Welcome to the May 31, 2014 edition of this Peace&Justice action email!
This issue deals firstly with the widely publicized case of a pregnant Sudanese women sentenced to death [please note this newsletter was delayed to get the latest action]. Secondly this newsletter provides an update action to last year’s Bangladeshi factory collapse.
The blog associated with this newsletter is at: http://untilall.org/blogs/newsletter/. Feel free to comment on any topic.
SUDAN: PREGNANT WOMAN CONDEMNED TO DEATH
A Sudanese court has sentenced a pregnant woman, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, to hang for apostasy after she married a Christian man. The death sentence would be carried out two years after she gives birth. In addition she will receive 100 lashes for adultery (her marriage is not deemed valid) once she has recovered from giving birth. Amnesty International has created a petition to protest against this horrible violation of human rights. Amnesty considers Mariam to be a prisoner of conscience (violates freedom of thought, conscience and religion), her flogging to be torture, and is against the death penalty.
[Update: May 27: Mariam gave birth to a baby girl, Maya]
[Breaking News: May 31: Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has announced that the case will be repealed. Thus the original action here has been removed (just before I was to send this newsletter). But because this came from the Foreign Ministry and not the court itself, the spotlight should remain until Mariam is actually freed and all charges have been repealed. Thus I delayed this email until I found the following replacement action.
Keep Pressure on Sudan - Demand Mariam be Freed!
Sudan: Pregnant woman faces death for apostasy [BBC]
Sudan's twisted history of using religion [Al Jazeera]
Darfur and thus Sudan have been part of this newsletter’s longitudinal study. We know how the political power remains an influx, multi-voiced dynamic (which has also been labelled, dysfunctional; see: Current Status [UntilAll]). But it is unknown whether this incident bubbled up from obscurity or became a useful distraction.
BANGLADESHI FACTORY COLLAPSE FOLLOW-UP ACTION
Last year's massive building collapse in Bangladesh killed over 1,100 people and injured countless others. After a global protest, the corporations that profited from this tragedy were to pay into a $40 million fund to be collected by the International Labour Organization.
But one year later, less than half the money has been donated — and 15 retailers, including Ascena (Lane Bryant), JCPenney, and Benetton, are refusing to pay up. Worse, very little has changed within Bangladesh. Survivors and their families are still struggling, and little has been done to affect long-term change. Thus consider the action below to demand that these retailers uphold their obligation to the Bangladeshi workers now!
Tell Companies to Keep Promise and Donate to Fund [Watchdog.net]
=== FOLLOW-UP TO PREVIOUS ISSUES ===
SYRIA: Latest UN Report
A recent UN report has summarized the extent of the ongoing, four year-old tragedy in Syria. Almost two-thirds of Syria's population suffers from extreme
poverty because of the civil war, calling it “catastrophic”. Over 150,000 people have been killed. Nearly 50% of Syria's labor force is unemployed, and the
country's gross domestic product has shrunk by an estimated 40% since 2011. Losses from damage are estimated at $143.8 billion. Full details:
UN Report on Syria [Reuters]
MALI: Violence Flares
This newsletter originally noted the unrest that was occurring in Mali, and later, highlighted the issue of Mali’s coup in 2012. Since then France came in
to overtake the northern area held by the Tuareg rebels. France remains concerned about Islamist strongholds. In the past few days there has been further
fighting, whereby Tuareg separatists repulsed an attempt by Mali's army to take control of their stronghold of Kidal. A ceasefire has been agreed to, for
now. The point of this update is to note that as long as underlying issues remain unresolved, violence will remain near the surface.
Latest fighting [Reuters]
Refugees divided on future of northern Mail [IRIN]
=== ARTICLES OF INTEREST ===
When is civil society a force for social transformation?
The cluster that is called civil society, particularly though not exclusively in terms of number of charitable originations, has grown enormously for the
last few decades. The following essay probes the dynamics and asks why there is not a similar reduction in the social ills they try to address. The essay
even suggests there has even been a less positive impact than before. The author offers two primary reasons.
Civil Society and Social Transformation [openDemocracy]
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UWAA: This endeavour is being placed under the overall rubric of “Until Well-being is Achieved for All.”
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