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Index April 2007

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Running the Mumbai Marathon

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Linked with GiveIndia.org,

published by Amita Chauhan, on the Resource-Alliance.org (not dated), (their Homepage):

Excerpts: Marathons, world-over a recognised and popular way for not-for-profit organisations to raise funds, are having their impact in India too. The recently held 2007 Mumbai Marathon raised close to Rs70 million (GBP850,000) in clearly tracked funds for good causes. This number reflects a year on year growth of 114% from 2006 …

… Since the concept of marathons was new to Indians who do not have a “running culture”, GiveIndia .org had to employ a “push” strategy to attract and engage potential runners while at the same time educating them about the possibility of raising funds for a cause.

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Crackdown In Jammu And Kashmir

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Linked with more links about Kashmir.
Humiliation At Its Worst, By Syed Junaid Hashmi, 24 April, 2007, countercurrents.org.

Excerpts: Although people in Jammu and Kashmir have learnt a number of obnoxious terms in the last seventeen years yet the term which has dominated the discourse is “Crackdown”. Legal experts describe the term as “illegitimate, high-handed and atrocious” and opine that such operations in the present atmosphere are uncalled for.

Oxford dictionary defines the term “Crackdown” as “An act or example of forceful regulation, repression, or restraint” while Cambridge explains it as “crushing, quelling, stifling, suppression, forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority. The dictionary adds that it is the oppression of heresy; the quelling of the rebellion and the stifling of all dissent”.

In Jammu and Kashmir, especially in those areas where violence continues in some form, crackdown is a cordon-and-search operation in which security forces surround neighbourhoods or villages and compel all male adults and teenaged boys to assemble for identification.

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Droits de l’Homme et économie sociale

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Marie Cévé (Pseudonyme utilisé par un membre du Comité central de la LDH Ligue des Droits de l’Homme):

Pourquoi la LDH entend-elle réfléchir à la problématique ‘droits de l’Homme et économie sociale’? Rapprocher ces deux termes, ces deux concepts, peut paraître incongru. C’est en tout cas un défi, car c’est une problématique peu courante à la LDH. Cette contribution n’a donc pas la prétention d’être exhaustive mais se veut plutôt une réflexion et une interrogation pour lancer le débat …

(Excerpt): … Pour une esquisse de conclusion, vers un avenir mieux partagé: Pour les militants des droits de l’Homme comme pour les acteurs de l’économie sociale, la liberté n’est jamais sans limites, et le libéralisme économique conduit à construire une société où seule la loi de l’argent prévaut.

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Next WSIS-related events

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14-25 May 2007, Geneva

A series follow-up and implementation meetings of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes will take place in Geneva.

Organized around the 10th session of the UN Commission for Science and Technology for Development (21-25 May)  and the World Information Society Day ceremony (16 May 2007), the cluster will also include multi-stakeholder implementation facilitation meetings and various ICT-related meetings and consultations.

Registration on-line.

More information on the WSIS website.

Statelessness in Central Asia

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UN refugee agency-backed workshop tackles issue of statelessness in Central Asia, UNHCR-built school in Turkmenistan, 26 April 2007:

The United Nations refugee agency has completed a two-day workshop on curbing statelessness in Central Asia, where the disbanding of the Soviet Union and civil wars have resulted in thousands of people not having a fixed nationality.

“This is an important event for the countries of the former Soviet Union and the region,” said Tajikistan Government minister Gulchehra Sharipova of the event – mostly funded by the European Union (EU) and attended by 33 Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – held in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

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Guerres secrètes

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… À l’initiative du Réseau Voltaire, cinquante experts issus d’une douzaine de pays se sont réunis à Paris pour étudier les similitudes entre la « stratégie de la tension », initiée durant la Guerre froide, et la « guerre contre le terrorisme », déclenchée dans la foulée des attentats du 11 septembre.

Du Gladio aux vols secrets de la CIA. De la « stratégie de la tension » à la « guerre contre le terrorisme ». Un simple survol historique suffit à se convaincre de la continuité, sinon de la correspondance de ces deux opérations, ne serait-ce qu’au regard de ses commanditaires et de sa zone d’application. Et à poser la question de la « réactivation » du réseau stay-behind en Europe occidentale.

Créé après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le stay-behind (littéralement : les hommes laissés sur le terrain derrière la ligne de front) devait constituer à l’avance un réseau de résistance en cas d’invasion soviétique en Europe occidentale. Indirectement issu des accords de Yalta et de Postdam, ce réseau était dirigé par la CIA états-unienne et le MI6 britannique pour être installé dans toute l’Europe occidentale (c’est-à-dire dans la zone d’influence anglo-saxonne). Il fut bientôt incorporé dans l’OTAN* … (full text).

*[Stay-behind: les réseaux d’ingérence américains, par Thierry Meyssan].

UNECE PPP Meeting

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Received by e-mail:

Subject:  UNECE PPP Meeting, Tel Aviv, Israel, 5-8 June 2007.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are glad to invite you to the International Conference on Knowledge sharing and capacity building on PPPs in the UNECE region which take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on June 5 – 8, 2007. This conference is organised by the Government of Israel in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

See attached file.

The Conference will review national experiences and lessons learned in PPPs and evaluate their performance and contribution to economic competitiveness in the UNECE region. The Conference will result in the preparation of a practical guidebook on good governance in PPPs; an outline of a comparative review on the performance of PPPs in both advanced markets and transition economies; and a concluding document of policy recommendations. It will also provide participants with an opportunity to visit examples of PPPs and thus benefit from Israel’s practical experiences in this area.

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Black History and Our Education System

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Published on The Voice News, February 15, 2002.

By David Truskoff, North Granby – I once heard Malcolm X say, “Pride, dignity and motivation must be instilled in our young people.” Of course he was referring to young African-American people. Black History Month should be abandoned and in its place American history should be taught with truth and honesty. All and real American history. Yes, it is true that young African-Americans need to know their history, but too often it is not presented in the proper context and the result is a very negative thing. Separate, but equal does not cut it.

If black and white students were receiving less of the propaganda that now passes for American history and allowed instead to view reality, perhaps the motivation to create a better life for themselves and to create a better America would increase.

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ICJ Press release

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Eminent jurists to hold hearings on Canada’s counter-terrorism measures

ICJ Press release (International Commission of Jurists), published in HREA.org’s Newsletter on April 23, 2007

The Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, an independent group of experts appointed by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in October 2005, is holding public hearings in Toronto and Ottawa on 24-25 April to assess the impact on human rights of Canada’s counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices.

The Panel is represented in Canada by its Chair, Justice Arthur Chaskalson, former Chief Justice of South Africa and first President of South Africa’s Constitutional Court and by Professor Robert K. Goldman, former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and former United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.

The Canada hearings, co-organized by the ICJ and its Canadian section, are the thirteenth in a series of hearings held around the world by the Panel as part of its global inquiry on the compatibility of counter-terrorism measures with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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Pink’s ‘dear Mr. President … ‘

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Picked up on the french blog of ‘Matin Bleu’, Geneva’s daily free newspaper:

Pink is censured by pratically all Radio- and TV stations in the USA with her song ‘Dear Mr. President … ‘. But you can listen the song on YouTube.

Also on YouTube you’ll find Pink interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel Live, on April 10, 2007.

In french: Aux Etats-Unis, il ne fait pas bon remettre en question la politique de George W. Bush. Particulièrement virulente à l’égard du président, la chanson de Pink «Dear Mr. President» (extraite de son dernier album «I’m Not Dead») a ainsi été purement et simplement bannie des chaînes de radio et de télévision. Le très impertinent animateur de talk-show Jimmy Kimmel a une fois de plus brisé un tabou en invitant la star à venir interpréter le morceau en direct dans son émission Jimmy Kimmel (voir Live le 10 avril, sur les 2 links en haut). Ecoutez le song directement sur le link d’YouTube en haut, et ecoutez aussi l’interview sur l’autre link.

«Je vous remercie car vous êtes le seul qui n’a pas peur de me laisser chanter «Dear Mr. President», a déclaré Pink avant sa prestation. Je ne peux même pas en parler à la radio. C’est une chanson qui interroge. Ce sont mes questions, elles n’ont rien de théorique. Je pense que ce sont des questions que beaucoup de gens se posent et qui méritent des réponses.»

A lire sur le blog du ‘Matin Bleu‘, Geneva’s daily free newspaper. Attention, pour écouter, allez directement sur YouTube, sinon vous entendrez le tout en ‘double’ (et sur ‘Matin Bleu’, et sur YouTube, mais un peu décalé).

The Malignant Resentments …

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… That Erupted Into Mass Murder In Virginia, by David Walsh, published 20 April 2007 on World Socialist Web, re-published 21 April 2007 on countercurrent.org.

Excerpt of a long text: … The appeals to “move on” from officials combine callousness and stupidity. This has become a terrible cliché, repeated again and again, and directed against critical thought and feeling. No, people should not “move on.” ‘Enough, back to business!’ Here is the backwardness and indifference of the entire social superstructure, which cannot and will not look the reality it has created in the face. It is part of the ongoing refusal to analyze or understand. The attempt to transform every mass gathering at the Virginia Tech campus into a “pep rally” has something perverse and unseemly about it.

“Normalcy never comes back,” nor should it. Everyone in America and around the world knows this is not the last such atrocity. This could happen in any part of the country, it is a matter of the nation’s social pathology.

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UN World Summits and Civil Society Engagement

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Picked up from UNRISD Research and Policy Brief no. 6, published on January 25, 2007, UNRISD:

UN summits and related processes can have highly positive—but not always sustainable—impacts on civil society structure, networking and advocacy in countries that have hosted such events, according to UNRISD research.

The Issue: While the United Nations (UN) remains an intergovernmental organization, an increase in the number of influential civil society actors has placed new pressures on the organization to accommodate popular voices and further enhance collaboration. The link with civil society actors has been growing since the early 1990s in particular, in the context of UN summits and conferences, and related processes. Civil society organizations (CSOs) have amplified their demands on the UN with regard to information, access and participation in these global events.

And the UN has recognized the importance of accommodating the demands of CSOs for a greater voice and role in development processes …(to download the 8 page pdf-text, click above at right on ‘open PDF’).

UNHCR Press Release – IDPs of Iraq

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Guterres calls for sustained international humanitarian effort for Iraq, 17 Apr 2007

GENEVA – Declaring that Iraq’s humanitarian crisis can no longer be ignored, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ant. Guterres today called for a sustained, comprehensive and coordinated international response to ease the plight of millions of people uprooted by the conflict.

“The humanitarian dimension of the problem can no longer be overlooked,” Guterres told representatives from more than 60 nations at the opening of a two-day UNHCR conference on the humanitarian needs of nearly 4 million refugees and displaced people in Iraq and surrounding countries. “Almost 4 million Iraqis are watching us today. Their needs are as obvious as the moral imperative to help. All of us – representatives of governments, international organisations and civil society – are now compelled to act.”

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An Interview with Rebecca Gomperts

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Linked with Rebecca Gomperts – Netherlands, and with Women on Wave.

By Ana Elena Obando – WHRnet, November 2005.

Excerpt of an interview: … Rebecca explains that they have sailed to countries where they are invited to by local women’s organizations that have a long history of working on the ground to bring about social change. The arrival of the ship helps create momentum, brings media attention, and provokes a political outcry and local level debate between supporters and detractors, all of which helps to lead to changes in public opinion. When Women on Waves headed to Poland, before the ship arrived there, 44% of the population was in favor of legalizing abortion. As Women on Waves continued their activities, the adverse effects of existing laws and the need for legal abortion became more visible. Opinion polls showed that after the ship’s departure, support for women’s right to abortion increased to 56%. The ship’s presence raised local awareness about the practice of abortion worldwide and increased its mainstream acceptability, as the most practiced intervention worldwide, along with eye cataract operations.

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First Council of Europe film award in Istanbul

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‘Bamako’, winner of the first Council of Europe film award in Istanbul
Received by mail from HREA, the Human Rights Education Associates.  /

Strasbourg, 14.04.2007 – The film “Bamako” (”The Court”), directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, has won the first film award of the Council of Europe ‘FACE’ at the International Istanbul Film Festival for its contribution to promoting human rights in accordance with the values of the Council of Europe and the principles of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law.

The winner of the FACE award received a sculpture in bronze and 10,000 euros, offered in collaboration with Eurimages, the Council of Europe fund for co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works.

“Equality, full respect for human rights and the active involvement of ordinary citizens are needed to ensure social justice, and are necessary for any social and economic development. For this reason the jury has decided to award the FACE award to Bamako/The Court,” said Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg, as he presented the first FACE award in the name of Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis, on 14 April 2007, at the closing ceremony of the festival in the Lütfü Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre in Istanbul.

For more information see Information:
in english,
or in türkçe.

Council of Europe Press Division
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 39 11

Don’t blame the victims

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Linked with Barbro Sundback – Finland, and with Three organizations working for Peace and Human Rights on the Åland Islands.

Barbro Sundback’s paper in Trafficking-conference in Vilnius, March 2004.

On 1 March the Estonian president, Arnold Ruutel, was interviewed in one of Åland’s local newspapers on the subject of the impending expansion of the European Union on 1 May this year. Responding to questions about prostitution, he dismissed the whole issue as no more than a malicious “rumour” that is circulating in the Nordic countries. Rumours that cannot be “proved”. Yet, about one year ago, I read a statement from the same president in which he expressed concern about the damaging impact that prostitution was having on Estonia’s reputation.

The following issue of the same newspaper contained a report in which Kristiina Luht from the Estonian ministry of social affairs estimates that there are about 1,000 prostitutes and 80 brothels in Tallinn. About 25-30 per cent of the prostitutes are under-age.

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Erythrée – mutilations génitales

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Lié avec le Protocole de Maputo,  et avec The Maputo Protocol.

Published on all’Africa.com, Avril 6, 2007:

Le gouvernement érythréen a interdit la pratique des mutilations génitales féminines car elles sont douloureuses et peuvent mettre en danger la vie des femmes.

Il est désormais interdit de pratiquer des MGF sur une personne ou de fournir des outils à toute personne ayant l’intention de s’adonner à cette pratique, a indiqué mercredi le communiqué officiel du gouvernement. En outre, la non-dénonciation aux autorités de personne ayant l’intention de pratiquer des MGF sera considérée comme un délit, a précisé le communiqué.

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Self-immolation by oppressed Afghan women is rising

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Linked with Monika Hauser – Germany, and with Medica mondiale.

published on Daily Mail, 15th March 2007

One woman committed suicide by setting herself ablaze after her father-in-law tried to rape her. Another set herself on fire because her brothers would not let her marry, preferring that she remain their servant at home. Yet another told her mother before she died that her husband beat her daily.

Testimony gathered by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission documents how life for many Afghan women remains so bleak that some choose a horrific and painful death instead.

The group interviewed about 800 Afghans whose sisters, daughters and daughters-in-law have killed themselves by self-immolation to escape domestic abuse, forced marriage and other misogynistic social customs.

The report and anecdotal evidence from other rights workers suggests the phenomenon is growing, with desperate women sometimes mimicking what they have seen reported on TV.

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Arbitraire états-unien

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L’autopsie des pendus de Guantánamo Bay, par Jürgen Cain Külbel*, publié sur Voltairenet.org le 11 avril 2007 (Homepage):

Depuis l’ouverture en 2002 du centre de détention militaire de Guantánamo Bay, un millier de personnes au moins y ont été placées au secret par le Pentagone. Leurs identités sont inconnues. Les charges qui pèsent sur elles sont inconnues. Elles n’ont pas accès à des avocats ou à des médecins. Notre collaborateur et ancien enquêteur de police criminelle Jürgen Cain Külbel revient sur les conditions de détention dans ce centre au travers de l’autopsie de trois personnes qui s’y seraient suicidées, le 10 juin 2006. (voir le long text).

* Jürgen Cain Külbel est un ancien enquêteur de la police criminelle de RDA (1974-1988). Maitenant il est journaliste indépendant et écrivain. Traduit de l’allemand par Monica Hostettler.

Open letter to the Vatican

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Linked with Maria José de Oliveira Araújo – Brazil, with O Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde, and with O PROGRAMA DE ASSISTÊNCIA INTEGRAL À SAÚDE DA MULHER (PAISM) EM GOIÂNIA.

WOMEN PRESS THE VATICAN FOR ANSWERS, An Open Letter to The Vatican, New York City, 1 July 1999 – Women from Latin America and the Caribbean initiated this letter and have been joined by women from every region of the world.

In an imperfect world that continues to generate injustices and deepening poverty, we have come to the UN Special Session of the General Assembly to review and evaluate implementation of commitments made by 180 countries in the ICPD Programme of Action of 1994. We, the undersigned, ask you the following questions:

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O PROGRAMA DE ASSISTÊNCIA INTEGRAL À SAÚDE DA MULHER (PAISM) EM GOIÂNIA

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Linked with Maria José de Oliveira Araújo – Brazil, with O Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde, and with Open letter to the Vatican.

THE WOMAN INTEGRAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN GOIÂNIA: the (un) institutionalization in the prenatal nursing consultation.

This paper aims to study the ideological, programmatic and operational determinant of the (un) institutionalization of the prenatal nursing consultation in Goiânia, in the Woman Integral Health Assistance Program context. The data were obtained through the analysis of documents and of the testimony content of twelve women interviewed, occupants of central and local level hierarchical positions, as well as of assisting nurses.

The analysis used a dialectical approach aided by the gender concept and its relation with the reproductive health and with nursing. The results, contextualized mainly in the political, social and economical crisis of the country and in the high maternal and perinatal mortality rate, which confirm, a prevailing pattern of technical and medical assistance, and in the other hand, the different ways of woman’s prenatal care given by the nurse through Nursing Consultation, where
the medical resistance pattern prevails upon autonomy and professional proficiency.

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Ex-Muslims form anti-religion group in Germany

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Linked with Michael Schmidt-Salomon – Germany, with giordano bruno stiftung, with The American Atheist, with International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, with Atheist Alliance International, with Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung, with Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism, and with the brights.

By Norbert Klaschka, Feb 28, 2007,

Berlin – Former Muslims in Germany publicly launched a group Wednesday with the provocative name National Council of Ex-Muslims, and said they would be a voice for non-religious people of Islamic cultural origin.

The name is deliberately modelled on that of the National Council of Muslims, the German Muslim Council and other mosque federations.

The ex-Muslims in Berlin contest the right of faith-centred groups to speak on behalf of an estimated 3 million to 3.5 million people of Islamic origin in Germany’s 82-million-strong population.

They unveiled a poster with the slogan, ‘We’ve Given It Up,’ showing the faces of many former Muslims who no longer believe. The ‘coming-out’ flies in the face of Islam, which does not make any provision for formally departing from membership in the faith.

‘We want to breach a taboo,’ said the chairwoman of the new Council … The news conference in Berlin was given police protection. (full text).

Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung

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Linked with Michael Schmidt-Salomon – Germany, with giordano bruno stiftung, with The American Atheist, with International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, with Atheist Alliance International, with Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung, with Ex-Muslims form anti-religion group in Germany, with Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism, and with the brights.

by Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon, 8. Januar 2006 – Jenseits von Fundamentalismus und Beliebigkeithael Schmidt-Salomon:

Excerpt: … Wenn evolutionäre Humanisten für eine stärkere Berücksichtigung der Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung eintreten, so geschieht dies aber nicht nur, um die ungerechtfertigten Machtansprüche der christlichen Großkonfessionen zurückzudrängen, sondern auch, um dem Problem einer zunehmenden “religiösen Gettoisierung” der Gesellschaft entgegenzuwirken. Multikulti-Illusionen haben lange Zeit den Blick dafür getrübt, dass sich auch in unseren Breitengraden religiöse Parallelgesellschaften herausgebildet haben, die es darauf anlegen, selbst die fundamentalsten rechtstaatlichen Prinzipien zu negieren …

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Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism

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Linked with Michael Schmidt-Salomon – Germany, with giordano bruno stiftung, with The American Atheist, with International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, with Atheist Alliance International, with Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung, with Ex-Muslims form anti-religion group in Germany, and with the brights.

The third camp, against US Militarism and Islam terrorism: The present conflict between the Western governments and the Islamic Republic of Iran can have disastrous human, political and social consequences. The terrible experience of Iraq has shown to all the catastrophes that can result from economic sanctions and a military attack. Deterioration of living conditions, economic plight, death, destruction and displacement of people, and increased repression by the Islamic regime, would be some of the immediate consequences of economic sanctions or a military attack on Iran. This policy would unleash Islamic terrorism on a regional scale and escalate it internationally.

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