Peacemakers Trust posts news, reports or announcements of interest to people studying or working in the field of dispute resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Inclusion of an item on the media watch blog does not imply endorsement or agreement of Peacemakers Trust with views expressed by authors of posted items.
ATLANTAâ€”As a young Jesuit, Father John Dear choose to add his own vow of nonviolence, along with the required vows of obedience, poverty and chastity.
A hero of his, Mahatma Gandhi, lived a life of 16 vows, including to â€œonly speak the truthâ€ and â€œfearlessness,â€ so Father Johnâ€™s vows were small in comparison. It was rooted in what he jokingly called a â€œsecret training school of nonviolenceâ€ as he studied to be a priest.
More than five million individuals around the world have sent a clear and unequivocal message to their governments to take decisive action in stopping the relentless cycle of violence against women, at the conclusion of an Internet-based United Nations campaign today.
The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) launched its Say NO to Violence against Women awareness-raising campaign last year calling on governments to make ending violence against women a top priority.
The initiative amassed more than 5 million names on its website petition, easily surpassing its original target of 1 million signatures.
Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:25 PDT
25 November 2008
By OneWorld.net Correspondents
WASHINGTON – Dozens of humanitarian aid workers were targeted and killed around the world this year. In some countries, particularly severe surges of violence have forced aid organizations to reconsider or suspend life-saving and community building operations…
The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) manager Nidal Abu Zuluf was rejected passage through the King Hussein (aka Allenby) bridge going to Jordan, as to fly to Egypt for attending the Christian Aid partners meeting, a statement by the JAI said.
Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:15 PDT
24 November 2008
Los Angeles Times
By Natan Sharansky
That Barack Obama is the antithesis of George W. Bush is by now axiomatic. The president-elect is expected to change everything, from the prevailing ideology to the government’s order of priorities to the partisan atmosphere in Washington to even the mood in America.
Amid all these differences, however, there could be an important point of convergence between Bush and Obama: supporting democracy by personally meeting with and acting on behalf of democratic dissidents….
My article addresses the international legal rules for detaining â€œnon-battlefield terrorism suspectsâ€â€”i.e., suspected terrorists not captured on a conventional battlefield or in the theater of combat. Despite the extensive literature on the rules that govern the â€œwar on terror,â€ and on the treatment of detainees in particular, there continues to be significant confusion about when, and under what conditions, a state may lawfully detain non-battlefield terrorism suspects. On those questions, two broad strands of thought have emerged. One asserts that the law of armed conflict governs to permit extended detention with minimal legal process; the other claims that human-rights law applies to prohibit detention unless accompanied by the ordinary criminal process. Neither strand tracks international practice. Rather than uniformly adopting one approach or the otherâ€”the armed conflict approach or an exclusively criminal oneâ€”international actors have been groping for new options.
According to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict), to which the United States has been a signatory since January 23, 2003, juvenile prisoners â€” those under the age of 18 when their alleged crimes took place â€” â€œrequire special protection.â€ The Optional Protocol specifically recognizes â€œthe special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment or use in hostilitiesâ€, and requires its signatories to promote â€œthe physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict.â€
In January 2003, four doctors in GuantÃ¡namo put together a fascinating document, entitled â€œRecommended Course of Action for Reception and Detention of Individuals Under 18 Years of Ageâ€ (PDF). This was clearly influenced by international agreements regarding the distinctions between adult and juvenile prisoners (including the Geneva Conventions, which were, in general, shredded by the administration), and it laid out, in painstaking detail, how juvenile prisoners held at GuantÃ¡namo should be treated.
WASHINGTON â€” The appointment of Rahm Emanuel as president-elect Barack Obamaâ€™s new chief of staff drew a wave of jubilation in Israel at the prospect of the son of an Irgun fighter running the White House, and a wave of condemnation in the Arab world for much the same reason. The Israeli press embraced him as â€œObamaâ€™s Israeli,â€ while the Arab press derided him as an agent for the Mossad.
A close examination of Emanuelâ€™s voting record during three terms as a Congressman from Illinois, and his involvement with Middle East issues during the Clinton administration, paints a more complex picture of the next presidentâ€™s gatekeeper. Though known for close ties with the Israelis, Emanuel had never given them a free pass and has consistently supported a dovish policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….
But a closer look at Emanuelâ€™s actions finds that he does not easily fit in as either an unconditional supporter of Israel, or one who would be willing to push for a peace agreement no matter what. â€œHe is pro-Israel and pro-peace,â€ said Uri Savir, one of the chief negotiators of the Oslo peace accords.