Cobalt mining, technology and Amnesty International

As a member of Amnesty International, I encourage you to view the above video, and, if the spirit moves you, to take action to ensure that companies like Apple do their research into how resources such as cobalt are mined. According to the video young people like “Charles” are exploited to mine for the cobalt needed for our technological devices such as iphones. The working conditions are poor, leading to serious health problems for some. The wages are also poor. Apple and other companies need to do their research into how resources such as cobalt are mined, and to ensure that workers producing such resources have proper working conditions and are paid an adequate living wage.

Amnesty International launches human rights mission to South Sudan

Amnesty International Canada’s Secretary-General Alex Neve arrives today in South Sudan. He is joining an important human rights research mission called to investigate attacks on villages and aerial bombings of the tens of thousands of civilians living in vulnerable conditions along the border region of Sudan and the world’s newest country, South Sudan.

   We wish Alex and the team of AI researchers our best, and pray for their safety as they travel to remote and volatile areas, doing the important work of gathering first-hand reports from those affected by the violence in the region.

 

 

Instead of arresting George Clooney and his dad, arrest despot Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other despots

 Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. This is certainly one of those Stories, even though George Clooneyand his dad have been released from jail, they should never have been arrested in the first place. Rather, despots like Omar al-Bashir should be arrested immediately and brought to justice before the International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for his arrest back in 2009. Yet, he is allowed to travel freely, and avoid being brought to justice for his alleged crimes.

   In this same vein, I have recently supported Amnesty International’s appeal to the UN Secretary General, urging further arrests of fugitives from the International Criminal Court.

   The 11 with outstanding International Criminal Court arrest warrants are: Democratic Republic of Congo: Bosco Ntaganda, whom the ICC has charged with enlisting and conscripting children under 15. The Congolese government is shielding him following his integration into the national army.   Uganda: Accused Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony and LRA commanders Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, and Dominic Ongwen continue to evade trial after being charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. They and the fighters they lead continue to move between the Central African Republic, north-eastern DRC and South Sudan and commit crimes.   Sudan: President Omar al-Bashir has been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Darfur region. He has yet to be arrested despite regularly conducting state visits abroad. Sudanese officials Ahmad Harun and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein and accused “Janjaweed” leader Al! i Kushayb are also at large.   Libya: Saif al Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi are charged with crimes against humanity committed during the crackdown on protesters in Libya. Saif al-Islam was captured on 19 November 2011, but has not yet been surrendered to the ICC.

   The UN has a critical role to play by providing political, diplomatic, and logistical support for efforts to arrest individuals named in ICC arrest warrants and to protect civilians in countries where the ICC is investigating crimes.

   I encourage readers of my blog to take action to protect victims of war criminals, please consider these actions: 1. Write a letter – A hand-written letter is Amnesty International’s oldest, and time-proven method of getting results. Please address the points in our online action, and address your letter, “Dear Secretary General” Address your letter to: Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon United Nations Secretariat New York, NY 10017 Affix $1.80 (Canada postage). Or you can go here to take action on this issue online. 2. Make a financial gift in support of Amnesty International’s human rights work – Your donations help A.I. mobilize letter-writers, publish highly respected human rights reports, and campaign directly to decision-makers. To donate now, go here.

Thank you and may God bless you as you work for justice and peace for the world’s most vulnerable.

 

Write a letter to release Yousef Nadarkhani

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is regarded by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience in Iran, and he is in danger of facing the death sentence on false charges. You can read about this and, I would encourage you to pray for Pastor Nadarkhani and his family, as well as those who are administering his case; and participate in Amnesty’s letting writing campaign to secure Pastor Nadarkhani’s release. To do so, click on this link.

Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced again

Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced again

The Burma Nobel Prize Winner and human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Chi) has been sentenced once again to another 18 months of house arrest. She has spent 14 of the last 20 years in Burma either in prison or under house arrest, even though she won a democratically held election back in the 90s. Over against the hue and cry of world opinion, the Burma military state refuses to unconditionally release her, when there were no legitimate grounds for arresting her in the first place. Yet, she is gifted and graced with an indomitable spirit, passionately striving for justice and peace, and democracy in her native land. U2 recently paid her tribute in this YouTube video, which really rocks, check it out here. Amnesty International honoured Aung San Suu Kyi this year with the Ambassador of Conscience award. Readers can call for her release by signing AI’s petition here. Thank you! May God grant Aung San Suu Kyi her long awaited freedom and may God bless all of her endeavours to continue the righteous quest for peace, justice and democracy in Burma.

The refugees in Darfur and Chad

The refugees in Darfur and Chad

As you long term, regular readers of this blog know, I appreciate some of the work of Amnesty International—especially as AI works to improve the basic, universal human rights of all human beings and speak out on behalf of the world’s poorest and often forgotten peoples. Recently AI members visited Darfur and Chad and were heartbroken by the ongoing, desperate plight of so many refugees there. I ask you to remember the refugees in Darfur and Chad in your prayers and, if the Spirit moves you, to support financially the work of benevolent organisations like AI, Church NGOs, and others who are working on the front lines to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living a hand-to-mouth existence in refugee camps in fear of their lives. Thank you. May the LORD of life and love have mercy on these his precious people who suffer more in one day than many of us do in one year or perhaps even a life-time. You can read more about the AI visit here.

Light a candle

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. You can participate in Amnesty International’s light a candle to support human rights and end censorship in China campaign here, which will be given to the Chinese ambassador. Thank you!