Petition Tag - human rights

1. Help Women Understand the Ramifications of Abortion

Since the legalization of abortion after Roe v. Wade in 1973, approximately 1.5 billion abortions have occurred worldwide, and approximately 59 million of them were in the United States alone. Many of these women are making the decision to have an abortion with minimal knowledge about the ramifications of their decisions.

As many as 65% of women will suffer some symptoms of PTSD, 60% will experience suicidal thoughts, 28% will attempt suicide, and all post-abortive women increase their chance of physical complications, alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, repeat abortions, child abuse, and divorce.

Legislation requiring women be informed of the lifecycle of their child, the possible mental and physical health risks, a discussion with a family member or counselor, and a 24 hour waiting period can help stop unnecessary pain. Approximately 70% of abortions can be stopped with sonograms alone.

Change needs to happen.

2. Close the Gender Gap NSW equal pay for all

The gender gap in Australia unfortunately is getting worse in NSW men are earning 20% more then women who are working full time with same or more qualifications.

It should be a basic right to earn equal amount of money but due to the discrimination that our society seems to still hold against women we are falling behind i believe a act should be enforced for New South Wales allowing women to receive equal pay and rights for the same work and should not be discriminated against just because of there gender instead awarded for there hard work and input into our workforce.

3. Action Against Human Rights Violations in North Dakota

The DAPL Pipeline has been allowed to trample the human rights of Native Americans in North Dakota for almost an entire year.

The corporation in the name of greed has enlisted the State of North Dakota, it's Law Enforcement and National Guard to assault innocent peaceful and playful protesters trying to protect their land that was unlawfully seized. Hundreds of Elderly, Women and Children have been seriously hurt by a militarized police force.

4. Unblock Hejen Pize Qerej's Facebook account

Dear Facebook Team,

From 14th of October a friend of mine’s facebook account, Hejen Pize Qerej, his account has been closed. The below is his facebook account link:
www.facebook.com/hejen.pze

I am as an active Facebook user and as a friend of ( Hejen Pize Qerej ) asking you to open Hejen’s account. I know him for a long time and as far as I know he is extremely nice person. He is animals and environment lover and a friend of them. He is also fighting against discrimination, execution, suppression/ oppression and prejudice.

I can only see one reason for blocking his Facebook account. There are people who are supportive of the tyranny regimes and their political parties in the Middle East. It is very sad to see Facebook that listen to those sort of people. By doing this, Facebook, indirectly supports those brutal regimes that try to terrorise, imprisoning and killing community activists, journalists, human right activists and Libertarian people. While you cannot support the suppressed people, please hand off their Facebook account and do not block them.

I am right now asking you to open Hejen Pize Qerej’s Facebook account, and hopping that Facebook continuo taking the right direction instead of being a tool on the hands of the tyranny regimes and their agents. I also hope Facebook find itself to be supportive of the rights of animals & human and environment

Yours sincerely,

5. Free Mark Raafa!

Mark Raafa, for the protection of the individual, is the alias of a man now trapped in dire circumstances in Bangkok, Thailand.

A man who was striving for more liberal laws for non-muslims in Karachi, Pakistan, ended up being the victim of a heinous crime; his home burnt down to the ground and receiving numerous death threats had to flee his own nation.

Like something out of a movie, Mark ends up with he and his family in Thailand in 2012, the only place that would accept him.

Then it got worse; the Pakistani government not only did nothing to help Mark, but charged him with Blasphemy. He fought the case from outside the country and was unsuccessful, being found guilty punishable by hanging.

Mark fought hard and received official refugee status from the UN, but that has not been enough.

Now, without any way out of Thailand, this warrior for Human Rights is looking to live in a place that will accept his plight as righteous and well fought.

Canada has the facilities and the spirit to bring this man and his family to safety out from the grips of sure death. Give Mark the chance to live in peace, he and his, by signing the petition now.

6. Name Palm Oil in New Zealand

Palm oil in New Zealand has no legal name which is atrocious as this substance funds the slavery and death of people.

Palm oil manufacturers have violated approximately ten human rights. The US, EU and Canada all have a legal name for palm oil so New Zealand casting a blind eye to this issue is embarrassing.

WWF have stated at least half of the packaged products New Zealand sells within its supermarkets contain palm oil. New Zealand's have the right to know what products have palm oil in them as some have the awareness and honour to avoid funding this issue.

Millions of hectares of forest are being burned and demolished due to these plantations and people should know what products are funding this destruction. New Zealanders deserve a legal name for palm oil on the packaging of these products.

7. Kpop Group NCT next subgroup to me called NCT Harambe

On April 4 2016 S.M. Entertainment announced the creation of a new Kpop group NCT which would have multiple subgroups.

Currently there are 3 subgroups; NCT U, NCT #127 and NCT dream.

8. Freedom for Justin Cheong

Whereas: The life of Justin Cheong is the story of an American hero. Justin immigrated to the United States as a high school student, seeking to advance his education. He stayed to advance the principles of freedom, democracy, and equality. Now, Justin Cheong is held captive. He is imprisoned in a facility that holds immigrant detainees—an American concentration camp—and he is fighting for his own freedom and for the freedom of the young men who share his captivity. Behind prison walls, Justin continues his life’s work, pursuing the dream of a free and democratic nation in which “all men are created equal.” This petition exists so that Justin’s brave struggle will not be confined within prison walls. This petition demands freedom for Justin Cheong.

1 The case of Man Tou Cheong

Justin was born in 1990 in Macau, China, a small coastal territory just west of Hong Kong. His parents named him Man Tou Cheong. As a teenager, Man Tou gained citizenship in the nation of Portugal, and acquired a student visa to attend high school in America. He traveled to Minnesota, where he adopted the name Justin, and led a successful high school student career. His bright mind and obvious talents propelled him to advance to the University of California at Berkeley.

In California, Justin was able to thrive, finding direction and purpose to channel his great abilities. He became a student activist, championing the defense of public education and building a movement to unite people against all forms of bigotry and oppression.

Through his activist work, Justin met Liana Mulholland, whom he befriended and eventually married. Liana’s parents, both AFSCME union officials, became Justin’s legal U.S. “sponsors” so that Justin could stay and live in America after completing his education. Justin and Liana made a home together in Detroit, Liana’s hometown. They have been married for five years.

America is Justin’s home. He entered the country legally in 2007, and has remained in the country legally since then. His life is here, the people closest to him are here, and his hopes and dreams are here. His character and good standing are unimpeachable.

But these facts by themselves were not enough to protect Justin’s freedom. On Thursday, June 30, federal agents sought out and arrested Justin Cheong. Within hours, they had transported Justin to an immigrant detention facility in Monroe, Michigan, where Justin has been held without bond since that time. Justin has no criminal record and is not suspected of committing any crime—the federal agents held him captive on only a single charge: being born in the wrong country.

2 Immigration and the new Fugitive Slave Law

It is the most defining political issue of our time. In the United States and around the world, millions of people have relocated across national borders; it is the largest wave of global human migration since World War II. This modern migration has absolutely perplexed the world’s most dominant powers—nations have militarized their borders to combat peaceful and unarmed civilians, and politicians now rise or fall on the basis of their appeal either to a progressive internationalism or to xenophobic hatred. This polarized climate imposes new and intensified hardships on the already-embattled migrant populations.

The hardship of Justin Cheong is entirely the product of this anti-immigrant hysteria: government enforced, legally sanctioned hysteria. Justin committed no offense. He pursued what every American presumes to have the right to do—to move to or from any free and democratic nation in the world, in accordance with local rules and customs. He chose as his home a nation whose principles reflect his own—the belief that all human beings have inalienable rights. But Justin Cheong now sits in prison navigating an obscure and arbitrary legal process for immigrants in which human rights—and the human beings themselves—are thoroughly alienable. This process is separated from the rest of American law, operates outside the framework of Constitutional rights, and increasingly moves with the mechanical redundancy of an assembly line towards a predetermined outcome.

America’s immigration enforcement system is now the modern version of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Much like the 1850 law designed to further the apprehension of black Americans in the North—whether “fugitives” or not—today’s immigration system bears far stronger resemblance to kidnapping and enslavement than it does to any pursuit of justice. Most immigrants are deported to countries in which they would be working for miniscule wages for American mega-corporations, spending their scarce resources to buy American products, but never having the right to enter the very nation whose stupendous wealth they have created by their own toil. The torch of the Statue of Liberty does not shine its welcome inside the walls of America’s vast prison system for immigrants.

But there is one torch of freedom you can find there, behind the iron bars: his name is Justin Cheong.

3 Life in an American concentration camp

In the decaying town of Monroe, Michigan, a specialized prison holds Justin Cheong captive along with dozens of other immigrants. Some of the immigrants, like Justin, came to the United States with student visas to get an education. Many of the immigrants are refugees from Mexico and Central America, displaced from their countries of origin by the poverty and violence that American economic policy has created abroad. All of the immigrants hope to find peace and freedom.

Like Justin, most immigrants there are denied bond, held hostage for months at a time until the sheer oppressiveness of their captivity can compel them to sign papers agreeing to deportation. The standard procedure for denying bond is to designate an immigrant as a “flight risk,” which is perhaps the most ironic of all possible legal designations for people who are trying to stay where they are. The internal regime of the prison is designed to instill the stigma of being unwelcome and the feeling of powerlessness—the prison management works to aggravate racial and ethnic divisions among the inmates, to turn people against each other by enticing detainees to serve as the “good” prisoner who can enforce the regime against all the “bad” prisoners.

Justin’s unflinching dignity rises above the twisted social experiment. Justin is the advocate and beacon of hope for his fellow inmates. When Justin started to spend time drawing some fine portraits of the other prisoners, deep interest grew towards this talented young man, and a new sensation filled the air in the facility—there was kindness, and beauty, and friendship. Justin brought those things inside the prison walls. And he also brought his leadership, his fight for freedom, and his unshaken belief that oppressed people can and must stand up for one another as the most powerful means to stand up for themselves. Thanks to Justin’s efforts, a number of inmates have obtained legal representation through his own attorneys, and he stands as a devoted representative for hope and courage in a captive population, a proud and glowing torch where people are otherwise expected to be broken and invisible. Even in the darkest of circumstances, Justin shines as a wonderful human being, a champion of the oppressed, and a great American.

4. An American immigrant, civil rights activist, and champion of the oppressed

To his friends and loved ones, to his fellow activists, and to the countless people he has reached through his dedicated work, Justin represents the best qualities of people and brings out the best in others. In California and Michigan, Justin has been a frontline advocate for public education, for immigrant rights, and for the cause of equality for America’s segregated black and Latino communities. Justin quickly grew to become a respected leader in the civil rights organization, BAMN (By Any Means Necessary). Inherently fond of people, Justin has reached out to so many others—students, teachers, immigrants. And as a result, others have grown very fond of Justin. Through his compassion and enthusiasm, Justin has brought people together, young and old, people of all races and nationalities. Today, Justin carries on the tradition of leaders like Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like them, Justin represents America’s highest ideals—he is a champion for freedom.

Champion of those who groan beneath
Oppression's iron hand:
In view of penury, hate, and death,
I see thee fearless stand.
Still bearing up thy lofty brow,
In the steadfast strength of truth,
In manhood sealing well the vow
And promise of thy youth.

-John Greenleaf Whittier, 1832
To William Lloyd Garrison

9. Resentencing of a Juvenile Life Without Parole

I am writing a petition in regards of my son Donald Williams. He was sentenced under the juvenile lifer law at the age of 16.

My son was charged with 1st degree murder, even though his co-defendant admitted to shooting and killing the victim. The case revolved around the delivery of drugs.

His co-defendant broke his silence before being sentenced and stated: "Mr. Williams had no knowledge of my plans". In addition to the statement my son Donald was also offered a plea deal to serve 6 years. Due to his innocence, he declined the offer because he had no involvement in this matter. In light of this Donald was a High School student with a G.P.A of 3.0 looking towards a bright future.

I believe it was not possible for Donald to receive a fair trial 23 years ago in (1993)... because, first my son is of the Afro-American race, the victim being Caucasian and the son of a Macomb County police officer. The case was widely publicized with my son being a juvenile being tried as an adult for just being guilty by association. He be-friend his co-defendant for only two days, which led him into making an unwise decision! It is also quite evident that my son had poor since of judgment in picking his friends. Nonetheless, he took time to personally apologize to the victim's family.

Additionally, I know I still have a difficult battle to fight. He has now served twenty three years, and fighting for parole. I feel that Donald deserves to be given the opportunity to return to the community. By signing my petition, you will shined light for Mr. Williams, and those who are in similar situations JUVENILE LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.

Thank you for taking the time and consideration of signing my petition!

Yours Sincerely,
a Mother's Tears

PLEASE ANSWER A MOTHER'S PRAYERS.

10. Citizens against taxpayer funded abortions

The Hyde Amendment was passed in 1977 following the legalization of abortion. Its purpose to prevent persons and religious organizations from being forced to pay for abortions against their conscience, their religious beliefs, or moral beliefs.

Hillary Clinton would like to reverse this amendment and force taxpayers to provide free abortions on demand. She would also like to lift all time limits for abortions allowing an abortion to occur up to the day of birth. Abortion limits and prevention continues to be a fight for human rights. With so many opposed to this act against humanity itself, the notion of free funding with taxpayer money is absurd.

At over 300,000 abortions a year, it is also an undue and unjust burden placed on taxpayers struggling with their own household bills.

11. Bring Congress back from Recess

Under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, we ask the President to call a Special Session of Congress.

This Special Session should address these 3 items:

1.) Human Rights
Action: a. Outlining the rights of Civilians (when apprehended or detained in Police custody, the process of public defense, easier process to restore voting rights to returning citizens) and -
b. the rights of police (proper/unified training, psychological evaluations, fair wages/ treatment for PTSD)

2.) Race Relations
Action: a. Updating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include anti-profiling language & increased funding to Community Relations Service (CRS)

3.) Gun Control
Action: Background Checks for those seeking to obtain a firearm and closing the Gun Show Loophole. A vote on reinstating the Federal Assault Weapon Ban.

12. Free Bahraini Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab, On Trial For "Crime" of Tweeting

Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab is set to go on trial on Sunday, July 17 2016 for the "crime" of tweeting.. According to Reporters Without Borders:

After a court extended Bahrain Centre for Human Rights president Nabeel Rajab’s detention in connection with some tweets for another three weeks yesterday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its condemnation of Bahrain’s constant obstruction of freedom of information and its repeated harassment of journalists and bloggers.

Arrested at his home on 13 June, Rajab was transferred to a military hospital with cardiac problems on 28 June after two weeks in solitary confinement. According to Bahraini human rights NGOs, he was examined by a doctor and was then returned to West Riffa police station for further custody.

He is facing up to 13 years in prison on charges of “spreading false rumours in time of war,” “insulting public authorities,” and “insulting a neighbouring country” in a series of tweets last year about Jaw prison in Yemen. At yesterday’s hearing, the first since his arrest, the court adjourned his trial until 2 August, extending his detention until then.

“It is outrageous that the Bahraini authorities are holding a human rights defender and are subjecting him to appalling prison conditions just because he used Twitter to provide information.” RSF said. “We call on them to free Nabeel Rajab and to withdraw all the charges against him.”

A major international campaign is under way for the Bahraini authorities to abandon the proceedings against Rajab. RSF joined 25 other international NGOs in signing an open letter calling for his release.

A resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 7 July called for “the immediate and unconditional release of Nabeel Rajab and other human rights defenders jailed on allegations relating to their rights to free expression, assembly, and association, and for all charges against them to be dropped.”

13. Dismantle the United Nations

The Declaration of Human Rights, which is the initialising document of the United Nations, was a laudable & wonderful effort to encapsulate the genuine desires of the politicians who signed it in 1948.

Since then even the first few words cannot be said to have been achieved. "ARTICLE 1, All human beings are born free & equal in dignity & rights."

It cannot be emphasised enough that these words, although evident & true, are violated every second of every day in all parts of the world & the United Nations cannot be said to have improved rights for any human being except, maybe those who occupy positions of power.

We see vast resources being funnelled into this organisation & we also see them constantly begging for further resources to cover their expenses.

We see enormous edifices of governance, huge conferences & meetings during which many resolutions & agendas are produced.

None of which have successfully prevented war, famine, disease or the loss of homelands & resources.

We hear of resolutions being vetoed by one vote against many over & over. This indicates a toothless tiger shackled to a globalist predator regime which, far from liberating the people of the world, is actually creating a global prison in which all people are subjected to draconian & domineering control.

I therefore propose that the existing United Nations be declared unfit for purpose & be dismantled before it achieves it's unsavoury objectives as laid out in Agenda 21 & 2030.

These Agendas may seem benign on the surface but the reality of them is the wholesale destruction of diversity of culture & the destruction of nations "for the greater good" - supposedly.

We need international cooperation without doubt, but we do not need an expensive, useless pariah dictating a policy in which human beings are to continue to be treated as just another commodity or resource in a world controlled by internationalist corporations & the sinister few extremely wealthy individuals who own them.

14. Demand for Immediate & Unconditional Dismissal of Charges against Iranian Activist Amir Amirgholi

Iran's Authorities Issues a Heavy Sentence against Amir Amirgholi.

Amir Amirgholi, 33 arrested in the street by security forces under Branch 6 of Ghods Court warrant has been sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Judge Abolghasem Salavati handed down the sentence.

Amir is a dismissed student of the Islamic Azad University of Ghazvin and the son of Abbas Amirgholi. Officials had taken him to his father's house and seized his personal belongings: a laptop, cell phone and hard drive of his PC. He was transferred to Ward 8 after an intense two-month investigation in solitary confinement.

Branch 6 of Shahid Moghadas Court of Evin court chaired by Amin Naseri, where he was accused on vague charges of "assembly and collusion against national security", "blasphemy", "insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran", "propaganda against the regime of Iran".

Amnesty International has stated that Amir Amirgholi, Iranian activist was sentenced to 19 years and sex months incarceration on charges in connection with his peaceful activities, following an hour-long trial in early 2016. He is being held in prison under extremely poor conditions while waiting for his appointment with the appeals court.

The leftist activist was arrested and taken to the Evin prison on August 30, 2007, after taking apart on the anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Khavaran. He was then held in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison without access to legal counsel and with no contact with his family for 56 days. Almost a month after the arrest, he was granted permission to speak with his family in a brief phone call, stated Amnesty International He had reportedly served 16 days in solitary confinements at the Islamic Republic chambers.

Amirgholi was previously arrested in the peaceful demonstration supporting Kobani on September 2014. He was released after spending a night at the chambers of Intelligence and Public Security Police of NAJA, according to the reliable sources. According to the reports, he also was arrested by security forces in front of Milad Hospital; officials released him after a few days.

According to his family, it is of urgent concern at this time that Amir suffers from a pancreatic disorder and require medical attention. Previously he was held at Ward 8 of Evin prison alongside hardened criminals convicted of pirating, theft, embezzlement, fraud and forgery. Evin prison is notorious for it's poor treatment and torture of political prisoners.

Branch 36 of Tehran's Appeal Court will hold a retrial session to re-examine Amirgholi's verdict on August 3, 2016.

15. We want Regina Osamrumaese and her family to get Icelandic citizenship!

Pregnant Regina Osamrumaese and her family are on the verge of being deported from Iceland where they have come to seek refuge and have already lived here for several years now. Regina and Eugene are parents to two children and Regina is entering her second trimester with her third child.

Both her children were born via C-section and it could be a matter of life and death if she does not get medical assistance in this birth as well, which she may not get if she gets deported.

She has struggled her whole life, from fleeing inhumane circumstances as a child in Nigeria to being homeless in Italy. Now she and her family have a home here in Iceland, they have settled down here, the children go to kindergarten and school and speak Icelandic. This is the life they know. To turn them away and send them out of the country would not only be cruel but a blatant violation of human rights.

They deserve safety. They deserve a home. They deserve to live long happy, healthy lives. They are victims of circumstance but fully equipped to make a life for themselves if only given the chance to.

Let's help them achieve that! All we need is your signature. Such a small thing but yet so powerful.

Let's not stand by and watch their lives ruined once again. Let's help this family because we can and we should.

16. Remove Native American costumes from the shelves in Canada!

Indigenous peoples of Canada historically went through assimilation, from colonization itself to the residential schools. Examples would be the reservation system, the fur trade, the potlatch ban and the rules against use of native language and clothing in the residential schools.

This oppression of our Indigenous culture is still being perpetuated in todays society, only manifested in different ways. One example of this would be cultural appropriation. In mainstream society, Indigenous culture is being reduced to fragments of history and mythology.

17. Petition to Restore ALL Rights to Ex-Felons

When you have been tried, convicted and sentenced for a felony according to what type of felony it is there is a Maximum sentence the Judge can impose. If that is 5 years (including successful completion of Parole) then that sentence would be a 5 year "cap".

At the end of your 5 years you are released from parole stating that you have complied with and successfully completed your sentence and can return to an active and productive life in society...At that point and time BY The LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS You can no longer be held for that Crime. At that time: ALL of Your Basic Human and Civil Rights as A U.S. Citizen should be Restored! The Right to Vote, The Right to Bear Arms, The right to Privacy. etc.

This is where the 2nd Amendment should not be altered to each states pleasing and should remain as was intended by our Forefathers as part of the Constitution of the United States and should be a Federal Law that would override any and all State level rules or laws, You are in actuality serving a life sentence. You have to when asked state that you are an Ex-Felon when applying for a job, housing, loan, license, assistance, etc. Why?

They say "Do the Crime...Do the Time", BUT when does that time cease to exist? As it is now, it doesn't. You are still living a "Life Sentence" being Judged by all at every juncture or corner you turn. What does the term Successfully Rehabilitated Mean? It means you have successfully completed all aspects of the imposed sentence and terms of your parole/probation. That you have been reintroduced to society as a normal & Tax Paying Citizen. Then normal it should be. Including but not limited to Your Right as an American Citizen to Vote, to Privacy & To Bear Arms (I can say one thing in defense of this...If in the commission of your crime you used a vehicle as a weapon does that mean you can no longer have the right to drive a car when you are released? I do believe that common sense will make this point.) & I also believe you should not have to disclose your past unless by law it is clearly stated as is with certain types of crimes: Sex Offenders, Child Molesters etc...

I hope People will read this and understand the Logic of restoring Your Rights!

18. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Zeinab Jalalian

Imagine being arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. Now imagine being convicted for that crime, and sentenced to death for allegations of which there is no evidence. It is a worst-case scenario which one cannot possibly prepare themselves for.

Now take this scenario and add the frightening prospect of awaiting your sentence in an Iranian prison, sent there by the Islamic Regime.

This is the true and frightening story of Zeinab Jalalian. Wrongly described as a political activist, she was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death for being an alleged member of the banned Kurdish Free Life Party of Kurdistan. (PJAK) Although Iran’s Supreme Court later reduced her sentence to life imprisonment, this is of little comfort to the 34 year old woman who has languished in prison now for the past 9 years. Plagued with continual health problems, she now suffers an eye aliment, which requires surgery that she has been denied. Zeinab is slowly losing her eyesight with no help on the horizon.

Consequently, due to her lengthy imprisonment and denial of proper medical care she has experienced other serious health problems and faced challenges most of us would consider a living nightmare. Over the past few years, she has suffered internal bleeding, and intestinal infection related to injuries sustained during torture. Zeinab had reportedly been placed under intense physical and psychological pressure to confess in front of a camera for her alleged crimes, a common practice in Iran for politically motivated cases. Her requests for medical furlough have been denied.

The severe injustices this young woman has faced are glaring. After her initial incarceration, she was denied proper legal representation and her trial lasted only a few minutes. A worldwide movement campaigning for Ms Jalalian’s release has been instigated by several humanitarian groups pointing out irregularities in the judicial proceedings leading to her condemnation, cruel treatment and urgent need for medical attention. This effort has been assisted recently through a petition by women’s rights activists through a petition as recent as September of 2015. However in March of 2016, requests to send her to a hospital or furlough had been rejected.

Zeinab Jalalian has struggled her entire life for the most basic of human rights. Like many women living under Islamic oppression in Iran she has no say in this terrifying ordeal; we cannot let her spirit be crushed, we must fight for her right to let the truth be known.

We need to be a voice for this courageous young woman who desperately needs our help.

19. ACADÉMICOS PELA PAZ EM MOÇAMBIQUE CLAMAM POR UM RETORNO À PAZ E AO FIM DO APOIO AO RECRUDESCIMENTO DO CONFLITO ARMADO / ACADEMICS FOR PEACE IN MOZAMBIQUE DEMAND A RETURN TO PEACE AND A STOP TO SUPPORT FOR AND ESCALATION OF THE CONFLICT

Nós, os abaixo-assinados, académicos ligados a Moçambique através da cidadania ou devido ao trabalho académico, pretendemos realçar o estado alarmante e o recrudescimento do conflito militar em Moçambique, a rápida militarização da sociedade moçambicana, e a crise económica parcialmente causada pela situação acima mencionada.

Nós clamamos que ambos os partidos do conflito cessem as hostilidades como uma questão urgente, que se engajem em negociações sérias e no processo de reconciliação. Pedimos ainda que outros actores nacionais, regionais e internacionais apoiem a paz em Moçambique.

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We, the undersigned, who are academics connected with Mozambique through citizenship or due to our academic work, aim to highlight the alarming status of escalating military conflict in Mozambique, the rapid militarization of Mozambican society and the economic crisis partially caused by the aforementioned situation.

We demand that both parties to the conflict end hostilities as a matter of urgency and that both parties engage in serious negotiations and in the reconciliation process. And other national, regional and international actors should support Mozambique's peace.

20. White Rock Mayor Urged to Approve Medical Marijuana Pilot Project

It is no secret that medical marijuana facilities have been growing in number in BC's Lower Mainland. Many of these facilities have opened and operated without the guidance of their government or local city officials, resulting in certain relaxed operating protocols, miscommunication and facilities being shut down on a frequent basis.

Rather than risking the confusion and inconsistency, communities can initiate a Pilot Project which would allow a Mayor and City Council the opportunity to openly work with a pilot facility, such as Releaf Compassion Centers, to create operating protocols and bylaws.

The pilot facility's operating protocols would be up for public scrutiny and adjustment until the point is reached where the community and the pilot facility no longer have concerns that need addressing. Then all facilities that wish to open within the community will have to abide by those agreed upon standards.

Releaf has requested a Pilot Project with the City of White Rock, believing that it will be an effective solution to creating safe community-based access to medical marijuana that supports the needs and concerns of the everyone.

21. NO TO RESERVATION SYSTEM

We live in a free country and this freedom is a gift of democracy to us. Our constitution gives us the right to freedom and most importantly to exercise this freedom in an equitable manner. At the same time it is incumbent on the part of the state to ensure that equality prevails in all sections of the society.

However in today’s time one of the major roadblocks to this equality is the Reservation System.

India being a developing nation is currently facing many challenges and the reservation system being one of them. The biggest question that lies in front of us is whether implementing this reservation system has really helped the downtrodden? The current scenario clearly depicts that the ‘lower’ castes are still discriminated in their daily lives. To uproot casteism it is important that we fight the reservation system which alone will lead us to development, competency, equality and unity.

The reservation system finds its origin in the age-old caste system of India. The caste system at its birth was meant to divide people on the basis of their occupation like teaching and preaching (Brahmins), kingship and war (Kshatriya) and lastly business(vaish) etc. but soon it became an instrument to divide the society on caste-basis, creating various walls between different sections of the society. Today we stand divided widely into Hindu, Muslim, SC, ST & OBCs with newer reservations coming up for other different sections of the society like Christians, Kashmiris, Jats, Kashmiri Pandits, Tribals etc.

Firstly we need to understand that the reservation system only divides the society leading to discrimination and conflicts between different sections. It is oppressive and does not find its basis in casteism. It is actually the antithesis of a communal living.

Currently, as per the government policy, 15% of the government jobs and 15% of the students admitted to universities must be from Scheduled castes and for the Scheduled tribes there is a reservation of about 7.5 %. Other than this, the state governments also follow their own reservation policies respectively based upon the population constitution of each state. So nearly 50% seats are reserved.

The Mandal commission was established in 1979 by the central government to identify the socially or educationally backward people. It was also set up to consider the question of seat reservations and quotas for people to redress caste discrimination. It used social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness. But today are these reservations actually being utilized on the above mentioned factors? The answer is prima facie ‘NO’ because the benefits are being stolen away by the creamy layer.

The 93rd Constitutional Amendment allows the government to make special provisions for “advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens”, including their admission in aided or unaided private educational institutions. Gradually this reservation policy is to be implemented in private institutions and companies as well. This move led to opposition from non-reserved category students, as the proposal reduced seats for the General (non-reserved) category from the existing 77.5% to less than 50.5% (since members of OBCs are also allowed to contest in the General category).

Article 15(4) of our constitution empowers the government to make special provisions for advancement of backward classes. Similarly Article 16 provides for equality of opportunity in matters of employment or appointment to any post under the State.

“Clause 2 of article 16 lays down that no citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them be discriminated in respect of any employment or office under the State.”

However clause 4 of the same article provides for an exception by conferring a certain kind of power on the government:

“it empowers the state to make special provision for the reservation of appointments of posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which in the opinion of the state are not adequately represented in the services”

Thus two conditions have to be satisfied:

The class of citizens is backward
The said class is not adequately represented.

In a case Balaji v/s State of Mysore (AIR 1963 SC649) it was held that ‘caste of a person cannot be the sole criteria for ascertaining whether a particular caste is backward or not. Determinants such as poverty, occupation, place of habitation may all be relevant factors to be taken into consideration. The court further held that it does not mean that if once a caste is considered to be backward it will continue to be backward for all other times. The government should review the test and if a class reaches the state of progress where reservation is not necessary it should delete that class from the list of backward classes.’

What is surprising is that our constitution clearly is a reservation-friendly constitution but nowhere in the constitution is the term ‘backward classes defined. What actually constitutes a backward class? What are the determinants of a backward class? These questions remain unanswered and it is only with the help of judicial pronouncements that they have been given some meaning. Question arises how can reservations be made for something that has not been defined?

Today when a student applies for an admission in any university, the admission forms are filled with questions like ‘Are you SC/ST or OBC or General Category?’ How does it matter which category does he belong to, what matters is his merit. A category cannot decide whether he is eligible for admission or not. There many economically worse off children belonging to the forward classes but they cannot get the fruits of such reservation merely by virtue of belonging to the ‘general’ category. Sometimes these children belonging to the backward classes do not even deserve and still possess the necessary merit as against a child who studied very hard for months to get a seat, thereby snatching away that seat just because he comes from a particular religion or caste for which our government provides reservation.

Reservation should be purely made on the basis of the economical conditions of the applicant and nothing else. The kind of reservation policy that our government currently follows does nothing but divide the society into different sections.

When the then HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh introduced 27.5% reservation for OBC in centrally funded educational institutes including IIMs and IITs a petition was moved to the President and the Prime Minister stating that such a reservation will take India back from where she is today. Further “everyone understands the need for all sections of the Indian Society to get an opportunity to be a part of this economy but reservation based on caste is not an answer to this. These policies have been in India since the last 50 years and they have failed to meet their objectives. The government should go into the reasons of the failure. Many students don’t make it to the institutes because of the economic reasons and those who do not fall in the reservation criteria don not get a fair opportunity too”.

To remove this evil it suggested the following:

Make education mandatory and free for all till age of 15
Propose reservation based on economic status
Provide opportunity to students to earn while they study.

Instead of introducing reservations for these backward classes what is required is to bring about revolutionary changes in our education system at the grass-root level. When proper education is not provided to children belonging to such categories during the primary stage itself then on what basis are the reservations provided at a subsequent stage.

Reservations are nothing but means to prosper the vote banks of politicians. They are hindering the country’s growth, development and competency in all aspects. On one hand the preamble of our constitution states that we are a free, democratic and sovereign nation and on the other hand reservation system is chaining all these aspects into its clutches. It is creating disparity and differences amongst the people. The constitution lays down that every child has a right to education and no where expresses that any child belonging to a backward class has a little more of this right than the general category. By reserving one category against another creates a feeling of division which is now resulting in a chaos with every small section of the society asking for it.

Reservations on the basis of caste and not on the basis of condition are bad and unacceptable. Fair and just reservations to uplift the people with poor conditions of life, those who don’t have meals to eat, clothes to wear and no home to live in. They shall be made on the basis of factors such as gender as women are more disadvantaged than men since primitive times, domicile, family education, family employment, family property, family income and if any disabilities and traumas. The process of reservation should be such that it filters the truly economically deprived individuals and bring them all to justice.

Thus reservations are anti-thesis of development and equality. We don’t need reservations based on castes or religion but only to actually provide aid to those who have minimal resources; and merit should be given equal and due importance in admission procedures as well employment opportunities. This way we would be successful in removing caste discrimination and unite the economically rich together in helping the economically poor, irrespective of their castes.

22. Save more lives by supporting Biafra Christians' Independence

World leaders should act fast to save more lives in Nigeria by supporting the Biafra Christians' Independence from Muslims in Northern Nigeria.

Muslims in the Northern Nigeria have killed Christians Biafrans like flies. The only thing that can stop the killings is granting Biafrans their freedom from the Muslims of Northern Nigeria. This will isolate terrorism in the North.

Please act fast to save lives. Thanks.

23. More Opportunities for Young Adults with Learning Disabilities

Annmarie Brook has cerebral palsy and for the past 3 years has been accessing training through Barnsley's Adult Learning program. This has failed to further her education because if the targets that are set by certain staff aren't met then they are no longer allowed to participate in the course.

Daniel Brook has been doing mechanics through Greenacre School and is more than capable of doing tasks such as changing wheels and tyre repairs. For most young people these learnt skills could lead to employment however this wouldn't happen because he has Down's Syndrome and just because he looks different there just isn't the same opportunities out there.

Previously at Greenacre School Daniel has preformed tasks such as cleaning, gardening and making cups of tea in the school house, but the only programme Barnsley college are offering is a 'living for life and work' programme, which would include repeating previous skills learnt and tasks far below his educational potential.

This is unfair as he wants and needs something with a challenge to further his education and keep him interested, just like the rest of us.

24. A Sikh assaulted in Quebec. The Sikh Community demands the attackers to be charged with Hate Crime!

The brazen physical assault on a Canadian Sikh Mr. Supninder Singh Khehra in the past week has brought up considerable question on how the Quebec City Police Department handles and investigates Hate Crimes.

Mr. Khehra was verbally abused and beaten while vacationing in Quebec City by a group of men who targeted him because of his brown skin and turban. He is still recovering after he was punched in the face and kicked Saturday March 26th 2016 by seemingly strangers, whose attack was recorded on video.

The Police department denied seeing the video when it was given to the Police by Mr Khehra following the incident.

25. Free Fakhri Abdul Qadr El Atrash

Mr Fakhri Abdul Qadr El-Atrash, a husband and father of two, has been kidnapped and unlawfully detained by a militia in Tripoli since November 2015. He was previously held by Daesh in Derna and upon his release he left Libya for Turkey.
A civil servant responsible for directing youth projects in the Eastern Province, he was actively involved in the February 17th Revolution in Derna and Egypt, where he represented the National Transitional Council in seeking Egyptian support for the Revolution.

When he returned to Tripoli on 17th November 2015, while meeting with colleagues at a café near the Foreign Ministry, Mr Fakhri was approached by three individuals who asked him to confirm his identity and accompany them for a ten minute interview. When he refused, he was taken at gunpoint by car to an unknown destination. Several months later, an individual who was detained by the same group informed Mr Fakhri’s family that he had heard him calling in a nearby cell.

Mr Fakhri remains in the custody of a militia near El-Khadba Prison. His lawyer, Dr Sami Salem El-Atrash, has held talks with the General Public Prosecutor in order to have the unlawful detention of Mr Fakhri brought to an end. These include requests for Mr Fakhri to be presented to the Prosecutor for an official investigation to be carried out. To date no such action has been taken by the General Public Prosecutor.

We call on the civil rights community to urge all concerned parties, including non-governmental agencies such as Amnesty International, Libyan Lawyers for Justice, Human Rights Watch and others, to join us in calling for the immediate release of Mr Fakhri.

26. Advocate for Humane Sentencing

The Texas Judicial System relies on individually appointed counsel for indigent felony defendants, unlike other States, and the Federal system, which usually have a central Public Defender's office staffing mitigation investigators for felony cases. A common phrase used to describe the scenario in Texas is "Meet them, greet them, and plead them" in reference to indigent, felony defendants.

This reliance on independent counsel has had the effect of reducing criminal mitigation investigations in Texas felony cases to the very few counsel willing to expend the time, money, and effort to conduct a proper mitigation investigation which will ensure the disadvantaged defendant (whether that be physical, mental, or otherwise) a humane sentencing process. This failure comes at the expense of the indigent felony defendant and also our society as a whole, as we all are the ones paying to incarcerate offenders for lengthy sentences far too often associated with non-violent crimes.

27. Free Iranian American Father & Son Baquer and Siamak Namazi, Sentenced To 10 Years

October 18, 2016: Mizan News Agency, a website linked to Iran’s judiciary, reported today that Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer Namazi have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison. On October 16, the same news agency published a short video showing Siamak Namazi’s arrest as evidence of “America’s humiliation.”

According to Mizan, the two men were convicted of “cooperating with the hostile government of America.” Beyond that, no charges have been officially made public. In April, the Namazis’ lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, told IranWire that he had been denied access to his clients’ case files.
Some hardline media outlets have called the Namazis’ arrest “Iran’s biggest intelligence catch.” Today, the hardline paper Vatan called Siamak Namazi the “kingfish” of a “British-run” network.

Siamak Namazi is the head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum, which has its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates. He previously worked as an energy consultant for the Dubai-based Access Consulting Group. He was arrested in October 2015 during a trip to visit his family in Tehran. His 80-year old father, Baquer Namazi, was arrested on February 22, 2016, when he arrived in Iran to visit his imprisoned son.

On the eve of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Baquer Namazi was the provincial governor of Khuzestan. He later worked a representative of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in several African countries.

In February, Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, published an article reporting that Namazi was arrested in order “to uncover the complex layers of vast financial and intelligence corruption by a network that is associated with the UK and America.” The piece also stated that Baquer is accused of training his son Siamak in “espionage and infiltration and subversion operations.”

According to Fars News, one of the charges against Siamak Namazi was his founding of the “Non-Governmental Mutual Assistance Institute of Iran,” an NGO which it said was involved in organizing the “English-American riots,” a reference to the mass demonstrations that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election.

Fars Reported that Siamak Namazi had also been charged with membership in, and extensive connections to agencies that are affiliated to the United Nations; connections to Gary Sick (an Iran specialist at Columbia University who served as member of the US National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan), membership of the Gulf/2000 Project (a project Gary Sick directs at Columbia University), close ties to US State Department spokesman Alan E. Eyre and to John D. Sullivan, director of CIPE (the Center for International Private Enterprise) and his connections to the Ford Foundation and NIAC (the National Iranian American Council).”

Tabatabaei told IranWire his client had rejected the charge of cooperation with a hostile government. “According to the Supreme Council of National Security, which responded to an inquiry about this, Iran does not consider the US to be a hostile government,” said Tabatabaei. “A ‘hostile government’ has a clear definition and legally it is the job of the Supreme Council of National Security to define it.”

Now, it seems that the Iranian Judiciary believes that it can decide by itself which government is hostile, and has convicted both men based on its own definition.
Since the Namazis’ arrest, American officials have repeatedly demanded their release. With this sentence, diplomatic efforts to secure their release must enter a new phase.
********************************************************************************************************************
March 3, 2016 The United Nations Children's Fund said on Thursday it is worried about the health and well-being of one of its former officials, an elderly man jailed in Iran for more than a week.

Baquer Namazi, whose son Siamak has been jailed in Iran since October, was himself arrested on Feb. 22 and taken to Tehran's Evin Prison, his wife said last week on social media. Both the elder Namazi and his son are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens.

Baquer Namazi, a former Iranian provincial governor, served as UNICEF representative in Somalia, Kenya, Egypt and elsewhere before retiring in 1996, UNICEF said in a statement.

"Current and former UNICEF colleagues are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of Baquer Namazi," the statement said. "We hope he will be reunited soon with his wife and loved ones."

Baquer Namazi is 80 years old and has a serious heart and other conditions which require special medication, his wife Effie Namazi said last week.

His son Siamak was most recently working for Crescent Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates, and previously headed a consulting business in Iran.

Iranian officials have not issued formal charges against either man. Friends of Siamak Namazi have said that he may have become a pawn in factional struggles among hardliners, pragmatists and reformers, each with economic and political interests.

Elections in Iran last week strengthened centrists and reformists allied with President Hassan Rouhani, but his scope to permit more social and political freedom is constrained by hardliners' control of the judiciary, security forces and state media.

SOURCE: Reuters

28. No More Blood Oil

Canada buys oil from countries with horrendous human rights records and violations. Why, when we have enough to be self sufficient and have been proven to have some of the world's cleanest environmental standards?

Did you know The title of ‘world’s dirtiest oil’ goes to Brass crude blend from Nigeria, where the uncontrolled release of methane during the oil extraction process generates upstream GHG emissions that are over four times higher than Canadian dilbit.” Its also the worlds biggest offender of female mutilation/Circumcision.

Saudi Arabia, one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world, has covered up their environmental disasters for years. Easy for a regime with total control over their media and closed to outside influence to do. The largest oil spill on record next to the BP in the Gulf of mexico was over 6 million Barrels spilled into the persian Gulf. In fact, the bodies of water adjacent to these middle east countries are known to be the most contaminated on earth. And everyone knows about the constant burning of wells around the region. Ignited by nations in constant war with each other over this black gold.

And Contrary to what the media tells you The ‘dirtiest oil in North America’ is not produced in Canada, but just outside Los Angeles, where the Placerita oil field generates about twice the level of upstream emissions as Canadian oilsands production. The US is also the 2nd worst country in the world for emissions next to China. How many wars have they funded and countries destabilized in their efforts to ascertain or control oil reserves.

By eliminating the purchase from these extremist countries we can solve so many problems. Not only in their countries, but our own. It will show the world what being Canadian really is. Remove the money from tyrannical regimes. Show strength in our belief of our charter, Unite Canada from coast to coast, and will boost our hurting economy.

29. Burst the Bubble

Police Forces in England & Wales were recently inspected on "Police Legitimacy" which includes "ethical culture" and "whether the force understand, engage with and treat fairly the people it serve..."

North Wales Police received a 'GOOD' rating in this inspection; however North Wales Police and Cheshire are two of the few forces to use the controversial restrictive 'bubble' to convey ALL fans to and from derby football matches between Wrexham and Chester and vice versa.

The use of the 'bubble' has been the subject of much criticism of law abiding fans of both Chester and Wrexham Football Clubs who resent having their freedom curtailed by an arbitrary, disproportionate and unfair method of policing. They further resent their categorisation and stereotyping as football hooligans and general troublemakers.

The Inspectorate make no mention of the fact that they inspected football policing methods in their report and we must therefore conclude that they did not.

30. Refer Australia's refugee policy to the International Court

Australia's current refugee policy has seen the mistreatment of people in off-shore processing centers, prolonged detention and the detention of children, including children born in Australia.

We the citizens of Australia feel powerless, particularly in view of the recent High Court Decision declaring that our country's policy is legal under Australian law.

Human rights are universal and immutable and should not be restricted to the whim of any parliament. Nor should they be watered down by tabloid commentary and extreme right politics.