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Index April 2007

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Robert Springborg – England

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Linked with Geneva Centre for the DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF ARMED FORCES DCAF, with 4th General Conference of the ECPR, and with Political Islam and Europe.

Robert Springborg holds the MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and is Director of the London Middle East Institute.

He says: ”We stop the Mohamed Atta’s of the future in the same way that it seems to me to deal with the rest of Egypt and the third world. We help them to develop. That one needs to see opportunities in this society, opportunities for economic development, for the practice of one’s profession, for the expression of one’s beliefs and that can only come about with higher rates of economic growth and as presently constructed, this economy is incapable of taking advantage of opportunities provided by globalisation and is indeed threatened by that globalisation so there needs to be some reconfiguration of the relationship between the first world and the third world and Egypt to enable that development to occur more successfully because if there is not, then there will be protests of various sorts whether of the Islamist variety or others and they will continue odd infinitum so the answer in my mind is one word, it’s development”. (full text).

Look at: Oil and Democracy in Iraq, edited by Robert Springborg, Publication Date 23 Jan 2007: This is the first major study of the alternatives confronting Iraq as it seeks to rebuild its vital oil industry while simultaneously constructing a new political system. A key challenge facing the country is to allocate the revenues oil generates in a way that avoids economic and social instability. Reviewing the present status of the industry, the authors – including Clement Henry, Massoud Karshenas, Roger Owen, Mona Said and John Sfakianakis – use comparative analysis to suggest how it might best be rebuilt. This book is an important and timely assessment of Iraq’s oil industry. (full text).

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Robert Springborg – UK AU USA Egypt etc.

He says also: “My impression of Iraq [when I worked there] is that it had been the most effective developer of human resources of any Arab country other than Lebanon. It had built fine institutions in terms of health, education and other human resources. The Iraqi people were talented and great to work with, which makes the present situation all the more tragic. By the early 1980s, before I left, I visited the front with Iran during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The Iraqis had built substantial recreation centres underneath the bunkers with fine fittings and fixtures, with the help of many immigrant workers, including Koreans. It was a pretty opulent situation with Iraqi soldiers commuting to and from Baghdad, almost as weekend soldiers, probably a very different situation than their Iranian counterparts. The Iraqi army was almost a carbon copy of the Red Army under Stalin, with political commissars who were present calling the shots over military commanders”. (full text).

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Mirta Susana Clara – Argentina

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The photos of the prisoners humiliated by the Americans in Iraq remind me of my husband tortured in 1976, when the Argentinean military tied him up and took him on parade” … and: “With our companions in Switzerland and Spain, we are working to build ‘The place for ex-political prisoners’. It will be a place to recover the historical memory of what has happened”.

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Mirta Susana Clara – Argentina

She works for the Municipal Government of Buenos Aires, and for the Lanas National University.

After six years in prison, Mirta Clara, her daughter and son, and the rest of society, slowly, began to become familiar with each other again. Her husband had been killed by the Argentinean military regime (1976-1983). Through her professional specialty, psychology, she tries to construct inclusive policies to help the people excluded by society. Some of them have been affected directly or indirectly by genocide, others have been excluded by unemployment and its consequences, the greatest of which is poverty.

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Kurt Vonnegut – USA (1922 – 2007)

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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Cat’s Cradle (1963), and Breakfast of Champions (1973), (see books, texts, bio, references, footnotes etc., on wikipedia).

The remaining picture on his official website.

But see also ‘thE vOnnEgUt wEb‘.
He says: “Don’t use semi-colons. They stand for nothing … they only show you’ve been to college.” He follows this by commenting “All American literature is about how bad it is to be American”. A list ensues, including the Scarlet Letter, Death of a Salesman and Moby Dick. (full text).

And also: “All I wanted to do was support my family,” Vonnegut wrote in 1999. “I didn’t think I would amount to a hill of beans”. (full text).

On wikipedia you’ll get the links to most of the (american) obituary writings, (scroll down).

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Kurt Vonnegut – USA (1922 – 2007)

Watch theis Google-Video: 37.59 min. the infinite mind;

ok, just go to Google-Video, put his name in the search tool, and you find pages of more Google-videos from or about Kurt Vonnegut.

And here some YouTube-Videos:

Kommaly Chanthavong – Laos

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “We strengthen the position of women by giving them a dependable income and thus improving the chances of their children” … “I learned to weave from my mother when I was six years old, and I loved it” … “I met many desperately poor families displaced from rural areas without any marketable skills, so I started to teach the women how to weave silk” … “Our greatest challenge is to compete against cheaper, low-quality” … imports”.

Read: the cycle of silk production.

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Kommaly Chanthavong – Laos

She works for the Phontong cooperative for the production of silk, with the Lao Sericulture Company named Mulberries.

Kommaly Chantavong (born 1950) is a farmer’s daughter from the mountains of eastern Laos. When her village was bombed by the Americans in 1961, she fled to Vientiane. In 1976, she founded a cooperative for the production of silk, which she still heads. The cooperative teaches mostly women traditional skills in raising silkworms, making natural dyes and weaving traditional patterns. The successful marketing of the products provides a fair and steady income to several hundred families that used to be very poor.

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Michael Parenti – USA

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Linked with Third World Traveler, with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, with Lori Wallach – USA, with How the Free Market Killed New Orleans, with Economy and Human Rights – one, with The Peninsula Peace and Justice Center PPJC, and with The Human Condition Series.

He is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation’s leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. (more on his Homepage).

He says: “The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology”. (Third world traveler).

Listen to his Google-videos:

Read: Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty In The World, By Michael Parenti, 24 April, 2007, Countercurrents.org.

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Michael Parenti – USA

He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities, in the United States and abroad. Some of his writings have been translated into Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

Listen to some of his many YouTube-videos:

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Lijuan XIANG – China

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She is Laureate for the Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life.

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Lijuan XIANG – China

She works for a kindergarten she created for rural children.

There are not many places where rural children have access to kindergartens, especially in Third World countries.

After successfully working in the city kindergarten of Dongyue Township, Xiang Lijuan (30) of Dong Yue Xiang Ping Qiao village (Sichuan Province) decided to return home to open a kindergarten for rural children.

Obstacles were immense. She had the care of an elderly mother and a two year old child. With no classrooms, no teachers, no equipment and no money, all she had was a dream and an unbending, unrenting will. First, she had to negotiate with local schools and government. Then she approached banks and large city kindergartens for support. After endless efforts, she secured a 60′000 yuan loan (US$ 7′500), which enabled her to open her Sunflower Kindergarten in 2002 with adequate equipment and professional teachers.

Under her expert leadership, each teacher became a loving mother to the children. After only three years, the success was so striking, she obtained a much more important loan, enabling her to expand to a larger, more professsional set-up in a better environment, allowing her to better incarnate her dream that rural children, too, have a right to the best.

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David Truskoff – USA

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He says about himself: ” can be identified by bumps on head from ighting windmills Civil rights activist…anti-war activist…anti poverty activist and anti publisher rejection activist”, (on AuthorsDen.com).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, David Truskoff: At the end of World War II, David Truskoff returned to his hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey after being discharged from the US Navy with honor, commendations and dreams of a peaceful world. The naiveté was short lived. In 1948 he believed in and worked for Henry Wallace, the Progressive Party candidate. (users.erols.com).

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David Truskoff – USA

Read: Trickledown Economics Perpetuates War, By David Truskoff, 23 April, 2007.

Read also: The Confused American Left Ask, Am I A Racist? By David Truskoff, 20 April, 2007.

And finally read: What Do The Young Jews Know? By David Truskoff, 03 April, 2007.

And also read: Perhaps We can still avoid the Third Civil War, By David Truskoff, 10 March, 2007.

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Dandi Lou Hélène Amanan – Cote d’Ivoire

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Linked with West African Network for Peacebuilding WANEP.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The exclusion of women in early crisis talks was a huge mistake. It is now up to the women of Ivory Coast to correct that mistake”.

Read: Her texts on UNjobs. (full text).

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Dandi Lou Hélène Amanan – Cote d’Ivoire

She works for the Women in Peacebuilding Network WIPNET, (exists also in french), and for Vision et action des femmes africaines contre les guerres VAFAG.

Hélène Amanan served as a secretary of the permanent mission of the Ivory Coast for the United Nations in New York, was an international official (1992-1999) in charge of coordination of social affairs and protection of refugees for the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ivory Coast and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was coordinator of the program Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding.

Since 2004, Madame Dandi has been the French regional adviser (West Africa) of the Network of African Women for Peace. The goal of Madame Dandi Lou’s NGO is to involve African women in building peace, preventing or managing conflict and giving urgent help to vulnerable people (women, children, refugees, handicapped, elderly people). As it’s leader, she worked on a national and international plan to deliver the message to women affected by the wars.

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Ute Bock – Austria

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “It is not wise to establish a group of underprivileged people. Even if these people can, or are forced to, move back to their homeland, it is better that they learn something here”. And: “I used to be able to buy subway tickets for people. Nowadays I have to think about being able to afford lunch”, is how she describes her situation. (1000PeaceWomen).

Ute Bock erhält 15′200 Euro, 28. Dezember 2006. Oft wurden wir in den letzten Wochen gefragt, wieviel Geld wir nun spenden können. Jetzt sind die Abrechnungen endlich abgeschlossen und wir können uns über einen gewaltigen Betrag von 15.200 Euro für die Ute Bock und ihr Flüchtlingsprojekt freuen! (full text).

Read in german: Solidarität mit Frau Bock – Eine Aktion des WBDS.

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Ute Bock – Austria

Ute Bock worked professionally for many years as a social worker and educator/teacher, before she became director of the Zohmanngasse Home in Vienna in 1976.. In the early 1990s, she started to take care of teenage immigrants. She also took in underage refugees from countries at war, who came to Austria on their own looking for asylum. Ute Bock was the last hope for many teenage immigrants for whom nobody else cared. Her small project has grown into a community of 50 apartments where over 200 people find a home. She has also provided a legal address and legal aid for more than 1000 immigrants so that they can pursue their asylum procedures.

She was born in Linz, Austria in 1942.

In the early 1990s, Ute Bock started to take care of teenage immigrants, who were sent to her by the youth welfare office. At first, they were mostly children of immigrant workers. But soon enough she also took in underage immigrants from countries at war, who came to Austria on their own looking for asylum. Zohmanngasse and Ute Bock were the last hope for many teenage immigrants for whom nobody else cared.

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Evelyn Pringle – USA

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Linked with The Inexplicable Enrichment Of Bush Cronies.

She is Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America. See there her 153 published articles.

She says: … “This war is going to bankrupt the US. A January 2007 study by Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes, estimated that the total costs of the Iraq war could be more than $2 trillion when the long-term medical costs for the soldiers injured so far are factored in. The only people who are benefiting from Bush’s war on terror are members of the Military Industrial Complex. Since 9/11, the pay for the CEOs of the top 34 defense contractors in the US has doubled, according to the August 2006 report, “Executive Excess 2006,” by the Institute for Policy Studies, and the United for a Fair Economy. The bill is rising so fast because the level of war profiteering is unprecedented … “. (full text).

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Sorry, I could not find any photo of Evelyn Pringle – USA

About Iraq and its money:

About Big Pharma:

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Farida Shaheed – Pakistan

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Linked with Women living under Muslim laws,
and with The Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I am touched by the number of women and people who tell me I touched them through my work”.

Read: Scoping Study on Social Exclusion.

She says also: “Women Living under Muslim Laws (an NGO) views ‘Fundamentalism’, above all, as a political project. All forms of what is called ‘fundamentalism’ are ultimately political projects of appropriation of the public, social and personal spaces in which we exist – with the goal of gaining political and economic power. Sometimes such projects aim to maintain power and sometimes to challenge power. The critical element, however, in understanding these forces that are lumped together under the banner of ‘Fundamentalism’, is to analyze them from the perspective of power”. (full text).

Read: Asian Women in Muslim Societies, Perspectives & Struggles.

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Farida Shaheed – Pakistan

She works for the Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, and for the Women Living under Muslim Laws WLUML.

The Women Action Forum (WAF) worker Farida Shaheed alleged that the government was fanning Talibanisation. She said General Musharraf was furthering the agenda of General Ziaul Huq. She said the government was depriving the masses of their basic human rights. “As lawyers and the masses struggle for the restoration of the basic human rights and democracy in the country,” She said. “Extremists take violent steps to undermine those rights.” Commenting on the assault on Dr Amina Butter, she said, it was condemnable. (full text).

Read: Militarization & Global Conflict – A Different Perspective.

And she says: “Further, many “fundamentalist” projects would not be able to exist if they did not have linkages and were not supported by other groups that you would not normally consider to be “fundamentalist.” These forces exist at the national and local level. At home, for example, we can see that the bankruptcy of the political parties has helped to bring about and give force to extremist elements by creating a void – a space filled by extremist elements.

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Franziska Brantner – Germany

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Linked with GLOW – a global center for women’s politics, with France – l’Europe et la campagne présidentielle, and with Europäische Vernetzungskonferenz.

Born in 1979, FRANZISKA BRANTNER lives at present in Paris and writes her PhD thesis with Professor Wessels (University of Cologne) on the role of the USA in the process of European Union integration. She graduated in 2004 with a double diploma from the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University and of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris (Sciences Po), from which she graduated first of her class.

Franziska has participated at major international women’s rights conferences at the UN and in the NGO field. As a consultant for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, she has worked with young women in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She also advised the Delegation of the European Commission to the UN.

She is member of the McKinsey College and fellow of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Franziska Brantner lived and worked in Tel Aviv, Washington, D. C., Paris, New York and Berlin. (Read on Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung).

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Franziska Brantner – Germany.

She moderated, together with Claire Bortfeldt, the workshop ‘Fundamentalism, Feminism, and Faith in Europe’, on 10.09.2005: “With this workshop we intend to draw attention on the fact that many fundamentalist movements only accept one understanding of family, sexual rights and social relations, denying the fact that there always exist very different concepts in societies, hereby denying fundamental human and women’s rights”, she says. (full text).

Download the 8 pages pdf-text in german: Religiöser Fundamentalismus gegen Frauenrechte, auf internationaler, EU und deutscher Ebene.

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Martin Khor – Malaysia

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Linked with Third World Network TWN, with Speech about Third World Economics, and with WTO, The New Threats to Developing Countries and Sustainability.

He is a journalist, economist and Director of the Third World Network which is based in Penang, Malaysia. He is active in the civil society movement. He has attended the World Social Forum (WSF 2003, 2002), european social forum (2004) [1] and in 1999 and 2000, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

He says: ”the Rio process acknowledged a world environmental crisis and linked it to economic and development crises, focused on future and present needs, stressed equity in the environment and development debates, and promised aid to developing countries”. (sustainable developments).

See photos of ‘Fair Trade Fair and Symposium‘.

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Martin Khor – Malaysia

Martin Khor is the Director of Third World Network (TWN). “TWN is one of a number of non-governmental organizations in different parts of the world which are concerned with understanding and influencing global policy. In this capacity he has acted as a strong advocate on behalf of citizens’ groups in the Third World on a range of international issues, including sustainable development, biosafety and other environmental questions, and the impact of globalization on the developing prospects of the South.” ( – from bio in Martin Khor’s book “Rethinking Globalization”.) This article was distributed at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa. – Read: WTO, The New Threats to Developing Countries and Sustainability … (full text).

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Rebecca Gomperts – Netherlands

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Linked with Women on Waves, and with An Interview with Rebecca Gomperts.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Induced abortions are one of the most common medical interventions in the world: out of around 46 million abortions performed annually, 20 million are illegal and unsafe”. (1000PeaceWomen).

Working as a ship’s doctor on Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, as a freelance abortion doctor in several clinics and the writing of the novel Flotsam are only some examples of this. Her three talents come together expressly in her latest iniative, the founding of Women on Waves, a Dutch non-profit organisation devoted to the cause of women’s rights and health. (full text).

She says also: “Of course I realized when I got back how many problems I would come across if I wanted to put this idea into practice. But the more research I did, the more this issue crawled under my skin and would not let go. So many women are dying and being denied the most fundamental part of human existence, namely to decide about their autonomy, their bodies, whether and when they want to have children”. (1000PeaceWomen).

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Rebecca Gomperts – Netherlands

She works for Women on Waves.

Read: I had an abortion. (full text).

Read: Rebecca Gomperts Is Trying to Save the World for Abortion. (full text).

Rebecca Gomperts works with local women’s groups to prevent unsafe abortions and empower women to exercise their human rights to physical and mental autonomy. In 1999, Rebecca Gomperts founded the organization, Women on Waves, which operates a mobile abortion clinic on a ship. Despite threats and protests from anti-abortion groups and governments, it has sailed to various countries where abortions are illegal. While in harbor, the ship provides contraceptives, information, and counseling. After sailing into international waters, early medical abortions are provided safely in the clinic.

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Barbro Sundback – Finland

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Linked with Three organizations working for Peace and Human Rights on the Åland Islands, and with Don’t blame the victims.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Getting involved in peace work was a long process for me. Politics came first. Then I felt the threat of a nuclear holocaust so frightening and so hopeless. I got involved in the peace marches through Europe in the eighties and met so many different people who wanted to act for peace instead of shrugging their shoulders and doing nothing. I did not want to become cynical. It is healthier to have hope. With time I have come to think that the most important thing is the process of working together. The main obstacle to peace is the conception that war is somehow inevitable. That concept is built into the patriarchal structures of our society, and the people who uphold it are probably the ones who are themselves ready to use violence to achieve their goals. If you believe violence is a solution, it becomes one. For example, the real reason for the war in Iraq is to make some of the men in the Bush administration even wealthier. I have achieved my goals in cooperation with other people. No one changes the world alone. And you have to live by your beliefs. To be credible you have to show through your interaction with other people that you both respect and love them. Since I am a politician I have worked on many different levels. The most important one is the local level, where it is possible to put ones ideas and visions into practice. The Åland Islands Peace Institute, Emmaus-Åland and the local peace group have become a part of my home, my group of people”. (1000PeaceWomen).

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Barbro Sundback – Finland

She works for the Ålands fredsinstitut / Åland Islands Peace Institute,
for the Emmaus Åland (in finish) / Peace Association-Emmaus (in english),
and for the Finnish Music Information Center (Fimic).

Summing up her conviction Barbo says: “I have a strong belief in justice and democracy and the good in the world. I also believe that trust is an essential component in any peace-building process. I was once in Kyrgyzstan, talking with groups of leaders from Nagorno-Karabach and Azerbaijan. There was no trust and no respect between the participants, and they were not interested in autonomy as a way to solve their differences. Finally the leader of the Nagorno-Karabach group smiled at me and said, ‘Ok, autonomy can be a good solution, but then we have to become a part of Finland, not Azerbaijan’. There was no trust”.

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Asipa Musayeva – Kyrgyzstan

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The main thing is not to give up! There is always a way out, even in the most complicated situation”.

She says also: “There were a lot of hindrances and mistakes, however, we gradually surmounted them and learned not to make them again, experience is the best teacher”.

They said us: “What do you need to go out for? Just sit at home like you did in the Soviet Union. Continue to sit, or go live in special hostel for invalids”.

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Asipa Musayeva – Kyrgyzstan

She works for the Independent Association of Disabled Women.

Asipa Musayeva is the president of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Independent Association of Disabled Women of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Since 1989, she has accomplished a great deal for the organization and for disabled people, protecting their rights and advocating for them on a national level. She has successfully lobbied for laws to increase opportunities for disabled people to work and participate in society. Asipa conducts seminars, training courses for leaders, particularly from rural areas, on the importance of civil and economic rights for people with disabilities.

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Monika Hauser – Germany

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Linked with Medica mondiale, and with Self-immolation by oppressed Afghan women is rising.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: For bosniac woomen: “I want to break the taboo and tear down the wall of silence. For the dignity of tortured women”, and for afghan women: “There is a conspiracy between men in the families, in the police, in the judicial system and in the mosques, putting women at their mercy. Violence is everywhere, but the women have never experienced anything else and cannot even recognize and name this as violence. They just say: ‘I feel bad’”.

She says also: “Sexual violence is a part of all wars, but throughout the world it is not discussed, its victims forgotten. However it is the most serious kind of attack on the intimate self. Survivors of war and torture need medical, psychological and therapeutic support, to return to their daily lives and rediscover their dignity. And that is why I wanted to do something”.

And she says: “I have seen many hospitals in developing countries, but I have never experienced conditions as in Kabul”.

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Monika Hauser – Germany

She works for Medica Mondiale.

Monika Hauser, an Italian citizen and gynecologist, born in 1959 in Switzerland, is a gynecologist and director of the women’s aid association Medica Mondiale in Cologne, Germany. In 1992, in the middle of the Bosnian war, she opened a therapy center in the city of Zenica for women victims of rape and war trauma. Now more than 80 Bosnian women doctors, nurses, therapists, and other professionals work there. She also founded projects for victims of sexual violence in Kosovo, Albania, and Afghanistan. Medica Mondiale supports local women’s organizations in other countries, including Indonesia, Iraq, and Congo.

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Mark Pieth – Switzerland

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Linked with Basel Institute on Governance, with Der Schmiergeldjäger Mark Pieth und die verbotenen Geschäfte mit Saddam.

Prof. Dr. iur. Mark Pieth (born 1953) is Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Read: OECD questions UK policing of bribery, by Katherine Griffiths, City Correspondent, published 15/03/2007, The Telegraph UK: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has “serious concerns” about the UK’s axing of the investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia. The Paris-based organisation’s working party on bribery yesterday raised the possibility of “systemic” shortcomings in the British system on how corruption is policed and prosecuted. Mark Pieth, chairman of the anti-bribery group, said leaders such as Thabo Mbeki of South Africa had accused Britain, a signatory of the OECD’s anti-bribery convention, of double standards. By extension, the allegation hit the whole organisation, Mr Pieth said. “We look silly,” he said. (full text).

See also the same theme: on Belfast Telegraph; on tiscali.finance; on International Herald Tribune; on Forbes.

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Mark Pieth – Switzerland

Go to Mark Pieth’s privat Homepage.

Since 1990 Prof. Pieth has been chairing the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions. He has published extensively in the field of economic and organised crime, money laundering, corruption, sanctioning and criminal procedure. He has served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Basel. From 2003 to 2005 he was Member of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme by the UN Secretary General. He has also assumed various presidencies and memberships of national commissions in Switzerland (President of the Expert Group of the National Research Programme on Violence and Organised Crime, Former President of the Federal Commission on Data Protection in the Medical Profession, Member of the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission, Member of the Consultative Commission to the Federal Administration of Finances on the Prevention of Money Laundering etc.). Mark Pieth co-founded the Basel Institute on Governance, of which he is Chairman of the Board. He has been a consultant to corporations, international organisations and foreign governments on issues related to governance, participates in the Wolfsberg AML Banking Initiative, as a facilitator and is Board Member of the World Economic Forum Partnering against Corruption Initiative PACI. (full text).

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Luz Perly Córdoba Mosquera – Colombia

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

It is said: “She lights up in the Colombian night, she is like a constantly erupting volcano, Luz Perly Córdoba Mosquera is a mother, peasant, student, trade union worker and a fighter for life”.

She says: “They try to silence the voice of the people, but we will never give up the dream of real peace for Colombia. In this fight, we have nothing to lose; on the contrary, we have everything to gain”.

About growing of coca she says: “It is the only alternative left for the Colombian peasants by the Colombian State. It is the only way they have to avoid dying of hunger. It is irresponsible, immoral and not very ethical to accuse them of being drug traffickers”.

Read: La Unión Europea preocupada por las amenazas a organizaciones de derechos humanos en Colombia, 16.6.2006.

Read: Derechos Humanos en Colombia, 24 de junio de 2006.

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Luz Perly Córdoba Mosquera – Colombia

She works for the National Federation Union of Unitarian Farming (no website-mentions), and for the Arauca’s Peasants Association (Read: Colombia Solidarity Bulletin Nº 10, Version Espanol).

Committed to the core of the fight against the injustices suffered by her people, she is an international representative for her country. She never rests. She leads, organizes and manages collective efforts that work towards the fulfillment of a dignified life. “I am writing these short but deeply felt words from the bottom of my heart, which in spite of these mouldy walls and these rusty chains with which they try to imprison me, beats faster than ever in the cause of liberty,” wrote Luz Perly Córdoba after her first year in the Prison del Buen Pastor in Bogotá, Colombia, where she was arrested and charged with rebellion and planning to commit a crime. “My case was planned by the authorities as a political punishment and this has been evident from the beginning to the end of the process. The aim was to maintain me under arrest for the longest possible time”.

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Maria José de Oliveira Araújo – Brazil

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Linked with O PROGRAMA DE ASSISTÊNCIA INTEGRAL À SAÚDE DA MULHER (PAISM) EM GOIÂNIA, with Open letter to the Vatican, and with O Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Three decades ago, discrimination and violence against women were not socially noticed. There have been important advances: women’s role in society is growing, and they know their rights better”.

Read: Relatório Final: VIII Fórum Interprofissional para Atendimento Integral da Mulher Vítima de Violência Sexual.

Read: Campanha dos 16 Dias de Ativismo de combate à Violência contra a Mulher.

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Maria José de Oliveira Araújo – Brazil

She works for the Programa de Assistência Integral à Saúde da Mulher (Paism),
and for the Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde.

Doctor Maria José de Oliveira Araújo (born 1949) is the coordinator of the Women’s Health Division of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. On the front of national politics, she puts into practice the ideals that guide her career: sexual and reproductive rights and humane and respectful care for women during their entire life, from puberty to menopause.

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Hafsat Abiola – Nigeria

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Linked with Kudirat Initiative for Democracy KIND. Hafsat Abiola is a young activist who works to promote women, youth, and democracy in Nigeria, her home country, and around the world. She is a founding member of several initiatives including Global Youth Connect, Youth Employment Campaign, and Vital Voices: Women in Democracy. She is a member of the World Wisdom Council and the World Future Council. Hafsat is the author of many articles published in international and national media, and assistant editor of Imagining Ourselves, an international anthology of women, that will be published in 2006.

She says: “I don’t know where the idea came from, but immediately after hearing of my mum’s assassination on the 4th of June, I knew I would set up an organization that would honor her and promote her commitment to restoring democracy in Nigeria. But what exactly would the organization do? I had no idea. My mum’s work suggested an answer. Her joy during her involvement with the pro-democracy movement had come from working with women and youth, especially market women and students. In a political terrain where leaders often demonstrated extreme opportunism, she was inspired by the integrity and commitment of these two groups and had felt that political, social and economic transformation in Nigeria was not possible without their participation. So in the summer and fall that followed, I gathered close friends together in several small meetings to think through what memorializing my mother’s commitment to democracy could look like … “, (full text , click on about and scroll down).

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Hafsat Abiola – Nigeria

Hafsat is the Executive Director of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, an NGO that seeks to empower democracy and development in Nigeria by strengthening organizations and creating initiatives that advance women. KIND’s main programme is Kudra, a programme that offers leadership training to 750 young women across Nigeria each year.

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Martha Pelloni – Argentina

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “How to love? What to love? Who to love? I found the answers in society, with the people, and for that, I give thanks to God. This was the way”.

She says also: “One day I stayed in the middle of the march instead of walking beside María Soledad’s parents as usual. Journalists asked me: Sister, have you quarrelled with the Morales? No, I answered. What has happened, is that the Morales are the symbol of justice and I am here in the middle because now the whole of Catamarca is crying out for justice for so many other cases”.

And she says: “When anxiety overcomes me, I pray and pray because I cannot lose my courage. I must have courage like the courage of Jesus. In 1998 they organized a national march and finally they managed to get a just trial and two of the guilty people were arrested. Argentina began to understand the value of public protest”.

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Martha Pelloni – Argentina

She works for The Santa Teresa Foundation.

Martha Pelloni is an Argentinean nun who has dedicated her life to sowing tiny seeds. She leaves them in the souls of the people she fights for and of the people she has taught to fight. She knows that from these seeds, trees will grow and that these trees will bear fruit. She has many times moved enormous mountains with her faith, for example, when she suffered from cancer or when she challenged the impunity with which a little girl was raped and murdered in the province of Catamarca. Her fight, daily and untiring, has not stopped for two decades. At the end of the eighties she left her religious habit on the hospital bed and put on her the hospital coat. She was suffering from cancer and spoke to God, saying, “Sir, I want to change my life. If I can go on with it, I will not waste one minute of my time”. And her God listened to her and the cancer retreated. Since then, Martha Pelloni has dedicated her life to sowing seeds. “I think that every morning is like a resurrection”.

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Michael Schmidt-Salomon – Germany

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Linked 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.

He says: ”The search for scientific knowledge is, as one can see from this and as James Randi has repeatedly emphasised, by definition open-ended. It would, however, be a grave mistake to mistake this open-endedness in principle with any form of arbitrariness. For as long as no better explanatory possibilities are at our disposal, every scientist is obliged to vigorously defend the exiting scientific explanatory pattern against irrationality”. (full text).

He says also: “… With our religion-free zones, we want to offer asylum to all of those who feel persecuted by this state-sponsored holiness”. (full text).

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Michael Schmidt-Salomon – Germany

Read: Conference Leading culture Humanism and Enlightenment: Perspectives of secular politics in Germany;

Dr. Fiona Lorenz, Trier, Germany: Project: “What would I need a God for! Conversations with non-believers and apostates”. I am looking for interviewees on the topic of atheism and religion. Many people cannot imagine life without god / religion / church.

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Sami Al-Arian – USA & Kuwait

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Linked with The Long Ordeal Of Sami Al-Arian (or the same: countercurrents.org April 6, 2007).
versus:
SITE Search for International Terrorist Entities, their ‘Sami Al-Arian Fact Sheet’ of February 20, 2003.

I also want link this case with the one of Akbar Ganji – Iran (being released on October 10, 2006). Watch yourself their similitudes.

First my comment: This is an exemple of the difficult thruth finding for people outside the Mix ‘The USA and its Terrorists’. My biggest difficulty with all this: I have not a slice of confidence in the American ‘war-on-terror’ justice. This, because the US mix up constantly justice and power play, being NOT able to separate the two items. No excuse for a civilised nation.

But just read both sides claiming innocence versus charges:

Sami Al-Arian said: “I do not support that. I said that over and over again. … Morally, religiously, Islam is against the killing of any civilian, of any mother, of any father, of any ethnicity, and I do not support, you know, Palestinians being killed by the Israeli army”.( St. Petersburg Times online).

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Sami Al-Arian – USA & Kuwait

Sami Amin Al-Arian (Arabic … ) (born January 14, 1958 in Kuwait) is a Palestinian-American computer engineer who was convicted of conspiracy to help Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian, a former university professor, was arrested by the United States government in 2003 on charges of funding terrorists. He was acquitted on eight of the 17 charges against him last December after a six month trial with three co-defendants. On April 14, 2006 Al-Arian pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and agreed to be deported. In return, federal prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining eight charges against him. Al-Arian was sentenced to the 57 months in prison and given him credit for time served. He is to serve the balance of 19 months and then be deported … (Read the whole long documentation collected on wikipedia).

The following articles are all Excerpts:

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Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd – Egypt

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Linked with The International Center for Islam and Pluralism ICIP, with The Qur’anic Concept of Justice, with Modernity, Democracy Are Only for the Privileged. See also Eugen Drewermann, Germany.

TV-Sendung auf SF1 (siehe Sendezeiten), Der Islamwissenschaftler Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd im Gespräch mit Norbert Bischofberger – Die islamische Aufklärung geht nicht auf den westlichen Rationalismus zurück, sondern gründet in der Auslegung des Korans und muss immer wieder gegen Islamisten verteidigt werden. Davon ist der ägyptische Islamwissenschaftler Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd überzeugt. Seine offene Haltung hat ihm in Ägypten den Vorwurf der Ketzerei und Morddrohungen eingebracht. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd lebt seit 1995 in den Niederlanden im Exil. Er gilt als einer der bedeutendsten zeitgenössischen islamischen Denker. In der “Sternstunde Philosophie” erzählt er aus seinem Leben mit dem Islam und zeigt auf entwaffnende Weise, wie menschenfreundlich der Islam ist. Literaturhinweis: Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid: “Ein Leben mit dem Islam. Erzählt von Navid Kermani”. Verlag Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2006.

Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, in Arabic …, (born October 7, 1943) is an Egyptian Qur’anic thinker and one of the leading liberal theologists in Islam. He is famous for his project of a humanistic Qur’anic hermeneutics. (full text).

He says: ”Now, the question is: Is it really possible to recognize the emergence of a world culture through the international criticism of globalization? In other words, would international criticism be considered as a form of cultural protest against the “culture of capitalism” which is inherent to globalization? And finally, does international criticism reflect the existence of a common culture, one which is the grounds for nurturing democracy/human rights and not only the economic needs of globalization?” (full text).

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Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd – Egypt

The Nasr Abu Zayd case: Zayd suffered major religious persecution for his views on the Qur’an as a religious, mythical literary work. In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of Professor, but Islamic controversies about his academic work led to a court decision of apostasy and the denial of the appointment. A hisba trial was started against him by fundamentalist Islamic scholars, he was declared a heretic (Murtadd) by an Egyptian court, was consequently declared divorced from his wife (since she is not allowed to be married to a non-Muslim) and, in effect, forced out of his homeland. (full long text).

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Mama Koite Doumbia – Mali

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Linked with FEMNET, The African Women’s Development and Communication Network, and with ECOSOCC The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Sustainable peace cannot be established without the participation of women and girls”.

And she says: “My dream is to fight against social injustice, especially when it is directed against women”.

Mama Kotie Doumbia is a Malian politician and a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, representing West Africa. The Economic, Social and Cultural Council is an advisory body of the African Union charged with overseeing the development of those particular areas within the continent. To this end 10 Sectoral Cluster Committees were established to highlight these areas.

Read: World Social Forum Spotlights Africa’s Challenges, March 2, 2007.

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Mama Koite Doumbia – Mali

She works also for Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Mali UNTM, and for Femnet, The African Women’s Development and Communication Network.

Mama Koité Doumbia, born in Thiès, Senegal, in 1950, holds a higher diploma in youth training. She is particularly well-known for her long support of union causes and her determination to find ways to re-inforce the capacities of national women’s NGOs in the area of training, speaking, communication, and leadership. She is married and has five children.

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Guilian Li – China

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Linked with The Guizhou University, China.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She is the vice dean and researcher of the Guizhou Provincial Agricultural Science Institute, vice chairperson of the Guizhou Scientists Association, vice president of the Guizhou Agricultural Association, and an executive member of the Chinese Agricultural Association.

She says: “Seeing my farmer friends bidding poverty goodbye, and my scientific projects bringing them profits ? nothing could be more exhilarating than this”.

She says also ” … that nothing could bring me more happiness than seeing the peasants become wealthy and her projects bringing them benefits”.

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Guilian Li – China

She works for the Guizhou Agricultural Science Institute, Guizhou University.

Li Guilian graduated from the Department of Gardening, Agricultural University, Guizhou Province in 1964, specializing in fruit and vegetables. Li Guilan was born in Huayin City of Shanxi Province in 1942.

She has been engaged in researching and promoting vegetable-growing technoloies for 40 years. Farmers in over 20 counties and cities of the province now grow vegetables all year round, resulting in better incomes, the development of agricultural plastic sheeting, chemical fertilizer, pesticide, vegetable seeds, restaurants, hotels and transportation.

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Macedonia (Doña Mace) Blas – Mexico

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Linked with (added Sept. 09, 2007) A re-compilation of texts and blogs for indigenous peoples.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Everything can be achieved, bit by bit, little by little”.

She says also: “I want peace, not war and that women should not suffer violence. That is my fight as an indigenous woman for all of us. Already as a girl these thoughts were in my mind. But at that time they were just dreams. I think that the world is big and that we have to fight for everyone”.

And she says: “It is called el Bhote, with only a few hills and a few trees. Previously we had more. We have reforested a bit. It is very dry; we have no wells for irrigation. There is potable water but sometimes it does not function for eight up to fifteen days. I have learned during my training that where there are trees there is also rain. My community is very hot and very cold. There are times that are very, very cold and times that are very, very hot. My village is one of extreme temperatures. We sow maize, beans, pumpkins, broad beans, but without water you cannot irrigate. At home I wake up to make tortillas, to wash and to take care of my little animals. I am with them for a while and then I look for something to eat. When I go away I leave everything in the care of my children. Nothing stops me”.

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Macedonia (Doña Mace) Blas – Mexico

She works for Fot’zi Ñañhu A.C.

Macedonia Blas is a Ñañhú (Mexican indigenous ethnic group) woman whose first child died when she was only 18 years old. She did not know how to take care of a little baby and, in her community, there were no doctors and there was no money. Later on, she had 11 more children.

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Shadi Sadr – Iran

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Linked with Women without borders / Frauen ohne Grenzen, with Now up to 35 Iranian children facing execution.

She is a notable Iranian journalist and women rights activist, (see: Seven Who Create New Pathways for Success). Sadr majored in law and political science and hold a master degree from Tehran University (1999). She is also editor in chief of the Web site Women in Iran. Shadi Sadr has been arrested by Revolutionary Guard in March 2007 just before the women’s day. [See: Campaign to Free Women's Rights Defenders in Iran: Three Women's Rights Defenders Remain in Detention]

Read on Amnesty International, Maarch 22, 2007.

I am very pleased to inform you that the last of the thirty four women arrested in Tehran on 4th March were released from prison yesterday. (See previous posts for details) Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh were released from Evin Prison but subject to a prohibitively high bail of 200 million Toman each ( approx €190,000). None of the thirty four women have been formally charged but a number of the women have been accused of compromising the security of the state amongst other accusations. Their legal cases remain open. The Iranian authorities have moved to close three human rights NGOs with which some of the women were linked: the Iranian Civil Society Organizations Training and Resource Centre (ICTRC), the Iranian NGO Training Centre (NGO-TC) and the Raahi Institute. (Daniel O Neill, March 22, 2007, full text).

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Shadi Sadr – Iran, with her husband

Read: Iranian Women Activists Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abasgholizadeh Released, March 20, 2007. Same on IFEX, and on Middle East Times,

Read also: Questions women ask.

She writes to His Excellency, Mr. Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

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Joachim Fest – Germany (1926–2006)

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Joachim Clemens Fest (December 8, 1926–September 11, 2006) was a German historian, journalist, critic and editor, is best known for his writings and public commentary on Nazi Germany, including an important biography of Adolf Hitler and books about Albert Speer and the German Resistance. He was a leading figure in debate among German historians about the Nazi period.He says: ”History is a fickle mistress and follows curious rules. She has a predilection for questions whose answers always leave something unexplained. She can be seduced by high drama, by splendour and mischief, by the rise and fall of powers and people. When Voltaire was asked why he had chosen to write about Charles XII, he replied that the king had been great, mysterious and mad; that was the stuff of history. On the other hand, history feels contempt for the unfortunate losers, for the causa victa of which Cato was so fond, rather than the causa victrix. History does not care about them; although the story of the defeated can often tell us more about a time than the story of those who seem to be the victors”. (full text).

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Joachim Fest – Germany (December 8, 1926–September 11, 2006)

Laudatio: THE GERMAN historian and journalist Joachim C. Fest was a central figure in his country’s postwar debate about the origins and consequences of the Nazi catastrophe. His biography of Hitler, published in 1973, was a bestseller which stimulated national debate for many months. And his other writings, including assessments of the career of Albert Speer, the resistance to Hitler and life in the last days of the Third Reich in the Berlin bunker were also successful.
Fest was also active as a radio and TV journalist, a cultural critic especially during his two decades as co-publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and a vigorously conservative political commentator, who challenged all utopian thought from an instinctively sceptical point of view, and was especially critical of what he saw as a leftist establishment holding sway in German life. In recent weeks he had been one of the harshest critics of the novelist Günter Grass, a prominent figure on the Left, following his revelations of wartime service with the Waffen SS — a step Fest had taken pains to avoid. (full text).

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