June 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to this issue of the Peace/Justice action email!.

Actually this issue is not so much a full newsletter as a simple bookmark to let everyone know that this newsletter has not disappeared.  I had to take a five month “sabbatical” due to unusually heavy attention needed on a few other projects that I am involved with.  Subsequently, and unrelated, I found myself in a cardiac unit (not a heart attack, and with no usual indicators for such, well, our bodies are complex and interesting).  Hopefully by the fall the newsletter will be more on track again.

Thus this newsletter briefly has an action related to our longitudinal issue – Darfur – as well as an issue that hopefully will be heeded before it deteriorates more.  Finally, there are some accumulated items that I don’t have the time to re validate.



Sudan and Darfur have largely been out of the news, except that before leaving office former U.S. President Obama conditionally lifted some sanctions on Sudan.  After six months (July 12) that action will become permanent if a review shows Sudan was continuing progress.  This act was shocking to many Sudan watchers, including myself, who feel it was based on murky logic (see Current Status, June 25, [UntiAll.org] or the Background links below).

Thus there is urgent need to tell President Trump not to permanently lift the sanctions.  Even if one felt progress was being made, six months is far too short, as Human Rights Watch argues, below.  Given the President’s use of Twitter, the first action makes use of a tweet and provides additional information.  The second action is a petition by a diaspora Darfuri women’s group.  It calls for the sanctions to remain and also lists many other conditions (disarm militias, impose travel bans, etc.) that many have advocated for, for many years.  Please note a typo in the petition: “seize attack” should be “cease attack”.  This is not a high-financed group but their direct connections to people in Darfur provides a valuable voice.

Take Action:
Tweet: Tell U.S. To Delay Lifting of Sanctions [Enough Project]
Petition: Keep Sanctions on Sudan [Darfur Women Action Group]

Sudan Sanction Review Fails 8 Benchmark Tests [HRW]
{Counter View} Repeal Sanctions, There are Still Others in Place [Crisis Group]




A human right’s lawyer in Malaysia has been charged in connection with her questioning the legitimacy of a raid on a transgender event.  Amnesty International believes it is an attempt to silence and undermine human rights work. Please consider taking action, both for its innate rightness and for the signal it sends to Malaysia to uphold human rights before things deteriorate further.

Take Action:
Stop Targeting Transgender Community [Amnesty International]






South Africa Decides to Stay in the ICC

South Africa formally revoked its bid to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. Last year it joined Burundi and the Gambia in saying it would leave, sparking fears of a wider flight; many African leaders think the court focuses disproportionately on them. But the Gambia has reconsidered, and last month South Africa’s High Court ruled that its withdrawal would be unconstitutional.
South Africa Reverses Withdrawal from ICC   [NYT]






Chiquita Bananas & Crimes Against Humanity

On behalf of affect communities in Colombia, a coalition of human rights group have called on an investigation by the ICC of the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International regarding crimes against humanity.  The company has admitted to having funneld millions of dollars to paramilitaries that killed, raped and disappeared civilians, yet no one has been held responsible.
Communities Seek Accountablility


A Few Leagues-Under-The-Sea: It’s Getting Toxic

In research conducted on a couple of the ocean’s deepest trenches (up to 11 km or 6.8 miles) they scientists have found organisms with PCB levels over four times as bad as the world’s most polluted rivers.  Humanity’s negative impact on the planet seems to have no bounds, yet another dire sign and call-to-action to regarding our throw-away society:
World’s Deepest Ocean Trenches Badly Polluted [Economist]