Voice is a Human Right

mia at UNHCR Bahai.JPG Nobel Women’s Initiative arrived today, and we spent much of our time with them as they met with the women’s group, and the youth committee. Overwhelmingly, they all spoke of justice in order for peace. To the extent that one woman said that al-Bashir and 52 men below him in government should be executed. And without this justice, there can be no peace. We can negate their feelings as if they were “just refugees,” they are the voices we need to be listening to first.Two weeks ago the people of Oure Cassoni held a demonstration supporting the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and urging the court to issue an arrest warrant. But they said that there was no press, so no one heard their voice. One leader outlined what the people of Darfur wanted, a voice that has been lost in negotiations and peace treaties, and one forcibly buried and marginalized, by construction, in this genocide. By allowing their voice to continue to go unheard, we are allowing genocide to win. We are allowing the lives, and souls, dreams and futures of the Darfur people to languish in the sand that consumes their daily lives.youth group men.JPGSo listen to what they have told us, and pass this on to your leaders. We have a moral obligation to include all the voices of conflict in talks for peace. If we don’t we are literally standing idly by while genocide succeeds at diminishing the worth of our friends.

  1. Punishment of the Darfur criminals like al-Bashir must be indicted, as well as, all responsible for the killing and banditry in Darfur
  2. Compensation, both personal and community wide
  3. The Government of Sudan must be reorganized to include Darfuirs and other marginalized Sudanese
  4. An international force must be present in Darfur, that includes international troops, not mixing with African Union force, today not tomorrow

Having a voice in your own future is a human right. A right that we take for granted in America. Today, your action is to print off the faces and the stories of our friends and send them to your leaders. Please include in your letter what they have asked for.Be their voice, help facilitate their human right.

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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5 Responses to “Voice is a Human Right”
  1. Tim Nonn says:

    Hi Katie-Jay,

    We are restructuring the website for Judgment on Genocide(www.judgmentongenocide.com) given the impending indictment of President Bashir. We will launch it in two weeks. Prof. Beth Van Schaack from Santa Clara Law School, who was the prosecutor in the mock trial in November 2006, will be the resource person for the ICC updates. Elvir Camzdic will be the resource person for the advocacy campaign in support of the ICC case on Darfur. It will be called the International Campaign for Justice in Sudan. The purpose of the campaign will be to provide timely information about the ICC case and ways people can support it. In Nov. 2006, when the judges in the mock trial, including Gloria White-Hammond and Wole Soyinka, convicted Bashir of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, I didn’t know if Luis Ocampo at the ICC would ever indict him on the same charges. But now that he has we need to support the ICC’s case on Darfur. The Sudanese government has been mounting a vigorous diplomatic campaign with the help of many Asian, Arab and African leaders to protect Bashir and his henchmen from being prosecuted for their crimes against the people of Darfur. That is one side of the story. It’s more difficult for the Darfuri people who have survived the genocide to tell their stories. They don’t have expensive public relations firms and powerful allies at the United Nations. It’s difficult for them to be heard. The ICC is going to give them a chance to be heard by the world. Bashir doesn’t want their voices to have the authority of witnesses in a trial. He has been successful in keeping journalists out of Darfur to silence his victims. He has even been successful in silencing their voices at the United Nations. But he knows that he won’t be able to silence their voices at the ICC in The Hague. The Darfuri people will be heard by the world. They will testify about Bashir’s crimes and their testimony will become a permanent record of the genocide in Darfur. I was surprised when Bashir was included in the ICC case, but I won’t be surprised if he is convicted and jailed. The voices of the people of Darfur will make that happen. Their silencing by the Sudanese govenment and their allies is coming to an end. I can hear the echoes of justice in the distance. The silence that preserves the lies is crumbling under the weight of truth.

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Hi Tim,
      You should here the people in the camps, all of them cheer when al-Bashir’s name is brought up. And many times, it is brought up by them, not us. The women want him executed. Now. The men want justice. They don’t believe that peace will come if the same man remains in power, I believe this too. We have alot of footage that we will be sending to the Hague, including a few messages specifically for Moreno-Ocampo from the refugees – I hope this brings him inspiration and courage to continue to put leaders who are committing genocide behind bars.

      peace, ktj

  2. Mam says:

    Gabe and KTJ:

    Los mensajes es muy importante que lleguen.
    Me da gusto ver a Mia Farrow interesada tambien
    como Ustedes en detener las injusticia mala vida
    de estas personas que son tan queridas y valiosas
    para Dios y todos los humanistas. Espero que su trabajo
    sea grandement a preciado y recompensado para ellos.
    Dios con todo Ustedes. Reciban mi amor y Dios los
    acompane siempre.

    Atentamente, Consuelo

    • Gabriel says:

      Hola Mom!
      He pensado mucho en ti. Gracias por tu nota. Que dificil la vida aqui de la gente en el campo de refugiados, pero son fuertes. Si, Mia es increible y tambien tan fuerte. No deja de trabajar. Nos vemos pronto!
      Gabe

  3. carole says:

    dear mia,
    i have PPS, too, and am in a wheelchair. how you are able to go to darfur with all the planes and changing and walking i don’t know but want you to know i have immense admiration for that and am there with you in spirit, in fact in tear soaked spirit, i want to be there so badly.

    you are a miracle and a wonder woman (and so am i, actually…). please kiss those babies for me and lay gentle hands upon their little heads.

    hi gabriel and katie!!
    first thing i saw today (thursday the 7th) was that lopez was to carry the flag for the opening ceremonies for the track team. team darfur and being talked around all over the compound. yay!! he is beaming and so am i: he qualified.

    signing off to yall. take care of you, mia. the world needs us.

    carole

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