Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Talitha Kum

Those of you who read the blog from Rome already know this . . . Here's an exciting new website -- Talitha Kum, International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons. This brand new website is already rich with information, documents, and a few pieced of multimedia. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, explore Talitha Kum

Monday, June 14, 2010

Human Rights Advocate Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison

From the SOA Watch:

Washington, DC resident Michael Walli was one of four human rights advocates who were arrested during the annual November Vigil to close the School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC). Michael Walli was sentenced on Monday, June 14, 2010 to six months in federal prison.

During his November arraignment, Michael told judge Malon Faircloth that he would not pay any bail and that he would not voluntarily return for the trial. Michael Walli made good on his promise and Faircloth issued a warrant for Michael's arrest. Federal marshals arrested Michael in March 2010 at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC.

Ken Hayes, Father Louis Vitale and Nancy Gwin, the three human rights advocates who were arrested together with Michael Walli, were each sentenced in January 2010 to six months in prison as well - the maximum allowed for the charge of tresspass. The extremely harsh sentences are intended to deter others from following the example of the 'SOAW 4.'

"Those who speak out for justice are facing prison time while SOA-trained torturers and assassins are operating with impunity," said SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois.

The SOA/WHINSEC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights atrocities and coups, including the El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador and last year's military coup in Honduras. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution.

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive US foreign policy, and to close the SOA/WHINSEC. In November 2010, thousands will return to the gates of Fort Benning to call for justice and accountability.

Click here to send a message of solidarity to the prisoners.

Click here to visit the School of the Americas Watch website.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reminder: June 26 - International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

LCWR Justice and Peace Alert:

June is Torture Awareness Month

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) has been calling for a Commission of Inquiry into US sponsored torture post-9/11. A report issued June 7 by Physicians for Human Rights, confirms the need for a Commission of Inquiry. NRCAT also requests sending postcards to Congress asking for a guarantee that ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) has access to detainees held by the United States. Although President Obama issued an executive order to this effect, the guarantee needs to be codified. Further information about both of these actions, as well as a short video, can be found on NRCAT's website: www.nrcat.org <http://www.nrcat.org/> . (On June 26, 1987, the UN Convention AgainstTorture and other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, came into effect. Information about this year's UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture can be found by going to http://www.un.org/events/torture. )

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nujood Ali

Thanks to Sister Florita for the suggestion of I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced. This is the story of Nujood Ali, the first bride in Yemen to win a divorce. Hailed by Hillary Clinton as "one of the greatest women I have ever seen," Nujood was named a Glamour Woman of the Year in 2008.

In Nujood's words: "I'm a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no."

From the back cover of the book: " Nujood Ali's childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age. With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband's hands and of her daring escape. With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom -- an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of all girls are married under the legal age. Nujood's courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family have inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages. Hers is an unforgettable story of tragedy, triumph, and courage."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Human Trafficking and the World Cup

Julie Tanner is the Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing for Christian Brothers Investment Services, a leader in Catholic socially responsible investing worldwide. She has written an editorial regarding the potential for human trafficking at the World Cup in South Africa. Click here to read the editorial.