Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category

Robin Hammond, Photo-journalist

July 27, 2014


“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

July 15, 2013


“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”

– Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani girl shot by Taleban appears on video

February 7, 2013

Pakistani girl shot by Taleban appears on video

7:16 AM Tuesday Feb 5, 2013

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In her first video statement since she was nearly killed, a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban remained defiant in arguing for girls’ education, saying today she would keep up the same campaign that led to her attack.

Speaking clearly but with the left side of her face appearing rigid, 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai said she is “getting better, day by day” after undergoing weeks of treatment at a British hospital.

“I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund,” she said in the video, made available by a public relations firm.

Malala drew the world’s attention when she was shot in the head by Taleban militants on October 9 while on her way home from school in northwestern Pakistan. The Islamist group said it targeted her because she promoted girls’ education and “Western thinking” and criticized the militant group’s behavior when it took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women’s rights in her homeland.

In a sign of her impact, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2012.

“Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone,” Malala said. “It’s just because of the prayers of people. Because all people – men, women, children – all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life. A second life.”

Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time as her father, Ziauddin, has secured a post with the Pakistani consulate in the English city of Birmingham.

Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which has been treating the teen, said it successfully operated to reconstruct her skull. Doctors said Malala also had a cochlear implant to restore the hearing in her left ear, which became deaf as a result of the shooting.

Both of those operations were completed Saturday. The public relations firm Edelman said Malala’s video statement was shot earlier, on January 22.

Dr. Anwen White, a neurosurgeon who led the operations, said the teen did not suffer any long-lasting cognitive damage. She does not require any further operations and can hopefully return to school soon, White said.

The Malala Fund is a girls’ education charity set up in late 2012. It was launched with a $10 million donation from Pakistan.

– AP




“Those who stand up for justice will always be on the right side of history.”

– Dr Martin Luther-King, Jr

Bahrain regime jails doctors who dared to treat protesters

October 6, 2011

Bahrain regime jails
doctors who dared to treat protesters

say they were tortured after arrest as they receive sentences of up to 15 years

Patrick Cockburn

30 September 2011


Bahrain, doctors, human rights



Some of
the Bahraini medical staff jailed for 15 years

military court has sentenced 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who treated
protesters injured during pro-democracy rallies earlier in the year to up to 15
years in prison. The defendants say they were tortured during interrogation to
extract false confessions.

The harsh
sentences, handed down by a military judge, are likely to anger Bahrain’s Shia
Muslim majority and torpedo hopes of dialogue between them and the reigning
Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty. The court’s action may be a sign that hardliners
within the royal family have taken control, since King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa
has made a number of conciliatory statements which have been followed by
intensified repression.

statement from the official Information Affairs Authority is headed
“Bahraini Doctors Sentenced for Plotting Overthrow of Government”. It
quotes the Military Prosecutor, Colonel Yussef Rashid Flaifel, as saying that
13 medical professionals had been sentenced to 15 years in prison, two to 10
years, and five to five years. It goes on to say that the doctors, in addition
to plotting a revolution, “were charged with the possession of weapons and
ammunition, forcefully taking over control of Salmaniya hospital and its
personnel, stealing medical equipment, and fabricating stories to disturb
public security”.

were never more unlikely revolutionaries. They include Rola al-Saffar, the head
of Bahrain’s nurses’ society, and Ali al-Iqri, a distinguished surgeon who was
arrested in an operating theatre on 17 March. None of the defendants was in
court to hear the sentences read out and the hearing was attended only by their
lawyers and relatives. Defendants say that the military judges refuse to listen
to allegations that they had been tortured.

government said the doctors can now appeal to Bahrain’s highest civilian court
to request that their sentences be quashed.

medical staff worked in the Salmaniya Medical Complex in the capital, Manama,
and treated those injured in fighting between protesters and security forces
after pro-democracy rallies started on 14 February. After the government
crackdown in mid-March, doctors and nurses were accused of planning an armed
insurrection in league with Iran.

rights groups described the sentences as “a travesty of justice”.
Philip Luther, of Amnesty International, said: “These are simply ludicrous
charges against civilian professionals who were working to save lives.”
The detained doctors say they were beaten, hooded and deprived of sleep to
force them to say they had deliberately let patients die and had exaggerated
injuries by pouring blood over the injured.

In a
separate case, the military court passed a death sentence on a man found guilty
of killing a policeman by running him over in Sitra district during the

Salman, the leader of al-Wifaq, the main Shia political party, said that the
medical professionals sentenced yesterday alleged “they had been
tortured”. He said he suspected that hardliners within the royal family
were using the trials “to send a message to [President] Obama”, who
last week at the UN called on the Bahraini government to negotiate with

believes that hardliners were reacting to a successful boycott of by-elections
last weekend to replace 20 al-Wifaq MPs who had resigned in protest from the
parliament. He said the turnout had been only 17 per cent. Mr Salman says any
dialogue with the government would have as its aim the freeing of all those
jailed since the demonstrations began. It is not clear how many people out of
the 1,400 originally detained in Bahrain are still in jail, because the
authorities have often refused to provide information about those arrested.
Human rights groups believe that 38 people have been killed, four of whom died
under torture.

price of freedom: Those jailed for 15 years

al-Iqri, Dr Asghar, Dr Ahmed, Dr Diwani, Dr al-Saffar, Dr al-Oraibi, Dr
Ghassan, Dr Bassim, Al-Wedaie, Dr Nada.

Six medics who face years behind bars

Dr Ali

paediatric orthopaedic surgeon was arrested by armed security forces on 17
March, reportedly while he was performing surgery in the operating theatre of
Salmaniya Hospital in Manama. Amnesty International reports that Dr al-Iqri,
who trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, is an activist who
organised one of the pro-democracy protests earlier this year. Despite being
released on bail last month, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday
on charges which include “incitement to overthrow the government by

Dr Rola

The head
of Bahrain’s Nursing Society and Professor at the College of Health Sciences
reportedly began a hunger strike last month in protest against ill-treatment
and torture in custody. She was detained in March after treating injured
protesters at Salmaniya Hospital. She was released on bail at the end of August
and was yesterday sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Mahmood Ashghar

consultant paediatric surgeon was also detained in March for allegedly
instigating protests at Manama’s Pearl roundabout by making
“provocative” speeches at Salmaniya Hospital. He has also been
accused of briefing journalists on atrocities allegedly committed by Bahraini
security forces against civilians who were being treated at the hospital during
February’s protests. He has also been sentenced to 15 years in prison.


The nurse
from Duraz was arrested earlier this year for allegedly treating an injured
youth who had participated in the February protests.

Abdulkhaleq al-Oraibi

rheumatologist was reportedly arrested during a police raid on his house in the
early hours of 1 April. The doctor, who had once considered running for a seat
in Bahrain’s parliament, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. He had
criticised authorities who prevented medics from treating wounded protesters in

Dr Hassan

The head
of Salmaniya Hospital’s intensive care unit has been sentenced to 10 years in





“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and
belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or
acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends
forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different
centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down
the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

– Robert Francis Kennedy quotes ( U.S. attorney general and adviser,


Anton Lubowski, the white SWAPO (1952 to 1989) – by Catherine Sasman

October 28, 2010

Anton Lubowski, the white SWAPO (1952 to 1989) – by Catherine Sasman

Sourced from

11th Sept 2009

Tags: Anton Lubowski, Catherine Sasman, South Africa, Namibia, heroes

WINDHOEK – Anton Lubowski’s death remains shrouded in mystery, but his life is hailed as that of a human rights lawyer, trade unionist, staunch in his views against racism – a paradox of a man.

On September 12, 1989, bullets flying from a passing car struck Anton Lubowski as he alighted from his vehicle, briefcase in hand, in front of his home on Sanderburg Street, Klein Windhoek.

When he died, Lubowski was 37 years old, leaving behind Garbielle Schuster and his two young children, Almo and Nadia.

Six months after his assassination, author David Beresford wrote that the bullet holes were still in the garden gate where Lubowski died six months after his assassination.

“In a way it would make an appropriate shrine. Not as a saint – Anton was never that – but at least as a man whose death was in a strange way an offering which seems to have satisfied the gods of war, who were particularly hungry when that AK47 started hammering at him from the other side of Sanderberg Street,” Beresford is quoted as saying in a book Lubowski’s mother, Molly, and a South African author wrote on his life.

To this day, Lubowski’s murder remains unresolved, after several inquiries and accusations that the assassination was conducted by leading members of the former South African Government’s intelligence instrument, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB).

But the circumstances of his death have raised some spectacular claims that he was a South African spy, a stooge of the apartheid regime, a secret agent.

Such claims, however, were quelled in various books and publications that came out after his death.

Riaan Labuschagne in his book ‘South Africa’s Secret Service – An undercover agent’s story‘ in early 2000 wrote that Lubowski was not a spy of the South African military intelligence as was alleged by the former South African Minister of Defence, Magnus Malan.

But Labuschagne claimed that Lubowski was a secret agent “deeply cloaked” and a “technical pawn” of the South African Defence Force (SADF).

At a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearing in South Africa, veteran investigative journalist from South Africa, Max du Preez, countered such claims, calling these accusations smear campaigns of the old South African regime.

At home, Lubowski is considered a hero, an unflinching human rights lawyer, larger than life – for his physical size and his propensity for the dramatics, an idealist and enigma, “SWAPO’s white son”.

Lubowski was born on February 23, 1952 at Lüderitz, the second child of Wilfried Franz and Molly. He was the first boy in the fifth generation of the Lubowski family in Namibia.

By the age of 13, Lubowski was sent to Stellenbosch to complete his schooling, which he did in 1970.

After school, Lubowski went into military service as was compulsory for all young, white males at the time. He then went to study law first at the University of Stellenbosch, and then later graduated from the University of Cape Town.

After his studies, he worked as an Articled Clerk in Windhoek and joined the law firm Lorentz and Bone in 1978. He joined the bar in 1980 and elected for the Lüderitz Foundation Regional Committee where he worked for the economic improvement of the town.

It was during this period of his life that he became politically active. During 1979 Lubowski joined the Namibia National Front (NNF), but, according to his father, “he took his first steps towards SWAPO within hours after he had walked into the offices” of the law firm when he was instructed to visit a black client in jail.

Lubowski is said to have felt that the main difference between the NNF and SWAPO was in the economic sphere: He held that the NNF stood for a mixed economy while SWAPO stood for a socialistic economy.

He is quoted as having said: “The NNF will not nationalise except when it is for compensation, or in th
e interest of the people of Namibia. I know it is a broad term, but it won’t be a rule to nationalise.”

According to his parents, Lubowski immediately started writing political articles in local newspapers, with one of his first calling for Namibia’s economic independence and the aspirations and ideas of the youth.

His work brought him in direct contact with SWAPO supporters, and in 1979 he was prepared to travel to Botswana, Angola, and Zambia to look for information concerning one of his political cases.

This trip was a watershed for Lubowski who for the first time met top leaders of SWAPO.

He joined the organisation in 1984.

Shortly thereafter, he was a member of a SWAPO delegation attending Namibian peace talks in Lusaka and was a delegate in London at a conference on 100 years of colonialism.

He then met the French foreign minister in Paris on behalf of SWAPO.

In 1985 he represented the Council for Namibia on the Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, and in 1986 he was a member of a SWAPO delegation to an international conference for the immediate independence of Namibia in Vienna.

He also joined a SWAPO presidential delegation to meet with West German politicians in 1986.

That same year, Lubowski became a member of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), realising the political potential of a strong workers’ front.

He also directed NAMLAW, an organisation initiated in 1987 to draft legislation for possible implementation after independence.

In 1988 he led a delegation of Namibian academics, trade unions, farmers, housewives and business people to meet SWAPO president Sam Nujoma in Stockholm and in Kabwe, Zambia.

Also in 1988, Lubowski received the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Achievements in Human Rights.

His political work meant that he was at loggerheads with the authorities. He is considered the first legal practitioner that has been imprisoned – in 1985. This followed several arrests – six of them, two of which were spent in solitary confinement for protracted periods.

His last public message was: “People must unite in Namibia, irrespective of colour, ethnic origin, sex, race or creed.”

Sourced from

Shared by craig

The submitter’s new “work” is a story of “ordinary” men and women: heroes, like Rick Turner, David Webster and Anton Lubowski, who made the ultimate sacrifice, yet whose strong sense of justice and decency led to their making their own unique contribution to the liberation of South Africa (and Namibia). The stories in my new work not only shine a light on South Africa’s turbulent and often dark past, but tell us something about the present. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand the mind of a person, the “enemy“. And that is the mindset we are truly going to have to understand to “win this current ‘war against terror’. So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.”

When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope”
– craig

Give us all forgiveness for the past, strength for today…
and especially hope for/in the future.”

From and




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