Atena Daemi is serving seven years in Iran’s most notorious prison. Her crime? Peacefully protesting for women’s rights and an end to the death penalty.
|AIWA! NO!|On 12 May 2018, Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee were returned to Evin Prison after having been illegally transferred to Gharchak prison (in the city of Varamin) for three and half months. Both human rights defenders had been on hunger strike in protest at the transfer.
As of 9 March 2018, human rights defenders Atena Daemi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are being held in a quarantine section of Shahr-e Rey prison in the town of Varamin. They are still on hunger strike as of 15 February 2018.
On 13 February 2018, the mother and sister of Atena Daemi were arrested after being beaten by prison guards with batons while standing in front of Evin prison to show their solidarity with the defender. They were released that same evening.
On 8 October 2017, Atena Daemi was taken to hospital to have surgery on her gall bladder.
She had previously refused treatment due to the fact that she was to be handcuffed throughout hospitalization – there was some negotiation in this regard and the prison director ultimately relented to her demand not to be handcuffed during the surgery.
UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation.
Yemen could be facing the worst famine in 100 years if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted, the UN has warned.
If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
She told the BBC: “I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia, that we saw in Bengal, that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union – that was just unacceptable.
“Many of us had the confidence that would never happen again and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.”
Yemen has been in the grip of a bloody civil war for three years after Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, seized much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a. The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels since 2015 in support of the internationally recognised government.
Thousands of civilians have been caught in the middle, trapped by minefields and barrages of mortars and airstrikes. The resulting humanitarian catastrophe has seen at least 10,000 people killed and millions displaced.
Speaking on Sunday evening, Grande said: “There’s no question we should be ashamed, and we should, every day that we wake up, renew our commitment to do everything possible to help the people that are suffering and end the conflict.”
Her comments came after the UN and humanitarian workers condemned an airstrike in which the Saudi-led coalition targeted Yemen’s Shia rebels, killing at least 15 people near the port city of Hodeidah.
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Celebrated TV personality and humanitarian Oprah Winfrey was applauded for the powerful words she shared at the Is’thunzi Sabafazi (Dignity of Women) talk at the UJ Soweto Campus on Thursday
He was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, into a royal family of the Xhosa-speaking Thembu tribe in the South African village of Mvezo
Drop the Dragonfly programme and publicly commit not to re-launch a search engine in China at the expense of human rights.
Guarantee protections for whistle-blowers and other employees speaking out.
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Internet censorship in China is among the most extensive in the world due to a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. More than sixty Internet restrictions have been created by the government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and organizations.
Back in 2010, Google made a promise. The largest search engine in the world vowed that it would never support China’s internet censorship. But – skip forward to August 2018 – and it’s a different story. It’s been revealed that Google’s preparing to go back on its word.
Before President Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.
Under the code-name ‘Project Dragonfly’, Google has been working on a secretive programme to re-launch its search engine in China – even if it means cooperating with the Chinese government’s repressive online censorship and surveillance rules.
People using Google in China would be blocked from accessing banned websites like Wikipedia and Facebook. Content from search terms like ‘human rights’ would be banned.
The Chinese government would even be able to spy on Google’s users – this is a government that routinely sends people to prison for merely sharing their views online.
If Google is willing to trade human rights for profit in China, could they do the same in other countries?
Stand in solidarity with the staff members at Google who have protested the project and tell Google CEO Sundar Pichai to #DropDragonfly – before it can be launched.
Claim: Photographs show Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with George Soros, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford publicly alleged on 16 September 2018 that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when both of them were high schoolers in 1982, she has been the target of a relentless campaign to try to discredit her and cast aspersions on her motivation for coming forward.
One of the most common smears directed at women to discredit them personally in such situations is try to paint them as “loose” and promiscuous. One of the most common ways to discredit them politically is to attempt to link them to the bogeyman of the right, billionaire hedge fund manager and Open Society Foundations founder George Soros.
Predictably, someone dug up and circulated a photograph claimed to be a picture of Christine Blasey Ford posing with George Soros and suggesting some form of relationship between the two:
However, the pictured woman is not Dr. Ford, but rather Lyudmyla Kozlovska, a Ukrainian human rights activist seen below with her husband Bartosz Kramek at an anti-government protest in Warsaw in 2017:
Another pair of photographs were claimed to show Dr. Ford posing with former film producer Harvey Weinstein (against whom multiple allegations of sexual harassment have also been made) and former president Bill Clinton:
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|For so many years I have worked very hard and waited for my left hand to be right. I’m still working hard and waiting …
I admit. This is not my writing style at all – especially when reporting myself. But then here we go. Eisch!. I have decided I share with you some random snippets of my experience or non of it over the 20-plus odd years I have lived on this side of the pond; for I forever shall live in mortal fear of being misquoted or lack of it thereof; or worse still forgetfulness and forgettable. Non consequential or just as ‘SHIT HOLE’ as US President Trump’s characterization of Africa and its populations myself included.
You see! I have seen it all. From ‘dog-whispers’ to ‘bull-horns’ of racial slurs. Some deliberated, calculated and unleashed and the outcome assessed, and blatant and yet others random and ignorant. From people pretending they don’t understand my accent, and least still cannot spell my African surname even as it shows clearly on the identity badge laying on my lapel all the time, all written in English alphabet – and (‘by law’?). Wait! Aah! You name it. But jog on still.
But it still hates …
Take accents for example; and their names. Already cause anxiety and discomfort among and between some lot.
One time years back; just over one-year after September 11: my partner and I planned visiting with friends in New York. Our respective annual leave were generous – could take a good 4 weeks in the summer. We didn’t think much about itinerary or anything except booking the tickets online –lastminute.com and whacked email to our friend Monika – a Czech – American to let her duly know we were on our way and asked what we should bring her from London. Flight Tickets were cheap; £420 apiece return and all.
Except for me to be denied a visa DESPITE the fact I lived in America before. In Louisiana (Lousyana). Barton Rouge.
Despite I was the professionally fully employed between the two of us. As if it should have mattered.
Despite we had our own two bed room flat in North East London; Walthamstow . We bought it for £182.000.00. On mortgage of cause.
My bank statement at that time was very healthy. No reason to complain in this department … at that time at least.
Despite my manager John Pink at Community Volunteers (CSV) writing a passionate passion-able letter vouching for me; tax returns and payslips; bank statements; and the fact that I had not taken sick leave for all the 3 years I had been working with him. And that there was no reason whatsoever for me to get stranded or live off some American public freebies or on government recourse for that matter – we had enough savings in personal and joint account as it stood.
You name it. The whole shebang.
My application failed.
The ‘computer said no.’
Their Sentiment: “There was no sufficient evidence with my application to suggest I would want to return to the United Kingdom after my holiday in America.”
In their pitifully blinkered or myopic eyes on issues of human and social mobility, geography ie population movements and settlements; they had just done some non formulaic calculation; I wasn’t gonna come back to the UK – would go on a runner. ????
And they said my partner could still go ahead though and travel to visit with our friends as she was on a German passport. They made it sound we were very fortunate at least one of us could still be travelling. Dough!
No refund for airline tickets even as we informed the Airline two weeks in advance.
We took it in our synchronized stride and jogged on.
Images of ‘black men’ doing ‘black man bad man tings‘
Is it me? Every time I watch news on telly and there is some robbery or stabbing or even an accident that has taken place. I’m conditioned to quickly check if the aggressor, violent person at that were a black man or not. Simple demographic statistics. And praying … “Oh God Let It Be Not A Black Man This Time.” Of course there is disproportionate representation of blackman crime versuswhite man crime. The media do that everyday. I work there. Masochistic!
Look! As black men we are wired to self doubt; confess; self interrogate, and question our selves first before the other in any situation what ever situation; a bad one or a good one. We can be impressionable, callous, belligerent and gullible. Don’t speak out for fear of being labelled cocky or arrogant or both or self aggrandizing; therefore double-down on self-minimization and our lack of potential; assumed of course- trying to prove we can fit in while all the while dying of self-pity. The vulnerability.
I’m not a pub man but when I do do happen to go into one all sorts of things happen.
EXHIBIT 2 – Pub In Barcelona
Imagine the famous and memorable Gaudi Architecture; Las Ramblas and the Olympics village in Barcelona.
Las Ramblas Barcelona;
Las Ramblas is often the first landmark that most tourists identify with the city. It is the central most boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre and is a vibrant and lively promenade filled with Barcelona action at its best and sometimes the worst.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Catalan architect who is the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism.
Gaudí’s works have a highly individualized, and one-of-a-kind style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his main work, the church of the Sagrada Família
Magnificent! We went up to Gaudi House’ by cable car; did little of nosing around and taking pictures. A cup of coffee. We were four of us; an English couple who had traveled with us from London; long time friends shall I say, and the two of us. My partner then heavily pregnant; irritable, irritating and all … as you can imagine. We all decided we needed a drink after the excursion up the Gaudi Hill. We headed into the next pub that came to sight by The Ramblers, except I thought I remain outside for a little-while to finish off my ‘fag’. I had just started smoking then, and drinking for that matter. And why not – that was pregnancy stress, anxiety and all.
I casually walked in the pub a little while later. Took a quick glance and spotted my little gang patched on a wide table by the corner.
Drinks ordered including my San Miguel. Happy days. Before I realized ; a notably smartly dressed gentleman whom I assumed to be a staffer walked up to me and accosted:
” PARRDONH! My ‘pathronh‘ patrons/customers are not pleased seeing you here.” he said.
“There is another nicer pub down the road,” he added helpfully of course.
Sheepishly and meekly as I always do in ‘these’ circumstances …; I smiled my normal broad smile showing only the white teeth and said something to the effect;
“Sorry. Thank you. Thank you so much. And God’s Blessings!”
What is that all for?
I believe BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS, BLACK BROTHERHOOD just as SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS has undesired consequences and outer-limits for thoughtful intercultural and interracial dialogue; and our common struggle against prejudice: religious, race, creed or OTHERWISE.
Or some pointless meaningless mumble of some sort.
This all happened in full glare of the Mexican and Brazilian dance troupe who stared at the scene in bewilderment, and bemused . World vision! Consequently my lot including the cacophony of the dance ensemble – wobbled out with some apologizing on ‘their behalf’ to me … which was bizarre but understandable for such brazen attack will not happen in the UK where I live; as I am still aware. I presume.
EXHIBIT 3 – Black on black crime and the language of self – hate and hurt.
I don’t know about you. I have decided the British Law of Etiquette & Decorum still works.
It doesn’t really matter what you are at and where are you at in life as long a you are not hurting or hating others, fair and fine.
The number of migrants losing their lives attempting to cross the United States-Mexico border in 2017 remained high in spite of substantial decrease in the number of arrests along the frontier, the United Nations migration agency reported
|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|In a news release, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that US Border Patrol figures show 341,084 migrants were apprehended on the country’s southwestern border in 2017 as against 611,689 in 2016 – a drop of about 44 per cent.
However, 2017 recorded 412 migrant deaths, compared to 398 the preceding year.
“The increase in deaths is especially concerning, as the available data indicate that far fewer migrants entered the US via its border with Mexico in the last year,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.
According to the UN agency, prolonged exposure to the extreme environments in the border region, where temperatures often top 104 degree Fahrenheit (40 degree Celsius), combined with the difficulty of bringing assistance those in need in remote areas have repeatedly been cited as leading causes of death.
Texas, where 191 migrant deaths were recorded in the last year, is a particular area of concern and the 2017 total represents a 26 per cent increase over the 151 fatalities recorded in the state in 2016, added IOM in the news release.
At the same time, though data on migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border are more accessible than in many other regions of the world, they remain incomplete and the number of deaths reported by the US Border Patrol, includes only those which agents deal with directly.
“This means that federally reported figures could seriously underestimate the real number of deaths,” said Julia Black, data collection coordinator for IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.
IOM also reported that the “vast majority” of migrant border deaths recorded by the Project occur on the US side of the border – though one reason for this may be that coroners, medical examiners, and sheriffs in US border counties are more likely to regularly report data on migrant deaths to the agency’s staff.
Reports of deaths south of the border often surface locally from radio stations and small newspapers, or from social media, the UN agency added, noting that the information on fatalities could come weeks, even months after they occur.
Since the start of the Missing Migrants Project, IOM has recorded 1,468 deaths on the US-Mexico border, including 14 deaths in January 2018.