martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

European Governments Should Resettle Guantanamo Detainees

(Berlin, November 10, 2008) – European governments should provide humanitarian protection to those Guantanamo detainees who will not be charged with a crime but cannot be returned to their countries of origin for fear of torture or other serious human rights violations, five leading human rights organizations said today. European governments should agree to accept them into their countries and ensure they are provided with adequate support.Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, Reprieve, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) urged governments to work with the new US administration to take this important step in order to facilitate the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo. The human rights groups made their call after a two-day closed strategic workshop in Berlin, convened by the organizations with other international actors active on the issue of humanitarian protection. “We must find a solution to the 50 men imprisoned at Guantanamo simply because they have nowhere to go,” said Emi MacLean, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The US government has twice previously tried to send our client, Abdul Ra’ouf Al Qassim, to Libya even though it is undisputed that he would likely be tortured, or disappeared into Libyan jails, if returned. His survival depends on the simple humanitarian gesture of another country opening their doors to him.” It is the primary responsibility of the United States to find solutions for all those held at Guantanamo, since it brought them to the detention facility and is holding them there unlawfully. If the United States is not planning to charge and try them in ordinary US courts, and cannot release them to their own countries safely, it should immediately offer them an opportunity to be released into the United States. It is also clear, however, that governments in Europe and elsewhere can and should play a vital role in providing such individuals with humanitarian protection in the form of a safe place to get on with their lives after years of suffering. The involvement of European governments will be instrumental in reaching a solution to this problem – a solution that is critical to the international aim of closing Guantanamo. “Everyone appears to rightly agree that Guantanamo must be closed, and President-elect Obama has said that he will close it,” said Daniel Gorevan, Counter Terror with Justice campaign manager at Amnesty International. “Clearly, other governments can help make this happen by offering protection to individuals who cannot be released to their own countries. This would have a double effect: helping to end the ordeal of an individual unlawfully held in violation of his human rights, and helping end the international human rights scandal that is Guantanamo.” Around 50 of the detainees currently held in Guantanamo cannot lawfully be sent back to their countries of origin because they would face a real risk of human rights violations such as torture or other ill-treatment. They come from countries including China, Libya, Russia, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan. “This is a key opportunity for both sides of the Atlantic to move beyond the misguided acts of the ‘war on terror’: rendition, secret detention, and torture,” said Cori Crider, staff attorney at Reprieve. “President-elect Obama says he will close Guantanamo – the question is when and how. One of Reprieve’s clients was sent back to Tunisia, drugged, hit, and threatened with the rape of his wife and daughter. Another is fighting, even now, to stay in Guantanamo because Tunisia threatened him with ‘water torture in the barrel.’ The US still asserts total authority to send him back. Europe can send a powerful message by reaching out to Obama and providing a safe alternative for these few people.” “President-elect Obama has committed to closing Guantanamo, but he is going to need Europe’s help,” said Joanne Mariner, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program director at Human Rights Watch. “European governments could provide much-needed assistance by agreeing to take in some of the detainees who cannot be sent back home.” “FIDH and CCR mobilised 77 members of the European Parliament who issued a joint call to EU member States to offer relocation for Guantanamo detainees,” said Souhayr Belhassen, president of FIDH. “As an important strategic partner of the US, the EU should help the Administration relocate these men.” Statements of Support from International Actors “The efforts must be renewed now with European governments and the U.S. government working to close Guantanamo and offer protection to those unable to be returned safely to their own countries. The efforts of human rights NGOs are coming at the best moment, in order to use the next months in the most positive way.” – Anne-Marie Lizin, Special Representative on Guantanamo for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE. “I urge European governments to open their doors to a small number of men who fear persecution or torture if transferred to their home countries. Such assistance is both the right thing to do, and of critical importance in our attempts to push for the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay.” – Thomas Hammerberg, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe “We are at a critical juncture. It is now possible to anticipate the closing of Guantanamo, the end to the US practice of executive detention, and the re-affirmation of fundamental human rights principles, including the prohibition of torture in all circumstances. But European engagement and support will be essential to get there. One step that European governments should take is to accept into their borders the small number of men at Guantanamo who cannot be repatriated safely. Guantanamo cannot be closed until these men have a country which will accept them, and where their lives and liberty are not in jeopardy.” – Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Related Material
More information on GuantanamoThematic Page
Confessions of a former Guantanamo prosecutorCommentary, October 23, 2008

lunes, 27 de octubre de 2008

Reproches Mexicanos: Alza la voz contra la injusticia

México, alza tu voz hasta curarle a la justicia la sordera, que se alce también tu razón y tu cordura. México, mi más sentido pésame. Si mis manos no hacen nada, que lo haga mi palabra.” Juan Ríos Cantú Debido a la impunidad que existe en México, muchos de nuestr@s muert@s no descansan en paz:
* Las 544 mujeres y niñas secuestradas, violadas, torturadas y asesinadas en Ciudad Juárez y Chihuahua, víctimas del femicidio desde 1993 a la fecha
* La abogada y defensora de derechos humanos Digna Ochoa y Plácido asesinada luego de múltiples amenazas, en 2001 http://comitedigna.blogspot.com
* El estudiante y activista social de 21 años Pável González, secuestrado, torturado y asesinado en 2004
* Los jóvenes Javier Cortés Santiago y Alexis Benhumea, asesinados durante la brutal represión por parte de la policía en San Salvador Atenco, operativo ordenado por el gobernador Enrique Peña Nieto y coordinado pro Wilfrido Robledo, en mayo de 2006 -
* Los 65 mineros muertos en el desastre de la mina Pasta de Conchos, Coahuila, en 2006
* El periodista norteamericano colaborador de la red Indymedia Bradley Roland Will (Brad Will), junto a otras 30 personas asesinadas durante la rebelión de Oaxaca contra el gobernador Ulises Ruiz, en 2006 - -
* La anciana indígena de la Zongolica doña Ernestina Ascencio Rosario, violada tumultuariamente y asesinada por militares en 2007
* Las dos periodistas triquis, Felícitas Martínez, de 22 años, y Teresa Bautista, de 24, de la radio comunitaria Copala “La voz que rompe el silencio”, acribilladas en 2008
* Los asesinados en las masacres de Aguas Blancas, El Charco, El Bosque, Acteal, en las comunidades zapatistas, así como el jueves de Corpus de 1971 y de Tlatelolco el 2 de octubre de 1968 - -
Ninguno de estos homicidios ha sido resuelto satisfactoriamente; en muchos de los casos el gobierno dice que se trató de “suicidios”, en otros se buscan chivos expiatorios o se encarcela a personas inocentes. Los homicidas, así como los autores materiales e intelectuales de estos crímenes, siguen libres y gozan de plena impunidad.


Infórmate: no seamos cómplices

miércoles, 22 de octubre de 2008

Parwez Kambakhsh: 20 yrs. for asking questions in class about women's rights under Islam.

Afghans spare journalism student accused of blasphemy
The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
KABUL: An Afghan appeals court on Tuesday overturned a death sentence for a journalism student accused of blasphemy for asking questions in class about women's rights under Islam. Instead, the judges sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
The case against the journalist, 24-year-old Parwez Kambakhsh, whose brother has angered Afghan warlords with his own writings, has come to symbolize Afghanistan's slide toward an ultraconservative view on religious and individual freedoms.
"I don't accept the court's decision," Kambakhsh said as he was leaving the courtroom. "It is an unfair decision."
The case can be appealed to the Afghan Supreme Court.
John Dempsey, an American lawyer who has been working for six years to reform the Afghan justice system, said Kambakhsh had yet to get a fair trial.
"Procedurally, he did not have many of his rights respected," said Dempsey, who attended the trial. "He was detained far longer than he should have been legally held. The defense lawyer was not even allowed to meet the witnesses until a night before the trial."
Kambakhsh was studying journalism at Balkh University in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and writing for local newspapers when he was arrested in October 2007.
Besides the accusation that Kambakhsh disrupted class with his questions, prosecutors also said he illegally distributed an article he printed off the Internet that asks why Islam does not modernize to give women equal rights. He is also accused of writing his own comments on the paper.
In January, a lower court sentenced him to death in a trial that critics have called flawed in part because Kambakhsh had no lawyer representing him.
Muslim clerics welcomed that court's decision, and public demonstrations were held against the journalism student because of perceptions that he had violated the tenets of Islam.
On Tuesday, five witnesses from Mazar-i-Sharif - two students and three teachers - appeared before the three-judge panel.
The first witness, a student who gave only one name, Hamid, told the court that he had been forced into making a statement accusing Kambakhsh of blasphemy by members of the Afghan intelligence service and by a professor. He said the professor threatened him with expulsion.
Other witnesses, however, testified that Kambakhsh had violated tenets of Islam.
The head of the panel in the Tuesday proceedings, Abdul Salaam Qazizada, struck down the lower court's death penalty and sentenced Kambakhsh to 20 years behind bars.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentence.
"Even though Kambakhsh's death penalty was overturned, today's sentencing is a great disappointment and a setback for the rights of free expression in Afghanistan," Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator for the organization, said in a statement.
The committee said earlier that it was concerned that Kambakhsh might have been targeted because his brother, Yaqub Ibrahimi, had written about human rights violations and local politics.
Ibrahimi said Tuesday that his brother was sentenced because of the pressure from warlords and other strongmen in northern Afghanistan, whom he has criticized in his writings.

martes, 21 de octubre de 2008

women’s rights advocate arrested

Esha Momeni, women’s rights advocate and Campaign's volunteer from California was arrested on Wednesday October 15, 2008, while on a visit to Tehran. Momeni who is a photographer and graduate student was arrested in an unusual and illegal manner after being pulled over on Moddaress highway, by individuals who identified themselves as under cover traffic police on the pretense that she had unlawfully passed another vehicle while driving. Esha was arrested and taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison, managed by the Intelligence and Security Ministry.Esha Momeni is a graduate student at the School of Communications, Media and Arts at California State University, Northridge. Esha had come to Iran two months ago to visit with her family and to work on her Masters thesis project, focused on the Iranian women’s movement.

Indígenas de Cauca, Colombia

Estimados amigos,
Las fuerzas de seguridad colombianas han reprimido fuertemente a los grupos indígenas. Envíale un mensaje al Presidente Uribe para que detenga la represión y dialogue con los líderes indígenas.
Actúa ahora
En los últimos diez días, las comunidades indígenas de la región colombiana de Cauca se reunieron para reclamar sus derechos sobre las tierras en las que han vivido durante miles de años y para protestar por las muertes de líderes indígenas. Pero en lugar de sentarse a dialogar, el Presidente colombiano Álvaro Uribe envió a las fuerzas de seguridad que abrieron fuego contra los manifestantes.
Las medidas violentas provocaron el enojo entre las comunidades indígenas y el apoyo a los manifestantes se ha hecho sentir en todo el país. 200.000 indígenas de 16 departamentos colombianos ya se han unido a este movimiento de protesta. Mañana habrá una marcha a Cali para mostrarle al gobierno colombiano que se proseguirá con la protesta hasta que todos los puntos cuestionados estén resueltos. El levantamiento puede generar una reacción aún más violenta y brutal de parte de las fuerzas de seguridad colombianas. No podemos dejar que esto suceda, enviemos ya mismo un mensaje al Presidente de Colombia Álvaro Uribe pidiéndole que detenga la violencia y la represión a los manifestantes y acepte la invitación de los líderes indígenas para reunirse. A Uribe le importa su reputación internacional. Al enviarle miles de mensajes, le demostraremos que estamos mirando de cerca su accionar.

Envía tu mensaje ahora:

Los indígenas de Colombia tienen derecho a la protesta. Según la ONIC (Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia), más de 1.253 indígenas han muerto y 54.000 han sido expulsados de sus tierras ancestrales desde que asumió Uribe en la presidencia del país. Les han prometido ser dueños legales de sus tierras, pero el Presidente Uribe no ha mantenido su palabra. Con los precios de las tierras en alza debido a la rentabilidad de las plantaciones de palma, Uribe ya no parece estar dispuesto a comprar estas tierras para las comunidades indígenas. Las organizaciones indígenas están pidiendo reunirse con Uribe para presentarle una lista de 12 puntos a resolver. El gobierno colombiano no ha firmado la Declaración de Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de Naciones Unidas que establece que "los pueblos indígenas tienen derecho a las tierras, territorios y recursos que tradicionalmente han poseído" y que "los Estados asegurarán el reconocimiento y protección jurídicos de esas tierras, territorios y recursos que tradicionalmente han poseído". Si actuamos en conjunto y llenamos la casilla de correo del Presidente Uribe, estos grupos indígenas tienen entonces una posibilidad de ser escuchados. Haz clic abajo para enviar tu mensaje: Los indígenas de Colombia y de todas partes merecen respeto y su derecho a las tierras es legítimo. Durante demasiado tiempo América Latina ha sido guiada por los intereses de los poderosos, los políticos o los terratenientes. Es tiempo de ponerse de pie por esta gente, su cultura y sus derechos en América Latina.

Con esperanza, Ricken, Graziela, Paula, Pascal y todo el equipo de Avaaz[tt_news]=110228&cHash=c3dc1bcfdc --------------------------------------

ACERCA DE AVAAZAvaaz es una organización independiente y sin fines de lucro cuya misión es asegurar que los valores y opiniones de la mayoría de la gente sean tomados en cuenta en las políticas que nos gobiernan.‘Avaaz’ significa ‘voz’ en varios idiomas asiáticos y europeos. Avaaz no acepta dinero de gobiernos ni de empresas y su equipo está basado en oficinas en Londres, Nueva York, Washington, Ginebra, Paris y Rio de Janeiro. Haz clic aquí para saber más sobre nuestras campañas más importantes.No se te olvide visitar nuestras páginas en Facebook y Myspace y Bebo

Violaciones de Derechos Humanos en la Comunidad Indígena Miguel Hidalgo (Chiapas, México)

El 3 de octubre, los miembros de la comunidad indígena Miguel Hidalgo, municipio de La Trinitaria, fueron testigos de una operación policial en la que murieron 6 personas y 17 resultaron heridas. Amnistía Internacional teme que puedan correr riesgo de represalias e intimidación.La mañana del 3 de octubre, un grupo de unos 40 agentes de la policía estatal entró en la comunidad de Miguel Hidalgo con la intención aparente de detener a los dirigentes comunitarios responsables de organizar la ocupación de las ruinas mayas de Chinkultic, una zona arqueológica y atracción turística cercana. Los habitantes se resistieron a la intervención policial rodeando a los agentes, desarmándolos y reteniéndolos en el centro comunitario. Por la tarde, un operativo policial de mayor envergadura, en el que participaron unos 300 agentes, irrumpió en la comunidad disparando sus armas y lanzando botes de gases lacrimógenos. Dos personas que protestaban resultaron muertas y 17 sufrieron heridas. Los habitantes de la comunidad respondieron arrojando piedras.
Según testigos presenciales, Agustín Alfaro Alfaro, que vivía cerca de la comunidad Miguel Hidalgo, acudió al lugar de los hechos junto con su esposa y su hijo para transportar a un hospital a algunas de las personas que estaban heridas. En el camino, desde un vehículo policial se disparó contra la furgoneta de Agustín Alfaro, que fue interceptada. Los agentes obligaron a Agustín Alfaro, que había resultado herido de bala en una pierna, a salir de la furgoneta y le dispararon en el pecho. A continuación la policía disparó contra otras cuatro personas que estaban dentro de la furgoneta. Agustín Alfaro y otros tres hombres murieron en el acto.

El 6 de octubre, el gobernador del estado pidió públicamente disculpas a las víctimas y sus familias por la operación policial del 3 de octubre. El gobernador anunció la detención de algunos agentes de policía implicados en los disparos y la apertura de una investigación sobre la operación. También se ofreció a los familiares de las víctimas cierta ayuda económica y social.

A pesar de las medidas positivas iniciales del gobernador, Amnistía Internacional considera motivo de preocupación el hecho de que testigos de los sucesos del 3 de octubre puedan correr el riesgo de sufrir intimidación y amenazas con el fin de disuadirlos a ellos, a sus familiares y a los miembros de la comunidad de buscar justicia. Contribuye a aumentar la preocupación el hecho de que en algunos casos anteriores que Amnistía Internacional ha documentado, el procesamiento de agentes de policía por violaciones graves de derechos humanos ha desembocado en amenazas y actos de intimidación contra víctimas y testigos.


jueves, 9 de octubre de 2008

Amnesty International Germany

Newsletter Oktober 2008
60 Jahre Menschenrechte: Ich schütze sie - sie schützen mich
NEIN zur Todesstrafe!
Amnesty auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse
Ihre Spende für die Menschenrechte
Immer aktuell:
60 Jahre Menschenrechte: Ich schütze sie - sie schützen mich
Ich bin dabei - Sie auch?: 60 Jahre Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte
"Die Zeit ist überfällig, die Allgemeine Erklärung wiederzuentdecken, damit jeder von uns die darin enthaltenen Grundsätze in seinem täglichen Leben beachtet", so Desmond Tutu. Bekennen auch Sie Farbe für die Menschenrechte: Tragen Sie Ihr liebstes Menschenrecht als Button oder T-Shirt. Schenken Sie Ihren Freunden ein Armband oder schicken Sie ihnen eine Postkarte. Und machen Sie mit bei den Aktionen zum 10. Dezember 2008. Jedes Bekenntnis für die Menschenrechte zählt!
60 Jahre Menschenrechte: Mehr Informationen
Aktionen in Ihrer Nähe - Kalender
Buttons, T-Shirts, und vieles mehr gibt es im Amnesty-Shop

NEIN zur Todesstrafe!
Hakamada Iwao sitzt seit 40 Jahren in Japan in der Todeszelle. Dabei gibt es bis heute kaum Indizien dafür, dass er den Mord begangen hat, für den er zum Tode verurteilt wurde. Japan gehört zu den wenigen Industrieländern, die die Todesstrafe noch anwenden.
Sagen Sie: Stopp! Mit Ihrer Unterschrift, einem Brief oder einer E-Mail können Sie mehr erreichen als Sie denken!

Amnesty auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse
"TÜRKEI - FASZINIEREND FARBIG" unter diesem Motto präsentiert sich das Gastland Türkei auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse. Gerade Schriftstellern und Journalisten drohen in der Türkei immer wieder Gefängnisstrafen - allein wegen der friedlichen Wahrnehmung ihres Rechts auf freie Meinungsäußerung. Amnesty fordert die türkische Regierung auf, alle Gesetze abzuschaffen, die die friedliche Meinungsäußerung unter Strafe stellen.Podiumsdiskussion "Menschenrechte und Meinungsfreiheit in der Türkei"auf der Buchmesse: Sonntag, 19.10.2008, 10.00 Uhr - 11.30 UhrForum Dialog, Halle 6.1.E 913AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-STAND HALLE 3.1.E 121

Ihre Spende für die Menschenrechte
Immer wenn Amnesty International von willkürlichen Festnahmen,"Verschwindenlassen", Morddrohungen, drohender Folter und Hinrichtungenerfährt, wird eine Eilaktion gestartet. Menschenrechtsarbeit ist nicht umsonst: Über 40 Prozent dieser Aktionen sind erfolgreich. Mit Ihrer Spende helfen Sie Amnesty dabei, weiter für den Schutz der Menschenrechte einzutreten. Vielen Dank.
Direkt online spenden
Immer aktuell:
nach oben

miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2008

HRW monthly digest

September-October 2008 IMPACT

Protecting Civilians in the Georgia Conflict
Moving Congress to Prosecute Recruiters of Child Soldiers
Pressing South Africa on its Treatment of Zimbabweans
Pressuring Burma through Targeted Sanctions

Jordan: Torture in Prisons Routine and Widespread
Jordan should end routine and widespread torture in its prisons, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch called on the government to overhaul mechanisms for investigating, disciplining and prosecuting abusers, and in particular to transfer prosecutor’s investigations into prison abuse from police to civilian prosecutors.Read more Read the report
UK: Rights for Terror Suspects
Follow UN Recommendations, and Reject Longer Pre-Charge Detention

The United Kingdom should heed calls in a critical UN report to drop proposals to detain terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the home and foreign secretaries. The government should bring its counterterrorism policies into line with the recommendations from the UN Human Rights Committee.Read more

IN THE NEWS - Op-Eds by Our Staff
Saudi Arabia's Shia MinorityWriting in the Guardian Online, Christoph Wilcke, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, reports on Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory treatment of one of its own Shia Muslim minorities, the Ismailis.
Corporal Punishment: Discriminatory and Ineffective Writing in Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger, Alice Farmer, the Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, and Nsombi Lambright, the executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi, show that corporal punishment in Mississippi schools—a legal practice in that state—is counterproductive and applied in a discriminatory manner.
Kashmir’s Cycle of Violence Meenakshi Ganguly, senior researcher on South Asia for Human Rights Watch, writes in the New Statesman about the latest outbreak of violence in Kashmir, criticizing New Delhi’s failure to act promptly to prevent escalation.The Costs of Marital Rape in Southern Africa Nada Ali, researcher in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, writes in the Independent Online, urging the Southern African Development Community to take domestic violence and marital rape more seriously, since they clearly undermine efforts to combat the HIV pandemic.
Military Commissions Fail to Deliver Justice In an “opposing view” in USA Today, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, explains the myriad failings of the US administration’s military commissions, which were created to try Guantanamo detainees outside of the regular court system. Get Involved Become a Member or Make a ContributionHuman Rights Watch does not accept financial support from any government or government agency. Every investigation we undertake, every advocacy campaign we embark on, and every report we produce is funded solely by generous private contributions.

sábado, 20 de septiembre de 2008

Chávez da la razón a HRW, violador de Derechos

Mujeres se manifiestan en favor de la libertad de elección reproductiva. © 2006 Reuters -->
Venezuela: Derechos socavados bajo Chávez
Discriminación política e instituciones democráticas debilitadas caracterizan su presidencia

En sus esfuerzos por contener a la oposición política y consolidar su poder, el gobierno del Presidente Hugo Chávez ha debilitado las instituciones democráticas y las garantías de derechos humanos en Venezuela , señaló Human Rights Watch en un informe difundido hoy. Delegación de Human Rights Watch Expulsada

Venezuela: Rights Suffer Under Chávez
Political Discrimination and Weakened Institutions Define PresidencyIn its efforts to counter political opposition and consolidate power, the government of President Hugo Chávez has weakened democratic institutions and human rights guarantees in Venezuela. Read the Report Human Rights Watch Delegation Expelled
After winning a referendum on his presidency, President Chavez appears from the Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, before supporters. © 2004 Christopher Anderson/Magnum

jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2008

HELP HAITI. Storm-struck Haiti: From misery to the abyss

VIDEO: UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault discusses preparing for and responding to natural disasters in the Caribbean.
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Related links
Storms batter the Caribbean, displacing thousands
Subscribe to the UNICEF Newsletter

Caribbean storms displace hundreds of thousands of children and their families
10 September 2008

Hurricane Ike has made its unwelcome presence felt in the Caribbean this week, leaving a path of destruction across many smaller islands before slamming into eastern Cuba, which had already borne the brunt of Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna.
Meanwhile in Haiti, an estimated 800,000 people, including 300,000 children, are struggling to recover from massive flooding caused by the back-to-back storm systems. The government has officially requested international assistance. Large quantities of humanitarian supplies were pre-positioned prior to hurricane season in the Caribbean, but the number of storms that have developed this year was unexpected.
Watch the video. high low
Learn more about the storms battering the Caribbean
Jude Law and Jeremy Gilley visit Afghanistan to promote peaceBritish actor and Peace One Day envoy Jude Law recently travelled to Afghanistan with film director Jeremy Gilley, the founder of the Peace One Day global campaign for ceasefires and non-violence. During their two-day mission, they screened a new documentary, ‘The Day After Peace’, about the efforts of ordinary Afghans to stop the fighting in their country.
Mr. Law and Mr. Gilley asked all parties involved in the conflict to observe International Peace Day again this year. It is scheduled to take place on 21 September. More...
Women and children worst-affected by flooding in Bihar, India
Flooding along the Kosi River has affected almost 2.7 million people in India and about 70,000 in Nepal. The displaced population is largely marginalized, each of them surviving on about 46 cents a day. An estimated 500,000 marooned individuals have been evacuated and 198 relief camps providing food, water and medical supplies have been set up.
UNICEF has supplied bleaching powder to purify water and oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhoeal dehydration – as well as disposable delivery kits, plastic sheeting, vitamin A supplements and other relief supplies. More...

Doctors with out borders
September 8, 2008

Haiti: After Third Storm, Food and Water Urgently Needed for Displaced

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Field NewsMSF Assisting Haitians and Assessing Needs after Successive Hurricanes
Sep 7, 2008
Field NewsHaiti: MSF Treats Over 160 Victims of Violence in Port-au-Prince
Apr 11, 2008
Field NewsMSF Treats Wounded amid Demonstrations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Apr 9, 2008
View all articles on Haiti »

Storm-struck Haiti: From misery to the abyss
After four storms in less than a month, the little that many Haitians had has turned to nothing at all. Their homes are under water, forcing them onto the roofs. School is canceled. Hunger is intense.

In Devastated Haitian City, A Body as Envoy of Peace (By Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post)

Meager Living of Haitians Is Wiped Out by Storms By MARC LACEYThe resolve of the people of Gonaïves, Haiti, is being tested by a string of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Facts about Haiti (from

• Poorest country in the Western Hemisphere(80% live in abject poverty)
• Population: 8.1 million (U.S.=296 million)
• Median Age: 18 years (U.S.=36 years)
• Life Expectancy: 52 years (U.S.=77 years)
• Infant Mortality: 73 deaths/1,000 live births (U.S.=6.5 deaths/1,000 live births)
• Literacy/those over 15 who can read and write: 53% (U.S.=97%)
Online donations are now available (Click here or on Contact & Donations).

Help Haiti Now is a non-profit 501c3 organization which provides food, water, medicine, and educational support to the poor in Haiti. Our missions currently assist two remote communities:
1. Goyavier: 10-mile hike up mountains to expansive community of 10,000 people. What we are doing:• Operating a medical clinic, supplying medicine.• Providing school supplies and sending money for teachers' salaries so 500 kids can go to school. 2. 87th Place: 1 hour by car or 5 hours by foot from nearest town (Montrouis). 300 people live in this remote community.What we are doing:• Buying and delivering large bags of rice and beans, cooking oil, soap, and barrels of water.Additionally, we are sponsoring students at schools in Montrouis and Port-Au-Prince.

* NEWS *• Herald Tribune Newspaper: "Local woman's visit spurs help for Haiti

Mission Trip newsletter: Nov. 2005 (PDF)

sábado, 30 de agosto de 2008

Weekly Digest HRW

Georgia: Satellite Images Show Destruction, Ethnic Attacks
Russia Should Investigate, Prosecute Crimes
(New York, August 29, 2008) – Recent satellite images released by the UN program UNOSAT confirm the widespread torching of ethnic Georgian villages inside South Ossetia, Human Rights Watch said today. Detailed analysis of the damage depicted in five ethnic Georgian villages shows the destruction of these villages around the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, was caused by intentional burning and not armed combat.Read more Satellite Imagery

Mexico: Supreme Court Upholds Mexico City Abortion Law
Landmark Decision Confirms Right to an Abortion up to 12th Week of Gestation
(Mexico City, August 28, 2008) – In a historic decision today, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that Mexico City’s law decriminalizing abortion during the first 12 weeks of gestation is constitutional. In a publicly broadcast proceeding, the court voted 8-to-3 in favor of upholding the Mexico City law, which came into force in 2007. A written decision is expected from the court within days.Read more

EU: Protect Civilians in Gori District
Security of Civilians Should Be Central to Summit Discussions on Russia
(Tbilisi, August 28, 2008) – The European Union should act to protect Georgian civilians from continued attacks by Ossetian militias and opportunistic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the European Union to use its unprecedented summit on Russia on September 1 to make a plan for ensuring protection for civilians in Georgia. Read more

viernes, 29 de agosto de 2008

Putin´s Interview: There is a link between the war and the US elections

Putin Asserts Link Between U.S. Election and Georgia War
By Philip P. Pan and Jonathan FinerWashington Post Foreign ServiceFriday, August 29, 2008; A06
MOSCOW, Aug. 29 -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he had reason to think U.S. personnel were in the combat zone during the recent war in Georgia, adding that if confirmed, their presence suggested "someone in the United States" provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called the claim "ridiculous," likening it to Putin saying that "extraterrestrials were also there."
In Putin's first extended remarks defending Russia's military intervention in Georgia, which has drawn international condemnation, he blamed the Bush administration for failing to stop Georgian leaders from launching the Aug. 7 attack on the breakaway province of South Ossetia that sparked the war.
Speaking on CNN, Putin argued that the U.S. policy of training and supplying weapons to the Georgian army had emboldened the country to abandon long-standing negotiations over the future of South Ossetia and to try instead to seize the region by force, an assault that resulted in the deaths of Russian soldiers stationed there as peacekeepers.
Putin suggested that U.S. military advisers were working with Georgian forces that clashed with the Russian army, a prospect he described as "very dangerous."
"Even during the Cold War, during the harsh confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, we always avoided direct clashes between our civilians, even more so between our military personnel," he said in the interview, portions of which were also broadcast on Russian national television. "Ordinary experts, even if they teach military affairs, should not do so in combat zones, but in training areas and training centers," he added.
Putin said he based his assertions on information provided to him by the Russian military, but he offered no evidence and cautioned that his "suspicions" required further confirmation.
Earlier in the day, a senior Russian military official said at a news briefing that Russian troops had recovered an American passport in the rubble of a village near the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, where a Georgian special forces unit had been based during the war.
"What was the purpose of that gentleman being among the special forces, and what is he doing today, I so far cannot answer," said Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the general staff, holding up an enlarged color photocopy of the passport. He identified its owner as Michael Lee White, a resident of Houston, born in 1967, state-owned Vesti television reported.
Saakashvili, in an interview Friday morning with The Washington Post, dismissed the passport report as "typical tricks."
"I wish we had Americans and American weapons, but it's not the case," he said. "They are living in a parallel world, with a parallel perception. If you say a lie in Russia, it becomes the truth the next day on TV."
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Putin's allegations were "patently false" and sounded "not rational." She added: "It also sounds like his defense officials who said they believe this to be true are giving him really bad advice."
Saakashvili said that American military training provided to Georgia's army in recent years had focused on peacekeeping and counterinsurgency warfare.
Fewer than 100 U.S. military advisers were said to have been stationed in Georgia before the war began, and they have kept a low profile since Russian tanks and bombers routed Georgian forces in a five-day campaign that left them in control of about a third of Georgian territory.
Putin said that if U.S. citizens were present in the combat zone, they would have been "performing official duties, and they may only do this on orders from their supervisors, not at their own initiative."
"If my conjecture is confirmed, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the United States deliberately created this conflict in order to worsen the situation and create an advantage . . . for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States," he said. "And if this is a fact, it is nothing other than the use of so-called administrative resources in a domestic political struggle, and in the worst, bloodiest form as well."
When the CNN correspondent, Matthew Chance, expressed skepticism, Putin argued that the Bush administration faced difficulties in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as economic difficulties.
"A small, victorious war is needed," Putin said. "And if you don't succeed, it's possible to shift the blame on us, turn us into the enemy against the backdrop of rah-rah patriotism to rally the country again around certain political forces. I am surprised that you are surprised at what I say. It's obvious."
Putin did not specify which U.S. presidential candidate he believed the Georgian crisis was intended to help, but the official RIA-Novosti news agency quoted experts as saying it had boosted the campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain.
Asked whether the war had strained his personal relationship with President Bush, Putin replied: "Of course, it undermined our relationship, the relationship between the nations above all."
Putin said he told Bush in a conversation at the Olympic Games in Beijing that Georgia had attacked South Ossetia and that the Russian government had been unable to contact the Georgian leadership. "George responded to me -- I have already talked about this publicly -- that no one wants war," Putin said. "We had hoped that the U.S. administration would intervene in the conflict and stop the aggressive actions of the Georgian leadership. None of this happened." As a result, he said, Russia was forced to respond militarily. "We are a peace-loving nation . . . but if someone believes they can come to kill us, using our own land as a cemetery, then these people should reflect on the implications of such policies."
At the United Nations, the United States and European governments condemned Russia in a public meeting of the Security Council, saying its recognition of Georgia's breakaway provinces had undermined efforts to reach an agreement on a U.N. resolution endorsing a cease-fire. The United States and France called for the establishment of a U.N. fact-finding mission to probe reports of human rights abuses during the conflict. They also pressed Russia to complete its withdrawal from Georgian territory and to provide access for humanitarian aid workers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Finer reported from Tbilisi, Georgia. Staff writer Colum Lynch at the United Nations contributed to this report.

August 29, 2008
Putin Suggests U.S. Provocation in Georgia Clash
MOSCOW — As Russia struggled to rally international support for its military action in Georgia, Vladimir V. Putin, the country’s paramount leader, lashed out at the United States on Thursday, contending that the White House may have orchestrated the conflict to benefit one of the candidates in the American presidential election.
Mr. Putin’s comments in a television interview, his most extensive to date on Russia’s decision to send troops into Georgia earlier this month, sought to present the military operation as a response to brazen, cold war-style provocations by the United States. In tones that seemed alternately angry and mischievous, he suggested that the Bush administration may have tried to create a crisis that would influence American voters in the choice of a successor to President Bush.
“The suspicion would arise that someone in the United States created this conflict on purpose to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates in the competitive race for the presidency in the United States,” Mr. Putin said in an interview with CNN.
He added, “They needed a small victorious war.”
Mr. Putin did not specify which candidate he had in mind, but there was no doubt that he was referring to Senator John McCain, the Republican. Mr. McCain is loathed in the Kremlin because he has a close relationship with Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and has called for imposing stiff penalties on Russia, including throwing it out of the Group of 8 industrialized nations.
Mr. Putin offered scant evidence to support his assertion, and the White House called his comments absurd. But they underscored the depth of the rift between Moscow and Washington over the Georgia crisis, which flared three weeks ago when the Georgian military tried to reclaim a breakaway enclave allied with Russia. They also suggested that the Russian leader was deeply concerned about the possibility that Mr. McCain, widely viewed here as having a strong bias against Russia, could become president.
Only last spring, Mr. Putin, the president at the time, held a summit meeting with Mr. Bush in which the two expressed personal affection for each other and sought to smooth over tensions in the bilateral relationship.
Russia has been struggling to persuade the outside world to back its action in Georgia. On Thursday, China and four other countries meeting with Russia for the annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance, declined to back Russia’s military action in a joint communiqué.
Mr. Putin’s interview came after his protégé, President Dmitri A. Medvedev, spoke to several foreign news outlets this week as part of a concerted move by the Kremlin to counter Georgia’s public relations offensive in the international media. Mr. Medvedev’s tone was less harsh, though he also criticized the West.
On Thursday, Mr. Putin, now prime minister, also said Russian defense officials believed that United States citizens were in the conflict area supporting the Georgian military when it attacked the separatist region of South Ossetia.
“Even during the cold war, during the time of tough confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, we have always avoided direct clashes between our civilians, let alone our servicemen,” Mr. Putin said. “We have serious reasons to believe that directly, in the combat zone, citizens of the United States were present.”
“If the facts are confirmed,” he added, “that United States citizens were present in the combat zone, that means only one thing — that they could be there only on the direct instruction of their leadership. And if this is so, then it means that American citizens are in the combat zone, performing their duties, and they can only do that following a direct order from their leader, and not on their own initiative.”
In Washington, the White House spokeswoman, Dana M. Perino, dismissed Mr. Putin’s remarks. “To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational,” she said.
She added, “It also sounds like his defense officials who said they believe this to be true are giving him really bad advice.”
A senior Russian defense official, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday that Russian forces had found a United States passport in a ruined building near Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. The position, he said, had been occupied by Georgian Interior Ministry forces.
“What was the gentleman’s purpose of being among the special forces and what he is doing today, I so far cannot answer,” General Nogovitsyn said, holding up what he said was a color copy of the passport. He said members of the Georgian unit had been killed, and the building destroyed.
When the war broke out, the United States had about 130 military trainers in Georgia preparing Georgian troops for service in Iraq. The American Embassy in Tbilisi said these trainers were not involved in the fighting; about 100 remain and are assisting with the delivery of aid to Georgia that is arriving on military planes and ships.
General Nogovitsyn said the passport was in the name of Michael Lee White of Texas, but gave no information on whether Russians believed that he was a member of the United States military. The United States Embassy in Georgia told The Associated Press that it had no information on the matter.
Mr. Putin said in the CNN interview that Russia had thought that the United States would prevent Georgia from attacking South Ossetia, but suggested that he now believed that the Bush administration encouraged Mr. Saakashvili to send in his military.
“The American side in fact armed and trained the Georgian Army,” Mr. Putin said. “Why hold years of difficult talks and seek complex compromise solutions in interethnic conflicts? It’s easier to arm one of the sides and push it into the murder of the other side, and it’s over. It seemed like an easy solution. The thing is, it turns out that it’s not always so.”
The Georgia conflict has become a flash point in the United States presidential campaign, with Senator McCain assailing what he refers to as “revanchist Russia” and asserting that he is far more qualified to handle such a crisis than the Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama.
Mr. McCain has long been friendly with Mr. Saakashvili, who has said he talks to Mr. McCain regularly. Mr. McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, has worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Georgian government, and Mr. McCain’s wife, Cindy, traveled to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, this week on a humanitarian aid mission.
All these ties, combined with Mr. McCain’s criticism of Russia, have earned him a kind of notoriety in Moscow. When Parliament passed a resolution this week urging that Russia recognize the independence of the two breakaway enclaves, some lawmakers not only praised the courage of the South Ossetians, but also threw a few barbs at Mr. McCain.
Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting.