Press release: WASHINGTON – On the eve of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL 6th District) and James McGovern (D-MA, 2nd District) have sent a bipartisan letter to Saudi Arabia’s new ruler, King Salman. The letter urges the new King to free all prisoners of conscience—including blogger Raif Badawi and attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair—and to allow women, religious minorities and peaceful political reformers to freely express themselves and fully participate in public life in Saudi Arabia.
The letter garnered 67 congressional signers and endorsements from 17 women’s, human rights, religious freedom, and advocacy organizations, including Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch.
“Saudi Arabia’s new King has a critical opportunity to enact major human rights reforms and free prisoners of conscience such as blogger Raif Badawi and attorney Waleed Abu Al-Khair,” said Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. “Sixty-seven members of Congress have already raised their voices in support of human rights in Saudi Arabia. Now, Secretary Kerry must do the same when he visits the Kingdom tomorrow.”
The imprisonment of blogger Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair, as well as the ban on women driving, the restrictions of the male guardianship system, and so-called “anti-terror” laws that have criminalized peaceful expression, have all brought Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to the forefront of the U.S.–Saudi relationship. By signing this letter, U.S. representatives are urging King Salman to end the imprisonment of peaceful critics, violations of women’s human rights, religious persecution, and the crackdown on advocates and reformers.
Amnesty International USA, International Christian Concern, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-UK, In Defense of Christians, Human Rights Watch, Project on Middle East Democracy, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, US National Committee for UN Women, Women’s Action for New Directions, Women Thrive Worldwide, Peace X Peace, Equality Now, PEN American Center, Center for Inquiry, National Organization for Women Foundation, Universal Muslim Association of America, Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
The letter can be read at:http://amnestyusa.org/pdfs/LetterCongressToWhiteHouseSaudiArabiaMarch2015.pdf
News courtesy: Amnesty International
Read more » http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/67-members-of-congress-send-bipartisan-human-rights-letter-to-saudi-arabia-s-new-king
Indigenous women are going missing and being murdered at a much higher rate than other women in Canada—a rate so high it constitutes nothing less than a national human rights crisis.
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More details » CBC
NEWLEY RELEASED PHOTOS SHOW: ISIS Takes Twenty One Christians, Brings Them To The Beach, And Beheads All Of Them.
As a sequel to burning alive of the Jordanian POW pilot Moath All-Kasasseba, ISIS decided to behead 21 Christians on a beach front in Tripoli Libya as their magazine Dabiq said that its branch in Tripoli had captured randomly from an apartment complex after checking their identification cards which said “Coptic Christian” and then executed the 21 Christian Copts after being kidnapped late last year۔
Read more » Shoebat
Learn more » http://shoebat.com/2015/02/12/newley-released-photos-show-isis-takes-twenty-one-christians-brings-beach-beheads-release-message-muslims-whoever-beheads-christian-will-gain-s/
BANGUI, Central African Republic – Tens of thousands of Muslims are fleeing to neighboring countries by plane and truck as Christian militias stage brutal attacks, shattering the social fabric of this war-ravaged nation.
In towns and villages as well as here in the capital, Christian vigilantes wielding machetes have killed scores of Muslims, who are a minority here, and burned and looted their houses and mosques in recent days, according to witnesses, aid agencies and peacekeepers. Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes.
The cycle of chaos is fast becoming one of the worst outbreaks of violence along Muslim-Christian fault lines in recent memory in sub-Saharan Africa, tensions that have also plagued countries such as Nigeria and Sudan.
The brutalities began to escalate when the country’s first Muslim leader,Michel Djotodia, stepped down and went into exile last month. Djotodia, who had seized power in a coup last March, had been under pressure from regional leaders to resign. His departure was meant to bring stability to this poor country, but humanitarian and human rights workers say there is more violence now than at any time since the coup.
“Civilians remain in constant fear for their lives and have been largely left to fend for themselves,” Martine Flokstra, emergency coordinator for the aid agency Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement Friday, adding that the violence had reached “extreme and unprecedented” levels.
On Friday, thousands of Muslims hopped aboard trucks packed with their possessions, protected by soldiers from Chad, and drove out of Bangui, as Christians cheered their departures or tried to loot the trucks as they drove through Christian areas. At least one Muslim man, who fell from a truck, was killed by a mob. Meanwhile, thousands more Muslims huddled at the airport in a crowded hangar, waiting to be evacuated.
“They are killing Muslims with knives,” said Muhammed Salih Yahya, 38, a shopkeeper, making a slitting motion across his throat. He arrived at the airport Wednesday from the western town of Yaloke with his wife and five children. “I built my house over two years, but the Christians destroyed it in minutes. I want to leave.”
Christians have also been victims of violence, targeted by Muslims in this complex communal conflict that U.N. and humanitarian officials fear could implode into genocide. Several hundred thousand Christians remain in crowded, squalid camps, unable or too afraid to return home.
Read more » The Washington Post
Learn more » http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/tens-of-thousands-of-muslims-flee-christian-militias-in-central-african-republic/2014/02/07/5a1adbb2-9032-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html
PAKISTAN should not have military courts, not in the expanded form envisioned by the military and political leadership of the country, not to try civilians on terrorism charges and not even for a limited period of time.
Military courts are simply not compatible with a constitutional democracy.
In the immediate aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre, politicians and the military leadership rightly came together to respond urgently to the terror threat that stalks this country.
What they did wrong was to decide on military courts as the lynchpin of a new strategy to fight terrorism.
Perhaps with a country convulsed with grief and the PML-N government on weak ground — given that until recently the party was insisting on dialogue with the elements behind the Peshawar calamity — there was little resistance to the military’s demand that terrorist suspects be tried in military courts, and presumably summarily executed thereafter.
Perhaps also the full range of opposition political parties present were overawed by the presence of the army chief and DG ISI in Peshawar, and those opposed to military courts decided that it was futile to oppose them in the circumstances.
Egypt: 5 Civilians Referred to Military Prosecution for Committing Acts of Violence
Cairo — Egypt’s top prosecutor referred on Tuesday five civilians to the military judiciary on charges related to committing acts of violence.
Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat approved the decision of the Damietta Prosecutor General to refer the five defendants to the military prosecution. They are all believed to be supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Read more » AllAfrica
See more » http://allafrica.com/stories/201412310104.html
As Imran Khan and the PTI vociferously protest the death of their worker in Faisalabad, many mothers elsewhere in the country must be sitting lamenting their sons and wondering who will lock down the country and force the state to answer why their sons will not return. While we all got used to missing persons and tortured bodies in Balochistan, it’s odd to find Sindh becoming part of the same tragic cycle.
Death and dead bodies are not new to Sindh. Every decade since the 1980s, the province has bled for one reason or the other. But this current spate of killings seems to be a new pattern. It is almost as if Sindhi nationalism is being woken up. Interestingly, the six dead bodies found recently did not belong to violent nationalists. In fact, five out of the six were men who had moved on in life. Notwithstanding old associations with the JSMM, these people were not actively involved in any ‘anti-state’ activity or even in party politics.
In any case, one thought that from the state’s perspective, Sindh was not Balochistan. The province had been through this phase during the 1980s when people challenged the military regime and were killed for it. Like Balochistan, Sindh was politically vibrant. The Sindhi media and intelligentsia was politically active and educated people about issues in its own language. Fast-forward to the 2000s, things were manipulated and changed. Despite the media still being active, it has begun to behave and sound more like the media in the rest of the country. What the state couldn’t purchase or silence was bought over by influential dons.
State Assembly Elections in Indian-administered Kashmir: People’s Participation a Strategy or Paradigm Shift.
State assembly elections 2014 in Indian administered Jammu Kashmir have glimmered a manic deliberation among the parties to the conflict and stakeholders. Indian media and politicians at Delhi and elsewhere in the country are depicting the participation of ordinary masses in the vale of Kashmir as a trust building notion on the Union of India and rejection of separatist sentiments. Pakistani media on the other hand remained both unconcerned and silent or repeated the same rhetoric of yellow journalism. Kashmir based analysts and activists are twisting the story that fits best in their pre-occupied state of mind. The reality is that after almost three decades of boycotts, strikes and shutdowns Kashmiri people decided to vote instead of boycott. Some intellectuals and writers are taking it as an abrupt decision and others are debating it as a dissatisfactory notion from the state of affairs Kashmiri people have been going through since 1988.
What basically happened has its roots in the past, political evolution, experimental judgment and revisited wisdom. It definitely involves the role of Hurriyat Conference/other separatist factions, lessons learned from militancy and a series of boycotts, role of Pakistani establishment and that of Indian government. Understanding the linkages between past and present situations in the valley of Kashmir is absolutely basic for a good understanding of the events and chain of the events that, in a nutshell, is why history matters. Finding a linkage with past and present is not only useful rather it is an essential part in understanding the social, economic and political attitudes and beliefs in a constituency. The glance of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people, ideas, movements and events in time. Does it really matter to find the correct answer? The answer is yes it is. Because without finding the correct answer only speculations cannot put the course of “what we are today” in the right perspective.
Elections 2014 of the state assembly in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir have initiated a new chapter in the political panorama of the region. A decade of off-and-on detente between India and Pakistan has drawn to a close after months of deteriorating relations that began with the election victory in May 2014 of the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party and the appointment as India’s Prime Minister of a noted hard-liner, Narendra Modi. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi after had already triumphed in a landslide victory across India in the general elections held in the spring of 2014 is continuously altering the political map of Indian Union by winning the elections held for various state assemblies (constituents of Indian Union). Prime Minister Modi has decided to take that heat to the state of Jammu Kashmir to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.
It is chilling winter in Kashmir where some parts are so cold just like frozen Siberia. Glaciers of Himalayas are melting down due to the political heat and participation of Kashmiri people in the elections after almost three decades. People in the valley who were accustomed to the calls of boycott and shut down calls from both the pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan leadership and in practice have sacrificed their daily means of bread and butter in solidarity with the anti-India leadership since 1987. But in 2014 the corridor of political venue has altered the paintings on the Kashmiri canvas. Instead of shutter down and wheel jam strikes lenses of both electronic and print media are capturing the live enthusiasm of people participation in the electoral process.
This apparent shift in the valley raises some serious concerns as well as some lessons to be learned. Indian state-owned media is propagating the events as a paradigm shift in the Kashmiri politics while Pakistani media is silent on the electoral process of Indian held Kashmir. The politicians across Jammu Kashmir are interpreting the events well in accordance with their pre-occupied state of mind and trying to concrete and cement their long-held opinions on the very issue.
Lahore, December 5: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave alarm at the rapid rise in enforced disappearances in Sindh, with the victims turning up dead. Those taken away are young men, mainly political activists, picked up from various parts of the province in the last few months. Mutilated dead bodies of many of the victims have been found. HRCP demanded immediate steps to put an end to the ghastly trend and to bring the killers to justice.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: “HRCP has noted with great alarm increasing reports of enforced disappearance of citizens, mainly activists of nationalist political parties, in Sindh and their tortured bodies being found weeks or months later.
The victims include Shakeel Sindhi, a Sindh University student, was abducted from his house in Karachi on October 6 and his dead body was found on October 11. Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) activist Paryal Shah was abducted from a public transport bus headed from Dahrki to Kashmor on November 7. His dead body was found the same day from a village on the Sindh-Punjab border. The bullet-riddled body of Roshan Brohi, a resident of Larkana and a JSMM activist, was found in a gunny bag near Malir, Karachi, on November 12. He had been picked up on October 26. The dead body of SindhUniversity student and JSMM activist Asif Panhwar was found in a village of Larkana district on November 26. He had been shot several times. He had been picked up by security agencies from Jamshoro on August 15. On November 27, the bullet-riddled body of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) activist Waheed Lashari was found in a sewerage pond in Karachi’s Malir area. He had been abducted 29 days earlier from Qambar Shahdadkot, when he was travelling with his sister in a public transport van. Allah Wadio, a first year student, was abducted on August 13 from Karachi. On December 02 unidentified persons threw him in a critical condition near Hub Chowki. Police informed his parents who admitted him to Civil Hospital Karachi. He was reportedly picked up from there by security agencies’ personnel and on December 3 his dead body was found from Hyderabad Bypass.
U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman’s statement about the extra-judicial killings of enforced missing Sindhi political activists.
See more » https://twitter.com/BradSherman/status/539915149235458048
Shortly before 2 in the afternoon on Sunday, more than a dozen people walked onto an interstate near the Capitol in Washington and formed a human chain. Eight lanes of traffic came to halt. During rush hour the next morning, protesters closed down the Fourteenth Street bridge. And then the Twelfth Street tunnel. “Shut it down for Mike Brown,” they chanted.
Read more » The Nation
Learn more » http://www.thenation.com/blog/191921/not-protest-it-uprising#
Watch the renowned writer, scholar, philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky’s statement about extra-judicial killings of enforcedly disappeared Sindhi political activists
Watch the statement of renowned writer, scholar, philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky on extra-judicial killings of enforcedly disappeared Sindhi political activists and forced conversion of Sindhi Hindu girls!
Courtesy: Noam Chomsky + YouTube
Karachi: One more mutilated dead body of Sindhi activist Faheem Bhutto found in Hub, near Karachi.
Read more » BBC
more » http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2014/12/141202_sindh_nationalist_killed_rh?ocid=socialflow_facebook
HYDERABAD: Jamshoro police on Monday identified the bodies of two nationalist activists who had been found the previous night.
Their families identified them in the mortuary of Liaquat University Hospital (LUH) city branch where police shifted the bodies after finding them in their area.
“It was a desolated area and we found them at 11.30pm…they were shifted to the mortuary at 12.30pm,” said Jamshoro SSP Naeem Sheikh.
He hinted at the possibility that the condition of the two bodies indicated that they might have been thrown there on Saturday or early Sunday morning.
Lutf Pirzado, father of one of deceased, 24 year old Sarvech Pirzado identified his son and Abid Langah, brother of other deceased Wajid Langah reached hospital late Monday night form upper Sindh to identify his brother and receive his body.
The banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) page on a social website also posted photograph of body of Sarvech Pirzado, claiming him to be one of their leaders.
Abid Langah, however told journalists that he was not aware of any political affiliation of his brother.
“He used to run a shop in Pipri area of Karachi and had gone missing on Aug 13 there,” he said.
The mother of Sarvech Prizado, Mehrun Nisa had filed a constitutional petition before the Sindh High Court, according to her counsel, Zamir Ghumro.
He told Dawn.com that the court had heard the petition on Nov 27 and ordered DIG South Zone Karachi to produce him before the court.
“I had told the court that we apprehend him [Sarvech] otherwise he might be killed the way other nationalist activists are killed,” he said.
Ghumro explained that Sarvech had dissociated himself from JSMM and he showed a report from a newspaper, mentioning that he has quit the group.
He said that a non-cognizable offence report was lodged with Preedy police in Karachi.
Sarvech’s father talked to journalists in a choked voice to express his feeling. “I am proud of my son,” he said.
Lutf himself worked in a communist movement and was part of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD).
A few days back, the bodies of two JSMM activists were found.
Before that the bodies of two men, said to be affiliated with banned outfits were also found on Super Highway within the jurisdiction of Kotri police station, Jamshoro.
According to a civil society activist, Zulfiqar Halepoto, he had briefed UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances in Sept 2012 how nationalist activists are picked-up and their bodies then thrown.
“Almost all Sindhi nationalist parties leaders met the group whose members expressed their concern over such incidents,” he said.
Halepoto was part of a rally recently organised in the city to condemn extra-judicial killings of political activists.
JSMM has recently called for a strike against the deaths of its workers.
Read more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1148102/bodies-of-two-activists-found-in-jamshoro
Two more enforced disappeared Sindhi activists Serwach Pirzado and Wajid Langah’s bullet ridden dead bodies found at link road of Super Highway
By Riaz Sohail
Two more enforcedly disappeared Sindhi activists Serwach Pirzado and Wajid Langah’s bullet ridden dead bodies found at link road of Super Highway.
Read more » BBC
More » http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2014/12/141201_sindh_nationalist_bodies_found_zz?ocid=socialflow_facebook
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News adopted via Facebook
Sex should be everyone’s right in Pakistan as its basic need of body: says Rights activist Farzana Bari
Video clip is in Hindi/ urdu language.
Courtesy: Roz News Tv » DailyMotion
HYDERABAD: Disappearances, detentions and killings of nationalist workers propelled Sindhi writers, lawyers, teachers, journalists and representatives of non-governmental organisations to stage a protest.
Demonstrating outside Hyderabad Press Club on Saturday, they warned of implications on national integrity if such occurrences did not cease. Tortured bodies of three nationalist workers have been dumped this month. Two of the deceased were affiliated with the separatist party, Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, and the other belonged to the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz – Arisar. The deceased, identified as Paryal Shah, Waheed Lashari and Asif Panhwar, remained missing for months.
Moreover, a student of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Kamlesh Kumar, was whisked away from Sindh University Employees Colony a few days ago. Separately, the bodies of two residents of Latifabad town and one of North Waziristan were also found dumped on the Super Highway earlier this week.
“Sindhi nationalist workers are being killed with impunity,” said Jami Chandio, the executive director of Centre for Peace and Civil Society. “They are accused of indulging in conspiracies to break the country but these allegations are false.” He regretted that the Supreme Court takes suo motu notices on a range of issues but the killings and disappearances of nationalist workers go unnoticed.
He also warned the elected legislators of Sindh about the consequences of their silence on the issue. “The leaders of Sindh may be politically divided,” he said. “But they can’t tolerate state-backed terrorism.”
Prof Amar Sindhu, a women rights activist who teaches at Sindh University, said that the Sindhi society will not accept the killing of innocent young men. “We may disagree with the nationalists but we can’t forsake our people.”
During his address, Prof Mushtaq Meerani reminisced on how such tactics only contributed to alienation of people in the former East Pakistan and in Balochistan. “We are strong supporters of federation of Pakistan,” said Zulfiqar Halepoto, a rights activist and a writer. “But we stand for the rights of the people.”
According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan regional director Dr Ashothama Luhano, at least 12 nationalist workers remain missing. The oldest of these cases is the one of Imran Jokhio who belonged to Sukkur.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2014.
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/799388/sindhi-academics-stage-protest-against-killings-of-nationalist-workers/
By Naseer Memon
A spate of abductions and killings of political workers in Sindh can lead to explosive consequences
Conflicts within multi-national federations are ubiquitous particularly in the post-colonial states which carry the baggage of artificially induced stream of conflicts during the centuries-long colonial divide-and-rule regimes. Third world states inherited a mosaic of socio-cultural diversity that had been competing against crumbs of resources and meager political power controlled by oppressive state structures.
Colonial masters left behind amalgams of occupied territories that were engineered to create unnatural states to fulfill their colonial needs stemming from their economic and political avarice. South Asia is mired in conflicts in the post-colonial era.
In most of the South Asian countries dominant groups have been exploiting the others through administrative and muscle power. Propensity to establish hegemony over weaker groups resulted in protracted conflicts and civil wars. As a corollary, history of these juvenile states is riddled with genocides, forced disappearances, torture, abductions, rapes and crimes against citizens.
Fratricide through extrajudicial killings and massacres is not new to the third world states where post-colonial atrocious regimes have replaced exploitative colonial state structures. Pakistan too has a blood stained history of pogroms that has taken toll of millions of compatriots.
Former East Pakistan, Balochistan, Sindh and FATA had been repeatedly subjected to atrocities at different stages. National interest and religion have been used to mask these brazen violations of constitution, international obligations and principles of human rights. Sizzling Balochistan has been at the boiling point for many years.
Recently, a similar spate of abduction and killings of political workers has been unleashed in Sindh. Young political activists are abducted in Balochistan-styled action, not produced in any court and their lacerated bodies are dumped at desolated places. All laws of the land, international agreements and fundamentals of human rights are brazenly trampled.
The constitution of Pakistan unambiguously recognizes right to life. Article 4, Clause 2 (a) reads “no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law”. Similarly Article 9 reads “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty, save in accordance with law”. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
Abducted in Pakistan: The broken bodies of Sindh and Baloch provinces and fears for those still missing
If you are involved in activism in Pakistan, there is always the constant fear that a person may be abducted and added to the ever increasing list of “enforced disappearances” and bodies bearing torture marks that turn up day after day.
Back in August a very concerned mother Zubeida Panhwar addressed journalists at Hyderabad Press Club to highlight that her son Asif Panhwar was missing, believed to have been abducted and was very worried that his life would be in danger.
Asif was known to be involved in Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF) the student wing of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) a separatist political party in Sindh that believes in the freedom of Sindudesh from Pakistan. The group was added to list of banned “terrorist” organizations by the Pakistan government on 1st April 2013 which led to a ban. Campaigners insist Asif was a non-violent activist, a student who simply wanted a brighter future for Sindh.
Asif was picked up at the residence of advocate Ameer Hassan Panhwar near Naseem Nagar Chowk in Qasimabad on Aug 15 2014 allegedly by personnel of police and agency officials dressed in plain clothes. JSMM and JSSF have since held protests in Badin and Mirpurkhas against the enforced disappearance of their fellow activists from across the province. Sadly to no avail, he lifeless body of Asif has now been found, another life taken, another heartbroken mother.
A message displayed on the Facebook page of JSMM stated,
“martyr Asif Panhwar was a student of I.T. Department of University Of Sindh Jamshoro. He was abducted from University 100 days ago. His crime was that he had demanded the freedom of his country, Sindh. A historical country which was occupied by Pakistan through British strategy. Sindhi from the whole world must have to unite to make free Sindh from the chains of Pakistan, otherwise Sindhi would be killed continuously”
The killings appear to be fuelling unrest, as one activist wrote, “heavy clashes started between students and forces in Sindh university after killing of JSMM’S Asif Panhwar. Sindh university Medan Jang, 100 Students Zakhmi, Students Mathan Rangers, JI firing, Tear gas.”
Back in 2012, Dr Noam Chomsky, a world renowned linguist met with Sindhi activists and wrote a letter expressing his concern over enforced disappearances.
Read more » Carol Anne Grayson blog
In its first report focused squarely on acts by ISIS, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria presented a horrifying picture of what life is like in areas controlled by the extremist jihadists, including massacres, beheadings, torture, sexual enslavement and forced pregnancy.
“The commanders of ISIS have acted wilfully, perpetrating these war crimes and crimes against humanity with clear intent of attacking persons with awareness of their civilian or ‘hors de combat’ (non-combat) status,” the report said.
“They are individually criminally responsible for these crimes,” it stated, and called on the perpetrators to be brought to justice, for instance before the International Criminal Court.
Based on more than 300 interviews with people who have fled areas under the control of the jihadists, as well as photographs and video footage released by ISIS itself, the report paints a blood-chilling picture of life under its rule.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Nov-14/277641-un-probe-isis-committing-crimes-against-humanity-in-syria.ashx#ixzz3J3GQOLLf
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By Babar Sattar
How do you stay optimistic about the prospects of your country when the naked truth paints a dark picture? Is living in a make-believe world the true mark of love and loyalty or acknowledging your failures and faults with the object of stimulating change? An argument vociferously made by our ‘patriots’ is that the world paints Pakistan as a terrible place because we are too critical of ourselves. Can one really continue to sell a bad product even if the marketing campaign is swell?
How do you correct a wrong without first acknowledging it? How do you begin acknowledging wrongs in an environment where the hardened belief is that it is not the doing of a wrong but its acceptance that spreads the contagion of disgrace?
When did we become a people who have lost their ability to distinguish between an objective reality and the admission of it? Should we be concerned more about the harmful consequences of wrongs directly affecting our surroundings and us, or by the shame of others finding out about it?
Let’s flag some random unconnected events.
Two Pakistani Christians are burnt like pieces of coal in the brick kiln they worked at by fellow villagers after accusations of blasphemy were levelled against them from the bully pulpit of the local mosque.
Two Pakistani Christians are burnt like pieces of coal in the brick kiln they worked at by fellow villagers after accusations of blasphemy were levelled against them from the bully pulpit of the local mosque. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken ‘strict’ notice of the incident, as he did after the Gojra riots that claimed the lives of eight Pakistani Christians and the Joseph Colony attack in Lahore where 150 houses and two churches were torched (incidents also triggered by allegations of blasphemy).
Anjali Kumari Meghwar, a 12-year-old Pakistani Hindu child was reportedly abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and then married off to one Riaz Sial last week. According to a report released by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace earlier this year, almost 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan each year.
Anjali Kumari Meghwar, a 12-year-old Pakistani Hindu child was reportedly abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and then married off to one Riaz Sial last week. According to a report released by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace earlier this year, almost 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan each year. Bottom line? Whether it’s due to religion, gender or economic class, if you are part of the vulnerable segment of this society, you are damned.
Sixty Pakistanis lost their lives and 100 others were injured in a suicide attack at Wagah last week. Three indigenous terror outfits claimed credit for the attack. Did our state get riled up? Yes, because Pentagon noted in a report to the US Congress that, “Afghan- and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability,” and that “Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military”.
Police, armed forces carry house-to-house search operation in Sindhi settlements of Karachi, abduct two Sindhi nationalists
Police and armed forces carried house to house search operation in the Sindhi settlements of Karachi and abducted Mithal Mallah an activist of Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM). On the other hand police also arrested Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSQM) activist Jalil Mugheri from Karachi. Protests were held in Malir district of Karachi and a sit-in was given at highway against the abduction and detention of activists. JSQM leader Mumtaz Brohi demands United Nation for taking notice of the human rights violation News
Courtesy: Rights and Movement + Sindhi Newspapers.
President of Jeay Sindh Mutehda Mahaz (JSMM) Kashmore, Paryal Shah has been Killed by intelligence agencies. He was abducted by security agencies 24 days ago, when he was heading to Daharki. Today his mutilated & tortured body found from Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab. Paryal Shah was elder brother of Sindh activist Martyr Zamin Shah. One year ago Zamin Shah was killed in Karachi by intelligence agencies. JSMM appeals to United Nations, International Community, Human Rights Organizations & European Union countries to take notice of Extra Judicial killings of enforced missing persons of Sindhi Political leaders & activists and play their role for safe recovery of remaining enforced missing activists and leaders of Sindh activist.
Courtesy: News adopted from Facebook (social media)
More details » Sindhi daily Sindh Express
BY ASHER JOHN
An enraged Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked on Tuesday for allegedly desecrating pages of the Holy Quran.
The incident took place in Chak 59 village near Kot Radha Kishan, some 60 kilometres southwest of Lahore, and is the latest example of mob violence against non-Muslims accused of blasphemy.
Sources privy to the details of the incident told Pakistan Today that Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama worked in a brick kiln owned by a man named Yousaf Gujjar since the last 3-4 years.
“The couple were originally from Clarkabad, a Christian village a few kilometeres away from Raiwind but they had been working at Yousaf Gujjar’s brick kiln for the last 3-4 years and were living in a quarter in the premises,” a relative of the deceased couple toldPakistan Today on the condition of anonymity.
He said that on Sunday, Shama, wife of the deceased Shahzad Masih, was cleaning her quarters when she found some amulets belonging to her late father-in-law who used to ‘practice’ black magic.
“Shama burnt the amulets and threw them on a garbage heap. Irfan, a Muslim co-worker at the kiln, noticed some half burnt pieces of paper from the amulets and raised clamour, claiming that these were pages from the holy Quran, Soon the word spread and at 7am on Tuesday, a Muslim mob of about 3,000-4,000 people attacked the couple’s quarters at the brick kiln and tortured the couple to death. They later threw their bodies into the kiln and completely burnt them,” he said, adding that he and some other Christian families who worked at the kiln fled the kiln immediately after the incident.
He said the couple, aged between 30 and 35 years had three children while Shama was expecting a fourth child.
Read more » Pakistan Today
200,000 Canadians are homeless in any given year, national report says
By CBC News
Despite sporadic success in addressing homelessness in Canada, little progress has been made toward a permanent cross-country solution, says a national report into the extent of the problem. The report’s initial numbers tell a grim story. Among the report’s findings:
At least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year.
At least 150,000 Canadians a year use a homeless shelter at some point.
At least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night.
At least 50,000 Canadians are part of the “hidden homeless” on any given night — staying with friends or relatives on a temporary basis as they have nowhere else to go.
Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/30-000-canadians-are-homeless-every-night-1.1413016
Sindh Human Rights activist “Sufi” Laghari will deliver his talk, “Pakistan-U.S. Relations: Human Rights Abuses in Sindh
Sindhi human rights activist to address UALR on Pakistan-US Relations
The executive director of the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) will discuss human rights abuses against Sindhis in Pakistan, including kidnapping, torture, assassination of political leaders, and persecution of minority religious groups. Munawar “Sufi” Laghari will deliver his talk, “Pakistan-U.S. Relations: Human Rights Abuses in Sindh,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Donaghey Student Center, meeting room D. The executive director of the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) will discuss human rights abuses against Sindhis in Pakistan, including kidnapping, torture, assassination of political leaders, and persecution of minority religious groups. Munawar “Sufi” Laghari will deliver his talk, “Pakistan-U.S. Relations: Human Rights Abuses in Sindh,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Donaghey Student Center, meeting room D.
Iran has gone ahead with an execution of a woman despite an international campaign urging a reprieve.
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in a Tehran prison on Saturday morning. She had been convicted of killing a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her.
Read more » BBC
Learn More » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29769468
Following is a poetic response to ASIA: Wounds in the souls of the members of disappeared people’s families can never be cured, which appeared yesterday (September 26, 2014)
by John Joseph Clancey
Will there be another tomorrow?
Or, just another wife’s sorrow,
caused by her husband’s disappearance?
Will I hear my new-born baby’s cry?
Or, will she hear her mother’s sobbing sigh,
wondering about her husband’s disappearance?
Will I be sitting with my father in the Church pews?
Or, will he be constantly waiting for news,
since the first day of his son’s disappearance?
Will tomorrow be another worry-filled day?
Or, perhaps bring a much more creative way,
to avoid the inevitable disappearance?
So many have just gone, without a trace.
Does anyone know the precise time or exact place,
of their ultimate disappearance?
Can I ensure another tomorrow?
And prevent some further sorrow,
by disappearing before the planned disappearance?
For Basil Fernando,
who, in 1989, faced the dilemma: to disappear or be disappeared.
Courtesy: ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
A seven-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly buried alive by relatives in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has been rescued by a villager.
Police say relatives first tried to strangle her and then left her to die in a shallow grave. It is unclear why.
The man who found her in Sitapur district alerted police – she was taken to a hospital and is said to be doing well.
Police are looking for her mother, uncle and aunt who they say have fled.
The villager who rescued her followed the sound of muffled cries to the middle of a cane field where he found the soil moving.
Police allege the girl’s uncle and aunt had promised to take her to a fair, but then strangled and buried her near the village of Semri Gaura where she lives.
“When the girl became conscious, she began to remove the soil on top of her and clambered out of the shallow grave. Then she sat there and cried loudly when the villager spotted her,” Sitapur police chief Rajesh Krishna told BBC Hindi.
“There are strangulation marks around the girl’s neck.”
Reports say the girl lived with her mother. Her father apparently had no idea about the attack and has told police he is estranged from his wife and lives separately.
Police say they have yet to establish a motive for the attack. But cases of baby girls being killed are not uncommon in India, where women are often discriminated against socially and girls are seen as a financial burden, particularly among poor communities.
In 2012, the father and uncle of a baby girl in Uttar Pradesh allegedly tried to bury her alive, apparently as a sacrifice to protect the health of their other children on the advice of a spiritual guru.
Screaming Inmates Make L.A. Rethink Jailing Mentally Ill
By James Nash
Inmates in suicide-proof gowns scream and bang on their cell doors one floor below Terri McDonald’s office in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. The bedlam is a reminder, if she needs one, that the mentally ill population in the largest U.S. jail system is out of control.
It’s a “shameful social and public-safety issue,” said McDonald, the assistant sheriff who runs Los Angeles County’s jails. “I believe we can do better. I believe at some point in the future we’ll look back and wonder, ‘What took so long?’”
Read more » Bloomberg
A British pensioner who was sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy, has been shot and injured by a policeman inside the Pakistani jail where the 70-year-old was on death row. A Christian pastor was reportedly killed in the same incident. Muhammad Asghar, who is from Edinburgh and whose family says he has a history of mental illness, was shot in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Thursday morning by a member of a specialist police unit allegedly using a concealed weapon. Pastor Zafar Bhatti was killed in the same incident, Reuters reported.
Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in January this year after a disgruntled tenant presented letters he had written saying he was a prophet. During his trial, his family tried to present evidence that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
A lawyer for Mr Asghar, who asked not to be identified, said they had been told the pensioner had been shot in the back at 8.30am by a police constable attached to a specialist unit.
More » The Independent