IUSY World Festival condemn heavy verdict against 24 Western Sahara’s activists

In the early hours on June 19, the Moroccan court in Sale pronounced heavy sentences against 24 Saharawi political prisoners, ranging from 4 years to life in prison.

The group was arrested in November 2010, after clashes erupted in the Western Sahara when Moroccan security forces dismantled Saharawi camp of Gdeim Izik, where thousands of Sahrawis were protesting for political, social and economic demands.

The entire group had been originally condemned in February 2013 by a military tribunal, based on testimonies obtained under torture, as documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Most were given harsh sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment.

On 27 July 2016, Morocco’s court of cassation ruled that the Gdeim Izik prisoners would be granted a civilian retrial before the Rabat court of appeals. Most of the group have already served more than six years in prison.

Saharawi political prisoners had conducted several times hunger strikes to protest against their arbitrary detention and unfair trial.

International organisations, as well as the families of the prisoners, had on several occasions requested a fair trial in accordance with the international law on this issue.

Earlier on the last 17th of July, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called in a joint statement “Morocco’s judicial authorities should ensure that upcoming verdicts in a mass trial are not based on confessions or statements implicating other defendants obtained under torture or other ill-treatment during police interrogations”.

The civilian court of Rabat has issued the following verdict:

– Sentenced to life in prison:
Ahmed Sbai
Brahim Ismaïli
Abdalahi Lakfawni
Laaroussi Abdeljalil
Mohamed El Bachir Boutinguiza
Mohamed Bani
Sidi Abdallah B’hah

– Sentenced to 30 years in prison:
Enaama Asfari
Mohamed Bourial
Hassan Dah
Cheikh Banga

– Sentenced to 25 years in prison:
Abdallahi Toubali
El Houssin Ezzaoui
Mohamed Lamin Haddi
Mohamed Embarek Lefkir
Babait Mohamed Khuna
Sidahmed Lemjeyid (down from life in prison as ordered by the military court)

– Sentenced to 20 years in prison:
Mohamed Tahlil
El Bachir Khadda
Mohamed El Ayoubi

– Granted liberty
Deich Daf has been condemned to six and a half years, which is less than the time he has so far spent in prison. Daf had been sentenced to 25 years by the military court.
Larabi El Bakay has been condemned to four and a half years, which is less than the time he has so far spent in prison. The military court had sentenced El Bakay to 25 years.

The IUSY World Festival 2017, which has taken place in Jale, Albania:

  • Condemn the verdicts issued by the Moroccan court of Sale against the group of Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik.
  • Demand the Moroccan authorities to provide a fair trial for all Saharawi political prisoners and human rights defenders in accordance with international law requirements.
  • Demand the immediate release of all Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan jails.
  • Urge the UN to accelerate the peace process in Western Sahara by organizing the referendum to bring this long standing conflict to an end.

Bring back Democracy in Turkey now!

IUSY shows its deepest concern about the political and democratic situation in Turkey, strongly condemning the discretionary arrests of the HDP leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag​ and a dozen other opposition MPs in Turkey, asking for their immediate release. We appeal to the elimination of violence in the region and appeal to a non escalation in the conflict. The recent events in the country, with the increasing arrests of journalists, academic people and other individuals related to any kind of opposition to the Turkish Government, are a sign of an ever increasing authoritarian ruling force by the AKP supported Government. We urge Turkey to abide by international law and to respect the rule of Law. The intentions of reinstating the death penalty, the imposed censorship on social media, the repression on free press and the lack of respect for the independence of the judiciary system pose a clear threat to the democratic regime in Turkey and cannot be accepted by the international community. Also, IUSY condemns the terror attack in Diyarbakır, where 9 people were killed in response to these arrests. We remind that violence cannot be an answer and civil war is not an option in Turkey. It is time for the Turkish Government to respect the rules of democracy,​ which includes respecting the rights of the Kurdish people,​ the right of political association and opposition and freedom of speech press and association.​ We demand that the European Union and the international community take a stand on the unlawful arrests of the HDP leaders, to pressure Turkey to comply to the established standards of the rule of law, using all of their normative power through the political, economic, and diplomatic means at their disposal to successfully achieve this important step. The downwards spiral that is leading Turkey from a secular Republic to a religious autocracy must be stopped in the interest of the Turkish people. We call the EU to take notice that as long as Erdogan’s government perpetrates the repression of democracy and human rights targeting its own citizens – Kurds in particular -Turkey is not abiding by the EU accession criteria she was asked to pursue in its long path towards becoming an EU Member State. We call on the European Union to pressure Turkey by temporary freezing the ongoing EU membership negotiations  until democracy and the respect of the rights of all Turkish citizens are re-established.

IUSY MC Statement on: Palestine Prisoners in Hunger Strike

Palestinian Hunger-Striker and Political Prisoner Mahmoud Al-Balboul Rushed to ICU

Mahmoud Al-Balboul, 21 years old Palestinian political prisoner and member of Fateh Youth Movement from Bethlehem, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv the past Sunday 4th September.

This came against the severe deterioration in his health and accompanying serious complications after 67 days on hunger strike, starting 1 July 2016. Mahmoud’s brother, Mohammad Al-Balboul, 26, and Malik Kadi joined Mahmoud in the hunger strike on 4 July 2016.

Mahmoud’s health sharply deteriorated as he began suffering from severe fatigue, lost 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and had difficulty speaking. Despite warnings by Israeli doctors of an imminent risk of paralysis in case of continued refusal to take vitamin supplements, reports indicate that Mahmoud refused all but water.

The Balboul brothers, detained on 9 June and sentenced to six months of illegal administrative detention, declared an open hunger strike in July to protest Israel’s widely condemned policy. Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold political activists indefinitely without trial or charges, based on undisclosed evidence; it also allows for the prevention of meeting between the detainee and lawyer. This is illegal under international law and infringes on basic internationally recognized rights, including right to due process and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, as well as numerous international humanitarian law provisions.

IUSY MC holds Israeli authorities fully responsible for the lives of Al-Balboul brothers, and Malik Kadi as well as all Palestinian political prisoners. In conformity with values of solidarity and fraternity, we extend a request for support to place sufficient pressure on the Israeli Prison Service and government to comply with the demands of the striking political prisoners to cancel the policy of administrative detentions. We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, support for their ongoing struggle in attainment of freedom.

These perpetual acts of illegal aggression are widely reflected in the increasing levels of violence and instability not just in Palestine and the Arab region, but also across the world. It is high time that we raise our voices against occupation, discrimination, violence, extremism and apartheid and take concrete, tangible steps that bring us closer to the day where we see a freedom and justice in Palestine.

mc-statment-on-palestinian-presioners-in-hunger-strike

Mediterranean Committee ’16 Statement on the Region

The Mediterranean Committee Leadership Conference ’16 took place last week in Athens, Greece. In the programme we had the opportunity to discuss important issues such as the difference conflicts active in the region, the refugee crisis and its consequences not only in the region but  also in Europe.

We also had the chance to discuss on the relation between Feminism and Socialism followed by the Women’s Role in the Middle East. There was also time for debating on the current economic crisis that so many countries are going through.

All this issues and more are reflected in the statement released by the committee, check it out!

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MC’16 – The current situation in the region

IUSY is concerned about the escalation of human rights violations in Turkey after the coup attempt in July. We strongly believe that there are fundamental rights that should never be infringed upon. Accordingly IUSY condemns the absence of due process (legal procedure of arresting a person), arbitrary arrests and collective punishments. IUSY expresses its proximity to its two Member Organizations present in the area, CHP youth and HDP youth, whose members have been subject to arbitrary violence and persecution. We stand in solidarity by our friends and comrades of CHP Youth and HDP Youth in their battle for social justice and democracy, and we will use all peaceful measures in our hands to protect their basic democratic rights in compliance with fundamental principles of international law.

IUSY stresses its ongoing support for the Kurdish cause and the right of the Kurdish people for self-determination. We view some rights as fundamental and indispensable, primarily freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement or even expressing their collective rights that are given to minorities. We commend the struggle of the Kurdish people against extremists and call the international community to take serious measures in order to assist them. We especially condemn the treatment of Kurdish political prisoners, which has amounted on several occasions to enforced disappearance.

IUSY continues to strongly support the right of Western Sahara people to freedom and self-determination. IUSY strongly condemns the Moroccan violation of the seize-fire at Gargarat area and we urge the UN to decide on a date for a referendum, which would determine the fate of the Sahrawian people. We are calling the international community and the UN Security Council to take concrete measures to prevent any escalation of violence. We call both sides to refrain of the use of force and utilize diplomatic and peaceful methods to prevent any additional crisis.

 

IUSY affirm it’s fully support for the Palestinian peaceful struggle towards freedom and the right of the Palestinian people for self-determination and their struggle for independence. We support the peace camp in both sides and their efforts to contribute to the realization of the two states solution based on the 1967 borders. IUSY believes that the only way to achieve a long lasting peace is through non-violent ways. We also call for immediate release of Fatah youth movement members who are currently on an ongoing hunger strike and are in severe health condition and all the Palestinian political prisoners. We call the international community to support the Palestinian international diplomatic steps.

As Under the current situation in the MENA region thousands of children women youths and elderly people crossing the Mediterranean Sea escaping from violence, wars economic crisis and extremism grows, and the way they need to pass on the way to a safe life becomes even more dangerous, we demand the international community to support those people in their struggle against the extreme violence and the dictators in their countries. IUSY calls the EU to take direct measures and to adopt policies and regulations, which guarantee stable life for all the people who are fleeing to Europe, seeking for security peace and dignity. We believe that the policy of the close borders will never achieve security or stability, cooperation and just policies are the only way to solve this humanitarian crisis.

It’s our responsibility all as social democrat youth in the middle east to struggle for building societies based on our principles and values in the different fields. Therefore, struggling for more environmental policies, strengthening of the social democratic economies, equality, solidarity and freedom should be always in the top of our priorities all of us to work hand in hand for better region and better world.

IUSY looks with concern at the increased militarization in the Middle East and North Africa and its detrimental repercussions on the stability of the region. We should always remember the price that was paid in order to effectuate the UN charter. Accordingly, we stress the need to refrain from the use or the threat of the use of force, in compliance with the Charter. We progressively observe how the abuse of the ultimate power at the disposal of certain nations in the Security Council has contributed to the aforementioned end. We view a need for reform in compliance with standards of social democracy and the principle of equality of nations.

 

Prevalent gender stereotypes increase the vulnerability of women worldwide; accordingly, women are disproportionately affected in times of war and conflicts. We commend ongoing efforts to protect women from violence and sexual abuse within the umbrella of the “women, peace and security” agenda, starting with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. We also believe that in order to effectuate it, the big bulk of effort should be concentrated on regional implementation mechanisms in view of the sensitivity of perceptions of infringement of State sovereignty and in light of the different dynamics that inform the process. Nonetheless, the IUSY stresses that this does not by any means suggest that we view that equality of women has been achieved, and encourage individual countries and regional mechanisms to advance this end. It is worth to mention that the feminist struggle is one of many other struggles and accordingly, the IUSY reiterates its support to other struggles including but not limited to LGBTQ struggle and the struggle against racial discrimination.

 

Invitation to Training of Trainers: Structural Empowering

Dear Comrades,

We are glad to invite you to the

IUSY Capacity Building:

STRUCTURAL EMPOWERING – TRAINING FOR TRAINERS

19th – 25th September 2016, Mollina, Malaga (Spain)

In IUSY we organise many international events, whether they are regional committees, seminars or political schools. We regularly meet to debate and discuss, and more often than not we’re the ones facilitating such exchanges and dialogues. Therefore we believe we must have an active role in the preparation, delivery and evaluation of the methodology we use for these events.

We see non-formal alternatives to formal education being increasingly used in our society, in all sorts of different environments. Non-formal education methodology offers us the chance to develop opinions and skills through experiential learning, is inclusive to different learning styles and provides variety in programme. This is why we believe we should mainstream diverse methodologies into the activities of IUSY. Through this training we aim to position ourselves in the challenge zone in order to offer greater diversity on our events and obtain richer outcomes from our meetings and discussions.
In this Training for Trainers we aim to provide active members of IUSY the chance to acquire and develop training and facilitating skills. We’ll think about how non-formal methods can improve our activities, explore the different ways non-formal education can be utilised as a tool in our programmes, and, in addition, we will also create a network of trainers to help us deliver future IUSY activities.

We encourage you to disseminate this call for participants among the members of your organisations. Please be aware it is unlikely that more than one member per organisation will be selected to participate in this event, therefore we would encourage you to discuss internally who to put forward from your organisation before applying. Please keep in mind that the application deadline is Monday 1st of August 2016.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the IUSY Secretariat at: iusy@iusy.org.

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OBJECTIVES  

  • To promote the concept of non-formal education as a working tool among the participants and, as an extension, their member organisations
  • To provide participants with knowledge, tools and confidence to pursue training in their local organisations
  • To bring the global perspective to the local level by providing training and facilitation skills to the participants
  • To train members on the concepts that are relevant for youth political activism/campaigning training in order to be multipliers in their organisations (such as advocacy, speech drafting, communication skills, etc.)
  • To develop the IUSY Pool of Trainers by improving the training capacities of young activists and youth organisations

The workshops will be facilitated based on the core values of participatory non-formal education/learning and on the basis of global education. The programme will promote critical analysis and be tool-oriented to improve the capacities of young activists and youth organisations at the national and local levels.

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WHO CAN APPLY? PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS

This activity is not aimed towards the leadership of IUSY member organisations, it is addressed to youth activists. Please note that this is an educational activity therefore it is required that the participants stay for the whole activity duration and also to contribute to IUSY activities after the training.

Participants should:

  • Belong to IUSY member organisation.
  • Be aged 18-35
  • Have a proficient level of English (the only working language during the activity)
  • Availability to contribute to IUSY activities

Since we expect to provide all regions with trainers for their events, we’re aiming for participants from all regions and from a variety of member organisations.

According to the IUSY statutes, we’re also looking to achieve a gender-balanced training so we reserve the right to select participants based on gender criteria if needed.

– – – – –

HOW TO APPLY

Due to limited space of 12 people, there will be an application process. To apply you must complete the following by Monday 1st of August:

  1. Ensure you fulfil the above criteria
  2. Write a motivation letter, including why you are applying and your vision for the work
  3. (Optional) Obtain a recommendation letter, which outlines your interest in attending the training and/or previous experience
  4. Complete the digital application form by following the registration link.

Follow this link to complete the application form.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScMiCieFysWiZ7mUvArE30GTdPKBoBVlaBFcHmy_UwcXp1Gbw/viewform

Please note you should not buy any flight tickets before your application is approved.

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TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

IUSY will cover your flight ticket up to a fixed reference price. The maximum amount for travel reimbursement will be sent to you together with a confirmation letter.

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PARTICIPATION FEE

The participation fee is set for 50 euro and should be transferred to IUSY bank account before the event starts. Bank details will be sent along with a confirmation letter.

– – – – –

CANCELLATION FEE

There will be a 50€ cancellation fee charged to each organisation whose participant withdraws after 7 August and without a valid reason.

 – – – – –

CONTACT INFORMATION

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator of the project at the IUSY office:

Eugeni Brigneti
IUSY Project Manager
Tel: 0043 699 1353 2970
Mail: eugeni.brigneti@iusy.org

11717556_943359802372966_2698645331513406370_o(Picture of a previous edition of the UYD)

                       

 

 

CALL FOR COORDINATORS FOR IUSY WORKING GROUPS – FEMINISM & POOL OF TRAINERS

CALL FOR COORDINATORS FOR IUSY WORKING GROUPS

We would want to inform you about the availability to apply for becoming coordinator for the following working groups:

– Feminist Working Group

– Pool of Trainers Working Group

 

The coordinators main role is to plan (together with the IUSY presidium) and conduct the work of the working group. The Coordinators will have a close contact with appointed Vice Presidents who will be responsibility for the groups and the coordinators will also be invited to the IUSY Presidium meetings. However, IUSY will not be able to provide any travel reimbursement for the coordinators for the presidium meetings.

To apply for becoming coordinator you should send us:

1. Letter of motivation where you describe why you are interested and your ambitions for the working group you want to coordinate. Furthermore, we would also like you to provide us with your previous engagement in the area of interest, since we would very much be interested in previous experience on the fields.

2. Nomination letter from your national organization.

Deadline for application is set for 1st July. Send your application to iusy@iusy.org. **Please share widely**

Stop the war in Bakûr (Northern Kurdistan), Halt immediately the democratic recession in Turkey

Resolution passed by the IUSY Presidium on 29th May 2016 in Vienna, Austria

President Recep Tyyip Erdogan was once praised as a role model for leaders of emerging Muslim Majority nations due to several reform packages he initiated early in his term as Prime Minister of Turkey. Today, he enjoys a reputation far from the democratic, reformist and progressive one he once held among the international community.

Erdogan’s AKP (Justice and Development Party Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) government underwent several crises including corruption scandals, accusations of media intimidation, as well as the pursuit of an increasingly polarising political agenda along ethnic lines; inciting political hatred throughout the country.

Erdogan today, after his ascension to the Republic’s Presidency, is speedily taking the Turkish State towards a one-man system. Erdogan and his party – the Turkish oligarchy- entrenched by the most polarising form of nationalism, is carrying out destruction, annihilation and looting in Kurdistan in order to preserve its colonial agenda.

In order to achieve this dirty objective, Erdogan initiated a comprehensive war in Kurdistan on July 2015. First, he ceased the peace process between the Turkish state and PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê )‎ and isolated its leader Abdullah Ocalan. Very soon after, he attacked the people with suicide attacks on what was widely alleged as a joint AKP-ISIS operation. In these attacks, 5 people were killed in Diyarbakir, 33 people in Suruc, and 100 people in Ankara; at least a total of 929 people were wounded in all three attacks.

The police and army were introduced in the second phase of Erdogan’s war. For months now curfews have been declared in several towns and cities across Kurdistan. Kurdish towns such as Cizre, Silopi and Sur in the city of Amed (Diyarbakir) have been almost completely destroyed. In Cizre alone, 120 civilians were burnt alive in a basement (this has been documented by the UN, HRW and AI). The same things are now occurring in Nusaybin, Yuksekova and Sirnak. All Kurdish towns are under the attack of the Turkish army on a daily basis. Until now, a total of 800 civilians (mostly women and children) have been killed in these towns and cities by the Turkish state.

Currently, Erdogan is targeting elected Parliamentarians who stand in the way of his dictatorial ambitions. His goal of abolishing the parliamentary system is now ever closer. From 2013 to 2015, the HDP (The Peoples’ Democratic Party Turkish: Halkların Demokratik Partisi) participated in peace negotiations with the AKP government on behalf of PKK, and for this, the political immunities of the HDP legislators were selectively removed. Erdogan did so with the help of the representatives of Turkish state nationalism: AKP, the MHP (Nationalist Action Party, Turkish: Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi) and some members of CHP (Republican People’s Party: Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi). It has once again been proven that the only thing that these parties agree on is animosity towards the Kurdish people.

Erdogan’s regime is also blackmailing EU with the refugee crisis into providing it with financial and political aid, all whilst not doing anything to protect the refugees; on the contrary, allowing them to drown in the Mediterranean Sea.

Therefore,

  • IUSY expresses loud criticism against the EU’s silence on this matter. The EU’s fear is clearly based on the likelihood of Turkey pulling out of the Refugee Deal if critical voices from the EU were to escalate. Human Rights and Democracy should never be allowed to be bargained against each other.
  • IUSY denounces any form of vilence, oppression and selective persecution whether it be based on ethnicity, gender, political inclination. The Erdogan regime is clearly taking an ethnical approach to his dictatorial agenda; and IUSY and the world should not tolerate such abbhorence.
  • IUSY extends solidarity with the peace seeking Kurdish freedom movements. In order to reach a peaceful resolution in Turkey it is important that among others the PKK should be included in the peace talks. Therefore, we call on removing the PKK from from the terrorlist to maket his possible.
  • IUSY calls for the international community, the EU, the USA and other Western countries to recognize the important role of Kurds for contentment and stability in the region.
  • IUSY follows closely the current development in Turkey where MPs of the HDP have had their Parliamentary immunity revoked as a strategy to silence the critique of the regimes treatment of Kurds, other minorities and dissidents. We demand that the AKP regime, along with MHP and members of CHP, withdraw their decision and reinstate the immunity for the HDP MPs back to the same terms as for all other MPs.

Invitation to IUSY Global Seminar 2016

IUSY Global Seminar 2016 – the future of global social democracy

14-17 July 2016 – Gothenburg, Sweden

What:                      Political gathering for leadership members of IUSY MOs and SSU districts
When:                     14-17 July 2016
Where:                    Gothenburg, Sweden
Age:                         16-35 years
Size:                         1 participant per IUSY member organisation or SSU district
Deadline:                Sunday 12 June 2016 (23:59 CET)

Participant profile

Each IUSY member organisation may send one participant and each SSU district may send one participant to the seminar. These persons should hold a leadership position in their respective organisation/district, as they must be able to take back what they have gained from the seminar to their organisation/district and use the outcomes to enact change nationally or regionally.

How to apply

Participants must apply through the online registration forms by Sunday 12 June 2016 at 23:59 CET. There are separate application forms for IUSY member organisations and SSU districts.

Follow this link to complete the registration form for IUSY member organisations.

Follow this link to complete the registration form for SSU districts.

IUSY member organisations can only get one application approved after sending in application. SSU districts are only able to send one participant each. Therefore it is essential that organisations and districts agree who will be the participant rather than allowing multiple members to apply.

More information

You can view the detailed information by following this link to the full invitation. 

You can join the Facebook page for the IUSY Global Seminar 2016 here.