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Index January 2009

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What people think on their nation’s foreign policy

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Linked with World Public

Most People Think Their Nation’s Foreign Policy Is Morally No Better Than Average: Global Poll …

… published on world public, by a global poll, January 22, 2009.


The world is full of nationalistic people certain that their country is morally superior to others, right? Actually, a new poll of 21 nations around the world finds that people can be remarkably modest.

Asked to assess the morality of their nation’s foreign policy, in 19 out of 21 nations the most common answer is that their nation is about average or below average …

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Launch of Journal of Human Rights Practice

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Received by mail:
From: Cristina Sganga
Date: 29/01/2009

Dear Colleagues, The Oxford Journals are now only a few weeks away from the launch of the Journal of Human Rights Practice.

The practical application of, and academic interest in, human rights has grown exponentially over the last decade. The Journal of Human Rights Practice will capture learning and communicate the lessons of practice across professional and geographical boundaries, within and beyond the human rights mainstream. It will provide a platform for international and local practitioners world-wide – allowing the cross-fertilization of ideas to challenge conventional ways of working, stimulate innovation and encourage reflective practice.

More information about the Journal of Human Rights Practice can be found at: Oxford Journals, Human Rights Practice.

Information about how to submit a paper to the Journal: (Oxford Journals, Human Rights Practice), /CALL FOR PAPERS: Where is the Evidence?
All the best, Cristina Sganga

(The deadline for submissions is the end of March 2009. To informally discuss possible contributions please contact Paul Gready or Brian Phillips).

So long, Marianne

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Linked with Alice Schwarzer – Germany.

Published on sign and (originally in german in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on November 17, 2005 – Translation Nicholas Grindell), by Alice Schwarzer, Nov. 22, 2005.

Alice Schwarzer, the foremost figure in the German women’s liberation movement, comments on the lack of women in the recent French riots.

“They used to burn dustbins and cars – now they burn girls.” These were the words of Kahina Benziane after her sister Sohane was raped, tortured and burned alive by schoolmates on October 4, 2002 in the Parisian suburb of Vitry.

Unlike her sister, who moved away and studied sociology, Sohane stayed in the neighbourhood. But she dared to live like her sister, which meant wearing makeup, going out, having a boyfriend. And she paid for this lifestyle with her life, since it meant she was not one of the “respectable girls” but one of the “putes”, the whores.

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2009 Specialized Human Rights Program

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(Washington DC, 25 May-12 June 2009)

Linked with Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Received by mail:
From: Human Rights Academy
Date: 28/01/2009

SPECIALIZED HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAM, Washington DC, May 25 – June 12, 2009:

The 2009 Specialized Human Rights Program of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law is now accepting applications.

The 2009 program will offer 17 courses, in English and Spanish, taught by 33 leading experts in the field. Participants can earn ABA credit, a Diploma or a Certificate of Attendance. The program brings together over 180+ participants, from more than 35 countries, with diverse backgrounds and levels of experience including law students, lawyers and human rights advocates.

Please visit our website at Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for more information, or contact us at the WCL HR Academy, or phone us on 202-274-4070.

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Crossing Conflict Lines to Promote Good Governance

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A Foreign Policy and Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement Event

Linked with Aisha Abubakr Subaira Adam – Sudan, and with DARFUR Peace and Development.

Published on, by Africa, Internal Displacement, Governance, Sudan, 17 Jan 2007.

Event Summary: This meeting was part of a series of events for women leaders from around the world organized by the Initiative for Inclusive Security and hosted by the Project. The panel included six women from across Sudan to discuss their work in promoting good governance in Sudan. Participants included representatives from NGOs, academics, and human rights practitioners. Sarah Martin from Refugees International moderated the discussion.

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ECOSOC for AEHRF and the NGO world

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we have a new blog telling our maraton for ECOSOC status … since 2002

The blog will be updated continuously, today you find a new post with 6 new UN’s questions, to be answered to satisfy the ECOSOC Committe. If you are interested, you may find all under the link below.

ECOSOC for AEHRF and the NGO world

SEIU’s Hostile Takeover of UHW Begins

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Published on dissident voice, by Seth Sandronsky, January 24th, 2009.

What happens when 91 percent of eligible Service Employees International Union members refuse to vote, as the two options given to them exclude the option many of them say they want? Just ask the international executive board of the SEIU. After the embarrassing nine percent vote, the SEIU board voted January 9 to merge three locals and create a single union of long-term home care and nursing home workers statewide.

The locals to be merged into the new union of 240,000 workers are Local 521 in San Jose; Local 6434 in Los Angeles; and United Healthcare Workers-West in Oakland, whose leadership has become the target of SEIU International President Andy Stern by criticizing his corporatist strategy of trading workers’ rights and powers for an easy road to membership growth …

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Stigmatisée par la société

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aussi en arabe, espanol (and sometimes english)

Lié avec Houda Mahamat Malloum – Chad,

Publié sur un haut-parleur pour le silence, Escrito por Houda Mahamat Malloum, oct. 27, 2008.

Stigmatisée, marginalisée et rejetée par la société. Radia Yakhoub présidente de l’association des personnes vivantes avec le VIH a Abéché est séropositif. Malade depuis 2005. Cette femme a vu de toutes les couleurs la stigmatisation exercée par son entourage.

Mère de 5 enfants, professeur a l’institue des sciences et technique a Abéché, Radia était victime du rejet par ses parents. Elle rencontre des difficultés avec son entourage. Mal vue et doigtée par les voisins. Personne de ses anciens connaissant ne la rapproche. Tous les bailleurs des maisons qu’elle louait, la chasse quand ils se rendent compte qu’elle est atteinte du sida. Cette femme était contrainte de quitter la ville d’Abéche pour aller vivre à quelques kilomètres de la ville avec ses enfants après des moments difficile vécus …

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The Other Messiah

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Obama may be America’s new messiah, but Bush was evangelicals’ ultimate political savior. Or so they thought

Published on PatrolMag, By David Sessions, Jan 16, 2009.

IT’S BEEN fun to watch people from without and from within—both the qualified and the hopelessly, hilariously unqualified—attempt to make sense of the evangelical right’s unprecedented relationship with George W. Bush. What was that magic spark that married such a huge percentage of a religious community—passionately and happily—to an American president? From whence came this deep entwinement of patriotism and faith?

Now that the Bush administration is ending—and ending in such a fashion—we get the chance to really look back …

… The great cliché of the Bush years is that he taught evangelicals a lesson about staking their credibility on one man. That’s a nice thought, but a wishful one. Bush planned, executed, and solidified the notion that the religious right’s man—or woman—should openly and boldly announce their evangelicalism, and prove it by adhering to a very specific policy dogma. Survey says the taste of having a Bible-believing president hasn’t left the Christian tongue: their response to the Republican primary candidates, not to mention Sarah Palin, illustrated that faith and folksiness still mattered as much or more than policy specifics. That campaign was mired in trifling religiosity: Romney’s Mormonism, McCain’s un-religiousness, Giuliani’s family values. In the general election, stance on abortion mattered more than basic things like whether or not a candidate was qualified for office. Christians believed faith-based doomsday Obama scenarios despite their lack of plausibility.

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Articles out of the Israel-Palestine struggle

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These days I received a lot of articles from a person living inside this struggle. The articles were politely formulated and seemed correspond to a lived reality, but obviously the writer sustained strongly one part and condemned the other part.

I refused the publishing and explained this with the following mail:

Dear … ,

Thank you for the articles and video material you send to to be published.

I accept that all what you write corresponds to reality. And that in this Israel-Palestine war the people of both sides suffer and have all reasons to be angry.

I am an old European/Swiss woman and publish on this blog construction articles for development and human rights, and also about its abuses.

I watch that since 3 weeks the whole world mainstream media is condemning Israel, because of their reaction for wanting no more receive bombs out of Gaza. Since, and before I have published not any  article condemning Isreal directly.

But I am also aware of the following: I consider the situation totally stuck, each bord sees the other side only as their wallpaper and do not recognish their reality. All had been said since a long time and both sides do not listen in any way to anyone, stating they are the only one who are right. At least officially.

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Global HIV/AIDS: Five Leadership Issues

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Linked with Peter Piot – Belgium.

Published on, by Chinua Akukwe, January 16, 2009.

The 2008 World AIDS Day focused on leadership issues. The focus on leadership is very appropriate as the future looks uncertain regarding a continued global resolve to contain the defining health challenge of our time. The change of guard at UNAIDS with the departure of the long term chief, Peter Piot, is a case in point. The continuing global financial crisis calls into question the capacity of G-8 nations and other Western countries to increase or maintain their level of support for AIDS remedial efforts in poor countries. The capacity of resource-challenged and AIDS-hard hit nations to mobilize national support is also compromised by continued food crises and growing rates of poverty. Despite notable success in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, 7,500 individuals contract HIV every day and at least 6,000 people die of AIDS every day …

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Who Killed Markelov & Baburova?

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Published on openDemocracy, by Mariana Torocheshnikova, 22 Jan 2009.

… When the news came out that Budanov was to be released from prison early, it was Stanislav Markelov who tried to prevent the release, filing a protest in court. But the release went ahead regardless. Markelov called a press conference on January 19, and told journalists about what he planned to do next. He was shot when he left the press centre. The killer shot him in the head at close range. Standing next to him at that moment was Anastasia Baburova, a young intern at the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She tried to stop the attacker and received a head wound. Doctors fought for her life for several hours but she died. Stanislav was 34, and Anastasia 25.

People were quick to say the murder was politically motivated and accused the Russian authorities of failing to prevent attacks on lawyers, journalists and political figures. Lawyers have been murdered in the past in Russia, but all the best-known cases involved people with connections either to not the most honest kind of business, or to the criminal world. Stanislav Markelov belonged to neither category. His colleagues spoke of him as a man of principle, a strong and tough lawyer, and stressed that he always acted within the law …

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Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in EU and non-EU countries

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Linked with Wanda Nowicka – Poland, and with ASTRA Network.

Published on European Feminist Forum, by Wanda Nowicka, 21 November 2007.

SRHR in EU and non-EU countries:

Despite the European Union (EU) enlargement there is a significant and growing difference between the status of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in both: new member states of the EU , as well as ‘old’ member states. The reproductive health in new member states is similar to the situation in other countries of the Central and East Europe (CEE). For instance, in many countries of the CEE region due to limited contraceptive options, abortion is used as the primary method of fertility control. Many women are still denied the access to modern contraceptives methods due to financial inaccessibility, lack of information or because they receive misleading information. Accurate sexuality education as well as access to reproductive health services is also limited as a result of growing influence of conservative forces, including the Catholic Church. Moreover, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS rates have dramatically risen in some of the countries of the region. Experts predict that this crisis is likely to spread to other CEE countries if no effective prevention programs are implemented. This stands in marked contrast to the situation in majority of the ‘old’ EU member-states, where there are significantly lower HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and abortion rates. This is a result of accessible sexual and reproductive health services and information, including subsidized contraceptives, accurate and unbiased sexuality education in schools, and information and services aimed at preventing transmission of STIs.

EU laws and policies: … (full text).

Haven On Earth

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Published on Indian Muslims blog, by Rupa Abdi, January 18, 2009.

In the year 1592, when men in power were still God fearing and honored their word, a sacred covenant between the Lepchas – the indigenous people of Sikkim, and the Tibetan Bhutias was solemnized. This historical event took place near Gangtok, the present capital of Sikkim.

A bull was sacrificed to the Gods and an oath was sworn over its blood that the Lepchas and Bhutias would never fight and live as blood brothers in peace and harmony. Who ever broke the sacred oath would be cursed along with his descendents. From then on, on the 15th of every ninth month of the Tibetan calendar, the people of this region would make an offering of food and drink to their God to celebrate this sacred covenant. However the Tibetan rulers of the Sikkim could not keep their word for long and broke the sacred oath, inviting the wrath of the curse on themselves. The Namgyal dynasty that ruled over Sikkim from 1642-1975, came to an end on 16th May 1975 and Sikkim became the 22nd State of India. However during my recent trip to the eastern Himalays I realized that while the rulers of this region broke the sacred oath of peace the people of this region continue to follow the sacred covenant …

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What Bush leaves behind (and Obama has to pick up)

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Published on L.A.Times, by DOYLE McMANUS, January 18, 2009.

… If Obama succeeds, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, it will be partly because of the second-term fixes that Bush, Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made to the botched work of the first. After all the drama of the last eight years, the new president inherits a foreign policy that has largely been repaired. Obama ran to change the tone of American diplomacy, repudiating the unilateralist Bush of 2001 — but he’ll find himself building on a foundation laid by the toned-down Bush of 2008 …

… When Bush was riding high on a tide of public support after 9/11, his obstinacy and focus enabled him to push a homeland security agenda through Congress, marshal broad initial support for the war in Iraq — and win reelection in 2004.

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Schuhwerfer Montasser al-Saidi will in die Schweiz

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Sein Anwalt wird Asyl-Antrag einreichen

Auf SF1 (Deutsch-Schweizer Fernsehen) veröffentlicht, von sf/bucf, 19. Januar 2009.

Sein Schuhwurf auf George W. Bush an einer Pressekonferenz in Bagdad machte ihn weltberühmt. Jetzt fürchtet der irakische Journalist Montasser al-Saidi um sein Leben – und beantragt Asyl in der Schweiz.

Saidis Anwalt Mauro Poggia hat gegenüber der Genfer Tageszeitung Tribune de Genève gesagt, dass die Familie des Schuhwerfers über das Internationale Komitee des Roten Kreuzes mit ihm Kontakt aufgenommen hätte.

Saidi als Journalist in Genf?

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Entropa: art of politics, heart of a nation

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Linked with David Cerny – Czech Republic, and with About the State, the State-owned and the Non-state Owned Cultural Sector in Bulgaria.

Published on openDemocracy, by Dessy Gavrilova, Jan. 16, 2009.

… On 15 January 2009 an exhibition opened on the premises of the European Council in Brussels to mark the beginning of the Czech Republic’s six-month presidency of the European Union. The authors were, until the day of the launch, believed to be twenty-seven artists from each of the EU’s member-states, but media attention and political turmoil in Bulgaria forced the true – and single – author to declare his hoax on 13 January. It turned out to be the well known Czech conceptual artist, David Cerny. Dessy Gavrilova is founder-director of The Red House – Center for Culture and Debate in Sofia, Bulgaria. The citizens of Bulgaria have long forgotten that art could be a political force. It used to be under communism, but lost its importance since the change of 1989 and after. Now, at the beginning of 2009, art again matters in this country …

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Kenya’s Ory Okolloh: Blogger and New Media Visionary Mobilizes Voices of Africa

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Published on WorldPulse, by Allena Butal, Jan. 2, 2009.

Ory Okolloh is turning heads in cyberspace. A young Kenyan lawyer and activist whose family struggled to send her to school and whose father died of AIDS, she is bent on communicating that Africa is no sob story. Okolloh is devoting her life to letting the world know – through her blogs and “labor of love” digital projects – that the continent is loaded with the power of the people and their solutions. Today she is on the forefront of a wave of young Africans who are using the power of blogging, cell-phone texting, and web-enabled democracy to push their countries forward and help Africans to truly connect …

… When the idea for Ushahidi struck, Okolloh already had her own personal and popular blog: Kenyan Pundit, as well as another site she runs, called Mzalendo, which monitors the performance of Kenya’s parliamentarians. Mzalendo enables Kenyans to talk directly to their officials, and helps ordinary people understand what the government is doing, so they can hold them accountable. Through Mzalendo, and now Ushahidi, Okolloh deeply believes that the people of Africa, once connected through digital projects like Mzalendo and Ushahidi, can break the cycle of exploitation by corrupt leaders. And, in doing so, she hopes that Africans will start exercising their right to hold officials accountable en masse.

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Kashmir book release – some photos

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Linked with Contemporary Kashmir politics – Some insights.

  • Book Release on 6 November 2008 at India  International Centre, New Delhi;
  • Chairman  Mr. Jagmohan ( former Governor of J&K State and Union Minister who released the book);
  • Guest of Honour: Mr. Arun Shauri (former Union Minister);
  • Main Speakers: Arun Shauri, Prof. Tejhnath Dhar, Rishi Dev and Prof. K.N. Pandits.


Prof. Tejnath Dhar and Prof. Pandita receiving Arun Shauri

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New EMHRN publication

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… on using non-formal education methodologies in HRE (human rights education)

Linked with Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network EMHRN.

Received by mail:
From: Nour Hemici of HR education
Date: 14/01/2009

Dear colleagues, “Resources for Human Rights Education in the Euro-Mediterranean region: A practical introduction to methodologies in non-formal education” is now available. It is the first publication of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) based on HRE methodologies tested and developed by EMHRN members and partners that participated at the EMHRN Summer School in Cyprus in July 2007.

It provides educational exercises and teaching resources on HRE methodologies as part of non-formal education in the Euro-Mediterranean region, including sample activities of methodologies as diverse as art, film, peer learning and training for trainers. It presents a range of HRE methodologies for organisations dealing with HRE who want to build on or improve existing activities or programmes, or who want to initiate new activities. The electronic versions (in English and  Arabic) are available on this page.

Nour Hemici, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Project Coordinator, Direct phone : +45 32 64 17 24,and also Skype :, E-mail, Website.

Human Rights Watch’s WORLD REPORT 2009

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published in many languages (click on the yellow L in the upper right corner)

Linked with Kenneth Roth – USA, and with Human Rights Watch.

The 19th annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects extensive investigative work undertaken in 2008 by Human Rights Watch staff, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question.

Download the full english report, 576 pdf-pages and 6 MB.

Introduction to the report by Kenneth Roth;

All other publications and reports;

News release.

Female reporter hacked to death in southern Nepal

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Published on, by Assoc. Press, January 12, 2009.

… Uma Singh was attacked at her apartment Sunday night in Janakpur, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of the Nepalese capital Katmandu. She died from wounds after being hacked with sharp objects, government administrator Shambhu Koirala said. Police were investigating but no arrests had been made, Koirala said …

… Singh often reported on women’s rights issues in the area bordering India and campaigned against the dowry system where a bride’s parents are forced to give cash, jewelry and expensive gifts to the groom at the time of wedding. (full text).

More excerpts of articles:
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Vacancy: Training/Legal Officer

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… at Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (Geneva)

Linked with Internal Deplacement Monitoring Centre iDMC, and with Kashmir and its PANDITS.

Received by mail:
From: IDMC
Date: 13/01/2009

The Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is looking for a new Training/Legal Officer. IDMC is the leading international body monitoring conflict-related internal displacement worldwide. For more information on the IDMC, visit its website.

APPLICATION:  The deadline for applications is 31 January 2009. Please send a cover letter and your CV in English to the following address:

  • Norwegian Refugee Council – Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
  • Att.: Jacqueline Shahinian, Chemin de Balexert 7-9, CH-1219 Châtelaine (Geneva),
  • Fax: +41-22-799 07 01, e-mail.
  • The salary offered is in the range of 80,700 – 88,400 CHF annually, depending on education and experience, subject to taxation and social deductions.
  • Please note that only short-listed candidates will be informed of the status of their application and invited to participate in a written recruitment test.
  • Please note that this position is not an international one and that IDMC staff and consultants are subject to Swiss labour and migration laws.
  • Regarding applicants who are not already authorized to work in Switzerland, while IDMC facilitates the process of applying for a work permit, the criteria for obtaining one from the Swiss authorities differ according to nationality. For more information on the Swiss work permit regime, please consult the website of the Geneva authorities at

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RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Awaiting Gitmo’s Closure

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Published on IPSnews, by Zofeen Ebrahim, January 12, 2009.

RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Awaiting Gitmo’s Closure, By Zofeen Ebrahim, KARACHI, Jan 6 (IPS) – “I’ve thought a lot about what my first meeting with my father will be like after all these years. I don’t know how I’d react. I don’t even know what to expect,” said Muneeza Paracha, 26, daughter of Saifullah Paracha, incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay since September 2004 …

… “Our hopes have been raised so many times, and then dashed, and despite assurances from our government, and Barack Obama’s plans to close the prison, I cannot be sure till I see my father here,”
said Muneeza. “His [Obama’s] priority maybe different from mine,” said Muneeza, adding, “I’m not sure if he will be able to close Gitmo as soon as he steps into the Oval Office, and then it may not be as easy either.”

Closing the detention facilities is easier said than done, and the Obama administration may have to wade through a sea of legal, diplomatic, political and logistical issues.

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