudly showing them to reporters during the ensuing years. Today, some of these belongings, including his flashlight, are on display at the CIA.
On October 15, Castro acknowledged that Guevara was dead and proclaimed three days of public mourning throughout Cuba. The death of Guevara was regarded as a severe blow to the socialist revolutionary movements in Latin America and the rest of the third world.
Che Guevara's Monument and Mausoleum in Santa Clara, CubaIn 1997, the skeletal remains of a handless body were exhumed from beneath an air strip near Vallegrande, identified as those of Guevara by a Cuban forensic team working at the scene, and returned to Cuba. On 17 October 1997, his remains, along with those of six of his fellow combatants killed during the guerrilla campaign in Bolivia, were laid to rest with full military honors in a specially built mausoleumMausoleum[›] in the city of Santa Clara, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution.
Che's hands amputated for Identification
10 May 2007
Another method of murdering Allied fliers was used at Hankow, China, in December 1944. Three American fliers, who had been forced down and captured sometime before, were paraded through the streets and subjected to ridicule, beating and torture by the populace. When they had been weakened by the beatings and torture, they were saturated with gasoline and burned alive. Permission for this atrocity was granted by the Commander of the 34th Japanese Army.
The cruelty of the Japanese is further illustrated by the treatment of an Allied airman, who was captured at Rabaul on the island of New Britain. He was bound with a rope on which fish-hooks had been attached so that when he moved the hooks dug into his flesh. He ultimately died of malnutrition and dysentery.
Downed aircrews who became POWs received the worst possible treatment. As early as 1942, the Japanese command classified them as war criminals. Any pilot or crew member captured were likely to be tortured or killed as soon as their parachute folded on the ground. In Singapore, four flyers were paraded through the streets naked and then had their heads chopped off in public. At Hankow in China, airmen were tortured and burned alive. At Kendebo, after a speech by a major general, a decapitated fighter pilot was cut up, fried, and eaten by 150 Japanese officers. Eight captured B-29 crewmen were turned over to the medical professors at Kyushu Imperial University. The professors cut them up alive, stopping the blood flow in an artery near the heart to see how long death took.
09 May 2007
07 May 2007
But a gang of young black males - with Damian Williams still present - was pummeling another innocent bystander. Fidel Lopez, a self-employed construction worker, had been ripped from his truck and robbed of nearly $2,000. Someone busted his forehead open with a car stereo; another rioter tried to slice his ear off. The mobbed stripped off Lopez's pants and underwear after he blacked out. Williams and others then spraypainted the married father's chest, torso, and genitals black. Newton daringly threw his body over Lopez's to stop the depravity.
"Kill him and you have to kill me, too," Newton yelled while waving a Bible. The crowd dispersed. The minister prayed in the street as Lopez regained consciousness. When he could not get an ambulance, he drove Lopez to the hospital himself...
Like other traditional punishments such as the stocks and penance, the pillorypunished through humiliation. By publicly exposing the culprit this punishment announced to the community that he or she could not be trusted. The audience were expected to contribute to the convict’s shame by throwing polluting objects such as mud, rotten vegetables and eggs, dead cats, excrement and blood and guts fromslaughterhouses. Although sometimes the crowd chose to applaud the convict instead,in other cases the missiles included bricks and stones and the damage done to the target was to more than just his reputation; at least seven died on London pillories during the century.
John Waller had ‘a fruitful genius, which he applied to the wrong purposes’,and his fraudulent use of the law made him many enemies:
He used to worm himself into the acquaintance of people who had butsmall fortunes, or such as they acquired by their daily labour, andparticularly those who had families to maintain. He would cause such asthese to be arrested at his suit, and would not scruple to swear that theywere indebted to him in sums sufficient to have them committed to jail,and then under a specious show of compassion would bring them to acomposition. He thought he could take advantage of the poorer sort,many of whose families were reduced to beggary by his illegalproceedings.
As a solicitor, he also took money from clients to pursue cases which he had no chance of winning. Worst of all, he was a corrupt thieftaker, who prosecuted men on trumped-up charges in order to secure a reward. His technique was to identify men whose reputations were poor and who were already considered suspicious and to manufacture charges against them. His most famous prosecution was ofthe well-known street robber James Dalton, whose gang terrorised London during the late 1720s. In April 1730 he enquired at the Wood Street Compterto determine when Dalton had been released from prison in the precedingyear.
Dalton had robbed him in the fields near Tottenham Court. There were noother witnesses to the alleged crime, but to confirm his accusation Waller used inside knowledge to claim that the pistol used in the attack was thesame one Dalton had brandished during his robbery of another man, Dr Mead, for which crime he had already been convicted.6Dalton admitted his many crimes, but always denied that he had robbedWaller. As reported in the Proceedings, Dalton:Denied the fact charged upon him by Waller, and exclaimed against him as a man of a vile character, that he was a common affidavit man, and was but lately, before the time charged in the indictment, come out of Newgate himself. That though he himself had done many ill things, and had deserved death many times, yet not for this fact, he being innocentof it; and said, Waller was as great a rogue as himself, and there was never a barrel the better herring. Despite his protestations of innocence, Dalton was convicted, sentenced to death and executed on 17 April.
Waller’s reward for the conviction was £80.The following year, when Waller prosecuted Charles Knowles and Sarah Harper at the assizes in Hertford for robbing him near Newington, the court treated his evidence much more sceptically. The judge observed:Though the prisoner Harper was a person of bad character, yet John Waller’s being worse, rendered himself notorious, and he having sworn robberies upon several persons [probably only for the reward] who wereacquitted as innocent, and had hanged Dalton. The court thought noregard was to be given to his evidence, and thereupon the jury acquittedthe prisoners.
Justice finally caught up with Waller in May 1732 when he was tried at the Old Bailey for perverting the course of justice by falsely charging John Edlin with a highway robbery in Hertfordshire. In his typical self-aggran-dising manner, Waller claimed:That he called at the George at New Market, and that either John Eldinor Uriah Davis came and begged alms of him, and then he being moved with compassion, gave him six pence, and afterwards treated him on the road, as they both travelled the same way, but at the bottom of Botsam’sHill, this man having no sense of the kindness that had been done tohim, was so ungrateful as to assault him. And the other man coming upat the same time, they robbed him of three jacobuses, nine guineas, anda piece of mechlin lace. And then they stripped him, and bound him;and there he lay till he was relieved by a passenger.9Waller, conscious that he was no longer trusted, made the accusation undera false name, John Trevor.
As the justice of the peace, Justice Gifford, testi-fied at Waller’s trial:The prisoner, by the name of Trevor, charged John Edlin, and another,who was then in Newgate, with robbing him on the highway betweenColney and St Albans.
prisoner, and that I had seen the prisoner before, but I could not recollect who he was. I sent to enquire after the prisoner’s character, andwas told that he was an honest man, and then I committed Edlin toNewgate. After this Waller came to me again, and told me, that I hadmade a mistake in committing Edlin on the information of Trevor, itshould have been on the information of Waller, says he, for my name is Waller, and therefore must beg you to alter it. Oh, is it you Mr Waller?says I, I thought I had seen your face before. Had I known your name when you made this information, I had turned you out of doors, as I didfive years ago, when you swore against two street robbers; but since it is so, I shall take a note of it.When the case came up for trial on the Home Circuit Assizes, Waller,perhaps knowing that his evidence would not be trusted, failed to appear withhis two witnesses and the defendants were acquitted. But he did not give up;he simply took his accusations to a different court, as the under-clerk of theNorfolk Circuit of the Assizes reported:John Waller having ill success at Hertford, came to Cambridge on theTuesday following, and gave me an information against two men forrobbing him, and they were both capitally convicted. The country was not satisfied and there were suspicions that Waller was a rogue. Baron Cummins ordered me to enquire into his character. I enquired of agentleman at Thetford: Waller, says he, why, he’s the vilest fellow living; he makes a trade of swearing away men’s lives for the sake ofthe reward, granted for convicting robbers. This gentleman gave me direction to write to a gentleman for a description and character of theprisoner. I wrote, and received an answer at Bury. The answer describedhim exactly, and by good fortune it came just time enough to preventthe execution of the two men.Waller was convicted at the Old Bailey of making a false accusation and was sentenced to a smorgasbord of punishments, reflecting the court’s severedisapproval of his actions, and its wish to make the fact of his punishmentknown as widely as possible.
John Waller is to stand once in the pillory at the Seven Dials, in St Giles in the Fields, and once in the pillory against Hicks Hall, for onehour each time. And to stand on the pillory at the same places, at twoother different times, for one hour each time with his hat off, that hemay be known by the people. An account of his offence to be written on a paper, and stuck on the pillory every time. To pay a fine of twentymarks; to be imprisoned for two years, and not to be dischargedafterwards, till he has paid his fine, and given security for his goodbehaviour during his life.Word that Waller would appear in the pillory soon spread and his manyenemies looked forward to it with relish. About a week before he was to appear Edward Dalton, the brother of James Dalton, told everyone he saw that.
He would be revenged on Waller, because Waller had hanged his brother. By God, he said, he shall never come out alive, for I’ll have his blood.Similarly, Richard Griffith alias Sergeant told Thomas James ‘that he would do his business’. Even the carman who was responsible for carrying the pillory to St Giles told a witness ‘that he had carried almost a sack full of artichokes and cauliflower stalks in readiness; and swore that he would do Waller’s business, and he should never live to stand at Hicks Hall’. The day before Waller’s first stint on the pillory, William Belt alias Worrel, who had been employed to oversee the punishment, observed: ‘He’ll stand but once. He had better be hanged, for he shall never come back alive’.
On the morning of 13 June a huge crowd gathered in Seven Dials.Spectators climbed lamp posts and fences and stood on carts in order to geta better view. At 11.00 William Belt brought Waller out of Redgate’s ale housein nearby King Street and placed his head and arms through the holes in the pillory. Immediately, ‘the mob, which was very numerous, having been provided with large quantities of cabbage, cauliflower and artichoke stalks,began to pelt him in a most outrageous manner’.These rotten, or not so rotten, vegetables and their stems clearly had the potential to cause serious injury, but some of the crowd were unwilling to leave it at that.
After only afew minutes, Edward Dalton and Richard Griffith stepped onto the pilloryand assaulted Waller. One of the spectators, Cartwright Richardson, describedthe attack:
Griffith took hold of Waller’s coat, and Dalton of the waistband of hisbreeches, and so they pulled his head out of the pillory, and he hung a little while by one hand, but pulling that hand out they threw him on to the pillory board. Belt tried to put him back into the pillory:But Dalton and Griffith and a chimney sweeper laid hold of Waller, and stripped him as naked as he was born, except his feet, for they pulled hisstockings over his shoes and so left them; then they beat him with cauliflower stalks, and threw him down upon the pillory board. The chimney sweeper put some soot into his mouth, and Griffith rammed it down his throat with a cauliflower stalk. Dalton and Griffith jumped and stamped upon his naked body and head, and kicked him and beat himwith artichoke and cauliflower stalks, as he lay on the pillory board.They continued beating, kicking, and stamping upon him in this mannerfor above one quarter of an hour, and then the mob threw down the pillory, and all that were upon it. Waller then lay naked on the ground.
Dalton got upon him, and stamping on his privy parts, Waller gave a dismal groan, and I believe it was his last; for after that I never heard him groan nor speak, nor saw him stir.While they were stamping on Waller, ‘Griffith said to Dalton, well played partner. And Dalton said, aye, damn him, I’ll never leave him while he hasa bit of life in him, for hanging my brother
After an hour, Waller was taken up and carried to St Giles’s Roundhouse and then to Newgate Prison where his mother, Martha Smith, was waitingfor him. But the turnkeys of Newgate Prison refused to accept his dead body,and instead it was placed in a coach with his mother:As soon as Dalton and Griffith saw her go in, they cried out here’s theold bitch his mother, damn her, let’s kill her too. So they went to thecoach door, huzzaing and swearing that they had stood true to the stuff.Damn him, says Dalton, we have sent his soul half way to hell, and nowwe’ll have his body to sell to the surgeons for money to pay the devilfor his through passage. Then they tried to pull him out of the coach, but were prevented.From the vantage point of the coach, Martha Smith described the sameevents as follows:
My son had neither eyes, nor ears, nor nose to be seen; they had squeezed his head flat. Griffith pulled open the coach door, and struck me, pulled my son’s head out of my lap, and his brains fell into my hand.When Mr King, the coroner, saw the body the next day, he too was appalled:
I never saw such a spectacle. I can’t pretend to distinguish particularly inwhat part he was bruised most, for he was bruised all over. I could scarce perceive any part of his body free. His head was beat quite flat,no features could be seen in his face, and somebody had cut him quite down the back with a sharp instrument.A jury was summoned, and ‘hearing the depositions of several witnesses,brought in a verdict of wilful murder by persons unknown with unlawfulweapons’.Although the inquest was inconclusive regarding the identity of thoseresponsible, Dalton, Griffith and Belt were subsequently indicted for themurder of John Waller and stood trial at the Old Bailey on 6 September.There was substantial evidence that Dalton and Griffith had actively intendedto kill Waller, but William Belt was able to successfully claim that he was powerless to stop Waller’s attackers. As one witness testified:I was there, and neither saw nor heard of any hurt that Belt did to Waller, but so far from it, that he run the hazard of his own life, by endeavouring to put Waller’s head in twice. It was not in his power to prevent the abuses the other prisoners committed, for he was forced to get off the pillory to save himself.Other officers supported this testimony and Belt was acquitted by the jury,while Edward Dalton and Richard Griffith were found guilty and sentenced to death. The judge, Baron Thompson, condemned ‘the liberty of the mobin presuming to insult a person defenceless in the pillory, under the sentenceof the law, however great his crimes might be’.12Both were executed on 9October at Tyburn, with Griffith maintaining that he was innocent of the murder to the end.
Apparently DK, a primary school teacher, had been sexually molesting his patients, a majority of them women, including teenage girls. The residents decided to spy on him, and caught him in the act. Thus began the naked parade and subsequent beating. DK was turned over to the police.
In Cileungsi in southern West Java MK a battery factory worker was attacked and murdered by a mob. Apparently the residents of this village had been complaining about the dumping of chemicals by the factory and decided to get revenge on the company by attacking its headquarters. MK became the representative of the company. He was stripped naked and beaten as the residents burned the security outpost, destroyed three cars and ransacked the office on July 28, 2000
05 May 2007
At the heart of the book is the complex relationship between Riley and Sidi Hamet. God and family guide both men's destiny and give them a universal connection, but they are also bonded in deceit. Riley, who picks up Arabic amazingly fast, tells the nomads and traders some whoppers: that he and his men are British (trying to explain they were from another continent across the ocean was too risky), that he personally knows the Sultan of Morocco and that he has a friend in the north who will pay Hamet if Riley and his men are delivered to the sultan's realm.
It's a bluff. Riley knows nobody in Africa, and he's just trusting to luck that he can get word to the British consul in the nearest port.
The town of Mogadore, about 700 miles north of the band's wanderings in the trackless Sahara, is Riley's only hope. Captives could be redeemed there to foreign merchants and consuls for about $150 each. "To get there," King writes, "he had to cross the desert past hostile Bedouin tribes, past the fortified Berber towns of Souss, and finally past the operatives of the Sultan of Morocco, where Christian slavery was technically illegal and the sultan was fond of 'gifts' Western nations paid for their rescue." Hamet agrees to undertake the journey and protect Riley and his mates along the way, but promises he'll slit Riley's throat with a scimitar if he is revealed to be lying about having a rich friend named "Consul" in Mogadore. Riley agrees to the deal.
Running this gauntlet takes two months, and builds to a pressure-filled climax that depends solely on trust among strangers, and good men standing by their word. The ending is given emotional power by the depth of empathy you feel for Hamet, whose rescue scheme is almost hijacked by his own predacious father-in-law, the villain we first met in the book's prologue.
The endgame itself is a ripping yarn, a testament to King's writing, since Hamet has long since proven himself a true, resourceful survivor and the reader already knows that the sailors will be saved. Riley and Hamet end up as comrades, their mutual salvation resounding as a message of hope we sorely need now.
Neal Matthews is a freelance writer in San Diego.
Excerpt from skeletons on the zahara
Sidi Hamet knew that if his presence were made known in the town, he would risk being coerced into selling the Christians to Sheik Beyrouk, the ruler of Wednoon, or to Sheik Ali, his father-in-law. Thus he decided to bypass Wednoon. In the late afternoon, he woke the [five] sailors and took them to a nearby hut, where he had bought a honeycomb. Hassar's hungry men had caught wind of the meal and loitered around hoping to share in it. Balancing a bowl containing the hive on his knees, Hamet distributed sections to the sailors with one hand while holding his gun in the other in case Hassar's men abandoned their cautious self-restraint. The sailors attacked their portions like bears, swallowing along with the rich honeycomb the tender young bees that filled it. Tears rolled down their hollow faces as they ate the calorie-laden gold. They were so sated that they fell asleep again under a palm tree until dark.
Ten days after leaving the Valley of the Locusts, they crossed the St. Cyprian wadi, reaching the coast just north of Cape Barbas. Robbins had come full circle, in more ways than one. Neglected by [his master], his health had begun to deteriorate and would continue to decline over the next month until he hit his lowest state since arriving on this shore in the longboat. His diet of hard-boiled blood and locusts made him severely costive. The less he worked, the more he was shunned. "I was completely dried up; and the skin was contracted and drawn tightly around my bones," he said. The combination of his chafing clothes and sleeping on the hardpan had worn the skin and flesh off his hips so that he could touch his hipbones on both sides. He was "now literally reduced to a skeleton."
The end, one way or another, was near.