human rights

John McCain: We Are a Country with a Conscience

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Sen. John McCain, R., Arizona. (photo: AP)

To view foreign policy as simply transactional is more dangerous than its proponents realize.

By John McCain / The New York Times
May 8, 2017


Our values are our strength and greatest treasure. We are distinguished from other countries because we are not made from a land or tribe or particular race or creed, but from an ideal that liberty is the inalienable right of mankind and in accord with nature and nature’s Creator.


Some years ago, I heard Natan Sharansky, the human rights icon, recount how he and his fellow refuseniks in the Soviet Union took renewed courage from statements made on their behalf by President Ronald Reagan. Word had reached the gulag that the leader of the most powerful nation on earth had spoken in defense of their right to self-determination. America, personified by its president, gave them hope, and hope is a powerful defense against oppression.

As I listened to Mr. Sharansky, I was reminded how much it had meant to my fellow P.O.W.s and me when we heard from new additions to our ranks that Mr. Reagan, then the governor of California, had often defended our cause, demanded our humane treatment and encouraged Americans not to forget us.

In their continuous efforts to infect us with despair and dissolve our attachment to our country, our North Vietnamese captors insisted the American government and people had forgotten us. We were on our own, they taunted, and at their mercy. We clung to evidence to the contrary, and let it nourish our hope that we would go home one day with our honor intact.

That hope was the mainstay of our resistance. Many, maybe most of us, might have given in to despair, and ransomed our honor for relief from abuse, had we truly believed we had been forgotten by our government and countrymen.

(more…)

“Rhetoric of Fascism” is Rising in U.S. and Europe, Says U.N. Rights Chief

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Pro-Europe protester and artist Kaya Mar shows his painting depicting President-elect Donald Trump and European leaders in stylized Nazi uniforms, as he demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in London on Monday. (photo: Andy Rain / European Pressphoto Agency)

By Ishaan Tharoor / The Washington Post
December 9, 2016


“We don’t have to stand by when the haters drive wedges of hostility between communities. We can build bridges. We can raise our voices. We can stand up for the values of decent, compassionate societies.”


The values and politics that underpin inclusive, peaceful societies “risk being swept away,” warned Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, in a statement ahead of the annual global commemoration of Human Rights Day this Saturday.

“2016 has been a disastrous year for human rights across the globe,” Zeid said in Geneva. He pointed to a world buffeted by complex crises, from the rise of violent extremism to “yawning economic disparities” to climate change and refugee crises. The inability of national governments to adequately address these challenges, Zeid said, has created space for “siren voices exploiting fears, sowing disinformation and division, and making alluring promises they cannot fulfill.”

Zeid, an outspoken Jordanian royal who has been in the post since 2014, was directing his critique in part at an array of Western far-right, ultranationalist politicians who channeled anti-immigrant sentiment and resentment of multiculturalism to score political gains in 2016. (more…)

Don’t Forget: Human Rights Day Celebration!

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Artwork by Ethar Hamid

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Rachel Corrie Foundation for this important event.

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
(dinner and drinks)
Location: Abigail Stuart House
1002 Washington St SE
Olympia, WA  98501
Cost: $35.00 (includes dinner and two drinks) (register here)
Information: Event website
Questions: 360-754-3998
Contact the Foundation

Join the Rachel Corrie Foundation for the 2016 Annual Human Rights Day Celebration for an evening of food and knowledge. Gather together for an evening with friends and enjoy delicious food prepared by local Olympia chefs, wine and locally-brewed beer donated by Three Magnets Brewing Co., a musical performance by Benjamin SittingBull, a Plains Indian singer, flutist and drummer, and a discussion on environmental and political activism.

[Continue reading here . . . ]


Event: 2016 Human Rights Day Celebration

page11

Artwork by Ethar Hamid

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Rachel Corrie Foundation for this important event.

Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
(dinner and drinks)
Location: Abigail Stuart House
1002 Washington St SE
Olympia, WA  98501
Cost: $35.00 (includes dinner and two drinks) (register here)
Information: Event website
Questions: 360-754-3998
Contact the Foundation

Join the Rachel Corrie Foundation for the 2016 Annual Human Rights Day Celebration for an evening of food and knowledge. Gather together for an evening with friends and enjoy delicious food prepared by local Olympia chefs, wine and locally-brewed beer donated by Three Magnets Brewing Co., a musical performance by Benjamin SittingBull, a Plains Indian singer, flutist and drummer, and a discussion on environmental and political activism.

[Continue reading here . . . ]