Human Rights

The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Preamble, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

Rasmea Odeh: Guilty verdict for Palestinian activist doesn’t mean battle for justice is over

By Dima Khalidi | This article originally appeared on The Hill

Rasmea Odeh is a sixty-seven year old Palestinian-American feminist, activist, educator and community leader who served as the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago since 2004. For over a decade, Rasmea built unprecedented community support for close to 600 Arab immigrant women; established community-wide education projects for Arab immigrant women; and received the “Outstanding Community Leader Award” from the Chicago Cultural Alliance in 2013. Earlier this year, on October 22, the Department of Homeland Security arrested Rasmea in her home for alleged immigration fraud. Many believe that her arrest is part of an ongoing witch-hunt that targets Arabs and Muslims who criticize U.S. and Israeli policy and labels them as “terrorists” because Rasmea has been demanding justice for Palestinians for most of her life. She, herself, spent time as a political prisoner in Israeli jails in the 1970’s where she was violently tortured and humiliated– despite the international legal prohibition on torture and ill-treatment.

Dima Khalidi, director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, discusses the ramifications of Rasmeah Odeh’s recent guilty verdict in a four-day trial. (more…)

Lampedusa boat tragedy: a survivor’s story

Repost from the Guardian. Last October a boat went down off the Italian island of Lampedusa, killing 366 migrants on board. What happened next? This is the story of Fanus, a survivor and one of thousands of people who flee Eritrea every year … Continue reading

A Heathen Learning

By Dr. Adriana Garriga-López * These remarks were delivered at the Kalamazoo College 2014 Baccalaureate Service earlier this June. I’ve been asked to meditate on the theme of light for this event, and as I discussed this invitation with my … Continue reading

In search of the activist academic

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights When people ask me “what do you do?” meaning “what do you do for a living?” I find I have two options for how to respond. One is to look proudly in their … Continue reading

The Starting Point Of Death and Justice

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights It was Wednesday night. My friend Malin, who is from Sweden, temporarily living in Edmonton and en route to Taiwan, was staying at my house for a few days in Vancouver. We are … Continue reading

Freedom through Exile: The Unfolding Stories of Cambodian Son

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights Three years after a meeting in the bustling streets of Phnom Phen when the co-founders of Studio Revolt, Masahiro Sugano and Anida Yoeu Ali, first “experienced” Kosal Khiev’s poetry, a documentary about his … Continue reading

Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Author Says Aid Cuts Small Price to Pay

Repost from Reuters. “The donor backlash after President Yoweri Museveni’s approval of the bill last week, imposing jail sentences of up to life for gay sex, reflects a gulf in social attitudes between the West and conservative African governments.The World … Continue reading

Torture and Canadian Justice

By Matt Eisenbrandt, Legal Director, Canadian Centre for International Justice Last year, Roy Samathanam, a Tamil-Canadian, filed a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee seeking to make Sri Lanka address the torture it inflicted on him. “I was … Continue reading