White House Protest Corps


ETAN Action ALERT: East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

ETAN Action ALERT

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Please do this simple task to support human rights and justice.


Call your representative in Congress. Urge him or her to co-sponsor H. Res. 1355, The resolution, submitted by Rep. Patrick Kennedy urges the government of Indonesia to improve  human rights in West Papua.

Prisoners of Conscience Filep Karma,Yusak Pakage and others may spend the next decade or more in prison in Indonesia for peacefully raising a flag. Indonesian assaults on freedom of expression and abuse in its prisons are well-documented. A year ago, the Indonesian government expelled the International Committee of the Red Cross in West Papua.

What YOU can do:

Call your Representative today. Urge her/him to co-sponsor House Resolution 1355 supporting human rights in Indonesia’s West Papua. A copy of the Resolution is below.

When you call, ask to speak to the foreign affairs legislative assistant. The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office of your Representative), or check www.congress.org for contact information. To sign on to the resolution, the office should contact Daniel Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s office (5-4911).

Your call can make the difference.  Please keep us posted of the results of your calls by writing to etan@etan.org. Go here to check on current go sponsors. Be sure to thank your representative if she or he is on the list.  Support ETAN’s work by donating today. Thank you!!

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Talking points:

1. The U.S. Department of State, UN investigators and human rights organizations have documented threats to freedom of expression and dire prison conditions in the Indonesian provinces of West Papua and Papua.

2. The government of Indonesia must demonstrate its commitment to freedom of expression by releasing people convicted for peacefully expressing their political views, improving prison conditions, and allowing access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

3. The U.S. Congress needs to be a strong advocate for human rights in Indonesia and elsewhere. Representative Kennedy’s resolution is an opportunity for members to express their commitment to the rule of law and freedom of expression in Indonesia. This can only strengthen democracy.

4. The Congressmember should support human rights by co-sponsoring House Resolution 1355 by contacting Dan Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s office.

You can e-mail your member of Congress on the Resolution via Amnesty International USA.


111TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION

H. RES. l355

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. KENNEDY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on _____________

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

Whereas the Department of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report on Indonesia documents the detention of at least 30 peaceful Papuan activists, the killing of a Papuan man at a peaceful rally, and additional evidence of suppressed speech, societal abuse, and discrimination against religious groups, violence and sexual abuse against women, child labor, and human trafficking;

Whereas the Government of Indonesia has recently banned the International Committee of The Red Cross(ICRC) from the Provinces of Papua and West Papua which followed ICRC visits to detention facilities;

Whereas a 2007 United Nations report by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, found “widespread torture in Indonesian prisons” and “the use of excessive force by Indonesian security forces in particular in Papua” and that “beatings and other forms of torture are entrenched in much of Indonesia’s prison system where a culture of impunity reigns”;

Whereas Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid permitted Papuans to fly the “morning star” flag as a cultural and historic symbol;

Whereas Amnesty International has identified numerous prisoners of conscience in Indonesian prisons, among them Papuans such as Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, imprisoned for peaceful political protests including the display of the “morning star” flag which has historic, cultural, and political meaning for Papuans;

Whereas 40 Members of Congress in 2008 petitioned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on behalf of Papuan political prisoners Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage;

Whereas a Human Rights Watch report on June 5, 2009, noted “torture and abuse of prisoners in jails in Papua is rampant”; and

Whereas prominent Indonesian leaders have called for a national dialogue and Papuan leaders have called for an internationally-mediated dialogue to address long-standing grievances in Papua and West Papua:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that

(1) the Government of Indonesia should report to the international community specific progress made regarding

(A) the end of abuse of those detained by authorities in Papua and West Papua and prosecution of those guilty of that abuse;
(B) actions taken by the Government of Indonesia to improve conditions of incarceration, especially in Papua and West Papua;
(C) measures taken to protect the right of its citizens to peaceful assembly and association as well as the freedom of speech and specifically symbolic speech, such as raising banners or flags;
(D) compatibility of Indonesian law that criminalizes peaceful political dissent and conflicting Indonesian commitments concerning the  rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by international covenants to which Indonesia is a party, to include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
(E) provision to or access to detention facilities in West Papua by recognized human rights monitoring institutions, including the International Committee of The Red Cross; and

(2) the Government of Indonesia should allow an independent, third party human rights organization to review prison conditions with special attention to Papuan inmates and on the basis of that review, formulate a series of recommendations to the Government of Indonesia that would facilitate prison and legal reforms especially to

(A) address deficits in facilities, personnel training, and procedures for the purpose of improving the humanitarian treatment of those detained;

(B) formulating procedures, including judicial reform and legal remedies to ensure that prison authorities face appropriate punishment for mistreatment of those detained; and
(C) encourage reform of the Indonesian criminal code and sentencing procedures to ensure that they reflect Indonesia’s commitments under international undertakings and Indonesia’s own legal obligations to protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and association.

see also

full alert and updates are here: http://etan.org/action/action4/32alert.htm

etanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetanetan

Support ETAN make a contribution here http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm
Thank you for your support.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668  Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email john@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller
http://www.etan.org

Twitter: http://twitter.com/etan009
Blog: http://etanaction.blogspot.com/
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Send a blank e-mail message to info@etan.org to find out how to learn more about East Timor and Indonesia on the Internet



Judge Baltasar Garzón suspended for investigating Franco’s crimes

Judge Baltasar Garzón suspended for investigating Franco’s crimes

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/garz-m29.shtml

By Vicky Short
29 May 2010

The internationally renowned Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón, was suspended from his post on May 14, accused of perverting the course of justice by the body that oversees the judiciary, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). His suspension shows the millions that have sought justice for the victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship the power and influence still wielded by the extreme right 30 years after the so-called “transition to democracy”.

Garzón goes on trial in the Supreme Court later this year. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years suspension, which will effectively end his career as one of the world’s most celebrated investigative judges.

He faces three charges. The main charge involves his 2008 investigation into the crimes of the dictatorship. Judge Garzón accused Franco and 44 former generals and ministers, plus 10 members of the fascist Falange party, of crimes against humanity and ordered the opening of mass graves where over 100,000 of their victims were buried.

Emilio Silva, president of the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, stated, “Those who are going to put Garzón in the dock for investigating Francoism are those who killed 98 percent of the exhumed victims”.

Amnesty International says it is “unheard of that a magistrate can be tried for searching truth, justice and reparation”.

The second charge against Garzón is linked to his investigation of alleged corruption, popularly known as the “Gürtel case”, involving local government officials and businessmen, many of whom are linked to the right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP). For over a decade, businessman Francisco Correa is alleged to have bribed PP officials in governing regions and cities to give him lucrative contracts. PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, as well as several mayors, a regional senior official and a European legislator have resigned over the case. Garzón is accused of illegally listening to conversations in prison between the accused and their lawyers.

The third charge involves allegations that Garzón dropped charges against Santander Bank President Emilio Botín a few months after the bank sponsored a series of seminars at the University of New York, beginning in 2005. Although the National Court originally accepted Garzón’s claims of innocence, the case was reopened in 2009.

Garzón’s suspension was a result of a private prosecution brought by two extreme right-wing organizations—the small public employees trade union Clean Hands (Manos Limpias) formed in 1995 by the leader of the National Front, Miguel Bernard, and Freedom and Identity (Libertad e Identidad). More recently, the Falange also added its name to the writ.

On April 7 this year, Supreme Court magistrate Luciano Varela, agreeing with the litigants, charged Garzón with knowingly acting beyond his jurisdiction when he launched his investigation. Such was the outcry that Varela was later forced to remove the Falange from the writ.

The main charge against Garzón is that he ignored the Law of Amnesty that was passed in 1977, after the death of Franco. The amnesty was one of several measures that comprised the framework agreed by sections of the old regime with the Communist and Socialist Parties to prevent revolution during the “transition to democracy”. The ruling elite, many of whose members have never renounced their loyalty to Franco, fear that an investigation into Spain’s past will bring to an end the agreement that covered up the crimes of the fascists.

Garzón has been ruthlessly pursued despite having capitulated to pressure from the right wing, the Church and the majority of the judiciary and curtailing his activities. Four weeks after he initiated the Franco investigation, he passed responsibility for exhuming mass graves on to local councils, which he knows have limited resources to carry them out or are controlled by the PP.

A few days before his suspension, Garzón asked the CGPJ to allow him to take up an offer of work in “special services” at the International Criminal Court as a representative of the CGPJ, which would have taken him out of the Spanish judicial system and possibly seen his case shelved. But the CGPJ only allowed him to go to the Hague for a period of seven months as a consultant and advisor to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Four days after his suspension, on receiving the “Libertad y Democracia René Cassin” prize awarded to him by the French association “Young Republic”, Garzón reassured his opponents by denying that his investigation was “an attempt against political stability”. He was, rather, carrying out a “democratic necessity” so that “wounds are not reopened”.

Many people in Spain are understandably disgusted about Garzón’s prosecution and the way his investigation has been blocked. In his support there have been several demonstrations and a petition that has attracted tens of thousands of signatures. Scores of artists and intellectuals have sent letters of protest including international figures like film director Pedro Almodóvar, actors Javier Bardem, Juan Diego Botto and Alberto San Juan, singer Pedro Guerra and authors Luis García Montero and Almudena Grandes.

However, the opposition movement is being led by organisations that are responsible for creating the political set-up that prevented a reckoning with Franco’s crimes.

The trade union Comisiones Obreras (CC OO), set up by the Communist Party (PCE), and the Socialist Party (PSOE) controlled General Workers Union (UGT) played a vital role in diverting workers’ political struggles following the death of Franco in 1975 and agreeing to the amnesty for the fascists that is now being used against Garzón.

Their declarations of support for Garzón are carefully worded. The UGT says, “An action that arouses too many suspicions has been transformed into what UGT considers an unjust prosecution, a lamentable suspension of an upright judge, and a judicial action that will be difficult to be understood in the international sphere, and which will be detrimental to the image of our country”.

The CC OO takes an ostensibly more radical stance, calling for “full reparations to the relatives and the victims of the crimes committed during Francoism, as well as punishment for those responsible”, that is, it adds, “in the cases where any of them is still alive”.

As far as the PSOE government is concerned, its statements have centred on defending itself from attacks by the PP that a PSOE minister took part in a demonstration in support of Garzón. Several PSOE party federations have issued mealy-mouthed statements of support to Garzón, with one reassuring the ruling elite that, “In opposition to what the PP says, these processes do not reopen old wounds but serve to close those wounds that still remain open by impunity and injustice”.

The right has no reason to accept such reassurances. They know that an investigation into the crimes of the Franco regime, of even a limited character, threatens the sordid political compromise that allowed the Spanish bourgeoisie to maintain power. It would also expose the counterrevolutionary role of the Socialist Party and, above all, the Communist Party and its general secretary, Santiago Carrillo, in mediating the transition after the death of Franco.



“Incident at Oglala”, the story of Leonard Peltier and the American Indian Movement

Leonard Peltier

http://www.freepeltiernow.org

leonard peltier

leonard peltier

An innocent man, Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in 1977 and has served over 30 years in federal prison despite proof of his innocence—also despite proof that he was convicted on the basis of fabricated and suppressed evidence, as well as coerced testimony.

The United States Courts of Appeal have repeatedly acknowledged investigative and prosecutorial misconduct in this case but, by their decisions, have refused to take corrective action. A model prisoner, Leonard Peltier also has been denied fair consideration for parole and Executive Clemency. This is clearly an abuse of the legal standards of American justice.


Learn more about the Peltier case.

Watch “Incident at Oglala,”

A Documentary Produced & Narrated by Robert Redford.

(Approximate Runtime: 90 Minutes)

This production was released in 1992. With the exception of the address for the White House, please disregard the information provided at the end of this film.
Download “Incident at Oglala

Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story also is available for purchase from Amazon.com, or you may locate a VHS tape or DVD at your favorite movie rental outlet. In addition, Amazon.com offers the film as part of their video-on-demand catalog.


The World

Recognizing that Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for decades for a crime he did not commit, various governments and dignitaries from around the world have called for Leonard Peltier’s release.

On June 23, 1995, Amnesty International (AI) submitted a letter of concern about the Peltier case to the U.S. Attorney General. With no executive review of the case forthcoming, in 1999, AI called for Leonard Peltier’s release. Before the U.S. Congress, in 2000, AI issued this statement:

“Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner… Amnesty International believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released.”

In briefings to the United Nations since 1992, AI has actively pursued Leonard Peltier’s freedom. AI submitted a briefing to the U.N. Human Rights Committee in February 2006 (updated in early July 2006), in which AI again called for Leonard Peltier’s release.

After the U.S. Parole Commission denied Peltier parole in August 2009, senior deputy director of Amnesty International-USA, Curt Goering, stated:

“Given that the case against Peltier unraveled years ago, his continued imprisonment is only protracting a grave miscarriage of justice… When you consider the concerns that plague the case… it is unconscionable that Leonard Peltier should continue to suffer behind bars. It is high time for the U.S. government to… right the wrongs of the past.”

And You

“You are the message,” Leonard Peltier says. And each of us is an “Army of One.” This concept, as it touches one’s conscience, effectively motivates persons to act as individuals on Leonard Peltier’s behalf. Now, however, a legion is required. Maybe two. We must be “Leonard’s Legions,” hundreds of thousands of supporters in solidarity worldwide. We must unite in purpose, speak with one voice: Free Leonard Peltier NOW!



Call on authorities in Brazil to protect the Guarani People

Call on authorities in Brazil to protect the Guarani People

http://intercontinentalcry.org/call-on-authorities-in-brazil-to-protect-the-guarani-people/

Posted by Ahni on May 26, 2010 at 12:32pm 0 comments 2 views

The indigenous Guarani community of Kurussu Ambá is at grave risk of violence and destitution unless the Brazilian government steps in to protect the Guarani and respect their land rights.

On March 10 of this year, a local judge in Mato Grosso do Sul ordered the community’s eviction, alleging that they were illegally occupying private property.

In fact, the community is living on small portion of their ancestral land, which they reclaimed in November 2009.

In November 2007, the Ministry of Justice–along with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, FUNAI (the Brazilian Department of Indian Affairs) and 23 Indigenous leaders–signed an agreement that committed FUNAI to identify and restore the land of more than two dozen Guarani communities, including the community of Kurussu Ambá, by April 2010.

Over the past two years, FUNAI has routinely failed to take action–in large part, due to pressure from the State government and the farming lobby, says Amnesty International.

This has left the community of Kurussu Amba with little or no alternatives.They, along with several other Guarani communities, have long since abandoned the overcrowded reservation they’ve been on since their land was stolen from them in the 1960s. Many of these communities are now living in makeshift camps, often set up beside busy highways near their ancestral land.

After living in one of these camps for four years, the community of Kurussu Amba finally decided to return home.

Following the eviction order in March, a Regional Federal Court Judge in Sao Paulo “Ruled [on April 26, 2010] that the order should be suspended for 90 days until the necessary anthropological studies to identify Kurussu Ambá lands have been carried out”, continues Amnesty International.

Given how other evictions have been carried out in Brazil, the community was relieved to hear the news. Nevertheless, they know the eviction may still be carried out (by the police or the gunmen) even if FUNAI performs the studies and confirms that it’s Guarani land.

Meanwhile, the community remains under a constant threat of violence and intimidation by the gunmen, who have killed a total of three community members since 2007, including a 70-year-old Medicine Man.

The gunmen are also blocking the community’s access to food and water; and they are “preventing FUNAI and FUNASA (Fundação Nacional de Saúde, the federal indigenous agency providing healthcare) from sending their agents into the community,” says Amnesty. “They are instead leaving food baskets and running clinics 10 kilometres away.”

Given this precarious situation, Amnesty is urging people to call on authorities in Brazil:

  • To immediately provide adequate security, as well as food and healthcare delivered directly to the Kurussú Ambá community;
  • To thoroughly investigate all allegations of threats against the Kurussú Ambá community;
  • To urgently carry out anthropological studies to identify Kurussú Ambá ancestral lands within the 90 days stipulated by the courts.

It may also be a good idea to encourage them to meet the terms of ILO Convention 169 as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Both documents have been ratified by the government of Brazil.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 JUNE 2010 TO:

Federal Minister of Justice
Exmo. Sr Luiz Paulo Teles Ferreira Barreto
Esplanada dos Ministérios,
Bloco “T”
70712-902 – Brasília/DF Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 2025-9556
Salutation: Exmo. Sr. Ministro

Federal Human Rights Secretary
Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Sr. Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi
Esplanada dos Ministérios – Bloco “T” – 4º andar,
70064-900 – Brasília/DF BRAZIL
Fax: + 55 61 2025-3464
Salutation: Exmo. Sr. Secretário

And copies to:

Conselho Indigenista Missionário, (CIMI – local NGO)
CIMI Regional Mato Grosso do Sul
Av. Afonso Pena,
1557 Sala 208 Bl.B
79002-070 Campo Grande/MS BRAZIL