Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 165

Letter writing tonight:

  1. Sent a letter to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, and Prime Minister of India urging them to ensure that the human rights of citizens are fully respected. Two environmental activists, Ramesh Agrawal and Dr. Harihar Patel, have been jailed in Chhattisgarh to silence their environmental concerns about industrial projects in the state. They have been jailed on false charges of "circulating defamatory material", "disrupting public order", and "causing alarm and panic among the public" for raising their concerns in a mandated public hearing about a local power plant operated by Jindal Steel and Power. While Dr. Patel remains in jail, Mr. Agrawal is being hospitalized for hypertension and is chained to his hospital bed - a clear case of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
  2. The next was to the President of the Republic of Cameroon. Jean-Claude Roger Mbede has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for homosexuality, a criminal offense under Section 347a of the Cameroonian Penal Code. He is currently serving his sentence at the central prison in
    Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. He is at risk of physical attack and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on account of his real or perceived sexual orientation. He is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely because of his sexual orientation. 
  3. The last was to the Minister of Justice in Argentina. The Indigenous Quilmes people consist of around 3,000 people and most of them live in the north-western Argentinean province of Tucumán. The community of Colalao del Valle is one of the biggest Quilmes communities with approximately 1,000 inhabitants. On 30 May a judge based in the northern Argentinian city of San Miguel de Tucumán rejected the request by the Quilmes Indigenous community of Colalao del Valle to stop the eviction order against their families. Members of the community were previously evicted from this land three times. Each time they reoccupied the land days later.  The 30 May decision has given the authorities the go-ahead to attempt a new eviction. Currently around 30 people, including 10 children, live on the disputed land. Evicting Indigenous communities is currently forbidden under Argentinean legislation.
While writing these letters I came across a success story that shows just how much of a difference you can make. Check it out:
When a Tweet can Change the World

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