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Posts tagged ‘human chain’

Muslims Protect Christians

Human chain formed to protect Christians during Lahore mass
By Web Desk / Aroosa Shaukat
Published: October 6, 2013
The Express Tribune

LAHORE: The Muslim and Christian communities came together during Sunday mass in a show of solidarity in Lahore.

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Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.

Standing in the small courtyard of St Anthony’s Church, as Mufti Mohammad Farooq delivered a sermon quoting a few verses of the Holy Quran that preached tolerance and respect for other beliefs, Father Nasir Gulfam stepped right next to him after having conducted a two hour long Sunday service inside the church. The two men stood should to shoulder, hand in hand as part of the human chain that was formed outside the church not just as a show of solidarity but also to send out a message, ‘One Nation, One Blood’.

As part of an attempt to sensitize the public at large, the human chain was the second such event after a similar had been organized in Karachi last week outside the St Patrick’s Cathedral by an organization called Pakistan For All – a collective of citizens concerned about the growing attacks on minorities.

“Well the terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite,” said Mohammad Jibran Nasir, the organizer who made the calls for the event on social media.

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Flying in from Karachi for the human chain, Nasir and his group are out to advocate the need for interfaith harmony. “I see no reason why our politicians and our leaders should not come out of their houses, leave the luxury of their secure homes and stand in solidarity with the common man”, he said.

As the service concluded inside the church, the courtyard echoed with slogans of ‘Dehshut gardee murdabaad’ and ‘Muslim Maseehi ittehad zindabaad’ as members of the Sunday service emerged.

Led by Taimur Rahman, activist and member of the music band Laal, the congregation in the courtyard proceeded with sermons and chanting as the crowd increased in number.

Later, the congregation moved onto the street where they chanted slogans and formed the human chain, as police cordoned off the roads leading to the church to allow for the congregation to move.

Mariam Tariq who was attending the service along with her daughter also joined the chain. “We have lost so many of our loved ones over the past few years” said Tariq as she broke into tears.

See more photos at The Express Tribune with the International Herald Tribune.

Close Gitmo Stop Torture

Dear Gabriel,

I wish I had better news to give you about the human rights failure that is Guantanamo. But the bad news is coming at us from all sides:

– President Obama has failed to keep his promise to close Guantanamo.

Some presidential candidates think Guantanamo should be kept open indefinitely.

– Senators are poised to approve a new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes provisions that would actually expand indefinite detention at Guantanamo.

– And perhaps worst of all, torture is still proudly advocated by members of Congress like Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — and by some of the current candidates for the U.S. Presidency.

Sometimes it feels like we’re living in the Twilight Zone, with politicians trying to outdo themselves in insanity rather than actually solving the very real and pressing challenges facing the country.

But we can’t give in to the madness. We believe that human rights and the rule of law should be respected by the U.S. government. We just need to find a way to make a big statement to politicians, showing that people all throughout the U.S. and around the world are out there demanding an end to Guantanamo and torture.

That is why we are asking you to join us on January 11, 2012 in Washington, DC, where Amnesty activists will form a human chain in protest against injustices at Guantanamo.

Why January 11? January 11, 2012 will mark the 10th anniversary of “war on terror” detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Let’s join together — literally — to make this year’s disgraceful anniversary the last.

To create a human chain that will reach from the White House to the Capitol building, we’ve calculated that we need at least 2,771 activists — the approximate number of people currently being detained at Guantanamo and Bagram Prison in Afghanistan. While the human chain action will be focused on Washington, DC, other activists will stand in solidarity with us at Jan. 11 events all around the world.

Guantanamo remains the global symbol of human rights violations and lawlessness by the U.S. It represents torture, indefinite detention, unfair trials, rendition, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, secret detention — the entire system of abuses and disregard for human rights and the rule of law put in place under former President Bush’s administration. A system that continues today.

This January 11, join us in rejecting this system by lending a hand to our human chain in Washington, DC. Human rights violations in Guantanamo have gone on ten years too long.

Sincerely,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

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