Christian Peacemaker Teams - Turn your Faith into Action for Peace https://www.cpt.org/ en IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement on the Sentencing of Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/10/21/iraqi-kurdistan-statement-sentencing-badal-barwari-and-omed-barushky <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement on the Sentencing of Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/21/2021 - 03:51</span> <div><p>21 October 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="296" src="/sites/default/files/badal%2Band%2Bomed%2Bsentenced.png" width="700" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Tuesday 19 October 2021, Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky were sentenced to one year in prison, accused of encouraging people to join violent demonstrations and charged under Article 222 of the Iraqi Penal Code (Law No.111 of 1969). They received time served, and Barwari expects to be released on 26 November.&nbsp; Barushky will remain in prison for other charges related to Article 2 of<b> </b>Law No 6 (2008) to Prevent the Misuse of Telecommunications Equipment.</p> <p>In court, Barushky, Barwari, and their lawyers raised serious concerns about the investigation and trial amounting to human rights violations.</p> <p>Barushky denied all accusations made in court on 19 October. He recounted that he was brought to the Asaish prison and beaten by 20 people after his arrest, including being hit in the back of his head with rifle butts. The Asaish put him in a 30-person cell with 130 other prisoners. Asaish officers threatened him during the investigation process.</p> <p>Barwari has lost 41kg since his arrest. He spoke openly about organizing demonstrations for teachers and pointed out that he had not committed any crime. He requested that he be able to bring witnesses to show his innocence. The judges did not allow the lawyer for the defence to call on any witnesses or play a voice recording in defence of Barwari.</p> <p>Their lawyers addressed several concerning issues: they were prevented from meeting their clients before the first trial, the investigation happened without the presence of a lawyer, their clients were forced to open their mobile phones, and they were not given a list of accusations or charges, despite numerous requests to the court and Security Council. The Asaish were also using intimidation tactics by being present at the only meeting the lawyers had with their client and in the courtroom. Their final statement pointed to the lack of evidence and stated that even the rocks and trees in Badinan stood witness to these men’s innocence.</p> <p>We heard no evidence that Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky in any way incited violence or were part of planning violent protests. The Security Council brought voice messages exchanged between Barwari and Sherwan Sherwani as evidence, which proved that Barwari was only interested in organizing peaceful demonstrations advocating for human rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.</p> <p>The Erbil criminal court took an important step in re-establishing people’s trust in the justice system when they refused the prosecution’s request for Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky to be charged with Article 156 of the Iraqi Penal Code (Law No.111 of 1969, as amended by Law No.21 (2003). Defendants charged under this article generally receive 20-year sentences for anti-state activities and terrorism charges.</p> <p>We hope that the courts continue to show their independence from political parties and that the trials of the other Badinan Prisoners are conducted fairly and justly according to the rule of law. As the lawyers rightly pointed out, it is not illegal to participate in or organize peaceful demonstrations in Iraqi Kurdistan.</p> <p>CPT stands in solidarity with the Badinan Prisoners and their families calling for the courts to take further steps to ensure the safeguarding of freedom of expression in Iraqi Kurdistan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 21 Oct 2021 08:51:00 +0000 Hannah 12576 at https://www.cpt.org TURTLE ISLAND SOLIDARITY NETWORK: Thanksgiving at Gidimt’en https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/10/14/turtle-island-solidarity-network-thanksgiving-gidimten <span>TURTLE ISLAND SOLIDARITY NETWORK: Thanksgiving at Gidimt’en</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/14/2021 - 08:39</span> <div><p>14 October 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/WhatsApp%20Image%202021-10-14%20at%204.15.03%20PM.jpeg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The RCMP are coming,” an alert came from watchers on the lumber road.</p> <p>“Get ready!”</p> <p>We CPT members donned our “Legal Observer” vests and, along with all the Land Defenders and settler allies, positioned ourselves strategically.</p> <p>Four Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers walked around the gate blockade and into the occupied pipeline construction site, speaking to no one. They began to check out the many further blockades on the road that prevented the tunnelling machinery access to the site. The Indigenous Land and Water Defenders watched and recorded their every move. The Wedzin Kwa pure headwaters must not be put at risk of pollution by this intrusion on Gidimt’en Territory.</p> <p>Reaching the campsite, the police, with disdain, investigated the kitchen and fireplace, poked their noses into tents, checked out the captive construction equipment and opened the tap on the large company water container draining it to the last drop. As they walked out of the site, two officers took apart a section of the gate blockade with wire cutters.</p> <p>This event happened on Friday of “Thanksgiving” weekend, or as it is known here, Indigenous Solidarity Day. On Saturday, the RCMP returned, but not by the road. They bushwhacked to avoid the gate blockade. The Land Defenders deployed a small drone to search for them, which the RCMP objected to when they came out of the forest. The RCMP did not appear on Sunday, but Haudenosaunee Peoples arrived, including Land Defenders from 1492 Land Back Lane.</p> <p>One has to ask, what is unclear about the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to which Canada is a signatory? States require the “free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples” before initiating projects on their territories. The pipeline corporation, the construction company, and the provincial and federal governments are clearly in violation of this declaration to which Canada has agreed.</p> <p>Then came Holiday Monday! Six RCMP officers walked towards the gate, and this time they were met by a large group of Indigenous Defenders walking towards them. “This is Gidimt’en territory! Get off our land!” The six police officers retreated to their vehicles and departed.</p> <p>But they will return soon and with heavy reinforcements. In the meantime, small houses are being constructed to further demark the land as Indigenous and assert sovereignty.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1484" hreflang="en">Turtle Island Solidarity Network</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1397" hreflang="en">Canada</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 14 Oct 2021 13:39:15 +0000 Hannah 12574 at https://www.cpt.org IRAQI KURDISTAN: Living in Love Not Fear https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/10/07/iraqi-kurdistan-living-love-not-fear <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: Living in Love Not Fear</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/07/2021 - 03:57</span> <div><p>7 October 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="520" src="/sites/default/files/244413865_4481322055284331_1244362109576850972_n.jpeg" width="800" /></p> <h6>People gather in solidarity outside of the courthouse, demanding freedom for the Badinan Activists</h6> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>by Rebekah Dowling</strong></p> <p>For the past year, our team in Iraqi Kurdistan has been accompanying 81 activists from the Badinan region.&nbsp; They have been imprisoned for speaking out against the government and falsely charged for acts of espionage and sabotage. I have been inspired daily by these activists who have continued to bravely live in love amidst incredible suffering.</p> <p>Years ago, I read 1984 by George Orwell, a novel whose characters haunted me by how quickly close friends and family could turn on each other as government informants. Winston’s neighbour is handed over to the thought police by his own children. Winston himself lives in constant fear of all his acquaintances and is eventually betrayed and betrays those around him in return. This story isn’t just a depiction of Soviet Russia, and it isn’t limited to fascist or communist governments. If you have spent time in peace or environmental movements in Western countries, you will be familiar with the general paranoia of undercover police posing as newcomers, based on many lived experiences of this infiltration tactic.</p> <p>To build transformative relationships and live out of a framework of love rather than fear, we need to balance this reality with a refusal to succumb to hurtful and alienating mistrust of strangers and friends. The Badinan Activists show us the power of trust in resisting a violent and oppressive system.</p> <p>The first trial I attended was on 12 July. Similar to many of the Badinan cases, the courts were charging Masoud Ali, Sherwan Taha, Karger Abas and Bandawar Ayoub under Article 156 of Law No. 111 (1969) of the Iraqi Penal Code. They were being accused of, “acts prejudicial to the security, stability and sovereignty of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.” The evidence against them was the witness statements of five of their friends and fellow activists.</p> <p>I can’t imagine what it would have felt like as they stood in that tiny cage in the courtroom. After almost a year in prison where they were threatened, starved and prohibited from contact with family and lawyers, they were finally before a judge. They may have held a slim hope that justice would be served, and they would finally be freed. But then the prosecution called their first witness, and it was their friend, their fellow prisoner. They would have experienced the same suffering and intimidation to sign a confession, and they must have wondered if their friend had succumbed to the pressure.</p> <p>The Judge read out the accusations and witness statements given to him from the investigation. These included serious plans to amass weapons for an armed group, give information to foreign governments and plan two assassinations of political party members. As the lawyers had been unable to meet the Activists before the trial, it is unclear if they knew they would be accused of these things. Perhaps from their own interrogations at the hands of security forces, or conversations they had had with other accused friends, they had gathered some information.</p> <p>The witness came into the room, facing the Judge and averting his gaze from his friends in their tiny cage. He was handcuffed and had lost considerable weight; many friends would have trouble recognising him. They are all in this state. Their hair had lost colour, and their clothes were tied at the waist to stop them from falling down. They have suffered, and we could see some of the physical evidence. But the witness stood tall. His name is Sleman Musa, and the following day, he will have his turn to appear before the Judges. He has a Bachelor of Law and History and was a headmaster of a school in Akre for four years. He has a wife and six children waiting for him to come home.</p> <p>He stood in the courtroom while families gathered outside yelled out for the release of the Badinan Activists. Their calls could be heard every time a prisoner walked through the door: “Azadi, Azadi!” Inside with him were parliamentarians and international observers who have not been able to secure his release, friends who stood caged together, three judges belonging to the political party that arrested him, and security personnel carrying Kalashnikovs. It must have taken a lot of bravery for him to give his statement, but he said it with force and confidence: “I am not a witness against these people. They are not criminals. I know three of them personally, and they were not part of any criminal group that I know of.”</p> <p>One by one, the other four witnesses were brought in, and their declarations were just as strong. Despite the threats against themselves and their families and despite knowing they are likely to be jailed for six years, they refused to succumb to the fear. They chose instead to live in love and defend freedom and truth.</p> <p>Before being arrested last year in a widespread crackdown on freedom of expression, many of these prisoners barely knew each other. Yet they have held together—fighting for each other through hunger strikes, court declarations and sneaking out information. They have even used their time in prison to advocate for other prisoners (who were not part of the 81) to break stories of untold political oppression.</p> <p>Through the strength of the Badinan Activists, we know that the story of 1984 isn’t the inevitable story of humanity under pressure. We can still choose love over fear.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 07 Oct 2021 08:57:53 +0000 Hannah 12572 at https://www.cpt.org TISN: Reconciliation requires https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/10/01/tisn-reconciliation-requires <span>TISN: Reconciliation requires</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/01/2021 - 02:22</span> <div><p>1 October 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/20210930_083832.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><strong>by Jim Loney</strong></p> <p>In the words of Murray Sinclair, a former member of the Canadian Senate and Chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2009 – 2015):</p> <p><b>“Reconciliation requires awareness, acceptance, apology, action, and respect.”</b></p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Reconciliation requires:</b></p> <p>On May 27, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the remains of 215 children were discovered in an unmarked grave at a residential school run by a Catholic religious order in Kamloops, British Columbia.</p> <p>The Canadian Catholic bishops had never apologized for the Church’s role in running these schools.</p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Awareness</b></p> <p>So we—Catholics, Christians, people of other faiths and no faith, members of CPT, Treaty people all—gathered every Sunday in front of Cardinal Archbishop Collins’ official residence with a request, a call, a demand: apologize now.</p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Acceptance</b></p> <p>Sunday after Sunday evening passed. We came with candles, tied ribbons, offered prayers, left notes and banners, and read the known names of children who died in residential schools. Other than one email, there was only silence. One vigiler wrote in chalk on the sidewalk outside Collins’ residence: “Talk – Action = Zero”.</p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Apology</b></p> <p>On 24 September, after decades of appealing, it finally came. “We, the Catholics Bishops of Canada, express our profound remorse and unequivocally apologize.”</p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Action Action </b></p> <p>In their apology, the Bishops promise to:</p> <ul> <li>Raise money in support of healing and reconciliation initiatives.</li> <li>Collaborate with and listen to Indigenous peoples.</li> <li>Educate Catholics.</li> <li>Provide records to help memorialize the unmarked child graves.</li> <li>Seek a papal apology.</li> </ul> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Respect Respect Respect</b></p> <p>We gathered again on 29 September, the eve of Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to solemnly acknowledge this long-awaited apology. And to call upon the bishops to make this apology real through heartfelt, persistent, long-term collaborative action.</p> <p>Apology + Action = Reconciliation.</p> <p>We are all Treaty people.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1484" hreflang="en">Turtle Island Solidarity Network</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 01 Oct 2021 07:22:26 +0000 Hannah 12570 at https://www.cpt.org Palestine: Their Power https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/09/23/palestine-their-power <span>Palestine: Their Power</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caldwell</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/23/2021 - 00:42</span> <div><figure><img alt="Soldier carry tear gas shells shouts in the direction of children" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/2021-09/210923_palestine_3.jpg" style="width:60%" /> <figcaption>&nbsp;</figcaption> </figure> <p><strong>By&nbsp;Ahmad Abu Monshar</strong></p> <p>In the land where people’s voices aren't heard by anybody, arresting and killing are part of a soldier's daily routine. To counter this power imbalance, Palestinians use cameras as a tool of resistance. By taking pictures and videos, Palestinians are doing everything in their power to protect their children from Israeli soldier harassment, a strategy to show the world their story and deliver their message.&nbsp;</p> <p>In my perspective, ‘good power’ is power in the hands of the people who need it, who resist and fight for rights and understand our humanity. But ‘bad power’ is power used against people to oppressed and humiliate others, similar to what Israel soldiers do to Palestinians.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.prisonexp.org/">Stanford Prison Experiment</a>, a prison simulation study from 1971, aptly proves the quick and dangerous corruption of power. Israeli military behavior mirrors this experiment with the means of power (weapons and support from their government) to do whatever they want to Palestinians. We, as Palestinians, play the arrested role without a choice. At Stanford, the experiment took place in a small prison controlled by observers and directors, but we live in an open-air jail where soldiers have space and power to take advantage of their power against Palestinians.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although it is not the only way to resist the illegal settlers and soldiers, documenting and filming what soldiers do can be effective. I’ve heard local community members say, “Let them hear and see what is happening and what is the truth” many times while I was holding the camera and filming Israeli soldiers while they commit human rights violations.</p> <p>For example, CPTers watched in April 2021 how Mona and Mohammed Al-Kurd, two Palestinian activists using their phone cameras, highlighted the situation in Jerusalem. Palestinians saw the importance of filming the violations and using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as tools to let people see what is happening through their eyes since TV channels failed to be neutral and to allow their audiences to hear Palestinian voices.</p> <p>Sometimes soldiers prevent us from using cameras because they are intimidated, and sometimes they smile at the camera while they make victory signs with their hands, dressed in their uniforms and brandishing their weapons. After watching them smile many times, I started to ask myself what they were trying to communicate with their response. Are they proud of what they are doing? Are they not worried about how they are portrayed in the media because they have unlimited power? It seems it is a reaction to an uncomfortable situation for them. They are trying to prove that they do not care. But in fact, their response reflects their worries about the power of the camera and how a photo could limit their power and discipline their behavior when in the public eye.</p> <p>For example, on the third Friday of Ramadan 2021, several soldiers were checking Palestinians trying to enter the Ibrahim mosque. While CPT was monitoring the area taking photos and videos, we noticed one soldier looked at the camera and raised his hand in the victory sign. After a few seconds, he recognized that this sign didn't represent what he was doing, so he lowered his hand and retreated from the area.</p> <p>In their constant threatening and triggering of Palestinians, the soldiers expect to get a reaction so they can justify using more power through weapons, checkpoints, bombs and humiliation, to keep their unlimited power and continue the oppression of Palestinians. That is what CPTers see in soldiers’ reactions, from the uniform they wear to the tools they use, holding their weapons and bombs close when they return to their checkpoints.</p> <figure><img alt="Soldier carry tear gas shells shouts in the direction of children" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/2021-09/210923_palestine_1.jpg" style="width:80%" /> <figcaption>&nbsp;</figcaption> </figure> <p>Checkpoints are not only a means to control the movement of Palestinians, but soldiers also use them as their bases, their "safe place" where they can recharge their power and a base from which to start their intrusions. This is why most shootings happen close to the checkpoints. Also, we noticed that when soldiers leave a place that they occupied, they are always in a group, not as individuals. As they are far from checkpoints, they are less powerful.</p> <p>Palestinians draw from a variety of resistance techniques, including filming the soldiers while they are killing and shooting Palestinians, but is it enough to deter the Israeli occupation? Of course not, but at least these cameras become a tool of ‘good power’ against weapons and bombs of the soldiers.</p> <figure><img alt="Soldier carry tear gas shells shouts in the direction of children" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/2021-09/210923_palestine_2.jpg" style="width:60%" /> <figcaption><em>Israeli soldiers detained a 13-year-old boy at the checkpoint. “I waited for more than half an hour, but they didn’t let me go. They let my brother go.” When a CPT member asked him why they were doing this, he said, “I don’t know, maybe they are bored or they hated me for something that I don’t know.” After half an hour, Israeli soldiers allowed him to pass.</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After spending a year monitoring the streets of H2 in Hebron, I have learned to analyze these dynamics of power and resistance every day. I experienced the power of the camera recently while documenting an incident. Israeli soldiers had detained a 13-year-old boy for over half an hour, after releasing his brother. Once I turned on the camera and started taking the pictures of this boy, the soldiers let him go. For the first time, I felt that I held equal power, even if it was only for a few minutes.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1415" hreflang="en">Palestine</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 23 Sep 2021 05:42:17 +0000 Caldwell 12568 at https://www.cpt.org IRAQI KURDISTAN: Updates on Turkish Military Operation Claw-Lightning https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/09/05/iraqi-kurdistan-updates-turkish-military-operation-claw-lightning <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: Updates on Turkish Military Operation Claw-Lightning</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Sun, 09/05/2021 - 07:02</span> <div><p>5 September 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="393" src="/sites/default/files/Ahmed%20shakir.jpeg" width="392" /><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="391" src="/sites/default/files/yousif%20aamir.jpeg" width="391" /></p> <h6>Ahmed Shakir, killed in a Turkish military bombardment 20 August&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Yousif Aamir, killed in a Turkish military bombardment August 20, 2021</h6> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Updates on Turkish Military Operation&nbsp;Claw-Lightning:&nbsp;The Civilian Impact in Iraqi Kurdistan from 23 April - 30 August 2021 (read the original report <a href="https://cpt.org/cptnet/2021/06/07/no-return-civilian-impact-turkeys-operation-claw-lightning">here</a>)</em></p> <p><b>Turkish Armed Forces attacks kill three civilians</b></p> <ul> <li>On 20 August 2021, Ahmed Shakir (40 years old) and Yousif Aamir (26 years old) were killed in the Batifa sub-district of Zakho. They were visiting Banke village resort when Turkish military forces started shelling the road with artillery, killing them both. Since they were tourists from Mosul, their family found out about their deaths two days later when Kurdistan Security Forces discovered their bodies.</li> <li>On 13 August 2021, Turkish military forces shot Ibrahem Hassan Mohamad (51 years old) while watering his fields in Dishishe village, Kani Masi. The villagers had been forcibly displaced by the Turkish military's Operation Claw-Lightning earlier this year. Ibrahem and 12 other civilians had come back briefly to water their fields, necessary to support their families. During a clash with the PKK, Turkey began shooting at the village from their new military base, hitting Ibrahem and killing him immediately.</li> </ul> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="589" src="/sites/default/files/Ramazan%2BAli.jpeg" width="800" /></p> <h6>Ramazan Ali, on CPT visit 20 June 2021</h6> <p><b>Turkish Armed Force attacks injure six civilians</b></p> <ul> <li>On 10 August 2021, 55-year-old Abdulrahman Yousif from Bosal village in Drakar sub-district in Zakho was injured in a Turkish bombardment while picking figs in his orchard.</li> <li>On 8 July 2021, a civilian from the village of Hirure was injured by shrapnel from artillery fire when the Turkish Military began firing at the village farmlands from inside their base.</li> <li>On 1 June 2021, Turkish military began firing artillery at Ramazan Ali, aged 70, injuring him while irrigating his fields in Hirure.</li> <li>On 26 May 2021, brothers Ali Muhsin, aged 16, and Hasan Muhsin, aged 20, were wounded by flying shrapnel when the Turkish Military shelled Bhere village, where they were guarding their flock of sheep.</li> <li>On 25 May 2021 Turkish Military fired artillery at farmers irrigating their fields in Dishishe village, the shrapnel injuring 20-year-old Bawer Ahmed.</li> </ul> <h6><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="599" src="/sites/default/files/hirure.jpeg" width="800" /></h6> <h6>A hillside in Hirure on 27 July 2021, still burning with fires started by Turkish military bombardments. Photo credit: Ayad Hrure</h6> <p><b>The Turkish Armed Forces have burnt almost 5,500 acres (22,500 Dunams) of farmland in Kani Masi villages due to Operation Claw-Lightning.</b></p> <ul> <li>Turkish Armed Forces have started fires through bombardments, shooting and the deliberate use of fire-starting tools.</li> <li>On CPT Iraqi Kurdistan’s visit to Kani Masi on 20 June 2021, villagers reported that the fires burning were started by both bombardments and Turkish soldiers entering the village at night to deliberately set fire to areas of farmland.</li> <li>On 27 July 2021, Turkish soldiers shot firearms directly into the village of Hirure from their new military base, burning 165 acres (670 Dunams) of farmland.</li> <li>As of 28 July, according to the Mayor of Kani Masi, Turkish military attacks on the farming and pastoral communities of the Kani Masi sub-district have caused an estimated 6 billion Iraqi Dinars (approximately 4 million USD) in economic damage.</li> </ul> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="632" src="/sites/default/files/kesta.jpeg" width="590" /></p> <h6>A Turkish bombardment in Kesta</h6> <p><b>As a result of the Military Operation Claw-Lighting, more than 1500 civilians fled their homes in Avashin and Kani Masi regions.</b></p> <ul> <li>Seven villages in the Kani Masi Region (Kesta, Chalke-Christiana, Dishishe, Adne, Ura, Seraro and Miska) and sixteen villages in the Avashin Region have been completely evacuated.</li> <li>Two churches have been closed, one in Miska, damaged in a bombardment, and one in Chalke-Christiana.</li> <li>One school, one hospital and several mosques have been closed.</li> </ul> <p><b>Two projects providing essential water to villages in Kani Masi have been destroyed.</b></p> <ul> <li>On 17 August, Turkish military forces bombed Hrure, Baziv and Kesta villages, destroying the water pipes for Baziv village.</li> <li>At the beginning of the operation, Turkish Armed Forces bombarded a water project in Adne, destroying the system that provides water to nine villages.</li> </ul> <p><b>Damage due to the Turkish Armed Forces bombing has caused major electricity outages eight times.</b></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 05 Sep 2021 12:02:47 +0000 Hannah 12564 at https://www.cpt.org IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement Condemning the Turkish Military Bombings on Civilian Areas in Shengal https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/08/25/iraqi-kurdistan-statement-condemning-turkish-military-bombings-civilian-areas <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement Condemning the Turkish Military Bombings on Civilian Areas in Shengal</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/25/2021 - 03:49</span> <div><p>25 August 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="384" src="/sites/default/files/ik%20statement%2024.8.jpeg" width="512" /></p> <p><span style="font-size:9pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none">The vehicle bombed by Turkey inside Shengal. Photo taken by a resident of Shengal</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>In early August 2021, the Turkish Armed Forces attacked civilian areas twice in Shengal (Sinjar), Iraq, killing four civilians and injuring at least 13 more.</p> <p>Shengal is the Yezidi territory that ISIS brutally attacked and controlled after the security forces fled the area in 2014. The Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), with predominantly Yezidi membership, was established to fight ISIS after its assault in 2014. YBŞ controls security in much of the area and is now an official part of the Iraqi Army. They have close ties to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) after receiving support in the fight against ISIS.</p> <p>On 16 August, the Turkish military conducted a drone strike and targeted a vehicle carrying YBŞ personnel inside the city of Shengal. The group was on a diplomatic mission to meet with Iraqi officials as part of President Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s visit to Shengal. The drone strike killed Seid Hesen, a high commander of YPS, and Essa Xweded, a YBŞ fighter. The three remaining passengers in the car were severely injured.</p> <p>The explosion from the attack also injured three civilians, Mahir Mirza Ali, Media Qasim Simo, and Shamil Abbas Brgis, who were working for Global Clearance Solutions (GCS). GCS is an NGO specialising in warzone de-mining, and the employees were clearing a nearby building of mines left by ISIS in their departure from the city.</p> <p>Following that, on 17 August,<b> </b>Turkey bombed the hospital in Skine village. The hospital was founded in 2016 by the YBŞ after the village was liberated from ISIS. The hospital, converted from an old school building, served the civilian population, Covid-19 patients, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and YBŞ fighters.</p> <p>The Turkish military directly bombed the hospital, killing eight people, including four healthcare workers: Ali Rasho Khdir, Sehdo Elyas Rasho, Haji Khdir, and Mukhlisa Sedar, as well as four YBŞ fighters guarding the hospital: Hamid Sehdon, Khdir Shareef, Rami Al-Salim, and Maithem Khdir Xalaf. Another healthcare worker, Habdi Sleman, was injured from the bombing.</p> <p>In the aftermath of the attack, as people rushed to help the injured and dying, Turkey bombed the area twice more, injuring nine more people trying to offer aid.</p> <p>The Turkish presidential office claims not to have targeted a hospital but a PKK base. Residents of Shengal deny this statement.</p> <p>Last year on 26 May, the Turkish military bombed another hospital in Safra village in the Suleimani governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan. That hospital has been unable to reopen for local residents due to the damage caused by the Turkish military’s assault.</p> <p><b>A coalition of NGOs, including CPT, CODEPINK, UPP and ICSSI, condemn the Turkish military attacks on civilians, civilian areas and medical infrastructure. We call on foreign countries to help with initiatives to rebuild Shengal after the war with ISIS and not contribute to the further destruction of cities and towns.</b></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 25 Aug 2021 08:49:23 +0000 Hannah 12562 at https://www.cpt.org Living wage as a way out of the social crisis in Colombia https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/08/23/living-wage-way-out-social-crisis-colombia <span>Living wage as a way out of the social crisis in Colombia</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/23/2021 - 03:40</span> <div><p>23 August 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="541" src="/sites/default/files/disculpe.jpeg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After the end of the binary world (Capitalism vs Communism), the reigning empires consolidated and expanded democracy as a system for organizing the social, political, economic and cultural life of societies across the globe. Thus, peoples and nations on different continents initiated democratization processes promoted by international organizations and States exercising global hegemony. Democratization has indeed brought progress in guaranteeing and accessing fundamental and human rights for many people. However, it has not been possible to dismantle the power structures present in this model that impact the daily societal relationships in the public and private spaces of our lives.</p> <p>Long before the COVID-19 pandemic appeared, which developed a new economic and social crisis, democracy and the capitalist system of production were already facing another severe crisis evident through local and global increases in poverty rates, together with the resurgence of violence and the emergence of new armed conflicts. These systems are built on distinctions, hierarchies and privileges that are not "natural" or fair. So, as these oppressive structures deepen, subaltern and oppressed sectors offer counter-hegemonic responses that seek to break the power relations that violate human dignity. In this context of resistance, local and international social organizations are advocating for a living wage that would close inequality and inequity gaps driven by privilege and the lack of empathy towards others.</p> <p>Colombia is a concrete example of what I’ve described above. Since the end of April, diverse social and popular sectors have converged for a National Strike, protesting against decades of abandonment and injustice that has affected broad sectors of Colombian society. Today, we see in the streets a variety of expressions of protest that are committed to creating dialogue, which has opened debates on a national level that the Colombian State and its governments have postponed for many years thanks to the use of military and police force.</p> <p>Included in these debates is the discussion regarding the level of inequality in Colombia and the lack of will of its political and economic elites to find a way out of the country’s social crisis. Faced with this problem, strike leaders proposed a guaranteed basic income, which would enable the sectors most affected by the economic and social inequalities to access fundamental rights and freedoms, seeing as Colombia is a democracy and a social State under the rule of law.</p> <p>But what is a living wage? And why is it an important measure to solve the crisis? The answer to these questions requires recognition that Colombia is considered a democracy under the auspices of a social State of law, meaning that the State is the only political actor with the responsibility and the duty to protect democratic values ​​such as human rights or freedom. The living wage is a concept that seeks to guarantee people a quality of life that enables them to develop their life projects. Likewise, it is considered a mechanism of social equity, understanding that social transformations occur by removing obstacles that prevent access to better educational, employment and economic opportunities. Furthermore, the debate takes on greater importance at this precise moment, because if we consider a living wage as an inalienable human right, vast sectors of Colombian society, who have historically suffered the effects of injustice, could enjoy a minimum economic security to cover their basic needs arising from the crisis. These injustices are the very reason that today the Colombian streets are a battlefield between those who demand job opportunities, better health and education, and those who seek to prevent any change that affects the status quo.</p> <p>I want to conclude by noting that the living wage alone cannot stop the deterioration that the crisis has produced in Colombian society as a whole—it is clear that other types of political, social and economic measures are needed to make real and sustained improvement over time—but it is a reminder that those who suffer injustices have the right to a dignified life and to have their humanity respected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 23 Aug 2021 08:40:23 +0000 Hannah 12561 at https://www.cpt.org Exiled and Stigmatized: Statement on the Displacement of Mining Communities in the Southern Bolívar region https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/08/17/exiled-and-stigmatized-statement-displacement-mining-communities-southern-bolivar <span>Exiled and Stigmatized: Statement on the Displacement of Mining Communities in the Southern Bolívar region</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/17/2021 - 12:38</span> <div><p>17 August 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="1067" src="/sites/default/files/Foto%20Sur%20de%20Bolivar%20para%20comunicado.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For decades, the residents of the Southern Bolívar subregion have suffered the impacts of violence associated with the armed conflict and territorial and economic disputes that various legal and illegal actors have developed throughout their territory. This context has caused farming, indigenous and mining communities to live under constant threat against their lives and experience systematic violations of their human and fundamental rights.&nbsp;</p> <p>Currently, a war is being waged in the subregion between the National Liberation Army (ELN), the 37th Front dissident group of the FARC, the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC), and the Colombian Military’s Joint Task Force Mars. This conflict that began last year has created a condition of vulnerability for the civil population that, on many occasions, has been caught in the middle of combat, suffering threats and assassinations of its community and social leaders. On 26 July 2021, Oswaldo Pérez—leader of the Mina Piojo community action board—was assassinated, unleashing the recent forced displacement of approximately 2000 people in the municipalities of Santa Rosa del Sur, Arenal, Morales and Montecristo. The cause of this serious violation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law lies squarely with the increase in confrontations between armed groups in the San Lucas mountain range.&nbsp;</p> <p>On 1 August, displaced families arrived at the Municipality of Santa Rosa to call on the municipal, departmental and national administrative authorities, guerrilla and paramilitary groups, and the national army to respect life, permanence in the territory and the non-involvement of civilians in the armed conflict. It is important to note that the population is not only being torn from their homes, but also faces stigmatization from local authorities and the media who have made dangerous accusations against social organizations. The social leaders and mining and farming families who belong to these organizations face increased risk to their lives as these powerful voices associate them as collaborators of a violent group.</p> <p>After several days of dialogue between the community, administrative authorities, state institutions and state forces—lacking clear answers or solutions that would guarantee a safe return for the more than 2000 displaced people and adding to the insufficient humanitarian assistance provided by the local entities and the stigmatization against social organizations—the communities decided to return to their territories without having obtained the minimum guarantees for their safety.</p> <p>Christian Peacemaker Teams witnessed the difficult humanitarian conditions that the displaced families experienced for almost nine days and of the work carried out by social organizations to improve conditions in the shelter where the communities stayed. In addition, CPT witnessed the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Jesuit Refugee Service, which made it possible to mitigate the complex humanitarian conditions experienced by the displaced population. Likewise, we express our concern for the safety and lives of the civilian population returning to the territory without explicit guarantees that resolve or mitigate the impacts of the war on those who have nothing to do with it.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, CPT expresses our solidarity with all the people who have been victims of violence and who today return home with more doubts than clarity. We call on the local authorities, the Colombian state, and the armed groups to respond to the following requests from the community:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">Construction of a Humanitarian Shelter in the San Pedro Frío township, which will serve to temporarily shelter people and families who are threatened by armed actors.</li> <li aria-level="1">That the state guarantee decent living conditions for the population as the most effective mechanism to defuse the conflict.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">That the authorities at all levels respect and not interfere in the Humanitarian Action for Life and Permanence in the territory, which will function through Pastoral and Community Dialogues.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">That the state respond to the region’s social challenges through other means than the increase in force and militarization of the territory.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">That legal and illegal armed groups do not involve civilians in the dynamics of the armed conflict.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>These calls to action would facilitate the construction of a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in the Southern Bolívar region, thus allowing the development of a dignified life for all the farming and mining communities located there.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 17 Aug 2021 17:38:02 +0000 Hannah 12555 at https://www.cpt.org We are Watching: Human Rights Report on Violence Experienced By Mi'kmaw Fishers https://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2021/08/05/we-are-watching-human-rights-report-violence-experienced-mikmaw-fishers <span>We are Watching: Human Rights Report on Violence Experienced By Mi&#039;kmaw Fishers</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/63" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Hannah</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/05/2021 - 11:52</span> <div><p>5 August 2021</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/IMG_20210727_114737.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the fall of 2020, the Mik'maw lobster fishers enacted their treaty rights and took to the waters. According to Treaty 1752 and the Supreme Court Marshall Decision of 1999, the Mi'kmaq have the right to fish outside of the state legislated lobster fishing season to create a moderate livelihood. For over 20 years, the state has delayed negotiations that would define what a moderate livelihood means, subsequently denying the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq. In September 2020, the Sipekne'katik First Nation decided enough was enough, they were tired of the governmental delay in ensuring their rights, and they opened their season. In response, non-Indigenous people attacked the Mi’kmaq lobster fishers, cutting traps, sinking boats, assaulting people, burning down a Mi’kmaw lobster pound, and daily threatening the Mi’kmaw lobster fishers and their allies. Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans responded inadequately and enabled the violence to continue.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><a href="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/Human%20Rights%20Report-%20Mi%27kmaw%20Lobster%20Fishers%202020%20%281%29.pdf">CPT has written this human rights report</a> </span></span></span></span></span></span>as a snapshot of the violence experienced by the Mi’kmaw lobster fishers in 2020. Nearly a year later, another lobster fishing season is upon us. Already the Mi’kmaw lobster fishers have received threats of violence.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>At CPT, our message is clear: We are watching! And we demand that the Mi’kmaq are able to enact their treaty rights unimpeded by settler violence or state bureaucracy. </strong></p> <p><a href="https://cpt.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/Human%20Rights%20Report-%20Mi%27kmaw%20Lobster%20Fishers%202020%20%281%29.pdf">Download the report here</a></p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1484" hreflang="en">Turtle Island Solidarity Network</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1397" hreflang="en">Canada</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 05 Aug 2021 16:52:04 +0000 Hannah 12553 at https://www.cpt.org