Contaminated Blood: Open letter of complaint… haemophilia facts misrepresented in a whole blood case story

Haemophilia campaigners presenting wreath at no 10 to remember all those who died in the “worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS”

(Lord Winston) 

Open letter of complaint written to Archant journalist to highlight haemophilia facts misrepresented in a whole blood case story

Dear Geraldine,

 

I am writing to make an official complaint regarding your article on Michelle Tolley. Whilst I appreciate your covering the Contaminated Blood scandal I note you are using facts referring to the haemophilia community to represent a whole blood case which is entirely different and this causes distress to families of haemophiliacs.

 

Norfolk grandmother prepares to give evidence at Infected Blood Inquiry

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/health/norfolk-grandmother-prepares-to-give-evidence-at-infected-blood-inquiry-1-6030595

 

Let me explain….

 

Unfortunately the Infected Blood Inquiry has put 2 very different types of cases together in one inquiry which is causing massive confusion amongst the public and media which we have highlighted from day one. These are haemophilia cases and whole blood cases represented by separate organizations and infected through different types of treatment that have traditionally campaigned separately and had separate legal cases. The Haemophilia Society represents haemophiliacs with bleeding disorders and the Hepatitis C Trust represents whole blood cases.

 

The statement, “the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS” refers to a distinct patient group called haemophiliacs. This statement was made by Lord Winston in his capacity as vice-President of the Haemophilia Society and is nothing whatsoever to do with whole blood cases. Whole blood cases are made up of people that have had whole blood transfusions for many different reasons, such as childbirth, operation, car crash victims, stabbing victims and are not a distinct patient group rather a group of people that have experienced many different conditions and are now infected with hepatitis C through their whole blood transfusions.

 

See here… last 2 lines of this Hansard debate.

 

Hepatitis C

7.31 p.m.

Lord Morris of Manchester rose to ask Her Majesty’s Government what new help they are considering for people with haemophilia who were infected with hepatitis C by contaminated National Health Service blood products and for the dependants of those who have since died.

12 Mar 2002 : Column 765

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the purpose of this debate—I speak as president of the Haemophilia Society—is to focus parliamentary and public attention on the now burning sense of injustice felt by a small and stricken community.

Ninety-five per cent of people with haemophilia treated before 1985—some 4,800 people—were infected with hepatitis C—HCV—by unclean NHS blood products. One in four of them was also infected with HIV. Over 800 have now died of AIDS-related illnesses from HIV infection and 212 have died from liver disease linked to HCV.

Yet, already twice stricken, the haemophilia community has now been dealt a cruel further blow. They are told by the Department of Health that blood products on which many rely crucially for their survival came from plasma donated by people who have since died of vCJD.

That briefly is the factual basis of what doctors of the highest distinction—including my noble friend Lord Winston, who is vice president of the Haemophilia Society—have described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the National Health Service.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldhansrd/vo020312/text/20312-25.htm

As this was 30th March 2000 death figures are now significantly higher.

 

“Thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C via contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s” the wordsblood products” refer to haemophiliacs so this should be made clear in the article.

 

“Two previous inquiries have been branded a whitewash by campaigners.”

 

  1. You are referring to the Archer Inquiry specifically for haemophiliacs which was not a whitewash. It was a privately funded Inquiry covering the infection of haemophiliacs only. Lord Archer did the best he could with an extremely limited budget but this Inquiry had no legal standing. The recommendations made by Lord Archer were excellent, it would be hard to improve on them, unfortunately the government rejected them by telling lies which was highlighted in a Judicial Review won by a haemophiliac using my evidence in 2010 but government still refused to compensate haemophiliacs.
  2. The Penrose Inquiry was held in Scotland and did look at haemophilia and whole blood cases in the same Inquiry again causing much confusion and was considered a complete whitewash.

 

Michelle Tolley was given whole blood transfusions (bags of blood from unpaid British donors) which would have been given in a hospital setting here is a definition, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/whole%20blood

 

“Blood products” such as factor concentrates are manufactured from plasma pooled from thousands of donors (this could be British donors but was often from paid donors in US prisons) the plasma was then manufactured into freeze dried “factor concentrates” and put into small bottles to be mixed with sterile water and injected into the veins of haemophiliacs. The injections were often carried out at home by haemophiliacs.

 

I am surprised that Ms Tolley did not explain all this to you as she runs a Support Group and the Contaminated Whole Blood UK Facebook page. I look forward to your response and corrections. Although you are using haemophilia facts, the word haemophilia does not appear once in your article!

 

I lost 2 family members, haemophiliacs to contaminated blood and am now a widow, hence my 30 year research into this scandal.

 

I look forward to your prompt response.

 

With thanks

 

Yours sincerely

 

Carol Grayson

 

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

 

 

 

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Contaminated Blood: Hepatitis waiver in HIV litigation put in to stop means testing and paying out for hepatitis C

Peter Longstaff and his wife Carol Grayson first challenged the hepatitis waiver in the 1991 Haemophilia HIV litigation in 1994

Back in 1991, haemophiliacs involved in an HIV litigation class action were made to sign a “waiver” after receiving contaminated blood (plasma products named factor concentrates) on the NHS during the 1970s and 80s. This Undertaking as it was officially known required haemophiliacs to waiver their rights and not take legal action for hepatitis infection in order to receive “ex-gratia” payments for themselves and their families from the UK government. This was NOT compensation which has never been paid and pressure was put on all to sign or they may not receive any payment..

Peter Longstaff a haemophiliac already infected with HIV and hepatitis B decided to attempt to overturn this waiver in 1994 after being told he was positive for hepatitis C. He and his wife Carol Grayson sought a legal opinion from a former head of the Bar Association, who after examining key evidence from the original litigation, highlighted that this waiver would be unlikely to stand if challenged in court. This was due to the fact that Longstaff did not know he was infected with hepatitis C at the time he signed the Undertaking in 1991 and therefore not “informed consent”. Documents within the legal and medical records showed however that lawyers and doctors did know at this time that around 99% of haemophiliacs infected with HIV were co-infected with hepatitis C. Some had already been tested and their positive test results withheld from them in some cases for several years.

Grayson and Longstaff later discovered the reason why the waiver was put into the group litigation settlement in 1991. Longstaff’s former solicitor Tony Mallen was interviewed for the Newcastle Journal Bad Blood campaign set up by journalist Louella Houldcroft jointly with Grayson and Longstaff in 2000 as follows,

“Mr Mallen says he and his team  had no choice but to include this (the Undertaking) in the agreement. ‘Many of these people were receiving benefit, because they could no longer work, and for this they were means tested’ he said

‘We agreed compensation for the haemophiliacs totalling 42 million but also asked that the money they received through this settlement should be disregarded when deciding whether or not they qualified for benefits.’ 

‘The government said they would only do this if the haemophiliacs agreed to claims not being brought  in respect of hepatitis infection.'” 

(Note “Compensation” in terms of individial “loss and need” at court levels was never paid only what government termed “ex-gratia” payments settled out of court.)

This non- means testing was also extended to money received by partners of haemophiliacs where it was meant to be disregarded, it did not affect claiming benefits.

As lawyers also stated to the media years after the HIV litigation ended, haemophiliacs signing the waiver meant government did not have to pay out for a further virus, hepatitis C.

This week an announcement was made by government that Contaminated Blood scandal victims would be eligible for further derisary financial support to add to the begging bowl system of payments. These were first made through the Macfarlane Trust and Skipton Fund, (disbanded) and now paid through English Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS). Macfarlane and Skipton were earlier scrapped without consultation with the longest standing haemophilia campaigners who much to their anger and dismay were excluded from a key meeting organized by government with a mediator. Ommission of knowlegable activists for haemophilia with key documents meant there was less chance of opposition being raised to the trusts being dismantled.

The additional money announced this week by Jackie-Doyle-Price coincides with the first day of hearings of the Infected Blood Inquiry in London chaired by Justice Brian Langstaff. It was reported by INews that,

“Recipients, including bereaved spouses and partners, could also be eligible for further financial support, through means-tested discretionary top-up payments.”

What was the point in haemophiliacs signing a hepatitis waiver that payments for HIV haemophiliacs and their families whould not be means tested if payments are continuing to be means tested in 2019?

Back in 2007 a private Inquiry into the infection of haemophiliacs was chaired by Lord Archer of Sandwell who highlighted that the begging bowl system was an insult to victims and recommended that they and their families should be paid “compensation on a parity with Eire” echoing Grayson’s campaign initiative from 1996.

Southern Ireland paid out to their haemophilia families on the grounds of “loss and need” in recognition of “extraordinary suffering” in advance of Tribunals. As the Eire government, Irish Haemophilia Society and Malcolmson Law Irish lawyers highlighted in personal letters to Grayson and her campaign colleague Colette Wintle in 2004, their government DID NOT accept legal liability but paid out compensation at levels used by the courts but without haemophiliacs having the stress of going to court.

A Westminster government rejected Archer’s recommendation falsely claiming Eire accepted legal liability. Haemophiliac Andrew March took out a Judicial Review against the then Secretary of State for Health supported by Grayson’s evidence from 2004 which showed this decision was “infected with error” and the JR was won in 2010. The government were told to go away and reconsider but again they refused to compensate on a parity with Eire changing the goalposts and saying they did not have to follow another country’s scheme. Shortly afterwards the previous misinformation continued despite the success of the JR.

A revised Scottish payment was later established by the devolved government giving haemophiliacs that were part of the HIV litigation and others infected with HCV significantly higher payments than the rest of the UK but not based on individual loss and need as in Eire. A “pension” was also established for widows DESPITE pensions not actually being devolved in Scotland. Payments are not means tested for those over the border and are in addition to state benefits.

Regarding the new financial announcement, Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price said:

 “We have continued to follow the Infected Blood Inquiry closely and have considered the issues raised at the initial hearings and now we are demonstrating that we have listened by committing up to a further £30 million to the scheme.

“We have also listened to the call for parity of support across the UK and we are planning to start discussions with our counterparts in the devolved administrations to see how this could be achieved.”

Although the Scottish scheme is an improvement on the rest of the UK, this is not what Lord Archer recommended. He recognized the unique situation of haemophiliacs as a distinct patient group, given a Special Status on which the ex-gratia payments were made in 1991 and which should have been extended to all haemophiliacs with hepatitis C. (The Special Status conditions are not applicable to whole blood victims.) This was that haemophilia was an hereditary condition with haemophiliacs being disadvantaged from birth, in education, employment and insurance, often with multiple family members with this condition. This was highlighted in an article on Haemnet by Luke Pembroke which showed the extent of the damage to one family when HIV emerged,

“Whole families were affected – Maureen (a haemophilia nurse) remembered one family in which 17 members with haemophilia were HIV positive.”

Jackie Doyle-Price’s announcement of increased financial support does not go anywhere near matching the extent of the harm and suffering in the haemophilia community. Haemophiliacs continue to die from the multiple viruses in their system with many bereaved partners now ill too with depression, anxiety, PTSD and unresolved grief after giving up their own careers to spend years caring 24/7 for loved ones. Partners of haemophiliacs were often the main wage earner in the family but that too has gone unrecognized. Children and parents have also been affected.

Those attending the first few days of evidence at the Infected Blood Inquiry have heard harrowing stories. Its time for government to ditch means-testing of derisory payments and pay out proper compensation allowing haemophilia families financial security and a litle comfort for what is left of their tragic lives.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

 

 

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Contaminated Blood: Haemophilia community given commitment in 2010 that DWP assessments would stop betrayed once again by government

Photo by Ashley Cooper

Fit for work? DWP might think so…

In July 2010, haemophilia campaigners Carol Grayson and Colette Wintle met with Anne Milton at the then Department of Health (DOH) now Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to discuss “gender justice” in relation to females with a bleeding disorder given contaminated blood and the partners and carers who looked after those infected.

During the meeting they asked that Contaminated Blood victims and their partners bereaved widows/widowers now often in ill health themselves through years of 24/7 caring for loved ones (often unsupported) not be put through continued Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) reassessment for sickness and disability benefits. They also asked for passporting regarding benefits to avoid an unnecessary and stressful assessment process. As they pointed out,

It is important to note that haemophiliacs and partners in ill health were forced out of work due to Contaminated Blood and being harmed BY the state indeed David Cameron apologised for something, “which should not have happened” and Andrew Lansley recognized the “harm” and “distress” caused to victims.

So why add to that distress? DWP assessments are declared by many MPs and disability rights campaigners as “not fit for purpose” and in the case of Contaminated Blood victims often retraumatize them during the assessment process.

Minutes related to this issue were taking during the meeting with Milton whose office recently gave permission to use the minute which reads as follows.

“CW (which is Colette Wintle) asked the minister (Anne Milton) why the Department of Work and Pensions are still targeting haemophiliacs, for repeated assessment for their entitlement to incapacity and other benefits. The Minister agreed that infected haemophiliacs and affected partners and widows should not be forced to fill in inappropriately worded forms or be subjected to physical examinations to prove entitlement.

CW pointed out that this group should be exempted by the DWP, because the recipients of long term  benefits are already  known to the DOH and DWP. The Minister has asked YF (Yemi Fegin) to contact the DWP  to ensure this is stopped”

Work Capability Assessments (WCA) have not stopped and victims continue to be retraumatized during an inhumane process often carried out by assessors not qualified in the relevant area of health affecting the claimant.

A former DWP assessor (now whistle blower) told Grayson that he was trained as a physiotherapist but was still expected to assess those with mental health problems outside his area of expertise and because he was not appropriately qualified he and other workers were googling psychiatric conditions 5 minutes before the claimant arrived. He said he felt completely out of his depth and became ill himself worrying about the harm caused to claimants through inappropriate assessments. He reported many other DWP assessors felt the same way.

Recently the following statement was made by Ruth Wakeman, the NMC’s (Nursing and Midwifery Council) Deputy Director of Education and Standards regarding DWP assessments,

“The NMC is clear that all nurses, midwives and nursing associates, must work within the limits of their competence. They must also complete any necessary training before carrying out a new role.

If there are any concerns about an individual’s practise these can be raised with the NMC. We can then investigate, and where necessary, take the appropriate regulatory action.”

A recent phone call made to the NMC confirmed they would investigate claims where this is happening.

What is the point for example in a nurse training for 3 years for a basic mental health qualification Registered Mental Nurse (RMN) and then undertaking further training in a specialist area if an untrained person can assess someone with chronic mental health issues including conditions such as PTSD which is a specialist area within mental health.

Welfare rights officers have witnessed assessors lying, falsifying reports and ignoring key medical evidence but despite complaints submitted no -one is held to account.  Watching TV, owning a pet, the weight of a handbag that a person carries are viewed as signs that a person is capable of working. Some tactics are observed to be repeatedly used to block claimants getting the financial assistance they need. One example is telling an asthmatic blowing into a peak flow meter that they have a “poor technique” when their GP states they have an “excellent technique” and reglarly score very low readings down to 30.

Contaminated blood victims are finding answers have been written to questions they were never even asked in the first place. How can that be right? Letters are received stating the DWP have all the information required BEFORE it has even been posted! There is now written evidence that having a lawyer and taking part in the Infected Blood Inquiry is being used against Contaminated Blood victims in assessment reports as signs of “fitness to work”. It is likely that travelling to give evidence will be viewed in the same way. This is cruel and inhumane, after all victims have suffered in ill health for decades now whilst also dealing with an alleged government cover-up.

It is in the interests of the DWP to force claimants back to work as government do not want to financially recognize years of harm and damage caused by the state so far refusing to compensate victims of the Contaminated Blood scandal.

Forcing sick and dying people back to work is an extremely dangerous practice putting both them and their colleagues at risk and may contravene the Health and Safety at work Act.

Back in October 2017 the DWP formed a working group with infected and affected persons (Contaminated Blood) but have largely ignored how to improve assessment in key areas of health such as the impact of living with HIV and hepatitis C plus mental health conditions focusing only on haemarthropathy, (a severe type of arthritis caused by bleeding into the joints due to haemophilia) see following link,

https://haemophilia.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-06-19-Haemarthropathy-Exercise-Information-Note.pdf

Haemarthropathy is important but it is HIV and hepatitis C infection that are killing haemophiliacs not haemarthropathy and these conditions are being sidelined along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Grayson resigned in protest at the lack of transparency and openness and failure to address key issues important to Contaminated Blood victims. It seemed the meetings were little more than a token gesture to get endorsement on only what DWP wanted to achieve. Minutes did not accurately reflect the content of the meeting and corections to minutes were not accepted. Campaigners are concerned that government are now using the issue of reassessment to punish those that spoke out and note reference to the resignation was brought up in a recent letter from Amber Rudd (DWP) to Grayson’s MP Nick Brown.  

DWP reassments are leading to claimants being taking off benefits, losing money and having to undergo a gruelling appeal system which can last months and in one case led to a widow being left on nil income for 6 months unable to buy food or pay bills as highlighted in Private Eye. It was left to another contaminated blood victim also on benefits to send food vouchers as there was no money for the bus fair to travel to the nearest food bank. Trussel Trust food banks distributed 1.6 million food parcels last year (up 18.8% on the previous year) many to those whose benefits were reduced or stopped altogether through sanctions.

The haemophilia widow eventually won her appeal for the 2nd time but the stress caused during this time was noted by her GP and other professionals to have significantly worsened her health. 

Independent Living website produced the following showing that PIP and ESA appeal success was the highest ever highlighting that the current system is extremely flawed to be failing so many sick and disabled persons, as follows:-

The Tribunals Service statistics show that claimants are winning PIP and ESA appeals at the highest rate ever recorded.

Overall, an extraordinary 70% of social security appeals are successful, with the claimant getting a better award than they originally received from the DWP.

Success rates for individual benefits:

• Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 74%
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 73%
• Disabled Living Allowance (DLA) 66%
• Universal Credit (UC) 58%

This is an increase in successful appeals of 4% for PIP compared with the year before, and 5 percent for ESA.

End

The Tories have admitted that 7,990 people died within 6 months of being rejected for PIP, since 2013.

This week Laura Pidcock MP for North West Durham secured a debate on WCA in Westminster Hall calling for it to be scapped. It was noted that not one Tory MP bothered to turn up for the debate.

As Rights Info (a human rights website founded by lawyer Adam Wagner) noted,

In some cases, like that of Stephen Smith, these unwell people end up fighting with the Department of Work and Pensions from their deathbed. In other cases, they see no other route and decide to take their own life.

“Literally taking money from people who are disabled, unwell or dying and what are the worst consequences of this system? The ultimate result of this brutality? Jodie Whiten took her life 15 days after the DWP stopped her benefits for missing a work capability assessment when she was seriously ill. 

These are the real-life tragedies of a broken system.

Laura Pidcock, MP North West Durham

The Stephen Smith case caused public outrage, ITV stated,

“While in hospital being treated for pneumonia, an emaciated, six-stone Mr Smith (now deceased) had to discharge himself from hospital in January to attend a tribunal to overturn the DWP’s decision.

After his case made headlines, the DWP apologised and agreed to issue back payments of more £4,000 to Mr Smith, the benefits he should have received.”

The refunded money is now being used to pay for his funeral. The Liverpool Echo noted that Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions refused to comment on the appalling treatment of Stephen Smith calling it an “opperational matter”.

A series of questions have been submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and to the DWP by Grayson on assessment of those within the haemophilia community. The DOH were also asked if they would release documents under Freedom of Information (FOI) relating to the 2010 meeting with Anne Milton. The following was stated, “DHSC may hold information relevant to your request. However to comply with your request as it is currently framed would exeed the cost limit as set out in Section 12 (1) of FOIA.”. It was also stated that,

“As outlined in the report of the Department’s review into the support available to those affected by infected blood published in early 2011, the issue of exemption from Work Capability Assessment was raised during a House of Commons backbench debate on 14th October 2010 (point 1.4). Points 10.6 to 10.9 also refer: 10.9 ‘The Review considered exemption from the WCA for this patient group with the DWP. However the DWP have confirmed that individuals infected with HIV and /or Hepatitis C by NHS-supplied blood transfusion or blood products will not be granted exemption from the WCA, given that WCA is based on the principle that a health condition should not automatically be regarded as a barrier to work.”

Many of those infected are now dead and the answer above shows that PTSD in the haemophilia community was not even given consideration though since then a legal ruling now requires that PTSD regarded as a mental health issue (though often with physical symptoms) is given equal consideration with other health conditions.

This statement is a betrayal of the commitment made by Anne Milton to Grayson and Wintle in 2010 that reassessments would stop and pressure must be put on the government to honour this commitment. Once again the haemophilia community has been let down by government that has admitted to the harm and distress caused to those infected and affected on which they based only ex-gratia payments as opposed to the  proper compensation pay-outs provided in Eire.

The government is once again adding insult to injury towards a now aging infected and affected haemophilia community. In addition some partners and widows, women born in the 1950s) have also been shafted with their pensions, losing thousands of pounds as the state pension age was raised from 60 to 65 without given them time to plan ahead, another legal case pending! In the case of haemophilia widows/partners they could not do so anyway due to their extremely limited income, many having been forced out of work due to ill health as with Wintle or in the case of Grayson having to give up work to care for her husband and now also in ill-health.

Government ministers are often cold, showing little empathy towards Contaminated Blood victims. One former MP told Wintle, the worst meeting of his political career was with Andrew Lansley who allegedly stated he did not want the haemophilia community to get a penny more. On the other hand it is interesting to note that Boris Johnson ex -foreign secretary received more for two speeches (over £160,000) than most haemophiliacs received for being infected with multiple life-threatening viruses that devastated their lives! Politicians current and former love to rake in the money as we saw with the many false expenses claims whilst at the same time begrudging the haemophilia community even the most basic of benefits let alone proper compensation.

The following questions were put to the DHSC under FOI

1) How many infected haemophiliacs given contaminated blood or affected partners, widows/widowers have been reassessed for sickness and disability benefits since 2010 including ESA and PIP.

2) How many had to appeal their cases?

3) How many won at appeal?

4) How many won more than one appeal?

5) How many were compensated for their distress after winning an appeal?

An answer was received from Dorothy Crowe Freedom of Information officer it read, “DHSC holds no information relevant to your request”.

The same questions have now been put to the DWP.

The following questions have been submitted to both DOH and DWP and are now awaiting a response,

1) To ask the DWP, what research has been carried out specifically regarding PTSD in bereaved partners of haemophiliacs given contaminated blood and how many are affected?

2) What assessment has been made of the damage caused to the bereaved partners of haemophiliacs now suffering from PTSD and the impact of repeated DWP assessments in relation to retraumatizing victims?

3) What assessment has been made of the impact of DWP assessing bereaved partners of haemophiliacs in terms of failure to provide appropriately qualified assessors that have at least 3 years minimum mental health training? (PTSD is a specialist area within mental health and assessing fitness for work is not possible without understanding how PTSD including complex PTSD over many years impacts on carrying out daily tasks). I write as someone who previously trained and worked for years in mental health and worked at sister level.

4) What assessment has been carried out regarding the importance of compensating partners of haemophiliacs that now suffer from PTSD and have been unable to work for years as a result of this condition just as they have been compensated in Eire?

It is anticipated that the answers will show little or no consideration has been made regarding the impact of PTSD which over a long period can develop into complex PTSD as individuals are repeatedly exposed to harm and distress.

Regarding the continued assessment of haemophiliacs and their partners, and the commitment made by Anne Milton in 2010, the following questions have now been submitted to Amber Rudd

1) Under Freedom of Information will the DWP advise what action was taking following the meeting with Anne Milton to honour the commitment and ensure reassessments for infected haemophiliacs and their partners many also now suffering chronic health problems from years of caring stopped?

2) Will the DWP now issue an apology to all those within the haemophilia contaminated blood community that have been reassessed and retraumatised since 2010 and ensure their benefits are reinstated if changes have been made causing them enormous additional stress, further harm and loss of money since that date. Lawyers for haemophiliacs have the full minutes and we have permission from Anne Milton’s office to use the minute.

3) To ask the DWP if they are aware that in Eire family members of haemophilia contaminated blood victims have been compensated for PTSD? What does the DWP intend to do to ensure victims are fully compensated in the UK and to educate DWP staff regarding victims living with this condition and now participating in the Infected Blood Inquiry so that staff do not continue to cause unnecessary trauma and abuse?

The response is awaited, don’t hold your breath… it is fully expected haemophiliacs will be shafted and betrayed by the government once again!

What is disturbing is that long standing campaigners of 30 years and are being repeatedly left out of meetings with the DHSC and DWP and far too often those negotiating for haemophiliacs are neither infected nor affected and clueless to the reality of their daily lives. An FOI showed that government did not even have an accurate list of haemophilia campaign groups or date they were set up with some ommitted from the list entirely… incompetence or by design?

Despite lawyers writing several letters to the Infected Blood Inquiry on the distress caused by DWP assessments and phone calls made to the Red Cross helpline set up to support victims, so far the Inquiry has been silent on this issue.

However government beware, there is a rising anger amongst disability rights activists who are now joining climate change protesters with more direct action expected on the streets and further legal challenges already being considered.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

 

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Clarification by spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning postponement of Qatar conference

Post via Islamic Emirate April 19th 2019

An intra-Afghan conference was scheduled to take place on the 20th and 21st April in the Qatari capital of Doha but has now been cancelled.

We deem it necessary to make the following clarification:

1 – A decision was made during the Moscow conference on 6th of February that a similar conference will again be held in Qatar.

The Islamic Emirate is still committed to that policy and pledge of an identical conference being held; rather the Islamic Emirate went a step further by agreeing to allow an even larger number of male and female compatriots to attend when compared to the Moscow conference.

It was agreed that all participants of the conference shall declare their own personal views regarding the Afghan issue however the Kabul administration officials launched efforts to introduce this conference as a negotiation’s meetings between the Kabul administration and the Islamic Emirate, a position in conflict with the policy of the conference.

2 – All participants attended the Moscow conference in a personal capacity and the upcoming Qatar conference was also planned with similar guidelines from the very first day.

Both the hosts of the conference and Qatar made it clear and even stipulated this point in the invitation letters that all individuals shall partake in personal capacity but the head of Kabul administration (Ashraf Ghani and another official Umar Daudzai) repeatedly held press conferences and declared that members selected by them shall participate as representatives of the Kabul administration, a clear attempt at sabotaging this conference and peace efforts.

3 – Just as all the arrangements for the conference were finalized, the Kabul administration officials launched their own bizarre meetings inside the Arg palace, announcing their red lines and conditions, claiming host status for the conference, filing and publicizing a participant list not only ill-suited for the conference site and situation but also having not chance of being accepted. And the strangest of all was the publication of this list before even sharing or reaching an understanding or agreement with the conference hosts, deliberately creating turmoil.

4 – At a time when the policy of the Islamic Emirate is absolutely clear that the initial stage of the negotiations process shall resolve the foreign aspect of the issue – meaning the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan as dialogue with the powerless and crumbling Kabul administration is a waste of time.

But even with this policy, over thirty Kabul administration peace council and other officials were accommodated in the Qatar conference and majority of the list was comprised of current and former members and supporters of the Kabul administration partaking in a personal capacity whereas only twenty five members of the Islamic Emirate were to be part of the conference. Yet the Kabul administration still insisted on a 250 member lopsided list which was an inappropriate undertaking.

5 – The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reassures its oppressed nation and the world that the Islamic Emirate has made use of absolute patience. The Political Office and Negotiation Team headed by the respected Mullah Baradar Akhund worked day and night, exercised self-restraint and showed flexibility in policy to the highest level; but since Kabul administration officials and secret circles created obstacles for this effort therefore its responsibility also falls upon their shoulders. The Help of Allah and support of nation shall remain with us and the enemies of peace shall themselves come to understand that they miscalculated and were wrong.

6 – In the end we thank all individuals and parties especially the distinguished Qatari officials, officials of Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies and sincere peace activities inside the country who aided in this process and tried their best till the very end, may Allah (SwT) reward them for their efforts, specifically those who prepared themselves for the conference. Those eminent personalities who went to Kabul from adjacent provinces and some who even arrived at Doha, we show our utmost appreciation for all their efforts and hope for further resolve in their future efforts.

The Islamic Emirate shall continue its legitimate struggle until true peace prevails and an intra-Afghan Islamic system is established, Allah willing.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

14/08/1440 Hijri Lunar

30/01/1398 Hijri Solar                  19/04/2019 Gregorian

End

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

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Islamic Emirate Afghanistan? Reaction to US remarks regarding anti-occupation spring operations

Post via Islamic Emirate Afghanistan April 13th 2019

Yesterday the Islamic Emirate announced its spring operations to uproot occupation, attain sovereignty and establish an Islamic system.

Following the announcement, the military commander of American forces in Afghanistan Scott Miller and Special Representative of the State Department Zalmay Khalilzad showed a strong reaction to the Islamic Emirate’s operation and called it reckless.

They must understand that this war has been imposed upon us by you.

Defending one’s life, wealth, honor, country, religion and frontiers is the legal right of every nation and human society, and Afghans specifically are extremely sensitive and distinct than to any other nation in the world in this matter.

We also wish to remind them that in every meeting during the previous five rounds of talks, the negotiation team of the Islamic Emirate proposed that civilian casualties must be avoided. Your night raids and bombings that mostly abduct and martyr defenseless Afghan women, children, elders and students of schools, madaris and universities must be halted however it was you who ignored those proposals.

Khalilzad and Miller are expressing sensitivity to our Jihad and defense while simultaneously supporting the operations declared by the Kabul administration.

They must end their crimes against humanity by realizing their own responsibilities. Over the past nine months, the American invaders have raided the homes of Afghans every night and martyred countless sleeping women, children and elders or taken them as captives. Bombs are rained across the country every day, homes, mosques, madaris, schools and clinics destroyed and according to their own admission, 7000 bombs have been dropped on our homeland during this short period.

Hence real recklessness and inhumane actions are these war crimes and crimes against humanity and not the Afghan resistance, defense and Jihad.

We condemn remarks by Khalilzad and Miller, turn their attention to answering for their own actions and consider their remarks regarding the ongoing Jihadi operations as inappropriate.

We also want to clarify that we are committed to the ongoing negotiations process and a peaceful resolution but cannot remain indifferent to the military operations and ongoing crimes of the invaders and their internal supporters.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

08/08/1438 Hijri Lunar

24/01/1398 Hijri Solar                   13/04/2019 Gregorian

End

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

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Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding inauguration of Al-Fath Jihadi Operations

Post via Islamic Emirate Afghanistan April 12th 2019

Allah (SwT) says: Verily, We have given you a manifest victory… and Allah (SwT) says: March forth, whether you are light or heavy, strive hard with your wealth and lives in the cause of Allah. This is better for you, if you but knew. (At-Taubah: 41)

Our believing countrymen and Mujahid brothers!

Armed Jihad has been ongoing against the foreign invaders and their supporters for the past eighteen years in our homeland Afghanistan.

This Jihadi struggle is yet another proud chapter in the history of Islam and Afghanistan that guarantees the welfare, values, sovereignty and honor of our future generations and holds the keys to our spiritual survival.

If our nation had desisted from raising their Jihadi swords against the British, Soviets and current American invaders, today we would have also been like other colonized nations deprived of honor and self-determination and our future generations would have been led astray and alien to our own faith. But it is the Divine Mercy of Allah (SwT) on our people that He bestowed success upon us in these testing times, blessed our nation with the strength to combat and resist the invaders and rescued us from everlasting spiritual decline and downfall.

Mujahid Countrymen!

Our Jihadi obligation has not yet ended. Even as large parts of our homeland have been freed from the enemy yet the foreign occupying forces continue exercising military and political influence in our Islamic country. They not only maintain political control of our homeland but daily bomb our fellow countrymen from large military bases, carry out raids with the aid of their domestic mercenaries, inflict human and material losses and oppress our people in a multitude of ways.

Moreover, they used the Kabul administration to continue killing Afghans, extending occupation and preventing an Islamic system by announcing Khalid military operations on 1st Hammal 1398 (Hijri Solar). This itself bears testimony that the enemy still seeks to attain its malicious objectives through the use of force and is creating artificial barriers for a complete Islamic system.

As defending one’s religion, homeland, life, property and honor is compulsory and complete independence of an Islamic country from the clutches of foreign occupation a Jihadi obligation hence for the fulfillment of this responsibility, the Islamic Emirate declares Al-Fath Jihadi Operations with the arrival of the new solar year and draws attention to the following points:

– Orders of coordinated launch of Al-Fath Operations throughout the country have been given and as intentions are the basis of all worship, all Mujahideen brothers are requested to launch the Jihadi Operation with complete sincerity and pure intentions. Your objective should solely be for gaining the pleasure of Allah (SwT) by eradicating occupation, cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption, establishing an Islamic system along with defending and serving our believing fellow countrymen.

– Mujahideen are required to observe the principles of obedience during Al-Fath Operations. Your Jihadi actions should conform to Jihadi rule books and in the light of guidance of your superiors. All decrees and recommendations issued by the Military Commission and other related departments of the Islamic Emirate should be strongly adhered to, be they related to daily Jihadi activities or other affairs such as prevention of civilian casualties, precautionary measures, regulations, internal-coordination and ethics.

– As (all praise belongs to Allah) the Mujahideen possess unbreakable Jihadi determination and benefit from armed experience, new tactics, public support, influence inside enemy ranks and advanced weapons therefore we are hopeful that with Help from Allah (SwT), large areas including townships and other centers shall be cleansed from enemy presence. Mujahideen brothers must protect themselves from treachery, theft, treason and other prohibited actions in Jihadi affairs. Protecting lives and property of fellow countrymen and guarding public reserves and welfare projects are also part of your responsibilities.

– A key part of Al-Fath Operations is peeling away of countrymen serving in the military ranks of army, police and militias and being used by invaders for their own objectives. The Islamic Emirate prefers that they protect their lives and wealth by joining the ranks of truth (Islamic Emirate) instead of dying in the ranks of falsehood. On this basis we again call on troops working in enemy ranks to shun senseless hostility and futile resistance, to join the Mujahideen and gain guarantees of safeguarding life and wealth.

– To end we call on our Mujahideen brothers to inaugurate Al-Fath Operations with complete seriousness, sincerity, trust, lofty resolve and high spirits and heal the hearts of the believers yearning for peace and an Islamic system with waves of spirit-raising conquests. Understand that we are followers of truth and Al-Fath (Victory) is always bestowed upon the truthful. Keeping in mind the promises of Allah (SwT), the day is near that the Jihadi aspirations of our martyrs, wounded, prisoners, migrants and oppressed people are fulfilled, an Islamic system established and our homeland cleansed from American occupation and evil elements through ultimate Al-Fath (Victory).

Allah (SwT) says:م

And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors (Al-Qasas: 5)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

07/08/1440 Hijri Lunar

23/01/1398 Hijri Solar               12/04/2019 Gregorian

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Remarks by spokesman of Islamic Emirate concerning Loya Jirga of Kabul administration

Post via Islamic Emirate Afghanistan, April 10th 2019

As the Kabul administration continues its search for the survival of its corrupt and illegitimate period, it therefore has called for a supposed ‘consultative’ Loya Jirga which shall decide the future of Afghanistan.

The Kabul administration and various plots under the name of Loya Jirgas over the course of eighteen years were and are misused as tools for the continuation of occupation and widespread administrative and moral corruption as well as to cement and protect interests of the invaders.

The Afghan Mujahid nation understands well that for the past eighteen years under the shadow of occupation, our most cherished historical cultural norms, honor and titles have deliberately been used against Islam and our homeland and the higher interests of Afghanistan in an effort to mislead the Muslim Afghan nation.

The superficial ‘Grand Consultative Jirga’ that the hollow Kabul administration is to convene this time around will be no different than the Jirgas and resolutions passed by the supposed ‘Loya Jirgas’ during the end years of the communist regime or that of the year 2013 which approved the extension of occupation and auctioning of Afghanistan under the security agreement.

Such plots and processes are never acceptable to the real and devout sons of this homeland and neither are the resolutions binding.

The Islamic Emirate – as a representative of the its nation – rejects such fake Jirgas and any participation in them and asks all fellow countrymen to not become victims of enemy plots at such a historically sensitive juncture by abstaining from participating in such superficial Jirgas.

The Islamic Emirate is of belief that such efforts under the shadow of occupation are used for protecting the objectives of the invaders and their domestic stooges and are never acceptable nor binding.

Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid

05/08/1440 Hijri Lunar

21/01/1398 Hijri Solar                   10/04/2019 Gregorian

End

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

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