Militarisation

BEFORE the recent French intervention in Mali began, 412,000 people had already left their homes in the country’s north, fleeing torture, summary executions, recruitment of child soldiers and sexual violence against women at the hands of fundamentalist militants. Late last year, in Algeria and southern Mali, I interviewed dozens of Malians from the north, including many who had recently fled. Their testimonies confirmed the horrors that radical Islamists, self-proclaimed warriors of God, have inflicted on their communities.

كشفت صحيفة ُ الغارديان أن أكثرَ من مليون ِ أرملة ٍمِنْهن اربعُمئة ِ الف ٍ في العاصمة بغداد وحدِها هي مُحَصِلة ُ حروب ِ العراق والصراعات ِ الطائفية التي إجتاحت البلادَ خلال عام ِ الفين وستة .


In conversation with Jessica Horn, a leading Malian women’s rights activist identifies the roots of the crisis in Mali, and the opportunistic use of the crisis by Malian and international Islamic fundamentalists to gain a popular foothold in the north of the country


Jessica Horn: Were there any early warnings that this crisis would emerge? 

While building solidarity between activists in the U.S. and Iran can be a powerful way of supporting social justice movements in Iran, progressives and leftists who want to express solidarity with Iranians are challenged by a complicated geopolitical terrain. The U.S. government shrilly decries Iran’s nuclear power program and expands a long-standing sanctions regime on the one hand, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes inflammatory proclamations and harshly suppresses Iranian protesters and dissidents on the other. Solidarity activists are often caught between a rock and a hard place, and many choose what they believe are the “lesser evil” politics. In the case of Iran, this has meant aligning with a repressive state leader under the guise of “anti-imperialism” and “populism,” or supporting “targeted” sanctions.

I was recently part of a fact-finding delegation to Palestine organized by the US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Le 26 décembre 2011, la Syrie a connu sa journée la plus meurtrière depuis la mi-mars. Cent morts civils, selon l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme. Le 29, malgré la présence dans le pays d'observateurs de la Ligue arabe, les forces de sécurité ont lancé des bombes à clous sur la foule rassemblée place de la Grande-Mosquée, à Douma. Le 31 décembre, plusieurs centaines de milliers de personnes ont pris à nouveau la rue dans tout le pays. Il y a eu plusieurs dizaines de morts. Il faut voir, sur les films amateurs d'Internet, les manifestants crier ensemble face aux soldats.

In the third week of December 2011, a confluence of political events profoundly affecting Iraqi and American women took place.

In that week, the remaining occupying US troops in Iraq were withdrawn, unceremoniously in a fortified concrete courtyard, with only a small band playing as the US flag was furled. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta avowed that the price was high, but the US invasion and occupation “gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq.” Iraq President Maliki did not attend.

An administrative court ruled Tuesday that the Egyptian military had wrongly violated the human rights of female demonstrators by subjecting them to “virginity tests” intended to humiliate them.

The decision was the first to address a scandal arising from one of the military’s first crackdowns on protesters, on March 9, less than a month after it seized power with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. And the ruling was also the first time since the military takeover that a civilian court has attempted to exert judicial authority over the ruling generals, who have suspended the Constitution and set themselves up as the only source of law.

Dear All,

I am writing to you to tell you about the situation in Egypt at the moment, as I am not sure about the accuracy of the media. Last Friday there was a huge demonstration in Tahrir Square calling for ending the military rule, to end military trials for civilians (more than 12,000 civilians have been referred to military tribunals) and to object to the supra constitutional principles. There was a huge numbers from different communities that attended the demonstration and most of them left the Square by evening.

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