Police Stalking, Police Criminality, and Human Rights

How new policing methods can undermine the rule of law and modern liberal judicial philosophy

On Human Rights Day: How the War on Organised Crime Is Destroying Our Societies

It is common knowledge that since 2001, government operations lumped together as “the war on terror” have become an increasing threat to civil liberties in liberal democracies. Key judicial notions like the presumption of innocence and due process are increasingly given short shrift whenever government actions can be justified with reference to the fight against real and imagined “terrorists”. In recent years, extrajudicial death sentences in the shape of drone warfare have come to epitomise some of the bluntest setbacks in modern times for hard-fought rule of law principles that were spearheaded by Enlightenment thinkers in the eighteenth century.

There is a second, problematic government “war” going on these days that is getting far less attention than the “war on terror”. It is a war where the definition of the target is equally arbitrary, the transgression of civil liberties equally extreme, and the threat to the survival of western liberal democracy equally acute. It consists of a large number of shadowy police operations  carried  out nationally and internationally with reference to an assumed war on “organised crime”.

Today, “organised crime units” or “gang units” can be found in most Western democracies. Exactly like in the case of the war on terror, their “war” involves carpet bombing vaguely defined targets in lieu of a normal judicial process. Since prosecution is no longer the main aim, a domestic equivalent of drone warfare called disruption dominates instead. Police disruption methods range from rather innocuous elements like enhanced supervision and expedited trials, via illegal methods like police stalking and harassment, to serious torture crimes involving unconventional directed energy weapons.

The problem with organised crime operations is that the police tries to seduce the general public with fancy terminology in order to circumvent normal judicial procedure. Of course, the most obvious reason they are doing this is that they are unwilling or unable to bring forward a normal prosecution. The laws or the judges are “wrong” in the eyes of the police, or the suspected criminals aren’t quite as criminal as the police thinks after all. But instead of making this police-state admission publicly, the police concocts a whole new vocabulary intended to divert attention from their own basic human rights violations. Exactly as in the case of war on terror, “organised crime” is construed so monstrously that the public is supposed to forget about human rights altogether. Suddenly every sex-work related phenomenon is seen as an expression of horrible “trafficking”. Dissidents of whatever political or cultural colour are labelled  “gangs”,  “hooligans”, “hackers”, or “bikers”. For undesirables that fit none of these categories, accusations of sexual “perversion” can always come in handy. In short, with the spread of disruption as a police method, due process and the presumption of innocence are increasingly privileges given mostly to red-handed murderers where the question of guilt is so obvious that the prosecution can afford to show a little magnanimity. For everyone else disliked by the police, there are disruption methods – punishment that is meted out with police officers as jury, judge and executioner.

This of course is not to deny the existence of organised crime as a serious threat. Organised crime is real, exactly in the same way that terror is also real. But the definition of these problems is often so sloppy that the net effect of the government’s “warfare” may well be to undermine the concept of rule of law rather than to promote it. This is even more pronounced in the case of the war on the organised crime since few suitable monitoring institutions exist. The spy services who do much of the war on terror are at least recognised as a threat to democracy and therefore have their own specialised oversight mechanisms. But the police departments that prosecute the “war on organised crime” are often subject only to ordinary independent police commissions. Such independent commissions are rarely equipped to deal with things that are more complex than police shootings and deaths in custody. As a consequence, even though organised crime units often possess exactly the same armoury of unconventional weapons that are being used in the war on terror, they are subject to far less institutionalised oversight and checks and balances than anti-terror squads. Ironically, some of the worst organised crime units thrive in countries like Norway and the Netherlands where politicians like to see themselves as particularly virtuous democracies and typically roll their eyes over conditions at Guantanamo. At the same time, these politicians are blind to the transgressions carried out by their own semi-secret “organised crime” police.

With respect to the war on terror, at least some civil liberties groups have  been able to put  systematic human rights violations on the agenda. By way of contrast, with respect to the equally grave human rights violations perpetrated by the police in their war on organised crime, the response from civil liberty groups is so far much more fragmented. Why is this so? One possible explanation is that many liberals may find it so much easier to defend people who live far away – say, drone victims in Yemen and Afghanistan – than engaging for the sake of dissidents closer to home. After all, defending the victims of the war on organised crime would often imply solidarity with sex workers, bikers, sexual minorities or football hooligans living in their own urban communities. Pseudo-liberals may find this to be outside their comfort zone .

In some countries, the development of organised crime units has gone so far that they represent perhaps the greatest threat against democracy since the Second World War and the police forces of the Nazis. A case in point in Norway, where the lawless but powerful organised crime department of the Oslo police is effectively controlled by state-sponsored street thugs with zero judicial expertise. The dominance of this unit is aggravated by several structural weaknesses of Norway as a rule of law country, including a culture of collusion between some politicians and human rights criminals in the police, a prosecution dominated by the police to an extent that is unparalleled elsewhere in Europe, as well as the absence of legal and constitutional protection for weak groups including many sexual minorities. Additionally, Norway exhibits an ironic weakness when it comes to secret policing. On the one hand, there is the police secret service (PST), which following a series of scandals during the Cold War era is now monitored and hamstrung to the point where even civil liberty groups sometimes pity them for their toothlessness and almost academic appearance. Large numbers of well-known Al-Qaeda sympathisers are benefiting from the reluctance of the PST to even monitor their activities in Norway.  On the other hand, the organised crime department of the Oslo police – which includes some of the worst state-sponsored human rights criminals in the whole of Northern Europe – is exempt from real control altogether. The lack of oversight is highlighted by the fact that the organised crime department’s indirect complicity in the 22 July 2011 terror attack is not even discussed in the independent commission report that was published after the attacks. During spring 2011, the people at the “organised crime unit” of the Oslo police who should have watched the rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik spent enormous resources on trailing me on three continents as extra-judicial punishment, justified with reference to (perfectly legal) street photography. The example shows how the elasticity of definition of organised crime – in this case singling out legal street photography as a “serious crime” worthy of “organised crime unit” attention – creates embarrassing and tragic failures on the part of the police with respect to their task of combating real crime, including crimes of terrorism.

Can these attacks on our democracies be dealt with effectively? Perhaps.  Firstly, civil right groups must attack the Achilles heel of the police, which is their attempts to describe to the general public in the most innocuous language possible their own illegal activities. Even if they rarely describe their dirtiest tricks, some of what these police officers say publicly is nonetheless often so extreme that it suffices as admissions of torture, harassment and unusual punishment. Again, Norway can provide relevant empirical information. For example, the anti-prostitution Stop project of the Oslo police has openly bragged about how it outsourced threats against prostitutes to landlords, intimidated people into accepting giant fines by alluding to the inconvenience of a public trial, and discriminated against transvestites by systematically revealing to customers their biological gender. Some of this constitutes prosecutable acts of psychological torture under article 117 of the Norwegian penal code, which includes threats made by public officials. To make matters worse, the leading Norwegian daily VG recently  revealed that prostitution in Oslo has increased again despite the massive “police offensive”, meaning the only results of the “war on organised crime” in this case was a more insecure environment for legal sex workers, many of whom where thrown on the street because of the police’s threats. (Please don’t be surprised about their methods: The same Oslo police also systematically sends sniffer dogs on school classes without any specific suspicion, belittles Muslims and African sex workers via its Twitter account, and harasses its own gay officers to the point where they reportedly have their Christmas parties in secret locations.)

Second, it is necessary to enhance public awareness regarding the fact that many police disruption methods are judicially speaking the equivalent of torture and other unusual punishment. A law enforcement officer who tries to enforce something which is not the law is not only a criminal. Such officers are worse than ordinary criminals since their crimes involve state abuse of power, one of the greatest sins in a modern democracy. It is precisely for these reasons that a police officer guilty of extra-judicial or unusual punishment in many jurisdictions is liable to prison terms comparable to those for worst degree murders.

Thirdly, civil rights groups need to destroy the artificial schism whereby activists fight hard for civil rights in exotic countries but don’t dare support the victims of government abuse at home, such as sex workers or bikers. I remember myself having read about threats against prostitutes by Oslo police but didn’t reflect on it until the same animals from the organised crime department of the Oslo police that had previously harassed prostitutes beleaguered my apartment in Oslo for a full month in winter 2011. Only when the gap between different victims of a misconceived war on organised crime unite will a truly civic liberal culture and the rule of law prevail in our fragile democracies.

Humans and Animals in Noordwijk and Maasdam, South Holland

The 22 July Sessions of the Norwegian Parliament: Yet Another Cover-Up Exercise to Hide the Failures and Crimes of the Oslo Police

Once more, the Norwegian political system has failed in its attempts to get to the bottom of the 22 July 2011 terror attacks and the question of how police failure played a key role in allowing those deadly attacks to happen. In a series of parliamentary hearings devoted to the independent commission report on 22 July, focus moved to the police on Monday, but no MP took any serious steps towards asking truly critical questions about intelligence failure and failed priorities of the Oslo police during the six final months leading up to the terror attacks.

High officials questioned before parliament during this latest session included former directors and acting directors of the police (Ingelin Killengreen, Øystein Mæland and Vidar Refvik), the former police chief of Oslo (Anstein Gjengedal) and the former the chief of Norway’s CID equivalent Kripos (Odd Reidar Humlegaard, currently acting director of the police). There were some minor admissions of failure relating chiefly to staffing levels and communications on the day of the attack, as well as a tendency of blaming politicians for not giving higher priority to the general disaster preparedness of the police. However, there was no discussion of the serious intelligence failures that prevented the Oslo police from stopping Anders Behring Breivik before he perpetrated the terror attacks. Nor was there any mention of the failed priorities of the organised crime section of the Oslo police, which had a specific responsibility for keeping tabs on political extremism, but instead devoted a considerable portion of their budget in the first half of 2011 on tailing and harassing me in 9 different countries for having engaged in perfectly legal street photography.

The problem with the 22 July debate in Norway is that it has come to focus myopically and ritualistically on a limited set of nuts and bolts issues relating to the technicalities of emergency response on the day of the attack. To the extent that any preventive dimension has been discussed at all, it has focused largely on the secret services of the police (PST) and the question of whether the government complex that was targeted with bombs should have been cordoned off. In this approach there is an underlying belief that the catastrophe couldn’t really have been averted, as summarised in the concluding remarks of former director of police Ingelin Killengreen on Monday: She was content to label the 22 July as a freak tragedy, expressing the hope that if it occurred again, police would be better positioned to cope.

Conversely, questions relating to the failed intelligence of the Oslo police during the run-up to the attacks and their crazy travel activity abroad between March and July 2011 have systematically been excluded from the debate so far.  This constitutes a veritable lacuna in the history of the circumstances of attacks since the Oslo police – which gets its money directly from the Norwegian parliament – has a specific mandate for watching political extremism in Norway’s capital. But in fact, only one of the MPs involved in the hearing on Monday, Trine Skei Grande of the small liberal opposition party Venstre, came even close to touching some raw nerves regarding the Oslo police’s misconduct when she presented a couple of good questions to former police director Killengreen regarding the lack of a whistle blower culture in the Norwegian police. Those questions prompted only a jejune answer from Killengreen.

Of course, the chances that Killengreen would provide a truly informative answer on whistle-blowing issues in the Norwegian police is zero. The sad fact is that through her alliance with Eirik Jensen of the Oslo police, Killengreen has been responsible for creating police units with some of the greatest concentrations of state-sponsored human rights criminals in all of Northern Europe, including most prominently the SO branch (spesielle operasjoner) within the wider organised crime section of the Oslo police. The use of illegal methods in these units is so widespread that the situation is consistent with classical findings in police criminality studies such as Goldschmidt/Anonymous (2008), where clusters of police officers used (and defended) any conceivable illegal method simply because they were convinced their target was “guilty” of something in their own (extra-judicial) understanding of things. Similarly, when it comes to the Oslo police’s organised crime section we are dealing with bad orchards and illegal subcultures rather than individual rotten apples. Unsurprisingly, back in 2003, the Oslo police alongside Killengreen as director of the police fought hard against the changes to the Norwegian penal code that eventually led to a criminalisation of torture, inhuman and other degrading treatment.

In Denmark, the ministry of justice played a key role in purging and ultimately dismantling such bad orchards of the police in the 1990s following a series of scandals involving their disruption squad (uropatrulje) and other criminalised police units (like the Christiania Rangers). However, in Norway, these police units in Oslo are allowed to continue their criminal activities with impunity. Chiefs in the organised crime section in the Oslo police today enjoy a position where they can use their own personal whims and grievances against what they see as “undesirable” individuals to act as jury, judge and executioner and pursue targeted individuals globally with the support of the Norwegian government. This goes on with the tacit support of the Norwegian parliament, whiuch continues to pay for the extravagant activity of the organised crime section of the Oslo police each and every year. So far not a single Norwegian journalist has dared to write truly critical accounts about the crimes of these units.

All of this makes the organised crime unit of the Oslo police a far greater threat to Norwegian democracy and rule of law than terrorist loners can ever be. But perhaps so many people in high places in Norway have already bankrolled these criminals that the chances of getting an early end to their illegalities are limited.

A more detailed account of the intelligence failure of the Oslo police prior to 22 July 2011 is available in Norwegian here.

Holding Undercover Cops Accountable at Home and Abroad: Examples from the UK; Lessons for Norway

To the left, Eirik Jensen and Tom Østreng of the SO department of the Oslo police in 2007. What were their units up to in the first half of 2011?

Across the democratic world, a new accountability problem relating to the police is evolving: How can one best rein in the myriad of new police units that perform “undercover” operations, often of an illegal nature, in the name of a shadowy fight against a vague category of evil referred to as  “organised crime”?

Unlike the traditional secret police – which in most democratic countries is recognised as a serious  threat to democracy that should be monitored by independent institutions – supposedly “non-political” secret police has mushroomed in recent decades with references to the need to combat “organised crime” but with zero democratic oversight. Since these new police units are not spies in the traditional sense, they are not covered by traditional oversight mechanisms relating to the secret services. For their part, traditional “independent” police commissions appear to have very little knowledge about how the organised crime unit units work and what exactly they are doing, for example when they use “disruption” as an alternative to prosecution. Such independent police commissions can perhaps deal with things like deaths in custody or injuries when someone is apprehended by the police. But they appear almost paralysed in the face of the challenge of “untraditional” police methods such as conspicuous surveillance and police stalking.

New police methods frequently used for “disruption” involve systematic violations of basic human rights like habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence and the principle of legality. In countries that adhere to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment (1984), many aspects of these police methods are deeply illegal according to anti-torture legislation in force. In fact, in terms of potential jail sentences, police officers who engage in harassment operations that constitute degrading punishment are in many jurisdictions in exactly the same category as murderers  of the worst sort. And yet, these criminal police officers often continue to operate and go unpunished; in some countries they even make careers in the state bureaucracy.

In a post-communist process of globalisation that combines the worst of two worlds – NYPD repression techniques meet those of  Eastern Germany’s Stasi – these shadowy “organised crime” outfits continue to grow in monstrosity as sophisticated technological developments enable ever more invasive illegal operations against innocent citizens. There is, in other words, a serious and acute accountability gap relating to modern policing in the Western world. Thankfully though, at least in some democratic countries, the free press, activists or individual politicians have the courage to ask questions about police criminality on the rise. In Canada, the Star newspaper has brought attention to the widespread practice of undercover police lying in court, prompting a change in the ways courts deal with these cases. In New Zealand, the controversy around the Dotcom case has given rise to increased focus on at least some of the illegalities of undercover police more generally, including the agency for fighting organised crime (OFCANZ). And in the UK, a Green representative in the London city council, Jenny Jones, has recently presented an elaborate list of queries regarding the Metropolitan police’s undercover operations, with particular emphasis on their conduct abroad.

The efforts of Jenny Jones in London are particularly interesting because they constitute a possible paradigm of action that brave parliamentarians in other countries could emulate. Here is what Jones asked:

Similar questions should be asked in relation to Norway. In Norway, the organised crime section of the Oslo police has  some of Europe’s worst state-sponsored human rights criminals on its payroll, and a budget half the size of the entire Norwegian secret police. But there is zero oversight. With impunity, these  fascist thugs commit human rights crimes at home and abroad, give presentations in academic forums such as the University of Oslo, and even publicly rub shoulders with high-ranking Labour politicians and government ministers. I have myself experienced more than 600 days of persecution, harassment and torture at the hands of these criminal types. My case, in turn, is connected to the wider failure of Norwegian police intelligence in the months immediately before the Oslo and Utøya terror attacks on 22 July 2011, which killed almost 100 Norwegians. In a well-working police system, the intelligence branch within the Oslo organised crime section headed by Hege Naustdal would have detected Anders Behring Breivik for his radical internet writings and then alerted the special undercover branch, Spesielle Operasjoner headed by Eirik Jensen. This never happened. Instead, resources and manpower from these units were diverted to the illegal operation against me in the UK, US, Canada, Qatar, Jordan, Italy, France and the Netherlands during the months between March and July 2011 – exactly when they should have been keeping tabs on the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.

In Norway, there is no local-level parallel to the powerful London council with an ability to supervise the police. Instead, the Oslo police receives its funding directly from the Norwegian parliament, and it is parliamentarians (or the free press) that must ask critical questions regarding the Oslo police.

Here are the questions related to the Oslo police that the Norwegian director of the police and the Norwegian minister of justice should be asked as a matter of urgency:

What was the undercover intelligence branch within the organised crime section headed by Hege Naustdal doing in the period August 2010-May 2011, and why did it fail to detect Breivik when it had a specific duty to keep tabs on political extremism?

How many hours were spent by the SO unit headed by Eirik Jensen and Tom Østreng in disruption/conspicuous surveillance operations around Bislett and CJ Hambros Plass in the period between February and March 2011?

Were personnel in the Stop unit headed by Harald Bøhler at any point involved in operations unrelated to prostitution during the course of 2011?

What where personnel of the SO unit doing abroad in the period March-May 2011?

How many Norwegian police officers in total arrived at Newark airport in the afternoon on 25 March 2011?

What were those same officers doing in the small town of Princeton, NJ in the period 26-30 March 2011?

Why was a high-ranking officer of the Oslo police inside the Library of Congress special collections of newspapers in Washington, DC on 1 April 2011?

What was a Norwegian police officer doing aboard flight UA 917 from Washington Dulles to Seattle on 26 April 2011?

How many Norwegian police officers in total were in Seattle, WA between 26 April and 3 May 2011?

How many Norwegian police officers were aboard flight QR 52 from Washington DC to Doha, Qatar on 7 May 2011?

What were Norwegian police officers doing inside the guarded conference area of “Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future” at the Sheraton hotel in Doha, Qatar between 8 and 10 May 2011?

How many Norwegian police officers visited the small Dutch coastal town of Noordwijk during the course of 2011?

Why did not the official police evaluation after the 22 July terror attacks address the complete intelligence failure of the organised crime section of the Oslo police?

What did the Oslo police chief, the director of Norwegian police, the chief of Kripos, the head of the police section at the ministry of justice, and the minister of justice know about the above travel activity during the course of 2011?

How many million Norwegian kroner in total were spent on these travel activities in 2011?

Why was there Norwegian police in the business class cabin on flight KL 807 from Amsterdam to Taipei (Taiwan) on 15 July 2012, travelling on tickets that came at a price of EUR 3,000 a piece?

I have in my previous writings put forward very serious charges against the Norwegian police. I am basically contending that Norway does not deserve its excellent human rights reputation and that the unchecked influence of the organised crime section of the Oslo police in particular gives the country certain semi-authoritarian and police-state characteristics. Wouldn’t it have been great if Norwegian police could provide clear and public answers to the above questions instead of having to whisper and cast slurs on my mental health and sexual orientation? Is the silence of the Oslo police, the police directorate and the minister of justice simply caused by the fact that they cannot provide those answers without lying in public?

If brave Norwegians parliamentarians could emulate the example of Jenny Jones in London, perhaps also the Norwegian rule of law system can be rescued from new and totalitarian forms of policing.

Police State Aspects in Norway: The Absence of Prosecutorial Independence

I had planned to finish an article on the latest developments in Iraq today, but the police harassment operation against me continues unabatedly 24/7, with continuous use of unconventional electronic torture devices that are likely to kill me sooner rather than later. This leaves me with no other choice but to remain focused on Norwegian police criminality and the rotten Norwegian government which is ultimately responsible for the serious human rights breaches involved in my case.

In order to make sense of it all, I am trying to isolate factors that relate to my own individual case from more general and systemic factors that pertain to Norway and other countries involved. With respect to the individual level,  I was obviously vulnerable to police harassment because of social isolation. Ever since 2003, I had been working on Iraq-related issues 7 days a week, maybe 70 hours per week on average. Before that, I used to have a normal social life; by 2011, when the police began harassing me, I had few friends in Oslo where I lived. My social network consisted of Iraq-related acquaintances spread around the world. Also, in terms of my identity and citizenship I was an easy target: Having been born in Norway to parents of different nationalities, I had an incomplete sense of belonging to Norway (where I grew up but had no citizenship) as well as to the Netherlands (where I had citizenship but had never lived).

Then of course I had engaged in somewhat unusual activity, involving (perfectly legal) street photography for a fashion history project. This is where systemic issues peculiar to Norway and the Netherlands come into play. Recent weeks have seen much controversy over another, rather massive case of street photography that became controversial in the United States: Streetshot photos published on the Reddit website. Those photos differed from the ones I took in several important respects: They were focused mainly on underage women; they deliberately targeted people with minimal clothing on; they were published on the internet for huge audiences without anyone’s consent; the publication was accompanied by captions or category labels that were openly sexist in nature and clearly intended to sexualise the pictures; there was an outspoken intention to shoot the images surreptitiously for no other purpose than publishing them on the internet in the most sexualised format possible. Nonetheless, even though the legal framework governing photography in the US is similar to Norway, with respect to Reddit there was never any suggestion that this was something US law enforcement ought to look into. Instead internet vigilantism ensued, including the public outing of one of the most prolific Reddit contributors, Violentacrez. For better or worse, it seemed  something of a free-speech liberal equilibrium had been achieved: If a citizen engages in controversial publication he or she may also see controversial accusations coming their own way, too.

Not from the state, though. Not in the United States, anyway. But in my own case – a far more limited, academic-related case of street photography – the response  was vicious state-sponsored bullying, persecution and torture, 24/7 for more than 600 days so far. This is exceptional to Norway and the Netherlands, and it relates to systemic issues. I have already enumerated a few of them: The close personal ties between Norwegian Labour party elites and torturers and human rights criminals in the organised crime department of the Oslo police; the Norwegian “Uday Hussein factor”, i.e. the police officers who do the actual hands-on torture include people who publicly rub shoulders with government ministers; earmark budgeting by the Norwegian Labour government for developing illegal police methods like police stalking; Norway’s oil wealth as a factor that generally facilitates wasteful spending in government departments; the absence of constitutional or legal protection for sexual minorities defined in non-gender terms in both Norway and the Netherlands; the lack of an independent police commission in the Netherlands and a very weak and government-dominated one in Norway. These are deep structural problems that are reflected not only in my case but in general issues relating to the rule of law in Norway and the Netherlands more broadly. In Norway, pre-trial detention is overused and psychiatric and child custody services have a reputation for authoritarianism; in the Netherlands there is a culture of impunity for police violence. In both countries, attempts by politicians to interfere with the work of the police or the judiciary are frequent.

There is one more general police-state aspect that I have refrained from commenting on thus far: The lack of prosecutorial independence in Norway. It is a little-known fact of comparative justice that Denmark and Norway are among the few countries in the Western world where the prosecution remains police-dominated. In most civil law countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands etc.), the judiciary is in the lead with investigations, sometimes with investigative judges. In most common law countries (UK, the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc.) – some of which were previously comparable to Denmark and Norway for their police-led prosecutions – the trend over the past decades, if not earlier, has been towards independent prosecutors (district attorneys in the US) or prosecution services that are formally separate from the police.

Conversely, Denmark and Norway stand out for the more extensive role accorded to the police in the prosecution,  and especially to a group of so-called “police lawyers” in those two countries. Theoretically, these police lawyers also belong to a prosecution service headed by regional prosecutors (statsadvokat) and a national one (riksadvokat); however, administratively they are attached to police districts. The higher echelons of the system – i.e. the “pure” prosecution service – tend to get involved only in very serious cases.

Proponents of the Danish-Norwegian system claim that the process whereby representatives of the prosecution are stationed in police districts enhances judicial control of the investigative process. The counter-argument, obviously, relates to the very real danger that during the course of that process, the judicial officers get progressively further removed from the judicial culture from which they originate. If this goes far enough, it will reach the point where the police lawyers become completely co-opted by the police instead of acting as a check on them. Their relations to the prosecution services as such are increasingly a matter of fiction.

It can be further argued that this tendency of police co-option of members of the prosecution is actually far more pronounced in Norway than it is in Denmark. Key variables in this respect are numbers of police lawyers and hierarchy. For an instructive comparison, consider the police districts of Oslo in Norway and Fyn in Denmark, both with a size of roughly half a million inhabitants. In Fyn in Denmark, there are 5 permanent, royally appointed police lawyers with defined thematic specialisations (advokaturchef in Danish); these in turn report to a chefsanklager (literally this means “chief prosecutor” but in practice s/he is the “chief of the police lawyers” and in turn responsible to a regional “state prosecutor” who is part of the actual, centralised prosecution service). By way of contrast, in Oslo police district in Norway, there are a whopping 140 police lawyers, 40 times more than in a similarly sized district in Denmark! There is no hierarchy and the turnover rate appears to be very high.

Other variables only underline the impression of a ragtag prosecution service in Norway. Whereas in Denmark the police lawyers are non-uniformed and work in a joint office, in Norway, police lawyers are uniformed as police and spread across the police departments instead of having a joint office of judicial expertise. Their degree of co-option into police culture is very high. To the extent that there is group ethic, it seems to relate to the police rather than to the prosecution. With high salaries in the private sectors, those law graduates that end up as police lawyers aren’t necessarily the best material available; some Norwegian police lawyers are notorious for their cluelessness.

In other words, Norwegian police lawyers walk like police and talk like police. In my case I have even had two famous police lawyers participate in harassment activities directed against me! When members of the prosecution become so enmeshed in the criminal culture of the police that they participate even in extra-judicial punishment, how can one ever dream about due process and a just prosecution? In Norway, before the pre-trial hearing stage is even reached, police lawyers have so wide-ranging prerogatives that they can do exceptional harm to innocent individuals in terms of unlawful surveillance or baseless detention – even enabling personal vendettas by their police colleagues if they want. Chances are they will never be held accountable.

What this all means is that police state tendencies can thrive more easily in Norway than in other countries. Due to the dispersion of judicial knowledge in the Norwegian prosecution system, there are fewer checks and balances and less resistance to silly ideas by police officers who are making up their own laws. In this way, the prosecution in Norway is far more susceptible to pressures from police officers than in any comparable Western system. This structural abnormality is so pronounced that only a non-comparativist can fail to take notice. It should be made relevant in any requests from Norway for international judicial assistance, especially since claims to represent the “judicial authority” in Norway (as for example in European extradition issues) can sometimes come from people who for all practical purposes are the police themselves. In this way, the point made by Julian Assange in his extradition case from the UK to Sweden regarding the nature of the Swedish prosecution and its susceptibility to outside forces could actually be made with greater weight in the case of Norway.

Sadly, the Norwegian government itself is mostly ignorant about just how exceptional its judicial arrangements are in comparative perspective. During a recent parliamentary discussion of the European arrest warrant, the ministry of justice even argued that it is unnecessary to legislate which particular level within the prosecution (i.e. the police lawyers or the state prosecutor) should sign off on a warrant! (Prop. 137 L 2010-11 chapter 11.) One of the few brave voices to speak up against the police’s dominance of the prosecution is state prosecutor Lasse Qvigstad. Of course, also the judiciary itself has a reasonable track record, with an admirable handling of the Anders Behring Breivik case even at the district court level, and a recent supreme court decision relating to free speech vs sedition in the case of the blogger and activist Eivind Berge showing that the judiciary at least sometimes has the ability to resist pressures from the rest of the political establishment.

But the basic problem consists of all the extra-judicial business that never reaches the court. Unsurprisingly, that same police-led prosecution that ruined my life because of street photography recently exonerated former police colleagues for an actual crime involving photography: Surveillance-style monitoring of the US embassy in Oslo for a private security company on behalf of the embassy. This involved not only photography (which is legal) but also efforts to identify the individuals on the photographs and their political preferences (which isn’t). As if to underline the point, that same prosecution service also recently exonerated the former police officers for having failed to declare their income from their illegal US embassy job, thereby evading income tax which they should have paid. That is the same police that fought tooth and nail against the introduction of anti-torture articles in the Norwegian penal code a decade ago. They are supported by the same Labour party that is terrified a new Norwegian constitution with a greater emphasis on fundamental rights will give too much protection (“legalism”)  to its citizens.

All of the above are important factors that somehow don’t seem to fit into Freedom House and Human Rights Watch analyses that continue to give Norway unrealistic scores in international comparisons. They need to be included to show that Norway, while in many ways one of the most progressive countries on the planet, is in some ways also a judicial pariah. Meanwhile, for every single act of harassment and torture that I get subjected to by the police where I am,  I’ll keep digging up and publishing dirt about Norway’s prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and his criminal Labour cronies – who bankroll this whole travesty, who are ultimately responsible, and who could have stopped it with a simple phone call if they had one inch of integrity.  More torture means more revelations; that’s how it works. And there is plenty of material to work on regarding them and the rotten and corrupt system they preside over.

Sexual Minorities and Civil Rights: LGBT and BDSM Comparisons

In order to understand how state-led persecution of sadomasochists is possible in some of the world’s most celebrated democracies – including in countries like Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, France and in some of the best-ranked democracies of the Pacific region – it can be  useful to turn to theories developed in the studies of religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire. In particular, there are instructive parallels to be found in Fuad Khuri’s seminal distinction in Islamic studies between “religious communities” (tolerated but subjected minorities)  and “sects”  (legally unrecognized groups susceptible to unpredictable patters of persecution). In modern liberal democracies, Khuri’s distinction is to  some extent mirrored in the differences between how gender-defined sexual minorities (LGBT or lesbian-gay-bi-transgender) and “other” sexual minorities (including BDSM or bondage-discipline-sado-masochism) are treated as far as civil rights are concerned.

Over the past decades, minority groups that define their sexual identity in relation to gender – first gays and lesbians and more recently bi-sexual people and various transgender groups – have made the greatest advances in terms of constitutional and or legal protection against discrimination in the West. That is not to say that their civil-rights advances have been unambiguous, unilinear, or necessarily paralleled by an actual decline in discriminatory behaviour. Precisely like the religious communities of the Ottoman Empire – primarily Jews and Christians – gender-defined minorities are still to some extent second-class citizens in many liberal democracies today, for example with respect to marriage rights. Also, the “integration” of these groups is sometimes accompanied by a degree of condescension not unlike that which befell minorities in the Ottoman Empire: When gays in official positions are paraded as examples of happy integration, it is sometimes unclear whether it really serves as empowerment or as a reminder about just how exceptional such cases really are. Nonetheless, in most Western democracies, LBGT groups have at least made sufficient advances that discrimination is now seen as uncouth  in educated circles, and systematic state-led persecution of LBGT minorities would be rather unthinkable. When transgressions of the rights of minorities do happen, they are typically “condemned” and profuse apologies are offered (although not necessarily followed by effective measures to prevent such episodes from happening again). This again echoes the Ottoman record of mostly peaceful urban coexistence between Muslims, Christians and Jews that was nevertheless vulnerable to spasmodic rioting by urban mobs.

Very different realities faced “sects” in the Sunni-dominated Ottoman Empire, including Shiites, Alawites and Druze. Unlike the recognised non-Muslim communities of Jews and Christians, Muslim sects were seen as competitors to the mainline Sunni version of Islam. Few if any formally recognized rights were bestowed upon them, and persecution was frequent, often accompanied by large-scale massacres. The state typically saw these groups not as second-class citizens or tolerated infidels, but as a threat to the very order of the state.

In modern democracies, a similar fate that has befallen sexual minorities that define themselves without gender references. Rarely have they been accorded explicit recognition as minorities. Instead, they have seen systematic state discrimination of the kind that gays used to suffer a half-century ago. Examples from the United States include frequent child custody cases as well as the official listing of some sexual preferences, notably some expressions of sadomaschism, as psychological disorders. Prominent academics with BDSM identity have been the victim of savage, identity-related  attacks from leading forces in the media. In short, like deviants from Sunni Islam in the Ottoman Empire, those who stray from orthodoxy in the modern heterosexual church can expect a rougher ride than recognized minorities.

The problems suffered by sadomasochists and other sexual minorities in liberal democracies go back to a definitional struggle about what constitutes a sexual minority, involving both legal and academic controversies. So far, in legal jurisprudence there has been a tendency of equating “sexual orientation” with gender-based categories such as gay, lesbian, bi or transgender. To some extent this is the result of gays and lesbians having fronted the pioneering struggles for the civil rights of sexual minorities, to the point where micro-minorities within those communities like bisexuals and transgender persons were sometimes marginalized, both internally as well as in the external struggle. Conversely, other, non-gender sexual minorities like sadomasochists, fetishists and polyamorous people have seen very little in the way of explicit recognition of their minority status, with their legal status often depending on how open or closed the official definition of sexual minorities is. Like in the case of bisexuals there have also been cases of internal marginalization of these minorities, for example among parts of the lesbian community in the United States, which some decades ago saw rather aggressive attacks on lesbian sadomasochists by lesbians themselves.

Academics have also entered the field the definitional struggle. Some decades ago, a large body of scholars invested much energy in strenuously contending that BDSM sexual preferences in themselves aren’t sufficiently “primary” to form an identity category. This gender-fixated view of sexual orientation has since been considerably modified by post-structural and queer theory. Increasingly, static ideas of gender-defined sexual identity categories are seen as untenable. In fact, already in the mid-1990s, some leading lesbians in the US challenged the view of simplistic gender-defined categories when they put their BDSM identity on par with their lesbian one: In 1994, Pat Califia famously declared that, “if I had the choice between being shipwrecked on a desert island with a vanilla lesbian and a hot male masochist, I’d pick the boy”.

Despite changes in academia, legal definitions of sexual orientation still seem largely stuck in the pre-queer age in many parts of the Western liberal world. Minority relationship to gender (homosexual, bisexual or transgender) remains the exclusive criterion for defining sexual minorities in the legislation of countries like Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and several states in the USA. The weakness of these rigid approaches is seen in the way the initial dichotomy of straight/gay led to problems for many countries as soon as bisexuals appeared as a separate group. Illustrating the potential for ad absurdum processes, Australia has recently seen parliamentary controversies about the finer points of transgender subdivisions.

Some countries have more open-ended definitions of sexual orientation that at least potentially might offer protection for individuals who see the gender variable as secondary to their sexual identity. They include Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland. Canada has refused to define “sexual orientation” but a human rights tribunal ruling from British Columbia in 2010 explicitly envisaged the possibility that it might include sadomasochists. France, Switzerland and some provinces of Germany also have more flexible categories of sexual minorities: France used moeur or lifestyles in a piece of legislation from 1985, Switzerland refers to “way of life” in its new constitution of 1999, and  some German states simply refer to “sexual identity” category, which clearly seems to shift the focus from externally-imposed etic descriptions of sexual orientation towards an emic concept of sexual self-determination. Also the Yogyakarta principles adopted by a group of international experts of 2006 has a relatively open definition of sexual orientation: “Sexual orientation is understood to refer to each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender.”

The UK presents a mixed scorecard when it comes to protecting sexual discrimination beyond the gender-defined minorities. The UK anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) regulations of 2007 could be seen as refreshing in their apparent simplicity and true egalitarianism. Terms like hetero and gay did not occur in the regulations themselves. Instead, discrimination was described in relation to “a sexual orientation which someone is thought to have”. That could in theory constitute a path-breaking way of rephrasing the whole problem: “Do not use my sexuality in any way to discriminate against me.” Sadly, though, in official explanatory guidelines accompanying the regulations, a more traditional gender-focused approach was used. Even transsexualism was explicitly ruled out as a sexuality, and instead only considered in relation to gender discrimination:  “It does not include transsexuality which is related to gender and is covered in the employment context by sex discrimination legislation.” Accordingly, since transsexual attraction is denied as an acceptable basis for a discrimination complaint, one senses a more narrow conception of sexuality at work. Quite in line with this, the UK Equality Act of 2010 (which superseded the regulations of 2007) seems to reproduce a traditional gender-based focus: “Sexual orientation means a person’s sexual orientation towards  (a) persons of the same sex, (b) persons of the opposite sex, or  (c) persons of either sex.” Still, the fact that heterosexuality is specifically mentioned at least offers some dynamism in that a heterosexual minority group like sadomasochists might plausibly claim protection in the UK. In many other countries, including Norway, one has to deny heterosexuality to be protected by the sexual anti-discrimination clauses of the penal code.

Instead of creating ever more comprehensive lists of protected sexual minorities, general protection against any kind of discrimination or persecution that is sexual in nature is probably the most dynamic way forward for future anti-discrimination legislation. One sometimes hears the counterargument that this could be over-permissive. That really misses the point. Typically, there is fear that pedophilia, bestiality or necrophilia would somehow gain minority-status protection. But in most countries, specific criminal legislation is in place to guard those red lines of sexual behaviour for which criminal prosecution is deemed appropriate.  Indeed, with respect to bestiality, one might argue that the field is so heavily legislated that it offers better protection for practitioners than for example BDSM in terms of establishing what is legal and what is not. Several countries including Finland and Sweden allow bestiality after previous bans on such practices were lifted by the national assemblies.

Meanwhile, a brief look at a Washington Post article that attacked UN arms inspector Jack McGeorge for his heterosexual sadomasochism in 2002 highlights the extent to which discrimination against minorities not defined in gender terms remains an acute problem. It also illustrates how, when a powerful media organisation or the state forces a person’s private sexual preferences into the public sphere, one does not really have the luxury of choosing whether to be a sexual minority or not:

Try, by way of a hypothetical, to substitute “gay” for “sadomasochistic” above, appreciate the impossibility of doing so in the real world of modern Washington DC, and you have the difference between a sexual “minority” and a sexual “sect” in a modern, still emphatically quasi-liberal democracy.

Sex, Drones, and Habeas Corpus: Why I Hate the Pseudo-Liberals the Most

You know what? I’m not particularly bothered by the role played in police stalking by taxi drivers, delivery staff, hotel maids, waiters, shopkeepers, park workers, hairdressers, train personnel, municipality officials and foreign tourists. It is true that these categories form an important support base of many police stalking operations. However, thanks to the sorry state of the educational establishments in most Western countries, many people in these groups will never have had the opportunity to receive basic schooling in the fundamentals of the rule of law concept. Many of them will also have a type of work where there is often potential for conflict with the police, and where such conflicts are best avoided. That many of them would do exactly what the police says without thinking twice is both unremarkable and perfectly understandable.

How about the role of the police themselves? To be honest, I think many of them are simply following orders and aren’t necessarily very enthusiastic about what they are doing in stalking operations. Their education has taught them to not ask too many profound questions regarding the parameters of the police’s remit, so it would require a good deal of courage for any of them to blow the whistle once the police itself begins perpetrating crimes. True,  the multiplication of “organised crime” units in Western policing over the past decades seems to have given rise to a generic brand of government-sponsored thugs across the globe, but their overall role in police stalking is still limited, at least in numerical terms.

Equally important here is the fact that any number of angry police officers will never be able to  construct a police state on their own. The most critical factor in deciding whether police state tactics will succeed or not is the stance of the chattering liberal classes. University lecturers, lawyers, schoolteachers, doctors, economists, bureaucrats, journalists and other intellectuals who will frequently claim that they are “liberals”. These are the supposed guardians of the Western rule of law culture. Because of their education, they know, or are supposed to know, that things like the presumption of innocence, the principle of legality and habeas corpus are sacred ideals that cannot be compromised by the police in a functioning rule of law society. Precisely because of their supposedly “independent” occupations, these groups have historically been trusted with special and leading roles in politics and society at large. If the system fails in a democratic country, a free press and a prospering liberal civic society may function as added safety valves.

Conversely, when liberals participate in illegal police operations like police stalking, they become pseudo-liberals (or “bully worshippers” in Orwellian terminology). When that happens, police state dynamics can easily take hold. In a police stalking situation, the normal distribution of power between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary has collapsed: The police are themselves lawmakers, judges and executioners. Additionally, in most countries, “independent police commissions” are in reality fully or partly controlled by the executive, meaning that the victim of police stalking often has nowhere else to turn to than to “liberal” lawyers, journalists and members of the medical profession. When those channels are blocked too because “liberals” have opted to dance along to the police’s illegal tunes,  few alternatives are left for police stalking victims.

It is for these reasons I find it particularly enraging to see assumed “liberals” participate en masse in the operation against me. I have seen avowed liberals working as lawyers, doctors and journalists in Norway and the Netherlands openly side with the police. Sometimes they even take part in the most medieval rituals in the harassment protocol, including deliberately taking staged photos in front of me (controversial photography being the reason for my trouble with the police). Where I currently am, cooperation with the police in unusual punishment can get you 14 years in jail, and yet highly educated members of the “liberal” public do not seem to care that they are breaking both the anti-torture act and their own principles by taking part.

Of course, I have seen ample examples of this pseudo-liberal problem in my previous academic work on the Middle East too. With regard to Iraq, back in 2007 it was often the most “liberal” commentators in the United States that insisted on a simplistic reading of the Iraq’s politics and the prescription of an highly inadequate and dangerous 3-way partition scheme.  Today, journalists writing for US newspapers continue to do damage to Iraq by insisting on facile sectarian lenses for explaining the country’s politics to the American chattering classes, thereby often running errands for Al-Qaeda and Iran under a liberal flag.

Similarly, over the last year, my Twitter feed has bifurcated on another Middle East related issue: The use of drones for extra-judicial killings. What was formerly a mostly homogeneous feed of sensible comments on the region is now more and more divided between those who are prepared to call President Barack Obama a murderer for what his military and intelligence apparatus are carrying out in places like Yemen, and those who find such frank language unpalatable.

As a victim of police stalking, I find the drone issue a particularly apt parallel to my own case  –  and the defence among some brave liberals for the victims of drone warfare a source of hope. Precisely as in drone warfare, in police stalking a good portion of the assumed “liberals” around the world are suddenly prepared to give up hard-fought principles like due process and habeas corpus because the target of the government’s abuse is a marginal person. When such irreducible minimum principles of rule of law are compromised by the very people who claim to speak in their name, the foundation of modern liberal society itself comes under threat. The good news consists of brave liberals who stand up for drone victims. Drone victims typically include outcasts and villains, but they have exactly the same human right to due process as everybody else. Americans who can insist on the rights of people in Yemen who may well be Al-Qaeda (e.g. Anwar al-Awlaki) could potentially also stand up for someone like me, extra-judicially accused of photography and membership of a sexual minority and persecuted with police methods that are likely to kill me sooner or later.

Of course, Americans will be accustomed to this kind of double standards among liberals given the influence of pro-Israeli currents in US politics for the past half-century. Through my own frustrated ordeal, I appreciate the Arab rage in the face of such double standards even more than before. There are crystal clear UN resolutions relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict which Israel continues to violate with massive support from so-called liberals in the USA. Like Arabs, I am beginning to realise that all the talk about human rights, anti-torture and the United Nations is often  tongue in cheek: These are convenient slogans that are being bandied about only in contexts where they are completely harmless. They have no profound meaning any longer.

At the organisational level, two groups that I have been in touch with stand out for the preponderance of pseudo-liberals: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. While these are decentralised organisations where generalisations can be unfair, the trend that I have come across in Norway, the Netherlands and elsewhere is remarkably uniform: Amnesty and HRW are extremely angry about human rights abuse in exotic locations, but rarely dare to speak up against oppressors and human rights criminals closer to home –  including the national police in the areas where they are based. I have seen Amnesty and HRW members refuse to take my case seriously, and I have seen members of these organisations cooperate with the police in the most primitive and illegal ways imaginable. In terms of perverting liberal principles, many in these organisations are in a class by themselves.

It is also possible to identify clusters of pseudo­-liberals in national and generational terms. In my case, the Netherlands stands out for the contrast between its relatively liberal image internationally and the realities of widespread totalitarian attitudes in the population as seen in the preparedness to unquestioningly serve the police. In terms of Stalinism, what I saw during one year in the Netherlands goes beyond what I have seen in any other of the 13 countries where I have been persecuted. As for generational and life-cycle factors, “liberal” parents stand out as another group of particularly zealous participants in the most perverted forms of police stalking. Often they are criminalising their own children in the process. One can sometimes get the impression that the act of parenting in itself induces greater subservience to the police and others authorities claiming to speak in the name of law enforcement. While this can be a perfectly understandable, biology-related form of protective behaviour among new parents, the question of the impact of parenting on everyday attachment to core values of liberalism merits more investigation.

Recently, many people who probably see themselves as liberals have raised eyebrows over my switch of focus from Iraq to human rights problems in liberal democracies. What I am going through in terms of police stalking is torture and sexual-minority persecution bankrolled by the Norwegian government. But you may need to be prepared to label Obama as a murderer before you can appreciate that.

Police Stalking and Sexual Minority Persecution in Norway

Two weeks of blogging about police stalking in the first person have prompted many interesting comments from readers, but also lots of questions. The most recurrent ones relate to the mystery of why the police forces of so many countries would spend so much money on mistreating me for such a trifling issue as perfectly legal street photography.

Many have asked whether the real reason may have been my Iraq research. Perhaps the police persecution was caused by my criticism of pro-federal forces in Iraq, including the leadership of the two biggest Kurdish parties and the Shiite Islamist ISCI? How about my focus on foreign oil companies investing in Kurdistan and my criticism of how Western capitalism fuels and exacerbates ethnic conflict in Iraq? For sure, that would have been a romantic story: An historian who was tortured for his work for the sake of Iraq’s unity! But I don’t buy it. I have no empirical evidence to support it. I don’t think there is a Kurdish lobby in the Norwegian police. I have never been threatened by Kurds despite the fact that I have often disagreed with their leaders. The only serious threats I have ever received in relation to Iraq were from Norwegian shareholders in DNO (which invests in Kurdistan), but I have no information to show that this group is particularly influential in the Norwegian police or that any leading police official is a major DNO shareholder.

Instead, along the lines of my theory of “incompetence and unintended fragmentation” in Iraq (rather than a master plan for partition), I have offered a model of bureaucratic incompetence in my own case. Norwegian police start something stupid on a small scale. Once the snowball starts rolling, they have problems defining a logical end to it. My stubborn refusal to go back to the criminal government that authored the miscarriage of justice against me surprises them; however, my preparedness to travel across continents in the search for freedom gives the continuation of the project a lucrative air miles factor that many police officers find quite irresistible. Norway being Europe’s Qatar in terms of energy revenue means this kind of gross misuse of state money can happen, even if it is not common. Once the operation gets underway, an unfortunate escalatory logic takes hold. Perhaps social anthropology theories regarding exchange between “big men” in primitive societies is best fitted to explain it:  Exactly like participants in potlatch and kula exchanges of old Pacific and North American civilisations, the police officers of each country participating in the operation against me try to surpass each other in implementing the illegal harassment protocol. Perhaps they may even have designated the operation against me as a case study in international police cooperation? Maybe a project to find out how far the police can go in terms of socially isolating an undesirable academic even if he has a good reputation internationally and lots of money to travel for.

There is one additional explanation for my misery that I have left out altogether thus far. I’ll write about it now since I understand there is a demand for a fuller picture. Also, I have  realised that certain people who are in a position to blow the whistle on the illegal operation against me do not have the courage to take action after all. In respect for them, I had waited; when they failed to act I owe nothing to anyone anymore. All options are on the table, including fighting publicly for the civil rights of the sexual minority to which I belong.

Sexual Slurs as Drivers in Police Harassment Operations

Shortly before I left the Netherlands, I made an important discovery relating to my case. It explained its logic, even if it is hardly the logic one would expect in a twenty-first century democracy.

While I lived in Maasdam, I had mostly tried to ignore my stalkers as much as possible. However, every now and then I made small investigative attempts. One afternoon in June, I had just been passed by a gang of teenagers on a street corner. There was much hilarity on their part. Instead of continuing walking, I stopped, went back and eavesdropped on their conversation.

“We’re evil.”

“No, he likes pain.”

“Nooo. That’s not true”.

“It’s true. The police told us.”

That short exchange threw light on one of the things that had long puzzled me about the participation of citizens in the police stalking operation against me: How can so many people abandon the most basic principles of rule of law, surrender to wanton medievalism, and commit massive human rights crimes at the simple request of a common police officer? How can humans so easily turn into animals?

The answer is, they can do it because are targeting me as a sexual minority. What they said is true. I like pain. Or, more precisely, I am attracted to dominant women. I admire self-confident, assertive, arrogant,  condescending, ego-centric and somewhat narcissistic women who generally believe they are the centre of the universe. I find female violence as esthetically beautiful and attractive as I find male violence disgusting and reprehensible. I like women who dominate men and I even like women who are sexually rather uninterested in men altogether. This is called masochism. I cannot offer any elaborate theory for my belief in female supremacy, nor do I see a need for one (much less a cure).  By way of disclaimer, I should put on record that I have never been the victim of any kind of sexual assault and grew up in a perfectly normal family where there was never any kind of domestic violence or gender bias one way or another. This is simply how I have thought about sexual relationships as long as I have thought about sex. I find women smarter and more beautiful than men. Whereas I dislike 97% of men, I dislike only 70% of women. With that kind of world view, a belief in sexual female domination (femdom) is a logical conclusion. It’s not that I am necessarily  looking for a lot of circus and traditional sado-masochistic clichés. I find psychological domination as interesting as physical domination. But in a vanilla setting, I feel like a bad actor. As the very minimum, I am looking for recognition of my unconventional views on gender relations.

It is from these unusual thoughts the police derive fuel for their witch hunt. Regardless of what role may have been played by my Iraq research, it is definitely sexuality and not disagreements over Iraq policy that was used to sell the illegal harassment operation against me to a wider audience in countries like the Netherlands. It is the same kind of sexuality arguments that are being used against me where I currently am – a small, democratic country in the Asia-Pacific region with a generally good human rights record. Here, the general population merrily participate in the harassment of me when I am out and about, and don’t seem to care one iota that I am simultaneously being subjected to severe physical torture through sleep deprivation and other forms of harassment affecting my physical health.

Once I had heard that conversation between the teenagers in Maasdam  I understood many  of the street theatre scenes the police had staged throughout my ordeal. The dominant poses of the women in the couples on the beach in Noordwijk, the constant chick fights along the routes I walked, the scene where a young woman was kickboxing against a Taiwanese soldier on the doorsteps of the Novotel hotel in Taipei in the very second when I arrived, the van with an SM logo that stalked me repeatedly in Maasdam (SM is a common abbreviation for sado-masochism). The inspiration for all of this must have been surveillance results gathered by the Oslo police in the period 2010-11, when I had no idea I was being watched by the police, and when my internet surfing habits will have been easy for them to record. I am not a fan of the goriest end of the SM spectrum and absolutely loathe cliché SM porn with drugged-down East European prostitutes who pretend to be sadists in one moment and masochists the next. Much stereotypical SM porn I find rather uninteresting. Still, the Oslo police will have been in a position to record visits to a number of websites with distinctive SM content.   Favourite sources for quality SM erotica at the time they targeted me included websites made for and by real lesbians (quite superior to run-of-the-mill SM porn), Japanese erotic manga (no ugly male models), and a series of websites made by young German women which catered mainly for a shoe fetish crowd but produced some of the most brilliant SM I have ever seen (healthy models who genuinely seemed to be enjoying what they were doing etc.)

Many distinctive scenes from these websites were subsequently reproduced in street theatre by the police when they began stalking me. No other government than Norway could have had this information since I completely stopped surfing  these websites once I realised I was being watched. It must have been the Oslo police that illegally passed  this information  to foreign  governments – including those which deliberately reproduced part of it, like the Netherlands and Taiwan. In those places, guesswork about my sexual predilections was subsequently spread to thousands of local citizens and tourists, in flagrant violation of my rights under the European and UN human rights charts.

Wait, a masochist getting tortured, isn’t that a contradiction in terms? In a word: No. Non-consensual torture of a masochist is just the same as rape. Masochists are in love not with the pain itself but with sadists. Masochists are not more submissive in their social lives than others. Masochists are no more likely to submit to a complete stranger than other people are. Given the need for trust in an SM relationship, masochists are  probably  even more discriminating in their choice of partners than others. Personally speaking, in my academic life I’m probably something of an intellectual sadist who doesn’t mind twisting the knife every now and then, although it has no sexual meaning to me. The percentage of women I’d be prepared to submit to sexually is tiny. Brilliant, intelligent and free women, great; collaborators of a stupid police state dominated by patriarchal conservatism, no way. The medieval Islamic slave soldier concept offers an apt parallel: Mamelukes were loyal to their owners but proud soldiers at the same time. Masochists aren’t pushovers and have no greater interest in being subjected to the transient sadistic whims of every Mary, Jane and Susie than anyone else.

The Logic of the Exploitation of Sexuality in Police Stalking Cases

Does everything make more sense now? Legally, of course not. Even if it does not really matter one iota, let me make clear that my controversial photography was not in any way focused on potential sadists. Firstly, after years of mostly futile search for gorgeous sadists, I don’ t really believe in my ability to spot them on the street. Second, to the limited extent that I still have faith in parameters of external appearance as possible indicators of interest in SM, I am interested in marginality. I am instinctively attracted to punks, goths, emos and moderately butch lesbians even though I have no empirical evidence to show these groups are more interested in SM than others. My photographs, on the other hand, systematically and exclusively targeted mainstream fashion, i.e. the opposite. That was the whole idea behind the project: An attempt to understand the remarkable staying power of clothes brands that make certain street fashion prototypes in Oslo look exactly the same for five years in a row or more. Hell, it subsequently emerged that in my eagerness to document mainstream I had inadvertently photographed plainclothes police officers! It is true that the motives were mostly (but not exclusively) women, but then again women dominate fashion as a field in the same way as men dominate things I have studied in the past (like Iraqi federalism). Just because I happen to believe in female supremacy sexually, should I be banned from academically documenting and writing about female empowerment through street fashion, for example how ordinary women often trump the diktats of male designers? Does the fact that I enjoy  a submissive role in a sexual relationship somehow take away from me the right to take pictures on the street enjoyed by every other citizen?

But let’s go a little further and just for the sake of the argument assume that it had in fact been my goal to capture some kind of imagined category of “potential sadists” in my photography. That would still have been perfectly legal – although I would probably have achieved a far more satisfactory result if I had been stationed permanently outside a sex club or a karate tournament for women instead of doing what I did, which was to take pictures on my way to my job. Criminality would only have resulted if I had stalked a particular person (repeated photography), tried to photograph nudity (say, topless photography on the beach ), or actively staged and videotaped SM-like scenes in which someone was hurt (staged fights between women is actually a genre on YouTube). But I did none of those things.

The big irony here is  that if my photos intended for an academic study of fashion instead had been taken on the beach, uploaded on the internet and then sexualised in a male chauvinist way – as for example in the creep shot genre – chances are that the Norwegian police would have laughed at them, quite in line with the existing jurisprudence on photography in Scandinavia. But despite the fact that my photography never violated any of the relevant legal red lines, it came across as mysterious to the police nonetheless. Unconventional. And the police often respond with ferocity in the face of things they don’t understand. I am not suggesting they have a deliberate pogrom against all masochists; just that they systematically go for the fringes: Bikers, activists, rockers, just to give a few examples. The message is that If you are conform, you are fine; if you are original, you can be in trouble for the slightest thing – including legal acts that mainstream citizens are allowed to perform all of the time. For marginal people, secret trial by the police themselves and unusual punishment ensue; precisely because you are marginal, you cannot expect the mainstream to stand up for you. In Oslo a few years ago, gay police officers arranged Christmas parties in secret locations for fear of being harassed by their own colleagues (Aftenposten 18 December 2006)!

Sexual identity is a particularly central aspect of the police’s militancy against marginal groups. This is not a new invention. Back in the 1970s, East Germany’s Stasi focused precisely on such issues in its “disintegration directive” intended to socially marginalise enemies of the state. All sorts of hobbies and preferences were meticulously (and indeed “scientifically”)  mapped, including sexual ones. More recently, whistleblowers in several countries have seen a disproportionate amount of sexual accusations coming their way, often without any decisive prosecution. In my case, with a zealousness similar to that of Stasi, Norwegian and Dutch police have been collecting the most incredible details of my personal life for the purpose of using them against me.  Examples include clothes brands I use, the way I speak and my favourite music, all of which have been used by plainclothes police officers to mimic me again and again. But the number one factor in recruiting citizens at large to harass me is sexual. You cannot mobilise a whole population against someone simply for listening to Pink. But how about this: He took photos on the street. And he is a pervert. Those conjunctions float easily and cheaply in the discourse of the police, so cheaply in fact that few citizens bother to consider that the police’s reasoning has nothing to do with the law – and indeed that it violates the law.

The actions of the police in my case resonate with broader trends in European policing: A tendency of giving up the fight on some forms of traditional crime and focusing instead on spin-doctoring and building relationships with the mainstream in the general public. By way of example, in the Netherlands, police officers spend lots of their time on PR gimmicks like burgernet (citizens are invited to spy on fellow citizens) and Twitter (individual police officers maintain their own official Twitter profiles and spend several hours on Twitter every day). But the PR stunt to eclipse all others is police stalking: Let citizens perform criminal acts upon the instigation of the police and with their consent.

Pervo States

If you think these confessions are getting overly intimate, consider the following. Firstly, I am a victim of torture. For more than 550 days, adults have been paid overtime by so-called liberal Western governments to wake me up repeatedly every night simply in order to deprive me of sleep. For 120 days, unconventional electronic devices have been used, with increasing signs that my general health is being affected in extremely serious ways. The police in 14 countries have circulated strictures on my sexual identity to thousands of citizens. In sum, there have been so many serious breaches of some of my most fundamental rights under the EU and UN human rights charters that I am at a point where I don’t have much dignity left to protect anyway. So before passing judgment, remember that if everyone had been tortured to the point where sexual self-inquisition was the only way to put the behaviour of the state in the correct legal perspective, the world would certainly look very different indeed. What I have described are intimate, private views that I had no plans to burden any fellow citizens with until I realised that those views were the primary reason my human rights had been taken away from me by the Norwegian government.

Second, think of my practical situation. There is no point in reaching out to people through blogging only to see any newfound sympathy evaporate in the very second the police declare me a pervert. That’s what happens in all the local areas I visit: Their message is that  human rights don’t apply because of my sexual otherness.  The concept of universality is gone. They even issue letters to the effect that they have no criminal case against me, and then they continue to persecute me! Gays must have experienced a logic like this in many Western countries a few decades ago, and continue to experience it in many non-Western countries today. Sexual minorities that are not defined in gender terms are even more vulnerable than gays, who at least nominally have had some civil rights successes over the past decades. The only way to fight this kind of knee-jerk prejudice is to be perfectly open it and force the oppressors to tackle the contradiction of their own approach when considered in a universal human rights perspective. Perhaps only when citizens understand that they themselves may be next in line in the police’s relentless search for public enemies will they have the courage to take action against fast-spreading police criminality.

My contention is that the only perverts here are the state and its collaborators. The true depravity is the fact that Norwegian police are allowed to play judges in a  country where the judiciary is assumed to be independent and where due process is supposed to prevail. The debauchery consists of high-ranking figures in Norway’s Labour party providing political cover for thugs in the organised crime department in the Oslo police and their human rights crimes. As I complete this article, I read the sad story about a woman in Oslo who was raped by her partner to the point where she suffered internal injuries. The case against the rapist was dismissed by police for lack of evidence even though medical doctors had certified the extent of the injuries she had suffered.  Exactly like in the case of Anders Behring Breivik during the months prior to his terrorist attack on 22 July 2011, the Oslo police had no resources to follow up. That same police spent millions of tax payer kroner on harassing me illegally on three continents in 2011 and 2012! Of course unlike the offenders in those cases – an honest male rapist and a bold rightwing activist – I  had perpetrated a horrific thought crime that threatened to shake the foundations of Norwegian society: I had taken pictures on the street while at the same time belonging to a sexual minority which envisions women in a dominant role.

Sexual otherness does not in itself constitute criminality. An act which is legal – photography of fully clad people in publicly available areas – can never become illegal just because the photographer happens to belong to a sexual minority. I hope my case eventually will be recognised as the ugly discrimination and persecution case it is. The fact that it was authored by a government which enjoys one of the best democratic reputations in the world only goes to show how far the West has yet to travel before it truly lives up to its own lofty liberal and humanistic ideals.

For the background to my case, see this post or the About page

The Secret Torture Dimension of Police Stalking: From Noise Harassment to Directed Energy Weapons

Although police stalking operations may involve parts of a local community whenever the victim is out and about, 95% of the illegalities usually go on away from the gaze of the public. In some cases, police stalking is primarily about harassment directed at the place where the stalking victim lives, throughout the day as well as during the night.

I’ll recapitulate briefly how these harassment techniques evolved in my case – from very primitive methods often used by European police against gangs and drug dealers, to ultra-modern, little-known capabilities spearheaded by the United States for crowd-control purposes.

To begin with, in Oslo in February 2011, the disturbance techniques were rather unsophisticated and mostly carried out through the use of unmarked police cars. A group of 10 to 15 cars kept driving in circle around my flat whenever I was home and basically made a lot of noise. At night they parked one of the cars just beneath the window of my bedroom and kept the engine running for hours. Sometimes the police officers stepped out of the car and shouted to wake me up. At the time I was terrified and could not think of any effective antidote, so I was unable to get much sleep.

The street where Oslo police harassed me every night in March 2011

When I began travelling in March 2011, I made sure to get hotel rooms away from the street. The police then began slamming the doors in neighbouring rooms to wake me up at night. For example, in Huis ter Duin in the Netherlands where I stayed between July 2011 and January 2012, I had room 568  in the older section of hotel complex, also known as the “grand hotel”. Even though most of that building was unoccupied outside the tourist season, the police gained access to rooms 466 and 468 right under me and used those rooms as a base for harassing me. The techniques included regularly slamming the balcony door shut, constant slamming with closet doors for periods of 30 to 40 minutes, and hammers used directly on the ceiling (i.e. the floor of my room) to wake me up at night.

My room at Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from July 2011 to January 2012

Other aspects of the harassment in Hotel Huis ter Duin were more peculiar than painful. They included the use of an antiquated water system which made significant noise in all the toilets that shared the same pipe  whenever one toilet was flushed (i.e. rooms on a vertical line from the first to the fifth floor). For hours the police would flush the toilet with a frequency of up to once every minute (I have tape recordings of this). The same technique was used for special effect when they woke me up at night by slamming the doors. When I got up and went to the bathroom there would often be a flush exactly when I entered. Obviously the chances of such a coincidence occurring naturally in the middle of the night when only 5 rooms share the same pipe (and when they are officially unoccupied anyway) are very small. Incidentally, the successful use of this method also shows the extent to which CCTV is being used to monitor me, since without it, no such precision hits would have been possible.

When I moved to a private apartment in Maasdam in February 2012, it appeared that the original plan of the police was to disturb me from cars in the main street. To some extent they could do this without fear of a negative response from the local community since most of the neighbours were elderly ladies who were nearly deaf. However, I effectively managed to shut out noise from the street by playing loud music at day and turning on the extractor fan in the living room/kitchen where I slept at night. This prompted a change of tactics by the police. The only other options they had left for disturbing me using traditional methods was from the roof and from the garage. They opted for the garage. From April onwards, they put a vehicle with a heavy engine in the garage two floors down every night. When I went to sleep, they began revving its engine again and again, much in the way they had done in Oslo outside my bedroom window one year earlier. They sometimes also managed to wake me up again by repeating the same technique later in the night, although this was not terribly effective. To compensate, they would occasionally use the roof instead to drop heavy objects onto my flat, but in general the police are reluctant to use roofs in these operations. They prefer to be invisible from the general public when they conduct the dirtiest parts of their harassment programme.

Courtyard in Maasdam used by Dutch police to harass me, February-July, 2012

Apparently unhappy with the results achieved in this way, another escalation by Dutch police ensued in June. This is the part of the operation against me that I am most reluctant to describe, because, frankly, I wouldn’t have believed it myself if someone had tried to convince me about it half a year ago. It’s certainly a tall order to go directly from writing about police methods that few have even heard about to describing torture methods that in the eyes of many verge on sci-fi. I expect few people will be convinced after a first read. But I want to make sure that this particular aspect of the operation against me is on the record, because it is the most inhumane of all the elements involved in my case. Consider the possibility that important findings aren’t always recognisable as such at first fight. Victims of torture are often not vindicated until long after the crimes have taken place. I have a troubling suspicion that what I am being exposed to will be used more frequently against enemies of the state in the future, not least since I have recently been able to connect it to general trends in the development of non-lethal weapons by law enforcement agencies in the United States and elsewhere.

So, one morning in Maasdam in June this year, I realised something had changed. Instead of the usual roars of car engines from the garage far down below, there were vibrations in my bed. I thought it was accidental or just some kind of weird hallucination on my part, but I got more worried when it resumed the next night when I went to sleep. I then tried to move my bed to different parts of the house, but to no avail. I changed from one bed to another. No luck. Later, the same kind of vibration appeared in the floors when I sat down to work at the computer.

I then thought I had found a solution by evacuating the flat. But I gradually realised the same vibrations could be reproduced, with different degrees of success, in other houses as well. It even worked outdoors, though with far less impact. The main limitation seemed to be my physical movements. The vibrations did not affect me when I moved a lot around, nor did they seem to produce any appreciable effect in trains or buses.

Many will doubtless say my story is a case of full-blown paranoia. Two counter-arguments have been important to myself in the process of ruling out hallucinations. Firstly, the waves were sufficiently strong that a water in a bottle placed in my bed began making waves, so I was able to record it on camera. Probably not enough proof to win a court case, but sufficient to convince myself that I was not mad. Secondly, from the day they began the new regime, my tormentors suddenly stopped making noise with cars in the garage at night. Would it not be remarkable that they should stop so suddenly after having performed the same kind of nightly ritual in the garage for several months?

I’ll first try to describe this latest phenomenon in more detail, and then link it to known advances in unconventional “crowd control” technologies  over the past decade, including controversial  directed energy weapons that have been spearheaded by the United States.

The device they are using is best described as a low-intensity Taser or an electronic, wireless goad stick. It can produce throbbing, pulsating vibrations (typically 4-5 per second) whenever my body touches surfaces, including when I stand, sit or lie down. It can be used at great distance (probably more than 500 meters) and continuously for several hours. It seems to have its greatest effect when delivered from a room straight above me. In hotels, the police always insist that they get a room on top of where I am staying. In fact, since I began travelling again in July, they have consistently been in the room above me almost every single night. But the device does not depend on such proximity in order to work. It can work indoors without any kind of technical preparations, even if I do a walk-in hotel booking directly at the reception. In this kind of situation no one will have been able to visit my assigned room in advance for technical preparations, and yet only minutes after I have entered the device will work to some extent.

When the device is used from close range, it is often accompanied by noises of metal and material expansion in the building structure (similar to what some buildings produce when exposed to extreme sunlight). The primary limitation in the reach of the device seems to occur when I am on the move. Once I stop moving around, it usually takes at least 15 to 20 seconds before the device becomes effective again. Back in the Netherlands, whenever I sat in a train, my tormentors seemed to be able to operate the device when the train was standing still at stations, but it appeared to lose its grip once the train sped out of the station.

The vibrating sensation itself is not particularly dramatic, perhaps not more than the vibration one can sometimes feel in the floor when standing in front of a sink with water running at maximum power. The effect on the body ranges from mild to severe. There is always limited irritation from the constant vibrations when the device is on. There is sometimes visible static electricity in body hairs and a feeling of mild electrocution (similar to electrodes used in muscle therapy), often with a tingling and prickly sensation in the legs. And there are occasional straightforward electrical shocks and jolts which produce pain and involuntary muscle spasms. The vibrations target primarily the legs and the lower abdomen, although involuntary muscle contractions sometimes reach further up.

Because of two chronic health problems, the physical effect of the mistreatment is  worse than the irritation itself. I have both ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) and a chronic fissure, the latter being the result of dehydration and concomitant constipation I suffered after severe sleep deprivation resulting from police harassment in Oslo in February 2011. Both those chronic conditions are aggravated by high muscle tension in the abdominal region. Another effect of the police’s device is numbness in the legs. Lately I have had more persistent cramps in the legs, as well as flank pain and cramps affecting the bowels. These are of course extremely general symptoms, unlikely to be of much help in any medical workup. But if something happens to me, assume foul play. It is not PhDs in medicine that are operating these devices, and since the devices are clearly unconventional, it means I have the questionable privilege of being on the cutting edge of their “researches”, long before any risks relating to long term health issues have been determined by scientists. The fact that different torturers use different force levels indicate that there is no standardised parameters for operating the device. Since June, they have used the device for hours every single day and always at night.

Given the remarkable precision of the device and their ability to use it even in rooms where I am confident they have not pre-installed any kind of CCTV, I have considered the admittedly rather wild possibility that I may have been injected with some kind of substance that can be used as a beacon. I have had some dental work as well as injections for anal fissure problems done in recent years.

 

I assume the vibrating phenomenon can be of electro-magnetic origin. So far, I have not had the possibility to experiment with electro-magnetic meters and Faraday cages in order to provide technically relevant observations. Generally speaking, though, most of what I have experienced is consonant with developments in so-called non-lethal weapons technology in general and directed energy weapons in particular. Conceptually, there appears to be a particularly close link to a device known as the Silent Guardian, developed by the Raytheon company in the USA over the past decade as a commercial and portable variant of “active denial systems” used by the US army. In particular, there is a close fit with the basic “prod” principle used for these weapons: The objective is to chase the target around through the infliction of moderate pain in the upper layers of the skin with the intention to force them to flee rather than to kill or cause permanent damage. These weapons are openly promoted by the US government, with the proud assertion that they do not discriminate with reference to sex, gender or race trumpeted as a sign of their supremely democratic and humane virtues at the Non-Lethal Weapons Programme website.

At the same time, some of the capabilities of the device used against me, including the ability to penetrate thick building walls with considerable precision, indicate a more advanced device than the handheld directed energy weapons described in the literature so far (which are based on millimeter waves). Another difference with the Silent Guardian and active denial systems generally concerns the level of heat. In the case of those weapons, intense heat is normally described as part of the pain experienced by the victim. In my case, the thermal effects are not as prominent. This makes me think about an area of non-lethal weapons technology about which there is very little information in the public domain: Experiments to use microwave power to produce non-thermal effects, including muscular impact. Although detailed information is lacking, it is clear that for almost a decade, academics in the United States have conducted research on these areas for the specific purpose of creating a microwave weapon for the US army that can control muscular contractions at far longer ranges than the Taser. Among the researchers who stand out for their involvement in this project are Indira Chatterjee and Gale Craviso from an interdisciplinary group in Nevada, who have consistently received funding for such Mengele-evoking projects from the Pentagon over the last 10 years (and who have consistently trumpeted the alleged contributions to medical science of those projects).

Chatterjee & Craviso: Leading scientists from Nevada involved in non-lethal weapons development

In this context, it makes sense to add some remarks on a separate genre on the internet that I came across around a year ago: “Targeted individuals” and gangstalking. The victims described in those accounts show some similarities to the stalking that I am describing. To be honest, I have been sceptical about much (if not all) of what is written about targeted individuals. Most accounts are anonymous. Few targets seem prepared to admit an existing conflict with the police or the government, and many resort to general conspiracy theories instead. Targeted individuals websites tend to be of the old, static category, and it is often difficult to catch a glimpse of the individuals behind them. My preliminary conclusion has been that “targeted individuals” as a genre is probably a combination of many things – including real victims of police stalking who may feel attracted by the master narrative offered by the gangstalking genre, but also general internet hype as well as people seeking to discredit the experiences of real stalking victims.

Previously I always dismissed right out of hand gangstalking accounts whenever they entered into the territory of “micro-wave torture”. Then, this latest development in my own situation, where I come across something which I myself emphatically ridiculed only a year ago! The important point here is to point out that directed energy weapons is not sci-fi. In particular, the works of Neil Davison of the International Red Cross stand out as a prudent and objective description of this latest and worrisome turn in unconventional weapon technologies. Using among other things research proposals as a source, Davison demonstrates how law enforcement agencies, in particular in the United States, cooperate closely with the weapons industry precisely in the search for prod-like weapons for crowd control purposes. With respect to the targeted individuals genre and some of its more fantastic claims, could it be that interested parties have deliberately added some sci-fi elements like UFOs and mind control to the electronic harassment genre precisely in order to discredit real victims? The only thing we know for sure is that directed energy weapons are real, and we can safely assume that only a fraction of the relevant information is in the public domain.

Finally, there are some interesting international dimensions to the use of the prod-like device in my case. It began in the Netherlands, where the police may already have some kind of active denial capability on the US pattern. The device was subsequently used in Taiwan, probably with the consent of the local police since it was used even in sensitive areas like airports, even a short time after I had landed.  The greatest shock to me was that the device is still being used where I am now, in a country in the Asia-Pacific with excellent democratic credentials and where the people have resisted several attempted US impositions, notably in the fields of military cooperation and nuclear technology. At first I speculated that the device was being operated by foreign police officers without the knowledge of the local police. However, given the extensive use of it, I am increasingly convinced that local authorities know about it and have approved it. It would mean yet another case of “NYPDfication” whereby inhumane American technology and policing methods intended to instill fear are spreading globally with zero accountability and democratic oversight.

One thing I can’t help wondering about is what would happen if I travelled to a non-democratic country like China. A quick look at descriptions of what Chinese dissidents are going through make it clear that police stalking goes on there too. But the methods Chinese authorities  use seem stone age compared to what is being used against me. The Chinese police would probably love to get their hands on this new technology! But would the Dutch and Norwegians and any others cooperating with them be prepared to go along with that?

For now, I am doing my best to survive. At first I thought the device was so scandalously illegal that it was just some kind of nuclear option the Dutch were using to finally evict me from the country and get rid of me once and for all. Accordingly, during my last days in the Netherlands, I would sometimes stay up at night instead of going to bed, just focusing on getting practical things done ahead of my departure. However, when they continued to use the device abroad, I realised that it was not realistic to get away from it anyway.  I was doing more harm to myself by cutting down on sleep. If the device permanently damages me or kills me, at least I will have done my part by informing about it. I see that as a duty. Given the effectiveness of the device, I have a sorry feeling this an instrument enemies of the state across the globe will learn more about it in the future.

If you haven’t read the background to my case, you can find more information via this link.

What Does Police Stalking Look Like?

Some aspects of police stalking conceptually belong to the same class of mistreatment as Chinese water torture. In Chinese water torture, the pain of each little water drop falling on the body  of the immobilised victim (usually on the forehead) is probably so small that any doctor would dismiss it as insignificant. And yet the total effect of those water drops is sufficiently strong that the method has been used for centuries as punishment and for interrogation purposes.

Can this be torture?

Before Chinese water torture was generally known, victims who claimed to have suffered unbearable pain after having experienced light water drops falling on their forehead would probably be ridiculed or even dismissed as lunatics. Real torture victims, it would be claimed, should be able to point to severe physical injuries as a result of their mistreatment.

Today, police stalking victims face the same predicament. If someone said that they had been mistreated by a police officer who assaulted them, knocked them to the ground, and violently kicked them, that would be seen as a perfectly believable account of all-too common police brutality. But if you say a plainclothes police officer followed after you with his car, then revved the noisy engine,  and finally parked and blinked with the lights in an intimidating way, people will look askance and think you are mad.

Unsuprisingly then, when asked for photographic evidence of the mistreatment, police stalking victims are rarely able to come up with anything terribly spectacular. Sure, you could perhaps publish some pictures of police officers and repeat offenders in the general population who collaborate with them. But the only result of that would be to violate the presumption of innocence, precisely the kind of violation that most police stalking victims have themselves already experienced.

The whole point here is that the concept of police stalking simulates normal behaviour. Many events in a police stalking operation, at least those that take place in public, are situated on a continuum of everyday behaviour and rarely reach the extremes where they would impress others than the victims, who have seen it day after day for months and years. Only in those cases where the police gets a little to eager to prove its point does police stalking stray from the parameters of normal behaviour into the realm of abnormalities that perhaps would raise eyebrows even among members of the general population.  It is in that limited window I’ll make an attempt to show some of what is going on in the operation against me. I am certainly not offering these images in the belief they can ever produce a verdict against anyone. Most are poor quality stills from videos, and they are deliberately chosen since the identity of the persons is not easy to establish. For now, I leave the high quality material for the courts. The goal in this post is simply to raise awareness about untraditional policing methods in the hope that ultimately, hard evidence will materialise.

It is logical to start with the use of uniformed police. They are part and parcel of a police stalking operation, but they are often used sparingly. The reason is precisely that because they are uniformed and may be subject to requirements that they identify themselves, they are in some ways the most vulnerable element in a police stalking operation. However, uniformed police has to be there, since the whole point of the operation is to communicate the police’s ownership of the process.

When I was in Maasdam in the Netherlands between January and July this year, I was typically met by two police cars every day during my  walks. Remember that I lived in a tiny place with no more than 2,000 inhabitants. Remember also that I was only near the highway for some 10 to 15 minutes every day. I can document an above-the-average frequency of encounters with uniformed police in this area. Still, I am perfectly aware that these observations are not going to impress anyone.

When police cars drive through affluent neighbourhoods in broad daylight without any specific mission, maybe more people might agree this is somewhat out of the ordinary. But perhaps only when uniformed police officers on bikes enter a desolete mountainbike trail a late Friday evening would outsiders agree that there is something odd going on.

Similar continuums from the almost-normal to the slightly unusual can be seen for many of the other components of a police stalking operations. Citizen stalkers will often be unremarkable. Additionally, often those divergences that can be helpful towards understanding what is going on are context-specific and therefore not immediately intelligible to a wider audience. For example, in the Dutch countryside, walking on foot away from specific walkways is seen as highly abnormal. If the Dutch are not in their cars, they cycle. If they walk, they do it as sport and put on prodigious amounts of specialised clothing to the point where they look as if they are about to embark on a North Pole expedition. Accordingly, an old man sweating along a dirt road in the middle of summer is next to paranormal, even though few outside the Dutch context may recognise this. Perhaps the best examples in this category are people who break the traffic laws and other regulations with the consent of the police. Examples include motorcyles on walkpaths or cycling paths, electrical cars in cycle paths, and dogs in areas where they are specifically prohibited (dogs were deliberately used in large numbers by Dutch police in the stalking operation against me).

The use of light and noise in the public sphere, two crucial elements of police stalking, calls for particular attention.

With regard noise and its “normality continuum”, most cars participating in police stalking operations may do perfectly normal things (apart from the fact that the same ones stalk you day after day). Accordingly, picture proof is once more of limited value. Often, the only slight exception from a normal traffic situation will be the disproportionate presence of noisy cars. They typically include modified or tuned car (“tuner cars”) – specifically lowered cars, cars with exhaust system modifications, tuned engines that make more noise, impossible rear spoilers etc. Sometimes, it is only the overuse use of heavy motorcycles like Harley Davidsons as well as fourwheelers (ATVs) that can divulge that something is not quite right. Evacuated vehicles left with motor and lights on are also common.

A similar continuum regarding the use of light can be found. A car blinking continuously with all lights could be “normal” when parked in the middle of the street.  It could be described as somewhat zealous if parked on the pavement alongside other cars. Perhaps even sceptics would find it odd to see a car with lights blinking in a dead-end alleyway in broad daylight, or cars with high beams or fog light turned on in perfect sunshine. Remember that a victim of a police stalking operation may meet these phenomena every 500 meters or so. Remember also that the use of headlamps is not mandatory in the Netherlands during daylight hours, so overuse of high beams etc. is unusual.

A peculiar component of police stalking is street theatre. Theatre is used for a variety of reasons in police stalking operations, and with differing degrees of sophistication and allegorical logic.

Not all of this is easily  penetrable. Ever since I was in the United States, blind people or people with mobility issues have been used by police in the operation in numbers disproportionate to their share of the population. These poor people have already been victimised by the police through their deliberate inclusion in the operation and the apparent intention  on the part of the police to communicate a sense of stigma; accordingly, it would make no sense to document their participation in more detail.

By far the most frequent theatrical element in the operation against me relates to my supposed original sin: Photography. Every day, wherever I walk, little photography scenes have been staged. Typically, these are people that stand and wait until I appear, at which point they invariably pull out a camera and begin taking pictures. Again there is a continuum here, with different degrees of eyebrow-raising behaviour. There are people who just happen to take photos whenever I approach. There are people with very elaborate cameras and advanced techniques. And there are people who jump out of a car exactly when I come and then take apparently meaningless pictures of the empty sky, sometimes with cameras pointing directly into the sun. When they ask me to take a picture with their camera, the parallel to medieval stocks is almost perfect.

It can be useful to revert to the image of the water drop that forms the weapon of Chinese water torture. The bigger picture is this:

Water torture

In my case, I cannot provide that picture yet. Just imagine what it would have been like for that victim to try to document his ordeal! Remember also that stalking in the public sphere is perhaps not more than 10% of many police stalking operations, with noise and other harassment directed at private dwellings accounting for most of the police activity. But one day, that bigger picture will emerge.