Iraq

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
March 2, 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

 

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have completed, or plan to complete, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 13 July – 13 August 2017 in Chicago, Illinois USA where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are then eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.   

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  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.  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. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 15 March 2017; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "I lost my sister. . .and I want everyone to know."

In Halania village, a black banner with a single white dove now marks the home of nineteen-year-old Dunya Rasheed commemorating her young life—a life that the Turkish military ended in a horrific act of violence.

Nineteen year old Dunya Rasheed.

On 30 June Dunya Rasheed, a high school student from Halania, Iraqi Kurdistan went to harvest nuts with her family. The village lands of Halania are in close proximity to a Turkish base constructed within the international borders of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish soldiers shot a rocket directly into a group of thirty villagers harvesting crops on their own lands. This attack ended Dunya’s life. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN URGENT ACTION: Write email to the Turkish Embassy asking for safe evacuation of 450 civilians in Pishdar District

 

Turkey is bombing the Pishdar District of Iraqi Kurdistan.  The constant, heavy shelling has trapped approximately 400-450 civilians, women, children and men, who are unable to flee.  The assault has set surrounding fields on fire.

 Please call and send emails to the Turkish Consulate or Embassy in your country urging an immediate stop to the bombing and asking that the civilian population can evacuate the area to safety.

 Send this email:

 (Contact information provided below.)

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 July 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 18 July 2018  Iraqi Kurdistan

 

 

Pray for the Kurdish villages that are under heavy bombings from the Turkish armed forces. Pray for the families that have lost their loved ones and those who have been displaced from their lands. Pray for an end to support of Turkish aggression against the Kurdish people in the region as well as western ambivalence.  And especially keep the family of Dunya Rasheed in your prayers as they mourn her lost life.

 On 30 June, nineteen-year-old Dunya Rasheed, a high school student from Halenia, Iraqi Kurdistan was killed as she harvested nuts with a group of family and villagers. The village lands of Halenia are in close proximity to a Turkish base that has been constructed within Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish soldiers shot a rocket directly into a group of thirty villagers, mainly children, while they were harvesting. This rocket struck Dunya Rasheed, piercing her basket full of nuts before passing through her body and immediately ending her life. 

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

Prayers for Peacemakers 2 May 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 2 May 2018  Iraqi Kurdistan

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LGBT_Flag_of_Kurdistan.svg

Pray for the LGBTQ+ community in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Pray for the safety of the community while they continue to struggle for their rights. Many LGBTQ+ community members receive death threats and face physical violence that can even result in loss of life. 
Pray for the transformation of the oppressive and violent situation in which they live. 

IRAQI KURDISTAN: They are killing us because we are Kurds.

 

A villager from Sarkan telling CPTers about the bombing by the Turkish warplanes 

They were four friends, two of them cousins: Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad and Sherko Mahmud. Two graduated from the college of law to become protectors of people through law, and two were Peshmergas (Kurdish soldiers).

On 21 March, they celebrated the festival of Newroz in a popular mountain valley together with thousands of others. Newroz celebrates the coming of a new year and commemorates the people's liberation from tyranny.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 March 2018  Kurdistan

 

Pray for the family members of the four men who died in a Turkish airstrike following the Newroz celebration of freedom. Pray that the protests that spread again over Iraqi Kurdistan remain nonviolent and bring about the changes the people demand.  Pray that the world not remain silent against the recent Turkish military invasion into Iraqi Kurdistan that threatens the lives of many communities. 

 Iraqi Kurdistan’s six-months-long blockade has ended. The Iraqi authorities have finally lifted the ban on international flights to and from the region. The first airplanes from neighboring countries began landing again in the region’s capital Erbil. Sulaimani is still waiting for the reopening of flights.

At the same time, the Turkish military, encouraged by the silence and inactivity of the international community towards their bombardment and invasion of Syrian Afrin, which killed hundreds and forced over 150,000 people to flee their homes, invaded the border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish ground forces are about fifteen miles deep within the Iraqi Kurdistan territory (Sidakan district), building bases and attacking armed groups. Farmers and shepherds, many of whom CPT partners with, are under great threat.

 On 21 March, Kurds and other people around the world celebrated Newroz, the coming of the New Year and the festival of liberation from tyranny. On the Newroz night Turkish fighter jets bombarded Sarkan village and killed four young men: Bezhan Mustafa, Mohammad Ismail, Darbaz Mohammad, Sherko Mahmud. Two of them were relatives of a close CPT friend. Our hearts are with their families and friends. 

This week, new anti-government protests spread around many towns and cities of Iraqi Kurdistan. Teachers, medical workers, and other government employees are asking for the government to pay their salaries. They march and gather in the public spaces and block roads. In the governorate of Sulaimani the security forces have taken on a peaceful, respectful approach even towards people who have set up tents and camp on a major road in front of the Sulaimani courthouse. We hope that the security forces’ attitude continues and the government hears and affirms the people’s demands. In other parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, the security forces have beaten and arrested people, including teachers and journalists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018 Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 February 2018   Kurdistan

Pray for the people living in Afrin, Syria as they face NATO backed Turkish bombings.  Pray that that the Kurdish people in Afrin face the invasion of their homeland with courage.  Pray for the wounded that flood local hospitals and the workers that treat them. 


   

Afrin is a newly formed canton known as Rojava, which is part of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria with a majority Kurdish population. It continues to be bombed by Erdogan, President of Turkey, who launched the Olive Branch Operation on 20 January 2018. Erdogan has claimed that his mission is to secure Turkey's borders from Kurdish militias and he plans to move the Turkish military to Manbaj, Syria after conquering Afrin and the rest of the newly formed Kurdish democratic region Rojava. This operation is bombing civilians and their livelihoods, wiping out hospitals, schools and homes. Recent reports indicate the use of toxic gas in Afrin, where six people have been hospitalized. Afrin Canton's population is more than 500,000 people and it hosts around 120,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have fled the lengthy war in Syria.  Reports indicate that the Turkish invasion and bombing have resulted in the displacement of 17,000 people, numerous deaths and casualties as well as mass destruction that will require decades of rebuilding.  The people of Afrin have been seeking international solidarity to stop another war, while Syria has been struggling with a bloody and protracted war more than seven years. However, there has been too little response and all the international powers have turned a blind eye to the atrocities and the genocide that Erdogan is committing. We ask everyone to help the people of Afrin in these difficult times to stop another genocide and war in Rojava (The Kurdish Region of Syria).

Sign the CPT Iraqi-Kurdistan's petition to Stop the Attack on Afrin 

#AfrinNotAlone 

#TurkeyHandsOffAfrin 

#StopTurkeySaveAfrin

Prayers for Peacemakers, 17 January 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers, 17 January 2018   Iraqi Kurdistan

Pray for members of the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan project, for the activists and communities that the team partners with, and for a miraculous transformation of the forces and powers behind the volatile and destructive political situation, both in the immediate area where the team works and in the wider region.

Please, carry in your thoughts and prayers members of the Iraqi Kurdistan team who have just regathered in Sulaimani to restart their work after a three-week-long recess. The team members needed time to rest, process the impacts of the time of high intensity work and stress and to rebuild their personal lives. Since beginning of January, the team has already engaged in some of the work and communication with partners, mostly from their homes. We are grateful that two CPTers from Northern America experienced a safe travel and successful entry to Iraqi Kurdistan. 

Please, pray for the team partners

- whom Turkish bombs and Iranian rockets continue to target, even in the cold winter weather, and who live in the proximity of the new Turkish military bases;

- the teachers, journalists, and nonviolent activists whom the security forces of the political parties beat, detained, wounded, harassed, as well as families who lost their loved ones, during the recent massive protests demanding political change.

Please, pray for a miraculous transformation of powers and decisions behind Turkish and Iranian foreign military actions. A miracle and a massive world-scale solidarity action might be the only chance to stop the Turkish invasion of Syrian Kurdistan and increased military operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.

 Please, pray for respect to mark the negotiations between the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments about the future relationship between the two, and especially the future of Iraqi Kurdistan’s autonomy. Pray that Iraq would cease its revenge campaign against the people of Kurdistan for the referendum on independence and would truly respect its own constitution. Iraqi Kurdistan must be able to maintain its autonomy and rights, especially in regards to movement of people and goods, as well as economic, diplomatic and internal, regional and international political affairs.   

With loving gratitude for your prayers, empathy and acts of solidarity,

Lukasz Firla, Project Support Coordinator for Iraqi Kurdistan team 

Partners of the Iraqi Kurdistan team: teachers asking for an end to governmental corruption and for their rightful salaries to be
 paid