Atena Daemi, Iranian Human Rights Activist Jailed For Opposing Death Penalty On Hunger Strike Since February 2018

Atena Daemi is a children's and human rights defender who has advocated for the rights of children in Kobane and Gaza, for women's rights and against capital punishment.

Atena Daemi is a children’s and human rights defender who has advocated for the rights of children in Kobane and Gaza, for women’s rights and against capital punishment.

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: ‘Yemen on brink of ‘world’s worst famine in 100 years’

Malnourished boys in a malnutrition treatment centre in Sana’a, Yemen.
Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Malnourished boys in a malnutrition treatment centre in Sana’a, Yemen.
Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Yemen is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe
Without immediate help, the lives of millions are at risk.

YEMEN: “We’re hungry, cold and ill, we need help… We’re forced to depend on what people give us.”

The Guardian

|Hannah Summers, The Guardian|AIWA! NO!|On top of forced displacement, hunger now looms across Yemen, leaving the lives of millions of children, women, and men at risk.

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.

Yemenis stand near bottles full of fuel displayed for sale at a black market, amid an acute shortage of fuel in Sana’a.
Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

Yemenis stand near bottles full of fuel displayed for sale at a black market, amid an acute shortage of fuel in Sana’a.
Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

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.

Huge spike in Yemen violence as civilian deaths rise by 164% in four months

The mangled wreckage of a car reportedly destroyed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition is seen near the eastern entrance of the Yemeni city of Hodeida.
Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The mangled wreckage of a car reportedly destroyed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition is seen near the eastern entrance of the Yemeni city of Hodeida.
Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

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.

OPRAH WINFREY: “Women are going to save South Africa”

“Women are going to save South Africa” – Oprah praised for powerful speech in Soweto
Twitter Nelson Mandela

|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

South Africa will celebrate 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela in 2018, with special holiday packages, new openings, projects and events.

South Africa will celebrate 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela in 2018, with special holiday packages, new openings, projects and events.

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

HISTORY

Oprah was invited by Madiba’s widow and fellow humanitarian Graça Machel to be part of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 celebrations.

Oprah opened her speech by telling the audience that this was her 36th visit to SA and reminisced fondly about how she got to have 29 meals with Madiba.

Oprah said that, even though Madiba could have been filled with so much bitterness over the apartheid government, he chose to be grateful for the lessons he learned.

GOOGLE & The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown

Flowers left outside Google China’s headquarters after its announcement it might leave the country in 2010. Photo: Wikicommons.

Flowers left outside Google China’s headquarters after its announcement it might leave the country in 2010. Photo: Wikicommons.
  • 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.

Guardian

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.  

46512306_319047615582965_5063497336513101824_n.jpg

Is this a picture of Professor Christine Blasey Ford with Bill Clinton?

News.com.au
University professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward and testified against Kavanaugh for raping her in 1982.

News.com.auUniversity professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward and testified against Kavanaugh for raping her in 1982.

Clinton and Blasey Ford or not?

Claim: Photographs show Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with George Soros, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton.

Origin

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.

Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford protest

Protesters voice their opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and their support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, during a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2018.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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.

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD DONATES GOFUNDME MONEY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS
‘Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfil my civic duty’

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD DONATES GOFUNDME MONEY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS
‘Although coming forward was terrifying, and caused disruption to our lives, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfil my civic duty’

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:

But the woman seen in these pictures is actually Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior United States Senator from New York:View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

As #DemsInPhilly gather to nominate our next Pres. @HillaryClinton, kicked off #DNCinPHL w/former Pres. @BillClinton

UK – Exiled Zimbabwean Journalist in Great Britain: Immigration; Racism, African Experience; Reflections Or None Of It

Crimson Tazvinzwa: "How to feel and how not to feel as an African immigrant ..."
Crimson Tazvinzwa: “How to feel and how not to feel as an immigrant …”


|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.

Exhibit one;

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. ????

SAY WHAT?

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 black man crime versus white 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.

Barcelona Miró mosaic on La Rambla

Did you know there is a Miró on La Rambla? The famous painter Joan Miró actually created part of the Ramblas. Many thousands of people walk right over the Miró circle on the Ramblas every day and don’t even know it.
Human Statue:  Galileo

Human statue: Galileo

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

Elegant Sagrada Familia Church; Crimson Tazvinzwa, Travel Photos 2005

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.

Another piece of great work by Gaudi/crimson tazvinzwa travel photos 2005

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.

flaherty barcelona


Flaherty’s – Square Joaquim Xirau 

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?

Crimson Tazvinzwa Travel Photos; Ras Ramblas Street Performing Artist; 2005

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.

For no reason.

Sometimes.

US PRESIDENT Trump Says Military ‘Can Use Force’ At United States – MEXICO Border; Hundreds of Immigrants Die Attempting To Cross


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

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 reports. 
IOM/Keith Dannemiller
Irregular migrants atop freight train, ‘La Bestia’ which takes them through Mexico towards the US. (file)

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 reports. 
IOM/Keith Dannemiller
Irregular migrants atop freight train, ‘La Bestia’ which takes them through Mexico towards the US. (file)

|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.