CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

 

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 April 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers  18 April 2018  Lesvos

Pray that the Moria 35 receive justice when they stand trial on 20 April 2018.  If convicted, they could receive sentences of up to ten years and/or deportation.

On 18 July 2017, thirty-five people were arbitrarily arrested during a violent police raid in Moria camp on Lesvos.  That morning a peaceful protest took place in Moria camp, where people demanded that the authorities lift the geographical restriction imposed by the EU-Turkey statement, allow people to travel to mainland Greece, and denounced the inhumane living conditions in the camp. During the demonstration, a confrontation occurred between the police and some of the protesters. An hour after this skirmish had ended, riot police violently raided the African section of the camp and arrested people at random. There is substantial evidence of brutal police violence during the raid, the arrests and in the police station. Many of the people arrested were not even present in Moria camp at the time of the protest. The Moria 35 all face identical criminal charges including arson, resisting arrest, attempted assault, rioting, damage to private property and disturbing the public peace.  No credible or individual evidence appears to exist against any of them.  Authorities have kept them in prison since 18 July. The risk of conviction not only includes a prison sentence, but also an impending threat of deportation.

Members of CPT Lesvos visited some of the people in Chios prison to collect their personal stories in order to counter the state narrative that paints these people as criminals. The team acts as a part of a broader campaign that calls for justice and solidarity for the Moria 35. Pray for justice.

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018  Colombia

Pray that in the upcoming presidential election, Colombians will vote with a heart of peace and not of stone.

On 11 March Colombians voted for a new congress and on 27 May they will vote for a new President. Ivan Duque, right wing presidential candidate supported by former President Alvaro Uribe, a staunch opponent of the agreement between the FARC and the government, promises to make changes that could drastically derail its implementation.  Duque and Uribe argue that the agreement is too lenient, that former guerrilla members did not receive enough punishment for their crimes.  They prefer a system where FARC ex-combatants are imprisoned rather than receive an alternative sentence in exchange for telling the truth and providing reparations to victims of the conflict. The international community has called the agreement one of the best in history.  

This ambivalence has created a climate of uncertainty in Colombia, generating new levels of violence not seen since the signing of the agreement over a year ago. Although the agreement does not resolve Colombia's issues of violence and injustice, it has helped to bring an end to the war and to shift the focus to the root issues of inequality.  The Colombians most at risk for violence need the agreement to endure.

CPTer Esther Kern receives Muriel Duckworth Award for Peace Activism at VOW International Women's Day Dinner, Toronto

Esther Kern at her award banquet surrounded by her Christian Peacemaker Team colleagues

On Thursday, 8 March 2018, Esther Kern, former Canada Coordinator of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) received the Muriel Duckworth Award for Peace Activism at the Voice of Women for Peace International Women’s Day Dinner held at Friend’s (Quaker) House in Toronto.  She was a member of a select, influential group of women at the event to receive awards for such diverse contributions as Youth Peace Leadership, Peace Writing, Peace Activism, Peace Education and Award of Distinction. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 4 April 2018 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers 4 April 2018  Palestine

Pray for the children of Al-Khalil/Hebron, Palestine.  Pray for them as they walk to school through checkpoints.  Pray for them as their backpacks are searched by Israeli border police.  Pray for them as they run in fear from soldiers. 

Pray that in the midst of this all-encompassing occupation of their lives and land that their sumud—steadfastness, perseverance, and resistance— is strengthened.  Pray that the tear gas and guns and checkpoints and soldiers disappear.  Pray that the children of Al-Khalil will one day walk freely to school.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018  Kurdistan

 

Pray for the family members of the four men who died in a Turkish airstrike following the Newroz celebration of freedom. Pray that the protests that spread again over Iraqi Kurdistan remain nonviolent and bring about the changes the people demand.  Pray that the world not remain silent against the recent Turkish military invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan that threatens the lives of many communities. 

 Iraqi Kurdistan’s six-months-long blockade has ended. The Iraqi authorities have finally lifted the ban on international flights to and from the region. The first airplanes from neighboring countries began landing again in the region’s capital Erbil. Sulaimani is still waiting for the reopening of flights.

At the same time, the Turkish military, encouraged by the silence and inactivity of the international community towards their bombardment and invasion of Syrian Afrin, which killed hundreds and forced over 150,000 people to flee their homes, invaded the border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish ground forces are about fifteen miles deep within the Iraqi Kurdistan territory (Sidakan district), building bases and attacking armed groups. Farmers and shepherds, many of whom CPT partners with, are under great threat.

 On 21 March, Kurds and other people around the world celebrated Newroz, the coming of the New Year and the festival of liberation from tyranny. On the Newroz night Turkish fighter jets bombarded Sarkan village and killed four young men: Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad, Sherko Mahmud. Two of them were relatives of a close CPT friend. Our hearts are with their families and friends. 

This week, new anti-government protests spread around many towns and cities of Iraqi Kurdistan. Teachers, medical workers, and other government employees are asking for the government to pay their salaries. They march and gather in the public spaces and block roads. In the governorate of Sulaimani the security forces have taken on a peaceful, respectful approach even towards people who have set up tents and camp on a major road in front of the Sulaimani courthouse. We hope that the security forces’ attitude continues and the government hears and affirms the people’s demands. In other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, the security forces have beaten and arrested people, including teachers and journalists.