Archive

October 23rd, 2017

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / IRAQI KURDISTAN: Broken promises -- Indigenous self-governance and Kurdish independence

CPTnet

23 October 2017

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY / IRAQI KURDISTAN: Broken promises -- Indigenous self-governance and Kurdish independence

by Rebaz K. Mohammed / Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Project

Today, while many are celebrating how far we have progressed in upholding human rights, the facts on the grounds offer a much less polished picture of the human-made systems running our world.

Being an indigenous person myself, a Kurd, I was always drawn to understand what has happened to indigenous nations around the world, including my own nation. How come a nation of more than 40 million people does not have a country of its own? As I expanded my horizon I found out we were not alone, many indigenous nations around the world suffer from the same injustice, especially indigenous nations on Turtle Island (North America). I soon realized that the basis of the oppression is the same: unadulterated racism, and the similarities are uncanny. 

Following World War I, the European colonial powers committed to support Kurdish self-determination and self-governance. The treaty of Sèvres promised the establishment of a Kurdish state after the fall of the Ottoman empire. This promise was broken when the Kurds were divided between four countries: Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. European powers then actively backed the quashing of numerous Kurdish revolutions and attempts to establish a state. Most recently, Europe, the U.S., and Canada have come out against Iraqi Kurdistan’s Sept. 25 independence referendum. 

referendum

Photo from NRT TV.

October 19th

CPT MEDITERRANEAN/LESVOS: Open The Islands – no more dead from cold! -- Solidarity groups and organisations call for urgent action

CPTnet
21 October 2017 
CPT MEDITERRANEAN/LESVOS: Open The Islands – no more dead from cold!

Solidarity groups and organisations call for urgent action as winter is coming for refugees in Greece

Over 100 solidarity groups and organisations -- including Christian Peacemaker Teams project on Lesvos -- are calling for urgent action from the Greek local and national authorities to prevent more refugees from dying in the cold as winter sets in once again. They expect more groups and organisations to join them over the next days and weeks.

Several places woke up on Thursday 12 October to find their neighbourhoods plastered with the emblematic picture of Moria camp on Lesvos, covered in snow last winter, while the collective has also launched a campaign on social media with the hashtag #opentheislands.

Six people who were seeking refuge and protection in Europe died in Moria last winter, their deaths linked to inhumane winter living conditions. Their families are still waiting for answers from the authorities as to how and why their relatives died, and for those who are responsible to be held accountable. Only last Sunday 8 October, a five-year-old Syrian girl died in Moria. The cause of death is yet unknown.

The collective of solidarity groups and organisations, expresses their shock and outrage at the current situation in the islands as winter sets in. Approximately 5000 people currently live in Moria camp, which has a capacity of around 2000. This includes the seriously ill, the disabled, pregnant women, many children including unaccompanied minors, and survivors of torture and other trauma. Many now live in woefully inadequate summer tents and have to sleep on the floor on thin sleeping mats or blankets.

A refugee forced to stay in Moria camp reports about the conditions:

“Living in Moria makes us all sick. In the morning you wake up in a cramped tent or container between other people. It smells disgustingly and I hate that I cannot wash myself properly. In winter it is freezing. Everything is soaked. When you wake up you cannot move your limbs. And you’re covered in ashes. Last winter we burned paper and plastic to stay warm. It is as if we were not human beings.”

 

Poster: No more deaths from cold

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos October 10-16

A week of occupation in photos: Oct 10-16
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Blindfolded, Beaten & Arrested

Pictured here: On October 13th, 2017 16 children and 2 adults were ambushed and arrested by the Israeli soldiers from the Givati Brigade. The 18 arrested were initially detained in a cage in checkpoint 56,  cable-tied,  kicked, and hit. 2 were released, whilst the remaining 16 were transferred to an Israeli police station where they were subjected to further physical and psychological violence. All 16 were eventually released without charge, but not before threats were made to their families and the safety of their homes.

(10/13/2017)

October 18th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayer for Alvaro Garcia, who is reuniting with his family, community and land after 18 months of imprisonment following his leading role in the struggle against displacement. Christian Peacemaker Teams - Colombia has been accompanying Alvaro's village of Bella Union and El Guayabo since 2013.


Today we hold in our hearts Alvaro Garcia, human rights defender and leader of Bella Union community's struggle against displacement, who was reunited with his family on Friday October 13 after 536 days of imprisonment.


We pray that Alvaro is gentle with himself as he transitions home,

that he can connect with his family and community in meaningful ways.

May he experience joy being back on his land.

May You guide him to remain grounded in his spirituality and strength as the criminal legal case continues,

grant him the patience and grace he needs to trust in the work of the lawyers and the social organizations that are supporting the process.

May he continue to keep his spirit alive as the land struggle persists.

May he lead his community with courage, bravery and resiliency.

May Alvaro know that he is accompanied in this struggle,

that he is supported by networks larger than Bella Union and El Guayabo.

Amen.

Alvaro Garcia's joy of release
                            Alvaro Garcia released!

October 17th

COLOMBIA: Palm Oil Company Retaliates After Las Pavas Receives Favorable Court Ruling

CPTnet

17 October, 2017

COLOMBIA: Palm Oil Company Retaliates After Las Pavas Receives Favorable Court Ruling

by Caldwell Manners

Twenty workers of palm oil company Aportes San Isidro on the morning of September 8 occupied and planted over one hundred palm oil tree saplings on the Las Pavas farm, only two weeks after the Consejo de Estado, Colombia’s highest administrative court, ruled in favor of the campesinxs of Las Pavas. The court’s decision affirmed the Colombian land institute’s (INCODER) finding that through the process of eminent domain the 3000 hectares of land in dispute belonged to the state. The responsibility now lies in the hands of INCODER’s successor, the Agencia Nacional de Tierras to implement their decision and guarantee the campesinxs’ right to return to their land.

A boy from las Pavas

A boy from Las Pavas plucks a palm oil nut. Photo: Caldwell Manners

October 16th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Mobilize for Peace Now!

CPTnet
16 October 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Mobilize for Peace Now!

On October 16, 2017, fighting broke out between Iraqi and Iranian militaries against the Iraqi Kurdistan forces along a new frontline in the oil-rich town district of Kirkuk. Reports of the violent clashes as well as the dead and wounded have reached across the globe. This is only the most recent escalation in violence and sanctions against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The effects of decades of war can be felt deeply throughout Iraqi Kurdistan while the region is still engaged in a battle against ISIS. Bombs and mortars still hit mountain villages in border areas where a thirty-year war continues to rage on between armed Kurdish fighters and the neighboring governments of Turkey and Iran. The landscape is dotted with camps housing people who fled war against ISIS while Iraqi Kurdistan is in the midst of a dire economic crisis drastically impacting its citizens. Memories of a lifetime of wars and sanctions live within the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Saddam Hussein’s campaign of genocide alone killed more than a 100,000 Kurdish civilians.

On September 25, 2017 the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan held a referendum to separate from Iraq. The outcome was an overwhelming majority voting for an independent Kurdistan. Since then, talks between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the governments of Iraq, Turkey and Iran have been focused on the timing and legitimacy of the referendum. Foreign troops have mobilized along borders of Iraqi Kurdistan as war drums echo loudly.

Iraqi forces armoured cars in Kirkuk
            Iraqi forces advance on Kirkuk, photo: dw.com / Getty Images/AFP/A. Al-Rubaye

October 13th

LESVOS REFLECTION: Moria is Like a Prison; asylum seekers face unjust and inhuman conditions in the government run camp.

CPTnet

13 October 2017

LESVOS REFLECTION: Moria is Like a Prison; asylum seekers face unjust and inhuman conditions in the government run camp.

By: Michael Himlie

“Moria is like a prison” stated a Kurdish refugee at a demonstration outside the camp. This is a phrase that nearly every refugee I meet and talk with on Lesvos says. “Moria is like a prison” I hear again as I walk alongside the four meter tall fence lined with razor wire, riot police on my other side. As I walk with a resident, or rather a prisoner of Moria, he explains to me the human rights violations and ill treatment of refugees by Greece and the wider European Union. He sleeps in a small room with nine others, receives one meal a day, has limited amounts of water and electricity, and considers a lucky day to be one where there is enough water available to take a quick shower.

Moria

October 12th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 12 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 12 October 2017

Prayer for Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine team and partners.  

Today, please, carry in your thoughts and prayers the Christian Peacemaker Teams work, presence and partners in Palestine. Please pray for:

1. Guidance around the new Settler Municipality and how the team can best support its partners and Palestinians in their continued resistance against these unjust structures.

2. For the children of the occupation who are growing up and having to face psychological, physical and verbal violence as well as restrictions to their play and their right to be a child.

3. For the team members to be able to sustain their important work.

October 8th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: In the lead-up to the referendum on independence Iranian rockets severely injure a mother of a five-year-old, burn fields and damage houses in Bine Rashkin

CPTnet
9 October 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: In the lead-up to the referendum on independence Iranian rockets severely injure a mother of a five-year-old, burn fields and damage houses in Bine Rashkin

by Julie Brown

On 23 September, just two days before Iraqi Kurdistan's scheduled referendum on independence from Iraq, Iranian military fired rockets at Bine Rashkin, a village sitting near the Iranian border in the Sidakan district of Iraqi Kurdistan. Kak Rashad, a CPT partner from a nearby village called CPT during the shelling saying, “Iran is dropping bombs everywhere. It is close to the houses and everything is on fire.”

Four days later, CPT visited the area with Rashad as our guide. He explained to us that one woman was badly wounded and in critical condition in the hospital and offered to take us to her house.

When we arrived at the woman’s home, kak Idris Saadi, a family member, told us about the bombardment of the 23rd and the the woman’s condition. She had been home with her five-year-old son when the attack took place. A shell landed about five meters from her home and the blast blew out all the windows and sent shrapnel tearing through the house. The woman was severely injured as shrapnel and glass from the explosion lodged within her body along one side

Damaged house from Iranian rocket
House impacted by the explotion of Iranian rocket, CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan

October 6th

FELLOW NOMINEE CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS CONGRATULATE ICAN ON WINNING THE 2017 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Christian Peacemaker Teams would like to share our sincere congratulations to the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). We extend our heartfelt thanks to ICAN for their tireless work in the past year, bringing together 122 countries in order to negotiate and sign a nuclear ban treaty at the United Nations. It is hoped that the ban will have a similar effect to previous international bans on chemical weapons and land mines. This is a significant achievement, and much needed in the current political climate.