Tag Archives: activist

LGBTQ Rights Activist Jazz Jennings Hits Back At Trump Anti-Transgender Memo

LGBTQ Rights Activist Jazz Jennings Hits Back At Trump Anti-Transgender MemoLGBTQ rights activist and YouTuber Jazz Jennings is speaking up against the



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Nobel Peace Prize 2018 goes to Yazidi activist and Congolese gynaecologist 

Nobel Peace Prize 2018 goes to Yazidi activist and Congolese gynaecologist Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq, and Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have jointly won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it had awarded them the prize for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. "Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes," it said in its citation. Ms Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women's rights in general. Aged 19, she was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul in 2014. She fled Iraq and spoke openly about the abuse she suffered – repeatedly gang-raped, tortured and beaten during the three months she was held. Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad poses for a portrait at United Nations headquarters in New York Credit: Reuters Six of her brothers and mother were killed by the jihadists. She has since fought for the 3,000 Yazidis who remain missing. With the help of an organisation that assists Yazidis, she joined her sister in Germany, where she lives today. She has since dedicated herself to what she calls "our peoples' fight", before a well-known spokeswoman even before the #MeToo movement swept the world. "As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes," she said in a statement. "Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members who have been lost, are still unaccounted for, or remain in captivity." Many have viewed the two recipient choices as a nod to the movement. The bookies' favourites had been leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un for their attempts at reconciliation between North and South Korea.  Ms Murad was named a United Nations goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking. and campaigned alongside human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to get the UN the body to recognise the crimes against the Yazidis as genocide. She is the second-youngest receipient of the peace prize after Malala Yousafzai, a Pakastani woman who was shot by the Taliban on her way to school. Mr Mukwege, a gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern city of Bukavu. Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege poses during a photo session in Paris. Credit: AFP Denis Mukwege is a crusading gynaecologist who has spent more than two decades treating appalling injuries inflicted on women in DRC, whose work was the subject of an acclaimed 2015 film titled: "The Man Who Mends Women." A father to five children, the tireless 63-year-old is an outspoken critic of the abuse of women in war who has repeatedly accused the world of failing to act. He had been repeatedly nominated for his work with gang rape victims from the conflicts that have ravaged his homeland. Mr Mukwege has called on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war. "We have been able to draw a red line against chemical weapons, biological weapons and nuclear arms," he told AFP in 2016. "Today we must also draw a red line against rape as a weapon of war," he said, describing it as a "cheap and efficient" form of terror which condemns its victims to "a life sentence". Recalling the moment he saw such a patient for the first time in 1999 – the year he set up Panzi hospital – Mukwege recounted how the rapists had inserted a gun into a woman's genitals and fired. "Her whole pelvis was destroyed. I thought it was the work of a madman, but the same year I treated 45 similar cases," he said. Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege jointly receive the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 Credit: REUTERS "For 15 years I have witnessed mass atrocities committed against women's bodies and I cannot remain with my arms folded because our common humanity calls on us to care for each other." The prize will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will. 



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'We need everyone involved': activist nuns pressure Smith & Wesson over gun safety

'We need everyone involved': activist nuns pressure Smith & Wesson over gun safetyThe school shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, this February had an AR-15-style gun manufactured by Smith & Wesson. Now, a coalition of American nuns is pressuring Smith & Wesson, which rebranded itself as “American Outdoor Brands”, to produce a report for shareholders outlining how the company is monitoring “violent events associated with” its products, and what efforts it is making to “produce safer guns”. Sister Judy Byron, representing the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, is leading the shareholder resolution effort, backed by 10 other religious groups, including Catholic Health Initiatives, the Sisters of Bon Secours, USA and the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia.



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Saudi Arabia seeks its first death penalty against a female human rights activist

Saudi Arabia seeks its first death penalty against a female human rights activistSaudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five human rights activists from the kingdom's Eastern Province currently on trial in a secretive terrorism court, groups including Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Among the detainees is Israa al-Ghomgham, whom Saudi activists said was the first woman to possibly face the death penalty for rights-related work. Charges against her include incitement to protest and providing moral support to rioters. "Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said in a statement on Wednesday. ALQST, a London-based Saudi rights group, reported the decision involving Ghomgham's case earlier this week. A government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Activists said the trial was ongoing, and denied social media reports that the detainees had already been executed. Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy where public protests and political parties are banned, has enacted some high-profile social and economic reforms in recent years under powerful young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They have, however, been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, with dozens of clerics, intellectuals and activists arrested in the past year, including women who had campaigned for the right to drive in the deeply conservative Muslim country. A roundup of senior royals, ministers and businessmen last November on charges of corruption sent shockwaves through the kingdom, stunning allies and foreign investors. Most of those detainees were released after reaching undisclosed financial settlements with the government. Ghomgham is a prominent Shia Muslim activist who documented mass demonstrations in the Eastern Province starting in 2011. She was arrested from her home in December 2015 along with her husband. Most of the country’s Shia minority lives in the oil-producing Eastern Province and some have complained that their religious ceremonies are banned or interfered with by Sunni authorities, and that they lack opportunities for work and education. The government has denied the charges. Saudi Arabia has previously executed Shia activists on what rights groups called politically-motivated charges. It views protests among Shia in the context of tensions with Shi’ite power and regional rival Iran, which it has accused of fomenting the unrest. The authorities have carried out security operations against suspected Shia militants in the Eastern Province, which has seen unrest and occasional armed attacks for years.



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Israel intercepts second Gaza-bound activist boat

Israel intercepts second Gaza-bound activist boatThe Israeli navy intercepted a Swedish-flagged activist boat bent on breaching its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza, the second in less than a week, the military said on Saturday. “The ship was monitored and was intercepted in accordance with international law,” the military said in a statement, before the vessel, named Freedom for Gaza and carrying 12 people, was taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod. “The (military) clarified to the ship’s passengers that they are violating the legal naval blockade and that any humanitarian merchandise can be transferred to Gaza through the Port of Ashdod,” the statement said.



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Austrian data privacy activist takes aim at 'forced consent'

Austrian data privacy activist takes aim at 'forced consent'VIENNA/LONDON (Reuters) – As Europe’s new privacy law took effect on Friday, one activist wasted no time in asserting the additional rights it gives people over the data that companies want to collect about them. Austrian Max Schrems filed complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, arguing they were acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access. “You have to have a ‘yes or no’ option,” Schrems said in an interview recorded in Vienna before he filed the complaints in various European jurisdictions.



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Israel dismisses claims that Mossad killed Palestinian activist in Malaysia

Israel dismisses claims that Mossad killed Palestinian activist in MalaysiaIsrael’s defence minister has dismissed claims that Israel assassinated a Palestinian Hamas member and scholar who was shot dead in Malaysia. Avigdor Lieberman said it was more likely Fadi al-Batsh, 35, was killed on Saturday as part of “an internal Palestinian dispute.” He also added that al-Batsh who was a scientist, was a "rocket expert and no saint”. The academic’s family had blamed the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, for orchestrating the assassination.  "There are accusations only against the Israeli Mossad and the Malaysian government should accelerate the investigation," al-Batsh's father, Mohamed said. The Palestinian was killed by two assailants as he was heading to a mosque for dawn prayers, according to local police.  Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said one of the suspects "fired 10 shots, four of which hit the lecturer in the head and body. He died on the spot."  Palestinians attend a memorial ceremony for Fadi al-Batsh Credit: Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Police said CCTV footage showed him being targeted by gunmen who had waited almost 20 minutes for him to arrive. On Sunday, the inspector general of the Malaysian police, Mohamad Fuzi Harun, said a comprehensive investigation was ongoing. He added that no clear motive had emerged and no arrests have been made so far. “Was he killed by a live bullet? My answer is yes. The post-mortem is ongoing now; we will give details later," he said. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia's deputy prime minister, said the suspects were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency, according to state news agency Bernama.   The militant group, Hamas, described al-Batsh on Twitter as a “young Palestinian scholar from Jabalia in the Gaza Strip." It added: "He was a distinguished scientist who contributed to the energy sector.”  On Saturday they tweeted photos from the condolences tent set up for al-Batsh. The Iz-al Din al Qassam brigade, the Islamic movement’s militant wing, also held a memorial, which suggested al-Batsh was one of its military commanders, the Associated Press reported.   Al-Batsh was also known as a ‘second’ imam at his local mosque and had been reportedly been living in Malaysia for the past 10 years. He is survived by his wife and three children. 



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Sacramento Sheriff's Vehicle Hits Activist At Stephon Clark Protest

Sacramento Sheriff's Vehicle Hits Activist At Stephon Clark ProtestA vigil for Stephon Clark, the young black father shot to death by police last



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Gun control activist students call for April 7 town halls

Gun control activist students call for April 7 town hallsRachel Maddow reports on next steps following Saturday's historic march in Washington, D.C. for better gun safety laws, including a call by students for town halls with legislators on April 7.



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Bolton is a fan of Islamophobe activist Pamela Geller

Bolton is a fan of Islamophobe activist Pamela GellerPresident Trump’s next national security adviser, John Bolton, wrote the foreword to a book by Pamela Geller, an Islamophobic activist and blogger.



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