Recent CPTnet stories

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Listening for the voices of missing and murdered Indigenous women

According to reports by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), there are roughly 600 known cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, many of them unsolved.*  Loretta Saunders, an Inuit woman from Labrador whose family reported her missing on 13 February 2014, is one of the latest.  The RCMP discovered her body along a New Brunswick highway on 26 February.  That Saunders was in the middle of finishing her PhD in Halifax— on Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women—makes her death particularly harrowing, yet each of these women’s deaths is reprehensible.

CPT attended the ninth Annual Strawberry Ceremony honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women on 14 February, when over 200 people gathered at the downtown Toronto police headquarters for a rally and march.  Many individuals in the crowd held up signs bearing names, dates, and occasionally photos.  Several dozen people carried black silhouette-style signs cut in the shape of women's profiles, with names in white lettering on one side, and dates—usually preceded with the word “murdered”—on the other.



Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 2014

Pray for the community of Guayabo, Colombia, which successfully resisted an eviction in November, but still fears the intervention of illegal outside armed actors.

Erik Yesid Payares, 32, a leader for the community of Guayabo, asked CPT’s Colombia team to publicize the following request this week:  â€śIt is important to us that this problem is made known.  We are humble people of peace and small farmers.  We live in a critical situation under threat.  We ask that you help us and not abandon us.”’

 

Epixel* for 9 March 2014

if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
Isaiah 58:10

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from
the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): February ends with arrests of children in the Old City

On the evening of 28 February 2014, soldiers arrested eight Palestinians on Shalala Street—six of them appeared to be under sixteen, and two were clearly younger than twelve.  Soldiers took the boys into the military base at Bab el Baladiya at the entrance to the Old City and after approximately an hour, the soldiers took all them away in military jeeps.

The arrests bring the total of child arrests and detentions documented by internationals working in Hebron during the month of February to eighteen. This number by no means reflects the total number of arrests and detentions of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in the city.

Some of the detentions witnessed have been relatively brief, including incidents where soldiers took children from residential streets or the market, walked them some distance, compared them to photographs or interrogated them in the street, then released them. Sometimes soldiers take children into military bases or to military police stations and question them there. Sometimes they arrest them in their homes and sometimes they hold them overnight.

 





IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: Voices of small people—the story of Dana Jamal

On 12 October 2012, in the Sharazur District of Iraqi Kurdistan, twelfth grade student Dana Jamal decided to skip his sports class to study for his upcoming exam. In earlier years, the school planners decided that schoolyard trees were not necessary, leaving students to seek the shade of an eight-foot high stone wall. The government authorities decided not to listen to voices calling for repairs to dilapidated school buildings. Dana paid the price when the boundary wall fell on him as he intently read his book.


One of Dana Jamal's fellow students tells
about the day he died

In 1988, Saddam Hussein ordered many new construction projects in the Kurdish region, including Halabjai Taza, or “New Halabja” to prove to the international community that the reports of chemical bombing were greatly exaggerated. Now, the school buildings that he had ordered to be built in a hurry are cracking and falling apart.

For the past year, Dana’s family has pleaded for someone to take some responsibility for the tragic accident. However, everyone refuses to do so and blames others.  The Ministry of Education is currently appealing the court’s decision that holds it responsible.

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: The precarious situation of Bir al-'Eid and an invitation to advocacy for villages of Masafer Yatta/Firing Zone 918

Sample Letter of Concern about Firing Zone 918

The following letter was drafted by Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends to Representative Pocan.

Dear Representative Pocan,



An Israeli Civil Administration helicopter hovers above agricultural land adjacent to the
above agricultural land adjacent to the Al Fakheit School in Firing Zone 918, forcing a  
villager to move with his donkey. Helicopters routinely hover over the school and
surrounding agricultural land, disrupting classes for children and grazing for animals.

We are writing to you on behalf of the Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (the Madison Quakers).  We are the local committee that works with the American Friends Service Committee to promote peace with justice.  The belief of the worth of every person is one of the basic principles of the Friends.
 We ask that you submit a request to the State Department for a formal inquiry as to the legality of the forced demolitions in Firing Zone 918.
We believe the Israeli establishment of Firing Zone 918 on a piece of land where 1000
Palestinians currently live is immoral, and we believe it is illegal under international law.  
The forced removal of people from their homes and livelihoods in order to create a live ammunition military training space is in violation of the Friends’ core principle of promoting peace.  
We understand the Palestinians’ removal would be in violation international law.