Archive

September 25th, 2017

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Family impacts of the Iranian cross-border bombardments

CPTnet
25 September 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Family impacts of the Iranian cross-border bombardments

by Julie Brown

Khatun Ali lives in Shora, a small village in the Choman district of Iraqi Kurdistan. She is the head of a household in an area that Iranian military regularly targets in a cross-border war between the Iranian state forces and the KDP-I or Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran. Khatun is a widow with three other people living in her home, a daughter-in-law, two small children and herself. One of her sons is a Peshmerga who is often away.

Woman in Kurdistan

Khatun Ali talking to CPTers at her home in Shora. Photo by: Julie Brown


“When my husband was alive, I lived like a princess honestly. I didn’t have a lot of responsibility. Now I have to look after a lot of trees, our herds and the children,” Khatun said as she pointed to the sheep grazing on the hill just behind her home. She told members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) of how her home and crops were burned three separate times during the time of Saddam Hussein but she and her family managed to rebuild. “We were poor then but we had a good life. Things in the region have improved but here there are no salaries, food, or kerosene and now we are scared.”

September 21st

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 21 September 2017

Sometimes we may think that people disappear only during wars or under oppressive regimes: more than 30,000 people during the dictatorship in Argentina, or 3,500 in Chile, among others. However, forced disappearances are a reality and a political strategy also under the so called "democratic governments." More than 4,000 missing indigenous women in Canada, 10,000 missing refugee children in European union, more than 60,000 disappeared in Colombia from the hands of various armed and state actors often receiving support from the United States of America.

Today we would like pray for justice and peace for the families and communities of the forcefully disappeared people. We would like to pray that they may find the truth of what happened to their loved ones. We also want to pray for freedom for those still alive and held for their political views, noncompliance or engagement in a struggle for rights and freedom of the oppressed. Today we carry in our thoughts and prayers Santiago Maldonado who the Argentine National Guard abducted in their violent attack on Mapuche indigenous community. We ask for his release.

A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons.
A man looks for recognizable faces on a banner with photographs and details of dissapeared persons. Photo: Caldwell Manners

September 19th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION. Disappearances in democracy: supporting Santiago Maldonado from Colombia.

CPTnet

19 September 2017

COLOMBIA REFLECTION. Disappearances in democracy: supporting Santiago Maldonado from Colombia.

By Marcos Knoblauch

Many people are missing here. And we lack many stories and truths. Throughout the world on the 30th of August, hundreds of thousands of victims of enforced disappearances are remembered. On this date the demand for justice and, above all, the search for truth is kept alive.

More than a month ago Santiago Maldonado was last seen during a repressive police operation against demonstrators in a town in the southwest of Argentina. An indigenous Mapuche community has for many years maintained a process of defense and reclamation of their ancestral territory of the community, a process to which Santiago had joined in solidarity. The forced disappearance of Santiago Maldonado has generated strong demands from local and international human rights organizations. On September 1, some 200,000 people marched to the emblematic Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires demanding from the State the appearance of the young man alive. According to an Amnesty International statement, "during the morning of August 1, 2017, about 100 members of the Argentine National Guard (GNA), a security force of a military nature, entered irregularly and violently into the territory of the  Mapuche Pu Lof in Resistencia community [...] According to the community, the GNA fired lead and rubber bullets and burned objects belonging to the families. "Santiago Maldonado was last seen there and some witnesses indicate that they saw the GNA hitting a bound man and throw him into a vehicle.

Protest in Buenos Aires 

Peaple gather at the historic PLaza de Mayo in Buenas Aires protesting the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado. Foto: Flikr – luzencor

September 18th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine August 2017 Newsletter- Why do you keep going back?, Restricted Movement and More...

 
 
Why do you keep going back?

At the end of August, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman announced that the Israeli Military will be issuing an order that gives official status to the Hebron municipal committee, which represents settlers occupying Palestinian land in the city of Hebron. This action not only violates the Oslo Accords and the 1997 Hebron Protocol, but also international law and means further colonization of H2. Read More

Restricted Movement

CPT team was recently invited to attend a meeting in Ramallah. As a team, we took a Palestinian service taxi, an orange van which holds seven passengers, to Ramallah from Hebron. On our way to Ramallah, Palestinians in the taxi put their seatbelts on before we left the Palestinian streets of Hebron, as it is law for Palestinians to wear a seatbelt on an Israeli road. Just as the taxi was going to pass an Israeli checkpoint, an Israeli police officer pulled the taxi aside. Four of the passengers in the taxi, including a CPTer, were not wearing a seatbelt when the taxi was pulled over. Once the taxi was parked by the checkpoint, the Israeli police officer opened the van door, asked for everyone’s IDs and inspected to see who was wearing a seatbelt. The police officer seized almost everyone’s ID except for my passport and my fellow CPTer’s passport. Read more...

 

Behind the Barricade

A new brigade, the Givati, have recently come to the Old City of Hebron to carry out Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. Last Wednesday, the Givati’s military presence was asserted when they arrested three Palestinian boys, ages thirteen to fourteen. As a matter of reference, Israeli soldiers are able to imprison Palestinian boys as adults once they reach the age of twelve years old, whereas Israelis cannot be imprisoned as adults until they are eighteen years old. Shortly after the aforementioned arrests, the Israeli soldiers established a human barricade, spanning more than three hundred yards, preventing Palestinians from walking and driving through the main streets of the Old City. Palestinian storekeepers were forced to close shops and soldiers conducted multiple ID checks. This detainment lasted for a couple of hours until soldiers went back to their military base, satisfied with the work they accomplished. Read more...

September 13th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 September 2017

Today we are witnessing the horrors of yet another genocide, that of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Reports talk about the indiscriminate killings, mass rapes, of homes and villages destroyed and deliberately set on fire. Especially revolting are horror stories of children slaughtered with knives. Abuses are rampant in the form of torture and other punishments.

"The brutality is unthinkable. They're killing children. They're killing women. They're killing the elderly. They're killing able-bodied men and boys," a human rights activist reports, "It is indiscriminate.”

We urge all peace loving people to come together and pray for Peace in this region of our world today.

 Banner #pray for Rohingya
Photo from Reuters

September 8th

PALESTINE/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Made in the USA -- Take action to stop military aid

CPTnet
11 September 2017
PALESTINE/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Made in the USA -- Take action to stop military aid

by Hannah Redekop

Lucas lay on the ground gasping for air, while his community frantically gathered around him, fanning his body and cracking open coconuts with hopes that the sweet water would revive him.  Moments earlier, on that day in June 2014, the Colombian riot police (ESMAD) had forced their way onto Guayabo farmland under illegal orders to evict the small farming community living on the banks of the Magdalena River.  The community had gathered in a line, hands held tight, to peacefully resist the takeover. ESMAD violently beat back several campesino farmers and then fired half a dozen tear gas canisters to disperse the community. Lucas, having inhaled the toxic chemical, had passed out while struggling to breathe.

Campesino man blocks the gate from riot police          A campesino blocks the entry to the farm during the June 2014 eviction in El Guayabo. Photo: Luca Zanetti

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: The different faces of society

CPTnet
8 September 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION:The different faces of society

by: Peggy Faw Gish

“So, what’s it like for the people in Iraqi Kurdistan?” my friends back home ask me over the Internet, now that I’m back on the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team.

My answer would probably start with explaining that, of course, Iraqi Kurdistan and its government, the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) continues to be the most secure and stable area of Iraq. It’s not so far in miles from Mosul, but is fairly removed from the battles with the “Islamic State.” From outside the country, it may appear that life in Iraqi Kurdistan is going smoothly, but from here, one can see that the average Iraqi Kurd is beset with various social challenges.

Girl students with Kurdish flags

September 6th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 6 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 6 September 2017

Pray for the nearly 800,000 "dreamers", who based on the US presidential decision are in danger of losing legally provided permission to work, study and live in the USA and of deportation to countries they left as children.

Your classmate, your colleague, your neighbor, your friend, your partner, the person who helps you in the shop, the person who shakes your hand in the church, any one of them could be a "dreamer."

"Dreamers" are called women, men, people who arrived to the United States of America as minors before their 16th birthday and have lived there since 2007 or longer. Most of them came from Mexico and different countries of Central America.

Yesterday the president of the United States announced the end of the program that has provided legal temporary immigration status to the "dreamers." Nearly 800,000 people will lose their legal protection and permission to work, study and live in the USA. They are in danger of being deported to places they have not known since being children or infants.

Let us pray for all those who came to the USA following the difficult decisions made by their families and adults around them. Let us pray for their safety and protection so that they may continue living their lives in the USA. Let us pray for all who act in solidarity with the "dreamers" and others deemed "illegal" by nationalistic segregation. Let us work together to change the increasingly restrictive and selective immigration policies of the countries we live in.

People holding banners: Protect all immigrants, and You say I'm just a dreamer but I'm not the only one.
           Photo from Al Jazeera

September 5th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos August 30 - September 5

A week of occupation in photos: Click photos for links 
View this email in your browser
 

Through Family Streets

 
Pictured here: Israeli soldiers and Border Police making a barricade around Israeli settlers and Zionists as they participate in a settler incursion while Palestinian families look on. This last week, the speaker for the settler incursion guided the tour through a new route, a route through Palestinian yards as families ate dinner. At least thirty soldiers and Border Police, and as many Zionists, walked through Palestinian families' homes during the incursion. 

(02/09/2017)

September 1st

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 1 September 2017

Prayer for members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society whose lives are in danger for voicing their opposition to the approaching referendum on independence, and for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team in their work. 

Ruling parties of Iraqi Kurdistan prepare the people of the region and of the world for an unprecedented referendum vote on independence of this part of Kurdistan to take place on 25 September. Many who support the Kurdish peoples' century-long struggle for self-determination cherish this historic event. For obvious reasons, Iraq alongside Kurdistan's oppressive neighbors and the USA oppose this political move. However, based on radically different grounds, also many Iraqi Kurds themselves declare: "No for now!"

"No for now" is a movement that a broad group of parliament members, business people, journalists, religious leaders and members of Iraqi Kurdistan's civil society started. They want independence but not on the current terms as dictated by the today's ruling parties. They ask for an open and direct democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of expression. Iraqi Kurdistan's security forces have used threats, abductions, beatings and other forms of violence to silence them. CPT in Iraqi Kurdistan accompanies some of the members of "No for now" campaign. This week the team published a report about these abuses against freedom to voice publicly one's concerns and opinions.

Please pray for Sherwan Sherwani, a journalist and human rights defender, Farhad Sangawi, a member of Parliament and journalist, Mullah Saman, religious leader and advocate for women rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, and all others who those with weapons attempt to silence. Please pray for the safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan team as they amplify voices and accompany those who speak against this oppression. Please remember in our prayers all those who do not keep silent in the face of tyranny and violence. Let them inspire and encourage us to follow their example.       

Please, read and share the newest CPT Iraqi Kurdistan report.

Two Iraqi Kurdish activists threatened by security forces
Photo: Sherwan Sherwani, journalist and human rights defender (left) and Farhad Sangawi, journalist and a member of Parliament (right), threatened for their involvement in "No for now!" campaign.