Christian Peacemaker Teams - Turn your Faith into Action for Peace en Announcement: Development Coordinator Position Opening <span>Announcement: Development Coordinator Position Opening</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caitlin</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/13/2019 - 16:54</span> <div><p>Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks a full-time Development Coordinator to serve as a member of our Peacemaker Corps in expanding our financial capacity and building fiscal sustainability.</p> <p>Responsibilities include creating and implementing funding strategies, providing administrative oversight, cultivating major gifts, overseeing donor acquisition and renewal, writing and managing grants, organizing events, and participating in the overall work of the Administrative Team.&nbsp; The position involves close collaboration with a development working group and includes some international travel to meetings and/or project sites.</p> <p>Candidates should demonstrate passion for cultivating donors to support our work, commitment to grow in the journey of undoing oppressions, and ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a dispersed team across continents.&nbsp; We prefer someone with development experience and a focus on grassroots social change organizations.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>REPORTS TO: </strong>Administrative Director</p> <p><strong>TERMS: </strong>Full time, 40 hours/week, three-year appointment</p> <p><strong>COMPENSATION:</strong> $24,000/year</p> <p><strong>BENEFITS:</strong> 100% employer-paid health, dental and vision coverage; four weeks annual vacation.</p> <p><strong>LOCATION:</strong> Chicago strongly preferred.</p> <p><strong>START DATE:</strong> negotiable; position available as of August 1, 2019</p> <p><strong>TO APPLY:</strong> please submit electronically, in English, the following to <a href=""></a></p> <ul> <li>Cover letter stating motivation/reasons for interest in this position</li> <li>Résumé/CV</li> <li>A list of three references with e-mail and daytime telephone numbers</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>APPLICATION REVIEW BEGINS APRIL 12, 2019. See full <a href="">position description</a>.</em></strong></p> <p><em>CPT is an international, faith-based, non-profit organization that builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression.&nbsp; We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.&nbsp; We are committed to building an organization that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation.</em></p> </div> Wed, 13 Mar 2019 21:54:48 +0000 Caitlin 12194 at Borderlands: Resisting walls <span>Borderlands: Resisting walls</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/05/2019 - 10:16</span> <div><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="Normandy fence.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="720" src="/sites/default/files/Normandy%20fence.jpg" width="960" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>by Peggy Gish</p> <p>Walls take many forms. They may be words, glances, or actions that distance us from others, or physical structures that protect us from the weather or the vulnerable from further harm.&nbsp; But the walls we saw at the Arizona/Mexico border, on the Christian Peacemaker Teams borderlands delegation, were made of concrete, metal, or stone, or even from threats, meant to deprive people of their rights or shut out the tired, the poor, the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”—as the message on the Statue of Liberty says at a port of entry in the Eastern United States.</p> <p>There were walls made of steel slats decked with concertina wire. In some places it ran parallel to a second wall of layered metal mesh.&nbsp; In areas where water floods through arroyos during monsoon rains, large iron gates let the water flow through. Farther from towns were the original barbed wire fences constructed in 1880, with added razor wire, that sometimes crossed over with old railroad rails, called the “Normandy fences.” All are fortified by heavy technological surveillance.</p> <p>Ostensibly a means of security, these barriers are actually monuments to fear and racism, and an extension of U.S. colonial history, a reminder that the U.S. claimed half of Mexico’s territory after the 1846-48 war.&nbsp; They have been tools of control, keeping people of color in an inferior place and maintaining white supremacy. They cut through the lands of indigenous nations—violating their sovereignty and disrupting communities and ecosystems. Billions of tax dollars go to wealthy, private companies that build walls and run detention centers. Maria Padilla, member of the Mayo indigenous nation, and emergency room worker, reminded us that the nation-state operates as a police force on behalf of the rich—who have no border—while patriotism is expected of poor and working class, who are led to believe it’s for their benefit.</p> <p>The border wall isn’t intended to keep migrants out, only slow them down, to catch and detain them. With the increased militarization of the border area, migrants who feel desperate, but can’t cross legally, need to travel farther, into more dangerous areas to bypass detention. So they die in larger numbers, suffer more trauma, and are locked up in larger numbers for the crime of escaping desperate circumstances. Lupe Castillo, retired history professor with indigenous Hispanic heritage, termed this criminalization system “the invisible wall.”</p> <p>These are walls to tear down.</p> <p>In contrast are the many creative organizations and dedicated people along both sides of the border protesting and resisting the affects of the wall that sometimes risk their own safety by caring for and assisting migrants on their journey.&nbsp; Several cooperative businesses are creating alternatives to the economic deprivation and oppression that cause many to flee their homes.</p> <p><img alt="Butterfly mural, Carol Leland, 5-1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="948" src="/sites/default/files/Butterfly%20mural%2C%20Carol%20Leland%2C%205-1.jpg" width="1244" /></p> <p>Also resisting the wall are brightly painted murals on it near ports of entry. They tell the truth about the wall, or “erase” it, minimizing its power, refusing to let its ugliness define what role the border should take. So butterflies depict the freedom of flight migrants should have, wall slats evolve into piano keys, and a painted open door symbolizes the alterative we must work toward.</p> <p>Members of our delegation left the border feeling an urgency to tell the truth and find creative alternatives as we work toward a more just, welcoming, and less brutal society that builds—not more militarized walls—but more doors.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1396" hreflang="en">Borderlands</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1409" hreflang="en">Mexico</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1430" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 05 Mar 2019 16:16:40 +0000 Kathy Kern 12190 at CPT-Colombia rejects ELN violence and Colombian government response <span>CPT-Colombia rejects ELN violence and Colombian government response</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Sat, 03/02/2019 - 10:49</span> <div><p><img alt="elnbombing_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="530" src="/sites/default/files/elnbombing_0.jpg" width="800" /></p> <h6>Photo: Marcos Knoblauch, CPT</h6> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>by Pierre Shantz</p> <p>On the morning of Thursday, 17 January a car bomb exploded inside the grounds of the General Santander Police Cadet Academy in Bogota killing twenty-one (including the car driver) and injuring over seventy people. &nbsp;In a declaration sent on Monday, 21 January, the National Liberation Army (Spanish acronym, “ELN”), Colombia’s largest remaining guerrilla group, claimed responsibility. It declared the attack a legitimate act of war, because the attack was carried out against a police station. &nbsp;It also justified its actions by saying that the Colombian military carried out attacks against the ELN in December. The ELN had declared a unilateral ceasefire during December as a show of good faith in advancing a negotiation process that could lead to a permanent agreement.</p> <p>Former President Juan Manuel Santos began negotiations with the ELN in February 2017, but talks have been on hold since President Ivan Duque took office in August 2018. After the attack, he ordered an immediate reinstatement of arrest warrants against the ELN commanders negotiating in Cuba, demanding that they be immediately be extradited to Colombia. &nbsp;The U.N. publicly condemned the 17 January attack but encouraged the government to continue negotiating towards a political solution to end the war.</p> <p>Colombia has been living in a state of tense calm for the past two years as everyone has been waiting to see if peace would come through the agreements signed in December 2016 between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Spanish acronym, “FARC”). &nbsp;President Duque won the election last year partly based on his opposition to the agreement signed by former president Santos, because from his perspective the agreements were too soft on terrorists. This recent attack by the ELN has given him strong ammunition to do what he wanted to do since he took office: end the talks with the ELN that began with the former government.</p> <p>CPT Colombia rejects this act of violence just as we reject all acts of violence, whether it comes from the ELN who justifies its violence within the rules of war or from the government that&nbsp;justifies its violence in the name of fighting terrorism. The loss of life and the lasting emotional and physical trauma these violent actions have on society cripple the path for peace.</p> <p>Amongst those who believe that peace is achieved through dialogue and justice for everyone, many fear that the ELN’s attack on the police academy and Duque’s response of ending negotiations will send Colombia back to a time of intensified armed conflict.</p> <p>Colombia’s social, economic, cultural and armed conflict will not be solved with the laying down of the guerrilla groups’ weapons. There are other illegal armed actors including, right wing paramilitary structures that continue to intimidate society. Over 100 community and human rights leaders have been assassinated since President Duque took office in August last year. The agreements signed with the FARC in 2016 had succeeded in a small way to open the conversation around the root causes of the conflict such as land distribution, education, health, serious corruption etc. Unfortunately the bombing on 17 January gave President Duque and those who would like to shift the conversations back to war the fuel to do so.</p> <p>The political climate is tense, yet in spite of all the obstacles and varied opinions on how to achieve peace, on 21 January thousands of people marched across the country calling for an end to violence. Let us hope that those who wish to continue on the path of war hear this message.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1399" hreflang="en">Colombia</a></div> </div> </div> Sat, 02 Mar 2019 16:49:31 +0000 Kathy Kern 12189 at Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 February 2019 Iraqi Kurdistan <span>Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 February 2019 Iraqi Kurdistan</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/27/2019 - 09:16</span> <div><p><img alt="CPT action for release of Sherwan and other prisoners_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="640" src="/sites/default/files/CPT%20action%20for%20release%20of%20Sherwan%20and%20other%20prisoners_0.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Prayers for Peacemakers 27 February 2019</strong></p> <p>We pray for the immediate release of CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan partner Sherwan Sherwani and other journalists and civil society activists whom the government has imprisoned in Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan. We pray for strength to endure and freedom for all political prisoners in Iraqi Kurdistan and around the world. We also pray for their families and loved ones and for a day when freedom of expression is lifted up and cherished around the world.</p> <p>The security forces of Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan arrested Sherwan Sherwani under the pretext that he allegedly encouraged demonstrations in reaction to Turkish bombings that <a href="">killed six civilians in Iraqi Kurdistan in January 2019</a>. Sherwan is a journalist speaking out against corruption and a civil society activist whom CPT accompanied in 2017 when he and his family were receiving threats. On 3 February CPT was able to see Sherwan in prison during a surveilled meeting. However, on 13 February, special security forces took Sherwan out of the prison and moved him to their facilities. They did not allow either Sherwan’s wife Rugesh, nor CPT, who accompanied her, to see Sherwan. People that spoke to CPT about Sherwan's situation said that they fear the security forces might torture him.</p> <p><span style="line-height:14.399999618530273px"><span style="font-family:&quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;">Learn more about the <a href="">arrest of Sherwan</a> and other activists.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px">&nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 27 Feb 2019 15:16:36 +0000 Kathy Kern 12188 at IRAQI KURDISTAN: The killing of Himda'at Othman Darwish and the occupation of Barmiza Village. <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: The killing of Himda&#039;at Othman Darwish and the occupation of Barmiza Village.</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/26/2019 - 11:13</span> <div><p><img alt="IMG-20181113-WA0004_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="699" src="/sites/default/files/IMG-20181113-WA0004_0.jpg" width="700" /></p> <h6><em>Himda'at Othman pictured with his son</em></h6> <p>A Turkish war pilot fired the rocket that disintegrated the body of Himda’at Othman and shattered the lives of those who loved him. Himda’at Othman was not a man of war. In his early twenties, the oldest son of Othman Darwish and Jawhar Abdullah and with a wife and infant son of his own, he worked hard to support his family by trading between the parts of Kurdistan controlled by the two dominant political parties.</p> <p>At the time of the attack, Himda’at was returning home to his family’s village of Barmiza, a forty-minute drive from the arbitrary border dividing Kurdistan between Iraq and Turkey. The road was regularly used by the villagers to access their farmlands. “There were other cars on the road when the rocket hit his car. We don’t understand why…” his father, Kak Othman, told members of CPT.</p> <p>For the villagers, seeing the Turkish fighter planes overhead has not been rare, nor is hearing the echoes of bombs exploding on the distant mountain slopes. The mountains behind Barmiza have become one of the many battlegrounds of the war between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish state’s military forces. The PKK fight is a guerilla and political insurrection against the marginalization and oppression of Kurdish people in Turkey. The Turkish military, along with heavy weapons and ground forces, uses drones and warplanes not only to attack the armed fighters but also unarmed civilians, along with their homes, fields, orchards and livestock.</p> <p>The bombings in the area have been sowing deep fears among the residents of Barmiza, a major village of 250 households, whose primary way of life is farming, grazing animals and cross-border trade. In fact, many of the families have moved to Barmiza because the surrounding villages and fertile lands had become a war zone. The villagers knew that Turkish bombings killed civilians in other villages and in different areas of the border regions before. Nevertheless, the killing of Himda’at in the vicinity of Barmiza —nowhere near any armed guerrillas—in the daylight afternoon hours on 13 November 2017, was unprecedented and shocking. Himda’at was not a man of war. He was a husband, a father, a son, a friend. <img alt="The aftermath of the Turkish bombing that killed Himda’at Othman in his car." data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></p> <h6><em>The aftermath of the Turkish bombing that killed Himda’at Othman in his car. </em></h6> <p>A month later in December of 2017, Turkish soldiers entered the village. Some of Barmiza’s residents welcomed the soldiers and served them dolma, a traditional meal that Kurds share with respected guests.</p> <p>“This was very painful for us. The spies working with Turkey welcomed those who killed my son, and invited them into our mosque,” recalled Kak Othman, as he showed CPTers a mosque a few blocks downhill from his house.</p> <p>This interaction was the beginning of a Turkish military on-ground invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan territory that continues to this day. The Turkish army eventually left Barmiza, but began to build bases and outposts and construct roads that brought in more soldiers, together with heavy weapons. By June of 2018, the Turkish Prime Minister had claimed that their military had established itself as far as thirty km inside Iraqi Kurdistan.</p> <p>Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) visited Barmiza and Himda’at’s parents’ home for the first time on 13 November 2018 – the first anniversary of his death. Himda’at’s wife had moved with her baby son to her parent’s home, outside of Barmiza. The family told CPT that just a few miles from the village they can see and hear military operations involving warplanes, helicopters and artillery bombardments nearly every night and day.</p> <p>Jawhar Khan, Himda’at’s mother, invited CPTers to accompany her to her son’s grave. The group of women dressed in black mourned the ended life of her son under the looming shadow of a Turkish military base.</p> <p>Later on when back at the house, a relative of the family told CPT, “Turkey built thirteen bases around Barmiza,” and one by one he began to point them out. “Barmiza is a prison. We cannot go to take care of our fields or animals. We can not go to our land.” Kak Othman pointed to a herd of cows on a hill about 400 meters beyond the last village house. “This is the farthest we can go. If we go any further, Turkish soldiers will shoot us with their weapons.” The relative continued, “The only way out of the village is the road that you came on. Many families have already left their homes in Barmiza and more will likely leave soon.”</p> <p>According to CPT’s sources, the Turkish military continues to occupy more than 110 Iraqi Kurdish villages. In CPT’s estimates, since no precise numbers are available, more than 400 Iraqi Kurdistan’s villages and migrant farming and pastoral settlements live under constant threat of Turkish air and artillery bombardments.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 26 Feb 2019 17:13:26 +0000 Kathy Kern 12187 at Train with CPT: Join CPT'S Peacemaker Corps <span>Train with CPT: Join CPT&#039;S Peacemaker Corps</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caitlin</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/19/2019 - 15:29</span> <div><p>Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.&nbsp;Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression! Find the application online <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>APPLICATION DEADLINE is 15 March 2019.</strong> Please direct any questions and send complete application to <a href=""></a>.</p> <h6 class="text-align-center"><img alt="Training Group - 2018 Jordan_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="450" src="/sites/default/files/Training%20Group%20-%202018%20Jordan_0.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <em>2018 CPT training group in Jordan.</em></h6> <p>Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have participated in, or plan to participate in, a short-term <a href="">CPT delegation</a> or internship. &nbsp;</p> <p>Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from <strong>11 July – 11 August 2019</strong> in Colombia, South America where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.&nbsp;Trained Peacemaker Corps members are eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.</p> <h6 class="text-align-center"><img alt="CPT Training Graduates 2017.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="491" src="/sites/default/files/CPT%20Training%20Graduates%202017.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <em>2017 CPT training group in Colombia.</em></h6> <p>CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world. We are committed to work and relationships that:</p> <ol> <li>honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality,</li> <li>strengthen grassroots initiatives,</li> <li>transform structures of domination and oppression, and</li> <li>embody creative nonviolence and liberating love.</li> </ol> <p>CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression. &nbsp;We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization. &nbsp;</p> <h6 class="text-align-center"><img alt="Copy of IK-Training2.JPG" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="394" src="/sites/default/files/Copy%20of%20IK-Training2.JPG" width="600" /><br /> <em>2016 training group in Iraqi Kurdistan.</em></h6> <p>CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership. &nbsp;We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence. &nbsp;We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation.<br /> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1428" hreflang="en">Training</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:29:45 +0000 Caitlin 12184 at Important Announcement: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Program to close <span>Important Announcement: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Program to close</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caitlin</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:58</span> <div><h6 class="text-align-center"><img alt="IPS_11.JPG" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="416" src="/sites/default/files/IPS_11.JPG" width="600" /><br /> <em>Pictured: members of IPS participate in a Walk the Talk rally in favor of Bill C-262 in front of a local parliament member's office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2017.</em></h6> <p>It is with great sadness that Christian Peacemaker Teams announces the closure of our full-time Indigenous Peoples Solidarity program working in Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 territories of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.</p> <p>This decision was made as part of a budget plan that ensures CPT is able to remain financially stable in a difficult funding climate. CPT considered every option with great care before concluding that the closure of a program was necessary to create a balanced budget. The decision comes alongside other budget reductions that ensure the financial health of CPT.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although we are no longer able to maintain a full-time presence, CPT is committed to maintaining our Indigenous Peoples Solidarity work to the best of our ability, with the support of our full-time Canada Coordinator and the active Reservist community in Canada. CPT has also committed funds to develop an emergency accompaniment plan for our partners in Grassy Narrows, should our long-time partners need our presence in a time of crisis.&nbsp;</p> <p>We will continue to commit resources to advocacy for Indigenous communities in Canada, as well as offering workshops on settler colonialism, undoing oppressions, &nbsp;and nonviolence to educate settler (non-Indigenous) communities, and we will aim to offer delegations to those who wish to engage directly with our partners in Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 areas.</p> <p>CPT established a full-time Indigenous solidarity team after being invited by the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation in 2002, to accompany the community as they blockaded a logging road to defend their traditional land from clear cut logging. While accompaniment is ending, we deeply value our partnership with Indigenous communities and the importance of addressing settler-colonialism on Turtle Island (North America). We ask that all of the community of CPT and our supporters stand together in this important commitment, to ensure that the work continues.</p> <p>We ask for prayers for the IPS team in this time, as they do the most difficult work of preparing the program for closure.</p> <p>Please contact <a href=""></a> with any questions or comments.</p> </div> Thu, 14 Feb 2019 21:58:19 +0000 Caitlin 12183 at IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We are not terrorists, not ISIS; we are sons of this town; we are with you!” <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We are not terrorists, not ISIS; we are sons of this town; we are with you!”</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/12/2019 - 13:08</span> <div><p><img alt="1549973942263-2_1.jpeg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="400" src="/sites/default/files/1549973942263-2_1.jpeg" width="700" /></p> <h6>Sherwan Sherwani and Haji Rekani who were arrested during a peaceful protest in Duhok city.</h6> <p>On the 23 January 2019, the Turkish military killed six people in a cross-border bombing near the Kurdish town of Deraluk.&nbsp;&nbsp;Across Iraqi Kurdistan, many shared in the devastation of the families who lost loved ones, and the attack sparked outrage against the Turkish military presence in nearby Shiladze.</p> <p>A few days later, unarmed protestors stormed the Turkish military base on Shiladze’s outskirts.&nbsp;Press reports said the protesters took over the base and handed over captured Turkish soldiers to the local authorities. Two civilians were reportedly killed in the clash and up to fifteen were wounded. The KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) responded by accusing the demonstrators of rioting and inciting violence, and began arresting those involved, including some of the wounded civilians after they received medical treatment.</p> <p>On Monday, 28 January, Duhok civil society leaders began organising a support protest for the Kurdish victims in Shiladze and calling for a withdrawal of Turkish military forces from Iraq. Christian Peacemaker Teams met with Haji Rekani, a local teacher involved in the Duhok demonstration</p> <p>Haji Rekani explained how people have a growing anger towards not only Turkey but also the local government, who refuse to speak out against Turkish aggression in the region. He said that people need to work together to their human rights, although he fears that this government will not listen.</p> <p>As the protestors arrived at their meeting point in Duhok on 28 February, they found the Asaish (local security forces) waiting. Haji Rekani explained how they began indiscriminately arresting people in the area.&nbsp;&nbsp;They aggressively dragged him into a waiting vehicle with eight other people taking him to a large hall where another fifty to seventy-five people were also gathered.&nbsp;&nbsp;More Asaish security people, many of who were wearing masks over their faces, surrounded them and ordered them to to face the wall and not speak to each other.</p> <p>Haji Rekani at first refused this order and discovered that some of those arrested had not even attended the protest. “We are not terrorists, not ISIS; we are sons of this town; we are with you!” Haji Rekani tried to explain to his guards.&nbsp; It was also here that he first heard of the arrest of Sherwan Sherwani and other journalists.</p> <p><img alt="51195221_2150885078328052_5800280271559327744_o.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="525" src="/sites/default/files/51195221_2150885078328052_5800280271559327744_o.jpg" width="700" /></p> <h6>CPTers with Haji Rekani after his release from prison.</h6> <p>Haji Rekani and some other prisoners were released later that same day, but up to eighteen other activists and journalists, including Sherwan Sherwani, are still in prison and denied access to bail.</p> <p>CPT first began partnering with Sherwan Sherwani in 2017, during the independence referendum. He is a prominent advocate against political corruption in the KRG and was calling for independence only after an end to local governmental corruption. He began fearing for his life and his family after receiving a number of threats from internal security forces and asked CPT to advocate for him and provide accompaniment. At this stage his family and other advocates are uncertain about what will happen to him after his arrest in Duhok.Until last Sunday, CPT and Sherwan’s family were not even sure where he was being held and in what condition, with some fearing for his life.</p> <p>When CPT was finally able to gain access to a meeting with Sherwan Sherwani at Zerka Prison, the Municipal Police had taken over custody of him from the Asaish. They allowed CPT, as an international human rights organisation, to meet with him. However the head of the prison and another unidentified person were present for the entire interview.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;They did not allow Team members to record the conversation or take photos.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;They interrupted Sherwan when he began explaining why he thought he was imprisoned, and told him that he was not allowed to discuss politics with the team. Instead he told team members that he he had not been allowed to call his wife, that he did not have enough blankets and that the cells were too cold. The head of the prison put an end to the meeting after ten minutes, but did tell a guard to check the temperature of the cell.</p> <p>The General Director of Police told CPT that those who were arrested in Duhok had broken the law; they were causing trouble and the police were just doing their job. However, during the team's&nbsp;meeting with Sherwan Sherwani in Zerka Prison, he explained that according to the new laws people did not need permission to hold a peaceful demonstration; they only needed only to tell the media. However, he fears that if they charge those arrested under these old laws it will be under Article 156, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment. CPT supports the right of independent journalists to publish the truth without fear of reprisal from governments and other powers.</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> </div> </div> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 19:08:44 +0000 Kathy Kern 12182 at A threat to the Occupation: CPT Reservist denied entry to Israel/Palestine <span>A threat to the Occupation: CPT Reservist denied entry to Israel/Palestine</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/4" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Caitlin</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/04/2019 - 15:29</span> <div><p><em>by Alicia Rynkowska</em></p> <p>On January 31, 2019, I was denied entry into Israel, which adds my name to a long list of human rights advocates who also did not pass the political litmus test required for entry. After hours of interrogation, I was told that my work to “free the people of Palestine is a threat to the State of Israel.” For a government that claims to be “the only democracy in the Middle East,” this ideological exclusion and censorship reveals an intolerant and repressive regime.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> But these actions did not surprise me; over the last six years I have traveled back and forth to the West Bank, where I have witnessed the Israeli Occupation first hand. Since 2015, I have been part of the nonviolent human rights group Christian Peacemaker Teams, which works around the world standing with oppressed communities in their journey of resistance. CPT has been active in ah-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine, since 1995, working with Israeli and Palestinian partners to support Palestinians in their daily resistance of the Occupation and their struggle for human dignity.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="denial-stamp_2.jpeg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="618" src="/sites/default/files/denial-stamp_2.jpeg" width="500" /><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Every day Palestinians in Hebron are subjected to demeaning and dehumanizing behavior at the hands of the Israeli military. With 20 permanent checkpoints dividing the city, going to school or work becomes a difficult task. School areas are regularly doused in tear gas, sometimes in retaliation to children throwing stones at the fortified check points and sometimes merely as a show of force. The toxic fumes cause fatigue and disorientation, and prolonged exposure is known to result in respiratory problems. At night, home raids occur with no apparent reason other than to intimidate residents. The goal is to make life hard, to limit freedom of movement, to impose psychological warfare that fosters an environment of fear and trauma.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> One question I was asked during my interrogation was whether I had been part of any illegal demonstrations. Military Order 101 prohibits Palestinians from peaceful protest, and anyone breaching this order faces up to 10 years in prison. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression is something protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is party. But even the raising of a Palestinian flag is deemed a criminal act and banned in the West Bank. There is quite literally one law for Israeli citizens and another for Palestinians living in the West Bank; Jewish residents, known as settlers, live under Israeli civil law, whereas Palestinian residents live under Israeli military law. The differences in governance are stark.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Being part of CPT meant standing in solidarity with the Palestinian communities that these Israeli apartheid practices affect. We are on the ground to witness, record and, when appropriate, intervene in human rights violations conducted by the Israeli military. We stand at the checkpoints on school mornings and afternoons. We respond to emergencies 24 hours a day. We support families when their children are detained. We support our partners when they organize events and nonviolent demonstrations. We accompany families during harvest seasons, when settler attacks are most likely to occur, and spend time in villages under threat of demolition, often staying overnight when the bulldozers are most likely to roll in.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Everything we witness, we document, including (to the best of our ability) every tear gas canister, sound grenade, rubber coated steel bullet and round of live ammunition used by the Israeli military. All of the recorded information is compiled into quarterly reports, with a special school report each semester, to record the treatment of children and violations of their right to education. We share our reports with the international community as well as within our home communities, where we use them to advocate for Palestinian rights. It is our belief that only when full equality is achieved for both Palestinians and Israelis, a just and lasting peace will follow, and we work to that end. However, since September 2018, <strong>seven CPT team members have been denied entry into Israel,</strong> which has a direct impact on our work and our commitment to remain present within the community we support.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> June 2017 marked 50 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. For more than half a century Israel has oppressed, dispossessed and abused the human rights of the Palestinian people and now it continues to implement policies that will ensure it maintains control and promotes its interest. All the people living in Israel and Palestine have the right to self-determination. The occupation must end. So I say this to the State of Israel: I am a threat to your systems of oppression. I will endlessly seek a nonviolent solution to the violent reality you have imposed and I will always hope for the liberation of all peoples, and a just peace.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you would like to join me in supporting the freedom of Palestinians living under occupation, you can take action by:</p> <ol> <li><a href="">Donating to CPT</a> so they can continue to carry out their mission and work in the West Bank.</li> <li>Joining the ‘<a href="">No Way to Treat a Child</a>’ Campaign.</li> <li>Writing to your local representative.</li> <li>Going on a&nbsp; <a href="">CPT delegation to Palestine</a>.</li> <li>Checking out these other organisations for further information: <a href="">Breaking the Silence</a>, <a href="">B’Tselem</a>, <a href="">Jewish Voice for Peace</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="">Yesh Din</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ol> </div> Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:29:44 +0000 Caitlin 12180 at IRAQI KURDISTAN: A silence louder than bombs <span>IRAQI KURDISTAN: A silence louder than bombs</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathy Kern</span></span> <span>Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:32</span> <div><p><img alt="51049360_351945148984561_8280401723520974848_n_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="525" src="/sites/default/files/51049360_351945148984561_8280401723520974848_n_0.jpg" width="700" /></p> <h6>CPTers at the demonstration in Deraluk</h6> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>by a member of CPT Iraqi Kurdistan</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On 25 January 2019, we were on our way to visit Halania, a Kurdish village where a Turkish bombing ended 19-year-old Dunya Rasheed’s life. Our team has been to Halania many times over the past months and written several articles trying to raise the voices of Dunya’s family in hopes that something will help stop these acts of violence against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Each time we visit, we are welcomed warmly however the mood is always somber. As the team’s translator and also one of our Kurdish team members, these visits are especially hard on me. I have to soak in every word because I want to translate for my team in a way that is both accurate, but also conveys the emotion of the speaker. I want people to be able to retell these stories in a way that will make others care about our partners’ struggle and my country’s pain.</p> <p>Our team had decided that after meeting with Dunya’s family, we should also visit Deraluk, another town in Iraqi Kurdistan. Local media had reported that a Turkish aircraft dropped rockets killing four innocent men near Deraluk on 23 January, just two days before.</p> <p>Kak Rasheed, Dunya’s father, always says, “I am not only thinking about my daughter. We have to make sure this never happens to other people’s children.” Once back on the road, the team discussed our proposed visit to Deraluk. It had been a very tough morning in Halania and there was a long drive ahead, however, we all agreed that it was still extremely important to</p> <p>We entered Deraluk at 4:00 pm and immediately I saw a crowd of men gathered in the middle of the town. We parked our car and another teammate and I went to find out what was happening. What we saw as the two of us approached the square was a protest just starting against the recent Turkish bombing.</p> <p>Before entering the crowd, an Asaish (local security forces) wearing civilian clothing stopped us and asked who we were and why we were there.&nbsp;&nbsp;After we introduced ourselves he let us pass. As we made our way through the crowd, we started to take photos and videos to document the scene. People asked us, “Who are you and what does CPT stand for?” They welcomed us and they stared in curiosity at this strange group wearing bright red hats in a sea of mourners in black. We could see sadness and anger in their eyes.</p> <p>Two of the organizers walked toward us, they introduced themselves as lawyers as well as relatives of the six people killed. I was shocked when they said six! We heard on news that the Turkish bombing had killed four people. One of the men said,</p> <p>“Yes, in the beginning there were four: Two bodies that had been found and two that were missing. While we were trying to find the bodies of our family members we found two other people who had also been killed…. we still can’t find the other two bodies.” We were shocked.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;One of the lawyers told us that four of the martyrs were his relatives and the other two were his friend’s relatives.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the protesters called the two men over to read their statement because the media was waiting and ready for them. The two men asked us to join them. We stood behind the protesters while the family members began to read their statement in front of the group.</p> <p>After a few minutes three Asaish approached our team and asked for IDs and passports. A fourth security member made a call on his cell phone. We showed our identification, and then one security member asked if we had a document that proved CPT is registered with the Kurdistan Regional Government. The registration was in the car so I had to leave the demonstration and go and retrieve it. After I showed them our registration he looked at it, then said,&nbsp;&nbsp;“Okay, okay…” and gave it back to me.&nbsp;</p> <p>It was hard for us to hear what was in the public statement from the family and villagers: partly due to the large crowd but mostly because of the time we had to spend dealing with the Asaish. I had missed almost the entire thing.&nbsp;</p> <p>Not hearing the speech really upset me because I feel like local security is always trying to censor our voices as Kurdish people—especially activists and those who are trying to bring peaceful change in our country.</p> <p><after an="" as="" finished="" gathered:="" gentlemen="" of="" outpouring="" people="" questions="" several="" started="" statement="" talk="" the="" there="" to="" us.="" was="">Unfortunately, we had to leave them with a lot of unanswered questions. Some men invited us to drink tea with them at one of the teashops along the side of the street, but sadly, we had to leave. It was almost dark. Some of the people who were gathered shared their contact information with us and wished us a safe drive.</after></p> <p>During our three-hour drive back to the place we were spending the night most of the time was spent in silence.</p> <p>The next day, after visiting another partner who is also impacted by Turkish bombing and Iranian shelling, we began a seven-hour drive home to Sulimani. Just as we were almost home and I was looking forward to relaxing after these three very hard days on the border, local news had a breaking story. There was a demonstration happening in Shiladze (the neighboring town of Deraluk) and according to news sources, protesters and family members of those killed were marching toward the main Turkish military base in the town. There were many breaking news stories on local channels; “Turkish soldiers are shooting at the demonstrators.”, “Two protesters killed and several wounded”.</p> <p>The violent reaction from the Turkish military towards the protesters in the march sparked people to throw stones at the soldiers and eventually led to villagers taking over the base. Villagers then burned tanks and military supplies and then handed over the Turkish soldiers to the local police unharmed.</p> <p>An hour later, just as I arrived home, there was yet more heartbreaking news; I watched on local television footage of a Turkish F16 flying extremely low over the town of Shiladze. It was producing sonic booms and throwing flares to terrify the villagers. In the video you could hear a small child screaming in terror. Two of my team members were watching local news with me. I shared with them what was happening and we posted it on our team’s Facebook page. I asked myself, “ Why is my government so silent?” I answered myself, "They are silent like the others… there are many common goals among them all, the top one is to make money through war."</p> </div> <div> <div>Categories</div> <div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1406" hreflang="en">Iraq</a></div> <div><a href="/taxonomy/term/1408" hreflang="en">Kurdistan</a></div> </div> </div> Fri, 01 Feb 2019 18:32:50 +0000 Kathy Kern 12179 at