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come and write a new hope we shall say yes for love, and no to xenophobia.

We’re Winning!

From the chaos, something beautiful is emerging — people’s movements are destroying the darkest dreams of the far-right and carving out a new and exciting path forward for all of us.

Our amazing movement has been in the middle of this global battle… and winning!

We are turning the tide on Brexit

Britain’s election decimated conservative Theresa May and her Brexit plans, even opening up a return to a unified Europe — thanks in part to a massive tactical voting and youth turnout campaign that won in 90% of the districts we took on!

“Avaaz members across Britain played a powerful role in helping to reshape our politics from the ground up.”
— Frances Foley, Progressive Alliance

We helped halt the far-right in France

Outsider Macron blew open France, sweeping to the presidency on a platform of tolerance and hope, winning an historic majority in Parliament and keeping the far-right Le Pen at a measly 8 seats (out of 577!). Our viral election video had millions of views, and our major get out the vote effort against Le Pen reached more people than most major parties!

We have Monsanto on the back foot in Europe

Over a million people added their name to an official call to ban Monsanto’s best-selling poison glyphosate, triggering a debate and response from Europe’s Parliament and potentially derailing a plan to allow this chemical to cover our food — and our movement supercharged the campaign’s record breaking growth!

And that’s just in the last month! There’s so much more we’ve achieved together in the face of the most divisive, anti-democratic, far-right forces everywhere:

We protected Bedouin homes from settlers

A small Bedouin community facing annihilation at the hands of Israel’s soldiers delayed demolition of their community and created a beautiful symbol of resistance, with a giant stone sign reading “We shall remain” right across from a settlement — and our staff and members were key to the action and mobilizing international media attention that protected their homes!

Heading about pope mountain

We helped defeat hate in the Netherlands

A racist, Trump-style politician poised to take over the Netherlands, suffered a crushing loss in the election — thanks in part to a massive march for unity in Amsterdam and our viral election advertising linking him to Trump!

Heading about dutch election

We’re taking Trump to court for climate crimes

When Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, our community raised money for a group of awesome kids to sue the President for putting their future at risk. This groundbreaking legal case could force the US to act against climate change!

Heading about Trump
It’s all a stunning reminder that in humanity’s darkest moments, the brightest lights can flicker into life. Over 50 years ago this week, three civil rights leaders were abducted and murdered by the far-right KKK in the US. Hatred was rising and gaining power. But a powerful movement rose to meet it, and in the following four years, two different Civil Rights Acts were passed, paving the way towards a more equal future for everyone.

These are the stories of history that inspire me in dark times — moments when people fought hard in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, and won, giving generations to come shining examples of the transformations that people power can bring into the world.

Let’s keep fighting and writing this new story of hope, together.

P.S. If you are new to Avaaz, or just want to look back at what this amazing movement has achieved before this year, check out our highlights page.

WE NEED ACTION

Eritrea accused over catalogue of human rights abuses – New report

GENEVA (15 June 2017) – Eritrea must stop delaying action to tackle the severe human rights abuses meted out to its citizens, a United Nations rights expert has warned in a new report to the Human Rights Council.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, stressed that citizens continue to suffer arbitrary arrest, incommunicadodetention, enforced disappearances, and a national service system that amounts to enslavement.

“I regret to report that, as of now, the Government has made no effort to end ongoing human rights violations, which the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea described as amounting to crimes against humanity,” she said.

“The time for Eritrea to take bold action for human rights protection is long overdue, and the Government has not delivered on any of its promises,” the expert stressed, while urging the authorities “to rise above the rhetoric it has used over the last five years when addressing the Human Rights Council.”

“The Government of Eritrea must put its obligations under human rights treaties into effect,” Ms. Keetharuth said.

The Special Rapporteur underlined that while Eritrea has increased its interaction with some human rights bodies, nothing has substantially changed on the ground. In her report, she has suggested a list of areas with the intention to assist the Human Rights Council in developing specific and time-bound benchmarks to assess substantive change.

“Such specific, time-bound targets would help Member States assess Eritrea’s progress. I hope that, as of next year, we will be able to celebrate the first steps of tangible improvements that will make a change in people’s life in Eritrea,” she said.

Eritrea still has no constitution and lacks fundamental institutions that underpin a society based on the rule of law, the Special Rapporteur noted. It does not have an independent judiciary, democratically elected parliament or legislative assembly, opposition parties, an independent media or civil society organizations, other than government-affiliated organizations.

“The Eritrean authorities have refused to engage with me for yet another year, but various groups and notably Eritreans have seized the opportunity offered by the mandate. They have used the space to voice their opinions, express their ideas, and highlight their concerns on human rights – a space that the Government continues to deny them at home,” Ms. Keetharuth said. “It is incumbent on the Eritrean authorities to dialogue with the Eritrean people while respecting and protecting their rights.

The Special Rapporteur also noted that the Government had shown no willingness to tackle impunity, despite calls by the Commission of Inquiry to ensure accountability for past human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

She urged other States to take action against Eritreans implicated in the commission of crimes against humanity, if the alleged offenders were on their territory.

Ms. Keetharuth said human rights in Eritrea would continue to be watched closely despite a lack of access.

“The Government refuses to open its doors for international experts to undertake a comprehensive review of the human rights situation,” she said.

“Remote monitoring is the only way to shed light on a country that continues to shield itself from scrutiny. Increased engagement with the international community is a welcome development, but it cannot be a substitute for human rights progress and scrutiny.”

Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth (Mauritius) was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea in October 2012. From 2014 to 2016, she also served as a member of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. Since May 2014, Ms. Keetharuth is an expert member of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Until 2012, Ms. Keetharuth was the Executive Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa in Banjul, The Gambia. In 2017, Ms. Keetharuth was awarded with the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award by the University of Leicester, in recognition of her human rights work.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page: Eritrea

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Birthe Ankenbrand (+41 22 928 9465 / bankenbrand@ohchr.org) or write to sr-eritrea@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

Follow us on Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

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WHAT KIND OF INDEPENDENCE?

this
twenty-six years under fear.
twenty-six years under panic.
twenty-six years of death.
twenty-six years without the constitution.
twenty-six years without freedom.
twenty-six years without liberty.
twenty-six years no war no peace.
twenty-six years under the rule of the bloodsucker dictator Isaias Afewerki.
twenty-six years Eritrean people in the escape.
twenty-six years under one ruling party.
twenty-six years without freedom of speech.
twenty-six years without democracy.
twenty-six years life of slavery.
twenty-six years no freedom of the free press.
twenty-six years with the poverty.
twenty-six years under unfair. One man, he can do whatever he want he is killing and stealing the resources of the country, he poisoned people without trial, the tyrant in Eritrea is committing war crimes against Eritrean people, that is why the great popular angry in all cities and towns around the world in diaspora people are demonstrating shouting against the bandits calling for justice and liberty in Eritrea, remember to demonstrate in Eritrea for your rights is not allowed, after many years of suffering the Eritrean people began, to believe that now the time has come for the change in Eritrea and those refugees are who fled off the Dracula and they are the victim of the dictator, that dictator who ruin our country.

they live under the protection of the international community according to the Geneva recommendation. The ongoing refugee crisis as a result of painful stories in Eritrea; and the impossible decisions and difficult choices that refugees have to make as they move to what they think is a better life, and those refugees are who remain in life by chance from the death of the cruel Mediterranean sea, because many refugees have died and they lie down at the bottom of the sea; they do not find a state willing to recover the bodies of their citizens and even bodies washed away by the waves to the shores of Europe have not had the funding to identify them via DNA.

the dictator after caused many suffer to Eritrean people, now the dictator want to celebrate the independence day on this month it is funny, at some time it is too rude, what kind of independence is this, independence without liberty. to celebrate because we become freed after many years of the colonization but Eritrean people still are living the life of modern slavery under the inhuman and cruel dictator Isaias Afewerki.

the dictator regime and his puppets are now preparing themselves to celebrate and dance on 24 May, to worship the dictator on Slavery Day. hey, dictator puppets do you remember Gaddafi where is he now? there was a time when Gaddafi and his family thought that they are owners of Libyan people and Libya territory he and family went to the Garbage like many Rubbish because this is an end of any tyrant.

ZAMINA MIN ZANGA ZANGA

PAULOS YACOB

WHAT KIND OF INDEPENDENCE IS THIS?

this

twenty-six years under unjust.
twenty-six years under fear.
twenty-six years under panic.
twenty-six years of death.
twenty-six years without the constitution.
twenty-six years without freedom.
twenty-six years without liberty.
twenty-six years no war no peace.
twenty-six years under the rule of the bloodsucker dictator Isaias Afewerki.
twenty-six years Eritrean people in the escape.
twenty-six years under one ruling party.
twenty-six years without freedom of speech.
twenty-six years without democracy.
twenty-six years life of slavery.
twenty-six years no freedom of the free press.
twenty-six years with the poverty.
twenty-six years under unfair. One man, he can do whatever he want he is killing and stealing the resources of the country, he poisoned people without trial, the tyrant in Eritrea is committing war crimes against Eritrean people, that is why the great popular angry in all cities and towns around the world in diaspora people are demonstrating shouting against the bandits calling for justice and liberty in Eritrea, remember to demonstrate in Eritrea for your rights is not allowed, after many years of suffering the Eritrean people began, to believe that now the time has come for the change in Eritrea and those refugees are who fled off the Dracula and they are the victim of the dictator, that dictator who ruin our country.

they live under the protection of the international community according to the Geneva recommendation. The ongoing refugee crisis as a result of painful stories in Eritrea; and the impossible decisions and difficult choices that refugees have to make as they move to what they think is a better life, and those refugees are who remain in life by chance from the death of the cruel Mediterranean sea, because many refugees have died and they lie down at the bottom of the sea; they do not find a state willing to recover the bodies of their citizens and even bodies washed away by the waves to the shores of Europe have not had the funding to identify them via DNA.

the dictator after caused many suffer to Eritrean people, now the dictator want to celebrate the independence day on this month it is funny, at some time it is too rude, what kind of independence is this, independence without liberty. to celebrate because we become freed after many years of the colonization but Eritrean people still are living the life of modern slavery under the inhuman and cruel dictator Isaias Afewerki.

PAULOS YACOB

Will the Dutch close the Eritrean embassy?

Dutch Protest 5

Martin Plaut

There is mounting concern in the Netherland about the behaviour of the Eritrean embassy and its staff. Last Friday’s abortive conference, held by the Eritrean regime in the Dutch town of Veldhoven, may prove to be the final straw.

The four-day conference was abandoned after a Dutch court backed the mayor of the town in closing the gathering, arguing that it was detrimental to safety and security of local residents.

Spokesmen for the majority of Dutch political parties had called for action even before the conference opened.

News of the event, to be attended by President Isaias Afwerki’s senior adviser, Yemane Gebreab was broken last Tuesday by the Dutch website, One World.

On hearing the news of his imminent arrival Dutch MPs reacted with dismay.

“When the Turkish minister wanted to come here, public order was at stake,” said Attje Kuiken of the Dutch Labour Party. “The question is: what will the speaker (Yemane Gebreab) do at this congress? And will it be within our law?”

The Dutch cabinet also expressed its reservations about the gathering.

A statement was issued declaring that the government was “uneasy” about the conference going ahead, but could not prevent Yemane Gebreab from attending since he had an EU-wide Schengen visa.

Kubrom Dafla Hosabay, a former deputy minister of finance in Eritrea, now resident in the Netherlands, warned what would take place if the meeting took place.

He accused members of Eritrea’s ruling party of threatening anyone who refused to cooperate. “This is the message that will come from the conference,” he said. [See full statement below]

At previous European-wide conferences of the Eritrean ruling party Yemane had called for the opposition to be “destroyed.”

Fearing a repetition, members of the Eritrean community opposed to the regime protested outside the hotel in Veldhoven at which the conference was being held.

Dutch protest 1There followed a confrontation with the police and running clashes, with a number of protesters being arrested.

The mayor of Veldhoven – hearing that a further 2,500 protesters would arrive from across Europe to oppose the event, decided that it should be canceled.

The youth wing of the ruling party (the YPFDJ) which had organized the event, challenged the ruling in court  but lost, and on Friday the four-day conference was abandoned.

Dutch politicians demand action

A number of political parties in the Netherlands had previously expressed their concern about the activities of the Eritrean government in their country and its extortion of funds from the refugee community. They had called for action against the Embassy unless it was halted. Last June the question was debated in Parliament.

A resolution was adopted suggesting that the Embassy should be closed if it continued to use threats and pressure to extract taxes and financial contributions from the Eritrean diaspora.

It soon became clear that the warning had not been heeded. Evidence of what was taking place was gathered by journalists Huub Jaspers and Sanne Terlingen for a radio programme – ‘The long arm of Eritrea’, produced for One World and Argos.

The journalists had gathered testimonies and documentation showing how Eritrean Embassy staff went around the Eritrean community in Rotterdam, and several other cities.  Since last December they had been going door to door among the diaspora collecting funds.

The approach of the Embassy was anything but friendly.

They demanded EU50 per person as a donation to fund the conference. Anyone who refused was warned that they would have a cross placed after their names – a clear sign of intimidation by representatives of Eritrea’s brutal regime.

Receipts for the funds were signed by Isaac Menassi – the Embassy Finance officer, using a commercial receipt book. But his signature was clear.

A handwriting expert testified that having examined the receipts, and comparing them with official Embassy receipts, he was confident that they had been signed by the same person.

When the One World journalists broke the story Dutch politicians were furious, declaring that such behaviour was completely unacceptable.

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, from Democrats 66 said: “We no longer accept this tax collection.” “The parliament was very clear about this, after pressure from our parties. If Eritrea doesn’t listen, this could lead to the closure of the Embassy.”

These views were echoed by Attje Kuiken of the Labour Party. “This means that once again we will have to open a debate with the government on how to stop these kind of practices. We will do this unanimously: with all members of parliament.”

A year in the planning

YPFJD busses leaveThe abandoned conference was the 13th in a series of meetings held to bolster support for the Eritrean regime across Europe. Around 500 YPFDJ supporters had come to hear their leader’s message.

It had been – the organizers claimed – a year in the planning. But members of the Eritrean opposition were determined that a regime which tolerates no free speech at home should not be given a platform from which to put forward its propaganda.

When an Eritrean diplomatic car drew up the protesters staged a sit-down demonstration, preventing its progress. There were clashes with the Dutch police and over 100 protesters were briefly arrested.

Opponents of the Eritrean government informed the authorities that up to 2,500 demonstrators would arrive on Saturday, as members of the diaspora mobilised across Europe. In the light of this, the mayor ordered the conference to be halted.

His decision was upheld by a court, which ordered supporters of the YPFDJ – to leave the hotel by 8.00 pm that evening.

This took place, with busses removing them from the venue. The YPFDJ put out a statement attacking those who had prevented the gathering from taking place.


An Appeal to The Dutch-Eritrean Community

Action to Foil the YPFDJ European Conference in Holland

From next Thu, 13/4 to Sun 17/.4/17, the Isaias regime has organized a European wide conference for Youth-Pfdj, its daughter organization. The Dutch authorities, including the media, are wary of this conference because it has elements inviting antagonism, that pose danger to peace and order of the Dutch public.
This is a call to all Dutch-Eritreans, whether or not, we are citizens, residents, and refugees, to use our rights, to formally register, with the police, a declaration (‘aangifte’) that the Ypfdj, poses danger to our personal safety. Because what should worry us, also worries Dutch authorities, including several parliament members (2de Kamer), and the security. Issues about the Ypfdj may cause harm to Eritreans and the Dutch.
1. That Ypfdj thugs are going door-to-door, forcing Eritreans to pay money for this conference and for 2%.
2. That they are issuing false “receipts” without legal details, means they are hiding their actions from public.
3. That they are putting on a black list and intimidating those Eritreans that refuse to pay;
4. That the infamous “Eri-Blood” gang, which is feared to be armed, is capable of physically harming anyone;
5. That a Dutch court, established last year, that Ypfdj, as a possible ‘intelligence arm” of Isaias; the public speech of Yemane G/Ab, at Ypfdj conference in Germany, being the major evidence of it.
6. That all of this has been organized, in December 2016, by high ranking officials of the regime. Etc., etc., because of all the above, is this Ypfdj conference, is a threat to, us, Dutch-Eritreans. That is why, we should, go and declare this facts to the police. We are being threatened by phone and in person as “traitors”. The reasons are laid down above. Let us exercise this right of ours immediately, but in any case, before the conference commences. Let us support the effort of the Dutch authorities by coming out to register officially our fear of the situation.
Your brother, Kubrom Dafla Hosabay,

THE GREAT VICTORY OF THE JUSTICE SEEKER IN HOLLAND

Mayor bans Eritrean political meeting after protestors are arrested

still from the conference promotional video The mayor of Veldhoven has banned a controversial meeting of Eritrean nationalists, saying it could be a threat to public order. Police arrested ‘several dozen’ people who were protesting about the meeting on Thursday night. Following consultations with police, mayor Jack Mikkers decided to cancel the meeting altogether, news agency ANP said. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the only political party permitted in Eritrea, had planned to hold its annual youth European conference in the Netherlands this weekend. Some 650 supporters of the dictatorship were expected to attend the meeting and there are indications that the right-hand man of president Isaias Afewerki would also be there. Many Eritrean refugees in the Netherlands regard the conference as an act of provocation, Tilburg University professor Mirjam van Reisen told NOS earlier this week. ‘The government wants to show the Eritrean community that it still rules in the Netherlands,’ she said. Eritrea has been condemned by the UN for crimes against humanity and the UN estimates hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have fled the country in recent years. Dutch government ministers said earlier this week they were unhappy about the meeting being held on Dutch soil but that there were no grounds to ban it in advance. The protest was organized by Kubrom Dafla Hosabay, a former Eritrean government minister who fled to the Netherlands in 2010.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: Mayor bans Eritrean political meeting after protestors are arrested http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/04/mayor-bans-eritrean-political-meeting-after-protestors-are-arrested/

STOP THE DICTATOR PUPPETS

Eri bloodThe YPFDJ – the youth wing of Eritrea’s ruling party – is planning to hold a European wide conference in the Netherlands from the 13th to 17th of April.

The local Eritrean community is worried – previous YPFDJ rallies have been marked by violence and intimidation.

The regime has deployed thugs from ‘Eri-blood’ to attack dissenters in the past.

An appeal has been launched to appeal for the Dutch authorities to halt the gathering [see below]

Martin


An Appeal to The Dutch-Eritrean Community
Action to Foil the YPFDJ European Conference in Holland

From next Thu, 13/4 to Sun 17/.4/17, the Isaias regime has organized a European wide conference for Youth-Pfdj, its daughter organization. The Dutch authorities, including the media, are wary of this conference because it has elements inviting antagonism, that pose danger to peace and order of the Dutch public.
This is a call to all Dutch-Eritreans, whether or not, we are citizens, residents, and refugees, to use our rights, to formally register, with the police, a declaration (‘aangifte’) that the Ypfdj, poses danger to our personal safety. Because what should worry us, also worries Dutch authorities, including several parliament members (2de Kamer), and the security. Issues about the Ypfdj may cause harm to Eritreans and the Dutch.
1. That Ypfdj thugs are going door-to-door, forcing Eritreans to pay money for this conference and for 2%.
2. That they are issuing false “receipts” without legal details, means they are hiding their actions from the public.
3. That they are putting on a black list and intimidating those Eritreans that refuse to pay;
4. That the infamous “Eri-Blood” gang, which is feared to be armed, is capable of physically harming anyone;
5. That a Dutch court, established last year, that Ypfdj, as a possible ‘intelligence arm” of Isaias; the public speech of Yemane G/Ab, at Ypfdj conference in Germany, being the major evidence of it.
6. That all of this has been organized, in December 2016, by high ranking officials of the regime.
Etc., etc., because of all the above, is this Ypfdj conference, is a threat to, us, Dutch-Eritreans.
That is why, we should, go and declare this facts to the police. We are being threatened by phone and in person as “traitors”. The reasons are laid down above. Let us exercise this right of ours immediately, but in any case, before the conference commences. Let us support the effort of the Dutch authorities by coming out to register officially our fear of the situation.
Your brother, Kubrom Dafla Hosabay,
Nb. if for any reason, the police refuse to receive your declaration (“aangifte”), please let us know as we have, legal help by our side. Contact: +31-6-8534-1768, email: kubromdafla@yahoo.com