Recent CPTnet stories

COLOMBIA: New death threats against CREDHOS president Ivan Madero Vergel

On 18 July 2016 the president of the human rights organization CREDHOS (Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights), Iván Madero Vergel received a threatening call on his cellphone, at 3:03 p.m.:

“F***ing dog, f***ing scourge we are going to cut you up, we’re going to kill you son of a b***, snitch; keep sticking your nose into places it doesn’t belong, keep making public complaints; you have 48 hours to leave the country”.  The call lasted fifty-five seconds.  Iván Madero hung up and proceeded to inform his other colleagues who were present during the call, and immediately they took the appropriate actions and called the police to report what had happened.

IRAQI Kurdistan: No place to hide

"When the bombing starts, where do you hide?" I asked Sultan.

 "There is no place.  Behind rocks, wherever we can. We all just run in every direction. Everyone has to find their own place.  Even the children."

 The last shelling started on 23 June at 10:00 a.m. and did not stop until after noon.  The farmer said over 160 bombs fell on the small area in those two hours.  After it was over, many animals had been killed and three children were injured.

In the Choman District of Iraqi Kurdistan high in the mountains near the Iranian border lies the Allana Gully CPT visited after hearing reports of a recent cross border shelling from Iran. The drive through the mountains to this remote area was slow. The road is an unpaved rocky path carved into the side of steep mountain ledges. In many places it is so narrow that the wheels of our vehicle came dangerously close to sliding off the edge.

 "When the bombings start, some families try to flee in their vehicles.  You have seen the road; it is very dangerous." Sultan pointed to the rugged path; it's the only road that leads down.

Sultan showing his daughter's injury. Photo by: Julie Brown

Sultan was one of the first people we met.  As soon as Sultan heard we had come to talk about the shelling from Iran, he summoned his daughter, a young girl with long blond hair.  He reached down and gingerly took her arm and lifted it up for us to see.  He explained that she had been hit by shrapnel.  Metal had entered her palm and lodged in her wrist.  She had to have surgery to remove the shrapnel, which a wound that went all the way through.  As I took pictures of her injuries I could see the trauma on her face.   

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 3, 2016 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 3, 2016  Palestine

Pray for the people of Susya who are once again facing the imminent expulsion from their village by the Israeli authorities.  Pray also that God will inspire volunteers to join Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine, which is extremely understaffed.

*Epixel for Peacemakers  August 7, 2016 
Photo: International Solidarity Movement
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:16-17
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common 
Lectionary readings.

MEDITERRANEAN REFLECTION: Hug Me


“Hug me” read the embroidered words on the teddy bear’s cap. 

Walking along the harbor of Mytilini, working your way past the shops and cafes found along the water’s edge, you can look out and see Turkey’s coast rising from the Aegean, seemingly only a stone’s throw away. If you turn your back on the amazing scenery and head into town and up the hill, you will find yourself passing from the commercial downtown to the mansions and town houses of residential Mytilini. 

Continuing on, winding your way through and climbing the hill, you leave that behind as well. That wasn’t where you would find the teddy with “Hug me” written on its cap anyway. You find yourself surrounded by large apartment buildings, somewhat rundown high rises, and simple shops owned by people looking to scrounge a living off of serving the families that inhabit these communities. 

Turning around at the top and looking back towards Turkey, you can see how incredibly close the two countries truly are. The journey can be made in a couple of hours in as simple a boat as a little rubber dingy. But the view is not the purpose of the climb up the hill, and you feel yourself getting nearer, hearing the Teddy’s call: “Hug me.”

Returning to your quest, you enter the cemetery. In German, the word is “Friedhof,” literally translating to “place of peace.” Once you talk your way past the grayard keeper, it truly is a peaceful location. Trees grant shade as you walk along the rows of pristine marble monoliths for the dead. As you progress, the trees grow fewer and further apart. The graves here are not so ornate. Much like in the town, you continue forward and find yourself among dilapidated graves bearing the wind-worn names of the dead. If you look carefully, you can see it: a seemingly discarded teddy bear, smudged and dirty, lying on a little mound of earth, simply asking to be hugged. 

Only when you leave the last of the marble graves behind can you see them: thirty or forty mounds, all pointing east, pointing to Mecca. These graves never bore names—simply genders, presumed ages, and dates the bodies washed ashore.  Teddy, blown from his seat upon one of the smaller mounds by the wind, is there too, right next to a stuffed caterpillar with a paradoxical smile frozen on its face.  “Hug me” not yet visible, you gather them up, placing them back nearer to their rightful owner, a young child who will never hug or be hugged again.

COLOMBIA PRAYER REQUEST: Judge orders Alvaro Garcia's hearing for Monday 1 August 2016

The judge has scheduled a hearing for Alvaro Garcia's case on Monday August 1. Pray that the judge release Alvaro on house arrest while the investigation continues. Pray that there be justice and transparency in the courtroom and pray for wisdom as the lawyers  begin to build their defence to prove Alvaro's innocence.

Sign our petition to free Alvaro and stop the criminalization of Colombian campesino leaders and human rights defenders: http://bit.ly/2aHaGzx

‪#LibertadParaAlvaro‬ ‪#Guayabo4‬ ‪#humanrightsdefender‬