Breaking News

Friday, 30 December 2016

Arash Sadeghi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee #Iran

I was charged with ‘collusion against national security’ because I supported a group of poor students who had been denied education and for supporting leftist students and visiting families of those who had been killed, and for taking part in peaceful gatherings, such as… protests against the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi and gathering in support of [imprisoned women’s rights activist] Narges Mohammadi

Arash Sadeghi

Aslı Erdoğan is free

Law is obliged to protect the individual and the community, not only the state.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Martin Gottesfeld - Anonymous Hacker

Imprisoned human rights activist and alleged Anonymous hacker.

Martin Gottesfeld, 32, is a human rights advocate and Senior Systems Engineer born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts. He was arrested on February 17th, 2016 and is being prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by Carmen Ortiz’s office.

Marty faces allegations that he conspired with members of the hacktivist group Anonymous to organize an online sit-in of Boston Children’s Hospital’s public website, in no way harming patients or exposing private information. At the time, an international campaign was underway to stop the torture and save the life of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier.

Justina was nearly killed due to the negligence & malpractice of Boston Children’s Hospital doctors. Monday marks the 21st day of his prison hunger strike on behalf of abused children and political prisoners.

Since beginning his hunger strike on October 3, Marty has lost 16.5 pounds. Marty faces 5 years in prison and $380,000 in restitution to Justina’s tormentors. His attorneys are mounting a vigorous defense on his behalf, and need your help.

Marty has dedicated years of his life to fighting for the human rights of institutionalized children. He would often spend 8 hours at his job, come home, and spend another 8 hours campaigning against child abuse. He never profited from his activism. Before over a dozen

FBI agents raided his home and took every computer he owned, he and his wife opened their guest bedroom to survivors of the “troubled teen industry,” powerful and politically connected for profit organizations with an extremely well documented record of atrocities against children. Continue

Monday, 19 December 2016

United Nations: end slavery in conflict

Over three thousand women and girls have been forced into sexual slavery by ISIS during the conflict in Iraq and Syria.1 But the horror doesn’t end there — men, women, boys and girls all over the world have been forced into slavery during conflict.

Randa, a 16 year old girl was abducted by ISIS along with her heavily-pregnant mother from northern Iraq. Forced into slavery Randa was taken and raped by a man twice her age.2

Esther Ruth Atim was kidnapped from Uganda when she was 9 years old by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Christian militia. “Rape was on a daily basis. I was raped so I couldn’t even move … like a normal (person) … I could only move like a jumping frog.”3

Last December the UN Security Council took the first steps towards ending slavery in conflict as some members acknowledged ISIS’s use of slavery as a war crime.

We must continue to push the Security Council to protect survivors of slavery and prosecute those responsible for war crimes.

Swift action could prevent human trafficking and sexual slavery in conflicts all over the world now and forever. Continue

Friday, 16 December 2016

Musa Kart- FREE!

Musa Kart, the world-renowned political cartoonist for Cumhuriyet newspaper, Istanbul is one of several staff pending trial for “crimes on behalf of the Fethullahist Terror Organisation and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)”.

Accused of collusion in last summer’s attempted coup in Turkey, these journalists are just a few of the great many academics, public servants and media workers who have been fired, detained, questioned or jailed by the Erdoğan regime in recent weeks. Kart’s regular panel in the paper has been printed with a blank space since his arrest. Continue

Friday, 9 December 2016

Carlos Jiménez Villarejo #StopTheDeal

On March 20, 2016, the controversial EU-Turkey Agreement came into effect. It set out that all “new irregular migrants” – a euphemism for refugees and asylum-seekers – arriving in Greece from this date onwards would be returned to Turkey.
The EU-Turkey deal is shameful and signifies that Europe is losing its soul, fast. Europe is, in effect, bribing Turkey to allow Europe to shirk its responsibilities to refugees. It signals to the rest of the world that vulnerable men, women, and children who managed to survive the horrors of war, persecution, and a perilous journey, will have their asylum applications turned down. And then they will be deported back to Turkey, a country that the European Parliament has just censured for its civil liberties and human rights record. These desperate people will, as a result, find even more desperate, dangerous, routes to escape. Yes, the corpses will mount, the pain will multiply and it will be Europe’s doing!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As DiEM25 we are standing behind a unique legal action that could blow this deal up, potentially improving the lives of millions of people seeking to come to Europe in desperate need.
How? By helping to save a man’s life. Continue

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Monday, 5 December 2016

Anything to say? A Monument to courage!

"Anything to say?", is a life size bronze sculpture, portraying three figures each one standing on a chair. The fourth chair is empty because it is our chair. The one for us to stand up on to express ourselves or simply to stand next to Edward Snowden, Julien Assange and Chelsea Manning, who had the courage to say no to the intrusion of global surveillance and to lies that lead to war. Both loved and hated, they chose to loose the comfort zone of their lives to tell the truth.

The work has been inspired by Charles Glass, author, journalist and broadcaster, and brought to life by artist Davide Dormino who believes in the power of Public Art. « It has the power to make people grow and change their point of view. The chair has a double meaning. It can be comfortable, but it can also be a pedestal to rise higher, to get a better view, to learn more. They all chose to get up on the chairs of courage. They made their move in spite of becoming visible, thus threatened and judged. Some think they are traitors. History never had a positive opinion of contemporary revolutionaries. You need courage to act, to stand up on that empty chair because it hurts.» Continue

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Free Keywan Karimi! #Iran

Keywan Karimi is an Iranian filmmaker with Kurdish origins. He is 31 years old and has directed more than 10 films. Initially he directed short documentaries, but now his work includes documentaries and feature films. He received several prices for his films. His documentary “The Broken Border” was awarded a prize for the best short documentary at the 2013 Beirut International Film Festival. His film “Drum”, a fictional film, was produced in 2016. It was premiered at the competition section of the Venice International Film Festival. Continue

Monday, 28 November 2016

Alain Finkielkraut - UN Watch

"Je suis payée pour savoir que l’antiracisme a perdu la tête." 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Génocide au Burundi a film by Pierre Nkurunziza

My country is going through a bloody crisis. A genocide is imminent. It all started when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term. On 26 April 2015, thousands of my fellow countrymen descended the streets to protest peacefully against this anti-constitutional decision. The law enforcement forces reacted ferociously. They fired into the crowd and killed five civilians...

Since that day, we live in fear. The violence is daily. Most of it is orchestrated by the security forces who take order from government authorities. The toll is already terrible: more than 1,000 people killed, 5,000 detained, 800 disappeared, hundreds of people tortured, hundreds of women victim of sexual violence, and thousands of arrests. More than 300,000 people have fled the country...

Since April 2015, my organization, with the help of FIDH, has carefully documented the grave crimes committed in Burundi. We have alerted the international community on the risk of mass crimes and acts of genocide. In spite of our appeals, President Nkurunziza continues to cast chaos. Everyday, his police forces torture, kill, rape and imprison with total impunity.

Today, my country finds itself on the brink. If President Nkurunziza does not put an end to his policy of terror, thousands of people will die in the coming months. This perspective makes my blood run cold; I can’t believe that such a calamity could happen. My country can still avoid the tragedies of Cambodia, Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia and Syria. I want to believe that there is still hope of putting an end to this escalating violence. The genocide which threatens my country must be prevented at all cost. Together, let us act before it is too late. You are our hope...
The UN and the African Union should deploy a peacemaking mission to stop the crimes being committed and to prevent genocide in Burundi. This peacemaking mission should be composed of a sufficient number of blue helmets to protect the population and restore security in the country.

Are you ready to help me save thousands of lives in Burundi? Only a massive mobilization will get the UN to take action. Sign and share this petition asking the UN and the African Union to act before it is too late. My organization and FIDH will present your signatures to the UN with great resolve.

Anschaire Nikoyagize

President of ITEKA (The Burundian League of Human Rights, an FIDH member organization)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Gianfilippo Nicola Rolando duca di San Berbardino - Principe ereditario

Consigliere comunale di Ravenna. (Lega Nord)
Un dubbio... può un "duca" di un cosiddetto stato auto-proclamato rappresentare i cittadini di Ravenna?

Anton Simakov #Article148

- I think that it is important to destroy Porshenko, to destory his team: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatsenyuk. It is important to destroy them all.

Anton Simakov did a voodo ritual in his office against Ukrainian government. He has been subnitted to involontary psychiatric treatment by the prosecutor's office of Ekaterinburg on the basis of article 148.
He used a clay voodoo doll, blood of a roster, a funeral pall, a band usually put on the heads of the dead in churches, a printed copy of the prayer traditionally read during church funeral services and a small wooden cross. Rooster symbolizes the head a state.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Migrants in the CAS in the Province of Palermo

To the Prefect, the Questore and all Italian citizens,

We are migrants living in some of the CAS (Extraordinary Reception Centres) in the Province of Palermo. We come from many countries – Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh – but today we speak with one voice. We thank Italy for having taken us in after the long journey we had to make, but today we are writing this letter together so as to tell you about our difficult situation.

We left our countries fleeing from suffering, but in this country we have only found it yet again, even if it is another kind of suffering: there is some kind of perverse reasoning beneath all of this. We live in these CAS, frequently in totally isolated places, faced with many, too many problems. Many of us have been in these centres for more than 7 month, while we know that in truth we are not meant to remain in “extraordinary” reception centres for so long. We ask to be listened to.

The time we have to wait for our documents is seemingly endless. In this period, we do not know what awaits us, and we are perplexed about our situation. Frequently not even the date for the first appointment in the Questura, so as to give our fingerprints and request asylum, has been set. Indeed, many people have not even been told what asylum is: that you may have been persecuted for political or religious reasons, or for being gay, and that each case will be treated with the appropriate attention. The incredibly slow pace in receiving documents leaves us extremely worried and unclear about our future. We simply want to know the truth, and for someone to tell us what's going on, instead of avoiding us and always telling us to wait till tomorrow.

What can you do, waiting in a centre for a year and three months, without documents nor information, if you don't have work, and if when you are sick there is no appropriate care? If, when you ask for something you really need, you are simply told to get out of here, if you do not like where you are? We are asylum seekers: where are we meant to go? A reception centre should welcome and help people. What's the point in it otherwise? In some cases we gave even been threatened that if we complain, we will not receive any documents. If you ask for more information, they ignore you or drive you out, even physically. You come here to find freedom, and instead your head is filled with stress through frankly impossible living conditions. In our countries we had many problems, but at least we knew how to confront them. Here, it's the not knowing which is so terrible.

During this waiting period, the living conditions are degrading for a human being. In one of the CAS the water is switched on only twice a day, for one hour each time, and it is always cold. If we need water at other times of day, we have to take it from the cistern, where the water is putrid and stinks, and not good enough even for animals... and we are human beings. Another problem is food: we only ask that we are given the possibility of cooking for ourselves. In another centre, they do not give us appropriate clothes, and many of us arrived here directly from the port of Palermo, with literally nothing. The clothes we have were given to us by other brothers who were in the camp before us. But is is almost November now, and it is cold up here in the mountains, and many of us are still in flip-flops. In another centre still, when the police came to check the building, we told them how cold it is, that we sleep with all our clothes on, that there's no heating. The response was that we don't have heating in Africa. Who can you turn to, to flag up this kind of injustice?

From May till now, there was no Italian school in the camps; lessons have begun only in the last few days. The very few of us who speak Italian learnt it in camps for minors – but there, however, the first appointment in the Questura was never made. Whoever is brought to the CAS from the centres for minors do not understand why the assistance which was given to them before, when they were considered underage, turns in a total abandonment as soon as they turn 18. Whoever is brought here directly from the port thinks that Sicily is made up only of forests, that's how isolated these centres are. And the only Italians that they will have seen are the camp's workers. We are invisible. We want to do so many things, we are young and want to continue to live our lives, not waste our lives away waiting here.

Therefore today, all together, we ask:

 for our documents, and that the procedure for requesting asylum be sped up: we cannot wait 11 months for the first appointment in the Questura;

 that our human rights are respected: we do not ask much, only to be treated as human beings in the camps, to be listened to, and to be ensured the services to which we are entitled;

 for the most isolated to be transferred to camps which can guarantee the above, including better living conditions.

Migrants in the CAS in the Province of Palermo

Migranti del CAS della Provincia di Palermo

Al Prefetto, alla Questura e ai cittadini italiani,
Siamo i migranti che risiedono in alcuni dei CAS (Centri di Accoglienza Straordinaria) della Provincia di Palermo. Veniamo da diversi paesi, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Costa d'Avorio, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, ma oggi la nostra voce è una sola. Siamo grati di essere stati accolti dall'Italia dopo il lungo viaggio che abbiamo dovuto affrontare, ma oggi scriviamo fianco a fianco questa lettera per parlarvi della nostra difficile condizione.
Siamo andati via dai nostri paesi per fuggire dalla sofferenza e veniamo in questo paese per trovarne di nuova, anche se è un altro tipo di sofferenza: c'è un qualche ragionamento distorto alla base di questo. Viviamo in questi CAS, spesso in posti completamente isolati, con tanti, troppi problemi. Molti di noi si trovano in questi centri da più di sette mesi, mentre sappiamo che non dovremmo restare così tanto in centri di accoglienza “straordinaria”. Chiediamo di essere ascoltati.
I tempi per avere i nostri documenti sono infiniti. In questi tempi lunghi non sappiamo cosa aspettarci e siamo molto confusi sulla nostra condizione. Spesso non si riesce neanche a fissare la data del primo appuntamento in questura per la richiesta d'asilo. Anzi, a molti non viene neanche spiegato cosa sia, l'asilo: tu puoi essere stato perseguitato per ragioni politiche o religiose, puoi essere omosessuale, ogni caso andrebbe trattato con la giusta attenzione. La lentezza nel rilascio dei documenti ci rende molto preoccupati e incerti sul nostro futuro, mentre noi vogliamo solo sapere la verità e che qualcuno ci spieghi cosa stia accadendo, invece di evitarci e rimandare sempre a domani.
Cosa fare se stai in un centro da un anno e tre mesi, noi hai i documenti né informazioni, non hai lavoro e se stai male non hai la cure specifiche? Se quando hai bisogno di qualcosa di fondamentale ti viene risposto di andartene se non ti piace il posto dove stai? Siamo richiedenti asilo, dove dovremmo andare? Un centro di accoglienza dovrebbe accogliere e aiutare: che senso ha tutto ciò? In alcuni casi veniamo anche minacciati: ci dicono che non avremo i nostri documenti se continuiamo a lamentarci. Se chiediamo più informazioni, capita che veniamo cacciati via, anche fisicamente. Vieni qui per chiedere la libertà, ed ecco che la tua mente si riempie di stress per condizioni di vita impossibili. Nei nostri paesi avevamo tanti problemi, ma almeno sapevamo cosa dovevamo affrontare. Il non sapere è terribile.
Durante questa attesa, le condizioni di vita sono degradanti per la persona umana. In uno dei CAS l'acqua viene aperta solo due volte al giorno, per un'ora, ed è sempre fredda. Se ci serve l'acqua in altri momenti della giornata dobbiamo prenderla noi stessi dalla cisterna, dove l'acqua è putrida e maleodorante, non va bene neanche per gli animali...e noi siamo essere umani. Altro problema è il cibo: vorremmo almeno avere la possibilità di cucinarci da noi. In un altro centro non ci danno neanche i vestiti necessari e molti di noi sono arrivati qui direttamente dal porto di Palermo, senza niente. I vestiti che abbiamo ci sono stati dati da altri fratelli che erano nel centro da prima di noi. Ma è quasi novembre, in montagna fa freddo e molti di noi hanno ancora le infradito. In un altro centro ancora, quando è venuta la polizia per i controlli della struttura, gli abbiamo detto che c'è freddo, che dormiamo vestiti e non c'è il riscaldamento: c'è stato risposto che in Africa non abbiamo il riscaldamento. A chi rivolgersi per segnalare delle ingiustizie?
Da maggio la scuola d'italiano non c'è stata mai, solo adesso da qualche giorno abbiamo le lezioni. I pochissimi di noi che parlano italiano l'hanno imparato in un centro per minori, dove però non gli è stata fissata neanche la data del primo appuntamento in questura. Chi arriva in questi CAS dai centri per minori non capisce perché l'assistenza che gli viene riservata fino a quando è considerato minore, si trasforma in abbandono compiuti i 18 anni. Chi è stato portato direttamente dal porto, pensa che la Sicilia sia tutta boschi, tanto sono isolati alcuni di questi centri, e gli unici italiani che ha mai visto sono gli operatori. Vogliamo studiare, vogliamo lavorare, vogliamo parlare con la gente, vederla quantomeno. Qui siamo invisibili. Abbiamo tante cose da fare, siamo giovani e dobbiamo continuare a vivere, non possiamo sprecare le nostre vite qui ad aspettare.
Oggi, tutti uniti, chiediamo dunque:
  •   di avere i nostri documenti e che la procedura della richiesta di asilo sia velocizzata: non possiamo aspettare 11 mesi per un appuntamento in questura;
  •   che i nostri diritti vengano rispettati: non chiediamo tanto, solo di essere trattati come esseri umani all'interno dei centri, di essere ascoltati, e che vengano assicurati i servizi che ci spettano di diritto;
  •   di essere trasferiti in altri centri che ci possano garantire tutto questo e migliori condizioni di vita. 

  • Migranti dei CAS della Provincia di Palermo 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Election Day #USElections2016

Like everyone else, Marina Petrillo and I too will follow the US elections, so we decided we'll be on social media with what each of us does best - words for her and drawings for me, to be by your side til we know who wins!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Cumhuriyeti Yok Edemediler...Güray Öz

gazeteci, Cumhuriyet Gazetesi Okur Temsilcisi, yazar

Press Freedom! - Murat Sabuncu

Turkish police have detained the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, an opposition newspaper, according to media reports.

The reports say that along with Murat Sabuncu, nine other employees of the paper, including writers, were detained on Monday morning. Continue

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Yazidis, from a forgotten name to an Ongoing Genocide.

The genocide has led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidi people from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq. The genocide led to the abduction of Yazidi women and massacres that killed at least 5,000 Yazidi civilians and training of 1000s of children during what has been called a "forced conversion campaign" being carried out in Northern Iraq by ISIS. Yet, the genocide is ongoing according to UN human rights reports.

ISIS's actions against the Yazidi population resulted in approximately 500,000 refugees.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar - The Sakharov Prize 2016

Two Yazidi women who escaped sexual enslavement by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq have won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women abducted by IS militants and forced into sexual slavery in 2014.
But both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
The freedom of thought prize is awarded annually in memory of Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident. Continue

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

My name is Jesus. I am a refugee!

They Raped me and Impaled - Lucía Pérez

Lucía Pérez was reportedly picked up outside her school in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, some 300 kilometers south of the capital of Buenos Aires, on October 8. She was then drugged, gang raped, and allegedly penetrated with a wooden pole. Her killers then washed her, changed her clothes and took her to a medical center, alleging she had suffered an overdose. She died in hospital.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Aya Hijazi #FreeAya

October 17, 2016 marks the 900th day that Aya Hijazi has been held in pretrial detention in Egypt. Follow and share your support on that day through Facebook, Twitter, and by signing our petition.

Aya Hijazi, an American-Egyptian and long committed to social justice and community service, founded the volunteer-based NGO Belady (“My Country”) with her Egyptian husband Mohammed Hassanein in Cairo in September 2013 to educate, provide temporary housing, and ultimately reunite street children with their families.

They funded the new foundation by foregoing a honeymoon and a formal wedding ceremony.

In accordance with the law, Aya and Mohammed applied to the Ministry of Social Solidarity to register Belady as a legally recognized nonprofit, submitting necessary paperwork to the Egyptian government by December 2013 to fulfill all necessary requirements to begin operation.

On May 1, 2014, the Egyptian police raided the Belady premises and conducted a warrantless arrest of Aya, her husband, two other volunteers, and all the street children who were present. Four other volunteers were arrested later. Only one of them has been released from detention in the last 900 days.

Egyptian law provides that the maximum period of time that a person may be held in temporary detention is two years. For Aya, her husband, and two of the other defendants, that period expired on May 1, 2016.

Aya was charged on September 8, 2014 and is facing seven false charges.
Human trafficking of minors
Indecent assault of minors
Sexual exploitation of minors
Kidnaping and exploitation of minors
Unlawful detention and torture of minors
Facilitating and inciting sexual deviation and exploitation
Illegal formation of the Belady Foundation

Aya and Mohamed are facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. Their next hearing is on November 19, 2016.

Sign our petition now to call for Aya and Mohamed’s release.

900 days in prison #FreeAya

Aya Hijazi, Mohamed Hassanein (Aya’s husband), and 5 other volunteers have been in prison for 900 days. Their crime: starting the Belady Foundation that was helping street children. Slammed with bogus, false, and ridiculous charges, they have been held in detention for beyond the two-year legal maximum permitted by Egypt’s own law.

This is a particularly important subject in my own life and I found it strangely interesting that three years after I left Egypt to become a lawyer to help street children, I ended up working my first job on protecting a young woman who was doing exactly the same thing, helping Egypt’s children.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Obsessed Citizens - Ai Weiwei

- I call on people to be 'obsessed citizens,' forever questioning and asking for accountability. That's the only chance we have today of a healthy and happy life.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

36 drawings for FiSahara - International Film Festival

“Cinema for the Sahrawi People” uses film to entertain, convey knowledge and empower refugees from the Western Sahara, who have lived in exile in remote camps in Southwestern Algeria since 1975.

The project consists of an annual human rights film and cultural festival and a year-round film school.

The Western Sahara International Film Festival (FiSahara) brings screenings, roundtables, film workshops and many other cultural events to the camps every year. Filmmakers, artists, human rights defenders, journalists and others from all over the world visit the camps and interact with the local population. Continue

The Abidin Kaid Saleh audiovisual school provides hands-on training to young refugees so that they can tell their own stories and create educational and cultural films for their communities. Experienced filmmakers teach modules focused on storytelling, screenwriting, cinematography, sound, editing and other filmmaking specialties.

Lucía Callén, Raquel Larrosa and María Alonso - Skeikima

How would you claim your identity in a hostile land? How could you live under harassment and repression ? How would you make your voice break through the walls of silence?

Sahrawi young people living at the Occupied Territories (O.T) are required to study at the occupying country.

But a river resonates all over the desert…

Lizardo Carvajal - Malaika la princesa

Malaïka is an African princess who goes on a long journey to find water with her parade of elephants. During this quest, she learns about life and death.

Kaouther Ben Hania - Peau de colle

Five-year-old Amira doesn’t like Koranic school. To avoid going, she has an unstoppable idea that goes beyond her expectations.Fisahara International Film Festival

Shaad Ali - Bunty & Babli

Rakesh and Vimmi meet at a train station while they are both running away from the pressures of their family to pursue their dreams. They support each other in their pursuits and become con artists together to raise money for themselves, but it’s not long until they attract the attention of ACP Dashrath Singh who chases them across India.

Richard Raymond - Desert Dancer

A group of young dancers fight for their dreams in Iran where it is forbidden to dance by forming an underground dance company. Together they train and learn from Youtube videos to then organize a performance in the middle of the desert.