CPTnet

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

 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 30 May 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers, 30 May 2018 Indigenous Peoples Solidarity

 

Pray for the conscience of Canadian Members of Parliament, that they will be moved to support Bill C-262 on 30 May. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is a blueprint for reconciliation.  A majority vote will ensure that Canadian laws are in harmony with UNDRIP.

As we anticipate the vote, the people who walked on the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights one year ago, including two CPT-Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team members, are attending Indigenous Cultural Camp at Blue Quills College, Alberta.  They are listening and learning of cultural traditions and spiritual ceremony practices of many Nations, especially those of Treaty 6, Alberta.  In this way, they are broadening their understanding of what solidarity means and increasing their ability to be strong allies with our Indigenous relatives.

COLOMBIA POEM: The mystery of love

Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP

 

And if they ask me, why have I lived,
why have I lost,
At this very moment I would reply, for the sake of love,
for the sake of love I have lost everything,
for the sake of love I have gained everything,
everything that matters to me,
everything does in fact matter.

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

COLOMBIA: "We are fighting the biggest monster, that is, the government."

 

 
 The diocese of Barrancabermeja provided the families of the victims burial plots, at the Garden of Silence cemetery, where eight of the returned remains 
are buried. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP

 

 

Luz Almanza, Jaime Peña and Rocio Campos have more in common than living around the same football field, the site of one of Colombia’s most horrific massacres. On 16 May 1998, all three lost a family member. Their organizing in search of the disappeared and defiance of state impunity is what binds them.

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018  Colombia

Pray for human rights defender Lilia Peña and her family as they heal from the trauma of threats to their lives.

On 9 May 2018,  witnesses state that four masked and armed men entered the home of human rights defender Lilia Peña, threatening the lives of her elderly father, her housekeeper and two of her grandchildren. For approximately twenty minutes the armed men held the group at gunpoint repeating several times to Peña—who pleaded with them to take whatever they wanted but not harm anyone—“We´ve come here to kill you b***h.  Through the window she noticed another man who gave a signal to the men inside. The four men grabbed a laptop, a projector, three  cellphones and left.  As they left they shouted, “If you scream we will kill you.”

Peña, the co-founder of the Regional Association for Victims of State Crimes (Spanish acronym ASORVIMM) has received threats on numerous occasions.  In 2013 CPT accompanied Lilia for several days after someone threatened to throw a grenade into her house.  

Being a human rights activist like Lilia is an incredibly risky venture. According to the Colombian government's Human Rights Protection Office(Defensoria del Pueblo) from January 2016 to the 27th of February 2018, 282 community leaders and human rights activists have been murdered.