Thursday, June 01, 2006

Start of Torture Awareness Month

Good morning (USA time) everyone, and welcome to the first day of Torture Awareness Month. First, some activities.

According to the calendar, today Torture: Signs of Despair -- Signs of Hope opens in Washington DC at the Martin Luther Kin Jr Library. Today is also the beginning of the International 24 hour fast which you can join here.

Tomorrow starts the two-day forum in Chicago at the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange. You can find out more here.

Tomorrow night CCR New York are hosting the forum Torture from New Orleans 1973 to Guantanamo 2006. You can find out more here.

If you know of any other activities, why not add them to The Torture Awareness Map (created by Lasting News) or leave a message in the comments.

As you will all be very busy with Torture Awareness Month activities today, I thought I'd recommend something easy: a short video to watch. It's called Mohamed Abbass - A Missing Australian from SBS Dateline.

Abbass was abducted, probably by the Egyptian government, in 1999. The doco follows the heart-wrenching story of his wife's and daughter's efforts to secure his release, which have unfortunately been unsuccessful to date. Sadly, it is not an unusual story for Egypt. What is unusual is how his story overlaps with that of another person; someone detained under quite different circumstances.

"We are very strong, we have a very good connection everywhere around the world, we can do whatever we want to do."

These are not the words you want to be hearing from the kinds of men running secret prisons in Egypt. Unfortunately, a recent policy has emboldening an oppressive regime and helped justify their use of extra-judicial means. It has also made saving Abbass just that little bit more difficult.

You can find a streaming video and transcript of Mohammed Abbass here. Those using mplayer can save the video to their HDs with:
mplayer "rtsp://,554,7070" -dumpstream -dumpfile abbass.rm


Blogger Nell said...

Would anyone who is a registered user at Daily Kos please go recommend this diary by cyberotter that promotes Torture Awareness Month? Thanks! (and email friends who might be dKos users)

The time window is quite small, and it would mean a lot to have this diary stay visible today.

11:59 AM  
Blogger elendil said...

I recommended it, but I think I might have got there too late. Oh well, there's a link in the post above so people will find it.

4:14 PM  
Blogger De said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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12:28 AM  

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