Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Living Heros are Honored

Often times, people's great accomplishments are not honored most until they are dead. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, and others did not recieve their greatest honor until they no longer could know about it.

Today, living heros were honored. NBC Nightly News Anchor, Brian Williams, hosted a Human Rights Awards Dinner. Egyptian activist, Basem Fathy, was honored for his tireless and brave work as an advocate for Egypt's political freedom. Fathy was detained many times by the Mubarak regime. However, despite the Mubarak's opposition to his political ideas, which could have resulted in his assassination, Fathy found courage to help coordinate and inspire the Egyptian people to rise up for their political freedom. Another hero, Shehrbano Taseer, was also honored for her brave work. She has faced criticism and even death threats while working to advocate for increased religious freedom in Pakistan. The article states that she was a very key player in organizing the United Nation Human Rights Council's "groundbreaking resolution that seeks to adress violence, discrimination, and incitement to religious hatred without the controversial notion of 'defamation of religions'".

I think that it is great that such amazing heros are being celebrated for their amazing accomplishments. Why are such events not held more often?

"Too Scared to Seek Treatment"

Footage in this video shows a health professional striking a wounded patient as he is being carried out of the ambulance. Amnesty International reports that the footage is consistent with many testimonies where patients suffer beatings from their doctors or government authorities in Syria.

In an interview, a former Syrian doctor claims that the state administered hospitals are required to report their wounded to the authorities. The government is concerned about taking suspected people who have been wounded to interrogation immediately rather than to give them treatment. Many fear going to the hospital as they will be captured and tortured by the military.

There is a serious dilemma here: as doctors, you either report your patients to the authorities and risk them not getting treatment and eventually tortured, or protect your patients and put yourself at risk of arrest and torture. “Those inside Syria who are injured or dying have a right to basic medical treatment. The Syrian government needs to stop discriminating based on assumed political ties of the wounded.”

It is troubling to know that you cannot speak out against the government. It is even more disturbing to know that when you do and you are injured and dying, doctors are not allowed to help you either.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Virginity Tests in Egypt

I read a short summary of this article first on the Daily Beast today and was so incredulous that I then clicked on the link to read the entire story at Global Post. This young woman, Samira Ibrahim, was violated by Egyptian military personnel as part of a "virginity check." She has filed a lawsuit against the military for the practice. The entire concept of a virginity test is a complete violation of a woman's human rights and has been condemned by Amnesty International as a form of torture. This woman is so brave for standing up to Egyptian authorities, and even more incredible, I think, is the fact that both of her parents support her case. If her case is not given a fair trial by the often corrupt courts of Egypt, Ms. Ibrahim has said that she will take it to the United Nations. I find it so admirable that she is fighting back for what she knows is right and that she is not afraid, despite the male-dominated culture and corrupt legal system.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Evelyn Apoko

Another video of Evelyn.

Evelyn Apoko and the LRA

The LRA needs to sit down! Look at her face due to the LRA. Evelyn is one of the few people to survive and I'm happy that she is speaking out because she may be able to save other children.