Human Rights Petition

>Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 22:56:41 -0800

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>From: "Brandi M. Johnson" <<bmjohnson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> (by way of aoliai@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)

>Subject: Human Rights Petition



>>>The Taliban's War on Women:


>>>**** Please sign at the bottom to support, and include your town.

>>>Then copy and e-mail to as many people as possible.


>>> If you receive this list with more than 50 names on it, please e-mail a

>>>copy of it to sara-bande@xxxxxxxxxxxx


>>>Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not kill the

>>>petition. Thank you. It is best to copy rather than forward the petition.


>>>Melissa Buckheit Brandeis University




>>>The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. The situation is

>>>getting so bad that one person in an editorial of the times compared the

>>>treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust Poland.

>>>Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and

>>>have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire,

>>>even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their

>>>eyes. One woman was beaten to DEATH by an angry mob of fundamentalists for

>>>accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving. Another was stoned to

>>>death for trying to leave the country with a man that was not a relative.

>>>Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male


>>>professional women such as professors, translators, doctors,

>>>lawyers,artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and stuffed

>>>into their homes, so that depression is becoming so widespread that it has

>>>reached emergency levels. There is no way in such an extreme Islamic

>>>society to know the suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers are

>>>estimating that the suicide rate among women, who cannot find proper

>>>medication and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their

>>>lives than live in such conditions, has increased significantly. Homes

>>>where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that she

>>>can never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they

>>>are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest

>>>misbehavior. Because they cannot work, those without male relatives or

>>>husbands are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if

>>>they hold Ph.D.'s. There are almost no medical facilities available for

>>>women, and relief workers, in protest, have mostly left the country, taking

>>>medicine and psychologists and other things necessary to treat the

>>>sky-rocketing level of depression among

>>>women. At one of the rare hospitals for women, a reporter found still,

>>>nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless on top of beds, wrapped in their

>>>burqua, unwilling to speak, eat, or do anything, but slowly wasting away.

>>>Others have gone mad and were seen crouched in corners, perpetually rocking

>>>or crying, most of them in fear. One doctor is considering, when what

>>>little medication that is left finally runs out, leaving these women in

>>>front of the president's residence as a form of peaceful protest. It is at

>>>the point where the term 'human

>>>rights violations' has become an understatement. Husbands have the power of

>>>life and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an

>>>angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a

>>>woman, often to death, for exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in

>>>the slightest way.


>>>David Cornwell has told me that we in the United States should not judge

>>>the Afghan people for such

>>>treatment because it is a 'cultural thing', but this is not even true.

>>>Women enjoyed relative freedom,

>>>to work, dress generally as they wanted, and drive and appear in public

>>>alone until only 1996 -- the rapidity of this transition is the main reason

>>>for the depression and suicide; women who were once educators

>>>or doctors or simply used to basic human freedoms are now severely

>>>restricted and treated as sub-human in the name of right-wing

>>>fundamentalist Islam. It is not their tradition or 'culture', but is alien

>>>to them, and it is extreme even for those cultures where fundamentalism is

>>>the rule. Besides, if we could excuse everything on

>>>cultural grounds, then we should not be appalled that the Carthaginians

>>>sacrificed their infant children, that little girls are circumcised in

>>>parts of Africa, that blacks in the deep south in the 1930's were lynched,

>>>prohibited from voting, and forced to submit to unjust Jim Crow laws.


>>>Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are women

>>>in a Muslim country in a part of the world that Americans do not

>>>understand. If we can threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of

>>>human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, Americans can certainly

>>>express peaceful out-rage at the oppression, murder and injustice committed

>>>against women by the Taliban.


>>>************ STATEMENT:


>>>In signing this, we agree that the current treatment of women in

>>>Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves support and action by

>>>the people of the United States and other countries and their

>>>Governments and that the current situation in Afghanistan will not be

>>>tolerated. Women's Rights is not a small issue anywhere and it is

>>>UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1998 to be treated as sub-human and so

>>>much as property. Equality and human decency is a RIGHT not a freedom,

>>>whether one lives in Afghanistan or the United States.*****


>>> 1) Leslie London, Cape Town, South Africa

>>> 2) Tim Holtz, Boston, MA

>>> 3) Joyce Millen, Cambridge, MA

>>> 4) Diane Millen, Falls Church, Va.

>>> 5) Bill Millen, Falls Church, Va.

>>> 6) Milt Eisner, McLean VA

>>> 7) Harriet Solomon, Springfield, VA

>>> 8) Arlene Silikovitz, West Orange, NJ

>>> 9) Susanna Levin, New Rochelle, NY

>>> 10) Rabbi Gary Greene, Framingham, MA

>>> 11) Danny Siegel, Rockville, MD

>>> 12) Rabbi Neal Gold, Highland Park, NJ

>>> 13) Aimee Sousa, Highland Park, NJ

>>> 14) James Sousa, Highland Park, NJ

>>> 15) Peter Tatiner, Highland Park, NJ

>>> 16) Roberta Elins, New York, NY

>>> 17) Margaux Baran, Ne wYork, NY

>>> 18) Stephanie Donohue, New York, NY

>>> 19) Debbie Russ, NYC

>>> 20) Ariel Yan, NYC

>>> 21) Erin Burns, NYC

>>> 22) Jenny Laden, NYC

>>> 23) Daedre Levine, NYC >>

>>> 24) Tina Stoll, Bethesda, Maryland

>>> 25) Karen Mulhauser, Washington, DC

>>> 26) Karen Seiger, Washington, DC

>>> 27) Torie Keller, Silver Spring, MD

>>> 28) Larissa Yocum, Washington, D.C.

>>> 29) Matthijs den Otter, Enschede, The Netherlands.

>>> 30) Elske Leenders, Enschede, The Netherlands

>>> 31) Rijanne Assen, Enschede, The Netherlands

>>> 32) Tiemen Jan Bos, Enschede, The Netherlands

>>> 32) Boukelien Bos, Emmen, The Netherlands

>>> 33) Frank van Schaik, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 34) Lisette de Boer, Delft, The Netherlands

>>> 35) Metha de Vries, Utrecht, The Netherlands

>>> 36) Carla van den Bos, Wageningen, the Netherlands

>>> 37) Erna Krommendijk, Krommenie, The Netherlands

>>> 38) Caroline Houtman, Zutphen, The Netherlands

>>> 39) Hanneke Vreugdenhil, Lelystad, The Netherlands

>>> 40) Clara Doesburg, Enschede, The Netherlands

>>> 41) Vladimir Chorchordin, The Netehrlands

>>> 42) Charlotte de Sauvage Nolting, The Netherlands

>>> 43) Jacqueline Hoogerbrugge, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 44) Liseke Hoogerbrugge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 45) Marie-Louise F|nfst|ck, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 46) Marjolein Marreveld, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 47) Jacqueline Oskamp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 48) Thea Derks, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

>>> 49) Sumire Nukina, Maastricht, Nederlands

>>> 50) Rob van Veen, Hong Kong

>>> 51) Paul G Norris, Hong Kong

>>> 52) Margaret Lowe, Orlando, Florida, USA

>>> 53)Maxine Lowe, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

>>> 54)Elizabeth Anne Cruz, Vancouver, BC, Canada

>>> 55) Katherine-Anne Cruz, Northampton, MA

>> 56) Amy C Shim, Northampton, MA

>> 57) Andrea C. Brown, Northampton, MA

> 58) Brandi M. Johnson, Madison, WI



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