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The Englishman accused of an African massacre

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posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:54 AM
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This is an interesting story eminating from the Central African Republic. David Simpson, a 24 year old Englishman is in prison accused of the killings of 13 Africans on the Safari reserve he is working on.


Given that he's in prison in the Central African Republic charged with the massacre of 13 people, it's really not as hard getting hold of David Simpson as you'd think. I just ring him up. And there he is, on a surprisingly not-too-bad line, sounding a bit relieved to have someone to talk to.



t's in David's character, it turns out, to say that things could be worse, though by most people's reckoning they're already pretty bad. Three months ago, in a remote corner of the Central African Republic, where he was working as the general manager of a safari company, he walked into the forest and unwittingly uncovered a massacre: the bodies of 13 badly beaten and tortured men.

"Two of our employees had found the bodies and I got a call from my boss saying get down there. It was down by a river, where men from the nearest town, Bakouma, come to mine gold. It's illegal, and we'd been down there the month before, to tell them to leave. This time, as we approached, we saw six bodies. They were tied together in a circle, face down, and had been beaten to death with sticks. Some of them were naked or partially naked. It was so brutal. A couple of them, their faces were completely smashed up. Then methodically every one of them had a machete cut in the back of the head." He called the authorities and the next day returned with the military and uncovered another seven bodies. "That was a lot worse. Some of them had been tortured before they'd died. They'd had boiling water poured over them. It was pretty bad. And the first day there was no smell but the next day, the smell … it was in a valley and the military guys were throwing up."



the evidence suggests that this was the work of the Lord's Resistance Army, a militant group of forced child and ex-child soldiers led by the Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony: the way the bodies had been arranged, the manner in which they'd been killed, previous attacks they'd carried out in the area. "We took one of our trackers and he found footprints, wellington boot prints, which are standard LRA wear. And it just has all the classic hallmarks of one of their attacks. The way they take clothing. And use sticks to beat them. And we've had other attacks in the area in the past year."

And yet a few days later, Erik, David's Swedish boss, was arrested in the CAR capital, Bangui. Ten days later, David was too, along with 11 other employees. "There was another group of men nearby when we discovered the bodies. One of them panicked and ran away, and he started the rumour that we'd killed them. They thought we'd done witchcraft. There was an official claim in the newspapers that I gave them food with magic powder in it, and then I beat them to death with a stick."


www.guardian.co.uk...

This certainly does not sound like the activities that a safari company an its employees would involve itself in and seems to be a matter of local superstitions and official corruption. Apparently British officialdom is now working hard to free him after some reticence based on the fact that David had gone to a country listed as a no go area through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice, and the area in particular as a definite area to avoid due to the instability and presence of Kony's LRA.


Diplomatic efforts to free David Simpson, a 24-year-old from North Yorkshire, who is being held in prison in the Central African Republic for allegedly murdering 13 people, have been stepped up, as his MP, Anne McIntosh, described his situation as "very serious indeed".


www.guardian.co.uk...

All in all it seems like a very odd case. Thoughts?




posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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This is what Human Rights Watch have had to say on the matter.


Human Rights Watch however said that following more LRA attacks close to the hunters' camp in June, it was more likely that the rebel group killed the miners than the staff of the hunting company, Central African Wildlife Adventures (CAWA). "The LRA attacks on civilians in June strongly suggest that the LRA and not the jailed CAWA employees were responsible for similar atrocities in March," said Ida Sawyer, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.



"The government should urgently increase protection for civilians in the Bakouma area and review the charges against the hunting reserve employees." She condemned delays in bringing charges against the men and called on the judicial authorities to "avoid a miscarriage of justice" by fully exploring all leads in its investigation of the attack.


www.telegraph.co.uk...

It does seem bizarre that Mr Simpson and these fellow employees at the Safari company would be arrested when it was known that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) were are are carrying out these kind of attacks in the area.
edit on 16-7-2012 by Peruvianmonk because: Spelling



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


Not sure to be honest. Been following this for weeks now (local guy so all over local media).

He works for a safari company but he is actually a pilot (not that that infers anything). It does sound like the work of the L.R.A. Also, why report it if they were guilty? In a Safari Park, the bodies could have "disappeared" a long time before anyone discovered them.

Latest news today though seems to be that he will be released fairly soon. Having computer problems today so can't post link yet but check out the Yorkshire Evening Press website for more info.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 


Thanks Flavian. Do you know him?

From the Yorkshire Press.


Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham stepped in to increase pressure on the Central African Republic to free David Simpson, 24, of Gillamoor, near Kirkbymoorside.



There have been three months of careful diplomatic efforts to free him but to no avail, and now Mr Bellingham has met Antoine Gambi, the country’s foreign minister, at the African Union summit in Ethiopia to discuss the case. While the Foreign Office declined to give details of the outcome, it is understood that Mr Gambi was sympathetic to Mr Simpson’s case and agreed to hold talks with the country’s justice minister and police commissioner.


www.yorkpress.co.uk...

It has been quiet enough to be mostly ignored by the national papers apart from the odd article. The Guradian inferred in their article that the government were not that interested in helping, at least at first.


Back in Yorkshire, David's father and brother tell me about the trip down to London to the Foreign Office. "They just said to us, 'We have 20,000 British people locked up abroad, most of whom are in a worse position than your son.' " "And Anne McIntosh, the local MP, she gave us a right bollocking," Paul reminds him. "Oh yes, it was like going to see the headmistress," says Peter. "She said, 'First of all, David has gone to a country that if you type it into the Foreign Office website, it flashes up in red saying don't go there. And if you type the area of the country that he was working in, it flashes up saying definitely don't go there. And now you're asking for taxpayers' money to spend on getting him out?' We kind of just sat and looked at each other and then she said, 'Oh, you think you are big and clever with all this media but you are doing no good whatsoever.'"


www.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


No, never met him. As with anything local though, you immediately get interested don't you?


Got to love that reaction by their MP! Good to know our elected representatives have our backs............

Also, her level of insight........basically summed up as "computer says no".


Sorry but i have to laugh at that. If you think about it seriously it only depresses the hell out of you.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 


Yeh anything local that isn't about a cat being rescued from a tree or an old granny going on about something is to be cherished.

I do understand the reaction of the FCO in most cases of Britons Banged Up Abroad. They can't really do much if you are found to have broken local laws, you should know these before you enter the country(most are obvious, like don't kill or rape or anyone or take or smuggle in drugs). This case though seems pretty clearly like a stitch up and they finally seem to be onto getting him freed.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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HRW seem to be as on the case or more so than the British government.



An international human rights group has launched a campaign for justice for a young pilot imprisoned in the Central African Republic over the killings of 13 people. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has written to the country’s president François Bozizé, urging him to review the case of David Simpson, of Gillamoor, on the North York Moors, after HRW investigators found evidence to show the 24-year-old’s involvement in the ritualistic massacre of the illegal gold miners was unlikely.



HRW said it had studied whether Mr Simpson, the firm’s general manager, had ordered the firm’s guards, known as The Archers, to kill the men to stop illegal gold mining activities on the firm’s 20,000sq km concession following rising tensions.



After interviewing people who discovered the bodies, the victims’ family members, the firm’s employees, Central African army soldiers, local authorities, judicial officials and policemen, HRW has concluded the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) probably perpetrated the killings. Daniel Bekele, director of HRW’s Africa division, said rebels, who have been linked to 2,600 civilian killings since 2008, were in the Ngunguinza gold mine area in the weeks before and after the massacre.


www.thenorthernecho.co.uk...

Interesting that these guards of the safari company had their own tagline "The Archers". Comes across as quite aggressive.



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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From the Telegraph today.


David Simpson keeps a home-made baseball bat by the door of his cell. And sometimes, inside the prison in the Central African Republic, he has to use it. "I was feeling sick and was lying on my mattress, when a guy crept in to steal my flip flops," he said. "I had to chase him out, and floored him with a punch to the back of the head." When you are the only Westerner among 670 African prisoners, you quickly learn how to defend yourself. And Mr Simpson, 24, has been held prisoner in the Central African Republic, one of the world's poorest nations, for four months.


www.telegraph.co.uk... th-murder.html

This link also includes a video from inside the jail where David, with a smile on his face, refutes the charges against him.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:51 AM
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It would appear he is now free.


The 24-year-old Briton charged with the massacre of 13 people and then imprisoned for four months in the Central African Republic has told the full story of his remarkable release following a prison riot. "The good news is I'm out," David Simpson, who faced a possible death penalty, told the Observer. "The bad news, or at least the strange news, is how it happened."


Not without some incident though.


On Thursday afternoon, "just after we'd finished lunch", anti-government protesters stormed the jail, surrounded by high walls and razor wires and guarded by men with Kalashnikovs. It was mayhem, Simpson said. The prison courtyard was full of looters. "I raced downstairs to try to padlock the stairs to our cell, but it was too late; they were already inside. I ran back up to the cell and we tried to barricade ourselves in. We held the door with our bodies for about five or six minutes then they burst through. There was just a wall of men with machetes looking at us. They couldn't believe they'd found a white man. They looked as shocked as I was."



He was held in the prison for several hours until his boss, a Swedish national called Erik Mararv, who was born and brought up in the republic, arranged for the judge in the case to go to the prison and sign for his release. He was taken to Marav's house, confused and shaken. "I was in a bit of shock. My head was still in prison. I couldn't quite come to terms with what had happened. I've had so many bizarre things happen, you'd never believe. This is the second riot I've been in this year."


www.guardian.co.uk...

If I were him I would be contacting publishers right now about a possible book release, he seems more than happy to tell his story.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 06:56 AM
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This is very easy to resolve. We give them 24 hours to release him. If they do not heed this demand, then we send the military in to break him out and consider any civilian casualties as acceptable collateral.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by binkman
 


Well there is no need for that. As you can see from the above post he has been released following a riot/attempted prison break.

As for your advice in future situations, perhaps we should try diplomacy first?



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
reply to post by binkman
 


Well there is no need for that. As you can see from the above post he has been released following a riot/attempted prison break.

As for your advice in future situations, perhaps we should try diplomacy first?


Diplomacy works with countries based around law and order. Since most African countries are in various states of shambles, democracy will only go so far



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by binkman
 


So instead we go in all guns blazing possibly kill our target, and any civilians or military for that matter and make an enemy out of a country in the resulting fallout?

The world isn't a movie. If we look at armed attempts at freeing hostages the record isn't good, especially on foreign soil.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
reply to post by binkman
 


So instead we go in all guns blazing possibly kill our target, and any civilians or military for that matter and make an enemy out of a country in the resulting fallout?

The world isn't a movie. If we look at armed attempts at freeing hostages the record isn't good, especially on foreign soil.



The other option would be to let our people have their heads slowly sliced off their body and the video put on youtube, or dangling from a gallows in some 3rd world banana republic. From your replies on this thread, it seems like this is the choice you would rather make.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:15 AM
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It seems that British politicians and Civil Servants etc are more concerned about the well being of foreigners locked up in the UK for committing crimes than they are about UK nationals who are locked up abroad on trumped up charges.

I have recently been re-aquainting myself with the details around the Lebanon Hostage Crisis in the 1980's and the UK government of the time do not come out of it looking very well at all.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by Freeborn
 


First on the statement from blinkeredman.



The other option would be to let our people have their heads slowly sliced off their body and the video put on youtube, or dangling from a gallows in some 3rd world banana republic. From your replies on this thread, it seems like this is the choice you would rather make.


Yes because that's the only inevitable outcome of travel and/or arrest in these "3rd world banana republics".

Those African savages.


Oh yes and



our people have their heads slowly sliced off their body and the video put on youtube, or dangling from a gallows


is obviously what I want.
You are hilarious in your in depth analysis.





I have recently been re-aquainting myself with the details around the Lebanon Hostage Crisis in the 1980's and the UK government of the time do not come out of it looking very well at all.


Can you post some links Freeborn?



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Peruvianmonk
reply to post by Freeborn
 


First on the statement from blinkeredman.



The other option would be to let our people have their heads slowly sliced off their body and the video put on youtube, or dangling from a gallows in some 3rd world banana republic. From your replies on this thread, it seems like this is the choice you would rather make.


Yes because that's the only inevitable outcome of travel and/or arrest in these "3rd world banana republics".

Those African savages.


Oh yes and



our people have their heads slowly sliced off their body and the video put on youtube, or dangling from a gallows


is obviously what I want.
You are hilarious in your in depth analysis.




Well it clearly is. Kenneth Bigley is dead today because the government did not have the spine and balls to get him out with the military.

You actually make me sick
edit on 14-8-2012 by binkman because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by Peruvianmonk
 


Whilst I recognise it may not be exactly the same sort of case as this it does however show the apparent and indeed genuine indifference shown by the UK government to the plight of it's citizens abroad in sharp contrast to that shown by the US / French / Irish etc governments.

en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...(writer)
en.wikipedia.org...(journalist)

In addition I really do recommend both Brian Keenan's autobiography An Evil Cradling and John McCarthy's account Some Other Rainbow.



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