Friday, November 30, 2012

خطوة قضائية اولى لادانة ممارسة "الادعاءات الكاذبة ضد خادمات البيوت"

Legal Agenda

وقائع القضية كلاسيكية: خادمة أجنبية تغادر منزل مخدومتها فتبادر هذه الاخيرة الى تقديم شكوى ضدها بالسرقة. وقد زعمت ان "ثمة اتصالات وردت الى الخادمة (من التابعية النيبالية) عبر هاتف المنزل والى جهاز المدعية الخليوي تعلمها ان زوجها في النيبال مريض ويطلب منها الحضور فورا، وانه تجاه الوضع الانساني المذكور حجزت المدعية لها تذكرة سفر على ان تغادر في 23-10-2010 وتعود في 23-11-2010 واضافت المدعية انه في اليوم الثاني على سفر المدعى عليها، ايقنت ان هذه الاخيرة اخذت لها (عن طريق السرقة) خمس ساعات قيمة وجهاز خليوي مستعمل ومبلغ الف د.أ وقدرت قيمة المسروقات بعشرين الف د.أ...". 

واللافت في الدعوى، انه خلافا للنيابة العامة، التي سارعت الى تبني الشكوى وتحويلها الى ادعاء ضد الخادمة (التي غادرت لبنان) من دون اي تحقيق مسبق معها ورغم ضعف الادلة المقدمة بل غيابها، سعى القاضي المنفرد الجزائي في البترون الناظر في الدعوى منير سليمان الى استكشاف مدى صحتها من خلال استجواب المدعية ومطالبتها بابراز مستندات كبطاقة السفر مثلا (وهي بطاقة عجزت عن المدعية عن ابرازها). وقد تثبت القاضي من خلال ذلك من التناقض في اقوال المدعية التي ادلت بان "السرقة اكتشفت في اليوم التالي على سفر المدعى عليها الموافق وفقا لاقولها في 23-10-2010 في حين ان المدعية تقدمت بالشكوى هذه بتاريخ 29-9-2010 السرقة بعد يوم من مغاردة الخادمة".

وهكذا، "وازاء هذا التناقض الواضح والفادح والفاضح" (التعابير وردت حرفيا في الحكم)، لم يكتف القاضي باعلان براءة المدعى عليها لانتفاء الدليل، بل ذهب ابعد من ذلك، وبما يشكل خطوة اولى في التصدي لهذه الممارسة البشعة بالادعاء زورا ضد الخادمة التي تترك عملها، في اتجاه تغريمها بمبلغ خمسمائة الف ليرة لبنانية، وهو الحد الاقصى للغرامة الممكن الحكم بها قانونا في حال التعسف في استعمال حق التقاضي.

خطوة اولى، خطوة خجولة قد لا تكفي لردع اصحاب العمل عن هذه الممارسة، لكنها تعبر مؤكدا عن توجه قاض في اتجاه ادانتها قدر المستطاع. يبقى ان نأسف ان يكون غياب الخادمة (التي غادرت لبنان) عن الدعوى قد حال دون تقديم دعوى افتراء في وجه هؤلاء.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: 31 Arab Human Rights Organizations Demand United Nations Recognize Palestinian Statehood



In 1977, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) designated 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  Thirty-five years later, the human rights and humanitarian situation of Palestinians has only deteriorated.  The Palestinian people continue to be subjected to grave and systematic violations of their basic human rights by Israeli occupation forces on a daily basis, and illegal confiscation of Palestinian land by Israel has only intensified.
On the 8th of November, 2012, Israel began ‘Operation Pillar of Defense’ in the Gaza Strip, during which indiscriminate shelling by Israeli forces has been responsible for 162 deaths and more than 1000  injuries according to estimates by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, as well as the destruction of both public and private property.  The vast majority of victims have been civilians, including journalists, who have been specifically targeted by Israeli forces.   These acts may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and underline the urgent need to ensure accountability for violations of international law carried out by Israel and other actors within the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).   This is in addition to the ongoing international crimes committed with almost absolute impunity against the Palestinian people in the context of the now six-year-long illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in a dire human rights and humanitarian situation.
In recognition of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People  and in light of the urgent need to take bold action to uphold the fundamental rights of Palestinians, 12 Arab and international human rights organizations have called on member states of the United Nations to support a resolution to recognize Palestine as a state at the United Nations.
Earlier this month, on the 9th of November, Palestinian diplomats in New York circulated a draft resolution to UN member states that calls for recognition of Palestine as an observer state.  The draft is likely to be voted on by the 193-nation UN GA at the end of November.  The resolution would “accord to Palestine Observer State status in the United Nations system.”
Despite numerous calls by the UN GA over the last half century for Israel to immediately halt the illegal practice of land confiscation and the building of settlements on Palestinian land, the construction of settlements and the perpetration of violence against Palestinian civilians by both military forces and settlers in order to forcefully take this land continues to be carried out with almost complete impunity. Estimates of the Israeli settler population in the OPT vary between 500,000 and 650,000 people living in some 150 settlements and 100 “outposts” in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These settlements make it increasingly difficult for Palestinians to have access to and control over natural resources in the OPT, especially water.  In complete contradiction with their obligations under international law and its own promises to halt settlement expansion, Israeli authorities continue to actively pursue policies to ensure expansion of such settlements.
Increased land confiscation and settlement construction not only violates the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, but has also greatly damaged the possibility to achieve a sustainable peace and has put Israelis and Palestinians on a path towards catastrophe unless such policies are urgently combated. By giving Palestine the status of a state at the UN, the international community would be sending a strong message that they will act to uphold the rights of Palestinians and safeguard a future peace if the Israeli government continues to demonstrate that it is unable or unwilling to adhere to its international obligations in this regard.
In October 2011, the member states of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set an important precedent by voting to give Palestine full state membership status in this body.  The United States responded by withdrawing funding for UNESCO.  The United States also threatened to veto any attempt in the UN Security Council to give full UN member state status to Palestine.  As such, the Palestinian delegation in New York is now pursuing “observer” state status, which does not require Security Council approval.  It is relevant to note that the United States has also been the only state in the world to vote against annual resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council which recognize the right of self-determination for Palestinians.  In this context, the undersigned organizations continue to recognize the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to self-determination and full membership status within the UN and call on the United States to end its opposition to Palestinian UN member state status at the Security Council.
The future of peace in the region and the dignity of the Palestinian people should not be held hostage by the decisions of one or two governments.  It is important that UN member states at the GA vote in favor of recognizing Palestine as an observer state despite warnings of retributive action against the UN by Israel and the United States.
It has been reported that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently threatened ‘to withhold Palestine’s tax revenues, to cut off their electricity and water supplies and to flood the occupied territories with new settlements if they go ahead with the UN vote[1].”   All UN member states should strongly condemn any such threats, including those against civil society and human rights defenders, and take concrete action to combat any measures designed to “punish” the Palestinian people for decisions taken by the UN.
The status of statehood at the UN would not only further the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, but would also greatly strengthen accountability for human rights violations committed by any actor within the OPT by enabling Palestine to sign international human rights treaties, as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  In turn, Palestine would be allowed to ask the ICC to investigate accusations of international crimes committed in the OPT.  In this context, the undersigned organizations contend that the strong opposition of the Israeli government to UN recognition of Palestinian statehood is a reflection of its attempts to ensure international impunity for potential crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Israeli forces in the OPT.
The recent unilateral Israeli decision, officially communicated in May 2012, to opt out of and cease all “relationships” with the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in both Geneva and Jerusalem, is also of great concern.  This decision came following a Human Rights Council resolution to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements to the OPT. The cessation of collaboration by Israel with the HRC and OHCHR sets a very dangerous precedent, as other countries perpetrating human rights violations could be tempted to follow the same path, including in the context of the HRC’s long-fought battle for the Universal Periodic Review process. As such, Israel’s actions threaten to greatly undermine the effectiveness of UN accountably mechanisms for human rights violations.  Israel’s decision to cease its “relationship” with the HRC and OHCHR also appears to contradict its obligations as a UN member state to cooperate with the UN.  This refusal to collaborate with the HRC and OHCHR has led to Israel refusing access to the HRC fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements, as Israel has done to a number of HRC-mandated missions and OHCHR staff in the past.
We therefore call upon all UN member states to vote in favor of any resolution put forward at the General Assembly that would recognize Palestinian statehood. Moreover, we urge the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to strongly condemn ongoing settlement expansion and land confiscation by Israel in the OPT, to issue a decision of non-recognition of Israel’s unilateral decision to cease all collaboration with the HRC and OHCHR, and to ensure Israel’s adherence to its obligations as a UN member state.

Signatories
  1. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.
  2. Adala Center for Human Rights, Saudi Arabia.
  3. Amel Association, Lebanon.
  4. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies, Jordan.
  5. Amman Forum for Human Rights Association, Jordan.
  6. Anti-Racism Movement, Lebanon.
  7. Arab Network for Human Rights Information.
  8. Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).
  9. Arab Organization for Human Rights, Syria.
  10. CISV, Lebanon.
  11. Committees for the Defense of Democracy Freedom and Human Rights, Syria.
  12. Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, Syria.
  13. Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.
  14. FE-Male, Lebanon.
  15. Gulf Center for Human Rights.
  16. Human Rights & Democracy Media Center (Shams), Ramallah-Palestine.
  17. Human Rights First Society, Saudi Arabia.
  18. Human Rights Organization in Syria (MAF).
  19. International training and conflict resolution center, Lebanon.
  20. Iraqi Human Rights Organization, Denmark.
  21. Kurdish Committee for Human Rights-Rased, Syria.
  22. Kurdish organization for the defense of human rights and public freedoms in Syria (DAD).
  23. Mezan Center for Human Rights, Gaza- Palestine.
  24. Moroccan Instance for Human Rights.
  25. Nasaweya, Lebanon.
  26. National Organization for Human Rights, Syria.
  27. Nazra for Feminist Studies, Egypt.
  28. Palestinian Human Rights Organization, Lebanon.
  29. Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State.
  30. Syrian Network for Human Rights.
  31. Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

العنصريّة اللبنانيّة تحت مجهر الدراما السوريّة؟


 دمشق | رغم الزلزال الذي يضرب سوريا واصلاً إلى شوارع دمشق، إلا أنّ صنّاع الدراما يصلون الليل بالنهار لإيجاد بدائل مناسبة تخوّلهم إنجاز الحد الأدنى من الأعمال للعرض على الفضائيات العربية، على اعتبار أنّ هذه المهنة هي مصدر الرزق الوحيد لجيش جرّار من الفنانين والفنيين السوريين.

هكذا، تستعدّ العاصمة اللبنانية لمجموعة من المشاريع السورية، من بينها أعمال شركة «كلاكيت» للإنتاج (راجع المقال أدناه) ومسلسل كوميدي يكتبه الزميل حازم سليمان ويخرجه أسامة الحمد يحكي عن قريتين سوريتين متجاورتين وجردة حساب طويلة للوجود السوري في لبنان (الأخبار 6/10/2012). من جهة أخرى، أنهى الممثل والسيناريست الشاب عماد نجار كتابة مسلسله «أوهام جميلة»، وهو عمل سوري لبناني تدور أحداثه بين البلدين الشقيقين اللذين تربطهما حدود وتاريخ ومسار مشترك جعلت مصير شعبيهما متقاطعاً إلى حد كبير. وعن فكرة المسلسل، يقول كاتبه عماد نجار في حديث مع «الأخبار» إنّ «الفكرة الرئيسية تدور حول شاب سوري اسمه جواد من ريف حلب. يحكي المسلسل قصة حياته بعد أن تدفعه ظروف العمل القاسية للمجيء إلى بيروت عام 2002. تدور خطوط الحكاية في محاور عدة، أحدها يروي الطريقة التي تعيش بها عائلته في حلب، ثم علاقته بأصدقائه وبأمه الموجودة في بيروت وبحبيبته. كل ذلك في العاصمة التي لا ترحم الوافدين الجدد إليها». ولعلّ المسلسل يضيء على السوريين الموجودين في لبنان ومعاناتهم من العنصرية اللبنانية ومحاولة البعض الانتقام من أخطاء الجيش السوري من خلال اضطهاد هؤلاء الوافدين.

لكن الممثل السوري لم يكتف بكتابة المسلسل ومحاولة تسويقه على الورق، بل قرّر الاتفاق المبدئي مع مجموعة من الممثلين السوريين واللبنانيين لإنجاز «بايلوت» مكثف عن المسلسل أخرجه نجار بنفسه لأنه «ينوي إخراج العمل كاملاً بنفسه أيضاً». وقد لعب أدوار البطولة فيه من سوريا كل من: عبد الهادي الصباغ، محمد حداقي، رولا ذبيان، ريم علي، محمد خير الجراح، محمد آل رشي، مريم عطا الله وأيهم الآغا. أما من لبنان، فقد شارك كل من: رفيق علي أحمد، طلال الجردي، باسم مغنية، تقلا شمعون وآن ماري سلامة.

يقول عماد نجار إنّ معظم هؤلاء شاركوا في «البايلوت» وإنّ البطولة في شخصية جواد أسندت للنجم السوري محمد حداقي، ويرجّح أن ينضم إلى العمل كل من النجمتين السوريتين سمر سامي وديمة قندلفت.

وعن الجهة التي ستتولى تبني العمل وإنتاجه، يقول نجار إنّه لا يزال في طور التباحث مع جهة لبنانية، ولم يتم الوصول إلى صيغة نهائية. لكن «الأخبار» علمت بأن تلفزيون «الجديد» يسعى إلى إنتاج هذا العمل، على أن يعرضه حصرياً في رمضان المقبل.
إذاً، في ظل النفق المظلم الذي دخلته عاصمة الأمويين، يختلق صنّاع الدراما السورية شباكاً للفرج ويغوصون في تفاصيل علاقة شائكة جمعت بلدين وشعبين متجاورين، وظلت حبيسة وجهات النظر الرسمية.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Health Day for Migrant Workers


The Migrant Workers Task Force is organizing a Health Day for Migrant Workers.

Free counseling with doctors and free tests to see if you have a sickness. 

Where? 

Alt City – Hamra 

When? 

Sunday December 9 2012 from 10 am till 2pm. 

Come fasting for 12 hours and bring your friends.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Call for Donations

*Copied from Amar*

There is a Syrian Refugee Camp up in Ersal (apprx. 3h30m away from Beirut) where people are freezing as winter creeps up on us.

So in the next week, when you are taking down your winter clothes please put all the clothes you are not using aside and bring them to Nasawiya, any day, besides Sunday, between 12 ad 8 PM. (Please call 01 565442 to make sure someone is there, prior)

From there, we will organize for them to be taken up to the camp.

Please help us donate enough clothes to keep those in the camp warm this winter.
donateforrefugees2012@gmail.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

‫إلى لاجئ سوري‬

Copied from AlManshour
شهور عدة مرت على بدء الثورة الشعبية ضد النظام في سوريا، وهي ثورة استلهمت الحركة الثورية الممتدة في العالم العربي، إضافة إلى مختلف أنحاء العالم، وهي ثورة تهز سكونا طغى على العالم وتزعزعه، وإذا كانت السياسات النيوليبرالية قد سارت جنبا إلى جنب مع تآكل مساحة الحريات بمختلف أشكالها، إضافة إلى تقلص الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، فالسياسات النيوليبرالية ترافقت في سوريا، وفي العالم العربي مع أنظمة استبدادية إجرامية ومافياوية.‬

‫والمسيرات السلمية التي انطلقت في سوريا لم ترق للنظام "الأبدي"‬، والأخير سرعان ما أغرق البلد ببحر من الدماء تهجر جراء ذلك الآلاف من السوريين داخل سوريا وخارجها، ويكرر مؤيدو النظام عبارات قيلت في الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية، مثل تحويل مدينة داريا أو مخيم الرمل الجنوبي (على سبيل المثال) إلى حديقة عامة.

هذا الفكر الإجرامي لا ينحصر بسوريا فقط إنما يمكن رؤية وسماع أفعال وأقوال لا تقل سوءا عن ذلك، فإضافة إلى الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية وما أفرزته من مجرمي حرب ما لبثوا أن أمسكوا بالنظام اللبناني وانضم إليهم كذلك مجرمي سلم، تقاسموا سوية الكعكة الدسمة.

في هذا الإطار، أطل العماد النائب ميشال عون على شاشات التلفزة ليهدد اللاجئين السوريين في لبنان. وكما يعرف الجميع فإن الحكومة اللبنانية، التي يحظى تكتل عون النيابي بحصة وازنة فيها، نأت بنفسها (الكلمة اللعينة والمقرفة) عن الشأن السوري، وخاصة فيما خص إغاثة اللاجئين السوريين إلى لبنان.

وحذر عون في خطابه "غير الجماهيري" الذي أعقب اجتماع تكتل التغيير والإصلاح من خطورة هذا الوضع (وضع اللاجئين السوريين)، وادعى أنه، كعضو أساسي في الحكومة، "يلتزم" إنسانيا مع اللاجئين، وهو ينتظر أن يبادلوه التصرف ذاته، وأضاف: "الجميع يعلم أن مسألة اللجوء تبدأ بأشخاص يطلبون منك المساعدة وتنتهي بالتمرد عليك". وأبدى عون تحفظه على سلوك الحكومة لأنها لا تضبط الوضع بين اللاجئين بالإضافة إلى موضوع اجتياز الحدود، كما شكك في صفة لاجئ، حيث لا تنطبق على قسم منهم على حد زعمه. كما تخوف عون من انتشار اللاجئين واعتبره "انتشارا خطرا"، وصاح أنه يريد -بالطبع لا يريد إسقاط النظام طالما أنه من رموزه- معرفة أعدادهم ومكان سكنهم وإذا كانوا يحملون هويات أو لا، وشدد على مسؤولية المواطنين والجهات الأمنية الرسمية والبلديات والمخاتير -وجرن الكبة- لإطلاع المسؤولين حول ما يجري في قراهم، وحدد الجنرال السابق مهلة ١٥ يوما للأجهزة الأمنية لكي تمتلك المعلومات، "لأنه لا يجوز التزام الصمت حيال موضوع بهذه الأهمية".

"لطمأنة" عون، ثمة بلديات في لبنان قد سبقته إلى ما رمى إليه، وصارت تمارس دورا رديفا للسفارة السورية، وتعتمد على هذا الصعيد أساليب ملتوية وحقيرة وغير قانونية، إذ تحصل من إدارات بعض المدارس على لوائح التلامذة السوريين كاملة تتضمن أسماءهم وأسماء أهاليهم ومكان سكنهم وأرقام هواتفهم. عون يريد هويات اللاجئين، نعم، بإمكانهم الذهاب بكل "هدوء" إلى بيوتهم المدمرة والتفتيش عنها تحت الدمار، وذلك ليسمح لهم النظام اللبناني باللجوء. كما عون يخشى أن يتمرد من "يُحسِن" إليه، عفوا من أحسن إلى من؟ كل الناس (بعضها على الأقل) تعرف العنصرية المتمادية المستمرة حيال العامل السوري، على يد ولسان أعضاء في التيار بالإضافة إلى الموجة العنصرية غير المسبوقة التي شنتها ميليشيات ١٤ آذار خلال المرحلة التي تلت اغتيال رفيق الحريري، يضاف إليها موجة إضافية حصلت في صيف العام الحالي في الضاحية الجنوبية ضد اللاجئين السوريين وذلك بعد خطف مجموعة من اللبنانيين في سوريا.

هكذا، تغلق كماشة العنصرية والفاشية على اللاجئين في لبنان، وتحاصرهم أينما توجهوا في زوايا هذا البلد الصغير. والنظام في لبنان يبلغ أعلى مستويات تأزمه وتصادم مكوناته الفاسدة والمجرمة. في هذا الإطار وصف الكاتب الصحفي الراحل جوزف سماحة، في افتتاحية جريدة الأخبار بتاريخ ٥ كانون الثاني ٢٠٠٧، أن لبنان يعيش على حركة صفائح تكتونية تتشكل من حزب الله وتيار المستقبل والتيار العوني، ويكتفي سماحة في نهاية مقالته بالتساؤل حول إمكانية "أن يكون لما أنتجه اتفاق الطائف، نصا وممارسة، أن يشكل الوعاء الصالح لاستيعاب هذا الحراك الاستثنائي". الجواب الأكيد أن اتفاق الطائف لم ولن يشكل أي حل أو أي إمكانية لاستيعاب هذا "الحراك"، وذلك لسببين: الأول، لأن القوى السياسية التي ذكرها سماحة قد جُرِبت في السنوات الأخيرة، وتلمس الناس الفوارق الضئيلة بينها بما خص سياستها الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، وعلى سبيل المثال، فخطة خصخصة قطاع الكهرباء لم يرغب بها حصرا رئيس الحكومة الأسبق فؤاد السنيورة، إنما تولى الدفاع عنها وزير الطاقة الأسبق محمد فنيش، ليصل مشعل الخصخصة إلى الوزير الحالي جبران باسيل. أما السبب الثاني، فيكمن أن الحراك الفعلي والاستثنائي هو الحراك المنطلق في هذه الأيام من اليمن والأردن والبحرين وسوريا ومصر وتونس إلى القلب النابض في غزة، الحراك الثوري هو الذي يزيل أنظمة ويسقط نصوصا دستورية رثة مهمتها الوحيدة تقاسم الغنائم ودماء الشعوب.

في خريف العام ٢٠١٠ كتب الرفيق غسان مكارم في العدد ٢٠ من النسخة الورقية للمنشور التالي: "تصطدم المطالبة بإعطاء الفلسطينيين حقوقهم الإنسانية بحائط الطائفية اللبنانية. فحتى هذا الإطار العام الذي يفتقد إلى أي آلية تطبيق يتعارض بديهيا مع النظام الطائفي|العنصري… يجب أن نضيف أن إلغاء النظام الطائفي هو أيضا حق من حقوق الفلسطينيين [السوريين] في لبنان". أما على جدران مخيم الرمل الجنوبي للاجئين الفلسطينيين في اللاذقية فخطت يد ثائرة التالي: "فلسطين ليست بالبعيدة إنها بمسافة العودة [الثورة]"، واليوم تعلمنا غزة والثورة السورية، أن فلسطين وسقوط الأنظمة كلها ليست بالبعيدة إنها بمسافة الثورة، الآن وهنا. لذلك قال محمود درويش: "اذهب إلى دمك المهيّأ لانتشارك
واذهب إلى دمي الموحّد في حصارك
لا وقت للمنفى...
وللصور الجميلة فوق جدران الشوارع والجنائز
والتمني".

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Community Day

MWTF is organizing a community Day brings together Lebanese, migrant workers, and expats living in Beirut in order to encourage and facilitate joyful interaction between diverse communities. Everyone is invited for a day filled with food, activities, and storytelling to spread awareness of issues that migrant workers face in Lebanon. Participants are encouraged to bring a dish to eat and a friend to join in our effort to break down social boundaries.

During Community Day, an exhibition of photo stories created by migrant workers plus a series infographics visualizing migrant workers' rights and issues will also be launched at AltCity. The photo exhibition entitled "See It Our Way" is the result of a series of multimedia workshops led by Ann Megalla and AltCity. The infographic exhibition entitled "Journey From Home" is the result of a series of information design workshops led by Joumana Ibrahim.

Sun. Dec. 16
12 to 4 PM
AltCity



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Who Killed Janice Soriano de Jose?

Janice Soriano de Jose, worker from the Philippines, was found dead at the bottom of this building last stormy Sunday. They say she jumped from the 11th floor.
We say, we want to see the doctor's report Now.
What kind of investigation takes a few hours before being closed?

**

It is physically impossible for this woman to have thrown herself out of a balcony (11th floor), skipped the huge terrace of the first floor, and landed on the parking gate of the building where there is a ceiling above here. Physically impossible for a dead person to fly in a u-shape before landing on the ground.
So how did her body reach that spot?



Migrant construction workers lack safety net

The DailyStar 

Khan points out that the lack of labor unions for foreign laborers further works against their interests.

“If the Lebanese government implemented the law, then problems would be significantly minimized. Irregular workers should be regularized to be covered by the labor law and be able to unionize to protect their interests. Without such groups, the position of construction workers will remain precarious.”

Under the overpass, the assembled group of laborers sit in stoic silence when asked what measures the government could introduce to improve their employment situation. After a moment Hamad – the eldest of the group – offers a response.

“I don’t think they really care, because we are foreigners.” He words are met with murmurs of assent.

إضاءة شموع أمام المبنى الذي سقطت منه العاملة

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today: Vigil for Janice Soriano de Jose

KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation and Anti-Racism Movement call upon concerned individuals to join us tonight to commemorate the passing of the worker Janice Soriano de Jose, who according to news reports committed suicide on Sunday by jumping from the 11th floor of her employer’s house in Zalka.

We believe that this death of another migrant domestic worker indicates once again the failing of the Lebanese government to take action to prevent abusive/exploitative working and living conditions which can

lead to suicide and death.
In particular, no action has been taken to abolish the sponsorship system, which is one of the root causes of migrant domestic workers’ vulnerability to abuse. The sponsorship system makes the worker dependent upon her employer for her legal status in Lebanon; it encourages sponsors to lock the worker in the house, withhold her passport, among other violations; and it makes it more difficult for a migrant domestic worker victim of violence and abuse to seek help.

It is time for us to take action. Tonight we will hold a vigil for the most recent victim of the sponsorship system in Lebanon, join us!

We will meet in front of Starbucks Zalka at 5:30 pm
and walk from there towards the building from which Janice fell.


تدعوكم منظمة "كفى عنف واستغلال" وحركة مناهضة العنصرية للانضمام إليهما اليوم إحياءً لذكرى وفاة العاملة جانيس سوريانو دي جوسي التي، بحسب ما ورد في تقارير إخبارية، رمت نفسها من شرفة منزل صاحب عملها في الطابق الحادي عشر من مبنى في الزلقا.

نحن مقتنعون/ات بأنّ هذه الوفيات التي لا تتوقّف تدلّ على فشل الدولة اللبنانية وتقاعسها في اتخاذ تدابير مناسبة تحول دون توفّر شروط عمل استغلالية وظروف عيش مدمّرة قد تقود القابعات فيها إلى الانتحار أو الموت.

فنظام الكفالة في لبنان لا يزال راسخاً إذ لم تتّخذ الدولة أي خطوة عملية لاستبداله بصفته أحد أبرز العوامل المؤدية إلى وضع العاملات في أضعف المواقع وجعلهنّ عرضة دائمة للإساءة.
فالكفالة تجعل وضع العاملة القانوني في البلاد محكوماً بصاحب عملها؛ كما تدفع أصحاب العمل إلى حجز العاملات في المنازل والاحتفاظ بأوراقهنّ، وغيرها من الانتهاكات. هذا ويصعّب النظام القائم على العاملات طلب المساعدة في حال تعرّضهنّ للعنف وللإساءة.

حان الوقت لكي نتحرّك جميعاً مطالبين/ات بإنهاء هذه المأساة.
الليلة نجتمع حول ذكرى جانيس، آخر ضحايا نظام الكفالة في لبنان.

نلتقي عند الساعة الخامسة والنصف مقابل مقهى ستاربكس في الزلقا، وننطلق من هناك في اتجاه المبنى التي سقطت منه جانيس.







Time: 530 PM-7 PM

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monthly Info Session 1.0 - Sponsorship System

Anti Racism Movement will be hosting a monthly info session, every second Monday of every month (We'll have facebook events to remind you, don't worry)

The first info session will be on the Sponsorship System in Lebanon.

Whether you don't know much about the subject or think you know it all, we urge you to come, you might learn something new :)

Info session guest speaker: Rola Abi Merched from KAFA (Enough) Violence and Exploitation

Date: Monday, November 12 at 7 PM
Place: T Marbouta's Library

Fb event
Join us!

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Army Raids and Harrasment

This image was done by a cartoonist friend, a few weeks back, when the army raids against Syrian workers were taking place.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=2a1a43f822&view=att&th=13ae5a5a87d7e1b7&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_h8h8z2vm0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_tAFq7FJPS9Kj7cskmFdOM&sadet=1352472693914&sads=Bqxlwe2dQnzVaT8-Rr6kPOUyFlM
 https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=2a1a43f822&view=att&th=13ae5a5a87d7e1b7&attid=0.2&disp=inline&realattid=f_h8h8zblf1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_tAFq7FJPS9Kj7cskmFdOM&sadet=1352473829555&sads=tSz2B5c-QKpm2N19VwP6Qd-Hsbk

What is the MCC?

Join the facebook group for MCC so you know more about it and stay tuned with updates and happenings!
Migrant Community Center

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heart to Heart


Learn About Domestic Workers

An interesting page on the IDWN website.

***


Domestic work covers many different activities, situations and relationships, and so is not easy to categorise.
It includes many tasks such as cleaning, laundry and ironing; shopping, cooking and fetching water; caring for the sick, elderly and children; looking after pets; sweeping and garden-tidying.
It involves workers in many different types of employment relationship:
  • In societies where care workers are employed by the State or organisations subsidised by the State, they often (though not always) benefit from proper employment contracts, union rights, and collective bargaining agreements.
  • With privatisation of such services, however, has come the growth of private supply agencies and a deterioration in working terms and conditions and unionisation.
  • In just a few countries there are collective bargaining agreements between trade unions and confederations of householders.
  • Most domestic work around the world, however, is done through private arrangements between individuals, someone hired in or a family member, sometimes with a written contract but usually with none.
  • Many live-in and are on almost permanent call in that household; others live elsewhere and may work for several employers, perhaps spending only a few hours per week for each.
Domestic work fundamentally involves power relationships. It is:
  • Never free of a gender perspective: in all societies domestic work remains seen as ‘women’s work’; nowhere do men do an equal share of work in the home. It is when women get jobs outside the home that - rather than men of the household doing more of the caring work - other women (or children) are brought in to do it.
  • Often holds a race or ethnic perspective: this is especially so for international migrant workers, whose labour is wanted but who are often met by racism or xenophobia; also within countries women from certain cultures or racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be employed by others from more powerful cultures or groups.
  • Sometimes involves age as a key aspect: in many countries there are still thousands of children doing domestic work in private homes; on the other hand, there are also many older women whose only skills to sell in the labour market are domestic ones.
  • Almost always concerns poverty and class: very few who are not poor leave their own homes to work in those of other people, who are usually more wealthy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Syrian workers now drawing hostility from Lebanese hosts


“Initially, many Lebanese sympathized with the uprising, and that sympathy continues, but that sympathy hasn’t translated into sympathy for the workers. So we’re still seeing some of the violations we saw before, like random xenophobic violence, but now we’re seeing it in greater numbers,” Houry said.
Full (very interesting) article can be found on this link.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/05/173710/syrian-workers-now-drawing-hostility.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Analysis: Catch-22 for Syrian migrants in Lebanon

Great piece on IRIN by AG.

BEIRUT, 1 November 2012 (IRIN) - Syrians in Lebanon are increasingly coming under attack as lingering anti-Syrian sentiment intensifies amid the current conflict next door.

The Syrian imbroglio has polarized various sects and factions in Lebanon. While Sunni Lebanese in the north have welcomed tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in the last year and a half, Lebanese of other sects and in other parts of the county are less welcoming.

On the streets of Beirut’s Christian neighbourhood of Geitawi, a stronghold of the Lebanese Christian right, their intolerance of Syrian migrants, who have worked in Lebanon for years, is palpable:

“Syrians ruled us for 30 years, how can we like them?” protested Kamal Sa’ad, 48. “God willing, the war will kill them all. They’re an Arab people; we [Lebanese Christians] are Europeans.”

Residents of the neighbourhood have gathered around 60 signatures demanding the governor of Beirut take “the necessary security and legal measures” against Syrian workers who are perceived to pose a threat.

“We are sending this letter to warn the authorities that if they don’t intervene, we will organize ourselves and solve the situation through violence,” warned Cesar, a local butcher who preferred not to divulge his second name.

“Drunken Syrian workers are always around harassing women at night,” said Charbal Issa, 29. “You know what we will do? [Impose] a 6pm curfew for Syrians, so that they work and sleep - nothing else.”

Military raids and mob violence

The estimated 300,000 Syrian seasonal workers in Lebanon before the Syrian uprising began in March 2011 were often the object of anti-Syrian sentiment - a legacy of Syria’s 29-year occupation of Lebanon, starting in the 1970s.

“Following the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon [in 2005], each bombing blamed on the Syrian regime was followed by the beating of some Syrian workers,” said Yara Chehayed, a member of the Beirut-based Anti-Racism Movement.

But since the conflict in neighbouring Syria, when Syrians started fleeing to Lebanon in large numbers, fears that the Syrian opposition will use Lebanon as a base for its own struggle - the way Palestinians did in the lead-up to the Lebanese civil war - have intensified pre-existing xenophobia. Military raids are now increasingly replacing the usual mob violence.

On 7 October, the Lebanese Army raided the apartments of around 70 Syrian, Egyptian and Sudanese workers living in Geitawi and another Christian neighbourhood in Beirut, Mar Mikhael, late at night. One week earlier, on 1 October, soldiers stormed a construction site where migrants worked and slept in the adjacent Ashrafieyeh neighbourhood, according to residents who toldHuman Rights Watch (HRW) they “heard screams from the building”. Several `mukhtars’, administrators of the neighbourhood, reportedly issued a statement encouraging more such raids.

On 17 October, in the coastal neighbourhood of Ramlet al-Baydah, a mob of more than 20 Lebanese men attacked Syrian workers with knives and sticks, injuring 10 people.

Targeting Syrian Sunni dissidents?

The military defended its operation in Geitawi, claiming it was responding to increased complaints about sexual harassment and crimes committed by foreign workers. Lebanese residents in the area blame Syrian workers for thefts, sexual harassment, fights and even murders.

''God willing, the war will kill them all. They’re an Arab people; we Lebanese Christians are Europeans''
But according to HRW, the evidence against them is scarce and the military operation looked more like collective punishment than proper policing.

“No clear investigation has been carried out. Why didn’t the army look for specific suspects?” said Beirut-based Nadim Houry, deputy director of the Middle Eastern division of HRW. “We advocate the rule of law and police enforcement, not this kind of mob violence.”

The army also argued it was checking work permits, but Syrians are allowed to work in Lebanon without papers, as per a longstanding unwritten agreement.

Ahmad*, a Syrian tailor in his thirties, who arrived from Hama several years ago, said not a single Syrian was arrested on specific charges. Instead, he said, soldiers beat the Syrians, including minors, for nearly five hours, using electric shock batons until 2am. “They didn’t allow us to talk and started beating us straight away,” he said. He still bears the scars of the beating, a large haematoma covering half of his back.

Sectarian motives?

Syrians say they believe they were victims of a factional and sectarian army.

“While they were beating us, they asked us: ‘Don’t you know these punishments from the time you served in the Syrian army? Or are you with the [rebel] Free Syrian Army?’” said Ahmad. “They even checked our names to single out the Sunnis and, judging from their dialect, we suspect they were Alawis from Jebel Mohsen,” he said, referring to a neighbourhood in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli inhabited by people of the same sect as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The Lebanese military [intelligence] leadership is controlled by Christians and Shias and both sects are worried by the growing presence of the Syrian Sunni opposition in Lebanon,” explained Khaled*, a Syrian activist from Hama, who arrived at the building just after the 7 October raid to check on friends. “The operation was a message to Syrians: ‘Don’t think you’re protected; we know where you are’.”

Ahmad said the army took notes about where the migrants worked and for whom. “The army came with the intention of recording our names and checking if there was someone wanted in Syria,” he suggested.

“Politics are always behind these aggressions, even if they tell you it was all about harassments,” said Chehayed, of the Anti-Racism Movement. She compared it to an incident last November, when Lebanese Armenians assaulted Syrian Kurds in an Armenian majority neighbourhood in the suburbs of Beirut for their role, she said, in the Armenian genocide under the Ottomans.

Others dispute this version of events, saying the army did indeed round up suspects and ask Lebanese women to identify those who were guilty of harassment.


Photo: Lucy Fielder/IRIN
Graffiti of a Syrian street sweeper covers a Beirut wall where migrant workers, most of them Syrians, wait every day for casual labour
The army said it detained 11 people, but HRW only witnessed the arrest of African migrants who presumably did not have legal residency documents. The army has not confirmed who was arrested or why.

Nevertheless, observers are more hesitant to confirm a political agenda. “Two months ago we documented an instance where the army rounded up Syrian workers, looking for someone who had purchased a satellite device,” admitted HRW’s Houry, “but I think in Geitawi, it was more of a provocation than a political interrogation: if it was purely political they wouldn’t have rounded up also Egyptians and Sudanese.”

The Syrians, Ahmad and Khaled, disagreed, saying the round-up of other nationalities was “a cover for the real aim of the operation.”

Double-victims

Some residents of Geitawi show no prejudice against Syrians and they reject the fabrication of an easy scapegoat.

“There is no problem with Syrians. The scoundrels [responsible for theft and harassment] come from all sorts of countries: Sudan, Sri Lanka, Egypt,” said Rami al-Abyad, a barber in his sixties. “Not all the migrants are bullies.”

Even Ahmad, the Syrian tailor who was beaten, pointed to the good relations he has always had with his Lebanese landlords: “The house-owners were upset by the military operation and they even hid some Egyptians in their apartments.” Others don’t conceal their politically biased racism against Syrians.

“The irony is that many of these workers support the Syrian opposition,” said HRW’s Houry. “They have always been double victims: the regime didn’t offer them job opportunities and in Lebanon they were seen as part of the Syrian occupation, even if Beirut has been rebuilt on cheap Syrian labour.”

Local landlords are also profiting from the increased Syrian presence, Lebanese residents admitted.

The untouchable army

HRW is calling for a transparent investigation into the 7 October raid, but the army said any possible violation would be dealt with internally. The Ministry of Defence did not respond to IRIN’s request for information.

“There is a [lack of] accountability of all security forces, including the army,” said Houry. As the only respected security force in Lebanon amid many sectarian militias, the army is considered something of a sacred, less-easily criticized institution.

Syrian workers who appeared on TV to comment on the raid say they have been threatened by the military, but feel they have no recourse, given the links between large parts of the Lebanese government and their ally in Damascus.

“Since the revolution started, no one defends us and I cannot go to the Syrian embassy to complain about what happened,” said Ahmad.

*not a real name

ag/ha/cb