Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Human Rights Action Update October 15-22

Miriam, Human Rights Defender, 1947-2012
We start by wishing all our Muslim friends and supporters a Happy New Year for AH 1436 which occurs on Saturday October 25. May peace be with all people of good will.

Ángel Colón was arrested and tortured by police in Tijuana, northern Mexico in March 2009.
Ángel Colón was arrested and tortured by police in Tijuana, northern Mexico in March 2009.
© Amnesty Internationa
Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but long overdue, said Amnesty International. All charges against him, which were indeed trumped up with a confession extorted by torture, have been dropped. Ángel Colón is an Afro-descent Garífuna, and Amnesty International believes his torture, detention and prosecution were the result of discrimination: based on his ethnic origin and his status as undocumented migrant. He was abused, humiliated and  and forced to lick clean the shoes of other detainees and perform humiliating acts. He was repeatedly called a “fucking nigger” (“pinche negro”). We hope the perpetrators are prosecuted, but do not bet on it. According to an AI survey, 64% of Mexicans fear torture at the hands of the police.

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

Around 100 refugees from Syria are at risk of being returned to the war-torn city of Kobani/Ayn Al-Arab. They are part of a group of over 250 men, women and children from Kobani who have been unlawfully detained by the Turkish authorities in a sports hall since 5 October in the border town of Suruç in Turkey’s south-eastern Şanlıurfa province. Of this group, two sets of returns have taken place on October 14 and 16. Please call upon the Turkish government to stop this practice.

Three men have been detained since April and face criminal charges for raising the German flag over an official building in Kaliningrad. If found guilty they could face up to seven years in prison. This is a gross violation of freedom of expression, a basic human right. Please act on their behalf.
More than 200 Roma living at the Bobigny camp are set to be evicted.
More than 200 Roma living at the Bobigny camp are set to be evicted.
© Francine Bajande
More than 200 Roma, including around 50 children, living in an informal settlement near Bobigny in the north eastern suburbs of Paris, are at high risk of being evicted in the next 48 hours (as of Oct.20) despite the High Court in Bobigny declaring in July that there was no urgent need to carry out the eviction  The eviction may have taken place, but nonetheless we must demand that provision for housing of the Roma be provided.

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