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January 14th, 2016

Urgent call: Save Madaya from starvation!!

by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

In the besieged town of Madaya, starving children are eating tree leaves, cats and insects. The Assad regime is literally starving over 40,000 people to death.

A truce to lift the siege on Madaya and other cities was brokered in September, but civilians are still trapped inside without food and medicine. Aid conveys are right now entering the town, and with all the world’s attention on Madaya, there is finally a chance to get the siege lifted entirely to save the people of Madaya.

Help the Avaaz team to achieve a one million strong outcry calling on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to intervene and work with all sides! This way we could save thousands of families from starving to death in Madaya. Add your voice to this urgent petition!
January 11th, 2016
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

In Cologne several women were sexually harassed, threatened and robbed during the New Year's Eve celebrations around the city centre. The victims stated in their reports to the police that the culprits were of "Arabic or North-African looks". While the police is investigating, German media is not holding back in profiling the perpetrators racially, thus repeating and spreading a now widely perceived imagery of the dangerous, criminal, misogynist "Arabic or North African man" leading to a hightened tension over migrants deriving from those regions.

The problematic spreading of such imagery is not only creating new racist suspect profiles but over all serves already prevailing prejudices against People of Colour. In times of a global refugee crisis and a general strengthening of the political right wing in Europe, it becomes more than necessary that journalists and other opinion makers in media overthink their rhetorics in reporting on topics which include People of Colour and crime.

The European Race & Imagery Foundation (ERIF) is an NGO which dedicates itself to the topic of racially motivated representations of People of Colour and especially Black people. Namely they are interested in how European understandings of home, belonging, space, citizenship and identity are racialised. ERIF aims to conduct critical research of the various media expressions, provide education for a broader audience and raise awareness of the counter movements and narratives taking place throughout the continent.

Support this meaningful platform by donating and/or sharing their content through your channels and help attaining a better understanding and sensitization of contemporary negative representations of people of colour, especially in the media!

Digital Art: Nkiru Oparah via
December 24th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Three religions under the same roof? A synagogue, a church and a mosque, all in one building with a common entrance area? Some would call this utopic in times like these. But Rabbi Tovia Ben Chorin, Pastor Gregor Hohberg and Imam Kadir Sanci state a different perspective: All three men of God are on the special mission in promoting the creation of a unique house of worship for all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The three separate sections of the building will be linked by a communal room in the center. According to the project's webpage this will serve as a meeting place, where worshippers and members of the public can come together and learn more about the religions and each other. No joking! Where? In Berlin, of course! The Petriplatz was chosen as a suitable location for the interreligious building since the fundaments of the city's first church lie beneath the former city square, used as a parking in the last few decades.

The construction of the house is already in progress. The site fences on Petriplatz are decorated with information posters on the project for passers-by. So far almost 1700 donors chipped into the project, adding up an amount of 1.014.780. This sounds like a lot of money but the average costs for the construction of a small communal church already total an amount of € 1,6 Mio.

Help making a great idea real, getting the blessings of three men of God and being involved into the prayers of all future worshippers of the new and unique in the world House of One!
December 21st, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Imagine you're a musician or singer. Imagine you get arrested for performing your songs, almost get killed because the message of your music does not conform with the current values of the political systems you live in or a whole concert is cancelled just because you are a female guitar player. Freedom of expression and the the right to participate in cultural life are two human rights which are of special relevance for musicians. In many places on this planet, musicians are facing censorship which often leads even to a total silencing.

FREEMUSE - The World Forum on Music and Censorship is an independent international membership organisation advocating and defending freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. The organisation has Special Consultative Status with the United Nation‘s Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC. Its guidelines are the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as they apply specifically to musicians and composers.

Like all NGOs Freemuse is depeding on funding. You can support the organisation with a financial donation or simply spread their news through your channels!
December 15th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Bosnia's media environment is plagued by lacking standards, nepotism and political bias. Combined with the world's highest youth unemployment (60%), young people in particular are most negatively affected by unbalanced reporting and corruption and are rarely provided a clear picture of the social and political environments in which they live.

Balkan Diskurs trains 15 aspiring journalists each year in media etiquette, documentary photography and film production, and provides them and other young voices an online platform to be seen and heard. They provide the physical and financial resources necessary to produce high-quality articles, photo essays, videos and cartoons to help young people challenge the harmful status quo of Bosnia's news environment. The platform helps these trainees fight for responsible journalism in their country. For this they need financial support.

Support the crowdfunding campaign of Balkan Diskurs and donate for the qualification of young journalists in Bosnia and Hercegovina!
December 10th, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Waleed has dedicated his life and career to calling on the Saudi Arabian government to respect human rights. He has provided legal representation to many victims of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, including activists charged with forming ‘unlicensed’ human rights organisations.

In 2009, the authorities banned him from representing specific defendants in courts, but Waleed refused to obey them, continuing to support and represent human rights activists, challenging the authorities. Years of further harrasments by the authorities followed. In spring 2014, Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison as punishment for his human rights activities.

Saudi-Arabian authoristies declare his activism as terrorism-related ‘crimes’ within the new anti-terrorism law, which the courts applied to Waleed’s case. He is the first human rights activist to be tried and sentenced under the new law, which extended existing laws used by courts to crack down on free speech through overly vague definitions of ‘terrorism'.

Set a sign on Human Rights Day and sign the petition demaning the immediate release of human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair!
December 07th, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, and this December hundreds of world governments will meet in Paris to try to strike a global climate agreement.

So far, however, commitments from world governments just aren’t adding up. This has the makings of a global failure of ambition — and at a moment when renewable energy is becoming a revolutionary economic force that could power a just transition away from fossil fuels. On the other hand, this could be a turning point — a shift in power away from the industries causing the climate crisis and toward people fighting for climate justice.

It's week one of the UN climate talks in Paris, energy is gathering, and the mood in the streets is changing. As the Paris Climate Summit ends, thousands of people will be back in the streets to have the final word and show that people are taking their future into their own hands.

Join the Creative Red Lines mobilisation for climate justice on December 12th - at the end of COP21. Help the NGO honoring those who have lost their lives to climate change, war and terror — and those that will be impacted by climate change in the future, if nothing changes!
December 03rd, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

ExxonMobil is under investigation by the New York Attorney General for allegedly lying about climate change. At the same time, a second landmark investigation is on the verge of being rolled out - targeting Exxon and 49 other mega-polluters.

Catastrophic weather events are getting worse and worse with climate change: Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones destroy homes, ruin the chance for a healthy life for many around the world, and take lives and livelihoods - violating basic human rights worldwide. And the reckless development of fossil fuels by distant and faceless energy companies is to blame.

The Commission for Human Rights agreed to open an investigation after hearing formal demands from disaster survivors, advocates and NGOs. This investigation could be a game changer for the oil industry, forcing some of the world's biggest corporations to be held accountable for misrepresenting the facts about climate change. It starts by putting the spotlight on Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Shell, and others.

It's about time Big Oil has its day in court.Call on the Commission for Human Rights to open its investigation now and sign the petition!
HIV ribbon
December 02nd, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded the highest number of newly diagnosed HIV infections in only one year since the start of reporting in the 1980s. The most recent surveillance data released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe report that over 142 000 people were diagnosed with HIV infections in 2014 - only in Europe.

These numbers are alarming: HIV/AIDS still has an increasing regional and global drive. During the last decade the rate of new infections increased up to 80 %. More than ever it is important to commemorate the 1st of December as the declared World AIDS Day.

The civil society network AIDS Action Europe was established in 2004 and has grown to be one of the largest HIV-related networks in the region. Their network reaches beyond the borders of the European Union and covers all 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia and consists of 450 NGOs, national networks, AIDS service organisations, activists and community based groups of people living with HIV. Their mission is to bring together civil society to work towards a more effective response to the HIV epidemic in Europe and Central Asia.

Set a sign against ignorance towards HIV/AIDS and become a supporter of AIDS Action Europe.

Photo credits: Paul Falardeau
Genci Angjellari_family
November 30th, 2015
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Genci Angjellari is an investigative journalist. In November 2014 he was exploring alleged links between the Albanian mafia, business and politicians when two men on a motorbike attacked him. They punched him, held a knife to his throat and told him to stop his work. Days later the family fled to Norway.

The couple have been in Norway with their young daughter for nearly a year, going through the asylum process. But despite the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board finding the family’s account credible, it has ruled that the family can safely be returned to Albania and seek police protection there – police protection that they have already asked for and been denied.

Their application was rejected by the Norwegian authorities. While they can appeal the decision, the Norwegian authorities do not have to wait until this is processed before implementing a deportation order. This means that the family are at serious risk of being forced back into a dangerous situation. Any day now they could be deported to Albania where they face intimidation, harassment or even death.

Genci Angjellari is not alone – investigative journalists in Albania are regularly threatened as a result of their work. Send a message to the Norwegian giverment via Amnesty International and plea against the deportation of Genci Angjellari!