IACPDA Press Release – Ashton Funds Egyptian Girls’ Education Inside Prison

 

IACPDA Press Release - Ashton Funds Egyptian Girls' Education Inside Prison

The International Anti-Coup, Pro-Democracy Alliance (IACPDA) strongly condemns the sentencing of 21 young women today by the Alexandria Misdemeanor Court with sentences of up to 11 years were passed for a range of ridiculous charges including “public gathering” and “destruction of the entrance of a real-estate”.

Minors have been sentenced to juvenile detention for life in a serious violation of International conventions. Alaa Mohamed, spokesperson for British Egyptians for Democracy and an IACPDA board member said “the court’s ruling is a mockery of justice as not only has the court chosen to back an anti-democratic measure, which infringes the right to peaceful public assembly and protest, but it is also in contravention of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice.” Those arrested include 6 minors, who were interrogated, tortured and charged in further violation of the rule of law and were placed in detention with adults instead of being held in care homes.

 Catherine Ashton welcoming the Military Junta’s appointed deputy prime minister pledged 90 million euros of assistance to the regime. Alaa Mohammad further commented “it is disgraceful when a well respected diplomat such as Catherine Ashton claims to be funding a military Junta to enhance the access of young girls to education. The irony will not be lost that in the case of these young girls that have just been imprisoned, the EU monitors will have to assess compliance in the dungeons of the Junta and we look forward to seeing Mrs Ashton personally go and visit them to make sure this access fund is reaching them.”
 The arrest, arbitrary detention and the use of violence against women expressing their opposition to the practices of the Junta is in stark contrast to UN events to end Violence against Women.
 IACPDA calls for the Military Junta to immediately release the 21 young women and all those detained under these powers  and calls on the European Union to stop all aid to the Egyptian regime until democracy is restored and international conventions on freedom of assembly and protest are respected.
(Source / 28.11.2013)

PNGO and Human Rights Organizations Call for Immediate End to Civilian Suffering Due to Electricity

This is a Press Released issued by The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) regarding the impacts of Israel’s illegal siege on the impoverished population in the Gaza Strip.

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Network (PNGO) and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip express their deep concern for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the population of the Gaza Strip due to the continued tightened closure imposed by Israel on 1.8 million people and its impact on all aspects of their lives, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces.

PNGO and human rights organizations are deeply concerned for the aggravation of the crisis of electricity outages resulting from these policies which leads to an imminent humanitarian disaster seriously impacting all vital interests of the population, including water and sanitation services, educational services and all daily necessary vital services.

PNGO and human rights organizations are concerned that the deterioration in all aspects of the population’s life may further aggravate as a result of the continuous consequences of the Palestinian political split and the failure of its two parties to solve the power and fuel crisis which has been persistent since late June 2006 when Israeli forces bombarded the Gaza Power Plant.

PNGO and human rights organizations observe with deep concern the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population since 01 November 2013, when the Gaza Power Plant was forced off due to the lack of fuel.

Both governments in Ramallah and Gaza have failed to take any effective steps to overcome this crisis and its consequences, and accordingly all daily basic services needed by the population have disastrously deteriorated.

As a result of the crisis, electricity supplies to all vital facilities, including houses and health, environmental and educational facilities, have been sharply decreased; electricity is off for 12 hours and then on for 6 hours only.

PNGO and human rights organizations believe that the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip is essentially a result of Israeli systematic policies against the civilian population, including bombarding the sole power plant in the Gaza Strip in late June 2006, and decreasing fuel supplies to the power plant in the context of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

PNGO and human rights organizations are aware of the continuous deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the crisis of electricity outages, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli forces, which have created and perpetuated the crisis, including targeting the infrastructure of the electricity sectors, such as supply and transmission lines and towers, during repeated incursions into the Gaza Strip, or using fuel and other consumptive goods as a means to punish the population, and the Israeli authorities’ failure to meet their obligations as an occupying power to maintain the operation of medical facilities and water and sanitation services.

It is worth noting that the electricity crisis has become a serious challenge to normal life of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which poses imminent risks to all aspects of daily life due to its direct impacts.

Currently, the crisis has led to suspension of many health care programs and services, waste water treatment, water supplies, especially to high buildings, and educational services.

Vital economic sectors, especially workshops and commercial stores, have sustained large economic losses, due to Israeli attacks and the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Life for Palestinians living in high buildings has become extremely difficult due to the lack of electricity that is necessary to operate elevators and provide water supplies.

The crisis has also impacted the educational process and the economic and living conditions of the population due to their inability to provide alternatives to electricity supplies, especially with the high prices of fuel which the population cannot afford.

Additionally, the electricity crisis and the population’s efforts to find alternatives have caused horrible human tragedies. According to information of human rights organizations, 16 Palestinians, including 14 children and one woman, have died by fire, and 9 others, including 5 children, have sustained burns since the beginning of 2012.

PNGO and human rights organizations strongly condemn the failure of relevant parties to fulfill their obligations and take practical steps to ensure ending the suffering of the civilian population, while all justifications claimed by them are not acceptable.

There are concerns that the Gaza Strip may turn into an area of a disaster due to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions.

PNGO and human rights organizations believe that all concerned parties, including the international community, the occupying power pursuant to its international legal obligations and both governments in Ramallah and Gaza, should ensure protection of and respect for the inherent human dignity as a value whose waste can never be justified, or be subject to material or political bargains.

Causing this human suffering that may lead to loss of lives can never be justified.

PNGO and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip call upon all parties to immediately act to stop the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that take into the consideration the civilian population’s needs and ensure protection of their lives and respect for their basic rights, including supplying all consignments of medicines and foods and basic services that are necessary for the population. PNGO and human rights organizations emphasize the following:

1. Israeli occupation authorities are legally responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population and the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment, as Israel is an occupying power according to the international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

2. The international community is responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to its failure to fulfill its legal and moral obligation and compel Israel to lift the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

3. Both governments in Gaza and Ramallah must immediately and seriously act to end the electricity crisis, overcome the differences whose price is paid by the Gaza Strip’s population, abstain from pushing basic services and sectors into the political conflict, put an end to the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that protect basic rights of people and the requirements for their adequate living conditions.

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Aldameer Association for Human Rights

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Israeli forces raid home to arrest 4-year-old, dad says

Israeli occupation forces came to arrest Muhammad al-Majid, aged four.

Does the child pictured above look like a danger to you?

He does to Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem who woke him up in the middle of the night intending to arrest him, his dad says.

Milk and diapers

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reports today in Arabic:

Amid their frenzied campaign of arresting children in Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided the home of Zine al-Majid in the Saadia area of the Old City last week in order to arrest his son Muhammad, who is four years old.

The boy’s father told Wadi Hilweh Information Center:

“A big force raided our house at dawn on Thursday, and demanded to know the names of my children. So I told them and they said, ‘we have an arrest order for Muhammad.’ I was shocked and asked one of them if he was sure. Muhammad is only four years old! But the officer was not convinced and asked me to wake him up, and after he saw him he backed down from carrying out the arrest.

The father added: “I told the officer, ‘you want to arrest him; should I send milk and diapers with him?’”

He said that the officer questioned him about his son and his son’s friends and if he was in the neighborhood, under the pretext that an Israeli settler had been injured. He threatened to summon and interrogate the child if the accusations were established.

Targeting children

While Israeli detention of children so young is infrequent, it is not unprecendented.

Last year, in the village of Kufr Qaddoum Israeli occupation forces attempted to arrest Mo’men Shtayeh who was two-and-a-half years old.

More often, occupation forces target children who are just a little bit older. A harrowing video of Israeli occupation forces arresting several boys in Hebron earlier this year gave a glimpse into the everyday violence faced by Palestinian children living under Israeli military rule.

And Muslim Odeh, profiled by The Electronic Intifada last year, had been arrested 10 times and physically abused by Israeli occupation forces.

His age? Twelve.

Human rights organizations, including B’Tselem, report that Palestinian children areroutinely tortured and habitually threatened with rape by their Israeli captors, among other horrifying abuses.

Settler invasion

Odeh, like little Muhammad al-Majid, lives in the eastern occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, whose inhabitants are being systematically pushed out by government-backed settlers in order to build more Jewish-only colonies.

Israeli occupation forces frequently accuse Palestinian children of throwing stones at the settlers or occupation forces.

In February 2012, occupation forces destroyed a newly completed community center, described as “the only place for children in Silwan.”

As Israel continues its effort to drive Jerusalemites out of their city, even the children who bear the brunt of its violence are determined to stay.

Tayma Fteiheh, 13, a Silwan schoolgirl who writes rap songs, described what life was like for children in the area in a recent video from Defense for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI).

“All the houses here are under threat of demolition [by Israel] so that the settlers can build a park for their children,” Tayma said. “They want to throw Palestinian families on the streets so that they can build parks for their own children.”

“My dream is like the dream of any Palestinian kid,” she added. “It is to live in safety and not in the shadow of colonization, and not to feel crushed every time I leave the house.”

For children like four-year-old Muhammad al-Majid, there is no safety even inside their houses, as Israeli occupation forces can invade any time of day or night.

As of 30 September, 179 Palestinian children were imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, according to DCI.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Palestinian Home Demolished Near Salfit

[November 28, 2013] Dozens of Israeli soldiers invade Deir Ballout, demolish unfinished home.

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Property owner Ghanem Mahmoud Abdul-Karim stated that Israeli military bulldozers, accompanied by several armored jeeps, entered Deir Ballout town, west of the Central West Bank district of Salfit, at approximately 5 am, Thursday, and demolished his property. He stated that the demolished structure is 150 square/meters, and that the army previously served him three warrants against his property, alleging “it is not in the zoning area” of the town.

Abdul-Karim added that the army warned residents that any property built in the area would be demolished.

Israel imposes various restrictions on Palestinians in areas which fall under Israeli military and administrative control, in order to keep them away from the illegal annexation wall and to separate residents from their lands, isolating several communities and enabling its own illegal settlement construction and expansion activities.

According to data previously compiled by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Israel has demolished more than 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since the 1967 six-day war, when it began occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Home demolition is an act of collective punishment which affects entire families and one which is in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Egypt: the police state

Peaceful protesters holding up signs and chanting are not a threat to national security. The authorities and security officials are a threat to people’s security.

Some people ask me why demonstrations are still taking place and why the “revolutionary youth” are not giving the interim government a chance to implement “the roadmap” to democracy. This assumption fails to recognize that the only people who agreed to this roadmap are those in power; there was no general consensus.

With the Egyptian military’s removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power, local media immediately changed its narrative, de-humanizing in the process the pro-Morsi camp and praising the military that would save Egypt from “terrorism.” Since then they have been downplaying clear attempts by the authorities to stifle the ongoing revolution and to provide further protection for the police force whose brutal tactics provoked the uprising in the first place.

It was only two years ago that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was leading Egypt through its first “transitional period.” During that time thousands of protestors and activists were detained and tried in military courts, young women were subjected to virginity tests – which Sisi, Egypt’s de factoruler, condoned as a necessary step in protecting the army from accusations of rape – peaceful protesters were brutally murdered – the Maspero massacre, theMohamed Mahmoud clashes, and many more. All of these events took place under military rule – the very same military that now supposedly has Egypt’s best interests at heart.

The events of this year have confirmed that nothing has changed since then and that dissent will be crushed. The first clear sign of this was the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins at Nahda and Rab’aa in mid-August, the latter of which has been called the worst massacre in modern Egyptian history. On a basic human rights level, there should have been uproar at the atrocities that took place. Ironically, the Minister of Interior Morsi had appointed is the same minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, in power now.

On November 24, interim President Adly Mansour officially approved a new protest law granting the Ministry of Interior vast powers. This law requires ‘notification’ (subject to refusal) of the MoI a few days prior to planned demonstrations – defined as any public gathering of more than 10 people.

Violations of this law can result in large fines as well as jail sentences. On the other hand, security forces have the right to gradually increase their use of force on demonstrators, as long as they give prior warning, and to use water cannons, tear gas and clubs.

On November 26 a small number of peaceful protesters convened in front of Egypt’s Upper House (Shura Council) to object to the constitutional committee’s November 20 vote in favour of military trials for civilians. The ‘No to Military Trials’ group have been fighting to ban these trials since 2011; between February and September 2011 alone a supposed 12,000 civilians were on military trial.  In this video it is very clear that the ‘No to Military Trials’ demonstration was peaceful. The protesters were not in any way provoking the authorities, even though the Ministry of Interior was quick to accuse them of hurling stones at the police.

The way security officials handled the situation couldn’t have been more indicative of how the police state is alive and well. No safe exit from the demonstration was provided for the protestors, nor were they asked to leave prior to the police dispersal, as stipulated in the protest law. Instead, protesters were water cannoned and seconds later, a number of policemen, some with batons, and some of whom were masked or in plainclothes – in violation of the new law – charged at the protesters and forcefully detained those they could get their hands on. Not only were the #NoMilTrials protesters arrested, but both women and men were sexually assaulted, beaten, stripped and dragged along the ground during these arrests. For pictures, click here.

They were then hurled into a police truck, which apparently drove around central Cairo, and eventually arrived at New Cairo First Police Station. People were able to keep track of them as some had managed to keep their mobile phones and tweeted their whereabouts. Lawyers were not permitted to enter the police station. People had to bring clothes for the detainees, as many of them had had their clothes ripped off.

A number of those arrested are activists who have been at the heart of the uprising since 2011, some of whom won international awards for their work in human rights. According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression a total of 79 people were detained.

While this was taking place, the Minister of Interior notified the 50-member constitutional committee that the detainees would be released straight away. They also claimed that no women had been detained – but later released a statement saying they had detained female activists, but had returned them to their homes. In fact, a number of the arrested women were later dumped on the Cairo-Upper Egypt desert road, after being assaulted again.

As of today, 24 protesters remain in detention. On November 27 a prosecutorordered the arrest of two leading activists, Alaa Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Maher. Alaa has announced that he will hand himself over to the authorities on November 30 and released this statement. Ahmed tweeted “The human rights situation in Egypt has become worse than in the Mubarak era, now they arrest anyone trying to think about criticizing the government.”

However, six of the female activists released (dumped in the desert) went on November 27 to the district attorney’s office to turn themselves in, claiming responsibility for calling the protests. They also filed an official complaint against the Ministry of Interior for kidnapping, assaulting them and leaving them in the desert, and demanded the release of those still in detention. “Investigations” are under way.

Many justify the protest law by arguing that authorities in other countries have to be notified prior to demonstrations. But an important point of distinction is that authorities do not then sexually assault or murder detainees, or prevent their access to legal aid, let alone dump them in the desert. The Maspero massacre, for example, had started as an “authorized” peaceful protest, which rather undermines the argument that the use of force on November 26 was justified because it was not an “authorized” protest.

Instead of focusing on the actual crimes being committed across the country – the church drive-by shootings, for example – those in power have decided to focus on suffocating any sign of revolutionary forces. The only problem is that this battle will never end until justice is served. Peaceful protesters holding up signs and chanting are not a threat to national security. The authorities and security officials are a threat to people’s security.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Egypt’s new constitution limits Islamists’ ambition, goes for ‘civil state’

Secularists used their majority in Egypt’s constitution-drafting committee to vote in favour of rejecting the demands of Islamists on Islamic sharia and religious freedoms
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Commission to amend the constitution
After 12 hours of debate lasting from Wednesday afternoon into the early hours of Thursday morning, the committee charged with amending Egypt’s new constitution was able to reach a consensus on the preamble and most of the chapters of the country’s new national charter.The battle for drafting the new constitution’s preamble was particularly hard. The majority of secular members, supported by representatives of Egypt’s three churches (the Coptic Orthodox, the Catholic and the Anglican) and the Sunni Islam institute of Al-Azhar teamed up against the sole representative of the ultraconservative Islamist Salafist Nour Party, rejecting his last-ditch appeals that a “definition” of the principles of Islamic sharia be included in the preamble and the word “civilian” not to be used in describing the nature of the Egyptian state.

Mohamed Salmawy, the committee’s official spokesman, told a press conference on Thursday that “the representative of the Nour Party has not succeeded in gaining support for his demands.”

Salmawy, however, argued that “it is complete injustice to say that the Nour Party has joined the committee just to compel it to give a separate definition of Islamic sharia in the new constitution or stand against any word describing Egypt as a ‘civil’ state.”

This applies to all the committee members whose demands had not been completely met, said Salmawy.

Salmawy explained that during the 12 hour meeting, members voted in favor of drafting the preamble of the new constitution to state that “Egypt is a democratic state with a civil system of rule.”

As for Islamic sharia, Salmawy said the majority of members, including representatives of churches and of Al-Azhar, were able to reach common ground “in defining principles of Islamic sharia,” and that “the High Constitutional Court will be left with the final say.”

In 2012 when the current constitution was being drafted, Islamist Salafists teamed up with the Muslim Brotherhood to make sure that a new article was inserted that gave a definition of sharia.

The Nour Party representative, Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, decided to withdraw before the end of the committee’s meeting in the early hours of Thursday.

However, Salah Abdel-Maaboud, Nour’s reserve member, told journalists that “the Nour Party had refused to withdraw from the committee.” Abdel-Maaboud indicated that “the Nour Party has reservations about the words ‘civil rule’ or leaving the final say on interpretation of Islamic sharia principles to the High Court.”

“But we will stay and we will not take this as a final say,” said Abdel-Maaboud.

For his part, Salmawy said that “the description of Egypt as a civil system was necessary to reflect the 30 June revolution’s main slogan, which called for a separation between religion and politics.”

Salmawy also argued that “the adoption of the word ‘civil’ does not contradict with the constitution’s articles which grant the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) the right to name minister of defence, and refer civilians to military courts under certain conditions.”

“Some might say that these two articles lead to the creation of a military state in Egypt and that this contradicts with the word civil instituted by the preamble of the constitution, but this is not correct because this means an adoption of a very strict and limited definition of military rule, not to mention that the constitution grants other sectors, such as the judiciary, the right to name the prosecutor-general and senior judges,” he added.

In general, Salmawy indicated that after 55 closed-door plenary sessions, the 50-member committee has been able to conclude a second reading of all the constitution’s articles and put it to a preliminary vote.

Salmawy said the final draft would be put to a final vote on Saturday. “The committee’s internal bureau will meet tomorrow (Friday) to give a decision on how the vote will be held,” said Salmawy.

Salmawy indicated that members introduced two proposals; the first is that there is no need for an open televised meeting to hold a final vote on all articles as long as they had already gained consensus, while the second is that there should be a final vote in televised session, but on only articles which have not gained consensus.

If finally approved on Saturday, it would be the same date (30 November) that the 2012 constitution was passed by the 100-member constituent assembly under the government of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Salmawy said the committee’s chairman Amr Moussa will hold a press conference late on Thursday to announce further details.

Salmawy also indicated that in its Thursday morning closed-door meeting, the committee approved an article stating that “freedom of belief is absolute and the practice of religious rites is guaranteed and the building of worship places for followers of Abrahamic religions is to be regulated according to law.”

Salmawy believes that this major progress towards religious tolerance and freedom in Egypt, arguing that “it is the first time for an Egyptian constitution to state that freedom of belief is absolute.”

On other matters, Salmawy said the committee had voted in favour of eliminating any quotas of seats for specific sectors of society in the upcoming parliament.

“This does not contradict with the committee’s adoption of the principle of positive discrimination for marginalised sectors in society,” said Salmawy, indicating that “the new constitution decided that elected local councils in all of Egypt should reserve 25 percent of seats for young people from 21 to 35 years in age and 25 percent for women, while at the same time it is necessary that 50 percent of candidates for elected councils be representatives of farmers and workers.”

Salmawy indicated that the committee had decided that a mixed electoral system be adopted in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“This states that two thirds of seats will be elected via the individual candidacy system, and the remaining third via the party list system,” said Salmawy, adding that “the matter will be left to the president of the republic to issue a law regulating this system.”

Amr El-Shobaki, chairman of the subcommittee on the system of governance, said the mixed electoral system was adopted upon his personal proposal. “This system creates a balanced way to help individual and party-based candidates alike join the upcoming parliament,” said El-Shobaki.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Hammad in critical condition as hunger strike enters 211th day

Reem Hammad (left), daughter of Jordanian prisoner in Israel Alaa Hammad, participates in a sit-in organised by families of Jordanians imprisoned in Israel near the Prime Ministry in Amman on May 28, 2013

AMMAN – Jordanian prisoner in Israel Alaa Hammad, whose hunger strike entered its for 211th day on Thursday, was moved to another hospital on Tuesday following a critical decline in his health, according to activists.

The media team supporting Jordanian prisoners in Israel, Fedaa, reported that Hammad was moved from Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba to Barzilai Hospital in southern Israel.

A Palestinian lawyer was visiting the prisoner when Israeli prison authorities issued orders to take him to Barzilai Hospital, Fedaa said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Prison officers said the decision to move Hammad to another medical facility was due to security reasons, but the lawyer, Ezziddin Jabarin, said the decision was taken after the prisoner’s health condition deteriorated, adding that he was suffering from fatigue and had lost an alarming amount of weight, according to Fedaa.

Shireen Nafe, a member of Fedaa, told The Jordan Times that another lawyer defending prisoners in Israel went to visit Hammad in the hospital but was denied entry by prison guards, who said the lawyer should obtain a special permit to enter the facility.

Hammad was arrested while visiting relatives in the West Bank in 2007. He is serving a 12-year prison sentence for “resisting the occupation”.

Foreign Ministry officials were not available to comment on the prisoner’s situation despite several attempts to contact them by The Jordan Times.

However, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sabah Al Rafie was quoted by Al Rai daily as saying that the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv is following up on Hammad’s health condition, which she described as stable.

Hammad started his hunger strike on May 2 with four other prisoners who ended their strikes in August after Israeli prison authorities agreed to allow regular visits by their families.

The first visit was supposed to be on August 27, but no visits have been arranged so far.

According to activists, there are 26 Jordanians serving prison terms in Israel.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Rafah crossing remains open for second day in row

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities on Thursday allowed the Rafah crossing to stay open for the second day in a row, officials said.

Crossing officials on the Palestinian side said that 553 people have left Gaza for Egypt through Rafah since Wednesday.

Egyptian authorities rejected entry to 30 people, without clarifying motives for doing so, the officials added.

The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza’s 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by Israel beginning in 2007.

Rafah has frequently been shut down or operating at reduced capacity in recent months due to ongoing unrest in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and political tensions resulting from former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian military in July.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Khader Adnan detained during Palestinian Authority political arrest raid

khaderadnanOn November 27, Palestinian Authority security services detained former prisoner and hunger striking hero Khader Adnan, as he defended his cousin Farouk Moussa from political arrest from PA security forces in Arraba.

Khader Adnan was later released, but Farouk Moussa remains detained. The political detention of Palestinian activists is part of the practice of security coordination between PA security forces and the Israeli occupation forces, which has frequently led to arrests and detention of Palestinian resistance activists or people pinpointed by Israel or the PA by Palestinian Authority forces.

Khader Adnan engaged in a historic hunger strike in 2012 in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial. His 66-day strike secured an agreement for his release and played a major role in sparking a series of hunger strikes that has followed in the year and a half since Adnan’s strike.

(Source / 28.11.2013)

Mi’kmaq Warriors held as political prisoners for defending their land

 

Image via Warrior Publications https://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/

Indigenous peoples in New Brunswick, Canada have been engaged in an extensive struggle to defend their land and resources from large corporations and extractive industries. In particular, SWN, a US based corporation, is looking to engage in exploration and testing for potential hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on Mi’kmaq and Elsipogtog territories. These practices have been shown to be highly devastating to the environment, and enrich the corporations involved while further impoverishing Indigenous people while poisoning the land and water.

In response, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society alongside their people and allies have set up a blockade to prevent the SWN trucks from entering their land. They have been attacked on multiple occasions by the RCMP. As BASICS News describes, “Jim Pictou is a member of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, “the homeland security of the Mi’kmaq nation.”  Today, the Mi’kmaq, whose ancestral lands span much of the Atlantic region of Canada, are at the center of a developing resistance to hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ in New Brunswick, the process by which high-pressure water and chemicals are injected into the ground to remove natural gas from shale rock.  The resistance to fracking in New Brunswick has seen the development of a broad united front of native and non-native people.”

In the course of defending the land, several Warriors continue to be held as Political Prisoners by the Canadian state. They have been held in solitary confinement (now released from solitary due to mass support), taken from their cells, beaten, and abused for defending their land. They are asking for letters of support! Please write to: Coady Stevens, Aaron Francis, Germain Junior Breau, and James Sylvester Pictou at: 

SRCC 435 Lino Road Shediac, NB Canada E4P-0H6

Further resources: BASICS News Interview with James Pictou: http://basicsnews.ca/2013/09/mikmaq-warrior-societys-jim-pictou-interview-mp3-streaming/

Warrior Publications, ongoing updates: https://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/

BASICS News on the struggle on Mi’kmaq territory: http://basicsnews.ca/2013/09/mikmaq-warriors-arrested-in-ongoing-against-fracking-in-new-brunswick/

The following statement is supported by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. Add your name online: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1A30etYTp9c7aplDQe4CmNP50Ift3izLPi3rQNwcSRvw/viewform

Palestinian Youth & Student Solidarity with Mi’kmaq Blockade

A statement of solidarity initiated by the Progressive Student Action Front – Palestine and the Palestinian Progressive Youth Union. Endorsements welcome:From one stolen land to another, we express our highest solidarity with the Mi’kmaq and Elsipogtog people, the Mi’kmaq Warriors Society and the members of their blockade, defending their lands and confronting colonial resource extraction and profiteering. The blockade, which began September 30, closed Highway 134 in New Brunswick, in the Canadian state, in order to prevent devastating resource extraction (hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”) by SWN Resources, a large U.S. corporation.This blockade is a powerful action of Indigenous people exerting their right to their land, to protect it and prevent its exploitation and destruction taking place, and demanding justice, dignity and decolonization. SWN Resources claims the blockade has cost it $60,000 daily as it attempts to carry out natural gas exploration in the area for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a destructive process to extract shale gas that is devastating to the environment and water. 

The Mi’kmaq Warriors Society and their allies at the blockade were attacked on October 17 by approximately 200 armed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who besieged the blockaders, releasing tear gas, tasering protesters, using police dogs and firing rubber bullets. At least 40 land defenders, including Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock, Mi’kmaq Warriors, and reporters, have been arrested.

Indigenous people in Canada have faced genocide and crimes against humanity, including cultural genocide in residential schools, forced displacement, containment on reservations, controls on movement, and massive land theft and expropriation. They have been resisting for hundreds of years on their land, continually confronting settler colonialism and occupation.

As Palestinians, we also face a settler colonial occupier. We also face occupation, apartheid, resource exploitation, the destruction of our olive trees and the theft of our land and labour for a colonial settler project based on the dispossession, expulsion and oppression of our people. We are struggling to bring settler colonial rule to an end, along with the occupation and apartheid that it creates, and for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, expelled from their homeland for over 65 years.

The Canadian settler colonial state has been one of the foremost international supporters of our settler colonial occupier, Israel. Canada supported the partition of our land, and is now constantly heard in international arenas supporting Israeli wars against Palestinians and Arabs, attacking Palestinian rights, and labelling itself Israel’s best friend. Canadian state officials denounce Palestinian efforts to hold Israel accountable under international law for its crimes against Palestinians, the indigenous people of Palestine – at the same time that Canada attempts to quash and suppress international efforts by Indigenous people to seek justice, accountability and decolonization.

From Palestine to Turtle Island, we have one struggle, and we affirm our solidarity and common resistance!

Progressive Student Action Front (Palestine)
Palestinian Progressive Youth Union
Students for Justice in Palestine – National, ad hoc steering committee
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights – Calgary Chapter
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Western University
General Union of Palestinian Students – San Francisco
Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University (SAIA York)
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers University – Newark
Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine – Cornell University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Columbia University
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign Vancouver
Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign

To sign on please use the form or email: palestineindigenoussolidarity@gmail.com

(Source / 28.11.2013)