Archive - nov 2009

noviembre 28th

IRAQ: CPT delegation jolted by historic and current realities Iraqi Kurds must face

"We want security and our neighboring countries to stay out of our country and villages," a group of twelve men displaced by Turkish bombing around the village of Terwanish in northern Iraq, said to CPT's delegation of international peace workers.  They told of Turkish airplanes flying low over their village, terrorizing the people, hearing the continual bombing of villages a few kilometers away, and the loss of their livelihoods and traditional ways of life.

noviembre 27th

COLOMBIA: Assassination follows Minga gathering at Sogamoso River Bridge

More than 500 people, including four CPTers, occupied the Sogamoso River Bridge on 12 October 2009 ("Columbus Day") to protest construction of a hydroelectric dam on the river.  The action was part of a national mobilization, called the "Minga of Communal and Social Resistance."  "Minga" is an indigenous term for collective action, and the indigenous movement is leading the way in the struggle for social and environmental justice in Colombia.   

noviembre 26th

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military confiscates electricity pylons; prohibits Palestinians from improving quality of life

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Palestine-On Wednesday, 25 November 2009, the Israeli military and Border police confiscated two electricity pylons standing at the entrance to the village of At-Tuwani.  The villagers had installed the pylons in an effort to connect to the electrical grid in Yatta, a Palestinian city to the north.  The Israeli military declared the area around the pylons a closed military zone in an attempt to prevent Palestinians and CPTers from obstructing or documenting the confiscation.  When two CPTers continued to film, Border Police slammed them against a military jeep and threatened them with arrest.  Nonetheless, dozens of villagers formed a barricade to prevent a police jeep from further entering the village.

noviembre 25th



Pray for water justice in the West Bank. The Israeli government claims the water from West Bank aquifers and Palestinian farmers whose livelihood depends on that water for their crops are denied access to it.

noviembre 24th

IRAQ: The horror of Halabja


The city of Halabja is in northeast Iraq, fifteen km from the Iranian border.  It became infamous for Saddam Hussein's gassing of its citizens as part of the Anfal Campaign that killed 100,000 Kurds during 1987-88.  Mr. Aris Agram from the Halabja Monument Association told CPT his personal story of loss and survival.

Early in 1988, in the final year of the Iran-Iraq war, Iran's troops invaded and occupied Halabja, supported by the Kurdish militia.  In response, Iraq began bombing the area.  From 13-15 March, there was heavy fighting in the city.  Casualties streamed to the hospital, which ran out of medications.  Then came 16 March 1988.  The Iraqi military dropped cluster bombs across the city, killing many children and the mothers accompanying them home from school.  They also dropped bombs with white phosphorus that eats through flesh down to the bone.  Then they dropped 500-pound bombs, which can blast craters twenty feet deep, and killed more people huddled in their home made bomb shelters.  Finally, they dropped the poison gas bombs that instantly killed 5,000 people-90% of those remaining in the city, mostly children, the elderly, or the injured who had not been able to flee.  Another 7,000 in the region were injured and many died later from the long-term effects of the gas, probably a cocktail of cyanide, mustard gas, VX, and Tabin-ingredients sold to Iraq by the U.S.A. and countries in Asia and Europe

noviembre 23rd

AL-KHALIIL/HEBRON: Whose water is it anyway?

A local partner and longtime friend recently invited us to document the damage caused by the confiscation of water pipes and the trampling of his crops. The Israeli military said the family was stealing water.  The truth is that the water he was accused of stealing comes from West Bank aquifers, and thus, should belong to the Palestinian community.

noviembre 20th

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Ask U.S. congress members before 24 November to sign letter advocating change in U.S. Colombia policy

From 6-24 November 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia will be circulating through the House of Representatives.  The CPT Colombia team asks that members of its U.S. constituency take action to protect human rights in Colombia by contacting their representatives to support the letter before it is sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The letter needs the support of at least seventy members of Congress to be effective.

noviembre 19th

IRAQ: Former CPT hostage Harmeet Singh Sooden returns to Iraq

Harmeet Singh Sooden has joined the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) delegation traveling through Iraqi Kurdistan 7-23 November 2009.  This delegation marks the first time he has returned to Iraq since he was freed from captivity four years ago. 

noviembre 18th

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers threaten Palestinian family, beat and rob CPTers

On Tuesday, 17 November 2009, in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, five Israeli settlers harassed a Palestinian family walking home, then beat and robbed two Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) members who were accompanying them.

The two young parents and their three small children were returning from the nearby city of Yatta to their home village of Tuba. At 11:00 a.m., they encountered CPTers just south of the village of At-Tuwani. After the CPTers warned the Palestinians about the settlers seen earlier in the morning, the family chose a longer path toward Tuba, accompanied by the CPTers.

As the group crossed Mashakha Hill, they saw four settler men on a ridge fifty meters above them. The settlers ran toward the Palestinians and began to circle them. A fifth settler, masked and hooded, appeared from the valley below. When the Palestinian man told them he was only trying to walk home, a settler shoved him.



Pray for just economic systems that honor the earth and all peoples living on it.  Colombia’s palm oil industry has been fueled by ecologically conscious North Americans, yet has caused the displacement of small farmers, destruction of wetlands and deforestation.