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Blog

International Women’s Day: We Must Stand Up for Uyghur Women’s Rights

By Tasnim Nazeer *

This International Women’s Day, I call on the world to take a stand for Uyghur Muslims suffering persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang. There is an estimated 1 million Uyghur Muslims who have been forcibly put into concentration camps  in China and subjected to harrowing forms of human rights abuses.  Human rights organisations, activists and the UN have denounced the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and said this is a definitive ‘text book example’ of genocide. 

Most recently, Uyghur female survivors who have fled Xinjiang recounted their harrowing experiences of abuse at the camps in a report published by the BBC. The heart-breaking accounts from Uyghur women who experienced systematic rape, torture, abuse and severe surveillance is beyond my comprehension. I believe that the world has enough evidence to hold the Chinese Communist Party to account for the injustice and human rights violations imposed on Uyghur Muslims. 

As a journalist, I have covered the plight of the Uyghurs for years speaking to many Uyghur exiles and those who have escaped from Xinjiang and others who do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Some of the people I have spoken to are mothers, wives with kids and women who feel broken by their experiences back in China. All they want is for Uyghur Muslims to have their freedom, to have their rights to practice their religion, to be accepted for who they are and reunited with their loved ones. 

The international community must step up and call for the action to be taken from world leaders and those who have the power and authority to make a change. Staying silent on the situation of the Uyghurs is to be complacent with the severity of the situation. Women have the power to make a change. These brave women that have come forward to tell their stories and expose the abuses that have took place in the concentration camps should be praised for their bravery and courage. 

Supporters of the Chinese Communist Party often crack down on dissenting voices or anyone who ‘dares’ to criticise their policies. I myself, have been trolled and emailed threats for covering stories of the Uyghur Muslims, but we must persevere in calling for justice and accountability. The power of these Uyghur women’s voices can help to make a change, can help to collate evidence and testimonies which China one day has to account.

The truth can no longer be denied. Genocide is taking place and must be stopped and it is up to every individual on International Women’s Day to support the rights of women around the world. Only then can we see a better world that is filled with justice and can stand up to those who choose to oppress, ensuring that they are made accountable through the eyes of the law. 

* Tasnim Nazeer

YAct Committee-elimination-ofr-discrimination-main
EventsYAct CommitteeYoutube

Elimination of racial discrimination

DATE:  21 March 2021

PLACE: YouTube

COMMITTEE: YAct Committee

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed every year by UNESCO on 21st of March. Human Rights Solidarity’s YAct Committee (Youth Action Committee) organized a YouTube panel for 2021’s theme; “Youth standing up against racism.” The YouTube live stream contained art performances as well as interviews with young activists and the public, encouraging and educating us all on the importance of this day.

Here are a volunteer’s words for their experience at the Day of The Elimination of Racial Discrimination Event:

“It was one of my first experiences in helping in a programme so big. We did it in the middle of the pandemic. So I believe it was empowering and motivating for us in the middle of such a crisis. Making a programme against something that I also do face was very nice and I hope it motivates all those who face racism to raise their voices as well.”

What have we learned?

We had the chance to learn more about this day and about the importance of racial equality through the research we made for this project. We improved our critical thinking skills as well as our technical skills on hosting and editing online events.

The program can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fEl6AnjuUs

orhan-inandi-london-hrs
EventsIndependent Project

Free Orhan Inandi Protests

DATE: 21 March 2021 &

COMMITTEE: Independent project

PROTEST SPEECH:

Dear Friends!

I welcome you all in the name of Human Rights Solidarity.

Today we are in solidarity with victims of enforced disappearances all over the world.

Today we are here for people who are missing, or are kidnapped.

The Erdogan Regime became the prime perpetrator of enforced disappearances in the world.

We are here today for Yusuf Bilge Tunç who is missing for 673 days!

Where is Yusuf Bilge Tunc?

We are here today for Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit who is missing for 164 days!

We join his daughter to shout: Where is Nursena’s father?

Where is Huseyin Galip?

We are here today for people kidnapped from outside Turkey and are being tortured or tormented in Turkey’s notorious prisons.

We are here today for Selahaddin Gulen.

Selahaddin was kidnapped from Nairobi, Kenya, where he was working as a teacher.

He was forcefully separated from his wife, from his family, from his students.

It is already a month he was brought into Turkey.

We are hearing horrible stories of beating, and torturing.

He was forced to sign witness statements he didn’t write.

We are here today for Orhan Inandi.

Orhan was the general director of Sapat Schools in Kyrgyzstan.

Orhan Inandi has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1995. He is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan. He dedicated his life to education. He has nothing to do with politics.

Orhan Inandi is recipient of several state awards for his contribution to the reform and development of the Kyrgyz education system.

He has been missing for the last 10 days.

We are afraid that he will meet the same fate with Selehaddin.

We are afraid that he will be flied into Turkey… where he will be tortured…

For the time being, we still have hopes that he is in Kyrgyzstan.

And we are here to call to the Turkish and Kyrgyz authorities alike: Let Orhan Free!

Set him free!

Set him free!

Dear Friends!

Turkey has always been infamous for enforced disappearances.

About 17 thousand Kurds have gone missing during the 40 years long unrest in the South East of Turkey.

You would know the Saturday Mothers, who have been asking for the last 20 years: Where is my son? Where is my daughter?

Some of the Saturday Mothers died while still searching for their children.

We know that!

But something crucial happened since the coup attempt of 2016.

Now the Turkish intelligence agency is proudly declaring that it is kidnapping people.

Turkish embassies are publicly involved in kidnapping operations.

In Kosovo, the six Turkish teachers kidnapped were first brought to the Turkish embassy and the embassy distributed their photographs later on.

The same happened in Moldovo.

And now, we are hearing claims that Orhan Inandi is being kept as captive at the Turkish embassy in Bishkek.

This is in complete defiance of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

This means Turkey is using diplomatic immunity for criminal activity.

This is unacceptable!

This is unacceptable for the victims!

This is unacceptable for the whole world!

This is why we are here today.

We call Turkey to stop silencing the critics of the regime in Ankara.

We call Turkey to stop using its diplomatic missions for criminal activity.

We call Turkey to release Orhan Inandi now! And release all information they have about Orhan and other missing persons immediately!

Dear Friends!

We are here today not because we hate Turkey, or because we want to harm the interests of Turkey.

No!

We are here today because we think the mindset that is ruling over Turkey today is a mafia mindset.

This mindset does not recognize rule of law. This mindset does not honour the conventions Turkey has ratified.

This mindset is dangerous for Turkey and for its people.

The current regime in Turkey has been involved in human piracy.

The current regime in Turkey has been working with mafia, from Venezuela to Colombia.

The current regime in Turkey has been working with paid mercenaries, from Syria to Libya.

By was of protesting here, we do no harm to Turkey’s future.

The real harm, the real danger for Turkey’s future is this untranationalist – mafia coalition that is ruling over Turkey.

Dear Friends,

The President of Kyrgyzstan is in Turkey today.

Yesterday he was hosted by the President of Turkey.

Using this opportunity I want to say a few words to the Kyrgyz statesmen:

We know that you are under immense pressure from Turkey.

We know that Ankara is blackmailing you with all kinds of threats about economic sanctions and cancellation of all deals between the two countries.

We are sure, you are also thinking: Is it worth destroying a working international relationship for the sake of one person? Is it worth doing this just for a few schools?

We are sure, because this is how interest based politics works.

We don’t want Kyrgyzstan to freeze relations with Turkey. We are proud of the friendly relations between the two countries and the peoples of the two countries.

But rest assured!

This mindset ruling over Turkey is a temporary one.

In fact, it became even more aggressive recently, because it also knows that it is already disintegrating.

Don’t invest in temporary realities!

Invest in the future of Turkey.

Invest in the future of Kyrgyzstan.

Invest in education as Orhan Inandi invested his whole life.

Invest in rule of law. Invest in human rights.

Dear Friends,

I want to say a few words to the so-called human rights organizations of the world.

From the moment we realized Orhan has gone missing, we contacted international human rights organizations… begging them to start an emergency appeal… to call for immediate action…

Here is what we understand from what they say to us: They are afraid that if they stood with us, their representatives in Turkey will be harmed.

This is how dictatorships sustain their policies of persecution.

Human rights advocates are great people, precisely because they take the risk of being harmed, for the rights of the others.

Is it too risky to stand with the victim?

With whom else you can stand, if you are a human rights defender?

We would love to be participating in a protest organized by either one of these human rights organizations. But none is here!

That is a shameful failure on their behalf…

Human Rights Watch and Freedom House have publicised yesterday about their concerns for Orhan Inandi’s fate.

We thank for their efforts also. But more could have been done, at an earlier stage.

Dear Friends,

I thank you all for the time, and energy you spared for the victims of enforced disappearances. Thank you…

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EventsWomen’s RightsYoutube

Celebrating 8th of March

DATE: 8 March 2021

PLACE: YouTube

COMMITTEE: Women Rights Committee

Human Rights Solidarity has been fighting for an equal and liveable future for the next generations. 8 March is the day that we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of all women around the world. 8 March is not only a day of celebration for us, but also a great day to talk about the challenges that women have been facing. On 8 March 2021, we interviewed 6 amazing women from different countries on YouTube. The main goal behind this was to see how women in different countries were affected by violence and abuse. Our speakers’ personal stories enlightened us and our audience on the value of the rights we have and on the importance of the human rights work we do.

 

Our amazing guest speakers list included:

  • Rita Edah: A psychotherapist, counsellor, and coach from the UK.
  • Mahbuba Jebin: A PhD holder journalist and self-defence teacher for victims of violence. Mahbuba is originally from Bangladesh and lives in the UK.
  • Gabriela Rondon: A lawyer and human rights activist at Anis – Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender from Brazil.
  • Louise Anne: A domestic abuse recovery coach from the UK.
  • Dilnaz Kerim: A 17-year-old Uyghur from East Turkestan. Dilnaz experienced the life of an Uyghur in China and knows what Uyghur women are going through right now. Grown up in Norway, she currently lives in the UK.
  • Sevgi Akarcesme: An exiled Turkish journalist and an ESL teacher who is currently living in the USA.

The program can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P72RWS6qLPM

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Environmental RightsEventsYoutube

World Wildlife Day

DATE: 3 March 2021

PLACE: YouTube

COMMITTEE: Environmental Rights Committee

World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on the 3rd of March in support of animals and plants across the world. The event was proposed by Thailand and was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly during its 68th meeting in 2013.

On the occasion of the World Wildlife Day, we celebrated forms of wild fauna and flora and tried to raise awareness on the benefits of their conservation. At the same time, we discussed the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

We invited various guest speakers from different backgrounds sharing the same interest in our ecosystem and biodiversity.

Our guest speakers were:

  • Tierra Curry, Senior Scientist at Center for Biological Diversity
  • Finlay Pringle, Environmental campaigner at Ullapool Shark Ambassador
  • Erik Solheim, The Sixth UN Environment Executive Director and Undersecretary General of the United Nations
  • Marjan Verschragen, An ambassador at eXXpedition artist and environmental technician

The program can be watched here: 

Erik Solheim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCUEK6KnBKA&t=2s

Finlay Pringle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lbaqXBleJ0&t=74s

Tierra Curry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBaabPj3XZY

 

womens-dag-london
Blog

Walking towards freedom

Four years have passed over the thwarted coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey. The world is yet to hear a convincing and consistent statement of what happened that night, and who should be held accountable for the deaths of hundreds. A clarification is not provided, neither by the accusers, nor by the accused. In the meantime, half a million people continue to suffer from the ensuing persecution of dissent.

imagealiyildizblog
Blog

Turkey remains further away from the truth and the rule of law

Four years have passed over the thwarted coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey. The world is yet to hear a convincing and consistent statement of what happened that night, and who should be held accountable for the deaths of hundreds. A clarification is not provided, neither by the accusers, nor by the accused. In the meantime, half a million people continue to suffer from the ensuing persecution of dissent.

ESMA ULUDAG FLEEING TURKEY WITH HER THREE CHILDREN
Blog

Why are people becoming refugees?

Why are people becoming refugees?

By Zeynep Yildiz*

On the 29th of April 2018 a wonderful woman died. She was strong, ambitious and always fought for her rights. She was a brave mother who tried her best to save her 3 children. If a question was directed to you about who is this woman, none of you would be able to give an accurate answer. So this speech is dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives while trying to be great humans but were never recognized by others… She is Esma Uludağ…

Good morning/afternoon everyone my name is Zeynep and today I am going to explain to all of you what are the origins of the refugee issues, and the problems and hardships people have to go through nowadays. Also, I will present to you some examples and statistics as well as solutions for the refugee crisis.

Let me define the word refugee to make you all understand it better. According to Merriam Webster refugee means, a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.

The story I’m going to tell you is about someone who was very close to me, Esma Uludag. She died on April 29, 2018, at the age of 34 in Athens, the capital city of Greece. She was an educational enthusiast, reliable and hard working. She was a teacher. She escaped from lawlessness and she took refuge in Greece from Turkey because there are political problems that affect people’s lives there and dictatorship is the main problem. That’s why her husband went to Germany to migrate. While she was in Greece they were waiting for a family union in Germany. She did not want to be held prisoner of lawlessness. However,she could not bear the difficulties she had with her three children on her journey of freedom so she died as a result of a brain hemorrhage. Just because all countries force people in process for documents Esma Uludag didn’t have any choice ,she went to Greece and died while they were waiting for a family union. All these pieces of information are proved by samanyolunews .

Why? Why should people suffer more in the worse moments in their life? Do you think that leaving your own country and going to another one is as easy as a piece of cake for everyone? Why do you think people are leaving their own country, for money? Yeah, a few number of people may but the causes are first, religious, national and social persecutions. The most common reason according to pew.com is people become refugees because of persecution .46% of refugees in 2016 who came to the US were Muslim and 44% Christian,10% were others. Moreover, according to historic.com the second reason is war, currently the largest group of refugees in the world are fleeing the civil conflict in Syria which we have been dealing since 2011 and 6.3 million people are displaced internally. Another 5 million have entirely left the country. The third one is hunger, based on globalcitizen.com, it is estimated that 20 million people in North Africa and middle eastern countries are becoming refugees.

Let’s look at more data. There are top 10 destination countries for refugees according to stc.com, from a global total of around 23 million refugees in 2017, Turkey was by far the largest host nation with approximately 3.8 million, Germany, Pakistan, and Uganda all had around 1.4 million refugees. In addition most of the refugees come from Syria with 6.5 million then Afghanistan was second at around 3 million.

When we all hear the word refugee most of us think a person who is forced to leave his/her homeland if it is in a bad condition which means according to amnesty.com they are leaving as quickly as possible and most of them without money.

There are lots of challenges to become a refugee according to relief.com. The first one is obtaining legal recognition and personal documentary in accessing quality learning, education and skill opportunities .The initial problems that are face by refugees are discrimination, racism and “culture clash”. Also poor access to youth-sensitive healthcare support and lack of safety, security, and freedom of movement.

At least one million people were killed, four million were displaced internally and another a half-million fled as refugees in Africa according to theguardian.com approximately more than 15 thousand people die who are kids, adults, babies. “they are human beings”. Why should people perish just because they have problems in their own country ? Therefore, we have to solve the world refugee crisis. People are dying while governments spend billions on border control.

Now,I want to propose some solutions to the crisis at present .The first one is opening up safe routes to care for the refugees is one important solution according to amnesty.com then no one should have to die crossing a border and yet almost 7000 people had drowned in the Mediterranean in October 2013. The second one is they travel by land or by sea, people fleeing persecution or wars should be allowed to cross the border, with or without documents. Pushing people back is a more dangerous route to safety.

Countries should help refugees because they are gaining a lot of advantages from it .For example, it is a solution for the aging population according to lumenlearnin. In my opinion, countries should have transparent document process rules so that the people can understand why the host country rejected their application for citizenship and change what they have then moved on to another country.

Esma Uludag was a lovely mother and teacher who is an example of a refugee crisis. She did not deserve to die in this way so I leave these questions to you. What will you do ? Will you keep being silent or are you going to do something to help those people?

* ZEYNEP YILDIZ

 

 

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EventsHuman Rights DefendersYoutube

Celebrating young defenders

DATE:  9 December 2020

PLACE: YouTube Live

COMMITTEE: Human Rights Defenders Committee

Youth-led human rights activism has never been an easy task. Young human rights defenders faced multiple challenges in a more and more divided world, even before the global pandemic.

This year on the 9th of December we celebrated these brave young human rights defenders who showed resilience even in the darkest of times. We celebrated and applauded their heroism, successes and sacrifices for a better future for us all.

To show our appreciation of their work, we invited a diverse range of speakers from many different backgrounds and cultures throughout Europe to join us at our YouTuve Live event.

The event featured the following names:

Asiye Betül, a co-chair of YAct, the Youth Action Committee of the HRS.

Finlay Pringle, the 13 years old activist who has been involved in campaigning on conservation of the oceans and marine life. He is an activist with FFF. which stands for Fridays for Future… Also called Youth Strike for Climate, FFF is an international movement of school students striking on Fridays for climate.

Sara Nathan, a human rights activist working on Access to Accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers at her organization Refugees at Home. Sara is a broadcast journalist by background. She served in many public authorities before she became a co-founder of the Refugees At Home charity. Refugees at Home finds hosts in Britain for destitute asylum-seekers and refugees. She has since hosted refugees from many countries including Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Afghanistan and Egypt. Refugees at home have made over 1700 placements and hosted over 140,000 individual person nights.

Rumi Unal, an international relations graduate from Turkey. Rumi used to be a Turkish diplomat. He served in South Korea and Bulgaria. He was dismissed from his job during the mass dismissals after the Coup Attempt in Turkey. He is now the coordinator of Collectif DDH based in Paris. Collectif DDH is specialized in human rights violations in Turkey.

Xeni Dani from MOKA: Meet Over Culture and Arts. We love the idea of MOKA. Xeni was a child immigrant from Albania to Italy. As she grew up she dedicated herself to human rights. She has been working on cases of political persecution, torture and violations of freedom of expression.

Paola Gaffurini, an advocacy officer at the Open Dialogue Foundation. Open Dialogue Foundation has been active in post-Soviet countries and the European Union to help victims of grave human rights violations.

Antonia Kuhn, an aspiring lawyer from Germany. Antonia is active within the ranks of Amnesty International Germany/ and is coordinating the work of Amnesty International Germany on Brazil.  Antonia was one of the two German Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly in 2018. She has a long list of accomplishments in human rights activism which we are very excited to hear about.

Kadir Ertürk and Musa Obuz from the Solidarity Band. The Solidarity Band is the music group of the Human Rights Solidarity. Kadir and Musa performed two Turkish songs. The first one is Black Train, Kara Tren in Turkish. This is a sad song from the times of the First World War and it tells the hopes and despair of people waiting for a letter from the frontiers about their loved ones. The letters would come with the Black Train. So called because these steam trains would all be painted black. And occasionally bad news would arrive…

The second song was a more lively and celebratory one. Caney Caney… Originally a Kurdish song, Caney Caney complains about friends who show up only in good days and are lost when they are most needed

Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders.

Ali Dinçer, another Turkish diplomat who lost his job during the mass purge that followed the Coup Attempt of 2016. After leaving Turkey he became the Secretary General of the Belgium based Solidarity with OTHERS. The OTHERS is active on reporting and keeping databases of widespread human rights violations in Turkey.

Fiona Amony, a 24-year old activist from Uganda. Fiona joined Restless Development as a Volunteer on the Girls’ Advocacy Alliance (GAA) project. She advocated for workplaces free from sexual harassment. Throughout the pandemic, she has been voluntarily running a helpline.

Bethany Holden, the founder of RefuNet which is connecting refugees and volunteers who would like to teach them English. We spoke with Bethany on how language education helps refugees realize their rights and perhaps make them feel more integrated and free.

Shila Block and Tash Thomass, to gender equality activists. Shila Block on the human rights of women in conflict areas. In 2018 she was a youth delegate to the CSW (Conference on Women’s rights at the UN). Today she is a part of the National Youth activist of UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum.

And Tash is an LGBTQ activist from the United Kingdom. She is the Director of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at European Coworking Assembly.

Amirah Hussein, a masters student at LSR in human rights and politics. Amirah used to be the President of the Amnesty International Society in the University of Nottingham, while doing her BA. She is commenting on human rights and student life in her Instagram account.

Nuray Düzenli of the European Institute for Sustainable Development.

Our last speaker was the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Solidarity, Merve Aslangoren. Merve is a law student from Coventry University, UK. She is a member of the founding cohort of the Human Rights Solidarity.

The whole event can be watched here, at our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxwf37vyHsQ

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Uncategorized

Providing Clean Water on the Blue Planet

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