Recent CPTnet stories

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018 Lesvos

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 May 2018  Lesvos

Pray for the LGBTIQ+ refugee community on Lesvos who are both living with and who have fled persecution, discrimination, and violence because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

 On Lesvos there are approximately 8,500 officially registered refuges, 6,500 of them are residing in Moria camp, otherwise known as Moria concentration camp. The refugees who fill the barbed-wired walls are living in horrible conditions, have no privacy and no sanitary facilities to speak of. For the LGBTIQ+ community, Moria is a living hell. On a daily basis they have to deal with discrimination, harassment, verbal and sexual violence perpetrated by other refugees, the migration service and the police.

 - “Due to the way I dress, I am already subjected to mockery and homophobic abuse. People go as far calling me a mistake of nature, saying that I am shameful for my country. The same verbal abuse that I suffered in my country—it hasn’t changed here in Moria. […] For gay people like us, Moria is hell.” (Abigail, Cameroon)

 -"Three policemen surrounded me in the street in [Lesvos' principal town] Mytilene and touched my ass, only me, because I am effeminate. They asked if I had a condom with me.“ (Suad, Irak)

 No access to a fair asylum procedure. LGBTIQ+ people have to prove their identity during the asylum procedure during which time they also face homophobic and transphobic sentiments and remarks.

 "The interviewers told me I'm not really gay because I'm 'active'. The interrogators followed an "Islamic rule" that only the receptive partner in anal intercourse, "the one who is taken," is gay.” (Suad, Irak)

 For people who have to keep their sexual orientation secret their entire life out of fear, these things are horribly traumatic. Added to this is the fact that most of the translators also live in the same camps, and are therefore in a position that can endanger the asylum case of the LGBTIQ+ person.

 When the LGBTIQ+ person does not come across as “queer enough” in the initial interview,  the officials do not believe their story, and the person is at risk of getting deported back to Turkey or their home country. Especially the people who come from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cameroon are at risk of getting rejected. They are seen as “economic refugees” and their process gets quickly recorded and closed, while in their home-countries homosexuality is criminalised and LGBTIQ+ people have to deal with discrimination and violence on a daily basis.

 Find out more at Lesvos LGBTIQ+ Refugee Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers 2 May 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 2 May 2018  Iraqi Kurdistan

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LGBT_Flag_of_Kurdistan.svg

Pray for the LGBTQ+ community in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Pray for the safety of the community while they continue to struggle for their rights. Many LGBTQ+ community members receive death threats and face physical violence that can even result in loss of life. 
Pray for the transformation of the oppressive and violent situation in which they live. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: They are killing us because we are Kurds.

 

A villager from Sarkan telling CPTers about the bombing by the Turkish warplanes 

They were four friends, two of them cousins: Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad and Sherko Mahmud. Two graduated from the college of law to become protectors of people through law, and two were Peshmergas (Kurdish soldiers).

On 21 March, they celebrated the festival of Newroz in a popular mountain valley together with thousands of others. Newroz celebrates the coming of a new year and commemorates the people's liberation from tyranny.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018   Kurdistan

Pray for the people living in Afrin, Syria as they face NATO backed Turkish bombings.  Pray that that the Kurdish people in Afrin face the invasion of their homeland with courage.  Pray for the wounded that flood local hospitals and the workers that treat them. 


   

Afrin is a newly formed canton known as Rojava, which is part of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria with a majority Kurdish population. It continues to be bombed by Erdogan, President of Turkey, who launched the Olive Branch Operation on 20 January 2018. Erdogan has claimed that his mission is to secure Turkey's borders from Kurdish militias and he plans to move the Turkish military to Manbaj, Syria after conquering Afrin and the rest of the newly formed Kurdish democratic region Rojava. This operation is bombing civilians and their livelihoods, wiping out hospitals, schools and homes. Recent reports indicate the use of toxic gas in Afrin, where six people have been hospitalized. Afrin Canton's population is more than 500,000 people and it hosts around 120,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have fled the lengthy war in Syria.  Reports indicate that the Turkish invasion and bombing have resulted in the displacement of 17,000 people, numerous deaths and casualties as well as mass destruction that will require decades of rebuilding.  The people of Afrin have been seeking international solidarity to stop another war, while Syria has been struggling with a bloody and protracted war more than seven years. However, there has been too little response and all the international powers have turned a blind eye to the atrocities and the genocide that Erdogan is committing. We ask everyone to help the people of Afrin in these difficult times to stop another genocide and war in Rojava (The Kurdish Region of Syria).

Sign the CPT Iraqi-Kurdistan's petition to Stop the Attack on Afrin 

#AfrinNotAlone 

#TurkeyHandsOffAfrin 

#StopTurkeySaveAfrin