Video reenactment challenges SIU report

 (Update)The family of a Hamilton man shot dead by police has teamed up with a local activist group to create a video for the public to see, re-enacting Steve Mesic’s death.The father of Mesic’s widow, Norm Dorr, says there are discrepancies between what the family was told and the evidence presented in the Special Investigation Unit’s findings.The video is called “Cops kill Steve Mesic: SIU cover up exposed.”In it, the father of Mesic’s widow, Norm Dorr, and about three others re-enact the events surrounding Mesic’s death. Pointing out what they say are discrepancies in the Special Investigation Unit’s report which found two subject officers were justified in their use of lethal force against Mesic.Terry Wilson: “I think if there is a problem with the SIU report it needs to be publicly known. There has to be action taken towards that. Umm that is if the discrepancy is accurate.”Terry Wilson and Frankie Gotz of the Canadian Awareness Network say the family approached them to create the video.Frankie Gotz: “Norm already spoke with mainstream media about the discrepancies so we just kind of left off where the mainstream media left off and we went out and actually filmed the discrepancies.”Video: “Then he rolled out from under the fence. well we’re going to show just how hard it is.”Among other things the video asks why the officers didn’t pepper spray Mesic when he was crawling under a fence toward police with a shove and questions how far away he was from the officers when they fired.“What we’re saying is that according to the way the cops shot Steve we would have to have bullets in the wall of the house and there are no bullets in the wall of the house.”The SIU’s report didn’t specify how many shots were fired, only that at least one bullet from each of the officers handguns struck Mesic. Hamilton police Chief Glenn De Caire says there are factual inaccuracies in the video but won’t comment further until an inquest is held.The Office of the Chief Coroner says their own investigation is ongoing to determine whether an inquest will be called into Mesic’s death. Tuesday, the SIU declined to comment on the video telling us everything they have to say about the shooting was already issued in their media release. 00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 read more

Selfless South Sudanese surgeon whos saved thousands of lives over 20 years

Dr. Atar is currently the head surgeon and medical director of the only functional hospital in Upper Nile State, in the north of South Sudan, serving an area larger than Ireland. Based in the remote town of Bunj, the hospital serves more than 200,000 people, including 144,000 refugees from Sudan. His team at Maban hospital carries out an average of 58 operations per week, in difficult conditions with limited supplies and equipment. “Dr. Atar’s work through decades of civil war and conflict is a shining example of profound humanity and selflessness,” said the UNHCR chief. “Often risking his own safety, his dedication to serving victims of war and conflict has been extraordinary and deserves global attention and acknowledgement,” Mr. Grandi said.Originally from Torit, a town in southern South Sudan, Dr. Atar studied medicine in Khartoum, Sudan, and practised in Egypt. In 1997, as war ravaged Sudan’s Blue Nile State, he volunteered to work there. In 2011, as the conflict intensified, he was forced to flee with his staff and as much equipment as he could transport. After a month, he arrived in Bunj, where he stacked up some tables to set up his first surgical theatre in an abandoned local health centre, and he is fighting daily to secure funding and train others to become nurses and midwives.“There is nothing we can achieve in South Sudan unless we sacrifice a number of things,” he said. “We have to continue even if the situation is very difficult.”The award includes a $150,000 grant, which Dr. Atar said he will use to solve challenges in the hospital and invest the money in improving the structure of the building, procure much-needed equipment, and build the capacity of the staff.The prize was presented by Mr. Grandi during an event in Geneva on Monday, featuring speeches and performances by world renown artists and advocates, including Australian actor Cate Blanchett, British-Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar, Syrian ballet dancer Ahmad Joudeh and Norwegian popstar, Sigrid. “I’m really humbled to be the winner of this award,” he told Radio Miraya, which is part of UNMISS; the UN’s Mission in South Sudan. “I think it will be good for us in the hospital… and we will be able to get at least some resources to continue to save lives in the area which is really isolated”.South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after a peaceful referendum. However, a civil conflict now in its fifth year has forced almost 1.9 million to flee their homes within the country, and another 2.5 million to seek refuge across the border.“The crisis in South Sudan has had a devastating impact on millions of people uprooted from their homes, or whose lives have been torn apart by conflict, violence and food insecurity,” said Filippo Grandi, UNHCR’s High Commissioner. “Yet, even in the midst of tragedy, acts of heroism and service to others have emerged”. read more