Signing petition for release of Khurram Parvez is the least one can do for a man who has committed his life to human rights

K Parvez on way to jail

This is a rather poignant photo from yesterday of Khurram Parvez being taken by police to jail in Jammu, 300 kilometers from his family in Srinagar & from his legal counsel in the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society JKCCS).

If one looks at the work he has done in the reports of the JKCCS– where they dealt with & publicly exposed gruesome human rights crimes, including unearthing mass graves of the disappeared–you know he must be a pretty tough-minded guy. But tough-minded doesn’t mean stone-hearted. He has a family, including at least one small boy. He once said on FB that he doesn’t want his & other kids to grow up under occupation.

He’s being imprisoned under the Public Safety Act which means he could be away from his family for a long while. His safety in detention is a concern not just because of his fearless human rights work but because India has demonstrated a complete & monstrous disregard for law during this nearly 11-week siege.

Petitions don’t set the world on fire; they don’t perform magic & they don’t scare the bejeezus out of state power. They are primarily an education tool & part of a broader international campaign to defend Khurram Parvez. No one should have to be asked to twice to sign this petition & to circulate it in his defense. It is the least one can do for a man who has committed his life to human rights.ā€¦

The silence of the United Nations on the siege in Kashmir

UN & Kashmir cartoon (Suhail Naqshbandi) Sept 21 2016

Kashmir crisis:Indian media MIR Suhail

It’s one of life’s rude awakenings to face realities about the role the United Nations plays in world politics. It functions more as an agency giving official sanction to war & occupation than one of settling differences in non-military ways. It formulates lots of resolutions about human rights but can do little to enforce them & does not condemn nations in unequivocal terns for flagrant war & human rights crimes. That’s because the countries that run the operation are the ones causing all the trouble in the world.

But the UN also has a military force, second only to the US in the number of soldiers deployed around the world. They call their army “peacekeepers” just like the US Pentagon calls civilian deaths “collateral damage.” It took UN officials over six years to acknowledge that UN troops deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake were responsible for the outbreak of cholera that made over 786,000 people sick, hospitalized over 434,000, & killed 9,700.

These are cartoons about the current UN silence in addressing the extreme violence of the 76 day military siege in Kashmir.

(Top cartoon by Suhail Naqshbandi; bottom cartoon by MIR Suhail)

Media ignores military assault in Kashmir. Follows prayer rituals instead.

Muslim women praying Kashmir day 76 ( (Photo- FAROOQ KHAN:EPA)) Sept 22 2016

This is day 76 of the military siege in Kashmir. At least 105 have been killed; hundreds are admitted to hospital every day with pellet gun & other serious injuries, some of them disabling & blinding & all of them disfiguring. Somewhere around 11,000 have been injured & there are reports of a blockade on aid & medicine. Nationalist war-mongering against Pakistan has reached a fever pitch after the incident at the Uri military base.

But this is what Yahoo thought suitable to publish today about Kashmir: Kashmiri women praying before a relic at a shrine in Srinagar, identified as “the summer capital of Indian Kashmir.”

It’s like the sunset photos of Gaza while Israeli tanks amass at the apartheid barrier or Afghan children hopscotching while US war planes fly sorties without notice.

(Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA)

Charlotte NC, Tulsa OK, Columbus OH: the war on the Black community continues

Keith Scott protest Charlotte (. REUTERS:Jason Miczek) Sept 22 2016

Charlotte NC protest for Keith Scott (REUTERS:Jason Miczek) Sept 22 2016

Charlotte protest (REUTERS:Jason Miczek) Sept 22 2016

The Charlotte, North Caroline police department offers a different version of the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott than his family does. The police claim they mistook Scott for a wanted man they were hunting & gave him clear warnings to drop a handgun before they shot him down. Is this trigger-happy stuff standard police procedure?

The family say that Scott who had a disability, was sitting in his car reading & waiting for his child to get off the bus & that he had no gun.

Coming just days after the police shooting of unarmed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma & 13-year-old Tyre King in Columbus, Ohio, is overwhelming evidence that despite all the media exposure & public protests, the war against the Black community continues. It has gone on for decades, not unlike a military occupation.

It will not end without a massive committed movement that grabs hold & will not let go & will not be compromised. Independent Black political power is a threat to the status quo because racism is integral to how the system works economically & ideologically. The police are only the front lines of this assault which goes all the way to the highest levels of power in this country.

Adolph L. Reed, Jr., a prominent Black academic who has a fetish against identity politics, recently published a statistical song & dance claiming the violence against the Black community has diminished over the past several years. His research is less statistical than it is tendentious. Other researchers without an axe to grind have demonstrated beyond dispute that the war on the Black community has often been a martial law situation with rampant violations of the Bill of Rights; frequent shootings of unarmed young people under the guise of the war on drugs; constant harassment; & massive incarceration of Black youth for minor infractions.

These are protesters against the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, NC. We stand in complete solidarity with them. Solidarity is the iron law of social transformation. The eventual elimination of racism as a political force depends upon it & is not deterred by phony statistical apologetics.

(Photos by Jason Miczek/Reuters)

Putin supporters love Ridrigo Duterte: coincidence or consistency in politics?

People can have inconsistencies in politics. But it’s curious that so many supporters of Russia in Syria, claiming Russia is bombing for humanitarian reasons, get such a kick out of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte for calling Obama “the son of a whore” & for telling the European Union to “go fuck themselves” while flipping them the bird.

They eat up his vulgarities, call him a straight-shooter, a man who won’t tolerate BS or hypocrisy, a man who gets right to the point. The fact that he uses death squads & vigilantes to execute poor people who are suspected drug users doesn’t seem to dampen their enthusiasms.

There might not really be an inconsistency between bombing for democracy & death squads. That’s my conjecture.