Why is the news media citing man accused of kidnapping journalists as a credible source on Syrian chemical attack?

From Alternet

GRAYZONE PROJECT

With military intervention on the horizon, media outlets cite Shajul Islam, a doctor accused of working with extremists in Syria.
By Ben Norton

Photo Credit: Screenshot of video by Shajul Islam

Calls for regime change in Syria are once again filling the airwaves, and President Donald Trump has said he is considering further military intervention in the country.

(Update: After this article was published, the U.S. launched a missile attack on a Syrian government airfield, which ISIS subsequently exploited.)

Media outlets have been pouring fuel on the fire of war. One of the key voices calling for Western intervention that is being amplified by corporate news networks is Shajul Islam, a doctor in the al-Qaeda-controlled Syrian province of Idlib.

Islam has accused the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical attack on civilians. Dozens of major media outlets have cited his claims, while conceding that they have not been independently verified.

Meanwhile, these news publications have failed to disclose a crucial detail about the doctor: He was accused in court of kidnapping journalists in Syria.

In October 2012, Shajul Islam was arrested in the UK and charged with kidnapping two photographers, one British and one Dutch. He was accused of providing medical treatment for the Salafi jihadist extremist group in Syria that held the journalists hostage.

The case eventually fell apart and the charges against Islam were dropped because the prosecution was not able to hear evidence from the victims, who were the key witnesses. The attorney said this served “to frustrate the trial from the point of view of the prosecution.”

John Cantlie, one of the journalists Islam was accused of kidnapping, was unable to appear at the trial because he was still a hostage. He had been briefly freed in July 2012, but was soon kidnapped again — this time by ISIS. Cantlie was held with James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded on camera by Mohamed Emwazi, an ISIS foreign fighter from London.

Islam’s younger brother, Razul, reportedly entered Syria to volunteer as a foreign fighter in the ranks of ISIS.

Sometime in 2016, Shajul Islam smuggled himself back into Syria and is now working in Idlib.

AlterNet previously detailed how Idlib is the “heartland” of al-Qaeda, as even hawkish pundits who have repeatedly called for further Western military intervention in Syria have acknowledged.

None of these facts stopped major news outlets from citing Islam’s claims and social media posts in their reports on the alleged Idlib chemical attack, including CBS NewsFox News, McClatchy, the Daily Beast, Voice of America, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, CBC, Politico, the Independent, Vocativ, Bellingcat, Euronews, Middle East Eye, the Mirror, Metro, the Daily Mail, the Sun and UNILAD.

NBC News and Middle East Eye published entire profiles on Islam without identifying the past accusations against him.

For the rest of the article:

http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/shajul-islam-idlib-chemical-attack-syria-media

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Leader of Ukrainian Radical Party issues nuclear ultimatum after Trump revokes his visa

See details about Lyashko below.

From Fort Russ


Oleg Lyashko

February 7, 2017
Oleg Lyashko, Facebook [O Liashko]
Translated by Kristina Kharlova

My 10-year U.S. visa, which I just got before the New Year was just revoked. The consular officer said that he had such instructions from Washington.

And I have instructions from the Ukrainian people – to demand that the US fulfills its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, otherwise Ukraine will have to restore nuclear weapons to protect itself.

Also, we strongly condemn the new IMF memorandum, which preserves the status of Ukraine as a resource colony. I think it is because I stand for the national interests of Ukraine, not Moscow or Washington, the unprecedented decision to revoke my visa was made.

Good-bye, America!

I will pay a visit when Ukrainians will choose me as their President. And now instead of visiting US, I will visit our people who need not a visa or a visa-free regime but work and a decent life.

Oleg Lyashko

***

Amnesty International has condemned Oleg Lyashko for kidnapping and “harsh treatment” of anti-government activists while being completely above the law as a people’s deputy and accused Ukrainian authorities of failure to enforce the law.

Oleg Lyashko has recorded a video of the brutal handing of his captive, the anti-government ‘separatist,’ for which he has earned strong support among the radical elements of Ukrainian voters.

In March, 2014, Oleg Lyashko kidnapped Arsen Klinchaev, Lugansk deputy from the Party of Regions. While bragging about the kidnapping on his Facebook, Lyashko described Klinchaev as a leader of Lugansk separatists.

Lyashko threatened his family, promised to hang him for flying Russian banners and upon release promised he will shoot him next time.

Disturbing video of the kidnapping can be watched here.

Lyashko has advocated for capital punishment for any ‘traitors of Ukraine’. He was one of the lobbyists advocating for the creation of Azov battalion. He took credit for the bloody attack on Mariupol in May 2014.

Lyashko is wanted in Russia for the kidnapping and torture of Mariupol resident Dmitry Chaikovsky.

Oleg Lyashko was sentenced to 6 years behind bars for embezzlement of state property. He served one year.

In 2012 a 16-year old boy accused Lyashko of rape. In 2012 Lyashko was prevented from taking 12 and 14 year old boys from Crimean orphanage to Turkey, which resulted in a pedophile scandal.

In 2014 Lyashko ran for president of Ukraine.

***


More details and sources: Russian Wikipedia page about Lyashko

Russian servicemen kidnapped in Crimea by Ukrainian operatives

From Sputnik

November 21, 2016

Ukrainian security operatives have abducted two Russian servicemen in Crimea, and are attempting to press criminal charges against them, the Russian military is reporting.

Moscow says they are considering the kidnapping a “flagrant provocation,” and is demanding the immediate release and return of Maksim Odintsov and Aleksander Baranov to Russia.

“We consider such actions by the Ukrainian security bodies against Russian citizens as another flagrant provocation and demand their immediate return to Russia,” a statement by the ministry’s press service said.

The ministry said on Monday that the two soldiers were kidnapped on November 20, and taken across the border to the Nikolayev region of Ukraine with an apparent goal of pressing charges against them. They also expressed concern that authorities may use psychological and physical torture to coerce the two men into falsely confessing to crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s historical southern region of Crimea rejoined the country after a 2014 referendum. Nearly 97 percent of the region’s population voted for reunification in a referendum.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201611211047686492-ukranian-operatives-abduct-russian-service-members/

Right Sector fighter used a kid as a human shield to get away from police

Posted on Fort Russ
July 14, 2014

Translated by Kristina Rus
“Sorry, kid, but it’s necessary.” The details of taking a child hostage by the “Right sector”

A father talked about how his son was left bound in the woods

Alexander Sibirtsev ■ July 14 | 17:51

The correspondent of the newspaper “Vesti” talked with the boy and his father, who was taken hostage by the fighters of the “Right sector”. Vova Golovachko is 11 years old.

His father Vladimir Golovachko Sr. says that the day after the shooting in Mukachevo, the son was approached by a man with a short haircut on the street in their village on Bobovishe.

“He asked my son to show him the shortest way out of the village. For that he really gave him a chocolate bar and cookies. Son led him out. On the outskirts of the village they saw the police, who were already blocking the way out. Then the man took out a grenade with one hand, and with the other took Vova and shouted that the police get out of the way.

The police retreated to a distance, and he took Vova with him to the woods. Then the son was really terrified, of course. In the woods they were met by a second man. They tied Vova’s feet, tied the rope to a tree and said that someone will come for him soon. In parting, they said: sorry, kid, but we have to do this. And disappeared into the woods,” – said the boy’s father.

Earlier, the “Right Sector” made a statement that no one was taken hostage – “the kid was showing them the way out into the woods”.

http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/07/grenades-and-cookies-right-sector.html