CPTnet

COLOMBIA: CPT accompanying CAHUCOPANA after threats to members by masked men

Later this week, CPT Colombia will be accompanying CAHUCOPANA to the First Regional Meeting of Women of Northeast Antioquia “In defence of the territory and dignity” taking place in Dos Quebradas.  As CAHUCOPANA prepares for the upcoming workshop, their members have received threats and harassment from armed masked men wearing uniforms with no identification, presumed to be Colombian military.

The following official complaint describes the harassment of Carlos Alfredo Palacio Usuga of CAHUCOPANA and Noemí Durango Pérez of the regional Women’s Team for Humanitarian Action and makes three demands:

  1. Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos and his government must act accordingly to ensure the respect of human rights in the region;
  2. Respective authorities need to investigate the case and those guilty be penalized according to the infractions of International Humanitarian Law and the violations of the communities’ human rights;
  3. UN High Commission for Human Rights in Colombia should monitor the situation and recommend a course of action for the Colombian government.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “Fingers should be used for voting, not shooting”; CPT reports on Iraqi election




CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team members at 14 May press conference

On 14 May, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan released to the general public via the media its new report regarding the recent Iraqi Parliamentary and Kurdistan provincial councils election. The report summarizes concerns of the five-member international election observer team, which CPT coordinated, based on what they observed during the 30 April election and the subsequent vote recount process. The report title, “Fingers should be used for voting, not shooting” refers to the Iraqi electoral symbol: an index finger dipped in ink after a voter casts a ballot, and the intimidating presence and dangerous activities of the security forces that CPT observed.  The five page report can be read here in English  and here in Kurdish.

Two major Kurdish TV channels and one journalist attended the press conference. The KNN TV channel used the report as one of its main news headlines and broadcasted it repeatedly for two days.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE REFLECTION: Through the window

[Note: The following reflection by a member of the May Aboriginal Justice delegation has been adapted for CPTnet.  The original is available here. ]

Two weeks ago on our Aboriginal Justice delegation, we attended bail court for people arrested and held over the weekend in Kenora, Ontario.  We hoped that our presence indicated to both the court employees and defendants that people were watching, that outsiders cared about what happened in that space.

The sharp gradient of power symbolized within the courtroom struck me.  The judge was literally front and center and at the highest point in the room.  His word was law and his orders carried out.  The defendant was cloistered behind glass panels at the side.  He could speak only when spoken to.  His fate was dependent upon the judgments of others.  Dynamics of structural oppression were also at work, from the racialized division of Anishinaabe defendants and white settler prosecutors, to the social, historical, and economic backdrop of the alleged crimes.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Election Day (Part II)—an interrupted abduction




CPTers report abuses they witnessed on 30 April election at a 14 May
press conference in Suleimani

At the request of the police officer and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) manager, two of our colleagues remained at the school mentioned in our previous release

My Kurdish female teammate and I went to observe a nearby voting station after having heard gunfire from that direction.  We arrived at the school ten minutes before the polls' closing time.  A group of men in military uniforms and armed with AK-47s blocked the entrance to the school.  An elegantly dressed man from the surrounding crowd approached us.  We could hear his anxiety as he said, “The situation here is very bad.  They should not be here.  We are not free.  This is not democracy.”  His words were supported by Iraqi electoral law, which grants authority for protecting the voting centers to civilian police, not military troops controlled by political parties.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) Excavations continue on Abu Haikel Land

 

The Israeli Antiquity Authority (IAA) continues to expropriate Palestinian land in Hebron, on the Tel Rumeida hillside.  On Sunday 18 May 2014, the IAA workforce, under the instruction of project coordinator Emmanuel Eisenberg, continued to cause structural damaged to the Abu Haikel land, deploying questionable and illegal archeological practices, while at the same time utilizing the Al Jobeh family’s land without the family's consent.

The excavations are illegal under Israeli law, according to the Oslo Agreement, which Israel signed in the mid-90s— a process jointly agreed upon by Israel and Palestine as a vehicle to peace and stability.  Article 2 of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement describes in detail how Israeli and Palestinians would jointly administer archeological projects in Palestinian territory.  The IAA has not abided by this agreement in Tel Rumeida.


Feryel Abu Haikel sits in nonviolent resistance to further expansion of the Israeli archaeological dig onto her land

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